Monday, December 27, 2010

I need a dream interpretor

You know when you're dreaming and everything, no matter how strange, seems perfectly normal? The other night, I had a dream, which, while it seemed normal at the time, I realized was odd enough to tell hubby about the next day. But, even during the telling of it, I didn't realize how strange it was until it was coming out of my mouth. In a nutshell, here's what happened while I was sleeping. My family (hubs and the kids) & I checked into a motel someplace, I'm guessing it was in Plainfield, WI, since after checking into the motel, we headed off to Ed Gein's farm. For those of you who may not know who Ed Gein is, here's a little Wiki info , if you don't want to bother with more info, let's just say he was Wisconsin's 1950's version of Jeffery Dahmer (yeah, ol' Jeff was from WI too, we're just bursting with looney-toons around here). So, anyway, there we are, me and my lovely family, hanging at Ed's farm. Ed was there, along with his mother, brother and sister (he didn't have a sister in real life, but I don't let things like facts mess up my dreams). Hubs and the kids are having a great time on the farm, but I realized that it probably wasn't a real good place to be and tried to convince them that we should be leaving, pronto. I'll spare you all the other dream details I gave to hubs, but in the dream, once I convinced everyone to leave, I was explaining the part in my dream where I had to go to the kitchen before we left the farm because I had to get my crockpot, because I'd left it in the kitchen after we had a potluck. At this point, hubs stopped my dream recital to say WAIT A MINUTE, WE HAD A POTLUCK AT ED GEINS HOUSE!?!?! Yeah, it wasn't until I was telling hubby about the dream that I realized that one of the very last places you'd want to go to a potluck was Ed Gein's house. Double ugh. But, I figure that will make a wonderful saying some day, such as: Yeah, that sounds about as attractive as going to a potluck at Ed Gein's. (feel free to use this in your own daily conversations)

In other, slightly more normal doings, we had overnight company this weekend. Three of the ministers from our church spent Saturday evening until this morning (Monday) with us. last night, the three of them, along with me and Angel #'s 2&4 had a Uno tournament. Hubs dug into my chocolate stash and offered it up for snacking. Well, when you throw a bunch of chocolate in front of 6 females, only the worst can happen. The six of us all went on an out of control sugar high and we were laughing and giggling our butts off. Hubs just sat in the other room, listening to us, I suspect he purposely gave us all that sugar, just so he could listen to us go bonkers and bounce off the walls. It got to be a pretty interesting Uno game. We even got to the point that when we ate all my chocolate stash, we opened up the glass jar that held some stale candy corn left over from the fall and ate all the white tips off the ends (because everyone knows that the white tips are the best part of the candy corn). Eventually, we all crashed from our highs and came back down to earth and could once again have a coherent conversation. After they left this morning, Angel #2 said they were so much fun she wished they all lived with us. But, I don't know if my nervous and digestive systems could handle nights like last night on a regular basis.

Oh, and last night I had another cool dream (okay, the Ed Gein dream wasn't cool, but it was interesting). I dreamed I was a super hero and my super hero power was that I could freeze someone by looking them in the eye. How cool would that be? Once I woke up, I sat and thought about how a bad guy could overcome a power like that and decided that about the only thing they could do would be to blindfold me so I couldn't look them in the eye. Anyway, I think being able to flash freeze someone would be a really handy skill to have.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I'm officially sick of Christmas

I want my radio stations back. I want my grocery store back. I want my sanity back. If I have to hear Madonna singing Santa Baby one more time, it's more than her stocking that's going to get stuffed. That's all I'm going to say on that.

On the positive side, however, I'm very happy I live in a community where store clerks, school secretaries, the high school choir, etc, aren't afraid to say Merry Christmas. Seriously, if you're going to celebrate Christmas, don't be afraid to say the freakin' word, and if you don't like the Christian aspect of the holiday, why are you celebrating it in the first place? It IS supposed to be a Christian holiday, after all. Since I don't celebrate the holiday, I guess I'm supposed to be one of those people who get offended if someone says the dreaded "C" word in my presence. I won't get offended, I promise. I was a little worried a few weeks ago when I saw them taking the down the sign that's on the highway as you come into our town. It said something to the effects that our town believes and lives by the 10 commandments and is 'signed' by the town council. I thought our town had gone PC and felt the religious aspect needed to be neutralized. I was rather thankful that this wasn't the case as the 10 commandments sign was replaced by one reminding people to keep the Christ in Christmas. Once again, I don't do Christmas, but am not offended by those who do, even though I'm SICK TO DEATH OF CHRISTMAS SONGS. *deep breath* Okay, I'm better now.

This weekend, we picked up an elliptical exercise machine. I'm happy to say that I've had two exercise sessions on it so far and have lived to tell about it. I'm not sure what music is best to ellipticize to, but right now it's a toss-up between Billy Idol and the Brian Setzer Orchestra - so far Brian Setzer's ahead by a pulled muscle, but I'm sure Billy will catch up eventually. Talk about Billy Idol, Angel #2 and I were listening to the radio and Billy's Mony, Mony came on (#2's an Idol fan, too). I was telling her that it was one of those songs we used to sing at the top of our lungs to when we were in high school, inserting a few swear words into the chorus that weren't there in the actual version. I told her there were a few songs we did that to (though I was a good mom and didn't actually tell her what we said, I don't need to reveal all my sins, you know). Don't teenagers do that now? I asked. She shrugged, laughed and said that now days, the songs come with the bad words already in them, so they don't have to be manually added. Sigh, another rebellious joy of teendom that kids today are denied.

#2 also did a hair upgrade a couple days ago. Along with her bright red hair, she dyed the bottom couple inches of her hair purple, so she's got this weird tie-dyed effect going on. So now she looks like a two-toned muppet-head.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dressed for Success

I think I need to do a slight wardrobe upgrade. Clothes, shoes, hair-doos, etc, are real low on my priority list. If it fits me, keeps me warm, dry and comfortable, it works for me. But I had second thoughts about my dressing habits yesterday. Angel #2 asked my why I was all dressed up. I'm dressed up? I asked her. Well, you're wearing shoes. Apparently, all I have to do to look dressed-up is put some shoes on. Yep, definitely need some new clothes.

I ventured out beyond my little 5 mile sphere yesterday for the first time since last weekends blizzard. There were a lot of tree branches down and all the pine trees were absolutely drooping from the weight of all the snow and ice caked on their branches. The roads are finally looking pretty decent, so driving isn't quite as stressful. Also, I did something I don't think I've done since we last lived in Wisconsin. I had to stop for a train. Since there are no trains in Hawaii, it's been a looong while. Fortunately, it was just a little baby train, so it wasn't long enough to dim my excitement. I also saw a few snowmobilers out on the trail that runs along the highway. I had to pick up Angel #4's fruit order at the band room (is it a band teacher law that there MUST be a fruit sale every year?). As long as I was there, I offered to pick the kids up at school. It was kind of funny seeing a line of snowmobiles parked in the school parking lot. But, when you think about it, I'd much rather my kids take a snowmobile to school than a car. You don't have to worry about them going into the ditch or anything. The marked snowmobile trail comes right into town, so it would be perfect. I love living in a small town. In front of the store in town (it sells bird seed, fertilizer, garden tools and bulk Christmas candy...guess what I was after?) they've got a big barrel by the front door, you can stick your deer hides inside as a donation to the local Lions club. Now, you folks in New York, LA and Chicago claim you've got everything right there at your fingertips. I'm willing to bet you'd have to look long and hard for a deer hide barrel.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gang Fail

The other day, Angel #2 said they were talking in one of her classes about gangs. Then she said that one of the girls in her class said that her mother told her that if they were still living in town, she'd probably belong to a gang by now. The town her mother was talking about, is our town, a town of about 1200 people, where the biggest business is the Co-op. The kids were all laughing, wondering how come none of them had seen the town gang yet. Then, yesterday, I was playing around on YouTube and did a search on our town. Besides the usual clips from high school football games and an advertisement for the feed mill, I saw a music video apparently made by some local teens. It was your typical rapper video, complete with guys slouching around in hoodies, wandering the dark streets. They were doing their own singing, which was atrocious, but I wasn't really listening to the words. I sent the link to the kids, jokingly telling them that I found evidence of the town gang. The kids watched it and were laughing their butts off. They knew all the boys in the video and it was for a class project. If I had listened closely to the words, I would have heard them rapping about a potato famine. The main singer and leader of the 'gang' won the good citizenship award last year. I guess that's the kind of gangs you find in a small farming community. Ironically, the same day I found the gang video, I was reading the local paper from where we lived in Hawaii. The high school campus our kids would have been on if we hadn't moved, went into emergency lock down twice on Tuesday, once when a man armed with a knife came onto the campus to sell drugs, had to be apprehended by the security guards and held until the cops came. The second time a few hours later when there was a fight on campus and a whole bunch of kids went off school grounds to get in on the action. I'll take our potato famine gang over that garbage any day. I think we made a good move.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Yep, there was snow

We had a bit of snow over the weekend, or, in Wisconsin, they just refer to it as 'weather'. This is the pile we had after hiring the guy to clear our driveway of knee high 'weather'. As you can see, weather also turns teenage girls hair weird colors...or maybe it was because when you're snowbound for a couple days you have nothing better to do than dye your hair bright red.

Last night, Angel #2 had her band concert. It was easy to identify her to people asking which child was mine. Rather than doing what those other poor people had to do and say my kid is the fourth one in the third row or something, I simply had to say the kid with the bright red hair. She definitely stood out in the crowd. It's a pretty conservative school here, next to my little Angel, the most radical looking kid was a boy with two diamond studs in his ears. There wasn't a goth or an emo in the entire group, a bit different than there school in Hawaii.

I also got to meet Morgan and her parents. They live near us and WE sits with Morgan on the bus. I've heard a lot about this girl, but never met her. Apparently, the same is true at Morgan's house, since her dad expressed disappointment that he didn't get to meet WE (while getting the evil eye and a few 'shut-up' looking nudges from his daughter the entire time he was talking).

