Sunday, April 30, 2006

Productive Afternoon and night

My dress = needs the underskirt panel, and to be hemmed. Also have to add the ribbon and pearls, and it will be done.
My son's tabard = just needs to have the trim added, and the sun painted on it. Oh, and I will be making a trip to goodwill for a leather belt and a pair of shoes for him.

I am going to do some hand sewing for a bit while watching the news, and then I am going to sleep. I think I might actually get done in time...

Zen and the Art of IT

Deep, calming breaths... Deep, calming breathes... Everything is going to be okay....

Stroke of genius

I had tried everything to get my dress to fit right. I was very frustrated last night. I was hesitant to pick apart the back boning channels, and cut it down to size, because I could have made things worse.

The lacing rings were in the right spot, but it was the cable tie boning that was making the back bow out. The dress was about an inch and a half too big at the top back of the bodice, and just about perfect at the waist. I didn't want to mess that up by cutting away too much. I tried folding in one row of cable ties, hand sewing which took about an hour. No luck.

So, I ripped off all of the lacing rings, and all of the hand sewing I had done.

I sewed a hook and eye set at the top and bottom, just to see if they would work before sewing on the other 4 sets. And promptly remembered why I hate hooks and eyes for anything except closing skirts. They come undone with the slightest shrugging of shoulders.

At that point, I went to bed to try to sleep.

This morning, when I woke up for the first time at 6:30, I had my answer. I rolled over and went back to sleep, since 6 hours of sleep was not going to cut it today.

When I woke up, I ripped off the hooks and eyes, and...

Sewed the whole back shut.

I can wiggle into the dress, which has been confirmed. Getting out of the dress is a different matter, but it's possible.

The green dress is SAVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, it can stop raining now, please.

Day three of rain.


It has been raining since Friday. Most of the time, it's a gentle rain, or mist, but it doesn't change the fact that it is raining. It was okay for the first day, but this is ridiculous...

My son is so bored that he did his homework this morning.


Well over two and a half hours of work, and I still haven't found a solution to the dress problem!!!!!!!

I am going to sleep, and I will figure this out in the morning. Or not. I will be very upset if I can't get this fixed in time to wear next weekend...

Saturday, April 29, 2006

So, ask me how much sewing I have done today...

None. Zip, zilch zero, nada.

My green dress would be beautiful if it fit. The problem is that the very top is too big, causing it to bow outwards from my body. It also smooshes everything flat. And I mean everything. There are no curves in this type of dress. I am going to try to fix it, but if I can't do it before the end of the night, I have to wear my blue bodice and skirt. I tried them on, and they fit again. The skirt is too long, so I will have to turn up the hem, which would hide the green trim around the bottom (which I am not happy about, but I can live with it. I split the back at the seam, so I can use it as an overskirt and wear the green tafetta underskirt. It looks really nice, so it is a viable alternative).

But I want to wear the new green dress. Very comfortable and cool, and pretty. It's a girl thing.

My son's tabard is not even started. The fabric still needs to be ironed. This will work up very quickly as it is very straight-forward and has all straight seams except around the neckline. Oh, and I have to find trim for it... darn.

I don't think I am going to sleep much for the next week, but I am really looking forward to next Sunday!

We are back, and not amused...

Frist thing that was not funny: Being told at first that the contacts I needed would have to be ordered, after I had been told over the phone that they had them in stock, and I could pick them up anytime. Luckily, they did have them. So I got my contacts.

Second thing that was not funny: One of the ladies must have been a bad mood. I was being as nice as possible when I asked if I could have the online refill number, when she pretty much told me that since my prescription was only good until August, it wouldn't be useful anyway, and that I'd have to have them shipped to that store anyway. I was trying to be helpful when I said that the online store stated that I could choose to pay a little extra to have them sent to my home. She basically wouldn't believe me, but gave me the number anyway. I would have just bought two boxes if she had been nicer about it. Of course, she has no idea of knowing that I won't be going there again, since it is DUMB to drive all that way. I wouldn't have gone today if they would have given me that number like they were supposed to at my original appointment.

I had planned to do more shopping at that Wal-mart, since it is quite a bit bigger than ours, but I just wanted out of there. I am not buying so much as a can of diet pepsi there again.

Our next stop was Target. My son needed some clothes, since he is growing quite fast now. We had a good time looking at the t-shirts in the men's section. He ended up picking out a couple of good ones, and we are going to look for a third that he liked at our Target, as they only had XL, and he's a medium/large. I can't believe that he is in a men's medium.

The third "not amusing" thing that happened was seeing more than I wanted to of an employee's backside. Female! With! Too! Low! Jeans! Bent! Over! Yuck!

Not a fun trip. Well, we had fun getting there and home, but I will never willingly go shopping in that town again...

Yet another reason I hate wal-mart, but like the people who work there.

Trying. To. Order. Contact. Lenses.

After trying to figure out how to do it online, I call the vision center, and talk with a very nice lady who, unfortunately, tells me that I can't order them online because I haven't ordered from them before.


Okay, I had my exam there, I walked out with contact lenses in my eyes. I was given no information other than I can order more online if these worked out for me.

Come to find out, I need an online prescription number, which I can't get unless I physically drive to the vision center and order lenses through them, because they can't do it over the phone. But it's an hour away. An hour. And it will take 7-10 days to get the contacts, even if I could order them online.


