Tuesday, December 27, 2011

To the people who buy new winter coats

I know you're excited about your new coat. You want to show it off to the world!

It's Calvin Klein! It's 100% wool!

But you know what? You need to cut off the label on the sleeve. You know, the one down by your hand? You may not even need to cut the two pieces of thread holding it on. In a lot of cases, it's just a sticker that you can just pull off.

And once you finish with that, you can scratch the clearance stickers off the bottoms of your heels. We can still see them when you're walking, even if you can't.

Phew! Got those two pet peeves off my chest! Merry Christmas to me!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Here's one thing I miss about Ireland

Moisture in the air.

I'm so glad I now have an answer for people when they ask me what I miss about living in Ireland since I am asked this All.The.Time.

It's only December and the skin on my face already feels like it's going to break off. I use Dove Extra Moisture soap in the mornings to wash my face in the shower and by the time I get out my face is bright red and on fire. I apply my sensitive skin moisturiser and it feels like I'm dousing it in acid. Then I proceed to shock myself with everything I touch as I walk around getting ready for work or stand up from the couch. My clothes stick to me. I'll soon be in the market for a humidifier in the bedroom since it's only a matter of time until my nasal passages are so dry I can't sleep. I miss radiator heat which is warmer and not nearly as dry as central heat.

Oh yeah, I miss one other thing - M&S reduced fat hummus. Grocery store hummus here is nasty. We've tried a couple different kinds and we both agree that it's gross. Funny thing is when I first moved to England and was visiting friends, I specifically remember saying to them that I didn't like the hummus there and thought it was nasty. Oops! Fortunately, it's good at the local Greek restaurants, but I don't want eating hummus to be a special occasion!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Trying to get my blog mojo back with this Christmas quiz!

The Annoyed Army Wife posted this on her blog and I thought it was cute. I'm having a bit of writer's block, so I'm hoping this helps!

Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Definitely hot chocolate. Egg nog has uncooked eggs in it that you're supposed to drink and well, that's totally gross.

Colored lights on tree/house or white? I actually like both (we have white), but I don't like a mixture. Either go small colored, large colored, or white. Don't put a string of each all willy nilly around your yard. That's the worst. Oh, and if you're putting candles in the window keep them white. There's a farmhouse down the road from my parents who use red lights. I'm pretty sure Satan lives there.

Do you hang mistletoe? No, but I like the look of real mistletoe. Not too keen on the fake plastic kind!

When do you put your decorations up? Not until sometime in December. November is way too early and I'm usually still digesting Thanksgiving until at least December 1st.

What is your favorite holiday dish? I don't really have a favorite dish, but I like to have nibbles/snacks on Christmas eve, something special for breakfast (basically anything but cereal), and ham on Christmas day.

Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Getting dressed up to go to the candlelight service at our church when we lived in State College. We had these little pins with bells on them that we would wear and I just thought that was something special.

When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I'm not sure, really. I think my best friend who had an older, wiser brother spilled the beans. However, her dad used to go around visiting all the kids in the neighborhood dressed as Santa and I would always ask her if that was her dad and she would deny it over and over. She didn't admit it to me until we were teenagers.

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Nope.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree? This was the first year we have had a tree since we were married. My husband sat on the couch watching 'The Hangover' while I put it up. As I unpacked the ornaments I would show him every single one. Good times. 

Snow! Love it or Dread it? It's definitely not winter without the possibility of having snow. I love it unless I'm stranded for 3 days with my parents. 'Nuff said.

Do you remember your favorite gift? I got lots of good toys growing up, there was the year we got the rollerskate jackets, but I think my favorite gift was a ladder. That's right. It's one of those things that you want, but it's just pricey enough that you don't want to buy it yourself.

What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? I think it's easier to say what is my least favorite. Mince pies. These were a non-issue in my life until I moved to England where pretty much the ONLY Christmas treat people bring to the office are mince pies. It was seriously annoying. This reminded me of my favorite holiday treat which is chocolate chip cookies with red and green M&Ms.

What is your favorite holiday tradition? Baking cookies. I don't do that many, but it does put me in the mood!

Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum? I'm indifferent. They're okay, but I don't go nuts.

Favorite Christmas movie? Hmmm...well, it's NOT White Christmas. That movie is the pits and it has nothing to do with Christmas. I'm a big fan of Elf and all the retro movies from the olden days.

Saddest Christmas Song? Christmas songs aren't supposed to be sad. Period.

What is your favorite Christmas song? I'm a fan of the hymns. I really like The Holly and the Ivy, Lo' How A Rose Er Blooming, and O Come, O Come Emmanuel.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's officially winter around here

The cat was under the blankets today. In Dublin she spent most of her days under the blankets, but today was the first day she dug under there. Most of her time is spent here:

Thankfully, that's Wes' side of the bed and I don't have to share my space with her.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We had lots to be thankful for and we celebrated it with great friends, family, and food. That awesome combination makes Thanksgiving my favorite holiday of the year!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


This morning I had to call and make us a couple of appointments at the clinic. I had to make another one for Wes to give a sample and the appointment is on a Monday. The woman goes, 'Now, you  have homework on Friday and/or Saturday, but then no homework after Saturday'. It took me a minute to figure out what she was talking about. How weird when sex starts to be referred to as 'homework'. I just hope the school kids don't catch wind of that!

Monday, November 7, 2011

This shouldn't surprise people who know me

I was talking to my mom today and I mentioned the scandal that's just hit Penn State University. We used to live in State College and my family has been long time Penn State fans, so this was particularly shocking to hear. Jerry Sandusky was always well respected as one of the football coaches.

Mom: "You know you went to nursery school with Jerry Sandusky's son."

Me: "Really?" (Clearly this wasn't a lifelong friendship)

Mom: "Yeah. That day of your bike accident* you were supposed to be going to his birthday party. There you were coming out of anaesthesia with your big, fat lip and all you wanted to do was go to this party so you could still get a cupcake."

Me: "Nothing gets between me and a cupcake. I gotta keep my eye on the prize!"

Mom: "You haven't changed a bit!"

*The summer before I started kindergarten my sister and I were out riding our bikes. They both had banana seats and mine was called 'Desert Rose'. Awesome. Our front tires collided and I fell onto the road (my sister didn't seem to have a scratch on her). I ended up knocking out my two front teeth, broke my middle finger, and split my bottom lip right in half. Since I couldn't see my face I was focused on the fact that my finger really hurt. My sister and I ran home, me holding my finger and her screaming and crying next to me. We ran into my parent's bedroom and I can remember my mom's face and her saying, 'Don't get any blood on the bedspread!' She's not sure she ever said that, but a child never forgets. Am I right?? When it was all said and done, I ended up with a toothless grin that lasted 2 years and 65 stitches in my bottom lip. Needless to say, I never got my cupcake that day!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

It's amazing what a little cleanliness can do for the soul!

