Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thursday 13

Thirteen Things LadyBug Is Thinking About Today

1. We are living in a "Gated Community".

2. Just saying "gated community" makes me tingle.

3. It's all thanks to Zeb.

4. We have 3 gates in our community.

5. We have a gate to the dining room, a gate to the family room and a gate to the kitchen.

6. Fortunately, we don't have to punch in a code each time we hop or fall over our gates.

7. Our gates don't swing and they aren't made of wrought iron. Maybe our next gate will be more aesthetically pleasing.

8. This gated community thing has been great for Zeb.

9. He is far more social.

10. He used to spend his day under our bed. Now he spends it prone on the couch - belly up - in front of the fire.

11. It used to be that he wasn't interested in a car ride or a walk. Now he wants to go wherever/whenever we are going.

12. Zeb hangs out with us when we are working or doing homework. He curls up at our feet. It's nice to have him back.

13. I guess living in a gated community like ours has it's perks. Now, if we could somehow get a pool...

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, January 30, 2008

Ahh.. the sounds of...

Not exactly silence, but it sure is quiet around here with the children back at school. They were particularly quiet as they got ready for school - I think they were both on autopilot as their eyes weren't exactly open... they were more like slits. When they ate, they even chewed in slow motion. It was pretty funny!

I was going to go to my Jazzercise class, but the wind is gusting to 50mph at my house and I really don't want to be out in it. I did take LLB to school and it wasn't fun driving. I saw a tree come down beside the road as I was driving past. It was a bit - okay a lot - scary and I took it as a sign to go home. To get some exercise, I'll take the dog for a walk this afternoon once the winds die down and I'll run the stairs (I have a bunch of laundry to do).

I have to teach my handbell class this afternoon. I think we are going to do some serious technique refining today. I have a couple of things I want to try out with them... Some have excellent technique and others just don't. I think I'm even going to give them some homework... bwahahahahaaaaa! I am also going to dig out something really challenging for them and change their bell assignments for the piece... They need something wicked hard to sink their teeth into. Any of you ringers/directors have any suggestions for a 9 person 3 octave choir?

Okay. I'm off to run the stairs and fold laundry.
Wish me luck.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Economics 101

Yesterday, the children were home - it's a teacher work day or something. They are home today as well. #1 needed new binders for his 3 new classes that start tomorrow.
So, we went to Wallyworld. While I was there, I had time before I had to be at my school, so I decided to hit the Christmas aisle to see if there was anything at a real bargain I could use.

Believe it or not, I did quite well. I got some gift card holders for 75 cents. I got gift bags for 5 cents. I even got large gift bags for 20 cents. #1 was watching me sift through the piles of stuff on the shelves and he said, "Mom, you don't need this NOW. Why are you even looking at it?

(Ahhh... my son... it is time for your economics lesson!)

"Okay, #1. Look at the tag. What is the original price?"
"What is the price today?"
"75 cents for this one and 50 cents for that one."
"Yes, if I purchase it next December it will cost me $3.89 or maybe more. If I purchase it today and put it on the shelf it will cost me far less."
"Yeah, but you don't need it until December."
"True. But I might not have $3.89 or the time to shop for this in December, but I sure do have 50 cents and I am here today."
"Well, it is a lot less. But, I still don't understand why you would buy it now. It's out dated."
"In December, when you need a gift for someone, you remember this conversation. You can pay me $3.89 or you can pay me 50 cents."
"Oh... OOOOhhh... I'll be giving you 50 cents."

(I thought so...)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Ballet Lady VS Mercedes Woman

You all know that I volunteer to do the Ballet Lady's billing. Why did I volunteer to do that? I don't remember... I think don't think I had quite turned my brain to the on position when I agreed to do it.

We have a tuition fee scale that is lower than any around. We have a costume rental fee of $30 per performance regardless of the number of dances the child does. Basically, it is a very reasonably priced extra-curricular activity for the children.

That said, there are people who don't pay. I have a few favorite anectdotes, but this one is my all time favorite:

A lady (who drives a Mercedes and whose older kid drives a BMW) showed up one day with the teen-aged daughter who takes ballet, jazz, and musical theater. We never see this woman, as someone else usually does the pickup and drop off. MW is dressed to the 9's, wears expensive perfume, and carries a very expensive purse. She proceeds to tell Ballet Lady that she cannot pay for lessons and that her daughter needs a scholarship.

