Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Oh CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!

The big party is in 3 days - Guests start arriving in 2 - and I just wrenched my back and am laid up in bed with an incredible amount of work to do. Why did this have to happen now????

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Confession #11


Three of my favorite songs are:

Justin Timberlake - Sexy Back
Chamillionaire - Ridin' Dirty
Ludacris - Money Maker

Don't get me wrong, I love all kinds of music, including my first love - worship. But, through my ventures as a college professor, my students have silently encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone and listen to other kinds of music. I have taken to rap/hip hop! Now, I don't necessarily condone what is said in a lot of different kinds of music - but some of it is simply fun.....which is where the three songs above come in. The music is very telling of what the artists are into - which can ultimately represent the 'culture' they are targeting as an audience. (Please forgive me - as it gets closer to resuming my profession as a college professor, I need to shift my thinking a bit which includes diversity in many ways. Music is one of those things.......ahhhh, the beauty of diversity!).

Monday, May 28, 2007

Impromptu Party

We had some people over last night. Ended up BBQ-ing at about 10pm and staying up all hours of the night. Much fun ensued. Although we knew my sister and her husband were coming up, we had some other very unexpected visitors yesterday - some my family, some Shawn's family, some kinda like family - it was much fun!!! :) No more explanation needed.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Doggie sitting has ended....

Nikki has gone home - Tess is depressed and looking for her. Though she is sleeping now, right when Nikki left, Shawn and I were talking for a bit while sitting on the couch downstairs and Tess kept looking out the door to see where Nikki went. So sad! She will see Nikki next week though for my birthday party. Since there will be kids there, we decided that it was best if Tess went over to play with Nikki for the day (we don't know how she is around kids, and don't want to find out the hard way). So, the depression will only last another week or so. :)

Doggie Sitting

We are doggie sitting part of this weekend. It has been an adventure so far. Tess (our dog), and Nikki (Shawn's sister's dog) get along really well. For that, we are thankful.

The two played nonstop. Shawn was trying to work and they kept bumping into him while he was on business calls (it was so funny to watch I nearly peed my pants and had to leave the room in order to stop laughing). In addition to that, we thought it would be a good idea to keep the dogs apart for the night - Shawn slept in the living room with Nikki, and I slept in the bedroom with Tess. (We decided to do this because Shawn and his brother were having much needed 'boys time' away from the wives - and they were up until all hours of the night). Uhhhhh, yeah - not a good idea to separate them. Nikki apparently kept Shawn up all night whining, and trying to get to Tess. I had no idea this was going on, Shawn informed me the next morning. So, when I woke up, I took both dogs downstairs so Shawn could get some sleep.

I think Tess has enjoyed life with Nikki here. She has acted more like a dog the last two days than any other time in her life as far as we have seen. I think she really likes having another dog to romp around with. On the other hand though, I think she really misses being an only dog (when she gets tired, she looks over at me with pitiful eyes as if to say, "Mommy, I'm tired and need to rest. Please make the playing stop"). Nikki jumped up on the bed last night. Since she kept Shawn up the night before, we decided to allow her to stay up there. Oh boy did Tess get jealous. Tess whined and whined until we invited her up on the bed too. Last night ended up a bit different than we thought. Tess, Nikki and Shawn slept in the living room and I slept in the bedroom (Tess slept on the couch - Nikki slept in her crate with the door open, apparently she likes it in there - and Shawn slept on the bed). It seemed to work out pretty well - all except for me not getting any sleep (even though I was alone) because I was so worried about Shawn getting sleep - that I woke up at EVERY single noise in the house. From what Shawn said, the dogs were good, and he got some sleep. So, today, I am the one that's exhausted, but Shawn is decently well rested. I think if we had Nikki longer than a couple of days, this wouldn't be too much of an issue. Whenever there is a new dog in the house, there is some settling time. And, if we had Nikki just one more night, I think tonight would be the time that we would all be settled.

This morning Nikki got right up and came in the bedroom with me. I wanted to give Shawn a bit more time to sleep, so I left the door open - and Nikki came in and joined me. She wasn't happy until she got on the bed with me. She seemed to like this quite a bit. After licking my face, and cuddling with me, she fell asleep. There were times that she get a bit restless, but I think that's just because she wanted to play with Tess (who was still sleeping with daddy!). Right now the two of them are romping around downstairs having a good time. I suspect that Tess is going to miss having a friend around. All in all, we've enjoyed having Nikki here - although, it does seem like she LOVES being and outside dog. Every time we opened up the door to go out back, she was very happy. Plus, around 4 or 5 o'clock both nights she got pretty antsy and wanted Shawn to throw her stick for her. Shawn did, both evenings, but man - Nikki has energy!!! We are so used to our older doggie, it has been such a change having a high energy dog around. It's a nice change. Nikki's mommy and daddy are going to come pick her up at about 5 o'clock tonight. I am sure she is going to be glad to see them. She seems to miss them quite a bit.

