Friday, May 30, 2008

The Big Day

Last weekend was DH and my tenth anniversary, and I got a Gift!!!!

We don't typically exchange gifts on our anniversary; in fact, if we acknowledge it at all it's to get a joint thing, like a new camera, or a hammock. Since this was kind of a big year, though, I had a feeling we were going to exchange gifts. I was hoping for a new ring, actually, because I lost my ring during our last move (not the one we just did this month, but the one a year and a half ago), I think. I had put it into my wallet's change area, which I don't use, but I remember one time Patrick playing with my wallet when we were out, and I didn't think anything of it until it was too late. To be honest, I hadn't cared for it anyway; it belonged to his maternal grandmother (whom no one really liked, so it wasn't a big deal that it was lost in that respect) and was in a style that wasn't what I would have chosen. It had little hearts on it, and a few tiny rubies near a couple of tiny diamonds. It was cute, but all the prongs kept catching on everything constantly, and the back of the wedding band had split just from wearing thin over years of wear, so it pinched me all the time. I am much more of a simple, plain person. I rarely wear makeup, don't dress up unless I have to, and am constantly dirty from either working on the house or in the garden.

This anniversary band is much, much better. The front is entirely smooth, so there are no prongs to catch on anything, and it won't trap dirt and always look bad. There are ten tiny diamonds for ten years of marriage, and I like the symbolism there. Also, it's simple and plain and will go with anything.

Even sweeter, he also bought little decorative tins to put the ring in (tin is the 10th year gift according to Hallmark - weird, huh? TIN?!)! He was really on top of things this year. :)

I got him a book on archaeology and a bag of Anniversary Roast from Seattle's Best. Not so romantic, I know, but to be fair, I didn't know he was getting me the ring. About a week before our anniversary, he told me that a box would be arriving via UPS and not to open it, and when the box came it was about a yard long - it was the tins - so I thought he'd gotten me something for the house or yard. In the past, when I've gotten him a 'better' gift than he's gotten me, he's been upset that he hasn't thought of anything more interesting or whatever, so I try to make sure our gifts match somewhat. So, this year really was a surprise!!!!

We have really had ten great years. I mean, we've had our ups and downs like any other couple, but in general things have been very easy. I knew on our first date that we were going to get married, and five months later we were engaged. We didn't have much time alone together, since I got pregnant three months after we got married (whoops!), but it's worked out great, and now we'll have all the time together on the other end. I'm one lucky girl. :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Water and Poop

I am in love with my rain barrels! We installed the second one over the weekend, in the front yard, and one rain shower filled all 55 gallons of it last night, so now I won't have to use the town water for the plants in the front for the foreseeable future, either. Since planting the veggies in the back a few weeks ago, I have watered them several times, and have never approached the bottom of the barrel in the back yard. Yippee!!!

As I sat on the front porch last night during the shower reading and listening to the gushing of the water from the downspout into the barrel, I started to feel greedy about ALL the rain. Like, if the gutters on my house alone can fill 110gal worth of rain barrel in one steady, half-hour rain, that means that every house in my entire neighborhood had the same amount going down THEIR gutters. *eyes wildly darting from house to house* It could be Mine, I tell you, ALL MINE!!! Well, or at least theirs, I suppose. Almost everyone has some plants in their yard, if not a full-blown garden somewhere on the property. None of us would have to use a drop of city water for at least two weeks from that one shower if everyone had a barrel or two.

The one in the front yard is hidden almost completely by the honeysuckle, although you can see where I've added the flexible downspout to divert the water:

This is what they actually look like:

I could about kiss it. The lid screws off, and underneath it is a mosquito screen that covers the five large holes that allow the water to come in. The spigot at the bottom connects to my regular garden hose. The water pressure isn't great, but it comes out. I should learn to be more patient, anyway.

