Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring? Where are you spring?

Whoever associated Easter with spring never lived in Wisconsin.  It started out promising with temperatures in the lower 40's but by this afternoon we has stinking SNOW flurries.  What's up with that??  I don't approved.  A friend from Hawaii called the other night.  Hubs has seen him since we moved away, but I hadn't talked to him in ages.  At the moment he's living in Missouri - he's kind of a drifter - and said the snow was all gone down there and temperatures averaged about 10 degrees higher than they are here.  I think we moved too far north.

WE is missing his girlfriend, he's pretty pathetic.  She was texting him the other night and was telling him about a conversation they were having.  Along with her family, she's also vacationing with the 2 foreign exchange students living with them.  She said they were discussing 'beautiful Americans' and both the foreign kids had WE on their list as being a beautiful American.  Then his GF said that beautiful wasn't a word she'd use to describe him and gave him an alternate list, which included handsome, sexy, smart blah blah blah.  Later, when we were having family Bible study, we were discussing humility and that Jesus was a good example of how we were supposed to act in certain situations. "Like your response to the list of nice things your girlfriend said about you," I said.  "What did you say when she gave you a list of your good points?"  WE said he texted back and simply said, "what else??"   Yeah, I think he needs a little more work on the whole humility thing.

We didn't do anything particularly exciting today for the holiday.  I made a big pot of bean soup, which tasted pretty good when that cold front came in this afternoon.  Then this evening, hubs and I watched part 2 of Atlas Shrugged.  We'd watched part 1 about a month or two ago and now we're going to have to wait over a year for part 3, which is kind of a pain, but it's a good story and we're enjoying the movies, so I guess it'll be worth the wait.  It's been so long since I read the book that I can't remember what all happens any more, so now I'm trying to decide if I should re-read it (I think I've already read it twice) or just wait until the final movie installment.  Movies are always a disappointment after reading the book, so it might be best if I just wait.  We'll see how literarally ambitious I am, the book is about a gajillion pages long.

Monday, March 25, 2013

dog sitting

WE's girlfriend and her family are going on vacation for spring break.  They left tonight and the GF brought her dog over for WE to dog sit for her.  It didn't take long for Ruby to assert her dominance over Diesel Doggy, she pinned him down and growled in his face - it took him about 2 seconds to turn the alpha canine job over to her.  I noted to WE that the dogs are a lot like their owners and, funnily enough, WE agreed.  At least he admits his girlfriend has him whipped.  We've got Ruby here for a week, the dogs keep switching back and forth from being buddies to fighting over who's in charge.  I hope they get it straightened out soon.

Happily, we didn't get the show that was forecast for Sunday and the weather is supposed to be in the  upper 30's for the rest of the week.  Hopefully that'll melt a lot of the snow we've got lying around here yet.  On my may home from work today I saw deer and turkey all over the place looking around for food.  The deer were looking pretty scrawny.  There's just so much snow left on the ground yet that they're having a hard time finding something to eat.  I thought the 4 foot fence was all bent over and down around the chicken yard so I sent WE out to fix it the other day.  Turns out it's not the fence that's down, it's just that the snow is drifted so high at the fence line that it just looks like the fence is sagging.  It's definitely time for spring to start springing.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

crash, crunch, scream!

Okay, it wasn't quite as dramatic as my title, but WE got in his first car accident last night.  He went to a school concert and then was supposed to take Angel #4 home with him, he took a slight detour - bad idea.  Apparently, a couple weeks ago, he lost a bet (something involving 5-star generals) in one of his classes and his penalty was that he was supposed to bring doughnuts for the class.  He's been getting crap every day from his friends about not delivering on the doughnuts, so he chose last night after the concert to go pick them up.  So he's been getting crap for 2 weeks and then decides to finally get the stupid doughnuts on a night when the roads were icy.  He hit a patch of ice and went skidding around a car, dinging it in the driver's side door with the front passenger's side bumper on our van.  We're still not entirely sure how he managed that one.  He kept his wits about him and it could have been much worse, no one was hurt and only minor damage to the vehicles.  Angel #4 also kept her wits and, instead of screaming as they were slipping along the highway (backwards) she simply said, in a low, monotone voice:  We're going to die.  Fortunately for us all, that didn't happen and she made note of that when they finally stopped sliding by saying in the same, low monotone voice:  I thought we were going to die.  The actual horrified screaming didn't start until the cop asked the kids if they were boyfriend and girlfriend.  They quickly set him straight on that notion.  Because of where the accident happened, they had to turn around and go back to our town to file the report and, to add insult to injury, WE never got the doughnuts...but he did get a $200 fine for following too close.  Looks like someone's going to have to get a job to be able to pay for the inevitably higher insurance premiums we're certainly going to have to start paying now.

