28 December 2006

All over the map, today

We all have those moments, right? Can't remember where we put the car keys, the gloves, the checkbook. I was making myself a little fake cappucino. Digression: as a lover of both coffee-flavored ice cream and cappucino, I find that a scoop or two of ice cream in my morning java makes a nice frothy head of fake foam and tastes lovely, end digression. As I am scooping, the dogs wander up, fresh form their morning walk. This is a big deal, as they are still pretty spooky. So I stop the scooping and kneel down to give them a dose of love and positive reinforcement. I clean up after myself, put the ice cream in the freezer, and realize that I have absolutely no idea where I put my coffee cup. I check the counters. Nope. Make a quick lap around the main floor, even though I don't remember leaving the room. No joy. After I spend about ten minutes searching for that cup, I give up, resigned to the fact that as soon as I fix a new cup of coffee, I'll find the old one. Well, almost this time. I open the container to see my tidy little round scoop of ice cream still in the bottom of the tub. Solved that mystery, with only a few minutes of my life wasted in the process.
My brother T and I have an unofficial war in progress. It started when Thing 1 was about two years old. For Christmas, T got her a Jibba Jabba:

This thing was the spawn of Satan. It was a modified squak tube that was posessed. If you shook its wee little head it sounded like it was shrieking "Help me!" It was annoying as heck. T said he heard a lady at the toy store say how annoying it was, and that was exactly why he bought it. I waited five years for T to breed, eagerly anticipating the day when I could wreak vengeance upon him. T's firstborn has gotten computerized beep boxes and drums for Christmas from his loving auntie. This year, T's daughter was old enough to join the fun, and I found this for the opening volley in this year's battle. Little did I know how it would backfire. While opening presents, Thing 4 fell in love with his cousin's new toy. He pitched a screaming fit. iPastor, seeing how much he had enjoyed it, suggested it to his dad for a gift when he had Christmas there. Since Monday, I have endured little bursts of music, five different styles, all too short to be a complete musical thought, but long enough to get stuck in the eternal feedback loop of my brain for hours on end. This on top of the toy Skil saw and the singing Spiderman doll. Surely noisy toy karma is coming back to me in spades.
I can just about guess what the Thirteen lists will look like today, but allow me to jump the badwagon anyway and post:

Thirteen New Years resolutions I will most likely break

1. Exercise more (walking the dogs might actually help with this one...)
2. Read the Bible through in one year or less.
3. Set consistent time for prayer and devotions, not just toss it in when I remember.
4. Spend more time with my kids.
5. Establish healthy eating habits.
6. Drink two quarts of water daily.
7. Start juicing.
8. Cut down on the time I waste on the internet (blogging is therapeutic, not wasteful...)
9. Finish the damn degree, already!!!!
10. Be less sarcastic (oh the pain...)
11. Jump in where I am instead of waiting for circumstances to be "just so."
12. Laugh more on purpose.
13. Finish painting the hall.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

With that, I leave you to get a head start on #8! Excelsior!

26 December 2006

Christmas comedown

We eased back into normal life after a day of family and food yesterday. Darling iPastor brought me breakfast in bed, for which I thanked him by yelling to get the garbage out. My helpful daughter moved the can out of the way of parking spots for our family gathering last week, which meant it wasn't in place for pickup then. Monday is our normal pickup day, so it was put off until today and forgotten until I heard the truck in the alley while I was, um, indisposed, in the bathroom. I was yelling in panic and not irritation. Two weeks' worth of family refuse was hard enough to cram into that can.
After that little bump in the road, we settled in for a leisurely day of puttering around the house. The Things remaining at home enjoyed playing with the neighbor kids, and I walked the dogs in relative comfort. This lack of snow is gonna bite us in the butt come spring, but the ability to walk dogs on dry ground, and for Thing 4 to try out his Christmas bike right away, is a fair trade in my book.
While driving to in-laws for Christmas, we caught a snippet of the Midday program on MPR. It was hilarious, and though I came in the middle, I correctly guessed that it was Kevin Kling. I went to the archives today and found not only that story, but David Sedaris as well. I highly recommend going here to listen to those stories. They are both great fun, and I believe a new Christmas tradition at our house, along with the 24 hr. A Christmas Story marathon and Sixties Bouf Angel on the tree.
My brother and SIL came for a visit, and we visited friends up the road to check out the new iMac and PS2. I rock at Guitar Hero, and I fear that iPastor's suggestion to buy a PS2 may well stick with me if I pick that game up again.
Although I made no mention of it here, I did mark the winter solstice on the 21st with great enthusiasm. The days only get longer from here! I thought it must be bedtime at 7:45 tonight, because when its this dark for this long it must be the middle of the freakin' night, right?
Off to rest and another day tomorrow. Let's be careful out there.

24 December 2006

Merry Christmas!

Christmas around here is eerily quiet this year. The past few years, I have tried to keep Christmas Eve a quiet evening home with just us and the kids, but things have come up, and not in a bad way. We'll have presents tonight with the two kids left at home, and Santa will fill everyone's stockings tonight. The travelers will just have to wait and see what Santa brought when they get back.
The church where I grew up always held the Christmas program on Christmas Eve. Amazingly, after we came home from church, paper bag full of salted peanuts and fruit in tow, Santa had always come while we were gone. What a sneak. I think I was in third grade before I finally gave up on Santa. I knew beforehand, but it was such a nice thing to believe, and some little jerk in my Sunday School class had a great deal of fun ridiculing me for still believing right before the program. I knew he was right, but I stubbornly and tearfully argued with him just out of spite for being so mean about it. I hope he remembers, and feels like crap.
I had never planned on making Santa a big deal for my kids one way or the other, but the rest of the family intervened, and its been enjoyable for all involved so far, so its all good.
Unfortunately, I've spent most of this morning remembering things I forgot to get, so I will have to make an excursion to the Evil*Empire and pick up some stuff. Not high on my list of things I really wanted to do today.
I should take the dogs for a walk while the sun is still shining. Our weather is forecast to be mild all day, but cloud up later, so I'll enjoy the light while I can.
For those of you celebrating Christmas with your families, I wish you peace and contentment this year.
For those who do not celebrate Christmas, please allow me to share Luke's version of the events we celebrate at this time every year. Although the traditions have morphed into sometimes unrecognizable rituals, and this world has bastardized symbolic giving into a commercial mayhem, the foundation of our faith begins with the birth of a child.
From the NIV:

Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus
1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.

4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

A blessed season to you and yours as we reflect on the gift of that Child to the world.

22 December 2006

Soggy Doggy...

...is what you get when walking cockers in freezing rain. I've been working hard to set them (and me!) up with some routines and work the housebreaking issue. Progress is slow, but ,um, progressing. Star seems to be socializing a bit quicker than Tiger. They run away when pursued, but once caught, they will both sit and seem to enjoy attention and petting. Star seems to get into it and wag readily. Tiger is pretty wary yet.
I got the elder Things packed off towards Florida with appropriate amounts of underwear and socks. I'm quite sure they never looked back. It will be a bit quieter around here for sure. The parent who invited them along is either a saint or quite possibly insane.
Well, its a Friday night schedule at a small-town bar and the college kids are home for Christmas. I'd better go sneak in a nap. Safe travels if you're on the road, and here's to stiff drinks snuck in the closet if the holidays are coming to you.

21 December 2006

Thursday 13

As we talk about all our various and sundry Christmas celebrations, it makes me think about how the face of the "average" family has changed. We have four different family celebrations to plan due to death and divorce. It occurs to me that I have come to view this as completely normal. People sometimes get confused when they hear me talk about my Mom in the present tense after I told them my parents are dead. So here are a few details for you...

