Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lifestyles of the Not-So-Rich and Not-So-Famous

This is my 150th post! The following is a fun little thing that some of my blog friends have done recently, so last night I took the pictures for it, and here it is!

1. A picture of me--taking a picture of myself. I wasn't about to take a real picture of myself in my pajamas and all ready for bed. I don't think so!

2. The fridge, and my favorite item in the fridge. My favorite cold-weather drink is cocoa, and I like to top it off with a big dollop of whipped cream, and many subsequent dollops. In the summer I spray it on my ice cream and my strawberries. Yum!

3. The kitchen sink. We had our kitchen remodeled in March, so the sink is pretty new. It's huge compared to the old one.

4. What your kid is doing right now. Fast asleep in bed at about 7:45 p.m. Lucky boy!

5. A bathroom. This is John's bathroom. Our bathrooms are in the outdated, ugly 70s style. We were planning on having them remodeled next year but I don't know if that's going to happen now (darn recession!). John's bathroom is the ugliest of all, with its green tile floor, green toilet, green tub, and yellow sink, but I did what I could with it by decorating with a cute jungle theme from Target.

6. Your favorite shoes. I love my classic black heels--they're comfortable and just the right height and I think they look classy and nice.

When I don't feel like being classy and nice, I turn to these. They're my favorite non-conservative heels. Aren't they cute!?

7. A closet. This is my bedroom closet. It's kind of sparse right now. I cleaned out my summer clothes and shoes last week. I have a lot more warm-weather clothes than cold-weather. What can I say, I'm a summer girl!

8. Your laundry room. It would be nice to have an actual laundry room. Our laundry "area" is in our main-floor bathroom. I couldn't get a better picture of it because it's small in there. The washer and dryer are old and I'd like them to break soon so that we can get new energy-efficient front-loaders.

9. Your favorite room. That would be my bedroom, where I begin and end each day. I spend hardly any time here during the day but it's a big part of my mornings and evenings. I love to sleep, and my bed is the best place to unwind and relax. I love my bed; it's my favorite piece of furniture in our house.

10. Something random. (I'm doing this instead of a picture of my dream vacation, which would be a tour of Europe.) This is Blogging and E-mail Central. The desktop computer is way faster than my laptop. Your blog, if you have one, has appeared on this screen many times!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Bright Side of Being Sick

1. I got to lay around all weekend and have the house to myself a lot.
2. I watched a bunch of shows on DVR that I've been meaning to get caught up on.
3. I finally watched our Netflix movie that we've had for over a month. It was The Bourne Ultimatum. Matt Damon is hot!
4. I read almost an entire novel in one day.
5. My husband served me toast, chicken noodle soup, and drinks in bed.
6. Peter and John got to spend all weekend together, and they needed the quality one-on-one time since Peter's been away so much lately.
7. I look like Stacy & Clinton's worst nightmare, and I don't even care.
8. My house is a complete mess. At least there's a good reason for it!
9. I got caught up on sleep thanks to lots of naps and nighttime medicine that knocked me out.
10. Our home teachers brought me yummy chicken chowder and rolls for dinner last night, so now I don't have to make dinner for myself for the next few days.

Despite the benefits of being sick, I'd much rather be healthy again. This is Day 3 of my cold/flu? and I'm hoping tomorrow I'll wake up and be better. Then I'll have to spend the day cleaning my house, but I'll take that over this any day!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Blogiversary!

Today is my blog's one-year anniversary. Oops, I mean blogiversary. Technically it's on October 26th, but it was this day one year ago, on a cool, dark Friday evening after John was in bed and Peter was away traveling, that I started this blog at the kitchen table on my laptop with The Ghost Whisperer on TV nearby. If you want to read my first post, here it is. It explains why I started a blog and why I named it the "The Doll Sweet Journal."

We've come a long way (well, sort of) since then and I have come to really enjoy blogging whenever I can find the time for it. It's a great outlet for writing and picture-taking, and for putting a lot of stuff (like website links) in one easy place, and for meeting people from around the country and world. I really enjoy the friends that I've met through the blogosphere, as well as the friends who I know in person who I now know better because of their blogs. I have to mention my good friend Alyson, who was probably my #1 motivating factor in starting a blog. I knew I'd have at least one loyal reader in her! And now I have more readers and friends a year later. You're all awesome!

With impeccable timing, I got my first and probably last blog award yesterday from my blogging friend Karolynn. Thank you Karolynn, that was so sweet! You're a doll! (Get it? Ha ha.) I'm supposed to award it to seven people and link to them, but I'm going to award it to all of my friends who I follow, because seriously, your blogs are so enjoyable and enriching to read. I wouldn't spend my time reading them if they weren't!

Congratulations, my little blog. I knew you could do it!

As for me and The Doll Sweet Journal, we're celebrating tonight by going out to dinner. I think I'll take it/her out to The Cheesecake Factory. She'd really appreciate that, I think. Oh wait. That might be a little complicated. Maybe I'll just order a pizza and eat it at the computer and that will be our dinner celebration together. That probably makes a little more sense, right?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Missing Children

The scariest thing that has ever happened to me as a parent just happened a little while ago. My 3-year-old son, John, was missing! It was the most terrifying, helpless feeling I've ever had. I thought I'd be spending this evening talking to the police and frantically searching for my son, with Peter flying back early from his business trip on the West Coast as a result of my total ineptitude as a mother, but fortunately, those things won't be happening...

My friend Marci was over this afternoon with her two sons. After awhile we noticed that John and Ben (he's also 3) were being really quiet, wherever they were in the house. I went upstairs to check on them, and they weren't there. They weren't in the basement. They weren't anywhere in the house. They weren't in the backyard. They weren't in the car. Panic really started to set in as all sorts of horrifying scenarios ran through my head. Where could they have gone?

