Work? What’s that?

I know you’ll be shocked to learn this, but you may not be hearing much from me in the next month or so. You see, J.P. has decided that a vacation is in order. As of Friday, my husband is officially unemployed. For two weeks. During that time, we will:

  • Spend four days at Disney World.
  • Drive to North Carolina for a graduation.
  • Drive to Pittsburgh, get up two hours before the butt-crack of dawn, and follow men with sticks around the golf course at the U.S. Open.

Did I mention that I’ll also be working as much as I can in between all these activities? Someone has to, you know! I’ll be glad when he starts the new job so life can get back to normal.

Except that I’m not sure what this “new normal” will be. J.P. and I met at work—we’ve never not worked for the same company. What will we talk about at dinner?!? I don’t really think it will be a problem, but it will be different. He’ll actually be going into the office every day instead of working from home. It’s going to be a real switch to go from working in his jammies to wearing a shirt and tie every day. A tie—imagine!

After the excitement dies down and I’m back at work for a week, I get to be on jury duty for a few days at the end of June. Except that I’m really really hoping I don’t get called, because my work team (which is spread out all over the country) is having a two-day meeting that week. I only see these people face-to-face once a year, and that’s if we’re lucky and there’s money in the budget. So do you have any ideas what I should say when they ask me questions to determine whether I’ll be a fit juror?

Okay, so now we’re pretty much into July, right? Character Builder and her family are coming for a visit that first week. We’re going to spend a few days in D.C. before we head back here for . . . well, I don’t exactly know, but it’ll be fun I’m sure.

Then it’s back into the office for another week of work before taking a business trip to Orlando for our annual customer conference. That’s another weird thing about J.P. having a new job—for the first time, he won’t be going with me. And sadly, it’s the week after Suzie and Hubs will be in Florida.

Do you really want to know what happens next? Would you believe it if I told you we’re taking another vacation? Yep, it’s the one I told you about back in February, which was only about three posts ago. We’re going to the Outer Banks with J.P.’s family. And that pretty much takes care of July.

See you in August!*

*I do hope to get in a few posts before then.


This is what happens


Yes, these are the flowers that J.P. gave me for Valentine’s Day. Aren’t they lovely? He brought them home from the grocery store last night because he knew that the weather probably wouldn’t allow him to get out today.

You know, it’s my own fault that he brings me flowers that do this within 12 hours of purchase. This is what happens when you’re cheap frugal and practical like I am. He’s trying to make me happy, people. And it does. Because why spend a ton of money on flowers when they’re just going to die?

My honey, he’s a keeper.



J.P. was giving me a hard time yesterday about how long it’s been since I updated. He’s right. Trouble is, I don’t even really care at the moment. Not sure why.

So here’s a shot I took in Florida. Vanity plate? Or unfortunate luck of the draw? Talk amongst yourselves . . . .

Florida Fun

So here’s one of the pictures that I took when we met Suzie and the Hubs. You may remember from yesterday’s post that when we showed up to meet them, I didn’t have the data card for my camera.

J.P. had taken the card out of the camera so he could post the photo seen here, and he forgot to put it back in. And at that point, I hadn’t taught him my trick for remembering the card. However, as we walked from the car to the restaurant, he got a quick lesson in leaving the camera’s data card door open when the card isn’t present—that way, you have a clear reminder so you don’t get to a really important event and find yourself unable to take pictures. *Ahem.*

To say the least, I wasn’t very happy. But I had about a half block to get over it, because I didn’t want it to ruin our evening. And I didn’t want their first impression to be us arguing. Wouldn’t that have been fun for them?

When I told one of my co-workers about our plans to meet, he was sure we’d get there to find a couple of 14-year-old boys, but I’m happy to report that they looked exactly as we expected.

Suzie & The Hubs

So by now, you’ve probably figured out that somehow I got a data card for the camera. After we’d had a chance to say hello and have a drink, J.P. went out to move the car from the metered spot we’d initially chosen to the restaurant’s off-street parking. And along the way, he made a detour. He managed to find an office supply store, buy a new card, park the car, and return to the restaurant within about a 15-minute time period.

Once the camera fiasco was settled, we had a great time. It really was like getting together with friends we’d known for a long time. Suzie mentioned that she’s shy, but I never would’ve believed it. Of course, it probably helped that my sister emailed her ahead of time with some stupid stories about me. (No, we are not going to tell those stories here!)

The Hubs was very patient with our weird blogger talk, and neither of them commented on the fact that J.P. and I showed up in matching shirts (I chose my outfit first, I swear!). In short, we had a great time. I wish we lived closer so we could get together more often!

