Wednesday, December 31, 2008

finding my way back to the face of the earth

Yep, I fell off the face of the earth, but no worries, I'm back. We found out we could move into the new house on Monday the 22nd so got right to work moving our stuff. We just got the internet hooked up at the new place this morning, so I'm back in business. We rented a big truck from Monday afternoon til Tuesday aft and moved all our big stuff during that time. By Monday night, we had enough stuff set up that we spent our first night in the new house. It's so nice to be back in the country, it's much nicer hearing crickets at night instead of noisy neighbors. Though we're creating enough noise ourselves tonight. New Years Eve is celebrated majorly down here and both WE and angel #4 blew a whole wad of their Christmas money on fireworks today. They've been setting off firecrackers, smoke bombs and a whole bunch of noisy stuff for the last couple hours. WE set off a smoke bomb on the porch and the whole house smells like rotten eggs now.

We're living up the mountain now, at about 1200 ft above sea level and it's a whole lot colder up here. Yeah, you roll your eyes and think, how cold can it get in Hawaii? Well, lemme tell ya, the low 60's may not sound too cold, until you live in an unheated house. Our bedroom was 62 degrees the other morning. Sure makes it hard to crawl out of bed. Hopefully our blood thickens up soon and we won't feel the cold quite so much.

We had an unwelcome surprise on Wednesday morning. We spent the night at the new place, then in the morning I had to meet the carpet cleaning guy at the old house. While I was there, I noticed the water garden had been drained and there were dead and dying fish lying in the bottom of it. I couldn't figure out who in the heck would have siphoned all the water out of there. I called our neighbor, Mark, and asked him if he knew and his response was, "oh-oh, you mean I forgot to take the hose out?" Turns out he was trying to catch a few of our red fan tailed guppies and put them in his aquarium. He was going to siphon the water down a bit so he could get them easier. While he was doing that, someone he knew came by and he got to talking with him and forgot all about the siphon hose. There was about a foot of muck and sludge in the bottom and it stunk like a swamp. I made Mark come over and clean up the mess - he would have been a perfect candidate for that Dirty Jobs show, standing there covered in green slimey mud scooping sludge out with an ice cream bucket. Yeah, I laughed, I'm evil that way.

We've got about an hour before the new year, which means you all have already done your celebrating and more than likely have been in bed for a couple hours (or more) already. Here's hoping we all have a wonderful and happy 2009!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fast Food Fatty

I don't eat a lot of fast food. I go to McDonalds maybe every 3 months or so. It's just easier and cheaper to eat at home. But tonight after our Gospel Meeting, we went to the nearby food court. I started out with a double cheeseburger and fries from McDonalds. I was freezing cold, so I then went to Starbucks and got a tall peppermint white chocolate mocha with whipped cream. While I was drinking that, Angel #2 came up to our table eating a chocolate dipped waffle bowl sundae from Dairy Queen. She ate the ice cream but was too full to eat the waffle bowl, so I ate it. On the way home, all that fat and sugar was starting to digest in my stomach and the ol' tummy was rebelling. I'm not used to all that fat and preservatives and whatever else they stick in their food. I think next week I'll get a salad.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

book signing

I had a booksigning today at our small local bookstore. My 3 Nanowrimo buddies all came and we had a great time. It sounded like we were having a party in the back of the store. I did an author talk as well and, to my surprise, people came! There were two women and one of the woman's 2 pre-teen kids. I hadn't really planned on what I was going to say for my talk, but I winged it and it turned out pretty good. The title of my talk was: From Plot Bunnies to Published; the Journey of a Book. It helped that I knew my subject matter, I just started talking and it all spilled out. One of my friends said that she never would have guessed that I hadn't known what I was going to say before I started. Four people from our church who are visiting here on vacation also came to the signing and stayed for most of the talk, it was nice to have their support also. I didn't sell a ton of books or anything, but I had a nice time.

I've got about half of my kitchen cupboards emptied out and cleaned. I also lemon oiled all the cabinet doors, which made them look really nice. I can honestly say the kitchen looks better now than it did when we moved in a year and a half ago. Now, I can't wait to get all these boxes out of here. They're driving me nuts all piled up around here.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mrs. McCormick, where are you?

