Tuesday, December 30, 2008
ME: Good morning, man! Did you miss me last night?
SPYDER: We went to the movies with Dad.
ME: Oh, so are you saying you didn't miss me?
SPYDER: We like it when you go to work. Dad takes us out. And buys us the good snacks at the movies. We do miss you, but it all evens out.
So apparently, my contributions to the household are the equivalent of M&Ms and Junior Mints.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Before you skedaddle to her place and read, let me say that the Christmas that Julie and I worked at the bookstore together was probably the funnest -- yeah, that's a word -- retail Christmas I've ever worked. Juxtapose that with the crazy manager and work was a love/hate thing.
I was a peon the first year that he had his Christmas breakdown. The second year, Julie had run off to a bigger, better, Jay-free place, and I was in Julie's third-key position. And pregnant.
Looking back on it now, I can laugh, but at the time he was just a source of frustration and annoyance. And just thinking about him made my blood pressure rise.
But, you know, it made me realize that some people just aren't cut out for retail.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
1) Take a picture of yourself right NOW!
2) DON'T change your clothes, DON'T fix your hair... Just take a picture.
3) Post that picture with NO editing.
4) Post these instruction with your picture.
5)Tag 10 people to do this..
If you've ever wondered .... The Real Me, big nose and all. :)
I won't tag, but come on and play along. Hey, if I can post that one, surely you are brave enough to do it too!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Last Sunday I did a marathon of laundry. About 4 or 5 hours in, I noticed water on the floor of the pantry. I
And I discovered a pretty significant amount of water on the floor of the laundry room as well.
Oh. Joy. This is probably the one time that I wish the urchins had been lying.
I thought it was the washer, so I asked a friend to come and take a look at it. Well, first I called Skeeter, who promptly left work to see what was up, and I went to buy a wet/dry vac so I could actually get the water off the floor. (Aside: that wet/dry vac that I bought in a panic absolutely rocks. I was just praying that it would be decent, since I didn't have time to actually look around, but it works really well.)
Skeeter and I got the crisis managed, and our friend came to look at the washer only to find that it wasn't the washer. It was the pipe in the wall that was leaking.
And it gets better. Apparently our homeowner's insurance policy doesn't cover plumbing.
Skeeter and I decided not to have someone come and rip the wall out 10 days before Christmas, so I have been making almost daily trips to the laundromat. That could be worse, I suppose, because it isn't far, and it is seldom busy. But it took me four loads to figure out how I could actually get the clothes clean. That's pretty pathetic, isn't it? But how was I supposed to know that the "single load" machines would only clean what would be half of a load in my washer?
I have started using the "triple load" which will clean what would be a single load for mine, plus a few extra. All for the bargain price of $3 per wash.
Thankfully the urchins see it as a bit of an adventure. We take a game and play for the 30 minutes that it takes to wash, then we pack it all up and head home to dry. The only problem with the "wash there, dry here" is that I can really only do two loads at a time. If I do more than that, I have piles of wet laundry waiting for a turn in the dryer.
I am trying not to whine too much because it could be far worse. But I will be so glad when I can use my washer again.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
1. Where is your cell phone? Here
2. Where is your significant other? Bed
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? Kind
5. Your father? Clever
6. Your favorite thing? Books
7. Your dream last night? None
8. Your dream/goal? Travel
9. The room you’re in? Library
10. Your hobby? Reading
11. Your fear? Dependence
12. Where do you want to be in six years? Home
13. Where were you last night? Work
14. What you’re not? Wealthy
15. One of your wish list items? Travel
16. Where you grew up? Small
17. The last thing you did? Dishes
18. What are you wearing? Clothing
19. Your T.V.? Off
20. Your pet? Snoring
21. Your computer? On
22. Your mood? Tired
23. Missing someone? Friends
24. Your car? Zippy
25. Something you’re not wearing? Glasses
26. Favorite store? Target
27. Your Summer? Busy
28. Love someone? Absolutely
29. Your favorite color? Green
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Recently
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
My Memaw was there too, although she wasn't her usual happy self. She has been diagnosed with diabetes recently, and she is thoroughly put out that she isn't allowed to eat certain things. It's almost funny to see her pout over it, but it really bothers her. It's more disturbing to her than when she was diagnosed with breast cancer (10+ years ago).
We only did gifts to/from Lisa and Jason. Sass thought she scored big time with a Crayola Art Set(and coloring books) and a Make Your Own Bracelet set. She has carried the Crayola set and a coloring book around with her ever since. Spyder got new boots, and apparently he is growing faster than I realized. It turned out that the size I told Lisa was 1.5 sizes too small. He went to exchange them today, and he fit into a size 5.5 instead of the 4 that I told her. No wonder he couldn't wear them. Lawzy.
