Sunday, April 27, 2008

Saturday at Ian's

Had a wonderful day yesterday with Ian, Mom, Dad, and the kids. Only Cory and I had seen his new apartment to date, so Ian wanted to host a get-together to show everyone else around. As usual, we had a great time. We started with KFC for lunch, checked out Ian's new Apple TV and helped him set up his Playstation 3. It was quite entertaining to watch an internationally-reknowned computer scientist driven to frustration by a game console that most 10-year-olds would be able to instantly master (Ian, hope you're reading this, tee-hee). I have no room to talk - I still haven't figured out the DVD remote myself...

After lunch, we headed outside to check out Mass Ave. The neighboorhood surrounding his building is wonderful. It is chock full of cafes, bars, and little independent retail shops. Ian had scouted out a toy store there, and it was fantastic! We had a great time looking about at all of the colorful and interesting things. The kids had a ball, and picked out some coloring and sticker books. I, of course, had to point out a line of playsets called Calico Critters. They are kind of like Littlest Pet Shop, but the creatures are a lot more intricate and much cuter. Mom let each of the kids pick out a set. At $20 or more a set, this could become an expensive habit. Sorry Mom and Ian! Being an Aunt is so much fun, LOL.

After we came out of the toy store, we dumped our packages off at the apartment and headed down Mass Ave toward Monument Circle for some ice cream at the Chocolate Cafe. We sat on the steps of the Monument to eat it and did a little people watching. None of us had ever been to the top, so we rode the elevator up. On the observation deck, the windows were dirty and it was very confining, so most of the time I just couldn't wait to get out of the there. But it did give you a pretty good view of the city and now we can all say we have been up there. We had a great time!

I'm so glad they're all back down in Indianapolis so we can have more days like this.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My day

I had the day off today, and what a beautiful day it was! The forecast was for 80 degrees, but according to the mercury on my thermometer the temperature exceeded that. I spent some time grooming the perennials in the front landscaping where we have yet to mulch - yesterday I finished off the pile that was in the driveway and I'm waiting for more to arrive. Last year we never quite finished off the mulching . Now that we have to represent Second Nature Landscapes in a good light, I'm sure we'll do it all this year in a timely manner. Who wants landscaping from a guy whose own landscape is a shambles?

After working in the yard I sat out with the dogs for a bit and read in the backyard. I also had some time to catch up on laundry and bills. Nothing too exciting, but relaxing nonetheless...

After Cory got home, I got to work on some scrapbooking. I created a layout with my April kit from Studio Calico. I love this kit! I would never have picked out some of these supplies on my own, especially the letter stickers. I love the way belonging to this club stretches my creativity. I even had the courage to journal on the page with my own handwriting. I used the best white pen ever (the Ultimate Gel Pen by American Crafts), suggested to me in one of the classes I took at CKC. This layout took me all of an hour from start to finish. A real feat for me considering I often spend days ruminating over one page! It is so satisfying when a page turns out just right to your own eye.

It's back to work for me tommorow. Hopefully things aren't too hairy there right now. I've had a good stretch lately and that always makes me nervous that things will take a turn for the worse. Oh, the superstitions of a hospital nurse (it's not a full moon, right now, is it?).

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Some Sunday gardening

We've had a huge pile of mulch in the driveway for a few weeks now, so we decided today was the day to start hacking away at it. Thankfully, Cory's workers had done a great job of clean-up and edging last month, so all I had to do was a little perennial maintenance and pruning in order to ready the beds. We started with the front landscaping. Cory dumped wheelbarrows full of mulch while I began spreading it. It was fun to see how things are coming along at ground level. The hostas are poking their heads out, all of the shrubs are budding, and the lily-turf is is starting to emerge as well. I love this time of year! Everything is so fresh and full of promise. I'm crossing my fingers that we don't get a late freeze like last year so all of these plants will have a fighting chance. I tuckered out after only a few hours - you'd think working 12-hour shifts at the hospital would keep me in better shape. I hate to think what my legs will feel like tommorow after all of that bending and crouching. We had a great day, and I caught some great pictures.

These are the Pinocchio tulips that I planted last year. They are beautiful! I will have to plant some more of these next year. Tulips don't tend to do very well around here but from what I read, these are quite hardy.

As I was mulching in front of the bedroom window, something on the ledge caught my eye. This cute little guy was sitting there, just hanging out. I think he might of been cold, because even when I was invading his personal space by using the macro mode, he didn't even flinch.

