Wednesday, October 30, 2013

B-O-O!!!!!!



That's the pumpkin that the little carved this year! SCARY, eh??? She did all the work this time around. I didn't lift a finger to help her except with a little bit of cleaning after she was all done. She had fun carving it and had more fun [I think] doing the 'presentation' to her biggest critic....Dad! LOL...It actually was like a presentation...like a school report when she was showing it to him last night. Her voice was modulated while she was explaining it to him...haha. I asked if she was expecting some kind of a grade from him.

Anyway, here's how it looks with a little bit of light around it...


It's now sitting on the table ready to be tossed. It has served its purpose so it's time for it to go. Wehhh....

Happy Halloween ~

Sunday, October 27, 2013

.....



It's Halloween week. Unlike the past 11 Halloweens we're not as excited because we won't be doing any trick or treatin' this time around. As I mentioned in my earlier post this is the first year our not so little one won't be donning a costume. I didn't think much of it before but now that it's getting close I'm actually getting a wee bit sad. This is just one of the proofs that she's indeed a grown-up already. She's actually at that awkward stage when even she herself is not sure if she's a grown up already or still a little girl. Oh well. I didn't think Halloween will make me sentimental. Ugh.

Here in our neighborhood only a few houses put up decorations for Halloween. One of them is actually right across the street. They put up lights around their house and set a huge pumpkin blow-up in their front yard. I'm sure there are more decors by their front door and probably in their house but we can't see those from where we're at. The little one likes the lights of course but she likes the Christmas decors more. She said she can't wait to see the Christmas decors and so do I. Also, there are more houses around here that put up bright lights and decorations during the holiday season. Our next door neighbor actually covers the entire fence of his house with lights and put some deer and the Nativity scene on their front lawn. So yeah, after this week I'm excited to start seeing the holiday season decorations that will start popping up around here.

Anywhooo....I hope you have a great week ahead. If you're going door to door trick or treating with the young ones, make sure to take extra pre-cautions. You can never be too safe, right?

Tedious Task

I've been trying to make copies of our home movies that are in DVDs and transferring them to our external drive. Hubby said that DVDs are normally good only for 10 years and most of her DVDs are older than that. I thought that once they're in DVDs then we're all set. I guess not. So even if I wasn't sure how to do the task, I decided to do it and just learn along the way. As it turns out, it's one tedious task because I had to extract [not sure if that's the correct term to use] the files from the DVDs and make another home movie out of it. The only difference this time around is I don't have to do a lot of editing anymore.

All in all, it took me more than a month [even longer I think] to transfer about a dozen DVDs to our external drive. I still have some more to transfer but I'm glad I'm done with the oldest ones. Hopefully I'll be able to finish all of them before this year ends.

Covered?

Just like a lot of people out there, I'm still at a loss as to how this new healthcare act will affect us as far as our insurance goes. I tried reading as much as I can to get an idea but not much makes sense to me unfortunately. I'm even visiting websites such as www.nchealthagency.com even if I'm not a resident of North Carolina...yet. That's how desperate I am to know what's out there. I've been hearing from people I know that their insurance are dropping them after this year and that they need to look for a new one before that if they want to stay covered. And from what they're saying the new premiums they'll need to pay are just very high. We haven't received anything from our insurance yet. As it is, we're not happy with our current one but what choice do we have. Needless to say, I'm not looking forward to receiving that letter our health insurance may send us in the near future.

A Different Halloween

For the past 11 years our little one who is not so little anymore donned a costume for Halloween. We also went trick or treatin' for most of those 11 years. There were a couple of years we weren't able to go. The first time was because of hubby's work and the second time was because of the time mix-up. We never went trick or treatin' around our neighborhood because we didn't have enough neighbors that gave out candies so we always went to the mall to do it. We could have gone to other villages/neighborhoods like what others did but we thought the mall was more secure and safer and convenient for us. There was always a big crowd there so it was more fun to watch and see kids [and some oldies sometimes] running around.

Anyway, this year the 'tradition' stops. Our little one won't be donning a costume anymore. She was already a bit awkward last year when she was going around at the mall because she was one of the tallest [if not the tallest] in line. So this year when it was brought up, we simply said she may just be a wee bit 'old' to be asking for candies...and she agreed. I actually expected a little bit of resistance from her but none came. I guess she also feels the same way. We'll still go to the mall to watch other kids in costume because that's practically why she enjoyed it anyway...the costume. Dad also promised to get her a bag of candies. So yep, this will be one different Halloween for us. Hopefully she'll enjoy it nonetheless. That's all that matters to us anyway.

