Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Cards


Here they are - the Christmas cards I made this year. 


I love the paper - My Mind's Eye Winter Wonderland.  So pretty!  I also bought the coordinating embellishments.  Together with some washi tape, red buttons, and generic stamps...voila!  I made 35 this year and had to send out about 10 store-bought cards.  I made the paper and embellishments last but couldn't squeeze out ten more cards. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The iPhone

Well, I caved and converted to the dark side.  I gave in to popularity.  I embraced just how much I love Apple.  I bought an iPhone.  

When I went to get my "upgrade" of a phone, the nice man behind the counter informed me that I was due for an upgrade almost four years ago.  Yep, I'd had that "dumb" phone for six years.  During those six years, I watched everyone around me get a smartphone.  I watched as non-Mac users bought iPhones.  As a faithful Mac user who absolutely hates being chained to a PC at work, I was annoyed.  How dare these PC people buy Apple products!  

I told myself that I wasn't going to get an iPhone - or pay money for a new phone - until I got a new job.  But despite my best efforts, that hasn't happened.  There's only so much of that quest  I'm actually accountable for.  The economy sucks. The job market sucks.  And I'm apparently undesirable to employers.  

I did my research on our family plan and how much it would cost to add a smartphone.  I thought it would be crazy expensive.  It wasn't.  I was shocked at how cheap it was.  So, I decided to spend the money for an iPhone.  (Let's say it was my Christmas present to myself.)  It was either that or get a different brand of smartphone, which didn't make sense (Android, ew), or get a free "dumb" phone (one designed for the older crowd, with huge numbers). 

Despite shirking the trend of the iPhone for so long, I do love it.  Apple makes a great product.  But I refuse to become addicted to it.  Ha!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Linen Stitch Scarf


Remember that UFO I mentioned a long time ago?  Years ago?  Well, it's finished.  Finally.  It only took six years.  Ha!  Oy...

First off, here are the details...

Yarn: Colinette Prism
Color: Toscana
Needles: US11
Pattern: Woven Knit by Candi Jensen
 
 

For: my mother-in-law
Began: Dec. 2006
Finished: Dec. 2012 

This scarf sat in my UFO basket for years, as you can tell.  It wasn't until last Christmas, when I took it to my in-laws on a whim, that I decided to offer it up to my mother-in-law.  She loved it just as I do!  I promised her that I would finish it in a timely manner.  That meant, in my mind, apparently, next Christmas.  And so it's done with 13 days to spare.  Yay!  

 
 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cruises and Disney

Here's how last week went down....

Thursday night: 8:45 flight to Miami.  Arrive around midnight.  Crash at a cheap hotel by the airport.

Friday:  Wake up in Miami around 8am.  Board Majesty of the Seas at 11am.  Sail away from Miami at 6pm.

Majesty of the Seas at sea.  She's the smallest ship I've sailed.

Saturday:  Despite crazy winds, we're able to be tendered to Royal Caribbean's private island CocoCay.  It was marvelous.  Just marvelous.  I loved it!

CocoCay perfection.
Sunday:  8am the ship docks in Nassau.  We decide to stay on board, leaving only briefly to walk down the pier to look at Oasis of the Sea, the largest ship in the world.  

Oasis of the Seas.
Monday:  Disembark Majesty of the Seas in Miami at 7am.  Rent a car in downtown Miami at 8am (wait outside the door until Avis opens).  8:15 we're driving to Cape Canaveral and arrive roughly 3.5 hours later.  Take rental car shuttle to Port Canaveral and board Monarch of the Seas around 1pm.  Sail away at 6pm.

Tuesday:  It's windy again and the ship bypasses CocoCay; the tenders can't run when it's this windy.  The ship continues on to Nassau and arrives at 5pm.  We stay onboard.

Wednesday: We get off the ship and take a bus to the Sheraton at Cable Beach where we get day passes to sit on their beach and use their facilities.  Sitting under a palapa all day, looking at the sea (the water is a bit too chilly to brave), was pretty nice.
     

