Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick or Treat!

Due to the nasty combination of a severe upset stomach, and it being very cold outside, my son's trick-or-treat jaunt was cut short. We went to the homes of a couple of friends, and then I took him out to Culver's for dinner. After a couple of french fries, I felt better. We went home, stopping at the store for popcorn and other snacks, and popped in some old horror films.

Much better, to my way of thinking, than traipsing across town collecting candy that we'll be eating until Christmas.

Don't forget! NaBloPoMo starts tomorrow!!!!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Another "Oh Crap" moment

The skirt I was going to wear tomorrow, as part of my pirate costume, is too short. I recall having about 3 yards of black fabric, somewhere. I dug around looking for it, and found the remnants of it, with cutouts in the shape of the paned sleeves I made for my court gown. Damn.

The makings of a good day...

Today has possibilities. It is decently nice out, I got to work a bit early, and the lens to laser cutter 2 was NOT broken, merely hard to clean. Yippee!!!

Now, if only my jaw would unclench. After an entire weekend of stress due to a possibly broken lens, it just will not relax.

Tomorrow - Halloween!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Weekend Pics

I took a lot of pictures this weekend, mainly because no one has been taking pictures of our campouts for awhile, and we are in need of new photos for our bulletin boards in the meeting hall. Here are a few of my favorites:

This is the cabin where we stayed this weekend. Lots of gorgeous trees...

Here is my son, taking his turn carrying the backpack:

Something interesting, under a tree:

A closer look:

Near the beginning of the trail:


I checked out a camera to take with me to the campout this weekend. I am now importing the pics. Too bad that the person who had it previously did not delete the images off of the CF card...


Tired, but we had fun. We actually hiked about six miles yesterday. Our ghostly friend did NOT make an appearance. And we discovered that none of our cell phones actually fell back last night, so we were up an hour earlier than we needed to be. Oh well. We are home early. The twelve-year old is in the tub, and I am going crazy because my hair smells like the cabin. Yuck.

I am waiting for a bath, then lunch, then a nap.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Today was the total opposite of yesterday.

Today I:

1. Went to work,
2. Helped my son with the menus and grocery list for the campout,
3. Took my son to the scout room to double-check gear, and make sure that the correct equipment was pulled,
4. Did the grocery shopping for the campout,
5. Picked up the key to the place we are going for the campout and dropped off the check,
6. Carried the groceries into the house and put them away,
7. Started a load of laundry,
8. Reminded my son three times to do homework.

And the evening is not over yet. I am going to pack my suitcase, and get our sleeping bags and stuff out of the closet. Tomorrow, I have to go buy two of those disposable pans for the lasagna, and some ice after work. Busy, busy, busy...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Well, apparently the thing that makes me feel sick after I eat is back. I've worked through this in the past, and the only thing I can do is limit the amount and types of foods that I eat. I am a bit hungry right now, but the thought of eating is making me feel icky. The texture of the food, the taste of it, the weight of it in my stomach. Ug!

So, I am going to carefully watch what I eat, paying close attention to the amounts. I will stop eating when I first start to not be hungry, and I will just eat smaller amounts during the day. Very little sugar, and dairy. Small amounts, or no meat. Gad, even potatoes sound icky right now... and that's about the most inoffensive food...

Hopefully, this will pass quickly.

What they can and cannot do when they are sick...

It's amazing, really. My son is at home, sick, for the second day now. Monday afternoon and evening, he literally just sprawled on the couch, not wanting to move for anything. Yesterday morning, he slept in until about 9, and sprawled on the couch until after lunch. After lunch, he played computer games, and gradually worked his way up to playing with Lego™, and making a mess of his room. He went to bed early. When I woke him up early this morning, from the first words he spoke, I knew he would be staying home again today (you can hear how much his throat hurts when he talks).

But, I digress. When my son was very young and I was figuring out how to be a parent, I was always told to not put any artificial restrictions on children when they are sick. Don't force them to stay in bed when they want to play. It's better for them to have as much activity as they wish. When they want to stay in bed, let them, as long as they get up and move around every once in awhile. They will let you know what they need, and what they feel up to.

Now, we have been lucky. My son does not get sick often. He is not the type of kid who will fake sick to get out of school, because he knows that #1, I'll catch him, and #2 school is important. But he also tends to try to take advantage of the situation.

For example, yesterday afternoon he felt well enough to play with Lego™, and play Warcraft, but not well enough to go to the kitchen and get a banana when he was hungry. He did end up getting it himself, when I pointed out the silliness of this, especially when he had just gotten a glass of ice water for himself, without even thinking about it.

But at the same time, I didn't want to leave him alone, in case he suddenly got sicker. I went to the grocery store yesterday afternoon, to get more soup and Dt. Pepsi, and I thought that I might as well take the cans back while I was at it. Bad idea. Took forever, for reasons that would fill another blog post, and by the time I finally finished, I felt like I had been away for hours. I quickly found what we needed (and forgot the flavored oatmeal my son wanted), and rushed home, only to realze that I had been gone a grand total of... wait for it... twenty minutes. Yes, folks, moms are weird.

In any case, his fever is gone, but he is left with a sore throat. Hopefully, with a lot of chicken noodle soup, and Ricola, he'll be feeling much better tonight. Because seriously, I couldn't take another day of this.

