Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leaps and Bounds

Happy Leap Year!    We all know what it's about... an extra day every 4 years to keep the calendar and the moon and the sun and the earth all lined up.   And to get a FREE cookie at Subway.   Have you had a cookie from Subway lately?   I think they're better than the sandwiches.  Then again who is surprised that I like sugar more than lunch itself?  Moving on.

Even if you know what leap year is all about, I recommend watching this clever video from Epipheo Studios.   The drawings are cute and you can impress people at cocktail parties.  Or wherever you may go to socialize.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Busy Bee

I have felt very busy in most aspects of my life lately.   It's caused me unnecessary headache and wasted time thinking about it.  While I am typically not a worrier about day-to-day mundane nonsense, I have lately been dwelling more than I should.   The first step is identifying the problem, right?!

Between parents in town for extended period of time, being down a team member at work -with no new addition in site, and general house projects piling up, I have felt busy.   Swamped.  Losing my mind a bit.  (For me.  I realize that I have no children, and that 10 years from now I will laugh at my 28 year old self.  But the point is, I liked how things fell into place the second half of 2011.  Can I repeat that please?)

Today I read a column in a magazine to which I subscribe.   The column is not usually my cup of tea and I often skip it.  For some reason, today I read it, and loved what I found.

Instead of fretting about getting everything done, why not simply accept that being alive means having things to do?  Then drop into full engagement with whatever you're doing, and let the worry go.

So that's my current challenge.  Accept that being alive (which I am, thank you very much!) means having things to do.  There will always be laundry, cleaning, obligations, work projects, etc. because we're alive and living people typically have stuff to do.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

There were never such devoted sisters

Friday morning Michael and I both received missed calls from my sister.  I also had an email from her.  This is quite rare.  Al is not known for her frequent phone calls or communication in general.  Here's what the email said


I can fly in for $xxx, Saturday evening -- Tuesday afternoon. Is that ok for you? I'm assuming mom can take care of me on the days you work. Do you have monday off?

Sadly I did not have Monday off, but that did not stop her from coming on a whim!   Saturday Michael and I actually had plans to see Kelly Clarkson at Universal Studios (ohmygosh amazing concert) but my parents fetched Al from the airport and we had a blast on Sunday, playing mini golf at Fantasia Gardens.  We endured 20 mph winds -notice my hair- and of course, there were bison.

It was a lovely time not just because I got - count 'em - FOUR holes in one!   I had never in my life (that I can remember) gotten a hole in one in mini golf.   Luck was on my side for some of the holes.  I won on the front 9, but due to some, ahem, issues on the back side, did not win the game.

What's the best way to celebrate such achievement?  Why, with a trip to Ghirardelli ice cream of course.  My sister was kind enough to split the Gold Rush sundae with me.  Yeah I really had to twist her arm on that one.   Vanilla ice cream, chocolate fudge, peanut butter sauce, whipped cream, and a Ghirardelli chocolate on top with the cherry.  There are zero calories when you share, right?

The trip was short: less than 3 days but we did our best to visit, laugh, and entertain each other.  I have already started to pester her about coming back later this year.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Be My Valentine

I did not receive flowers or a box of chocolates.  What I got was way better!

As is typically each weekday, I start my day with a ginormous cup of tea, eat some Kashi and head upstairs to work.  I tend to hunker down and pause only to change from PJs to real clothes around 8 am, and go right on through till my 10:30 video meeting.    Tuesday was no different.

Except that around 9:45 Michael appeared in my doorway.  He was holding a card, a vanilla latte and donuts from Dunks!  My favorites!   And one of the donuts was pink frosted with ….. heart shaped sprinkles.   The way to a girl's heart is copious amounts of sugar in the morning, folks.  He sat in my office while I continued to email my clients, but we did enjoy a few moments of a breakfast treat.

Around lunch time he informed me he was making a 'special Valentine's Jules lunch' which, considering I already had a donut, left me puzzled.  Imagine my surprise when I went downstairs and had a freshly grilled cheeseburger waiting for me.  Oh lordy.  More delicious food!  Then we had chocolate covered strawberries for dessert.

