Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

You And I Both

Go check out Dallas Shaw's Etsy shop, where this print entitled "You And I Both" is available in lovely candy-like colors, including this sunny lemon yellow.

Shameless Self-Promotion Alert! I took the photos for the yellow print, which were featured on Dallas's blog, Dilly Dallas, as well as Joanna Goddard's blog, A Cup of Joe. And yeah, that's my dog Spanky in the top photo. What a well-behaved little model he is!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

To each his—or her—own

Even if that means you like to sleep in a potted plant.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Trouble in the basement

Well, I had a great weekend. But then Monday morning hit me square in the face at 5:45 a.m.

(Water pooling around the furnace)

I happened to go downstairs to get some clothes to wear for work this morning, which was fortunate, because I don't always have to get stuff out of the dryer in the morning. Today I did, and I'm glad I was there. I noticed our furnace kept trying to ignite, then shut off, then ignite, then shut off. So I fiddled around with it for a while and no luck. Pete lost his cell phone (for the millionth time) and I couldn't get a hold of him, and he had just left for work like 15 min. before that. And it was starting to get cold in the house. I was super worried the pipes would burst because of the temps dropping all morning from no heat. On top of all that, I noticed a pool of water by the furnace, and the fact that the water was causing the furnace to shut off. And where was the water coming from? The hot water heater, of course! Yay!

(Water leaking from the hot water heater)

So I called my dad and he advised me a bit. Then Pete finally got my message at work and called home, and tried to help. After a while I was able to shut the hot water tank off to stop the leaking, sopped up the water with some towels, and the furnace fired up again. But the furnace activity has been spotty. I'm still worried it might shut off at any moment until that water is totally dry, so here I am at home, taking a day off when I can't really afford to (I only have 4 vacation days left to add to my 5-week severance now). I figure I'll job hunt and get some work done around here since I'm stuck home til Pete gets here to fix the hot water heater. But it's irritating all the same, between running downstairs to check on the furnace and clean up the water, and trying to look for work online when there's NOTHING out there right now. Plus I'm still trying to shake this annoying cold, so I'm not exactly peppy.

All in all, a great start to the week. I guess I should be happy cuz I would have been cleaning out my cube today and packing up my stuff. And I have LOTS of cleaning to do here. But I'm not happy...

I got my fix with some cheap (but pretty) shoes

Reverie has been lacking the usual fashion reports that I'm so fond of, and I suppose that's because I've had a moratorium on buying ANYTHING that's not essential (yes, even shoes must fall under that category). But I was able to visit DSW this weekend without breaking the bank and buying 10 pairs of shoes. They were having a clearance sale going on, and let me tell you, there were TONS of shoes on sale! It was hard to narrow it down, but I gritted my teeth and selected only a few pairs. I had intended to only buy ONE pair, but with the deal I got, I figured I could swing one extra pair. But I think this will be it for a while again.

Anyhow, I got these cute little brown satin heels (with a velvet bow!) for less than $12. Yes, $12! Original price $39.89 (per the sticker on the box, not the web site). They're absolutely adorable when worn. I wouldn't have bought them at full price, or even half off. But 70% off? Sure!

And I got these beauties for less than $18. Original price $59.94.

I have a thing about green shoes. I have very few pairs, and it just makes me want to buy more green shoes so that the color is equally represented in my closet. Yes, I know, weird, but I have my shoes arranged by color. Anyhow, if you go out and look for nice green shoes, you'll realize they're hard to find. You'll have an easier time finding blue, or yellow, or purple shoes for some reason. So when I find a pretty pair of green shoes, I usually snap on them. And look! These have shiny buckles on them! And they have peep toes! And they're suede! And super comfy! I can't wait for nicer, warmer, drier weather to come so I can wear my pretty shoes again!

Okay, excitement over. Back to reality, which is all about snow and ice and cold and salt and mud right now :(

Sunday, February 15, 2009

From my honey

Aren't these pretty? Pete got them for me yesterday for Valentine's Day. There are so many that he had to use two vases! He snuck over to Jeanette's house to have her help him arrange the flowers, and even borrowed a vase from her (the larger of the two). (Sorry, the pix were taken with my iPhone.)

And how about that awesome card? He knows me well. I love dogs and I love pink feathers, so this card is right on target! For the record, I got him a card with two prairie dogs kissing, so we are both dorks with stuff like that. I also got him some DVDs about prehistoric stuff, so he was happy about that. And we capped off the evening by gorging ourselves at Red Lobster. Well, he gorged—I was pretty restrained, since trying to lose weight and all—but oh, it was good!

