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the story of an invisible girl
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Right now he's at the shelter (which is inside a Vet's office), recovering from kennel cough. Then he needs some fixin'. Then.... THEN HE COMES HOME!

I'm SO excited....

Over the weekend we went shopping, and we picked him up a crate, a collar, a leash, a toy, a blankie, and a pillow. And another toy, and some treats. And a tag. I think we have all the essentials, especially since he'll come home with some food and medication and stuff. A friend gave me a brush, harness, and towel.

We have so much to figure out! Fences, routines, where will we feed him? Where will we encourage him to poop? Where will we feed Mocha? How badly will she freak out?? We need to get him house trained and crate trained, and we need to arrange our work schedules around his small puppy bladder. Will he like car rides? Will he like cats? I already know he like us.

This is going to be such a fun adventure. Once we figure this guy out (our practice dog), we might go crazy and get a SECOND dog to hang out with the first one!!

Right now his shelter name is "Shadow". But we're going to change it. The two contenders are "Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All", and "Velvet Thunder". Or maybe Guinness.

I hope he still remembers us, and I hope he's as excited to come home as we are to have him coming home. Can't wait to see you, Stormy!



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"What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly." -Lao Tzu

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BeSoft

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Sitting on the plane today, having landed in Detroit (just in from Boston). I happened to be seated directly above the baggage compartment door, so while waiting to deplane I could observe through my little round window the baggage handlers' efforts to remove the baggage from the plane.

They had the usual train with luggage cars lined up, and a ramp set up from the door in the plane down to the luggage train. The ramp was supposed to be motorized, moving the bags from the plane to the train in an orderly fashion. A single small bag was on the ramp, moving down toward the bottom.

The ramp stopped moving. Out of everything on the plane, just one minuscule bag had been removed, and it was stuck just a foot away from the plane itself. It was also such a small bag, it seemed to me it could have easily just fit underneath the seat in front of whoever owned the little bag.

A couple of baggage handlers appeared into view, waving their hands and talking to one another. They proceeded to look at the ramp, apparently trying to figure out why it had stopped moving. One bent down and looked underneath, another started jiggling buttons. Eventually the ramp moved, and more luggage emerged.

The bags moved down the ramp, and the littlest one had just made it to the end of the ramp when - of course - the ramp stopped moving again. More jiggling and hand-waving, finally the ramp moved and the handler tossed the little suitcase onto the train. Several others followed, and order seemed to be restored. The one handler was waving his arms in the air, making imaginary high-fives, and declaring victory.

Since the people in my plane were still not being allowed off, I kept watching the luggage circus. I was keeping an eye out for my own bag, since it has a distinctive and easy-to-spot pattern. Just as it emerged into view on the ramp, the ramp stopped again. Now the ramp was full of large bags, and I clearly saw the one handler mouth to the other one, "Mother Fucker!" I laughed.

He bent down again to look at the ramp from underneath, but did not appear to find anything. Finally he went to the end of the ramp, pulled off the suitcase, and tossed it onto the train. Then he walked further up the ramp, removed its suitcase, and hefted it into the train. He kept making his way slowly along the ramp toward the plane, grabbing the bags and carrying them inefficiently one at a time to the cart, looking grumpy. Finally there were just two suitcases visible from my angle - my case, and one in front of it.

All of a sudden, the ramp kicked in again, and the top two suitcases started moving down, along with a third behind them. This time for some reason they were moving much faster than before, practically charging down the ramp. The handler had to run to the bottom of the ramp just as the first got to the end. He grabbed it, turned and tossed it onto the baggage train, just as the next suitcase (mine) was about to tip off the ramp entirely. He caught my suitcase before it fell, and literally threw it at the train, then grabbed the next one - at which point the ramp stopped again.

I couldn't help but laugh. Those poor guys! Fortunately there was a lot of smiling, laughing, and eye-rolling amid the exasperation they were showing. Just another day at the office, right?

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Two days ago I accepted the job of Engineering Manager at my current company. It came with a nice raise, which is good, and a ton of responsibility (most of which I'm not even sure what it is yet), which is scary, but an opportunity to do good at a company I like.

Will I be glad I took this job? I'm not sure, but I'm about to find out. I'm excited about the opportunity, but nervous about the work. We'll see how I feel about it in six months or so....

