Sunday, November 30, 2008

First snow!

Last night we had our first snow of the year! Yay! I love having snow on weekends when we have no where to go, nothing to do, and no reason to really care if it snows. Today we slept late (for us, at least) and have been lazying around the house this morning.

This was Arwen's first snow so of course I had to throw her out into the yard to experience it. (I had to throw her because I was too lazy to take off my slippers and put on shoes and I didn't want to get wet!) The verdict? Snow is apparently scary. This is evidenced by the fact that she ran back to the door immediately.

Yesterday David put up the Christmas lights (well, almost put them up...apparently one strand went out last year because they only cover half the garage, so our house looks amazing). Today he will finish the Christmas Cards and hopefully we can get ours sent out sometime this week.

On the menu for today: Tomato Soup. I may take some pictures and post the recipe this week.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Preparation

One of my favorite times of year is Advent. I love the anticipation of Christmas!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gratitudes

Today we head to my parents' house and then tomorrow we will eat lunch at my grandma and grandpa's house. After that, we head to a vacation house with David's family where we will eat another Thanksgiving feast. On Friday, we will head back home so we can decorate that evening together and study!

Here are some things for which I'm thankful this year:
- the health and happiness of my family, especially my grandma, and the safe birth of a new niece
- the gift of having wonderful friends who have also had a happy, healthy year
- of course, our little family, including the addition of Arwen
- another good year of law school

I hope you have a happy, safe, and gratitude-filled weekend!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Apparently my mother-in-law is a yogi

I try to go to yoga each week, but lately I have been busy. I went to yoga last Friday for the first time in weeks.

My yoga teacher began the class with a lecture. He introduced a book called the yoga nidra, which basically lays out various ways to practice yoga or to be a productive human (my teacher compared it to the Ten Commandments- basically rules one can follow in order to live a good and ordered life). One of these rules is to practice contentment. One way to achieve contentment is to practice gratitude.

Of course, this discussion was tied to Thanksgiving. Our teacher said that one of the best things you can do to lead a happy life is to simply be thankful for what you have.

For instance, he noted that several times in his life, he had felt chaotic and sad (whether it be because of the death of a loved one, a job change, worrying about money, etc.), but then he thought of the things for which he should be thankful and he felt happier again. Of course, this can be difficult to do in some situations.

He also said that we should express gratitude to those who are kind to us. Every day, people do kind things for us, and we mostly take this for granted. He said that we should start to notice these acts and thank the people who are kind to us.

Another tip he gave us was to write down our gratitudes every night before going to bed. He said that this will make us happier and more content with our lives. Even though we may have trouble thinking of something to be thankful for, all of us in the class could be thankful for a warm bed, plenty of food, and clean water, which many people in the world do not have. Most of us could be thankful for our educations, our families and friends, and our good health. My teacher noted that expressing gratitude and practicing contentment is considered a high and valuable form of yoga.

The funny thing is that my mother-in-law writes down her blessings (or gratitudes) every day. She has always recommends this practice to others because she says that it makes her a happier person. (I think Oprah also recommends this?) So, it turns out that my mother-in-law practices a form of yoga every day.

My teacher (who is Canadian) laughed because our biggest American national holiday (that isn't tied to a religion) revolves around a yoga principle. Perhaps we should all try to follow these tips for practicing gratitude, not just on Thanksgiving, but in our daily lives after the holiday.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wonderful days at home

My break is already wonderful. I am getting a lot done studying-wise (I have a to-do list and already finished 2 items on it!) and love just being at home with nowhere to go.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Alert

I just caved and began listening to Christmas music. I can't help it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sometimes it sucks living with a grammar maverick

"I'm a maverick."

"He's a maverick."

We're all sick of hearing this, BUT my husband really is a grammar maverick. I used to like it, until tonight.

"BLECH!" (coming from in the office)

"What is it, my nice, loving husband?"

"Your blog! It is disgusting to me."

"Why, sweet candy-coated love of the earth?"

"You HAVE THE WRONG FORM OF "DUE" IN THIS POST."

"Dang it! I have noticed that I have been making stupid mistakes in the fifty pages of class notes I write a day. Perhaps I just get tired of staring at a computer screen and at words all day long, angel from heaven. I am sorry that I have disgusted you."

"GROSS! BLECH! Despicable!"

(Shirking off to talk to my cats, who do not care much about grammar but who rather care about food.)

Finally!!!

It is FINALLY time for my break!!!! Yayyy!

I decided to take the rest of today off from school so that I can well-rested and geared up for a weekend and week of studying. My schedule? A nap, then yoga, then movie-watching with my David!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Poor baby


My poor baby Arwen has experienced much pain in the last 2 weeks. Mean old David again decided that we needed to declaw the kitty (possibly because she was creating a scratch post out of our sofa...that mean old guy). So while we were at it, we decided to spay Arwen as well.

