Interstellar Adventures

December 15, 2008

Nothing like a party to make a house a home

Filed under: Family & Friends,Interstellar Casa,Mr. Wonderful,Texas Life,Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 12:40 am

I finally got around to having a “Housewarming Party” nearly six months after we moved in. Which is exactly what I needed to get touch-ups done and pictures hung on the wall. I’m not proclaiming that all boxes are unpacked. No, in fact, quite a few got stuffed into closets. But the walls have less spackle-patches and paint splotches, and there are pictures on the walls.

Nick let out his inner decorating diva and made the place all Christmassy. Except for the tree, the majority of the decorating was done by him, with some suggestions (and some nixing of ideas) from me. His favorite idea took a while to come by, and also conquered one of our decorating challenges – the stairwell landing wall. Going through a bunch of crap at my mom’s house this fall, I came upon a bunch of old LPs. Which I greedily took and didn’t offer to share with my sibs. I’ve picked up a few more LPs at a discount book store, and bought a turn table. So we picked our favorites of some album artwork and used LP frames to make art!

Saturday I roasted and turkey and warmed up a ham, and my friends brought over side-dishes and desserts, and we had an in-law-less Christmas dinner. ALL contributions to the dinner were excellent, including some perfectly spicy jalapeno au gratin potatoes, and some beyond delicious creamed brussel sprouts. My friend Steph also brought me some beautiful flowers and champagne, which I will soon enjoy in some mimosas.

I also made Christmas sugar cookies with royal icing. Not something I will sanely choose to do again. It took me forever to get the cookies rolled out and cut. The recipe I found called for the dough to be chilled. My friend that makes the most beautiful decorated cookies told me I had the wrong recipe – hers don’t get chilled. Then, the icing. Everywhere. What a mess! I didn’t even decorate all the ones I baked, and I was exhausted. So much so that I forgot to make my cranberry sauce and only had jellied sauce. So now I have two bags of cranberries. They’ll get used though, so no worries. No one stayed too late. Mostly because I now live in BFE, and I know that it took some people about 45 minutes at least to get home.

I love my house. Just sometimes I wish I could pick it up and land, Dorothy-style, somewhere else. Except I love driving up the two-lane, tree-lined asphalt road to get home some days. For about 45 seconds I don’t feel like I live in one of the largets metropolitain areas in the nation. I like the ranch that I drive by on my way to work every day. And it tickled me to no end to see them harvesting crops at the end of the summer. But all around are new subdivisions (yes, the builders are actually still building, though not as fast), and the roads are scheduled to be widened, and then I will have to move somewhere else in 10 years to get away from it.

I can’t wait to have more parties at my house. Good thing I have so many beds! My friends can all stay the night if they decide they don’t want to drive all those miles back home.

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December 10, 2008

Still Kickin’ It

I’m sure this place barely has a pulse. And this is probably a lame attempt at CPR. But, nonetheless, here I am. My friend Ben decided to check up on me and pushed me just enough to get me to post. I like it when people care. 🙂

Since we moved, Pop passed away, the kids started new schools, Nick went back to school, and work started kicking my ass, I haven’t been inspired to post much. Many of my thoughts made me sound like a whiney-ass bitch, and though I am, I still don’t want to sound like it.

Elle’s birthday came and went and we had a slumber party with 10+ 9-10 year olds. I realized several things that night. First, Elle has some serious bossiness issues, and I (privately) told her she was acting like a brat at her own party. Second, I wanted to tell about 5 other girls at the parties that I thought they were being bratty, but they were not my kids, so I just reminded them to play nice. Thirdly, I wished I could tell 5 other parents that their preshus babees are brats, but they are soccer parents and we have to play nice. Fourth, I hoped that Elle never acts the way these girls did when I’m not around. Fifth, it will be a long time before I have another slumber party for little girls.

Zed nearly failed algebra (8th grade honors math) last six weeks. This was the first time I’ve ever really had to ride him about his grades. He has taken on a lot more school work this year, with 3 honors classes, and he has been involved in athletics, which takes extra time. But he also lazes around a lot. Mostly he’s been a great teenager though. So far. Knock on wood. He picked it up, and we haven’t had any issues since. I know it will make you all jealous, but the worst problem I have with him is that he leaves his bike in the driveway. I know, I know. He’s too good!

