What A Week!

Saturday, December 20, 2008 | 0 Comments

Sunday was my BEST BOWLING EVER!!! I got a 192, 151 and a 167 for a 510 series!! And all that doped up on Benadryl!

All my renters are paid up.

And we got accredited! I just got the email today. There are still things to do, but our certificate is in the mail. That is such a relief! Our consultant was so impressed with my accomplishments that he asked if I would consider going into the accreditation consultant business.
I rock at my job.


lindsaylobe said...

In the past 4 years (with a lot of hard work) you have accomplished far much more than most people would even dream about - congratulations ~!!
Best wishes

Sylvana said...

Thanks for the congrats Lindsay. I am hoping to have a calmer year in 2009.

JD Turns 16!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008 | 0 Comments

Yikes! I can barely believe that my little guy is now 16 years old!

And you know what, neither can most other people. When they hear I have a kid, they are thinking that I have a lower single digit. They usually say something like, "You have a kid? Awww! How old?" When I tell them, their expression changes from puppy-dog-dreamy to WTF.

We had another bowling party for JD. The kids LOVE it and it is a way to get a bunch of kids together and not in our house.

JD bowling

JD's final game of the night. His first turkey and his highest score ever!

The cake.

It was a great night. Even one of the parents stopped by and joined in the festivities by passing around an embarrassing picture of her little guy (one of JD's guest in a Pikachu costume). I like JD's friends, and their parents!


Lyvvie said...

Happy Birthday!! Glad to see it was tons of fun with added cake! HUGS!

Can't wait to see pikachu.

Shannon said...

Happy Birthday, JD!

pastamasta said...

Damn... your bowling skillz are madder then mine by some distance. Practice session coming up, methinks.

Happy Birthday to JD...!

Sylvana said...

Lyvvie, the boy got a hold of the picture and crumpled it up before I could get it. But it was adorable!

Shannon, he's grown several inches since you saw him in Milwaukee!

PastaMasta, nice to see you out and about again!

Conversation At Our House v.30

Saturday, December 13, 2008 | 0 Comments

[Walking back from a working lunch at which we had discussed various procedures that still needed to be implemented or address for the accreditation process, SSB and Sy passed a guy walking a dog]

SSB: I like the coloration on that dog.

Sy: It's brindle.

SSB: Sounds like a character from Lord of the Rings.

Sy: Or something with peanuts in it that you eat at the holidays.

SSB: Like an Infectious Disease Log?

Sy: [gives an ewww face, then laughs]

SSB: Mmmm! Nothing like a Pepperidge Farm Infectious Disease Log to celebrate the holiday season!


Shannon said...

I just got a comment from you on my blog- how funny we're reading each other's blogs at the same time.

Shannon said...

Sounds like a perfect treat at an office holiday pot luck to me!

Sylvana said...


Finally, I Have NOTHING To Do!

Sunday, November 23, 2008 | 0 Comments

I have all my rental properties rented and we have had our accreditation audit (we did well of course, because I was in charge). That leaves me with a little time on my hands. Which led to me finding a couple of guys with even more time on their hands!

[This video can take a while to load, but it is SO worth it! Just pause it while it loads, then run it in all it's uninterrupted glory!]


Lyvvie said...

Whoever says knowing how the trick is done ruins the magic, hasn't seen that.

Sylvana said...

Lyvvie, yes! I found it to a thoroughly amazing and entertaining video.

The Obama Dream Cabinet

Wednesday, November 05, 2008 | 0 Comments

SSB and I have already started to project a "Dream Cabinet" for Obama. Now, we began it as a serious endeavor, but then it just became way too fun to dream! So, forewarning, some of these picks are not so serious; you guess which ones.

Secretary of State:
Bill Clinton
He's fantastic at foreign policy, and he' s pretty good at affairs to ;)

Secretary of the Treasury:
Warren Buffet
He's got a lot of money. We think he knows something about making it.

Secretary of Defense:
Colin Powell
He has the temperament, knowledge of the military and experience with war to do this position justice.

Secretary of the Interior:
Al Gore
Who can get more people behind protecting our resources?

Secretary of Agriculture:
Willie Nelson
He does Farm Aid.

Secretary of Commerce:
Google guy
We can't remember his name. Sure we could Google it, but thought "Google guy" sounded better anyway. We think he knows a thing or two about building a business; from absolutely nothing to WORLD DOMINATION!!

Secretary of Transportation:
Norm Coleman
We figure we could take a moderate Republican or two out of the Senate to open up a couple of seats. They would have to be from Democratic states to help ensure that they would be replaced by Democrats/Independents. Besides, we think he did something with the light rail in St. Paul.

Secretary of Education:
Tommy Thompson
He did a great job funding alternative learning programs and helped make sure Wisconsin was tops in education in the country! Go Wisconsin!

