Tuesday, December 28, 2010


The following are not pretty pictures but they are the pictures of progress. We have made steps towards finishing our basement. Again, nothing beautiful but both deemed structurally necessary.

First, we put in an egress window. Check that. Handyman A1 Services put in an egress window. It's Andersen like the rest of our new windows and it looks out onto a lovely steel surround accentuated by a steel ladder and right now, some snow. Aside from the nonstop digging by hand our faithful contractors did, it seemed to be a pretty easy, seamless process. One still better left to experts, however, since it involved cutting into our foundation. End result: We can now, legally, put a bedroom downstairs thus converting our three bedroom home to four.
The newest Andersen

Then, after great debate and much deliberation and discussion among us, neighbors, friends, coworkers, family and experts, we decided to go ahead and install some drain tile. Again, we didn't, G. Gardner Concrete and Water Proofing did. It seems rare on Ruggles to waterproof our seemingly dry basements but we wanted to insure the money we'll be investing in this redo and like they always say, better to be safe then sorry. It was a less glamorous project then even the window. It involved two days of jack-hammering, hand removal of concrete slabs, laying of PVC piping, new concrete and then there was the dust, everywhere. They did their best to shield our belongings from all the dust but to no avail, most things downstairs are a slightly lighter shade then what they started.
The new concrete slope that surrounds all four walls

Forgive me, the following photo is upside down and I'm too lazy to fix it. Who cares, it's not pretty either.
Our brand new, beautiful sump pump

Both projects were granted permission by the city of Roseville and their subsequent permits and both were inspected as being completely up to code and shall we say, perfect? We are very satisfied with the work done and would recommend either contractor to anyone. Next up, designing a floor plan. We finally took an hour last night to completely measure out the basement and it's now my duty to take those numbers and draw an accurate representation using floorplanner.com. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Jordyn Grace DeBoer was born on Wednesday, November 17th. Team DeBoer had to wait 10 whole days to exchanged acquaintances with her on Saturday, November 27th. She's the cutest, littlest, quietest baby girl we've ever seen! Props go to her parents for adorning her with Hawkeye black and gold in honor of the Iowa versus Minnesota football game. Pity it didn't work in their favor. She must have known Minnesooootans were in town. *muah-aa-aa*

It's been so long since I've seen a newborn I forgot out teeny tiny they are. The only thing not small are her dimples! I'm inspired to see the DeBoer dimples were passed down! Granted you can't really see hers right now unless she wails or has gas, but trust me, they're there and they're adorable. She's even got a chin dimple thanks to her Maumma. You wouldn't think a baby could have that many cute features but you'd be wrong. She's perfect, healthy and most importantly, very loved.

We've had the pleasure of seeing her since our initial visit and look forward to all visits to come. We have a love/hate relationship with Interstate 35.  

Pay no attention to the dweebazoid… just appreciate the whimsical baby.

She's Chuck Norris Approved.

The rule: if she's poops when you're holding her, you get to change her. What if she poops while you're changing her Uncle Shawn?

Dad came in to help a hysterical Jordyn. Do two DeBoers make a right? Scary.


Meet this year's Team DeBoer Annual Family Christmas Tree
I'm not a huge holiday fan to start with so the thought of having to celebrate Christmas this year just seemed… like a chore. So much so that I was ready to forgo getting a tree and decorating our house altogether. I'm not exactly sure what or when I changed my mind but I did and so we did in fact, get a tree. Shawn and I each dawned a pair of my Dad's old hunting boots and set out in the Camry to Hampton Hills Tree Farm to scope out and saw down our chosen tree. In keeping with tradition, it was freezing, it was snowy, it was fun. This is the first year the mister and I opted for a tree a little… different. For our fourth go-round, we chose a squat, small, short, toad-of-a-tree. And we couldn't be more pleased.

Notice there are no decorations near the bottom. Or as we like to say, there are no decorations at basset height. There were some but they've either been broken, chewed, ate or misplaced. I have to believe a majority have fallen to the newness of Leo but I can't let Norman off the hook completely. He's not the brightest light in the harbor therefore he could be peer pressured into doing something naughty. In fact, we've been witness to it on many occasions. Leo's definitely the leader and Norman's definitely the dopey follower.

Other then our toad, I did break out the stockings. It had to be done since this is the first year with our new fireplace. You'll have to be patient for photos of that later, if I can remember to take some. We added a fourth stocking for Mr. Leo and thanks to Shawn's brilliant idea, adequately labeled the stockings for the boys. See we have a couple of basset ornaments which are usually too heavy for the tree anyway. So instead, Shawn suggested we hang them with the stocking on our stocking holders to signify which belong to the dogs… since they're not labeled in any other fashion. It was perfect. Norman got the standing ornament with it's tail held high and Leo got the sitting ornament with it's stomach ready to be rubbed.

