Cars, Cars, and More Cars

It's no secret that we have had our share of "cartastrophes" (I'm sorry - I couldn't help it).

In 3.5 short years of marriage, we have managed to watch 3 cars enter the junk yard.  A moment of silence...

As winter approached, we knew we would need another car.  Geoff started school a couple weeks ago, which meant that carpooling to work would no longer be a viable option for us and the Nissan is not a winter-approved car.  So, we set out to find another car.  After our previous stupid experiences watching cars reach their demise, we decided we wanted a car that was under warranty and could last longer then a few months to a year. 

And so, let me introduce you to the newest (and hopefully last-for-awhile) car in our fam, the Kia Optima (I know, Kia, really!):



So, I'm not gonna lie to you.  Our TV rocks.  When we bought it, Geoff was pretty excited to inform me that it had built in wifi and apps.  I was a little confused as to what possible reason I could have for wanting my computer to have apps.  I have learned the error of my way.

Since day one, we synced our TV up with Netflix and have been streaming straight from Netflix through the TV. No computer necessary.  Excellent.

The day finally came a couple weeks ago when Hulu released their "app" for our TV.  We promptly got on the Hulu+ bandwagon and have truly enjoyed watching Hulu right through the TV without having to connect one of the laptops.  Another perk of Hulu+?  Well, in theory we can now stream high def (720p).  Except that, for whatever reason, our bandwidth can't handle it.  It randomly gets choppy.  If we lower the definition we have no problem.  Bear in mind we have been streaming Netflix high def for almost a year now.  What the heck, Hulu?  I didn't know Hulu+ meant you get Hulu plus you have to upgrade your internet.

Oh well, streaming Grey's, Desperate Housewives, House and 30 Rock right from the TV?  Heavens knows I'll upgrade the darn internet...


Ignorance really IS bliss.

Things I didn't know growing up as a kid in the California Bay Area:

  • There were schools in the world that were totally indoors.  
  • Gloves/mittens weren't just a fashion statement.  
  • Rain is not just a winter weather phenomenon.
  • There were children in other parts of the country (i.e. Fargo) who were outside having recess in 0 degree temperatures. 
  • Bike riding, roller blading, and walking to friend's houses are not year-round activities.  
  • They make "block heaters" that allow people to actually plug their car into a socket to keep it reasonably warm. 
  • Winter doesn't just mean "Christmastime."

I know now.



Things that give me a reason to smile today:

1) Remembering the weather last week in Florida as a reminder that this -10 degree weather won't last forever.

2) Reminiscing the FANTASTIC way that my GPS tried to pronounce FGCU Blvd.  Just think about it...

3) The call we got from the car dealership to let us know they were [finally] able to get our car into town and we can go pick it up after work!

4) I've been able to watch Rubio take himself outside to do business whenever he pleases.  He doesn't really have mistakes in the house, but we usually have to suggest that he go out.  Not anymore!

5) All my favorite shows are finally back from the holiday break.

What do YOU have to smile about?


Close Call

Last week, the Parker family nearly lost one of its dear members.  The night: Thursday, January 6th.  The injured party: Amanda's Right Pinky Toe.

It was an ordinary night, like any other, really.  Geoff and I are at the car dealership.  We had already driven the 2011 Hyundai Elantra and were now climbing into the Chevy Cruze (side note: Cruze?  Like some bizarre marriage of Cruise (which makes perfect sense as a name for a car) and Cruz - which reminds me, weren't Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz a cute couple back in the day?).  So, I'm sitting the passenger seat of the Cruze thinking, it's cold.

My turn to drive.  I climb into the driver seat when I realize my right foot is extremely uncomfortable.  In fact, I can't feel my toe.  I suggest Geoff turn up the heat.

We make it back to the dealership and bid them adieu - we've got some thinking to do.  It is at this point that I express some concern to Geoff.  My toe.  It's been numb now for about 15 minutes.  We get back in our car and turn on the heat.  I remove my boot and wrap my foot in a blanket.  No success.  Still numb.

I put it under the heater and rub it with my other foot.  No success.  Still numb.

Geoff takes a look at it.  It's white.  Oh great, I think to myself, my toe fainted.  But how to you revive a toe?  I mean, I need my toe, right?  What if my toe DIES.  I feel the panic setting in.  It's been too long.  Almost 25 minutes.  How long can a toe go without oxygen?  

Geoff rubs my foot for a few minutes - in the Volkswagen dealership parking lot.  Luckily it's after hours so I don't think anyone can see the poor man massaging the crying girl's dead toe.

No success.  Still numb.

I wrap it back up in the blanket.  I can't look at it.  It's really starting to freak me out.  The urgent care is still open. But what they heck are they going to do for a passed out toe?  Hopefully something...

Halfway to the urgent care it comes back to us.  Red and a bit throbbing, the circulation returns.  Pinky toe is safe.  For now...


Later Gator

So picture it:
I am putting away Christmas.  The sparkly purple, blue and silver balls are carefully placed back in their packaging.  The stockings are folded.  Joseph, Mary, and the Baby are sleeping in their beds of styrofoam for another year.  Everything is nestled neatly together into their tupperware containers like a real life game of Tetris.  I have shoved the Christmas tree into its box and taped it shut with enough tape to build a house, it would seem.  

All the while I'm on the phone with my mom.  Geoff comes into the room briefly.  "Hey, hun," he smiles.  "I'll take that box."  

As he starts to reach around me I'm thinking Sweet.  He's going to take this stuff up to the storage area above the garage.  Oh, wait.  I actually said it out loud.  

Now I see he's holding an empty box and heading back to his office.  "I'll take those boxes up later."

Later.  Mom and I muse over this word for a moment.  This word that was surely concocted by men to get out of labor.  Later is not a time.  It is not a place.  It is an idea. I promises no action any time in the near future.  It leaves you no room to probe them in a few hours: "Why haven't you done this?" "Geez, hun, I said I'd do it later."

Suffice it to say, I put the boxes away myself.  And I think I'm banning the word "later" from my home.  

*Please note that while the preceding situation did unfold as described, this blog post is intended to be read from an amused perspective, not an annoyed one.  Picture the "Committee of Men," if you will, gathered around musing over the genius of their new word.  Later, honey.  Later...


New Year.

Happy New Year to you all.

Don't you think that it's hard this time of year to not get a little bit introspective?  It feels like a time to take stock on where the past has brought you and what the future may hold?

It's really easy to muse over these kinds of things when the snow is coming down and inch an hour and the wind is blowing 50mph and travel is extremely dangerous, if not impossible; even a trip down the street to the grocery store was out of the realm of possibility for us this weekend.

Geoff and I had a pretty exciting year.  New town (heck, new state), new car, new house, new jobs, new friends, new understanding of the word "cold," and an appreciation for family and good friends in faraway places.

This coming year promises lots with business trips, NDSU classes starting, a wedding (yay for AD and Danny!), a baby (yay for Elizabeth and Derek and their soon-to-be baby girl!), our first vegetable garden, and so much more.

I always feel like I could be better.  I could be more efficient.  I could be more focused.  I could be more healthy.  I could be more productive.  But, then I realize that the house is clean, the groceries are stocked, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are eaten, clothes are clean.  I realize that the dogs are happy, the snow is shoveled (mostly), the job is fulfilling.  I realize that I must be doing something right.

Happy New Year.  And remember this while you try to stick to your resolves for the new year: you made it through last year - so you are doing something right.