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It's a lovely summer day, and I am reading a book on my deck. The deck needs a coat of paint or stain, but I am pretending not to notice

There is a spider by me, a little guy maybe the size of a dime if you include his legs. He is striped orange and gray, and has an intricately constructed web. I can only see the web if I focus my eyes where I think it is, then gently move my head back and forth to blur the background. I tried to take a photograph, but it is too small and invisible for my camera phone's focus to find.

There are children playing with their mom a few yards down. I can hear their voices through the trees, but all I can see is my yard and my trees. My garden, my deck, and my spider.

I haven't seen any deer in awhile, but all of the tops of my tomatoes have been munched off, evidence that the deer must visit when I am either sleeping or at work. I think about deer repellant, which I just bought, or a cage or net of some sort to protect the tomatoes. I was looking forward to eating them myself, not feeding them to deer too rude to even show themselves to me.

The spider hasn't caught anything yet. A giant version of this spider's net would trap or deter the deer, but it might puzzle the neighbors.

I love this peaceful neighborhood, but the children's voices break the mood. I wonder what we were thinking sometimes, buying this nice big house, with room to grow, in such a family friendly neighborhood. Overconfidence, I suppose. An arrogant assumption that the universe can be predicted, perhaps. Still, it is beautiful here, the house is lovely, and M and I have a very good life here. That's much more than many people get to enjoy.
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S. M. L.
6-29-70
7-6-99

I lit a candle today, and spent some time remembering. Such a very long time ago.

Life is complicated. But worth it.

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M and I had "virtual friday" dinner this evening, and our waitress was amusing. She was very young. And earnest. "Our waitress is twelve," commented M.

"Well, she served us wine, so she must be over eighteen. Maybe just a day over."

But she wasn't bad at her job. After she brought us the check, she made some small-talk. "Have a great holiday weekend. Are you doing anything special?"

"No, just seeing some friends. We'll probably go to the parade tomorrow."

"There's a parade? Where?"

"It's in downtown Northville, just a few miles from here. It's really cute, very 'small town America'."

"Oh that sounds so fun, are there rides and stuff?"

"No, just... well, boyscounts and firefighters marching and such."

She reiterated that sounded fun, and that she would have to check it out. When she walked away I blinked at M. "Why would there be rides and stuff at a parade??"

He laughed. "She's young... what does she know?"
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I am trying to learn and accept that the universe is cold and arbitrary. Indifferent, chaotic. There is no such thing as magic. Evolution is not logical, it is just a succession of statistics and chance. There is no purpose.

On the other hand, I have always believed that our job is to take the chaos that the universe gives us and give it meaning. Find purpose. I do believe that humans are full of love, and the world is a beautiful place. I read somewhere that the meaning of life is to love and be loved in return. To find and bring joy.

We can do that even in an indifferent universe.
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Mike and I want to get a dog. Or maybe some dogs. The problem is: we are not sure what size dog we want. I want a small dog. Were I choosing a dog for myself, it would be a "cat-sized" dog, or maybe "one and a half cat-sized dog" one that could sit on my lap. I would still take it for walks and play with it, and I wouldn't carry it in a purse. But it would be small.

If Mike were to choose a dog for himself, he'd want a golden retriever or something like that. Something he can run and play frisbee with, wrestle and play with.

I love big dogs, but I'm intimidated by them. I've never had a dog before, so I don't know how to properly interact with them and train them. I worry about a dog big and strong enough to be too much for me to handle. Back when we thought we'd get one dog, it was a constant debate. Every time I saw a dog I liked, it'd be "too small". Everytime he pointed out a dog, it was "too big".

We were working on finding the perfect goldilocks dog right in the middle, when I had a brainstorm. Two dogs! A lap-sized dog and a frisbee dog. This of course doubles the amount of work we have to do in finding the dogs, finding compatible dogs, and making decisions... but it might be fun to have two dogs. They'd have a companion when we're at work, we would each have somebody to play with, and the house would be comfortably full.

Right now all we have is one stand-offish cat, and the house is quite lonely. For awhile I thought we should wait until Mocha moved on -- but honestly I would like somebody more friendly in the house sooner rather than later. I think she could learn to live with a dog, especially if say we didn't let the dog upstairs. Then that could be her domain.

As time gone by, without getting into too many personal details, we are both learning that the chances are slim-to-none that we will be adding another person to our family, at least not a biological one. And even if that were to somehow happen -- hey, kids like dogs too!

