Friday, May 28, 2010

L-O-N-G Weekend!!!!

I'm so excited for this weekend!!!! 
Not only is the weather supposed to be lovely, but I won't be at work!!!
Actually, as crazy as work has been over the past few weeks, I'm at a point now where I'm getting a lot accomplished - which is always a nice feeling.  One of the V.P.s I work with came up to me after one of our meetings last week and told me that I've made a 'very good impression' over the past few weeks.
I asked her what she meant, and she said that a lot of people have had very good things to say about me concerning our work on the new application. 
Well, THAT'S always nice to hear.  I guess I'll just keep on doing what I'm doing...which means I should probably get back to work.  :-)

Quick updates on a few things....

We got the estimate for the landscaping work and it was WAY more than we expected, so we're going to get a few more estimates an hopefully find something more affordable.  We still may go with the guy we talked to, but we're going to wait and see.

We also received an estimate for the paving/increasing the size of our driveway.  That estimate came back a bit closer to what we expected, so it looks like that will actually happen this summer.  I can't even tell you how excited I am about that.  Of course, if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, I don't have to tell've heard it all before.  I've always wanted it paved, but since we got rid of the trees in our side yard we're now going to make it a bigger driveway.  So exciting!

The pool was opened yesterday and aside from looking like The Swamp Thing's summer home, it looks like everything is OK.  It'll be crystal clear in a day or two, I'm sure.
We notice this morning that one of the pipes attached to the filter seems to have a minor leak, but it looks like it might just need a new seal on one of the connectors.  Hopefully, that's all it is and it won't cost a lot to fix.
Fingers crossed!!!

Alright everyone....have a GREAT weekend and I'll 'see' you all in June.....

Self-Portrait for a Friday morning


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A dash of craziness...

There must be something in the air today because things are CRAZY!!!

I’m trying my damnedest to get work done, but the #*$%&#@ servers keep crashing, making it impossible to get anything done.
Talk about frustrating.

Anyway….aside from the usual work annoyances, things are going well with me.

Jim and I had a very nice weekend full of family, friends, and softball. The weather has been cooperating (it’s pretty darn hot today) and our pool is being opened in TWO DAYS!!!

We have a meeting with a landscaper this evening to talk about how much it will cost to have them come and mulch all our gardens. Jim has done it in the past, and it’s SO much work that we’d really like to let the pros take care of it this year. He’s already done a ton of work around the yard so it would be nice to give him a break for once. And I know what you’re thinking…….however, there is no WAY that I’m going to get out there and do it. We’re trying to make it look good, remember?
I’ll do anything in the yard, but making things look prettied up is NOT my forte. Trust me.

We also have a meeting this week to get an estimate for how much it would cost to pave the driveway. Since we had a bunch of trees removed (crap, I keep meaning to post those before and after pictures) we’re planning on not only paving the driveway, but making it larger. I hope it’s not too much money, because having that major project out of the way would make me very happy.

OK – I have to go rough some people up and get them to fix my servers…..this is UNACCEPTABLE!!!!

Have a great day.

Soon, Scooter......soon......

Friday, May 21, 2010

Get thee to the Trailer Park!!!

Well, it truly IS a beautiful day in the neighborhood!  I had a pleasant ride into work this morning, in spite of the fact that I've had to adjust my normal 'routine' the past few mornings.  You see, I've been giving Jim a ride to the train station for the past few days.  His car is in the shop - and until it's ready to be picked up, we're a 'one-car family'.  It's really no big deal at all, but he and I don't have the same routine in the morning.  I usually grab my coffee, hop in the car, and turn on my morning radio show.  I listen to that for a few minutes (just to hear the first news report of the morning), and then I put on one of my CDs.  Neither of those things appeal to Jim.....AT ALL.
He despises listening to anything that remotely resembles morning 'talk shows' and then to throw one of my CDs into the mix would push him over the edge. a result, we drive in mostly silence, with an occasional conversation thrown in.  Actually, he's been more talkative this week than most mornings.  He is NOT a talker in the morning.  I know it's nothing personal, and most people I know are like that, but it sometimes makes for a long commute. :-)  Anyway, it was a lovely, sunny, ride into work today, but now I'm here and have to actually get some work done.  Blech.

