Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Not a day without a line

Here's my line:

Friends worry when you're late

Monday, August 25, 2008

I will survive

Well, I made it through class #1 - only three more to go. Yowza - I'm feeling like this was not my best decision, but I am sure all will be well in the end. It was lovely to see many of my RCWP friends, and I wished more of us were there. All for now - school (sans kids) in the morning!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Still don't really have enough time to be on here, but I think this writing bug has set in pretty well.

Thursday Legs and I were SICK - poor Carlos was not, so I called Jeff to see if he could take him for a bit, but it appears he caught the same thing - not a pretty day.

Friday we were well recovered and treated ourselves to Bob Evans for breakfast (first restaurant meal since my birthday - yay me!). Boo, on the other hand treated herself to a bird. Carlos was very excited about this and LET HER INSIDE where she proceeded to drop it in front of Ally - she must like her best. Thankfully it was no longer a flying bird, or I would have had to given it the house.

Saturday Al and I got our hair cut at a new place. Muy expensive and Al's "trim" took off several inches. She was in tears; I was out $65; we're heading back to Michelle for our next cut. After, Frank and I went to a party/meeting for our volunteer stint at Wheatland. Had to drive 2 hours across the state both ways (who knew there was even such a place as Bitely?), got lost three times, and didn't really know anyone there, but it was still nice to go and we got our tickets and schedules. Can't wait for that! When I got back to Mt. Pleasant, I ran to Old Navy for some $7 jeans for the kids. What a bargain!

Today, I'm stressing about my class tomorrow that I am not prepared for and don't really want to get prepared for but will be somewhat prepared for by the time I get there. I'm thinking this blog today may have some avoidance issues surrounding it.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Feeling the crunch

So much to write - so little time. My fingers are itching, but my eyes are becoming pillow magnets. Will proceed soon.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Up in the tree top

A few weeks after I moved out of Jeff's house, the kids and I were taking a bike ride around our new neighborhood, sort of checking it out. We were not that far from the old neighborhood - west side now instead of down-town - but we weren't super familiar with where we were now residing, so we wanted to see what was around. at some point we turned the corner onto Henry and saw a huge painted sign: FREE KITTENS. What can I say? We came home with our tiny little kitty, Boo.

She was probably too young when we got her, but she turned out wonderfully, and has a weird little quirk where she sucks her tail. The intention was for her to be an inside-only cat, but between her sad crying if we left her in while we were out, Carlos' just letting her out, and her self made "cat door" in our slider screen, she became a cat that often ventures into the outside.

The duplex where we were living when Boo moved in with us was full of cats, but when we bought our house a few blocks away, Boo was one of few. This is no big deal, except that here, outside of cat central, there are tons of birds. This concern is not about my bird phobia (though I know those little buggers are just waiting to pounce and peck out my eyes), but about Boo's adoration of birds - as her lunch. After the first "present" she left, I went out and got her a pretty collar with a huge bell. Her determination to play with the birdies has not slowed down, but fortunately her success has.

Yesterday, Carlos and I were playing soccer in the street - Jeff doesn't like this, I think it's one of those city kid vs. country kid things; I've played in the street my whole life. It's just where you do certain things - and I heard a rustling in the highest branches of the apple tree. I thought it was an enormous squirrel, but instead it was our enormous cat (she is no longer a teeny-tiny kitty - I had to buy her a new jumbo-sized litter box - she's HUGE). I ran in to get my camera and get a shot of our girl way up there, but by the time I got back out, she was down.

Instead I shot this one of Carlos using his camera.

Man - aren't they cute:)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Winning the lottery

Last week I struck gold. I am a card carrying member of an elite circle - a Most Valuable Customer at Kohl's (yes that would mean credit card carrying - it's my only one). Basically, what this means is that I already spend too much money at the store, and in order to entice me into spending even more, Kohl's sends me regular percentage-off discount coupons. Typically these are for 15% - not a bad deal.

Last week, however, when I peeled back the protective covering I revealed a whopping 30%. THIRTY PERCENT!!!! And just before school! And it got better. Instead of the typical "one day personal sale" I could use it all week! This meant multiple trips and for all my friends armed with their own Kohl's cards (yeah, okay - that really means for me and for Susan). My karma wasn't so messed up by the deer/apple thing after all.

Day one - before I knew I could return - Al and I went school shopping. She desperately needed jeans; it seems this crazy thing called puberty has snuck in and given her some hips - she couldn't get her butt into her jeans of last spring. The catch was, we only had about 45 Carlos-free minutes. I was worried; my girl is a lot of amazing things - smart, artistic, beautiful, prolific, funny - but speedy is typically not one of them. This girl makes me look like Jackie Joyner Kersee, and those of you who know me well, know I ain't the quickest.

Something crazy was going on that day though - Legs picked out, tried on, and purchased four bras, three pair of jeans, and three t-shirts with time to spare. *sniffle-sniffle* my baby's growing up.

Day two - I went back for stuff for me for school (only two short weeks left of summer). While there, I found a rug I thought I'd like for my living room, now I'm not so sure. I think I was kind of attached to my excellent garage sale find already covering the "hard woods" (I'm not sure exactly how much wood is in my floor, so this is a bit of a misnomer). Anyway - I've added a before and after picture - let me know what you think. I leaning toward the before.

All in all I "saved" about $130! Hmmmm - no wonder they love me there.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Don't sit under the apple tree

I bought my house a little over a year ago now, and still love it. I knew the first time I saw it that it was the house for me - a cozy 850 square feet that holds three bedrooms, an attached garage, a fenced-in back yard, and, best of all, a beautiful apple tree in the front.

