Monday, December 29, 2008
Kansas has pretty strict booster seat and riding in the front seat laws. Neither one of my kids has met the weight requirement before the height requirement. In fact, if I had gone by weight rather than height, The Big One would have been in the rear-facing infant seat until she was almost two, and a booster seat until the fifth grade.
I really liked this arrangement much better. Since about two-third of The Big One's height is in her legs, she was much more comfortable and the dog had more room to turn around in the back. Plus, we were able to actually talk to each other, rather than both of us plugging into some electronic device.
Her memory is much better than mine.
I finally got my order, took a sip, and noticed it smelled funny. NOT coffee with two creams and one sugar but TEA with two creams and one sugar. If I were really going to do Something New, I would have taken it back and got the order corrected, but we'd already waited too long, and so I tried hot tea with two creams and a sugar.
Not bad, but it wasn't COFFEE.
But I did recently go over my bank statements, and found that WAY too much money was bleeding out of my bank account through the drive-thrus. So it was also a reminder that I could have and should have, made coffee at home.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
I was in OK and out with a couple of girlfriends from high school, and one of them suggested doing this, mainly because there was no cover charge.
The bar was really cool, and best of all, NO SMOKING! The band was good, at least I think so, having nothing to compare it to. My brother used to play banjo for an Irish group, but I don't think that counts as bluegrass. The slide guitarist looked a lot like Hyde from That 70s Show and we did notice a preponderance of full beards. Since in the KC area, the going look for most men is goatees and shaved heads, I couldn't figure out if this was a Tulsa trend, a bluegrass band fan trend, or just a trend. I thought the crowd mostly looked like the all the guys I went to summer camp with in the late 70s and early 80s.
Before we went to see the band, we popped into a piano bar, that did allow smoking, and I did another Something New. The owner came over to us, because we were the cutest girls there of course, and introduced himself before he started playing and asked if we had any requests. I asked him if he knew the theme from "The Patty Duke Show." He didn't so he played "The Joker" instead.
Not even close.
He even got the lyrics wrong. It's POMPATUS, not PROPERTIES, dude!
If you're going to butcher it, at least get the lyrics right.
I'm going to marry the boy that can sing the theme from "The Patty Duke Show." That is, if he's straight.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Inbreeding is a really bad thing.
But despite the fact the family hung shotgun shells and car parts on their Christmas tree, trapped a live possum for dinner, and when it was too small, went looking for roadkill to make up for the difference and playing ring toss with toilet seats, I have to say, the head of the family, Max, was really creative and his heart was in the right place. He just wanted a nice Christmas for his family. And isn't' that what Christmas is all about?
At least in Sawdust, Tennessee.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
My sweet SIL suggested another home remedy of dropping a solution of baking soda, salt and warm water in your nostrils, so I tried that, too. It did seem to help, and so did a full sinus irrigation. Just hope it doesn't get worse.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Since The Big One was in the shower, I grabbed The Little One, who had just gotten out of the bath, and just had on her PJs and no shoes. I had on my robe and slippers and scooped her up (no easy feat, since she weighs about 60 pounds) and we ran out into the street. He turned around and saw us then drove down the hill. She thinks that maybe his sleigh crashed and the reindeer were startled and flew back to the North Pole, so that's why he was in a pick-up truck.
Maybe that will keep the magic going for another year.
This is not the first random sighting I've seen of Santa. This article that was in today's paper explains the Santa I saw last year.
"Rub Vicks ointment on the bottoms of your feet to ease cold symptoms."
I learned that this doesn't work, but does give your feet a nice tingly sensation. I also learned that a medium size jar of Vicks costs over $7.00 at the grocery store. I could have bought two boxes of generic sinus-headache remedy for that.
I received another email that putting hydrogen peroxide in the ears will also ease symptoms. If I manage it out in the snow, ice and snot today, I'll pick up a bottle and try it out. I figure at least hydrogen peroxide is cheap, and I can use it to clean, too.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
So I tried grocery shopping on my lunch hour. I think this is actually something I can incorporate into my life. Today was a good day for it, since the outside temperature was just above freezing and I didn't have to worry about anything spoiling in my car until I got home. I was able to do the holiday shopping without two kids in tow, and got in and out of the grocery store in less than 30 minutes.
And still had time to eat lunch.
Monday, December 22, 2008
From out of the blue, The Ex offered to take the kids for a couple of hours. Keep in mind, he's only with them when required, such as when I'm at one of my jobs or in class. So it's very rare I'm in the house alone, and when I am, run myself ragged cleaning, painting, putting away laundry, fixing things etc. After they left, I thought I'd tackle the mountain of laundry, but then had my little epiphany; "The house will always be messy, there will always be laundry to do, there will always be something that needs to be fixed." These things are not going anywhere, so instead of running myself ragged, I took a nap.
