Monday, March 30, 2009

Life, as it stands now.

Last week turned out to be fairly busy, because my parents were visiting for 4 days of the 7, broken up into two visits, actually. It was very neat, because they live 180 miles away, so I usually only see them for a couple of days every month or so. This month, between their visits here & our visit there, we saw them for a total of six days. It was awesome!

On the adoption front, we have no movement. We are just waiting. We expect to be waiting for a while. The agency has told us to just "live life normally." Well, I am a huge planner, so I really can not live life normally, because I often plan vacations out about 10 months in advance. We had hoped to take a vacation in July, but I kept putting it off, knowing we'd eat the cost of the (rather expensive) airfares if we successfully adopted before then. Well, we had a chat last night & decided just to go ahead and get the tickets before the price goes up. It's really hard to feel like our life is on hold.

In today's mail came a bunch of photos for (a) a scrapbook layout I want to do of our trip to Washington last fall and (b) Project 365. So, I'll spent a chunk of time this afternoon putting stickers on photos & inserting the into the album. It really is a very fun & cool idea. I am quite enjoying the process, and my sweetie's getting into it, too, helping me to get photos.

We are slacking on our 101 in 1001 projects, though. There are some that are major -- go to Yellowstone, go to Hadrian's wall -- some that are seasonal -- participate in the Letters to Santa project, buy winter coats -- and some that are long-term -- pay off a credit card, visit 30 local restaurants. The rest we seem to have tackled pretty well, so we don't feel too bad about taking a bit of a break. It is weird, though, not having an "active" project.

My honey should be home for lunch any minute ... just thought I'd send out a quick update into blogland, so ya'll didn't think I fell off the earth. Oh, and if you're so inclined, go play in Jori's Musical Monday.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Musical Monday!

I participated in a CD Music Swap, hosted by Jori & Diane, and I received music from Sam, whose blog & email info I don't have. Hook me up, will ya, Jori, Diane, or Sam?? The CD's arrival was really timely, because the music arrived within days of my computer disaster, which crippled my iTunes library. So, now I have some new music to listen to! Sam's selections were a mix of old & new for me. Some of the tunes were familiar, and threw me back to the early '90s, primarily stuff from The Clash & The Cure. Other songs were totally new, but very cool. It's the kind of music I wouldn't normally seek out on my own, but it is definitely good stuff. I don't know that I have any new favorites, but I am very happy with my new music!!

edit: Sam can be found here! Her blog is pretty fun, so check it out!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Guess what, Marjorie?

Your album is finished! I will try to get it in the mail to you on Monday or Tuesday!

Marjorie was my One World, One Heart Winner ... and she sent me her photos last week & I dolled up the album! I hope she likes it!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Well, that's a burden lifted off our shoulders!

I am very happy. It turns out that we got some misinformation about how the adoption tax credit works! It's not an adjustment to our AGI, it's a credit against our tax liability -- basically, up to about $12,000 (our adoption process will probably cost us about $30,000 when all is said and done, so every bit of cash helps!) is paid towards the taxes we owe if we've already paid up to $12,000 in taxes, it'll get refunded to us. This is a huge relief!!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My last, best hope

Okay, it comes down to this: I have two issues that drive me absolutely batty, and I've done everything I can about them, except post a rant to my blog. So, it's time to rant.

I've consulted with English professors, copy editors, proofreaders, and others of their ilk. I've attempted to gently correct these issues when I see them, and to refrain from passing judgment lest I be perceived as a snob. I think, though, that on this one issue, it may actually be true that I am a snob. I don't mean to be. And I certainly don't mean to offend anyone. And, truth be told, the issues that make me nuts aren't really all that bad. They're just a couple of pet peeves. But my pet peeves are multiplying, everywhere I go.

I encounter these issues on blogs, signs in parking lots, social networking sites, message boards, handouts, documentation, emails, business letters, solicitations, and magazine articles. What am I talking about? It's simple: 's and 've. Yes, you read that correctly: 's and 've.

