Saturday, December 30, 2006

Just like going to the market with Gung Gung

(That's grandpa for those who need a translation.)

Today we went to the Italian deli to pick up some grating cheese (grated Parmesan cheese, but A's family always calls it grating cheese) and I couldn't resist walking by the bakery section. I decided to splurge and get a cookie (and if you know me, you know that really is a splurge, lol). I had to take a little time to decide between two varieties, then the girl behind the counter handed my choice to me with a smile. No charge. Big smile on my face. I felt just like a kid again.

Gung gung used to take me to the market with him and I'd get a big ol' breadstick from the man behind the counter. They were kept in a huge glass jar on the top of the counter. The man had to reach way over and I'd have to reach way up to grab my treat. Mom didn't like it because she said it would spoil my appetite. So if she wasn't with us, I could gobble the whole thing down myself instead of it being broken in half (or thirds) and shared. Of course, there was always evidence when I got home since I'd be covered in crumbs, no matter how much I tried to hide them. And yes, I ended up with cookie crumbs in my lap, lol.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I'm sure others feel this way too

I was reading dooce, one of my favorite blogs and this make me laugh out loud, "Jon...was shaking his head at me, like, woman, I know that I agreed to spend the rest of my life with you, I just had no idea it would be this embarrassing." I know A feels that way sometimes. Hopefully it is only sometimes and not all the time, lol.

Thank yous

Thank you to the manager at the Chinese restaurant. I really appreciate your patience with my dad who moves slower than molasses. It was thoughtful (and smart) of you to ask the bus boys and dim sum ladies to move their carts out of his way as we made our way through your busy restaurant. And then the mad waving of your arms was a sight to see, but at least dad saw where you were standing and made his way over to the elevator without my prompting.

Thank you to the man in the parking lot who came out to his car just as we were getting out. Thank you for your patience as we slooooowly helped dad out of the car. And for not getting mad when Dad thought that you were staring at him.

Thank you to the clerk at Sears for your cheery attitude and patience with the long line of customers.

Thank you to Auntie MJ for being such a good friend to Mom. We enjoyed your visit and of course, we enjoyed your yummy homemade cookies.

Thank you to the family and friends who've supported and loved us during another difficult year.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The joys of Christmas

This year, Christmas was (as usual) full of sadness, stress, anger, and oh, a bit of joy. We did the usual running around to all the family places. There were a few lost tempers, but also much appreciation among ourselves for everything we're doing for the family. W hates thank yous so I never said it to him. Sometimes you show your love and appreciation by actions, rather than words. I think he appreciated us doing things like changing out the kitchen lights (my idea, A's labor and expertise), driving Mom to the grocery store (all four of them so she could get the best deal), attempting the balance the checkbook, and suggesting that he leave early and letting him know we could handle the rest of the visits without him.

W was extremely generous with his gifts. He's always generous that way, too much so. I guess that's his way of showing his appreciation. Mom felt bad because she didn't get us much, but we're just happy to spend time with her. It was wonderful to see J (and B). I just wish we had more time to spend together. I really couldn't relax until a couple days into the visit and by then they had to leave.

Uncle T recently stopped driving (his doctor told him to stop driving) and is feeling the loss of freedom. He really wasn't driving much, probably less than once a week, but it is the idea that he can no longer come and to as he pleases. I really think this is the beginning of end. I haven't seen him so sad since Auntie L died. Physically, he is much weaker than when I saw him a few months ago.

Anyway, I only cried a bit during the visit (but didn't cry when I said goodbye to J or Mom), but did cry a lot on the drive home. That's about par for the course.

Any questions about this post? Please e-mail me instead of asking here.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Cards and wrapping paper and ribbon, oh my!

I just finished the last (I hope) of my Christmas cards, although I am expecting a few more since a few people asked for my address. My problem is I've run out of Christmas cards. And if you know me at all, you know how strange that is. I usually buy my cards after the holidays, but I had so many boxes, I stopped buying. And now I'm in trouble because I've only got a few leftovers from previous years, but I don't like sending the same cards to people and I can't remember who I sent them to. So it looks like some people will be getting repeats. I hope they don't notice.

I better hit the after Christmas sales this year and get a few boxes of cards, plus toss (give to Goodwill) all the onsie and twosie leftovers. Basically, if I receive your card after I send out my usual batch, you don't get a card for the year. But I definitely add you to the list for next year.

I still need to wrap about 10 presents. I'm definitely in a bah humbug mood now, lol.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

That's what friends are for

I've been feeling really down about work and life in general. Everything seems way too complicated and I am constantly worried about money (that's not news to anyone, I'm sure).

