Friday, November 11, 2005

Excrutiating minutiae.

Another sitcom quote--Seinfeld this time!

I'm trying to keep up with my blog a little better. Everything is so blah here, though. We've been coming home in the evenings and vegging out, which isn't really like us, but we're both tired and frustrated at the end of the day lately. I feel like I've got pebbles in the shoe of my soul. Hm, that's almost a pun, isn't it?

I drove around to five different houses with my realtors yesterday was pretty good. I wanted to go back today so Todd could see it, and maybe write an offer...this morning our realtor told us it's already in contract. It was in contract when I looked at it yesterday--the listing agent simply didn't bother to mention that fact. I absolutely feel in the depths of my mind that we will never own a house. I know I get discouraged easily, but that's because nothing encouraging has ever, ever happened when we get involved in real estate!

It's easier to be content when I just don't look at houses for a few weeks. Our neighborhood here is so beautiful right now. I've always loved living here; each season seems like the most beautiful, until you get to the next one. The development is full of large trees and's like living in a park. If only we owned this dumb place, it'd be perfect.

I've been rearranging the store like mad this week. It's been quite fun. It's the one part of my job I really do like--straightening, consolidating, making things look better and more appealing, making displays that are easy for a customer to look at. I guess it's hardly surprising--that's the part of scrapbooking I like the best too! Finding just the right place for everything! Now I just need to apply that talent to our home.

For years, I'd been very organized with our possessions, keeping things organized and arranged, weeding out things on a regular basis. I like having a tidy house. But then we moved twice in less than a year's time, and it all fell apart and I've never gotten a grip on it since! In the fall, I always want to clean closets and get rid of things, but this fall there has been no time at all for that. I need to make the time--we've got a downstairs closet that's like a black hole. Stuff goes in, but it doesn't come out.

This is such a boring post, I want to delete it, but it's just as easy to hit publish instead. I guess.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Grocery delights.

I've been surfing around reading a few other people's blogs this afternoon, and I feel like mine is BOOORING!

Then again, my life is pretty boring, so that doesn't give me much blog fodder.

How boring is my life? Well, I made a trip to our new grocery store this morning and it was definitely the highlight of my week.

We have a plaza with a bunch of empty storefronts just up the road, and an effort is being made to fill the plaza and spiff it up some. So Farm Fresh put in a new store in one of the empty sections. We have a couple Farm Fresh stores over in Newport News, and I go to the one every so often, but this is great to have one right up the road.

Here's how truly boring our lives are--Todd ran over to the plaza to pick up Chinese food a couple weeks ago, and called me all in a tizzy because the Farm Fresh had just opened. We weren't expecting it to open so soon, since the sign had just gone up, and construction in Virginia seems to take about five times longer than it did in Ohio.

The conversation went:

"Hey, guess what? That new Farm Fresh is open!"


"YEAH! I'm in here right now!"


"YEAH! It's so cool!"

Weep for us poor thirty-something homebody losers, gentle reader.

Anyway, I finally made it over to check it out for myself, and it's quite nice. I'm a bit of a food snob. I don't really like to cook, and I don't eat right, but I like to have the option of cooking and eating right when the desire hits me.

I like seeing fancy spaghetti sauces and whole-grain breads and cheese with names I can't pronounce. I adore seeing well-lit, beautifully arranged produce and ethnic food sections that encompass more than just Italian and Mexican. I like finding foods from companies other than General Mills and Kraft.

And I don't mind paying a little more for the experience, either. Our other neighborhood grocery store is a Food Lion, and it's about the least-inspired grocery store I've ever seen. It's nice to have a pretty grocery store finally. I don't care if that makes me shallow.

Because I was there mid-morning, it was just me and a handful of senior citizens, so I walked right up to the smiling waiting cashier who said, "I can take you right here," had my groceries bagged in paper bags by a lovely girl, and then had a very nice gentleman wheel them out and load them in the car for me. I can't remember the last time I was attended by three whole people at a grocery store. I felt like Queen Elizabeth surrounded by courtiers.

This Farm Fresh also has a program where you can shop online, send in your order, then drop by and pick it up. The fee is only $4.50. I can't begin to tell you how tempted I am by this feature. It seems incredibly decadent to pay someone else to do my grocery shopping for me.

But you know, everything was so bright and pretty, I think I can suck it up and shop for myself for a while longer.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Leafy, leafy.

That's a Phoebe quote from Friends, by the way...for some reason, Todd and I have been quoting it for, oh, ten years now. It's just fun to say.

A few fall foliage pictures from our Sunday drive along the Colonial Parkway. This is a limited-access tourist road that connects Yorktown, Williamsburg and Jamestown, and runs along some of the prettiest rivers and streams you'll ever see.

I think this one on the left is sooo pretty. Love all the grasses and weedy stuff in the foreground.

This one below was taken in roughly the same spot as the other one, just facing the opposite direction.

That's all for now--Todd wants his dinner for some dumb reason. Heh.


Someday it will dawn on me that ingesting caffeine after 4 pm guarantees a jittery sleepless night. But I guess I'm a slow learner.

I had wonderful iced tea with dinner tonight...what a dope. Saturday night, I had wonderful coffee with'd think the lesson would have lingered in my tiny brain a little longer. It's 1:45 and I am sleepy yet agitated. My brain's all jumpy.

So I thought I'd write what my SBF girlfriends call a "ketchup post."

