Monthly Archives: September 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. Yesterday was the last full day with the in-laws. To celebrate, I took the day off work and we went to the Coast range for a hike. We hiked along an abandoned railroad, through two tunnels, over a few trestles (which I was not actually warned about ahead of time; a perhaps wise decision on the part of the architect, because I may have actually gone to work if I’d known I’d be crossing abandoned trestles), to our destination – another trestle. For someone with a fear of plunging to her death, this was an interesting hike. Also interesting? Apparently hiking along rail lines & having to step on rail ties, thus rendering the gait jerky and uneven, causes great soreness. Ow. (The last photo is more of a dramatic re-enactment; the other photos are from yesterday’s hike.)





Dramatic Re-enactment


2. I know everyone’s been on pins & needles about my Toast contest.  It was an interesting contest. There was the humorous speech contest for two areas (5 contestant, 2 winners) and then the Table Topics contest for the same two areas (6 contestants, 2 winners).  My club had one contestant in each category. The contest itself was one of the most disorganized things I’ve ever experienced.  What should’ve taken no more than 90 minutes took 2.5 hours. We had to fill out bio forms before the contest, but they lost a few of them in that 2.5 hours. There weren’t enough certificates for everyone, and the names on the program were incorrect. CRAZY.

So – the humorous speech contest. The other area’s contestants went first. As they spoke (it was three men), I found myself wishing I was in their area – I would’ve kicked ass.  Then, it was my area’s turn. There were only two contestants from my area. Me and another woman. I drew first speaker. My speech was about overcoming fear, and was pretty funny.  Near-death experiences always make an audience laugh (seriously!). It was my best delivery of the speech EVER! I sat down knowing I had the contest in the bag.

And then, the other woman got up to speak. I’m not sure if her speech was better than mine, but it was definitely funnier. When she sat down, I knew it could go either way. We’d both delivered excellent speeches. Hers was funnier – and it was a humorous speech contest – but mine was both funny AND inspirational. I had a feeling that she would probably win. And I was right. I did get 2nd place, but since there were only two of us, that wasn’t as meaningful as it could’ve been!

But – at least I know that I didn’t lose because I did poorly, but rather because my opponent did better. And even more awesome? Although I was nervous as the speech time approached, the second I got on stage, even though I was speaking in front of more people than I’ve ever spoken in front of before (and lots of people I didn’t know, as well as my husband and in-laws), I felt fine. No nerves at all. I stumbled over a word in my introduction & skipped the 2nd line of my speech (I only memorize a brief intro and conclusion, and the middle parts are outlined, but I don’t try to memorize the entire speech).

So – I didn’t win, but I think I’m kinda sorta still a winner, and all that crap! 🙂

3. Tomorrow night I am hosting a fancy (more or less) dinner party (see #17). I am very excited. Because of limited space (and the number of plates I own), I had to limit the number of people I could invite, so if I didn’t invite you, it’s not because you’re not the awesomest person I know! You are! I promise!  Anyways, I hope I remember to take lots and lots of pictures, I hope no one notices that my table settings don’t all match, and I hope the wine is delicious and no one leaves hungry (my greatest fear!).

It will look just like this....I just need to pick up the extra chandaliers

Shoefree Tuesday

Sorry everyone! I know you have been obsessively refreshing my blog hoping for shoes, but I don’t have any today. I am too tired for shoes.

Also, I have to save my energy, because tonight is the next level in the Toastmasters Humorous Speech contest. In which I am competing. At 6:30 pm. I don’t really expect to win; I’m a novice, after all, but it should at least be interesting!  I just hope I don’t fall down or anything.

So – wish me luck, please!

Happy Tuesday!


Oh, readers – I can’t just leave you like that.  Here’s a pair of shoes to get you through the week:

Jimmy Choo Eelskin Platform Pump

A Major Accomplishment

At long last, I finished the guest room.

Background – our house has three bedrooms. One is lovely and large, with a great closet (that came equipped with nothing even close to resembling places to store clothing or other such items). The architect and I claimed the largest room as our master bedroom, and last year, he put in a closet system so I could hang my clothes, store my shoes, etc.

Apparently, I only have “before” pics of the closet.  This is the lamest photo essay ever!

The other two rooms have undergone a variety of iterations. The smaller of the two (with the oddly long hallway going into the room has been: my office, my office/workout/movie room; and most recently, the guestroom/bathroom construction storage area.  The slightly larger started out as the combo architect office/guest room (he had the whole basement as well, and I demanded that I get one room that was my own), and now the home office for both the architect and the gazelle.

I don’t have pictures of the room we now share as office space (and that also doubles as the messiest room of requirement EVER), but do have some before and after pics of the now guest room:

In the beginning:


When it was the combo exercise, movie, office, and junk room:


In addition, the closet door opened out into the tiny room, making it impossible to place anything within three feet of the closet – an issue in a room this small.

So, I moved and rearranged. I bought a new mattress and some spiffy new bedding and new pillows. I took the door off and replaced the door with some heavy drapes.  And I think the room is about 100 million times better now. (And, with the exception of the new mattress, which wasn’t essential to the project’s success, only to our guests’ comfort, this project was pretty cheap.)


And now:




I need to get the after pictures for the closet and the current office/room of requirement. And soon (SOON!) I will have final after pics for the bathroom. At that point, the only major upstairs project we want to undertake is to eventually get rid of the nasty carpet, although we’re in no hurry on that one! (Also, eventually, we are going to finish part of the basement and move the office space down there [and, in my dreams, the laundry room as well], and then we’ll have a larger guest room.)


I’m so pleased to have the guest room finished, especially since we finally have guests!  My parents-in-law came into town Friday night for a week long visit. We did a lot of touring around of Oregon over the weekend, and I’ll have tons of pictures of that later this week.

Happy Monday!


Houston, we have flushing!

This morning, like a kid on Christmas who believes in Santa, I waited for the plumber. He arrived 10 minutes late. (I later heard him call in to his plumbing company to confirm arrival and he said that although he forgot to call in right away, he was on time.)

I worked away in my home office, just a few feet away from the bathroom. Periodically, I would go downstairs to turn on the water for him & listen for yelling that would indicate something wasn’t hooked up right.

Three hours later, I heard the toilet flush.

A couple minutes after that, the plumber said, “I’m just going to go ahead & use the bathroom. I notice there’s no door, so don’t peek, okay?”

Confused and a bit aghast, I said, “Okay?”

And then, he inaugurated the toilet. Just feet away from me. With no door.

Is that weird? It seemed weird to me.

ANYWAYS – the bathroom is far from done – we still need to put in the shelves, finish painting, and tile the shower/tub region, but now we have a working toilet & sink. YAY!





Yay!  Best (bathroom-related) day ever!

Three (3!) Things Thursday

1. Tomorrow is the first day of Autumn!  I love fall – it’s my favorite season. And so pretty here in Portland!

2. I am not going to talk about the bathroom today. Much. Except to let you know that not only is tomorrow the first day of fall, it is also International Toilet Appreciation Day!  That’s right, tomorrow morning, the plumber is coming to my house to hook up our plumbing again! YAY!!!!!  Double YAY!  I am planning on drinking about 64 oz of water tomorrow morning so that I can celebrate in style.


3. Also tomorrow (tomorrow is a big day), my parents-in-law arrive!  YAY!  I love them!  We are going to have so much fun. They haven’t been to visit us for 3 years (CRAZY!), and it will be so good to have them over!



Happy Thursday, all!  I hope your tomorrow is as awesome as mine.