7th Day of Christmas

On the 7th day of Christmas my husband gave to me a surprise New Years Party with 7 friends, all my favorite pizza toppings, and freshly cleaned kitchen. Mmm...clean house, what a great way to start the New Year. I love him so much. Off to kiss hubby good New Year, hope you all (if there are actually any of you reading) have a great 2009!

How to Charm Me

Resist the urge to freak out once you find out just how cold my feet really are. This fact is especially important at -50F outside.


How to Annoy Hubby

Lose your only set of keys to the house after already losing your husband's car keys earlier in the year. It's been a bad year for keys in our house.

6th Day of Chrismas

On the 6th Day of Christmas my husband gave to me: breakfast in bed, my favorite fizzy soda (raspberry Izzy), a warm car (when it is -45F outside), an evening snuggled watching episodes of House rather than Fallout and one of his favorite chocolate truffles from his Christmas stocking (just because he knew I needed chocolate).


5th Day of Christmas

On the 5th Day of Christmas my husband gave to me, my man in pants! (he had to go back to work sometime) And once he had risen from his stupor of Fall Out he said "Wow, what an awesome wife I have to let me zone out like I was back in college and not move for 4 days!" Or so I imagine him to think, because low and behold at lunch he showed up and took me out for Italian with a sheepish grin on his face, not wanting to admit he had done anything wrong, but silently making up for it "just in case."


4th Day of Christmas

On the 4th Day of Christmas my husband gave to me, 12 more hours of snuggle time with Fall Out 3, a Net Flix subscription (so I can download and watch a movie "with him" while he plays), another load of laundry (apparently pants require underwear to be worn), another big thank you for the jammies, another day of no cooking (we've moved on to creative toppings for potatoes), and 2 hours of working on the house (we are working on painting the kitchen).


3rd Day of Christmas

On the 3rd Day of Christmas my husband gave to me 6 hours with his best guy buds at the house, another day of no cooking (more Christmas ham sandwiches), another big thank you for Christmas jammies (which he still hasn't changed out of), and folding two loads of laundry (apparently there are pants in there somewhere).


2nd Day of Christmas

On the 2nd day of Christmas my husband gave to me 40 hours of undivided "snuggle time" on the couch as he played Fall Out 3, special Christmas mcmuffin with leftover Christmas ham, and a big thank you for the Christmas pajamas I gave him Wednesday night which he showed by still not changing out of them.


1st Day of Christmas

On the 1st day of Christmas my husband gave to me, beautiful pearl earrings, new books to read, and helped clean up the dishes after our first successful Christmas ham.


Making My Morning E-Breakfast Efficient

We share a car, saves gas, money on insurance and maintenance and gives us lots of quality time to talk in the car. Sometimes its a pain and we juggle, but manage. It's less of a big deal in the summer when we both have another set of wheels and can bike almost everywhere. For the next 5 months until it thaws though it means that I'll be stuck at work for an extra 30 minutes every day waiting. I'll probably end up working and either acquire a hefty Christmas bonus due to the extra 2.5 hours a week or I'll use the time to catch up on other things that can be handled online like paying bills, blogging (perhaps), or reading my RSS feeds. Reading RSS feeds first thing in the morning gets me caught up with the news, friends and inspired for the day, but I've found my blog roll growing to an unmanageable level. Scrolling through uninteresting posts is a waste of time. Today I was happy to discover this article on using Google Reader. It's got a few tips which have sped up my morning routine  so that I can get through all of my RSS feeds, personal e-mail and Internet chores in the half hour before everybody else shows up. Google has a FAQ with keyboard shortcuts which also make using reader more efficient.


Home made Christmas

Our week was simply crazy this week, getting ready for our family Christmas party and other holiday events. Kept up the good eating and went to pilates class, but missed the WW meeting. Maybe I will go to another meeting later in the week. Oh well. 

You can see our Christmas tree from last year above. When we got it out this year to set it up, it just looked so small. Its about 3-3.5' tall. We looked at about 5 different stores in town for a new  Christmas tree. Apparently there is a lack of normal looking trees that aren't sized for a hotel lobby. A 7.5' tree does not fit in a 8' house very well, or at least not with a star on top and a base to stand it on. The only ones we found shorter than 7.5' were all scraggly or flocked with fake snow and glitter or looked more like a topiary bush. Scraggly, not in a good Charlie Brown minimalist Christmas tree way, but in a cheap Made in China way. 

Some may argue that a real tree is the most authentic tree and far more environmentally friendly. I would tend to think that having one good tree like my parents, which sticks around for over 26 years isn't really that bad. But, you should buy a tree that you're willing to stick with if you're going fake. Don't buy a fad blue tree, an upside down tree, a half tree, corner tree, black tree, or fiber-optic tree unless you really really love it. You'll end up throwing it away.

