Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The angel's new friend

I mentioned in my last post that Angel #2 got a new friend.  The whole new friend story is pretty funny, imo, so I'll share with the class.  First off, she found him by perusing the Craigslist 'looking for a platonic friend' ads.  She said she usually looks at the ads for a laugh, but this particular one caught her eye.  It not only caught her eye, but she was so compelled to respond that when she discovered that her internet was out, she couldn't wait to e-mail the guy, so she sent a text immediately, at 11 o'clock at night.  Fortunately for her, they guy was just getting home from work, so she didn't wake him up or anything.  They started texting back and forth and found out they had a lot in common.  They both like the same kind of movies, both love cats and a boatload of other things, but the thing that was the tipping point was his form of transportation.  This guys drives a hearse, not for a living, the hearse is his car.  Angel #2 has wanted a hearse for years and is so excited to finally get to ride in one (in the FRONT seat, not the back).  I have to admit, I think the fact that he drives a hearse is pretty cool and when I mentioned it to hubs, his response was THAT IS AWESOME!  Yeah, sometimes I think we might be on the short side of normal as far as parents go.  When the guy asked #2 what her parents would think of a guy who drives a hearse, she said, "well, my mom is super practical.  She'll probably say something like 'the gas mileage probably isn't that great, but it would work super for grocery shopping'."   The kid knows her mom well, though my response was a tad bit different.  I actually said, "the gas mileage probably sucks, but it would be awesome for rummage saling."   Anyway, they met up on Friday and she said after an initial awkward time (they're both pretty shy) they had a really good time and are planning on getting together again this Saturday.  He's coming to our house in the hearse.  She texted me right after he left to assure me that he wasn't a crazy and she didn't get serial killed or anything like that, which is always nice.  Oh and did I mention that his hearse has a baby on board sign in the back window?  I really can't wait to meet this guy.

Angel #4 is on her class trip today.  All the 6th, 7th & 8th graders went to Noah's Ark in Wisconsin Dells.  Noah's Ark is the largest outdoor water park in the country.  Why they'd put a giant water park in the middle of a state that only has about 3 months of summer is beyond me, but I'm sure she's having a great time.

Ok, I just have to share this.  Just now, while I was writing this post, I got a phone call.  It was a political call from some special interest group wanting me to support their candidate in the upcoming recall election that's got our state spinning.  The guy who called could barely pronounce the letters of the group he was calling on behalf, seemed to forget Tom Barrett's (the guy running for Gov) first name and sounded like he had to look at a script to remind him of it, then mispronounced the name of Barrett's running mate for Lt Gov.  SERIOUSLY??  You'd think they'd at least know the basics (like their names, perhaps??)  before trying to convince people to vote for their candidate.  If they can't get competent people to do something as simple as make a phone call, I can't see how they think they can run a state.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Herding Cats

I just talked to hubs this morning.  He's down in Hawaii and at the airport at the moment with the West Hawaii Special Olympics softball team.  They're preparing to go to the state games in Oahu and they're trying to get everyone on the plane.  If you've done much flying, you know how chaotic it is even just getting into an airport, can you imagine trying to get a team of special olympic athletes ticketed, through TSA and rounded up to the right gate so they can get them and their baseball gear onto the plane?  Fortunately, unlike many TSA horror stories, the TSA at the Kona airport has always been very helpful and friendly (though a bit slow sometimes) so hopefully things will go smoothly.  It was much easier, though not as comfortable, the time I went to state with the team and we were flown there by military jet.  We just hauled ourselves and our gear up the stairs into the plane and buckled ourselves in, bypassing TSA and all that other garbage.  They even let one of the athletes fly up in the cockpit with them.  It was a lot of fun and I'm jealous that hubs gets to spend his weekend with them all.

We finally got some rain last night.  We haven't had a drop since the flooding we had a couple weeks ago and everything was getting horribly dry.  Without any moisture, the garden we planted last weekend hasn't even begun.  We didn't get a whole lot of rain, but hopefully it'll be enough to get some seedlings going.

