Sunday, April 29, 2007

Soccer Woes

I played soccer today with my team for the first time since November (I believe). I have kicked the ball around on a few occasions with J and in the raquettball court at the gym but that is about it. Other than my gym and walking workouts, I haven't really been pushing myself much.

Oh my gosh, did I suck. I felt like I was running with lead in my feet. I ran out of gas before we were finished because we started so late and I had eaten 4 hours before. Luckily, I was still able to kick the ball and control it but it felt like I had no power and was not even close to being an effective player.

Yesterday, I weight lifted backs and one of the exercises I do is "good morning" raises. This tightens up the butt and hamstrings besides just working the lowerback, and today they were tight so sprinting was almost impossible. I now know I need to get my butt exercising twice as much as I am currently doing or I will not be able to compete at all.

We might have a tournament next week and I don't know if I will even been any help to the team...

Saturday, April 28, 2007

New Printer

I finally got around to installing my new printer yesterday. J got it for me for Christmas....I know, it is terrible that I hadn't gotten it on there but I had other computer stuff that was more pressing and then all the house stuff piled up.

It is a Canon PIXMA MP830 and can I just say this thing rocks!!! I have only made one scan and one copy so far but I am impressed. It scans a million times faster than my old HP (sorry Chicken) so finishing up my Grandmother's picture project should be easy. It has slots for memory cards so you can easily transfer pics from camera (which I don't really need since I have 4 card slots in my computer and I usually have York print my pics but it is nice that it is there). It also does double side, all sorts of different paper and has a usb port on the front for thumb drive access...

I am sure the ink will cost a fortune and we won't be using the faxing capability for a while (no jack in this room) and I can just scan stuff in and email it in most cases but I think I am in love...haha.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

For Chicken...

who wanted me to post a pic of my tulips and I thought the dogwood came out exceptionally well so I am throwing it in as a freebie...I reduced the file size on these to keep down the pilfering but if you (Chicken) want a full sized copy I can email them to you...


Very red tulips

Pretty pink dogwood blooms

I am using the dogwood on my myspace profile, this profile and on my desktop right now because it is just so springy and spring doesn't last for long here...soon it will be hot and muggy!!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Mystery Bump

NOTE: GROSS WARNING!!!!!

I am not sure if I blogged about this before but I found this weird white bump on my arm in the fall. At first it just looked like one of those white "no pigmentation" spots you sometimes get when you get tan but it felt a bit raised so of course I fiddled with it and worried a bit about it. I wasn't too concerned but was definitely curious.

J told me that it was probably nothing but I should leave it alone and make plans to have it looked at. I didn't have time to schedule anything before Christmas with our trip and my school wrapping up, but I was going to do it right after the new year started.

Anyhow, during the trip, I noticed that it was going away some (probably because I was leaving it alone) so I stopped calling it "my little cancer" and forgot about it for the most part. When I went for a physical in February, I mentioned it to the doctor and they didn't seem to think it was anything to worry about.

Yesterday I was wearing a sleeveless shirt and felt the bump and it felt greatly diminished...I was glad because it really meant that it was nothing and that my fooling with it, was what made it seem like it was getting bigger.

Today, I was in a sleeveless shirt again, and I noticed this stuff on my arm, kind of near the practically unnoticeable bump. I wiped it off. Later on, I noticed this stuff again, and thought it was kind of weird. I pushed on the spot there the bump was supposed to be, and all this white stuff (I know, kind of gross) came out of one of my pores. I just kept pushing and more stuff came out (more than any kind of pimple or anything like that). I asked J what he thought, and he said, I must have had a small infection in there (probably from messing with it) and now it was over.

So I am not sure if I should be concerned that all this stuff expressed out of this thing or glad that it might be a sign that it is gone forever....guess I will just keep an eye on it and see what happens. Right now it seems to be gone, let's hope it stays that way!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Almost There

Well, we had the meeting with our realtor today and he came by and did the measurements and pictures for our listing which starts on Monday. We have pretty much everything done around here for the listing, but not for the move. We are trying to keep the house looking a certain way at least for a while.

When I get home from my reunion in May, I plan to go head first into packing and organizing and at that point, people will just have to deal with the fact that we will have a house that looks like we are moving. If I have to wait 'til the last minute to do my organizing and packing, I will lose my mind...haha.

