Archive for the ‘Good Times’ Category


Coming Up for Air

November 4, 2009

The goal with getting a piano was to develop a hobby and live more of a life, rather than just work, eat, and sleep.  Well, between the piano, Ab’s upcoming wedding, and all of the miscellanous stuff that Dr. Love and I have been up to, there’s barely been room to even watch TV.  I know.  Craziness, huh?  Let’s just say that I have a ton of stuff piling up on DVR. 

So I am loving.loving.loving my new piano.  Not only does it look fabulous in the house, more fabulous than I even thought possible (and it fits, HA!, Bill and Ann), I am getting fairly obsessed with playing it.  It’s insane that, even after probably 15-17 years of not playing, how quickly the music is coming back to me.  Right now, I’m working very hard at learning Ave Maria and have an easier version of the real deal almost down.  Next comes Fur Elise and then Moonlight Sonata.  Oh, the possibilities are endless

I guess I didn’t realize (don’t know why) that the Internet would have a huge source of free (or even somewhat free) sheet music to download.  After I get more into the swing of things, I’m going to get some vocal/piano music and do some singin’.  That’s right, not only can I play piano, but I can sing, fairly well.  I know I’ve at least entertained everybody around the campfire from time to time.

Ab’s wedding is this weekend and I’m actually getting excited for it, rather than dreading being around all.those.people.  It’s her big day, and I plan on doing whatever it takes to make it the most enjoyable and memorable possible.  The dresses are going to turn out really well, which is good, because there were moments after the first fitting that we were worried and were ready to take lighter fluid and matches to the dress-maker’s front yard ornaments.  Turns out that will likely not be necessary. 

Ab also found some very awesome Etsy jewelry (that I’ll have to find a link for) that she gave as gifts to us bridesmaids to wear at the wedding, hoping that we’d actually wear it again.  You done good, little sis, you done good.  The pieces are turquoise set in copper and are just  I couldn’t be more excited, and, in fact, received a lecture from QoB about not wearing them before the wedding.  Lemme tell ya, it’s been difficult to keep them in their little box. 

There’s a tiny part of me that feels bad for blogging so infrequently, but there’s a bigger part of me that feels good for keeping so busy and having less angst to rail about.  Besides, I’m doing this for me, not for other people, but rather to give myself a place to sort things out, and, really, there hasn’t been much sorting out to do lately.  I’m working at just letting things come and floating.  It’s an awesome feeling.

Definitely a piece I am going to learn to play and sing:

Regina Spektor, The Call


From Brassieres to Beethoven

October 21, 2009

I came to a realization last night that it has been at least five years since I have worn a dress.  This realization came to me after trying on my maid-of-honor dress last night for my sister’s wedding.   When I first put it on, I was thinking, “OMG, I look pregnant.”  Turns out that these homemade dress-type-things, well, they have to be fitted specifically to your body.  Also turns out that it looked pretty darn good once it had been done. 

I’m getting pretty excited for the wedding, and also quite excited it has spurred some action into getting a few new bras.  Apparently I’m wearing the complete wrong size and have been for some time.  QoB measured me and bought a bra at JC Penney’s based off the measurements she took.  While it’s not perfect and still needs to be a bit larger around, it’s like night and day, the way the girls look and how comfortable it is.

I have always.always.always been a fan of the underwire bra.  I have this conception that it’s the only way my girls are going to look their best.  After wearing the bra that QoB picked out for me, however, I must say that non-underwire works pretty great, as well. 

In non-bra-related news, I think I have found the perfect piano for the right price in a little town about 45 minutes West of here.  It’s a beautiful antique upright with carvings of ivy vines on the front and would fit in with my house perfectly:




Dr. Love and I are going to Wamego on Thursday night to check it out.  If I like it, I’ll start figuring out a way to get it here.  My first inclination is to hire a moving service, as this is going to be one seriously heavy piano.  It will all depend on how much that would cost.  One way or another, I’ll get it here.  I’m not so worried about that as if it will measure up to how it looks in the pictures. 

