Tuesday, October 31, 2006

In honor of Halloween, write about a time you were scared.

I have become much easier to scare since I had kids. My subconscious seems to enjoy scaring the crap out of me from time to time, usually as I am trying to fall asleep (which is why I take Lunesta). It dredges up things I read or watched decades ago and waves them around until I am too scared to sleep. I can calm myself down but then it starts back up. The last time I wigged myself out really well was the last time DH went camping & I was alone with the boys. Our garbage can corral is near the window of our bedroom and wind makes the cans bump into one another and occasionally varmints get in them & are noisy as well. I know this. Rationally I am perfectly certain what I am hearing is rattled garbage cans and eventually I can talk myself into that but before I get there my subconscious gets convinced that what is actually out there is a couple of guys with knives or something wanting to kill us. So for awhile I sit there scared to death, plotting how to get back to the boys room, barricade it and get us all out of the house & which of my distant neighbors I might reasonably try to run to while carrying 2 small boys and chased by a couple homicidal maniacs. It never occurs to me to just call 911 in these situations. So I laid there for awhile, listening in fear, waiting to hear something, scared to death. I wanted to turn the porch light on but there is no switch for it our room (9 years I have been asking DH to fix that but so far, nothing). So in order to turn on the porch light & actually see what is out there I have to go into the kitchen, past the French doors, where anyone out there can see me, and then flip the switch. This is where sanity comes back. I sleep in the nude. I am 39, carrying around about 20lbs excess weight and a bit...um..saggy all over shall we say. I also have a gun safe in my room. So I am thinking that whoever is outside lurking with murder on his mind might just reconsider when confronted by a naked, shotgun wielding, crazy woman shouting that she knows damn well she is legally allowed to shoot his ass for being on her property. The thought of which sends me into a fit of giggles. I then get up and walk naked (and unarmed) through the kitchen and turn on the porch light. Back in my room I look through the window and see a varmint of some sort rooting around in the garbage. So I open the window and shout at it & it lumbers off. but I can't really get back to sleep because I keep remembering all the Unsolved Mysteries episodes I have seen with families in isolated homes being murdered in their beds by unknown people.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

favorite day of the week

I think it would be Thursdays because I have finally managed to get the hang of Thursdays (and will do just about anything to toss a Douglas Adams referance into my posts). Thursdays are my slack day. DS1 is usually in preschool (they are on vacation this week). I run my errands on Tues & Wed whenever possible. Mondays & Fridays is gym and tumbling class with both boys adn require lots of running around. Weekends are so variable it is hard to know if I am going to be able to relax or not. Thursdays though almost always mean I can do whatever I want for the whole morning. DS2 & I can go to the gym, go shopping, stay home, whatever. Apart from dropping off & picking up DS1 I have no requirements

Friday, October 20, 2006

Tell us five things you plan to accomplish this weekend

1. Drive an hour to return the cell phones we bought last weekend & cancel the service
2. Start over with new cell phones with a different company.
3. Not lose my mind while dealing with the cell phone fiasco and 2 small boys (yeah,right)
4. Find the source of the cat pee smell in the living room (it has to be the sofa or the carpet but while the air around them smells like cat pee, neither of them actually smells like it)
5. Do the Mission Possible assignment.

Really the only thing I am looking forward to is the mission possible assignment. I'd gladly pay large sums for someone else to deal with the other 4.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

If you could live in any era of history, what would it be, and why?

This is always a challenging question for me because there is so much to take into account. The thing is, for most of the eras that I find interesting & would like to have lived in, I would be dead now due to my appendix rupturing (I just remembered that it was exactly 4 years ago today, 11 days after my csection when i had to have out) The first successful appendectomy was in the late-19th century. That is assuming I survived the breech birth of my son right before it. Let's just ignore these things....

I'd love to live in Tudor times because that is my favorite time period. The age of discovery, so many new things being learned or old thing being rediscovered. New countries, new people, new foods, etc. The Reformation going on. It would be an exciting time to live. But I'd like as not get burned at the stake, or persecuted in some other way for my beleifs, which dampens my enthusiasm just a bit.

