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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pooped Out!

We are absolutely pooped out!
Last night we had a Drum and Bugle Corps Show that our high school band sponsors - it's one of our biggest fundraisers of the year. It's a huge amount of work, but fortunately, it's only for one night each year.
LLB's little drum and bugle corps performed for the first time last night - all 9 of them. They were small, but they were LOUD! They stood proud and blew their brains out. It was wicked cool. Right before they started I heard #1 cheering for his sister. (It seems some lady told him he was too loud and his response to her was, "Lady, I'm sorry, but that's my sister out there and I'll cheer for her as loud as I can." That's my boy!!)

Today we rest... after we upload the pictures.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Home

The children are home.
They have been stretched and changed by their experiences as counselors at a camp for mentally disabled kids. They have stories - so many stories - some sweet, some funny.
They both want to go back.

When we arrived to pick them up we ran into one of the adult leaders of the camp. We asked how the week went. She asked if we were LLB and #1's parents. When we replied in the affirmative, she gushed about our children. She told us that they were wonderful kids who have a terrific relationship with each other. She noticed their similarities and their differences. (He's gregarious. She's a watcher - slower to warm up.) She told us that they were wonderful with the kids - patient, sweet, and fun. She couldn't say enough good things about them.

Yup, they are good kids.

My favorite story is this one:
LLB was sitting watch after the kids had been put to bed. She was outside the boy's cabin waiting for them to fall asleep. When they got loud, she said, "Boys. That's enough. Be quiet and go to sleep."
"Wow.. there's a girl out there. She sounds stern."
They'd quiet down for 5 minutes and start up again.
"Boys, go to sleep. Now."
"Ooooh. She IS stern."

Now that's funny!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It was a doggone party...

Do you have dogs?
Do you let them run crazy when you have a party?

We went to a party at the neighbors' the other night. It was a luau. The invitation said to bring a side dish and that the barbeque and beverages would be provided.

We arrived at the requisite time. The host met us in the driveway with his 3 Labradors. Labradors are crazy - we had them. They require constant work and training until they get old and lazy. We never let our Labs out when we had company - and ours were trained not to jump.

Gram doesn't like jumpy crazy dogs - especially if she's carrying a side dish to share. These dogs kept jumping on her trying to get her dish. Gram isn't tall - as a matter of fact, she's relatively short. These dogs could jump higher than Gram is tall. They tried to put their paws on her shoulders. It was not pretty. I was afraid they were going to knock her down the front stairs. Dad kept trying to distract them from her, but it didn't work. And the host - he had zero control.

Once we were inside, things got worse so the host put 2 of the 3 dogs in the garage. We heaved a sigh of relief. And then 10 minutes later they were back. UGH!

This couple has no children. Just dogs.

They have an indoor pool area that leads to their gorgeous back deck. We decided it might be safer to sit there - until the dogs jumped in the pool. They went in because the host decided that he would tire them out by throwing dog toys in the water for them to retrieve. (It didn't work.) When the dogs got out of the pool, they would run under the table and shake. Can you say - eeewwww... smelly wet dog water on your legs, pants, dresses, shoes, etc? They did this more than twice.

As people arrived, they were greeted by the same torture we were. One family brought their son and daughter with the idea that the kids could swim (as was indicated on the invitation). Nope. The kids spent the time in curled up in arm chairs trying to get away from the smelly wet creatures. Not fun for them. Not fun for us watching helplessly.

The dogs kept trying to steal food off of the counters and tables. One stole food from a guest's plate. We spent the evening saying things like "Leave it!", "Don't touch!", and "NO!" The whole thing was insane.

Eventually, we'd been there long enough that we could leave and not seem rude. We blew out of there so fast! I never got to speak to the host or hostess because they spent the whole time with their dogs.

Not for nothin', but when I have a party, I put Zeb on a leash until the guests have finished arriving. (He is more comfortable - he gets nervous when people start to arrive, he's quiet, and we have control over what he does.) Then we put him in his crate with a cookie and a toy.

The party could have been a blast. Alas, it was not.
I think we might skip the next one.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Last Day...

of being an empty nester...

The children come home tomorrow.

They've been volunteering at a camp for mentally disabled kids. Last year #1 came home a different kid. I can't wait to see how they've been stretched and grown this year...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Quick Update

I have yet to hear from LLB's camp director, but I did speak with her counselor about the private lesson teacher. It seems that this teacher was nasty to more than one student and will not be back next year. Other parents resented paying $60 for an hour lesson and having their kids belittled. Considering there were only 4 trumpets - I'm thinking that there must have been 4 very unhappy parents to cause such a ruckus...