Angel #2 called me about 3 times yesterday.  After dropping her charge off at school yesterday, she went rummage saleing and found some pretty good gems.  She's also excited about today, she's meeting up with an internet friend for the first time and they're going to bum around town together.  She hasn't done much exploring of the town she's now living in yet, so she's going to check out and see what Main St has to offer today.  It's a pretty big local vacation spot, so she's planning on hitting a few of the vacation spot required fudge shops.  This post is already long enough, so I'll tell you about her new friend in a day or two, it's a pretty funny story.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A sad day for chickenkind

Tragedy struck the chicken coop yesterday  (or early this morning).  Something got in and killed 4 of my little chickens.  At least I'm assuming they're all dead, there was only one half eaten corpse and not a single feather left behind from the other three.  I figure it was a hawk since they chickens were penned in and it would be pretty difficult for something to get in there and haul three chickens out without leaving some sort of trace.  Angel #4 and I made a smaller coop inside the bigger fenced in area and put netting over the top to keep further airborne predators out.  We only put the remaining 4 small ones in there, hoping that the 5 laying hens we have will be too big for a hawk to take out - besides, the hens tend to stay close to the barn when they're outside and they chased the little ones away (the barn is where they get fed) so the little ones are more exposed.  I've still got Hop Along, the chick with the wonky leg penned up in the barn.  He/she keeps getting weaker and weaker, but I don't have the heart to put him/her out of its misery, I keep hoping it'll strengthen up and recover, especially now when I've lost half his siblings.

In good news, WE came home all excited from the regional track meet today.  He led the 4x4 relay team to victory, not only did he run his leg faster then he ever had, but he ran faster than the other three guys on his team and also passed 3 other runners putting his team into first place.  They fell behind further in the race, but came in a very respectable 2nd place and they've got high hopes for Sectionals on Thursday afternoon.  After the successful day they had today, he's even talking about maybe going to State.  He also almost made it to sectionals in the long jump, the top 4 jumpers go on and he came in 5th place.  He wasn't too disappointed since he didn't think he'd place in long jump anyway.

Yesterday, Angel #4 and I headed down to Milwaukee to pick up Rent-a-Grandma and get her back home.  She had been staying with her son and his family in Virginia for the last month and her son and his wife had a seminar in Milwaukee to go to, so they all drove over.  I got grandma at the hotel and got to check out her very first (biological) grandbaby.  He's an adorable little guy, but soooo tiny.  He's only a month and a half old and weighs about 10 pounds.  It's hard to believe my kids were ever that small.  I'm glad they're grown up, babies are cute and all, but I prefer my kids the ages they are, they're a whole lot more fun (and easier to take care of) now than they were way back then.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I'm glad we can cross that off our list!

Wow, busy day today.  We finally got the garden planted.  I'd wanted to do it early, but right after we had it all plowed up, we got tons of rain which packed everything down.  Then it was pretty dry for awhile and our ground was like cement.  Our neighbor to the west of us had originally plowed it up, so this time, I appealed to our neighbor to the east.  He's a retired guy who's always puttering around doing things to keep himself occupied, so this was right up his alley.  He came over with a cultivator around 9:30 and started working things up.  The kids (and I later on) walked alongside and picked rocks, throwing them in the bucket of the tractor as he drove along.  It worked MUCH better than last year when we walked along with 5 gallon buckets and manually hauled the rocks over to the rock pile.  Our neighbor went over and over the garden for hours as we picked rocks, when he was done, the ground was really worked up well.  It was getting to the point when we were wishing he'd leave so we could quit rock picking.  Then, we found out why he took our garden so seriously.  He did something to tick his wife off and she was MAD at him.  The kids said at one point, when I was out buying garden plants, she was in her car on the side of the road yelling at him.  Turns out, he just didn't want to go home.  It's kind of funny, because he's a well-to-do, no-nonsense, my way or the highway kind of guy, kind of intimidating.  Turns out everyone has their weakness and in his case, it's his wife.  But we got a nice worked-up garden out of the deal.  When we finally got in from picking it was 12:50. That's a LOT of rocks.

