July 31, 2010

achy jake

The good news is that I was able to scratch two items off of my list yesterday. I Mulched the new bushes that we planted a few months ago, as well as the row of bushes by the "dog area" and around the rose that a friend gave us as an anniversary gift. I also managed to head out to Chesterland with Cody last night to pick up our friends truck. Oh, and I almost forgot! I picked up my niece's birthday present, too.

So all that weeding that needed to be done didn't get done. That laundry basket full of clothes that needs to be put away is still balance precariously on the knee wall at the top of the stairs. My office? Still a complete and utter mess.

I, in my infinite wisdom, decided that yesterday would be the *perfect* time to tackle another project that has been on my "want to" list for quite some time. I completely rehabbed the "island" flower bed in the middle of the back yard. My crazy ass dug out every plant (except for a 98% dead Japanese maple), turned the soil, and replanted (almost)everything.

I. Am. Sore.

While not 100% what I would want, I think it turned out halfway decent. I have issues with some of the plants that we have (mostly due to the frequency of thinning needed, which is what spurred this project), but as they are some of Cody's favorites, I used quite a bit of them in the re-planting. It looks a little odd, especially since the majority of the plants are done blooming. So, just like years past, I will eagerly be awaiting spring so I can see how nature takes what I have done and adds it's own spice.

I now have three buckets full of extra gladiolas and two buckets full of coreopsis to rid myself of. I did reuse the coreopsis in a couple of areas, but since it spreads like mad, I didn't need to use much. The gladiolas were pretty much the main reason I dug the bed out. They were so thick that when I replanted them, I used less than a quarter of what I had, and that's actually more than I personally would have liked, but as this is another of Cody's beds that I have taken over, I have to respect his preferences in the plants I use.

All that shoveling, digging, kneeling, stooping, stretching, hoeing, raking, re-digging, planting and stooping some more has had a seriously negative effect on my body. Not only am I not used to that kind of work for that duration of time, but I am SO out of shape. I keep *intending* to work out with my Tai Chi DVD on a regular basis, but haven't followed through on that. I also have a couple of youtube videos bookmarked on my computer for doing some relatively simple at-home workouts. So far the most energy I've spent on those is moving the mouse to "Add Bookmark".

Luckily, today will involve a lot of sitting and not too much physical exertion. Unfortunately, that also means more time for my muscles to tighten up even more. So I'll definitely be trying to stretch a bit throughout the day.

This morning we'll be heading to downtown Cleveland for "Open Air in Market Square" to man the first shift at our church's informational booth. We're then headed off to Fremont to see my family. We'll go to Josh's first to pick up a truckload of sandstone pavers that he has been saving for us (hence borrowing our friends pickup truck). Then we'll be off to mom & dad's to celebrate my birthday and my niece's birthday. We're doing it a bit early this year, since between our schedule and mom & dad's schedule, it had to be either this weekend or not until the end of August.

I'm kind of excited. I usually don't care too much about birthday's (except the years that a true realization of my age sneaks up behind me), but this will be the first time that I'll be able to celebrate my birthday with my family including Cody by my side. It's also the first time that Cody will be with both mom & dad and Josh's family at the same time. My nieces are enamored with him, so hopefully mom and dad have gotten comfortable enough with all of this that their reaction to seeing him won't be an issue.

I'm not too concerned since we'll be going to Josh's first and they'll be able to get most of the screaming out of their system. Not to mention that when we're at Mimi and Papa's, the girls pretty much want to play on the computer or the X-box.

Speaking of the girls, I still have to wrap those presents before we leave, and I'm not even close to having everything else ready to go. I think that means I need to stop typing and get my sore ass off this couch.

...and yes, by the way, I do intend to get some pictures up soon. For those who just can't wait, head to my Flickr page...

July 30, 2010

free at last

Well it only took 5 days of busting my hump, but I finally managed a day off from my days off!!! I've been pretty busy since Saturday, and while I haven't managed to check off a whole lot of items on my "To do" list for this vacation, I have accomplished a lot of things on my long-term goal list.

My vacation ramped up into high gear first thing on Friday night. Cody and I had the pleasure of attending a local independent theater's production of "Rent: School Edition". The cast was comprised of teenagers, and their were a few minor tweaks to content and language, but for all intents and purposes, it was the same show I've come to know and love.

The only drawback (other than some sound issues that I hope were corrected after opening night) was the heat! The theater company rents a space on the third floor of an old brick building (part of a church complex), which means no A/C. Those of you who know me know that I don't like air conditioning all that much, but Friday was certainly an exception.

We were sweating our asses off, and I felt so bad for the actors, as the play is set mostly in winter in NYC, so their wardrobe consisted of winter clothes - including coats and scarves! Not to mention the musicians and techs were sitting up near the ceiling... Those poor people were soaking in their own sweat all night!

Saturday went well. I mentioned in my previous post that I was working on a big surprise project and was planning to attend a birthday celebration. I got the necessary work done on the choir project in order to hand out music and have mp3s to play for practice on Sunday, thankfully.