One other thing we had to do differently while Nikki was here. Believe it or not, but I had to hand feed Tess. Tess is so used to eating whenever she wants (she 'free feeds' all day and generally eats when we eat) and Nikki is on a schedule - so to avoid doggie food fights, I fed Nikki in the morning and evening (which is what her mommy and daddy do), and while Nikki was eating, I hand fed Tess to make sure she was eating. (I swear, our dog is so fickle - any little change in her habits and she fasts - weird huh?).

All in all it has been a fun time with Nikki here. I think Tess is going to need the week to recover....that is, until more doggies arrive on Thursday.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The long awaited RECIPE!!!!

The Back Story:
When Shawn and I were dating I bought stuffed shells from Costco. Shawn LOVES stuffed shells - well, I say that lightly - Shawn has a love affair with stuffed shells. Costco does not carry them anymore and I have been unable to find them anywhere. So, to thank Shawn for all of the work he has been putting into the house for the upcoming party, I decided to make him stuffed shells - only I couldn't find EXTRA LARGE shells anywhere. I had to settle for manacotti - which, I might add, was a HUGE hit!!! I can't take credit for this recipe - as the idea was inspired by Giada De Laurentis (of course I took her recipe and tailored it to my taste).

The Recipe:
12 ounces (1 box) jumbo pasta shells (approximately 36 shells)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for greasing baking sheet
5 cups marinara sauce (I will not post my sauce recipe on here! I am very protective of my sauce recipe - but if you REALLY REALLY REALLY want the recipe - email me and I will send it to you - I love my readers). :)
2 (15-ounce) containers whole milk ricotta cheese
1 1/3 cups grated Parmesan
4 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves (I didn't use this)
3 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint leaves (I didn't use this either)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Lightly oil a 12 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish and set aside. Lightly oil the baking sheet and set aside.

Partially cook the pasta shells in a large pot of boiling salted water until slightly tender but still quite firm to the bite, about 4 to 6 minutes. You will continue cooking the shells in the oven after they have been stuffed. Using a slotted spoon, drain pasta shells and place on oiled baking sheet, spreading them out so that they don't stick together and allow to cool.

In a medium bowl, stir the ricotta, Parmesan, egg yolks, basil, parsley, mint, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spoon 1 1/4 cups of the sauce over the prepared baking dish. Fill the cooked shells with the cheese mixture, about 2 tablespoons per shell. Arrange the shells in the prepared dish. Spoon the remaining sauce over the shells, then sprinkle with the mozzarella.

Bake in the lower third of your oven until the filling is heated through and the top is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Here's the OTHER recipe that was amazing (very easy - and tasty). Cheese and Rosemary Breadsticks:
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (fresh grated - don't use the stuff in the green can)
1/3 cup grated Gruyere (also fresh grated)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 (11-ounce) container refrigerated breadstick dough (recommended: Pillsbury)
Finely ground sea salt, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with silicone baking sheets or parchment paper. In a food processor, chop the Parmesan, Gruyere and rosemary together until coarsely chopped. Set the cheese mixture aside. Separate the dough strips. Using a pizza cutter or a large sharp knife, cut each dough strip in half lengthwise to form thin strips. Working with dough strip at a time, coat each strip with the cheese mixture, pressing very gently. Twist each cheese covered dough strip and place onto prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with the salt, if you wish.

Bake until the breadsticks are golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the warm breadsticks to a basket and serve.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Keep and eye out...

There is a very special recipe coming this week/weekend. I don't know exactly when I am going to do it, but it's gonna happen soon. Shawn has been pining over this dish for quite some time now, and I have finally found an easy recipe that I can throw together. Hopefully he's gonna love it. As a teaser, I will only tell you that it's an Italian dish, and something I have never made before.

On a bit of a different note. Shawn asked me a few weeks ago if I wanted to make preserves. I replied with an emphatic YES!!! I have always wanted to make preserves, and now we are going to. Sometime this summer, of course, because of all of the amazing fresh fruit we can get up here. So, this summer will be the summer of canning.

