Showing posts from August, 2008

Picture dump time with three quiz questions

This is Jim, Ben, Katie and Karisa. Guess which state we are in? (Five points)
This is the desk that Art liked so much. Now that it's lavender, Katie likes it too. She wants to paint her chair to match.
This is the house where Katie lives now.
This is Katie sitting at her new desk on the chair she wants to paint, next to her futon. See the unmatched socks under her chair? She brought them. I don't know why. They have no matches. I am supposed to watch for the matches here and then send them to her. But I don't know which socks they are. So I told her to take a picture of the socks and email the picture to me.
This is Katie playing Sara's piano.

This is Katie driving around her new city. Guess which street she's driving on? (1 million points)
This is the cool menorah on Sara's piano. Guess why I love it. (10 points)
This is Jim showing Katie how to check the oil. Just one of the many things we tried to teach her or tell her about or advise her on before …

Open pillow, insert head

We are home and we are both tired.

The "cockroach" mom found in our basement was a cricket. I worried for about three hours during our trip home that we had an infestation. Thankfully, it was just Jiminy and therefore nothing to worry about. *flush*

Do I have to?

One more day of sitting shotgun in the little red pickup truck. I am so tired of being in a vehicle. We've been driving since Monday. I'm tired of eating out. I want homemade soup.

Are we there yet?

There. I got that out of my system. I am looking forward to Devil's Tower and the Black Hills. Then I will be looking forward to getting home and seeing the rest of the kids.

Check out my dad's blog (labeled "The Dad" on the sidebar, duh) for a "rundown" (HA) on Paul's first cross-country race. I'm glad he was able to go. I wish I could have been there, but there will be other races.

This is a short post because all I've done since I posted last is watch TV, sleep, wake up, sleep, wake up, sleep, wake up, sleep, wake up (I don't sleep very well in motels), shower and eat.

Next post will be made from home. Yay!

The Devil's Tower made me blog

So we are just a few miles from Devil's Tower in Wyoming. The hotel we are staying at has a lovely "Ring for Service" bell that sounds like the musical phrase oft repeated in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" to signal the alien ships. How apropos.

I have been avoiding calling Katie during our trip because I don't want her to feel like I am clinging to her or hovering via cell phone or checking up on her. She's a big girl now and I have to try to remember that. I know she doesn't need us anymore on a daily basis. BUT JIM CALLED HER while I was in the bathroom at a gas station! Look who is hovering now! He said that she has already been to the bank to move her account and change the address on her checks and she and Sara are going to go to the DMV for the license change sometime soon. (for those of you who don't know, Sara is Jim's cousin and she and her husband David are Katie's landlords now) She is moving on in her own direct…

Ticket to Ride

The separation is complete. Jim and I are in Jackson, Wyoming, and Katie is in Salt Lake City. Just popping in for a quickie post before I hit the sack.

I had to pack a lot of nagging into a very short time while we rode TRAX to Temple Square. At one point, Katie rolled her eyes at me--WITHOUT TRYING TO HIDE IT. I told her she is required to listen to me as long as I am in her presence. She wasn't having any of it, but I continued on relentless in my duty as a mother to give advice: "Now if anyone makes you feel uncomfortable on while you ride the train, you get off at the next stop and call Sara and David or Art and Karen. They will help you. Make sure you get to the TRAX stop at least 15 mintues before the train is scheduled to leave and leave enough room in your plans to get to work at least 5 minutes early." Etc. Yes, we are bullying her into riding the light rail to work. The Sandy station is a park and ride just a mile or so from her house, and the stop sh…


Katie got the job at Sam's Club!

Yesterday was jam-packed with things-to-do. I can't even begin to detail all the things we did to get Katie settled in to her new place. I think I can only list them.


See new place (note that there is a PIANO there! WOOHOO!)
Unpack all her stuff
Go to IKEA to find a bed and a desk
Get frustrated at the complex maze setup of IKEA, a maze so difficult that the brightest lab rat would be tearing out his whiskers after the "Kitchen and Dining room" area
See strange beds, including a half-circle bed that Katie really wanted
Remind Katie that as a recent high school graduate and newly independent young woman, she is not yet entitled to new furniture
Leave IKEA without buying anything
Find another furniture store with the help of Uncle Art--without Art's help our furniture buying adventure would have lasted the whole day
Buy a futon for Katie to sleep on (she wanted a couch, I wanted her to have a bed, so we compromised on a futon)
Go across …

"I have no idea where I am"

"But I know I'm in Utah."