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Revelation

I've got this friend, a very sweet woman and I love her to pieces. She's pretty much perfect. She never seems frazzled, always soft spoken, even with her kids (she has 4), I can't even imagine her yelling. Heck, I can't even imagine her doing something like stepping in dog poop. She's be annoying if she wasn't so darn nice. Her kids were all a bit older than mine and I admired her as a person and a parent. But, watching her with her kids, who were all well-behaved and have grown to be wonderful responsible adults, I always felt inadequate, lacking a bit in the mom department. I never felt I could measure up to a woman who actually dreaded the first day of school because she'd miss her kids during the day (is that even human?). Anyway, with her as my yardstick, I always came up short. But today a friend from high school (totally unrelated to my perfect friend) made a comment on her Facebook page about making cut out sugar cookies and how she hated doing it. Then her sister chimed in and said she sounded like their mother, who hated making them as well and was known to swear while making them. That brought back one of my favorite memories of my mother. My mom wasn't a baker, but every year, like my friends mom, she insisted on making cut out sugar cookies at Christmas time - and she HATED it. I commented that I also had warm fuzzy memories of my mom losing her temper making cookies as well. Then, my friend's mom chimed in jokingly saying how kids never seem to remember the happy times. I responded that though we remember the good times, it's much more fun to remember the times when our mothers cussed out cookie dough. Then, I realized that my greatest memories of my mom weren't when she was doing a June Cleaver imitation, it was those times when she was being goofy and irreverent, like the time we were messing around instead of setting the table and she tossed a whole stack of plates across the kitchen. Yeah, if you could ask my mom, I'm sure she'd say that wasn't an incident she'd want her kids to remember her by, but it was a time when she was a human, just doing what she could to keep her family going, keep her kids in line and create memories we can still chuckle over 26 years after her death. Even now, when I don't have some kitchen utensil or practical little gadget, I'll say: I don't have all those modern conveniences that are in other people's garages! (her response one time during a cut out cookie episode when my dad asked where her flour sifter was - we got her one for Christmas). Know what, I laugh every time I say it. I hope I can give my kids memories that they can take with them to adulthood as well. Being a mom is an important job, but I'm glad that I've finally realized that I haven't failed if I'm not perfect. My kids love me the way I am and I love them, too. Know what else I realized? My friend probably isn't perfect either.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

the weather outside is frightful

Hubs picked a good time to hightail it to Hawaii. Late yesterday afternoon we were hit with a monster blizzard that just started settling down about an hour ago. We've got snow, we've got wind, we've got drifts across our driveway. What we don't have is Angel #4. She went home witha a friend yesterday after (winning) her basketball game and was supposed to be home late afternoon. Instead, she's been snowbound there and it looks like she'll be spending another night there as well since their road is still drifted shut. Ours probably is too, I'm just not willing to go outside to get a better look. Some days are best spent inside. The power went off about midnight last night, fortunately, it only was out for about 20 minutes. I was getting a little nervous. I can handle dark and eating cold food, I just didn't want the house freezing. We've got a gas fireplace, but I'm not sure if it ignites without having to use electricity. I started it this afternoon and am going to keep it lit until the danger of the power going out is past. I don't know how they are now, but when I talked to some friends about 20 miles from here at 9 this morning, they'd been out of power for over twelve hours already. It's kind of weird, you'd think we country folks would be the ones losing power, not the ones in town.

Poor Angel #2 got her first crash course in driving in snow last night. Fortunately, there were no other crashes involved. They closed her workplace down early, but it still took her over half an hour to drive the 5 miles home and she was shaking and in tears when she finally got into the garage. She had to dodge fallen trees and gun it over drifts. They closed work again today, which is good, because there was no way I was going to let her drive this afternoon anyway. As it is, I'm not sure when we're going to be able to get the car out of the driveway. We can't get the snow blower started, probably more because we don't have a clue how to start it than because it doesn't work. You'd think all those hours I spent working at a small engine repair shop I'd know how to start a small engine. My only excuse is that we didn't deal a whole lot with snowblowers in Hawaii.

In other exciting news, Angel #2 decided to change her look once again. This time, she's got bright red hair - think Elmo from Sesame Street. It's....odd looking. But she's happy with it, which I guess is all that matters. WE has also been busy playing some online role playing game. He's made a world that all kinds of people go to - I have no idea how it works. Last week, he made an online McDonalds, but so many RP people started suing them that he had to develop a courthouse, hire a judge and have court cases. Because of that, today he had to make an insane asylum, which he said is a lot of fun. But, since people taking their RPing seriously, running the asylum is a full time job. I guess he's going to have to make a security team and a police force now. I guess that's how these things end up happening in real life as well, it just happens faster on the computer. I was asking him how the whole RP world building thing works and I got a vague answer from him. When I asked him if he was doing something nefarious, he turned around and said: "Why do you ask? Did you Google something?" Now I'm REALLY wondering!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

just itching for a good time

Yesterday afternoon, I noticed that my hands were itchy. It was driving me nuts. As the day went on, the palms got itchier and red. Everyone kept asking me what my problem was, but I couldn't help it. must. itch. palms. Later in the evening, I started itching my legs as well, and when I got ready for bed, I noticed my thighs were covered in hives. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out why I was getting hives. I hadn't eaten anything unusual, I used the same shampoo/soap/lotion as I always do. The only thing I had that was different was the new socks and gloves I bought at the haunted Walmart on Sunday, I wore them both for the first time yesterday. I supposed I'll let myself get all cleared up and try wearing the gloves again and see if they're the problem, otherwise, I'm stumped. Maybe I'm allergic to being married for 20 years.

I know what you mean about Sheboygan, Tanya, it seems like if something weird is going to happen, it's going to happen in Sheboygan. I heard on the radio the other day some guy shot his neighbor by accident when he was playing with his gun while sitting on the toilet. The gun went off, went through the bathroom floor into the apartment below. Happened in Sheboygan, of course.

Thanks for the anniversary wishes, Jeanie & Afton. Hope you have a great anniversary as well, Jeanie, and with any luck, you won't get hives.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Maywidge, Maywidge is what bwings us togedder today

Yes, it's time for my yearly reminder to Jeanie C that her anniversary is coming up soon. Hubs and I have been together for twenty wonderful years today. It's pretty unbelievable, actually, since twenty years of marriage is something that old people have under their belts and I don't feel like an old person at all. I think hubby keeps me young. It's been twenty years of ups and downs, but I wouldn't trade them, or my husband, for anything. I don't think a day has gone buy in those twenty years that he hasn't told me he loves me and I KNOW that a week hasn't gone by when he hasn't told me how beautiful/wonderful/sexy I am. I think I found me a winner. Not only did I get him, but I got four wonderful kids out of the deal as well (we won't talk about the stretch marks and grey hair I've also acquired).

Hubs and I went out for a celebration dinner last night since we won't have time to do it tonight, our schedule is booked. While I'm taking the younger kids to Bible study, hubs and Angel #2 are going to a meeting at the school for financial aid and graduation stuff. We're going to have to buy a black graduation gown for her, once she's done with it, we'll put it in the closet next to Angel #1's blue graduation gown. Hopefully we'll stick around in this school for the other two to graduate or by the time we're done, we're going to have a whole closet full of different colored graduation gowns.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

things that go bump in the night

Last night, the kids and I were goofing around, playing a weird, homemade version of Jeopardy, where we came up with a topic and I made up random answers/questions for them. One of the topics picked was: houses we've lived in. Since we've lived in about 10 different places, there was a lot to choose from. One of my 'answers' was: It was haunted... meaning the last house we lived in in Hawaii, where WE saw a mysterious ghost girl in his bedroom one night. Turns out, that, according to my kids, we've lived in a couple of haunted houses, or they've seen weird things anyway. The one in Hawaii was the worst. Besides WE's girl in his room, Angel #2 saw a girl out in the yard one day, which she told me about, but the creepy thing was just last night she told me that twice she'd seen a figure in her locked bedroom in the middle of the night and creepiest of all, once it felt like the ceiling had collapsed on her and she was having trouble breathing. I guess I'm not very sensitive to things (or maybe because I don't actually believe in ghosts) I never noticed a thing. We call the house we're living in now haunted because things seem to mysteriously disappear, then reappear with annoying regularity. We once spent 15 minutes searching the house for the truck keys, only to find them sitting exactly where they belong, a place we'd all checked more than once. Another time, we were looking for part of a curtain rod in Angel #4's bedroom and couldn't find it, about a week later, she was laying in her bed and it just randomly fell on her. I suspect that instead of it being ghosts, we're probably just not very good at putting things back where they belong. I'm hoping though, that if our ghost wandered off with the 5 pool balls that have been missing for the last month, that they return them soon so we can play pool again.

All that talk about ghosts freaked WE out and he scattered cloves of garlic on his windowsills and doorway before going to be last night. He's also got his closet door barricaded after discovering that the access to the attic is in his closet. His bedroom smells like an Italian restaurant.

Oh, and talk about haunted. Sunday after church, I decided to pick up some hats and gloves for the kids since the weather here is getting downright nippy. The easiest place to shop was the haunted Walmart, we drive right past it on our way home. I guess the Walmart was built on an old cemetery and sometimes weird stuff happens there. The only weird thing that happened while we were there though was that I somehow managed to get out of the store spending less than $50.