I'd also love to live in Roman times, between the rise of Ceasar and say 200ad or so. When Rome was out conquoring the world & again new things were being discovered as the world expanded. Plus there would be the chance to participate in the actual pagan rites of the mystery religions, like the Eleusinian Mysteries. I'd love to know what the true rituals were & how they vary from our own modern day practices. I'd love to experience a ritual at the temple of Vesta or Aphrodite. Just from a point of faith it would be fascinating, then add being able to see the 7 Wonders of the World, and all teh other incredible places now lost to us. I'd like to live in ancient Egypt for the same reason, and I'd love to visit the Great Library or see the pyramids actually being built.

Monday, October 16, 2006

new holiday

It's Bake a Pie Day! Today is the day when it is traditional to bake a pie. Pies are traditional food - both sweet and savory. Theya re the original convenience food, something nutritious wraped in a bread crust making it easy to take with you. Pies come in all sizes, from small 'pocket pies' to the mammoth "4 and 20 blackbirds' sized pie. People love pie but nowadays most just dont have the time to actually make one, or they don't know how. It used to be there was help in the kitchen for most people, even that help was a daughter or sister or mother. But now there is usually just one person in the kitchen and that person has to make breakfast,lunch & dinner, nevermind adding a pie to that. So since WWII, one day a year has been set aside to just make pies. Permission is granted by society to have pie for breakfast, lunch or dinner (or even all 3). There are many kids of pie so that does not mean you have to eat chocolate cream or apple pie only. You can make chicken pot pie or quiche. Let me also point out that it is Bake a Pie day, not Make a Pie day. It is perfectly acceptable to get a Swanson pot pie or a Mrs.Smith apple pie because you bake them yourself. So go bake some pie and enjoy!

We made pumpkin pie, from a fresh pumpkin with the help of Joy of Cooking. It's cooling now. And we have about 5 more cups of pumpkin puree to use up.

the weekend

We were going to go to get new cell phones Saturday morning. It's an hour drive to the place with the service we needed (that is a whole other story in itself). Tower goes down Fri night so DH has to go deal with that first thing but he said he had a plan so someone would relieve him by 10:30 so we could go. 10:30 rolls around....11....11:30 no call from him, no sign of him & his cell goes straight to voice mail. (he is standing AT a cell tower & his phone barely registers a signal, that is why it needs replaced) right before noon he calls& says somone is on their way. Now,I am a bit testy at this point. Ok, I am furious (it is that time of the month & I know I am furious hormonally & merely testy situationally). We finally meet up with him & drive into the traffic hell of the shopping plaza in question. It is 1:30 when we get to Circuit City. 2 hours later we leave with phones. The boys were great for about 20 minutes but the other hour & half or so they were rampaging demons, running around & touching everything. We had no idea it would take 2 hours to sign up & get phones. So being wildly distracted by demons I failed to ask a specific question, or perhaps I asked it & was misinformed or misunderstood the answer. Possibly I didn't really understand fully what I wanted to do in the first place. Whatever. Out of 14 phones to choose from I somehow managed to select the ONLY one that doesn't let you download ringtones from the internet or from messages. You can only get them from the Get It Now thing. So now I have to go back to the traffic hell plaza and exchange it. But it gets better. We may be switching carriers so DH & I (and our little demons) all have to back return everything to Circuit City and then go to a DIFFERENT store and repeat the process.

I love technology, but by and large, technology hates me.

So that trip sucked up all of Saturday. After the phone marathon we took the demons to an indoor playground & let them spend an hour climbing around a habitrail thing & then we they were tired enough we went to Olive Garden for an early dinner (good thing we were early too because about 15 minutes after we sat down every high school student going to the Homecoming Dance suddenly appeared looking for a table the wait was 90 minutes by the time we left.

Sunday we went to Applefest. We were going to meet up with various people and we'd said "we'll call you when we get there & work out wehre to meet up". There is NO cell coverage at all where Applefest is. No ATMs either & nothing takes visa. I was misinformed about the location of an ATM by the clerk at the lodege, walked a quarter mile to a store where I was told "Oh the bank took that out MONTHS ago because it was hardly used. They know that at the lodge". (further evidence of technology hating me) Fortunately she very nicely cashed a $25 check for me and the mess hall also took a check. I brought the checkbook because I wasn't sure about the ATM situation at the lodge but I knew none of the vendors took plastic. Despite all this walking we were there early enough to get on the second hayride of the day,which was only half full & the line waited about a minute. When we got back the line was huge and the tractors were full. So yeah us! The kids also got to enjoy the haybale playground largly empty, except for some other small kids. We went back later with Mel & family & it was full of 10-15 year olds who tend to knock down and bowl over the small kids in their play. But the boys had a blast both times. We also spent a lot of time by the creek with the boys tossing rocks into it, along with all the other kids there. Not sure what the attraction of tossing rocks into a creek is but it occupied a good half hour. We stayed much longer than we intended & had a great time. Depending on how the phone thing shakes out we may go again next Sunday.

