Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

All I Want for Christmas...

All I want for Christmas is the two things I said I wanted and didn't get.

That makes sense right?

Did this happen to anyone else? Does anyone else feel kind of gypped right about now? Did anyone else go through months of trying to find the right presents for their family because they knew it would make people happy? Did anyone else not even get what they asked for but rather got something useful and boring, or nothing at all? Did anyone else watch people open presents from you and scream with joy and then open your own present and go wtf?

Yeah that was my Christmas. I feel kind of bad for complaining about what I did get. I feel downright grinchish. I mean I know that there are plenty of people who could not afford presents for Christmas this year. I wish everyone had the chance to have a wonderful Christmas. I am sure plenty of people would absolutely adore the things I got. And actually I do like the things I got, I like them bunches. I just... well... I wanted what I asked for or something else fun and present-like. Some things are great and while you want them, you do not want them to be your Christmas present. Birthday maybe, but not Christmas. I mean granted I do like to cook and so the cooking items I have gotten for the past few years have been quite useful. But there is just something about opening a really big present on Christmas morning only to find a pot inside, woo hoo. I mean now I am all ready to go and slave over the stove and fix a huge meal in my wonderful new pot, thanks let me get right on that for you.

Am I wrong to think Christmas presents should be fun? I mean I know I said I needed a pot like that, but I hadn't actually asked for one. (And yes hypocrite that I am I bought someone a pot for Christmas too, but to be fair he had mentioned wanting one and I got him other gifts as well to offset the boringness of the pot as a present.) I went through a lot of trouble trying to find gifts for my family that were practical as well as fun. I even helped family members figure out what to get each other and bought those things too! Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, I love giving, I love finding the right presents for people, I have a good time doing it. I just wanted at least one cool, sparkly, fun, laugh-out-loud kind of present. And yes I know I may not be the easiest person to buy for, but gift cards are awesome! And this year I actually did have a list of things I wanted, and I showed them to people in person so they would know exactly what I was taking about and where they could get a good deal on it. I even showed them to more than one person to up the odds on actually getting what I wanted, and yet nada.

I am not totally bummed, and this post is not meant to sound like me complaining at all. Actually the Penguin and I had decided that we were going to go shopping for each other after Christmas and try to get some good deals. We just didn't find any good deals on the stuff we wanted. He is actually in the process of trying to get me the camera I wanted at a really good price and I am excited about that! And I need to take him shopping and get whatever it is that he wants this weekend coming up.

What this entire post is leading up to is the fact that I went out and bought myself a present that I absolutely adore. Since I did not get it for Christmas and pretty much knew it wouldn't be happening for my birthday either (my birthday is in a week) I went ahead and bought a little something for myself. I went shopping the day after Christmas and my mom was going to meet up with me later in the day. I had plans to show her what I wanted again and ask her if she would buy it as a late Christmas/Early Birthday present. I knew she would get it for me but I just couldn't wait. I walked in the store just to check and make sure they still had one, and then like magic it was on clearance. I mean seriously on clearance, at like 1/3 of the normal price. And it was the last one they had, and it might not be there later if I came back for it. So I bought it! And when I told my mom she said Yay! Merry Christmas! tell me how much it was and I will pay for it. So bonus! It was not only 1/3 of the price, it is actually going to be free for me, and I feel good about saving mom the money. I am so happy about my purchase! And trust me if you got such a great deal on the ring you have been wanting for months you would be happy too.

See? See how gorgeous it is! I love it! It is getting sized as I write this and I can pick it up in a couple of days. I am very happy with it. I might even wear it on my left hand just to mess with people! But probably not.

So I hope you got all you wanted for Christmas, even if you have to go out and buy it for yourself!

P.S. If you like the ring too, I got it for $62 at the store in the mall. I am not promising it will still be on sale for that price but that is much cheaper than the website price right now!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope you and yours are having a wonderful holiday. I know that I am having a good time. I know I have been so wrapped up in the holiday preparedness and excitment that I have not been around lately, but that is not such a bad thing. In fact I have been quite happy. The food, family, friends and fun have been pretty darn good. I hope you are happy wherever you are, with or without the internet. Enjoy what you love.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


It snowed here in Houston last night!

I can't believe it, we never get snow this far south. I am also quite jealous of my friends and family back home in Louisiana. The penguin reported 4 to 5 inches of snow in our yard and I was not there to see it, or play in it, or make a giant snowman, or anything. I so would have done all those things if I had a yard full of snow! Boohoo for me.
See this is a picture of the state capitol building in Baton Rouge.