In addition to February 14 being Valentine's day, it is also my mom's birthday!   Michael's mom was kind enough to make dinner so the 4 of us enjoyed dinner, cake*, and Glee.   My sugar consumption was off the charts.  In other words, it was a lovely Valentine's day.

*Saturday was birthday dinner at Flying Fish while Dad was home.  Sunday we had chocolate peanut butter mousse cake, since Dad was still home and loves caked  Why doesn't?  Tuesday we had leftover cake.  Uncouth?  Maybe but it was SO DELICIOUS I did not even care.  Mom decided three days of celebrating is, in fact, better than one.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Old School

Via one of my favorite blogs, AGirlandABoy.  Check it out!  You'll love reading Leah as much as I do.   But be warned... you may find yourself reading her archives once you see how much fun you'll have learning about her adorable family.  Namely, Wombat.  (See?  Now you have to click!)

A. Age: 28.
B. Bed size: Queen
C. Chore that you hate: Washing dishes.   God bless whoever invented the dishwasher.
D. Dogs: I love dogs!   Mostly when they are other people's because I say I want one, but then I realize they require a lot of care and you have to clean up after them and my house would be a disaster.
E. Essential start to your day: A huge cup of tea
F. Favorite color: I don't think I have one-- is that weird?
G. Gold or Silver: Silver, but my wedding band is white gold because I like that too!
H. Height: 5'8″ AND A HALF (Me too, Leah!  But I round up and usually say 5'9")
I. Instruments you play: Piano and I can sing
J. Job title: Enrollment Counselor or Program Specialist.  Don't you love the fancy sales names?
K. Kids: Zero
L. Live: Orlando, FL
M. Mother's name: Rachelle (though she has been called so many variations of this in her life it's absurd)
N. Nicknames: More than I can count, most created by family members in the 80s.  Notables: Juj, Jujie, Jujer, Jules, Boo, Pugsley, etc.
O. Overnight hospital stays: Never
P. Pet peeves: Rude people.  Liars.  Laziness.  Incorrect use of grammar (namely your, you're, and adding apostrophes to words that end in "s"!)
Q. Quote from a movie: "We invented Post-Its"
R. Right- or left-handed: Right.  I can't even mouse with my left hand
S. Siblings: One younger sister (see also: Nicknames)
U. Underwear:  Um... yes?  Is this asking about style?  Color?
V. Vegetable(s) you hate:  More than I should at this age.  Namely, broccoli, but I will eat it if it's covered in cheese
W. What makes you run late: My own self trying to do 85 things in a 30 second window.  Trying to multi-task in general
X. X-Rays you've had: Teeth (once a year!) and many many many on both my knees.
Y. Yummy food that you make: Nothing lately!  But when I have time to make things, my chocolate chip cookies are pretty awesome.
Z. Zoo animal: HIPPO!   And giraffe.

Finally, I agree with Leah: You should do this too and then post a link in the comments and then we can be Internet Friends!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Odds and Ends

Since January 1, Michael and I have had at least one parent here in Florida.  The number of parents nearby varies.  Sometimes it's just our moms.  On weekends my dad is here.  On other days (usually including weekends) Michael's dad is here.   Periodically, (usually just a couple at a time) Michael's mom may fly to Ohio.  It's a revolving door of parents around here, I tell you.    This means:

-We cook less dinners!  Thanks moms and dads for inviting us to your respective kitchens
-When we go out for dinner with the parents, we rarely pay.   Thanks parents, for your generosity!
-We answer random questions about random topics including but not limited to:

  • sound systems and remote controls
  • operating European laundry machines
  • how to get to (enter name of big box store)
  • 'do you need anything from (enter name of big box store)
  • when are you going to Disney World
  • can I borrow a cup of (enter name of pantry staple)

In addition to the Fab Four (our parents..... are they fab?  I suppose so)   Michael's grandparents and aunt were also here, including a few days of overlap.  It's been a lot of family, but I suppose when you live in Florida and your family lives in cold climates, it's bound to happen.   And it's pretty fun.

