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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hot Chocolate

Last night Blondie had some hot chocolate right before he went to bed. I had just brushed my teeth, so it wouldn't have tasted good to me, but it did make me want some.

I knew we had a box of hot chocolate in the conference room at work, so I thought I'd have some this morning. I opened the cabinet where the box of hot chocolate mix is stored an pulled it down off the top shelf. That tricky hot chocolate box was empty! Someone took the last packet and didn't throw away the box. I was mighty disappointed.

The only other option for a hot beverage was green tea. On a normal day, green tea is fine. I like green tea. Green tea is good for you. But it's no substitute for hot chocolate. I'm going to the grocery store today and getting a box to keep in my desk so no tricky co-workers can take the last one!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cables Not Included

This weekend I ventured out to a Walmart on Black Friday for the FIRST TIME in my life ever. I had plans to be a super awesome youth group leader and get some Wii games for $7. Since I am not willing to get up early on a day off, I made it to Walmart around 9:00. Unfortunately, the games had been on sale since midnight and the good ones were sold out. The trip wasn't a complete waste though, because we didn't have a printer and they had them on sale for $20! So I found my printer and headed to the checkout.

Later, when I was trying to install my printer, I noticed the cable that attaches the printer to the computer was missing. I called the customer support, and while I was on hold I read the instructions a little more closely. It said that I might have to purchase the cable separately! I decided this was a great injustice. I thought that if I was persistent enough, they might send me a cable anyway.

I talked to a lady from a foreign country and asked why they don't send all of the necessary cables with new printers. How am I supposed to print documents from my computer when I can't connect my printer to my computer? She said that I should use the cable from my old printer to hook up the new printer. I told her that I didn't have an old printer, therefore I had no cable and was stuck with a printer that didn't work. She repeated the line about using the old cable. It was clear that she had no idea what I was saying. I told her that I would be returning the printer unless they would send me a cable. She seemed satisfied with that solution (I wasn't) and asked if there was anything else she could help me with today. YES! There is! Send me all the appropriate cables to make your product work! But I had given up by that point and just told her no and hung up. I'm sure I really showed her by not saying thank you. It is not in my nature to leave off a thank you. I think it actually hurt me worse than it hurt her.

It is my opinion that I shouldn't have to buy extra parts when I have already bought a new piece of computer equipment. I should be able to unpack a product from a box and be able to set it up without having to buy additional supplies. I am fully aware that the required cable will cost less than $10, but I refuse to be scammed into spending extra money. Boxes always inform you when batteries are not included, I think they should be labeled when cables are not included as well!

Thanksgiving Review

This was a very nice Thanksgiving!

Blondie and I went to my granny's house on Thanksgiving Day for lunch and spent some time with my extended family. Some of my aunts and uncles and cousins were there, and it was very nice to visit with them since we get to see them so rarely. We had a delicious meal--Granny made the turkey and dressing and okra and her daughters brought the sides. Our mom made macaroni and cheese and sweet potato casserole.

Later in the afternoon, we made our way toward home and joined Blondie's mom's family for Thanksgiving dinner. We had another traditional Thanksgiving meal and everyone shared something they are thankful for. Blondie is thankful that people (his dad) let him borrow their stuff and that I let him live with me. I am thankful that he is willing to live with me.

On Friday I went shopping with Blondie's mother and sister. We didn't get up early to try to catch any of the big sales, we just had a leisurely day of shopping and eating at my favorite "restaurant," Taco Factory. I picked up a couple of Christmas gifts and then when I got home I wrapped all of the gifts I had acquired so far.

Saturday evening Blondie and I went to his parents' house for dinner with his immediate family. We had a non-traditional meal, which was quite welcome after all of the ham and turkey. Then we watched the OU vs. OSU football game on TV. Well, the guys watched the game while I read a book.

Since Blondie's other grandma always cooks Sunday lunch for the family every week, she typically has her holiday meals on Sunday as well since everyone is going to be there anyway. I love this arrangement! You always know what to expect, which allows you to plan for other things. We had another turkey dinner with special desserts for the family members who don't get to join us every week.

I wasn't really excited about returning to work after all the nice time off, but it's only a few weeks until Christmas! I'll be ready for another break right around the corner.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy, Happy! Joy, Joy!
