's is possessive (or sometimes replaces "is", but that's not what I'm addressing) ... not plural. "It's my friend's cat," is appropriate usage. It means the cat belongs to my friend. "My friend's are coming over," is just nonsensical. "My friends are coming over," is a statement that makes sense. I don't know what has possessed people (pun totally intended) to start using 's to denote multiples of objects, but it is absolutely rampant. It drives me nuts.

've, pronounced "of." I get that it sounds like "of," but it means something totally different. "I should of gone to the gym," makes no grammatical sense at all to me. When I see it written, I literally cringe. For me to type that out just now required actual physical work, because it is so alien to me. "I should've gone to the gym" is a contracted version of "I should have gone to the gym." Should've, could've, would've. The 've replaces the word have. Just like "don't" is a contracted version of "do not."

I know I'm being somewhat elitist on this issue. I also realize in the grand scheme of things it's not up there like curing cancer or crimes against humanity. All I know is that it has been grating on me for about two years ... and it's only getting worse. So, if you take pride in the English language and think you might be guilty of using 's as a plural or the word "of" in place of 've, well, just take what I've said into consideration. That's all I ask. And if you want to slam me for it, go ahead. I might've done the same in your shoes ... then again, maybe I'd take it to heart.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The other thing I lost ...

... I realized last night, as I was falling asleep, is the one set of photos I didn't back up. All of the photos I've taken for Shimelle's "Scrap Your Day" class, for the last year. *wince* It's okay. I hadn't yet gotten around to doing the album ... and I'm really more focused on Project 365 now, but still. Ow. I really don't like the people who manufacture computer viruses.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What I've lost ... so far!

Well, the good news is I was able to save the most important files off my computer. The bad news is that I have lost:

1) about 75 photos ... none of them vital.
2) about 1,000 songs ... about 300 of them difficult or impossible to replace, like "Miss You" by Kevin Smith* (a former gaming buddy), The a la Menthe (from Ocean's 12 ... and here I made a copy of Jori, but not for me), Terrible Mr. G (although there may be a copy floating around somewhere I can poach), and PaxilBack. Oh, so many songs I'll miss!
3) the most recent revision of Oh, Scrap. I really hope my business partner has a copy on his drive.
4) our Dear Birthmother letter. Only an issue if our profiles go astray when they're mailed from the branch office to the main office this week. Keep your fingers crossed, kids.
5) a master file with addresses I use for work stuff. Annoying, but I can reproduce it, eventually.
6) another master file with addresses. Same as above.

I keep going to access things & I realize they're not there. Thank goodness I was able to synch my handheld PDA with all of my Outlook contacts & calendar!!!

*update#1! I found Kevin's website!

And also realized I've lost this stuff:
7) Telemarketer Prank, by Tom Mabe
8) our master packing lists for various trips, one of which I'd just updated on Sunday

update #2
9) Our Dear Birthmother letter (thank goodness our adoption specialist saved a copy, which she just sent to me Friday morning)
10) Fonts. Many many many fonts are gone. It is so sad. But my one handwriting font, which a friend did for me about 5 years ago was on an ancient hotmail account of mine, so I was able to retrieve it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

fake_antispyware.bmb has nailed my computer!

Last night, while playing Hammerfall RPG on Facebook, my poor computer got nailed. I've spent last night & all of today (with breaks for sleeping & getting lunch) trying to fix it. I've tried 5 programs & consulted with 4 different computer-savvy people. It is looking like my computer has been torpedoed, and I'll have to wipe the whole thing and start again. Luckily, I have all but the last 45 days worth of photos backed up to CD ... and most of the"precious" ones from that 'lost' bunch are at least accessible on my KodakGallery account. My computer expert, John, is advising me against saving files (iTunes, photos, word documents), because they may just reinfect my computer once I've got it cleaned. So ... if you don't hear from me for a while, you'll know why. And although Facebook has been fun ... it hasn't been SO fun that it's worth losing 24+ hours of my life ... and that's not even counting the time I was wasting on there. If you need me, post here & I can see it on my sweetie's computer occasionally [that's how I am posting now], meanwhile, just send me snail mail & use the telephonic devices. I hope I can remember my password for my email. I hate having to reset that crap up.

Monday, March 9, 2009

We're licensed!