And the house didn't fall down because of it.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
We parked at the church across the street, and tuned our radio to 96.6. I had assumed it would be Christmas music, and thought it was hilarious that the songs were synched to "Jump," "Born to be Wild," and "Bittersweet Symphony." We must have come in at the middle of the loop, though, because we were later entertained with more traditional yuletide music, like TSO's "Carol of the Bells," which makes my ears bleed. The things I endure for my kids.
Anyway, I think we found a new Christmas tradition.
Friday, December 19, 2008
I have passed this trait onto The Big One.
Last week, as I was picking her up from study group, the girls in the group were putting their boots back on. One girl was bragging on her new Uggs, "that cost $130.00." My kid held up her foot, donned in the Target knock-offs, and said "These were only $20.00. Can you tell the difference?"
A moment to make any mother proud.
So today, I thought I'd try on her $20.00 knock-offs, just to see if I liked the style. Keep in mind, The Big One is 5' 4" and weighs 85 pounds, and wears a shoe a whole size smaller than me. I'm 5' 9 and 3/4" and 150+, so I was surprised when they fit. So I borrowed them.
I'm thinking in a couple of years, we both may be able to expand our wardrobes. For free.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
So I upped my stock as a professional slacker and used my free time constructively by taking advantage of imdb.com's feature of free movies and television shows.
Hey, it beats spending money online.
I'm all caught up on ER and CSI.
I knew Sam and Gates would break up and that Grissom would leave.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Some of the entries are just ideas she has like "You must seal an envelope before you mail it because so the letter don't fall out," "A hedgehog has small eyes short legs and a skinny nose called a snout," "Tricycles don't have keys because you have to pettle them," and "A little word in pencil is pen."
Some of the entries are more fleshed out, and tell a story. Some of these entries are picked by the teacher and are "published." This means the spelling, grammar and punctuation are edited and then printed out from the computer. She's published several entries, but not the following:
"I laughed when me and my friend Alex wacht Saturday night live and one the the juges said tonight your haf tiger haf gorilla and haf hores penis."
After I realized that the teacher read this, I laughed until I wet my pants. I have no idea what sketch they were watching and found it interesting she misspelled "watched", "horse" and "half" but not "penis."
So my Something New was to send an email to her teacher, offering this explanation: "It looks like I am officially a slacker mom. I was looking through Betsy's journal and read the entry, "..." After my initial mortification, I called Alex's mom and asked her when they'd watched Saturday Night Live. Turns out, she and Alex watched an episode of SNL and Talledageh Nights that had been DVR'd. Alex can now quote the movie.
So I just wanted to let you know that Betsy's television is monitored and I'm blaming it on the neighbor kid. However, I did laugh until I cried when I read it, and find it especially funny she spelled "penis" correctly."
This teacher is very cool, and when The Little One started writing "elizabeth" on her papers (always with lowercase "e"), instead of what we call her, she and I decided she was branding herself, like Madonna, Cher, Prince or Fabio, and just let her do it.
I'm not completely surprised that I've had to justify The Little One's actions to her teachers. She's the type of child that just comes up with these things out of no where. I'm just surprised it's taken me this long.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
However, there is one thing I make well, which are shortbread cookies I make at Christmas. The ingredients are pretty much butter, flour, butter, powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and almond flavor and butter. They are just like eating a stick of buttah.
This year, The Big One wanted to help. I handed her the ingredients and told her to go for it.
She did a great job, and the cookies came out great. Maybe I can get her to cook dinner every night now...
Monday, December 15, 2008
So I had an empty oatmeal box, sitting on the kitchen counter for about a month. No one claimed it, and I just couldn't bring myself to throw it out, so I recycled it as gift packaging. And to carry on the spirit of recycling, filled the box with a re-gift of hand me down American Girl doll clothes. I figure The Little One won't know the difference, and I'll make it up by buying candy for her stocking with the money I saved.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Anyway, since the floors were in such good shape, all I've done for maintenance on them is vacuuming and the occasional mop down with Murphy's Oil Soap. But they looked a little dingy, so I tried putting an old towel on my Swiffer mop and sprayed that down with Lemon Pledge and gave the floors a once over.
They look great, but are now slicker than snot.
On the upside, I can now perfect my Tom Cruise impersonation.
Friday, December 12, 2008
- I get lost. A LOT.
- I fall down. A LOT.
- I am always running about 10 minutes late.
I wasn't always this way. In fact, I used to have a wonderful sense of direction and was always punctual. That was before I had kids. I think the directional brain cells went out with the placentas and the tardiness can be attributed to having to get everyone ready. The clumsiness I think comes from the fact that I was my adult height of "Five Nine and Three Quarters" by the eighth grade.
