Showing posts from July, 2010

Hot piping action

Last night, at Mike's insistence, we had dinner at a pizza place featuring music played for us by the resident organist. I could have stayed for hours and watched this guy play.
He used NO sheet music. He played everything from memory and most of it was from requests made by the customers.
When the organist went on break, I inspected and took pictures of the organ pipes and the console (which I hope to post next week--I suspect I'm the only one interested in it, though). Some of the organ noisemakers were suspended from the ceiling or hung on the walls. There was a row of plastic duck decoys that moved up and down when that rank of pipes was activated on the organ.
While I was taking pictures, I noticed that the organist was watching me. I asked him a few pipe-related questions and we got into a conversation about what it's like as the organ player for this pizza joint. I enjoyed his commentary, especially the story of a guy who came in with the sole purpose of stumpi…

One state over

The interview went well, at least from my point of view. I was a wreck all day before the interview, but once it got started, I calmed down. It was a group interview--very interesting. There were 11 of us and we had to answer questions in front of the group. One guy bugged out halfway through the 2 1/4 hour interview. We had a break and he never came back.
I really can't say how I think I did because I have no idea how professional people think. I can only say that I do not regret anything that I said or did.
And now I am relaxing in Wisconsin for a few days. We left right after the interview and arrived late last night (Don't even think about invading my home though. I left my attack cats at home and I booby-trapped all potential entrances including the sky light in the bathroom. Plus there is still one familial occupant in the house who has to work so the house is not empty).
Anyway, I am too busy eating up the delicious thighs of my little niece to blog right now so …


I promise that next week (or perhaps Fri or Sat) I will blog pictures. This week, though, I have too much going on to fiddle with the camera.

I did finish serging some bandanas for YW camp. Had to get those done by today because camp is Monday and we are going out of town tomorrow til Sunday.

I still have to tweak my resume tonight, and I have to make some dinners for Other Jim, who is going to be the sentinel at the house while the rest of us are away.

I picked beans too and they need dealing with. Perhaps I will just wash them and put them in the fridge and bring them with us on the trip to Mike and Jen's. I'll offer up the beans for dinner on Friday or whatever. Jen, you have been alerted to incoming beans.

Stay with me, folks, as I figure out what will be happening with my life. And hope and pray I get a job somewhere.

Being optimistic sadly does not prevent being nervous

My life is in flux right now. My body doesn't like to be in a state of uncertainty though, and I've had a nervous stomach since I got an appointment for a group interview with a bank for a teller position.

This process of application is long and filled with proverbial hoops.

Hoop #1: online application, which leads to...
Hoop #2: online screening, which leads to...
Hoop #3: phone conversation with a recruiter, which leads to...
Hoop #4: group interview.

And I don't know that the group interview leads to (provided I pass).

It's hard for me to blog when I am this agitated. I'm not depressed; I'm just too nervous to think of anything else. My mind is fixating.

In other news, I get to teach seminary this school year. I just got the official call yesterday at church. I have been telling myself that I really need to get up earlier and the Lord heard me and said, "You want to get up early? I'll help you achieve that goal!" Har. No, I'm really excited. …


How does one explain on job applications that motherhood is work experience?

I have learned to multi-task: I can process five different requests (verbally marked URGENT by shouting) at once.

I can function in crisis situations: I have not melted down when various children were hit by cars, I drove my own self to urgent care when I needed stitches, I gave birth (UNMEDICATED!!) to five children. I'd like to see CEOs do that.

I can deal with the public: I've had to go to countless parent/teacher conferences, I've volunteered at church/school/community activities, and I know how to be polite (thank you mother!)

I am not stupid, but just because I haven't been in the "work" force for the last 16 years, my "work" experience is nil.

Little visitor

I have a little friend over to play today. His name is Austin and he's such a sweet little baby. His big brother, Owen, is in the hospital for a little while and since his parents (my brother and sister-in-law) need to be with Owen, Austin gets to spend the day with me. There are lots of other people who are helping out, but today is my day with the little squirt and I'm enjoying kissing this baby's fat cheeks and nomming on his fat thighs.

