Friday, August 31, 2007

Was it? Or wasn't it?

LLB was asked by a good friend to go to the movies.
The friend happens to be a boy.
They made plans for yesterday after school for various reasons.

He got a chauffeur.
I hired a surveillance crew.

When the young man was asked if the chauffeur was going to chaperone them in the theater, he said, "No, Mom! It's a G rated movie!"

They were picked up at school and driven to the theater in style (in a new vehicle, not a stretch limo -- although the vehicle is big enough that it could actually be considered a stretch limo).

They did their homework before the movie started. I understand from the surveillance information I received, that LLB was very sweet and kept paying the young man complements.

LLB paid for her own ticket. (Because, according to her, she didn't know she wasn't supposed to buy her own ticket.)

They watched the movie. They laughed. They talked. They had a wonderful time - as they always do when they are together.

The chauffeur picked them up after the movie and they stopped for dinner. Again, they laughed and chatted.

The chauffeur drove them to our house. The young man walked LLB to the door. She invited him in for a few minutes. He said his goodbyes and left.

So. You tell me. Was it a date?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Picture This

I toss the clothes from the washer into the empty dryer.
I set the time and push the button.
Every other time I push the button the dryer starts up and runs.
This time it makes an grinding noise and doesn't run.
I, of course, run to find the Mr. Fixit of the family, the Guru of all things mechanical - Grandpa.
He comes to look at my lint trap. It's the kind that bends down the back of the dryer - the most unaccessible item around.
We push the screen back it and it catches on something.
We push the screen back again and it goes right in.
We pull the dryer out and it detaches itself from the vent tube in the back.
I feel around in there and there is nothing.
I shove the cleaning brush Grandpa has whipped out of nowhere in the vent.
We decide to turn it on and see if it just might run.
Amazingly it runs.
Then it coughs up a pencil.
The pencil comes shooting out the now unconnected vent like a missile.
I'm guessing the dryer didn't like that flavor pencil. It was a yellow #2.
I now have to reconnect the dryer to the vent.
This sounds like a relatively simple task.
It should be.

Before I go any further, I should describe my laundry room.
My washer and dryer are in an alcove in my 1/2 bathroom. There is about 2 inches of clearance between the side of the machines and the walls.
I have a shelf above the washer and dryer to hold the laundry detergent, bleach, dryer sheets and stuff.

I pull the dryer back towards the back wall and the vent tube.
I stretch the tube. It does not reach.
I pull the dryer back some more.
I'm relatively thin, but I have pulled the dryer back so far that I can't turn my body so I bend over or squat to connect the tube.
I begin to sweat... there is very little room, no circulation, and now I'm totally stuck.
I force myself between the wall and the dryer and after what feels like 25 million tries, I connect the tube.
I fumble for the screwdriver to tighten the clamp.
The tube falls off.
I come up for air.
Grandpa tells me my face is red.
Really? Thanks!!
I try again.
This time it only takes about 10 times to get the tube on and 5 tries to tighten the clamp. Did you know the screwdriver works best when the tip is connected with the divets in the screw head?
I come up for the last time.
I am a total dribble of sweat. I am also covered with lint.
Yes, I am simply gorgeous!
Now I attempt to extricate myself from behind the machine.
I try to squeeze myself out the side.
I DO NOT fit!
I push the washer all the way to the wall and gain about 1/4 of an inch.
I still do not fit.
The only way out is over the top.
Are you kidding me??
Climb out?
I start to giggle...
Grandpa chuckles.
I laugh harder.
I hike my leg up there and realize you can't laugh and climb.
I concentrate.
I push with all my might while trying desperately not to knock myself unconscious or give myself a concussion on the shelf that is now fractions of an inch above my tucked head. If I were a turtle, I would have pulled my head in, but since I am not, all I could do was hunch and keep it down.
I get the other leg up and realize that if I sit on the top of the dryer it will be have the imprint of my oh so gorgeous rear end on it for an eternity.
I hover.
I don't do yoga. I don't fold. I don't do contortions.
I fold myself in two and lurch off the top.
Somehow, I didn't kill myself, break the sink, imprint the dryer, or end up on my butt. I landed squarely on my feet. That's a first!!

