28 November 2001

Weeee're back! Hooray and hoopla! Let's see what's happened around here lately...

Thanksgiving was nice. I worked, but that was actually kinda fun, spending the day with the residents who chose not to go home for the holiday. Then I met my family at the in-laws, and we had a nice visit. Friday we left to have the first Christmas gathering of the year, with my side of the family. We took family pictures Saturday morning, so I look forward to getting those sent out. Later in the afternoon was presents and feasting. Check my homepage for pictures of sis and I in our Christmas thongs. We have such progressive parents! (these pics disappeared in a server dump. We had them on over our jeans. Ha ha, aren't we clever...)

For those of you who haven't heard, the first snowstorm of the season (not blizzard, you need more cold and higher winds to create actual "blizzard" conditions) dumped nearly 30" of snow on us. Luckily, I had the day off, so we spent the day digging out of the gunk the snowplow dumped in front of the cars, and doing some major house cleaning and plastic hanging. We also got to battle the basement floor drain. One of the joys of potty training is teaching the kid how much paper to use. Thing 3 still needs a little work in this area, as she clogged the main sewer line with paper. Yeeks.

Well, off to feed the brood. Take care.

21 November 2001

I am sick to death of our domain being down!!! Argh! We're registered with Network Solutions and they haven't solved the (%&*& problem their tech guy caused in the first place!!! The idjit looked up the wrong name server IP numbers for our ISP. Because of the wrong numbers, our email is down, so they can't send us a confirmation email for the correction order. AAAAAAAAAH. Bloody nincompoops. Think we'll be paying register.com a little visit.

18 November 2001

Last night we set the alarm and woke the kids about 4:30 to view the meteor showers. It was well worth it. The kids actually got up without much grumbling once we told them what was up. We had a nice time. We snuggled against the house on our third floor rug porch and looked skyward. It was a clear moonless night, out here in a tiny town with few streetlights, we had a perfect view. God really knows what he's doing.

17 November 2001

OK, I have to try posting again. Crap.
Last night I stood in line for the first time in my life to see a movie. We packed the kids in to see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. It was worth the wait. They condensed it just a bit, but it was very true to the book and amazingly well done. The only complaint I have is that they condensed a bit too much on the kids' learning at Hogwarts. Harry Potter is a typical kids' book in that the kids solve dilemmas that the grown-ups apparently can't handle themselves, a common theme in children's lit. However, in the Harry Potter books, the author does a fairly nice job of building the characters up over the course of the novel so you can see how they learned the skills they use to solve the problems. They don't cover that aspect as well in the movie. Henson's Creature Shop does its' usual bang-up job on it's costuming and puppetry. Only gripe there is that the Goblins' hands were obviously gloves in that they could barely function, and were featured in rather close camera angles. It was a pleasant surprise to see ST:TNG's Rob Legato featured so prominently in the credits. Nice to know the crew is still working :). Anyway, highly recommended by me and my family. It does help to live in a town where you can take 4 kids and 3 adults to a movie for $24. And, wonder of wonders, our little bohunk theatre opened the movie, and will also be opening The Lord of the Rings. I am so pumped.

So that began our first family consumer night in a long time. I almost missed it. I was scheduled to work my last night at the hunting camp, but when I got there she said it was looking to be a very slow night, so I went home again and got to join my family at the movie. Anyway, the cinema is in the same congregate entertainment facility (ie: strip mall that houses less retail) as the bowling alley, so I wandered in to see if they had any lanes left for Rolling Thunder (bowling with disco lights and loudly thumping music), and, b'golly, they did for once, so we went right from Harry Potter to the Bowling Alley, and didn't get to bed 'til late. Thing 2 had a friend sleep over, and while she and the friend behaved fairly well, her sisters were obnoxious, and drew the wrath of the father on more than one occasion. I fear (?) we will have no sleepovers at our house for a while.

We used the nice weather today to move some of the Deadbeats' stuff out of the old house. I have come to the conclusion that these guys were just idiots. While packing today, hubby comes across a fannypack with Deadbeat #2's papers, bat pipe, scale, and stash holder, and his identification. *Blink* "Here, Officer, it'll be easier to book me for all this contraband if you just check my driver's license and fishing license there. The spelling's correct." I shake my head. No wonder he's divorced.

I am getting irritated without my email. We are in the process of moving our domain to the new ISP. Thought we could get by keeping our old mailboxes for a small fee, but the nice folks at the corporate office of our old ISP didn't agree with the prices set by the local dudes, who appreciate the business generated by Firestorm writing sites to be hosted on their servers, so we said "Thanks, no." and moved. However, Hubs had typed in some wrong numbers at the domain registration doohickey, and by the time he changed it, the old email was down, and therefore there was no valid email for the registry people to respond to, so they couldn't verify the change. Argh. So we had to FAX an internet company. Yikes. What's wrong with this picture? Anyway, email should be up again soon. *sigh*

Bruno has a friend here tonight from Finland, and they are having far too much fun with the new Karaoke CD-G machine (my early x-mas present--earns hubby back any points lost on that Harry Potter thing earlier) so I'd better go supervise...

13 November 2001

I actually have come here a couple times over the past few days to update, only to discover I haven't much to say. Bummer.

