Home > Archive: December, 2008

Archive for December, 2008

PF Chang's, Nixon and Long Beach

January 1st, 2009 at 03:42 am

Happy New Year everyone!

I tried posting this earlier,but lost my connection.

We just got back from seeing Marley and Me. 3 hankie movie. So good.

Spent: $24 for 3 matinee movie tickets (they finally let me pay for something!)

Yesterday we had a long day, but it was a good day.

First we stopped at the President Nixon library and museum.

My dad stepped into the discussion with Winston Churchill and other to lend an American point of view.

Then of course all of us had our picture taken by the Berlin wall.

Later we stopped by the Glass Cathedral where Robert Schuller (sp?) is the pastor. It was quite pretty and very large.

Finally we arrived in Long Beach. We all were quite hungry since we hadn't eaten since that morning.

After quite a bit of searching, we found a PF Chang's. I'd heard of it before, but never eaten there. I'm so glad we did! They had a good selection of vegetarian dishes, and we had to end of course with the Great Wall of Chocolate. Smile

After eating, we walked along the marina. There were a number of interesting shops, but we became like little kids in the hat shop. I really should have taken a video of that. Smile

Finally, before heading back, we saw the Queen Mary all lit up. My grandma received a phone call from a friend who had sailed on it in the 1960's.

Here is a picture of how there can be no snow in Loma Linda, but not too far away the mountains are covered with it. Smile

*P.S. I'm loving my camera. Big Grin

Vacation update so far from CA

December 30th, 2008 at 03:48 am

I'm writing from sunny Loma Linda, CA (well, it was sunny and warm today - lets not mention the previous few days!)

My dad and grandma have been spoiling me with way too much food ever since I've arrived and neither one of them will let me pay for anything!

I really hope I still can fit in my clothes by the time I head back to Dallas! Smile

Friday we hit the after-Christmas sales and got some good deals on clothes and a few other items.

My mom and stepdad gave me a digital camera/camcorder which can also be used for a webcam. I was in shock! It didn't come with a memory card, so my stepdad loaned me a 2gb card so I could take pictures and video. I've been having fun with it. Smile Today I found a 4gb card for $15 at Circuit City, so I'll be able to give him his card back.

When I get home I'm going to transfer all my pictures and videos, and maybe share a few.

If you've ever played the "I Love Lucy" board game --- we (dad, grandma and I) took videos of everyone who got an "Ai Yi Yi!" card. It was fun. Smile

We visited the local gym today (finally).
I was dissapointed because the inside track I was looking forward to using is closed for rennovations until Jan 5. Frown

I can purchase a "One-month" membership for $15 instead of daily guess passes. Although I'm not sure if I'll even be able to get there more than 3 times .. . we'll see.

My dad took me by the library yesterday, and I checked out 6 books. Smile I finished one last night a bit after mid-night. Smile

Tomorrow we are going to go visit President Nixon's Library. It should be interesting. We may go to President Regan's Library as well while I am here.

I haven't heard anything back from the applications I put in yet. It probablly is due to the holidays.

My dad and grandma have this idea that maybe I could buy a mobile home in the local mobile home park here. They took me through it on Saturday and it does look like a nice place to live. It may be a way for me to get into a home of my own - even if it's not a "house" like I'd been thinking about.

I'm not sure why, but my Asus laptop has a lot of trouble connecting to the city-wide WiFi here in Loma Linda. If I did come out here to live, I'm not sure I could be content with not having easy access and probably would be willing to pay for my own personal access.

But of course the whole thing of moving here to Loma Linda or not has one big obstacle (other than me being 100% sure this is the way to go) and that is me finding a job here.

Yesterday my dad and I were doing some engineering work. Smile We needed to cover the top of the back porch lattice roof with two tarps. The covers needed to go into the middle of it. My dad was talking about getting up on the roof and throwing the tarps out. I didn't want him getting on the roof, so I came up with the idea of tieing a rope through the holes on the ends of the tarp and throwing them across, then pulling the rope through, and the tarp across. It worked. Smile Although in the end he still did have to get up on the roof to do the final straightening.

