Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Follow up on Dear Abby

As promised, Dear Abby has shared more reader mail on the topic I referenced last evening. This was a nice one, as opposed to the ones yesterday, which felt a bit condescending...

DEAR ABBY: I would like to offer some suggestions to the successful career woman who asked if she and her friends should "dumb themselves down" in order to find a man:

When people let frustration and pouting get the best of them, they give off a bad vibe that no one finds attractive. She needs to continue with her success. She should get out of the house, do things she enjoys, go to parties, parks, sporting events, church, art classes, wine tastings -- whatever! Mr. Right won't magically show up on her doorstep, and she'll be happier in the meantime doing what makes her happy.

It's OK to talk with friends and co-workers about her single status. Do they know she's available and open for suggestions and blind dates? The person she meets may not be Mr. Right, but he may have a friend who could be. Has she tried online dating sites? There's one for just about everyone.

Instead of looking for "Mr. Perfect," look for "Mr. Perfect-for-YOU." Make a list of the qualities that you can't live without and then stick to it. And, last but not least, she should list all the great qualities she has to offer, and post it where she can see it every day. If she keeps reminding herself that she is a catch, she'll get caught! -- HAVE FAITH, COLUMBIA, S.C.

Okay, that's it. I am not going to whine or pout anymore, even when I suddenly discover that I have promised to make cookies for lab monitors, and realize I need about 9 dozen in order to keep my promise... :)


We had dentist appointments this afternoon.

I had burnt my mouth on hot tomato soup last week.

My mouth hurts really bad even without someone scraping and cleaning my teeth.

No cavities, and my son does not need braces. Good news, but my mouth is still very painful. And we are having chili for lunch on Saturday...

p.s.: My son's glasses still haven't come in. When I asked the lady how long it normally takes, she said, "It takes seven to ten days." Then she went on to say they should be there Thursday or Friday. It was all I could do to not point out that that would mean it takes 12-13 days... And what's up with them telling me on Saturday that they were in the finishing process and would be shipped no later than Monday?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Touchy Subject - Being single in your thirties...

Dear Abby, bless her heart, is revisiting a subject for the next two days that hits close to home...


DEAR READERS: A successful, single career woman wrote me recently wondering if she should "curtail (her) professional success, financial wherewithal and IQ" in order to land a husband. She asked, on behalf of herself and her unmarried friends, "how to find true happiness while being true to themselves." Fascinating mail from readers poured in. Read on:

It'll be interesting to follow this for the next day or so, and see what other nuggets of wisdom people will attempt to spout.

Thank goodness...

No, the glasses have not arrived yet, but we had good news on another front this afternoon. Good being relative, understand?

Due to a rash of ear infections when my son was weathering his first and second winters, he had to have tubes put in his ears. Several years later, the tubes partially fell out, which I did not know until he woke up one morning with blood pooled and coming out of both ears. Boy was that fun.

So, he had to have the tubes removed, and the goop cleared out. Six months later, the right ear eardrum had healed completely. The left still had a hole that was fairly significant. The doc said we'd have to look at it later, once my son stopped growing, to see if we could fix it. Each and every year since he's been in school, we get the lovely letter at screening time telling me what we already knew: he had slightly, very slightly impaired hearing in the left ear.

At his physical, his doctor suggested that we have his ear reevaluated to see if anything had changed. I immediately went into doom-and-gloom mode, as we had already spent a ton of money this month, to the point where I am experiencing heart palpitations every time I see my bank balance.

Well, guess what... The hole in his left eardrum is GONE!!!!!!!! It healed itself!!!!!!!!

Unfortunately, he still has a bit of hearing loss in the left ear, but it is due to scarring of the tiny bones inside the ear, rather than of the eardrum. IF he chooses, he can have this fixed WHEN HE IS AN ADULT, but the hearing loss is not significant enough to risk doing surgery at this time. He could end up with even worse hearing, even if the surgery goes perfectly well.

So.... good news that the hole is GONE!!!! Bad news that he still has hearing loss.

Now if only those glasses would come in...

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Another post about nothing

It's funny, really, when you get right down to it. I actually have nothing to do today. Nothing at all.

I suppose I could rally myself to some big home improvement project, but the most I have gotten done today is one load of laundry. I might dust later, and I may run the vacuum after that.

But that's all that is on the agenda.

And how did it get to be 3:56 pm already???

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Mom makes everything better. Always.

So, after getting all worked up over the dumb glasses not being ready, I sat down, cooled off, and watched part of a movie with my son. At about four, I finally tossed the remote aside, and told my son to put on his shoes, we were going to my sister's house.

My mom is babysitting my nephew tonight. This originally was going to be my job, but then their plans were changed to an overnight stay at a hotel with some friends. This ended up being a good plan, as the fog is so thick outside that visibility is minimal. But anyway, when Kim asked earlier this week, I was not feeling the greatest, and not up to my usual enthusiasm for babysitting overnight. I had already agreed to babysit from 6 pm until whenever they got home (usually around 1am), but I was not up for an overnight.

So, my mom stepped in. It's a good thing, too, because my nephew is getting a really bad cold, and now my sister and her husband's plan are to get home tomorrow afternoon instead of morning.

My mom and I were able to have a nice long talk tonight, about all sorts of things. I feel a lot better now than I did when I wrote the last post. I got to play with my nephew quite a bit, including chasing him around the kitchen and dining area when he had a full icky diaper, while mom was on the phone to my brother-in-law, asking which diapers were the night-time ones. That was very funny :) I could have held him, but I didn't want to chance something leaking out on me :) I think babies and little kids just naturally help me relax. I can't be unhappy around tiny kids.

I can't wait to see them tomorrow, too.

Furious >:\

Last week, my son had his eye exam, and we ordered and paid for his glasses. In full. I was told it would be a week until they came in. Specifically, I was told they would be here today. Saturday.

I planned my whole day around having to go to Fort Dodge to pick them up. I called this morning, and was told that they were not in yet, but they might arrive with the late afternoon delivery, and they would call when they got there.

I puttered around the house, did a few loads of laundry, went grocery shopping, and watched a couple of movies with my son.

At three, I decided to call them back.

The helpful lady on the phone checked the tracking and saw that they were still in the finishing stage. They had not been shipped yet. Once they are finished, they are shipped overnight. Which means even if they get finished today, they will not get there until Monday at the earliest. We won't be able to pick them up until Tuesday evening, and that's IF they are open long enough.

I am upset and angry for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that I was told they would be ready for pick up today. What makes me angry is that the woman I talked to this morning did not even check the tracking to see if they were even shipped. I would not be angry at all, would have accepted it, and planned something fun for today to take my son's mind off of his disappointment.

It would also have been better if they would have told me that it could take longer. I have two very full days at the beginning of next week. My son really needs his glasses, so we'll just have to work it out. It just would have been easier if they had come in today like they were supposed to.

