Sunday, December 23, 2007

Random Thoughts

After a whole week of vacation (my first in 6 months), I finally had had enough of sitting around and doing nothing. It's kind of funny, and not that unexpected, that it would take a whole week of doing nothing on vacation before I finally felt like doing anything. Oh sure, I made cookies one day, and I did one day of Christmas shopping, but that's it.

So today I decided I'd clean the house. And do the stuff that usually gets forgotten. So I spent the first 2 hours doing nothing but putting things back where they belong, with the ultimate goal of cleaning up my kitchen counter for the first time in months. Maybe a year. It was clean, but it was always cluttered. Well, no more. There's a candle and a silver platter on there, and that's it. While I was in the process, I cleaned the rails on the elliptical, cleaned the baseboards, vacuumed absolutely everything, and made a pile of stuff to go to the Good Will. I'm not done with that pile yet. It'll grow before Jan 1. I also cleaned off my desk and the side table in my office. First time that's been done in many, many months. I even managed a run to Wal-Mart to pick up some more vacuum bags so I could finish the job.

I'm also back to exercising after a week of being a slob. This week, even watching the Biggest Loser didn't motivate me to get moving. I need to though. My jeans are getting a wee bit too tight. Part of that slobbishness was 2 days of eating above-mentioned christmas cookies. I only ate two today though. I held my binge down to 2 days, so I'm getting better. It just didn't feel right if I went the whole season without making any cookies.

I guess I really did need that down time. Now I'm able to think about getting stuff done around the house, and I haven't had time for that all fall. I briefly toyed with the idea of doing something ambitious over my vacation, like painting the bathroom. But I quickly came to my senses, much to my husband's relief.

Got out of the house yesterday and went to HGMS. I wanted to finish up faceting a blue stone I'd been working on for a couple of weeks. However, when I got there and started really looking at the crown (the top part), I realized I'd screwed up the pavilion (the bottom part). The girdle (the middle) facets were staggered, up and down, instead of in a straight line. I had to take it completely out of the dop, and I'll have to start all over again. Bleah. Since I had to clean the wax and glue off of it before I could restart, I decided to start on a ruby. I'd bartered a bottle of brandy for a half a boule of synthetic ruby a month ago, and I've been anxious to try it. Tom helped me figure out the best way to dop the rough stone so I'd get the biggest cut out of it. Then I almost really screwed up the cut by getting my facets mixed up. Luckily, I figured it out just in time to save the stone. Oh, I could have saved it anyway, but I'd have had to make it smaller, and I didn't want to do that on a ruby. I got the first pass done on the pavilion, but I don't think I have a 600 grit lap to do the next pass. Well, maybe I'll pull out the faceting machine in a day or two and play with it. I also wire wrapped 3 cabochon stones this weekend, although I'm not really happy with the way one of them turned out. It'd suck if I have to scrap all that silver wire and start again. I could at least sell the wire for scrap to one of the guys at HGMS, and silver isn't all that expensive. At least, not as bad as gold wire.

I braved the mall last week, and found a great tasting tea at Teavana. Usually, I never stop in there, and I usually stick with flavored coffee. But they had a mix of chai and mate that was fabulous when I tried a sample, so I had them mix me up some. I didn't listen to the bit about it only being fresh for a week though. I wasn't going to buy a special air-tight tea container for $17 just to make my tea taste super fresh for the next month. I drink tea that's over a year old. It tastes fine to me. I'm not that much of a tea or coffee snob. Or a wine snob. either I like it or I don't.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Oh Christmas Tree

That's the best part of the whole season. I love putting up the Christmas tree and decorating it. I like even better when the weather's been as nice as it has been lately, so I can sit on my chaise lounge in front of the lit Christmas tree, reading a book and listening to my stream through the open window. Ahhh, so nice.

When we went shopping for our annual trip a couple weeks ago, I found the perfect ornament hangar at a little store in Spring. Ordered one for myself, and when I got it last week, I put it up and it displays all my fancy ornaments gorgeously! See?

Okay, so you really have to click on them to look at the larger picture, but it's very pretty. And the best part is that I have plenty of space for more ornaments.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holiday Shopping

Friday I took the day off work and with several other ladies from work, we went to old town Spring, north of Houston, to spend the day shopping. It's a really cute place with tons of neat, kitchy shops. I think I ended up spending most of my money on myself instead of presents for others.

Pat loves snowmen, and she always picks up several different snowmen in Spring. This year, she found a door hangar that had a reindeer head on top of a snowman head on top of a Santa head. I took one look and called it a Christmas turducken. :) It's hanging on her office door now, and it's really cute, all soft and plushy.

Oh yeah, the best part of the morning was breakfast. Really. I've been low-carbing for a while now, and I was so looking forward to pancakes on Friday morning. We ended up at IHOP, and I got cheesecake pancakes with apple cinnamon. Very, very yummy.

I also found an ornament stand for all my fancy Cracker Box ornaments. They're too heavy to put on my real tree, and I've been looking for something like that for a long time.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Beowulf on the Big Screen

It was a really, really big screen. We went to see Beowulf at the 3D IMAX in north Houston today. Wow! It took up the entire screen, and the 3d was pretty cool. The sound was loud enough I could feel it in my bones. I don't think I've ever seen a 3D movie, so this was lots of fun.

Afterward, we stopped at IKEA, because it was there. I think I'm definitely an IKEA kind of person. The furniture, carpets and curtains were what I considered to be reasonable, and mostly nice, although it was a little too euro and modern for my taste. They still had lots of stuff that I thought looked nice. And the prices were a hell of a lot better than the stores I've been looking at around here. We even had dinner there: swedish meatballs and gravlox.

I can't believe how nice the weather is lately. It's the first of December, and it's 80 degrees. I'm wearing shorts and have the windows open. Just talked to Carolyn back in Virginia and she's getting sleet. I guess I can't complain. Sometimes I still miss winter weather. But then I realize Im wearing shorts in December. :)