Monday, October 31, 2005

Next year, I think they're going by themselves...

I am getting too old and too worn out to keep up with four kids running door to door, and it was cold.

But the ghost stories were good!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

And now, I finally get to sit down.

I just finished making about 9 dozen sugar cookies. I am bringing sugar cookies to work tomorrow for Halloween!

I am dressing up in my green dress, red cape, and straw hat. My son is dressing up as Shaun, from Shaun of the Dead, a movie which it seems, only we have seen (among our friends and family). No matter, people tomorrow may get it, and think it funny.

My son has to go to work with me tomorrow, since there is no school, so this should be pretty fun. There he will sit, in the computer lab, playing Halo or BZFlag, covered in red paint. I will be stuck driving to work in costume, as it takes so long to get into, and I really don't want to have to go to work at 6:45 in order to be ready in time. That's also why I'm just going to wear it trick-or-treating too.

This year, my son invited three friends to go trick-or-treating with us. All of them wear unanimously decided that I had to wear a costume anyway, so this works out well. My son wanted me to be a zombie, but I declined :)

I bought about 10 pounds of candy for tomorrow, for the labs. I am giving out candy to anyone in costume, or with a plausible explanation as to why their normal attire could be considered a costume. One department is having "Dress like your professor" day, and another is also having a costume contest.

This should be fun!

What are YOU going to be?

Friday, October 28, 2005

That little voice inside my head...

told me to go to Goodwill. "Maybe you can pick up some sweaters for the eleven-year-old?" it said...

In the back of the store, was a cute little black table, just the perfect size for a desk for my room! $9.99. Handmade. A little wobbly.

I bought it, took it home, cleaned it up, tightened the legs up, and the knob on the tiny little drawer. It's the perfect size, height, shape, everything. I got rid of my old desk in June, and have been using an old drawing board set across two iron plant stands ever since. I was looking for just the right thing.

And I was just going to go straight home after buying my son some new clothes...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Sewing Reflections

I have given up on the red bodice to the huge red dress.

The pattern, simplicity 8881, is theoretically gorgeous, and I have seen it done well, but the bodice pattern is so far off that I was left with four extra inches in the bodice area when I wore this for the DM ren faire. I hated the lovely dress that I had poured so much time into.

Now that I am much more comfortable sewing clothing, and had made bodices that actually fit properly, I tried to sit down tonight and figure out just what would have to be done to the pattern to make it work for me.

The answer - use a different pattern, or draft my own.

The shoulder straps needed to be lengthened, and somehow the back needed to come in quite a bit over the chest, and I knew I'd have to hand sew the eyelets so that it would lace instead of hook in the back. Added to the fact that there is quite a bit of handsewing anyway, I decided to scrap the idea of trying to finish it before Monday.

So, I just need to take in the waist of the green skirt (had to pin it when I wore it), and finish off the eyelets on the green bodice (I had only gone around the holes once, instead of twice, as I was doing this the night before I wanted to wear it at the Iowa Ren faire, by the light of a lantern). It's about an hour's work for the set, as the holes are already there, and I am just reinforcing them.

The green dress is actually a better choice, as it is trimmed in red and black, and has a matching cloak and hat. I may have to add black trim to the skirt, though, as I had not finished that before I had to wear it last.

Oh, I am glad to have a least a little bit of a project to work on again! I am still looking for fabric for a jacket that I want to make, and I've got quilt squares sitting on my sewing table, waiting to be pieced together into something. I also need to start thinking about Christmas, and if I want to make gifts for anyone this year. I've made picture quilts and pillows for friends and relatives in the past, but I am kind of low on inspiration this year. I used to sketch with pencil and paper, but in the last couple of years, I sketch on my sewing machine.

And when it gets cold outside, I don't feel quite as guilty about staying in and watching television as long as I have hand sewing to work on.

Did I mention it's also good for the diet?


(that should have something like, #19849824 behind it, but who's keeping track?)

My legs are the problem tonight.

I finally gave in and took some tylenol about 5 minutes ago. We'll see how long it takes to work.

My sister, M, bought a self-hypnosis CD from a hypnotist that visited her college. My mom and I insisted that she let us listen to it (it was for weight-loss :)). So, we all lay flat on our backs on the living room floor, ready to listen and at least relax a bit.