No overnight shipping for an online order?

Just before my heart bottomed out (because who wants to wear glasses to a ren faire, and my contacts JUST stopped being wearable), she looked up my prescription and exclaimed that she actually had the ones I need in stock.


So, I guess a road trip is in order!


A Day full of Possibilities

I have a full day to do whatever I want!

I slept in until about 8:30. Woo hoo!!!! I needed that.

On the list of things to do today:

1. Enjoy the rain,
2. Do laundry. Not just a little laundry, but get totally caught up, then dig into the summer clothes and get those ready, too.
3. Clean the bathroom and kitchen. I cleaned the living room Thursday night, and wonder of wonders, it's still clean.
4. Straighten up my room. Vacuum AFTER I finish sewing for the day.
5. Sew. Sew. Sew, sew, sew, sew.
6. Buy a coconut, drain the milk, and saw it in half. Anyone have any ideas of how to do this????
5. Make a real dinner. I am thinking chicken and pasta, which is simple, but good.

Geek Girl's Chicken and Pasta

4 chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
three slices of onion, diced
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp dill
3 cups penne pasta

Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix soup and 1 can of water using a whisk until blended. Add spices (crush the dill before you add it, to release the flavor) and onion. Mix well. You should be able to see the spices in the mixture. Place chicken breasts in a baking dish. Pour the soup mixture over the chicken. Cover with foil and bake for an hour (remove the foil about halfway through). Cook the penne pasta according to the instructions on the box. I use Barilla (I live in Ames, so duh!), and I cook it for 14 minutes rather than following the al dente instructions (I don't like crunchy noodles). Use deeper plates, put a serving of noodles, and a piece of chicken on the plate, and spoon sauce over both. Serve with green beans, and italian or french bread. If pressed for time, use pre-cut stir fry chicken from the supermarket. Cooking time will be less if you use thawed chicken rather than frozen.

So, now that you all know what we are having for supper tonight, you can either be grossed out, or try it yourself. It is a heavy dish, so is best when it is chilly or rainy out.

Okay, I have wasted enough time online... Time to pop into the shower, get ready for the day, and finish the work so I can play!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Yikes! It's a blog post!

"I'm feeling bet tar!"

So I got to actually go somewhere and have fun tonight! More on that later... I feel a podcast coming on... :)

I still have a bit of an icky cough, but I am hoping with a little rest that I can finally shake this thing. This weekend, I plan on sleeping in a bit, doing laundry, actually cooking real food, and hopefully finishing my dress for the ren faire in Amana next Sunday. Note to self: call eye doctor tomorrow and get prescription so I can order some contact lenses so I don't look like an idiot in my glasses...

Another note to self: Please remember to not eat tomato products or chocolate this week.

My son's plans for the weekend involve Nintendo products.

(psst. did I ever mention that we have a SuperNES with nearly all of the classic Mario games???? I totally r0x0r on those!!!)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Romance Novel Annoyance #271

Man = 35
Woman = 17-21


Yes, I tend to prefer historical romance novels, but why can't the heroine be, say, just about 34 and average looking? And a geek?

Biceps worthy of jealousy

written after moving paper again

My mother is jealous of my biceps.

My biceps were built by good old fashioned hard work. Lifting paper boxes, moving 53 lb G5s, my preoccupation with never having to make two trips into the house with groceries, not wanting to appear weak in front of the scouts...

Now, if only I could get the same results on my a$$ through everyday work...

this always makes me laugh...

I get FlyLady reminders sent to my gmail account...

my two favorites:

"Where are your shoes???"
"Where is your laundry???"

(on my feet, and at home, thank you very much). LOL

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Breathing Lessons

Obviously, I am not asleep yet.

Breathe in, breathe out. Try not to cough too much. My entire goal for tonight. For the love of God, I want this cold over and done with before the end of the week. And let this be it for the rest of 2006... I think I've had my share of illness for the year.

Did you ever have the feeling that there is something that you are supposed to be doing, but you can't remember what it is?

I know that there is nothing on my calendar for this exact moment in time.

I am home from starting the movies.

I have laundry done. Not all of it, but enough. We have clean towels and clothes to wear, let's put it that way. Laundry is neverending.

I know I have to get up at 2:05 am this morning, to call in and make sure the lab monitor for DASH shift came in. I am going to go to sleep early, so if I can't get back to sleep right away, it won't be as bad.

I know I had missed dinner tonight - I have a Totino's party pizza in the oven to take care of that.

There is just this sense of... something unfinished.

Napped, but it didn't feel like it...

I came home early from work today specifically to take a nap before the whole movies and popcorn thing tonight (Aeon Flux!).

I closed my eyes at 3:30, and when the alarm went off at 4:45, I thought there had been a mistake.

Too much to do, so little time...

Jennifer = Silent

I lost my voice.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Yet another symptom to add to the list of indignities...

I am now coughing up chunks of green phlegm.

Which I suppose is better than throwing up, but I'd just as soon not go there, either.

WTH have I got???? I barely have a voice left!!!!

It sucks!

Lather, rinse, repeat...


And more AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!1!!!!!!


Once again, the obvious...

It's really hard to fix things when people don't tell you they are broken...

