Thursday, July 30, 2009


Sunday afternoon after Adam got home from golfing and took a shower so he smelled less…manly, we did some shopping before heading to dinner. We stopped at Menards for a water heater blanket. We stopped at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for some ramekins (look for a recipe on the cooking blog this coming weekend) and some other kitchen accessories. Not able to find everything I was looking for (and still having some time to kill) we also stopped by Wire Whisk. They were out of the flat whisk I was looking for, but I did manage to find rubber-tipped tongs and an industrial grade rubber spatula. I also browsed around in DSW for a little while.

We still ended up at The Melting Pot about 10 minutes before they opened. We had a wonderful dinner – our usual Big Night Out with extra lobster for Adam. We were seated right next to the bar/wine room, which was a little distracting, and right by the kitchen so we were hearing “corner” and “door” throughout our meal. Aah, the memories of working in food service. *shudder* We were in and out in record time. We got home, I fed the starving cats, and we went to work putting the water heater insulator on. Man, fiberglass makes me itchy.

On Monday I threw a chicken in the crockpot for dinner, always a good plan in my opinion. Adam was home a little later than usual because his car stereo had been recalled and he had to have it replaced.

Tuesday night he had his first of three golf lessons (taught by a professional) at Golf Galaxy. They’re my anniversary present for him this year. When he got home we went to dinner – my night for the month. I was waffling between Hu-Hot and Outback Steakhouse and by the time I got home from work the last thing I wanted to do was have to walk around and get food. So Outback won this time. I tried their special Honey Dijon chicken. It was good – not spicy at all, which is a valid concern considering everything else that’s on their menu. After dinner we went to Younkers, where Adam had found a skillet online he thought might work. It took a little while to find it (it was in an aisle display) but we eventually located it and it will work for me. I’ve been looking to replace my 12” covered saute pan for a while now – the bottom is scratched (hence the rubber-tipped tongs) and it doesn’t cook evenly. We’ll see how this new one works out for me.

Last night we had free tickets to the Comedy Quarter since my name was drawn after I filled out a comment card the last time we were there. We had invited his parents and Mike and Donna to come along. We met his parents at Gullivers for dinner. This time I tried the chicken wrap – it was huge. After dinner we went outside to wait for Mike and Donna to arrive. They showed up a little after 7 and we went inside. We sat on the other side of the stage this time – by the exit. I’m not sure which side I prefer yet. I’ll have to go back a few more times I think. The emcee was not good. Even worse than last time. Every time he got up on the stage the atmosphere in the room evaporated. Just not funny at all. We had a special guest comic in addition to the feature and headliner so the show ran a little longer than the previous one had. All three were quite good, but the headliner was great. Kind of like the Untamed Shrews, but less offensive. Still a little uncomfortable to be sitting next to your in-laws while some lady is up on the stage making vagina jokes. Eh, what can you do?

That’s pretty much all the excitement for the week. I’m trying to see if anyone down in Sheboygan wants to do anything Brat Days related with me (since Adam’s probably going to be gone golfing again) but so far I haven’t heard back from anyone. Aside from my baking project, not much else planned for the weekend. I managed to burn myself quite nicely last weekend when making the (oh so yummy) chocolate mint bars, and again tonight while making dinner so hopefully I can avoid making this a regular occurance.

We're Important

I forgot to mention this before – we were chosen as a Nielson ratings household for this week. They sent us these “TV diaries” and we’ve been writing down what we watch every day. It’s kind of a bummer since this week was pretty atypical. We’ve been busy and out for more evenings that not. Oh well, that’s the way it rolls I guess.

A few weeks back I got this feeling that I was watching entirely too much TV. It felt like every evening was spent trying to catch up on recorded programs on the DVR. This was not helped by the fact that Adam was annoyed when anything sat on there for more than a few days. In any case, I decided that I needed to scale back. So I stopped recording everything except for 18 Kids and Counting and Hannah Montana. (I wonder what that says about me…) We also record Conan, Law & Order, and Raising the Bar that I watch with Adam. But no more Rachael Ray (although she’s on re-runs anyway since she had vocal cord surgery), Kathy Griffin, Kendra, Denise Richards. There’s still pressure to watch Conan, but it’s not as overwhelming. I’ve taken up reading again. And I still mindlessly watch FoodNetwork more than I’d like to admit. But I’m working on it.