Nick has been having some health issues, and near the end of the summer was diagnosed with Hemochromatosis. Basically my baby is Iron Man. Literally. He retains high levels of iron in his blood, which is extremely toxic, and can cause life-threatening side effects and diseases if not treated. Fortuately his diagnosis was made very early (I can be very persuasive) and tests revealed no damage to organs commonly affected. He has visisted a stream of doctors as a result, and we are still trying to get everything into balance through regular treatment. But he is still plagued by some of the side effects of the disorder, but is actually getting better, though some days it doesn’t seem that way. He has also gone back to school, and is working on finishing his associates before transferring to a four-year program.

And I have been working my tail off. And staying at very nice hotels when traveling. And meeting really cool people while I’m on the road. I’ve been sticking my neck out into some uncomfortable territory, creating a role, and lining myself up to be promoted into it. Which, as brave as I appear to be on the outside, I am really a scared little chicken-shit on the inside. The first time I gave my pitch I finished with a very wet shirt back and waistband. I hate it when I get all nervous and my voice wavers and my hands shake. I can do this dammit!

My birthday has come and gone as well. I’m now in my “mid-thirties” and I think I’m starting to show my age. Seems like the skin on the cheeks isn’t as smooth and shiney as it used to be. And my hands are starting to look old too. I’m moisturizing like a mad woman, trying to get back that baby smooth feel.

So all in all, yes Ben, I’m OK. Just busy living, turning my new house into a home, trying to bring home more bacon, and loving my family more and more every day. I’ll try to do a better job of being around. Things are staring to get interesting again, and I’m feeling pretty good after this post. Mwah!

July 9, 2008

Monkey pajamas

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Family & Friends,It's Me, Lass,Mr. Wonderful — by InterstellarLass @ 10:08 pm

I downloaded photos off my camera the other day. There was a photo of Elle and Pop that I took a couple of weeks before he died. It was when we realized that Pop wasn’t going to get better, and I had to talk to Elle about dying. She was quite upset, and she said she wanted a picture of Pop. So I suggested they take the photo together. Elle was wearing her monkey pajamas Pop bought her (well, Nick bought on behalf of Pop) for Christmas. She’s worn the heck out of those pajamas.

Elle & Pop

I love how Pop put on a smile for the camera. This was taken 12 days before he died. There was so much change in those last 12 days, but he actually looked really good in this picture. He still had the life in his eyes here. It was two weeks yesterday that he passed. We’re still in a fog.

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I traveled for work yesterday and today. After my obligations yesterday, I got to visit my grandfather. When I saw him in December, he was still himself, able to talk even though he didn’t make much sense. When I saw him yesterday, I was more prepared than before. And I think having seen Pop decline recently maybe numbed the shock of seeing my granddaddy. But he was much thinner, and has greatly lost his ability to speak. Supposedly he has been having small strokes, which mostly go undetected, but affect his cognative ability. He’s also stopped eating due to issues with being able to swallow. So, he’s had a feeding tube installed, which is keeping him alive. He’s had some therapy, but really there isn’t much more that can be done for him. I was glad to get to see him again.

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I feel like coming by here has been so depressing lately. It has been a sad time, but we aren’t just sitting around moping. We’re moving on with life as we should. We’re trying to figure out what the next steps for Nick will be. School is a possibility, which I think would be wonderful for him. We’re still exploring the options though. Right now he’s assembling furniture and moving things around. And being cute and sweet and stuff. Last weekend we celebrated the third anniversary of our first date (because we’re big dorks like that). He’s my sweetie.

May 5, 2008

Anniversaries

Filed under: Family & Friends,Mr. Wonderful — by InterstellarLass @ 7:43 pm

Today we celebrated a couple of things. Firstly, today was one year ago that Pop moved in with us. It seems like he’s been here forever, and I mean that in a good way. I think he’s much better off than he was when he was living by himself those last few months. And despite his fall back in December, with therapy and TLC, his arm has healed and he’s getting around pretty well.