Ultimately, the search for the 30 year tree ended up nowhere. We were so frustrated that we decided to try a real tree this year. We were always scared of real trees, thinking that they cost like $200 and that the cats would drink all the water and after like 3 days we'd be left with a pitiful skeleton of a tree and a pile of needles to vacuum up. I didn't want to put up the tree and then have nothing but ornaments on a sad little dead bush. But, we went to Home Depot and dicovered that their normally $200 trees are on sale for $30-$40 and that each different variety has different characteristics, like how long they retain their needles and how they smell. We'll find a friend with a truck this weekend to go pick one up.

The idea of having a real tree this year is putting me in a mood to make our whole house feel more home-made and traditional. I found patterns for cutting complex snowflakes out of paper and will be spending some fun time tomorrow night snuggled up on the couch with a pair of scissors and my favorite movie at Christmas time White Christmas. If I get tired of snowflakes maybe I'll whip up some popcorn and make some garland. Heh, we'll see how far the home-made Christmas goes.


Being Sick Makes you Healthy

Was sick with a head cold all week which left my head feeling like a solid brick. I still drug myself out to the WW meeting and was pleasantly surprised with a -1.8 loss. This week's weight loss lesson: "when confined to the sofa for the week and eating nothing but broth based soups and lots of liquid, you actually are doing something to make yourself healthy." Heavy foods that you don't want to eat when you are sick are bad for you anyway.


Wireless Internet Question

I have a wireless internet network in our house. It consists of a wireless router connected directly to my cable modem. What I need is to be able to connect a laptop in our office to the internet. For security reasons this laptop was purchased by an employer without wireless network card or capabilities. Does anybody know a way to take the wireless connection, receive it and then put out internet via ethernet to another computer? Or am I stuck with using this laptop only in the living room where the wireless router is located?


What Would I do for 8 Years By Myself?

 The Longevity Game by Northwestern Mutual is a tool to help estimate your needs in retirement and also for buying life insurance. For me it was a morbid exercise which convinced me that based on their actuarial tables I should eat more fruits and vegetables, exercise more and lose weight in order to live past 91, but that if I do I'll spend longer and longer alone. Hubby is predicted to last till 85 and I'll stick around till 91 according to the insurance folks. *sigh* My dear, I don't want to live 8 years without you! 2 years age difference + living 6 years longer. Not sure what I would do with almost a decade to myself. Maybe I'll just enjoy life as is and get him to work out more and we'll spend the rest of our lives together. Yeah, bad plan, statistics mean nothing about actuality. Just like the fact that I flipped a coin to tails last time doesn't mean I'll get heads this time. I've just eliminated a pretty good excuse for not going to the gym this week. Oh well.


Goings On

Weigh in went well. I was down -.4 lbs. Doesn't seem like a lot, but it represents several small victories. Thanksgiving is a big deal with my family and there always half a dozen options in addition to the basic turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls and pie. I picked things that I don't usually have as every day items the rest of the year, filled my plate with 1/2 veggies and ate only one plate. I was a slow eater so I was eating steadily through the same amount of time as others went back for 2nd and 3rd plate fulls. I was so proud of myself. 

I am even more proud because this week also involved a bunch of stressful family and Army events. My husband was promoted into a new position in the reserves. No change of rank or pay, but a big change in responsibility. He now is responsible for 150 soldiers and 13 million in equipment, a very hard thing to manage well as a reservist with a full time life already. This is placing huge demands on his time. 

We worked on setting up his office again and are re-instituting date nights. This one night a week where he agrees not to do Army stuff and we do something together is important. We did this when I was in grad school and tended to just pick at doing my homework rather than focusing on it. We set up date nights which forced me to do my work more diligently and then set aside time for us. We also made a road trip with my in-laws and stayed with my parents for 3 days, all in one week! I would have been happy with all of the family events, holidays and social occasions this week just to maintain weight wise, I was ecstatic to lose.

So lesson learned, plan ahead for social occasions and that takes a lot of the emotional aspects of eating out of it. 


Trial By Fire - Timothy Ferriss

Timothy Ferriss, blogger/author of the 4 Day Work Week fame is one of those lifestyle design gurus who I'd actually like to meet in real life rather than some guy out there writing books to make money off of the people buying them. I think his approach is more like, here I am, this is what I do, let me explain so if you think you want to do it you can to. His latest project is a TV show which he is trying to get off the ground on the History Channel. He attempts to learn over the course of a few days something that takes years to master. In this case, Japanese horseback archery, for the pilot of “Trial by Fire” — which will air this Thursday, 12/4, at 11pm ET/PT on The History Channel. I'll be watching and the cool part is so will my husband because eh, its the History Channel and martial arts. The one issue I always have ready Timothy's books/blog/anything is I feel completely lazy, like, "Wow, if this guy could master a language to functional fluency in 30 days, why can't I?" Well, I probably could, but its not going to happen passively, I'd have to want it and focus on it, and I just don't. So shameless plug here, but I get nothing out of it. I like Timothy Ferriss in the same way that I have a weird crush on Anderson Cooper. They both do what they love with no holds barred and are cute in a real life (like I could actually know this person) kind of way. To see what I'm talking about, check out his show. Preview here.