Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mulberry Fun

First we picked the mulberries. Cody helped.
Then we cleaned the mulberries.Next, we made a cobbler. MMMMM. Tasty!

Soon we will eat the cobbler, with possibly a bit of ice cream! Next mulberry project??? Jam!!!!


I thought I'd let you all know where we are on the mouse situation. I know you're all on pins and needles!

We've caught two and are setting more traps. Here's a tip: Use Snickers on mouse traps. It's much more enticing than anything else. My family's been using that for years. Actually, it was kind of funny when I asked Hans to pick up a Snickers bar. He said he trusted me, but he was quite skeptical. We caught our first mouse within 10 minutes of laying the traps. That was after 24 hours of traps with peanut butter on them!

Anyway, pots, pans, and dishes are all being washed before and after use, and nothing is being put up yet. Why risk more mouse exposure? Besides, this will be a great way of doing an extremely thorough cleaning job.

Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Yesterday or AAAAAARGH!!!!

Yesterday actually wasn't too bad. It just ended on a terrible note, but I'll get there later.

I started off the morning by heading straight to my office. God bless the in-home offices and working in pajamas. Although I'm sure Cody felt ignored (I was in the zone), I'm happy I could just get up and pet him whenever. I actually got a lot of work done. I called clients, payed bills, and I even signed up for advertising with

So, yesterday afternoon I was supposed to put flyers out, but I wasn't feeling well and Dad wanted me to accompany him to an appointment. I figured, sure, why not. It will only be an hour or so, and I can put flyers out when I get back. FOUR HOURS LATER we finally returned home. I can't blame Dad at all, because neither one of us knew how long it would take. So, flyers will go out today. That's ok.

When we got home, we picked mulberries from the trees in the back. We picked a lot of mulberries. For people who don't know what mulberries are, they look like black berries, turn your hands purple, and taste amazing. We had plans for those later.

Hans came home, and we were both really tired, so instead of cooking something from scratch, we just heated up some leftovers. We can always cook tonight. We then took a few of those wonderful mulberries and made a delicious mulberry cobbler. When I say delicious I mean I should market these and sell them. It makes me want to dance.

Then...AAAAAARGH!!!!!...what should I find as we're making the mulberries? This is terrible. I found mouse poop!!!! In my silverware drawer!!!! I then checked my pots and pans and, sure enough, there was more poop. This started a kitchen-cleaning frenzy. Then I looked in a pantry across the room and noticed the tell-tale signs of bedding. CRAP! CRAP! CRAP!! What the F**K did I do to deserve this?? I may not be Martha Stewart, but I always thought my kitchen was cleaner than that!!! Hans took some time to calm me down and tried to make me believe that it wasn't a dirty kitchen thing just a fact of life. Really, though, I've been eating with mouse-pooped covered silverware. You just can't get much nastier than that!

Now, after a few hours of me screaming at a mouse and throwing in my fair share of obscenties, making Cody and sometimes Hans run for cover, traps are laid and clean measures are being taken. All pots, pans, and silverware are out of the cupboards. Most are residing on the dining room table until said mouse is caught. We're cleaning each item before we use it, and scrubbing out everything else. Of course, I wish that I could just clean everything and put it back, but what would be the point in that if the mouse just crawls all over them again? All I can hope is that he's caught soon, so I can get my house back in order. My only problem? What if there is more than one??? Shit! I can't handle that!!!!

Monday, May 25, 2009


When it comes to relationships, or at least the beginning of them, I have found that I am always a bit guarded. It takes a long time for me to start to trust someone, and even longer for me to completely trust someone. The more I like a person, the harder it is for me to trust that person. And, of course, once whatever trust was there has been broken, you can pretty much guarantee that it's never coming back. This doesn't mean that I won't be friendly, it just means that we can never have the relationship that we used to or that we might have had.

Obviously, this is a means of protection. It doesn't take a rocket scientist (or psychologist) to figure that out. But I sometimes wonder if it's normal. I mean, how much should I trust someone I don't know, or how much trust should I put in someone who's already broken my trust once? In this day and age, how much can you trust a stranger? While everyone is worthy of forgiveness, does forgiveness mean forgetting as well?