It has been years and years since I have played the piano, but, as I’ve written in previous posts, it’s a hobby I would really like to get back into.  Hindsight being 20/20, I wish I would have stuck with it as a kid because, really, I was pretty good at it.  I also think it would be cool to have a piano so my someday children would have the opportunity to learn to play.  I don’t know if I ever thanked QoB for the endless trips out to Hermi’s for lessons, the recitals, or the like, but, Madre, you were always there to make it happen and that was a true gift to me.  I have many happy memories of my piano-playing days.

A song I can remember my mom playing over and over growing up.  One of the first major pieces I hope to learn.  Totally do-able.

Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata


And We Called it Good

October 19, 2009

Another fabulous weekend in my world.  Not only did we have some fun, we accomplished quite a bit, as well.

On Saturday, we cleaned house for about, um, five hours.  Yes, I realize this sounds excessive, perhaps somewhat obsessive, but it’s really.really.clean now.  You could eat off any surface in the kitchen and Dr. Love dusted the whole house.  All we really have left to do are the floors and Dr. Love has promised me that he will take care of the bathroom.  And, you know, it’s not that it’s gross, but seriously, it’s a bathroom, and it doesn’t hurt to douse it in bleach every now and then.

Friday and Saturday night, we hung out with QoB, which was good.  We didn’t get to see her last weekend because they were out of town, or all week because we were busy, but we finally got in some good quality time.  Big Dog was out of town at a convention and so we got really wild.and.crazy.  Ok, maybe not, but we still had fun.  🙂

Dr. Love received some free tickets to the KC Renaissance Festival a few weeks ago and I was finally well enough from having the flu to go.  His parents ended up coming with us, and it was really a good time.  The weather was absolutely perfect — lots of sunshine, just a bit chilly but warm enough you could be outside all day with a sweatshirt and jeans.  I cannot express just how much I have missed the sun and being outside!

There were a lot of really fun booths and things to look at, but I only ended up bringing home one souvenir — these really magnificent stone coasters from Jerusalem Stone

Jerusalem Stone Coasters

Jerusalem Stone Coasters

The pic really doesn’t do them justice, but it’s a set of four, each one being a different color, but all so beautiful.  You can purchase them here.  Looking at their website, I see that they also do all sorts of wonderful things with flooring and tile.  One day, one day.  🙂

I have really been grooving on Regina Spektor here lately.  I leave you with one of my favorites:

Regina Spektor, On the Radio 


Kicking it Into High Gear

October 12, 2009

Time to start the work-week.  Whoo-hoo.  After being gone all last week, I’m just trying not to think of the absolutely ridiculous amount of tasks that have piled up in my absence.  I do like being the only person responsible for my job (note — does not play well with others 🙂 ), but when I am gone, I find myself truly wishing that there was someone to pick up the slack.  I have three MH pod people leaving this week and another the following.  I just hope that I can get all my stuff together to make that all a success.  Of course I will, because I am 100% MHDP and I don’t take no quack from no one.  😀

The weekend ended up being pretty good, even though I still felt kind of sicky-poo.  On Saturday, I pretty much just laid around, feeling pretty stir-crazy.  On Sunday, I woke up feeling better.  I got up at my normal time (aka, with the roosters) and managed to stay up until 8:00 a.m.  I did end up taking a nap, because my morning activities of doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen, and intense web-surfing left me totally wiped.  I woke up around 11:00 a.m. ready to take on the day, though.

I simply had to get out of the house at this point.  I had been cooped up pretty much since the previous Sunday, other than a miserable and pathetic (and unsuccessful) attempt to drag myself to work middle of last week.  I had been doing nothing but sleeping, eating soup, and watching bits and pieces of TV (where I would undoubtedly fall asleep on the couch after 15 minutes). 

I rousted Dr. Love out of his computer geek reverie (he just picked up a bunch of new toys) and we headed out on the town.  I was itching to spend some money get out and do something, so we hit a local thrift store.  I was in the market for some kick-around-in sweatshirts and maybe some new shoes, but we didn’t find anything worthwhile, other than a new briefcase for Dr. Love’s new-found techie tools and some hedge trimmers.  It was fun though — I do love to poke around thrift stores and junk shops.  This trip really made me yearn for a trip to visit Dr. Love’s parents — middle-of-nowhere Missouri really does have some of the best junk/thrift/antique shops to go through.

