Friday, December 28, 2012

December 28, 2012 - Book Review – Photographs of Claudia by KG MacGregor

Photographs of Claudia by KG MacGregor

ISBN-13: 9781594931680e
Genre: Romance

Book Description from Bella Books

“To win a spot in an elite workshop for studio photographers, Leonora Westcott must put together an extensive portfolio. Her efforts—and inspiration—get a boost when Claudia Galloway, a teacher intern in town for only a few months, volunteers to model.

For Claudia, the sensual poses offer one last chance to flaunt her independence before settling into the scripted life her wealthy fiancé has planned for them in California’s exclusive San Simeon community.

Leo has always seen her subjects as objects of shadow and light on the other side of her lens—until now. Every photograph of Claudia brings her feelings into sharper focus, feelings she fears Claudia will never share. As their series of sessions come to a close, Leo decides to risk her heart. But Claudia has declarations of her own.

Art transforms passion into love in this timeless tale by bestselling Lambda Literary and Golden Crown award-winner KG MacGregor.”
 

Review:
3.5 out of 5 stars

Initially when I started reading this book I had difficulty tracking which parts of the story where flashbacks versus present day.  After the first 3 or so chapters I got into the flow of the story and was better able to make the switch from present day to flashbacks.

In many ways, for me, this did not feel like the traditional romance in part because the story is flows between present day and flashbacks and because there was at least one interesting plot twist that I did not anticipate.  In fact I thought the story was being told from an entirely different perspective than it actually was.

I also enjoyed that the character development was built around Claudia modeling for Leo so she could apply for an exclusive workshop.

This turned out to be a fun read and I would recommend it for anyone looking for a good beach/vacation read.

 



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, December 17, 2012

December 17, 2012 - Jaime


I'm starting to wonder how big this dog is going to get.  We have an appointment this evening for her next set of shots.  I believe she is officially 4 months old.




Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, December 14, 2012

December 14, 2012 – Book Review: Unclean Spirits by M.L.N. Hanover

Unclean Spirits (Book One of the Black Sun’s Daughter) by M.L.N. Hanover
Paranormal/Science Fiction

Description from Amazon.com

"Jayné Heller thinks of herself as a realist, until she discovers reality isn't quite what she thought it was. When her uncle Eric is murdered, Jayné travels to Denver to settle his estate, only to learn that it's all hers -- and vaster than she ever imagined. And along with properties across the world and an inexhaustible fortune, Eric left her a legacy of a different kind: his unfinished business with a cabal of wizards known as the Invisible College.

Led by the ruthless Randolph Coin, the Invisible College harnesses demon spirits for their own ends of power and domination. Jayné finds it difficult to believe magic and demons can even exist, let alone be responsible for the death of her uncle. But Coin sees Eric's heir as a threat to be eliminated by any means -- magical or mundane -- so Jayné had better start believing in something to save her own life.

Aided in her mission by a group of unlikely companions -- Aubrey, Eric's devastatingly attractive assistant; Ex, a former Jesuit with a lethal agenda; Midian, a two-hundred-year-old man who claims to be under a curse from Randolph Coin himself; and Chogyi Jake, a self-styled Buddhist with mystical abilities -- Jayné finds that her new reality is not only unexpected, but often unexplainable. And if she hopes to survive, she'll have to learn the new rules fast -- or break them completely...."

 
Review
3 out of 5 Stars

I’ve had this book on the shelf for a long time (years) and finally gotten around to reading it.  During the introduction we meet Eric Heller, Jayné’s uncle, who is trying to meet up with a less than savory guy in a sleazy bar.  Ultimately, Eric doesn’t survive the meeting but this is the reader’s first introduction into “riders”, evil spirits that have taken over or attached themselves to human beings.

Chapter One introduces us to Jayné, who really didn’t know much about her uncle other than he would occasionally swoop into her life and then swoop back out, but now Jayné has inherited Eric’s estate and his substantial assets.

Throughout the rest of the book we watch Jayné learn about riders, the supernatural, and how she plans to avenge Eric’s murder.  Ultimately we watch her mature and start to take responsibility for her actions and choices.

The entire book is really a long introduction to Jayné and a cast of characters many of whom I assume will continue through the series.  Although I enjoyed the book and the story was interesting I find that I am not drawn to either enough to continue reading the series, which is why I only gave this story 3 stars.



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

December 14, 2012 – Math

I know if you have a bag of 100 mini peanut butter cups and eat 99 of them you have eaten 99% of them, but if you have a bag of 4 and eat 3 you’ve eaten 75%.  Which I sort of get but not really because you ate all but one – so why haven’t you eaten 99% of the peanut butter cups?  Actually don’t answer that – let’s just run with the confession that yes I ate all but one of the peanut butter cups, because I gave one to Sam.  Well unless L ate one, in which case I ate all but 2.  Oh and yes, they were very good.


Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 12, 2012 – Whatnot


I have no idea what happens to my days but I turn around and a bunch of days have gone by before I’ve posted an update.  So here goes…


Puppy
Did I happen to mention the unfortunate gingerbread man squeaky toy incident?  My parents have a dog who had a squeaky toy in the shape of a gingerbread man.  Several weeks ago Jaime discovered the gingerbread man and yes she LOVED that toy.  Heck she’d run right past the dog food on the floor to get to that toy.  One day the gingerbread man lost an arm.  I managed to retrieve the arm with my Dad’s help before Jaime swallowed it.