FYI: LLB is not a complainer 0r an excuse maker. Her brother - he's got that franchise. LLB can take her lumps and does from her regular private trumpet teacher. But if I'm paying $60 - $1 per minute - for a lesson, I expect the teacher to give a little. I also don't expect him to jump all over her and then give her a lecture on why he knows what tired is... That's a waste of my hard earned cash and her time. LLB went into those extra lessons ready to learn - she knew how expensive they were. You have to remember LLB had been playing for 5 to 6 hours a day for a week and a half. That's a lot of playing when you consider that during the school year she probably played an hour and a half at most per day and the time was chopped up - 40 min in school during the day and the rest at night.

I'm no helicopter parent - unless I feel that my children have been treated unfairly. Believe me... when my kid calls me upset because some teacher belittled her - I do get my knickers in a twist.

You Can Teach an Old Dog

A new trick!

Check this out -

Bananas

My whole life I've been peeling my bananas the wrong way - from the wrong end... Who knew? Monkeys... they knew.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Health Care Reform? Really?

You want to know what's in the Health Care Bill?
I borrowed this from a friend of mine so you all can see what is in this huge unnecessary bill. Read... You know your congressman might not. We KNOW the President has yet to read it....

Here is a summary:

PG 22 MANDATES the Government will audit books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self insure!!

PG 24 Line 116 Government effectively sets prices for ALL private health plans.

PG 30 Line 123 THERE WILL BE A Government COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benefits you get.

PG 37 Line 132 The Government will be reviewing grievances about themselves and will decide on appeals for rejected claims.

PG 29 Line 4-16 YOUR HEALTHCARE IS RATIONED!!! Additionally you can reference PG 15 Line 19-25.

PG 42 The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HealthCare Benefits for you. You have no choice!

PG 50 Line 152 HealthCare will be provided to ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise.

PG 58 Government will have real-time access to individuals’ finances & a National ID HealthCare Card will be issued!

PG 59 Line 21-24 Government will have direct access to your banks accounts for electronic funds transfer!

PG 61 Line 22-24 Congress has no clue what Electronic Medical Records will cost. Asks for estimate.

PG 62 Protection of Data, Government shows they will have database of your personal & financial info.

PG64 L 21-25, pg65 L 1-5 which refers to processing payment transactions by financial institutions

PG 65 Line 164 is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in Unions & community organizations (ACORN).

PG 72 Line 8-14 Government is creating an HealthCare Exchange to bring private HealthCare plans under Government control.

PG 84 Line 203 Government mandates ALL benefit packages for private. HealthCare plans in the Exchange.

PG 85 Line 7 Specs for of Benefit Levels for Plans = The Government will ration your HealthCare! #AARP members your Health care Will be rationed.

PG 89 Line 6-10 The FAR is not applicable. Government can write contracts any way they want.

PG 95 Line 8-18 The Gov. will use groups i.e., ACORN & Americorps to sign up individuals for Government HealthCare plan.

PG 98 Line 8 Americans - You will be paying for others HealthCare while paying for your own.

PG 100 Line 15-19 The Government Will be using ACORN and other community groups to promote & enroll.

PG 102 Line 12-18 Medicaid Eligible Individual will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. No choice.

PG 109 Line 207 Health Trust Fund. The Government will raise taxes on EVERYONE to fund HealthCare as they see fit.

PG 110 Line 7-12 Employment taxes on ALL employers NOT offering Government HealthCare. No choice.

PG 110 Line 13-18 An excise tax on ALL goods from companies not offering Government HealthCare. ALL Americans pay.

PG 110 Line 19-24 the Treasury can take $$ from Soc Line to pay HealthCare.

PG 111 Line 208 The Federal Government will usurp all State powers in State Based HealthCare Exchange. Violation of 10th Amendment.

PG 119 Line 1-3 establish geographically-adjusted premium rates for public option Can you say ACORN census? PG 121 Line 223 PAYMENT RATES FOR ITEMS AND SERVICES. Can you say Government price fixing & monopoly?

PG 124 Line 24-25 No company can sue Government on price fixing. No “judicial review” against Government Monopoly.