Note to self...
1. get the pencil dusted for prints and make them pay!
2. get a longer dryer tube.

Monday, August 27, 2007

It's The Most Wonderful...

Time of the year!

School starts today!!!

Let me tell you, 5:45 came mighty early for #1.
He came down ready to hit the books.
He was confident. He was nervous, but he was confident.
He studied his map and his schedule as he ate his breakfast of dry cereal. (He takes after his Auntie.) He didn't eat very much, but he ate some.
Now, don't get your knickers in a twist! I offered to make him whatever he wanted and he chose the cereal.
I made him a HUGE lunch - just in case he got hungry. (He has to stay after for band, and I wanted to make sure he could last until dinner.)

We headed off to the bus at 6:30.
#1 looked like the ultimate high schooler as he boarded the bus with his cool new messenger bag slung over his shoulder -- confident and ready to find his way through the maze they call the high school.

I arrived home at 6:38 - I had 10 minutes to swap the wash before LLB's alarm clock went off. I'm thinking I might like this new schedule.

LLB came down and requested 2 eggs - fried with the yolks broken. She ate it all.
She was definitely ready to get to school and start her year.

I took the requisite pictures, but this is the first year that I don't have the children together. That made me a little sad, but only because the scrapbook will be harder to do. I'll get over it.

We headed off for her bus at 7:30. I was home at 7:47.

What am I going to do to occupy my self?
I am finished with the laundry. I've had breakfast. I've walked the dog.
I'm having lunch with friends to celebrate the first day of school.
Yup - I'm a happy mommy!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Saturday Sight Seeing

I am under the impression that you want to see what we've done so far.

The Dining Room:
This is the new china hutch. I have a "thing" for china. I love china. My china has been sitting in a closet for 3 years. I'm so glad to be able to display it.The top shelves are filled my Villeroy and Boch Design Naif china. (I have the regular Design Naif and the Christmas pattern. I'm not obsessed -- really!!) The bottom shelf has the Wedgwood china - Amherst - that we chose when we got married. It is formal and beautiful and I just love it.

Check out the curtains - I made those! This is the view from the living room. The portrait in the background is of a distant relative. Isn't she pretty? I just love her. Do you like my rug? It sure beats pink!!

I think you've seen enough to bore your here, so we'll head upstairs.

LLB's Room:
Here are LLB's new shelves that display her vast snowman collection. The 5th and final shelf is currently drying in the garage. Her door? No - she hasn't been punished! Her door is sitting in the garage (all painted) waiting for me to paint the door trim so I can rehang it. She might get it back this week.

This is her pink focal wall. It came out great. Do me a favor? Ignore the dust, k?

The window trim has not been painted white yet - I'll work on that next week. Don't you just love those curtains and rods? Just enough pink in the rods to carry the color throughout the room. Oh - and do you see how I carried her circles - from the bedding, to the curtains, to the rods. I'm sooo hip!! Remember how she used to have those hideous cabinets and shelves above her dresser? Well, those are gone! Doesn't this look much nicer? I think it makes her room look so much bigger.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday Feast and more

Say there’s a book written about your life. Who would you want to narrate the audio version?
Jim Dale -- The guy who narrates the Harry Potter books. I'd love to hear the voices he chooses for my family members.

Take the letters from your favorite kind of nut and write a sentence. (Example: Perhaps every avenue needs understanding today.) Always leave my old notes downstairs.

If you could go back in time and spend one week in another decade, which decade would you choose? I can't choose a decade but I can choose a year. 1978. I want to see all my friends from Jeddah that I never saw again. We left for summer vacation without realizing we wouldn't be going back. How do you find people whose maiden names you know, but have no idea where they ended up? Can you say I'm looking for B. Tuxbury whose dad worked for Saudia? Or I'm looking for B. Abel who had a bunch of siblings whose dad worked for Lockheed? I don't think the internet is that good, do you?

