Friday, December 31, 2010

Out With The Old

At midnight tonight, billions of people will be celebrating the end of 2010 and welcoming in the beginning of 2011.  Me and CT... well, I doubt we will stay awake until midnight.  Heck, our goal is to try to stay awake until the East Coast rings in the new year, which occurs at 11 p.m. Chicago time.  (We just celebrate with the New Yorkers.)

So, as the world is saying good-bye to the old (2010) and hello to the new (2011), I will be whispering my own little celebratory chant.  You see, I will be celebrating the tossing out of CT's old pair of worn out bachaboos. 

What are bachaboos?   (Side note - the BACH part is pronounced like the composer's last name Johann Sebastian Bach.  BACH-A-BOOS.)   Bachaboos are slippers, and can be worn indoors or outdoors.  CT's outdoor bachaboos are convienently located by the garage door, and are there for an easily slip-on when CT has to go outside for quick things like getting the mail, picking up the newspaper, taking out the garbage, feeding his birds, getting something out of the garage, etc.  

Left:  new pair of Bachaboos.  Right:  old pair of bachaboos.

Everyone has their favorite "something" that has seen better days and is way past even recycling - be it a favorite shirt (stains and all), a favorite pair of torn jeans, a favorite pair of grungy socks.  For CT, it has been his blue outdoor bachaboos.  I have been begging CT to throw out these bachaboos for the last few years because, 1) they are so worn out that the toes were starting to wear through at the bottom of the slipper, and 2) well... let's just say that they no longer carry that fresh, new, scent they had five years ago.

Every Christmas for the last three or four years, CT has received a new pair of bachaboos as a gift from either me or someone in my family.  Some of the bachaboos have been returned after the Christmas holiday, because, according to CT, they weren't quite "right".  Others became new indoor bachaboos.  None replaced the old blue pair, until this year.  When CT opened the new pair and tried them on, much to my surprise he said, "Ok.  I think these will work.  I'll toss out my old pair."  Wahoo - out with the old, in with the new! 

So, I raise my glass (ok, my cup of coffee this morning) and I welcome you to join me in toasting the old, and welcoming in the new!  From CT and me, we wish you and your loved ones all the very best for the coming new year.  Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Double Take

As CT and I were driving through the neighborhood this morning, we had to do a "double take" - and then just laughed at what we saw.  Thought I'd share the picture with you (please forgive the poor quality of the photo.)

Yes, a snow-woman complete with a wig, red lips and a bra.  Unfortunately, one of her eyes popped off, but still, it is just too funny.

Our laugh for the day, from me to you.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Schedule Changes & Productive Days

It's the Monday after Christmas, and I hope you've recovered from a weekend of holiday festivities.  For me, today is the start of week #2 of CT's two-week vacation, and I'm still trying to adjust to our new schedule with him being home.

Google Image Search found at

When CT works, he's up at 4 a.m. each day and out the door by 4:45 a.m.  And because I get up with him too and see him out the door, I get my days started early.  I like getting my days started early and getting the most out of each day - "Productive Days" as I call them.  Yes, I love having productive days.  The downside is that since we are both up at the crack of dawn each day, we crash like babies by 9 p.m.   

I like to tease CT and tell him he cramps my style when he is off from work.  Some days, he does.  Since I've been unemployed, I've developed my own schedule each day (ok, I'm a creature of habit) -- job searching, workout, certain days of cleaning, laundry, errands, babysitting for Katie and Ella, etc., etc, etc.  It seems that when he is home, then my schedule and my good intentions just go out the window.  For example, we've been sleeping in until -- wait for it -- 6 A.M.!!!!  The shame of it!  Heck, when CT works, I am usually at the healthclub working out at 6 a.m.!  Not today, though.

So, we are leisurely enjoying our cup of coffee this morning, and CT has the TV remote control glued to his hand flipping channels.  I'm relaxing on my comfy couch with my laptop, thinking that we really should get our day started.  I've got a list of things that we need to do today, and if we get started now, then we will be sure to have a productive day.  But then again, there are plenty of days to be productive next week.  After all, CT will be back at work, and I'll be back on my regular schedule.  So, until then, I think I'll just let CT cramp my style a little longer.  

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Well, my friends in Blogland, it is December 24th.  The craziness of the holiday season is starting to wind down for me and CT.  All gifts have been purchased and wrapped.  Christmas cards have been sent.  One last Christmas cookie recipe to make this morning, and then we load up the car and head over to Leanne's tonight, and RW's tomorrow.  Looks like it is going to be a white Christmas for us Chicagoans too, with snow in the forecast for today and tomorrow.  (And no, I'm not taking a snow blowing lesson from CT this weekend -- I don't "study" or "practice" on holidays!)

So, as I extend my heartfelt Christmas wishes to everyone out there, I thought I'd end this post with Linus' explanation of the true meaning of Christmas. 

