Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
I haven't had time to get anything organized in the desk yet and we still need to get a new computer monitor before the computer can be moved, but I love my new desk.
Now you may think that a quick trip to IKEA is impossible, and that's sort of true, but I have a secret way to avoid the crowds and make my shopping trip easy. If you want to shop when the store is virtually empty, shop Monday through Thursday and arrive there when they first open. At least here at the Atlanta store, if you do that, there will be more employees in the store than shoppers and everyone is looking to help you.
Now, no one can go shopping at IKEA and only buy one item and I'm no different. I spotted this adorable monkey and her baby and knew they were perfect for Baby S's jungle room. In addition I found a really pretty vanity mirror that I absolutely needed for the guest bedroom, thus another purchase added to the buggy. On my way out the door, I did stop and pick up a few of the chocolate bars that Eammon loves so much. That way he too got something out of the shopping trip, other than just the bill.
Over the past few months I have recovered from my addiction of stalking the postman. I now will be away for two weeks without a computer, thus I will have to go cold turkey and break my blog stalking addiction, so in their place my newest obsession is Sudoku. I only started doing these puzzles in the past week, but already I am almost finished with my first book of 76 puzzles. So, while I was out shopping, I decided to drop in at the book store and get a new book that I can work on while sunning on the beach. This book has 200 puzzles including the 9x9 puzzles that I have been doing, as well as jigsaw and triplex grids.
Then, just so Eammon wouldn't feel left out, I found a book of Kakuro, which is even more brutal than Sudoku. I love how this book rates the difficulty of the puzzles, It starts out at Level 1 Delicious, moving on to level 2 Pernicious, continuing to Level 3 Malicious and finally ending at Level 4 Vicious. Hopefully this will keep Eammon entertained as he lounges on the beach.
Monday, November 28, 2005
There were two books for Baby S, Ten Little Ladybugs and The Grouchy Ladybug. Eammon and I both can't wait to snuggle with Baby S and read the books to her.
Also in the package was the cutest ladybug cell phone charm. I'd never heard of a cell phone charm but after speaking to friends who knew what they were, I feel old and behind the times. But now, I'm hip and I have one too!
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Thursday started early as I made tapenade tarts, sweet potato gnocchi in a browned butter sage sauce, pumpkin cheesecake squares, white chocolate raspberry almond fudge, cranberry cake and chocolate raspberry squares. Eammon soaked in the bath, lounged outside in the sun for a bit, tried to get himself going, but in the end, he was still too wiped out to go to our friends home for T-day dinner. So, my parents and I left poor Eammon tucked in bed as we went with home cooked goodies in hand, and enjoyed a lovely and delicious Thanksgiving dinner with about 40 other people at Al & Anita's home. I love holidays at the homes of friends. Not too much family around to cause depression, no childhood angst or repressed rage rearing it's ugly head, just people you choose to be around, an excellent way to spend holidays.
Eammon was so disappointed that he missed out on a really wonderful dinner, but nice wife that I am, I cooked a repeat turkey dinner on Friday. I made turkey, stuffing, roasted potatoes, pecan crusted sweet potatoes and a corn souffle just so that he could have all the goodies of Thanksgiving. Friday's dinner was wonderful but now I am so sick of the taste and smell of anything and everything Thanksgiving, that it will be salad for me for a few days. Eammon still wants his favorite, leftover turkey soup, so that will be the last thing I have to make and will do that this morning.
My parents visit was nice, they were here for six days. At 5:45 this morning, I was driving them to the airport so that they could fly off to Aruba where later this afternoon they will start recuperating from being here, by laying on the beach and relaxing. Monday, my Dad and I put together my new IKEA computer desk so it was nice to get those boxes out of the family room. I was hoping that during their visit, my dad and Eammon would get the crib assembled, but with Eammon sick for three days, that didn't happen. At the rate of referrals, I don't feel too pressed for time in getting the crib assembled, but would like to get it done already. Maybe over Christmas that will be our project getting us used to putting things together, in preparation for all the assembly needed toys and bicycles in our future.
