And the TV antenna is conveniently located in the attic. No climbing on the roof to get better reception of the exactly zero stations in the area! Genius.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
And the TV antenna is conveniently located in the attic. No climbing on the roof to get better reception of the exactly zero stations in the area! Genius.
- The dining room floor weren't at a 33 degree angle,
- The bathroom weren't so small it had a half sized tub,
- The walls weren't barely held up by the hundred year old wallpaper,
- The side of the porch weren't falling off,
- The "well" weren't just a hole in the basement floor,
- The septic didn't need to be replaced,
- The oil tank didn't need replacing either,
- There weren't signs of either rot or infestation
- That loft space would be amazing,
- The yard would be great for the kids and a garden
- The location would be great, and
- I might even (gasp!) be willing to send the kids to school.
Maybe I'll offer $100,000. The worst (and possibly the best) they can say is no.
Monday, April 28, 2008
- It needs a new septic system costing thousands and thousands of dollars.
- It needs a new oil tank (I don't know what that costs, but it sure as hell isn't under $100).
- It has "mostly" 100 amp electric.
And then I got an email from a friend who is buying a house down the street from the cheese house who asked me to let her know if it has character "not evident from the outside."
I don't want to think what that means. But I'll find out at 3:00 tomorrow.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
The nicest thing about doing this project has definitely been the kids' appreciation. They love their pants. Love them. As soon as I wash them, they put them on again. I told Sebastian yesterday how good that makes me feel. He told me that I made really good "sewed clothes."
He then proceeded to tell me that I should become a "business mama" and have a store for my sewed clothes. I told him I appreciated his faith in my abilities, but that I would not be interested. "Why not?" he asked. "You could be rich." I had to explain that the amount of time this would take would take away from the time I have for him and his brother. This whole idea stems from an episode of the Berenstain Bears he watched in which the mother becomes a "business bear" by opening her own quilt shop. I think he was planning to ignore the fact that Brother and Sister bear took over a lot of the cleaning when Mama started her shop. I have enough to deal with without setting up a sweatshop and maintaining all my usual duties.
But it does feel really nice to have such a little cheerleader in my corner. I have to appreciate this now before Mom's homemade clothes lose their luster in the years to come.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
I highly recommend the entire trilogy of Bourne films. They are all very fun without excessive gun play. They are plenty violent to be sure, but it is a good, honest, hands-on kind of violence. Not that laziness where you stand far away and shoot at people. Boring. I still think that The Bourne Identity was the best, but I loved this one, too.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Although, it does require a septic system which will cost anywhere from $10,000-25,000.
But did I mention it was a cheese factory?
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Not to totally demean that sad event, but then I got an upsetting email from Jeremy about a local establishment that we frequent. There is a farm where we pick our berries, which also started selling ice cream last year. And not just any ice cream, but the most wonderful ice cream I have ever had. I can not describe how amazing this stuff is, so I won't even try. But, basically, we have been waiting all winter for the stand to reopen. He went online to find out when that wonderful day would be (not knowing that I just drove by yesterday and made a note) and found their horrifying website. I'd always been curious about the large RV parked next to the house, but that's not so unusual around here.
Well, it turns out they use the gas guzzler to travel the country spreading their "God and Country" gospel. They even have a puppet show.
I should have known. First, there was the explosion of country craft excrescence that populated the newly expanded stand. Then at the end of last summer, they were not shy about saying that Sebastian shouldn't be wearing a dress (as if it's any business of theirs) and it made me really mad. But that ice cream...
Well, they can forget about seeing a penny of our income go to their creepy little ministries and close-minded nonsense. As if I didn't have enough to worry about.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
How, you may ask?
Well, I did drop off the stuffed animals in the morning. And I did drop off the 2 boxes of household goods/clothing at the thrift store. But then, the only Planet Aid boxes I could find were overfilled and when I drove 2 towns north to the consignment store, they were inexplicably closed for 2 days. So I only managed to unload exactly half of the heap in the back of the minivan.