Main Course
Name a song that brings back memories for you.
There are too many to list!!

Do you prefer to wash your hands in cold water or warm water?

The china hutch arrived yesterday! I love it! I'll post pix of the whole room tomorrow.

LLB's room is coming along. I have to paint one more shelf, 3 windows, the trim around 2 doors and some chair rail. We got 4 shelves painted and up, but we really needed another one. Her snowman collection is larger than we thought, so since another shelf will fit, I'll put it up. I may be persuaded to post pix of the things that are done in there so you can see some progress. What do you think? Do you wanna see what we've done so far?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thursday 13 - A Review

Thirteen Things About Greeting Flix

1. I was asked to write a review of a new site called Greeting Flix. Go check it out. I'll wait.

2. I love Greeting Flix!

3. Basically you create a short movie you can share with friends or on your blog by dropping your photos into their Flix or templates.

4. It's easy! It's free!! Well, the Basic subscription is free. The Pro is $9.95 for the year! You can't buy greeting cards for $9.95 for the year! This is a bargain!!

5. The Pro subscription has more templates.

6. When I first logged in, it told me that Greeting Flix was not yet compatible with my Mac. When I asked them about it, I was told that Mac users can use Greeting Flix, but our titles need to be one word only - no spaces. I can do that!!

7. Their customer service was phenomenal. I asked my question over the weekend and I got a fast, courteous, and genuinely nice response almost immediately.

8. Choosing a template was simple. The template comes complete with music - and it's not cheesy music!!

9. The best part is you only need a few photos - between 3 and 7 - depending on the Flix you choose.

10. I let LLB give it a try and she found it just as easy and fun as I did!

11. You can send your Flix to everyone in your email address book as soon as you deem it complete. How convenient!!

12. Why use GreetingFlix? OMG! This beats mailing 200 Christmas cards via snail mail. Make a Flix and click send!

13. Here's one I made. I would have prefered to put my family in the flix, but you know how I am about photos of faces... I just don't do them.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

High School is...


#1 and I went to the HS orientation last night. We met in the auditorium.
About half way through, they told the kids to go to the gym to get their schedules. That seemed reasonable until you realize that you will probably never ever find your kid among the throngs.

They dismissed the parents about a half an hour after the kids left. They expect you to simply run into your kid in the hallway. I happened to find mine still in the gym.

His schedule looks pretty good except for his English class. They put him in Gifted and Talented English. He is smart, but he's certainly not gifted. We met the teacher and she's frightening... I have to get that changed today.

#1 and I fought our way to his classes - all but one. We found his locker. We planned a route for him to get from class to class. We were making our way around the school and he said, "Mom, I'm never going to find my way."
"Give it a week, #1. You'll know this place like you know the back of your hand."
"I dunno, this is really scary."

He's right. It is scary.
He will do fine. Just fine.
Right now he's totally wigged out.
We are going to the school today to get his books, find our way around, and get that schedule changed. Hopefully, that will make him feel a little more comfortable.

Until then - It's just scary -- big and scary.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

No Blog Fodder Here...

I dropped #1 off for band rehearsal last night and had a few hours to kill. (Heaven forbid I go home. LLB was off seeing Hairspray with the Dancing Princess.)

I met Mr. for a quick dinner of Chinese food and then we parted ways. He went off for groceries and then headed home.

I went to my favorite home improvement palace - Home Depot. I wandered the aisles. I heard the rain pounding on the roof and decided to spend a little more time shopping.

I found some brackets. It was easy - pick up the box and move on.
I stopped at the refrigerator clearance. I opened and closed each and every one. I know how to amuse myself.

I went to the wood aisle. I had to find the best 4 pieces.I took them out of the bin one by one and lined them up. When I had about 50 pieces lined up, I picked my four. Just so you know, nothing fell, nothing came crashing down - nothing. It was a totally uneventful event. I was kinda hoping for a domino effect so I'd have something to blog about. Here's the wood:
LLB is going to be busy painting today... Maybe she'll make me some blog fodder.


