Food. It Makes Me Happy.

March 30, 2011
Food, much like sunshine makes me happy. I have missed it these past 12 weeks. Our efforts have been worthwhile, however. I have lost 13 lbs, and I am now able to see a difference. Clothes are fitting better, some are even too big. Soon, I'll have to dig out some older stuff I had outgrown. Frank has had tremendous success. He has exceeded his first goal by losing 35.5 pounds. He feels great, and he's in need of a new wardrobe. He will hold off and settle with a few new staples because he has another goal in mind. This loss, puts him and his team in the running for first place in the "Get Fit Challenge" it will take a couple weeks to tally the results and announce the winning team, but Frank's team is hopeful. They have a good chance.

Yesterday, we celebrated the completion of the "strict healthy lifestyle" with lunch at Raising Cane's. We both enjoyed the fried salty goodness. Then, for dinner, we kicked off our "everything in moderation, but with health still in mind lifestyle" with Italian beef sandwiches and hot dogs from Windy City Beefs N Dog. Boy, did that hit the spot!

Then, we were off to the Artisan for a Yelp event. I've driven by the boutique hotel hundreds of times, but I've never actually been. I've heard it's a neat place for drinks, but I never understood until I stepped inside. The event that brought us here had a "Clue" theme. The location was perfect. It's dark, ornate, and there are so many areas to discover. Beyond the lounge, patio, and restaurant, there is also a library, indoor and outdoor chapel and pool area. We were divided into teams and each team had to complete a list of challenges, when done successfully we earned clues to solve the murder that had taken place. Our team finished in second. If it weren't for a small hiccup, we would have solved the crime first. Mr. Green was the culprit. Funnily, that was the character Frank went as, I should've know it was him all along. It was good fun! Artisan was great for letting us have the run of the place. Frank and I must return to try Mood, which is the restaurant there. I'd even consider staying at the hotel, rates are from $59. It's definitely a departure from the usual Las Vegas vibe.

Raffles are always held at these events. This time, Frank and I both won prizes. I won tickets to Rent tonight at Green Valley Ranch. Frank won a toy revolver. It's actually perfect, because I know a special little boy that will love to have it. It was a great way to end a nice day filled with fun and tasty eats. Especially, the eats.

Aches & Age

March 29, 2011
It's probably coincidental, but I ache far worse at 31 than I did at any age before. Two days of pampering couldn't even prepare me. The first was Friday, Frank arranged an 80 minute massage at Bally's Spa. I enjoyed the steam room and sauna beforehand. Then, on Saturday, we checked into the Platinum. We were long overdue for a staycation. It did not disappoint. We lounged, lazed and melted away in the jacuzzi tub. We toasted with prosecco and enjoyed super dark chocolate. It felt like we were a million miles from home, but we were practically in our backyard.

Sunday rolled around and it was back to reality. The yard work we put off all winter needed tending. We were at it all day, only quitting when we filled every square inch of the 5 garbage cans we have. Frank also trimmed the palms and trees. We had a collected a massive pile that took up the easement and side walk. I bet our garbage men wish we had moved. They hate us. They didn't even take all we left for them. Frank broke down the one tree branch they refused to take, and it filled every last garbage can once again.

Between all the pruning, raking, and weed pulling. My body ached like never before come Monday morning. As a matter of fact, I'm still hurting as I type. My cardio 3x a week certainly hasn't prepared me for these aches of a 31 year old (I'm a little afraid of what's to come). I'm left wishing for a repeat of those two days of pampering. While that won't be happening, fortunately, there is a hot tub calling my name.

30 + 1

March 25, 2011
Today, I turn 31. It's hard to believe it's been a decade since I turned 21. I remember that day well. When I arrived at work, my office was decorated with streamers and balloons. We had cake in my honor. That night, Frank gave me a beautiful silver necklace with a heart charm that was filled with an aquamarine stone. Then, we went out to Empress Casino in Joliet, IL. It made me miss Las Vegas terribly. I didn't have a drop of luck. Fortunately, Frank netted a win on Cleopatra nickel slots. My favorite machines were taken. I ordered an Amaretto Stone Sour and smoked to pass time. I waited and waited. "Eh, I'll get my fill in Las Vegas in a few months," I thought. And a few months later, I did just that.

Much has changed since my 21st birthday. I've moved across the country and made Las Vegas home. I no longer drink Amaretto Stone Sours or smoke. I grown quite a bit and learned a lot (and I'm still growing and learning).

