29 January 2007

Hello Monday!

These days I almost look forward to Mondays more than the weekend. Unless we make plans far in advance to go somewhere, the weekends around here are ruled by work. Sundays we both have off, but the day is spent on church and catching up sleep and chores for the week. When Monday comes, however, if we've played our cards right we roll into the less-hectic beginning of the week. iPastor is off the regular job for a couple of days and we only have my schedule and the kids' to contend with. Our weekend just gets bumped up.
The Valentine candy rolled out in WalMart the day after Christmas. Tarnishes the idea of getting candy to know it's been wrapped in plastic sitting on shelves somewhere for at least 4 months once you factor in shipping and storage. I really hate Valentine's Day. Greeting cards in general irritate me to no end. I like funny ones. If you have something to say to me, I'd much rather you say it yourself than pay $3.50 for a Hallmark card. Unfortunately, the female in-laws all seem to enjoy finding that perfect card, and making a to-do about a card that's "just BEAUTIFUL!." I'm a girl like many others, and if it takes a consumer-driven holiday to make you pay attention and do something nice, I'll take it, but I'd much rather have those moments come at spontaneous times throughout the year. Any time at all, thank you. Any?
The catalyst for this particular rant was finding this site today following random linkies. It struck me funny. The language is pretty crass for the fainthearted, but I agree with the general sentiment.
I suppose I should be off to Job #2 now. You all have a swell day.

25 January 2007

Daily Blather

I'm skipping the TT this week until I have a list I'm willing to spend some time on.
My sister called to tell me one of my Aunts died Tuesday. My dad's sister, Margret.
When I was growing up, my mom's unknown (at the time) neurological conditions was already causing her to self-alienate, and bring my father along for the ride. We seldom saw any of my father's side of the family, for no real reason that I know of. My dad had a favorite cousin that we saw occasionally. We even went camping with their family once, and my cousins Jack and John spent their time tormenting me. We most frequently saw my dad's Aunt Hattie. She lived on our route to Sioux Falls, where I had to go every six weeks or so to see the orthodontist. Hattie had a neat old farm place that was always loaded with the typical grandma stuff, and she had an ancient German Shepherd named Queenie who loved attention.
I actually saw more of my family after my parents were gone. We stomped the same ground and I ran in some of the same circles as extended cousins. I barely knew the woman we're burying tomorrow, but she was always pleasant when we met, and she sent me some pictures and genealogical information a few years back.
Tomorrow I'll drive for longer than I'll actually spend awkwardly trying to remember my cousin's names and make small talk with my sister, to honor the memory of a lady I barely knew, but remember for her kindness to me. Not a bad legacy, that.

22 January 2007

A Monday morning funny

My inbox this morning contained the following anecdote of uncredited origin. It came via my wickedly witty friend Ann who needs to post on her blog more frequently for my enjoyment.


I was in Wal-Mart buying a large bag of Purina for my dog Lola and was in line to checkout.

A woman behind me asked if I had a dog........Duh!

I was feeling a bit crabby so on impulse, I told her no, I was starting The Purina Diet again, although I probably shouldn't because I'd ended up in the hospital last time, but that I'd lost 50 pounds before I had awakened in an intensive care unit with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IV's in both arms.

Her eyes about bugged out of her head.

I went on and on with the bogus diet story and she was totally buying it.

I told her that it was an easy, inexpensive diet and that the way it works is to load your pockets or purse with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry.

The package said the food is nutritionally complete so I was going to try it again.
I have to mention here that practically everyone in the line was by now enthralled with my story, particularly a tall guy behind her.

Horrified, she asked if something in the dog food had poisoned me and was that why I ended up in the hospital.

I said no ..... I'd been sitting in the street licking my butt when a car hit me.

I thought the tall guy was going to have to be carried out the door.


With that, I return to the everyday ramble. Have a good one.