I just got word that 'The Great American Trailer Park Musical' - currently playing at SpeakEasy Stage Company has been extended until June 5th!!!  A new block of tickets will be going on sale at noon today.  If you're in the Boston area and have been thinking about going to see this show, now is your chance!!  I'm willing to bet that if you like my blog, you'll like this show.
I saw it on opening night and had a great time.  It's fun, funny, touching, and one of the best casts that I've seen in a long time.  Yes, I'm friends with most of them, BUT - as I've said before....if I didn't think they were outstanding, I wouldn't be praising them and encouraging y'all to go see them.  I'd keep my mouth shut and pretend I never saw the show.  :-)

I have to get back to work, but I'll post a few pictures from the website as a little 'teaser' for you.  And you can always click on the link above in order to get some more info....

(All photos were taken by Mark L. Saperstein)

(L to R, Mary Callanan, Kerry A. Dowling and Santina Umbach)

Romantic sparks fly between exotic dancer Pippi (Caitlin Crosbie Doonan) and her trailer park neighbor Norbert (David Benoit)

Agoraphobic Jeannie - Leigh Barrett as an agoraphobic trailer park housewife

Storm’s A Brewin’ - (From left): Mary Callanan, Santina Umbach and Kerry A. Dowling


Road Kill - (Clockwise From left): Mary Callanan, Kerry A. Dowling, Santina Umbach and
Grant MacDermott


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Catching up to do....

I am SO far behind not only in my blogging, but also in my blog reading, that it's almost CRIMINAL!!!

Work was crazy-busy yesterday so I barely had a moment to read any blogs, never mind write an entry.  Hopefully today will be a little less insane, but I'm not making any promises. 
Of course, I'm writing an entry now, so that's half the battle isn't it?!?!?

The weekend was busy as ever, but quite fun.  Jim and I had dinner and drinks at 'The Grille' on Friday night followed by more drinks and several games of  Wii Sports Resort at home that night.  VERY fun.

Saturday was full of yard work for Jim and a softball game for me. 
We played a great game against a really challenging team, but ended up losing by 2 runs.  Of course, the time ran out (our games are 7 innings, but they're also timed) so we didn't get to make our fabulous comeback...which I honestly think we could have pulled off.  Saturday night I went to go see my teammate Justin in 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee' out in western MA.  Even though it was over an hour away, it was worth the trip.  He did a GREAT job, as did several other cast members.  It was fun to see a show at a theatre that I knew nothing about and the cast was certainly having a great time up there.  The audience seemed to love every minute of it, which is always a good sign. 

Sunday morning we got up, had breakfast, went grocery shopping and while Jim returned to the yard, I headed back into Cambridge for two more softball games.  The first game was a great game and we won (I hit a home run!!), but the second one we lost.  The second game was against a Division 1 team (probably the best team in the league) and since we're a Division 2 team, it was pretty much a given that we were going to lose.  We did scare them for a bit due to the fact that we went into the 3rd inning tied with them 8-8.  Of course, they ended up beating us 24-8, BUT we're the only Division 2 team so far to score that many runs against them AND we played all 7 innings and never fell into the slaughter I'm very proud of our team.
Sunday night was spent on the couch with Jim and I (and Scooter) recuperating from our busy day.

Monday (my day off) was spent doing laundry, cleaning the cellar, walking the dog, getting our Mosquito Magnet up and running, and trying to enjoy the beautiful weather.  The day flew by because I kept myself so busy, but it was nice to get all that stuff done.

Last night I met up for dinner and drinks with my friend/former co-workers Chris and Nancy.  Chris and his husband just moved to Ft. Lauderdale in January and are LOVING it.  He's all tanned and skinny and makes me want to pack my bags and get the hell out of New England.  Of course, that won't be happening any time soon.....maybe someday.  It was great to see them both in person and have a chance to catch up on everything that's been happening with all of us since we last saw one another...

Well, my friends....that brings me to this morning.  It's gross, cold, and raining out and I have a T-O-N of work to do, so I'm signing off.

Happy, happy Hump day to one and all.  :-)

Batter up!!!

Over the left-fielder's head

Rounding 1st base

Rounding 2nd base

Rounding 3rd base

Crossing home plate

A celebratory high-kick....
Actually, this was taken before the game. 
After running around all the bases I could barely breathe, never mind kick. 

Friday, May 14, 2010

All is well.

Happy Friday to one and all!!

Scooter went to daycare yesterday and was sufficiently exhausted when he got home. 
He left his crate only twice.  Once to eat and once to go outside before bed.
As I've mentioned before, he'll most likely still be pretty sleepy all day today, through tomorrow morning at which point we'll be around to spend some time with him over the weekend.
It all works out, doesn't it?!?!?