Oh yeah - I just emailed my mom for a TOP SECRET chunky apple sauce recipe from my Aunt. Since I live in Apple Hill now, I think it's about time I learned her recipe. Oh gosh, I am so excited to make it. When I was younger, it was one of the only things I wanted to eat when we visited her house.

Stay tuned for recipes to come.....

My 30th Birthday ended with a bang....

My 30th birthday was pretty relaxed. Shawn asked what I wanted for my birthday - and I told him I wanted the trim board done downstairs. And that's what I got. :) I am a bit too focused on the party we are having here in a bit over a week to be focused on gifts (although - I do LOVE gifts). But, the night ended in a very interesting way. Shawn and I sometimes put a mattress out in the living room - and we sleep out there. I like camping in the living room, it's pretty fun. :) But, last night at about 11:00pm, we were watching TV on our mattress in the living room, I was falling asleep, Shawn was on his computer, when all of a sudden, the front door bursts open with a huge BANG!!!! Of course, being woken up like that, naturally I started screaming. Shawn jumped up in a split second and the dog whet full charge to attack (Tess is a WONDERFUL guard dog). As it turns out, the door wasn't closed all the way and there was a huge gust of wind that thrust the door open - not some freakishly weird serial killer that I had been screaming at. All in all, an interesting end to my 30th birthday.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

If someone...

If someone walked up to me right now and said, "If you carve the word 'supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' in your arm right now, I will paint the rest of the house for you inside and out" - I would absolutely take them up on the offer.

Can you guess what I am in the middle of doing???

Friday, May 18, 2007

Married women can probably relate

One of my favorite King of Queens episodes (titled “Switch Sitters) starts out like this:

Doug: (Walks into the kitchen where Carrie is sitting and drinking coffee) “Hey, do you know where the scissors are?”

Carrie: (Sighs irritably) “Doug, we have lived in this house for nine years. K? The scissors have always been in the same place, and yet you continue to ask me where they are. Not to mention the spatula, the pot holders, the pens. I’ll tell ya somethin’ honey, I have been a tour guide in my own kitchen long enough. Too many precious moments have been wasted showing you where things are. Just learn, LEARN!!! I mean, what if I died? How would you flip a pancake? How would you cut anything ever again? Would ya just sit here weeping and soiling yourself until someone came in to help you? No you wouldn’t! You would (sucks air in and raises hands to mouth taunting Doug) remember where something is. So come on honey, please, just this once, find where the scissors are. Find em. Go ahead baby – go get em.

Doug: (walks over to kitchen drawer) “I got em” (turns to Carrie looking sheepish yet proud and confident)

Carrie: (looking at Doug beaming because he did it on his own) “You got em, you got em. Now was that so hard?”

Doug: “Not really, no”

Carrie: (looking at Doug even more irritably) “What do you need now?”

Doug: (confused) “Tape”

Maybe it's just me, but I assume that married women everywhere can probably relate.

Things.....just things......

My semester starts here in about 4 weeks. Am I prepared? No!!! But really - what college instructor prepares 4 weeks ahead of time???? Especially when they have taught the class about a hundred times before? In any case, I guess I will have everything prepared by the week before the class starts. And, sometime before that I should go check out the campus I am teaching at. Can you tell that I am not really worried about this? I am excited beyond belief that I found a job here in the greater Sacramento/Lake Tahoe area, but don't see it as something to panic about.

Yesterday my sister-in-law and I went down to the local blood donation center and gave blood (thanks to my sister-in-law for motivating me enough to do it). In college once I tried to give blood but was rejected because I was a bit anemic.....actually, quite anemic. But, this time I am in full health and was able to donate. I thought it was going to be terribly painful, but all in all it wasn't bad. The guy who put the needle in knew what he was doing because I barely felt anything. After a few minutes though I was feeling a bit drained (pun intended). No, but really - I felt a bit tired and energy-less. And, when I got home, walking up and down the stairs, I feel winded. Today I still don't feel 100%, but I am ok. :) I think I am going to make this an every 8 weeks kinda thing. (That is, if I remember).

