Wednesday, December 17, 2003

I haven't blogged in over a month ... sounds like a confession, doesn't it? I wanted to, but don't always get time when I want to say something. Kent hogs the computer when he's home, so if I want to blog, I have to do it when he's at work or late at night.

Good things have happened: Cayla turned 8 and got baptized Saturday. Bad things have happened: Kent ran the cell phone bill up - $345 and a check Mom wrote me for a loan bounced so that I have to pay the $20 overcharge fee plus $5 per day and I don't know how many days her bank is charging for. It looks like my check tomorrow will go for bills and bank charges, and forget about Christmas presents for the girls. I was going to spend $50 on each girl for Christmas... they will have to wait until Kent gets paid next week.

That's another issue. Besides the whole - he doesn't like my input on his money thing - his company started mailing the paychecks instead of overnighting them to the job site. So, instead of getting his check on Wednesday every two weeks, they've been coming on Friday. The first payday had Veterans Day in it, the second had Thanksgiving Day. The last one didn't have a holiday, but it's the busiest mailing season of the year. Next week has Christmas... I just hope his check arrives on Friday and not Saturday.

It's going to be difficult to explain to the girls (ages 8 and 10) that they won't get Christmas presents on Christmas, they will have to wait until Daddy gets his check. Thanks, Securitas office in Des Moines... for making my Christmas just a little bit brighter. Thanks, Mom, for not telling me about the extra bank charge until I was already in a crappy mood (the last words out of my mouth before she told me about the charges) to tell me about the bank charges. Thanks, Kent, for having to talk to your internet friends before 9 p.m. when we have unlimited minutes.

Now I have to go get ready for work. I have a migraine... could it get any better than this?

Sunday, November 2, 2003

I haven't blogged in over a month... but since Zonkboard went to pay only, I had to remove it from my blog. I will have to go go through all my old blog entries from before Blogger, when I did it all in html, and take them out. Lots more work...

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Well, I've had a busy week. The contractor finally came to start working on the kitchen floor on Friday. Saturday, Amanda got baptized. The whole dining area and kitchen had the floor off.

Picture me trying to bake cookies, taking the kids to the laundromat to wash towels, getting the kids ready to go to church, and writing my talk. I actually wrote it at the laundromat, intending to type it up when we got back, but I didn't have time.

In addition, I've been having muscle spasms in my back since Wednesday. For the contractor to work, I had to remove dishes from the kitchen cabinet and a bunch of stuff that's on shelves in the dining area. I had to move things from the dining room to the living room. I have stuff in the kids' room, living room, and our bedroom.

I'm so tired. I'll blog more later.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

I have the night off from work so I can go to a once a month church meeting for women (Enrichment Night). My niece Jessica (17) babysits in the nursery, so I have to pick her up. I drove into town, picked up my mom and then went to my sister's to get Jessica. My other niece, Suzanna (15) was home and not doing anything, so I asked her if she'd like to come along. She said sure. We went out to the car. It wouldn't start.

I tried again. It wouldn't start. I waited awhile. It wouldn't start. I walked to a drive-up convenience store a block away and asked to use their phone (my sister is currently without phone service and DH insists on having the cell phone when he's home so he can make long-distance phone calls). The guy was willing to let me call after all the customers were through, but that place is moderately constant (one car pulls up before the front one leaves or shortly after). I went back and tried the car. It wouldn't start.

I walked a long block to a church member's (Heather) house to see if she or her husband was home. She was, and we tried calling church. Nobody answered the phone. (The one in the hallway is at the far end of building from the chapel and the meeting is in the back portion of the chapel, called the cultural hall.) I called Kent and he offered to come into town and take me to church. I had a slight disagreement about who he would take - he hates my family, so didn't want my mom or nieces in *his* car. He finally agreed to take them to church.

I walked back to the car and tried it again. It wouldn't start. I waited, and Heather showed up. She took my mom and nieces to church. Right after she left - like 30 seconds, DH showed up. When he stopped in front of my car, I turned the key so he could hear the sound it was making (just the starting sound without kicking over). THE DANG CAR STARTED!!!!

Kent said, "I missed a tournament for this!" (He plays spades on Igames. Too bad.) I can't believe the stupid car wouldn't start until he got there. He thinks it was flooded. I'm not sure, because I know it's electronic ignition and dont' pump gas into it when I'm starting it. I don't know what the problem was. I did get to church, about 1/2 hour late, and the car started when I was ready to come home.

Tuesday, September 2, 2003

Wow. I haven't blogged in a month. I kept meaning to, but I've also been thinking of going back to my old system. Sometimes Blogger wasn't updating reliably, and I've been wanting to change the template but I'm not sure how to do it.

Kent is being crabby again. He gets nicer as it approaches my payday, in the belief that I won't give him cigarette money if he's being an ass. He may be right. As soon as he get his money, he's free to bitch again and he takes full advantage of it.

The girls are back in school. YAY!!! I took a 3-hour nap this morning and it wasn't enough sleep. I'd like to take classes at Iowa Central again, but money is an issue. I might try to take one class online if I have enough money after paying bills next week. We'll see. I'd like to take a history class. I have a skimming of history - sort of an overview, but no real in-depth knowledge.

I've got to look into that blog template thing. I'd like to make my own, but don't know where to start. Gotta get motivated and moving.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

I had some "oh no" moments and some "ah" moments today. The "oh no" was when I found out that Judith Duffy, a kindergarden teacher in Fort Dodge, died. My mom is a Foster Grandparent and she worked in Mrs. Duffy's class for, I think, five years. When I found out, I had to call Mom and tell her, so she wouldn't read it in the paper tomorrow without warning.

The "ah" moment was on the way home from work at 1 a.m. I can drive two ways home - on Highway 169, which is four lanes most of the way, then D-33, a county road, or I could go on county road P-59 and then a road that goes twisty through woods (Riverside Trail or something like that). Anyway, I keep a sharp eye out for deer, and as I was going through the woods, I saw a small animal. Thinking it was a cat, I slowed down and then stopped. It was a raccoon, which was joined by another.. They had to be juvenile, because they were only about the size of a cat. I have seen (as road kill) raccoons the size of medium-size dogs. Anyway, I just sat in my car for a couple of minutes watching them on the road. They weren't afraid of my car until I decided I had to leave and started inching forward. They skedaddled back off the road and I went home.

That was nice.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Ah, I haven't been blogging lately, but I've been spending a lot of time on the Woman's Day forums. Just look for posts by CaySedai. I've also been wasting a lot of time at Neopets.

I have started following advice from FlyLady, though. I'm working on my Control Journal, and we've done a couple of Crisis Cleaning times, although the girls aren't too enthusiastic. The place is fairly messy, but better than before.

The problem is that there's problems with the floor in the kitchen/dining room area. The floor is getting soft in the kitchen. The kitchen is a walk-through. Part of the dining room floor is buckling, but it's still hard. Kent made a misstep and put his foot through the linoleum in the kitchen. The landlord has seen this and sent a plumber to fix the line behind the washing machine, where he thought a leak was causing the problem. Now he's planning to bring his insurance guy to look at it.

Two problems: the plumber came last week and fixed the leak, but switched the cold and hot water leads into the washing machine, so instead of, say, warm/cold, it gives me warm/hot; or instead of cold/cold - hot/hot. I'm guessing hot/cold would be cold/hot. Anyway, that's not good. The other problem is that the landlord told Kent that he and the insurance guy would come Thursday or Friday - that was last week. I'm wondering when they are coming. I can get things straightened up, and am trying to do so, but this is interfering with my work plans. If they call Wednesday or Thursday morning and say they are on their way... or just show up... that will cause big problems if I'm heading off to work. I asked the landlord last week to let me have some notice for that reason and haven't heard from him since.

The girls have been getting in trouble with the guy across the street. He wants them to stay away from his dog. I've told them they can't even go to their friends' house because the friends live next door to that guy. He called the sheriff on the girls the other night. What a jerk. The dog was even running around loose and got in our yard. If that happens again, we're calling the sheriff and reporting a loose dog.