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
C. Everett Coop, a.k.a "Admiral Muttonchops"
Along with his easily identifiable style, he actually knows a thing or two about health services!

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development:
Jimmy Carter
Habitat for Humanity!

Secretary of Homeland Security:
Dog the Bounty Hunter
His job is to hunt down fugitives.

Attorney General:
Patrick Fitzgerald
He has built his career on fighting corruption. He did a fine job in the Plame and Libby case -- and at times when it was still very dangerous to a person's career to go after people in the White House.

Secretary of Energy:
Roscoe G. Bartlett
He's a House Republican and owns a Prius!

Secretary of Veterans Affairs:
Max Cleland
... well, we were looking for a good Republican candidate for this position -- but we couldn't find one (except McCain 2000, who may, or may not still exist -- and we need him in the Senate anyway). All the ones that actually have helped veterans are Democrats.


Shannon said...

Would we need to refer to "Dog" as "Secretary The Hunter?"

Michael Manning said...

I've wondered what Duane is up to and have read his book. If anyone could capture OBL it;s "The Dog"!

Sylvana said...

Shannon, yes. I think it helps maintain a little crazy that we need to intimidate ill-willers.

Michael Manning, we certainly have the talent that we need right here in America -- it is just a matter of finding it and matching it up with the need.

Shamus O'Drunkahan said...

Not so sure about Warren Buffet. I mean, he's all about drinking and the beach and having a good time and we really need somebody who will... oh wait. That's Jimmy Buffet. Nevermind.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008 | 0 Comments

It is as if in one night all the electoral damage done by the last two elections has been corrected. It is as if in one night there is undeniable truth that this country is finally shaking free of its horrible oppressive past. It is as if in one night there is not only hope renewed for America, but for Americans, and the world.

Congratulations, and THANK YOU!, President Obama!


Shannon said...

I KNOW!!!!!!

Ray of Hope

Saturday, October 25, 2008 | 0 Comments

It was pointed out in a recent email to me that I have been very noticeably absent from my blog (thanks, Lyvvie!)

Part of it is the mountain of projects at work.
Part is the mountain of projects in my business.
Part of it is the mountain of projects at home.
Part of it is my stupid computer fighting me every time I try to do ANYTHING on it!
But, a huge part is my obsession with the presidential election.

Now, I get a pretty worked up at every election, but there is something very different about this one for me. I truly see a shining ray of hope for America.

Going into this election, after the primaries, I wasn't that interested. I didn't know that much about Obama, but many people that I respected seem to like him; and I had always not only liked McCain, I admired him. In fact, I thought what Bush did to McCain and his obvious heroic record was not only shameless -- it was EVIL!! I appreciated McCain for sticking to the high ground during that primary, even if it resulted in his not getting the nomination. I felt that this election appeared to be a win-win. And when he nominated Sarah Palin, I thought, well now it really is a win-win-win situation. I thought either Obama or McCain would probably make a good president, and if Obama won he would be the first black president, and if McCain won, she would be the first woman vice president.

Then the winds of change blew in.

Over the course of the weeks following the conventions, I learned more about everyone; and I have to tell you -- I became increasing concerned about the welfare of this country. It went from being a fairly even choice to an inspiration vs instigation run for the White House.

Little by little that admirable exterior that McCain held was chipped away as he sold it for his chance to finally realize his life-long dream of being President. He did show signs of resistance along the way. Don't feel that I thought he went down without a fight. But ultimately he has been reduced to a grinning puppet for the RNC/GOP.

And Sarah Palin? Not a win. The more she has shown of herself, the more concerned I have become about the future of the country. I had a renter like her -- delusions of grandeur. "Yeah, so I was wondering if I could build a sunroom off the back of the house." I highly doubt it, and ABSOLUTELY NOT! Although I appreciate the self confidence that it must take to truly think that you are totally capable of easily accomplishing things that you really know nothing about, I have much greater appreciation for people who know themselves well enough and are honest with themselves and others enough to say, "Sorry, not my forte." Seriously, if it's not an outrageously inflated sense of abilities then it must be that she has such a low opinion of what it takes to run America that she would think that living close to Russia and signing some payroll checks would more than qualify her for the job. Either way -- not good.

And as she got more and more confident, she became more and more concerning. She is stabbing McCain in the back on many issues which has him back-peddling to keep some semblance of continuity in the party. And the way she leads a rally is alarming. The RNC calls it rallying their base -- they're base alright, and she knows just how to play them. Fear will lead them, and she is a great horror story teller. She certainly scares the hell out of me!

