Sunday, October 25

worker bee

The guys went to a Steeler game today, so I made up my mental "to do" list in preparation for the day. I got up early in order to see them off and decided that I was hungry for some chocolate chip cookies, so I whipped up a batch. This was not an item on the "to do" list, but, in retrospect, it should have been.

In the morning, I vacuumed and mopped the living room, dining room, and hall floors and cleaned the bathroom. By this point it was lunchtime and the weather had warmed up, so I went outside and did a bunch of yardwork. I came in just in time to catch the end of the Steeler game.

Also today, I changed the beds and washed the sheets. And, loaded the dishwasher multiple times. I even managed to finish a book. There were a few other things I was hoping to accomplish, but that always happens when I make a "to do" list. The one thing I was really hoping to do was catch a nice nap, but since I was outside working all afternoon, that didn't happen. I did manage to catch a catnap for a few minutes, so that was better than nothing.

All in all, a pretty good day. Now, I'm going to spend what little time is left in the day relaxing on the couch.

the dangerous days of daniel x

This was another one of those James Patterson collaborations that I'm not fond of. This one was written with Michael Ledwidge. It is also considered to be an "all ages" book, so the level of writing was down a few notches. That said, the story was ok. It's about this teenager, who is not only an alien, but also an alien hunter (he's the good guy of the story). Jake's always complaning that there's nothing to read, so I'm going to try to get him to read it. I think he might find it enjoyable. The problem is that he's still reading little kids books, which he finishes in one sitting. He needs to start reading some real books. Before long, he will be at the reading level where he can read anything we have in the library. That should keep him busy.

enjoying fall

We have had a few nice days in October (besides the ones where it snowed), so I have been getting some stuff done outside. It's nearly impossible to get anything done during the week since it gets dark so early, so that leaves the weekends.

Today, I harvested the Brussels sprouts and removed them, the cabbage, and the broccoli rabe plants from the garden. But, my garden is not empty--I planted garlic today. I like the fact that something is growing in my garden 365 days a year. My ultimate goal is to lengthen my gardening season. It's too cold around here to do 4 season gardening, but it's not that difficult to extend the season a little and start it a little earlier, too.

Besides that, I finished the first (of many) garden paths. This one leads from my garden to Jake's playhouse. Why, the playhouse? Well, once Jake outgrows it, we're going to put a greenhouse in the same spot. It's going to be so cool. I'm also going to lay a stone path around the other 2 sides of the garden. I still have some stones so, with any luck, I'll be able to continue working on this project until the ground freezes. We're also going to put in a path from the patio to the shed, but I don't have the details on that figured out yet.

Here's a picture of the final path. The first part of it (between the garden and patio) has been done for some time. The plants you see growing in that portion are a type of thyme. I had to plant something for two reasons. One-to keep the sand in the joints and two-to keep the weeds down. As it turns out, it also looks good, so I guess it's serving three purposes. Here's a picture of the finished path:

Saturday, October 24

race to witch mountain

We did the Family Movie Night thing last night and watched this flick. It was ok. I'm still having problems finding good movies for us to watch. Jake liked it, but his tastes aren't exactly discerning. The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) starred in this movie, but he kept his shirt on the whole time, so this movie has nothing for the moms out there.

Sunday, October 18

drag me to hell

This movie looked great in the previews, but not so much in the DVD player. First problem: it wasn't the least bit scary. Second problem: they went for the gross-out instead, but that, too, was ineffective.

I guess I'm not a huge horror movie fan (I have pretty specific tastes on the subject), but I do like a good movie no matter the genre. This was not one of them.

Saturday, October 17

the good guy

Yet another Dean Koontz novel. It wasn't really that much different than any of his other books, but, for some reason, I enjoyed it more than most. I think maybe it's because I haven't read a Koontz book in a while. If I read a couple of them in a row, they get a lot less interesting as pretty much all of his books have the same plot.

Anyway, if you're in a Dean Koontz kind of mood, this one'll do.


A few weeks ago, Brian had a cold. Mid-way through his illness, I caught it. We have since both recovered.

Yesterday, Jake woke up with a sore throat, cough, fever, etc. It sure looked like the flu to me. However, today he is much better (still has a fever, though), so now I'm thinking it must be something else. Though if it was the flu, he got off easy.

None of us have gotten flu shots yet. Jake was supposed to go today, but can't since he is sick. His doctor is supposed to have them next weekend, also, so we'll have to try to hit it then. There are some flu shot clinics this week so Brian and I are going to get ours then. My doctor's office is having a clinic today, so I'm going to run over there to see how long the line is so I might be able to get mine today. Of course, this is for the regular flu shot. From what I've read no one is actually sick with the regular flu, just the swine flu. And, the swine flu vaccines aren't available yet, so all the good this is going to do us.

Sunday, October 11

fall television

I'm happy to have found two new shows to watch this season, Cougar Town and Modern Family. The Cougar Town pilot was hysterical, but the quality has dropped off some since then. It's still worth watching, though. I'm hoping they can get their stuff together and churn out some more episodes like the first one. Modern Family, on the other hand, has a good chance of becoming a classic sitcom, in my humble opinion. A lot of critics are comparing it to Arrested Development. Let's hope it lasts longer than AD did. Both of these shows are on Wednesday nights on ABC.

I was already watching The New Adventures of Old Christine and occasionally Gary Unmarried on Wednesday nights on CBS, so I guess this now makes Wednesday my major tv-watching evening. Both of these shows are ok. Christine has an hysterical joke now and then. Gary is pretty much a formulaic sitcom. But, both are good to watch while ironing clothes, which seems to be my Wednesday evening task.

Thursday nights have always been THE night for television. I mean since forever. More than forever, really. I can't remember not watching NBC from 8-10 on a Thursday night (sure, I didn't watch Kath and Kim last year, but a lot of the time the TV was still tuned in). Not so anymore. It's a shame NBC can't find some better programming. I tried watching Parks and Recreation last year, but could not get into it. This year, they have introduced Community. While I would consider watching this if I didn't have anything else going on, I'm just not that into it. I find the main character annoying. So that leaves The Office and 30 Rock. The Office has lost some of its gleam, but is still compelling enough to watch. I do love 30 Rock, though, and can't wait for its return this Thursday.

Beyond that I have been keeping up with some of the shows on Showtime: Dexter, Weeds, and Californication. All are great shows, but in completely different ways. I'm thinking about checking out HBO's True Blood as well.

Sunday, October 4

the weekend that wasn't

Brian was sick with a cold all last week, so I came down with it on Friday. We were supposed to go to a wine tasting party at my mom's that night, but had to beg off due to my illness. I had all sorts of outdoor activities (gardening, home improvement, and otherwise) planned for Saturday and Sunday, but that went down the tubes as well, at least on my end. Brian was kind enough to take care of some stuff outside this afternoon, so all was not lost. We did manage to go see my brother cross the finish line for today's Johnstown Marathon. He finished at #19 out of around 100 runners, so pretty good!

london bridges

I finished this book last night. Much like all other James Patterson books, this one was a quick read. He definitely has a formula going on, but it's a good one. If you like the other books in the Alex Cross, series, you'll like this one, too.