31 December 2008

The End of Blog 365

New Year's Eve brings the end of Blog 365. A grand social experiment, or an excuse for a bunch of lameass posts. You decide.
My resolution for the New Year: to post some worthwhile content in this here bandwidth.
Happy New Year Everyone!!

30 December 2008

More cleaning

I am actually enjoying the puttering about the house. I am starting to think about some more smaller projects around here now that the end of the bathroom reno is in sight. Must be something about snowstorms that makes a body want to nest. I need some serious distraction...

29 December 2008


Well I think we can finally say that's the last Christmas celebration of the year. Brother and his wife came bearing gifts today, so we had a lovely ham dinner. I gave brother a basket o' goodies and took SIL yarn shopping. All but one of my sisters/SIL's knit, which makes them easy to buy for. Now to continue the cleaning for the New Year's Eve party. Same ol' game party. It's mellow and fun, and requires no reservations.

28 December 2008

In that mood again

Today between rounds at church, I completely gutted my linen closet. How many sets of sheets does a person need, anyway? We only sleep on one at a time. Got rid of curtains I'll never hang again and pillow shams I have never used (my pillows go under the spread; they're utilitarian, not decorative) The back of my little truck is full and ready for a trip to the thrift store. Now, to keep the momentum.

27 December 2008


Speed run today for holiday fun with friends. iPastor hooked the Wii our projector and we had a blast playing. Hate driving both ways in one day, though. Kills a lot of daylight. 2.5 hours to the dot home. Yuck.

26 December 2008

Cut the cord!!!

How stupidly internet dependent am I? When I got out to my car this morning to head south, the battery was dead. Bummer. Nothing I couldn't fix with a trickle charge and time, but it killed my road trip. It was too early to call my friend, so I surfed aimlessly for a while until my internet went down, which it does frequently for short periods. Not too happy about that, but ISP beggars can't be choosers. I busied myself with some laundry and putzed around the house, checking back from time to time. Still no 'net. Now it was becoming a problem. My friend had emailed her phone number to my gmail account, and I hadn't bothered to write it down or transfer it to my hard drive address book, because, hey, I had it right at my fingertips, right? I also had to scrounge up my kid's cell phone, because my little-used one is in a box at school, and out house phone service is Vonage, delivered, of course, via the internet (voice over IP). Unfortunately, friend's parents are unlisted, so I can't track down a number to let her know I am safe at home. Gonna have to put in some fixes around here, just as soon as my connection comes back, anyway...

*whew* Back online and pacified. Really gonna have to do something about my little problem.

25 December 2008

Merry Christmas

We had a lovely Christmas Day with iPastor's dad and the steps. Good food, good family, good fun.

Things playing with the adorable nephew/cousin, current baby of the clan. Somebody else needs to get busy makin' babies for us aunties to mash on. We've had our turn. Luckily there are stepbrothers and older nephews to produce more.

He's too sexy for this cousin.

Requisite monkey pile in grandpa's big chair.

iPastor brought along the new toy to share with the fam. We ate lots and talked lots and had a lovely time.

Hope your Christmas was as nice.

24 December 2008

Killer Music

Yesterday the crud snuck up and bit me on the butt, putting me down for the count. After everyone else got off to school and work, I had a bit of a stomach ache, which I chalked up to wine and hummus too close to bedtime. I realized there was no reaso not to go back to bed for a while, so I did. I dragged myself back out at 9:45, to dig out my car and head to Thing 4's headstart party. I realized then that I was feeling decidedly ill. I soldiered on and got through school, which was shortened class periods followed by a streamed movie for the kids. It was fun, but I packed out of the building as soon as humanly possible, and went straight to bed, from which I did not crawl out until about 7pm, to bathe and force down a couple of dry pancakes. I went back to bed and slept through the night, feeling much better this morning. As with the rest of the family, this particular bug seems to be relatively short-lived and easily slept off.
However, in my sleepy state I was unable to relate the tale of the Christmas concert. The choir and band have taken to having their Christmas concerts together, which on the surface would be a good timesaver. However, teardown and setup between the groups are longer than the actual concert. This year the band director attempted to rectify this a little: having the bands switch over during a percussion feature, segueing his groups together, etc. It helped. However, the instruments were really suffering from dry air and cold, and he and the junior high director performed some speedy, between song instrument surgeries. Then came the choirs. First, a young man nearly passed out. The director stopped him and headed him offstage to a waiting nurse. The kids finished the songs as two more left before they dropped, then one fell off the back of the risers. Soon, someone tapped me to come help in the lobby. One of the kids who walked off was having some serious pain, and they sent me for her parents, our friends from last weekend's post. As I got her stepmom, she told me, "It's the world's most dangerous concert! They're dropping like flies!" One to remember, that's for sure.
We'll have a quiet night at home together for Christmas Eve, doing some baking and playing with the Wii, I'm sure. Tomorrow we'll spend the day with iPastor's family, the I will head down to my hometown for a coffee gathering with friends from high school. When I get back, we'll turn around and head to the cities to spend a day with our friends like family there. Next week will be kicked back and quiet; I have papers to correct and some projects to keep me busy. Looking forward to that.