Locally, the news we're paying most attention to is that of MLB threatening to contract two teams. If terrorism wasn't what it is at this point, I'd refer to it as such. Corporate terrorism. MLB saying "Give us what we want (new ballpark) or we'll take your team." A rough translation: "I'll take my ball and go home!" Friend John (as found in the Daynotes link thingy over on the side there) had a couple good posts on this issue in last week's blog, go check it out if you want some intelligent insight and interesting theory on the whole mess.

My biggest argument against building a publicly funded stadium is: we already done did that. It's called the Metrodome. If you don't like it, you should have planned it better 20 years ago, you twits!. Right now it's a perfectly functional building that doesn't rake in the revenues at the rate The Twins and Vikings want to see. Well, boo-farking-hoo. I'm still pissed about Met Center. The building was less than 25 years old, and they ripped it down after losing a hockey team because it didn't have enough LUXURY boxes, and would be more profitable as a parking lot and future development for Mall of America. Arrrgh! Then, the very next season, after women's hockey became "official " in the state of Minnesota educational system, they're bitching there's not enough Ice space in the metro area for college and HS kids to play hockey. Well, you just ripped down a major league hockey arena you idiots!!! There was so much more use left in that building. It just sickens me. I am not into waste. I am a fanatic about making sure my kids don't put too much food on their plate and wind up wasting it. Waste on that scale irritates me, and waste on the scale of Met Center just drives me up a tree. And I see it all happening again.

Well, got that rant out of my system. :) Now what? Almost done with job#2, and then we'll be spending lots of time cleaning here to make room for all the stuff that needs to be moved here from the old house as we finally sold it!!! Closing, God willing, Dec 19th. Woohoo! Didn't make what I wanted on it, but got it out of my hair, and one less payment! Yay! Maybe two. Gonna use any extra to pay down the furnace loan. Don't think there'll be enough to clean it up entirely, but will get it down to 2 or 3 payments left.

Well, off to get ready for the day. Educational inservice for work, so I didn't have to go in so early, but gotta get rolling now. TTFN

07 November 2001

I have just written an utterly boring website for Glacier's Edge. I'm going to wait to post it until we get all settled in with the new ISP. I'm not sure yet if we're transferring the domain over or leaving it where it is. It seems as if Hubs may have more knowledge than the ISP guy. Oh well, one gets what one gets out here in the boonies.
I took a couple of images into photoshop to play with for the site, but wasn't getting the results I was looking for. Oh well, practice makes perfect, I guess. Just gotta keep practicing. Let's just say photoshop tennis is not for me just yet.

06 November 2001

Back at it today. Trying to plug along on housework and make some lifestyle decisions as well. All while enjoying a nifty new cable modem! We've got some more coffeehouse shows in the works for Glacier's Edge. I'd like to bring them over to the town hall here, but until they get their repairs made, I'm not making any major plans. We had a little fire at Watson Town Hall that didn't do much structural damage, but it brought the need for asbestos abatement to the fore, then there'll be some cleanup and repair to do as well.

We really need to put some marketing and sales effort into Firestorm, but we can't find the time around getting the bills paid. Yikes.

Oh well, guess I'll qvit kvetching and get to work! :)

28 October 2001

I've been reading through my posts of late. Boring. I'm feeling a bit inferior, as I have been reading some very witty and insightful blogs. *sigh* Guess we can't all wax philosophical all the time. I am pumped that the spellcheck thingy is back up and running, tho. Woohoo!

I grow weary of burning the candle at both ends, but it is allowing us to see a faint glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. I've gotten caught up on a couple of bills, and managed to stay afloat on the rest. Christmas should be a little less stressful as well. Now that deadbeat #2 has resurfaced, I may not be able to sell off his stuff, but we will still auction the real estate as planned, and that should clean up a couple of bills. Once we've gotten that done, we can take a few months to pay some other stuff down, then try for a refi after the tax refund comes. Hopefully the interest rates will stay down where they are for awhile.

I've been wondering if I'm just worn out because I'm working a lot, or wearing down from all the information overload. I'm so tired of hearing about anthrax I could scream. More people were actually affected by the e. coli outbreak last year. People are so wont to panic, and it's not entirely unjustified, but I've been trying to look at it from a fatalistic point of view. I could be struck by lightning or hit by a bus tomorrow. Or I could contract anthrax. Until then, I'll try to keep a positive outlook, hug my kids a lot, and protect them as much as I can without obsessing about the things that are out of my control. Right now they are gleefully chasing each other around the bottom floor of the house. It's loud and obnoxious, and I'll let them go at it for a while.

I wonder how all of this will affect them as they grow up. The Viet Nam War did not actually end until I was 7 years old or so, and I don't ever remember seeing it on TV or hearing anything about it. My brother was in the Air Force, and saw overseas action, but all I remember about his service career was when we'd visit him on base stateside. Now I know we have 24 hour news service that was unheard of back then, but you'd think I'd remember something about an event that was so socially and politically significant. But all I know is what I learned years later, in history class, from a social studies teacher who was a VN combat vet. My kids are bombarded with images of the new conflict. They have asked occasional questions, but seem to be fairly oblivious to what's going on. It probably helps that we live in a very rural setting, not likely to be ground zero for anything short of a grain elevator fire (which can be nasty, fermenting grain and dust can ignite in a rather colorful and destructive manner, I've seen it).

