Tuesday, October 26, 2010

This just in!!

Some good news re: the sewer line replacement...the quote came in at half of what I thought it would be!!  So our half is now even half of that half!  HA!!  Might get underway this Thursday or next Monday.  I will be so happy when all is said and done (even with the disaster that the front yard may be).  I can do our wash at home again, even tho I have become quite the laundrymat pro.  I just want this homeowner issue to be behind us, so we can move forward with Operation Sell This House!!!

A little more joy to the end of my day:  I got a small check in the mail for a class-action lawsuit I participated in against WalMart (from prior employment).  This money will be added to some my honey has been stashing from his freelance gig to buy us a new TV!  A flat screen!!  Then we won't be stuck trying to get channels in with our crazy antenna!  Yeah!!!  It will be like we are grown-ups!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Without further ado

The moment you have all been waiting for ... the unveiling of costumes for 2010:

Dead Gangster


Speed Racer

And because it is a bit hard to tell ... this is an INJURED Speed Racer!!!  Another one-of-a-kind, made all by his creative self!!! 

Here is one of the haunted couple!!

This is Halloween

Halloween and Fall are our favorite time of year!  And this past weekend was the annual Halloween costume party we look forward to attending.  My costume had a quick switchout from a skirt (made me self-conscious, so I knew it would bother me all night) to a pair of my very own black pants ... I don't have any pics uploaded, yet, so I will have to keep you in suspense.  Here are past year's costumes to keep you at bay.

My hubby is uber-creative and has THE most amazing costumes!  He is award-winning!!  He goes all out and makes the majority of his costumes, down to the most perfect details.

Edward Scissorhands (2005)

Son of Svengoolie (2009)

And some he buys but embellishes (usually with handmade accessories):

Elvira (2007)

Ghetto Leia (2008)

He is always a Halloween treat to behold!!!

Here we are in 2004

Midnite Priestess & Edward Scissorhands (the 1st attempt)

Dead School Girl w/ Edward

Malpractice & Negligence

I was a dead French maid in 2007

A sexified Evil Queen in 2008

And a completely homemade dead Prom Queen in 2009 (this is my favorite!!)

Have you caught on to my overall theme: most everything I wear is DEAD!  Dead school girl, Dead French maid, Dead prom queen, Dead gangster!  Yep!  For me, it really isn't Halloween if it is cute ... it has to have a twist! 

We were hoping to attend a second costume party this year, but we don't seem to have any friends that can make it to one this Saturday nite. So ... the costume trunk has been packed up for another year.  And we both get started on ideas for next year. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Breathe In - Breathe Out

If ever there was a time for me to put yoga breathing into practice...

I received some very disappointing news yesterday.  My husband and I have been preparing for a once-in-a-lifetime 2-week trip to India, including a sidetrip to the Taj Mahal (my most favorite structure in the whole wide world!!), that starts at the end of February 2011.  We got word yesterday that due to a shortage of people, the trip must be cancelled.  DEVASTATING news, to say the least.  We have been reading, we have been clothes shopping, we have been watching programs, we have been talking and dreaming and ... well, consumed by India.  Just the night before receiving the email, we watched a PBS program on the story of India.  Whenever I thought of the trip, I was almost in tears from excitement and amazement.  I mean, I never thought I would ever get to "my" building, the Taj, and then this amazing opportunity presented itself.  (My husband works at a university and this trip was going to be 100% planned ... we would have been able to just "be" in this most amazing and different country!!  Soak it all in, absorb it thru our pores, live it for 2 entire weeks from the Taj on to the south of India.)

And remember yesterday I said I have been under stress ... yeah, like I need this news heaped on top of my already weakened state.  BLAH! 

When I got home, I find that the work on the sewer pipe in the street in front of our house carried on to the easement.  A rose-of-sharon had been dug up and set aside, part of the curb was destroyed and a HUGE gaping hole dug.  (We are assured that black dirt and grass seed will be provided and our tree should be put right back in its place ... at no cost to us.)  However, the backup problem we have been experiencing exists in the pipe that runs from our house to the easement, of course.  Know what that means???  Our yard and sidewalk have to be dug up (7 feet deep b/c we have a basement).  Fortunately, our city has a 50/50 cost share program, so that will help us out ALOT, but it will still be to the tune of several thousand dollars (I am estimating $4000-$5000).  And 2 of the front sidewalk squares that will be destroyed are newer (another 50/50 cost share program ... the 50% we already paid and the 50% we will pay again means we will have ended up paying 100% for those 2 stinkin' squares!). 

On the bright side, the part of our sidewalk to the house that we didn't replace a few years ago (thanx, honey!!) will be removed and redone for 50%!  Not to mention, we will have all new sewer lines, with an outside clean-out and a backflow prevention valve ~~ GREAT selling points as we have our home up for sale by owner.  

I just don't look forward to seeing the devastation it brings to our front yard that we have already landscaped.  All things should be put back in the ground and since it is fall, we should have the best chance of plants and bushes surviving.  But, just UGH!  Right?!  Anyone with me on this???  I thought so ~ Thanx!!