Sunday, April 23, 2006

I feel better now, thanks to my nephew, and Dublin Bay

I can hardly breathe, but I had a great time this afternoon and evening with my family. Of course, none of my clothes will fit tomorrow thanks to the raspberry pork loin, garlic mashed potatoes, and spinach artichoke dip that I had at Dublin Bay tonight. Very good, but very salty. Although, I didn't have lunch today, and I had just a few doritos for breakfast, so the calories probably even out.

So, yes, I am in a better mood, and the pity party is over. I hate feeling sorry for myself, and it is usually only when I am either very tired, or very sick, that I get that way. This weekend, I was both. My face feels numb, too, from the sunburn, and my raw nose. I am going to bed early tonight.

I am going to spend some time finishing up the black trim on my new green dress. I just have about half of the neckline to finish. Just a little more to go on this dress, and it will be ready to wear. Then I just need about three or so hours on my son's new tabard. Most of that will be painting the design on the front. I also need to buy a coconut and saw it in half... :)

Pity Party

Wow, the pity party is going strong here at home. I am more congested today than yesterday, and my cough is to the point that I feel like I am gagging. TMI, I know, but you have to have this background to understand the rest of what I am going to write.

I had to go get groceries. I bought about 8 bags of groceries. As I was struggling to get the bags onto my arm so I can carry several, my cell phone rang. It was work, saying that the windows machines in 446 couldn't connect to the lab printers. By refles, I started to explain how to fix it, then realized that 1) doing this while trying to get the groceries in the house was not going to work, and 2) I barely have a voice left. So, I just said I'd call back once I got the groceries inside.

Despite having a perfectly capable twelve year old, I had to carry them into the house by myself.

As I was putting groceries away, Kim called to tell me that our parents were at her house, and that we'd be eating dinner late. Which means we'd miss it, because of DASH. I just about burst into tears at that point, because there are a million things I need to do to get ready for a WEEK OF ELEVEN HOUR DAYS, but I stopped myself. She let me tell her what was wrong, and I decided that dropping off the movies at work, and letting the kids know how to start things would be enough. I shouldn't have to miss out on my family, especially when it was just my son's birthday.

Then, when I called back and got more information about the work problem, I discovered that they hadn't told me everything. All of the computers were having problems, Mac and Windows, which means that I know exactly how to fix it! (The dual nic sometimes gets confused as to which is supposed to be talking to the network, and which talks only to the printers.) Unfortunately, the lab monitor couldn't login with the info I gave him, so I am going to have to spend a little more time there before going over to Kim's than I had planned. I hope to God that this is the problem, or if it isn't, that it is a University problem. Oooh, better check Big Brother to see... crap, green across the board...

So, please forgive this mini-melt-down. I will feel better shortly, once I hold my nephew, and chase him around the house for a bit. I hate feeling like this. Someone once told me that a pity party is allowed to last only over the weekend, and that you should approach the coming week with a clean heart and soul, fresh outlook, etc. But what can you do if you aren't allowed the chance to get it out of your system?

Of sunscreen and sinus colds

So this morning, after catching a look at my face in the bathroom mirror, I checked the spf of my moisturizer and makeup.

I had to switch both a little over a month ago, as Target quit carrying the stuff I used to use. My old moisturizer was spf 15, as was my makeup, and 30 seemed to be a good combination for me, even at camp last summer.

My new makeup is spf 18, but my new moisturizer doesn't have any sunscreen in it at all!!!! How did I miss this? So, I was in the sun yesterday from 9:40 to 3:20, with only 18 spf, which was probably rubbed off long before because of my cold???? No wonder I look like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer...

This means that at some point today I am going shopping to locate a better moisturizer. Now I am wondering if I should put sunscreen on the sunburned areas, and try to tan the rest of my face to match?

But as much as I am up concerned about my sunburn, I ought to be kicked for not putting sunscreen on my son.

Kim offered my nephew's suncreen, but my son didn't want to use it, and I did not insist because I thought that we'd be home by 1:30 at the latest.

So, my son now has an interesting sunburn... glasses marks on his temples and cheeks... and his neck is pretty red. He doesn't really care about it, but I do.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

A good VEISHEA, except for three things...

1. Not finding this guy in the crowd,
2. Forgetting the sunscreen, (ad also forgetting that you no longer use the good moisturizer with 15 spf, and due to your cold, the makeup that would normally make up for that has been wiped away. Great.)
3. Blithly telling my sister that yes, she could pick us up so I could show her where to park, then she was late, then having her leave us when she took my nephew home, so we could get food on central campus, then trying to catch the bus home with a twelve year old who had about two hours of sleep.


I'm going to sleep now. I am disappointed, but it's my fault for being late, and not coordinating better. I'm such an idiot.

However, we did get sweet corn. :)

Surviving, so far

Okay, the LAN game is over for now, and I am unsuccessfully trying to get the kids to get ready to at least pretend they are going to go to sleep.

So far, the sleeping bags haven't even made it into the living room.

I've got The Chronicles of Narnia cued up and ready to go, but the kids are still looking at my son's new DS game. I"ve been hunting down loose styrofoam peanuts... You wouldn't believe where those things can hide. It was the best part of the whole night! Just picture three kids, a fan, and a box of styrofoam... and a big styrofoam fight!

Believe it or not, despite stuffing myself with pizza, cake and ice cream, I am actually hungry right now. Hungry enough to warm up some pizza. Because we've got nearly a whole large pizza left.

