Sunday, May 30, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

Here in the U.S., it's Memorial Day weekend - certainly a time of thankfulness - and the unofficial start of summer. Still, let's not forget what the holiday is really about (unlike our President... harumph!)

OKAY, I habitually don't get political here, and I'm not about to start today, on Silver Liningness Sunday! After all, it was another darned good week.

In fact, just today, we took in some local festivity at the Territory Days street festival. The weather was PERFECT. Too perfect, actually... the place was packed with people! Too packed. We pretty much just flowed with the mass of humanity down the street and then flowed back up. But it was a good enough romp. Lots of muscle shirts and body art to be seen after the long cold winter. Plenty of cleavage too, if you're into that sort of thing.

I just decided it was time for another round of "Find the Cat":

School is winding down. Their last day is next Wednesday. Yes, they get Monday off and then have to go back for two more days. I don't make the schedule, I just do what I'm told.

Oh, and speaking of summer, I took China the dog in for her "bikini season" grooming. That long black fur does not make for a happy dog in summer. She looks very sleek now - an all over shave. Curiously, the groomer seemed to have backed off a little around the... uh.. privates area. She kinda looks like she's got scrotum now (scrota?). Just sayin'.


Friday, May 28, 2010


Happy Friday. Illustration Friday, to be exact. this week's fun-filled illustration prompt is "slither". I determined right off that I would not draw a snake. It struck me that most everyone and their grandma would draw a snake.

So, behold the creepy crocodile. I think I'll name him Bruce.

Crocodiles don't impress me as being very graceful, whenever I've seen them (only on TV or the movies, thankfully!). They just kind of flop around, galunkily so. I guess what they lack in grace, they make up for in brawn.

So there, a-slithering we go. Watercolor and colored pencil with a blood red background. Morbid blood red background, but it seemed appropriate.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

just when I thought it was safe

There's one week left of school before summer break. The last PTO meeting of the year has adjourned. Run With Lumber dust has mostly settled. My thoughts are on summer break and other non-school related things. So yesterday, I get this phone call...



"Yah, I got a ATV with blah blah rims and hamanah hamanah headers and garble garble garble garble... Can I enter it in the car show?"

It took me a while to figure out what was going on.

Then I remembered. OH, the car show. Our PTO does this car show. It's mostly totally organized by Jon, our lone token PTO man. Jon is a stay-at-home dad of two boys. Very nice guy. Active in PTO and always willing to help where needed (thanks, Jon, for those smashing root beer floats!)

Anyway, Jon is also into cars. When he's not chauffering the family around in his Suburban, he drives this LOUD 60-something primer-colored Camaro that looks like it just came off the set of Road Warrior.

So he organizes and markets the car show. It's fun. We give out trophies and sell food and stuff. It brings in a few hundred dollars, depending on the weather. He's begun getting ready for the show for next September.

His name and phone number are on the flyer as a contact. Another PTO's name and number are on there as a contact. Last week, he asked if he could include my name and number on the flyer since I'm the treasurer, if people have questions about money and such. "Yeah, sure Jon".

And now the phone is ringing? You mean people actually read those flyers??

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

a visit

I came home from class on Sunday afternoon to find my mother-in-law in the backyard with Meego. Apparently, she and her husband were here for a visit. The rest of the brood was out procuring some lunch for all of us.

Now, about my mother-in-law. Yes, she is Magnum's mom. She's also a bit loco en la cabeza.

A few years ago, when we confirmed that Magnum has Asperger's, he and I unprofessionally concluded that his mom has it too. It's interesting to watch.

I notice, for instance, that Mag and his mom share most of the core symptoms, but after that, they are at opposite ends of the psychological bell curve in most ways. I have read that Asperger's manifests different symptoms in men versus women, and this plays out with Magnum and the MIL.

I don't want to go into detail, but suffice to say that, we don't "socialize" with them a whole lot when they do visit. They are certainly welcome to come out and see the grandkids, etc., but we typically limit our activites to things that don't require us going out in public much - activities and places where there might be.. uhm.. other people.

This is not to say that I am anti-autistic -people. Heck no! But, we suspect that she's actually got more than just the Asperger's going on in there...

In the end, it was a nice enough visit. Nothing majorly inappropriate occurred, and if it had, we would have been the only witnesses. I do find it interesting to watch - from a purely psychologically geeky perspective.

I suppose that's better than "Crap, this is NUTS! I'm going home to Mother."

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

Happy Sunday. The blog didn't get a whole lot of attention from me this week, and now it's nice to be here, counting the ways.

Yes, it was a rather busy week, but productive. I finished off one tutor student, and that's always nice - getting to closure, cutting that cord, and sending the test taker to go make or break his future.

I also had a fair amount of fun/me time. There's just a week and a half of school left, so I need to stock up.

