Monday, December 31, 2007

Reflections of the Past Year

The past year has seen many changes in my life. At this point I am not sure if they are good or bad but they are changes none the less.

The biggest one has been my marriage falling apart. I always thought that if we had made it 10 years or so that it would last forever. We would grow old together. Little did I know that I would be traded in for a 23 year old. I had to put up with alot of stuff for over a year before I told any one that there were problems. All I have to say on that is that I hope you are happy with the decisions you made.

My divorce will be final on April 8th. This will be one of the most difficult things that I will ever have to do. But this as well, will be a good thing, in the long run. I will learn how to be myself again and not have to rely on another person for my happiness. I will make my own happiness. it will be scary at times but I will get thru it (can you say thank god for therapists!)

Work has been a struggle as well. I have taken on more responsibility and become more of a leader on my team. I can say with pride that I have accomplished alot and grown along the way. I have learned things and done things that I did not know I could do. That is a good thing. The sad part of the work thing was that earlier in December, the person that I considered my mentor left. That was extremely difficult. I am hoping that once she gets established in her position that she thinks of me and asks me to join her there. She is heading up a new department at a local hospital. This area will be implementing a Change Mgmt process for the entire organization. Meaning that whenever, the IT dept does something in the bank it is documented and done in a control manner. This would be something that I would like to do and sorta do now.

The world has lost many good people as well. My cousin, who at the age of 43 succumbed to cancer. E's mom, who I did not know, but she did a good job of raising E. (except for teaching him how to fart, hehe). Pat, who lead a good life and had a kind word for everyone. We will miss you all.Tonight, I will head over to P&K's home. They are hosting the annual New Year's Eve celebration. I have the polish sausage in the oven now. It smells yummy. There will be the white elephant gift exchange. Be scared people, I am moving soon and am cleaning out closets. That is always a hoot. I will spend the evening with great friends and have a good time. I also have to clear out the fridge in the basement so I will have a mix of various alcoholic drinks in my cooler.

As I look forward to the new year, I will be soon moving to a new home. Not sure where yet, but for the first time in 20 years, I will be living on my own. It will be the place where I can put down some roots and begin my new life.

Goodbye 2007. No offense but you have been a crappy year for me. Hello 2008. I hope that you bring me and my friends and family all that we hope for.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

House Hunting - Day 1

Today, I took my dad and we went out looking for a new house for me. We seen 5 houses. 2 with some possibilities and the other three were no way in hells.

House 1 - Started out in a nice neighborhood on 21st and Plainfield. Not too far from St. Roman's and E's house. It was an estate sale. The sellers were the original owners and had done nothing to the house in the lst 30 years. It needed to have some foundation work done but the seller was paying for that. It had good structure and a nice layout but was very dated. Green sculpted carpet in the living room. Kitchen counter was off white subway tile that was 40 years old. I could live there but would spend quite a bit bringing it back into the modern era.

House 2 - was a foreclosure on Waterford. Just around the corner from Big Momma's. I walked in and basically said no way. We were not there more than 5 min tops. It would take ALOT of work and money. Too bad as it looked cute from the outside.

House 3 - was on Burrell just north of the airport. Cute from outside as well. Walked in and noticed that the crown molding was about 1/2 inch from the ceiling. Also had a odd layout upstairs. Tiny bathroom. Needed more work than I wanted to do. Did have nice built in china cabinet and hard wood floors

House 4 - In Cudahy. That right there is strike 1. It was a couple blocks from Ladish east of Packard. This was a foreclosure. Walked in and thought not bad. Nice living room. Had a fireplace. Kitchen was large and sunny and had lots of counter and cabinet space. Then we went upstairs. YUCK. There is no way in hell that my bedroom furniture would fit up there. Basement was odd as well. It was like they divided it off into a bunch of tiny rooms. I think that they were bedrooms. Did have a nice fenced backyard and 3 car garage... it was on a alley. Strike 2.

By this time, I was a bit discouraged. Was I not going to be able to find something in decent shape in my price range? I don't want to have to put alot of money in to in just to make it livable.