(I almost fell off my chair. I'm sure my chin hit the desk. Somehow I managed to keep my butt firmly planted and my mouth shut. I focused my eyes on the screen in front of me and turned my ears to the conversation... Hey, I'm nosy!)

Ballet Lady - who has yet to get a paycheck in the 3 years she's been in business - tells Mercedes Woman that this is not possible. She explains that we are a non-profit venture and any scholarship applications must be brought to the Board of Directors in June for the following school year. Then if the Board determines we have some spare money, an audition with an impartial ballet teacher (from another studio or the Cecchetti Council) is necessary and there are still no guarantees. The Mercedes Woman is furious!

(Excuse me? Lady, tuition is less than $100 a month for all those classes! Besides, your kid is not the next Gelsey Kirkland! Sell your purse on ebay and you can pay the tuition for the year.)

Mercedes Woman decides to take a different tack. She tells Ballet Lady that she wants her kid to work in the office so she can get a discount.

(LOL!! Silly woman! I don't let any kid who is not at least a senior in high school sit at my desk. Your daughter is the most irresponsible twit I have ever met. She will NEVER be sitting at my desk, Honey!)

Ballet Lady tells her that she has all the staff she needs.

(thankyouverymuch! Neener neener neeener!! Thhhhpt!!)

Mercedes Woman is in a snit and a half!! She's huffing and puffing and trying to bully her way into free dance lessons. Ballet Lady calmly tells MW that she needs to pay the tuition or the girl cannot dance. MW huffs her way out the door. If she huffed any more, she would have sucked all the oxygen out of the room!!

(Take that you big bully!)

The ballet lady flopped into a chair and heaved a sigh. This stuff takes a lot out of her. Needless to say, the girl walked in with a check at the next lesson.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday Already?

I just spent a day and a half with my handbell board people. They are a wonderful bunch of dedicated, talented (OMG the talent!!), very special individuals.
I am a long time ringer and I teach middle school kids, but these people are phenomenal. It's intimidating to be in a room with them. One publishes music - I'm not talking a song here and a song there. I'm talking I own a cabinet full of her music. Another has a degree in handbells and music and rang/rings with some seriously good groups. Another directs a community choir and is a church musician. The list goes on... Wait! I am totally intimidated after reading that list!! I don't have a degree in music. I don't compose. I don't publish. I don't ring in a community choir where they ring 'serious' music. I ring in a small church choir with people who are volunteers. I teach beginners. I stay home with my kids. I'm "just" a mom. But, I'm smart. That's my saving grace, as I see it.

This weekend was my second meeting with this group. At the first meeting, I felt totally out of the loop. I am relatively new to the area. I don't know the "names". I don't know the "histories". I'm learning. The learning curve is steep - as in straight up. At the last meeting it took a while for me to feel comfortable enough or strongly enough about something to fully express my opinion. I think it went something like "They can pay their own stinking internet bill!! It's not our job to pay it!" There was silence. They all looked totally shocked - not a what I said, but that I said anything. This time... they weren't shocked. They were ready. "Tell us how you really feel, LB". I giggled. They laughed.

They get me. They like me. It's cool.

I'm slowly finding my place.

On the way out last night I was walking with another newer member. (We were elected at the same time.) He engraves and composes music, rings a with level 5 group, and has more talent in his pinky finger than I have in my whole body. He told me he was so intimidated the first meeting. I thought, "Are you kidding me? You are one of THEM." It was nice to hear, though. I told him that I was still a little intimidated, but at least I could contribute this time. The relief on his face was all I needed to see.

I'm not the only one.

Now, for a funny -
LLB's feet slid out from under her on her way down the stairs on Friday morning before school. She landed on her tailbone. (Yes, it hurt. Yes, she's fine.) After I settled her down, I asked her if she wanted some ibuprofen.

"Mom, I don't have a headache, my bum hurts."

Okay, then...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Free Bread

I went to the grocery store to get Italian bread for #1 to take to the swim team carbo-loading party last night. I went to the store close to the high school. The bread was $1.49.
I thought, "wow, that's pretty good... I'll get some at the store closer to home if Mr. wants it for dinner."

