Monday, November 30, 2009

back

We got back from Oahu last night. This morning, I did 3 loads of laundry, balanced the checkbook before paying the bills then went to work. Straight from work I went to a Special Olympics meeting then got home around 7. Sometimes it seems like there's twice as much work to recover from a vacation than there is actual vacation.

We went to the mall on Wednesday, slapped some $ into the 3 older kids hands and sent them on their way. Angel #4 couldn't understand why I held her money and made her stick with me during the shopping trip, but after she tried to talk me into buying her 4 in high stilettos and a black lace bustier, I knew I made the right decision. She ended up getting a new pair of shorts and tee shirt as well as a new watch and for a special splurge, a black and purple fedora. She wore the fedora pretty much the entire weekend when she could get away with it, including sleeping with it on. She really likes that hat. While we were sitting in the airport last night waiting for our flight, she discovered that she lost her ticket. After searching for it for about 15 minutes, she came and told me. We got her a new ticket printed up. Once on the plane, she took her hat off and what do you think she found? Yep, she put her ticket inside her hat for safekeeping and forgot about it. sigh

We had a wonderful time at our church convention, seeing many people we only see once a year. It was great to see them all there again. They were good days. But, now it's back to reality.

Saturday night I dreamed that I was walking around Walmart with a mongoose on a leash. A lady bent over and was going to pet the mongoose and I told her not to because it bites. We were shopping for a motor so I could make a little car for the mongoose to drive around in. Any dream interpreters out there that can explain that one?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

getting ready

Tomorrow morning we fly out to Oahu for our church convention. We'll get home again on Sunday night, happy, but exhausted with lots of dirty laundry to wash. No internet or computers, so I'll fill you in on our adventures when I get back. We're going early so we can spend tomorrow shopping - we don't have a whole lot for stores on our island, so Oahu means SHOPPING! Ala Moana Mall, here we come.

An exciting day at work today, they put a lock on the bathroom door. Before that, the door had one of those locks that locks automatically when you close it, which is fine, as long as there's only one key and you've got it, otherwise, you run the risk of getting surprise visitor. One of our guys mentioned it to the building manager that it would be nice to have a lock on the door and the guys response was, well, you're the only ones who use it, so it'll be okay. The general consensus of those of us who are 'the only ones using it' was that we'd actually rather have some bum (who wants to use the bathroom because he's not allowed to pee on the dumpster) walk in on us while we're on the john than someone we worked with. Anyway, the management got on it and we now have a lock. This is the same guy who was giving us regular bathroom reports when we first moved into the building. He was so excited about the lock that he had a couple of our guys go in the bathroom to try it out. How do you politely tell a guy that you'd rather not go into the bathroom with him to see his new locks? Well, our guys couldn't figure out how, so they both got stuck standing there in this tiny, airless bathroom watching Terry proudly work the lock. It's the little things in life, people.

This morning hubby needed to check on a leak on our minivan. He needed to get under the van and we don't have ramps, so he drove one tire up on some crumbling cement blocks (I'm sure they were OSHA approved), then crawled underneath the van to check it out. Then he wanted me to rev the engine up for him, I didn't want to get in the van to do it for fear that my weight would be just enough to send the van crashing down on hubby's head, so I did the revving with my hand. Then he told me to get in the van and turn the steering wheel back and forth a bit. I considered having him sign a release form so if the van did fall and smush his head, I wouldn't be held responsible. I'm happy to report that I didn't smush my husband this morning - he didn't fix the leak, but he knows where it is and is going to borrow some ramps (much to my relief) so he can fix it when we get home from Oahu. Looking at the engine of our van, I've come to the realization that it leaks just about every kind of fluid it could possibly leak. I think we need a new vehicle, but I'd really rather have a car instead of a van, that means that we're going to have to limp our van along until enough kids move out of the house that we don't need all the seating a van provides. One of the downfalls of having 4 kids is that you're pretty much sentenced to at least 15 straight years of driving a minivan.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm sorry doctor, it looks like we lost him

