Friday, November 30, 2007


Shiny new driveway:

Since I haven't been able to drive on the driveway to get into the garage, I've been parking in the street. I've had to scrape the windows most mornings, but yesterday there was just a fine pattern of frost rather than a more solid covering.

Beautiful! Looks vaguely like a flock of birds.

I made about a dozen pairs of earrings night before last, photographed them yesterday morning, and put them up in the shop last night. I really like the look of this batch. They're all kind of muted colors--turquoise and browns, mostly--accented with antiqued silver. More treasures from the attic . . .

If you want to buy something, but don't see exactly what you want, let me know what you're looking for and if at all possible, I'll make something especially for you.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

New driveway

I was sitting at the computer eating a bagel this morning at about 7:30 when the doorbell rang. I answered it, bagel in hand, and it was the contractor that we had hired to replace the driveway. We had known that he was going to start today, but he hadn't mentioned a time, and frankly, I hadn't expected him so early. He said that he was there, ready to start, and asked me if I needed to get my car out of the garage.

So I finished my bagel and went out in my robe and slippers to move the car.

When I left a little later, this is what the driveway looked like.

I talked to Bob around mid-day, and he said that they had hauled off all of the broken concrete. I'm not sure whether they'll pour the new driveway today or not, or what all they have to do to get it ready.

Kinda interesting, and very expensive.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Birthday week

It was a pretty good week, all things considered. I definitely got some things accomplished, and got some good relaxation in.

On Monday I worked, finishing up some freelance projects and some of my own projects, on Tuesday I cleaned the house, Wednesday I got my driver's license renewed. On Thursday, Thanksgiving, I went out and had lunch with my parents. We did have turkey tv dinners, which was absolutely fine.

It was just me and my folks--my brother had Thanksgiving with his family, my sister who lives here, and her daughter, had dinner with her other daughter and her husband, and I don't know what my sister who lives in Denver did, I forgot to ask, but I imagine they had dinner with her in-laws.

My folks gave me an old salt-and-pepper shaker set for my collection, and some cash, and Bob's parents sent me a beautiful card with some cash, and Bob gave me some, too -- his came with the instruction to put it in my account in Second Life so I wouldn't feel like I was using our money for that, which I thought was sweet. And he came home last night with a card and one red rose. Romantic!

Barb sent me a DVD and CD and a Christmas ornament, and David sent me an Amazon gift certificate, which I redeemed on my birthday, so I'll have another birthday package coming next week.

On Friday . . . oh yeah, raked leaves. And worked some more on computer stuff. Yesterday, my birthday, I slept, and took myself out for a late lunch at Chipotle, and that was about it. I decided since it was my birthday, I didn't have to rake leaves, but today I did. I finished, finally, and came in and took a nap. For a small yard, we have a LOT of leaves.

I actually didn't get all that much sleep in, really. I stayed up pretty late several nights this week -- Sunday until 3:30! But Bob got up every morning to go to work, and I got up with him and made coffee and saw him off, and I don't think I went back to bed any of those days. It was tempting, though, when I'd go back upstairs and see this.

It was a pretty solitary week. Bob was off on Monday, then worked every day the rest of the week, including Thanksgiving. On Friday and Saturday he worked 'til 10:30. So I didn't see him much. Fortunately I'm pretty self-entertaining and have a fairly easy time finding things to occupy myself with.

Tomorrow, it's back to work. I guess that means I don't get to stay up until dawn . . .

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Turkey TV Dinners

My birthday is Saturday, and in Kansas, driver's licenses expire on your birthday, and this was my year. That was one of the reasons that I took this week off. But Monday I didn't leave the house--I worked on the computer--and Tuesday I cleaned house, so I had to go today. And of course, today was the day that it snowed.

Not a lot of snow, of course, just enough to make it cold and miserable and wet. And on top of that, I had to stand in line at the driver's license office for over an hour. I'm not sure why it was so crowded; maybe it's that crowded all the time. I had originally thought, well, if it's too crowded I'll just go on Friday, but while I was there I saw that they were closed on Friday, so I'm glad I didn't decide on that plan.

