Sunday, May 28, 2006


I've always had trouble sleeping, but it seems to have gone to extremes lately. I've been going to bed later and later and later, and most recently it's been an average of 3 am. Not so good when I get up between 6 and 6:30!

I've no idea what's causing it. I don't do caffeine; my eating habits haven't changed; my routine is basically the same. It's not even that I'm thinking about the million things that I always have to do. I just can't sleep.

I've been forcing myself to make my non-sleep time productive though, and I'm wading my way through the shelves of books.

Some I've read, but I won't ever revist. Those are being put in a box to be donated to the library. Every time the box gets filled, off it goes. I've taken 7 so far.

Some I need to read, and I've never taken the time. Those are being put into a certain bookshelf so that I can wade my way through. Once I'm done, most of them go into the donate box.

Some I love, and I won't ever part with. Those are also going into a certain bookshelf. I absolutely love going to that bookshelf to peruse. I've read everything in that section -- some of them several times -- and it's like visiting old friends.

I'm glad that I'm working my way through something that's needed to be done for ages, but I think I'd really prefer being able to sleep.

Friday, May 26, 2006


Opportunity only knocks once. Temptation leans on the doorbell.

-- unknown

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Birthday party day!

Spyder's birthday party was (finally!) today, at a local park. Truthfully, it was one of the easiest parties we've ever thrown! We always go all out for birthdays. We've had a space party (where we turned one room into a space ship and "launched" everyone), a detective party (everyone followed clues to find the treat bags), and a spy party (everyone went through "spy academy" and graduated afterward). They're always tons of fun for all of us, but it's usually a lot of work getting everything together. This one took almost nothing!

Spyder's birthday was two weeks ago, but schedules have made it nearly impossible to plan a party. Every Saturday from the beginning of May to the end of June was booked! Church activity, Mother's Day, another church activity, Memorial Day, VBS, VBS, Father's Day, etc, etc. So we opted to have it on a weekday, a couple of days after the local schools were out. Worked out perfectly!

Spyder specifically asked to have it at this particular park, which he LOVES, but isn't near our house, so we don't get there often. He's become quite the amateur magician, and he wanted to perform for his friends, so he ultimately decided that he wanted the party to be a Talent Show. It was excellent! We had dancers, a martial arts demonstration, magicians, and a balloon artist! Luckily, the park has a really nice, large gazebo, so we had the party there, and afterward the children went to play in the play area.

It was hot today -- 90 degrees was the high, I think -- so instead of the usual cake and ice cream, we had a decorate your own cupcake time. I always stress about the cake. Always. I usually make the cake. Normally I like to decorate the cake to look like it came from a bakery, but I was afraid I'd mess up the cake in transit, so I opted for cupcakes instead. Yesterday I baked 34 cupcakes. I had planned to decorate them too, with different cute scenes, but at the last moment I had the (brilliant!) idea that the children might like to do their own. It was a HUGE hit, and it saved me two hours of work, so I'm all about it! I may have to make it a tradition. LOL!

Of course, the children were exhausted and filthy afterward, but it was an excellent time. I remember park parties when I was little, and I never liked them. They were hot (no shade) with tons of bugs, so I was reluctant to agree to the park idea. I'm very glad I did though. The children had a great time, and I didn't have hours of cleanup afterward!

*sigh* I'm hooked!

WEBoggle is my newest internet addiction! I'm not all that great compared to some of those who play, but I can usually get about 25-30 words out of the 4x4 puzzle. I've never been one for internet gaming, but this really has me hooked!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Just this once

I'm rather sad that I don't like country music. I was flipping channels in the car this evening, and I ran across Keith Urban's Making Memories of Us. What a sweet song, and such a lovely sentiment. It's so seldom that popular media portray love and relationships in such a simple and beautiful way. Angst and drama are so much more "interesting" and "sellable."

While I love the lyrics (with the exception of using the word "Paw" for the sweetheart's father -- who uses that term now? -- well, my children do, for their grandfather) and the music, I just couldn't get past the affected Southern accent and the typical country twang. When I was in the car, I kept thinking, "Surely this man can't have this kind of accent." I'm from the South, and no one that I know sounds like that! Obviously, I must have been correct, since I found out that he's Australian! And yes, I know, I've been told that I must live in a bubble for not knowing who he was.

