Thursday, December 24, 2009

How does Santa know what to bring for you?

Around my house, asking for gifts is sometimes a bit of a pain.  First, I think it's because I feel like the things I want might be too expensive sometimes and second, most of the time, if I really want something, I just go and buy it myself once I save up the money.

Troy and I do gift exchanges with his family.  We used to do them with mine as well, but we're on a bit of a hiatus because of the economy.  Trying to get ideas out to others in a timely manner was always a bit of a challenge.  Thank goodness for email.  Now we just email our lists to the other family members and we're usually able to avoid duplicates by keeping each other informed of our purchases.  So far it's worked out well.

The evolution of gift-giving between Troy and myself has been interesting.  In the beginning we started with a $25 limit (which I never stuck to :-( ).  A few years ago we raised the limit and he got me a motorcycle manual which was very useful but kind of falls right in line with getting a kitchen appliance as a gift.  Useful, yes.  Romantic and touching, no.  Of course, I fell down on the job last year when I got him pajama pants that he was less than thrilled with.  They weren't on his list, so in his estimation, I should have known better than to get them.

This year I've once again gone "off list" with my gift choice(s).  Troy and I were discussing our (potential) gift purchase for one another and he advised that I should just "stick to his list".  I personally think I've made an excellent gift choice for him this year.  I also think that perhaps gift-giving shouldn't be like fulfilling a requisition order.  I think part of gift-giving is about showing the person you really know them and care for them.

So I gave him a choice.  (He said it was like Monty Hall's "Let's Make a Deal", but I don't remember a goat being anywhere in the room and I definitely wasn't wearing a silly costume.)  I told him his choices were:  1) I could tell him what the gift was, but he would no longer be receiving that gift from me or 2) he could take his chances with the gift I had chosen.  He (wisely) chose option #2.  We'll see how he feels about his choice on Christmas afternoon.

So, how do you do the whole "gift exchange" thing?  Do you have a list?  Do you drop hints?  Maybe you have a better way of approaching this than we do.  If so, I'd love to hear how it gets done.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I need a take out the garbage.

With the exception of a brief stint in college and an even briefer stint after college, I have pretty much lived alone for my adult life.  In the beginning it was a little lonely and when I bought my house, kinda scary thinking about all the ways someone could break in and hurt/maim/kill me.  But after a while, for better or worse, I got used to it.  In the last few years I've even grown to enjoy having the house to myself whenever I want (with the exception of the kitties and puppy).

Living alone definitely has its advantages.  For someone with control issues, it can be perfect.  Sure, I'm the one that has to pay all the bills, but I know that the bills get paid every month.  If I insist that the clothes in my closet be color-coded when I put them away, I can do that.  If I want to leave a few dirty dishes in the sink (rinsed out, of course), I can do that.  After all, I probably use less than one cup and plate a day since I rarely cook.  If I want to stay up late, I can do that.  ...and unfortunately I do all too often.  I must admit that I never close the door when I pee and rarely when I shower.  Who's gonna barge in?  I often burp without saying "excuse me",  cough without covering my mouth and fart without shame.  (Don't judge.)  I've been known to eat peanut butter straight out of the jar, milk out of the jug and chips straight out of the bag.  (You know you would if you could too.)  Yes, living alone is the epitome of freedom and the American Dream.

.....Right up until it's time to take out the garbage.  Apparently I have Filth Fatigue, a Bag Bug, a Garbage Goiter....Trash Trouble.  Oh, the symptoms have been cleared up before and all the trash taken to the curb (thanks to a visit from Dad), but, alas, I experience Refuse Relapse.  I gather it up it the house, take it to the cans on the side of the house during the week, but when Monday night rolls around and I know that I have to take those cans and bags to the curb, it's simply too much.  I tell myself it's dark and that I'll do it in the morning.  When the morning comes, do I take the trash down?  Maybe a bag or two that I gathered that night, but that leaves probably 3 or 4 bags by the side of house.  This happens. Every. Week.  (Don't worry, there's not 10 bags of garbage sitting at the side of my house right now.  Ewww)  So I need a man....just to take the garbage to the curb.

There's gotta be a service for that, right?

Monday, December 14, 2009

This kid's got talent!

This just goes to show that little kids really are sponges.  Hilarious!

It's a few minutes long, but totally worth it!

"Going out with my boots on!"

i ♥ faces "Pets Only" Photo Challenge

Over the last year or so I've encountered some amazing women bloggers and blogs that I have simply fallen in love with.  i ♥ faces is one of those.  This week I decided to participate in their photo challenge.

This is Loo (Little Orange One).  He started life at Troy's family farm a few years ago.  There is always a new batch of kitties running around there, it seems, but this one was different.  He wasn't related to any of the other litters.  He simply showed up one day and started following Troy's sister around as she did the chores.

