Tuesday, March 30, 2010
**Edited to add: So, blogger must have something against me because this was supposed to post on Wednesday, not Tuesday! It wasn't even finished (or spell checked)--so I apologize to those who read part of a post. *sigh* Technology is a pain sometimes.
While I generally leave the political hub-bub to the Big Guy and my friend Chris, I'm going to share my 2 cents about the census. My issue?
People who gripe about filling it out.
It all started about a year ago when Rep. Michelle Bachman said that she was boycotting the Census and everyone else should, too. As she said, "...it's very intricate. Very personal. A lot of questions are asked." She also thinks that the Census information can be used against you, like it was after the 1940 census with Japanese Americans and the internment camps during WWII.
Yes. I think she's nuts.
Anyway, fast forward to a few weeks ago and I noticed that one of my high school friends was talking about the Census. Another high school person got onto their soap box and said, "They're only getting my name and how many people are in this house....that's IT!"
I began to wonder, "What is on the Census, anyway?" I filled one out in 2000 and hell if I can remember what was on it. I can't even remember what I have planned for dinner this week, much less what I wrote on a census form 10 years ago.
Last week, it was our turn. The Census arrived.
I opened it.
I filled it out for our household.
And sat there dumbfounded because all I was really asked was my name, my age, my relation to "person number 1" (we put the Big Guy first), if we rented or owned our home, and our ethnic background.
That's it. Not a question on where I worked, how much I made, my occupation. NOTHING.
So, what's the big deal? Why are people so up in arms over this? The funny thing? In doing my family tree recently and looking at census records dating back to the mid 1800's, the Census hasn't really changed.
Here. Look at this. It's a snapshot of the Census record from 1910 for my Great Grandma (my dad's Grandmother). It asks virtually the same things today. In 1910, they even went as far as to ask what you did for a living, where your parents were born and how long you've been married!
I know the pictures are kind of hard to read, so here's what the boxes say (from left to right):
Name, Relation (to head of household), Race, Gender, Age as of Last Birthday, Married (or widowed), Number of years you've been married, Number of children, Number of Children living, Your place of birth, Your father's place of birth....
(con't...) Your mother's place of birth, Year you came to the US, Citizen of the US?, Do you speak English (or the language spoken), What is your trade, What is your industry, Self employed?, How much do you work?, Are you able to read?, Are you able to write?, Do you own your home?, Are you a survivor of the Confederate Army?, Are you blind?, Are you deaf and dumb?
Yes! Those are the questions on the census from 1910. Can you image if that language was still used today?
We didn't recreate the wheel, people.
We improved it.
It's a Census.
Do your civic duty and fill it out.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Kelly, over at Kelly's Korner, asked us to show our cleaning tips. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I'm going to share some links to 2 posts that I have done in the past.
Pet Hair Removal: Click here to read how I took a sock that lost it's match and used it to clean the cat hair off my furniture. No more lugging out the vacuum, using a lint roller or one of those special pet hair removers.
Cheap Laundry Soap: Click here to read how I made my own laundry soap. Note the date of this post (August 2009). As of today, March 26th, I still have at least 1/2 a box of Borax and 1/4 a box of washing soda from the original purchase. Bar soap and oxy clean had to be replenished (the Big Guy didn't realize that the Oxy Clean was part of my how-long-will-it-last experiment). But so far, one batch of soap lasts us about 30 washes. And for an update....yes! It did remove the awful sugar beat smell.
Be sure to head over to Kelly's Korner to read what others have to share!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
This weekend while we were creating a wedding dress out of various patterns and colors and bits and bobs, my cousin Sassy was also looking for a prom dress.
Back when I was in high school, this was the style of prom dress: (image from Google Images)
Dresses like this are all the rage.
We saw a number of girls at David's Bridal trying on dresses like this. My aunt, Sassy's mother, looked at a young girl wearing a wildly patterned dress, with a low cut front and virtually no back and said "Absolutely not, no way." My aunt had the "3 B's" rule: the dress cannot show boobs, butt, or belly.
Sassy, however, found a very fun dress! While the pattern is a little wild, it is really cute.
And she looked adorable in it.
Have fun at prom, Sassy!
Monday, March 22, 2010
What do you get when you have a 19 year old cousin, who is getting married in June, who decides that she wants red on her dress and a corset--like this...