On an entirely different tangent, while browsing through a "Ripley's Believe it or Not" book at grandma's today, hubs showed me some interesting pics taken of spiderwebs. Some researcher somewhere wanted to find out how spiders' ability to spin webs was affected by exposure to controlled substances. Out of hash, LSD, and caffeine, guess which screwed up their webs more. Good ol' Jolt. I'll have to see if someone out there has posted those pics to the web. Funny. There was also a chicken pulling a baby carriage, but that's another story.

The first day of standard time is screwing me up. I hate when it gets dark so early. I'd probably also hate the Sun rising at 4 am in May, but I haven't yet figured out which would be the lesser of two evils.

Well, what I lack in substance, I may have made up for slightly in volume, so I'll log off and let hubby have the Mac back to tend to some auctions. Got a cool one up for a buddy's HO train layout. Fun. Lotsa neato details.

23 October 2001

Getting my act together a bit. Got a surprise day off today, hauled my fanny into town to discover I didn't need to be there. So I've wasted most of it on a grant application. It really needed to be done, so I guess it wasn't really a waste, but I didn't get much done by way of housework. Oh well. I did get a nap, which is an unexpected luxury.

Finally heard from one of the renters, who apparently didn't realize the other one had skipped off Four weeks ago. Hello? Where the hell have you been? I haven't much sympathy, as this one is the one the realtors told me was being bucky about showing the home. As in he told them he'd had the place condemned. What a twit.

Well, off to walk to the pop machine for a breath of fresh air and a bit of caffeine before job #2. Nice to only burn the candle on one end for a day.

20 October 2001

Wow, internet withdrawl. I have been hopping online only sporadically as I am only home between jobs for an hour and a quarter or so each weekday. Then Hubs decided to do some sorting of "work" and "home" Macs, so I have just plugged in and fired up the new machine for home, and sifted thru 78 emails. I am hoping to stay up for a bit online, soforth to sleep in a while in the morning.

I need to get my act together for Girl Scouts. It is going to have to take a back burner until November 14, when hunting season is over and so is the job. I won't have a full day off until October 28. Pew.

Well, the deadbeat renters left us with a houseful of abandoned property, so we plan to auction the whole kit and kaboodle as soon as it's legal. We found the property to be abandoned on September 27, so ASAP after November 27 we plan to have an auction. I wish I'd been able to do it this summer, but we'll hope for the best. We can have it at the armory where the weather is always good. I hope to make enough off the stuff in the house to pay off the unpaid utility bills and pay the fees for the auction. We'll be doing the real estate as well, as I am just sick of it and want to unload it.

We had a foster dog for a few days, but I am pleased to say that Orca the enormous drooling Saint Bernard has found a home. She was a very pleasant, well-mannered dog, but she is huge, and I have too many pets already. She was also abandoned by deadbeats in a different rental in town. She was trapped in the house for about 2 weeks until she finally broke a window to get out. Her head was bigger than her waist, she was so thin. A gentleman up the road has a farm with 2 St. Bernard's, so he is able to take on a third. Hooray!
Well, I am losing my stamina, and have a couple of other sites I want to check before I nod off into the keyboard. G'nite!

12 October 2001

Whee! Half a day off. I don't have to work in town until tomorrow evening, so I get a little time to myself until I go out to the hunting camp tonight. Hubs has been the laundry king around here, so I hope to keep up with that stuff today. There's some dishes to do and some general picking up, but with a good head start I should be able to accomplish great things. I also have to get my girl scout schedule figured out. Yikes.

Now that I finally have a minute to post, I find myself woefully uninspired. I should get going on the housework thing. I'll be back tomorrow!

10 October 2001

Wow, been a while, let's see what's up.
I have taken a second job at the Lac Qui Parle Hunting Camp. It's seasonal, 40 days until the end of hunting, but it should make Christmas a little more comfortable around here. Nice folks, decent food, a good time.

Last weekend we spent Friday night and Saturday mooching off my folks. Nothing like a weekend at home letting Mom take care of things. We went because the AFS exchange student there is from Brazil, too, so we hooked up for Saturday afternoon Pizza and small talk.

Well, I gotta fly out the door to sell potato klub at the Camp, but I wanted at least a token post so both of you out there who give a damn would know we're still alive. Hubs has a gaggle of pictures for his blog, but hasn't got them up yet either.

29 September 2001

Woof. I am wiped. Here in the thriving metropolis of Watson, population 211, we have taken to having Saturday afternoon pickup softball games. Usually we have about 15-20 players, a few spectators, a bagful of communal equipment, a cooler of pop and a cooler of beer. We lost 69-17 or something like that, but a good time was had by all, and we plan to continue as long as weather permits.

My ever so thoughtful hubby bought me a copy of the Drunken Master for my Birthday, so I got to watch that last night. I don't know why I love Jackie Chan so much. I really don't go in for action movies. Maybe it's the sense of humor all his movies have.

24 September 2001

Well, first Brownie meeting actually went pretty well. We talked a little about the events of the past two weeks, made a little patriotic button thing, and played some international games out in the yard for a "Play Around the World" try-it (Brownie level merit badges). When I was a Scout, and walked up hill both ways selling my cookies in a snow storm, Brownies didn't have badges, and didn't sell any product. That was for the older girls. We just got to be cute and "Do a good turn daily." Worse things could happen.

