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Monday, August 31, 2009

Welcome To The World

My new niece, Julia, was born this morning. I like her already. I'm really looking forward to meeting her in person this weekend even though babies are boring. Luckily the rest of the fam is coming home and I'll get to hang out with real people too. Maybe my nephew and I can get a few games of Blockus in. Wouldn't that be awesome? Julia is a wonderful reminder, at a time when I need it, what is really important.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Community

I've been added to Spfldbloggers.com! I must actually belong here.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hibernating

I feel like hibernating this weekend. I've been locking myself away in my home snug as a bug in a rug. I do sleep with the lights left on outside and inside. I'm hoping that I can actually work out some safety features that will help me feel more secure in my home and over time this feeling will pass. Last night my friend received a text and he looked at me and said, "I just got a text from you." The person now in possession of my old phone apparently felt the need to respond to a text that my friend had sent me the other night. Although I have to admit it was one of the creepiest feelings I've ever had (apart from actually having someone walk into my house and steel my purse), I'm glad he texted. We discovered that Sprint had not disabled the texting feature on the phone when they supposedly disabled the phone, so there had been a ton of texting going on. My friend got a good text in about being a cop and that the phone had GPS so we'd see the guy soon. We didn't have any texts after that. I'm not sure if it is because the phone got disabled or if he ditched it. Either way, I'm guessing it probably freaked him out a little considering they probably disabled the texting about the same time. I hope so anyhow.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Peanut The Protector

When I went home for lunch today Peanut was too sleepy to get out of bed. I walked into the bedroom to snuggle him a little and then went into the kitchen to make lunch. I left the screen door unlatched (I usually latch it), my front door open (I usually at least close the screen door), and my purse on the desk right in front of the door (I usually hang it behind the door). I heard my screen door and thought maybe Peanut had pushed out. I saw him still laying in bed and went onto the porch in time to see the shady lawn mower guy hustling down the street (pushing his lawn mower). I didn't realize my purse was gone at first. I mean... the guy is shady. Who knows what his deal was. Well, it turns out his deal today was taking advantage of a silly WI girl who handed him her purse on a silver platter. (Did I mention how dumb I feel?) After calling 911 from my neighbor's house (so glad I introduced myself a few weeks ago), I packed up my sandwich and headed out to peruse the neighborhood for my purse. After all, I barely had any cash in it, no credit cards, an abundant supply of lip gloss... what could shady lawn mower man want with it? I did find it in the alley behind my house and saw a few cops patrolling the neighborhood. Let's just say if they don't find him, I may borrow the station vehicle (which apparently is hard to see out) and cruise my neighborhood looking for something to run over. After all, a guy pushing a lawn mower, probably doesn't live that far away. Fucker. I told Peanut if anybody ever entered our home unannounced again he had permission to bite him. I only wish one of us had heard the guy come in.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What About Love?

I was a lucky girl to get two free tickets to see Heart with the Bangles on Saturday night at the fair. My Heart buddy ended up not being able to go, so I headed to the Coors tent where our stations had a set up to see if anybody there wanted a ticket. No dice. I did run into two people who were going, so I tagged along with them. Standing on the track located a few blocks from my house, staring up at Heart rock out What About Love, I really felt alone. I continued my weekend of solitude on Sunday. I had agreed to count gate money at the fair. I walked over and found out the other counter from our station had gotten sick and wouldn’t be there, so I counted the money by myself. Then I tooled around the fair. I finally picked up a corn dog and sampled some sweet potato fries before heading back to my house for a rest. After the second round of counting, I explored more of the fair. I finally made it to the Hobby, Arts, and Crafts building only to find out it had just closed to the public. I tried to find something worthy of my nieces and nephews, but again had no luck. Over the course of the fair, on my way to and from concerts and the beer tent, I did inadvertently see sheep, calves, a bull, horses, miniature horses, a monkey, rabbits, goats, and a sign for llama (I think they had moved out already). But best of all were the cows that like to chase me. A fair buddy assured me that their handlers had them under control and I was never in any real danger, but you never know with cows. By late afternoon on Sunday, my poor choice of footwear had worn me down. Although it was a beautiful day, it was hot walking around in the sun. I was ready to bid the fair a fond farewell. I think it really finally sank in that I can do whatever I want to do whether I have a buddy or not. I’m not sure if that developed from moving to a new place where I have to be okay being by myself or I’d never do anything or if it was just about time. It is kinda funny to think that someone who has pretty much been single her whole life has issues with doing things alone. It’s about time I got over that, I guess. Love on the other hand…I might need it some day.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Holy Chocolate High Batman