PG 126 Line 10-15 The Government can make up prices for anything at anytime for any reason.

PG 126 Line 22-25 Employers MUST pay for HealthCare for part time employees AND their families.

PG 127 Line 1-16 Doctors: The Government will tell YOU what you can make.

G 129 The public option will be subsidized. Credits = your tax dollars. Redistribution of wealth.

PG 130 Line 10-23 Federal Government will subsidize State Medicaid = Even Higher State & Federal taxes for ALL.

PG 145 Line 15-17 An Employer MUST auto enroll employees into public option plan. NO CHOICE.

PG 149 Line 16-24 ANY Employer with payroll 400k & above who does not provide public option pays 8% tax on all payroll.

PG 150 Line 9-13 Biz with payroll btw 251k & 400k who doesn’t provide public option pays 2-6% tax on all payroll.

PG 151 Line 1-3 Aggregate Rules-tax on employers payroll not on public option include payroll of other biz.

PG 167 Line 18-23 ANY individual who doesn’t have acceptable HealthCare according to Government will be taxed 2.5% of inc.

G 170 Line 1-3 Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay)

PG 195 officers & employees of HealthCare Administration (Government) will have access to ALL Americans financial/personal records.

PG 198 Line 1-3 1.5% ADDITIONAL TAX on peeps who have

income of 500k to 1mil. Redistribution of Wealth.

PG 198 Line 4-6 5.4% ADDITIONAL TAX on peeps who have income of 1mil+. Redistribution of Wealth

PG 199 Line 1-4 Surtax rates on raised AGAIN on Americans in 2012.

they see fit to show savings. (Cooking the books)

PG 203 Line 14-15 “The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax” Yes, it says that.

PG 202-215 is a Government rewrite of the tax code ensuring more taxes for EVERYONE, Everywhere.

PG 239 Line 14-24 Government will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors, low income, poor affected.

PG 241 Line 6-8 Doctors, doesn’t matter what specialty you have, you’ll all be paid the same.

PG236 L22-25, 237 L1-3 National rate of uninsured defined by Census. Can you say ACORN corruption?

PG 239 Line 10-12 Medicare DSH payments will be increased. Can you say even higher taxes for all?

G 238-249 Line 1121 Doctors-Government mandates your growth, costs, value, services, & income. Welcome to rationing

PG 253 Line 10-18 Government sets value of Dr’s time, prof judg, etc. Literally value of humans. We’re next.

PG 260 Line 1125 Fed Government will adjust Medicare Payment Localities for California based on Census. ACORN?

PG 265 Line 1131 Government mandates & controls productivity for private HealthCare industries.

PG 268 Line 1141 Fed Government regulates rental & purchase of power driven wheelchairs.

PG 270 Line 1144 Government Mandates that all private ambulatory surgical centers submit cost data & other data

PG 272 Line 1145 TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS – Cancer patients – welcome to rationing!

PG 276 Line 3-20 Oxygen Equipment & Supply Companies - Government MANDATES you will provide supplies NO MATTER where individual is.

PG 287 Line 14-25 PROOF that Government will ration HealthCare by mandating waiting periods for readmission. PG 298 Line 9-11 Drs, treat a patient during initial admission that results in a readmission - Government will penalize you.

PG 303 Line 12-25 Post Acute Care Services Data – Government will collect data including personal information as they see fit.

PG 304 Line 17-19 BIG ONE HERE: Expedited Data Collection –

PG 304 Line 17-19 Government does NOT have to protect your private information, share with anyone, & is not resp Expedited Data Collection - Chapter 35 of Title 44 of USC SHALL NOT APPLY. Folks this gives the govt the right to access ur data any way the see fit. Here is link to the chapter: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode44/usc_sec_44_00003501---- 000-.html Look at number 8 THE GOVT IS SAYING THAT THEY DONT HAVE TO DO THIS!!! (8) ensure that the creation, collection, maintenance, use, dissemination, and disposition of information by or for the Federal Government is consistent with applicable laws, including laws relating to— (A) privacy and confidentiality, including section 552a of title 5; (B) security of information, including section 11332 of title 40 [1] ; and (C) access to information, including section 552 of title 5;

PG 306 Line 3-6 The Government can expand the scope & size of Post Acute Program Services anytime & as they see fit.

PG 313 Line 9-14 Government MANDATES Health Services providers will state ownership, invest, & compensation arrangements.