He wasn't like other kitties.  The others were wild and wanted nothing to do with the humans, but he simply thrived on attention from us two-legged folk.  When I came to visit, I could barely get a leg out of the car before he was rubbing up against me.  He would simply appear out of nowhere offering his love and asking for yours in return.  I could sit on the porch step for hours simply petting him as he relaxed in my lap.

As the winter approached, I couldn't bare the thought of this sweet little kitty trying to fend for himself for food, warmth and safety.  The problem was that I already had 2 cats (and men run screaming from women with more than 2 cats), so I couldn't take him to my house.  Conveniently, my mom's birthday was coming up!  Perfect!

There was just one little glitch in my plan.  My mom was most definitely not a cat person.  Most of the time I think she simply tolerated mine when she came for a visit.  But not to fear!  Why let a little detail like that get in the way?

My plan was to simply bring Loo to her house and say, SURPRISE!  However....Troy thought perhaps I should at least mention my plan to her before simply springing a little creature on her.  Oh...all right.  That Troy's always so practical...(darn it!)  So I told her about Loo and assured her that if she decided in a few days that he was simply not something she wanted in her life, I would shuttle him back to the farm.  No hard feelings.

Perhaps it's his VERY cuddly disposition or perhaps it's because she again has someone who eagerly awaits her return home.  Whatever the reason, he quickly became a permanent part of my parents' house.  To this day, she still marvels at how she became a "cat person."

Go check out the other entries on i ♥ faces by clicking here:

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fabulous Friday Finds -

This Friday I'm totally doing a charity plug!  This is the time of year when those hideous lovely fruitcakes appear in the stores.  Their appeal is a mystery to me.  In fact, I think they are a mystery to most everyone.

So this year, let's regift that fruitcake (virtually)! is a charity site that has been set up this year.  Participants (including you, if you would like) choose the charity of their choice, decorate a fruitcake (virtually), select a goal amount they would like to raise (mine is $500 for the ASPCA) and finally take a wager.  For instance, if I reach my goal, I will volunteer for the Indianapolis ASPCA.  In addition, I'm going to give a package of (yet to be determined) goodies to 3 readers here.

For each item on the list that you complete, you will be entered once.

1)  Go to my personal site and make a donation of at least $5 to my ASPCA fruitcake.
2)  Become a Follower of my blog (or let me know if you are already one)
3)  Leave a comment here.

That's it!  It's quick, easy, painless and it will make your heart feel good this holiday season to know that a few helpless animals are being better cared for.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Things that are fun (when you are a kid)

Today the wind is blowing and the snow is starting to fall. The outside temperature is expected to feel like 8 degrees by 5 PM today. This brings to mind all those things winter things that seemed like great fun when you were a kid, but are definitely not so much fun as an adult.

* Snow days!

As a kid ---> Growing up in northern Indiana, these were always great fun. We would wake up early to listen for our school delay/closing on the radio (long before individual phone calls and text messages were sent out). This was always a trick since I went to a private school and just because all "Allen County Public Schools" were closed, that didn't mean we were included in that. When we had the day off, we would spend it bundled up in our warmest clothes and go sledding down at the park. We would go up and down that hill for HOURS! Then we would come back home, grab some hot chocolate and go back out. It was very fun. And even though it was probably really cold outside and I know our cheeks were very red when we came in, it didn't seem so cold.

As an adult ---> I'm not a teacher, so there is little to no chance that I will ever have a free day off because of snow. Even if we have snow, the policy is basically that you should be at work if you can get here. If you don't come to work, that's counted as a vacation day. There's no such thing as a free lunch, ya know! Somehow all that snow that was great for sledding is REALLY not so great for driving on. Or shoveling off of your driveway. And I have to disagree with global warming because now winters are REALLLLLYYY cold!

* Cookies! Candies! Sweets galore!

As a kid ---> The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is full of sweets and presents, plenty of food and lots of time to play.

As an adult ---> When you're an adult (and have been obese your whole life), the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is like a mine field. Every day there is a chance for you to nutritionally blow your foot off. Ugh. Working in an office makes it ten times worse. If there are usually treats in the company kitchen once a week on a regular basis, you can count on them being there 3 times a week during the holidays. It's best just to avoid the kitchen all together, I think.

* Gifts! Gifts! I {heart} Santa!

As a kid ---> What kid hasn't sat on Santa's lap wishing for a pony or a doll house or a model train. Christmas is all about the TOYS! I remember getting out the JCPenney catalog, turning to the toy section and drooling over all the pretty, shiny, plasticy toys. I dreamt they could all be mine. {sigh} And when you're a kid, that seems like it might actually happen. Even if that thought only lasts a moment.

As an adult ---> Perhaps I'm a Scrooge, but gift giving and getting has lost some of its appeal. Perhaps it's because I already feel overwhelmed by all of my possessions. Perhaps it's because finding that perfect gift for the one you love seems really difficult (given that you have a budget). Or unfortunately it's because all of those toys you want as an adult are a lot more expensive.

bah! Humbug!


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