Sometimes the Doors Stay Shut

Number 10 doorNo, this is not some inspirational post about how life’s path sometimes goes in an unexpected direction and turns out to be amazing.

Nope.

This post is literally about doors that stay shut. As in our garage door, and our front door.

Which are currently both broken.

It started on Friday evening – I was in our home office and heard a horrific noise from the garage. It sounded like the roof caved it. It sounded like lightning struck the house. The dogs ran in terror, and the kids said it sounded like something big hit the side of the house. It was that loud. I went into the garage and everything looked in order. I then went outside and didn’t see anything on the side of the house other than one of our trees tipped over to the point where it was almost touching … continue on, dear reader!

On Daughters and Homework

20150117_131027This is a post about CootieGirl.

First let me say, she’s awesome in so many ways. She is silly and sweet. She makes me laugh all the time. She gives great hugs and her love language is definitely physical touch. She is almost as tall as me (scary) and she can wear my shoes now (also scary). After struggling in her early elementary school years she is now a solid B/B+ student. She loves to dance and sing even if sometimes she takes a faulty step or sings a wobbly note. She is curious about many things and always asks questions to learn more. When we need to have a serious conversation she sits and listens and provides feedback that is very helpful.

I love those things about her.

But.

BUT.

Her room is a mess. Now, I can’t judge because MY room was a … continue on, dear reader!

He Can Certainly Take Orders

dobby upside-downWhen we adopted Dobby the Dog back in mid-2014, we quickly became aware that he came with certain issues including separation anxiety, a dislike of high energy situations, and a severe case of velcro dog. In October, after three months in our house, I actually attempted to surrender him back to the adoption agency, but in the end I couldn’t do it because our bond had already formed in those three months.

Now here we are, six months later, and Dobby the Dog is doing great (terrible dogsitter notwithstanding). He is not nearly as needy as he once was, and the tendency towards velcro behavior only occurs when I arrive home from work, but is quickly dissipated once I let him outside to burn off some restless energy.

The thing I’ve noticed is that when it comes to commands, especially the important ones, … continue on, dear reader!

Doctor Who, Captain Jack and California Dreamin’

And we’re back! First let me say that our trip to California was a whirlwind of FUN. The kids had an amazing time and are officially sci-fi convention addicts. They want to go to next year’s convention AND want to have a full range of cosplay stuff in their suitcase when we go.

Wednesday: We drove to my sister’s house in NoVA to spend the night. It was a long drive, so we got there very late, but got to enjoy breakfast with the family and the kids got a little bit of cousin time.

Thursday: My sister drove us to the airport where my kids got to experience a lot of firsts. The most notable was their first time on a plane. We flew Virgin America and enjoyed a non-stop flight. On the way west, CB sat in the window seat and CG sat … continue on, dear reader!

The Travel Is A’foot

goin' back to cali, cali, cali.  goin' back to cali.  i don't think so.

goin’ back to cali, cali, cali. goin’ back to cali. i don’t think so.

First of all, tomorrow’s Powerball is up to $485M as of this posting. That’s crazy. That would be $223M after all taxes if we win with a single ticket. Wow. Increase all numbers in my previous post accordingly. More to tithe, charity, trust funds, family/friends, investments. Crazy.

In other news, tomorrow night the kids and I head north to Northern Virginia where we will spend the night with my sister. Then on Thursday we’ll be flying out of Dulles to the sunny world of Los Angeles. The time has finally come: Gallifrey One, a Doctor Who convention. Yep. You read that right. The kids are very excited, and so am I. I’m sad that no actual Doctor will be there (last year they had at least a couple), but this … continue on, dear reader!

The Stuff of Lottery Dreams

Powerball is up to $360M for Saturday’s drawing. YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS!

After federal and state taxes, we’re looking at a take home of $170,340,000. Let’s take a look at the damage we can do. Won’t even look at past plans I’ve typed up – because obviously anything can change at any time. But let’s figure out a plan for today. Obviously, before we even go claim the money we’ll sit tight and begin interviewing financial planners and attorneys so that we can set up a blind trust to go pick up the lottery winnings on our behalf. I’d DEFINITELY want to stay anonymous as long as possible.

1) 10% ($17M) to church
2) 10% ($17M) to various charities
3) 15% ($25.5M) into trust funds for the kids, payable in thirds upon their 28, 35 and 42 birthdays.
4) 10% ($17M) to be … continue on, dear reader!