Here's a close up of the flowers. Yes, they are on top of my Magic Chef 1000 stove, which is still sitting in my living room (the link is from an ad featuring our actual stove, but we got it for waaaaay less than the price listed). One of these days we'll get a nice house and hook that baby up. It's too cool to just sit around holding flowers and books and such.

Anyhow, hope you had a happy Valentine's Day too!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Scratchy pipes

My sure-fire way for dealing with the onset of something cold-like...

Aspirin (maybe not THIS many though, ha ha)

Chloraseptic, nectar of the pain relief gods

Bigelow Cozy Chamomile tea, which I normally drink by the bucket-full anyhow

Sweet, sweet Ricola throat drops (ahhhh!)—although I have a hard time not chewing them because they get this nice, gummy-crunchy texture that's irresistable

And my secret weapon while sick at work, Diet Pepsi—or Diet Coke, coffee, whatever has caffeine in it and keeps me going until I can stumble out to my car and drive home in a cold-induced haze

I haven't been feeling well for the last few days, hence my absence from blogland. Today has been the worst of it so far. Nice scratchy sore throat, headache, chills, achy everywhere...I sure hope I don't develop a full-blown cold. I feel like I'm teetering on the edge though. Whenever the weather is as dramatic as it has been here—it's been as low as 5 at one point, then 60s a few days later—I tend to come down with fun things like this. But I'm fighting it, and maybe eating healthier/working out for the last few weeks will help my immunity?

I hope you're all doing well, and not suffering from sniffles and such! And I'm sure I will be back to reading my favorite blogs in no time.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A random story from my day

I was driving through a residential neighborhood this morning on my way to work, and I saw something big out of the corner of my eye, running somewhat slowly across a lawn. At first I thought it was a cat, but then I realized it was a large, chunky raccoon. It saw me coming (I was only doing 25 or so) and began loping across the street, head down, looking rather focused. It slowly ran across the street, hindered by its awkward shape and size, and I could tell it was panicked, trying to cross in time. I slowed down and curiously watched it trek across the pavement. It was probably watching me out of the corner of ITS eye, because once it got across the street it ambled around a fence, breathing hard, but it was safe. Something about its goofy trot across the street made me smile, and put me in a good mood. I was already feeling peppy due to record temps here in Chicagoland (it's going to be in the 60s today—woo hoo!), but that just made my day for some reason.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Pete did the dishes for quite a long time on Friday night. When he was done, he asked that I take pictures of his wrinkly hands.

They looked almost fake.

I thought he looked kinda like the Thing or something alien.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Oh DSW, how I miss thee

Dearest, beloved, desirable DSW,

Please stop taunting me with your enticing emails, intoxicating commercials, and captivating fliers! You know I cannot peruse your aisles at the moment, due to my impending layoff and subsequent residency in a cardboard box. So why do you seduce me so? Your sweet siren song of leather and buckles and suede and canvas will only lead me into temptation, a fate that is bittersweet, full of both instant gratification and worrisome depreciation of funds. The click of your heels, the rustle of your fabric, the zzzling! of your zippers...such sweet music to my ears!

But alas, I must hold my chin up high, avert my lustful gaze, and turn my back on you. Please don't take it personally. I really do adore your wares, and mean no harm in my sudden aloofness. It is best for us both if we take some time to see other people, don't you agree? I will always hold dear the fabulous times we had, all the laughs and dancing and strutting to and fro. These cherished memories will fill my dreams at night, and in the morning a lingering mist of a fading yet still vivid fantasy shall swirl about in my mind, making me drunk from the frivolity of it all.

For now, however, we must remain apart, as if we ceased to be. So long, DSW, until we meet again...

Yours quite faithfully,

A Lover of All Things Shoes

Friday, February 6, 2009

A typical week night routine

Pete snuggling with the doggies—they love their papa and fight over the prime spot on him, near his face

Watching tv shows about Hitler or guns or tanks or murderers (and What Not to Wear, if Chris gets control of the remote)—here a show about Hitler is the show of choice

Chris blogging, Facebooking, or working out (mostly doing the former to avoid the latter)—note the kitty paw prints all over the laptop keyboard

That's all I got today. Feeling a bit tired, but upbeat. Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A kiss for luck

Max's profile photo from his shelter days

Last night, after I wrote the previous blog post boo-hooing about how crappy I felt, I was laying on the couch watching "Ever After" (hey, there wasn't much on). My cat Max made an appearance in the living room, which is not a common occurence. Even though I was surrounded by the Cat Patrol—a.k.a. Spanky and Adora—Max still managed to jump on the arm of the couch where I was resting my head. He purred and rubbed his head against my head, something he likes to do, especially when I'm doing laundry or bending over for some reason. After a few rubs he gently kissed me on the forehead, turned around, and walked away. It was so unexpected and cute that I had to smile, and my mood improved from then on.