Frank asked me a short while ago what would 30 year old Kellee tell her 20 year old self?

Without hesitation "Quit smoking!" was my first reply. After a few seconds of thought I rattled off the following:

"Real estate is not a good, nor safe investment."
"Your parents approval matters none."
"You can only live life for yourself."
"Oh, and I don't cut your hair. It takes too damn long to grow back."

Since then, I'd add, "owning a home isn't all that it's cracked up to be."

As I head deeper into my 30's I'd like to remind myself to never be apologetic for the life I lead. My decisions have led me here. I've learned from the failures and I've celebrated the joys. This is the life I have chosen. I have earned it. I have every right to be proud, and relish every moment.

Cabo Wabo is Rockin'

I love restaurants with good music. Stack and Yard House always fit the bill. I didn't expect to like my latest find, Cabo Wabo Cantina. I'm usually adverse to touristy chains, but a few deserve their praises. Sammy Hagar's joint does just that. It has a relaxed vibe, yet it's still lively. No cover for live entertainment, drink specials, and reasonably priced Mexican fare make it A-OK in my book. Learn more at Vegas Values: Name This Hotspot.

A Banned Wishlist

March 24, 2011

Forget about banning social media and the like in the workplace. Let's talk about banning workplace pet peeves and annoyances. What are the things that drive you mad while you're earning that almighty dollar? If you could ban anything in the workplace, what would it be?

Here's my wishlist:

Ringtones. First of all, your cell should be on vibrate. Ringing can be obnoxious enough, but no one wants to listen to T-Pain's Apple Bottom Jeans 101 times a day. Especially, not me. Seriously, this may just drive me to the loony bin one day.

Microwaving fish or burning popcorn. I honestly have no idea which is worse. They both linger and the stink lasts for days. What is worse is burnt popcorn and microwaving fish in the same day. I didn't think the office would ever shake that stench.

Repetitive noise. It's a personal pet peeve that drives me bonkers. It can be the same song over and over. Tapping of a pen or foot. Chirping of missed call or low battery.

Strong perfume or cologne. I shouldn't smell you coming or going. I shouldn't smell you in a room you left or while walking down the hall as I near your office. Besides your strong scent wreaking havok on my allergies, it also makes me wonder what you are hiding with a scent so powerful.

Whining. We are all adults. Start acting like it.

Craft Beers n' More

March 23, 2011
Last Friday came and went, and I failed to share my LLV article. It completely slipped my mind. So, for your Wednesday reading enjoyment check out Vegas Values: Miller's Ale House.

Learning Curve

March 22, 2011
Saturday night my photography class took a field trip to Fremont Street. A dozen of us gathered under the dome at Plaza, cameras and tripods in hand. What a ghost town that place was, it's kinda eery during construction. I expect the renovations will breathe new life into the joint, but I digress.

Our first task was to snap photos of the Golden Gate by shooting at lowest ISO and adjusting the white balance to daylight.





Our first assignment was to shoot the "Red Barn" and I thought I had my shot locked up, but my instructor quickly pointed out that the neon was overexposed. I didn't even notice my huge oversight. I was completely blind to it on the display. I had to try again.



After adjusting my exposure compensation I was able to better expose the neon. Downside was that a few bums took up residence and I couldn't duplicate my shot. I worked around them the best I could.



By the way, everyone was interested in what we were doing; I had 5 people come up to me alone. A dozen people with cameras on tripods draws a lot of attention. I also had these clowns jump in and model for me. "Work it."





The next assignment was to get a shot of "The Flame" sign from the top of the flame all the way to the bottom of the arrow and have every tube of neon lit.

I did it, but I'm really disappointed with its sharpness.



Our last assignment was to shoot "the Milkman" with the neon properly exposed and show that even though it glows bright red it is also painted white.



My camera doesn't have much for flash compensation so I did the best I could. I was so focused on that I didn't pay much attention to composition. Bummer.

We were free to shoot whatever after that...











Although, I'm not terribly proud of my shots from this outing, I took a lot away from the experience. As it turns out shooting at night took me out of my element. I had never used a tripod before and I quickly learned I much prefer to shoot on foot. Night shots, at least for me, require a different thought process and skill set to achieve the ideal shot. There is a definite learning curve to this photography thing after all. I got my money's worth out of this class on this field trip.

