Sunday, January 29, 2012

Slacker's Diary/The Weekend's Smiles

So, now that I'm officially signed up for the Go! St. Louis half marathon on April 15th, I suppose it's incumbent upon me to, well, you know, actually start running again. And not just once every couple of weeks.  Churned out a whopping 1.25 miles today.  Should be no problem to train up to 13.1 in....11 weeks, right?!  Yeah, sure. Piece.Of. Cake! 

The fact that I actually did drag my sorry butt out on a run today is cause for a smile.  Here are some others from this weekend:

  • Had a lovely time with my Indy friends on Friday evening.  Downtown Indy is done up right in anticipation of the Super Bowl. The hotel I stayed in was super nice. The Cigar Bar served Build-A-Burgers. And the company was delightful, as always. 
  • Happy to know one of the Power Ball tickets I bought for my friends was a winner.  Maybe not a big winner, but a winner nonetheless. 
  • Also had fun at Claymont Trivia Night last night, even though we didn't win.  Darn food questions.  And bodies of water!
  • Finished another blog this morning.
  • Finally made it to church today. Appreciated the message, even if it did feel a bit like getting smacked upside the head. 
  • Was a nice, sunny, almost-warmish day here today. 
  • Spent a lazy afternoon/evening watching TV and playing on Twitter without feeling guilty house is actually so neat it didn't take long to get it back into acceptable shape.  
  • My house is nice and comfy and warm right now.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Some Overdue Smiles

I've been a bit lax with this. I'd blame it on my laziness, but honestly, finding smiles has been rather...challenging the past week or two.  The "when it rains, it pours" phenomenon has been vying with the "it's always something" truism to see which was the more accurate fit.  Thankfully, however, that changed yesterday, and I found quite a few reasons to smile: 

  • Installation of the brand new, shiny, spiffy and fully operational furnace was completed - we have heat without space heaters for the first time in two weeks!
  • Riley was feeling better and it was confirmed she does not have strep.
  • The vet called with Pringle's blood tests and all checked out normal - we're still going to monitor his fluid intake, but it doesn't appear to be anything dire.
  • Sent out the requisite letters for a very important opportunity.
  • Found a great hotel room in DuPont Circle for the first night of CPAC* for $80 compliments of William Shatner, Priceline, and a phenomenal tutorial. ;) 
  • Worked up the nerve to apply for Bloggers' Credentials for CPAC.....and received them!
  • Got to spend some quality time with Riley watching American Idol.
  • Got to catch up with an old friend who always makes me smile. 
  • Today, as I was dropping Riley off at school, I reminded her to cross in front of the bus that was stopped ahead of us and to the right.  The bus pulled away as she was exiting the car, but she still - without prompting from me -  walked all the way up to the cross-walk and looked both ways before crossing, even though she had clearance to cut across the bus lane. This may seem like a small thing - but I love that her instinct is follow the rules and be safe. It gives me hope that we'll survive her teen years after all. :)
All in all, a decent couple of days.  I'll take 'em! :)

*Conservative Political Action Conference - two weeks from now in Washington D.C. I'm beyond excited to go!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ya Just Gotta Laugh

Those of you following along may be aware of my furnace woes.  With impeccable timing, the dadburned thing conked out in the wee hours of Friday morning, during our coldest night this winter. Unable to work any of my magic on it, I finally resorted to calling my ever-helpful Home Warranty Company which put me in touch with a contractor whose first available appointment was Monday morning.  Meh - we limped through the weekend with space heaters and managed okay.

In fact, for the most part, it stayed pretty comfortable in the house.  The downside, of course, to running multiple space heaters in your crap-wired home at once is that they tend to get into pissing matches with other appliances like, oh, you know, hair dryers, vacuums and the like.  Which, in turn, leads to blown fuses.  Which are easy enough fixes, usually. I know how to flip the switch on the breaker panel.  I know how to hit the re-set button on the outlet.  All good.  In theory.  (We'll revisit that notion momentarily.)