Today is also Nick and my ‘monthiversary’ of our first date. Yes. We still celebrate that. And Starbucks thanks us. And, true to last year, today was hectic. Last year Nick was driving Pop back from El Paso, and we were exhausted by the time they got home. So we skipped Starbucks. Today, we had four showings on the house, and Nick and Pop were exhausted. So tonight we skipped Starbucks too. No matter, we’ll go on Wednesday night for our free Pike Place Roast.

So, we sit here, tiredly looking at each other across the living room at critiquing Mario’s dance moves on Dancing With the Stars. Ah, love, ain’t it grand?

May 1, 2008

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Filed under: Interstellar Casa,It's Me, Lass,Mr. Wonderful — by InterstellarLass @ 10:21 pm

Yesterday, we ACTUALLY listed our house for sale. I can’t remember how many times I thought I was *thiiiiis close* to being “done”, but by this last weekend, we were ‘done enough’ to get photos taken and the listing made. There are still a few nails to counter-sink, and some paint touch-ups to make, but all of the major components are in place.

I thought that would be a relief. But not so much. Because of course, every day in the news the stories about the housing market decline get worse and more depressing. And my mom works for a realtor continuing education company. The news she hears there is depressing too. So, of course, NOW I’m worried about how long it is going to take to actually SELL the house.

Of course, a miracle could happen, and it could sell this weekend. But I’m not going to try to hold my breath as long as David Blaine waiting for that to happen.

Today, Nick had a dental appointment. A big one. So I took a half day off and went to the dentist with him to hold his hand. He HATES having dental work done. I seriously considered taking him to a sedation dentist. But with the help of about 7 vials of numbing agent, a raquet ball, and some Sinatra, he made it through the 2.5 hour appointment.

I also had my running class tonight. We’re on week 4 I think. And since the 3rd night, I have been struggling. That 3rd night I had a GREAT run. Everything felt wonderful, in place, moving as it should. And then BAM! I’ve been in pain ever since. My hip, my knee, my ankles, my calves. They are not cooperating AT.ALL. In fact, I think they are in a conspiracy against me. Well, I’m not giving in. I’ll move slower, at a walk if I have to, but I am not giving up.

Tomorrow, Iron Man comes out. I’m taking the day off and Nick and I are going to the first showing. We’ve been waiting for this since someone used their iPhone to pirate a copy of the trailer shown at the Comicon in San Diego last year. I love Jon Favreau, and of course, Robert Downey, Jr. Hottttiie!!! And then I plan to just chill.

Actually, I’ll probably try to do some of the aforementioned painting touch ups, but then again, maybe not.

March 13, 2008

Progress

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Family & Friends,Interstellar Casa,Mom Life,Mr. Wonderful — by InterstellarLass @ 2:10 am

There’s all kinds of progress going on around here.

Pop is making good progress with his therapy. He has a couple of ladies come a couple of times a week. One works his arms, the other works his legs. He’s more steady on his feet now, and can walk a little further than he could before.

Elle is making progress at school – with her new testing accommodations. A test that was administered in January was readministered in a more isolated setting just a few weeks later, and she increased her score by 20 points. TAKS scores come back week after next. Hopefully there was progress there too.

Elle is also making progress in soccer. She’s playing goalie fairly consistently, and improving her skills there. According to her team manager, she made many tough saves in last weekend’s indoor championship game, helping her team win. Friday night she and I are going to a district match between two of the area’s top high school girl’s teams.

Zed is making progress – growing up. Every day he looks more like a teenager. His grades remain great, he’s doing well in band, and he’s even making progress in athletics. He’s increasing his weight-lifting poundage capacity.

Zed is also making progress in the fantastic kid category. Of course, I’ve always thought he was fantastic. Most of the time. But he’s becoming more responsible and more helpful. And his dad finally noticed. For which I am glad, but I also throw huge kudos to Nick. He’s an amazing step-dad to my kids.

Nick is making progress on de-cluttering the house. The man is truly great at laundry, and when he sets his mind to it, he can clear a room in a matter of minutes.

Nick and I are both making progress on the house. After this weekend, we hope to have the house listed and a sign in the yard by Monday or Tuesday. Nope, I can’t belive we finally made it either. In the triangle of project management there are three keys – scope, cost, and time. They all impact each other in some way when one or another becomes a constraint. Don’t have the time? Better have lots of money and a little scope. Our constraint was cost. Therefore timeline extended. Ah well. Can’t change physics or the space-time continuum. It is what it is.