Those were Katie's first words to me this morning. She'll learn her way around eventually.

Last night we dropped Ben off at his sister's house in Centerville. His sister has THE cutest dog in the entire world! It's a miniature dachshund and it was giddy with excitement to meet new people. I didn't help unpack Ben's drum set because I just had to cuddle that little doggie! I have a soft spot for doxies and this one jumped right into that soft spot and wiggled around and made herself at home.

And then through the darkness and on a freeway that I've never actually driven on (and KATIE was driving and I was riding with her) I guided Katie right to Art and Karen's house. Seriously, I went straight to it, having been here only a handful of times and the last time was 6 years ago. I usually get lost VERY EASILY, but this time, I followed my hunches and they led me in the pat…

On the road again

We were just through here three weeks ago, coming back from Durango.

The drive is going well. The kids are in good spirits and the parents are too. I have discovered that I don't get car sick when I knit, but my shoulder does protest when I knit too long. I'm almost done with the second sock. Yay! Then there is Matt's alien head scarf to finish too (I have three alien heads done, two more to go!)

We stopped briefly at my cousin's house in Waukee, Iowa. Josh wasn't home, but his wife was and she had snacks set out for us (Thanks, Courtney!). We visited for about twenty minutes. They live in a nice area--very beautiful--rural but close to his job and close to a downtown area. Their dog Dacia is HUGE. I'm not sure she's actually a dog; she could be part horse. And Ciomara is a cute little girl and very friendly. Asher was asleep and Tristan and Melina (did I get the names right?) were at school.

What else can I tell you? The road is the same as it h…

The end of the beginning

This is it, folks. This is the day we shove the oldest chick out of the nest in our quest to empty it.

We leave as soon as the truck is packed--Jim just needs to put the topper on the truck bed. Katie sure has a lot of, er, stuff. And Ben, who is hitching a ride with Katie is taking his DRUM SET. Yes, an entire drum set!!! The bass drum and snare are in the back seat of Katie's car and all the poles and widgets for the frame and the seat and the bass pedal are in the bed of Jim's truck. Like I said to Jim, boy, I'm glad Katie plays the flute and piccolo.

For those of you who haven't said your goodbyes to Katie, well, you missed your chance. Send her an email, if you like. Email me or leave a comment on this post and I'll send you her email addy.

As I said, this is the end of the beginning. The beginning of a marriage--Jim's and mine. We started off early with the babies and now, one of them is leaving. For twenty years, nearly, Jim and I have been rai…

Run Away!

I missed most of Paul's cross country tryout. I thought the race started at 8:15, but when Jim and I got there at 8:16, the first runner was about 100 yds from the finish line. So no picture, but we did get to see Paul's third place finish as we were walking to the race from the car. He's on the varsity team!

First place went to a junior, and second place to the senior captain. Then our little Pauly! A couple of other freshmen made the varsity team too. So they have a young team.

On the docket for the rest of the day: clean the house and pack up for Monday's trip. And make chili for Katie's farewell dinner.

One of these days, I'll get a picture of Paul running. That's my new quest. A running Paul is almost as elusive as Bigfoot (the real one, not the fake one).

Ten Things in the latter half of August

1. I went on a walk this morning and passed by the Rodent Graveyard. It's a big retaining wall, at least 15 feet high, and it always has decaying small rodent bodies at the foot of it. I spotted two carcasses today. And a dead bird.
2. While volunteering at the school yesterday, I saw a girl with REALLY big hair. Amy Winehouse big. She had that pouf thing going on on the top of her head; it gave her at least 8 inches of extra height. I had a hard time not staring at it. I wondered how long it takes to construct a hairy edifice like that--unlike Amy Winehouse's pouf, this girl's was made from her real hair, as far as I could tell.
3. Paul got his picture taken for school and his class schedule yesterday. A senior talked to him while they were waiting in line for pictures (it was a VERY long line). The senior is one of the captains of the cross country running team. Paul felt very special that he was chatted up by a senior.
4. The timed try-out for varsity cross cou…

Find empty piece of wall. Bang forehead on it. Repeat until a hole develops...

Spackle and repaint the hole. Start all over again.

I used to think I'd have a nicely decorated house. I do love looking at home decor magazines and websites. But then I had children. I've given up on the home decorating front and am millimeters away from giving up on cleaning all together. It's hard to believe you'll ever have a nice home when you come across this:
Children. What are they good for? Finding amusing and surprising places to put office supplies.

Yes, I love my children, yes, I spend time with them. Yes, I do realize that a close and happy family is more important than an antiseptically clean house with matching stylish furniture and fingerprint-free appliances.

