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.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

okay, so it's been awhile

Yeah, I haven't written here in forever. I've been sorta busy and sorta not having anything relevant (or irrelevant) to say. So better to say nothing than bore you all with the mundane of my life. We're still working on a place to live. My theory is there are so many places going into foreclosure that people are being forced out of their houses and need to rent a place instead. Great for landlords, not so great for people who just moved here from Hawaii and need a place to live. Rent-a-Grandma's been great for putting up with us all this time, but it's really time to get a place of our own. Not only that, but we've got to get our kids enrolled into a school PDQ, since we've only got a few weeks left til school starts.

Though our whole family is all here in WI and Angel #1 is only about 10 miles away from us, we still don't see him very often, so we still don't get together in the same room very much. I guess I'm just going to have to get used to having one less kid around.

Yesterday, a friend of Rent-a-Grandma's called, asking if she knew of anyone wanting sweet corn, since hers was about to turn too ripe. I hauled the three younger kids over there and we picked and husked and husked and picked. Once we were done with that part, I dropped WE off at the fishing hole (he's becoming obsessed with fishing) and Angel #4 at a friend's house and Angel #2 and I spent about 4 straight hours freezing corn. By the time we were done, we had 40 2-quart freezer bags of corn in the freezer and about another quart of corn stuck on the floor, counter tops, walls and ourselves. So, we spent another 45 minutes cleaning the kitchen after we were done putting up corn. Needless to say, I'm kind of sick of corn right now, but I'm sure I'll be happy to have all those bags of corn in the freezer this winter...provided we have a house to put the frozen corn in, that is.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'm in Wisconsin and I'm busy

After a loooong flight, Angel #4 and I landed in Wisconsin, sadly enough, my luggage didn't. I was a bit concerned because the bag that didn't make it was the one carrying almost my entire wardrobe. For some reason, I had about 4 or 5 bottoms packed in my carry on bags, but not a single shirt. Thankfully, my suitcase showed up on Saturday night, it went to Memphis, maybe to see Graceland, I don't know.

After spending Saturday sleeping off my jet lag and stuff, Sunday was spent at my family reunion. I'd forgotten what a bunch of rednecks my family is. The highlight of the reunion was the 3-man water balloon launcher. It was like a giant rubber band, with 2 guys holding either end and one guy launching the balloons in the middle. What makes out family special is that they launched the balloons into a group of little kids who were standing on the other side of the park trying to catch the balloons. Every time they'd pick off a little kid, they'd cheer. They were all walking around with big welts on their bodies at the end of the day. WE was offered $5 by my cousin Paul if he'd try to catch a balloon with his face. Yep, my family is a bit unusual- but the food was great. Corn on the cob on the grill, there's something I hadn't had since moving to Hawaii and man, was it GOOD! We also had standard family favorites like rice pudding, brats, chicken gizzards and poppy seed torte. I hadn't realized how much I missed good old Wisconsin food til I got back here.

Monday was spent getting my act together, buying some groceries, doing laundry and just plain old relaxing after the last crazy month I had. Today WE, Angel #4 and I went to Keller Lake day camp for the mentally handicapped. We always volunteered there the first week of August when it's held every year when we lived here. Hubby went last year when he was in WI on vacation and it was so great to be back there today and to see everyone. I was in charge of a pretty high-maintenance camper and I'm beat. I bet we walked miles today, and it was pretty hot and humid. I've got the feeling both of us are going to sleep good tonight.

Angel #2 flies in tomorrow evening, then my whole family will be together again...sort of. Angel #1 lives with my brother - he has all summer - so though we'll all be in the same state, we won't be under the same roof. Talk about roof, we still don't have one. We're staying at Rent-a-Grandma's house until we find a house to rent. She's on vacation until the 10th, so we've just taken over her house. We're so lucky to have her. She even stocked the cupboards for us. Hubs is looking at some places today, so hopefully we'll have a place of our own within the next week or so. We need a place by the end of the month so the kids can enroll in school, which starts right after labor day.