In other news, the eggs in the bluebird nest have not hatched yet...I am starting to get worried but I guess I better look it up on the web so I know if they are not viable or not.

We got our title for our second car. We are selling it before the move and it is easier to sell a car when you have the title in hand, so I paid it off last month just for that reason and it came in the mail the other day. I had to run by a branch of the bank that did the loan though, because they didn't sign off on the title and it is worthless to me if they don't sign off on it. Fortunately, they understood what I needed and signed it.

I have another customer service story to post about but I am waiting to see if they will take care of it before I have to start a campaign against them...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Flashing

The other day when J was in the attic putting some new insulation up (and thank goodness I didn't have to do that...I have this weird fear of getting fiberglass in my skin)....he noticed that there was a small hole in the sheeting of the roof right near our chimney. We talked about different ways to fix it for a few days but came to the concensus that to do it right, we would have to take the shingles off in the area in question and replace the sheeting properly. We probably could have gotten away with doing some kind of half assed job but we just couldn't do it.

So on Friday, while I was busy dropping off yardwaste and picking up pinestraw and unloading it, J was on the roof getting things going. He carefully removed the shingles (as we didn't know if we could find matching ones) and cut out the section of sheeting that would need to be replaced. In the course of that, he discovered that the reason the hole was there to begin with is because whomever replaced the flashing on the chimney before did a really bad job of it (part of it was aluminum siding not even real flashing) and some how water had gotten below it and rotted that sheeting. We were lucky we hadn't had a leaking problem this whole time in the house.

So after I was done unloading, we took off for our local home improvement store and picked up the necessary items. Amazingly enough, we did find some shingles that matched ours and so we ended up with a pack of those as well. We came back home and J went back to the roof and I moved onto another project. As it started to get dark, we put things away and prepared for the next day.

Saturday, J got up on the roof bright and early and I took care of some other items. We knew it was supposed to rain on Sunday so we were trying to finish the roof up that day for sure. I started working on my yardwork and getting the 39 bales put out. I finished up the yardwork, right at dusk and because we weren't completely finished but finished enough that we could just tarp the chimney and not have to worry, that is what did. Around 11pm it started to rain but we knew that we were okay because J had finished up everything that would be getting wet from the tarp, we really only had to do the cap flashing on the sides of the chimney.

Sunday morning we get up to the news of the horrible storm hitting the East Coast. So many inches of rain expected and severe thunderstorm and tornado watches in effect. We decide to run to the home improvement store since we can't do anything on the roof until the rain stops. We had some returns to do and a few different things to pick up. While we are there, the rain stops...we hurry home because it looks like we have a 3 hour window to finish up. J already has all the flashing shaped and cut, we just need to get it on there and caulked. He starts on it and then asks me to help him so we can finish in time.

So he places and nails them into the chimney and I go around behind him caulking them up with this polyurethane black goopy stuff. It is definitely a messy job but not anything too difficult. We are down to two more pieces when the sky starts to get darker and we can hear thunder in the distance. I tell him that I am getting down as soon as it gets close, because not only are we on the roof of our house during a severe thunderstorm watch, we are playing with sheets of metal and have to climb an aluminum later to get down. I won't even mention the fact that there have been 5 lightening strikes on trees in our neighborhood since we have lived here (one in our yard). Needless to say, we start working much faster. I kept one eye on the storm as we joked about the headlines if we should both get killed up there...haha. Fortunately for us, the storm skirts by us without coming very close although it was a bit gusty and dark off to one side, and we are able to get everything caulked, cleaned up and off the roof before it starts to rain.

Note: While we were up there, I just kept thinking about how much my mom would not want to know what we were doing...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Monday, April 16, 2007

What Are They Thinking?

On Saturday, I spent a large portion of the day doing yardwork around the house. I put out 39 bales of pinestraw in our yard (my fingers are raw), but while I was doing it, I was wondering what the birds were thinking of my actions.

I figure it went something like this.

"So Louise, what do you think that human is doing over there?"
"Oh, she does that twice a year..."
"Yes, but what for?"
"Irma, don't you know? She is building a nest....that is how they do it."

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Time Is Flying

Wow, it seems like I am on the computer all the time but every time I come to check out my blog, days have gone by where I haven't posted....

