Tuesday, November 27, 2007
There was the year that we bought our tree from Home Depot instead of actually cutting it from a tree farm. My sister, all of 8, emphatically claimed we were "Un-American!"
There are typical tales of fighting, spending too much, poor weather conditions, and driving all over town to find the perfect tree. But the best Christmas tree a-gittin' we ever had was once we were older. I'm not sure how old I was but I was at least in college. We drove to St. Francisville, north of Baton Rouge, to the Christmas tree farm. We entered the main gates, collected our hand saw and then drove to the parking area at the back of the farm.
We go out, joked about how bad it was going to be and started the trek out into the field to find our perfect tree. As we are walking into the rows of trees, there is a family emerging from them. The dad is walking about 25 yards in front of the mom and two kids. He looks aggravated, but you never know - that could just be his natural face. As we pass the mom, who also doesn't look real happy, one of the two little kids asks "Mommy, why didn't we get the tree?" to which she replied in the sweetest voice "...because your Daddy is an asshole, baby."
We all choked back our laughter until we got away from them and then let loose. From that year on, getting the tree was always full of laughter and joking and a little comfort in knowing we weren't the only family with tree issues.
So next year, when our "Christmas tree a-gittin'..." only consists of taking the tree box out of the attic, I'm going to retell all the stories I did this year. Although the thought of strapping it to the roof of the Jeep and driving around town kind of seems like fun too. (like our small town doesn't talk about the LSU fans enough!)
Monday, November 26, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
So this year, I said we were having a tree. I had attempted to buy an artificial one to no avail on Friday. But this morning, someone masquerading as my husband said that they wanted to go into town and get a tree and a few other things and we were going to decorate for Christmas today.
Alrighty, we'll go. I thought he wanted to just get a cheap-o real one since I couldn't find the fake one on Friday. But no, he wanted to get the artificial one. So after some sticker shock at Target, we moved on down to Lowe's. And we found one for less than $100 which is pretty awesome. It didn't have lights on it, but I have a huge bucket of lights for the tree already.
Here's where it gets interesting. We started adding the lights at the bottom, working our way up to the top. And things when great until we got to the end of the middle section. And I thought we had another strand, but turns out, it decided not to work. So we have a tree up, but no lights on the top third of it. I'll have to pick some up tomorrow.
And while I'm not itching and there is no overwhelming pine smell in the house, the tree is really nice. So I guess I'll just get over not having the allergy reaction to go with my Christmas tree. For some reason, it's just not Christmas until I have a huge, red, welpy rash on my arms and I can't breathe for my throat swelling up. I guess I'll just have to make the best of going without.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
It's a lace knit piece that's being knit with a hand-dyed and hand-spun silk that's just unbelievable to work with. It's lovely in your hand but it's very fine and knots easily. Let's just say that I've given up working on untangling knots. Now, I just cut them out. I know from reading about this particular pattern that the beginning of it is treacherous because you knit from the longest side up. And you cast on 375 of the tiniest, thinnest stitches ever! So I worked on it during the entire afternoon yesterday. I cast on 375 stitches and was working my first row when tragedy struck.
My piece-of-crap knitting needles feature a cord with interchangeable needles that screw onto the ends. And if you don't keep checking to make sure they are screwed in, they come UNSCREWED and your needle falls apart in the middle of a row of something you've already done. Yes, well, this happened. And about 50 stitches fell off the needles and I freaked out, got upset and threw the entire thing across the room. I was still mad, more upset than anything, so I threw the book across the room too. The dogs are a little scared; I'm crying and LSU is losing.
So I got up, took 2 deep breaths (OK, maybe 10), petted the dogs to calm down and finally picked up the knitting to try and fix the piece. I had to rip out more than an hours worth of work and start from there. Keep in mind that when I had flipped out, I had been working for about 4 hours and was not even remotely close to finishing the second row. The project has 170 rows. I think at that rate, I'll be finished for Christmas in 2010.
Alas, I've gotten through the difficult time (well, at least the first one). I've completed 7 rows now and my opinion of its difficulty doesn't change. At this point the only thing getting me through is the thought of the recipient's pure joy when they see how I have toiled specifically for them. Because when I saw this pattern, I thought immediately of them. So away I toil...