But do I have to suffer this kind of injustice everywhere I look? My few efforts at home decor are undermined at every turn by five miscreants, each with a subversive sense of humor. And these miscreants ARE OF MY OWN MAKING. I had to practically stuff my mouth with cat hair and leaked pillo…

Next please!

And the back-to-school festivities continue today and I have a three-hour layover at high school central. In other words, I'm volunteering to help with the picture-taking and the schedule-handouting. Today I help herd teenagers into lines to get their picture taken. I get free pictures of at least one of my children for my services. I hope Jimmy won't be too embarrassed to have me there talking to his friends and telling them what to do.

Tomorrow I'll help hand schedules out to frightened little 9th graders who have never been to such a big school and don't know where anything is and look so small compared to the massive sequoia forest of senior boys. Paul is one of those "frightened freshmen," but he does know his way around the PE area and possibly the band room. He's been forced into the auditorium (theater) more times than he probably wanted to be, on account of Katie doing so dang much on the stage in one kind of performance or another.

Speaking …

On the horizon

Today, we begin the back to school preparations. School won't start for another 2 weeks and change, but Hayley has schedule pickup and pictures at the middle school this afternoon. My huggy baby girl is heading off into the world of middle school with its preteen angst and sudden need for being popular. Katie was ready for it, Paul and Jimmy welcomed it, and I was fine with those three growing up, but Hayley is still, in my mind anyway, one of my "Little kids."

And she's much more of a little kid than Katie was at the same age. Katie was chompin' at the bit to shave her legs all through 5th grade, and I wouldn't let her until she was officially a 6th grader, which meant she came home at the end of fifth grade after the last day of school, dropped all her end-of-the-year crud on the entryway floor, and barged into wherever I was and announced, "OK. I'm not a fifth grader anymore. Time to teach me how to shave." But not a peep out of Hayley r…

Rock on!

Are you ready to ROCK???

Har.This is the rock that I mentioned in this post. And I promised to write about in this post. And the story that people and other people asked for is now about to be answered.

Isn't it cool? It's so ovoid. In fact, it's nearly perfect in its oval spherocity. It is no wonder that I had to take it to college with me, and on every locational shift I've undergone since then.

The Story of the Rock
AH, summer vacations in Cali! How Jenni and I looked forward to our weeks in Yuba City/Biggs (and on a couple of occasions, San Diego--many thanks to my aunt and uncle for taking a couple of lost little girls with them to give them some happy memories during a difficult time. Fear and sadness did not exist in California. I will never forget "Grease" "Hot Feet, Cold Deet"--shout out to a very excited and young cousin Andrea-- the beach and making tuna sandwiches, Uncle Bud losing his ring in the surf, Neil Diamond's Forever in …

200th post!

Hooray for me!

I've kept at this for six months!

And, as I like to do on these historic occasions, I would like to give a shout-out to my readers (or as I call them in the real world: family!) SHOUT OUT. wooooo

Winner of the 3333rd visitor award goes to Bessie of Arizona! You'll receive an invisible prize packaged in an invisible envelope, secured with invisible tape and addressed with invisible ink! Enjoy!

And to the person who seems to like my blog and hails from Denver: hello, even though I have no idea who you are.

And a celebratory pose from me:
Hat by Disney Princess Limited (because I am a princess)
Tie-dyed shirt by Jen-is-freakin-awesome
Pants by Canvas Tents for Fat Women Over 40
Camera Case by I'm Just Here for Looks, She Never Uses Me to Hold the Camera (She always gets to hold it).
Picture by Mother-in-laws are wonderful!

Thank you!

PS: Rock explanation tomorrow.

PPS: And because I'm a number nerd, I love how this post officially posted at 12:34! I consider 12:34…

Oats, Peas, Beans *sniff* and Barley....

are dead.

I was going to post about the rock mentioned a couple posts ago; to answer two people's question about it. But I haven't the heart to post happy things today.

Today's chore focus for the kids is the yard. I asked children to weed in the vegetable garden and mostly to pull up the dead pea plants (Key word: DEAD) and pick beans off the LIVING bean plants. Get that? So half an hour later, they came streaming back in with a bucket of beans. I went out to size up their weeding accomplishments and my heart sank.

Someone had pulled up the nice green living BEAN plants and left the DEAD PEA PLANTS in the garden. The person who pulled the wrong plants shall remain nameless--I'm not mad at this child, so I will protect his or her identity. I should have gone out there to point out which plants I wanted pulled. But I am still very sad. The bean plants still had months of production left in them. And I still have to go out to pull up the dead pea plants, but I don…

A morning in the mind of Paul

Imagine that you are Paul.