The countdown to the party is on. My sister is coming next weekend to help out. Probably to decorate and shop and stuff. I am excited!!!! So remember, if you are in the Sacramento/Lake Tahoe area on June 2nd, please feel free to come by and grab a burger and/or a polish dog and a beer (yes, there will be alcohol there). Of course there will be TONS of other food there - so if you do stop by, I promise you will be well fed. :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Anatomy of a Party

There are a number if things to consider when throwing even the smallest of parties. Invitations – Time – Food – well, you can see the rest below. I have been thinking about my 30th birthday party for a while and how things are going to go. Even though I can be a pretty ‘high maintenance’ party thrower, in the last 5-10 years, I have tried to tone that down a little bit and simply enjoy myself and the guests at the party…..because really, this is what a party is about right? The people that you invite - - - and of course, the food. My family tends to focus on food quite a bit. Think about it – if you have no entertainment, no music, no decorations etc…. but the food is great, you will have a great party. Why? Because people expect food at a party and lots of it at that (our party will not have amazing cuisine - but hey, BBQ at the start of summer is always fun right? Plus, we will have lots of snacky stuff before hand). So, without further ado, I shall put my two cents in on the following categories:

Invitations: For a formal party, invitations are a must. If it’s a small affair, verbal invitations – or at the very least, an evite will do. I sent out invitations a couple of weeks ago – done and done!!!

Time: Make the time and date appropriate for your guests. If there is a lot of older family and/or friends involved, having an evening party may not a good idea (on the other hand, if your guests are primarily younger, they probably want to party on into the night - so plan accordingly). They can get tired easily and may have to leave early – or not come at all if the party is too late. They may want to go to bed early…so think of your guests here. I planned an afternoon party because of this – and because some people are going to have to drive a decent distance to get to our house. (But, I am hoping that the party is going to go on into the evening - we are borrowing a fire pit so we can hang out outside into the evening...but we shall see how it goes). Again, done and done!!!

Food: My philosophy here – have lots of it. It’s simple – an abundance of food is a good idea. There are ways to make a little food appear like a lot of food. Employ some techniques like this and people will perceive that you have TONS of food and rave about the party later. In addition to this, make sure that you have a variety of food. People like choices, so give ‘em what they want. One last thing here – ALWAYS have something for people to snack on when they arrive. There is nothing worse than arriving at a party hungry because it’s at lunch time and there is no food for hours (like while someone barbeques or something – that can take a long time). So, I planned my party for about 1:00pm, and there will be lots of food when people arrive. Done and done!!!

Drinks: Again, variety here is key. Soda, Ice Tea/Lemonade, beer, wine, water – this should suffice. If someone is soooo picky that they can’t find something within these choices – maybe they shouldn’t be at the party to begin with (of course I am kidding – but really, these choices are enough). Oh yeah, and before I forget – always personally offer every new guest that arrives a drink. Or at the every least, let them know where the cooler, ice and cups are so they can help themselves.

Music: Debatable. I will more than likely be hooking up some kind of music for the BBQ here in a couple of weeks – but some kind of background noise (music instead of TV is best because too easily men will gather around the pretty picture box that changes images rapidly – and by that time, the men will be lost) - - - sorry guys, but some of the male population can get stuck watching TV instead of interacting with other people….and if that happens, you have just lost half of your guests to the TV. Getting back to the point – background music (not loud), will encourage people to relax and chat with other people. There are no uncomfortable silences because really, you could simply be listening to the music right? When there is something going on in the background, it’s okay to sit silently if people so choose to. It would be better for people to interact, but with background noise, it makes it more comfortable for people all around.

Atmosphere/ Decorations: I have no idea what I am going to do here – but my amazing sister is coming to our house in a couple of weeks to help out with this. Thank God – because this is a weak area for me. I tend to focus on food more than décor – but this is somewhat necessary – especially for an unfinished house like ours. We need something to take away from the half finished house.

Entertainment: Again, depending on the party, entertainment will vary. If it’s a small intimate party, games may be appropriate. But there are other options. The bottom line here – make sure there is something for everyone. Usually if it’s a party where everyone knows everyone else, no entertainment beyond music is necessary – but heck, get creative here…’s your party right?

Neighbors: Oh gosh – always tell the neighbors why all of the parking spaces on the street are going to be taken. I think I will be inviting our neighbors, but that’s just because I am throwing a loosey goosey party. But, always inform the neighbors (or invite them) that you are going to have a considerable amount of people over and that there may be some noise. More than likely they will be okay with it – that is, unless you throw parties constantly - - - and then, in that case, I will personally call the cops (even though I only lived in an apartment for a total of a year and a half throughout my whole life – it was still too much for me with noisy neighbors).