But the good news is that I decided to make up for it by sewing some bags for the food co-op. Amongst Jeremy's heap of clothing were 5 t-shirts, plus one of mine, which were really not able to be donated. The collars were disintegrating, and a couple of them were from before we were married (8 years on the 6th!). You may remember that we made a bag for Jamie, so I just did the same thing with these shirts. Yesterday, the co-op officially stopped using plastic carrier bags and instituted their bag tree. So, I'll be donating the 6 bags I made last night (it only took 75 minutes) next time we go down there.
And, this morning, I found an empty Planet Aid box, so all I'm left with is the consignment box, which will probably just become a tag sale box instead.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I already carried the massive box of stuffed animals down the hill to the drop in center on our way to a "tea party" at the co-op. Dorian walked all the way and back by himself! No stroller pushing for me, no sir. Just awkwardly large box carrying a quarter of the way, but still. (At least stuffed animals are light.)
Today is also Sebastian's last jump and climb class, which Daddy will be visiting. The kids are jazzed because we are also going to Friendly's for dinner to celebrate. What better way to honor Earth Day than by polluting yourself?
On the way to class, I plan to make a few stops at the thrift store, the Planet Aid box, and the consignment store. That will still leave the KidsPlayce box and the giant tag sale box, but it's better than nothing.
Monday, April 21, 2008
So, the fabric for these pants was in the clearance section and after I saw the whole yard, I started to doubt my decision to spend the $2.50. It makes me think of what a McD's hamburger would look like under a microscope: blobs of ketchup and mustard, and weird bits of grey and black "meat" with a soupcon of germs.
Whatever. It still looks cute with both the skull shirt from Jim and Elena and the Ramones shirt from Dan and Sujan. And cute's what it's all about, right?
Sunday, April 20, 2008
I have not yet tackled the clothing situation, but already this morning I have put together
- 2 boxes for KidsPlayce
- 1 box for the thrift store
- 1 box for consignment
- 1 HUGE box to take to the in-law's
- 2 speakers and a TV (to be determined)
- 1 box for the drop in center
- 1 box for the Planet Aid container
- 3 bags of garbage
It's a lot of stuff. A lot. And there will be lots of clothes, too, I'm sure. Maybe one or two more boxes.
And I feel really good about getting rid of it. It is a weight off my shoulders. It will certainly be a weight off my back if we ever move. That's an entire car load of stuff gone. (Well, once I drop it all off.)
I admit that I feel guilty about giving some of it away. I swore I would be ruthless, and I think I was for the most part. If we haven't used it, haven't thought about it, haven't made definite plans for its use, etc, it has to go. But... so much of this stuff was given to us as gifts. I would like to think that the people who gave it to us put some thought into the presents, and it seems a little heartless to give away/throw away their good intentions. It's not like we're disposing of handmade items, but still...
And for whatever dumb reason, the things I find the hardest to part with are the stuffed animals. Other toys that the kids have outgrown or don't play with don't bother me a bit. But I can remember who gave them each of those little buddies, and I remember when, for a perhaps brief time, it was the favorite. Today, though, I didn't let it stop me, so there is a very full box of stuffed friends who I hope will find appreciative owners.
What do you think? Would you care if someone got rid of something you gave them, even if they no longer had a use for it?
Saturday, April 19, 2008
HM: Oh, it's just some mysteries.
S: What kind of mysteries?
HM: [tries to answer, but is cut off]
S: Like, how does a car work? Or how is a house built? Or why does a lightbulb come on when you flip a switch?
No, not like those mysteries at all, actually. But I wasn't about to explain all the (literally) gory details.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
So, yesterday at the park I was pleased to note that while the other boys were aiming at passersby, my boy was using his stick "gun" to "Shoot the quicksand! Quick!" and to shoot berries off a bush. Not the most sensible use of bullets, to be sure, but much friendlier.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I'm feeling pretty proud of myself right now. Some of you know about the adversarial relationship I have with my sewing machine. There are a variety of reasons for this including my laziness with pinning, bobbin problems, and the machine hating me. But I made my peace with it and there is no more screaming or cussing involved in my sewing projects. I will admit to muttering under my breath. One step at a time.