Home again

My son still has a sore throat, headache, but no fever (or at least, he didn't have one when he went to bed last night. He's still asleep.)

Another boring day...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

So what does Geek Girl do when home with a sick child?

Well, my computer area is now clean and uncluttered. And I have caught up on reading a bunch of forum posts that I haven't had time for. I also made oatmeal for my son's breakfast, and he's looking forward to chicken noodle soup for lunch. Again.

Eventually, I will need to make my way to the grocery store for more soup and oatmeal.

His throat is really painful, and he says his back aches. He is on the couch, with a book, watching cartoons. I can tell just by looking at him that he is feely pretty crappy. The good news is that his fever is down. I am monitoring it every couple of hours, to make sure that it stays down.

Boring, boring, boring, boring day...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Prepare for non-stop work

Tomorrow, I will be staying home with a sick child. I will very specifically be making sure that he drinks enough fluids, and that his fever doesn't get too high. Since this is the flu, he will not be going to the doctor's office unless his fever gets over 102°F. Too contagious. It was the same for the chicken pox (for the love of God, don't bring him in to expose the entire waiting room full of kids. I wish more people would listen.).

So, I will be stuck at home, basically attending to the every whim of my poor, sick child.

You know he's going to abuse the situation...

If I had someone taking care of me when I was sick, I'd do the same. Since I don't, I have to suck it up and keep things going. Okay, that one time this summer, my son did make me butter toast for lunch. And it worked! Magic toast!

Anyway, I have decided that I am going to sort boxes of crap from my closet tomorrow. It will keep me busy. I may even set up a little costuming challenge for myself. Something that involves hand-finishing, so that I have something to do on these cold, fall nights, when I am sitting on the couch watching TV like a loser.

Yeah, tomorrow is gonna suck.

The Latest Victim

My son's been fighting a cold for the last few days. When he called me after school today, he sounded awful. He had a headache and a sore throat. I told him to rest on the couch until I got home.


When I got home after work, I took his temp. Almost 100°F, and only adult tylenol in the house. He also said that he ached all over, which means... da da duh... it's probably the real flu.

You see, flu season started early this year. So early, in fact, that no flu vaccine clinics have been held. This may, in fact, have been what I had last week, and what I worked through (except for that one day when I couldn't take it anymore and stayed home to feel sorry for myself). So far, a co-worker and his wife are currently suffering from it, and my boss has as well.

So, if you think you may have the flu, but have discounted that theory because it's too early for it, think again.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Hey, the grocery shopping is done, too.

I hate grocery shopping on Sunday afternoons. Very busy time at Hy-Vee. But, I got my cart full of mostly unhealthy foods (hey, the salad, apples, bananas, and granola bars got in there by accident!), and got out of there in less than 30 minutes. Behold! The power of The List!

Yes, I am boring. Make no assumptions that this site is meant to be anything other than just what I do and what is in my head. It could be a lot worse, you know. I could actually detail a day at work for you. It would be enough to make your head explode from technical details best left to geeks.

For example:

I had to make a minor, minor change on one of the cyber cafe macs. It involved the following steps (this is why I don't use driveshield in the labs. If I had to go through this to make a small change on the lab machines, I would jump off of the atrium.)

1. Boot to openfirmware and enable firewire boot.
2. Boot from firewire drive. Copy any necessary files to the cafeHD. Move the logout hook from /etc to the admin user desktop. Have to do this in order to be able to login as admin on the cafe machine (this hook invokes a script that causes the machine to reboot on logout instead of logging out. Hence, the cafe user cannot actually logout of the machine.)
3. Reboot.
4. Logout of the cafe user
5. Login as admin. Disable driveshield.
6. Reboot
7. Logout of cafe user
8. Login as admin.
9. Change user restrictions to allow the cafe user to have the ability to make the necessary changes, say in the screensaver.
10. Logout of admin
11. Login as cafe user
12. Make the change, and make sure all windows are closed, and everything looks as it is supposed to.
13. Logout of cafe user
14. Login as admin.
15. Remove the changes made to the cafe user restrictions
16. enable driveshield.
17. Reboot.
18. Hope to God that you did everything correctly, and didn't miss anything, or you will be starting over at 1.
19. repeat for each. damn. machine.

See what I mean. Boring.

Yay! Laundry done!

And before anyone complains about another laundry post, I would like to remind my three readers that laundry makes the world go 'round.

Just think about it for a moment. Without clean laundry, what do you have? You maybe can't go out on the spur of the moment, or maybe you put off running errands, because the only clean clothes you have are either pyjamas or dressy clothes. Maybe you have to wear your least comfortable pair of jeans, instead of your favorites.

What I am trying to say, rather ineloquently, is that without clean laundry, things just don't feel right.

Things feel right for me right now.


I ended up sleeping on the couch last night. And then on the floor, because the couch was not comfortable (my back hurt). I tossed and turned. Finally, around 7am, I woke up, and went to my room to crawl into my bed. I just woke up.

Why didn't I just sleep in my bed last night?

Well, my bed is against the wall that separates my neighbors living room from my bed room. I don't know what the heck was going on over there, but they kept hitting the wall. I finally grabbed my pillow and made my way to the couch.

