Monday, May 28, 2007

How I've spent my summer vacation...

... or just my Memorial vacation so far.

Chris and I packed up the car early Saturday morning and headed to visit our friends and help with their kitchen renovations. We got a lot of demo done and a start on the cabinets. I'm sure it will look great when its finished. Ayla had a blast playing with their dog and their 2-year-old son too.

Sunday afternoon we headed back home. Driving through Gilroy, the garlic capital, was mouth-watering. I guess all the garlic had been heating up in the sun and I could virtually taste the garlic bread in my mouth. Heavenly! Once we got home Gretel gave us a stern talking too for leaving her on her own for 36 hours. Sorry kitty, it won't happen again! She was appeased with food, per usual.

Today has been chores and relaxing. Chris had to buy a new router for our internet connection. On his way he dropped me off at the local Art & Wine Festival where I wandered around a bit. I saw the requisite tie-dye baby jumpers, jewelry made from antique spoons, and photographs of Mediterranean villas.

We just had a tasty dinner of ribs, grilled marinated portobella mushroom, macaroni salad, and corn on the cob. Its funny, my parents and grandparents are having ribs and corn tonight too. In honor of Liz's cooking ability and Memorial Day, here's my recipe for my special

Jack Daniel's BBQ Sauce:1 c. ktechup
1/4 c. Jack Daniel's whiskey
1/4 c. molasses
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1 Tb. lemon juice
1 Tb. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tb. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.

I like to add more garlic since we love garlic. And I've been adding Frank's Red Hot Sauce lately after the sauce is finished to up the heat. I love this BBQ sauce. I haven't used store-bought in years. Its great served over beef ribs cooked with a dry rub. I am looking forward to topping this all off with lemon meringue pie later tonight!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Ayla Swimming

This is what Ayla will be doing this afternoon. Have a great Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I Don't Get It

Warning: talk about restrooms and the items therein follows...

As I've mentioned before, I work in a trailer. In my trailer is a conference room, offices, a common area, and two restrooms. These restrooms are not gender-specified (i.e., no separate "mens'" and "womens'"), despite the fact that there is a urinal and toilet in one and only a toilet in the other.

Why, oh why, would any of the men want to go in the room without the urinal where they have to lift the seat to proceed with business? Its not that I have a problem with seats being left up, but we could all avoid having to touch it in the first place, especially since our janitorial services seem to be few and far between. So why not use the urinal instead? Its not that often that both rooms are in use. Yes, I realize we all wash our hands in the restroom (I hope!), but I still don't want to touch the toilet seat if I don't have to. Please stop making me!

End rant.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Pets, a.k.a. Money Pits

Last weekend was vetting weekend for me and my poor animals. Lately my kitty Gretel has been pulling the fur off of her belly, and started doing the same to her back feet and just below the tip of her tail. She's looking a bit... mangled. I've tried flea meds in case it was fleas or mites, changing her food in case it was an allergy, still working on getting the dog to stop chasing her if its stress. Well, the other morning she was standing in the windowsill above my bed and I saw a big lump hanging from her belly. Vet time!

I took Gretel to the Banfield pet hospital at our local Petsmart and I must say I am quite happy with their service! The tech looked her over and then the vet came in. The consensus: fat. Yup, my little chunker is just overweight and the lump that I feared was a mammary tumor is just fat padding, all the more noticeable since she's made herself nekkid. And the nekkid part? Psychogenic (i.e., we don't know, probably not medical. Here, give your kitty some anxiety pills.).

We left the vet with antibiotics for the little lesions she's caused, amitriptyline for her anxiety, and a prescription to use flea meds again and lose about a pound and a half. The antibiotics are in liquid form and I give them with a dropper by grabbing Gretel's head, shoving it in her mouth, and squeezing while she makes awful "ack ack ack" noises. But I follow that up with a special little blue pill in a salmony-stinky treat that zonks her out for a while. I don't really like that, but I'll use the course and see what happens.

