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.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Journal: June 30, 2012

Woke up and got serious about cleaning the house.  Mike and Laura were due to crash here tonight following Franks' party so I wanted to house to be at least reasonably presentable.  As I finished cleaning and woke Stew up so that he could get ready for the party, we got a call from Frank.  Apparently, there was a bad storm last night.  Not that I knew about since I slept right though the thing but it turns out it did quite a bit of damage - downed trees and power lines.  Frank is without power and the park where the party was scheduled has a parking lot filled with kindle.  The party has been postponed.  I had no idea. 

So after learning that news, Stew went back to bed and I went down to continue my work on the scrap room.  I was on facebook when I talked to Laura - since they had a unexpected free day as well, Laura and WTK decided to come down and spend the day. 

Stew headed to the storm and got stuff to make spaghetti.  Laura, WTK and I spent the majority of the day in the pool.  Laura and I both tried to ride Dino the dinosaur - that didn't work out so well.  As you can see...

Otherwise, we had a great time in the pool and a great time hanging out.

POTD: June 30, 2012

Let's just say balance isn't my strong point.  I was determined to ride around the pool on Dino the dinosaur - unfortunately, it wasn't happening.  I'm not giving up though.  I have all summer left.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Journal: June 29, 2012

Well, so much for operation put the craft room back together.  It seems when Stew and I were at Ikea earlier this week and he said to me, how many desk legs do you need, my acting like he was crazy because desks need four legs, I should have paid closer attention since the desk I bought requires five legs.  Sigh.  So I took another trip to Ikea, got the needed desk legs, and came back home.  Went out to the shed to get the other table I'm going to use in the craft room and did all this while the temperature was disgustingly hot.

They're calling for bad storms tonight.  We got our warnings from the city of Aberdeen.  I'm hoping the storms will cool things off, but I kind of doubt it.

Frank's party tomorrow is going to be steamy to say the least.

The rest of the day was pretty par for the course.  Work, tv, laundry.  Rinse and repeat on Fridays.

POTD: June 29, 2012

I think the picture says it all.


You're off to great places.  Today is your day.  Your mountain is waiting.  So get on your way.
-Dr. Suess

(I think my mountain is the pile of laundry - as always.)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

POTD: June 28, 2012

Part 1 of operation redo craft room complete.  I'm happy to say that with the exception of 4 allen wrench screws, I put this together myself.

Journal: June 28, 2012

Typical workday around here.  Plenty of meetings.  I got assigned to a new study - whoohooo.  That's four now that I'm working on.  Unfortunately, none of them are keeping me busy enough....yet.  I have a feeling I'm going to be just about as busy as I can be in the coming weeks and I'm really happy about that.  It's hard to fill an eight hour work day when you really don't have much to accomplish.  This new study might allow me to monitor at Hopkins - how awesome is that. 

It's awesome to be involved in so many exciting things that are going on - I'm really loving my job right now.

Other than work, I spent time in the craft room putting together the new furniture.  The Expedit shelving unit was easier to put together than I thought it was going to be - though Stew had to finish it when he got home because I couldn't get the allen screws to go in.  Whoever, this allen guy was - he's a pain in the butt.  I like phillip and flathead much much better.

I put the desk together - epic fail.  Stew asked me while we were at Ikea how many legs it needed which I thought was a silly question - it's a desk, four legs, right?  Duh!  Yeah well, the dummy sign goes straight on my forehead since the desk needs five legs, not four.  Lovely.

Tearing the craft room apart has made the downstairs an obstacle course - the house is trashed anyway and I can't seem to find the motivation to clean it.  It's that overwhelmed feeling again.  When I get behind on keeping the house clean, it just piles up and then it's an all day long process and I just don't want to do it.  Stew and I are once again talking about hiring a cleaning service, but right now the house is so trashed I can't even get them to come give me an estimate.  I'm going to hope to get it cleaned up tomorrow.  *fingers crossed*

Stew got home from work, finished putting the bookshelf together while I was in the shower and then we had the Manwich he made for dinner last night while watching tv.  It just felt like a tv night, so I made the decision to just sit down and enjoy it.  We've been going, going, going for awhile - a night just vegging was exactly what we needed.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Journal: June 27, 2012

The big news of the day came from my brother Phill.  He called me early this afternoon and told me that he has a hamburger.  I had no idea what he meant, so I had to ask him to explain.  He said that he doesn't have a hotdog, he has a hamburger.  OHHHH!!  Now, I got it.  I'm so happy for them.  They've been waiting a long time for baby number two and they so hoped that it would be a girl - two wishes granted and on Christina's birthday, no less.  Even though this completely messes with my numbers (we're now 8 girls, 5 boys), I'm very happy and excited.  Baby is due in November and I'm hoping for the 2nd - I don't care what the official due date is.