I would also like to thank all of you for either wittingly or unwittingly motivating me to get these things done. Knowing that I have told you I'm starting these projects makes me want to get them done faster (or at all). And for those of you who voted for my avoiding the blanket, you're only half right. Yes, the section I'm working on is a bear and taking me 8 minutes per row of 142 stitches--ugh. But, it obviously isn't going to be done for use this winter, so there's no rush. Spring pants do need to be done for the Spring, though, so the pant project takes precedence.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Well, maybe I didn't lie exactly. I just underestimated myself.
I finished the first of 4 pair of pants. The kids wanted to use the computer this afternoon and I totally took advantage of their absorption in a game to whip up the pants. They are chocolate brown with a light blue accented by pears and apples.
They are modelled by the recipient, my very own aspiring ANTM contestant. Unfortunately, his film wasn't so hot because he consistently chooses to pose while I'm snapping the photo, leading to excessive blurriness. Tyra needs to school him on his timing.
Dorian gets two crazy polka-dotted pair and Sebastian gets one more brown pair with a retro star burst accent. I cut out the pieces tonight (which took about an hour for all 3 sets instead of for one). I'm not sure when they will be assembled, but I will publish the pictures post haste.
It took me an entire hour to cut out the pieces. There were 3 of those. Three pieces took an hour.
This was mainly due to the absolutely nerve-wracking nature of cutting fabric. I was terrified. Terrified it would be crooked. Terrified I would follow the wrong size line. Terrified I would find some way to monkey up the whole works.
After listening to me agonize for some time, Jeremy pointed out that I don't get nearly so nervous when I completely wing it to make Halloween costumes, teddy bear clothes, etc. Which is true. I don't freak out about that at all. But there are some major differences.
- Halloween costumes are worn once, in the dark. Who cares that I don't hem anything as long as it looks like what it is supposed to be?
- I use the absolutely cheapest fabric I can find. We're talking 99 cents per yard.
- Homemade Halloween costumes aren't supposed to look perfect or even survive being washed.
So, as you can see, there is a lot more leeway in my usual mode of sewing.
At this rate, it may take a month to finish the first of the 5 items I had planned. Aaargh!
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Friday was not my best day. In fact, I spent almost the entire day in bed, only taking time out to feed the animals so they wouldn't eat the zookeeper. I was seriously considering checking into the local loony bin, I mean retreat, for the weekend.
But Jeremy came back at 2:45am, and that made things much better. We had a nice little middle of the night conversation and then he let me sleep until 11am. I cannot remember sleeping that late any time in the last 5 and a half years, so that was exciting. No, it was restful. The weather was beautiful and we had a nice family day playing in the yard. The boys were working on their tee ball skills and I bounced a ball on a racket 105 times in a row. Go me!
Today, I escaped for a while and went shopping. I spent some time in the fabric store, and am preparing to try my hand at making some clothes for the kids. This will be my first attempt at using a pattern. It is a very simple one and as long as I follow directions and don't cut the fabric incorrectly, it should all work out fine. The fabric is in the washing machine as I type, and I hope to start tonight, but we'll see. I'll be sure to post pictures when I'm done. I also got myself a top and a sundress, and a pair each of shorts and pants.
I know some like to treat themselves with pants that cost $150, but I think the treat is in the bargain. The pants I got were originally $40 (not nearly so expensive) but I managed to get them for $5.50. That's what I call a treat. And I don't have to forgo a spa vacation to pay for them. Bonus.
So, I'm feeling better and I'm extra glad that Jeremy is back. I don't know what I'd do without him. Now, I just have to get through the Vegas trip. And pretend that he's not going to Chicago either.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Jeremy is scheduled to fly American Airlines who, if you haven't noticed, has been cancelling lots and lots of flights to fiddle with some wires or something. I was not pleased to see that 570 more flights today had been cancelled. Luckily, his two were not included on this list. (And I'm going to try not to think about whether his planes have already been fixed or not.)