I picked LLB up from school and called Mr. He wanted the bread, so I went to our local store... The stores are both the same chain. I went to the bakery section and found the bread. The price - $2.99


I went to customer service and I asked why there was such a difference in price - we are 25 min. north... Maybe latitude has something to do with price...

The lady called the bakery. Yup... $1.49.
Nope.. package says $2.99.
She called the other store. Yup... $1.49.
She scanned my bread. $2.99
Whooo she was mad! It seems someone isn't doing their job.

She smiled at me and told me that it was "on the house".
I told her that I was happy to pay for it, that I just wanted to know why there was a difference.
"There isn't supposed to be a difference. The stores are all supposed to be exactly the same. All the prices are supposed to be the same across the board."
"Thanks for not yelling at me."
"I wouldn't yell at you. I honestly just wanted to know why."
She smiled. "Not everyone is as nice as you are."
"Thanks. Have a good day."

LLB and I walked out with free bread. She got a lesson in human relations and economics. I saved $1.49.
And... it was delicious!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Crazy Car Day

Today is one of those...
#1 has one final exam. It is this morning. It's nice that it's early.
I put him on the bus at 6:38. I come back and get LLB ready. I leave the house at 8:00 to drop her at school. From there I will head down to the high school, where I will pick up #1 at 9:05. There isn't time to go home. There isn't time to do an errand. There is time, however, to sit in my car and play my Nintendo DS.

Once #1 is out of school, he is coming to Wallyworld with me to get soda and chips for the middle school dance tomorrow. We will stop at the middle school on the way home to drop it all off.

This afternoon, I have to bring #1 back to the high school for swimming. On the way, we will stop and get an Italian bread for the spaghetti supper he is attending after practice. Fortunately, we have wonderful friends who are picking up #1 and their son after practice. They are driving #1 over to the supper to save me an hour in the car.

I will leave the high school and go back to the middle school to get LLB.

LLB, Mr. and I will eat dinner and have LLB out the door for 5:55. I will drop her at dance and head off to my bell rehearsal. Then, I will head out to get #1 and Mr. will go get LLB at dance. (This is providing that the swim coach will keep #1 until 7:45 when I can get there... otherwise the plan needs to change...)

It's totally nuts, but it is what it is...

Tomorrow - that's easy. #1 doesn't have school - just a swim meet later in the day that Mr. needs to be at to sell programs or something. I have a bell board meeting that includes lunch and dinner. LLB has a normal school day and a dance. If need be, Gram and Grandpa will pick her up at school and spoil her rotten.

If only they were all that easy...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wordy Wordless Wednesday

It's a toy mouse. Don't hyperventilate out there...

Mini Kitty - aka: Poppy - loves this thing. She carries it around. She bats it. She pounces on it. She attempts to drown it - or give it a bath (your choice) - at least 2 times each and every day. It's not so bad that she tries to drown it, except that she always tries to kill it in Zebbie's water bowl.

The poor dog will NOT drink out of a bowl with a mouse in it - even if it is a toy. He's got scruples...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


My LLB used to ice skate - a lot... as in 3 times a week with a private coach. Alas, that was in New England where there is an ice rink on every corner. Here in VA, they are few and very far between. She hasn't been able to continue, and though she doesn't complain, I know she misses it.

Yesterday, we went to an outdoor rink - it has a roof and a Zamboni. It is not a regulation size rink, but it is ice and it is only 30 min. from the house. LLB put on her horrific rental skates and took off. (The child's last pair of skates cost me $500-- just so you know what she is used to having on her feet.)

She absolutely floated. HP hadn't yet arrived, so she had a few minutes to soak in the freedom that ice skating is for her without having to share. Her hair billowed in her breeze. Her whole body relaxed. She became one with the ice. It was really neat to watch -- and yet for me, it was just a wee bit sad. She absolutely loves to skate and it is the one thing I cannot give her here.

She and HP skated for almost 2.5 hours. They went around and around. They laughed. She taught him how to do a spread eagle. She showed the Dancing Princess how to do crossovers. LLB had a marvelous time. Her cheeks were pink and her smile was wide. I know she didn't want to leave, but I had popcicle toes and it was time...

She told me on the way home that she really misses skating and she wants to take lessons again... I don't think she realized how much she misses the ice - until now.

Most kids want a cell phone or a lap top. Mine wants to ice skate.

