Monday, February 28, 2011

Meet Me on Monday

1. What are you wearing right now?

My normal work outfit of jeans and a sweater. I'm lucky enough to be able to wear jeans to work every day so just the top changes.
2. Do you have any freckles?

I've never called them freckles, just spots.  All over my body. So many I can't count them.
3. What is your favorite Lifesaver flavor?

I don't like Lifesavers. Although when we were kids we used to get the book of lifesavers for Christmas which had about 8-10 rolls in them. I probably ate them them but I wouldn't now.
4. What is the last movie you saw in the theater?

Quantum of Solace. Yes it has been that long. I don't do movies at the movie theater (why spend that kind of money) when I can be happy to watch them at home with a pause button. See my James Bond post here.
5. Would you rather live without tv or without music?

I could give up music easily.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday Basketball

This afternoon was the Crosstown Clash III, a battle between our lovely Lady Tigers and those dastardly Twolves. It wasn't looking pretty for us in the first half. I have no idea what our girls were thinking but they couldn't get a shot off and then it wouldn't go in when they did. We were behind at halftime. But then the spark came in them and we went ahead in the third quarter. The fourth quarter expanded the lead. Regional Champions!

This was the 20th straight time for the girls to win over the other team in town. Got to keep the streak alive.

Friday, February 25, 2011

OK, trying a new one of these today.

1. Can you drive a stick shift?
Yes I can. My first car was a stick and I bought it without knowing how to drive it. My husband (before we were married) taught me how to do it. I must have done ok because he married me.  :)

I've had two other cars that are stick shifts and have never had a problem. I love to watch Amazing Race and it kills me to see people on that show not knowing how to drive one. People if you go on that show, you need to know this skill.

My husband did try to teach our daughter how to use my last car and she burned through the clutch pretty fast so that experiment didn't last long and we bought her an automatic transmission car.

2. What are two foods you just can't eat?

First of all peas. You can read all about this one in a previous blog Great Pea Debacle

I guess maybe the second food would be lamb. I just don't like it.

3. Do you buy Girl Scout Cookies? What is your favorite kind?

I did buy two boxes this year after skipping the last couple because I was avoiding cookies to lose weight. Weight has been successfully lost and cookies are back in the diet. Thin mints please.

4. How do you pamper yourself?

Well I used to get my nails done all the time. Then I got to where I was dreading going and my nails would hurt so I decided to give that up. My nails look just fine without all the extra stuff. I do color my hair but that is more for looks (I don't want to look old) so that isn't pampering. Maybe having a glass of wine at night would be pampering.

5. What is your nickname and how did you get it?

I don't have a nickname and don't want one. Unless of course it would be something about how fabulous I am. I would accept that.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I Heart Hibdons

Is it wrong to love a tire place? Whitney's car got a bolt (yes a bolt not a nail) in her front tire while she was driving home from dance last night. A ten o'clock phone call can panic the best of us especially since she had just sent a text saying she was on her way home. Luckily she was able to pull into a gas station that had lights on so she wasn't sitting in the dark. We got her car to Hibdon's Tires without problem. I was the lucky one to take her to school at 7:30 and wait for Hibdon's to open so I could give them the key. They fix tires for free! Within 30 minutes the tire had the bolt out of it and totally fixed. And it is FREE! Let me tell you they have done this a few times for us and I would never buy tires anywhere else. I also have them do any brake work.

I heart Hibdons!
This message is brought to you by me. No promotional consideration has been received for this message. (I've always wanted to say that).

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Random Thoughts

So my back hurts so I stayed home today. I can't wait to see a doctor next week and maybe get some idea why it won't feel better. Then it will be time to present the information to the lawyer and hopefully settle the car claim.

Scholarship applications are being filled out daily. Got two more off today. Crossing my fingers that the big one comes through so Whitney can go to OCU without us borrowing an arm and a leg.

I really hate this computer at home. There is so much music on it that it runs slow. Guess that's what happens why my husband is a music fanatic and his itunes is so large it would take him 3 months to listen to everything on it.

Watching a Top Chef marathon from an early season. I can't wait to tonight's shenanigans with a recipe stealing, deep fried mayo battle.  Yum.

Whitney's competition dance team lost two members in a week so now instead of small group they are a trio. Which is not good because they have to compete against a friend of hers now. Only good thing is we will be done on Friday instead of losing all day Sunday for the competition.

The sun is shining today so the dog is sunbathing. Her favorite way to sleep during the day.

Our small group at church has its second meeting tonight. I'm hoping that we get to know some of these people better. It is really nice because it is just a short walk around the lake to get there (once the weather is nice enough).