Then came house 5 - In St. Francis. Looked cute from the outside. A plus was that someone had shoveled the walk. This was also an estate sale. Only one owner. When we walked in, I liked it already. The carpet was nice enough that we took our shoes off. Living rooms was nice size. Had old people drapes in it but was painted a sunny yellow and had lots of natural light. Kitchen was smaller but in decent shape. It was pink in color but that can change easily enough. Continued on thru the rest of the bedrooms. They were smaller but could easily knock the wall out between two of them and make a nice master suite. Bathroom was ok. Has yellow sink, toilet and tub but the shower area was in good repair and not moldy or gross looking. Went downstairs to the basement. Here is where we sold dad. He was already planning on how to finish it off. It was a nice 10 course basement. Very clean. I really liked this house. Under the carpeting was oak hardwood floors. I think that would be the first thing to do. With three dogs carpet does not make a good fit. Here is the link to the realtor's website... you can look at the pictures from here. They show the house pretty well. This house would be move in ready condition. Even better is that they have already come down in price about 17,000. Wonder if I can get them down another 10 or so.... my realtor seemed to think so as this house has been on the market for more than 60 days already and it appears that it was on the market earlier this summer as well.

Well, enough about that for now.

ZOBMONDO!!

Would you rather....

Date someone who talks to loudly

----OR----

someone who looks like they are constantly staring?

I have to go with the talking loudly. The staring thing would be too creepy.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Being Homeless

I hope everyone had a good Christmas. Mine was fine. Went to the parents. The nieces had a good time. Ate too much food. Parents and sis got soon to be ex hubby new bath towels and housewares for his new place. A bit odd but he needed the stuff. I told my parents to hold off on getting me anything cuz I will probably need stuff in the new house. They can buy me stuff then. So I got a Shih Tzu calendar for now.

So, it looks like I will be homeless by Feb 15th. We accepted an offer last week and the inspection went well today. It was only on the market 5 days before we had an offer, 8 before we agreed on a price. If all goes well with the guy's financing, we will close by the 15th. Which means that I have to find a new place to live.... and quick. My financing is all in order so I'm not worried about that. Have to get some final settlement documents back from the attorney before it can go to underwriting, but that is no big thing.

I have a list of like 15 homes to look at. All over town. Some in South Milwaukee, Cudahy, Bay View and Greenfield. I have a list of things that I know I want/don't want. Don't want to live on an alley, don't really want a bungalow style house, prefer a 1 story home, need a garage, would like a fenced in back yard, would like central air, has to have a bedroom big enough to fit my king bed and dresser. I know I am picky but hey, it's my money and I want to spend it wisely. As I look at places, I will try to post pictures and updates online for all to see. Maybe I'll set up voting.

My dad got a GPS a few weeks ago. It is the Mio DigiWalker 320. Very cool. I have been 'borrowing' it for a few days. Ok, more like he needed me to print out the manuals from the dvd and I told him I would if I could use it. The one thing that it does not have that he really wanted is the text to speech option. So that instead of it saying turn left at next intersection it says turn left at Main St. Dad thinks he may take it back and get the other model that has this feature. Depending on how big my bonus is in Feb, I may get one. I was amazed and how accurate the thing was. It show where the openings to do U-turns were on streets and could even tell which lane I was in on the three lanes on the freeway. It is very cool and could see it being used when we camp. No more letting A or K pick the routes.

ZOBMONDO!!

Would you rather....

Be a 12-year old still in third grade who's liked by classmates and teachers

----OR----

a 12-year old in college who's considered a total freak?

I have to go with the college freak. Better to be smart than dumb. Besides, by time they are 25 or so, it will even out.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Better than Weight Watchers

I was in Wal-Mart buying a large bag of Purina for my dogs and was in line to check out. A woman behind me asked if I had a dog........


Duh!


I was feeling a bit crabby so on impulse, I told her no, I was starting The Purina Diet again, although I probably shouldn't because I'd ended up in the hospital last time, but that I'd lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care unit with tubes coming out of most of
my orifices and IV's in both arms.