Well, I wasn't in the working out mood (& neither was the husband), so we decided to head out to a somewhat-local outlet mall.  It is outdoors, so we could enjoy the cool, crisp fall weather and just do some shopping, taste testing, walking ... try to get out of our heads.  Retail therapy is better on the body than food therapy, right?!  Just maybe a bit more expensive, depending.  Not to mention, food runs right thru ya!!!  We stopped at a Starbucks on the drive, sampled food and coffee at our 2 favorite shoppes, I treated myself to perfume (it was on sale AND I had a coupon) and I snagged a cool shirt and jewelry organizer.

I am trying my best to see that the cancellation of the trip is for a reason (that is what my husband chooses to believe and others on Facebook have offered); that the whole sewer line replacement experience, while costly, could be more if it weren't for the 50/50 and is absolutely necessary to the successful sale of our house; and that our yard and sidewalks will be better than ever!!!

I am trying.  It is just taking a whole lot of concentrated effort to find my joy and plenty of stress-relieving breathing.  It is what it is at this point ... so I need to buck up and push onward! 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sweat Equity

Ahhhhhh!  There is nothing like the relief one gets after working up a good sweat at the gym!  I have been under a bit of stress as of late and was really looking forward to a workout last nite.  My husband and I belong to LA Boxing where we take both boxing and kickboxing classes.  They are exhilirating, to say the least!  We are led by amazing instructors with boxing and MMA experience.  The hour long classes are taught on 150-lb heavy bags, and include an intense warmup and killer ab-work to finish.  You get out of it exactly what you put into it ... and, let me tell you, the hubby and I practically kill ourselves during classes!  I have never enjoyed being a such a sweaty mess, until LA Boxing.  WE LOVE IT!!!

When we started, just over a year ago, we were attending classes 5 to 6 days a week.  We have since tapered to 3, maybe 4, so that we can have a better life balance: work, gym, all the rest!  We were feeling like we couldn't get to the things we needed to do and many of the things we would like to do when under such a heavy workout regimen.  We do our best to get all of our fitness in during the week and leave our weekends free to do whatever, like housecleaning and laundry (blah!).  The workouts are so intense that we are pretty well spent after, so a 10AM class on Saturdays really does a number on us for the remainder of the day.  (That's not to say that when the weather turns to winter, we might just hit the gym for something to do and then come home to hunker down, cuddle and watch my collection of Gilmore Girls DVDs ~~ one of our guilty pleasures, to be sure.) 

I do wish that our gym was open in the wee hours of the morning, so I could head there before work somedays and get in a good run/walk or maybe some strength training.  There are certainly days where I could use "the burn" to release some stress before heading to the office ... and then finish off my day with a boxing or kickboxing class, for good measure! 

So, because of my stress I have been a bit "off," or maybe b/c I have been "off" I have been stressed ... whichever is the case, I am going back to basics (yes, I just sang that in my head hearing Christina Aguilera's voice ~~ great song, if you haven't heard it!!).  I drank alot of H2O yesterday, worked hard at boxing and prepared overnight oats before heading off to bed.  This morning, I enjoyed my oats (full of pumpkin, honey, walnuts, raisins and spices) and I will start on the first of many glasses of water just as soon as this is posted. 

Wishing everyone a magnificent day where you can enjoy the gorgeous fall colors and savor the basics!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Color Purple

While reading Facebook statuses yesterday, I came across a post by my cousin regarding the wearing of purple today in memory of 6 individuals who have recently taken their own lives after harassment and bullying b/c of their sexual preference.  These stories have been so tragic.  For me, I don't care what someone else chooses to do with their life, so long as it doesn't directly impact mine in a negative way.  Well, let me clarify that a tiny bit ... I don't want anyone hurting themselves, especially my loved ones, but I cannot choose a life for someone else.  I cannot say what would make someone else happy and I don't want someone thinking they know what would make my best life.  We are all here to be and do what we need & want to and it is not for anyone else to judge, right?  I prefer the motto: "Do as ye will, so long as it harms none." 

So, I am wearing a purple tank top, with a purple zip-up sweatshirt, a purple necklace and sparkly purple eyeshadow!!  In honor and memory and support of each of us as individuals to choose for ourselves what is our best, most joyful life!  I hope to foster that attitude and support from all those around me.  As Ellen Degeneres so eloquently put it, "Be kind."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I have been mulling around the idea of starting my own blog after diligently reading amazing blogs for many months now.  We all have our own talents and I am hoping to create my own niche right here in the blogsphere (while getting my creative juices flowing).  I devour the food blogs, explore the travel blogs and kickup my heels to the fitness blogs!!  I will share my days, my recipes, my trips, my kids-with-fur, my hopes & dreams ... whatever the wind blows in my direction.  It is my hope that readers enjoy my take on some of my favorite things while here at joy & nostalgia!! 

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