As far as McCain goes, you can clearly see that this is a bit alarming to him as well. He has had the decency to scold his own crowd when they have gone overboard and were getting out of control. I commend him for that, but I have to say, I haven't seen much of it lately. He is a man unsure of which path to take. It is clear he is not comfortable (or at least, was not comfortable) with the things that Palin had been stirring up in people. But the "maverick" seems afraid of taking control of his own campaign. His indecisiveness and conflict with his own campaign make him appear erratic and at times more than a wee bit senile. Not a good projection when you are trying to convince people that you are steady with all the answers. He can't even figure out his own campaign!

Then there is Obama. The only thing that I knew about Obama as this race started was that he had easily won in Illinois due to some scandals with the other candidates and that he had somehow pulled a victory from sure-thing Clinton. I was actually upset because I had enjoyed the Clinton years and was all ready for another round. I was not ready to accept Obama, for sure.

Then I heard him speak.

He really is an inspirational figure. He has the ability to talk about real problems that we face without sounding negative; which is a problem that has plagued many Democratic presidential nominees. He makes you feel like there is hope and that we are great, without pandering to you or blowing smoke up your ass. He uses inclusion instead of division to get support for his ideas. I truly feel that he has the ability to bring us together in unity to solve problems that we face today. And I get a strong sense of intelligence, fairness, humanity, discipline and toughness from him. Plus, he is one cool dude!

His running mate, Joe Biden, is a great Robin to his Batman, too. Very knowledgeable, a little goofy, unintelligible at times, but his heart is definitely in the right place. And he really, truly supports Obama.

But what is even better than having such an awesome person running for president is the fact that despite the RNC's best efforts to discredit him, America recognizes Obama's greatness too. Hope lives. But although Obama does have a comfortable lead in most polls, I can not rest easy knowing that anything could happen in the next week. SSB and I have already volunteered to drive people to the polls, and we are planning to canvass next week -- something that I have NEVER considered doing in the past!

And although I do lean Democrat, it is important to note that I am an independent and I do not always vote Democrat. I supported Ross Perot and Ralph Nadar (a personal hero of mine), not to mention Tommy Thompson (before he stuck his head up Bush's ass, anyway). I support Obama, not because he is a Democrat, but because I feel he is the real deal. He will be not just a good president, he will be a GREAT president.


sideshow bob said...

You know, John McCain and Sarah Palin have been saying some pretty nasty things about Barack Obama lately.

And I couldn't agree with them more...I couldn't disagree with you, I couldn't agree, with you, more than that you are the most patriotic, god-fearing person in the world.

But seriously, that woman is evil. EVIL, I tell you. Making women pay for their own rape kits crosses the line from regular old villainy into cartoonish super-villainy.

"AG" said...

Very eloquent post. I agree.

Shamus O'Drunkahan said...

I'm an indie too. I only hope the polls are correct. But there are a lot of really dumb people out there. And they can't see past race or rumors.

Sylvana said...

SSB, I get sick of hearing how negative BOTH parties have been. I really do not see negativity from the Obama campaign. In the last week we have gotten phone calls from both campaigns. ALL of the McCain calls told us how frightened we should be of the terrorist loving Obama. The Obama calls said we all need to come together to bring the change we need for this country -- so don't forget to vote! And in the last week or so we have gotten dozens of campaign droppings on our door step. The McCain ones are just like their phone calls and the Obama ones are just like theirs.
I have yet to see or hear a truly negative ad from the Obama campaign.

AG, awe thanks, I was going for eloquent rather than the rabid bear option.

Shamus, I know. Though every time I start to get hope that this country is pulling out of the ignorance hole it has fallen into, I am unpleasantly surprised to find it digging it deeper. :(

BUT this election HAS to be different!!

Sylvana Slide Show - ICELAND

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 | 0 Comments

Thingvellir National Park

Geysir Park


Marshmallow field



dry pond by glacier


Oraefajokull (glacier)

glacier flow

glacier flow with JD and SSB

glacier creeping over smooth mountain

ancient lava field

ancient lava field

butte and lake


Icelandic farm with glacier

Icelandic farm

Smokey Bay

cool silos


"AG" said...

These pictures are amazing! I love the moody skies. I can also sense how quiet it must be there. The marshmallow field is wonderful. It all seems so removed and peaceful, but tell me, is there a McDonald's behind you while you took these?

Sylvana said...

Most of these pictures were taken away from the city and although we did see a few American restaurants (Pizza Hut and KFC - actually there might have been a KFC behind me while taking the silo picture) I don't recall ever seeing a McDonald's. They are VERY fussy about things, so if they did have a McDonald's I'd bet it would be the best you ever had.

lindsaylobe said...

wonderful slide show -many thanks !

Sylvana said...

Lindsay, my pleasure!


Beautiful shots. Can't wait for the other countries.

sideshow bob said...

