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Archive for blather

kleenex up my nose

Yep, I’m sick. Moon actually came down with a pretty bad cold on Christmas day, and apparently it was passed to me. Merry Christmas! It’s been hard to fall asleep, but once I do, it’s just as tough trying to get up. Sleep is good, though. Right now I’m sitting in my favorite chair, with Peter on the sofa playing video games and listening to ‘Black Parade.’

The last day of 2006! Can you believe it?

Christmas was pretty awesome. We stuck to the blood type thing, and I baked spelt cookies. I got a quilt rack (for all the blankets that normally get thrown on the floor), a hoodie, and a gift certificate for Lakeside Fibers at home. Later at the in-laws’, I got a clock radio that makes nature sounds, a set of glass Namaste needles, the ‘Knit Cafe’ book, and a bodrhan. Some haul!

One cool thing happened because Peter had agreed to his XBox 360 being his birthday AND Christmas present. He didn’t think he was getting anything — although of course his sister got him a few things to unwrap — and was pretty sad because he had decided he wanted a Wii more than anything. He was saving his money up, but knew it would be at least February before he could get one.

So Pete and I decided to reserve one for him (actually finding one to buy was impossible) and let him pay us back. The Wii is paid for, we just have to wait for it to come in. The store gave us a DVD box with a picture of the Wii and an explanation inside, so we’d have something to wrap. Peter was the last one up on Christmas morning, partly because he didn’t think he’d be getting presents. We asked him to ‘play Santa,’ and it was fun when he realized there were packages for him after all.

It’s good to be a cool mom every now and then.

Okay, back to my Bammo.*

*cleanse tea, made with lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper.

and a merry chrismakwanzikah!

Just popping in to wish y’all a happy holiday, of whichever variety you celebrate. We’re having a pretty phenomenal one ourselves. Ho!

coming up for air

Obviously, I’m too busy. I’ve had a site visit to Milwaukee, lots of deadlines and massive amounts of customer service calls this week. But I’m also following my blood type diet 100%, and I have to say it rocks. Among other things, we now all sit down for family meals. And we all eat the same food! I know! It’s crazy!

I’m still knitting like gangbusters (didn’t know they knit, did you?) and when I get a moment I’ll upload some pictures.

Okay, I have a little bit of time, and my needles are calling me.

miserable failure, i know

Yep, so my posting every day kind of fizzled. But that doesn’t mean it’s been boring or anything. I’ll try to catch up at some point. You know, school conferences, knitting, feeling fat, going back to my old fitness class as a student and not an instructor, all that stuff.

And whoa, it’s almost Thanksgiving.

election day

The polls were busy today … not as busy as a presidential election, but much busier than the usual school board and sheriff races. I feel pretty emotional about the stuff that’s on the ballot, and I hope that I’ll be able to be proud of my home state in the morning.

yet another monday

And the highlights were: picking up my glasses (old frames, new lenses) and watching Heroes. I’ve become so addicted to that show so quickly. I love all the theories and speculation — so much fun.

Tomorrow is Election Day, folks. There are some important decisions being made, and getting to the polls is my top priority. Go to it, people.

Today I only had eight phone calls from pre-recorded voices begging for my vote. Gee, I’ll sure miss hearing from those people after tomorrow.

white stuff

Oh, by the way … it snowed last night. We have schizo seasons today.

now you see it, now you don’t

My first tattoo is an example of photo restoration at this site. Check it out.

‘Tattoo and blemish removal: Less expensive, less painful than real surgery!’ I love it.

more than you ever wanted to know about my hair

I’ve had kind of a hate-love thing with my greying hair. First hate, then love. When the first strands came in, I just covered them up with my usual dark red tint. As long as I used temporary color, I could spend a few bucks every couple of months and have a fine (enough) looking ‘do. Then the stubborn greys popped up, and the temp stuff wouldn’t keep them quiet. That’s when I switched to permanent color.

At some point, I decided that a lighter shade would be more age-appropriate. I’ve been waffling back-and-forth between red, brown and blonde ever since. My roots mocked me. I told my stylist that I was ready to grow it all out into my natural color. To help with the transition, he gave me platinum highlights. (I wanted white, but it wasn’t possible.)

So it grew, and it grew. In a weak moment, I begged for bangs. Last week, I realized that what I should have done was lop off some of that length. I had sedimentary hair. My whole styling history was visible in those layers of color. The picture I took as documentation makes me cringe, which is why you have to click if you want to see it. Anyway, when I called in my hair emergency, I was horrified to discover that my stylist had disappeared. My desire for change outweighed my fear of going to someone new, so I took the plunge and went to a completely different salon.


Here’s my after, which is the closest I’ve been to my natural color in years. The grey patches aren’t very visible, but they’re there.

bipolar tree

Our crazy tree Fruity

Someone tell me: What’s the deal with this tree? Why is it making two completely different kinds of fruit?

hail satin

These guys are idiots but for some reason their poor spelling while committing vandalism on 6/6/06 made me think, “fashion designer graffiti.”