Once again, last night, I went to ANOTHER concert. This one was Angel #4's Christmas concert and once again, it looked like they had the kindergarteners organizing it. It was held outside in the school yard lawn as usual. The teacher who organized it sang along with the kids, problem was, he was the only one with a microphone, so I spent 2 hours listening to some dumb guy's voice drowning out the voices of a bunch of kids singing their hearts out. It was pretty disappointing. They also couldn't get the lights to work properly and they kept flashing on and off and some lady sitting behind me couldn't understand the concept of personal space and was totally crowding up behind me. She put her BARE FOOT on my purse, people! I kept moving forward and she just kept creeping up behind me, kicking me in the back and bonking me on the head with her bag. But, the best part was when the sprinkler system went off right near the end. Yeah, can you believe it? I can't make stuff like that up. It really made me miss Mrs. McCormick. She was my elementary school music teacher all the while I was growing up and was also my kids music teacher when we lived in Wisconsin. This women taught every grade in 2 different elementary schools, organized the entire Christmas program and had the kids singing beautifully. Mrs. McCormick at her worst would surpass what I went to last night. Next year, I'm just going to stay at home and peel my skin off in 1 inch strips with a butter knife, it'll be more enjoyable.

We have a haunted printer. It's been starting up randomly, which really freaked Jake out the other day. It'll be turned off, but plugged in, and all of a sudden it'll just start humming and buzzing for a minute or two, then turn off again. I unplugged it, so if it starts up now, I'm calling Jay and Grant from Ghost Hunters in to check it out....hopefully they'll bring Steve and Tango along, cause they're just too cute for words.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fun With Craig's List

I've become a Craig's List junkie, visiting the site at least once a day to see if there's any good loot. The other day, hubby bought two mopeds from Craigs list, which brings the moped total up to 4 in our garage. It looks like a group Heck's Angels lives here and it's REALLY difficult to get to the freezer at the moment. I can't wait til we move. Anyway, that wasn't what I wanted to talk about. I like trying to spot scammers on the List and laugh at how some try to look legit, but ultimately fail. I say this because one of the items available was located in Honolulu, HA, problem is, the abbreviation for Hawaii is HI not HA, as any Hawaiian would know. Another thing is that many towns around here are somewhat difficult to say and/or spell, yet, if you lived in the town, you'd think you know how to spell it, eh? Not if you're a Craig's List scammer. And it wasn't just an innocent typo, because it was spelled wrong twice in the same ad. But, I get my biggest chuckle in the pets section. Cockfighting is rather big down here, illegal, but popular. So, some of these guys want to sell their fighting roosters, but can't put that in the ad because, uh, cockfighting is illegal. So they put in these carefully worded ads selling their roosters with 'good bloodlines to help produce better eggs' and that sort of thing, then ask $150 for a single chicken. Those had better be pretty darn good eggs for that price, don't ya think?

It looks like we'll be able to move in to our new place as soon as Monday, which is cool. We're all getting pretty anxious to get out there. Angel #1 is off school today for his first day of winter break, #2 went to school to do make-up work and she'll be home early this afternoon. WE and #4 have today and a half day tomorrow yet before their vacation starts, though WE is pushing pretty hard to skip Friday since it's just going to be a goof-off day anyway. They don't go back until Jan 12 or 13 depending on the kid, so I've got almost a month of quality kid time ahead of me. Pray for my sanity.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why couldn't they have just left it in the garbage?

A couple weeks ago, when our next door neighbor moved, she threw a lot of stuff in the trash. Angel #4 went over there and dug through it, looking for treasures. One of her treasures was a cone shaped bottle filled with vinegar and grapes or cranberries or something and corked at the top. It rested in a metal stand. I'm not one for decorator stuff and this thing was definitely a kitchen decoration. Well, #4 passed it on to Angel #2 and it sat in her room for a while. Tonight we told her she had to clean her room and sort through stuff she wanted to get rid of. She came down with that vinegar thing and asked me what she should do with it. Just as I was going to tell her to throw it away, it slipped out of its stand, dropping to the floor and shattering. Now the whole room smells like pickled mystery berries and there's broken glass and purple juice all over the place. The girls are cleaning up the mess, but it really stinks, so Angel #4 is armed with yellow Playtex gloves and one of those disposable air masks over her nose and mouth while #2 is going with the bank robber approach and has a dish towel tied over her face. Now I know why I don't go for decorator kind of things, they're just too messy.