With a halter style top, with a "collar". Like this...
With possibly some red in her veil. Like this...
But has decided that buying a dress is too expensive. So she goes to a fabric store (think the Midwest version of Mood from Project Runway...). Her aunts help her pick out fabric.
She wants to take these three patterns...
And all of this material (over 10 yards worth)...
And have my mom make her a dress.
Or a magician.
Good luck, mom!
Friday, March 19, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
I have known my BFF, Julie, since 1988. We met at Space Camp.
I went to Space Camp.
I had dreams of being an astronaut.
One semester as an Engineering Major in college will change your perspective pretty darn quick.
Then I became an Math Major. But didn't do so well in Finite Math.
Then I became an Education Major. But then was dismissed for a low GPA. Story for another day.
Then I became an English Major. Because I can write. Not necessarily well, but I can write.
Here is Julie and I at Space Camp, circa 1988.
I can rock the Chuck Taylors, my friends. and will at my wedding, thankyouverymuch.
Yesterday I get into work and as I'm
Julie's account had been hacked.
I e-mailed her at work and went about my day. I got home that evening and in massive blog updating for the 3-day, I logged into google and had 2 more messages from her account. I did what any BFF would do. I called her to give her a hard time.
The conversation went like this:
Me: You know, I love you, but I'm tired of your MSN account sending me junk e-mail
BFF: The Hubs is fixing it now.
Hubs (in the background): tell her about your phone call to me
BFF: Yeah, I got your e-mail and didn't think anything of it. But then at work all day people were saying to me, "What am I supposed to be looking at in this e-mail." I thought they had gotten the picture update of the kids. But then it hit me that people were getting a bunch of junk. So, I called the Hubs and said, "OH MY GOD!!! SOMEONE BROKE INTO OUR HOUSE AND IS USING OUR COMPUTER TO SEND OUT JUNK AND SPAM MESSAGES!!!!"
Me: No one broke into your house.
BFF: I don't get it. We have spyware.
Me: Doesn't matter. Hackers are smart.
BFF: Do you think they drove around trying to pick up wireless signals?
BFF: People do that you know.
Me: I know. But no. They didn't do that. It could be from anything--online purchases where you had to set up a username and password, for example.
Hubs (in the background): Our computer is out of memory
BFF: Apparently it's a memory thing.
Me: Ummm. No. It has nothing to do with the memory. YOU'VE BEEN HACKED.
Monday, March 15, 2010
I am currently going through the annual spring cleaning purge when I found these photos from various people in my family.
And honestly, they made me say "awww" and giggle all at the same time.
Here are is my Grandma & Grandpa Osmundson (who the blog address is named after!). They were married in April 1949. Grandma O is no longer living, but if she were, they would have been married 61 years this April.
As ornery as Grandma O was sometimes, I do miss her. *sigh*
Here are my parents on their wedding day. I love the classic, "Look at the guest book and admire who came to celebrate your day" photo.
For the record, Andy and I will be doing no such thing.
We don't have a guest book.
Here are my parents with Grandma and Grandpa O.
My mom just shared a private story with me the other day about the wedding and what Grandma O told her in the receiving line.
I promised I wouldn't share it.
But it just makes this photo even more funnier.
This is my cousin Stacy's wedding. This is probably the only family photo that we have with everyone. This was circa 1999 (one week after Stacy graduated from High School!).
Please take note of the little girl in the front row in the pinkish flower dress (she's standing next to me--I'm the one in green).
Look at her. Isn't she cute?
Loving the family photo op?
Now scroll down to the next photo.
This is my cousin Tim's wedding, circa 2006.
See the girl in the middle? The one in black? Yep. That's the same adorable little girl from 1999. She had no interest in taking photos that day. None. Even though it was her brother's wedding day.
Then again, the bride doesn't look all that thrilled either.
Yet another reason why my extended family is only invited to the reception that is happening 6 months later.
Does anyone else ever write blog posts and laugh out loud as you type them? Because I'm totally doing that. Oh. Yes. I. Am.
Friday, March 12, 2010
So, my bloggy friend, Rebecca Jo, always does a "Friday Fragments" post and I thought that today I would do the same! Please be sure to pop over to Rebecca Jo's blog and say "hi". You'll be glad you did.