Other than that, Stew and I both had doctor appointments today - me with the dentist to get my crown placed and him at the back doctor to see what's going on with this back pain he's having.  Turns out, the doctors don't think that his legs are two different lengths because his pelvis is parallel to the floor and if he has scoliosis they think it's very mild.  Official diagnosis is mild onset of arthritis.  My man is getting old.  The crown placement went fine - no issues, though it does feel a bit weird for now.

When I got home, I had mail from work - opened it up and there's a gift card in the mail.  Hmmm.  Turns out administration wanted to say thanks for the good job we've all been doing.  That's pretty special to me.

I worked on a slide presentation today for work for a new study to which I was assigned.  My first time developing slides for a presentation such as this - turned out very well, I thought.  Here's hoping my manager feels the same way.

I had my late meeting and then Stew and I went off to Ikea for the furniture for my craft room.  I got a 5x5 expedit, the attachable desk and a corner desk.  One of the things I really wanted to make sure was that my work space is very close to my computer space.  This should accomplish that.  I had to ride home in the back of the Vibe because the furniture wouldn't fit with the front passenger seat up and we didn't do a good job tying it to the roof, so I road in the back lying on the floor with my furniture.  Reminded me of when Steve and I bought the furniture for his room at the Dundalk house.

I can't wait to get the craft room set up in its new format.  That's a job for tomorrow.

POTD: June 27, 2012

This is how I rode home from Ikea after playing Tetris to get all of my new furniture in the car.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Journal: June 26, 2012

Well, the sleep that I kept hoping would come last night, never did.  So, I got to the airport this morning with absolutely no sleep and my mood was par for that course.  So damn aggravated about everything and you know, when I'm in a mood like that, people get on my nerves even more than usual - which you know is hard to do.  Shockingly though, US Air was on time this morning.  Way to go.  Couldn't actually believe that, even when I was in my seat and the door was closed and the plane was moving, I still thought something was going to happen and we were going to have to taxi back - nope, took off right on time; however, the flight - way bumpy!  There are only a few times when I've flown when I get off the plane I feel compelled to hug the ground - today was one of those flights.  I was seriously happy when that plane landed and even happier when I saw the Welcome to Maryland sign on my drive home. 

Flight was empty - awesome!

Turbulence eventually went away.

Got home around 10:30 and was mad to find that the cleaning fairy didn't visit while I was gone.  Damn her.

Wrote my trip report and had my late work meeting.  When that was finished, I spent some time thinking about how I want to re-do my craft room.  This time with buying new furniture.  Think a trip to Ikea is in my future.

When Stew got home, we headed to Bel Air so that he could get his xrays for the back doctor he's seeing tomorrow. 

Then it was off to Bertucci's for dinner.  I was so tired.  Not even the freckled lemonade could perk me up!

We got home and I crashed.  So good to be back in my bed.

POTD: June 26, 2012

This picture says it all - this is what I look like after having to get up at 2:30 to make a flight.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Journal: June 25, 2012

Site visit today was really good.  The site is solid.  I actually beat the coordinator to the office this morning.  I normally tell my sites I'll be there between 9 and 9:30, I got there at 8:45 this morning.  After the mess of parking from my last visit, I didn't want to take any chances.  I didn't want to be late.  So I was able to get my regulatory review done before the coordinator even arrived.  That's the start to a pretty good day.  Took care of all that I needed to there and then headed back to Halifax where I'll spend the night and take the 7AM (that's 6AM at home) flight in the morning.  I ordered dinner.  A good pasta dish and a salad - it was tasty.  Had a hell of a time going to sleep tonight.  Suffering from the whole weird insomnia thing again.  Can't sleep.  Don't know if it's the temperature in the room - it's too warm.  And nothing is holding my interest.  I thought I'd watch a movie but for $11.99 I can get the DVD at home and there's nothing on the Kindle I want to read.  I really need to get to bed.  It's funny as I was posting to Facebook tonight, if I was on one side of the bed, it said I was in one city, but from the other side of the bed, it put me at a different location and where I think I am (Enfield) isn't one of those.  Weird.  Or it's my sleep deprived mind - I have no idea.