I would like to rescue a dog, instead of buying one from a breeder. But we'd need to find the right kind, regarding size, compatibility with another dog, compatibility with us, ability to be left alone while we're at work, that sort of thing. We would love a puppy, but that might be really hard to raise and train from puppyhood, given our heavy work schedules.

So it seems like hunting for rescue dogs, and learning all I need to know about how one choose a dog, trains a dog, cares for a dog, etc. It will be a fun adventure. And someday soon... Dream Dog(s)!

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We didn't have plans this weekend. Well, we had a run we were planning on doing saturday morning, and I had a skating reunion sunday night, but otherwise we had no plans. In typical "us" fashion, that was to change dramatically.

Friday nothing very exciting happened. We went out to dinner, watched some TV, went to bed. Saturday morning was our run, so we got up bright and early. We walked downtown to where the run began, walked 5k (we are not actual runners) (except for the finish line and last .1 mile which we ran), then walked home. We did some puttering around the house, then went to Ikea.

We were at Ikea to look at futons, because we've been thinking perhaps we need a small one for our spare guest room. While there, we looked at dining room tables. This new house has a dining room, but neither of us have ever owned or needed an actual dining set before. For the past year, it's been an empty echoey room.

We didn't find the perfect table or futon at Ikea, and ended up walking out with just some tupperware and meatballs.

That afternoon I had a nap, and when I woke up I started thinking about our table situation again. I had once explained to my brother, "I feel silly buying an expensive new table. It seems to me that there should already be enough dining room tables in the world that anybody who wants one can have one." Unfortunately, when I looked on Craig's List, it was often full of ugly furniture.

I spent some time hunting there anyway, and came across a few possibilities. Then, 2 or 3 pages in, I hit jackpot. A pretty-looking table in our own neighborhood! I sent the guy an email, and we eagerly waited for a response.

Thirty minutes later, no answer. "Maybe they have something better to do at 6:00 on a saturday night," suggested M. "Maybe we should too."

So we gave up on a response, went out to dinner, then watched a movie. Fun was had by all. When the movie ended, we found that the table guy had called - woohoo! M called him back, and we agreed to meet at noon sunday.

Noon on sunday arrived, and we drove the four miles to his house. The table was perfect, exactly what we'd been looking for. Solid wood, antique, 6 chairs, 4 or 5 leaves to make it larger for parties, nicely finished. We agreed to buy it on the spot. Then we just had to figure out how to transport it home! We knew that Home Depot would rent pick-up trucks by the hour. M went to Home Depot, while I went to the ATM in order to actually pay for the table.

By 1:00 we were back at their house, loading the table and chairs into our fancy Home Depot truck. Fortunately the table came apart fairly nicely. Fortunately I carry a puffy blanket in the back of my car for just such packing emergencies. A couple extra parts went into my Focus, and everything was ours.

We got it home, and started unloading. I could carry the chairs no problem, and the table's pedestal, but the actual table-top (solid oak) was heavier than we felt safe having me carry. Fortunately our neighbor across the street was out, and he was happy to help.

We got the table inside, then drove the truck back to Home Depot. When we dropped it off, it was 2:45. Less than 3 hours since we'd met the table's previous owners for the first time, and less than 24 hours since I'd seen the ad on Craig's List. So it was unplanned... at least we have a beautiful table!!



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This is my "birth weekend". It's like a birthday, but it lasts all weekend. Tomorrow is my actual birthday.

Actually I usually like to celebrate birth month. However since my birthday (June 2) falls on a monday, it's natural to start celebrating on the friday beforehand. To be honest I didn't celebrate a whole lot on friday, but I certainly started celebrating saturday morning.

Saturday morning I went on my very first Color Run! It was Ferndale's Rainbow Run, it was 5k, and I walked it with M, Sandra, Sharon, and another Mike. I've been wanting to do a color run for awhile, but have had trouble talking M into doing one. Naturally this being my birth weekend, it was easier to convince him.

We had fun, got very colorful, and took lots of pictures! I enjoyed it. The only downside was that it took a long time between when we arrived and when we finally got started walking. Would have been better if we had arrived a bit later, or if they had been moving things along a little quicker.

Saturday afternoon there was some relaxing and napping, then saturday night we went to dinner with S and R at a place called A Matter of Taste. Good food, on a deck on the lake, which was very relaxing and pretty.