Talk about messy, that same neighbor is paying me to clean out her house so renters can move in. Her house isn't messy, but it's still a lot of work scrubbing floors, washing windows and wiping out cabinets. I worked for most of the day today and have to finish up the bathroom and some kitchen stuff tomorrow. My arms are achin'! But, I'm getting into shape so I can do the same thing to my house next week once we get all our stuff moved out.

Book Review Tuesday: The Man Who Loved Jane Austen by Sally Smith O'Rourke Eliza Knight buys an old dresser and discovers letters written to and from Jane Austen hidden behind the mirror. One of the letters is from F. Darcy - thus, the mystery begins. Was there really a Mr. Darcy in Jane's life? What happened to him? What was his relationship to Jane? This was a completely different twist from any Pride and Prejudice related book I've ever read, and I've read a LOT of P&P related stuff. Part of it takes place in the present, the other part in the days of Jane Austen and Mr. Darcy plays a major part in both halves. You don't even have to like P&P or be familiar with the story to enjoy this book, though it will definitely enhance the reading experience if you are.

Random Daydreamer Fact - to make the RDF's more interesting, I'm going to have the Angels each come up with a fact about me to share with you. Today is Angel #2's fact: I've taken care of a newborn lamb - in my living room. (thankfully, the mothers maternal instincts kicked in in a relatively short time, so this was a very short term job)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Coffee

I forgot to mention that the other day when hubby and I stopped by to drop our security deposit off at our new landlords he gave us a coffee lesson. I've seen coffee plants all over the place around here, but never knew what was all involved in getting it from the bush to the cup. Now that I've seen it, I've got to wonder who in the heck figured it out. After picking the beans, they need to be run through a machine that separates the berry from the coffee bean. From there, the beans need to be dried, then put through a machine that removes the papery coating (called parchment) from around the beans. Somewhere in there, they need to be sorted, with the small, broken or chipped beans getting thrown out. After that, they go in the roaster, then the grinder and into your Mr. Coffee machine and down your gullet. Someone must have been really despesperate to figure out a use for coffee berries to have figured out to go through all those steps just so they could drink some bitter brown liquid and get a caffeine fix.

Last night the kids were playing 20 questions. The new family rule is that when it's WE's turn to pick the item, he has to clear it with me first. He tends to pick bizarre things like cholrine and deer hearts, which are pretty much impossible to guess. This time he picked a naked mole rat, which was guessed in about 5 or 6 questions, mainly because he gave a few hints. He also got mad at Angel #4 when they were trying to guess #2's item because they were on question #19 and she asked if the item was a hammer, screwdriver or a wrench. When #2 said 'yes', they realized that, as WE put it: if you'd only said 2 things, we'd have a 50-50 chance of maybe getting the right answer, but now we've only got a 25% chance. Math isn't one of his better subjects. The #4 pointed out that if he hadn't wasted 3 questions making sure that the item was lava, they wouldn't have needed all 20 questions in the first place. Yep, 3 of his questions were, does it have something to do with volcano's? "no" Is it lava? "no" Does it have something to do with lava? "NO!" I made a personal memo to myself to never be on WE's team for 20 questions.

Random Daydreamer Fact: No one I'm immediately related to (mom, dad, brother, sisters, husband, kids) has brown eyes, including me.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

finally, another entry

Last night, my wonderful husband asked me how in the heck he was supposed to know what was going on in our family if I don't make regular entries in my blog and, I admit, I've been slacking lately. But it's not really my fault, Angel #2 keeps kidnapping my computer at night and doing whatever it is she does, and I don't get a chance to do my entries. So, here it is, Sunday afternoon and I'm making an entry now so I get it done.