Only 17 hours to go until he's home, but probably 24 until I actually talk to him... (sigh)
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Quinn brought with her nothing less than Carmen Electra's Aerobic Strip Tease DVD. It was pretty ridiculous. For some reason, it was designed with a 12 year old girl in mind. (I refuse to think why.) All the credits and interludes involved a pastel rainbow background with cascading white stars. Quinn was totally correct when she stated that all it was missing was unicorns.
The workout itself seemed pretty lame at the time, but this morning I'm definitely feeling the effects. (It may also be because I had already done a cardio workout in the morning.) I heard a lot of spine crackling and popping with all the "body rolls" and I have to say, my upper back hasn't felt this good in a while. Who knew Carmen Electra was a chiropractor*?
Quinn was concerned she would not be able to remember the routines, but I reassured her that if she just bent over and flipped her hair around that would be enough. Because boys (I mean, men) don't really care if you are following a routine choreographed by the frightening Robin Antin. Am I right?
*See, Cortney, it could be so much cheaper for you to take up stripping. Then you could just show your clients how to flip their hair to correct their neck misalignments.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
D: Knock knock
S: Who's there?
S: Banana who?
D: Knock knock
S: Who's there?
S: Orange who?
D: Orange you glad I couldn't did you say banana?
S: You need to say banana more first!
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Yesterday we went to the park and the library, and because it was so nice out and we stayed so long, we went out for Chinese. The kids were happy and ate their dinners and even--gasp!-- tried sushi. (They were swayed by the fact that it was oshinko maki, Japanese pickles.) We came home, they had a bath, a few bedtime stories and fell asleep at about 7:30.
At this point, I gave myself a half hour of computer time before exercising. I wanted to make good on my promise to Jeremy to try to find an affordable spa vacation that would make me happy. I wasn't having a lot of luck because they were either aimed at weight loss or cost $1000 per day. Amanda suggested I look into this one place that is known for yoga and massage. I'm not really into yoga, but I checked anyway. Most of their programs were pretty unappealing to me and my rigid cynicism, but I found one that piqued my interest. It was a 3 day organic juice fast/detox. That's what I need: a good spring cleaning. So I scroll down through the info and come to the list of items to bring. Number 1 on the list? Enema bag. So, yeah, that's not happening.
I did my hour of DDR, started the next panel on the blanket, and read the first chapter of another Dorothy L. Sayers novel, Murder Must Advertise, then went to bed. (I'm an overachiever, what do you want?) This morning, I made pancakes, washed the dishes, did my 15 minute cardio workout + 180 leg lifts, and got the laundry started.
And life goes on as usual...
Monday, April 7, 2008
Okay, I totally fell apart into a sobbing mass of jealous misery. Because, you know what?, no matter how you look at this, it is totally unfair to me. So I am being a big baby about it, because that is what you do when life is unfair, right? You cry while peeing because the bathroom is one of the safest places to be hidden from children and a good place to get all your dehydrating done. You kick whatever is available that you can't break and won't hurt your foot. You feel that terrible weight in the sinuses over your cheekbones and know that they are all full of disgusting snot that will spill forth the next time you fall over the edge of self-pity. And you try to look cute so that you don't have to put on the sweatpants you'd rather be wearing that will only remind you of the exercise class you can't go to because someone (you) has to be with the kids. And it all sucks.
