Showing posts from August, 2009

Home again, home again, jiggety jog

After killing more bees in South Dakota with the truck than I care to think about, we are home.

Note to self: If I want the house looking spic and span and cleaner than all get out, leave Paul and Other Jim home for a week by themselves. Or probably just Paul. Seriously, the house is like new!

Edited to add: Paul informed me that he and Jimmy shared the work equally. The list I left of things for them to do was quite helpful as well.

Guns 'n Poses

I spent another 6 hours at the Family History Library today fiddling around with OPRs, Civil Registration, IGI databases, Gazetteers, and microfilm machines. My head is now spinning as fast as the film reels on the rewinding machine. Did I break new ground? Probably not, but considering where I started, I have quite a bit for my project.
While I frittered away the hours in swivel chairs and flourescent lighting, Jim and Katie stood on rock-strewn ground in the blazing sun and shot stuff (targets). But first, two pictures of Katie posing by Uncle Art's truck. Now for the guns. (Katie took these pictures)
I am now afraid to get on his bad side. I better start doing the dishes...

Picture much?

Can I just let the photos speak for themselves?
Um no. I tried to let the pictures speak for themselves but they wouldn't talk. Whoever said "pictures are worth a thousand words" probably meant to add "with an interpreter" but got sidetracked or something. I need to explain. I am driven to give the who, what, why, and wheres of my pictures. So bear with me. Then again, I am tired so you might not get a coherent explanation.
This is what happens when you drive through eastern South Dakota at dusk. Seriously, we murdered several tons of mosquitos.
Then Jim hit this behemoth. And he wouldn't pull over to remove it from the wiper. I had to not look at the windshield for hours cuz this was so nasty. On to something more fun. We stopped at a place near South Dakota to feed some prairie dogs. They were so friendly. This was in the Badlands of South Dakota. Jim is surveying the landscape, considering the possibilities of becoming emperor of all he sees.Here I am, c…

I am where I am

And without a phone. From now on, the This is the Place monument will forever be remembered by me as This is the Place Where I Lost My Phone (and I believe it was stolen). I can account for my phone's whereabouts up until we approached the big statue. I was texting Katie. 15 minutes later, we left This is the Place for Emigration Canyon. 5 minutes down the road I thought I heard the noise of my phone signaling a text message. I searched my pockets (where my phone last set up residence) to no avail. Then I moved on to searching the car. To no avail. Then we backtracked and spent about 30 minutes at This is the Place. No phone. Sigh. So don't try to call me.

Other than that, the trip out to visit Katie and help her move (yes, she is moving) has been great fun. Expect pictures later. I took many in the Badlands and at Mt. Rushmore. I could visit those two places every year and not ever get tired of them.

Anyway, we are here and we are safe. Now off to the phone rep…

Heading out

Jim and I are packing up the Little Red Rider and going for a long drive.

Katie, we'll be there in a couple of days!

A delicious use for yarn

...and probably one of the sillier uses for it as well.
I bought an amigurumi book this summer but not for the doll patterns. I bought it for this hamburger. Technically the hamburger isn't amigurumi, but it uses the spiral crochet technique that amigurumi uses. Have you ever bought a pattern or a kit and then never used it? I too have done that. But I vowed when I bought the book that I would DO THIS PROJECT before I die.* The separate pieces are easily completed in an hour in front of the TV--the onion slices and the tomato slices are done in less time.

No, I'm not going to make you one. I've done what I set out to do and now I can put the book on the shelf and let it gather dust.

*And since I've fulfilled the vow I made regarding this project, I fully expect to die in the next few days.

R and R at my house

Roll call:

Jim? Not here, at work. Will be home later to do dishes and to be used as a footrest and a teddy bear.
Katie? Still in Utah, still working.
Other Jim? Gone for most of the day as a hired hand, helping a guy move his office.
Paul? Gone to cross country camp for the weekend.
Hayley? Packing to leave for a mighty long stint with Grandma in an hour.
Matt? Ditto. He and Hayley are going with Grandma to visit a new cousin. Their mission will be to lend a hand playing with already-used cousins.