In slacker mother news, Angel #2 called me to inform me that the photography studio where she got her senior pictures taken is going out of business.  We still have a $75 credit at the studio because, though she got her pictures taken, I never got around to ordering any.  Yeah, she graduated in 2011.  My logic is flawless - if I had actually gotten pictures ordered, I'd have to buy a frame and find a place to display it and nail a hole in the wall to hang it.  This smacks of interior decorating, which is something I don't do, I leave that to my little sister, whose house is beautifully decorated and even has matching furniture that isn't older than her children.  I'm more of a hang a picture if there's an empty nail sticking out of the wall someplace kind of person. There were 2 of these nails in my living room, so that means that there are 2 pictures hanging on my living room wall, one a cross stitch done by my aunt as a wedding gift to us, the other is Angel #1's Marine picture which he ordered and gave to me - yeah, I never actually got around to ordering his senior pictures either.  :p  In case you're wondering, yes, I did order our wedding pictures- I'm just not exactly sure where they are at the moment. I guess I don't need to point out to you that I'm not really a picture person.

Monday, March 18, 2013

and now with new button pushing capabilities!

I started something new at work today.  Now, instead of hiding out in my office until 11:00, which is when I go to the back and start scrubbing dirty pans, I have to go out to the lunch line at 10:45 and enter the kids lunch numbers into the computer for a half hour before I sneak off to the back to become reunited with the dirty pans.  One of the office staff previously did this job, which left the other office lady in the office to dispense meds to kids who need them.  Apparently, the med dispensing is getting overwhelming, so the other office lady is going to stay in the office for an additional half hour to help dope up the kids.  I honestly don't remember that many kids needing meds when I was in school - are we just producing more of these kids, or are people being over medicated? I tend to lean toward the latter.  Anyway, I'm in training to do the computer lunch number button pushing thing, which will allow me to put names to the faces that I'm seeing every day - possibly.  I've got the worst facial recognition capabilities in the history of, uh....history, so we'll see how I do.

Everyone I know is officially sick to death of winter.  As I'm typing this, the snow is falling down once again and we're supposed to be getting 1-3 inches by the time it's all over.  It seems like whenever my driveway gets almost cleared off of snow, we get another couple inches to cover it up again.  This is getting really old, really fast, people.

Angel #4 has ANOTHER concert tonight.  I think that makes 4 music related events we've gone to in the last month.  This one is mainly for the elementary school and #4's only performance is tone chimes at the very end of the concert, so I'm going to see if I can skip out of this one. I'm getting about as sick of concerts as I am of snow.  Then it's only a matter of weeks before the track meets start and it all begins again (if the snow melts enough so we can actually see the freakin' track, that is).

Friday, March 15, 2013

im-possum-bly'd ticked pt II

The whole possum thing wasn't over after Monday night's homicide.  Hubs thought he'd pretty much possum proofed the coop before he left for Hawaii on Tuesday night...not so much.

Yesterday morning, I went to the coop, filled the water tank, fed the ladies, then went into the nesting boxes to see what they'd left for me in the egg department, and I got a shock.  Curled up, sleeping peacefully in one of the boxes was that blasted possum!  At first I thought it was dead or something, until I watched closely and saw it was breathing.  Shoot, not good.  Diesel doggy was going nuts, but the nasty little rat just slept on like it owned the place.  I put the dog outside, got a long stick and tried to get it out of the nester.  Our nesting boxes are 2 sided. There are four in a row, open toward the coop for the chickens to get in and there's also a hinged roof on the barn aisle side of the boxes, so I can just open it up and get the eggs without having to climb around in the coop trying to get around my chicken groupies without stepping on someone.  I opened the hinged roof part so it had an escape hatch, then went into the coop with a long stick.  The plan was to poke at it, wake it up and convince it that it should get out of the box (on the barn side, not towards me).  It didn't get the memo.  All that happened is that it woke up when I poked it, then turned toward me, hissing and barring its teeth like a vampire, not the shiny kind, the Nosferatu kind.  Not good.  Once I gave up on the poking thing, it just curled right back up and fell back to sleep.  At that point I wasn't quite sure what to do.  I could have gone all stabby on it with the long stick and skewered it, but that just seemed kind of gross and I'm not the pioneer women type.  Giving up for the moment, I went back inside and called WE at school to see if there was some way he (and possibly a helpful buddy) could come over and deal with it.  He had a track meet right after school a looong ways away and wouldn't get home until late and I really didn't want to deal with possum problems all day.  After I explained the situation and he quit laughing at me, he said I should try to shoot it.  Excuse me, but I am not Mrs. Grizzly Freakin' Adams, here, I don't have a clue how to shoot a gun.  He said if I couldn't find someone else to deal with the problem, he'd take care of it when he got home.