*I was thrilled to read that another bloggy buddy, Jason--from the Jason Show--has decided to do the 3-day walk! I also love that he had the same concerns that every 3-day walker has...sleeping in tents, doing your business in a porta-potty for 3-days, no running water to wash your hands so you use tons of purell. But most of all I'm glad that Jason is doing it. GO JASON!
*Speaking of the 3-day I'm having flashbacks to college when we would order t-shirts for some group of event. Shirt sizes, colors, logos....ack! The t-shirt guy and I have been playing phone tag, but we're doing what we can to make progress. Yes, Angels...we'll have shirts for the 27th. Promise! Have you seen our new logo?
*Next weekend I'm going shopping with my 2 aunts for some wedding stuff. I plan to take lots of photos because that event will be very, very blog worthy. Trust me.
*I need a haircut. But I'm waiting as long as possible to get one before the wedding. I also need highlights. *sigh*
*Speaking of the wedding...Hula (another bloggy friend, who I discovered through Jason's blog) asked me recently via a comment if I've picked my shoes yet. Well, I've got shoes narrowed down! I'll have them next weekend. Pictures to follow. Promise.
*Speaking, again, of the wedding....71 days and counting. That's according to The Knot.
*Speaking of The Knot. I really don't care for this website. I went out there the other day to look at flower arrangements (yes. I caved. I went with real flowers). I know. I know. If I hate it why do I go? Pot. Kettle. Irony. I get it. Here's my front page of The Knot and what I think about it.
*SPAT OF THE WEEK: Pre-Marriage Counseling. The Big Guy wants to do it (as do I), but said, "If we can't fit it in, we can always do it after." My reply, "But it's pre marriage counseling". Before. Not after. He gets that...but really, what I didn't tell him, is that I'm scared and nervous and freaked out. My family doesn't have the best track record for marriages. I feel as though if we do it before, it's not necessarily an "insurance policy", but it may help to provide some insight to my fears and issues--which will help us be able to work through the tough times.
Thoughts? Did you do pre-marriage counseling?
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
If you haven't heard, I'm getting married.
To this guy.
In this garden. In May. When snow will be on the ground, I'm sure.
He'll have this on his jacket.
I'll have this in my hand.
I'll have this on my finger.
And I'll be listening to the vows read to me by my friend Jake.
I'll stand there, listening to words and stories and quotes.
The Big Guy's sister will read a little something (which I have yet to pick out).
We'll say I do.
We'll take photos.
We'll go to the restaurant on a lake and eat.
The Big Guy and I will go off somewhere.
I'll probably crash from exhaustion.
He'll be bummed. (ha!)
But what I'm having a hard time with is what will it feel like.
Not the difference between married and not married. I'm talking about the feeling of standing there. In front of your family. Wearing a dress you'll never wear again, in shoes that are none too sensible, holding flowers that will die in 2 days.
What does it feel like?
Are you nervous?
Are you able to look anyone in the eye without busting into tears?
And if you do cry, are you crying because you're scared? Or because you can't believe you are, indeed, an adult, and doing grown up things?
I'm trying to prepare myself for what this till be like. I told Rebecca Jo the other day on her blog when she wrote about the subject of worrying, "it's sorta like when I had my wisdom teeth out. I was a wreck. But then the first one came out and I was like 'that's it?' and before you knew it I was walking out of the office and headed home to recover."
Is it like that?
You are a nervous wreck, you feel like your stomach is in your throat, and then you do it and you're fine--but you never want to do it again?
Because if I can get a shot of nitrous oxide before doing this, I may be OK. After all, that's all I had when I had my wisdom teeth pulled (that and Novocaine).
(I'll pass on the Novocaine. I'd like to be able to eat without biting my tongue.)
Monday, March 08, 2010
Friday night, the Big Guy was working, so I got to enjoy watching what I wanted on TV and eating a dinner that consisted of a toasted English muffin, a banana, and Thin Mint's.
And yet I wonder why I haven't lost weight in over 2 months. Hummmm.
Anyway, on TV, I got sucked into the show Who Do You Think You Are. This show is where they take a celebrity and trace their family tree. This week, the took the one and only Sarah Jessica Parker and did a little tracing of the tree. What did they discover? She had a relative who chased a dream for riches in the California Gold Rush. She also had a relative who was accused of being a witch during the Salem Witch Trials.
