Friday, October 31, 2008

stupid pet tricks

Hey, how youse doin'? It's me, Cookie. I ain't posted a entry here in a while, so thought I'd stop by.

See, I'm convalessin'. Just takin' things easy these days because of something happened the other night.

I was just out mindin' my own business y'know like normal, plannin' the next morning's bird hunt - stuff like that. Anyways, this big dude cat comes along. I mean, musta been about 15 pounds. Big gray. I call him "Smokey", he's the color of pollution.

So this Smokey cat, he wants to mix it up with me. ME! Tough Cookie! So's I tell him, okay pollution cat, g'head. Gimme your best shot. And he did. Slashed me right in the snoz. See the gash?

Cripes, there was like blood everywhere. Looked like my face was gonna fall off, y'know? The neighborhood girls were lovin' that, lemme tellya. Yeah, it's a shame I had that surgery thing and won't be makin' anymore like me, but let's not talk about that, I din't have a say.

So's anyways, my humans helped clean me up 'n' stuff. Found out my face was as handsome an' intact as ever, just had this gaping wound, but it takes more than that to mess this up! And yeah, don't think they didn't notice the other blood on me. Yeah, dat's right - gotta be pollution cat's blood, no? I only got the one wound. Haven't seen the big guy around since either. Huh? HUH? Know what I'm sayin'??

So yeah, I took about a day to do some extra layin' around, and now I'm good to go. I heard the fam sayin' that if I laid around much more, they'd take me to the freakin' vets! I ain't goin' to no freakin' vets, lemme tellya! Hate that place!

So I'm good. Feeling good and back to fightin' weight - in case Smokey's dumb enough to come around some more.

Well, that, and Abby's got the Super Soaker locked and loaded.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

it has a name!

My name is Abby, and I do not have pretty writing.

The first step is to recognize that there is a problem. Terri recently posted a blog entry done in her neat, friendly handwriting and urged others to do likewise. Ugh, do I dare put readers through the torture?

Now I don't think too much about this, this "disability" of mine. It usually only causes me consternation when I need to write a personal note of some sort, like a thank-you. A thank-you should be handwritten and authentic and pretty. I try, but it seems the harder I try, the worse it gets.

I actually keep a written journal, but I don't worry about anyone finding it and reading it, because it's so illegible, even I can't read it.

BUT, I recently learned that there's a name for this! I'm not alone!

Graphomotor function is the use of the neuromuscular system in the fingers and hands to effectively maneuver a pen or pencil and put letters and words on paper. People with graphomotor problems struggle with this, especially as assignment length increases. This function affects the ability to keep pace with the flow of ideas.

Yes, that's me! Graphomotor function - "the deeply mysterious and too often elusive form of motor ability needed for writing." - Mel Levine, M.D. - problem.

And I'm a teacher now. My biggest obstacle in my teacher training was writing legibly on the whiteboard. My trainer just tells me to "practice practice practice"... "and, write in BLOCK LETTERS". So that's what I do. I have a whiteboard in my house for practice. It's getting better.

I know a lot of people who just say, "I have bad handwriting", and it seems that maybe they're just lazy, but I can attest to the struggles these people have with legible writing. Like I said, the harder I try to write prettily, the uglier it gets. And yes, the longer the note gets, the more it looks like sh*t on a shingle. And yes, my hand just can't keep up with what my brain's trying to say. *sigh*

So, to all the Graphomos out there (is that a proper label?). You are not alone!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

in high support of red ribbon week

So you know that song? "I Kissed a Girl" by Katy Perry? Of course you do, it was on the radio, like, every 5 minutes over the summer.

I think it's a fun and cute song and all. I noticed, though, that whenever a radio station would air a caller calling into request it, and the caller was a girl, and the DJ asked if the caller had ever herself kissed a girl, caller would almost always say, "yeah *giggle *giggle*".

I feel like the 44-year-old virgin here. I mean, is this some rite of passage? Did I not get the memo? I don't even have a there-was-this-one-time-in-college story. Is it as rampant as the radio call-ins would suggest?

There were these two friends of mine in high school. They were sisters (...yes we're going there). They were only one year apart, and they shared a bedroom. In fact, they shared a bed - small house for a relatively large family. Anyway, it seems that one sister was having a particularly "good" dream and started sleep-kissing the other sister. Other sister, not being really awake either, responded in kind. Eventually they awoke from their dreamlike make-out session to being fully awake and realizing what they were doing. Much spitting and gagging ensued.

They each kissed a girl, they didn't like it.

The only personal story I have that comes close is this: I was with a very good friend of mine at a party during high school. We had been good friends since kindergarten. So we're both at this party where there was no shortage of giggle weed, ganga, jay, weed... yeah, okay there was plentiful marijuana. None of it was MINE! Dang horticulture club.