Mondays should be optional

March 21, 2011
This weekend flew by in serious warp speed. Someone also stole our Spring and replaced it with another taste of Winter. It's been a dreary, windy, and cool weekend... rains started last night and the mountains were all snowy this morning. Last week's nice weather was just a tease. Boo. I didn't get very much accomplished, I hardly tackled anything I anticipated. Oh well. Time just wasn't on my side.

Friday, I met the Vegas Message Board gang over at the Cosmopolitan. We gathered in a gorgeous suite on the 38th floor of the East Tower. The views from the balcony were stunning. It was breezy and cool, but the neon kept me warm. Good times and good conversations were had. It's always fun meeting up with friends new and old. I'm already looking forward to next year.













Frank never joined me at the party. He was too exhausted when he finally got off work. It was an extremely busy day. It was record breaking, most tickets written and highest volume to date, I do believe. It exceeded Super Bowl for sure. It's a good sign... visitors are not only coming, but they seem to be spending a bit more.

New Gear

March 18, 2011
I upgraded to a Nikon d40 last summer. I decided then that I would wait until I was comfortable with the camera and kit lens before investing money in new lenses and accessories. After several months of tinkering with the camera, I finally felt comfortable enough to fork over the cash for new gear.

I had two lenses on my wishlist, a 35mm f/1.8 dx and a 55-200mm vr. They're priced similarly and each serves a different purpose, but I was fortunate that my choice was made easy when the 35mm lens was out of stock. I could find it on more expensive sites, but I can be patient if it means saving pennies. I ordered the 55-200mm lens. It arrived earlier this week. I toyed with it in the backyard, but it was really too small of area to see its full potential. It'll take time getting used to it, but I think it'll serve me well.

In my photography class I learned about a Graduated ND Filter. It's a filter that transitions from gray to clear, this allows you darken a bright sky so that both the sky and subject can be properly exposed. Achieving that proper balance has given me much grief, particularly when we were at Zion. Since I enjoy landscapes so, I thought this might be a filter I'll benefit from. When buying my lens, I was able to get one deeply discounted as a special promotion. Timing was perfect.

Now, that I have this new gear I knew my purse wasn't going to cut it anymore. I needed a camera bag for convenience and protection for my gear. Friends have bought and liked bags by Crumpler. There were aspects I liked, and those I disliked. So, I kept looking... I fell for bags by Epiphanie. Belle, in particular. But her cost was twice the price of the 5MDH by Crumpler. Both bags gave me sticker shock. I typically pay $20 for my purses. The price of camera bags was a hard pill to swallow, but I need to protect my investment. Cameras and equipment aren't cheap. So, I kept hemming and hawwing over the pros and cons of each bag. Neither sold me. I was forced to search for an alternative. I poured over dozens of options, it really grew exhausting. I felt like Goldilocks "too big" "too small". Finally, I stumbled on a compromise on Kelly Moore. The B-Hobo bag was smaller than many I was considering, it was stylish for everyday, and it seems like it will be comfortable wearing it as a messenger style bag for those times I want my handsfree. I was able to use a discount code and I can return it in 10 days if I'm not satisfied. I was sold.

Hopefully, it will be love at first sight because I don't want to start this camera bag search all over again. I thought choosing lenses were tough. Cake by comparison, I swear.

Luck O' the Irish

March 17, 2011
Happy St. Patrick's Day! I kinda wish I was in Chicago today. Not just for that Southside Irish Pride, but because the Dirty Heads are playing at the House of Blues tonight. My brother will be there, he'll fill me in on the good times missed. Ah well. Hopefully, they'll announce a Vegas date. I keep hoping for another show at the Henderson Pavilion. That was such a great venue...

Things are beginning to settle down for me. It's such a relief that this house stuff is nearly behind us. As of Wednesday we were no longer homeowner's, given our history with real estate, this made me extraordinarily happy. We signed our lease and finally sent off payment today. No fault of ours, it's just that our landlord takes eons to respond. Joys of renting, I suppose. Trust me. I can deal. The last matter of business is receipt of an executed copy of the lease and confirmation of payment. I expect to wait eons. At least, I'm anticipating the delay this time. Once it is all settled I will utter the biggest sigh of relief. I cannot wait.

It's really a fortunate situation, we didn't have to leave our home, and we'll be saving hundreds of dollars each month on rent alone. Plus, we no longer pay taxes, sewer, trash or homeowner's insurance. Our renter's policy is a fraction of our former policy. The best part is we didn't have to pack and deal with the hassles of moving. I was dreading that most of all. We're staying put for two years. So, I have time before we revist the thought of moving.