Of course, I can't stop laughing.

I got the giggles the moment the music started.

They escaped again when the hypnotist started talking.

Before long, I was biting my lip to keep from laughing, and failing miserably. I ended up having to leave the room. In fact, M and I escaped to the computer room.

The five and a half minutes I managed to sort of hear, said to start relaxing from the tips of your toes, then the ankles, and let the relaxation spread inch by inch, until your eyes are so heavy that you can't possibly open them. If it weren't for the cheesy music (created especially for the hypnotist!), and the fact that I can't stop from laughing at things that take themselves too seriously, I might have been able to figure out how to relax enough to get to sleep tonight...

Okay, 13 minutes, and the tylenol hasn't started to work yet.

(edited out because it made NO SENSE, and had only to do with my pathetic plans for Friday night)

Actually, Hugh Jackman is the new Bruce Willis. Bruce replaced Sean Connery, who replaced two actors who will remain unnamed (cough)Wil Wheaton/slash whoever played Riker(/cough). Movies, candy, boring me.

Well, I think that the tylenol has finally started to work (1:16). I think I might actually be able to sleep now.

I hope that this post has been instrumental in putting others to sleep, as well.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

There were a bunch of things I wanted to blog about today, but...

I was at work.

Last night, I happened to catch VH-1's I Love the 80s - 3D. Oh, the things I saw, and the memories that came back...

And tonight, it's '84 and '85! Unfortunately, I have stuff to do tonight that will probably not involve watching tv, except for South Park.

Yet another bad thing about being sick is the fact that all of the Mom-Work piles up. I have a running list right now that I know I will not get done tonight. But, I am okay with that. As long as I get the laundry done, and the house dusted, things should shape up fairly quickly.

What I am battling right now is severe leg pain, consequence of two days of inactivity, and a full day of running at work. Actually, my legs started hurting after only an hour, during which I spent most of the time sitting at my desk in my very expensive chair (TG for half-price sales!). I probably won't sleep well tonight, so it is just as well that I have chores to keep me occupied.

Hmmm, oh, and another thing I wanted to write about...

We are dressing up for Halloween at work on Monday! I have several excited lab monitors who are on board, and apparently one of the departments is having a costume contest. This brings me to my other, other plans for the next few days...

I am planning on ripping apart the horrid red dress and redoing the bodice in a style that will actually fit, and doesn't have crappy sleeves. I am going to start on this tonight while the laundry is going (three loads at a time - I love apartment building laundry rooms!). I am going to nix the stupid hat and opt for just a plain white head covering, which should look much better. I also have some jewelry that I made this summer that will go with it, too.

Should be fun to do tech support stuff in farthingale, huh?

The best part is, my son does not have school, so he is coming to work as Shaun of the Dead (nametag finished, cricket bat template finished, to the correct size for his height - 5). I wonder just how long it will take for someone to notice...

Eek... time to go... so much to do, so little time...

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A mothra's wrok is never done...

So, after spending another lovely day on the couch experiencing the joys that are know as Daytime Television.

Even with cable this is torture on the wrists (channel surfing).

Can someone tell me WHY every other movie on Lifetime Movie Network has either "deadly" and "matrimony" in it, and are all about abusive relationships that don't start out bad, and in fact start out with the hunk o'the day buying the heroine lots of designer clothes ala the 80s? jeesh. Either that, or they show only Danielle Steele movies. Oh wait, they nearly all have scenes like that with the clothes. I'll admit, I've read just two of her books. The first because I was a captive audience. The second, because I was under sedation when I finished the first, and therefore was under the impression that I liked it.

But, I digress.

Tonight, I had to go out of the house for two very important reasons. The first was because we had DVDs checked out from the library that were due today. At $1.00/day fine, the fact that we had 10 dvds checked out was more than enough reason to attempt to drag myself and my son out of the house. The second reason was because we were out of milk, and pretty much every thing else in the manner of groceries. Oh, and my son needed a pumpkin yet for Halloween. Yes, that's three reasons then.

Yes, I actually made it out of the house and back.

Thank god I can go back to work tomorrow...

update: I think I am going to check my temp again. This post made absolutely no sense...

Monday, October 24, 2005

You know that scene in Scanners...

