Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mid-Week Blues...

Happy Wednesday!!

Here I sit at work....TRYING to get my lazy ass motivated and get something done. 
Sometimes it's not easy my friends...but there's a ton to do and I'm the one who needs to do it!!!

There hasn't been too much going on this week.  I've been going to the gym, which is nice....Jim has been super busy with work, and we've been lying low at home the past couple of nights, which is always nice.

Tomorrow night I'm going to see 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee' in Boston and I'm VERY excited. I have a couple of friends in it, and fora while I was afraid I wasn't going to get to see it.  Thankfully, I called the box office, and they were looking for ushers, so I get to see it for FREE!  Quite a deal.  :-)
I can't wait to see it.  I'll be sure to report back on Friday morning.

Yesterday was our 4th anniversary of home ownership!  I can't believe it's been that long.  We've done a decent amount of work on the house, but more so in the yard.  As any homeowner will tell you, there's ALWAYS something to do, but we're getting there little by little...and couldn't be happier!!  :-)

Here are some pics....before and after:

This is an outside shot of the house, when we first bought it:
This was taken a year or so after we bought it, with the awnings removed and all the overgrown, crazy, 'gardens' tidied up around the house.  Since this picture was taken, we added a new garden next the driveway, paved and increased the size of the driveway, and removed that tree on the right side of the photo.

This room was being used as the master bedroom when we bought the house.  We kept it this way for a few months, then moved the bedroom upstairs and made it into a living room. 

This is the 'new' living room....

More of the 'master bedroom' before...

And that very same corner of the room - 'After'

This was the crazily cluttered 'middle living room' before.
Take note of the gun over the fireplace...and all that damn furniture.

This is that same room....after....from a different angle.

That's all for now, folks!!!
Have a great day.  :-)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rain, rain, go away...

It's raining out and I'd rather it wasn't.  Leaving the house this morning was difficult enough, but then to have it be SO dark out and raining?!?!  Seriously?  I felt like I was leaving for work in the middle of the night.
Of course, all I could think of as I was driving into work was how nice it would have been to be working from home today and not have to be out in this gross weather.
Oh well....que sera, sera!!! 

We had a great weekend, which started on Friday night with dinner at the Grille.  :-)  We hadn't been there in a while, so it was nice to see everyone.  After dinner, we headed down the street to a different place for a few drinks and then headed home. 

On Saturday morning, we woke up, ate breakfast, and then headed to the grocery store to pick up a few things for our pre-apple picking, pot luck lunch.  Yes, we're the only people in the world who would go to the grocery store and buy a 5 pound bag of apples the day that we were going apple picking.....BUT it makes total sense.  We wanted to serve apple crisp as the dessert (you know, to get everyone 'in the mood' for picking) and we needed apples to do that, so - there you go.  While Jim tidied up the house, I made the apple crisp.  Yes, you read that right...I made the apple crisp. 
Thankfully, it came out yummy and everyone seemed to like it.  I'd made an apple crisp before, but that was Paula Deen's recipe, which I really didn't love. 
The one I made this time was Ina Garten's recipe and it was very good.  I kind of loved it.  Can I say that if I'm the one who made it?  Oh well. I said it.  Actually, everyone that tried it was very complimentary and wanted the recipe.  So now they have something to do with all those apples!!! See?  Not only did it get them in the mood for pickin' - it will give them a new recipe to try out with all those apples.  :-)

After lunch, we headed out in the 500 degree heat to the apple orchard about 3 minutes from our house.  seriously, it was SOOOO hot out, it was kind of ridiculous. In spite of the fact that we were all sweating like pigs, we had a great time (see the stolen pictures below).  Once we were done, a few folks came back to the house for some apple crisp, (those who couldn't make it to the pre-picking lunch) some re-hydrating, and then everyone headed home.  It was a great day.
Jim and I went grocery shopping later in the evening, and spent the rest of the night at home.

On Sunday, we didn't do much of anything, just relaxed, ran a few errands, and watched some TV.
It was a nice 'family day' at home.  :-)

So that brings me to today....gearing up for what will hopefully be an easy week.....hopefully.

Have a great day, everyone!!!

The apple picking gang!!!

No comment.

Jim picked this one from the 'not yet open' part of the orchard.
He wouldn't have lasted a day in Eden.

The cutest child alive.

All our 'kids' playing in the yard.  :-)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Aaaaaand, scene!!

The pool is closed....BRING ON THE FALL!!!!

How sad it looks.....oh well - moving on....