I’m making progress at work – when I’m not being pulled in four different directions. I’m finally loving my  job again. It’s keeping me busy, and even when I get a breath, new network configurations keep me from visting anyone that doesn’t have their own domain. Sigh.

And, despite my lack of updates, I’m making progress in the workout arena. Last week I was down 4 lbs. A drop in the bucket, but progress where I was seeing none, despite my effort.

Hopefully after we list I’ll have time to make progress and come around and visit a few people soon.

January 15, 2008

Cutting him off

Filed under: Married Life,Mr. Wonderful — by InterstellarLass @ 10:57 pm

Nick is no longer allowed control of the DVR remote. I nicely requested that he record the AI audition show tonight. He must have just pretended to set the recording, because when I went to watch it…yeah. NO SHOW!

I deserve to watch a good train wreck just as much as the next gal. I don’t watch the competition, just the auditions. It’s always good for a laugh.

This isn’t the first time something I wanted recorded didn’t get recorded. I think there may be a conspiracy against me. So that’s it. No more DVR control.

October 18, 2007

A New Spin on Date Night

Filed under: Family & Friends,It's Me, Lass,Married Life,Mr. Wonderful — by InterstellarLass @ 9:29 am

I’ve got two men at home that love to take me out. Yesterday Nick called me at work yesterday and slightly painfully asked if we had any plans for the evening. Suspicious, I said “No, Why?” “Dad wants to go to Penney’s to buy new underwear.” Oh. Well, we can do that. Last Wednesday we gave up our ‘free’ night to take him to Target and Walgreens to look for some reading glasses that have a little more magnification. I could tell that Nick didn’t want to give up our night this week either, but Pop needed skivvies.

So, we went to dinner, then to Penney’s. Nick procured a wheelchair for Pop, courtesy of the lovely service desk lady, and at the cost of his driver’s license. And we proceeded to shop. Nick was pushing Pop, and we were mostly staying on the main aisle, with me wandering in between the clothing racks and stands. Because there just wasn’t a lot of room to maneuver the wheelchair. It’s been at least 5 or 6 years since I shopped with a stroller, and longer since I shopped with a full-size stroller. (Ah, the day when we could move to the umbrella stroller! What bliss that was!)

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October 17, 2007

The Kinkster

Filed under: Mr. Wonderful,Texas Life — by InterstellarLass @ 7:26 am

 I let Nick out of the house last night on a special dispensation, and look at the riff raff* he goes to hang out with. Last kitchen pass I give him for a while… 😉

*Just for those of you that live outside of Texas, this is Kinky Friedman, Texas Jewboy and former (and future) candidate for the governorship of the great Republic of Texas. Nick went and had a stogie with him, bought his book and had it signed. Our Kinky Library is now complete.

October 16, 2007

Rainout

Filed under: Elle & Zed,It's Me, Lass,Mr. Wonderful,Real Good Food — by InterstellarLass @ 3:27 pm

Yesterday we experienced a deluge. Our streets were flooded. The creek that runs near my house and directly behind both kids’ school was overflowing onto the street just down from Elle’s school. In the three years I’ve lived in my ‘hood, I’ve never seen the creek flowing out onto the street. It was insane.

As a result of the rain, Zed’s football game was rained out. It wasn’t actually raining at gametime, but the fields are in a low area, and were thus still drenched. So I cooked dinner instead of rushing to pick up some fast food or restaurant dinner. I made grilled chicken panini’s, with fresh pesto (made by me), salad, and pita chips. Mostly good for you I think.

*****

I was listening to the radio the other day, and I heard this song. I thought it was such a romantic song and a really sweet tribute to his girl.

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Zed made a request for sausage tonight. Not exactly low in fat. But he had some at the state fair this last weekend and raved over it. And it’s a good thing I sent Nick off to hang out with Kinky Friedman this evening. Because it’s pecan wood smoked sausage, and I don’t think he wants to try the sausage. Because of his nut allergy. If someone is allergic to nuts, is smoking meat in wood from a nut tree going to transmit the allergin? I don’t think so, but he doesn’t want to seem to risk it.

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