CootieGirl is Makin’ a Fuss (she told me to say that)

“I had a dream last night, I was eating a ten pound marshmallow. I woke up this morning and the pillow was gone.”So CootieGirl wants to be a YouTube star. Even though she is two years shy of their required age limit. She decided a few days ago that her claim to fame will be DIY (do it yourself) projects. This coming from a girl who HATES arts& crafts (she swears she LOVES arts & crafts, no wait “Okay, I LIKE arts & crafts.”).

This weekend we have been working on filming her inaugural video that shall not be posted to YouTube for at least 2 more years. Uh…she just found out that she won’t be able to upload it for 2 more years and she got REALLY upset (“I might as well not even be MAKING videos!” she wailed).

Here’s the thing. I don’t mind if she makes videos. More power to her if that’s what she wants to do for fun. However, the teen angst … continue on, dear reader!

The Rest of Our Vacation

Lest you think we didn’t salvage any of our vacation time in the mountains because of Chilly the Pirate Dog, rest assured that we managed to eek out some fun in between the multiple phone calls with sitters and veterinarians.

The main mission of the weekend was to give the kids a chance to try snowskiing. Denis doesn’t ski because of his knees (although he attempted it back in the day and was not a fan). I hate snowskiing as well thanks to a family trip to Lake Tahoe when I was a teenager.

But we thought we should give our kids the opportunity to try it. Friday morning we arrived at Appalachian Ski Mountain in Blowing Rock, NC. It was only a 10 minute drive from the apartment we rented for the weekend. It was just lovely driving up the mountain going from brown … continue on, dear reader!

Anyone Else Go On Vacation and Have Someone Lose An Eye? Just Us?

Y’all. Y’ALL.

I don’t even know how to begin with this story. I haven’t posted in over a week and I’m coming back with a DOOZY.

A little over a month ago I booked a sitter to watch our dogs so that we could go skiing this past weekend. We used the same sitter we used in December during our White Elephant weekend, so we felt comfortable with her.

On Thursday morning – the day we were dropping off the dogs and leaving for our vacation – she called me to say she had accidentally double-booked. Now, my profile for my pops specifically says I do NOT want double-booking with other dogs because I don’t want to take a chance on Dobby getting freaked out by other dogs. In December the sitter had called me the week before our reservation to say she’d had another … continue on, dear reader!

Starting Work on 2015 Goals

Maze Puzzle (Blender)It’s five days into the new year – time to see if I’ve done ANYTHING about those goals!

1) Clean up the home office – just about an hour ago I set about beginning the task of clearing out the office. I pulled out a folder that I have not looked at since 2009 – it is all the personal paperwork I kept at my old job before I got laid off. I literally packed up my desk, brought home the folder, and then never looked in. Until today. I found a bunch of junk not worth saving, a few things worth saving that will get appropriately filed, and $54 in cash. Score! No idea how the cash ended up in there, but it was a nice surprise.

2) Begin walking/jogging/running again – Today I had every intention of going out for a nice long … continue on, dear reader!

My 2015 Goals

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015Happy New Year! Were you up late partying last night, or were you in bed before Ryan Seacrest showed you a camera shot of Time Square emptying out?

Here’s another question for you: Do you make new year’s goals or resolutions? I usually try not to. That’s because I know my penchant for STARTING projects but rarely FINISHING them. But this year I’m going to go ahead and write down some goals/resolutions and at year’s end we’ll see how I did.

1) Clean up the home office – I mentioned this a couple weeks ago. Our office here at home is a mess. 2015 will be the year that we clean it up and do some serious decluttering.

2) Clean out the garage – our garage is not much better. There’s probably a lot of stuff in that garage that we no longer need. So … continue on, dear reader!

The Books of 2014

I <3 2 readThis year I did not read as many books as I have in previous years. Part of the reason is that due to my surgery and long-term leave of absence, I had less opportunity to listen to audiobooks. I know, I should have picked up a paper book or my Kindle during my 4-6 weeks off from work, but I opted to become obsessed with old episodes of Match Game on TV instead. Don’t judge.

This year I also listened to four very long books – a Game of Thrones book, two Outlander books, and The Goldfinch – a surprisingly long book. Each of those is at least 3 normal books long (40-50 hours versus 10-12 hours).

Anyway, on to the list, with commentary after!

Diana GabaldonA Breath of Bone and Ashes
Michael D. SellersJohn Carter and the Gods of Hollywood

continue on, dear reader!