There. Now there is some semblance of Christmas in our house. It wasn't easy but it turned out to be just as fun and I'm glad we did it. My holidays will forever be different but there's one thing we can always do, we can always go cut down our Christmas tree. We did it every year in Dad's family and even though we thought it lame in our "cool" high school years, I'm so grateful for the tradition.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I dedicate the following photos to the Cornstubles in Virginia.

Shawn had to bribe the boys with Cheerios to get them to risk their "boys" to the frozen tundra.
This is where the sidewalk ends.
What appears of a car down the road.
This is looking from our garage, down the driveway to the street at the beast of a Cav.
This is obviously at the end of our driveway looking up at the fishbowl that is our house.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I apologize for the timing of this post, being so close to Christmas and all, but mental illness and tragedy don't seem to take time off for the holidays so neither should we when it comes to our family, friends, pets and any other loved ones we have. In fact, it's a great time to appreciate this said group of people, kiss and hug them, tell them you love them and find out how they're doing. Lord knows we don't need the holidays for this but take advantage of the timing when you get to see so many in such a lump sum.

I have the giant burden of filling an entire hand with the people I know who have loss their lives to suicide. It's hit home enough for me to draw the line and make it a personal cause of mine to educate anyone and everyone who is willing to learn about mental illness and it's correlation to suicide. Mental illness is a disease, often undiagnosed or untreated. It's this disease that is often times linked with suicide. It's this disease, which comes in many forms, that needs to be talked about. The stigma needs to be dropped. Period. Just like any other disease, those affected by mental illness do not chose to be so. It's beyond their control and the last thing they need is to be judged for it. They need to know they're not alone, frankly, it's not uncommon, there is help and countless people really, really care.

I am not an expert, a scientist or doctor. I by no means claim to know anything about what anyone is going through or the problems they face or the obstacles they're up against. I'm looking to merely be a messenger of greater resources so that a conversation can be had. One of the greatest resources I've found is the organization SAVE. There are many more such as National Suicide Prevention Hotline and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Let these be educational resources as well as sounding boards for any concerns or questions. They're also great tools to find local fundraisers and benefits happening in the name of suicide prevention. You can help raise funds, honor a loved one or learn more about these organizations through these events. Nothing seems better to help a person know they're not alone then when a mass of people can get together and say so.

Personally, I deal with anxiety and OCD, literally. Over the past year I've seen a counselor, started taking Celexa (anti-anxiety medication) and started running and doing yoga. I'm hitting my issues hard with a three-headed monster because I no longer fear it and know there are steps I can take to help myself. I'm sure I make some people uncomfortable by being so blunt and candid but I'm not trying to brag, toot my own horn or receive attention. I'm just saying it's okay to have these issues (many people do or have worse), to talk about them and to find resolve. I also know I will not need medication forever, but for however long I do need it, it's okay. I had to deal with some personal stigma at the onset of my journey but I've learned so much since then it's made an astronomical difference in how I feel about it or deal with it. I also know though, I'm one tiny, small, minuscule example in a world of examples which brings me back to my point. So many people are affected it's about time we start learning and more importantly, talking (or blogging).

Disclosure: Please know that I am not an expert on the subject, nor do I claim to be and anything in this post should not be read as factual. I am not a doctor, scientist, therapist or the like. I'm just a person affected by suicide looking to help educate others. Many are just the opinions of this mere person as determined by information I have read, learned or witnessed. Please seek expert help if needed or consult any of the sites listed for more information.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Reason I love Ruggles, number 720: Hockey

On the north side of the street, directly across from us, there is a family that creates a hockey rink in their backyard every winter. Okay, they don't technically reside on Ruggles, they belong to Summer, but we can still see their backyard from our house so I count it.

They are out playing hockey on that rink every, single, night. No matter the temperature, darkness of the sky or day of the week. If for some chance we decide to brave the elements and head outside, odds are we will be greeted by the sound of hockey sticks hitting the ice, kids bantering back and forth or their family dog barking and cheering from the sidelines. The sounds make me smile.