So, if you know of anyone with an extra pile of cash who wants to invest in a little bit of ice, have them call me.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Monday Update

Ramses is finished. The paper, the poster, the bibliography -- all of it is done! I don't care if I ever hear anything about Ramses ever again. At this point, I know it all. If #1 has to do an oral presentation, he's all set. He can talk until he is blue about the red-headed hooked nose pharaoh.

LLB and I are off to ice skating this afternoon. I sure hope it warms up a little bit. It is a crisp 10 degrees out there right now and I'm not one for cold. She mentioned wearing a skating skirt, but I'm thinking a pair of pants might work better. She never feels the cold like I do, though.

Both children have their instrumental lessons this morning - one at 10, the other at 10:30. They are NOT happy that I scheduled them on a "holiday". Bwahahaha!!! I'm the meanest mother around.

My sweet Mr. is under the weather again. He's a stuffed up, coughing, sore throat mess. I am hoping he makes a trip to the doctor today. We've had strep and all kinds of other nasties going around, so I would like him to get checked out - and if he comes home with some penicillin of some sort that would be good, too.

Have a great day and I'll catch you all tomorrow!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Meme

I got tagged.
I got tagged by Pediascribe

The rules:
Link to the person who tagged you.
Leave a comment on their blog so that their readers can visit yours
Post the rules on your blog
Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog
Tag 7 random people at the end of your post
Include links to their blogs
Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I turned off my heat in January because my electric bill was too high in December. We are now heating our downstairs with wood and you know what? It's actually warmer than when we had the woodstove and the heat going. If I'm going to be gone all day, I will turn the heat on so that the house doesn't get too cold. Although... I've been home most of the day since I turned the heat off. LOL!!

2. I am currently 8 months behind on my scrapbooking. I need to get my friends together and just scrap for a day. Wanna come?

3. I would love to be on "What Not To Wear"! OMG! If they came to my house and told me I had to throw out my whole wardrobe and start over, I so would! I'd only have a hard time getting rid of my tennies. I don't like real shoes. They are all uncomfortable!

4. Our bedroom is vintage 1980. When I finish the trim in LLB's room and #1's room, I can start on ours. I'm not allowed to even think about our room until those other two are done. LLB has chair rail and baseboard trim left. #1 has closet doors and baseboard trim left. I hate trim... can you tell?

5. I don't like chocolate candy. I like cookies and cakes, but a lump of chocolate does nothing for me.

6. I would love to take a photography class. I always wanted to take photography in high school, but I ended up with French and Latin. Then, in college, I ended up taking a computer class that turned out to be a typing class. That was just stupid! I got a C because I typed slow. I think I could have done better in a photography class with the little to no artistic ability I have.

7. People think I'm outgoing, but I'm actually just an opinionated shy person.

I know I'm supposed to tag people, but I'm not going to do that. Tag yourself and let me know so I can visit.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday Somethings

We survived 2 snow days and have 3 more days of everyone home. We made and ate one batch of chocolate chip cookies, 2 bags of popcorn, and are considering molasses cookies for tomorrow afternoon. The two swim meets that were supposed to happen this weekend were canceled. The kids are unhappy as is the coach. It seems rather foolish to cancel the meets, as the roads are clear and they don't happen at school. But, I'm just a mom - what do I know?

My CRV has returned from the brink of death from the dealership. I didn't even know it was ailing - until the check engine light came on. My car is fixed, and my pocketbook has coughed up its last nickel! The CRV got oxygen sensors, a wheel alignment, a bunch of flushes (The poor thing is having an identity crisis! Is it a toilet or a car?), and some other transmission stuff, I think. The next time it goes in, it will need a timing belt and a power steering fluid flush - anybody know if this is really necessary? But, it does have 100+k miles on it, and I need it to last another 100k. The cash I paid still beats a car payment every month. (See, now you KNOW I'm cheap!)

LLB is going ice skating on Monday. She is going with a non-denominational youth group. I am hoping she has fun, because the youth group looks terrific! HP likes to skate - who knew? - and he is going to join her. That's great for me because that means I'll have my dear friend, R, to chat with while I watch and wait. When I told LLB that HP liked to ice skate, her eyes lit up. Very few people here like to skate or can skate. I think we may have found her a skating buddy. Even if we only go a couple of times a year, she will have someone to skate with who has a clue! Anyway, LLB and HP are thrilled. They never really realized that they both liked to ice skate. It's funny how that happens.

