Wednesday, August 30, 2006

WW Confessions - Week 22

Down 0.8! Woohoo! 3rd down week in a row!

Had to go to a different WW meeting tonight, due to work schedule. Plus normal meeting leader was out, so ended up with someone less-than-stellar. But she had good stories, and I needed the inspiration (like the lady in the back row who'd lost 60+ lbs). So it was all good.

Came back home and met up with our wonderful neighbor, Hal, who showed off his AMAZING back yard, in all its zen glory. How cool is it to know someone (1) as a working actor (2) who has a great green thumb, (3) who is friendly and neighborly, and (4) has an infectious sense of peace!?! Hal is awesome. If he ever wants to adopt a couple of thirty-somethings, we're all over that.

Better go - hubby is close to passing out in front of the dvr'd Deadwood finale...

Monday, August 28, 2006

Yes, We Killed It...

...and we're going straight to hell for it.

This was our beloved maple tree. Big and beautiful, broad as an oak, with perfect branches for swinging a tire. Unfortunately, this grandaddy maple did not survive the work we started here. After weeks of digging near the foundation of our house (which also dug up many major root systems) and driving heavy machinery around it, compacting the soil, we were told it probably would not survive. We had several tree experts in BEFORE the construction to see what we could possibly do. They all just shook their heads, and I felt like a horrible, horrible person. But as one kind tree guy put it, "It's either the tree or the house."

And so we chose the house. Smart choice, since we kind of need a place to live. But it still doesn't make us feel any better. We are very, very sad. We were just postponing the inevitable when a large branch fell on its own, sans storm or wind. We knew something drastic had to happen before someone got hurt (the trees branches were over our back bedrooms, several power lines, and the common driveway where children are known to play). And so the Mighty Maple is no more.

Joe asked the tree guy to leave the trunk so he could take it to a saw mill and get some good wood out of it to make a special piece of furniture. In the meantime, we leave you with photos of this beautiful old tree in its prime.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Stillwater, Still Drunk...

Just stumbled back home from a party weekend upstate with our good friends, Todd, Jen, and E. It started off innocently enough, scheduled around a John Mayer / Sheryl Crow concert at SPAC. Not one of those shows for which I would stand in line for days to get tickets, but for $25 lawn seats - AND the promise to party with the Connors and their family/friends in nearby Stillwater, it quickly evolved into one heckuva good weekend.

Joe and I took Friday off, and we drove up to meet Todd and E Friday afternoon. They drove us around the area, and we learned about Todd's and Jen's families and the various places they used to and still live, drove on the outskirts of the battlefield, and got a great tour commentary from E, who also showed us spots where he first rode a horse, helped a family friend load hay on a truck, etc. A great introduction to this community. Then we hung out at Jen's folks' house, watching E climb the "chicken coop" while we started what would be the theme of the weekend - drinking beer. And I learned once again why I should NEVER! drink while knitting. Screwed up a bit on Joe's sock and too darn frustrated (and tipsy) to fix it. It's not noticeable (it's the edge of the heel and will be hidden with the gusset), but it still pissed me off. I should know better.

After Jen finally got out of work and was able to meet us, we were off to SPAC for the show. Other than the Beer Nazi we had to deal with, it was a great time. The show was a lot of fun, and Sheryl rocked out with some Zeppelin as an encore. That got us going. We then proceeded to drink back at the house and chat until well after 2am.

The next day, while we were just a wee bit slower than usual, we hung out at the house, played with the dog, and in general got ready for THE PARTY. Gary and Jean, two wonderful friends of Jen's family from way back, have this awesome property with an unbelievable party layout. Had some more beer and wine, and they had a clam steam (complete with layers of corn, potatoes, sausage, chicken, and - of course - clams), a bonfire, and lots of wonderful - but crazy! - people. Todd's brother-in-law, pictured above, was just one of the many insane folks to do something with the fire that I won't go into detail about - let's just say it provided a very large bang.

We eventually had to leave, due to the last sober person wanting to make the final taxi run, but then we did what any drunk-ass folks should do - started another fire back at Jen's parents' house. So we did. Then realized we were too drunk and tired to keep it up, then we passed out a bit after 2am. Again.