Now that I'm working full time to say cleaning has been pushed down the priority list is an understatement. Wes is really good about doing laundry and getting dinner started in the evenings, but cleaning isn't his favorite thing and I can't blame him for that. It's not mine either. We have a friend coming from Ireland this week, so there was some deep cleaning that needed to be done. We've been so busy that this is the first weekend that we've actually been home and I've been able to get some things done. You know, those annoying things like wiping down the baseboards and walls in the bathroom. Do people really do that kind of thing every time they clean the bathroom?? This person doesn't. I vacuumed the stairs (this one was way overdue). Wes put together the shelf and I hung the mirror in the guest bedroom. It just needs pictures on the walls and that will finally be finished. I've been holding off hanging some things in the living room until we paint, but I said screw it and went ahead and hung a couple of things that were sitting around.

The best thing that happened was finally picking out a new sofa on Saturday. I don't think I blogged about the original sofa. I was so distraught that it wouldn't fit in the door that it made me feel physically ill. Actually, it was hearing we were going to lose a 25% restocking fee that made me want to lose my lunch. Yesterday I picked out a new - not as beautiful - sofa that WILL fit in the door. Now we wait 6-8 more weeks, but the last one didn't take that long, so I'm hoping this one doesn't either. I became a total cheapskate and skipped on the $69.99 delivery fee. We'll rent a truck from De.pot for less than half the price and move it ourselves. I'd like to get the kitchen and living room painted before the sofa shows up.

Other than cleaning, I slept in both days and we had homemade waffles for breakfast on Saturday. this might be the most boring post in the world! Yet, it's weekends like this that can make me feel the most content. The beautiful autumn sun shining in the windows certainly helped with my mood!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Commuting Chronicles

Just a public service announcement for my fellow metro riders:

If you're standing next to a pole, because there are no seats and the train is jam packed, don't wrap your body around the pole to stabilize yourself. You do not own the whole pole. Other people would like to hold on as well and they'd like to do it without the possibility of touching your breast.

A shorty metro rider who can't reach the handles hanging above her head

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I almost forgot!!!

It's been such a 'woe is me' kinda week that I totally forgot the best part of the week! I lost 4 lbs this month! Woot! That's 1 lb per week and I couldn't be happier about that. I've been eating WW meals for lunch and going to the gym (THANK YOU GROUPON!) 3x per week (Body Pump, Body Jam, and Body Flow). The gym pass will only be good until the end of November, but I've already bought one month of unlimited pilates class to use in December. That will get me through the first of the year and hopefully the gyms will start their New Year's specials at that point. Here's hoping I can keep up the 1lb per week loss for at least the next, oh, 16 weeks! Ha!

The week ended with two shots and a bang!


Sorry for my feeble attempt at phonetically spelling the British pronunciation of 'Litrally'.

Yesterday morning we were headed out to the doctor's office for my shot (Wes came with me so he could register at the office too) and what happens? Of course I fall. In fairness to me, there is something sinister about that square of sidewalk. It's the end of the curb, so it is a little hill. Wes slid on it once and he was wearing his running shoes. Anyway, I went down hard on my knee (thankfully I didn't rip a hole in the knee of my pants) and ended up I hobbling the rest of the way to the doctor. I had my MMR vaccine and they talked me into getting the tetanus and pertussis vaccine. They had to give me one in each arm and the tetanus shot goes in the muscle, so that one ached most of the day. This means that nothing can happen in the TTC realm for the next 4 weeks. Good thing shots don't bother me that much since it looks like I could have a future of injecting myself with various things. Not awesome. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Another reason why yesterday was such a bad day

The calls to/from Comcast were just the bookends on a day full of crap.

At my first appointment at the fertility clinic they took blood to test for various things. I came back in the grey area for immunity to German measles. What now?? I proclaimed that my mom's a nurse and she made sure we had all of these vaccines and their boosters! It seems that vaccines can lose their power. Who knew? Apparently it's bad news to get the German measles when you're pregnant and you can't get the vaccine if you're pregnant. I got tested again. Again, I came back in the grey area. I don't like failing and I needed more info on my results. I came back as a '9'. What number is immune?? Anything higher than 9. Dang it! Getting the vaccine means everything gets pushed back another month. I had the option to waive the vaccine or I could channel my 5 year old self and get the MMR vaccine again. At first I waived it...come on, I barely failed! But, then I took one minute to think about where I work and how many international people we have come into the office. It's not just the Germans I'd have to's everyone!!! They told me to contact my primary care physician to get the vaccine.

When I got insurance in September I had to find a PCP to put on our cards. After much searching (I had some crazy criteria), I finally found one. I called, they were taking new patients, I put them on the application, and that was that. Well, when I actually needed to make an appointment I was told that now they're not taking new patients. Already having them on your card isn't good enough. I'm not gonna lie. I started to cry. The way this day was headed was pushing me over the edge. Regardless she couldn't be swayed by my blubbering and told me to have a nice day. I called my insurance and they were VERY helpful. By lowering my criteria, I managed to make an appointment for Friday and reassured Wes that we do have a real-life connection with this office, not just the half-assed connection we had with the last group.

Fingers crossed I get a Snoopy band-aid for my boo boo.

P.S. - I did actually manage to get work done on Monday too. The work was the best part of my day!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The one with a lot of swears

If you don't like swears, then click away and please don't tell my grandma about my potty mouth. I apologize for not posting in a long time (I have no good reason, really) and now that I'm back it's going to be full of swears. I had a totally shitty day today. Who's to blame??


I fucking hate them.

(sorry about the f-bomb, but it's truly how I feel)

The hatred actually started 11.5 years ago when I bought my house and wanted to get cable. Comcast is the only non-satellite cable available in Baltimore, so there is zero competition here (though I would love for someone to prove me wrong!). I was told they did installation appointments on Sundays. Perfect! I waited and waited and called and was told there's a technician out and waited some more and called again to be told he's still out on a job and waited some more, and finally at 8pm I called 'uncle'. I called one last time only to be told that he wasn't sure why someone scheduled an appointment for me on Sundays since THEY DON'T DO APPOINTMENTS ON SUNDAYS! Well, neat. That guy got an earful. His apology was so bloody patronizing that it just made me more and more angry.

