One New Thing Every Day

From the day I turned 29, I tried to do one new thing a day... it took a few extra months, but I did it! Now I'll post new things randomly as I try them.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

#304 - No Fear

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that TLG loves to swim. Tonight we were visiting the pool at my aunt and uncle's home, and he was in his favorite green lifejacket/suit with his inflatable fish ring. All three of us were in the deep end, and he had been watching us jump into the pool. So imagine our surprise when he got out of the pool, then turned around and jumped back in with no help from either of us! OK, this is stretching the "new thing" factor, but the kid has no fear of water... while we were right there, neither of us had a hand extended to catch him like we'd been doing previously, and it's a very good thing he landed just so (perfectly on the inflatable fish so he didn't topple over into the water). Scared the bejeebees out of both of us, but he loved it. We won't be letting him do that again until he gets some swimming lessons!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

#303 - Remedy Magazine

Today I received a copy of Remedy magazine in the mail, addressed to me, and since I have never heard of it, I gave it a try. And you know what? I am definitely not part of the target audience. Based on the stories and ads within, I think their target audience is women age 50+ who have health issues or are worried about their health. The tagline on the cover says "Health & Wellness for Life" but I counted eight (yes, EIGHT) fold-out cards that could be torn out to return for more information. The tally of return cards is:
- diabetes products: 3
- osteoporosis drug: 1
- rheumetoid arthritis drug: 1
- blood clot reducing drug: 1
- blood pressure reducing drug: 1
- peripheral artery disease drug: 1
The stories included an interview of a young diabetic athlete, a handful of "eating right" tips and ideas, and a story about different types of pain. Based on my hubby's long journey with his pain, this was the only story that held my interest for very long. I will probably invite him to look at this article just so he can see some other options outside of the ones his doctors have offered.

I have no idea how I got on the mailing list for this magazine, though there is a circle on the cover advertising a free subscription available online so I don't expect to get any more. Generally, I'd say this isn't my new favorite magazine, but perhaps that's partially because I don't like to be reminded how unhealthy I actually am sometimes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

#302 - Stuck on a Plane

Today the FAA had some sort of software malfunction and I got stuck on a plane at O'Hare Airport. I've certainly been stuck on planes before (most notably in Logan International at Boston) but this was the first time I called someone to check the news to see if my plane would be able to take off! (In the past, it's always been a malfunctioning plane and it wouldn't do any good to check with anybody else.) As it turned out, my wonderful hubby was in the middle of lots of work and couldn't check the internet for me. The others I called either didn't answer or didn't know what was going on, either. So this time around, this plan didn't work for me. Maybe in the future I'll have a cell phone that can check the internet, but for now that's always seemed a bit excessively "wired" for me. Anyway, long story short, I was only delayed about an hour and I was able to run and catch my second plane back home with a few minutes to spare.

#301 - Lox and Bagels

For breakfast today, I tried lox and bagels. I wasn't even entirely sure what lox was (thinly-sliced raw salmon, apparently) and by "entirely" I mean, I thought it was cooked. It arrived on my plate, shown here, with cream cheese, capers, cucumbers, tomato and onion. (I had to ask what the capers were, too: tiny olive-like things.) A good friend from the east coast also ordered this dish and showed me how to make an open-faced sandwich. My first bite or two were pretty "fishy" but once I got the hang of all the other ingredients it was tasty. Not something I'd eat often - probably more an acquired taste at this stage in life - but I'm glad I got to try it, and even more glad that I had a friend to show me what to do!