Since Dec 24 I have spent:

$15 -- Checked one bag on flight
$1.50 - library fee (dad's - checked out a video - have to pay a rental fee at the library here)
$2 - 2 packs of Eclipse gum

Yep, that's all I've spent - and the checked bag money will probably be reimbursed to me - although I'm not going to say word one about it considering how much I'm being treated to already. Smile

One week till I have to go back to work. Frown

A party! etc.

December 23rd, 2008 at 04:36 am

This afternoon I got a call from T's husband inviting me to a Cookie Party at Mr. B's house. (Mr B was my teacher aide for a year, and was also T's aide for a year - amazing, giving, selfless man - such a hard worker.)

Of course I said yes! Smile

Mr B had baked 4 or 5 dozen sugar cookies in star shapes and tree shapes. He'd also made several kinds of fudge, several types of regular cookies, and loaves of 'friendship' bread.

It was really good to sit and chat with everyone. At first the kids were decorating the sugar cookies, but then they got tired of it. So . . us adults got to get in on the fun. Big Grin

Mr B sent us all home with a huge bunch of goodies.

I can't have that in my home for more than tonight, so am going to take it into work and share the bounty. (Have already eaten a few too many of the goodies.)

I've invited both T and her family, as well as Mr B and his family to my place at the end of January for a Danish Aebleskeber brunch. Smile I had them all over to my place maybe a bit over two years ago - so it's way past time to do it again!

(Mr B has a long last name that is hard for kids to say. So everyone just called him Mr B--. It just kind of sticks.) Smile

On my way to the party I stopped at Half Price Bookstore.

I dropped my bag of Spanish materials at the sales desk, then started looking around.

I found a nice calendar for my stepdad, and a book for me. Smile

Finally, I was called to the sales desk. I was offered $6.50 for 5 Spanish learning books/dictionaries, and 3 computer programs (1 of which cost $100.) I just couldn't do it.

I think I'm going to try Craigslist again after I get back from CA. There has to be *someone* who wants to learn Spanish!

I earned $13 this morning working the morning shift at the gym.

I didn't get any exercise in today, other than the stairs from the garage to the office and back.

I spent $10.48 (calendar and book - but it was off of a gift card I got for my birthday.)

Lazy day

December 21st, 2008 at 11:29 pm

Didn't really do much today so far. Guess you could say I'm catching up on rest?

Got a call from E asking me to open G2 tomorrow morning. Said I would. An extra $13 before going away for 2 weeks doesn't hurt. Smile

Finally about 4:15 I made myself get dressed all nice and warm (27 degrees) to go pay my rent and check the mail. All there was was junk mail. Oh well.

When I got back I made myself a cup of hot chocolate with the second packet of specialty mint chocolate mix. Yummy!

There's still a good number of hours left in the day - somewhere here I'll get motivated to actually do something productive. Smile

Tomorrow after work I'm going to stop by Half-Price books, see what they'll give me for my Spanish language materials, and see if they have any train calendars. My mom says stepdad would like something like that.

(I give my mom and stepdad the turkey that I get from my company for Christmas, and a gift card for an expensive steak and crab place that one of the three honcho's gives us (they used it the last two years for their anniversary dinner.) Then I give them something I actually bought for each of them. Smile

--I could use the gift card for myself - just buy 3 or 4 of their desserts and take it home. Big Grin But that would kind of defeat the whole thing of trying to live healthy. Smile

ETA: Yay me! I did manage to get busy (sort of) and got all the clothes picked up and put away from around my apartment. Smile Also got all the dirty dishes from various places to the kitchen. Progress!

Small World

December 21st, 2008 at 03:32 am

I really had to fight myself this morning, but I did it. I went to Sabbath School and to Church.

I'm really glad I did, because of three things:

1. My best friend T and family were there, and I sat with them. T's daughter made me a card during church that said "I Love You ... You Love Me." Swoon. Big Grin

2. I usually like to go to first service, but today went to second service. The music today was just fantastic! The church bell choir performed around 8 pieces, plus the first service praise team led us in Christmas music for a number of hymns. The sermon also was fantastic - of course, I always have gotten a lot out of Pastor P's sermons.

3. While standing in the hallway with T waiting for her son to get out of class, T noticed a new family standing across from us. She started talking to them. They mentioned they'd just moved from Albuquerque. So, of course I had to mention that my family had lived there from 84 - 89. Smile I asked them what church they'd attended - it was the same one my family had attended, and my other best friend who recently moved back to Texas. So, I asked them if they knew my best friend K. They did! Wow! What a small world we really live in.