Thirteen Things about Gette

1. My sister and brother are 18 and 16 years older than me, respectively.

2. My father died of a massive heart attack when he was 55.

3. In front of me

4. I was 13.

5. My mom was too sick from Huntington's Disease to take care of me, so we lived with my sister.

6. I moved in with my best friend's family the weekend I turned 18; I was still in high school.

7. They became my second family.

8. My mom died when she was 57.

9. In a nursing home 350 miles away.

10. I was 19.

11. I think I felt more helpless that time.

12. I wasn't intending for this to be such a downer.

13. Next time I'll find 13 funny things. Or something.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

20 December 2006

You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

The transformation of the dogs from farm to house has begun. They are slowly becoming more comfortable. Star is more of a barker than she let on at first, though it's generally a short burst toward unseen noises that stops as soon as she can see what it was she heard. The Cosmic Junkie pointed out that we now have Star Jones living in our house. *shudder*
Star took to the leash a little better than Tiger, but he will follow her without fail, so all we have to do is get her going. Curiosity conquered the stairs, but they have to be really worked up to get that curious. They shy away when approached, but once you catch them and sit with them for some petting time, they settle right in and don't try to get away at all. Weird. The cat is always greeted with wagging tails. CJ asserts that this is because you can always count on a cat to know where the food is, and the dogs may be new, but they're not dumb. If we can count on this much progress every day, it won't be long before they've settled in.
I forgot to mention yesterday that the Santa post now has a picture.
I subbed for bowling this afternoon. Funny how "sucked" is only two letters different than "subbed" but just as accurate a description of my bowling talent today. Oy. I think I may have dragged my average below 100. Ouch.
I am feeling a bit melancholy. Thing 1 & 2 have had a last minute, all-expense paid offer of a trip to Florida with friends over Christmas break, and I haven't the heart to tell them no. I thought they would be off in college before I had to worry about them skipping Christmas at home. I told them I'd sell their presents on eBay, though, so its all good.
Now I'd better go search for doggy remnants on the lower floor.

19 December 2006

The five most dreaded words in the English language...

..."Free to a good home." Oh dear. The conversation went something like this:

iPastor: "This lady on Freecycle has Cocker Spaniels to give away."

Me: "Why would you even tell me that?"

iPastor: "I really don't know."

Me: "Mumble" *frantically calling up said Freecycle group on my Mac*

iPastor: "They're 4 years old..."

Me: "Months?"

iPastor: "Years."

Me: "Mumble" *Typing email to the offerer*

I hate training puppies. I love Cocker Spaniels; grew up with them, have had two pretty good ones since we were married. First was a bit of a spazz, but a love, second had some ongoing health issues but was mellow and laid back, great disposition. The long and the short of it? Meet the newest Joneses:

They have sweet dispositions so far. Not barkers when together, although there was a bit of anxiety from Star (brown female) when I separated them for bath time. They came from a puppy farm where they were hoped to breed but did not. Tiger is the black and brown male. Our challenge is to integrate them from outside kennel dogs to inside house dogs. So far they are too baffled by the contents of a house to imagine jumping on furniture or anything of that sort. Cool.

In other happenings about here, we celebrated Christmas with iPastor's mom and brother's family on Sunday. That's two family celebrations down and two to go.

Thing 4 got two toys that make noise:

And one that makes a mess:

So he's happy as a clam.

After presents, we went to the church Christmas program. Every one of our kids' grandparents made it for the program, and they were tickled.

Now its time to tuck everyone in, so I'm off.

14 December 2006

Domestic Diva

I've been cleaning and rearranging furniture to get ready for company. I am amazed at how much junk accumulates under furniture. I moved the couch Monday, and moved it again Tuesday, and it had already created a new pile of junk underneath. So I present you with...

Thirteen Things I Found under the couch this week

1…. Socks
2. Bread
3. Mummified baby carrots
4. prune pits
5. playing cards
6. Polly Pocket clothes
7. Modeling clay
8. toy cars
9. A clip-on earring
10. Pennies
11. Crayons
12. 2 remote controls
13. Yarn
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

With that, I'm off to bed with my achy knees and dishpan hands. Poor me, poor me.

11 December 2006

Winter? I wonder...

I am not complaining at all, but I am pretty weirded-out at our sunny, 50 degree weekend! As usual, we had way too many things to pack into the two days between Friday and Monday. Saturday was the local "Santa Day." Our little town may have let its summer festival die of apathy, but they can still put it together for Santa. They started by showing movies in the town hall, then Santa was chauffeured in by a fire truck. I missed an awesome picture fiddling with my stinkin' camera, but got to see my little boy break from the crowd at a dead run, yelling for Santa, who obligingly scooped him right up for a big hug. Not scared of santa, this kid. There were goodies and candy bags and toys. Got a couple good pics, but they have to wait for hubby to use the card reader, because aforementioned stinkin' camera is no longer recognized by my computer as anything. (Edit: Here!)

Thing 4 is getting to be quite a handful. He kept trying to run back up onstage to raid the table full of toys (they got to pick one after talking to Santa), or bust the line to go talk to Santa again. He even gave Santa his candy bag. Cute as heck, but kinda a pain.
I worked the bar as usual. Better making money than not.
Sunday morning after church, we packed up the Sunday School kids and took them to former Job #1 to sing some of their Christmas program songs for the residents. After lunch, I went to a baby shower, came home, made supper, sent the elder Things off to round 2 at church, then headed over to G'pa's for his birthday party. On the way home, we drove around a little to check out Christmas lights, then came home and crashed. Now I need to get busy making the house presentable for Christmas with iPastor's mom this weekend.

07 December 2006

Thursday Thirteen: Concerts

Thirteen Concerts I've Seen

In rough chronological order. Starting at age 14.

1. Rick Springfield (I did say I was 14...)
2. Michael W. Smith
3. Quiet Riot
4. R.E.M.
5. (twice)
6. Alice Cooper. What a showman. What a show.
7. REO Speedwagon
8. (twice)
9. ZZ Topp
10. Kansas and Lynrd Skynrd. Kansas kicked it. Skynrd was a letdown, but it made for a great story
11. B.B.King Oh, mais oui!
12. Ronnie Milsap
13. The Gaithers homecoming concert
14. Blues Traveler. 9 months pregnant with a 9yo daughter. Great fun! If you ever want to get right up front at a concert, just look like you might give birth on someone's foot and they'll get out of your way in a hurry.
15. Lifelight Festival 2006

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. John
2. Elementaryhistoryteacher
(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

06 December 2006

Trifecta Complete!

My voice is shot. I may lose it by the end of the day. All you smarties out there eady to comment that it might be an improvement, just can it.
I'm actually feeling a bit better than yesterday. The weight and ache has lifted slightly. I still think I'll need some quality couch time. Maybe I'll find a movie and sort socks. Hope I can find someone to work for me tonight. Don't think I'm quite up to running the floor.
I'm still counting my blessings that I'm not sicker. I wound up in the hospital once with dehydration and idiomatic colitis, and let me tell ya if ya try it, you won't dig it. Wish I'd been to the library for a new book or something to spend my down time. Any suggestions?

05 December 2006

I take that back

Since I wrote the last post, this cold has settled in over my back and shoulders like a 50 pound sack of crap. I ache, I'm hot, stuffy, and crabby. Ever helpful, when I told iPastor that I feel like crap, he said "You look like crap, too." Maybe if I sound like crap I'll complete the trifecta. I'm going back to bed. All that ambition? Gone.

I lost a weekend in here somewhere

Wow. Between a touch of a headcold and a booked up weekend at the bar, it seems we've come around to the next week and I've barely even noticed. Thankfully, I haven't gotten really sick, just enough to make me feel kind of draggy and fuzzy around the edges, and give me an excuse to nap.
I worked late Friday, rose late Saturday, made a speed run to Marshall to meet up with G'ma and pick up stuff we left at her house, ran back home, worked late again, dragged out of bed in time for church, ate potluck, came home and power-napped, then piddled away the evening. Monday I got to go to "birthday of the month" breakfast with the ladies from church, unheard of in my working-two-jobs days. I was rather proud of myself for collecting my wits enough to get some errands run while I was in town. I dropped off 4 bags and some odds and ends at the thrift store, and managed to come out with only three items in a bag. It doesn't pay to donate my excess if I bring more out with me. I got Thing 4 some jammies, some more black slacks for me, which I may need for prospective temp job 2, and a digital bathroom scale.
You'd best all lock up our daughters, because Thing 4 is working on his Lothario act. He came up to me first thing this morning and exclaimed, "Mommy, you bootiful!" As if that wasn't enough to melt any girl's heart, he looked up and quite deliberately batted his lashes at me. He's smooth, I tell you. Here iPastor has been worried about what color to paint the shotguns for all these daughters, and it's the Boy we're gonna have to keep an eye on.
I made some real housekeeping headway in preparation for the party last week, and I should pry my fanny from this chair and try to keep it up. We will have one of the three remaining Christmas gatherings here, at least, so hopefully I can keep the place presentable, and maybe even get a little bit ahead. Off I go with great ambition! Excelsior!