What Next?

One of our neighbors is starting to concern us. There seems to be a lot of different kinds of people coming and going in their house. On a regular day, there are about 3 or 4 different cars parked in their driveway or in front of their house. But that's not the only reason we're starting to be concerned about. Recently they pitched a couple of tents in their property as well as parked a gooseneck trailer in their backyard. I'm not sure if anyone actually stays in the tent but it's odd to see them there for about a week now. We know they are very active in their church so that may have something to do with it. We're just hoping that they won't start bringing in homeless people or worse yet use their house for rehab purposes. Hubby said to pay close attention to what's going on there because we're just never sure how it will affect the peace and quiet we so love out here. I'm hoping those tents and trailers are there temporarily or else code enforcement will definitely come knocking on their doors.

Pleasant

I guess that about sums up the weekend weather we're having at the moment. And where are we spending it? At home! We also stayed home yesterday because the man of the house had to go to his 'day job'. No complaints here because I know they need all the work they can get. That's how small businesses roll unfortunately. They can't really choose when to work or not to work. Well, they can...if they're willing to lose customers. Hubs is not about to do that even if it means giving up his weekends every now and then.

Anyway, today we're all home. I'm actually feeling a wee bit 'off'. Tired mostly because I had a hard time catching that elusive 'zzzz'. The thing with me is no matter what time I fall asleep, I wake up the same time everyday. I just feel 'heavy' literally when I go past 8 o'clock. I'm not sure if it's only me but I get that feeling like I'm sinking in bed at 8 AM. Weird, huh? Oh well. I'd probably be taking a nap here in a few...and that's an order from up above [DH] because I keep whining about how tired I feel.

Bigger Space

That's what they're going to need soon if they get the latest job they've been quoting anyway. Hubby started looking around for a possible place to transfer their shop. Aside from looking for a new shop, he's also looking into getting new and bigger rectangular mounts they can use once they move. They've been in the current shop since they opened some 6 years ago and the mounts they have are worn out already. He thinks this will be the perfect time to replace them with brand new ones so they won't have to move those as well. They have a lot of machines that need rectangular mounts so he's trying to do his research before buying. As for me, I'm just crossing my fingers that they find a place big enough because the one they're renting at the moment is definitely cramped.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Corn Maize

Finally! Something we can do that's right in our neighborhood.

A few months ago we noticed what used to be an empty piece of land was being prepped for something. At first we didn't know what they were trying to do with it. Then we started seeing some crops growing on it. The crops were growing faster than normal so we kept on guessing what they could be. We thought they're corn but they were too close together and it wasn't making sense to us why someone will grow corn that way. Then a few of weeks ago signs started coming up saying that there's a CORN MAIZE being opened. That's when it all started coming together. The crops are indeed corn but not the regular corn we know of. These corns are planted not for their kernels but for a 'maze'...which was opened to the public a couple of weeks ago.

Yep, we have a corn maize right in our neighborhood and that's a first since we moved here. It's kind of cool because we didn't have to drive far to find something to do last weekend.

So after lunch last Sunday, we decided to walk over there. Yep, we just walked. It's not that far and it's a good way for us to see our neighborhood on foot. We've never done that actually. We've gone around a couple of times on our trikes but not on foot. Anyway, there was a crowd there already since the place opened in the morning. We walked around first to check what the place has to offer . There was face painting, some food stalls [hotdogs, bbq, etc] and a train ride for kids. We didn't do any of those. After a few minutes of walking around we decided to do the maize. We were given this 'Maize-O-Poly' as we entered the maize and the map of the maize itself.

 


We were supposed to punch holes as we come across those pictures...and punched we did because we came across all of them. Hubby was leading of course because if I led, we would have never made it out...haha. Anyway, we had fun going around it. Hubby wanted to get lost so even when the clue says 'left', we'd go right. As a result, it took us twice as long to find our way out. The little one had fun because she likes adventures like that. The only complain we had...it got too hot so we were drenched in sweat when we got out of there.

