Yesterday we cruised down to G & G's house. Cruise might be an exaggeration. Slowly drifted, might be a more accurate description. Lots of snow and a little wind.
Once we arrived and consumed a fair amount of sugar and salt and put the drunk bird in the oven, we decided we should take advantage of the warmer temperatures and head out to the back yard to sled. G & G had gotten their fair share of snow this week and had a good 18-24 inches of fresh powder. That proved to be a problem. After a couple of non-productive runs down the hill in my too small saucer, I headed to the garage for a shovel.
Seems like an oxymoron, shoveling a path down the hill so you can sled. The snow was very dry and didn't want to pack down, but after about 20 trips up and down the hill, we finally blazed a decent trail. It was starting to get dark so B & G were going to take their last trips down the hill. B went down on his stomach and declared he looked like a penguin. Next G-pa (my slightly rotund Dad) decided to go down the hill on his stomach. We decided he looked like a walrus. Moved about as well as one too.
We headed to the house and into the kitchen where the drunk bird had leaked all over in the oven and created quite a stink. Not sure how EB and my brother managed to sit in the house for an hour and never notice that something was burning in the oven.
We doctored it up the best we could with the some chicken broth and the wonderful rolls my dad made.
This morning we got up and my dad had made homemade sticky buns and then put our van in their garage with the fire going in the wood stove to warm it up for our trip home.
He is a wonderful G-pa.
I am looking forward to a nice quiet Christmas with just us.
BTW - I look great in camouflage snow pants, jacket and a blaze orange stocking cap. You only wish you could pull off that look like I can.
Also, I just finished a fabulous book. It is called Shadow Divers, by Robert Kurson. Fantastic.
Tonight we were watching the biggest loser finale, when the new TMobile commercial came on.
B comes into the kitchen and says, "You know mom, that companion fare stuff is just a scam."
Let me tell you what is a scam. Weather.com. Before we moved to this area, I did thorough research about the difference in the weather. Two degrees lower average temperature each month. That is it, two measly degrees. Why then is it -8 again today. People always say it can't snow when it is this cold. Guess what? It can and it does. It took 2 hours and 30 minutes to drive 29 miles. This is the 3rd day in 2 weeks where it has taken 2 hours to get to or from work.
To add insult to injury as I was sitting there in traffic, trying desperately to see through my half wet half frozen windshield, I watched the windshield crack from one side to the other.
Saturday night our CEO hosted a holiday party at her house. I didn't want to go. I am really not a big fan of social functions with corporate leadership. I am now part of that group, so I must get over it. It was really quite nice and spouses were included. In all, there were about 40 people there. The best part of the evening was the white elephant gift exchange.
There were some pretty spectacular gifts; a bacon wallet (a wallet that looked like a slab of bacon), some one's old cassette tapes (homemade even), a giant soup tureen in the shape of a tomato, a bud vase that attaches to your computer and many more.
I was the lucky recipient of Mr. Wonderful. (Not that I don't already have a Mr. Wonderful)
There was only one other gift I would like to have had and that was a box of 25 Salted Nut Rolls.
Tonight G & Z had their Bugz concert. Which meant we had very little time for dinner. Okay, I just didn't want to cook anything. We had hamburger and macaroni and cheese. I don't mean hamburgers, I mean cooked hamburger, with ketchup. I am one special mother.
They were so darn cute. I was a little teary eyed.
Needless to say I didn't run outdoors this morning. I thought about it for a whole 5 seconds and then smartened up. So I ran for 2.5 hours at the Y. I did 1/2 hour on the treadmill, 1/2 hour on the track, 1/2 hour on the treadmill and then the last hour on the track. I hate running on a treadmill/track, but the risk of frostbite isn't worth it. I did actually see some moron out running on my way to the gym.
EB and the kids put up the Christmas tree and I am sitting here listening to my new Casting Crowns Christmas CD with the glow of the tree and my laptop screen. I am not going to do the usual decorating, just not into it when there isn't a place to put anything in this house.
I still have to make the kids cosutmes for their concert on Thursday. It is not a Christmas concert. It is called Bugz and they are yes, you guessed it, bugs. G is going to be a firefly and Z is going to be a spider. The concert was supposed to be in November but the stage was not available at that time.
I ordered G a pair of Jazz pants on line and when they got here they were about 4 inches too long. So last night I went to hem up her pants and I could only had hot pink thread. Mind you I have about 50 spools of thread packed in a box, but I wasn't going out to the garage to dig for them.
I thought who cares if they are hemmed with pink thread, black and pink is a great combination. I started hemming them and then looked at it and thought I can't do that, that is really tacky. I hollered at the EB and said, could you bring me a black sharpie. Problem solved. I colored the thread I hadn't yes sown and then colored in the spots I had sown. I then moved on to leg two, where I proceeded to him it on the outside instead of the inside. Yeah, let me color some more thread. It could be sheer genius.
While we were home for Thanksgiving, my mom gave me my birth certificate, with my giant footprints, my baptism certificate and my Kindergarten report card. I don't really remember Kindergarten. Maybe this is why.
I was a more than a little devastated by the "N"s. Needs improvement, just in case it wouldn't occur to you that I might need improvement.
Good thing that lack of self confidence didn't stop me from going to first grade or second or third or fourth or graduating from college. Honestly nothing has changed I just pretend better.
Thankfully I possessed good scissor skills or I might not have gotten anywhere in life.
So I had a title for this post and when I started to type it in, the rest popped in automatically. I hate it when that happens. I can't come up with something more creative than decisions, decisions, decisions. Maybe because I feel like I am constantly having to make decisions and lets face it I don't want to make any more decisions.
I don't want to decide whether to buy or build.
I don't want to decide 3 bedrooms or 4.
I don't want to decide ranch or 2 story.