It wasn't too bad, though. I took out my Palm and read the December issue of Asimov's, which had a new Connie Willis Christmas story in it, All Seated On the Ground, so I was content. It would have been nice if they'd handed out numbers or something, so we didn't have to actually stand for all that time, but oh well.

Yesterday after I cleaned the house I went down in the basement and brought up the wreaths--one for the front porch and one that hangs on the downstairs bathroom door, and I put up the Christmas card holder, ready for cards; which reminds me, I need to buy some cards . . . I guess I'm ready for the Christmas season. I've decided to try to make jewelry for all of my female relatives and friends, so I need to get started on that, I guess.

Bob has to work tomorrow--Christmas Day is the only day of the year that Bass Pro is closed--and I was just going to stay home. My folks' decided they didn't want to do a big Thanksgiving dinner, and I don't blame them. They said they were just going to have a turkey TV dinner. I'm not sure if that was true or not, but I thought that would be fine, although I did feel sort of sad about it. Then Mom called yesterday and asked what we were doing, and when I told her Bob was working, she said why didn't I come out and have a turkey TV dinner with them. So it will be a small little celebration.

We do have a turkey, I got a certificate for a free one from a client at work. So Bob bought one, and he's going to cook it tonight. It's huge, over twenty pounds, so maybe I can take some turkey out to my folks to supplement the TV dinners . . .

I redesigned the Phantom Stallion site over the past couple of months, and it just went live tonight:

It was a lot of work, but I think it turned out pretty well.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

A different breed

Bob got exactly one hour of sleep last night.

It was one of his late nights at the store. He worked 'til 10:30, which means he get home about 11:00, and he was going hunting with his brother this morning. So he got home at 11:00, ate a ham sandwich, laid out his clothes, set the coffee pot on automatic, and got his guns and things together. I made a lunch for them--bologna sandwiches, chips, and cookies--and packed it in a cooler, which he put by the back door.

By this time it was about 11:45, I guess. We went up to bed, and he set his alarm for 12:45. He had to get up, get dressed, fill the thermos, and drive to his brother's house, about a half hour away. Then they had to drive two hours to get to wherever they were hunting. I don't totally understand what they were doing, but they were getting the handicapped blind, and they had to be there at 4:00 a.m. or lose it, I think.

Frankly, I can't imagine doing that, but hunters are a different breed, I think. And I'm sure, even if he wasn't keen on going, he didn't want to disappoint Mark. I would hope that he slept in the car (he said that Mark was driving), but I doubt that he did. Hopefully he'll be able to get home before passing out.

We have a very generous time off policy at work. We get twenty days to use for sick leave, vacation, personal days--it's all available for whatever we need. I don't think I've ever used all of it, except the year I had surgery. I've got about a week and a half left this year. It's just hard to take it, or at least, it is for me.

When I worked in the corporate world, I'd take every last hour that I was due, and always knew exactly how much time I had left. There wasn't any question about taking it. But now, working for a small company, it's so much more personal. If I'm off, someone else has to pick up the slack (of course, it's that way in a big company, too, but it doesn't seem to matter as much somehow). I guess I feel more personally responsible for the work here, or something.

And we're busy, so it's difficult to just pick up and leave. But I'm taking next week off. I just finished a huge, stressful project, and I know I need a few days off. I doubt I'll be able to take that last week, but I can take three days.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Inner Peace

I was fairly productive this weekend as far as crafting goes -- I sat down last night and watched The Bourne Identity, which I'd never seen, and knitted on my wallhanging. I've been toting that wallhanging around with me for months; I just need to do a little more on it, but the pattern is one that I can't really memorize, and the pattern repeat is twelve rows, so I can't just pick it up anywhere I happen to be and do a few rows without losing my place.

I'll take it to work with me tomorrow and hold it up against the wall--it's for the "art wall" at work. I think it will be kind of cool if I can ever finish it.

