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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Victory is mine!

We had an unwelcome guest at The Crossing these past 2 days. A short fellow with large ears, brown hair, slender fingers, and a long tail... Yes, we've had Mr. Fieldmouse in for a visit. Fortunately, he spent his time under the couch and NOT in my pantry.

Today, I evicted Mr. Fieldmouse. The trusty colander and thin plastic cutting board were once again my tools of choice for rodent eviction. If you remember, I evicted Mr. Chipmunk the same way last spring.

We gently pushed him out from under the couch with a broom handle and I captured him with my trusty colander.

Mr. Fieldmouse has been returned to the great outdoors.
I'm sure his family will be thrilled that he has returned unscathed. He scampered down the snowbank and under the deck when I released him.

The felines in this house are not happy with me at all. Because of my excellent trapping skills, they won't get the afternoon snack they so desperately hunted for two days.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Kids

Are funny!

Mrs. Ladybug, I think they should just cancel school until the end of March. (This is when the classroom teacher is due to return to school.)
I laughed. Yup... me too!
Umm.. oh.. um... well maybe they should cancel it until 2011.
That sounds good to me, pal!
Umm.. oh.. um... well, see ya!

They really don't know what to think of me...
And that is a good thing!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Back to school...

I'm back to school this morning.
5 weeks left...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ding A Ling

We had a local bell festival yesterday. It was really fun! There were 6 local choirs and we rang and laughed and had a great time. Ann Schmidt was our clinician. (I've known her for a while and she is a great teacher and is just so sweet!)

It was nice for me to just get behind the table and ring and not have to worry about who was playing what when or if it was right or not. There's nothing better than getting together with friends to ring!

Maybe next year we can get a few more choirs to join us.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

All good things...

must come to an end...
We are back to school tomorrow - with a 2 hour delay. :-(

I'm glad we're easing back in slowly. I'm just not ready - not ready to give up my free time, my cleaning time, my me time, my time with my kids.

I am a little upset because I have to miss #1's orientation at VMI. He's going for a two day orientation that involves an overnight (for him) in the dorms. They have informational sessions for the parents as well. Mr. will just have to take copious notes... Still, it's not what I had in mind for my children. This is why I stay home - so I can do these things with them. So much for that! (I would have asked for the day off but a faculty member passed away unexpectedly and I cannot add to the stress. I do have a heart... You know?)

I have 5 weeks and 2 days left of this long term assignment.
The whole family is counting the days.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

AAAnnoyed...

Mr.'s car is currently residing in a snow bank at the bottom of our hill next to the street. He called AAA to pull him out as our attempts to extricate the car have been futile. It just slips and slides and gets more stuck.
According to AAA, the tow truck can't come to pull us out because our road is closed - umm... I think not. It's been plowed. It is down to mostly pavement... We've been driving on it as have our neighbors.
So much for AAA.
So much for roadside assistance.
Why am I paying all this money to them year after year if they won't come when I need them???

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Wii Fun...

While we've been snowed in, I've been hooked on a Wii game thanks to LLB. It's called Animal Crossing - City Folk. It's my own little virtual world where I can fish, pay my mortgage without interest, and not do laundry.
It's fun!
So, if you need me.. I've gone fishing.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lots of Snow...

You don't realize how much snow is up there until you take some of it away. We have a roof rake - a relic from our New England days. I honestly never thought we'd ever use it here, but it sure came in handy. Mr. and #1 donned snow shoes - another relic we dug out - and scooped 2 feet of snow off the roof all the way around the house. This will ensure that we have no ice dams or roof problems.

The only issue they had while scooping the roof was staying out of the way of the falling snow. If you get too close, the snow comes off the roof and flies right down your jacket.. and snow is cold, you know?
The sun is baking the roof and the snow is melting... albeit slowly. The gutters are operating properly and life is good. Now if we could just get the driveway to cooperate, we'd be set... the driveway is still covered in 3-4 inches of snow and ice.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Lights...

Are on!
We've got power!!
I woke up this morning - early - and the nightlights were on!

I've already got the laundry going. We are getting another storm today (complete with another 15 inches of snow), so I want to get the wash done in case we lose power for another 3 or 4 days - we were running out of "socks we like". Heaven forbid we have to wear "the yucky socks"...