So, Monday morning rolls around, and Mr. Furnace Repair Man comes out and fiddles around with it all and advises that I've got both a fried motherboard and a fried igniter.  Both of which sound vaguely familiar. (A quick review of my saved repair invoices shows that both have already been replaced once in the four-and-a-half years I've lived here.)  He also advises me that there's a bit of a red flag -- you see, the prior owners of the home, in their infinite wisdom, for some reason opted to install a 125,000 BTU furnace in an 1100 square foot house.  For those of you not well-versed in the ways of furnaces -- that's a WHOLE LOTTA furnace for an itty-bitty house.  Which probably explains, at least in part, my repeated issues with the infernal thing.

The kicker is - Mr. Furnace Repair Man isn't entirely certain the ever-helpful Home Warranty Company will actually cover the necessary repair, seeing as how the furnace is over-sized, yada, yada.  Well, that's interesting, seeing as how they issued the Warranty and have repaired the thing several times since I've been here.  We won't get into those legalities just yet, though. We left it with the knowledge that I'd be receiving a call from them today, and go from there on the repairs -- which, by the way, would take anywhere from three to five days to set up, even assuming they were covered.  Have I mentioned it's January?  (Of course it is -- furnaces never break down in late March.) 

Yesterday morning's furnace festivities complete, I headed off to the office for a productive half-day of work. On the way home, I stopped off at WalMart.  I had with me at the time a rebate check from the manufacturer of Pringle's Heartgard.  No great shakes - $15.  But since I'd unearthed it while cleaning out the office yesterday morning (while waiting on Mr. Furnace Repair Man), I decided to take it with and deposit it in the bank yesterday evening.  You may recall yesterday was a rather windy day.  Which presaged last night's tornado sirens and hailstorm.  As I made my way back to the car and fumbled around in my purse for my keys, the wind picked up, and I thought -- maybe -- I heard something hit the ground.  

I convinced myself it was just my imagination and got into the car.  Then thought..."the check!"  I rummaged through my purse for it - not there.  I jumped out and looked all around under the car.  Not there.  I broadened my search, to the cars around me.  Looked all around the immediate vicinity.  Nowhere in sight.  The check had vanished.  It was....gone with the wind.  (Shout out to my friend Michelle Lancaster on that.)  Now, it was only $15 -- not $50. And in the whole scheme of things, not really that big a deal.  Still, I do take a bit of umbrage at the fact that the wind chose to swipe the check, and not one of the several unneccessary receipts that were also floating around my purse at the time. 

Shook my head and proceeded home to unwind a bit.  Maybe watch some TV.  Which became a challenge because there were three things on at the same time I was interested in watching.  The GOP Presidential Debate, The Bachelor and Alcatraz.  Hey - what can I say? I have eclectic taste in my entertainment.  Thank goodness for DVR's!! Set that puppy to record all three shows, and flipped back and forth between them until it was time for my favorite radio show.  

Later, as I settled down in bed, I thought I'd round out the evening by watching the second half of The Bachelor.  Ooops!  DVR not working right.  Well, whatever.  Too tired to fiddle with it -- I'd worry about it Tara.  ;)

So, today brought with it the not-super-unexpected news that, indeed, the ever-helpful Home Warranty Company would not be covering the repair (or, what's really needed - the replacement) of the furnace.  Although they are willing to offer me a cash settlement for parts and labor...Yeah, again, we're going to have  a more in-depth discussion about that, the ever-helpful Home Warranty Company (which covers everything but the kitchen sink and the repairs you REALLY need to have done) and I.  

Oh, but the repair company is willing to help and give me a bid for replacing the whole thing.  Which is kind of interesting in itself, seeing as how they're the ones who advised the ever-helpful Home Warranty Company that the furnace was over-sized. does wonder....

Anyway, the upshot is...I probably need a new furnace.  And, I'm told by a good friend who knows his stuff, in reality, I probably need a new AC unit, too, just taking into account the re-configuring of the duct-work that will be required.  

