October 02, 2006

news update...

Wow, it's been a while... here's a bit of what's been going on...

I had a cold last weekend- not too bad, but the kind that saps your energy and makes you nap. Not fun! Tom was traveling on business, though, so we didn't miss out on any plans because of it.

He made it back on Sunday, and took a few days off to recover/rest up (it was a whirlwind trip from North Carolina to Illinois, drive to Michigan, drive back to Illinois... he did manage to visit his grandmother while he was in Chicago, though- she is packing up her house in preparation to move to Wisconsin with her son, Tom's Uncle Philip.)

Last week (and this week, too) I've been doing 10-hour days at work- this doesn't leave much free time, considering the commute is 40-50 minutes!!! I leave the house by 4:30 am, and get back around 4 pm... long days, but if I had later hours, the commute would take a lot longer, with the traffic. I haven't been doing much stamping or crafting at all- I have lots of ideas, just not the time or energy to execute them!

Last Friday I got my bona fide "offer" of permanent employment- no more "contractor" status, and I'll actually get medical and dental benefits! (yahoo!!!) Plus, Baxter allows domestic partner benefits, so Tom can be covered on my insurance, if we decide it's better than what his company offers (it probably is). I'll be on the Baxter payroll starting October 16th.

So, Friday night we went out to dinner to celebrate- we went to Bahama Breeze (a chain restaurant sort of like Red Lobster) for Jamaican/Cuban food and drinks. I had a couple exotic sounding drinks, some wonderful Cuban-spiced fish with plantains and garlic mashed potatoes, and a piece of Key Lime pie, while Tom had steak kabobs with grilled red onions and green peppers. We split a couple very tasty appetizers, habanero chicken wings (they weren't TOO terribly spicy- even I could eat them) and a wood-fired goat cheese and portabello mushroom pizza. Needless to say, we had tons of leftovers for dinner on Saturday!

Saturday during the day, we ran errands all over the Valley: picked up my special-order stamps at the local stamping store, so now I can start working on my Christmas card designs; bought cat litter and a new enclosed cat pan (we're still trying to keep the dog out of it!); started looking for a chiminea, which is sort of an outdoor fireplace made out of terra cotta (didn't find one we liked); stopped at a bookstore (I didn't get anything though, fancy that!); stopped at an import store so Tom could re-stock his hot sauce supply; ate lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant; exchanged some cigars that Tom recently bought that weren't good- the first time he lit one of them up, the wrapper practically disintegrated, it was so dry... nothing too earth shattering, but it was a lot of driving, and we were glad to finally get home and relax in front of a movie.

Sunday, we had a lazy day- we relaxed in the morning, then watched the Nascar race on TV in the afternoon. It was quite an odd race- the usual driving speeds are upwards of 175 miles per hour, but the winning car coasted across the finish line after running out of gas on the last lap! Not the usual finish at all! Then, Tom packed for his next trip, we relaxed on the patio for a bit, and somehow it was over before we knew it!!

Tom's latest trip will keep him in Midland, Texas all week, and most likely next week, as well- his company is replacing the existing nurse call system with their own (emergency pull cords, a call button by the bed, and flashing lights outside the rooms, like in a hospital) and it's quite a large site. Fortunately, the hotel he's staying at is one of the nicest he's been in so far: a king-sized bed with a down comforter, a full-service hot breakfast buffet, and it's less than 10 miles both from the local airport and his job site.

So, this week I will be poring over employment papers and insurance enrollment forms, and hopefully getting in some crafting. I have tons of ideas, and some things in progress, that I'd like to get down on paper. If I manage it, I will definitely post some pictures!

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