So, back out to the barn I went, armed with screws and a screw gun (that kind of gun I know how to use).  I got a bunch of boards and essentially screwed the possum into the nesting box then screwed the cover closed so if it woke up, it couldn't get out and eat any more of my chickens.  I then headed to work, wondering what the heck I was going to do with the stupid possum the whole time I was there.  When I got home, I left a note on my neighbors door, asking if he could come help me when he got home from work.  Shortly after, his daughter came over to say that he'd just had back surgery that morning and wouldn't be able to help.  Way to plan an inconvenient surgery, Tony!

I had no choice but to wait for WE to get home, which he did at about 10:45. He said he saw a huge raccoon in the neighbors yard when he went past (which is still running around loose because Mr. Back Surgery is hanging out in the hospital instead of staying home and shooting random animals where he belongs!).  I'm telling you, spring is definitely springing around here, it's like Wild Kingdom.  Someone also hit a deer just down the road, actually, I thought it was 2 deer until I saw that it had  been hit so hard it was in two separate pieces, the front one on the road, the rear end half in the ditch, gross, eh?  There were also what looked like internal organs scattered around, that thing must have been hit by a Mack truck or something. Anyway, WE gets the .22 out and tapes a flashlight to the barrel so he can see what he's shooting at.  About 15 minutes later, the deed was done and the dead possum is in a 5 gallon bucket waiting for its final trip back to the woods, where, if it had been smart, it never would have left in the first place.

This morning, I had to unscrew all my possum proofing boards so the ladies could get back in to lay eggs.  I also had to scoop the yucky bedding out of the nester box in the corner where the possum slept the big sleep.  It wasn't as bloody and gross as I thought it was going to be, which was a good thing.  Bloody and gross is not something I wanted to deal with under the best of circumstances, on a cold morning at 8:30 am, it would be even worse.  I'm going to have WE do a bit more possum (and raccoon) proofing tomorrow and hopefully I won't run into any more massacres.  This is all too stressful for me, I just want to raise my chickens and get on with life.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

im-possum-bly'd ticked

Angel #4 had Band-o-rama last night. All the bands, grades 5 - high school put on a concert. The high school band usually sounds good under normal circumstances, but after listening to the 5th graders perform first, they sounded Carnegie Hall ready.  The final song was all the bands playing together, it sounded wonderful and the 5th graders looked so proud playing alongside the big kids.

After we got home from Band-o-rama, I headed into the barn to close up the chicken coop for the night. I've been letting them out during the day when we've got good weather, they like being out scratching around in the sunlight.  When I went into the coop, I took out my flashlight to do a chicken head count like I do just about every night.  I'd just started when I heard a squawking and a chicken ran out of the coop.  When I looked over, I saw a big old possum.  Of course I yelled, a possum is basically nothing more than a giant rat. It ran off and I called hubs on my cell and told him there was a chicken coop emergency.  That's when I saw the DEAD CHICKEN!  That rotten possum killed one of my ladies.  I was NOT happy.  I think it was after a 2nd when I scared it by coming into the coop, it's intended victim was the one who ran outside when I walked into the coop.  WE came out to the barn with a tire iron, but by then the possum was long gone, though he searched around the coop for it.  Fortunately, we found the traumatized chicken outside and got her back inside.  Hubs spent a good part of the day possum-proofing the coop.  Hopefully we'll get out of this with only a single chicken fatality.  I think we lost 9 of them last year.  Stupid predators.