So all of these factors came together while I was trying to get to my office holiday party. I had everything planned to the minute to get one child picked up to go work on a school project, one child dropped off at dance class, drive to the party, spend exactly 20 minutes at the party, go pick up the first child and her friends at the school project house, drop off the other 2 school project friends, pick up the second child at dance class and go home. This all had to take place between 5:45 and 7:30.
It just didn't happen.
By the time I got home from work, I was already running 10 minutes late. Shocking. So that threw a spanner in the works and as I was driving to my boss' house for the party, realized I'd have exactly five minutes to stay there. Emily Post does not have an emergency 800 number to answer the question "Which is worse, not showing for a party you've RSVP'd for, or only staying at said party for five minutes?" So I made the etiquette call on my own, called and gave my regrets.
This is Something New, because it really put me out of my comfort zone to not go. But I really felt like by the time I'd made the frantic drive over to her house, I'd be stressed enough without having to enter a houseful of strangers, throw back one drink and leave. I was looking forward to the party, after my success at the last party of strangers, but when a fire truck and two police cars passed me on a way to a wreck I would have passed on the way there, I felt the universe was telling me, "Don't go!" And since it's been icy this week, I figured why run the risk of falling down.
I was still late picking up The Big One and her friends because I got lost. But I didn't fall down.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I figured out that $360.00 per month for two children, works out to 50 cents per hour for two children.
Yep. He's so out of touch he thought that $12.00 per day to feed, clothe, and shelter two children was about right.
So when this came out of left field, I immediately filled out the paperwork and filed it at the county courthouse. In Kansas, everything has to be done through the courts, so there's a record and also so that the agreements will be enforced. I also had to schedule a hearing, that was supposed to be heard today. But, because of the weather, we got to call it in. It took about 3 minutes, and now I'll have enough every month for those extravagant extras like electricity, water, heating and cooling.
Monday, December 8, 2008
I worked in retail for the better part of 25 years. I know most stores will do a price adjustment. However, I know what a pain that is for the sales associate, and it also verges on ghetto. But it was a $15.00 difference. That's an hour of my time.
So I took it back and it was painless. Took less than a minute. I even apologized to the sales associate, but she said "No worries. I'd do the same thing."
I heart Target.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
That's right. I cooked something from scratch. And it was delicious.
Boiled that chicken carcass down, strained the broth and even made my own noodles. Both kids ate it and said it was delicious.
Not one bit went in the dog's dish.
Did I mention it was delicious?
Friday, December 5, 2008
Find P(A), given P(A').
Find P(A), given P(B), P( BA ) and P(A ∪ B).
Find P(A), given P(B), P(A ∩ B), and P(A ∪ B).
Find P(A), given P( BA ) and P(A ∩ B).
Find P( BA ), given P(A) or P(A'), P(B), and P(A ∪ B).
Find P( BA ), given P(A) or P(A'), and P(A ∩ B).
Find P(A ∪ B), given P(A) or P(A'), P(B), and P( BA ).
Find P(A ∪ B), given P(A) or P(A'), P(B), and P(A ∩ B).
Find P(A ∩ B), given P(A) or P(A'), P(B), and P(A ∪ B).
Find P(A ∩ B), given P(A) or P(A'), and P( BA)."
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
When we all went to the first class, she clung to me and wouldn't even sit in her squad seat without being within seeing distance of me. She kept her head down and her arms crossed across her chest the entire time. She whispered to the instructor and wouldn't join in the class activities unless I walked her to them. This is a child who is not at all shy and has no trouble in social situations. Even The Big One asked, "WHAT is going on with her?"
She eventually warmed up, and I thought was doing well. She knew all the moves when the teacher prompted and even made a friend. But every week, it's been "Do I have to go?"
When I was little, my mom took me to swim lessons at the Y. I was about 3, and still remember how scared I was. My mom had the wisdom to postpone lessons for about another 7 years.
I really felt that we should stick out the lessons, and finish what we started, but I remembered about the swim lessons. So instead of making her go to the last 3 classes, I gave her a choice.
She chose not to. And was very happy about it.
I had to wrestle with the ideas of "not finishing something" and "sticking it out," but this wasn't a required activity, nor was it a team activity where her presence was necessary.
I think we'll both be a lot happier.
Monday, December 1, 2008
- You can't buy cold beer at the liquor stores in Oklahoma. The logic behind this is that the purchaser of a cold beer would pop one open in the car. I don't know how that logic would apply to someone who bought a bottle of liquor. Perhaps they don't sell mixers, ice or glassware.
- Wild turkeys can fly. I learned this when a small flock flew over the hood of my car.
