The resolutions I should have...
I resolve to keep my house cleaner.
I resolve to lose those extra pounds through a stringent diet & a crazy, Olympic training style exercise schedule.
I resolve to learn Spanish beyond my current repertoire of exchanging names & phone numbers, ordering beer and figuring out where the bathroom is.
I resolve to get a good job that relates to my field of interest (whatever that turns out to be)
I resolve to go to bed at a decent hour so I can get up at a decent hour without the assistance of my I.V. of coffee.
I resolve to give up coffee.
The resolutions I most likely will be able to keep...
I resolve to read more books, drink more coffee and consume more good food (NOT "good for me" food).
I will do my best to laugh more often, talk with my friends more often and give my son more hugs than I already do.
I resolve to "connect" with my husband more ;)
I resolve to watch more good movies as well.
I resolve to have at least six cook-outs with family and friends.
I resolve to get to California at least once this coming year, and to avoid snow at all costs.
I resolve to attempt to update my blog on a regular basis and to be sure to include at least one Master J story per week.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The resolutions I should have...
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
So Master J spent the night at my parent's house last night and during his stay, he convinced my dad to build him yet another wooden vehicle, this one a flatbed pickup truck. While he was "helping" Papa build, he found the scrap pile and discovered the "holes" from where my dad is cutting out the aluminum for the various wiring on his airplane. Side note, my dad is building a small, two seat airplane, and has been for almost eight years. I did not get my patience from him. I got my patience from some New York cabbie that I must have run across at one point in my life. Moving on. So when Papa punches a hole in the aluminum, the scrap is a perfectly round disk, about two inches across. They are of varying thicknesses depending on where in the plane it is. Master J saw these and decided to salvage them. Not only salvage them, but package them up, write an advertising campaign and sell them. When I picked him up, I was greeted with much excitement and a several signs. The first sign was two pieces on wood, hinged with duct tape, that said "closed" when hinged and "open" when un-hinged. The second sign said "SUPER ROLL WHEELS - One dollar each - Limited supply available so get your SUPER ROLL WHEEL today". He even had two different levels of these things. The thicker ones were the beginner levels and the thinner ones were the expert level. The "expert" ones, he informed us, would be priced at $3 dollars tomorrow. Apparently he thought that would prompt us into buying them today at the aforementioned bargain basement price. Seriously. He had about a dozen of these disks, each one taped to a small block of scrap wood, and he wanted a dollar a piece. He wanted to sit on the sidewalk and sell them to the neighbors, but I put the kibosh on that. I told him he could sell them to family and friends. But NOT (as he started for the shop door) to his Papa, who had already been conned into helping him put this whole scheme together. I can't let him sell his overpriced, crappy product to the slave labor that created it. I do have some standards. So I bought one of the beginner level ones and Mister C bought one of each. I guess he didn't want to spend the extra $2 tomorrow. Now what, you may ask, do these SUPER ROLL WHEELS do? Nothing. You are supposed to roll them on the ground. Under the best of circumstances, they roll about two feet before falling over. That's it. Not the best toy of the century by a long shot. But giving credit where credit is due, Master J just made $3 pulling junk out of the garbage and calling it something fantastic. I'd say that's a pretty good result.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Mister C and I stayed up way too late last night playing Rock Band. I was the drummer and my arms are killing me today. I could barely lift them this morning when I got up. The worst part was trying to avoid the animals. ADHD Girl spent several minutes attempting to catch the drumsticks. Not to be outdone, the Antagonizer spent most of her time attacking either the cord or my left hand. In addition to Rock Band, we did some boxing. Mister C beat me the first time. Barely. I maintain that the only reason he was able to do so was because the ever helpful Antagonizer was hanging from the hem of my jeans. Her lard butt was laying between my feet, her front feet wrapped around my leg and her teeth imbedded in my pantleg. It made it just a touch difficult to box properly, but I gave it a good shot. Considering the unfairness of the match, I made Mister C do a rematch and cleaned his clock. He seemed shocked by my aggressive insistence on winning. He shouldn't have been. We've been together for over 14 years and married for over 11, he should know by now that I don't like to lose. I am probably way too competitive for my own good. Sometimes the only reason I accomplish something is because I just refuse to give up. This was the case when I had the "opportunity" to climb a rock wall at a friend's wedding (most awesome wedding ever btw) and also on several of the lesser mountains nearby. Anyway, the main point here is that during the trouncing of my husband I think I pushed myself a teensy bit too far. I've been gimping around here all day today. Our afternoon walk did help to loosen things up a bit, but it did absolutely nothing for my arms, which feel like noodles. Really painful noodles. If noodles could hurt.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Or at least in my house. Finally. Master J just went to bed. He got up at 4:20 this morning to inform us that Santa had indeed showed up. We sent him back to bed until 6:30. Mrs. Claus was trying to be less commercially this year and hadn't purchased any huge gifts for under the tree. Mr. Claus evidently disagreed with this and went out on his own to get it done right. He left a Wii gaming system and RockBand II under the tree. We spent the day playing the different games. We even got my dad to play. I have to say that I totally rock at bowling. And I am a killer in the boxing ring. I completely suck at baseball though. Anyway, it was a great day overall and we had a blast. But goodness gracious was it loud and chaotic around here for the better part of the day. It ended up being a day full of family and fun. Maybe Mr. Claus knew what he was doing after all.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Now my tooth hurts. One of my back molars has/had a filling that I can feel the edge of. And I can clearly see (with the use of a flash light and mirror) that it's coming up. Just in time to avoid enjoying any part of the two Christmas dinners coming within the next 24 hours. And there's not a dentist around that is actually answering their phones this morning. Bah. Humbug.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I've had kind of a tough day. It started out okay. Master J was at my parent's house over night so I got to sleep in. I got up and the coffee was made, my newspaper ready. Looks good so far. I jumped in my car and hit the mall right around 10:00 to pick up two last items for Christmas and the mall was pretty calm. I got in and out in under 30 minutes. Then I went and met my mom and Master J for lunch at our favorite Chinese place. I took Master J home to Mister C and went back out to the grocery store for a few last minute things Christmas dinner. Then I went home. By this time it was about 12:30. After I got home, out of habit, I checked my fish. And I see that one of my loaches is acting "off". He's laying on his side, panting. Yeah, that's not good. So I went online to try and figure out what the problem is. Only before I finish looking, I get hit with a killer headache. I haven't had one like this in awhile. I tried taking aspirin and laying down for about an hour, but it didn't go away. So I took some Tylenol and lay back down. Not long after this, Mister C took Master J out shopping (I suspect to get him out of the house more than anything). I was in and out of sleep until 7:00 when I took some more Tylenol. Currently, my headache is a low throb in my right eye. Not pleasant, but bearable. So now that I can see straight, I check in on my fish. And I can clearly see that one of my loaches has ich. Nice. Evidently, my brand new loaches brought it with them. So now I'm treating my tank for that and hoping against hope that I can get on top of it before it wipes everyone out. In the meantime, Mister C and Master J got back home, bearing gifts of already fried chicken and baked potatoes. Maybe there's some hope for this day after all.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I don't think I've updated lately about all the goings on in our life. Here goes...
First of all, we got the rent check from our new tenant on time for the December rent. He included the check for January's rent as well so that seems to be working out okay. We did have a minor glitch in that he hadn't actually moved one of the utilities into his name. We figured this out when we got a bill. I called him and he said he would take care of it but two days later he still hadn't. So Chris called him and (hopefully) straightened it out.
I filled my new (used) bookcase with all of my books and it looks great. I am thrilled to get all of my books off the floor and in order. I hung up 85% of my pictures and know where most of the remaining ones are going. We ended up buying a beautiful entertainment center from our neighbors for about 1/4 of what it would cost new. It's gorgeous and it holds my important items so now my dining room table is clear as well.
I finally found some clown loaches to add to my tank. It took several weeks of repeatedly visiting all the nearby fish places to find them. Evidently they've become very popular lately because people figured out they could put them in a variety of environments and they're pretty fun to watch. When I finally found them, I bought all five that they had in the tank. They were absolutely TINY! I mean, about 3/4 of an inch long and they can get up to 12 inches. In the week that they've been here, they've already grown noticeably. I also had my first tank death when one of my plecos went belly up. Even in death though, nobody tried to eat him (which is rare, fish are pretty cannibalistic). I pulled him out and exchanged his body for a live one since I'd only had him for a few days at the time. So far, so good.
We got a letter from the school confirming what we pretty much knew about Master J and that is that he qualifies for gifted services. They tested him on his sixth day in his new school. Unlike Loser Elementary, they actually included his test results with the letter. I still am not completely convinced that Loser Elementary actually tested Master J. I know they said they did, and they certainly sent a letter saying that he didn't qualify, but all things considered I'm not convinced.
I finished all of my Christmas shopping and got most of it wrapped. I'm still waiting on several packages to arrive from Amazon. I wrote my Christmas letter, but I'm not sure I'm going to get around to sending it out. I have the cards sitting on the counter, but I haven't even started to put together a list of who I would send them to. I also managed to make one batch of fudge so far. I thought I had enough ingredients to make more, but I forgot I had given my big bottle of vanilla to Brandy before moving out here so I could only make one batch. I have the supplies for gingerbread cookies sitting on my island, but haven't gotten around to making them either.
