V-Day 2011

Feb. 14th, 2011 10:36 pm
avanta7: (Joy)
Valentine's Day 2011
Are we cute, or what?
avanta7: (Default)
I've been neglecting both of my blogs recently, and haven't kept up with you all either. *hangs head in shame* If I missed anything of particular importance in the last three or four weeks, please let me know...

So, the latest news and/or happenings and/or random thoughts:

Riverfest was at the beginning of June. BIL's employer is one of the corporate sponsors, so he got us tickets for Friday night. Spouse and I borrowed camp chairs from Sis and off we went to see Everclear and Night Ranger. First time I'd been to a rock concert in at least fifteen years. We found a good spot to park our chairs on the slope to the left of the stage, back about 100 yards or so from the apron. Close enough that we had a good view, distant enough that we didn't get our hair blown back by the sound system. Shortly after we got situated, we saw this guy; I was impressed by his sartorial daring:

Kilt at Riverfest

It isn't everyone who has the cojones to wear a kilt. In Alabama.

Riverfest )

Encounter with the Coosa River )

Spouse and home and life in general )

Our youngest nephew has been here for the past week visiting. He's stayed with Mom all week, but he came over Thursday on spouse's day off. They played Call of Duty and Halo most of the day, and had themselves a good old time. Bobby is 15 now, and getting so tall. But I look at him and still see the sweet five year old he once was (not that he's not a sweet kid now, mind you). I wonder if that's common to all parental-types -- no matter how old they get, they'll always be the babies they used to be.
avanta7: (Sisyphus)
We should have seen it coming. But we didn't. And now we have lost a third of our income. Belt-tightening to ensue immediately. Drastic belt-tightening.

[sarcasm] Oh, and this is the perfect economic climate in which to begin a job search. [/end sarcasm]

avanta7: (SnarkyAvanta)
When I spoke to spouse on the telephone at 7:20 pm, he said he was on his way home. It is now 8:49 pm. He is not home. It does not take an hour and a half to drive home. Which means he's still at the store. Grrr.

Guess he gets to fix his own dinner now.
avanta7: (Exermouse)
Spouse took this week off work. And so it's been spring cleaning of a sort around here. Thus far this week we have, either individually or in consort:

Lists! I have lists! )

Alli is my new friend. I hope. And musings on the cost of food. )

Yesterday, I submitted my application for the Technical Expert position in Oroville. I'm not holding my breath, but we'll see.

This month's QPB selections sounded promising.

New books! )

I didn't decline the selection as is my usual practice. My copies arrived in the mail day before yesterday. I can't decide which one to read first.
avanta7: (Dora)
Spouse and I had a lovely day yesterday. I got up early and made a pumpkin pie. Then I made stuffing and seasoned the turkey; both went into the oven around 9:30. I grabbed the frozen cranberries and made cranberry sauce. Once the turkey was done (about 5 hours later), I quickly made the mashed potatoes, gravy, heated the corn and green beans and rolls. Spouse carved the turkey and we enjoyed our meal.

After the usual tryptophan-induced nap, we cleaned up the kitchen, carved the rest of the turkey, and put everything in containers. Some of the turkey went into the freezer, and the rest into the refrigerator. I'm thinking I'll have a turkey and cranberry sauce sandwich here shortly.

Throughout the day, we watched a couple of movies; I knitted and he played video games; we chatted about stuff. He said some really sweet things about how much he appreciates me. It's good to hear that sort of thing. I need to remind myself to tell him the same thing more often.

I spoke to my Dad yesterday morning, as well. He's feeling very well after the surgeries (he had a cataract removed last week, a few days after his prostate procedure). Mom wasn't home. She was on her way to Little Rock to pick up nephew J and his son to bring them back to Batesville for dinner with the family.

Today I stayed home and puttered. Spouse left for work in the wee hours of the morning. The store opened at 6:00 AM today, and he had to be there several hours before opening to finish getting displays and product ready for the public. It's nearly 7:00 PM and he's still not home. When he gets here, I think I'll fix him a turkey sandwich too, and then put him straight to bed. Poor guy.
avanta7: (Default)
I know I said I'd write about Richard's funeral, but I'm not finding anything really special to say that I haven't already said. He was Catholic, and the service was at his church, but the priest didn't perform a full Mass, at least not like the Mass said at my uncle's funeral in January. Not being Catholic, I don't know what's considered normal for memorial services. At Uncle George's funeral, we prayed the Rosary, but not at Richard's. Anyway, as none of Richard's family was up to the task, the eulogy was given by the priest as well, and he said some lovely things.

The circumstances surrounding Richard's passing are just too awful. It was a stupid accident, and he bled to death in his kitchen, and wasn't found for four days.