Cable Beach.
Thursday:  Our only day at sea on this trip.  We spend it reading, eating, and relaxing.

Friday:  Disembark Monarch around 8am.  Arrive back at our same Avis in Cape Canaveral and rent a car.  An hour later (and $5 in tolls later) we're in Orlando and soon Disney World.  First stop is Epcot.  Mr. Higgins makes me ride rides, something I'm not too fond of.  It's fun when I can ignore being terrified.  A brief stop at Hollywood Studios sees me going upside down - twice - on the Rockin' Roller Coaster.  Oy.  Back to Epcot to watch spectacular fireworks.  In bed at 11:30ish.  The hotel A/C is crap and makes too much noise so it's off.   Even so, I'm dead to the world.

Saturday:  Wake up at 6:45 and we're in Magic Kingdom at 9:15.  Do all of Mr.  Higgins' rides and then on to Animal Kingdom, the one park I was interested in.  I loved seeing the animals and managed to wiggle my way out of riding the Mount Everest coaster.  Mr. Higgins is not happy but then, I wasn't happy going upside down.  Back to Epcot one last time and finally on to Magic Kingdom for more fireworks at 10pm.  I'm exhausted.  In bed at midnight.

Cinderella's Castle at night.
Sunday:  Wake up at 4am to catch a 7am flight.  Home a little after 10am.  

It was quite a whirlwind but very fun!  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tree Cats 2






Since we're still out of town, I thought I'd entertain you with another tree kitteh photo.  This is Dooku, when he discovered he could go under the tree skirt.  Oh, boy!  He slept quite a bit under there and gave me quite a scare when he popped out.  

Again, here's hoping the tree is still standing and that the house is not burned down!  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Recipe Reviews

Over Thanksgiving, I tried a few recipes that turned out great!  I thought I'd share!

 - For appetizers, for 17 people at Thanksgiving, I turned to many of my mother-in-law's spreads and cracker mixes.  But I also found this yummy concoction online: Texas Caviar.  I'd had something similar a few years back and this turned out to be just as good!  It's sweet and tangy and spicy, all at the same time!

Be forewarned, though.  The recipe says to boil vinegar, oil, and salt and pepper.  Yikes, this produced quite an unpleasant smell!  I was really worried but, after the veggies and beans sat in this for 24 hours, it was great.  I highly recommend this for all your appetizing needs!  Ha!

 - For breakfast on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, my mom and I decided to experiment.  We found this recipe for Pumpkin Pie French Toast Bake - a take on your classic french toast casserole.   Wow!  It was so, so yummy!  We used french bread, cubed (not sliced like the recipe), and let it all sit overnight in the fridge.  Also, there's no need to put all that butter on top.  We used about a tablespoon total, dispersing little pieces on top.  

It was great without syrup.  So, save the calories if your on a diet!

Happy eating!  





Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tree Cats


About an hour after we got the tree up, Dooku found the tree skirt.  He spends most of his time under the tree now.  In fact, it's rare to see him out and about unless it's near his meal time.  Ack, cats!  But how can you not love that sweet face?!

Last year Dooku climbed the tree.  We were very perturbed by this, as you can imagine.  We're two very OCD people!  I haven't - yet - seen any evidence of him doing that this year.  We made an effort to put cheep, ball ornaments in the center of the tree.  Hopefully, when looking up it, he saw a less attractive route to climb.

As we leave for the cruises tonight, I can only hope and pray Dooku stays under the tree, not IN it!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

December Daily


I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!  I was out of town, hence my lack of an appropriately themed post.  Our holiday was wonderful, though, spent with family, some of whom I rarely see.  It's a marvelous treat that Thanksgiving with them has become a tradition, otherwise we'd lose touch!

Now we're on to Christmas!  I've decided to do something I've only read about since now: December Daily.  It's a mini journal cataloguing the 25 days of ChristmasHere's a good post about what this journal can be.  For more pictures, just google (or Pinterest) December Daily.  

