September 2010 Archives

How To Remove Water Stains From Wood

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I wanted to share with you something I learned recently from my friend Google.

It was my birthday on Saturday.  My parents and sisters came to visit me this past weekend to celebrate.  As I was cleaning up in preparation, I moved a plant from the wood window seat to it's proper plant stand.  I had watered it about a week earlier, in the kitchen sink, and left it there while it drained.  It got moved to the kitchen counter shortly after that but I had apparently not moved it back to its proper place and my boyfriend moved it to the window seat.  It sat there for several days until I finally got to moving it back.  I was horrified when I discovered a very visible ring of water where the plant had been.  See, my mom has a thing about my putting plants on the window seat.  She warned me that I'd ruin it.  I was more worried about her thinking/saying "I told you so" than the actual spot.  I'm sure you know how that is. 

So I got a little upset.  And I think my boyfriend felt pretty bad.  So he immediately ran to the laptop and googled.  He came across a couple of different solutions, and we decided to try one.  And not 5 minutes later the mark was gone.  Completely. 

What did we do?  We grabbed a plain white cotton t-shirt, plugged in the iron, put it on a low setting and ran the iron across the t-shirt above the spot.      

I wanted to share this little nugget of information with my mom when she came, but then I'd have to admit that we messed up in the first place.


What nifty little pieces of information have you picked up from Google recently?  How has Google saved you from in a jam?

Dear Toyota

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Dear Toyota/Toyota Dealership,

I don't like you very much right now.  You have not been kind to me.  I have not really been able to drive my car since August 24th.  It is now September 22nd.  In case you're wondering, I think that's a long time to be without a car.  Just my opinion.

First, you made me wait a week before you'd even look at my car, which out of nowhere one morning started sounding like it was about to explode when I went to start it.  I had an early meeting that morning, and also a doctor's appointment that afternoon.  I missed that meeting, thanks.  And I had to bum a ride to the appointment, and sit an extra hour waiting for said ride to get out of a meeting to come pick me up.  Most inconvenient.  Also, my car has less than 23,000 miles on it.  It probably should not be falling apart already.  And really, a week?  Your service department is that overbooked?  That really sucks, but alright.  I can wait a week.

Then, when you finally looked at my car you gave me bad news.  You had originally told me you would remove the heat shield, free of charge.  Then you told called to tell me that it would actually be $250 and I needed a new fuel tank strap.  If that weren't bad enough, you proceeded to tell me that you didn't have the part in stock. 

The next day you gave me another phone call.  I was hoping you were calling to tell me you got the part in that morning (you said it might be in as soon as the next day).  NOPE!  You were calling to tell me that the part was on nation-wide backorder.  Whatever that really means.  Oh, and by the way, the part probably wouldn't be in until September 22nd.  Uh, what?  STARTING TO GET REALLY UNHAPPY.  But I was still very polite and patient.  I worked around not having a car.  Most inconveniently.  I had 3 birthdays to shop for during this time. 

After waiting and waiting and waiting, on September 21st I came home and had a message on my answering machine.  I was very hopeful that it would be you informing me the part arrived and I could bring my car back in to get it fixed.  NOPE!  No message from you.  I decide I should call you on the 22nd to see what the problem was.  Did you forget about me?  Was there a new estimate on the part arrival?  Please tell me something!

By 11 AM on the 22nd I still hadn't heard anything and so I called.  I hate having to call.  This time you gave me both good and bad news.  The part is in!  But somehow you forgot to inform me of this.  I asked three different representatives that I spoke to and no one could tell me when said part actually arrived.  Or why I was not informed.  You said yourself it was right in my file that I was to be called/notified. 

So I head over after work to drop the car off for my appointment the next day (thank god you didn't make me wait longer for an appointment).  I inquired again how long the part had been in and you told me it arrived two days ago.  You did not seem very sympathetic or apologetic that I somehow got lost in the shuffle and was never called.  You said it just arrived two days ago.  To me, two days is not just and it was too longI should have been called the very day the part arrived since you already made me wait so long.

Please don't let this happen again.

