Monthly Archives: May 2007

Lessons Learned

This fine holiday weekend I found myself learning many things:

Lesson 1:  You may think you like living near/in the woods.

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But you will think differently about that when you are cleaning up approximately one million tons of leaves from your yard.

Lesson 2: My superhuman ability to form blisters also extends to my hands! After only 5 minutes of raking! While wearing gloves!

I REALLY want to post a of picture of the world’s grossest blister on my hand, but I think you might be grossed out.

Lesson 3: Although, I guess I’ll accept the crazy blisters since apparently I’m still not allergic to poison ivy. Oddly, neither is Matt! Neither of us has ever had it, but I had a moment of fear when I looked over at him picking up a pile of stuff that I had just raked (which I KNOW touched both of our arms and legs) and thought, “leaves of 3, let it be”. It was definitely poison ivy, but neither of us has developed any rash type thing… so while I won’t be deliberately touching it any time soon, I’ll count my lucky stars that we dodged a bullet this weekend!

Lesson 4: Apparently, at some time, there was actual landscaping at our house. Because look, flower beds, and brick steps built into the side of the rock/woods/side yard thing:

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If this does not impress you (and I realize that it is not terribly impressive – YET) I will show you the one lone before picture that I took:

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We also found a gas can and an orange parking cone. Special!

Lesson 5: The moral of the story is that with a bazillion hours of hard work, 12 trips to Lowes, and lots of your hard earned money, YOU TOO can have a decent looking yard.

The front of the house flower bed thing:

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My hanging potted plants and the thing I bought to hang them on, which I also almost speared several people with while trying to navigate my way to the checkout:

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The front of the house with bushed that I pruned. I pruned, people!

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The guy at Lowes tells me that this is a “container garden”. I call it a “bucket of flowers”. Either way, it’s pretty, right?

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I call this one the Charlie Brown Potted Plant. It was on the 50% off ‘injured plant’ rack. I will nurse you back to health, gerber daisy!

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OK, so I like hanging potted plants! This one is in the flower bed in the back.

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This is the flower bed:

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See that little stalk sticking out of the ground? That’s Matt’s grape vine. We hope that it will grow up that trellis (is that the right word?) thing and grow us some grapes. Right now it just looks sad.

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Oh yeah, this is what our back yard currently looks like. Pathetic, right? But there is actual grass growing now! I never expected that it would grow so sporadically, since we planted all of the seed at the same time, but uhh… hopefully it will all grow in soon.

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And finally:

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These chairs (there are actually two of them but the picture only shows one) represent TRUE LOVE. Matt knows that I have wanted an Adirondack chair for a really long time. On Monday morning he started shopping online to figure out how much they cost so he could surprise me with one. Well, they cost A LOT. As in, sometimes more than a damn couch.

He perservered though and somehow stumbled on to the Christmas Tree Shops website. This is funny because Matt hates Christmas Tree Shops even more than I do, and I hate them a lot. He saw, on the front page of the ad, a Adirondack chair, ottoman, and table set for $49.99. So! Off we went to Christmas Tree Shops (he finally told me what he was doing instead of surprising me, largely because of his hatred of this store and his not wanting to venture in alone).

Of course, Christmas Tree Shops sucks and they were out of this set. We only had to ask 6 people to figure that out. So then we had to stand in another line and ask another person to call other locations. After we forced him into calling two other locations we gave up and went home, where I called every single location within a 50 mile radius until I found one that had two sets left. It was an hour away and I told the lady that we were getting in the car at that moment and if she sold them before I got there she would witness my head exploding.

Finally I was in possession of my precious, precious chairs and the job was left to Matt to assemble them. It took him Four. Hours. Mostly because the directions included sentences like “Attuch the sappurt arm to the ciar slide rial sappurt.” They also repeatedly referenced a part K, which would have been fine except that THERE WAS NO PART K. Oh, and “nuts and blots” equals nutsandbolts as it was written that way every single time.