This morning, around 11am, we finally awoke to fuzzy tongues and grouchy tummies. After three horrible hours on the Thruway (because everyone goes upstate for the weekends, evidently, especially when the Travers is going on), we have finally arrived home.

Eternal thanks to the Connors, Cowins, and everyone else for putting up with us and showing us a wonderful time. It just can't get more perfect than that. You can see the weekend's photos in our gallery, here.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Bad Day of Golf is Better Than a Good Day at the Office

Well, I'd say a bad day of most anything (excluding emergencies that include destruction and/or death) is better than a good day at the office. So yesterday I joined most of my coworkers on our annual golf outing.

No, I do not golf. I basically clean off my hand-me-down clubs once a year for my company's party at this place. So I wasn't broken-hearted when - due to vacation schedules of other folks and an overall shortage of people-who-aren't-great-golfers - I was asked to be Beer Wench (the title is my own - aka "Beer Cart Driver").

For those of you who don't golf, Beer Wench is a very noble position. You get to drive around in a golf cart all day, providing tasty beverages to those hard-working folks walking on grass and swinging a stick. Everyone is happy to see you. You get to drive really fast in a golf cart. You get to tell people "you've got two working legs" when they ask you to bring them something. You get to drink while you drive.

Ah-HAH! Now you see where I'm going with this.

Working for a major adult beverage producer, our outings and parties are never short of beverages. Normally I keep it simple, because - as I mentioned earlier, I DO NOT GOLF - I only have a few brewskies, or else I get even more pathetic than I already am. But if I'm just driving a golf cart? On a weekday? When the high is 85 degress, no humidity, light breeze, and beautiful views? AND I STILL GET PAID??? Hell yes, my friend - Hell Yes.

And I'm not alone - folks show up for this thing around 7:30 with coolers of beer and Bloody Marys in tow. So being buzzed at 10:30am, I certainly wasn't in the minority. I did my job, everyone got their beer, I sobered up quite nicely, and drove the 5 miles from the course back to my house. Then I had a few more beers and knitted until I got tired.

Good God, I do have a magnificent life sometimes...

Monday, August 21, 2006

WW Confessions - Week 21

Down 0.4! Woohoo! Good for several reasons:
1) First time in a while I've had two down weeks back to back. Enough of the seesawing.
2) Had a night at Copperfield's - complete with a couple of beers and my favoritest dish there, the Buffalo Chicken Finger Wrap. With french fries. And Bartender Tim gave me a Jack Daniels on the house. I love Bartender Tim.
3) The hootenanny mentioned below - a few lite brewskis there, but did pretty good on the food.
4) Dinner with our dear friends in New Paltz - homemade manicotti and little mini-fruit pies, lots of cheese for appetizers, and about 6 bottles of wine between 4 adults. Joe was DD and only had 3-4 drinks, so you do the math there...

Wish me luck for this week - going to a clam steam upstate that I'm sure will involve more drinking.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A Whole Lotta Hoot and a Little Bitta Nanny

Yesterday was a grand day in all respects except one - there just wasn't enough of it. I could have spent a whole week on just yesterday. First, after Joe spent some time working on the porch, and I spent some time not being very productive, we ambled on up to Woodstock to a party with our pals, the VanDuzers. Had a great time meeting new folks, and the skies cleared up just long enough to get a couple of songs in from this talented bunch. Alas we had to leave too soon, as we needed to head back to dinner with some other friends.

But we had to make one stop first, since we're rarely in Woodstock - this yarn shop. It was huge, open, airy, and attended to by a very fabulous gentleman. I didn't do too much damage - got a couple of skeins of Classic Elite Yarns Beatrice and 3 skeins of EA Andes. As usual, I don't know what I'm going to do with it - especially since my experience is limited to hats, scarves, socks, and strange animals. But that's what's so fun - just grabbing something and pondering it until the perfect project comes along.

And now, I leave you with the chicken from the backyard of the yarn shop. Because all good yarn shops need to have chickens wandering around.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Filling in for a bozo at work who gets 6 weeks of vacation a year doing a thankless, crap job that is very exhausting. Plus my own damn job. Bailed out of two different non-work meetings tonight, because, honestly, my attention span is...well...what's for dinner?