- I can probably eat my weight in banana-pineapple-Cool Whip-cream cheese-apricot Jello salad. After I do that, I can no longer bend over to tie my own shoes.
- A single night at the Four Seasons in NYC costs $1,059.00.
- Wheel chair crossings exist.
- If TNG sleeps in The Little One's room, I can get 6 hours of sleep in a row.
- It's OK to say "I don't want to," instead of trying to think up excuses.
- Driving straight into 30+ MPH winds with the luggage on top of the car cuts my gas mileage in half.
Another Something New is that I didn't turn into Bridget Jones while visiting my parents. Not the Renee Zellweger Bridget Jones, but the Helen Fielding Bridget Jones. The Bridget Jones who is treated like 14-year-old when she visits her parents, and has to wear ghastly outfits her mother buys out for her. My mother did buy me a new outfit ("It's just like Katie Couric wore when she climbed the Himalayas") but it was actually something simple and didn't look like something my mother bought for me. I also didn't feel guilty about staying out late. However, I did not get Mark Darcy/Fitzwilliam Darcy/Colin Firth at the end of the visit as a lovely parting gift.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I discovered the joy of Netflix's Watch Instantly feature. Another bonus, my old computer will actually take it.
While I painted, I watched And Then She Found Me. It stars my movie-star boyfriend, Colin Firth, Helen Hunt, Matthew Broderick and Bette Midler. The casting alone should make this a really good movie, but it was so-so. I think Helen Hunt called a bunch of her friends and said, "Hey, I'm directing a movie, be in it!" The Anniversary Party was made the same way, and it's a much better film.
Anyway, with all the sitting I do at my worktable painting, it will be nice to have some new choices besides my own DVDs.
Monday, November 24, 2008
My brother and either his girlfriend at the time, or his wife (sorry M & M, it's been so long, I can't remember) gave me a coffee grinder one Christmas. I hate to cook, and actually grinding my own coffee beans and brewing my own coffee from them, seems sort of like cooking. For most people, for me, that's the equivalent of slaughtering and processing your own cow to make hamburgers. So it's sat is my cupboard ever since.
So when I got a free pound of coffee beans with purchase at World Market, I got it down, and fired it up.
Like the Bass-o-Matic, it was quite a rush. Ready to pour.
But again, that's what this exercise is all about. Do something that someone else may think is ordinary, but that you've never done.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
It was like seeing a rock star.
Friday, November 21, 2008
When I got the call today, I set the handset down and started counting.
1:37 the sales person talked without drawing breath.
I didn't picked it back up right away, and didn't speak to her, just to see what would happen. I gave it another minute, and she'd hung up.
Now I know that sales person is just trying to make a living, but I really don't see it that way. Since the credit card companies are losing so much money with defaults and bankruptcies, they're trying to make it up anyway they can. Selling "free" credit reports is just another way for the credit card company to make money is all I see.
I think next call, I'll ask the sales person if they know I can already get up to 3 free credit reports a year, directly from the credit bureaus, no strings attached. Wonder what they'd try to sell me next.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I ran over an animal.
In my defense, it was dark, and I honestly didn't see anything until it was at my front driver's side tire and by that time, it was too late to react. I didn't even have time to slam on the brakes.
It made an awful thump. I don't think I'll ever forget that sound as long as I live.
I'm not sure if it was a cat, a squirrel or a bunny. I'm going to go with the squirrel though, because I hate the idea of killing someone's cat.
Actually, I'm not even sure if I killed it, because there was a car behind me with its lights on, and I didn't see anything in the road.
Or in my undercarriage.
I think I'm rationalizing.
Anyway, both girls were with me. I told them I hit a big branch.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
So today I took the dog to the groomer for the first time. And she got the "spa package."
For a dog.
I love my dog, but am not one of those pet owners who thinks their pet is human. I don't dress her up, except for Halloween, I don't baby talk to her, I don't cook her food, and in fact, buy her GENERIC dog food. But she has been click, click, clicking on the floors the past few weeks and I couldn't stand it anymore.
We walk so much that her nails stay filed down pretty good. In the 2 1/2 years we've had her, I've only cut her nails once, and that was with me sitting on her, feeding her animal crackers and my friend Jeff, cutting them.
But I have to say, after the $40 "spa package," she looks good. The Big One said she smelled like a candle and I wouldn't let her run loose in the backyard because I didn't want her to get smelly so soon. She isn't clicking as much either.
So even though I would have preferred to spend $40 on a "spa package" for myself, I think it was worth it.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
You heard me.
I shaved a chair. Actually two.
I have two recliners that I sold on eBay, and was cleaning them up before the buyer came to get them. These chairs are about 15 years old and in pretty good shape, but had a lot of pilling on the fabric. I thought I had one of those sweater shavers that everyone seemed to have in the mid 80s, but I must have thrown it out at some point. So I just used a regular razor, and I have to say, they look pretty good now. For 15 year old chairs anyway.