A few days later we’re back over the house and I lose sight of Jaime for a couple mins.  When I find her she has the gingerbread man but now there is no way he is going to be singing that song about running as fast as he can.  He’s missing both his legs.  Me, in a blissful state of denial I ask Mom and Dad if my brothers’ dog ripped off the legs.  They didn’t know and frankly I couldn’t find them and assumed that she couldn’t have amputated them in 2 mins time.

We know what happens when we assume… a few days later Jaime threw up one of the legs, of course denial is a beautiful thing and I still didn’t make the connection to with what she threw up and the gingerbread man.  That is until a few days later when she threw up and identical looking substance and I made the connection.
 

Other Stuff

Fat Pants
I finally gave in and bought a new pair of jeans.  I can no longer say my pants are too tight.  Now I have to say I’m wearing my fat pants.  They weren’t that tight but I hate that feeling where the damn pants are always telling you they are there.  *sigh* Plus I had to accept that although I will lose this extra weight it’s going to take more than a week or two.

Reading
I misplaced my interest in reading from September until just recently.  I finally seem to be back on track. It could be that I was just struggling with the books I was trying to read but I finished those and things have started to click mentally.  So yeah, reading is fundamental.

Working Out
Which obviously relates back to the fat pants, I haven’t made it to a spin class yet but I have managed to get my butt to the gym a few times.  I count that as a win and figure it gets me one step closer to going more frequently.

Consulting
Yes, I have officially started working for myself contracting out my crystal reports writing, and business analyst services.



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, December 7, 2012

December 7, 2012 – Off

Did I mention that the puppy started puppy class a few weeks ago?  Well she did.  It’s Jaime and one other puppy Casey.  We’ve been working on Sit, Wait, Down, Drop It, and Leave it.  She does pretty well with Sit and Stay.  Down, Drop It, and Leave It… well those depends on her mood.

Yesterday Jaime discovered her legs and the ability to jump up on things, the chair, the couch, me, and in true superhero fashion that she can go from the couch to the coffee table in a single bound.  Alright I admit that I was startled the 1st time I saw her standing on the coffee table.  That and I wanted to laugh but when you get right down to it, its’ not “that” funny.  I’ve never had a dog stand on the coffee table before. 

Obviously this week the majority of what I say to Jaime is “Off!”  Oddly enough when I say “off” Jaime cocks her head to one side and looks at me like I’ve lost my mind.  Maybe I have, I’ve considered looking up “Off” in German.  Maybe I should just walk around with dog treats in my pockets so that every time I say off I can reward proper behavior.  Although, from experience that means I’ll have two dog noses stuck to my pockets.



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November 27, 2012 Book Review: Something So Grand by Lynn Galli


Something So Grand by Lynn Galli

Publisher: Penikila Press, LLC

Genre: Romance

Book Description from Amazon.com
As a designer for the wealthy, Vivian Yeats doesn’t have a lot of time for a relationship. Not the kind of relationships she’s had in the past, anyway. She’s always settled for compatibility or common interests or misplaced enthusiasm when it comes to partners. Despite being her favorite subject in books and on screen, romance constantly eludes her.

For Natalie Harper, romance has never been on her radar. She prefers working hard at her construction job and doing good work to guide her through her days. When she meets Vivian, she’s knocked off that focused path. They become successful colleagues and good friends. Could romance become the thing they do best together?

 
Review
2.5 out of 5 stars

Natalie is works in construction for a contactor named Cal.  At one time Cal may have been reliable but as we are introduced to him he’s shady and running into financial issues.  Vivian is a designer who over the years has used Cal and his construction company for many of her projects.  Cal’s underhanded business practices are made extremely evident when he has his crew walk off Vivian’s latest project.  This opens the door for Natalie to quit working for Cal and start her own contractor business.

I’ve read all of the books that Lynn Galli has published.  For me they are enjoyable, easy read where I can get caught up in the story and relax.  That was also true for this story, but I have to admit that for me this particular story and he characters felt somewhat one dimensional.  There was no real conflict Natalie and Vivian meet, they work well together, there’s an attraction, they get together and things go along smoothly the entire way.  There are a few instances where the story alludes to potential issues in Natalie’s life.  There is a brief encounter with her parents, a few instances where Cal attempts to undermine Natalie’s new business but none of these things have any impact on the story or seemingly on Vivian and Natalie’s blossoming relationship.

What this story did do for me was make me go back and re-read Lynn’s story “Mending Defects”


Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November 27, 2012 - Update

I don't know where I have been but I apologize for the long delay.  Here's a brief update
 
Reading:
I need to start reading again but the books I was attempting to read were killing me.  So I have decided to put them aside and find something mindless that puts me back on track.
 
Puppy:

Life is full of surprises and long forgotten memories that when actually remember are surprises.  Today for example, I forgot how exciting it can be when a dog goes to the back door because she needs to go outside to pee.  I also had forgotten what it felt like to realize you are once again reduced to talking about pee and poop and if the dog managed to avoid any accidents, which is another way of saying that I managed to not lose track of the dog.  Thank God she is still cute but getting bigger every day.