I am still loving the inch or so I got here in Houston but I wish I could have been home for what was happening in Louisiana. And for you people up north, do not rain on my parade. I have lived in southern Louisiana my entire life and only seen snow once when I was like 5 years old and even then you had to roll up the entire front and back yard to even think about making a snowman. This is exciting for me! So I went outside once the snow started collecting on the ground and made a snowman for the first time in my life. Isn't he cute!
Yes, seriously, that is the first time I have ever made a snowman or played in the snow. I had no idea what the snow would feel like or how soft it would be. I mean I even tried drawing in the snow without realizing it wouldn't make straight lines. How was I supposed to know that?
I do like the effect the jagged lines made though.
So while it is not Christmas yet, it sure does feel like it. I had a wonderful time playing in the snow. I would never want to live where it snows a lot, but I enjoyed my one white night.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Green and Fuzzy

This year I decided to be all earthy and try to grow my own tomatoes and cucumbers. I think those are my two favorite veggies and it is so much cheaper to grow your own. Plus my dad eats more tomatoes than I do so I knew when they started ripening like 20 at a time they would not go to waste. That is how I came to have cucumber and tomato plants on my porch. I suppose if I had been smart about it I might have put them at the house where they would get more sun and rain, but I knew I would be at my apartment to water and care for them. So I chose plants that said they were good container plants. I planted them and was creative with the stakes and climbing devices I used. I gave them good soil and miracle grow snacks with plenty of water. And they started growing, and Growing, and GROWING. The plants got huge! There was a caterpillar who decided the young tomato plants were yummy but I caught and disposed of him before he did too much damage. The tomato plants continued to grow, well over the height of my current cage contraption and I had to lean them up against the wall. The cucumber plants were making so many darn yellow flowers I thought I was going to have a bazillion of them. And the tomato plant made a modest 6 flowers or so, but that was okay it was still early.

Then there never were any actual little cucumbers that grew from all those freaking flowers. Not a One! And of course no tomatoes either. So of course the next thing that happened was all the cucumber plants started dying, one by one. I had like 12 of them in there so I wasn't too worried until only 1 was left alive. But then it started to make flowers again, lots of flowers and I thought well this time I should get some cucumbers. Nope. Nada. Niet. So I let that one straggler die off too. By this time it was getting really late in the season for anything to happen and the veggies would have no chance to ripen before the first freeze. But the tomato plants were still so pretty, and so fragrant. So I kept watering them. And lo, they did make a few more flowers, but never any little green tomatoes. So when I realized it was definitely too late for them to get a chance to ripen if any tomatoes actually grew, I stopped watering them and just left them to die. See?

The dead cucumber plants are in the background and you can see how droopy the tomato plants are. And what do you think happened? Well they made more flowers of course! So I mumbled and cursed under my breath but I knew they wouldn't make any tomatoes.

Then this past weekend I walked outside to wash some clothes and noticed this
Do you see that! Do you know what time of the year it is? Don't they know its way too freaking late to even start thinking about growing! I wanted to scream. Instead I told the plant to just *&#% off. I mean come on! I couldn't get normal tomato plants like Barb from So The Thing Is, no I had to get some degenerate plants who are confused about what season it is. I mean notice that the date on this first tomato post of Barb's is July 29th and they are ripe already! Mine don't start growing till the beginning of December, never mind when they would ripen since we will never know. My plants decide to start growing during a time when the temperatures are somewhere near freezing. And I planted them early I swear! Green and fuzzy just does not work at a time when things need to be all warm and cozy because it is freezing outside. And they are fuzzy, which is quite amusing.
The Penguin just happened to be at my place when I told the tomato plant to *&#% off. I told him that next year I was putting the plants at his house so that they don't get all confused with their seasonal orientation. He told me I could do that if I wanted as long as I didn't blame him if he killed them. I guess I will have to wait until I have my own yard before I can have a decent veggie crop. Such is my life!

I guess you have to try and kill something before it fights back. But it is just too little, too late in the year...

P.S. Yes, I know I spell it tomato in singular form and tomatoes in plural form. I like the way it looks with the 'e' in it just not at the end of it. This is normal right?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Making a List...

