Tuesday, October 18, 2005

My day

Various happenings in my day today...

I had my very first ever pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks this morning. My friend Suzanne has been raving about these for a few years, and she's right--they're yummy. (Apparently Suzanne indulges in these so often that her 5-year-old son thinks there should be a Harry Potter-type spell called "pumpkinspicelatte.")

I indulged in three seconds of beauty when an orange butterfly landed on a pink flower right in front of my windshield at the Schlotsky's where I met Todd for lunch.

I told Todd that his company needs to stop hiring guys straight out of college, because it's making me feel really old when I meet them. (Two of the newbies came to lunch today.)

My driver's side window broke again, leaving it stuck three inches down.

I had the easiest, fastest, pleasantest merchandise-return experience of my life at Old Navy.

I bought a black hoodie with white racing stripes on clearance, and it rang up for even less than the marked price...woo hoo!

I mailed my tags to Paper Crafts for the April/May 2006 issue. I was flattered--they asked me to make a couple tags to fill in some holes because my name came up as someone who could do fill-in projects with a quick turn-around. Woo hoo again!

And now I sit here blogging while I have, at last count, thirteen other things I could and should be doing. It has been a week or so of craziness...I worked all day every day last week and weekend while Karen was in Vegas at Memory Trends...today is my first day off in over a week. In the evenings, I've been working on cards for a Paper Crafts book I was asked to contribute to, which is the most exciting designer-type thing that's happened to me all year. It has been stressful to try to cram them in around work, but the actual creation process has been blissful. Of course, I still have two more to do, out of fourteen total, so I may still hit a snag. Those are all due on Friday.

John and Viv, my parents-in-law, are coming on Thursday for a visit, and John and Molly, my aunt and uncle, are coming down for a day trip on Saturday, which is also my birthday. So I am trying to get the house spiffed up a little...I let it fall soooooo far out of whack when I am working a lot.

The good thing is, I've been so busy, I haven't had time for my annual birthday funk, which started hitting me right around my 31st birthday and has made a repeat appearance every year since. I can't help it, it bothers me, getting older. It was fun till 30...now it just sucks. Three more days until 35 tackles me like a bully and pounds my face into the ground. Not that I'm upset about it or anything.

Monday, October 10, 2005

My guy.

Todd left Saturday morning for a few days on the Outer Banks with a pile of windsurfing friends from Ohio. This group is called Central Ohio Windsurfers (C.O.W.S.--their logo is a cow on a windsurfer) and every spring and fall they rent some houses on the Sound side of the OBX for whoever wants to hang out and catch some waves for a week.

Todd had gone down with the group several times while we were living in Ohio, and now he makes the much shorter trip down from here, usually just for part of the week, to see his friends and catch up on Ohio news and oh yes--windsurf!

It's Sunday night and I'm already missing the guy. I knew I would be working the whole time, because Karen is at Memory Trends and I'm running the store by myself all week, and when I'm not at the store, I am working on the cards for this Paper Crafts book...so I really thought it would be nice to have him gone so I could just focus.

But I miss him!

So I thought this would be a good occasion to talk a little bit about this guy who lurks in the background of my blog world. I have beenfriends with Todd for almost 20 years, ever since our senior year of high school. We've been married for more than thirteen years. And even after all that time, my world becomes a happier place every time he walks into the room.

Todd is quiet but gregarious. He loves the company of others, but he's usually sitting back and taking it all in, rather than out in the middle of the action. He loves women. I mean, he genuinely likes women...he likes to hear what they talk about and think about, and he shows so much respect to every woman he knows.

Todd is Hobby Guy. Over the years I've known him, he has:
--built his own speakers
--designed and sewed a sail for a catamaran
--sewed his own medieval garb for the Society of Creative Anachronism
--designed and built a suit of armor and a chain mail coif and a wooden mannequin to display it
--designed and made a shield
--designed and sewed a coat of arms banner
--modified a paintball gun to his own specifications and designed and built a rack for his paintball guns
--flown remote control airplanes
--dabbled in archery, fishing, gold-panning, and rollerblading
--become devoted to windsurfing

He has a garage full of machine tools and woodworking tools. He has the largest hammer collection I've ever seen. He is at his happiest when he can pursue a hobby that requires him to design, modify, or improve the equipment. He fairly hums with contentment when he's hunched over a workbench.

