Archive for January, 2006

Weekend Happenings

January 30, 2006

It was a really busy weekend, even though we didn’t have any real plans ahead of time. Pilates kicked my butt on Saturday; it was a great workout but my neck is still screwed up enough that I can’t do everything (and yes, we are filing an injury claim, though I was loathe to do so originally). I had a nice relaxing time in the jacuzzi afterwards which was divine.

Saturday Luke’s friend from preschool, Veronica (who lives down the street) came over with her dad and they rode their scooters and bikes for awhile and then her parents hung out at our house for awhile while the kids played. It was a nice afternoon; I don’t have a lot of friends my age with kids and her mom is only a couple years older than I am. She likes to hike too so maybe we can start taking the kids hiking occasionally on the weekends.

Sunday I went to church, where I got recruited to play handbells and teach Sunday School once a month. I’ve been wanting to get involved so this isn’t a bad thing. I’ve decided to become a member of the church and I am really excited about it. I haven’t felt this way in so long; I look forward to church every week. The church is Hope United Methodist in Rancho Bernardo; it is a very socially liberal, service-oriented church but they have a traditional worship service which I prefer over the contemporary ones. They also emphasize evangelism through *actions* as opposed to words, which is really important to me. I hope to get more involved in some of their service opportunities as I get to know more about them. I’ve gotten to know several people over the last few weeks and Luke really enjoys Sunday School and has made some friends there now. I try not to talk much about church or religion my blog; I feel it’s a pretty personal thing and to be honest I know discussions on religion often lead to controversy which I just don’t care for. It is a big part of my life though, even if it isn’t something I talk about much online.

After church on Sunday I spent most of the day in the kitchen. I tried a new corn chili recipe (with ground turkey instead of ground beef) from the “Fix it and Forget it” cookbook. It turned out quite well, actually. I also made the herb and cheese bubble loaf from my “Better Homes and Gardens” cookbook. I have wanted to make it for years; the picture after all looked very appetizing. I must admit it was a big disappointment and really not worth all the effort! It was the first time I’ve ever made any sort of bread from scratch and, while it was certainly edible, I wish I hadn’t taken so much time to make it.

I did log another 9 miles on my way to Rivendell, bringing my total to 142 miles. I’m also down another pound, despite having mudd pie for dessert last night.

We’re toying with the idea of going to Jackson Hole in March. We found a nice resort through Orbitz with a $449 per person flight/hotel combo for four nights. I don’t know if we can really afford to take the trip, but I’m trying to get in better shape so that we can consider it. I’d really like to become an intermediate skier at least, and I know that isn’t going to happen with just one trip a year. The local mountains here have been nearly devoid of snow this season which is why we’re considering the longer trip. It may not happen until next year, but we will definitely go next year if we don’t go this year. Luke really wants to go skiing again also.

Well, that’s the update for today. Hope all is well with everyone out there!

A Small Bit of Good Car News

January 25, 2006

Thank you for all of the comments, and thank you Mouldfan for your legal insight. Yes, the police report indicates that the drive who hit us was at fault, what with his breaking the law by driving down the marked off area, and all. Not that the insurance company cares what the police report says. Our lawyer has a copy of it and is doing what he can; hopefully it will work out in the end.

We did manage to purchase a replacement vehicle today at lunch; it is a Subaru Outback and nearly identical to the Legacy that we had (but a little more geared towards off-roading, I guess). It is one year newer and has 10,000 fewer miles. Fortunately my credit cards are generally paid off, so I put half of it on the card and the other half is financed, interest free, for one year. If the insurance company pays us anything then I’ll use that to pay the card off. Otherwise it will get transferred to our equity line and paid off as quickly as possible. Our finances are not as bleak as I’d figured since several things will be paid off this year (student loans in just a few more months…four years early, yay!). Also, my car passed smog yesterday so I’ll hold onto it for another two years (though the clutch needs some work). It’s been paid off for 3.5 years and, with my average driving distance of five miles per day, it should easily last awhile longer as long as I don’t get hit by some dumbass. I have found since the accident that I am far more accutely aware of how other people are driving around me. I am convinced that the majority of the people in my area shouldn’t be driving; people are idiots.

Well, this is just a quick entry as I’m on my way to the chiropractor. I saw my x-rays on Monday and no wonder my neck and back are bothering me; the curvature in my neck is gone and, in fact, it’s bent back in the other direction. I hope it doesn’t take a long time to correct it.

I walked another two miles last night and I am hoping to start walking home for lunch again next week. I just want everything to be back to normal again; I am so done with all the drama.