Christmas is almost here! It feels like it is the day after tomorrow, though I know I still have 2 weeks to get ready. I have shifted into full gear Holiday Mode and can think of nothing but the prep work for the holiday and making sure we have all the presents and food and schedules ready. I am quite enjoying myself though. I tend to be one to make gifts that are useful rather than just buying random knickknacks, you know those ones no one wants and opens the gift already thinking about how long they will have to wait before they can re-gift it. So I am in the process of painting a picture for my future in-laws new home. I will post photos of it when I am done. I think it will be quite nice and I think they will appreciate it. I also usually make candles for presents. But this year I just don't feel as enthused about it as I normally do. I suppose that is because I have been doing it for a few years now and it seems like I should give something different this year. Plus I just feel like I won't have the time I want to be able and make them all. I might make a few, but not enough for everyone. I have decided instead to go with another home-made gift like mixes in a jar. I remembered something my mom used to make called Fireside Coffee. It is a hot chocolate and coffee blend which is absolutely yummy. I think I am going to get jars and make a few batches of the Fireside Coffee to give out this year. I tend to also have a few generic gifts waiting like some home-made cookies or ChexMix or something simple I can give out just in case we forget anyone.

So I have made my list and checked it more than twice. I am getting together all my supplies and starting to make all the gifts. It is times like this when I know I chose gift-friendly hobbies. Not to say that things like knitting are not good gift giving hobbies, on the contrary knitting is great for gift-giving, but you can tell by reading hokgardner, barb and madmad that you have to start way earlier than I have to be able to finish everyone's present in time for Christmas. My mother is an avid knitter and fiber enthusiast and every year I think maybe I should make a few scarves for Christmas presents this year, and then I don't. I love reading the knitting posts and quite admire the women who find the time and energy to make so many wonderful and individual presents. Maybe one day I will succumb to the forces that have so obviously claimed my mother, but for now I am happy with having her reteach me every time I want to make something.

I hope you are not too frazzled right now and your gift giving agenda is pretty simple.
I am off to make more presents!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Getting All Dolled Up

Last night I went out and bought earrings and lipstick and stockings. I also bought some of those nifty new Dr. Scholls inserts for heels. I am getting ready for the Great Big Christmas Party at work, can't you tell? I already have a dress, and the sweater to go over it, and the pearls that make the dress look fancy enough to wear to this, and two pair of shoes to choose from. I also have all the necessary hair products to make me look sophisticated rather than like I stuck my finger in a light socket. Oh and I bought a new perfume which I absolutely adore. I think I am pretty much set unless I decide I need a slip or one of those shaper things to go under the dress.

I also have all of the Penguin's stuff with me. All except the belt. I just need to drop his pants off at the cleaners tonight. I was not allowing him to forget to bring anything like his shoes or dress socks or even the whole jacket. I also wanted a say in what matched and what was appropriate. I want this weekend to go smoothly. I want us to have fun and not worry about anything.

This is the first Great Big Christmas Party I have ever attended. Sure I have gone to Christmas parties before but they were always small and at someone's home. This is my first year working with a big enough company to actually be able to attend a Great Big Christmas Party. I am looking forward to it. Even if it is not something the penguin or I would normally do. We are simple people you see. We do not dress up often, if ever. I had to buy a dress for the party and he had to buy a jacket. We do not wear these things, we do not go to events which might require us to wear such things. We are creatures of habit, we like to be comfortable. It probably takes us less than 10 minutes to get ready and walk out the door any other time. I so rarely wear makeup that I just remembered it is not at my house and I hope the Penguin remembers to pack it or I will have to go buy more. I am okay with the dress, I need one for such times where dressing up is important. And the Penguin is okay with the jacket. We opted for a jacket instead of a tie since I knew he would be more comfortable, it had nothing to do with the fact that last time we tried to tie a tie on him we were horribly unsuccessful, but after remembering that fact I am so very glad we decided on a jacket and no tie. And the jacket is a non-traditional suede which suits his personality so well, we love it.

I have no idea how well we will match as a couple, but honestly I do not care that much. I would rather us both be comfortable and like what we are wearing rather than worry about matching. My dress is black and the sweater red, I have red and black strappy shoes to choose from. His jacket is a tan suede which he is wearing with a black shirt and shoes and a pair of green/khaki pants. I cannot say this actually coordinates but I can't say it will look hideous either. I think it will be fine. I know we will be fine at least, other people may disagree but I do not so much care for their opinions. I do however care for yours. Do you think the combo screams ewww mismatched, or will it be fine?

I do so hope we have a good time. I hope we are not so uncomfortable playing dress up that we do not enjoy ourselves. I also hope the food is good. I know it will be good, but really I just hope we are willing to eat it. We are not so much picky eaters as we just have simple tastes. I hope the fancy seasonings and garnishes do not bother us. I am thinking we will be fine as long as we are open minded and I know we can do that. Well I can at least.

Wish us luck!

P.S. The Great Big Christmas Party is Saturday night and I promise to tell you all about it.