Tuesday, July 8, 2003

I think blogger is behaving now, except I told it to "republish entire site" because it wouldn't republish the last two posts... so it's still going, LOL.

I took the fourth off, had to see the fireworks. Last year, I got off work early, but they had started and I got home just as they were over. What a disappointment.

This year, I sat in my front yard and watched the fireworks that were set off a block away - some went off directly over our heads. It was awesome. Cayla was scared at first, so I had her sit in the car with me, then she calmed down and we sat in a chair in the yard. It was so beautiful.

Amanda's 10th birthday is Sunday, I think we're getting her a bike. She's been using an old one that's not working now, and Cayla got a new one in May for good grades. That was partly out of frustration on our part, because Amanda needs motivation and Cayla just does her homework. We wanted to show Amanda that rewards are possible if you apply yourself. I think I'm going to have to rearrange my work schedule this coming year to make sure I can spend a couple of hours with her daily on homework, if that's what it takes. I've even thought about finding a different job, but I would hate to leave this one - I love it more than any other job I've had. But, I might have to consider it.

Monday, June 30, 2003

I made a post on Saturday - and I can even read it in Blogger, but it won't publish. My blog ate my blog.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Another storm last night and I was going to have the girls sleep with us. I don't know why I suddenly am obsessed with the thought that the neighbor's tree might fall on our mobile, but I am. Anyway, I happened to take a close look at Cayla's hair and she's not going to be sleeping with me anytime soon. She has lice. After three years of not having to worry about it, it's happened again.

I know that lice just don't happen, you get them from someone else. Now I have to wonder which of their friends "shared" with her. Amanda seemed free of them, but I need to locate the electronic comb. I just realized I let her go to her friends' house across the street - forgetting they could be the source. Darn. Apparently it's not going to be my day.

Things I want to do: rearrange living room, bring white dresser in for tv stand, move tv stand into girls' room for computer, finish putting Otho Pub menu online, put all books on shelves, get all laundry put away...

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Catching up:

Kent is being very agreeable, I think he's realized that he can't really make it living on his own if the girls and I move out.

Saturday: started out for the first two-mile walk of the plan. Cayla came with, on her bike, but pooped out at the half-way point (a mile from home). I had the cell phone, called home & Kent came to pick her up. I would have walked the rest of the way, but he said he wanted to walk, too. We all went to the park, left the kids there and continued on to the school. Back to the park, called the Otho Pub to place our order for loaded hash browns, convenience store, pub, home. I shared my hash browns with the girls.

Sunday night Cayla was playing with the neighbors across the street and was beaned in the head with a bat wielded by a 6-yr-old. Two hours in the ER and a CT scan later, she's fine.

Monday: started to do the walk, kids were cranky & arguing, so we went around the block and back home. I did my walk at 10:30 p.m. with Cayla. I made her walk, not ride her bike, because it was dark, so she pooped out on me. Not her fault. We didn't go all the way to the front door of the school (my half-way point for one mile), and we cut through the park instead of going square on the streets. We saw lightning and Cayla just wanted to get home.

The storm hit around 2 a.m. as I had just dropped off to sleep. Cayla was already in bed with us, knowing there would be a storm, she was scared. When the wind picked up so suddenly and I saw whatt he radar looked like, I made Amanda get up and join us in bed. There's an absolutely huge tree in the neighbor's yard next to that side of the mobile. If it fell our way, it would crush that part of the mobile.(Actually, it might crush the whole thing - it's that long!)

Anyway, I wasn't so worried about Amanda then, but I was sandwiched between two sweaty girls and that didn't make it easy to sleep. I finally made Amanda go back to her own bed.

Tuesday: I had asked Kent to wake me at 6 so I could do my walk. I actually got up at 6:45. Did my walk, regular route (up HIghway Street, over to Railroad, back south on Railroad and then home). Did a couple of things on the computer, then back to bed. I set the cell phone alarm to 10:30.

Mom called, wanting a ride to her friend's house. I said okay, back to sleep. When I finally got up & got ready and all, found the battery in my car was dead. Apparently (from my own deduction, since this happened before), if I turn on the dome light I need to be absolutely sure it's all the way off. I think there's an in-between setting where the dome light doesn't light up, but does run down the battery. So, I had to wait til Kent got home to jump start my car. Bummer. And, Mom called me after I told her I couldn't take her anywhere today, to rant that she'll never loan us money again because Kent won't let her ride in his car. Well, that's true, but that wasn't the situation today. Kent had his car at work. I would have had to walk at least 10 miles to pick it up. I don't think so.

Kent's bummer was that I couldn't bring him lunch. He had to wait until he got home at 4 p.m. When I left here, I went to Taco Tico and used gift certificates that Mom had given me. Then, work.

All my work was done by 10:30 p.m. but I had to stay until 1 a.m. I'm supposed to wait for the call - at least I think I am. If this has changed, nobody has told me about it.This is bad on two counts: the Sports Department was there, too - at least Eric, Chris and Dana. They stayed until nearly 1 but didn't call Webster City (I think they never do), and since I had supper before going to work, I didn't take a break ... in eight hours. It's bad enough having to wait around after my work gets done (and do make-work), but the Sports guys start talking trash after the News person in charge leaves (Bob, Barbara, Deanna). So, I had to sit and listen to the obscenities rolling through the room. If Sports thinks the arrangement has changed and I don't have to wait, they should tell me. I'm not staying because I like listening to them rant.

I'm so tired, and I'm hungry... but we don't have much that's just ready-to-eat. I know I'll want to sleep in in the morning. I guess I'll have some Post Toasties and go to bed.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Yesterday Kent found out I had applied for housing and was furious. Now he's very agreeable and wanting to work things out. I wonder how long that will last. I went through with the application process, though. There's a waiting list of about 2 months. This keeps my options open. He's even offered to go walking with me!

Today when I woke up, I didn't wake him. After his usual 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. shift yesterday, he had to work midnight to 4 a.m. because of a problem with one of the other guards at his post. I took Cayla with me for the 2 mile walk. She rode her bike. We reached the halfway point, going on a route that took us out of town. On the way back, she seemed to be lagging, so I asked her if she wanted Daddy to come get her. She said yes, so I called him (thank goodness for cell phones!). He came to pick her up and asked why I didn't have him go with us. I said I would go back with them in the car and we could walk together.

This meant that we all had to go, because I don't feel right leaving Amanda and Cayla alone, even in our small town. We live in a mobile home, notorious for fast fires, although the kids wouldn't be doing anything to cause one - call me overprotective. So, we walked to the park, left the kids there and walked a little further, then back home. After lunch, I took a nap.

That's about my whole day so far, now it's time to go to work. I've got a headache - probably from not drinking Dr. Pepper (my downfall) until lunchtime. I'm making up for that now.

Friday, June 20, 2003

I turned in my application today, need a couple more things before my name goes on the list. Still need to find out about storage, but can't do anything about that until at least next payday. Paid the electric bill. Didn't pay the water bill, thinking that if we talk to the landlord and offer to pay 2/3 of the rent early and the rest on July 3, Kent could pay the 2/3 rent and the water bill, which would still be less than the whole rent. Kent refuses to pay the water bill. He also says Amanda is grounded - completely, not even allowed to leave the house, until the place gets picked up. He is vague and autocratic. "Clean this up" without focus is useless.

Kent said that Amanda couldn't even go on walks. The walks are the mile walks I started doing on Monday. I told him she would be happy to not go because she doesn't like to go, but I make her because I can't leave her alone at home while I'm out walking. He made a remark about it just being around the block, and I told him it's a mile. He said,"I don't care what you do." and I said,"I know." That pretty much sums up our relationship at this time, which is why I think moving out is the best.

He also semi-threatens things about the girls, like he doesn't feel like cooking. If I was in a car accident and in a body cast, confined to bed, he would rationale that I should cook because I'm home. If there's something the girls can do in the microwave,I'm okay with that, but if it involves real cooking, he needs to get up away from the computer and take care of the kids.

He's obsessively involved with I-games. He plays Spades, even hosts tournaments. Obviously he gets some emotional feedback from it that he doesn't get from his family, but it's hard to relate to somebody's back, which is the view we most often get.

