Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Rules for Being a Grown-up

Hubs told me that when he was a kid, he thought one of the things you had to do to be considered a grown-up man was to have tons of baseball stats memorized, and he was worried about his upcoming maturity.  Not only did he not have stats memorized, but he didn't even like baseball.  He said the weirdest thing about it was that he didn't know where he got the idea, his dad wasn't a stat spouting baseball groupie.  At least my milestone for being grown-up had some basis in reality.  When I was a kid, my parents listened to country music (except for Saturday mornings, when my dad would crank up the radio to the local polka music station).  We had a steady diet of all the country greats, Donna Fargo, Mel Tillis, George Jones.  My folks even went to the Grand Ole Opry on their honeymoon and Hee Haw was a Saturday night staple at our house.  I thought you couldn't consider yourself an adult until you listened to country music - rock music was for teenagers, when you hit your early twenties,  you started listening to country and became an adult and when you were a grandparent, you advanced to easy listening.  Those were the RULES, people!  It was simple, if you listened to rock music, you weren't allowed to have kids, yet and the minute you got the call from the hospital about grandkid #1, you immediately switched over to elevator music.  I'm not sure when I realized that you could, in fact, give birth while still loving Van Halen, but it was a huge relief, because I'm still not a huge fan of Country music (of course, Dwight Yoakam is the exception to that rule).  I'm not sure why I'm sharing this with you other than the fact that hubs just had Freebird blasting in the other room and I was jamming along in here and I realized that we broke all the rules for being grown-ups (neither of us know any baseball stats either).

In case you were wondering, Diesel has been making a wide berth around the dishwasher the last couple days. I'm sure he'll eventually forget the traumatic experience of Friday night, but in the meantime, it's nice to know my dishes aren't getting pre-washed while sitting in the washer.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Maybe this will break him of the habit

Diesel dog is a fairly obedient dog, but he's got a few bad habits.  He likes to pull things from the garbage and he also likes to like the dirty dishes clean when they're sitting in the dishwasher and the door is open as we're loading it.  That last one particularly grosses me out, but I've just given up on trying to stop him.  At least I know the dishes are going to be cleaned immediately  after Diesel's clean-up job.  But, something happened tonight that just may break him of the dishwasher habit.  I was standing by the sink doing dishes and Diesel was licking at the plates in the dishwasher when his dog tags got caught on something in the rack.  He jerked his head up, and the while rack came up with him, which freaked him out majorly.  So he ran.  With the rack still attached to his collar.  All over the kitchen.  I kept yelling at him to sit so I could unhook him,but he kept freaking out.  Plates and silverware went flying all over the place before the wire on his tags gave out and he finally got free and ran off to hide, leaving me with a mess and, fortunately, only one broken plate.  That dog is such a dork.

We picked up Angel #1 at the airport on Wednesday and he's home on leave for 9 days.  Yay!  We weren't even out of the airport parking lot before he and WE were already at it, beating on each other and trying to one up each other and they haven't quit yet. I've learned to just ignore all the crashes and bangs that come from  upstairs when they're wrestling around, they're like giant, 170 pound puppies.  Tonight both boys, WE's girlfriend and Angel #4 are all going to a hockey game with some friends and I've got the house all to myself (hubs has a job up north and he's staying at a hotel for a couple days).  It's nice and quiet here, now that Diesels done destroying my dishwasher.  It's been snowing lightly all day and I'm kind of concerned with them out driving, but it doesn't seem to faze them at all, so they weren't going to listen to me if I suggested cancelling out.  Kids think they're invincible and, I'll admit, I'm a massive worrywart when it comes to driving in snow, so we balance each other out.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

putting the "cross" in cross country skiing

The other day when we went on a thrift store expedition, hubs picked up a pair of cross country skis and shoes.  They fit Angel #4.  She's never skied before, so hubs took her outside and gave her a few basic lessons, then came inside and let her go to it.  After about 45 minutes, he started wondering what happened to her, figuring she's be inside already.  We decided if she didn't come inside soon, we'd go outside and look for her (it was dark outside and we couldn't see far beyond the windows). Right after that,the  phone rang and I laughingly said, that's probably her calling for help.  Then I looked at the name on the caller ID and said....that's her, calling for help.  Sure nuff, I answered the phone and she said, will someone please come out here and help me get these stupid skies off?  I've been stuck out here for ages!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

All told, we probably got about 10 inches of snow Thurs/Fri.  This being Wisconsin, things were cleared off and Friday morning, it was back to business as usual.  After half day at school, the kids were home by noon and Christmas vacation had officially begun.