Host Responsibilities: This is your time to shine. Like I mentioned above, the top priority is to enjoy yourself. Heck, you are throwing the party right? But beyond that – proper planning is necessary. Have enough food and drinks for everyone who is going to attend - - - and make sure, that when people arrive, direct them to the food (which is already set out) and the drinks (which are already cold). Then, during the party, make sure you offer one more time just in case. I say ‘just in case’ because who knows, some people are quirky and may not realize that the food and drinks are there to enjoy the whole time they are there.

There are some other categories that I am forgetting, but I simply don’t want to type anymore. As you can see, there are lots of things to consider when throwing a party. Some of these areas I am good at, others I am not. But this is the fun part – don’t be afraid to ask people to help you. You may be shocked to know that people in your life probably enjoy helping out for a party – it makes them feel involved and needed (simply because they are needed). Everyone is a party host at some point in time – and as soon as you throw your first party, you will see that you probably need a little help in order to keep your sanity….or simply to make your life easier. I have personally enlisted the help of a number of people – my friend Maggie (if she and her fiancé end up coming to P-ville a day early or so), my wonderful sister Mel – who of course is a great party thrower, and my lovely sister-in-law Sharon.......I love all of these people soooo much and am greatful they are going to help out.

As a side note – the first big party I ever threw was for my sisters bridal shower. At the time I threw that party (with the help of a couple of other people), I had never been to a bridal shower, nor had ever thrown a party – it was for something like 50 people, and I had NO IDEA what I was doing. The party was beautiful, had tons of food, and it seemed like everyone enjoyed themselves quite a bit. I got tons of complements on the party, but it was a bit stressful. I learned a lot from that experience to say the least. I just hope this party in June is half as fun as her bridal shower.

(Personal Note) Hey Mel: Am I missing anything here????? Let me know! :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Confession #10

Sometimes when I get out of bed, I still think that a hand is going to pop out from under the bed and grab my ankles. I had this fear as a kid, and it still continues to this day sometimes. Too many scary movies??? You decide!!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I know I'm what?

I am about 90% done with the bathroom remodel. Overall, not too hard of a project. It is quickly becoming my favorite room in the house. I love being in there - it's soooo pretty. :) Shawn seems to think I love it so much because I did most of it myself (Shawn helped with the sink plumbing and installed the light fixture - two things I don't mess around with...I don't have enough experience with those two things, so I needed Shawn's help a little). But, I did install the toilet myself - that's right - installed the 'O' ring and everything.

Here are some interim pictures. I will post a final picture when I am completely done. I still have the curtains to put up, install the toilet paper holder and towel racks and add something decorative like a small laundry bench (which I bought today, but am not sure I am going to keep - I will see what I can find at Ikea tomorrow). Let me know what you think......and, I know there are a BUNCH of people out there who read my blog but never comment......NOW is the time to comment. :)

(From right outside the door - note the purple bathmats)

(Shower curtain - please look past the hideous shower tile)

Bathroom mirror - tomorrow I am going to add some lilac ribbon to replace the cream ribbon at the top.

This material (lilac and white small checkers) is going to become the curtains - and possibly a runner or two for some accessories - and maybe even a ribbon around the waste basket....who knows.

Another pic of the mirror - just because I thought it was kinda cool.

Now look down, a couple of posts below and look at the before picture - quite a difference. And remember, please post a comment (I would like to know what you think - is it cute? too sickly country? do you hate this design? do you want me to come design your house?). This is not my traditional style of design, but I really like the design for this room.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Bathroom Update

Here is a pic of the bathroom as of today. Here's how it went down:

Monday: Decided that I (alone) was going to remodel our downstairs bathroom. Partly because Shawn hurt his back over the weekend, but partly because I wanted to see if I could do it alone. I researched the toilet and sink we are going to put in there, and promptly went to the home improvement store to buy the items. I, with the guiding of Shawn, ripped out the old fixtures.

Tuesday: This was the day of painting that never ended. I painted two coats of primer and one final coat of latex paint. I realize that I should have added another top coat, but after two coats of primer, the walls were perfect. I added the final coat because it was the semi-gloss finish which is appropriate for bathrooms and kitchens (also, if you recall in a previous home remodeling post - I WILL NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER use flat paint again if I can help it - I hate the stuff!!!) Final coat finished at about midnight.