Staying home, having a brewsky, turning on Bridezillas in the background, and working on Joe's sock. I think I'm finally on a roll. Had major gauge frustrations with this one very simple pattern I had - Couldn't make gauge on size 1 dpns, so I went to 3s. Made gauge perfectly on 3s, but it was so damn loose and seemed like it would just pool around the ankle. Something wasn't right. Pulled out my trusty free-and-online sock pattern that hadn't failed me yet, and it showed MORE stitches per inch for the gauge than either my purchased pattern or the yarn website had suggested. Huh. So I just went with that, and it was looking great until I wasn't paying attention and made a booboo that really looked like crap. So start-over number 4. Because I still suck at ripping out and making everything right again. Bah.

I'm really liking how it's knitting up. Lorna's Laces Blackwatch. Nice manly colors. And it'll bring out the green in Joe's eyes...well...if he wears them on his face.

So before I become a babbly mess who has stared at a monitor for the better part of 14 hours today, I'm taking my knitting to the reclining couch and burning some WW points as well as brain cells in front of the telly.

Monday, August 14, 2006

WW Confessions - Week 20

I hit my 10%! Woohoo!

This means several things:
1) Even though I had an up-and-down week, I obviously had more pros than cons. Hooray!
2) I got a groovy keychain, mucho applause, and a hug from our meeting leader today.
3) My company reimburses me for each 10% lost. Meaning, I get paid back (PLUS TAX) for all the meetings I went to getting to this point.
4) I got the BEST email from my friend Lorena, after I mentioned I might go shopping at the Woodstock Wool Co with my extra moolah:
"Da-yum, girl! Way to go on ALL accounts! 10%! And, $200! And, A WOOL COMPANY! YOU HAVE $200 TO SPEND AT A WOOL COMPANY, PLUS YOU'VE LOST WEIGHT!!!!! You live an awesome life. ;-) "
5) I only have 3 more 10%'s until I'm hotter than hot!!!

'Nuff said.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I Went to Church!

I called my husband up Friday night...

"Guess what I'm doing tonight?"
"I'm going to church!"
"I hope you don't expect me to go with you..."

As a good Southern-Baptist-raised, Non-denominational-Christian-explored, current agnostic, I got a kick out of being invited to our local church to see the close of the week of Vacation Bible School. Actually, the wonderful folks at the Presbyterian Church encourage the kids to raise funds for the Humane Society, and this year the President of the HS was unable to attend.

So there I was, almost-front-pew, waiting to be struck down by lightning.

But Pastor Paul, whom I know from my Sunday-morning-breakfast-at-the-diner days, is a very laid back guy, and the service was inspiring, the children talented and cute, and the entire congregation very welcoming. It was also very telling that Pastor Paul has a nice tattoo on his forearm. Regardless, those wonderful kids sang their heart out, and they forked over $150 to the shelter on top of that.

Plus, if THAT wasn't enough, that same day I decided to try and deposit the check from this person. And the freakin' thing went through.


Happy Birthday, Russ!

Actually, due to your love of Deadwood, this post was going to be titled, "Happy Birthday, You F---ing C---sucker!" But since I direct family members to this site, and some of them are young'uns, I figured I'd better not...

Happy Birthday to a great beer pal, concert-goer, and friend. May your beer glass always be full of the good stuff, and may your days never be "pointless and annoying." Cheers, buddy!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Ya Freakin' Loser

Yeah, you know who you are. You're the one who wrote a BAD CHECK to our animal shelter then returned the dog the next day for being too jumpy, even though we warned you he was very jumpy, but you said, "no problem." You also called about how quickly you could get your refund, since we'd already taken your check to the bank. Trouble is, your refund was already in the mail by the time the bank informed us your check had bounced. Three times I've tried to redeposit it, and three times you haven't even had $90 in your account for your damn check to clear.