Anyway, I'm there with my good friend and he says -- aha! yes, he's a HE -- and he says he wants to kiss me. And I just start laughing because... yeah. And so he starts laughing and says it again, but stops laughing. So I stop laughing and look at him all stupidly.

Now the two of us had been friends for a long time, as mentioned, strictly platonic. In fact, at that time, it was highly suspect that he was gay. So, I don't know, I guess because he was my friend and I cared about him and all, I said okay, and he kissed me. It was really weird and... Eeeeew.

We've remained friends, and since then, he has totally come out of the closet and is living a happy life as a "wife". I sure hope it wasn't that kiss with me that pushed him over the line, but who knows. Anyway, that's as close as I come to a kissed-a-girl story.

I kissed a gay boy, and I didn't like it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

leave your body and soul at the door

On the way to school today, I asked Meego what he was going to be for Halloween. When I asked him last week, he didn't know. Same answer this morning, in an oh-yeah-Halloween's-in-three-days kinda way.

So I guess Halloween isn't a big deal for him. I did get some candy yesterday for the little moochers. Kit Kats and Milky Ways. I've often thought about doing something a little more original and less nutritionally empty, but once again I got the junk.

And there will be the inevitable classroom party on Friday. I've been to several, but forgo being the designated "Party Mom". I'll be support crew, all well and good, but just don't make me the Martha Stewart of the classroom.

After a while, the moms and teachers all sort of know who the Party Moms are. The ones who just eat that stuff up - been doing it since their now college kids were in kindergarten. Not me, man. Don't get me wrong, I love a good party, just don't ask me to throw it.

And so I realize I have no idea who the Party Mom is this year for Meego's class. The control freak mom from first grade is in a different class THANK GOD this year, and a good friend of mine who was a great Party Mom from last year moved away over the summer CRAP! And now this is the first party of the school year so I have no idea who will be running the show. I just know that I purposely did NOT check that box on the volunteer form.

Meego will probably request a highly complex costume on or around Thursday night. And if the teacher calls looking for Party Mom, I'm not here.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Silver Lining Saturday part X

Part X folks. I've been grateful for 10 weeks now!

The week went by fast. Wasn't it just last saturday?? But it was another goodie. Here's what what.

Democracy in Action. Well, I did vote. I'm thankful that I decided to do mail-in this year. Colorado has a humungo ballot, and it was nice to fill it out on my own time at home without having to wait in line, or have others waiting behind me. I didn't see Tina Fey on the ticket though. Where was Tina Fey??

Kuddles for Kids. I mentioned here about those Lumber voodoo dolls that the elementary school counselor had requested. I'm thankful to say that the clandestine drop off of the contraband went without a hitch. She was very happy to received them. She told me that some of the kids (with deployed military parents) had specifically asked for the little Lumbers, but she had no idea where to get them. Now she knows. But ONLY she knows! Everybody keep it zipped!

Mission Accomplished? I finished up with another tutor student this week. He has a test today, and another next weekend. I think he's ready. Is he ready? I think he's ready. And I'm thankful that finishing with him left some time in my schedule this week to "Sharpen the Saw" as they say. Can't be getting dull now, can we?

Canine Therapy. Our dog China, I've mentioned, is a bit mental. She has *ahem* issues from, no doubt, an abusive puppyhood. Last spring, I decided that I would make it a priority to take her for a walk every day as she does love the walks. Plus that was about the time our other dog died, so she was a bit melancholy on top of being mental. And I've noticed recently that she's doing better. I'm thankful that she's not so jittery, not so bitchy with other dogs, and maybe getting past her past. She'll always be kinda crazy, that's part of why we love her. Happy and crazy isn't so bad.

Ya Gotta Haves. I'm thankful for friends. Friends who are happy to do favors without expectation of anything in return, friends who can keep each other smiling through rough times, and friends who care enough to give helpful advice, even if it's not what someone wants to hear. I'm thankful to be on both sides of those lines. (And yeah, that counts for blogger friends as well as the real life kind).

Friday, October 24, 2008

Scrawn II

As mentioned, the weather's cooled off. That means that more skin is covered. That means that shorts are being replaced by pants.

Now, I know a lot of parents that go do this big back-to-school shopping trip in the fall and stock up on the new school clothes. I don't. I prefer to wait until they start whining.

The whining has begun. And rightfully so.

They're whipping out their jeans and pants now that the weather's colder. Of course none of them fit, unless we were to live in a floodplain. Which we don't.

So, last night, after the musical chairs version of clothing sorting happened - salvageable Chaco's pants going to Wolfgang, salveagable Wolfgang's pants going to Meego - I was forced into a jeans shopping trip.