One of the 'corn cops' said that before they close it late next month, they're going to hold a 'night maize'. He said it would be pitch black with only the required overhead spotlight. That means that we will need flashlights to find our way around the maize that time. Somebody got really excited upon hearing that. Clue: It's not me. Ha! Oh...the corn cop also mentioned that come Spring, they're going to plant some sunflowers for yet another maize. That I can't wait to see....

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Ball of Fire

Literally.



We headed out yesterday evening for an appointment. As we were driving down the highway, I couldn't help but take a picture of the center of our universe. It was almost 7 o'clock at night and it was still shining oh so bright prompting our driver to put on his cool shades because it was blinding him. I told him to get closer to it but he couldn't [and he was driving fast too]. I wonder why. Tee hee....Anyway, I was actually surprised to still see that much of the sun out at that time now that it's Fall already. I thought it would be nestled in it's resting place by 6 o'clock but it's not. Oh well. It won't be long before it starts setting much earlier.

On another note, the appointment we went to was by far the fastest we had in ages. The appointment was at 7 and we got there a little after 7 and we were the only people waiting. Things started rolling almost as soon as we got in and we were out there before 7:30. What???? Yep, in and out in under half an hour. How cool is that? We were home at about 8 PM. Woot!  How I wish all our appointments will be that short and sweet. But they won't. Especially if it's at a doctor's office....like this one.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone...

Competency

That's one of the things we always look for when we hire someone to do our taxes. When hubby didn't have a small business to run, he always did our taxes. We just didn't see the need of paying someone do it since it was just simple tax preparations. When he started his own company, he decided to hire someone to do both our personal as well as their company's taxes which worked out for a few years. For a reason that I won't divulge here, we decided to find another accountant a couple of years ago. It's working out fine until we got a letter from the IRS recently. It's all taken cared of now but needless to say, we are again looking for another accountant. We've come across several accountants online like Carson Thorn but we're taking our time in hiring the next one. I know there are a lot of good accountants out there but we want to make sure that our experience with our latest one won't happen again. Hopefully we'll be able to find one soon so the one we have can be replaced already. When we got that letter from IRS, I knew that the competency of this current one is definitely questionable.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What Sad News

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Philippines this past Tuesday morning. Just like any other earthquake, this one took everyone by surprise. I heard about it on Tuesday morning here when I turned the TV on at around 7 AM. I don't think my family in Luzon felt it because they're quite far from the epicenter which is in the Visayas. Still it didn't lessen the sadness I felt because it happened in my homeland and so many people perished because of this natural calamity.

Growing up I was always scared of earthquakes. Who wouldn't? Unlike typhoons and floods that always came with some kind of a warning, an earthquake is like a thief in the night that can strike without warning. The worst earthquake I've experienced though didn't happen back home but in Taiwan. It was measured 7.6 in the Richter scale. To make it even worse, it happened in the middle of the night and I was living in an apartment located on the fifth floor of the building. I was of course fast asleep when it happened and I remember getting up to turn the light on in my room. As I got up, I felt like sliding down and it scared the bejesus out of me. It took me a couple of seconds to realize there was an earthquake.  As soon as it stopped, my flat mates and I ran downstairs just to be on the safe side. We only went back upstairs a couple hours later when we felt it was all over. Of course it wasn't because there were aftershocks afterwards. Thousands perished in the earthquake.

Anyway, I can only pray for all those affected by this natural calamity. I am hoping and praying that the number of casualties as a result of this earthquake don't increase anymore and that the aftershocks don't brings anymore damages.

To Hire or Not...

Nowadays it's very easy to document everything...way too easy sometimes actually. Why not when every little gadget has a camera installed in it already. The pictures and/or videos are instant and we can re-take them right away if we're not happy with the outcomes. But is that a reason not to hire professionals anymore to cover special events or occasions in our life? I for one don't think so. I would still hire say, a wedding photographer raleigh, to take pictures of my wedding just to be sure they are professionally done. I don't think it's a good idea to take chances on such an important event especially if it's a once in a lifetime thing and something that's been planned for months if not years. I actually know of someone who did that. Instead of hiring a professional, she took a friend's offer to take the pictures on her wedding. Needless to say, she regretted that decision big time because the pictures didn't come out as good as she wanted them. Oh well. Can you say lesson learned?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fall-like Temps!

FINALLY!