23 December 2008

Return of the Crud

Thought it missed me. Guess again.

22 December 2008

So I shamelessly copy/pasted this from NPR's website, because I thought the fella made some interesting points. His comments were full of saber rattlers from both camps, and they had a few points of their own, but mostly fuss and bluster. This guy is a little left of Timothy Leary in his stated views, and I, a self-proclaimed liberal in my own right, don't agree with his views on several social issues. I'm all about the love, man, but don't adjust the legal system to accommodate every possible lifestyle. But he also makes the point that Obama is the chosen president of the whole country, and the whole country has to start finding what we have in common and resting our focus there, rather than picking at the already frayed edges of our differences until we unravel the fabric of our society even further. So, here ya go. Fire away.

I'm A Lefty And I Like Obama's Pick Of Rick Warren

by David Weinberger

NPR.org, December 18, 2008 · I'm a liberal. Free the whales. Tax the rich! I swear to you that not only do I drive a Prius, I turned in our Volvo for it. If you know any one of my political positions, you know them all. That's how embarrassingly stereotypical I am. So pardon me if I take a moment to give some advice to my fellow liberals and progressives: Chill out, will you?

You're already out criticizing our president-elect for betraying our side. He's gone soft on wiretapping, on raising taxes on the wealthy, and now you're having conniptions because Barack Obama has invited the Rev. Rick Warren onto the inaugural podium. The shame! The horror!

Rick Warren believes things that are anathema to liberals like me.

Rick Warren is against abortion choice and totally against gay marriage. I'm from Massachusetts. I'm totally for both those things.

But personally I'm delighted that Rick Warren was asked and he agreed to participate in the inauguration.

My lefty friends, you're not listening. All through the campaign, you thought Obama was just hiding his real views — which you assumed just had to be the same as yours — in order to get elected. Well, read Obama's book. Replay his speeches that you've TiVo'ed. Yes, Obama shares many key liberal views. But he's more interested in addressing a fundamental issue that we liberals have been just plain wrong about. And so have been the conservatives. That problem is that we're so damn angry at one another. All the time. For decades. We can barely live in the same country. The blue states sneer at the red states. The red states think the blue states aren't really America. We can't go on this way.

So in walks Obama. He's a blue state guy, of course. But he's getting us to do what seems impossible: to listen to what's best in what the other side is saying, because then you hear the shared values, and the other side isn't another side at all. That means you put Rick Warren up on the stage with you, because he disagrees with you. Yet he's there celebrating the moment when a person becomes a president of all the people. To progressives, Rick Warren is a symbol of views they disagree with. To the rest of the country, Rick Warren is a symbol of "the purpose driven life" that he has written about, a life lived for something larger than yourself ... a value liberals completely share.

And to Barack Obama, I believe Rick Warren's participation is also a symbol. Obama is modeling yet again how we can live together by finding what's good, and admirable, and right in what others believe, and not getting stuck only on what we disagree with.

Obama is redefining politics not by driving left or right, but by redefining patriotism. What does it mean to love your country?

To be convinced you know what's right and therefore to sneer at those who disagree with you? Or does loving your country in practice mean finding what's best in all your fellow citizens?

Obama's got an answer to that question. It's where hope comes from.