However, finally we were able to sit out on our patio, drinking wine/beer, playing Uno, and eating dinner, and all of the weekend’s hard work was pretty much worth it. I say pretty much because OH MY GOD YARD WORK SUCKS.  But still, it looks pretty in the end.

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Seriously, this is why I will have an ulcer by the time I’m 25.

If there is one thing I cannot express enough to you faithful readers, it is that I am a Grade A, master class worrywart. I mean, I have actually caught myself worrying about this fact and its affects on my health and general state of well-being, which is just another way of saying that I WORRY ABOUT WORRYING.

And whoo boy, am I doing some major worrying today. I am worried about how my presentation went this morning (I think? OK? *Shrug* Who the hell knows. All I know is that I hate hate hate Powerpoint, and its little dog too.). I am worried about work in general, as we are currently in the throes of the Big Work Thing that I wrote about in the vaguest of terms before. And if there is one thing that I might be better at than worrying, it is Hating Change. I am also worried about demanding (because asking nicely hasn’t worked) the promotion and raise that I SO TOTALLY DESERVE.

I am worried about my attempt at weight loss, which is actually going pretty well, and I am worried about our yard-work project, because holy crap it takes a long time for grass to grow. I am worried about our budget (especially after receiving the estimate for Matt’s car this morning, ouch ouch 800 bucks ouch). I am worried about when I will find time to go grocery shopping.

I am worried about a lot of things, but really my point is that THIS IS A LOT OF DAMN WORRYING. It’s kind of a lot of stress for a girl to carry around, right? At least I know that this girl feels overwhelmed a lot of the time. Add in the fact that I am a total control freak (hey, at least I know my faults, right?) and I am looking forward to several things (ulcers?) but not much in the way of happiness and relaxation.

I don’t really have a nice little summation here, because I guess I’m writing this mainly to bitch and moan about it. I don’t have a solution. I can try not to worry so much and try to recognize that other people have way more to worry about than I do – but that hasn’t worked for me in the past and I doubt it will now. I can try to better organize my life so that I don’t have to stress about things like budgets and grocery shopping, but honestly I am pretty damn organized as it is. Without going completely OCD nuts or winning the lottery I couldn’t make it much easier.

So there you have it.

(And now I’m worrying about posting such whiny, pointless drivel. Gah! Make it stop!)

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Those 4 little words everyone longs to say.

Last night, Matt and I both got home late. Him, because he was playing golf (the company he works for, despite having nothing to do with golf, is located on a golf course, and they can play on Monday nights for $8.) Me, because of the presentation that is slowly sucking the life out of me. It is currently 47 (47!) pages long and will be presented tomorrow morning at 8:30am and I might be freaking out a little bit. But that is not the point of this post.

The point is that when we both got home last night, Matt spoke these words to me:

You know how it’s my birthday tomorrow? And you can’t be mad at me on my birthday? And since it’s the day before my birthday, you can’t be mad at me today either?

This is the point at which scenarios ranging from illegitimate children to fires, flood, and famine begin flashing through my head. And so I asked through gritted teeth why he would feel the need to remind me of the fact that I could not get mad at him.

Well, uh, you know how you’ve been telling me for 6 weeks (6! Weeks!) that I need to get my brakes looked at?

(At this point I had to seriously WILL myself not to shoot laser beams out of my eyes. But I may have let a little smoke come out of my ears.)

Yeah, uh, I don’t think I can drive my car until I do something about that. It seems to be having an inability to, uh, stop.

Well, yeah, the ability to stop might be a nice feature for a car to have. Being the nice girlfriend that I am, I immediately scheduled a car appointment for him for Wednesday (the earliest I could get). Today he dropped me off at work and then took my car (if he hurts my baby he will PAY, and I don’t mean money) for the day.

I MAY have reminded him a few times that he should probably remember how nice I was the next time he found himself in a flower shop (or a jewelry store). But every time I tried to say those 4 little words that I wanted to say so badly, he would stop me and remind me that it was his ‘birthday Monday.’ Of all the lousy timing!

However, last night as he was falling asleep, I did lean over and whisper:

I told you so.