I'm still mad, but I am not going to let this get to me. Time for relaxation technique #367: pretending I am on the moon, far from any Wal-Marts... (further proof that trying to save money does not actually save any money).

I dream of Cylons

The last two nights, I've dreamed of Cylons.

Not dreamed that I was on the Battlestar Galactica, or anything that would make sense, but dreamed of Cylons here, in everyday life. Well, everyday life until they start shooting everyone.

I guess it is a good thing that I have caught up on all of the episodes to date, so maybe the Cylon dreams will stop. Last night's episode was pretty crappy, but it did serve to highlight that not everything is as rosy as it seems.

The more I think about it, the more they are really ruining Apollo's character. I didn't have a problem, like many people did, with Apollo's near miss last week, but a based on that episode, a different direction or handling was required for his character than what he received this week.

The biggest flaw was that there were NO CYLONS in this episode. A product of victory last week? Maybe, but there are Cylons in the fleet that could have been worked into the plot. Perhaps all will become clear in time, and this week's tangent may be the backstory of something greater.

I really hope they don't end up ruining my favorite show...

Friday, January 27, 2006

From the costume files...

I finished sewing the first layer of cartridge pleats on the underskirt to the waistband (sew the valleys to the waistband). All I have left is to sew the peaks to the waistband, add the hooks and snaps, and figure out how much of a hem I need.

The last will be the trickiest.

I have a corded petticoat (red, of course, ;) but it needs to be shortened a bit, and needs a LOT more cord in it. The taffeta underskirt looks pretty good over it, the right amount of fullness. However, the overskirt is going to be pretty heavy. I honestly don't know HOW I am going to pleat five yards of material into a waistband that fits me. (Like I was really going to tell the internet how big around my waist is... what I will tell you is that I used to have a 26" waist in high school... it's not that anymore. ;)

Anyway, the skirt is one of those "seemed like a good idea at the time," situations. I wanted a very specific look, and I did the math, so to speak, on what proportions would look good for the alternating stripes. Now I have this huge length of material that looks like a tent wall. I think I am going to have to do some layering of pleats, or maybe a deeper pleat, 3/4 inch instead of 1/2 inch when I prep the fabric. I probably won't know for sure until I try it. This is a full 3/4 of a yard more than I have ever attempted to use for this purpose.

I also made a mistake when I started sewing the underskirt to the waistband. I started little higher on the waistband than I normally do. The upside is that I think it will actually work a lot better that way. It looks fuller so far, but that could just be due to the fact that taffetta has a bit of body to it, even the cheap stuff. I am already loving how it looks, and wishing that I had been able to get more.

One thing became clear when I tried on my favorite blue bodice, though. I desperately need to lose weight. What a difference in nearly five months... I will do a mock up of the new bodice, I think, but I will wait to sew it until the month before the next faire, which looks to be the one in Omaha. Or maybe I should have it ready for the Iowa Renaissance Festival, as a trial run, and fix any glaring problems that may arise.

Or maybe I should make something new for that one, too. :)

How to go from 33 to 60 in ten minutes

I pulled up to the school to pick up my son from DI. I was about four minutes later than usual, due to the unlucky combination of a meeting that lasted most of the afternoon, and critical work that had to be done before I left for the day.

Normally, my son is waiting outside, looking at interesting things on the ground, or talking to one of his friends. Today was different. As I pulled up, I noticed a distinct lack of kids in the area. Specifically, my kid. I waited about five minutes, then pulled the car into a visitor spot, and decided to see if he was inside talking to a friend.

As I walked through the main doors, a boy recognized me and told me that my son was outside.


After talking with the boy and a couple of other boys, the last time they had seen him was around 4:30, and it was nearly 5:00.

I quickly walked through the commons to the vending area, wondering if he maybe had waited there instead. No kids in sight.

By this time, I had already called home twice, thinking that maybe he had taken the bus home instead. I kept getting the answering machine.

It was time to visit the admin office.

The principal paged my son, while the vice-principal asked if my son was the type to accept a ride from friends or other acquaintences. By this time, I was shaking. Then I glanced at my phone to check the time, and I noticed that I had one missed call. I stepped outside to check, and "Home" flashed on the screen. My son answered after two rings.

He had walked home with a friend because I was late. Four minutes late, and he walked home.

I thanked the principal and vice-principal, and went home. As the door opened, he burst into tears and I gave him a huge hug, and then grounded him.

Okay, I didn't ground him, but I did explain even more carefully that he HAD to stick to the daily plan, UNLESS we had made arrangements ahead of time. Then we went and bought a pizza.

I am sure I have more gray hair tonight than I did this morning...

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Mother Nature's Joke

When I walked out of the building to go to lunch, the sky was the softest shade of blue, the sun was warm, and there was a hint of spring in the air. I didn't want to go indoors, didn't want to go back to work when lunch was over. How cruel to be inside on such a gift of a day. Even when the sun slid past the horizon, that sense of spring stayed.

Two more months...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Just do SOMETHING for fifteen minutes...

FlyLady says, no whining. Even if you think you don't feel well, or are sad, or in pain, suck it up and just DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING, for fifteen minutes. Set your timer and go.

I have struggled this week. For some reason, everything is making me feel down and listless. I don't want to DO ANYTHING. Period.

But I HAVE made and cleaned up dinner every night. I HAVE put things away when I was finished with them. I cleaned up my sons room in less than ten minutes, just by putting things back into the closet where they belonged. I have straightened the house before I went to bed every night. My tax info is gathered and waiting for me to do my taxes (shudder....).

I am just not feeling like myself. I don't think I laughed at all today, which is completely unusual for me. Someone send me something that will make me laugh... please?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Overeaters R Us

Why is it that when I am presented with food that I like, I will stuff myself until I cannot physically take another bite, even if I am not hungry?

Today's diary of food:

• two slices of pumpkin bread with margerine. Ug. I don't even like margerine.

• salad
• two chicken strips and about eight fries (all that was left in the bag)
I was not even hungry at lunch. At all. Period.

Afternoon snack
• 1 package of Suzy Q's. Again, I was NOT HUNGRY. This, though was completely psychological. My great-grandma Bohn, who I adored and who has been dead for 20 years, used to give me these as a treat when I used to stay with her. She was wonderful, and I miss her.

Supper (this is a doozy) - I repeat! I did not actually have a chance to get hungry before eating this!!!
• Barbequed chicken (two pieces, and I never eat two pieces of chicken EXCEPT if it is cooked this way. If it had been my dad grilling it, I would not have stopped with two...)
• Corn
• baked potato with sour cream and chives (I did use butter spray, which has ZERO calories)

Ten PM snack, I guess you would call it:
• two more slices of pumpkin bread (why, oh why, did I make pumpking bread on Sunday????)