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

TV Commercial - Is It Exciting?

Last night as I was watching news there was a commercial for a local furniture store. This guy is always saying "How do we do it?" about giving away a "free" recliner when you buy one or a "free" loveseat when you buy the couch. Well this commercial topped it all.  He said furniture was exciting. Now I don't know about you, but I've never thought about furniture as exciting. Not the shopping, not the buying, not the using. Exciting is just not the word I would use. I wouldn't use the word fun or fabulous or thrilling. I would use the word functional or economical. But exciting just can't describe furniture or the furniture buying process.

Plus this guy has one of the worst hairpieces around. I think something is living up there.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dancing Panda

This sounds like the beginning of a stupid joke...Did I tell you the one about the dancing panda?  Well we do have a dancing panda. A local Chinese restaurant (Panda Garden) opened a second location near our house. They have a guy dressed in a panda outfit out on the corner who dances to his own tune. It doesn't matter how warm or cold it is (and he was out there in the snow) he just is dancing with the sign for the restaurant. He busts out quite a few different moves.

The funny thing is that they stole him from one of the pizza places in town where he was always dancing but not dressed in a costume. And then across the street is the Liberty Tax place and they have a guy dressed up like the Statue of Liberty. They have dance offs on the corner. Who said you couldn't get free entertainment anymore?

Friday, February 18, 2011

A change in Insurance

I just got back from changing our auto/home insurance. This is not a pleasant task. Insurance is one of those things you need, you don't want to think about, and you complain that it costs too much. Well we got tired of the auto insurance increasing for no reason. I decided to shop around to the other big insurance companies (after dealing with Geico for my car accident there is no way I wouldn't go to an all in one insurance company). And you would think people would want my business.

1. Company A (who I know people who use) never returned my call for a quote. Guess they make enough money so they can have snazzy tv commercials that I do find humorous without my money.

2. Company B was extremely nice, got me a quote within 30 minutes and gave me options. I like options.

3. Company C ended up not even quoting me the company's insurance. It was some other insurer. I didn't like that. If I get your name to sell me brand X I want brand X insurance.

Lucky for us Company B came in about $300/year less than our current insurance. I find it fascinating how they can be so much lower on auto but quite a bit higher on home. But still it is cheaper so we went with them. I just signed the papers and met my agent. Quite a novel concept since in three years with our old insurance I have never met the agent. In fact his office has moved twice and I only know that because I've had to track it down for various reasons.

Whitney has to watch the gruesome safe driver video again to get a discount but I'm sure she will be happy to do that when the alternative is paying for her own insurance.

Lesson learned today...return phone calls, be nice, and give options.  I'm hoping this is the start of a good long relationship.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Heat and Air Conditioning

Dear Heat and Air System,

While I appreciate the fact that you try to adjust for the outside temperature, you aren't very good at it. I understand that just a week ago we were at -5 degrees outside and you performed as admirably as possible providing heat. I did need to add a little with a portable heater, but that was understandable. Today is supposed to be 78 degrees. When I arrived you were very heat oriented (perhaps you were still on last week) and I felt like I needed to strip down. But I waited patiently for you to realize your mistake and stop blowing hot air. And you did. You switched to cold air. But now you will not stop the cold air and I fear that I will have to turn on my little heater. On a 78 degree day.

Please tell me when you will have figured out the correct way to treat the temperature so I know how to dress appropriately.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Excess Security

I work in a building that has federal government employees (eventhough I work for a university). As such, we have to have the federal government regulations on security. Most of the time, it really isn't a big deal. We have to wear an ID and there is a token security desk at the front. The only way you can enter the building on my floor from the outside is with your id. Of course this is sort of stupid since when they built the building (it is only 5 years old) it has a ceremonial front entrance which is right on my floor and nobody can use it. It really confuses tour buses.

Well anyway, we have had to add a tree perimeter around the grounds to keep errant trucks from ramming into the building. (I know who would really want to hurt a bunch of weather people). And we have these huge boulders strategically placed around entrances also. All of our mail and packages have to be xrayed and stamped xrayed. That is always funny when it is a postcard and you can see the whole thing.

But a few months ago we had to have these huge metal ballasts installed at all the entrances. You know like the ones outside of mall entrances to keep cars crashing into the doors. Well these are retractable so as to not destory the beauty of the building unless the threat level increases. You know beauty is very important in a new building. So they tore out sidewalks and installed these things. They have been underground ever since. Well yesterday when I came in they were up. I asked the security guys did the threat level go up. Nope, no one seems to know why they are up. And no one seems to want to put them down. So we get to walk by these huge metal sticks. Very attractive.