A couple weeks ago, WE had bought a gingerbread house decorating kit for him and his girlfriend to do together and they decided to do it yesterday afternoon.  I was in the other room, overhearing their conversation at the dining room table as they worked on the house.  First I hear the GF looking for the instructions so they could decorate it properly, then hear her yelling at WE for covering the entire side of one of the walls with green frosting, which is NOT  how the instructions instructed.  Then they bickered about how to do a window and bickered on how to do the door - they pretty much bicker the entire time they're together, it was hilarious.  If there's one thing WE loves to do, it's bicker, so it looks like he found the perfect girl.  After a while, I hear WE say:  Then, the gingerbread village gets hit by a horrible candy storm!  WE's GF then said:  knock it off, the roof was the only part of the house that looked good!   Right after she left, WE brought the house upstairs to his bedroom and ate off most of the candy.

Then, last evening we went to the girls basketball game to cheer GF on.  She's a little disappointed that she's only on the JV team, but she did great and we had fun cheering her on though the JV team ended up losing.  We then enjoyed watching the varsity girls team win their game.  As luck would have it, about 10 minutes into the JV game, some people sat in the bench in front of us.  By using some deductive reasoning, I realized that I was pretty sure that they were WE's GF's mom and sister, so of course, I scoot over to them to ask and sure nuff, I was right.  It was nice getting to know them, her mom sounds like she can be a lot of fun and she told me that she knew she was going to like us the day her daughter came home and told her that we had told WE that we paid her to be his girlfriend so he wouldn't feel like a loser - then I told her that when WE asked us to buy him something, I said that there was no way we could afford to buy that and keep his girlfriend on the payroll at the same time.  Turns out, that after talking to GF's mom, we realized that both WE and GF were our little trouble children, the ones that were always getting hurt and giving us heart attacks.   I'm not sure if it's a good thing that they're so much alike or if having them together is more like the perfect storm.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

And the snow goes de da de da - la de da de die

According to WE, the snow started falling about 2 this morning and it's been snowing ever since.  Hubs snowblowed the driveway two or three times today.  The snow was so heavy that it would have plugged the blower if he'd waited for it to be done before going out to clear it.  Hopefully it stops soon so there's school tomorrow.  There's only a half day, but WE's got some tests scheduled and really would rather take them now rather then have 12 days of brain atrophy aka Christmas vacation, then be expected to remember all the material when he gets back.

In some sad news, I can't find my Pride and Prejudice DVD.  I've been looking for it for about a week now and have no idea what happened to it and I've really been Jonsin' for some P&P, especially since I read the book Murder at Pemberly last week and Hulu now has Lost in Austen in their line-up.  If you love P&P, even just a little bit, Lost in Austen is a really fun show to watch.  I think Hulu is offering a new episode every week (I think there are 4 eps in all), I've seen it already, but am more than willing to watch it again.  So anyway, I even looked at the local library this week to see if they had a dvd of P&P on the shelves, but they only had the *GAG* Kiera Knightly version when what I really need is the Colin Firth one.  If things get too bad, I just might have to dig out my copy of the book, but I've already got a pretty big 'to be read' pile sitting here and would prefer to shut off my mind and just enjoy the wonderfulness that is the Bennets.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

School is closed already

They've already called school off for tomorrow and we haven't even had a snowflake fall yet. This is our school district's superintendents 2nd year in the position.  We had such a mild winter last year that school never got called off and he told the kids he was disappointed that he never got to flex his administration muscles by calling off school.  My theory is he didn't want to miss an opportunity to cancel again this year, so jumped the gun a bit.  Well, at least I know we'll all be able to sleep in in the morning.

