Sunday, May 31, 2015

Silver Liningness Sunday

Greetings, earthlings!  Sunday once again.

For starters, our fine city did manage to set an all new record for precipitation in May.  The backyard's a swamp and we've still got today to top it off some more!  Woot!  Yay, we worked hard for that.  Whatever...

In other top measurements, we are apparently not very fat, relatively speaking.  According to the latest gallup poll anyways, Colorado Springs is the least obese city in the U.S.  Looking around, though, that kinda feels like being the tallest pygmy.

Enough of the record books, though.  This was another fine week.  My summer class began and, so far, I like it.  It's only been one week, however.  It's a  marketing class, so most of my classmates are MBA students with one other from my engineering program.  They seem like a good bunch, and I like the professor.  So far.

Remember that our  next door neighbors were selling their house?  They sold it within a day or two, and the deal included them staying there until the end of the school year.  School year ended on Friday.  They moved out in the morning, and new neighbors were there in the evening.  POOF.  I haven't met the new family yet.  Fingers crossed.

Also with that, Meego is finished being a stupid Freshman.  He's still considering his summer activities.  He might go volunteer biblin' again at the down-the-street VBS, Wolfgang's going to see if there's grunt work for him at EduKit, and there are various band practices/activities over summer.  Speaking of which, the band runs a concession stand at the local baseball field for our minor league team, the Sky Sox.  I'm signed up to work 5 games, Meego will work 4.  It cuts down on band fees, so my first duty is this coming week.  Come get a  hot dog!

And alas, King Reese the snake remains ruler of an unknown realm.  No one has seen hide nor scale of him yet.  The cat does seem more interested than usual in the various boxes we have Tetrissed along the walls, so maybe that's something.

young Reese in sunnier times


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Olly Olly oxen free!!!

I caught a brief glimpse of June this morning.

No, really.  My neighbor friend, June, was out jogging with her young son this morning...
BUT, never fear.  June really is just around the corner!  We have three days left in May and we need about a third of an inch of rain to break the record set in 1935.  My money's on this being our year.

But I'm finished complaining.  It's terrible what is happening in Texas and Oklahoma.

In other little disaster news, Reese is AWOL.  Yep, our 4-foot-long king snake managed to escape and is playing hide and seek with us. *LOUD SIGH*

Meego fed him on Tuesday.  We feed him in an enclosed shoe box.  We were told that it's best to take him out of his usual habitat and feed him in a small box so he became accustomed to that being his "dining" area.

So anyway, Meego put him in the box, fed him the mouse, then closed the lid and placed two heavy books on top as always.

Later, when he went to return Reese to his tank, Meego noticed a small hole in the corner of the shoebox.  He remarked that we should probably get another box.  The next thing he said was,

"Reese isn't in here!"

And I said, "WHA...?!"

We all spent a good amount of time searching, but to no avail.  That guy could be anywhere.  Of course the situation is compounded by the fact that the room is filled with Chaco and Wolfgang's boxes and such of dorm crap.

Also compounding the situation is that Reese had just shed.  It was an impressive one-piece shedding, kinda like peeling the whole label off a beer bottle...  Worthy of a photo.

He's always gotten quite active just after he sheds, like he's feeling all frisky in his new "clothes".

As of right now, he's still missing.  We put his heat lamp out near a comfy crevice and his favorite hide to try to lure him.

Got any snake-trapping advice??

I just hope we spot him soon.  And the "we" doesn't include the cat!


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Silver Liningness Sunday

Happy Sunday, fellow travelers!

Well, the word for this week - this month really - has been rain.  Rain, hail, hail, rain every day.  Snow in the mountains.  We haven't had one day in May without measurable precipitation.  I went out to the border and snapped this pic for y'all.

It's still better than fire, though.  "Better Than Fire" is a broad category.

But it's not without havoc.  Foundations are becoming compromised, properties are flooded, and potholes are abundant.  Don't get me started on potholes.

HOWEVER, we've managed to make the best of things.  Meego's got one week left of school - finals week.  As far as I know, he's not in any trouble grades-wise, so the week should go smoothly.  Wolfgang is back to work and keeping busy.  Chaco's internship hasn't yet started, so he's getting things organized (I wish!) and still working a few hours for the university.