I just love it when I walk into the library, and see the librarian notice me and immediately go get the book I had on hold. Big Grin

In other news, today was a no spend day.

Really, it was a pretty much do nothing day (other than going to church and then the library.) I slept a good portion of the afternoon. I really hope I'm not coming down with something -- not just a few days before my trip!

Dec 19 Odds and Ends

December 20th, 2008 at 04:42 am

Let's see here . .

* Found out today that I more than likely will be keeping my Friday morning gig opening the gym. I thought it would only be through today, but apparently the person who used to do it isn't available anymore. So, that means a continued 5 hrs a week at the gym in the new year.

* Gulp. Submitted an application and resume to two places in CA today. The first one was ALL online.

It was quite aggravating because after I completed the application, pasted in my resume, pasted in a cover letter and submitted - it then had a background check form asking for drivers license, car license, places lived for last 10 years . . . You had to do it right then - no way to save it and go back later. I finally managed to finish the last bit of it at 8:29 a.m. I'm supposed to be at my Real job at 8:30. Argh!

* Updated my sidebar totals, and added an Extra Monies tracking page for Dec.

* Today was a No Spend Day
(Not for lack of thinking about things I would like to go buy - mainly food items.)

* A good friend of mine from college friended me on Facebook today! Hi DJ!

* I got paid for an unused sick day today in my paycheck. After taxes, ~$74 going to Extra Monies! Yay!

* I contacted an old friend today via email! -- I'd received an email from an address I thought I recognized saying something about "I have a prayer for you". But when I opened it, I saw it was from fanbox something or other site, and recalled getting strange emails with that website before. So, decided not to open it. SO glad I didn't open it, because about 30 minutes later I got an email from my friend telling me that it was a virus! Ack!

* The Beck Diet Solution is being held for me at the library. This is the book that has a bunch of ideas on how to fight negative thinking with positive thinking. I'd sparkmailed the person who had blogged about it to find out the name of the book, and she got back to me right away. So, I'll pick it up tomorrow and start making my keychain cards! Smile

* A funny at work today. {Backstory} We have a 'consultant' doing some auditing for us. Yesterday he'd asked me for 5 paperclips. So, I reach into my side drawer and pull out the DW created 'paper clip pocket made out a notebook paper and staples'. He gave me a funny look, and I explained to him that I tend to give DW a lot of paperclips in the various things I do for him, so he likes to give them back to me at various times and in various modes of container.

{Today} Consultant guy comes by my desk again, and asks to use my stapler. Then he says he needs more paperclips. So, I pull out a second, more full 'notebook/staple packet' and give it to him. He then puts it down on the filing cabinet next to my desk which holds the letterhead and envelopes, and is about 6 inches or so higher than the top of my desk. He tells me he'll be back for it, but needs to go meet with head honcho.

About 30 minutes later I notice J, our CFO walking by my desk casting strange glances towards my area. Then about the same time, A, who's desk is next to mine also starts casting strange glances my way. I figured out what they were staring at. Big Grin

After explaining what it was, D, our shipping manager (deal with brokers person), says "It's like you're at an airport and you see a strange package."

(After all that, I just went ahead and took it to the office the consultant was working out of!)

Maybe not so funny in the retelling - but it was pretty funny when it happened. Smile

One week from today . . . plus a bit of rambling, per usual :)

December 19th, 2008 at 01:39 am

I'll be in California! Yay! Big Grin

Now to the mundane. Smile

I ran 2.1 miles in 30 minutes at the gym.

I spent money today:

$20 to Office Manager towards 3 honcho's gifts

$5.64 at Walmart (bananas, sweet potato, microwavable soup, can of sweet corn, 2 packets specialty hot chocolate, and a bottle of chocolate syrup.)

I probably could have stuck with just the first 3 items . . but this is the list of what I got AFTER talking myself out of some of my more 'usual' purchases. I'm counting it as a win! Smile

I talked to my dad last night. He told me about the gym at the local university. Among other things, it has an outdoor pool and an INSIDE running track!