The following obituary was published in the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record:

Richard A. Levesque, 63, of Hot Springs, died Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008. Born Feb. 21, 1945, in Staten Island, N.Y., to Odilon Albert and Josephine Dumont Levesque, he was a U.S. Army veteran of Vietnam, serving in Army Intelligence; a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus; County 76 Treasurer Master Gardener; and a national member of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Survivors include two sons and daughters-in-law, Jean Paul and KaShonne Levesque, of Marietta, Ga., and Andre-Pierre and Alicia Levesque, of Ewa Beach, Hawaii; one brother, Raymond L. Levesque, of Aurora, Colo.; two sisters, Denise Mercurio, of Pine Bush, N.Y., and Jeanne Cullen, of Daytona Beach, Fla.; seven grandchildren, Adam Levesque, Cullen Levesque, Mia Levesque, Evan Levesque, Darren Levesque, Emma Levesque and Kay Levesque.
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 29, 2008, at St. John’s Catholic Church with Father Erik Pohlmeier officiating. Pallbearers will be Gene Lichliter, Joe Yadron, James Lockwood, Duane Vandenburg, Bill Staton and Roger Giddings. Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. today, Thursday, with Rosary recited at 6 p.m. at Gross Funeral Home chapel.

After the service, two long-time friends and I went out to lunch and had a nice long visit. After dropping off Cynthia back in Little Rock, I drove to Batesville to stay with Mom for a couple of days. As previously mentioned, we sprouted a wild hair and decided to go to Alabama. Next time I sprout a wild hair like that, I'm cutting it off. But I did get to see my sister and BIL and the latest batch of puppies. I fell in love with this little guy:

Meet Chance. Try as I might, I couldn't convince my sister he needed to go home with me. She thinks he's a show dog or something.

Phoebe, the cats, and I are on our own for the next few days. Spouse is attending a corporate convention in Las Vegas. He called a while ago and said the company booked him into a two-bedroom suite at the Mandalay Bay, with the convention going on downstairs in the same hotel. He will be sharing this magnificence with another store manager from somewhere. Spouses were not permitted to tag along. Hmmm. Sounds fishy to me.
avanta7: (Audrey)
Now, it's no secret that spouse is somewhat younger than I am. But how much younger I apparently never knew....until this package arrived in the mail yesterday.

18th Birthday?!

Oh. Dear. Heavens. Considering we've been together over 9 years, I almost literally robbed the cradle! Or at least the schoolyard.
avanta7: (Chicken Pants)
Most of you know how spouse has been struggling to find his niche ever since leaving the investment biz five years ago. Today, someone finally appreciated his good qualities and gave him the management position he's been wanting for the last several years. Nationwide retail chain, high visibility mall store, decent salary, a great opportunity.

I'm so proud of my boy, I could just burst.



Jan. 19th, 2008 06:18 pm
avanta7: (SnarkyAvanta)
Spouse went on a "clutter-reducing" binge the other day, right before our home visit. Bless his heart. However, his idea of reducing clutter means dumping stuff in a box and putting it in another room out of sight.

What does this mean? I'll tell you. I cannot find the battery charger for the digital camera, nor can I find the USB cord for the camera. Which means I can't charge the batteries to take pictures of projects and yarn for Ravelry, nor can I upload the pictures I've already taken, which ran down the batteries in the first place.

avanta7: (Books By The Yard)
Thanks to a heads-up from [livejournal.com profile] gorydetails, I was able to catch Hogfather on Ion Sunday night. I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation, although I had a bit of a time explaining the Discworld concept to spouse. The conversation went something like this:

"The world. On the back of a giant turtle. In space."
"And that's death dressed up like Santa."
"No, honey, that's DEATH dressed up like the Hogfather."
"Oh." Pause. "Is there anything else on?"

avanta7: (Default)
I was so tired last night that I didn't even think about writing up details of our day yesterday until I read [livejournal.com profile] ravensroads' account of her yard sale.

Details, details )

Spouse was so encouraged by the final tally that he wants to hold a sale every six months. He has another think coming.
avanta7: (TempestTeacup)
Today was my adjudication day at work, which means I had no appointments scheduled and I wasn't taking walk-in interviews. Adjudication days are desk days, when I'm supposed to catch up on all the stuff that has accumulated over the last week. Ha. I've been out sick so much the last several weeks that I feel like I'll never catch up. I made a bit of a dent today, but not nearly enough, between phone calls and other interruptions. I really need a couple of full days with no one bothering me at all. A Saturday or two would be perfect. Unfortunately, we have no overtime authorized, and none foreseeable, and our union contract says we can't work credit hours on Saturdays unless there's overtime available as well. Grr.

Spouse has been under the weather as well, not only with the cold he passed on to me, but with intestinal woes on top of it. He thinks he has a partial obstruction, enough to make him mighty uncomfortable but not enough to warrant hospitalization (the reason he was in the hospital in September 2005). He actually asked me to make him a doctor's appointment next week. I guess the reality of being over 40 and not in the greatest of shape has finally sunk in.

And the final crap for the day: Mom called to provide a Grandma update. My grandmother, age 97, has had chronic age-related leukemia for quite some time, which didn't cause her any problems, really; Mom just watched for excessive bruising and made sure Grandma took her vitamins. However, the leukemia recently flared into a more aggressive form (I don't know all the technical terms -- I just know her white count shot through the roof) and Grandma's doctor put her on chemotherapy. She's been on chemo for several weeks now and it isn't doing any good. Doctor wants to try another type of chemo, something stronger, which he thinks will work better but has more negative side effects. Mom discussed it with her brothers, and with Grandma, and they've decided to stop the treatment and "let nature take its course." Which means my grandmother has less than a year, maybe as little as three months, left to live.