Just watched Shanghai Noon. Fun. I've loved Jackie Chan since all he made was overdubbed Bruce Lee wannabe flicks. I've an itch to see The Drunken Master. If you get a chance to see the Bravo Profile of Jackie, it's a good watch.

23 September 2001

Argh! I clicked the wrong button and lost my post!!! Oh well, life will go on, and I shall compose more pearls of wisdom.

We had a really great party last night. A fun, mellow, good time. We had karaoke en mass, lots of food, and a really nice turnout. Makes me want to do it more than once a year...

I have run out of steam, and I must go correct my children. Tomorrows new adventure: First Brownie Meeting. I bet I'll have LOADS of new insights this time tomorrow...

18 September 2001

A week since I last posted. I teased a friend of mine about not posting, and she was quick to point out my dearth of entries. After 911, I felt very small and insignificant. What right have I to an opinion on anything when such things are happening on the planet? But then again, I bugged Ann because I am pleased to read the news in her life. They are on a house hunt, which also may seem like small potatoes, but I derive great pleasure from following their personal adventure to carve out a home of their own. And if any one of you out there gain a smile from something I write, I am pleased to help!
This will be a short one, tho. Almost time to pick up the teenager from the activity bus (Only goes as far as the next town up...sheesh), and cleaning now in preparation for Saturday's party. That and short on sleep. The town fire siren went off at 1:30 am, and 'tho it was only moments before we could watch the firemen heading to the hall, that eerie wail in the middle of a clear, still, night, in light of recent events, made for poor sleeping afterwards. Neither one of us got back to sleep until well after 3. I don't know how all 4 kids slept thru that. But I'm glad they did.

11 September 2001

So, I flip the TV to BBC America for my daily dose of Ground Force and Changing Rooms, and I wonder, "Why are they showing these two big smokestacks?" Of course, it only took a few seconds to come up to speed on the story, and watch the story unfold, and the New York City skyline change before our very eyes. So anything witty or profound I had to say today has been amazingly overshadowed. See ya later.

07 September 2001

Tonight I discovered that reruns of "...Millionaire?" are much more fun when watching with someone who has never seen the show before. Especially the celebrity version where they get to cheat.

Getting Thing 2 to bed earlier has not gone very well, but after a rocky start on Tuesday, she's actually been getting up and ready quite well. Hope she keeps up the good work.

Apparently, you can take the man out of politics... After yesterday's visit from the governor (I cannot find the correct spelling of "gubernatorial"? on dictionary.com. I once met a parrot that had been taught to say "gubernatorial". So now whenever we mention Jesse, I think of this bird...) my husband got himself involved in a discussion of broadband communication in the boondocks, with the current state representative, former US Representative, and current mayor (who had "Broadband What?" stamped across his forehead). Then KSAX pulled him aside for an interview, and he got hisself a TV spot on the 10 o'clock news, which I, of course, missed. Oh well.

Three more days to go, then I get a couple off. Whee! Until then, off to bed.

05 September 2001

Aaaii! My husband is taking the computer to town! I must post now or be forced to type on an old, serviceable, completely functional but PAINFULLY SLOW Mac 7200. Aarrggh!

The G4 is going to do DJ duty in Downtown Monte tomorrow as Governor Jesse makes a milk run thru town. Got to keep the crowds entertained I guess. My friend John does not have much love for the Governor. I haven't paid much attention to him lately. Previously, there have been ideas of his I haven't agreed with, but he's made his point. I wasn't too happy about no public funding for the Guthrie, but then again, he also gave no public funding to professional athletics, so he was consistent on that point. What I don't like about Jesse is how defensive he gets about stuff. When a reporter takes him to task about something he can get his hackles up so quickly, even if he has a perfectly valid point, he spoils it for me with the defensive sheild.

Hubs covered the first day of school in his blog. Great pic of Thing3 mourning Bruno's loss to the school bus. Everyone came home happy, but I think we have to try an earlier bedtime for Thing 2. She got ready for bed and settled in before 9 as requested, but she was still heck to get up. Tonight we'll try 8:30. If no improvement, 8 pm tomorrow.

Well, I suppose I should wrap this up and start slowly weaning myself from the keyboard. Baby steps. Baby steps.

04 September 2001

Spent Labor Day doing manual labor, of all the silly things... Got things accomplished, 'tho. I dug window screens out of my closet that have been there since before we bought the place, and lo and behold, I actually found room for clothes! Amazing. I've been watching home and garden shows way too much lately. I have a lovely large living room, but there are doors, built-in cabinets or archways on 3 sides, and I'm having an awful time getting it arranged the way I like. I am also a bit limited on furniture. I hate to make the TV the focal point of the room. We tried not even having it in the living room, but we couldn't find a spot where the whole family could comfortably watch a movie together, or have friends over for the ball game or something. Way in the future, after we win the lotto, we plan to redo the basement. Then I can have a family room and send the kids and their TV and the hockey table down there.

I have developed a weird fascination for Christopher Lowell on the Discovery Channel, and so has my husband. It's like driving by an accident, you just can't help but watch. He's a huge fruitcake, but he seems to be having an absolute ball, faux painting and decorating with fabric. He's an absolute hoot.

Well, off to accomplish more great things.

30 August 2001

Well, having a much better week now.