Yesterday on our way home from my school, LLB was goofing around with my cell phone.
She was giggling and taking pictures of exciting things like her knee, her nose, her eye, her freckles, and even her toes.
With every picture she got to laughing even harder.
She paused for a brief second and said, "I find myself funny."
Then, she laughed about that, too!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday Mumbles...

So, the weekend is over...

What did we do?

We went to #1's band camp and saw them march. They are TERRIFIC! They learned a ton and had a great time, too. The kids became a real family while they were at camp. It's such a special time. I'm just glad that #1 could experience it. #1 was tired but happy. He slept until 9 on Sunday - that's totally unheard of around here.

#1 had to take the bus home from camp, so we took his trunk home with us and started the laundry process. We picked him up at school and immediately headed off for ice cream at our favorite little ice cream place. We ran into a few other band campers and some good friends. It was fun to sit and enjoy the cool night air with an ice cream cone and hear all the funny camp stories.

On Sunday, I started my day with more laundry. I then made the dining room drapes. No, it wasn't hard. All I had to do was sew a straight line or two and clip them up. Pictures are coming... I'm just waiting for my new china cabinet to arrive. I want you all to see the finished product... The cabinet is due in this week, so stay tuned.

Mr. caulked the crown molding along the ceiling in LLB's room in the afternoon. Did you know that I don't have one straight wall in this house... Not ONE! Did you also know that if your walls aren't straight, you don't have real 90 degree corners. Therefore, when you cut the crown for 45 degrees on each end, it doesn't line up exactly the way it should. That is where I come in. I am the professional corner caulker. I can make those corners look perfect! Need instruction? Give me a jingle. I've had a LOT of practice in this house.

I also hung a couple of pictures in the craft room, cleaned up the clutter in the family room, shredded a gazillion old bills (don't worry, I paid them all in full!), hung LLB's unruly closet door, and picked up my desk just a little bit. After that, I plunked my butt on the couch, flipped some channels and had myself a lovely little Corona with a lemon.

I am now on the prowl for narrow shelves for the wall behind LLB's door. I want to put her snowman collection up there. Any ideas? I have about 7 inches in width available and about 4.5 feet in length. I am thinking white or glass or something...

Today I really need to get my rear over to my school to go through some music and I need to stop by the ballet studio to get some registrations processed.

So much excitement... How I stand it, I just don't know.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday Update

I haven't been posting as much as I'd like, so here's an update on life at The Crossing.

LLB's room is almost done being painted. The walls - amazingly enough - look great with the new Aura paint from Benjamin Moore. It's expensive, but worth every last penny. They told me I'd need just one coat. I painted the wall and thought, "Hmmm... I dunno... it is going to need another coat."
It doesn't! They were right! I have a couple of spots that I need to go over because I missed them, not because the paint covered badly. I am amazed! So, spend the $52 per gallon - it's well worth it.

I have the top of the window wall and one short wall to paint in the beige. Then I have the accent wall to paint in pink.

LLB spent a good part of the afternoon on Wednesday painting the crown moulding and her door in Super White. Those go up as soon as I can find an hour to spend with Grandpa. :-) He has this nifty compound miter saw and a nail gun. Life is so much easier!!

This bedroom would have moved a little faster if I hadn't had to quit at 3pm every day to volunteer at the school. I handed out schedules and collected consumables fees.

The phone: Okay are you ready for this one? LLB had this ancient looking phone jack in her room. It corroded and shorted out the system. Grandpa found the problem yesterday! He's installing a new more modern jack today. Yippee!

LLB got her schedule and found out that she doesn't have the same teachers that #1 had, but she is in class with all of her friends (the smart ones).

We go to see #1 at camp tomorrow. I miss him. I'm ready to get my #1 hug and see what he's been up to for the week. We get to see the camp, listen to a performance or see them march or something, and have dinner. Then, the kids have to get on the buses to go back to school. We can't take them directly home from camp because the kids need to unload all of the equipment back at school. That is one smart band teacher!!