My stomach is going to burst. I will gain 15 pounds over this. I think the reason I ate this much was because I actually did not get hungry at all today. I was eating because I was supposed to, and because the normal cues to quit eating weren't there as I felt full before beginning to eat, I did not know when to stop.

So, the only conclusions to make would be:

1. I am getting really sick, which would explain the lack of appetite,


2. I am depressed about something, and am eating to make up for that. You do know that yesterday was statistically the most depressing day of the year, right?

I can't really think of anything that would be depressing me right now, so I am forced to consider that I might actually be getting sick. Which actually is depressing...

I am going to definitely eat lightly tomorrow, and will wait to eat until I am actually hungry. I don't want to feel this icky and bloated tomorrow...

Small Town Blues

The other day I caught myself calling Ames a small town.

We have 50,000 people in Ames. That qualifies it as a city, but it still feels like a small town until you want to run to Target quick to pick up the special hand lotion you need to survive.

Or until you try to get a doctor's appointment for something that is not critical.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Pet Peeve #768

Why, oh why, would people think it is acceptible to leave their garbage bags outside their apartment doors? If it smells enough that you are putting it outside your door, don't you think you need to take it to the dumpster?

Honestly, this is totally gross and unacceptable. I don't need to come home to a hallway that smells like rotten food and diapers. It seeps into the apartment sometimes. This is not a garbage dump, and I resent the fact that since the apartment manager no longer lives here, people are totally not following the rules. This is very unsanitary.

I am calling the management company tomorrow. Too much of this, and we are going to have a pest problem. This happens multiple days of the week, the same two apartments. This is my home. There are many professional people in this building, who are not just stopping off on the way to owning a home, or going to school. It's time people start treating the place with a little more respect.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Mash 'em up.

For the last couple of years, I have been heavy into the whole mix genre of music. It's to the point where I get shocked when I hear a song on the radio, and realize that I know the lyrics but to a different beat and tune. Music is so much more interesting when others are allowed to interpret and mix multiple sources. You end up listening to a much greater range of artists, discovering new favorites in the process. There are some really wonderful DJs out there.

I have been frustrated with the radio stations around here. They play the same old music, at pretty much the same time every day. They are not serving their stated purpose of intruducing us to new music. They play what they think people want to hear, but there is one particular station that just ticks me off to no end. This station plays hit music without "all the rap." In fact, if some artists collaborate, they STRIP OUT THE HIP HOP! Excuse me, I want my music as the artist intended.

Wonder why so many people are buying iPods and other mp3 players?

Do a google search for mashup music and you will get a glimpse into the future of music. Look for stuff by the Kleptones and DJ Reset, along with a host of others I am forgetting (comes from throwing stuff on the iPod shuffle, and just listening rather than seeing names). Fun stuff!

Back to our regularly scheduled program

Some of you are probably wondering how the eye appointment went yesterday.

Turns out my son is very nearsighted. "You have your mom to thank for that," said the assistant. I told the doctor how guilty I felt to not have noticed before. I thought that he might have been slightly nearsighted, but I did not know how bad it was. Why didn't I notice?

The doctor said that often kids don't tell their parents when they are having problems seeing. The process is so gradual most of the time that they honestly don't know anything is wrong until it is pointed out to them, or they see it for themselves while the doctor is testing lens strengths.

So, next Saturday, his glasses should be back from the lab. He actually can't wait to be able to see that well again, and has said so multiple times since yesterday afternoon.

If you want to be comment spammed with hate messages, just use the names of countries with "I"s in them...

It pretty much sucks when intelligent discourse is made impossible by bot-spam....

Okay, I never write political posts, but I am making an exception for this.

Israel 'Childish' On Nukes, Iran's Leader Says

"TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran says Israel would be making a "fatal mistake" if it uses military action over Tehran's nuclear program.

Israel again said yesterday it would not accept Iran having nuclear weapons under any circumstances. The Israeli defense minister says Israel is getting ready for a possible failure of diplomatic efforts.

Iran says the veiled threats are nothing but a "childish game." The Iranian foreign ministry said Israel's comments are a form of "psychological warfare."

Israel considers Iran its biggest threat and has joined the United States in claiming Tehran is trying to build nuclear weapons.

Iran continues to insist that its nuclear program is for generating electricity."

Okay, correct me if I am wrong, but Iran's president has made some highly challenging remarks recently about Israel, including opening an investigation into whether the Holocaust really happened, and "Israel should be wiped off the map."

Now, if your next door neighbor started talking about wiping you off of the map, and then proceded to procure the means of wiping you off of the map, wouldn't you be a little worried and attempt to do what you could to stop them? I don't think there is anything childish about being concerned that your enemy is going to build nukes, especially when the thinly veiled threat is that they will use them against you. Hello, people, remember the Cold War? My generation remembers growing up convinced that if we grew up at all without the bombs dropping, it would be a minor miracle.

It's not like the world is wrong to have these suspiciouns. After all, North Korea was just going to use use its plants to generate electricity, and look how well that turned out.

I am not going to make any predictions on this one. I am sitting here, safe and sound in my living room. All I want is for others in the world to have the same.

I survived!

As I was writing the last post, I was pretty much prepared to wake up this morning unable to move. It was much harder to walk uphill, in the snow, pulling a snow tube that I had anticipated, and by the last few runs, I was scarely able to walk the last few feet to the beginning of the lift. The fact that I was willing to do this when nearly physically exhausted should tell you all exactly just how fun it was to slide down a huge, snow and ice covered hill in a snow inner tube.

It was 2 am before I could get to sleep. I could not get warm. I should feel guilty about sleeping in until 10, but I was worn out after a full day. What a fun Saturday!

Now to write about the other stuff we did yesterday :)

Woo hoo!!!!!!!!

So, I actually decided at pretty much the last second to go ahead and go tubing with my son tonight at Seven Oaks.

In true form, I went first, and between the jolts and my a** hitting the ground, it was okay. By the time I got back to the lift, my son was at the top of the hill, deep in conversation with out scoutmaster. When I was halfway up the hill, I saw a red blur that was my son come shooting down the hill.

Wow! He actually did it!

My second run was great! It was really fast and by then I had figured out that I needed to keep my body somewhat stiff in order to keep from hitting the ground.

When I got to the bottom of the hill, and ran over to my son, I realized that he was pretty upset.

He hated it. He wanted to go home, and never wanted to do this again.

After we sat and talked a bit by the fire pit, I finally convinced him to sit in a tube and watch me, counting how long it took for me to get from the top of the hill to the bottom, on each of the three lanes.

44 seconds on one, and 40 on another. He got tired of counting, but he was in a better mood after that and started just sliding around on his tube. We couldn't get him to try it again, though. Too scary.