Bob came downstairs last night while I was watching television, saw what I was watching, and said, "Is that the first, second or third one?" I said I didn't know, since I hadn't seen any of them, but I thought it was the first. I looked at Blockbuster a couple of times to see if I could rent them, but was never able to find them. They're exactly the kind of movies I like, or one of the kinds I like, and I read all of the Bourne books back in high school. I was a big Robert Ludlum fan. I'm not sure I would have cast Matt Damon in the role--he seems a little young for it, to me--but I enjoyed the movie.

Funny how tastes change, or maybe it's because I have less time now, or possibly a shorter attention span. I used to read a lot of those big, complicated spy novels, but now my reading matter runs more to light mysteries. Right now I'm reading Accessory to Murder, a "Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper," novel, and I'm listening to California Demon, "The Secret Life of a Demon Hunting Soccer Mom." For me, it's all about distraction and enjoyment, and both of those fit the bill right now.

Today I made a bunch more of my charms.

I made eight or nine, I think. This time I made them a little smaller/shorter than I usually do, but they're full of all kinds of semi-precious stones and silver. I tried to stick with a theme of a kind of dark, antiqued look, and I think I succeeded pretty well. They all look (to me, at least) like something you might find in an old trunk, or in a basket in an import shop, way in the back, where it had been forgotten. Treasures. Fanciful, maybe, but that was what I was thinking as I made them.

They're all named for the qualities of the stones -- "Calm and Protection," "Inner Peace," "Oneness with the Universe." I put them all up for sale at the shop, and wrote long descriptions of all the stones and symbols. I also finally sat down and collected all of the descriptions in one Word document so I have them close to hand. If anyone would like to have it, you can download it here (Word doc).

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Stocking up

It's the time of year when depression historically hits me; I've never really been able to escape it completely. I've been doing pretty well, but the past couple of weeks have been hard. There are things I need to do, but I can't seem to come up with much motivation, so things slide. But I'm trying. This week I've been making jewelry, and have a handful of new cellphone charms to post at my Etsy shop, as soon as I photograph them. I've already written descriptions and priced them, I just need to find some time to take photos to post.

Honestly, the actual creation of the jewelry is the least of it -- the most time-consuming part is taking photos, sorting them and choosing the good ones, cropping them, writing up descriptions of the pieces, pricing them, etc. It would be great if all I had to do was make the things, and I had a lackey or minion to do the paperwork . . .

Anyway, probably by the end of the week--or Saturday if I decide I need daylight--I should have some new stuff in the shop.

Yesterday Bob called me at work and said, "Are you at home?" I said, "No, it's just 6:00, I'm at work," and he said, "Oh, it was dark, so I figured you were at home." I love the fact that it's now almost light when I get up in the mornings, but the trade-off is that it gets dark so early, and it's full dark by the time I leave the office. I usually get home around 7:00, but most nights it feels like at least 9:00. I know I'll get used to it, but for the first few days at least, it's hard.

I took a bunch of photos this morning, processed them, and uploaded the new stuff (eight new cellphone charms) to the store. I'll probably do earrings this weekend. Stocking up for the Christmas rush. :)

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Quiet Halloween

I stopped at Mr. Goodcents and picked up sandwiches last night on the way home; I put Bob's away for him for when he got home at 11:00 or so, and I ate mine, emptied a bag of candy into a bowl, fed the cats, changed my clothes, and sat down to read for awhile. I started getting sleepy -- man, it's been a long week -- and decided that since we hardly ever get any trick-or-treaters anymore anyway, that I just wasn't going to worry about it.

Our porch light is on a motion sensor, so the house was dark, and would stay dark unless someone walked up to the door, so I figured I was safe. I pulled the blinds down and went up to bed at about 9:30. I was asleep in seconds, I think. Bob called at some point; I vaguely remember talking to him, but not in detail. I went back to sleep, and he came home and I woke up again, briefly, but went right back to sleep.

This morning when the alarm went off, I didn't want to get up, though. Bob said, you should have gotten enough sleep, you got, what? Twelve hours? And I said no, only ten! Sometimes no matter how much it is, it isn't enough.

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