Thursday, November 30, 2006

December 3rd

Christmas Countdown #3

Greg plays saxophone, Chris plays bass guitar. Finding a saxophone ornament - no problem. Finding a guitar ornament - no problem. Finding a bass guitar ornament? Well, thank gawd for the internet.

We are now on day three of my advent calendar, and all I've posted are my kids' ornaments! But, there are many many more. Stayed tuned!

December 2nd

Christmas Countdown #2

This dragon ornament belongs to my youngest son, Chris. He is a Round Rock Dragon football player. He is on the JV, but he has been practicing with the varsity as a member of their 'scout team' since they have advanced to the state playoffs. Round Rock barely made the playoffs. It was down to the final game of the season, and they clinched the fourth place in their division, and the last spot in the playoffs. Amazingly enough, they defeated A&M Consolidated in the first round. A&M Con was ranked 8th in the state. The next week, they had to face powerhouse Lufkin. A team that was nationally ranked. Once again, the dark horse Dragon team stunned the Texas high school football hierarchy and soundly defeated Lufkin.

Today, December 2, the Dragons face their third playoff opponent, Allen, at Waco. Will the story continue, or will it end? I sure hope they go on..... but it's been a helluva ride so far. What an amazing team.


UPDATE: The Dragons lost to Allen 42-35. Helluva game. Congrats Allen and Amazing playoff run for the Dragons! Ya'll should be proud. I know that I am.

Christmas Countdown

In honor of that age-old tradition, the Advent Calendar, I am going to present to you a selection of my wonderful tree ornaments. These ornaments, which I curse every year because they are so much work, really mean a lot to me. There are many memories tied up into these cheap little trinkets. So counting down to Christmas, I present to you one per day. The good. The bad. The ugly.

Click for larger image

The first one is a favorite of my oldest son. He is a saxophone player. We got this on a trip to New Orleans in the summer of 2002. New Orleans was a stinky, simmering, sweaty mess of a city in the summer. I am, however, glad that I got to visit before the catastrophe of Katrina.

After a couple days in New Orleans, we went to Panama City, Florida, for five days. Stayed on the beach in a nice little motel with efficiency rooms. Then we went to Disney World for four days. And then the long drive home to Texas.

I would have to rate that as one of my top five vacations ever. The only thing I would do differently is to go to Disney World, and then spend five days at the beach. I loved the beach because it was really peaceful, quality time with the boys. Disney World is hectic and exhausting. I could have used some quiet time at the beach after that!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


What am I finished with? My Christmas tree, of course. I've been married for 26 years. We have accumulated ornaments at an average of 5 a year, every year. Whenever we go on vacation, another ornament. We always gift each other with a new ornament every year. Jim came into the marriage with a small collection also, because he got one every year of his life from his mom. And, of course, my boys get one from us and sometimes some from the grandparents every year also. So I have one HUGE collection of ornaments.

Each ornament is packed in it's original box, with the date and the place on it. And all the little boxes are packed like a jigsaw puzzle into two bigger boxes. The unpacking takes forevah!!! Not to mention trying to put all the little boxes back into the bigger boxes so they fit. It only took me two days to do it this year..... that's actually pretty fast.

I do love my ornaments though. So many memories. My boys have some great ones, but I will be happy to pack them up and send them to their house when they are on their own. That will be less for me to deal with every year! They will have a good size collection to start their own Christmas traditions. I just hope they take the same care with them that I do.

And the worst part of all this? I have to pack them all up and put them away after Christmas!!! Dayum.

Friday, November 24, 2006


So, I fell today. Sometimes I wonder if it is just my inherent clumsiness, or something a bit more sinister. This time, I missed a curb. I was hurrying from my car and just went down..... of course, I put down my hand to break my fall. Now my thumb is very sore and not very mobile. A little swelling. I'm giving it a good keyboard workout. Hopefully it will be fine by morning. Or much worse. I never realized how valuable a thumb can be. Especially on your dominant hand.

The monster cannot be doing this to me. It was just an accident. I'm sure it was.

At any rate, Thanksgiving was great. Very calm and low key. I do miss not having big family gatherings at this time of year. They're all too far away. But most of the time, I'm glad they are far away. I really do want to make a trip back East next year. Maybe. I've been feeling nostalgic for Philly lately.

Seems like it's been a million years since I was back home. It's actually been 13 years. Time to go back for a visit, I think.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

WOW....... a new outlook.

Do I regret that I spent the last sixteen years staying at home and taking care of my family? Every single minute of those sixteen years were the most important and most rewarding of my life. I did, however, miss having a job.

When I left IBM in 1990, there were only a few PCs around the site. We didn't have voicemail. Calendars were only beginning to be kept online. "Online" was being connected to the company mainframe, not a PC network. Laptops? Didn't exist. Local printers? They took up an entire 8x10 room and everyone in the department used the same one which was kept behind a locked door. Everyone needed a hardcopy of everything, so of course there was an entire department devoted to copying. Email was just beginning to be used on a regular basis.

As you can see, I am obsolete. Well, sort of obsolete. I started using the internet in 1994. Well, it wasn't exactly the internet as we know it today. I connected to the world via Compuserve. On a 14.4 kbps modem. It was amazing to me.... and I got hooked very fast. I didn't actually leave the safe little world of Compuserve until around 1997, when I started realizing I shouldn't be paying for this service by the hour!

And I'm now on my fourth PC. And I had email before spam was invented. And I keep our little family network of three PCs running and in order.

But, when it came time to build a resume, I had nothing. Nothing for sixteen years. And I really didn't want to step into full-time work anyway. I just wanted to get out and get a part-time job so that I could ease my way into things again.

I just kind of fell into this little job. Driving by, saw a Now Hiring sign (one of many) and stopped in. I walked out with a job. Now it's not a 'professional' job. It really is retail in all respects. And it's not much money.

But oh..... I do love it. I get to see lots of people every day. I get to go to work and do a job. And it is very strange to me that it has made me feel so damn good. Today is Saturday, and I'm not working weekends yet, so I went grocery shopping, built a lasagna for dinner, went with my husband to get his satellite radio installed, and just felt good about everything today! Those are usually errands that I loathe. But they felt great to me on this beautiful fall Saturday.

Last night, after my first four-day week, I was exhausted and asleep by 9:30. But I woke up at 6 this morning and didn't want to go back to sleep. I feel good. If I can do this job for awhile, then maybe I can get back into full-time work again next year. I don't think I'll be in a hurry to leave this one though. I really lucked out. It's great.