Everybody Poops

It’s a morning ritual, as I’m sure it is in most households. You get up, take care of your “morning business”. Today was no exception. Even the cats joined in on the fun. Well, except for that whole “they pooped on the floor instead of in their litterboxes” thing.

I got out of bed and was overwhelmed by the poo smell in the hallway. I figured Ted had taken a nasty dump and perhaps I’d have to spray some febreeze. In the office (where there are temporarily two litterboxes while Carly continues to prefer spending her nights in the cat room rather than in our bed) I was met by the thing I least like to see in the morning. Or any time, really. A big, nasty, smelly pile of cat poo. On the floor. Near the litterbox, but obviously with no attempt made to get it IN the litterbox. *Head in hands*

What’s worse is that it was made up of two distinctively different poo types. Adam says he saw Ted and JC running out of the room when he was on the way into his bathroom. I’m can only guess that one cat did his business outside the box and the other felt the need to embellish. So, I was left with one gargantuan pile of crap to clean up. Good thing it was garbage day. I got everything scooped up and Nature’s Miracle-ized. I took the trash out to the garage. I came back in and it still smelled totally noxious. Then I looked inside the first box – hey, what do you know? They actually got some of it in the box. So I dragged the box to the back door, scooped out the nasty lump, and returned the box to the office. It still smelled gross so I peeked into the other box. Of course, there was more there. *grumble, grumble, stupid !8#&$^ cats* so I dragged that one and scooped again.

At this point I was completely fed up with poop and litterboxes. I sprayed some glade and called it good. Fortunately Adam’s the one who went to retrieve Carly only to discover that she’d also decided to poop en dehors du litterbox. I probably would have blown a gasket and thrown stuff if I had to clean up anymore shit that wasn’t mine. Grrrr. I asked Connor to let me know when he decided to poop some place random so I could mentally prepare myself.

It was a rough morning.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Photographic Blast from the Past

So, in an attempt to liven this place up (because I'm certain my "we went here, we did that" blog entries are deathly boring) I'm going to pick random photos from my various photo albums and see what I can find to talk about. Here goes...

So, this series of photos is from 1994.

I'm minding my own business, drawing a flag on the sidewalk with chalk. Notice how there are actually 13 stripes. What attention to detail! I doubt I could fit all 50 stars though...

Along comes Catherine, blowing bubbles. They float onto the sidewalk and pop right on top of my masterpiece. (No joke, the back of the first photo says "My Masterpiece" and the back of the second says "Ah Catherine, did you have to?")

But it's ok. I join in on the bubble blowing. (Apparently we were the "Bubble Queens?") And now there are clouds (??) by the flag. Must be a pretty high flagpole. I guess I took some creative liberties.

Apparently I didn't hold a grudge for too long. (Although now that I look at it, perhaps I was trying to strangle her...)(On a side note, what the heck am I wearing?) (On another side note - look! I'm taller than she is!)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A post about Carly

Last Sunday night I took Carly to the cat room for her constitutional before bed. She complained heartily when I picked her up off the window seat and took her to the bedroom. I had barely laid down before she started jumping all over me, doing laps around my head, being generally disruptive. I took her back to the cat room, figuring perhaps she hadn’t done her business. She did a lap around the food bowl, glanced at the litterboxes, and then jumped back up onto the window seat. I picked her back up and put her back on my pillow. She laid down by my head for about a minute, but the second I moved, she was up again. She walked down to the end of the bed and stared out the window. I thought perhaps that would solve things until she got kicked by Adam when he rolled. She leapt back up by my head and starting parading up and down me again.

This was definitely not going to work all night, so I moved two litterboxes, food, and water into the office, opened the window in the pet room from the bottom, and stuck Carly in there for the night. I don’t know what she was doing all night, but when I went in there this morning, she was sitting by the window, watching birds play in the yard. Making all kinds of kitty noises. Now that she’s discovered nature, she wants to be in the window 24/7. I picked her up to take her to her spot in the kitchen. She complained. When I walked by on my way back to take a shower, she freaked out, jumped onto my shoulders. I took her back to the cat room and she beelined for the window. I left her there and Adam took her back out when he was done getting dressed. She still looked unhappy about being on top of the fridge when I left for work Monday morning. The same thing has happened every night since.