The Christmas season is officially here! And my first gift of the seaons showed up on my desk at work last week. Brenda knows I'm a sucker for anything that says "Joy" on it, and she's a sucker for anything that costs $1. So now I have a new Christmas decoration for my desk! Thanks, Brenda!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!


I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! Make sure to eat lots of dressing and pie!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Shumard Oak

For a while now, Blondie and I have been planning to plant a shade tree on the southwest side of our house, and last weekend was the perfect time to do it. I have read that fall is the best time to plant a new tree, so we waited for fall. Then we were busy with the wedding and just never got around to it.

We finally decided it was time when Blondie's grandma gave everyone their Christmas money and we had to decide what to do with it. We knew we wanted a tree, and this seemed like a good thing to spend it on. It's something that will last a long time and we will think of her when we see the tree.

We did some research and I talked to my boss, who is an avid gardner and landscaper. He recommended a Shumard Oak because it grows well in our region. The Shumard Oak is an Oklahoma Proven tree; it tolerates hot, dry summers and likes full sun. This sounded just perfect for us, so we went to Sunshine Nursery to choose a tree. The staff there was extremely friendly and helpful! Steve explained how to choose a good tree and pointed out a few nice ones.

We bought our tree, took it home, and put it in the ground right away. Steve gave us a planting guide and we followed his instructions precisely. Blondie dug a hole the same depth as and a little wider than our tree's root base and we filled it in and built a little dam around it. We didn't have quite enough soil, so we had to go to the farm and harvest some dirt. We then staked our tree between two sturdy T-posts to protect it from the strong winter winds we always have here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Giveaway Winner

Thank you to everyone who voted on my china cabinet conundrum to enter the CSN Stores giveaway this weekend!

I did not advertise this giveaway on any forums or giveaway directories, so there was a small number of entries this time. I actually know most of the contestants personally, so it was really exciting for me to know that it was very likely that I would actually know the winner!

Well, sure enough! There were 10 entries and I used Random.org to select the winner. I asked for a random number between 1 and 10, and it gave me 4. Hooray!

The lucky winner is Mom, who said, "I like the white, but the colors look good also."

Congratulations, Mom! I will contact you via email today just in case you miss this post and then you will get to choose what you're going to buy with your $35 gift certificate!

As for the decision on white vs. color, it was a very close race. White received three votes, color got four votes, and two people said to mix it up. I guess I'll go with various colors for now, but I reserve the right to change it up when I feel like it!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Always Be Prepared!

I discovered something this weekend: You should always be prepared when camping in cold weather. C. is a big fan of camping. I am a big fan of sleeping indoors and using indoor plumbing. But since I get my way 99% of the time in this regard, I thought I would be nice and go camping with him Friday night. Also, another couple was going with us, and I couldn't let her look cooler than me.

I love a good campfire. Once you have had hot dogs cooked over a fire, you just can't eat them any other way (unless they come from a certain wonderful movie theater). S'mores made with Reese's are also amazing. I recently found out that hot chocolate packets are even better when made with water that has been heated over the fire. We have campfires a lot in the fall. Usually we pack up and go home around midnight. But apparently this weekend was perfect for camping. At least it was according to everyone besides me.

I started to get concerned when we met our friends at their house. They kept loading more and more blankets into their pickup. And she told me about the many layers she brought for sleeping. I started to worry that my sleeping bag from junior high sleepovers might not be warm enough. I hoped that my fuzzy fleece pants at college sweatshirt would supplement my slumber party sleeping bag.

Friday evening was a lot of fun. We had a good time roasting hot dogs and chatting with some of our smarter friends, who didn't want to stay the night. We had a great spot for a campfire. It was by a dry creek, which means a good, flat place with no rocks or sticks for sleeping, and behind a hill, which was an excellent wind block, so there was no cold wind, and the smoke didn't blow directly in our faces.

Eventually it was time to go to "bed." My slumber party sleeping bag completely failed me. And my fuzzy pink pants did nothing to counteract my sleeping bag's failure. About thirty minutes after we went to bed, I put C's cozy stocking cap on underneath my sweatshirt hood. About an hour after that I decided to put on C's not-so-cozy Carhartt jacket over my sweatshirt. About an hour after that I put my Carhartt jacket over my feet. I seriously considered going to the pickup for the rest of the night, but decided it probably wasn't any warmer in there. So I stayed in my sleeping bag and plotted about 75 different ways to torture C as he slept peacefully in his nice, cozy, 30 degree-rated sleeping bag.