My grandma can get a free membership since she is over 80 years old. That means I can use a guest pass ($5/day - but I asked my dad to see if there was any kind of 2 week pass deal instead.)

So . . any guesses as to where I'll be at some point on December 26? LOL!

I talked to my mom tonight. She wanted to have some specefic ideas for what I wanted for Christmas. I'd told her that if she felt she HAD to give me something, that cash really would do. She wanted to have something I could open. Smile So I told her that some things I'd like to get (which I probably would use some of the cash for anyways) is a new pair of running shoes, a Runner's ID (she really liked that idea, because she gets so worried about me whenever I go running outside), and a low-end digital camera.

The Runner's ID is the least expensive (~$20), the shoes would run roughly $100, and the camera - I've seen some in the $90-100 range that I liked. So, what I imagine will happen is that I'll get the ID, then cash towards the shoes or camera. Smile

Honestly, it really doesn't matter to me whether I get anything or not - to me the best thing is just spending time with family. You never know when the last moment is you'll have with a loved one, nor the last words you may speak with them.

One thing our family has always practiced is at the end of phone calls or before leaving someplace or other, is to say some form of I Love You, and or give a hug. That way if something horrible were to happen, we'd be able to have a good memory of the last contact.

Thankful for YNAB, living a month behind

December 18th, 2008 at 02:32 am

Today we had a meeting where we learned about the new HR company that will be administrating payroll and healthcare benefits for us.

My insurance will be going from United Health Care to Aetna Std. It will still be fully covered by my employer.

We still have the FSA option. Unfortunately, this new company has not gone into the realm of the debit style FSA card but are stuck in the realm of faxing in receipts and getting reimbursed. Yuck. I've been very spoiled.

We were told that we can not enter any of our information on the website until December 29. There will be an email sent to our work email with the link and password info.

A coworker of mine is going to forward that email to my personal address, so that I can fill out the info even though I'll be out in CA at that time.

Unfortunately, even if I get the info all filled out on Monday, the 29th, it is highly unlikely that the direct deposit will be functional by Friday the 2nd (payday.)

So, that means I will receive a hardcopy check. I will still be in CA on the 2nd. I won't get my paycheck for the 2nd, until the 7th - almost in time for my next paycheck!

This is why I'm so glad I don't live paycheck to paycheck. For me, this whole matter is just a small annoyance - a loss of a bit of interest. It would be so much worse if I was counting on that money to be IN my checking account to cover a rent check or some other expenses.

Today was a NSD.
30 minutes on bike at gym this AM.
Did a trash run.


December 17th, 2008 at 01:50 am

Absolutely incredible.

Tonight I got home from work and checked my mail. I had several birthday cards, a couple Christmas cards ... and then a letter from the Clerk of PA court.

When I saw that I was going 'What in the world??'

Finally I sit down and open it. At first I'm reading it and going 'Uh, ok.' Then I get to the last page and it hits me what it is about!

In a nutshell back in the area of 2003 or 2004 I had $139.xx removed from my checking twice. I had no idea who the money was going to, nor what it was for. I called my CU and let them know that I did not know why the money was going out ... and asked them if they could figure it out. If I remember correctly they were able to give me a phone number to the place, I called them and told them to cancel whatever it was. Then asked for a refund of my money. I was told I'd get it in 60 days. Several months later I called again, and was told it would be put on priority. This went on for at least a year, then a whole bunch of life happened and I forgot about it. Never got the money.

According to this document I received, this happened to a WHOLE bunch of other people as well. Wachovia let this company open up accounts, then they would call people with some mis-leading telemarketing call to get their bank info, which lead into Wachovia cashing unsigned checks. (I think that's the gist of it.)

So, there is now this class-action suit being brought against Wachovia. At first I thought all I would get would be the $35 refund for bank charges (I did end up bouncing a check as a result of the withdrawal at the time.)

THEN I looked at the last page. On the bottom was a check for $139.xx - a refund for the amount that was stolen from my account! I don't think I ever had any of the money returned to me - but don't have the paperwork to show it anymore - so I am EXTREmLY pleased with this amount!

Needless to say I am going to show the teller the paperwork and ask if they can verify the check as legitimate before actually depositing it. But . . I think this really is the real deal!