And I? Let me just say, I got the best gift ever! My gift was a new set of Paula Deen Cookware. Oh yes, it was. And I was so surprised and thrilled that I could have cried.
And after using it, I can say that I love it. I even like the way that it stacks in the cabinet. I had decided that I was in Cookware Love when I put them away for the first time. I happily said goodbye to the old cookware, a set that Skeeter and I were given as a wedding gift 13 years ago. It had lived a long and useful life.
Skeeter got a new pair of gloves, nice leather gloves with cashmere lining. He's out in the cold in style. And they were particularly useful yesterday, when he was out in 20 degree weather for hours and hours.
Other than the gifting, we did the usual at Mom and Dad's place. Spyder and Jason went out to shoot the BB guns. Sass played with the puppies. The rest of us visited. It was a typical holiday-type day. I am looking forward to the next gathering on Christmas Day.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Sass overheard me talking to them -- as I always do -- after they had come back inside and I was drying the rain off their fur. "My, my, Miss Lucinda! You need a bath. That rain has made you kinda whiffy!" Apparently Sass had never heard me use that particular term before, whiffy, and she thought it was the funniest thing ever. All afternoon, she kept going to one dog or the other and saying, "Phew! You are so whiffy!"
The fascination with the word has carried over to a new day. This morning just after breakfast, Sass wandered over to the kitchen table (where, I admit, I was lingering ...) to show me a picture. When we leaned over it together, she said, "Ooh, Mama. Your breath? It's kinda whiffy."
Oh that child. She does wonders for my self-esteem.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
This is about the nicest guy who came in on Sunday night. Very personable. We chatted for a moment, the usual small-talk, building up to what he really needed.
HIM: "I need to find a Prosthetic Bible."
ME: "I'm sorry. I didn't catch that. You need to find . . . what?"
HIM: "A Prosthetic Bible."
ME: "Oh, you mean a Prophetic Bible. They are right this way."
HIM: "No. Prosthetic."
ME: "I think you may have the wrong word there . . . ."
HIM: "No, it's a Prosthetic Bible. I am sure of it."
ME: "Um. Well. Hmmmm. I have never seen one of those. Let me show you the section for the Bibles."
About half an hour later . . . . .
HIM: "I never did find a Prosthetic Bible. You might want to think about carrying those."
ME: "I'll make a note of that."
Very personable guy, but slightly vocabulary-challenged.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
1. Do you send out Christmas cards? Have you done it yet?
I used to, but I haven't for the past couple of years. I send a few to friends if I happen to think about it, but I don't send them en masse the way I used to.
2. When you cook chicken, do you cook a whole chicken?
Sometimes, but mostly not.
3. What is your favorite Christmas movie?
We've covered this already. If I have to choose just one though, I think I will go with Emmet Otter.
4. How often do you go to the grocery store?
A couple of times a week because I hit more than one.
5. Do you play games online?
Only on Webkinz. Does that count?
6. Do you make your bed everyday?
Yes, even if it's 10 minutes before I get in. I have issues with the bed.
7. What is one of your favortie websites? (Hopefully this is understood, but please share only the G rated sites! lol)
Amazon. I spend way too much time there.
8. What gives you the most laughter in life?
My urchins. They make me laugh all the time. I told someone just tonight that without them my house would be far cleaner, but my life would be much more boring.
Now run over and check out Tina's answers!
Friday, December 05, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
However, I am so glad I went searching for one of Martha's Christmas creations today.
Dear me, what is this? Martha and Snoop Dogg making mashed potatoes. I don't think I have ever laughed at a Martha show more.
Awesome beyond measure!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
aside: I hate thinking of it in ownership terms. Is there something else I could use?
Anyway. I have a list of daily talking points for the list. Nothing brilliant, just items to make you think about your day -- what you've done, where you're going with it, how it could be better.
I only realized it recently, but it truly stems from the same sort of talking points that I use with my children during the bednight rituals. When I am tucking them in for the night, I ask them some sort of question to get a conversation moving. Sometimes it's as simple as "what's your favorite color and why?" and sometimes it's a little more thought provoking, like "how did you feel when you saw that child crying in Target when his mom yelled at him?" It's probably my favorite part of tucking them in. I always end with "what was the best thing about today?" because I want them to go to sleep thinking about the good things that happened, not whatever rotten stuff they had to wade through.