You get up in the morning at 7:30 a.m. to meet for cross country running practice. You eat a bit of breakfast--nothing too heavy--and drink some water. You run your head under the tub faucet just to clean your hair a little before getting it all sweaty and sticky. Plus the wet hair feels good on the bike ride to the school.

You head off to school on your bike, avoiding early morning joggers, other bikers, oncoming morning traffic, and the occasional grasshopper.

You arrive at school just in time. The team is beginning to assemble. Coach sends everyone off on the assigned route: up Cty Rd 27 to Cty Rd 16, right to Vernon, down vernon to 42, cross 42 to Dufferin Drive, right on Dufferin and back to 27 and on to the high school.

Your thoughts as you run:
Must keep up with Justin. Justin's the second fastest and I can do it. I can keep up with Justin.

Past the water tower. There's the fitness center on the left.

Don't step on the squished frog.

Ooh, …

Three things I am patting myself on the back for

No, I did not end a sentence with a preposition. There is no period at the end of my post title, therefore it is not a sentence, and therefore, I can end it with "for" if I want to. So there. And if anyone complains further, I will pull a Sam Malone and say, "Three things I am patting myself on the back for, MUTTONHEAD." (Can't remember which Cheers episode that was from, but it's a fave).

Thing number one: I surprised my children this morning with BREAKFAST. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit we are a cereal-eating family--all except Katie, that is, who eats burritos for breakfast when she can get them. We eat cereal for breakfast almost exclusively. Why? Because I am a lazy mom. I just can't bring myself to stand in the kitchen for breakfast, lunch and dinner (lunch is another meal where the children must fend for themselves--although I usually point out what is available). But today, a gentle but persistent rain fell upon Savage, and althoug…

Rock 'n Run

Paul started official team practices for cross country running this morning. He's excited to be part of a team. But the pressing question in my mind is, how do they punish cross country runners in practice? With other sports, the punishment is usually "Run X laps, all you scurvy dogs!" (well, other words might be employed instead of "scurvy dogs" And "X" is always a variable). But for cross country runners, laps are no big dealio, right? So does the coach say, "Stand still for 15 minutes, all you scurvy dogs!"? Or does he make them do batting practice? Or does he make them "go long" and catch the pigskin?

In other news, Katie has started packing for Utah. She's taking a rock. I told her, "You aren't taking THAT, are you?" and then the little voice in my head reminded me that I took a rock with me when I moved out of the house. And then I smacked the voice in my head. (Yes, I still have the rock)

And a per…

Silly Feet linky

Because I love shoes, I must pass this along:

Craziest shoes from around the world

I could look for hours. And I would love to sit for hours and try some on. I wonder what heel-less heels feel like to walk in? And the red patent ballet shoes with heels.

When I was a kid, I would draw high heeled shoes for hours. Sadly none of them were as creatively weird as some of these shoes. But I did draw some REALLY stiletto-y shoes. And I liked drawing ballerina feet en pointe.

Even now, when I go out in public, I would rather look at people's shoes than people's faces.

I'm back to posting trivial minutae about my homelife.

We've been back home for nearly a week and all I've done is post pictures from vacation (except for Jimmy's birthday). So it's time to be done with that and go back to blogging about things like how many dust bunnies I found in the plastic food container cupboard (8) or what I bought at the cross-country running team's fundraising garage sale (2 puzzles, warmup suit for Hayley, sweatcapris for Hayley and a music stand with a carrying case).

Or I could blog about Hayley being back home and how nice that is because I missed the little thing. Matt missed her too. Since she's been back, she's been a little social butterfly, calling up her friends, going to their houses to visit to make up for the 7 weeks she was gone. I made her stay home yesterday because she had been gone so much since we got home! She and Matt asked to do a lemonade stand. Fine with me! They were outside and having a good time, which meant they weren't pestering me. I like the sig…

Ten Things I learned while moderating Werewolves of Miller's Hollow

But first, some pictures with captions. Sadie is the helpful witch, ready to use her healing potion on the werewolves' victim or her poisoning potion on who she thinks might be a werewolf. She works her magic while the townspeople are sleeping. And all the while eating funnel cake.
Some werewolves pick a victim.
The townspeople vote to lynch Morgan, who they think is a werewolf. She has adopted a palms-up-and-out stance (while sitting--very difficult to do) to suggest that she is innocent. Sadly it did not work. She was lynched.
A werewolf card.

