Saturday, November 24, 2007

Lazy Saturday

It's a lazy Saturday afternoon-early evening here, following another dusting of snow in the morning and one more afternoon of cozy football watching.

We just finished listening to the Bearcats stomp West Texas A&M, and now we're waiting to hear word on which team we'll face (either Chadron State or Abilene Christian, who are now in overtime and tied at 56-all). The difference? If Abilene pulls off an upset, then we'll have another home game here. If not, then next week finds the 'Cats on the road to Chadron, NE.

If we do play here, then we'll try to get tickets.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

It's Black Friday in Maryville. We didn't get up with the roosters (to be honest, the stores were open before they crowed), but we were able to get in this morning and get our Christmas shopping to the 99% point. We have one more item left to get, and we're not saying what it is or who it's for. They'll just have to guess ;-). I finished the Christmas card send-off list, so those are all primed to go early in December (thanks to Blue Mountain), so those should hit your e-mail inbox sometime soon.

So now we're home. The iPod is hooked up to the stereo, and we're listening to the Chieftains "Bells of Dublin". We might start on interior Christmas decorations ... at least, those we can get to without causing the contractors any problems.

The soup from yesterday has turned out gorgeous; we'll be dining on that for lunch here shortly. Whoops ... strike that, Woodgie has already turned out a bowl, which means I'll have to get one for myself shortly.

Life is good.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Change of Plans

Well, rather than head up to Des Moines for the holiday, we took one look at the road conditions for this morning and decided to spend Thanksgiving at home this year. It also didn't help that Woodgie was starting to develop a cold, so traveling would have been a bit miserable for her. We're still hoping to head up the 2nd week of December for a couple of holiday-themed events, but for now, we're at home, safe and snug.

It's been pretty good so far; we hadn't planned on being here for Thanksgiving dinner, so we cleaned off the inch and a half of snow we got yesterday off the car and headed down to the local Hy-Vee for their Thanksgiving buffet. We followed that up with enough grocery shopping to get us through the weekend. So now, we're home napping and resting while the mirapoix base for scratch chicken noodle soup gently cooks down in the crock-pot. After this, I'll likely get the Christmas e-card list cleaned up and ready to go, and will be calling around to the family later this afternoon.

And with that, we hope that everyone reading this has a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Working From Home ...

Today's been interesting for a few reasons:

1. Dialing in for work - which was a good thing, given we got an unexpected dose of sleet turning to light snow for the rest of today. And with Woodgie home (classes were out as of Tuesday evening), it's been a good day to enjoy being home (and not deal with the commute).

2. Starting to put up Christmas decorations ... just the wire tree. We'll get the rest up sometime this weekend.

3. Making sure we had a place to eat at tomorrow for Thanksgiving. We'll likely be eating at the local Cracker Barrel.

It's beginning to look a lot like ...


I couldn't resist snapping this piece of local color with my Treo yesterday:

When I showed it to the gentlemen hanging the greenery, the man in the orange commented, "Usually, people don't think we're all that photogenic."
I beg to differ.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Still More Pictures ...

Here's some more pictures from Friday, some of which show the damage to our neighbors' house. These I'm posting only so Lauren can pull them and e-mail them to the contractor ... for some reason, file attachments on both of my e-mail accounts seem to not be working right now.

Friday, November 16, 2007

You're Not Going to Believe This ...

We woke up at 4:30 this morning to a couple of loud crashes, and the house shook like it had been hit by something. Unfortunately, it was too early for Santa to arrive, and the New Madrid fault isn't due to go for another 43 years yet.

As it turns out, we were visited by a drunk driver, who had veered off Edwards (our side street), somehow missed Lauren's car parked in front of our garage, drove through our back yard taking out the trellis and bench in the moon garden, and then drove through a section of the neighbor's adjoining privacy fence. Once in the neighbor's back yard, she turned right yet again and then hit the back corner of the neighbor's house, causing a foundation crack, and then knocked their central air conditioning unit off its concrete pad.

Unfortunately, she wasn't done ... in trying to escape, she broke through the neighbor's front fence, turned right again, and then plowed into a corner of our house. After checking to see what was damaged inside (not much, apart from one oil lamp broken, one picture frame with calligraphic character broken, one wooden lacquered wall panel art sitting on the floor, and a 1-foot crack in the sheet rock directly opposite the corner where she hit), things were mainly fine.

Meanwhile, Lauren went outside and retrieved the driver, who was by now hysterical and distraught but uninjured ... five minutes later, the police showed up.

"Hey, what's this car doing here?"

"See the fence in the pictures? Neither do we."

The driver, who shall remain nameless (at least, until the police blotter comes out in tomorrow's paper), was given her sobriety tests and, as far as we know, was taken away for a BAC check. We don't know what else has happened to her, but we suspect she is probably in a world of trouble, both legally and financially, both with law enforcement and her insurer.

We have a visit from a contractor tomorrow morning to do the claims estimate, since we now have a 1-foot by 1-inch width interior crack right near where her car hit, plus some clapboard damage on the outside. We don't know yet about damage underneath the clapboard yet ... the contractor will do the initial adjusting and let us know what the damage will be. For us, it will be about $500 out of pocket deductible (which we'll recover, eventually, when State Farm subrogates the claim with the driver's insurer. We hope that State Farm has its usual good record with turning around claims quickly.)

We're thinking, given what happened today and what happened to us last year around this time that next year, we need to go somewhere else on vacation. Someplace private ... and far, far away from bad drivers.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Where Did the Year Go???

It's mid-November, and it seems like the year has gone by in a rush because of so much that has happened: marriage, honeymoon, new jobs (for me, anyway), and the oncoming holiday season (no, wait, it's already here, according to the retailers) ... where did the year go??? It seemed like last year dragged a bit, but that was because I was between jobs and had more time to stop and smell the roses (in between the job applications, that is). Now, it's different .... with the new job, I'm commuting an hour 45 there and back every day, and I'm usually getting home by 7, which gives me some time in the evenings, but not much (which means less updates to the blog).

At least the holidays are coming up, with the days off that follow.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Cognative Dissonance

Yesterday at the local Wal-Mart, Lauren and I were looking at the half-off sale on clearance Halloween items, when the usual ads and music blaring in the background changed suddenly:

Me: "Am I hearing what I think I'm hearing?"

Lauren: "What?"

Me: "Christmas music."

We had already seen the "Christmas section" set-up for the last two weeks where lawn and garden had been, but yesterday was very disconcerting: we'd arrived just in time for Wal-Mart's not-so-subtle move-up of its annual "Black Friday" sale, and the Christmas music was playing over the intercom while we were looking at Halloween costumes on clearance. It's like Thanksgiving had been skipped over entirely.

Maybe it's just me, but is anyone else struck by the "wrongness" of this? It may not come fast enough for you, but isn't it just rushing things a bit to have the decorations up 5 weeks before Thanksgiving and then starting the Christmas rush sale 3 weeks before the normal start day?

Just curious.