On the list it's called the "Yay of the Day," and it is sent through around 9 pm EST because, just like with the urchins, I want my friends to recognize and acknowledge the good part of the day. Sometimes people put things like "my son doesn't have to have braces! YAY!" Sometimes it's actually school related like "my daughter has worked past her math block! YES!!" Of course, no one is required to play along, but most do. It's a nice feeling to see other people trying to see the bright side of things, and other people trying to encourage them in it.
I always tell people that I am a cynic -- and oh, yes, I am quite cynical -- but I wonder if I am secretly an optimist.
Don't tell anyone.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
My parents got two puppies recently. Their dog Molly was hit by a car and died, and my sister and I both encouraged them to get a new canine friend. They surprised us both by getting two puppies! The children visited for a couple of days last week, and Sass (of course) is in love with them.
They have been after me to get a puppy. Or two. I said no way.
I showed them. I bought a fish for them instead.
Monday, November 10, 2008
I need to start thinking of meal planning according to what I have or can get rather than my usual method of whatever I'm in the mood for making. Sort of like an extended pantry challenge. This was a real breakthrough for me because I never understood how couponing could actually save me any money.
In my usual shopping this weekend, I tried it three times, with varying success. The pantry is full, but it's full of things that I haven't quite decided how to use. It's not necessarily a problem because of my pantry challenge experience, but it will be different for certain. One thing is sure. This weekend's shopping definitely made me realize that couponing is going to take quite a lot of time.
One successful trip didn't take too long, but just a bit longer than usual. In that one I saved 50% off my total purchase, and those were actually all things that we buy anyway.
The other successful trip took a lot of time. Like three hours. Three hours is a ridiculously long time to spend grocery shopping for me. Normally I'm in and out in about an hour. I saved 34% on that trip. That is skewed though, since I bought the Kung Fu Panda DVD, which isn't a grocery or health/beauty item. If I take out that, my savings was about 50% again.
At the third store I saved 34%, factoring out the Christmas gifts and bath towels I bought.
I should note that I would have made these shopping trips anyway. None of them were special trips to use the coupons. If they had been, I probably would have to factor in gas and such.
At the moment, my one concern is time -- time to find the coupons, time to match them to sale prices -- because extra time is in short supply.
So ... anyone else use coupons? Got any advice or thoughts? I'm game to try.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
We've had a good week. It's been a strange one, but good. The last few weeks have been good, actually. Busy, but not hectic, and just overall pleasant. Even the weather has felt cheerful, nice and warm but not hot. We've spent most of our days outside this fall.
We had intended to go to the zoo today. I called a friend to join us, and she said, "Can't do the zoo, but I was just about to call to see if you wanted to meet at the park." I let the urchins decide, and they chose the park. We stayed and played for about two hours, until the sun was just beginning to set and the breeze was beginning to turn cool.
Rain is forecast for tomorrow, but we have plans that will keep us inside most of the day. We are meeting The Michael for lunch at an old cafe, then touring a local museum. I am rather excited about it. We've been intending to get to that museum and just kept putting it off. When one of the other homeschool moms organized a trip, it was the perfect opportunity for me to stop procrastinating. And plus, I don't get to see The Michael as often as I would like. I hope I remember my camera.
I am only worried because I have so much to do in the morning before we leave. The cafe and museum are about 40 minutes away, and I am not a morning person. I can be if I must, but I am never happy about it. I have a long list of things to do before 10 am.
Perhaps tomorrow I will have interesting photos of our little trip.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Free Starbucks coffee, tall.
Free Krispy Kreme star shaped doughnut with sprinkles.
Free Ben & Jerry's ice cream cone (5-8 pm)
And yes, you could probably score the freebies if you don't actually vote. But let's keep it honest, 'kay?
Monday, November 03, 2008
ME: I'm glad you had a good day. What specifically was good about it?
SASS: (ticking off each item on her fingers)
(tick) I got to wear my hair in braids.
(tick) We had a tea party.
(tick) I got to play with Dad.
(tick) Dad let me draw on his computer. (He is teaching her to use Paint.)
(tick) You let me get Mulan. (A 99 cent toy from the thrift store.)
:: gasp ::
That is a whole handful of goods! I wonder if that makes "great"?
What a great learning opportunity!
Sunday, November 02, 2008
We've had issues with television in the past, but no more. We watch movies, and the urchins watch some shows that Skeeter records on PBS, but we don't turn on the set to watch "live" television.
I don't really think about it much any more because it's just one of those things we do.