When we moved in June we looked around to see what we could find, but Comcast was the only option for cable. I don't want a satellite hanging on the front of my house, so Comcast it was. We priced it out to see if we could get our internet, phone (we need a land line for the international calls), and cable from different providers, but it seemed that buying a bundle from Comcast was the cheapest. Plus, they were running an internet special that if you bought the bundle online then you'd get a $100 prepaid Visa card in return. Great! I started the process and for some reason it didn't work. I'm fairly certain (this was June) that the reason was because they wanted a land line number as part of the registration (at least that's the only thing we could figure out) and we didn't have one (since we were ordering it from Comcast). I ended up calling the help number on the website and we placed the order over the phone. We were assured that we'd still get the deal, no problem, they were happy to have our business! Well, of course they were. About 2 months after we ordered I called to find out when we'd get the Visa card. I was told that we had to make 4 on-time payments and at that time we would get the card. Okay! I even put a reminder in my phone to call back in October!

I made the mistake of calling first thing this morning. I was on hold for about 30 minutes, finally to be told that 1.) she couldn't find that promotion for June; 2.) if that promotion ran, then it would have been a more expensive bundle available to get the Visa card; and 3.) the marketing department would have to call me back to confirm the promotion. I pointed out to her that the promotion they're offering on their website right now is the same exact one that we bought, so I'm not sure about the more expensive bundle thing.

I get a phone call at 4:40, right when I'm getting ready to walk out the door. I answered the phone and she stammered that she was from Comcast, but didn't even have the name of the person she was calling about. This should have clued me in to how this call was going to end. This woman tells me the reason we didn't get the promotion was because there is an outstanding balance from the last tenant who lived here. I asked what his account has to do with me and she said the accounts are tied to the property, not the person. This is what prevented me from successfully placing my order online. I ask why no one told us this 1.) when we ordered this originally and 2.) when I called the second time and was told about the 4 on-time payments. Queue the patronizing apologies. Then she blamed it on me calling the wrong number when I placed my order. I pointed out that I'm fairly certain I didn't go searching around the website for a  new number and would logically use the phone number that they list on the page if you need help. Then she blamed it on them using a non-Comcast call center to take these orders. What?? Shouldn't they all offer the same thing?? I am 100% certain I was reassured that I would still get the online promotion, because that's the whole reason we were going with this plan at Comcast! It's pretty obvious to me that they'll tell you whatever it takes to get you locked into a contract, but when it comes to them honoring their end of the deal they'll find whatever loophole they can to get out of it. If they truly cared about the outstanding charges from my previous tenant, since "the account is attached to the property, not the person" they would have actually mentioned them to me, not use them against me. I don't need to tell you this is absolutely shitty customer service.

My poor colleague got an earful of me telling this woman, in a not so nice way, how disgraceful their customer service is when it comes to the actual customer. I just told her that I hope she tells her supervisor about my call and that they're going to lose a customer who is paying $130 a month over a $100 prepaid Visa card. How pathetic is that?? Comcast is notorious for their horrible customer service (just google it!) and it's pretty sad that the powers-that-be truly don't give a shit. Once we are finally able to cancel, I have erroneous charges to look forward to. They're notorious for that too and I'm fairly certain this is what has happened with my previous tenant and it's no wonder he hasn't paid. I wouldn't either.

In the profound words of my friend, Steve:


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Commuting Chronicles

I looked like a right eejit on my commute today.

I should preface this by saying that my office doesn't get a lot of foot traffic. If I don't leave my office for any reason, other than my commute, it's the same 5 people seeing me all day long. I look nice once I'm here, but I really need to work on the part where the whole of DC sees me - my commute.

I wanted to wear a new-ish pair of shoes that I'm still breaking in. This would have been fine for a normal commute, but I had to park far-ish away when I got home last night so I didn't want to start my day out with sore feet. So I threw on the brown Sketchers...with little white socks....and my light gray skirt. You see where I'm going? It was a little chilly this morning, so I threw on my lightweight purple coat which has honestly seen better days. It's all I have, so that had to do. And of course I had my nice bag that I carry every morning (I have no idea how to describe the color, but believe me it doesn't match purple) and a dark blue cloth bag with shoes, a water bottle, and two ready meals to have at the office.

Frankly, I looked like a bag lady.

I was embarassed of myself. If my husband had been there he wouldn't have let me walk out the door. I'm sure my picture is already posted onto a fashion police blog somewhere out there. And to top it all off, I lost one of my ready meals somewhere between the freezer and the office. So not only was I carrying bags, I was dropping stuff out of them. Classy. Hey, at least my hair looked good!

I will be wearing my new-ish shoes home, suffering in the name of fashion. I just hope it's warm enough out there that I don't need to wear my coat!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Well, that was new...

I'm not sure why I thought having dye injected into my uterus wouldn't hurt, but by God, it does. I wasn't nervous at all going into this thing. They told me to take some medicine, like I would for cramps. Done. There was a girl sitting next to me who was practically in her husband's lap, she was so nervous about it. She asked if he could come back with her and he was denied. I thought that was all a little ridiculous (my husband wasn't even there), but everyone's different. I asked the nurse if I should be nervous and she was like, eh, then proceeded to tell me what was going to happen. Okey doke! Then the doctor came in and he told me what was going to happen. Alright! He was explaining things as he was going along, which is fairly normal. Next time, when someone says to me, 'Now, I'm going to grab hold of your cervix' I know that it would probably be in my best interest to pass out at that moment. I'd like to be unconscious for the rest of the procedure. Apparently, the dye going in caused my muscles to spasm. Have you ever laid flat on your back, under an x-ray machine, and a catheter up your hooha, all while your abdomen was in spasm? No? I don't recommend it.

The real kick in the teeth is that the test was inconclusive. I failed. The dye didn't go as planned, but that could be because my muscles were clenched so tight around my tubes that they weren't letting it, not because things were blocked. We'll continue on with the plans made and pray to the fertility gods that I'll not have to repeat that. In the meantime, Wes will enjoy his 20 minutes with a girly magazine and a cup. I hope he doesn't suffer too much.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Three months until Christmas! Time to start my list!

All year long I think of things that I want and say to myself, 'that would be a good thing to suggest as a Christmas present'. Then I promptly forget about it. When the Christmas season rolls around and people ask what I want, well, I can never remember and leave them hanging. Not this year! I'm starting a list!