All in all, I went down the hill about 12 times. It was hard work, because you have to drag the tube from the bottom of the run, fully halfway back, and up part of the hill until you get to the drag (they hook the drag loop to the drag for you, and you get a leisurely ride up the slope). We did get some of our skiers to try it, and they seemed to enjoy it, too.

Finally, I decided that it was time to go home. It was beautiful at night, and a few stars appeared in the gaps of the clouds. It was fun, but now I know that my son doesn't like it, I doubt we'll be back.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Plan for the night

I have decided that I will sit with a good book, sipping cocoa in the snack place, while the kids ski, or go tubing (my son is refusing to ski). This will allow me a chance to relax, while not having to be by myself, and stay warm. I feel like a party pooper, but I am tired, and I already have a cough and a stuffy nose. I also do not have snow pants.

I think this is sensible.

We're off to see the wizard...

Um, well, actually, we're off to see the eye doctor. My son has resigned himself to the fact that he needs glasses. He is getting glasses. He's going to have to wear them FOREVER. We're going for cool, edgy, techno glasses.

I should have just let my sister Mallory pick out his glasses. She picked out mine last time, mostly because I couldn't see them without... my glasses on.

Wish us luck!

Another one bites the dust.

Hair dryer, that is.

After running around all morning, doing laundry, then having to wait to dry my hair because I was folding laundry, the lump that I uncovered when I took the towel off of my head was quite startling in its sheer ugliness. I managed to wet it down slightly, slapped some mousse in it, then turned on the blow dryer to attempt to salvage it in time to go to this LEGO thing.

The moment I turned it on, I could smell that hot, electrical smell that signifies the end of a long relationship with my beloved industrial strength hair dryer ("I can't live without it!"). I quickly dried my bangs before turning it off, and gently placing it on the bathroom counter. There was nothing more to do, other than brush the rest of my hair, and add "Hair Dryer" to the list on the refrigerator, right under garbage bags.

I loved my hair dryer, although I never really had time to adequately dry my hair in the morning, it was quick, and had three heat settings, and two speed settings, along with a button to blast cool air if needed. When I did have time to use it properly, it could dry my thick, fine hair very quickly, without being too harsh... that middle heat setting was my favorite....

While the electrical smell, with just a hint of burnt hair, lingers in the air, my heart is heavy, and my hair is cold. It's time to say goodbye to my hair dryer... farewell, noble and loyal servant.

Friday, January 20, 2006

I never did mind abut the little things...

Today was a very busy, exhausting day. So far this semester, every single day has been like this, so I should probably just resign myself to the fact that I will always have five things to do at once.

That's okay, as long as I am aware that it will be like this, I can attempt to come up with a coping mechanism.

Right now, whenever I feel stressed, I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and try to remember a particularly good time from the past. Usually, I think of summer, and being outdoors, or swimming in cold water during a hot afternoon. Quiet, calm, fun... and when I open my eyes, suddenly whatever was bothering me seems to not be quite so bad anymore.

It seems to be working so far. I am not nearly as edgy and stressed out today as I was last Friday. I can put two thoughts together without sounding insane, which is always good, and I even managed to get a good start on the housework so that I can play tomorrow without feeling guilty.

Whatever gets you through the day...


Awhile back, I taped the season two marathon of Battlestar Galactica. Last Sunday, we finally got to watch several episodes. The quality was blah, but they were watchable.

There were about five episodes on the first tape.

We are now into the second tape.

Every couple of minutes, the tape rolls and is just crappy. We're missing dialog, key parts of the action, and subtleties that are cruicial to the story.

The story is so good, and so absorbing, that it is ticking me off to no end that I somehow managed to grab a tape that is faulty.

That's it. I am looking into a Tivo.


After a couple of weeks without snow (okay, three or so), the white stuff started falling around noon.

I didn't pay much attention to it after getting back to work from lunch, but when the phone rang at 2:51, I think I sort of knew what was coming.

"Hi Mom, they cancelled all after-school activities. Can you come pick me up?"

"What happened to the extra bus money I gave you this morning in case DI was cancelled?"

"I accidentally spent it on a pop."

"??? How... but school's only been out one minute, and you were only supposed to... You do know it's going to take me while to get there. I'll be there in 15 minutes...."

Snow. Beautiful until you have to go out in it unexpectedly...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Warning: Sewing post ahead...

So, I decided that I really wanted to work on my new garb tonight. I spent a good 30 minutes ironing the five yards of fabric that comprise the overskirt. Three, one yard panels of celery green, two 3/4 yard panels of crimson, and two 1/2 yard panels of crimson. The two smallest panels will make up the front of the overskirt, and will be left open. The other panels will alternate colors around the skirt. The underskirt still needs to be attached to the waistband. And I need to actually make the waistband for both skirts.

I sewed the back three panels together (red, green, red). Then I sewed the right two panels together (red, green), and the left two panels together (green, red). I finshed and pressed all seams. It takes longer when you zig-zag the seam, and trim it, but since I tore the fabric to get straight edges very quickly, this is worth the extra five minutes or so. The next step will be to press under three inches on each of the front panels, and sew on the trim (Christmas clearance, gold transclucent ribbon with tiny gold embroidery - very subtle, but will add a bit of sparkle and definition to the edges of the overskirt).

I did discover to my dismay, that the width of the two fabrics I used are not equal. For some reason the quilter's cotton washed and shrank to 44 inches wide, while the broadcloth stayed at 45 wide. All it means is that I will have a harder time with the hem that I would have had they been equal.

I am still wavering on the sleeves. I bought enough taffeta to make the sleeves, but I am thinking that I would like red sleeves rather than green. Or, when I make the individual panels, I could sandwich crimson grosgrain ribbon between the pieces, so that the green panels are edged in red. I think that would provide definition to the pieces, and variety. It will also help save taffeta, which means I can use it for trim for either the bodice or other projects. I should scan and post the sketch, just in case anyone is interested.

I feel like I got a lot done in a little over an hour. The hardest part is always getting the ironing finished, simply because three yards is pretty hard to iron when you take into consideration the fact the ironing boards are, at best, about a foot wide.

Now everything is neatly folded and stowed away, ready to be worked on tomorrow night. Saturday, we may be going to a big LEGO Tournament at the university, and then I am taking my son to the eye doctor's. We may or may not be skiing Saturday night. I managed to do something to my knee while WALKING today, so I have been limping a bit. I am not sure if I want to risk it on the slopes. I may send my son along with another friend, and just enjoy a little time doing something without KIDS. I love kids, especially my own, but sometimes a little grown-up time is needed to maintain SANITY. I don't know what I want to do yet, but with four kid-free hours, I'm sure I could think of something...

Night all!

A post about nothing in particular...

My son is sitting in the midst of tons of Lego™ right now, busily sorting and finding Lego people, and other pieces to form a Lego space army.

Quite impressive, I might add.

I never realized quite how many Lego pieces we have...

I may have to build something of my own :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

So, what 80s song is stuck in YOUR head right now?