My next project will be a decent composting system. I'm torn between vermiculture, which is when you get a box, put a LOT of a certain kind of worm in it, and then feed them your veggie and yard waste, which they then poop out (delicately called 'compost tea', yumyum) and you add to your yard, and regular throw-your-trash-in-a-pile composting. I already use Worm Poop fertilizer on my plants, purchased from Lowes in convenient recyclable soda-bottle-type containers, and it does work well. However, all those worms, and dealing with draining their, um, TEA, makes me feel a little squeamish. I WANT to be Enviro-Girl, able to sift a ton of worm sh*t in a single swipe, but seriously, it STINKS. Plus, all that pink squirming, ugh.

Compost heaps, however, have to be shaken and stirred and practically made out with, from what I understand, and have to have the proper ingredients added at the proper times to make it work well. I do have one good friend, B, who throws all her stuff on there and it does just great, but that's HER. She works at a recycling company. Everything the girl TOUCHES probably turns to compost (except her cooking, which is excellent, yum). If I tried that approach, I know I would make Slime Pie. I need a Bin, to contain The Stuff, keep out pests, and preferably to have a handle that I can crank at will to turn the stuff. I'm especially concerned about pests, because when I was in college, our dorm tried collecting food refuse to compost, and the entire dorm became INFESTED with cockroaches (I am, in fact, barfing a little in my own throat just THINKING about it).

What do you all think? Have you composted? Are you crunchy little people out there happily concocting Wormy Poop Soup? Are you collecting your water? Or are you out there making giant piles of oozy goo and draining your local lakes dry to water your own personal rice paddies? Do tell!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Two Me's

I had a great day today!

First, we went to church (more on that later), and since this was the last Sunday of the month, the choir, which I am in, performed at both services. Since it's Memorial Day, the band, which DH is in, also played with us. We did a beautiful arrangement of Battle Hymn of the Republic, with an a capella verse by the men in four-part harmony, that was just breathtaking. We actually got a standing ovation when we finished, at both services. We go to a fairly large church, with about 350 people combined at the services, so it was really exciting to get an ovation!!! That's never happened before, not even at Christmas, so it was totally cool.

Then we went out to lunch at Longhorn, and I had an amazingly good Seven Pepper Steak salad, with blue cheese, my favorite. After that, since it's at the outlet mall, we stopped into the Plow and Hearth outlet and I got a present for my mother for Mother's Day, which I told her I already had but couldn't find in the boxes, oops. Hey, at least I'm sending her something, right?

Then, best of all, I spent the rest of the afternoon gardening. Yesterday, I was at Lowes, and made the most amazing score at their Dead and Dying clearance area! They had about eight portable racks, each about six feet high, completely stocked with plants marked $.50 apiece! After a little pawing through things, I got eighteen large geraniums, twelve six-packs of impatiens seedlings, a Gerbra daisy plant, three large hanging baskets of snapdragons, and eight quart-sized draping something-or-others-that-look-like-petunias-but-aren't, for $25!!! There is NOTHING wrong with almost all of these plants, except that they weren't being watered properly and/or they weren't blooming at the moment! The geraniums all have clusters of buds on them, and frankly, it takes a lot to kill a geranium. I mean, you have to TRY. I'm pretty sure nearly every single thing I bought is going to come back just fine, and I am going to have a kick-butt garden for under $30!!!! So, I planted all of that into the existing garden (which had already gone by, since it's mostly bulbs) and made a new garden strip along both sides of the walkway, mulched it all with everlasting-color mulch, weeded the garden that goes along the side of the house, mossed and mulched the vegetable garden, and cleaned up all the odds and ends that have been laying around, like shovels, toys, etc. Woohoo!!! Oh, it was truly my favorite kind of day.

To finish it up, we had pancakes, bacon and cherries for dinner (hey, it's protein, carbs, and fruit, right?), went to the park to release the koi that were living in the little water feature that used to be in the backyard when we bought the place (which had to go because of a) dogs and b)mosquitoes) into the pond there (it was that or certain death, so we opted for the wildlife replacement program), and then went to a local creamery for dessert. No one argued, no one whined, no one dropped their ice cream. It was a fabulous, rare treat of a day.