Friday, November 23, 2007
So this morning, I went to Kohl's. Because obviously, I'm insane. We are going with an artificial tree this year because I'm so allergic and I'm quite upset about it. Well, I found one that has enough lights to meet my requirements and a price that meets T's requirements.
Did I find said tree? Well, of course I didn't! I found every other stupid thing in the ad, but not the tree. I finally found someone to ask and she said that she didn't know but if they had them, they'd be with the other Christmas stuff. Well, I searched everywhere - in, under, around... I crawled through stuff and under tables. And no, there was no tree to be found. Oh there was a stupid 5ft tree with 100 lights on it. But I DON'T THINK SO! I want the 7 1/2 ft tree with 800 lights on it!!
So I left... with nothing.... my only purchase on Black Friday you ask? Dog food.... all I bought was dog food....
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Low and behold, all three dogs were laying in rather close proximity to each other sleeping! Why is this a big deal? Well, because we've had B almost a year and it's never happened before! Rufus just simply won't allow it. He almost attacks B anytime he comes around. Rufus won't let him play, lay next to or anything! It's kind of sad, but I'm not yet sure how to fix it. We always thought Rufus would ease up about it eventually.
Well, I guess eventually has come - A YEAR LATER! It didn't last long enough for me to get a picture, but maybe B's been talking to Rufus about his heart worm treatment and Rufus is starting to sympathize a little. Whatever the reason, I'm thrilled!!
To all my family and friends (those I know and those that I don't know yet), I wish you a warm, happy, healthy Thanksgiving!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
When my mom and I were watching TV one day, I got excited at a program on the History Channel (one of my favorite channels). The program, you ask? What could possibly lead my mother to call me a nerd? "The History of Nails"! I was intrigued. We were 30 minutes in, watching in silence, when my mom loudly proclaims "You're a nerd!" and left the room. What can I say? It was interesting.
So what brings me to divulge this bit of information? Well, I just finished watching "The History of Thanksgiving" and now I'm watching "Modern Marvels: Cheese". Yes, both are on the History Channel. Yes, one was a documentary on the history of a holiday and the other is a documentary on cheese. And yes, I am a nerd.
I don't believe at this point it's something I could actually argue with a straight face.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
parades, fireworks, blowout extravaganzas, and a year long celebration
So while the rest of the state celebrated this state holiday, I drove into work this morning listening to my usual morning show. And the listeners were calling in with OK informational tidbits and "you know you're an Okie if...." statements. Well, while I thought we were slowly transforming into Okies, apparently we have a long way to go.
The caller calls in with this bit of insanity.... "you know you're an Okie if...when someone mentions The King, you know immediately who they are talking about!"
Ok, of course you know who The King is! Everyone does...doesn't matter if you're an Okie or not, right? ELVIS IS THE KING! There's no other proper answer - or so you think.
Apparently, if you live in Oklahoma, The King is NOT Elvis, but former OU football coach Barry Switzer! THAT IS INSANE!
So apparently, we aren't as "Okie-fied" as we'd like to think.... ELVIS WILL ALWAYS BE THE KING!
....thank you, thank you very much.....
[Nicole has left the building]
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Lots of great pictures.... till tomorrow! Time for some sleep....
Monday, November 12, 2007
We aren't there yet. We leave this afternoon and I've made the decision not to pack the laptop. So I'll have to find a computer tomorrow to make my once a day requisite post but I'll be home on Wednesday to post again. So tomorrow is the challenge. I'm sure I'm up to it though.
We are staying at the MGM Grand. I've only been to Vegas once, in November 2000. It was a lovely trip, less than 48 hours (somewhat similar to this one) but I was with my parents and another couple that I never wanted to "hang out" with. It was a work thing (family business, thus the parents) and I enjoyed it, but I'm looking forward to doing it on my own.
Now, this IS a work thing for T. The national gaming show is going on and vendors will be plying us with parties and drinks and whatever we like (T's playing golf on Wednesday at the Las Vegas Country Club - he asked, they're making it happen). So it should be fun!
As The King so wisely put..... "VIVAAAA...LAS VEGAS.... VIVAAA... LAS VEGAS!"