I went into town to day to pick up some library books that were waiting for me and buy a few groceries.  I just did it because I needed to run into town quick, but lots of other people did too, both the grocery store and the library were busy.  Since we're supposed to get up to a foot of snow in the next couple days, I guess nobody wanted to be stuck at home with nothing to eat and nothing to read.  Fortunately, this is Wisconsin and we're used to snow.  Stopping by the store is more of a, gee, we might get dumped on tonight, better pick up a gallon of milk.  We don't have people freaking out like in other places that aren't as used to snowstorms.  Nobody was buying up gallons of milk, loaves of bread and dozens of eggs, like they were planning on spending the entire blizzard making french toast or something.  The shelves weren't emptied and nobody was fighting over the last case of bottled water.    It was weird though.  I was walking along the aisles and I kept seeing this lady.  Every place I went, there she was.  I'd pass her in one aisle, turn the corner and there she was again!  I couldn't figure out how she did it until I was in the freezer section and saw her at the end of the aisle AND walking past the pizza freezer on my left.  That's when I realized that there were two old ladies with the   same brown hairstyle and red jacket in the store. That explained a lot of things.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

busy day of squishing, smacking and singing

I started my afternoon out yesterday heading out to get my bi-annual mammogram.  This is not something I particularly enjoy, but one of those necessary evil things, ya know?  It certainly would make things a bit more pleasant if I didn't have to walk to the Vince Lombardi Cancer Center to get the the mammography place.  Rather than name cancer centers after famous people who died of cancer, I'd be much  more encouraged if they were named after people that fought cancer and won.  But, it was nice of Vince and/or his family to give the money for the cancer center, so, there's that.  After getting mammogrammed, I have to go in to get an ultrasound, apparently, I've got so many cysts that mammograms just don't really do the trick.  So, I had to wait in the ultrasound waiting room for my turn and there must have been some hold-up, because I ended up sitting there for 45 minutes wearing my jeans, a hospital gown with the opening in the front and a really really big housecoat reading old people magazines. Finally, after getting a refresher course on the whole Tom and Katie break-up yet again (I'm sorry, but poor Suri doesn't have a chance in hoopla growing up sane) I finally got called in. The ultrasound tech introduced herself, get me situated and all that stuff, and I was thinking she was the same one that did my ultrasound 6 months ago, but didn't mention it.  She turns on the screen, takes one look at my boob scan and says, "Oh, I remember you, you're got a LOT of lumps."  Yeah, she didn't recognize my face, but she could immediately identify my lumpy boobs.  I'm sure she's lots of fun at parties.

After getting scanned and such (the girls got a thumbs up for another 6 months, in case you were wondering) I headed over to Walmart to return some stuff.  While in the return line, I saw a former neighbor and we did a little catch-up.  Last I'd spoken to him, his wife had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Apparently, she ended up with a double mastectomy and has been living in a care facility since June, she hasn't even been home during that time and is unable to walk.  He was picking some things up for her at the store, he had rented a medi-van for the night and was next heading to the home to pick her up so she could go to their high school daughter's Christmas concert that evening. Their daughter didn't know he was doing this and it was going to be a surprise for her.  All I could think about is how sad it was that something that so many kids took for granted, their parent attending a school event, was a highly complicated surprise for Morgan.  Life is so unfair sometimes.

After my returns, I picked a few things up at the store,that's when I smacked the service dog in the head.  It wasn't really, 100% my fault, the dog was kind of being an aisle hog.  I'd managed to slip around the side of it with no problems, but then when I continued to walk down the aisle, I swung my arm back and managed to smack it in the head.  The dogs owner didn't see it happen and I thought it would just sound weird if I apologized to the dog, so I just continued on my way.  But, let me tell you, when I had to go back up the aisle, you can bet his furry little butt wasn't hogging the aisle again.  That dog learned to respect my floor space!