Most friends and family members would label me as an organized person.  I agree for the most part, but there are still (silly) things that bother me and systems I have had in place that I don't really like.  That fact that I have systems in place at all puts me ahead of some people, but that's not the point.  I am in the process of making small changes to our home, mostly behind closed doors.  No one cares or notices - this includes my husband- but I may be inundating the blog with before and afters of my projects.  I blame?  credit?  several organizing bloggers that I have recently discovered, mostly Jen at iheartorganizing.   She makes me look like a slacker!  Scares me a little, but also motivates me to be that much crazier.   Beware!

Have you tried to buy a Mom birthday card recently?  They are atrocious.  My mom's birthday is next Wednesday, yes she is a Valentine, and I am having the worst time finding a card.  What is wrong with the card designers?

How's that for unrelated thoughts on a Tuesday?


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Welcome to the 90s, Mr Banks!

Ten points to anyone (besides my sister) who can name the movie......

I was reading a magazine the other day where the author of a particular article was discussing food servings.  I'm assuming most folks remember the 'deck of cards' approximation for a serving of protein, the 'baseball' approximation for a serving of pasta/grain, the two dice or 'dominoes' approximation for cheese, and so on.  Use recognizable objects to determine how much food to eat.  Genius.

You guys.   The author used an iPhone as an example for protein.   Not a deck of cards!   Granted they are similar in size (iPhone may be a smidge flatter but taller) but come on.  

Please tell me the world (more specifically, first world countries) still knows what a deck of cards looks like.  In a land full of portable DVD players, iPhones, Nintendo DS, and whatever other gadgets are out there, I would like to think there is still a place for a game of cards.

War between two sisters on a roadtrip.  Crazy Eights and Euchre and Gin between generations at the holidays.   Kemps between friends during high school study hall.  (True story: I kept a deck of Loony Tunes themed playing cards - which I still have - on the top shelf of my locker beginning in 6th grade.  Friends were always welcome to take them any time of day during free periods.   I still have the complete set, they look like they've been through a war, and they're the best cards EVER to shuffle)

And if we're talking cards, Poker and Blackjack, for goodness sake!

Am I overreacting?  Probably.   But at the same time...  I will always love a good card game.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Have a seat. On the couch. In the dining room

Remember Circuit City?   The electronics retailer?   They went bankrupt in 2009 and closed all their stores.   In doing so, they liquidated their merchandise, causing electronics junkies brief moments of euphoria.   Michael is no exception to this rule.  We had recently purchased our house and he immediately deemed our current sound system too small for our new (not large) living room.   Off we went to Circuit City to see what they had in stock.  

Holy Sale, Batman!

After much agony (him) and time standing in the store (me) we ended up purchasing our sound system for less than 1/3 the original ticket price.   I was happy to save money.   He was happy to have a ridiculous sound system.   Life was good.

Until we got it home.   You see, Florida houses do not have basements.   When installing a system on the main floor of a home, one often strings the wires under the floor, or, along the basement 'ceiling'.  Without a basement there is a bit of a problem in that the wires have no place to go.   Into the Harry Potter Cupboard it went.   (No basement = cupboard under the stairs is it for storage.  I named it the Harry Potter cupboard long ago.  It's a cute name, no?)

Eventually the box in the cupboard started to irritate me.  We called Mr. Hook It Up.   These folks are lovely.   Yes they could do it.   It would involve stringing wire through the wall vertically and then along the ceiling and installing crown molding.   Fantastic.    No thanks.  The box remained in the cupboard, taking up a lot of room, mind you.

Cue to this month.   We know a guy who could string the wires through the ceiling!  No crown molding required.   Lots of holes to be cut, but he can fix them and refinish the ceiling.  It's sounding pretty good to me.   They started on Saturday.  And now our downstairs looks like this:

Yes there is a couch in the dining room.   And a receiver on the table.

The wires are strung, the ceiling is retextured (so they tell me... I can't exactly see for myself, as you might determine from the photo of the kitchen) and they now need to paint the ceiling and retexture the wall behind the TV where they also had to make cuts.

All this mess so we can have surround sound.... now, what action movie should we watch to test it out?