"And the angel said unto them,
‘Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy,
 which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior,
which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you;
Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’
 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host,
praising God, and saying,
 ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'
That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Google Image Search found at

Merry Christmas Charlie Brown!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Katie Tradition

The holidays are full of family traditions and Katie and I have our very own tradition.  Every year, we go Christmas shopping for presents for Mommy (aka, Leanne), Daddy (aka, Phil Guy) and Sissy (aka, Ella).  Here's how it works:  we go to our local Target or Walmart and Katie makes ALL shopping decisions (of course with some financial boundaries.)  Then, we come back to my house while Katie wraps her gifts before returning to Katie's home to carefully place the wrapped presents under the Christmas Tree.

Katie and I started this tradition when she was three years old.  That first year, we walked around Target for more than an hour before Katie selected the PERFECT white ornament with long white feathers for Daddy (because, according to Katie, "It is SOOOOOO pretty and Daddy will love it!!").  For Mommy that year, Katie selected a really, really, really long pair of earrings that hung down past Leanne's shoulders.  Again, Katie thought they were the most beautiful pair of earrings that would be absolutely perfect for Mommy.  No gift for Ella that year because Ella had not yet joined us in this world.

This year, we upgraded our store to Kohl's and headed out for three perfect gifts.  As Katie gets older, she is more confident in her decisions and, within an hour, we were out of the store with six gifts in hand (two gifts per person), and back at my house wrapping. 

I love this tradition with Katie and the time that just the two of us spend together.  And I hope that we keep this tradition for years and year to come - even when she is older, has money of her own, and is driving ME to the store instead!     

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

An Education

In a recent conversation with a very good friend, we discussed our futures, our careers, and the lack of job prospects.  I contemplated with him whether I should return to school for a certification, not really sure whether that would increase my chances of landing a job.  Bill wisely said, "Education is never a bad thing."

So, I've been thinking a lot about that statement (and will probably write more about it later) and while I still haven't made any decisions yet about returning to school, I have begun a continuing education "course" if you will, from my personal instructor, CT.  Yes, CT is educating me on... wait for it.... here goes... using the SNOW BLOWER! 

What can I say, I am a wimp when it comes to machines (like the lawn mower, the leaf blower, the snow blower, etc.) that I know absolutely nothing about, nor do I care to know anything about them.  It's not like I don't have the intelligence to learn how to use these machines (I'm a college-educated woman after all!), it just that I do not have any INTEREST.  Heck, I figured that CT's job.  Since CT doesn't have any interest in learning how to turn on the stove (to cook), then I see no reason why I should learn how to operate the snow blower.  But then, the guilt sets in.  After all, CT works all day long and I am at home.  The least I can do is keep the driveway and sidewalk free from snow so CT doesn't have to do it when he comes home, right?

This morning was a perfect morning for another lesson (my second lesson) on using the snow blower.  About four inches of snow fell overnight, so the driveway had to be cleared.  First, CT shows me how it is done like a pro.  Here he is:

And here:

And here (trying to be funny by throwing snow at me on his already cleared part)

As I mentioned, today was my second lesson.  The first snow blowing lesson was not-so-good.  At the first lesson, I took hold of the two handle-thingies and pressed the grips down tightly (as CT showed me), and all of a sudden, the fricken machine had a mind of its own, and took off pulling me down the driveway!  I could barely stay on my feet as I shouted out "WHOA!!! WHOA!!!! " like I was riding a horse!  I thought for sure I was going to fall on my a _ _ and mess up my one good knee.  Needless to say, it was not a pretty sight. 

Today's lesson went much better.  Here I am, and you can see the look of joy on my face, because I was so thrilled to be using the snow blower (not really). 

So I made it down the driveway, just once, and then I hit the curb at the end of the driveway and yelled for CT to take over.  Yup, I was finished with my second lesson.  I think the third lesson plan will be to learn how to turn the snow blower around in order to come back UP the driveway after making it down to the end of the driveway.  The fourth lesson will be to learn how to START the machine (can't be too difficult, it has an electronic push button start, and I can push a button, right?)  Fifth lesson:  filling the machine with gasoline.  Then hopefully I will graduate from CT's Snow Blowing School.       
Well, even though I'm not particularly thrilled to be using the snow blower, I do believe that education is never a bad thing.  Now, about going back to school....

Friday, December 17, 2010

Flying Time & A Funny Story

Wait a minute.... is today really December 17th?  Has it really been 10 days since my last post?  Boy, time sure is flying by fast. 

So, what have I been doing over the last ten days?   Probably the same things that you've been doing.  Lots of hussle and bussle.  Last weekend we had back-to-back days of visiting/entertaining family and friends.  Then there was the finishing of Christmas shopping this week, followed by this:

Wrapping.  Still not finished wrapping the gifts, but heck, I still have a week to wrap.