1.) A gift subscription to Real Simple magazine. I really got into this magazine when I was in Dublin. It was a little pricey over there, so I only ever bought it as a little treat. I love that they have a little bit of everything (fashion, food, home design, stories, etc) and it's totally for my age range (i.e. no stupid Cosmo quizzes).

2.) A gift card to Boden's US site. Ironically, I never bought anything from Boden when I was in the UK. Well, it wasn't so ironic. I was a student and I couldn't afford anything! They just recently opened their US site and I love the dresses they have on offer. Like this one!

3. An eReader. I've pretty much been anti-eReader ever since they came out. Now that I'm commuting, I'll eat my words. I love books, but who has time to go to the book store!? Not me! My bag is also already heavy, so adding extra weight in books isn't ideal. As far as brands go, all I know about is the Nook and the Kindle. Are there more? Feel free to give me recommendations, since I don't really know anything about them!

4. A Keurig to keep in my office at work. I really don't drink that much coffee and I can actually get decent coffee at a reasonable price in my building, so this one is a little difficult to justify. BUT the variety of K-cups gets me excited and I think in the long run I would save money. Oh, and it comes in a very cute red color!

5. A new camera. *Le sigh*  You may have noticed the reduction in photos on my blog in the past 6 months or so. My camera has been acting up (as in only turning on 20% of the time) and taking pictures is no fun right now. I've kicked around getting an inexpensive point and shoot to use in the meantime, but it's hard to find one that has an LCD screen that swivels. That's a feature of my camera that I really love. I could get an updated version of my current camera which is reasonably priced, or for an extra couple of hundred dollars I could get a small SLR, but then there are the expensive lenses and what not. So I don't know...I guess I'll have to see what Santa decides! :-)

I think that's a good starting point. Of course diamonds and spa gift certificates are always on the list!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Commuting Chronicles

Rolling briefcases.

 I hate them. Like really, really hate them. If you do a google search on 'I hate rolling briefcases' you'll find lots of other people who do too! And no surprise the first two blogs I looked at were people who travel via the DC metro.

Sure, I understand why people use them and I can empathise. But they are really freakin' annoying. More important, they're dangerous! When you're walking through a crowd of people you can't see the bag dragging along the floor, so you'll see people tripping over them all the time. I've learned to walk through the metro station staring at the ground in case one of these pops up unexpectedly in my path. Also, the doors of the metro are only open for a short period of time. DC metro-ers are very good about queueing up along the outside of the doors, allowing people to exit the car before boarding (they even beat the Brits at this one). One day I watched a woman struggle with her rolly bag (it flipped over) right in the doorway, so we were all stuck there waiting and hoping she sorted it out before the doors closed. I was walking behind a woman on the train platform and noticed that the wheels on her bag lit up as she rolled. What the hell is the point of that? If you can actually see the wheels, you're not going to be close enough that you would need to heed their warning. They need to wear stupid hats or one of those flags people used to put on their bikes in the 1970s.

All I'm asking is for a little warning....

Monday, September 19, 2011

Today was momentous

Today....for the first time in 2.5 years....I got a pay check.

It would have been completely thrilling if Uncle Sam hadn't taken his huge cut! Ouch! I don't think it was any sort of a coincidence that the story on NPR when I was driving home was Warren Buffet talking about how little he is taxed, percentage-wise, compared to his secretary.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I'm as American as apple pie

My first ever apple pie from scratch! Here's hoping it tastes better than it looks. My parents are coming for dinner tomorrow, so I figured they'd be good guinea pigs. I used a Pampered Chef recipe for the crust and the filling. Vanilla ice cream is at the ready!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Commuting Chronicles

Public transportation can be a total pain in the ass sometimes, but it's never short on entertainment! I figured this was an easy addition to the blog and should be fairly regular.

I was on a packed DC metro car headed to Union Station to get my train home. I was standing in the aisle and two school girls, probably 10 or 11 years old, were sitting in the seat next to me. The one girl had some really nice braids in her hair and since I was standing above them I was admiring them. I looked away and she started singing. Then I had the feeling she was looking up at me. She stopped singing and told me that she thought my necklace was beautiful. I thanked her and said that actually I was just admiring her braids. I told her how nice they were and I asked if she just have them done for the start of school. She said that she had just had them done last weekend by her aunt. And if I wanted, her aunt could do mine for free! I said she did hers for free because she's her niece. But, she assured me that no, she's a hairdresser and if I told her aunt that I was referred by her then she'd do them for free at her shop. Thinking about my darker roots, I said that I didn't think my hair would look as nice in braids as her hair. That's when she told me that I am a very beautiful woman and that I would look beautiful no matter what I did with my hair. I thanked her and she turned back to her friend and they started singing again. What a nice way to end the day!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Crazy productive!

This weekend is my first 'real' weekend since I started working. I don't really count last weekend because it was a 3-dayer and that's not real life. I've decided that Friday commutes are the best because everyone else takes off that day. I was home in record time. We went out for dinner, which I've decided might have to be a new 'thing'. You know, like a date night! After dinner we walked around a bit and I decided we would walk down towards a shop where I used to work part time to see if one of my old coworkers was there. She was, so we had a nice catch up. And by 'nice' I mean 'hilarious'. I miss working with her. I was in good spirits as we walked back to the car then it hit me, I didn't include that part time job on my background investigation for my new job. Holy. Crap. Good spirits have gone down the pooper. Since that job has nothing to do with any professional position I want to get, I don't have it on my CV so I totally forgot about it. It's 9pm on a Friday night, so there's not much I can do until Monday! I email and text my boss. No response within 5 minutes (which was about the max I was willing to wait), so I call a friend who has super crazy high security clearance. Okay, maybe not that high, but in my mind she could hang with the President. Anyway, I call her. No answer. So, I text her and ask her to call me. Desperate much?? She senses the tone in my text (which is not jovial) and calls me. I'm pretty certain I'm one step away from being fired and she's all, 'No big deal! Relax! You paid taxes! You weren't fired! You tell them you forgot and they just write it down!' WHEW! Then she is reminded that she needs to report to her super crazy high security clearance people that we're back in town and give them our address. Apparently being friends with a foreigner and his wife who both lived on foreign soil is a bit of a liability. Oopsies! Thanks to her, I was able to sleep easy last night!