We still get mid to higher 80s most days but the mornings are getting cooler [colder to me] as the days go by. I can feel it every morning when the husband leaves for work and everytime I go out in the back porch to do my hula hooping. I may have to take my hula hooping indoors pretty soon because I don't really like the cold breeze hitting me when I'm perspiring. It feels comfortable for now. I'll wait and see if it's time for me to 'relocate'...my hula hooping venue, that is.

It's Thursday already. It looks like we won't be able to go anywhere far this weekend because our driver has to work. Some 'rush' jobs came in earlier this week so they have to come in over the weekend to work on them. Hubby couldn't be any happier because it's been kind of slow the past several weeks as far as the in-flow of work is concerned. Well, that's about to change because they're expecting a lot of it in the coming months. Our road trip is still up in the air but knowing him, we may just take off without any warning. Like I said before, that's more to my liking because I tend to overthink the preps for a trip. At least if it's unplanned, I don't feel any guilt if I forget to bring, say a toothbrush. Ha! Anyway, hubby wants to go on a road trip during the time when the leaves are changing colors so that would be between now and December? Last time we went, it was ALMOST that time of the year but not quite. This time around we want to make sure that we'll see a lot of pretty colors along the way. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Cloudy with a Chance of....

...rain of course. Yesterday was the same. We had bouts of rain every few hours. The rain would only last for a few minutes but it's pouring when it happened. It's a good thing for our barely month old dogwood tree in the backyard because it was droopy for a few days. With all the water it's getting, it now looks very happy...so yay!

So the weekend came and went and I wasn't able to post anything here, eh? I just didn't feel like writing that's why. Anyhooo...nothing exciting happened over the weekend. We went driving around on Saturday though. We ended up in a park in another county and we did a short nature walk in the park. The park was like a ghost town. It's surprising since it's a Saturday and we only saw a total of 4 people in there and one of them is someone that works at the park. I guess people assumed it will be closed because of the shutdown. It's pretty sad actually. Anyway  back to our short trek. It was supposed to be an hour long trek but we decided to take the 'short loop' because we weren't actually dressed to be going on a trek. There are a lot of bugs there and when hubby heard mosquitoes buzzing around us, he decided we should turn back already...and we did.

In the coming weekends, we may just do a long drive again and head somewhere north of us again. I'm not sure where yet but there's a big chance we may go back to Georgia. It was the same time last year when we were doing the same thing and we feel it's time to do it again. The little one has been asking us since forever when we're doing it again. She enjoyed our trips to GA so she can't wait to go back there again. It's the perfect time to do it now because it's not that busy at hubby's work but they're about to get busy again in a month or so. I guess we should really take that trip sooner than later then, eh? I better start packing ASAP...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Busy

I guess that sums it up. It's not work related but something more important. The little one's annual evaluation was last Monday so we had to review to prepare for it. We spent last week [plus some weekend] and most of Monday reviewing. It was stressful....to me being the 'teacher'. To her...not so much. I kind of remind me of my Gr. 6 teacher when I was reviewing for an academic contest. She was all stressed out and I was just chilling during our review time. I always had the feeling that it frustrated her that I wasn't as stressed as she was. What can I say...I was in Gr. 6 and all I wanted to do was to get it over with so I could play. Yep, same situation I'm having with the little one now....except the roles are reversed now. Woe is me, eh?

Anyway, everything turned out great. She's always exceeding her evaluator's expectations. She's now ready to move to the next level which is 8th grade. I personally feel she's not ready yet so I'm still going to get her both Gr. 7 & 8 materials. I believe her evaluator asked me to 'take it easy'. Easier said than done I must say. I always have this feeling that we're not doing enough. Or maybe that's just me. Ugh!

Catching Up

One of the people I got really close to when I was still teaching in Taiwan just gave me a call last week. She's here for both business and pleasure. For the business part she's attending a trade show in the west coast because her son is into selling jewelry wholesale and they're able to secure a booth in that trade show. What a great timing for their business because the holiday season is about to kick off. Hopefully they'll be able to get clients out of this trip.For the pleasure part of the trip, she's visiting her other children who now reside here. Anyway, she was like a mother to me when we were working together so it was a nice surprise to hear her voice again after so many years. Too bad their schedule is so packed that a trip on this part of the country is not in their itinerary this time around. She promised though that if and when they visit this part, we'll definitely get together. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that of course.