01 December 2006

Thursday 13--late

Thirteen Things about Our Saint Andrew's celebration

1. I really suck at rolling pastry lately.
2. My neighbor brought me some store-bought, so the Bridies were saved! Yum!
3. We also had clapshot
4. Scotch Eggs
5. Shortbread
6. Clootie Dumpling (a la microwave--it rocks!)
7. Drambuie and Glenfidditch are nice, but...
8. I discovered that hot butterscotch is wayyyyyy better than hot chocolate.
9. We had 20 guests.
10. You can slap a "Mc" onto anyone's name for a day. I learned this trick from someone adding "O'" to names for St. Pat's one year.
11. Clans Buchanan, McWhirter, MacDonald and MacDougall, and Stewart were all represented by someone.
12. We had jokes and stories.
13. And we remembered Saint Andrew, the first-called disciple of Christ, patron Saint of Scotland.
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Amy

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

28 November 2006

Something to keep you busy

As you wait with bated breath for my next post, here's a couple Scottish linkies to keep you entertained.

Saint Andrew

Hubby's Clan

And in case you were wondering...

You can tell a Scotsman, but you canna' tell him much

All the effort the rest of the country put into getting ready for Thanksgiving last week has come to visit here, as we get ready for Saint Andrew's Day on Thursday. I am taking a break from cleaning to veg on the 'net. Then its back to scrubbing the kitchen that I plan to feed people from so they don't gross out. With that said, I suppose I'd better get back to it. I have found a few tidbits upon which to wax philosophical, but they can wait until after Thursday.

25 November 2006

Belated Thirteen--SO obvious...

Thirteen Things I am thankful for

1…. The saving grace of God through Jesus Christ. If I hadda do this on my own, I'd be soooooo screwed...
2. The iPastor, love of my life, partner in crime, father of my Things, and just a heckuva guy, dontcha know?
3. My Things, who constantly surprise and delight me.
4. Memories of my family of origin, the gifts they gave and the times we shared.
5. My adopted family, who never seem to remember the "adopted" part.
6. My church family, small, strong and united in our diversity.
7. Books! Got a new one for Christmas already!
8. Rural holiday traffic, or lack thereof. Makes my holiday commute so much nicer.
9. Quick reflexes, and the resulting surviving deer on said drive.
10. Quirky holiday table conversations about bodily functions. The hilarity from watching my mom snort her drink out her nose is fun enough.
11. Sleep. I could use some after working until 2:30 am last night, before that holiday drive...
12. Backseat drivers helping me come up with 13 things to be thankful for when I'm having a total brain fart.
13. That the Wii makes iPastor's Mii so dang sexy! Rawr!
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

24 November 2006

Thanks given

Had a lovely day with friends and family yesterday. After we tucked iPastor in for a nap before night shift, I packed up the Things and hauled them to G'ma & G'pa's house. It's a relatively short drive, and it will give them an extra day to take their Christmas trip with Aunt Tahmi before the "official" family Christmas celebration on Saturday. I am heading back soon, as both iPastor and I work tonight, then we will join them in the morning.
I had ben pondering a profound and meaningful Thanksgiving post, but I got nothing, and so many, including iPastor, have done so much better. Enjoy, and have a great weekend. Also, plese take a moment to ponder this as you gear up for your Christmas (or holiday of choice, but we love CHRISTMAS!)

21 November 2006

Domestic bliss

Actually got a few nibbles while I was fishing today! Unfortunately, the kinds of things I got done don't really show, but it felt good anyway. iPastor cleaned out the cars and the porch, and that stuff shows right away. I brought lawn furniture in, and set it up in the foyer. We're going away for Thanksgiving, but the following Thursday we'll be hosting a Saint Andrew's Day Scots supper. The apostle Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland (et al) We tried to give the Saint Pat's revelers a run for their money last year, and decided to do it again it was so much fun. Good eats, too. Digression aside, I'll need the extra seating anyway, and today was a lovely day to work in the yard. Brought out the outside Christmas deco, cleaned up the yard a bit, and put a small dent in both the mountain of junk in Thing 2's old room, and the stack of paperwork on and around my desk.
It's time to start putting together some music for audition. I entered a sizeable talent contest last year at a relatively nearby casino, and got accepted. Didn't make it very far, but there were pros in my round that didn't make it either, so I didn't feel too bad. It's also hosted by a live band, which is awesome. Application packets for this year should soon be here, so I'd best get cracking.
Now, I think I've earned my nice warm bed tonight!

20 November 2006

Going fishing

Once, many years ago, I was listening to a book on tape. I can't remember for sure, but I think it was by Lewis Grizzard. Anyway, it was folksy humor. The writer talked about finding yourself on a day when your work is done, so you think you might go fishing. You remember your neighbor borrowed your pole. You go to get it, but you borrowed his trailer last week. You go to hitch it to return it, but the tire is flat. Your other neighbor borrowed your compressor, and you promised him you'd take something to town for him, so you get the compressor, fill the tire, load the trailer, and your wife says "...as long as you're going to town..." You get her list, head for town, drop the load, run the errands, take the trailer back to the other neighbor, get your pole and put it in the garage because you don't have time to go fishing any more. iPastor listened to the same book, and ever since then, "going fishing" has been code at our house for becoming hopelessly sidetracked. I'm having that kind of morning. I went to turn the TV on, but it had been unplugged. When our TV has a hard loss of power, the parental lock resets. There's only one remote that has the button for that. The batteries were gone. I looked under the couch cushions and discovered and archeological trove of nasty. So I dragged out the vacuum, cleaned under the couch cushions, and resumed looking for the batteries. Got the TV on for Thing 4, and cleaned up the mess he made while I was working on the couch. I have a feeling there will be no fish for supper here tonight.

19 November 2006


How sadly ironic that on my last day at Job 1 (assisted living) one of the charter residents died. We opened the place together, and left it together, too. iPastor and I had assumed that his full-time income would be "extra" (hah!), but in hindsight I truly believe he was given that job to clear my way to move on at this time. I just keep trusting, and giving credit where it's due.

Job 2 has now been promoted. There aren't a lot of hours, but tips are good, and it is a pleasant group of people. It's also a fertile ground for planting seeds by leading by example. I'm actively seeking another job, but planning to put the free time I have to the best use I can.

I am sad and tired tonight, so I'll keep it short and sweet.

16 November 2006

Mama's little genius

Thing 4 came chirping into my bedroom this morning with a little plastic box of pennies, and one nickel. He showed me his "coins" and proceeded to count them. He can make it all the way to thirteen without any help. He can tell the nickel and pennies apart, and when I added a quarter to the mix he told me what that was, too. He identifies numbers and letters on signs when we're out and about. No doubt this kid will be supporting me someday.

Since I've started out singing his praises, I'll go with that for today's theme...

