Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve

We'll we are closing in on 2009 a little less than 3 hours to go. May everyone have a healthy, happy & prosperous New Year.

Today has been fantastic. I've been able to catch up with a number of people from high school on Facebook today and have been having a blast! 2009 is going to be a great year. I'm already looking forward to a road trip in the Spring.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Busy Start to the Week

I hit the office running this morning. Seven pages of to-do's before next Monday. Yikes. The owner decided that we all need to 'clean house' while he was out of town on vacation. Nothing like sorting and shuffling bunches of files, CDs, DVDs, and assorted miscellaneous stuff. Finding a home for some of this is going to be nothing short of miraculous.

We received good news at the end of business today. Walt & I were able to get out of our apartment lease without any difficulty. They aren't even going to have us pay any penalty for leaving early, which is particularly good news.

After work, we ran out to Home Depot and purchased appliances. Now that was a real experience. Buying seven appliances all at once. Thank goodness they are delivering.

The house closes on the 7th, and there is so much to get done, our list is several legal pad pages long. Even with that much of a list, I do feel as if I'm leaving a lot of items off.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Off we went this evening with Mom & Dad to Texas de Brazil, this was their first trip there. Walter as always was quite impressed with the service and food.

Otherwise the day was basically spent packing. I do detest packing, although it is a necessary evil. Only 10 days to closing and 26 days to moving day.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

After Christmas Festivities

Yesterday, Walter & I got up very early...he was dying to get to Wally World to buy a computer game (Spore) that his younger brother told him about on Christmas day. It was a true male mission - he was in full hunting mode until he had it in his hand. After than, whatever, he had achieved his goal for the day. We poked around in the Christmas clearance for decorations for the new house for next year, but really didn't find much. The prices were the same as before Christmas. We tried Home Depot in search of a couple of deer for the yard, but they too were out of them.

Walt dropped me off at Mom's and she and I set out for a shopping adventure. We began at the mall, not really shopping for much in particular. I found a diffuser for the flash on my camera, it will make a great deal of difference in the close up shots.

The time we had out was fantastic. We haven't had much time to have a 'girls' day out in ages. Even though we both didn't buy very much, we did have fun. I found the deer for the yard that I was looking for at Target. Poor Mom, she took everythign that I did buy back home with her to store until after the move. At least I won't need to pack what is at her house.

This evening Walt's taking Mom & I downtown to photograph the lights. I just hope that the rain holds off until we get back.

No rain this evening, just nice weather to be out and about.

Here are some of the photos from tonight.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all!

We had a pretty sedate day. Sean wasn't up too early, but was pleased with his 'party pack' of Family Guy DVDs. We all ended up watching the silly things for a good portion of the morning.

Dean came by to pick up Sean and brought along Buddy. It took him a little while to calm down, but he was fairly well behave on the whole. We all met up for lunch at the Mongolian Grill, one of the few places open today. Lunch was surpisingly civil, plenty of pleasant conversation.

Walter is all fired up this evening about a new computer game that Sean & Dean were telling him about. Poor thing was disappointed that Wally World wasn't opened this afternoon so he could buy his very own copy. So in lieu of getting is today, we're off for an early morning shopping adventure in the morning.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Thoughts

I use to love Christmas. I couldn't wait till the day after Thanksgiving to put up the tree and outdoor decorations. Last year I duly put up the tree, but with Walter's accident and not seeing the other kids, it was almost a moot point. This year it seems, that Scrooge has come been lingering around the apartment. I'm still holding out that it will improve, at least next year will "hopefully" be more settled.

Just heard from the youngest, he's not coming over until tomorrow. Too much to do. Oh, well.

Walter & I headed out for the evening with a stop by Roz's house to deliver the much asked for "peanut butter candy". Courtney was pleased that we brought it by. I doubt that it lasts very long. Glad to have someone enjoy it that much.

We had dinner out at Mom & Dad's with the family. Alice baked a Yule Log cake. It was beautiful. The lasagna was delicious and the company was great. The kids all did great for such an exciting time of year. I've posted a bunch of photos in my Facebook album. The best photo by far was of Terry. He opened up his gift and was tickled to so much with the tags! If only we all could be so excited about something so simple.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day:
"Mankind will never see an end of trouble until... lovers of wisdom come to hold political power, or the holders of power... become lovers of wisdom." - Plato, The Republic


I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her. On the way, my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she snorted .... "Ridiculous! Don't believe it! That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun.

"Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.

For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church.

I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class.

Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat.

I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.

"Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby."

The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it. Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going." I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.

Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open.

Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team. I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.

May you always have LOVE to share, HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that care...

And may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Break

Dr. Martin brought in a copy of the new practice magazine, Smiles of Richmond, that we put together. I was so delighted to see all the hardwork had finally come together into a great final product.

Ah...a brief vacation from the normal routine of life. We only worked until 12:30 today, then had a delightful luncheon at Maggiano's at Short Pump Towne Center.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hmmm...Another Fast Paced & Full Week

It has been one heck of a week. It all began last Friday...Walter had put in an offer to buy a house and was waiting to hear if the offer was accepted, but there had been no reply by end of business. So we wen through the whole, oh well, I guess we'll just stay where we are deal. He even went so far as to start cleaning closets and organizing to stay put.

I put in a long Monday with our out of town copyrighter at the office and even did some video shooting. By the time I got home Monday night, Walt was telling me that the sellers had accepted his offer, even though he had heard nothing. Well, turns out he was absolutely right.

The realtor called him first thing Tuesday with the good news. Well, I got the news early on Tuesday and am going in with him to make the purchase. The house is a great investment and once it is all said and done he'll be ahead when we close. I spoke to the mortage broker and did all the preliminaries for the mortage over the phone, everything went through without issue.