More Drama

January 23, 2006

I had a long rant composed in my head about how much I can’t stand flaky people. My neighbor, with whom I’ve become friends over the past year, is the worst and I was so annoyed about it yesterday. But then we got the phone call from the insurance company and that suddenly seems like a trivial complaint.

Basically, our insurance company is doing everything they can to screw us. I am not going to go into details because we have a lawyer who is going to try and help us, but do not ever ever ever use AAA for your car insurance. It’s been impossible to get them to actually return your call and they have really treated us quite badly. Suffice it to say that, while we can just pay off the remainder of our loan, they are leaving us with nothing to get another vehicle. We’ve done our research and we know that they are lowballing us about $2K. I am so irate right now. It has been 2.5 weeks now since the accident and they are just finally getting back to us after numerous calls. It’s such a disaster that I either want to cry or break something. I think I’ll use the anger to motivate myself to go to the gym and get in a nice long walk on the treadmill tonight, if I can manage to find the time between everything else.

I’m happy to report that I am down 2.5 pounds this week and got in another 7 miles over the weekend so I’m now up to 127 miles total. I also cooked both Saturday and Sunday *and* have meals planned for the next two weeks. It’s a good thing I’ve decided to start cooking more since we are going to have a hard time affording another car right now.

I have so much I need to do over the next few days (another visit to the chiropractor, grocery store, target, oil change, smog check, etc). And then if my W-2 will ever show up I’ll need to start on the taxes. I may do an estimate in the meantime to see how we’re going to come out because I am not sure this year. I really need a vacation, but the last time I tried to take a vacation was when we had the car accident. Well at least the skiing was fun. I had so hoped that we’d be able to go again this winter and I just don’t see how we’d be able to afford that at this point.

I know that things can always be worse, but I do try so hard to have a stable home, and we do have some savings we could use for a car though I am loathe to use it. I am just so furious that we have to deal with this when we weren’t doing anything wrong in the first place. It just really sucks.

Stitching, Meals, etc

January 19, 2006

Every time I open my blog I see the picture from the wreck; I guess I ought to be writing new entries so that it eventually falls off the page. We are STILL waiting for the check from the insurance company so that we can purchase a replacement vehicle. I think Jay is leaning towards a Subaru Outback that he found. It’s two years newer than the old car was, has about 10K fewer miles, and costs less than ours did when we bought it. Even with what we owe on the old car we should break even. My back is still bothering me so I’ll be seeing a chiropractor tomorrow. I’ve never been to one before but Jay has been a few times now since the accident and said the guy is really good. I just want everything to be better and be done with this!

On a positive note, I was fortunate to receive the fabric two days ago that .Jenny mailed me for the Christening Gown that I’m making for my best friend. She finds out the baby’s gender this afternoon (if he/she cooperates). She’s due at the end of May so I am hoping I can finish it before then. The pattern is by Kayann’s Kreations and is all white on white hardanger. It’s been a couple years now since I’ve done hardanger, but I have the Janice Love books so I should be able to get through it alright. This is the same pattern that Jenny used to make the gown for her daughter (thanks again for the pattern, Jenny!). I will probably have my mom sew it together since she is a wonderful seamstress and could probably sew it in her sleep.

I thoroughly enjoyed my Monday off. I went for a four mile walk/hike in the morning and then spent the afternoon watching Return of the King while stitching on Noah’s Sub. I’ve finished a fair bit since the picture I posted last week; I plan to work on it when I’ve had all I can bear of the white on white and need a brief, colorful break.

I was pleasantly surprised last night to receive a RAK (Random Act of Kindness, from the Wagon BB) from Goldie of Just Nan’s Holly Noel. I guess I’d better update my wish list! Thanks again, Goldie; I hope I can start it soon since it is fairly small so I stand a chance of actually finishing it in a timely manner.

I am now up to 117 miles on my way to Rivendell. In addition to my four mile walk on Monday I also made it to the gym Tuesday evening and walked three miles on the treadmill while reading The Hobbit. I think I’ll be reading/walking on the treadmill more often. It accomplishes two things at once and the exercise goes by so much faster. Tonight is kickboxing night; I haven’t been in awhile and I’m hoping my back is up to it. I really need to start doing my normal routine again, and that class is part of it.

Inspired by Faith Ann I have been trying to plan more meals at home and stop eating out so much. We eat out far too often and I know it’s expensive and unhealthy (well, it’s not *always* unhealthy since I do eat better at Panera than I often do at home, but it is usually expensive). We have eaten in the last two nights and I have dinners planned at home through Monday. Not all of the meals are super healthy (ie, tacos on Saturday) but it is a relief to not worry about figuring out dinner every night. I know I’ll still end up eating some lunches out with co-workers, but if we can at least get the dinners under control it will be a big step in the right direction. I also haven’t gotten breakfast out since the first day we were home from vacation (there was nothing in the house so we got bagels). If I can make this work for a few weeks then I think I’ll get a new cookbook or two and start branching out somewhat.