My boss lady's birthday is tomorrow, so I volunteered to bake a cake. Given the direction that she enjoyed her chocolate, I picked out the most decadent cake recipe I've been meaning to try for forever. It called for creme fraiche, a french version of a sour cream. I don't know if you've been shopping for creme fraiche lately, but you can't just go to the store and pick it up. I checked out the grocery stores online yesterday and thought I had found a location where they would have the gourmet cream. It is on the far other corner of town, so I headed over there directly after work. I picked up my other necessities like the 5 1/2 sticks of butter and two pounds of bittersweet chocolate, but they did not have the creme fraiche. I stopped at another grocer on my way back home, but they didn't have it either. By this point I was tired, crabby, and way beyond hungry. I stopped for food on the way home and as my senses returned, I realized it would probably be okay to substitute sour cream for the more expensive french version. I was back on track. I mixed up the cake which all seemed to go well until the last stages when I realized I needed to transfer the gigantic recipe to a bigger bowl. The batter was thick. I scooped it into the three round pans which seemed too small because the batter came right up to the top of them. I put them on cookie trays in the oven for over flow and just went with it. However, I think because of the overflow, the cakes took about 20 minutes longer to cook than expected. By the time they were finally finished, it was about 10pm and I still had to head out to the grocery store (yes, again) for more sour cream for the frosting. In the process of flipping the cakes onto the wire cooling rack, I broke one. It was at that point that my 6-layer chocolate cake became a two layer cake. I ditched the broken cake and didn't want to chance ruining the second two by cutting them in half. I finally fell in bed for a nap around 12:30am. This morning the biggest challenge was cutting it. Those 2 pounds of chocolate, 5 1/2 sticks of butter, package and a half of cream cheese, and 9 eggs made for a super-dense cake. The coworkers seemed to enjoy it, but I'm not sure if the recipe will make it into my recipe box for further torture. I'll probably eat broken cake leftovers for the next week. I feel full just thinking about it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

First Unfortunate Funnel Clouds

Yesterday marked my first tornado in Central Illinois. We escaped damage to the building at work, but I think all of our stations were off the air. My home on the north side of town also escaped damage, but there were several buildings demolished in nearby towns when tornadoes touched down there late in the afternoon. http://www.sj-r.com/homepage/x1373192379/Sangamon-under-tornado-warning I've been told that for Spring and Fall this is pretty much the norm around here. I am so glad to have a room set up in the basement now; however, I've decided I may need to practice getting Peanut down there before our lives depend on it. I also probably should stock the basement with some emergency supplies. I'm a little concerned that I won't know when to take shelter considering I don't have television. I get weather updates via text message, but think I might need to put a weather radio on my wish list. I should probably also put renter's insurance on my wish list, but I have to get rid of that house I'm paying home owner's insurance on first. Come on with the buyers already.

Monday, August 17, 2009

State Fair Fun

I did as much State Fairing as I could over the weekend. I enjoyed a gyro (seems they are always delicious) as well as a garlic chicken wrap, butterfly chips, and a gigantic iced tea from the French booth in the Ethnic Village. I also managed to find some batter fried mushrooms that were not so delicious. Honestly I still have my eye on a corn dog and the pizza on a stick has me intrigued. I'd like to squeeze that in as well. Friday I spent the evening in the Coors Tent enjoying ice-cold Coors Light and checking out Who's Bad - The Ultimate Michael Jackson tribute band. The background dancers were really my favorite part of that. Saturday I checked out the Artisan building and fought the crowds in the Dairy building to see the infamous butter cow. It was pretty gross. I saw people with ice cream, but I figured they didn't have any soy ice cream in the dairy building, so I departed as quickly as possible. I've never seen so much carnival in all of my life. I'm not a rides/carnival kinda gal, so mostly it is just intriguing. Unfortunately there are kids everywhere at a carnival. Every time I took a step I was running into one of them. I headed back to the Coors tent for a respite and some Corona Lights. The early evening band was entertaining, but since Who's Bad played again Saturday night. I took off early for the air conditioning of my favorite neighborhood bar, Franny's. Sunday I had planned to find the Hobby, Arts, & Crafts building and possibly a corn dog, but the rain kept me inside watching movies and snuggling with Peanut. All in all, it was a pretty good very first IL State Fair for me.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Eve Of Another New

