Tuesday, November 29, 2005

It isn't exactly my 100 things but it's a start

I stole this from Herb...it's kind of fun on a cold grey day.

First Best Friend: Steven Ellsworth
First Screen Name: Daria…I don’t even know how I came up with that name!
First Pet: I had a turtle named Norman
First Piercing: I got my ears pierced when I was 13 at the Merle Norman store downtown. I got sick to my stomach every time I tried to change the earrings, tho, so I let them grow back. I got them pierced AGAIN as a brave 16 yr old.
First Crush: Ricky Quackenbush. He was a hottie in kindergarden. The name may have been a challenge...WalkTrotCanterQuackenbush...
First CD: I am not sure when the albums/tapes morphed into CD’s…probably something U2.
First Car: 1987 Dodge ColtFirst Stuffed animal: I had this huge stuffed turtle (probably because of Norman) and we kids would often swing him around by his neck and hit each other.
First Kiss: Jamie Broadhurst…it was after a dance in high school. I believe Jamie now lives with another guy in San Francisco.
First Failing Grade: 10th grade geometry. I got a D and nearly had to go into therapy.

Last Beverage: Diet Coke/VO last evening
Last Movie Seen: Dreamer
Last Phone Call: A guy asking for a quote
Last Cd Played: LeeAnn Rimes. H had it on in the car and I didn’t know he had taken my CD out so I turned up the volume to “How Do I Live Without You”. Uggh.
Last time you Cried: Last week on the way home from the barn. A woman there just bought a grand prix horse for $26K and I was feeling quite jealous.
Last thing you ate: A strawberry/banana yogurt.
Last bad thing you did: Yelled at H about how he arranged the garage so I can’t back out my car. He was crushed because he thought he had done a great job.

Have you ever dated one of your best friends: yes
Have you ever been arrested: no
Have you ever skinny dipped: yes…thank heavens there wasn’t much of an audience!
Have you ever been on tv: Yes
Have you ever kissed someone: Ummmmmm…yes.
Have you ever cheated: in a relationship? Yes…I had been dating my college boyfriend for 3 years and met H on a semester abroad program. I came home engaged to H and had to tell my boyfriend. Bad scene.
Have you ever been in love: Yes
Have you ever been in a car accident: Yes, right after I got my license!

1. A favorite J Jill sweater
2. My obnoxious red Ariat boots
3.Eddie Bauer jeans
4. Gold hoop earrings
5. A bracelet I got from H
6. A white t-shirt
7. A padded bra. I am such a cheater.

1. Drank 2 cups of coffee
2. Took a shower
3. Read the paper
4. Emailed my friend
5. Changed the CD in my car
6. Surfed the internet

1. my friend Chrissy
2. my husband
3. my best guy friend
4. Geoff

1. Black or White: Black.
2. Hot or Cold: Cold.
3. Chocolate or Vanilla: Chocolate

1. Own a horse. Duh.
2. Stop worrying about my weight.

I wish I would have taken my time after college to figure out what I wanted to do. All of the sudden I had a job and responsibilities and a husband!

We gobbled and gobbled...

...and the turkey is all gone! The long Thanksgiving weekend didn’t seem so long. In fact, it seemed to speed by quite fast as most long weekends have a habit of doing.

Our dinner was a rousing success. We ate in the dining room in the lovely ambiance of picture-less Weaver’s Cloth colored walls. (Martha, where are you??) Luckily H had installed a dimmer switch so with the help of candles, it merely looked like a cozy intimate setting as opposed to a very plain, undecorated room. As if on cue, my parents popped over (“We’ll be out of there in a jiffy so you can prepare your meal!”) and stayed for several hours even as I was putting the final touches on some snacks for our dining guests. My dad helped his hungry self as I was slicing and arranging so by the time the guests arrived, the snacks looked a bit snacked-on but that’s ok. It’s the holidays after all. My NASCAR brother was also home and arrived in a blaze of race-season-ending glory. He is in the process of taking a job with another race team so he was full of stories and name-dropping (“yeah, the other night at dinner with Paul Newman…” etc.) Hard to believe I used to change that kid’s diapers.