I haven't decided if I'm even going to decorate the house for Christmas this year. Usually I have the house decorated well before Thanksgiving, because we generally leave for Aruba two days after Thanksgiving, and don't return until a few days before Christmas. But this year we hadn't planned on going away, so I thought I would hold off on decorating until the beginning of December. Now with the change of plans, I have just a week until we fly off, and I have so many things to organize and get done. I just don't have the time, patience or energy to decorate. Then, we get back a couple of days before Christmas, and do I really want to put all the stuff out, only to have to pack it away a few days later. When we return from out trip, I may go buy one of those tabletop Charlie Brown Christmas trees and call it a holiday. Right now I have a week to get myself organized and packed before I can rest on the beach reading my books and indulging in my newest obsession, sudoku.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Today, my parents, Eammon and I attended the grand opening of the Georgia Aquarium. For all of you who have asked where I get my dark complexion, check out my father!
We arrived just before the doors opened at 9:00am to find hundreds of people in the queue. After having our bags inspected and being checked with the security wands, we entered the aquarium. Right away you enter through two wall aquariums filled with beautiful fish. Of course this is only a taste of what is to come. The aquarium is divided into five galleries. For me, the best exhibit was the Cold Water Quest which contained an 800,000 gallon habitat for the Beluga Whales. The picture above does little to show the beauty of these animals. They seemed to dance in the water and seemed so playful.
Speaking of playful, I tried, but couldn't keep my parents off the kiddy rides...Those playful kids, getting ready for their grand-daughter!
After seeing all the big fish, we then went to the food court, where my father got up close and personal with the biggest fish of all, Bernie Marcus, founder of the new Georgia Aquarium.
Our visit ended with us waiting in the parking garage for the arrival of AAA. On our way to the aquarium, we got a flat tire. We realized this just before we were exiting the highway, and decided to put the problem off until our visit was complete. AAA came, replaced the tire and we were on our way home.
If you are planning a trip to Atlanta, make sure to visit what is now the world's largest aquarium.
Monday, November 21, 2005
sitting around the bonfire with everyone, chatting and having a great time. Especially fun was to watch Seth and Eammon, being little pyros, seeing how big they could build up the fire. Sonia made 2 different kinds of chili,
both of which were wonderful, and I added my Fruit & Nut Turkey Chili to the mix. We also had grilled hot dogs & kielbasa, mac & cheese, various dips, appetizers, desserts, hot mulled cider and of course s'mores. Delicious food all around. Thank you Sonia & Hugh for hosting a fabulous evening!
Lisa's Fruit and Nut Turkey Chili
2 T. olive oil
3 c. onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
3 T. chili powder
3 T. ground cumin
2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T. hot curry powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 28-oz. cans crushed tomatoes
2 4-oz. cans diced green chili peppers
2 med.Granny Smith apples, core, peeled and chunked
1/2 c. raisins
2 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 c. slivered almonds, toasted
In large pot, saute onions in the olive oil until golden brown. Add the garlic and the ground turkey, cook until the turkey is browned. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, cocoa, curry powder and cinnamon. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute to bring out the aroma of the spices. Add the tomatoes, chili peppers, apples and raisins stir to mix in well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook one hour, stirring occasionally. Add the black beans and almonds, heat thoroughly. Serve with cheddar cheese and sour cream.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
But this year, we decided to forgo our beach holiday because we expected to travel to China before Eammon's vacation year ended on April 30th. It was worth saving most of his vacation time for a trip that was far more important and special than another trip to paradise. But, delays in referrals now make travel to China before the end of Eammon's vacation year impossible.
So, last night Eammon and I were talking, saying how bummed we each were over the referral delays. I complained about how I am not enjoying the cold weather, even though we've had maybe two days of it thus far and how I wasn't looking forward to going through the winter looking all pasty white. Eammon said it was too bad we hadn't planned on taking our annual trip and wondered if it was something that we could still do, without breaking the bank.
Much to my surprise and delight, this morning I was able to obtain frequent flyer tickets for both of us to Aruba. Though I couldn't get tickets that allowed us to be down there the full time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we will still have 2 full weeks to soak up the sun. Before booking the tickets, I called my parents to see if they would like some last minute visitors and they said yes, so tickets have been booked!*
Now the upside of referral delays; Aruba in December...Yeah baby!!!
* Good thing I was on the ball and have all of my holiday shopping completed. Being a little obsessive sometimes pays off!
Thursday, November 17, 2005
- Saturday 11/19: Local Adoptive Parents pot-luck bonfire evening.
- Sunday 11/20: Parents arrive for the week...need food in the house!
- Thanksgiving (at the home of our friends Al & Anita, but I am still making lots of yummy things to bring with us.)