This morning started one way traffic around the Illinois State Fair Grounds. This does not affect my travel to work, but on the way home, I have to go about 330 degrees around the fairground loop in order to get back to my street. They've posted no parking signs just about everywhere (where do the people park?) and put up those fancy stripey barrels and arrow signs directing people to fair ground gates. People have been driving comfortably in the left lane all day long. I feel that electricity like before a storm. I can feel it rolling in, but have yet to see any action. There is a parade tonight that I will not attend and then I think tomorrow everything gets rolling. The grounds are about a block and a half from my house, so I'm interested to see what kind of action I'll get. I know the school across the street sells parking spots in it's playground. Will I hear the music? I'll have to walk up and check out what all the fuss is about over the weekend. Our stations will be hangin' in the Coors tent, so it is a safe bet there will be cold beverages at least. And the newness just keeps on a comin'.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I'm Sad

The Girly Weekend in the Woods is falling apart. I'm longing for a vacation. Who will go on vacation with me? I wish I had a buddy.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Rest And Relaxation

The party is over. It was probably the worst-planned party of my career and yet with a huge final push from my parents and their friends, everything was finished and we were able to kick up our heels and enjoy some mai tais in the fading heat of the hot August evening. The turnout was fairly small, but we compensated by having more fun. A few of us hard-core partiers finished the night at Franny's neighborhood bar at 1am. I was definitely ready for beddy by then. Sunday, again with the help of my parents and their friends, I managed to get the backyard cleaned up and some remaining food stuffs put away. I packed up all the decorations and found new shelf space for them downstairs. As I lazed away the rest of the day, the only thing remaining was the mound of dirty dishes on my counter (and my breakfast bar, and my stove, and my floor!). Tonight I plan to tackle the mess and get the garbage out. When that is completed, I will settle down into the house that is completely put together and I'll have nothing to do! I'm looking forward to the rest and relaxation, but I wonder... what's next?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Short Week

Today is my last day at work for the week! I'm enjoying a soy coffee beverage from the Starbucks thanks to my Hawaiian-shirted co-worker buddy. Thanks buddy. I really needed it today. I've got an overloaded desk to clear before the end of the day. At some point I'll have to check and print my party plan so I'm all ready to face this weekend. Tomorrow I plan to FINALLY get my Illinois driver's license so I can really say I'm a resident here on Saturday while showing my house to friends and family. My parents will be arriving mid-day on Friday and I hope to have things under control so I can spend a little down time with them before the big day. I still have lots to do, but I've come a long way baby! Hopefully the folks will bring back their digital camera so I can get some "after" pics (as well as some choice party pics). Aloha.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Filing

A lot of the time when I have a big party coming up, my unfiled papers end up in a drawer or the closet. One time I remember throwing everything in a grocery bag (and then into the closet) because the tray I usually use as the "to-be-filed in box" is also the tray I use to set out party glasses! Due to the purchase of a new filing cabinet and the fact that my files were still residing in a big wicker basket from the move, I actually did filing last night. I bought hanging file folders and spent a good two hours organizing everything. I even ran out of the 50 folders I ran out to purchase at 9pm last night when I decided to begin this project. Around midnight I decided to call it a night. I found a new home for everything previously housed in the wicker basket. It made me feel like I might start getting organized around my house. However, that tray with my "to-be-filed" pile is still overflowing with the to-be-filed. I hope I have a big enough drawer to cram it in for the party.

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