I learned that there are plenty of "Husky" jeans out there. Wolfgang and Meego are okay with their Regular sizes, but Chaco needs the slims. A major portion of his height is in his legs, so although he's 14, he needs size 18 pants. He needs size 18 inseam to go on his size 14 waist. "Husky" won't do.

And I thought finding jeans for ME was difficult.

Eventually, we found some - on sale even - WOOT! One pair of 18-slims on the shelf. I laboriously dug and found one more pair. I scarfed them both before some other lank happened by.

Ready to throw elbows if necessary.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

he ain't what he eats

One of Chaco's classes this year is "Modified Health". What is "Modified Health"?

It's Health class without the sex ed.

It seems that in order to work his preferred elective classes into the schedule, he landed in the sexless health class. He's fine with it as I guess he learned all he needs to know about the birds and the bees in middle school. His class is a relatively small health class he says - him, a few other schedule challenged, and some Mormons.

So the other night he had this homework assignment. He was to keep a food diary of everything he ate for a day and then go to this Food Pyramid Tracker and get an analysis. I went there just this morning to play around, there's so much to do!

But back to the homework. To use the tracker and get an analysis, one must enter everything consumed in a day. Then it spits out (no pun intended) this whole nutrition analysis and whatnot. I asked him first if he had written things down as he ate them, but he said he just remembered everything. Okay, fine. I remember having to do a food diary project once and actually found that I ate more than what I'd thought when I had to diligently write it down. I figured he might leave a few things out, but it would probably be okay for Modified Health.

So I curiously looked at his printout when he was finished. Geesh, it says like SIX THOUSAND calories consumed out of a recommended 1832. Okay, first of all, Chaco's a 14-year-old boy and that 1832 recommendation seems low, but SIX THOUSAND calories??!! In one day?!?

So I was asking him about what all he entered, and he walked me through his food day. I had to agree that, yah, it sounded like the stuff he goes through. I would just say that he might not have finished ALL of the stuff so his portion size might be a little off, but he pretty much had it. If anything, maybe knock off a thousand calories or so? Two thousand?

The thing that's so enigmatic here is that Chaco is maybe an inch taller than me now, say 5'6" and he has yet to make the needle on the scale hit 100 lbs. He is moderately active, but seems to require the diet of a Himalayan Sherpa. Each of our kids are of the non-husky, but Chaco is the classic ectomorph.

Despite my best efforts - buying whole milk, using real butter, keeping plenty of snacks around, etc. - he is the epitome of scrawn.

But I'm not doing the Supersize Me thing. That's just gross.
update: Okay, I went and did the nutrient analysis thing for my day so far. It said I've eaten about 4500 calories so far, and I haven't even had dinner yet. I think it's a little off. Right?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Stuffed Lumbers. I have approximately 80 of them hidden deep in the bowels of my house.

What is a stuffed Lumber?? Lumber is the elementary school mascot, remember? As in "Run With...." He's a wolf. Anyway, when we do Run With Lumber in the spring, there are prizes at stake.

Last year, we gave out these stuffed Lumbers as prizes. In order to win one, kids must be either the top runner or the top money earner in their grade. They're like little Lumber voodoo dolls.

Why do I have 80 of them hidden deep in the bowels of my house? Well, we got a price break for buying in bulk, so it looks like these will be THE prizes for the next few years to come. "But, why not stowe them at the school, as with the other PTO stuff??" you ask.

Truth is, we've done that with previous prizes, and they get STOLEN! Not by delinquent children, no - the teachers and other staff take 'em! ---- YEAH! That's what I said!

But think about it. They're cute, they're about the school, there's boxes of them. Who cares if I just take one?? I'll put it in my room! The kids will love it there! It'll be cute! I want one! I'm taking one! Who cares if I just take one??

So, we have to hide them. Hide them far away. There in my house bowels. SHHHHH! Don't tell. Last week the school counselor asked if she could have some. She's put together some "deployment boxes" for students at the school who have a deployed military parent. She wanted to include a stuffed Lumber in each box.

So I'm about to deliver them. It is a highly covert mission. I've got them stuffed into the Whole Foods bag shown above. I know if other teachers see me with a bag o' Lumbers, they'll want one, then word will get out.

Lumber voodoo dolls don't just grow on trees, people! Not only that, but they are special prizes for the elite few. If they start showing up everywhere in the school, they lose their exclusivity, their sparkle.

So I go to deliver the Lumbers. Pray for my safe return.

Monday, October 20, 2008

my fellow citizens

I've begun voting.

Let me just say that I'm glad I opted for the mail-in ballot this go 'round. Dang thing is huge. All these ammendments to the state constitution. So I set aside time yesterday to sit down, Sharpie in one hand, Voter's Guide in the other, ballot in front of me, and began filling in bubbles.