They sold for twice of my opening bid to a woman who lives near Dallas. I did put in the listing a couple of times "PICK UP ONLY" and thought she missed that. Nope. She's having UPS come and pack them and ship them to Texas. I'm thinking this may be twice as much as she paid for them and am sure there are green wingback recliners somewhere in Dallas, but I figure it's her money. I was thrilled to sell them though, because I bought a loveseat and new rug for the living room with the proceeds. And they were part of my "married furniture" so I'm getting that bad juju out of the house.
Now if I can just bring myself to sell my wedding crystal and china.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I don't travel much, and can't even remember the last time I flew. Anywhere the girls and I go, we drive, and besides, the thought of flying alone with two kids sounds like the opposite of fun.
My dad worked for American Airlines and when we were growing up, we always had to fly stand by. You know, that's when you stand there and say "Bye" as the plane you were supposed to be on takes off. The Aingell family has a cursed travel history anyway. In 1981, we finally got out after several flights took off without us and got to Hawaii, only to have the air traffic controllers go on strike. I think we stayed about 3 days. I won't even go into our road trip to the Grand Canyon with no air conditioning or how we all got sunburned in San Diego.
Anyway, it was pretty easy to book, but so many choices, I gave up and just settled. Who knows, maybe I'll get brave and actually plan a trip for us.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The firm I now work for was referring a case to another attorney. Apparently, the husband of a woman who had committed suicide was suing. When I was organizing the documents we were sending to the other attorney, I found the autopsy photos.
It's nothing like what you see on CSI when it's an actual person and not an actor.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Guess it pays to have more formal education than a vice presidential candidate after all.
It was a very nice change.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I drove a 12-mile round trip out of my way to save money on gas.
I've never done this, because here in JoCo Kansas, the department of public works loves their traffic lights and it really takes a while to get anywhere with so much stop and go. But I found a station near my old office that is always much lower than the QT that's a half mile from my house. So I made a special trip, just for gas.
It was totally worth it, as it was 10 cents cheaper per gallon at $1.89. So I probably came out ahead as far as time and gas spent.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
showing great joy, satisfaction, or triumph; rejoicing; exultant: the cheers of the jubilant victors.
I'm not sure this qualifies as Something New, but this is the first time I've ever used the word "jubilant" to describe my mood.
I love it.
After I voted, I went to Wal-Mart. Right after I parked, a woman came running over to me. She must have seen my Obama bumper sticker. She was probably in her mid-60's and was dressed in a sparkly sweatshirt, lots of gold jewelry, perma-nails and had what I call "Texas Hair," big and blonde. We've all seen this woman and know what the stereotype is. She said, "Oh, I just wanted you to know I just voted for Obama, too!" Appearances can be deceiving. So I hugged a total stranger in the parking lot at Wal-Mart.
It was a great moment.
I made the girls stay up late to watch the acceptance speech and hope they someday will understand the enormity of it. I had the neighbors over, and we all cried together. We popped open a bottle of champagne, and got most of it on TNG, but she didn't seem to mind. I even drunk-dialed for the first time to a friend in Chicago.
My neighbor's brother is married to an African-American, and they have four boys. When he put them to bed, he told them when they woke up in the morning, there would be a president that looked like them. So I'm even happier, because I can imagine it would have been horrifying for them if McCain had won.
Please President Obama. Don't break my heart.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
On the up side, I did get to check out our county's legal library at the court house. It was the tidiest library I've ever been in. THAT would be my dream job.
I also learned that my trash company has a limit on how much trash they will pick up on one day. I had about 14 bags and boxes of trash on the curb after all my cleaning, and they left eight. I guess I'll have to take the trash out in shifts now. However, I am DONE with the major purging and feel really great about how things look now. If only I could keep it this way...
Monday, November 3, 2008
Those people at the Girls Scout office are geniuses. The two things little girls love most, stuffed animals and horses, rolled into one. They should have a record year.
She sold 40 boxes in about an hour, which I thought was pretty good. The hard part is collecting the money when the cookies come in, but we've had good luck in the past.
Just what we need around here. Another stuffed animal.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
I know this has been something people have been doing for ages. I've never done it, not because I think it's gross or anything, but because I never had the opportunity.
I was picking up a love seat from the consignment furniture store with my Cute Friend Mel, and we noticed there were all these books in the dumpster. There's a Half Price Books next door, so we figured these were titles that just didn't sell. So we helped ourselves. They were all clean and we took about a dozen each.
I think it's a sin to throw a book away, except when they belong to The Ex.