Yesterday, WE had two different choir concerts at two different shopping centers, we just dropped him off at the morning one, but we all went to the one in the afternoon. He did pretty good on the ones sung in plain old English, but the Hawaiian ones and the sign language one were a bit of a challenge. I suspect he fell back to the old 'watermelon' strategy - though that didn't quite do the trick for the sign language song. He was a beat behind most of the other kids, which wouldn't have been so bad if he hadn't been standing front row center. lol

Hubby bought a machete the other day, so then we had to go to our new place so he could try it out. He was having way too much fun doing the Crocodile Dundee thing out there. The kids are going to have a blast living there - there's just tons of things that have been hidden by overgrowth for years.

I want to give a shout-out to my friend Sierra who got ENGAGED the other day in a very romantic way. http://jsierramaira.bravejournal.com/ Everybody say it with me: AAAAWWW!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Exciting bonus Entry - I am a Compost Pile

Just got back from #4's concert, which was really good. The elementary school drama club also put on two plays, on of which was a musical called Hansel and Gretal Eat Right, which was a total hoot. One little boy played a compost pile. How cool it that??? I wish I could have played a compost pile when I was in elementary school. He even sang a song about it called: I Am A Compost Pile. One of the witches was a total little ham and totally stole the show (except for when the compost pile took the stage). She was waving her arms around, taking center stage and even singing in that warbly voice little girls use when they want to sound like opera singers. We were all just rolling with laughter.

STC's?

WE is learning about STDs in Health class and he feels it's important that he enlightens his parents on their dangers. Today, he was telling us about 'sniffalous', which got me totally snorting with laughter. I guess that would be a runny nose you get from having sex. And here I thought washing my hands was all I needed to do to prevent myself from getting a cold.

It rained almost all day today, which is unusual for where we live. The water garden is all filled up and the lawn is nicely watered, so all is good. Though it's been so dark and gloomy we've needed the lights on all day. BUT, that is MUCH better than the 8 inches of snow our friends in Wisconsin got dumped on them the other day, so no complaints.

Tonight Angel #4 has another band concert. This makes the 2nd one in the last 5 days and she's got another one next week. WE has two concerts on Saturday and another one next Thursday. I can't wait until the concert season is over.

Random Daydreamer Fact: I took piano lessons for 5 years as a kid and I still can only play basic songs with one finger. I'm not real musically inclined

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

18 years

Well, my marriage is now an adult with full voting privileges. Yesterday it was 18 years since I said "I Do" to the love of my life. Yay us! To celebrate we went out to lunch, then we both got sick, so I think we got food poisoning for our anniversary. Ain't love grand?

I'm starting to pack things up for our move. I wish I had more boxes so I could get everything we're not going to be using for the next two weeks all packed away and out of my sight so it feels like I'm accomplishing something. I'll head over to Walmart again today and see if I can score some boxes there. Even if I could get all our books packed I would feel better. We've got a lot of books.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Swimmin Pools - Movies Stars

Hubby, his buddy Chris and I went yard saleing this morning. We found a couple good deals. Problem was, we were taking Angel #1's new car for its inaugeral drive and it's just not very big. I ended up finding a glider rocking chair for only $5 and snapped it up, but then we had to figure out how we were going to get it home. It fit in the back seat just fine, but since the top was down on the car, we looked an awful lot like the Beverly Hillbillies driving down the road. The guys wanted me to sit in the chair and knit as we were cruising around, but I passed on that suggestion. I prefer to think of myself as more of an Ellie Mae than a Granny.

Today was Angel #2's last day at work. She gave her two weeks notice a couple weeks ago after she'd finally had it with one of the other library employees. She'd been warned about this woman before by other kids who'd worked at the library and I've had issues with her in the past. After all this woman's harassment, she finally quit. It's too bad that a kid's first work experience has to be ruined by one person with a bug up their butt. Sadly, the library keeps her on despite all the complaints they've recieved about her. Since there were library budget cuts, they can't hire someone to replace the Angel - maybe karma will be at work and the witchy employee will be stuck shelving books in her place.