And best of all, the kids are still getting along! No fighting! I just wish they would get settled in, so I can go to bed and shut my door. The sudafed has not yet kicked in, and the alarm is going to ring very, very early tomorrow, so I can get ready to go to the parade before I have to find breakfast for all of the kids. :)

Why do I have to have this cold?????

Friday, April 21, 2006

Another Jennifer Moment...

6:50 am. Hy-Vee. I walk in with two goals in mind.
1. Blow Pops for my son to take to school.
2. Kleenex with lotion. Oh God, with lotion.

They are waxing the floors. I can't get into any aisles!!!!!!!! I finally, after being laughed at by the crew that waxed the floors, found a cashier and begged him to help me.

I got my blow pops, and a nice kid was able to get me some kleenex, in a pretty box no less, and with LOTION, so my nose doesn't fall off.

And best of all, I saved my son's day with the blow pops!!!!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Catching up...

I worked eleven hours today. At about 2 pm, my legs started to ache. Thank god I didn't have to move anything heavy today, or I'd be in worse shape.

Tonight, I showed Bride and Prejudice which was wonderful! I wish I could have seen the end. I think that I may have to rent it out on my own account when I return it tomorrow. I can pop it into my computer while the kids watch their movie, or play my son's game cube.

Because I had forgotten one of the movies at home, we had to run back, get it, and take it to work. Once back at work, more things required my attention, so it was 8:30 before we got out of there. Not what I had planned at all.

I also forgot to make a list of everything that had to be done tonight. This means that tomorrow morning, I get to get up very early, and go to the grocery store and get treats for my son to take to school. It also means that I have to leave for work very early, so I can take back the movies to the library that were due today, so I don't get a fine (the library doesn't charge if they are back before opening). I did get another load of laundry done. Still not enough, but I am plugging away at it as best I can.

Several times today, I had the thought that I couldn't possibly still be standing, or working, but I just kept moving. It was 9:00 before we got home tonight, since we had to go to Hy-Vee to pick up my prescriptions and some things for my son's party (trick candles, a cake, pop, etc.). We had a very odd conversation on the way home, as in, babies being born, and other related facts of life (I guess when I explained things a year ago, I only talked about the boy end of things, rather than the girl things, and he had questions...).

So, some good bonding times, even if he was completely grossed out.

Once home, I threw clothes in the wash, popped in Terminator 3, and just watched the movie while waiting for the laundry. I didn't even open my book, didn't sew, just watched and was entertained.

Okay, I think the sudafed is kicking in, or I hit the limits of mind and body. Two full days of this. I can tell that I am getting old. This used to be nothing, to be able to do all of this, and clean the house top to bottom in preparation for having people over to the apartment. A couple of years ago, I'd still be elbow deep in some project that had to be done, because, you know, the kids are going to look in every cupboard and check to see that the top shelf is completely organized and spotless.


So, right now, the house is about an hour away from being company ready, with the exception of my room, which has a fair amount of sewing stuff still around. It is organized, but untidy. Pattern pieces neatly stacked, one for my new gown, and one for the sherrif's doublet. Oh, and my son's old computer, which may come into use tomorrow night, as the kid's want a StarCraft battle. Oh boy.

Okay, I can't keep my eyes open. Tomorrow is another day... And a great one!!!! Twelve!!!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Just another day...

First clue that things might be a little off today...

1. I overslept.
2. I overslept and woke up with a headache, and a sore throat.
3. I overslept, and scrambled to get dressed and ready to go.
4. I got to work, and realized as I walked through the door that the awards brunch was this morning, and I was wearing jeans, tennis shoes, a bright green t-shirt, and my black sweatshirt. Great.
5. My boss and I then had to figure out why, with 6 circuits to our main lab room, something like eight outlets were on the same circuit, preventing us from using both of our laser cutters at once. At this point, I was glad I hadn't worn a skirt, as I had to crawl under the new cutter to move some plugs...
6. Brunch was good!
7. I still had my headache at 11 am...
8. Lunch hour was spent searching for tonight's movies, and a specific type of cable that apparantly only one store in Ames carries...
9. Actual eating of lunch took place partly in the car, and was finished at my desk.
10. Foggy afternoon. I had forgotten to pick up more tylenol at Target.
11. I changed out the charcoal in the laser cutter filter. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Luckily, I had a lab monitor help me - he lifted the new nearly 100 KG bag of charcoal while I cut open the bottom and guided the loose charcoal into the filter. I am so glad that the filter on the new laser cutter uses self-contained pieces. No mess!
12. Quick dinner at home.
13. DASH!!!!!!!!
14. King Kong was a great choice!
15. I made about twelve batches of popcorn!
16. One load of laundry is now washed and in the dryer! (all I had the strength to do tonight...)
17. I actually managed a blog post today!!!!

I wonder what tomorrow will bring...

More new DVD gripes...

The new King Kong did not come with an insert that lists the scenes. It came with coupons.

ps: my head still hurts, and I did not have time over my lunch hour to go home and get some tylenol.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

In denial...

I have been deluding myself.

I kept telling myself that it was my allergies acting up (but I don't have allergies!).

Then it was, "Oh, I must have gotten some water in my ears...". Right.

It could still be allergies, but I think I have a bad cold, again, because I am coughing like crazy, I'm sneezing, my head feels goofy, and my throat hurts.

I have been sick more times this past couple of months than I probably was the whole of the last three or so years put together.