In anticipation of wanting to do this for the first time, I ordered a kit from October Afternoon - a company I'm liking more and more for my scrapbooking needs.   Yes, this may have been complete madness on my part....  When will I actually have time to put this together?  We're going on a - no, two! - cruises next week.  8 of my 25 days will be spent doing anything but Christmas-y things!  

But I've decided to make my December Daily mini journal work the way I need it to.  Most of our 25 days will begin after we return from the cruises.  They will go to New Year's, through which we're in Tennessee with Mr. Higgins' family.  (Yes, I'm so OCD that I've counted out my 25 days.)

I love, LOVE, the OA kit.  I can't wait to get started.  Er.....whenever that happens!  I made crafty progress, though, over the weekend: I finished our Christmas cards.  I made thirty and will send out only five store-bought cards.  Success!  I'll post a pic once they're mailed!

  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Tiger's Wife

I picked up The Tiger's Wife, by Tea Obreht, recently.  It had graced my bookshelf for several months and I finally had time to read it.  Wow.  Wow, is all I can say.  This is literature.  Modern literature with magnificent storytelling.  Here's the review I posted on Goodreads:

It's rare to come across a book like this, especially one that has become so popular. But it's popular for one simple reason - it's storytelling at its most magnificent.

From the description, little about the story interested me - a young doctor is trying to unravel the mystery of her grandfather's death. But what Obreht accomplishes is a timeless tale that left me wanting more and more. She tells the stories the young doctor heard from her grandfather - the "deathless man", the Tiger's Wife, tales from the war.... Weaved together with the experiences of the young doctor, herself surviving a war, Obreht keeps the reader constantly intrigued.

This is a classic. 


If you don't have this book, buy it.  I'm sure you will love it as much as I did. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Book Signing


Have you run across the blog Young House LoveI hadn't until last week.  

I was scheduled to hang out with my best friend and her adorable youngster on Saturday.  However, my friend texted to say that she had double-booked herself; she really wanted to go to a book signing for these people who write a blog - and now a book.  She gave me their website and I looked around.  

Young House Love is about a couple, the Petersiks, who, now on their second home, like fixing up their house.  They have tons of DIY projects and decorating ideas.  It's fun to see what they come up with!  

On Saturday, we waited in line for three hours.  My friend got her book signed and the Petersiks were very nice and personable.  Now I'm debating buying the book.  I didn't want to pay an extra $10 to buy it on Saturday (it's cheaper on Amazon).  

I highly recommend their blog if you're looking for ideas on freshening up your home!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Christmas Card Production

I'm actually ahead of the game this year, as far as Christmas cards are concerned.  I have to be, since we'll be on cruises the first week of December.  I want to have all my Christmas cards made by the time we leave so that I can mail them when we get back.  Having designed the card last weekend, I now need to go into mass production mode!

Of course, I can't show you the card yet (not until the recipients start getting them in the mail!), but my inspiration came from Mish Mash.  She's my go-to gal for card and Project Life inspiration.  I absolutely adore her style!  Of course, I don't have nearly enough patience - or time - to do as much as she does, but I love seeing what she comes up with!  

Speaking of Project Life, I'm so excited I was able to keep up with it throughout the year.  It really is a wonderful way to preserve memories and memorabilia.  I'm already looking forward to ordering a new binder and kit for next year.  

So many crafts....so little time! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Nutella Biscuits

I've become slightly addicted to looking at cooking/baking blogs.  There are so many out there that offer so many scrumptious recipes!!  I usually pin my favorites and move on.

However, every now and then I come across a recipe I have to try ASAP.  This is what happened when I saw two peas & their pod's Nutella Biscuits. 

Even though Nutella has been sold in the U.S. for quite some time, I first fell in love with it in Europe.  They serve it with crepes and like jelly at continental breakfasts.  Oh, boy, was it good!  So what could be better than Nutella biscuits?!  