I've enjoyed a week off from school and am looking forward to getting on with the summer class.  It's a marketing class that's part of the MBA program.  We'll see how it compares with the other engineering master's courses.  

Magnum and I managed to collect a few more geocaches between rainstorms, but haven't been out much.  If only they were all this easy...

Actually, that would be kinda boring if they were all THAT easy.  But the activity has taken us off the beaten paths, to places we wouldn't  otherwise be traipsing around in.  While Magnum was finding that super easy one, I was over in the sticks and found this sad bicycle.

Weird.  It seemed to be in pretty good condition other than the seat being messed up from all the rain, which clued me in that it wasn't just parked there for a short time with its rider waiting in ambush to attack and dismember us.  What happened to its owner?

Speaking of bicycles, I've been sucking it up and riding in the rain.  It's actually quite meditative as long as it's not majorly downpouring and accompanied with lightning and/or hail.  I checked out an alternative route to the university  as my usual is being chewed up with construction activity.  

This alternate route adds about 3 miles, but is still a very pleasing ride.  The bike trail is in good condition, although it takes me through an "interesting" area that I refer to as "Juggalo Island" as that's the feeling I get whenever riding through.  

"It's summertime and I'm feeling jolly, y'all!"

Enjoy spring!  Summer's on the way!  


Saturday, May 23, 2015


I decided to play some Illustration Friday today.  It's been quite a while.  The prompt is "melt".  I figured everyone and their grandma would draw ice cream or snowmen, so I did a welder with neither ice cream nor snow.

I've known a few welders in my time.  Some were robots, some were human.  The robots were graceful and high-tech, but the humans were true artists.  Frame angle not quite right?  Throw a damp rag right THERE.  Corner not quite square?  Clamp this, weld that.

And they seemed to truly enjoy their work.  Pull down the mask and enter another world where it was just them and melting metal until their masterpieces were finished.  I don't think the robots had as much fun.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

just a small town girl

I was at P.E.O. earlier this week.  It was a sparse turnout.  Many were busy with end-of-school-year activites:  concerts, graduations...  Some of the older ladies were vying for supreme position.

"My granddaughter graduates high school tomorrow!"

"Well MY grandson graduates COLLEGE on Friday!"

"Well, my GREATgranddaughter..."

Then someone said, "Isn't it funny how the kids grow up so fast, yet we stay so young?"

It is pretty funny how that happens.  haha.

Maybe it's hard for our kids to believe that we were once young, that we were teenagers.  When I was around my kids' age, I only imagined my own parents as always being grown ups - the way I'd always known them.  Sometimes I get so busy being a grownup that even I forget that we haven't always been here.

I've got Journey in my head today.  They were a hot band when I was in high school.  Today, Meego has a final in band, and he's playing Don't Stop Believing on the bass.  Naturally he was practicing last night and the tune is majorly stuck, reminding me that I was once a kid.

Frank and what's-her-face
Life seems pretty different for our kids.  Can they imagine a world with no cell phones?  No social media?  No internet?

Still, some things remain the same.  End of school year activities like prom and graduation ceremonies are seen as big deals, although their significance fades pretty quickly.

I hardly remember my senior prom, although I was a royal pain attendant.  Not queen.  It took goose poop to enable me to claim my eventual queendom.

But I remember our dresses and our parasols.  Yes, we carried freaking parasols.  Seems cornball now.  Do prom royals carry parasols these days?

I remember Frank.  He was my chosen non-king.  We'd been friends all through growing up.  He was one of my good friends' boyfriend.  He gave me the obligatory coronation smooch, and the earth moved.  He smelled good.  He lingered a bit longer than necessary.  I like to believe the earth moved for him too.  We never spoke of the smooch moment.  There was that boyfriend-of-my-good-friend thing... Oh yeah, I had a boyfriend too.  But I don't remember much of the night after coronation.

Thanks to Frank.

Or probably someone spiked the punch again.