Sometimes I wonder if all the money spent on stupid stuff like this would save someone's job. Or does it just create jobs by making more stupid stuff.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gifts from Around the World

Bamboo charcoal air filter
One of the benefits of my job is meeting people from all over the world. I help many of them get visas to come work at the university. They are the nicest people in the world. So many of them bring me small gifts that I display them in my office.
This is my most recent addition from a sweet young lady. I need to make sure and give it sun every month but it is supposed to remove the toxins from the air. Maybe I'll be a better breather.

This is a collection of items from China, Russia, Great Britain and Scotland. I also have my Magic 8 ball but it lost all its fluid so I can't give any advice. Don't you just love the sheep and loch ness monster?
This is from the Chinese Academy of Science. We hosted an international event and they brought this along with several other items. I have a necklace at home also. They are supposed to be hosting the recipricol conference in 2012 so I hope that I am able to go to it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Non-Valentine's Day Post

I really don't like Valentine's Day. It is just a stupid day where people are made to feel they need to do something and if they don't have someone they feel even worse.

So my blog today is about my favorite hobby...SHREDDING.  I know a strange hobby, but I find such joy is standing at the shredder and destroying paper. Maybe because it is a mind-numbing task.  Maybe because it is destruction that I get paid to do.  Maybe it is just because I like confetti.

I have often wondered if I could get a job where all I do is shredding. However those big industrial shredders don't cut it. You have to get downright personal with the shredder.  A few pages at a time.  Slowly extending the joy.

My secret best friend

Friday, February 11, 2011

Senior Day

After a week's postponement, Tuesday night was the much anticipated Senior Night for the pom squad. Whitney has been waiting for this for four years. Now it was her turn. Of course the weather did not decide to cooperate as we were expecting another snow storm so the game times were moved up and there was a whole back and forth do we or do we not have the night. But we went for it. And it was awesome.

The rest of the squad makes these beautiful poster boards for each of the senior girls with photos that we provide. The girls pick out their favorite colors and then they have a special night. They are introduced at halftime with their parents. They get gifts from the squad. And then they get the rest of the game off.

Whitney chose Tiffany blue with leopard for her colors. Lots of rhinestones too just like a good pom girls would.

It was a special night that she will remember forever.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

We are just a bunch of woosies

Digging for clean water through ice
Today is round 2 of snowmageddon, snowpocolypse, snow event, whatever you want to call it. Everything in our universe is closed. I believe we got 4-5 inches of snow and it is about -15 wind chill. So yes it is cold.

But we are a bunch of woosies here. In the five days in the last two weeks we've been off (the snow makeup days for school are a bear) we watched a show called "The Alaska Experiment".  It was on the Discovery Network of channels.  For three months, four sets of friends/relatives went out in the Alaskan wilderness to fend for themselves. And it was winter. And it was freakin' cold. Like -40 regular without a windchill. These people had to provide all the wood to keep warm, go collect water to drink, kill animals for meat. Certain foods were provided (oatmeal, beans) and there were survival experts with them, but they were out there in abandoned cabins with no electricity and no running water. They had to go outside in these frigid temperatures to go to the bathroom. YIKES! One of the teams didn't even have a cabin, they had some kind of tent structure.

Can you imagine living in this?
They were taught to hunt. Two groups went on a moose hunt but didn't get anything and two went goat hunting. I can't imagine trying to climb 3000 feet of shaky rocks to try and shoot a mountain goat.  And then they had to gut the goat right there and carry over 100 pounds of meat back a day to get to the cabin. And worry about the bears that would be attracted to the smell of fresh meat.

The greatest worry I have today with cold weather is will I have enough movies to watch and will my chicken be done in the crockpot. We are such woosies when it comes to the weather.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Meet me on Monday (I'm Early!)


1. Did you watch the Superbowl?

I always watch the Superbowl but have it on the DVR so I can fast forward the game and just watch the commercials. So far Doritos licking fingers wins hands down.
2. What is the last book that you read?

Some trashy cheap romance novel. I have no idea what the name of it was but since they are all the same it really doesn't matter. I like to read these books when flying because it is mind-numbing, just like flying.
3. What is your favorite kind of cake?

This is probably the hardest question ever. In my youth, I would have said German Chocolate Cake. I always had it for my birthday. I also love some deep chocolate cakes that a local bakery has but they are too rich for me now. I love carrot cake (the cream cheese frosting is divine). So how can I choose. I therefore choose all of the above.
4. Do you snore?