Oh yeah, this post is called, 'Crazy Productive'. I put that because today I've been just that! That's the one thing I do like about working. I enjoy being crazy productive on the weekends. Especially if I can knock everything out that I want to do on Saturday and just relax on Sunday. Today I cleaned up the kitchen and ran the dishwasher, changed the sheets on the bed, washed and dried three loads of laundry, cleaned the litter box, rented a carpet cleaner and cleaned the carpet in the guest bedroom, went to Ann Taylor Loft's fall sale and got a new pair of trousers, a top, and a cami, and polished it all off with a nonfat (not skinny, because I guess that's different) pumpkin-spice latte. Boo-yah!!! The only thing left to do is go to the grocery store tomorrow, but that will happen after we watch the Pittsburgh Steelers stomp the Baltimore Ravens! It's a backyard brawl, ya'll! I wish it wasn't so hot or I'd wear my hat.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Sunday, September 4, 2011


It's been quite a week! Sorry for the silence, but I'm trying to get into the groove with the job and commute thing. It hasn't been easy and I've been exhausted when I get home. I bought a ticket to use on the MARC train, but it wasn't valid until Thursday. This meant I had to drive for about an hour, then get the metro the rest of the way in. All in all, it was about 1 hour 45 minutes. This sucked. THEN, I got to use my train ticket and I thought life was going to be grand! Well, Baltimore is hosting this stupid grand prix this weekend so all of these roads are closed in the city. It took me 45 minutes to get out of the city, I missed my train and had to wait another 25 minutes for the next one, so that day it took me 2 hours and 15 minutes to get to work! Yeah, that's right. Two hours and fifteen minutes. 2.25 hours. My normal commute time by train should take me around an hour and 15 minutes, door to door. The majority of that is on the train or metro, so it's really not too bad. The ride home is the really nice because the train I get is non-stop between DC and BWI. The best part about all of this is that my employer pays my commuting costs. Getting the train and the metro adds up (fortunately parking at the station is free for monthly ticket holders) and once I saw the cost I was slightly regretting making the decision to commute. But at orientation they told us about the commuter benefits, which was a huge relief. I worked for this employer before, but it was a different location and because parking wasn't an issue they didn't reimburse us for commuting costs. I had completely forgotten that they did this and was sooo happy to find this out! That saves us $230 a month!

It's been hard to try and figure it all out. It's a bit of a juggling act now that I have a husband. It used to be that I'd go to work, hit the gym on the way home, or go to my part time job, come home, eat hummus and crackers for dinner. Basically, it was all about me. Now I just want to get home because we would like to see each other! He's also reintroducing himself in the kitchen and has been cooking me dinner. :) I'd rather sacrifice in the morning, getting up early so I can get to work early and leave early. I haven't bought a gym membership yet because I'm waiting to get settled into a routine. Allegedly there is a gym in our office building and we get a discount, but I need to investigate that further.

With this job brings new things to the household! We bought a car last week and I LUURVE it! We ended up getting a 2012 Honda Civic EX and it's way fun to drive. I did quite a bit of research between some different types of cars, new vs used, etc. We were leaning towards a used one, but finding a used EX is actually quite difficult. Then Honda came out with 0.9% financing on new models so we got a really good deal on it. My favorite features are the fact that we average 35 miles to the gallon and the bluetooth. I love talking to my car! :) I never really thought I'd care much about having bluetooth, but it's definitely an awesome feature. It looks like this, we even got it in black (because that's what was in stock), but ours doesn't stay shrouded in mysterious shadows.

Today we FINALLY ordered a sofa! I'm pretty psyched about it! Coming home and not having a place to relax stinks. Frankly, the state our house is in right now is not relaxing at all, so I'm hoping that now I'll be able to get this sorted out. I'll do a longer post on the living room updates when the sofa comes in, probably at the beginning of November. It's a darker green color (not sage, but not evergreen either) and it has coordinating floral print pillows that I think will look nice with the striped chair. The legs match the ones on the chair. They had Labor Day sales going on, so we got a good deal. I'm hoping to paint in here before the sofa comes. Here's a picture:

Oh yeah, and lastly...we had to get a new roof. This is not fun, so I won't go into detail. The fun part is I was able to fix the water damage in the guest room and I bought paint for that today!

It's been an expensive week around here! Ouch! 

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Just when I was getting the hang of what size I was in the UK and Europe, we moved. That's right, it only took 5 years. Now that we're in the US, I was falling back on my fail-safe knowledge of 8 US=12 UK, 10 US=14 UK, etc. I hit the shops and everything is in S/M/L. What the heck?? A large can be anything from a US 10-14!  I think the only garment that still uses proper sizing is trousers. Not to mention it makes it a little difficult when you want to order something online. Personally, I find the European sizing charts the most accurate when it comes to clothing and shoes. A UK 14 could range anywhere from a European 38-42, which is a huge difference.

Has anyone else noticed this about the US? Is this a new thing that I missed while I was away? Is it because we're all fatties and seeing a number might make us feel bad? Personally, I'd just like to have proper fitting clothes!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hey, what are you doing on Monday??

I'm going to WORK!

That's right, people!!! DUN DA DUNNNN!!! It only took 2.5 years of constant searching and eventually switching countries for me to finally become gainfully employed!!!

I get to buy new work CLOTHES! We get to buy a CAR! We'll have HEALTH INSURANCE! My bank account will actually start seeing DEPOSITS again! I get to wake up at the crack of dawn and make the hellish commute to our nation's capitol every day! See, it's not all sunshine and roses. For those of you who know where I worked prior to leaving the US five years ago, I'll be working there again, just in a different office. Unfortunately, they consider me a new employee, which means I have to go through orientation all over again. Meh. I guess enough has changed in the past five years that I'm sure to learn something new!

Monday, August 22, 2011

I baked!

Well, I bake things all the time, but today I actually baked a PIE! I've never baked a pie before. I'm afraid of them. I think I'm actually afraid of the crust. I need to just jump into it and realize that eating the mistakes isn't such a bad thing!

Since it was my first go, I skipped the fruit pie (which truly terrifies me) and decided to go with a chocolate pie. Specifically, this chocolate pie posted on Lovely Jubbly London's blog today. The thing I liked about it was that it was easy and the ingredients were all in my pantry. Well, all except the...erm...refrigerated pie crust I ended up using. Yeah, I wimped out!

The best part was that I got to use these!

It all looks brand new, right? Don't be fooled...I've owned this stuff for probably 6 years or so.

I had to blind bake the crust, which is something I've never done before. I felt very Martha Stewart with my beans.