Wednesday: Went shopping for the curtains (which I am going to have to make myself), shower curtain and bath mats. I decided on lilac - not a normal color for me to use in a house, but I have never had purple in any house I have ever lived in and I thought it would look really cute. It's going to be a 'country' bathroom...not normally my style, but the area of California I live in screams country. So, this bathroom is a nod to the area. ;)

Thursday: Make the curtains (if my sister-in-law will so kindly let me borrow her sewing machine), install the curtains, shower curtain, sink and toilet. Maybe I will go out tomorrow to look for a light fixture to replace the 70's fixture in there right now. I am thinking some kind of cute track lighting. Also, I need to pick up a mirror and install that too. Oh yeah, and maybe a wicker waste basket for the corner.

Friday: Sharon and I will be going out to Whole Foods......if we have time, I may high-jack her and stop by Ikea to see if there is something inexpensive to put into the bathroom, maybe a bookshelf of sorts - something small and cute....and of course, with the lilac color, something country. If I can't find a bookshelf, I have a feeling I will be buying something to put in the corner to hold extra 'bathroomy' kind of stuff.

I must say, this picture doesn't do justice. It simply looks like I ripped some stuff out - but trust me, the former yellow stained walls (now gleaming white), and nasty flooring from the 70's - is now new linoleum (I know, I know - linoleum SUCKS!!!!!! I would have put tile in there, but this is a temporary fix) speaks volumes if you see it in person. We are going to rip out the whole thing in a couple of years, make it bigger, move the toilet and sink to the other side of the bathroom (QUITE the undertaking I might add - we are going to have to break out concrete and everything) put tile down on the floor and re-tile the shower area etc.... So, what I am doing is a short term - couple year fix. And, before you ask - the reason why we are remodeling it now for a temporary fix is because I CANNOT live with the bathroom the way it was. It was disgusting!!! And, it cost only a few hundred dollars to remodel it (yes, I remodel EVERYTHING on a budget. Plus, we are having a party here in a few weeks and the house needs to be mostly presentable.

I will post more pics once the sink and toilet are in. :) Until then......

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The poopy hole in the floor

This pic was taken before we owned the house.

Hideous shower tile in the downstairs bathroom.

So here we are again. Remodeling. Again. This time it's gonna be a bit different. Why, you ask? Thanks for asking!!! Well, because I am remodeling this bathroom all on my own. Yes, that's right folks - ALL ON MY OWN!!!!!!!!! No husband, no contractor - nobody but me. I 'uninstalled' the toilet (did you know that when you take a toilet out of the house, there is a big poopy hole in the floor??? Ewwww), vanity, medicine cabinet and towel rack all on my own (although my husband did give me some pointers with the plumbing - and he DID watch over my shoulder and kept saying, "do you want me to do it" thanks, babe, I can do it). So, last night we went to one of the major home improvement stores and picked up a toilet - an extended bowl toilet......for reasons only my wonderful husband can explain (apparently it, ahem (clears throat), 'works' better for men to have an extended bowl) - and a new pedestal sink. This afternoon I will be sanding the holes I patched and priming the walls. Tomorrow I will put two finish coats on the walls and replace the floor - that's right - I do floors too ALL ON MY OWN. Then on Thursday I will be installing the new toilet and pedestal sink. After that I will be purchasing all of the extras - the medicine cabinet - towel racks - a storage unit for the corner of the bathroom - window covering etc.... The only thing I will NOT be doing is replacing the hideous tile in the shower just yet. I think we are going to leave that for now since we will be ripping out the shower and moving it over to the other side of the bathroom - and I suspect that's going to take a while.

I will post pictures as I make progress. I just hope we can get everything done before my 30th BIRTHDAY PARTY on JUNE 2nd. (Lately Shawn and I have lost our motivation for remodeling the house - and, even WITH motivation I am not sure we can get it all done before the party.....yikes....we need help!!!) So - if you are in the Lake Tahoe/Sacramento area on June 2nd, please feel free to come over and grab a burger and a beer and hang out for a while for my 30th b-day celebration.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Anatomy of a Weekend


Morning - didn't want to get out of bed, even though I had been awake for hours. I finally got out of bed at 8:30ish/9:30ish and worked out. I lifted weights in my PJ's. I love lifting weights, but I can't seem to do it more than once a week. (This week is going to be different). Done working out, off to the showers.

Afternoon -
Got ready and went down to a VERY overpriced sushi place for lunch in Folsom, simply because I had been craving good sushi. It was good, but I don't think I will ever spend that much on sushi again. Came back up the hill to get paint for Shawn's office. By the time we got back it was late afternoon/early evening.

