Sunday, October 26, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

In our living room, at least! In our continuing efforts to be a bit more frugal, J and I decided to make our Christmas list and start shopping now so as to avoid a more expensive all-out shopping blast in December (our standard method, which throws budgets out the window). We kicked off the list today when the Toys R Us toy book came in our Sunday paper. After a quick trip to Harry's (it's Football Day, after all), I dropped J at work for a couple of hours and set out on our shopping challenge adventure. So now we have gifts for almost all of our nieces/nephews and all of our co-workers stacked in the living room (and I'm coming in under budget, too!).

In other news, I'm headed to Indy this week with twelve Girl Scouts to the Girl Scout Leadership Institute to attend workshops on healthy living and advocacy and to help open the 51st National Convention. Wish me luck on this adventure!

Title: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, by Johnny Mathis

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's a beautiful day...

...for many reasons, but among the reasons for today's greatness is that I spent the day with two minor celebrities (I know, you're jealous already). Toyota holds a conference in Lexington (and Louisville, but I'm not worried about that one) every year with the theme "in the interest of women". This year, the Girl Scouts were recognized for our Leadership Academy program that Toyota funds, and we were invited to set up a booth in the resource area. Seeing as one part of my job is to find former Girl Scouts, hanging out all day with 600 women was a no-brainer. The day also included addresses by Doris Roberts (Ray's mom on Everyone Loves Raymond) and journalist, and former Girl Scout, Lisa Ling (the under 30 set may remember her from Channel One; the older may know her from The View or National Geographic). Of course, we got Lisa to sign our copy of GS Leader Magazine and to pose for a picture with us! (Pardon the poor quality; I only had my cell phone.)

Also, a promised update--Thelma and Louise made it to Oklahoma and are having a good time. I think they have one more day at the school before heading to Branson.

Title: Beautiful Day, by U2

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel

Another Sunday, another chance to report on a great weekend adventure. This weekend was the fifth annual Turkey Kick/Beer Olympics, a chance for my college friends and I to get together and forget (and all too quickly remember) that we're too old to be drinking the way we used to. Unfortunately for me, I mis-read my calendar and scheduled a meeting for this afternoon that made the drive to Missouri and back impossible (well, possible, but I wouldn't have been a pretty sight, so best to ackowledge the improbability of it all). No worries though, J and I managed to survive a fairly boring weekend (see "Happy Thanksgiving" garland at left for proof of that. Oh, and about the garland--I only put it on the mantel to take the picture and show how it might look during the Thanksgiving holiday. I'm not starting to celebrate Hallothankmas Eve or anything.

So where is the promised 'great adventure weekend' then? Ah, for that we go to my mom. Mom and a friend signed up for a bus trip to Oklahoma this week to visit one of the DAR schools. They set off this morning from western KY toward the I-64 interchange north of Evansville to meet the bus and were about 30 minutes out when they learned that, through another scheduling mishap, there was no bus. Not ones to balk at inconvenience (these ladies are descended from American Revolutionists, after all), the tour group decided to perservere and road trip to Oklahoma. As I write this, the ladies are about an hour from Joplin, MO, their stopping point for the night, and about 400 miles from home. They have visited Lamberts, Home of the Thrown Rolls in Sikeston, MO (didn't go in, as the line was too long), passed countless fields of corn and cotton, and have seen two buggies of Amish families (did I mention they decided to take US 60, a four- and sometimes two-laned road across Missouri?). I encouraged them to take pictures and keep me posted; expect updates!

One last note--many of you were lucky enough in the last several years to meet Miss Molly, the 2008 NSDAR Junior Doll. Miss Molly brought in $7,000 for the DAR schools this year, and we were lucky enough to have a Kentucky Daughter win her in the drawing. J and I delivered Miss Molly and all of her accessories, including her trunk, a miniature replica of Duncan Tavern, to her new home (the full size Duncan Tavern Historic Center and Museum) on Saturday. The room where she has been placed will be turned into a child's room this winter, but I thought I'd post a picture of her as it looks now. (Miss Molly is in the chair on the right.)
Title: Roadhouse Blues, by the Doors

Friday, October 17, 2008

Who are you?