Her eyes about bugged out of her head. I went on and on with the bogus diet story and she was totally buying it. I told her that it was an easy, inexpensive diet and that the way it works is to load your pockets or purse with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry.


The package said the food is nutritionally complete so I was going to try it again. I have to mention here that practically everyone in the line was by now enthralled with my story, particularly a tall guy behind her. Horrified, she asked if something in the dog food had poisoned me and was that why I ended up in the hospital.


I said no..... I'd been sitting in the street licking my butt when a car hit me.

I thought the tall guy was going to have to be carried out the door.

ZOBMONDO!!

Would you rather...

Get stood up at the altar

----OR----

have someone stand up during your wedding and reveal that your spouse-to-be has been cheating?

I have to go with someone standing up and revealing. Then everyone who is there will know what kind of person the spouse-to-be is.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Movin' on Up (to the East Side. OK, Maybe Just to the OC)

Things are just moving right along. We put the house on the market yesterday morning. We had one showing yesterday and another two scheduled for tomorrow evening. YIKES!! I'm not sure if I'm ready for this or not. I guess I have to be.

The realtor said that he will not do any open houses until after the Packer season is done. Hopefully that is in early Feb. He said that he can spend 2 grand on print ads and not have a single person show up. That is fine with me. I would just as soon not have all the nosy neighbors traipsing thru the house.

The thing that scares me now is that I have to find a new place to live. What I would like and what I can afford are not the same (are they ever??). With the boys and Ollie, I would have to get a house. Apartment living is not very conducive to barking dogs and a parrot who likes to be loud (when he gets going he can be louder than the dogs are). I did think about getting a roommate but that is not very appealing at this point in time.

If you know of any houses for sale in the 120-140,000 range let me know.
ZOBMONDO!!

Would you rather....

As a man, be stinking drunk at the birth of your first child

----OR----

Have the worst hangover of your life on your wedding day??

Hmmm..... as I think about this, I figured that half the men are hungover on their wedding day and the kid was probably conceived when he was stinking drunk, so what does it matter??

Well, if anything develops, I'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happy Birthday, Riley

Today is Riley's birthday. He is 5. It is hard to believe that it has been 5 years since we got him. I remember when we adopted him. He was so cute. His tail moving a mile a minute. It looked like a clock pendulum.

On our way home, we took him and Rufus to the bar to show him off. Riley proceeded to whiz on the floor (hey, he was only 8 weeks old).

I can't imagine my like without Riley. He is the happiest little guy. He will always play or give you kisses when you are sad.

This is one of the first picture we took of him. Doesn't he look like he is mad?? or giving you the evil eye??



Here he is from last week.


What a handsome boy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ice, Ice, Baby

I awoke this morning, to find the driveway covered in about an inch of snow. I took the dogs out and made the decision.

I am staying home today. We are supposed to get more snow and ice.

I have the option to work from home. Today it came in handy. Co-worker, J, called me about 6 am and said she had been driving for almost 40 minutes and was on 794. She was at a dead stop. She said she was getting off at the next exit and going back home. I then called, L and told him to stay home. He said he was thinking the same thing. It may not have been bad getting into work today for him but it would have been a cluster fuck getting home.

My 'office assistants' have been hard at work this morning. Making sure that I get no work done. I was on a conference call and they decide that they are going to bark at every car and person going by the house. Now it is every 30 minutes or so, someone has to go outside. They go when they are out there but then they putz around and looks stupid standing in the driveway in the rain. They can hold it all day except for today. Now they are relaxing.






Yes, K, I still have my fall leaf sheets and comforter on the bed. I will be changing it over to my winter theme later today.



Can't believe that Rufus actually lifted his head up to look at me.

ZOBMONDO!!

Would you rather....

Sit naked on a pedestal in the middle of a crowded park

----OR----

sit naked on a platter with an apple in your mouth at a gala dinner party?