This weekend (a four day for J) is being spent getting things done around the house in prep for putting it on the market in about a week. I am doing yard stuff and J is doing house stuff. I picked up 39 bales of pinestraw yesterday and I am putting it out today before it rains tomorrow. I did a recycling run this morning as well as a run or two to Lowe's for J's projects.

We have some flowers to put in pots and some cleaning up outside to do, but things are coming along quickly. J has already fixed the insulation in the attic on the two skylights. I managed to smuggle two big boxes out of the recycling center so I can put a few nonessentials in the attic for the time being. This week will be busy for me, even after J goes back to the office because I have lots of little projects looming on the edges. I do plan to try to get the computer stuff out of the way tomorrow while it is lowsy weather outside.

I am helping a friend and his partners beta test a new online service, trying to get to the gym so I won't be gigantic at my 15 year college reunion in May, and organizing stuff for our move in July...needless to say, the plate is full. I do want to get visits in (we are trying to get my mom out here before we take off), and I have friends in the area that I have to see so time management skills for me are of the essense and I think I am doing okay with them.

We did find out that our renters in WA are not going to be able to buy our house (it is out of their price range) so we will have to actually put that house on the market too...I am not going to worry about that right now though....we'll see how things play out and go from there...the renter's might be there a bit longer or something, so who knows.

Anyhow, that is a little catch up from me...hope everyone else's weekend is going well. Hope nobody is stressing about taxes...haha.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Pinging Irritation

I HATE the fact that Wordpress, Typepad and all other blog hosts out there don't ping Blogrolling automatically!!! The "recently updated" function is back online with Blogrolling but those that are hosted at the above locations always sit at the bottom of my list and I forget to check them and then I get so behind.....grrrr.

(All you all could ping using autopinger but that would require an extra step everytime you post)

Novelist Kurt Vonnegut dies at age 84 - Yahoo! News

One of J's favorite authors....so sorry to hear that he died. J doesn't really read much fiction but when he does, it is almost always a Vonnegut book.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Do You Need Any?

I don't know if I mentioned this before, but my friend Bonita that came to visit us this weekend is a Tupperware consultant. She is the best because she has a no pressure sales style which is just what I am looking forward in a consultant (not to mention that she has been my friend for over 20 years). She brought several pieces with her to my house to show me (since I had told her that I wanted to get some things). I purchased a few items from her that she had with her but I also plan to make an order online from her page (so she gets the credit) in the near future. I have a couple of friends that wanted to look at the catalog so we are going to put the order in together if we can.

Anyhow, I am so happy with Bonita as my consultant, I thought I would share her contact info on the Tupperware site in case any of you wanted to order something...

Click on this link if you would like to go to her website on Tupperware.

Tasks To Do

Well, I haven't been on my laptop in a while and that is where I keep my task list on Outlook. I went to it today and was able to check off a few things but had a to add a few things too. We are having to replace some insulation in the attic along the two skylights. I don't think insulation does well when it is in a upright position unless you are able to tack it in. I am sure J plans to do that when he gets it done. It was kind of fun to click off some of the check marks but then I had to change the date on a few other things that I was supposed to get done in March (just an arbitrary date really) that I didn't get done. Hopefully many of them will be accomplished this week and weekend although, it is raining today so all outdoor stuff is cut off.

Fortunately, the temperature is coming back up to spring weather and we'll be able to kick some of the yard things off the list. I need to get some pinestraw, and we might borrow a bigger truck to do that....would be easier than making several trips.

Anyhow, I have been on here for too long today, helping on the help boards and playing around. Have to get to some other items.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Our New Visitor

I don't know if I have mentioned this recently or not, but after the squirrel and then mouse issues (and it was only one of each that we can figure) a while back, things have been quiet in the walls.

A few weeks ago, when quietly typing on my PC in my office, I would hear some kind of "scritching" sound (and yes, I have since found out there is a definition for that term but it doesn't apply here and I started calling this noise that before I knew the definition and even now know, can't stop myself from using the term) in the eave area outside my office window.

I reported the sound to J and started to track when I heard it because sometimes it will give you a clue to what it going on. Now the thing about this sound is that, it wasn't of the same consistently or timing of the sounds the mouse or squirrel made so I was convinced it was something else. J went up into the attic a few times and we couldn't determine anything but were sure that it was definitely something in the eave.