Friday was interesting. I went to a horse auction in Shipshewana Indiana. Shipshewana is known for its Amish population so usually there are lots of horses and buggies around. I guess the auction is where many of the Amish buy their horses because the place was packed. A friend I was with decided she was going to pick up an Amish guy so she could get a ride in a buggy…so she was flirting the entire time with every man in blue cotton pants and suspenders. She also kept trying to speak Amish-ly by saying “thee” and “thy”. At one point, she said to me, “Get thee over to the concession stand to get thy friend a Coke.” She didn’t pick up any guys, imagine that.

On Saturday I rode my own horse prospect, Whiskey…whose name is actually Risky but I like Whiskey better because Risky makes him sound dangerous and, well, I am a chicken so why even go there. In a scene much like Cinderella, I found that my saddle fits him to a T! I am happy to say all went well and I walked and trotted without too much trepidation. YEA! This one could be a keeper…stay tuned.

One quick note, today is Missy’s birthday. You know, my bionic million dollar poodle with the magically cured eyes. She is 3 years old this day. Happy Birthday Missy! I’d give you a card with some money or a gift but I can’t afford it since your surgeries just about put us in the poorhouse. Instead, we’ll do some serious MilkBones tonight! :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Gobble Gobble, etc.

I have not had time to blog lately…what with all of my sewing, knitting, and decorating projects for the holidays. Stringing popcorn and dried berries, spritzing the fresh garland on the mantle, setting up the snowglobe collection, and inflating the super-sized Santa for the front yard keeps a girl busy! It is so hard to be Martha. Not really…I have just not been home and during work I have been, well, working. Instead of blogging. So here is a brief recap so you can get thru the Thanksgiving holiday knowing WalkTrotCanter is still alive and kicking.

1) I looked at a horse last weekend. I actually just did it for kicks because it was close by and the horse is selling for cheap. I figured it would be good practice in horse-trading. WELL, not only did I like the horse, I was completely unafraid and got on him bareback! I am going to ride him in my saddle this weekend to see how it goes that way. He is a bay (which is dark brown with a black mane/tail) with a white star on his forehead. Cute Cute Cute! Also, his name got me…they call him Risky but I misunderstood the woman on the phone so I thought his name was Whiskey. It's carma I tell you.

2) H & I are having our first company over to the house for Thanksgiving! It has been very exciting to prepare for this because it meant that H got a bunch of stuff finished that was un-done…such as hanging towel bars, bathroom mirrors, and finishing a built-in bookcase which is really nice now that it is not a gaping hole in the wall that spews drywall dust every time we walk by. YEA! I am a little nervous about the cooking aspect of the visit/visitors. I am a decent cook but I always get a little tense when I am cooking for others.

3) I found the best product ever! Did you know they make paper shades for windows that look, from the outside, like real pleated shades? They are fabulous! I was wondering, with the whole horse budget and all, how the heck we were going to cover the windows…especially in the rooms we don’t even use. Now we can just use the paper ones until we move…er, I mean, until the end of time…er, I mean until we can afford (hahahahahahahahaha) real shades. Do you think houseguests will mind terribly that they are sleeping in a room with paper shades protecting them from the neighborhood eyes? Geez I am cheap.

4) I finally found all of my winter clothes. I had them stored at various places all over town. Some were packed away during the entire winter last year so it is like having a completely new wardrobe! I have an awful lot of sweatshirts.

5) There doesn't seem to be as much going on in my life to blog about as I thought when I started this list. Cheap girls with lots of sweatshirts don't have much of a life. Oh well, best wishes for a safe and happy and healthy holiday!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Life Insurance 101

Now that we are 40-somethings and home owners and deeply in debt, H & I decided it was time to make sure we are on the right track as far as retirement, life insurance, and all things involving how we will pay for our lives in the nursing home. This stuff is not interesting and costs money without any fun involved whatsoever so we had been putting it off. Needless to say, we had opened a couple of insurance policies back in the 1980’s (when we were newly married, anxious to dive in to our life ahead and when we still somewhat liked each other…j/k!!) and kind of left it at that for nearly 20 years. I guess we figured we had plenty of time to make millions in our careers and save enough money for our later years. I think we are now realizing we are soon going to be old fogies and we are not even near the million-dollar bracket. Duh. So anyway, we went to our insurance agent the other night to get things *organized*.

One item we discussed was life insurance. The big question being, what amount of life insurance do we need or require? Since I am the one who handles all of the bills and H has pretty much avoided the whole household finance thing from day one unless it involved budgeting for a new tool or construction project, this got kind of interesting.

Insurance Guy: H, how much money do you want WTC to have if something happens to you? Think now about funeral expenses, paying off debt, and living expenses for her when you are no longer around…

H: $3,000.