She came home from surgery in great pain and slept for an entire day. After that, she began to slowly function again, but she kept licking her spay stitches. When we went back to the doctor for a check-up and to get the stitches out, he determined that her stitches were not healed enough do to the licking.

This weekend, she kept licking her wound and eventually licked it raw. Not knowing what to do, David and I bandaged it up with an ankle wrap. This worked a little bit- but unfortunately as soon as I took off the wrap she began licking it again, making it bleed.

We went to the vet again last night and he determined that she had a temperature and thus the stitches were becoming infected. Poor kitty! She did look sick. So now she is on antibiotics and has to wear this thing:


Image found here: http://www.petcareclinics.co.uk/images/cat-elizabethan-collar.gif

Poor cat. Today she seems to feel better as she has already chased Paco, attacked him, and attacked Thorina. Hopefully she will recover quickly. David has to take her to the vet this weekend.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Break.

I am counting down the days until our Thanksgiving "break".

"Break" = still studying nonstop, only without classes. Everybody is tired and worn out--and freaking out because our finals are in about 3 weeks. I have a plan of action for studying for my classes, and we shall see if it pans out. Hopefully I will be motivated to study at least on Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving break (and possibly Wednesday morning). Then we are off to celebrate the holiday.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ravioli

Last Thursday my dad and I attempted to make homemade ravioli. It went relatively well. I definitely learned a lot about making pasta and filling.

We started out by making the dough for the pasta. A simple recipe for pasta dough includes two eggs, one cup of flour, and a pinch of salt. Mix until it comes together in your bowl. Place it in the fridge for a few minutes and let chill. After about thirty minutes, you are ready to roll (or use your pasta-making machine cutter thingy, if you have one--but alas, I don't).

We made the filling with a half-pound of cooked sausage, onion, spices, and a bit of spinach. Then we discovered that we needed a way for this to stick together. Unfortunately, I do not like cheese and had none in my kitchen, even though cheese would have been an obvious choice for sticking everything together. So my dad used bread crumbs and olive oil. This worked moderately well. Once we got everything in the food processor, we pulsed it together and viola! We had a pasta filling.

I rolled out the dough with my trusty roller and we first attempted to cut the dough and then add the filling. This did not work out--instead, we discovered that one should place the filling on the dough, wet the sides, and the finally place another layer of rolled dough on top, sealing the layers. After that, we cut the shapes out with a pizza cutter.

Finally, we boiled them and were finished!

The ravioli tasted very good--the filling seemed very carb-ridden, which is probably because it included bread crumbs. However, next time, I will remember to suck it up and use a bit of cheese to hold it together.

It was funny to see the final product because the raviolis became bigger and bigger with each batch because we tired of assembling everything.

Friday, November 14, 2008

R.I.P. my bag


For the last year and a half, I have carried my Betseyville big black tote bag. I loved it. It could fit so many law books, my computer, wallet, keys, etc. without an issue. Plus, it was super cute. This is extremely hard to find for two reasons:
1. Finding a great, functional bag for law school is horribly impossible.
2. Convincing David that I should buy said bag is again, impossible.
So I got this bag when I first started law school. When she was a kitten, Thorina chewed on the straps, making them raggedy and weak. This wasn't the bag's fault, although David blamed it on "poor design" or something like that.

I retired it for a bit, fearing that it would break, and then revived it this year. I used it for a few months and then on election day, it happened. As I yanked the bag out of my car, it got stuck, so I yanked a little harder. Since the bag was loaded with various items, the strap snapped and broke. I was so sad!

So now the bag sits on one of our kitchen chairs. I asked if I should throw it out and David said no. I'm not sure what he wants to do with it (maybe cut up the shiny plastic outside and make a wallet? Perhaps use it as some sort of storage container?).

Sigh.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Too funny

This site is hilarious and you must read it. Although, I truly believe that my cats are not plotting to kill me....at least I hope....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Every day in November?

A lot of bloggers are posting every day in November. I just may try to do the same (at least for the rest of the month).

Today I had a great day at school--we learned about how to introduce evidence, about Congressional powers to create laws (versus those rights reserved for the States), religion in schools and why the Amish in Pennsylvania are exempt from mandatory schooling until the age of 16, and about family visitation rights in Family Law.

Finals are coming up soon so my friends and I are studying a lot. So far, we are pretty much caught up with Evidence and Constitutional Law, which is good. My other finals should not be too bad...hopefully.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

If you didn't know better, you would think that these kids were his...


Last weekend we got to see Emma, Noah, and Allie, our nieces and nephew. I think these two look so much like David with their blond hair and blue eyes.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Inspection

My friend Julie sent me a thank you gift a few weeks ago, and Thorina and Arwen decided to inspect the premises. Arwen was hungry so she decided to eat the box:
Thorina did not want to give up the box:

Okay, I know I just posted five pictures of my cats, but seriously, how cute are they?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Forgotten!