Thirteen Things about My Own Things that I love

1…. All 3 girl Things love to read! That they love to read instead of coming when called, or doing what they were told, I don't love quite so much...
2. They have 4 completely distinct laughs.
3. Things 1&2 draw little cartoons that make me laugh. Now they need to not do it during class.
4. Thing 2 has adapted my rather non-sequitur sense of humor.
5. They all still like to snuggle!
6. They all love to sing. We sing in the car, or crank the stereo at home.
7. The older things are hilarious to embarrass at the grocery store by singing and dancing to the 60s radio music. The younger two dance along.
8. They are all very softhearted and compassionate. I fear this may lead them to some heartbreak along the way, but I wouldn't change it.
9. They are fearless, but will shriek like ninnies and let me chase them around the yard with garter snakes and frogs.
10. They don't seem to let my prejudices color their decisions.
11. Thing 1 isn't afraid to suggest and try new ideas (launching a school paper, homeroom secret pals), even if they don't work out.
12. Thing 3 has a memory like a steel trap. I wish she'd find better things to recite than out-of-context carton blurbs, tho...
13. Thing 4 is full of kisses and love for anyone he meets.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)
  • Cashmere Kitty

  • 2.
  • Tug

  • 3.
  • Bubba

  • Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

    The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

    13 November 2006

    Home again

    The trip home was safe and uneventful. No unusual wildlife or unfortunate incidents. I hate driving in the dark, though. It's one thing to be driving home under the cover of blackness at midnight, but another entirely to drive in the dark at 6:30. The trip home was a shade over 4 hours, with a 15 minute stop just over halfway. All tolled, the trip up was roughly the same. Our gas mileage sucked on the way up. Dunno if it was the wind, a slightly deflated tire for part of the trip, the extra 5mph on the Dakota interstate, or a combination thereof. The trip up took almost a full tank. We didn't even break half on the way home. That's a puzzler. iPastor points out that we did a fair amount of climbing on the way, too, and we did add some miles with a couple of side trips and in-town driving. We refilled the tank at 330 miles, and pulled in at our house at almost exactly 250.
    I am a bad mom. I let my kids sleep this morning rather than drag them out of bed and force them to get on the bus. Their parent-teacher conferences on Thursday proved that they are all indeed gifted little geniuses, so one day off won't kill 'em. Since I have 'em home to boss around, I am hoping we will have some teachable moments of the housework kind. uess to do that, I'll have to lead by example, so I must. get. up. now!

    11 November 2006

    North Dakota morning

    So, apparently I’m too much of a geek to stay off the ‘net when I am away from home. *sigh*

    I am roughing it, however, since my friend has dialup. How twentieth century.

    Dinner with bro went swimmingly, and we headed off up the interstate. We live in rural America, and roadkill is a daily occurrence in our neck of the woods. I see dead deer, possums, skunks, what have you, on the side of the road every day. Usually they are fairly intact or somewhat flattened but identifiable. Dakota interstate roadkill kicks it up a notch. The speed limit is 75, which means most folks are doing at least 80, and the interstates are heavily traveled by semi trailers. When a deer meets all 18 wheels of a semi at 80, it is not a pretty site. Roadkill is more like road hamburger: mangled bits of fur with perhaps a foot or rib sticking out. Some poor DOT schlub has the job of flagging them for pickup, so we’d see a red smear along the road, a tuft of fuzz, and a little orange flag flapping in the breeze. Ew.

    The highlight of the drive came between Fargo and Jamestown on the interstate. I had been particularly watchful for deer and pheasants in my path, not wanting to cause or become hamburger myself. It was twilight, and off on the side of the road ahead I saw a shadow, slowed down, flicked my lights, hit my horn and ran the list thru my head of what to do to avoid hitting a deer. The shadow moved onto the road and it was a huge, beautiful bull moose. Either my antics tipped people off, or they were being as watchful as I was, because everyone slowed down and he ambled safely across both lanes and the median and loped off into the field on the far side. The kids were mightily impressed with that.

    We joined the bowling party in progress, and had a lovely evening visiting. Thing 4 slept with us. iPastor is still in nocturnal mode, so he left early. I woke to a wiggly little boy who crept over to the window and chirped, “A beautiful day!” When I giggled at him, he turned to me and said “Good Morning, Sunshine!” With that for a start, we’re off for a day of loafing and shopping before tomorrow’s installation festivities. Not a bad weekend outlook. Ta!

    08 November 2006

    More power! More power!

    Once again, if you have followed the blog from its former incarnation, you have already heard me extol the virtues both therapeutic and physical of hanging the area rugs on the clothesline twice a year and beating the snot out of them. It is a great workout and a stress reliever, but it might put you off carpet for good when you see all the junk that comes out of a rug even after you vacuum regularly. Ick. This year, I had a couple of particularly stubborn mashed-in banana spots, so I did something I had considered in the past, but never actually got around to doing. I went to the basement and got the power washer and beat the heck out of the rug with water. Woohoo! Great satisfaction in that.

    In anticipation of my busy day tomorrow, I'll post my 13 early...

    Thirteen Things about What I packed/did before a road trip with 4 Things!

    1. Sleeping bags

    2. Charged extra batteries for all various electronic gizmos the kids and iPastor tote.

    3. Car pillows

    4. Cleaned accumulated detritus from the minivan

    5. Found 2 pairs of "lost" dance shoes in said van

    6. Assisted kids to find "those tights" and "those jeans" that they just HAVE to bring.

    7. Changed (L) headlamp (again!! I think it has a short...)

    8. Ditto the (R) running light.

    9. Checked google maps for vaguely interesting things to see on the way, knowing we'll have several potty/stretch/smoke stops to make for all involved.

    10. Bought bday presents for bothe kids: the one having the bday and the one whose we missed last month.

    11. Answered itinerary questions multiple times in multiple configurations for all kids and iPastor (should've written 'em down and stuck 'em on the fridge...)

    12. Did my own laundry in a panic, realizing I only have about two free hours between jobs until we go.

    13. Confirmed we are taking bro to Applebees for his birthday lunch.

    Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
    1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

    Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

    The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

    Probably will not post unless there's some downtime during the weekend. You all have a great one! I'm driving 4 hours with 4 kids and dad. Pray for me!

    06 November 2006

    On the clock

    I have a timer keeping me from wasting too many hours on the internet today. We have been blessed with a small batch of beautiful days. I am trying to get outside and hang clothes on the line, pick up the yard, and clean out the van in anticipation of our trip to North Dakota at the end of the week.
    One of my best friends/roommates from college(v1.0) is being installed as pastor at her new church in Jamestown this weekend. I had thought of visiting this weekend anyway, just because it is a long weekend for the kids from school. Turns out that this was her installation weekend, and it is birthday party time for her youngest as well. We will detour very slightly through Watertown, SD, to have a birthday lunch with my brother as well. If you have been a follower of the blog for a while (all two of you) this trip also gives us a chance to continue the concrete animal tour of the upper midwest. Someday I will dig through the archives and repost the concrete animal pictures.
    Now that I have put in my notice, I have a sever case of short-timer's syndrome. I can hardly wait to get through this last two weeks so I can have some time to get things done. I am making progress on the house, and doing some searching for another day job. I am hoping to register for some courses online to FINALLY finish college(v2.5), but I may have to find something very flexible in case I am limited to traveling to a physical classroom.
    Turns out I forgot to switch on the timer, but I think I will voluntarily pry my rear from this chair and take it and Thing 4 outside for a little R&R, and some yardwork.

    03 November 2006


    iPastor is officially done in the field for the year, so that takes one item out of our crazy schedule. I am seeking a new day job, trying to stay flexible to get school taken care of, but still pay the bills. Pew.
    Nothing much else going here. Spent a good chunk of my evening in bed last night, with the general yuck. I've been polishing resumes and hitting the employment sites, so not much time to wax philosophical on anything much. I'll post again when I'm interesting. Wait, if that's a prerequisite, you may never hear from me again...

    02 November 2006

    Because I am such a joiner...

    Thirteen Things about Gette

    1. My thumbs are double jointed.

    2. I like to sing and I don't suck at it. Mostly.

    3. I am thisclose to finishing my teaching degree and stuck.

    4. It sucks.

    5. It is very frustrating to have people ask me "Where are you teaching now?"

    6. You don't get paid to student teach.

    7. Most people don't know that, or at least they seem very surprised when you tell them.

    8. I love to read, but I hate reading aloud.

    9. #8 makes me feel like a bad parent.

    10. Ironically, my three daughters are excellent readers despite this neglect.

    11. My son is only 3, so we'll see how he does.

    12. I am giving my notice at my job of 6 years.

    13. Its a little bit scary.
    Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

  • Gail
  • Tink
  • She
  • Amy

  • (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

    Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

    The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

    26 October 2006

    I'll bet daddy feels that way sometimes, too

    Thing 4 has been getting really wound up in the evenings lately. Last night, I held him on the couch and tried to calm him down.
    He yelled, "Let me go!"
    I said, "No, you're supposed to say, 'I love to snuggle with my mommy!'"
    He said, "I love you, too. Now get off me."