From the thrift store, we went to Walmart to pick up a few things.  We managed to find some parts that may or may not fix our ancient (mauve-ish pink-ish) toilet that won’t flush properly and some more techie stuff for Dr. Love.  I have also been craving some homemade chicken tortilla soup, so we bought the stuff for that, along with some miscellaneous goodies.  Really had to steer Dr. Love away from the Halloween candy!!

I was really pooped by the time we were loading everything into the car, feeling also somewhat in foul humor due to the rising costs of frozen treats ($5 for my favorite Skinny Cow mint ice cream sandwiches — what the quack, mate?).  When we got out to the car, Dr. Love was trying to cheer me up and I thought he was kidding around when he said that my car was listing to one side.  Upon closer inspection, however, we found that a rather large nail had gone through my tire. 

The genius spirit within us, however, led us to the Walmart tire and lube shop, where they told us in no uncertain terms that it would be “dangerous” and “against policy” for them to repair our tire.  This really makes no sense, as it was in the middle of the tread, but they threw the donut on for us, which is still what’s on right now.  I am going to have to make a trip to the local tire place where I originally bought them to see if they can fix it, and, if not, they can replace it because they’re still under warranty.  Sometimes the beauty of living in a place where you can go to an independent local business really has it’s perks, although it’s a pain in the bootie because they’re only open 8-5 during the week.  At least the donut is on for now and that will at least get me through my Monday.

On the way home, I felt totally exhausted and icky.  I have pulled a muscle in my chest area due to ridiculous coughing spells, and every bump on the way home was torture.  When we pulled up, I immediately ran into the house and took some ibuprofen.  I realize it sounds silly to take a pain-killer for what sounds like such a minor thing, but when you’re coughing every five minutes, it just doesn’t do to have killer pain all over your upper torso. 

I felt better within about thirty minutes and, as much as I enjoyed our venture into the outside world, it felt good to come home, too.  I find that a bit strange, considering how much time I’d spent at home in the past week, but I pass it off to still feeling a bit sickly.

I love nothing more than cooking up a bunch of stuff on Sundays to last the week, so I whipped up a double recipe of mini cheddar meatloaves (a Weight Watchers recipe that’s really oh-so-sinfully good, yet healthy), a big batch of chicken tortilla soup (another Weight Watcher’s recipe, still sinfully good, yet healthy), and made up a bunch of celery with PB for the work week.  I had about 3/4 of a package of Velveeta left over from making my soup, and, of course, Dr. Love kind of whined about maybe wanting some cheese dip, so I also whipped up some queso and put it in the crock pot.  That man does love his cheese dip — totally reminds me of the Big Dog. 

The soup turned out fabulous and it felt really good to have a bunch of healthy stuff cooked up for the week, especially since I know this week may be trying at work, what with all of my time out of the office.  That and Dr. Love was very appreciative, mentioning how he survived off jail food and sandwiches for his brief period of bachelor-dom between living at home and meeting me.  So appreciative, in fact, that he helped do all of the clean-up from the kitchen mess I made with all the cooking. 

I have really been grooving on some good music lately, and can’t help but mention my favorite radio station, KKJO 105.5.   They play the best music, especially on the weekends when they do “all 80’s.”  I rocked out to it all yesterday while cooking and it really puts me in good spirits.  In addition to the fabulous weekend 80’s music, they play “no-repeat work-days” Monday thru Friday, where, duh, they dont’ repeat any songs from 9-5 during the work day.  Simply amazing and it makes me sad that I can’t listen to it at work, because the station is out of St. Joe, MO, and the reception doesn’t reach into the cinderblock prison walls. 

P.S. — if anyone wants the recipe to the mini meatloaves or the chicken tortilla soup, feel free to email me @

Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Come On Eileen


This Drink is On Me

October 3, 2009

This past week has been pretty busy, especially in the evenings.  I even went out to dinner last night with my co-workers to give my boss a going-away party.  Pretty proud of myself — even at the end of a long week when all I wanted to do was go home and relax and take care of this cold I think I am getting, I just acted as if I was going to have/having a fabulous time and ended up enjoying myself.