The next day I took Ayla in for her vaccinations. Poor girl had drops put in her nose (kennel cough), blood drawn from the front of her neck (heartworm test), three shots in the side of her neck (giardia, distemper/parvo, and corona virus), and a shot in her rear flank (rabies). Yeah, she's gonna enjoy going back there again. But she got to see her trainer, one of her most favoritest people in the world, and pick out a treat at the store. Spoiled much?

Sigh... the things I do for my pets. And then the cat just yells at me 'cause I don't feed her enough (you're on a diet, fatso) and the dog complains that I'm not giving her my undivided attention at all times. Brats. :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


The rest of my cabinets came in last Friday. YIPEEE!!!!

Chris put them together that night, and we installed them on Saturday. And the funny thing is, they called the next morning saying they had one more box for us. Now we had already received everything we were supposed to get, but it turns out it was an extra pack of doors that just so happened to replace one that had some minor cosmetic damage. I have a complete kitchen again! After two months of dealing with the very helpful people at Home Depot (yeah, right), when it was supposed to be two weeks, I am done. If only the mere mention of the words "Home Depot" didn't induce rage in me now...

But, the renovations aren't complete for me:

My work office, while having million-dollar views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Area, is in a trailer behind the main building. When they installed the trailer a decade or so ago, they didn't hook up AC. The poor schlubs who worked there tried to get ventilation (it can get wicked hot in there) by cutting holes in the floors and installing grates. That didn't work so well; no better ventilation and lots of fun critters. A few years later they hooked up AC from the main building and things are better, though the heat only seems to work in the summer and the AC only in the winter. Anywho, we're finally doing a major renovation of the trailer with new paint (my office was smoker-yellow before), new carpet, fixed thermostats, network in the walls rather than falling from the dilapidated ceiling panels, no more holes in the floors, etc. In the meantime I've been working some in another office, an occasional cubicle, a little bit at home... it will be nice to get back in my own office, hopefully next week.

And Chris and I are going to help our good friends (better be good friends for this!) install their new kitchen cabinets next weekend. But they live near the beach, Ayla loves their dog Mischa, and they've got the most adorable 2-year-old son to play with, so it will be a good time. Oh yeah, we'll get to see our friends too, almost forgot. :)

Here's to home improvements!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Ayla and I are visiting my parents in lovely Dayton, NV, this weekend. That means beer and mom's homemade Mexican food! Here's Ayla enjoying some, though she's watching her girlish figure so she opted for the Corona Light. :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Renovations and Ranting

Chris and I have been working our tails off doing a lot of home improvement projects. We've done baseboards and door moldings, lots of painting, new vanity, counter, and toilet in the bathroom, and we've been working on the kitchen.

A couple months after we bought our condo at the end of 2005 we took our first pass at the kitchen. It had awful cabinets, we had no money, so we opted to paint them white. It took at least two weeks! And it was incredibly hard to do, much more difficult than you would think painting cabinets could be. But the end result was good enough for our attempt at slapping a bandaid on the whole situation.

Well, March 15th of this year we ordered new cabinets for the kitchen through Home Depot. It is now May 2nd, and we still haven't gotten all of them. We got a little more than half the order in three weeks after we placed it (1 week overdue already). But their special order people didn't even check that it was all there, a fact we discovered while taking inventory and loading the boxes of unassembled cabinets and doors into our cars. After a week of going to Home Depot daily -- "You know, you can call us instead of coming in" "Yeah, but no one answers the phone" -- they finally reordered the items and some that arrived damaged. Undetered, we went ahead with ripping out the current stuff and installing what we had. Three weeks later (and again, a week overdue) we got a couple more cabinets. Its been a couple weeks again and the last remaining items haven't come in. They'll tell me they're arriving that day, then that they were backordered. The latest is that the rest of the order will come in on May 7th (a Sunday?!).

Le sigh. I really don't like Home Depot. I just wish the Lowe's wasn't 30-45 minutes away. However, the new stuff does look lovely.