It's going to be a long day tomorrow if I don't get to sleep soon.  Sigh.

POTD, June 25, 2012

Stew and I using Skype for the first time while I'm on the road.

POTD, June 24, 2012

McDonalds in Nova Scotia. I wouldn't eat crab cakes from McD's - I wonder if this is really popular. ICK. That's all I have to say.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Journal: June 24, 2012

Traveling on a Sunday for a site visit is definitely not high on my list of things that I like to do.  It's necessary, sometimes, but that doesn't mean I don't try to avoid it as much as humanly possible.  Today, was unfortunately, one of those times that it could not be avoided, so I found myself at Philadelphia International Airport very early this morning and had to remind myself that some people don't travel as much as I do, which is to say they haven't traveled in the last 10 years, since they know nothing of the regulations.  Traveling on a Sunday, on a day when most business travelers are home, is frustrating.  Things move so much slower as the recreational travelers try to find their way around.  Way annoying.

The flight thankfully was on time and I made it to Halifax with plenty of time to watch the race. 

  Oh wait, no race on tv in the hotel - what the hell is that about?  Sigh....

So I read instead.  Stew said I didn't miss much.

Bed pretty early tonight.  I'm tired.  Probably be a pretty short visit tomorrow and then I'll be on my way back to Halifax to wait for my Tuesday morning flight.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Journal: June 23, 2012

Well, Shawn and family headed off to Kentucky today.  They left around 7 and made pretty good time.  Shawn said that the house was in pretty good shape.  I asked him how Meli felt about it since she would be much more critical and he said that it was much better than she thought it was going to be, too - so all in all, it's good there.

Before they left this morning, SMP was crying and upset that they were leaving.  I was trying to console her and tell her that Uncle Stew and I would be down to visit and she would be coming back to our house to visit, she stopped crying and sobbed, "I want to go in the pool."  Oh, well, just call me chopped liver.  LOL.  Her mother wanted her to go to the bathroom before they left and she didn't want to, but I conned her into it by telling her that she could use the good smelling strawberry soap that was in the downstairs bathroom.  For the whole time she's been here she's only wanted to use that bathroom because of the soap.  A few days ago I told her she could take it home with her.  She didn't forget.  After she used the bathroom this morning and washed her hands, she came up the stairs with her soap.  She took it home with her.

I know what's going to be on Ms. SMP's birthday list.  (I actually got this soap from Kelly as she received it as a gift but couldn't use it, so I'll have to say thanks to her next time I see her.  SMP truly loved this soap.)

After Shawn and co. were all loaded in the car and on their way, I went down to the scrap room.  First time I'd been in there in a long time.  I spent most of my time getting caught up on what my other kids were doing during the time that Shawn and family were here.  I updated all of their journals with stories their mothers have posted on Facebook.  Sometimes, honestly, facebook can get on my damn nerves with all the drama and stuff, but it does allow me this opportunity to keep up with what all of my kids are doing and that's awesome. 

Other than that, Stew and I had a lazy day.  We got caught up on all of our DVR'ed shows and watched some Highlander.  After the whirlwind of the past few weeks, neither of us really felt like doing anything. .

The big news of the day was that the Flyers traded JVR - that's just bullcrap.  I liked JVR.  He'll be like all the other ex-Flyers - leave Philly and go win a ring somewhere else.  We got some guy named Schenn who apparently has a brother on our team - I'm not sure how I feel about this.  I guess we'll see when the season starts.

I got packed and we went to bed relatively early.  I have a plane to catch at 9 tomorrow morning which means I need to leave here at 6.  Oh boy - back to work for real!

POTD: June 23, 2012

I didn't take any pictures today - but sometimes I see something on Pinterest that really explains some part of my life and this definitely does.  One of the greatest thing about mine and Stew's relationship is that we find the same things funny, be it grade school humor, hearing our nephew yell out the word poop, or whatever, we are constantly laughing.  It's one of the most important parts of life.

