Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Blargh!

We are moved - kinda sorta. It's still in that transitional phase where boxes are everywhere and you still have a couple of things left to do at the old place. In this case, I've got at least three hours worth of unpleasant cleaning such as the refrigerator, oven interior and washing the kitchen and bathroom floors.

My father-in-law, three friends and a friend-of-a-friend showed up to help us move, wonderful people, all! Though only one of them is likely to read this, I will say "Thank You" anyway. =) Thank you!

Now that we are here, we are realizing that there is more work that needs to be done than we had originally realized - the home is a solid little block home from the seventies, very sound architecturally, but in need of a lot of cosmetic work. The list so far:

Windows
Interior paint
Flooring
Kitchen cabinets
Bathroom
Minor drywall repairs
A few new light fixtures
Some electric work

Most of this we had planned on doing anyway, we just hadn't realized how quickly we would want to change things! The carpet in the living area is probably 35 years old and it is FILTHY. It is SO INCREDIBLY DISGUSTING! Benjamin managed to wiggle his way on to the carpet a couple of times, and ended up with black hands and knees. I've been wearing shoes indoors just to avoid stepping on that carpet.

Fortunately, between our current savings and my husband's opportunities for overtime, we should be able to get the majority of what we want done without having to wait too long for it. In the meantime, we're going to rip out that foul, hideous thing that once was carpet, because a cement floor with a throw-rug over is the preferable option right now!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

This is pretty cool




Aquatic Gardening

These are a sampling of the top ten from the International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest 2006

If I were filthy stinking rich, I would hire a personal aquatic gardener and have several of these throughout my mansion!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Reader meme

I seem to get most of these from Birdie

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback?
I prefer hardback but will collect any of these options

Amazon or brick and mortar? Internet sites if I know what I want, brick & mortar for browsing

Barnes & Noble or Borders? Both, but only for their coffee & desserts, otherwise used bookstores, library sales, etc.

Bookmark or dogear? Neither, I try to remember the page number

Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random? Neither alphabetized nor random - they're divided up into categories (adult, children, classics, favorites, etc.) and then usually grouped together by author within those categories (but not alphabetized in any way, shape or form)

Keep, throw away, or sell?
The rare book that is not kept is usually donated to a thrift store

Keep dustjacket or toss it? Keep

Read with dustjacket or remove it? with

Short story or novel? Both

Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)?
Both

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket? neither, really, though I do own one Lemony Snicket book - I got rid of the Harry Potters

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks? I usually aim for chapter breaks

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”? Both

Buy or Borrow? Both - if I really like a book I borrow, it gets added to my "buy eventually" list

New or used?
I prefer new, but usually can't afford it

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse?
Browse, followed by recommendation, never really read book reviews

Tidy ending or cliffhanger? Cliffhangers are okay, as long as there is a sequel with a tidy ending. ;)

Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading? Any time I can squeeze it in, which is usually not until after the boys are in bed (though my preference would be quiet morning reading)

Stand-alone or series? Both

Favorite series? The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard? The Continent of Lies by James Morrow

Favorite book read last year? I don't remember

Favorite books of all time? The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

Favorite children’s book? I couldn't possibly pick one favorite

Least favorite book you finished last year? I don’t remember

What are you reading right now? My history textbook, everything else is packed

What are you reading next? Whatever I feel like?

What book are you embarrassed you ever read? Any modern romance novel, even the "good" ones

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Dr. Librescu: A REAL HERO

Amidst the morass of news coverage of the school shooting in Virginia emerges one story that actually made me care, one event that brought tears to my eyes.

As Jews worldwide honored on Monday the memory of those who were murdered in the Holocaust, a 76-year-old survivor sacrificed his life to save his students in Monday's shooting at Virginia Tech College that left 33 dead and over two dozen wounded.

Read the rest of the article here

(MSN's home page does not even mention this man's sacrifice, though they've seen fit to include a link about US "gun culture" being criticized - I hate the mainstream media!)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday the 13th

The more important an appointment is, the later I will be.

This morning we were scheduled to be at the title company at 9:00 to sign the closing paperwork for our house.

This was my plan - be out of the house by 6:30 in order to meet my husband after his shift ended at 7:00. Drive to my in-laws and leave Vincent with his grandfather, then drive to the title company, which, if all went according to plan, would have us there on time or even early.

The first snag happened as I was leaving the house. My key jammed in the lock. It had turned just far enough that I could not pull it out again, and no amount of jiggling or attempts at brute strength would free it. Eventually, already running late and with no way of getting back inside to call maintenance, I simply pulled the keyring off and left the key in the lock.

I arrived at the agreed upon point of rendezvous, the left side of the J C Penney's at the mall close to my husband's work, only to discover that my husband was not there. No big deal, I thought, his shift-relief probably arrived late and he's a little behind because of that.

The minutes piled up and still no husband in sight. When I asked a man unloading a truck nearby what time it was, I was informed that it was 8:47. As my mouth dropped open in shock, the man corrected himself and said that it was 7:47. Shortly afterwards, my husband arrived, surprised to find out that I had not yet dropped off Vincent. He had misunderstood and thought I was taking him to his grandparents first, so my husband had gone to breakfast with a co-worker since he thought he had time to kill.

We decided that since we were signing our portion of the paperwork several hours before the seller would come in to sign, that it was better to go ahead and drop Vincent off and be late, than to try and sign important paperwork while keeping a three-year-old quietly occupied. I guess the universe just wanted to make sure that I upheld my reputation for being at least fifteen minutes late for any appointment.