We are going to take his trunk and stuff with us so I can start the laundry while he's unloading equipment. :-) I'm smart! I know he spent the week sweating his butt off and the less time those clothes spend in his trunk the easier it will be on my olfactory system. Don't worry, I have a clothespin at the ready if the stench is too much!

So - that's where I've been. I have a couple more days of this home improvement stuff and I'll be able to post some pictures.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ring Ring...

According to Verizon, (my only choice in phone companies) a company I'm not so happy with at the moment, I'm not going to be hearing that sound from my phone until Monday at the earliest. It seems that I am not the only one with a non-functioning phone in my area.

Isn't the phone the ONE THING that's ALWAYS supposed to work?

I have a cell phone, but it doesn't get reception in the house. Unfortunately, if I am in the house and the cell phone is outside, I can't hear it ring. I don't think the bear is going to play secretary answer it for me, do you?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Did I Mention

How much I HATE wallpaper?
The person who invented the stuff should be required to remove it from each and every wall to which it has been applied.
LLB and I have spent the last 2 mornings and part of yesterday evening removing wallpaper from her walls. We have 2 small walls left.
I don't DO wet paper and this, my friends, is a labor of love for this child.
She'd darn well better appreciate it.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

My B-Day Means Sumthin!

I found this at Mar's and decided to try it.
It is pretty much right on... It's almost spooky!!

Your Birthdate: October 2

You're so intuitive, it's like you have a sixth, seventh, and eighth sense.
You connect with others freely and easily - and you tend to have many best friends.
Warm and caring, it's hard for you to close your heart to anyone.
Affection is like air for you - you need to give and receive it to survive.

Your strength: Your universal compassion

Your weakness: Your unpredictable mood swings

Your power color: Mauve

Your power symbol: Butterfly

Your power month: February

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I got tagged

I got tagged a while back, but I've been too busy to do anything about it until now...

Here it goes!

* Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves.
* The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed.
* At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1. I have this habit of enjoying volunteer work, but think I have agreed to help with too many things. I am co-chair of LLB's PTO at school. I am on the Vestry at my church. I am the Freshman Rep for #1's Band at school. I was recently elected to the Board for my Area in the handbell world. Yup, that means I have more on my plate than I should.

2. I like to shop. I like to find bargains. If it isn't a bargain, I won't buy it. Sometimes, that becomes a problem. Like this week, when I needed a 37 cent notebook for #1. I purchased it, but I resented paying the 37 cents because I know that next week it will be 25 cents and the week after that I'll be able to get it for 10 cents. You know that as soon as all the school supplies are marked down, I'll be there getting 7 more of those notebooks at 10 cents each so that I won't need to purchase any more before the children graduate from high school.

3. I am a scrapbook addict - in spurts. I like to be up to date, but I also like to scrap a lot at once. I am in the process of catching up to July. I have the pictures. I have the stickers. I have the ideas. I just need to sit still for a couple of hours so I can get the pictures in the book.

4. I tend to be a procrastinator with some things. I work much better under pressure - like with writing letters and stuff like that. With other things, I like to get it all done early - like school projects and paying bills. It doesn't make sense, but that's just the way it is.

5. I love to go to lunch with friends. To me, there is nothing better than sitting and catching up while enjoying a little somethin'.

6. My desk cam be described as organized chaos. I'd rather it be neat, but it just doesn't seem to stay that way.

7. I have a little cup above my washer where I keep all the cash I find in the laundry. Once in a while, when the cup is full, I use that stash for an ice cream treat or to go to lunch. It makes all those loads of laundry seem not so bad.

8. My secret wish is to go to Disney - just me and Mr. without the children -- just the two of us. I know it's mean, but someday I'm going to do it. Maybe when they are both off at college...

I'm supposed to choose 8 of you to continue this, but I think everyone has done it. If you want to do it, have fun and let me know so I can visit you.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Catching Up...