Now, about church.

I'm not entirely comfortable, still, going to church. As a thinking, well-educated person, I have serious questions and concerns about the Christian faith. However, I want to believe. I think it's important to have something to believe in. We had a guest speaker at our church awhile ago that summed up our choice to attend church very neatly; he said that as a learned man, after much consideration when he was younger, he simply chose to believe, and that faith means exactly that, choosing to believe what you cannot prove to be true. I say that to myself often when that voice comes up in my head that says 'what on EARTH are you doing here?! You were a Women's Studies minor, for crying out loud!' I know that several of my childhood friends, none of whom attend a church, are shocked and weirded out that we go, and I don't usually feel like it's anything I can discuss with my pre-small town life friends because of that. When I do, I feel like there are probably a lot of thoughts they're having that are similar to the ones in my own head that I'm trying to ignore in favor of something different.

There are other things that draw us to church, too, of course. It's a great way to meet people, and everything's free, basically. Being large as it is, our church has a LOT of social opportunities that we'd never get elsewhere, like music programs for adults and kids (both kids are in the choir and Josie is in the kids' bell choir), vacation camps, and basic camaraderie via adult classes and discussions. Most of our best friends in town have come from our Child Parent Relationships class that we take there, and they are honestly some of the best people I have ever met. There are picnics, trips, everything. Not to mention, in everyday literature and life, there are so many biblical references that it's helpful to have a background in Christianity in order to get the hidden meanings of things (as in, almost all the names of places and things in The Matrix are biblically based, for example, plus the obvious near-constant references by all the Big Literature books) Plus, the denomination we attend, First Christian Disciples of Christ, only has one requirement for membership - that you believe in Christ's teachings. That's pretty basic, and I can manage that, at least, easily. I'm working on the rest of it. Allowing myself to believe something, even something I want to believe in, that I have resisted all my life, isn't as easy as one would think, but I am choosing to do it.

As a result of this struggle, I feel like a fraud a lot of the time. My church friends don't know anything of my internal struggle, since it's not something I want to admit to people who seem to find belief so easy. I'm not pretending to them, but I'm not entirely honest, I suppose, either. With non-church friends, I feel like a sell-out. It's strange, and it makes me wish I thought about things less. Life would be a lot easier if I could just once simply go along with things and not try to reason them out!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Maybe Kmart DOESN'T Suck!!

This is the funniest email forward I've ever gotten!!! It was in Adobe, so I had to save it in rich text format in order to be able to paste it here, which messed up some of the formatting from the letterhead, but you'll get the idea. Enjoy!

Kmart store 4855 Store Phone: (775) 746-4700

SUMMIT RIDGE, RENO, NV, 89503 Pharmacy Phone: (775) 746-3030

12 March 2005

Jon Walker

Store Manager

Kmart store 4855

Summit Ridge, Reno, NV, 89503

Mrs. Fenton

35 Rasmussen Street

Moores Park, Reno, NV, 89503

Dear Mrs. Fenton,

During the preceding 6 months our security staff has been monitoring your husbands activities while in our store. The

list below details his offences, all of which have been verified by our surveillance cameras and we have retained copies

on tape.

We have repeatedly given your husband verbal warnings while he is in this store and he has subsequently ignored

them. He replied to these warning with rudeness and the response “while the wife shops here I will come here too”. We

are therefore forced to ban you, your husband and your family from this store.

The following list details your husbands activates in this store over the past six months.

June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in people's carts when they weren't looking.

July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in House wares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

July 7: Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the rest rooms.

July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official tone, 'Code 3' in house wares and watched what


August 4: Went to the Service Desk and asked to put a bag of M&M's on lay-buy.

September 14: Moved a 'Caution - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.

September 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told other shoppers he'd invite the in if they'll bring pillows.

September 23: If any staff offers him assistance he begins to cry and asks, “Why can't you people just leave me alone?”