Sunday, November 11, 2007
"I think it's time that I roll over and get some sun on my stomach. Don't wake me if I fall asleep!"
"B, I think you are getting too dark. Maybe you should get out of the sun!"
"I think I'll lay in the shade with Rufus now. Rufus, watch out! Your getting close to being in the sun!!"
And because no post is complete without the a picture of the cutest baby ever, here you go! (modeling a dress that was a gift of Auntie & Uncle)
Saturday, November 10, 2007
There's laundry to do and dishes to wash and hot spots to declutter, but am I doing them? Well, of course not! I'm just sitting here doing nothing.... eh.... I'll hit the ground running tomorrow....after all, tomorrow is another day....
That sounds vaguely familiar...
UPDATE: So I finally finished the adult hat that I'm posting on the WAHM Holiday Extravaganza and I've emailed all the stuff to Stephanie who is organizing the whole site. So if you're interested, you can buy it! WOOT WOOT! I also have a baby bootie and hat in a candy cane stripe. I don't expect the items to be listed until Monday, but feel free to check out the site before then!! (and of course, purchase anything you want....)
So I guess I have been productive today! But I still have a ton to do tomorrow....
Friday, November 9, 2007
That's really why I was so happy to find out I was allergic to everything back in May. At least it gave me a hard and fast answer to my questions. Unlike now... no hard and fast answer. So I'm going to start a 10 day round of antibiotics to clear some bacteria from my system and see how that helps things. But that's all that we have to report right now.
On a happier note, we leave for Las Vegas on Monday. That's going to make it difficult to keep up with the daily posts, but we are bringing the laptop strictly to do that (and check work email).
Going to knit a little now....
Thursday, November 8, 2007
So by the time you read this, you may or may not notice the update in the site. I have purchased my own domain name. Yes, I know we're getting fancy! You'll be automatically directed to the new site but you can bookmark the new site at http://www.smithsinoklahoma.com/.
Hopefully, the new site will be up in the next 24 hours. But it does take time for pages to appear unfortunately. When it does, you won't notice a difference but it will allow me more flexibility on what I do with the blog, features I add, etc.
And maybe someday soon, my resident graphic designer (Claudia @ Luna Designs) will have my new masthead ready!
Stay tuned.... it only gets better!
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Me? Well, I was THRILLED! I thought it would be so cool. See what I mean about being a dork? I distinctly remember me staring from the side of the living room in awe as the man had his wares on display on the brown shag carpet (it's now a wood floor). My eyes were big and I was probably twitching with 8 year old glee. My mom said "if we buy these, are you going to use them?" My jubilant response was "YES! I promise I will!!!"
So I'm sure the salesman's heart did a flutter as he saw the potential income. My parents were probably amazed at my excitement but I only hope they could have known what it led to. From there on out, when I had a question, the ultimate response was "look it up!" Didn't matter the question.... didn't matter what for.... the ultimate goal, teach me to be independent and self-sufficient. At least, that's what I like to THINK the goal was - not just make the most of their spent money or unwanting admittance that they didn't know what I was talking about.
This WAS the early 80's and the internet was not going to cross my eyes for another 10 years or so. So soon I stopped asking questions and just started looking stuff up. I'd read my subject and then realize the next subject was interesting, so I'd keep reading. I like knowing stuff...random stuff.... always have....always will.....(so I guess I still am a dork)
As an adult, when I want to know something, I buy a book.
Cake decorating? Bought the book and tried it.
Landscape design? Bought the book and tried it.
Knitting? Bought the book and tried it.
Construction? Bought the book and tried it.
And I don't buy as many books as I used to. Now, I just google it. Most of my knowledge is self-taught through books, research and trial and error. I don't do anything perfectly, but I do a lot of things that are good enough for me. It occurred to me today as I was researching the answer to a question online that I'm still using those encyclopedias. That day when my parents signed up to purchase them book by book, they formed me. They formed my self-sufficiency and my independence.
Did they plan to do all that? I'm not really sure, but I'd like to think so. The books are long gone - a source of garage sale income. But I hope the people that bought them appreciated their outdated vastness of information as much as I did. Thanks, Mom & Dad and that Encyclopedia Americana salesman. Not sure where I'd be without your foresight!