Yes, I feel like my head is going to blow up.

When I woke up this morning, my stomach felt a little off but it wasn't until I got out of the shower that I realized that I had a problem.

Stomach flu.

I brushed my teeth, and resigned myself to taking the day off. I sent my son off to school, and settled on the couch with the weather channel on at very low volume.

When I woke up at around noon, I checked email, then decided that I should try to eat something.

Ten minutes later, I discovered that it was a bad idea.

About 2:30, the headache started, and my temperature got higher.

I made soup for supper (for me - my son had leftover tacos), but I ended up throwing it away after smelling it. I made oatmeal instead, and it seems to be doing okay so far.

But the headache will not go away, even with tylenol.

I hate being sick. I can't relax because I know there are a million things that I need to be doing other than being sick.

I just hope this doesn't last much longer...

Saturday, October 22, 2005

White shirt - Check, Red tie - Check

Just back from the costume search. Goodwill coughed up a red tie that will soon have magic marker taken to it to make some stripes. Salvation Army store yielded a white shirt with white buttons (key attention to detail). After both items are washed, we will begin splattering red paint on the shirt (red ink in the pocket), and striping the tie. The name tag will be done on the color printer and mounted on a name tag. We may skip the black dress pants, but as my son needs some anyway, I may just go buy some.

Black shoes are the problem. My son's feet have grown a size since last summer, when we bought black dress shoes. Now, I have a perfectly good pair of black oxfords that I only wore a couple of times, and that look exactly like the pair of black dress shoes that he grew out of. I may do a bait and switch, and just not tell him that they are mine. They might actually be too small for him, but then again, I think these were bought while I was still carrying a few extra pounds.

In any case, the Shaun of the Dead costume is progressing nicely! This is going to be so funny...

Weekend Plans - Quandry

After feeling almost human again last night, I woke up this morning with a very stuffy nose, and a big headache.

I was planning on going to a friend's house today, but she never called to solidify plans, so I am not sure what is up with that.

My mom wants me to go back to Manson this weekend, as my aunt and her husband and their two boys are visiting from St. Louis. If this headache goes away before noon, so I can get some work done around the house, I may just fill up the car with gas (for the low, low price of $2.19/gallon), and go spend the weekend with my family.

On the other hand, if I stayed home this weekend, I could get the rest I need to get over this cold, and still get lots of stuff done around the house (taking cans and bottles back, cleaning out my closet, making my son's Halloween costume, etc).

Play or Work? Play or Work?

Friday, October 21, 2005

Okay, now I really will have some explaining to do...

My son has decided that rather than wear his ren-faire costume for trick-or-treat, he is going to go as Shaun, of Shaun of the Dead.

We laughed for about 10 minutes straight making a list of the things that we need to make this costume.... I am going to have to find some red plastic so I can make him a name tag on the laser cutter this weekend. Everything else we should be able to get from Goodwill for pretty cheap.

This is going to be good...

Update - that thing about the laser cutter - for a second there I forgot that the laser cutter is booked solid for the next week already... I'll get some letter stickers and put it together by hand, but laser etching it would have been the perfect touch...

Uh, okay...

Big family filled entertainment here tonight...

My son and I sat down to watch a movie together. A movie that he has been begging me to be allowed to watch for ages and ages. A movie that I really wanted to watch, too.

Before I put in the movie, I made him swear that he would go to bed as usual, with the lights out, after watching, no complaints.

A movie that he is still laughing about, and quoting from, and probably will for the next few years.

Sorry, mom.

If you haven't seen it yet, you have to, have to, have to rent or buy or check out from the library (I know our library has it, because I checked it out!) -----

Shaun of the Dead you ROCK!!!

Longest Afternoon

You know how you can work and work and work, and think that you've been working for hours and hours and hours, then look up at the clock and realized that it is only 2:00 and only an hour has passed since you got back from lunch?

That was my day.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I Hate Laundry

Okay, actually, I rather like doing laundry normally, but tonight my cold has me wiped out, and the last thing i want to do is trudge up and down the stairs doing laundry.

There is something about finishing the laundry that really makes me feel like I am organized, and have everything under control, even if the dishwasher is filled with dishes, and my son has his 10,000 piece megablock Tank spread across the living room floor. Having clean laundry to wear means not having to worry about NOT having clean clothes to wear.