October 4: Looked right into the security camera; used it a mirror, and picked his nose.

November 10: While in the gun department, asked the clerk if he knows where the antidepressants are.

December 3: Darted around the store suspiciously loudly humming the "Mission Impossible" theme.

December 6: In the auto department, practiced his "Madonna Look" using different size funnels.

December 18: Hide in a clothing rack and when people browse through, yelled "PICK ME!" "PICK ME!"

December 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumes the fetal position and screams "NO!

NO! It's those voices again!"

December 23: Went in the fitting room, shut the door and waited a while; then yelled, very loudly, "There is no toilet

paper in here!

John F. Walker

Store Manager

Sunday, May 18, 2008

No Touchie Ma Stuffie

I am beginning to believe that inanimate object have thoughts and feelings.

Every time my husband touches something of mine, it breaks. My laptop HATES him. Every time he installs anything on my machine, adjusts settings, adds hardware, you name it, inevitably the laptop will refuse to function reliably for at least a week. He can do things to his own computers, including his Mac, and everything's fine.

Today, he went to take Josie to a birthday party while I was out, and my car wouldn't start. The battery is completely dead, and the car is doing the seizure thing (locks locking and unlocking, and making a ticking noise) that it did the last time the battery died years ago. There was no warning this time, and I myself drove the thing earlier all around just fine. No, it wasn't until he got behind the wheel without me around that the thing froze up and starting kibbitzing all over the place.

Maybe my Estro-power is at such a high level that all my things have changed polarity, and testosterone messes with their balance. I do have my period this week - maybe my car is on the rag, too! Maybe man-smell makes my computer pass out. Maybe my car doesn't like Boy Butt. I don't know, but it's getting a little ridiculous. Does anyone else have this problem?! (Or the opposite?)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Don't Try This At Home

The other day, I decided that I couldn't wait even one more minute to set up my new rain barrel. Spring rains are here in force, and I'd already missed too much precious rain collection from my gutters to waste another minute. So, off I trotted to Lowes to get a new hacksaw and a flexible downspout segment, so I could saw off the current downspout and attach one that would reach over to my rain collector.

Feeling brilliant and very environmentally self-satisfied, I trotted off home, Patrick in tow, to make the installation. Sawing through the aluminum was a little tough, but nothing my trusty new toothed friend couldn't handle. Within about fifteen minutes, the small portion I needed to remove was ready to snap off. It was then that I noticed that the previous homeowner hadn't attached all the segments of the downspout to the side of the house. No, no - they were stacked, one inside the other, like nesting dolls, up to the top of the house, where they fit around the gutter offset, but were not screwed to it. I noticed this because as I went to remove the portion I was getting ready to replace, the whole thing moved somewhat, and I saw that the hooklike piece of metal holding the portion just above me was loose. Then I looked up.

I looked up, in fact, just in time to see the segment that was merely resting inside the gutter attachment (rather than being screwed to it, as it should have been) falling to the ground. It landed, sharp edge down, on my big toe.

Of course, as usual, I was only wearing sandals. Thankfully, the ground was damp, which is the only reason I was even wearing sandals, since I'm a barefoot girl. The cushioning of the sandals was probably what saved me from a trip to the ER, since otherwise my foot would have been on the concrete walkway stone, and my toe would have been even more crushed than it already was.

As it is, I'm probably going to lose my toenail. My poor toe is so swollen that it's making the nail bulge somewhat, and the entire top half of my toe is still bright red, three days later. Fully half of the nail is dark purple, as is the nail bed. I can actually almost walk normally today, which is a big improvement.

However, since I REFUSE to be defeated by a downspout, yesterday I got up there and reattached the freakin' thing to the house, and added on the new spout so that the rain actually goes into the collection barrel. Ha HA! I WEEN! At this very moment, it is raining outside, and my newly planted garden is getting a drink while the huge repurposed olive barrel collects all the rainwater from our gutters for the dry future ahead.

