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I had taken this last week when it was a little warmer (above freezing even!) and had wanted to post it before now but have been caught up in a whirlwind of stuff going on … details to come, I promise.
Anyways, here’s a good sign that Spring is near: I’ve been seeing my little favorite reptiles out and about around the grounds outside the house, and heard the first tree frog calls of the year just this past weekend. Thankfully, this cute little guy sat still long enough for me to run to get the camera and snap off a few shots:
I don’t know about y’all, but I am SO looking forward to griping about the heat! Stay warm, everyone!
July 11, 2012 by Nicki
Just thought I’d pass along a funny blog a friend turned me on to: Pintester. She’s (as The Daily What put it) “a one-woman testing operation who attempts to recreate enticing DIY Pinterest pins at home — at which point hilarity ensues.”
This woman seriously cracks me up, and I thought some of y’all might like it as well!
March 20, 2011 by Nicki
Jim and I had talked before about upgrading our cars, but it really wasn’t possible until after he’d been working again for a while. On a whim, we went out last weekend “to look” … and I fell in love.
We spent today trading in my old car, a 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe, for a newer model — a 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited FWD V6.
Another red car, wheeeee!
Those are the pics I took on my iPhone while we were waiting on the financing team to process our credit application. Interestingly, my credit score has improved greatly since the last time we applied for credit on anything (the house, before our layoffs). Jim’s has gone up a little, but the damage from his ex is still a huge black spot on his record. (Thank you, you stupid bitch.)
We’re planning on upgrading his car when the 2012 models come out. We didn’t have to put any money down on mine, but most definitely will have to on his. Oh well, things are good. All in all, today was taxing but ended with great results. I came home with a tremendous headache and went right to bed (waking up about an hour ago, LOL), but now I’m sitting here at my desk looking over all of the documentation and driver’s manual.
I can’t wait to take it out tomorrow!
We had gone to Tameron Hyundai here in Birmingham and I have to say that they tried their damnedest to make the process as stress-free as possible. A GREAT change from our last car-buying experience, which was a complete nightmare.
Seriously, they treated us so well and were so great about everything that we will definitely be seeing them in about 9 months to do this again!
It’s funny that because my main character in Aion is named Harleykin, many people assume I’m a biker. Actually, she’s named after one of my favorite Batman characters, Harley Quinn. I like Harleys, but don’t own one. (might be nice … someday) That said, I do LOVE their gear. Especially their boots.
What can I say? I’m a woman and I love shoes — namely BOOTS!
I had a pair many years ago and wore them until the soles literally fell off. Sadly, it ‘s hard to find a good long-lasting pair of boots. Next to some old Doc Martens (a staple in every self-disrespecting goth girl’s wardrobe don’tchaknow!), they were my absolute favorites. Well I decided that it was time to invest in another pair of good boots. My early birthday gifts to myself are the fitness trainer sessions that I mentioned last week and these beauties:
These are a pair of Harley-Davidson “Robyn” riding boots for women. I normally prefer a more ‘military’ style, but once I saw these I was smitten!
Because none of the local retailers here carried this style, I had to order online. I’ll tell you what — when my package came in, I tore into that box like a 6 year old on Christmas Day! There’s nothing like the smell of new leather. It’s easily one of my favorites!
I’ve been wearing these lovelies everywhere trying to get them broken in. So far, so good!
Once some of this weight starts dropping off, I can invest in some ‘skinnier’ (e.g. not ‘hide the fat baggy’) jeans and sport them around properly.
These beauties were waiting on me when I got in tonight:
What a sweet hubby I have.
Ever feel like you’re doing lots of running, but going nowhere? Yeah that’s been me lately!
I know things have been a little too quiet on here over the past few months. Rest assured, overall things are better … not outstanding, but better than they were. Things between me and Jim are a lot better. We’re not “fixed” by any means, but we’re talking a lot more, fighting less, and things have moved forward in a positive light. In fact, we’re actually working on the house again and hope to have it back on the market pretty soon.
We’ve order new furniture — I’m REALLY excited about that! We’re getting a new couch and a “lift top” coffee table. It’s basically a normal-looking table where the top lifts up, to like a dining or normal utility table. My mother-in-law has one and I have always LOVED hers. I had no idea that these things are available pretty much anywhere, you just needed to ask for it by that name. So I’m stoked!
With our tax return money, Jim’s upgraded his PC with a smokin’ hawt processor and two new graphics cards. Me, I got a new laptop — an Asus G72Gx-X1. It’s an Intel quad-core with 6Gb of RAM on Windows 7 64-bit. It has a nice 17″ screen and 640Gb of storage space (more than enough to store my old data and anything new I need). I still need to replace my old backup drive that ate itself (lucky me, my husband recovered everything!), but am so far really pleased with my setup. It’s very shiny and HAWT!
hehehe, I can’t wait to show it off at the next LAN party!