I ask for a few different reasons, but the one that really got me to post this blog concerns a friend of mine. I'll call her Amy. Amy and I have been friends for years. She was always one of the first people I'd see when I came home from college. We took trips together, laughed together, cried together. We'd been through a lot together.

Recently, however, Amy and I have been growing apart. And I don't just mean that our interests are differing. I mean our time together has felt odd. I feel that she doesn't want to be around me. Whenever I tried talking to her (about anything) I'd get short, one-word responses. I couldn't figure out what was going on.

So, I wrote Amy a letter. It wasn't an extremely long letter, but it was a letter that expressed how I felt. I told her that I felt as if we'd been growing apart. I told her I hoped I hadn't done anything to offend her. I told her that I would always be her friend and she should call on me if she ever needed anything. I tried to make it very clear that I wasn't trying to place blame, but that I was just concerned.

I know she got this letter because she sent me an email saying she'd respond soon. That was almost 2 months ago. In my book, that's definitely not soon. So, I'm wondering, what do I do now? I feel that my letter was me putting myself out there, and I'm hestitant to do that again. Part of me says, she's one of my best friends, I should do everything not to lose her. However, the other part of me says to just let it go. I'm not going to fight for someone who doesn't want to be my friend. I think the hardest part right now is not knowing where I stand. Does she still want to be my friend but doesn't know what to say, or is she sick of me and wants me to leave her alone? Am I overreacting or underreacting? I AM NOT A MIND READER!

I am writing this blog with full knowledge that "Amy" made read it. Part of me prays she does, so she knows more of how I feel. The other part of me is silently pleading her not to, because I'm afraid she'll get upset. Then really, should I be afraid of upsetting my friend when she's already upset me? It's so freakin' confusing! Any advice out there blogland? I'm so confused, and I'm sure Hans is tired of listening to me.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Oh My Gosh! Is That? It Can't Be! It IS! You're Tail is Curling! It's...Swine Flu!!!!!!

Alright, so the past few days I've been sick. I've had a runny nose, congested chest, terrible cough, and, on the first day, I had a low fever (around 100.0). There are two things that I think of when I think about this cold.

1) I'm very grateful that I have this cold now rather than a week from now. I'll be seeing the nephnew in a 1 1/2 weeks and I don't want to risk giving him anything. That's why I'm attacking this thing with all the drugs I've got!

2) I am so sick of people assuming that, just because I'm sick, it must be swine flu. More than one person has suggested that I have it tested even though my symptoms don't match that of the flu at all! It's insane.

First of all, I'd like to remind people that, before swine flue, there was such thing as the common cold. Everybody's had it at least once, and anyone who knows me knows that I typically get a cold around the end of allergy season. I did fairly well with allergies this year, but Hans got sick and passed it to me, the lil shit!

Also, and this may not be your opinion, but I feel it's pretty clear that the swine flu is just some media hype. Is it out there? Yes. Can it be deadly? Definitely. The thing is, though, the regular flu can be deadly too. It's just that we expect the regular flu every year, and this one came out of left field. I mean, if you watch the news (which I typically don't, so I how I heard this I'll never know) they've already said that swine flu may not be as terrible as originally though. Oh wait! I read that on Yahoo News. Ok, now I know how I was informed. Most of the people affected in the U.S. got over it just fine, and those who aren't over it don't seem to be in risk of dying.

Really, I think people need to just take a deep breath and get over it. There's not a lot you can do to prevent yourself from getting sick at this point. There's not shot or magic pill. Sure, you can wear a mask, but is it really that severe? I don't think so. Sure, you can wipe down everything with disinfectant, but then you're killing good bacteria too. Plus, you're not allowing your immune system to naturally strengthen itself, so you're actually making yourself more prone to sickness.
Side bar: It was really funny at the grocery store yesterday. I was watching people wipe their carts with disinfectant wipes and thinking how silly they were. Then I went to get my cart and had a coughing fit. I found it humorous. Oh, and don't worry. Hans touched most of the food. I just used the cart to hold myself up (I was tired and hungry and the meds were wearing off).
Sure, if I were going to visit someone with swine flu (or any flu for that matter) I might take a few precautions. I might wear the mask then. I'd definitely wash my hands for a thorough 20 seconds. Actually, unless it was close family, I probably wouldn't even visit. The thing is, though, I don't know anyone with swine flu. Most people don't.

