The Horror of Bad Audiobook Narrators

A few years ago I made the switch from paper books to ebooks, followed shortly by the switch to audiobooks almost exclusively. I once swore I’d NEVER read anything but paper books – there’s just something about the feel, the smell, the sound of the turned page. I love reading. When ebooks came along, I acknowledged that the space needed to store my books was much easier on an e-reader versus the bookcases in my house. In fact, at least half my books are packed away in boxes in the attic because if I brought them all out, my house would become a library versus a house. I have books in the living room, our bedroom and the guest room. Plus the kids both have bookcases. It’s the main reason that when we were planning to build a house, I wanted a room that would … continue on, dear reader!

At Least One Goal for 2015

I told Denis this weekend that I know of at least one goal for 2015: Clean our home office.

Seriously, sitting in the room it just feels like it’s a huge mess. We’re slowly losing floor space to the point where the dogs won’t have anywhere to lie down when we’re in here.

Don’t get me wrong – we’re not hoarders. We don’t have piles of stuff from floor to ceiling. But we do have piles of stuff. And it’s mostly piles of stuff that don’t need to be kept but we’ve just been too lazy to go through and toss. This is the one room where we have absolutely let clutter take over to a serious degree. The past two weekend we had parties and made sure the office doors were shut completely so no one could see just how bad it has gotten … continue on, dear reader!

It’s About Time We Go Skiing

Vail Char LiftWe live about two hours from good skiing in the mountains of NC. We’ve lived here for over eight years now and have never taken advantage of the close proximity. First, I hate snow skiing. I did it once in my teen years and hated every minute of it. Even in college when we’d go night skiing in Boone I’d sit in the lodge watching everyone else ski down the mountain. When my family went to Lake Tahoe in my teens, while I enjoyed the snowy vacation in general, I was miserable learning to ski. I was 13 years old, completely self-conscious and awkward, and horrified when the ski instructor was a very cute boy (probably a college student). Horrified.

What made it worse was the morning I hit the bunny slope when the slope was more ice than packed snow. You accessed the … continue on, dear reader!

From Pooped to Playful

When I took Chilly the Dog to the vet last week, she determined that Chilly probably needed some anti-inflammatory medication due to his old age. Over the year that we’ve had him, he is slower on the stairs, can’t jump up onto our bed, and prefers short walks over long ones.

Since adopting Dobby the Dog this summer, Chilly has been a cranky old man who only tolerated the new dog in the house. This past weekend they bonded tremendously when I had them take a 2-day vacation elsewhere during the White Elephant weekend. This week Chilly has been much more tolerant of Dobby’s quirks, and they’ve even begun taking naps next to each other the sofa (a rarity pre-WE weekend but it has happened every night this week).

Two nights ago I saw the combination of anti-inflammatory meds and their bonding at work when … continue on, dear reader!

Paying It Forward…With Gas

Last week I was waiting for gas prices to make one more drop, but the timing was off. I knew I’d have to get gas to tide me over. I decided to get $10 (at $2.39/gallon) which would last me for more than a few days until the next price drop was due. Before work, I left a few minutes early so that I could stop and get gas. It was still dark, with few cars on the road, when I pulled into my nearby gas station.

As I got out of my car , a woman approached me. “Ma’am?” she asked. She looked like a frazzled mom – sweatpants askew, hair mussed. She had come from the minivan across the aisle, so I assumed she was tired and left her wallet at home. I went to pull a ten dollar bill from my purse … continue on, dear reader!

Another Successful White Elephant Party!

It has been a couple days since this year’s White Elephant party – it’s finally time for a wrap-up! Denis and I spent two days prepping for the party, and had it not been for our outdoor Christmas lights blowing a fuse about 45 minutes before the first guest arrived, we TOTALLY would have been ready on time. As it was. we ended up scrambling in the last 30 minutes to get stuff out and ready. It happens every year. *lol* Fortunately, we were still ready by the time the first guest arrived.

Food we ended up serving (GF=gluten free):

1. Shrimp cocktail and sauce (GF) – easy peasy. Cold shrimp with a dipping sauce. We had about 80 shrimp on the plate and by the end of the night there were only half a dozen left. Talk about easy!
2. BBQ – we pulled … continue on, dear reader!