Blogging with Mama Kat again, for the prompt:
1. Throwback Thursday: Choose a photo from a previous May and write a poem or a blog post.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

the ex

I was just hanging up my phone and getting ready to leave when I saw him.  He walked passed the area I was in just when I glanced up.  He looked older than I remember, a little more... mature.  But there was something instantly recognizable.  Yes, it was him.  I was sure...

On impulse, I wanted to call out to him, say hi, catch up a bit, ask about his mom.  But I stopped myself.  He was with someone.  A woman...

Our breakup had been my idea.  I was moving on, and I just didn't feel there was room in my life for him anymore.  He protested a bit at first, but I assured him he'd be fine.  There were plenty more fish in the sea.  Heck, I even offered to help him find someone else!

I learned he'd moved on.  His mother told me not long after we'd split.  I don't recall feeling any pangs of jealousy then.  It was all for the best.

But yesterday.  Yesterday was different.  Seeing him.  Seeing him with HER.  Different.

He hadn't seen me, so I gathered up my things and stealthily headed in the direction they'd gone.  I spied the obvious places, but saw no sign of them.  But that place is big, I continued to survey while trying to look inconspicuous.

Eventually... there.  There they were.  The two of them sharing a small table.  I watched for a few seconds out of the corner of my eye.  She was speaking, he was leaning slightly forward.  I tried to discern his body language.  Was he happy?  Was that boredom I detected, or was I just projecting my own selfish thoughts into the situation?

I had flashbacks to our times together.  His funny stories he would share, the snacks he always brought.  Did he bring snacks to this new woman?

I couldn't stand there and stare, I kept moving.  His back was to me, and the woman was not one of the familiar regulars I typically saw.  As much as I would have liked to visit with him a bit, this was neither the time nor the place.

OK, fine. He's got another math tutor.  They meet at the same library.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Silver Liningness Sunday

Greetings Sunday friends,  I hope your respective silver linings are thick!

We had another fine week here.  As I adjusted to being finished with another semester, it was a productive week in getting non-school tasks out of the way.  Some of that involved making way for Chaco and Wolfgang and all of their dorm crap.  Somehow, it has all been squeezed into the house.

In the midst of the college boy flux, Meego turned 15 on Thursday!  My Mother's Day bambino is not so little anymore.

Despite the moving and shaking going on, we all managed to celebrate with him on Thursday with cake and presents.  Then yesterday, we all went out for some Famous Dave's and saw The Avengers.

So now Meego has to continue schlepping to school for two more weeks while his brothers are on break and rubbing it in his face.  Chaco and Wolfgang are both set for summer employment, though, and that's certainly a good thing.  Chaco has an internship here in town and Wolfgang is continuing with Edukit.

I got China in for her early summer grooming this week.  She seems quite happy to be free of her long winter coat, and I'm certainly not complaining about the decreased amount of house hairiness.

We've managed to dry out somewhat from our week of drenching.  I've got an appointment to get the Echo fixed after getting a few estimates.  So far, I like the chosen shop and hopefully, that opinion will remain after the repair. *fingers crossed*

On a side note, the waiting area of the chosen shop has a nice, healthy looking fish tank with large  impressive fish.  It served as a reminder of the fresh heck that is my own aquarium.  I'm starting to think those monsters will never die.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

hazard a guess

So I took this career quiz.  I thought maybe now might be a good time to see what I should be when I grow up.  It returned this result:

So, the good news is that the blood, sweat, tears, and tuition seem to be spent in the right happy place.  But... but...

Do you see it?  That big fat ZERO in the "creative" category!  I was all:

Dear Quiz People,
I drew  this, dammit.

*sigh* Okay, fine.  I can take rejection.  And actually, it does seem fairly accurate.  At work, I like to be methodical and analytical.  Creativity is for playtime in my case when I think about it.  Make it a job, and it's no longer fun.

The result brought back memories of high school when the Army recruiter told me that, based on my ASVAB scores, I wasn't suited to be an army cook.

Wait, what?  Cook?  He says I can't cook!?  Not for an army, apparently

AH well.  So I became an enginerd, then a mom and a teacher/tutor, and now a grad student.  The quiz gives a bunch of recommended professions when you click on the various links, and it looks like I'm on the right track.  But if I were to choose something today, right this very minute?