Bet that will make for a fun conversation during the next Thanksgiving!
Anyway, I decided to get onto Ancestry.com and see what the cards had in store for me.
Now, I have to admit that I am lucky that my mother made sure that I knew about my family history. She is, without a doubt, the family historian. Not only for her family--but also my father's. I already had a tree started--one that I created about 3 years ago. But this weekend I decided to dive in a bit deeper.
Honestly, I'm bound and determined to prove that I'm related to the British Royal Family. Or the Norwegian Royal family. I'm not picky. After all, I'm going to London in 2012 for the Olympics and need a place to stay. What? The Queen has more rooms than I can shake a stick at. She'll never know we're there.
Here is what I found:
*I am, indeed of Irish decent
*I have relatives who were born in London and have the same last name as a camp friend, who is also British. Perhaps we're related!
*I am also of Swiss decent--deep routed Swiss decent (my dad's mother's side).
*How deep is that Swiss decent? I'm currently back to 1540. That's pretty deep if you ask me.
*I had a Great, Great, Great Grandfather who, between his two wives, fathered 14 kids.
*1849 was a bad year for a line of my family, because 3 people died within 3 days of one another.
*November birthdays are heavy on my dad's side. So much so that I share a birthday with my Great, Great Grandmother!
I'm still trying to figure out if my family came over on the Mayflower, so if anyone from Who Do You Think You Are wants to feature me on the show, I've done most of the leg work.
Just so we're clear, I'm not being paid to endorse Ancestry.com or the NBC show. I just really, really, really, like that I got to research my family tree this weekend.
Friday, March 05, 2010
Dear Little Brownie Bakers,
As a former brownie (1st through 3rd grade), junior girl scout (4th through 6th grade), girl scout leader (freshman & sophomore year in college--we won't even discuss how I had to store cases of Girl Scout cookies in a residence hall room), and even a girl scout camp counselor, I have to say I am disappointed.
Did you think I wouldn't notice?
Three nights ago, the Big Guy brought home two boxes of your sinful treats: Somoas (or as others may know them, Caramel deLites) and Thin Mints. Two of my favorite Girl Scout cookies. The Somoas were already opened, and for the last few days, we've enjoyed a cookie or two every evening.
Last night, I decided to plunge into the Thin Mints. Which, by the way, were in their rightful storage place--the freezer.
I pulled out the box and noticed that it was slightly smaller, but didn't think anything of it. That was until I pulled out one sleeve of Thin Mints.
Who are you trying to fool?
As someone who has not only eaten her fair share, sold her fair share and even helped herself in the middle of the night to a few boxes from the Girl Scout camp freezer, did you really think that I wouldn't notice that the sleeve of cookies I took out of our box was smaller?
In fact, it is 4 cookies smaller. Which means I am missing 8 cookies total.
How do I know?
Don't cross the woman who has a mind like a steel trap.
Every campsite that I worked with at Girl Scout camp had 10 girls. Toss in a box of Thin Mints for a "get to know you icebreaker" and that means 4 cookies per girl (1 sleeve of Thin Mints is 20 cookies. 2 sleeves is 40 cookies. 40 divided by 10 = 4 cookies per girl.)
I get it. "There's a recession". That may be true--but people know how much a box of cookies cost and what good that money does for the girls and their troops. Kick up the cost to $3.75--but don't take away my cookies.
You know how to reach us to send me my missing 8 cookies. After all, you have a check with the Big Guy's address.
PS. If this is some way of getting back at me for the time one summer that I was part of many practical jokes on the camp director, please remember that was many years ago and I have repented. I think.
PPS. If it is any consolation, my BFF was a Gold Award Winner, the equivalent to the Eagle Scout award.
PPSS. Yes, I know the BFF and I worked at Girl Scout camp together in the summer of 1994, and yes, I know that we were a group of trouble makers. But again, it was 1994 and I was 22 years old. Can I help it if we were late getting back to camp because we helped a family who was driving in front of us who hit a deer?
PPPSS. Yes. OK. I read this article. But it still stinks.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
I know that some of you have been wondering how I've been doing with my own, self proclaimed Money Dare.