Mmmmmm...Icelandic bottled water!!!

Kari said...

Hey!! I haven't checked your blog in so long!! :D

I love the pictures of Iceland, absolutely gorgeous!!

Lol, I also wanted to ask you if the Icelandic women are really as beautiful as I have heard them to be.

Sylvana said...

Flubberwinkle, I have to break Scotland down into chunks since I have SO MANY pictures from that country.

SSB, I knew you'd like Iceland!

Kari, glad to see you still checking in! And yes, they are beautiful.

I'm Back!

Saturday, August 30, 2008 | 0 Comments

We got back from our trip last week Tuesday. I have been so busy trying to get back on track at work and my business that I haven't had time for much else. And my computer was still in dire need of attention as it had quit working again. I decided that it was a power cord issue, which it was, and now my computer is happy and functional again.

But I still have to go through the 5,027 pictures and video of our trip!
We would have far more, but we were trying to conserve our card space.

Our trip was fabulous! We spent 5 days in Iceland, 13 days in Scotland, 4 days in Ireland, 1 day in Wales, and 2 days in England. Really like 4 vacations in 1. We even got to meet a fellow blogger in Scotland, Lyvvie, and her family. We had a fantastic time. She is every bit as fun and interesting as she is on her blog.

Although I could have stayed another week or so, I am glad to be back to be able to finally share my adventures with all my friends. Instead of trying to tackle the trip all in one post, I am going to break it down into a few different posts. So get ready for the Sylvana Slide Show Series!


"AG" said...

Looking forward to the Sy Show!

Lyvvie said...

Yay!! Can't wait. And thank your for the pictures you sent, they're great! (Although can you tel Hubs and I are normally camera dodgers?) HUGS to you all!!

Shannon said...

I was afraid they'd put you on the "No fly" list and you'd never return. Can't wait for the pictures!!!

Michael Manning said...

Did you get a chance to fly on Ryan Air? Sounds like a glorious trip.

Little Known Travel Tips

Friday, July 25, 2008 | 0 Comments

Always call your credit card companies before you make uncharacteristic purchases, like booking things overseas.

We did notify our company. Three weeks in advance. And they STILL blocked our card after the first overseas booking. The $3400.00 in airfare that we put on it earlier this year didn't concern them, though. Even though we NEVER go ANYWHERE!! Nor did the purchase of those tickets through ICELAND AIR give them an indication that we might be traveling to Iceland and therefore require lodging in that country.

I understand their concern, but they really could have called us first. Or maybe noted on our account when we called them three weeks prior to the purchase.

And then there was our other card, our business card, which we use only a couple times a year and almost exclusively at Menards. Last year they didn't do anything when I wrote out a huge check to pay for the new roofing. This year, I made a $300 purchase at Menards for flooring -- they blocked my card citing suspicious purchase. I wasn't buying flooring in ICELAND!! It was 8 miles away for crying out loud!

Well, we finally have everything worked out after a lot of sitting around on hold and more swearing than I hear at family gatherings.

Also, don't forget, if you are going to be away from your home for a while, like we are -- get rid of all your produce! ESPECIALLY POTATOES!! There really is no worse way to end a trip than to come home to rotten potato smell soaked into every last porous object. Disgusting!


Michael Manning said...

All good suggestions, Sylvana. Here in Arizona just as we passed the tomato scare, there is a Pepper scare from the imported variety.

Have a nice weekend! :D

Lyvvie said...

Did you all get home Okay?? How did the rest of your trip go? Got soggy near the end, huh. Come now...Update!!


Elizabeth said...

Hi, long time no read your blog, but it's brilliant as always. My advice is that Visa is way better than Master Card at those things. I lived in Central Asia for five years and you know what? My card got blocked approximately once every six months when I bought anything. It was pretty amazing. Amazingly retarded, that is.

I hope you had a good trip otherwise.

Sylvana said...

MichaelManning, I'm actually creating a bigger vegetable garden just because I'd like to know where my food is coming from.

Lyvvie! OMG! What a trip! We thought of you a lot. I have some vacation suggestions for you and your family that you could do in a weekend.
Funny about the rain -- it would rain while we were on the train, ferry or bus, but as soon as we got off and wanted to do something -- it stopped and would even often go the step further to actual sunny. Weird. We're usually not that lucky.

Elizabeth, nice to see you around again. And thanks! I have not been updating regularly anyway due to my computer being ill and being off gallivanting across several island countries recently. We are back now, and my computer has completed some software therapy and parts transplants -- so hopefully I will be able to update more often.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008 | 0 Comments

SSB graduated from the computer network program this spring, with honors!

Outstanding performance, honey!