The kids and I vegged until 4:00, when I forced everyone out of the house and out to plant the garden.  I really wanted to get everything done today.  We ended up getting everything in except for onions (I forgot to buy sets).  WE went on a corn planting binge and planted 9 rows of sweet corn before I could convince him to stop.  We got done around 6 and now I'm sun burned and exhausted.  The kids were sun burned too, but I guess you don't get exhausted as fast when you're a teenager.  They both had places they wanted to go tonight and  I figured they earned the right to go.  WE took the van and is on his very first car ride without parents.  He's dropping Angel #4 off at a friends for a bonfire, then he's going to the movies with a buddy.

Angel #2 is gone now, officially starting her new job today.  Since it's a live-in position and quite a drive from here, we won't be seeing much of her this summer, I'm guessing.  So, all my babies are out and about, my husband is in Hawaii and it's just me and the critters, enjoying a quiet evening at home.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

And we've got another one on the road

WE passed his drivers test today and is now an official licensed driver.  He was so excited to now be able to drive around on his own that he wanted to leave me at the DMV so he could cruise by himself.  Fortunately, it was lunch time and I was going to take him out to lunch to celebrate, so he let me get in the passenger's seat.  We did all you can eat Chinese and really stuffed ourselves.

Yesterday, Angel #4 and I went to the dentist.  I hadn't been to one in quite awhile, so was relieved that I didn't have any cavities.  But the dentist did recommend I get a mouth guard to help with my teeth clenching issue.  Angel #4 got a clean report too, so far she doesn't have a single cavity.  Much better than when I was 13.  We go back next week for teeth cleaning, then it's time to schedule an appointment for WE.  Eventually, we'll all be up to date on our dentist stuff.

Tomorrow is my first and only unscheduled day this week.  Every other day I've had to haul someone somewhere for something.  Friday I've got double duty, taking WE to a doctor's appointment 25 miles east of here, then when I get him home, I've got to take Angel #2 to work 70 miles WEST of here.  Man, I sure have been putting on the miles lately.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I hate it when everything happens at once

So last night was the conference track meet for WE.  It was held in a town only about 10 miles away, so we buzzed over there around 4 and got ourselves settled in.  Angel #4 had a concert that night as well and needed to be at the school by 6, though the concert itself didn't start until 7.  So, we brought both girls to the meet, then had Angel #2 run #4 over to the school at 6, then come back to the meet so we could watch a little more before we had to leave for the concert.  WE was in 4 events and though we were there for 2 1/2 hours, we only managed to see him in 2 of them, the long jump, in which he scratched 2 out of his 3 jumps and in the 400 meter relay, in which they got disqualified.  We missed their 5th place finish in the 800 meter relay and the 3rd place in the 1600 meter relay, which sucked, but we did get to hear a wonderful concert.

Angel #4 did great at the concert.  She was in the tonechimes, which is kind of like hand bells, the choir and the band.  In addition to the regular choir songs, she also performed the duet she did for the Solo Ensemble back in March and she and the same girl also did a small duet at the beginning of one of the choirs songs.  My little girl is a beautiful singer.  The band did good also, despite being incredibly small and out of proportion.  In the 7th/8th grade band there are 2 flutes, 2 clarinets, one each of about 4 or 5 other instruments and 5 percussionists.  That's a whole lot of drumming, people.

Then, right after the concert, hubs headed out to Milwaukee.  He was staying overnight at one of those park and fly motels so he could fly out at 6 this morning for Hawaii.  The weather's so beautiful here that he really hated to have to leave, but when you've got work, you've gotta go.  I'm pretty sure that hubs is in the minority of people who grumble when they have to go to Hawaii.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Super Mom Revisited

Angel #4 was invited to a slumber party Friday night.  Super Mom's daughter was going to the same party.  #4 had a track meet Friday night, so the plan was, after the meet, I was going to pick up Super Mom's daughter and another girl and take them to the slumber party house.  Then #4 told me that I only had to pick up the other girl since super mom made other arrangements for her daughter to get to the party.  #4 couldn't figure out why I couldn't just pick the girl up, neither could I, until I remembered how I told her mother a few weeks ago that sometimes I just slowed down past the school and shoved the kids out the car door.  I think she knew I was kidding, but maybe she didn't want to take the chance that I'd toss the kids out of the min-van in front of slumber party girls house then peel out down the street.  Whatever.