Monday, August 25, 2008

#300 - Touring And Planning

While I'm in Chicago, I am excited to hear about our national convention that will be held next summer at this resort. Today, a staff member took us on a tour of all the rooms where the convention will be held throughout the hotel. Of course, I've helped plan special events in resorts before, but never of this magnitude and I've never needed a formal tour of so large a property! My good friend (who was mentioned in the previous post) works at a hotel in southern California, and I wished she had been on this tour so she could have provided some insight... but she had to stay home from this trip. Instead, I observed the large tents, ballrooms, hospitality suites, meeting rooms, restaurants and the theater with our group of ladies making the plans. I think it's going to be a great convention.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

#299 - Faux Treasurer

A good friend of mine was supposed to be on this trip to Chicago. Alas, she is not, and she is the treasurer for the group that is meeting. As many groups and exec boards as I have been on, I have never been the treasurer of anything. (I've done almost everything else, including: president, recording secretary, editor, VP programs, committee chairman, committee member... I don't know what it is about me and money, but nobody has ever asked me to be in charge of the money.) Anyway... today I gave my first-ever treasurer's report (with a budget and notes from my good friend). And you know what? Being a treasurer is HARD WORK. Everything going on at our meeting has an impact on the budget, so I had to keep going back and adding notes as we discussed everything. It's not like I could just present the budget and be done with it. I have always respected treasurers for doing their jobs, but now I understand how difficult it is!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

#298 - Chicago, That Toddlin' Town

After the show ended, as we were waiting to pay for our parking, I stood on the corner of a downtown intersection and I watched the train go by, marveling at its speed and efficiency. I believe this is the famous L train, though I don't know what that stands for and the Chicago Transit Authority website doesn't have any info either. We don't have a passenger train or subway or anything like that in Reno, so it was amazing to watch the train go by so frequently. (Of course, Reno does have Amtrak downtown, but it's not used for getting around town, so it doesn't count.) Just another amazing thing to watch after an incredible evening in downtown Chicago.

#297 - Dancing Through Life

Today I traveled to Chicago, and this evening I saw my first musical in it's home theater (i.e., not a touring production): Wicked. Having read the book "Wicked" a few months ago, I was especially excited to see this show, which I've heard rave reviews about - but something about seeing it in Chicago made it extra-special. Here's a photo of the outside of the Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre. The show did not disappoint: the music was great, the story was enjoyable and had lots of in-jokes regarding Oz and the original story and movie. The actresses playing Elphaba (the wicked witch) and Glinda were fantastic singers. My favorite part of the show was watching the sets... our seats were high in the balcony, so I couldn't see the actors' expressions too well, but the sets were amazing. It makes a big difference when they are permanently built into the stage. The Oriental Theatre was pretty amazing too, ornate scrolled architecture throughout but still very classy and well-kept. This is how I looked pretty much the entire evening:

Friday, August 22, 2008

#296 - Sprinklers At the Park!

My hubby didn't believe me when I told him there was a set of fountains at the nearby park that are available for playing in from Memorial Day to Labor Day. (He thought it must be only on those days, since the City of Reno would never pay for something like that.) Regardless, after months of me trying to get our family to go check it out: tonight we went to the local park and TLG ran in the play fountains, which were pretty awesome. This is the same park that has the skateboard ramps I wrote about in a much earlier post. There are four fountains, two on poles and two that shoot out of the ground, and the entire area is covered in that squishy rubber playground covering stuff. You step on a circle on the ground to turn them all on, and they go off by themselves a minute or so later. TLG was just wearing regular clothes so it took him a minute of watching another child running in the water before he decided to go in also. But he got soaked and ran around quite a bit before the wind got to him and it was time to bundle up in a towel and head for home (and a warm bath). We'll definitely have to keep this in mind next summer when it's so hot all the time!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

#295 - You Put the Lime in the Coconut

This evening, for the first time in a very long time, my two best college friends came over for dinner, drinks and a good chat. Seeing as they both live very far away (Elko, NV and New York!) it's incredibly rare for us to all be in the same place at the same time... but as always, it was like old times again. Who would've thought that 12 years later it would seem like just yesterday that we were moving into a dorm and getting to know each other? Time flies when you're having fun. But down to today's new thing: I tasted a Bud Light Lime. Yes, I know, I only took one sip. I'd never heard of this product before tonight when one of the girls suggested we get some. I thought it tasted a lot like a Corona with a lime in it, and considering I don't like beer, it wasn't bad. Regardless, the highlight of my evening was visiting with my amazing friends and marveling at how fantastic they are. I am a very lucky girl to have friends like these.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