Last weekend marked a huge leap in progress for the kitty side of Carly. She explored extensively on Friday and Saturday while the other guys were confined to their rooms to eat. On Saturday afternoon she discovered everyone else naps in the office so she had the run of the house for a few hours. She sat by the window in the living room. Found the cat tree and the teepee (which she napped in after dinner until Ted stumbled upon her and a growling match ensued - see previous post pictures.) She even sat in front of the patio door for a little while on Sunday night.

None of these things have ever happened before.

She would occasionally crane her neck from the shelf by the fireplace to see out the door. Sometimes she’d stop by the windows in the kitchen. A couple weeks ago I started taking her with me into the office for a little bit, opening the window so she could see and hear all the stuff going on in the backyard. At first she wasn’t too interesting – she’d usually end up laying on the desk next to the scanner in about two minutes. But after a couple days she stayed by the window, watching, listening.

I don’t necessarily want to shut her in the pet room every night, but she doesn’t seem to mind and I get to sleep for a night without kitty interruptions. Plus, she’ll be put in that room for the entire time we’re gone next month so it’s good to know it doesn’t bother her too much. Now if only we could get her to explore and be a cat when the other guys are around…

And to stop glaring at me...

A bunch of boring crap, I'm sure.

Last Friday night we watched My Best Friend’s Girl. Second viewing for me, first for Adam. He had told me to get something funny when I went to exchange Australia. This is what I brought home. I think for being such a stupid movie, it’s hilarious. I didn’t fall off the couch this time, but I still laughed. Ridonkulous… Anywho.

Saturday morning I left to do this week’s shopping and Adam left for a day of golf with his uncle Rich and some of his friends. I got back home, unpacked stuff, made lunch, did some reading, went back out to run a few more errands (I mean, really, why isn’t everything open at 8am?) and then came back home. I made some mini-cheesecakes for dessert, read a little more, and discovered it was already 5pm. Time flies.

Sunday morning Adam decided he wanted to touch up the trim around the house. He went outside to scrape the window by the garage and discovered it was completed rotted out. So, as usual, a small, simple, inexpensive home repair turns into a large, expensive ordeal.

I fear the weekends where Adam has free time and wants to do stuff around the house. I know eventually these things would have to be done anyway, but it seems like every time he tries to do something seemingly harmless and cheap, it turns into some big, expensive situation.

Anyway, so he replaced the window in the garage yesterday afternoon with my help initially and then his dad’s assistance later on (I went and took an “accidental nap” with Connor.) We then headed up to have dinner with his grandma and aunt and uncle who are up visiting from Florida. We came back home, watched a couple Conan’s, and finished up the weekend.

Monday night Adam made the chicken he had originally planned for Sunday night. The rest of the week was pretty boring.

I had my annual biometric testing Friday morning. My blood pressure was high again (as it is EVERY SINGLE TIME!) and this time they made me sign something acknowledging that I knew it was high. Hmmm. At least this year I didn't gush blood after they drew their vial's worth. Whew. I hate giving blood.

We went to the drive-in last night and saw G-Force (cute) and The Proposal (not as good as I thought it would be.) It was crowded again and it started to rain a little during the second movie. This might be the last trip up there for the season. We'll see what movies they get for the end of August and how long they stay open.

Today I slept in kind of late and Adam was up earlier to do some work. We went grocery shopping. I vaccuumed, did some other shopping. Adam got some golf GPS thing. Had dinner. And now I'm sitting here.

Tomorrow Adam's going golfing in the morning. I plan to make some Chocolate Mint Bars and catch up on some reading. We've got reservations at The Melting Pot for dinner and we also have some shopping to get done at Menards and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Fun stuff.

This week starts another month-end cycle. They seem to creep up on my faster and faster. But soon it will be time for our vacation, so that's something to look forward to - we can relax like Ted here:

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Has Hell frozen over?

Well, folks, there you have it - Carly might actually be... a cat.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Back from the Land of Unreliable Bloggers

*sigh* That's my excuse.

Adam worked Saturday morning so we did our grocery shopping on Friday after work. After Adam left on Saturday I did the rest of the week’s errands. There were quite a few. Walmart (augh! Cat food week!), Walgreens, Petco, Sam’s Club, Piggly Wiggly. I was only out for about two hours, but I was tired by the time I got back home.