Aaaaannnnnndddddd…we’re back!

So apparently Cootiehog had a couple plug-ins that didn’t want to play nicely this week, resulting in the blog going down yesterday. I only just got it fixed this morning after contacting my host company to find out what was going on. The offending plug-ins have been removed and so the site should be back to normal. If you noticed slowdowns over the past week, hopefully those will come to an end as well.

Today is “prep day” at the Cootiehog household. Tomorrow is the annual party and so Denis and I both took the day off from work to begin the arduous (but fun) task of prepping all the food for tomorrow night.

This morning while also trying to fix Cootiehog we had the housecleaner come do a major deep clean on the first floor, and we had a handyman in to fix a … continue on, dear reader!

The Facebook Fast Ends…For This Year

So today my Facebook Fast officially ended – it ended up being a GREAT six weeks, and I’ve decided I’m going to make it an annual tradition (although I may do it in October versus November). Cootiehog was a lot of fun to work on in that time. I’ve posted almost every day – certainly every other day – since starting the FF. That has been fun. I’ve also done some tweaking to the site to try and make a few coins a month. Any little bit helps and I’ve specifically placed the ads in a location that is not distracting but still clickable for those that see an ad that strikes their fancy. Note to regular readers: do not click on my ads in order to send me a couple coins. Google frowns on that. Now, if you see an ad you LIKE, go … continue on, dear reader!

Decorating for Christmas is Exhausting

Yesterday, being the day after Thanksgiving, saw us usher in the Christmas season by spending most of the day setting up the outdoor decorations. Each year we go all out – we have about


Here I was going to make a lovely post about how all our hard work paid off because LOOK at the pictures! Our lawn decorations look great this year!

And this morning I went out to count our lighted pieces to see how many we had, only to find that three of them had been vandalized.

Last year we had a piece go missing – but the thief was encouraged to return it when I contacted her mother and advised her to check with her daughter. That night, they came knocking on our door, missing lawn decor in hand and many mea culpas.

When the piece was stolen, I decided … continue on, dear reader!

Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all!

Hope you all are having a great holiday today. We are here at home, spending the day being very low-key. Last night Denis and I took advantage of my being home early from work to put up some of the new Christmas lights on the outside bushes. We have two big holly trees on either side of the house. A few years ago we put colored lights on the trees, and then left them there. The tree grew, needed trimming – and it got to the point where we couldn’t even see the light strings on the tree. Come tree-trimming time – well, you can guess what happened. Snip snip. Oh well. Last night we went on a mission and pulled all the lights from the tree – and by some miracle most of the strands still worked! Only one strand per tree had been … continue on, dear reader!

Review: MythBusters – Behind the Myths

Last night CootieGirl and I went out for a night on the town to see the guys from MythBusters do a live show. It was A great night for us girls.

First up we went out to dinner. I’m a big fan of a Chinese restaurant in Charlotte called Soho Bistro. It’s an upscale Chinese place – cloth napkins and tablecloths, mood lighting, soft music. And the food is fantastic. Last night I had tangerine chicken while she had sesame shrimp – both dishes were divine. During dinner we had a great conversation and just enjoyed hanging out together.

We arrived at Belk Theater just prior to curtain time. CG has always wanted to sit in those box balcony seats that most theaters have, and so for this show that’s what I got. We were in the box closest to the stage. Awesome view … continue on, dear reader!

What a Weekend!

This weekend was one of the best weekends we’ve had in a long while. One reason for this is that my kids did not argue one single time. They did not talk back one single time. I didn’t have to raise my voice one single time. It was magnificent.

Now, I should be completely upfront and say that my kids had motivation to get along this weekend. That motivation was a video game that my son desperately wanted to get. I had told him a long time ago that he’d have to wait until Christmas, which he wasn’t happy to hear (he’s been waiting for the game since it’s release was announced in July).

On Saturday morning CootieBoy began whining and moaning about the fact that two of his friends already had the game. After an eternity of whining (that’s what it felt like), we … continue on, dear reader!