Me? Home by myself for several hours during a summer day! The only way the day could be more perfect was if I didn't have to host fake child later on until 10:30 p.m. and if it would STOP RAINING. *shakes fist at sky* mutters to self: "three days straight! Not a drop all June or July, but now, when I have a day to enjoy, it's gotta rain!"

This weekend will be a taste of future empty nest years. Other Jim doesn't demand much of our attention anymore (oh how times hav…

Death of a dust bunny and further evidence of an alien presence in the house

Last night, Hayley, Matt, and Jimmy were playing a Wii game tournament. Where was Paul? In his room vacuuming, and NOT because we told him to. He claimed the floor was really dirty and there were dust clumps underneath and behind his dresser and in the corners (isn't that where they are supposed to be?).

The Cat-lover in the Hat and Thing One and Thing Two

Hayley has moved on from amigurumi Mario and Pokemon creatures (she finished a Mew--a pink cat-like thing) to wearables. She crocheted a hat for herself WITHOUT a pattern! She did it all yesterday and hasn't taken it off since she finished it. It fits her quite well.
Matt, anxious to get in on some more blog exposure, created these two, um, creatures. I have no idea what they are. They have eyes, obviously, and one isn't even knitted. He just amasses materials of all sorts and does his own thing to these raw materials. Then, several hours later, VOILA, the world is two stuffed blobs richer.
Not to be outcreated by my own children, I tried my hand at amigurumi too. This is the result.You have to guess what it is. I'll post the finished thing sometime in the future. (No it's not complete. Well, that particular element is finished, but it's only one of several pieces of a certain thing)

50 carats in carrots

My arms are almost too sore to type, and it's been two days since I toiled for an hour and half in the garden pulling weeds, picking beans, and uprooting carrots.

I didn't take a picture of the beans but I did some of the carrot harvest in jpeg format. (It's weird to have to avoid using the phrase "on film")

The last two cups of raw orangey goodness:

About 1/3 of the total to be frozen.
Paul, Hayley, and Matt helped with the beans. I washed and they snapped the stem off and cut them in half. Then I blanched and froze the beans. I think I got 6 quart bags of beans out of Saturday's pickings. And I've got about 4 quart bags of carrots. My freezer runneth over!

Sliding along

Matt has a new friend, but we don't have a name for him yet.

During summer band lessons for Hayley and Paul (who helped teach; he was not taught), a sign appeared on the doors of the lesson rooms: "Trombone for Sale." Matt has expressed a gleeful interest in the trombone since Katie started appearing in band concerts many years ago and this was the perfect opportunity to get a trombone cheap. I contacted the seller and arranged for payment and pick-up. We brought the new friend home today and this is Matt's first experience with it.

Yes, he's doing it wrong. I told him he was holding it wrong, but that I didn't know how to put it together. He fiddled around with it for a few seconds and finally got it.
Yes, he can make noise with it. He can blat with the best of beginners. He won't be starting band this year at school; because of budget cuts, the fifth grade band is no more. But the instrument was such a good deal that I had to take advantage of it now…

I'm skipping exercise this morning

It's amigurumi showcase time!

Hayley went to an amigurumi camp this summer where she learned to crochet, and since then, she has been hogging all the yarn in the house to make little creatures (like she and Matt don't have enough stuffed animals in the house!).

Matt knitted a rabbit earlier this year and, with Hayley being consumed with crocheting, he had to get in on the fun. So he knit this thing. He didn't use a pattern, he just made it up as he knit. I could be all helicopter-parent-like and say "Isn't it wonderful? Isn't he so creative?" and give him kisses and stars and have a party, but I break out in hives every time I try to act like a really good caring parent who wants to foster and nurture my child's precious self-esteem. Sorry kids. Personally, I think Blue/Green Rectangular Thing is hilariously odd. It reminds me a little of Spongebob. I'm so glad Matt doesn't create things to get his ego boosted.
This is the combined collec…

Excuses and moles

I was going to post pictures of amigurumi by Hayley and fauxmigurumi (he knits, not crochets) by Matt but I haven't taken any pictures yet because I forgot to write it on my schedule.