Mister C is done traveling for the year and I'm looking forward to not going anywhere for Christmas. The farthest we're going this year is over to my parent's home for Christmas Eve dinner. That will be the only place I can get a proper ham dinner. Mister C believes that Christmas dinner is turkey. I disagree wholeheartedly. I was raised (properly) with a Christmas ham. Mister C and I have had a long running battle about this particular topic. With our three year rotation schedule (1 year with each set of parents, 1 year at our home) we're each guaranteed what we want once every three years. The year we do at home is the one we fuss the most over. The compromise we've come to this year is that my mom makes a ham dinner for Christmas Eve and I make a turkey dinner on Christmas day. We can both live with that.
I think that wraps up everything that's recently gone on. With Master J home from school for the next few weeks, I'm sure I'll have something more to write about sooner than later.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I finished "shopping" for my older sister and her four teenagers yesterday. I ended up getting her and her girls gift cards to a favorite store. As much as I love my sister and adore my nieces, I struggle with what to do with them for Christmas. When they were younger, I went in with my mom and younger sister on complete sets of bedding for each of them. The shipping that year was horrible. One year I put together "spa treatment" kits for them. There was the year of books and the time I sent them each their own little tree with packages of decorating items so they could each decorate their own. Last year, I shopped for a long time to carefully pick out cool clothing for each of them. But every year, after they open their gifts 2000 miles away, they never take 30 seconds to call and let me know if it fit, if they liked it, if they even got it. Never mind a phone call, we're all "friends" on Myspace, I'd be thrilled with a two word note that said "Got it!". It's not that they ask for anything (because they don't). It's not that I expect great kudos and outpourings of eternal gratitude (because I don't). It's that somewhere along the line, they didn't get the memo about common courtesy. They've had a tough life, being raised primarily by a single mom that sometimes acts more like their friend than their mom. But being gracious and acknowledging other people is a required skill in this world. And I worry that without that skill, they're not going to get as far in life as they could have. My sister is a good person who has done the best she can and I love her dearly, but I worry about what she's instilled in her daughters for skills to get through life. When I started this post, I wasn't sure I was going to publish it because I didn't want to come across as being judgmental towards my family. It seems like such a stupid thing to be worried about. But I am.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Steak Butt! Followed by uproarious laughter. Yeah, this is what I get for taking the child shopping with me today. Evidently he found it the last time he went shopping with Mister C and he really wanted to show me. He could hardly contain himself and was sorely disappointed when he couldn't find it. Ah, yes, I am the mother of a boy.
As a side note, I'm fairly certain he was looking for butt steak, but that's not nearly so funny now is it?
Thursday, December 11, 2008
This is the conversation that took place in my car this morning while I was taking Master J to school.
MJ: Hey, we're dressed the same!
Me (looking down): You mean our red shirts?
MJ: Yeah! I mean, I have a black stripe by my wrist, but they're both red.
Me: Yup. We match.
MJ: And we both have jeans on too!
Me: You're right.
MJ: And white socks. We both have white socks!
Me: Yeah, and sneakers too. We really do match don't we?
MJ: Yeah we do.
MJ (straight faced): Do you have fighter jet underpants on too? Hahahahahaha!
Long pause while we get our giggles under control.
Me: Dude, you crack me up!
MJ: I know. I'm pretty funny huh?
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
My son loves music. He always has. Not children's music either. I could never put on music meant for kids. If I tried to casually slip a sing a long or Veggie Tales cd in, he would burst out crying. No kidding. I always considered myself pretty lucky in that respect because I NEVER had to worry about getting some stupid theme song stuck in my head after riding in a car with him. When he was between 1-2 years old, I was sitting with him on my bed watching the news and a commercial came on for Andrea Boccelli. The child stopped dead and listened. I bought the cd and he would request it every time we got in the car. I would look at him in the rear view mirror and he would be sitting there quietly absorbing the music. There's no other way to describe it. He just absorbs it. Classical music was another one he could listen to all day. He was just always moved by truly beautiful music. When we drove to the Polar Express train ride about three hours from here several years ago, we listened to Trans Siberian Orchestra the whole way. There are just certain things that he latches on to. Anyway, I allow Master J to go to sleep to music at night. For eleven months out of the year, his music consists of various artists (from all eras/genres) on cd. His usual music is of the Patsy Cline/Wanda Jackson/Elvis/Jerry Lee Lewis variety. During the day he listens to some of the same artists, but with more recent artists thrown in for good measure. Think Linkin Park, Greenday, All American Rejects and the like. This works well for eleven months of the year. But not December. Because in December, one of the local radio stations plays all Christmas music, all the time. And he somehow found this station. And loves it. Again though, some songs he doesn't care for and others he just loves. So tonight, he's in bed, supposedly winding down, when I suddenly hear an outburst of music. He's not singing any words, more of a "bum ba da bum biddy bum!" type thing. So I head down to see what the ruckus is. And when I look in his room, Master J is sitting up in bed playing "air piano" and singing to the Charlie Brown theme song. At the top of his lungs. So I step in so he can see me and he gives me the biggest grin ever and shouts "I love the Charlie Brown Piano song!!!" and goes back to his air piano. I just shook my head and left him to his music.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I've been searching on Craigslist for a new bookcase for a few weeks now. I put an ad in their "wanted" section describing what I was looking for. I got a few responses that were not at all what I was looking for. Apparently, when people read the wanted ads they don't really "read" the wanted ads. Evidently the phrase "no oak please" is indistinguishable from the phrase "I really want oak" to some people. Anyway, I didn't get any usable responses to my ad, but I did find a bookcase. It looked like almost exactly what I wanted so I contacted the guy and arranged to go get it on Sunday while Master J was at my parent's house. It was quite a ways away from us since we are located on the far Northwest side of town and it was on the far Southeast side. But, it was only $95 and with the price of gas dropping it seemed to be a really good deal. Enter Mister C. Did I mention that we live in an area that employs those wonderful photo enforcement cameras? You know, the ones used to catch speeders? Yeah. Mister C would have almost been doing the speed limit, if he hadn't been in a construction zone. Unfortunately for him, in a construction zone he was doing 12 over the limit. I had just leaned down to pick up something off the floor when he cursed. I popped up and he was shaking his head, complaining about the camera going off. I looked at his speedometer and said "Well of course it went off, you're doing 12 over the limit." To which he replied "No I'm not, I'm 2 over the limit, the speed limit is 65." To which I replied "Except that about a 1/2 mile back the speed limit dropped to 55 because it's a construction zone." More cursing ensued. Bottom line is that my previous "really good deal" just got turned into a "Eh, okay deal" because after he pays the fine for speeding in a construction zone, my bookshelf will now cost $275. For that price I could have bought a new one. Bah!
Friday, December 5, 2008
Well, after much irritation and many false starts, I finally sold Master J's bunk beds last night. I've had them out on Craigslist since Sunday night after we got back from Thanksgiving in La-La Land. I've had at least five people that e-mailed saying they wanted them and asking for my address. After giving my address and phone number, not one of them showed up. I can't tell you how many people e-mailed to ask if I still had them and when I said "yes", they disappeared back into the underbelly of Craigslist. Damned poll takers! What is the point of asking if I have something if you're not interested in buying it? That makes no sense to me. Anyway, I got a really nice e-mail from a lady saying it was exactly what she was looking for and asking if I would be willing to wait until Friday night for her and her husband to pick it up. Having no other viable offers, I of course said I would. She had given her phone number in her email so I called and left a message with her and gave her my number. She actually called back (that was unexpected!) and sounded very excited. About two hours later, she called back again to ask if she could come last night instead. I of course said yes again. Then she called a third time to tell me that they were on the way. They drove an hour and a half to get to my house. They never tried to talk me down on price and they were so excited about the beds and the bedding I was selling with it that I almost felt guilty for selling it to them. They were the kind of people you want to live next door to because they were funny, sweet and easy to talk to. I had a bunch of other stuff that I had planned to take to Goodwill but after I spoke to her the third time I went out and sorted it out. I set aside the clothes I thought would fit her boys and offered them to them when they arrived. I also offered her all my kid sized hangers and some other random things that Master J had outgrown. She took what would work for them and said how amazing it was that everything that they needed, we had. I say some people restore your faith in humanity and sometimes we're blessed enough to come in contact with them as a reminder.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I didn't get the job that I wasn't sure I wanted. I must say that I'm sort of relieved. My mom asked Master J what he would think if I got a job and he said he would be sad because I wouldn't be able to spend as much time with him. He's never really known me to have a job. Even though I have worked in his lifetime, I always made it so I could drop him off and pick him up from school so it didn't really affect him. I also think that while Mister C would love for me to bring in the extra money, he would be sorely disappointed for me to actually have a job. I do a whole lot of things around here with and for him. Need someone to go for a walk and listen to you vent? I'm there. Pictures need hanging or drywall repaired from the last guy? I can do that. Need work done around the house that I can't do? I'm the one that makes contacts and schedules the people. Packages need to be mailed out? That's me. Lunch? I'm on it. Getting stuff organized, advertised and sold? Yup, me again. Picking out and purchasing his clothing so he doesn't have to? My job. Shopping for holidays and birthdays for his family? Guess who? I'm basically an underpaid personal assistant. But it works for us. So, for now, I'm not going to send out any more resumes or apply for any more jobs unless they really look interesting to me. But after re-reading what I just wrote, I might have to ask for a pay increase!