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I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden…

But I planted a vegetable (and berry) garden today!  With help, of course.  I don’t know what put this bright idea into my head, given my history of growing dirt (especially on my multiple attempts at growing herbs), along with my great love for yardwork.  I went to a plant sale yesterday with a local grower, and got some tomatos, basil, thyme, lemon balm, and jalapenos.  Then Tina & I went to Home Depot today to get some new dirt, and I bought even more plants – some more (and bigger!) basil, sage, cilantro, cucumber, zucchini, and strawberries.  We’ll see how it goes.  Yea, I sometimes have a tendency to go a little overboard.

So, keep your fingers crossed.  Soon I hope to be eating homegrown salsas and salads and bruschettas!  Yum!

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer…

I got asked a funny question the other day.

Someone asked me if Grover had been to training classes.  That question was particularly funny, because at the time, Grover and Tillie were wandering around the backyard making googly-puppy-eyes at anyone that had a burger in their hands, looking like they hadn’t been fed in weeks.  Little beggars.  So, I giggled and said that no, Grover has not been to any type of training. 

The reason they asked?  He prances!  He prances around like a little Schnauzer version of a Lipizzaner Stallion!  I’ve always thought that he had a very cute little prancing way of walking around, but it never struck me as any particular skill or anything – I just thought it was cute!  Extra cute, cause his crooked little ears are always perked up when he does it, one standing higher than the other.  I’m a sucker for crooked-ear dogs. 

Both dogs were pretty happy with the whole barbecue thing.  They had lots of scraps to pick up off of the grass, and Tillie had a few little kids just dying to throw toys for her.  That way she could show off her mad jumping and catching and flipping skills to her audience.  Cause you know everyone was there just for the dogs.

Taking care of business…

I spent a good part of today trying to clean up my email inbox, responding to things I’d been putting off, responding to things I’d just forgotten about, deleting things I didn’t need to be keeping, and catching up on some of the jokes I hadn’t read yet… and I still have a lot to do!  But… I found one of those fun quizzes from JP that I hadn’t replied to.  I remember Shannon posting one of these on her blog, and thought that was a cool idea, so I’m totally stealing it now.  And as always, I’d SO love to see what your responses might be!

Here goes:

  1. What time is it?  10:39 PM
  2. What are the full initials of your name?  SAM  (cool, huh?!)
  3. What are you most afraid of?  Looking like an idiot
  4. What was the last movie you saw in a theater?  I think it was Rachel Getting Married, at the super cool Kress Cinema, with a cocktail and a tasty wasabi tuna appetizer.
  5. Place of birth: Rock Springs, WY
  6. Favorite food: Lindt dark chocolate with chili (thanks for the introduction (and unavoidable addiction) to that, Mom & Dad!)
  7. Natural hair color: light brown
  8. Ever been to Alaska?  Nope.
  9. Ever been toilet paper rolling?  Yep!  But I didn’t then spray it down with water in sub-zero temperatures like some people may have…
  10. Loved someone so much it made you cry?  Yep!  But I am kind of a big crybaby…
  11. Been in a car accident?  If we stress “a” car accident, then I can answer no, right?
  12. Croutons or bacon bits?  Yes!  And blue cheese dressing.  Yum.
  13. Favorite day of the week: Sunday, if I finished up most of the laundry on Saturday…
  14. Favorite restaurant: Gosh, I have no idea.  There are too many that I love.
  15. Favorite flower: Lilac.  Or calla lily.
  16. Favorite sport to watch: Hockey, if it’s in person and there’s a good fight.
  17. Favorite drink: Diet Coke
  18. Favorite ice cream: We’ll just say Cold Stone and cover all my bases.
  19. Disney or Warner Brothers: Um… no idea. 
  20. Ever been on a ship?  I think so… does a ferry count?
  21. What color is your bedroom carpet?  Hardwood floor!
  22. How many times did you fail your driver’s test?  ZERO.  Can you all say the same?  Say, for a motorcycle test??
  23. Before this one, from whom did you get your last email?  Since I got this back in February (yea, it’s been a while since I caught up on email!), I have no idea.  Tonight, my last one was from the corporate controller, talking about a journal entry for project systems.  Fascinating, I know…
  24. What do you do when you are bored?  Geez.  Facebook games, online jigsaw puzzles, read a book, read a magazine, take a nap, …
  25. Bedtime: Should be 9:30 or 10:00.  Usually works out to 11:00 or 11:30. 
  26. Who will respond to this the quickest?  If it were email, I would have no clue.  Since it’s here, probably Mom!
  27. Who is least likely to respond?  99% of my incredibly vast readership.
  28. Who is the person that you are most curious to see their responses?  Everyone!
  29. Favorite TV show: Depends on the day and season!  Good Eats (not that I cook or anything…), Project Runway, House, Burn Notice, The Office…
  30. Last person you went to dinner with?  My team at work.  Only it wasn’t so much going to dinner… more eating delivery sandwiches in a conference room tonight.
  31. Favorite colors? Green and red.  And orange and pink.  Not necessarily all in the same outfit.
  32. How many tattoos do you have?  none
  33. How many pets do you have?  3 – Grover (mini schnauzer), Tillie (Australian cattle dog), and Dog (cat)
  34. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  Chicken, I think.
  35. What do you want to do before you die?  Live.
  36. Have you ever been to Hawaii?  Nope.
  37. Have you been to countries outside the US?  Yep!  Mexico, Canada, China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Germany, UK, and Netherlands.  I want to go to Australia – maybe that should be my answer for #35?
  38. How old are you today?  Let me do the math… hmmm… awfully damn close to 37.
  39. Time this survey ended?  11:00 PM.  Sheesh, see what I mean about bedtime???