Our plans for today include getting Mr.'s car up the hill and back into the garage, getting firewood stacked for tomorrow, baking cookies, vacuuming, and finishing up the laundry. After that, I'm taking a nap in front of the fire.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Monday

Is another day without power...
I love the fact that we can survive out here with our generators, but really, I've got baking to do and laundry to wash. (I am so glad the laundry was caught up when the power went out on Friday night.)
I can do the pioneer woman thing very well, but I haven't baked in a dutch oven over an open fire in a really long time... Those are skills that need to be nurtured and honed. I will not be honing them now - it's a little cold out to be doing that, you know?
That said, I've got a hankerin' for cookies and I think I might be able to bake 'em in the grill.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Satellite Dishes

Should be mounted on the ground...
I climbed the ladder to the roof today to uncover our TV satellite dish - Actually I did it twice (once to our TV dish and once to Gram and Grandpa's TV dish).
The snow is 3 feet deep out there and the ladder was in no way going to slide out from under me. As Mr. said, "If you fall off, it will be a soft landing and you'll be able make snow angels!" He's such a positive thinker!!
We still have no power - our generators continue to chug along. (They were worth every red cent we paid for them.) If we didn't have them, we'd be mighty cold right now. Gram and Grandpa have heat and our wood stove is keeping the house warm. We have hot water, TV, internet, microwave, and coffee. We have no complaints - except that we can't use the oven or the stove and once the sun goes down, it's mighty dark... The grill - which was a bit difficult to dig out - is cooking our beer can chicken for our candle-lit dinner which we will eat on paper plates.
It's all in how you look at it...
Life is good.

Social Security Information

We'll get back to the snow shortly.
A dear friend sent this.
Read and learn:


Our Social Security

Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social Security (FICA) Program.. 

He promised:

1.) That participation in the Program would be Completely voluntary,
  
No longer Voluntary

2.) That the participants would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual Incomes into the Program,

Now 7.65%

3.) That the money the participants elected to put into the Program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year,
No longer tax deductible

4.) That the money the participants put into the independent 'Trust Fund' rather than into the general operating fund, and therefore, would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other Government program, and,

Under Johnson the money was moved to The General Fund and Spent

5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income.
Under Clinton and Gore up to 85% of your Social Security can be Taxed

Since many of us have paid into FICA for years and are now receiving a Social Security check every month -- and then finding that we are getting taxed on 85% of the money we paid to the Federal government to 'put away' -- you may be interested in the following:

Q: Which Political Party took Social Security from the independent 'Trust Fund' and put it into the general fund so that Congress could spend it?

A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the democratically controlled House and Senate. 


------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --

Q: Which Political Party eliminated the income tax deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding?

A: The Democratic Party. 


------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -----

Q: Which Political Party started taxing Social Security annuities?

A: The Democratic Party, wit h Al Gore casting the 'tie-breaking' deciding vote as President of the Senate, while he was Vice President of the  US 


------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -

AND MY FAVORITE:
Q: Which Political Party decided to start giving annuity payments to immigrants?

A: That's right!
Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party.
Immigrants moved into this country, and at age 65, began to receive Social Security payments! The Democratic Party gave these payments to them, even though they never paid a dime into it! 


------------ -- ------------ --------- ----- ------------ --------- ---------

Then, after violating the original contract (FICA), the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your Social Security away! 


And the worst part about it is uninformed citizens believe it!
 
If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe changes will evolve. Maybe not, some Democrats are awfully sure of what isn't so.


AND CONGRESS GIVES THEMSELVES 100% RETIREMENT FOR ONLY SERVING ONE TERM!!!
 
A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.
-Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, February 06, 2010

More and More and More Snow

 
LLB took this about an hour ago - our driveway is filled up with snow again... See the ladder leaning against the house... That's where our internet dish is... We climb up and brush the snow away - over and over again.


This will show you about how much snow we have... This is #1's 1990 Toyota Camry... It is buried. He is digging it out... one shovelful at a time...


This is the bar on our back deck... That's almost 3 feet of snow piled up on top of it. Just think - in a few very short months we'll be drinking fresh strawberry daiquiris and mimosas out there... 

Let it Snow?

How much snow do we have?
Umm... about 2 feet or so.  And it's still snowing... hard.