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I showed up 40 minutes early. Because that's just the kind of gal I am. I was afraid of getting caught in traffic and not showing up on time. It's about five miles from my house. When I got there, there was a young man waiting for his interview. He had on a TON of cologne. I loooove me some cologne, but I want to be within two inches before I'm smelling it and I definitely was NOT within two inches of this gentleman. He seemed nice enough though. I signed in and saw that there were only supposed to be four interviewees and I was one of them. It didn't look like the first person had shown up since they hadn't signed in. The guy was next and he got called in about a minute after I arrived. About 10 minutes after he went in, an older woman came in. She was the next interviewee and she went in about five minutes after arriving. About five minutes after she went in, the school secretary came out and locked the doors and turned off most of the lights. Hmmmm, this doesn't look promising. Mostly I was worried that I would fall asleep sitting in the quiet semi-darkness by myself. I have to say though, it was very peaceful there. It was almost meditative. They finally called me in and for whatever reason, I was "on". Let me tell you, if they hire me it won't be because I'm such a talented all around gal. It'll be because I had them laughing their asses off. Cause I'm nothing if not entertaining. Just ask Mister C. I can't even tell you what I said because most of it is a blur, but apparently they found me amusing. So I'll keep you posted on the results, but unless they were specifically looking for the class clown, I'm not really holding my breath.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Prior to moving to Sunshineville, all the way back to April when we first started thinking about moving back here, I started applying for jobs. I've sent my resume to many, many, many companies. I've applied for many, many, many jobs. I have even sent my resume to the local temp agencies. I have not heard one word from anyone. Back in late October I sent in (yet another) application to one of the local school districts for (yet another) supposedly available job. I called several times to check on the job, never actually managing to talk to a person. So eventually, I just thought I really wasn't meant to have employment. Maybe I've been out of work too long being a stay at home mom to be of interest to anyone. But today, out of the blue, I got a call from the school asking if I was still interested in the job. They want to interview me tomorrow afternoon. First things first, I needed a simple black skirt & decent top. I haven't had a full-time, permanent job for over eight years. My closet consists of jeans and tank tops for everyday and a few really nice dresses for parties and weddings. Mister C offered to come with me to pick out my new outfit and he was pretty helpful. On the way out of the store I asked him if he would hire me in my new outfit. His response? "I'd hire you if you were naked." Delivered with a smile. Ahem. Anyway, I'm fairly nervous about interviewing for the first time in forever. I'm also a little worried about the stupid questions they will inevitably ask me because that's the latest thing in interviews. The "why do you want this job?" and "where do you want to be in five years?" questions. Because I can't honestly answer those questions. Because an honest response on the first one would be something along the lines of "Well, I don't really want this job. I don't really want any job. Mostly I'm applying for jobs because Mister C works from home. And I use the term "work" quite loosely here. It seems to me that he spends an awful lot of his work time in my kitchen, hunting for food. And honestly, working in the accounting department of a school for not a whole lot of money wouldn't be my first choice, but you're the only ones that called me. So here I am. In an interview. Answering stupid questions." And then they would thank me for my time and send me on my way. So I guess I'll try a different approach. One whereby I answer the questions as though I actually want the job. Wish me luck with my dishonesty.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I've been noticing since we moved to Sunshineville that there are a whole lot of people driving around with vanity plates on their cars. I've never had a vanity plate in all my many years of owning cars. Mister C had them on his Bananamobile before we moved here. He has a bright yellow SUV style vehicle and he used to have plates that said BANANAZ. I came up with this for him because, as I told him, he was nuts for buying this vehicle in the first place. However, a bright yellow vehicle with vanity plates in lieu of a 20 year old for his mid-life crisis works for me. I don't necessarily mind vanity plates in and of themselves. I just have issues when they make no sense to me. I can understand BANANAZ. It's readable as is. I don't have to sit at a traffic light sounding it out to get it. Just today I saw one that said NICU RN. Obviously a nurse that works in the neonatal intensive care unit. Makes sense to me and I didn't struggle to understand it. But what about HRD2HDL? I think that the 20 something blond behind the wheel of this cute car was trying to say "hard to handle". But where's the n? Who wants to be "hard to headle?" Or how about PLNAPRV? Does it mean "plan approval" like he's in the business of granting approval of building permits? Or does it say "plan a pervert"? Could go either way couldn't it? The last one I noted today said WHJD4U. My first thought, based on their fish emblem, was that at least the last part means "Jesus Died For You". But what about the first two letters? "Woo-Hoo Jesus Died For You!" seems to be a bit exuberant about the death of our Lord and Savior. "What Has Jesus Done For You" would work I guess. The main point here (and I do have one) is that if you're going to have a vanity plate, it should at least be somewhat obvious to the common man. I shouldn't spend my time trying to figure out your plate. You're obviously trying to send a message, so make it clear. If I ever do get a vanity plate, I'm going to make sure it's easy to read and obvious. It's going to say ACRONYM.
Monday, November 24, 2008
I'm normally a pretty generous person. If I see someone in need and I have a way to help them, I usually do. Having said that, I hate all the begging for free stuff and handouts on Craigslist. When I go into the "wanted" section, I'm looking for people that want to buy things that I want to get rid of. When I place an ad, it's because I want to sell something. If I'm giving it away, I'm really upfront about that and it's listed in the "free" section. I cannot tell you how many times I have put an ad out there only to have some person respond with a sob story and their hand out. I think most (not all) of these people are scammers just looking to get free stuff so they can sell it. I'd probably be more inclined to give to them if they were honest and just said "I make a living getting stuff for free and then selling it." I can totally respect that.
But sometimes, times really are tough. Here in Sunshineville there are a large number of foreclosures and short sales and the like. The economy isn't the best it's ever been. I personally have sent my resume to numerous companies and never heard one word. I even resorted to sending it to all the temp agencies and still got no response. Employment is hard to come by right now. And this affects people. People just like us.
While Mister C & I were on our daily walk we got to see it first hand. As we were walking past a house, the man living there was talking to the representative for the local power company. She was telling him that he had one hour to go pay his bill or she would be back to shut it off. He had a toddler in a diaper standing behind him. It broke my heart. But what can I do? Even if I had the money to pay his bill, is that going to be enough to stave off the bill collectors? Will it just mean his power can stay on for another month, but he's still going to get kicked out for not making the payment? My first instinct is to help the guy out but I guess I don't know what to do to be the most helpful. I'm really at a loss. Reading it in the paper or on the Internet, it's fairly easy to just skim over the problems and say "hey, it doesn't affect me so I'm not going to worry about it." And that worries me because it reminds me of the poem by Martin Niemoller.
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I was not a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Apparently, I've been very busy the past five days. Too busy to blog anything. Very busy indeed. Doing what? Ummm, I'm fairly sure I've made my bed a few times. I might have emptied the dishwasher once. There was coffee, walks, buying a fish...well, I'm sure there's more I accomplished. I just don't remember everything. I did manage to empty three more boxes and locate the bolts for Master J's bunk bed so I can sell it. That was a huge thing. I was starting to think I had lost those bolts and was going to have to go through all the packing paper that I had boxed up to find them. Turns out I'm just an idiot (again) and had set the bolts on top of a box. Which I then put another box on top of. I did search through the boxes but when I went to look through the bottom box, I lifted the top box and the lid to the bottom box at the same time. So I didn't see the bolts on the lid of the bottom box. Today I took the time to remove the top box and there they were. I also sold my moving boxes today as well. Half of them got picked up a few minutes ago and the other half will get picked up tomorrow when the guy's brother can lend him a pick up truck. I'm trying to get a few more things out there yet today so I can clear out some room and bring in some cash. My hope is that I can earn enough money to buy myself a bookshelf. Turns out that it's hard to get decent ones for not a lot of money. I've been searching. Anything under $150 is either made of press board or pre-dates the Hair bands of the 90s. All I want is a very specific size, solid wood bookshelf that will not look out of place in the same area as my dining room set. You'd think I was looking for a left kidney made out of gold. Ah well, I'll keep selling stuff until the amount of money I have matches the amount of money I need to get what I want.
In other news, I mentioned above how I bought a fish. Since I went to cichlids in my big tank, there was no way to put a betta in there. Since I've had a betta (or 2, or 75) for the last eight years, I just figured I'd get one and put it in it's own tank. So I went shopping and found a giant betta. These guys are pretty recent to the wholesale market (they've been available from breeders for a few years now). Anyway, I found a cool one and he's now sitting on the table. And guess who's sitting next to him to keep him company?
Yeah, she's very helpful that way!
I also finally spoke with a friend of mine that I've known for about 17 years. Turns out I should have called sooner, that way I could have gotten the bad news a little bit at a time instead of all at once.
First, her husband lost his job and is struggling to find a new one in this down market.
Second, they had to put her dog to sleep because he had gotten so sick recently.
And third, her thyroid cancer is back. She already had the surgery to remove the nodules on Halloween. Unfortunately that was the easy part. The hard part is coming up in January. It seems that in order for the radiation treatment to work, she has to go off her thyroid medication for at least a week. This gets all of the medicine out of her system and allows the radiation to work. But this is a miserable task. When she went through this before, all of her friends signed on to help out on different days just to try and help her though. We would bring her food and make her eat at least a little. We would take her for a walk as far as she could go (maybe a quarter mile, round trip, on a good day) just to get her moving. We would sit with her and talk and listen and know that whatever we had going on in our lives was nothing compared to what she was going through. Your thyroid affects so much that we don't even think about. When you get totally depleted like she's going to have to do, you aren't hungry but you want to eat. You're restless and exhausted but you don't have energy to move and you can't sleep either. You just float along and everything you should do, you can't. And it is miserable. And I wouldn't wish it on anyone. And this time, I can't even be there physically to help her out because I'm 1500 miles away. So I'll do the only thing I can do, I'll ask the God of my understanding to take care of her. And I'll send her cards while she's going through it that she won't appreciate until after she's gone through it and recovered. I'll call her and most likely talk with her husband about how she's doing. And I'll pray some more. Because that's what she'd do for me.