In order to celebrate the fall, we're kicking things off with an apple picking excursion!  This is the 'trip' that was supposed to happen last weekend, but had to be postponed.  We're all gathering at our house for lunch (we live about 5 minutes from the place we're going) and then heading over to pick some apples.
Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever been apple picking.  I find that surprising, but in the off chance that I have been....I was so young I don't even remember it.  Either way, I'm sure it'll be fun.  :-)

Other than that - we have a pretty 'free' weekend!!! Love that. 

Have a great Friday - and a pleasant weekend to one and all.

Scooter and I spent some quality time on the couch last night..he had a really busy day yesterday. 
Playing all day long is tiring!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The closing of the pool.

Our pool is being closed today.  I always have mixed emotions about this day....

On one hand; I'm sad to see the summer go, I'm sad that there will be no more sitting by the pool, and I'm sad that there will be no more watching Jim and Scooter frolicking about in the pool just about every day.

On the other hand, it means that there will be a lot less 'stuff' to do around the yard, pool area, and gardens.
Plus, I enjoy the fall and soon it will be time for the holidays - which I love.

While I'll miss having the pool open and all the fun that goes with it....I know it will only be a short time before I'm posting about opening it again.  :-)

See ya' later, summer!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I have a feeling...

...that today is going to be a VERY long day.  I'm not sure why, but I just have that feeling. 
Hopefully I'll be wrong.  I'm in NO mood to be at work and if it goes by slowly....well, that's just unacceptable.  :-)

Since we've stopped using the air conditioner, Scooter has been waking up in the middle of the night and barking when he hears something 'of interest' outside.  Most times he's hearing the rumble of a large truck driving by the house.  Since we live on a main street, it tends to happen a few times a week, which is irritating.  It's no fun being woken up out of a sound sleep by a barking dog, 2 inches from your face.  Especially since it takes me FOREVER to go back to sleep afterwards. 
At least we won't ever be surprised if someone tried to break in during the night!!!  

Good thing he's cute.

The early days....

In 'time out' for mis-behaving

Being cute.

That's all I've got folks....have a great day.  :-)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The 21st of September....really?!?!?

First of all - thank you for all your kind words on our anniversary!!! 

We had a GREAT day!

We went out to dinner at the restaurant where we had our wedding (we didn't have our wedding at a restaurant, but there's a restaurant that's 'part' of the place we had the ceremony/reception - make sense?) and it was SO good.  As it turns out, there was a wedding going on Friday night.  The woman who worked with us in planning our wedding was there, recognized Jim right away, and was thrilled to see us again...although she too couldn't believe it was 5 years ago!
She had 'the house' buy us dessert as a little gift from them, which was beyond nice.  It's such a great place and they were amazing people to deal with. If you're looking for a place to have a wedding...check them out.
It's a great restaurant too...if you're just looking for a new place to try!!  ;-)

On Saturday, we had to postpone our apple picking adventure because K had to unexpectedly head to NJ/PA to deal with some family matters, so Jim and I went for a 'nature walk' with B, {b}, and Scooter.
It was a beautiful day and a lot of fun.  After the walk, we went for lunch with them, did a little window shopping and then Jim, Scooter, and I headed home.  We spent the rest of the day/night at Jim's sister's house celebrating our brother-in-law's birthday. We had lots of food, fun, and games.

On Sunday we lounged around for a bit before I had to head off to my softball fundraiser, and Jim headed to his other sister's house with the rest of his siblings to help her pack up her condo (she's moving this week).
The fundraiser was a BIG hit, people had a great time, and we made a decent amount of money.
Thanks to all!!!!
After the fundraiser, I met up with Jim's family and eventually we headed home - collapsing on the couch.  :-)

Yesterday was a GORGEOUS day, and I spent it up at my Alma mater, the University of New Hampshire.
It was so weird being up there at this time of year, which was my absolute FAVORITE time to be up there.  Fall in New Hampshire is one of my favorite things and being on campus again brought back so many amazing memories.  I loved my time at UNH.  Every time I go back to visit it reminds me of how lucky I was to have that opportunity and how many great people I met while I was there.  As much as I loved visiting, I was very happy to get back home to Scooter and Jim...who missed me while I was away.  :-)

Anyway - I'm back at work, and keeping my finger's crossed that there's no backlash from the big production install we had over the weekend......we shall see!!

Happy Tuesday!!!

Here are some pictures that I swiped from B's blog......don't tell her.....  ;-)

(photo by my if you couldn't tell)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy Anniversary!!!