I’m also not sure how bright the puppy is, not to say she is stupid but how many times can she run under the coffee table, know she needs to duck on the 1st end and then knock herself senseless coming out from under it on the other side?  Oh wait… 6 times and counting.
 

Random:

I’ve been called for jury duty in January.  We have a one and done deal.  Serve one day and if you aren’t called you are done.  The last time I was called was in the 90’s when I was working in Human Resources and responsible for the self insured Workers’ Compensation Program, as well as the Disability and Unemployment areas.  The case was a bodily injury one, needless to say I was rejected.  We didn’t even get to my employment background in the questions.  They asked me if I knew the doctors involved in the case and I said yes.  Then they asked if that might affect my judgment and I was honest and said “maybe”.   Anyway, I’m kind of interested to see what happens this time around.  I kind of hope I do get selected to go through the Voir Dire process again.  Although if it’s a bodily injury case that could be tough since I have very strong opinions when it appears people are working the system.  It pisses me off when people malinger or fraudulently claim injuries/problems because it makes it more difficult for people who truly need WC or Disability benefits to get those benefits. 

My sister is an accountant and she’s been called several times, but my favorite story of hers is when she went through the Voir Dire process and they explained that it had to do with someone who borrowed money and then defaulted on the loan.  The loan was sold to someone else and the person who borrowed the money felt they shouldn’t be responsible for paying it back to the people who bought the loan because they “knew” they bought bad debt.  If I remember the story correctly my sister said it’s simple accounting “They borrowed the money… they OWE the money.”  LMAO needless to say she was passed dismissed.

 

Happy Tuesday




Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November 8, 2012 – NO!

As predicted by my brother my vocabulary has been reduced to “No” whenever I am interacting with the puppy.  She doesn’t appear to know her name, or the word “No” although at this rate she may think her name is “No”.  What she does know is biting/chewing on things is wicked fun and if she can combine that with biting/chewing on hands she is in heaven.

 

When she is biting my hands I think it would be easier to deal with if she would bit something else at the very least it would be less painful.  Then I realize that if she was biting something else inappropriate it would still be annoying.  Maybe I could just shower in bitter apple spray.  I can’t believe I had forgotten all the puppy stuff that you need to try and teach them is bad.  Chewing Hands.. Bad.  Chewing rope toys… Good.  Chewing Squeeky Toys… Good.  Chewing my jeans… Bad.  Furniture… Bad. 

 

Maybe it’s the fact that she has the attention span of a gnat.  She registers the No but instantly forgets.  When do they start to outgrow the chewing thing?  When will she start to recognize her name?



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November 7, 2012 - Snow

I looked out my window this morning and this is what I saw:


It's pretty but I am unprepared for snow.  There is supposed to be a process before it snows.  It starts to get cold, then I dig out my flannel lined jeans, December rolls around.... maybe there is a flurry or two... then, then it snows.  Then I am emotionally prepared for snow.  Heck I don't even know where my flannel lined jeans are... in fact this snow made me question if they have been misplaced in the move.  Let's hope not because if they were then I wont just be emotionally unprepared I'll be in crisis mode.  You have no idea how difficult it was to find those jeans last time.  Well ok, fine it wasn't that difficult.  I called LL Bean, told them what I wanted and that I could not find them in their catalogue or online and the nice lady on the phone looked them up for me.

Hey I wonder what Jaime will think of her 1st snow...



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November 6, 2012 - The Big Weigh In

You might think I am referring to my own weight/weight loss program but that would just be a sad blog.  On the other hand the beastly boy is THRILLED to announce that he has lost 2.5 pounds since returning to the US and starting his weight loss regime. 

I knew he had to have lost some weight as I found him on our bed the other day and today he hopped up into the back seat of the car with no effort.  Hey you might not think 2.5 pounds is alot, but when you're a dog that means the difference between napping on the hard floor and sneaking up onto the forbidden bed.  That's alot.  12 more doggie pounds to go and he'll be back to the ideal.  Now if I could just lose the 12 pounds as well.  Maybe I should start eating kibble.

I also discovered that if I cut the beasts hair he looks thinner... not better mind you... just thinner... well or homeless.





Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November 1, 2012 - Kitchen Update

We made it through Hurricane Irene without any issues.  Well that was until the electric company turned off our power on Tuesday.  Fortunately, power was restored this afternoon. 

The other cool thing is kitchen work continued despite our lack of electricity.  The granite was installed yesterday, today the electricians and plumbers showed up and installed the appliances.

The only outstanding things are the installation of the back splash, the painter doing a little touch up, and the tile guy finishing off one edge of the floor.

Tomorrow the furniture that was shipped home from Switzerland gets delivered.  Yeah, it's feeling like home again.  I can not express how thrilled I am with the kitchen.

Bliss = making a cup of tea using our new stove.







Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, October 26, 2012

October 26, 2012 - Puppy Saga

yesterday I was doing yard work and I had the puppy and the beast outside with me.  Here's what I discovered or I should say "re-discovered":
(a) Puppies will put anything into their mouths
(b) This particular puppy enjoyes eating dirt and cone flowers
(c) I have no idea how I managed to raise two puppies in the past.  Maybe it's because in the past II got my puppies in the middle of the winter and the dirt/flowers were all frozen/dead

Needless to say sometime yesterday afternoon the puppy started displaying signs that she didn't feel well.  Let's just say that after awhile she looked like she had done the prep for a colonoscopy.  Between that and the drool she was looking a bit worse for wear.  Yesterday afternoon and last night were a little long mostly because anytime she made any noise I was bringing her outside.... just in case.