I need to get something to eat and go to bed. It's after 2 a.m. and I'm getting cranky. er.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

One of my little projects is partly done. I got a printout and filled out an application. Not for employment. I need to make a list and find out about storage solutions. All will be made clear in time :-)

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

I've got to get going on some projects that I can mention here. I would... but don't want to tip my hand too soon. Anyway, I'm working tonight and can do one thing there later. One item has to do with storage solutions. Another thing I want to do is get a beginning yoga DVD. I need to be able to stretch. When I woke up this morning (at 9 a.m.) I felt like somebody had been thumping on me all night.

Today was the third day of the "Come Walk with Me" plan. I was supposed to concentrate on speed, but I decided not to worry about it. Amanda doesn't want to go walking with me, but I don't feel right leaving her at home while I'm gone for 1/2 hour walking. So I let her pick the route and it ended up being slightly short. Don't care. Tomorrow is not a structured walk. I'm thinking of getting up at 5 with Kent and doing my walk, cooking him breakfast and then going back to bed. The girls can make frozen waffles in the toaster and wake me if someone comes to the door.

My days during the school year were pretty much like this: get up at 7, make breakfast for Kent & me (the girls usually ate breakfast at school), make sure kids get dressed, drive them to school, come home & take a nap. I was looking forward to sleeping in for the summer, but when I started this walking plan, I realized I would have to do my walking in the morning before the summer heat kicks in. ::sigh::

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

I did a mile again today. I got it done earlier, when it wasn't so hot. The girls and I went to see Finding Nemo with Mom. I made macaroni salad. I went to Relief Society. I will be going to bed soon instead of staying up til 2-3 a.m.

Tomorrow is the third day of the "Come Walk with Me" plan. "Wednesday Walk one mile. Focus on speed. Time yourself while you walk and try to complete the mile in 20 minutes. Don’t worry if you take a little longer. Your endurance and strength will build over time."

Speed, huh? Hmmm... Yeah, we'll see about that. The weather forecast suggests scattered thunderstorms in the morning, which I had planned to be my walking time. Well, off to bed now to fall asleep to "Stargate SG-1."

Monday, June 16, 2003

I just returned from a one-mile walk around part of Otho. It's 84 degrees here. It's shower time.

Friday, June 13, 2003

My mom read my blog! Hi, Mom!

My car was down for the count for a few days (again!). On June 5, there was a terrific rainstorm as I was returning to work and I drove through some hubcap-high water. The car seemed fine that night, but the next day it wouldn't start. I knew I had gotten the starter replaced last year, but here it was conking out again. I tried Friday and Saturday to start it, then left it Sunday and Monday. When I tried on Tuesday, it turned over, so I drove it into town (with Cayla as passenger) and left it at the mechanic's. Kent drove in with Amanda and we all drove back home together, then I drove Kent's car to work.

Saturday (June 7), the girls and I walked in the Frontier Days Parade. I have posted some of the pictures here. Cayla walked with the group from church. In order to do that, since they were meeting way too early for my taste, she stayed overnight at Donna's.

Amanda didn't want to walk with them, so she went with me. I went with a group from work (The Messenger) and handed out newspapers. Amanda and I weren't quite quick enough and there weren't enough delivery bags to go around, so we missed out and had to carry our papers in our arms.

The hardest part was retrieving new stacks of papers from the back of a van in motion. The worst few moments were when I lost sight of Amanda and frantically looked forwards, backwards and all around without finding her. I walked back behind the next group, then forward again, and had actually dialed 911 on my cell phone when I saw her ahead of me near the Messenger van. Whew!

Amanda and I got to wait quite awhile before the group from church came along. When Jessica and Suzanna brought Cayla to my work, we waited for Kent to come with his car. He gave Jessica and Suzanna a ride home, then we went home. I rested a bit, then went to work. We didn't go to the Fort for any of the Frontier Days activities.

Now it's 2 a.m., I've been up too late yet again, and I have to work in the morning. We're planning to go to Stratford for Stratford Telephone's 100 year celebration. That's our cable company, so we got an invitation and drawing ticket with the cable bill. The tickets have to be presented in person - not mailed in. Fortunately, I will be taking a digital camera from work and taking pictures, so I get to put the time on my time card. At least some of the time. And, it's kind of cool to see my name on the photo credit line. I took pictures at a fire once and we used one of them.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Tuesday night (May 27) was Amanda's fourth-grade "graduation." There was a potluck and graduation ceremony. Kent decided not to go because Amanda "doesn't do what I tell her to do at home." How petty. So, my mom got to go. I was supposed to bring a main dish and vegetable for 10 people. This was difficult, because we had no money. I couldn't even make anything from what we had in the pantry, unless I could do it from a couple of boxes of Jell-O and some rice. Mom paid for some chicken and potato salad from Wal-Mart.

So, here was my afternoon: pick the girls up from school, take Amanda to Donna's house, drop Cayla off at Kent's work, go to work until 5:30, pick up Mom, go to Wal-Mart for the food, pick up Amanda at Donna's, go to the school. We were 15 minutes late, but they hadn't started eating yet. We found a table with a seat at the end for Mom. She has a hard time lifting her legs up over the bench of the cafeteria table. When our table was called, we stood in line and made our way up to the food. We all had chosen food and Mom & I had full plates, when Mom put a piece of chicken on her plate and it all tipped over. She walks with a cane, and couldn't hold her plate with both hands.

Mrs. Osterberg helped her with her plate and she got a couple more things to replace what dropped on the floor. When everyone was done eating, it was presentation time. The kids were called up one at a time to get a "diploma," their yearbook and a carnation. I watched all the parents go up the middle (the tables were in two rows of five tables, with aisles on the outside and middle) to take pictures, getting a lovely picture of their childrens' heads. I went over to one side before Amanda's name was called so I could get a better shot. Of course, I don't know when I'll get this roll of film developed, so I can't tell if it worked or not.

After the presentation, I grabbed our second batch of chicken that wasn't used, the rest of the potato salad and a piece of cake. Amanda carried cake for herself and Mom. I had to get back to work, so we left. I had to put gas in my car, so we went to Wal-Mart. I was planning to give Donna the $2 left on my gift card so she could get something for supper. She was going to supper break and chose the chicken and potato salad instead. I realized I didn't have time to take Amanda home, so dropped her off at Donna's and took Mom home. I got back to work exactly at 8. I got off at 11, took Amanda home and was up til 2.

I'm always up too late. Even now, I wanted to go to sleep when I got home, but I was hungry, so I got a bowl of macaroni salad. It's nearly 1:30 a.m. I had decided to go to bed as soon as possible, rather than stay up all night doing laundry, thinking I've got something I can wear. I just realized I don't know if the kids do. I know they have enough clean clothes, but not if they are the right kind.

I don't know if anyone reads this besides me. I don't think it really matters. I do censor some things that are private or hard to explain, and I have a tendency to ramble on. I guess if a reader doesn't like it, they are free to move on to something more amusing.

Saturday, May 24, 2003

Well, it's Saturday and we're all back at home. Kent, of course, never left. Cayla was at Donna's house. Amanda and I went to Camp Foster for two days with the fourth grade classes from her school. It's a 20-year tradition. There were lots of scheduled activities and Amanda got to try them all - right up until it really started to rain. At that point, her team was out on the lake in canoes, but they quickly paddled in. The next activity was supposed to be Beach Games, but turned out to be inside games.

Amanda had fun, and so did I. I participated in some of the activities - like archery and the obstacle course (as a spotter). I tried to get on a horse, but was having problems and decided to wait it out so I wouldn't delay the team further. We were running late already. I passed on the canoeing - which was very lucky, as it turned out. The sprinkles became a downpour very quickly.

One of the songs was "Tony Chestnut." I'm trying to find the same version that we were taught, but no luck so far.

Normally, after so much activity, I would have no trouble sleeping, but the beds in the cabins were hard and uncomfortable.I woke up many times during the night.