I don't want to decide whether to get rid of some of my staff altogether or just move them to other areas.
I don't want to decide if we should work on this or that first.
I don't want to decide whether to buy G a new coat or just make her wear the pink one that is filthy dirty and won't come clean.
Geez I don't want to even decide what to eat for dinner.
There are some days when you really should not get up.
It all started at 3:30 am when I heard this barely audible whisper. "Mom, mom, mom, mom." When I finally came to, from my coma, and was capable of focusing, I made out a small figure at the end of my bed. Guess who? Yes, it was Z.
I started to walk him back to bed when he wails, "My leg hurts!" So we go get some Tylenol and stumble back to his bed. I rubbed his leg for a while, headed back to bed where I actually fell right asleep, only to be brutally awoken seconds later by that @##$#$%!#$% alarm.
As I was getting dressed, EB said, "You have one black nylon and one blue." Back to the fishing for socks expedition.
Off to work. Around 7:30 I head to the ladies room and as I was washing my hands I discovered that I had put on a blue turtleneck instead of a black one. I am wearing black shoes, gray pants and a red jacket, with a blue turtleneck.
I couldn't deal with it. My co-worker said it looked fine, but I couldn't stand it. So I ran to Target to get a black turtleneck. I pulled into the parking lot, stopped at the stop sign, turned on my signal to go into the parking area and then almost drove into the concrete island at the end of the row. I saw it, I just maybe thought I could drive over it. After I recover from the embarrassment I parked the car, grabbed my reusable bag, purse and umbrella and headed into the store. I dropped my bag, so I bent over to pick it up and as i stood up I got my shoe caught in the handle of the bag. Thankfully I did not land on the ground, but did get even more wet than I was. I did manage to quickly make my purchases and leave.
Later in the day, I was on my way to a lunch in learn and I thought I would stop in the bathroom quick. I opened the door, took a step in and thought, hmmm, that is not where the sinks are in our bathroom. So I stepped back out and looked at the sign and it said "men". I heard a flush and quickly retreated, checked the hallway to make sure no one saw me and then headed to the lunch in learn.
Our lunch and learn was on super foods and she was talking about how great fresh herbs were and that they were really easy to grow in your kitchen. She said, "Is anyone here a pot grower?" I said, "No, but I think my neighbors are." I didn't actually mean to say it out loud, I caught myself off guard. I cracked up and couldn't stop giggling. My coworker who knows what is going on started cracking up too. People were staring and I was turning beet red.
Thank goodness the day was nearly over and I was able to go home and hide my head in shame.
Last night I had my hair colored and cut and I think the chemicals really affected my brain. At least that is my excuse.
Every Saturday night, while the mother of the other duplex residents is working, they start cooking.
It ain't no creme bruele.
They crack their garage door a bit, and get to cooking.
Then the cars come, just a few, but always different ones.
Maybe he is not a good cook.
Tonight it was a guy, probably in his early 30s with a crying kid in the back seat. I saw the neighbor come out of his garage and he saw us and started that whole, not doing anything act.
I told the landlord earlier this week, but didn't really expect them to be able to do anything. I thought maybe they could come up with some reason to go in the garage, but not really. I have thought about calling the police, but they would know who called and I don't need them doing anything to the kids.
It turns out that I am a chicken. Bawk, bawk, bawk. Okay, my sister could have told you that when I was 4 or 5. After my little sister was born, my older sister and I had our bedroom moved down to the basement. Every night before I could go to sleep, I would yell up to my Mom and Dad, "Did you lock the back door?" There was a shed out behind our house (which I was told was haunted) and a very large field. My older sisters both liked to scare the living daylights out of us. Making us watch the Gargoyles movie and the likes.
Anyway, back to the point of my story. The other night I went running on a pretty well lit sidewalk, but the area is pretty desolate. It gave me the creeps and it was only 5:00 pm. We decided to join the local YMCA, it will make things easier for everyone. EB and I can exercise, while the kids take swimming lessons, art classes or any number of other things. I won't have to be afraid of the dark and I can run any time between 5 am and 10 pm. I also won't have to worry about slipping on the ice, in the great north here.
Last night I went for the first time. I went up to the treadmills/track area. They have a 30 minute limit on the cardio equipment so I thought I run on the treadmill for a while and then on the track. Get this.... the track is 1/17th of a mile.
Yes that is right. 1/17th of a mile.
If I want to do a 20 mile training run I will need to run 340 laps.
I am not sure who will lose their mind first, me trying to count all those laps or those people who have to watch me go by 340 times.
Literally. Friday night we took the kids to see HSM3, instead of going trick or treating. It was a win for me. No candy, no costumes, no crying over candy, no crying over costumes. Fifteen minutes into the movie and Z is sound asleep. I moved over to his seat to pick him up so he wouldn't have a sore neck when he woke up. (There were a total of 10 people in the theater and we were in the back row, so I didn't disrupt anyone.)
So we are watching the movie when we get to the potential break-up scene and Z starts snoring, B is crying and G is sitting at the edge of her seat, just mesmerized by it all. I kept moving Z's head but he just kept on snoring. B recovered once all was right in the world with Troy and Gabriella.
He is a very emotional.
I do have to say that, although the plot was thoroughly predictable, the music was great and the dancing was pretty remarkable. It is nice to be able to go to a movie with my kids that is not a cartoon.
On the way home, G says, "Mom, how much did that cost?"
I said, "Fifty dollars."
She said, "Oh that's not bad."
B said, "Gabby, that is half of a hundred dollars. That is too bad!"
I said, "It was worth every penny of the fifty dollars."
Do not and I repeat do not, go to your department outing have a beer, a couple of diet cokes and some cheese curds and then think you can go home and run 4.5 miles.