The luck o' the Irish must have been with us.

This weekend it's time to tackle the projects that we've put off, we've let so much fall by the wayside because we weren't sure how much longer we'd be in the house. We weren't going to turn over a perfectly manicured lawn and landscaping, and a spotless home to new owners. Now, I need to clean the showers, baseboards, ceiling fans, and stove. Frank cut the grass, and laid down new seed in thin patches earlier this week. Sunday, I'll address the flower beds and give room for new life to the roses.

Spring is here, it's time to get ready for summer which is near. Woot.

Winning, duh.

March 15, 2011
Our friend, Chris, joined Frank and I for our annual visit to see Shane and the White Sox in spring training. We hit the road about 3:30 on Friday. Our time change came early. We turned back the clocks as soon as we crossed over to Arizona. There is less construction since the last visit to Phoenix. We made the drive in 4.5 hours, but stopped for dinner at In-N-out in Kingman. It was our first double double of the year. Believe me when I say it hit the spot. Chris had just had it two days before so he wasn't nearly as thrilled as Frank and I. We pressed on, and arrived at Shane's. We settled in, and shared our fascination over Charlie Sheen's antics by showing them the "Winning Recipes" video.

His quotes set the tone for our whole weekend. That, and Five Guys innuendo, which we never tire of since we're all apparently 15, still. We went to Scoreboards, darts and our regular table was taken. We opted to play Buzztime Trivia to occupy our time while we slung back adonis juice, also known as Kronenbourg. The four of us had fun choosing names, all but Shane's were courtesy of Charlie's Sheens more popular lines... Warlock, Winduh, FSTBALL. Shane was taint. It took 20 tries before a name he suggested was actually accepted. He was seated between Frank and me, so I had to ask, "which one of us is the asshole and the dick?" He never did give me an answer, imagine that. After a few beers, the guys got snacky. It was early enough that the kitchen was still open, we ordered fried cheese curds, sweet potato fries and jalapeno caps. All of which we're surprisingly good. The caps gave me hiccups, I didn't realize they were truly spicy. Probably should've tried one before popping a handful in my mouth. Fortunately, the torture only lasted 10 minutes or so, although it felt like eternity. Hiccups are killer. We played more trivia and had a couple more beers. The music transitioned from country to rock, and then, non-stop rap, which turned us off. We left before last call, a rarity for us. I was too sober for Jack in the Box so I passed, but they all got food. Back at Shane's they ate, and we watched ridiculous videos on the internet. Afterwards, we got our beauty sleep so we'd be ready for our White Sox.

Saturday, once we were up and out we went to a Mexican restaurant for an early lunch. I cannot recall the name of the place. It was Americanized, edible, but nothing special. I had a cheese enchilada and corn tamale, Frank had a chimichanga. We did enjoy dining outdoors, it was 85 and gorgeous.

After lunch we drove out to Camelback Ranch, the new home of the Chicago White Sox spring training camp. Great park, with roomy seating. They even sell Vienna beef Chicago dogs.

















The White Sox tend to lose all the spring training games we catch. Saturday's game was no different. Win or lose it's an enjoyable outing. I love the intimate feel of the smaller parks. Plus, it's good fun. From now on we'll catch all spring training games at Camelback park, we liked it that much.

After the game, we went to Coasters and Castles for mini-golf. We played two courses. Frank, Chris and Shane bet on each hole. Good times. We worked up a hunger and decided on Dillion's BBQ for dinner. Shane had never been, but it's top rated. We had to wait for a table, we asked if there was a bar and we were directed around the corner. We finished our beers, and I began to wonder if they had been calling us. Frank went to check. Sure enough, our table was ready, they completely ignored the fact we said we'd be at the bar. We ordered, everyone but me got ribs, I ordered burnt ends since I never had it, it's basically leftover pieces of smoked brisket. We also ordered onion rings and toasted ravioli stuffed with jalapeno cheese. The starters were tasty! Then, confusion ensued. We were told they only had enough ribs for 2 orders, but after much back-n-forth then said they had enough. During this, we were told it was our fault for seating at 8:00, if we want ribs we should come earlier. Wow, great customer service. Everyone got what they ordered said and done. I did not like my burnt ends, they had great Mac-n-cheese, though. The ribs were nicely smoked. Not bad, but I'm so spoiled by the great value of Ellis Island's ribs.