The house will require a little bit of work before we move in, but it is a real DEAL! As you can see it does need a new roof, but that isn't a biggie. Funny it's almost the same color of the house that we lived in on Leiden when Walt was little.

Here's the House - Fordham Road

I put in another long night - till almost 10 p.m. Doing several video shoots after hours for the consulting company. When I got home Walt had lots to tell me and we ended up going over details until nearly 1 a.m.

Now that we have started down the road to closing which is going at such a rapid pace I can hardly believe it. Walt has been taking care of all the details, he even brought papers by the office for me to sign on Wednesday. It was the fastest signing I've ever done. When I got to the end I noticed that the closing date had been changed to DECEMBER 30TH! Two weeks! from offer to close. My head is still spinning. We're meeting on Monday to sign papers with the mortage broker.


I'll be so grateful to be out of this stinking apartment. The ceiling still has a gaping hole in it and there is still water puddled in the carpet in front of the door.

Walt was here on Wednesday when they came and replaced the padding under the carpet, which was removed last weekend becaused it was soaked. They did the replacement and then....a contractor climbed up on the roof and hosed down the roof. Which caused the ceiling to leak and water to soak the newly laid carpet padding. They never did come to clean up their mess.

Then Thursday rolled around and it rained. Hmmm...guess what happened, again! More leaking and more soaked carpeting. I made the call first thing Friday morning to maintenance and left a message, "Good morning, it has rained and now for the 6th time, the ceiling is leaking and the carpet is soaked. Please send someone out to get the water up."

Walt informed me this evening that they did come out, but maintenance isn't allowed to drive on the grass any longer, so they can't bring the carpet machine over to extract the water from the padding. The comedy never ends.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rainy Disaster

Here is it pouring down rain and the ceiling and front door at the apartment are leaking. So far the water has expanded about 40-inches into the apartment. This is really no way to live.

I've contacted maintenance and they tell me that they can't do anything to fix the problem, the "best" that they could do today was to come in and cut the huge hole in the ceiling, exposing the upstairs neighbor's floor (also you can see there isn't any insulation between the floors).

I'm waiting for the 'repairman'. Walter tells me that they told him that they had to contact a contractor to come out and fix the problem. Hmmm...they also said that he would most likely be installing a stoop over the front door. That sounds just like what I told them that needed to be done three rainy, leaky door days ago. Amazing! Call maintenance. They can't do anything and then they do exactly what you tell them needs to be done.

Even as I am sitting here, the puddle inside is growing with each passing hour. I expect that it will be another five or six inches larger in diameter before morning. You would have thought that maintenance could have brought up a shop vac to suck up some of the water. In fact, I asked them to do so this morning...LAME!

In the meanwhile, we've moved furniture out of the path of the puddle. Hopefully, I may have to put the end table up on top of something before I go to work in the morning. I don't want ruined furniture. It was also mentioned by someone I was talking with this evening that it was a wonderful electrocution hazard. I hadn't really thought about it but, in order to turn the lights on and off in the room we have to access the switch by the front door. It could be a shocking experience.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Search

Walter continued his search for a house this morning. I believe that he has found the "one" that he wants, it is just a matter of writing up the correct offer. Hopefully, he will have an answer by the first of next week.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A weekend in December

Mom & I went out to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens on Tuesday night to view their GardenFest light display.

See more photos

Today I went out with Walter, so that he could look at houses. He had a handful to look at today and has another handful for tomorrow. He may have found what he is looking for, but we'll see. It is as he said, "a diamond in the rough." It would be a great deal and give him loads for his money. It would just be a matter of the type of offer that the sellers will accept.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day:
"Mankind will never see an end of trouble until... lovers of wisdom come to hold political power, or the holders of power... become lovers of wisdom." - Plato, The Republic

Bank Line

With only two tellers working at the bank, the line I was standing in was moving very slowly. As I waited, I began to fill in my withdrawal slip. Not sure of the date, I turned and asked the woman behind me.

It's the fifth," she replied.

A man from the back of the line advised, "Don't write it in yet!"

Consumerism in Christianity

A man was stranded on the proverbial deserted Pacific island for years.

Finally one day a boat comes sailing into view, and the man frantically waves and draws the skipper's attention. The boat comes near the island and the sailor gets out and greets the stranded man.

After a while the sailor asks, "What are those three huts you have here?"

"Well, that's my house there."

What's that next hut?" asks the sailor.

"I built that hut to be my church."

"What about the other hut?"

"Oh, that's where I used to go to church."

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday This & That

It has been a busy day loads of video and audio files to mess around with.

This evening Alice and I attended the RAUG meeting at TecHead. We had a great time and picked up a bunch of new tips and tricks for Illustrator. I know that I came out with about five different things that I will use regularly.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

A few things from the email box. Just too funny!

The Centers for Disease Control

The Centers for Disease Control has issued a medical alert about a highly contagious, potentially dangerous virus that is transmitted orally, by hand, and even electronically. This virus is called Weary Overload Recreational Killer (WORK). If you receive WORK from your boss, any of your colleagues or anyone else via any means whatsoever - DO NOT TOUCH IT. This virus will wipe out your private life completely. If you should come into contact with WORK you should immediately leave the premises.

Take two good friends to the nearest grocery store and purchase one or both of the antidotes - Work Isolating Neutralizer Extract (WINE) and Bothersome Employer Elimination Rebooter (BEER). Take the antidote repeatedly until WORK has been completely eliminated from your system.

You should immediately forward this medical alert to five friends. If you do not have five friends, you have already been infected and WORK is controlling your life.