I was not anywhere near intoxicated by the beer, but the combination of the three really made miles 2-4 stink. I didn't really run the last .5 and contemplated calling EB to come and get me. Thank goodness there was no one near me to hear me. You know, whining and stuff.
And because I am a glutton for punishment, I decided I would add a little fiber into my evening diet by dining on pumpkin seeds.
Tune in tomorrow to see the list of the most important tools for pumpkin carving.
Last week, as I was chastising my mother for letting my children have whatever it is they want (like pepsi and chips for breakfast), she reminded again about how our grandparents spoiled us.
I loved all of my grandparents. Both of my grandma's were great cooks. You could always count on Grandma Funky (yes that is what we called her) to have a big pot of stew like concoction on the stove. I loved her boiled dinner. Great Grandma Aney made these fabulous chocolate cookies, that we can not find the recipe for anywhere. I have tried several recipes but haven't found it yet.
I'll say it again, I loved them all, but I miss Grandma Eleanor the most. I don't know why, I just do. Grandma Funky passed away when I was 18, Grandma Eleanor passed away when I was in my 30's. Maybe it takes until you're an adult to really know what it means to have a grandparent around.
I have a picture of her from her 89th birthday on my refrigerator. Occasionally I will walk by and just give her a little kiss. She died not long after her birthday. She was a tiny woman with a heart of gold. I am getting choked up just thinking about her and she has been gone more than 10 years. My mom reminded me, how she always made me rice pudding. Every time I asked. She never said no. They lived just 15 miles from us and we often spent the weekend there or a week in the summer. Every morning she would make me oatmeal, with toasted homemade bread, for breakfast, . She would let me eat it in the tv room, sitting in grandpa's recliner. There were always cookies in the freezer and caramels and butter scotches in candy dish. When my grandfather was still alive, we would have dinner, watch Lawrence Welk and then go to church on Saturday night. I don't remember staying there a whole lot after my grandfather died. I don't know why.
A few years ago, I bought a bottle of Jergen's lotion and took it to work. The first time I used it, tears came to my eyes and I couldn't figure out why. Later on that day I realized what it was. It was Jergen's Cherry Almond and it smelled like my grandma. There was always a bottle on the shelf in her bathroom, along with a container of Coty face powder . I can still see every thing in her pink bathroom.
When she died, my grandfather had died many years before, all of her children and grandchildren split up their belongings. We had a wonderful time going through their things. I took the metal bed that had been in the upstairs bedroom/attic. There were two of them and my cousin Kathy and I used to have the best time when we got to stay at grandma's together. I can't remember who took the other one.
Sometimes I just miss her so much. Here's to you Eleanor.
Off to Tucker and Becky's. There are many signs on the road for Tucker and Becky's. Why so many signs? Because Tucker and Becky's is at the bottom of a ravine. It is a very long, steep and winding road. You keep thinking, I must be close, there is another sign. Okay let's face it the only reason we kept going is because we were following my sister and could not have gotten home without her.
I have decided that Tucker and Becky, must not leave their home between November and May. There is no way.
Once I recovered from the careening down the ravine, we had a delightful time. (BTW my sister drives like a maniac.) A friend of Tucker and Becky took us on a hayride out to the pumpkin/gourd patch. The kids picked some beautiful, reasonably priced, pumpkins. We also got a little geological history of the area. It really is a spectacular back yard view.
Here is a picture of the kids and my niece's son. What does one call one's niece's son. If you know, let me know. I have been posting pictures of my kids, which I said I wouldn't do, but what the heck. The only people who read this blog know already know my kids. And puhlease they are so darn cute.
We took a different route home. Not any slower, but a little less steep. Who gave you a driver's license anyway, Sister.
We decided to head to my mom and dad's this weekend. So nice to be close enough to go Saturday morning and come back Sunday evening, no more 10 hour drives. Since the weather was going to be good we thought we might stop and take some pictures along the way.
We took the, much much much longer, scenic route. The only place we really saw to stop and take pictures was this wayside. We stopped and I climbed down the path to the river and railroad tracks below to check it out. I thought that might make a cool picture on the railroad tracks with the lake in the background. So I climbed back up the hill, in my heeled boots, and brought the rest of the gang down.
The kids were a bit freaked out about me wanting to take a picture on the tracks. "What if a train comes?" EB says,"There isn't going to be a train." So we get everything set up and EB and the kids head out to the tracks and I line up the camera. Before we get set up around the corner, about 300 yards a way, comes a train. A couple of, "hurry ups" later and everyone including the camera is off the track.
Now the kids really don't want to go on the track, but they did. I get the camera set up and the flash turned on and take a test shot and poop, there go the flash batteries. One test shot is all I got. I use the on camera flash, but that just won't cut it for a shot of this distance. I think the idea was good, but not without a flash. So we'll just take more. There were a couple of others on the lake that might be keepers.
After lunch at G&G's we headed off to Tucker and Becky's pumpkin patch. I'll share that, later this week.
I have always wanted a house with a cathedral ceiling. Until now, when I have a house with a cathedral ceiling. My computer is in the loft area, right next to the wall that over looks the living room. I don't look down, but I do look out and I don't like the view.
The &*%^&& beetles and box elder bugs are back and out of reach. We have sucked them up with the Dyson, but they just keep coming back. We had a bit of frost Monday am and there were plenty of dead ones right outside the door. Today it was 60 and the all seem to have reincarnated. It takes a tacticalmaneuver just to get in the front door. You must first kick the door and then stomp on as many as you can before you go in. It really take a team effort.
Then there is all this dangly stuff. I would say it might be a cobweb or two, but if I had cobwebs, I would have spiders and if I had spiders then I wouldn't have &*%^&& beetles and box elder bugs.
I may have to rethink the whole cathedral ceiling. I can't even change a light bulb without a ladder. Amazingly enough, I don't have an indoor one of those.