PG 317 Line 13-20 PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. Government tells Drs. what/how much they can own.

PG 317-318 L 21-25,1-3 PROHIBITION on expansion- Government is mandating hospitals cannot expand. PG 318-319 Government is mandating how hospitals & physicians conduct business & investments. We’re next! PG 321 2-13 Hospitals have opportunity to apply for exception BUT community input required. Can you say ACORN?!!

PG 328 Line 1157 Government study disguised. Its a HealthCare workforce study mandated by law for unionization.

Pg335 L16-25,PG 336-339 Government mandates estab. of outcome based measures. HealthCare the way they want. Rationing.

PG 341 Line 3-9 Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Adv Plans, HMOs, etc. Forcing into Government plan.

PG 354 Line 1177 Government will RESTRICT enrollment of Special needs people!

G 355-369 Line 1181 Government disguises tax on Drug Companies as rebate to Government to subsidize Drugs. We pay in the end.

PG 379 Line 1191 Government creates more bureaucracy – Telehealth Advisory Committee. Can you say HealthCare by phone?

PG 399 If your a subsidy eligible individual under Medicare part D and you don’t enroll, the Government will auto enroll you.

PG 401 Section 1221 Americans will fund Medicare Language & Translation Services Program. Can you say MORE taxes?

PG 404 Lines 12-16 Government exempts itself again from - Chap 35 of title 44, USC including privacy of Americans. PG 404 Lines 17-19 Government doesn’t know the cost of Language services but states that money is there. PG 425 Lines 4-12 Government mandates Advance Care Planning Consult. Think Senior Citizens end of life. PG 425 Lines 17-19 Government will instruct & consult regarding living wills, durable powers of atty. Mandatory!

PG425 L22-25, 426 L1-3 Government provides approved list of end of life resources, guiding you in death.

PG 427 Lines 15-24 Government mandates program for orders for end of life. The Government has a say in how your life ends.

PG 429 Lines 1-9 An “advance care planning consultant” will be used frequently as patients health deteriorates.

PG 429 Lines 10-12 “advance care consultation” may include an ORDER for end of life plans. AN ORDER from Government.

PG 429 Lines 13-25 The Government will specify which Doctors can write an end of life order. Logan’s Run anyone?

PG 430 Lines 11-15 The Government will decide what level of treatment you will have at end of life.

PG 432 Lines 18-21 The Government will publish “quality measures” for individual’s end of life in Federal Register.

PG 434 Section 1234 Military Active, Reservists, Families - If you’re not enrolled in Tricare it is mandated.

PG 434 Section 1234 Military Active, Reservists, Families - Once HealthCare bill is passed your premiums will go up.

PG 438 Section 1236 The Government will develop a patient decision making aid program that you & Dr. WILL use.

PG 443 Lines 7-24 Government at taxpayers expense test out an “Accountable Care Org” program (Government doesn’t have plan.)

PG 444 Lines 1-6 Government’s Accountable Care Program will mandate services & infrastructure thru reward/penalty system.

PG 448 Lines 4-17 Government will set performance targets for ALL Accountable Care Organizations including private.

PG 455 Lines 3-4 Government exempts itself from Chapter 35, Title 44 Paperwork Reduction & Citizens Privacy Protection Act

PG 460 Section 1302 Knock Knock - It’s the Government and I’m here with the Medical Home Program - YOUR home.

PG 460 Section 1302 The Government WILL provide medical services in your home. Paging Nurse Pelosi!!

PG 464 Lines 17-22 Independent Patient Center Home Medical Services - Drs. don’t have to be at your home just some directed by D

PG 469 Community Based Home Medical Services=Non profit organizations. Hello, ACORN Medical Services here!!?

Page 472 Lines 14-17 PAYMENT TO COMMUNITY-BASED Organization - 1 monthly payment to a community-based organization Like ACORN?

PG 476 19-20 Chapter 35/ title 44, (Privacy of personal records) shall not apply Home Medical Services. ACORN ACCESS

PG 489 Section 1308 Government will cover Marriage & Family therapy. Which means they will insert Govt into your marriage.

PG 494-498 Government will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating, rationing those services.

PG 502 Section 1181 Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research Established. - Hello Big Brother - Literally.

PG 502 Line 5-18 Government builds the “Center” to conduct, support, & synthesize research to define our HealthCare Services.

PG 503 Line 13-19 Government will build registries and data networks from YOUR electronic medical records.