It's one thing if you have timing issues. Everyone has them. But three times? And you've already cashed our check. You just cheated a non-profit organization that finds homes for hundreds of animals a year. That $90 could have gone to several spays/neuters. Or bought a truck full of cat litter. Or paid one of our hard-working employees for the day.

You stoopid, white trash, hoosier beeyatch. May Kharma beat your ass, and may a dog piss on what's left of you.

Monday, August 07, 2006

WW Confessions - Week 19

So even though I'm starting Week 19 of Weight Watchers, this is really Week 1 of anyone besides close friends and supporters knowing about it. So there ya go. My name is Beth, and I have an eating problem.

Always have had one, actually. A very picky eater, I ate massive quantities of what I liked (peanuts, mac&cheese, pizza). Blew up to 180 lbs in high school (at 5'10" it wasn't bad, but for 16 years old it sucked). Began running, lost 40 lbs, and got back on track. Was LOVING the new me. I'll always have child-bearing hips, but my side profile was ooh-lah-lah.

Got in even better shape in college. Ran, played sports, lived on the salad bar at the student center. Then I moved off campus. Where Pizza Hut delivered, where I bought Ben & Jerry's ice cream to scarf down on the drive home to see my parents, and where I met my future hubby, and evenings were filled with drinking, eating, and er...having fun.

Gained bunches of weight - topped out at 205 when my boyfriend and I moved in together. We both lost weight prior to engagement - I was a proud loser of 40 lbs, and a pretty hot bride, if I do say so myself. Then came marriage.

Basically, and shamefully, I've gained about 10 lbs a year since I got married. I'm embarrassed by this, but it's the only way I'll put it out there and accept my past faults. I started losing pretty good until we moved to NY. With 5 pizza joints within walking distance. Damn, I love me some pizza.

And after many attempts and failures, and thanks to the wonderful advice from my online friends, I joined Weight Watchers. This was so easy! And it worked! And I hit 25 lbs within no time! But then I got cocky. Gain 0.5 lbs this week. Lose 1 next week. And so it went, and HAS BEEN going for about 2 months. Then it all came to a head over this past weekend.

Didn't count points starting Friday night. Then Sat we spent drinking more than we should. Then Sunday - this is the kicker, and it pains me to confess: I had a Luna bar, a Lean Pocket, Panera Bread (hubby and I split 2 sandwiches - Turkey club and veggie - condiments and chips included), then for dinner I had a bite of his Philly Cheesesteak, then three (count'em THREE) slices of BUFFALO CHICKEN PIZZA. Then hubby went to the local ice cream shop for some blizzards with candy.

I have never felt so sick in my life. Ugh.

So when the WW scale said +2.8 this week, I wasn't surprised in the slightest. But I convinced myself to go to tonight's meeting (it's hard to go to the meeting when you have bad news), and as usual I feel inspired. I just need to keep that inspiration all week.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I'm 22 lbs closer to my goal, and even if only 2 people read this I know I'm at least confessing to someone.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Our famous house

So it ends up the best part of The Night Listener was our house. I'm not joking. It was a horrible movie. And I'm not one to mind bad movies. But this was But for 5-10 seconds, at several points in the movie, our house was in its glory. So watch the movie for our home, our neighbor (who plays a dinner guest near the end of the movie), and the "thanks to the Village of Montgomery" credits. That's about it.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Hollywood in Montgomery

Started off the morning putting in a few hours at the shelter yard sale, and during slow periods worked more on Joe's socks (Lorna's Laces Blackwatch - yummy). Also met up with a dude who through Freecycle needed camping gear to help teach people various camping things. We recently bought some whipass sleeping bags, so we didn't need our Target-special bags anymore, and he was more than grateful for them. That always makes me feel good. On the flip side, we're now on the THIRD interested party of our old sliding glass doors - they're all contractors, and we all know how contractors keep schedules. Like never. "Oh, yeah, I'll come by tonight." No word. Next person - "Yeah - great - I'll be right over" - NOT. I'm having flashbacks to our own contractor nightmares. Yeesh. You'd think someone would want (and actually TAKE) a free sliding door.

