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Showing posts from July, 2009

Chauffeur needed

Ten things I needed to be able to drive downtown (some I had, some I didn't have):
1. Nerves of steel (sorely need)
2. GPS device (had)
3. Map printout of possible parking locations (had)
4. More nerves of steel (anyone have any extra?)
5. Paper bag to hyperventilate into (should have brought one!)
6. Cell phone to call people who can talk me out of a nervous breakdown (had)
7. Additional nerves of steel (Please?)
8. Previous experience going to my destination (had)
9. A big sign that pops out of the top of the car that reads "Sorry I just ran that red light! It was unintentional! I am not used to driving downtown!" or "Sorry I cut you off! I didn't mean to! I am not used to driving downtown!" or one that says, "Just kill me now." (someone ought to invent something like this)
10. SOMEONE TO DRIVE FOR ME (Jim, I sorely missed you last night)

It was awful. But I made it there and back alive. The concert was fun though and I'm glad I went.

First line

Deliverance came today in the form of a third of a bag of stale Old Dutch Cheesy Puffcorn and fourteen pages of a schlocky Dean Koontz book.

Wouldn't that make a great opening sentence for my own schlocky Dean Koontz knock-off novel, cheesy teen romance, or tough-as-nails female cop epic?

It makes you wonder "Deliverance from what?" and "Did she EAT the stale puffcorn or throw it at some rabid wolverines to keep them at bay?" and "If there were rabid wolverines, why was she reading?" then "Wait, WAS she reading? Maybe she was using the pages to write SOS notes that she threw out the window to a passing troupe of circus clowns to enlist their help with the rabid wolverines." and finally, "But circus clowns wouldn't have been any help with rabid wolverines. It had to have been a passing woodsman who picked up the SOS notes written on the fourteen pages of schlocky Dean Koontz novel and rushed in to save her from the rabid wolverines w…

The upside of a bad economy

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Monday game Twins tickets are based on the stock market this year and since the stock market is in bad shape, we were able to afford lower level outfield tickets to a Twins game for the whole family last night!

It's probably the last Twins game I'll ever see in the Metrodome since the Twins are going to move to the Target stadium next year. I'm not all that sad, though the Dome has brought us Twins fans some good memories. I'm looking forward to an outdoor stadium (baseball in the snow!).

Anyway, here are some pictures from the evening.

Here we have a nice view of downtown Minneapolis coming from the south.
We had to wait for Jim to go back to the car after we parked because no one remembered to grab the bag of snax for the game (you NEED snax--and yes that is a purposeful alternate spelling. I believe it adequately conveys the attitude I have towards them. Anyway...). So I took the opportunity to snap a pic of the five children all together. It's a rare occurenc…

Watch Katie play a new instrument

She learned "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" one night while with her friend Jake. I guess he let her borrow the violin because it is sitting upstairs on my living room floor.

Chastised for not posting pictures

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So, Jen commented that I should have posted pictures. "For shame!" she said.

Properly contrite, I now present: Lots of pictures. In random order. Because I refuse to spend more time on this than minimally necessary. Katie is harassing me for use of the computer, specifically the printer.

1. After the picnic, we lost the ice cream scoop. And found it again tonight, embedded in refrozen ice cream.
2. A pansy.
3. Katie is wearing a red thing I knitted for her.
4. Katie borrowed a violin from a friend and attempts to play it.
5. My mini garden has filled out a bit. And the thyme flowered.
6. My garden
7. Katie befriends Bandit with a bratwurst
8. A crappy picture of the band. I have no idea where Paul is.
9. Granddaddy at our picnic.
10. Hayley waits for a parade.
11. Katie and her friend Jake (the one who lent her the violin)
12. Owen is mastering the finer points of baseball.
13. A picnic
14. Jim waits for a parade.
15. Some silly boys.

Parading

Last night we dragged Granddaddy to downtown Minneapolis (the bad part even) to see Paul march with the marching band in the Aquatennial parade.

We rode the light rail from the Mall of America all the way to the Warehouse District (Hennepin and 5th). I love riding light rail, even though it might take a little longer to get where you are going. I like not driving. I like not having to find a place to park. I like watching the people in the train with me.

We got there kind of late for finding a prime spot on the curb, but second row on the sidewalk was ok. We set up our chairs in front of a topless bar (I told you it was the bad part of town) but fortunately, because of the parade, the usual element of such places was not to be seen. We would have moved to more decent digs, but we got there too late. Katie and I scouted out Hennepin Ave for several blocks in search of better real estate, but all areas were already three or four deep with parade-goers. So we joined back up with th…

Ten things to do instead of doing what I want to do while entertaining guests

1. Make excuses for the anti-social/evil cat. (Note to Magic: GET OVER IT. They aren't going to hurt you. They may even want to give you treats!)
2. Worry over whether the door is open to my room because it is messy. I don't want anyone to see what I'm really like. (Like they can't guess!)
3. Post things on the blog so that people who miss the people who are visiting us will know that they are here and doing just fine.
4. Babysit. But only yesterday. And it drove me nuts.
5. Drive children. Why is this the week when Paul has driver's ed, music lessons, cross country running, Hayley has band lessons and amigurumi class, and Matt has art class for boys? Must yell at my calendar for allowing this scheduling nightmare to have happened.
6. Bake bread. I have a church meeting tonight (that I'm in charge of so I can't get out of it) and I have to bring homemade bread. I haven't even started it yet.
7. Feed the neighbor's dog. We had a picnic last nigh…

Wherein I throw up my hands at the Evans family fleet of vehicles, one in particular

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I think my van has some health issues. Either that, or it REALLY likes the mechanics at the local Goodyear.