The kids are not inside playing video games, they are not planted in front of the tube watching mindless shows, they are not out running around causing trouble, they are out doing what kids in Minnesota do. They are playing hockey. They are getting old fashion exercise, engaging in friendly competition and honing in their skills. Listening to them play creates the only nostalgia I've been able to muster this winter season. While I think they're crazy for being outside is subzero temps, I appreciate their dedication, I acknowledge they're love for something simple and I'm deeply appreciative for the glimpse they provide back into childhood.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I've always said I'm not a fan of Kate Gosselin or the show she tortures her kids with. Having children should not put you on TV. People do it every day. I've also always said I'm not a fan of Sarah Palin. Worse then her politics is her current reality TV series. I've boycotted TLC for giving both these women their own series. Any station that stoops this low is not worth a moment of my precious time.

Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, TLC went and effin combined them! Kate and her kids are visiting and camping with Sarah and her family. WTF. First of all, I shouldn't even know this! I don't watch the damn station, why is it being advertised elsewhere? How ridiculously low are people stooping? Second of all, I'm sure the exaggeration of how down right asinine this is is what will make people watch but I hope for the sake of entertainment, television and families everywhere, it doesn't.

Do your part. Revolt this episode. Revolt these shows. Revolt this station. If enough people stop watching they'll learn they are not important enough to be on TV, they are not the center of the universe and they are not entertainment empires. They are families and it's about time they just get back to that.

By the way, you  have no idea how hard it was for me to try not to use the word hate during this post. I think I'm a better person for it. So much so that maybe I deserve my own TV show.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Leo is thankful we gave him a home and continue to give him love, for Norman licking him clean, that he can reach the top of our buffet where the candy lives, for our sofas he enjoys when we're not home, and for the fireplace that is always running.

Norman is thankful he has such great parents, for peanut butter, marshmallows and anything that "accidentally" drops on the kitchen floor, for his new buddy Leo and his daily walks, and for the fireplace that is always running.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Hey, you! Yeah, I'm talking to you. What gives? Why won't you be a follower on my blog? Are you having technical difficulties? Are you not even seeing the followers section to the right there? Are you offended by my postings? Have you just never thought to become an official follower? Would you rather remain an anonymous stalker? Are you allergic? Why you no follow me? Me sad.

Let me know if there is an actual, pertinent reasoning by commenting below. If not, add yourself as a follower dammit! *ahem* I mean, will you please add yourself as a fellow follower and participate in this lovely little project of mine? Thank you in advance for your time and effort and for making me squeeze some sincerity into at least this one post.

While my ramblings have been just that, random, we are undergoing a new remodel project and going back to the roots of what started this whole blogging in the first place. We're tackling the basement. By we, I mean professionals. Stay tuned…


My to-do list is haunting me. It has taken on a personality of it's own and frankly, it's starting to piss me off. Every time I check something off, something else gets added. Part of my problem is I have to write EVERYTHING down on the list or I will forget. I seem to have lost all memory function. Last week I was trying to decide what to wear and naturally, I pulled out my favorite black tee. I stared in the mirror and was like crap! Did I wear this already this week? It was Wednesday. I couldn't remember two freaking days prior. So, when something pops into my brain, I write it down. It's a curse because I literally have like 86 things on my to-do list. Some big, some small, some ridiculously quick, some that have been there for months (maybe years).

Example: I need to paint our new window trim. We got new windows last April. That's pushing eight months of no paint, no window coverings and the Team DeBoer fishbowl. We really don't mind that everyone can see into all parts of our house. Frankly, we're used to it. It's also pretty common on Ruggles. We're a close bunch. Either that we all just enjoy being voyeurs. Anyway, back to my point, I need to paint. If for no other reason then to solve the bathroom debacle. Shawn has started hanging his bath robe on a hanger and hanging it on the bathroom window so no one can see in. While it looks classy as hell, it scared the bajesus out of me the other day when I walked into a dark house and passed the bathroom and nearly punched what I thought was an invisible intruder. It was just the damn robe. Bathroom is priority one, bedroom priority two. Maybe if I just get those two windows done this year, I'll be satisfied. Maybe if I get one window done I'll be satisfied. Maybe.

Example: A couple weekends ago when it snowed about eight inches of wet, heavy ass snow, the weight took down a ginormous branch off our back tree. Luckily it landed between our house and the neighbors but some of it is still technically residing on their property. Shawn has since tried to move it but it's so heavy it still sits in it's original fallen location. Those same neighbors have been bitching about that tree since we moved in so we don't want to add fuel to their fire. At the very least, we need to drag the sucker so it sits on our lawn and our lawn alone. It can sit there all winter for all I care. At least it will eliminate a section of the lawn the dogs can poop on. Shit. Pick up poop, aka de-mine, that's also on the list.