It is also one of the three "D"s that are part of the flylady mantra.

Dinner, dishes, and duds.

These are the three key items that you need to do, even if you can't do anything else when you are sick. Doing these three things will still make you feel like you have accomplished something, and if the rest of your routines have been kept up, you can get through being sick without having the house and family fall apart around you.

Dinner tonight was Culvers, since I had to take my son to get his hair cut anyway (the kid is beyond help - 8 years with the SAME HAIRCUT. He will not change.) That's one D taken care of.

Dishes were in the dishwasher and the dishwasher was running when we left. I am going to empty it in just a few minutes, and put the last couple of things in. That's the second D.

Which brings me to the third D. Duds. Laundry.

Oh well, I had better quit complaining and just do it. It'll take me five minutes to start, 25 to wash, and 47 to dry. In between, I am vegging on the couch. No sudafed tonight, unless I take it after the laundry is done, and go to bed immediately.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

One bad thing about taking cold medicine...

(oh and in case you missed the meaning of the last post title, "Feed a Cold, starve the flu", hence no diet until this cold is gone)

As I was saying, one bad thing about taking sudafed is that if you get interrupted while sleeping, or do not get to sleep within a certain period of time after taking it, you might as well get up and bake a cake.

So I did.

Chocolate. It's in the oven right now.

Somehow, while I couldn't finish three pages in the book I am reading, due to being distracted by the SpongeBob Movie (one of my son's library picks - of course he also heartily agreed to Shaun of the Dead), I decided that I needed to bake a cake. I wanted something sweet, and since there are no sweets in the house, and I had a cake mix and frosting in the pantry, I decided to make a cake.

I am never getting to sleep tonight. And I only took half a dose...

Okay, the diet is off!

I woke up with a light headache this morning, but didn't think much about it. As I drove to work, my blood sugar dropped and I was feeling pretty icky. I got something to eat right away from the vending machines, and then realized, as food began to take effect, that the headache was the beginning of sinus pressure.

Yup. Sinus cold. I also developed a heck of a cough as the day progressed. No fever, as such, but since I run consistently at about 97.8°F normally, and am about 98.4°F now, my temp is elevated a bit.

I called my mom after work, and right after I said hi, she said, "You too?" Yep, mom has it, and one of my sisters that I spent Saturday with has it too. Nan has it bad, apparently. Despite all of this, Mom is trying to get us to come home this weekend, as my aunt and her husband and my two little cousins (one in first grade, one who is three) are coming to visit from St. Louis. I told her that we'd think about driving up on Sunday, unless this turns into sinus infection. "We all have it, so you don't have to worry about being contagious," she cajoled. I love my mom for not minding if we visit while I am sick :) Unfortunately, the last thing I want to do if I can barely keep my eyes open is drive for 90 minutes during harvest season (those tractors come out of NOWHERE and drive 35 mph on the highway).

So, I am in my pyjamas, getting ready to take some sudafed, and sit down with a book on the couch. Luckily, my son does not have religious ed tonight, so we'd don't have to go anywhere the rest of the evening. I have to stay up until 10 though --- NEW SEASON OF SOUTH PARK!

Time to dig the medicine out of the first aid kit...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Oh, and if you thought I'd let this go unchallenged...

Seems someone decided to set up a little ping challenge...

I am known for my impressive ping response times :) It's a natural side-effect of spending TOO MUCH TIME ONLINE!!!

It's also function of Safari, where bookmarked RSS feeds put a number in the bookmark bar when a new post is made. Right now there are 929 unread updates in my News folder, and ZERO in my blogging folder.

Here I am, goofing off online when my son is waiting for me to go "Do SOMEthing." I think we'll go to the library and get some more books and movies...

"I wanna go DO something."

Sixth-grade speak for "Let's go to Family Video so I can rent games that we will forget to return on time."

Monday, October 17, 2005

Day 1 of the New Diet

(quit laughing)

After the excess of the weekend, and let's be perfectly honest here, the entire last three months, I decided that today was "D Day". Yes, the dreaded Diet has begun.

While I am not going to join Weight Watchers officially, I have my mom's old points counter, and have figured out my points for everything I ate today. Except the chocolate muffin, because there is no way that I want to know how many points I just blew away with that one. Oh, and I accidentally ate a cupcake earlier...