Yes, I am slave to the schedule, at least for this week. I have this little problem, see, I never get anything done. I like to blame my lack of accomplishment on the four pieces of progeny that live in the house, but they are really only part of the problem (a big part, yes, but still not quite all of the problem). The part of the problem that I can't blame on the kids is that I cannot stay focused enough to figure out what chore/task/job/assignment/fun thing to do in the usually limited time I have between driving kids places. And I haven't been getting up early enough.

So for this week, I have written myself a schedule. I've allotted myself some blog time so that the schedule isn't made up of entirely boring household chores and Humanities assignments, but if I forget to write dow…

I am glad for many things

I was going to post a couple of pictures of Hayley's new addiction (making amigurumi), but I think I will save that for tomorrow.

Today I am glad I followed a hunch. I am also glad that the hunch turned out to be nothing immediately worrisome. I'm thirdly glad that now that I know what I know, I can keep an eye on Paul's back. (For a few more years, I will "have Paul's back." HAHAHAHAhahaha....ha...ha?)

The dermatologist's office called this morning with a report. The mole that was removed from Paul's back is a dysplastic nevus and not cancerous but it did have some abnormal cells (I mentioned that I wasn't worried. And I'm still not). But it is a signal to check his skin often and slather on the sunscreen while he's out running cross-country.

I'm glad I took a picture of the mole with a ruler two years ago so that I knew for sure this year that the mole had grown.

So check for moles, take pictures with a ruler so you can gauge growth…

16 GB cake

It's very hard not to make excuses for what I think is wrong with this cake. I really want to say, "I should have" or "I couldn't do ____ because..." BUT I won't. The only things that matter in regards to cake are 1) is it appropriate to the celebration and 2)does it taste good? So instead, I'll dwell briefly on those two requirements.1) Is it appropriate? Other Jim didn't know what form he wanted his cake, so this was my idea. And yes, the design is appropriate because it's a replica of the item he has with him pretty much all the time.

2) Did the cake taste good? Yep!

(PS. This was the first time I used fondant. Why on earth does OJ's iPod have a black wheel??? I still have food coloring stains on my hand! Working the fondant wasn't too bad. The kids all wanted a taste of the fondant so I let them try it. The big boys didn't like the texture much. Neither did I. It's like eating fun foam. Hayley and Matt said they l…

An-other birthday for Other Jim

Ten things for Other Jim's birthday (.588 things for each year)

1. Other Jim is 17 today.
2. He starts his last year of public education in a few weeks.
3. Right now he's enjoying his birthday by sleeping in. Of course that's how he enjoys every day of the summer...
4. He wants a cake decorated like an iPod. We'll see if I can pull that off. I might have to do a fondant circle thing and apple logo. Wish me luck.
5. Because of events beyond my control yesterday, I am sorely behind in getting ready for OJ's birthday. Some pieces of advice I gleaned from yesterday's adventures: always make sure that Paul has in his hand his original birth certificate for the permit test and not a photocopy. And failing to do that, bring every piece of evidence that Paul is who he says he is to the DMV so you don't have to make frantic calls home to ask Other Jim to find Paul's social security number, then make Paul memorize the number so you don't have to freak out li…


Technically, according to a piece of paper I had to sign today, removing a mole is considered surgery by many health insurance companies.

Backtrack to this morning:
I took Paul to a dermatologist to have a mole (not the kind that burrows underground and gets mixed up with the likes of Mr. Toad, thank goodness) looked at. The mole has doubled in size in 2 years, and I thought it should be looked at by a trained professional mole-looker-atter. So after I scribbled various Paul-ish facts on some pretty colored papers the receptionist gave me, he was whisked off to the secret caves of the dermatology clinic and I never saw him again.

Wait. That isn't quite right. I did see him again after a few minutes. He looked a little bewildered. He shoved another one of their papers and two squishy tubes of prescription goo at me and said, "They removed it. She (I'm presuming the professional mole-looker-atter) didn't think it was a bad mole, but she took it off just in case. They…


Paul before braces:
Paul before braces and during a momentary bout of the crazies:
Paul during braces and with the camera too close to his face:
Check back in 18 months for the "after" pictures.

Paul hasn't complained of any pain, although he did say that it felt weird to eat.

I can hear the $$ circling the drain

Time for Paul to get braces. Pics of before and after forthcoming.