Marci ran up the street to her house, and they weren't anywhere in the front or back yard. By this point I was feeling queasy, faint, scared, and totally mystified. Where could they have gone when they were right there in the house with us? I've always known exactly where my boy is, but idea. There was no sign of them anywhere. Marci checked inside of her house in case they'd somehow gotten in, and...Bingo! They were down in the basement getting into the hot glue gun supplies(!!). I've never felt such overwhelming relief in my life!

Somehow, these two 3-year-old boys who can barely carry on a real conversation with each other had teamed up and silently left the house together, walked up the hilly, steep street, went around to the back of Marci's house, pulled the heavy sliding glass door open and closed, and played in various rooms on each floor of the house (as the evidence showed). John did this barefoot in chilly weather, with no coats on either of them. He had some scratches on the side of his forehead that we'll never know how he got. He was very quiet when I got to him. The boys seemed to know they'd done something wrong, but they didn't really understand what. They'd never done anything like this before. And they never will again, if we have anything to do with it!

I'm so happy to have my son back. I unfortunately now have a little taste of what parents go through when their children are missing. It's pure terror, and I hope I never experience it again. I got a big stress headache from the whole ordeal that I know won't be gone until I wake up tomorrow morning, but I feel like I deserve it for not being more vigilant. I learned my lesson: lock the kids in the house on playdates, no matter what! You can bet I will be doing this for the rest of my life whenever young children are in my house!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Which One Are You?


I tried to put to put McCain on the right and Obama on the left since that's where they stand politically, but it wouldn't publish that way. Oh well. I think these are both cute, especially the Obama one, but I personally am not really either of them. I still consider myself a "Momney," if you catch my drift. (For those who don't know, I was a big Romney supporter during the Primaries. I'm originally from the Boston area and kind of know the Romneys from there. They were among the stake youth leaders of my church when I was in high school, and a friend of ours was his Scheduler when he was the Governor of Massachusetts. All of that aside, I'm convinced that Mitt Romney would have been pretty much one of the best Presidents ever for this country. I'm still bit sad that it's not going to happen...yet.)

Anyway, Election Day is two weeks from today(!!!). Do you know who you're going to vote for, or are you still undecided like me? It's looking more and more like Obama will be the next Prez, and I have mixed feelings about this. While I like Obama more as a person, I agree with more of McCain's policies. Which begs the question, should you vote for the person or for the policies? In the past, I would have said vote for the policies, but this year there are so many other factors to be considered.

So I'm continuing to try get as much unbiased information as I can from a variety of sources because I want to cast an informed, thoughtful vote. I know that in the grand scheme of things my vote doesn't really matter, especially since I don't live in a swing state (Connecticut will surely go Democratic), but it matters to me. Maybe I'll just end up writing in Romney's name like I originally planned to do. If I can't come to a decision between Obama and McCain than that is probably what I'll do on Election Day. You can't argue with the fact that a vote you give a lot of thought to has to count for something in some way, no matter who wins or who's even on the ballot!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Go Take a Hike. I Did!

Last Saturday, October 11th, was an absolutely beautiful day here in Connecticut. So we got up off our butts and finally went for a hike up to the Heublein Tower, which I've been wanting to do since we moved here a few years ago.

This was a hike up a mountain. Our mountains here are nothing like the soaring majestic giants that are out West; people from the West call our mountains really big hills, or maybe mini mountains if we're lucky. But hey, it's all relative!

The hike didn't start out so well. We tried to take John up in the stroller. Big mistake! The trail was very rocky and steep. In other words, not stroller-friendly. I don't know what we were thinking. So Peter and John drove over to a nearby farm and went for a hayride out to a pumpkin patch while I stayed behind and went on the hike by myself. Just me and my Canon Digital Rebel SLR camera, which I don't use very much because it intimidates me. But it never lets me down when I do get it out, because...

I was able to get some beautiful pictures of the fantastic views. It felt great to go for a real hike again, something that I truly enjoy doing and haven't done in a long time. I loved being out in the fresh air, enjoying the profound beauty of the woods, the valley, the lovely fall foliage, and the breathtaking views. It was one of those "Life is good" experiences. I took a lot of pictures, close to 100, and I'm posting my favorites here. It was just too difficult to edit them down to a few. It's my blog, darn it, so I'll post a lot of pictures even if it's not very editor-like of me. Enjoy the views!

These are the first photos I took once I got to the top. It took less than 30 minutes to get up there. After this, there was about a 20 minute walk up to the Tower.

A river runs through it...
I drive down that horizontal road in the middle of the picture on the way to my doctor's appointments.

Back on the trail, headed all the way to the top.

It was such a pretty hike through the woods. I enjoyed the simple beauty of the sunlight through the trees almost as much as the sweeping views of the valley.

I made it!

The Heublein Tower. It was built in 1914 as a summer retreat for a successful Hartford businessman named Gilbert Heublein.

I took these pictures from the top of the tower. You can see slight reflections in some of them from the glass windows.

I like this picture a lot.
My house is a few miles past this big mound of trees. That's Massachusetts in the far blue distance.

Can you see it? There's the city of Hartford, capital of Connecticut and the place where Peter slaves away every day.

The Tower is built on rock. The wise man built his house upon the rock...but maybe not on top of a mountain, accessible only by long, steep, rocky paths!

Headed back down.

This huge craggy stone was really cool.

I had to take a few more pictures of the amazing view on the way down.

My coach awaits for my tired self.

Just as I got down to the start of the trail, Peter pulled up. Perfect timing! I was glad not to have to walk down the road to meet him, because I was pretty tuckered out. It was a wonderful hike, and I'm sure I'll be back again many times in the years to come!