We got a pumpkin there & Drake insisted it be made into pumpkin pie. From the way he was holdign it & talking to it I had thought he might not want it cut up but he was all for it being made into pie. DH found a recipie but first the pumpkin had to be baked for 90 minutes in pieces, pureed and cooled and THEN you can start the pie process. Well, it was almost 7:30p when the pumpkin was pureed. So the pie will be made today. Drake insists that he LOVES pumpkin pie. it is his favorite. He last had pumpkin pie a year ago, one my mom bought from a store. Canned pumpkin pie makes a sweeter pie than real pumpkin. Different texture too. We;ll see how it goes.

Friday, October 13, 2006

TV shows part 2

Tink - I'm getting into the new doctor. He seems funnier than Chris, which I like. But right now I still prefer Chris. My favorite Doctor is Sylvester McCoy.

Karen - I love B5! We have all the episodes on DVD. It was such a well written and well plotted story.

I forgot the other show we watch alot - What Not to Wear. Oddly it is my husband who loves the show. I like it but he loves it. He will comment on what people are wearing when we are out, about how their clothes fit or don't and what colors suit them.

Would you choose differently if you could choose your occupation again? Why? How?

No I would't. Not either of them. Though I didn't actually choose my last occupation. I just sort of fell into telecom, or drifted. Yeah, it was a slow process so drifted is probably a better description. I really enjoyed it & can't really think of anything I would have prefered to do then. Now I am a SAHM, which I did choose, and cannot imagine not being. it was a good choice. 3 years from now, when both little boys are in school all day 5 days a week I will be able to choose again what I want to do and so far I have no clue. I'm taking the winter off & doing absolutely nothing (i will have spent the previous year driving back & forth from the Primary school 3x a day with one kid in half day an one in full day. That is 6 30 minute drives 5 days a week. I deserve a couple of months of not needing to go anywhere), assuming we have no urgent need for me to work, but then in Jan 2010, or thereabouts I will return to something in the workforce.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

TV programs

Of all the TV programs, which one have you watched the most? Why?
Is it connected in some way to your life and/or perspective?

I think the show with Most Episodes Viewed would have to be Good Eats. I love that show & have watched it from it's debut on FoodTV. I love that Alton explains the reasons behind why you do the things you do when preparing food because it helps me make similar things on my own. He's convinced me to try foods I don't generally like - though he has failed with cabbage & onions. It is entertaining & I always take something away from it.

The show that has been Watched the Longest would be Dr Who. I have been watching it since I first encountered it on PBS in the late 70's but there was that 10-15 year or so hiatus between the last Doctor 7 episode and the first Doctor 9 episode. (I'm not sure how long it was because I relied on erratic PBS viewing & who knows how long after they first aired on the BBC they made it to PBS. I recall watching new to me Who in 1993 or so, but as much as I love the show I have never managed to know the actual BBC dates). I have not seen every episode, in fact I have only seen 1 episode with Doctor 2 and maybe 3 with Doctor 1, but I have seen nearly all of Doctors 3-7. Dr Who & Battlestar Galactica were my intro to the world of SciFi and started a life long love of the genre. (Star Wars was around that time but it was a one off movie in 1977 & didn't have the memory power of TV shows with endless repeats). Nowthat they are on back to back on SciFi on Friday nights I am in geek and nostalgia heaven (despite the tendancy of both to get a tad bit preachy about US policy).