I also stopped at Barnes and Noble while I was in the area. I’d been kicking around the idea of buying Kristin Chenoweth’s book, seeing as how I figured it would take about a year to get to the top of the wait list at the library. I went in to see how much it would cost me and I couldn’t resist. After I got home and put away all the other stuff I had bought I settled into the sofa and started to read it. I couldn’t put it down. Adam got home a little after one and aside from some short breaks to help him take measurements downstairs for pipe insulation (and then later install said insulation), I read the whole book in one afternoon. It’s that good. Seriously, go read it right now. It’s written in much the same way she speaks – kind of stream of consciousness, but not so jumbled that it’s obnoxious. And it’s hilarious. Laugh out loud funny. She’s such an adorable lady, it was great to hear more from her. There are rumors there will be a movie version of "Wicked" and she’ll take her Galinda role back. That would be awesome (assuming it’s done better than that calamity of a Phantom of the Opera film. Bleck!)

On Sunday Adam decided we needed to replace the insulation/weather-stripping around the garage door. I once again played the role of tool-girl to help with measurements. He went to Menards and then came home with his dad in tow. I did some cleaning and then sat down to watch Australia, which had been festering on the end table for about a week. I was avoiding it. I was bored within the first two minutes. I was bothered by the Baz Luhrman-ness. Nicole Kidman was annoying. I lasted an hour. I then decided my time was worth more than that and flipped to the Food Network. It was only nominated for best costumes, so I don’t feel too bad about not watching it all. Although, speaking of costumes, I thought Nicole Kidman’s skinny, high-waisted skirt thing got old really fast. *sigh*


Three left: Defiance, Frozen River, Gran Torino

Adam made steak for dinner, I read some more Sebold, watched "Law & Order" from last night, went to bed. A pretty boring weekend.

This week was…different. Tuesday evening was the third of four IMA board meetings. Unlike the previous meeting, I didn’t monopolize too much of the discussion. I did somehow get volunteered to arrange catering for a meeting. I’m still not sure how that happened. Eh. We had a few tentative ideas fall through but I think we’ll be in good shape. Some interesting topics.

Wednesday I stayed home from work – a combination of cat-induced sleep deprivation, unexplained rib-area pain, lasting effects from an ill advised bowl of Ben & Jerry’s, and, honestly, a need for a mental vacation. I slept until a car alarm went off for five minutes outside and Ted starting yowling (in the hallway – he gets the best accoustics there.) I gave up and got up and made lunch. I caught up on some Money things I’d been procrastinating on, did laundry, watched Danika (which I had previously started watched last week when Adam was off golfing but it got scary and it was dark and I was alone and I'm a big baby), and napped to old Food Network shows. They were showing re-runs from the 2004-05 time frame. And wow, Ina looks a lot younger then!

Adam got home and after the cats were fed we went to dinner – his choice for the month. He opted for Old Bavarian – a German restaurant up in Appleton. Seeing as how I don’t like pork, my choices were limited. He got schnitzel that had eggs on top of it. I got pasta and proceeded to make a mess of my shirt. Grrr. Story of my life.

Thursday started off badly when I slammed my knee into my sink while toweling off after my shower. Later in the day I got gashed in the neck by Carly again. Seriously, I can’t pick that cat up without her scratching me. We decided to go try the new comedy club in Neenah that’s in the building that used to house The Meadows – where we had our wedding reception. They certainly revamped it! It’s divided into a bar/grill – Gilligan’s – and the comedy club. We got there a bit early so we sat in the bar area until they started seating. The nice thing about this place is you can order real food in the club. Unlike Skyline, where your meal options are limited to nachos and pretzel bites. They still have the fruity drinks topped with whipped cream and umbrellas though, so it’s like the best of both worlds. (Uh oh, "Hannah Montana" reference. Why did I think of that just now? I’m so lame.)


The emcee was not so great, but the featured comedian and the headliner were both very good. Laughter is good for you. And we learned that Mitch Fatel will be there in December. Very excited about that! It’s not too often that we get people like him in the area.

