Friday, August 30, 2013

a little of this, a little of that

First off, I want to let out a little SQUEE because Captain Jack Harkness sent Jenny, the Bloggess, a picture of himself holding twine which may not mean anything to you, but if you love Dr Who and read The Bloggess, you would squee also.

Next, if it shows you my utter disregard to the Packers, Jeannie, not only did I not know they were playing the Seahawks last Friday, I also had no clue who won or lost until you commented on my post.

In other news that shows that though I may be apathetic about the Packers and spend my time watching BBC science fiction/fantasy shows, I am slowly embracing the 21st century, though it kind of feels like the embrace you got during your first dance with a boy in 7th grade as Spandau Ballet is echoing in your jr high school gym and you really wish you hadn't drank all the punch at the refreshment stand.  I've decided to stop hating my smartphone a little less and see what benefits it will bring to my life.  Yep, I've installed a personalized ringtone.  By saying I've installed, I mean I downloaded something on a freebie ringtone site, then couldn't figure out what to do to make it be a ringtone, so I had to have WE finish installing it for me.  BUT, I did manage to download it all by myself, so I think I should get a few points for that at least.  Now, when I get a text, my phone says in a happy, little voice "WOO HOO a text message!!".  Angel #4 told me that the voice is that of a minion, but I don't know what a minion is, but it must be something vaguely cool since a high school freshman recognized it as such.  I'm embracing the future, people!  But I still hate my phone and am looking forward to the day I can downgrade it to a simple, easy to use little flip phone.  They call it a flip phone because it's the only kind of phone I flippin' know how to use.

Hubs found some further damage caused by the storm a couple weeks ago.  We've got a cement silo and it had a small cement cover at the very top, about 2 feet in diameter and probably weighs over 100 lbs.  It has a lightning rod with a cable sticking out of it.  Well, last week, hubs went into the dog pen for something and found that cover thingy lying in the pen.  The wind must have channeled up the silo from the bottom enough to push up the cover so the wind could catch it and throw it about 40 feet.  There aren't any dents on the barn roof indicating that it simply toppled over and rolled down the roof, it appears to have shot right up and landed on the ground.  The lightning rod is still attached.

Tuesday morning marked the beginning of teacher inservice for the school year.  To kick things off, there's a staff meeting with a few introductions and speakers.  This year we're getting both a new elementary/middle school principal and a new superintendent, so they were both introduced to the staff.  The meeting was opened up by a speech from a member of the school board, and then hubs was asked to speak as a representative of the general population.  He was picked because he gave a presentation last spring in a business class and really made an impact and the high school principal wanted him to tell the staff the story of how we decided to move to our town when we moved here from Hawaii.  We picked our home based on information we found online about the quality of the local schools, mostly a site called  Our school district was high on the list of good area school districts and that, as well as the fact that our town is within easy driving distance of 2 airports, helped us make our decision to move here.  Anyway, since we moved here 3 years ago, the district has only gotten better and we're now on the list of the top 25 districts in the entire state of Wisconsin.  So anyway, hubs gave a speech telling our story of moving here, our search for a good school for our kids and how they've exceeded our expectations since we've been here.  He also threw in a dose of humor and inspiration.  Last night I went to a back to school faculty picnic and I don't know how many people told me what a great job hubs did.  A lot of people had no idea how well we rated in the state, they knew we were a good district, but were really pumped up to see just how good we really were, they all had way too much fun going onto schooldigger after the meeting and comparing us with other area districts.  I'm pretty proud of my husband, he was certainly the hit of the teacher inservice meeting and if people didn't know him before, they sure do now.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

we nipped that problem in the bud

Tuna Catterole went to the vet to get fixed yesterday, so hopefully we won't have the kitten problem anymore...except the one kitten we ended up keeping is a female so we've got to remember to get her fixed in the next month or so, or we'll we right back at square one.

We also did some school shopping when we went back to town to pick up Tuna. We were listening to the radio and the song, Maggie May came on.  Angel #4 sat quietly in the back seat listening, and when the song was over said, you know, if you had to name me after a song, why couldn't you named me after someone nicer than Maggie May?  So I asked who she'd rather be named after and her response was "Lola".  Apparently she'd rather be named after a transvestite than a cougar.  Go figger

First football game of the year last night.  It was non-conference, but still quite a few people showed up, which just shows the power of high school football, especially since there was a severe conflict of interest going on, the Packers game started at the same time as the high school game.  A lot of people were watching the high school game, but had an ear bud in one ear, keeping track of the Pack as well, and the guys in the booth were giving updates on the Packer game during our game.  I personally, don't give a rats patootie about the Packers, but I'm definitely in the minority here in Wisconsin.

And Tanya, even though I'm skinny, I'm definitely not in shape.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's been awhile....again

Things have been busy around here and every time I think about writing a new blog post, I realize that I have to be someplace in 10 minutes, so put it off for another day.