Monday, October 09, 2006

The weekend highlights

We spent it in Maryland. We met up with friends Saturday & went to the Aquarium, stayed in a hotel & went to the Ren Fest Sunday. It was so rainy on Saturday. We managed to get from the parking lot to Cheesecake Factory for lunch without getting too wet and there was a lull in the rain when we dashed to the Aquarium. We were there about 3 hours. We saw everything in Pier 3 (exhibits are broken up into 4 Piers), which was Australia, the rain forest & reptiles. Derek was on his harness, which looks like a puppy backpack, so he was free to run all over the place & was loving it. We looked down on the area with the stingrays & he was convinced they were leaves floating in the water. Every time we came to a tank of fish he would shout CHIFSES! And point. Drake was enjoying just looking. He was rather quiet, I think he was a little overwhelmed. We gave him our old digi camera to use and he took about 10 photos there. We left to get something to eat (the others had not had lunch, we'd arrived early to eat), intending to come back & visit Pier 4, which is dolphins. We went to this place called Pete's, got soaked to the skin in the rain running there and then waited FOREVER for our food to come. It wasn't like it was that busy at 3pm. But the gap between appetizer and the meal was so long we started helping ourselves to coffee & bread from the nearby server station. (3 people ordered salads, 2 an actual meal & I had ordered an appetizer, which for some reason arrived with the meals) The kids were great for about an hour - 6 kids under 5. They sat & colored & played quietly but by the time our food arrived the kids were bored stiff (so were the adults) so they started running around the table (we were in an alcove) and behaving like normal active toddlers. If they had fed us with any sort of promptness we'd have been long gone before the kids reached hyper stage. We then gave up on the Aquarium as they close at 5 and it was nearly 5 when we finally got out of that lousy restaurant - and the food was not that great & overpriced. Then we went for ice cream for Drake's birthday at Marble Slab Ice Cream. A good time was had by all.

Then we headed to the hotel. Drake loves hotels. He took more pictures of our hotel room than he did in the aquarium. :) It had an indoor pool and we took the kids down to it to swim for about an hour. Drake swam with water wings for the first time, really swam, using his arms & legs, not just sort of kicking around on a noodle like he usually does. It was a late bedtime but the boys were asleep by 9:30 & we joined the others across the hall for Chinese food, but we all crashed by 10:30.

Sunday was the Ren Fest. OMG! The traffic! I guess since it rained Saturday everyone held off going until Sunday. We left the hotel about 9:45 for a 16 mile drive. It should have taken about 20 minutes top. Ren opens at 10 and we figured we'd be there just after it opened. WRONG! The line to get to the parking lot began on I97, 5 miles from the faire site. It took us over an hour to travel those 5 miles. Our friends left the hotel about 15 minutes after we did and arrived at the faire 45 minutes later than we did. It was packed with people inside. Too crowded to really be as enjoyable as usual. When we left at 3:30 there was still a mile long line of traffic waiting to get in to the parking area! We did not do garb for only the 3rd time in 14 years (we didn't in 1992 because that was the first time & we didn't have any & we didn't in 2002 because I was 37 weeks pg & nothing fit). It had been so rainy we just didn't want to deal with mud in garb. We only took about a dozen photos which is an all time low for us & just proves it was too crowded to see anything. Drake had his camera and took about 50 so we have lots of toddler eye view shots (people from the waist down). The boys dropped off to sleep before we even got out of the parking lot & slept about 90 minutes, waking up just as we were pulling into Pizzaria Uno's. We got home about 7pm.. I was bone weary, still am. It was a fun weekend. I'll have to put up a "drake's vacation" collection of his photos. He takes well composed photos, only slightly marred by the occasional finger in the shot or extreme blurriness, but about 2/3 of his photos are good ones. Pity they are almost all of people's legs. :)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

what I hear right now

- a Mickey Mouse video that Drake is watching
- Derek breathing heavily fom running into the room
- crickets outside (door is open)
- Drake kicking/moving a toy truck with his feet as he watches
- the tapping of my keyboard

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

5 minutes

We're thinkiing of buying some land, only we have no downpayment and we can only get a loan for 70% or so of the value of the land if we get a land loan. So we're looking at using some equity and getting a 2nd mortgage to pay for the land, plus roll in teh HELOC balance & a CC. We've got a GREAT deal on our 1st mortgage 5.5% interest, payment is $730 a month (including PITI). 2nd loan would be for $13,000 less than 1st and only 15 years instead of 30, plus interest is 7.9%. Payment is $816 a month. That just weirds me out almost too much to do it. Once you roll in the payments to the other things, we're around the $500 a month we were willing to pay for the land, but just seeing the number is freaky. Then we had AFLAC here today to get 'that insurance that pays when you can't work" and I had to figure out how much coverage we wanted and adding that $800 into the 'must pay' column totally freaked me. I know people pay $1500-1800 a month in mortage or rent around here but having a $700-800 one for 8 years has spoiled me.