I hope that some non-country artist records this song so that I can fully enjoy it!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Rules for being a Dog

  • I must insist on being inside the House at all times, even when it's quite lovely outside.
  • If I am required to be outside when I don't want to be, I must sit on the steps outside the Door, occasionally Whining loudly and Pawing at the Door to remind my Human that I am not to be forgotten.
  • When my Small Humans are outside, I must argue with my Sibling about who should Play with my Small Human.
  • When I am inside the house with my Humans, I must follow them around intently, observing any opportunity for food nicking.
  • I must be underfoot at all times, particularly when my Human is in the kitchen.
  • If my Human is eating or drinking anything at all, I must sit at -- or better yet, ON -- her feet, ready to grab a dropped crumb at any moment.
  • When I am bored with my Humans, I must lie in one of My Spots. My favorite Spot is behind my Human's rocker, just close enough so that she can't actually use the rocker. My second favorite Spot is on My couch. When I am on My couch, I must have my favorite pillow. If my pillow is not in the correct Spot on the couch, I will Whine until my Human locates my pillow.
  • If the front curtains are open, I must sit at the window, Barking, Growling, and sometimes Whining at the Birds that Dare Trespass in My territory.
  • If my Human has been outside the house for any amount of time, I must Sniff every possible inch of her to determine if she has been two-timing me by Petting other Dogs. If I find evidence of her Treachery, I will snuffle loudly to show my disapproval.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

An excellent day!

Today Skeeter took off work at midday so that we could have a family day. Oh, we had a blast!

First on the agenda was the Greek Festival. Loads of yummy food and good music. Somehow we missed the dancers this year though. Skeeter and I had gyros this year, instead of the usual kebabs. Skeeter said he'd probably stick with the gyro, but I think next year I'll go back to the kebab. I forgot that dill is a key ingredient in the gyro, and I'm not all that fond of dill. For dessert, we shared loukoumades, a puffy pastry with honey, cinnamon, nuts, and powdered sugar. Messy but good.

We usually meet our friends Diane and Ginger with their boys, but this year we were running late -- stinking bank! -- and Diane and the boys went on the church tour, so we completely missed them. Diane called my cell phone just as we were leaving the festival, so we chatted with them for just a few moments before we walked back to the car.

Afterward we went to the bookstore to buy a birthday gift for Spyder. His birthday is soon, and the poor boy didn't have a thing for his birthday until today! While at the bookstore, we got a coffee -- of course -- and Sass and Spyder each found a book to buy.

Afterward we went The Learning House, a local educator store, where Spyder got to choose some of his birthday presents -- all science supplies. He picked out beakers, test tubes, petri dishes, litmus paper, and a few other things I'm sure that I'm forgetting. They were out of the test tube stand though, so we had to order that. He can't wait to use them, but he has to wait until his birthday. Plus we'll need to get ingredients for the experiments!

After the big shopping experience, we went to the bargain theatre to see The Pink Panther. Skeeter and Spyder loved it, but I wasn't all that thrilled with it. It had some funny parts, but overall I just didn't like it much.

We came home briefly after the movie. Mostly we played outside on the swingset and with the dogs, then we ran out to Kohl's. Skeeter found two pair of pants on the clearance rack -- $10 each -- and we made the thrilling discovery that he's moved down TWO sizes without really trying! Hey, I suppose walking on the highway is good for something!

We stopped at the Sonic on the way home, and now we're in for the night. Finally! It really was an excellent day.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

An eBay mystery

Strange things are afoot at the local PO.

I sold a book on eBay on April 4. I shipped it a day or so after the person paid. On April 14, it showed up on my porch. Skeeter didn't remember putting it ON the porch, so I assume that somehow it worked its way back to me instead of to the recipient, although there was nothing on the package to indicate that.

I shipped it again on April 15. Last week, I got an email from the buyer asking if I had shipped it. So I sent her an email telling her what had happened. It hadn't shown up on her end though. I did send it media mail, which is occasionally very slow, and it was tax time. But, wanting to give good customer service, I told her that I would check at the PO to see if they had more information than is available online.

The woman at the PO was (not surprisingly) unhelpful.

Two days ago I found the package -- in the manager's office of the bookstore where I work!! I haven't asked the receiver yet, but I assume that they got it in with the regular shipments. I had used a box from the bookstore, and I had just taped the label over the original one.

I know for certain that I never, ever took the book to the store. There was no reason to. I packed it at the kitchen table, as always, and I even used packing paper that came from my Southern Living at Home shipment. And I remember taking it the post office because it was April 15, and I shipped multiple packages that day. And of course, they were all huge, so I had to make two trips to the car.

I was in the manager's office, getting ready to leave for the day. I needed to get something from a file drawer, and POOF, I saw my lost book sitting in the box in front of the cabinet! I shouted "That's my book!" and I think the manager jumped a foot. Of course, I had to tell him the whole story. I'm not sure he believed me, but I know he wanted me to shut up about my lost book, so he let me take it. LOL!

I kept babbling, "It's out of print. I swear, it's my book! There's a newer edition now. We don't even have any copies of the new edition in the store. And that's the packing paper that came out of my Southern Living at Home stuff. It's my book!"

So now I'm sending this book for a THIRD time, and I'm hoping that it will get there. I did learn a lesson from this though. From now on, I will always include the shipping invoice inside the package.