Angel #1 looked so handsome tonight when he put on his uniform to go to the military ball. Cool thing about the ball is that they have to use their military manners or they get penalized. If they don't do things like stand up when a lady leaves or sits down at the table, they have to do things like sing a song in front of everyone or 'drink the grog' which is a disgusting punch with a dirty sock floating on the top of it. It only takes once and they usually remember their manners after that.

Random Daydreamer Fact: I played clarinet in the school band for about 3 months in 6th grade

Friday, December 5, 2008

How an Angel gets her groove on

Yesterday, Angel #2 went outside to mail a letter. When she was by the mailbox, I called to her from out of an upstairs window to tell her that she had the wrong postage and to come up by me and I'd help her. A few minutes later, she still hadn't come up, so I looked out the window again to see what the heck she was doing. She was petting and talking to the neighbors dog, which had come up to her by the mailbox. Now, she likes animals and stuff, but I've never noticed her being the least bit interested in this dog in the past. Then I noticed that at the house where the dog lived, someone was outside watering the bushes and it all made sense. Sure nuff, a couple minutes later, there she was, talking to the cute teenaged neighbor boy from across the street. When the angel was little, she was majorly lacking in social skills and I was a bit worried that she'd have a hard time dealing with people in her life, but I guess I didn't need to worry, she's obviously picking up those skills needed for socialization (as well as for picking up the neighbor boy). In attempt to remain naive in regards to his oldest daughter, hubby tossed out the desperate suggestion that maybe she just happened to be petting the dog and just happpened to end up talking to CNB (Cute Neighbor Boy). I was forced to burst his clueless little bubble and inform him that nope, his sweet little daughter was on the make. I don't know if the poor man will ever recover.



Tomorrow, the daydreamer offspring have a full schedule. I think you can tell your kids are getting older when you end up home alone on Saturday. This is how the day looks:

7am-10am Angel #1 had behind the wheel drivers ed

8:15am-5pm Angel #2 has to work

10am Angel #4 has to play in a band concert at a shopping center

10:30am WE has to sing in a choir concert at a DIFFERENT shopping center

11:30am-4pm Angel #1 has to work

5pm-11pm Angel #1 is going to the Military Ball (without a girl because he chickened out)

Oh, and I forgot to mention that, last week, the day before we left for Oahu, Angel #1 passed his written test for drivers ed. Now he's just got to finish his behind the wheel training with the teacher and he should have his license by the beginning of February. Yay for the Angel!

Random Daydreamer Fact: I've been to see the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota, 4 different times, including the year they had a picture of Elvis, done entirely with corn, on the side of the building.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Invasion!

No, the Japanese haven't invaded Pearl Harbor again or the Huns the Roman Empire, it's ants and they've invaded my house. Ants are pretty common and it's a steady battle to keep them out of places where they shouldn't be, but they're particularly bad right now. We haven't had rain in a while, which may be the cause. All I know is that they're all over the place. Yesterday morning WE had a couple pieces of cat food by his bed (I haven't a clue why) and when I went to wake him up for school, there were hundreds of ants crawling all over the food and the surrounding area, including his sheets. They were in the dogs food again this morning, they've got a little parade going through the living room and when I grabbed my trusty bottle of Terro ant poison, they were even crawling all over that. In addition to the regular ants, I'm also battling this teeny tiny water ants. I call them water ants, but that's not their real name, I'm sure, but they're attracted to water, so I'll find them in the water pitcher if it's left on the kitchen counter, I used to have them crawling around the outside of our water cooler also. They're not attracted to Terro, so I don't know how to get rid of them, besides moving, which we're doing in 22 days (YAY!)

I picked up some boxes at Walmart when I was there today and got a little head start on packing. They're the perfect size for storing books, which is good since we've got a LOT of books.

Today, I had a mongoose in the kitchen and it was freaking Jake the Wonder Dog out something terrible. If he would have just left it alone, it would have left, but he kept nosing around by the counter it was hiding behind, making it afraid to leave. I couldn't get Jake out of the kitchen so it would leave until Angel #1 called to get him from the bus stop. The lure of a ride in the van was more than Jake could handle and he came with me, giving Mr. mongoose a chance to make his escape...at least I assume/hope he made his escape and he's not still hiding under the counter. Wouldn't that be a fun surprise in the middle of the night?