UPDATE: My mom just emailed me and insists that they knew what they were doing!
So stay tuned, things...they will be a-changin'.....
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
I do remember talking to the doctor. Things looked normal but he biopsied for everything under the sun and we should know in about a week. I even have pictures.
I got up this morning and got dressed and was on the road to work when I realized that I probably was still a little drugged. Probably not a good thing, but there's stuff to do, right? My lower abdomen still hurts, but that's nothing new. I was just hoping it would stop when everything was gone.
But the one thing that does bother me is my throat. I did have a camera down there, so it makes sense, but I didn't realize how much it hurt until I tried to eat something. I thought a frosty sounded good (I wanted soup but specifically potato soup and I couldn't find it anywhere) but it feels like I'm swallowing rocks.
And that's it. Hopefully we'll know what's wrong with me next week.
So the ways to improve the colonoscopy prep are as follows:
1. Start the drinking of the fluid much earlier than 2 pm. That way you have time to drink a little more slowly and not worry about gulping it down or being up really, really late.
2. Invest in some product research and development of the aloe enhanced toilet paper - similar to the Puffs Plus tissue. Hopefully that will help with the sore bum.
3. Make sure you send the patients to the right facility (this one applies only to me) as to not make them very mad.
I'm the biggest wuss out there about these sorts of things. And if I can make it through and it not be so bad, then I think most people can.
Monday, November 5, 2007
First, drinking that gallon of clear liquid of your choice. In a normal day you can do it. You get thirsty from moving around so you drink. Well, when mixed with Miralax it can make you very full. And you aren't moving around because you can't stray too far from the bathroom. In fact, the more I drank, it was not beneficial to move. It caused cramping and severe pain for me. It probably didn't help that I was chugging the glasses, 8 oz at a time. It was getting late and I was tired of doing this. I didn't want to stay up all night, running back and forth to the bathroom.
Second, I can only equate this problem to having a runny nose. Imagine blowing your nose 6 times an hour for 8 hours. Well, your nose is going to get red and hurt and you won't want to blow your nose anymore. So that is one pain I was not at all expecting to have.
I can't even imagine going through this if I had been eating regularly for the past 2 weeks. Seems like there would have been a lot more pain associated with it. But I now also know the path anything travels out of my stomach to the exit. Towards the end of the gallon, you can feel and HEAR it as the liquid travels unobstructed south.
So not a pleasant topic and not a pleasant experience, but at this point, I just want to feel better. And it hasn't been the worse thing ever either. If I had started drinking earlier, I would haven't been chugging towards the end of the night. I think they have the 2 pm start time for people who are working the day before their colonoscopy. I would have started at about 10 am, if I had known better.
I drinking my saline laxative with the pleasant lemony flavor in about 15 minutes or so. And then we'll leave around 1 pm to make the trek across town to the hospital.
Tomorrow, you'll have full disclosure whether you want it or not!
Sunday, November 4, 2007
At 5 pm, the frequent trips to the bathroom started, but honestly, this isn't a whole lot worse than the problems I've been having. I have some abdominal pain, but well, that's also a problem. So nothing new there.
I'm about 40 oz into my gallon. How much is that? Yeah, I don't know. All I know is that I have a gallon line on the pitcher I mixed it in, but I'm drinking out of a glass with ounces on it. I guess I could google it and find out. One sec....
[imagine a musical interlude]
There are 128 fl oz in a gallon. So I'm about a third of the way through. Blah! The problem is trying to watch a football game while this is going on.
But we had a full house (40 or so people), plenty of good food, the birthday boy was surprised and plenty of beer. Honestly, any party that people have fun and you don't run out of alcohol is a success. And not only did we NOT run out of beer, but the liquor cabinet was opened and cars had to be left here. So you know it was a good time.
This LSU house survived the Boomer Sooner onslaught. The LSU game was relegated to our bedroom (see, I REALLY SHOULD have made the bed) where the handful who wanted to see it could and the masses hooted and hollered and boomered and soonered their way through the OU game in the living room. Luckily, both teams won. I just wish LSU would have done it like OU did. Oh well, it's a win.