My toe is vindicated. Squashed, but vindicated.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wonderpet Powers, Activate!

Before I go into all this, let me say that all parties involved are still alive. That is, unless I give in to the urge to kill them before you read this.

Since we moved, we have been having some problems with the pets. They seem to have, among other things, developed the ability to fly, pass through walls, and yes, even ingest the utterly indigestible in a single bound. I do not know how this has happened, and as yet no human occupant of the house has developed similar characteristics. However, I provide the following cases in point of proof of my assertions:

-- Tuesday, 3pm, May 13th--
All is quiet as I unpack yet another box while wondering if they have started to repack themselves, since I am sure I have taken these very things out of a box just the day before. I realize with a shock that it IS quiet. Too quiet. Our house is never quiet. The kids are at school, yes, but something is amiss. I listen closer, and hear frantic whining that I had previously dismissed as being too far away to be MY dogs, who are safely in the back yard, Tyler free and Baci on a lead, since the fence is lower than we would like and while Tyler is old and well-behaved, Baci is young and...well...freaky. However, I decide to go outside and investigate. Imagine my surprise when I find the ONE dog that is still in the yard, Baci, tangled in the chicken wire that spans the unfenced yard-and-a-half near the corner of the yard near the house, all ninety pounds of him, and Tyler, the GOOD ONE, running around like a maniac in the neighbor's yard! ARGH! How on EARTH did they jump up onto the retaining wall between the houses, maneuver the chicken wire, which was pretty secure, so that it would make a pass through, and how on EARTH is it that the LAME dog managed to get through fine while the gigantic PUPPY sits there crying like an idiot? I call Tyler, who sneaks over because he knows he's screwed, and somehow manage to untangle the idiot puppy, who makes himself even more tangled by wriggling all over (which is saying a lot in a dog that large), and haul them into the house, hoping no one noticed their little escapade. At least the cat is normal.

--Tuesday, 4:30pm, March 13--
The new house has two sleeping porches, and I decide to leave the door to the upstairs one open to get some air and to let the dogs sit outside while I unpack the zillion upstairs boxes, all of which are labeled 'Sheets and Misc' (?!?!). I see the cat go outside, and hear her hiss at Baci, who she hates with a passion that would rival the Red Sox' hatred of the Yankees, and think, good, fresh air for the cat, too. The porch has a high, sturdy railing and narrow slats. It's perfectly safe. This is when said cat activates her new superpower, Flying! She leaps to the top of the railing, jumps from our second-story porch into the neighbor's tree, several feet away, and takes off for parts unknown!!!!!!! I finally find her five hours later, covered in dandelion fluff and cobwebs and looking quite pleased with herself. She has since gotten out twice, and we have no idea how, since I have been careful not to let her onto the balcony again. DH thinks she may have found a way to get behind the drywall in the basement to the stone foundation, and may have found an exit that way. I think she is passing through the walls. Cats are demons, anyway, right?

--Tuesday, 7pm, March 13--
We have rotisserie chicken for dinner from supermarket. After dinner, we clear the table of everything but the Remains and various stuffs, which we will get after putting the kids to bed. An hour later, we come back downstairs to discover the carcass is gone without a trace. Nothing else has been disturbed. There is no juice, no gristle, not a shred of meat. We are baffled, and search the house. The only thing I find is Baci, asleep on his back in the kitchen, SNORING. No, it couldn't have been him. How would he have gotten to the middle of the table without a) being completely on it and b)without disturbing anything else? The next morning, however, the proof is in the pudding, so to speak - doggie diarrhea all over the back yard. Thank God for rain.