Rice is her friend.

Fortunately, the drooling stopped this morning and she seems to be doing much better.  That and I'm keeping her away from the dirt.



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October 24, 2012 - Bullets

I forgot how sharp puppy teeth can be.  I believe my ear has been pierced a few extra times.  Unfortunately the piercings are not even... darn puppy teeth.

The cabinets are in and the hardware has been installed. They look great.  I can't believe that I used to think the kichen "pre-renovation" was ok because "post renovation" is so much nicer and it's not done yet.

The painter is here today doing the ceilings and I believe putting a 1st coat of paint on the walls.

We were also contacted by the relocation company, our stuff made it through customs and delivery may be as soon as Monday.


Kitchen Update Pre-Hardware




Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 22, 2012

October 22, 2012 - Puppy Update

This is Jamie:




We picked her up on Friday when she was officially 8 weeks old.  I have to say she's "fairly" calm for a puppy.  I'm willing to bet that it's just a ploy to lull us into a false sense of security.  The beastly boy is not terribly thrilled with her presence but seems to be adjusting.  This morning he even attempted to play with her outside.  It strange to see a 60 pound dog bark and pounce at a puppy and then run away.  Then Jamie pounces at him and barks.  Too cute.

Speaking of cute... Friday evening we decide its time to head to bed.  We put the girlie into her crate, which btw is in our bedroom right next to the beastly boy's crate.  She starts to whine, which we expected, but then her voice suddenly gets deep and she HOWLS. I swear to god HOWLS.  I have no idea how such a small puppy could get her voice to go so deep that she could actually make the sound that left her little body.  That lasted about 20 mins and she finally either passed out from exhaustion or she gave up.  Have I mentioned Murphy's Law recently?  Of course Murphy came for a visit after the puppy settled down.  Some time shortly after she gives up howling I have a full blown night terror.  You know the drill:  CAB's asleep-ish thinks she sees a Spider, starts screaming like someone is killing her, tries to run away.  All the while L is trying to keep me from launching myself off the bed/console me while waiting for me to wake up and realize its not real.  Which of course wakes the puppy so when I am done screaming she starts howling again.  Oye.

Saturday evening was better for the girlie and the crate, and last night was even better... no howling at all.  So hopefully she is learning the crate is not a bad place.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, October 19, 2012

October 19, 2012 - Puppies

Short and Sweet.  Dad's surgery went well yesterday, the kitchen keeps progressing and in a few minutes we head out to pick up the newest puppy addition to the family.  The beastly boy has been informed and hopefully he'll love her.

Pictures will follow, of the kicthen and the puppy but not of Dad's surgery.  That would be wrong.


Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October 17, 2012 - Kitchen Renovation Cont.

I've lost track of the number of days the renovation has been going on, which is a sad testament to my mental awakeness.  Ok that makes no sense.

Onward.  Things are moving along and they've started putting in the lower cabinets.  I'm liking it.  I'm also liking the floor.  The grout and cabinets make the floor look awesome.







Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 15, 2012

October 15, 2012 - Weekend Roundup

The kitchen continues to progress.  Friday late afternoon the tile guys showed up and put down the cement board.  Then Saturday morning at 8am one of them showed up to lay the tile.  While that was happening L and I went to meet a couple of friends for breakfast and then we swung by the place we bought the tile and the granite from so we could pick out backsplash.  By the time we got home the tile guy had put down 3/4 of the tile and I'm sorry to say that we were surprised that the majority of the tile looks much darker and/or has more darker colors in it than the sample we saw and picked from.  In fact I would go so far as to say the enture floor only has about 12 tiles that actually look like the sample.  I've decided that I like the tile anyway despite it not being representative of what we chose, but I can fully understand L's disappointment.  She really does not like the way the floor looks, and it really is not even close to what we thought we picked.

Today the tile guys return and grout the tile, then the schedule says Wednesday they start putting in the cabinets.  I'm hoping the grout brings out some of the lighter colors in the tile and the cabinets help as well.






Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

October 11, 2012 - 4AM

Yes, it's 4am and I can't sleep.  I hate when that happens because that means at 7am I'll be in a coma.  Well that or I'll be grumpy from lack of sleep.  Let's shoot for a nap later this morning.

Yesterday there was a break in the kitchen activity.  The floor has been shored up, the walls and ceiling are prepped and ready to go.  Next step: the tile guy.  He is supposed to show up either late today or Friday as he is finishing up another job.  Honestly, I've enjoyed brief respite from the nail gun.

The granite arrived yesterday as well, not here, but to the place we ordered it from.  It's called "Silver Pearl", which is interesting considering it's black but it does have some flecks of silver/copper running through it.  Seeing it as a giant slab was more cool than I anticipated and got me excited about how the counters are going to look.  Yes, I should have brought my camera to take a picture of it but things were a bit crazy yesterday and I didn't have time to run back home before heading to the stone place.  However, we're planning on heading back up on Saturday so L can see the tile I think will look nice as a back splash.  I'll try and take pictures then.