One good thing happened today, though. My Lands End order arrived, and everything fits perfectly.
avanta7: (Smile Kitty)
Yesterday, spouse's plans for us were to go shopping. Shopping! Be amazed!

He needed pants, socks and shoes for work, and I needed more yarn, plus I wanted to stop at the Clinique counter. (It's Bonus Time, you know, although not at Macy's as I had previously thought, but at Nordstrom.) Off we went to Roseville to the Galleria Mall, where we spent many happy hours being good little consumers.

Full employment is a wonderful thing. Our respective paydays are alternating Fridays, and our pay periods end on alternating Sundays, which means we get a paycheck every week -- mine, than his, than mine, and so forth. Our bills are completely caught up and paid early, even; I don't have to watch every single penny when I go grocery shopping; and after nearly four years of scraping, I can even buy a magazine at the checkout counter without feeling guilty, not to mention indulge my Clinique fetish. We can contribute to our respective retirement plans at full capacity. The fact that he even has a retirement plan, finally, is a HUGE relief. So much weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

Today is laundry and putter around the house day. I need to throw on some clothes suitable for the public here shortly and go to the store. I might even get a few more pictures taken. There are several still in the camera awaiting upload.
avanta7: (PinkWall)
Today is a federal holiday, so I'm hanging around the house, doing a whole lot of nothing and enjoying the solitude. It's nearly 11:00 AM and I have accomplished: cleaning the cat box complete with a hosing in the back yard followed by all new fresh litter; getting dressed (if sweats and a long-sleeved T-shirt paired with fuzzy slippers constitutes being dressed); eating a bowl of granola and milk; verifying my PayPal accounts; and adding two more rows to the first square of my afghan.

Yes. I have taken up crochet. Again. My mother and grandmother taught me years and years ago when I was a kid, at the same time they taught me to sew. I haven't made anything by crochet in donkey's years....Well, let me back up a bit.

The yarn store downtown, which goes by the absolutely fabulous name "Three Local Chicks", has gorgeous yarns, and over the last year I've gone in there on occasion to fondle the worsted and squeeze the chenille, thinking that maybe, just maybe, I'd learn to knit. The owners offer free lessons if you buy your materials there, and they stay open late one night a week for just that purpose. Anyway, all I've done is fondle and lust and dream but then, a few weeks ago, one of my co-workers mentioned she wanted to learn to knit. Ah ha! I told her about the store, and the lessons, and we decided we would go together starting in November.

Colleague never learned to do any kind of craft or needle work when she was a girl. She said she ran when her mother wanted to teach her. I decided I'd do my first project by crochet because I would need minimal assistance; that way, she could get more individual attention in learning the basics of knitting.

An evening's search on the web gave me a nifty afghan pattern that's mostly double crochet -- easy easy easy -- and last night we hied ourselves off to the store for supplies and our first session. Colleague chose a big soft royal purple wool and some needles with the assistance of Billie, the owner, and I found a fabulous sage green wool-linen worsted for the background of my afghan. We sat down and set to, and had a peachy time chatting and stitching. Afterward, we went to Chili's for supper and chatted some more. I got home about 9:30, worked a few more rows on my square and went to bed about midnight. We'll do it again next week! Well, probably not the dinner part. But definitely the chatting and stitching part.

This morning when I got up it was 59F in the house. The heater went on until the temperature warmed up to a more acceptable 68F.

Spouse has his big presentation today at work. For the last two weeks, he and his team have been analyzing two departments at one of the stores as part of the curricula of their supervisory training; today they present their findings and suggestions for improvement to "the boss". It's kind of a big deal; he's been up late most nights writing and analyzing and charting and making graphics. I hope all the effort he's put into the thing pays off, and both he and the rest of the team come off well.

It's pretty today, although a little overcast and chilly. I had hoped to get out and take more photos today, but spouse must still have the camera with him. Either that, or he's stashed it somewhere in his office AKA No Man's (or in this case, Woman's) Land. It's very scary in there.

I suppose I ought to do something productive like fold laundry or wash dishes. But this is my day off alone. To heck with that. I'll have some "me" time. Reading, more crocheting, maybe a little napping. I might even make a trip to Rocklin to Macy's. It is Clinique Bonus Time, you know.
avanta7: (DistortoKitty)
Eye exam: $89.00
Year's supply of contact lenses: $319.00
New frames and bifocal lenses: $329.00
Opportunity to say "I told you so": Priceless.

I've been telling him for at least two years he needed bifocals. He didn't believe me. In fact, he insisted he didn't. "I can see just fine," he would say, as he shoved his glasses up and down his nose until he could see the print on a menu.

Ah sweet revenge.

Of course, it will be my turn next. But I've expected my prescription to head that direction and, in fact, have been surprised the last couple of years when the eye doctor kept saying, "No, not yet."

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