It was just an overly loud night in the apartment building. Between someone stumbling against the door to my apartment, and loud people in the hall, I did not get to sleep until around 2.

So here is it, nearly three hours after I wanted to wake up. I have laundry to do, a house to clean, and groceries to buy. The day is nearly half gone.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Strange subjects...

"out-of-the-way forked"
"terminus wove"
"abdicate ring"
"underworld waiting room"
"peerless cessation"
"hexagonal execute"
"intensifier salmon"
"sane plumber"

Yeah. Those sound totally legit.

Another Saturday...

What I finished today:

1. Cleaned out the refrigerator.
2. Ran the dishwasher twice (once this morning after breakfast, because I forgot to run it last night, and once after cleaning out the refrigerator).
3. Took out the garbage.
4. Helped my mom solve a computer problem over the phone. In Win2K Pro.
5. Helped my son clean his room. Secret to getting cooperation: We set the timer. 15 minutes of cleaning, then 15 minutes of a DVD, in this case Over the Hedge. Repeat until finished. Took us a total of 45 minutes to clean his room. Multiply that by two of us, and we got 90 minutes of work done. He was very happy with the results. One huge box of stuffed animals to go into storage at my mom and dad's house. Everything else, to my surprise, actually was able to fit in the closet, on the shelves, or in storage containers in his room. We did not take the time to sort, which I will regret later, but I know that nothing new is going to be added.
6. Lunch
7. I made chocolate chip muffins. And ate enough that I did not eat supper, and still feel fuller than I could have believed possible.
8. Bubble bath, and pampering session! Favorite Saturday afternoon treat!
9. Designed a new court gown. I'd like two more gowns before next year's DM Faire, and for any other court events. If I watch for sales and really take my time selecting fabrics, I can do this for under $100 each. Spread out over months, this will be more affordable. Plus, I can really add those details that make a court gown worthy of being a court gown.

What I did not do:

1. Laundry. Ug. This means I have to do laundry tomorrow.
2. Vacuum or dust. I could dust in less than 15 minutes, so this really is just a case of laziness. Okay, Now I have to dust before bed... I just can't stand it.
3. Shopping. I had two 50% off coupons for JoAnn fabrics. One good Friday, one good on Saturday. I was fully planning on going today and getting a bolt of fabric with the coupon. Only at the time I was planning this, I did not have a design yet, or any other projects in mind. I resisted the urge to add to the fabric stash without a clear purpose for the fabric. They were also having a pattern sale, but for crying out loud, I have so many patterns. The only reason for buying them is that they seem to discontinue the good ones at an alarming rate. Better to buy them at 99-cents than to need it later and have to order it from the company at $12. Oh well, I think the patterns are on sale tomorrow, too.

So, more done than not done. More done than I thought I had done.

Then why do I feel like I wasted a Saturday?

Gloomy Day

I am trying to get motivated to start on my Saturday morning chores. My iPod Shuffle is charged up and ready to go. We are tackling my son's room today. That's probably why I am stalling. He has a lot of stuff that he no longer needs that should go into storage. Except we have no storage. My preference would be for about half of the toys in his room to go to Goodwill by the end of today. Realistically, I don't know if we'll purge that much stuff.

It literally has been two years since we have bought anything other than a video game, a book or a bionicle when it was not his birthday or Christmas. We have been fighting to not add to the clutter, and have been mostly successful. We got rid of a lot of stuff at the garage sale this summer. What didn't sell went straight to Goodwill. But there is still too much stuff.

The only problem with doing this is that it messes up the living room. There is no where to put this stuff while organizing. In addition, my son's room is really small. It's a huge challenge.

So, I am limiting the time spent on this project to 90 minutes. No more. I had better get started.

Friday, October 20, 2006


Incredibly good BSG tonight. Probably one of the best yet. Shocked. Completely.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

There's nothing like a good disaster movie...

and Earthquake in New York was nothing like a good disaster movie. I just finished watching this one on the Lifetime Movie Network. It had it's moments of clich├ęd grandness, earthshaking, and a mafia baddy... Seriously, a Mafia villain.

No, it is not PC to laugh over scenes of destruction. This was so over the top that I couldn't help it.

Normal Day

Nothing too earth shattering to report here.

The twelve-year-old is working on dividing decimals. He was having a hard time of it earlier today, as he missed math class thanks to trombone lessons. I hate it that they pull the kids out of classes to have music lessons, but there just aren't enough hours in the day. They rotate which classes they miss, which helps, but I wish I could request that he not miss math. He's struggled with math for quite awhile, but now he's finally making progress, and is extremely proud that he is getting a B+ so far. I would hate to see that progress halted because of missing class.

We went to the library tonight, to return movie and books, and get more (I ended up with four sewing books, but not the couture technique book that I wanted). On the way home, my son asked if I knew any Chuck Norris jokes. "Well, yeah, but not many clean ones..." He did get a kick out of this one: "Chuck Norris' tears can cure cancer. Too bad he never cries." I know, overdone, but it was the only one I could think of. When he asked, all of the naughty ones popped into my head, and that's the only clean one I could remember.

After he finished laughing, he says, "Who is Chuck Norris, anyway?"

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Feeling better!