What happened that had me running around yesterday?  Did I mention that when my sister moved out of the house she moved into a condo that she bought, just a couple miles from here?  She did, and I am thrilled she is close by.  Anyway, she had her washer/dryer delivered the other day and it appeared that where the hose attaches to the water line, there was a slow leak.  Now, me with all of my plumbing training (that's sarcasm) assumed that maybe we just needed to wrap the threads of the line with teflon tape.  My Dad thought that should be unnecessary and that maybe she just needed another rubber gasket, doohickey.  Turns out we were both wrong.  My sister needed a plumber because the leak only appeared to be coming from where the hose attaches to the spicket.  It was actually coming from a crack that was behind the doohickey and above the emergency water shutoff flippy switch thing on the doohickey.  See this is where all my plumbing training shines through.  Technical plumbers terms roll right off my tongue.  However, I refuse to have plumbers crack so this really was never a career for me.

Oh and did I mention that although it was a slow leak, it was enough of a leak that her only options were (a) turn the water off for the entire condo and (b) get a plumber in asap.  She was wicked lucky that the second plumber she called answered his phone and was only 10 mins away and he had time to swing by and take a look.  15 minutes of actual plumber work and a new dookickey spicket thingy later and the leak was solved.  He was actually there for about an hour because we (I helped) were testing with the washing machine to make sure that the leak was really fixed.

Overall it was a banner day.


Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, October 5, 2012

October 5, 2012 - Busy Busy

Wow, I turned around and it's Friday.  I'm not sure where this week has gone but it has flown by. 

Let's see, yesterday the electrician showed up to install the lights into the ceiling.  Now I mean no offense but the electrician is short, maybe 5'4" and he showed up with two other guys... also short and what ran through my head as they were working:  "I feel like I have 3 of the 7 dwarfs working in my kitchen."  Fortunately they never started singing "Hi Ho, Hi Ho...."

Today the dry wall guy comes so I am anticipating a large amount of dust everywhere.  I'm hoping he hangs some tarps to keep the dust as contained as possible.

On a more fun note, if all goes well I'm going sailing this afternoon with Mom and Dad. It's a good time of year to go.  No motor boats on the water and there tends to be lots of wind. 


Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

October 4, 2012 - Random

Well despite having worked all day yesterday the pictures of the kitchen wouldn't look any different than they did the day before.  Yesterday Bil spent the day putting screws into the flooring in an attempt to "tighten it up" and stop making it sag when you walk across it.  Unfortunately, the floor still sags but not nearly as much as it did prior.  Which means we now have project creep.  Yes we knew that could/would happen because once you get into something inevitably they find something else.  They are going to add additional support to the floor by adding cross beams and strapping it.  Honestly I have no idea what I just said despite the carpenter walking me through the process and explaining in.  I know what I mean, but you'll just have to believe me when I say that since I can't explain it without people getting a quizzical look on their faces.  The gist is, if they don't add the supports the floor will move/flex and eventually crack the tile we want to put down.

What else is happening today?  The appliances are being delivered.  It's early in the project but frankly its easier in my opinion to have them here early versus late and considering they are doing the electrical work for hanging the lights today I figured it would be helpful for the electrician/plumber to see the appliances... just in case we didn't account for something.

Cars... my car is ready to be picked up.  What?  I didn't mention that the last time I was home we ordered a car for me?  We did, a Nissan Altima SL with all the bells and whistles.  I am very excited.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October 2, 2012 - Ironic

I've noticed that last two morning when I am out walking the dog and I come across a stranger that I have to make an effort not to say "Hello" in either German or Swiss German.  Considering that is the only thing I have said to strangers over the last 2 1/2 years I guess its not a surprise that it's my 1st reaction.

Kitchen Renovation Day 2

I know the guy did a lot of work but it didn't look as dramatic as day 1.  However, they did map out where all the cabinets, appliances, and lighting is going for the other workers coming in over the next couple of days.  It's kind of cool to see the stuff marked out on the floor.  I especially like the peninsula we are getting.  L and I negotiated that.  I gave up the ceiling fan (she hated the fan) in exchange for some additional working space.  Considering I have put my hand into the moving ceiling fan on no less than 3 occasions I think I got a good deal.




Relocation
Did I mention that the house is essentially empty?  We received a notification that the shipping container left port as planned yesterday.  So it should arrive in the US in a couple of weeks.  Then it has to make it through customs and then onto a truck and delivered here.  Here's to hoping that the timing works and the kitchen is done or mostly done by that time.

Oh and along the lines of the house being empty.  We borrowed some camping chairs from my sister so we have something to sit on in the living room.  I'm not sure that my sister intended on this being how they are used, but the beast seems particularly happy with the comfort of this chair.




Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October 2, 2012 – Day One Kitchen Rip Out


Yesterday was the start of the great Kitchen Renovation of 2012.    So of course in honor of said project I decided to have apples for breakfast…. as in Apple Pie.  You know what they say, a slice of apple pie a day keeps the doctor away. Alright, fine that is what I say.

Onto the Kitchen…

Yesterday the carpenter showed up to rip out all the cabinets and the floor from the kitchen.  Today he’ll return to finish that process and start repairs before the wallboard guy shows up to repair the ceiling and walls.  Who knew that there were so many specialties?
 