I got through the whole thing, just had a couple of issues I felt I wanted to sleep on. Now I've slept, and I'll bubble those in too. Afterwards, though, I was a little spent. A football game was on in the next room, and a timely commercial came on:

And I was kinda thinking that I just might feel a little better if these guys really did run things.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Silver Lining Saturday part IX

Saturday tutor student rescheduled on me again at the last minute. Teenaged boys!! He was at his dad's (shared custody thing), and our meeting place was a bit of a drive from there. Did we say Saturday?? *exaggerated SIGH*

But that's okay, we've rescheduled and I'm sure he'll make that session, so how about this week's episode of Silver Lining Saturday:

Thankful for Season of Sneezelessness: The weather's been really nice lately. Fall is my favorite season. Not too hot, not too cold, just the right amount of "crispness" in the air. And I think we had a freeze. Goodbye allergies!

Thankful for Non-Navigation: As mentioned, the kids had yesterday off from school, so Magnum took the day off too to "do something". We decided to go for a hike. Just a simple jaunt around some National Forest land we'd not visited before (think of the foreboding "3-hour tour... a 3-hour tour..."). Yep, ended up getting lost.
To be honest, I was a bit bored until we got lost. Then we were having an adventure! We weren't lost with a threat of going all Donner party. We weren't lost and having to face a choice between dying or cutting off some limb. We were simply lost in the sense of "hmmmm.... I wonder which of these trails leads us back to the van." Worse case scenario would've been us just walking the 15 miles or so back to our house and going back for the van later. As it was, we thrashed around in the woods on a beautiful day for about 4 hours. FUN TIMES!

Thankful for Elemental Ease: Had a Parent/Teacher conference this week for Meego and all is good, plus I like his teacher. I didn't expect otherwise, but it's always nice to hear the good stuff. P/T conferences are optional for middle and high school, and Chaco and Wolfgang convinced me that they weren't necessary. Hmm... still wondering.

Thankful for Biblioliphic Banter: It was also the week of the elementary school book fair that I'd inadvertently signed up for 4 shifts then negotiated back down to two. It's actually a fun volunteer job. The little (K-2nd grade) kids just need people to help them fill out their "wish lists". Greedy little suckers, but cute all the same.

Friday, October 17, 2008

James Blonde

Warning: The following video involves intense sequences of violent action and may not be suitable for children under 13 although some children under 13 were responsible for its production.

It's a 3-day weekend here. Kids are all out of school because the teachers need a break I suppose. The festivities kicked off yesterday afternoon with some friendly neighborhood film production. I told the producers I'd put it on the blog, and now you can feel sorry for me knowing what my home life is like...

It is rather violent, but just know that the guy who "wins" is supposedly the good guy. Presumably a James Bond type. Note the smoke screen from his tech vehicle in the opening few seconds- and yes, that's MY lawn he ditches the lit smoke bomb onto. Why Wolfgang is in the role of the totally inept and ineffective bad guy and the blonde kid from across the street is the good guy, I don't know, but then again, Hollywood James Bond is now the *horrors!* blonde what's-his-face.

It's not exactly Son of Rambow, which I do highly recommend by the way. But this blog isn't exactly... well... much either.

Note: No actual children were harmed during the filming of this video, but it remains to be seen if that holds true for the entire weekend.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

rambling randomness

The Debate

No, not that one... Thanks to everyone for the "to dye or not to dye" tips, comments, etc. I still think the color is too pastel for me, but maybe not so bad with jeans. Before, I'd usually worn it with light colored slacks or skirt, but just threw it on over my jeans for that blog pic. Maybe I'll leave it in Pepto Bismol, maybe I'll try Brandy's dye recipe, maybe I'll re-re-gift (to Beej?). Okay, enough of that...

Things That Make Me Go "Ho Hum"

Paris Hilton said something stupid.

Clay Aiken is gay.

Madonna's getting a divorce.


Yesterday, I had this thing planned. I'd been looking forward to it, actually. After getting Meego's breakfast, I began to make my preparations, but... but... Magnum. He kept hanging around. Why wasn't he leaving for work?

See, I had to make this soup for a potluck. I'd chosen a hearty Vegetable Pasta soup recipe. It calls for a couple of zucchinis. Now, you know that Magnum is the family gardener, and he has nice zucchini, if I do say. I've always been quite satisfied with his zucchini. In fact, it had gotten to the point where it was almost too much zucchini for me to handle.

But lately, things had gone cold. The zucchini just wasn't happening as often. And when it did happen, the zucchini quality just wasn't as it was in earlier days. For the last month or so, we've actually had no zucchini.

So I got a little desperate. I just really wanted this soup. And I wanted it to be goooood soup. I let my own desires come first. I went out looking for zucchini. Yes, I admit it here, I got some store bought stranger zucchini.