PG 503 Line 21-25 Government may secure data directly from any department or agency of the US including your data.

PG 504 Line 6-10 The “Center” will collect data both published & unpublished (that means public & your private info)

PG 506 Line 19-21 The Center will recommend policies that would allow for public access of data

PG 518 Line 21-25 The Commission will have input from HealthCare consumer reps - Can you say unions & ACORN?

PG 524 18-22 Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund set up. More taxes for ALL.

PG 525-620 deals with the Government basically taking over nursing homes, PGs 525-620 deals with the Govt basically taking over nursing homes,long-term care facilities (think assisted living) through regulations of the facilities, the owners of sd facilities, the employees of sd facilities and even the land owners of that sd facilities reside on. Additionally as you read these 90+ pages you can come to the conclusion that any Health related svcs will be determined and rationed by the Govt for our senior citizens and others in nursing homes. This one post should do enough to raise awareness of the control the Govt is exerting over the older population of American citizens.

PG 620 Line 1-9 The Government will define, prioritize, and nationalize your Health Care Services. PG 621 Lines 20-25 Government will define what Quality means in HealthCare. Since when does Government know about quality?

PG 622 Lines 2-9 To pay for the quality Standards Government will transfer $$ from to other Government Trust Funds. More Taxes.

PG 624 “Quality” measures shall be designed to assess outcomes & functional status of patients.

G 628 Section 1443 Government will give “Multi-Stake Holders” Pre-Rule Making input into Selection of “Quality” Measures.

PG 630 9-24/631 1-9 Those Multi-stake holder groups including Unions & groups like ACORN deciding HealthCare quality.

PG 632 Lines 14-25 The Government may implement any “Quality measure” of HealthCare Services as they see fit.

PG 633 14-25/ 634 1-9 The Secretary may issue non-endorsed “Quality Measures” for Physician Services & Dialysis Services.

PG 635 - 653 Physicians Payments Sunshine Provision - Government wants to shine sunlight on Docs but not Government.

PG 654-659 Public Reporting on Health Care-Associated Infections - Looks okay.

PG 660-671 Doctors in Residency - Government will tell you where your residency will be, thus where you’ll live.

PG 676-686 Government will regulate hospitals in EVERY aspect of residency programs, including teaching hospitals.

PG 686-700 Increased Funding to Fight Waste, Fraud, and Abuse. You mean the Government with an $18 mil website?

PGs 701-704 Section 1619 If your part of HealthCare plan that isn’t in Government HealthCare Exchange but you qualify for Federal aid, no payment.

PG 705-709 SEC. 1128 If Secretary gets complaints (ACORN) on HealthCare provider or supplier, Government can do background check.

G 711 Lines 8-14 The Secretary has broad powers to deny HealthCare providers/suppliers admittance into HealthCare Exchange.

Pg 719-720 Section 1637 ANY Doctor who orders durable medical equipment or home medical services MUST be enrolled in Medicare.

PG 722 Section 1639 Government Mandates Doctors must have face-to-face with patient to certify patient for Home Health Services.

PG 724 Lines 16-22 Government reserves right to apply face-to-face certification for patient to ANY other HealthCare service.

PG 724 23-25 PG 725 1-5 The same Government certifications will apply to medicaid & CHIP (your kids) Pg 735 lines 16-25 For law enforcement purposes, the Secretary of Health & Human Services will give Attorney General access to ALL data.

PG 740-757 Government sets guidelines for subsidizing the uninsured (That’s your tax dollars peeps) Pg 757-762 Fed Government will shift burden of payments to Disproportionate Share Hospitals (DSH) to States. (Taxes)

Page 763 1-8 No DS/EA hospitals will be paid unless they provide services without regard to national origin Pg 765 Section 1711 Government will require Preventative Services including vaccines. (Choice?)

Pg 768 Section 1713 Government - Nurse Home Visitation Services (Hello union paybacks)

Pg 769 3-5 Nurse Home Visit Services - “increasing birth intervals between pregnancies.” Government Abortions anyone?

Pg 769 11-14 Nurse Home Visit Services include-economic self-sufficiency, employment advancement, school-readiness.

Pg 769 3-5 Nurse Home Visit Services - “increasing birth intervals between pregnancies.” Government ABORTIONS anyone?

Pg 770 SEC 1714 Federal Government mandates eligibility for State Family Planning Services. Say abortion & State Sovereign.