Hubs has been on a bike riding frenzy this summer.  The other morning, he put 24 miles on, then that night wanted me to go on another ride with him.  So far I've managed to avoid going farther than 10 miles at a time, but he keeps trying.  He claims he's trying to get me healthier and in better shape so I live longer and I told him that if I live to be 96 that will totally mess up his plans of getting himself a busty Asian beauty for his second wife.  I'm trying to help him here, yet he just ignores me and continues to make me go on bike rides.  Monday we were riding uphill against the wind and I was complaining about it - it's great resistance training, he claimed.  I told  him that I'd been resisting this training for months now.  I'm only planning on living until I'm 75 or 80, so if I live to see 100, I'm totally blaming him.

The insurance guy was out here checking out the storm damage.  It sounds like we're getting a new roof on our house taken care of, which is great news since we were planning on putting on a new roof anyway.  The barn might be a little trickier, since the closer he looked, the more damage he found.  It would probably cost thousands of dollars to repair the damage, but the barn is already 100 years old, so I don't really know what they're going to suggest we do.  The garage was uninsurable, so we're not getting squat for that.  Upon looking closer at it, we discovered that it wasn't anchored to the cement slab in anyway, just sitting on top of it, like a kids Lincoln Log house.  It's a miracle it didn't blow over years ago.  We stored our recyclable stuff in there and I'm still finding pop cans and plastic milk cartons lying around the yard.

We finally got the 40 baby chickens out of our bathtub on Monday.  Two weeks of their stinky, noisy mess was enough.  It's finally warmed up enough that we felt safe keeping them in the barn instead of the warmth of the bathroom.  Things are hot out today, but overall, it's been a horribly cold August..and July...and June.  Winter better come late this year, is all I can say.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Indoor parking is overrated anyway

Well, it's been a busy week.

Monday morning we headed out to camp and had a wonderful week there.  It was great seeing everyone again, staff and campers both. Every year we see some new faces and some familiar ones aren't there, which is kind of sad.  But, it's how life goes and I'm always happy to see the ones who return year after year.

We spent the week at Rent-a-Grandma's house since she lives much closer to camp than we do, and WE stayed at home to keep things going here, including feeding the animals and all that other fun stuff.  Tuesday night - or, I guess it was actually Wednesday morning - at 1:30am, I got a text.  I couldn't figure out who was texting me and hubs told me to turn my stupid phone off.  But, with WE home alone, I thought I'd better check things out.  Yep, it was a text from him.  It simply said:  I just got home, the garage blew away.  There's nothing but a cement slab.   I figured I'd better call him.  He said he'd been at his girlfriend's house when the weather got bad.  They had him stay there until the storm blew over, well, it blew over alright.  First he had to drive about 20 mph because there was so much hail on the road that the truck was hydroplaning.  He turned onto our road, relieved he was almost home, only to see our neighbors tree across the road.  He took the ditch to get around it, then turned into our driveway.  He was going to park in the garage when he saw that it wasn't there.  High winds had blew it completely over.  That's when he sent me the text.  He said by that time all he could do was laugh - what else you gonna do??  After we talked on the phone, he went inside only to find out the power was out.  He made his way upstairs in the dark and toward his bedroom and tripped over his bedroom door, which really disoriented him, since when he left, his bedroom door was closed, now it was lying on the floor of his room. He's also left the patio door in the living room open, the wind had blown the sofa cushions right off the couch.  Further inspection the next day showed that our barn must have lifted up slightly and settled back down, because some of the support beams were laying on the ground.  We got off easy compared to some.  WE's girlfriend's family had 3 barns blow over and the tops of their silos taken off.  This is what our garage looks like now, poor Diesel is a little confused.

You can't tell from looking at the picture, but there used to be a peach tree where the garage is now laying.  There's just some branches sticking out from under the roof, kind of like the wicked witch of the east's legs in the Wizard of Oz, minus the singing Munchkins.  That white thing in the background is the garage door.  It skimmed right over the top of our LP tank, there's some red paint scrapes along the top of the tank, but that's it, which is great, because that could have been a dangerous mess.  The insurance guy is coming over this week to check out the damage.

All told, two tornadoes came through that night, one about 15 miles south of Rent-a-Grandmas house - though the town where she lives only had some branches down - we didn't even lose power.  But a church in the tornado's path was destroyed.  The second tornado came down about 7 miles west of our house, took out a ton of trees, barns and big metal electric poles.  It must have come right down our road since there's very little damage north or south of us, but there's tons of damage directly to the east and west of us.  We had 2 lawn chairs on our front porch, one of the chairs was pulled off the porch, went around to the back of the house, either blew over a 4 ft fence or over our used-to-be-garage, and ended up in the back of the garden.  The chair next to it didn't even lose its cushion.  Strange stuff.  Fortunately, there were no deaths or injuries that I've heard of, despite the fact that the National Weather Service or someone else was sleeping on the job and half of the towns hit didn't even have their tornado sirens going.