On Saturday, there I went, whipping up the biscuits.  When it came time to  "swirl" the Nutella into the dough with a knife....  Well, that didn't go so well.  I ended up with bit globs of Nutella in the biscuits.  They tasted fine but there's a reason there is not a picture on here.  The biscuits were not at all photogenic.  But they were quite tasty!

As with every other holiday season, there's so much I want to bake and not nearly enough time in which to accomplish it all!  I lose a week in December because Mr. Higgins just had to do a cruise before a certain ship is retired in the spring.  I'm willing to make this sacrifice for him but my baking timetable is severely affected.  Ha!

Let the holiday baking begin!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Christmas Tree Crafts!

Whenever my mother-in-law is in town (she was last week), she always inspires me to do more crafts.  Unfortunately, I usually don't have time to get them done....but it's so much fun seeing her enthusiasm.  She finds the coolest things on the internet to do!

Remember my fall yarn wreath?  Here's another craft along that similar vein....  (Go here to see the blogger's post about it.)


I really want to make some of these beauties!  Of course, I bought yarn last year for a Christmas yarn wreath and guess how far along I got with that?  Nowhere. 

My mother-in-law has also made some of these paper Christmas trees...



I'd also like to make some of these! (Go here for a tutorial.)  In short, there are too many cute crafty things out there and not nearly enough time.  Until retirement.  Sigh!

In the meantime, I'll enjoy my mother-in-law's craftiness from afar!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Cat's Creations

My in-laws are in town this week and we're having a lot of fun eating too much and hanging out (while not at work).  My mother-in-law got ultra-crafty during my wedding preparation and she makes beautiful things!  

She heard of a store about an hour away from us, in Mineral Wells, Texas: a scrapbook store.  She had never seen a physical scrapbook store and was eager to go.  I took the day off yesterday and we headed west.  Oh, boy. 

I hadn't been to a scrapbook store since my years in Michigan.  Cat's Creations blew those stores out of the water.  This store is fantastic!  They had more than I ever imagined!  They have things organized by theme and then brand and line.  It was overwhelming!  I mainly bought paper for Christmas cards but they had cat paper, island paper (St. Thomas paper, Hawaii paper, Jamaica paper), Colorado paper, and all the accessories to go with them.  They had stuff I'd only ever seen online!

I spent way too much money.  The lady who helped us was super nice, which made me happy to support the local store.  She said they've been open for eight years!  How have I not heard of them!  I'm already excited about the possibility of heading out that way again!  If you're ever in the neighborhood, head to Cat's Creations.  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Vegetarian Taco Soup

I love soup.  My friend recently shared this recipe with me and it's become one of my favorites!

Vegetarian Taco Soup

1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet dry ranch dressing
1 small can green chiles
2 cans petite diced tomatoes
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans
1 can Ranch Style Beans
1 can corn (no-salt added)
1 can white or golden hominy
fresh cilantro

Combine all in a large pot (all cans, except the garbanzo beans, added without being drained) and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Add water, salt, and pepper to taste.  Add chopped cilantro before serving.  

Oh, it's so good!! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Birthday Reflection

I had a birthday earlier this week.  It comes at a point in my life when I thought I would have accomplished a lot more than I have.  I'm really disappointed in my self.  

Thankfully, the misery that is now called work has shocked me into doing something about this.  I'm working on my own writing again, with a deadline in my head.  I have to do this; writing is my dream.  

But real life is a bitch, what can I say.  After working for eight hours a day, being away from home for nine, I'm exhausted when I get home - and have to work out and eat dinner before I can even think of doing something else.  The are not, literally, enough hours in the day. 

After the craziness of last year - getting married and all that entails - I thought this year would be quiet.  Not so.  It's not a bad thing, I like everything that we've done this year...  But I could use some occasional quiet time.