This weekend, we had a rare exception. Sass and I went to a Halloween carnival at the library for a couple of hours. Spyder choose to stay home because he was playing a Nancy Drew game. When Sass and I returned, Skeeter and Spyder were watching some sort of non-scary Halloween movie on television. Sass sat down and watched it with them. Apparently it hadn't been on too long because she didn't have any trouble following the plot or knowing the characters.
This morning, Sass asked if she could watch the beginning of the movie because she had missed it. I explained to her that she couldn't watch it again because it was just on television when she saw it. We hadn't rented it or recorded it. She just happened to have the television on and saw it when it was broadcast.
She was incredulous. It took a few minutes to convince her that truly we didn't have any way for her to watch the beginning of the movie. I knew that I had finally gotten through to her when she replied, "You mean that other people were watching that movie too? In their houses? At the same time that we were?"
And to think, I used to write on the calendar when the Charlie Brown specials would be shown so that I would be certain not to miss them.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Obviously, we had to make more. After a short trip to the library's Halloween fest, we spent some time mixing, baking, and cutting out the brownies. This year I picked up extra cookie cutters, so in addition to the bat brownies, we had ghost brownies and pumpkin brownies.
The first batch of brownies had been decorated as usual, but this year we decided to forgo the decorating. The urchins and I really aren't all that crazy about the taste of the frosting, and really, we knew there would just be a lot of this
That would just lead to this.
So why bother with all that pesky decorating? :)
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...
Conscientious, Fulfilled, and Spiritual
24 Renaissance, 14 Islamic, 10 Ukiyo-e, -34 Cubist, -34 Abstract and 10 Impressionist!
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life. Beginning in Italy, and spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence affected literature, philosopy, religion, art, politics, science, and all other aspects of intellectual enquiry. Renaissance artists looked at the human aspect of life in their art. They did not reject religion but tended to look at it in it's purest form to create visions they thought depicted the ideals of religion. Painters of this time had their own style and created works based on morality, religion, and human nature. Many of the paintings depicted what they believed to be the corrupt nature of man.
People that like Renaissance paintings like things that are more challenging. They tend to have a high emotional stability. They also tend to be more concientious then average. They have a basic understanding of human nature and therefore are not easily surprised by anything that people may do. They enjoy life and enjoy living. They are very aware of their own mortality but do not dwell on the end but what they are doing in the present. They enjoy learning, but may tend to be a bit more closed minded to new ideas as they feel that the viewpoint they have has been well researched and considered. These people are more old fashioned and not quite as progressive. They enjoy the finer things in life like comfort, a good meal, and homelife. They tend to be more spiritual or religious by nature. They are open to new aesthetic experiences.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
So since today was required to be an inside day, we went to the Redbox and rented the new Tinker Bell movie.
I was thrilled to hear the voice of Jane Horrocks -- I love her! AND Anjelica Huston, who is wonderful in just about anything. It's making me want to watch The Witches again.
Sass had decided that it was a definite for her Christmas list, but I'm trying to decide whether I want to buy it earlier.
Yes, I am that shallow.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Monday -- Game Day with the homeschool peeps. Always fun.
Tuesday -- Toured the Botanic Gardens and participated in the Native American crafts class. The same day, I decided (well, really we all decided) that we've been going and doing too much.
Wednesday -- Stayed at home, sweet, home. The urchins worked a bit on their leaf collections. Mostly they just enjoyed being at home with the dogs and each other. They created several games that included lots of running and jumping.
Thursday -- Again, home! Yay! It rained all day, so we spent the day inside: reading books, doing various activity pages, baking brownies. Spyder created a spelling game for Sass, and they played that for almost an hour. We also had an excellent discussion on the stock market. That evening we saw Journey to the Center of the Earth at the bargain theater.
Friday -- Skeeter took his licensing exam, and we drove him to the university so he wouldn't have to worry about parking. That meant leaving home at 6:30 am. Yawn! The urchins and I made it back home around 8 am and stayed at home until time to get Skeeter at 5 pm. We had originally thought it would be nice to go to the children's museum an hour or so before time to get Skeeter from the university, but no one really seemed interested when it was time to go.
The stay at home days were lovely. I think everyone enjoyed having time to de-stress after all of the running over the last few weeks. We had plenty of time to do our work, plus extra time for the urchins to play freely. And there was even time for me to do those kooky things like pay the bills and do the laundry and play with my children.
Go check out the Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Weekly Wrap Up linky to see what others were doing this week!
1. The World Series has begun...do you watch it? (and do you care who wins?)
No. No. And no. Skeeter would care if the Orioles were in it, and I would feign interest. But since they're not ....