Friday, June 22, 2012

POTD: June 22, 2012

Not many thunderstorms in Germany - the kids were excited to watch the clouds and the lightning come in before the storm.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

POTD: June 20, 2012

Since I had to work all day, Shawn and Meli took the kids to the Aquarium.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

POTD: June 19, 2012

SMP sleeping in after her first sleepover with the other kids.  They all slept on sleeping bags out in the living room.

Monday, June 18, 2012

POTD: June 18, 2012

The kids at the mini golf course with their heads inside the shark.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

POTD: June 17, 2012

Stew and I with 4 of the 5 kids - we couldn't get EAP to come to us and I don't think any of us noticed where GEP decided to store the ball he won at the arcade.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

POTD: June 16, 2012

All snuggled in to watch Cars on the iPad after a full day at the beach and in the pool.

Friday, June 15, 2012

POTD: June 15, 2012

On our way to the beach - this is how my little one was sleeping.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

POTD: June 14, 2012

Went to Target to pick up some last minute supplies for the beach - someone looks a little bored.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

POTD: June 13, 2012

A surprising picture of all the nieces and nephews.  Except for the fact that MNP isn't smiling and GEP has his usual silly face - they all are looking at the camera, which I consider a huge success.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

POTD: June 12, 2012

Didn't get one picture with all of them and even between these two pictures you can't see SMP very well - but I'm happy to say, the family is back in the U.S. and I'm looking forward to spending the next week with them and having them only a 10 hour car ride or a 1.4 hour plane ride away.

Journal: June 11, 2012

Today was all about getting the house ready for Shawn and Meli's visit.  I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned some more.  I did load after load of laundry.  I still have a few little things that I'll have to finish tomorrow before Stew and I head off to the airport to get the crew, but I'm pretty happy with what I accomplished today and I have to thank Pandora and 80s radio for keeping me motivated to get it done. 

I don't know why it feels like the house has to be at a different level of clean when you're having overnight guests for a long period of time rather than just having people over for the day - but it does seem different to me.  I feel like everything has to be in its right place and what's even crazier about that is that my family couldn't care less what the house looks like, that's not what it's about - but that's just how I am, so I spent today getting everything straight.

I even set up the toy room...

(These are things Stew says I spend my time on that prevents me from finishing anything and in a lot of ways, he's right, but I can't help it.  I'm a little ADD, I suppose and get distracted by shiny things.)

I also had to refill the coin sorter - ummm, this isn't fun.  I don't know what WTK sees in this, but I got nothing out of it.

I cleaned the deck, too.  I'm ashamed to admit that the grease from the December (YIKES) fire was still on the deck.  I couldn't bring myself to clean it before now.  Even today while cleaning it, it was hard.  Just like weird flashbacks of when it happened and thinking about the injuries that grease caused - just too hard, but I got through it and got it done.  The deck looks okay now.  Re-staining it is on the list of things to do next year, but for now, at least it's not slippery.  I will say that this stuff from the Home Depot works like a charm.  I sprayed it on there, used a wired brush to scrub a little and then Mother Nature did the rest by rinsing everything away.  I highly recommend this stuff for grease removal.

I'm so excited for everyone to get here, I can't sleep.  Will 2:30 just come already?

Monday, June 11, 2012

POTD: June 11, 2012

Looks perfectly gorgeous out - the sun is shining, and it's raining like hell.  Can't, unfortunately, see it too clearly in this picture, but it was hard for me to believe that the sun was so bright and the rain was so hard.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Journal: June 10, 2012

Today was the proverbial calm before the storm.  I have a lot of cleaning to get done to get ready for Shawn's visit, but decided that since Stew has to work tomorrow and it's the first day of vacation for me, I would wait and do it all tomorrow - I did do laundry today.  The clean laundry is starting to out weigh the dirty laundry and I'll consider that progress. 

Stew and I watched some Highlander and then watched the Pocono race - it was one of the better races we've seen in a long time.  Not at all happy that Joey Logano won - I was so pulling for Mark Martin, but the racing was exciting.  We didn't do a lot of fast forwarding - that's a sign that we actually thought the racing was interesting.