#1 has a huge History project due on Thursday. The directions/requirements are in his locker. Of course they are. I emailed his teacher and she actually got back to me. We will be finishing up his project today. If you need us, we will either be at the Library doing book research or at the dining room table making the required 5 color poster. The subject is King Ramses the Great... wooo he sounds hot... I think he may have been quite hot! He had 8 wives and over 100 children. He was a busy man with a huge diaper bill and a kingdom to run...

LLB has dance class this afternoon. It's just as well because I have work to do over there. We missed Tuesday because LLB was under the weather. I have to get the checks put in and figure out who owes tuition money. It never ceases to amaze me how many people don't pay and have to be chased down for their rotten $44 every month. I need a bouncer... I need someone who can shake these people down at the door.

That's life around here.
Tonight I may play a couple of rounds of Wii golf with the family.
I won last night! I'm such an athlete!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday Feast

It has been a while since I did one of these, but that's because I was getting the reminder email on Saturday.

What is your favorite beverage?
Alcoholic - A mimosa... yummmm
Non-Alcoholic - Coke with a lemon or seltzer or lemonade or lime sherbet punch

Name 3 things that are on your computer desk at home or work.
OMG! My desk is a disaster! bills/paper work, cables of all sorts, two balls of yarn that the kitten stole from my yarn basket up stairs. There is oh so much more - it's best you can't see it. Angel, my gray kitty, just hopped up and curled up on top of it all. She is settled in for a nice nap.

On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highest), how honest do you think you are?
9.5 - Everyone fudges something.

Main Course
If you could change the name of one city in the world, what would you rename it and why?
I'd bring back Istanbul's original name - Constantinople. I like the name. It just rolls off the tongue. I wouldn't want to have to write it as my return address every day, but that's what rubber stamps are for, right? And, since I don't live there it really doesn't matter, does it?

What stresses you out? What calms you down?
Stress - stupid people doing stupid things... people who just don't listen... and not having an infinite supply of cash...
Calm - being with the ones I love (unless they are doing stupid things). Patting my kitty. Listening to music. Having lunch with a friend.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thursday 13

Thirteen Things LadyBug Is Thinking About Today

1. The PTO meeting last night was great.

2. Attendance was dismal. As in there were 6 of us there.

3. 2 parents, 1 administrator, 3 teachers - 2 were asking for money and 1 is a regular attendee.

4. Needless to say, it was a fast meeting.

5. The children have no school today due to snow.

6. I am going to finish putting Christmas away today.

7. We need new windows. The guy showed up this morning.

8. The estimate was pretty outrageous!

9. We may not be getting new windows this year.

10. I have a few more estimates to get.

11. I think I need to wax my tobaggan.

12. The sledding should be great this afternoon.

13. I best get the hot cocoa ready. I have some left over candy canes that need to be used up. Oh, and since I'm feeling so domestic, I might even make some cookies - chocolate chip to go with the cocoa.

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, January 16, 2008

I have to what?

I am the co chair of our PTO and back in June when they asked me to be co-chair it sounded like a sweet deal. C and I would - together - make one decent chair person.

Fast forward...
C, the poor thing, hurt her foot over the summer (it was bad!!) and it got so infected that she almost lost it. She's been in constant pain, had IV antibiotics, and finally another surgery. She's one tough cookie and I simply adore her... Let's just say I never would have taken on the position if she hadn't been the other chair person.

We each have our things that we are good at. C is amazing! She prepares the agenda and runs the meeting, does the newsletter, and makes the bulletin board pretty. I do the grunt work, the research, and the behind the scenes stuff - like making posters and buying soda. I am at school events and functions when she can't be. I like it. She likes it. It works well for us.

In late December, C had her last surgery. She sent me an email asking me to do the newsletter, as she wasn't sure what would happen if she tried to do it while on the medication she was taking. No problem. Then the the bulletin board needed to be changed. It's not pretty like she does it, but it is done. I am more than willing to help.

Until now...

I have to run the meeting tonight - alone.
That's a problem.
We have an internet safety presentation immediately following the meeting, so fortunately, the meeting will be SHORT! Very very short.

At least they can't cut my pay or fire me...

Lord knows I couldn't get that lucky!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Last week we got an announcement from the school that our high school band was being lauded by the school board for their success at the USMC Invitational at Annapolis where they took first place and got the Esprit de Corps Award.