So, this weekend we celebrated by having a few friends over for some yummy food and assorted beverages. Most of our friends don't really know each other, so it was interesting to see how they co-mingled. Surprising well! It was much better than my graduation party where you could scoop tension out of the air, and we considered it a success because there was no police involvement (a lot of my family and friends DO NOT co-mingle well -- mostly because of my family). It was refreshing to feel that I could knock a few back and not worry about keeping people entertained or reffing disputes.

SSB said that it must have looked like a bad-ass party with two old-school Harleys sitting out in front of our house and the crazy dogs barking every time someone arrived. No one got bit or peed on thankfully!

And the weather was beautiful! They had forcasted T-storms, but they came Friday night instead. Saturday was sunny T-shirt and jeans weather with an ever so slight breeze.

SSB is a lucky, and deserving, man!


"AG" said...


Shannon said...

Hoorah for SSB!

lindsaylobe said...


There have been so many milestones in your lives and careers over the past few years its simply amazing !

best wishes

Shamus O'Drunkahan said...

Now get to work fixing that Cisco router.

Just kidding, I'm sure it's fine. Congrats on the degree.

3 More Weeks

Saturday, July 05, 2008 | 0 Comments

We will be leaving 3 Saturdays from today. Yikes!

Yesterday we finished the remainder of our major pre-trip purchases: flip-flops (for the hostel showers and any beach trips), water repellent shoe treatment (it gets wet over there!), decent backpacks (as we will not be taking anything with us that we can't carry), and 2 camera cards (8GB 133x cards for all the photos and video). I hope that it is enough. I take a lot of pictures. On my last trip to Scotland I came home with over 3500 pictures and video clips. And this trip there are two other people that will want to take pictures!

It is such a nice day today that we have to take advantage of it. We are heading to the state park to enjoy some out-doorsy activities; and see how far we can carry our fully-packed packs!


History in the Making

Monday, June 30, 2008 | 0 Comments

I'm an independent voter that tends to vote Democrat. Although I have not had a real preference between the two Democratic presidential hopefuls(Hilary and Barack), in the last few week before the end of the primaries, I had been leaning toward Barack.

Now I have always liked Hillary. I truly feel that she was a partner president during Bill's terms -- if not actually running the whole show! And I really feel like the country was well run during the Clinton Era. I personally experienced plentiful, good paying jobs with great benefits at a time in which I had little work experience. I felt that the country was actually the most responsible that it has ever been in my life, and I really appreciated that. I feel that we need to wake up to the fact that the world isn't as big as it used to be, and we need to keep good relations with our neighbors even if we don't see eye-to-eye. We all need the resources of the earth, and future generations do too, so we should be looking at the big picture, not just the here-and-now. And I felt that both of these were being addressed in the 90s. (Yay for us!)

Then came the Eight Years of Devastation. Although I really feel that Hilary has a resume full of getting-things-donedness, I felt, in the end, that she might be a hard sell. She's not always easy to understand, she has made a few big mistakes in her career that make me uneasy (voting for the Patriot Act and voting to go to war in Iraq), and , frankly, she can come off as insincere. But probably her hardest obstacle to overcome is really the big downfall of the Democratic Party in general-- they tell you how honestly crappy things are but don't really make you feel that something can be done about it, so what is the point? Of course, people like me know that even the answers they give to the problems can be depressing, but with a little perseverance by everyone, those answers will get us where we need to be. To most other people, it just sounds like someone pissing on their personal feel-good parade.

Barack, however, has a great way of letting people know that things need to change while remaining positive. He has a special skill that allows him to reach people with the truth in a gentle way that doesn't send them running to their bunkers or shouting "Nay-sayer! You just hate America!" He has a comforting way about him that makes you feel that he has control over the situation and everything will be all right. He has an easy sense of humor that isn't high or low brow. And although he is very articulate speaker that doesn't dumb things down, you can actually understand what the hell he's saying!

Although I do think that Barack does make a more reasonable candidate for the Democrats, I actually would have been satisfied with either one; because having either one of them as the Democratic presidential candidate shows that at least a lot of this country is ready for change. Change that I wasn't sure that I would see in my lifetime. This primary has got to be one of the largest leaps in abolishing inequality in this country. And that is a win for everyone.


Myjetstream said...

well, my personal liking is for hillary.

Shamus O'Drunkahan said...

We're in quite a hole - I hope whoever gets elected can actually make changes.

Sylvana said...

myjetstream, as long as we don't have to deal with G.W. or his like!

Shamus, it was nice to see you come out of hibernation!
We are in a depressively massive hole. But I have hope.


Saturday, June 21, 2008 | 0 Comments


Lyvvie said...

Is that a Wiener-mini? Holy Hell! I still have that song stuck in my head "I wish I was an Oscar Mayer wiener. that's what I truly want to be. Because if I was an Oscar Mayer wiener, then everyone would be in love with me."

