Howdie Family and Friends - here are the going ons in the life of me. Stew shows up frequently. My family and friends visit a lot. My nieces and nephews are represented throughout. It's all about me and how I'm traveling along in this thing I call my life.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Journal: February 29, 2012

Just a short update today.  Had more meet and greets today.  Still loving it.  Getting a little tired of talking about myself.  During one of the meetings today, my orientation partner and I tried introducing each other instead of telling our own story.  It's a lesson in male versus female listening skills, I think.  He had me working at some places I've never worked.  LOL.  It was funny though and besides learning a lot about him - he's a lawyer (never know when you might need one of those...) - I'm learning a lot about others in the company.  It was a good day.

After work today was happy hour for the leap year celebration and if you know me, you know that I don't typically go to things like this but after a little arm twisting, I decided that I should go.  I completely love the HR reps - and my manager said that she was really looking forward to me going.  Can't not go now.  In fact, when I arrived she was saving me a seat.  I'm so glad I went.  Just having more fun with these people I now call colleagues.  Just a hilarious time getting to know the personalities of the people and of the company itself.  And the restaurant had like the best soft pretzels I've ever had outside of Philly.  I even got an order to go with the thought that I'd go back to the hotel and read.  Yeah, wasn't happening.  I vegged in front of the tv, ate my pretzels, then crashed.  Still catching up from the lack of sleep on Sunday and Monday nights, I think. 

The restaurant is The Firehouse Grille.

And look - they have mashed potato pizza - definitely going to have to bring Stew here...if he comes.  We're trying to decide if he should make the trip here this weekend.  They're calling for snow.  I'd love to see him, but that might be a lot of traveling just for a day and a half.  We'll have to see. 

POTD: February 29, 2012

Out for happy hour with my new co-workers.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Journal, February 28, 2012

I waited and waited for a release date on this book.  I pre-ordered it the moment it became available on Amazon.  I told Stew not even to call me tonight because I was going to snuggle up in bed and read this book.  What a freaking let down.

(Photo from author's website)

I started it tonight and then I shut it off and went to sleep.  Now granted, I was tried.  Stupid Daytona race.  Monday night racing is a cool idea.  I like it, but not when Montoya runs his car into a jet dryer and there's this long delay while the track officials use Tide to clean all of the jet fuel off of the track - talk about your instant commercial.  The delay made for some funny moments.  Mostly surrounding Brad Keselowski (yes, I had to look up how to spell that - and I'm really starting to like him as a driver.  I love his support of our troops, his no nonsense attitude and hell, he's Polish).  He makes history, I suppose, by being the first person to ever tweet during a red flag and then there's the now infamous video of him racing Dale Earnhardt Jr to the john during the red flag.  You can see that here...

Funny stuff...

What wasn't so funny was the explosion after Montoya's car hit the jet dryer.  Thankfully, both he and the crewman were okay. 

(Photo credit:

Craziness - so anyway, the race ended well past my bedtime so I didn't get much sleep last night.  But I still came back to the hotel with the thought of this awesome book waiting for me. Yeah, no worries there.  I don't know what the issue is, I just can't get into it.  I'll keep reading it though, hopefully, it will get better.

I forgot to add a pretty awesome story from yesterday.  I'm meeting with our legal department and when I walk into the room one of the company attorneys says to me, "I hear you're from Baltimore."  I say yes, unsure of where this is going.  He says, "I got some things to say to you about Ray Lewis."  I just smiled and told him he could tell me anything he wanted to about Ray Lewis and I probably had some things I'd like to say about Ray Lewis as well considering I'm a Steelers' fan.  Well, apparently, this is the kiss of death and he wanted me fired on the spot.  It's not my fault the Bengals are terrible.  LOL.  So we spent pretty much the entire meeting talking about sports.  I just love how friendly everyone here is.  It continued through the meet and greets today.  I mean even the medical monitors seem approachable.  Getting a really good feeling about this company. 

So tired today I had gold fish crackers for dinner.  Gotta get some sleep.  More meet and greets tomorrow.

POTD: February 28, 2012

This quote that says...

"The true secret to giving be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not and never persist in trying to set people straight."