Anyway, what do you think? Is it just some big hype, or is it the next major epidemic?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Before and After

He's a little short, but it will definitely be awhile before we have to groom him again. That being said, that boy needs to eat more. Cody, do you want some hot dogs???

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Message From Cody

Thank you to everyone who helped support me during my brief stint as a star. I would especially like to thank Mom and Dad for keeping me brushed, fed, and for playing with me. There are, however, other thanks to be given.

Thank you to Grandma and Grandpa Paul and to Sherry and Grandpa Kostyk for the lovely bouquets of "flowers" you sent me. I have very much enjoyed them.

Thank you to Grandma Alexander for coming to see the show so many times, and for helping Mom and Dad. I love having family in the audience. Oh yeah, and thanks for letting me play with Alex and Kyla. They were a real stress reliever.

Thank you again to Grandpa Kostyk for bringing so many friends to the show. Again, I love a supportive audience.

Also, thank you to Grandma and Grandpa Paul for flying all the way down here. To quote a famous actress, "You like me! You really like me!"
Thank you to all my doodle friends and their moms and dads. You made the whole experience that much more fun, and offered me a lot of support.

All in all, the show was a very fun experience. It was a great learning experience for both me and Mom, and I really enjoyed all the attention I got. Yay new toys (especially the ones that squeak and annoy Mom and Dad)!

Of course, it was also an exhausting experience, and I'm not sure who was more exhausted, me or Mom. That being said, it did allow for some great cuddle times. I like those.
Really, as my Mom/agent has said before, I don't know if I'll ever actively audition again, but if I were offered a role, I think I'd have to take it. I don't think I'm quite ready to retire yet!
Thanks again!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Last Weekend and Ready for a Break

Last weekend of Annie! Wooohooo!!!

So far, Cody has done amazingly well. He's been perfect. Of course, as mentioned in my previous post, I've been doing much to keep him tired. See evidence:

Oh wait! That's keeping me tired! Truth be told, I think we're both exhausted. Cody and I slept like that for about 20 minutes for each of the two shows today. He makes a very nice pillow. That will only last for one more day, though. Monday morning we will be shaving him. I'll miss the cute, fluffy, polar bear that I currently own, but I'll definitely enjoy the easier upkeep, and he's so much happier with short hair. I look forward to it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Feeling Virtuous

Ah! What a day! I am feeling quite good about myself today. I have accomplished a lot (something I don't often do).

Today, first I woke up early in order to clean the livingroom. Unfortunately, while doing this, I accidently broke the globe to an old oil lamp. However, after cleaning up the glass (and blood from my cut up toe) I returned to cleaning, and it now looks beautiful. And, having to vacuum up glass made me do a much more thorough job.

Other than that I took Hans to work, went to the post office, got a few groceries, prepared and packed a dinner, called a few clients, set my business up to accept credit cards, took Cody to the park, taught a lesson, had dinner with Hans (unfortunately not what I packed, we did eat out), and ran a show (last weekend of Annie). That was quite a packed day.

I have to say, though, my favorite part of the day was the park. Cody and I went to the park, and I decided to take him jogging on a trail. I'm really trying to get back into shape and build up my endurance, and I really needed to wear out Cody, so I figured this would be a great option. It really was. I think we both had fun running. Let's put it this way, it was more fun than running on a treadmill. Plus, I was able to run with my best friend!!!! This actually leads me to a few questions.

1) Does anyone have any good tips for building endurance? or Does anyone have a good running plan for beginners?

2) Does anyone know of any other exercises that will help when running (weight training, stretches, etc.)


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ideas: Good and Bad

Good Idea: Cleaning the bedroom.