2. Is the inside of your car clean or 'garbage dump filthy'?
:snort: The back seat is usually filled with junk that belongs to the urchins, but that is only because I am driving the extra vehicle at the moment. I've been mostly successful at keeping the junk in my 'new' car to a minimum.
3. Who is the next person in your family to have a birthday?
Sass has a birthday at the end of January.
4. Do you wear glasses or contacts? (how old were you when it became necessary?)
I wear glasses, and I have had them since I was about 16. That year I had a teacher who required us to copy an entire blackboard full of information every day. My astigmatism did not take kindly to that, and not long into the year I had horrible headaches after that class. So bad that I often had to run to the bathroom to be sick between classes. Somewhere mid-year my teacher convinced my parents that I needed to see the eye doctor. I remember my mom grumbling that I just 'wanted' to get glasses. Yes. That is the goal of every 16-year-old girl, to start wearing glasses.
5. What is your major form of exercise?
Keeping up with the urchins. Oh, and the Wii Fit. Surely that's got to count at least a little.
6. What is something you could do to make your spouse's day easier today?
Hmmm. I don't know. I will ask him.
7. How much is gas where you are?
I passed by a station yesterday that was $2.39. I didn't quite believe my eyes, and I asked Skeeter to confirm it for me.
8. What is the furthest away from home that you've ever traveled?
Germany. I was there for about 3 months in 1989. The urchins and I are attempting to learn German to that perhaps, one day, we might be able to go as a family.
Pop on over and see Tina at Golden Goodness for more answers.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Here are a few good things I wanted to share:
Top 10 Gifts for Christmas from the Bevans Family. Don't tell, but I am SO getting #10 for my sister. Or Jason. I haven't decided which yet.
Just Living Life is a (relatively) new money saving blog. Skim down a few posts and you'll find a ton of free samples. I am all about getting stuff in the mail!
Brighton is now Princess Runs With Scissors. I would love to be a student in her class!
Julie and I are the same sort of curmudgeonly. Literally.
A good read from LifeLearning.org on childhood memories.
Susan gave me the biggest laugh of the night -- the seniors v. the seniors, indeed.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
How about a book giveaway? I found an advance reader copy of Emily Giffin's Love the One You're With while I was cleaning out the bookshelves today, and I will be happy to send it to one of y'all!
Just leave a comment with what YOU did today (maybe I'll be jealous!), and I will have one of the urchins choose someone at random tomorrow morning.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I used to have a rule of no more than two outside activities per week. That started when Sass was little because I didn't want to drag her to Spyder's activities every day. Now that she's older, I've been seriously lax on that, particularly this year. That's partly because Sass was missing her BFF Olivia so much, and we participated in more of the activities to help compensate.
I overdid it.
We haven't had a completely at home day in over three weeks. THREE WEEKS, PEOPLE. That's just how far I went back on the calendar before I got annoyed with myself. It's making me a wreck!
We had commitments for every day this week as well. We kept the ones for Monday and Tuesday (today) and Friday's are tentative. The urchins are trying to decide whether they want to keep the Friday one, but I doubt they will. And in fact, I will
We are SO back to the two days a week rule. Starting now.
Monday, October 20, 2008
It's a little bit earlier than I really like to do them. They can get a whole lotta gross in the two weeks between now and Halloween. But we let the children choose their pumpkins at a local farm during Skeeter's company's "family day" and they were excited to get on with it.
I bought one of those "pumpkin carving kits" from Target for Sass to make it easier. She chose a happy face (not a surprise; she's a happy child). She gutted the pumpkin (loving the mess it made) all on her own.
Then she traced the pattern.
Then Skeeter carved it. With help.
Sass was quite annoyed that we wouldn't let her wield sharp instruments all by herself. Hey, what can I say? We are big ol' meanie-parents.
A little aside here: Can you believe that this was Skeeter's first time carving a pumpkin? Really! His parents aren't exactly the fun-loving, tradition-following types. Now I am a little embarrassed that I always did the carving in previous years while he was off at work.
Spyder's pumpkin-carving experience had nothing to do with patterns and everything to do with personal creativity. He decided to make a top hat and wand, in keeping with his "all magic, all the time" life theme. And for the first time, I let him do the whole thing on his own, with supervision of course, but no suggestions or advice from me.
He drew out his pattern on the pumpkin and started carving.
Unfortunately, he got a little too carve-happy and ended up carving out part of his design. Whoops!
Toothpicks to the rescue!
Sass's pumpkin turned out very cutesy, which thrilled her beyond measure.
Spyder's pumpkin turned out, eh, not as well as I had hoped, but he thinks it's awesome. And really, he is the only person who needs to be pleased by it anyway, so it's all good. :)