Found this little guy out there as well. I think he's pretty cute, too. ;)

Friday, April 18, 2008

An exciting morning

I got up this morning for work at 5:15 am as usual. After my shower, the windows in the bedroom started rattling loudly and continuously for several seconds. Then, I heard what I thought was a gust of wind rumbling the entire house, except that it seemed to go on and on. The racket even woke Cory up. I was preparing myself for the roof to fly off when it stopped, after about 15-20 seconds. Meanwhile, Cory had lept up out of bed to look out the window, and had remarked that the trees were shaking, so it must have been wind. Only after they started talking about it on the news did we realize what we had experienced - an earthquake!

I only remember ever feeling one other earthquake, back in the 80s when we lived on Platte Drive. I was out on the deck when the roof started shaking, and I remember dashing into the house telling Mom and Dad that someone was running on the roof. That one was really subtle, but I still remember it very clearly.

Of course the news media had to beat the subject like a dead horse, taking endless calls from viewers eager to tell their stories. For hours and hours this went on. By 10 am I was pretty sick of it. But here I am writing bout it.... hmmm.

Glad we don't live in California...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bangs, a sunburn, and Yankees tickets

I haven't updated for a while so here goes...

Had a visit from the FedEx man today. They have finally arrived... our Yankees tickets! We are planning a trip to New York in September. It is the last year for old Yankee Stadium so we wanted to see a game there before it is gone forever. I bought the tickets on StubHub some time ago and have had a difficult time actually getting them in my hands, so their arrival is a relief. Especially since the entire vacation we are planning kind of revolves around that game. Of course we have much more planned including a cruise around Manhattan, a trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and a stop at Niagara Falls on the way home. Can't wait for the trip itself, but I am sure enjoying the planning phase.

Today both Casper and I had hair appointments. He went with his traditional buzz cut (with puffy tail, of course), but I needed a change so I had Melissa cut me bangs. I was going for Reese Witherspoon, but I'm a little worried that I ended up with Tyra Banks. As with most changes, I guess I'll just have to get used to it (at least that's the reasoning that Cory used when he was trying to console me).

Once the haircuts were all done, Sammy, Casper, and I headed out to the backyard. I drug out my lounge chair from the garage and basked in the sun for a few hours while finishing a book. It was so nice, I sat out there a bit too long and now have a touch of a sunburn on my arms and chest. The weather was gorgeous, with just a hint of a cool breeze. Thankfully, my allergies were tame today so I was able to enjoy it. Now, off to work tommorow...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Backyard Paparazzi

I tried to take advantage of the balmy spring temps and dry weather today by spending some time outdoors. After cleaning up the back patio, pruning a few roses, hedging my boxwoods, and dumping my pots of last year's annuals (yes, I should have done that last fall but never got around to it), it was some time for some relaxing. I grabbed my camera and took advantage of the haziness to experiment with it while watching Sammy and Casper do their thing. Here's what I came up with. First, a close-up of Sammy. The second shot shows how I got him to hold still. A little tennis ball baiting...

Casper was not quite as photogenic as Sammy today. He looked either disgruntled or constipated in each and every shot. This was the best I could come up with. Still cute, but I am a little biased...

After an hour or so of goofing around in the grass, they were tired and so was I. I'm so glad spring is here and we're back to enjoying our favorite afternoon pastime.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

CKC St Louis

We just returned from the Creating Keepsakes scrapbook convention in St. Louis late last evening. Cory agreed to go with me when we found out that the Cardinals were playing at home Friday night. I think he would have gone with me even if we hadn't planned to catch the game... he is so supportive of me and was almost as excited as I was that I was taking time to immerse myself in something that I love. Of course, he found other things to do during the days and didn't dare even set foot into the convention center, but he was there to support me nonetheless.

I took two classes on Friday and three Saturday, and came away with several great projects and some fresh ideas. The shopping was amazing. Although there were several booths that sold things that I had no interest in, there was a lot of fresh product there and some great inspirational product displays. I also picked up a few design books at a great price in the CK booth. My favorite was the "dollar" booth, although the wait tested my patience and my temper. (It never ceases to amaze me how rude, selfish, and greedy people can be). Despite the torture, I got almost $100 worth of things for $20. Maybe that makes me just as greedy as those other people, I don't know.

The game was great fun. Since we were staying in the Illinois side of the area, we decided to drive down to the train station and ride the rail into the city. For $4 each round-trip, it was a bargain. Sure wish Indy would invest in a system like this. The new Busch Stadium is beautiful, the picture above was taken from our cheap seats one row from the top - what a view!

We drove back last night after my last class. Now there are piles and piles of projects and materials on the kitchen table that I am working up the energy to sort. Although the classes allowed me to "mostly" finish the projects that they were teaching, none of them are 100% finished. I am resolved to do so before other projects come my way - here it is in writing!

Glad to be home and to have had this great experience, especially with Cory by my side!
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