Only when I have a terrible cold and lay flat on my back. I swore I would never marry a man who snored because because I would never be able to sleep. I was successful in that so I get good night's sleep every night.
5. Do you play an instrument?

I took piano lessons when I was a kid but haven't played an instrument since I was 13. My husband picked up the guitar around 40 but I never play them because my nails get in the way.

The Big Game

So today is the big game.  No, not the SuperBowl. I'll watch that but I really don't care for professional football. I'm talking about the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet.

What started as a way for alternative programming on a lesser cable channel, has turned into big business. These puppies have all been rescued from shelters and then people adopt them. Information is given during the broadcast about how you the viewer can adopt an animal also.  Hundreds of dogs have been adopted through the Puppy Bowl.

And really, who could not resist the cuteness factor of puppies romping around playing with toys, rolling all over each other and just being puppies.

I can personally speak about the wonderful dogs that can be found at local shelters. Two of the three dogs we have had since being married have come from the local shelter.

Our firstborn, Bear, came to us when she was four weeks old. She was an adorable ball of fluff that looked like a stuffed animal, more than a real live dog. She was an Alaskan Husky mix and an extremely smart dog. She loved playing in the snow. She had a tendancy to escape and one time she was missing for four days. Luckily we found her but she was very mad at Dan because she blamed him (eventhough she did it to herself). After that we got a second dog, Dusty, to keep her entertained and let her feel like a mother. Dusty was a beagle mix that we bought from someone. She wasn't very smart but certainly loveable.  Bear developed epilepsy and it only got worse after Whitney was born so we had to give her away to live on a farm. She liked to run the cattle (maybe a little too much) and she enjoyed fishing because she would put her paws on the fish on the bank to keep them from getting away.

Abby showing school spirit
Our third dog, Abby, came from our local shelter also. It had been a couple of years since Dusty had died and Whitney really wanted a dog. She even came up with a powerpoint presentation on why we should get one. So Dan went to local shelters to see what was there and found Abby. She was about a year old and there she was standing in her pen with all the other dogs barking away and she was quiet. Not a single sound out of her. She knew a couple of commands so we knew she had been someone's pet and probably got lost. I thought she was funny looking and she is but in a sweet way. First people told us she was probably an Australian Sheep Dog with Beagle mixed in, but I didn't believe it. Then I found German Short Haired Pointers that had the same markings and tail so I knew that had to be it with some Beagle mixed in. She isn't as big as a pointer.  But she is probably the best dog you could ever want. She doesn't bark unless she is scared (a noise in the dark in the bushes will usually spook her), she doesn't lick you, and she thinks everyone is her friend. Her only problem is she sheds but if that is the worst thing you can say about a dog, she is the best one in the world.

Abby likes to sleep

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cheap Wine + Redbox movie = Fun Night

We made it out today! Woohoo.  I wasn't sure after one look at our road. We live on a cul de sac on a hill. Not a good combination during a snow/ice storm. Our road looks like a huge sheet of whiteness. There is no way my car could make it. Dan drove the CRV skillfully through the maze of cars. I have no idea why people insist on parking so there is barely enough space for a car to go through especially when there is no traction and somebody is going to hit them.

But we did make it out and once we hit the main roads, everything was clear. We hit lots of stores, with the crowd at Walmart incredible. I probably waited 20-30 minutes just to check out. Everyone had a full cart and all the lanes were open. So there wasn't anything needed but patience. Luckily I have plenty of that.

Once we got home, Whitney was lucky and had a friend come over who lives in the neighborhood. She no longer just had us to talk to. They had a fun afternoon of Wii Party.

Of course we decided that we needed to rent a movie (we didn't decide this on trip number 1). Machete is finally at the Redbox. So out we went again to get it and also go to the liquor store since I have one glass of wine left. I've been on a roll with getting the clearance wines. I figure paying $3.99/bottle will at least give me some cooking wine. But all of the ones I've picked out have been pretty good. I did splurge and get a couple of $9.99 clearance bottles but it was for something that I knew I liked. So I picked up two bottles of wine for $10 today.

Tonight we'll be watching Machete, I'll have a glass of white wine, and we'll be staying warm. It may snow tonight (we don't need that) and be close to freezing. I'm hoping that it stays above freezing and it rains instead. That would melt some snow because there are going to be huge ruts in the road of frozen slush.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day Four Or Otherwise Known As "I'm Going Nuts" Day

So work and school were cancelled today again because of "dangerously low temperatures" and "hazardous road conditions." Plus we had a 20% chance of more snow. Well darnit I woke up this morning to fluffy snow falling for hours. The roads have gotten worse. My husband had an appointment this morning so he ended up going to Walmart to restock provisions. And he fishtailed his car trying to get into our driveway when he came back trying to avoid hitting Whitney's car parked here in the photo.  The rumor is going around that if the public schools can be closed for ten straight days "natural disaster" rules go into effect and they don't have to make it up.  Somehow I'm not buying that they will be home for another week.