Pg 789-797 Government will set & mandate drug prices, controlling which drugs will brought to market. Bye innovation

Pgs 797-800 SEC. 1744 PAYMENTS for grad medical education. The government will now control Drs education. PG 801 Sec 1751 The Government will decide which Health care conditions will be paid. Say RATION!

Pg 810 SEC. 1759. Billing Agents, clearinghouses, etc. required to register. Government takes over private payment system.

Page 820-824 Sec 1801 Government will identify individuals ineligible for subsidies. Will access all personal finances.

Pg 824-829 SEC. 1802. Government Sets up Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund. Another tax black hole.

PG 829-833 Government will impose a fee on ALL private health insurance plans including self insured to pay for Trust Fund!

PG 835 11-13 fees imposed by Government for Trust Fund shall be treated as if they were taxes.

Pg 838-840 Government will design & implement Home Visitation Program for families with young kids & families expecting kids.

PG 844-845 This Home Visitation Program includes Government coming into your house & telling you how to parent!!!

Pg 859 Government will establish a Public Health Fund at a cost of $88,800,000,000. Yes thats Billion.

PG 865 to 876 The NHS Corps is a program where Drs. perform mandatory HealthCare for 2 years for part loan repayment.

PG 876-892 The Government takes over the education of our Medical students and Drs.

PG 898 The Government will establish a Public Health Workforce Corps. to ensure supply of public health professionals.

PG 898 The Public health workforce corps shall consist of officers of Regular & Reserve Corps of Service.

PG 898 The Public health workforce corps shall consist of civilian employees of the U.S. as Secretary deems.

PG 900 The Public Health Workforce Corps includes veterinarians.

PG 901 The Public Health Workforce Corps WILL include commissioned Regular & Reserve Officers. HealthCare Draft?

PG 910 The Government will develop, build & run Public Health Training Centers.

PG 913-914 Government starts a HealthCare affirmative action program thru guise of diversity scholarships.

PG 915 SEC. 2251. Government MANDATES Cultural & linguistic competency training for HealthCare professionals.

Pg 932 The Government will establish Preventative & Wellness Trust fund - intial cost of $30,800,000,000-Billion.

PG 935 21-22 Government will identify specific goals & objectives for prevention & wellness activities. Control You!!

PG 936 Government will develop “Healthy People & National Public Health Performance Standards” Tell me what to eat?

PG 942 Lines 22-25 More Government? Offices of Surgeon General -Public Health Services, Minority Health, Women’s Health

PG 950- 980 BIG Government core public health infrastructure includes workforce capacity, lab systems; health information systems, etc

PG 993 Government will establish school based health clinics. Your kids wont have a chance.

PG 994 School Based Health Clinic will be integrated into the school environment. Say Government Brainwash!

PG 1001 The Government will establish a National Medical Device Registry. Will you be tracked?

PG 1003 9-11 National Medical Dev Reg ‘‘(iii) other postmarket device surveillance activities” you WILL be tracked.

PG 1018 States give up some of their State Sovereignty.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

One Down...

LLB is finished with her music camp today. She had a great time and wants to go back again next year. She learned a lot - and that is worth the price of admission.

Her last concert is this afternoon and finishes exactly 15 minutes before #1 has his performance at a church near by. We are packing her room up after lunch and will turn her key in before the concert. Time is of the essence!

We are NOT missing his performance. Those are her words, not mine. To ensure a good seat, Gram and Grandpa will go to the church to save seats while we sit through LLB's concert. Then it will be a mad dash across town - Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do!

When it comes right down to it - we all miss the boy and we want to see what he's been up to for the past week and a half.

So - it's a busy day, but a fun day ahead.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It is done.

I have finally packed up all of LLB's American Girl Dolls.

I dressed them in their original clothing. That was no easy task because she has had her dolls for a long time and my brain is stuffed with other more important items... I packed away the bed, the spa tub, the fishing rod, the horse... It's all safely tucked away.

Next on my organizational list - the attic.
Maybe next week... Maybe next month... Maybe in December...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

Well, I made the choice - I got the dark black/brown shelving unit for #1's room. It took us a while to get it put together and in place, but it is awesome! I can't wait for #1 to see it!
When Mr. got home last night, he went to check it out.
"WOW! He's going to love this! This is awesome!"
I knew I'd hit a home run because Mr. doesn't usually get overly excited about stuff like this. I usually get, "Oh, that's nice."