Friday morning, we went to the Maritime Museum at Arnold's Park, the Abbie Gardner Cabin, and the Fish Hatchery at Spirit Lake. Then it was back to camp, lunch, pack our stuff and go. I had forgotten to tell Donna to pick me up, so I had to call Kent at work and tell him to pick us up. We got back to the school around 3:30 and he gets off work at 4. We were the last ones to leave, even after Mrs. Whiting, and she had to do some work before her husband came to pick her up.

When Kent came to get Amanda and me, we all headed over to Donna's to pick up Cayla. She didn't want to leave right away, because Donna was bringing her a kid's meal, so we waited.Then we were off to Hy-Vee to do a little grocery shopping, and then home. We got stuff for plate tacos, but nobody wanted to cook, so I went to the Otho Pub for loaded hashbrowns (hashbrowns with cheese, onions & peppers). Kent, of course, was on the computer until after midnight - except for the half hour or so he was on the phone in the bedroom but had to have the computer left alone while he was gone.

Now, I've been online for a couple of hours. I haven't found the exact version of "Tony Chestnut" that we heard at camp, and I should be getting ready for work. Ah, I might as well - can't put it off any longer. I work tonight, I'm off tomorrow, then I work six nights in a row. Fun.

Friday, May 16, 2003

In my last post, moaning about how tired I am, I didn't mention an upcoming event. Enrichment Night for Relief Society is next Tuesday. I was asked to teach a mini-class, and the following Sunday the whole R.S. presidency changed. I don't know if they are planning on me teaching the mini-class or not, now. Nobody has contacted me, I don't have the new R.S. president's phone number, I just have to act like I'll be doing it and see what happens. The class is about heritage albums. I have some of the stuff I need, but I haven't really worked on one, and I have to have at least a couple of pages ready by Tuesday... ack. I won't be ready, of course. Also, Thursday and Friday of next week, I'll be going on a trip with Amanda's class to Okoboji, as a chaperone. I'm getting more tired just thinking about it! LOL
Well, I got my art project completed, sort of. It wasn't what I imagined at the beginning, but I hope I got my point across. I haven't gotten my grades back yet. And, of course, I haven't found a new template and updated the look of this yet. I'm tired (when am I not?) and I have to go to work (which I'm delaying). And I'm hungry, but don't quite feel like eating anything we have. It's all just sort of blah.

This week at work, we've been having more computer problems than normal. Tuesday night, the news server went down twice. That's the server that the pages are stored on, so if no server, no work gets done. (I work at The Messenger, the newspaper in Fort Dodge, Iowa.) As bad as Tuesday was, Wednesday was so, so much worse. That night the server went down and never came back. Our IT guy, David, had to restore pages from backup (incomplete, of course) and save them to another server. The new location wasn't mapped like the original, so it was like going to a new drive to find them.

One responsibility I have it to wait until the printing plant calls to say they have all the pages and everything is okay. If they were to call with a problem, I would just have to call one of the IT guys and have them fix it, probably. But, four of the five nights I work, I'm supposed to stay late. Wednesday nights, particularly, since there are extra publications that are printed that night. I have to wait and make sure they got all of those pages, too. This last Wednesday, I left at 1:45 a.m. David (IT guy) left at 8 a.m. He'd been up all night restoring the stuff from backup.

Anyway, I'm still recovering from that night and really want to go take a nap (one of my favorite "activities"), but have a stinking page to do for Sunday business section. I just called and talked to Barbara, hoping she would say she needed the space on that page for something... but no luck. I still have to go in. I work tonight, too.

Sunday, May 4, 2003

I'm going to have to sneak some time in to find a blog template and get everything righted, too... when I moved my blog from blogspot, the graphics for the template aren't accessible and I really should be working on my project...
It's been storming all day. I went online a couple of times but chickened out due to heavy thunder/lightning. Finally, it looks like clearing up a little and I've got to get to work. I've got a project due tomorrow in "Exploring the Visual Arts." I have the pieces in my mind, now it's a matter of downloading and modifying some graphics and putting web pages together... better get busy!
Now I can pick a different template and personalize my blog a little more... which means more time surfing for blog templates and then setting them up ...
I'm trying one more setting ...
Okay, we'll try this now. I finally got my web site copied to Frontiernet (my DSL provider) from GlobalCCS (my cable provider), so we'll see if I can publish to the new site with Blogger...

Sunday, April 27, 2003

"But, since you got a tattoo, I gotta get something for me."
-overheard in the parking lot at Wal-Mart last night.

Friday, April 25, 2003

It's all fun and games until Mommy starts singing...
Mom wanted a ride to the store today, so I picked her up on the way from work as I was going to pick the girls up after school. While we were driving to Kent's work, Cayla was singing a song she learned at school. It was something about going to visit someone and they were sick and then they died. I think it was "Jenny Jones" or something. She's asleep now and I did a web search and didn't find it, anyway... She was singing happily and Mom said the song sounded depressing. It reminded me of the "Peanut Song." (Not the one with the train - the one where you found a peanut, found a peanut, found a peanut just now... )

Cayla demanded we sing the song to her, so we gave it a try. We foundered near the end, but Mom kept going. We always forget the last couple of verses. Anyway, Cayla loved the song so much she added a couple of verses. After you "went the other way," she added "got crispy" and "pile of ashes." Not bad for a 7-year-old, I guess. She and Amanda were having a hilarious time with the song, but I had to tell them I was getting a headache so they would stop singing, or I would get a headache.

When Kent got off work, we went to Walmart. Amanda has a presentation and I got the stuff so she could practice and also make the freeze pops for her class. Also, I've been wearing my tennis shoes (okay, athletic shoes) to work nearly all the time. Next week we are having a corporate visitor, so I can't wear them during that time. So, I bought a pair of shoes. I think they are kind of cute. They were a tiny bit tight, but I tried them on with ankle socks on and they are meant to wear with hose. I, of course, will wear them with pants and knee-highs. I don't wear pantyhose anymore. Ah, freedom.

Sunday, April 20, 2003

Well, I have an idea for a home-based business. It's a brilliant idea, actually. I have all the materials at hand, and I would only have to advertise.

My niece (Jessica, 17) told me the other day that sometimes when she is done babysitting my kids she leaves with no desire to procreate. I could rent my kids out to parents of teenagers as birth control.

Monday, April 14, 2003

And... my car is fixed. It turns out it wasn't leaking oil, although it had in the past... Apparently, we put too much oil in it. So, it's fixed, I only have to pay about $25, and I can pick it up today.

Looking back, I see I didn't post about the car needing repairs. Ok, Cliff Notes version: oil light went on, I added oil. Went to Kent's work, he added more because the light was on again. I thought he checked the level, but I guess not. I drove home, found out later Kent saw a puddle of oil under my car at his work but didn't tell me (he could have called on the cell phone and I would have driven to the garage right then) because "I wanted to teach you a lesson about taking care of your car." Nice. Anyway, the car has been sitting in the driveway for nearly 2 weeks because I thought it had run out of oil and didn't want to drive it. Kent drove it to the garage yesterday and I picked him up in his car. Car is fixed, not a big bill, happy ending. Except, I think he's a jerk to risk the lives of his family to "teach a lesson" when he could have called me and I would have had it taken care of right away.

The only bit of revenge I have for this is the fact we've been using his car exclusively for nearly 2 weeks. He drives to work with all of us, I take the girls to school and then do what I have to do. I pick the girls up, pick him up, he drives home. I drive to work and home. Things would have gone smoother for all of us if we hadn't been relying on one car all this time. He was late for work a couple of days.
One week ago, we had a snow day. Today the temperature is in the 80s.

Friday the girls didn't have school because it was a comp day for teachers. They had to stay later on Tuesday and Thursday for parent-teacher conferences. Cayla learned to ride a bike and showed Amanda. Now all they want to do is ride their bikes. Cayla's report card was very good, Amanda's was very bad. Kent bought Cayla a new bike at Walmart; Amanda can use the used one that we already had that doesn't look very nice. We don't know how to motivate Amanda to get things done.