Hannah Whitehall Smith

Monday, February 27, 2012

Journal, February 27, 2012

I forgot when I wrote my journal entry for yesterday that I had put moments in the Momento app on my phone.  I love this app - it pulls in all of my social media activity for the day as well as allowing me to enter small notes throughout the day so that I don't forget anything - like all of those funny things my kids say.  Now if I would just remember to use the app more.  Maybe I'll make that a new goal.  A couple of things I forgot from yesterday was the jeep in front of us while we were stuck in traffic had a 2 by 4 as a bumper and then we saw a repo truck with its flashing lights which Stew called a "seizure truck".  Oh Lord, that was bad.

Things that annoyed me at the airport - people who put their luggage on chairs.  It was really crowded and people had nowhere to sit and then they get an attitude when you ask them to move their bags so you can sit down.  You know, it's my number one pet peeve anywhere - inconsiderate people.  Drives me up a wall.
Today was pretty awesome I must say.  First day at my new job.  All dressed up....

Picture is pretty bad - but I'm just not that photogenic so there you go.

Greeting on my cubicle

Met with my new boss first thing this morning for the tour.  You know I can get lost going in a circle so it's going to take a few days to learn to navigate that.  I spent the morning with HR and attending the Monday morning clinical meeting.  I had lunch at an awesome place (lots of horse themed decorations) with my manager.  Parkers...

Very good food and great service.

Then this afternoon I started my meet and greets.  I'm going to spend this first week of orientation meeting everyone in the company.  I think this is awesome.  I mean at my last job, I hardly knew what the people I talked with on the phone looked like.  This way, I get to learn something about those I'll be working with and they can learn about me.  It's a little overwhelming the number of people - but I think this is a great way to orient someone to the company.  I'm really looking forward to it.

After work, I went to the grocery store - we really need Krogers around our way.  Great store.

Then came back to my home away from home (at least for the next two weeks) made some dinner and crashed.  I'm not used to this getting up and going to work stuff.  LOL.  Looking forward to another awesome day tomorrow.

Here's a picture of the office building but obviously it wasn't taken today (leaves on the trees).  I took the picture off of the company website.  I wasn't able to get a good shot with my phone.

POTD: February 27, 2012

The sign that greeted me at my cubicle this morning.  First day at my new company - So excited!!

Journal, February 26, 2012

Well, what was supposed to be a day filled with family and Daytona racing was a day filled with watching the rain delay at Daytona, cancellation of the Daytona party due to mom being a bit under the weather and Ms. CEH's arrival, packing up the suitcases, a stressful drive to the airport, an easy flight to Columbus, an easy drive to Cincinnati and a late crawl into bed.

I'm glad they called the race because I had to catch a plane and I would have missed it.  They'll be racing under the lights in Daytona tomorrow for the first ever Monday Night racing - take that NFL.  I really hope that Tony wins this damn race this year.  I mean, he's on a role right and it's like the only major thing he hasn't won.  Come on Tony.

It sounds like from what I'm hearing that Ms. CEH will be going home tomorrow.  I can't wait to see her but there's like a two week delay now because of my trip.

Packing was interesting this time - normally I know exactly what I'm taking and it's already in the suitcase, but this time, it's two full weeks - hmmm.  That means full sized toiletries and more clothes than normal.  I actually had to check bags - what???

The ride to the airport was stressful and you'd be surprised to know which one of us was stressed.  It wasn't me.  We were sitting in stopped traffic outside of the 895 tunnel watching all of the traffic moving on 95.  Stew was grinding his teeth, I think.  Good news is though, we made it.  No problems.

My hotel room is actually really nice.  Full size refrigerator, stove and dish washer.  I have two bedrooms just for me - but they're double beds so when Stew visits this weekend, I may just go sleep in the other bedroom since I sleep on the diagonal and he's going to need some room.  I'm super excited for tomorrow and not at all nervous which I guess is weird when starting a new job.  Beats me.  I know it's going to be a 5 hour energy drink kind of day regardless because I didn't get to my room until almost 2AM.  And I actually have to dress up and commute to work (you know, all of five minutes, but still!!)

There's also a fire place but there's no way I'm starting any kind of fire, tried that once, didn't like it so much.  Sigh....

For now it's time to crawl into bed and get as much sleep as possible for the big day tomorrow.