Maybe there will be a few quiet weeks in November.  Maybe.  Before Thanksgiving, another cruise, and Christmas.  Oy.  I mean, yay!  But....oy.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Dovekeepers

Last night, I finished reading The Dovekeepers, by Alice Hoffman.  It tells the tale of the last Jewish stronghold during the Jewish Revolt against Rome in 73 A.D., from the perspective of four remarkable women.  Here's what I wrote on Goodreads:

I knew of the story of Masada, the last Jewish fortress to fall to the Romans in 73 A.D.  I had read the historian, Josephus, tell the tale of the Jewish Revolt.  But Alice Hoffman gives life to this story, in a truly beautiful way.  By telling it through the eyes of four women, those who were viewed as outsiders, Hoffman is able to capture the emotional tale of those who lived, literally, through hell without ever losing faith.  This is a captivating tale and I, as a historian and religious scholar, would recommend it to anyone with an interest in history, Rome, Judaism, or great historical fiction.

As much as I loved this book, I'm slightly annoyed that Hoffman wrote the story of Masada before I could!  The Jewish historian, Josephus, is filled with great material for historical fiction. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hike to Sky Pond

The highlight of the trip, and the thing that scared me most about the trip, was the hike to Sky Pond, in which we have to scramble up the side of a waterfall.  Oy.


This is a 10-mile hike.  Five miles, each way.  We began at 7:45am; it was about 35 degrees.  The first thing you see, as you hike up and up, is Alberta Falls.  Most people turn around here.  


Three miles away from the trailhead, you get to The Loch.  More people stop here; there's supposedly great fishing here.  On the way back, we saw quite a few fishermen. 


We stopped here for a rest and snack. 


For another mile you hike up some switchbacks amidst towering trees.  Water is always nearby and the beautiful sound of a rushing creek is always with you.


Then you get above the treeline.  And you see these stone steps.  The go up....and up.


Then you see some water coming down the trail.  The side of the supposed dry waterfall is filled with a small amount of water.  I almost turned around.  No joke.  The joke here is the sign (look carefully) that says Sky Pond, up there.  


I got up it....after watching a group of seven 60-year-olds....but I was shaking at the top.  And here, you're greeted with Lake of Glass.  Very pretty.


After a .5 mile hike around this lake, you get to Sky Pond.  


The so-called Cathedral Spires are very nice.


The view of The Loch is very nice!

And then it's time to leave.  Five miles downhill.  My knees never hurt....and they were about to give out by the end of this hike.  Every part of my body hurt.  But we made it.  And it was worth it.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sprague and Bierstadt

Recounting Colorado, still....


We hiked - well, walked - around Sprague Lake for the views of the mountains.  Thankfully, the sun came out for good pictures.



Next, we hiked up to Bierstadt Lake.  Now, this was a hike.  Straight up the side of an aspen filled mountain.  The views of the valley and mountains were incredible.


Eleven switchbacks (45 minutes and 1.2 miles) later, we arrived at the lake.  It was gorgeous!  The mountains looked better here than at Sprague.  


We sat and had a snack.

Then we heard thunder.  Clouds were fast approaching.  We put on our rain gear and headed out.  You never want to be on top of a mountain - exposed, as the highest object - during a storm.  So, we practically ran down the crazy, steep trail.  What took us 45 minutes to climb to us 15 minutes to descend.  Whew!  

Down at the entrance of the park, the storm brought snow to the valley....but only that one valley.  It was so strange.  Back at our lodge, there was no snow, only rain.  Ah, Colorado in the fall!





 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hike to Emerald Lake


 
We decided to hike the trail to Emerald Lake again, just like last time, in honor of our engagement along the way (the first time) at Dream Lake.  The day was a bit overcast, making for so-so pictures, but it was still a great day.  This hike is about 4 miles round-trip.  


Nymph Lake is still full of lilipads!


Dream Lake - ah, such a good memory here!


While resting at the final stop, Emerald Lake, a very strange fog started rolling in from the mountains above.  When the wind also picked up, we decided it was time to head back.  Weird!