After dinner, we stopped at Albertson's for a beer run. The guys played video games. I had a stomach ache and the games made me doze, so I went to bed shortly after. The guys stayed up and played a bit longer.

Sunday, we kept tradition and had an early lunch at Mr. Goodcents. They have footlong subs for $3.99. You can't beat it. A bit later, we went to Surprise Stadium for the Giants vs. Rangers game. We caught games there last year so we were familiar with the park, but we knew it'd be crowded but we didn't expect a sellout. It was like an ant farm with the crowd moving all around. I enjoy it better when it's relaxed. Anyway, I told Frank I was rooting for the Giants, so he chose to root for the Rangers. We had a good rivalry going between us.









Giants won! During the game, Frank went on a hunt for nachos. They didn't have any. How does a ballpark not have nachos? He came back with Italian sausage instead. The highlight was the peppers and onions. The sausage itself was so bad it made me question if it was Italian sausage. It could've passed for a bratwurst. Finding cinnamon roasted nuts was winning, however. I loved the nuts at the Cardinals football stadium these tasted just as good.

Back at Shane's we packed up and said so long until next time. We stopped near the Joshua tree forest for photos, it was the start of golden hour and Frank thought I should take advantage of the light. The bummer was much of the forest was fenced off.











After a few hours drive and another stop in Kingman for In-N-out we were home. I love spring training, it's a preview of what's to come. Not just with baseball, but the nice weather, too.

Madness

March 11, 2011
I can't believe March Madness is soon upon us. These months tick by like seconds on a clock. This means my birthday is right around the corner, too. Geez... another older and wiser, I suppose.

Anyway, after a brief hiatus I'm back with a Living-Las-Vegas column this week, Vegas Values: Shenanigans & Hoopla.

Frank's "Get Fit Challenge" is a few weeks from wrapping up and I'm eager to put it behind us. I miss food. Not that I want to gorge myself silly or anything, but I want to give into those cravings every now and then. I really do want to continue a healthy life style, and I plan to support Frank in reaching his ultimate weightloss goal. But I love the break dining out provides, I love the experience of enjoying a favorite or trying a new restaurant. When done in moderation I see no issue with it. Hopefully, it won't be long before I have tasty eats to share again.

Last night, we bowled with a group of Frank's co-workers. It was good fun! When we came home Frank turned on the tv, then the mood quickly changed when CNN cut to the Breaking News of Japan's earthquake. We watched the images of lighting and signs shaking. Concern didn't really strike until I recalled that Japan is equipped for quakes, but it is tsunamis that are devasting. Minutes later, they switched feeds and we watched the tsunami hit in real time. It was surreal. We found ourselves yelling at the TV for gawkers standing on a bridge to get the hell out before they were hit by the wake of devastation. Boats and buildings crumbled in an instant. I had never seen anything like it. My heart goes out to all of those affected.

ABC's

March 10, 2011
Without much to share, I leave you Abc's about me.

(A) Age: 30
(B) Bed Size: California King
(C) Chore You Really Dislike: Scrubbing the shower
(D) Dogs – Allergic.
(E) Essential Start Your Day Item: Brush teeth
(F) Favorite Color: Blue
(G) Gold or Silver? Silver
(H) Height: 5'3”
(I) Instruments You Play: None
(J) Job Title: Project Administrator
(K) Kids: Love ‘em, but not convinced I want my own
(L) Live: Live like there is no tomorrow
(M) Mom’s Name: Patricia
(N) Nicknames: Kelbel or belle
(O) Overnight Hospital Stays? A few, last time my appendix was removed
(P) Pet Peeve: People who don’t wash their hands. Gross.
(Q) Quote: Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning - Albert Einstein
(R) Right or Left Handed? I write right, but much else is done with left
(S) Siblings: Brother (23) and sister (21)
(T) Time You Wake Up? 6:30
(U) Underwear: Yes, I wear ‘em. They’re not grannie panties, either.
(V) Vegetable You Dislike: Peas
(W) What Makes You Run Late: Snooze button
(X) X-Rays: Many! Last, was my ankle.
(Y) Yummy Food You Make: Gouda pork chops are my winning dish
(Z) Zoo, Favorite Animal: Monkey

Hushed

March 8, 2011
"Zip it!" That's what my instructor told me during photography class on Saturday. We went over introductions and a few basics, then we delved in critiquing photos. It turns out my knowledge on photography is advanced compared to the rest of the class. I'm also comfortable in sharing my opinion. We were told to share our gut instinct "like or dislike" and then we were asked why we felt that way. The first photo had bokeh that was distracting so I said so. The instructor was taken aback and the students appeared dumbfounded.

