Thursday, July 31, 2008

Our Adventure: Part One

I guess there’s no other way to make the announcement then to show that we’ve already started on our journey to saying goodbye to Mircea’s house and finding a home together that we can call our own. Unfortunately, there are lot more steps then sell this house, buy that house. First we have to get his house ready to go on the market. For those of you who have been in it, you understand that this is no easy task. Although the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen are super, the rest of it is well, sucky. Our realtor is coming by in a week and a half to give us some more advice so we can get this house sold (We’d really like to be in our new house by Christmas) but at this point we still have to do all of this…

- replace living room windows
- repaint entire house
- new floors in entire house (or refinish existing hardwood)
- take out back door and close off back bedroom
- make new exit from house to deck
- refinish ceiling in living room and dining room
- possible addition of second bathroom
- expand laundry area
- hope the house is priced low enough in this crappy market

We’re already a little stressed, but after talking with the realtor we’re definitely less nervous. Although the market is crappy, his house is in the price range that is still selling well. Hopefully that will continue once we make the improvements and put in on the market. The reason we don’t want to wait is that because the market is so soft, we can get the house we really want for a price that is way less than we were expecting (thereby insuring that we aren’t house poor like most of our friends.)

I did find that the best way to overcome stress when it comes to home repairs is to do some demolition. So last Friday on my day off I did the demolition of the living room. I took down the drop ceiling (who thought these were good ideas) and removed all the old crappy paneling and drywall. We learned that our house wasn’t even insulated to the outside, which is just lovely, but that will of course be remedied for the new owners. I felt like a warrior. I had two tools, a hammer and a crowbar, and was donned in safety glasses, gloves and my pajamas. I’ll tell you. That crowbar is awesome. I never knew what the heck people did with them or why criminals would be such big fans of them, but I see now that you can pretty much do whatever damage you want with one of those bad boys. Speaking of bad boys, I kept kicking Yukon outside because of the noise (the girls were in the back bedroom as far as they could be from it) but he kept begging to come back in so he could sleep under the ladder. He loved it down there. He was always in the way and I don’t know how many times I accidentally dropped little pieces of drywall on him b/c he was in the way (terrible mother that I am). After I cleaned up the room the girls were also walking around trying to inspect the changes in the house (and look out the holes in the wall that went directly outside which were NOT made by me. As you can see from the picture, Lily was especially helpful when it came to sweeping up the mess.

So there is step one. I’ll share more pictures when we get onto the next steps, and hopefully we’ll get this house on the market within the next 2-3 months and we can sell sell sell. Please just let us sell it! Pray for us!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I am writing this post b/c it seems I'm saying goodbye to XM. It's been a nice journey, between two cars, an entire continent, and with many friends to enjoy the pleasures of it's musical bounty. Alas, I've decided that I don't want it anymore, and I certainly don't want to still be under Marc's contract, which I am b/c we'd signed up for several years. So after this month's 30 Days of Coldplay, which I am thoroughly enjoying, I will say goodbye. But I wanted to make a post on TuneSelect, which I had expected to be a great feature of XM, only to find out on my receiver that it wasn't great. BTW, if you have XM, check out Channel 51 for 2 more weeks to enjoy the soulful, girlish crooning of Chris Martin and Coldplay.

TuneSelect is a great idea. It allows the XM user to select 20 artists on their XM, and when there is a song playing on any of the XM stations, your receiver will beep and you can enjoy songs from the artists you selected. Well, that’s how Tuneselect is supposed to work. When Marc got me my XM receiver eons ago, it said it has TuneSelect. It did, but not in the way anyone would want it. It allows only 20 songs. That is ridiculous! There are a least 20 U2 songs I’d like to hear all the time (buy the cd you say? shut your mouth, i say) so this is a worthless feature. But I thought I’d share with you the 14 songs that are currently on my TuneSelect. I keep accidentally deleting them all and starting over, so this is my current list. My first song ever on TuneSelect: Drive – Incubus.