Dave was right when he told me that if you sorta tickle his chin, he laughs.

I've already endured changing a blowout--blowouts on infants his age, which is nearly two months, are not very bad at all--and he's eaten quite well. He's napped for nearly two hours too. I'm going to settle him into the stroller and take him and Fake Child (who is also here) for a walk. More pictures later.

Get better, Owen!

PS the cat is back from a bladder scan. Special food and antibiotics for Servo. Servo was happy to be back home after …

Is it time to go crazy now?

Make sure Paul got home from CC practice
Take three children to the dentist
Receive Fake Child
Get 2nd urine sample from cat
Realize that the antibiotics have not been working on Servo
Take sample to vet
Call ortho because a metal band fell off Hayley's tooth
Take Hayley to ortho
Entertain Fake Child until her father came to get her
Take Paul out for his birthday dinner
Go visiting teaching

Make three trips to middle school
Babysit Fake Child
Three long phone calls with family members
Pick Matt up from a friend's house
Church activity tonight
Worry about Servo

If I can make it through until Friday, I have a more restful weekend (hopefully) ahead. Then a trip to Wisconsin next week.

Wicked driving day

I need a plan for these days when I feel like I'm in the car more than I'm at home.

I'll be spending a total of 2 1/2 hours at the middle school (in three separate time chunks) and while I usually get a lot of my homework done then, I feel the need to exercise too. So for this first one hour chunk, I'm going to go walk around the old track behind the middle school.

For the second chunk, I'll do a bit of homework-related reading since it's only a half-hour chunk.

For the third chunk, I'll do some homework.

We'll see how the exercise thing goes today. It's what I miss most when I have these crazy-schedule days.

I wish I had more for you than this, but the stuff that kept me awake last night is not blogworthy (yet. As soon as it is official, then I will post about it) and the quest for a job is boring blog fodder. Not that my plan to exercise isn't, but for some reason it's easier to blog about than getting my hopes up and having them smashed on …

Leftover pictures from last week

From Paul's birthday:
It's Sinister Paul with an evil grin (Sinister Paul is the nemesis of SuperPaul). Jenni, notice the birthday plate is still in use here at the shoebox castle.

A card game broke out. It's called "Magic: the Gathering." It's called that because of the magic it took to gather these four together as a group of NON-FIGHTING, NON-SQUABBLING, NON-IRRITATING-EACH-OTHER teenager siblings (except Matt who is still not quite a teenager). They played so nicely for over an hour that I chose not to disturb them except by taking this one picture.

I like pretty skies at dusk:
The end of either the sky or the clouds. I can't tell which.

And a ghost couple waltzing to a background of eerie magenta.
There. That brings me up to date with pictures.

Celebrating by myself

Other Jim is at work, Jim is mowing the lawn, Hayley is in her room massaging some leftover fondant, Matt is at a friend's house until who-knows-when...

...and the birthday boy himself BAILED.

He would rather run in a summer, for-fun cross country meet than enjoy his birthday dinner of mac and cheese, mandarin orange jello, and broccoli!

Man, do I throw lame parties or what? Otherwise people would actually stick around.


So here is what sixteen-year-old Paul looks like. Please compare with the previous blog post to see the difference in Paul since he was a yitto (his childhood pronunciation of the word "little") boy.
Since he was cutting out of his own birthday dinner, I refused to wrap his present. Turns out he had trouble with the shrink wrap anyway, so it's probably a good thing that I didn't put MORE wrapping around it. He got a movie he requested. His smile is a result of me teasing him that he couldn't get the package open. He's trying to hide t…

Sixteen candles

This kid turns sixteen today:Yep, it's SuperPaul. He's faster than a speeding bullet.

He's practicing his driving skills.

He's practicing puckering his lips for his first date (except we don't know exactly when that will be yet or with whom)

SuperPaul's alter ego is Bucket Head.

And here he is cavorting with movie stars. (The Asian kid in the background is Hayley.)

SuperPaul needs his beauty sleep and takes a nap whenever I'm not looking.