Later, we're going to see The Night Listener with friends - got horrible reviews, but it was filmed in our backyard, so we're all about the Montgomery scenes. The above pic was one of many with our neighbors. There were two pics taken with Sir Robin and us - one taken by the director (who as it happens cannot operate a simple point-and-shoot camera, evidentally) and one taken by said neighbors who never told us whether or not it came out. Hence pics with the neighbors only. I should have held onto these and not released them unless they came up with the goods as well. Oh, well. If you watch this movie and see an old house with a rotting porch and tacky light-up nativity scene, then you've seen our house pre-improvements. Sadly enough, even in that state our home wasn't "creepy enough" to be the main home in the movie. But that's okay - our retired Broadway and Buffy actor neighbor, Hal Robinson, owns the house that's in the movie. He's a cool guy.

Geeeejus, I'm babbly. Maybe it's the mojitos. 'Nuff for now.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Dear God This Week Is Finally Over

Hubby's coming home from Joisey tonight, and we have a few items on the agenda:

1) Sit on porch. Because it's nearing completion, and the temperature finally dipped below 100 today. In fact, it's even below 90.

2) Drink beer. Weightwatcher points be damned - I'm having a craft beer or two with my dearest love.

3) Knit. Okay, so that's just on MY agenda, not his. But I'm finally getting in a groove with this damn sock.

4) Not do anything remotely productive in the house (including but not limited to laundry, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning bathrooms). I might not even clean the litter boxes until morning.

5) Just be.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Coz Returns

So this is Coz. Or Cosmo, or CozKitty, or Cozimoto...(and for my knitting friends, this is a shawl that my mom made for me a few years back so I could sit on my porch in the cool fall evenings. This of course was way before I picked up the needles myself - I so didn't appreciate it at the time!)

So - back to Coz. Well, he had an interesting beginning. A stray had some kittens at a friend's house in 1996, and all (even the Mama) except for Coz found happy homes. And so thus began the Weismann Home For Wayward Animals. We already had two 3-year-old cats (Otis and Milo - more on them later), and I just didn't see how one more would make a difference.

I should have known when I brought him home (sans carrier - shame on me) and he crawled under the seat of my car and didn't want to come out. And then the first night - when he cried all night and I sat up with him in the other bedroom. Literally cried all night. Like "waaah"-three second pause "waaaah" three second get the idea. He was named for the way he entered a room - much like Mr. Kramer from Seinfeld.

And so it began. This needy little sock-stealer with obvious mother issues came into our clan and made himself a little space. Early on, he scratched his own eye accidentally, then lost his depth perception while it healed - nothing sadly funnier than a cat who keeps dunking his face in the water bowl because he doesn't know how close it is to his face.

Most recently, in his tenth year, he'd shown some shortness of breath when stressed (at the vet in particular). So the vet wanted an x-ray. Then the vet saw the strangest x-ray she'd ever seen - his heart was in the wrong place. Cue the referral to the specialist. Yesterday, after an hour with a cardiologist and another hour with an internist, it was determined that this was no heart issue - that his lungs had been having issues, and the one weak lung was giving the other lung more to do - hence it getting bigger, hence it shoving the heart to a different place. So Coz was kept overnight (because if you've ever taken a cat anywhere you know it's better just to make one trip and get it all over with) to do some more tests this morning. He passed with flying colors, and depending on the culture results, we'll probably end up using an inhaler on him. I kid you not.

And so, while we await the results, he is finally home, sitting in front of the A/C, happily lethargic (as a cat SHOULD be in the summer). I find it amusing that not one but THREE vet techs smiled when I came in - they mentioned Cosmo, as is his practice when he's not happy, is affectionately known as "the talker" around the clinic now. Fortunately, he's not one of those cats who rips a person to shreds - when he gets scared, he just cries. Lots. And not just a lot of crying, but crying - a lot of the time.

That's it for tonight - it's been a long freakin' day, and I'm still just getting used to this bloggy thing. Thanks for listening/reading.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Who we are

Here we are. Joe & Beth. Nice to meet you!

Our half-hearted website attempt to keep in touch with folks is here.

And our newish photos are here.

And yes. We both smoke cigars. On the porch. With good bourbon, preferably.

Okay - let's try this out...

And here we have the Weismann blog.