Store news: I am so eager to quit my job. However--

My friend Cheryl is taking over as manager, and there will be a desperate need for several part-timers. Much as I'd like to drop a lighted match on the carpet and run away from that place forever...I am needed. At least for a couple afternoons a week. And since I know I will miss that paycheck, miniscule as it will be, I think I am stuck there for the forseeable future.

But No Teaching and No Weekends. On this there can be no compromise!

Designing news: I finished 14 cards for the Paper Crafts book I was asked to contribute to. Last week I had to make some last-minute changes, type up all the supply lists and instructions and mail them off. It was a panicky day or two, but oh, what a relief to drop them in the bin at the post office.

Consequently, I am finding it hard to get enthused about creating anything for the latest magazine call that entered my e-mail inbox a few weeks ago. It's for an issue I've had a lot of luck with in the past, but I am having a hard time forcing myself to sit and stamp. What I have come up with has been less than good.

However, I discovered a new company that has no design team that I'm aware of, and that I would like to work for. So tonight I directed my energy to making a layout with their stuff. I'd like to make three or four layouts, plus a couple cards, and toss them out to see if I can get a bite. The first layout went together well...I haven't scrapped a page in EONS.

Life news: We're slowly making our way through Season 1 of Gilmore Girls on DVD. I'm completely amused by how much Todd likes it. Because it's a fairly girly show. But we just fast forward through that dreadful Carole King theme song, and try to ignore the super-girly "da-da-da" vocal snippets that get played during scene changes. I'm soooo not a chick-flick kind of woman, but this is a good show. The acting and writing are excellent, and it pulls you right in. Definitely in the same vein as Ed and Northern Exposure, but with female protagonists, which is a mighty refreshing change.

My aunt, uncle and cousin came down for a day visit last weekend, and we took them up to Yorktown for lunch, walked along the river and nearly froze to death, and walked through the town, which was only slightly less cold. My cousin Alan lives in Charlottesville, which is about two hours away from us, so John and Molly decided to drive on out to us during their weekend visit to Alan.

It was such a great little visit...we appreciated them making the trip!

We went to a Halloween party/poker game that Saturday night at our friends Dawn and Dave's house. I am feeling such a desire to entertain. We just have no room in this condo to have a party. Having two or three people over is pushing it. One of my many regrets about losing that house in September was that it was laid out perfectly for entertaining. Ah well. Maybe I'm just not ever meant to break out of my "I hate people" persona.

This past weekend we drove up the Colonial Parkway to Williamsburg to look at the fall foliage, which really started looking glorious about a week ago. I had made a rush trip to Williamsburg on Thursday and I wanted to go back when I had time and a camera to get some shots of the leaves. I'd upload the pictures right now, but Todd has hidden his digital camera somewhere, and I can't find it. Maybe tomorrow.

I'm really not sure how I'm feeling about life right now. I seem to veer wildly between quite cranky and fairly mellow. It's a fun ride. *eye roll*

I still feel like I need that breathing room and I'm not getting it. Cheryl started at the store today and I was showing her the ropes and talking through some of the issues with her, and I am so sick of devoting precious brain power to that place. I desperately want to turn it all over to someone else and walk out the door and never come back. The problems are big...I've been unable to do anything about them...and now I simply don't care. But Cheryl does and she needs my help, at least for a while. Ugh. I can't believe I'm sitting here in the wee hours thinking about that store. Double ugh. It's sucking the life out of me!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Life in a Nutshell

(Stole my favorite Barenaked Ladies song for the title there)

I can't believe October is over. And that I lived through it. And that I blogged so little of it. And that November is supposed to be my "finally get a break" month and it's not looking good at all for that break. That nice little mental health, take a few days and make a plan break.

I guess I'm finally an adult. I've spent so much of my life avoiding being busy, now it's my turn for that crazy 21st-century lifestyle that I've been hearing so much about.

I've always been someone who needed lots of time to just think. Think my thoughts. Daydream and skygaze. It's part of the reason I don't have kids, since I have it on good authority that a mother doesn't get so much as an unaccompanied bathroom break until all her kids leave home for good. I need my alone time!

On the other hand, I am also a person who is prone to sliding into deep pits of introspection that lead into deeper pits of depression if I'm left unattended too long, so it really is good for me to be busy and have stuff to tend to and people to talk to.

I just gotta find that perfect balance. Ha ha.

In other news, look at what greeted me at the door last night:

I knew I was going to be getting home after dark, so I called Todd and told him to pick up some Halloween candy on his way home from work. I never know if we'll have T-or-T-ers or not...I didn't even really think about the candy factor until about 4 p.m. Monday.

So when I rounded the corner of the house, there was Sir Todd in full SCA garb, handing out Nutty Bars to the rugrats. Yes, Nutty Bars. His heart was in the right place, but Todd still doesn't grasp the concept of Halloween CANDY, apparently.

And he only bought three boxes of Nutty Bars, which he went through in about 15 minutes. And the kids kept ringing the doorbell. There ensued a mad rummage through the pantry, which only yielded a bag of little raisin boxes from some past healthy-eating kick of mine.

So a bunch of neighborhood kids were very disappointed at the end of the evening, to up-end their bags and find a box of raisins in with all the good stuff. It was dark, so Todd was able to hide the truth of what he was putting in their bags...otherwise, I think he might have gotten some really evil toddler looks.

But isn't he cute in his costume? Made my heart totally melt.

I had more stuff to share, but i think I'll save it for later.