BTW did anyone else gasp when they opened their 401k statements this month. I wasn't going to do it, but morbid curiosity got the best of me. The sad things is, this is from before the crash last week. Jeez, I can't wait until 4thqtr.
Although the fall color is a little disappointing this year, there are plenty of beautiful things to take their place.
Today after church, which btw we have gone 4 times and have yet to hear the main pastor speak, we went to this lovely state park just 10 minutes from our house. We walked a couple of miles, saw a bald eagle circling in the sky, and hiked way down this really big slimy leaf covered hill. We were not disappointed. I love the falling water and I saw a fish jump up the waterfall. I, of course, didn't have my camera up. Still, I could have sat there for hours listening to the water.
Maybe I sat there a little longer than I needed because of this.
This was just a small portion of it. It sort of circles around, so you don't accidentally go careening off the side of the hill. It was paved for most of it. That is probably worse when covered with wet leaves. The kids can't wait to try it out in the snow.
What a crazy week. Sunday I went and stalked my crazy friends who ran a marathon when it was 50 degrees and pouring down rain. I was the psycho lady in the blaze orange poncho. They were awesome and I was so jealous of their accomplishment.
Next I was off to Birmingham for a conference. I was pleasantly surprised by the topography of the city. I used to live in Florida and I have been to Texas, so I thought the whole south must be that flat, but not Birmingham. I didn't realize it is the very end of the Appalachian mountains. Apparently when you get just a bit south of there it completely flattens out. Anyway it was very pretty and quite warm.
Back at home and feeling like I have spent the last two weeks eating anything and everything in my sight. Thursday I went out for a run/walk. EB doesn't like it when I am gone but said he would be supportive of my need to exercise. Hello if you don't you will just have to continue to watch my fat fanny waddle around the house.
So it is Saturday morning and I am ready to go at it again. I know I can get back to it, it just isn't easy. I said to the wonderful EB, why don't you go with me and the kids can ride their bikes. I said I am going to go 6.6 miles, but you can just go 1 or so and then turn around. I am going to walk a minute/run a minute. You can do it and it would be quality time. He said, "I can go the whole way with you." I said, "No, you can't. Besides, the kids can't ride on the highway." So off we go. We jog the first minute then, walk the next. After about the 3 minute of running, EB admits that it is a lot harder than it sounds and probably wouldn't be able to go the whole 6.6 miles. He did go about 1.5, then walked a while and hung out with the kids at the park and then did the whole run/walk thing home. I was very proud of him. Myself too, as I made pretty good time. At least for me. Gotta go check on plane tickets to JAX.
They say having a good title is critical. I say, it is just plain difficult. I could title this post many things.
Another great day.
Friends minus one.
I have created a monster.
Oh what the heck am I thinking.
In fact it is hard just to figure out where to start. I will go chronologically and hope you will stay until the end.
A friend, T1, from our old home, came to town for a conference. I reaped the rewards of her visit. On Wednesday night it was just the two of us and it was lovely. On Thursday another friend, A , came up and joined us for dinner. It was even more lovely. We headed to the suburbs, picked a restaurant off the street, plopped ourselves down and had dinner, for more than a couple of hours. We had a pitcher of Fat Tire, great food and great dessert. T1 headed south with A to spend the night.
On Friday A, T1 and T2 (a newly acquired friend) came back up for a day of shopping, because let's face it, that is what we do best. Anyway T2 and A are running in a big race tomorrow and they had to go to the Expo to pick up their race packets first. T1 and didn't mind, we thought we would just wonder around and wait for them to get their stuff.
Did you know that they give out tons of free stuff and these expos. I hadn't been to one in a while and forgot how cool they were. We tried to restrain ourselves, but when Target is there giving out lots of bags of their Archer Farms snacks and Whole Foods was giving out organic milk and mangosteen juice, one must partake. So we grabbed a lovely pink bag from a radio station and wandered up and down the isles. We picked up juice, milk, snacks, t-shirts and lots of race info (incase I lose my mind, again). T1 also had a little shock therapy (Sorry T1, I am cracking up just typing about it.) and a rub down with "The stick". I also picked up this really cool mini fanny pack thing for running, or more likely, walking for me.
They also had some really great running shirts there.
I run so I can eat.
Running is my therapy.
This sounded like a great idea 3 months ago.
Yes I know, I am almost there.
After indulging in Expo freebies we headed to lunch, because when with friends, one must eat. A and T2 were quite entertained by the fact that T1 and I were divyying (how do you spell that) up our goods. I am sure we got much better loot than they did and we weren't even running. G was ecstatic about the dill pickle cashews, when I got home. Going to one of those sure gets you charged up to consider doing something ridiculously crazy . I said I wasn't doing that again. Maybe just one more time??????? T2 is crazy and wants to run several more in the next year. A, blames it all on me. Sure it started with a little conversation at our desks a couple of years ago, but there is no way one can blame me. She said, " I could never run". I said, "Yes you can". And she did. Much more than I ever did. We ran her first 1/2 together. It was awesome. Then she brought another friend into it, that would be the crazy T2. So tomorrow, she (A) will run her third marathon and I will be there to cheer her and T2 on. I am going to be riding my bike.
The only thing that could have made the day any better would have been if A2 would have been there. Next time for sure.
I must say it again, what a great day. When you don't get to see your friends for a while, it makes it even better when you do. THANKS T1 for coming to see us!!!!
I mean seriously, why do they think they are a good idea. Traffic coming from 4 different directions, all trying to fly around this circle where no one HAS to stop. Yes you are supposed to yield to others who are already in the circle, but seriously, define in the circle.
There are two death circles on the road our house is on. They are the solution to on and off ramps of the highway. The speed limit is 45 on the road, but I think you are required to take the traffic circle, going 70. I swear people fly around the darn things on two wheels.