Sunday morning I had a doctor's appointment. Then I worked on affixing one of my birthday presents to my bike: a new phone-holder! Then M and I went for a bike ride. I used my phone's map to navigate us to Maybury State Park, and we had a great ride around inside of it. Beautiful day, good fun, and the phone holder works well. Yay!

Sunday evening M cooked us a homemade dinner. Shrimp, scallops, and broccoli casserole. Yummy, and somewhat low-carb. We shared some wine with it, and ate on the deck. Was lovely, even if our neighbor decided that sunday dinner-time was the perfect time to use his chainsaw to cut up some wood, and then run a wood-chipper. Argh.

We've been trying to cut back on carbs recently. I'm not going to be perfectly low-carb on birth weekend, but at least we can be somewhat cautious of them. I also had a Giridelli chocolate today, and an ice cream bar. Yumm.... even a few tortilla chips with guacamole, but no bread or pasta. So slightly lower carb than I might generally eat. We're trying to cut back because I, at least, am quite addicted to carbohydrates. Sweet, sweet carbs. M is just generally looking to lose a few pounds, I think. We both would like to be healthier. So more walking and biking, and less bread and chocolate.

Tomorrow is monday, and I don't have to go to work. Woohoo! I gave myself a birthday present of a day off, and I will spend it sleeping in, getting a massage, and perhaps running some errands.
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Replaced the ball rod in my sink, and now the sink's drain stopper works again. Home improvement for the win!

Looking forward to visiting Chicago family for Easter.

"If you ever get to the point where it's hopeless and nothing more can be done, you've overlooked something." -Brian Owens

Today at the grocery, I bought a whole artichoke. Now how do I cook it?

How exciting... it used to be that most of my friends were allowed to get married here in Michigan, but not all of them. Now all of my friends are allowed enjoy what my sweetie and I are enjoying.

March 22nd is the appropriate date to take the Christmas lights down from the front of the house, right? (For the record, we haven't actually turned the lights ON since after the holidays. We aren't THAT tacky....but close.)

Do I know somebody who sells Origami Owl? Or who knows somebody (local) that does?

Today at work one of the managers saw that it was the International Day of Happiness, so she had T put on the dragon suit and carry a "Free Hugs" sign around the office. Several hugs were exchanged. He joined our 3pm stretch session and tried to do a Downward Dragon while we were doing yoga. He was going to try riding the giant tricycle, but his tail got in the way.

(It was also a very long day of coding and hard work, which made the Free Hugs moment even nicer. Does this sound appealing? Are you good with Java, JavaScript, and Agile development? Message me. Maybe next year you can be the one doing yoga in a dragon costume during your code break.)

Some nights, I stay up cashing in my bad luck
Some nights, I call it a draw
Some nights, I wish that my lips could build a castle
Some nights, I wish they'd just fall off

But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I'm still not sure what I stand for
What do I stand for? What do I stand for?
Most nights, I don't know anymore...

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I don't remember exactly how long ago I got my black leather gloves. I know they weren't the first - in fact they are probably my 3rd or maybe even 4th pair of black gloves. I like leather gloves for driving in during the winter, and they look good with both casual and dressy outfits.

I know they are at least 2 years old. I suspect they were new(ish) when this story began, 2 winters ago. I was wearing my black leather gloves every day, and it was the middle of winter. I remember one day when I was getting ready to leave work. I found a single glove in the pocket of my coat, but not two. I looked all over the office, in my bags, in my coat. Then I went to my car and looked there. No extra glove anywhere. I was fairly sure I'd had them in the morning, as I would have remembered driving to work without them. The steering wheel gets cold.

That night I looked everywhere at home, and still couldn't find my other glove. The next morning I wore different gloves, and looked everywhere as I retraced my steps from the day before. Not in the lobby, not in the stairwell, not in the hallway... I asked at the reception desk, and told all my coworkers about my missing glove. A fresh coat of snow had fallen sometime in the previous 24 hours, which made it unlikely that it would be found. If I'd dropped it in the parking lot, it was buried by now.

I remember standing with some coworkers, and we were all looking out the window at the parking lot. We actually saw a glove on a snow bank, but when I checked it out later I found it to be a knit glove not mine. Mine seemed gone for good.