Yes people, it's true....Jim and I were married 5 years ago today!!! 

After dating for 9 years, we finally decided to make it official and here we are, 5 years later.
Together for 14 years and married for 5.  And they said it wouldn't last!!!  ;-)
I can't believe how quickly the last five years have gone, but I wouldn't want it any other way.

We decided not to get each other anything for our anniversary - the new driveway and tree removal were gifts enough :-)  We'll celebrate by going out to dinner tonight.
Even though we said no gifts, Jim bought me/us this from Yankee Candle.  (we're big Yankee Candle fans)
We were at the mall a while ago, saw it, and I went crackers for it  (love that expression Dr. Spo!!) so he surprised me with it this morning.

I was very excited.  It holds 4 tea lights and I'm sure it looks amazing when it's lit....I'll take another picture when it's 'in action'.

Anyway - HAPPY ANNIVERSARY Jim....I love you!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'....

Holy cow....this week is going by quickly.  I'm feeling very conflicted about this situation.  On one hand, I'm THRILLED about it - because I'm looking forward to the upcoming weekend.  On the other hand, work has been crazy and  I have to make sure that all my t's are crossed and my i's are dotted before the end of day on Friday.  Don't get me wrong, things are going well with my projects - but as they say, I still have miles to go before I sleep.

Tomorrow is a big day, which will be fun.  Settle have to wait until tomorrow to find out what I'm talking about.

Saturday we're going apple picking with a group of friends and then having a 'Pot-Luck' lunch back at our house afterwards, which will be VERY fun.

On Sunday, it's the big softball fundraiser for my team.

So....if any of you Boston folks have nothing going on between 3pm and 6pm this Sunday afternoon (the 19th), come to Club Cafe and show your support!!!!
I'll be there, and it will be a grand old time.

Have a great day!!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes....

I had a very fun dream last night.  It involved Jim, myself, our friends K, B, and {b}, as well as a host of Broadway 'fancies' including (but not limited to): Audra McDonald, Will Swenson, Seth Rudetsky, and Carolee Carmello, to name a few.  Crazy, right?  I wont go into the specifics of the dream because it was just odd.  We were all gathered at a shopping mall for an event of some sort and even though we were surrounded by Broadway stars, we were all hanging around together like we were pals.

Anyway, the really strange part of the dream was that I was smoking in it.  Say what?!?!? Yup, I was standing around with everyone and casually smoking, like it was nothing. 
Mind you, I haven't had one, single, puff of a cigarette since I quit on June 4th 2006.  I do remember in the dream that I was hiding it from {b} because I didn't want him to see me smoking (he's only 4).  I was afraid he'd see me and then I'd have to explain it to him.  I also remember that after I was finished, I was worried about where I'd put the cigarette out.  In my dream, I got to the end of the cigarette and then it was suddenly gone, so I was a bit concerned as to where it actually went.  :-)
Isn't that all just bizarre?  It was SO real in the dream too....very weird. 
I'll have to do a little searching and see if I can find out what it all means....

Well my friends, it's Wednesday and I've got a ton of testing to accomplish before the big 'sign off' on Friday.
Have a happy hump day!!

My dear, dear friends Will, Audra, Seth, and James

And don't forget Carolee 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Another weekend come and gone...

Happy Monday!!

Thanks to all for your comments on Friday's post.  Believe me, I thought of it this morning when I woke up to go to work this morning and didn't feel like moving, never mind getting up and driving into work.
Maybe working from home one day a week WOULD be a good thing. 

We had a very nice, relaxing weekend.

Friday night, Jim made dinner and then we went out and did a little shopping from Jim's mother's birthday followed by an ice cream on the way home (YAY!) then a little 'couch time' until we went to bed.

On Saturday, we got up, took Scooter for a walk and then headed down to the Cape to see Jim's parents and celebrate his mother's birthday.  We gave her the gifts we brought down for her (a new board game and some FANTASTIC chocolates from a place near us) then we played the new game (of course) and we went out to lunch - which was quite good.  After lunch - we visited for a bit at the cottage, walked down to the beach, and eventually headed home.  Since Scooter had spent the afternoon at home alone, Jim took him out into the yard and played with him for a while in an attempt to tire him out, since we were going out that night as well.  After about an hour or so...Scooter came in the house, exhausted, ate his dinner, and collapsed into his crate....mission accomplished!
We went to my sister Donna's house for dinner which was AMAZING.  She made her homemade sauce and meatballs, as well as a homemade apple crisp.  Needless to say, we left there full and happy.  :-)