Monday, November 17, 2008
I did all my grocery shopping today for the next two weeks. I've started going to three different stores now. I get my paper products, chemicals & canned type food at a big name box store. I get my produce from Sprouts. Then I get my meat & dairy products at a "regular" grocery store. I hit the box store first, got everything I needed and dropped it off at home. Then I headed over to Sprouts for my produce. The parking looked a little full so I just took the first place I saw and started for the door. I walked in, grabbed a basket and started walking around. The first thing I notice is the Ortega taco shells. I didn't know they were organic. Hmm. Good to know I guess. I continue heading to the back where the produce is. As I walk through, I notice that there is an entire aisle dedicated to soda. What the hell? Boy this place has really changed since he last time I was here. Then I see another aisle that has nothing but Christmas decorations. What is going on? I finally get back to the produce section and it's pitiful. I mean just awful. Individually wrapped peppers and apples and tiny bags of salad. Holy mother has this place gone down hill. I notice a cooler of milk and it seems like the containers are really small so I go to check it out. Yup, only one quart containers. Okay, now I'm really confused. What happened to Sprouts? Were they taken over by someone that is completely clueless or what? In absolute disgust I start heading towards the front of the store to leave and that is when I start noticing all the signs everywhere screaming "EVERYTHING JUST .99 EVERY DAY!!!" And that is when I realize I have walked into the wrong store. I put my basket back, head out the door, turn right and walk 20 feet to the entrance to Sprouts. Just another day in my life.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I added more cichlids to my tank today. Nine more to be exact. So now I have a total of 12 cichlids in varying colors. Three of them are bright orange, three of them are neon yellow, two are yellow with stripes, two are yellow with spots, one is blue with stripes and Elvis will be bright blue, some day. They look pretty cool in my tank if I do say so myself (and I do!) The Antagonizer noticed the new members of the tank some time after noon today and immediately went over to check out the action. In the past, if she didn't have anything to sit on to observe, she would repeatedly jump up and try to catch the fish. Sometimes, she would bounce up and down a dozen times in a row, going from one end of the tank to the other trying to get a certain fish. It was quite comical. The fish would freak out and about run into each other trying to escape from the "paws of death that cannot reach us". Cichlids, apparently, are different. She went over to the tank and jumped a few times and they didn't scatter. They came closer. I had several plastic storage bins stacked by the tank that I haven't gotten around to putting away yet. She jumped up on those and started stalking the fish. But these guys, well, they stalk back. Pretty soon there were twelve little fish all bunched up, looking at her. They wouldn't scatter even when she attacked the glass. They just hovered there in their little gang and stared at her. They stared her down. And she got disgusted and left. Score one for the Cichlid Gang! I think I'm really going to like these guys!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I'm thinking back to a time when I had built in bookshelves, too many cabinets and a basement. I'm looking around at my house and wondering what the heck I was thinking when I collected all the stuff that used to sit in those built ins and cabinets and in my basement. I love classic books. I have a fairly decent start on my collection of banned books. Probably over a hundred at this point. And that's just the classics, that doesn't even begin to cover the not so classic. And now, they are sitting in stacks on the floor of my living room. I have a ton of pictures as well. They are also in my living room, leaned up against a wall. I have collected pieces of art like objects (think beaded lizard from Mexico, spear from some Arizona Reservation, etc.) from our travels. Those are covering my dining room table. I think I hit a brick wall on working around here. I am overwhelmed with what remains to be done. I need storage. Mister C went out and bought himself new office furniture before our furniture even arrived from the Midwest. It included two nice bookshelves. His stuff is put away. He doesn't see any reason to go out and buy a bookshelf for my books any time soon. Because his stuff is put away. My stuff is sitting on the floor. I can't walk around the left side of my couch in my living room because the three foot space between the couch and the wall is full of stacks of stuff. I may have to go to a few antique stores on Monday with Mom and search for a bookshelf on my own. I may have to use his own words against him "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission." I wouldn't usually do that, but I'm getting desperate. I need order. I need my living room (where my fish tank is) to be peaceful and serene. I need to not see the books, pictures and artwork that I love stacked on the floor like some sort of hoarder starting kit. I need serenity. Now.
Friday, November 14, 2008
I've had fish for about the last eight years. It started out as one male Betta in a tank "for Master J". He may not have actually been born yet, I don't really remember all the details. I just know that I really wanted a Betta. He was beautiful and we named him Fred. Right around the time Master J was two, Fred started feeling his age. He started hanging out in the bottom of his tank and when he would try to swim to the top it was pretty pathetic. Luckily, his illness didn't last long and he died within 48 hours. Please not that I didn't say it was lucky for Fred. Anyway, not wanting to have to explain death to my child just yet, I rushed out and purchased a carbon copy and promptly named him Fred. When Master J saw him swimming happily around his tank he commented that "Fred got better!" and all was right with the world.
When we moved from that house to our next home, I went out and got a 20 long tank so that I could purchase some Bettas with pedigrees. I had my dad cut some pieces of heavy duty mesh to divide the tank into four compartments and ordered a pair of Bettas from a lady in California. She sent two extras at no charge so I ended up with two males & two females, each in their own apartment (as Master J always called it.) At one time I did spawn a pair and ended up with over 70 babies. I gave away almost all of the males and kept the females in a second 20 gallon tank that someone had given Mister C.
Then came the big tank. For whatever reason, one day I decided that what I really wanted was a big tank. Specifically, I was looking at a 75 gallon one. I figured out what it would cost and started saving my allowance so I could buy it on my own. Side note, yes, we both get an allowance. It's part of our family budget and we both get the same amount every pay day. It makes sense for us. Moving on. I gave up buying things like coffee and such so I could save more money. I must drink a lot of coffee because within six months I had over $800 saved for my tank. I told Mister C that I thought I was almost ready to go buy my tank and that we should probably start pricing things just to make sure. We went out that day and I definitely had enough. But, Mister C was being drawn to the bigger tanks. I tried to explain that I only had enough for the 75 gallon tank and I really wanted to buy it soon. It would take me months to save enough to get an even bigger tank. But Mister C had set his mind on the bigger tank and even offered to make up the difference from the family funds. Yay! Of course I agreed to that. So we ended up with a 125 gallon tank that day.
I set up my new big tank as tropical. I added some clown loaches, a few bamboo shrimp, catfish & the typical tetras. And my female Bettas. I also added a leporinus fasciatus. This community did very well together.
When we moved (again), I moved my fish with us. I added a couple of Albino something or others and the remains of a friend's tropical community. They were moving and didn't want to move their fish. Mostly they had a bunch of guppies. Which did not make it in my tank. They fit in too many other fishes mouths.
Then we moved (again) and since it was a cross county move I elected to give away my fish. About six months after we moved I finally set up my tank again. This time, Mister C was with me when I was going to stock it and he kept gravitating towards the cichlid section. I wanted nothing to do with them since they are notorious for being aggressive. No, I put my foot down on the cichlids, they would not dwell in my tank of peacefulness and joy. Instead, I ended up with a killer in the form of my new leporinus facsiatus. The first one must have been a male. He never did a whole lot. He mostly floated around looking tough. This one was an absolute killer. It searched for stuff to kill and eat. My tank became the tank of death as this fish ate it's way through whatever I threw in there. It ate 17 neon tetras and 5 female bettas in a matter of weeks. I ended up with seven fish that I could keep with her, all of them close to her in size. Nothing else would survive.
And now we've moved (again). Since this was also a cross country move (back to Sunshineville) I again elected to re home my fish and start over. I got my tank set up last week and have been running it empty since. Today I went over to the fish store to pick up some test strips to see how my water is in the tank. While I was there, I started looking at the fish trying to figure out what I was going to put in this time. A worker asked if I needed any help and I explained how I was setting up my tank again and starting over. When he found out how big the tank was he suggested cichlids. I related to him all the negative I'd ever heard about them. How they can only be kept with other cichlids. How you can only have one or two in a tank no matter how big. How hard they were to feed, etc. He then told me some things that basically refuted most of what I'd heard. He admitted that some were extremely aggressive (Jack Dempsey, anyone?), but not all. He told me that loaches make great tankmates for them. He explained that if they had places to hide I could have around 20 of them in my tank. The less aggressive ones were even easier to feed since they didn't require meat (although they will eat it). And the best part? The water that comes out of the tap in Sunshineville is pretty much perfect for cichlids. I am sold. Welcome to the Dark Side. I now have three new fishes, all cichlids. One of them will be a blue so bright and vibrant that it's almost cobalt blue. The other two will be a bright yellow with blue on their heads. Next week I'll be looking for some orange ones that I can add. I am so excited to finally get some bright colored fish in my tank. That's always been my one complaint with my tropical set up, most tropical fish aren't as bright as the salt water fish are. Now, I can have all the color, with none of the expense.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
We have a list of things that need to get done in the morning by Master J prior to school. After the list is complete, he can do pretty much whatever he wants until about three minutes before we're supposed to leave. I set a timer to go off three minutes before we're due to leave so he has ample warning. As a side note, the timer is an absolute God-send. It gives him the warning without involving me and trust me, if I'm not involved it's better for everyone. I don't nag, he doesn't fuss, pure bliss. Anyway, when the timer goes off, he gets his shoes on, grabs his backpack and gets in the car. Or sometimes he gets his backpack and carries his shoes to the car. I don't really care what order so long as he, his backpack and his shoes are in the car on schedule to leave. This morning, after he got everything on his list done, he was reading on the couch until it was time to get going. The timer goes off, he puts his book down, grabs his backpack and then we have this conversation:
J: Where's my shoes?