The kids are fascinated by them. When they build their lego and lincoln log cities, they now have traffic circles. If I take them to school and don't go through the traffic circle, they get a little ticked off.
They have this fabulous biking/walking trail that happens to cross over the entrances and exits of both of the traffic circles. They have signs on the ramps and in the circle, that say Yield for pedestrians, but that rarely happens. In fact I am certain they are getting extra points for scaring the bejeezes out of me. On the other hand, the people trying to run me over are very friendly. They always wave and I am certain it is not a single finger wave.
There is a positive side. This means I am actually out exercising, but this could be very short lived if I am taken out by a mini cooper.
We started out the day at a family fun walk at the kids new school. They had a dedication and bunch of activities. We couldn't stay long as we had a busy day, but B did go over to the YMCA camp and climb the wall.
Then we started our 3 hour drive to a birthday party. Not just any birthday party, but a 90th birthday party.
Does this woman look fabulous or what.
Her name is Eva and she is my step grandmother. We share the same birthday and have always sent each other cards on our birthdays and Christmas. We haven't seen each other since my grandfather's funeral over 10 years ago. She looks the same. In fact she looks the same as she always did. We didn't see them a lot growing up, but I'll take a grandparent anyway I can get one.
I also got to spend some time with my step uncles, I guess you would call them. One I hadn't seen since I was a kid. It was one of those weird things we didn't really talk about. Well it turns out Tony lives just 5 miles from us. We decided we should get together, have a couple of beers and figure out our family history and what we have done for the last 35 years or so.
I am so glad I went. The kids kept asking on our way down there, if there was only going to be old people there. Mostly that was the case. There were too young girls there, they were grandchildren of my uncles. 2nd cousins, once removed. Or something like that.
Next we headed up the road to visit with friends. We had fabulous food and met new friends. The kids had a great time and managed to trash the Cs basement. They really wanted us to hang out longer and have s'mores with them, but I just couldn't do it.
I mean seriously, look at this campfire.
Yes, that is a Weber grill on top of a piece of plywood, on top of two cinder blocks.
We tried living without the internet, we couldn't survive. Okay that is probably an exaggeration, but still it has been difficult. We are still living without cable, which is fine by me but others are having serious ESPN withdrawal.
How is this for bad housekeeping. After we moved out of our former residence our refrigerator died. The lovely repairman came today and it turns out it wasn't what we suspected happened. Nobody left the door open and then the compressor died. No it wasn't that. Turns out you are supposed to remove the front grill at the bottom, just occasionally, and clean out the dust. If you don't then it will kill your relay switch and the refrigerator will die. Thankfully, that is a relatively inexpensive fix.
It is amazing to me how blessed we have been through this whole transition.
Most importantly the kids love their new school. They are making new friends and they have wonderful before and after school teachers! Young, with names like Hopper and such.
EB, B, G & Z just left and once again I am sitting in my hotel room having a pitty party for myself and watching Tori and Dean. OMG they just said the season finale is tomorrow, what am I going to do?! G said to me as they left, "No red face mommy. Please don't cry because if you cry, I will cry." So I saved my crying until I was on the stairs to my hotel room.
I would like to say it was a fabulous weekend, but I can not. I am trying to remember that the kids are under a lot of stress, as well and having five of us in one little hotel room, but I was ready to have them go home on Saturday. Really but not really. The boys just refused to listen to anything we would say. G is really handling this better than anyone. We looked at several houses this weekend and I didn't have to ask her once to "stop touching" anything. The same can not be said for the boys.
I think we have decided on a house, well sort of. One of the houses we looked at and loved was new construction. One little problem, it is a bit too small. It is a 1600 sq ft ranch with 3 bedrooms and an unfinished 1600 sq ft basement. So we met with the builder and his wife, who are living in the house with their 4 children, and have worked out a plan. They are going to build us a new house with 4 bedrooms and around 1800 sq ft. It is still smaller than we really wanted, but I think the very open floor plan will work for our family. The kitchen is beautiful and there is plenty of cabinets and counter space. Best of all 2, can I just say 2, bathrooms, plus plumbed for a 3rd in the basement. More than one child can p... at the same time.
I am still having a hard time comprehending what we are going to pay for a house that is not a whole lot bigger than our old house we are going to give away. Then again, it is new. Yes new. Oh the sound of that is really pretty amazing to me.
12 days and then I will see them again and they will all be coming back with me.
I have technology again. Yeah. Here's a bunch of blah, blah, blah. I have decided that my life is completely unentertaining without my children.
So much to share, but not enough time. This is my 4th week of work and all is well. There is lots of stuff to do.
Things are a little tougher on the home front. It is harder than I ever could have thought, not seeing the kids everyday. I have been able to see some of them on the weekends, but still breaks my heart when I have to leave. They (G & Z) spent a lot of last night crying on Grandma's shoulder. That is fine, Mom cried for half of the drive home.
We were supposed to going home this next weekend to move everyone, but things are still up in the air with EB's potential new job.
We have a couple of people who are interested in buying our house, but again that is not certain yet.
Ihave been looking at houses here and am really struggling to make a decision. I have finally narrowed down the where, to two places, but what is still a ways off.
8. Staying up late, sleeping in. Sounds good in theory, but it leaves me with much guilt.
7. Mom, he's touching me.
6. Mom, there is nothing to do.
5. Pretzels for breakfast, McDonalds for lunch and snickers for a snack. (I can't believe I let them do it, must be the guilt.
4. Mom, I'm bored.
3. Mom, she's touching me.
2. Mom, Can I play my DS, (20 times a day).
1. Mom, I'm Bored.
It really has been a good two weeks, but I am ready to go back to work. Just wish it wasn't so far away. 13 hours is such a long commute:)
I will probably not be blogging for a few weeks. I am not taking a computer with me and I highly doubt they will like me blogging my first few weeks at my new job. Guess I will have to find a library, quickly.