Friday, October 31, 2008
But on a happier note, I got the job I interviewed for! I think I was actually interviewed by the attorney's assistant, because the attorney was on a conference call, and the assistant came out and talked to me for a while first. I got the call about 30 minutes after I got home, so I think she must have checked my references beforehand. I really liked both of them and it looks like a job where I can learn a lot. Plus, it's a 16% increase in my salary! I start a week from Monday, so in the meantime, I can finish tuning up my house and have some time for other things I've been putting off.
I am so happy and relieved!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tonight, when I was walking TND, I saw TCGIBS42Ys walking alone. I asked him where his buddy, Doc, was and he gave me the awful news that Doc had died over the weekend.
So I learned that some women pass out during a mammogram, but also, a good way to distract myself from the squishing is talking about something totally unrelated.
And as I finish shoveling through all the crap in the basement, I keep asking myself "Why the hell was I hanging on to this fill in the blank?" Yesterday, I neatly stacked all the old cabinet doors against the wall, after I had carefully swept off the floor and hit it with the Shop Vac. Today I thought, "Why am I keeping these in the first place?" When we moved in to this house, I hated the kitchen, the cabinet doors especially. Every day for ten years, I looked at those doors and hated them. When I finally took the initiative to just jump in and replace them, I cried when the new doors went up. Superficial, maybe, but now I feel at home in my kitchen. I guess in the back of my mind I thought I'd need the old ones for some reaseon. Today I realized I'd never have any use for those doors, and kicked them to the curb.
I do tend to hang onto things that don't work for me. I guess I'm just a stubborn Taurus. But on the flip side, some of the things I have held on to for the longest are friendships. My BFF and I have known each other since we were ten, and even when life gets in the way and we don't speak for a while, we always pick up right where we left off. But I also tend to hand on to relationships that don't work, too. I've got one that's been hanging around for about 25 years that periodically bites me in the ass. Gotta learn how to kick those to the curb.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Since I'm going to have free time, I made a list of all the chores around the house I'd like to get done while I can. The first was conquering all the CRAP in the basement. I thought I'd sort it all out for a garage sale, but realized it wasn't worth my time, so I'm filling boxes, then calling Goodwill. I can't believe all the things I'm finding, and wondering why it was so important for me to hang on to some of it. Why does someone who is not a professional house painter need at least a half dozen old shower curtain liners and vinyl tablecloths to use as drop cloths? And why exactly was I hanging on to a broken blender? I actually had one box that had not been unpacked since we moved in. It was my old dollhouse, and at least in the last eleven years, the mice had made good use of it. I did find a stack of screenprints I did in college, that are still in good shape, so I may actually frame them.
In the eleven plus years I've lived in this house, I've never really CLEANED the basement. For the first time, I swept out under the steps that lead to the basement and swept the cobwebs and dust from the ceiling and walls. Eleven years of dirt, cobwebs, animal hair and Goddess knows what else. I even cleaned the top of the hot water heater, and all around the furnace. Hopefully, that will keep St. Montgomery happy, and keep it running.
My Kind Friend Bev is a feng shui consultant, and has been giving me a lot of good advice lately. Since I did the major redecorating last month, I knew I'd stirred up all kinds of stuff and she gave me some cures. If she's reading this, I know she's probably thinking "GAH! You've stirred up enough stuff! Let it rest for a while!" But, I have to say, her cures are really working.
Not two days after I followed her suggestions, I got a call from out of the blue from The Ex. He had called the county trustees and was arranging to double the child support. Now, in the last 4 years, every time I bring that up, he threatens me with the equity in the house he still has. This was truly a shock, and the fact that he took the step to call to find out how to do it, is even more amazing, since the man has almost no initiative.
So today, about 2 hours into my cleaning project, I got a call from a firm that I had applied to. I have an interview on Friday and am keeping my fingers, toes, eyes, legs and whatever else I have, crossed.
Another interesting find in cleaning the basement were these painted footprints. They were in the back corner, near the radon detector. I had no idea they were there, or whose they are. Maybe KFB can tell me what they mean!
I'm going to keep cleaning methodically through the house. Who knows what else I'll find...
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
When I sort the laundry, I have a basket I throw all the orphan socks into, hoping I'll eventually match them up. Today I realized, that some of these orphans have been in there for years, so I did something BOLD.
I threw them away.
Now I know that's not major, but I was raised not to throw anything that might still be useful away. My parents were born right after the Great Depression, so grew up frugally, and passed that on to us.
The thing is, we have plenty of PAIRS of socks, and even if we didn't, socks ARE something affordable. I just find myself hanging onto stuff out of habit.
Today the orphan socks. Tomorrow the 2 foot pile of rags under my kitchen sink.