Here goes:

Down Under – Men at Work
Last Nite – The Strokes
Pork + Beans* – Weezer
Wanna Be a Cowboy – Boys Don’t Cry
Get Low** – Lil’ Jon
Soldiers of Misfortune – Filter
I’ll Be There – Escape Club
Viva la Vida – Coldplay
P.Y.T. – Michael Jackson
Human Nature – Michael Jackson
Unforgettable Fire – U2
One – Metallica
She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult
Jamming – Bob Marley

* My XM receiver shows the & as a + sign. For songs I know, no big deal. I’m like “oh, it’s Pork and Beans, not Pork plus Beans”. I did not, however, know the song “You Plus Your Hand” by Pink or “You Plus Me” by Lifehouse. I understand now. (“Keep your drink just give me the money, it’s just you plus your hand tonight”)

** I had no idea what this song meant, but when I was looking up the artist (could not remember Lil’ Jon’s name no matter how many times I sang Usher’s “Yeah” to myself where he keeps yelling out his name. It was like a silent scream.) on Google, I found the lyrics on Urban Dictionary and they described what “from the window to the wall” meant. And it ain’t pretty. Sadly, I already knew what skeet meant, and that sure ain’t pretty either.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I'm embarassed that I couldn't do more.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My Olympic Dreams are up in Smoke

I start physical therapy on my knee next week. I have Chondromalacia of the Patella or Runner's Knee. Ok, the link says it's easy, I'll be ok soon, just ice. Yeah, I've been doing that for years. But whatever. My doctor understood how badly I'd like to get back to running so I'm going to the physical therapy and hopefully it will help. I'm not allowed to run so that sort of messes with my training for the Army 10-miler and the Marine Corps 10k. I'm not giving up on them yet, but the doctor told me that I probably should. So that's my news. I also have a lot of inflammation of the meniscus, but apparently it is not torn but I'm supposed to sort of protect it. That's pretty frustrasting, but I've been enjoying high stepping it on the elliptical. Today I was informed no more high stepping and I'll have to take it easy if I do the elliptical at all.

So here's some pictures to cheer me up. And hopefully make you smile.
My hair is awful on the boat. If I wear it down it will tie in knots that I can't get out for days. When I wear it back, the short hairs friz up around my head. What you are witnessing is the latter. But I'm happy as a clam!

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Babies: Diabetes Guilt Trip Edition

The babies get special food now and I'll expand on that later. Basically there is a lot of discussion out there about how cats need a lot of taurine in their diet and that wet food is the most appropriate food for felines. Wet food that doesn't have a lot of carbs that is, and not much in the plant department either. Like I said, I'll bore the hell out of everyone with that later.

But here's some not boring adorable pictures of the babies enjoying their wet food. Well, except Lily b/c she'd already finished by the time I started taking the photos.
Before he even ateHead in the dish-didn't notice the shotFernie Digs Deep

Lily celebrating her tasty accomplishment

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Recipe Thursday: Strawberry Gelato

Ok, this one is pretty much as simple as the pineapple gelato. Only it's with strawberries.


frozen strawberries, thawed 10 minutes
cane sugar to taste


Blend together.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Party Fun: The Egotistical Edition

We referred to the photos with other men as jealousy photos. I felt bad for dancing with other guys but then Trish reminded me that our men were looking at naked ladies and giving them money so I felt better. These photos aren't really all that "jealousy invoking".
Getting ready for the party. I never do a good smile...
For example...I'm not even drunk. Seriously, I think I'd had 1 drink. I think I'm overcome by joy to be around this unattractive guy who said he was a there for his bachelor party, but we know he was lying.
My second favorite dancing buddy. He was married and he gave our bachelorette a harmless lapdance. We picked out the married ones so they wouldn't flirt too much. I like this picture of me b/c I look like the old me-not the one who has aged quite a bit in the last few years.

My favorite dance partner Spencer (and the only one whose name I know). Too bad I didn't get his whole face in the shot.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Quick Update, Much More to Come

First of all, thanks to everyone who told me that I need to go out on Saturday night while Mircea was out with the bachelor party. The bachelorette party was great, I didn't get pissy drunk, and I danced the ENTIRE night. The other girls were in and out of the bar (most of them smoke) and back and forth getting drinks, but I danced with two guys the entire night (at the same time, that's right, there's enough booty to go around) I was just proud of my confidence and had to share. At the end of the night I said to the bride that I felt bad for dancing all night with two strangers (who knew I had a boyfriend, one of them was married) and she was like "our men are looking at naked breasts and @$$ right now" so then I was ok again.

