Monday, December 31, 2007

What do you do if

you stupidly buy a frozen pizza on special at the grocery store, but when you get home you realize that there is no way it's going to fit in your freezer? Well, if you live in New Hampshire in December, 2007 you bury it under a big pile of snow that is sitting outside on your deck. Sheesh.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Relaxing Christmas / Chaotic Week

Christmas day turned out to be quite lovely and relaxing. I went down to my cousin's house in Hollis, NH and had a really great day. It was my cousin and his wife (and their two, teen aged kids floating in and out from time to time) and my other NH cousin and his wife and me and that was it. We had a great time just hanging out all day and socializing and drinking wine and even watching some very old home movies from when we were all incredibly young. It was a hoot to see their parents and mine hanging out in the movies when they couldn't have been much older than 30! I don't remember them ever being that young. For a change, my cousins' step-sister did not show (with her four children). She's okay, but I've always had a rather uneasy relationship with her and four brooding teenagers tend to add a real chaotic element to the day, so I found the day much more fun without her and her brood. I didn't want to bring all the dogs with me because I thought it would be too much, so I selected Fitz because he's been such a good boy lately and I thought he would get along well with the other dogs (cousin Peter has an enormous English Bulldog and cousin Greg has an Italian Spinoni, which is a type of large, shaggy sporting dog). Also, Peter's daughter, Viv loved Fitz as a puppy, so I thought she might like to see how nicely he has grown up. I'm proud to say that Fitz behaved beautifully and had a very good time himself, sinking into the passenger side car seat and snoozing deeply the entire ride home, he was that tired from the visit. So, all in all it was a very great day.

The mystery of the Hunk of Orange Salt continues. I received a perfume bottle (!) in the mail from my father on Christmas Eve. This is a somewhat odd gift too as I don't wear perfume and am not too sure where to put this either, but it's not nearly on a par of strangeness with the salt thing. I spoke to my sister at length yesterday and while I did not bring up the salt rock, neither did she mention having sent something. I guess I'll just come out and ask her once she gets home from her vacation in Salt Lake City.

So, the rest of the week is taken up with appointments, ugh. Yesterday was a consultation with the oral surgeon for my dental implants. My original surgeon ended up leaving the area, so I have to start new with someone else. And of course, since he has his own requirements, I have some other prep stuff I have to do (and pay for) -- impressions and labs and such. But I've made the appointment and am having two dental implants done on January 11th. Then that has to heal for three months and I have to go back to my original dentist for crowns, etc. Which will be a few thousand more, of course. I wasn't aware that the crown part wasn't part of the whole implant cost and process, so the costs just continue to grow.

I have an appointment this morning to put some cargo netting in the back of my car (to hold packages so that they don't roll all over the car) and then it's back to the regular dentist for yet more work for other issues that are plaguing me. Basically, I've been in more or less constant pain as the teeth on side opposite of where the implants are going bear the entire pressure of all chewing activity. One tooth with a huge filling literally cracked under pressure last month and has since been further broken open by the dental work and root canal (last week) to eliminate decay. I'll eventually have a crown done for this tooth too, but in the meantime the sharp edges of the broken tooth cut into my check without relief. And now the newest development is the tooth underneath that one is flaring up -- there seems to be a pocket that's opened up between two teeth and underneath the gum line that packs with food immediately (which also causes immediate pain) as soon as I eat anything at all. So, I'm getting all of that looked at this afternoon. Ugh. Just UGH.

The expense of all this is literally making me shake, but I really don't know what else to do. Except, that is, to curse my former NYC dentist whose incompetence caused most of these issues. The tooth that cracked, for instance, was mostly made up of filling and thus was very fragile. I've been told recently that most dentists would have put a cap/crown on it to protect it. The dental implants are necessary because of this ill-conceived canter-levered bridge that same dentist had talked me into years ago which never worked well. He then added insult to injury by jamming a huge screw post into a tooth under the bridge after a root canal -- a result of the bad bridge -- which completely fractured the root, finally making that tooth not viable. I am just depressed and livid and trying to find the positive in all of this. But in the meantime, it's endless ongoing dentist appointments, constant pain and discomfort and a diminishing bank account for me. And I don't even get a new kitchen or bathrooms once it's all done. But there is nothing else to be done really, the alternative is losing teeth and it's also not something you can sit on and wait about either. So I just have to suck it up and deal. It doesn't make for a very relaxing vacation week, but it's easier to try and do it all now than to run around on work lunch hours or something. Sheesh.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Some Pictures

First, a picture of the Orange Rock Thing (ORT) or, if you prefer, the Hunk of Orange Salt (HOOS):

Some pictures of the incredible snow we had over the past week and a half (the snow is up to almost my waist in some places -- and I know because I had to go out and push through it to drag Fitz out from under a bush the other night. Lovely):

Saturday, December 22, 2007

That Time of Year and Weird Mystery Gifts

I used to really hate this time of year. The commercialization, the financial pressure, feeling like an outsider to the season by not having a significant other or close family. But I've found that since my financial picture has improved, I feel so much more optimistic about the holidays. I now love to give gifts while not having to stress about paying the electric bill. I've also gone past caring about what I get in return. Well, that is until today. Kind of.