Fast forward a week or two, and a thaw had come. I was leaving the office at the end of the day, and I happened to glance down in the parking lot. There was a dark and bedraggled-looking bit of cloth. I picked it up, and found that it was a leather glove - or at least once it had been a leather glove. It was stiff with caked-in salt, had been underneath the snow and ice, and had clearly been run over several times. However it looked like it had been about my size.

I took it home with me.

I washed it in the sink, not expecting much. I found that it was indeed black leather, and it did indeed match my other glove. I'd found my glove! After it dried, I washed it again. Much to my surprise, it came out just fine. The leather was soft and scuffed, but it didn't look any worse than my other well-worn glove.

I continued to wear those gloves for the rest of the year, then all of the following year.

Fast forward 2 years to this year, 2014. I was still wearing those same gloves, and they were quite thin by now. When winter hit in December with its full force, I would come home from work most days with numb and frozen fingers. My thin leather gloves were no match for the sub-arctic temperatures this winter was giving me. I asked for new gloves for Christmas.

I accidentally asked too many people for gloves, and ended up with 4 different pairs of gloves. I put the leather gloves in my backpack as spares, and started wearing my new gloves.

Fast forward to March 14th, today. The weather people had been predicting temperatures in the 40's for today, so when I left for work I didn't bring any of my new gloves. I thought that with temperatures that warm, I wouldn't need them!

As I drove to work this morning, I found myself wishing I'd brought gloves after all. The steering wheel was cold, and the temperature hadn't hit 40 yet. Then I remembered my spare gloves, and with one hand I dug into my backpack as I drove. I found my old gloves in the bottom of my pack, soft and supple, warm like old friends.

I put them on, and was amazed at how comfortable and cozy they felt. None of my new Christmas gloves had formed themselves to my hands yet like my old gloves had, even though they were warmer, and I found myself surprised by how much I'd missed these gloves. The temperature today was perfect for thin leather gloves, too.

That's why, this evening after work, I wore my old leather gloves when my sweetie and I went out to dinner. Going out to dinner proved to be difficult though. The first restaurant we visited had over an hour's wait. At the next restaurant, M dropped me off in the parking lot so I could run in and check the wait. It was also over an hour, so I hopped back into the car and we headed for restaurant #3. We were too hungry to wait for 70 to 90 minutes.

The third time was perfect, and we had a nice meal. As we got up to go, and I gathered my belongings though, I stopped. "What's wrong," M asked. "No gloves." I looked in my pockets, on the floor, everywhere - my gloves weren't with us. "That's okay, I must have left them in the car."

In the car, I found a single glove - sitting in the space between the seat and the door. Uh-oh. Not a good sign. We looked under the car, and around the parking lot, but there was no second glove to be found. "That's okay, it's no big deal."

We got in the car and drove off. M pointed out that the gloves had lived a good long life. I agreed, but then I thought about how happy I had been this morning to be reunited with them. I asked him, were we near the second restaurant? Of course, we had just passed it. He asked if I wanted him to turn around. "If it's not too much trouble...?"

I thought it over, and realized the most likely thing that could have happened was that I'd taken my gloves off in the car while looking on my phone for an alternate restaurant. When I'd jumped out of the car at the second restaurant, there was a chance that my gloves had still been sitting on my lap at that point. That would explain the single glove right by the door, and the missing second glove.

There was a chance that it would be in front of the second restaurant, or that somebody had turned it in there. It turned out to be a huge pain to turn around through all the traffic at that particular point in the road, but M did so anyway. "Maybe we need to get you clips," he suggested, "to attach your gloves to your jacket."

When we finally got back to the second restaurant, he dropped me off again while circling the parking lot. I crossed the driveway, avoiding the cars, when I saw it right in front of the curb. In traffic, quietly waiting for me, being run over. My glove.

I bent over and picked it up, startling a trio of men in business suits. I think they thought that perhaps I'd tripped or fallen, because who would bend over and pick up a dirty black rag in the middle of the driveway? They asked if I was okay, and I said, "Everything is great! I found my glove!" They hurried away from the weird girl picking up trash. I stood there waiting for M to finish circling, daintily clutching my wet and dirty prize in the tips of my fingers. Success!

Hopefully it will clean up just as well as it did the first time. I'm not sure if it was the left or the right glove that was lost and found two years ago, but clearly this pair of gloves - while it does like to go wandering sometimes - intends to stay a part of my life for a long time.