I was sitting at a stoplight this morning, idly watching some county workers messing around with the lights on the corner. One of the lanes in the cross traffic was coned off and closed and there was a guy there, on his knees working on something in the road. Then I did a double take because it looked just like he had a doctors stethoscope around his neck. My second look reveled that, yes, indeedy, it was a stethoscope around his neck, then he put it in his ears and started listening to the road. It was then that the light turned green and I figured the people behind me probably wouldn't be too happy if I stuck around to see if he could find a heart beat or not, so I had to continue on my merry way. But, my question is, is a stethoscope standard work construction equipment where you live? Also, I'm still trying to figure out the purpose of those round thingys dangling from the back of the county workers hard hats. Anyone know? They look like a cover to a bottle of juice or something and every guy has one hanging from his hat.

In other exciting news, I finished Nanowrimo again this year. Yep, I just wrote a 50,000 word novel starting on November 1st. I have til the 30th to finish, but we're going out of town for Thanksgiving weekend and won't get back until the night of the 29th and I'm going to be playing catch-up with my life on the 30th, so I wanted to get done before we left on Wednesday. I did it with time to spare. To say I'm slightly burned out would be a bit of an understatement. My story isn't finished yet, but at least I've got my Nano word count, which was my goal for the month. Now I'm going to crawl into bed and sleep the sleep of the hardworking.

Monday, November 16, 2009

yes, I'm still alive

Gosh, I've been busy. I'm pleased to say I've hit 35K in my Nanowrimo word count, that means only 15K more to write and I've won another Nano. Yay!

Interesting day in church yesterday. The home where we meet on Sunday morning has two dogs. They lock them up in pens behind their garage during meeting. Well, yesterday, their little pug got out and came running inside (one wall of the house opens up to the outside-you can do that in Hawaii) right before church started. So Don had to scoop up this wiggly little pug dog and stick him back in his pen before we could get started. Then, about halfway through, a little five year old girl went to the bathroom and then couldn't unlock the bathroom door to get out. The bathroom opens up into the room we were in, so we could hear the knob turning and her working at the lock. Fortunately, she's a cool little kid and waited patiently for someone to get her out. So once again, Don, the owner of the house, came to the rescue. Well, he tried to anyway, but he couldn't find anything to unlock the door with. Let me tell you, it's real hard to concentrate on church when there's a guy 15 feet away from you trying to pick the lock on his bathroom door. Eventually he gave up and had his 18 year old son climb through the bathroom window and get little Kewena out. I didn't see him since I was on the other side of the room, but Angel #2 said she glanced over to the bathroom window and saw Kiefer dive through headfirst on his Kewena rescue. She said all she saw was legs going through the window.

To top off our church going experience, we had vacationers there as well. We have those a lot, one of the benefits of living here is you get to meet people from all over the country. I didn't really look at the strangers when we came in, I just sat down in the row in front of them. You can imagine my surprise when I turned around later and saw some friends of ours from Wisconsin sitting there. It was great seeing Gary and Sue again, we hadn't seen them in years. We were particularly close to Sue's mother and brothers and it was nice to get a family update on how everyone was doing.

All in all, Sunday was a pretty interesting day.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's been a quiet week at Lake Wasabi

I went to work today to see a lake where the parking lot used to be. We've been assured by the buildings other residents that this only happens when it rains, so that's good to know. It was about 3-4 inches deep in some spots and we're thinking about giving ferry rides to paying customers around the lot. Chuck, the previous tenant, says they call it Lake Wasabi. As nice as it is to have waterfront property, Tony is going to talk to the landlord to have him send someone over to suck up the crud that's clogging up the storm drain.

Talk about work - remember all the old guys who are renting the surrounding units? It's weird. You know how, in old tv shows like Bonanza, Gun Smoke etc, where the main characters wear the same outfits every episode? Well, the old guys in the building are just like that. In the week and a half that we've been there, Chuck has always worn blue pants with a red shirt and Terry/Eb wears the same exact striped shirt and shorts pulled up to his armpits. It's like I'm living in an episode of Gilligans Island or something.