Today I'm still not feeling so well, although not as bad as yesterday. But I feel a little rosier after getting a kiss for luck last night.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

So blah

Today I woke up tired, but okay. I ate my usual Cheerios—sharing them, of course, with the dogs—and went upstairs to take a shower. When I was getting out, I started feeling super queasy, which I found odd. The feeling passed and I left for work soon after.

On my way to work, I stopped for my daily coffee from the local Philips (only 86 cents!). After a few sips I started having bad stomach pains, but not like digestive pains or anything. More like my stomach muscles were really tight and contracted, and my stomach just hurt. I couldn't figure out what was wrong. I hadn't been eating anything weird lately. Heck, I haven't been eating anything lately period, thanks to a lovely thing called a diet (I'm still majorly loving Lose It!, by the way). I did have a salad...maybe my body was rejecting the first large helping of healthy vegetables I had consumed in weeks?

Needless to say, I felt like crap most of the day, and even tonight, while I was on the treadmill doing a gentle but brisk walk. What is up with my body? I can lay in an isolation booth for a month, eating nothing but carefully measured and selected meals, and I will STILL develop some sort of stomach, head, body, mouth, or any other kind of pain imaginable. It's days like these when I feel like giving up the good fight and just grabbing that bag of Doritos out of the pantry. I'm puffy and feel uncomfortable in my own skin, much of that caused by whatever bug or food is passing through me.

But I always stop myself short, and instead turn to other things as a distraction. Sleep is a good one because it's not only beneficial, but I can just fast forward to the end of the day and start all over in the morning with a clean slate. Television can be a nice way to zone out and forget what's bugging me, but I often get stuck watching something dull on the Military Channel with Pete. That's a bit too much zoning out for my tastes.

And then, of course, there's blogging. If I want to pour my feelings out, relate a funny story, or share some cool pix, that's the route to go. And here I am, writing this while my stomach continues to cramp, my husband snores away on the couch, and I find myself wishing it were 10:00 so I could justify going to bed right away. (It's only 8:15. Damn.)

After having several good, amazing days where I felt pretty healthy, was energetic, and happy, these kind of days hit me like a ton of bricks. What to do in such a situation? Get up, shake myself off, and move on, I suppose. At least my diet is benefiting from my lack of food desire...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

An interview

Char has been kind enough to interview me, and here are the questions and answers from that interview:

1. Tell me your favorite game as a child along with a fun memory of playing. I love the details, so feel free to elaborate.

I loved anything that involved the imagination, and making stuff. My sister Sam and I were usually partners in play, and would always come up with some sort of fantasy together. We loved making our own magazines, audio stories, and pop songs.

One of our favorite things was playing with our vast collection of stuffed animals. We created an entire world around them called Animalville, complete with elaborate names, family relationships, and unique jobs. It didn't matter what sort of creatures they were, either. Stuffed monkeys were married to stuffed geese, and stuffed bears were roommates with stuffed birds. We even had the younger stuffed animals attend a confirmation class together, and whipped up matching vests and skirts for the final ceremony.

2. You have a lot of fur babies, so I’m guessing you’re an animal person. Besides cats and dogs, what are some other animals that you adore?

I think the question should be, what are some animals I DON'T adore? Seriously, I've had almost every pet imaginable: raccoon, toad, frog, chameleon, gerbil, hamsters, guinea pigs, earthworms, an ant farm, sparrow, snake, fish, an iguana...I guess I still haven't had a pony or anything like that, but just about everything else. I can't be trusted going anywhere near Petsmart's adoption center or any sort of animal shelter, because I will absolutely melt and give in to the first cute face I see. Strays seem to sniff me out because they know I'm a softie.

3. I adore those orange and red slippers in one of your photos. Where did you get them and tell me more about how you developed such refined taste in shoes.