Bad Idea: Not starting until 11:00 so you're done later.

Good Idea: Cleaning the bathroom.

Bad Idea: Not wearing gloves.

Good Idea: Exercising the dog.

Bad Idea: Not exercising with him.

Good Idea: Relaxing and enjoying the rainy day. That's just enjoying the weather.

Bad Idea: Doing so before it actually starts to rain. That's being lazy.

Good Idea: Baking cookies from scratch to save money and surprise the hubby.

Bad Idea: Doing so just after having cleaned the kitchen.

Bad Idea: Realizing halfway through you don't have enough butter and having to scrap what you just made.

And the idea to end ideas...Good/Bad Idea: Eating half-buttered cookies anyway. mmmmmm....chocolate...mmmmmm

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

10 Tips for Saving Money

With the economy the way it is, plenty of people are struggling to make ends me. Hans and I have had it lucky. We live with my dad (practically rent free), and we really don't have any debt. That being said, we are trying to save money for a rainy day, and spending everything you've got is certainly not the way to do it. Also, while I was in school, Hans and I were living on only one income. The things we used to be able to do (movies, dinners out, etc.) became tougher and tougher. Unexpected bills were things we had nightmares about. So, as soon as I got back home, we decided to reevaluate how we were living and change a few things. Note: This post may not get you out of debt (especially if you're in deep), but it may make you feel a bit less stressed.

1) Eat out less. A LOT LESS! This was Hans and my biggest problem. We like to cook, but our kitchen is not the most conducive to cooking. Plus, while we enjoy cooking, we hate cleaning up, so cooking was always just put on the side. After a while, though, we just had to suck it up. I'm not saying to cut out restaurants entirely, I'm just saying to cut back. This may mean you have to turn down a few invitations from friends. Or, you could invite your friends over to your place. For instance, instead of going out for Sunday brunch with Jess and Byron, Hans and I invited them over for waffles and bacon. Yes, it ends up being more expensive than if we'd just eaten ourselves, but we got to spend some wonderful quality time with our friends. And, afterwards, we were able to get cozy on the couch and chat. That's way better than 45 minutes at some restaurant. Oh, and with that, cook from scratch. Microwavable meals are expensive.

2) Make larger meals. If there are two of you and you make a meal for four, then you can use it for lunch the next day. That means you don't have to stress about each and every individual meal. It also means you're less likely to have food go bad (it's hard to find something packaged for two only). If you're really lucky, you can save up all your left overs and use them again the following week. Then you have one week of cooking and one week of microwaving. EASY!

3) Rewear your clothes. This is not only good for your budget, but also good for the environment. I'm not suggesting you rewear underwear, or clothes covered in sweat, mud, or other stains. I'm just suggesting that if you've worn something and haven't gotten it extremely dirty. Wear it again. This will make for smaller laundry loads, which means you don't have to do laundry as often. If you do laundry at home, this means you're paying for less water. If you do laundry at a laundry mat, this means you can use a smaller washer.

4) Shop around for a good laundry mat. Not all laundry services are the same. You may find a great place (with cushy chairs) but it may cost $0.50 extra per load. That may not sound like a lot, but those little bits of change ad up. You can save those coins for later loads, or you can put them in your piggy bank. Either way, you're saving money.

5)Buy the cheaper brands. This is true for just about anything. Buy cheaper mouthwash, cheaper hair care products, cheaper food. Just make sure you actually like what you're getting. I'm not saying that Suave is the same as Redkin. I'm just saying that Redkin is freakin' expensive. That being said, I really don't like the way Suave makes my hair feel. I've decided to use Sunsilk (Hairapy). It's about $20 cheaper than Redkin and still feels great. Plus, I can get it at the local grocery store! Yes, Suave is still cheaper than that, but I still want to feel great.