#294 - Hubby Update

If you're reading this blog, you must be a friend of ours, and you probably know that my amazing hubby has had some pain issues these past 4+ years. Today, my hubby had some surgery that will block the nerves in his spine from telling his brain about the pain in his side. Yep, that's the best way I can describe it because I'm just not that certain about the specifics. I only know they did four injections in his spine and he's pretty stiff and sore this evening. They told him to give it a few days for the pain to subside before he knows how this all worked, so for now he's settled on the couch with some ice. Keep you fingers crossed, will you please?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

#293 - Do You Play Croquet?

TLG has a book called simply "Summer" that arrived a few weeks ago from his book club, and he loves it because it features many of the things he's done this summer: going to the beach, picnics outside, watering things with a hose, riding a ferris wheel, eating watermelon - you get the idea. One of the things in the book is the game of croquet, but he's never done that. Today he noticed that we have a croquet set in our shed, and so today's new thing is: the little guy and I smacked a croquet ball around the backyard with the hammers. OK, so we didn't set up the metal hole-thingys, and I didn't explain any of the rules, and we only had one ball between us. He was fascinated, and I have to say it was extra cute to see him trying to hit this ball (only to have him hit it straight on, like a hammer on a nail, which of course does no good).

Monday, August 18, 2008

#292 - Weeds, Weeds Everywhere

My amazing hubby does the lion's share of the yard work around here, but tonight I learned how to use the weed-killer sprayer tool. When we went to Branson a few weeks ago, the lawn went unchecked for longer than usual, and these terrible weeds sprung up all over the front yard (not to mention the dandelions running rampant in the backyard). We had a professional hand-pump type of sprayer for weed killer, which I purchased last week. Once my hubby filled it up for me, he turned me loose. Of course, TLG wanted to help too, so he grabbed on to the handle of the bottle and together we toted it around the front yard while I was spraying. I do hope this stuff works, because these weeds have been bugging me.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

#291 - Beijing Trance

I do remember watching the Olympics as a kid, particularly the winter Olympics and the ice skating competitions in the early '90s with Paul Wylie, Nancy Kerrigan and the like. Good times. But I had not had any desire to watch the Beijing Olympics until today, when my friends starting talking about them at lunch today (see post, below). I read about Michael Phelps, the women's gymastics team, and the debacle with the opening ceremonies having a young girl lip-syncing, so I was able to talk about it all... but hadn't seen a single minute. Tonight, after a great date night with my hubby, I retreated to our room and turned on the 2008 Summer Olympics - and couldn't turn it off! I watched in a trance for a couple of hours, marveling at the swimmers, the women's marathoners and short distance runners, whoever came on the screen. These athletes are pretty amazing, and hearing their back stories adds to the greatness.

#290 - Bad Things Happen to Good People

This afternoon, some friends and I drove to a rural part of Nevada to visit a friend who is sick with an incurable disease: cancer. All things considered, my family has been fairly lucky to avoid this disease (though my relatives have other types of diseases, don't get me wrong). Not really knowing what I was getting into today, I was actually kind-of nervous for today's visit. Would he still have his wonderful sense of humor? Would he be strong enough to pass the time with us, have lunch, and visit for a few hours? Would he want to talk about what he's going through? The short answer is yes - his sense of humor is delightfully intact, he was more than strong enough for a visit (in fact, he was in a parade this morning!), and he told us all about how they detected the cancer and how they are treating it. I shouldn't have worried, because our friend and his family were very welcoming and are doing everything they can to fight the cancer through treatments and looking into research. I breathed a sigh of relief at that, and I pray that my friend's doctors can help him continue to live, laugh and love.