When posting comments, there are several options to pick from when identifying yourself. One of these options is "anonymous" which is a great option to pick from if you are not a regular reader or are playing a silly game with us (always an option--we like games). Signing your comment "anonymous" is not the best option, however, when you ask questions that you really want a response to. Case in point--our curious corn commenter. J and I thought we knew who asked the questions about the corn maze and were all prepared to send him the answer. Until we found out we were wrong. So now we've got the answer (not a great answer, but an answer just the same) and no one to tell.

So, if you've been considering leaving a comment, here is Lesson Two--Choosing Your Identity--

Note: If you need remedial help, please see Lesson One in "I don't want to work..." below.

After clicking on the comment button and typing your post, you'll see four push buttons listed under the heading "Choose an identity". If you aren't an avid blogger (and let's face it, you wouldn't be reading my lessons on how to comment if you were an avid blogger) you can skip the first two choices. The third choice is "Name/URL". Click that button and two boxes show up. The first is for your name (first name is fine--really, we aren't picky) and the second is for a URL (which is completely optional and fine to leave blank). So type in your name and click the button labeled "Publish Your Comment". It's that easy. Well, I think it's easy. I've been wrong before.

Anyhow, Class dismissed!

Title: Who are you? by The Who

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'm dreaming of the great pumpkin...

Yes, the title is a stretch, so I'll address that first. It seems there aren't many halloween songs, so I'd like to save the few decent ones out there until closer to the actual holiday. This one, as I'm sure you've guessed, is sung to the tune of "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas", with many apologies to Mr. Crosby.

That said, check out our latest decorations for fall! The mums I purchased for early fall dcor have finally given out (I'm sure it had nothing to do with being neglected for the first two months we had them...), so they were moved to the back porch in exchange for this "great" pumpkin from the pumpkin patch we visited yesterday. Also added are a new wreath, with Indian corn, a shock of dried corn stalks and mini-pumpkins.

I dug out my other fall/halloween decor from years past, as well, and added leaves and scarecrows to the rest of my decorations, too. Enjoy the pictures!

Title: "I'm dreaming of the great pumpkin", by someone with more time on their hands than I have to turn Christmas Carols into Halloween Howls.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cel-e-brate Good Times!

We've got so much to celebrate today that I just had to share! First, we're celebrating our first official blog comment--W00t! Congrats and thanks to J's sister Samantha for being our first commenter. A special prize will be in the mail this week! Also, Honorable Mention to JE's mom for trying to be our first commenter! Keep those comments coming--you never know when we're going to decide to reward a comment with goodies!

As for the rest of the celebrating--

Regular readers will remember that I posted last month about how Autumn is my favorite season. Well, it is also J's favorite season (though I think football and the approaching basketball season might have more to do with that than, say, the beautiful weather and great decorating opportunities...), so he's usually willing to play along when I feel the call to celebrate the season. Today's adventure took us to a local pumpkin farm and corn maze. We had a great time and sucessfully completed both mazes (seriously, follow the link to check out the maze--it's really impressive) in close to record time (much faster than the families with young children we buzzed right by and the group of college students who couldn't find the right path even when we showed them) and still had time for JE to scale a straw pyramid (no children were harmed in her ascent, either). Check back tomorrow to see pics of the fall accecssories we picked up for the front porch!

After conquering the corn maze, we headed over to the Athens Antiques Show. Like the antique show where we found our mantel last month, this one only comes around once a month. The Athens show is in the old Athens Elementary School and there are different folks set up in the old classrooms, gymnasium, library, hallways, etc. J and I found a couple of cool cabinets that transform into dining tables, and plan to check out their credentials before the next show. We also found several fireplace screens (my great plan for hiding the fact that we don't actually have a fireplace) and neat vintage textiles (I'll write more about why I care about vintage textiles another time!) Many thanks to JE's mom and dad for the antiques book--it is already serving its purpose!