So, the mailman came to the door this afternoon carrying a box that he said was kind of heavy. The box was from a place called the, "Alive and Natural Health c/o Horizon Distribution Logistics" (what the ... ) I opened it and inside was this bubble-wrapped thing with this electrical cord dangling out. Cutting away the bubble wrap revealed this orange rock on a stand, with a cord to plug it in (WTF???) The tag tied to the cord reveals it to be a, "Salt Crystal Lamp (mined from the foothills of the Himalayas)" and is apparently a natural air purifier. Whatever. So I plugged it in and am currently sitting here looking at this glowing orange thing completely mystified as to who sent it (there was no card or even a gift receipt or catalog included in the box). It could maybe be from my sister (she is the person most likely to send me something like this, I suppose), but she had already send me three embroidered stockings with my dog's names on them a few weeks ago to hang on the mantle, so I wasn't really expecting anything else from her (and she hadn't given an indication that anything else was coming). Or it could possibly be from my father, but it really doesn't seem like the kind of thing he would send and also, when he asked about a week ago what I maybe wanted, I had sent him an email with an idea or two, neither of which was even close to this orange rock lamp. On the other hand, I haven't received anything from him yet, so maybe it is his gift. So, I'm not sure what to do. I guess I can call and ask him if he sent me something, but it's just so weird. Really, a Pottery Barn gift certificate would have been perfect. I don't mean to be ungrateful (and I'm not, really), but I don't know why he thinks he needs to suddenly get creative now. It can't be from him, I just can't imagine! But who then, WHO??? The mystery is killing me. And where to put this orange rock is the other part. Where do I put it? Where??? Sheesh.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Things I Love

Whole Wheat penne pasta with (my own) meat and garlic chunk sauce and fresh parmesan sprinkled on top. Had some last night and it was yum!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Things I hate

Prime Time game shows. This one is on. Every. Night. This. Week. I mean, WTF???

You know that you're having a bad day when ...

You are actually looking forward to the root canal appointment you have scheduled in the afternoon because it means that it will release you from what you are dealing with at work for a couple of hours. Sheesh.


It's a little disconcerting to come to work and have the person in the cubicle right beside you hacking away with a phlegmy cough. Ick.

Monday, December 17, 2007

There's nothing like online shopping

My Christmas shopping is done, done, done. Not only done, but also all delivered & received at this stage too. I can't even imagine going to a mall during the holidays. I think you'd have to bind and gag me and drag me there kicking & screaming. Seriously.

I feel so lucky

Since finishing up on my two-year project about a week ago, I was finally able to move back to the other building where my team is located. I wasn't sure if or when a cube was going to be found for me, so I was a little concerned about where I would end up or if I would have to work from home everyday (which is great as an option, but maybe not so great when suddenly it's your only option). So they wanted to move me into a currently occupied cube and move that person out of that cube and into a nice window cube (since she considerably outranks me). But the current occupant didn't want to move because she has been there for three years, so I got the window one by default! So Day Two of sitting next to a window and I have to say that I really love it. I never realized before how much I was missing natural light and being able to easily glance outside without getting up and making a big point of it. And being by the window also means that I am also at the end of a row, which means that it is so much quieter (a huge plus for me because nothing stresses me out more than noise). This area is also much more laidback and casual than my former location too, so all-in-all I am not feeling the cubicle stress and claustrophobia that I normally feel. I am so grateful to now have this great space! I hope I get to keep it.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I'm really in the mood for ...

Grand Marnier. It's just that kind night, cold, snow dumping down, wind whistling outside, fire going inside, etc. Too bad I don't have any though.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Things I Love

Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Soap. LOVE!

Home Improvements

December is always an exciting time at my company because it's bonus time. And this year was even more generous than last year (as a side note: I dearly hope that I will continue to have a job at this most wonderful company until the day I'm ready to retire.) Once I knew how much to expect, I started planning what I was going to spend it on! Well, I have to really save some of it, but I do want to spend some of it on some house stuff. Late this afternoon I met with a custom window treatments place (they came into my home with samples) and chose a roman shade design and fabric for my triple living room window and a shutter for the side-light window beside my front door. This week I also contacted the guy who painted my living room, kitchen and guest room last year about coming back and starting on my horrible mustard-colored textured hallway walls -- I've been living with those for a year now and I hate them as much as I did on the day I moved in. It's going to be a mess and an enormous pain-in-the-ass to live with, but the end result will be worth it.

Anyway, it's a little exciting to have a few home improvements on the horizon. I haven't done anything about the house in so many months that it was starting to get to me. Of course, the big projects, like renovating all of the bathrooms, are still going to have to wait a few years, but it feels good to be inching forward in some fashion.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It never ceases to amaze me

How a woman can get all dolled up, skirt, high-heeled boots, meticulous make-up, hair just perfectly so. Yet come out of a Ladies Room stall and not give herself even the most cursory hand washing. This same woman will then take the time to step up to the vanity mirror and zone in and analyze the state of said hair and make-up, but a little hand washing apparently requires far too much effort. As Holden Claufield would say, she must be a "secret slob". Sheesh.