(You can see that the left one has been squashed very flat. It is also very wet and dirty, although I'm not sure that really shows in the photo.)
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I am applying for a manager position at work. I'm posting it here so I can remember if/when I applied....

It's weird, because I'm not certain I want the job. It'd be an exciting opportunity, but I'm a little nervous leaving my technical roots - although I'd still be doing development part of the time. To be honest, I applied for this same position in the fall. I was not chosen, and 2 other people were. I was bummed and annoyed that I wasn't selected, especially when one of those 2 people left the company a month ago.

I felt somewhat like I'd put myself out there. I thought they needed me, so I offered to help out and be a manager (even though I wasn't sure I wanted to be), and they rejected me. Then they went with somebody not as good, who didn't even stick around. It's like when the boy who dumped you ends up with a loser. I felt a little bit pleased and vindictive - but at the same I really do want my company to succeed. I like this company, and when it succeeds, I succeed.

So long story short, they put out requests for people to apply for management positions again. I thought it over, and I did not apply. I figured that I'd made them an offer once, and they'd rejected it. That was fine, but if they wanted me they'd need to tell me.

They D, the guy asking for applications, brought me into his office. He wondered why I hadn't applied. He was hoping that I had simple not realized that the deadline had already passed.

I explained that I said above, while trying to be polite about it. I explained that I figured they would ask me if they wanted me. D looked confused, and went hmmm. I said, "Is this sort of you asking me to?"

"Well, yes, somewhat," he said. "But only if you're comfortable with it. You can send me a resume even though the deadline has passed. Only if you want to."

So I thought it over. I got what I wanted: he asked me to apply. So I figured what the heck, and I sent in my resume again. There are three stages to the interview process. I've made it through Stage One, the second is tomorrow, and the last is next week. We shall see what happens next!!

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We are talking about going to Colorado this summer. A friend will be getting married, and we thought extending our stay for some hiking and fun would be a nice idea. Right now we're just in the dreaming stage of the vacation.

My hubbie wants to go fly fishing for a day. "Hmm," he said, tapping his lip. "What can I do with you while I'm fishing?"

"Is there a spa or something fun around?"

"There is a spa, but staying all day at a spa seems a big much."

"Because it would be too expensive? Too boring?"

"Well I just think you wouldn't have enough to fill your time. I mean, you get a pedicure, and a massage, and then...?"

"Well remember that one place we visited, that had natural hot springs with a swimming pool? That would be great. Or if they had a workout room, or dance classes, or yoga maybe? And I could have lunch... Some places give you a day pass to their facility. Or are there fun things to do nearby?"

"Hm, there's this one spa on a ranch."

"I could go horse-back riding!"

"Yes, they have that, and mountain biking, and zip lining, and hot air balloons."

"Oh! And I've always wanted to learn to hang glide." He looked up at me, a little startled and confused. "I mean, if they had hang gliding, that would be nice. You said hot air balloons, and I thought that was a little like hang gliding. I've always wanted to try it."

"Well I want to try hang gliding too."

"Okay maybe we'll do that one together. And maybe not in Colorado. But we should do it."
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I had an inefficient but pleasant day today. The short version is: M and I drove around 3 hours to get some flowers and pomegranates. But it was worth it!

The saga started because I had a desire for pomegranates last week. (Yes, somewhat irrational, but it made sense to my warped mind.) I didn't know where or IF they could be bought this time of year, but I checked the local grocery. No luck. M checked the local Trader Joe's, none there either. Then I emailed the Whole Foods in A2. They said they had some.

In the meantime, a couple of months ago I won a "flower of the month" certificate in a charity auction. My monthly flowers were supposed to start in January, but it was such a busy and snowy month, I never made it out there. The flower shop is, unfortunately, not all that convenient to my house. It's about 30 minutes away by car.

So finally today, the second Saturday in February, M and I both had a free day. Plus, the weather was fairly good (for February, at least). We decided to make a day of it, drive to the flower place, stopping at Whole Foods on the way, taking care of a couple other errands while we were at it.

Unfortunately the Whole Foods I had emailed was the opposite direction of the flower shop. But we figured: if one Whole Foods has pomegranates, surely all of them will have them - right?

Wrong.

We looked online and found a Whole Foods that was somewhat-on-the-way to the flower shop, or at least not as out-of-the-way as the one in A2. We drove there, and (as you can probably guess by now), there were no pomegranates. I was bummed, since we'd wasted all this time with no reward! We bought a few other items for other meals, then headed to the flower shop.