    23 October 2006

    iPosted my iMovie

    I replaced the kids video from the fair. It is still shaky, but the picture quality should be better.

    Yes, I saw the title error. I'll fix it later.

    iMade an iMovie

    So if you have checked out the links on the sidebar over there, you have seen that iPastor's alter ego is that of Big Kahuna of the family biz. This means we have all manner of digital video editing software, and no-one would deign join the amateur hour and use that little iMovie gizmo that comes pre-packaged with the Mac. Also, as the cobbler's children have no shoes, so the videographer's children have no home movies. I have used the pro stuff enough to know my way around, but last night, when Thing 2 presented me with the dilemma of needing to finish a video project at the 11th hour (totally not her fault this time), I dug into my Applications folder and fished out iMovie. Thing 1 had helped her, having done a similar project last year. Being the video kids they are, they had shot 3 or 4 takes of all their scenes, so to hand in their raw tape would have sucked. I fired up the app, and I am hooked. For quicky little family vids, its just the ticket. I will go on record to say that iDVD sucks rubber donuts. Quit with all the music, bells and whistles and burn my verschlugende DVD already! I wish I had thought to try iMovie when I was wrestling with the fair videos (I am so going back and tweaking those--soonish).
    Other than that, got through one insanely, unhealthily busy weekend, and now back to just insanely busy. I do want to do some catching up around the house, though, so I need to just. walk. away. from the Mac. Disengaging in 3...2...1

    18 October 2006

    Standing at the precipice...

    ...about to dive into the new schedule. Thought I had one last day to sleep in, especially since the iPastor was already up and certainly able to herd the cats onto the bus once I got them awake. Wrong. Wound up giving rides, bitchin' and moanin' the whole way. Oh, what a happy example I set!
    Today's goals include continuing to chip away at the laundry pile, and finding the new packet of checks so I can bowl this afternoon without a trip to the bank for cash. Big dreams, indeed.
    I got the email that broke the camel's back today. It was the 3rd or 4th time I've gotten it in one form or another recently:

    Isn't that what the whole immigration issue is about?
    Business doesn't want to pay a decent wage!
    Consumers don't want expensive produce!
    Government will tell you, Americans don't want the jobs!
    But the bottom line is cheap labor.
    The phrase "cheap labor" is a myth, a farce, a lie...an oxymoron. There is no such thing as "cheap labor." Take, for example, an illegal alien with a wife and five children.
    He takes a job for $5.00 or $6.00/hour.
    At that wage, with six dependents, he pays no income tax, yet at the end of the year, if he files an Income Tax Return, he gets an "earned income credit" of up to $3,200 free.
    He qualifies for Section 8 housing and subsidized rent!
    He qualifies for food stamps!
    He qualifies for free (no deductible, no co-pay) health care.
    His children get free breakfasts and lunches at school.
    He requires bilingual teachers and books .
    He qualifies for relief from high energy bills.
    If they are or become, aged, blind or disabled, they qualify for SSI.
    Once qualified for SSI they can qualify for Medicare.
    All of this is at the taxpayer's expense.
    He doesn't worry about car insurance, life insurance, or homeowners insurance.
    Taxpayers provide Spanish language signs, bulletins and printed material.
    He and his family receive the equivalent of $20.00 to $30.00/hour in benefits.
    Working Americans are lucky to have $5.00 or $6.00/hour left after paying their bills and his.
    The American taxpayer's also pay for increased crime, graffiti and trash clean up.
    Cheap labor?
    Wake up people!

    Kind of scary, isn't it when you think about it?"

    I heaved a great sigh, recklessly hit "reply all," "paste as quote," and started typing:

    "I've gotten this email in several forms lately, and I think I finally need to speak up. Please take this information in the spirit which it is intended.

    I can only speak for the state of Minnesota. My husband and I work anywhere between 3-5 jobs between the two of us at any given time, and still qualify for some of these programs. I have also worked as an advocate, helping people who are unable to fill out their own paperwork. I have filled out the paperwork and hauled in the required documentation many, many times over the years...
    --He qualifies for Section 8 housing and subsidized rent!

    Not without proof of citizenship and green card.
    --He qualifies for food stamps!
    --He qualifies for free (no deductible, no co-pay) health care.
    Needs SS#, proof of residency, green card

    --His children get free breakfasts and lunches at school.

    Need SS #s
    --He requires bilingual teachers and books .

    Not getting it in this district, sink or swim
    --He qualifies for relief from high energy bills.

    This is income-based only in MN, so probably true
    --If they are or become, aged, blind or disabled, they qualify for SSI.
    Once qualified for SSI they can qualify for Medicare.

    Don't know about this, but "SSI" indicates they would need SS #s

    --He doesn't worry about car insurance, life insurance, or homeowners insurance.

    Why? If he causes uninsured auto damage, its a ticket to deportation.

    --Taxpayers provide Spanish language signs, bulletins and printed material.

    This is true, also braille, Swahili, and a bunch of other languages I can't read on the bottom of the form, but they sure look pretty.

    Are there people who forge and fabricate these documents? Sure. But Joe illegal cannot walk into the local human services building and start accepting his dole. That's why so many illegals leave their families behind and wire their money home. Illegal immigration is a huge, expensive problem that affects everyone in the nation to some extent, especially with our crossover to a population of 300,000,000 made "official" yesterday. If we expect to motivate effective changes in the system, we need to be well-informed and work with the facts and not raw emotions. We have enough politicians trying to shove that crap down our throats this time of year! (Especially in my district, where for some reason over half of one particular candidate's advertising is being paid for by forces outside the district! WTF???) But that's a rant for another day..."

    Then, I even more recklessly hit "send!"

    So far I've gotten one "atta girl" and no flamers, but the day is still young.

    Now that I've filled the spaces here with that drivel and nothing substantial, I'll try to work on those aforementioned goals. Gotta get that bowling average up higher than my handicap, too.

    12 October 2006

    No light

    With many thanks and apologies to Doug Adams:

    "Whhhrrrr..." said Arthur Dent. He opened his eyes.

    "It's dark," he said.

    "Yes," said Ford Prefect, "it's dark."

    "No light," said Arthur Dent. "Dark, no light."

    One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about human beings was their habit of continually stating and repeating the obvious, as in It's a nice day, or You're very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you alright? At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behaviour. If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months' consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favour of a new one. If they don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working. After a while he abandoned this one as well as being obstructively cynical and decided he quite liked human beings after all, but he always remained desperately worried about the terrible number of things they didn't know about.

    "Yes," he agreed with Arthur, "no light."

    This is what I hate about fall and winter. I can handle the cold and snow, but I hate the dark. It makes me pertpetually sleepy. It makes it seem like midnight at suppertime in January. It smothers me like a choking haze and not at all like a friendly, warm blanket. It makes the cold seem colder. Yuck. I LOVE cloudless nights with a huge moon and snow on the ground. It's like a cosmic "In your face!" to the dark of winter. I realize I've got 6 months to go, but I thought I'd get this out of my system.


    We got the first snow yesterday. It won't be around long; it barely covers the ground and temps are heading back up to the 50s this weekend. Had some cool visuals, though. The clouds pushed through really quickly, and in multiple layers. The snow came in hard teeny tiny pellets pushed by the wind, and often would be flying around in the sunshine as the layers of clouds overlapped. We had a windy, grey, overcast, bright, sunny, snowy day. In the evening I was driving home, and you could see this activity from a distance. It was yet another "wish I had my camera" moment. You know how you can see rain falling miles off, coming down in dark streaks from the clouds? Last night, with the cloud cover, sunset and twilight in just the right combination, we had the same effect in negative, white fluffy streams down from dark clouds. It was really cool. I love weather.


    Christmas is coming. Our first Christmas gathering comes the weekend after Thanksgiving. I guess that's become the easiest time to get together for my side of the family.