Fortunately, everything went well, and it took only thirty minutes to go through the paperwork instead of forty-five minutes to an hour, which had been our real estate agent's estimate.

Well, in my long, drawn-out way, I have reached the pertinent conclusion to this story - (as long as a meteor did not fall on the sellers before they could sign their share of the paperwork) we now owe the bank a lot of money in exchange for the privilege of having our name on a document that shows we have the right to live on a certain piece of property. =D

Yay!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

meme

I first saw this on Birdie's blog


1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? My middle name is the same as my mother's middle name and my grandmother's first name

2. ARE YOU AN ONLY child? nope

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? No, but my printing sometimes looks nice

4. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Probably

5. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? nope

6. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? rice crispies

7. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? I usually wear sandals

8. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Physically, no - that's why I keep a man around the house ;)

9. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Mmmm, ice cream!

10. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? posture

11. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? selfishness

12 . WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? my family that live too far away to visit regularly!

13 . WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? blue jeans, no shoes

14. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? casserole last night, I have not eaten breakfast yet

15. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? whoops, that's a baby crying...

16. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Spring green

17. FAVORITE SMELLS? new babies, the coffee aisle, lilacs, baking bread, freshly cut grass, the breeze before a storm

18. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? my husband

19. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I like the person whose blog I plucked it from

20. DO YOU HAVE ANY PETS? no, but sadly I'm sure that won't last

21. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? none

22. HAIR COLOR? blonde

23. EYE COLOR? green

24. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? glasses

25. FAVORITE FOOD? my Mexican casserole, Mom's cheesecake, my oldest sister's rolls

26. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? both!

27. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Hoodwinked

28. WHAT COLORS SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? green

29. SUMMER OR WINTER? Fall and Spring! (Same as Beth and Birdie)

30. HUGS OR KISSES? both, provided they come from my husband, children or mother - hugs from family or friends of the huggy variety, and everybody else better be remaining at arm length!

31. FAVORITE DESSERT? mmmm, dessert!

32. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? women

33. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? men

34. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING? my modern American history textbook and my Dungeons & Dragons rulebooks (I feel the weight of my geekiness pressing down on me now)

35. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? the mouse

36. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? I don’t watch TV either

37. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SOUND(s)? my babies laughing or cooing,

38. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? beetles, especially those ones with the shiny green carapace

39. WHAT IS THE FURTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Ireland

40. SO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I'm naturally talented in a couple of areas, but I'm too lazy to make them special talents

41. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK? anyone whose blog I read

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Perfect


Is it bad that my first thought upon seeing this t-shirt was "but if she's headless, how will she---?"


Monday, April 09, 2007

I can't think of an appropriate title

That chocolate brownie I just ate was totally my husband's fault. Now, you might think "uh oh, they had a fight, and she's been driven to comfort food" but no, my husband does not drive me to chocolate in such a prosaic way.

Our son Vincent tends to be a little - curmudgeonly - when he first wakes up in the morning. He was lurking just inside his bedroom and my husband decided to lure him out by telling Vincent he was going to eat all the chocolate cake. Well, the lure worked - the problem was that we did not have chocolate cake. Having performed his mischief, my husband went to bed for the day. Have you ever tried to convince a three year-old that there is no chocolate cake when Daddy made it sound as if there were?

I had to go to the store anyway, so we came back with a couple of small frosted chocolate brownies that resembled cake. Obviously two was too many for a three-year old, so I graciously took on the burden of eating the other one.

Mmmmm.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Happy Birthday Vincent!


My firstborn is three years old today. He's just as much of a blessing now as he was when he first joined us, though definitely more of a handful! ;) Becoming a mother has definitely been one of the best things that ever happened to me.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Everybody's doing it

Random thought posts, that is - Pablo has started a trend! I'd link his name, but I'm too lazy right now. Just go to Evel Squirrel's Attitude Central in my side-bar. =P

I would like just fifteen minutes of uninterrupted time now and then, to drink a cup of coffee, eat my lunch, write a blog post - I'm betting that within five minutes, however, my oldest will have run out here to interrupt me once again.

I ran out of croutons for my home-made ceaser salads, so I'm using Crispix cereal pieces instead. Tastes pretty good!

Blogger does not recognize the word 'croutons' as a legitimate word. It's suggesting I change the spelling to 'mouton'. What the heck is a mouton? Popping over to dictionary.com now...

Mouton: sheepskin that has been processed to resemble another fur, esp. seal or beaver.

Yes, clearly more people are going to use the word 'mouton' than will use 'crouton'.

I've typed the word 'crouton' so many times that it no longer looks like a real word to me.

Wow! Five minutes and no interruption from my offspring! It's almost a miracle!

Hah - here he is now. Mommy, mommy, mommy....

And now the interruption from offspring #2. Boy, does this kid have regular bowels. A poopy diaper follows almost every meal. I must change an average of five poopy diapers a day, if not more!

Offspring #1 gets jealous when I nurse offspring #2, so he'll sit or stand next to me and hang on to my braid. Most children have security blankets or stuffed animals. My hair serves that function for my son.

I have an overdue library book. Buying a House for Dummies. It was very helpful.

Offspring #1 in bed for a nap. If only offspring #2 would go to sleep, too! Oh well, I suppose it's time for my daily effort at doing something productive - which will no doubt be thwarted.