Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Updates, updates, updates!!!

It seems like this year has flown by. It's been a hectic and busy year, and never seems to end. So I haven't blogged much at all. In one fail swoop, I'm going to cover some ground today!

Waketoberfest was the weekend of Oct 20-21. It was our first time attending one. I actually took some days off from work, and decided to camp out there Thurs, Fri, Sat nights. I got there Thurs morning, since Pace Bend is not too far from us. I got to Mud Cove -- the primitive camping spot. There were a few tents around, but no people. I set up my tent, cooked my lunch of ramen with my new Jetboil personal boiler (which rocks!), and hung out.

Quite Mud Cove -- Pace Bend Park

Finally, I saw Whitie, and spoke with him. I tagged along in some of the set up festivities -- sign stapling, moving the starting dock. But it was pretty quiet Thursday.

There was one oddity, though. Whitie and I were at my campsite stapling signs. Then this weird dude appears out of nowhere. He sits at a table a bit away from us. Then yells and asks us what we're doing and stuff. We tell him. No worries. Then he comes up to us and is like..I've been living in the woods for a month and haven't spoken to anyone..I just want to talk. We let him talk. He had cuts all up both arms. A young guy. Sad case. Cleaned up, he would've been a decent looking guy. Then he left us alone. Creepy.

So anyways, throughout Thursday night, he kept re-appearing -- same story. His name was Remington. People had to be stern to drive him away, because he would just sit down and hang out like he knew you. In the end, he ended up threatening to commit suicide. Our gang got the word to the park rangers, and kicked him out of the park the next day. Needless to say, Ian, Greg, Dizzy, and Andrea were nice enough to let me move my tent by their RV in the improved camping -- much safer, especially with the creepy dude wandering around (and me camping alone).

All in all, Waketoberfest was pretty neat. I got a ride on Tim and Angie's Nautique on Friday, finally went wake to wake again twice, thanks to Angie's encouragement. Saturday was comp day, so went out with Ian, Sonya, Greg, and Christy on Dizzy and Andrea's boat, and later met up with Sean who joined us. It was extremely windy that day, so felt bad for the competitors! Volunteered a bit for the fest. And completely got worn out. I ended up not camping out Saturday because I had gotten about 2 hours of sleep Fri night (late night partiers outside my tent telling their dog to 'speak' at 3am...).

The weekend of Oct 26th-28th, Sean and I flew up to Pittsburgh for his friend, Tara and Geoff's wedding. Tara and Sean were college buddies from CMU. A brief wrap up -- the trip was pretty cool. A lot neater than I expected. Fall was in full effect there (first fall I had ever seen!) and beautiful. The Andy Warhol Museum was pretty neat. Visited CMU and saw some pretty geeky/dorky people (Sean says not everyone is like that...). And really enjoyed the Dale Chihuly glass exhibit at the Phipps Conservatory. The long weekend flew by, and then we were back home.

Here are a few pictures - highlights of Pittsburgh:

View from the Duquesne Incline overlook on Mt. Washington

Giant glass fast food - Society for Contemporary Craft

Bruce Nauman work at Andy Warhol Museum

Warhol skulls

Dale Chihuly glass exhibit -- Phipps Conservatory

On the weekend of Nov 4th, I decided to rip out the vincas and a badly placed rose bush out of our planter beside the house. It was time for something new. I planted snapdragons and pansies in time for fall and winter.

Oh, another detail..we had put our old house in Leander up for lease or sale the week before we went to Pittsburgh. It was on the MLS, but it didn't have a picture if you look at a quick listing. You have to do the virtual tour. Not a good first impression since our house was the most expensive in the neighborhood (lot size, private cul-de-sac, lots of upgrades). So last week, we contacted our realtor to talk about the listing. She said that she may have some people interested. But didn't hear from her for a day. Then Sean calls me at work, and all of a sudden, several couples are interested in renting. One of the couples wanted to move pretty immediately -- something about they had rented a place in Lago Vista for a few days and were completely disappointed as it had been in shambles. Sean called me to get an okay from me. Of course, I said it sounds good.

The couple put in their application. Our realtor said they looked like a good couple, with a small baby. Good candidates, excellent credit scores. So we went for it.

And then it happened so quickly. We still had some items in the garage left. They wanted to start moving in that night. So after Sean got home from work, he called the couple up and asked if it would be okay if we dropped by, so we could clear the garage.

We met the couple -- they're actually from Texas, but were living in Colorado. They were moving back to Texas to be closer to their family, since they have the baby. We chatted for a while, and learned that her parents (who were there helping them move) had lived in Leander years ago -- ranchers. It was like meeting a piece of history..well, sort of. They're nice folks. We ended up clearing the garage, stuffing both of our cars, and driving on home.

It wasn't till we opened our garage at our new place, that I realized..holy shit..we need to do something about this. It was stuffed full. I hadn't touched it in a while, with everything else going on..just didn't feel like unpacking...

Luckily, our place rented out quickly. That's $1295/month back in our pockets. So we can breathe easier now.