On Sunday morning, we went to church, went grocery shopping, and then came home to eat lunch.  While Jim was mowing the lawn, I took Scooter for a walk.  When we got back, Jim was just finishing up the yard, so he showered, and then the three of us went over to his sister's house so that Scooter and cousin Lulu (Jim's sister's dog) could have a 'play date'.  We were there for about an hour or so, and the two of them had a great time running around the yard playing with the kids.  While they were playing, Jim and I had a chance to catch up with his sister.  Eventually our brother-in-law and nephew came home (they were at the Patriots game - GO PATS!!!) and Jim and I headed home ourselves.
I continued with the laundry while Jim made homemade won ton soup for dinner....which, naturally, came out delish.  After dinner, I finished up the laundry and spent some time winding down on the couch with Jim and Scooter - who were both very sleepy. 

Now it's Monday morning, and I've got a busy week ahead of me.
Have no fear, I'm sure I'll find time for a blog entry or two....but I don't anticipate anything earth shattering.
Let's hope it stays that way!!!

My sister Donna brought Jim and I these little coffee cups from their recent trip to Tuscany - I LOVE them!!!

When Scooter is tired, he lets me dress him up:

Post-play date

Friday, September 10, 2010

Work At Home

Our department recently 'kicked off' the new work from home program.  Since it's a new initiative, they're only allowing people to work from home one day a week for now.   After they test that out, and do some analysis (I assume) they'll consider expanding the number of days you're allowed to work from home.

Apparently, I'm the only one on my entire team (which is made up of 7 people, including my boss) that didn't take part in the program. 

As many of you know, I currently work a 'Compressed Work Week' which allows me to have every other Monday off.  I basically have to be in the office for 9 hours a day, working 8 of those hours, with one required 15 minute break, and one required 45 minute lunch.  Working through your lunch in order to leave an hour early is unacceptable.  If you look it up in our department guidelines, that's how the policy is written out, but naturally, that's not necessarily the reality.  Thankfully, my boss is super cool and doesn't watch my every move with a stop watch in hand.  He totally trusts me and knows that I'm going to get my job done without having to babysit me - which is SO great.

Anyway - if I were to take part in the work at home program, my work at home day would automatically be Monday, which means that I'd never physically be in the office on a Monday.  Some Mondays I'd be at home working and other Mondays I'd have completely off.  Some people here think that I'm crazy for not doing it, but I'm still very much on the fence about it. 
I hear endless stories of people who work from home saying that they get SO much more done at home, because they aren't distracted, no ones bothering them, there's no noise, blah, blah, blah.  However, I feel exactly the opposite way.  When I'm at work, I'm here to work.  Sure, there's the occasional distraction (loud co-workers, people stopping by to chat, etc...) but I could list about 100 things that would distract me at home if I were trying to work.

First of all, if I were on my own PC at home, Id have access to each and every website I could ever want to visit during the day (get your minds out of the gutter, I'm talking about Facebook, YouTube, and the like)

Second, I'd have to constantly fight the urge to watch daytime TV (Ellen, The Food Network, etc...)

Third, I'd have to lock the cabinets and refrigerator in order to keep myself from 'grazing' all day long,

And most of all:

photo by Barrie :-)

I know for a fact that he would be ALL OVER ME if I were at home.  Even on my days off when I'm at home he never leaves my side and always wants to be on my lap.  Sure, I could ignore him, which would make me feel badly, or I could switch his daycare days so that when I'm home he's not - but to be honest, the idea of working from home just doesn't appeal to me.

Maybe I'll change my mind once the winter rolls around and all my co-workers are still at home, warm and working in the pajamas, but until then - I plan on keeping work AT work and not bringing it into my home.   

What do y'all think?  Do you think I'm crazy?  Or do you see where I'm coming from????

Have a GREAT weekend, and happy Friday to you!!!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy New Year!!!

To all my Jewish readers, I say:   Ketiva ve-chatima tovah!!!!

According to Wikipedia, that means  "May You Be Written and Sealed for a Good Year." which I think sounds like an excellent idea!!!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A question...

I have a question for all the 'runners' out there...when you run, either outside or at the gym and listen to music (assuming you do) 
What type of head phones do you use?