Total number of days off because I was sick = zero

I have no chance of getting a day off until after classes are out, unless I have a fever. I just didn't anticipate that I would get sick, and did not plan for it.

To make myself feel better, I think I am going to go sit on the couch and do some hand sewing on my new italian renaissance dress. I am adding black and cream trim to the green dress, and it should look very nice with the oyster colored, embroidered faux silk that I bought last week for the fake underskirt panel (50% off, so about $4.99/yard!). Unfortunately, with the weather getting severe tonight, I can't just pop in a DVD and sew.

Oh well, I am determined to enjoy my evening, regardless of how I feel.

Please, just let him not break anything...

My son has decided to break out his skateboard, and actually learn how to use it.

He spent a good amount of time outside, while I was making dinner. I think at this point, I really don't want to know what he's doing on the skateboard (stunts, and general wobbliness). He's active, outdoors, and learning something athletic. The goal is to get him moving so that the bit up front that he's gained this last year gets redistributed.

I can't believe I am encouraging him to do this...

Monday, April 17, 2006


Gorgeous blue sky, clear, right now. Nice, cool breeze through my window, and the leaves are coming out on the trees. The grass is an unbelievable green. Crayola Marker Green, like a child colored in the grass, and then went on to color the sky.

It's just one of those days that make me incredibly glad to be alive and living in Iowa.

"It's not detention..."


Friday afternoon, I asked my son to make sure that he got all of his homework done, because we were going to be gone all weekend. He promised he would do it.

Last night, I asked him on the way home if he had done his homework. "I have a little left," he said.

When we got home, he then claimed that he remembered that he had finished it all.

At 9:50 this morning, he called to tell me that he had to stay after school today.

But it's not detention...


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Not a good day

I've discovered that everything I learned about parenting in the last twelve years is almost totally inapplicable once the pre-teens set in.

I feel like I need to start over from scratch, that I shouldn't even open my mouth, and that I really shouldn't even attempt to pretend that I know anything.

Is it going to ruin my geek-cred if I say I feel like crying myself to sleep tonight?


Last night, my son and I watched Hidalgo with my dad. We all enjoyed the movie quite a bit, but the best part was hearing my dad talk about this horse that he used to have when he was a kid.

The horse's name was Star, as he had a white star on his forehead, one white foot, and was tan with a black mane and tail. He was part mustang, and some other fancy type of horse (dad could not remember).

He talked about how fast this horse was, and how he'd just go for miles and miles, after other horses would fall behind. He just loved the movie, because it brought back all of his memories about Star, and how much fun he had with him.

After dad had Star for about three years, his dad ended up selling him to one of his cousins. This cousin went to a lot of horse shows with Star, and won a bunch of prizes. They sold him that horse for $150, and the cousin was later offered more than ten times that by some horse guy down in Texas.

It never fails to amaze me... the new things I learn about my dad. I did not know my dad even knew how to ride a horse, let alone that he used to have one, and trained it. Just amazing.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Thanks, Dad, for the five extra pounds I am going to gain...

T-bone, 21 ounces. Grilled to perfection.

OMG, I can't believe I ate the whole thing... (minus the two bites my mom had. :) )


What I like most about my hometown is that it is possible to sit on the back porch, and hear the sounds of the wind, and the birds, and not much else.

And if I want to talk to the cat while I am working, I can, and no one will hear me. :)

Friday, April 14, 2006

Aching arms, legs, back, but strong sense of accomplishment

I have no idea how I did it, but I go everything done today that I set out to do!!!!

Exhausted, but happy...

Why do I always forget the cardinal rule of shopping?

"Never go shopping when you are tired or grouchy. You won't like anything you try on, and you'll just buy something for the sake of buying something to have to wear Easter morning for less than an hour and a half."

The large that I bought was too big, but the medium was too small in a crucial area.

About the only thing I am looking forward to is wearing my sexy black heels with the rhinestone detail that I wore to my class reunion. I'll have to paint my toenails tomorrow night.

Laundry is in the wash, my son is cleaning up the lego explosion in the living room. I am just waiting to put the clothes in the dryer, and then we are going to decorate eggs. I just need to find a couple of white crayons, and get out the food coloring and vinegar. No one was more shocked than I was when he actually agreed to help decorate.

Of course, he's planning on making his look like the Death Star...

Okay, ISU folks, send the mojo to our U of Iowa Siblings...

Killer Tornados Sweep Across Iowa

Iowa City, home to the University of Iowa, was struck by a tornado last night. Classes have been cancelled. A sorority house was hit, along with a church, businesses, and the courthouse.

Details are still sketchy.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

BTW, no podcast this week

Nothing interesting happened, and I am sewing today, because I want to get this dress done.


Yes, I am annoying.

It's 6:53, and I am sitting in front of my computer, occasionally looking out of my window at the clouds to the north. The storms are missing us so far.

I have a really sore throat, and my ears hurt. This does not bode well for my weekend. I have no idea what the plans are for easter. I guess I'll find out when I get there.

I wonder if Granny is making ham...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Manson's Phone Booth

You all know how much I love my hometown, right? It is pretty, clean for the most part, and is where the heart of my family lives.

It's pretty small.

So small, that there really isn't a phone booth in town.

Or so we thought, until last July, when I drove home to visit my parents. I saw this at their corner:

Manson Phone Booth

After having a good laugh about it with my sister, and parents, after church the next morning, Movie Star and I decided we had to grab the camera and go see if it worked.