I have another issue which I'm handling, but I need to vent a little - heaven forbid I be accused of being a complainer on my own blog...

I got a call from LLB the other day. She is still at music camp. I took this picture last weekend as we left her. I think it really gives you a sense of who she is... Anyway, She had a really rough lesson. She couldn't hit anything. She was having trouble with the easy stuff. She was havin' what you call "A BAD Day". She mentioned to the teacher that she "must be tired or something". The teacher flipped out. He said, "What, do you have an excuse for everything?" LLB was floored. She hadn't said anything before that. Then he said, "You don't have a right to be tired!"
Had I been there I would have said to this teacher, "Honey, it's summer camp. The child has been away from home for a week and a half. She's been up late. She's been honking her brains out for hours a day. Not to mention that the campus is built on a hill and her dorm is on the top, the cafeteria is in the middle and the classrooms are at the bottom. I get winded thinking about walking around that campus! That said, she's the youngest and only female trumpet there. She's been working hard to keep up since she got here. Obviously your knickers are in a twist over something that has nothing to do with my kid - untwist 'em and be nice."
Needless to say, I wrote to the camp director. I'm waiting to hear from her. I don't think any teacher should belittle a student - ever - but especially at summer camp - a camp for which I paid huge dollars - and at an extra lesson for which I paid through the nose. This is my kid he squawked at... And this mama isn't too happy about that...

Rant over...
There... I feel better. Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ahhh... What to do??

When the cat is away, the mouse - well, she goes shopping...
Today I was considering going to IKEA to get this for #1's room:
I'm still debating on the color...
It comes in the birch shown here, a brown/black color and white.
Most of his furniture is maple.
I really like the brown/black color... It just oozes masculinity. I think it would look great against the beige wall. But the birch will fade into the wall... And the white will match his trim.
Tell me - which color would you pick?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mr. Bird!

My sweet Mr. is having a birthday today.
I won't tell you which number he's turning, but he is really enjoying being 29 again.
He is away in CA on travel at some conference.
It's kind of a bummer to not be with him today, but he's having a great time and learning a lot.
So, since he's not available to blow out the candles, I won't light them. I'll just sing to him over the phone and then I'll eat his cake.

Lobster...


We LOVE lobster.
We don't get it very often around here because the price is astronomical. We are from New England where we could get lobster at every grocery store and they would even steam it for you...
On July 3rd we were at our favorite not-so-local grocery store and they had lobster on sale for a relatively reasonable price. We purchased them and brought them home for an early Independence Day dinner.
Our lobsters were about 1 - 1.25 pounds each.

Some people we know will not purchase lobster because they don't want to drop them into the boiling water. Please - Call me! I'll do it. I only charge one lobster and a bowl of melted butter.

Needless to say, they were delicious! I may have to go back to see if they have them on sale again before the kids come home.

Last night, Gram and I were at Red Lobster. (I had a gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket.) While we were there a couple at a table a few rows down ordered two 4 pound lobsters!
Now, I'm a lobstah lovah, but I am not sure that I could finish a 4 pounder. They were HUGE! (Picture a lobster 4 times the size of the one up there!)
I watched that table with fascination - okay, so I stared...
As I watched, I noticed that the waitress was just standing there staring at this couple as they dismembered their meal. I said to Gram, "The waitress is just standing there staring at them. I think this is what you call Blog Fodder".
Gram turned around to see and sure enough the waitress was standing there watching with her mouth hanging open.
"Yup, she giggled, we'll be reading about this in the morning."

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Look what we got!!

We went to my new favorite grocery store yesterday... Yes, I know... we are SO boring.
Anyway, when we got there I noticed some patio furniture out front.
Patio furniture is VERY expensive and although we would love to have all kinds of it out on our deck, is just isn't something that we are willing to purchase - especially when we need 27 new windows and our carpeting is circa 1986.

We parked and sauntered up to the store. We were there for raspberry lambic and 2 cases of seltzer. We noticed that the patio furniture was on sale - I mean VERY on sale... like affordable to the point that we couldn't leave it there. We are bargain hunters and we know a good deal when we see one...

We ended up with this:

And a total of 8 of these (Gram and Grandpa purchased 4):

And the best part - we didn't break the bank. We spent less than the original cost of 1 chair for all of it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Story...

A woman in a hot-air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, "You're in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.

