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