Also last week, the lot on the other side of us (Builder C, aka the lot we wanted to buy but couldn't afford at a whopping $65,000!) has been fully cleared. Our house is completely naked on the side now. They were really quick to clear it -- most of the work in one day. So when I got home, I quickly worked on my rock border for two nights after work into the dark. That way, they know what is theirs and we know what is ours. Seems like the point has gotten across so far. I picked up an application to build a fence, so that we can do a decorative lattice fence between our lot and theirs to make it more private (I miss the trees, don't really like the view of the street)

I had a sewing emergency and made a curtain for our side office window, since you can see me sewing, at my computer, and at my jewelry bench from the street. And soon, I'll have to make a curtain for our side living room window since you can watch our tv if your standing in the lot next door.

View from side office window -- before, we could barely see bits of the street.

View from my front yard

So anyways, with all this deconstruction happening AGAIN...I've gone bonkers and decided to plant pretty things. I went to Home Depot, bought a bunch of bulbs and seeds, and potted away. I think I overdid it this time, as I potted for a few days straight after work, and still am not done! Hopefully, they'll grow. I guess there's some sort of satisfaction seeing something sprout up from the ground (and I'm not talking about a house, either!).

And more home improvements. Since we got our old house rented out, we figure we could spend some money on the new place again and not feel so guilty. Sean remodeled our downstairs half bathroom. Paint, replace the stinky toilet. Once the paint is cured, he'll add the new light fixture, new toilet paper roll holder and towel holder. We want to replace the crappy faucet, but that'll have to wait a bit. All the fixtures in this house (the new place) are odd -- mixed metals and ugly styles -- like they got it all from the thrift store or leftovers.

And even more home stuff! This weekend, we got motivated and packed my little Volvo with cardboard boxes we had used from moving. Our garage was full of them, and is full of stuff..stuff everywhere! So we took the full load down to Ecology Action to recycle them.

And yesterday, we brought a shelf up from the garage, as well as a TV stand and TV for the guest bedroom. I unpacked a few boxes. Slowly, but surely, getting there. My Goodwill pile keeps growing...

That just about sums it all up lately! If you haven't seen me or heard from me..well...you know why...

Monday, November 12, 2007

November’s warm weather...I can’t complain!

I'm a Texan at heart..have lived here the majority of my life. And when it comes to the weather...it's almost mid November and still in the 80s. Fall..what's fall?

We took advantage of the nice weather on Saturday and went wakeboarding on Lake Austin with Stef, who was going to be on his way out of the country later in the early afternoon. We fit in an early morning session, starting around 7:30am.

The temperature was fine, even the water temperature was not as cold as I thought it would be. I was fine with a heater shirt. The wind, however, sucked. Chop, then butter, then chop, then butter...you just had to know where to go. Regardless, we had a good time.

I didn't do anything exceptionally special, except for the fact that I finally crossed over the wake on a wakeskate (Stef's wakeskate)! I suck at wakeskating..really, severely, suck. I tried to break his board loose into a slide, the fins caught, and I supermanned into the air and ate it bad. It probably looked pretty entertaining from the boat. Also, I did my first backside surface 180 (on my wakeboard) at full speed. I used to do them (and surface 360's) at a really slowed speed. But since I'm a bit better, more brave (or stupid?), I figure I'd give it a try. I got the handle pass and then caught a good hard edge on my switch, what felt like flying towards the wake, got tripped up, and let go. Oh well..that'll need some work ;)

Anyways, here are few pictures. Nothing special.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Oh the things you'll do for health!

I've first went to the Allergist about a year ago. They found out that I was allergic to everything on earth except for mold. So since then, I've been doing 3 shots 1-2 times a week.

The shots make me feel a little crappy everyday, but it's a crappy feeling that I can manage. I haven't had a run of bad, bad allergies which creeps up on me multiple times of year. So I'll take the little crappy feeling everyday versus the full blown allergies (ie. ER visits because you pull a rib muscle and have inflammed rib cartilage is not cheap!).

I had my 1 year visit with the doctor himself on Monday. Everything has been going fine. But I did mention to him that I'm constantly mucousy every day, and it has been an ongoing thing for as long as I can remember. Constantly having to clear my throat because of the mucus build up. 'Post nasal drip' is the medical term for it. My post nasal drip is much worse than the average person.

He recommended that I use NeilMed's Sinus Rinse. We found it at Walgreens by our house, tucked deep in the bottom of the sinus/allergy section. We bought a neti pot by the same company to use with the solution. I figure, hey, at this point, I'll give anything a try.

At first, I was scared and nervous to use my very phallic net pot. I thought that I would choke and spit the solution up. I followed the directions, and it actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It worked just like the directions said. I laughed so much. Running 8 ounces of warm saline solution through one nostril and out the other is..akward at first. My eyes teared up, too. Then I had to do it starting with the other nostril, all over again.

But it was much easier that I had expected.

Since I said that, Sean had to give it a try. He had a harder time getting it started. Well, he didn't read the directions, either. He had his mouth closed, which created a pressure seal. So I told him to open his mouth and breathe through it. He still had some issues, then finally he got it started, but it made him laugh..he pulled away the neti pot, and here's the cool picture that came out of that:

He finally got the hang of it and let it flow...

I had never even heard of these things before. It's so strange. We'll see if it works. And if it does, maybe I'll upgrade and get a cute ceramic neti pot. Right now, it's given me a little sinus headache. But for kicks and giggles, google "neti pot" or search for "neti pot" on flickr...=D