Now on to the Ten Things.

1. Don't use gender-explicit pronouns when referring to any of the named characters. The kids pick up on that and say, "Oh, she said 'he!' The remaining werewolf is a guy!"
2. Cupid (although the game called the character "Cupido") (which I find stupido) is the favorite character by far. Everybody wanted to be Cupid.
3. Why? Because Cupid gets to pick the two "lovers"…

Happy birthday, J!

Jimmy (or Jim, which I will never get used to calling him--his dad is the Jim in the family) is now 16!
He had such ginormous eyes when he was a little kid. This picture was taken after he tried out daddy's razor--guess where? Most of you know the story. But I'll tell it anyway. One day, when Jimmy was just 2, I noticed that his face looked lopsided, unbalanced. At first, I couldn't put my finger on the difference. But as I looked closer, I saw it. Jimmy had only one eyebrow. The other one was SHAVED OFF. I asked him what he used and he pointed at Jim's razor in the sink. Jim had left his razor WHERE JIMMY COULD GET AT IT. I nearly fainted because of the possible damage and blood-letting Jimmy could have committed with something so sharp. But I regained my senses and after telling Jimmy DO NOT EVER EVER EVER USE DAD'S RAZOR EVER EVER EVER EVER...I grabbed the camera for a picture. And you can tell from Jimmy's facial expression that he was pretty p…

More Lodge-istics

For a couple of nights, all the kids wanted to sleep outside. Katie and Morgan took the idea even further and slept outside on the actual ground. I'm amazed they weren't overrun by crazed marmots and coyotes. The other teenagers (Evan, Anna, Jimmy, Paul, Kayla and Jordan) all remained safely on the porch.
Here is Matt after a night of sleeping under the plentiful stars (you really can see heaps more stars from the lodge than you can here in suburbia. We saw the Milky Way too). He was unusually bed-headed but unlike some his age, he did remain outside the whole night.
Hayley also lasted the whole night outside.
Jen and Mom serve lasagna for their turn in the kitchen. Travis is in the back, doing who-knows-what to some aluminum foil. Making a hat that will protect his thoughts from aliens, perhaps?
Chess was a popular activity at the lodge as well, attracting many spectators, who I am sure would probably not watch otherwise. Unless Jimmy and Jordan were playing Full Contact …


Jen of the 'focus has posted some vacay pictures--one is of me holding a hummingbird. I look somewhat floaty (not bloaty!) and angelic, what with all the photoshopping Jen probably had to do. Anyway, lest any of you think I lied about holding hummingbirds, here's your proof. Scroll down.

Green Table excursion

We traveled to Mesa Verde on Tuesday. The cliff dwellings are always interesting (to me anyway). Some of the group didn't get to see the dwellings because of a broken radiator.

The dwellings are surprisingly small when you get up close and personal. Of course that is seen through the eyes of a suburban middle class house dweller. The people who study these dwellings estimate that up to 150 people lived here at one time. That's like packing all of my street and the next street over in the area equal to my yard. I think I'd branch out on my own.

The kids are waiting in line to descend into one of the dwelling's several kivas--an underground circular room with unknown purposes (unknown to me anyway. I was more interested in capturing the moment in pixels than learning much about what the rooms were for). Those of us who got the tie-dyed shirts (thanks again Jen! They turned out simply fabulous!) wore them for the trip and we got lots of looks and comments. It was…

a few of the goings on around the lodge

Ping Pong. Annie, Dylan and Paul comprise one team.

They played Spencer and Rozzie.
Katie wanted a hair cut. Katie found some scissors and away we went.
Notice my intense facial expression. I was concentrating hard enough to cause my brows to knit a whole scarf.

Uh...not much difference, is there? Trust me, Katie has bangs now.

Feats of strength. Many pull-ups were attempted and counted. That is an actual log they are using as a pull-up bar. I think Jimmy has his fingers in a crack in the log, which is technically NOT cheating, no matter what you might think.
Paul's turn. He got 19. I don't know how many Jimmy and Jordan did. Jordan did do some gymnastics though. Wish I'd gotten a video of his flips.

This post is for Vieillefemme

Cindy, I was instructed to take these pictures, on special request from your husband.

He said, "Someone needs to take a picture of me helping!"

The stove was nice and clean after he was done with it, so you can rest assured that if you give him the same task at home, he will do it well.

And the jam was excellent! I got grief from people for not wanting to share it, so I caved. I still have some left, though.