And mostly it sucks, not because I would love to be in Costa Rica right now, but because I want to be with Jeremy right now. I love him. And I miss him already. And when I think about the 12+ years we have been together, I can't think of any time that we went 128 hours without speaking to each other. 128 hours is a long time. Maybe not in the grand scheme of the world at large it's not. But in the grand scheme of my little world, it really is.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
After the kids went to bed, Jeremy and I broke out "Trauma Center" for the Wii. We borrowed this from Amanda and Nathan a while ago, but didn't get around to playing it until now. It is hilarious. You play a bumbling new doctor who has to perform a variety of operations like the one pictured at left. At one point my patient was literally erupting glass from his something or other. (Trust me, you don't want this to happen to you.) The game features ridiculous dialogue which is just displayed as captions on the screen next to anime style drawings of the characters. If you are lucky, you get to hear some footsteps approaching or receding. The part that was shocking to me was how truly anxious I became about completing the operation in time. It didn't help that every mistake included a gruesome sound effect of bones snapping or glass gouging, etc. It was fun on one level, but terribly stressful on another, and just confirmed what I've always known: Nursing is not for me.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
The layout you see there is not necessarily the way it will be joined in the end. I will have to wait and see what I come up with and how it all fits best.
And, I just want to mention that this blanket will decidedly not be used with those green sheets.
Friday, April 4, 2008
I'm very excited to start receiving our shares in May. The farm we chose has a huge orchard so it will be a good mix of organic fruits and vegetables. The first month we will also be getting maple syrup and jam. And now that it's all paid for, it will seem like a free box of organic food every week.
I've wanted to join a CSA for a few years now, but it hadn't worked out. Two years ago, we were spending millions of dollars on preschool, and then last year, the farm I thought I wanted to go with was just too far out of my way. This farm is more conveniently located and I know that I like their produce. And I can stop at Walker Farm on the way back to supplement if necessary.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Now, I realize she is probably a sociopath. Last week, she embarrassed herself completely by unapologetically bad-mouthing a house mate right in the same room. Then, they put her in the bottom 2 and when they kept her, she completely disrespected the loser by jumping around ecstatically and not looking at all humbled by her position.
This week, she was foolish enough to literally fall on her face during a photo shoot. On purpose. Maybe this is not the behavior of a sociopath, but it is certainly not the behavior of a sane, intelligent person. And it truly is not befitting America's Next Top Model. Top Models need to uphold some standards, you know.
I had already shifted to liking Katarzyna better anyway. And since I have the same history of picking ANTM winners as Jeremy has with magazine subscriptions, she'll probably be gone within the next couple of weeks.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Then he came home yesterday with his itinerary which includes, but is not limited to, a trip to a volcano, rafting down a river, and a zip line through the rain forest canopy. I am not okay. I am sick with jealousy. I will probably never take a trip like this. And if I ever do, it will probably be with him and it will not be half as exciting for him the second time. And it won't be free.
Not to mention he has to leave our house at 4:45am, so we have to say goodbye the night before and he won't be back until about 2am so we won't say hello until the next morning. But the joke's on him because he'll be getting up with the kids that day, yes sir.
And all this is just practice for the 6 day trip he'll be taking in May to Las Vegas. I am not jealous about this trip at all as I have no real desire to go there. The casino in Montreal where I pushed an old lady is more my speed. He'll have to work for that trip, too, so I hope he doesn't have time to gamble away our down payment. It's just very disheartening to know I will be on my own for another week.
I do have plans to go kayaking/camping overnight with my exercise class in May. Somehow, though, I don't think the Connecticut River will be as exciting to kayak down as whatever river Jeremy will be rafting down. However, as he pointed out, there is less chance of crocodile attacks. But I don't know what the residents of Clark Street are up to these days, so he could be wrong.
And if we didn't invite someone new over every once in a while, the floors would never get clean.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
So instead you get this:
My little sweet boy who never takes naps anymore that don't involve a car (another thing I used to congratulate myself about) fell asleep on me yesterday afternoon. And even though it was after 4 when he passed out, I still let him sleep on me for an hour. I am not so foolish to not recognize that this may be the last time my baby ever sleeps on me. As paralyzing as it is to be trapped under his hot little head (okay, it's a big head), I love it and I miss it. I miss the sweet little baby head smell (that has morphed into a boy head smell), I miss the soft snoring (that is much nicer than his wonderful dad's chainsaw effect), and I miss the prickly heat rash on my chest (I'm not sure why).