21 January 2007

And there was great rejoicing among the snowmobilers

A couple inches of good snowball snow is commencing to cover the brown drear outside. The kids have all packed off to go sledding or simply stomp around in it. I, on the other hand, am planning a snowy day nap.
I sometimes feel pretty lightweight about the day-to-day prattle I post here, but I am often reluctant to delve much deeper into some things.
I let drop pretty lightly the "poverty level" issue a couple posts back. It's entirely true. I am both blessed and stressed. We live in a community in an area of the country where even at below poverty level, we keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. I get very frustrated with the situation at times, however. We have household repairs and non-life threatening medical issues that are constantly put off instead of addressed. Any little bump in the road (like running out of propane last week) can knock us off track and set us behind. We qualify for certain kinds of assistance, but the bureaucracy involved with obtaining and keeping those programs intact in our home is often paralyzing. Yet when I feel oppressed by these issues, I also feel extremely guilty. For as much as I struggle some days, there are families out there that would be so grateful for what we have. Poverty in America is swept under the rug. In our land of plenty, we try not to think of want. If we extend our view outside the borders of the USA, it's even more shaming. There is absolutely no reason that a nation with the resources and wherewithal of the United States could not provide adequate food, water and shelter to the entire world if it simply WANTED to. I have heard it said that our nation's surplus could feed the world if someone would just pay the shipping and distribution bill. Are we responsible for the rest of the worlds' needs? No. Shouldn't our sense of decency or justice or some indwelling human compulsion drive us to want to help anyway? So perhaps I'm a sentimental git, the kid who cried for lost puppies and bought groceries for the homeless people upstairs. I can't say that's a bad git to be. It also helps me keep swimming.

20 January 2007


Proving once and for all that I should be institutionalized, I checked my family and a few extras into the local Country Inn and Suites for Thing 3's requested ninth birthday party. The calling card there was the pool, and it really didn't cost me much more than when I pack a herd of kids off to the bowling alley or skating rink for birthday mayhem. By and large, all kids were well-behaved, they just outnumbered me. They did run the complimentary hotel cookie jar completely dry in a matter of minutes, and I found out by the multitude of extra pillows that they had been sneaking off to the front desk one by one to get them. I think we had nine pillows in the room when we were done.
Now that we are safely home, I have been cleaning out the mud room/dog kennel, and biding my time until a quick trip to Granite Falls to meet my Ma and pick up some meat she and dad have been getting way cheap. It's always a hit to the grocery bill at once, but 40 pounds of pork loin goes a long way, even for a family of 6. And it's yummy! After I get back, I'll fetch Thing 4 and friends from the church program (got well-rounded kids, they attend several local church kid's programs. This one an all-day, once a month, one every Wednesay evening, and our Sunday program) they went to, and come home to fix dinner and maybe catch a quick nap before work. Gotta cram a Sunday School lesson in there, too. Dang. Better get at it. I'll chitter away at you folks some other time.

18 January 2007

Thursday Again...

Thirteen Things I should be doing instead of sitting here

1. Laundry
2. My grocery list
3. Perusing the basement storerooms for eBay fodder. Mostly Mac components that iPastor needs to tech, but some of it I could handle.
4. Finding homes for the non eBay stuff, be it the thrift store or the landfill.
4. Mating socks
5. Sorting the kids' closets for outgrown/worn/unused items to throw away/donate. This is a CONSTANT process in our house.
6. Putting away clean dishes. At least they're washed!
7. Working somewhere for money.
8. Playing with the dogs. The socialization process is coming along slowly but surely.
9. Walking the dogs. Although they already did their "business", it is a mild day with lovely fluffy snow falling, the kind you can sweep instead of shoveling. A little fresh air wouldn't kill me. Maybe.
10. Reading a good book. If I'm gonna be wasting time, I could just as well be reading. I have to go find some new books...
11. Reading through the bible. Knocked out a chunk yesterday, but should keep at it.
12. Making some lunch. My tummy is rumbly.
13. Paying attention to Thing 4. Enough said. Bye!
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!