Thursday, I bought "The Sims Deluxe" and "Unleashed" and have played into the wee hours of the morning Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Bad move. I missed classes again today. I was supposed to turn in a paper that I haven't really even started on... guess I'll be busy tomorrow. When I finally went to bed around 4:15 a.m., I started thinking and realized that Relief Society should be tomorrow, so I will have tomorrow off - but I will work tonight. I don't have a copy of my schedule at home, so I have to assume I remembered correctly and be ready to go to work. So, I slept today instead of going to classes. Another day wasted. I'm going to have to set a timer or something when I play.

I still haven't switched my website or changed the graphics (see previous post of April 4). Guess I need to learn how to motivate myself ... not just Amanda.

Friday, April 4, 2003

I now have a "real" phone, not just a cell phone, and DSL. The DSL story is bloggable, but painful. Let's just say it's working now and leave it at that. Anyway, I just realized that with a new ISP (gotta remember to call the cable company after I switch my web pages over), I might be able to use Blogger to post to my own web site instead of Blogspot. I like Blogspot, but I would like to be able to change my templates to something that's not on the official list. I'll work on that sometime when I have more time. Ummm ... I probably should change the graphics on my home page from the Valentines Day set that's there now...
Again, it's a nasty weather day and I'm just waiting to find out if/when the kids will be released early from school. One of those days recently, they decided not to release the kids early and the weather conditions were appalling when I was trying to drive home. On that day, the snow just kept coming and the weather kept getting worse, but they didn't cancel school. Today, it started with light rain, which increased, and the addition of little ice pellets just makes things more interesting. On the radio, they said we could get up to 2 inches of snow.

On Monday, I was perturbed to turn on my favorite radio station and hear what seemed to be either solid oldies or easy listening format. On Tuesday, I called to ask and found out, yes, they are now an easy listening station. So I have switched. Goodbye KOOL 92, hello KKEZ. KKEZ is usually a little more rock than I like, but it's better than the alternative.

In addition, on Tuesday, the oil light went on in my car and didn't go off. I bought 4 quarts of oil at Walmart, thinking I would put 2 in and save 2 for later. Later was the same day, when I stopped to meet Kent as he was getting off work. He put the other 2 quarts in for me. He noticed when I left that there was a large puddle where the car had been, but didn't bother to mention it until Wednesday morning. Tuesday night when I was leaving to go to work, I saw a large puddle under the car, so I had to take Kent's car. If Kent had called me on the cell phone from his work when he saw that puddle, I would have driven to the mechanic's immediately instead of driving home - 10 miles in the opposite direction. Now, we have to put in another 5 quarts and drive to the mechanic's tomorrow with Kent following me in his car, hoping that my car will make it there without blowing the engine. Kent says he wanted to teach me a "lesson" about taking care of my car. I think he wants my car to blow the engine just because he's being a jerk.

Because he didn't tell me about the puddle and because I drove my car home and it's staying there until tomorrow, I've been drving his car. :( It's a 93 Ford Escort wagon. It has a stick shift. :( I hate manual transmissions. :( I hope I can afford to get my car fixed. Every day Kent is a little late or nearly late for work, and the girls don't have time to eat breakfast at school.

I need to go get ready for work. I nearly had my Sunday business page done last night, but couldn't find 2 of the photos I'm supposed to put on the page. I tried calling Dorothy this morning to see if she knows where they are, but she didn't answer the phone. I know I'll just have to go in, but I'm putting it off.

When I got home last night, I turned on the computer (bad idea) and started Web surfing. I found a link to the Gallery of Regrettable Food. I was laughing helplessly and had to share with my sister, so I sent her the link through Yahoo Messenger. I remember watching an episode of "Batman" with my nephew Alex, who was probably 16 at the time. We made fun of the show and were laughing hysterically. That's how I felt looking at the pages of the Gallery of Regrettable Food. Make sure you visit The Instittue of Official Cheer and don't forget to take a tour of the Gobbler Motel & Supper Club.

A link to pass along to Barbara: Dogs and newspapers ...

Saturday, March 15, 2003

This week has been spring break week at Iowa Central. I was hoping that with all the extra time, I would get some housework caught up, get caught up with my notes from art class, and even bake some cookies. Guess what? None of that got done. One day I spent 4 hours downloading stuff for the Sims and unzipping some of the items. Well, it turns out that some of the items crash the game when I try to use them. Great.

On the plus side, I fulfilled a little fantasy this week. When I went to work Thursday, I was just working on my usual Thursday stuff - two pages I do for the Sunday Lifestyle section. There was a fire call on the scanner, and there was nobody in the newsroom. I told Bob (editor) that although I hadn't really used these cameras, I had used digital cameras before, so I was willing to at least try to get some pictures. He said okay. So, off I went. I took a lot of pictures - even ran out of memory on a 16 meg card. I deleted some of the early pics and took some more. Jennifer called to say she would be coming with another camera. I saw her, but she didn't see me, and she was at the other end of the block. I was right by the house. We ended up using one of my pictures in Friday's paper.

Thursday night was hectic for me. Amanda had a report due Friday that she should have done in class, but had been messing around wasting time. Mrs. Kingry had sent her report information home on Monday or Tuesday, but she still hadn't done anything. I told Kent she really needed to get more information, so he would have to look up information on flamingoes online and print it out for her. He couldn't use the printer - which is 7 years old and temperamental. You have to hold each page and feed it carefully in. He just didn't have the patience and delicacy of touch for the job. So, I took a long supper break and went to 2 places looking for a new printer. I was nearly ready to spend $130 for a printer at Office Max, but nobody would come over where I was. So, I went to Wal-Mart. I didn't get any help there, either, but it was easier to see why - it looked like there was only one clerk in the Electronics dept., and there were at least 10 customers. So, I looked at what was available and bought a Lexmark for $70. It works pretty well, but I have to make sure the pages are straight when they go in.

All that hassle, and she still didn't get the report done. I asked Mrs. Kingry to let us have the weekend, and she agreed. We are supposed to be working on it right now, but Amanda is outside playing. She wanted to "let breakfast settle." Well, I'm headed back to bed - I woke up too early. She is missing her chance for today. That leaves tomorrow, and I don't know if we'll have time on this computer tomorrow...

Monday, March 10, 2003

Wow. I didn't realize it had been this long since my last entry. I had some things in mind to say, but didn't get online at the right times and then forgot. Anyway...

I'm taking a class in Advanced Photoshop. The first day of class, Rusty told us we had a project to design a poster and billboard for the D/SAOC cake auction. They wanted the designs ASAP. There were three of us working on this, and they chose my design for the billboard! They chose someone else's design for the poster. "It is an honor to be chosen." I'm excited. I have taken pictures of the billboard, but haven't gotten them developed yet.

Today, I took the girls to the mall after school. I was driving Kent's car because the battery is dead in mine. I wanted to go to the mall to check the price of "The Sims" at EB Games. It's $5 more than Wal-Mart. Cayla said there was an art show from the schools, so we went to check it out. I was looking for something from either girl, and we found that Cayla had two things there! I was amazed. I took pictures. Somehow, though, my flash wasn't working, so we'll have to go back and try it again. We didn't find anything from Amanda, and I think she's somewhat disgruntled. She has had art shown before, though, so I'm not too upset on her behalf.

Saturday, March 1, 2003

I started moving my notes from "Exploring the Visual Arts" class from my site to blogspot. After I get everything moved, I can update easier, maybe. I picked a cool template that changes colors, but now I'm concerned because I can see it refreshing. I know it's a function of my monitor that causes this, but I don't know if it will bother other people. I may have to change it, but later.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Letter to the Editor ... or something ...

To the Editor:
Some people spend a few minutes in the morning clearing the frost or ice off their car windows. Other people clear a tiny space and hope the people who are more careful will see them first. I spent the time this morning to clear my car windows so I could drive safely and not be a hazard to others. I was nearly in an accident, however, when someone who clearly could not spend the time to clear their windows pulled out on the street in front of me. I slammed on my brakes and honked, so lady, yes, I'm talking to you. I could see through your back window that you were crouching down, peering through a space at the bottom of your windshield that was, maybe, six inches high and about half of the width of your windshield. You pulled out in front of me because you apparently didn't think you needed to clear your side windows. After all, even though you didn't take the time to clear your windows, other people must, therefore you don't need to worry. Every driver out there is looking out for you. We are making sure we take the time to have a clear field of vision so we won't run into you.