On the plus side, the shop was nice, and I like the flowers I retrieved. It will be fun heading out here once a month for fresh flowers - even though it's inconveniently far away.

After we left the flower shop M drove us alllll the way to A2. To be clear, the flower shop was about 30 minutes East of us, while A2 was about 30 minutes West of us. Plus we had already wasted another chunk of time going to the wrong Whole Foods first, which had already been somewhat out of the way.

On the other hand, it was a nice day for a drive, and I was with my sweetie. So it was not a complete loss by any stretch.

We got to A2, and traffic and parking were crazy. Probably because, as M pointed out, Michigan has been largely uninhabitable for all of January. Now that it was 25 degrees out, and the sun was poking out of the haze periodically, and it was only snowing just a tiny bit, people came swarming out of their homes to run errands and buy expensive produce.

Just like us.

I got frustrated with the mobs of people, but it was all made better when we found our goal. Pomegranates, a whole mound of them! Hooray! The prize made all the ridiculousness of our quest worth it.

We drove home victorious, and shared a pomegranate on arrival, the seeds bright red jewels busting on our tongues. Victory never tasted so sweet.
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A few people are posting on FB about abortion, since today is the anniversary of Roe vs Wade. It got me thinking about my own views on abortion, which are... complex.

I told my husband awhile ago that I am anti-abortion. He looked at me with surprise, and I elaborated, "But that is not the same as the political movement Pro Life."

Basically, I think it's a terrible idea, and I don't want one. I would discourage any friends from doing it to the best of my ability, but if I could not convince them, I would sadly support them. They are still my friends. Finally, I don't think it's any of the government's business. I suppose this officially makes me Pro Choice, but I don't feel pro-choice-with-capital letters. Pro choice feels dirty, and way too cavalier.

I like the bumper stickers that say "Choose Life." I think the debate should go away from legality and instead focus on what we can do to help these women who are at such desperate times in their lives. Provide them with as many viable options as possible, with abortion being available if nothing else is possible. We should also focus much more on preventing them from getting there in the first place (birth control).

Really what it comes down to is an agonizing wrench in my gut when I hear about an abortion, when there are so many people out there who long for children and cannot have them. I see people ranting on FB about "why force them to raise unwanted babies," and all I want to say is, "We're not, just give the baby to one of the many many couples out there who are desperate to adopt a baby, who want nothing more than to lavish it with love, sports equipment, music lessons, and good meals."

The issue breaks my heart. I wish there was some way to reallocate, and put all these unwanted babies into homes which want them. Or better still, but the unborn fetuses into bellies that want them. Wouldn't it be nice if it could be that easy?

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renniekins
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2014 began with a Rose Bowl win, which was very exciting for M and his friends. I, as a Spartan-in-law, was pleased, but not quite as ecstatic as my sweetie was. The joy of having something good happen to somebody you love, not actual joy in the game - if that makes sense. On the other hand, M bought 26 long-stemmed red roses for our Rose-Bowl-watching party. His friends canoodled him into it. He accidentally invited people over on New Year's Day without asking me first, that's why. So one friend said he should buy roses as penitence, since it's the Rose Bowl. Somebody else suggested a dozen would be a good number, then somebody else noted that it has been 26 years since the Spartans had last played in the Rose Bowl, so 26 would be a good number.

I enjoyed having 26 beautiful roses in the house - and they looked good in the victory photos!



After the new year, the winter made its presence known, and the temperature plummeted. It began with some beautiful snow though, and M and I went for a wonderful walk in the snow. There is nothing nicer than a walk through active weather, when you don't have anywhere in particular you have to be. (I was lucky in that I was able to work from home the following morning, rather than having to brave the weather and the nasty roads that Monday morning.)



After the weather came incredibly cold temperatures. I never saw less than -6 in my car, although it was colder than that at night, but with wind chill that was crazy cold. I made a video of a cup of hot water turning immediately into steam/snow when I threw it into the air.



It was so cold that it killed M's battery while it was parked outside his office. What would normally be a few-hour inconvenience turned into a three-day ordeal, because all of the tow trucks and service shops were swamped with more serious cases. Fortunately some coworkers were able to give him a few rides, so I only had to make the trip to Ann Arbor once to pick him up. Three days after it died, he was finally able to buy his car a new battery, and he was able to drive it home again. Sheesh!