I think I have taken this whole "moving to another state" a little too casually. I am completely unprepared and I am leaving in two days. It is not like I just found out I was leaving, hello, one should really get moving.
The plan is that I will be back here the first week in August, when we will move the whole family. (That is if EB gets this job, otherwise it will just be the kids.) That means I really only need to pack for three weeks. So how many outfits do I really need for 3 weeks. I mean, it is a new job and I want to make a good impression. Normally I wear the same 7 outfits over and over again. Unfortunately, I don't fit into most of those outfits anymore. Then there is the whole shoe issue. I normally wear sandals, without hose, all summer. I can't wear suits without hose and I can't wear hose with summer sandals, nor will they go with my suits. Oh the dilemma. Then how many shoes do I take. I set aside 10 pair, now that I think about it, that sounds ridiculous.
More importantly we really need to find a place to live, yes we do.
What have I done. Oh, what have I done.
I think I may be having a little bit of a panic attack.
Last week was my first week of "technically" being unemployed for the first time in 12 years and probably only the second time since I was 16. You would think that I would have accomplished many things during the week. If you count staying up late and sleeping in accomplishing things, then I did. Otherwise I didn't.
I am now feeling a little bit of pressure. I mean I have tons of documents to read for my new job. I have clothes to pack, bathrooms to clean, laundry to put away and a bazillion other things.
I am going to meet a friend to play tennis in the morning, but I told her I couldn't go until 9, not sure I can make it up before then.
I did spend a little time trying to find a house today. Boy am I going to miss my yard.
Today I got a fabulous surprise. A friend I hadn't seen in 3 years dropped by. They didn't stay long, but they came by because they had heard through the grapevine that we were leaving. Truly made my day.
4 days until I depart. EB has an interview on Friday, the day I am driving to our new city. He is flying and will be there and back before I even get there. Please pray that he gets this job, it would really be wonderful.
If you don't want to read about my soapbox, go Google something else.
I love the 4th of July. It is my favorite holiday. I know that may sound strange coming from a Christian, but it is the 4th of July that let's me worship when I want, where I want, and about what I want.
I cry when they sing the Star Spangled Banner, honestly, nearly every time I hear it. I love what it stands for. I am honored that people fought and died for our right to live as we wish, even if I don't agree with how you live. I don't get to judge, that is God's job.
I love all the symbols of freedom that we use to honor this holiday. I love fireworks, especially the loud ones that make your heart beat faster. I love the American Flag, sparklers, picnics and parades.
We are so fortunate to live in this country. I know there are so many things that could be better, but there are far more things that could be so much worse.
PS. Our rinky dinky little village of 2500 grew to many, many more last night as we watched an awesome fireworks display. We are one of the very few towns that still put on a fireworks display for the 4th. It is all funded by donations. What a great country we live in. This will truly be one of the things I miss about this town.
Had I known time travel was so simple I might have tried it long ago.
Today the kids and I wandered downtown to pick up some Thank You cards. I was going to have EB pick some up at the big box store, but then I thought, "Hey, let's walk downtown and go to office supply store." You know support the local establishments. I mean we have lived here 12 years and I have never stepped foot into the office supply store, but this $5 purchase could help keep them in business .
Anyway, stepping into the office supply store, that is what they call it, was liking going back to 1983 and the Ben Franklin store on main street. It is a small store with office supplies, craft supplies (quite a nice selection of yarn), shoe laces, for sale signs (definitely need those here), jewelry and my favorite, Rotex label maker labels. I didn't see any label makers, but if you happened to have one at home, you could email me and I would go purchase you label tape in a wide variety of colors. Or you could go to eBay and click on this auction and pick yourself up a lime green and robin's egg blue one. There is even a faux wood label tape included.
The whole store was filled with old crap vintage items like that. Of course if you wanted to know the true color of anything you would have to scrape off the layers of dust.
I don't know how they stay in business. There didn't seem to be many things there that hadn't been there for 10 years. I know that I am part of the problem that small town businesses face, but they do have to help themselves as well. First, you need to be open more than M-F, 9-5. Let's face it, most of the world today has to work and they aren't working in this town. Donate your old inventory to the schools, take a tax write off and then update what you carry. I am sure there are many more things you could do, but I guess what they are doing is working for them.
Last night we went to another farewell meal with friends. S is a dear friend. We have different parenting styles. Very different.
I am completely over protective, I have rules and standards. I make them eat fruits and vegetables, go to bed at a decent time and I don't let them play with knives. I know that, my friends know that and that is just the way it is. I like to have fun and we do, really. Just yesterday I took them to McDonald's and a movie where we had pop and popcorn. They have also had hotdogs for 7 out of their last 10 meals. I really can't think about that too much or we will have to go on a detoxification plan.
S is a free spirited, anything goes, kind of mother. The kind of parent any child would probably love. I could never survive in her world, but it works for her. Unless of course I had massive doses of prozac. I had to leave after a couple of hours there, I was getting jittery.
Today was my last day of work. It was very bittersweet.
Things are changing and we are moving. I spent much of the weekend in tears at farewell gatherings. I didn't realize how much I have grown attached to the people I have met over the last few years. Hopefully these friendships will stand the test of time and I will see them often.
I worked until noon, went to lunch with my co-workers and then I came home and chilled out before I picked the kids up from summer camp. When we got home I could tell they were feeling a little blue. We decided to pile on the hammock and talk about what we are worried about. We talked a while and then fell asleep in a pile in the middle.
I couldn't move and I may walk forever with my leg twisted out, but it was wonderful. It was 72 degrees, sunny and breezy. We were under the big maple tree in the back yard with limbs swaying back and forth and the sun warming my cheeks. There might have been some snoring going on, but it was music to my ears.