Your unsatisfied customer,




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Right after I wrote that End of Summer post where I was lamenting about the lack of outdoor activities that occurred, my boyfriend agreed to go on a nice long bike ride with me along the erie canal.  I was pretty much in heaven.  The scenery was great, the terrain was great, and I was just happy as could be riding past people walking or other bikers.  The weather was perfect.  It was around 70 degrees and there was a slight breeze.  There were a few clouds here and there, but the sun wasn't shy about poking through.  Both the fresh air and pushing my body to work a little harder felt wonderful. 

I love riding my bike, but I haven't really done it much.  I am fairly skittish about riding on the road with cars whizzing past.  I also had a fairly bad accidient when I was a young teenager that made me afraid to ride a bike again for many, many years.    I wasn't badly hurt, only minor scrapes and bruises, but it was enough to keep my naturally timid self from really wanting to ride again until a few years ago.

I am still not the best, fastest, or most confident bike rider, but I felt much better and safer riding along the path running beside the canal.  We did 11.71 miles in an hour and 20 minutes.  We burned 645 calories.  So we weren't exactly going at a monsterous pace but it was fast enough to feel it, and slow enough to enjoy it. 

When we got back I ran downstairs and pulled the tennis raquets and balls out of the storage area.  I brought them back up and with them in hand I got my boyfriends attention, put a big smile on my face and siad, "OK, time for tennis now."  He just kind of gave me a look like I was a little bit crazy and shook his head.  I didn't want to push my luck so I let it go, but I at least had to try.


erie canal.jpg


This is a video of Ingrid Michaelson, Bess Rogers, and Allie Moss doing an acoustic version of the punk version of The Way I Am

Ingrid + Punk = Funny. 



End Of Summer

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I pretty much consider Labor Day the official end of summer and beginning of Fall.  I had a good summer, which included growing my first successful garden, hosting my first BBQ, and a trip to two great cities in Canada (Toronto and Niagara Falls). 

But there are a few things that I wanted to do, and never did:

  • Go on a beach vacation.  Or even go to the beach at all.  I really wanted to go to Cape Cod, or some other coastal city with nice beaches, again this summer but we never made it.  I suppose we opted for the trip to Canada instead, but it would have been nice to do both.
  • Get more outdoor exercise.  Biking, hiking, running, tennis. 
    • I haven't used my bike once this summer.  There is a great place to ride that is close to my house.  It's nice and flat, stretches for miles and miles, and doesn't involve sharing the pathway with cars that are very large and heavy and metal and can severly injure me.  But we just haven't done it. 
    • We went on 1 legitimate hike and another 4 mile walk along the canal, but I would have loved to have done that much more often than we did. 
    • I also really wanted to get back into running again.  It makes me feel so good when I do it, but I am not a very good runner and that hurts the motivation.
    • I played tennis in High School and absolutely loved it.  Every time I watched a US Open match recently I just wanted to hop off the couch and go play immediately.

Part of the reason why I didn't do these things, is my boyfriend doesn't particularly like doing them.  That's my lame excuse and I'm stickin' to it.  I have a decent shot, with enough whining, at getting him to go on a bike ride or short hike, but I don't think I'll ever get him to go on a run with me.  I think he's of the philosophy that you should only run if being chased.  Unfortunately, I am not the most independent person in the world and I don't usually like doing things alone, so I have missed out. 

Now the summer has pretty much ended, and even though I love autumn, too, it passes far too quickly.  Before I know what has hit me there is snow on the ground.  And me and snow, we don't really get along.  Maybe now is a good time to start planning a nice February trip to the Caribbean somewhere.


What did you plan or hope to do this summer?  Did you end up doing most of them?

What's Next?

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I have been thinking a lot about the future lately. 

Will I get married?  If I do, will it be to my current boyfriend?  Will I adopt children?  Buy a new home?  Live in a different city?  How long will I continue to work at my current job?  I want to look ahead and see myself five years from now.  Ten years from now.  I just have this desire to know.  I try to so hard to see it, but the picture is is like a very faint, blurry, watercolor painting and I can't make anything out.

I have been in my house for just under three years.  I have been with my boyfriend for just over four years.  I have been at my current job for just over ten years.  It feels as though nothing of any real significance has changed in a long time.  I have been feeling stagnant, and anxious to see what comes next.  I think the best word to describe it all in one neat package is unsettling.  I wish I knew how to look at the smaller picture, take things day by day, and live more in the moment.  If you have the secret, please, don't be shy about sharing.