If you got a ticket this morning, you can blame me. I called the cops on you and gave them your license plate number and description of your car. I told them which way you were headed. Yeah, that's right. I'm an interfering person who thinks that other people should be able to see where they are driving and obey the laws (in this town, driving with an obstructed view warrants a ticket). Too bad. Next time, maybe you will take a couple of minutes to clear those windows before you drive off. I don't care if you were late to work. Getting into an accident makes you late for work or worse. And, I saw you had a child in your car, in the front seat. It didn't look like your child was wearing a seat belt, but I couldn't be sure. In this state, it's illegal to have a child under the age of 12 ride in the front seat, and seat belts are required for front seat passengers. I believe they are required for children of that age and under, as well. Based on the school where you dropped your kid off, I'd say the chances are pretty good that your child is 12 or under. Lady, is it worth it?
(Done ranting for now)

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

When I finished that last entry and tried to publish it, I got an error message. It was weird, like the computer problems followed me home. Just what I need...
I meant to go to bed half an hour ago, but thought I might as well get this down before I forget all the exciting details. We had so many computer problems at work tonight (yes, it's really Wednesday morning, but I'm still up,so to me it's still Tuesday night). Dave finally restarted the pagination server, and things worked a little better after that, but the computers were still sluggish. I had a problem which started when I tried to move a file and it didn't quite work, then I had to close the program, and I couldn't log back in. At this same time, I was trying to PDF a page that hadn't gone right when I did it before. My Mac froze and I had to restart. There was about 20 minutes where I couldn't work on my pages at all, and I finished about 10 minutes after deadline. After deadline had passed, and I finished the last page, the computer started working a little better. I did a couple of comics pages for later this week, then started a Sunday Lifestyle page. I couldn't believe I have everything for that page except from one source. That page 2E for Sunday, where I put the crossword, Annie's Mailbox, and information from service organizations. I decided not to do everything tonight, but left at midnight, came home and played on the computer too long... again. So, good night.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

Long, boring, ranting, blogging, babbling, stream-of-consciousness, did I mention babbling?
Since it is after 2 a.m. Saturday morning, I will just refer to Friday as yesterday, even though I'm still up and it seems like the same day. I skipped my "Exploring the Visual Arts" class yesterday, but made it to my Photoshop class. I had to go to work right after class, because I had put my timesheet in my bag and took it home Thursday night instead of turning it in. Brilliant!

Some background information: On January 22, 2003, I was driving Kent's car (the Escort) through the parking lot of Citizens Community Credit Union in Fort Dodge when a young woman (Haley) backed out of a parking space and ran into the car. I called the police, took the report to my insurance company, got two estimates and turned them in to the insurance company that same day. The following week, I got a letter from the young woman's insurance company (which I will name later if things continue in this manner) claims adjuster (Brad B.) saying that he was unable to contact me and I should call him. We have a post office box in Otho, where we live. When I got the mail that day, I sat in my car and called him right away, didn't even drive home. I gave him my side of the incident, and he said he would keep trying to get in touch with the girl. He mentioned she is 18 years old. He claimed that he was missing some information (damage estimate), so I got his fax number and had my insurance company fax the estimates to him.

Time passed. Around Feb. 5, my insurance company called to see what was going on. I called Brad B. and he said that Haley hadn't contacted him (big surprise), and he had to give her 15 days to get in touch. He said he would send a letter to her and if she didn't respond in 15 days, he would make a decision. I called this week, on Tuesday or Wednesday. He said he had to give Haley until Friday, then he would make a determination based on what he had if she didn't contact him. He did not say he had not sent her a letter. He said he would call me. Okay. When he didn't call, and I had to go to class, I called and left a message on his voicemail, saying he could call Kent and tell him what was going on. When I left class, there was a message on the cell phone from Kent, and he called while I was retrieving it. Apparently, Brad called Kent and told him that he had not sent the letter yet, he was going to send it, and had to give Haley 15 days. This is another 15 days, in addition to the first 15 days we just went through. I called my insurance company and they are trying to contact Brad. Brad did not return their call before he left work Friday afternoon. Apparently, our next step is to contact his supervisor... then maybe file in small claims court.

This all makes me angry, which is why I'm posting this here. I won't give you the name of the insurance company which is avoiding paying a legitimate claim, unless I feel I have no choice. Is this any way to do business? She backed into me. It was clearly her fault. The damage is to the passenger door, rear panel, and bumper on the driver's side. Unless my car suddenly developed the ability to drive sideways, I could not have hit her. This girl refuses to contact her claims agent and he refuses to pay the claim. Would you really want to do business with a company that won't fulfill its contractual obligations? What if you had a claim your insurance should pay, such as a fire in your home - would you trust a company that won't pay out on claims?

You may say that the company has the right to make sure about the facts. That's true. But I think the fact that this girl refuses to return his calls speaks volumes. She must know this was her fault. Not getting in touch with the claims agent won't make this go away. Trust me, I'm not giving up on this one. If they think we will just say, "oh this is too much trouble, I'll let it pass," they are sadly mistaken. And, actually, Kent tells me that Brad told him that we should have our insurance pay the claim and then our insurance company can try to get the money from them. Yeah, right. Wrong!

Now for legal purposes (meaning I don't want to get sued), I am not giving out last names, location of insurance companies, or the names of the companies involved. However, I may reconsider if this isn't resolved soon.

Okay, that takes me up to 3 p.m. Friday and there's a whole lot more... Kent left work early and met me at the parking lot at my work. He took the cell phone and went to pick up the girls from school. I went to work. I had to get as much done as possible, because I needed to leave for awhile to go to a film showing at The Blanden. The film was Basquiat, about the life and art of Jean Michel Basquiat. I will write my "review" of it later, although I have a small start already. I think I can sum it up briefly by saying, that like drugs, Basquiat is a mood-altering experience. Why drugs? Because that was a huge part of his life and, ultimately, the end of it. When the film ended, I had to leave quickly, get something to eat and rush back to work. I had no transition from one thing to the other, and it was a shock.

Now, I'm exhausted, sitting here at the computer at nearly 3 a.m. My head is floating and feels too big for my neck. My mind was restless, but is growing numb. I would like to go to bed and watch tv, flipping through the channels until I fall asleep, but I can't. The tv in the bedroom is small and we lost the remote when we moved. I can never get the volume right - it's either too loud or too soft. Since I have to get up to change it, I usually don't. My to-do list for today(!): work on project for Photoshop class, try to help Donna network her two computers, go to work. I'll be up too late at night again, and probably be too tired for church on Sunday. I'm going to bed now.

Friday, February 21, 2003

Warning: long rant ahead
I thought I was going to have a stoke today. I was up too late again last night, as usual, so after taking the girls to school, I went home and took a nap. When I got up, I had time to eat, take a shower and get dressed for work, go to the pawn shop to pay interest, and get Kent lunch. Then I went to work. I got there about 12:30, which is normally plenty of time to do the two pages I do for the Sunday Lifestyle section. I do one page with "highlights" from various organizations, a couple of puzzles, and Annie's Mailbox. The other page is the Announcements: Anniversary, Birthday, Engagement, Wedding. Normally, Bill K. scans the photos for these. They are supposed to be done by Tuesday night, but he usually does them Wednesday night. I didn't work Tuesday, and Wednesday I just didn't notice that he wasn't there. I was pretty busy Wednesday night with five pages.

So, if I had known that Bill K. was ill, I could have (and would have) scanned those photos Wednesday night after the paper was put to bed and I was waiting to hear that all the pages were okay. Unfortunately, I missed out on that announcement, and although someone in the newsroom told a certain person that it "needs to be done," that certain person didn't realize the exact deadline, so they didn't get done. I realized this about 1 or 1:30 in the afternoon on Thursday, the day that I do the pages and they go to press. So, that left me with 15 photos to scan, which was totally unexpected. I was nearly having a panic attack. I have to leave work at 3 p.m. to pick my kids up and can't be back before 4. I was really freaking out, thinking about all the stress I was having because (apparently) this other person doesn't realize that if you don't get something done, it affects other people.