I’ve been really happy with Asus’ laptops over the years. My old one is going to Jessie, so of course she’s excited. This also helps as a motivational tool with her grades. So far, she has done REALLY well this year and has stayed on the Honor Roll. We talked to her before letting her know that my old laptop would be hers, and expressed quite plainly that if her grades fell, this would be one of the first privileges taken away. It’s tons faster/newer than her old tower PC (my old green monster, sniff!) and would handle Aion so much better, so she’s really stoked about that!
Jess and I spend a lot of time in Aion nowadays. Jim reached level 50 on his main and “took a break” — meaning he got bored with it and will probably come back when the 1.9-2.0 patches come out. Me, I’m still loving every minute of it. Jess too — she’s already maxed out on alts, LOL! I joined a really great guild named Rogue. They are pretty active and laid back and even have both Asmodian and Elyos members, so it’s pretty cool to chat on their forums and vent with players from both factions.
Things at work have gotten busier. Hehe, I didn’t think that was possible. I’ve gained new responsibilities, which is a good thing, but I’m tons busier now than I was so that means pretty much no free time at work. Oh well, the pay is nice and I really like my work environment. My co-workers are good people and am learning tons, so that all makes it worth it in the grand scheme of things.
There are times that I miss UAB … but hearing from friends about how things are now, I’m glad (overall) that I’m no longer in that mess.
Jim’s still looking. The IT market here is still a huge sucking black hole, but I’m seeing more jobs in the paper now than there were 6-9 months ago, so I’m taking that as a good sign. Of course Jim’s over-qualified for 99% of them and so I think that’s why he doesn’t get any call-backs.
I think sometimes he resents me because I’m working and he’s not. Had I known then what I know now, I would have insisted HE interview for my job and me stay at home. Oh well, him being at home has been a real blessing. Jessie loves spending more time with him — and it means that on days where we have her, she doesn’t have to deal with her mother at all.
She and her mother aren’t getting along any better. I think she “endures” her mother as best she can (and can relate), so we try not to be too hard on her when she and her mom have spats. Her mother isn’t the easiest woman to get along with and considering her mother’s mental state and past history, Jessie does a damned fine job if you ask me. I see a lot of my father in her mother, and pray like Hell that she grows up to be better than me, than how I turned out.
I think she will be. Jessie’s very strong-willed and she amazes me every day with how smart and perceptive she is. She’s getting tall too. I can’t believe she’ll be 13 soon. Seems like only yesterday she was 4 years old and running around my house casting Harry Potter spells.
She was SO CUTE!
She’s already wearing makeup and having her monthly visitor. She’s more into boys and video games than cartoons and karate now. And like I mentioned before, she’s doing very well in school. She has new friends that she texts almost every day. She’s blossoming into a wholly new little person and I feel blessed to be able to just be part of her life and to see it happening.
I tell her all the time that she and Jim were the best thing to ever happen to me. I don’t think she believes me, hehe.
More family stuff
Things between me and my father have digressed pretty much back to not-speaking. My mother and I are getting along better, as long as we avoid certain topics … like my husband, and him not working. If I bring Jim up in conversation, she changes the subject.
Ah, just like old times …
I don’t think I really talked about Thanksgiving and Christmas on here. Things were bad enough because of the problems Jim and I are having … and I think they were made worse with our visits to my family. Both Thanksgiving and Christmas my father ignored us. I mean sitting down in another room, pretending to be oblivious to anyone or anything around him, not speaking to any of us when we spoke to him, ignoring us. Both holidays, we went over there and that’s what he did — he went into the TV room, sat in “his” chair and said nothing to any of us. What pissed me off was that when my brother and his family came over, he would get up, be lively and interact with them, and as soon as they left, he went back to his chair in that room.
I was humiliated, and furious. And quite honestly am thinking of not seeing my parents any more during the holidays. I know that doing this will hurt my mother, and will probably damage our relationship further; but I cannot and will not continue to be ignored, looked down upon, or have my family be treated like we’re a bunch of second-rate citizens. Honestly, just thinking about it right now is raising my blood pressure and making me very angry.
Maybe I still have unresolved issues. Maybe my father is just an asshole. Either way, I’ve decided not to put my husband and daughter, whom I love more than life itself, through that any more.
So, how are you doing?
A few of you I’ve heard from off the blog. I really miss interacting with everyone and would love to hear how y’all are doing. Please feel free to comment below, or just holler at me via email!