While wrapped up in all of the election news, I forgot that there will be two adorable girls now living in the White House. How fun is it going to be to watch them grow up? The youngest kids I can think of in the White House were the Kennedy children. Am I wrong? Were there others in recent past?

Well, along with many other people, I am now enamored with what kind of dog the Obamas should get for their daughters. They were promised a new puppy after the election, so I am sure that all eyes will be on them while they choose a dog.

Of course, I think they should choose one like THIS guy:Which kind of dog to YOU think the Obamas should choose? Please humor me and take my poll:


Cold

I have another cold! Arrgghhhh! I do feel better today than I did yesterday, so hopefully the cold is just a small one and will go away quickly.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Vote!

I am shamefully behind on my blogging.

Last Thursday, David and I went to see Barack Obama in our town. Actually, he spoke right outside my law school, which was pretty cool. They cleared out the school at around 8 p.m., however, so we could not look from the windows and watch him or anything.

Anyway, David came home from work and we both immediately got ready to go. We arrived at the campus at around 7:30 p.m. When we arrived at the security tent, one of the volunteers said, "the line begins at the other side of that building," pointing to one of the main campus buildings. We walked over to it...and walked...and walked...and walked...and walked....



and walked....



and walked...


and then someone told us to cut through a group of building because the line snaked around and went to the other side, so we walked...


and walked....


and then gave up.


We decided to instead go to the other side of the rally, where we did not have to deal with security or lines. I think that we were waaayyyyyy closer than we would have been if we had stayed in the line, and David and I both got to see him, which was neat. So now we have both seen all four major presidential and vice-presidential candidates.

His speech was very good and he actually *shock* started on time (Out of all the candidates I've seen so far, I think he was the first to have done so). One thing I really liked about Biden and Obama was that their speeches seemed to follow an outline format that were both very easy to understand. They outlined their five main focus areas and then told us their plans for the areas. I don't remember McCain's doing this, BUT we did see McCain right after he announced his running mate, so I think the focus was more on Palin, which makes sense.

David agreed with this and I think that it is undeniable that Obama is by far the best and most charismatic speaker in this election. He has a good way of holding the audience captive and explaining his points. Honestly, I think that some people are just born with that talent and some are not. But it sure helps you if you have it in a presidential election.

Overall, we had a good time and agreed that Obama had done a great job speaking.

Tonight David and I are both very, very excited about the election tomorrow. I will be working as a challenger in a polling area in my town, so if you see me, say hi! I am excited about this job because basically I make sure that the election judges stay in compliance with our state's statutory voting guidelines...mostly I will be making sure that they require the correct identification, etc. from the voters. I have to wake up super, super early in the morning, so I better hop on to bed!

Do not forget to vote tomorrow!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Almost over

This election season is almost at a close. All I have to say about it is that I am glad it is almost over.

Since I am in law school, I hear about the election over and over, day after day, hour after hour. Since last November we have been debating about who will win. It has been a very long road. This is also the first election year I have been married--married to someone who holds "different" political beliefs than me. Needless to say, I and my friends and husband have been debating this election for weeks now.

I feel that I have learned an important lesson this fall--and that is to be quiet, listen, and research. Instead of simply dismissing the other side's arguments, I have been forced to actually listen to my husband's well-researched points. And can I say that it is way more fun this way?

These conversations actually made me realize how much we have in common as far as political beliefs go---and that we basically do believe many of the same things. However, of course, there are key differences in our beliefs, which cause us to fall on different sides of the party lines, even though we have both grown extremely moderate during the past year.

I enjoy these conversations and the respect I get when I voice my opinions to him. Therefore, it is very hard for me to go into the "real world", so to speak, where people say things like, "Vote for so-and so? Why would anybody ever do that?" while giving me a look of disgust, or saying, "I don't understand how ANYBODY could vote for so and so." I have heard this said on both sides, and I admit that I have said it before as well. But this is not a good attitude.

Basically what these people are saying is, "Vote for so-and-so? If you do that, I think that you are obviously more ignorant on the issues than me. Because if you knew as much as me, there is no way that you would hold your beliefs." While I can almost guarantee that I used to say things like that too, now that I am armed with so much research and information about the election and philosophies and policies of both parties, the election season is much more enjoyable and stimulating.

And so, dear readers, I have a request. A lot of people have conducted research and have a lot of information and thought going into their choice on Tuesday. Please try to treat these people with respect and listen to their ideas rather than just dismissing them when discussing the election in the upcoming days.

Realize that someone can still be a good, sincere, moral, and informed person if they hold a political belief that is different than yours. And finally, please listen. It is better to be on your side after giving a good-faith effort to listen to all arguments rather than researching one side only. My marriage to David has taught me this--to be tolerant. After all, we may vote differently, but I still love him and immensely respect his beliefs, because I know they are well-researched and well-founded. I hope that you will strive to do the same as we all go to the polls on Tuesday and perform one of the greatest Constitutional rights we have.