Well, that’s all the excitement going on in my life. I look forward to spending this weekend getting my home cleaned up, exercising, and stitching. I am happy to have a nice, boring weekend for a change.

Noah’s Sub Progress, etc

January 13, 2006

Thank you so much for all of the kind comments. The past week has been a whirlwind of activity between recovering from the accident (I did go to the doctor because my neck and shoulders/upper back still hurt), preparing for Luke’s 5th birthday party this Sunday, and just the usual stuff. I did take some time last night to take a progress picture of Noah’s Sub:

I am really hoping to finish this in 2006; it is for Luke’s room. I think I can safely say I am past the 50% point now.

I have this coming Monday off work but preschool is open and I am really looking forward to the day. With Luke’s birthday party on Sunday, and attending another kid’s party AND a stitching GTG tomorrow, I think I will really need the break! I am planning to do a lot of stitching and maybe re-watch some LOTR (I can’t fit all three into the day, even if I don’t do anything else). I would really like to go hiking; I reached 110 miles on my Walk to Rivendell, but haven’t made any progress since the accident. I asked Jay if he wanted to go hiking on Monday and of course he laughed at me and said no. Oh well, at least that wasn’t a surprise. If nothing else I plan to get a decent walk in and then spend the rest of the day stitching.

We got the official word yesterday that our car has been deemed a total loss. Well we were expecting that; it would certainly cost them more to try and repair it than to total it. It’s sad, though. We’re starting to look around for a replacement vehicle; I hope we can find something reasonable.

Well, that’s the update for the week. I hope it is a good weekend for everyone; it has not been the easiest week for me but all of the kind words following the accident really helped me to get through it. Thanks again!

Trauma

January 7, 2006

Well, I’m back from vacation. I’ll post about that soon; the trip was great until the drive home yesterday. We had stopped in North Las Vegas to get lunch and were on our way to get gas. Jay was preparing to turn left into a parking lot; the traffic going the opposite direction was stopped at a red light and the bus and semi in the two lanes stopped and waved us across. A guy came flying down the shoulder at about 50mph and slammed into the front passenger side door, launching us airborn and spinning us about 120 degrees where we then slammed into two other vehicles. Thank God I was sitting in the back seat; I always ride in the back on long trips because Luke often gets carsick. He’d been a lot better lately but I still decided to ride in the back *just in case*. As you can see from the picture below, it’s a damn good thing.

The good news is this: all 9 people involved were uninjured, well, mostly. Jay has some bruises and back/neck pain and my back/neck are killing me today. I’m okay if I look straight or slightly down, but if I lean my head back it is excruciating. Also, the police officer cited the guy driving in the shoulder as being at fault for the accident and that should help immensely with the insurance company. We went on vacation with another family and both the adults are insurance adjusters (for a different company than ours) and helped us with everything. I don’t know what we would have done if they hadn’t been there. It wasn’t the greatest area and it was horrible trying to deal with the insurance company (why oh why do they employ someone at the roadside assistance call center who can’t speak English?). They took care of Luke and took a number of photos for us. The one down below is one of the ones that shows the damage to our car pretty clearly.

We eventually got home late last night after a very long day and much time stuck in traffic in Vegas at rush hour. I am planning to spend the rest of the day resting on the couch, moving as little as possible. My house is a total wreck but I don’t want my neck to get worse. Once I’m mended and have a moment I’ll post some pics from our trip and talk a little more about it. It was a great trip until the drive home…


IMG_0726
Originally uploaded by mallonjill2000.

Happy New Year!

January 2, 2006

Christmas 2005
Originally uploaded by mallonjill2000.

Okay, I think I’ve got this flickr thing sort of figured out now. This is the picture from our Christmas cards this year. Holding the cats was Jay’s idea. We didn’t do anything for New Year’s Eve because it was wet and miserable and the freeway was flooded at our offramp anyway. I spent the day with Luke and his friend (and friend’s mom) at Legoland. It started raining on us a couple hours into the day so we didn’t stay long.

We leave tomorrow morning at 6:45. I hope we can get the car loaded up tonight (if it will stop raining for a few minutes…). I’m not complaining about the rain, though; it will hopefully mean snow in the mountains.

Well, this will be short; I just wanted to try the picture thing.