6) Serve smaller servings. This is great for two things. It will help you lose weight, and you can save money. Now, be sure you're still getting the nutrition you need. Hans and I started using our small plates. We're finding we're full and we have more left overs (oh, and our bellies are shrinking). Our meatloaf used to only serve 4, and now it serves 6. Our chicken casserole went from 4-8. We do still treat ourselves, however. Every night after dinner, we'll have a Klondike Bar. Now, however, we're cutting them in half. That pack of 6 will actually be around for 6 nights. Before it was only 3!

7) Cancel the gym membership. The weather is beautiful. Why should you spend your day on a treadmill in a stuffy gym, when you can just go outside? Hans and I recently cancelled our membership to the YMCA. They're a great organization, but we were finding that we really weren't using them that much. I'd much rather take Cody for a run in the park than to leave him behind just to go running in air conditioning. You can also use playground equipment for strength training. If, however, you really love those free weights, then by all means go get some. You can get a nice set of weights at Target for anywhere between $10 to $50, and you can use them for the rest of your life. This is cheaper than most gym memberships in a month!

8) Find a roommate. This may not be for all people. There are plenty of people who just don't want to share space with another person. However, a three-bedroom apartment split among 3 people is typically cheaper than a 2 bedroom split between 2. This is particularly good advice for married couples. The two of you could live in one room, while the other rooms were rented out. Note: I give this advice, but I could never follow it. I'm very particular about my roommates, and I like having my space. This is just an idea for extremely social, easy-to-get-along-with people.

9) Stop doing the movie thing. This means, stop going out to movies and stop renting movies. It's way too expensive. If you are in desperate need of a movie, see if there are any dollar theatres in your area. Or, you could rent a movie with a bunch of friends and do dinner and movie. One friend does dinner, one friend does sides, one friend does dessert, and one friend does movie. This way you're at least saving on the meal. Along with this, though, I say CANCEL THE CABLE! There is so much to see and do out there, why would you want to spend your day watching tv? Read a book, go for a walk, play a game. If you really want your tv, see what's on the local channels (House, Biggest Loser, SVU, etc) and watch only those shows. Or, you can even download plenty of programs online. Check out for a few great options.

10) Sometimes you have to shell out the money. This may sound odd, but I am thinking about bills here. If you have the money to pay off a bill, do it. Don't just pay the minimum balance so you'll have more money that week. That bill will be a constant stresser. Get it paid off so you don't have to worry about it anymore. Then you can be really productive.

I hope everyone has found this blog to be helpful. These are just a few things that Hans and I have started doing recently. I must say I'm absolutely amazed at what a difference it has all made. Do I wish I had plenty of money and could do whatever I wanted? Of course! That, however, is not the case, so I have to find ways to save. I do have other ideas, but these are the things I've found to make the most difference. Let me know if you have any other great tips, or if you want more advice!

Lots o' Driving

Yesterday I felt like driving back to school. Why? Was it because I miss the people? A little. Was it because I wanted to stay another night in the dorms? Definitely NOT. Was it because I wanted to work and not get paid? Nope. Was it because I was driving south on 95 for about 45 minutes? That's the one!

I had two consultations yesterday. One was in Ft. Lee and the other was in Chester. That is way far away from my little town. Heck, it's even far away from Richmond! That being said, I can only hope it was worth it.

I went out there for two consultations. Consultations are free, so I obviously did not make any money on that. Neither person decided to sign up yesterday, but I'm confident that at least one of them will. The one in Ft. Lee has to speak with her husband (who's in Iraq), and the one in Chester is interviewing other trainers as well and will get back to me. It really makes me feel like some sort of game show contestant asking America to "Pick me! Pick me!" Oh well, I can only hope that I made a great impression on both of these potential clients, and I'll hear back from them by the end of the week.

Cross your fingers for me!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Three Weeks Down and One to Go

Ah, a week without school matinees. Lord knows it will be nice. I'll actually have some time to get work done, and to really focus on my business. Cody will have some time to rest up, and if he's lucky, someone will spend some time playing with him (and keeping him worn out).

Really, the show has been a great learning experience. It has taught me more about my own dog and some of his fears, likes, and dislikes. It has brought me even more into the theatre world, and it has taught me why Hans always seems so exhausted during shows. It's funny how, even though I'd be working from 9:00-1:00 anyway, the fact that I'm doing it for the show seems to make it that much harder.