Monday, October 27, 2008
She did bring movies for us to watch on Friday, but I spent most of my day checking out Craigslist and CareerBuilder and filling out applications online, so I didn't get to that.
Today she said, "Since I'm in court this afternoon, and you have an interview (with my THIRD employment agency), just turn on your cell and you can be"on call.""
Sweet. I've never slacked with permission before.
However, by the time I finished the interview, went home and had lunch, it was time to pick the girls up from school, so I really didn't get that much time off.
Still, I think it was a first for the both of us.
We'll probably do the same tomorrow and Wednesday.
We are such rebels.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
So instead of laying in bed another hour, hoping to sleep, I got up, got dressed and went to the grocery store. I whispered to the girls I was leaving, went to the store, did my shopping and got back before they woke up.
It was a great time to shop, since the store was practically empty, and all the check out lanes were free. If I were braver, I'd try it in the middle of the night.
I'm awake anyway, might as well do something constructive.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Living just north of the poverty level for so many years, I cut that extra fluffy stuff out years ago. And no, I've never had anyone clean my house but me, so that one is really off base.
Instead of getting my morning coffee at Starbucks for $4.00+, I usually take my own travel mug and get an amaretto cappuccino refill at Quik Trip for eighty-five cents. It's from a powdered mix, but full of chocolaty and caffeiney goodness.
But with my impending unemployment looming, I couldn't even scrape up enough change for that this morning, so I improvised and made my own with home-brewed coffee and a packet of raspberry hot chocolate mix. It was OK, but not as sweet as Quik Trip's version. Which is probably not a bad thing. I think if I tweak it, I may be able to stomach it.
The silver lining is that because we do live simply, I can make very little and we still get by. Hopefully, I'll get a "real" paying job and we'll bank the rest.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Figures. I have 6 more days until my job is kaput and I finally get it right.
My boss is being so funny now, though. She's very by-the-book. Not strict or a hard-ass, but like me, is too chicken to act up too much. She suggested that since next week is our last week, we should make it like Senior week, and do nothing but watch movies and take field trips.
I can dig it. I've been at work for 3 hours today and done no actual work. I'm sticking it to the man.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I live in an older house, built in 1962. Not old enough to be charming yet, but old enough to feel its age. It really has held up well, considering I've lived here for 11 years, and the only major things I've had to replace are the roof, water heater and dishwasher. The furnace is, and I'm not kidding, a Montgomery Ward model, installed in 1978. Every winter, I say a little novena to St. Montgomery, praying we get another year out of it.
There is a really funky smell that comes out of the drains every few months, and sometimes black ooze comes up the shower drain. I usually keep plenty of Liquid Plumr on hand for just such and emergency, but was out, so tried a home remedy I read about. "One squirt of Dawn, washed down with a teakettle of boiling water."
I'll be darned if it didn't work. Cleaned that sucker right out.
What is it about Dawn that works for so many things? And it has to be REAL Dawn, and NOT the generic kind.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Anyway, I couldn't get them flattened enough to fit in the envelopes until I had the idea to crease them tighter with the edge of a CD case, then sitting on them. A co-worker came by and was watching me and gave me that "What the hell are you doing?" look.
Hey, I don't think there's anything in the office as heavy as my botto.
I got them all in the envelopes, metered and mailed.
I hope the company appreciates my effort.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Some of this has to do with The Neurotic Dog. She wakes several times at night and paces, pants and scratches. She is home alone for most of the day, so I don't really blame her for being restless, but it is aggravating.
The other night, I had an hour to walk her while The Little One was at her Brownie meeting. I figured I'd wear her out good, and she and I would both sleep. We did 7 half-mile laps around the park, plus the mile round trip to and from the park, for a total of 4 1/2 miles. I was pooped, so I'd figured she'd be.
I figured wrong.
She spent most of the night scratching, scratching, scratching. I found no signs of fleas or any other bugs, and seeing how I just Frontlined her a couple of weeks ago, figured it wasn't that, but maybe some kind of allergy.
So the following night, I doped my dog. I gave her the contents of a Benadryl capsule in her food and she did sleep most of the night. I don't know if it helped the itching, but at least I got 6 hours of sleep in a row.
This may become our nighttime routine.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Speaking of vampires, The Big One got me reading the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. I did no chores yesterday, and laid on the couch and read most of the first one. I wish I were a brave enough slacker to have called in sick to read the second. I got the first three in the series for The Big One for Christmas, but may have to give them to her a little early.
We're planning on seeing the movie over Thanksgiving.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
We're both stubborn, neurotic, love to eat, smarter than what other people give us credit for, smarter than what we give ourselves credit for, and at the end of the day, just want to have our bellies scratched and our butts rubbed.