The experience wasn't all bad. Our friend made biscuits and gravy for breakfast. It was so yummy. I can't even make gravy on a stove in a kitchen, and hers turned out perfect in a cast iron pan over a fire. I'm actually looking forward to the next campfire, but I made C. promise to get me a real sleeping bag that is made for campouts instead of sleepovers and is rated for the proper temperature before I am willing to sleep outside again. And next time I'm bringing more blankets!

China Cabinet

Blondie and I decided we wanted to use the money we received as wedding gifts to purchase one big, memorable item. We decided to get a new china cabinet to use for storing all of our lovely dishes. We received many place settings of Fiesta Dinnerware and I already had lots of nice white dishes and serving pieces that I have acquired through the years. This gives us a great variety of dishes for different occasions.

I washed all of the Fiestaware before putting it away. Everything was a little dusty from being stored in the boxes. This isn't everything, but it was all that would fit in my dishwasher at one time:


I started my search by perusing Craigslist for a bargain. After wading through every barstool and bedroom suite for sale, I gave up on finding the perfect used china cabinet. Blondie and I also searched at several furniture stores. We looked at lots of options, but nothing really suited us. Everything we saw was either incredibly expensive, or looked very flimsy. I didn't want something to display a couple of plates and some glasses; I needed something to stack big piles of dishes on! When this caught our eye, we really loved it.

Our china cabinet was delivered on Thursday and it is just perfect! Do you remember when I wondered what I should do with the big blank wall in my kitchen? This is the perfect solution! The main problem: it doesn't match any of the other furniture in our house. All of our other furniture is pine and this is cherry. No matter, though. There's no other furniture in the kitchen and my cabinets are fairly dark, so we justified it. Plus, this piece was so heavy that Blondie couldn't lift it, so that meant it must be sturdy enough to stack lots of dishes on!

My favorite feature is the sliding glass doors. Every other china cabinet we considered had doors that opened out. I think these will be much more durable because they won't be hastily slammed and likely to get broken like the other type. Also, they can be used to cover the middle section or the two side sections. Versatility!

After I got the china cabinet dusted and installed the shelves, I played around with different arrangements.


All white:

Or lots of different colors:

I can't decide if I like it better with all white dishes or lots of colored dishes. I'll let the readers decide. Tell me what you like best. Everyone who comments will be entered in a giveaway for a $35 CSNStores giveaway!

If you're in the market for a new barstoos or bedroom suite and don’t want to wade through all the junk on Craigslist, check out CSNStores.com. They have over 200 stores that offer lots of unique items for your home and family.



Thanks to CSN Stores, one lucky reader of Lame Adventures will win a $35 gift certificate to any of CSN Stores' online stores. CSN Stores offers everything for your home, including furniture, home decor, housewares, outdoor items, baby and kid stuff, school and office supplies, shoes, bags, luggage, pet supplies, and health and fitness equipment. CSN Stores is a one-stop-shop for just about anything you might need.

To enter: vote on your preference of all white vs. a colorful variety of dishes in my new china cabinet!

For additional entries (leave separate comments for each):

• become a follower of Lame Adventures
• post a direct link to this giveaway on your facebook status
• blog about the giveaway; leave a direct link to your post in the comment

The winner will be selected by a random draw. Make sure your comment gives me a way to contact you if you win. If I can't get in touch with you, I'll have to select another winner!

The giveaway ends at 10:00 pm, central time, on Sunday, November 14, 2010.

Due to shipping issues, the giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.

Nobody paid me to say nice things about CSN Stores, but CSN Stores is giving one of my readers $35 worth of stuff. Lucky readers!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wedding Photos

I picked up our wedding photos yesterday. I was so anxious to see them and I am very pleased with them.


This is my favorite of the two of us:


The traditional wedding portrait:



A sweet one:



The bridesmaids are our sisters; Blondie's on the left and mine on the right:



The groomsmen are Blondie's brother and his cousin, Art:


The entire wedding party, including the ushers who are the bridesmaids' husbands:



My family:



Blondie's family:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Babies and Business Don't Mix!

On occasion a client will bring their child to an appointment with me. I don't really like it, but I tolerate it. If the child is quiet and sits still and keeps himself entertained while the parent and I conduct business, all is well. However, that is rare. Most children, in my experience, do not sit quietly. They need snacks and entertainment.