I also got the van fixed today.  Sunday on our way to church the alternator belt fell off (this is the 2nd time that happened).  We've had a problem with the belt squeaking on and off since early last fall.  We've brought it in to be fixed, but they were having problems locating the issue and the last time I brought it in to see if they could deal with it, the stupid thing stopped squeaking the day of the appointment. Which brings us to Sunday - after the belt fell off, we ran into some problems getting home and were fortunate enough that a guy not only stopped to help us, but also had the tools to put the belt back on right in his car.  That got us home all right, but then on Monday the belt started squealing really bad - like people on the sidewalk stopping to look at you bad.  It was pretty embarrassing.  So today it went to the shop and after spending way more than I wanted to, they finally fixed the problem (hopefully).  The woman behind the desk said she owed me a big thanks - she had 2 salesmen in the office who were very persistent and not leaving, until they brought my van in. She said it was screeching so loud they couldn't hear each other talk so the salesmen gave up and left.  Next on my vans Christmas list are new brakes and tires, then it should hopefully keep plugging along for at least a year before I get my pocket lightened again.  We're talking about getting a different car, by the end of summer if all goes right.  Now that we're down to only 2 kids at home, I'm hoping to finally get to downsize to a nice normal sized car this time.  I'm mini-vanned out.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Remember back when Doofus Diesel the dog tangled with a skunk and he STILL smells when he gets damp?  Well, WE did his part to make sure this will not happen again.  Last night he hit a skunk on the road...with MY van...which now stinks worse than the dog!  It happened so fast he didn't even realize it was a skunk he hit until he smelled it, then he claimed he did it to avenge his dog.  I told him that the next time he's going to go avenging, he should get out of the van and beat the skunk with a stick instead so my van won't stink so bad.  It's been parked outside in the rain all day, I'm hoping for the best, but I'm not too optimistic.

Today was Solo Ensemble for Angel #4.  She scored 1's on both her snare drum solo and her vocal duet and a 2 for her solo.  The duet judge said that the girls owned the song, and she was right. They did beautifully.  She was a bit disappointed on her score for her solo - if she'd received a 1 on that, she'd be going on to state.  Well, there's always next year.  We also enjoyed watching some other performances - there are some incredibly talented kids out there and it's so nice seeing a big group of teenagers, all dressed up and working hard on their performances.  I wish those people who seem to think all teens are trouble would spend the day at an event like that and see the promise that's out there.

Friday, March 8, 2013

bringing home the bacon

Now that I'm working outside the house, I'm bringing home a regular paycheck.  It's not much, but it's mine.  Yesterday, I got to literally bring home the bacon.  I'd ordered half a pig and it was ready to bring home from the butcher shop, so after work, I went and picked it up.  I love having a full freezer.

Wednesday afternoon, I went with hubs to drop off some materials at a house where he's installing a furnace.  I'd never even heard of this town before he got this job.  Turns out, according to a huge sign on the edge of town, it's the sturgeon capital of the world.  To think, all this time I've been living so close to the world's sturgeon capital and never even knew it.  There was also a very curious sign at the end of a long driveway that stated it was the:  Home of Cave Racing.  I'm not exactly sure what that means.  All I can envision is a bunch of people running through a maze of caves, and the first to see daylight again is the winner.  I'm sure it's not that exciting, but you never know.  Or maybe it's a car or ATV race that is through a bunch of caves, which would also be interesting.  Sadly, my imagination is more fun that reality in many cases, so it's probably just some guy whose last name is Cave who had a quarter mile mud track set up behind his house.  So on Wednesday on the way home from the Sturgeon Capital, the song Soul Sister was on the radio.  I remember hearing it because when it came on, I thought:  boy, I haven't heard that song in awhile.  Flash forward to today.  Hubs was working on the house and needed me to bring over some materials he needed to finish things up.  I drop the stuff off and head home.  I'm about 5 miles out of town, when Soul Sister comes on the radio.  How weird is that? I haven't heard it in probably a year, then I hear it twice in the same week, while leaving a town that I'd only been to twice in my life.

I thought it was Saturday all day today.  The kids had off from school and were doing Saturday things today and I got totally screwed up.  I hate when that happens.  Except good news!  It's going to be Saturday all over again tomorrow, so how cool is that? Though I can't sleep in, which is a bummer.  But Angel #4 is performing at Solo and Ensemble tomorrow and wouldn't you know it, she's scheduled to go very first of the day for her solo so hubs and I have to be there before 8 if we want to hear her sing.  She's got to be at school for the bus by 6:45 anyway, so someone (aka hubs) has to get up early and drive her there anyway.  She's got 2 more performances after that one as well, snare drum solo and a vocal duet, but she'll be done by 10 at the latest, so we'll be home early at least.  And,  I think one or both of her vocal performances are class A, so if she scores well on them, she goes on to state, which would be kind of cool.  She's got an awesome voice, so it could happen.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

this is going to go over like a lead balloon

We received notice today that the school has to make up days lost because of snow cancellations.  The first of these is going to be at the end of the month.  There is supposed to be a half day of school March 27, then, spring break.  Instead, there will be a full day on the 27 and half day the 28th.  If this isn't going to cause enough grumbling, it gets worse.  They also got a day tacked on to the end of the school year, so they get out a day later then originally.  It's not gonna be pretty, folks.

