Monday, January 31, 2011

Grammar Sticklers Unite!

I found this sign inside a Rite-Aid along I-5 south of Portland, Oregon.  My head just about exploded when I read it.  Can you spot the errors?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Maple Bar Love

I had to take a picture.  They're that good.
Few people understand the love I have for Roth's maple bars.  Roth's is a chain of grocery stores (IGA's) in the Pacific Northwest.  There used to be one in Albany, but it closed.  There also used to be one in Lebanon, but it, too, closed.  The nearest Roth's to me is in Independence.  After that, I have to travel an hour to Salem just to get my favorite treat.  Not exactly a short trip in the 'jammies on Sunday morning.  :(

There's something special about the texture of a Roth's maple bar.  The bars aren't pillowy and sweet like KrispyKremes (blech!).  They aren't hard and stale like Fred Meyer's donuts.  And they aren't gummy or undercooked like WinCo's.  A Roth's maple bar isn't cakey, but it's more dense than most donuts.  And the maple frosting is frosting, not that drizzled-on crap other stores use.

They're just better.  Tiger tails are a very close second.  And their old-fashioned donuts are unrivaled.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Man's Cross-Stitching TA DA!

My husband has given cross-stitching a solid try.  Pictured is his third completed piece.  My father has been (sort of) tutoring The Man in the craft, and I've untangled a fair share of The Man's knots, but he's doing really well.  His first piece went to his mother, his second to his father, and this one went to his brother.  We (I) framed it all up so we could give it as a gift for Christmas, and The Man's Brother hung the artwork in his kitchen.  Not sure what St. Augustine would think of it all...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Pink Star Quilt

This is old news to anyone that knows me, but I did a small wall-hanging-type quilt in order to practice my triangles.  While the project wasn't particularly difficult, I learned I need to practice more.  I also liked using scraps from my very small scrap collection (free project!).  Due to the size, I didn't actually do any real "quilting."  Since it was never destined for anything other than a wall and is only about two feet square, I just stitched the binding on and called it good. I think this one might go in my office where an ugly picture is currently hanging.  I didn't put the ugly picture on the wall: it was there when I got the job.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Stitchin' and Sleepin'

One nice thing about a nasty migraine is that I catch up on a lot of sleep.  Between 3pm yesterday and 7am today, I think I was only awake about two hours.  I accomplished almost nothing.  Thankfully I did get my laundry done earlier in the day, so at least we have clean clothes this week!

Saturday was supposed to be calm and at home, but by the time we'd visited both of my grandmas and run our errands, we were invited to Salem for dinner out with The Man's parents after Mass.  I promised him we'd be home by 3pm so he could play his computer games, but we were out until after 9pm.  My little putt-putt car got a good work-out, too, on the long drive.  I like to think it has muscles and needs to stretch it's legs every now and then.  The Man gives me a "look" every time I tell him that.

The response to my hand quilting has been good.  It's nice to start on something new and have people tell me I'm on the right track.  Even my grandma, known for her "pretty goods," gave me a "that's beautiful."  My jaw about hit the floor when she said that.  (Grandma doesn't often grade better than "pretty good," and even more rarely will a "good job" be offered.  A "beautiful" is almost unheard of.)

I'm making more of my turkey rice soup tonight.  It is going to be super healthy and tasty and make tons of leftovers.  YUM!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Another Week Bites The Dust

Phew!  I survived my first (short) week at my new job.  I've learned a ton, met way more people than I remember, and got settled--a little, at least.

I spent a good chunk of one morning and most of that afternoon just cleaning out my new office.  The person here before me transitioned to a new office, so some of her stuff was still here.  I think more than one part of a breakfast and some lunch got left behind in a drawer.  One more Cheerio, and I'll have found at least a bowl full.  My office is starting to look really nice now, though, and is much, much more organized.  I tend to shy away from clutter, so I've gone down to bare surfaces and walls before I put anything down that I want to keep.  I did manage to get one small quilted wall hanging up on my wall, so it'll be more cozy or homey looking in the next few months.

The Man celebrated his last day at his old job today.  He'll start his new job on Monday.  As neat as it would have been to start our new jobs on the same day or week, the slight separation is nice.  I think we'd both be too frazzled or stressed to really deal with that much change all at once.

This weekend should be a quiet one for us.  We haven't had a weekend at home in a long time (pre-holidays, I think), so we're overdue for late mornings and cinnamon rolls or something.  If I work at it, I might be able to get a good dent on one quilt, but if I get something in the crock pot one day and we have something easy the other day, I'll be satisfied.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's Quite a Change

Is it Friday yet?  This week has been super busy already, and I've only been at work one day!