Made a quickie trip to Watertown Saturday and got my brother's internet connection set up. The devil's in the typos. And spelling... Now I can chat with my bubbie Don, if I ever catch him online.

We made the state fair on Tuesday. I don't know why I like it, but I do. Now I just have little projects to keep me busy. I think our overnite trip to the lake is off because one of the other girls at work has a sick son at the UofM hospital, so I'll be working some extra shifts.

Trying to get some stuff lined up for *erk* taking over the third grade Brownie troop. Ayiyiyi! Meanwhile, still planning for a musical in February. Off to town for errands and a stop at the dance instructor's open house. Ta!

22 August 2001

I am uninspired today. Been keeping up with Housework (ick!). Did a voiceover for my crabby husband. He was great all weekend, then turned into a big 'ol crabbypants. I don't much mind doing a VO, but he never once asked. I "had" to do it, and when he was ready for it, thankyouverymuch. He really hasn't once had an unreasonable thing to say, but the way he decides to say it is driving me up the wall. Ack. OK, 'nuff bitchin'.

Still waffling on the fair thing. Maybe Sunday, maybe Tuesday, maybe not. We'll see. I'd like to go, but it's starting to be a hassle.

I'm a regular ray of sunshine tonight, so I think I'll go was dishes.

19 August 2001

Well, I must admit I was sadly disappointed by the small turnout for yesterday's variety show fundraiser. However, the show itself went off without a hitch, we had a great time, and I looked pretty good in a spangly dress loaned to me by a 15 year old. Albeit, I had on the heavy artillery of supportive undergarments. I had the figure of a 15 yr. old once, about 17 years ago. She had a lot of 15 year old friends come to see her perform, so Bruno met a whole bevy of ladies his age. I don't know if he quite knew what to do with himself.
The Lesters came out for the weekend to perform for the show and help install a new tub surround. There are people you just don't get to spend enough time with, and these folks are some of them. She and I were college roomies for a time, we saw each other through growing pains and sucky breakups. We stood in each other's weddings, had kids close together, and they are Thing 2's godparents. They live 2 1/2 hours away, so we try to get together for a long weekend whenever we can. We kick back and relax, order pizza, yell at each other's kids, and don't feel pressed to "entertain". Can't wait for the next visit.
I'd like to get to the state fair this year, if only to take Bruno, but we'll have to see what the money situation looks like. Eek. Usually there's at least one concert we want to go see at the fair, but this year the grandstand lineup sucks, in my opinion. The only thing remotely interesting is Ringo Starr and his All-Starr band.
Well, off to bed and back to work in the morning. I'm almost looking forward to a straight 40 hour work week. Nice to get back to a "normal" routine for a little while. Soon I'll be itching for the next show...

14 August 2001

Had a good day today. Things are coming together nicely for the Variety show. Too cool. Now all we need is an audience...
So far we've taken Bruno to Marshall (met the gran'ma's D and Lee, and Pa DeSchep), Willmar (shopping), and the county fair (lame-o). Tonight, Dan and Tracy have him at the demolition derby at the fair, watching the wanton destruction of motor vehicles. I imagine myself looking at things thru the eyes of a newcomer to America. What a bizarre thought, destroying functional vehicles for entertainment. Bruno comes from a large city, so I know he's no babe in the woods, but there are certain things that just must not translate. My friend Darla's adolescent son and his friends were suitably impressed by Bruno. I got a kick out of watching him field the "Twenty Questions" session with relative grace.
The girls and their friends continue to tinker on the playhouse. I was hoping they wouldn't be disappointed by such a junky old thing, but they and the neighborhood kids have been having a grand old time fashioning doors and screens and furniture out of old junk. They show some real imagination. However, they incurred the wrath of dad by ripping out the ratty old carpet squares (not a problem) and strewing them about the yard (problem). Ah well, live and learn. (I hope).

10 August 2001

Wow. Busy day, flew by!
Bruno spent most of the day in Monte with Hubs's best friend Dan and his stepson, Jesse. Nice for him to get in a little guy time. The girls really missed him, tho.

Yesterday, I bought a junky old playhouse for my kids. So far, they adore it. Today I dug out some old paint and brushes so they could paint it. I had them get ratty old paint clothes on. I explained to them how oil paint is different than latex, and to be careful not to get too much on them as we had to use paint remover to clean it off. I told them I'd be back in a minute to check on them, and I'd help them clean up when they were done. I expected them to spill some and make a little mess. I did not expect my 7 yr old to cover herself from fingertip to shoulderblade in Red Devil brand Bermuda Blue oil based enamel. Literally. There was no mistaking this for accidentally brushing herself with paint, or spilling it on her arm (both excuses she attempted to use) She was solid blue. Then, she and her older sister came in to wash a little of it off, snuck into the bathroom, and coated both sets of faucets and the towel rack in paint. Not, "Oops, I got some paint on the towel rack.", but, "Hey look, I can paint with my bare hands! I get great coverage, too!" Meanwhile, their 3 yr old sister continued to paint the playhouse, and actually came out the cleanest of the three. There was great wailing and gnashing of teeth. I made a big point of explaining that they would not be punished for making a mess, but for not using their common sense. At what point, when you've dipped your arm in the paint, do you stop and think, "Maybe this isn't such a good idea?" And when you reach that point, shouldn't you stop there, and not continue on to the other arm? Argh! Now I know, the argument about common sense coming from the mom who let her kids paint the playhouse in the first place might ring a little hollow to some of you, but I haven't made any judgment errors resulting in bodily harm or accidental death yet. I thought it would be fun for them. I intended to be there to help, but they got ahead of me. Here I thought it was gonna be a "Fun Mom" day. Instead I spent three rounds of mineral spirits and soap on the kids in the tub, then mineral spirits followed by comet on the tub itself. There is no blue left in the bathroom, and some of it was blue to begin with.
Off to bed now. We had a lovely fire in the yard tonight. The weather finally cooled off enough to let us use the firepit comfortably. Several marshmallows were sacrificed, and I must now go to perform the ritual cleansing, or I'll go to bed smelling like smoke, with marshmallow gook under my fingernails. Nitey nite.