I would like for Comedy Central to quit running the "Hard Rock Ballad" commercial, please. I now have a montage of 80s hair band ballads screaming in my head.

Like it's not bad enough to have the individual songs in my head, I get to have the COMMERCIAL MONTAGE of the songs stuck in my head.

Oh, the Humanity...

My son had a physical this morning. He is totally, and completely healthy and normal.

And needs glasses.

Yep. Glasses.

And he has to go see his ear, nose and throat doctor to evaluate the hole in his eardrum to see if we are at the point growth-wise to have it fixed. Which he isn't, because his head hasn't stopped growing yet.

He also had to get a tetanus shot, the meningococcal vaccination (they have a life-time one now, instead of the 1-2 year one), and the flu-mist.

He's pretty miserably achy right now because of the tetanus shot. He's so achy and grouchy that I am letting him stay home from religious education classes tonight.

Now all I have to do is find an eye doctor in town so I don't have to drive all the way to Fort Dodge to go to my eye doctor...

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

So, who wants to take bets on what injuries I will suffer this weekend?

Seriously. The more I think about getting on skis, the more I think about what my insurance deductible is, and how hard it would be to work and keep control on the house with a broken (insert body part of your choice).

I am CRAZY to try to do this at 33. CRAZY. The only thing that keeps me from doing an about face is wondering who else will show up and be CRAZY with me. I can laugh at myself, but it's more fun when others are laughing with you instead of putting you down for your lack of MAD SKI Skilz....

I can tell you right now that the only words coming out of my mouth as I slip down the bunny slope are going to be, "Oh my God, oh my GOD," and a various assortment of profanities that would make my sisters proud of me...

That will be grade-A entertainment...

Reverse Psychology messing with my head, and other deep thoughts.

So I have this thing that I do.

I tell myself that I have no money. I spend a set amount on groceries a week, and a set amount to spend on necessities. I try very hard to save what I can, because I want to get a different car sometime in this decade...

Because of this, though, I was in panic mode last night because the scouts want to go skiing this weekend, and I was worried that I might not be able to swing it. It was an unnecessary panic, because I KNEW we could go, but the feeling was there because it hit my trigger dollar amount. I want to go, even though I haven't been on skis in 20 years. My son wants to go tubing. We both just want to have fun, and hope that lots of our friends, kids and adults, will go.

But I also wish that the kids would plan some free or less expensive activities. I would have been happy with just walking through the new Ada Hayden Park, or going to see an educational exhibit, or even another LAN party (which costs us next to nothing except time, and bruised egos when the eleven year olds kick my butt at Star Craft). I am thinking even a work day at the scout room could be fun if handled properly. I'll bet there are a ton of interesting things to discover in that room... It is my biggest fear that we will scare away the kids that need us the most if we continually do things that require fees that many families may not be able to afford without offering more opportunities for fund raising to allow them to feel the sense of accomplishment that comes from having earned their own way.

I am proud of the fact that I can support myself and my son. I am happy when I can pay my own way somewhere, and it gives me joy to be able to do things for others. But there is a part of me that can never let go of what it was like when that wasn't the case.

That is the part of me who wants to be sure others have the same opportunities for them and their children.


This is the number of pounds of paper I moved from the cart outside my office to the back storage room. About half of that I helped load onto the cart, thanks to a lab monitor who helped me after we heard that the delivery company had left it on the loading dock.

So, my arms and legs feel just great. My sides and my back are giving twinges thanks to a couple of boxes that were just at awkward angles to lift.

And my mom wonders why I stopped wearing skirts to work...

Monday, January 16, 2006

Love the hoppy, malty beer smell...

So, after I posted earlier today, I decided to make a loaf of beer bread to go with this massive amount of spinach dip that I made the other day. I had left out one of the two beers that were in my refrigerator from god-knows-when, so it was nice and warm. I have this recipe down so I don't have to look it up, even though I've only made it a few times. When you see the recipe, you'll understand.

1 - 12oz. can (or bottle, I'm a purist) beer, warm - brand of your preference
3 cups self-rising flour
3 tablespoons sugar

Mix sugar and flour, then add beer. Stir until combined. Pour dough into a large loaf pan, and bake at 350°F for about 50 minutes. Let cool, then cut up into bit sized pieces. Serve with spinach dip or another dip of your choice.

It's good, but it tends to leave a beer smell in the house that seems to be quite overwhelming for the fact that only one beer was harmed in the making of it. In fact, the house smells somewhat like a bar right now. Which sucks. Of course the bread turned out wonderful, as always. I ate a bunch of it with dip for supper.

I am sure that I smelled like beer at the meeting tonight.

So I just wanted you all to know it was the bread's fault.

Day off = Productive

Here is my list of things accomplished so far today:

• Up early to get my son off to school
• Had a relaxing hour break to ease into the day
• did three loads of laundry, start to finish
• cleaned out more of my closet, focusing on getting rid of clothes that are ugly, no longer fit, old, stretched, or unflattering.
• take the four garbage bags of ill-fitting, ugly clothes, and tossed them in the dumpster!!!!!
• slightly rearrange closet to accomodate camping gear in a more organized manner.
• put everything away!!!!!!
• ate lunch
• showered
• went to work to check out a camera for someone who was not able to get it Friday, as a critical piece was missing out of the case
• went to Goodwill and resisted the urge to buy this steam cleaner that was missing instructions. It was a good buy, I have not the first clue how to operate it, so it would just sit around taking up space. Nothing else caught my eye, so I left.

Now I am back home, and I am looking forward to a relaxing afternoon in a clean house, feeling considerably lighter for dumping the fat clothes. There, I said it!!! I was never really fat, but I used to buy HUGE clothes because I hated the way I looked and wanted to cover up. I very nearly kept one sweater, until I tried it on and realized the the shoulder seams came halfway down my upper arms. Into the garbage it went.

And it felt good.

Disclaimer: If I would have donated the clothes, or at least told myself I was going to donate the clothes, the bags would have probably spent weeks in my living room. The key to fighting the clutter is to let it go. Someday I will be able to save stuff to donate, but that day is not here, and it will not be for quite awhile.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Waste of an afternoon...

I made the mistake of lying down with a book this afternoon around 3. I woke up just after 5, groggy, and craving chocolate so bad that I wonder what I was dreaming about.

I decided to get out of the house and go get the groceries, even though I technically didn't need to, as we had stuff for supper and breakfast tomorrow.

Apparently, 5:00 pm is when the college kids shop, especially couples.

It's funny to see them pushing carts that are very overloaded for one person, or two for a week's worth of groceries. Do they eat all of it? Does it go to waste? I have an eleven-year old who eats like crazy, and I don't buy that much each week in groceries. We're talking carts that are heaped full of enough food to feed a family of four for over a week.