P.S. William, I’m sorry to say that all the kissing occurred before we had a card for the camera, so we weren’t able to capture it. I know you’re disappointed, but we’ll be in Orlando next summer. If Suzie happens to be there too, maybe you can catch the live show.

The big meeting

So the highlight of our trip—dinner with Suzie and the Hubs—occurred on Thursday night.

J.P. and I rose early that day to attend our conference’s closing event. Then we packed up and checked out of the super-nice Westin resort to move down the road to a Marriott. The four hours of sleep I’d gotten on Wednesday night just weren’t cutting it, and I decided to take a little nap before getting ready for dinner.

I laid down and asked J.P. to wake me around 4:55 or so. We wanted to leave by 5:15 to get to the restaurant by 6:00. “No problem,” he said as he worked on his blog post.

I opened my eyes at 5:07. Crap! I got up and rushed around to get ready. We grabbed the camera and headed to the car. The 37-minute drive was uneventful, and I called Suzie to assure her that we were not, in fact, blowing them off—we would just be a few minutes late.

We arrived in the cute little beach town and found some on-street parking. As J.P. was plugging the meter, I looked down at the camera that had been in my lap for the entire trip. The camera’s data card can hold about 577 pictures, and I was curious to see how many photos I could take at this auspicious occasion. The display said -E-. Do you know what this means?


Okay, I’m not going to leave you hanging like that. Well actually, I am for a while. J.P. and I are sitting out a rainstorm in a Panera, and I have a really crappy internet connection. I’ll finish the story when I can get better access.

Jailbird dog

Every night when it’s time for bed, J.P. and I have an argument. Sometimes it’s good-natured, sometimes it’s less so. It kinda depends on the day. What do we argue about, you ask? This:

Ready to wake up

For some reason, J.P. believes that a dog should be confined at all times when you can’t be there to keep an eye on it. I understand this mentality, to a certain extent. We put Maggie in her crate when we leave the house, and I don’t have a problem with that. Neither does she—she happily goes in, and doesn’t mind seeing us leave.

The crate you see above is her bed, and it’s in our room. She often sleeps in there voluntarily during the day (according to J.P., anyway), and he likes to “zip her in” at night. She definitely feels cozy in there, and she sometimes curls up along the back wall. But there are other times when I know she’d like to stretch out, and the crate isn’t quite big enough to allow it.

For the last month or so, I’ve been arguing to leave the crate unzipped at night. She can sleep in there if she wants to, but she also has the ability to stretch out and get comfy on the floor (sleeping on the bed is in no way open for discussion). I think it must be like sleeping on a too-short couch—you can live with it once in a while, but every night? Plus, I think she’s trustworthy, and wouldn’t get into trouble.

She does have a tendency to wake us in the morning with her paws on the side of the bed, and if you’re too close to the edge you can get scratched up pretty good. But I really think it would only take a week or so to break her of the habit.

Last night we were at the Jersey shore and didn’t get home until about 12:30. J.P. was beat after the two-hour drive, and went right up to get ready for bed. Of course, I had to spend some quality time with the computer, so I stayed up later. When I went into the bedroom around 2:00, both he and Mags we sacked out. He in our bed, and she—unzipped—in her crate. Of course, I just left her unzipped and got into bed.

At 7:19 this morning, Maggie decided it was time to get the day started. She walked out of the crate, shook off, and headed for the Nylabone a few feet away. I could’ve rolled over and just gone back to sleep, but I KNEW I would be in for it if she woke up J.P. So I got up, pushed her back in the crate, and zipped her in.

As I crawled back into bed and pulled up the covers, J.P. rolled over, lifted his head, and raised the eyebrow over his open eye. Then his mouth turned up at the corners, he lowered his head to the pillow, and instantly returned to blissful sleep, secure in the knowledge that (in his mind, anyway) he was right all along.

So glad we’re fuddy-duddies

Not from the Fourth of July

I’m sure you’ll be seeing pictures like this all over the blog world tomorrow. Good thing I had this one in reserve (from the Strawberry Festival back in June), because J.P. and I decided to forego (forgo?) the fireworks tonight.

I had to play in a concert at Longwood Gardens tonight, and didn’t finish until about 8:45. We considered going to some nearby fireworks, but we’d been gone since about 4:00 and Maggie hadn’t been fed or gone outside. Plus, I was starving and it’s a school night.

So we decided to come straight home. And boy, am I glad we did. Around 10:00 (prime fireworks time), I thought I heard something outside. So I muted the TV, and sure enough—it was raining like crazy. As I write this, the satellite dish is out because it’s storming, and the rain is coming down in buckets.

Thank God we weren’t racing for the car in a thunderstorm. Instead, we’re comfortable and dry at home. For once, being boring pays off!