I was due to take more tylenol at 8:30, but I had to pick up my son at religious ed. When I got home, I had a phone message from a friend, so I called her back. When we hung up, it was 9:15, and I dashed to the living room to catch the season finale of Project Runway. I still haven't taken any.

My headache is there just a little... I shouldn't have any problems sleeping tonight, provided the phone doesn't ring. I think some tylenol pm will help. I had forgotten that I had some left, and had taken regular tylenol instead last night. Dumb. Very dumb.

Okay, off to catch a few z's!

At home, groggy

When I woke up this morning, it was after having only about 4 hours of sleep. My head still hurt, so I decided to stay home.

Of course, when you are a mother, it is not as simple as emailing the boss, and turning over to go back to sleep. By the time I had sorted out my son, who didn't even have to leave for school until after 9, because it was late start day, it was 8 am, and I was wide awake.

I had taken my meds and some tylenol at 7:30. I think the tylenol is finally working, as the pain isn't anywhere near as bad (I was considering what I would have to do if I had to go to the emergency room last night - that is how bad it was.).

I still can't seem to fall asleep, but considering the fact that they are replacing the furnace filter today, that's probably a good thing. For now, I am watching the project runway marathon, and just resting on the couch. The headache is still there, but it is in the background. Hopefully it will be gone completely at some point tonight, because I don't think I could take another day of it.

God only knows what caused this in the first place. I mean, I know what might have caused it, but I will have to wait to confirm it.

Sucks beyond reason...

an hour 'til I can take more tylenol

and my head hurts so much that I cannot sleep.

I checked my blood pressure earlier, to make sure that it wasn't caused by an elevation in bp. It was just fine - 112 over 74, normal thanks to my meds.

I am into the 29th hour of this headache. It is not a migraine. I am going to try again to get some sleep.



Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hardly fair

My head still aches. I have a slight fever. Nothing bad. just slightly elevated. I am going to eat dinner, then veg on the couch, then go to bed early. I hope it is gone tomorrow...

Monday, October 16, 2006

My Head. Is Going. To Explode.

I have the worst headache right now. Not a migraine. I thought I might be dehydrated or hungry, but that isn't it. I took my temp, and it was right at 98.6°F, which I am almost never at (usually a full degree cooler, maybe 98).

I really, really hope that I am not getting sick, as I have way too much to do to even consider being sick.


Gray Day, with just a hint of orange

It's the type of day when you want to just curl up on the sofa with a good book, and enjoy the quiet.

That's obviously not how I am going to spend my evening, but it would be nice if I could. I didn't sleep well last night at all, so I am tired. I moved a lot of heavy things around this morning at work, so my arms and shoulders ache.

Okay, let's stop talking about bad things and start talking about good things. :)

My friends Geoff and Amy had another baby, a boy this time!

I get to tie knots tonight. ... I guess I am going to finish this post quick, locate my Knot book, and practice.... bummer...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Traditional Sunday Night Homework Fight

Those of you who have children of homework-age know what I am talking about.

He is now grounded.

He is shocked, perhaps, but then again, perhaps with the selective hearing of a pre-teen, he did not understand that I was serious the other five times I told him to do his homework today.

I dislike raising my voice. He complained that I was yelling at him. I simply told him that since he did not hear me when I asked nicely several times earlier today, that I assumed he needed to hear it louder. (and I was not yelling, but pre-teens have a way of hearing anger in the most reasonable of tones...)


Tsunami/Migraine/motion sickness

Last night, I was sitting on the couch with my son, watching the Discovery Channel. They had two programs on about the Dec. 26th, 2004 Tsunami.

One program was about the researchers who were trying to figure out why this tsunami was so big. They were exploring along the fault, and had their theories, but needed confirmation. In the end, they found a huge, 12 meter sheer wall of sediment that had been pushed upwards, and that was miles and miles long. Sediment which would not have lasted terribly long, so was very recent. They confirmed that it dated to the earthquake, and had displaced the sea by that height, causing the deadly, and terrible tsunami. They ended the program with the note that only half of that fault had displaced in the Dec. 26th tsunami, with the other half still left to break.

By the end of this program, I had a slight headache. No biggie.

The next program was heart-wrenching. They followed the stories of several survivors, two of them children just a bit older than my son. Lots of home video.

One video was taken by a man who was swept away, and it took me a few moments to figure this out. Another was taken by a man who was running with his wife and two children, desperately trying to get to higher ground. Both had obviously forgotten they were recording, as the cameras bounced wildly, catching glimpses of feet, and debris. The scariest was when you realized that they were all of a sudden running in water. Then you can hear his daugther crying that she wants to go home, as they make it to their second floor room in their hotel.

A third video was taken by Thais, who were capturing the curious way the tide had suddenly gone out. They were up high, in order to get the best shots. You can hear the panic in their voices as they try to warn the tourists to get off of the beach, as they can see the wall of water coming in. They scream as they watch one man, who has stubbornly refused to move, be swallowed by the water.

This was such a compelling program, but before 20 minutes was out, I was so sick that I felt like I was going to throw up. This has happened before. The video motion gave me a migraine, and motion sickness. My son was upset when I said the TV had to go off, and that I was going to bed, and that I needed quiet. I crawled into bed with my clothes on, covered my head, even though it was dark, and waited for the tylenol to kick in enough for me to sleep.