I baked mine the full 45 minutes, but I think next time I'd stop at 40, like LJL did with her pie (I got caught up in a House Hunters International marathon). Her pie looks WAY better than mine! I need to practice crimping the edges and making it look pretty.

I served the pie with squirty cream (not nearly as nice as the Irish version of this), and Wes gave it the 'grand sure' stamp of approval!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Can oval braided rugs be cool?

I'm not sure why, but I've recently become interested in oval braided rugs. We had them in our house growing up, but that was 1980. I guess I'm looking for something a little interesting, but I also don't want to 'countrify' our house. This is an example of what I've been looking at:

Image from

We'd have one in front of the sofa and a larger one under the dining table (since they're in the same room).

To give you an idea of the furniture, this is the chair we have:

And this is the style of couch I'm considering (perhaps in a dark green color, but that's TBD).

Image from American Leather

What do you think? Will that rug look okay in front of those? Otherwise, I was thinking about an old standby from Pottery Barn. I'm planning on painting the walls a very light brown color.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Guest bedroom - decorating opinions

We're having a house guest from Ireland coming in November. Yahoo! Before I moved I had a lovely guest room, even if the walls were a bit, um, bright. What can I say, I love yellow! Before my last tenant moved in I had the house painted, so now the walls are all a builder's off-white. I'd like to paint the room and get some furniture for it again. Get this, I had a little glass side table next to the bed. Well, I have the frame, but I can't find the piece of glass that goes on top. I've searched everywhere and no luck. The frame was in storage and presumably the top went in there too. What the heck?? Anyway, I think I can get a piece of glass from the shop where I bought it and it shouldn't be too expensive. I have a bed (black brushed metal headboard), but I'd like to get some sort of small armoire/drawers for the room as well.

My question is, what color should I paint the walls? Here is a picture of the bedding:

There are two windows in the room, so it's quite bright. The carpet is a light oatmeal color. There are white faux wood slat blinds on the windows and I have white gauzy curtains that go on black rods and fall to the floor with black metal pull backs. All the trim and doors are white. I was thinking of a tan/light khaki type color, but I need opinions!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bedford, PA

We went 'camping' again last weekend. This time we met up with my parents in Bedford, PA and stayed with them in their mansion on wheels. Bedford is the town where my dad grew up and my grandparents and great-grandparents lived there the majority of their lives, so we went there A LOT when I was growing up. I was going to say that it's evolved a lot over the years, but really, it hasn't. It's like driving into 1950 when you turn onto Pitt Street. Sure, some of the shops have changed or turned into antique dealers, but the buildings are all the same.

One of the most amazing buildings in Bedford is the historic Bedford Springs Hotel. It seems that every trip to Bedford involved a drive out past the Springs. It's a beautiful building that was, sadly, mostly empty during my childhood. It was finally bought in the late 90s restored in 2007. Yes, I wanted to get married there and yes, of course my sensible husband said it was too expensive. Pfft! Fortunately, the re-opening of the Springs has brought a lot of interesting little businesses to town, particularly restaurants. There is the Green Harvest Company and Bad Boyz Bistro (which was featured on the Food Network). We had lunch there and we all thought it was delicious (well, except my mom who wimped out with a tiny cup of soup and a side salad). The sandwiches were served with home made potato chips. Yum! We stopped and got some treats at the new Hot Buns Bakery on Pitt Street. We got there kind of late in the day, but they still had a great selection of goodies for us to choose from. I can confirm the chocolate chip cookies are tasty.

It wasn't all about eating though. We looked around at the various antique shops, in particular our favorite one that used to be the big Murphy's store in the center of town. My great-grandma used to work at the candy counter there! :) Mom and I popped into a fair trade shop that had some lovely things. Wes and I got a bottle of wine from the Briar Valley Winery shop. The winery is about 6 miles outside of Bedford, but we haven't had the chance to go just yet. On Sunday morning Wes went for a run around Shawnee State Park. We didn't camp there on this trip, but we used to camp there all the time when I was little. My parents play golf when they go as there are a couple of nice courses in the area. Of course there is Old Bedford Village and the Fort Bedford Museum. You can take a stroll past the square and old courthouse, past all the beautiful, old houses on South Juliana Street. Oh, and of course George Washington slept here. This stops getting exciting the more time you spend in western Pennsylvania. That guy was everywhere!

If you'd like the 'History of Kim' tour, email me and AT NO COST I'll send you a map of the playground of the elementary school where we played 'spaceship', the church where I was baptized, the 'gingerbread house' my parents lived in just before I was born, my grandparent's house with the barrel stools we would sit on in the carport eating ham and cheese sandwiches, my great-grandparent's house where we would do beads or play Uno while drinking from aluminum cups, the amazing house with the wrap around porch where my cousin's lived, and I'll include a picture of me, my sister, and our cousins in our matching shiny rollerskate jackets. Hot.

If you're looking for a weekend getaway, I highly recommend Bedford, PA. It's about 2 hours from Harrisburg, just on the PA turnpike and it's a straight shot up I-70 from Baltimore and Washington, DC (only 150 miles). If your budget doesn't include the Bedford Springs, there are more reasonable chain hotels and some B&Bs. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Just some observations

  • Why do people wear visors during their class at the gym? The lights are really not that bright in there. 
  • Pricks in Porsches who think they deserve to park in the 'No Parking' spot. Don't be that stereotype.
  • Nothing like a good anime convention to bring out all the freaks. Wes saw a ninja in the Inner Harbor.
  • You can't buy anything at a store without a 5 minute promo from the sales person. What is your email address? What is your phone number? Do you want two free issues of this magazine? If you open a credit card today you'll save 15%. There is a survey at the end of your 3 foot long receipt. Take it and save $5. Do you want to donate money to this good cause? It's all very annoying.
  • I think our neighbor is actively avoiding me. Wes thinks I'm paranoid, but I know avoidance when I see it! She was walking towards me with her dog and she turned around and went back to the park before I got too close. Okey doke!
  • A dill pickle served with a sandwich will never get old. I will never take it for granted again!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I whip my hair back and forth....

Disregard the fake smile....I got my hair cut today and I LOVE IT!!! It's kind of hard to tell, but it's a bob and it's a bit longer in the front and not too crazy short in the back. I've been getting the same style for a long time and it feels great to switch it up! I've been going to the same person since I moved to Baltimore in 1998 and I've only cheated on her once. Hey, she told me I could! She started out in a salon, but ended up moving to her own place a few years back. I would almost always get my hair done when I came home from the UK and Ireland. I've always been pretty open about hairstyles (it's only hair), but the last few years we've really been in a rut. She did amazing highlights, as usual, and I'm happy to have a new style!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Insurance woes

This is a long one, but I felt I should tell you as I didn't want you to think it was all sunshine and butterflies when you move back to the US. 