#289 - What a Deal!

This morning, some of our neighbors were having a massive garage sale, and lo and behold: there were tons of age-appropriate toys for little boys like ours. So my fantastic mother-in-law and I took TLG to his first garage sale. He was in hog heaven with all the great stuff, and Grandma had to go get our wagon to bring our final choices back home with us. One toy that I picked for him (because it was in a big box and he couldn't play with it at the sale) was a Thomas train track toy, complete with engines and cars. We've had the train table (see photo) for months but it's mostly just stored his other toys... until now. We set up the train track and it is DEFINITELY his new favorite toy! I think if we just let him go, he would play non-stop for a week. We also got some large Tonka trucks, some wooden train tracks (for when he tires of Thomas), a toddler-sized basketball hoop, two DVDs, some die-cast airplanes, and a partridge in a pear tree. Best $25 I've spent in a long time!

Friday, August 15, 2008

#288 - NFL Sunday Ticket

My wonderful hubby celebrated a birthday today, and my gift to him: I signed us up for DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket. (I told him that the "real" present wasn't the actual gift itself, but the fact that the little guy and I will give up talking to him each Sunday during the football season. Ha!)

I'd never really heard about this service in-depth, but apparently you pay a fee and they broadcast each NFL game every week for your enjoyment. We could have paid $100 extra to get one HD station and one station that would show you all 8 games and let you choose which one to listen to... but that just seemed like overkill! Then again, for a non-football-lover like myself, the entire thing seems a little like overkill. Anyway, you'll know where to find our family once the football season starts for good: in front of the TV.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#287 - New Blog for Band

Last night I started a new blog for the band we play in, and today my wonderful husband spent some time making a slideshow presentation with some of our music to post there. This is our first web project together - and it's looking very nice, if I do say so myself! The idea is to have a website where people can find information about when and where we are performaing, but also where they can find out how to hire our group, etc. Hey, if you're looking for a 14-piece big band to play anywhere, let me know - I'll send you to our website! Hooray!

#286 - TLG's First Movie Quote

I am always quoting movies and so it is with great pride that I tell you: the little guy has quoted his first movie (with no prompting from either of his parents). Currently, we are watching "Madagascar" every morning with him, and as much as we all like "Cars" it's a nice break to watch something else. So it was pretty funny when he quoted the following lines:
King Julian of the Lemurs: "Welcome to Madagascar!"
Marty the Zebra: "Mad-a-who-ha?"
King Julian: "Not who-ha, As-car!"
He actually only quotes the last two lines, but MAN is it cute!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

#285 - Dinner Out with A Friend

I mostly spend my evenings at home with my family, or on Wednesdays, going to rehearsal. But tonight, I went to dinner at Denny's with an acquaintance who I've never spent much time with. She brought her son who is close in age to TLG, so when we get together again I will make sure to take him along! When we were done eating, her little guy got a little antsy so we treked over to a nearby park so he could run around a bit while we kept visiting. I'll admit I don't see my friends nearly often enough, so it felt good to have a little "girl time" and I do hope it won't be too long before we get a chance to visit again.

#284 - Where the Heck Is My Polling Place, Anyway?

The Nevada primary election was held today in Washoe County, and on my lunch break I ran home to get my ballot that arrived in the mail. I have voted before, of course, but since moving into this house we've lived in a mail-in only precinct. So today I had to call the county voters office to get directions to my new precinct, which was listed at a community center I'd never heard of (but was presumably near my house). The woman who answered the phone was very helpful and gave me specific instructions from the closest large intersection to my house and told me to call back if I got lost! It was right where she said it would be - not far from here, but in a mostly uninhabited part of the city where I'd never been before. (There was also a nice looking park at the community center, so we may have to go back and check that out sometime soon.) Anyway, I got to vote on the new electronic machines and it didn't take all that long to complete. I was a little weirded out that I was the only voter there in all that time, and I know there were more precincts than just mine meeting there. Poor voter turnout is a sad part of our civic pride, but a big reality.