Movie Star about to find out if the phone works...

Who are we going to call?

Alas, no dial tone...

Not much to write about...

Boring things about my day:

1. I just finished eating an entire can of tomato soup. I think my stomach is going to explode.
2. Three times today I nearly got sick, because I needed to eat something, and waited too long. Good times, good times...
3. I am just about finished with one of my projects, so I can move onto the fun one (new dress for the next ren faire).
4. While I was waiting for my soup to get warm, I raided the easter candy. It was either that or a slice of "lite" bread.

For people who listened to the last podcast...


Ouch = Grouch

Yep, grouchy today. I am trying to snap out of it, but with my back hurting, even the blue sky outside isn't quite enough to make me feel better.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Did I really do all of that today?

My arms hurt. My back hurts. My HAIR hurts.

And that was just from work today.

Dinner is not yet on the table, or even started. I have two loads of laundry in the dryer that have to finish drying, after which I will fold the clothes and put them away.

I am also working on a project for a friend of my mom and dad. Which is time consuming, and has a swiftly approaching deadline... Which project I am working on right now, in the hopes that I can get it done before the weekend, so I can take it home with me.

All I would like to be doing right now is this: Sit with my feet up, sipping a margarita of the type served at Red Lobster, with the warm breeze drifting in through the open window, reading a good romance novel, eating chocolate covered caramels without gaining an ounce of weight...

Yep, not gonna happen...

Monday, April 10, 2006

Woo hoo!

Besides the taxes done and in the out mailbox, when I picked up the mail tonight, I had a note from Rieman Music that we are now the proud owners of one very nice trombone!


18 months of payments, complete!

He had better not lose it.

Tax Panic Moment #378

For a split second, thinking you put the state in the federal envelope, which is already sealed.

Luckily, everything was in the correct envelope. Just my paranoia setting in...

Where's my fracking stapler?

Yes, I am still doing my taxes. It took me an hour to do them last year, but apparently I have gotten dumber since then.

They are done, but still require little things, like a stapler, before popping both State and federal into the envelopes and mailing them with my lovely stamps that I bought to support breast cancer research.

.... Okay, I just found my tiny stapler that I have in my scout notebook... eight staples left. folks. Let's see if I can screw this up, too.

Too cruel...

71°F, sunny, blue skies... Don't want to be inside today... :(



Sunday, April 09, 2006

This is what happens when I have a day at home, and have had enough sleep...

May 7th, we are going to the Iowa Renaissance Faire in the Amana Colonies. Now, I have two complete sets of garb to wear, plus two new underskirts, and a new overskirt. I sat this afternoon, after prepping a piece of golden yellow cloth for another overskirt, and realized that I really need to make a new bodice to go with the new stuff, if I want something new to wear the 7th...

The original bodice I had planned to make was not what I really wanted. It also would end up being a lot of work, what with not having made it before meaning I would have to make a mock up, fit it, then alter the pattern. It also didn't help that I am a full inch larger around the waist this year than I was last year at this time (urg...). Now, I can lose weight for the Memorial Day faire, but less than four weeks means I could lose a max of about 10 pounds, which probably wouldn't come off where I wanted it to (top and waist).

So, back to the drawing board.

Thanks to all of the pattern sales, I have plenty of choices. I finally decided that, since I don't have to work at the Amana faire, I will make an Italian style dress, prosperously middle class, and since the waist is a bit higher, if I do end up losing weight, it will still fit reasonably well. Since time is of the essence, trim will be at a minimum, and I will use a regular chemise under it, rather than making it all one piece. I will also use a separate underskirt, rather than an attached one (what is it with these costume designers insisting on one-piece dresses?). So, since the chemise and underskirt are already finished (except shortening the chemise, which is too long, and hemming the new underskirt), this should save a lot of time. I am also not going to hand-sew eyelets for this one. The italians used lacing rings, so I ran to Lowe's and bought a bunch of 5mm washers. Since they will be hidden, it doesn't matter. I can make the eyelets later, if I want.

My pieces are cut out, most of the pieces are ironed, and I will trace the bodice pieces and cut the copy, rather than the original, in case I have to make any modifications. This should be a comfortable gown, too. No corset necessary... Just light boning in the bodice should be enough to help it keep its shape.

Okay, back to work!!!!!

Separating the wheat from the chaff, or the truth from everything else.

Is pretty much impossible lately.

Television cannot be trusted. Major news sources cannot be trusted.

Where does that leave us?

Ug. Roasting.

I woke up about an hour ago, because I was overly warm. There was no real reason to be overly warm, because I was just using a sheet and a thin quilt, and normal pyjamas.

No, I don't have a fever.

I do still have a bit of a headache. (but that's from getting my ear talked off by my son about the big star craft battle last night).

Whenever he does that, I just think ahead to a time when he probably won't talk to me about anything. Like next year. When he's a teenager...

Yeah, but back to the roasting thing...

I had to go to the grocery store, and it is GORGEOUS out! Bright blue sky, just a tiny hint of a chill in the air... The river in Boone county is supposed to flood a bit, or we'd go out to Ledges this afternoon and go hiking. It's that kind of day.

Instead, I am going to eat breakfast, sit and read for a bit, then clean off my deck (Friday was too cold and windy).

I really finally feel that spring is here!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Oh, my aching head...