Now for the bad news. We got Yukon's test results back and my little man has diabetes. Of all the prognoses we could have received that was actually the best (it was FIV, heart worm, etc.) but it is something that will change our household immensly. He will be on insulin, and we'll learn tonight about dosage, injection sites, etc. I just don't want to see my little boy's face in pain when I give him a shot. I'm not a big fan of seeing my wallet in pain when I buy all the meds, but I really just want my baby to be ok. I know he's "just a cat" but he's ours and we love him. I know the girls are going to be upset too because they will no longer have the "all day buffet" in the front room and will have to eat their meals before Yukie can get in and scarf the extra food. Believe me, I'll be updating, because this is just an interesting journey for our little family to embark on. We've just had a rough year for kitties...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Do People Tease You Too?

I know the answer to this already, but I just have to complain. I'm so sick of people teasing me about what I eat. Or even commenting about it in general. It's so funny because being vegan FAR from defines me (I haven't even followed this lifestyle that long) but people always make jokes at the office about my "science project" lunch, which is funny to me, but then they all make a big deal when we're doing a recipe exchange or something. They are like "is it going to be some of your vegan crap?" and I always say "no, I'll make you something you'll like" and it's vegan and then I tell them and they stop liking it. What the hell? Why are people so scared of this?

I have three office food moments coming up. On Monday we're having a "Make Your Own Sundae" fundraiser. No biggie. When asked if it was a good idea, I said that I'd bring my own ice cream (i'm Angela on the party planning committee) and everyone was like "you're so high maintenance". I'm bringing my own. I didn't say "make sure we buy some vegan stuff", I just said that I would bring my own. Then we have a summer picnic for the office in two weeks. This is supposed to be a "gift" to us for all our hard work. Yeah, I'm going to have to bring my own food for this too. The place they are ordering from has salad but no one cared. It's not that I want special attention, but they know and I'm on the committee and part of the team. Our Christmas party has a limited menu as well, though we could expand it if we choose AT NO CHARGE! But no, that would be ridiculous to offer another option. So I'm going to have to do my standard just eat the french fries off the plate. I don't want special attention, as I'm writing this it seems like I do, but what I really want is for me to be ALLOWED to follow my lifestyle. I can make the calls for all of this, but they are like "oh don't bother them". When I went out with my girlfriends they all insisted that I order separate from them because they are afraid people will spit in all our food when I ask for no butter. What the heck?

Ok, I'm ranting, but I'm pissed. When they asked me what I could eat from the BBQ place I told them that I verified the fries and green beans were vegan. Tell me why we couldn't throw that on our catering order for a whopping $6 when everyone else is getting a $20 meal for free?

The One Hundred Pushups Challenge

I was reading Stephany's blog and she mentioned the onehundredpushups challenge. I'm all in for this! After following the link from her blog I read all about it, printed it out, and then took the pre-test the next morning. Boy are pushups hard! I do the modified knee pushup too because I'm a big baby, but if I can build up the strength I'd certainly prefer doing standard pushups. Mircea was teasing me while I did them in front of the tv last night but I didn't see him getting off his rump, so I feel pretty darned good about it. It's a 6 week program and since my boot camp class was cancelled for the summer I needed something to help me continue to firm up. I still haven't received my MRI results so my running is nill and my cardio low impact. I started doing the WiiFit a little bit more too, but I still don't think it's going to do anything to my waistline.
Any one else want to join the pushup challenge?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

It's Hot, Sticky Sweet

Actually, it's not sweet. It's just hot and sticky, but as a Def Leppard fan I sort of have to shout out there, you know? I have a couple of posts that I'm working on, but my blogger at work doesn't let me add links or pictures so they would be really worthless without those things. So I'll just give you my usual diatribe of ranting and raving. I'll try not to rant too much.

Some things on my mind...