We had planned on getting out of the house today and maybe going to the mall just to see other people. I love my family and with the internet I have "talked" to others, but the only voice other than these two people who live with me that I've heard is my boss asking me for things. I'm tired of that.

I'm doing laundry and found a pair of shorts to wash. Just six days ago we had record high temps of 76 degrees. That seems like a decade ago.

I may have to break out the special cleaning projects. My blinds might actually be dusted. Maybe I should go through the sock drawer and throw stuff away. Maybe I should go through all my cookbooks and recipes and throw away stuff I'll never try.

Please someone make this madness go away.

I like the hot tub in the snow but I don't think we can open the cover

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 3 of the Snow Adventure

So it is day three of being snowed in. So far I've changed the sheets, done as much handwashing I could fit on my sweater dryer, cooked dinner, surfed the internet, worked on a budget, taken many phone calls from my boss, discussed my settlement from a car accident last April and need to get a lawyer now, finished the financial aid form and tax forms. What do I do on day three? Hopefully getting out of the house will happen today. Whitney said she needs to talk to someone other than her parents. I feel like I'm starting to waste time. I have no books to read in the house. I could start a puzzle but the two I have don't inspire me. I could bake cookies but I really don't need three dozen cookies in a house of three. I could organize files but really I don't want to do that. Maybe I'll clean out my closet although it really isn't bad since I have no clothes.

Hopefully we will have work and school tomorrow. Although the thought of Whitney driving on slick roads is scary, I know she is going to have to learn to do it. And I will need to make sure my car won't get stuck in a drift since it is lower to the ground.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day

So what does Groundhog Day bring this year? Another day snowed in, roads covered in snow, not sure if we are ever going to get out of this place. So much for global warming.

The wind chill this morning was -18.  Tonight the real temperature is going to be below zero for the first time in 15 years. For those of us in the south, that is mighty cold.

I hear the groundhog didn't see his shadow. That really doesn't help us here today.

I'm not sure who decided it was a good idea to drag a rodent out of a hole to determine the weather

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Comeback of the Century

I could spend today's post blogging about the weather (-15 wind chill and a ground blizzard) or I could blog about what I plan to do on my day home snowed in (work from home/bake cookies/organize scholarship stuff for Whitney). But instead of that, I'm going to concentrate on something big...The Greatest Comeback of the Century.

OK, you wonder what could I talk about.  Only the biggest basketball game of the year, the Norman High School Tigers vs. the Norman North High School Timberwolves.  The Crosstown Clash.  You see about 10 years ago, Norman decided that there were too many students for one high school so they made a second one.  And instead of dividing the town east/west (you know poor/rich) they went north/south (still poor/rich but not as much). We are Norman Tigers (the Original). We have a longstanding tradition of athletics. The other team has been recruiting getting better athletes in many sports, but basketball has remained at NHS. The girl's team has consistently been ranked in the top 5 in the state and last year was runner up in the finals. The boy's team unfortunately has pretty much sucked (sorry but have to be honest).

This year the girl's won handily (22 straight times now) but the boy's game was going to be a contest.  The boy's got a new coach, they had a new attitude and were on a seven game win going into the game. 

The game started off not looking good.  The score was only seven points difference, but none of our shots were falling. I was even considering leaving at halftime. But I stayed to support Whitney who was feeling down because she had to be benched from pom due to an injury and couldn't be out with her squad supporting the team in the last rivalry game of her career. The fourth quarter starts and our team is down by 15. 15 points is HUGE in an 8 minute quarter. But with four minutes left we were only down by 7. And then the threes started to fall. Suddenly we were tied with 45 seconds left in the game. And we had the ball. The crowd was going wild. Then for some strange reason, no one went for the basket. The team spent 45 very long seconds near half court. So overtime came to us. Four long minutes.

We scored the first basket, stole the ball and scored again. Time ticked away. The other team scored and then scored again. And with five seconds left, they fouled us. The crowd held their breath. The first shot went swish. Timeout was called. The second shot was missed, they got the rebound and all I could think was don't foul. A last second shot from mid-court and it was over.  Norman Tigers Win!

The student section stormed the court. The administrators tried to get them to leave and they cleared out quickly. But the talk will never end.  The drought is over. The Tigers prevail!
The student section being removed from mid-court