09 August 2001

The weather has broken, and I can sit here and comfortably type. It's been stiflingly hot and smotheringly humid. We installed central air last year, but we have a big old house, with 9 ft. ceilings on the bottom 2 floors, and no AC fan can blow cool air this far up. The register is under the desk, so you get nice cool feet, but the rest of the loft up here is like an oven. Hopefully once the sheetrock is done and we get a couple of ceiling fans installed, we can regulate the temp a little better. But it's finally comfortable up here tonight.

Bruno caught his first Minnesota fish tonight, a lovely, huge freshwater drum (thats a sheephead to most Minnesotans) He took a picture anyway. Hubs's friend Dan took them out to the lake. He got a small reprieve from the giggle party. They were off at Bible school for a few hours.

Bruno put that bike kiddie seat on for me, so Thing 3 got her first ride on it tonite. After slight trepidation at the wobbly feel of the bike, she thoroughly enjoyed herself.

I've been keeping busy getting the variety show ready to roll, so I shouldn't spend too much time here. It's too late to do much more tonight. I'll have to try to talk to people live tomorrow.

Off to watch the rest of Mr. Nice Guy. I'm a sucker for Jackie Chan, ever since the old dubbed or captioned movies. This must've been his first attempt at an English language movie, and it sucks. The actors are SO stilted. You wonder where they got them. But the action sequences are typically Jackie funny. He must've spent hours choreographing them. Wap wap paf!

05 August 2001

*Whew* It's been busy. We got Bruno picked up. Check Hub's blog (now defunct) for more details there. We decided to run in Thursday night to avoid traffic and driving into the sun. Spent a nice night in a decent hotel close to the airport for not too much money. I figured we'd have to pawn one of the kids to afford a hotel that close, but there are a few bargains to be had, with enough effort.

These past couple days have been a lot of introductions for Bruno. Yesterday he met most of the Monte folk, and today my (real) brother and his wife came over from Watertown. Now I'm trying to catch up on some housework, and some laundry so I don't have to go to work naked tomorrow. You all have a good night!

01 August 2001

I have been a domestic goddess. Cook n' clean, clean n' cook. Running to the cities Friday am to pick up Bruno at the airport. Yikes. It's too dang hot up here to write much, but I wanted to poke my head in. Cole Porter will spin in his grave if I sing "Too Darn Hot"
All of Minnesota is abuzz with news of Korey Stringer's death. 27 is to young to die. I am very sad for his wife and 3 yr old son. Aside from being a Pro-Bowl Tackle, it sounds as if he was an all- around nice guy. We wore our purple today.

30 July 2001

Another productive day. What the heck is wrong with me? Hubs has been Mr. Motivated lately, and it's a bit contagious, I must say. We spent a bit of this afternoon cleaning the basement. It was nice and cool down there, but we've got about 50 years worth of the original owner's bits and pieces in the corners (the man saved-and labelled-everything, so if you need parts for a 1974 skil saw, just call) Add to that all our junk and bits of Cupertino all over the place, and its a bit of an endeavour. I got the cool mom award for catching a garter snake in the basement and letting the kids pet it before I took it out to the garden to eat my bugs. I'd rather have him in the basement than the spiders, but he did not look happy to be inside. I'm also 3 for 3 on toad catching once we ventured out into the yard after supper (Chinese buffet! Woohoo!--Thanks Pastor Robert!) Hubs and I got most of the front and south flowerbeds cleaned up. There's some nasty stinging thing in the back, so I got inventive and used the hedge trimmer (can't find the power cord to the weed whacker). We pulled and the kids hauled. Dumped weeds down the pit of the old outhouse. It's good for something. We are not very diligent gardeners, and this place sat empty for a few years before we got here last summer, so it's been slow going as we hack out.

My sister's method of gardening is working for me in a limited fashion. Every year she puts in tons of tomatoes and peppers, then ignores them. Weeds, drought or flood, every year she has TONS of food. I dug trenches and had the kids plant seeds I've been carrying around for a few years. I put in 2 tomato plants and waited. A lot of the stuff was too old and didn't come, and the beets and radishes went sideways instead of down--good leaves, no root. So far, we've had half a dozen nice tomatoes, and 5 summer squash and one zucchini. I had to pull out the zucchini plant because something was eating the roots and turned it to mush, but the squash plants themselves are all HUGE. Considering that I watered it once, and have pulled weeds very minimally (I went around and marked the plants, then mowed where they weren't) it's doing OK. This is the first year that patch was tilled, and it's too shady we found out after the fact, but so far--so good.
I'm in a much better mood today, but groggier. The second twelve hour night shift goes slower than the first. I cooked and putzed, and I am ready for bed now, but need to wind down a little.
Got news that my best friend from senior year has a new baby girl. Yay. Boy are they in for a good time. I get the baby itch once in awhile, then I remember how nice it is that all mine are out of diapers, finally. No more bottles or lugging a diaper bag. Well, I hear by the dulcet tones of my kids ("Get off me! Quit touching me") that the household is starting to waken, so I'll go pry them apart and give 'em a little mommy time before I settle in.