- I actually like the new Madonna cd, Hard Candy. George gave it to me and I think it's really upbeat and fun and I have to stop myself from dancing in my car b/c pretty much everyone on the road out there is a coworker of mine.

- I'm working really hard on not worrying too much. My first big test is that Mircea is going to his step-brother's bachelor party and they are going fishing all day (i'm calm about this) and then driving up to Baltimore to go to a strip club. I don't like that one bit. NOT ONE BIT, but the part that really bothers me is that they are going to get a hotel up there too. I've seen Very Bad Things (shout out to Sarah) but mostly I just feel so insecure about my body that I really don't need to be compared to MORE women. Argh.

- I'm supposed to go the bachelorette party, however, I'm not too keen on this either. One, I'm not a big party girl, and this partying isn't starting until like 11 pm. I'll die. I'll fall asleep on my feet, I'm an old woman now. Two, I only know the bride, and although I met some of her friends at the bridal shower, I'm just not so sure. Three, what the heck do you wear to a real club? I'm a bit too heavy for my "guy getting pants" and frankly, at "clubs" around here you wear jeans and flipflops and a skanky top (or a clean t-shirt). I'm not sure I'm going to go, but if Mircea and I can get things right, this would be my (step) sister in law. I know I'll just be at home worrying, but at the same time, I don't really want to get all pissy drunk, throw up, and dance around with a bunch of people I don't know while I wear clothes that make me totally self conscious. What to do?

- I'm taking Yukie boy to the vet on Friday. I'm very nervous about it because I think he has heartworm. Or diabetes. He's lost 4 lbs since December and that really isn't good. He was 18 lbs to begin with, and we didn't put him on a diet, so he's having an issue.

- Gotta run to a meeting. Later!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

My First Harvest

About a week ago I came home to finally see a ripe tomato on the vine. I've been waiting forever. It was so cute, so perfect, and just so delicious. They are kind of going crazy now, and we're enjoying a lot of tomatoes, but I think because they don't get as much sun as they should that they'll take a little longer to ripen and I guess that is ok. Mircea eats so many tomatoes that we may never have the bounty I want in order to make salsas and sauce, but they are good. I've really fallen in love with tomatoes since I had this little guy. I have been having sandwiches with tofu, bacon bits (they're vegan!) and tomatoes. So yummy. I actually have a very strange tomato-phobia. I don't like to eat tomatoes that I don't have control over. I can purchase them, wash them and cut them, but I can't eat them if someone else did. I had to watch my dad cut them when I was a kid, but I still wouldn't really eat them. I'm just now able to eat cut tomatoes in Mexican food. For some reason though, I never had a problem with salsa. But I didn't eat ketchup at all until like 3 months ago. I'll get my own straight jacket thank you. It's in the closet behind the Colts serape.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Feeling Less than Wonderful These Days

I know that I have put on weight. I realize that all the hard work I've done is thrown in the trash (or in my mouth) and that I have a lot of work ahead of me b/c I really do want to live a healthy lifestyle. I do. I don't know what happens when I put all this food in my mouth and sit on my ass (though I do exercise a fair amount, I seem to still stuff my face)

So here's the picture that make me realize I'm fat all over again. I will admit, that the pants are a size too big so that helps add girth, but who added my huge belly? Oh wait, me!
I hate being fat. I like to exercise, and will continue my exercise class and swimming in the morning, and hopefully running once we figure out what's wrong with my knee.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Birthday Update: Saturday

On Saturday, we continued my awesome birthday weekend with a visit to St. Clements Island. We took the boat out to the island and realized that we were the only ones there and it was just so cool. We had a picnic lunch (of sushi that I'd made earlier-he got salmon and unagi, and I had avocado rolls) and then napped under a tree by the water. Then we noticed our awesome island was no longer ours and some other boats came out. We swam in the water for a little bit and then we were invited to join the opening day of the St. Clements Island lighthouse, which is so new I can't find anything on the web about it. It was pretty neat but the pictures were doing something weird so I only have these. And one that I'll share in another post.

This cross is HUGE...not as big as Mt. Soledad, but still cool. In October there is a pretty cool even on the island too. It's called "the blessing of the fleet" and a priest blesses the boats that come to the river for the blessing. Very cool!