I have a GREAT pair of Bose headphones, but I'm very hesitant to use them at the gym since I don't want to ruin them by sweating all over them.  I'm currently using a cheap pair of ear buds which I DESPISE because they never stay in my damn ears (clearly, my ears weren't built to hold them) and I spend more time trying to keep them in than I do running.
In the past, I've used the kind that hook onto your ear, and I guess they were OK, but they didn't last long.....the same goes for the Walkman sport ones that go over your head and fit directly in your ears....they worked well for a while, but weren't long lasting.

These are the fabulous Bose ones, that I'm afraid I'll ruin:

These are the types I've tried - and worked well, but weren't long lasting:

These I don't all

What to do, what to do???

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September Morn

Hello, my readers!!!

I MUST keep this brief, as I have mucho work to do, and the 'sign-off' date on my projects is rapidly approaching.  We're talking Friday, people...sweet.

Anyway...the weekend was great, Hurricane Earl was a bust, and poor Jim is suffering from allergies like nothing I've ever witnessed.  Poor thing.  :-(

Friday night Earl failed to do a dang thing other then bring us a timid breeze and some much-needed rain.  We had an awesome dinner (made by Jim) and sat around watching TV and enjoying some family time on the couch. 

On Saturday, we got up and took Scooter for a long walk, brought all the pool furniture back outside, and spent the day relaxing.  I grilled some burgers and hot dogs for lunch, then Jim took a nap, and eventually we got ourselves ready and met up with some friends for dinner and a trip to ye olde ice cream shoppe.  Delicious and FUN!

Sunday we went to church....I hadn't been since EASTER (oops!) so it was nice to see everyone again, and be back into the swing of things.  After church, we went grocery shopping and then had a fun day, just the two of us (and Scooter, of course) hanging around the house - trying to avoid the outside, since Jim was having a B-A-D day with his allergies.  He made a whole bunch of appetizers for lunch, and we watched 'The Road'.
Granted, it's not exactly a 'feel good' movie, but I had read the book and  loved it, so I'd been wanting to see the movie for a while.  I really liked it, in spite of it being totally depressing.  It was nice to see that although it wasn't as good as the book, it wasn't ruined when they made it into a film.  The rest of the afternoon/evening was spent on the couch enjoying the day - without suffering from allergies.  :-)

On Monday we woke up and after breakfast did a bit of cleaning.  Jim emptied out the giant closet in our bedroom, we sorted through everything, and we made a pile of stuff to drop off at the local Salvation Army store.  It was great to make some room, and not have to throw stuff away.  Once we completed that task, we spent the day relaxing and mentally preparing ourselves for the return to 'reality' today....which is where I am at this moment.
I watched a bunch of episodes of 'Hoarders' (I LOVE that show) including the season premiere, and Jim made yet another amazing meal.

Today starts our return to 'healty living'!!!!  We've been slacking as far as diet and exercise are concerned, but now is the time to get back on track.  I'm heading back to the gym this afternoon, and now that the fall is approaching, we'll have no more BBQ/cookout food to pack onto our waistlines for a while.

I hope you all had a great weekend, and were able to enjoy the gorgeous weather!!!

Thanks to B for the always.  :-)


Friday, September 3, 2010

The calm before the storm... very, very, quiet......

Seriously - I feel like I'm working in a church this morning. 

It's not only the Friday before a long weekend, but it's also 'storm day' here in lovely Massachusetts.  So it is QUIET around here.  Yikes.  With our governor declaring a state of emergency last night, I'm sure there are those folks who follow the 'If it's a state of emergency, I'm not going to work!!' mentality - as ridiculous as that may be.  Of course, I'm being a bit silly in assuming that. I doubt that anyone would really behave that way - although, it wouldn't completely surprise me.  Some people I work with.....well, I'm sure many of you know how 'office life' can be.  :-) 

Jim and I had a lovely dinner at 'The Grille' last night and then came home to 'batten down the hatches' as they say.  As I mentioned before, we really didn't have all that much to do, and we're doing it just to be safe.  The last thing we need is some of our patio furniture blowing into the pool and tearing the lining.  THAT would be terrible.  
I'm guessing that Earl (that's the name of hurricane heading our way, if you're just joining us) won't be as big a deal as they're making it out to be - which is what usually happens.  Of course, you take the chance that they'll be right - an then your screwed if you find yourself ill-prepared.  So, we're being 'cautious'.  We have plenty of food and 'supplies' at home, just in case.  I'm pretty sure we'll be OK if we end up without power or something to that effect.

Well, my friends.....enjoy your long weekend - and have a very good day!!!