Sylvana said...

Lyvvie, I thought of you when I saw them. The mini is a Mini Cooper with a hot dog added to the top. I want one!

Michael Manning said...

A MINI!!!!!!

Sylvana said...

Michael, did you see that the license plate says "LTL LINK"?

Shannon said...

ROFL. I needed that.

Sylvana said...

Shannon, these could cheer up just about any day!! And that yellow is my favorite yellow

SierraBella said...

Now that's a great alternative to a limo ride!
Imagine arriving at your wedding...

Sylvana said...

Sierrabella, that would be awesome!!!

Myjetstream said...

thats awesome and its beautifully designed.


Sunday, June 08, 2008 | 0 Comments

Both my travel applications were approved!!*

And SSB fixed the power jack on my computer!**

What a freakin' fanatastic day!

*See previous post

**My computer has been non-functional since well into 2007 due to a broken power jack, which was part of what corrupted the hard drive. Everything seems to be back on track thanks to the skills SSB learned in his networking program.


SierraBella said...

Sounds like a wonderful day!
Can't wait until you return from your trip and let us in on the "world famous historical site."

Sylvana said...

I, of course, will bring back TONS of pictures!! Last time I went to Scotland/Ireland/Iceland I brought home over 3500 pictures!

Myjetstream said...

sylvana, 3500 pics.... you have a lot of material to cherish of, in your future!

Jellin' Like Magellan

Thursday, June 05, 2008 | 0 Comments

We finally chose an itinerary from the 20+ that I had worked up in the spread sheet -- yep, I'm so nerdy.
Now I can finally start filling in the blanks. I have sent out a couple of applications for special events while we are there. One was for lodging at a castle/palace just outside of Edinburgh. One was for special entrance into a world famous historical site -- their application frowned upon "advertising" our visit publicly, and until I figure out exactly what that means, you will have to guess.

We will be spending 4-1/2 days in Iceland. Then we will fly to Scotland and travel for two weeks. Then we will go to Ireland for a couple days. Ferry to Wales, bus to England then fly home. I can't wait!! 2 more months.

And my garden looks the best that it has ever looked. It looks like it did in my head before I even planted the first plant. At least a few times a week people will call to me from the street to let me know how much they appreciate the garden. And I have actually had people knock on the front door to request access to the garden so they could take pictures or just get a closer look at things. I'm thinking next year I might want to see about getting on a garden tour.

Things are definitely coming together.


Shannon said...

Oooh! I'm so excited for your trip too. I almost feel like I'm the one going on vacation!

BTW- I haven't read your garden blog in a while, but I just checked it out. I'm impressed!

Sylvana said...

Shannon, oh, thanks! I'm really excited about the garden. Although I have many passions, I think it is safe to say that gardening is one of my greatest.

Recent Events

Sunday, May 25, 2008 | 0 Comments

Two weekends ago we spent cleaning our basement. It's all sanitized and cleaner than it has ever been! We hauled everything outside, scrubbed the whole basement down with bleach, disposed of anything not worth cleaning, and cleaned/sanitized everything else going back into the basement. I thought it would take a couple of days -- we had it done before 6pm.
Then we went to Ironman.
It's good. Go see it.

Last weekend was SSB's graduation. He's now all set to take on the networking world. Great job, sweetie. You rock!
For his graduation we went out to the local Mexican restaurant and we rented There Will Be Blood.
That was an interesting and strangely funny movie. A must see for the final scene alone!

This weekend we were supposed to go camping, but the weather looked pretty sucky for Saturday, so we decided better of that. I spent all of Saturday in the garden. I got a lot done!
For more garden pics -- tulips, tulips, tulips! -- go to my garden blog.


lindsaylobe said...

Congratulations to SSB -what doees SSB stand for again ......
Best wishes

Mrs. Loquacious said...

I think your garden is absolutely lovely. It looks so cared for! :) I covet your green thumb :P

Sylvana said...

Lindsay, SideShow Bob.

Mrs. Loquacious, I love gardening.

lindsaylobe said...

I already knew that! What I was implying (ha ha) that he was the main show, not the side show; it’s just the dry Auusie humour if you call it that! Best wishes

Shamus O'Drunkahan said...

Nice garden!

And Ironman rocks.

Block the Line

Saturday, May 17, 2008 | 0 Comments

A few weeks ago our tub started singing to us, "blook, blook, blook!" Although annoying, we didn't think much of it, until a week later when SSB brought some tools to the basement.

Well, I won't go into details, but apparently when your tub starts singing, you should worry.

We checked the internet for possible reasons. There were two possible sources for our problem: blocked vent or blocked sewer line.