I received a $100 from my Grandma for my birthday also in the mail today. Smile

It was below freezing today here. I had planned on getting to the gym 10 minutes early to get extra running time in, but it ended up I needed all that time plus a bit just to get my windows deiced.

At least I got my 2.1 mile run in this morning. Smile Then today after work I did roughly 40 minutes strength training/stretching.

The 33rd Year Goals, plus some musings :)

December 15th, 2008 at 10:03 pm

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've been doing some thinking and reflecting on what I would like my goals to be for this, my now 33rd year. Smile

The goals fall under personal, health, financial and spiritual.

Personal Goals:

* Find a balance between making more money and having a life.

--What this means:
-----Limit myself to 10 hrs a week doing anything related to ChaCha.
-----Accept only one extra gym shift per week.

* Build existing friendships
----Contact at least one friend each week via email or telephone.
----Invite a friend(s) to my place at least once a month.

* Build new friendships
----Attend at least one Vegetarian meet up per month
----Join and attend bookclub once a month

* Give Back to Others
-----Participate in at least one volunteer activity each month

* Have home be able to be company ready in 15 minutes (similar to flylady w/o the emails)

---Do an initial cleanup run - trash, dishes, etc.

---Divide apartment into cleaning and decluttering zones. Focus on each zone for one week.


Car Fund: Finish funding to $4,000.00

House Downpayment: Save $5,000.00 towards it.

Cruise 2010: Save $500 towards it

Vacation(s): 2, possibly 3. I'm estimating needing roughly $1,000.00.

--If I move out to CA, I've promised my mom that I would come back to visit her at least twice a year. If I stay here, then I will want to go visit my dad/brother out in CA.

--The third possible vacation would be this June. The highschool I graduated from was closed several years ago. Many of us have found each other on Facebook the past few months, and are discussing the possibility of a school reunion.

Change my work situation:
--1. Find a way to make my current job feel as though I am contributing to the company's good on a consistent basis. Also, be able to show why I am worthy of a raise (due to being productive, etc.)

--2. Find a job in CA. It may just be a starter job (i.e. not more money) but may find a good lead in to something later.

--3. Do 1 or 2, but in the meantime take coursework to go into another field - perhaps medical - which would eventually lead to a better paying job.


Diet --
---Eliminate soda from diet
---Limit cheese and ice cream
---Limit soy products
---Avoid fast food
---Limit processed foods (i.e. frozen meals, etc.)
---Create a meal plan for the month, including treats -shop only from that list
---Create a set of cards with sayings or buzzwords I can laminate and keep on my keyring for when the 'Beat Laura Up Monster' (BLUM)appears and urges me to eat junk beyond the realms of normalcy (i.e. normal - 2 or 3 Hershey kisses -- me, a bag of kisses.)

*Note - I am not saying one word about wanting to lose weight. My diet focus is solely going to be on eating healthier and on learning to control the BLUM.


Cardio: Consistently do 30 minutes of cardio at least 4 x a week.

Strength: Consistently complete at least 2 35+ minute weight training sessions a week.

Stretching/Flexibility: Consistently do a 20 minute Pilates session at least 2x a week.

Participate in a 5k race at least once a month. Improve running time to 38 minutes or less.

Possibly participate in a 10k by November.


Renew relationship with God
---set and keep prayer time appt daily (beyond blessing food at meals)
---set and keep daily bible study time
---attend church at least 3 x a month

---look into seeing if anyone would be interested in some kind of a bible-based book group study

---look into possibility of being a greeter at church

--- Resolve tithe issue (I give to the local church with no problem - its sending money to the 'head' church that I have not resolved with myself. In SDA denomination, tithes go to the local conference (i.e. leaders of all area churches, such as Texas.) and is then distributed for pastor salaries, missions, etc.)

For those of us weight challenged . .

December 13th, 2008 at 03:46 am

-- This is long. It is a bit scattered. If you don't feel like reading all the way to the end, maybe just watch the videos and tell me what you think of them. Smile

The other day I clicked on a blog I hadn't read in a while - Angry Fat Girlz. In the most recent posting, the author mentioned a youtube video called

Text is A Fat Rant and Link is
A Fat Rant by Joy Nash. In her video she declares that is not too proud to claim all 224 lbs of herself and her size 18 and sometimes size 20 body.