29 July 2001


On the night shift for the weekend. The work is fine, it's just getting adjusted to the weird hours. I feel fuzzy for a couple of days.

So far the response from the families has been guarded about our exchange student. We're broke. What's new? We feed the kids and we get by. Students are coming here to learn, and part of that is learning not all Americans have split level walkouts with 3 car garages. It's a lot of responsibility. Duh. So are three daughters. Pish. Oh well, gotta keep a positive outlook despite the grumbling.

28 July 2001

I actually got a good bit done today. Scrubbed out the spare room downstairs and gathered some furniture from about the house to put together a room for Bruno. It still needs a coat of paint, but we'll let him choose that. If we hate it, paint is twelve bux a gallon, and we'll change it when he leaves.

The best part of my day, tho, was talking to an old high school friend for the first time in 16 years. I get a quarterly alumni newsletter from my high school. It's usually a buncha "happy horsesh*t", as my sainted mother would say. "Here's all the economic development going on in town, don't you want to bring your business and tax dollars here?" But last time it mentioned that a favorite teacher had been in touch with my friend Jennifer ('85) and she is a successful author in SanFrancisco. (Of course, all LHS grads are highly successful and deleriously happy, to read the Alum news reports) So I emailed them to get her address about a month ago, and they sent it today. I tracked down her phone number online and called her. Gawd that was fun. We were neighbors my junior year of high school (her senior). She was smart, and funny and talented. She acted, played on the boy's baseball team, and took her biology experiment on fruit flies to the National Science Fair. She was outspoken and nonconforming, and no-one understood her, and like everything they don't understand, they feared and rejected her, and her family. They were the only Jewish family in a pasty white Minnesota farming town. Her little brother was in junior high, which is hard enough without a bunch of other little prepubescent creeps who've just found out the one thing that will always make you different than the other kids at school. Human beings are cruel and stupid creatures. Between whale jumping and name calling, we have some pretty strange habits... Anyway, digression aside, I've often thought of her over the years, and it was so much fun to catch up, compare kids, and find out she's done pretty well for herself. You go, girl!
I'm trying to stay up late tonight to acclimate myself to nightime hours for my weekend night shifts, but everyone else has gone to bed and it's kinda lonely to be the only one up. Maybe I'll do some online window shopping... I need slipcovers to cover where the rabbit chewed the sofa. Hmmmmm.

27 July 2001

(Should be titled, The Saga Begins...)
The Lord does move in mysterious ways. Hubs has always wanted to host a foreign exchange student, as his family did that when he was in school. I'm all for it, I was an exchange student with ISE. It was a short program, only went for 2 weeks, but it's still amazing what you can learn. We figured we'd host later on when we'd crawled out of debt a bit, and we're a little less strapped for cash. However, last night we get a call from a friend at church who works with IE. They needed emergency placement for a Brazilian boy. Yikes, I'm gonna be a momma. So we'll be rearranging the guest room a bit, and cleaning like mad, as he's due to arrive next week. I s'pose I'd better go get at it. This oughta be fun.

26 July 2001

And now, a happy story about one of my adorable children. We actually caught a couple elusive walleye, and were planning to eat them at grandma's house. Thing 3, who is having a "stage" decided to announce very loudly, "I don't like fish." "Fine", said I, "we're having chicken." So for the remainder of the meal, we made a big happy deal about calling the walleye "chicken", Thing 3 ate it without batting an eye, and we had a nice supper. About that time Hubs's aunt showed up, so we filled her in and asked her if she wanted some river chicken. She bent down over Thing 3 and asked her if she was eating chicken, to which the Thing looked up, all smiles, and said, "No, It's fish." Dang she's cute.