--Wednesday, 9am, March 14--
Dogs make a break for the neighbors' yard again, regardless of reinforcements performed on fence. The only plausible explanation for this would be invisible opposable thumbs. I once again drag them into the house and sequester them to the entryway and upstairs, since the piano tuner is in the dining room, which adjoins to the living room. I go upstairs to collect laundry, and open stained glass windows in the stairwell; windows have no screens, but are quite high, particularly the one on the first landing. I am not concerned about intruders in our neighborhood, anyway, at least not in broad daylight. After stuffing laundry into machine, I sit down, stare at the wall and drool. From my reverie, I hear a jogger telling something to 'go on - go home!', and get a sinking feeling that something is wrong with the force. I get up, look into the entryway, and sure enough - Baci is gone. The only way he could have gotten out is through the second story stained glass window, which is now pushed all the way open. I go outside, and there is The Dog, running in the neighbor's yard, totally confused as to how to get back here. That makes sense, since the way he got out - through the window onto the lower roof that covers the hot tub area, and then down another FIVE FEET to the ground into the yard next door - wasn't really a feasible way to get back. I drag dog back inside, cursing a blue streak, and begin the process of chipping off the paint from the edges of the window (it had been painted shut initially, so when I opened it there were clumps of paint stuck to it) so I could shut it enough to lock it. As I'm doing this, I hear the piano tuner stop working and say something, so I turn to come downstairs and see what he needs, only to find the door between the kitchen and entryway OPEN. Baci, of course, was in the kitchen, staring at the piano tuner like a lovesick sailor.

So, when you see me on the Discovery Channel pretty soon with my obnoxious Wonderpets, making all kinds of money off of their amazing abilities, please call me and remind me that the money is worth the aggravation, and I shouldn't auction them off to the highest bidder, or give them away on the street along with a $20 for your trouble!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mom's Day, And Nosy People (You Know Who You Are!)

First thing's first - here's my favorite Mother's Day song, EVER. Happy day, ladies! Did anybody get any exciting loot? I know that this isn't about presents, necessarily, but they sure don't hurt!!! I, myself, got a PS2 game, Innocent Life: Harvest Moon, which is a sim game, an angel figurine, and cast iron outdoor mommy and baby ducks (the mommy is about 6in tall) from Restoration Hardware. Also, I got a paper dollhouse (complete with paper staircase and some tiny paper furniture) and a popsicle boat, both made by Josie. All in all, a very good year.

I have to say, in the past, I have gotten some real Turkeys. My first Mother's Day was when I was due to give birth any minute, and The Man Who Did That To Me FORGOT to even so much as Mention IT TO ME!!!! Ooh, he was totally in the shi**er that day. After that came the construction-orange cardboard shelves, and the plans for an around-the-tree-trunk bench that never got built. In comparison, this year represents winning the lottery!

Now, for the Nosy People part.

As I write many of my emails, posts, etc, my kids, and my daughter in particular, typically hang over my neck to see what I'm doing. This lack of privacy drives me INSANE!!! Josie totally reads over my shoulder. All. The. TIME. I can't stand it! Sometimes, I can actually see her lips move as she reads my words to herself! Occasionally, I write a little note to her in the middle of whatever else I'm writing, like 'Is Josie enjoying her mommy's email?' but she either doesn't make it that far or pretends to not see it.

This is part of a larger trend of her seeming to feel like she has to be involved in every little thing I do. If I'm on the phone, she hangs around to see what I'm talking about and who it is. If there's mail, she wants to look at it. Lord forbid DH and I have a conversation, because inevitably we will either a) be interrupted to be questioned about what something means or b) be asked a question on the very same topic we just finished discussing that is impossible to explain without going into our entire conversation again for her benefit. Lately, I have taken to telling her that whatever it is was not her conversation, and if she wants to listen to other people's conversations, she needs to either keep up or keep quiet. This only seems to marginally work. Patrick hasn't really started this yet, being oblivious to half the universe, but I'm sure he'll pick up the habit sooner or later. How have you all dealt with this Extreme Nosing?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Living in Crates and Barrels

We are still living in Boxland, and I'm not planning on doing anything today to fix it. I've been seriously overdoing it the last couple of weeks, and yesterday I ended up with both a migraine and problems with my hiatal hernia, probably brought on by two weeks of catch-as-catch-can meals, too much caffeine, and practically standing on my head to unpack boxes that are half as tall as I am. I was up a good part of the night, and am still sore, so phooey on unpacking. It's almost the weekend - I'll work on it then.