NCsoft has announced a new a “Refer-a-Friend” program which allows current players to invite friends to try out an Aion demo account.
So here’s what you need to know:
Aion demo accounts are good for 3 days, 5 hours, or level 7 — whichever is reached first. After that point, the Aion demo account expires. All of your character information and progress is retained so that if you decide to buy the game, you can continue from there. You can buy Aion from the NCsoft Store or any participating retailers.
Contact me with your email address!
The “almighty Google” has blessed me with Google Wave invites, yay!
So … any of y’all who need or would like an invite, please let me know.
Wow, what a weekend. Right now I’m sitting here waiting out the remaining two hours until the Aion Head Start event. I figured this would be a good time as any to post a few things.
Jess, Teresa and I spent yesterday in T’town. We went down there to watch the Tide take on North Texas. Jim was originally supposed to go with us, but he was kind enough to stay home to get our house ready to show to some prospective buyers. (Which, funny enough, he neglected to tell me about until Friday night when I got home and was already mad as a hornet for having spent 2 hours in traffic!)
We picked Teresa up in McCalla and headed down I-59. It rained the entire time. Once we reached Tuscaloosa, finding a parking spot was pretty tricky. The university has taken over some parking lots that were once public to reserve for Tide Pride members. We got lucky and parked by some friends in nearby apartments.
Hooray for friends!
It rained and rained and RAINED. Even though all three of us were wearing ponchos, we were still soaked to the bone. We walked all over the quad, visited various shop tents and after watching the Million Dollar Band do their usual pre-game routine, slowly made our way to Bryant-Denny stadium. It was at this point that it FINALLY quit raining. With the exception of a few drops here or there, the weather was pretty nice for the rest of the day! We made our way into the stadium and up to our seats and tried our best to dry out. About halfway into the game, the sun made its grand entrance.
Of course, the sunscreen I had put on yesterday morning before leaving the house had washed off … so I’m a little sunburned. This is the first game I’ve ever attended where I’ve been soaked and sunburned in the same day! LOL!
It was all a great day of fun though. The Tide looked really good. The halftime show was great. The MDB played a tribute to Motown. IMO the best part was the finale … they played ‘Thriller’ by Michael Jackson. All of the color guard and dance teams put on some raggedy clothes and danced as zombies like in the original video. It was awesome!!
The Tide won 53-7, so pretty early in the second half a lot of people were leaving. The traffic going home was light compared to every other Bama game I’ve ever attended. We made it home long before dinner time and I happily napped as soon as I could get my tired and weary bones through the door and into the bed.
Today Jess left us to spend the next few days with her mother. She didn’t want to go (not that I blame her) but I tried to assure her that she wouldn’t miss much of the Aion head start and we’d see her again later this week. Our deal is that as long as her grades are up, she can play Aion. So far, that’s proving to be a GREAT motivator as far as school goes!
And speaking of Aion, I was able to get things sorted out with GoGamer. Our Aion packs arrived Friday afternoon. Jim and I ordered the Collector’s Edition, Jessie got the regular (and hers came in a very NICE tin!). Here’s a few pics I snapped that night after opening my box:
Incidentally, if you have also ordered the CE, you will want to read this article by The Aion Guy: How To Receive Your Aion Pre-Order Items!
On days where I bring my lunch to work, I usually sit at my desk and read my feeds. With all the things going on, I’ve found that most days I want stuff to keep me in good mood — or if I’m in a particularly bad one, to enhance my mood.
A couple days back, GeekSugar posted 10 Sites That Will Instantly Lift Your Mood. While the entries were pretty neat (I particularly enjoyed FML but it’s not really mood-lifting IMO), but honestly none of those I would visit when I was in need of a serious dose of smiles and gigglies.
These are my mood lifters, in no particular order:
- I Can Has Cheezburger? – LOLcats and LOLanimals own. ‘Nuff said.
- I Has a Hotdog! – Sister site to the ICHC, featuring LOLdogs of course. More awesomeness.
- Cute Overload – Introduced to this by my pal DocJeff, this never ceases to make me smile.
- ZooBorns – Announcements of baby zoo animals born all over the world. Entertaining and usually very educational. Dual-awesomeness.
- Cute Animals Channel on Today’s Big Thing – A daily feeding of furry funny video.
- Cukiság – A Hungarian cute animals site. Even though I usually don’t understand any of the text, the photos are cool.
- FurryTalk – A good site, with a mix of LOLpics, jokes, and inspirational animal stories.
I could name a few others, but these are the ones I hit every day. They’re good for a quick smile, and likely help keep me sane.
So what sites are your mood lifters?