I mentioned that I went on another field trip. It was after a rather last minute request to accompany a group to the local mining museum. It was actually quite fun, and I learned a few things. It was also nice to see my hometown represented as a mining town and not (just) the sex change capital of the world.

And let me just express some gratitude for the fantastic art of Frank Frazetta, who died last week. He is one of my favorite artists, able to say much more than a thousand words with one picture. So expressive, so emotive, so intense.

While some may categorize him as just a "comic book artist", I can only hope to be able to depict moons and other things so well...

R.I.P. Mr. Frazetta.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Happy Illustration Friday! Today's prompt is "early", but I was actually a bit late getting to it because I went on an elementary school field trip today after a rather last minute request.

But anyways, I chose jellyfish for my "early" subject. I read that they've been around for about 650 million years - give or take. So I think that qualifies as "early".

I think they're cool looking when I see them at the aquarium, but don't want to be near one in the open water, thanks. Get stung, next thing you know, someone's gotta pee on you... not my idea of fun.

So, just a very quick sketch. I might have set a quickness record, actually. It's been a busy week, but not too busy. Nicely productive.

Jellyfish. They sort of remind me of those jelly shoes. Remember?

Never liked those, myself.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

It's been a good week, work and and other obligatory things balanced with a sprinkling of fun and frivolity!

As mentioned, Meego turned a ripe old 10 years old on Friday. Time flies! No major birthday "bash" (sorry, I just don't DO the have-a-buncha-sugared-up-kids-over-the-house thing), but I think he felt special with the low-key type things we did do. And the cake turned out just fine despite me not having one of those cool hats.

We're still having snow visits (I know! Can you believe it?), but the sun makes a nice showing now and then too. It's like dueling weather. Anyway, I seem to recall a couple of enjoyable bike rides this past week.

On that weather note, I'm thankful for Under Armour ColdGear.

Further on the weather note, Wolfgang volunteered at the Special Olympics this week. The day was "unseasonably cold", so I was proud of him for sticking with his commitment. I advised him to wear his Under Armour ColdGear.

There was an awards assembly at the elementary school where I participated by giving out well-deserved Run With Lumber prizes, thus concluding another Run With Lumber season.

We watched "Fanboys". It's pretty stupid, but I laughed. Maybe I'll do something similar to our van.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Today is an eventful day! Not only is it Illustration Friday, it is also Meego's 10th birthday!

So when I saw that today's illustration prompt was "equipment", I thought of baking utensils and whatnot since I was making him a birthday cake.

I suppose I could've gone with birthing equipment or reproductive *ahem* equipment. Nooooo....

I like the bakery stuff, particularly those chef hats. I'd love to have one of those, with the double-breasted smock and all. Would they make me a better cook? It's all in the equipment, right??

Oh well. My once little-bun-in-the-oven is now ten. Happy Birthday, Meego!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

first love is perfect... until you meet the second one.

Remember the prom?


The subject came up last week as the local high school had their prom this past weekend. A friend of mine's son was going. He's a sophomore and his girlfriend is a (COUGAR!) senior. So four or five of us started a little walk down memory lane.

The ridiculous hairdos, the acres of taffeta, the bad make-up jobs, the awkwardness... For most of the others, prom was not a good memory.

My own prom experiences were nice, however. I went both my junior and senior years. Same date. He and I were an "established couple", so there was no awkwardness and no stress about getting a date. In a lot of ways, that guy was sort of my first husband.

Ah yes, young love. The stomach butterflies, the closeness, the raging

"young lurv"

hormones.... the drama, the tears, the drama, the making up, the drama, the co-dependence, the drama, more drama.

So yeah, eventually it ended. All in a rather emotional blaze of glory. But prom..

Prom was okay.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

Firstly, Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there!

Okay, it is a "Hallmark holiday", and we don't do anything special around here for Mother's Day, but I am certainly thankful for my own Dear Mom, so it's worth mentioning on silver liningness Sunday.

<--She's the best! That's her with me and my brother Wombat. I was the third kid, so it's nearly impossible to find a pic of just her and me. *sigh*.

Also, this week I'm thankful for real food. Recall last week I had that tonsillar abscess thing, which makes it difficult to (1) open one's mouth to any appreciable amount of openness, and (2) chew and swallow. So I was mushing everything up with liquids, like is done with old sick dogs. Ever have peanut butter samwich soup? Desperate times call for desperate measures...

I started a new class this weekend. A real brick-and-mortar class, as opposed to the online style. Yes, online is convenient, and I only need to dress from the waist up, but I enjoy the face-to-face interraction of the classroom. And these new faces seem like a fun bunch.

And the Run With Lumberness continues. Yes, the actual running is only just the start. Afterwards is when the money starts rolling in, and rolling in it has! I collected a bunch.

