Rain Delay

January 3, 2011

rain, rain, go away!

I’m here, with all of my extremities intact. We can blame (thank?) the weather.

My first priority yesterday was to remove all evidence of Christmas. Strange how it takes hours (even days) to put everything up, but when it comes time to pack up, just two hours will do it! While I tackled the inside of the house, Hubby mowed the lawns (front and half of the back – more on that another time) and then pulled down our lights.

By the time he needed me to hold the ladder so he could climb on the roof, it was already starting to rain.

Phew – off the hook. But I’m so sick of the rain! Instead of trying to kill me by way of roller blades, we took our lives into our own hands and went to Best Buy to exchange a game and to the grocery store. We did make it back, thank God!


I found myself missing you…

December 27, 2010

First, thank you all for checking in periodically over the last few months. It means a lot to know you care!

It’s been a bittersweet second half of the year. I am finally employed! YAY! While I’m making considerably less than I was at my last job, I AM making a bit more than I was on unemployment. Also, hockey season has begun and my boys are doing well.

Things have been rough on the health front. My one relative recently diagnosed with leukemia is still fighting the fight. He’s had some rough spots, but overall is doing ok. I have another relative with a different form of leukemia and he too is still trudging though treatments.

The really sad news is that I lost my grandfather on the 17th of December. He was in his 90’s and in so much pain. The doctor think’s he had a blood clot – probably in his lung. My grandmother is still hanging on, even though she battles with advanced Alzheimer’s. I feel that it’s cruel to make her relive the loss of her husband so many times, but on the other hand, I don’t feel it’s right to lie to her. Such are the dilemmas for the family of those with this terrible disease.

So, about my job. I am essentially an account manager supporting client needs and my outside sales people. The environment is excellent – everyone is caring and supportive. This is the most difficult job I’ve ever had, but I really like it. It’s like working on a puzzle all day, which I find challenging and rewarding. Our product is one of education in a sort or personal/professional development nature.

I know I won’t be back posting as often as I had before (I mean hey – I had no job!). I do plan on posting when the mood strikes, such as now. 🙂 I’m excited to jump back in and catch up with the wonderful bloggers on my blogroll!

Construction Zone

July 6, 2010

Watch your step! Bitten’s home is a total construction zone!

We FINALLY had a 3-day weekend where my in-laws could come help us with some home improvement stuff. Here’s what we tackled:

  1. Turn the wall between the dining area & living room into a waist-high wall
  2. Fix the tiles on my kitchen counter
  3. Install indoor/outdoor thermometer & atomic clock
  4. Pull dryer out and clean vent/hose
  5. Install dimmer for dining light, plus kitchen light switch to match
  6. Hang new mailbox

I’ll add photos later since hubby absconded with my camera.

Of course, nothing really went smoothly. I was nearly trapped for life behind the dryer. But, I used my usual grace and coordination to flail myself up the wall and out of the hole.

I don’t know how many times the guys had to pull the sheet rock tape down & re-apply. I guess my house just wants to be full of bubbles. And of course, after the fact, they realized they sell the mesh wall patch stuff in a roll of “tape” too. Oh well. Since it’s so dang humid here (yes, it’s currently RAINING – WTF?) we are waiting extra time for the joint compound to dry.

The humidity is also to blame for my kitchen being, for the most part, non-useable. You see, we had lots of “help” when we first installed our tile. And it seems the trim pieces didn’t get enough mastic on them to hold them to the backerboard. That plus a couple little accidents left me with barely any trim pieces on my counters! U-G-L-Y!! I learned to use a power grinder thingy and got all the old grout and glue off. I also learned how to install tile. Guess what? It’s not that hard! Especially when you’re just replacing pieces. And when you have a father-in-law that can cut pieces to special sizes for you on the spot. Trust me, I know how lucky I am!

I’ll post more about this project, err, these projects, later… Just wanted to pop in to let you know what I’ve been up to!