The next day, I was out rummage saling and bumped into Super Mom at one of the sales.  She asked me if I knew when slumber party girls dad was bringing the girls home.  I gave her a blank look and said,  "uh....I never asked.  The later the better."  Then she asked if I knew what the girls were planning on doing at the party, once again, I gave her a blank look and said, "I never asked, I figure they'll come up with something."  She gave up trying to talk to me about the slumber party after that.  Then she saw Angel #2 and asked how her trip to Ecuador was.  #2 told her she was in Uruguay, Super Mom said, Oh, I knew it was someplace that started with and "E".   Uh....yeah.

It was Rummage Sale weekend in our town.  It's so much fun when everyone has a rummage sale at the same time, much more efficient.  Angel #2 went out on Friday afternoon and on Saturday  morning we dragged WE along with us.  I found some pretty good deals and so did the kids.  Angel #2 really likes 1950's things, especially the clothes.  At one sale, she found a cute little 1950's era green velvet hat, she found 2 pair of dress gloves at another sale.  A third sale turned up a winter coat with a 50's vibe to it.  She also bought a set of electric curlers from the 70's and Saturday night she put the whole thing together with a 50's hair style and all her new retro clothes.  She also did Angel #4's hair and clothes and gave her a late 60's flower child look, she looked a LOT like Janis Joplin.  It was fun watching the girls doll each other up and do sisterly stuff together and having such a fun time doing it.  WE also hit the rummage sale jackpot.  He found a big bowl, it was a decorative thing with a pedestal and handles, the kind you'd put on a sideboard filled with wax fruit or something, or something Harry Potter would mix a potion up in.  WE's planning on using it for a cereal bowl.  He figures it'll be a real time saver since he won't have to refill it 5 or 6 times like he does with his regular cereal bowl.  Investment tip:  Buy stock in Kelloggs.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Riding in style

Yesterday, I had to pick Angel #2 up from work.  I can see where this is going to be a pain unless she saves up (quickly!!) and gets herself a car.  It's about 3 hours on the road round trip whenever someone has to go get her.  She starts work officially on the 21st of the month and they've asked her to work over Memorial Day weekend, so we shouldn't have to deal with getting her back home again until the first weekend in June.  So anyway, while I was in that direction, I had some errands to run, one of which was to get Rent-a-Grandma's car.  Rent-a-G-ma has been out east visiting her son & DIL and her very first (biological) grandson.  Due to a change in plans, she's going to need to get picked up in Milwaukee rather than at the airport she was originally flying back to.  I offered to go get her, but that would mean that I would have to drive her the 2+ hour drive home, then drive back another hour to get back to my house.  Her son suggested that I get her car and use that to get her so she could drive herself home from my house.  Since we were going to be within 10 miles of her place yesterday, #2 and I swung by and got g-ma's car.  She just got this car a few months ago, it's still got that new car smell and drives like a dream.  After driving a 15 year old mini-van, I got totally spoiled with that cute little red Camry.  It was just too much fun playing with the radio volume controls on the steering wheel and with all those other fun bells and whistles that Ford didn't see fit to put on my old red van way back in '96.  I think I want a new car.

This is another week of track meets.  Angel #4 had one on Tuesday and another on Friday.  WE had one on Monday and one tonight.  He was in 4 events and got 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th places.  #4 is getting better and better all the time and with a bit more practice, I think she'll be a force to be reckoned with.  The big draw at WE's meet on Monday was watching a girl from a neighboring school pole vault.  This girl is GOOD and it's just downright fun watching her fly over that bar.  She got a personal best record that night of 12 feet.  To give you an idea of how good that is, the rest of the girls were done at 7feet.  This is the same girl who shattered the record a couple weeks ago at our schools Invitational at 11ft3in, the previous girls pole vault record was 8ft3in.  This girl is only a sophomore, so it'll be interesting to see how she develops in the next couple of years.  I guess I'm turning into a real Track & Field mom this spring, I'm even starting to remember all the rules and stuff and sound real professional by referring to our teams PR in the 4X4 and how someone 'hit their mark' in the long jump.  Thank goodness track mom's don't have to actually do the running or I'd have to turn in my track mom membership card.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Well, that day didn't go as planned