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Matt’s Birthday Weekend

I’ve always believed that birthdays and holidays should be special. Once we reach adulthood, we don’t get many opportunities to dress up in costumes, stuff our faces, open presents around a decorated tree, or blow out candles on a cake. Personally, I’ll take any excuse I can get to celebrate something and have some fun. To me, birthdays are especially exciting because you don’t have to share them. (Unless you’re a twin, or you happen to be born on the same day as someone else in your family, and if that is the case I do feel bad for you but it’s not helping my theory so I’ll choose to ignore you.) Your birthday is all about YOU, and how many days of the year is it really all about you?

With that in mind, I set out to plan Matt’s birthday celebration. His birthday is not until Tuesday, but this was his birthday weekend, because if you only get one day a year that’s all about YOU, then it really shouldn’t be a Tuesday when you have to go to work. (You totally wish I was your girlfriend, don’t you.)

Last year for his birthday weekend, I kidnapped him and took him to Foxwoods for the weekend. I managed to get him pretty far into Connecticut before he figured out where we were going. Then once we got there I surprised him again when he realized that his family (mother, father, sister, brother, and uncle) was there as well. We had an awesome time and I was very proud of myself for pulling it off. (Now you REALLY want me to be your girlfriend, right?)

This year, I got him tickets for Blue Man Group on Saturday night. I had him open them in the morning so that he could decide if he wanted to have dinner before or after the show. We ended up getting to the show pretty early and having drinks at the bar before we went up to our seats. Blue Man Group was awesome (neither of us had ever seen it before) even though I was seated next to a woman who had imbibed all the alcohol in all the land (or something close to it). Do you remember when we went to the Bruin’s game? This was worse. She was standing up in her seat and ON her seat (we were in the 2nd row of the balcony and there weren’t any other rows behind us so at least she wasn’t blocking anyone) and dancing and screaming and generally being a psychotic nutcase. The show was SO good though and we even got a picture with one of the blue men afterwards.

Next we headed over to Finale. If you live in the Boston area, you must go to Finale. I’d heard of it before but we had never been there, and the concept of having dessert for dinner was too good to pass up. We each had a flight of wine, which was very tasty, and then I really needed some real food – they do have some real food in case you don’t want to just have dessert for dinner – so I had a little salad. Then… Then it was time for the dessert. We had the Molten Cake, which is a chocolate cake with molten chocolate inside, served with hazelnut gelato and chocolate covered almonds and a chocolate sauce. Words do not do this cake justice. I wanted to marry this cake and have its babies.

On Sunday, we went to a birthday breakfast with Matt’s family. We had to get up a little earlier than I would have liked, but it was OK because breakfast was good and we had a good time. Once we got home we just kind of vegged for the rest of the day, watched baseball, read, etc.

Oh – I did also let him open the rest of his presents on Saturday, because he wore me down with the guessing and the asking. He got a big-ass Craftsman tool chest thing, a panini press (which truthfully is as much for me as for him, but shhhh don’t tell him that), some personalized coasters for his bar, and a few other little things.

I think he had a really good birthday weekend, which is good because on his actual birthday (Tuesday) he’s probably just going to get a card and a cake. Maybe I’ll order a pizza, too. No matter what I do, nothing will top that molten cake. Yum.

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Filed under Holidays, My Sweet Babboo

Several years from now, I’ll probably find more behind the TV.

The scene: Matt has made himself some pasta for dinner and is sitting down on the couch to watch the Red Sox. I am sitting on the couch reading and reach for a throw blanket (because as usual, I am freezing).

Me: *Hits the edge of his plate and pasta. goes. everywhere.*

Matt: Holy shit! I can’t believe you just did that!

Me: I’m sorry! It was an accident.

Matt: No, I meant I can’t believe you managed to get it EVERYWHERE.

Me: *Starts laughing like this is the funniest thing that ever happened.* Look! It’s in your shirt collar!

Matt: *Is also laughing hysterically.* It’s all the way across the room!

Me: It’s behind the couch!

Matt: It’s in my drink!

Me: Mine, too!