"She rolled her eyes and said, "You must be a Republican."

"I am," replied the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct. But I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to me."

The man smiled and responded, "You must be an Obama Democrat."

"I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?"

"Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are or where you are going.. You've risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but somehow, now it's my fault."

Thursday, July 09, 2009

It's time!

#1 is off to camp today. Yesterday - once he decided to get his rear out of bed and grace me with his presence - we went through his trunk to check that he has everything he needs for 12 days of singing, acting, hiking, and having fun. I had to make sure he packed the essentials - like a toothbrush, socks, silly string and glitter hair spray.

He has been chatting with his camp friends on line and the last 3 days have been pure torture! They all want to be up there chatting and having fun rather than having to make do via computer. He was up and moving bright and early today - 6:15am. He'll have that car packed and be ready to go hours before it's time to shove off...

I'm sure that when we arrive at camp, I'll get the quick hug, the cursory kiss on the cheek, and be told that "you can leave now". THAT is what his summer is all about - friends and fun without the 'rents.

We'll see him again at a performance on the 19th. By then he might be ready to give me a real hug...

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A New Opening

Yesterday we got a new garage door.

Why? Well, our old garage door was a solid door with issues. It was not tight. It leaked air - both hot and cold. It was cracked up the middle. It was dented. (We think the bear tried to get in.) Basically, it was a hunk of junk.

Our new door is gorgeous. It matches Gram and Grandpa's garage doors. It has windows - we can see if someone is in the driveway now. It is not dented. It does not leak air. It is energy efficient. It has a new opener as well. And the opener - it is quiet AND it has keyless entry!! I know, the rest of the world has had keyless entry for eons.... But for us this is new fangled.
We live large.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Getting My Act Together

Well, we got LLB off to camp yesterday. She's at a music camp and will be playing her trumpet every day for hours on end. Let's hope they challenge her and that she gets a lot out of it (because it was very expensive and had better be worth Mr.'s hard earned cash.)

She is at a college in a dorm room. It is really quite lovely.
The room she shares with her piano student roomie is huge as far as dorms go. The bathroom is right next door and she has a sink in her room. Life is good! The food in the cafeteria is yummy - we had lunch there yesterday to make sure the poor child wasn't going to starve... Her favorite part of lunch - the Jello. It's the little things... (I guess I don't make Jello enough... I probably haven't made jello in 5 years.)

Anyway, her friend, B is with her - they couldn't be roommates because B is a boy and boys and girls cannot room together. They spent some time hanging out yesterday - I learned this from B's dad who got a phone call yesterday... unlike myself who got nothing. At least we'll have information from someone. :-)

I send #1 off to camp on Thursday. He is currently enjoying his status as "only child". He is packed - for the most part. His trunk is in the middle of my craft room with the top open to receive anything we might toss in. I'm sure he's going to want snacks and goodies - We'll shop for those tomorrow.

Yesterday evening after we dropped LLB, I spent an hour shoveling out her room while her brother took charge of the TV remote. I ended up with three bags of trash for the dump and three bags of clothes and shoes for DP. (LLB and I had tossed everything that didn't fit into a basket while we were packing her trunk - see, I'm getting smarter! We had also organized her drawers during the packing process... It has only taken me 4 years to get to this point, but... better late than never, right?) I have some shelf cleaning and organizing that has to be done before I can dust, vacuum, and be finished in there. Part of the shelf cleaning involves putting her American Girl dolls away. That's going to take me a while because I need to dress them in their original outfits and put them back in their boxes - yes, I've kept it all. As much as I don't want to see these beautiful dolls be put away, it's time... The big question - do I ebay them or hang on to them? I have a couple that aren't made anymore... I could probably get some serious cash for them... But, I really don't want to part with them. What would you do?

Today I'm spending the day with a friend. She wants to learn how to scrapbook. She wants to make albums of her children's lives for them for Christmas gifts. I'm so pleased that she asked me to help her with this very special project. I'm digging out all of my scrapbooking tools and papers for her to play with - we are going to have a really fun day!

Once we get #1 to camp on Thursday, I'll shovel out his room. It shouldn't take long because he tends to be a little neater. He needs a new bookcase, so I think an IKEA trip is in order. I've got a piece in mind, so all I have to do is make sure it will fit and go get it.

So, I'm getting my act together one day at a time... By the time I get it all together, they'll be home from camp and I'll have to start over!