Todd is not a demonstrative guy with most of the people in his life. He's not real huggy or kissy, not physically affectionate with anyone, really, except for me. But when someone he cares about is talking to him, he completely listens to what they're saying. He hears so carefully and completely.

With me, Todd lets his affectionate side out, and he always has. His love language is touch...he always needs to hold hands and give gentle pats, and to be touched in return.

Todd is my rock in life. I never had a person in my life who accepted me completely for who I am, until I met him. And he doesn't just accept me or put up with me, he really enjoys me for who I am, warts and all. He helps me keep my sense of humor and my sense of perspective.

So I am blessed. Really, honestly blessed to have Todd in my life every day. Love you, sweetie! Be careful on the waves and come home safe!

As a matter of opinion
I think he's tops,
My opinion is he's the cream of the crop
As a matter of taste to be exact,
He's my ideal as a matter of fact!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Vegetable soup

The days are still pretty warm here, but the evenings are starting to cool down some. I bought some mini loaves of oatmeal bread at the relief sale and thought some soup would go nicely with the bread.

I found this recipe at Allrecipes.com last spring, and it is quick, easy and delicious. Oh, and good for you, too. I cooked some up after work tonight and it smelled great. Tasted wonderful with the bread! And warm apple pie for dessert...yeah, baby.

Quick and Easy Vegetable Soup

1 14-ounce can chicken broth

1 11.5-ounce can V-8 juice

1 cup water

1 large potato, diced

2 carrots, sliced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 cup chopped fresh or frozen green beans

1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

Salt and pepper to taste

Creole seasoning to taste (I don't know what Creole seasoning is, but I use Emeril's Essence in this, and it's quite good.)

In a large stock pot, combine broth, V-8 juice, water, potatoes, carrots, celery, undrained chopped tomatoes, green beans and corn. Season with salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until all vegetables are tender.

I love recipes like this because they are such a great way to use up odds and ends of frozen veggies, and you can add leftover meats or whatever.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Weekend hijinks

We had a super time Friday and Saturday with my brother Jeremy's family. For one thing, this was our first chance to see Marissa Kathryn, even though she's been available for viewing for almost four months. I feel terrible that it took so long to make it over to cuddle and smooch on her, but Jeremy and Tracy assure me that she wasn't much fun the first couple months, anyway. (Colic.)

So here she is.

She's at that point where she makes such expressive faces when you talk to her, and gurgles and crows back at you. She is precious. Here we are having a little conversation:

Here's Todd with Marissa and Natalie.

Natalie is a delight. She chatters nonstop and says the most hilarious things. And she absolutely adores Todd...she always has. Todd took his remote control plane to the backyard to fly it and Natalie was right there asking a million questions. Here he is fixing a part that came unglued during a landing--Natalie is supervising.

And here's our girl climbing on the swingset. Isn't she a beauty?

Nat is proud to be a big sister, but hasn't quite grasped yet that babies are delicate and not fond of being stepped on, head-butted, and otherwise manhandled. This was a relatively safe moment for Marissa...I like how Natalie is clasping her little hand.

Saturday we went to the Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like...all the Mennonite churches in Virginia get together to auction things for the relief work the Mennonite Church does here in the U.S. and around the world. Quilts are the big draw at these auctions, and go for a ton of money, but there are also art pieces, handcrafted wood items, etc. There's always an apple butter booth with a huge vat of apple butter bubbling away and jars to buy. A baked goods building with pies and breads and all manner of sinful delights. Ice cream and funnel cakes and lots of delicious food, cooked up and served by various churches from around the area.

I came away with an apple pie, a gallon of apple cider, and a quart of apple butter. Also a handcarved elephant from the Ten Thousand Villages booth. Todd is determined to one day buy a splendid quilt at the auction, but last year we couldn't bring ourselves to pay the kind of money it would take (anywhere from $500 to $2000), and this year, I didn't really see any that I coveted.

Here's Jeremy, Natalie and me at the sale. Can you believe we're brother and sister? He's only a foot taller than me. Sheesh.

It was great to hit the road and get out of town, even if just for a day or two. We came back Saturday night and I trudged off to work Sunday morning. But it was an awesome weekend.