If I could offer you only one tip for the future…

Sunscreen would be it.

Classic graduation song!  At least classic since 1999.  But so true.

This weekend has been full of graduation activities for Tina’s family.  One niece (Jessica) graduated from CU with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in engineering – civil, I think…  Another niece (Maya – she hangs out with us a lot!) got her master’s in psychology (clinical counseling?) from UNC.  And Jimmy graduated from UNC with his bachelor’s in psychology!  I didn’t make it to all the festivities, what with the whole job thing… but I made it to Maya’s ceremony, and of course Jimmy’s.  Maya’s made me want to go to grad school – especially for a PhD - cause they get all the full-on academic regalia, and the PhD candidates get those fancy hoods too!   AND – people would have to call me Doctor.  “That’s Doctor McConnell to you, thank you.”  How awesome would that be?!

Jimmy’s ceremony was outdoors (Thank goodness for sunshine today!  Yay, Mother Nature!) this morning, then we had a big barbecue in the backyard.  Hence, the sunscreen.  I did use it, but still got a little sunburn on my chest.  Bah.  My legs are still bright white, though… we’ll call it “alabaster” – that sounds flattering, right? 

Dishes done, the house is clean…

And so is my desk!  Mostly.  My desk at work finally got to the point where I just couldn’t do any more work until I got it straightened out.  It happens every few months.  So I spent today cleaning stuff up, and got really crazy.  I went through all these old binders I had, going back to when I first started, and completely filled up my recycle box with super old documentation.  The fun thing was seeing just how far we’ve come in that time, and wondering what I was thinking with some of those old processes.  Sounds like a fun day, huh?  The stuff that I did decide to keep, I scanned, so that I can keep an electronic copy in a little tiny space, instead of keeping folders and binders and files full of stuff that I only look at every 4 years or so.  I feel so organized now, even though we all know it’s not really true.  We’ll see how long it lasts. 

I hear the secrets that you keep…

I learned a valuable lesson today, by making an ass of myself.  Best kind of lesson, right??

Today was a work from home day.  I had the front and back doors open most of the day, since it’s SO NICE out, which made the dogs nutty all day – there are lots of small children at the school across the street, and Grover and Tillie are VERY serious about their duties in protecting their street from intruders – small children, other dogs, their own people… Dorks.  Later this afternoon, I had to call in to work for a quick meeting.  I was using Tina’s headset, and closed the front door to avoid the hysterical barking at kindergartners.  In middle of my call, Grover started licking my backpack.  I have no idea why – he just likes to lick random stuff… floor, backpack, pants, you name it.  I tried snapping at him, which usually catches his attention, but not today!  So, I muted the headset, and loud-whispered at him, “Knock it off!”  Then I hear my team on the other side of the phone go silent for a second, then say, “OK, we will!”  Turns out the mute button on that headset doesn’t actually mute anything. 

In other dog news, Grover went to the groomer yesterday, so he’s all clean and sweet-smelling and handsome today!  He’s very cute – when he’s got a fresh haircut, it makes his ears look even bigger than normal!  CUTE! 

And in other dog news, Lady came to visit today.  Tina was petting her, and found a tick!!!  Ugh.  Then as they were getting that one out, they found 2 more!!!  I didn’t deal with it at all, but just the thought of them being there made me SO nauseous.  I always thought I’d be able to handle something like that, but apparently not.  Yuck.  I still feel sick. 

Oh yes, they call him the streak…

OK, so I’m really reaching there on the song lyrics… only to say that my streak of posting every day has now ended!  But, it’s only been one day this time, instead of 2 months.  Not so bad, right?