Now, this should be a post for tomorrow morning, but considering the fact that I only had one drink, that still would be both unusual and cruel. Even more cruel would be the fact that my stomach hurts, as does my head, and in a way that makes me really, really glad I only had one drink.

I guess the days of not suffering the consequences are gone.

I am half-glad I don't have anything planned for tomorrow, other than grocery shopping and more laundry...

Gorgeous afternoon...

And I am inside, doing taxes (dang, the d on my keyboard is not always cooperating if I don't really make certain that it is pressed firmly... must have been that kid that slammed his fists on my keyboard at that LAN party last year...)

Can I say again how badly the state taxes suck? As in, difficult to follow instructions on the form, and NOT BEING ABLE TO SAVE THE FORM AFTER YOU FILL IN ALL OF THE BLANKS??????????????

This is especially bad when you have switched out the old powermac 7300 with Printer sharing, with everything configured perfectly to allow your MacOS X Tiger equipped iBook to use the old Personal Laserwriter 320 that you bought back in college, and which isn't USB, of course, nor does it have network capabilities (although, you can't kill this printer. I have tried, repeatedly over the years, accidentally, of course).

SO, I am going to have to dig out the old computer and hope that I did not f-up any of the settings on it... I want to kick something right now.

Friday, April 07, 2006

He survived.

But he didn't dance.

Instead, he played foosball, some Tony Hawk skateboard game, and was in a huge dodgeball game. Tons of pizza and pop.

Oh, and that kid who was giving him a hard time... wants to be friends again. I am not happy about that at all.

But, at least my worries were unfounded.

Spring makes anything possible

Whenever I get to the lowest point on my scale of insanity, I tell myself that spring is on the way. Technically, spring is here, but the weather is hardly encouraging at this point. Dull, gray, rainy, foggy... Yep. Spring.

I should clean off my deck tonight. Pull up the old growth from the flower pots, sweep the deck, make things look nice. I never did end up buying any new deck furniture last summer. Just carted off the old junk, and never found anything I liked that didn't get immediately snapped up by someone else.

I'm not going to plant anything just yet, as this is Iowa, and the next frost could be as late as the end of the month. I'll just get the old stuff out, and see if anything volunteers (my son's chives are already up!).

I'm looking forward to a productive evening.

MOG! Ponies!!!!!11!11!

Folks, I actually slept last night! As in, went to bed at 10:30 and did not wake up until the alarm went off at 6:30!!!!!!!!!!!

I am planning a repeat performance tonight.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I knew this day would come...


My son has his first dance/activity night tomorrow night.

I am not sure how this makes me feel. I am sure when I drop him off at the school for an evening of fun, I will get teary.

Now I've got that to think about all afternoon...

He's growing up, and it is five short years until the junior prom.

Okay, new podcast!

Episode 002!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

More Podcasty Goodness!

So, I actually had fun putting together the podcast tonight. Surprise, surprise! I had a chance to relax a bit tonight, and listened to my iPod and made notes while waiting for my son's religious ed class to get out (more on that later...). As a result, I definitely got in a better mood!

I am saving right now, and will be listening to it to make sure there are no glaring spots of shear crappiness (It's just short of 15 minutes long.) I'll put up a link to it when I have it uploaded to SwitchPod.

So give me about 20 minutes...

BTW: Surplus Sale

I just bought my son a new (old) computer at the surplus sale. I also got him a 17in monitor.

Total price: twenty-five cents.

Yes, 25 cents. The monitor was free.

Yes it is one of the very first G3 mini-towers (266 MHz), and no, it does not run MacOS X. All he needs is 9.2.2, as all of his games are pre-X. He's not getting online any time soon.

He's going to be pretty excited, even though it isn't a G4 (they had one for $20, but someone got to it before I did).

I just threw up in my mouth

Apple Introduces Boot Camp: Public Beta Software Enables Intel-based Macs to Run Windows XP


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Priceless moment in Geek Parenting #573

Overhearing your pre-teen narrating his StarCraft game in an English accent, then a southern good 'ol boy accent... "Your base is under attack..."

Monday, April 03, 2006

Foods to put on my "Do Not Eat" list

1. Tomato products - I just discovered that this makes me break out!!!!
2. Cadbury Chocolate/Caramel eggs - ditto
3. Scones from the Cafe - heartburn or something else
4. Funnily enough, the very greasy chimichanga that I had last night did not cause a single problem digestive-wise, but will probably have similar results to items 1 and 2...

The diet begins tomorrow...

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Sitting here with too much to say...

The problem isn't what to write about. The problem is that there is so MUCH to write about, most of which can't be written out here for the whole world to see.

I am watching the rain outside of my window. It is peaceful looking, and the sounds of traffic are drowned out by my headphones.

The weekend was too short. I would have to have several afternoons like this afternoon to be fully ready for the work week.

Yep, that's about all I can write here...

Perfectionsim rears its ugly head.

"Anything worth doing is worth doing well."

So when I spy something a little wrong about the toilet, which means it needs to be cleaned a bit, this is why I end up going overboard. I can't just clean up what's wrong. The whole thing has to be redone. And because someone is coming over later, this spreads to the floor around the toilet, then the wall. Then the sink needs to be redone. And the cabinet doors wiped off. Oh, and the medicine cabinet! I should probably wipe out the INSIDE...

And so on.