I remember going places with my dad as a little girl. He would sometimes take us to the Co-op or the veterinarian's office. It was kind of a special occasion when we went places with our dad. We knew that we needed to mind our manners and let him work. I loved going to the Co-op because the manager had a huge box of Saf-T-Pops in his office. He would always give us one and we would always politely thank him and save it for later. If we were good while my dad did whatever he had gone to the Co-op to do, he would let us get a pop and candy bar from the vending machine. That was very special.

We probably didn't belong in the Co-op manager's office, but we were darn sure good while we were there. Plus, we were old enough to understand the expectations and follow the rules. We obviously weren't the only children who had ever darkened the Co-op manager's door because he wouldn't have had a giant box of suckers if he didn't expect to see children on occasion. The difference is that we behaved ourselves.

Last week a client brought her son with her for an appointment. I'm not good at estimating children's ages; this little boy was walking, but barely talking. He wasn't old enough to be expected to sit still and entertain himself, so of course he got into things while he was here. He cried when his mother told him to sit still. He ground Goldfish crackers into my guest chair, spilled juice on the floor, and fiddled with things on my desk. He wasn't being naughty. He was just curious.

Today a different client brought her daughter to my office. This little girl was about the same age. She toddled around my office, generally exploring the area. She played with the keys to my desk drawers, she unplugged my computer, and eventually spilled her mother's coffee all over my desk.

First of all, I am amazed at what parents can ignore. It is incredibly distracting to me when a child is wondering around my office, potentially destroying lots of important things. Secondly, I am surprised that they bring children to my office at all. It is obviously not a child friendly environment. In my opinion, if something is to be taken seriously, it deserves your full attention, whether it is your child or your business. When you don't take your responsibilities seriously, it's very difficult for me to take you seriously. I understand that bringing your children with you to boring places like my office is unavoidable, but please don't be surprised when it diminishes the productivity of your meeting.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's Coming! It's Coming!

Christmas is almost here!

Really! It is! Look at your calendar! It's time to start thinking about gifts, and schedules, and menus, and cookies, and all that jazz! I am a very careful planner, but it seems like I always forget about my Christmas card! I believe that mine have barely made it made it to their destinations in time for Christmas in the past few years. This year will be different! It will be better! This year my Christmas cards will be ready early! My goal is to have them neatly addressed, stacked, and ready to go by the beginning of December.

My motivation? The fact that Shutterfly has such stinkin' cute designs in their Christmas card section. I don't even know where to begin with this site! There are 748 Christmas cards. That's not even including the Holiday card section. That's right, they have so many December-based cards that they had to put them in two categories.


This card is adorable. It might be the one. But then again, I'm a sucker for anything that has "Joy" on it. Then they had to go and put snowboards on their photo. But I'm still researching! So don't be surprised if you see something completely different in your mailbox when December gets here!

After you spend many giddy hours sorting through their cards, you can look for matching address labels! These are vintage style. That makes them fancy.
It doesn't hurt that if you're a blogger and tell all of your fantabulous readers about the wonders of Shutterfly, they will give you 50 free Christmas cards. Just go here, and you can be in free Christmas card bliss like I am!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Missing: One Brand New Wedding Ring

What's worse on your honeymoon: throwing up or losing your wedding ring? Unfortunately for Blondie, he had both.

He managed to keep track of his wedding ring for one full week before it disappeared. He had been wearing it daily and putting it in his "cubby" where he keeps his glasses, cell phone, wallet, watch, and other odds and ends.

When we went to dinner on Saturday evening during our honeymoon, he noticed that he didn't have it on his finger. He assumed he had left it on the desk at the hotel where he had been putting it when he took it off. When we got back to the room, his ring wasn't there.

We searched the entire room. Couldn't find it. The last time he remembered having it was at lunch. We went back to the restaurant where we had eaten lunch; they hadn't found it. We returned to the stores we had visited that afternoon; no luck there. We wracked our brains trying to think of places it could be. We came up with nothing.

He felt awful. I assured him that we were still married even if he doesn't have a ring. He started getting sick on Saturday evening and he said the throwing up eases the guilt of misplacing his ring. I'm not sure it's worth it.

Upon the suggestion of his cousin Art, Blondie searched for a new ring on Amazon.com and found a pretty exact duplicate right away. The best part? It cost $29.99. That's pretty hard to beat!