Thursday, December 09, 2010

Summing up

I was reading some blogs written by the friends that live on my computer and I discovered something called Reverb 10 on my friend Beth's blog. The point of it is they provide you with a word that will allow you to reflect on the past year and they do this every day during December.

I think it's pretty interesting, although I don't think I'm going to do every word they provide (well and I'm starting over a week after the official start anyway). So the first prompt is this:

 One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)

I would have to say that word for me is change. With this being the year that I got married, moved (twice - once to South Dakota and now to Pennsylvania), left my job of almost 15 years how could it be anything else?

I think that sometimes people see change as a bad thing, but in my case all of these changes have been wonderful. I adore my husband and can't imagine him not being in my life. Sometimes it feels as if we've been together forever (in a good way!) and I'm amazed that it was merely a year ago we were getting engaged.

Moving to South Dakota was a great experience. It gave me the opportunity to live somewhere completely different than anything I had ever known before. People laugh at "midwest hospitality" but it really does exist and was something Keith and I actually had to get used to when we moved there. People saying hello on the street is a bit disconcerting at first!

And this move to Pennsylvania has been good too. Our apartment isn't perfect (the windows seem to leak cold air! and the floor has some odd bumps) but it is homey and I really do love it!

Leaving my job of almost 15 years was actually a great move. I think that in general I am much less stressed and happier. I had talked on and off for years about finding something new but inertia kept me from doing anything about it. So, yes, change is a good thing.

What would I like my word to be for 2011? I would say happiness. Probably cliched but true.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

IKEA ....... Ohhhhh SHINY!!!!

So Sunday we took a trip to IKEA - my first visit ever to an IKEA. As everyone predicted, I LOVED IT!!!

Our first stop was the cafe for Swedish meatballs with lingonberry sauce. OMB so good!!!!! And Keith and I split a piece of chocolate cake that was also really, really good.

We weren't there for lunch however. We were there for FURNITURE! Sitting on lawn chairs gets a bit old after a while. Plus we figured after sitting on the futon from hell for a year we deserved some comfortable living room furniture.

On the plus side, they do have cup holders!
I had been looking online so I knew pretty much what I wanted. The EKTORP line sofa and chair, although we briefly considered the love seat/chaise combo but figured that might be awkward if we had company.

We also needed some bookshelves (is anyone surprised that the book lover and former bookstore owner needed more space for books?), end tables and a coffee table. Well that's what we needed THIS trip - we have a kitchen cart and another storage unit for the bedroom on our wish list.

I enjoyed the showroom and seeing how they have things laid our in room type settings, once we got to the Market Place I was in heaven!!!! Pretty much everything down there was an ooooohhhhhhhhh shiny moment for me and I think Keith must have thought I was on crack the way I was flitting from one thing to the next. I did get a new set of whisks but held off on the new wok!

So once we managed to pull me away from there, we went to the warehouse to pick up our boxes. By the time we were done - three pallet carts full of boxes. There was no way the boxes for the couch, chair and coffee table would fit in the car so we arranged for delivery. I guess there is a plus side to being temporarily unemployed since there was no question I would be home to accept the packages!

Once we got home I got to work on assembling the bookshelves and end tables. Yep I am a goofball and installed the one back panel backwards. Oops! You can't tell so much now that it's filled with books.

Ummm.... oops!

Monday the couch, chair and coffee table were delivered and I started with the chair so I could work my way up to the big stuff. My assistant/supervisor (aka the cat) was not quite as helpful as she thinks she is what with her whole lack of thumbs and all, but we managed to get everything built.

I have to give IKEA credit, their furniture is relatively inexpensive, goes together easily and is comfortable as all get out! I think we made some good choices!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

If I had a hammar......

I'd hammar in the morning. I'd hammar all the way to Ottowa.

No I have not lost my mind (OK at least not in the past few seconds, the previous part of my life is subject to interpretation but I digress). Instead it's been pointed out to me by my darling husband that the art of proofreading in major newspapers is going to hell in a hand basket.

Hammar is apparently a tool used to break into cars in mall parking lots in order to steal holiday gifts. I think most people consider that a HAMMER!!!!

Oh and Ottowa is the capital of Canada. I apologize to my Canadian friends for changing the spelling from Ottawa.

I am not sure what this says about the state of journalism today. For the love of Pete, even I run spellcheck on my blog before I hit publish.

Regardless, all of this makes me think of this routine by Taylor Mali. I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Unless You're The Lead Dog - The View Never Changes

View Larger Map

That map is how I've spent most of my week, driving from our old home in Sioux Falls to our new home in Pittsburgh.

Yep, 1089 miles according to Google maps. Started out on Tuesday and got here on Thursday.

And believe me, unless you're the lead dog (or the first car in a mini caravan) the view never changes.