Photos of the hotel room that I'll call home for the next 2 weeks:

During the rain delay for the race Krista Voda interviewed Kasey Kahne.  They were comparing battle wounds from their knee surgeries - look how damn skinny his legs are.  HAHA - too cute, he is.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

POTD: February 26, 2012

Waiting in traffic going into the tunnel.  Interestingly enough, Stew was more aggravated than I was.

Auction Finds

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Journal: February 25, 2012

Another day of feeling sick.  Don't know what is going on with that.  I missed FGH's entry in the Pinewood Derby and I didn't even know that BMH had an entry - so I missed both of those due to this ongoing malaise.  I'm not really sick.  No symptoms of anything to note, really - just not feeling like myself.  Who knows?

So, despite the desire to get a lot of things done today, I spent the day relaxing with Stew.  We caught up on all of our DVR'ed shows - considering I'm going to be out of town for two weeks, that's probably a good thing to have as much space available as possible.  Once I get back from this training, Stew and my agreed upon routine will go into effect, which means tv time on Fridays only.  I think I'm going to have to cut out some shows...that's not a bad thing.

We also watched the Nationwide race.  Who won?  I have no idea - someone I have never heard of.  So who is going to win tomorrow - same thing, probably some one no one has heard of who just gets through the mess of a wreck that happens on the last lap.  It happened in the truck race last night and in the Nationwide race today.  I think that today's mess was caused by Kurt Busch trying to block - I really just don't like that guy. 

And big news of today - CEH has arrived.  We got a text from Matt around 4:50 saying that they were at the hospital, but not in active labor, though they were admitting Kelly because she was too close to going.  Update text at 5:35 stated that they were inducing labor within the next hour and at 9:15 we go the text saying that Ms. CEH was born at 8:41.  She weighed 9lbs, 5ozs and was 21 inches.  YAY!  I'm an aunt again - that's baby number 12, 7 girls and 5 boys.  I'll have to go see Ms. CEH when I get back from Cincinnati since with this general not feeling well thing I've got going on, I don't want to infect her.

Tomorrow's the Daytona 500 - we normally have a big party, but we're not sure it's even going to happen this year with CEH's arrival.  We'll see.

POTD: February 25, 2012

What else can the picture of the day be other than my new niece.  CEH is here.

I, unfortunately, won't be able to meet this little beauty until I get back from two weeks of training in Cincinatti - and then the required isolation time making sure I didn't pick up any germs on the plane.  But she's here and healthy and that's what's really important.

Book Review: Veil of Midnight

Author: Lara Adrian
Start Date: 16 Feb 2012
End Date:  22 Feb 2012

Photo from author's website

Amazon Summary:
Bound by blood, addicted to danger, they'll enter the darkest—and most erotic—place of all.

A warrior trained in bullets and blades, Renata cannot be bested by any man—vampire or mortal. But her most powerful weapon is her extraordinary psychic ability—a gift both rare and deadly. Now a stranger threatens her hard-won independence—a golden-haired vampire who lures her into a realm of darkness…and pleasure beyond imagining.

A combat-loving adrenaline junkie, Nikolai dispenses his own justice to enemies of the Breed—and his latest quarry is a ruthless assassin. One woman stands in his way: the seductive, cool-as-ice bodyguard, Renata. But Renata’s powers are put to the test when a loved one, a child, is threatened and she’s forced to turn to Niko for help. As the two join forces, as desire fans the flames of a deeper hunger, Renata’s life is under siege by a man who offers the exquisite pleasure of a blood bond—and a passion that could save or doom them both forever.…

My Comments:  Not sure I'm going to be able to finish this series though there was a character introduced in this book that I'm interested in (of course he's not until book 9, grrrr).  Anyway, this book had the same failings as the last one, I thought the conflicts that the two heroes battled were far too easily resolved and the fact that Renata asks to drink Nikolai's blood and he allows this without any sort of feeling of disgust considering the blood bond just didn't make sense to me.  Nikolai is abducted and forced into blood lust - but that all goes away in Renata's presence.  Give me a break Ms. Adrian.  You've set blood lust up to be this overwhelming, to the brink of no return happening and then in this book it is glossed over and not dealt with.  Something's amiss.  I'm not sure I can read books 6-8 just to get to nine, though I did buy 6 tonight. We'll see.  Me and my OCD not allowing me to just skip ahead.