 




Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 1, 2012

October 1, 2012 - The Trip Home


We arrived back in the USA on Saturday afternoon.  I have to report that unlike the trip to Switzerland, Ernie was surprisingly calm.  He really did great on the entire trip.  It was more difficult for me.  In fact at one point I think the American Airlines man, David,  who was helping us may have considered slipping me a tranquilizer.  Speaking of David, he was fantastic and really made the start of the trip as easy as possible.

When we arrived in NYC we had to go through customs and I was expecting that getting the dog back into the country would be more difficult.  Or at least that they would require all sorts of explanations and paperwork.  I'll consider myself extremely lucky that the people we encountered were easy going.  They asked to see the beasts rabies information, which is in his Pet Passport.  The guy looks at it for a minute and turns to the guy next to him and says "Can you read this?"  Me, I'm thinking they are having trouble reading the effective and expiration dates for the vaccine.  Nope they can't read the vaccine sticker.  The other guy says "No I can't read that, its not in english."  So the 1st guy says, "Oh, Ok" and tells me to have a nice day.

Phew.

What else have I learned?  Oh, not only do L and I have jet lag, but the beast does as well.  He's gotten up the last two mornings at 2am to go outside.  However, the 1st morning he wouldn't go without me.  It seems the yard looks familiar but is still a wee bit scary.  Yes, the beast is strange.  Thankfully this morning when L put him out he just went on his merry way.

The benefit of jet lag?  It's amazing how much cleaning you can get done between 5am and 7am.

Today the kitchen renovation begins.

Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, September 28, 2012

September 28, 2012 - 1 MORE DAY!!!!


Actually less, but as far as the US people are concerned… 1 MORE DAY!!!  Can you tell I am excited to be heading home?  I am.  Truly Totally… excited.



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

September 27, 2012 – Tired


I don’t know how I could possibly be more tired than I was the other day but I am. We are still trying to straighten out the banking situation.  Unfortunately, that has fallen into L’s lap and lord knows she has enough work still going on today that getting that resolved won’t be easy.

It’s strange but right now I am living on pretzels (from the Bretzel King), coke zero, and headache tablets.  It’s just easier to stop at the Bretzel King with the beast and I can’t bear the thought of calling room service for a 20 CHF burger.  Yesterday I considered going to McDonald’s I even walked into the storefront but if you can believe it, the line was too long and the ordering process was too complicated.  Alright, fine – the German too complex, that and there are machines so you can place your order in advance.  I considered it for about a heartbeat and then walked to the COOP for a sandwich.  At this stage if it’s even slightly complicated I don’t want to think about it.

I think today is my sister’s big move from the house to her newly purchased Condo.  Here’s to hoping that goes smoothly for her. 

I also have two more days of work (counting today) and then I am officially done.  Although I promised to handle the data conversion for a client who is supposed to go live in October, but that’s it.  I need a break… I’m just tired



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September 26, 2012 – Murphy Strikes


 
I should have known that today was going to be stressful.  It was bound to happen.  I didn’t sleep well last night, I had a minor night terror and a couple in the room next door shall we say is a wee bit vocal when partaking in certain activities.  Now, I’ll admit to finding the couple extremely entertaining because “Dave” is either extremely proficient or last night was a re-enactment of that famous diner scene in “When Harry Met Sally.”

So what has me stressed today?  Nothing life threatening, I’m putting my reaction off to being tired and having a splitting headache but I spoke with our bank about how we can pay outstanding bills online after we move because there is a lag between leaving and the last set of bills.  They politely informed me that we can’t because the account has to be closed.  Um… ok.

They suggested contacting the credit card company and having the address change to the US address so we can get the bill and pay it or see if we can get the bill electronically.

Sooo…. I call the credit card company and make my 1st mistake by telling them it’s me and not L.  They run me through 8 million security questions only to tell me: (a) L has to call to change the address (b) The only electronic statement would be sent to the bank (c) oh and if your bank account is closed you can’t have a credit card.

Ummm.. ok
 
So now I explain that the issue isn’t that we want to keep said credit card, or that we want to keep the bank account but that we want to make sure the credit card is PAID properly and how do we do that?  They brilliantly inform me that we pay the credit card in advance.  Ok so what is the balance on the credit card?  They can’t tell me because I’m not L.  Can you tell me if you received the payment that we sent on 9/20 for XXX chf?  No, because…. I’m not L.

Seriously, could we make being a responsible adult who wants to make sure everything clears and is paid off any more difficult?  Actually, I am sure they could.  Thank god for cash and Peanut M&M’s




Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

September 25, 2012 - 4 Days and Counting

The apartment is empty and we've successfully moved to the hotel.  The beastly boy and I went for an hour walk early this morning to wear him out and if things go according to plan we'll head out again shortly so he's tired while I work.

I will say he was not pleased with all the packing and boxes.  He was stuck to me all of yesterday while the guys removed the boxes and furniture.  I tried telling him we were not leaving him but I think he felt the need to make sure there was no chance of that happening.

Beyond that there isn't alot going on for which I am thankful because I'm exhausted.


Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, September 21, 2012

September 21, 2012 – Moving Company

The movers showed up this morning at 8:15 to pack up the house, cellar and the bikes.  I think there were 5 guys and by the time 12:30 rolled around they had boxed and packaged everything.  There were a few times I was afraid if Ernie stayed still too long they would have wrapped him up in bubble pack and boxed him as well.

There were kind enough to leave me a small table and my office chair so I can continue to work today, as well as leaving our bed intact.  For which I which I am extremely grateful, the bed not the desk.  Those items they will pack up Monday when they return to move everything from the apartment to the shipping container.

What’s left?  I have to borrow a knife from my neighbor Meri… and maybe a couple of forks.

This is what the apartment looks like now. 

 
 This is the dining room table and chairs
 
 The bookcase, but I can't help but wonder if the took the books off it or just wrapped it up as is

And the kitchen... this many boxes makes me feel like we have too much kitchen stuff


Oh and good luck Sis with your Condo Closing!


Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September 19, 2012 – 10 Days and Counting

Well maybe that’s 11 days,  in 11 days we will be on a plane flying back home and I’ll admit that I am starting to get anxious.  Not the I’m looking forward to going home anxious, although I am, but rather the “OMG there is a lot to get done between now and then” anxious.


So today I got the stuff in the kitchen ready for the movers, which is in part actually packing some things because I have the original boxes the set of dishes came in, despite the fact that the movers are actually supposed to pack us up.  It’s just that I’ve learned sometimes it’s easier and safer to put things in the boxes they were born in.  For example:  My computer desktop and monitor.  Those will go back in their original boxes because they have those foam forms that hold both items perfectly.  The amusing thing will be that the packers will then take those two boxes, wrap them up in something and stick them in yet another box.  At least that is what happened when we moved here.  Yes, I am rolling my eyes at the insanity of that but what do I care?


I think we have all of our bills paid to date and slightly in advance.  Tomorrow we “de-register” and then I have to go to the bank and transfer some funds from here to the US.  Yes, I can say “we have a Swiss bank account” although it’s not for the same reasons as Mitt Romney.  Friday the movers show up and the process begins.

 

The ½ Marathon

Over this last weekend my right knee got a little “hinky” and yes that is a medical term.  It was actually pretty painful on Sunday especially when I would try and go down stairs.  It almost feels like my knee was locked or hitching on something.  Hence “hinky”.  It’s finally feeling better, I can go down stairs no problem, but walking up the hill yesterday I could still feel it pulling.  So, although I wanted to give this race a try I don’t have any desire to cripple myself in the process.

Kitchen Renovations
We're all set for a start of October 1st.  I ordered the dumpster and the floor tile.  Which I believe were the last two critical items I needed to take care of for the project to begin.

Work
My last day of work for the company I have been working for is officially September 30.  Then I need to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  I think I want to give true consulting a whirl.  More on that later.  1st I have to get through the move back home, the kitchen, and the arrival of a new puppy. 


Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, September 17, 2012

September 17, 2012 – Weekend Update - The Bourne Legacy


We went to see the movie The Bourne Legacy on Sunday.   I’ve enjoyed the previous movies and I had high hopes for this one.  Unfortunately, I was disappointed.  The first half of the movie dragged and was primarily made up of shots of Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) trudging around in the snow and strangely edited clips from the last movie, The Bourne Ultimatum, to make you think that the events occurring in the current movie were happening in conjunction with the events from the last movie.

Seriously, I already paid to watch the last movie you should have given me a discount to re-watch so much of that one.  That’s not to say the movie wasn’t ok.  It was, but it’s not a $15 movie, it’s an ok $2.99 rental.  The dialogue was boring and sure who watches these movies for dialogue but the action scenes were not that much fun either.

I can sum the movie up as follows:

Snow, Snow, flashback, flashback, run, run, run, flashback, flashback.  BOOM, run, run, Bang bang Boom… Run.

Talk Talk Talk…. Bang Bang Bang… screaming… Bang Bang

Car chase, foot chase, car chase, Bang Bang Bang, flashback, flashback Bang bang, crash.


And yes it was just slightly more riveting than my portrayal.  By the end of it I was wishing Matt Damon would show up and kick the crap out of someone.



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, September 14, 2012

September 14, 2012 – Random


Well I finally got off my lazy butt and went to a slow short 3 mile run.  Slow being the key word.  Tomorrow the goal is to do a slow long run, which I suspect will be a walk/run but I’m thinking if I can get 10 or 11 miles in I’ll feel better about the prospects of this ½ marathon next Saturday.

We have to start packing up some things for the move back home, I’m not even sure where to begin.  Maybe the thing to do is determine what I need to have with me as soon as we arrive home.  Everything else will arrive about 4 weeks later.

I’m surprised that I am a little apprehensive about going home.  The being home part will be wonderful, but there is so much that will be going one for the 1st 5 or so weeks that there won’t really be any time to settle in and just take a breath.  It’ll all be fine.   I almost feel like I need a list.  Things I want to get done around the house when we arrive, things that HAVE to get done, and then other miscellaneous items.

15 days, I can make it through the next 15 days one day at a time.  Maybe I should say 15 days, 3 cartons of milk, 5 washing machine loads, 1 bottle of mustard, ¼ bottle of ketchup.  Fortunately the weather has cooled dramatically which makes using the milk easier… Hot Chocolate.  Yea.  Sure I could eat cold cereal but I refuse to buy another box before we leave.  I’ll by ketchup before I’ll buy cereal.  There is a better shot we would use the ketchup.  I have been known to eat a ketchup sandwich or two.  It sounds worse than it is.