Dang. This five pounds is NEVER going to go away...

Saturday, October 15, 2005

I ate what?

Lovely, lovely lunch and shopping with my mom and three of my sisters, and my baby niece and nephew today. We left the 11-year-old with my brother-in-law (he hates shopping).

A lovely place to eat lunch...

Blackend Chicken Sandwich, my favorite high-calorie indulgence :)

Luau Salad - my mom's choice was tempting, too. I think I am going to have to try this one next time.

To finish off our gorgeous lunch, we shared cheesecake. I have no idea what kind it was, but it had toffee chips and nuts in the whipped cream, and it tasted like caramel. Wonderful!!! I did not get pictures of the cheesecake - it disappeared too fast!

Too soon, we had to go home. I really enjoyed our day together, and I hope we can do it again soon.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Say it with me: "Cheesecake Factory"

That is where we are going to have lunch tomorrow.

I gained 5 pounds this month, and I am still going to eat lunch at the Cheesecake Factory tomorrow. I think I will take pictures. Of the food. Because I am starting my diet on Sunday.

Heaven on Comedy Central

25 of Eric Cartmen's Greatest Moments. Right now. Comedy Central.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Internets: The Good, the Bad, and the Uuugggly

So, I was bored tonight, and waiting for something to print on my old personal laserwriter 320 (bought 11 years ago this month). I started googling names of people I know/knew, and pretty soon, I decided to pop in my own name.

Oh, the horror...

Everything I ever put my name on, online, for everyone to see. Infini-D Listserv posts from 1996, my old isu web site with old tutorials for a software application that no longer exists (but I still get email about), a comment I made on back in 2003, that project I worked on in '96&'97, and the UUUUUUGGGGLLLLLY picture of me that Heather took back when I first started my job in 2000 (still on work's web site!!!).

Just think how bad it's going to be in 10 years!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Even Prouder Moment:

Written above a cut out picture of yummy roasted chicken.

And I quote:
"God is like an oven roasted chicken. It's good."

laughing hysterically, because I just know my son made a really good first impression tonight... I thought it was funny, but I don't know what the teachers thought :)

That's my kid!

Proud moment: When asked to make one of God's creatures out of play-do tonight in religious ed, my son made a T-Rex, in full, terrifying glory.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Just so you know...

I did not escape unscathed by last weekend's chilly camping adventure. I have the sneaking suspicion that I am getting what is going to be a very, very bad cold. As in, my chest feels tight, I try to cough, but it's non-productive. Not going to be fun.

It's fixed!

Yes, my refrigerator is no longer leaking water. And yes, there was this thing in the back of the freezer (inside, mind you), that had sort of come away from the freezer wall where it was supposed to be attached. Guess how they fixed that?

Yep. Duct tape.

Monday, October 10, 2005

I've sunk to new lows...

Yes, I actually considered eating chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream directly from the package tonight. If it had been a carton instead of one of those rectangle things, I would have. As it is, I am contemplating the logistics of reading an online book while eating ice cream from a plate, but I am not certain it is a wise idea. Laptop keyboards, as you know, are not ice cream proof.

I, Jennifer must read I. Asimov. Now.

Okay, so I have to be the only geek who has not read Isaac Asimov, and really, I meant to get on that about 15 years ago, but life got in the way. I've wanted to read "I, Robot" for over a decade, but I keep getting sidetracked by other authors, noteably Philip K. Dick and H. Rider Haggard (thank you, Project Gutenburg, for having the other 51 HRH books that our library does not).

But, I digress...

Last Sunday I went to the library to return movies, and get more DVDs. I found a couple of semi-good movies that I had already seen, and three I hadn't seen. One of those was "I, Robot".

Let's just say that tomorrow's trip to the library will be with one mission in mind. I am fully aware movies are almost never like the books the profess to bring to life, but I have always enjoyed books more than movies made from books. Since I enjoyed the movie I, Robot quite a bit, I am very anxious to get started on a real Asimov binge.

OMG, my mom found my blog!

No, not really, but if she had found my blog, this post would just confirm her suspicion that I am... wait for it... The Most Boring Person in the World™. And she'd be right!