When I started this project, I set the following goals for myself:
1. Cut our grocery bill and spend $60 a week on our groceries.
2. Put the money we save from groceries into the money market account.
3. Not buy anything new in 2010.
4. Enjoy coffee from Caribou but on payday only (twice a month).
Here is an update....
Cut the weekly grocery bill and spend $60 a week. Grade: B+
Two weeks ago I spent about $130 on groceries. This was because we were out of the "Costco Staples", which have helped to cut our grocery budget. But over all, we've been doing pretty good, actually staying around $60-$65 a week. Shopping with a calculator helps, as does coupons. If I remember to grab them.
We still have yet to go to Costco for the month. *sigh*
Put our grocery savings into the money market account. Grade: D+
I totally dropped the ball on this one. It hasn't happened.
What that extra money has allowed me to do is pay off 2 credit cards. Obviously, the balances weren't huge on those cards, but they are paid off. So, while I haven't made the goal of putting money into that account, I am happy that those two cards are free and clear, and won't be used any time soon.
Not buy anything new in 2010. Grade: A-
I would say that I have actually done pretty well with this. In looking over the last 2 months, I haven't bought anything new.
Not one thing.
We do have a few wedding purchases left to make, and that was actually factored into this--so there will be some purchases. But thankfully, it isn't much and as I said I'm super OK with going used or borrowed on some items!
Let me say that this has been a challenge. Oh my LORD, has it EVER. You don't know how many times when I've gone to Target for just paper towels and shampoo, I've almost walked out with a clearance end-cap item (the other day it was slippers for $3. But I walked away...).
Enjoy Caribou Coffee only on payday. Grade: F
Big ol' F on this one.
Now, I will say I don't go every day.
But I haven't limited my coffee to twice a month.
In looking over my bank statements I went 5 times in February. January I was on the mark (2 visits).
So, while it wasn't my average 15 times a month in 2009, it was still off the mark.
Maybe a bit harsh to give myself an "F"? Perhaps. But remember, I said I would only go on payday. I only get paid 2 times a month. So, I should only be going on those days.
There you have it, kids. Where we are at so far.
Monday, March 01, 2010
Saturday night I not only had a date night with the Big Guy, but it was at a work event. I had these grand plans to take tons of photos, post them on the blog and have a great Monday post.
Well, someone *cough* the Big Guy *cough* drained the batteries in the fancy new camera.
Therefore. No proof.
Because, people, we had a great date night at a wine tasting, with my co-workers, that would have been really cool to photograph.
One of the rules of my blog is that I don't blog about work. One for privacy, but two, I firmly believe that it is OK to not have to blog about every single thing in your life. I am lucky though that I work with some amazing people. Our team of advisers is small (9 of us total for our degree program), so we do get along really well.
Our school--an online university--is not only a school, but a business. Most for profit universities are. Because we are also dipping our toes in the business pool, we also raise money for the community through big name charities. Because of that, the director of our department, Ms. K, offered a wine tasting at her home as one of the silent auction items last fall. We all went in on it as a team and won!
Let me tell you. It was awesome.
She had stations set up around her house where you could taste the wine, swish the wine, spit the wine, rinse your glass, etc. She and her husband covered the wine labels (so you wouldn't be biased!). They even had us do a little "smelling test" with these fun little bottles. You had to guess the food scent. The hope is that if you can smell that--you'll be able to pick up the notes in the wine.
Ya'll. This was, by far, the funnest wine tasting I've ever been too!
This would be the point of the blog post where I would insert photos of Ms. K's beautiful home, the brown paper covered wine bottles, the little sniffing jars, the great snacks (soooooo good!), the fun people in attendance, Ms. K & the Big Guy bonding over the fact that they grew up only 10 miles apart, the point in the evening when a co-workers husband and the Big Guy had a deep discussion about beer, etc. So, I've had to settle for internet photos from a google search (including our two favorites--I like the white, the Big Guy (and a lot of folks in attendance) liked this brand of red).
But again, no batteries = no photos.
This was also, the first time that the Big Guy met my team! I've worked here for 3 years and they are just now meeting him. I keep my relationships close to the vest and didn't want to have them meet him until it was just right.
Apparently, word on the street, is that they really, really like him.
Which makes my heart happy.
I like happy....wine induced or not.