This is me getting health insurance in Ireland:

Ring Ring....
Me: Hi, I'd like to get health insurance. I've looked online at your different plans and this is the plan I would like to get.
Them: Grand sure! We can have it start immediately. The cost is 75 euro per month. We'll send out all your policy info.
Me: Great! Have a nice day!

The process of getting insurance in the US totally sucks.

We don't have jobs, so we have to apply for health insurance on our own. I tried one of the larger companies here in Maryland, but was denied because of my BMI. I wonder if you would be denied if your BMI was too low. Hmmm.... Anyway, they suggested I apply for this federal high risk pool since I was denied for medical reasons. Ironically, the coverage managed by this same large MD company and is actually better and cheaper than what I was denied. One stipulation is that you can not have had insurance in the past 6 months. I called the help line and they very friendly man (seriously friendly) reassured me that all they care about is US healthcare. Off goes the application (with an explanation of my Irish healthcare) and I get a letter last week that the reason I was denied was because I had healthcare in the past 6 months. So I call AGAIN and they assure me that it's only US healthcare that counts. I explain my situation and she asks if I could fax that explanation to them. I could start a whole separate rant about how the US is the only country in the world that still uses fax machines, but I'll spare you. I asked if I could email it. No. So now I have to be inconvenienced to hunt down a freaking fax machine to tell them something that was already written on my original application. Not to mention our brand new printer is a piece of junk, so I'll have to hand write it. I'm pretty excited about this situation.

On to the homeowners insurance....

I never got homeowners in Ireland, but I'm fairly certain it would gone pretty much the same as the health insurance.

Prior to moving to the UK I used a large insurance company that starts with an 'A' and ends with 'state'. I was really happy with them. Unfortunately, they didn't provide insurance for rental properties, so I had to switch to another company. The coverage wasn't as good and the price was the same, but it was fine for a rental. After we moved back into the house I contact my previous company as I was anxious to get more decent coverage on the house again. The woman that I dealt with was an absolute star. Everything was done over email (she didn't ask me to fax anything), it was totally easy peasy. One day a guy comes by and says he wants to take pictures of the house for our application. Great! Nothing has changed on the exterior since the last time I was covered, so no problem. About a week after that we get a very nasty letter from the risk department telling us that they're cancelling our policy based on our dishonesty with the condition of the house. They never would have covered us if they knew we were such high risk.

They cancelled us because of this:

This is a soffit on the back of the house. Apparently it could fall off and injure someone. Okay, fair enough.

And this:

What is it, you ask? See how the front stoop only has one railing on it? Yeah. That's why.

This is the one that really ticked me off.

There was no mention in the letter that we had the chance to fix things before they decided to cancel us. So, I emailed my contact person and she said that we do have the chance to fix things, and she agreed the soffit in the back was a bit ridiculous (I had said that it's about $20 to fix it), but that they couldn't be lenient on the railing thing. You may notice in the above picture that my neighbor only has one (not pictured) railing. My neighbor on the other side - one railing. Every house on my block - one railing. 90% of houses in Baltimore city - one railing (I know this because I can't stop looking at railings now). I was furious. How do they get any new business in the city?? Yes, I asked her that and she didn't answer me. The cancellation letter only suggested we trying getting insurance from the company I used when the house was a rental. This is the company that people use when they don't qualify with anyone else, so you can imagine what their rates would be for a comparable policy to the one getting cancelled. Um, no. People in this town are getting their one-railing houses insured by someone and I'm going to find them. What do I do? I go to their major competitor, State F-. I was terrified that we were going to be penalized since the other company was cancelling us, but they put my fears to rest on that. They were sending someone out to take pictures for our application, so Wes had his first DIY project:

(His second one should probably be cleaning the siding!Yikes!)

As I predicted the total project was about $13 and we're the proud new owners of some tin snips! I've been reassured that the railing isn't a problem and he said, that's why you pay for insurance, right? RIGHT!!! And my favorite part was that they gave us a reusable bag for the grocery store and this: 

You had me at chocolate fudge brownies....

Seriously though, I actually lost sleep over this situation and more worryingly, I probably sprouted a few new gray hairs. Why? Because that letter from their risk department made it sound like I was this horrible, deceptive person. Everything was fine in 2006, how did I know this now was grounds for cancellation?? Why would I think the stoop would be a problem when that's how the entire city has been designed? My stoop has been like that since at least the 1950s! My parents have faithfully used this company for many years and I was their customer for over 10 (started with auto and then homeowners). Is there no customer loyalty??

Bottom line is they wronged me and if anyone asks me for a suggestion for insurance I will definitely point them in a different direction. I don't feel totally okay about calling them out on this blog, but if you can't work out the company from my very non-cryptic clues, then send me an email and I'll be happy to tell you who it is.

Once I find that stupid fax machine, this should hopefully be the end of our insurance woes for a little while. Thankfully I have a hair appointment on Thursday to cover up all my new gray hairs!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bean Fail

I opened up a can of beans for dinner the other night and this is what I found. Good thing I had a back up can or we would have been fighting over these three beans!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

You Capture - Summertime

A cowboy birthday party with...


Yummy bruschetta made with deep red tomatoes from the farm shop and the basil growing in my container garden out back! 


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's not all fun and games

Today we went to the Maryland Vehicle Administration (MVA) and it took 4.5 hours.

The end.

Seriously though, it was the pits. Fortunately, in addition to the incredibly nice employees, there is some quality people watching to keep you entertained while you wait. Wes thinks that in America there's an inverse correlation between the size of one's body and the amount of clothing one chooses to cover it with. He's definitely on to something there.

When your number is finally called, after HOURS of waiting, you want to do a little dance going up to the window. One woman did actually hoot her way up and another woman was getting ready to leave and she told her ride that she would be out after she said goodbye to all the new friends she met while waiting. She wasn't even joking.

In the end, we walked out of there with my driving license in my married name (and we thought waiting for an hour at the SSA was bad) and he had his brand new learner's permit! Yay!

Monday, July 11, 2011

The house

The house we've moved into is the one I bought back in 2002. I lived in it until 2006 when I moved to England. While I was gone I rented it out and had 3 different groups of tenants. I really lucked out and even though it was a rental for 4.5 years it's actually in really good shape. Regardless, the house is showing it's wear. Some of the projects are things I wanted to do even before I moved out and some are things that just need replaced after 9 years.