Part of what's taking so long to unpack is that now I have to drive both kids to their schools, which are on opposite ends of town. We leave at 8ish, drop off Josie, drive across town, and drop of Patrick. Then, three hours later, I go back to get him, and three hours after THAT, I have to leave to get Josie again. I feel like I'm constantly preparing to leave, driving, or just getting back from somewhere. As hard as summer vacation can be to deal with, I'll be glad when school is over so I can stop feeling like a shuttle service!

Yesterday morning I went to Target to get some bathroom stuff, like little shelves, etc. Why do companies sell things that just plain don't work?! I bought these little wire shelves, just the right size to hold a toothbrush and a little cup, that have large suction cups on the backs to stick onto the tile around the sink area. I got them home, and they literally fall off within ten seconds. The suction cups are too floppy, and not deep enough. Now, seriously, why even bother making such a thing?! I tried wetting them, holding them on, everything, but finally gave up when I realized that if it was that much work to get them on EMPTY, there was no way they would hold up with anything in them. Now I have to go back and return them. Yagh.

I'm looking forward to Mother's Day this year. I know that Josie has made me something, and her Somethings are getting pretty cool as she gets older because she is extremely creative and artistic. I also know that DH has gotten me a game I've been wanting, rather than the usual odd choices like, um, one year he got me construction-orange cardboard shelves. Two other times, it was plans for something he was going to build me that never got built. Any year that I know the gift doesn't involve cardboard or plans, I'm pleased. :)

My mother-in-law, though, called the other day to tell me that her gift to all the women in the family was going to be a donation to the scholarship fund my nephew's parents set up in his name after he died. On the one hand, I appreciate this gift, but it's also the most depressing gift ever, and typically it's the only present she gives anymore. Ever since the fund was set up, every birthday and holiday gift has been that. It's kind of like having someone call me up and say 'Happy Whatever, but don't forget that Ryan died!' Like I could forget. I know that there's nothing I can do about this trend, but what makes it even more depressing is that the men in the family actually get Gifts. It's only the women who no longer get anything but the gift of sadness. I'm not sure why that would be. I don't want to seem greedy, because I honestly don't care if she gets me anything, and they're been very generous to us, but honestly. Sigh.

OK, I'm done whining. I'm going to try and take a little nap before I have to jump in the car again!!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


We're alive!!!! The house looks like a homeless village, but I finally found the power cable to my laptop, so here I am!!!!

Oh, I am SO tired. I am realizing that the downside to having someone else pack your things is that you don't know where anything is. They labeled the boxes nicely, but obviously every little thing isn't written on them, and a 50ish man packed the kitchen, meaning that he labeled everything 'pots and pans', whether it was actually a pot or, say, a baking dish. Or, just a lid, wrapped with a bunch of other miscellaneous items. Sigh. Also, the wrapping paper they used came in huge sheets a yard square, which they placed in big piles on the kitchen counters while they were wrapping things. They wrapped EVERYTHING, including plastic knick-knacks, in about four sheets of the stuff, turning everything into unrecognizable balls of slippery, cream-colored paper. My kitchen looks like a paper factory exploded.

The move itself was actually a pretty good experience. People actually showed up when they were supposed to, and everything in the house got packed, including our food! Tonight was our first home-cooked meal in almost a week; it's amazing how one can actually get tired of having to eat out, especially when the children's menus are pretty much the same no matter where you go. I was starting to think that Patrick was going to turn into a chicken nugget with french fry legs! Even our large playset was moved right away, which we had been told would not be able to happen. This is actually the first decent experience I have had with movers, ever.