It’s amazing how much different my idea of a good time is now than in the past (like in college or even for years after).  The bar scene brings on severe PTSD symptoms and I’m really not into that.  Going to one rattles me for weeks and it’s just not worth it to me, especially when I can’t enjoy it while I am there. 

Drinking is also not that important to me anymore, when it definitely used to be.  When we went out last night, everyone was either drunk or getting drunk — I was the only sober person, sipping my herbal tea while everyone else was slamming beer, amaretto sours, margaritas, and mojitos. 

A lot of the issue with drinking is that it is quacking expensive.  And so is eating out, I really had no idea since we never ever go out to eat, other than pizza or Chinese, every great once in awhile, Mexican.  I’d say we eat out less than once a month.

Imagine my shock when my tab for last night was $24 with tip.  What the quack, mate?  All I ordered was a piece of grilled chicken, a baked potato, a side Caesar, and hot tea.  $24, seriously?

The craziness is that I could have made the exact thing at home for less than five bucks.  Maybe around $2-3.  Really makes me not want to eat out even more than I already don’t.  Really makes me glad I wasn’t drinking at the restaurant, as well, because I don’t think you can get a cocktail in there for less than $5.

But, I did have a pretty good time.  My co-workers were very entertaining, I took a lot of pictures with our secretary’s camera, and spent some time with the smokers on the outdoor deck.  It was really pretty nice and I didn’t even really feel bad when I left at 9:00 p.m. and they were “just getting started” (yikes!) drinking.  Wowza.  I had heard before that our MH team was full of party animals, but I didn’t know to what extent…singing scary-oke and dancing on the bar at a local hotspot right by my house. 

And I heard some seriously crazy stories about past bar hopping and official conferences where giving the bartender your bra so that you can dance on the bar sounded tame.  Soooo glad those days are over for me!

A song that really spoke to me and both QoB when I was getting over some serious crazy times toward the end of college and shortly thereafter.  Appreciate every day I’m alive.

Alison Krauss and Brad Paisley, Whiskey Lullaby


Take a Little Time

September 17, 2009

Wow, I was getting in such a good routine of blogging in the mornings, and now it’s been almost a week!  What the quack??? to borrow a much-loved new expression from QoB.  😀

I think the reason for the lack of blogging is that the only real down-time I have is in the mornings, and I am really enjoying drinking my coffee, smoking, and listening to the iPod on the back porch, looking out into my beautiful yard.  That, and I have been working at being super-productive in the mornings, so that I can come home in the evenings and just chill, spend good quality time with Dr. Love, and get to bed at a decent time so that I can get up in the a.m. and do it all over again.  I’ve managed to get about two weeks of laundry totally done, have cleaned the kitchen every a.m. for about the last ten days (Dr. Love needed a break, I thought, and I was feeling guilty that I was pitching in on that project so infrequently), and have been picking up the house and keeping it nice and clean.

I love that feeling when everything in the house and on the chore-list is “just-so.”  No, not any control issues here or OCD issues here.  😀

I think we are headed out to the lake again this weekend.  The weather is supposed to be nice, except for some rain overnight on Saturday.  As QoB says, though, that’s all part of camping!  Dr. Love and I are really starting to get the hang of this whole camping thing and we’re LOVING it.  It’s so nice and relaxing to just get away, from the responsibilities at the house, from work, from the computer and the phone and just spend quality time together. 

QoB and Big Dog took their camper out to the lake last night, so I am sure we will be seeing them this weekend.  That will be nice for us and for them, because we don’t get to spend tons of quality time together, with them being so busy with the shops and, really, with Dr. Love and I being so busy just doing our thing.  Big Dog and QoB definitely need a break at this point…the busy seasons are ending and they’ve both been working seven days a week, just non-stop craziness. 

I think it’s kind of weird how everybody (including myself, sometimes) feels bad for the Big Dog because he has to work so much, but QoB is really working her ass off, too.  Granted, she is only working four 8’s a week at her regular job, but she’s putting in hours at the shops almost every evening, whether it is at home doing books/inventory/purchasing/research or at the shop slinging bait, plus she works all weekend from either the house or the shop.  All I have to say is, Madre, you’re amazing and a true inspiration for who I want to be.  MTLI.