Our itty bitty mini kitty finally has a name...

Thanks for all of your suggestions. It was a hard choice! Mr. liked Chessie because she looks like the kitten on the Chessie railroad cars. #1 has been calling her Mini Kitty.

LLB has named her Poppy.

Why? Because she is Zebbie's lollipop and because she keeps popping up in places we don't expect her to be! Oh, and she has a lot of red in her. And, it just suits her.

Poppy went to the vet this week. The good Doc told Mr. that Poppy is too small and needs to get bigger fast. Mr. has taken this as his personal missioin -- he can't help it -- it's those Italian genes of his. At one point Poppy ate so much that she had a BELLY!! She had a big ol' kibble belly hangin' out there! His mission is working... she's getting bigger every day!!

I'm sorry I haven't been around this week, but LLB has been very under the weather and I have been driving to the Jazz camp (one hour each way every day...) LLB is still not herself, but I am hoping she's on the mend. She finally ate a whole meal at dinner tonight! LLB is my child who eats more than anyone and she hasn't been eating. THIS is distressing! Oh and whatever she does manage to swallow, reappears in very little time. We are currently getting ready to do a "stool study". I wish it were the 3 legged kind instead of the stinky kind...

Jazz camp finished up today and we definitely won't be doing that again. #1 learned a ton and got a whole lot out of it, but LLB was turned off the first day when the teacher told them that their rock/pop music -- including Kenny G -- was stupid and had no value. (#1 was not impressed by the teacher's tirade on music, but at least he sucked it up and dealt!) The fact that LLB has been sick most of the time doesn't help, either, but really... to tell the kids that their music stinks and has no redeeming value is not the way to get them interested in Jazz.

LLB was disgusted and horrified! She likes opera, pop, rock and even rap! She likes techno. She likes musicals. She even likes new age machine music!! But to be told that those musical genres are useless really didn't sit with her. FYI: LLB is very much like my sister, Nicole, in that if what you say makes sense, she'll listen. She might not agree with you, but she will value your opinion. Fortunately, LLB has way too much class to call this teacher on his small mindedness.

So, what's next?

Well, #1 is getting ready to head out to Marching Band Camp. We have all the necessities -- the camelback water system, the extra towels, the clothes, and the oh so important peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars. He is excited and a little bit nervous... I am sure he will have a ball!!!

Now, what are LLB and I going to do? She has plans for me: She wants me to take down the oh so ugly wallpaper and paint her room. She's pretty funny!!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Zebbie's Kitty

Our still nameless kitten and Zebbie have become the best of friends. He has absolutely adored her since she got home. He is sweet and gentle and oh so funny with her!

Zebbie spends his time sliming -- um I mean kissing -- her face. He just licks and licks and she loves it. The whole thing is just eeeww!! Need proof?

Friday, August 03, 2007

Name this kitten

LLB chose this gorgeous little girl to be her very own, but she doesn't have a name.
Any suggestions?? We are desperate. Please help LLB find a good name for this sweet baby, ok?

In case you were wondering, there have been a few changes at The Crossing in the last couple of weeks. Marmalade has gone on to greener pastures. We will always miss the old boy, but I'm thinking he just might make an appearance in a children's book or two... I'll let you know. The guinea pig was getting absolutely no attention, so she went to live with the Dancing Princess. That left us with one dog and one cat. I was cool with that, but LLB was not.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Tell me sumfin...

If you sign your kid up for an activity, isn't it your responsibility to get your kid there?

This lady signed her kid up for the same jazz camp that my two are attending. She wanted to carpool. I declined. My kids aren't friends with her kid. We don't go past her house to get to the place. She wouldn't bring mine all the way home because she'd have to pass her house to get mine home.

One more tidbit of information: She's a teacher at LLB's school. LLB will never have the pleasure of having this woman for a teacher (thank GOD!!).

She called the other night and insisted we carpool. Mr. took the call and basically said, "No thanks". I saw her at the school yesterday and she is furious with me. Alas, I don't care.

Should I?