Monday, August 11, 2008

#283 - Undies Firsts

The little guy had two wonderful firsts today: first, he woke me up in the middle of the night last night to go potty, and second, he wore underwear to daycare (and more importantly, had no accidents all day long!) Until you're a parent, you have no idea how exciting these events are. And if you are a parent, you probably know the wonderful feeling of freedom from the shackles of diapers! Aaaah, that feels good. The photo is TLG posing in front of the page where he's been putting his stickers each time he goes "tinkle" in the potty - doesn't he look proud? As well he should!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

#283 - Flowers

My sister talked me into getting flowers on my big toes at my pedicure this weekend. This is an indulgence I've never taken - mostly because I've worried they'd wear off too quickly and look yucky on my toes. At least if I have plain color it's not so noticeable when they chip... well, I was half-way right. My left toe continues to look very cute with the red sparkle in the middle of the flower! But my rebel of a right foot, well, the sparkle first moved around, denting the paint, then fell off. It's not noticeable unless you get up close to my feet (and who's going to do that?) but I know it's there. If I ever get flowers again, I'm sticking to no sparkle.

#282 - Girls Weekend

This weekend, I stayed at my wonderful sister's house and, along with our mom, had what I hope will be the first-annual girls weekend. The basic outline of our weekend included pedicures, shopping, healthy (but yummy) meals, seeing a show (My Fair Lady) at Music Circus in downtown Sacramento, and another musical movie (Mamma Mia!). I had the best time - I'm not sure I even remember the last time the three of us just sat down and had hours to be together without interruption. The show and the movie were good too, but it was being with my mom and sister that made the weekend special for me. Thank you both for everything this weekend!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

#281 - Statue Installation

Have you ever wondered about engineering marvels such as large buildings, bridges or amusement park rides? As I watched a 1,000 lb. bronze statue being installed today, I found myself thinking about engineering, and how people going through school must study very different topics from me in order to do their jobs successfully. The statue was on its side on a wood pallet when we arrived, and five construction guys had the unenviable task of turning it upright, then using a huge crane to lift it to the second story of a plaza, and setting it down/securing it to a 4' concrete base. The whole process took about an hour, but the crane was already set up, the pallet was already on the machine to drive it where it needed to go, and the concrete base was dry. It made me nervous to watch this huge statue being hoisted by his armpits into the air! Fortunately, everything went as planned and the statue looks great.

Monday, August 4, 2008

#280 - Office Pranks

My coworkers have pretty good senses of humor, or so I thought. This morning, upon my return to work, I found I was the victim of an office prank: a snack drawer full of shavings from the shredder! They got my two bosses, also (they were both out of the office parts of last week, and suffered from shavings in their personal fridge, and all over their desk). Gee, as if it wasn't hard enough to go back to work...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

#279 - A Nighttime First

TLG had his first nightmare last night. After a long day of traveling home, he went to bed late last night (very late, considering the 2-hour time difference). He woke us up, screaming and shaking, around 4:00 a.m. Try as we might, we could not get him to go back to sleep. So after I laid in his room for an hour, my hubby took him downstairs to watch his favorite movie. He promptly fell asleep on the couch for 4+ hours. I really hope we can sort this problem out, and soon.

Friday, August 1, 2008

#278 - Overpriced, But Necessary

On our last day in Branson, we used the last of our 4-day park hopper passes to re-visit White Water park. While we were standing in line for one of the family slide rides, the neck strap on my favorite bathing suit broke! (How embarrassing!) My hubby was able to tie it up for me for long enough to get down the slide, but once we got back to the main part of the park, I insisted on buying a new bathing suit from the gift shop and changing into it pronto. I would normally never dream of spending so much moolah on a suit, much less buying a suit without trying it on! *sigh* It's an interesting souvenir of our last day in a wonderful city, where we had so much fun.