Angel #4 managed to talk me into going to the high school Christmas Concert that evening.  I didn't have any kids performing, but WE's girlfriend is in both the band and choir, and I knew some of the other kids as well.  They all did a beautiful job, though it was kind of a bittersweet moment for the band director.  Half an hour before the concert started was the school board meeting, the meeting where the superintendent was proposing that the high school band director get laid off.  WE went to the board meeting, just to see how things played out and he said those who were in favor of keeping him on had a very pathetic case and things didn't look too good for him. As much as I like the guy and can tell that he loves teaching music, I can't justify his job either.  Our district has more music teachers than it really needs and when times are tight, cutbacks need to be made.  They may not be popular decisions, but a sign of a true leader is when they have the guts to make decisions other people may not  like.  It's good to know that we've got a guy in charge that is willing to put the good of the district ahead of the wants of individual staff members.  Afterall, school isn't about individual teachers and their wants and needs, it's about educating our children as best as we are able.

Anyway, I also saw our neighbor again and got a chance to chat with his wife a bit.  She looked pretty good, besides the whole being in a wheelchair thing.  Her face looked filled out and healthy, not that thin, cadaverous look I've seen in some cancer sufferers when you know that they're not going to be around much longer.  I've seen that look too many times.  So, I hope Michelle is around yet for a good long time, I know she would love to see her daughter graduate high school and begin her life as an adult.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

the death of the evil snowmen

Sunday night, Angel #4 and I each made a snowman in the front yard.  They're right in front of the patio door in the living room.  Once it got light out on Monday, Diesel the doofus dog noticed them and  spent the day lying by the door, occasionally growling and barking at them (apparently, he forgot that he was out there with us when we made them).  According to WE, Diesel was concerned because there were strange things in our yard and they weren't leaving.  Eventually, he got used to them and would only wander by the door once in a while to check to make sure they were still there and hadn't come any closer to the house or something.  Then yesterday afternoon, he was growling, barking, and his back hair was standing on end.  I couldn't figure out what his problem was until I looked out the window and discovered that his fears had been realized.  One of the snowmen had MOVED!  The sun had been slowly melting the snow and #4's snowman was starting to lean over, finally, it fell completely over and that's what sent Diesel into his spaz attack.  Mine is still upright, but I don't thing it'll survive the day, so I imagine Diesel will freak out again.

Hubs has been Skyping me from the Cayman Islands.  Just as I'm debating the wisdom/cost of turning the thermostat up a few degrees, he pops on my screen, sitting poolside with the palm trees waving in the background.  Then...THEN, he has the nerve to say that he's ready to go home.  Yeah, like I'm believing that one.  To top it all off, he then tells me how he had the greatest fish tacos for lunch. I don't think you can get a fish taco for love or money here in least not a good one. If you're ever on Hawaii's Big Island, you HAVE to stop at Lulu's for a fish taco, they're the best on the island - at least I think so, hubs vote goes to the ones at The Harbor.  And don't let the thought scare you off, they are freaking delicious.  Shoot, now I'm hungry.

Hey, does anyone watch The Neighbors?  It's hilarious, though when I try to explain the premise to people, I just get strange looks.  But trust me, a human family living in a subdivision full of aliens named after sports stars is stinking funny.  Every time I see Kareem Abdul Jabbar, the short, fat little Asian dude, I just have to giggle.  I guess it appeals to my sense of the bizarre.

Edited to add:  CALLED IT!  Doofus has spent the last 15 minutes looking out the window and growling in anticipation.  All of a sudden, he jumped up, fur standing on end, barking like a moron, the 2nd snowman had just fallen down.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

adventures in shopping

Yesterday, angel #4 and I were invited to a volunteer appreciation reception at the local library. #4 and I both enjoy helping with the library book sale.  Right before we were heading out the door, WE called asking for a ride home from school - he'd stayed after to do some homework (and also to serve detention, but he didn't mention that part until later).  I told him the only way I could get him was if we took him along to the library with us.  So he goofed around on the library computers while #4 and I got  to eat delicious appreciation reception snacks. 