I woke up at 2:30 am, and felt better. I was able to go back to sleep without a pillow covering my ears and eyes.

This morning, I slept in, and am feeling pretty good. Or at least I was until I realized how much I have to do today...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Library DVD Find...

Do you remember "The Pirate Movie"?

I used to watch this movie on HBO all of the time when I was in high school...

Lazy Afternoon, and Pot Roast

Here I am, a little headachy because I took a nap this afternoon, and slept a little longer than needed. It is truly a luxury to be able to stay at home for a day, and have nothing that absolutely has to be done. It has been months and months since that has been the case. It is chilly out today, and it was very cold this morning. Perfect weather for one of our favorite meals...

When I woke up from my nap, I put the bread that had been rising into the oven. While it baked, I got out my big soup pot, and the oil, and spices, and took the pot roast out of the refrigerator. I heated a bit of oil in the pot, salted the roast, and seared the sides of it. I put the roast in my baking pan, and seasoned it (there are about 8 different spices in the mixture I use). After adding water, I sprinkled the spices in the water, too, covered it with foil. I took the bread out when it was done, and the house smells wonderful. I am a sucker for fresh baked bread.

In an hour and a half, I will add the potatos, onions, and cabbage (the last is an experiment, neither of us like cooked carrots). When it's done, I'll mash the potatoes, and make gravy. We are going to have a ridiculous amount of food, but it will make very good leftovers.

update: Cabbage = Not good. Kinda gross, actually. The rest of it was great. But the cabbage was tasteless. And BTW, the onions are for flavor, not for eating. In case you were grossed out or something.

Pot roast is something that can be done simply, or complicated, depending on your mood and taste. Everyone who makes it has their own recipe. My mother always just put the plain roast in a baking dish with just water, not even salt or pepper, and adds potatoes and carrots later. It's good that way, but very plain and simple. I think she still makes it that way.

I'm not afraid to try something new, and have experimented over the years, to try to come up with something very flavorful. The last time I made pot roast I was looking for something new to try. On a whim, I took out my salt shaker that holds the blend of spices for Garlic Lime Chicken, from Saving Dinner. I used it to season the roast. From the first bite, I knew that I had hit the mark. I think only minor, minor variations from now on.

So, for the rest of the afternoon and evening, the house will be full of the best, most comforting smells. Fresh bread and pot roast!

And the best part is, leftovers for tomorrow... (and possibly Monday. I have no idea why I bought such a big roast...)

Friday, October 13, 2006


Excellent episode! I will not post any spoilers, but I definitely canNOT wait until next Friday night!!!!

I'm gonna go take my sudafed now. I am so glad that I flipped on the scifi channel before taking any. I had almost forgotten it was on!

Back to vegging on the couch, reading a romanace novel with PIRATES in it!!!!!!!

Well, this hardly seems fair.

I am feeling miserable right now. My cold has gotten steadily worse all day. This is the first free weekend we've had at home since July. I had all sorts of plans that did not include being stuck at home, sick with this cold.

In addition to this cold, there is something else that is bothering me. Yesterday, I ate a nice lunch, then was hungry less than an hour later. So, I had a snack at work. Potato salad from the Cafe, because I didn't want anything sugary. Twenty minutes later, I was starving again. So, I had a package of Trail Mix from the vending machine. That worked until supper, which was normal sized (one maidrite, with french fries, yum!). Dinner was over at about 6. By 8:30, I was starving again. This is not like me at all.

Today, was worse. I had a blueberry muffin for breakfast. I managed to not break down at 11, when I was starving again, and feeling that blood sugar drop. I had to return something to the library, so I decided to go out for lunch. I went to Culvers, and had a Butterburger basket. I ate every bite, which is also unusual for me (my son usually finished my fries). At 2, I was again starving, but I managed to wait until nearly 3:30 before running for the trail mix again. We just finished eating dinner. In fact, I just finished loading the dishwasher.

I feel like I didn't even eat anything, and am contemplating a bowl of cereal, if we had any without sugar in it. It's to the point where I am ticked off at being hungry again, because all I wanted to do was take some sudafed and doze on the couch for awhile. I can't think of any reason why, other than that it's been really cold here the last couple of days. Maybe my cavelady instincts are taking over, and she wants me to get fat.

Anyway, I'm off to go find something else to eat. This is ridiculous...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

How in the heck did he know that?

Thanks to Troy, for reminding me that the bottlecap I found in my pocket yesterday was from Kyle's going-away party last spring. I am not going crazy, and as soon as he said it, I remembered. I also remember kicking butt at foosball. :)

When I took my keys out of my pocket tonight, in the dark, in the parking lot, I felt it fall out and hit the ground. Since I had my arms full of stuff, I couldn't try to find it - no light between the cars. Maybe it'll be there tomorrow morning when I leave.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I thought yesterday was... interesting.

Today was even more interesting.

Here is a rundown:

1. Two injuries: Got a fingertip under a 70lb Dell when trying to put it on its side, in order to see if the power supply cable was crimped. Ouch. After lunch, when taking off my coat, I slammed my right hand into the metal ladder that I had neglected to put back in the lighting studio. Hit the back of my hand right at the second knuckle. It was numb and painful for over an hour, but nothing is broken. It is bruised and a bit swollen. Made typing and using the mouse very fun...