    I have been sucked into a "gift ideas" thread. Jennifer over at Snapshot has started gathering ideas for awesome presents.
    I have 4 kids blessed with many relatives who love to give them presents. The girls are all now old enough to really enjoy getting clothes, though they still like toys, too. Even Thing 4 likes clothes if they have Elmo or Thomas or something cool on them. Several years ago, as we were trying to fight the battle of clutter, I asked the folks to think about alternative presents for the kids: ie, things that don't wind up on the floor for Mom to step on. Grandma D took us right up on that. Every year for their birthday, each Thing gets their own weekend with Grandma. They have gone to movies, museums, circuses, ice shows, and inevitably, Chuck E. Cheese. They have even opted to go combine weekends a couple of times. They do crafts and go swimming, visit neighbor horses and puppies, and are gifted with memories that will last far longer than any Fisher Price plastic.
    Auntie Tahmi (shameless plug--also full of great gift ideas!) gives each Thing a B&N gift card, complete with a "just us girls" (so far) trip to the store to use it, and have a treat in the coffee shop. They talk about it for months, seeing something they like and stating that they'll save that for the trip to B&N. The trip includes a half hour ride to the nearest mall; they draw for turns in the front seat and whoever loses out gets to sit next to Tahmi in the booth. As much as they enjoy all their gifts, these are the ones that I hear stories about months after the fact.
    I tried to do the same think with my nephew, and bought us tickets to see Elmo live. A snowstorm kept me from getting there, but thank God the crew at the Target center box office was really easy to work with and held our seats for his dad to come and claim so he could still go with his family. I intend to keep trying, and hopefully will be able to have some fun with him and his sister before they graduate.


    I am the laundry maven today. Turning the closets over from spring to summer, washing, storing, throwing and donating to Goodwill as I go. One benefit of small closets: I have to do this twice a year so I can stay on top of the laundry monster. Having three girls has made it tough, but I've finally learned that I don't have to save EVERY cute little outfit until all three girls have worn it. My laundry is in the basement, but I have a TV down there, so I hope to sort into piles to delegate the kids to put away when they get home and dad wakes up. I can see already this will be the biggest challenge for me as we roll into this night thing. I can get a lot of laundry done on my day off, but I can't be banging in and out of the closet in my room. Oh well, we'll adjust as we have to. And now, to the basement!

    10 October 2006

    Insanity commences.

    And now for something completely different: A title with no question mark at the end.
    Hubs has been officially redubbed iPastor. It's a long story.
    We're heading off into yet another real life adventure hereabouts. iPastor will be taking a full-time position working nights where he's been part-timing, apparently well enough to be asked to go full. Since he is taking most of his schooling online, the major adjustment will be making the rest of us 7-3ers vampire-friendly. As for the house, phones can be shut off and shades can be drawn. I've worked enough nights to know that it is not the immediate family that's hardest to deal with, but the outside world, so we'll just work on shutting them out completely until after 3pm, thankyouverymuch. It will be a juggle until we can get some sort of routine down. Once we get his schedule, I'll be asking for a set schedule at both of my jobs. Harder than you might think. Both jobs try to be very accomodating to everyone. It's the "everyone" part that makes it tricky.
    I can't think of anything witty or amusing for you folks, so I'd best be getting back to domestic business. If anyone ELSE calls me Martha, I'll crack 'em one...


    Kids always like to play "tent" in the blankets on the clothesline. I didn't know cats were into it so much. I looked our my kitchen window to see the neighbor cat, Cosmo, hanging out in the yard by the clothesline. No big. Shortly thereafter, the wiggling clothesline caught my attention and I saw the back half of Cosmo peeking out of his "tent." As the afternoon wore on, he stayed pretty close to his little domain. I was quite amused.

    Had a Skype session with sis in IA toady. Much fun, that. Hands free chat!

    Thing 1 has reached the "It is gross to think of my parents having a sex life" stage. Of course, this means her father and I get all snuggly mushy in front of her at every possible opportunity just to creep her out. The sacrifices! G'ma noticed tonite and thought it was funny, so she was mushing on G'pa to up the creepout ante. It is more fun than singing and dancing to the 60s music at our fave grocery store, which we also do just to embarrass her. Well, I guess I would do that anyway, but that's just me. Better go love on the iPastor. (Shhhh. The kid isn't even around!)

    09 October 2006

    Is this the feast or the famine?

    Just ending another 5-day stretch at work. I'm sure that sounds weenie to those of you who work M-F jobs, but the world of nursing means weekends, holidays, and really weird schedules. So there. Watched an episode from season 1 of "My Name is Earl" last night where he had to give an elderly woman eyedrops. That's my life every day.
    We've had some lovely fall weather and been outside a bit. Hubs' dad had the whole fam damily over yesterday for a mini reunion with his sister from Nevada. It was fun to ee her, and we had a nice visit. G'pa had picked up a seconhand croquet set for the kids to play in the yard, so I wracked my brain to remember the rules for my kids. That was always my church camp sport of choice. Choose two, plus swimming. Kickball and croquet, for those of us with no stamina or hand-eye coordination!

    Well, off to do some heavy-duty fridge and cupboard inventory and menu planning. I am truly amazed at how much money I save when I rememeber to do that, and that's even with buying the spendy "organic" and "all natural" stuff. Just call me Martha. On second thought, please don't.

    05 October 2006

    A sign of the end times?

    Phelps is at it again:

    From USA Today--

    Church won't picket Amish funerals in return for airtime

    In return for an hour of airtime on a national radio show, members of a controversial Kansas church canceled plans to picket outside funerals for the girls who died in the shooting at an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania, The Patriot-News reports.

    "It's awful for me to give up an hour of my radio show ... but I think it’s worth the sacrifice to keep them away," talk show host Mike Gallagher told FOXnews.com.

    The funerals begin today, USA TODAY's Rick Hampson reports.

    Westboro Church, which has drawn international attention to its anti-homosexual agenda by picketing at the funerals of military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, blames Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell for the deaths because of his "blasphemous sins" against the church.

    "They're insane," Rendell said, according to the Associated Press.

    It's people like this who make it so much more difficult for those of us who want to spread the GOOD News. There are many things about the way people behave in this world that I am sure God hates, but the people he loves. God does not send mentally ill people with guns out into the world as divine retribution, nor does he allow soldiers to fall into harms way as petty wrath. Fred Phelps, leader of this misguided movement, needs to get back to the book and prayerfully listen to what God has to say. Sadly, his whole movement makes me wish God would retribute all over his butt.

    04 October 2006

    Typing with a three-year-old on my lap earns bonus points, right?

    We're having a lovely game of "kiss the bear". This is a nice change from his usual statements like "you being mean a me" and "Stop screaming." Before you call family services, "mean" and "screaming" are doing or saying anything that prevents him from getting his way at that moment. The joys!
    Bro and SIL just left from a nice visit. Pie was eaten, games were played, friends were visited, and a good time was had by all, I think. I like days like that. Got enough accomplished on my day off that I didn't feel like it was wasted, and had some leisure as well!
    Got some fly strips to fight the Amityville battle. They're mighty gross, but far less toxic than all the spray I've been using to little effect.
    I am completely bereft of anythin interesting or amusing to post tonight, so I'll just let 'er go.
    Nite all!

    30 September 2006

    Strange bedfellows

    So Thing 4 wanders in and crawls into mom and dad's bed last night. I am too lazy to take him back to his own bed. I suffer for it with knees and elbows in my ribs, and finally, feet in my face. Needless to say, my self-discipline will be improving, and the kid will begin being tucked back into his own bed as frequently as needs be. Yikes.

    Feast or famine on the work front. I had three days off this week, now I have 5 in a row, four of them two-job days. I'll keep bright sunny pictures of the bills I want to pay firmly in my mind. Blech. Off for a little feet-up time between jobs. Honestly, that's the only real problem. I've been having a great time at both jobs lately; everyone's happy and easy to get along with and we've been having fun. But multiple shifts on concrete floors with thin industrial carpets are taking a toll on me poor old dogs. On two-job days, I try to put 'em up for a while. So that's where I'm goin'. You all have a nice day.

    28 September 2006

    What? I need an interesting title, too? Sheesh...

    Let's see, another day of random ideers and no connecting theme. Eat that, essay teachers everywhere!


    Read this recently, and have blatantly stolen it to use here. Apologies for the all-caps thing. Some good points for those of us feeling less-than-worthy:



    LAZARUS WAS DEAD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So there.