Last night, I was doing my usual wasting time on the computer and decided to turn on AIM. To my surprise, two friends immediately IM'd me to say hi and I've missed you. Wow, didn't think anyone would notice if I wasn't around and here I get a double dose of love. Thanks for cheering me up!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Oink! Oink!

We still have Halloween candy in the house, leftover treats from the LM crop, cookies from the cookie exchange, and various other snacks in the house. Add to that all the vendor goodies that have shown up at the office, and I'm suffering from sweets overload. So far we've received a small Harry and David basket, a huge Harry and David basket, assorted chocolates, and a huge basket of Mrs. Field's cookies. Yes, I ate my share and maybe more, lol.

On top of that, we had our department holiday lunch. Ohhhh, so yummy! We had Ethiopian food. Some of the food was catered and some was prepared by our admin. She's so sweet; she was afraid there wouldn't be enough food so she made several dishes to bring. All at her own time and expense. She wouldn't take any money for it. But next time, I know better. I can leave the money with an anonymous note on her desk and then she'll have to take it!

We were all game and ate traditionally with the injera bread instead of forks. But towards the end of the meal, I cheated and used a fork because I was too full from the bread and wanted to have more of the entrees. I think she asked the caterer to make the dishes milder than usual. Once, she brought in some food that she had cooked for us to sample and it was quite fiery.

I found this website that talks about Ethiopian food. But it doesn't do into the details about how time consuming it is to really cook the dishes. First, she prepares the butter (it sounds similar to preparing ghee, but with spices). Then she browns chopped onions (she loves her food processor). These are used in so many dishes, she prepares large quantities ahead of time and freezes the onions so they are available whenever she's cooking. She told us about how much work it is to wash and cut up the meat by hand. Whenever family or friends go back to Ethiopia, they bring back suitcases full of spices, even bringing back an extra suitcase and paying extra for it because it is cheaper than mail order.

Anyway, today was a special treat. Thank you! (And I can't tell you her name because she'd be embarrassed.)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Food choices

Most of us have a choice in what we eat. I assume if you're reading this, you own a computer at home and thus have an adequate income to have purchased it. So you (and I) don't have to worry about where our next meal is coming from and we can choose whether to eat out or at home, to eat french fries or fruit.

This city in England also made a choice. I love it!

So sad

It was with a heavy heart that I read the news of James Kim's death. I wasn't even cautiously optimistic, though I was excited that they were going to drop survival packs with a personal message for James along the route he might have walked. Unfortunately, before they were able to do that, his body was found.

I found it interesting that all the news sites, a few blogs, and all the scrapbooking sites I frequent all followed his and his family's story.

My condolences to the Kim family.

Monday, December 04, 2006


No, this isn't in reference to my previous post, but the title is apt. I originally wrote about the missing cnet editor, James Kim. I followed the story this morning and started blogging about it during my lunch break. Unfortunately, I somehow lost the post and was unable to recover it. The updated good news is his wife and children were found. Unfortunately, as of tonight, he is still missing.

His story, along with something that happened a couple weeks ago, got me thinking. But first, here's what happened a couple weeks ago. A friend e-mailed me to confirm plans for this weekend. She sent it to an e-mail address that I check frequently, but not daily. So it took me an extra day or so to reply to her. I didn't hear back from her right away, but I wasn't too worried since I thought she might be traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday. I called her about a week later and didn't hear back from her the next day. So I started to get concerned. Perhaps she was still traveling? Or maybe she was sick? My next thought was that I could call her sister to see if she knew what her plans were. I don't have her phone number, but I do know where she works. The Internet is a wonderful tool for sleuthing. She ended up calling me back two days after I left the message. She laughed good naturedly when I told her I was getting worried after not hearing from her, but she also said that it made her feel good. That someone cared about her. She's single so there is no one to miss her if she doesn't come home. And she works out of her home so there isn't an office staff to miss her. As we talked, I realized it could be so easy to disappear, at least for a while.

The Kim family was missing for about a week before a search was called. Would someone wait that long before searching for me? When A and I travel, we're pretty casual about it. Yes, we make reservations at hotels so we know we have a place to stay. But we don't tell people when and where we're going, especially if it is just a weekend trip.

I have a friend who is obsessive about planning her travel. She has a detailed itinerary for the entire trip, with each day's events planned down to the hour. She leaves this itinerary (along with hotel and airline info) with a couple of family members, so if they need to get a hold of her, they know how to. Probably something between what I do and what my friend does is reasonable. But I would hope that if I were missing, someone would miss me before too many days had passed.

Poof, it's gone

So much for blogging during my lunch hour. I just clicked the wrong button and lost four paragraphs.