When I got home, I made dinner, we ate, then cleaned it up. Just like I do every night of the week, every lunch, every breakfast. Boring. The dishwasher is churning away, my son is playing his gameboy.

Just another Sunday evening...

Scrambled Eggs and Bacon

I got up at a decent hour and made the kids scrambled eggs and bacon. When I was wracking my brain as to what to feed them so that I didn't have to go to the store last night, I mentioned this breakfast possibility. You would have thought that I was going to give them the most fabulous breakfast on earth from their reactions.

So, bacon and eggs are cooked, and the house now smells like... bacon and eggs.

I may be sick.

When cooked over a campfire, there is really not much better in the world than bacon and eggs, or mountain man (bacon, onion, hashbrowns, with eggs poured over it, cooked in a dutch oven on charcoal, with cheese added, served with salsa... mmmmm). In the closed confines of the apartment, it is torture on my stomach.

I think I am just sensitive to certain scents... like when I opened the door after getting home last night and smelled the lovely hamburger grease smell from lunch. Ug.

In any case, I have the windows opened, to the dismay of my son who thinks weekends are shirt-free days, and would walk around in boxers all day if he didn't know how much I hate that (I hate the no-shirt thing too, it's just that he tends to ignore me on that one until I take away the video games).

He's just going to have to suffer, or put a shirt on, because I am not going to have the house smell like this all day...

Saturday, January 14, 2006

I always seem to end up with extra kids...

Went to the Des Moines Science Center and IMAX theatre today with a friend, and my son, and one of his friends. We were intending to just go see "Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon." The 1:20 show.

You can all see where this if going if you watched the news this morning...

Sold out for the 1:20 show. So, we got tickets for the science center itself, then decided to go ahead and get tickets for the 4:20 showing. We spent the next two hours going through the center, exploring all of the exhibits, some more than once, and then went to listen to Andrew Chaikin give a talk about his new book, "A Man on the Moon."

The Chaikin talk was very interesting, and did not focus on his book at all. He talked about exploration, and where we are going with exploration, specifically the fact that we are going back to the moon and to Mars. I learned quite a bit from his talk that I hadn't known. There is a new type of drive that can cut the travel time to Mars from six months to three months. I was going to write down the name of the drive, but I wrote down something else instead. You know it's good if I want to take notes :)

At the end, the audience had a chance to ask questions. Besides the obligatory, "How did the astronauts go to the bathroom?" there was one question from the audience that kind of threw me.

"Why the moon and Mars? Why not one of the other planets?"

Mr. Chaikin covered very smoothly, explaining that Venus is far too hot to consider, and the others are too far away. Very nice save. They are also gaseous, and their moons are mostly in the rings, far too dangerous to risk people at this stage. There is also a little problem in the form of an asteroid field between Mars and the outer planets...

There were no conspiracy theorists in the audience to declare that the moon landings were a hoax, so that was good, although it would have added more excitement (Hey, Troy! There's something for the podcast!).

When we finally got to see the movie, I was very worried that I would end up getting motion sickness and embarrassing myself, but I did not have a single problem. The movie was beautiful! Informative, interesting, and just gorgeous. I've seen some of the high res moon photos before, as many have been released on the web, and to see it at IMAX scale was overwhelmingly beautiful. I wish I had been able to open my eyes even further to take it all in. I did not want to blink at all.

So, we're back home now, and my son bugged me into letting his friend stay overnight. I am working on tapping down my caffeine-withdrawal headache, and burritos are in the oven for dinner. The kids are battling the Empire, and trying not to accidentally blow each other up, and I am just waiting for dinner to be over so I can sit down and relax with a good book, or blog :)

Like I said in the title to this post: I always end up with extra kids whenever we go anywhere with my son's friends. Baseball games, the kids are staying here. Harry Potter book release: We plan for one extra, and end up with two. Science Center: getting an extra kid.

Yikes! Dinner is ready!

Update: I looked up the name of the magnetic thruster system that will make Mars travel more likely - VASIMR is NASA's development, and the european space agency has developed something called HDLT that is similar. Very cool stuff! I think the galactic dust bunnies were cleared away from my brain by this trip to the science center...

Friday, January 13, 2006

I just love talking with friends :)

I just got off of the phone with one of my friends. Her son is pretty good friends with my son, and it seems like everytime we call each other for one little thing, we end up talking for over an hour.

I think it was more like an hour and a half this time.

Anyway, there is something nice about being able to have a good conversation about things that women and mothers care about. We just need to work on being able to get off of the phone in under 30 minutes :)

Why do I feel so weird tonight?

1. Too much lawry's salt on the French Fries
2. The chicken gumbo sloppy joes - loaded with sodium
3. The spinach dip and pesto bread I had with lunch, along with the deli turkey, ditto on the sodium

I'd say the key words there are salt and sodium. I was incredibly stupid with food today. Dumb, dumb, dumb... My chest feels tight and it is hard to breathe, and my head hurts. Wow, I just love having high-blood pressure. The medicine usually works pretty well, but I seldom go so far overboard as I did today. NOTHING on this list is anything I am supposed to have AT ALL, and I did it all in one day.


All work and no play...

...makes me whiny.

I have to do laundry again tonight, since I managed to rip another pair of jeans while camping this weekend. I found out that it is my camp chair that is putting strain on the fabric where the pocket is sewn to the jean. Laugh, if you will, but these were $60 jeans that my sister gave me and were my favorites.

(funny, I just looked at my gmail window, and the featured link was for a survey titled, "Are you normal?" I highly doubt it.)

So, I am in a whiny mood because, frankly, today was like a Monday, only with the deadlines of a Friday...

And the mood of Friday sometimes carries over onto Saturday, which I am hoping it doesn't as we have fun plans for tomorrow :)

Oops, it's 6, and laundry is calling my name...

Thursday, January 12, 2006


We finished watching the last two episodes of the first season of Battlestar Galactica tonight!

Now I can get to work on the abridged season two marathon that we taped last Thursday, along with the season three premiere that we taped last Friday night.

It's good to have goals, right?

Part one: How to get my son to clean his room

This is it. It is D-Day. Disaster Area #1, my son's room, is getting decluttered TONIGHT.


15 minutes of sorting
15 minutes of Battlestar Galactica, the two part end of season one.

Ready, set, GO!!!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Funny things that happen with kids

Monday, my son apparently misunderstood what I told him he could have for a snack after school. Instead of "carrots and celery," he heard, "chips and salsa." So why did I panic when I saw the plate with salsa leftovers on it?

Because to my knowledge we had finished off the salsa the night before.

Yes, he found a pre-New Year's jar of salsa in the refrigerator, and ate some of it. In fact, I don't really know when that jar was opened. You are supposed to use it within a week.

I had a total of maybe two things in the refrigerator that should not have been eaten, and that was one.