So, here I am sitting, pretending that the boxes aren't all calling my name, mocking me. I am tired of looking at them, but I'm also tired of unpacking them. I'll do it tomorrow. At least I got the kitchen finished today, thank goodness, and the TVs are set up and finally working (our cable installation was all wrong, and I actually had to drive over to the company office this morning and exchange the remote because the one they gave me was broken - I waited around for four hours to get none of the channels I had asked for, no HD, and a broken remote! gotta love cable).

Tomorrow morning I will make my last trip into the old house (it's weird to say that) tomorrow morning, when I go to pick up my seedlings. It's so filthy, I was so embarrassed!!! Not only had I stopped doing anything but the most basic cleaning about two weeks ago, but add in the fact that the animals are shedding and all the furniture was moved so you could see the ugly underneath, and YEOWCH!

I have to say, as unhappy as I was initially, in the end I am actually glad that this all happened. We love this house, and it suits us so well. It's a wonderful neighborhood, and several people have already introduced themselves, including some kids who came to check out our kids. Josie has already spent several afternoons playing with Matt Across The Street. I think we're going to be very happy here.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

See Ya Monday

This will probably be my last post for a few days. Our internet connection here at the house is going to be turned off, and the one at the new house will be turned on. The little local company we use won't allow us to have a connection in two places, annoyingly enough, and forget rescheduling, we'd need a pardon from the Queen of England or something to get THAT done. As it is, we have the usual annoying window for service at the new place of somewhere between 3pm and the end of time.

I have spent the last few days totally knocking myself out, bringing Patrick to school, scrubbing and painting at the new place, picking him up, dropping him off at home with sinus-infected DH, and then going back over to the new place to scrub and paint some more. Then I come home, make dinner, clean up, read to Josie, and fall into bed, to have weird moving-week dreams. Today, for a little variety, I threw in a long drive to drop off Patrick with DH's sister, Jane, who I love, and his cousins for the weekend, and a mad vacuum-dusting fest at the current place so everything'll be ready when the packers come tomorrow. I never thought I'd be glad to see the day when I have 'only' one house to clean!!

Everyone I talk to says the same two things - 'Oh, that was so FAST, wow!" and 'Well, at least it's almost over.' It is all I can do not to smack those people right upside their stupid heads! We first learned of the potential for losing our house *five months ago*. Since every day I have spent looking at these walls I so carefully wallpapered imagining them being knocked down has been a long one, that's a loooong time to me, not to mention the emotional and mental 'time' I have spent dwelling on it. No, no, not so fast at all, and I would like some credit for all that time rather than a dismissively trite 'almost over' . Uh-uh.

This week in the paper, news of our neighborhood's plight has gotten out. I am not a financially secretive person - if you ask me what I paid for something, I'll tell you, no problem. But, seeing our names, address, and what we were paid for our house by the county as it's being demolished is disturbing to me. I realize that it's public knowledge, since it was purchased with public funds, but I still feel weird. Even worse, the article detailed how shoddily some of our neighbors are being treated! The poor people two doors up from us were offered their asking price on their house (which was for sale until the county told them a few months ago that they couldn't sell it), and then at a council meeting this week, after the owner had signed the offer, when it came time to do the final vote, two people on the county council *changed their minds* and voted AGAINST the offer they had previously voted FOR, one on the grounds that the offer was too high (but apparently hadn't been the week before?) and the other - my favorite - because since they've decided that only the front half of the property will be needed for the road widening, he wanted to buy ONLY THE FRONT PORCH, rip it off, and just pay for that part of the property, leaving the naked house front directly on the sidewalk. That, my friends, is a serious contender for Dillhole of the Year. What a Wipe! I was afraid of that very thing happening to us, and even reading the article made me have a nausea-inducing panic attack. Luckily, there were enough people with a shred of decency that the house was purchased, anyway.

Anyway, God willing, the movers will be here in the morning, and will pack all our crap into boxes that we can climb over until they get moved on Monday. Cross your fingers for me that everything goes smoothly from here on out!!!