So, last weekend Dr. Love and I worked at the shop on Saturday and Sunday, trying to help get stuff done.  We planted a crap-ton of plants for propogation (sp?) for the spring season and put most of them in the correct spots.  I do think Young21, their part-time garden store employee, has a lot of organizing and heavy lifting to do when he recovers from being ill, however.  At least we made some headway, though.  Then on Sunday, QoB and I forced (and I do mean forced) Big Dog to take off at 1:00 and go do something fun.  We ran the shops without a hitch, absolutely no problems.  I love it when a plan comes together.  Now Dr. Love, Big Dog, and I just need to find a way to give QoB a day off.  And by day off, I mean that she would likely spend it working on stuff at the house, because she just can’t.sit.still.  😀

I was thinking of the movie, Beaches — and I really don’t understand why it has such a low rating, because that’s one of the greatest.movies.of.all.time — for some reason this morning and really wanted to hear some Bette Midler

Without further adieu, I give you, one of my favorite celebs, Bette (and I couldn’t decide on just one song, and would love to hear if you have a favorite).  😀

Bette Midler, From a Distance

Bette Midler, The Rose

Bette Midler, Wind Beneath My Wings — and you know, people make fun of this song all the time, but I quackin’ love it, so there.  🙂


Dear Weekend of Mine

September 11, 2009

Just when I thought I was going to catch a break, a at work, all hell breaks loose…again…and the race is on…again.  I really did think I had this case I am working on all summed up, but I think it’s that attitude that jinxed me, and now I’m starting over from square one.  Nothing I did, not my fault, but still…argh!  Let’s just say that, when you step out for 30 minutes to chainsmoke get some fresh air and clear your head, and they STILL call you on your cell phone, and have security trying to track you down, there are issues. 

But that’s ok, because I only have today, and then there’s the weekend.  The beauty of working at the prison is that, after the day is done, there’s not a lot to fret about because, let’s face it, they’re still locked up and it really becomes not-my-problem. 

Dr. Love worked on the rock patio last night.  It’s not completely done, but it will need to be before tonight, save from putting in the polymer sand.  That’s per the Big Dog, who let me know in no uncertain terms that we were going to have hard rains this weekend and all of that work would be for naught if the few stones left did not get laid and sand put between the cracks.  I’m tempted to wake Dr. Love up to inform him of such, but I think I’ll just call him constantly starting at 9:00 a.m. until he wakes up, answers the phone, and gets to hear all about it.

Kizzer Wizzer finally had her bath last night.  I really don’t know how she gets so dirty, other than perhaps rolling in dirt/mud/sand/grass all of the time and jumping in QoB and Big Dog’s pond anytime she gets the chance.  She is looking much better and seems to be less itchy.  Giving her a bath used to be a huge T/D for me, but now Dr. Love helps and she is very calm.  I think it’s because he watches the Dog Whisperer all the time, really do.  She has turned from an all-the-time rebellious dog into a dog that is somewhat manageable, as long as Dr. Love is around.  Really, she even acts better with me, but she’ll do anything (almost anything) for him.

We don’t have any big weekend plans and I would like to keep it that way.  My dad wants me to go by and feed his cat because they will be out of town on Friday and Saturday.  My thinking — it’s a friggin’ cat…put down some extra food and move on!  I still need to call him back and let him know my thought-process on that, however, and hopefully he doesn’t learn of my feelings by reading this during the morning hours today.  Hi, Dad!  🙂

Other than doing some family visiting, namely drinking mojitos and daquiris in the backyard at QoB’s, I plan to not do much this weekend other than rest.  The past few weeks at work have been really stressful and draining, and we have also stayed really busy on the weeknights.  I think it’s time to take a hint from my dear buddy buddy from high school, Adriana @ From KS to PA (a lady who sometimes does not take her own advice) 😉 and sit on my butt a little bit.

DVR-list, here I come!

Working for the Weekend, Loverboy