The monkey slippers are from Target. You can get them in the socks section, and they're relatively inexpensive (under $15, I think). I'm ready for a new pair because mine are rather nasty looking right now.

As for shoes, I've always had an extreme love for footwear, ever since I was a young lass. Sam and I used to walk down the sidewalk together, posing our pretty shoes side by side, saying things like, "Only $9.99!" as if we were on a shoe commercial. And of course I used to tap dance in front of anything reflective and twirl til I was dizzy, whenever I wore an especially stylin' pair of dress shoes.

Now that I'm an adult and can buy my own shoes, that love has just deepened and gotten a bit crazy, I must say. To me, shoes are like wearable works of art. And no matter how out of shape or moody I am, if I just put on a pretty pair of shoes, I instantly feel better. I think I've become a bit of a collector, and my collection has certainly grown in the last few years. My favorite thing is to do a little shoe parade when I'm feeling fashion-y, and try on shoes from my collection that I don't often wear. Yes, I'm a big, big dork.

4. What’s your favorite food and why?

I don't know if I have a favorite food, but I have several that I really like. Foods like McDonald's french fries, Breyer's mint chocolate chip ice cream (or any ice cream, for that matter), chocolate and candy in general, pizza, chips, soda, bread, cheese, cheeseburgers, pretty much anything fried or salty or fatty or sugary. Coffee, too, is a favorite, and I'm rather fond of Starbucks. Sadly, I can't eat most of these foods because my delicate digestive system doesn't really like them anymore. But candy is the one thing I can still tolerate, so I keep eatin' away, much to the chagrin of my scale and my jeans.

5. So, did you love or hate your senior prom? Why?

Neither. I didn't go. I was a huge nerd in high school (not so much before that), and I mean huge: very overweight, pimply, glasses, very shy, not a very fashionable dresser, weird in musical tastes (I was way into the Beatles while everyone else was into Depeche Mode), and I guess just an odd bird in general. So no one was exactly beating my door down to get a date with me.

I was the Artist of the Year for 1991, which was one of my saving graces. I was always the artist of the school, from kindergarten on, and held such respectable roles as homeroom decorator in junior high. I earned a modicum of respect that way, I suppose. I used to draw things for people all the time, so I avoided being at the absolute bottom of the social scale in high school.

But yeah. The prom? No. I always wished I could have gone, and I've told my husband Pete that someday I'd like to go out with him, all dudded up, somewhere nice to dance and dine, as a little consolation prize to myself.

Want to be interviewed by me? These are the rules:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions.)

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I can use one of these right now

Anyone who knows me well knows how I feel about squirrels—essentially I think they're a weird concept—but this made me laugh. I love the cup of coffee on hand for the client—a nice touch of added indulgence.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Missing the hubby

Pete, recently passed out on the couch with his safety glasses still on

Poor Pete has been working 12-hour days for the last four days now. And while the money is great, especially these days, he's still totally wiped out. I've barely seen him all weekend, and he's only had enough energy to come home and crash out on the couch. He's been getting up at 4 to get to work by 6, and then doesn't make it home til 8:30-9 at night (he works waaay far from home). Today we're celebrating the January birthdays in our family, and he probably won't be able to attend his own party.


It was so quiet...

...that yes, you COULD hear a pin drop around here this weekend. It's funny, because I'm usually pretty busy during the week and don't have much time to blog or do other fun stuff on the computer. But when the weekend comes, I love nothing more than to catch up on what everyone else is doing. Funny thing is, no one is around on the weekends, and I always wonder why. I know some people have trips or parties planned, or just can't get to a computer (many people can only blog at work). But what about the others?

For me, it's a time to catch up, to play with my cameras, to surf the 'net and (now) update my Facebook profile. I want to get into some good discussions, find some cool new blogs, and email back and forth with my blogging buddies. But no one's home. Hey, where'd everybody go???

I think I can hear some crickets chirping too, it's so quiet...

Ah well, back to whatever I was doing. I'll see you all around on Monday!

P.S. In case you were wondering—which you probably weren't—my posts appear at 4:30 a.m. or thereabouts most days because I write and schedule them ahead of time. This way they appear first thing in the morning, and everyone can take a look throughout the day. I like being able to see what people say and get emails about comments while I'm at work or running errands (yes, I'm attached rather firmly to my iPhone, if you haven't noticed). Sometimes I add posts later in the day, as they come to me or as needed, but mainly I'm very fond of scheduling.

(Photo credit unknown)