It's just the stress factor really. Lord only knows how many grey hairs I've gotten from this. Let's just put it this way: if I were the kind of person who wanted to dye my hair, I'd start dying now. Greys have pretty much tripled. That's why I'm so happy it's almost over.

After that, I'm hoping life will slow down for a bit. Hans and I will be flying out to MN in June to see his sis graduate from high school, and Hans will be super busy with the theatre, and I'll be super busy with the business, but I think we can handle that. At least I hope we can handle that. I just can't wait for a weekend off. I'm going to the beach...with Cody...and a damn good book. Until then, breathe in deep...and let it out. And repeat.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

And the Award for Best Husband Goes to...

Hans! So it may sound corny, but he really has been great lately. He's been working 7 days a week, and helping me clean. Even yesterday, after my day of nothingness, he came home and helped me clean the kitchen. He's quite awesome.

So, what did I do yesterday? Yesterday really was a day of nothingness. Before this makes me look bad, know that yesterday was my first day off in two weeks, and I did do some office work. I just didn't clean or do laundry like I'd planned. Also, laundry is already gathered so I can do it this morning. Hans and I made up a grocery list for the rest of the week, and I plan on going to the store today as well. Really, all that leaves then is the bedroom and bathroom, and they're not too difficult to finish. I guess I really just need to get on that.

So, off I go!

Monday, May 4, 2009

This is Me Procrastinating

Alright, so I should be cleaning. I should be grocery shopping and doing laundry. I should be preparing dinners and lunches for the rest of the week. But golly, it's my only day off. Sometimes it's just nice to chill.

I really can't believe how tired this play has made me. There's not a lot to do, but it takes so much time out of my day. Plus, I think it stresses me out, and that's certainly not good for the energy levels. Cody is actually starting to get the hang of. I can tell he's still quite interested in the audience, maybe a bit nervous, but it's not affecting his performance anymore. What's really frustrating is that we could have had him like this from the beginning if people had just done what I asked. This was his first show. He had no idea what to do when people were applauding and cheering. I had ideas to help him cope with it and to prepare him for it, but, no matter how many times I asked, they just "didn't have time." Well, they paid the price. Oh well, Cody's doing it great now. Yay!

Anyway, back to what I was originally saying. I do plan to accomplish something today, but I want to rest first. I just plan on taking it easy, and, once my energy comes back I can get to work. Sometimes you just need that time to yourself.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Thirsty Thursday

Ok, so it wasn't actually a thirsty Thursday. That's just what it was called in college because kids got drunk a lot, and I just wanted to have some alliteration.

Yesterday was a very nice day. As I posted earlier, we had the show. Cody did ok. Nothing spectacular. That being said, the audience still loved him.

After the show, Mom met Hans and me for lunch. Let me just mention that I LOVE Lift, and lunch was quite pleasant. Then, Hans had to return to work :( so Mom and I decided to spend a bit of time together. I had payroll to do (Dad's on vacation), and I wanted someone with a bit more experience there just in case I needed her. I didn't, but it was fun to have her there anyway.

Mom and I looked at wedding pictures (they're finally in!), did payroll, and let the dogs play. Her little maltipoo, Alex, is such a trip. I think Cody's a bit overwhelming for him, but he's a trooper. After payroll, we went out to deliver it. On the way there Mom was an extremely bad influence. Here I am, trying to lose a little weight and Mom thinks it's a good idea to get ice cream at Sonic. Yes, snickers Sonic Blast is pretty awesome, but I really didn't need it.

And, yes, I am trying to lose a little weight. This is part of my on-going struggle with food. I'm not fat, but I don't feel fit either. I really just want to feel healthy, and I still have a long way to go before doing that. Ice cream definitely is NOT what I need.

Oh, and blogland, I'm sorry if theses posts seem a bit random. That's kind of how my life is feeling right now. It's good that I'm keeping so busy, but there isn't any time to really collect my thoughts. So, just bear with me. The posts will get better!