The kids were told that this was a command performance and that they would be receiving an award. So, they all showed up on a Monday night. (Most of them have after school activities and a ton of homework - just so you know that these are the brightest and the best.)

They put their uniforms on.
They lined up alphabetically.
They marched through the hall and waited patiently and quietly in the back of the room.
The School Board head guy calls the Band Director forward.
He gives a lovely little speech and hands the BD a paper award. (NOT in a frame)
Then he calls the kids over individually and makes them stand in front of the crowd.
They are not given an award.
They are not given a piece of paper.
We took pictures.
We clapped.
The kids were dismissed.
We all left.

What a waste of time...

#1 left the house at 6:30 am and did not arrive home until 8pm.
He still had homework to do.
I know it was important for the kids to be there, but really...
A piece of paper for each of them would have been nice.

Monday, January 14, 2008

One of those days...

You know it's going to be one of those days/weeks when:
Your car rolls over 100k miles and the check engine light comes on.
And... Your dog turns limpy for no apparent reason - I'm sure he hurt himself because he was chasing the cat when no one was home or watching.
And... Your sweet LLB wakes up talking around her tonsils.

So... Mr. is taking the car in.
I'm taking LLB in.
Zeb - he's on the back burner - he is much better after a day of rest. He will be even better after another day of rest.

So much for my exercise class...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

More Kitty Tricks

Our kitten is nuts - but you already knew that.

She is obsessed with the toilet.
Yes... the toilet.
If she hears one flush, she comes running. She will bang the bathroom door with her head to open it. There's nothing like giving your self a concussion just so you can watch the water swirl in the commode...

The other day, the toiled was flushing and she came blasting into the bathroom. I had already shut the lid on the toilet. She was frantic! She actually started biting the toilet lid - She thought that if she bit it, it would open. Silly cat!!

This morning as the contents were making their way toward the septic tank, the kitten stood on her hind legs, put her paws over the rim of the seat and basked in the glory of the swirling water. I think I saw her eyes glaze over! I really don't know what is so exciting about a flush, but she lives for it! Once the water was gone and the pot started to refill, she hopped up on the seat and hung her head in. The view must be so much better from that vantage point... She watches intently. Once in a while she'll put her paw into the water - I guess she wants to make sure it's real...

Personally, I think she needs to lose her balance and go for a quick swim...

She has figured out that the flush happens when the lever is pushed... she hasn't figured out how to do it herself yet, but... she's pretty smart... It won't be long before she'll be showing all the neighbor cats how to do their own swirlies!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Poppy Meets Rambo

I have this kitten named Poppy. She's cute. She's fun. She's a pain in the butt!

Mr. and I have a large bedroom. It's almost too big for us, but... we'll deal. (Someday when we get rid of the 1980's wall paper and the 20 year old beige carpet, I'll take a picture so you can see what I'm talking about.) We have a wing chair in the corner on my side of the room. It's an old wing chair, but it has good bones. It is in pretty good shape for being purchased in 1989 on our way home from our honeymoon.

I like the chair.
Poppy has issues with the chair.
Every morning - when she feels we should be up and moving -- around 4am -- she claws the chair. I don't know if the chair becomes a mean and nasty object that must be killed at that hour of the morning or if she just needs to do her nails. Either way... she's got issues.

I have a squirt bottle on my nightstand which I usually grab and squirt in the general direction of the clawing sounds. Notice, I have not opened my eyes. I should put a plant there, it would actually get watered!! Sometimes I hit her. Sometimes I miss. But, when she tries to sneak by, (I've pretty much pried one eye open by then) I get her good. This has been going on for months.

This morning, she started with the clawing. It's a really annoying clicking pulling sound that grates on my nerves. I became a raving lunatic. (It might be sleep deprivation or it might be that I'm just totally nuts!) I leaped out of bed with my squirt bottle drawn. Just call me Rambo or The Terminator. I squirted around every corner of the chair. I squirted under the chair. With each squirt, and there were many, I said something like, "Don't you claw my chair, you nasty thing! Don't you get it? NO CLAWS! How can you be so thick?! Stop clawing my chair!" I saw her try to make a run for it and I blasted her!

She hasn't been back... I'm sure she's still drying herself off somewhere. That could take a while.