Oh, and more Wisconsin weirdness for you. This article was in our local paper today. I'm still scratching my head over that one.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Shhh, don't tell anyone....

but I really hate basketball. I've never liked the sport and didn't even go to the games in high school when the Friday night basketball games were the place to be. I don't understand the rules, the point system or the fouls - it's only redeeming feature is that you can sit in a quasi-warm gym while your watching it as opposed to freezing metal benches you have to sit on during outside sporting events. I'd forgotten how much I disliked basketball until this weekend when I had basketball overload. Angel #4 had a scrimmage game Friday evening. It was her first ever game against an opposing team and she looked completely overwhelmed out on the court. After watching an hour of her scrimmaging as well as most of the 5th grade girls scrimmage game, we decided to head over to the other school and watch the varsity boys game. All I know about basketball is that you need to get the ball through the hoop more than the other team and that height is an advantage. Therefore, I thought our team was in deep doo-doo when I saw that our team of11 guys only had 3 six footers and no one taller while the other team of 14 boys had half their team 6 feet tall or taller, 3 of them were 6'4" and another was 6'5"! Our little team of shorties prevailed though. Then Saturday morning, Angel #4 had her first real basketball game - once again, they were up against a team of really tall girls. I don't know what other towns are putting in their water to get such tall kids, but they sure aren't using it in our town. Height didn't do the trick again though, and the Angel's team had an awesome 22-6 victory. She looked much more confident out on the court than she did the night before. I'm sure that as the season progresses, she'll get even better, it'll just take a little while to catch up with the other girls who've been playing for a year already.

Hubs headed off to West Virginia yesterday for work. He's pretty happy the trip happened along as those miles will allow him to hit the 100,000 mile mark on his frequent flier card for the year. I'm not sure what happens now besides lots of free upgrades to first class, but he's pretty happy about it. All I know is that I think he's spent more time in the air than he has on the ground this year.

Friday, December 3, 2010

shopping

Hubs and I had a nice day together yesterday. I was supposed to go grocery shopping on Wednesday, but just couldn't seem to build up enough enthusiasm to go, so I didn't. Instead, since hubs didn't have to work yesterday, I enticed him to come along with me. Things are more fun if we do them together. Problem is, we don't have the same shopping style. He likes to rush down the aisles throwing things willy-nilly into the cart. He stopped at Costco by himself Wednesday and came home with a case of mangoes, a tub of black berries, a whole smoked fish (including head) and random other odd things. I like to be a little more practical with my shopping, and this takes a little time. He thought I was going too slow and pointed out that the old lady pushing the other old lady in the wheelchair passed me up by the second aisle. Yeah, but I bet neither one of them had a house full of kids to feed. Three hundred dollars later, my cupboards are full and all is right with my world.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wisconsin weirdness

There was a gunman in one of the local schools yesterday. A 15 year old kid basically lost it, holding his classmates hostage with 2 guns before police came in and the boy shot himself. He died this morning. The school this happened at was in our conference when I was in high school and I can remember going there for sporting events as a teen. It's a small school, which is kind of creepy, all the kids knew him and at this time, no one has a clue what set him off. Then when they got home from school, WE was telling us about his principal investigating some gum that was thrown on the floor of the school. The school just had a multi-million dollar renovation and the principal is very proud of the building. WE said he could see him checking the angle of the gum and its location in the hall, then he went into his office to review the security tapes to find the culprit. I just pray that finding the gum tossing culprit is the biggest issue my kids principal will ever have to deal with.

Angel #2 killed a possum the other night with the car. I think that's her first roadkill. She claimed it wasn't murder, the possum was suicidal, since she was attempting to drive around it when it jumped in front of her. At least it wasn't a deer, now those suckers can do some damage.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ribs and gossip, can't ask for more than that, now can you?

Yesterday, the girls and I visited Rent-a-Grandma. It had been almost a month since we've seen her, so it was nice to play a little catch-up on events in our lives. Then, she took us all out to lunch and I had some awesomely delicious bar-b-q ribs.

Hubs and WE were supposed to be out deer hunting, but decided to stay home instead. So, when the girls and I got back, we came home to fine that WE had rearranged the living room furniture and one of Angel #4's stuffed animals was sitting on a high ledge in the entryway holding a suicide not. Don't worry, though, it was all okay, because two teddy bears were located on the floor below holding a pillow between them to break the jumper's fall. There was also a crowd of stuffed onlookers crowded below as well. Sometimes I think my son has too much time on his hands.

Angel #2 went shopping with a friend today. The friend's boyfriend broke up with her this week, so after the shopping trip, they plan to have a clich├ęd breakup party watching chick flicks and eating Chunky Monkey ice cream straight out of the tub. Oh, to be a teenager again.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving

My family had a great time yesterday celebrating Thanksgiving at my sister's house. She had my family and her husband's family over for the day. Her in-laws are a very nice, fun group of people and I loved meeting the infamous Uncle Kenny. I think every family has an Uncle Kenny, he was a hoot. We also did a bit of Wii Karaoke, even me, though I'm not exactly known for my golden throat. Angel #2 suggested that maybe I whistle instead - I'm a much better whistler than a singer.

We got a letter from Angel #1 the other day. He seems to be doing fine in basic training and said he's getting used to getting yelled at all the time from his drill Sargent. It doesn't sound like he's got a whole lot of free time on his hands. He said he misses relaxing and eating snacks - so I've got the feeling I know what he's going to be doing right after graduation.

It's pretty quiet in the house today. This morning, Hubs, WE & Angel #4 hit the woods to do a little deer hunting and Angel #2 headed out about half an hour ago for work, so here I am, enjoying the peace. Hopefully, WE gets a deer this weekend. Twice this week, he dreamed about shooting a buck, so he's hoping that they'll come true. Come sundown on Sunday, gun deer season is over again for another year and people's brains will finally turn to something else, but for the moment, all everyone seems to talk about is hunting. It's like the movie Escanaba in Da Moonlight, without the aliens (and yes, that's what people really talk like in this part of the world)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fun!

I had a nice time at the book signing yesterday. Before the signing, I had a little Q&A session with the library's book club, a very friendly group of people. I didn't have a ton of people show up, but enough to keep me busy. One of Angel #4's friend's mothers brought her, along with her friends to the library so they could see me in action. The friend also brought me roses - what a nice woman, eh? I met some interesting people who stopped by to chat and buy a book or two along with a group of three goofy teenagers who sat and chatted with me for about a half hour. I always get stressed out over events like that. I'm not very comfortable being in the spotlight, I even had nightmares the night before, dreaming that I showed up at the signing without any books. Yeah, I get way over-anxious over things like this, but it's all part of selling books.

Talk about books, I'm glad Jeanie C got her copy of Not Looking for Trouble. I tried to comment on your post, Jeanie, but Bravenet wouldn't let me. I hope you enjoy it and it helps keep your mind of the life issues you're dealing with. Plus, I think it's really cool that you bumped my book ahead of Stephen King's in your to be read pile. :)

We're supposed to get up to an inch of slush tonight. I'm not happy about this. Hubs and WE we're going to head out overnight so they could get an early start hunting tomorrow, but I think they may just stick closer to home. It would stink if the roads made it so they wouldn't be able to get back in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Even if the weather didn't make it obvious, I would know that I'm back in Wisconsin for Thanksgiving since I've once again volunteered to make the dinner rolls. Bread making is one of my rare skills and what better time than Thanksgiving to put that skill into action? Making rolls is a much different tradition than our Hawaii one, which was spending that long weekend on Oahu...though I can't say I'd object to having Hawaii weather at the moment. I'd forgotten how darn cold it gets up here!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Yay me!

I've got another Nanowrimo under my belt. I think I wrote my 50,000 words this month in record time. I don't know why I put myself under all that stress every November, but it sure does feel good when I've hit the goal and my life can return to what passes for normal.

Tomorrow afternoon I've got a book signing at one of the local libraries. I made a batch of my famous ginger snap cookies to take along, better to lure potential book buyers to my table. Since I don't know too many people in the area, I've been doing my best to tell everyone I've run into about the signing in hopes that they'll come to meet a 'real' author. I hope I get a decent turnout, it would really suck to sit there for 2 1/2 hours with no one stopping by.


Friday, November 19, 2010

This is the time of year when bullets are on my shopping list

WE and I went shopping today. It's the opening day of deer hunting season tomorrow and he needed warm clothes so he doesn't freeze his heiny off. We ended up getting him gloves, warm boots and, the Wisconsin outdoorsman staple, Carhart bibbed overalls. Buying the boots was an adventure, he tried them on, but didn't want to walk around to test them out. I started singing: These boots are made for walkin' and he continued it with and that's just what I'll do. Soon, we were both walking around the store singing the song together. What's the point of shopping if you can't enjoy yourself? We then had a shootout with some machine guns in the toy department. There are so many things to do and enjoy when you shop at Fleet Farm. I don't know where people buy things when they don't have an area Fleet Farm. I know we missed it a lot when we lived in Hawaii. Fleet Farm, for the uninformed, is a chain of stores in the upper Midwest - it's commonly said up here: if you can't find it at Fleet Farm, you don't really need it. If you need, say, new tires for your car, supplies for replumbing your bathroom, Christmas presents for your kids and a saddle for your horse, you can do it all in one stop at Fleet. And while you're there, you can buy a new outfit, get soap for your dishwasher and pick up a shotgun. Something for everyone. It's also known as The Man's Mall.

Also in preparation for deer hunting, along with the fact that he'd been complaining about not being able to see the board at school, hubs took WE to the eye doctor the other day and now my little boy has glasses. Fortunately, he only needs them for distance and doesn't have to wear them all the time. The day he got them, he was having a wonderful time reading off the license plate numbers of all the cars ahead of us on the road.

Talk about license plates, back in September, we bought a used truck. Within days after we bought it, I sent in the paperwork, title, fees and all that stuff, so we could get a license plate for it. The check I wrote out was dated September 14th. About a month after that, the DMV finally cashed the check and a week later, we got the title in our name. YESTERDAY, we finally got the actual plates to put on the truck. Over two months to get stinking license plates, then, to top it all off, they also sent us an August sticker to put on it instead of a September when we actually bought it. What would have been fair is us getting the sticker for the month we actually got the stupid plates. It's amazing the new and exciting ways the government comes up with to screw people over.