2. Had to clean out the laser cutter filter. Charcoal everywhere. Yuck.

3. Three and a half hours spent being a detective. Left work over an hour late.

4. When leaving work, I reached my hand into my nice wool, winter coat, and pulled out a bunch of kleenex. Nestled in the kleenex was a Raspberry Smirnoff Ice bottlecap (one of my favorites, BTW). Now, I can't remember the last time I wore this coat before today. I definitely did not wear it out to a bar, because I do not go out to bars (besides, I wouldn't want it to get smokey smelling). I don't drink much at all, and I can't even think of a social occasion where I would have had a drink, and then put that cap in my pocket. Plus, I was sick most of the last three months of winter and early spring. There is no way I would have had a drink then. Very curious.

5. Found out that the cast party for the Des Moines Renaissance Faire is scheduled for the same day that we are going camping. Very bummed out about that...

6. Missed South Park, because my son was still up and doing homework until 9:30 (he had religious ed tonight). I'll catch it tomorrow night.

All in all, I had a very, very busy day, from the moment the lab opened, until after I picked up my son. I am going to curl up with Cory Doctorow's Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom and then get to sleep.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Week in the life...

This is how yesterday evening went:

1. get home from work
2. Immediately start dinner
3. Make dinner
4. eat dinner
5. Clean up dinner, dishwasher is already full and running. Dishes done the old-fashioned way.
6. dishes interrupted by non-cooperative pre-teen griping about homework. can't help right now - dishes to do, calendars to print before leaving for 7pm meeting.
7. Finally, dishes done. late.
8. I have got to get a usb printer, so i can leave the old mac serial laser printer behind, so I don't have to network to the old g3 printer host, only to discover that I hadn't put acrobat reader on it yet.
9. Scrap calendar printing idea. get ready for meeting.
10. get home from meeting
11. Crash. Hard. Because it is after 9. Except I can't, because I have to help my son with his homework questions. Because they don't have a flippin' math textbook to look stuff up in. MIC Math sucks beyond all reason. I want REAL math textbooks, so we can look in an index, and read the explanation of the way to solve the problems. No wonder he's struggling. It's been like this for years. He is finally getting a B+ in math, but it has been a nightmare.
12. Read for 30 minutes before going bonkers, and going to sleep.


Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Except different meeting, 2 hours long. Oh, and the dishwasher was empty, and I ran it before I left home tonight. And the homework was done while I was gone, so no homework crisis.

Wednesday looks to be almost exactly the same. No time between work and meetings to get anything other than dinner done. I am getting a cold, and my mouth is dry. Yuck.

Thursday looks a little better...


Monday, October 09, 2006

Hey, MySpace peeps...

No, I don't want to join your 18+ Webcam group.

I also do not want to join the following groups:

• the l3sbian webcam show for all
• the g1rl on g1rl romance group
• the H0tt3st Spy Cams group
• the Web Cams Chat Live group
• the Live Amateurs 24/7 group
• the s3xy l1ve webcams room group
• the fr33 s3xy webcams group

Sorry. Honestly, yuck.


I am glad that Monday is almost over. There is always a certain amount of scrambling to catch up after being gone over the weekend. Today was quite a bit more than usual. Busy day.

When I walked into work this morning, my nose started getting a little stuffy. Right now, I can tell I am getting a sinus cold. There is nothing I like more than trying to work through a sinus cold. I'd rather have a migraine, as at least I know what to do for that, and they never last more than a day. That's saying something.

Hopefully I can take a sudafed tonight, get some rest, and head this off. I have a busy next couple of days, evenings included, and the last thing I need is to get sick.

Good news for the day:

1. My niece came through her procedure this morning okay - she has a small ulcer, but the rest of the tests will be back in a week.
2. My uncle's surgery went extremely well!!!

So, I will not have a sleepless night tonight! Yay for good doctors!!!

Pet Peeve

I hate it when you get one of those automated calls on my answering machine from a business, and they don't really explain what the call is about. You have to call back, navigate through a phone tree the best you can without the explanation, then when you finally get them on the phone, they see that the problem has already been resolved, from the note in the file.

This is why automated crap sucks. It makes you panic, and think "OMG! I screwed something up!!!!" when in reality things are okay.

(Okay, something just fell in another room of the apartment, and I am the only person here... scary.)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Good Day

This morning, I slept in. I had gone to bed early last night, and did not set the alarm. I didn't move until close to 8:30 this morning.

I made up our menu for the week, and the grocery list. I cleaned out the refrigerator, and took out the garbage. I took a really long bubble bath. I put on makeup, fixed my hair, and went to the store to get groceries.

After lunch, I took a nap.

Ordinary things, yes, but wonderful all for all of their ordinariness.

My son spent the day moving vast armies across the screen of his computer, and then across his bedroom floor. He watched movies, and did homework.

We finally turned on the Battlestar Galactica season premiere tape from Friday night.


This is going to be interesting.

I fully intend to spend the rest of the evening on the couch with a good book, before going to bed early again tonight. I am in serious need of rest, in mind and body. I am feeling pretty much back to my normal self.

Life is good.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Tomorrow is a new day.

We are home early, and tomorrow, I am starting fresh. I am going to sleep in a bit, then get ready for the day. I am going to go to the grocery store. I am going to do laundry. I am going to clean house, and maybe even start my son's Halloween costume.