After that, we headed off to the thrift store to drop off some donations and buy some stuff to fill up the empty spots where we'd got our donations.  While I was there, I suddenly remembered that I needed to pick up a hamster cage and headed to the pet supply aisle.  I was about halfway there when I stopped and wondered why I needed a hamster cage.  Only then did I remember that the night before I dreamed  we got a hamster and couldn't find a place to put it, then it got really big, like the size of a cat, and started having a ton of hamster babies, just one after another.  Then I realized with relief that I didn't need to pick up a hamster cage after all since it was only a dream.

We went to Shopko after that to return something I'd bought last week that was defective. The kids came in with me and bought some things of their own.  WE bought a box of about a dozen candy canes and I asked him if he was particularly hungry for them or what.  He said got them to hand out to people that he ticks off - I told him he should have bought more boxes.  He said he was thinking the same thing.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Let it snow, Let it snow, but not on the roads or driveway, please

Okay, not always a big fan of snow, but thought I'd share this isn't it gorgeous?  This is the view out of my kitchen window (well, kind of, I took the picture from outside, I would have had to wash the window if I took the picture from the house and there's only so much I'll do for blog accuracy)

Angel #4 had a good time playing in the snow last night.  I think she took about a dozen pictures of our snowmen.  Isn't it cool how the camera's flash reflects off the snowflakes? It's like the world is all sparkly.  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The worst mom in the world

Well, it's official, I'm the worst mom in the world and their dad is obviously the one who really loves them.  The kids are planning on filing a grievance with God.  Not only are they not going to put me in a nice nursing home when I'm old, they're not even going to stick me on an ice floe in the ocean, they're just going to throw me right in (which instigated the argument over whether or not ocean water can get to 30 below 0 without freezing).  So, what mean horrible thing did I do to those innocent little nippers? I refused to go out for Chinese food after church this morning.  Apparently, kids are starving in Africa because they don't have all you can eat Chinese buffets in the Congo, at least that's what I was told.  And why did I torture my children so?  A number of reasons, I assure you.  First off, I wasn't feeling good yesterday, and though I'm fine today, after having a touchy stomach the previous day, I really didn't thing filling it with crab Rangoon was in my best interest.  Secondly, I just took them shopping and they both got new clothes this week - I know that a lot of people do this on a regular basis, but not us.  Usually "new" clothes for my family means we got something from the thrift store, but this week, WE got 2 pair of dress pants and #4 got a new skirt and some Uggs, all with price tags attached and still smelling like sizing, so yeah, I spent actual money on them.  Third and most importantly, It's freaking snowing and though the roads weren't bad yet, we're supposed to get 2-6 inches today and I really wanted to be home before things got yucky.  So maybe...just maybe, I'll take them next week if the stars are in alignment.

Hubs and Fred made it to Houston without incident this morning.  He said that Fred was a good little traveler and Angel #2 called, thrilled to have both her kitties once again.

Hours later....I guess I forgot to publish this, so I'll just continue.  We've probably got about 3-4 inches so far and it's still going.  Angel #4 and I made a couple of snowmen.  She wanted to make 5 of them and say it was One Direction, but I stopped at one, I guess I made Liam and I'll leave her to finish up the group.  It's supposed to stop soon, so I think we're good about school tomorrow.  We've only got a limited number of snow days built into the year and it would stink to use one up right away at the first snowfall, though I'm sure the kids wouldn't mind.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Off to Margaritaville

Hubs is off on a new adventure tomorrow.  He's headed to Grand Cayman, a place he's never been.  He's got an acquaintance who runs a tv station down there and he's staying with him.  On his way down, he's going through Houston and will have a quick breakfast with Angel #2 between flights.  He's also bringing Fred down to her.  We're all going to miss Fred up here, but since #2 raised him since he was two weeks old, bottle feeding him, teaching him to use the litter box and all that kind of stuff, he's definitely her cat and we can't convince her to let him stay.