Insurance Guy: $3,000? With 3 zeros?

H (looking completely clueless but trying to sound like he knew exactly what he was saying): Yes…that should be plenty, don’t you think?

Insurance Guy: I’m glad I am not married to you.

WTC: Welcome to my world.

After we discussed my living in complete poverty upon his untimely death thus convincing H that perhaps he may want to up his dollar amount if he wants hot meals and clean laundry (not to mention sex) for the remainder of his living days, we moved on to rates for the life insurance policy amounts we had finally chosen. There were three categories of rates: Smoker/Drinker/GoingToDie, OverweightMiddleAgedButNonSmoker, and ExtremelyHealthyMustEatGrapeNutsAndTofuandJogSeveralMilesDaily. After showing us the rates, Insurance Guy made a major faux paux:

Insurance Guy: Here is the SuperPreferred-Almost Free Rate that WTC will receive since she falls into the ExtremelyHealtyMustEatGrapeNutsAndTofu category. I don’t think she will even need the physical…we’ll just put her right into that one…geez, how many miles do you run a day? Hmmmmmm…H, I am pretty sure you will need the physical. You don’t smoke, do you?...welllllll, we’ll put you in OverweightMiddleAgedButNonSmoker and see what happens. You may be on the line of Smoker/Drinker/GoingToDie but we’ll see.

H got this horrified look on his face and I believe I saw steam coming from his ears. He knows full well that I am the one who not only smoked for several years but he can literally set the clock by my cocktail hour. There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY he can possibly be in a higher category than me. I smiled smugly and wholeheartedly agreed with Insurance Guy.

This week, while we wait for the health-screening folks to call us, H is in all-out health and physical fitness mode. He has exercised, shunned alcohol, and has eaten oatmeal for nearly every meal. He is utterly determined to be in the same category as me and completely defy Insurance Guy. Meanwhile, I stand by with my martini and dream of how I will spend my well-earned $3,000.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Little House on the Mole Hill

With the ever-increasing challenge of making our new house feel *homey*, H & I are pondering the what/where/how of landscaping for the outside of the place. We figure if we start now we MAY have some kind of plan together by the time we actually have to make the trip to the garden center in the Spring to purchase trees and any other organics that will take little or no regular maintenance aside from my standing on the sidewalk with a Miller Lite showering them with the hose. The yard is rather large, a little under an acre, so there is a lot of room for a lot of whatever it is we decide to plant. During the summer, while the house was still progressing, we *seeded* the yard. This was H’s great plan. He figured if we seeded the lawn, we wouldn’t have an entire winter of mud and we could then take our time with any landscaping. The neighbors, he figured, would be happy enough to see that, despite the fact that we seemingly have no theme for our wellhead other than “raging battlefield", we at least had the courtesy and fortitude to plant grass seed. (I think we may have had them a little on edge ever since the day H pulled his rusty 1987 GMC truck up to the front door to unload some things and he ended up leaving it there for several days. As these people power-washed their driveways, they turned the evil eye to our unsightly plot of land and whispered among themselves.) Thus, we spent a trillion dollars on KentuckyBlueGrassGrowLikeHellIntoALushAndGolfcourseLikeLawn. The grass grew, albeit 75% crabgrass…but it is green and, from a distance, looks somewhat lawnlike. To the untrained eye, at least.

Last weekend, H came running inside to inform me that we have moles. “Moles, WTC, they are RUINING our lawn!” He was all in a tither that the nasty little creatures were tunneling here and there and over and across in what looks to be a rather extensive condominium development complete with health club and pool. There are even a few volcanic-like areas where the moles popped their heads up from their burrowing to see where they were. (“Hey Al, I’m just gonna go a few more feet til I am even with the cable box, ok?” “Then we’ll break for lunch and maybe go for a beer.”)

So H was all upset about this new mole population and he insisted I go to the internet to see how to eliminate the problem. In my research, I found that the BEST way to COMPLETELY rid a yard of moles is to KILL them. The best method for KILLING them is to IMPALE them. The IMPALING can be executed either from a trap set in the ground in mid-tunnel, or by driving a shovel right down into the tunnel as the little guy burrows on by, (OMG) thereby IMPALING with one’s own yard tool.

I say we spend the money for traps or we really impress the neighbors and somehow incorporate the whole impaled-mole theme into a decoration for the well head.