BTW we did take time out to catch some fireworks. Turns out many of my neighbors have connections for the super-fancy illegal stuff. It was great that we didn’t have to walk but two blocks to catch an amazing show. This actually rivaled some pros!

Simplification: Check-In #2

June 22, 2010

It’s been a long while since my last check-in. What’s been going on?

  • Haven’t touched my sewing machine.  FAIL! I have, however moved it from the middle of the kitchen table to my nice guest room. (No, I do not expect guests to sew for me.)
  • I have been cooking more! Well, considering my diet, I kinda have to or I would starve! I have lost 11 pounds in less than two weeks. When I think about that, it’s kind of embarrassing because it just goes to show how terrible all the processed crap & fast food really are for you!
  • Less daytime TV – Check! More movement: FAIL.
  • Little chores: PROGRESS… Thanks to Flylady, I’m getting some basic stuff done (making the bed, keeping the kitchen sink shiny, etc.)
  • Remembering my reuseable grocery bags: I’m ROCKIN’ this one!! At Trader Joe’s, they give you a raffle ticket for a gift card drawing, and at Whole Foods, they give you a nickel off per bag. Little rewards are nice!
  • Clearing clutter: a little progress.
  • Gardening: my front planter box remains weed free and my container veggies remain alive. Yahoo!
  • Purchasing less: unless it pertains to something edible, or something to improve our house, I’m killing it!
  • Doing stuff that’s FUN: Check! I’ve seen one of my very favorite performers (twice) and have been taking walks with my borrowed doggies. Also, it’s been fun working with hubby on the house – kind of a bonding experience. We’re actually becoming quite a team when he’s more patient with whatever’s not going right, and as long as I don’t take his comments personally (they’re always directed at whatever isn’t working or himself anyway).

What are you doing/have you done to simplify your life? Are you struggling with any of the things I am? How are you decluttering your life?

Intveld Overload?

June 22, 2010

with James Intveld, Pine St., Long Beach



In 2008, hubby & I went to see Mike Ness (Social Distortion) play at a local club. He was great. Really, really great. But I kind of expected that. I’d seen him do a song with the Stray Cats earlier in the year and really liked his stage presence (plus I like his music). But what blew me away was the opener. Some guy named James Intveld.  

I looked him up online before we went and he was a mix of old-school rockabilly, blues, country, and a bit of gospel.  He’s been around, but I’d never heard of him. He was AMAZING. I was sucked right in. He was a top-notch performer and sounded amazing. I’m not sure I took my eyes off him the entire time! Luckily, hubby liked him too. (I kinda doubt he thought he was as sexy as I did though!) We waited after the show and bought his latest CD, Have Faith, and had him sign it. (He was one of the nicest musicians I’ve met, and I’ve met a few pros.)  And vowed that we’d do what it took to see him any time he was around. We also went in search of his other music as money permitted.  

The most adorable dancing couple ever.


As expected, he did not disappoint! Long Beach was a lot of fun. We were able to get close to the stage, though the dancers took over right in front. All ages came to watch, from toddlers to seniors. And…. drumroll…. we waited after the show and I got my picture with him! He’s so warm – you can tell by the way he leans in for photos. Plus, I picked up a logo sweatshirt for only $5! It was the very last one they had. One of the best $7 investments I’ve ever made ($5 sweatshirt & $2 parking).  

Sunday was Father’s Day and we learned JI brought his dad to the show. He told us his “pops” was his inspiration for getting into music! Dad got up and sang a song, and gave two encores! It was the sweetest thing! His mom was there too, and his parents hit the dance floor. It was so cool to see him so proud to play for his parents. The weather hit somewhere in the 80’s with a nice breeze, but since we were in mid-day sun, hubby & I both got burnt. I’m still feeling the pain! (next up, peeling – yuck!) It was worth it though – the sets were even different which was awesome.