And if you don't know that, if you still only look through the lens of left and right, blue and red, you really have not been listening.

David Weinberger is at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

I have more Christmasy, thoughtful and interesting posts perking on the back burner, but they'll wait for Christmas break.

21 December 2008

Happy Solstice.

Unfortunately, windchills of -40 make it difficult to dance naked around a fire as they did on solstices in ancient times. Nobody wants to see that anyway...

20 December 2008

And again with the snow

This week's blizzard moved in a few hours early, as opposed to last week's pokey storm.
Either the winds weren't as strong or came from a different direction this week as I didn't hear them howling like last time. We were socked in from the word go. At about 2:30 the sky cleared and the sun shone, but it was blowing and drifting something fierce.
We rallied the kids to help clean up around the house a little, then Santa Daddy pulled out his bag an declared that being snowbound called for early presents. The reaction was everything that could be expected: squealing, clapping, and hugs for dad the hero.
The rest of the day was a total loss to Wii goodness. Wii fit will totally make me skinny and fabulous. Right?

19 December 2008

Big Wieners

Three teams to Jr. High K-Bowl Subregional tournament; One wins it all, two don't place. Pizza buffet for lunch. Not a bad day...

18 December 2008

Dogs are Barkin'

It's Christmas party time at the waitress job. Ran my butt off. Ready for bed. Early day tomorrow with K-Bowl kids.

17 December 2008


iPastor upgraded to a swell new Macbook a couple of months ago, and handed me down the old ibook. It is pretty nice still, despite the fact that we've had it since 2003 or 4 or something, which means its age is 265 in computer years. At the end of the summer I moved my stuff from my old iMac to MIL's Mini. About the time I was settled in there, I got the ibook and moved files again. Now, the hard drive is sounding decidedly tired and groany, so I am burning backup disks in hopes of avoiding a loss of data should it finally give up the ghost. I think mama needs to go shopping. Just wish mama had more money.

16 December 2008

Couldn't have said it better myself...

As I hustled Thing 4 about getting ready this morning:

"Mom, it's night out. We don't wake up at night. I can't see the sun."

Too true, kid, too true...

15 December 2008

Snow Day v2.0

So my district snowed out today. Things' district had a 2 hour delay. I stayed home with iPastor and he made us a lovely breakfast and we had some quality time.
Unfortunately, that was broken by the news that our neighbors lost their house to an electrical fire this morning. People and children all safe, house unlivable. And it's terribly cold today. Poop.

14 December 2008

Snow Day!

Our evening out rocked. We had dinner at a mediocre Chinese buffet, but hey, if you can't find something to make you happy on a buffet, you're simply not trying hard enough. We then went down memory lane to see a show in the black box theatre where I misspent a good portion of my youth. The show (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change) was very good. Afterward, we planned for coffee or something, and I called one of our old profs to join us. He instead invited us over before I could get the words out of my mouth and we wound up staying out wayyyyyyyy too late around his fireside. Too much fun. He had never met our friends before, but was a charming and gracious host to them as he took us in as if we hadn't been neglectful in 20 years of sporadic contact, and never missed a beat.
Luckily for us, the weather moved in a little later than expected. We came home in fair weather, and woke to a howling blizzard. Church cancelled, and the kids and I hunkered in. The wind shrieked all day. The local radio station reports 7 inches of snow, but that can be sporadic. What I do know for sure? Remember that bar across the road that I blogged about in August that lost its roof? I'm pretty sure its still over there...

Unfortunately, iPastor had to go in for a short shift. By the time he was to return, conditions had worsened, so he stayed safely in town with the friends we had been with the night before. We were complaining how we never saw each other, now they're probably sick of him. ;)
The kids and I did nothing but eat. I rallied them for a cleaning session that went very well, but was immediately destroyed by baking cookies and building blanket forts. What the heck. It's a snow day. I got to take a two-hour nap, what should I complain about?

13 December 2008

Calm before the storm

The forecast for the next couple of days is not pretty, and like typical Minnesotans, everyone went shopping today.
My knowledge bowl team headed out for a new meet, and remained firmly in the middle of the pack. The power team graduated last year, and our potential remains untapped to its best advantage. The kids really seem to be having a blast, though, so it is all good.
iPastor and I are planning dinner and a show with another couple tonight. A grownup night out with no kids! I don't know quite what to do with myself... Might see some old friends in our college town (where we're headed for the evening's festivities) so who knows what the evening will bring. The weather is supposed to move in late tonight, so we should have plenty of time for fun before heading home for safety.