Happy birthday to the weirdest kid I've ever raised. Also the most obedient. And the most helpful. And the quietest (although there are rumors going around that the house is the only place he is quiet).

Beans, braces, 'bones

Our garden is finally in produce mode! We ate homegrown beans the other night and I've already harvested a second batch! I planted purple beans and yellow wax beans--sort of a Vikings-colored bean crop. The only problem is that the purple beans turn green when boiled so we end up eating a Green Bay Packers-colored heap of beans. Alas. Regardless of football team association, the beans are wonderful!

Hayley recently got her lower braces on. Now comes the painful process of moving her teeth around. She complains that she can't chew very well because some of her molars don't match up anymore. I told her that will change but for now, try to cut food up into small bits.

The volume in the house has gone up to 11, now that Matt is officially a trombonist. Summertime instrument lessons started yesterday and he learned 1st position, 3rd position, and 4th position. He conned the teacher into teaching him 2nd position too so that the lack of continuity in his knowledge of posi…

Shoe-related post

The computer has been acting up and not granting us access to the internet/world wide web (can anyone tell me what the difference is?). Two Saturdays ago, we had a service tech visit to diagnose the problem. He did, but he didn't quite know what he did. He fiddled and tapped and queried and messed around outside of Windows (on the little black screen with the old-looking font).

Last Saturday, the internet was unreachable again. Jim stayed home from the offer of a full-spread breakfast at my mom's to fiddle with the computer. He was on the phone with our service provider, and somehow got it fixed. He wasn't quite sure what the solution was, except that it involved typing in a bunch of numbers.

Today, the computer fussed at me again as I tried to get on the web to post some pictures of beans. In desperation, I unplugged the modem from its power source...

...and found my sandals that have been lost for a month, pushed way back in the lower cubby of the desk. I have turn…

For love of shoes

I do dearly love shoes.

But this post isn't about me or my shoes.

It's about Other Jim and his shoes.

He bought shoe trees.


Shoe trees!

I haven't seen shoe trees in probably 30 years! I didn't know people still used them.

OJ wants to keep his shoes nice-looking, which is understandable. It's just that I never envisioned him buying SHOE TREES.

First a suit, then a tuxedo, now SHOE TREES! Ladies and gentlemen, I think a name change might be in order. Henceforth, OJ shall be called "Beau Brummel."

(or not)

There is absolutely nothing of interest at all in the west wing

Or in the southern suburbs of the Twin Cities.

Other than waiting to hear when I have to take the cat in for some medication. I was on the phone with the vet's office yesterday discussing what Servo has been doing for the last little while (peeing in things that are not his litter box) and the vet (or vet's assistant I don't know which) said that I should bring in a urine sample from the cat.


How the heck was I supposed to do that?

Fortunately the woman I was talking to had a suggestion. It involves plastic wrap and the litter box (and rubber gloves, not mentioned by the vet/assistant, but I decided that I would use them. Thank goodness I had some). It sounded like I was going to have to pull a juvenile prank on the cat.

Anyway, that's what passes for excitement around here lately.

So. What do I post when I have nothing to post about? An old picture. Feel free to compare it to this picture. But keep the mean comments regarding such comparisons to yourself. Thank …

A different kind of party

One that I have no pictures for!

A sister-in-law had a 40th birthday and I helped my brother, the party planner, with a wee bit of party preparation and operation.

I made sure:

1. That chubby infant legs were pinched and nommed on
2. That the facial t-shirts were properly appreciated.
3. That all party attendees were standing in the yard when the honoree drove up with her face in her hands (it was a surprise party)
4. That the mosquitos were well fed on my legs
5. That the comedian's jokes were heartily laughed at (YES there was a comedian!)
6. That the comedian's attention to his biggest fan at the party (Matt) was also appreciated. The two of them were approaching Laurel and Hardy (or possibly Abbott and Costello) give-and-take ribbing, at the buffet table. Matt can give it as well as he can take it, and fortunately, so could the comedian.
6. That the fireworks were oohed and aahed at.
7. That the cake was distributed to two older people.
8. That Paul was laughed at for not knowin…