The blocked vent seemed simpler to fix, so to the roof we went. With a sewer snake, we checked the vent for blockage. As I was about to feed the snake into the vent, I told SSB that he should be prepared to move out of my way if a squirrel came shooting out. No squirrel, and although we did find a little compost in the vent from old leaves, not much else.

To the basement. Our access to the sewer line was easy enough to find. It is was actually in our basement next to the furnace and water heater. We did find some blockage in the line, as the snake hit a dead end. We guessed that the blockage most likely was from tree roots as there is a hug white pine right over our line.

We went to the hardware store and got some root killer. We had done some research and read that since we could have an old cast iron sewer line, we would want to stay away from the copper sulfate killers. The copper sulfate can corrode pipes and really do damage on older pipes. So we got a non-copper sulfate foaming killer.

It said that you could flush it down the toilet, but I wasn't willing to take the chance of this "foaming" chemical frothing out of my toilet all over the bathroom. We just dumped it into the sewer access, screwed the cover back on and then flushed the toilet a couple of times. It took two bottles of the stuff put in the line a week apart, and we were actually thinking that we were going to have to call the sewer guys, but SSB was in the basement checking the laundry tub while the washer drained (we had to make sure that we weren't getting overflow when ever we drained the tub, sink or washer; and we could only do a 1/2 load of laundry every 8 hours!) and it started to fill as usual, then he heard a "whoosh" and we have been clear ever since.

I never thought I'd be so happy to actually do laundry!


lindsaylobe said...

What a story -wh0000000ssszzzzsetth -what a relief !! drop a line to the chemical manufacturer, they might want you to do a paid commercial !!
Best wishes

Sylvana said...

Lindsay, not a bad idea. Maybe they will give us some coupons. We have to put the chemical in our line at least once a year.

We thought being without water while we were tiling the bathroom was bad -- this was far worse. I am so happy to have that over with!

Seeing the Light of Day

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 | 0 Comments

I have been a very busy girl. I'm not working more hours -- but I am getting more sleep! It is really nice to see people still checking in on me even though I have been so very vacant from the blogosphere. My computer has been in bits since some time before the beginning of the year, so it has been tough getting computer time to get anything done properly. SSB promises to have the computer done sometime soon. Yep. Any day now.

This year is the earliest we have gotten our taxes done since we quit paying someone to do it (what a waste paying someone else to do it is!). We still did not get them done in time to get in on the first round of rebates. Soon, though. Although I think that the rebates are too little too late to really do much good for the economy, I must say that it is the very idea that I have been preaching about for years -- if you really want to stimulate the economy, don't give money to the rich hoping they'll spend it; give the money to those who will REALLY spend it -- the lower class!

I convinced my boss to let me hire SSB to help me. I tried to get her to let me hire him last summer, but she wasn't having it. No problem this time. And what a great idea that was, I must say! I'm finally getting out from under the HUGE piles of work that have been piling up around me since last summer. It feels so good to finally see the light of day again.


Lyvvie said...

Gald to see you're still around. I'll still be seeing you? Yes? *hope*

Sylvana said...

Lyvvie, yes! Plane tickets are already purchased. Trip planning is another thing that has been on the back burner while I get a few things ironed out at work and home. But I have to get back on that. We have less than three months till we leave!

The Planets Are Aligning

Monday, March 10, 2008 | 0 Comments

--I just got another happy email about our trip this summer -- we will be able to stay at the palace/castle where I went to school! I was really hoping to be able to show my family the place that I stayed, they are going to love it!

--JD got a solo part in jazz band. Just last week he was complaining how there were no solo parts for his position on sax. YAY, JD!
--And finally, It looks like there might be a full-time day opening at the library soon. I may or may not be interested in it -- and it may be out of my hands anyway. Current employees get get first choice. The woman who took the night position (the job that I turned down) has the potential of transfering into that job before I'd even have a chance to apply -- which would leave the night position open again; but we've already established that I don't want that job. SO, it looks like if I had taken that job, I couldv'e been in a day position by the end of the year. And you know what, I really don't regret my decision. So now I KNOW I made the right decision!


Lyvvie said...

Saw this and thought of you Peep Show!!

Sylvana said...

Lyvvie, HA! That is hilarious! We didn't get around to doing our usual peepshow this year - but it may not be too late. We're not Easter people anyway. I think of Peeps as more of a spring thing.

lindsaylobe said...

Congratulations! Your life and that of your family seems to be getting better each year, all of the hard work is paying off!
Beest wishes

Michael Manning said...

Very inspiring!!! Wishing you a nice April 20Th!!!! :)

Douglas Cootey said...

Way to call it, Sylvana! Isn't it deliciously rewarding to take a risk and have things turn out for the better?