This was him this morning.....CLEARLY not in the mood to be photographed.  :-)

So, I have a WICKED busy day ahead of me (don't we all?!?!).
It all starts with a meeting at 8am, which will take me right up to 9:30.  After that joy-filled meeting, I'll hop in my car and head to one of our other locations for a 10am meeting.  Once that's over (11am) I'll get back in my car and head back to 'home base'.
I have to buy lunch today (because we ran out of bread) so I'll have to make a quick stop before returning to my desk.  After lunch, I have a ton of work to do, so I'll be busy, busy, busy!!
You know, trying to get all the stuff done that I couldn't do in the morning because I was in meetings for 3 hours?!?!  Craziness.

Jim and I have NO plans tonight, which makes me positively GIDDY!  I think we may take a trip to 'the Grille' - which we haven't been to on a Friday night in I can't even remember how long.  YAY!

Tomorrow I have one softball game and then I'm heading out to Western Mass. (God help me) to go see one of my teammates in 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee'.  I'm excited to see him in it (I've never seen him in a show before) but I'm not thrilled that it's so far away. 
Oh's all good.  I just hope the show is.  ;-)

Sunday will be filled with TWO softball games (Again, God help me) and then some family time at home.

I have Monday off, so don't be worried if you don't hear from me....but you just might. 
Stranger things have happened.

Have a good weekend!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sad Dog

We have got quite a sad dog living in our house these days.
As many of you know, we send Scooter to day care twice a week, where he spends the day frolicking with his doggie friends and pretty much plays from 6:30am until 4:00pm.  He loves to go, and on 'day care days' he follows me around all morning while I get ready for work.
Well, he had he yearly check-up at the vet on Monday night.  Yes, he came a away with a clean bill of health, in fact, the doctor commented on how great he looked. (We're so proud!!) Anyway, as part of his check up, he had to have two shots and some blood drawn.  Because one of the shots tends to cause soreness, the vet suggested that we keep him home from day care for a couple of days.  As you can probably guess, that has not gone over well with Scooter. 

Yesterday morning (his usual day care day) he followed me around waiting for me to get out his crate, which never happened.  I explained why he wasn't going to day care that day (What?!?!? Everyone talks to their dogs....don't judge) and that he'd be going back later in the week.  So, this morning once again, he didn't let me out of his sight.  From the time I stepped out of the shower to when I was walking out the door he was waiting....and waiting....but the crate never came out.  How sad. 
I felt horrible having to deny him a trip to day care once again, BUT - I know that he'll be all that more excited when he finally goes tomorrow!!! 

You mean I have to stay home again?!?!!?

I went to go see 'Seth Rudetsky's Deconstructing Broadway' last night at SpeakEasy Stage Company and LOVED IT!!  It was so fun and funny, and for anyone that knows me and my obsession with all things Broadway, you'll understand why it was right up my alley....I was in hysterics for just about the entire show.
For more details about Seth and his show - lookie here.  There are a ton of great videos on the 'blog' page of his website that will give you an idea of what his show is like. 
He's going to be doing his show in P-Town for a couple of nights in August, so if any of you are there and are fans of 'The Broadway' be sure and check it out.  It is SO good.

I know it's been a while since I've had any adoption updates, and that's mostly because there's been nothing to report.  We found out that for some reason (personal, I assume) that our case worker is going to be out of the office for the ENTIRE month of May. 
Say what?!?!?
While we were quite shocked to hear that news, the good thing is that while she's out, her boss will be handling our case.  Her boss is the woman who was the primary teacher of our MAPP classes, so she knows Jim and I quite well, which is certainly better than having some stranger handling our case.
We also found out that our homestudy still hasn't been approved by the 'higher ups' because they wanted to re-write some of it.  Once those re-writes are done, and approved by Jim and I, our homestudy will be sent up the 'chain' for approval.  However, as I've said before, if a child becomes available between now and the time the homestudy is officially approved, they can expedite the paperwork.  
BUT - not having the homestudy approved, means that it's not being circulated at the moment.
It's just one more hurdle in the completely frustrating world of adopting.  :-) 
It's been a really rough few weeks for Jim and I, not only because we're both frustrated with work 'stuff', but because we're both tired of waiting...and waiting....and waiting.  In the mean time, we're watching all our friends having babies (another friend is due any day now) and trying to stay positive and patient.
Believe me - it is NOT easy. 