It was a good day.  This hike isn't too strenuous once you get past the initial elevation gain.  It's also one of the more popular hikes, meaning there are lots of people along the trail.  Including screaming babies.  Note to parents: kids who can not yet talk may not find it fun riding on your bike in 40 degree weather for 3 hours.  Do us all a favor and leave them at home - or wait until they can walk themselves up and down the mountain!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Around Estes Park

While we were in Colorado, the Rocky Mountain peaks got their first snow of the season.  It was so neat to see the Continental Divide with snow....and without.


Fall means that it's elk mating season, so there were tons of elk in the park and in Estes.

On a day when we saw rain in the morning and overcast skies later in the day, we took an afternoon hike into the hills behind the lodge.  We were rewarded with great views of Estes and Lake Estes.


The two days we lost to rain were actually a good thing.  We were forced to relax - something that's always difficult for us to do!  It also meant I could take it easy while my cold waged on.  Ugh.  

Friday, October 5, 2012

Estes Park, Take 2


Our next stop in Colorado, and our home for the next six nights was Estes Park.  This is where we stayed last time (in 2010) - the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. 


Our hotel/cabin was in the shadow of Castle Mountain.


The lovely Fall River flows through the property of the hotel.  We loved - LOVED! - sitting by the river.  We don't have many of these in Texas.

Estes Park is beautiful in the fall!


And no picture tour of Estes would be complete without the Stanley Hotel.

I loved our time here.  The air is so crisp and clean....   This time of year, Estes sees high temps in the mid-upper 60s and lows in the lower 40s/upper 30s.  Nice!  We made a fire in the cabin and I was in heaven!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Red Rock




Our first stop on our Colorado vacation was Colorado Springs.  A friend of Mr. Higgins' lives there so we spent a few nights catching up with him and touring the town.  He took us to Red Rock Canyon Open Spaces.


I loved the red rocks and trails!


It was good to get out and hike after a long day in the car.


This is an old quarry.  How cool! 


The views of Garden of the Gods and Manitou Springs were gorgeous!

All in all, we hiked 4.5 miles.  We got our high altitude hiking legs adjusted and it felt really good.  The bad news: I was fighting a cold.  Ugh! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Home Again

I'm back!  How is it that a week of vacation goes by so fast?!  Not fair!

Pictures are still in the process of being sorted and organized but I'll be sharing some later this week.  I will say this: we were in Rocky Mountain National Park during the peak of the fall foliage and it was stunning to see!  

Despite me getting sick (ugh - head cold!) and two days of rain, we managed to do all the hikes we had planned.  I think we hiked about 17 miles total.  Whew!  

I look forward to telling you all about it this week, as I head back to work and real life.

Friday, September 21, 2012

At Last: Vacation!

Tomorrow, we leave for our second trip to Rocky Mountain National Park.  The last time we were there, Mr. Higgins proposed.  Naturally, we have very fond memories of the place!  Ha!

This trip couldn't come at a better time.  We're exhausted - mentally and physically.  While everyone went away this summer, we stayed put, saving our vacation time for when we knew we'd need it most.  Our last vacation was in April.

As you probably know, I got a new boss this summer.  The transition, for me, has been anything but smooth.  The search for this new boss was a political nightmare in my department.  I was not involved in the search, but no one was more affected by it.  I wish.....well, I wish some things had gone differently, let's say.

And let me say this.  Never have I been more motivated to work on my own writing, in the hopes of finally getting something published....in the hopes of moving on.  Mr. Higgins is completely supportive of this.  I just need to make time, every single day, to work on my own writing.  That's easier said than done.  

For now, I'm going to focus on vacation and relaxation.  Mr. Higgins hopes to do some hiking.  I hope to survive said hiking.  And I think I'll take my knitting along, just in case I have time to work on it.  We have booked a cabin that overlooks a small river.  I cannot wait to sit on the porch, listen to the water, and watch the trees and mountains.  Heaven!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Old Age

I turn 31 next month.  In the same month, my dad will turn 71.  