I really love his music, and am amazed by how talented he is. Not only does he have a great voice, but it seems as if he can play any instrument known to man. Just read the liner notes in his cd’s – you’ll see. If you like music, sample his here.  

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Yay for me!

May 25, 2010

Yippee! I got new dishes!

My mother-in-law asked what I wanted for my birthday (in March) and I told her that I wanted to replace a few bowls from my (hand-me-down) corelle set. Trouble is, the pattern has been discontinued probably longer than I have been alive. However, the outlet stores usually have open stock pieces that will match. She couldn’t find any over the last couple months.

She realized, perhaps with a tidbit from my sister-in-law, that I never actually picked the dishes. They came with the marriage. And since there was “service” for about 4,000, I couldn’t justify getting rid of it (plus the fact that the set had belonged to her mother, who unfortunately passed away in her early 50’s). Besides, I can’t complain about something that was free, and perfectly fine.  So she asked if I’d like to pick out a new set? OMG YES!!! The idea was to go to the outlet store about 2 hours away, but it seems the corelle store left that mall. That left one nearly 3 hours away. Well, for the money savings, that much driving didn’t seem to be worth the trouble. Off to Wal-mart, K-Mart, Kohls and any other place we could think of.

After spending a day zig zagging around the county, I settled on this set. We also picked up some open stock pieces like a square serving bowl, a round one, a few soup/pasta bowls and a funny rectangular flat dish. Oh and a couple platters too. (Note to self – must pick up more platters before fall holidays.) Why platters you ask? Because a big ass dinner plate just won’t hold all the food at special occasions! lol

We packed up the old stuff (except my cat’s breakfast saucers) and it was then that I realized she had an ulterior motive. There’s a man at her church that her daughter has befriended. Evidently, he has been divorced for many years and was laid off from is banking job some time ago. He made dinner for my sister-in-law, but didn’t have any dishes. Well, that’s an exaggeration. Dinner was for three people and he had only two plates. He ate off a pie plate. My MIL wants to give him the old set. In a way it surprises me because of the sentimental value. I’m all for it. I suppose she thought about it and realized that it won’t do anyone any good in a box in the garage – why not give it to this guy who cooks?

I’m happy to know that they’re going to a good home, and I’m really excited for my new set! Hubby doesn’t get why I’m excited, but hey, who cares?

The Klutz and her Cat

May 21, 2010

Do you ever have those days where you’re just in a crummy mood? Stems from that sense of foreboding? What awful shoe is going to drop from the sky today?Today is that day for me.

My cat woke me up well before 6am. She was hungry. Dammit, she needs to grow thumbs so she can open the damn can herself.

Then, at 7, hubby YELLS at me: “DIDYOUFEEDYOURCAT???” I yell back “YESIDID” and try to go back to sleep. But between being annoyed about him yelling to wake me up and ask me a question (WTF?), and the ruckus the cat was causing, I couldn’t sleep. (Meanwhile, said cat has been quite needy today.)

I go on about my day. Drive to the coastal town where my in-laws have a house, just to clear the mailbox of junk mail. On the way, I’m delayed by 87 blue-haired looky-lou tourists. For the love of GOD – pull over if you’re gonna stare at the ocean. Haven’t you heard of target fixation? Encounter more lame drivers on the way back.

But the topper was when I attempted to get into my car to leave my house for the beach. Now, I have an SUV. It’s not very high off the ground, nor is it difficult to get into. However, in my extreme grace, I managed to:

  • turn both ankles
  • twist my (bad) knee
  • tweak my (bad) back
  • hyper-extend my wrist
  • leave a key imprint in my right ring finger

Seriously. All this – just getting in the car. What happened, you ask? My shoe caught the edge between the lawn and the concrete driveway, thus turning my left ankle. The rest was fallout from the ensuing crash. WHO crashes getting INTO their vehicle?

I need a nap. (Wait, is that wise? I could have hit my head and lost consciousness.)