I hope you are all having a great weekend! We will be celebrating another successful week on the $100 Challenge at Harry's tomorrow afternoon!

Title: Celebration, by Kool and the Gang

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I don't want to work, I just want to bang on the drums all day

Well, not the drums exactly, but I realized in the last couple of weeks that when I'm really busy with work, the number of hilarious things to share (and the time to share them) decreases way too much! Just think how great this blog would be if I didn't have to work...of course, there would be less money to finance the hilarity...and J might not like that...

That said, the big dinner was last night, and despite how wrong it all could have gone (and almost did many times in the last week), I totally loved it. Changing jobs was a good decision, and I am so grateful to my new supervisor and our CEO for giving me the opportunity. This afternoon, we drove out to the Horse Park to tour the facility in preparation for a 5K I'll be putting together this spring. The construction work going on out there is amazing, and further cemented the thought that J and I should plan our escape during the Equestrian Games!

I'm off to sleep; stay tuned for the return of some cool adventures!

Oh, P.S. A few of you have mentioned that you'd like to comment but can't figure out how. Now, we're flattered that you've come up with such a great excuse as to your lack of commenting and J thinks you're just making that up, but gullible me thought that it wouldn't hurt to offer a quick tutorial. So, keep reading after the song title. There is a light grey line of text that tells you who posted this item (in this case, and most cases, it says "Posted by JE Melton"). Keep reading across the line to where it says "0 Comments". Now, that "0 Comments" part is a hyperlink, and you can click on it. When you do, a new screen opens and you can write whatever you'd like in the box on the right hand side of the screen (Really, whatever you want. I've got moderating capabilities. :)). So now you know how to comment. We'll be waiting for your next excuse.

Title: I Don't Want to Work, by Todd Rundgren

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I will survive!

I kind of dropped out of the blogosphere for a bit there; I stepped out of recruitment in my old job and straight into a big event that wasn't quite ready to happen in my new job. As a result, last week more than wiped me out, and the last thing I wanted to do was think about the house when I got home. But, the dinner is Tuesday night, and I only have to make it through two more days! The excitement at pulling this off even got me motivated to be a bit domestic tonight (see the Halloween decorations on our mantel). Have a great week!

Title: I Will Survive, by Gloria Gaynor

Money, Money, Money, Money

With the economic downturn and crazy gas prices hitting us harder than we'd like, J and I put ourselves on a bit of a budget last week. Though we've tried and failed at traditional budgeting in the past, this time we hit upon a plan that would guarantee success--we made it a challenge! Those of you who know us well know that there's nothing my husband won't compete for, and I was game on this one, too. Introducing, the $100 Challenge. We each got $100 to spend on meals out, gas, and other incidentals for one week. As an added incentive, if we saved $50 between us, we could spend Sunday afternoon at Harry's watching football (our favorite Fall pasttime). Well, week one went incredibly well, and we had a great time watching the Colts come back to beat Texans while enjoying our regular nachos and sushi! Wish us luck--the more we save, the sooner we build that fence in the backyard--Zeppelin will thank you!

Title: For the Love of Money, by the Ojays (a.k.a. the theme song to The Apprentice)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

If I only had a brain . . .(it would probably hurt)

Today I had my first ever migrane headache. As I posted on my Facebook status, some firsts are not to be celebrated. The headache part was bad enough, but the nausea was the kicker. It was so bad, I thought my name was Roquentin, until I realized I didn't have crippling existential angst. . . well, at least today.

The point of this is, I came home and my wonderful wife of one year and two days, allowed me to curl up in bed, put a pillow over my head and ignore the world for a bit. She took the ball and ran with it, getting dinner together, etc., all after having a hum-dinger of a day at work herself. In short, she was quite the teammate today, doing my part and hers.

So, no funny story from me today. Just a small story of how the joys of life hide in the little bits of everyday. And today, JE's small gestures in the small story of my headache revealed the greater joy that she is in my life.