I just couldn't bring myself to tell him - Magnum. I figured I could just have my way with the zucchini, then send it off to the potluck, and Magnum would never be the wiser. But why... WHY wasn't he leaving for work?!

Well, actually, he finally did leave. Just in the nick of time - when I just couldn't wait any longer. Just before I whipped out the stranger zucchini and started the full day of slow, slow, sweet 'n' slow cooking. All day long. And it was just right.

That soup.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

dyeing for advice

Remember a while back, I mentioned in passing that I had this sweater that was a yucky color for me, but otherwise I liked it? Of course you do!

I haven't done a thing about it. I'm contemplating dying it somehow, but don't know the best approach. I was over reading Anna's knitting blog, and she was gushing about wonderful yarn colors and such, and it reminded me that I had this ugly green sweater.

So here it is in all of its if-pepto-bismol-was-green-it-would-be-this-color glory. That is my Sears Catalog pose. Sorry for the darkness, it was a rare gloomy day in Colorado. And I'm wearing my Battleship Bling that Magnum and the kids got me at that Airshow. This saved me having to take and post two pics.

Okay, so maybe this color would look right on someone lighter skinned and haired than I am, but I am anything but light skinned and haired. I'm a consumate Fall, according to the quickie Reader's Digest What Color Type are You?

And just to clarify, this sweater was given to me by a well-meaning giver. I doubt it was actually purchased with me in mind, it was more of a charity case re-gift. Okay, it was from Mom - who also happens to be the same Reader's Digest Fall that I am, so I have no idea why she even had this sweater in the first place.

So if anyone has ever dyed a sweater and had good results, I'd be interested in any tips or tricks or "lessons learned" you could share. The label says: "55% RAMIE. 45% COTTON. LOOPED AND STITCHED IN HONG KONG. KNITTED IN CHINA. CARE ON REVERSE." The buttons are some kind of plastic.

Or, as a fall back, in case there aren't any known ways to do a good dye job on the thing, I'll entertain any "Free to a Good Home" offers. Falls need not apply.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I give up

So I gave up cussing a while back. It's probably been a couple of months. Did I mention it?

I didn't think of myself as much of a cusser really, but a choice word or two would slip out now and then. Sometimes in anger, sometimes as just part of normal conversation - the way they can slip out like that.

So I just decided. Decided I wouldn't say "bad words" anymore. Chaco had even told me he didn't like it, that was probably the clincher. I mean when one of your kids for whom you're trying to set the example of mature responsibility and blah blah blah says it makes him uncomfortable to hear you say "dumbass" or some such, you should probably take notice. See, even typing... that term... was difficult for me after my hiatus.

And it was so EASY. I thought I might accidentaly let something slip without thinking, out of habit or something, but NO, hasn't happened. When I gave up coffee a while back, the threat of accidentally ingesting was not a worry because it would require actual premeditated coffee preparation. But giving up words that had habitually flowed for so many years?

I just gave it up cold turkey was the thing. Probably if I would've said, "I won't cuss when anyone under the age of 21 is within hearing distance" that would've been too much to think about. Easier to just say ."No more. None".

So I've been cuss-free for a while now. No withdrawals, no shakes, no insomnia. So maybe it's time to target another bad habit?

It's probably a good day to give up using-blogging-as-a-form-of-procrastination-when-I-really-need-to-prepare-the-stuff-I-said-I-was-gonna-prepare-for-tonight's-dinner-and-still-have-time-to-walk-the-dog-before-reporting-for-book-fair-duty.

Yeah, it'd be a good day for that.

Monday, October 13, 2008

boys, books, bangs, and Bernoulli

I sit here with the serene sounds of a spanking new high-efficiency furnace wafting through the vents. It's cold today, but not inside my house!

Okay, enough about the new furnace already. Even I'm sick of hearing about the stupid thing. It is a lot more smooth and serene sounding than that old clanger banger we had though.

It was a nice weekend here. Nice in that the weather was crappy. Sometimes we need crappy weather to make us slow down and contemplate. Saturday, Magnum was out of town serving as a board member of some... well... board he's on, so it was just me and the kids. One against three. The weather was crappy, so they weren't big on going outside and playing in the streets. If anything, they brought the street urchins over to our house to play inside.

And I just hung out too. Just that day I received a book in the mail from the generous Terri who took pity on me when I mentioned I was like 300th in the queue for this book at the library - me being too cheap to just go out and buy the thing. So I read several pages of the book while the kids and the various street urchins did who-knows-what to the rest of the house. What else were they gonna do?

And I also trimmed my own hair. I've been known to do this on occassion, but don't very often because (a) cutting the back is a pain (b) it's nice to just go sit and let someone else do it (c) I never seem to be able to sweep up all the little hair ends left behind (d) I've been known to sometimes screw it up and end up at the stylist anyway. But I just needed a little clean up here and there, and I guess I was in the correct mood. I remember a hairstylist once telling me that any given stylist's haircuts can be erratic depending on their mood of the moment. You want to get them on a good day. Kind of like not buying a car that was assembled on a Monday or Friday maybe? Made sense. I guess I was in an okay mood for hair trimming, because it came out okay. And what else was I gonna do?