Hubs and WE headed out tonight to the place where they're going hunting so they can get an early start tomorrow. Angel #2 had to work and Angel #4 was going to a friend's house. I thought I was going to have a quiet night alone at home. Ha! Hubs and WE got a late start, so they left the house just as I was going to get #4 and her friend so they could have a sleepover at our house. About half an hour after that, #2's friends showed up, waiting for her to get done with work. All the kids are now in the basement playing Pop Pong, which is like Beer Pong, only nonalcoholic. At least when they're all here, I don't have to worry about #2 driving home alone at night.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Anyone want a cut and curl?

My husband, who tends to buy weird, random stuff on impulse has been resisting the urge since we moved back to Wisconsin. There's nothing like making a big move to make you realize h0w much junk you've accumulated. We had the oddest assortment of stuff. But, as I said, he's been really good the last six months or so and hasn't come home with weird stuff lately. He fell off the wagon the other day. We're now the proud owners of 3 of those old time hair drying chairs like they have in beauty parlors, complete with drying helmet. Then, to make matters worse, the kids all started fighting over who got a chair for their room - hubby reserved at least one for his office. So far, WE is the only one who's been ambitious enough to carry one up to his room. He was mumbling something about attaching wires to the helmet and turning it into a time machine, but at the moment he's using it for a reading chair.

We just got back from hubby's uncle's funeral. He suffered from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease aka mad cow disease. I guess it came on rather fast. Uncle Chuck was a really great guy and one of my more favorite members of hubs family - he'll be greatly missed.

I've been plugging my way through National Novel Writing Month once again this year. I'm closing in on my 50,000 word goal for the month and crossed over the 42,000 mark today. Things have been going relatively easy so far this year, which is a relief. There have been some years where I struggled the entire month. But, I have been missing my Hawaiian writing buddies - especially the fact that we could meet on the outside lanai at Borders to do our writing. There'll be no outside writing for me for months and months here in Wisconsin. Oh well, that's life.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

what are the odds?

Someone said hi to me today while I was at the store. Turns out it was my mom's cousins daughter (would that be my 2nd cousin?) Anyway, it turns out that around the same time we were moving from Hawaii back to Wisconsin, she was moving back to Wisconsin from Phoenix. Then, to top it off, we both moved to the same little microscopic town about fifty miles from where we grew up. Weird, huh?

Yesterday, I made some killer bean soup. I thought it was good, but I always like bean soup. The big kicker was that WE, who looks at eating bean soup as a chore, liked it so much he went back for seconds. It seems like every time I make a pot of bean soup, it turns out better than the time before. I've got some mad bean soup skilz

Monday, November 15, 2010

Yay Jeanie C!

Hey Jeanie, check it out You won a copy of my latest book, Not Looking For Trouble at Unusual Historicals. Thanks for commenting.

Apparently, the sickness wasn't done yet in our family as I was down for the count Friday night. Now the only one who hasn't gotten sick yet is Hubs, here's hoping he beats the odds. I felt real crappy Friday night and took some medicine. It was after I took it that I remembered that the last time I took that particular pill, it made me really nauseous and I ended up barfing it back up, it was not pleasant. But by then, it was too late to do anything about it other than eating something to help settle my stomach. I grabbed a piece of cold ham out of the fridge and chowed it down. It tasted so good, I wanted more. I ended up taking the entire container of leftover ham and taking it into my bedroom with me where I curled up in bed, read a book and ate ham. I finished the entire container and felt MUCH better. Ham is good for what ails ya.

We got a letter from Angel #1 on Saturday. It wasn't really a personalized letter, just more of a fill in the blank letter giving us general instructions on how to contact him and what we're allowed to send him. On the not allowed list is cookies, cake, socks, underwear (do people really feel the need to send their kids underwear?), alcoholic beverages (here son, I sent you a beer to make basic training a little more pleasant) and pornographic material (here's a Hustler to go with your beer). I think I'll just stick to writing him letters.

Saturday, we also went to my nephew's 6th birthday party. We got there just at the perfect time. He was having a Star Wars party and just as we were walking in, my brother in law walked in the room in full Darth Vader costume. It was hilarious to see eight 6 year olds standing there with their mouths hanging open watching Darth wave a light saber in their direction. Then they all started pelting him with sofa pillows. Once Darth left the building, WE became the next celebrity. Those little boys used him as a jungle gym, my poor little boy was way outnumbered, but had a great time roughhousing with the boys and the little boys thought he was the greatest. It seems so long ago that my boys were that age. I found a picture of Angel #1 last night from when he was eight. It's hard to believe that that cute little boy is now a Marine.

Friday, November 12, 2010

1-2-3 they're all down for the count!

It's been one of those weeks. Saturday night, Angel #2 was complaining about her eye hurting. I checked it out and saw she had a weird spot on her eyeball. I suspected that it was caused by her wearing her contacts 24/7 and gave her strict orders that no contacts were allowed and we'd see what happened. By Sunday night it was already starting to feel better, so I figured I was right about the contacts and made the entire week a no contacts zone. Her eye's much better now, but she came down with a nasty cold and was home sick from school on Wed and Thurs.

On Sunday, WE was complaining about a sore ear. We tried all kinds of home remedies and something must have finally kicked in since it's feeling fine now. I'm not sure if it was the over the counter ear stuff we bought or the clove of garlic I had him stick in his ear (earthclinic.com rocks my world!). Either way, he's much better now too.

Thursday morning, Angel #4 spent barfing, so I made her stay home from school, much against her wishes. She's got way too much going on in her life to be able to afford to miss school apparently. By noon, she seemed to be feeling better, though she was still a bit squicky this morning, but wouldn't even consider staying home another day.

Last night was Angel #4's parent teacher conferences. I think it would be more efficient for me to just listen to the same recording once a year, it would provide the same effect. Every conference I've had for her has been exactly the same. She's a wonderful student, a happy, friendly girl with lots of friends, but she talks too much during class. Yep, every year, same old same old. It could be worse though, so I'll just give thanks that my daughter's only school issues is that she's a chatty cathy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

twice in one day?

Yesterday morning, I was shocked to look at my checking account online and discover that it was overdrawn. I knew the balance was getting down there, but I also knew that I shouldn't have been in the hole. After checking the recent transactions, I saw that the thing that put me into overdraft was a $100+ cell phone bill payment. Problem was, it wasn't for our cell phone company. I called hubs to see if he knew anything about it, and he didn't. After making a few phone calls to the bank, they agreed that the charge looked suspicious and stopped payment (and refunded my overdraft fee). But, now they have to block my debit card, since that's where the mystery payment was charged from. Then, yesterday afternoon, hubs called me and had me deal with a banking issue with our bank in Hawaii. He'd bought something from a company, who then started taking unauthorized monthly payments out. He'd talked to them last month and they said they'd refund and discontinue, but yesterday, not only had they not refunded, but they'd taken another payment out. So, sure 'nuff, the bank had to block HIS debit card. So, the current chain of events means that I don't have a working debit card for MY bank account and hubs doesn't have one for HIS. We did a card switch and now he's using my card for his account and I'm using his card for my account. Got that? We should both be getting new cards in the next two weeks, but for now, gender confusion reigns. Stupid crooks.

Last night, I met some friends for dinner. We met at Red Robin, part of a restaurant chain we didn't have in Hawaii, but I've since become an addict since moving to Wisconsin. To the best of my knowledge, it's the only place up here where I can get me a teriyaki beef burger with a big ol' slab of pineapple on it (I acquired a few new food cravings while living in HI). Anyway, we had a great time sitting and gabbing about everything from bad romance novels to the ethics of the death penalty. It's amazing the ground three gabby women can cover inside the space of 2 1/2 hours.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I think I'd find a more interesting place to bomb

Today, Angel #4 and I had to go to the nearby 'bigger' town (pop approx 3000) to do some shopping. The Dollar General where we were, suddenly became extraordinarily busy for a Thursday night, then we found out why. Someone had called in a bomb threat at the nearby Econofood store. Since that's the only grocery store in town, everyone who was planning on stopping by there to pick up supper for the evening had to make alternative plans - most of which consisted of hitting the small grocery department at Dollar General. If was was going to risk getting my butt in major trouble for calling in a bomb threat, I think I'd pick a more exciting place to threaten than Econofoods, but to each their own, I guess. I haven't seen any mushroom clouds to the west, nor have I heard any explosions, so I'm guessing the Econofoods will still be around to supply everyone with milk and eggs for years to come.

Last night, we got a phone call at around 10:15pm. Hubs went to answer it, said hello, then not another word til he hung up. Then he kept saying wow over and over again. Once he was done wowing, he informed me of what had just taken place. The call went as follows:

Hubs: Hello?
Angel #1 (in a scary, soldier kind of voice): Hello Mr. ####, this is Marine Private ### #### calling to inform you that I've reached my destination. You will be receiving a letter from me in the next three weeks. I love you and goodbye. *click*

Gulp, I guess that means my little boy is well and truly in the military.

For those of you interested, I did a short question and answer post at Unusual Historicals blog. Come check it out and get the chance to win an e-copy of my latest book, Not Looking For Trouble

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I voted - did you?

It seems like I make a point of voting AGAINST candidates rather than for them. Maybe we need better candidates.

In happier news, once again this year I'm doing National Novel Writing Month. That's 50,000 words to write in the month of November. This will be my 5th year doing Nano and I've hit the 50K word goal in my previous 4 years, so I'm optimistic that I can do it again this year. I got a good start in and I've already got 6000 words under my hat. Last night I met with the local Nano group for a kick off party. Nothing says a good time like sitting at a table with 7 random strangers, typing away at their keyboards. Actually, for the most part, they were a really nice group and we're hoping to meet again a couple more times this month. Meeting with a group seems to force you to write more and faster, which is the whole point of nano in the first place.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

well, he's gone

This afternoon the whole family packed up in the car and we dropped my little boy off into the care of the United States military. We all did good, no major tears for anyone. Though, my eyes did get a little damp, but that's allowed because I'm his mommy, darn it! I know he was nervous and a bit scared, so there was no way in the world I was going to make it harder for him than it already was. Besides, though he's nervous, I know this is what he's spent a lot of time thinking about and really wants to do, so once the initial newness wears off, he'll be fine. He's a great kid and I know he'll be a wonderful Marine.