I had Monday off, yay.  Mom came over, and we went to the fancy-schmancy fabric store in Philomath.  I got two yards of pretty fabric for some wall hangings I'm stitching.  Mom mostly became overwhelmed.  If you don't have a plan when you walk in that store, it's just way too much to try to take in.  So many pretty fabrics, so many great ideas... wow.  I made homemade nearly fat-free chicken pot pies that were awesome.  I also had a bit of time to clean, and I unbasted and rebasted my quilt that I'm currently working on (don't ask why).

Tuesday was my first day at the new job.  I have a lot of cleaning/dusting/wiping down to do in my own office.  I learned a new filing system, learned where things are, got new keys, the usual.  Everyone seems really nice, and I am very happy with my new computer support guys.  They treat me like an adult and a competent individual, two things I haven't yet experienced in the tech support realm.  The new department is about 20x larger than my old one, though, so I'm sure I'm about to learn a lot and meet a lot of new people.  Sure isn't fun to feel like I'm starting over, but at least the learning curve isn't so bad this time.  :)

And today started icky but greatly improved by noon.  I had to suffer through my annual girly exam this morning.  Blech.  I hope my snot sample comes back fine, because I'm sure the nice doctor lady was swabbing the back of my brain.  *shudder*  I also had an eye doctor appointment a bit later.  My prescription went up a whole number this time to -8.50 (contacts) and -9.50 (glasses).  I think a headache is in my future, though at least my wallet isn't hurting so bad since I kept my old frames.

Lemme tell ya, ending my appointment series with a haircut was the right way to go.  After all the poking, prodding, and "one, or two... one, or two..." today, it was super nice to chill in a comfy chair and have my hairdresser turn me into a presentable woman again.  I needed it.

Two more days of work, then I can crash.  I am looking forward to getting out of bed again, though.  That's a nice change. :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I'm here, I really am!

Blogger has been a pain for me lately, but I've been trying to write.  Ugh.  Sigh.

I had my last half-day of work at the old job on Friday.  No long good-byes, no tears, just a clean cut.  I am getting very excited for my first day at the new job on Tuesday.  I've also been enjoying a long three-and-a half-day weekend!

Friday afternoon was a whirlwind.  I ran a bunch of errands, cleaned like crazy, and even whipped up some homemade mac and cheese for dinner before The Man went to a soccer game and a guys' night event with some old friends.  We were up late-ish, but I got a ton of reading done, plus a pseudo-mani/pedi after a long, hot shower.

Saturday was busy.  We went out to lunch in Beaverton with one of my college roommates and her husband.  We shopped until we dropped at Washington Square and Bridgeport Village.  I got two button-down shirts with full-length sleeves!  They do have the modified neckline rather than being a full oxford collar, but it's not too bad.  The french cuffs are slightly annoying.  I may have to modify those.  We also drove all over Beaverton before we found Uwajimaya where we ended up buying ourselves and my sister and brother-in-law some really cute rice bowls.  The Man also found some good oolong tea (we can only find one brand in tea bags in Corvallis).  We went out to dinner and then visited with The Man's brother until late.  Then we drove toward home, stopping at my sister's to drop off their gifts and chat a minute.  We got home around 11pm.

Sunday?  Stay home and rest?  Oh no.  We drove up to McMinnville for an "ice cream social" for The Man's family.  We had splendid ice cream sundaes complete with M&Ms, nuts, sprinkles, chocolate chips, syrups and oozies galore, and cherries on top.  Except I didn't eat any cherries and The Man had five.  At least.  We also stopped at a craft store, had dinner, and finally got home around 5:30pm.  

This evening, I (with help) installed two new sticks of RAM in my computer (from 1G to 2G now!).  I culled out a bunch of files I thought were jamming up the works, but I don't know if I've seen any improvement yet.  At least Chrome only takes 10 seconds to load Gmail instead of the 55 seconds it used to take...

I keep promising myself I'm going to make banana bread this weekend, but that means I have to be home for an hour or two.  Maybe tomorrow... maybe tomorrow...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Two days left to go before I start my new job.  I'm getting more excited with each passing day.  The Man has another week and two days before he starts his new job, but I know he's excited too (probably more than I am!).

I made my first attempts at learning the quilting rocking stitch last night, and all I got out of it was sore fingers.  I'm told that quilting needles have to be small... they sure are hard to hold on to.  I may get the hang of it soon.  If not, pfft, I'll just machine stitch.  It won't look nearly as nice, but it'll hold together.