Today I'm installing a night vision scope on my squirt bottle. I'll be ready for her.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Lovely Piece of Ash

This lovely - very tall - ash tree was taken down the other day. (It was too close to the house.)

A friend of Mr.'s is a boat builder and he wanted us to save him a couple of pieces of ash. He also asked us to set aside some crotches. Who knew? I have no idea what they do with the crotches and I'm not about to ask.

Our climbing arborist - that speck in the top of the tree - cut the branches and made the kind of crotches the boat builder needed. So - right now I have two lovely large pieces of ash in the yard and a bunch of crotches piled up.

Ash and crotches... oh the fun we've had with those two words this week!! Double entendre is our specialty...

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A New Look

Thanks to Jane, I've finally found a new template that I like. I'm not sure about the picture of my rock... it might have to go. I think it might be a bit much with the transparency thing I've got going. What do you think?

I am slowly getting all my goodies reinstalled - Like haloscan comments and such. It might take me a couple more days to get it all set, but I think I'll keep this sweet ladybug for my very own.

I am having a bit of trouble wiht a couple of things - like my handbell button. It will not stay solid on the template. I dunno why... it's just weird like that! I will be tweaking this puppy for a few more days, so if something looks stupid or odd, let me know, k?


Monday, January 07, 2008

Paying Attention...

Mr. and I put up the baby gates to keep Zeb in the kitchen. Note: Mr and I. Not #1 and I. Not LLB and I... MR. and I.

I was balancing the checkbook and Mr. was puttering around the kitchen. One second he was talking to me and the next second I heard a huge crash. Mr. had, very ungracefully, fallen over the baby gate and landed on his face. Instead of the end of the sentence, I heard a very small "ow".

Fortunately, he didn't hurt anything except his pride. (I made sure he was okay before I giggled.)

Needless to say, I take one gate down after I put Zeb to bed for the night. Lord knows that I simply can't have Mr. doing face-plants in the kitchen before going off to work in the morning. Not without me being there to laugh umm... I mean help him up, anyway.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Naughty Dog!

Zebbie is in the dog house.

He peed on the rug in the master bedroom yesterday.

We were all home. We were all available to take him outside. We were all downstairs in the kitchen and family room... all of us... all 4 of us. He did not come down and ask to go out. He did not come down and sit by the door. He did not bark. He just peed.

Believe me, it's not the rug... it's the fact that he peed. The rug is 20 years old. It was probably installed when the house was built. It is horrendous! I hate it. I want to replace it with hardwood flooring. (Unfortunately, the 22 new windows we NEED takes precedence over the flooring I want right now...)

His domain has shrunk considerably. He has access to the kitchen and the family room - that's it!

We sent him outside while we went up to the attic to retrieve the baby gates. When he came in and found that he could not go upstairs, or in the living room, or in the dining room, he hung his head. He should! He should hang his head in shame! He PEED on my rug!!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Social Skills

LLB comes out of yesterday's school social - which was sponsored by a club she is in - and she's a little ummm... distressed. She's not crying. She's not antsy... She's just "in a mood". You know... a little snippy.
"How was the social?"
"How many kids came?"
"Just a bunch of 6th graders and a couple of other kids." (I know the number was about 50.)
I took a breath and decided not to ask any more questions.
There was a moment of silence and then...
"Mom, Ms. M (her principal - 5 feet tall, ex nun, older woman, gruff but wonderful) embarrassed me. She came up to me as I was walking and talking to HP and our friend T and asked me if I was flirting. I wasn't. We are friends. But, my faced turned red. HP quietly said OMG! and continued walking away. I got stuck with her. I said no and then I went to the bathroom. Then she followed me and asked me if I was hiding. I told her I had to pee. She asked me if they were bothering me. I told her no that I came in here because I had to pee."
"Oh... I'm sure she didn't mean to embarrass you."
"Mom... Why did she do that?"
"I don't know. I am sure she didn't mean to embarrass you. Why don't you walk into her office on Monday and tell her how your felt? I'm sure she'd want to know."
"Umm... If she does it at the next dance, I will."
"Okay. Whatever you decide."
"Why did she do that? We are friends. And T was there. I certainly wouldn't be flirting if another boy was there. That's just mean."