M: I have no idea
J: Well, where do you think I put them?
M: I don't know. I don't wear them.
J: Mom, I can't find them!
M: I'm sorry to hear that. You need to hurry up.
J: I can't hurry up if I can't find my shoes! Please help me find them!
M: Dude, this is why I repeatedly tell you to put your stuff back where it belongs. I am always telling you to not just drop stuff where you're standing and this is exactly why. Now you can't find your shoes and you're going to be late. Please start putting your stuff where it belongs so we don't have to go through this.
J: Oh never mind, I found them.
M: Great, now go get in the car.
M (to Mister C): Where's my shoes?
Mister C just shakes his head.
M: I know, but where did I put them?
MC: You are pathetic!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
With my washer and dryer, that is. My washer got unhooked the week before we moved so that would be some time around the 18th of October. With the exception of several loads of laundry at my mom's of mostly Master J's clothing, I have not done laundry in just over three weeks. Three weeks. In a row. Do you know how much laundry can be produced by a family of three in three weeks? Especially when one of them is a seven year old boy? I did nine loads of laundry today. I have not washed the sheets yet. The pile of dirty clothes in my bathroom was counter high and spilling across the floor the entire length of the tub. It took me four loads just to realize that there was a laundry basket under it all. I never thought I would be grateful to be able to do something as mundane as laundry, but I am.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I have spent the past two days unpacking boxes. Well, that's not entirely true. I spent about six hours on Wednesday playing "All My Stuff Bingo". The game goes like this: A moving truck pulls up in front of the house and the boss lady hands you a pen, a clipboard and a piece of paper with the numbers 1 - whatever in little boxes. In my case, the "whatever" was 292. Then, as the the guys are taking stuff off the big truck, they holler out random numbers that fall in the range on the paper and you put an x on that number. Sometimes, two different guys call out the same number five minutes apart and you get to figure out why your number already has an x on it. Sometimes you need to use the little girl's room and when you come back seven number have been called and nobody remembers what they were. When the truck is empty, you look at your paper and realize that a bunch of numbers don't have an x on them. Then your job is to search frantically through the house to find items with one of those numbers stuck to it. These items are usually listed in the bill of lading as "Box - brown, square". It's very helpful that way. At the end of the day, when all your numbers have an x on them, your prize it that all of your crap made it to it's final destination. In that respect, I got a "Bingo". As the movers made their way to their respective vehicles yesterday, they all said kind and helpful things such as "Your work is just beginning, hee, hee!" I still tipped them in spite of that.
Once they left I started opening boxes. Mom was over and she helped me put Master J's room together. Let's just say the boy could never get another toy his entire childhood and he shouldn't ever get bored. In our previous house, he had a playroom for all of his stuff. Not so much here. In our previous house, we had a full basement. Again, not so much here. But we did manage to get most of it put away. I also managed to get my bedroom into some semblance of order as well. The closet is still a huge mess, but the bedroom itself doesn't look half bad. Today I focused on the kitchen. As of 11:00 tonight, I would estimate it at about 95% done. My kitchen table is clear and usable. My breakfast bar is clear and usable. Most of my counter tops are clear. There are no unopened boxes in this room. I had help in the form of Mom again which was nice. Mostly she took care of Master J for me. Did I forget to mention that he was home with a fever, sore throat and headache? Yeah, just in time for the unpacking, he turns up with illness. When Master J is truly sick, you never hear a word out of him so it was really pretty quiet today.
In the midst of all of the unpacking I had Mister C calling me from our previous town where he was sitting at a title company signing the paperwork to sell our house and buy our buyer's house. We are now officially landlords. I have great hope that this will work out for us and our soon to be renter. I have to say it's a little bit scary to be kind of hanging out there financially, hoping that some guy we've never met sends us money every month. This is where I have to have faith and trust that what we're doing is the right thing and that we're doing it for the right reasons. And that the adage about no good deed going unpunished isn't true in this case.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
If you've been around me for a little while, or have read any of the past posts regarding Master J's schooling in his previous school, you will like this. This past Monday was his first day at his new school in Sunshineville. Prior to him starting school here, I did the same thing I did in the past when he first started school here in Sunshineville and again when he started at Midwest Loser Elementary, which is that I gave them a "head's up" regarding Master J's personality. I believe Master J is a bright child, with a big personality and that he is an awesome judge of character. I also get that he can be a challenge sometimes.
I gave the "heads up" prior to him going into kindergarten here in Sunshineville. They took me seriously and put into place things that would help him learn in the best way he could. His teacher always referred to him as "Gigantic Master J" because, as she said, his personality was just so large. She adored him. And he behaved.
I gave the "heads up" to the management at Midwest Loser Elementary prior to him starting first grade. They nodded knowingly and proceeded to do the exact opposite of what I said. They hyper focused on which hand he wrote with (he's ambidextrous) to the point that he would cry in frustration because he was always in trouble if he switched hands in the middle of writing. Once they had drilled into him only using one hand, he started getting in trouble because he wouldn't follow directions in P.E. by switching hands when dribbling a basketball. His behavior went downhill. I asked them to test him for the gifted class. They finally relented, but then sent a note home saying he didn't qualify. They didn't send me his test scores. By the end of the year, they were trying to bully Mister C & I into putting our beautiful child in special education because he had such behavior issues at school.
I gave the "heads up" to the idiots at Midwest Loser Elementary prior to him starting second grade. They said thanks so much, but they would rather do what they always did. And if I would just agree to put him into special education or maybe consider some medication, then maybe they would be forced into doing as I asked. I asked if maybe they thought his behavior would improve if he wasn't so bored in class and they acted as though that were as preposterous as if I were suggesting they all set their hair on fire and run naked through the halls during lunch. His behavior went further downhill.
I gave the "heads up" to his new school in Sunshineville and they thanked me for taking the time to put something together for them. And they read it. And they said they were glad because "nobody knows your child as well as you do and we really appreciate when parents can give us ideas about what works with their child." And they started testing my child to see how bright he is. And he's reading at a 7th grade level. He's seven. And they're going to test him to see if he qualifies for the gifted classes, but they're pretty sure he does. And they like him. And he knows it. And so far, he hasn't acted out. I know it's only been four days, but at his old school, he hadn't gone four days in a row without visiting the principal's office in the entire time he was there. For most of this year, he was in there at least once a day and usually multiple times.
It's good to be back in Sunshineville.
So the movers finally wrapped up around 4:30 and I then put all my frozen food into a box to bring to my friend Brandy that I was supposed to be meeting for dinner. I got over to her place right around the time that she was getting home from work which worked out very well. Now, we were supposed to be meeting our friend Kat for dinner right around that time so I called to tell her that we would be late. Only Kat was having an insulin reaction and couldn't feel her arms. I thought about telling her to suck it up and drive with her knees, but then thought to myself "Hey, now I can shower!" so I played nice and told her it was okay to just take care of herself and call us when she felt better. By the time I got done showering and Brandy got done getting ready, Kat was on the phone wondering when we were going to dinner because now she was hungry. Only none of us knew where we were going to eat and I still had to print out a power of attorney form to have Kat witness and Brandy notarize so Mister C can sign my name next week for the closing. I let the two of them sort it out while I fought with some word processing software over how the heck to get the poa modified and printed out. Finally, Brandy stepped in and did it for me. It really is nice to have friends with brains. Anyway, they had finally decided on a restaurant near Kat's house and Brandy and I headed down to it immediately with plans to call Kat when we were close so she didn't have to wait around for us. Turns out we should have told her we were almost there as we were actually walking out the door because while it took us 15 minutes to get there, it took Kat 30. Go figure. Guess it's sort of like church, the closer you live to it, the later you get there. The restaurant the girls had decided on was an old Italian style steakhouse. Which basically means that whatever you order comes with two side dishes that are really like main dishes. I chose spaghetti & a baked potato as my sides. It also means they bring you lots and lots of bread. The bread of course is just a tool to get the mounds of butter into you. We probably sat there eating and laughing for almost two hours. I'm surprised we didn't get kicked out, and I'm sure the patrons around us had quite a tale to tell later but we sure had a blast.
After dinner, we follow Kat home and she hopped in our car and we (we meaning Kat & I) decided to find a margarita bar, which apparently doesn't exist in that town. Now, Brandy said there was one. She claims to have gone to it. But there is no proof of this. Let's just say that after she called quite of few of the people in her phone, most of whom did not answer (umm, something we should know?) she still couldn't remember where this fantastic (fictional) margarita bar was. When she finally did get a hold of someone, at first he thought he might know what she was talking about, but eventually as she described in great detail everything about this place, he realized he did not in fact know what the heck she was talking about. Finally, we gave up and decided to go to a dive bar and regroup and hope that someone there had heard of Margarita Nirvana (they hadn't).