Friday, February 24, 2012

POTD: February 24, 2012

Headed to Bel Air Auction Gallery tonight to bid on some stuff.

Journal: February 24, 2012

That's all folks.  For the next two days, I'm officially unemployed.  Wow, right?  Today was the last day at my job.  I had my final talk with my manager, submitted my final expense reports - expense reports right up until the last minute, haha - that's me.  I started gathering all of the things that need to be sent back.  It's quite a bit.  Stew will take it to the UPS store next week for me - he's great.

We headed to the auction tonight in Bel Air.  I'd never been to an auction before and didn't know what to expect.  I learned a lot, mostly, you need a game plan.  I was making too many spur of the moment purchases so by the time the items came up that I really wanted, I had already spent my budgeted amount.  I did score some items that will look nice around the house, but I lost out on all of the lots of rubber stamps I wanted.  Lesson learned.  Will do better next time.  I'll share our purchases tomorrow after I take pictures of them.  Way too sleeping tonight for that.

Here's our auction number.  You have to pay $10 to get a number and if you buy something they subtract it from the price.  If you don't buy something they give it back to you at the end of the night.  The only problem is, they take cash only for this and neither Stew or I had any.  They trusted us.  I'm sure that will change as they get to know us.

The doors of the auction house open at 4:30 and the auction starts at 6.  This gives you time to look at the items you really want to purchase.  Another thing I learned.  The auction goes really fast - so make sure you know what you want to bid on.  There were a lot of people there and each one of them seemed to have their niche of things they were looking for - one guy bid on all of the furniture, the lady sitting in front of us bid on all of the jewelry and there was a lady behind us who looked for all vintage things because her daughter is a photographer and she uses them for her sets for her photos.

Following the auction and a rather precarious trip in the car (we bought a lot of glass and not knowing anything at all about this, no boxes or bubble wrap or anything, so I had to carry it) - we headed to Red Robin to eat.  Stew got cluck and fries or whatever that's called.  I really wanted a burger.  I forgot to tell them to only put certain things on it so while it was good, it wasn't great.  Bummer there.

This was on the bottom (obviously) of the advertisement they had on the table.

Over dinner Stew and I talked a lot of sports and about how we thought we did at the auction.  They have arcade games on the way out of the restaurant and I wanted to play Ms. Pac Man - or what I thought was Ms. Pac Man - turns out, it was something called Ladybug.  You could walk through the swinging walls and trap the things that were coming after you and things.  It was weird.

Stew played the ghetto version of Break out.  We both got high scores - we won't mention that it was because they reset the machines each time.

Another precarious drive home with all the glass, unloading of the car, took care of Stew's hands and it was off to bed for us.  So sleepy.

Tomorrow I'm heading to Bethesda to watch FGH participate in the pinewood derby.  Should be a blast.  Looking forward to it.

Fast Fact Friday

 What is your favorite...

1.  Fast food restaurant?


2.  Casual dining restaurant?

3.  Expensive restaurant?
Capital Grille or McCormick and Schmick's

4.  Family-friendly restaurant?
Pizza Johns

5.  Restaurant that you could go to everyday? 
Pizza Johns

Thursday, February 23, 2012

POTD: February 23, 2012

Last day logging into the trip report software.

Journal: February 23, 2012

Spent the day starting to get things together to send back to my company for my last day.  It's hard to believe how much stuff you gather in almost 4 years.  Still not feeling any sadness about this - wonder if it will ever come.

YAY for new contact lenses.  

Spent a lot of time cooking today.  Made chili, Moroccan Beef Stew (crock pot) and Pork with Greens and Beans (crock pot).

This is the moroccan beef stew - it was delicious.
Other than cooking and working - pretty boring day around here. 

Thankful Thursday

This week's theme - cleaning supplies.  Here are my favorites: 

 My favorite things for cleaning the tub - unfortunately, they are no longer making them.  Booooooooooo.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

POTD: February 22, 2012

Stew's solution for the mess in my craft room.

Journal: February 22, 2012

Blah is the word of the day.  Not feeling well and no motivation.  Slept, read and watched tv.  The end.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

POTD: January 21, 2012

In celebration of Mardi Gras - my gumbo.  No shrimp due to a weird contact allergy reaction and I forgot to add the green beans and tomatoes, so not my best attempt - but it was okay tasting.