Thursday evening, I went to pick Matt up from a friend's house several miles away. As I drove home on a stretch of Hwy 13, I began to notice an unfamiliar sound, sort of a grinding, fingernails-on-chalkboard sound emanating from the front passenger side of the car. As I drove through Prior Lake, I noticed that the steering wasn't as functional as I'd like. I could still make the car go where I wanted to, but it was a tad more difficult. And it was more difficult to speed up after stopping.

Panic set in because this noise was so irritating and I couldn't begin to guess what it was. I was afraid the car was going to explode at any minute. I called Jim as I was getting close to home and asked him to wait outside for me to pull in because something was wrong with the car. Matt piped up from the back, "And it's leaning to one side." Just as I pull…

Senior pictures!!!

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I'm on the phone with Jen (my private photographer) and we are looking over Other Jim's pictures. Jen did a great job on them and I asked if I could share them all with you over the wonder that is the internet. Thank goodness she gave her permission.

Other Jim and I will be poring over the pictures in the next few days, picking out poses for various picture needs. I'm so excited!

Here are just a few of the portraits (in no particular order):
For the complete portfolio, click on this highlighted sentence.

Warning: Cake pictures are high in fat

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Voila! Paul's birthday cake.

Every minute detail rendered artfully in frosting!

(Except for the Paul figurine, uh, action figure. That is a photo. A double-sided photo. Ask me how I did that! Although you can probably guess)

And now, a celebratory look at the many faces of Paul:
Well, there is actually only one face of Paul. That is his facial expression for pretty much everything. Paul, you get to clean the whole house and mow the lawn. Yup, he says. Paul, you're now fifteen and you can take driver's ed! Yup, he says. Paul, the Harry Potter movie is out! Yup, he says. Paul, I can't believe you won the race! Yup, he says. Paul, the house is gone and we have to go live in the sewer! BOOHOO! Yup, he would say.

I did manage to eke a smile out of him for a pose with his two birthday presents (one of which I only contributed slightly less than half the funds for. Guess which one--worth 1 1/2 points if you are the first one to get it right)

We had a very quiet bir…

Fifteen things about Paul

1. Today is his fifteenth birthday.
2. He's fifteen today.
3. (Hence the fifteen things about him)
4. I found him ironing some bermuda-style shorts today. I laughed!
5. He said, "What?" I asked him why he was ironing shorts. He said "Because the bottom is all wrinkled and bent." I laughed even harder.
6. He said, "What?" again. I said that usually people just wear the shorts with the wrinkles in the cuffs because ironing is such a tedious and much-disliked chore. But, I said, you can go ahead and iron them if you want to. He kept ironing.
7. He wants a racetrack on his cake.
8. He already received his birthday present in the form of a monetary contribution to a 16 gb iPod nano, which he purchased this morning.
9. He also got new running shoes--he used the gift certificate he got from the Burnsville 5K race.
10. Paul is a good kid. He did his jobs today and even did Hayley's vacuuming job (she's gone at camp).
11. He also did a paying job today. …

Up too early

And I feel like I pressed myself into the mattress the whole night so I don't feel rested at all. Darn these babysitting shifts when I'm up until nearly 11 p.m. and then have to get up before 6 a.m. I almost wish that if I have to babysit back to back shifts like this that fake child could just sleep over so I could go to bed at a decent hour and get up at a decent hour. Fake child went back to sleep this morning, thank goodness. I should have too, but she's sleeping on my side of the bed.

Hayley is off to her very first YW camp! I'm the only female in the house (except for when Fake is here). I hope I don't get taken down by constant and relentless boyness without the soothing presence of one other female in the house. Hayley was excited to go and she has been packing for several days in preparation. She has good friends her age to pal around with too.

Time to roust Paul out of bed. He has to go to cross country practice. PAUL! GET UP!

Evidence that I have raised my children in a way that makes me proud

Matt just said to me as we are indulging in a weekly favorite show "The Next Food Network Star": "Hey Mom, it's funny! They just said 'Previously on The Next Food Network Star!'" He recognized the paradox (oxymoron?) and understood it enough to appreciate the humor! My 10-year-old is a language geek!

Succumbing to sap and taking pictures of taking pictures

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Other Jim is going to be a senior in the fall. It's hard to get the ol' brain cells to accept that. What makes me really sad is that the memories of that little boy with the huge eyes and cartilage-less ears who could be a real stinker are fading. I know that I had a hard time with him, but for the life of me, I can't remember many of the details anymore. Some stories I remember because I've repeated them so often out loud and I hold onto those memories now like they were treasures worth more than gold--mostly because those memories are the only thing left of that little boy. He has changed so much and, according to him, that little boy never existed.

The little boy who, after I told him he was my goofy boy, he said, "I not a goofy boy, I a wacky boy." And who once told me after I asked him how hungry he was, said, "I'm a hundred hungy" (yes, no R). The little boy who once found so much enjoyment in carting his Duplo blocks one by one to t…