Hazmat technician.  I got skillz.

*Picture it in slo-mo, with hazmat cleanup rock star music*

If for nothing else but the cool outfits.

For Mama Kat's prompt:
3. You HAVE to go back in time and choose a different career path for yourself. What do you choose?


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Silver Liningness Sunday

Happy Sunday!  I'm glad to report that the sun hath somewhat returneth.  So what if it snowed yesterday!?  And I don't want to talk about it...

Despite the whacky weather, it was another good week.  And I know that there are harsh weather conditions all over these days.  Stay safe out there!

This marks the end of the semester at the university.  Chaco's practically all moved out of the dorm, and Wolfgang brought one smallish load of his junk.  Finals week is next week, and I turned in my last paper yesterday.  It feels sort of weird to not have anything coming up due.  I was at a loss when I first sat at my desk this morning, so I went over to the tutor site I work through.

They have a "resource" page where anyone can post a homework-type question and tutors will answer.  The link gets plenty of traffic, so I know there will always be something to do over there.  It keeps my brain awake and keeps my idle hands from doing the devil's work.

Some of the other tutors don't like it.  "Why should we be working for free?", they moan.  "This is just for lazy students to get someone else to do their homework!", they chide.

As for me, I see it as standing out in the food court offering little samples on a toothpick. There are plenty of other free answer-this resources on the internet, so why not add ours to the mix?  I believe people actually learn from it, even though yes, there are the lazies.  Plus, I like to see  how other tutors answer questions.  It's a good thing IMO.  Although there was a "who's the daddy?" type question on there earlier today.  At first I thought it was a nursing school question, but it actually looks like something more for Maury Povich...

Along those lines (tuting, not "who's the daddy?"), I'm set to meet with a new summer tutee next week.  I'll wait to take on any more until I have a better idea of how busy my summer class will keep me.

And lastly, it's Mother's Day so I want to wish all my mom friends a happy one.  We've never made a big deal out of the Hallmark Holiday around here.  I've told my kids that "every day is Mother's Day" for me, and it's true.

I'm also grateful to have had my own sweet mother for so many years, so Happy Mother's Day to her in heaven.

Friday, May 8, 2015

hail to the no!

Yesterday afternoon, I was here at home taking care of a few things when the rains came.  I was glad I wasn't on my way home on the bicycle.  Then the hail joined in and I was really glad.

And it just kept on a-hailing.  Buckets of the stuff, it seemed!  I was here with just the menagerie and shot this video shortly after the cat came in and verbally abused me, like the mother hail storm was my fault.

As you can see, China was not too happy about it either, but at least she wasn't blaming me.

The toads and snake seemed pretty oblivious.  The monster fish?  Who cares, it was probably their doing as part of their evil quest for world domination.

At that point, it turned out that the hail was just getting started.  By the time things calmed down, we'd gotten about nine inches.  The good part was that it was pretty isolated to our neck of the woods - possible additional evidence against our evil fish residents.

Meego texted me for a ride home from school.  He typically walks, as his school is about a mile and a half away and the hail had stopped by then, but there was no walking around among the piles.

I looked out the window at our street and wasn't sure I could even get out of the neighborhood, especially since I just had my parents' diminutive Toyota Echo they'd entrusted to my care.  The big van is here, but trapped in a hail bog.

Boldly, the Echo (Suzy Q) and I ventured.  I barely made it out of the driveway, but kept it slow and steady, the whole while "this is a bad idea... this is a bad idea... this is a bad idea..." repeating in my head.

I really had to pick my route carefully. Where there weren't huge mounds of hail, the roads were veritable rivers.  I felt like I was trying to drive a Toyota through the Everglades.  To make matters worse, several cars were stuck anywhere and everywhere, leaving limited options as to where to drive.  Stopping to help them would be futile and only make matters worse, it was best to try to keep moving.  So I did.

Magically, I made it to the high school.  My route took me a good 20 minutes.  The parking lot was still pretty full with people trying to extract their cars from hail lake.  Meego swam over and climbed soggily in.  Our next adventure - make it back  home.