17 January 2007

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming...

We're cruising right along with the work, sleep, work, work, sleep, work schedule here. Not too bad actually. Makes the cold weather pass without too much misery. Today is sunny and we've had a break in the bitter cold. Think I'll take the dogs on a walk later.
I started on my taxes and was almost finished when I found an error from former job 1. Withheld too much FICA/Medicare. Bummer. Ye olde online tax software says DO NOT FILE until I get them to correct it. Poo. They're cramping my style. I like to do my taxes because ours is the poster family for the earned income credit. The annual tax refund catches up bills, pays off car loans, and otherwise rewards us for working 4 or 5 jobs between us and still residing under the poverty level. Wahoo. I am a huge fan of online filing, though. In the years I've been doing my own taxes online, the longest I've had to wait for a refund has been ten days. Gotta love that.
I guess Thing 4 thought the blog was good enough, because he clicked "publish" while I was chatting up the gas man. That aforementioned break in the weather made for a better day to run the propane tank dry. Never a good day for that, but at least it's still warm in here. The bottom floor is so drafty, I usually only keep the thermostat at 65 degrees or so, but while the furnace keeps the main floor at that temp, the uppers are usually nice and cozy. The kids have been properly drilled in keeping sweaters and slippers or shoes on, so we're comfy on all levels.
It seems as if most of my day was wasted behind a screen today, but iPastor and I spent a lot of time getting the financial house in order and forging a plan of attack. Off now to put the physical house in order and settle the family in for the night.

11 January 2007

Thursday Thirteen

In honor of one week at Job #2, I will give you some insight to waitress life. Mind you, I have always been a small-town waitress. Even my jobs at national chains have been in smaller cities. I am quite sure there are different rules and codes in larger cities where servers have support staff and tip out everyone from the doorman to the busboy. But here are some various tidbits about serving and waitresses in general.

Thirteen Things about Waitressing

1. When there are four empty tables in plain sight, do not seat yourself in a dirty booth. I don't care if you like booths better, wait for someone to clean it. If we haven't done that yet, there's a reason. If its really busy, no-one but the server who had that table will even notice you are new customers, and even that server might not pay attention if swamped.

2. You think you are helping by tidying your napkin into your empty cup or glass, but you're just irritating me and the dishwasher, one of whom will, have to pick that thing out, and I don't want to touch that.

3. Do not expect me to be grateful that you asked for a plastic cup to spit your snoose in instead of using your beer bottle.

4. I don't want to pick your straws off the floor.

5. Ditto your used toothpicks.

6. The presence of carpet on the floor denotes that this is not a "peanut bar." This is why we have no peanuts. Just popcorn. If you can't keep the popcorn in the little carton, leave it in the popper. You are not Hansel, and you don't want to see me following your popcorn trail.

7. I did not run out of Almond Joy pie to personally annoy you, no matter how satisfying that might be.

8. Other servers are your best friends/worst enemies as customers. They will cut you a lot of slack for understaffing or obvious unpreventable problems, but if you give poor service without a good reason they will let you no in no uncertain terms.

9. You are never obligated to tip for lousy service.

10. It's just as easy and friendly for me to say "Hello, Gentlemen..." or "...Ladies" as it is to say "Hi guys!" but the results are amazingly different.

11. If you are 65 and 325 pounds and ask if you can order off the kids' menu, do you really want me to keep a straight face? (I will, of course, but really, it is over and above the call...)

12. Waitresses really do wait until your mouth is full to ask you how everything is at your table.

13. If you are really swamped and service is slow, at least making eye contact and acknowledging the people who are waiting is usually enough to keep them happy. They don't expect miracles, just a little courtesy.

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!