Example: Team Cornstuble has again taken new photos and again, they're all so god damn adorable I have to order some but haven't gotten around to it yet because I've encountered another snafu. The other Team DeBoer had their little baby girl last Wednesday (Jordyn Grace DeBoer, 7lbs. 5ozs., 19.75" long with hair and most importantly, dimples!) so I need to reconfigure my frame display situation. The Cornstuble brood no longer fits on one shelf and Team DeBoer II doesn't quite take up another shelf and my OCD won't let me mix and match families so I'm currently without an answer. Such a problem I know. An expanding family with beautiful children. But again, despite the greatness this situation brings, it still brings another line on my to do list.

Example: We're forever fixing cars. We own two '94 Chevys so it's not like this is surprising but it seems when it rains it pours for these hunks of junk we love. They all need to be fixed at the same damn time. The Cavalier was just fixed by my Uncle Tod (surrogate family mechanic since the passing of my Dad) and the Beretta will be headed north to a coworkers on Wednesday. The Camry's in good shape but our lease is nearing it's end so we have lots of last minute details to attend to. For example, we had the dent in the bumper pushed back out. All the other dents I put in the car (YES, they were ALL my doing) weren't as noticeable so we left them alone. We also had to get the oil changed, tires rotated, schedule an inspection for our lease end, debate whether or not to have it detailed, etc. So even the good, safe, reliable car is on my list.

My earlier declaration that I have the f*ck-it gene can also really be labeled as procrastination and laziness and while I enjoy my down time sitting in my sweats in front of the fireplace watching How To Train Your Dragon with Shawn, I should really know better. I should get off my ass. I should get to work. I should attend to my lists! I should…

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I find it odd people get emotionally attached to the most abstract materials. Or even concrete materials for that matter. It doesn't make sense to me, especially if it's something you can remedy fairly effortlessly if you end up unhappy. Hair… paint on a wall… blankets… chachkies…

(Prepare yourself, clichés are a comin.)

Shit or get off the pot. Go big or go home. Bite the bullet. Put on your big boy/girl pants. Face your fear. Walk the plank! Did I forget anything?

Cut your damn hair! Paint a wall blindingly bright green! Let the world's next cutest baby enjoy your soft, warm, security cape! Dust off the shelves and make room for new treasures!

That's what I say. I'm okay if I'm alone in this arena but I just don't get emotionally attached to much. Don't misunderstand me. I'm no curmudgeon with no soul or heart to speak of. I have feelings and do have a keepsake or two but on the attachment spectrum as a whole, I lean heavily towards detached. The only exception is my current devotion to anything "Dad." With good reason, and good advice from my counselor, I'm holding everything he's ever touched, given, worn, drove, thought, built, breathed on and been near hostage until I'm ready to release it. I'm not ready yet.

But back to my point. I have no problem cutting my hair. It's hair. It grows back. I have no problem painting the walls in my house a bold color. If you get sick of it, guess what? Paint is cheap. You can paint over it. If you have some ultimate keepsake that isn't properly displayed or paid tribute to and is instead collecting spider eggs in your closet, get rid of it. You're not doing it any justice and instead are just humoring your feelings of guilt by keeping it.

Purge! Purging is cleansing. Purge your split ends, beige walls and lace doilies! Purge your blond locks, white ceilings and tattered blankets! Make room for new experiences. I promise… you won't feel a thing. If you do, it will only hurt for a second.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


It's ironic. My Dad spent something like seven years, in a blind, in the cold, in the wee hours of the morning, in the woods, calling, sitting and waiting for a turkey to come close enough for him to kill it with his bow.

Had he been at my house, in my living room, in the middle of a random day, he could have taken the shot.

These two turkeys roamed Roseville for a better part of last fall, which is when the photo above was taken. I also happened to spot them at my place of employment, right outside my window in fact. Not a big deal except my office was on the second floor and my window overlooked the roof. It was pretty hysterical to see a random turkey just waddling by as if on it's way to the supermarket or something. I half expected it to wave or tip it's hat or even say, "How do you do?"

I thought I'd seen the last of these turkeys last year but not to worry! I spotted them just last week on my way home, cruising down Larpenteur. Except now, now there are three. It's like they know Thanksgiving is around the corner. They're either playing a dangerous dare on passerbys or merely reminding people that even though we live in a metropolis surrounded by concrete and metal, nature exists and it too simply likes to explore.

As I saw them I had the split inclination to phone Dad. I quickly came back to reality, swiftly grew sad and then just as promptly rebounded deciding it was instead a sign that Dad was watching. In fact, he was probably dawned in camo, taking aim with his bow.