It was funny today.  For Phill's birthday, Christina got him a smoker/grill combo thing and Stew also gave him the electric smoker that we thought was broken (see when you have a handy guy around like Phill, things aren't always broken - they just need to be fixed).  Today, while we were watching the race Phill was smoking - and calling Stew for advice.  I think that's awesome.  When Matt first got his smoker, he would call Stew and ask Stew all of these questions and now Phill's doing the same thing.  Stew is the smoke master - like I said on Facebook, it's 33% of the reason I married him.  Pulled pork - yummmm.  Phill's ribs turned out if a little dry, he said.  He'll have to keep practicing - I'm sure he doesn't mind a bit.

So all and all - we were pretty lazy today.  It'll be the last time in a long time that we're able to just sit around and veg.

POTD: June 10, 2012

Vanilla Ice was the Grand Marshall of the Pocono Race - sad to admit that one of my first concerts was one of his.  Ice, Ice, Baby.

It's funny how you hear lyrics in different ways.  In the part of the song where he says, "Ice, Ice, Baby, too cold, too cold,"  Stew always thought he was saying, "too go, too go."  What that has to do with ice, I have nothing, but it was damn funny when he told me.

(Origin of picture is linked - obviously, we didn't take any pictures today.)

POTD: June 9, 2012

(Picture taken by Stew)

Of course, Stew would take time to take a picture of a giant potato.  I think that's one serving size for him.  It's the National Idaho Potato Tour.

You can find out more information about this tour here.

Here's some interesting facts they include on their website:

Trivia. This Tater...

  • would take more than 10,000 years to grow.
  • weighs six tons (12,130 pounds), which is equal to 32,346 medium-sized Idaho® potatoes.
  • is 1,102 times heavier than the largest potato ever grown, which weighed 11 pounds.
  • would take 2 years and 9 months to bake.
  • would make 30,325 servings of mashed potatoes. Pass the gravy!
  • would easily make over 1,500,000 average-sized french fries.

The potato is residing in Glen Burnie, MD tomorrow.

POTD: June 8, 2012

I didn't take any pictures on June 8th - so I thought I'd share one I took awhile ago...

Stew got a prescription for pain medicine from the dentist that he didn't fill - he didn't need it.  It just so happened as I was cleaning up the family room, I laid the Jackson CD that Stew got for his birthday on top of this prescription.  Stew said,

How fitting - Michael Jackson on pain pills.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Journal: June 9, 2012

Headed to Jersey this morning to celebrate Father's Day with Dad.  We planned it a week early since Shawn will be here next weekend and we'll be at the beach.  We told Dad he could pick whichever restaurant he wanted to have dinner.  So he chose Curting Wharf.  He and Mom had eaten there recently for lunch and enjoyed it so he thought he would try it out for dinner.  The restaurant has limited seating and limited hours but it's right on the Delaware River and it wasn't too hot or humid out tonight so we all piled in the van and headed out.

As soon as we walked in there was loads of drama.  Some kind of fight was going on, they were in the middle of escorting someone out of the restaurant.  This whole scene included lots of yelling and a NFL like tackle - followed by lots of police. 

That's not what sent us out of there though - what did that was the fact that they weren't seating anyone despite empty tables, they were pretty rude in telling us where to stand, and dad had a look at the dinner menu and wasn't impressed - so we rolled out.

We headed over to Charlie Brown's.  Tried and true and it didn't let anyone down tonight either.  Everyone enjoyed their dinner and I had a piece of carrot cake the size of my head.

We even had surprise company in the form of Laura, Mike and WTK- it's a small world.  We were sitting at our table and all of a sudden Stew says, "Hey look, there's Mike."  Unbeknownst to any of us, the hostess sat them right across from our table.  Turns out they were there because Mom and Dad had given them a gift certificate for their anniversary.  WTK wasn't in much of a social mood - though he did eat most of the fried onions off of my steak.  As we were eating, Stew mentioned to him that he could see a dumpster.  We thought nothing more of it until we got this picture in a text from Laura:

He didn't forget.  He made Laura and Mike take him to see the dumpster after they had finished eating.  LOL.  That kid and his dumpsters and trash trucks. 

We left a little while after dinner.

It was a nice time spent with mom and dad.

Tomorrow, we plan to start operation get ready for Shawn to invade the house.  Isn't it Tuesday at 2:30 yet?