Last night, hubs and I went out to eat for our anniversary.  It's today, but with him leaving early tomorrow morning, we thought it would be best to go out Friday instead.  We tried a new (for us) place downtown at a nearby city and it was crazy as we were driving there.  The main street in town was closed off and there were people walking everywhere.  We thought maybe it was a Christmas parade or something.  Once we got to the restaurant, we found out that the downtown area was closed to traffic because all the downtown shops were having live mannequin  displays in their windows.  So, after we ate, we took a nice walk up and down mainstreet to check out all the displays.  It was nice weather (for December in Wisconsin) and there were tons of people out and about.  We went into some stores we previously didn't even know existed and really enjoyed ourselves.  I also finally went to Vintique, a store I'd been wanting to check out for awhile now.  It's all vintage clothes, hats, jewelry and that sort of thing, from the 1920's-1960's.  Awesome stuff and I'm definitely going back again when it won't be quite so crowded and check things out a little closer.

PS Jeanie, this is your yearly anniversary reminder!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Don't feel bad, Tanya, I thought Taylor Swift was still with the Kennedy kid as well, thank goodness #4 set me straight about the whole Haylor thing.  #4's not too worried about the romance though - according to her, she said that soon Taylor will be writing a song about their break-up and Harry will be all hers again.

Our little Fred, the cat, went to the vet today.  Sunday he's hopping on a plane with hubs, who will be handing Fred over to Angel #2 during his layover in Houston.  She'll be happy to have both her cats with her again, but those of us up here will be missing the little stinkwad.  Fred is the most active of our cats, pouncing on our feet while we're in the shower, meeting us at the door when we come home and generally making himself felt around the house.  We've also been known to leave the faucet dripping in the bathroom sink for Fred because he loves playing in the water.  We're starting to become those kind of people - so maybe it's a good thing Fred's leaving or we're going to start buying little cat clothing and getting them birthday presents and weird stuff like that (btw, Angel #2 already does that stuff, she's totally a crazy cat lady).  Once Fred is gone, we'll be left with a fairly manageable amount of pets, just Diesel the doofus dog and Muse, aka Fatty McCatty - and of course, my chickens, but they don't live in the house, and we eat them, they're not really pets, except for the edible kind.  Though I don't think they're such a thing as edible pets, so yeah, they're just farm animals.  But, I do talk to them every day, so we do have a relationship, but it's more like an eater to an eatee kind of thing rather then master/pet.  It works for us, so STOP JUDGING ME!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Why yes, it IS all about my kid. Why do you ask?

Last night we went to Angel #4's Christmas concert for school.  It was for the Middle school, so 6th, 7th & 8th grade choir, band and tone chimes.  We started with the 6th grade band - they did 3 songs.  On the 2nd song, the band teacher said she asked some of the 8th grade band members to mentor the younger kids and had them come up to play with the 6th graders.  #4 went up there to do here part helping the 6th graders.  Then we moved on to tone chimes, which are kind of like bells and sound like a music box.  Angel #4 also belongs to the tone chimes group, so she was up there again.  After Tone chimes, the Middle School Choir got up to sing and you guessed it, #4 was up there again.  After a couple songs, the music teacher pulled 2 girls down to do a special duet - the song they're preparing to do together for Solo Ensemble in March.  Yep, it was the Angel with her best friend.  They sang beautifully together, a nice change since I thought the only thing those two could do together was giggle.  When Choir was done, the 7th and 8th grade band came up to perform.  One of the songs featured the percussionists, who moved their instruments to the front of the group for that particular song.  Yep, you guessed it, #4 is a percussionist.  It was pretty cool - except for 2 of the 6th grade band songs, my kid performed in every song of the concert.  I'm so proud of my talented daughter.

Angel #4 is also keeping me updated on the exciting world of teen age pop music.  I know all about Directioners (fans of the group One Direction), HaLor (the romance between Harry Styles and Taylor Swift), Swifties (fans of Taylor Swift, obvie) and all kinds of exciting things that I don't care about but know anyway.  I haven't gotten to the point where I know the blood types of all of the 5 One Direction boys (though #4 has run them through for me a couple times) but I know enough to sing along with 1D songs and know that Harry Styles is a sexy beast (according to #4, I think he looks like he's about 12 years old).  Though their songs are kind of catchy, I'll stick with the love of my life, Dwight Yoakam.