Monday, October 25, 2010


I once read somewhere sometime ago that couples who sleep butt-to-butt have the healthiest relationships. I don't wanna brag, butt…


MEA stands for Minnesota Education Association. From Wikipedia:

The annual Education Minnesota Professional Conference is the largest professional development opportunity for educators in Minnesota. It takes place the third Thursday and Friday in October. Still colloquially known as "MEA Weekend," that Thursday and Friday are student holidays to enable educators in Minnesota to attend the conference. The weekend is one of the busiest travel times in Minnesota, even busier than Thanksgiving.

In layman's terms, teachers and students in Minnesota get a week off. Think fall break.

As a teacher's spouse, I felt entitled to the same break. So, I took last Thursday and Friday off and enjoyed the greatest four-day-weekend in a long time!

In retrospect, this weekend retaught me some valuable lessons.

1. I enjoy spending time with my husband (and Norman and Leo).

2. A recently cleaned bathroom can be a spa oasis.

3. A closet full of clean, organized and color-coordinated clothes helps deter shopping.

4. Nothing is greater for the OCD mind then quality time with a paper shredder.

5. I can successfully get rid of anything off my curb if it's FREE.

6. The more attractive bed in our guest room serves as a splendid weekend getaway.

7. Naps=happiness.

8. I could not survive without Ruggles Street and it's people.

9. Robert Downey Jr. has been added to my list.

10. New windows+new fireplace=the heat WILL stay off until at LEAST November.

P.S. If you're reading this, thank you. Now, add yourself as a Follower dammit. 

Monday, October 18, 2010


Site of this week's happy hour.

Also site of my last supper with Dad.

I came to this realization today at work after I received the email invite and immediately managed to bum out everyone around me. Instantly I was transported back to that day. The last day I saw Dad, talked to him and gave him two hugs. They were up north snowmobile hunting and stopped by our house afterward. We decided to go eat and I'm not sure what brought us to Grumpys but there we sat for a nice family meal. I had grilled cheese and fries. When we were done eating, we returned to our house, checked out Dad's new snow mobile, compared it to Tys, then they packed up to head home before it got dark. After my second hug, we told them we loved them and they were gone. That was the last time I saw or spoke to Dad. It was the weekend before we got the call. Five days.

I will never forget that day. I will never forget the conversation Dad and I had, about work of course. I will always remember he commented on my hair. It was curly and red – almost back to natural. This made him smile. He had a great smile. Everyone says so. I will never forget the hugs. I thought it odd I got two. Now I'm forever grateful for the second. It's the one that sticks with me. Dad was a good hugger. There is nothing more secure and safe then a hug from a Dad. Nothing more comforting.

I'm not sure how I will do or what I will feel. I am sure, whatever happens, it will be right. He will be there and he will have a drink with me. Pretty sure he'll order Miller Lite.

God I miss him.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Yoga must be sending good vibes my way. For someone who usually feels pretty unlucky, I stumbled upon some fortunate events today. First, I won the fishbowl contest at the local Chipotle. My business card was selected therefore me and nine of my (closest) coworkers get to enjoy FREE burritos this Wednesday. FREE Chipotle. Uh-huh. Then later in the day I scored FREE screen passes to the movie Life As We Know It tomorrow night. FREE passes to a movie that won't even release until Friday. Sha-blam.

If good things come in threes, I'm aiming my new luck towards the Twins. While I believe they don't need such luck to beat the (damn) Yankees, EVERYONE else apparently does. It really is unfortunate the Twins can't get no love from the press leading up to the playoffs. Oh well… everyone loves an underdog. Although Morneau won't be back, Mauer will be along with a few of his friends: Mr. Thome, ROY Valencia, RBI King Young and Team DeBoer's favorite, Big Cuddy. You know we'll be watching! And, if the Twins make it to the ALCS, game 4, we'll be there! Boo-yah!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


This afternoon I was hankering for a snack. I purchased a can of Cherry Coke Zero that a coworker promised me would taste just like the original Cherry Coke. Then I purchased a Three Musketeers bar. I dove right into the candy bar and washed it down with the inaugural swig of my new drink. While the Cherry Coke was marvelously close to it's original, I found the Three Musketeers bar… well… I don't know if I can say it… too… sweet? What the?! I know! I found myself eating it slow and when I just had the butt left, I almost decided to throw it away! *pause for gasps* The frugality in me overcame the moment and I managed to finish 'er off.

I don't know what was wrong with me. I plead temporary insanity, or, they must have altered the recipe! The creamy nugget was overwhelming and the crisp chocolate covering was over the top. Oh the shame! Who am I?! I'm a disgrace to my former self.