I went with him and we even brought out the mouse traps just in case, and we talked about setting the live catch squirrel trap (it doesn't hurt them, just contains them) because we thought perhaps it was a possum that got in there while we had the eave on the end of house open a while ago for some work. We didn't end up setting the live trap, because we soon became convinced it wasn't a possum. Thing that confused us completely is the fact that our attic is pretty much sealed off these days so it would be difficult for anything of any size to get up there, not to mention the fact that in our warming days, it is blazing hot up there.

So, we set the few mouse traps and I waited. I left the attic stairs down one evening with the garage door open hoping if it was a possum, it might just go out for dinner at night and I could put the stairs back up and be done with it. J went on a business trip and when he would call, he would ask if I had checked the traps and if I was still hearing the scritching. I was logging it all at my desk in the office, and yes, I was still hearing the scritching. J came home yesterday and in the afternoon, went up into the attic to check things out. He decided to get all the way out next to the eave and move the insulation around. When he did this, an 8 inch lizard came out....and scurried away. I am thinking it is this beautiful skink that we have had living (I assumed on the outside) at our house for the last couple of years. He has a gorgeous blue tail. J couldn't confirm this but it is dark in the attic so perhaps it is him.

This explains why the traps weren't not being triggered and why I was hearing the scritching even when it was hot up there. He is probably in lizard heaven up there, and as long as he is not chewing on wires, I am not sure I care whether he is up there. I figure he is probably eating some bugs that I don't want to deal with, right? Personally I am just relieved that it isn't a rodent of some sort...

Saturday, April 07, 2007

They Arrived

Our friends came last night...they look great and we are having a great time...minus a small allergy attack...will update on our visit as the weekend progresses. They love the hot tub, especially after a long day of driving.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Friends

One of my best friends from high school and his mother are coming to visit us this weekend. I am so excited to see them. They are taking a long weekend to get away and chill which sounds absolutely fabulous to me. I am excited to have visitors, we haven't had many, and it will be the last time I get to see them before we move back to Japan.

J and I stopped to see them on our way home from Florida at Christmas time and I think that was the first time I has seen them in about 10 years. We had stayed in contact with cards and emails but no face to face in forever. The cool thing about it, was that once we got caught up, it was like we had never been apart, the conversation was so easy and fun.

Needless to say (and I hope they aren't reading my blog in the next few days) I am getting things in ship shape around here. It is a good motivator for me so it is fabulous. We are going to be putting our house on the market in a few weeks so this spring cleaning I am doing is going to be filling at least two requirements. Tomorrow I am finishing up the house (in between other appts I have) and then on Friday (since they won't arrive til evening time), J and I will be able to tackle a couple of yard issues we have been waiting on.

I purchased some new things for the yard the other day at Lowe's and now it looks like we are going to get another (and hopefully our last) freeze of the year this weekend so I will have to bring some of it in...oh well, at least I didn't get it in the ground and then have it all freeze...that would have pissed me off.

I am hoping we will have some clear nights with a moon that we can check out in the telescope, a few logs on the outdoor fireplace and a nice warm hottub with some glasses of wine to go with it....sounds like a nice weekend to me. What will you all be doing?

Iran frees detained British sailors - Yahoo! News

Maybe there is hope for all of us yet...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Is The List Actually Shrinking?

Okay, I am making headway...and it feels good. While it might not look like it to the naked eye, I am slowly clicking little things off my list and that always helps me sleep better at night...and oh, can I say, how fabulous a little Clairol can be for a person's outlook? I just feel better knowing I did it and I won't have to do it again for a month or so and I don't look ten years older than I am anymore!!!!

So, if I can get the fish tank cleaned, the cat box cleaned and the sunroom vacuumed tonight before settling in to watch a movie and work on my friend's baby blanket, I will feel like a completely new person...the work in progress in my office can wait 'til tomorrow.

Please note that while I wanted to post a huge list here of all the sh1t I have been doing, I decided against it because I know how much it depresses you all....haha

Monday, April 02, 2007

This Rocks!!!

Google Translate is awesome....loving it. You should check it out sometime. What a great tool...I am sure there are others out there but this one is so easy to find and use...

http://translate.google.com/translate_t

Of course it is probably not completely perfect but something is better than nothing (unless of course it completely messes up what you want to say....)