Since I've given up over 90% of my gluten intake since New Year's Day (to see if maybe that's what is causing my insides to revolt on a bi-weekly basis), I've learned a lot.  I learned that I much prefer Corn Chex to Rice Chex.  I learned that corn tortillas do not roll around chicken whatsoever.  I learned that I don't miss bread nearly as much as I thought I would.  Same with pasta.  But I crave pizza, Shredded Mini Wheats, and donuts about eighty times more.  I am told that there are levels of gluten intolerance, so it's possible that I could be able to eat some gluten and not have intestinal issues, but other people might not be able to have any.  After almost two weeks at 90% gluten-free, I think I feel healthier since I've had more veggies, of course, and I haven't had any long mornings in the bathroom (yay!), so maybe this is worth something for me.  If it helps, I'll keep doing it.

If nothing else, I'm learning to diversify my diet.  That's definitely worth something.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Back Down to Earth

Coming off the high from both getting job offers last week was both welcome and a little disappointing.  We are both finally feeling like we can plan our future--and be able to fund it.  We're glad to have a couple more weeks of normalcy before our lives are both upended at the same time.

I have recently realized that hand sewing or quilting a quilt isn't so terrible.  It's a bit daunting to be on the beginning end of such a huge project, but it'll go better with some practice.  I'm learning a lot and should be much better at the quilting stitch within the next week or two.

Meanwhile, I've also been teaching myself to tat with a shuttle.  I'm pretty quick at needle tatting, but the shuttle is a whole 'nother beast.  I enjoy it, though, so we'll see what comes of my work.

I made a huge pot of turkey and rice soup this weekend.  The turkey was cooked and then frozen from the big bird The Man got from his employer before the holidays.  The veggies were all on sale.  I figured the pot cost me a little under $5 for six large portions of soup (like two cans of Campbell's each).  I think I almost prefer rice in my soup to noodles, too.  Great texture, no slurping, and easier to find at the store.

I guess I'm sort of drifting through the next week.  I'll be nice to have familiar patterns for now, but I'm still really excited for the next chapter of life to start.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Coming Up Roses

In the same week that I was offered a new job, The Man has also been the recipient of a job offer!  His is a much bigger deal than mine since I am sort of transferring (though I had to apply and go through all the regular hoops), plus his job is in his field.  He'll finally be a project manager!  His new job will come with a decent salary, some benefits (details still unknown), and paid vacation.

While it's not a dream job or exceptional pay, it's a great step in the right direction for him.  Plus he can back off a smidge on the job hunting for a while, just following the few companies he'd really like to work for.

It feels like life is finally moving forward for us.  It's all coming up roses.  YAY!!!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Bring on the Change

It would be unfair of me to keep this to myself any longer.  The blogosphere must know.  Friends and family who keep in touch with me via my bloggy must know.  And it's just about ready to make me burst if I don't get it out right now!

I got a new job.

And as many of you know, I don't blog about work or coworkers, so I have to keep this brief.  Where I'm moving to and what I'll be doing won't be posted for privacy reasons (e-mail me if you're desperate to know). There is a very tiny salary increase (about enough to cover my parking permit for a year), and I'll have an office separate from the main office (yay!).  Mostly, I'm excited to be busy all day long again.  I'm looking forward to new challenges and a room with windows that look out at the world instead of in a basement.

Of course, there are things I'm sad to leave, and change isn't always easy or fun, but I've needed this change for a couple months (years?).  The Man continues his job search, so we could end up moving any moment if he gets a job far away, but for me, for now, this is a step in the right direction.

One more week at the old job, then I'm off to new pastures.  Time will tell if they're greener.

Monday, January 03, 2011

It's 2011!

And I have been super busy this weekend, thus the complete lack of anything resembling a blog post.  Sorry!  Thursday night was nice: I was busy entertaining my sister.  Friday saw me working hard to get some quilt blocks stitched.  We made a trip to Salem before heading to my parents' for dinner and our annual card game night extravaganza.  We didn't get home until Saturday morning around 2:30am.  We slept in pretty late Saturday before getting up and cleaning our apartment top-to-bottom.  My aunt and uncle came down from Portland to visit for a bit with my parents and grandma, so our little apartment was bursting at the seams.  We had a nice visit and a yummy dinner.  On Sunday, I quilted about 8 hours.  The top to my quilt is done.

It doesn't sound like I've done much, but I really have been busy!  Oh, and happy new year.