So how do you amuse yourself for 1000 plus miles over the course of 3 days while staring at the back of a Penske truck? There are a few things you can do:
  • come up with clever titles for the blog post you are planning to write
  • sing very loudly (and badly and off key .... have I mentioned I've had a horrid cough since just before Thanksgiving???) along with the radio and annoy the cat
  • thank your stars that you have the Sirius radio in the car
  • be fascinated that there is a radio station devoted to alerts for the Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum and Library
  • wonder what they have to announce
  • be very disappointed when the radio station is nothing but static
  • kegel exercises ...... (what ... it was a long drive, it's not like I had anything else to do)
  • make strange noises for no reason except to amuse yourself and again annoy the cat
  • find it very amusing that Cosmo magazine has a satellite radio station
  • can't believe you're actually LISTENING to Cosmo radio
  • hurry up and turn on Martha Stewart radio instead
  • wonder why you can't manage to stop at ANY turnpike plaza with a Starbucks
  • break down and buy a mocha at McDonalds
  • regret that purchase pretty quickly
  • cough (did I mention the annoying and lingering cough that will not leave?????)
  • be amazed that this is the first time you've made the drive from Sioux Falls to Ohio while being awake for the entire trip (or the other way around actually)
  • calculate that this is the longest you have ever driven in one day
Now thanks to my lovely husband, all of our boxes are either in the apartment or our new storage locker. Tomorrow I get to start unpacking all of these boxes and figuring out where to put all of our stuff. I'm looking forward to that (and to doing some cleaning here ... no one fall over dead at that one please), these boxes are driving me nuts!!! Oh and as far as the cleaning goes, I don't think the previous tenant did a very good job cleaning (of course I apparently have high standards since our last landlord was amazed by how clean I left the apartment).

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A little of this and a little of that

So what's new?

Just a few things going on here.... where to start! I suppose starting at the beginning is always the best...

In July or thereabout we found out that Keith's job would not be renewed when his term expired in November. YIKES! Well at least we had a great deal of advanced warning and he began applying for all of the government jobs he could find.

In September we had the wedding. It was small and we were surrounded by our family and friends (in spirit if not in person) and everyone had a wonderful time.
Yes, we went to Chipotle before the wedding!

Our best man Tim, matron of honor Kristen and minister Mary Ann

The topper LOOKED fantastic on the cake (yes I made it!)

So last month, we got some good news... Keith got a job with the Veteran's Administration as a public relations specialist. We are now in the midst (and I do mean midst as I sit on our floor surrounded by boxes and the frame of our now dead futon) of a move to Pittsburgh!

Bobble is confused by all of the activity in our apartment. I think she is worried that I'm either going to throw her in a box and tape her up or leave without her. Of course neither of those scenarios is an option! When we leave here Tuesday morning, she will be in her harness in her carrier on the seat next to me. She gets to be the navigator. Keith will be driving the moving van and I am driving our car. So I hope she is a good map reader! :-D

Hopefully I'll be able to update once we are in Pittsburgh. I haven't seen the apartment yet (just pictures) but I am really looking forward to seeing my new kitchen!


Monday, August 23, 2010

You are kidding, right?

So this weekend we were watching TV and a commercial came on for a new show on NBC this fall. The premise for this cultural masterpiece? Outsourcing American jobs to India!!!!

I kid you not! The show is actually called Outsourced and apparently will be following the crazy escapades and hijinks of an American sent to run his company's call center in India.

What brain trust thought that this would be a good premise for a show? I mean, seriously. Unemployment is still running rampant in this country and they think we want a chuckle about how funny it is when American culture and jobs meet Indian society?

Needless to say this is yet another show we will NOT be watching. Of course we rarely watch broadcast network television (can anyone say YAY for Food Network)? Maybe someone should outsource the NBC programming director's job to India ... that might be worth a laugh.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

The Corn Palace

Yesterday Keith and I decided to hit the road and drive up to Mitchell. I've never seen the Corn Palace so away we went!

It is pretty amazing that they cover the outside of this building with different pictures made of corn each year. The 2010 theme seemed to be transportation through the ages.

If you notice the side pillars, they've already started working on the new designs for 2011.
There was also one panel dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America (which seemed appropriate given how much popcorn those little buggers sell each year!)

The concession (I'm sorry CORN-CESSION) stand amused me to no end so I had to take a picture of the sign!

Yep the stuff they sell is heavily corn based!

We watched a video explaining how the history of the Corn Palace and how they make the designs each year. Basically they draw an outline of the designs and fill them in (kind of a "corn by numbers" as the video said!) with the nine different colors of corn they use.

I found an example of it on the outside of one of the gift shops across the street.

Duck corn by numbers
The completed duck

We also found a cheerful fella to hang out with!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I am a bad kitty momma....