Douglas Cootey
The Splintered Mind - Overcoming AD/HD & Depression With Lots Of Humor And Attitude

I just got the confirmation email on our stopover in Iceland --

We get to stay 5 days! I'm so excited! It's like a vacation appetizer.

--BTW The title is one of my favorite lines from South Park. Click the link to read the script to episode. Hilarious!


Lyvvie said...

Yay! Here's a game for you to play, count how many times they take a sudden intake of breath when speaking. It's a strange Icelandic thing they do, speak along and then, *gasp* continue to speak. I noticed it a lot when they came here for cheap Christmas shopping holidays.

Sylvana said...

Lyvvie, hmmm... I did notice that they were a talkative people, didn't notice the gasping however. Now that's all I'll be thinking about!!

Lyvvie said...

I think they do it like a reversed sigh, like some people say, er or um. I noticed they do it when they're thinking or pondering. then again - it could've been just me. I know; I'll ask Maja!

When you get enough liquor in them, boy are they a hoot!

SSB and I attended another drug dinner -- with an OPEN BAR!!! SCORE!!!

The food was phenomenal and served family style which made it feel even more like a party atmosphere. We actually didn't talk much about the drugs that each of the reps were hocking. In fact, I almost forgot why we were there in the first place.

Most of the reps gathered around SSB and I as we ate, as we are just that frickin' entertaining! One of the reps preceded everything he said with, "At the risk of a little self disclosure..." Well, come on, you know what follows is going to be interesting! Another overheard us talking about Wii and began picking us for information. He confessed that although he likes video games, his wife says he's too old to play. I pshawed that! We proceeded to get him all drooly over Wii, and when he heard that there was a Zelda for Wii, he got all dreamy-eyed, like he was going back in time, muttering, "Yeah, Zelda is great." Another rep was asking us for computer tips making us feel all geeky -- it was fabulous! Another was complaining how she had to go on the road with this rep that kept trying to pick up every woman he met. Another picked up that topic to concur that the man was embarrassing to be around. He asked us, "How could you work with someone like that. I just want to ask him if he knows how embarrassing he is." I told him that he should audio tape him and play it back to him. He got all giddy with the scenario in his head of the play-back to this guy.

We ate a lot, we drank a lot, we laughed a lot. I don't remember the last time that I had that much fun with a bunch of strangers, let alone drug reps! I can't wait for the next one!


"AG" said...

I love the title of this entry!

Sylvana said...

AG, yeah, we usually treat them like dirt, but they really came through for us this time :)

Irb said...

How fun! If I ever get to start swinging in those wild and crazy Search Engine Optimization circles, I hope they're at least half as entertaining...

Sylvana said...

Irb, it is well known in Wisconsin that most situations are instant fun -- just add alcohol!

That's My Final Answer

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 | 0 Comments

I made a decision today. And that is a load off my mind.

The job situation was far more complex than I could even explain in a post. Most people never get the experience of working at place that doesn't just feel like a place of employment -- but it feels like your second home. I was lucky enough to have TWO! The people aren't just coworkers, but they are like part of your family.

Sure some of the people are crazy and drive you nuts, but then, you haven't met my real family. Same deal.

I have been thinking about the decision I would have to make for months. It was not an easy one to make at all. Each place had something great to offer, and not so great.

I told my bosses at the library one by one from the top down today, before I notified HR. I figured that it just didn't seem right to leave it up to some outside person to break the news. They were each stunned that I would turn down the position, but I feel that in the end they really understood. They are of course heart-broken at the missed opportunity, as I am; but they do have a fair second choice. That was a relief for me, as well as them. She isn't me, of course, but I'm sure she will do. They have already asked if they can keep calling me for fill-in positions and the like. OF COURSE! Nothing else has changed, it's just bad timing for this particular position, I told them.

Ultimately, it came down to flexibility and potential. And even after making the decision, I am not 100% sure I made the right one. But it is done,and I feel better.

One thing that really helped me feel good about the choice I made was thinking about which job I would regret giving up more if I ended up losing the job that I chose due to some event (such as budget cuts or store closure). I realized that if I took the library job and subsequently lost it due to budget cuts, I would regret having given up the pharmacy job MORE than giving up the library job and eventually losing the pharmacy job due to store closure. That feeling of greater regret helped me know that over-all, the pharmacy was where I needed to be.

Now where's my damn chocolate!!!


Shannon said...

Yay! And you still have that connection at the library...maybe other opportunities will come and be a better fit someday. Congrats on making a decision that's right for you.

Sylvana said...

Shannon, thanks. I feel so much better now that I don't have that to worry about. And I know now that I certainly made the right decision, so it makes it that much better.
It is so great to have this blog to work out these matters because I obviously couldn't talk to most of my current non-blog friends about the dilema -- they had biases due to the fact that they are connected to one job or the other.