That laptop that was dead? It lives! I dubbed it "Lazarus the Laptop". (On a sidenote: only 1/3 of our kids was vaguely familiar with the namesake of Lazarus - a dilemma I'm pondering, but for another blog post).

Did I mention that we paid off our mortgage? YEAH HUH!!

Friday, May 7, 2010


Thanks goodness it's Illustration Friday, eh? This week's illustration prompt is "fearless", and naturally, my mind turned to my own fears.

This blog is no stranger to the fact that I am irrationally afraid of heights. Forget roller coasters, I don't even like friendly Ferris wheels! Heck, lifeguard chairs have been known to strike fear!


So, I drew a bungee jumper - the antithesis of me - just moments after "lift-off".

I wish I had the guts to do this.

Not really.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

keeping up

One of the kids' laptops - their "internet" laptop - has crapped out. I'm not sure what happened, but it either got a killer virus, or was mistakenly interrupted while in the middle of some formatting activity, or some combination thereof.

The upside: This is a good opportunity for them to learn how to fix a crapped-out computer. Good weekend project!

I need a new vacuum cleaner. One that really sucks. My current one has gotten all finicky and intermittent and is probably not worth fixing.

The upside: I'll have a new vacuum cleaner that really sucks!

I still don't know what to be when I grow up. I'm just pondering this because whatever thing I choose will probably require some sort of training to get myself up to snuff (a.k.a. "more marketable").

The upside: I'm fortunate to be in a position to choose, and have fun opportunities to think about.

The house needs some scrubbing and general TLC. Several walls would love some new paint, the kitchen flooring should've been laid to rest a couple of years ago, and a chunk of backyard fence is hanging like a kid's loose tooth.

The upside: She's all ours. I made it to the bank yesterday and paid off the last of it. We don't need no stinkin' mortgage!

.... 3 - 2 - 1.... We're debt FrEEEeeeeEEEEEeeee !!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I've got the week off from work this week. One class ended last week, and another kicks off this weekend, so in the meantime - freedom!

Freedom and contemplation.

See, I'm trying to decide what to be when I grow up. Yes, I do the part-time teacher thing now, and it's good. For now. But there's always that ever-looming future, and I don't see myself being Test Preparation Place Part-Time Faculty Person for a long haul. I've always thought of it as a stepping stone, I just don't know where I should step next.

Degree-wise, I'm an engineer, but I "retired" 13 years ago. Most recent experience-wise, I'm a teacher, but I have no license, so my eligibility for teaching opportunities is limited.

I was at the elementary school yesterday, helping out with yet another volunteer activity. I swear, these things somehow know when my schedule opens up! A woman walked into the room where another VoMo and I were volunteering away. Next we knew, she was telling us about her weightloss goals and successes, her financial program progress, her parenting struggles.

She was a substitute at the school that day and, I guess, is just one of those people who is totally at ease getting to the nits and grits in a conversation. Suited me fine, I'm not much of a small-talker myself.

After she left, I looked at my VoMo cohort and asked, "Who was that, anyway?". She didn't know either.

But that short insightful conversation got me thinking about my own path. No answers yet, just thinking.

To take a break from all the thinking, I made a card for my mom for Mother's Day when I got home. It's been too long since I made her a homemade card, and that last one was probably crayon on construction paper.

Good old Mom, always makes me feel better, even when I'm clueless.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

Happy Sunday, all ye who enter hereth! The week just flew by, but a lovely week it was.

Of course the highlight, for me anyways, was that this was Run With Lumber week. All that preparation coming to fruition. It went off without a hitch, and I am so thankful for all of the faithful volunteers. I could not pull this off without 'em! (Chaco and Wolfgang don't really count as "volunteers" since they actually get a little cash out of their efforts, but I'm thankful for their help too!)

Note the little guy just behind Lumber, in the shorts and black cap. He is the Run With Lumber record holder, and he came back on Tuesday to volunteer (and to watch that no one touches his record, perhaps?) for the entire day. He's in middle school now, but he looks like he's about in 3rd grade. That kid can seriously run like the wind though.

Work-wise, my schedule was very light this week, so that worked out perfectly with all this volunteer mayhem going on.

Speaking of which, I got invited to accompany a group of kids to a field trip. They were supposed to go last week, but got snowed out! It was rescheduled, and we walked this short-people caravan about a half-mile to the mall where we watched Oceans, and then walked back to school. It was great fun, the only hitch being that it was almost too hot for the walk. Such is the weather in Colorado this time of year.

Also this week, I was hit with the worst sore throat I've ever had in my life! No, I am not thankful for that, but you know the saying: That which does not kill you makes you strong! And, it didn't kill me! I'm practically all better and I learned a little something about peritonsillar abscess.

All this fun without a drop of coffee in 3+ weeks!