 
This is our dogwood tree out front... 

 
This is our grill which we used last night at dinner time... I'm thinking that we won't be grilling tonight.

 
This is the view up the hill. You can see our table and chairs... Look at all that snow!  You can't see the red bench up the hill, though... That's totally buried!

The power is out and the generators are running. The TV is non-existent since the dish is way up high on the roof. We scooped out the internet dish so we could at least get some information... Once it stops snowing, I might get up on the ladder and scoop off that TV dish... 

Friday, February 05, 2010

Home Sweet Home

We are expecting 2 feet of snow today.
Therefore, we are at home today... no school.  Yippeee!!
Ahem... excuse the joy...
Our principal told all the teachers to load up the kids with 3 days worth of work... no problem! I gave my Math kids a project and a packet of worksheets. The teacher who is helping me told me that this would be a perfect assignment - and oooh is she right! The kids are furious! LOL!
"This is too much work!" Get used to it... the high school kids get this kind of work on a daily basis.
"When are we supposed to have time to do this stuff?" Excuse me? You are stuck at home for the next 4 days at least... what else are you going to do? Play video games?  Watch TV? You have plenty of time to get this done.
"This is too haaaard!" No it's not. You can do this. You've been doing this all along...
"Did our regular teacher assign this or did you?" Does it matter? It's still due on Tuesday.
Bwahahahahaha!!!!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Subbing...

long term - is hard.
I've just spent the last 5 days (during the weekend and my snow days) searching for math worksheets and such for my students. I've printed out materials for the science classes. I am ready for cylinders and cones in math and a whole unit of science.

It would have been a whole lot nicer if the teacher had the worksheets made out for the math students - but in her defense, she thought they'd be done with this stuff by now. Alas, once we finish cylinders and cones and have our test on 3-d shapes, we'll move on to slope. And then I'll start looking for stuff all over again...  It never ceases to amaze me how little the teachers keep from year to year. I'm not saying to use the same worksheets over and over, but as a fall back it would be nice...

So - we have a delay today. The kids will at last be back at school. The science kids will finish their exams and the math kids will continue on with surface area and volume. Some math kids will finish up a quiz and then the day will be done. We can only hope that we get tomorrow's school day in before the snow flies...  We're expecting 2 feet this weekend and that probably means that there will be no school on Monday.

I like 4 day work weeks...
I am getting a little worried about getting all the material the teacher wants covered by the time she gets back, but we'll manage - in science at least.. in Math... well, she might be playing catch-up in April.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Snow Day!!

 

Did I mention how much I'm enjoying my snow days now??

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Crimson Rooms

I received an advance copy of the book "The Crimson Rooms" by Katharine McMahon (she also authored "The Alchemist's Daughter") to read and review.  It is published by Putnam.

This is the gist of the story and is directly from the back cover:
Still haunted by the death of her only brother, James, in the Great War, Evelyn Gifford is completely unprepared when a young nurse and her six-year-old son appear on the Giffords' doorstep one night. The child, the nurse claims, is James's, conceived in a battlefield hospital. The grief-stricken Giffords take them both in; but Evelyn, a struggling attorney, must now support her entire family-at a time when work for women lawyers is almost nonexistent.

Suddenly a new case falls in Evelyn's lap: Seemingly hopeless, it's been abandoned by her male coworkers. The accused-a veteran charged with murdering his young wife- is almost certain to die on the gallows. . . . And yet, Evelyn believes he is truly innocent, just as she suspects there may be more to the story of her "nephew" than meets the eye.


I won't tell you how it ends. You'll have to read the book and find out for yourself.
I will tell you that I enjoyed the story. I like romantic historical fiction - what? I'm sucker for a little romance and a little history! It is a good read and I recommend the book.  I think you'll find it on a lot of summer reading lists this year!

If you need a good mystery, pick up "The Crimson Rooms" on February 8th!!  It is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Borders. 



“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by MotherTalk on behalf of G.P. Putnam's Sons / Riverhead and received a copy of the book to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

And the Winner Is....

Daisy!

LLB pulled her name out of the hat!
Congratulations to Daisy - she is the winner of our very first giveaway ever!!
Yippee!!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Last Chance

To win a bottle of this:
Leave a comment and if you win, I'll let you know tonight after the drawing.