And we watched Speed Racer on DVD. Not exactly a chick flick, but what else was I gonna do?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Silver Lining Saturday part VIII

A tutor student called earlier to reschedule our session originally scheduled for this morning. It seems that today is Homecoming at his school. As if that's more important than Pattern Analysis!

Magnum is out of town on business today, so Chaco and Wolfgang were all set to earn some babysitting dough while I was at work. They're a bit disappointed. I told them, "but now you get ME!" No surprise - they wanted the cash.

But it gives me a chance to sit down and do my weekly thankfulness post. Roll 'em!

Injury updates. I'm thankful that Chaco's wrist is just about back to 100%. It's still a little weak, but it's not like Mr. Ectomorph was much of an Incredible Hulk when it comes to arm strength in the first place. He was happily able to ride his bike to school this week after walking there all last week.
And speaking of injuries, I'm thankful that my bout of Osteitis Pubis (gotta capitalize that one) only lasted about one day. I was *ahem* back in the saddle, so to speak, on Sunday, and it hasn't bothered me since. I also learned some good stretching techniques while being educated on all things injurious pubis!

New Stuff. And, as mentioned, I'm thankful we got that pretty new furnace all up and installed. Just in time it seems, because this weekend, Baby, it's cold outside!

Scheduling Conflicts. I'm thankful I worked things out with the school librarian regarding that book fair next week. Yep, I called her up and just said, "Listen honey! I was only giving you some options when I circled 4 different shifts! This isn't the dang Peace Corps! Pick ONE and be grateful!" Okay, maybe it was a little different wordage, but we got it straightened out. Seems she was in the mode of "it's easier to ask for forgiveness later than to ask for permission ahead of time". I forgave.

Male Bonding. Last weekend, while I was at work, Magnum took the kids to an Air Show that was in town. I'm thankful that they had a good testosteral day of looking at different kinds of aircraft, and they even brought me back some gifts! I must show you my squishy miniature Navy football and Battleship bling!

Boring Can Be Good. This week I learned of some upheaval involving a wife doing bad things that will change a family forever. Monogamy is a choice, not an instinct! Choose wisely! Anyway, I'm thankful that my homelife is, for the most part, happily boring.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

fear of commitment

What should I do?!?

(A) Admit that I didn't let it happen intentionally
(B) Give in to the temptation and cheat
(C) Genuinely try to work it out and get past this
(D) Counseling
(E) Write-in vote

Okay, here's the background **DEEP BREATH**

Meego's school is having a book fair next week. The librarian sent home volunteer request forms. It states: "Please circle ANY (emphasis mine) time that you could help..."

I circled 4 different time slots, meaning that I could work one, but not all, of them. I figured she'd let me know when she wanted to me be there. The sheet came back home with Meego today. All it says is:

"Thanks so much, Abby! The time might change for Tuesday - will let you know on Monday. - The Librarian".

Oh no! She thinks I was volunteering for ALL four time slots! I (don't want to) can't do that! I want to come out and tell her I just can't continue, but I have such feelings of guilt! Was I leading her on? Am I being a selfish b*tch for only thinking of MY needs? Maybe I should just stick it out. Make it work somehow.

For the sake of the children.

Sorry to bring up such personal topics... but... the sanctity of The Book Fair depends on it!

pile up

We noticed the first one a couple of weeks ago or so. A deposit of dark, rich, fertile soil plopped right outside our back gate. Maybe a foot or so in diameter, with a short conical shape.

It was like a crop circle in its mystery, this pile of dirt. And even more mysterious was that, every other day or so, it would grow. The pile was made bigger by another layer of dark soil. And other piles began to sprout up, seemingly while we were all asleep.

We pondered this pondersome puzzling pile. Was someone doing some landscaping and depositing shovelfulls of dirt outside our fence at night? (Magnum's paranoid thought). That's nutty, why would anyone do such a weird thing? (My put-yourself-in-those-shoes thought).

And I know I've seen such piles strewn about during my wanderings around the wild places of the neighborhood. Just never right at the threshold of our gate. I figured some sort of creature from the family of rodentia was making them.

A little detective work later, and I think I know the culprit. MOLES! AHA! They are molehills. I'm pretty sure.

Then I was curious. I don't think I've ever seen an actual mole. I did some more detective work to learn more about them.

I learned that if a mole changes size, shape or color, or a new one develops in adult life it should be evaluated by a doctor or preferably by a dermatologist.