Friday morning, hubs had a dentist appointment in a town about 35 miles away.  I came along with him for company.  Afterwards, we did lunch and did a quick stop at the ReStore.  We were just about to leave the store and head for home when my phone rang.  Angel #2 had been on the road heading to her new job and her car overheated.  Since we were halfway to where she was anyway, we turned around and went out to help her.  We got there and filled the radiator, but the car still wouldn't start.  We messed around for about 20 minutes then gave up.  We had just taken the car out of storage the day before and fortunately when I put the insurance on it, I opted for roadside service.  That was the best $14 I spent in a long time.  They sent out a tow truck and would tow the car up to 15 miles.  Fortunately, my brother lived about 14 miles from where we were, so we had the truck haul it to his place.  We then had to take #2 the additional 25 miles to get her to work then drive the 65 miles back home.  So, instead of getting home around noon, we arrived around 6pm.  As a reward for our rotten day, hubs and I went to a fish boil put on by one of the local volunteer fire departments.  Lately it seems that whenever hubs and I go out to eat, we end up dining in a fire station.  Fine dining at its best, people. I mean, how can you not love a fish boil?  You get boiled fish, carrots, onions and potatoes and then, at the end of the line, you have a woman standing over a vat of melted butter with a ladle in her hand, covering  your whole meal with greasy goodness.

My brother called later Friday night.  His buddy who fixes cars took a look at #2's car and pronounced it dead.  This particularly sucks since she had just spend $200 the day before, getting it registered, oil changed, gas tank filled.  Money comes in slow, but it sure does disappear fast. doesn't it?

Friday, May 4, 2012

raining cats & dogs and swimming in poodles

Wow, did we have the rain Wednesday night!  It just poured, and the thunder and lightning was constant.  WE says he saw the barn struck by lightning.  We got another batch on Thursday morning.  There are fields flooded everywhere and the street in town that goes between the high school and the middle school was probably 6 inches underwater in some spots and so was the adjoining park.  We had to drive through it on the way to WE's track meet last night.  Kids were having a blast playing in the water.  Angel #4 was supposed to be watching the meet with her friends, but instead, she went swimming in the woods behind the track.  It's usually a nature trail, but now the water is waist deep in some places.  After the track meet, WE and his friends went swimming in the creek that runs through town.  It usually isn't more than a foot or so deep but it made a pretty good swimming hole last night.

My father in law came over yesterday to watch WE's track meet.  I thought that was a pretty impressive bit of grandpa-ing, driving 1 1/2 hours to sit on a metal bench and watch your grandkid jump a couple times and run for a total of about 2 minutes.  It was nice to have him over and WE did a pretty good job.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Detour Days

Things are much noisier around here lately.  Our main highway running through a nearby town is being repaired and will be closed all summer.  Yesterday was it's first day of being officially closed.  Maneuvering around town isn't going to be that big of a deal, I know the back ways to get into town to avoid the closure, but the new detour is on the road  by our house and the traffic is really picking up.  Now there are semi's driving past when we've never had them before, I have to sit at the stop sign and actually wait for cars to drive by before I can pull out, another novelty. All the drive-by traffic is making things much noisier than what I'm used to.  Oh, and the people driving on the road are MUCH antsier than our usually drivers.  They're right on my butt when I'm driving 60mph, they're used to taking the highway, not little country roads.  In the past, my biggest obstacles in driving have been getting around tractors and Amish buggies, not it's beginning to feel like a racetrack.  I'll adjust, but I don't have to like it.

My little WE is 16 years old today.  It seems like only yesterday he was trying to climb on the roof or running naked through the berry patch and now he's gotten so old.  April went by so fast that I'd kind of forgotten about his birthday.  Thank goodness Rent-a-Grandma's birthday card got in a day early so I got a reminder.  I picked up a quickie cake mix at the store yesterday, but I also got the fixings for a carrot cake.  Last night I asked WE what kind of birthday cake he wanted and he gave me this totally confused look.  I asked him again and he asked me whose birthday it was.  I guess I don't feel so bad about forgetting his birthday since he forgot it too!  He said he was glad I reminded him since otherwise, he would have been really surprised in the morning when they wished him a happy b-day over the school's announcements - yeah, their school is small enough that everyone's birthday's get announced over the PA.