I have to go with in the park. No real reason why. Hopefully the weather is better when I'm doing that than it is now.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Gathering

Tonight was the neighborhood Christmas party hosted by A & R. As always the food rocks. We had crab cakes, stuffed mushrooms, some cheese pastry stuff puffy thing (they rocked!). The new item was the shrimp bloody Mary shooters. The were shot glasses filled with shrimp, celery, scallions, and topped off with bloody Mary stuff (nice technical term, eh?) All you had to do was add a little bit more tomato juice and down they went. Had to remember to chew before you swallowed. They were soooo good. I'll have to get the recipe.

Some phrases that were overheard were:
  • Dude, you're stirring your shot.
  • Your baby looks creepy.
  • Just lick the toothpick, it won't hurt.
  • Here, pull my finger.
  • The Hog SUCKS!
They were said by:
  • The guy who was making fun of the guy who was trying something new and was drinking a German apple schnapps with a cinnamon stick in it. This was still in the shot glass.
  • 5-year old Emily, who told the hostess that the doll in the nursery was creepy and scary. The hostess is due in 3 weeks.
  • The host who dipped a wooden skewer into the jar of Cajohns King Cobra sauce and gave it to the guy who was doing the apple cinnamon shot. I smelled the sauce and burnt my nose.
  • The guy who had to fart. And it wasn't E.
  • The guy who won the Van Halen concert & trip to Seattle from the HOG. Between the snow here and the deluge in Seattle. It took 11 hours on a plane. The seats at the concert sucked. The hotel gave him a dirty room, which they moved him to a new room when he complained but not before he cleaned out the mini bar in the old, dirty room.

ZOBMONDO!!

Would you rather....

Have five bottles stuck on the fingers of one hand for a year

----OR----

a bucket stuck on your foot for a year?

I have to go with the bottles. I am hoping that I get to empty those bottles before they go on my fingers.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Can you Read This??

You would think by now that I would know better. I know that my will power is nil when it come to this. So why do I do it.

'CUZ I CAN!!

I had reserved a book (Clive Cussler's The Chase) at the library earlier this week. They called yesterday to say it was ready for me to pick up. I really only meant to stop in and pick up just that one book. 4 books later I walked out of the library. Damn!! I already have like 10-12 books more to read that I bought that are waiting to be read. I had to pay my 1.60 fine in order to get my new books. A small price to pay, tho'. The scary thing is that I was only in the library less than 5 minutes. I reserved another book yesterday, so will have to hurry up and get reading. I certainly think that my tax money is well spent on the library system.

Books for me are like crack. I can't go into a bookstore and not buy anything. This week at work we have our charity book/movie sale. I ended up buying like 4 more books. At a buck a book, it was a deal. I'll donate them back next year.

I could easily drop 100 bucks in a bookstore in no time flat. And that is even shopping the bargain book area. Harry W. Schwartz's is one of my favorites.

My favorite is when they have book signings and you can meet the author and have them sign your book. I probably have a couple of dozen books signed by various authors.

Some of my favorite are Jodi Picoult. She has a new book out on March 4, 2008. My friend, Natalie and I are going to her book signing in mid-March.

Janet Evanovich write the Stephanie Plum series. If you ever want to read a series that will have you laughing out loud start with "One for the Money" and work your way up. Between all the cars that she has that get 'destroyed' and Grandma Mazur, who likes to go to funerals as a social event she will have you rolling on the floor laughing.

Philip Gulley writes Harmony series. They detail the life of Sam Gardner, a small town Indiana Quaker minister. They are sweet books and detail a simpler kind of life. If you have ever lived in a small town, you can relate to some of the people.

I think that reading for enjoyment is not emphasized enough. I read everything I can get my hands on. I read the newspaper every day (Gambino, I'm trying to keep you in a job). Pretty much the whole thing. Sometimes, I skip the Sports section if there is nothing interesting. How else can you learn about what is going on it the world?? I started reading at an early age. I was reading Nancy Drew books before I started kindergarten. I remember spending most of my allowance on books at Drew's or if it was a big day and we got to go to the mall, Walden Books. To this day, you will still find me with my nose in a book quite often.

In taking a lead from Scott, who is starting his own book club (screw Oprah, hehehe), I will try to post reviews of the books I read. I am starting Nicholas Sparks - The Choice. (It is only a 7 dayer at the library)

So, my faithful readers, what books have you read recently? Who are your favorite authors? Talk back, guys!