Employing the same tactics I'd used to get out, we eventually made it back to the house.  Suzy Q to the rescue!  She was pretty beat up, though.  I had to free the gallons of hail that had collected just underneath the grill.  A panel there had come loose and had acted like a big scoop every time we bottomed out through the hail - which was pretty much the whole route.  Upon my inspection, I'm guessing that the panel has probably been loose for a while, just hadn't made itself known before now.

Eventually, the sun came out.  Then a snowplow cleared our street.

I made it out later, in Ellie Mae, for some groceries.  There was a guy near the toothpaste, talking animatedly on his phone.

"There's like 10 inches of hail!  They closed the freeway!"

I'm guessing he's from out of town since people around here don't typically call the highway the freeway.  It's the highway.  Legal pot, remember?


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

escapar del Mundo Gusano (escape from Worm World)

I don't know about y'all, but we've got us rain here.  Lots of rain.  It rained all day yesterday, a rare event in these parts.  It was that steady rain that evicts the earthworms from their ground homes to avoid drowning only for the worms to likely drown on the surface.

But no one is complaining.  It's more a common chant of , "Hey, we need it... Good for the plants... Everything is so green... and not on fire".  Two consecutive years of devastating wildfires will do that to a community.

Chaco has graced us with his presence the last couple of evenings - bringing home some of his dorm crap so he doesn't have to move it all at once.  I told him to put his Tetris skills to work.  From the looks of it, I'm better at Tetris than he is.

In addition to random junk boxes, he brought home some of  his computer toys and has Potato (Meego's computer) all tricked out  now.

I'm waiting for the day Potato starts firing actual missiles.

Meego has a Food Day today in his Spanish class.  He brought a wildly unique dish:  Spanish rice.  In typical Meego fashion, he was last-minute pondering what to make last night and Spanish rice was crowned the winner.

As Meego and I were preparing the Spanish rice, Chaco was remembering his own food day experiences.  One year, he made these highly labor-intensive deep fried little sandwich things.  I don't even remember what they're called.  Another year, he brought fajita fixings.  I'd told him not to bring too much since it was a potluck.  When he got home, he told  how everyone was wanting more fajitas as they were the most popular dish.  I doubt Meego will have that problem with Spanish rice as it will probably be second  only to guacamole on the list of common dishes brought to Spanish class food day.

Anyway, as I was supervising the stirring and mixing of Spanish rice creation, I began singing "Spanish Rice" to the tune of "Spanish Eyes", and the freaking song is still stuck in my brain this morning.

"Say you and your... 
Spanish Rice will... 
Wait for meeeeee...."

Make it stop.  Please?


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Silver Liningness Sunday

Happy May!  How's the weather!  heh... get it??  May-weather??  Okay, I'm sick of the fight hype already, and glad it's all over!

It was another lovely week.  I definitely notice and appreciate the warmer, brighter, longer days.  Even had to wake up the lawn mower this week.  I'm fighting the urge to play outside all day since I do have those pesky end-of-semester projects due.

Still, Magnum and I have managed to add to our geocache collection.  Look at this cutie we found this morning, cleverly disguised as a birdhouse.

In fact, it's so cleverly disguised, I think it's pissed off a few birds.

Magnum finds the cute bird houses, I get the stick-your-face-in-a-soggy-gutter-on-a-drizzly-day ones...

(Found it!)

We attended Meego's spring concert this week.  It went on WAAAAY too long.  Every band and their grandma's band played something, but all of the students had to be there for the whole thing because they played a big group song at the end.

Meego was there for 3+ hours to play two songs.  This is the new band teacher's first year, so maybe he'll get a memo about time management?  Hopefully?  But I do appreciate his passion for the cause.  Here's a grainy random pic.  Even the musicians look bored.

Find Meego, win a prize

So I'm looking forward to wrapping up this semester.  I'm signed up for one class over the summer to keep my brain from turning to mush.  Hopefully it works.  I've also got a few inquiries for summer tuting, so between that and the one class and the "banned mom" duty, I should stay out of trouble.  Or not.