I am going to enjoy this day off.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Never eating at McDonald's again...

Let's just say that I didn't finish even half of my burger, because the grease was dripping. And my son... well... let's just say that he is having an interesting problem right now. There is no pepto in the house, and he can't take a regular pill yet.


I am really glad that I didn't eat much of mine...

The Great Divide

Most of the kids in my son's classes today did not "get" his shirt.

But the teachers did, and all of them laughed, and thought it was funny. :)

I wish I had had those teachers when I was in school...

I am a mean mom.

My son is busily typing out his reading report that is due today. I had asked about five times last night if he had all of his homework done, receiving a "yes" in all cases, except where the class meets in the afternoon.

You see, he's getting out of school early today, as we have to get ready to drive to Manson this afternoon, to go to a wake tonight. By having him go to school in the morning, he only misses half a day, and can still go to his homeroom lunch party during lunch period.

Which he thought was great, until this morning.

He woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and declared that he did not want to go to school at all this morning, and that it was terrible that I was making him go to school.

Hel-LO? Okay, last night it was good, and today it's bad? What's up with that?

Aha... he confessed that he had two paragraphs to write for Reading class, that he thought he was going to miss, because yesterday morning when he went to school, he thought he would be missing all of Friday.

But, I told him when he got home yesterday that he was going in the morning, because we didn't have to leave until later than I had thought... So... he had just plain forgotten.

Luckily, I am taking him to school today, so he had a good half hour longer than normal to work. His report is now printed, in his bag, along with his "Please excuse..." note, and his $5 for the lunch party.

And he's wearing his new shirt to cheer himself up...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Today is gorgeous

I ended up working all day, instead of going home after lunch or not working at all, as originally planned. It ended up being for the best, as we had lots of things go wonky.

I spent about half an hour sorting the papers that had piled up on my letter trays. The letter trays are a catch-all for things that I don't really need to deal with right away, or at all, hand-outs for training, and various file folders of stuff I started working with, and ended up just not putting away. I threw away a ton of papers. I still have one tray left to tackle. As I was doing this, my boss came in an asked me to trace a problem in our ArchDesktop 2007 in the labs.

I started working on that problem, and ended up playing around with archdesktop for about 50 minutes in the morning, then about 45 minutes in the afternoon, while I confirmed the problem. I didn't have a clear list of what was supposed to be wrong, but the Content Browser kept crashing, so I assumed it was something related to that. I found a solution on the autodesk forums. It was a problem introduced with a recent windows security update. The solution is to remove the update. Easier said than done when you have as many windows machines in the labs and in the hands of students as we do.

I was kept busy up until the last minute today by a multitude of things, including, but not limited to: having a service person do maintenance on our good wide-format printer (yay!), moving plastic to the backroom (thanks for the help, Jon!), receiving an iMac off of the UPS truck (thanks, griffeymac and the RedHead!), having to edit and recompile printer install scripts, then locate the sparse disk images so that I could replace the old scripts, delete the printers from my iBook, install the printers to check to see if they work, then upload the new disk images to the mac server, and, and...

You get the picture...

You know what, though? Busy is good. Less time to feel sorry for myself. I really just want to be with my family, and I know I will feel better when I get to Manson tomorrow. I think part of the reason that I have been having such a hard time with all of what's been happening is because I've been pretty much by myself. 12 year olds don't count, because they are mainly more interested in video games, and what's going on at school. He's sad one minute about Benji, then the next minute, he's playing Warcraft or StarCraft. Kids cope by playing. Adults need real people, hugs, hand-holding, etc..

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Commence laughter in T-13 minutes

New season of South Park on Comedy Central.

I need to laugh...

Seriously. If you have anything funny to share, please share it. I am a firm believer in the healing power of laughter. This is why I try to laugh as much as possible.

Life moves on, regardless of what has happened to us individually. If I were around my family right now, I would be doing better than I am, but I am by myself. My son is still wrapped up in his own world and routines, and is like any kid.

What I really need is a good laugh, and then a good cry. While I have been on the verge all week, it just hasn't come out yet. I'm just overwhelmed by everything that has happened in the last few days, and by grandma being sick again. It's just too much.

And that, my friends, is why I need to laugh.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

He's gone.

The funeral is Saturday morning.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Grandma will be in the hospital for the next four or so days, on bed rest. And they figured out why she had several clots in her lungs... when she was in the hospital last week, the doctor had written on her chart that she was supposed to get up and walk several times a day to prevent blood clots. The nurses never got her up to walk!!!!!. She was there from Sunday to Thursday. I wonder if these were the same nurses who left her on the bedpan for over 20 minutes, and when reminded about it, left her there for another 10 minutes... She should recover, and is receiving treatment.

My brother-in-law's dad is still on life support. They were waiting for his sister to show up. She finally showed up six hours later than expected, at around 8:30 pm. They will wait until tomorrow morning, now. rant removed

In any case, I am ready to leave tomorrow, if needed. I am planning on going to work, and my son will be going to school. We probably won't be staying the whole day, but trying to keep things somewhat normal for now is necessary.

rollercoaster with no Up

We are waiting. The phone rings, and I tense up. My stomach hurts. My head hurts, and my eyes burn.