You wanna know something though… that's not the worst part. Before I left work I was starting to feel a little shaky from hunger, again ( I swear I'm hypoglycemic), and you know what sounded good? You know what I chose for my snack? An apple. An effin apple. Mind you it was a Honeycrisp apple purchased on our recent obligatory trip to Wisconsin, but still. FRUIT! Fruit over chocolate. I can't take it. I feel lost. I'm having an identity crisis.

All that kept running through my head on the way home was Shawn's lesson in health class where they compare cupcakes to apples. He teaches the students that you can have like 15 apples for every one cupcake to add up to the same number of calories. Plus, you'll get more nutrients from the apple. Blah, blah, ginger. Whenever I think of the lesson I think, I would eat the cupcake. Today tough, today I ate the apple. Help. Me.

Friday, September 24, 2010


It's time. I have reached by rock bottom.

Hello. My name is Kali and I'm a caffeineaholic. My addiction began in high school. Someone once offered me a pop and I took it. I didn't so much as ask what was in it. I just drank it. We didn't have pop at my house. Dad made us drink milk. I fell in love with this new beverage. I had to have more of it. I wanted pop all the time. I would drive to Casey's in the morning to buy a pop after practice. I would steal and scrounge for coins to fill the vending machine so I could get a fix midday. Although I dabbled in multiple forms, Pepsi was my flavor of choice.

I was able to subside this addiction after college. I switched to Diet Dr. Pepper, never really ready to give up pop or caffeine entirely or cold turkey. Although I tried. When I felt motivated, I could go a day or two without a pop. But the headaches were relentless and mind numbing and I couldn't surpass them. I gave in and went back. The addiction won again.

Now, I'm heading towards 30. I'm ready for a change. I don't think that I can give up pop. I like the taste too much. I must give up caffeine though. I've been buying caffeine free DDP for a while now. Due to my horrendous work schedule though, I've been binge drinking Pepsi for a week. I stumble on dollars daily to make my deposit in the machine. Yesterday, I had two 20oz Pepsis. This is when my stumbling downhill began.

I went home, ate supper, had another DDP and then headed off to yoga. C2, heated to 100 degrees for an hour, yoga. It was amazing. I was breathing and stretching and holding and releasing and sweating and sweating and sweating. About halfway through, I started to get a pain in the top of my head. It would come and go depending on the posture. It was weak at first but by the time we were winding down, it was a full fledged tornado in my head. Every time I moved, an invisible hammer would hold no mercy as it pounded behind my eyes. I don't know how but I made it through class. I made it out the door and into my car. That's when I started to feel sick. I rolled down the windows and rested my head back for a few minutes. I knew what was happening. I had been here before. I was dehydrated. The only other time I had been dehydrated this bad, I ended up fainting at a Howie Day concert and spending the rest of the night in the ambulance. At this point again, I was thankful to be sitting down.

I chugged back two bottles full of water and made it to a gas station by our house. I was after some electrolytes. With some water and Gatorade now seeping into my system, the throbbing was subsiding. I had calmed my nausea enough to take a shower. I had managed to relax enough so I could crawl into bed for the night, but not before I made a promise to myself. I would really TRY and give up caffeine. Not on Monday, not after I'm done working mandatory overtime, but now. Caffeine leads to dehydration. When I drink pop, I'm not drinking water. Then when I get to yoga and sweat off my weight in water, I'm left with nothing in the tank. My reserves are empty and instead, I'm rewarded with a migraine.

Doing a quick search on Wikipedia, I found that caffeine also leads to reflux disease (which I've had), insomnia (which I've had), headaches (which I've had) and even anxiety with obsessive compulsive tendencies when caffeine is taken in large amounts. Hello! Have we met? This all might sound extremist but maybe that's what I need. Maybe I need to be scared. I need to remember how I felt last night when I want a pop so bad I can taste it. I need to remember the urge to want to throw up when I get the urge to visit the vending machine. I need to envision the hammer to my head when I'm so tired at work all I need is a quick fix.