09 January 2007

Not much news

Job #2 is swell, a few hours over lunch a few days a week. Hopefully flexible enough to facilitate the finishing of the degree as well.
The progress around the house has slowed considerably, but still continues, so that's hopeful.
Other than that, Tuesday means that we must kill time in town between dance classes. Today that means pizza with grandpa. I'm off to make a salad to go with that. TTFN!

04 January 2007

Thursday Again!

Off to test-run a brand new Job 2 today. Note this is "job" and not "Career." Meh.
For your enjoyment...

Thirteen Pros and Cons about Working Two Jobs...(or even just working)

1. More money!
2. Daycare
3. Today's schedule brought to you by even more insanity
4. Kids volunteer to babysit their siblings because I pay them (see also "Daycare")
5. Family leaves me the dishes from the dinner I fixed but did not eat with them
6. More scheduled trips to town, around which to plan errands
7. New co-workers to enjoy/tolerate/loathe
8. New food to sample at employee discount
9. New system to learn
10. New clientele to enjoy/tolerate/loathe
11. Minnesota has no tip differential!
12. Bills getting paid
13. Naptime and housework constraints

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!

03 January 2007

Progress report...

The new year is off with a bang on more than one front.
Danny B. is recovering as expected. He's got a bit of discomfort due to bits of his abdomen rearranging themselves to accommodate the now-functioning bladder. All systems are go and just need to heal at this point, and guard for rejection. He should be out of the hospital within a week, but remaining in the Twin Cities with family for six weeks to monitor progress. Thanks for the prayers so far, and please keep 'em coming as he recovers.
The dogs are becoming more comfortable with each passing day. Having both of them has made the process of kenneling so much easier because we have no barking or scratching to get out. They're content to snuggle up and keep each other company. After potties, they have the run of the house for a couple hours, but usually choose to put themselves back before I would.
I have been really concentrating on getting stuff done around the house. All of the retired DJ equipment got dumped in the storeroom with the Christmas stuff, making it nearly impossible to get out. Yesterday I gutted that room, put the DJ equipment in order, then got the Halloween deco put away with plenty of room left for the Christmas stuff, which will come down over the next few days. I got rid of some stuff through Freecycle(tm), girlfriends and the thrift store. I'm am concentrating very hard on not biting off more than I can chew, and taking babysteps with the projects. So far, so good.
Meanwhile, as I putter around the basement, iPastor has been going gangbusters in the studio on the third floor. He's making some cosmetic alterations to set up for more active video production, and getting some more ministry-focused media ready for the site. We have plenty of industrials and family video projects, but he wants to get the other stuff out there in circulation soon. The all-around challenge is going to be living up to the great start this year!


I'm sure I posted this on the old blog, but it's great, and I am jealous of everyone else's Christmas memories. We still have a couple of days before epiphany, so neener on you if you think it's too late for Christmas posting.

Last year, Thing 4 was just getting the hang of talking, and would chatter almost incessantly. As we were sitting for Christmas dinner, he was jabbering away, very insistent about something. I said to him, rather offhandedly, that I wished he would slow down and speak more clearly so I could understand him. Meanwhile, one of his sisters told me from the other side tht she thought he was asking for chocolate in his milk. I turned to look at him; he looked at me very seriously and quite slowly and deliberately said, "Cawk-wit."


With that, I am off to keep up the momentum. Hope your day is filled with cawkwit.

01 January 2007

Happy New Year, indeed!!

Been noisy and fun around here. My traveling Things came home yesterday, a tad early but happy and content. They were immediately pressed into service to prepare for our New Year's Eve game party, which was great, a real mix of friends from church, work, theatre and other fields.
The real event of the night took place about 10 minutes after midnight, when almost simultaneously, David B's cell phone rang and Bob B. came in the door to gather some company for a road trip. His brother, our neighbor who had been at the party earlier, had just received word that a kidney is waiting for him in Minneapolis. They're en route now, and we ask that you join us to pray for their safe trip, Danny B.'s successful surgery, and the family who is mourning a donor.
Hope your New Year, and ours, is as full of promise!