    I have lots of stuff to get done today, but I have birthday money burning a hole in my pocket, and a strong desire to go shopping. Perhaps the Lord is calling me to shop? You never know, maybe I'll bump into someone that needs a Word, or make a connection, or find a revalation. Work with me here! Mama needs a new pair of shoes (literally.)


    Got my birthday card from my "folks" yesterday. I lived with my best friend's family my senior year in high school. My dad was dead and my mom alrady in a nursing home. I had been living with my sister, but they were moving, coincidentally on the weekend of my 18th birthday. I wanted to finish out my senior year in place. I had a little job, but was supported by SS orphan's benefits, and had to refile after I turned 18 because I was still in high school. I had planned on staying until I got my social security straightened out, then getting my own place, but the folks said maybe I should just stay there. Probably a wise parental decision. An 18-year-old with her own apartment? Trouble on the hoof there, and their kid my best friend! So I stayed, and my card yesterday reminded me that I had joined the family 20 years ago. They even said they were glad about it. Wow. There's a special place in heaven for folks like that.


    So far, I have kept the foreboding cold down to some manageable sniffles and aches & pains. Knock wood and all that. I have managed to do a few little things around here so far today. Hopefully I can just keep pinging at the chores to keep them at bay.


    This in my inbox from my sis:

    So, happy belated Thirty-Quitch! ( As was posted recently on a friend’s blog, “you don’t go directly from 37 to 38. First you go to thirty-quitch. And next year you’ll be thirty-wip, then thirty-tocle, and then you’ll be thirty-eight. There’s a number void there, and people keep forgetting about it.” Where those numbers came from I don’t know, but it sounds funny!)


    Oh, and this post is now titled "Amityville Horror", because the flies around here are so (#*(!! thick! We've always had bad windows and thick flies in the fall, but I thought this year would be better because we got some new windows in and never had to open the screenless ones anymore. I thought wrong. I can live with the flies as long as we have no demons, though.


    This also in my inbox:

    Bid on the Doodlebops Live Front Row Seats Auction

    Surely you must be joking. I can think of no greater torment than those seats. Buy 'em for someone you hate.


    Off to work. Have a swell evening!

    26 September 2006

    Hippo Birdies to Me!

    I survived the busy busy weekend relatively unscathed. While I did the two-job thing, Hubs cracked the whip on the Things and the house was pretty well picked up. We had a quick red alert on the floors Sunday after church, because Hubs invited his folks over. I couldn't complain because they were coming to give me presents. So all I've had to do this past couple of days is patrol the house to keep it from backsliding.
    After presents, and watching the Vikings snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, I wandered outside and got the firepit going, and we didn't put it out until after 10. Got a little bit of my brushpile cleaned out, but more of the chunk of neighbor's tree that fell Saturday. It was really old and dry, so it got good and hot and we could feed in the wet stuff of mine that sat in the rain all week. We chatted with neighbors and friends and ate junk food, and had a lovely time.
    Yesterday was a big fat day of nothing, but it was kind of nice. Aside from the aforementioned upkeep, Hubs and I got a little time to just knock back and chat. Later, we took Thing 4 for a drive around the lake, let him throw rocks in the water and play at the rec area playground. It was a lovely lazy day. I could use more of those. Unfortunately, I could feel a cold coming on all day as well. So far it is not as bad as I feared it would get, knock wood and all that. I just keep pounding fluids, blowing my nose and washing my hands. I'll save meds for when I have to go back out in public.
    I have vowed not to spend my birthday with my butt glued to the chair in front of the Mac, so I am off to do something productive. What I haven't quite figured out yet, but Thing 4 wants some watermelon, so I guess we'll start there.

    22 September 2006

    Weekend on the horizon...

    We're getting ready to head into fall, which steps things up around here a bit. When the neighborhood crops start to come out, Hubs will head back into the field to do soil sampling. It is an annual gig for him, that he mostly likes. The days are long and tiresome from bumping around muddy fields in a pickup with a hydraulic soil probe, but he can pack up whatever books on tape or other iPod treats he likes for his own entertainment. Hours will pick up at Job 2, as the locals will start staying home and our tourists will start coming for hunting. Today and tomorrow are two-job days, but I switched and got Sunday off completely, so it all comes out in the wash.
    The sugarbowl has caused some buzz offsite as well. Just to prove he does pay attention to what I have to say (!), Hubs asked if I wanted one for myself. I said no, but he started wondering where the one wound up that they had when he was a kid. In the process, we found out his mother doesn't have it, but would like one, so it's of to eBay!
    The kids have the day off school here, so all are sleeping in except the one I packed off to feed the wolves at Yellowstone. I wish we could take more spur-of-the-moment trips like that. Our Black Hills foray was great, but it seemed like i spent longer planning and organizing the dang thing than we did on the trip. Don't tell anyone, but I kinda groove on the planning stuff, but not so much that I wouldn't like to just jump in the car and take off once in a while. Now I must do just that, but I'm only going as far as work, so no adventure there.

    21 September 2006

    Hold on, we're swerving all over the place today...

    Since I haven't written in a couple of days, I have all sorts of little, mostly insignificant, sometimes noteworthy thoughts, feelings and impressions floating around in me noggin. One may think I have no other outlet than to spew these things all over you, my loyal audience (I hear you rustlin' around out there behind the crickets); however, Hubs and I have managed to get in some quality conversing lately, about stuff other than (as well as, this is real life, you know) kids' schedules, bill paying and the like. Often, though, stuff just flits through my mind that I would like to explore, when there isn't someone to talk to older than three who is not affected by geriatric dementia or occupied by work matters. So that's when you get treated to my blather, dear interweb, or sometimes even after, when I thought the conversation yielded blogworthy tidbits of it's own. Some of these are related, others completely random, and maybe someone other than me out there will find them interesting (show me the comment love, if so. Amen!)


    Had a couple of completely nostalgic moments this week. The warm fuzzy kind, for me, and one for Hubs.

    I was fixing a cup of coffee for a resident who takes hers with sugar. I cannot put sugar in coffee without a visual impression of this sugar holder: and a really warm feeling about the place I used it.

    I was a tail-end baby; I am separated by my blood siblings by 16 years. My folks were older, and so were their friends. Such folks were Hank and Hannah. They were a lovely NW Iowa Dutch couple, married nearly 40 years at that time. Hannah was the eptiome of a Grandma, although I never made the connection until years later, because my Grandma was plenty different than most. Hannah was pleasantly plump, had an easy laugh, and a houseful of crocheted items to dress it up. Her home was always neat and pretty, but I never felt scared to mess it up by playing. Hank had an infectious chuckle and wire-rimmed glasses that fascinated me. He could also wiggle his ears. It was the. coolest. thing. EVER! As I got older, my mom's unknown-at-the-time neuroligical disorder made her isolate herself, and my dad by proxy, from their friends. While they still were getting out and about, however, we would sometimes go to Hank and Hannah's for coffee. Sometimes my mom and I even walked down there ourselves (small town, and stay-at-home moms and grammas. Wow.) Hannah always had good toys (including the Tupperware lock blocks--I'm seeing a definite pattern here) and would tell me and Mom about her grandkids, especially KayLynn, and Loren and Leroy, who were close to my age. I wouldn't set eyes on them until years later, but I always felt like I knew those kids. Inevitably, we would sit at the kitchen table for coffee, and I was always offered some, just like a grownup, and they would pass the Tupperware sugar bowl. There was always laughter, and easy chatter, and those brief, too-few moments of my childhood are treasures. I take cream these days, but if I even think of sugar in coffee, I feel the warmth around that table, and I smile.


    Hubs' nostalgic foray has been humming around the back of his head for quite a while. His paternal grandma died the week after we married, and since then, her farm has been sitting empty. He has frequently wondered about the apples on the backyard tree there, as he can never get an apple pie like hers. Tuesday evening, we drove out the the farm, scavanged some apples and a branch, and had them identified at the local orchard as Red Barons. After sampling some the grower had on hand, Hubs concurred, and we have a bagful atop the fridge for pie making. I should do that later...