I learned that the mole is defined as the amount of substance of a system which contains as many "elemental entities" as there are atoms in 12 g of carbon-12.

From that, I vaguely remembered that Avogadro's number, or 6.02214179(30)×10^23, is the number of "elementary entities" in one mole.

And that adult moles are about the size of a chipmunk.

So much knowledge from a pile of dirt.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

hot pics!

"Is it hot in here, or is it just me??"

"It's soooooooooo hot!"

"Hot Hot Hot!"


All right, geesh. So, we got the new furnace today. Whimsical Ranter asked for a photo, so here it is. Ain't she a beaut? I'm referring to the furnace, although, Whimmy Ranty could also be considered as such.

One thing I noticed as the installers were here - I'm not much of a homebody. I was forced into exile so as to not leave them here without a homeowner present, so I had to busy myself. What's worse, I couldn't use the computer! Yes, the computer desk is right around the corner from the furnace. Isn't everyone's?

So I was forced into doing teacher OOC work (out of classroom, or "ookwerk") and housewifery. ALL day. I did make a brief escape to walk the dog.

I realized that I typically do my housewifery in bits and pieces. Load of laundry here, scrubbed toilet there, sweep the crud here, dust the bunnies there. It all gets done between other, more fun, more get-out-of-the-house stuff. Just in time to start the bits and pieces all over again. Same with the ookwerk.

But here I was.

My checkbook is balanced, my credit card receipts are categorized, my floors are vacuumed, math lessons are ready, the drawer beneath the oven is crumbless, the pet *ahem* facilities are pristine, practice tests are scored, the human facilities are pristine, and the mysterious pile of dirt has been dispersed. (Remind me to tell you about the mysterious pile of dirt).

And we have a new furnace. It's a gas.

Monday, October 6, 2008

how well do you know your husband?

Look! It's a husband meme!

I saw this meme over at Judy's and thought I'd give it a whirl. Mag and I have been together for over 20 years now, so what's not to know??

We met in college, both "non-traditional" students. I'd returned there after taking a couple of years off to earn tuition money. He'd returned after a stint in the army, which he joined in order to escape from his wacko parents. So when we met, we were much more mature and responsible than our classmates *rolls eyes with sarcasm*.

We have quite a bit in common. After all, we were attending the same university with the same major at the same time! But on the other hand, we have our differences as well.

He's introverted to my extroverted. He actually reads instructions before attempting certain procedures. He's book smart to my common sense. But most of the time, we're on the same page where it matters. So here goes the meme:

1. Sitting in front of the TV, what's on the screen? Football, "The Office", or "Chuck". I think he's got a thing for that Chuck Chick.

2. You're out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad? Bleu Cheese (note that I spelled that correctly).

3. What's one food he doesn't like? I haven't discovered it yet.

4. You go out to a bar. What does he order? Beer, whatever's cold.

5. Where did he go to high school? Manual HS (as opposed to automatic?)

6. What size shoe does he wear? This is an enigma. He's 5'11" and wears size 8.5 shoe. But it's not the size of the shoe that counts, it's how he uses it.

7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be? Reference books.

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich? Any kind with some sort of meat between some sort of bread, maybe some sort of condiments thrown in (refer to question #3).

9. What would this person eat everyday if he could? Ice cream.

10. What is his favorite cereal? Combo platter of whatever's in the pantry (refer to question #3).

11. What would he never wear? A ponytail.

12. What is his favorite sports team? Denver Broncos

13. Who will he vote for? For president? This year??

14. Who is his best friend? Currently, it's probably me.

15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn't do? Sleep around. AHA! Had you going there for a second! Actually, I don't know, I'll ask him.

16. How many states has he lived in? Depression to euphoria and every state in between.

17.What is his heritage? Family of Dysfunction.

18. You bake him a cake for his birthday, what kind of cake? Birthday cake.

19. Did he play sports in high school? He rode the soccer bench. He's also mentioned swimming and wrestling, but not in favorable terms.

20. What could he spend hours doing? Studying maps

21. Does he belong to any men's organizations? Not that I know of.

There, that wasn't so tough. I guess I could ask him about question 15. The answer could very well be - doing blog memes about him.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I'm sure there's a silver lining here somewhere

Well, this is a new one.

It started about a month ago I'd say. Just sort of a... an indication of... something. A little soreness was all. It went away for the most part and would reappear now and then, but never with much fanfare, and then it would just go away again.

Then I sneezed.

I sneezed while I was running. Surely I've done that before? No biggie. But the weird soreness thing made its presence known, a little stronger now. Having a bit more of a "presence". A presence right there. Yeah. THERE. I'm talkin' RIGHT there, a little to the left of center.

So I did a google search of my symptoms, and all paths lead to Osteitis Pubis. Cripes.