After our home inspection almost 3 weeks ago, we received our license in the mail today! For what happens next, you can click here: "what happens now?". Basically, now we wait to have our profile activated, which will probably happen sometime in the next couple of days, once our adoption specialist is back in the office on Wednesday. The license is good for 4 years, but hopefully we won't have to wait that long to adopt! It's now featured prominently on our refrigerator. Hey, they said we had to display it ... but not how. It's easily visible for anyone who needs to see it!

If we get calls regarding potential matches, we'll be keeping that information private -- it's just too overwhelming, emotionally, to tell everyone & then have them follow up with us one by one, especially if the match doesn't work out. We have identified a very small group of people who we'll tell if a match is probable, so they can be prepared to help us, but otherwise, the rest of the world won't know until the birth mother has signed the documentation to terminate her parental rights. So, now, we just ask that you keep your fingers crossed for us & to keep us in your prayers!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

At this moment...

...I am feeling particularly wiped out, after my Zumba class, but as I simply just sit still & reflect, many things come to mind, so I thought I'd just share them with you all.

#1 My husband rocks. He really does. I mean, sure, he annoys me from time to time, but at the core, he is just my soul-mate & wants so many wonderful things for me & for our life together. I know he's scared & overwhelmed about being a parent, but he's willing to embark up on that journey because he has confidence in us. That's powerful, man.

#2 I have some truly amazing friends & acquaintances. You can see many of them in the sidebar on the right-hand side of my blog. I have so many odd niches in my life, and somehow, I manage to find people who will celebrate my quirks with me. Some of them share similar hobbies ... or philosophies ... or an inexplicable sense of twinship with me. You know that trust game where you're supposed to fall & let others catch you? Yeah. My friends have totally got my back.

#3 I don't think I could ask for a better extended family. From my parents & brother to my aunts & uncles, they're all just very cool people. We stay in touch in a variety of ways, which is just amazing, too. I never feel judged by them, nor do they play mind games, send me on guilt trips, try for power plays, or try to make me feel obligated. They're a joy to be with.

#4 Life is good. We're not raking in the dough, but we've got enough to get our needs met & to allow us to enjoy some vacation time this year. We've got money set aside for the next 2 "phases" of adoption & all of our monthly bills are paid through 3/13 ... which means we should be golden, since that's our next regular paycheck date. And thanks to some amazing sales, our pantry is fully stocked. I love it. And I love being able to focus on giving to others, because we're fairly stable.

#5 I really want to go through my crafting stuff & purge things. Again. I do this on a routine basis & I think it's almost time again. I just want to do a few more layouts & a couple of cards (which I hope to get to today or tomorrow), so I can clear off the downstairs table ... then start reorganizing stuff. Maybe I'll make up some surprise care packages for people.

#6 I am currently involved in Project 365 and 29 Days of Giving, both of which alternate between being ridiculous easy & a huge challenge. It's nice. I love that my sweetie's totally getting into both of them with me, too. I sometimes wonder what life would be like if I wasn't involved in some project or another. I don't know if I could function being totally detached from any sense of goals or accomplishments. That just seems alien to me.

#7 My mom is turning 65 this month. I'm turning 40 in May. Is that cool or what? Next year will be my 20th college reunion ... and my mom's 45th ... but I am thinking it'd be cool to go in 2015, if we can do it, 'cause it'll be my 25th & her 50th! We both attended Middlebury College, so we'd go to the same summer event!

#8 I'm a big time planner. If you're just now learning that about me, it probably means that you've known me for less than a week. Right now I've got 2 vacation plans in the works, a zillion plans for our adoption process, plans for today, plans for tomorrow, plans for the weekend, plans for a bridal shower & an upcoming wedding, plans everywhere. I'll stop planning when I'm dead.

#9 I may never forgive my friend John for getting me hooked on Facebook. I'm now checking in multiple times a day & playing Mob Wars, Hammerfall, Parking Wars, Kidnapped, Hatchlings, and Pirates. I am in the market for a new cell phone. I can't decide if I should get one with sleek internet gadgets or if I should avoid this like the plague. If I'm not careful, I'll start Twittering.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


This film is just about 15 minutes long. And I think it's message is awesome. And so are you.