The refrigerator repair person is coming around sometime tomorrow to fix the water problem. You know, the problem with the water actually coming from the freezer into the refrigerator section...

Sunday, October 09, 2005

10 more reasons to read this blog:

01010100 01101000 01100101 01110010 01100101 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 00110001 00110000 00100000 01110100 01111001 01110000 01100101 01110011 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01110000 01100101 01101111 01110000 01101100 01100101 00100000 01101001 01101110 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01110111 01101111 01110010 01101100 01100100 00101110 00100000 01010100 01101000 01101111 01110011 01100101 00100000 01110111 01101000 01101111 00100000 01110101 01101110 01100100 01100101 01110010 01110011 01110100 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00101100 00100000 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101111 01110011 01100101 00100000 01110111 01101000 01101111 00100000 01100100 01101111 01101110 00100111 01110100 00101110 00100000 00001101 00001010 00001101 00001010 01010111 01100101 00100000 01101110 01101111 01110111 00100000 01110010 01100101 01110100 01110101 01110010 01101110 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 01110010 00100000 01110010 01100101 01100111 01110101 01101100 01100001 01110010 01101100 01111001 00100000 01110011 01100011 01101000 01100101 01100100 01110101 01101100 01100101 01100100 00100000 01100010 01101100 01101111 01100111 00100000 01110000 01101111 01110011 01110100 00101110

In which I continue as I started...

To stay true to this title, I will now continue to not finish this post, as I have not finished anything I have started this weekend, other than

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Good-bye beautiful fushia and bright pink petunias. Good-bye morning glories, you've bloomed beautifully in hues from deepest purple, indigo blues, and deep pinks. Good-bye wild-flowers, with your red petals edged in gold. Good-bye snapdragons, I don't remember planting you this year, but I am sorry that I pulled some of you when I thought you were weeds. You bloomed long into the fall, and I never saw you without smiling, thankful that you lasted this long.

It's going to freeze tonight, and while some of you may make it past this first freeze, they'll be more cold nights ahead.

And when you are dried up and brown, I will search for your seeds, so I can plant you again come spring.


Waiting for pizza now, instead of waiting for help with my refrigerator.

I'm gonna call it that I won't see them today.

Still waiting...

Okay, when the maintenance guy left, I had the impression that the appliance repair guy would be on the way shortly.

Not here yet. No phone call telling me when he is going to be here.

I am keeping track of email from work, and so faarrr things seem to be going okay. The point is, I have an ongoing list of things that I want to do at work, that require an actual physical presence at my office. They are not critical emergencies, but things I would rather do today so I do not have to do them tomorrow. Yes, I can sit and write up more stuff for our manuals and web site at home, but I don't have the software on my laptop to actually put the text into the InDesign copy of the manual, or to edit the web pages, assuming that I can connect via this non-university IP address. I need a larger hard drive, so I can install all of the software I need instead of half :(

In addition, if this goes on all afternoon into the evening...

Maintenance=1: Jennifer=0

Okay, last night, when I opened the freezer to get some ice, I noticed an odd smell, and the freezer was suspiciously warm. "Okay, it's defrosting," I said, then opened the refrigerator to get some Diet Pepsi.

"Okay, that's not normal." I watched in dismay as water steadily dripped from this thing in the back. In fact, there was quite a bit of water. I grabbed a bowl and stuck it under the drip, then proceded to clean up the worst of the water mess.

Now the maintenance guy has come and gone, spending a total of less than five minutes looking at it. "I'll call the appliance guy," he said, after I had shot down his thought about the normal defrost cycle. He was nice, he just needed to see the steadily filling bowl to agree that it was not normal for water to be dripping into the refrigerator area. The applicance guy is also going to check the temperature in both areas to make sure it is keeping things safely cooled.

But now I am stuck waiting again...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Upsetting news...

My mind is buzzing right now. A good friend of mine lost her father this morning. Out of respect for her family and their privacy, I will not go into details, but it was very upsetting.

I called my parents after I talked with her. I couldn't imagine losing either one of them, and my father does not have the safest job in the world. He's a volunteer fireman, in addition to owning a towing and repair shop in Manson. He's been in very sticky situations, been stuck in snow drifts in massive blizzards, goes, or used to go, into burning buildings with startling frequency, and even been hit by a semi (just got back into the tow truck and got sideswiped in a snowstorm).