Not a bad way to spend an afternoon. I have the next two weeks to absorb as much as I can of them before I leave.
I love this picture. I framed an 8 x 10 in a black frame with a white mat and hung it in our olive green bedroom. I think it looks great. In preparation to sell our house I have taken down a lot of our family pictures and hung a bunch of abstract and landscape pictures I have taken.
I think they help the rooms show really well.
On a related note. We put the for sale sign up yesterday at 5:00 pm. Last night EB says, "I am a little disappointed that no one has called." Hello, one car has driven by, please have patience.
24 hours later and maybe I am disappointed as well.
The disappointment is a strange and completely ridiculous thing. There our houses that have been for sale in our neighborhood for two or more years. Yes years. Let's hope that does not happen. I/we are moving in a little over two weeks.
Now being cool is not something I have ever been a part of, not for lack of trying, but I just wasn't there. Had I known this little fact it could have changed my life.
Saturday we went to the amusement park a couple of hours away. We like to stay overnight, so we can stay until the park closes. Every time we go overnight anywhere and I mean anywhere, I forget something. Usually it is my pajamas, that is a whole different story, but often it is my bathing suit. This time it was my pajamas and half of my bathing suit. Yes, half.
Around 4:30 pm it started to thunder, lightening and pour down rain. We high tailed it to the car to wait out the rain, part of our package deal included dinner. I wasn't about to pay for another dinner when we had a perfectly good, already paid for, one waiting for us inside. Needless to say we were soaked by the time we got to the car, so we changed into the clothes I had brought for the next day. I had a couple of extra things too, but not enough for full outfits. Cut me some slack, we have been very busy.
Rain stopped, we went back into the park, ate dinner, kids didn't want to ride anymore rides, so we decided to go back to the hotel and swim. So we headed to Wal-Mart to find me some pajamas and a top to wear with my bottoms. Blah, blah, blah.........
The boys needed dry socks, so we headed over to the sock aisle and perused the socks. The boys were discussing the merits of "no show" socks, when B leans over and says to Z, "plus they make you look cool."
If I had only known, I could have saved myself years of agony.
PS. I also let Z by a t-shirt, I am embarrassed to say, I think is hysterical. It says
Save Gas, Toot in a jar. I know I am completely immature, but I find flatulence funny.
There will be a whole series of countdowns in my life over the next few weeks, but the biggest one is the one that is farthest off. Let's face it, even that is only 25 days away. We have been working every night until way past my bed time getting the house ready to sell. We will put it on the market next week, after several delays, and then begin some serious praying. Not that I haven't been doing that a lot lately. God's got a plan and I am letting him run with it. I only wish it included more sleep.
Anyway, in 25 days I will leave my kids and the EB behind and go and start my new job. I am very excited and emotional at the same time. It is a great opportunity, but I have only been away from my kids for one week, and never without the EB for more than a couple of days. I think God is taking care of that one too. EB is supposed to be having a phone interview next week.
On a much lighter and more fun note, have you been to SEARS this week. Almost all of their Land's End items are on sale. Okay they are on sale on line too, but if you are bored at work and need to waste some time, head over to SEARS. Today I bought myself two of their fabulous canvas totes. The large one was only $15.50 and the medium one was only $13.50. I am so excited. So is EB, he said I just really needed another bag didn't I. I could carry 2 watermelons in that giant bag. Then I wouldn't leave them under my cart at the grocery store.
I also picked up a new swim mini bottom, 30% off. I didn't need a top because, after all, that part didn't grow with my butt over that last year. Oh well. Win some lose some.
I was going to blog about Foremanized bacon until I went upstairs and saw this.
Z fell asleep reading the dictionary. Apparently this is not the first time. This child of mine cracks me up. He only reads in school and when he goes to bed. He does listen to stories, but usually while he is doing something else. G is a great reader and does so all the time. Just like her mother. When I was talking to their teacher on Wednesday, we were discussing how great of a reader G is, but that Z really doesn't read as well. She said, "You will be shocked when you see the results of the STAR reading tests. G did well, but Z did extremely well. He always does really well on his A/R tests too. He does really well in Math too.
I think he is going to be one of those kids who does everything well and doesn't have to try. G and B both seem to have to try harder. He is good at sports too. He reminds me of this kid I went to high school with. He didn't graduate, failed most of his classes, but nearly Aced the ACT. He just wasn't motivated.
Today I ran a 10K with some friends. This is the 4th year I have run this race with one of these friends.
They changed the course this year and the last 1/2 a mile, was all uphill.
This was not a nice change to the course.
I was also less than prepared.
Two of my friends have been training together and were clipping along at a pretty fast pace for me. Thankfully I am a little competitive, so as long as I could see them I tried to and did keep up.
On the last 100 yards of the hill S. had a burst of energy and decided to sprint ahead. A and I just tried to make it up the hill. We were almost there when I came upon the realization that this was the last time we would run this race together and probably the last time we probably even run together. I had to say it and then I started to cry. I could barely breathe, but we managed to get to the top of the hill. We turn the corner, where we assume the finish line is going to be, but WTH it is not there, Whose friggin idea of funny is this. We had to then run around the school to the finish line. That was just adding insult to injury.
As we rounded the last corner and could see the finish line, A yells, "sprint, sprint" and we did.
We finished with our best time ever. I would tell you what it was, but you would probably laugh. I came in 40th in my age group. Yee Ha.
We had some chocolate cherry bread and then eventually headed back to the car and said goodbye.
Thankfully I had a another friend to ride home with or I probably would have bawled the whole way home.
I posted three times today, so if you want a chronological story read the bottom post first.
Apparently, I am smart enough to figure out the right answers for the nut job test. The results are in and they still want me. I am waiting to find out if I will get an offer from the job that will not require me to relocate my family before we make any final decisions.