The birthday celebration was a hoot. Great food, awesome friends, and learning a lot about the people I've grown to love as well as a few exciting bits of our denomination's history.

Sunday was started with church and choir practice, and by the time I got home, I was whooped. I had stayed up later than usual to finish up choir music, and unfortunately woke up way too early without being able to fall back asleep. I think that I was in the house, stripped to my skivvies, and in bed asleep within 10 minutes of pulling in the driveway.

My nap lasted a bit longer than I had intended, but I felt so much better when I woke up. Of course I had to hit the ground running and get some shopping done that afternoon. By the time I got back home from running errands and had dinner, the day was pretty well over.

We had a bit of a false start getting out of the house on Monday morning, but we eventually made it to the zoo sometime around 11am. A friend of ours met us there, and overall we had a pretty good time. Unfortunately, I was going on day three of a mid-grade headache, which made the day difficult at times, but I was determined not to let it ruin the day for Cody and Rick.

After the zoo, we went to Edgewater Park and walked the beach for a while. Talk about nasty. Our lake is filthy, people. We seriously need to work on that. And for all the exposes on the news about that park being a gay cruising area, the only questionable behavior we saw involved a man and a woman. Luckily what we saw was far enough away from any children, as the beach wasn't too heavily populated on this particular evening. While this "gentleman" may have enjoyed being serviced with a view of the waves rolling on shore, I was a little put off by the fact that they didn't bother to go behind anything. They were tucked back into the tree line, but there was nothing to block the dead-on view. Options for freaking them out were discussed amongst the three of us, but we decided to play it safe and not approach or say anything.

We then moved on to a restaurant in the area that is quite popular, and therefore had to wait over an hour and a half for a table. Talk about frustrating. It was after 9pm by the time we got our food. We won't be going back there that late anytime soon! The food was really good, but I don't know that it's so good I'd be willing to wait that long to go back.

Tuesday was just freakin' awesome. We went to visit Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, and even though it took a lot out of both Cody and I physically, it was well worth it. It is quite a beautiful place to visit!!!

Wednesday was a bit odd. I managed to get a little work done around the house before we headed off to have lunch with our Pastor. After lunch, I shut myself in the Pastor's conference room and sorted through a file drawer of old choir music. After having gotten about as far as I wanted for the day, I was ready to go, but Cody and one of the other guys had started a big labor-intensive project, and they wanted to get a bit further before calling it a day, so I was "stuck" there for a while.

I had been planning for a couple of months to try and make time to sort through several boxes of old music that were stored up in the seldom-used gym balcony. Since I was going to have to wait around for who knows how long, I decided to dive into that. Suffice it to say that the project ended up being a bit more involved than I thought, and I spent several hours working on it again yesterday.

I had to run out and pick a few things up before heading to the church to work, and while I was out I finally got the Starbuck's I have been craving since the beginning of my vacation.

By the time I got home and let the dogs out and mowed the lawn, I had just enough time to have a few PB&J sandwiches and then head right back out the door. Cody and I were at the foodbank last night for a couple of hours sorting through food with our couples group. We were both so exhausted when we got home that even though we wanted to sit and watch a movie together, we were having trouble staying awake and decided to hit the sack.

Which brings us to today! I kind of want to head back over to the church so that I can try to finish the project I started, but Cody and I have decided we need a day to be home before this vacation is over. Granted, I've got a lot of house and yard work to get done, but at least I'll be at home.

Other than heading out to pick up a friend's truck later this evening, we have no need or desire to leave our property today. I'm hoping to be able to get some tangible work done around here, but I also want to be able to relax a bit too. I guess we'll hust have to wait and see...

July 24, 2010

already sweating at 7am

...but don't get me wrong. I'd much rather be sweating than shivering any day! A lot of times, in mid-winter when I complain about the cold/snow, people will say, "You'll be wishing it was this cold/snowy in July when it's 90 degrees out!"

To them I say, "Pi-shah. I have no desire to get back to winter, or ever spring for that matter."

Besides all that, I'm off work until next Monday, so it's definitely all good. This week is our summer shut-down at work, and I'm loving the fact that I don't have to go in for a week! I could potentially be busier over the next 9 days than if I were at work, but when I'm busy doing things on my own list versus "working", it's SO much better.

I've got a lot to get done today, and I hope I can accomplish it! I have the pleasure of being able to attend a birthday open house for a dear friend this afternoon, and I'm really looking forward to it. The only problem is that the other REALLY BIG item on my "To Do" list for today absolutely must be at least 99% complete by bedtime! Since I don't know for sure how long I will be gone today, I have no idea how much time I'll have to work on this project tonight. Which means I've got to bust my butt this morning to knock out as much as possible.

It's a project for the choir at church, and while I'm excited about all of it, there is an aspect of surprise surrounding one of the items on the agenda that has me quite geeked! I'll not mention it here, for fear of the possibility of anything being given away to the wrong person(s).

All that being said, I really need to get off the laptop and get my ass upstairs to the sweat lodge I call my office. I'll have to make a quick detour for a towel though, because I'm quite sure that I'll be needing it!