Apparently, I uttered words that were never used in Digital Photography II before. Later, I was praised for my ability to assess composition, nice exposure and lighting. Three photos in, he heard enough from me. He wanted the rest of the class to have a chance. It's not that I didn't offer them an opportunity, I just broke the silence. Still, I honored his request and kept my lips zipped. The rest of the class was pretty quiet. When the silence became deafening, I couldn't resist, I had to speak up "If I can speak now? I have an opinion." "Go ahead," the instructor answered slowly. He agreed with my thoughts on the given photo. It's clear, I can pinpoint strengths and weakenesses of other's photos, it remains to be seen if I do the same with my own.

I'm not sure how much I'll learn during this course, but I do suspect I'll tweak my technique and the critiques will be beneficial. That is something I've been seeking for quite sometime. I've established my style and I know what I like to shoot, but it's hard for me to see what I can improve without constructive criticism. I'm excited to see what I take away from the experience after classes are complete.

Sunday, we went out to my mom's in Pahrump. We helped her with a couple things around the house, Frank cut down the remaining dead pine and then we endured the task of burning dead trees. Piles have been scattered all around her property since she moved in last May. The window of safe burning is pretty tight. We made a good dent, but there is still much to be done. I took advantage of the trees and fire, and got started on my first photography assignment. We simply need 4 or 5 photos straight out of camera. That's it! Sounds easy enough, but the hard part is choosing 4 or 5.

















Back at it!

March 7, 2011
I'm finally feeling better. I'm still sneezy and I have a slight tickle in my throat, but I feel world's better. A healthy dose of warmth and sunshine this weekend must have done the trick.

Before I get ahead of myself by sharing weekend details, let me tell a bit about our visit to Chicago.

It was really great seeing family and old friends. Nicky has grown a bunch, he's all boy, too. He's all about video games and playing cops. Frank got very little time with Nick, since he had his own family to see. We had good fun, but honestly, I like it better when they visit. I get more one-on-one time. It's so hectic running around trying to see everyone.

We sent out an open invite to a local bar for a meet-n-greet of sorts, our friends came and went all night - well, until last call, that is. We hadn't seen some in a few years, others since our wedding, and a handful since high school. Sharing old memories over drinks with good company is priceless, truly.

Weather was chilly to us, but everyone else said it was fairly nice. We saw it snow, rain, thunder and ice storm. I had forgotten how bleak winter can be... everything is dead, there is no color. Our first morning back at home I was so relieved to see sunshine, green grass, and even, flowers were blooming.

We ate at a lot of our old favorites, a few hit the spot like calzones from Bartolini's and Nicky's gyros and hot dogs. Some were disappointing, however. Our Chinese place was blah. Giordano's was bland. Greek Island in Greektown wasn't nearly as good as I hoped. I will never eat White Castles again. They made me terribly sick. Not even yummy jalapeno cheeseburgers are worth it.



I'm glad we went, it was nice catching up. I'm over visits in February, though. Next time, I have to plan for a nice month like May. Must remember that!

Wish I Was Enjoying It

March 4, 2011
The weather has been so nice, it feels like spring is here. It is especially nice after spending a week in the chilly windy city. Everyone kept telling us it wasn't too bad and expressed how we missed the snowstorm. "Trust me, I didn't miss a thing." It's been in the 70's the last couple days and the warmth is supposed to continue thru the weekend. I wish I was enjoying it, but instead I've been curled up under blankets and sleeping much of the time we've been back. Not sure if I snagged some germies, if the cold wore me down or if allergies are simply wreaking havoc. Either way, I've felt like crap for days. I'm breaking down and seeing the doctor today. There is too much going on, I don't have time to be sick.

We got word on the house, the offer has been accepted. Closing will likely fall on my birthday if not before. We are trying to negotiate staying in the house and renting from the buyers, but it's been difficult because they are in China. I'd really like to hear back today, we only have 3 weeks until closing. If we have to move, we need to pack and find a place to live. Our timeline is made even shorter because we have plans to visit Phoenix and March Madness is near... Frank will be working around the clock during Madness.

So much is floating around in this foggy head of mine. I want to feel better. I want answers. I want to enjoy this lovely weather. I hate when things are beyond my control.

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