He had a great send-off yesterday. We had quite a crowd here at our house for his going away party. Lots of food and lots of fun. Hubby spotted a couple of girls crying as they were leaving our house after saying goodbye, so I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who puddled up thinking about him going. And just to prove what a wonderful kid he his and it's not just mom pride talking, he had thank you notes written to everyone who'd given him a card before we even had the house picked up after everyone left - and I hadn't even told him he needed to send thank yous. I guess my job here is done. If he ever asks for advice or counsel, hubs and I will be more than happy to help him, but we've realized that though we're always going to be his parents, we're pretty much finished with the actual parenting. He's a young man now and is capable of making his own decisions, it's our responsibility as parents to support his decisions. We're fortunate we've got a son who's making careful, well thought out decisions in his life. Hopefully, we'll be as fortunate with the three we've still got at home. They're all getting so big so fast, our days of being a direct influence on their lives is almost over. Boy, things were easier when they were just eating worms at the playground.

Friday, October 29, 2010

hang on to your hats, small children & pets and compact car

Boy, was it windy this week. We had gusts up to 65mph, the angels almost got knocked on their cans walking out to the school bus. I saw a corrugated metal roof on a building curled up like the top of a can of Spam. We don't have to worry about those pesky leaves falling off the trees anymore, they're probably about 100 miles away by now. It finally stopped blowing today, which is good. We really needed to get the gutters cleaned out (the leaves that didn't blow away became firmly lodged in our rain gutters) and it had been too windy to do anything about it until today. We also got things ready for Angel #1's big going away party tomorrow. I still can't believe that my little baby is going to be a Marine in a matter of days. It seems like only yesterday I was kissing his little toes and powdering his butt. Time seems to go by so slowly when you're dealing with the craziness of little kids, but now that they're teens, looking back, it seems like it went by so quickly. Makes me feel like I'm in a time warp.

The kids all went together to a party tonight, so it was just hubs and me home together for the evening. It's been a long time since it was just the two of us home alone, it was nice to just cuddle on the couch together. He's been gone so much this last month - it's nice to have him home for a change.

Thanks to those of you who commented on my last post. I've got such a wonderful group of friends, both in real life and cyber friends. I'm so blessed.

In cool news, today, my third book, Not Looking For Trouble was released. You can find it here if you're interested. It's another 1920's era book. Despite it being the 3rd book I had come out, it's actually the 2nd thing I've ever written, the first being something that'll never see the light of day. I kind of think of it as my baby, because it's the book that really got me excited about writing and my first foray into the 1920's, which I'm now totally in love with. Check it out, I think you'll like it...not that I'm biased or anything.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Declaration of Independence

"I called to apologize. I guess I said some things that hurt your feelings, though I can't think of anything I've ever said that's hurt you."
"You said I looked old and ugly."
"Well, have you looked in a mirror lately?"
**part of an actual phone conversation I had yesterday

You won't be shocked to know that the next line in this conversation was NOT "Alrighty then, apology accepted." A little clarification, I was the old and ugly one in this conversation, not the apologizer - and that last line was not said in a joking manner and the apologizer didn't see the irony of their statement. This conversation degenerated from that auspicious beginning to a 45 minute litany of everything I've done wrong, real or imagined, in the last twenty years. I was angry the caller dissed me and hubs, but when they brought my kids into the rant, my mama bear rose up and I knew it was all over. I think what upset the caller the most was that instead of curling up and backing down like I have in the past, this time I shot right back. As upset as I am over the phone call, I'm glad it happened. It showed me that these issues aren't mine, I'm dealing with an abusive person who refuses to look in the mirror. After putting up with this kind of stuff for longer than I want to think about, yesterday I knew it was time to stop it. If someone wants to wallow in their own poison, that's their decision, but it's my decision to refuse to be dragged into that pit with them. I'm distancing myself from this kind of crap, I don't need or want that kind of abuse, pain and sadness in my life any longer. I've always had self-confidence issues (probably from the kinds of conversations shown above) but I'm working hard to overcome that. You know what? I'm an awesome person, with an awesome husband and kids and awesome friends. I refuse to let someone try to take that happiness away.

Monday, October 25, 2010

so much stuff going on

Today I had to take the kids to the clinic to get their shots updated. The school requires kids get certain shots updated in 6th, 9th & 12th grades and guess what? I've got a kid in 6th, 9th & 12th grades. So, it was varicella and tetanus for everyone. YAY! After everyone got shot, we had to head back home so I could get Angel #4 to her very first basket ball practice. Even though she's my youngest kid, she's my first one I've had join a sport. The other three never showed a whole lot of interest, they're more like me in the athletic department, we're lazy and non-competitive. #4 on the other hand, totally takes after hubby's side of the family. Those people run for fun! Shocking, I know, but they're only related to me through marriage, so I think I'm safe from that sick affliction. #4 enjoyed practice and I think she'll do great, once she actually learns how to play basketball. We've never been into organized sports of any kind, so we've never even played a game of basketball/football/baseball/water polo/etc as a family. We more of a Pictionary kind of group.

The daughter of a close family friend was killed in a car accident Friday night and I'm going to the funeral tomorrow. It sucks to go to the funeral of a 27 year old, she had her whole life in front of her, now it's over. She was going to school to be a counselor and she would have been a great one. She'd gone through a lot of hardships in her life, starting at 5 years old when her mother's died from cancer and she faced a lot of other tough stuff as well and she came out of it a great, responsible person. It's kind of weird, we were all concerned about her brother being stationed in Iraq and it ends up that it was the sibling in the supposed 'safety' of home who ends up getting killed. Just goes to show you, time and chance happens to us all.

Friday, October 22, 2010

kjyrfdo

I finished reading the book Shutter Island and now my brain is all messed up.

Our landlord is coming today to fix our sink. About a week ago, Angel #2 turned on the faucet lever to the kitchen sink for some water and ended up with the lever coming off in her hand. The faucet has a lifetime warranty so the landlord ordered the part, but since it had to come from the manufacturer, it took about a week to get here. The part came in the mail yesterday and they're going to put it together today. You don't realize how often you turn on the kitchen sink until you can't. There's a bathroom right off the kitchen, so we've been using that sink to get water, but it's too small to wash dishes or anything, so we've got to tote the water back into the kitchen. And the bathroom faucet is too low to fit a container of a workable size under it to catch the water, so it gets complicated. So. to make a short story longer, I'm looking forward to getting my kitchen faucet back online.

Yesterday I met my sister for lunch. We had a nice time and I stuffed myself. I was so full that at 10pm last night-9 hours after our meal- I still felt like I'd just eaten.

After lunch, I headed out to the grocery store. One of our stores was having a special one day only meat sale yesterday and I was needed large quantities of meat. We're having a going away party for Angel #1 on the 30th and invited an indeterminate amount of people. So I needed enough meat to feed between 50-100 people next Saturday. I bought a lot of other groceries too, so many that when they were bagging them, they needed to use a 2nd cart. This meant I needed to use parcel pickup. The guy who was loading my car really knew his stuff. When he commented on my large quantity of meat, I told him I was having a party and needed to feed a lot of people. "For your 21st birthday? " he asked. I really liked that guy. :P

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

you can't get here from there

Thanks for the website suggestion, AD, I'll check it out.

Tonight, on our way home from Bible study, I decided to try a different route home. It wasn't long before I realized that we'd 'gone adventuring' which is what I call it when I don't have a clue where I am. Our 20 mile drive home took about 45 minutes. We've got a huge 4'X4' mounted and framed map of the area in our living room - hubs brought it home yesterday for Angel #2 as a joke, she went adventuring last weekend. He told her she could keep it in the car in case she got lost again. So tonight when we eventually got home, Angel #4 and I marked out on the map where exactly we'd gone. There's one little gap in one section of our trip though because we were so out in the boonies that there weren't road signs on some of the corners, so I'm not exactly sure where we all were. But, we made it home, so it's all good. This being an unfamiliar area to me, I learn a lot from my adventuring trips. It helps get a grip on the layout of the area if you've been lost there. Heck, if I ever end up in that town called Larrabee again, it'll almost be like visiting an old friend.

Angel #2's cell phone fell out of her pocket today and landed on the floor. The back fell off and the battery popped out, so it was in three pieces. For some reason, when that happened, I said "your cat exploded". Yeah, I don't know why either. Anyway, that has struck her as extremely funny and now she keeps saying, your cat exploded and breaking out into giggles. Last week I also said something about getting a 'fart smone', which she also thinks is hilarious. That's me, the Queen of Malapropisms. I'm starting to feel like the mom in that tv show Raising Hope.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

new place - new rules

Angel #2 got a taste of the no-touchy mid-western attitude yesterday. She got in trouble in school for an inappropriate display of affection. Her crime? She was hugging someone in the hallway. As she stated, in Hawaii it's practically considered rude if you don't hug somebody. It's different here where a quick handshake is about as up close and personal you get with someone you haven't known for at least five years. They let it go this time and she was warned to not let it happen again. Yep, things are a bit different up here.