Today, a guy came in and said he wasn't sure if we'd be open since it was a holiday. I said we were too busy to take a day off, but, jokingly, I said that at 11:00, we'd all stand up and face the east for a moment of silence. The man didn't have a clue what I was talking about? When I was in school, every November 11 at 11:00, we'd stand beside our desks, everyone facing east, and have a minute of silence while Taps played over the PA system. I thought every school did that. So, now I want to know, did you do that at your school, or was it just a Wisconsin thing...or maybe a particular thing my school district did? My kids get the whole entire day off. They won't have a full 5 day school week until the end of February and there's only a total of 4 full school weeks scheduled for the remainder of the entire school year. Any wonder why Hawaii ranks almost last in the nation for education?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nanowrimo's got me busy

Between working almost full days and doing Nanowrimo in my free time, I don't have much time to write here. Not that things having been happening, just that I don't have time to report them. I'm now at over 18,000 words, so I'm creeping slowly up to the halfway point.

Today, Angel #2 got a new cat. She's been missing Mouschi, her cat who was hit by a car last month. I ran into my friend DeAnne at the bank today and she told me that they had renters for their house and needed to do something about their cats and asked if #2 might be interested. So we now have a little, half feral cat that I've been calling Emo, since it's freaked out, won't come out of it's box and is all black, kind of like a certain Emo daughter I have. She started calling it Emo too, but I don't know if that's going to be it's official name now or not. She says no, but hasn't come up with anything better yet.

Are any of you familiar with the Missing Leprechaun puzzle? It is currently driving our entire family crazy trying to figure out where the 15th leprechaun goes and which lep is it that disappears anyway? We've got the puzzle and it's sitting on the kitchen counter and various members of the family will sit there and stare at the puzzle. At the moment, Angel #1 is sitting there counting the noses and yelling, where did the nose go? Now he's giving me a theory about body parts morphing onto other leprechauns. It's a real head scratcher, let me tell ya.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

dumpster adventures

Today, as I was going past the "do not pee" dumpster, I said hi to Eb, whose real name is Terry, which makes for 3 Terry's in the same building, the building manager Terry, one of the guys I work with Terry and Terry, the homeless guy who sleeps in a van with his friend Larry. Anyway, I said hi to Eb/Terry, then noticed what he was doing -- spraying the dumpster with disinfectant. So, not only can you not pee on it, it's also germ-free. We've got the cleanest garbage in town, folks. Sadly, our parking lot is not so clean, because hubby lost his lunch on it. Literally. We were eating lunch together and he just unwrapped his hamburger when he dropped it and it fell apart on the ground. He reached over to pick it up and dumped his smoothie over in the process. There was purple smoothie goo running down the side of the lawn tractor he was sitting on. Yes, we were sitting side by side on a couple of lawn tractors (in the small engine repair world, you have to use what's available if you want to sit while eating lunch). It's very romantic, trust me. At least until you end up covered in deluxe cheeseburger and berry smoothie.

Monday, November 2, 2009

what a day!

Whew, I need to sit down and take a breath after the day I had today. The guy I do bookkeeping for, Tony, moved to a new shop over the weekend. Because of the chaos that's involved in a move, he asked if I could put in more hours working the service counter so he had time to get things organized at the new place. One of his guys didn't show up today, which really put things in a jumble. Of course, as expected, the phone company screwed things up. When we called them last week, we were told that all we had to do was call on the day of the move and they'd have the line switched within an hour. So, this morning I call and am told that they're scheduling a week out for line connecting. After some stern talking and a discussion with the supervisor, we finally got it hooked up in about 5 hours. I do not exaggerate when I say we have NEVER had dealings with the local phone company here without them screwing something up. They once disconnected our phone, on purpose, 5 times in one weekend. They went bankrupt last year and the government bailed them out - I think they just should have let them go down.