Evening - played WOW/watched TV for a number of hours. Finally got our lazy butts up around 9pm to paint the rest of Shawn's office. While we were painting, I worked out again. I was done with my task - the hallway near Shawn's office, so I worked out for about 25 minutes on the elliptical machine.

Night - got done working out, played WOW until all hours of the night. It was fun, but my back was killing me again by the time we were done....damn back!!!


Morning - I got up early again (do we see a pattern here?). Worked out for almost an hour on the treadmill, alternating a 10% incline, the highest setting on my treadmill and a 0% incline - as if I am hiking or something. Got done working out at about 11:00am....just in time for Shawn to wake up. I showered. It was about 11:30am when we received our new Lord of the Rings MMO....of course we had to play.

Afternoon - 11:31am, went downstairs and shirked ALL responsibility and played LOTRO (our new game). We played for a few hours, until it came time for me to make a Chinese Chicken Salad for Jonathan's birthday party (Jonathan is Shawn little brother - he turned 22). We cleaned the house, and made the Chicken Salad. :)

Evening - Party at Jonathan and Sharon's! We had a good time - even though Shawn's hurt his back and he was in a bit of pain (better now though). :) We stayed over there until about 1am or so. Much fun ensued.

Night - Shawn's cousin Chris and his fiance Crystal stayed at our place (
we cleaned the house before they came over - which is kinda how Shawn tweeked his back). We stayed up until 3:30am....well, that's when I bonked! I couldn't stay awake anymore, and I knew it was coming upon the time where I would have caught my second wind had a I stayed up...but then I would have been up all night. The four of us watched MXC, and had snacks......cheese, fresh baked bread (from TJ's - it was yummy, I was impressed), oil and vinegar dip (one of mine and Shawn's default party/gathering items), taquitos, chips, snack mix, olives (because cheese and olives go together divinely), and some other stuff I can't think of right now. Shawn, Chris and Crystal stayed up a bit later than I did.....but then again, they are all a bit younger than I'm getting old.


Morning - Woke up at about 7am (the pattern continues). Stayed in bed for a half hour or so then went out onto the couch in the living room and watched cartoons (I am getting old....but some things never change). I sat there and watched the Jetson's and Smurf's and knitted with my new knitting loom. Everyone else woke up a bit later. We met Jonathan and Sharon and a couple of their friends from the Bay Area, Robert and Lisa for brunch at a place called Sweetie Pie's. Here's the deal with Sweetie Pie's......Shawn and I had been meaning to visit this place for a while. It's a restaurant in Placerville on Main Street. Ever since we started looking for a house up here in mid-late 2005 we had been meaning to try out this place, but simply didn't. When we moved up here, Shawn's sister told us we should check it out - but we didn't. Then, two weeks ago Shawn and I planned on going in there for brunch - never went. Finally, yesterday, we went. I must say, it wasn't spectacular, but it was really good. I had a veggie scramble - YUUUMMMM!!!!! (I am definitely going to make this at home). Overall, we had a nice time.

Afternoon - came back home and went to sleep. Of course Shawn slept 2 hours more than I did....AGAIN!!! But whatever, at least I got a nap right?

Evening - Went out at about 7pm or so to get dinner. Shawn wanted McDonald's........but I didn't. So, I cooked sesame/teriyaki chicken with white rice and broccoli. Of course I had a bite of his Big Mac, and had 2 chicken nuggets...enough to curb my craving - but ended up eating my chicken/rice/veggies anyway.

Night - played LOTRO for HOURS, then stopped playing that at about 11pm - then got back on the computer at 12:00am/1:00am (can't remember now) and played WoW for a little while. Finally around 2:30 or so, I was done and went to bed. Sometimes I love being unemployed.......only sometimes though.

NOTE: Stay tuned for a post called "Anatomy of a Party". I have been trying to plan my birthday party - the menu, decorations, entertainment etc.... but have had a bit of a mental block......until this morning that is. :) Will post soon about the "Anatomy of a Party".

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Sometimes my dreams come true, sometimes they don't

I have been having a string of dreams about my sister being pregnant. Last night I had, what is it now, the 4th or 5th dream that my sister is pregnant. In the past some of my dreams have come true. Like, I have known things before they happen, or while they are happening (that I wasn't aware of) - really, they are things I know nothing about until they come to light. Last night was no exception. My sister announced that she was having a baby. Now, don't get me wrong, I have no idea if this dream is going to come true or not. And, there is lots of baby talk going on around here in Placerville - I mean really, what do people do around here? Get married young - and it seems - have babies really young. Every place you go around here it seems like there is some 19 or 20 year old with a baby attached to them. And you know what - God bless them for doing it so young. At least they have the energy to keep up with the kids right?