And, by the way, for those of you still following along -- the water heater still doesn't work right.  Oh, but the ever-helpful Home Warranty Company doesn't cover repair/replacement resulting from sedimentary build up. Which, let's face it, is likely what my problem is there.  

Have I mentioned I've an appointment to take my car in for an oil change on Thursday?  Oh, and to have the battery checked. Because, I'm told, it's probably due to be replaced.  We won't even speculate as to what other sorts of "recommended maintenance" the dealership is going to dazzle me with at that point.  My guess is whatever it is will run me somewhere between $4-500.  

Oh....I almost forgot -- the DVR.  Yeah.  See, I tried again tonight to watch the recorded episode of The Bachelor. loads, but then freezes up.  And has to be rebooted.  And then does it all again.  Seems that one of the blown fuse incidents (compliments of the space heaters being on, compliments of the furnace being busted) monkeyed with the DVR, and it's no longer working properly....

How's that old song go? "If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all..?" Yes, indeedy.  Ya just gotta laugh! 


Sunday, January 15, 2012

This Weekend's Smiles

It didn't get off to such a hot start...Friday morning brought with it the realization that the furnace had stopped working overnight.  (Picked the coldest night of the year, naturally.) And no amount of coaxing on my part could persuade it to change its mind. Then, too, I managed to blow a fuse while drying my hair.  And lose a glove on my way into the office.  Thankfully, the fuse was an easy fix and the glove was recovered by a co-worker. The furnace repair guy I was told, however, couldn't make it until Monday.  

Still, the weekend provided me with several reasons to smile:

  • Pajama party with some of the girls on Friday in honor of Cari's b-day, complete with Scattergories, Apples to Apples and Pictionary.  I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. 
  • Took advantage of an open Saturday to go on a cleaning/organizing frenzy - got three-fourths of the house cleaned/neatened, four loads of laundry done, the dog groomed, the car cleaned out - a lot of hard work, but a huge feeling of accomplishment -- the less cluttered my house is, the less cluttered my brain feels!
  • Continued the Cari b-day celebration Saturday evening with food, drink and friends at the Whitings'.
  • Watched some good (and some not-so-good) playoff football both days. 
  • Got some nicer blinds for the back door and some new plants for my office (since I killed the old one...oops). 
  • Throughout the weekend, the space heaters have actually helped keep the house quite livable and I did finally figure out how to get them all running without blowing a fuse. 
  • Got Riley's room picked up today, and now only have the office left to tackle. 
  • Enjoyed a relaxing soak in the hot tub.
  • Had some ice cream for dessert. 
  • Am now relaxing in my mostly-tidy house, have the candles lit and am feeling momentarily stress-free. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Slacker's Journey Continues, As Do Some Smiles

Yes, it's true. I've been slacking.  But holidays and doldrums and yada yada.  Anyway, somehow, this evening, as I drove home, I worked up the motivation to get my sorry ass back out there running.  Didn't run far - just the old 1.2 mile jaunt around the neighborhood, but I ran it at a decent clip, and ran the entirety of it, save a brief stop to re-tie my shoelace.  

Felt pretty good, except that once I stopped, my lungs started hurting - badly. Felt like a ton of bricks had settled upon my chest. Ugh. I have a long way to go to be ready for April. Still, I do feel good about getting back out there.

As for the smiles, there have been several over the past few days:

  • Got my Christmas decorations down and put away, including my tree in its handy-dandy new plastic -- and hopefully mouse-proof -- crate. 
  • Got my family room rearranged -- it's really just the mirror image of what it was before, but somehow, it seems more open.
  • Have begun and made some progress in The Great Declutterfy My House Project.
  • Have been fairly productive at work -- feel like I'm not just putting out fires. 
  • Have found inspiration and churned out not one, but two, political blogs/rants.
  • Had the following exchange with Riley earlier tonight: Her - "Is it The Bachelor or The Bachelorette this time?" Me - "The Bachelor. It's Ben. And the girls are horrid." Her - "Aren't they always?"