Random Daydreamer Fact: I actually like moving to a new place, it gives me the chance to go through all our stuff and decide what I can live without and haul to Goodwill.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Counting the days til we move

So, the guy across the street from our house decided to talk on the phone last night. Apparently, in an effort to not bother the other people in his house, he took his phone outside and did his talking on the edge of the road. To make matters worse, not only could we hear his end of the coversation, but he put the stupid phone on speaker so the neighborhood wouldn't be deprived of hearing the other end also. This went on for about a half hour or so and it was getting to be around 10 o'clock. We were starting to get pretty annoyed, if we wanted to sit around at night listening to other people's conversations, we'd watch a television show or something. I could tell hubby was just about ready to yell out the window for Mr. Annoying to shut up. I was catching bits and pieces of his argument with, from what I could gather from the conversation, his pregnant girlfriend who was thinking of moving to Hawaii from the Mainland to be with him. The fight was heating up when he said: "Reality? I'll tell you what reality is. Reality is that as soon as I've done my jail time, I'm leaving Honolulu." Well folks, I just couldn't help it and I burst out laughing. Seriously, how could I not with a statement like that? I guess he heard me laughing and finally realized that when you yell into your cranked up speaker phone in the middle of the street the whole neighborhood can hear the conversation. Next thing you know, he took his conversation (and his stupid phone) into his house and silence reins once again on our happy little street.

Book Reveiw Tuesday: Borrowed Bride by Elizabeth Lane Good, good, good. Set at the turn of the last century, which is cool because there are very few historical romances set during that time period and Elizabeth Lane does it SO well. Synop: his last night in town before heading to the wilds of Alaska, Hannah and Quint do the nasty. Quint leaves and disappears w/out a trace. Hannah finds out she's preggers and has no clue what to do. To give his brothers baby a name, Judd offers to marry Hannah, divorce papers at the ready so when/if Quint returns, he and Hannah can get married and raise their child. But...next thing you know, Judd starts looking pretty good to Hannah and vice-versa, then the angst begins. This is some good stuff, people and if you can get your hands on ANY Elizabeth Lane book, do so and open that baby up immediately. She's quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.

back in action

I'm back at home and halfway caught up with laundry. Yay me!

Oahu was fun. We got in on Wednesday morning and immediately headed to the mall. My friend Rene was also there with her girls, so we met up and did our shopping together. Sucky part is, this is the biggest mall in Honolulu...it's BIG, and I couldn't find a thing. I wanted some nice looking skirts or maybe a dress or two, but couldn't find a single thing that caught my eye. I ended up walking out of there with 3 bras from Macy's and that was it. And the only reason I got 3 of them was because it was a buy 2 get 1 free sale. The girls found a couple nice things at Old Navy and the boys found some stuff at Sears, so the shopping trip wasn't a total bust.

After the mall, we headed out to our church convention. It was wonderful seeing friends we only see once a year as well as others from our island that were also there who we see all the time. It was inspiring and uplifting and makes me want to be a better person in the year to come.

Thursday night, Angel #2 and our friend Kahala decided they wanted to brave the crowds and go shopping. They left at 11:30 and got there in time for the midnight opening. I decided sleeping was more attractive and stayed behind. I've never done the Black Friday shopping thing and never will. I don't like shopping the way it is. #2 and Kahala had fun though and #2 was thrilled with the $88 dress she got for $13, even if she DID have to stand in the check out line for half an hour to get it. It just confirms my suspicion that people are freakin nuts.

We got home last night. While we were gone, Angel #4's friends thought they'd be nice and feed the dog. They completely filled his dog food dish. That's not a good idea in Hawaii because we've got so many ants. I only give him about a cup at a time so he can eat it before the ants find it. Well, the ants found it and his dish was just crawling with the critters and we had to throw away a pound or two of dog food. Angel #2 also discovered that her cat caught a rat while we were gone and stuck it under her bed. It was obvious that it had been caught at the beginning of our trip and it was pretty darn nasty. Even after she cleaned it all up, it still kind of smells in her room. Welcome home....yeah.