- Day after Thanksgiving (because we are having turkey day at Al & Anita's, Eammon would miss out on his leftovers if we didn't recreate the meal!)
- July Dragonfly December Secret Pal Gift. Theme: Welcome to your forever family.
- August China Blossom December Secret Pal Gift. Theme: Welcome to your forever family.
- CCAI December Secret Pal Gift. Theme: Picture frames or albums.
- Miscellaneous holiday parties
- Wednesday 12/14: Neighborhood bunco group holiday party with cookie swap and Yankee swap.
- Christmas Dinner
- Christmas prezzies
- New Years Eve
- July Dragonfly January Secret Pal Gift. Theme: Chinese New Year.
- August China Blossom January Secret Pal Gift. Theme: Chinese New Year.
- CCAI January Secret Pal Gift. Theme: Chinese New Year.
On to the groceries. I realize that I can't do all the grocery shopping now, for the rest of the year, but I can get myself through the end of the month and get pantry items though the end of the year. So, yesterday started my two day shopping frenzy. I started at , list in hand and I got everything that I need, so I am done with that store until 2006. Then last night I made my weekly call to IKEA, to see if my desired desk, which has been out of stock since the store opened, was available. They told me that they had 2 in stock and could only put a hold on one until 9PM! Well, that was at 7:40PM, so I hopped into the jeep, raced downtown and bought my new computer desk! Now we shall see how long the boxes sit in the family room before we get the thing assembled. By 6:30 this morning, I was on my way to Super Walmart to do the majority of my grocery shopping, stocking up on all the pantry items I need through the end of the year! By 8:30am I was at BJ's getting the final big items that I needed...Another store off my list until next year. On Monday, I need to make a very quick run to Harry's to get the turkey, some specialty items, and fresh veggies. Then I am DONE!!!
Now I'm able to sit back, relax and enjoy my newest addiction, tea. A few weeks ago when the MTB meet for lunch, Sonia introduced me to a delightful herbal infusion. Magical Garden Rooibos, a blend of roses, lemon grass, botanicals and rose hips with Rooibos. This infusion is caffeine free and I can drink it even in the evening. While at the tea shop, I found a tea which is truly intoxicating. Winterdream, a blend of black tea, coconut, chocolate, mint and whole red peppercorns. This tea could be dangerous to my precarious sleep situation and I must limit myself to one cup per day, and only before 8am. Though after one cup...OK, as you can see in the picture, a large and quite adorable mug...I can still smell this tea and I crave it all day long. I think I'm addicted! So now I am battling two addictions, blog stalking and tea! Guess it could be worse.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Monday, November 14, 2005
Just to show that I am not a total slacker, I am showing off my weekend project. After talking for months about needing to work on Baby S's room, I finally got myself motivated. I cut, sewed, stapled, hammered and glued this weekend as I made and installed Baby S's valence and curtains. One step closer to having the room ready for her arrival!
Friday, November 11, 2005
Yesterday I received a fabulous package from my August secret pal. Once again everything was wrapped in gorgeous paper. I am making quite a collection for Baby S's scrapbook with the paper and adorable tags that she adds to each package.
This month's theme was baby bath time and here's the booty.
The outfit will be perfect to bring when we travel to China. It is difficult to see, but the onesie has tigers, monkeys, birds, hippos, elephants, palm trees and my favorite, giraffes!! Also, check out that monkey face on the back of the pants... How cute Baby S will be with that on her adorable bum! The bear tub faucet and handle covers are a soft terry cloth and so fun... Then there's a yellow ducky!! Thank you Secret Pal, Eammon and I love everything.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Monday, November 07, 2005
Thursday, November 03, 2005
On my drive to the restaurant I was listening to talk radio. A man called into the show to discuss how people, not in line with his political views and party, are unintelligent and vacuumous! Yes people, he said vacuumous!! I bet his English teacher is proud of him. Not only is he redundant, but he doesn't even know the correct word when trying label others as vacuous. I got so silly hearing this, that I had to call Eammon and share. He and I both cringe, then giggle when we hear such creative words.
Everyone seemed to enjoy when we previously shared our barbarisms and solecisms, so I thought we needed to revisit, share and add to the list of most annoying verbiage.
Just to get you started, here are some delightful George W. solecisms. Please add your personal "favorites" to the comments and give everyone a good cringe.