"In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."
--Albert Camus
renniekins
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I thought I'd do one of those list posts I've seen floating around. I deleted questions I didn't feel like answering though... Happy 2014 world!

1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
I did a Warrior Dash! I've been wanting to do one for a few years. M tried to talk me out of it, because he was afraid I could hurt my knee (more). I was certain I would be okay though, as long as I approached it as a fun challenge, not a race. I took my time with each obstacle and made sure I was doing them safely. I completed every single one, and had a blast doing so. I was so proud of myself when I finished!!

I also completed my Master's degree, but that was way back in the beginning of the year. 11 months ago! I'm amused to note that it was the Warrior Dash that first popped into my head while writing this, and I only remembered the Master's degree when I scrolled through my FB to remind me of the year's highlights.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any, at least that I can recall. This year I would like to use this journal more. I miss writing. That seems like a reasonable goal. By my count I only wrote a paltry 81 entries in the past 2 years. My goal for 2014 is to write more than 81 entries.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not really. Well, a friend of mine had twins recently, but we aren't close enough that I've met them yet. I will fairly soon though.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
I attended 4 funerals. Both of M's uncles died, and 2 of my friends. Uncle Bob, in particular, was a hard loss. He was like a second father to M, plus he was the priest who married us. My friends were Melissa and Gary. Neither of them were close friends, but they were both good people whose company I enjoyed when we saw one another at cons and parties. Also my kitty died, Robin Hood.

5. What countries did you visit?
Spain and Canada. Spain was for our fabulous 12 day vacation in October. M and I have both been to Europe several times, but we'd never been there together. We decided that, for our first trip across the ocean together, we would go to a country that neither of us had ever been to before. That way we could discover it together. It was wonderful. Canada was for The Incredible Shrinking Librarian's wedding/Halloween party!

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
A child... if God and biology are willing.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
We sold M's house and bought our Dream House together.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I applied for a couple of jobs in my current company and didn't get them. I'm not sure that I really wanted them though, so it wasn't a big deal.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I'd say it was this house, this is a great house for parties and for hanging out with M!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My amazing husband has continued to be my rock throughout a very roller-coaster-y year.

14. Where did most of your money go?
I think the combination of selling M's house, buying this house, and moving in general.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Hmm, good memories from 2013:
Completed my master's thesis and graduated from Regis University with a CS MS degree
Bought a house
Mardigras wedding anniversary
Skiing up north and renting a cabin (with a hot tub) with our pals
Reunion at synchro nationals
Biking in Boston with Sis, Mike's Pastries
Dining outside on our own deck, looking at our woods
Celebrating 16 years of Robbie
Swimming in D's pool
Ice cream at Gurnsey
Karoke and kayaking with Cousin R, Lake Huron
Warrior Dash
Biking
Painting sunflowers with girlfriends
Canoeing on Rifle River
Spain
tricycle at work
My whole family all visiting our new house at once
K's wedding
Parades in Northville
Housewarming/birthday party, July 4th party, holiday party, Rose Bowl party
decorating the house with blue lights
buying a christmas tree that was too big
teaching computer science to 1st and 4th graders

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Writing. Biking.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Stressing.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
In Chicago. Christmas Eve was with the whole W family, including my niece and nephew. Christmas morning started out with just me and M in our hotel room, then walking to my mom's for waffles. More presents, and a nice walk going to visit Lake Michigan and the site of our proposal 4 years prior.

21. How did you spend New Year's?
Having dinner at Deadwood Grill, then going to D&B's to see friends. We tried to get home before the ball dropped, but didn't quite make it due to weather. We wished each other happy new year in the car, on 275, then exchanged proper kisses and toasts (with Polish wine, in our wedding toasting flutes) 10 minutes later.

24. What was the best book you read?
I didn't read very much. I'd like to read more this year.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 29(ish). Also known as 42. It was on a sunday, and it was a mellow but very nice day. My sweetie made me dinner. I had a great party/housewarming the following saturday.

29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
hahahahaha

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Less loss. However I will say that all-in-all, 2013 was full of wonderful things.
about this journal
Welcome to my online journal! Who am I? Click the "about me" link above for some details. Sometimes silly, sometimes thoughtful, sometimes mundane, this is a reflection of my chaos. I hope you enjoy it.
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