Ah, but the dive bar was another experience by itself. First of all, it's Tuesday, so it wasn't exactly packed. Secondly, the people that were in it, were socially inept. Not in a fun "how cute!" way either. No, while one member of a certain table was wheeling over to our table repeatedly saying such things as "My friend thinks I'm racist because I won't vote for Obama (he himself was black) and telling me that I laugh "like a black woman" (WTF does that mean?), his friend was running away to the bathroom to hide out of embarrassment. (For the record, none of us were there to pick up men, we really just wanted to find a place where we could talk and laugh raucously without being kicked out.) At one point the entire other table got up to use the restroom and we took that opportunity to bail out. Their margaritas had sucked badly enough that I hadn't drank more than 1/3 of it anyway so I wasn't upset to leave. We moved on to another place that supposedly had good margaritas, only as we're going to the door a man standing outside tells us that the place just locked the doors. He goes on to say that he and his party are moving on to a nearby bar that has great bartenders and we should follow. He seemed pretty normal so we decided that maybe that was a good idea. Yeah, not so much. We got over there and as we're walking in, Brandy & Kat are in front of me and Kat said something to Brandy to which Brandy replied "You think?". I walked in and the first thing I see is a platinum blond "woman" chatting with a guy at the bar. My first impression is that this is actually a guy, but I didn't say anything because what if I'm wrong? What if it's just a woman with a hormone issue and I'm judging? Besides, if it is a guy, I'm fairly sure that "she" could kick my ass so I'm not saying anything. Well, five minutes later Kat is telling us that we need to go and in the parking lot we figure out that she has seen our gentleman "snuggling" with another man. A man he has said was a "client". Oh great. Not only do we slide into a gay bar, we manage to find one that caters to "working" people. So out we go. We finally stopped at Mexican restaurant and hit their bar. We are the only three in there, which is probably a good thing. We stayed there about an hour before dragging Kat back to her home while Brandy & I went back to her place where I was spending the night. We got to bed after midnight and she was kind enough to let me sleep until 7:30 the next morning while she got ready for work. That was probably the best time I've had with friends in a long time. I don't think I've laughed that much in ages. Now we just have to figure out how to get together every few months even though we're 1500 miles apart.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday evening, I flew back to my old town to meet the movers, finish up some painting, hang out for the carpet cleaner, do a walk through on the house we're planning to rent out, change our address at the post office, turn in our cable cards and hang with my girlfriends. Whew! I got an evening flight because I really wanted to pick up Master J from his first day of school in his new school. My flight landed at 11:35 and by the time we got off the plane and to the rental car desk all they had left was minivans. I think this is how they punish you for making them work until midnight. Oh well, minivan or no vehicle? Yeah, I'm sucking it up and driving a minivan. Again. I hate them, but they do get you where you're going so I guess I can survive. Anyway, I got to our house close to 1:00 and it was FREEZING! Mister C had turned the heat down to 55 degrees to save a few bucks. Nice. I was planning on painting as soon as I got in but paint requires a little more heat to dry properly so that was out. So I started throwing what I thought were just a few last minute items into boxes to finish up the packing before the movers got there in the morning. I ended up staying up until 3:00 am. Which is when I figured out that Mister C had also turned the water off. I went down to the basement to see if I could figure out which knobs to turn but for the life of me I couldn't remember anything. I knew Mister C had told me that two of them needed to be turned on and he had even showed me which two. Evidently though, I was sort of tuning him out at the time because while I can clearly remember him standing there and asking me if I understood, and I clearly remember telling him that I did, I clearly did not. I knew there was no way I was going to call and wake him up so I just went to bed.
The alarm went off at six and I actually got right up. I had no coffee pot so I figured the first thing I needed to do was head to FourBucks and get some coffee. As I was getting ready to go, I remembered that it was garbage day and thought I should probably put that on the curb. I went in to the garage and reminded myself that I needed to plug in the garage door openers because Mister C had unplugged them as a theft deterrent. But I didn't remember that he had also used the slide bolts. I plugged in the openers and pushed the first button. The door started to go up, then hit the bolt and just stopped. I pushed the button again, hoping that it would just go down, but no. That would be too easy. It went down. And then right back up to the stuck position. So I tried to race it. You know, push the button so it goes down and run like hell over to try and unbolt it before it goes back up. I would stand in the "launch" position, with one foot in front of the other and my finger on the button, push the button and run. Just as I would get to the damn door, it would be hitting the bolt again. AAAAARRRGGGHHH! I'm sure if anyone had seen me they would have had me committed. Un-showered, slept in cloths, wild hair, running like a madwoman and cursing as I'm going. Oh yeah, I'm quite a sight. I finally gave up and used the other garage door (which I unbolted first)to take the garbage out. I got my coffee and coffee cake and headed back to the house. The movers showed up at 9:30 and the first thing I had one of them do was push the stupid button while I unbolted the door.
The movers asked me if I needed to go anywhere or if I was staying the whole time. I told them I was staying. Honestly, I thought it would take about three or four hours. I mean, Mister C and I have moved our entire house in eight hours with three of us. There was four of them. And the do this for a living. Long story short, it took them 7 1/2 hours to get everything out of the house. I couldn't go get lunch, or snacks, or run errands or anything. The first thing they took was the family room furniture and all the dining chairs. Then they took all the mattresses off and stood them on end. Then I don't know what the hell they did because it seemed to slow way down. And I had nowhere to sit. Or nap. I think there's a possibility they may have hoped I was going to buy them lunch. And normally, I would have. But I couldn't get my car out. My "lunch" consisted of a squished peppermint patty and a chocolate bar that has been in our refrigerator for way too long. Mmmm, candy!
I'll have to finish this up tomorrow since it's now after 11:00 and I am exhausted.
Posted by Mirth at 10:39 PM
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Because I have no furniture and am forced to sit on the floor. Not for any other reason that you people might come up with - geesh! Mister C & I brought along our queen size blow up mattress which, frankly, is not comfortable for one let alone both of us. And having nothing else to perch on, the cats are both jammed on it as well. Thank goodness the dogs are still at my parent's house or they'd be trying to slide on to it too. We borrowed two patio chairs from my folks but dragging them back and forth depending on whether we want to be in or out is a pain so we tend to leave them wherever until we absolutely need to move them. We did go out yesterday and purchase a new bed and bedding for Master J so he at least had a good night sleep. I almost forgot the following discussion with Master J regarding acquiring aforementioned bed yesterday morning:
J: What size bed am I getting?
M: I'm not sure. I was thinking about a queen but I'm not sure if that would fit.
J: So what size do you have?
M: Well, we have a king size
J: So I guess my old bed is a rook size then?
M: Hahahahaha! Um, no. That would be a twin, but thanks for making me laugh.
We ended up getting him a twin since it would leave more floor space to play. Having said that, he currently has no floor space on which to play since he locked his door this morning at 7:30 and we have no interior keys to open anything up. I'm waiting on Mom to bring me one of her keys so I can open it up and give him a place to sleep tonight. I should just make him sleep on the floor, but I can't be that mean to him.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Hey there! I'm back. It's costing me $9.99 plus the $4.94 for a large cup of coffee, but I'm back on the Internet. Ahhhhh! Let me slide down into my comfort zone of accessiblity before I go on. There we are. So let me explain what's going on in my life of chaos. First of all, there is no Internet at my parent's house for some reason. They had it when I arrived, but it went away and hasn't come back. No matter how much I beg. Anyway, back tracking a bit, if you remember, we had sold our house that wasn't on the market. Yay! How exciting! And we had found and were in the process of purchasing our new house in Sunshineville. Yay, again! But then, our crazy buyers freaked out because their buyer couldn't get financing. Oh no! This is a problem. I got the phone call for this on the Monday after we arrived in Sunshineville. But I have a new house that I'm getting the keys to on Thursday. I have movers scheduled to take my stuff from my old house to Sunshineville. I have a carpet cleaner scheduled. Oh crap! This sucks! I called Mister C to inform him of this. He was not happy. In fact, he would be the polar opposite of happy, whatever that would be. And he was getting on an airplane in like three minutes so he didn't have time to talk this out with me (which in this situation isn't necessarily a bad thing!) What he did have though, was several hours on an airplane with nothing to do but think. And my husband, apparently, is a creative genius. Because by the time he landed in some tiny town in Oregon, he had it all figured out. And all he had to do was get everyone to agreee. He set up a conference call between us, the buyers, the buyer's buyer and the real estate agent. And he laid out a plan that was so simple, so clever, so logical that they had to agree. We would sell our house to the buyers. We would buy their house from them and then lease the house back to their buyer with the option to buy. Absolute genius. And they all agreed. So that my friends is what happens when you tell a bright, stubborn man that he can't do what he wants to do. I'll keep you posted on what happens, but so far, it's looking pretty good.