When my brother-in-law's sister gets to the hospital, they will be taking him off of life support. My brother-in-law is devastated, and I am so worried about him and my sister. There isn't anything that can be done. There are no miracles that would bring the real Benji back. The fact that this is for the best still doesn't make it any easier.

And so I wait by the phone.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

From 60 to Zero in less than 20 minutes...

This has been a tough day.

Things started out as planned. Mom and I made stars, Dad and my son and I picked cherry tomatoes and green beans in the garden. Mom, Kelly and I went to see my grandparents. We went to the farmer's market in Manson, and picked up a lot of good produce. We laughed, had fun, ate caramel apples, and apple pie. Dad seasoned ribs and put them in the smoker. Mallory and I started watching "Bride and Prejudice", because she had been wanting to see it.

An hour into the show, at about 3:50, the first shoe dropped.

My mom aswered the phone, and pretty soon, she came running through the living room, out the porch door, and was talking to my dad, with the phone on speaker-phone.

She came back into the house, and told us that Nan's husband's dad had been in an accident, and that he was non-responsive. He had gone into the ditch, and it looked like he may have had a stroke, as he went in slow. They were taking him to Mason City hospital (they live in West Bend). My sister, Nan, had been the one to call, and she could not get ahold of her husband, Scott, on his cell phone (he was in Kentucky for work). They live in Milwaulkee.

We were barely finished digesting this news, when my grandpa called.

My grandma wasn't feeling well, and my grandpa wanted mom to come over and see if she needed to go to the hospital. She left to go see what was wrong. We waited to hear from Nan and Mom.

Around 4:30, my dad had to go tow a car from out on Highway 7.

At 4:40, my mom called to say that they were taking my grandma to the ER in Fort Dodge, as she had a high temperature. She had to come home to get her purse, so she had me plug in her curling irons, since she hadn't fixed her hair that morning. In fact, she and dad had been painting the front of the house earlier.

She had been home less than five minutes when the phone rang. I answered it, and it was my sister, Kim, and she was crying. My mom took the phone, and put it on speaker, and Kim told us that they had determined that Scott's dad was brain dead. They are waiting for all of the kids to get there.

Scott had already arrived in Milwaulkee. He had decided to take an earlier flight this morning, just because he wanted to get home earlier. That's why she couldn't get him on his cell. They were packing, and would call when they got on the road.

It was just too much for all of us, but my mom especially. She has been running ragged for weeks now, with my grandma being sick, and in and out of the hospital.

For the next hours, we waited. Dad, Mallory, my son, and I ate dinner. We cleaned up dinner. Our bags were mostly packed already, but we made sure we had everything ready to go.

At about 7:10, Nan called to say they were on their way.

At about 7:15, mom called to tell us that the doctors thought that grandma had a possible blot clot in her lung.

I decided that we needed to get on the road for home, because I have to work tomorrow, and we needed to get things done in order to go home later this week, if not sooner.

On the way out of town, we stopped in at the convenience store, and my aunt Rb was working. I filled her in on what was happening. She's been sick, and actually should probably have still been in bed herself (she's working two jobs, since the convenience store is so short of help in the evenings).

Finally, we were on the road.

We got to Webster City, and my phone rang. Mallory called to tell me that grandma has blood CLOTS, CLOTSSSSS, in her lungs. They are admitting her to the hospital.

My mom is going to stay to get her settled.

I am still trying to let all of this sink in. I can't believe we are losing Benji, and I can't believe that we may be losing my grandmother as well. As much as I want to just go to sleep and have this all be a bad dream, I can't.

More fun, big pain...

The wedding yesterday was small, but gorgeous! My cousin looked beautiful, the bridesmaids dresses were stunning, and the bride and groom looked very happy.

ZThe reception was extremely fun! Incredible smoked Iowa Chops, lots of side dishes, good cake, and punch. The dancing was a little too much fun. :) I danced waaaayyy too much, and probably worked off every bit of food and drink that I had in the course of the evening (I limited myself to two drinks.... and then had most of a third for some reason). My mom ended up driving home (she made the comment that the Nieland women always end up driving home - very true! I only had a drink because I knew I wasn't driving home). Mom danced the night away with all of us girls, and I learned three new dances thanks to Kim.

Later, as we were helping clean up, my sister Mallory lost one of her shoes just as I was walking past. I cut the big toe on my right foot on her heel. Ouch! It hurt so bad... It kept bleeding, and finally one of the bar tenders found the first aid kit just as my Aunt Trish produced a bandaid from her purse (she has two sons, 8 and 5, so she IS a walking first aid kit ;). Of course, I was wearing my favorite shoes, and the strap goes right across the cut toe. If only I had been wearing my shoes instead of carrying them, I would not have been cut. It still hurts.

But, it was still fun!!!

Pictures will follow!

Anyway, it is a gorgeous day! Dad made a big breakfast this morning. Mom and I are going to make some freobel stars for her Christmas tree. Then I am going to take a walk with the camera. After lunch, we are going to paint the front of the house, because it needs it all of a sudden (she decided this on Friday night), and because it may be one of the last days it is nice. We are also going to visit my grandma and grandpa later (it's his birthday today).

So, all in all, a very full, very fun weekend.

Well, except for that painting thing...