So today is a lazy day of football and colonoscopy prep. Yes, you did read right. I'm going to blog about my colonoscopy. I had originally feared the whole prep but we'll see how it goes. Nothing like de-mystifying for the masses. And if anyone is going to be a wuss about it, it's me. So I'll be honest. I start the drinking of the laxatives at 2:00 p.m. I'm supposed to be on all clear liquids today, but I didn't realize that and actually ate breakfast.
My justification is that it's the first actual meal I've eaten in 3 days. I didn't really eat yesterday. I ate some crackers and some dip and ate a bite of the cake (I had to taste it) but eating makes me sick and I haven't been hungry. So I haven't forced it the last couple of days. So WANTING to eat this morning was a new thing and I thought I would. Honestly, I'm the only one who'll pay for it.
I report to the hospital tomorrow at 2 pm. So the schedule is this. I start the clear liquid of my choice and laxative mix at 2 pm today. I have to drink a gallon of this. Then tomorrow after 9 am, I can't have any more anything by mouth - not even water. I have to drink another laxative (this time a "pleasant lemony flavored" saline laxative) straight at 10:30 (4 hours prior to my appointment time). Then I guess I'll be able to leave the bathroom long enough to drive the 45 minutes to the hospital. I hope so at least.
Then when I get there, they'll put in an IV and give me sedatives. I'll be technically awake but completely out of it, so I won't know anything that's going on. I'm having an Upper GI AND a Colonoscopy, so they'll get me from both directions. And hopefully, this will help figure out my problems.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
So I'm almost done with the food. The cake came out FABULOUSLY! I made our birthday boy's favorite cake - a chocolate peanut butter cake - so I can't wait to see what the original baker thinks about it. The original baker? Well, his mom, of course. She'll be here this evening. Wish me luck on that one!
I'll have pictures of everything tomorrow and you can be the judge if I was able to succeed with the fabulous party. I've made all of the food, so I'm pretty impressed with that. The advantage of making all the food instead of buying a bunch of prepared stuff, well, you save money! I've got to say... this is buy far one of the lowest budget parties I've put together. And that's, as Martha Stewart would say, a very good thing!
Friday, November 2, 2007
Tomorrow is the fateful LSU vs Alabama game. Oy! I don't really know how I feel about it. I think depending on the team that shows up, we can win easily, lose big time or scratch out a win. So I guess we'll see. I've seen this team do all sorts this year. Let's hope they've got some emotion.
Tomorrow we are also throwing a surprise party for someone. I'm 99.99% sure he doesn't read my blog, so I think it's ok to mention it. He's the husband of one of T's co-workers and we love to hang out with them. They are lots of fun. So we are throwing the party for him under the guise that it's a party for me. Clever, huh?
So I've got some cooking to do tonight. And that's where I'm headed. Hopefully I won't find any Rufus kills at home when I get there. The old man is acting like he's young again (not that he ever REALLY stopped). For those of you who don't know, Rufus is 13 but apparently is still full of spunk!
Thursday, November 1, 2007
It was brown but not large enough to be Copper. I walked into the living room as T came home for lunch to find him looking out the window and exclaiming "Rufus killed a squirrel!"
Rufus? Killed a squirrel? Really? My sweet Rufus? Are you sure it wasn't Copper?
He calls the dogs in and as Rufus moves, he sees that the squirrel isn't quite dead all the way, just maimed. Apparently, Rufus was going to bark him to death the last little bit. Rufus comes running and the squirrel goes at him one last time, to which Rufus goes back at the squirrel.
Lovely, huh? Well, the worst part is when my sweet little Rufus comes running into the house, covered in the squirrel blood. So T has to dispose of the squirrel (tip: don't open our chest freezer in the garage - garbage day isn't until next Wednesday) and I have to make sure Rufus doesn't sport any wounds (he doesn't) and clean him up (I did).
Who knew the old man had it in him? I thought for sure Copper would have had some part in it, but she wasn't anywhere around and we can't find a spec of the blood on her. B briefly stuck is head out of his house but he didn't want anything to do with what was going on. So it appears it was all Rufus.
I hope if there were any squirrel witnesses, they will put the word out. The Smith yard is no place for anything other than those 3 dogs.