I need help. I know that now. I need to give it up. I'm not ubberly confident at this point beings that it's Friday and I have 10 hours of work ahead of me, but I'm going to try. That's all I can do is try. I've acknowledged my problem, publicly and I'm moving forward.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I have an intense desire to travel lately. Not just lately I guess. Always. It was a year ago last April that Shawn and I took our most recent vacation. Granted he's gone to Canada and I've gone to Virginia since, but neither of those destinations were new for us. I want to go somewhere I've never been. I want to get out of the country. I want a story that rivals The Fiat. I'm getting the itch to get on a plane and have my passport stamped. Although our Capital One miles are coming along nicely, it's still not in the budget right now (damn fireplace). Maybe this spring or summer. Until then, I can dream (and save)…

Below is my most wanted list. My coveted destinations. My current infatuations. You get the point. I disclose: I do have a hidden agenda to this reveal. I want to pluck the brains of the well-traveled (the likes of Drew, Aubrey, Pedro, Vashni, etc.) and heed the advice of any so-called experts. Don't be shy if I haven't mentioned your name. Do tell your tricks. Maybe you know someone who resides in any of these places and we could be their bunk buddies. Maybe you've been and know some helpful tips or must sees. Maybe you have a good travel agency or a good company you like to book through. Maybe you have some penny pinching pointers. Maybe you want to recommend somewhere completely different, hell, I don't care. Let's just talk travel! My complete wish list of places I want to visit is much too long to document here, however, I've currently narrowed it down to two regions: Chile and Italy.


Lake District Highlights

Chile & Argentina Culinary Adventure


Ultimate Italy


The Taste of Tuscany

Everything above is courtesy of Gap Adventures.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I'm too tired to formulate a paragraph. Instead, I'll ramble off some random thoughts that don't necessarily warrant a full post but have been occupying note space on my iPod.

My husband's man crush is Taylor Lautner because he is built like a brick shit house.

Is revealing I've had a UTI, TMI? It was a while ago and it was my first. I pray it was my last.

I said hello to someone I hate this week. My heart grew three sizes that day.

I am in awe of those that can hear a song on the radio and then play it on the guitar, piano or the like.

There is a road in Virginia named Witchduck Road. It's former name was Witchdunk Road because it lead to the ocean where they would, duh, dunk witches.

I love my husband most when he giggles at his own jokes.

What is your time worth? I know mine's worth more then it's being paid for.

I love reading most about other cultures, usually those furthest from my own.

The fireplace we just had redone isn't working. The dogs are protesting more then we are.

If I listen to a song loud enough, it can transport me. Momma said it can take me anywhere. It can be my magic song.

A good character building challenge is visiting and morphing into someone else's home, lifestyle and way of doing things. It makes you appreciate home.

Shawn and I saw Toy Story 3 at the theatre. No, we didn't bring any kids.

I drive Dad's old Cav to work every day. Every time I shift, I can feel his hand.

My Mom has finished radiation and is cancer free. Fuck cancer.

The only thing I want for Christmas is the complete Cosby Show DVD series.

Hangnails on the outsides of both big toes in yoga is like trying to play tennis without a racket.

A book I read referenced a sitting up soul. What do you think that means.

I like beer. It makes me a jolly good fellow.

I like when you comment on my blog.

I'd like it if you'd follow my blog.

I'd like to go to bed.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I have started yoga. Thanks to CorePower's free week for all new students and Groupon's $49.99 unlimited month, I have lunged into the abyss armed with curiosity, hope, a saggy core and an achy back.

It has been just over one week. I have attended five C1 (beginner) classes. My initial blanket feeling thus far? LOVE. Sure, it may be unrequited love, for now, but love it is.

I enjoy walking into the studio where talking is not allowed. I'm an introvert and this is my mecca. Hopefully I'm at the back of the class so I can sweat and pose in peace but as in tonight's case, I'm not always as lucky. Tonight I was front and center for both the class and the reflection in the mirror. My apprehension towards my placement doesn't last long however. I find familiarity the minute we find extended child's pose and start our breathing. My mood enjoys the calming affect of the instructor's voice. The verbal cues and demonstrations and movement breakdowns help my analytical side. The liquid gestures make me feel graceful, dancer-like. The language used to label each movement brings out my intellectual side. I worship the belief in yoga that every strong pose is followed by a strong relaxation. When you feel like you could collapse, you literally get to. I adore the challenge of opening up my heart and chest, straitening my back, looking up with my arms extended and letting my head hang heavy. I was immensely proud of myself when I accomplished my first inverted pose, crow. I continue to get better with every class. I revel in the end of class. Not because my pain and suffering is over but because we get to lay there, in corpse pose, with the lights nearly out and the music subtle next to the silence and just relax. Nothing else matters at that point and I'm completely engulfed in the moment. With a personality like mine, it's wonderful to attain this feeling and for that at the very least, I am grateful.