Besides, 6/6/06 isn’t for evil, it’s for Jodi, who was on my mind all day last Tuesday. So there.

speaking of names…

This is fascinating. I just spent a fairly big chunk of time checking out the name of every relative I could come up with.

why fast food is dangerous

Saturday morning, when Pete was driving me to a women’s retreat day, an out-of-towner spotted a Wendy’s out of the corner of his eye and all his Pavlovian reflexes kicked in. He wheeled toward the beckoning drive-thru entrance and apparently ignored the fact that our Prius was momentarily blocking it.

As we careened to the right, my first thought was: Someone in that vehicle had a heart attack. Or a seizure. Or is drunk.

But the guy wasn’t drunk, just hungry. We followed the guy into Wendy’s and called the cops. He admitted fault (rightly so, I might add) and was issued a citation. (Which sounds like a reward. Like: A citation for excellence!) Then the hijinks began. The insurance company doesn’t work directly with the Toyota dealer, but we weren’t willing to go elsewhere because of the whole hybrid thing. That meant a few extra days of waiting, since a claims agent would need to come out for an assessment. Remember, we’re a one-car family.

Metal was scraping the pavement as we drove, so we wanted a rental car ASAP. So we parked the car at the Toyota place and put our keys in the after-hours box for the body shop. Then we waited for a pickup from the rental place. Somehow it took another hour before we were able to drive away in the shiny Jetta we rented. That’s how I happened to be three hours late for the retreat. Lunch was good.

The Jetta has many bells and whistles that our own car lacks. It’s always beeping and buzzing because of something or other. Peter immediately found all the hidden cubbies and figured out how to program the radio. He and Moon like the extra leg room, but we’re all a little irritated by how complex the locks seem to be. I miss our little green machine.

We’re getting a check from our insurance company, but we still have to pay the $500 deductible. Then I guess the two insurance companies have to duke it out. (At least the guy was insured.) Apparently, there’s this shared-fault thing going on in Wisconsin, so our insurance guy thinks it’s unlikely that our erratically-driving Wendy’s fan will be responsible for 100% of the damages.

“But what about the police report?” you may ask. According to our agent, “Sometimes they take that into consideration.” To that, I say: WTF?

Ironically, the guy drove off without even getting anything to eat.

the obligatory pre-christmas post

Hi, I haven’t been lost at the mall or anything. But 2005 is wrapping up with a vengeance, and there are some things I can’t really write about (i.e. work stuff). It’s been a nutty few weeks.

I’ve got kid stories, too — the thing is, writing about kids over the age of 10 is lots trickier than sharing toddler exploits. Unfortunately, when Peter and Moon were toddlers, I hadn’t yet been tuned in to the glorious wonder of the Internet. I mean, I was online, but my main activity was participating in an OCD listserv. (My favorite post began: “I know I’ve written about this before… but what’s a little repetition among friends?”)

Anyway, it’s Christmas Eve, and not only is the shopping finished, it was DONE YESTERDAY. Pete cooked a bodacious tofurky dinner this morning while I was at the Alliant Energy Center donating blood and regretting having left the camera at home. (Let’s just say it was a very festive bloodletting. Bucky Badger was there!) I’m proudly wearing my “Be Nice to Me, I Gave Blood Today” sticker, because there’s always a chance that the Red Cross folks won’t be able to find my veins, and I was overjoyed that my two hour visit wasn’t for naught.

Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, I hope you’re having a wonderful winter holiday. There’s a lot to celebrate. There always is.

what happened when the spring sprung

This morning, I drove Peter to the bus stop because he was so sore after slipping and falling on our wet floor yesterday. He somehow managed to go out and roughhouse with neighbor kids afterwards, which justified my firm decision NOT to let him stay home from school.

“If I drop anything today, I won’t be able to pick it up,” he protested. “It’ll just STAY THERE.” Of course, he can always ask a classmate to help him, but I kept my mouth shut and steered him toward the door.

An hour later, when it was time to drive Moon and our neighbor, Brooke, to the high school, the garage door stuck halfway up. I lowered it and tried again. Same thing. I spotted the red release cord hanging from the door, and gave it a tug, which sent the door crashing to the cement with a life-threatening speed.

Thank God my foot wasn’t in the way, or Brooke’s head, or whatever. (Did you know a car backed over my right foot when I was 16? I have a feeling the garage door would have been worse.)

So, about Brooke. Nice girl, loves horses and country music. She and Moon were born two days apart. (Brooke is older.) Oddly enough, her parents were in our Lamaze class. We didn’t really know each other, but we recognized them when we moved into the neighborhood. Probably because her dad looks like young Kris Kringle in the classic “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” the one narrated by Fred Astaire. Bearded redheads tend to stand out in a crowd.