Plus, Julie - my wonderful sister-in-law has a 6 month old who is just the cutest baby EVER and incredibly well behaved. I keep telling her that I need to hang out with her and the baby in order to 'get it out of my system' - which is true. I can't seem to shake this motherly desire right now....and it's been months - the longest one of these wanting to be a mommy times has ever lasted. So, maybe that is what's going on - my maternal instinct getting the best of me. I guess that makes sense - I am turning 30 here in a few weeks. Maybe my proverbial biological clock is ticking......who knows. All I know is that it's my sister telling me in my dreams, over and over again that she is pregnant. I hope it's true - I want to be an aunt again.

Friday, May 4, 2007

The hair

I have decided to go ahead with my original plan. I am going to put some highlights into it and wait to cut it a bit longer.....maybe right before I start teaching. But, as of today, I should have some subtle highlight difference. I am excited.

Oh yeah - and I think we are getting the LOTR game today (or, at the very least, this weekend). :) Can't wait to play and submerge myself into Tolkien's world. Once we start playing I will let you know how it is.

Until then......

Thursday, May 3, 2007


About a year ago I started to play World of Warcraft with my hubby. If you don't know what this is, you're lucky. It's an online Massive Multiplayer Online game. Shawn had been bugging me to start a character for a while, and so about a year ago I finally conceded. I created a character and had some fun playing with Shawn. Well, when I finally did start playing, in our teeny tiny apartment, there was no room for an extra player at our very small desk that sat in the dining room. So, I gave up and told him that I would continue with my character when we moved to our ginormous house....especially since I am currently unemployed. I haven't started again until recently because I have been looking for a job, and that's been consuming every ounce of mental energy I have - I also let my account lapse, and didn't reactivate it until a couple of weeks ago. It's been fun playing with him (Shawn seems to think I like the interaction with people better than playing - and that's true...I chat with people over TeamSpeak every chance I get), but I remember one of the reasons why I stopped playing. It's hard for me to sit at a desk for hours at a time (which is why I can't do desk jobs....and has forced me to be a college instructor). By hour two last night, my back was killing me (but we got into a group and played for another two hours, which was fun, but definitely not worth the brother-in-law plays, and his wife just created a character this week). I think we are going to buy the Lord of the Rings MMO and start playing that. While WOW is fun, I think LOTR will be even more fun. :) Shawn and I have been waiting over a year for that stupid LOTR game to be released - and, as of April 24th, it has been. Can't wait!!!


About 2 months ago - maybe a bit more than 2 months, my friend Maggie from the Bay Area, whom I have known for about 10 years or so, and absolutely adore, cut her hair. Here are the before and after pictures:

This pic was taken moths ago, if not longer.

These are obviously 'after' pics. :)

The first picture is how I know Maggie. She has had a hairstyle like the first picture for almost as long as I have known her. Long, beautiful blond hair. In fact, I admire her for keeping her hair that long for as long as she has. But, a couple of months ago she had her hair cut and colored and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. She's hot!!! And, since I loved the outcome of her hair sooooo much, for the last 2 months or so, I have been quietly thinking about what I wanted to do to my hair to get a fabulous outcome like that. I know, I know - thinking about cutting my hair for months seems extreme right??? Well, sometimes I want to chop it off and the feeling passes, so I have learned not to take action too quickly over the years. But this time, it has pretty much stuck. I think 2 months is a good length of time to wait to cut hair...but alas, I will wait a few more weeks. But, this blog is to honor Maggie - thank you for looking fabulous and, in not so many words, encouraging me to do something equally as fabulous to my hair!!!! Love ya Mags!!!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

I'm so fickle

The weather has gotten a bit I want to keep my 'longer' hair. I am so fickle. This is why I need to wait to cut my hair.....but I can say this, I think I will be cutting it before the party we are having in June. That's summer right??? June 2nd......summer will have officially begun right? Oh yeah - so if you are in the Lake Tahoe/Sacramento area on June 2nd you are invited to a BBQ. :) Just email me and I will send you directions....and maybe, just maybe, I will have a new and improved short hair style that I will keep for a really long time.