Text is A Fant Rant pt 2 and Link is
A Fant Rant pt 2 she talks about compulsiveness. It actually is a pretty neat video - if you watch closely, you'll notice that all the characters are played by one person.

Then in
Text is A Fat Rant pt 3 and Link is
A Fat Rant pt 3 she talks about some of the rude things people say and some of the comebacks she wished she could think of right away.

Then in the shortest, yet even more profound video,
Text is Totally Awesome and Link is
Totally Awesome she shows the ol' proverb of 'grass is greener on the other side.'

On the other end of the spectrum is this video,
Text is A Thin Rant and Link is
A Thin Rant. This is a video of a very thin girl talking about the things people say to her about her weight/appearance.

I identify with Joy. I have no problem admitting that I am fat. I too can relate to having used the excuse of "I'm fat" to let myself not really examine the reason(s) behind some event happening or not happening.

In fact, that same night I watched these videos I had gone to the gym after work and ran 2.1 miles in 30 minutes. Was I happy with myself? Yes, of course, because that was my goal. But what was my self talk as I was leaving? I was telling myself "yep, if you were just 70lbs lighter, maybe that guy would've given you a second glance." 'That guy' was the gym staff member on duty - young and good looking but total lack of personality - in other words, someone 'I' wouldn't look at twice. Yet, because there was another woman there who was in a normal weight range and he was spending a huge amount of time with her while virtually ignoring me - I of course took that as a prime excuse to beat myself up. WHATEVER LAURA!

I'm going to be 33 here in a few short days. I'm not getting any younger. There is no room for excuse making or beating myself up.

So what if other people who don't know me look at me and *assume* that I've never seen the inside of a gym? That's their problem - it's not my truth.

My truth is that I weighed in this morning at 239 lbs. The dress I bought for the Christmas party is a *closely* fitting in the waist size 18. Those are just numbers - they aren't who I am.

My truth is that I workout at least 4 days a week, sometimes twice in a day. As long as I don't let the Beat Laura Up Monster loose -whereby junk food finds its way into my home and into my mouth - I usually eat sensible and well balanced meals.

My truth is that I *know* the HOW's of healthy living and eating - I just don't always do the Follow Through.

*Really. Ask pretty much *any* overweight+ person out there about the rules of good nutrition or healthy eating or healthy ways to lose weight - I betcha (heh heh!) that they could probably quote article after article and book after book, and or mention nutrition class after nutrition class that they've taken. Healthy living/eating isn't just a matter of knowledge - it's a matter of Action.

My truth is that I may NEVER be in the so called 'Normal' weight category and I'm okay with that.

My truth is that I am a child of God, and God loves his children no matter what shape, size or color they are. So if God loves me, then I should love myself too, no matter what shape or size I am!

--- You may be wondering what brought all this on. It really is probably a combination of watching Joy Nash's videos, the gym incident and my approaching birthday.

For some people the 0 birthday years or the 5's are big deals and scary. For me though, for some reason, 33 is a number that is causing me to pause for much reflection.

I'm looking at where I am in life right now, and remembering where I thought I'd be by this point. I'm looking at the options I have going forward from here, and am not sure that I really like any of them, but have no idea how to make other options possible. I'm staring into the reality that I probably will never have a flesh and blood child of my own.

I'm beginning to see how unrealistic my dream of owning a house of my own really is. Even if I somehow manage to save the 18k + for a downpayment, on my income I still don't think I'd be able to really afford all that home ownership involves.

I am finding that the older I get, the less friends I have. Mainly because they are married and have kids, so have very little time to maintain a friendship, or the ones who aren't married are caught up in a relationship and life.

I am finding that striking a balance between making the extra income with my two side jobs and doing things that get me out and about (generally costing money) is very difficult.

In fact, I canceled my membership with the outdoor club - mainly because I just couldn't stomach paying the $25/mo fee, then having to pay for whatever events I attended on top of it. But then I also haven't been attending any of the meetups for the Vege group or the Volunteer group - I used the cost of gas as an excuse at first, but obviously that is pretty lame right now. So then my excuse is that if I'm going to make money from my side jobs, I can't be going out all the time. Or my excuse is that I'm embarrassed to go back to either of the groups after such a long absence.