Obviously, he survived, although I hoped he'd a least have a bit of a stomach ache, so it would stick in his brain to not eat things from the 'frige that Mom did not expressly mention as snack possibilities. He could not see what the fuss was about.

My sister and her family got back from Florida late Monday night, so I went over tonight to return the key and bring over this rocking chair of mine that I got when I was a year old, for my nephew to use. We looked at pictures of the trip, after my nephew showed me the stuff that he got, and after my sister gave me this beautiful charm bracelet that they bought me in Disney World.

We tried to give him his bedtime bottle, but he was bouncing off of the walls. So, my sister declared, "bedtime," and I carried him upstairs to help her tuck him into bed. Just as we got up to his room, he put his head on my shoulder and snuggled up, and didn't want to go to his mom. Then, I handed him over, and she had him in bed, tucked in, crib rail up, music on, and by the time we got back downstairs, he was asleep.

I just looked in at my own stinker. It is amazing how fast they grow. From chewing on a stuffed animal (my nephew was ripping Nemo's fur off with his TEETH), to eating expired salsa and anything else that isn't locked down...

I can't wait to see what the next twelve years hold :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Fuzzy Logic

I am on day two of the reduced caffeine part of my diet plans. I had one 24 oz dt. pepsi today. There is no more dt. pepsi in the house.

My brain feels fuzzy and I have a bit of a headache starting.

Did you know that the industrial revolution would have been nearly impossible without that most wonderful of discoveries: coffee.

You see, people used to drink wine as freely as we drink... well... coffee and such. The water was bad, as in you'd get sick and possibly die bad. So, they drank various brews, and were pretty much in a bit of a fog most of the time. No wonder they thought the earth was flat and the sun and stars revolved around us...

Anyway, with coffee, people found that they felt much more alert, and soon coffee houses sprouted up, and more and more people switched from wine to caffeine.

Okay, I may not have all of the details on this, but my son and I were watching something on discovery about it, and I had used that as a justification for continuing with my caffeine addiction.

I'll give it two more days, but with this being the beginning of the semester, I need to be sharp rather than in a caffeine deprived haze.

I want my diet pepsi!!!

Looking around my room, I think it's clear that my decluttering hasn't quite happened yet...

My room has somehow, in the last month and a half, become a catch-all for loads of things that should be somewhere else, or in the garbage. Granted, some of it is from this weekend, but there is also a box that has miscellaneous stuff from other decluttering "missions," a box of stuff that needs to be thrown away, two computers, and my box of fabric that didn't get put back after the last sewing session (because I was going to use it again shortly - bad excuse, I know better than that).

So, I suppose that the mission for tonight will be to find homes for the extra stuff (which really is not all that much stuff), and throw more crap away. I am going to set my timer for fifteen minutes, and get this place straightened up as quickly as possible. Don't think - do. That's my motto when it comes to this stuff. Just get rid of it rather than trying to justify why it needs to be here, as long as it's not bills and such, that is...

It got colder today. I think that's why I am still sitting here rather than getting up and getting to work. I would like to sew tonight, so maybe that is another incentive I can use to get the room straightened up quickly.

I live such a boring life sometimes :)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Jennifer's First Law of Lab Management

Jennifer's First Law of Lab Management states that a printer that worked perfectly three weeks ago, and has since sat idle, will upon attempting to run the first print job of the semester decide that it has had enough and will quit working properly.

Three and a half hours, one service tech, and two parts later, it will decide that life really is worth living, and begin to print colors in their proper registration.

Other than that, we had a remarkably smooth first day of the semester!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Getting back on track

Yes, I did my fifteen minutes of decluttering today!!!! I cleaned out the cupboard by the phone that is supposed to be for medicine, and commonly used things that have no where else to go, but had ended up being a catch-all for stupid crap.

I had to stop myself from continuing on to the junk drawer that is right below it, or the next thing I knew, it would be midnight, and I'd STILL be cleaning out ALL of the cupboards in the kitchen, and would be exhausted tomorrow.

If there is one major thing I've taken from FlyLady, it's to know when to STOP cleaning. That's why I set a timer. When the timer went off, I was done. In the old days, I would have totally exhausted myself, and it would have all come undone and been discouraging. I would have been taking a q-tip to the hinges, and if you think I am joking, you'd be wrong :)

Camping with Kids: Tip #4378

When someone says, "I gotta go," at 6:15 in the morning, don't just assume that they will get up and go out to the outhouse unless you actually see them leave. It's cold, and dark, and there are WILD ANIMALS out there, you know?


We're back! We had a great weekend! The kids were convinced that the cabin was haunted, and a certain lightbulb that flickered everytime I said there were no ghosts didn't help matters any. My son swears he saw a ghost this morning, right before dawn. And we had heard footsteps right before this, so who knows?

No major disasters. Tons of fun!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Release the inner goddess...

My inner goddess will not let me stop working today. She is all about getting stuff done, without paying attention to the aching back, the aching legs with charley horses threatening, the hips that jolt with each step, and shear exhaustion of the body that holds her prisoner.

My problem is that I feel a lot younger than I am, and so try to do too much at once. If, perhaps, I were in better shape, I wouldn't end up like this, every movement causing pain, and even pain in stillness, keeping me from resting.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

But not before I find three video tapes!!!

Because tomorrow is the Season Two Battlestar Galactica Marathon on SciFi!!!!!!! Starts at 7:00 am!

This, of course, is their run-up to the third season, which begins this Friday night.

Why, may you ask, am I peeved?

Because after cancelling the last two campouts due to lack of interest from the boys, we are actually having this weekend's campout, even though only two kids are signed up! Don't get me wrong, I am anxious to go camping, because my son could possibly finish another rank, and because I actually LIKE camping, and being outdoors. It's just.... just... WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE THE NIGHT OF THE SEASON PREMIERE??????

Out of energy, if not enthusiasm

It has been a really, really long day. I think I said that about yesterday, too...

I very nearly have all of the cleaning done in our main room at work, and just have a few tidying up things to do, and the rest of the laser cutter to clean.

Yep, I am cleaning out the laser cutter.

Normally, every weekday morning I would take out the honeycomb table, and clear the debris from under it. Once a week, I would clean it with window cleaner (good lord, I have no idea what toxic combinations that caused), and would daily clean out from under the plaform. Awful mess, really, as the residue from the plastic and wood coats the lid and every surface inside.

Now, during the last three weeks of classes, I don't think I was able to do this more than twice, even though I have the first hour set aside for maintenance, there was always either someone needing to do a really quick cut, someone who arrived early, or someone who stayed very late (those DASH hours, you know). So it only got done two times that I can recall for certain, maybe another.

Yes, it was very, very, very nasty under the table.