Anyway, we couldn’t get out. The door wouldn’t budge. I called Pete and begged him to borrow a car (he jogs to work) and rescue us. Together we were able to get the door up — the girls and I held it while Pete backed our car out of the garage. First period was finished by the time I dropped the girls off at school, and of course, they were crushed to have missed it. Ha! Ha! They’re probably plotting ways to sabotage other household items, and I should probably keep an eye on Peter and make sure he doesn’t get into the power tools.


Happy Halloween!

Kim sent this e-greeting, and I thought I’d share it. And that’s about the extent of my Halloween celebration this year. Our neighborhood’s trick-or-treat took place yesterday (Sunday before Halloween, 3-5 p.m.) and neither Moon nor Peter wanted to take part. (It was cold and rainy anyway.) I put together a goodie bag for each of them today, so they wouldn’t suffer sugar withdrawal or anything. I thought I bought a salted nut roll for myself, but the clerk forgot to ring it up. Scary!

stalled outside smoky bones

I think I could fix a flat tire by myself now, although I shouldn’t need to for some time. Of course, Tuesday evening I did not possess such confidence about matters of car care. Moon and I were heading home from her music lessons, and as I listened to her chatting away about school and such, I noticed the car was handling differently. I turned from one busy street onto another, rolling to a stop right out of the intersection. We had a flat tire. And basically, I panicked, because it was dark out, I didn’t have any handy phone numbers, and I couldn’t remember ever seeing a compartment for a spare in our trunk.

A cop pulled up behind us, asked me to pull s-l-o-w-l-y into the turn lane, confirmed that we had a cell phone… and left.

Once upon a time, just for kicks, I enrolled in an auto maintenance class at the community college in Hometown. Oddly enough, the instructor had been one of my high school classmates. He had been one of those quiet gearhead-slash-burnout kids back then, but was quite the authority in the classroom. We learned the difference between a crankshaft and a camshaft. I vaguely remember changing spark plugs on a disembodied engine and doing a brake job on a big ol’ ’70s-era gas guzzler.

I’m pretty sure I learned how to change a tire, but the time lapse (and my panic) rendered me useless. So I called a towing company, and a nice young man charged me $55 for the job. (He found the spare.) The next day, I took the car into the shop – and drove home with four new tires.

I’d much rather spend the money on yarn. Or Michael’s Frozen Custard.

my mind is melting

Ugh, I’ve been trying to figure out PHP and mySQL stuff for the past two hours, and I’m throwing in the towel for the night. This weekend, I accomplished a number of things…

  • I reconnected with my fabulous friends ALF and Isabelle.
  • I finished a pair of Too Big Booties for Niece-to-be #4.
  • I went to Taste of Madison with Pete (he had to work in a media booth). Pros: Added another notch to my “hometown events” attendance list. Cons: Beer smell, sweaty crowds, fat shirtless guy with cartoon penis and “I’m horny” markered onto his chest.
  • I worked out twice.
  • I drove around aimlessly with Moon, talking about all kinds of stuff.
  • I knitted the collar on my Bad Penny sweater, even though I’m still working on the main body of it.
  • Renewed my cellphone contract and added a second phone for Moon. Picked out matching flip phones (actually, camera phones). Explained to Peter that just because Moon has one doesn’t mean that he needs his own.
  • Made a much-needed haircut appointment

Hey, aren’t you wondering about that photo?

things I could write about if I had the time

Drum lessons. Unitarians. Ice cap. Lunch. Elliptical trainer. Mobius. Furniture. Tiger. American Idol. Sleep.

frantically running around packing

Geez, the week certainly got away from me. I didn’t even get a chance to write about taking Moon to see the shaman, or getting my Soleil finished, or my trip to Lakeside Fibers to spend my birthday gift certificate. Lord knows I haven’t posted many photos lately. At least I managed to get caught up at work.

I’m hoping to post lots of photos in the week to come, because we’re heading to San Diego for a fun-filled vacation. That is, if we survive the plane ride, yada yada. We’ll be staying at the Sheraton Suites downtown, and we’re planning two activities besides frolicking in the ocean and soaking up sunshine: Sea World and a La Jolla kayak tour.

Foxxi and the other critters will be well cared for during our absence, because we have someone staying at our house. The choir director at my church has been housesitting the rectory and caring for the priest’s two dogs for the past month, and she (the priest) returns the day we leave. Very convenient! We’ve been cleaning and trying to get things ready for him. Thus the frantically running around.

Besides mowing the grass, cleaning rodent cages, doing laundry and making last-minute trips to various stores, we managed to attend the annual corn boil at Vermont Valley Farm. I’m having a hard time sitting still. I may end up not sleeping until we’re on the plane. Okay, back to running in circles.

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