It was another long night last night. After kind of catching up on my sleep on Wednesday I pretty much immediately went back in the hole. Carly’s back to her “must eat every hour and a half” thing again. She’s not a baby, so I’m not sure what’s up with this “sleep regression” thing. It’s obnoxious. Adam tells me to ignore her, but he’s not the one being jumped on or bopped in the face with a kitty paw. I told him last night that if I had to get up more than three times I was going to wake him up and make him take her. So at about 5:30, when she woke me up for the fourth time, I shook him awake. He complained – why should both of us be made grumpy by the cat? It’s not his fault he sleeps so deeply he never hears the commotion. Nice. Yet another reason we’re not going to have kids.

This weekend doesn’t look too busy. I think Adam’s going to try and go golfing tomorrow. We’ve got a movie sitting at home to watch (not an Oscar one though.) I’ve got some catch-up cleaning to take care of. I went to the library tonight so I have a new batch of books to get through - some Rand, some Weiner, some Nabokov. Quite the variety there...

And now, because this post isn't already long enough, and it's been too long since our last installment of cute kitty pictures:

It's Nature, Carly Brown!

Kitties In a Line

Carly's not the only one who is environmentally concerned...

Cuddle Muffins

See - even being covered in cats couldn't get me to put that book down.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Fireworks and Quarter-End

I've been much better about keeping up with my cooking blog than this one lately. I guess it's because that blog is so structured: I post the menu, then post the pictures and recipes after I cook new dishes. Doesn't take a lot of time or brain power.

This month-end has been rough. We counted a day early since the plant was shut-down all week. This gave me a head start, which is nice since Corporate decided to bump our close up two days. I worked Friday (which was technically a holiday) to get inventory done and I finished up the statements at 4:50 this afternoon. *sigh* Everyone's out again this week doing dry runs for SAP. It's only day three and we're already done. Well, kind of. Things were pretty much thrown together to get some numbers quick so tomorrow I get to start to back-track and clean things up. It's also quarter-end so that throws all kinds of other wrenches into things. But it's ok. I like deadlines and I seem to work better when I brush up against them. Maybe I'm a closet adrenaline junky.

Since I worked (most of the day) on Friday, we didn't really have anything special planned. Adam went golfing all day with Mark and some other people. He came home sunburned. Semi-raccoon-ish. Saturday we did our shopping (somehow avoided mad rushes of holiday shopppers), then I read for a while, took a nap (somewhat accidentally), and then headed down to Sheboygan for dinner and fireworks.

Somewhere along the line I got to thinking about how long it had been since I last saw the fireworks. I determined it had been five years. In 2002, through the strange circumstances of which my life has been made, I was in Neenah, just a block from where we live now. I'm almost certain I worked the holiday. I always volunteered since I had nothing better to do and I knew other people were less of a loser than I was. In 2003 I was on an airplane on my way to France on July 4th. I thought it was funny that I was leaving the country on our national holiday, going to the country everyone seemed to hate the most (aside from Iraq, of course.) The last time I recall watching fireworks was with Jess and Dakota back in 2004 when he was barely a month old. It was cold, and thankfully we had the good sense to back up to the Younkers parking lot to watch them so it wasn't too loud. I don't know what I was doing 2005-2008, but we didn't go to any fireworks. I'm guessing either I was working, Adam was working, or we were sleeping. We're so lame. But fortunately our neighbors love setting fireworks off. They go for about a week and a half prior to the actually holiday and really go crazy on the 4th. This year they were still setting them off after midnight. Adam gets jealous because I don't want him setting anything off by our house.

Anywho. Strange tangent. We met Dad, Cheryl, her parents, Brooke, and Tom at the Highland House. We had dinner out on the patio and watched the fireworks over the bridge. I could have sat closer, but it was still nice. They had heaters so it wasn't too cold. There was an obnoxious man who complained throughout almost the entire display, but what can you do? It's a public place. We zipped out of the parking lot pretty quickly, and aside from an unexpected detour on 14th Street, we got home pretty easily.

We slept in on Sunday morning since we didn't get home until around 11:30 and the neighbors kept us up long after that. When we got up we had breakfast and Adam did some yard work. I cleaned, baked some cookies, read, did dishes. It was a pretty boring day. Adam made ribs again for dinner.

This week will hopefully be less stressful than last week was. Adam is going to a Brewer's game with Dave on Wednesday so I'll be on my own for the evening. Nothing else really going on.