I don't know why I feel this need for change or this need for knowledge.  Is it because I'm unhappy in my current situation?  Does it mean I'm ready for the next big thing or whatever happens to come next?  I think part of the problem is I don't know what I want.  I don't know if I ever want to be married.  Maybe it's ok to just be with my boyfriend and live our happy life together without ever signing that piece of paper or having that ceremony.  I don't know if I ever want children.  Sometimes I very much do, and other times I look at the lives of my other friends that do have children and I'm not sure if I really want that.

I feel some very big decisions coming my way in the near future.  And I wonder if I have the guts to make them or if the lack of decisiveness will make the decisions for me.  It's kind of exciting being on the edge of some potentially very big changes, but it's also incredibly scary.  The unknown.


Am I alone in this?  Have you gone through the same type of things?  Have you felt stagnant for too long or had so much difficulty making some of life's big decisions?

The Tomatoes Keep On Coming

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It's well after Labor Day and I'm still picking plenty of tomatoes.  I don't really know why, but I kind of thought tomato season would end by early September.  At least my tomato season would.  I suppose In all honestly, I really have no idea how long tomato plants can be expected to continue to produce.  'Til the first frost?

Sadly, I'm sure the end is near.  The backyard is filling with dropped leaves.  The nights and early mornings have a definite chill to them.  It's ok, though.  My two little plants did me proud.  They even outdid me in the height department.  I've had lots of fun watching my plants grow and they ended up doing way better than I expected based on past experience. 

I think next year I need to think about expanding....


Tomatoes 01.JPG

Tomatoes 02.JPG




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My boyfriend turned twenty-nine last week.  He sure seems to be taking his sweet time catching up to me and reaching thirty.  As usual, I had a heck of a time deciding what to get for him as gifts to celebrate the occassion.  I way overthink pretty much whenever I buy anything for anyone.  I am always afraid they won't like what I bought them or that there's something else out there that I should be buying instead. 

I ended up buying a nice Patriots t-shirt.  I had a horrible time deciding on a style.  Short-sleeve or long-sleeve?  Plain solid color or multi-color?  Should get a medium or a large?  He almost always takes meduim, but the last red sox shirt I bought was a medium and it was way too small...

patriots tshirt.jpgI ended up buying him a ncie pair of Maui Jim sunglasses.  I don't even know how many hours I spent at  So many brands.  So many styles.  How could I pick something he liked and would look good on him?  Will he be upset if I spent so much money on just a pair of sunglasses? 

maui jim sunglasses.pngI ended up buying him a new gaming mouse since he had been complaining about his current one.  I didn't really know what I was doing so I enlisted the help of one of our mutual friends, a fellow gamer.  I found one that seemed to get really great reviews on newegg but I had no idea if it would be one he'd pick out for himself or not so I was very nervous.  logitech mouse.jpgI agonized for hours on these three simple gifts.  I ultimately deicded that, knowing my boyfriend, he would pretty much like whatever I bought for him and he would much prefer that I pick something out myself rather than just get a gift card so that he could pick out a size, style, brand, etc. himself.  I prefaced the gift-opening portion of the birthday with, "Well, I bought you stuff.  You may need to return it all but that's ok."  Nice, huh? 

Turns out every item was a huge success.  He loved all the gifts.  

He also loved the cupcakes I baked, even though I thought I had ruined them because I tried to get fancy.  I tried filling one batch with peanut butter and the other with caramel (his favorite).  The peanut butter chips ended up staying on top instead of sinking down.  I couldn't find the right caramel to put in it so I settled on some rectangular chewy caramel candies.  The candies melted a little and sunk down a little, but left a hole from the top to the middle where it sunk down and the caramel ended up chewy rather than gooey.  I just slathered a bunch of frosting on top and that pretty much fixed all the issues.  They still tasted pretty yummy which, ultimately, is all that matters.   

Now that that's done, we can start the official countdown to thirty!  And I can start agonizing over what to do for the big 3-0 celebration.  :)



About This Blog

Stories, advice, and random thoughts from a thirty-something female.

Many people in their thirties are dealing with common issues and concerns. Some of these include buying a home, establishing a career, starting a family, and dealing with aging parents. I will blog about all these things as well as other every day stuff as I make my way through this third decade of life.

You can read more about the author behind thirty-something blog on the About Me page.





About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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