Anyway....I've gone on long enough for one post. 
Have a great day.....I'll be back soon.  :-)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Red Sox - 9, Yankees - 3!!!!

Clearly, I'm a good luck charm for the Red Sox
As my friend MB said, whenever I go to a game, the Red Sox win, and win BIG!!! 
In spite of the FREEZING cold weather, we had a great time at the game last night.  The seats were amazing, the company was excellent, and it was a great game.  SO much fun. 
Of course, I didn't get into bed until just after midnight, so right now I'm operating on about 5 hours of sleep (if that) which is always a good time.
Thankfully, I have only one quick meeting this morning, so I should be able to just sit at my desk, get my work done and be left alone.  :-)

The weekend was relaxing and fun.  Friday night I spent the majority of the night making whoopee pies for the b-day gathering we were having at my sister's house on Saturday night.  It was a tedious process, but they came out very good (if I may toot my own horn) so it was worth all the time and effort.
Both days of softball were rained out because of the storms that came through on Saturday.  The fields we play at are HORRIBLE when it comes to drainage, so the fact that we had a lot of rain on Saturday made them pretty much un-playable for both days.  It's certainly annoying having to deal with the re-scheduling of games, but I'd rather re-schedule than get hurt playing on crappy, wet, fields.
Since I suddenly had a free day on Saturday, I took advantage and caught up on laundry.  It was CRAZY stormy in our neck of the woods for most of the day.  It was so bad, that a house across the way from us was struck by lightening!!  Thankfully, the damage was kept to a minimum, but the fire department was there for a while putting out the small fire that started because of it.  Scary stuff!!
After all the storms passed, Scooter and I went for a walk.  By the time we got back, Jim was home (he had to work that morning/afternoon) so the three of us hung out for a bit and then headed to my sister's house.  We had a lot of fun at her house and it was GREAT to see my dad.  As I mentioned before, I haven't seen him since Christmas, which was before his surgery, so I didn't know what to expect.  Well, he looked exactly the same and I if I didn't know it, I would never have been able to tell he had recently undergone multiple by-pass surgery.
Hooray for dad!!

On Sunday, I got up planning to shower and get ready for my game, but when I got out of the shower I had a text message letting me know that all games we cancelled.  Since I had yet another 'suddenly free' day, I went outside an helped Jim with yard work and then took Scooter for a long walk.  When I got back from the walk, Jim was just finishing up mowing the lawn (it looked SO good) then he showered and we headed to his sister's house for a Mother's Day BBQ.  We were there for a majority of the day, leaving briefly to pick up Scooter and bring him over to play with his 6 month old labradoodle cousin, Lulu - which was a great idea.  The two of them ran around like lunatics and had a blast playing with one another.  After a while, I had to head home to get ready for the game and meet up with my friend Joanne at her place.
(She was the one who got the tickets, through work)  As I said earlier, the seats were amazing and I can't thank her enough for inviting was SO fun.

Well, my friends, I'm getting back to work.

Have a great day, and here are a few photos from the night.  Keep in mind they were taken on my iPhone, so they aren't the clearest things in the world, but they're better than nothing!!!

This is the view from our seats. 
We were 7 seats or so in from the left field foul pole.

A beer and a pretzel.  This was my only beer of the night...I was very good.  :-)


The Red Sox throwing the ball around between innings...

Friday, May 7, 2010

A beautiful day in the neighborhood...

Happy Friday, my friends!!!

It's a lovely morning here in MA, and I'm THRILLED that it's Friday.  Yes, my job is still pretty rotten :-) but I'm rising above that fact and not letting it bring me down.  Holla!! I said, it's a BEAUTIFUL morning out there and I'm pretty sure it's supposed to stay nice throughout the day.  We're expecting rain overnight which could put a damper on softball tomorrow, but according to the weather reports, it's supposed to clear up by the afternoon.  Hopefully, my 1:15 game will be just late enough to escape the rains....we shall see.