    My brother and his wife dropped in for a visit Tuesday night, too. I felt a little guilty were so busy, but they stayed over and we got to spend some time together yesterday. I love to hear my brother's voice from another room. After an overseas stint (which we will revisit shortly) my brother and his wife were stationed in Omaha, and visits home got much more frequent. I would wake on a long weekend or holiday, and hear he and my folks visiting in the kitchen. It was always a sound I associated with vacations and fun.

    While overseas, stationed in the Netherlands, my brother and his wife would send home packages with interesting, supersized comics in English with a little hero named Asterix. The whole family was immediately hooked. Years later, Asterix would show up in American video games and a cartoon, but folks in the US just don't get it, for some reason. When Bro returned to the area a few years ago, he camee to housesit for us, and we found him some Asterix books as a Thank you, since his and mine had been scattered away over the years. He now has collected most of them again, and has loaned them to my kids, who eat them up. Hubs recently found a copy of the 2002 movie, and we watched it on our big screen yesterday with the whole fam damily, and had a great time.


    Hubs has cobbled together a home theater over the years that is starting to be company-worthy. We have all sorts of old sound equipment to rig together surround-sound, he painted out one side of a chalk board for screen, he uses the digital projector to show movies from DVD or VHS, and we have some old dual seats from the church basement for theatre seating. It's tucked into what used to be a tiny room with tinier windows, now a lovely little, easily-darkened alcove for comfy movie viewing.


    I really like the word "dustbin" today, and I have no idea why it is bouncing around my subconscious. Speculation?


    Need to go tote Thing 1's clothes to town for her. She is going with friends on a long weekend trip to Yellowstone. Cool. Have a great Thursday!

    19 September 2006


    It's Talk Like A Pirate Day!!!!!

    I am so gonna drive people nuts.

    18 September 2006

    We do more before 9am...

    Today could have gotten off to a very bad start, but I made some conscious decisions not to let it. I did get some snarking in on my kids, but that was quickly forgiven by a ride to school.
    I thought I had set the alarm last night, but it's one of those dual jobbies and I set the wrong one. I rolled over and looked at the clock about 15 minutes after the kids should have been at the bus stop. I got 'em up, told 'em I'd give 'em a ride, and rode herd as they got themselves and Thing 4 ready. Luckily, I had set the church alarm, so dad was up and ready to take charge of Thing 4 while I went to town.
    Our itty bitty town is about 6 miles from the town with school, work, etc. Even though gas prices are calming down a wee bit, we try to be conscientious about trips to town, so after I got the kids a breakfast treat at BK, I dropped 'em of and ran my errands. Having to tote them got me out of the house a lot sooner than if I had gone on my own. I will have to return, as paychecks weren't ready yet, but that means I can treat the kids to a ride home and the library after school while I get the oil changed, which is all good. One nice thing about small-town living: the qwikky-lube of choice is half a block from the library. For now, my groceries are bought and put away, I got errands run, and I've had a few minutes to nip around the web with a cuppa joe and a stanky candle burning. I should get up and moving before I lose momentum. In a minute...
    I've signed up for a "pastor's wife" ring. I have been pleasantly surprised to find that next to women of great grace and inspiration, I find others with the same sorts of struggles, quirky sense of humor, and potty mouths as me. I'll do a linky thing when I get that kind of info and motivation. Until then, I'll just keep polishin' that halo...

    17 September 2006

    My thoughts on Vikings 16, Panthers 13

    Love that "edit" widget. I was unable to view the end of the football game today, so I went to minnesotavikings.com. An hour and a half after the game, and they still had 13-13 posted. I thought we had tied during NFL regular season play, and I was absolutely perplexed. I was set straight at the church coffee hour tonite, and athough a bit chagrined, I feel much better about today's game. Way to go for the first Vikings kicker EVAH to throw a TD pass. Yay Childress for taking some risks. Time for the happy butt dance! (|) (/) (|) (\) (|) (/) (|)

    In other news, with enough lighter fluid you can get soggy stuff to burn. Firepit should be nicely primed for further use next week. Seem to have developed a knack for writing sentences without subjects. Bad English teacher! Bad! (Those were interjections.)

    A big interweb welcome to my newest Blogger buddy, the Cosmic Junkie over at the Cosmic Junk Drawer go over and leave him a warm fuzzy comment. He's single, girls!

    With that, I'm off to herd the cats to bed. Night all!

    Dang wormholes...

    So after Job #2 the other night, I could not find my car keys. I have a very bad habit (though usually not at work) of tossing them on the floor of my car. Maybe TMI, but if you want a GEO with no bluebook value because its been totalled once already, has no exhaust system, and your need is that great, I'll even post directions to the blessed thing. Anyhoo, I thought that must be the case, as I could not find them inside, and I did not carry a purse that night. I looked thru the car. I went back and looked again. My boss offered me a ride home and while I waited for him I took a garbage bag and went through the car a third time on my hands and knees and gutted it. Yes, I know, if there is that much garbage in my car there is a problem; however, I have been doing this more often, and trying to police myself and the Things about packing out our junk (Hubs is on his own...) so it really isn't as bad as it has been. Anyway, again with the digression, I was on the flippin' floorboards of the car and no keys anywhere. So Hubs brought me to work with the spare keys yesterday, and lo and behold, when I walked by to check, there they were on the floor of the drivers' side, fully visible from the passenger side window. There.is.no.WAY. I could have missed them. Either someone is messing with me, or there is a wormhole under the seat of my GEO. I wonder where it opens out?
    Thinking of wandering outside and lighting up the firepit. We've had thundershowers the past couple days, and while the sun is out and pretty today, it is decidedly cooler outside. I have a brushpile to pare down where the tree service dropped our tree earlier this year. Those aforementioned showers may make burning a bit of a challenge, but heck, I have a Sunday off and nothing better to do. Sounds like a lovely way to rest on the Sabbath.

    14 September 2006

    A present for you, my best buddy ever

    I tend to sit here and space off while watching my blue lava lamp, so I though you would enjoy it, too. Since I don't have a webcam (8 digital video cameras in the house, and no webcam...I can hook 'em up but they have power save and shut off after a few minutes if not recording) to point at my lovel lamp, I went and found you this, dear internet. It's not as realistic as a couple VR lamps I found, but it requires no download and is Mac-friendly. Enjoy!

    A typical Thursday

    Some non-sequitr-as-usual observations from around the Casa del Goose:

    *Nothing funnier than a three-year-old boy belting our the lyrics ro Barlow Girl's "Never Alone" over milk and cereal at the breakfast table.

    *Someone always has it worse than you, and can put your day in perspective in a real quick hurry. Wow.

    *I have never lived in Texas, but I will still miss Ann Richards.

    *Laundry sucks.

    With that, dear interweb, I leave you to go organize my day, and get ready for the final performance of Much Ado, which happens to be a local road show, so I don't even have to haul my butt to Marshall.

    See ya after strike.

    13 September 2006


    This is a test post from Photobucket.com

    What have we done to these kids?

    I told Thing 1 (13) to go grab some movies to keep herself and the other Things (12, 8, 3)occupied during tonight's line-thru. She said, "Here's 3 we all like." She had The Breakfast Club, Dogma, and Braveheart. More frightening still, she's probably right, 'tho Thing 4 still likes cartoons. My poor, poor kids...

    12 September 2006

    You may want to scroll down a few posts and work your way up...

    Originally uploaded by Gette.
    ...if you really care, that is. I am using flickr to post because Blogger is being a crabby pants. I have got to be missing something about posting more than one photo to a post, or something, but bear with me...

    Casting Crowns
    were the Saturday night headliners that brought us out into the damp and the mud, and they were the highlight for the kids and grownups both. If it hadn't been for them, though, we would have missed the other completely cool bands we saw there. For little miss "I don't listen to Christian rock" (and you know who you are...;)) there's some really edgy, hardcore, awesome music in the current batch of CC bands. Besides, anyone who listens to Def Leppard had to also have listened to "Honestly" by Stryper about a gazillion times.
    Digression aside, these guys not only rocked off many faces, the lead singer is a great communicator as well. Told fun stories and made an impact, I think. Ok, off to haul all the little dancing girls.

    But seriously

    Originally uploaded by Gette.
    This is how close we really were to Jeremy Camp.