It was so nasty that I sprayed foam cleaner on the entire surface of the metal platform, and let it sit while I went to my office to get one of the green kitchen scratchers that I bought to clean up the popcorn messes. I scrubbed and scrubbed, and created a black sludge that made me glad I was wearing gloves. Yuck! I went through a ton of paper towels to wipe up the mess, and still did not get all of the marks cleared up.

I am saving under the platform and the sides for tomorrow... It will be very dusty, and gross, but not sludgy like the stuff I cleaned up today.

So that is part of the reason why I am out of energy.

After getting home from work, I made dinner (my son's favorite: chicken and pasta), ate dinner, cleaned up dinner, and threw a load of jeans in the washer. After putting the stuff in the dryer, then doing a little more web browsing, I finished the first thread of the cartridge pleating on my celery green, watered tafetta underskirt. If you are unfamiliar with cartridge pleating, a strip of 1/4" gingham (woven, not print, 2 inches wide) is sew to the waistline of the skirt, and two strands of thread are used. Sew 1/2" from top, skipping every two squares in a straight line, from one edge to the other. The second line is sewn 1/2" below the first, following the same skipping pattern across, so the stitches line up exactly vertically. When finished with the lines, pull up to the right waist size, and sew to a waistband. If you've ever fan-folded a piece of paper, this is exactly what the two threads do, quickly and evenly. To picture how the skirt will be sewn to the waistband, you would simply place the waistband on top of the pleats, and sew each peak and valley to the waistband, with the peaks hitting the middle of the waistband. Lots of hand sewing this way, but it is well-worth the effort, and no pattern is required.

The plan was to put both lines into the skirt, and pull it tight to see how loose the pleats need to be, and if the length was going to be okay. I would love to be doing this right now, but my legs ache, my hips ache, and my back aches. So I am going to go to bed right after South Park...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Back to Work

The hardest part of going back to work is not getting up in the morning and leaving before dawn. The hardest part of the day is the 2-3pm lull, which signals "naptime" to my vacation-accustomed body.

It's not like I didn't have enough to do, because I did. It wasn't boring. It's just that I have been getting A LOT more sleep than I normally do (and yes, it has only been between eight and nine hours a day). When you go from getting the right amount of sleep, to getting an amount that is somewhat less pleasing, the body does not like it.

Anyway, I ended up having to go to the store after work. I was a good girl and made up my menus and list ahead of time, I bought lots of veggies and fruit that we will be able to snack on. I did not buy a single item of junk food, except for some diet pepsi to take to work. I have myself on a strict diet and budget for this month, in the hopes that I can slim down a bit. I would love to go walking tonight, but it is dark already, and even though I live in a nice part of town, it's colder out now than it was earlier (and may be getting icy). Plus, the friend that I used to walk with moved, so I wouldn't have anyone to talk to. Sucks, right? I used to walk four miles a day, at one point. I really, really need to get back to doing that.

Another back to work adjustment: it is very, very cold at work. I dressed today to do physical labor, as in shifting a bunch of machines, nine of which weigh 53 lbs each, plus 10 CRTs, ten 35 lb machines, and some LCDs. I ended up working on a plan for something else, so the hard work is put off until tomorrow morning. I just wore a t-shirt and a zip-up sweatshirt (and jeans, of course). COLD.

Well, since I didn't get my nap earlier, I may just have to go put my feet up and read a book. Or else get the panels cut and sewn for the overskirt of my latest creation, and the gingham cheat strips cut for the cartridge pleating in the underskirt and overskirt. Two hours of costuming should help wear me out, and still give me enough time to catch South Park tonight at 8:30 (they are playing older ones, and I haven't see the one that's up for tonight).

Off to do something productive!!!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Weirdest commercial ever heard in Wal-Mart

There I am, in the fabric section of Wal-Mart, trying desperately to match a fabric color, when what do my wondering ears hear, but a commercial for a therapist. A therapist, I might add, whose spiel sounds suspiciously like Scientology.

I just kept listening, wondering when they'd get to the part about past-lives, personality tests, and Xenu, but I was sorely disappointed. They did emphasize, quite clearly, about problems in your childhood holding you back from success and happiness, and how the doc can help you get past these problems with his exciting methods that will bring wholeness and clarity to your life, in a drug-free manner.

I feel sorry for anyone who would go to this "doctor" because they probably will not get the help they need.

What does it say about Wal-Mart customers, that this doctor believes advertising over the canned music will produce results?

(I'll have you know that I am a staunch TARGET shopper, and only go to Wal-Mart for the craft section and the cheap diet pepsi...)

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Situation = Normal

What is normal, anyway?

The Day After Tomorrow, I will return to work. The day after the day after tomorrow, my son returns to school. A week from tomorrow, classes resume at the university, and free time as I know it will take on a different dimension.

Routines are key to keeping things running around here, and those routines have been shot to heck the last ten days. My son, who is normally an early riser, has been getting up at ten or so. I've been setting my alarm for a more decent hour, but have revelled in being able to turn it off and sleep just a little longer. I've been dreaming the most amazing, vivid dreams, and have been very well rested for the first time in ages.

I have also been bored out of my mind more times than I can count. The fun has outweighed the boring, luckily, and I did get to spend time with friends and family :)

Here's a toast to normality, in all its comforting glory!

Productive Start to the New Year!

The tree is down!!!! All Christmas and winter decorations are put away. I was going to leave the snowman collection out, but I decided that since I would have to dig out the boxes again, I might as well just put it all away.

The worst, of course, was taking the lights off of the tree. seven or eight strands, I can't really remember. Just a lot of tettering on the step stool. Then there was the three attempts to get the tree back into it's box (still didn't close - I put an old bed sheet over it to keep the dust out), and back up onto the highest shelf of my closet. My side muscles ache.

After putting the tree away, I had to do some serious vacuuming. Of course, I actually threw a bunch of decorations and old wrapping paper away, and took it all, including the old tree, out to the dumpster. I feel so light!!!! I vacuumed after tossing the stuff. Boy does my new tree shed...

After all of that cleaning, my back aches. I did take a good break around noon, to eat lunch and get rested up for taking the lights off of the tree. And I finished just in time to start the pot roast for tonight's New Years dinner. I seared the roast on both sides after salting it and put it in my roasting pan (way too big for the job, but I used my cake pan for cinnimon rolls this morning, and it was still in the dishwasher). Add water, and in two hours, add the potatoes, a bit of onion, and carrots. Three hours from now, we will sit down to way too much food, and my son will complain about everything but the roast. I may have to throw some corn in the microwave to keep him happy.

So, with the Clean Sweep marathon on TLC, and the smells of roast wafting through the air (wouldv'e been my famous roast chicken with wild rice and onion stuffing, but I was not up to sticking my hand inside raw chicken today), I am going to have a wonderful afternoon!

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year!!!!!!!

Yay, for 2006!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a safe drive home!!!!!

I currently have an intensely hyper eleven-year-old who clearly has no intentions of going to sleep any time soon. Pray for me...