Jim and I cleaned the entire house last night so we woke up this morning to a wonderfully, sparkling, home.
That is such a great feeling....nothing like a clean house.
Tonight I don't know what's on the schedule, but it better involve laundry.  :-)

Tomorrow is my sister Donna's birthday (Happy Birthday, Donna!!) so we're going over to her house tomorrow night to celebrate with her and her friends.  My dad and Betty are coming home from Florida today, so they'll be stopping by tomorrow night as well.  I haven't seen my dad since Christmas, so I'm very excited to see him.  Since he had his multiple by-pass surgery, he's been taking it easy, but he's pretty much back to normal and feels great.  Thankfully, everything went as it should and he had a fairly uncomplicated recovery.  Phew!

Sunday is Mother's Day and I have a game at noon, followed by who knows what.  I'm going to try and stop by the cemetery on my way home from the game to visit my mom, which will be nice, since I haven't been by there in a while.  I usually get a little sad around Mother's Day, but I try not to think about it too much. 
It will be nice to spend some time there and make sure that everything is looking good.  there's nothing more depressing than visiting a grave and seeing that it's all overgrown and messy.  Yuck.

I'm going to stop by and visit my best friend's Mom too.  Since she was pretty much a mother figure to me, and since he's on the other side of the country, I'll stop by and say 'hello' to her as well.  I think I've mentioned this before, but it's so odd when I go to the cemetery these days.  When my mom died in 1985, I never even knew that particular cemetery existed since it was on the other side of the city from where I lived.  She was the only person I knew that was buried there, and if I went there, it was solely to see her.  Well, it's been almost 25 years since she died (W-O-W!!!) and now when I go to the cemetery, I know so many people buried there, it's crazy.  It's kind of nice though, because I get the chance to spend some time there, walking around and thinking about people I hadn't thought about in years.  The truth is, if I weren't already there for my mom, the chances that I would swing by to visit them are very slim, so it's a strange benefit of spending time at the cemetery. 

OK - well THAT was an unexpected tangent.  :-)

I'm getting back to work now, so you all have a GREAT weekend, and you'll hear from me soon. 

P.S. - Guess where I'm going on Sunday night?!?!?

And guess where I'm sitting?!?!?

Can't. Even. Wait.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo!!!!

Happy Cinco de Mayo to one and all!

No, I'm not really celebrating the day, unless you consider attending a 3 hour training class a celebration.

I'm heading out the door in a moment (to attend the aforementioned class), but wanted to give a quick re-cap of the FABULOUS weekend I just had. 
Jim and I went to see 'The Great American Trailer Park Musical' on Friday night and LOVED it.  (More on that in another post.)

Saturday kicked off the softball season and it was a gorgeous day.  We played very well and came away with a win.  Saturday night, Jim and I went out to dinner with his parents to celebrate Jim' birthday.  It was a fun night and nice to see his folks.

Sunday morning we got up, had breakfast and then the two of us headed into Boston. 
Jim had a rehearsal for a staged reading that he was part of and I had a softball game. 
We didn't win the game, but we played VERY well.  At one point we were losing 15-5, but came back towards the end and had a final score of 20-15.  I played especially well (if I may say so myself) and came away from the day with a two-run home run, a triple (which brought in 2 more runs) and a single that also brought in a run.  :-)  I was very happy.
After the game, I headed home, took care of Scooter, showered, and then went directly back into Boston to see Jim in the staged reading.  He did a GREAT job, and the play was very good.  I'm interested in seeing where it goes from here.  Hopefully, Jim will still be a part of it, and if so, his character will get more to do.
He was definitely one of the best people in it, and I'm not just saying that because he's my husband. :-)
After the show, we grabbed a drink with some of the cast and then Jim and I went to Newbury Street for dinner.

Monday was Jim's b-day and in spite of some early morning drama (more details later) we had a great day.  We went shopping at the mall, out to lunch, and then met up with K & B later that night to go to the Red Sox game.  Jim's sister bought me the tickets for my birthday, but the actual game was on Jim's birthday, so we all won!!!  Including the Red Sox who scored a whopping 17 runs that night. 
It was a GORGEOUS night for baseball, we had excellent seats, and a ton of fun at the game.

OK - I'm taking off, but I owe you a more detailed post at some point soon about the show, the birthday morning drama, as well as some before and after 'yard photos'....yes, we got some 'work done'. 

Here are some opening day pictures for your enjoyment.....

Jujube, the third runner up on RuPaul's Drag Race threw out the first pitch...

He did a GREAT job, and threw a FABULOUS strike.

This is my teammate Kevin and I, returning from our 'post-opening ceremonies' lunch.

Me, hard at work!!

Who am I to ignore a camera??

Aaaaand back to work....