12 December 2008

On the mend

Thankfully, our brand of crud seems to be relatively short-lived, and everyone appears to be on the mend with some extra fluids and extra sleep.
The forecast for the weekend is for a nasty blizzard to roll through Sunday. The teachers at school were worse than the kids. "We'll probably have snow day Monday...Get the calling tree ready...I'm going to the cities tonight so I can get snowed in there...I'm looking forward to laying on the couch watching football Sunday and prepping for NOTHING..." Good times, good times.
I am doing a bit of nesting. Got to the grocer last night and stocked up for a few days, so I'm prepping stuff now for the weekend so I don't have to worry about it. Filled the crockpot, threw together soup, life is good...

11 December 2008

Creeping Crud

Last week Thing 4 had a little bug. He doesn't yet communicate his aches and pains with much accuracy, but he was unusually quiet and sleepy, with occasional random puking. He slept it off with no fanfare. It was therefore little surprise Monday nite to find Thing 2 hurling her guts into her wastebasket. Thing 1 and I seem to have gotten by with general yuckiness, though it explains our tendency to crawl off to bed early these past couple nights. iPastor, however reports from work that he's feeling nasty. Hopefully Thing 3 will remain untouched, but we'll wait and see. In the meantime, use plenty of hand sanitizer when you surf this way.

10 December 2008


I've been swallowed by eBay, and I can't get out!

Boxing the latest batch of Snowbabies for shipping. Thought it was the last, but I keep finding more. The next batch is all Easter, though, so I can wait with it. Thank goodness.

09 December 2008

I ::heart:: Shakespeare

Now I just have to convince 18 kids to do the same.

08 December 2008

Breaking and Entering

You're not very good at this, are you?

07 December 2008

So I blinked...

...and my weekend is gone. What the heck?

06 December 2008

Round One

First Knowledge Bowl meet of the season was killer. The questions were much harder than those we've been practicing with, or at least more obscure. It was a good time though. iPastor came as a room helper for our team, but had the benefit of hanging with our own Thing and her team. Round two next week. Oughta be a good time.

04 December 2008


Christmas=fake egg nog in cartons in the fridge case for a month! Rock! I am happy.

03 December 2008

Third Day Third Day

So I'm late to the party for Third Day on the Third Day, but I am STOKED that I just got notification that my cancelled concert was rescheduled!! YAY! Now I only have to wait until March...

02 December 2008

Parent power

Small-town living leads to its own set of unique circumstances. This is how I live in a tiny town, my kid goes to school in the next, slightly larger town, and I teach in the neighboring district at a school out in the middle of nowhere, but equidistant from most of the small towns in that district. This is also how I can wind up coaching knowledge bowl for my school, and my kid is on the team for her school. I teach with a lady who lives in the larger town, but her husband teaches in ANOTHER neighboring district. Now that you're totally confused (or completely don't care) I can move on to my fascinating story about how I went to my kid's parent night to compete against her. As it was, her team beat the parent team by ONE point, but only because of their younger, quicker reflexes on the buzzer. I did get to spy out their t-shirt designs for this year (there's an unofficial competition to create the wittiest, geekiest, inside-jokiest shirts) and I think ours is cooler. Theirs is an upside-down "cheat sheet" of common recurring answers from the past; ours is various misspellings of "I'm a genius" struck through and replaced with "I'm really smart!" 'cuz we're clever like that.

01 December 2008

Holed up

It is so very difficult for me not to crawl under my covers and hide for the next two months or so. I don't know how I wound up living in the upper midwest when I am so disenchanted with winter! Mornings aren't so bad. Somehow I can rise before the sun and push myself underway until light filters in the window. Evenings, however, drag me down. The dark creeps up on me and sneaks into my soul and pulls me under. Maybe its worse because the iPastor works evenings lately, and he's not here to balance me against the little people. Right now, the recliner is calling me to hide under a planket and turn on the TV. Must...remain...upright...