While I was working at the new shop, I went outside for something and passed the dumpster and noticed a sign taped on the side of it. It said: No Peeing Allowed. Now, of course, this makes me wonder why someone felt the need to have that particular rule posted on the side of the dumpster. I also met, as hubby calls them, a whole new cast of characters. There's this guy hubby calls Eb who's like the caretaker of the property. He made sure that all of us involved in moving into the new place were up to speed on the bathroom situation, including the brand of toilet paper he supplies (Scott's 1000 sheets, in case you were wondering) and the paper towels provided for drying off hands (Viva). Then there's Chuck, the 84 year old former tenant of the shop. Chuck hadn't gotten around to moving all his accumulated stuff out before the end of the month, so if we wanted to move our stuff in, we had to help Chuck move his stuff out. Chuck has a LOT of stuff. They're hoping that after another full day of hauling like they had today, the rest of his stuff should be out by tomorrow night. Then there's Terry - the homeless guy who lives somewhere in the vicinity of the shop. We're suspecting that he's the reason for the no peeing sign on the dumpster. Something the guys hadn't noticed when they originally checked the building out and signed the lease, is that it's right next door to Pacific Waste Removal. Yep, we're next door to a garbage truck parking lot. It's not too bad during the day, but when all the trucks come back by the late afternoon, things get pretty ripe. Fortunately, Tony closes at 5 and I'm usually out of there earlier, so it might only cause major problems on Saturdays when Tony is open and the trash company isn't.

In addition to my exciting day working at the new shop, I also had parent teacher conferences, a safety inspection scheduled for my van and bread to make because we ran out on Saturday and I hadn't gotten around to making any until today. I also found out that I committed myself to post an entry at the Unusual Historicals blog, which I'd forgotten about and still haven't done. This has to be in by tomorrow afternoon at the very latest. Don't even ask me about my Nano project - I don't wanna talk about it.

Hopefully tomorrow goes a little smoother.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

exciting bonus entry

I wanted to write this down because I'll forget it otherwise. Tonight at supper, WE asked hubby if he could steal a billion dollars without anyone knowing about it, would you? Hubby said no, because someone WOULD know about it, him and he wouldn't want to live with himself if he knew he stole it from people. WE with his typical logic said, "with that kind of money, you could pay someone to erase that memory from your brain." How do you argue with something like that?

It's November, let the craziness begin

Tanya, that's too funny about your hubcap. Isn't it handy to have kids so you can send them on errands you're too embarrassed to do yourself?

Today is the first day of National Novel Writing Month, aka Nanowrimo. This is my 4th year doing Nano and I've managed to finish the previous 3 times I've done it. The idea is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. If you figure about 250 words per page, that's 200 pages of writing or about 1667 words written per day. I usually shoot for 2000 words a day so I'm done in plenty of time before the end of the month. This worked great last month when I finished by the 25th, but not so much the year before when I finally hit 50K at 11:45pm on November 30th. I don't recommend doing this as it causes horrible hand cramps when you have to write 10,000 words in about 12 hours. Anyway, I'm off to a good start with over 2200 words written today. Hopefully I can keep it up. My very first published book, It Takes Moxie, was also my very first Nanowrimo project. So good things DO come out of Nano.

We now short one wild pig in our yard, but it wasn't my guys who got it. Our landlord must have given a bunch of guys permission to go hunting out there and they're now parked at the end of our driveway in a pickup truck with a big ol' pig lying in the back. One down, who knows how many left to go. Hubby and the boys saw at least 5 of them the night they caught the piglet last week.

Angel #2's cell phone fell out of her bag this morning when she was getting in the van to go to church. She didn't notice it until later and assumed she set it down someplace. Well, we found it after we got home, the van tire went right over it. Amazingly enough, all it did was crack the glass front screen, but not even enough to mess the screen itself up. So everything on it works just fine, it's just not so purdy anymore. For a hot pink telephone, it's a pretty tough little bugger.