I got back to work at 4 and got the photos scanned, then started on Friday's paper. Finally, I could calm down. Part of the stress came from the fact that I missed a personal deadline of turning my timesheet in to the Student Success Center. I get paid to take notes and transcribe them for a student in my class. The deadline to turn timesheets in is the 20th of each month, and the check is sent on the 15th of the following month. So, now I won't get paid for my February hours until April. I had planned to turn my timesheet in after dropping the girls off and before heading back to work, but that plan died when I had to go back and scan the photos.

Part of my stress also stems from the fact that I think some things at work just plan don't work. There are three computers in the newsroom with Photoshop on them. Two are next to each other, one is at the desk next to mine. The person who was there quit, and I asked if that copy of Photoshop could be put on my computer instead. No go. I asked if a scanner could be put there. Also no go. Picture this: there are two computers in the old Pagination area that both have Photoshop. Another department got a new scanner, so their old one was put on the computer on the left, where there was already a scanner. The semi-new scanner is under the older scanner. You can't use two scanners at once, and if someone is on that computer, you can't scan at all. It doesn't make sense to me to see two scanners hooked up to one computer and someone's using it when I'm frantically going around trying to find a place to scan the darn photos! It's unreal. It didn't help that the person on that computer refused to move. Although I got back around 4, it was about half an hour before I could start doing the scans.

The rest of the evening seemed to go okay, except when I took my supper break. I wasn't watching where I was going, and my left arm was swinging a little and hit something hard. It hurts a little, mobility is slightly impaired by pain, and there's a definite bump. I'm going to see how it looks in the morning. (Wait, it is morning - well, when I wake up, then.) And, I should do laundry, but I think I can find something to wear... I hope... and the girls will just have to find some not-too-dirty socks... Good night.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

It's nearly 2 a.m., I haven't started on my project for my Advanced Photoshop class (because apparently I didn't really upload it to my Yahoo briefcase like I thought), and I'm watching "House Hunters" on HGTV. This is a semi-interesting show... you get to see other people look at homes to buy. The couple in this episode (Alicia and Gentry Patrick) have my vote for "most overuse of the word nice" It's starting to get annoying.

Tomorrow (actually later today) I have to turn in my days off request for March, my timesheet to the college for note-taking, and my timesheet at work. It's that time already. I was playing on Neopets, but their server is down for maintenance (according to them), so I gave that up for now. Oh well, maybe I can get acquainted with sleep. That's always a good idea. When I was still at work, I had rebooted and took a bathroom break. While I was busy, my Mac came back on, but most of the desktop icons didn't appear. I rebooted again, and turned it off for awhile. David, our IT guy, had left while my Mac was rebooting the first time. I didn't feel there was any point in calling him in since he's scheduled to come back in at 8 a.m. So, I didn't get some things done that I usually get started on Wednesday night after the paper is put to bed.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

I added a "cast of characters" to my blog so people can figure out who the heck I'm talking about (that is, if anyone is reading this besides me...)

I went to Relief Society tonight. Jessica volunteered to help with the nursery again. I feel guilty about relying on her all the time, but it does get her out of the house. I gave her a scrapbooking book and templates that I had. It's nearly new, and the templates were only used once when Jessica was here watching the girls. Anyway, I think she likes it. And I do appreciate all the help she gives me.

Enrichment Night was about music - how it can help in many ways - bonding with family, growing spiritually, etc. Sister McCall read from her journal some thoughts about when she was young and her dad would play his guitar and sing her to sleep. It was really well-written. It wasn't the stream of consciousness type of journal like mine is. I didn't speak up during the lesson, but I was thinking of a lullaby I used to sing to the girls when they were babies. I had a little book called "Rock Rock My Baby" by Kay Chorao. I made up a tune to the words in the book and would sing it to the girls when they cried. They seemed to like it, or they went to sleep in self-defense. (Have you ever had your kid ask you to stop singing? Happened to me.) Anyway, little Peter Hill was fussing after the lesson and Jessica picked him up. He got fussier, so I stepped in. I held him and started singing that song... and soon realized I had forgotten most of the words! Well, Cayla is 7, so it's been a few years since I've sung it, but I still felt bad. I was reduced to humming the melody. Peter didn't seem to mind - he calmed down a little, as long as I kept humming that song. When I started singing another song (softly), he got fussy again, so Heather came over and took him back. Ah, well, my youngest child is 7 and it will be many, many years before I will be a grandmother, so I can either wait til then or keep my skills polished by keeping up with the infants at church. I like that second option better. I miss having a baby to hold.
Hey! My sister's blogging now.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

I made a blog entry before I left for work, but when I tried to publish it, somehow it got lost in cyberspace...oh well. I have submitted to and been added to two web rings: blogs by women and blogging mommies.

I guess this is all my little slice of fame. Somebody, somewhere might read this and think about me. Andy Warhol said that in the future everyone would be famous for 15 minutes, and this is my way of getting my 15 minutes.

I didn't have any problems going to work or coming home. The roads were still kind of messed up when I went to work, but nearly clear by the time I made it home. Well, the county road from 169 to Otho was pretty much covered, so I drove slowly (about 40-45) for that short distance. The streets in Otho are still pretty much covered in snow, but the drifts are gone. I wonder what Riverside Trail looks like. There's a road leaving Otho that goes zigzagging through trees. It is a pretty drive, but you really have to keep your eyes on the road. With snow on the road, it would be very hazardous. Well, we'll see tomorrow (later today) if I actually go to church.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

We're in the grip of a serious winter storm. It rained a good part of the day Friday before turning to snow. I don't think the snow has stopped. I left work at about 9:45 p.m. and took about 30 minutes to drive the 10 miles home. I was going about 25 mph most of the way. Highway 169 was nearly 100% snow- and ice-covered with drifts up to 1/2 foot, and visibility was less that 100 feet at times. That was nearly 4 hours ago, and it can only have gotten worse. I didn't see a snowplow on the way home. I could tell there had been one, but that it had been quite some time since it was there.

Kent is at work. Normally, he works 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, but he went in at midnight tonight in place of a guard who lives farther away than we do. At this point, we're just hoping the guy will be able to work tonight. I called Kent at work - he hasn't seen a snowplow yet.

We live in a mobile home and I'm wondering just how sturdy the roof is....

Friday, February 14, 2003

I decided to add a link to my home page on the side and, in the process, thoroughly messed up the fonts. I'll see if I can fix them tonight. Sleep deprivation, while now my normal state, doesn't do me any good in the brain processing department. In other words, I'm stupid without sleep. No comments from the peanut gallery!
Well, I nearly got my wish today. I've been wishing for a snow day. You might think that most moms would be against a snow day, because it can be inconvenient to have the kids home when you have other plans. Well, my wish for a snow day is based on my need for sleep. I've been wanting the opportunity to sleep in. I would have settled for a 2-hour delay, which would allow me an extra 2 hours of sleep, but today I just wanted the whole day free.

The brakes in Kent's car are going bad, so for the last week, I've been driving him to work, driving the kids to school, going home for a nap, going to school, going home again, driving back to town to pick the girls up from school, picking Kent up from work, then going to work. This only makes my bad habit of staying up way too late even more tiring. If school had just been cancelled today, I could have let Kent drive my car to work, then wait at home til he gets back, then go to work. Yes, even though it's raining now and will freeze and then it will snow tonight, I will still be going to work.