Matt: Eww, I just stepped on some and it feels really gross!

Me: I’ve never been so glad that you refuse to eat sauce.

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Armed (with credit card) and Dangerous (to my own bank account)

So I’m in the market for a new purse. I have a thing about purses. I don’t like to change them frequently, so I tend to find THE ONE and then use it use it use it for a long time until I find myself suddenly disgusted with the very thought that I would carry around such a wretched piece of merchandise.

I’ve also opened myself up the realization that I am a big purse kind of girl. For years I tried to rock the small purse, and it was a disaster. For the record, I totally NEED all of the stuff that is in my purse. Here is just a small sampling of what I am currently hauling around with me:

  1. Wallet
  2. Cell phone
  3. Digital Camera
  4. 3 different types of migraine medicine
  5. Advil, Excedrin, and Tylenol
  6. Tums and Rolaids
  7. Tampons
  8. Pens
  9. a little notepad
  10. hair stuff (clips, bands, etc)
  11. Chapstick
  12. compact
  13. business cards
  14. Bandaids
  15. 7907411378952 receipts

I know what you’re thinking – is this stuff all necessary? The answer is YES. YES IT IS. And if you are ever out with me and you have a headache, or a stomachache, or a cut, or you want to take a picture, or make a phone call, or you want to know how much I paid for that slice of pizza 3 months ago, you will have exactly what you need.

I also don’t like to spend a ton of money on purses. My current purse was actually purchased at Target. I bought it on my way to the airport before a business trip when my last purse decided to completely come apart at the seams. Then I decided I really liked it and I’ve been using it for a long time. I actually don’t even hate it yet, but I do think some of the new styles are cute. Also, I do make purse-change allowances for the seasons (I only change twice a year, so I have “warm” purses and “cold” purses) and this is definitely a cold season purse.

SO! Would you like to help me pick one? The one that I really want is from Banana Republic and is really out of my price range so I won’t even post a link, because I know you people and your “but it’s so cute” and “well it’ll be a good investment” and my wallet does not like you very much for that.

Here are some that I have been looking at:

I like this one, in Tobacco, although I think that color still looks a little darker than the neutrals that are really popular right now.

This one might work, but I’m not sure… the first time I looked at it I really liked it, but now I am thinking not so much.

This one caught my eye but I think I like it in black, which isn’t very summery, huh.

I really like this one, in Saddle, and I almost bought it, but then I thought maybe that shoulder strap is a little long. I like to be able to carry my bag on my shoulder, but if it’s too long it screams “hello, I am a middle aged woman.”

Thoughts? I think the links above give you a sense of what I’m looking for. Also, remember – the cheaper the better. I’m kind of cringing even at the prices of the ones I linked to, but if I was going to go even more expensive I wouldn’t need your advice since I’d be buying The One That Shall Not Be Linked To from Banana. (OK. FINE. Here it is (in neutral). Love it.)

Please help me, o wise ones.

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Update: Now buying cough drops in bulk.

So the weird sore throat/cough thing that I wrote about earlier is getting worse. My throat is all tickly – to the point that I would like very much to a) rip it out, or b) stick something down there to scratch it. Neither of these options sounds particularly good for my overall health, but IF IT DOESN’T STOP I WILL LOSE MY MIND.

Also, I don’t think I will need to work out anytime soon because if all this coughing doesn’t produce rock hard abs, I don’t know what will!

Several people have suggested that it’s allergies, but as I told them, I don’t HAVE allergies. But then, of course, Dr. Google informed me that it doesn’t matter if you’ve never had allergies. Apparently they are fun for one and all, regardless of previous symptoms. I kind of think this is bullshit, but then I recalled the yard/weed/destruction events of yesterday and as I reflected on the sheer volume of pollen that must have entered my lungs I realized that maybe I shouldn’t write off that suggestion so quickly. (Of course, I had a slight sore throat before pulling the weeds but let’s just blame that on something else, ok?)

In summary, throat hurts, coughing does too, and whatever the hell this is sucks sucks sucks sucks tremendously.

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