The prom is April 6, so we've got almost a whole month of pre-prom proma to go, then there's the mid-prom proma and of course, the ever popular post-prom proma.  I'm SO glad I'm not in high school anymore, though it is fun witnessing their anguish from afar.  Hopefully, this gets as exciting as the great Junior boys Homecoming rebellion of 2012, when the boys demanded they go to Taco Bell for dinner before the dance instead of to a nice sit-down place.

We just got done dealing with our bank in Hawaii.  This bank had a class action lawsuit filed against them just a few years ago because they were screwing their customers.  By the time the lawyers took their chunk, we bank patrons got a whopping $5.56 reimbursement check.  This time, the bank has decided to start a monthly charge to be able to view your check images online, something we've previously done for free.  Apparently, if you get paper statements from the bank, they mailed you a letter back in November telling you this.  But, if you belong to the majority of the world who lives in the current century and caved to all the save the trees crap they're always shoving down your throat, you get an e-statement.  Those people, the computer literate ones, didn't receive a notice, instead, we were supposed to wander around the banks website to find the notification we didn't know was there, that even now that I DO know is there, I still can't find.  Instead, we magically started getting a service charge taking out of our account and the only way to stop it is to mail them a letter or go personally into the bank and fill out paperwork to opt out.  So, even though we use e-mail to bank, they won't e-mail us important information we need to know and we can't opt out online.  Is it any wonder this bank  gets sued?  So now, we're changing our statement delivery, and we're going to get paper statements instead of online ones, costing the bank more money then if they would just use the same computer they're always trying to get their customers to use.  But it's the only way we'll get notification for the next time the bank is planning on screwing us over.  Yeah, Bank of Hawaii is a bunch of idiots. /rant

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Proma pt II

The prom voting is done, the votes are tallied and WE is partially happy with the results.  His girlfriend made it and he didn't, which was according to plan.  That way, he doesn't have to hear her pouting that she didn't make it and he doesn't have to rent a tux, required if you're on court, not if you're just going to the dance.  The evil backstabbing girl didn't make it, which made him smile wickedly.  But, only part of his well laid plan met fruition in his effort to cause even more proma.  He voted for his friend, not not his friend's girlfriend (who WE doesn't like) BUT, he voted for the girl that flirts with his friend and makes the girlfriend angry.  He was hoping that his friend and the flirt girl would get paired up for court.  Sadly for him and a huge hindrance for future proma, all three members of this little love triangle made court.  We'll see how this all turns out.

On Friday night, I had a girls night out with my friend Donna, Stacey & Jamie.  The 4 of us hadn't all been together in forever, so we had a massive gab fest.  We also did dinner and a movie and had an overnighter at a hotel.  Much fun (and talking) was had by all.  We're planning on doing it all again this summer, but this time staying at Stacey's family's cabin so we don't have to deal with hotel stuff, plus we decided that one night wasn't nearly enough, so we're going for 2 next time.  I was also shocked to learn this weekend that Stacey has never seen Sixteen Candles, so that horrible oversight may have to rectified during our next get together as well.  How can you go through life without ever experiencing The Donger???  V. sad

I was also telling my friends one of my bizarre family stories on Friday night, this one involving college scholarships, stuntmen and falling off roofs.  One of them said that if anyone else was telling the story,they'd think they were making it up, but since it was me, they had no doubt it was perfectly true because I've got a weird life that way.  Huh, a weird life?  Is that what you call this???  I suppose, looking at the big picture, stuff that I just take for granted as happening and don't think twice about would probably be considered major life events for most people.  I blame hubs.

Friday, the kids don't have school.  Angel #4 is planning on spending Thursday night at a friends house, hubs and I are going to pick her up Friday morning and get her passport renewed.  Her old one is expired and I tried to renew it this summer when WE and Angel #2 got theirs renewed, but because Angel #4 is under 15, her and both parents have to go to the courthouse to renew it, which is a major pain in the butt.  Not only do we have to find a weekday when she's not at school, but hubs has to be around at that time as well.  With all the traveling he does, along with him working and Angel #4 having school, this is well nigh impossible.  But hopefully,we'll have the ultimate tri-fecta on Friday and this will happen.  Stuff is already coming up that may put a wrench in our passport plans, so who knows if it's even going to happen.  It's not like she's planning on going anywhere soon or anything, but it's good to have your passport ready to go in case something unexpected shows up.  Hubs has been talking about an Australia trip for business within the next year, and if he goes, he'll probably take #4 with him, so she really should be ready.