Mexican Food Commercial

Can you tell I have nothing else to post other than finally clearing out old emails and posting funny videos.

I am pretty sure this could also be taken from a camping trip with the gang!


video

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Chicken Chili Verde

It's recipe time. About once a quarter our work has a charity lunch. People make food and other people buy tickets to eat the food. Proceeds go to charity. The theme this past time was chili's and stews.

Someone made this fantastic Chicken Chili Verde recipe. I would called it more of a Mexican chicken soup. Whatever it is good!!

6 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
3 cans green diced chilis
1-2 large diced onions - this depends on your taste. I find that one large onion is plenty
2 tbsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 very large can of chicken broth - I think is is 6 cups or so.
1 tsp chipotle pepper
1 tsp ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic
4 roasted tomatillos, pureed (or just mushed up)
2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Mix all items and cook for about an hour.

I also added a small bag of ditilini pasta.

I hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Let it Snow.. Let it Snow.. Let it Snow

Welcome to winter in Wisconsin. It is snowing/sleeting/raining out. Yuck. It started several hours ago and I have had to shovel a path from the front door to the middle of the yard so the dogs could go to the bathroom. Poor Riley was not happy when he thought he was still walking on the porch and fell off into a snow bank.

I took advantage of the time to go through a bunch of my old Partylite stuff that I no longer use and stuck it out on eBay. If you are interested in any of it, click here to check it out. There is some Christmas stuff and some regular stuff out there. I have a couple more things I want to stick out there but am too lazy for now.

Things are moving along with the divorce. We put the house up for sale. All that is left to do is get the carpets cleaned and we are good to go. I am still undecided on what to do. Do I buy a condo? no outside maintenance but no yard to call my own and nowhere for the dogs to romp. Buy a fixer-upper? Cheaper but will spend money to fix up. Will keep my dad busy tho. Buy a place that is move in ready? more expensive but shouldn't have to do much work to it. I guess I will have to get looking at places and then weigh my options.

Went out for the Packer/Dallas game on Thursday. It was a good time. Packers lost but I expected that. I just had more fun gabbing it up with everyone. It was good to see a few people who I have not seen in a long time. OMW, that means you.

At work this year we have to solicit peer review from three of our co-workers. I thought about it for awhile and picked three people who are from wildly different areas of the bank and that are not in my department. I am hoping that my boss recognizes that the people are very different and that I touch many areas with the stuff that I do. I do think it is odd that we have to solicit this feedback. Normally, it is the manager who does that. My MN co-worker sent to it L and I. Bad mistake on his part. I will be brutally honest and he probably won't like it. He is not up to snuff and should be re-deployed somewhere else. But the boss likes him so he stays. L and I still spend an hour or two each week cleaning up his mistakes. Now we document them in an email to him and copy the boss on it. Eventually, she has to figure out that we are spending alot of time and energy on coaching him. I hope she does anyway.

Speaking of Coach, if anyone feels especially generous this year, I would like this Coach bag. I can use a new one. I still love my plain black one I got several years ago but hey, a girl can use a new purse now and then. This one is also cute. I got a similar one this spring that was the summer pastel patchwork one. I should really hit up the Coach outlet in Kenosha. That could be dangerous tho.

Well, I'm going to go and catch up on my DVR stuff now. I started watching this new documentary on Sundance called Nimrod Nation. It takes place in Watersmeet, MI. It is the upper peninsula of Michigan. Watersmeet is on the border between MI and WI. It is interesting. People all talk like they were in the movie Fargo. Except that had more of a western twang to it. Check it out. Sundance also had a series called Live from Abbey Road. They take three artists and let them perform at the Abbey Road studios made famous by the Beatles. Paul Simon was one of my favorite.

ZOBMONDO!!

Would you rather....

Be a woman with a mustache

----OR----

a man with large breasts?

I'll have to go with the mustache. I can cover that up easier. Man boobs are not an attractive site.

See ya'll later.