IMBD used to be one of my favorite places on the web to visit. Here's the thing, I like movies, but don't actually have the patience to sit and watch most of them. So, I like to go on IMDB and read movie summaries, just because I'm interested in knowing the plot, resolution and major turning points, but not interested in using 1 1/2 hours of my life to watch it. This is especially true of horror movies, since I'm too chicken to watch them but love knowing the plots. But now, IMDB is pushing it's Pro version, which you have to pay for, of course. In order to lure you away from your $, they've restricted a lot of the information they used to put out there for free. As much as I love cruising around that site, just reading random stuff, I love not spending money even more. So, IMDB, I used to love you, but it's all over now.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

life imitates art - or vice-versa

The recent episode of Modern Family struck a particularly hilarious note with me this week. For those of you who don't watch, here's a quick recap. Cam has decided to start exercising and insists on wearing a pair of spandex biking shorts and Mitch is trying to figure out how to tell him that biking shorts aren't a real good fashion choice without hurting Cam's feelings. Now, flash over to my house a couple weeks ago. Angel #2 came in the house saying that hubby was in the garage fixing the car in his underwear. Hubby followed her in saying it wasn't his underwear, but his spandex shorts. Yep, he was wearing spandex shorts. I asked him whatever possessed him to buy a pair of biking shorts and he said he didn't, he just found them in his closet so figured they were alright to wear. I made it VERY clear to him that the were not and never will be alright to wear. When I took a closer look at them, I figured out where they came from. My husband squeezed his 180 lb body into MY exercise shorts. These would be the shorts I only wear at home, with an oversized tee-shirt if I ever get the urge to exercise. The shorts I seldom wear because they're tight on my 110 lb body. The shorts I now have to burn because every time I see them in the future, the image of my husband wearing them will imprint itself onto my brain. Now I'm tempted to buy a teensy lacy thong and stick it in his underwear drawer just to see if I can get him to put those on as well.

Yesterday was Angel #4's birthday. My baby is 12 years old and in only one short year, I'm going to be mother to FOUR teenagers. I'm sure I can get a doctor to prescribe drugs for me for this situation. The giggling tween girl slumber party is Friday night, I'm guessing WE is going to find something else to do that night...I know I wish I could.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

is that supposed to be blue?

Angel #2 got her senior pictures taken yesterday. Right after she got home, she and a friend went upstairs to her room and shortly after that, she asked if we had any old towels. I know what that means...hair dying time. I wasn't sure who was getting dyed or what color and didn't really want to know. After about fifteen minutes, someone said "is that supposed to be blue?" STILL didn't want to know what was going on. The Angel had wet sloppy looking hair when she said goodbye to her friend later and her friend was still the same blond she was when she walked in, so the question about who was getting dyed was answered, but the color question was still up in the air. This morning I heard her rustling around upstairs and I called up, asking her what color her hair was and her reply was "not the color it said on the box." Anyway, she's got this blondish reddish streaky thing going on and I'm just thankful she waited until AFTER senior pictures to get her new 'do.

This morning we headed over to a nearby town with Angel #4 to pick up a Craigslist purchase of a beginning drum set. Yeah, she thinks being a percussionist in the school band is a good idea - I'm not sold on it yet, but since I forked over $120 for a snare drum, xylophone (I spelled that right w/out even needing spell check) and various sticks, drum muffles and stuff, I guess it's a commitment. At least it's not a tuba.

It's been gorgeous weather here the last 3-4 days. The leaves are all turning and I think this weekend is the peak. I took a few pictures and one of these days I'll see about posting them. WE made a huge leaf pile in the back yard and had a blast diving into it. It won't be long and the leaves will be gone and the snowing will begin. Ug

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

RIP Dorisis

I saw in the obituaries that Dorisis died. Waaaay back when I was really little, my family lived in an upstairs apartment. Downstairs lived an old couple, Papa and Elsie and next door was their daughter and her family, who I assumed owned the building we lived in. Their daughter's name was Doris, but when I was little, I always called her Dorisis and my mom could never figure out why until she started listening to herself talk to me. She'd say things like "stay out of Doris's garden" and "don't run through Doris's laundry so it was only logical that I figured our neighbor's name was Dorisis. Doris's youngest son, Bruce and another neighbor kid, made sure I made it to my first Halloween party when I was really little and I still have the pink bunny stuffed animal their family gave me on my first Christmas. It was kind of weird, when we moved to Hawaii, I got rid of almost everything. I'm not very sentimental, so it wasn't that big a deal. But, there were a few things I couldn't get rid of and when looking around I saw that a lot of the things I kept were things I'd gotten from that family a million years ago. Papa and Elsie have been gone for a long time, Doris's sister and husband have both died within the last couple years. It's kind of like a chapter in life ending, ya know?

Monday, October 4, 2010

and he's off!

I dropped off a very excited husband at the airport this afternoon. This flight to Wash DC is going to be his first as an official premium frequent flyer. He's racked up enough flying miles now that he gets preferred status on flights, things like extra leg room seats at no extra charge, he gets to board the plane first and he no longer has to pay to check in his luggage. Now he gets to BE somebody - that guy you hate because he gets to jump in the front of the ticket line and who gets to stick his carryons in the overhead bin first, without having to wrestle with someone else's junk. He also gets additional frequent flyer miles with every flight he takes. His next goal is executive premium, I'm not sure what happens then. Maybe he gets a personal flight attendant dressed like a harem girl or something.

Tanya, don't you wonder where the heck kids get all that money to blow on toilet paper? Heck, the one house across the road from the high school in Manawa had enough toilet paper in their yard to keep my family wiping for a year!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I left my butt somewhere in the football field

We all went to the homecoming game Friday night. We dropped the kids off early, Angel #2 had to be there an hour before the game to get her band stuff organized. Hubs and I had every intention of getting there in time to see her play during halftime, but it was so warm and cozy in the house and so wet and cold at the football field, that by the time we forced ourselves to leave the house, we arrived with 10 minutes left of the 3rd quarter. I'm glad we weren't there for any longer, it was cold and I froze my butt off. Our team also got beat pretty badly, but we were there in time to see them score the only two touchdowns they made during the game, so at least they got some numbers on the board and didn't look totally trounced.

We had the kids get the toilet paper picked up in the yard after they got home from school on Friday - we wanted it done before it rained and we had a real mess on our hands. I then made the unpleasant discovery that our trees had better quality toilet paper than our bathrooms did. Not fair - there were a few rolls lying in the yard and I took them in for us to use - no sense wasting perfectly good toilet paper, especially since, as I said, it was softer than the stuff we already had. When the kids complained about my TP recycling, I told them the (absolutely true) story of when our house got TP'd when we were kids and my mom made us pull the paper out of the trees and she put it in a basket by the toilets so we could use it. At least I only recycled the stuff still on the rolls.

Angel #1 spent the night here last night. He'd come over on his motorcycle and by the time he was going to make the 1 hour trip home, it was really cold and getting dark. This is a bad time of year to be driving around in the dark - deer are in rut right now, and like a bunch of teenagers, their bodies are being controlled by their hormones and their brains are disengaged, so they run out into the road without caution. If you hit a 100+ lb deer with a motorcycle, you don't have much of a chance. So, I pulled the Mommy Card and made him stay the night here - it didn't take a whole lot of convincing. He's never lived in this house and we don't have any of his stuff here, so it was like he was just some random house guest spending the night. What an odd feeling to have your kid be company...except most company doesn't wrestle with WE, pick on the girls and kiss me goodnight. I miss having my little boy around.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

every fall, the trees are filled with toilet paper; every spring, the toilets explode

Yep, it's homecoming week here in our little town. As the family of a high school senior, we've had the dubious honor of having our front yard get TP'd last night. Angel #2 says it's a sign of love and affection. She's going out tonight to show some love and affection to other people. She's such a humanitarian. In our years of living in Hawaii, I'd forgotten just how important Homecoming is in a small town - it wasn't even a blip on the radar at ol' Kealakehe High, but here in Smallsville, WI, it's an event. It's been spirit week this week and Angel #2 left the house today wearing a Fairy Godmother dress and a magic wand. Tomorrow is school colors day and she managed to borrow two baton twirler uniforms from the band uniform supply closet and she and her friend are going to be wearing a lovely black polyester number liberally strewn with orange sequins. Tomorrow night is the big game and she's got a nasty looking/smelling wool band uniform to wear for the marching during the halftime show. And of course, there's the toilet papering of trees going on after dark during the entire week.

It was kind of funny how hooked up kids are. Last night while our yard was being TP'd, Angel #2 went on the facebook page of one of the kids who was out doing the decorating and said they should come in the house for cupcakes. I told her I didn't think the kid would be checking his Facebook while TPing, but 10 minutes after they left, they were back and I had random teenagers in my driveway calling out for cupcakes. Next thing I knew, the random teens were in our house, munching cupcakes - I figured discretion was the better part of valor and went to bed to escape the crowd.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

the wheels in the sky keep on rollin'....

but the ones on my car - not so much. Friday night the fire department from a nearby town was having a fundraiser fish boil dinner. We love us a good fish boil, so the Daydreamer fam hopped into the car and we started off down the road. We got as far as our neighbors driveway when we heard a weird noise. I pulled over and hubs jumped out of the car to see that a sharp chunk of a bone the neighbors dog had left lying in the road managed to puncture my back tire. Ironically, hubs had just fixed a nail hole in that same tire that very afternoon and we'd been discussing the possibility of maybe needing to buy new back tires. Well, that decision turned out to be easy. I spent Saturday morning sitting at the tire place getting new tires put on the car and getting the oil changed (another thing that needed doing that I'd been putting off). We did eventutally make it to the fish boil and it was GOOD! Saturday night we went to a church function (we'd been planning on going Sat. morning, but I spent it at the tire place instead). We saw friends and acquaintances we hadn't seen in years and heard/made comments on how our/their kids had gotten so big since we'd seen each other last. Angel #1 was there and it was so nice to see him. He lives about an hour+ drive away so we don't see him nearly as much as we'd like.