We didn't bother coming home to check things out, we figured the mess wasn't going anywhere, so we got home about 7 Friday night and did some clean-up.  We did more cleaning on Saturday, then headed almost all the way back toward Rent-A-Grandma's for a wedding.  I didn't really want to go, I was pretty exhausted from the whole crazy week, but I'm glad we did.  I saw a bunch of people I knew, but from all different areas of my life.  There were 4 people that I knew from church, our friend who goes in with us with our broiler chickens (which are happily cheeping away in the bathtub), my cousin, his wife and kids and one of Angel #2's friends that she hung out with last summer when she was working out of town.  Most of those people didn't know the other ones, so it was just kind of weird for me to see them all in the same place.  The reception was held in a remodeled barn and they did a wonderful job decorating it with burlap table clothes and mason jars holding candles and sheaves of wheat.  It was a really neat looking set-up and fit right in with the wedding invitation we received announcing that "Talia and Brian were gettin' hitched".

WE left on Saturday morning to spend a few days with Angel #1 at the military base in San Diego - it's #1's last leave before his deployment on the 22nd.  Angel #4 joined the high school football team as a manager, so she'll be going to practices 6 days a week until school starts.  WE starts cross country practices a week from tomorrow.  I can't believe the summer is going by so fast.  September 3rd we'll all be back at school.  This week should be fairly calm  and normal, with only #4's school orientation on Wednesday night for me to deal with.  I can use a little break from crazy.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

It's August, how did that happen?

Thank goodness the cold wave didn't last long.  We only ran the furnace for a couple hours, just enough to take the chill off.  Things have been in the 70's ever since, comfortable, but we usually close the windows at night as it still gets a little chilly.  This summer was a rip-off.

Not only that, it's about 2/3s over already.  The kids start school and me, work, a month from today.  I had to go in to work one day last week and get the lunch menu together for the first month of school.  We're celebrating International Talk Like a Pirate Day with spARGHetti and walk the plank garlic bread.  The school district just might regret the day they hired a crazy woman to do admin for the lunch program.  :)

Angel #1 turned 21 a couple days ago.  I can't believe I've got a kid who's legal drinking age, not that it's doing much good.  He spent his birthday on a troop transport ship somewhere in the Pacific ocean and won't get back to dry land until this Thursday.  WE's flying out there on Friday to spend a few days with his big bro before he gets sent out on his big deployment, which I think happens August 20, but he didn't know for sure.  He also doesn't know how long he'll be deployed, anywhere from 7-10 months, which is a pretty broad window, if you ask me.  He's going out onto the ship again for the deployment, I'm not sure exactly what he'll be doing and don't really want to know.  I prefer to think he'll just be hanging out on the Lido deck, sipping mai-tais with Gopher and Captain Stuebing.  Just call me Cleopatra, Queen of Denial.

We're heading out to camp next week.  It's our yearly pilgrimage to Keller Lake, a day camp for the mentally handicapped.  Except for the years we missed when we were in Hawaii, we've gone every year since '01.  WE has decided he doesn't want to go, so he's staying home, which isn't such a bad thing.  I've got 40 baby chicks getting delivered on Tuesday, so he'll be around to pick them up and take care of them.  He'll also be around for all those fun chores like potato bug squishing and stuff like that.  We tried to get rid of Tuna Catteroles kittens before we left, but had kind of a time crunch.  They just turned 8 weeks yesterday and we didn't want to take them away from Tuna before that.  I put an ad on Craigslist and had a couple calls.  We got rid of Weasely (he's a ginger) but he might becoming back.  Apparently, the people who took him were under the impression that as soon as they dumped him in their house, he and their dog were going to be BFFs and when they weren't, they called us and said they'd have to return him.  Yeah, they gave it a whole 8 hours.  Angel #4 tried to explain to them that it would take a little while, but I guess waiting an entire week for a new pet to get accustomed to your home was waaaay longer than they could handle.  The haven't shown up yet, so maybe they decided to keep him after all.  I almost wish they'd bring him back, they seem to be too big of morons to responsibly take care of pets.  It should have been a big clue when they showed up driving a smart car. Have you ever noticed that many of the people who drive smart cars...aren't?  Poor Tuna was really missing Weasely last night.  Angel #4 said she was sitting outside her window meowing half the night.  We'd brought all 4 kittens into the house so the guy could see them all, and then only 3 made it back to the barn, I think Tuna thinks we just forgot to take Weasely back out to the barn after house playtime was over.  I wish you could explain things to animals.

So, at the moment, we've still got three kittens left waiting for homes.  I'm taking the ad down tomorrow since we're not going to be home to deal with things.  WE probably could, but I'm already pushing my luck having him chicken sit. If you're looking for a kitten, we've still got Charlie (he bit someones finger) and Not Charlie (who looks like Charlie, but he isn't).  They're both tabbies.  We've also got a little grey girl, Banacatalotta (a distortion of the name of a character on Dr. Who).  But, we're planning on keeping one and Angel #4 really wants to keep Bana, so we'll see what happens.  If we can't get rid of Charlie or Not Charlie, but can find a home for Bana, she's going to have to go.  We really don't need more than 2 barn cats.  Tanya, we'll be out in your direction next week and we would deliver.  You interested??????