At least I believed it was beautiful until about mid-way through last summer - that's when the fruit started falling.

Everyday from mid-July through snow I need to pick up at least two bucket-fulls of apples just to keep up. It's crazy.

Last year, around hunting time, some guy stopped and asked if he could pick-up my apples for deer bait - I think I slipped him some tongue I was so happy. I wouldn't have to worry about crawling around on my front lawn with hands full of half rotten apples!

Ah, but now I would have to worry about my karma - providing enticement to lead poor Bambi and his comrades to their violent deaths doesn't seem like what might get me the best brownie points huh? Well, I decided to risk it - I'm otherwise in pretty good balance.

Flash-forward to another year, another summer of apple delight, and things were about the same. Until yesterday.

Yesterday, Carlos' friend Sam and his family came to visit, and while the boys were running amuck, Theresa, Ali (or Ollie, or Ally - I'm not really sure how to say it let alone spell it), Sis and I sat in the yard
under the apple tree chatting it up. Ali started eating the apples - something that never occurred to me - so we all tried one and they're delicious! Who knew!

So, know I'm still not thrilled about the carpet of apples I find on my front lawn every morning, but at least when I'm done creeping around gathering them up for compost, I can pluck a juicy reward from the branches.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Chain chain chain

As you may remember, my birthday was earlier this week, and since then Carlos has been talking nearly non-stop about his up-coming 7th birthday. It's right around the corner only 2 1/2 short months away, but not soon enough for my little guy. He wants to get a cake to bring to school TODAY, never mind that school won't even begin for another 2+ weeks.

I sat down with him and the calendar and showed him when today is and when his birthday is. He seemed to get it, but then just permanently turned the month to October and again insisted on cake.

Please understand, Carlos doesn't particularly like sweets; he'd much rather eat popcorn, pretzels, or his favorite, Tomatoes, then cake and ice cream. He also isn't concerned with presents. I mean, he likes gifts, but never asks for anything. Actually, I think he likes opening gifts - doesn't much care about what's inside. I think, like his Momma, he's a birthday lover and really just wants to be the center of attention.

Again, Legs came up with the answer. She figured out how many days between today and the highly anticipated turning of 7, cut out a bunch of strips of construction paper - red and blue of course, Carlos' favorite - and made an enormous chain to hang around his room, the idea being that they remove one link each night before bed until the big day. A sort of advent calendar.

Carlos was thrilled. He loved it.

That night, Sis went in to help with the first link, Carlos would have none of that - this glorious chain would not be destroyed no matter it's original purpose. So, it seems he got his first early birthday present.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Brush your face and wash your teeth

After supper most nights, I give Al (Sissy) a choice. She can either clean up the kitchen, or clean up Carlos. It's pretty much a non-choice; she hates doing dishes and loves her little bro.

Sis is typically great at giving Carlos a bath. She gets him in there, gets him bubbled up, gets him laughing. Often the floor is also pretty clean by the end of the experience as well - it gets mopped, by necessity, after each of Carlos' bath experiences.

Sometimes, though, Sis isn't go great at this, and just gets the water going and then kind of leaves him to fend for himself with an occasional check-in. This is OK - I mean he is approaching seven, but he's not as good at getting all the grime off, plus sometimes he makes interesting choices in the few unsupervised minutes between her popping in.

Last night was one of those interesting choices. On one of her look-sees, Sis yells for me to come quick. She's laughing, so I'm not too worried, but I arrive in our bathroom to see Carlos armed with all of our tooth brushes, scrubbing to mildew off the tub. It was funny, but slightly disturbing - how many other times has he done this? I think I'd prefer not to know.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I did it!

So, I have now been 40 for three days, and believe it or not, all is well. My party was lovely, and those most important to me were there to help the celebration. All Carlos can talk about now is having a cake with his name on it at school for his 7th birthday (this isn't till October 30, so I'm thinking a long 11 weeks). I had a "pre-party" on Saturday that wasn't quite lovely, but was a lot of drunken fun!

thanks to all the well-wishers!

Monday, August 4, 2008


It is always amazing to me how short the summer is, but especially how short August is. What is today, like August 4th, and already I'm panicking about not having enough time to get everything ready for school. I spent the entire day today just organizing my classroom library. And I still have 3 or 4 boxes of books that need labeling and sorting. I wasn't going to go back tomorrow, but I'm afraid of a panic attack if I don't. August ought to have 45 days - then maybe I'd feel like I could get ready.

7 days left of my 30's!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Microwaves and exterior doors

Being a homeowner is fab with a hint of annoying. While renting, if something isn't quite right, you either don't worry about it, or call the landlord and it becomes his or her problem. I no longer have this luxury.

At Christmas time my brother, Andy, gave me a brand-new, white, Whirlpool built-in microwave that coincidentally matched the rest of my appliances. Yay, and thanks Andy. Now, though comes the fun part - installation.

Frank (former boy-friend, current good friend) came to help - and really I exaggerate, so let's try again.

Frank (former boy-friend, current good friend) came to do it for me, as long as I helped. Thanks Frank.

The installation itself was fairly easy, but of course, I didn't make it that simple for him. I didn't like how low the old microwave sat above the stove, so I asked him to raise the cupboard it was nestled under. This by itself would have only added a bit of work, but of course once I wanted to raise the cupboard, the electrical needed to be altered. After he did that and installed the fab new microwave, I asked him replace not one, but two exterior doors. Two days later, everything is in and looks great, but now I can see how badly I really need to paint. Does this sound a bit like a story about a mouse and a cookie?

See ya!