We got home on Sunday night and had a wonderful voicemail message waiting for us. Our very best friends from Hawaii who'd moved to Colorado this spring were in the general area and we're coming to our house to visit us. YAY! They showed up Monday afternoon and we had a great evening visiting and having a Bible study together, just like we did back when we all lived in Hawaii. Today we went to a local historical park. Our friend is a huge history buff and really enjoyed checking out the old fur traders cabin, the circa 1836 military fort and all the other cool things they have there. We had gorgeous weather in the low 70's, which is awesome since I thought we'd be getting our first frost any day now. I've got the sneaking suspicion that today was summer's last gasp and things are going to get cold and nasty from here on out. I'm hoping I'm wrong though. The leaves are starting to change colors and will probably peak in about a week or two, then it's all over but the snow, baby.

Tonight I'm nagging all the kids to get packing. We're planning on leaving tomorrow right after school lets out and driving about 4 hours across the state for a church convention. We're coming home Sunday night. There's always so much packing and organizing to do, but it's so much easier now than it was back when the kids were little and I had to do ALL the packing. Life's so much easier when your kids can start taking care of their selves.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

spell check is your friend

I always get amused at the many people who spell refrigerator with a "d" (refridgerator) but today, I think I saw a new record. TWO "d"s! I didn't think you could do it, but I thought wrong. Someone is selling a refriderador. I'm impressed. The best one though was printed as signage on a business vehicle: John's Heating and Refridgeration Yeah, he couldn't even spell his profession correctly. It must have been pointed out to him, because when I saw the same truck about a month later, the spelling was corrected. I confess, I'm a spelling snob - which is funny because my husband is famous for his atrocious spelling and, more than once, has stated that words should be spelled the way they're pronounced. Funny statement coming from a man named Stephen, don't ya think?

Talk about the hubs, we went on a walk around the block together last night. Since we live in the country, around the block is about 2 miles, so it was a nice walk. It was kind of windy and chilly though and the house sure did feel nice and warm when we got home. I'd forgotten how quickly it gets cold in Wisconsin, I'm sure we'll have our first frost in the next week. But even though it was cold, I couldn't help notice how pretty the walk was. I think there's beauty in most places (not so sure about the miles of lava fields in Hawaii though) and Wisconsin has to rank right up there. Maybe because it's where I grew up and it's familiar beauty, but I just love looking at the patchwork of fields. In our small walk, we passed fields of corn, alfalfa, soybeans and a couple of fenced in steers and heifers. A lot of these were boardered by trees, oak and maple, with some maple leaves getting a tinge of color on their leaves already. I missed seeing all those things while living in Hawaii. I went from having a view of the ocean out my living room window to a small woods. In another couple weeks, my backyard is going to be a mass of red and yellow maple leaves...then it'll be snow, which I'm not quite as excited to see.

Monday, September 13, 2010

there IS a difference in schools

On Friday, I got 2 different calls from 2 different schools. WE had a cold and stayed home from school - between 10-11am, I got a call from the school, checking up since I hadn't called to report him absent. Actually, I kind of did it on purpose, when school started the principal said that the school would be on absenteeism and checking up on any unexcused absences - I was curious to see if it was true. Obviously it was since the school DID call. So, it's all good with WE for the day. Then, late that same afternoon, I got another call, this time from the kids high school in Hawaii. They'd noticed that Angel #2 and WE weren't there and were wondering if we'd moved or something. School's been in session in Hawaii since August 2 and they're just getting around to noticing that kids have been missing since the first day? I told the woman who called that I'd personally gone to the school to fill out the necessary paperwork for the school transfer way back in July. She said that the school had two different computer systems so she hadn't gotten that information. I find it amazing/sad/pathetic that the school isn't on things like that. It's no wonder that Hawaii is so far down in the National education polls - the schools don't even care if the kids are there or not, why should anybody else?

On a more pleasant note. Sunday afternoon the Daydreamer family went to a nearby church picnic/harvest festival. We don't belong to that church or anything, but I figured since it was within about a mile of our house and it was such a gorgeous day, it would be a fun outing. After 4+ years of Hawaiian festivals, it was cool to be at one in Wisconsin again. As much fun as we had at Hawaiian events, it was just so much more familiar/comfortable to eat brats and sauerkraut and listen to a polka band oompa in the background. Not that I don't miss some Hawaiian food. On hubby's last trip to Hawaii, I made sure he came back with a gallon jug of Aloha shoyu, shoyu chicken just isn't the same with a lame substitute. I also have Spam, nori (sheets of seaweed) and sushi rice in my cupboards - and lemme tell ya, finding nori in Wisconsin is no easy feat.

Tonight is WE and Angel #4's last night of hunter's safety class. They've been learning how to safely handle firearms and the rules of hunting and now tonight, they take their final test and hopefully get their certification. I'm not sure if they're going to go deer hunting this year or not - from my experience, deer hunter's enthusiasm wanes immensely when it's 4:30am and the thermometer reads 20 degrees and they've got the option of crawling out of a warm bed, putting on blaze orange clothes and sitting in a tree in the middle of the woods next to their pee jar or rolling over and going back to sleep. Personally, I can't see where you'd even have to stop and consider your options, but, to each their own. We'll see how psyched up they are come November when the whitetail season begins.

Friday, September 10, 2010

doing the wave

I'd forgotten something about small towns. Everybody waves at you when you drive by. In the last couple weeks, I've been waved at by bus drivers, guys on tractors, a guy wandering around a corn field with a hacksaw and random Amish kids, among others. Ya can't say small town people aren't friendly.

We found out today that black cats really are bad luck. A friend of ours was riding his bike and hit a black cat. He wiped out so badly he has 17 fractures and had to be air lifted to the hospital. He'll be in the hospital for probably a week and who knows how long before he's recovered. We're thankful he was wearing a helmet since it was cracked - better his helmet than his head. No news on the cat.

The girls went to the high school football game tonight. Crazy Angel #2 never wanted to go to the games when we lived in Hawaii and we could go wearing shorts and flip-flops, but now that you have to dress in 4 layers so you don't freeze to death at the games, she wants to go. I guess the big difference is that here the friday night football game is the social event of the week where in Hawaii, football just didn't seem that important to people. I guess it's no fun unless you've got to suffer. Fortunately, it wasn't too cold tonight, upper 50's, so it wouldn't be that bad to sit through a game - it's when you have to wear hats, mittens and long underwear that you show your true love for your team.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I live with Sam Spade

WE is no longer a pirate, which is a relief. I was getting sick of referring to the bathroom as 'the poop deck' and having to make rowing motions with my arms whenever I was out in the yard since the house was the pirate ship, which made the surrounding yard the ocean, necessitating a rowboat to get around. On the downside, Captain Bligh has been replaced by a private detective circa 1947. He's wandering around the house wearing a trench coat and fedora and saying things like "I'm a private eye and the broad needs me to solve a case". Fortunately, I'm not 'the broad' which is a relief since for the last couple days I've been referred to as Snackie - my pirate name. I dread to think of what my film noir name would be.

Monday, September 6, 2010

argh! he's driving me crazy

We went shopping yesterday and WE bought a pirate hat and sword at Goodwill and has been wearing them both ever since. He was wandering around Walmart saying, Argh! Where be the batteries, ye slimy dog! and other inspiring things like that. He was getting weird looks all over the place and I had to finally implement a no 'arghing at other cars' rule while driving downtown. He ought to be all ready when International Talk Like a Pirate Day comes along (which is in less than two weeks, so you should start preparing as well).

Hubby is back from his job in Hawaii. I think I mentioned the massive temperature change we had here, making the house kind of chilly. Though I refused to turn on the furnace, hubs has no such compunctions and that baby was humming along within half an hour of him walking in the door. He's SUCH a wimp. I've got to keep an eye on that man. Once we moved to Hawaii and he thought it was safe to tell me, he confessed to how he messed with the thermostat in our Wisconsin house so it actually ran a few degrees warmer than what it actually said because of my inclination to turn down the heat on a regular basis. We had a regular thermostat battle going on before that - I think him using his furnace guy knowledge to trick me is pretty darn low. It's not that I LIKE having a cold house, I just really hate paying high heating bills. That's why God invented sweaters - or invented sheep, that get made into sweaters.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

life goes on

The kids are settling into school life, making friends, doing homework, etc. WE is still having some issues, but the girls are making friends. Angel #2 was pretty upset about having to take another half credit of phy ed since they require more here than they did in Hawaii, but she's fortunate. The locker rooms were last on the list of remodeling in the school and aren't done yet, so the kids can't use them. This means that they have to do non-sweaty things in PE. This week they're doing archery, she's not that good, but she's enjoying it. Funny thing about being in such a small school. They loaded her class up in a bus and hauled the kids a couple miles down the road to the local hunt club (where the other 2 kids are taking hunter's safety) and they're doing the archery there. In a refreshing lack of bureaucracy, there were no permission slips for me to sign and no waivers needed even though the kids are running around shooting weapons. How cool is that? I'm loving the whole small farm town thing - people are much less uptight about things like that.

I'm getting reminded about Wisconsin weather big time. The temperatures were in the mid 50's today - a far cry from the 90 degrees we had at the beginning of the week. We were all pretty cold today and WE wanted to turn on the furnace, but I refuse to run the air conditioner and the furnace in the same week - it's just all kinds of wrong. Besides, in Wisconsin, it's a point of honor to not turn on your furnace until body parts start turning blue with cold and the water in your fish bowl had a crust of ice on it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

new beginnings

The girls enjoyed their first day of school. WE, on the other hand - not so much. When I got home today, I saw he's cut letter shapes out of newspaper and arranged them on the kitchen counter to say I HATE SCHOOL. He's got a feisty locker, doesn't know anyone and there was one class that he was really enjoying, thinking that it would make his school day worthwhile, until, an hour into the class he realized he was in the wrong classroom and had to make his way next door to the hated Intro to Computers. Last night he was just sure that since these were a bunch of country kids at the school that all they'd talk about was hunting and tractors, I assured him that no one would talk about tractors (I knew better than to make that promise about hunting, which is practically a religion in WI). Anyway, while he was complaining about his school day, he said, they talked about hunting AND tractors! I guess I have to quit with the promises.