My mother has worked for estate sale appraisers for over 15 years, and I've really gotten an education on them through her. I find some of my best Christmas presents at them.
So I stopped in on one by my office. Apparently, this estate sale appraiser thinks their goods were really awesome, because the prices were really high. Seriously, I can find new furniture cheaper at Nebraska Furniture Mart.
There was a corner wedding cake shelf I liked, but still too high. They were taking bids, and I won, for half the marked price. It still would have been half off the last day of the sale, but I've never bid on anything at an estate sale before.
It looks fabbity-fab-fab in the girls' bathroom.
Friday, October 10, 2008
When the kids were in elementary school, they had band twice a day. Now it's every day. What a difference twice as much practice makes. I was pretty much blown away and so proud of the kids.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I'm feeling very ambivalent about it though. My boss, who I love, is really trying to place me with another attorney, so we can still work together, although I'd be on another payroll. If the world revolved around she and I, that would be perfect, but I am the sole income for me and my girls, so I have to just keep throwing spaghetti on the wall and seeing what sticks. I feel like I'm betraying her confidence, but I have been honest with her on my position.
Then I think, if we were men, this wouldn't even be an issue.
"It's not personal, Sonny. It's strictly business."
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I broiled tilapia fillets, cut it into little pieces and told them it was chicken. The Little One ate all of hers and The Big One was halfway through when she asked what it was. I told her and she spit it out.
"But you already ate half!"
"It's fish, I don't like fish!"
"But you already ate all of it!"
"But I hated it!"
Good thing they know where the peanut butter and frozen waffles are.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
I picked the windowpanes off the curb a few months ago, thinking I'd figure out some kind of project for them. I used resin, which I'd never used before, and glass pieces from the dollar store. I probably spend about $60, most of that on the resin. Resin's not cheap!
I actually hung them on the first try. Pretty shabby-chic, if I say so myself.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
I'm terrible at remembering phone numbers. The only one's I have stored in my brain are mine, my parents' home number (since it hasn't changed since 1974), my BFF's number from the house she grew up in, my cute friend Mel's and my friend Anne's. So I have phone list numbers everywhere at home and work, and everyone programmed into my cell.
There is a realtor I have to call about every day, so it dawned on me I could program my phone for speed dialing. I have never used speed dialing, because I always figured I'd have to remember what number went with what name, and that would be another phone list, so what's the point?
But I think I can handle just one number.
I'm not taking any chances of missing out.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
It better be good.
Monday, September 29, 2008
She has several good friends that are boys, especially B and C, who are also best friends, so I felt they would be fine with all the girls around.
Boys are a lot different from girls.
From the moment they both walked into the house, the energy changed. Lucky for us, the weather was good, and since the theme of the party was "carnival" we had everything in the backyard. We had a ring toss, junk food walk (like a cake walk, only the prizes are junk food), estimation jar, toilet toss (throwing wet sponges thru a toilet seat. The boys loved this one.) and rides on the rope swing.
The Little One had a great time so that's all that matters.
I'm also slowly overcoming my fear of social activities.
When I was married to The Ex, and even while we were still living together, he worked in the restaurant business and had crazy hours. We had about two days off a month together and I could literally go 3-4 days without seeing him, even though we were in the same house. In fact, when we separated, we didn't tell The Big One for about 4 months, and she was so used to him being in and out, she didn't even notice.
Because of this, I spent a lot of time at home alone or with babies and toddlers. When we started living together, it was because I moved to another state to be with him, and then when we had our first baby, had just moved to another state. As someone who does enjoy socializing, but is somewhat shy, this was problematic.
And while dealing with his addiction, I learned to withdraw even more.
So after about 17 years of conditioning, it's been a slow process to get back into the practice of meeting new people and being in a group.
I started to feel that old panic again at this party, and was leaving, when a new friend came running after me. I did feel comfortable enough with her to let her know how I was feeling, and she totally understood, and said she had the same problem.
It does help talking about it, and just practicing.
"I certainly have not the talent which some people possess," said Darcy, "of conversing easily with those I have never seen before. I cannot catch their tone of conversation, or appear interested in their concerns, as I often see done."
"My fingers," said Elizabeth, "do not move over this instrument in the masterly manner which I see so many women's do. They have not the same force or rapidity, and do not preoduce the same expression. But then I have always supposed it to be my own fault- because I would not take the trouble of practising..." Pride and Prejudice
Friday, September 26, 2008
I had a job interview this afternoon, (FINGERS CROSSED FOR A SECOND INTERVIEW!!!) and forgot to bring my toothbrush to work so I'd be all fresh for the interview. I hadn't had lunch, but still had coffee breath and no gum. So I swiped a baby wipe across my ivories.
It didn't taste all that bad, and it did feel like I at least got the coffee film off my teeth.