Monday, October 20, 2008
We're here! We made it to Sunshineville Sunday afternoon. It's sunny. And blessedly warm. MMMMMMM, warm sunshine! I ended up taking The Antagonizer into my car fairly early in the day since she was driving Mister C insane with her incessant meowing. Around 8:15 in the morning, he suddenly pulled off the highway and into a field. I followed and once we were both there, he jumped out and announced that he thought the cat had to go to the bathroom because she wouldn't stop yowling. Mister C wanted to just put the litter box on the ground and put the cat in it so she could go. I pointed out that that was probably the dumbest thing I'd ever heard of. Put the cat down in an open field, by a major highway, in the middle of nowhere and hope she doesn't just take off in a panic? Ummm, no. So I decided to take the dogs out of my car, put the cat box in the back seat (I have drop clothes to protect the seats) and put the cat in there to see if she'll use it. Well, everything went fine right up to the part where she's supposed to use the box. She doesn't want to. Instead, she goes from window to window meowing at us. Which was pretty funny to us because all we could see was her mouth moving, but no sound coming out. Tee hee! Then I laughingly told Mister C to "check it out, she's going to drive off!" because she was in the driver's seat. Ha ha. But suddenly, the windows started going down. WTF? Oh my! The cat is stepping on the buttons and making the windows go down! I had left the car running with the a/c on so that Harry wouldn't get overheated but now the cat was pushing buttons. I ran around to the driver's side and shooed her back into the back seat where she climbed up into the back window and meowed some more at us. I'm not thinking the cat has to use the bathroom so much as she's just being ornery about riding in the car. So we put everyone back in their proper vehicles and start back on our way. We got to the next gas stop about 20 minutes later and Mister C informed me that he couldn't take her yowling any more so I offered to take her in my car. Now, I was a little worried about this because up to this point, my car had been pretty peaceful. Nobody was yowling or whining or complaining or talking at me. I could just go along, listening to my music and generally zoning out. Either way, Mister C was obviously stressed and I'm sure it was starting to affect Master J's behavior as well so I took The Antagonizer and strapped her kennel into the front street. Where she proceeded to meow loudly as we drove out of the station. I grabbed a tissue and sort of waved it near her kennel and she immediately responded with a "MMMROOWW!" and then dragged it into her kennel. Then she lay down and promptly fell asleep for the rest of the day. She pretty much only stirred when we stopped for gas and even then, she was quiet. Guess we all need some sort of comfort item when we're stressed!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
We left Nebraska this morning on the first leg of our trip to Sunshineville, where we are moving. Mister C had his truck loaded up with a whole bunch of computer stuff, plus both cats & Master J. My trunk was loaded to the top and I also had the two dogs and the guinea pig, Harry. The dogs were in the back seat and Harry was riding shotgun and serving as my co-pilot. Until he ate my atlas. And then dragged the remains of it over himself to use as his hideout. Yeah, as far as co-pilots go, he pretty much sucked. Maybe he'll do better tomorrow.
The dogs did pretty well. This morning while we were loading the cars, they were both pretty panicky, most likely worried they were going to be left. Once in the car, The Intellectual couldn't relax and kept pacing from one window to the the other. I'm sure she was wondering if we were going to the vet or the kennel or some other such place. ADHD Girl, on the other hand, passed out as soon as she was physically in the car. I guess she figured she was going and that was good enough for her. This only became a problem when The Intellectual decided she wanted to see out the window that ADHD Girl was laying by. She walked across the top of ADHD Girl and jammed herself in the tiny space between her and the door. Then, to add insult to injury, she actually sat on ADHD Girl's shoulder and rested her chin on the window sill with her nose pressed up against the glass. She fell asleep like this. ADHD Girl never opened her eyes.
We are currently sitting in a hotel in Raton, NM after driving for 12 hours today. We spent an additional hour driving around trying to figure out how to get to our hotel, which we could see from the highway. We drove down side streets and got back on the highway several times. At one point Mister C called me to tell me that he was going to drive across the grass median on the highway so he could turn around. And then he stopped. On the highway. Directly in front of me. Just, slammed on his brakes and stopped. Both dogs flew forward off the back seat where they had been sleeping and hit the floor. Everything from the front passenger seat flew into Harry's bin. My back twisted royally and I almost hit my face on the steering wheel. Then, Mister C announced that he wasn't going to cross there after all and drove off like nothing had happened. It's probably a really good thing we're in separate cars.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I was perusing the school web page for Master J's new school in Sunshineville and came across the second grade spelling and vocabulary lists. The following is the conversation that ensued.
Me: Hey, do you guys have vocabulary lists at *Loser Elementary?
MJ: What's a vocabulary list?
Me: You don't even know what a vocabulary list is?
MJ: No. I don't even know what that word means.
Me: Well, it's a list of words that are new to the students and you learn what each word means.
MJ: So I'm going to guess that "vocabulary" would be the first word on my vocabulary list, huh?
Me: That's my boy!
*Name has been changed to protect the not so innocent. And because I don't like lawsuits.
Yesterday was Master J's last day at his current school. Five minutes after I got home from dropping him off, the phone rang. When I saw the school's number, my heart sank and I debated whether to even pick it up. I did, and it was Master J calling to tell me he had forgotten his library book on his bed and asking me if I could bring it in for him. Whew! I assured him I would when I brought in the treats he wanted to share. So I got back in my car and headed over to the local grocer to find some cookies for the 48 (they've added a few) children in the "double den" of chaos that is (was) my son's classroom. It took me several confused minutes to locate the baked goods under the big "Bakery" sign. One of the bakers finally felt sorry enough for me to come out and offer assistance. Five feet from where I was standing, in the middle of an open area, was a large table that was heaped with boxes of cookies. Large, bright signs declared "COOKIES" in bold letters. They really shouldn't hide it like that if they expect people to find it. Anyway, five boxes of cookies later and I headed over to the school to drop of the booty and the library book. When I walk in to the classroom, all the children are sitting on the floor listening to the student teacher read a book. All the children except mine that is. My son was sitting at a table, doing a Sudoku puzzle. My tax dollars, hard at work. He saw me, thanked me for bringing his library book and the cookies and went back to work on his puzzle. His teacher came over to take the cookies and thank me for all my time spent volunteering and wish me luck in our new location. I headed back home to finish some more packing. At the end of the day, Master J got in my car very excited because he'd only been to the safe seat twice and everyone had hugged him before he left. They gave him a really cute card that all the kids had signed and both his teacher and the student teacher wrote really nice notes about how great he was. Several of the girls had even given him their phone numbers and addresses so he could stay in contact with them. Even the boy that had bullied him wanted a hug before he left. I'm so proud of my son for being able to do that without "accidentally" kneeing that boy in the groin or something. He's a better man than I. All in all, a good end to his school career in the land of no opportunity. Here's hoping that 20 years from now, when his name is synonymous with all that is good and right with being a billionaire, some of the people that wanted to put him in special education for talking out of turn will finally see the error of their ways. Here's hoping he has more class than his mother and doesn't even consider using his success as a weapon to shame them with.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I've been packing for days. It seems like years. And yet I look around and I think "Holy Mother of all that is good, have I done ANYTHING?" I'm totally done with exactly two rooms, mostly done with three rooms, sorta done with one room and barely started on the remaining. How is that possible? Today for example, if I account for the two hours of phone calls, I've still spent at least 8 hours packing and I can barely tell the difference. What I am noticing is all the damage I'm uncovering as I'm removing things from each room. How does a house get so beat up in 18 months? Crud. I struggle with the desire to fix the small dents and dings because I know that the next owners will just be painting over my fixes anyway. Besides, we've just about paid them to take the house off our hands and I'd hate to waste any more of my time and effort. Well, I need to fix Master J his dinner before going back to the packing, so I guess my break is over.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Master J got a balloon at Sunday school yesterday that he proceeded to draw a face on after we got home. He told me early in the day that the balloon person was me because it had long hair and was smiling. Anyway, when I went to to bed last night, I found the balloon already in my bed, with it's little balloony head placed ever so carefully on a pillow. He had even turned off the ceiling fan to prevent an escape. Turns out that since Mister C is out of town (again) Master J didn't want me to sleep alone. How cute is that?
And oh yeah, if I'm going to use God as an example I need to get the story right. A few days ago I was trying to get Master J to clean up his room in preparation for our upcoming move. I must have asked him five times to get going on it and was met with resistance each time. He told me it was "too hard" to do. Finally, in exasperation, I said "If God could create the whole world in seven days, I'm fairly sure you can pick up your Legos in less than one." To which he replied "Moooommm, God created the world in six days, geesh don't you know anything?" Aren't we about 10 years too early for an eye roll?
Saturday, October 11, 2008
The Minion wanted to go to DQ tonight to get a malt since we didn't have any ice cream in the house. I asked Mister C if he wanted to go with her since she didn't know where it was but he declined. So I volunteered. I even drove. See how nice I am? There was a line of cars at the drive-thru so we decided to just go inside. Okay, I need to back up a little bit here. Before we left, we asked the menfolk what they wanted and while Mister C answered with his typical request, his dad hemmed and hawed about what he wanted. He really wanted a banana split, but he was a little worried because sometimes they've made him one and the banana is overly ripe (ewww!) so he thought he would just get a sundae. Okay, back to DQ. So The Minion and I walk into the DQ, staffed by young male teenagers and she walks up to the counter and says (and I am SO not kidding!) "Can I see your bananas? I just want to see how firm they are." And I lost it. Kudos to the young man behind the counter because he didn't say a word, just turned around and got the bananas. She then proceeded to feel each one while saying "I'm just looking for the firmest one". Well I'm sorry, but there is no way I'm letting this go. I was dying. I told her I wasn't taking her out in public any more. I should have mentioned that I was taking her back to "The Home" after our little outing, but I couldn't stop laughing long enough to get it out. When the kid totaled everything up, I handed him money and she looks at me and says "You're paying?" and I told her "At this point, I just want to get out of here before you say anything else." All in all, this was probably the best visit I've ever had with her.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I'm preparing for a visit from my MIL. I struggle with this relationship. For the sake of my husband, I put up with her, although I doubt their relationship is really good for him either. I try to put aside my distrust and be pleasant and non-confrontational in my dealings with Satan's minion, but, alas, it is difficult. To say the least. She does not make it any easier. Without going too far into detail, I will just say that I (we) have been kicked out of her home on multiple occasions and I was always glad to go. She threatened to slap my child for a minor infraction when he was two (one of the few times I would have gladly disemboweled her). She screams long and loud when she doesn't get her way, then accuses those around her of being to blame for her behavior. She actively tries to cultivate dissension among her children, always trying to point out how great her (current) favorite is and how evil the other ones are. She plays the victim and acts as though she is terrified of offending her daughters in law, although she is the one who's attacks should be feared. She is controlling, manipulative, sneaky and downright insane. It is never her fault. It is always ours. Mostly mine I suspect. Unfortunately for her, I refuse to bow down to her insanity. I tend to call it like I see it and not let her bowl me over. The biggest problem is that while I will be pleasant and kind just like I would with pretty much anyone, I will not cultivate a relationship with her because I do not trust her. Mister C has trouble with this because if she and I aren't on the same page, then he feels like he's in the middle. I try really hard not to do that to him because I don't think it's fair to him, not that that stops the Minion from trying. Her children all have their own baggage that they've carried into adulthood. We all do, but whereas mine is a carry on, they all have steamer trunks. There will be hell to pay if she ever stumbles across my blog and realizes I've posted about her. Hahahahahahaha! Whew! Like she would ever recognize her own behavior for the insanity it is. Now, where did I put the sanity juice?