I neglected to mention my Bobble girl's second "birthday" on July 19. Sorry Kitty (luckily she doesn't get internet access so, well we just won't tell her now will we?)

She seems to have adjusted well to our apartment. She likes to look out of our sliding glass door that leads to the balcony. Unfortunately I can't convince the birds to come to the feeder so she will have entertainment. Occasionally (more than that if you ask Keith) she is very naughty and tries to climb the bookshelves (I swear she is part monkey!!!) and gets great pleasure in knocking things off the countertops.

Testing out the card basket for the wedding! Everything must be Bobble Approved!!
I am so a good kitty ... when I am asleep!

And this just amuses me. Keith took the video of Bobble doing one of her favorite activities..... staring at him!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Not dead yet!

Well the cough may indicate otherwise (I swear to BOB that South Dakota is only filled with stuff that I am hideously allergic to!! Nice stuff but lots of coughing, sneezing and nose blowing going on here!) but I am alive and well.

Things are going well here. I still love my job and Sioux Falls is a great place to live.

Wedding planning is going well (actually it's pretty well done). Just waiting for the RSVPs to come back so we can get everything finalized. The final fitting for the dress will be on August 11 (YAY!!! and thank BOB for David's Bridal who oh so kindly EXCHANGED the dress I was sold THAT.DID.NOT.FIT!!!!)

I made the cake topper.

I think it turned out pretty cute and can't wait to actually see it on the cake.

I have found myself hopelessly hooked on bridal tv shows these days. I am wondering if this new compulsion will go away after the wedding?

Now that you know I'm still around maybe next time I'll actually get around to posing some of the Sioux Falls pictures I keep meaning to share!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Greetings from South Dakota!

Well it's official - I am now a South Dakotan! I even have a driver's license from here now.

Keith flew back to Ohio on St. Patrick's Day and we picked up our rental truck. Packing happened all day on Thursday (and yes we are still engaged and in love after all of that!!!)
Friday morning we said good bye to Cleveland and hit the road.

Bobble was a pretty good little traveler once she settled down. She just hung out in her carrier in between the seats for the trip.

We spent the night in Iowa instead of trying the 15.5 hour trip all at once, so Bobble also had a good time exploring our straight out of the 70's hotel room too!
Ummm yes that IS a mirror on the ceiling...why do you ask?

We managed to get everything unpacked from the truck on Saturday and Sunday (thanks to some of the guys that Keith works with). Monday started my new job (which I LOVE!!!!)

Now we're just putting the "settling in" touches on the apartment. More pictures of that later.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

At the zoo

So Keith and I went to the zoo today to scout out the Wolf Wilderness Lodge where we are getting married in September. As many of you know my favorite animal is the beaver, which is very rarely active when I am at the zoo (much to my chagrin). Today was definitely an exception!!!! Not only was it out and swimming, it was sitting in the corner of the exhibit and I think Keith was amused to watch me trying to interact with it.

Now for totally gratuitous shot of adorableness!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Half of a Lifetime

Not sure why I feel compelled to blog this but I do and therefore I will listen to the inner voice and put this out here.

Today my dad has been dead for literally half of my life.

I will be 42 in May this year. The year he died I turned 21 that May. Literally half of my life has been spent without any parent in it since my mom will be gone 37 years in May.

Is there anything more than a rambling observation to this entry? Probably not. It was just something that struck me as I was sitting here this morning.

That being said I have things to do today: cleaning, sorting things out to prepare for the move to South Dakota (which considering half a lifetime has passed so quickly will be here oh say tomorrow), and an event with the people from work.

Remember life changes quickly and time passes before you know it. Tell those you love you love them at every opportunity.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

So? Anything new with you?

Well it's been a while since my last post. In fact I had to go and read what the last thing I told you was (sorry!!!).

I suppose I should do an update huh? I guess first things first -- my suitcase did show up and the FedEx guy even brought it up to the third floor for me! YAY!!!!

Not too long after that, Keith and I drove back to Ohio to spend Christmas here. Which was nice and quiet and uneventful....

Oh except for one thing......

WE GOT ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He proposed on Christmas Eve via Ravelry. The way he proposed was totally unexpected, filled with all of my friends and made me cry. It had to be one of the most romantic and perfect things I could imagine.

This is a picture of my ring

it's rather hard to take a picture of your own hand so if I do this right this will be the photo I ganked from the web.....

Keith picked it out on his own although I had tried it on when we were looking for rings and I was giving him some ideas of things I liked.

So the wedding will be here in Cleveland on September 11 of this year. We are getting married at the zoo! Again this was all Keith. He discovered you can rent zoo buildings after hours and thought it might be a neat place for the reception. Well instead we decided to do the whole wedding at the Wolf Wilderness Lodge.

My dress is purchased and just needs some slight alterations. Is anyone surprised it's too long?

Other than finding a photographer we're pretty much on track for having it all together!