My dad retired about seven years ago.  In those seven years, I've definitely noticed a mental decline.  I can easily compare him to my former boss, only a year younger at 70.  There's no comparison.  He seems like he's 60.  My dad seems older than his 71 years.  

I've read about how to keep up your mental awareness in old age; my father has never in his entire life done anything like these things.  Of course, everyone is entitled to live their life as they wish.....but if he develops Alzheimer's or dementia, it's not going to be fun for our family.   

A colleague's wife has Alzheimer's.  She's at all of our parties and social functions....and it's heartbreaking to see.  She's asked her husband "how many kids do we have?"  Now, it's getting to the point where she can't be left alone.  

I can't imagine my father going through this.  All of us hope it doesn't happen to those we love but we must be prepared if it does.  

Getting older is not fun, despite the medical advances of our time.  Sure, people are living longer, but, from what I've seen, this is not always a blessing.  When you outlive everyone you love and are immobile, what's the point of continuing on in such an agonizing state?  At that point, I hope I'm mentally able to decline all means of sustaining my own life.  I'd rather not be a drain on society.  I'd rather die happy.  

These are tough topics.  But my parents are getting older.  We can't be afraid to talk about such things.  It's imperative we talk about them.  

Friday, September 14, 2012

iPhone Dilemma

I do not have an iPhone.  Gasp!  I don't even have a smart phone.  If you don't know me, you're shocked, right?  

I have a dumb phone.  Here's my dilemma: the dumb phone is one it's last legs.   I need a new phone.  When I go online to look at the options, there are all of two dumb phones available and they all look like they belong in the hands of a man at a construction site - ugly and bulky.  Sigh!

Here's the thing: though I love Apple, I don't really want an iPhone.  I don't want access to my email all the time.  I don't want to be surfing the web in the parking lot of a store.  How many times have I had to sit through my friends, at  dinner, checking their email or waiting while they look up something "essential" online?  Hundreds of times.  How many times do I walk behind a student who is reading something on their iPhone - while walking (slowly) down the stairs?  Everyday.  It's annoying.  It's pervasive.  I hate it and I don't want to be one of those people.

The cost is also an issue.  I don't want to shell out at least $70/month for a data plan that I resent!  But I do love Apple.....  In all honesty, I think I would be happier with an iPad (to take on trips instead of my MacBook Pro) and a cute dumb phone. 

I'm sitting in on my professor's class this semester.  Out of 13 students, 2 have iPads, 10 bring laptops to class, and about 10-12 have iPhones.  All of them have smart phones.  Of course, we're talking about a private school where most students drive BMWs or Lexus'.  My class case study is not indicative of most college students, I'm sure. 

However, recently I ran over to the library to pick up a book.  The librarian at circulation had a question and said, "look it up on your phone."  I took immense pride in saying "I have a dumb phone.  Sorry."  That meant she had to turn to the computer.  And do her job. 


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Early Christmas Crafts

I'm trying to get a head start on Christmas this year - both in shopping and crafting.  This is usually something I can just never do, so let's hope it works out better this year.  Especially since I'll lose a week of December to a trip with Mr. Higgins.  Eek!

I had this great - or possibly terrible - idea of something to make for our parents.  Amazingly, I already bought the stuff to do it and am ready to start.  Unfortunately, we leave for vacation a week from Saturday.  Hopefully, I can start on this project this weekend (though it's a busy weekend) so at least it's in progress when we leave.

Every year I debate about making Christmas cards.  Almost every year I leave these to almost the last minute.  I'll wait and see how I feel after the parental project and then decide if I want to make our cards. 

I'd also like to finish two knitting projects to give as Christmas presents.  One is absolutely essential.  And I should probably add another project since I have another friend who is pregnant.  I'd like to do some more baby socks!

At the very least, I guess it's good that I'm thinking about all this!

I've been lightly chastised for not posting more often.  I'm sorry; life has been busy but not with things worth blogging about.  I'll try to do better.  Promise!