Talk about hunting, this evening, I had to take WE and Angel #4 to their first hunters safety class. Since I have no interest in how to avoid accidentally shooting people with guns, I brought a book and spent 2 hours on a very uncomfortable bar stool at the back of the room reading. hubby gets back from a job in Hawaii on Sunday, so getting them to the rest of their classes is going to be his responsibility.

Today I went to my very first WisRWA (Wisconsin Romance Writers of America) meeting since we moved away in Feb of 2006. Though I'd seen most everyone at the yearly conferences that I've attended, it was still nice to get together in a small gathering and catch up. The presenter for the meeting spoke about hypnosis, which was really interesting. she also gave us paperwork on self-hypnosis. Eventually I'll get around to reading the handout and try to hypnotize myself and see how it works out. She said that the higher a person's intelligence, the easier they are to hypnotize - so we'll see how many days it'll take to put me under. :P

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

she'll have that frosty mug taste

Angel #2 came home from her interview today with a job. She's pretty happy about it. Now we've got to go to Payless and get her approved A&W shoes. They gave her a coupon for 50% off her entire purchase, so I think we'll all go shopping together for shoes since WE and Angel #4 need new tennis shoes for school as well. She starts next week and gets 50% off all the food there and in the adjoining pizza/salad bar, not that there are many vegetarian options at A&W. I think she's considering dropping the whole vegetarian thing anyway. It was her New Years resolution and she wanted to keep it for a year, but I think 8 months is pretty darn good for going meatless.

All this talk about small towns reminded me of a funny (and true) story that happened to me. Back when the kids were little, I was sitting in the rather full waiting room at the Dr's office. A little old lady started chatting with me about the kids and stuff, then asked me my name. I told her and I could see her wheels spinning trying to think of someone with the same last name as mine so she could ask me if I was related to them. Since my husband didn't have any family nearby, I knew she was going to come up short, so I made life easy for her. I told her my maiden name. I'm related to half that town, so I knew she'd come up with someone - I was right. She knew my grandparents. Then she wanted to know which of their 13 kids was my dad, to which I answered: one of the twins. I've discovered it doesn't matter which twin my dad is, since he and his brother are still identical after almost 70 years, that and dads brother only had boys, so it should be obvious which one I belong to. Anyway, then the lady starts asking me if they were the ones born on a bridge, since on of my grandparents kids came before they got to the hospital and was born while going over a bridge on the way there. I'd never heard that story before, so I couldn't answer the lady's question. THEN, a lady who'd been sitting in a different row in the waiting room who'd been listening to our conversation chimed in: Jo Webb was born on a bridge and that was her maiden name. I looked at the old lady and said, there ya go, my Aunt Jo was born on a bridge. sometimes ya wanna go where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came....

I've been looking through Craigslist to see if anyone nearby is looking for some part time help in their office or keeping the books as well as I'm still looking for beds. Since our town is tiny, I've got to look in the Craigslists for neighboring towns 30 miles away. Why the heck don't people who are posting the ads put the town they're in? Why should I bother applying for a job that could be in a town 30 miles away in the opposite direction than where I live? CL gives you a spot to put your location, why not use it? Do you not think people are going to want to know where you are to see if it's worth their while to look at that sofa you have for sale or to apply for that part time job? You can't tell me it's for security reasons because you're going to have to tell respondents where you are anyway. What's the big secret? I just don't understand why people waste their time and others when typing in a simple word or two could save everyone a lot of hassle. /rant

Monday, August 30, 2010

I was born in a small town, and I live in a small town...

Ol' John Mellencamp knew what he was singing about

You're right, Jeanie, the town we moved to is about a 1 1/2 drive from where we used live in WI. Small towns are great, Tanya, especially if they're not your small town. You know, your small town is where everyone knows your grandma and about your Uncle Joe's hernia surgery and that kind of thing. Another advantage to this small town is that it's not YOUR small town, Tanya. YOUR small town, as you mentioned has sucky schools, which I think my kids got enough of when we lived in Hawaii. My new small town ranks as one of the better school districts in the state. Someone else's small town is better because you can know their grandma, but don't have to deal with them knowing yours, yet you still get that nice small town feel where you bump into familiar faces at A&W your first day in town. Talk about A&W, Angel #2 has a job interview there tomorrow afternoon and she's pretty excited about it. She's been wanting to get a job for a while, but hasn't been able to because of the unsettledness of our lives. Now that we're un-unsettled, she's ready to start making some $$$.

The kids broke me down this afternoon and we turned on the air conditioning. I really hate to turn the a/c on and only do it as a last resort. It seems that once you turn it on, it's so hard to turn it off again, and the next thing you know, the leaves are turning colors and you've still got to keep your windows closed because of the cold rather than the heat. I refused to sit in a/c when we lived in Hawaii - not only did we not need it, but my theory was that I didn't move 4000 miles so I could sit inside an air conditioned building. Though it gets hotter here than it does in Hawaii, I resist the air because I know that summer days are so limited in Wisconsin that I don't want to waste them breathing processed air. I spent a good portion of the afternoon sitting on the back deck in a porch swing reading a book today. Now THAT'S summer living.

The Angel's start school on Wednesday. The girls are more than ready to get going, but WE is resisting things. I think he's nervous about starting out in a new school with a bunch of new kids, but is putting on the bravado to give the impression that he's not. I'm sure he'll do fine, but the mom in me always gets nervous when my kids have to go out and do something new and scary.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

all moved in and back on the net

Uh, I guess the title says it all. We're loving our new house and we're all unpacked, which wasn't too hard since we don't own very much. We still don't have beds, though. Hubs and I have a mattress on the floor, Angel #4 has a thin foam rubber one and the two other kids are sleeping on piles of blankets and sleeping bags. We'll get it all straightened out eventually though.

I got the kids enrolled in their new schools. They're considerably smaller than their old schools, I think there are as many kids in the entire high school as there were in Angel #1's graduating class. On the bright side, I told WE that with only 65 kids in his Freshman class, he'll get to know everybody fairly quickly. Angel #2 isn't happy that she's going to have to take a few Freshman classes - they're required for graduation here, but they weren't in Hawaii, so she's got to take them to graduate. The whole Phy Ed thing was the one that's killing her the most - she really hates it and is torked that she's got to get another half credit of it. Oh well, that's life. The school also has a lot of Agriculture classes (makes sense since this is a major farming community) and #2 is really interested in that kind of thing. So when she's done taking her required freshman classes, the rest of her electives are going to be taken up with small animal studies, FFA and stuff like that.

Along with the school being small, the town is also. The very first day we were here, we went to the school to enroll the kids, then went to A&W for lunch and bumped into people we'd met at the school. While we were moving in a neighbor came over and introduced herself and at Freshman orientation, her sister came up to me and also introduced herself and her son. It sure doesn't take long to meet people when you live in a town as friendly as this one is.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

the hills are alive with the sound of chain saws

Yesterday Angel #2 and I were at my folks house and it had just started raining. We were going to leave, but my dad suggested we wait until the storm was over. Good thing, since if we'd left when we'd wanted to, we would have been driving through a nearby town just as a tornado hit. Instead, we left after the rain had died down and got to drive through the town, dodging trees, downed power lines and random other things that had found their way onto the road. We also got to go through a flooded intersection. We didn't see it, but my brother said someone had seen a boat sitting in the middle of one of the streets. How cool is that? I guess it was just a little tornado and the whole thing didn't last too long, but it certainly did a lot of damage. There were tree branches lying on cars and houses and we also saw a camper that was turned upside down and not even recognizable as a camper anymore, just a pile of wood, metal and insulation. Weird thing was, we didn't see any major damage going into town and as we were driving out (after waiting for them to pull a dump truck that had been hauling a tractor on a trailer out of the ditch), the road went from being covered in branches and leaves to absolutely nothing, not even a puddle. Tornadoes are weird that way.

Today, there was a scheduled citywide rummage sale in that town and the kids and I went. A lot of the sales were cancelled because people were too busy getting trees off their roofs, but there were still enough to keep us busy for most of the day. Where ever we went though, we could hear the sound of chainsaws cutting trees and we passed I don't know how many city trucks picking up branches and crap that people had piled up at the curbs. There were still people without power this afternoon. Welcome to Wisconsin.

Tomorrow is moving day. We're all really excited to get into our new place. We haven't unpacked the majority of our stuff and we've kind of forgotten what we got rid of and what we saved, so it'll be exciting to see what we've got when we start unpacking tomorrow. I just love surprises.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Corn 40 - Beans 33

Corn won the great Freezer Battle by a narrow 40-33 margin, but it wasn't for lack of trying on the beans behalf. Rent-a-Grandma's friend called again yesterday, this time her beans were done and overwhelming. So we picked, cleaned, snipped, boiled and bagged all day yesterday and ended up with 33 bags in the freezer. Thankfully, Rent-a-Grandma was grooving in the snipping department and kept up a steady pace with the beans or I'd still be working on the blasted things today. As it is, I shouldn't have to buy corn or beans at all in the next year.

Good news in the housing department. We were notified yesterday that we got the house we wanted to rent and will be moving in on Sunday. It's in a small town about 30 miles away from the main city where hubby works and all the major shopping gets done. It's a real rural community, indicated by the fact that on their city website, it shows that 2 of the 4 main local employers are the feed & grain co-op and the livestock auction barn. There were more kids in Angel #1's graduating class in Hawaii than there are in the entire 4-year high school in this town.
Our pallet came in from Hawaii yesterday, so we've got the majority of our stuff here, what little there is of it. A nearby town is having a citywide rummage sale on Saturday, so the girls and I are going to spend the day hitting the sales. With any luck, we'll find most of the stuff we need there and we'll just have to do some major grocery shopping once we're moved in. Seventy three bags of frozen veggies, 2 cans of Spam, a bucket of ice cream and a bag of rice isn't going to keep us going for too long.