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I almost killed someone today. It wouldn't have been my fault, but that sure wouldn't have made me feel any better at the end of the day. I was driving home after having lunch with a friend when it happened. Between lunch and my house, there is a fairly main road that is one lane in each direction. There are several spots where it widens out for a 100 feet or so into a right turn lane just before the stoplights. I was not turning right. I was driving straight, at about 45 mph, with a green light, when a woman in a minivan pulled out without stopping (or looking apparently) from a side street directly in front of me. I slammed on my brakes and locked them up to the point of creating smoke while simultaneously laying on the horn and throwing the appropriate New York Cabby gestures in her direction. I hope she noticed. I'm glad my kid wasn't in the car. I hate idiots. I'm sure she went on her merry way not giving one iota of concern over the idea that she could be dead, or worse yet, could have caused the demise of someone else. I'm sure in her idyllic soccer mom world, whatever that loud honking noise coming from the smoke screen was, it had nothing to do with her. She probably wondered why on earth the driver behind her was flipping her the bird while screaming and gesturing wildly. She probably thought I was singing along to "So What" by Pink. There must be something better planned for me in this life, because it looks like I'm supposed to be around for a little while longer.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Move, that is. It seems like things are kind of falling into place nicely. I mean, from getting the contract on our (not for sale) house on Sunday to getting really nice boxes cheap and now to selling stuff on Craigslist, things just seem to be really easy. Mister C has talked about getting new office furniture for some time now. He bought his book cases a decade ago and his desk two years later. It's a big desk. It's three pieces that need to get unbolted and then bolted back together every time we move. Honestly, it's kind of ugly. It's time to move on. So I put out an ad just to test the waters and see if I could get rid of it for a decent price. Evidently I can. Twenty four hours later, it's gone. This morning I put an ad out for the snow blower that we will have no use for in Sunshineville. By noon, it too was gone. We've gotten one estimate for movers that was pretty darn close to what it's going to cost us to move ourselves (we do our own packing). My guess on that is that with the housing "crisis", moving companies are cutting their prices to bring in more business. And lastly, I got a call from the roofer today. In our area, roofers are backed up for months because of the bad summer storms and tornadoes over the summer. If your roof isn't leaking, it's not a priority. Our roof is definitely not leaking, it's just missing a few shakes in one area, but our buyer wanted us to get it fixed. Barring that, we were looking at getting the estimate and then setting aside the money in an escrow account until the roofers could get out here to fix it. When I explained this to the roofer though, he thought that was just the dumbest thing he'd ever heard and told me he'd be out tomorrow to fix it so we didn't have to "go through all of that for that little fix". How cool is that? I know some people are probably thinking "He's not being nice, he just didn't want to lose the business." But considering that we're in a section of town that is getting entire roofs replaced in the $25,000 - 50,000 range. I'm guessing that my $250 repair (his previous quote) is not going to make or break his business. So, to wrap up, I'm starting to really feel like we're doing the right thing with this move and that maybe by just continuing to do the footwork and keeping my fingers out of the results, things will turn out like they're supposed to.
Posted by Mirth at 3:35 PM
Monday, October 6, 2008
This morning I put an ad on Craigslist to get rid of some of my old bras. The bras were gone in about 20 minutes, but the emails keep coming. The original ad is below, with the update below that. Guess I'm glad I made a few people's day a little brighter.
Women only please - (168th & Q)
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org [?]
Date: 2008-10-06, 10:31AM CDT
Looking to give away some of my "outgrown" bras. Unfortunately the girls changed size when I got pregnant and again when I gained 10 pounds a few years ago. So, I have 10 bras in size 36C and 7 that are size 38C. I would love to give these to someone who could use them. There are different styles and colors and all are clean. You will need to pick them up. Regarding the title of this ad, I have no issue if you're a man that wants to wear women's clothing. I just don't want to picture my bras on some burly biker guy covered in tattoos. So if you are a man that would really like my lacy, sexy bras, please for the love of all that is good, send your sister or your mom to pick these up. Thank you!
Wow! Thanks to all the women who identified themselves as such. I'm glad I could make a few people laugh today. As for Tom T - dude, I am so NOT modeling them If they still fit enough to model I wouldn't be getting rid of them.
Which is really weird because it's not listed for sale. Back in July, our house was for sale, and we had a contract but the buyer's backed out because their buyers backed out. We fired our agent, which is an entirely different story, and decided to hold off on selling our house until the spring. Not long after the whole deal fell apart we figured out that I was related to the buyer's agent through marriage. About a month ago, I called her up just to touch base with her and let her know that we planned to use her as our agent when we put our house on the market in the spring if she would be interested. At that time she told me that her buyer's had never found another house but still hadn't sold their house yet so they weren't really looking. I told her that we would be finishing our basement in preparation for selling in the spring but that if her buyer's wanted to buy it in it's current condition we would be willing. Of course they wouldn't make an offer because they didn't want to have two houses (who would?), so we sort of forgot about it. Well on Sunday morning as we were headed to church my phone rang and it was the agent. I didn't answer it because I didn't want to get on a phone call on the way into church and honestly I figured she was just checking in anyway. By the time we got out of church, I had two messages on my phone and Mister C had one as well. He called her back while I was making brunch and, wonder of wonders, her clients had accepted an offer on their house and were making one on ours. The agent is on vacation currently but she sent her husband (also and agent, retired) over to bring the offer. We countered it and sent it back out figuring they would turn it down but we weren't really concerned because we were already prepared to hold it until spring anyway. They accepted our counter and are evidently very happy about it. The timing is just about perfect in that we close on our new house in Sunshineville on the 23rd and we close on our current home on the 27th. So if all goes well we will be completely moved and only owning one house by Halloween, which will totally take a whole lot of stress off of us. Also, if everything goes well, this will be the quickest home sale we've ever done. The previous record for having an accepted contract was 24 hours, this one comes in under 3 hours. Guess it goes to show that when I keep my fingers out of, life just seems to work out.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
So the doorbell rings at 8:45 this morning. I open the door and it's a boy scout and (what I presume to be) his father, selling popcorn. I have an easy out that I have used the last week or so for people coming to my door. As much as I would LOVE a big ole box of butter light popcorn, I'm moving and I won't be here to receive the product. See how smart I am? Valid reason, nobody's feelings get hurt and I don't have to buy something I don't really want anyway. Ahhh, but then Dad pipes up that they just happen to have the kind I would buy, if I weren't moving, in the car and they can bring it to me right now. Damn the Boy scouts and their stupid motto!
Friday, October 3, 2008
So it was a pretty good day for Master J today at school. He only went to the safe seat 3 times for the whole day and never had to go to the principals office. I was supposed to volunteer yesterday, but since we had "Duct Guy" in the basement all morning, I couldn't get out of the house. I did go in today though, and got to do some cutting and gluing. It was just like kindergarten. Right down to getting rubber cement all over my fingers and having paper stick to me. Thank goodness the kids were at lunch while I was struggling with the basics in their room. It's no wonder my kid is like he is, I guarantee he didn't get it from strangers. Anyway, so after I was done volunteering I hit the grocery store to try and get something in the house other than 0'Douls and condiments. There have been complaints recently about the lack of consumables. What, doesn't every kid go to school with two baby carrots, wheat crackers and a ham sandwich (minus the bread)? Why, when I was a kid, after we walked 20 feet to the bus stop...we had pretty good lunches actually. Guess maybe I need to step it up a bit. While I was at the grocery store I picked up a few items for Master J in case he had a really good day. I got him a small bag of M&Ms and a one of those cheap flashlights. It worked out pretty well since he did have a pretty good day, so good planning on my part I suppose. After he ate the M&Ms, he went to work on his homework on the 15 minute plan. It took him three 15 minute chunks to finish, but no complaints and he really did a pretty good job with it. Elsewhere in my day, I managed to finish the trim work in the stairwell. Our handyman lent me one of those funkadelic ladders that can bend all over the place and sit levelly on uneven surfaces. Best. Invention. Ever. It took me about 15 minutes to get what I needed done. I still had Mister C stand below me and hold the ladder while I was on it, just in case, but honestly I'm pretty sure he didn't need to be there. Hell, he was holding some sort of conference call the whole time anyway so he had one hand on the ladder and the other on his phone held up to his ear. I'm fairly sure that had there been some sort of accident, he would have "shushed" me on my way down. After all of that, I did manage to pack several boxes of kitchen things. We got a ton of boxes yesterday from a super nice couple that I found on Craigslist. It was a great deal and the boxes were just about perfect, they were even already broken down. And they gave us three boxes full of very neatly folded packing paper. My plans for the weekend include packing up as much as possible while Mister C is still in town. That and putting a second coat of paint in the foyer to cover over where the previous owner's pink is still trying to escape through my more sedate beige.