Friday, January 04, 2008

Crazy People

Mr. has this quote:
"The number of arseh*les is equally and evenly distributed throughout each and every organization."
I think he may be right - to a point.

The nitwit that ran the New Year's Eve band fund raiser (that's a story for another time!) showed up last night for the swim team district meet/fund raising meeting. Mr. called me and his first words were not "Hello, Dear". They were "Run for the hills! She's back!"

Needless to say, I'm not helping. I'm running.

So... what would you do?? Stay or Go?

Getting Better

I am on the mend. I went to the doctor's yesterday. He asked me my symptoms, told me there was a sale on green gobs this week, and then handed me a prescription for my all time favorite medication - Levaquin. (Don't get your knickers in a twist ~ I know this is high power stuff. But it works.) It will cure whatever is in there. I feel much better than I have, but I'm going to take it easy for the next few days.

I'll be doing laundry, playing sudoku on my DS, drinking lots of water, and relaxing on my couch. I'll also be transferring my children from their current pediatrician to a family practice close to home. I'm tired of driving. I'm tired of being treated like a number after driving such a long way. I feel a bit guilty leaving their current doctor. He's a great guy, the kids like him, and he "gets me". Alas, the distance, the cranky front desk staff, and the inability to see "the pediatrician of choice" when the children are sick have all added up to: "I'm out of here".

Wish me luck as I navigate the insurance company web site. If you don't hear from me in the next couple of days, you'll know that they have swallowed me whole!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Perfect Post

The Perfect Post Awards are a chance to read some of the best stuff written each month- and to spread a little warm fuzziness, too.

There are some posts that touch us and this one did it for me. Hop on over to see MPJ and give her some comment love.


Dorkus Maximus

I'm such a dork.
There is no other way to describe this one.
I have a wicked cold. All I want to do is curl up on my couch and watch TV through my closed eyelids. This is what I did yesterday morning... It was lovely.
At 1:55 pm, I hauled my sorry butt up to the shower.
At 2:20, I was dressed and in the car. I headed off to school.
At 2:35, I arrived at school to an empty parking lot.
Yes, my friends, my school is on vacation until Monday. I should have known that rich people would insist that they have the extra three days off to stay in Europe or Utah or wherever they might go to ski.
Why would I even think that they would be on the same schedule as the public school system?
Simple... Because I'm a dork who didn't bother to check the schedule.

Resolution #1 for 2008 - Check the schedule.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Back to the grind...

Well, vacation is over... it's back to work and school for all of us around here. I really could use a few more days.

My cold is still cramping my style. I'm usually up and running full tilt by now. That is not the case today. I'm still in my pajamas and the couch - along with a cup of hot tea - is beckoning. I am hoping to feel more myself tomorrow.

This afternoon, I have to teach my handbell class. I am ready to start planning for Spring. I think we might have to try Colors of the Wind. I will spend part of my morning going through music trying to find pieces that the kids might like. I think I'm going to split my bass line a little differently than I have been doing. I need to challenge a couple of them.

I'm in the process of making a new template. You'll have to deal with this one for a little while.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A New Look

Not that I wanted one... I was happy with what I had, but it seems that my template that Denise had done for me was shafted by Photobucket. It appears that they have dumped her pretty pictures that she made just for me.
Alas, I will eventually get over the trauma of it all.

I spent much of the evening fighting with Booger trying to load all the goodies I used to have. Booger is a pain in the patootie! It doesn't like this code... it needs a parameter... it needs something else... I'm not a codie!! I don't want to be a codie!

So - this is as far as I got. My TT blogroll is gone. My regular blogroll is gone! I'm just furious and frustrated and thoroughly annoyed.

Fortunately, I read most everyone on my google reader, but still... there were a few that the reader wouldn't pick up. URGH!!

I have a web page design program thingy on my computer... I may just have to design a whole new page. For now - enjoy this little ditty and bear with me, k?

Template Woes

Hey - what's going on with my template? Can you all see anything? All I can see is black... No pretty pictures... No words...
Let me know if you can see my blog, k?
I think I may be learning HTML and creating a new template.
I had other plans for this week, but this is too important to let slide.

Happy New Year

Hope you all have a wonderful New Year.
I've picked up Mr.'s cold... I was fighting it pretty well, but today I feel downright crappy. I'll be ensconced on my couch with my TV clicker, Zeb, Angel, and a cup of tea if you need me.