So really, the point of all this is mostly me doing some pre-thinking and rambling and processing before coming up with what I think I'll call my Year 33 goals and plans.

If you watched Real. Housewives of OC

December 10th, 2008 at 08:14 am

Tuesday night . . you SAW my Brother!!! I just got a call from my brother a few minutes ago. I turned it off the first time thinking it was my alarm going off. Smile

But no, it was him calling me from his Christmas party to tell me that the episode of Real Housewives of the OC aired Tuesday night!! He said they showed about 15 minutes of him and a co-worker -- they even showed him singing!

It may be online (I'm sure it won't be yet . . but maybe later Wednesday?)

So now the tv viewing public get a chance to see what a charmer and crooner of a brother I have. Smile Love him so much, even when he wakes me up at 2 in the morning! D

An early birthday celebration

December 8th, 2008 at 02:53 am

Saturday night I went over to my mom and stepdad's. We had grilled PB&J sandwiches (my request) and watched the movie "The Holiday".

I tried on my dress for the Christmas party to show my mom. She was going to go with me, but the date changed to the 13th, so she wouldn't be able to come. (My stepdad is going to go with me.) She lent me a very pretty necklace to go with my dress - works much better than the necklace I'd planned on wearing with it.

I absolutely LOVE the dress I got. It is again from Ross (like last years was), and was $23. I'll be sure to post pictures once I have them. Smile

I'm wondering what SK has come up with for the party this year. Austin Powers is going to be hard to beat!

Then today my mom and I went and saw the Nicole Kidman movie, "Australia". I really liked it, even though it was a bit long (nearly 3 hours!). After that we went to Olive Garden and had lupper. I got my favorite meal there - manicotti formagio, a virgin strawberry margarita and then we had their 'celebration cake'. Yummy!

All in all, this was a good way to celebrate (early) my birthday. Smile

CA ? and a Fireplace warning for parents!

December 6th, 2008 at 11:24 pm

My dad is wanting me to come up with ideas of what I'd like to do when I'm out in the Loma Linda area. I'll be there from Christmas day till the 6th of January.

What I'd LIKE to do is just hang out, relax, read books, watch backed up programs on my Tivo, maybe catch a couple movies in the theater, spend time doing ChaCha, work on decluttering and doing some real cleaning of my apartment . . . But most of that I can't do since I'll be in CA, and not home. Also, most of it probably I can't really do either because it could kind of be rude to go all the way out there, and then just kind of veg on my own -reading, ChaCha'ing, tv, etc.

So . . only thing I've thought of so far is maybe Disneyland. I haven't been there since I was around 12 or so. But that is kind of on the expensive side - although my dad did mention Knotsberry Farms.

How far is Hearst Castle from Loma Linda?

Taking into consideration that it will be a party of 3 most of the time - an 88 yo, a 64 yo, and a 33 yo -- what are some free, cheap, and or inexpensive things to do in that area of CA? (Loma Linda/Los Angeles) -- I have tried to see if there are any 5k races in that area while I'll be there, but I haven't come across anything yet. Frown

Today at church I heard a horrifying story. This particular couple has gone through the wringer several times. First, the wife survived cancer. Then, miracle of miracles, she gets pregnant. They have a healthy baby boy. A few months later, she gets cancer again. Beats it again. Shortly before baby is born, hubby is laid off from big money job. Finds a new job a week before baby is born.

Now for the latest. Two weeks ago mom picks nearly 1 year old up from daycare. She sets him down for a minute while doing something. Next thing she knows, he is not where she left him.

She finds him in their living room where the fireplace is. Apparentally whoever owned their house before had not screwed the glass covering in front of their gas powered fireplace tightly.

Mom finds baby with hands on the glass fireplace cover, and the glass INTACT but leaning into the fireplace against the turned on gas fire. When she picks him up to get him off the glass, skin layers tear.

Long story short - It is a miracle the glass did not break. If it had, the baby would be dead. Even so, he had BAD burns on both hands, but especially his right hand. He also has burns on his face and one side of his body.

Nearly two weeks after this incident occurred, he is running and laughing and playing again. But his right hand is missing a lot of skin still, and he'll have to have surgeries to correct the burn injuries.