And then there was CT, who gave me a two-day notice that he needed some homemade Christmas Cookies to bring in to work for the annual "Sweet Table" day.  This year I decided to put CT to work making cookies.

One of the funniest moments of the season (thus far) was at Ella's pre-school holiday program last Sunday.

After listening to the first group of three year old kids singing their cute little songs, followed by the next group of four year old kids SHOUTING out their songs, we were treated to a live action performance of the real Christmas Story, complete with full costume actors (aka, kindergarten kids.)  The teacher read the story and the actors came out on stage right on cue:  Joseph, Mary, the donkey, the Angel, Baby Jesus, etc.  Then there came the three Wise Men.  As they marched across the stage carrying their gifts and heading toward the manger, I noticed one particular interesting gift the second Wise Guy was holding.  It was... a.... MARTINI SHAKER!   So, I said to CT, "Is that a martini shaker?"  CT, looked and said, "Oh no, it is!"  Then I said to Leanne, "Do you see that martini shaker the Wise Guy is holding?"  Leanne looked and said, "ALLELUIA AND AMEN!"  And we just laughed and laughed.  Unfortunately, we could not see (from our seats) that the martini shaker was actually decorated with beautiful jewels, thereby making it a perfect Wise Men prop.  Still, we just loved the idea of the Wise Men carrying a Lemon Drop Martini on their way to the manger.

So, that's a quick (maybe not-so-quick) Christmas update of the last ten days.  Hope you're having some good Christmas Days too.  And if you have any funny Christmas stories, please feel free to share! 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Shopping Challenge

As we are in the midst of the holiday shopping season, I find myself in good shape with all my Christmas shopping, with the exception of one person:  CT.

Each year I am challenged with what to buy CT for Christmas and his birthday (which is in February).  CT is a guy with pretty simple tastes, wants, and needs; he is definitely NOT a materialistic guy.  Every time I ask him for gift ideas, he very sincerely replies, "I really don't want or need anything, Hon."  Once in a while he throws in, "I got you and that's all that matters", after I frown at the first reply. 

The last big gift I bought CT was about four or five years ago.  Here is the gift:

Yes, a Leg Lamp (from the hilarious and classic movie "A Christmas Story", one of CT's favorite movies.)  If you have ever seen this movie, you understand how absolutely GREAT this lamp is, even though it is a bit "FRAGEELY"! 

So when CT received the Leg Lamp for his birthday one year, he was NOT happy that I spent the money and bought him such an extravagant gift.  (Personally, I did not think it was that extravagant.)  But he came to love the gift, and now each December the lamp is the first decoration CT unpacks.  And yes, it is displayed in the living room window instead of my beautiful Christmas Tree.  He waits to see if our holiday visitors notice the lamp as they drive up to the house, and he loves showing it to everyone.  (Side note:  When Ella saw the lamp for the first time this year, she said, "Auntie, where is the rest of the lady?")  And my beautiful Christmas Tree?  Well, it sits snuggly in the corner of the living room.  

Well, I've got 18 days to come up with a gift or two for CT.  Whatever it is, it will never be as "extravagant" or as funny as the Leg Lamp, and that's ok, because I know CT is truly happy with or without Christmas gifts.  For me, that's all that matters.    

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Daily

While I can't say that I am a artsy/craftsy type person, I do enjoy scrapbooking.  And thanks to the Cellar Chicks, I've been encouraged to work on a December Daily album this year.  What exactly is a December Daily album, you ask?

Starting today, and then every day until Christmas Day, I will take photos of something for that particular day.  The photos can of anything - Christmas-related or not, something unusual or something routine that I am doing that particular day.  It doesn't matter.  Ultimately the photos, along with my written notes/stories of that day, will be placed in the album.  In the end, I will have documented my day-to-day life during the month of December, in the year of 2010.   Here is the start of my album.

It is only December 1st, and I am already finding this project challenging.  Here are the empty pages for December 1st and December 25 (with lots of empty pages in between) that I will eventually fill. 

I've got a list of things to do today, and frankly, they are all too boring and mundane to photograph and write about.  I mean, do I really want to capture my on-going job search as I sit at the computer applying for what few jobs are out there this week?  Not really.  Or should I photograph the cleaning of my closet, which I've been putting off for months now?  Nope.  Oh, how about the cleaning of the bathrooms?  Oh yeah, that's fun, but years from now, I don't want to look back at a bucket full of cleaning supplies sitting next to a toilet.  No way.  But then again, this is my life and my life for today, and this what the project is all about. 

In email exchanges this morning, PK had a good suggestion to try to incorporate Christmas in the photos, even in to the most boring or routine things of the day.  Then Leanne suggested I use my favorite Christmas coffee mug as I sit at the computer working on my job search.  That might work.  Better yet, how 'bout if I wear my Santa's hat while I scrub the toilets?  Now that photo will definitely make me chuckle years from now when I look back at this album.

So, December Daily, here I come.