25 July 2001

Wow. What a day. A gentleman where I work fell today. He kinda sat down hard, and landed on his elbows. He said, "I'm OK." So I reached down to help him up, at which point he lay back, and quit breathing. I called the ambulance, and by the time they arrived, he had snapped out of it and wondered what all the fuss was about. The fuss was, you turned up your toes and lay upon the deck, dude. Yikes. After all was said and done and I had a chance to sit down and fall apart, I realized something. He made the exact same noises gasping for breath (before he stopped) that my father did. My dad collapsed while making breakfast and died in front of me when I was 13. The look on his face was the same, too. Too twilight zone for me. I don't know what point I'm trying to make here. I'm coming off really "drama queen", which serves no useful purpose I can think of. Geez, happy the hell up, chick.
Something happy in my life, I'm not in the middle of a divorce. One of Thing 1's little friends was over tonight. I visited with her dad for a little bit when he came to get her. He just sold the family farmsite to make ends meet. He looked so tired, and he gets to spend this weekend moving to town. Gawd, this is a ray of sunshine, too.
I actually got my bike out of the shed tonight, and got out the kiddie seat, still in the box, that I bought last summer. I cracked it open, and got the instructions read. I put all the pieces on the table in the porch. Baby steps. Baby steps. My weight is OK, but I am hopelessly out of shape. I've got a knee goin' bum on me, too. I'm too young to be this old.
In the "at least I'm not as stupid as other people" department, the 6:30 news out of the Twin Cities tonight closed with a little fluff tidbit, stating the government of Australia may be changing some laws to protect people who are too dumb to protect themselves. It seems some folk had pulled their boat alongside the carcass of a whale, jumped onto the carcass (now this is dumb enough) and then bent down to PET the GREAT WHITE SHARKS that were having a feeding frenzy upon said whale. While one of their buddies videotaped. Hubs and I just sat and looked at each other. How stupid are some people? The amazing part was that no-one was eaten. And if they had been, would it have been a media-labelled "tragedy" or a Darwin award?
Well, off to get the kidlets settled down. I need to leave the office. Husband made a fresh pot of coffee, and it smellss SOOO good, and there's real cream in the friddge, and if I have some I won't sleep well tonight. Found out the hard way last night. Good night and God Bless America. :)

24 July 2001

Well, looky there. With a little coaching, I got in and fiddled with the html in my template and stuck in some links to my buddies. And my husband. He's my buddy, too. Usually.
Went to see Grampa in the Marshall hospital. Not good. For those of you not familiar with my story, my dad died very young, my mom was sick and in a nursing home, so I went to live with my sister until the day I turned 18 and then ran like hell. My best friend's family took me in, and they have been my "folks" ever since. This Grampa is "Ma's" dad. He was always a good one for a joke, and fun to be around. They helped me move to college in their hometown and always came to my rescue if I had a car problem. He looks sad and tired and very pale. He's had a hard time for the past 8 years or so, one health problem after the other, and it's catching up to him.
I bribed my kids to clean their room today. I am a bit frustrated that I have to resort to bribery. I am working very hard at leading by example. I come from a long line of poor housekeepers, and every homemaking skill I have I've learned from Ma or picked up by myself. I don't expect to have a perfect house, but I'd like not to be embarrassed if people drop in unexpectedly.
I do talk about interesting things now and then, and not just housework and drudgery. I have some pretty relevant opinions, by gosh, and if you're not careful I might just tell you some of them.
Well, there is an adorable little blondie, whom I let nap too long today, chirping away beside me, and I'd be a fool to sit here at this keyboard when I could be giving her some attention. I'll be back on the morrow.
For those of you who I haven't pestered with links to this blog, a small introduction is in order. You can find a little bio on my web page (which doesn't exist in this form anymore) Eventually I'll figure out how to put links and stuff in here, but the whole reason I started using this instead of writing and posting my own pages was KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. I can go into Home Page and piddle all I want with gizmos if I'm in a gizmo mood.
So I have a day off! Yay. Probably spend a good hunk of it visiting my grandpa in the hospital. He's 82 and has been failing slowly over the past few years. Then I can catch up on housework. Yuck. In between times I have to cram in some work on the variety show. I need to start peppering the town with posters. Low budget is the key here, so there will be a rash of 8 1/2 by 11 posters until I can scrape together some funds for a print run.
So, this is Minnesota, lets talk about the weather. I'm sure my friend John will cover it in his blog, but we may not share viewership, and the weather there usually follows the weather here by about 4-6 hours, unless the wind is doing something weird, so ya heard it here first, then. It's cooling off. As much as I love the hot weather, I like to be able to breathe, too, and the humidity lately has been nasty. We're getting a little break from both for a few days.
My husband is sitting behind me, grumbling and acting like he actually wants to use the computer for work or something silly like that. Ta for now!

23 July 2001

We've had a little crime wave here in Watson. (Yay, Watson, the home of happiness!) About a month ago I was teasing my next door neighbor about his car being stolen. It was taken joyriding by a group of teens, one of whom tried to give it to his friend as a birthday present (the title was in the glove compartment). This is a leave-the-keys-in-it sort of area, so they didn't wreck anything hotwiring it, and they took his beat-up Grand Am, and not the Collector's 70 Chevelle Malibu in the garage. He said he was glad they didn't drive it into the Sag, because it would've cost more to tow out than it was worth. We had a good laugh. Three weeks later, no-one in Watson was laughing.

A couple who lives one block over and one block down from us has a little boy who was in Thing 2's class, until his mom left his dad and moved to Willmar. Sunday night the dad was to return the little boy home after visitation, but didn't show up, so mom came to get him. Around 8 pm her mom called the sheriff to report her home late. At apx. 9:40 pm the sheriff forced the door and found a murder/suicide. Thankfully, the little boy was a few blocks away playing with friends, and his father had the foresight to lock the door. It's enough to give a person the creeps. "They" are saying he'd been depressed lately, but at what point does depression turn to that sort of despair, or rage? He'd been going to church lately, and "seemed" to be fine. Were there no signs that this man needed help? He has a history of battery with his ex-wife, before the boy's mama. Couldn't someone get him into counseling as a condition of custody? And I am ashamed to say, that in a town of 200 people, I didn't know him. His kid in the same class as mine, and I never took the chance to meet him. Could I have saved him? Probably not. Could I have had an influence on him? Maybe. Could I have prayed for him? Absolutely.