This is really, really hard. As I have said before, if it were just EB and I, we would be gone. So many factors to consider. I might just go with the coin flip.
EB and I took the day off to get started on the "Get the house ready to put it up for sale." thing. We have been doing this for the past couple of months, but we have major work to do this weekend.
We started by stripping wallpaper off the paneling in our bedroom. First we live in a really old house, we have been here for 12 years and there was wallpaper in every room in our house. Sometimes several layers of wallpaper. I have been asking EB to strip the wallpaper off of our walls for 12 years. He never wanted to do it, said it looked just fine. Last year I took a week off of work and did both of the kids rooms, stripped and painted. Took me a week, yes it did. It came off 3 of the walls pretty easily, but the 4th wall it took nearly as long to do that wall as it did the other three. We did manage to get one coat of primer on the walls as well. We worked for about 10 hours doing just that. Luckily we are still married.
Let's just state the obvious. Men and women are different!
Moving on to Saturday and the true reason for this post.
Our friends D & P came over to help us get some more work done. D & I worked on painting. The boys worked on replacing the carpet on the porch and the children all played nicely together.
As I was upstairs working on painting the bedroom, D was downstairs painting the front door. Let's just say our bedroom is really small. We have a king size Tempurpedic bed, that can not be moved very far. Therefore, I was sitting very awkwardly in about a 1.5 foot strip of space between the foot of the bed and the wall when I decided that the carpet needed to be the same color as the walls. I like to be color cooridinated.
I used language that I am not very proud of. I am sure the neighbors a mile away said a couple of Hail Mary's for my soul.
It was one of those things, that you can see happening, but just can't stop it. So D & P and EB all came running up the stairs and tried to help, but it was too late. I had just opened the paint can and started painting, I lost about a 1/3 of the can. Sad thing was, I was mad because now I wasn't going to have enough paint to finish the walls.
It was one of those, "God works in mysterious ways, things". You see earlier in the day, I had gone to the mail and found out that we were being economically stimulated, which I was positive was not going to happen.
EB said I did it subconsciously, because I have been saying all along that we needed to replace the carpet before we put the house up for sale.
Sunday we went to Lowe's to pick out new carpet. We went to Home Goods and Joann's where I got a couple of great deals. I picked up 3 nice size, outdoor, ceramics pots at Joann's for $36. They are beautiful and look fabulous on the front steps. Curb appeal, baby. I also got a nice size mirror at Home Goods for $39, what a steal. I forgot the most important thing, we went out to breakfast. Can I just say I love Bob Evans. I had stuffed blueberry pancakes mmmmmmmm good.
We finished up the bedroom, looks great. EB says we should have done that a long time ago.
Monday we spent the entire day from 8:15 am to 9:30 pm working outside. Mowing, edging, replacing railroad ties, planting flowers, replacing grass and much more. Looks fabulous. Only a couple of more things to do and we will be up for sale.
I don't believe I have ever been so physically tired.
Where has the time gone. I can't believe I haven't posted for a week. So I am going to pretend that this is Thursday and I am going to post as if it is and I did what I said I would last Wednesday. I don't want you to think I don't keep my promises. Because I do, it is part of being a nut job.
So Sunday (pretending this is last Thursday, remember) I flew to PNJL (potential new job location). Spent the day driving around looking at neighborhoods, talking to EB (who is on looking on realtor.com) constantly . Lots of fantastic parks and biking trails, but very small yards. This is going to be difficult.
Monday, got up showered, put on the new green suite and oh so cute shoes. Decided to partake in the special continental breakfast at the hotel. Nearly tripped just walking out of the room, in my oh so cute new shoes. Apparently one of my feet, was much smaller than when I tried on the oh so cute shoes. Decided I had better hit Target and find something to fix the shoe problem. Fixed the shoe problem and then off the PNJ.
Met with the consultant, Psychiatrist, for a 2.5 hours. After a little chit chat and explanation of why I was meeting with her, I took a 5 minute math test and then a 5 minute verbal test. Next I did a 45 minute reasoning/logic/valid argument test. Then came the interview. Finally I got to take home to Psychological Inventory tests which I had to send back to her. I said I would do them on the plane and send them back to her on Tuesday.
Now lets step back to Saturday night. We had spent the night with friends, one of whom is a Psychologist. We had been laughing about my upcoming nut job test. She said "Whatever you do if they ask you if you are fascinated by fire, say no." While we are having this conversation we are sitting by a bonfire and laughing about how I love to play in the fire.
Now forward to my plane ride home. Are you still with me? I am doing the first of the two test, 223 questions, where you answer agree, strongly agree........... Lots of questions about poetry, I still don't get what that was about. I know one poem only, and I learned it from the 80's flick/book the Outsiders.
(I am going to have to jump off topic here and say. I just saw a tractor, pulling a car down my street. HMMMMMM)
Back on subject. The second test, 434 true/false questions.
Here are just a few. (With my answers of course)
If the pay was right I would like to travel with a carnival or circus. False
I think Lincoln was greater than Washington. True
Sometimes I feel like swearing. Hello, what do you think.
Sometimes I just want to get into a fist fight. False/Okay maybe true, but that was a long long time ago.
I certainly feel useless at times. False/okay that could be true too, but I surely didn't answer it that way.
I liked Alice in Wonderland. True
I have deliberately lied. If you answer False to this, you just lied. HMMM
Sometimes I have the same dream over and over. Yep, it is about high school and not remembering my locker combination and not being prepared for my test. I seriously have this same dream at least 2 or 3 times a year. I kept that to myself.
Question # 105 I am fascinated by fire. Yep it was seriously on there, and I nearly spit my diet coke onto my neighbors lap. What do you think I said.
The whole thing was pretty weird, but I went in there saying to myself, I am who I am and that ought to be okay. Or not.