Not everything is rainbows and roses however. As I implied, yoga doesn't necessarily love me yet. My cynical side still exists. The day after my first class, I could not feel the back of my arms much less lift them higher then my legs. Thanks to running, everything from my ass down was good to go. Everything from the waste up, however, was screaming, gesturing and swearing at me in every possible language. I feel immensely out of shape during class because I sweat. I'm not talking about a few beads percolating on my forehead. I'm talking full on, faucet running sweat. From the top of my head to the tips of my toes. Granted, the studio is slightly heated but still. I'm slowly working my way through my fear of passing gas on my neighbor. Laugh it up. Women know what I'm talking about when that bitch Flo is in town. I fear falling on my face at all times even though they tell us it won't happen. When I'm down in crow trying to rest my legs on my arms while looking forward, it takes complete concentration not to picture a gaping whole where my two front teeth used to be. The instructors always reiterate that shaking is good. Shaking is great. Shaking means your body is working hard. Therefore mine must be trying out for the effin Olympics because my whole body trembles. I could go on but it doesn't really matter because all of these semi-cons don't put a dent in the pros so to yoga I go again and again and next time, I get to go with a friend.

Monday, September 6, 2010


As Niece Natalie would say, "TA-DA!" - the new fireplace! Below is how it happened.

The conversion to gas was complete and the god-awful shelves were down!

The new gas insert and setback surround.

The resurfacing with the new stone had started - also a good before/after resurface split.

Top - awful brick; Bottom - beautiful stone.

Our living room mid-resurfacing. Good thing I was at work.

Our wonderful stone vendor.

The new gas insert with it's surround atop the new hearth (which also matches the new mantle).

Beautiful new setup - bottom half which includes the new hearth.

This angle shows the new setback - the section they built out on the lower half of the fireplace by about 4" so that we could have the lovely stone mantle you see here.

Harvest Ledgestone

The new setup - plus one dopey basset.

The new setup - second angle and a second dopey basset.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Remember the old fireplace? Floor to ceiling dentist office yellow and orange skinny bricks circa 1954 with a mismatching hearth and out of place, out of touch, ugly ass shelves that were attached with dark cement mortar and a brass tinted screen complete with a brass top and brass pull chain that enabled that draft that basically was the function of this wood burning beast?

I can't…

…because it's not there anymore! After photos to come. Am I driving you nuts yet? Is the suspense killing you? Are you laughing at my insidious implication that this blog determines the outcome of your day or in any way has an affect on your mood or daily happenings?


I'm going to post about our fireplace soon. You'll see the awful, dreaded before and the amazing, knock-your-socks-off after. Are you excited? Are you anxious? Do you love before and afters as much as I do? Does it drive you nuts that I posted this instead of just getting to the reveal? Good… that was the point. To get you to come back.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010



It seems everyone is having babies. Every where I look there is a baby bump or belly. It's baby fever! I know I've surpassed the dating phase. Everyone has already gotten married. I realize I'm now at the age where everyone around me is either trying to get pregnant, due any day, bringing home a newborn, learning their baby's routines or dealing with a toddler. I get it and I'm very truly happy for each and every one. That's the honest-to-God truth. Really.

But, I'm also sad.

When the day comes for Shawn and I to have a baby, it will be bittersweet. It will be amazing, exciting and life-changing. It will be stressful, chaotic and sleep-depriving. It will be a wonderful bonding experience for us, our friends and our family. But, someone will be missing. My heart literally aches every time I reflect on the fact that Dad won't get to meet my kids. Or in the same token, my kids won't get to meet my Dad, their Grandpa Miller. There are no words to surround that void.

This has been one of my biggest struggles for me when mourning the loss of my Dad. Aside from the mere and simple fact that I just miss him.

I can't get into it more because I'll fall apart. It's just what's been on my mind. No, I'm not pregnant (I KNOW some of you were thinking it!) but everyone else either is, was, or is trying to be so it projects my mind to the distant future. I know Dad will be watching from up in heaven and he'll have good seats for when it happens, but selfishly, it's not good enough for me. It's not good enough for my future kids. So today? Today I'm wallowing… and probably emotionally eating.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


As promised, a wee selection of photos from our recent renovation. This is me and my general reaction to having my picture taken, by Shawn, while trying to get something done.


To survive my work day, I need two things :: something inspiring to look at and something catchy to listen to. Fellow Mac users (and loser PC users) I'd like to introduce you to my two best work friends, InterfaceLIFT and Pandora.

InterfaceLIFT is my favorite resource for vivid and visually interesting wallpaper. Learn your computer's resolution and download away. From my Mac heart to yours, enjoy.
My current work wallpaper. I want to live atop this mountain.

Pandora is like iTunes' Genius feature on crack. If you haven't discovered it yet, you must. My current swoon…   
Mr. Eddie Vedder


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