We make it a point to get together regularly, because we do understand how quickly things can change, and that our time together is valuable. It's at times like this when I wish they lived in the same town, so I could go hug them, and tell them in person how much I love them. A voice on the phone is good, but being there would be better.

I am so incredibly lucky to still have them.

I hate it when I am right...

Tonight: thunderstorms. Thursday: high 54°F, low 35°F.

Like I said, October in Iowa is an... interesting time of year...

Monday, October 03, 2005

It's 80+°F in October. In Iowa.

Being the born and bred Iowan that I am, instead of blythly turning my face up to the sun and playing hooky from work, I was unable to fully enjoy the warm and balmy weather.

It's October, for crying out loud. Warm weather in October sends me looking skyward for thunderheads and lightning. It's just not natural! :)

I keep waiting for a front to go through that will drop the temps 40° in an hour... or tornados, or snow.

I have to camp this weekend, so I am hoping that the weather will hold out, but I just know that when Friday rolls around, we'll get a weather change and end up with polar bear points over the weekend....

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Beautiful October Evening

Ahh... there is nothing quite like the warm breeze that stirs the leaves and brings the fresh scent of SKUUUUUUUNNNNNNKKKKK into your home...

I could cry right now.

I could cry because it is hot out, and my fan is broken (dead motor, tossed out over a week ago), and I can't have my window open because of the lovely smell of skunk...

Saturday, October 01, 2005

One Weekend

This is the first weekend in a loooong time, that we have nothing going on at all. No trips to my hometown, no Boy Scout camping trips, training, fund-raisers, or other activities. An actual weekend were we can sleep in and do whatever we want.

Last night, we made fondue for supper. We found an electric fondue pot at Goodwill on Thursday night, for $1.99, perfect condition, all parts present and in the original packaging ala 1982. Oh, what trip down memory lane...

Back in the day (I use this term because once you hit 30, everything you did as a child was at least 20 years ago, so it qualifies as "back in the day"). As I was saying, Back in the Day, my parents, my sister Nan, and I would have "fondue nights" every once in awhile. It was exciting to my sister and I, for several reasons. For one thing, we got to stay up late and eat chips and drink pop, but the biggest reason was that my dad would move the TV to where we could see it from the kitchen table.

We would linger over the dinner table, spearing chunks of steak or little smokies, and frying them in the oil which Mom heated in the electric pan. I always wanted the fork with the white dot on the end of the handle. We'd wait patiently for the meat to fry, then would blot off the grease on a napkin, letting it cool while we put in another piece. Mom would put the Western dressing in coffee cups, and we'd dip the meat in the dressing, and we'd swear it was the best thing we'd ever tasted. Mostly, though, it was time with our parents that made it so fun.

That's why my eyes got teary when I saw that little fondue pot. I immediately had visions of my son and I talking (not arguing), and sharing a piece of my childhood while eating ridiculous little bits of meat dipped in Western Dressing.

My son said it sounded fun, so we rented a movie last night, and went to the grocery store where I frantically tried to remember exactly what we used to eat on those nights (hey, it was Back in the Day, and I'm getting OLD).

You know how you build things up in your mind to the point where reality can never match it?

We got home, and immediately my son turned on the GameCube.

"Hey, I thought we were going to do the fondue-thing," I said. He mumbled something about playing just while the oil heated. Part of doing this was that he was going to help get things ready. But, I shrugged my shoulders, and started getting things ready.

20 minutes later...

"Okay, oil's ready, french fries are done, time for dinner," I called. He went to put in the movie while I stood at the table and tried to hurry him along.

He did not like the little smokies, thought the western dressing was awful, liked cooking the steak, and in the end, finished eating really quickly and was back in front of the TV in ten minutes.

I sat and finished eating by myself, idly spearing the bits of steak that were left, frying them, and eating them on my own.

All these years, I wondered why my family had stopped our fondue nights (beyond the addition of the twins and my baby sister). I'm sure there came a night when we no longer wanted to participate, and were too impatient to spend an entire evening with our parents and sisters.

Will I try again? Of course I will.

But next time, maybe I'll invite my parents, too.