Yesterday was BUSY!  I did not fall for the “help me back up the truck” trick though.  Nope, I was smarter than that yesterday!  I spent most of the day doing laundry and working on the laptop.  With all that computer time, you would think I’d have gotten something posted here, right?  Nope, no dice.  I didn’t even get time to work on my facebook farms or send eggs to Traci & Mom!  Tragic, don’t you think??!!  I worked on some web page stuff for my Toastmasters club, and worked on my speech for this morning’s meeting.  I know, nothing like planning ahead. 

This whole week will be busy… Jimmy is graduating this weekend, so we’ll be having a barbeque at the house… you’re all invited!!  But in case the weather is bad, we need to be prepared to have people hanging out inside, which means I have to clean the family room.  My sewing machines and tools and fabrics and patterns and project have completely taken over the room, so it should be quite an adventure cleaning it. 

OK… off to a meeting…

All the leaves are brown…

Today made me nostalgic for living in Laramie.  Back in the day where there weren’t so many treees where I lived, and I didn’t have to deal with them, cause I was always in rental property! 

Tina’d already been working a lot on cleaning up the yard – trimming trees and shrubs, raking leaves, fun stuff like that.  Today I went outside to “help back the truck up to the trailer real quick,” and ended up joining in the fun for the next 6 hours.  I can not believe how many leaves and dead branches this yard gathers!!  And how many little aspen trees try to shoot up every year.  It’s amazing.  I’m thinking there must be a way to make money off of this – start a little aspen tree farm or something and sell them out of the backyard.  We took a trailer load and a truck load to the Green Cycle center.  And there’s still a big trash can full of dandelions (where the heck did these things all come from?!!), and two ginormous trash bags full of more leaves that need to go.  Whew!  I only wish I liked (and was good at!!) gardening & yard work & stuff.  I would love so much to have an herb garden and a vegetable garden, and pretty flowers everywhere, but I am really only good at growing dirt.

It’s always roses and daisies…

Tonight will be fun!  And different from my usual Friday night on the couch! 

Tina and I are heading to Angie Stevens and the Beautiful Wreck’s new CD release party!  One of my favorite old bosses introduced me to her a couple of years ago, back when he was just an obsessive number one fan/stalker.  He’s now her manager (along with his day job).  I try to make it to her shows whenever she’s in northern Colorado, and every once in a while I make it to a Denver show (but not that often… I’m OLD and can’t hang with the late nights anymore!).  She and her band always put on a GREAT show, and it’s always fun to see Mike again.  So, tonight is the big release party for her third CD.  Her first two CDs are on iTunes, I think, but they’re also available here and here.  It’s fun to order from CD Baby, though, cause they send you emails that say “CD Baby loves Sydnie!”  Or, CD Baby loves whoever you are… I’m guessing that I’m one of the very few who gets “Sydnie”. 

So, at some point in the next couple of hours, I need to find some clothes… today was a work at home day, so I’m currently on the sofa in sweats.  Pretty.  Maybe a nap is in order too. 

Tea for two, and two for tea…

Whew!  I was just getting ready to hit the sack, when I remembered I hadn’t posted yet today!  And I wouldn’t want to break my streak just yet… it’s way too easy to skip one day, and have one day turn into 2 months.  Geez, I’m a slacker.

Tonight I enjoyed a cup of what I think is Turkish Mango tea – I got it in Amsterdam and the label is in Dutch, so that’s my best guess – with one of the last remaining pieces of my dad’s (and mom’s! – she was the sous-chef!) chocolate-orange biscotti.  There are just a few broken pieces left!  The lemon-anise is long gone, as is my first attempt at baking the lemon-anise.  So, I’ve been tasked with whipping up another batch of it this weekend.  (Unless you want to FedEx a batch down here, folks?)  I forgot to post pictures of last time I tried it – maybe I’ll come up with some this time!  Both of those flavors are SO delish dipped in a variety of different tea flavors – I especially like the lemon anise with Earl Grey tea or with the anise tea that I also got in Amsterdam.  I’m thinking I could make my own anise tea – just some black tea leaves with anise seeds, maybe??  Worth a shot, anyway.  Anyway… the biscotti, for those who haven’t tried this awesome variation – is also delicious dipped in a hot Tom & Jerry or hot buttered rum – that was one of many lovely treats I got last time I visited Mom & Dad!  It’s SO too bad I didn’t inherit their cooking skills…

So, I’ll be baking at some point this weekend… between the propane torches at silver class, and the prospect of me in the kitchen, northern Colorado should be up for some serious fire danger.  Good thing I have an extinguisher.  Probably ought to invest in about 7 more, to position strategically around the kitchen.  That would be a very strategic strategy, don’t you think?

Ooh, I also need to post pictures of the ridiculously cool pendants we made in silver class last night!!!  SO fun!