 

Happy Friday



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

September 13, 2012 – 16 Days and Counting


I’m happy to report that I feel dramatically better today

Went to the store and got some bolts and wing nuts for the beastly boy’s crate.  We have to make sure he’s secure for the flight.

I also got my Greifenseelauf Halbmarathon race packet in the mail today. I haven’t opened it yet but I’m kind of hoping there is a set of “wheelies” in it.  Seriously, wheelies in my sneakers would make the race doable.

The weather has taken a bit of a turn the last couple of days and it’s MUCH cooler.  As my neighbor would say it’s “Fresh”.  I like it.

The moving company is delivering some boxes this Friday so we can pack some miscellaneous stuff ourselves.  Sure I get that they are supposed to pack everything but there is something a wee bit creepy about having strange men going through my underwear drawer.



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September 12, 2012 – Nauseated

You know that feeling where you are hovering at the edge of throwing up.  The one where you think, please God let this stop or at least let me just throw up and be done with it.  Despite the fact that throwing up is one of the worst things ever, you know when you are done you’ll have that 30 seconds where you won’t feel sick to your stomach.

That would be me… since last night.  Now that I grossed you out… have a pretty picture




Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11, 2012 – Munich

Let’s see:  It was a 4 hour drive to Munich and a 6 ½ hour drive back.  You might be asking yourselves how that could possibly be?  Well remember my hope that the GPS lady would play nice?  The ride home she decided that: “Due to current traffic conditions your route has been changed.”  That was an understatement.  She tacked up a 100+ kilometers and a couple of hours taking us the scenic route back to Zurich.  Since we don’t have a clue, we were at her mercy, the bitch.
 
Regardless, we had a nice weekend.  We arrived and immediately hooked up with Mike’s Bike Tours, taking part in a 4 hour tour of Munich.  For some reason, I kept thinking of Gilligan’s island while we were on our 4 hour tour.  Although, I think Gilligan and the crew were on a 3 hours tour.  I didn’t get to take many pictures but L’s sister took several of these guys for me who were surfing in a river.  It was pretty cool:



 

Things I should have known but apparently forgot:

Munich is where Hitler rose to power along with the Nazi party.  I read the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich but that little tidbit did not stick with me.


The Dachau Memorial is fairly close to the city.  We didn’t go, I just didn’t think I was in the right place emotionally to wander through that but someday I think I will go back.  I also didn’t realize that Dachau was a kind of clearing house.  That almost everyone who was sent to the concentration camps were initially sent there and then, for lack of a better word, sorted.
 

On a different note:


Our hotel room had a very nice yet somewhat puzzling bathroom:

 

Notice the hot and cold faucets way above the toilet.  If I was standing in the picture they would be just over my head.  Seriously, what the heck are they used for?  They don’t control the water in the shower.  D was going to turn the knobs to see what happened but I mentioned that all I could envision was water shooting out of the toilet like a fountain.  No one wanted to witness that.  Besides, if that really did happen the person turning the knobs would be soaked.  Ick.




Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, September 7, 2012

September 7, 2012 – What the heck day is this?


Seriously where has my week gone?  Work is crazy, life is crazy, I’m a wee bit crazy, and the beastly boy is rambunctious.

22 days until we fly home for good; I’m getting more nervous and anxious as we get closer.  We still have things to get done to make sure everything is all set.  Most of it is paperwork, but between that and everything else I’m starting to feel like I am being pulled in too many directions.  Thank God L is around to keep me sane.  In fact she is doing the majority of the coordination so why I am stressed I haven’t a clue.

14 days until the ½ marathon.  I’m screwed.

L’s sister is still visiting with us so tomorrow we head out for a quick weekend road trip to Munich.  That should be fun.  Just keep your fingers crossed that the GPS lady plays nicely.

Argghhh… I need to find some time to read something that I can get totally lost in



Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

September 5, 2012 – Rome Italy

Well I’ll apologize for not posting this yesterday, but things were a little hectic.  So let’s see.  We spent two days in Rome packing as much into our sightseeing as our poor feet could handle.  You would think jogging would equip you to better handle walking around a city.  It doesn’t, after a long day my feet were screaming.

 

So what did we do?

We went to Saint Peter’s Cathedral, had a tour of the catacombs to see Saint Peter’s grave.  Now I should point out that the catacombs are very interesting but wicked hot.  They told us the humidity level is 97%, so combined with the heat you really can’t get out of there fast enough.  In fact, it seems that people needing to get out and “fainting” is not an uncommon occurrence.

 

We also had a tour of the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel.  We weren’t allowed to take photo’s inside the museum or the Chapel but I did take these pictures.  One is on the grounds and the other is a picture of the dome of Saint Peter’s Cathedral. 



 

I have a thing for statues and interesting architecture and Rome feeds that quirk really well.  This is one of the few cities I would like to go back to see more of because there is just so much to see.

 

Some of my favorite things we saw:






 
 





Copyright © C.A. Bailey 2010 - 2012, All Rights Reserved.