As with other such injuries, I'm supposed to Rest - easy enough. Ice - well, the location is accessible enough, but I wonder what the children will think of me sitting around with a bag of frozen veggies on the... uh... kooch. Compression - and just how to route the bandage?? Elevation - Uhm..... hmmm.....

As a recreational runner, I know that injuries are bound to happen occassionally. I've fought the hamstring wars, the plantar fasciitis battles, the charlie horse skirmishes. But this? THIS? What the hell? I've never even heard of this thing. Couldn't I just stick with the mainstream stuff??

Okay, there I go. I learned something new. Compensation for walking funny.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

silver lining Saturday part VII

Another week of the good life!

I'm thankful that Chaco's wrist is healing up. He went without the brace yesterday - I couldn't wait to wash the thing! - and is getting back to full use. Back when he broke his arm, it had started as a sprain, and then he had a P.E. "incident" that finished it off about a week after the initial injury. So far, we're so good on this go around.

I'm thankful we're getting that new furnace. Its scheduled install is for next week, just in time for colder weather. This one we have now has been serving us faithfully, but really, time to put it out to pasture. On that note, I'm thankful for employee discounts.

I'm thankful for that 8th grade field trip on Thursday. The weather was great and Wolfgang and I had a good time. Just the day before, we'd had a knock-down-drag-out over him breaking some house rule and my subsequent enforcement of consequences, so he was all in a temporary huff over that. By the morning of the field trip, however, he was sheepishly asking if I was still going to go. Of course!

I'm thankful that I just reached into my pocket and found a Hershey's dark chocolate kiss! Mmmm, forgot I put that there.... mm mmmf mfm...

I'm thankful for various role models I came across this week. Once again reminding me that we don't need to be always looking and working for inspiration, just be open to it and it falls into our laps!

I'm thankful that I enjoy my job. I need to head out soon for a tutor session. Got paid this week too... so... yeah.

And once again, I'm thankful for my blog friends! *does that Carol Burnett ear-tug thing*

Friday, October 3, 2008


The things we do for our kids. That time it was hooking worms.
It was a beautiful spring day. We walked as in a work release program, single file. The first grade teacher, various moms, dads, younger siblings, and the first graders themselves.

I remember enjoying the day with Meego riding papoose-style in the backpack as I hooked a few worms and watched trout being caught. The trout never had a chance. So it goes at trout ponds.

Wolfgang's first grade fishing field trip. I think that was the last field trip I'd gone on with him. Until yesterday.

Yesterday was the annual 8th grade scavenger hunt / natural spring analysis field trip to the poor unsuspecting hippie community just outside our fair city. Boy how kids change from first grade to eighth. I agreed to be a parent helper since Wolfgang actually asked me to go, and I had gone last year with Chaco's 8th grade.

It's not for the weak.

Each parent volunteer is matched up with a group of 6 - 10 eighth graders and expected to keep them happily together and on task until the mission is complete. The mission includes doing scientific analysis on various natural springs within an area of a about a 1/2 - mile radius. Oh, and while doing that, find and identify about 30 historical sites.

I was in charge of 7 boys and was sort of lamenting the fact that there were no girls in our group... until I observed some of the girls from other groups. Eighth grade, remember? So anyway, my young charges and I survived the day, and I'm glad to say that I didn't lose any of them. Although, if I never hear the word "Dude!" spoken in a squeaky male pubescent voice ever again, I won't be disappointed

But really, it was lots of fun. First of all, I'm glad that our older kids still actually want me to attend these things and are okay with admitting that, yes, I am their mother. And it's nice to get to know some of the kids Wolfgang spends his school days with. No, we're not going in The Hemp House. No, I'm not buying beer for the group. Nice try. The weather was perfect, and it's always fun to rub elbows with hippies and assorted weirdos, present company included.

I've got 5 more years until Meego is in eighth grade. Maybe I can get the Patchouli oil smell out of my clothes by then

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

feng sway

Furnace guy was here today.

I think we're going to get a new furnace. So exciting! We never get new stuff! Unless it's like, well, Legos or Airsoft crap.

Thing is, we have an old old furnace - like original furnace when the house was built long time ago old furnace. Magnum's employer recently merged with a big name furnace manufacturer. Yeah, can you say, "employee discount"? So I had a furnace guy here today to give me his pitch. Poker face, pure poker face, that was my plan.

He's friendly, he's taking measurements and whatnot. And then... and then.... he compliments me on how I've set up the furnishings and such around the house. How the house feels open and friendly and airy. How I've made good use of our space. Me! Naturally, I feel that way, but does anyone around here notice?? Do my own children appreciate it? Does my mother, who thinks I need more (read better and more plentiful) furniture notice?? And who knows what the snooty in-laws are thinking?! NO!

But Furnace Guy noticed. I practically bought the furnace right there and then.

I'm not very good at poker either.