This is why I HAVE to set my timer when I clean. I have to give myself permission to NOT go overboard, just spend a set time, then move on. I had just cleaned the bathroom, top to bottom, on Thursday night. All I NEEDED to do was "swish and swipe." I did not NEED to do the other stuff.

This is why I used to end up cleaning furiously into the night before having guests over. There were no casual guests before I started FlyLady. I had to have lots of notice, because I felt that my house was NEVER good enough for anyone to come over.

When I woke up this morning, my first thought after checking my gmail, was that I had SO much to do that I could not possibly get everything done before this person picks me up. Those thoughts turned what was a pleasant anticipation into a nightmare.

When I realized what I was doing in the bathroom, I was able to step back and tell myself that it was okay to stop. I woke up from my perfectionism-induced panic. I don't have to have the laundry completely finished before someone comes over. That's what closets are for! So, my laundry is waiting in the closet until later tonight, or even tomorrow night! We have enough clothes! It doesn't all have to be done right now!

Yes, I will spend 15 minutes picking up the living room, and I will spend 7 minutes dusting (because that's all it takes, and NO, NO, NO, I am NOT dusting the tops of the shelves this person cannot see - I can do that when it comes up in the daily missions!), and I will vacuum. My new, red sofa cover is gorgeous, and makes the whole room feel better and cleaner.

My kitchen is clean, but I'll run the vacuum over the floor when I do the rest of the main areas of the living room.

If I do this, I will have plenty of time to get ready, do girly stuff, and be relaxed and ready for a fun afternoon. My house will look decent, NOT PERFECT, but good. I won't be a crazy person, trying to do too many things at once. I may even get to paint my fingernails...

My timer just went off. My fifteen minute sanity break is over. Time to get back to work. At a reasonable pace, and with the full knowlege that it doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be done. :)

Spring Forward

I was right in the middle of a weird, yet fun dream...

I was in flight training class with Apollo, back at school. We had just gotten reassigned to a new trainer, one we liked instead of that brat girl with the red hair. I was still me, and one of my other friends and I were fighting over whose call sign got to be Starbuck. One of the teachers made me turn around, so they could cut off part of the bottom of my favorite pink shirt, because someone had written something nasty on it. They wouldn't tell me what it was. That was okay, because I was going to get to learn how to fly Vipers. Cool! I high-fived Apollo, and another girl, then it was time to begin.

The music had just started, so we could warm up and work out. I stretched one way, then the other, and was just getting ready to start dancing....


Who is this "Mom" of whom you speak? I pulled Apollo into a Tango...

"Mom! You forgot to set your clock ahead! It's 9:21! I'll set it for you!"

I woke up, and realized that my son was right. He set my clock ahead for me, then proceeded to set the others.


I'm obviously going through BSG withdrawal...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Wow. Weird last couple of days.

After I had a short nap this afternoon, my sister Kim called. She and Mom had gone shopping in Des Moines, and wanted to pick up dinner from Appleby's for supper. I called it in, they picked it up, and we met at Kim's to eat. I ended up having to drive out of the way to get to her house, because the utility people were fixing one of the poles that had fallen Thursday night during the storms.

Things happened so quickly Thursday night that there was never really any time to get scared, other than that brief second when I realized that we would not be able to get down to the laundry room, so we huddled in the hallway, while I prayed that the roof would hold.

When all was said and done, we were fine, had no damage or anything. However, a trailer home in the trailer park about half a mile away was just destroyed, and two others were knocked off of their foundations. No one was seriously injured, thank goodness. I didn't really even realize that there was more damage until Kim warned me that I had to go around other streets to get to her house.

My sister and her husband were out of the worst of it, except for the pole that snapped off at the base, and left them without electricity for about an hour. They really didn't even know what was going on, but learned that an hour occupying a toddler brings out the creative side of people...

In Manson, a house lost a roof. My parents were at a wake for a friend of the family, and really didn't know how bad things were until they left. My dad stayed home long enough to call us back before going out with the fire department to help. It was his birthday, and my son wanted to sing Happy Birthday, and tell him about camping. Ten minutes on the phone, and he was out of the door.

Friday, my dad did not have such a good day. There are these figure eight cars for races in their area (I know nothing about the races, just that he does a lot of alignments for the racers).

Let's just say that if you are going to make adjustments to a race car that cause it to perform in an unexpected way, and maybe the brakes aren't working right, you should probably tell your mechanic BEFORE you leave.

But that's a story for another day...

"I am the master, you are the apprentice."

My son has decided that it is time that I learn how to play as Zurg in StarCraft. He announced this as soon as I got home. He printed a sign for his door announcing the start time, and is now cleaning his room.

I am sooo in trouble...

Happy Birthday to You!!!

Thank you, Apple, for 30 wonderful years!!!!!

Up with the sun

When the alarm went off this morning, I wanted to crawl back under the covers. However, thanks to my bought of laziness last night, I had to get up, wash my face, get dressed, and go to the store to get laundry soap. By 7:15, the clothes were in the washer. By 7:45, they were in the dryer.

I am now waiting for the bathwater to run, as we have to be somewhere before 9:00, and then to training at 10:30.

This is the fourth day in a row where I feel foggy and headachy from not having enough sleep.

Tossing and turning, weird dreams, and the like. I am really glad that I can sleep in tomorrow. I would like to be in a good mood tomorrow, so I can have fun.

Okay, time to get ready to face the day...