When I bought the house it was totally rehabbed. I didn't have any say in what went on, which was fine. I was young, single, and working, so I didn't want a place that I was going to have to do a lot of work just to make it liveable. The builders (who I later discovered were useless and could be a whole post of their own) put all the basics into the place. Again, that's fine. I was able to buy the house and make changes over the years.

I thought I'd do some posts highlighting different parts of the house and what we'd like to do with it. Once we get jobs we hope to put the ideas into action! I'll start with the first floor since it's the largest area.

This is what the first floor of the house looked like when I bought it:

The stairs with the hideous railings.

Looking from the front door to the kitchen.

Looking toward the front door.

Kitchen with hideous blue counter tops and blue tile floor.

Here is what the first floor looked like right before I moved to England:

It's hard to tell, but I took down the hideous railings when I pulled up the carpet.  I replaced the carpet with laminate flooring.

No more blue tile! That was a total pain to get up, but 100% worth it in the end. Notice what's still there...the blue counter tops. They were on my bucket list of things to get rid of.

And, here's what things look like as of today. If you know me in real life and wonder why we haven't invited you around, now you'll see why. Before I took the pictures I thought I should clean up a bit, but really, there's no place to put this stuff.

You may notice a lack of furniture and rugs. Yeah. I sold a lot of stuff to a friend since I knew I'd want something different when I moved back That's why we have no sofa and end tables. What you can't see between the two chairs is the cardboard box we're using as a coffee table. Classy. I'd also like to come up with new railings for the bottom of the stairs.

We had to buy a TV and little TV stand. The old entertainment center weighed about 2 tons and was ugly. My last tenant didn't want it and the ones before that offered to get rid of it, so I took them up on it. Thank goodness I saved that large bookcase since a whole lot of our shipment consisted of books! It's already 90% full!

Blue counter tops?? Check! Extra security bar on the door?? Check! One day I was coming through the door and thought to myself, 'I could probably kick that door in, no problem'. If I can kick it in, anyone can! The kitchen is one of the places that I'm dreaming about a complete overhaul: new stove (one of the burners doesn't work), new dishwasher, and new cabinets/counter tops/back splash. The fridge is new, so no need for a new one. The cabinets are in fine condition, but I find that there is a lot of wasted/unusable space in the back. My parents have shelves in their cabinets that slide out, allowing you to use access the back of the cabinet much more easily. However the space that is my biggest pet peeve is this:

It's the area between the refrigerator and back window. I've considered putting a lot of things in this space, namely a big stand alone butcher block thing with drawers and what not. I can't put a hutch there because it would cover up the fuse box. With the price of those, however, I could probably get the new kitchen cabinets, so I'm thinking more built-in cabinets in this space and around the fridge. At least one cabinet will be a tall one to put brooms in and such. The hope is that this would increase resale value as well.

That's it for my first floor dreams: a couch and a new kitchen. That's not too much to ask for, right?? I suppose my dream for a job needs to come true first!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Arghhhhh, Matey!

When each of my nephews turned 5 I took them somewhere special for their birthday. My youngest nephew just turned 7 and since I wasn't really around for his 5th birthday, I finally had the chance to take him for his birthday trip. I gave him a few options of things to do in Baltimore and he picked Urban Pirates. So, we boarded the 'Fearless' in Fell's Point and headed out to learn how to be pirates.

I really had no idea what to expect, but I have to say, it was brilliant. There were some kids on there who were really into pirates. Before we headed out we were having a look out the back side of the boat and this boy comes up to us and says, ''s a great day to hit the high seas'. Um....okay. I wonder if he even noticed that we didn't leave the Inner Harbor. The trip lasted exactly an hour and they kept the kids engaged the entire time. The trip was centered around a story and while they were telling the story they did activities.

He got a kick out of this pirate. He had a French name and his last name was l'Aubergine and they just called him 'Eggplant'. That cracked me up every time.

Listening to the story about Mad Dog, the nasty pirate, and learning how to speak like a pirate.Wes was disappointed to hear that we didn't learn, 'Shiver me timbers!'.

In order to get the kids sweaty and smelly like proper pirates, they had them dance. My nephew loves to dance and good thing because we did that a lot on the trip!

Every now and then Mad Dog would come by in his little boat and the kids had to man the water cannons. You can imagine this part was a huge hit!

Not sure if all pirates do the limbo when they have some downtime, but we did.

Without going into the whole back story (don't want to ruin it for you!), rest assured we got our stolen treasure back and the kids each got to take home some booty!

I even got the chance to take a couple of non-piratey pictures:

I was a little skeptical because of the price, but in the end I felt it was worth it. They had little costumes they could wear, they got a pirate name, they had temporary tattoos (one little girl showed me her mermaid's her favorite animal in the ocean!), and the could have their faces painted with scars and stuff. The crew did a brilliant job at keeping the kids (and adults) interested and engaged. One little girl was doing this for her birthday and they made a big deal out of it. There was a bathroom on board and they provided cups and water which was really nice since it was so hot.

All in all it was a really good time and I would highly recommend it if you're visiting Baltimore. ARGHHHH!!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I made those boxes my bitches!

After we moved the stuff from storage, I whittled everything down to 4 boxes left in the living room. Then last week we had 16 boxes delivered from Ireland. I'm not sure why I didn't take a picture when they arrived. Too depressing maybe? It's been less than a week and now the boxes look like this:

BOO-YAH!!! There are about 10 boxes folded up in the smaller box and the tall box is full of packing paper. We've saved a few boxes and they're in the basement. Tomorrow is recycling day, which is why it's all stacked by the back door. We'll also be taking this second batch of stuff to Good Will and there may still be a few things added to the pile:

Everything made it over in one piece, so we were really thankful for that. The strangest thing is the smell that's on all our stuff. I opened the first box and expected it to smell like the moldy apartment we left. It wasn't like that at all. Everything smells...nice. I'm not sure what they do to stuff at customs, but thanks for making my stuff smell better!
One weird thing did happen though. When the guy was bringing the stuff inside, these were on top of one of the boxes:

We have no idea what these are and they are not ours. I pointed that out to the guy and he couldn't care less. He just kept saying they were with the boxes. I suggested he take them back to where they came from, but he wasn't really interested in doing this. Does anyone know what they are? Wes will email the company to let them know we have them, but I'm fairly certain they won't want anything to do with them either.