So, here's the day I wanted: Kent drives himself to work and the girls and I wait til he gets home, then I drive to work, for only 2 round trips and probably less than 50 miles total. (Well, I have to amend that, because he'll probably have to go back at midnight since the guard that comes in then lives even farther away from Fort Dodge than we do, so Kent will cover for him. So, less than 70 miles.) Here's the day I got: Drove Kent to work and the girls to school, went home for a nap, Kent called to tell me the schools were dismissing at 10:45, went to pick the girls up, went home... the rest of the day should go like this: Nap til 3, get ready for work, go pick Kent up from work, drive everyone home, go to work, come home, Kent drives to work at midnight, for about 100 miles and much, much less sleep. I better get started on that nap.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Something I didn't notice til Wednesday - my car's mileage rolled over to 263,000 miles on Tuesday night. It must have been on my way home. I was so tired that night I wouldn't have noticed if confetti and balloons had dropped down. Some nights I'm so tired that I'm amazed I don't end up in a ditch. It wouldn't be so bad if we still lived in Fort Dodge and I only had a short distance, but Otho is about 10 miles away and it's 55 all the way there. I'm an accident waiting to happen.

Okay, I was thinking about what I wanted to say while I was driving home tonight...unfortunately, I have forgotten. Let me think. Oh, yeah... I was thinking about how vindictive I get while driving sometimes. Most of my way home is on Highway 169 as a four-lane, but a mile before the turn-off for Otho, it goes to two lanes. Even so, I expect oncoming drivers to not use their high-beam headlights when approaching, but the concept of courtesy to other drivers seems to be lacking in many people. Similarly, I get a little steamed at people behind me with their brights on. I love to let them pass me, and when they do, they are now in front and I will keep my high beams on just for them. I know it's petty, but maybe they'll learn a lesson. Maybe.

I used to (when I did my blogs at my web site) give each day's entry a title. I kind of like thinking of a theme for the day. I haven't implemented that on this one... yet. We'll see.

Catching up: Cayla lost a tooth on Feb. 5. She forgot to put her tooth under her pillow that night, so she didn't get her money until the next night, when she remembered. Then, she lost another tooth Friday morning (Feb. 7). We were getting ready for school, so I taped the tooth to the side of the fridge, thinking this is a good place for it - easily accessible, easy to see and not forget, not easily lost... oops. When we got home that afternoon, Cayla immediately went to the fridge, started to take the tooth off the fridge, and dropped it somewhere on the floor... maybe. I'm afraid it may be between the fridge and counter, in which case, the tooth fairy will stiff her on this one. If it's not under the pillow, she gets nothing. Just call me Mommy Meanie.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Well, my art class (Exploring the Visual Arts) and other classes had the opportunity to visit the Des Moines Art Center yesterday. We went down in three 15-passenger vans, which Rusty Farrington said have been recalled or received safety warnings about high rollover rates. Great. The art center was interesting. The current exhibit, Magic Markers: Objects of Transformation, will run through April 20. It has a variety of styles and materials used by the various artists. I took notes about some of the things that really seemed interesting, but I'll put them on my web site, in my notes for art class. On the way back, we ran into some rough weather - wind, rain and snow. I recalled what Rusty had said about the vans, and couldn't help feeling nervous, but we made it back okay. I'm glad I went, and I wish I could go on the next trip, but that one is to Minneapolis and will take all day, meeting at 6 a.m. and returning around 10 p.m. I just can't do that - I have kids to get to school and I'm scheduled to work that night. Oh, well. Right now, I'm getting ready for work, then I'll pick the girls up, pick up Kent, come home to drop them all off, and go to work. Ta-ta.

Monday, February 10, 2003

Okay, okay, okay... obviously I didn't go right to bed like I said... but this is worth it. Dave Barry's blog!
I don't feel tired, exactly, but I don't feel like taking this little graphic heart blinkie apart right now. I checked it over and it still looks like it has some white outside the heart, which shows up against the black. The only problem is, when I checked each layer separately, I don't see any white. I'm not going to fix it tonight (nearly 3 a.m.). I have class in the middle of the day - 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sometimes I come home after taking the girls to school, then take a nap for a couple of hours. Then I go to class, come back home and play around on the computer. Actually, I will need to update my notes from class. So, I really need to get my sleep. I'm too old for staying up all night.

I hate saying that. I don't feel old exactly. I like things that younger people like. I listen to top 40 songs just like I always did. I don't know... I have this theory that there is a defining time of your life... and you get stuck there. You don't progress with music, tv, prices of things, etc. You start saying things like, "in my day" and "when I was young." Well, I might say "when I was young" but I'm not saying it like an old person! I refuse to get stuck. I'm 42. I'm not a success. I don't make a lot of money, but I do love my job - most of it. But, like when I say, "I haven't decided what I'm going to be when I grow up," I really don't feel all that grown-up. I think I was born 20 years too soon. I like the things that are now.

Enough philosophy and confusion. I'm going to bed.
Well, I missed church again. I was up til 3:30 Sunday morning. It's now 2:40 Monday morning. See a trend here?

I did some blinkies yesterday afternoon. I think they are fun, but I hadn't done any for weeks. So, I did five. Four are the same shape, just different colors and stuff. One is heart-shaped. Shoot... I just remembered something that showed up when I put them on a black background... Back to the drawing board, so to speak...

Thursday, February 6, 2003

Tired, tired, tired. Was up til 3:30 a.m. again. Kent picked a fight with me this morning. The word "unreasonable" comes to mind... again. I'm heading to bed for a nap.

Monday, February 3, 2003

Well, another day of time wasted. The weather was getting bad when I went to class, and when I got out (1 hour later), it was pretty bad. I went to pick the girls up. The schools were releasing early, but I was going to pick them up anyway. I didn't want to make another trip to town in the weather we were having. It was snowing and blowing heavily. Visibility was nearly 1/2 mile. Roads were slick. The scariest thing about all that is what are the other drivers doing. I did slide a couple of times but managed to keep control.

I've been playing too much Neopets again. The 3rd of the month is half price day at the shops, so I've been trying to stock up on stuff. Unfortunately, nothing was available for most of the day. I finally got something to show up just before Kent got home. He took over the computer and gave it back around 10.

I need to type up my notes for art class. Apparently, I have been doing too much. The person for whom the notes are intended doesn't want all the stuff I've been doing. She just wants the important parts. I kind of thought it was all important, but I'll cut it down to size. Maybe she'll say it's not enough next time. Oh, well... I just have to do it, I will get paid. That's the thing that keeps me going in the face of underappreciation.

Sunday, February 2, 2003

I have had problems with my wrists for about 5 years now. It really started when I worked at Burger King and washed lots of trays every night. I had to remember to not hold the tray up in my left hand and scrub with my right, because that caused pressure on my left hand and wrist. It was diagnosed at tendonitis. The problems come and go and usually the pain and weakness is in my right arm now. Sometimes I wear a wrist brace with a metal support piece. These have a tendency to wear out, so when one starts wearing out, I buy a new one. Okay, I also buy new ones when I can't find one. One day last week I knew where 3 of these braces were and today I can't find one of them. If I weren't completely broke, I would buy another one.

I work at a newspaper. I get to see a lot of the news, and sometimes I just see too much. I get news overload. Sometimes I don't even read the paper - since I put part of it together the night before, I've already read some of it. I know that the shuttle disaster was on all day. We had the tv on at work, the front page was nearly all about that, plus two pages added on for tomorrow's edition. One of the tasks of my job includes selecting photos to go with articles. I also tone and size black & white photos that we get from the Associated Press. While looking through these photos relating to the shuttle disaster Saturday, I noticed a picture of four people looking at a piece of debris from the shuttle. One man had a stick about 1 to 1 1/2 feet long and was nearly poking the debris. One was a woman, holding onto a boy - I think he was 7 or 11... can't remember. Behind them was a man taking a picture. The woman with the boy and the man with the stick were about 2 feet away from the piece which could have come from the Columbia.

On the news, they kept saying not to approach the debris, that it could be toxic. At one point, someone went into detail about the fuel system components and that some of the chemicals could (if you breathe it) form a "skin" inside your lungs, and you would die within 48 hours due to lack of oxygen. Now, does that sound like a good idea - take your kid right up to the (possibly) toxic thing. "Oh, honey, look! It's a piece of the shuttle that blew up and 7 people died. Great! Now, take a deep breath... could be nearly your last." Ah, human nature...

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

There is a fake commercial on Nickelodeon about "Scream in a Box" as a device to keep you awake and give you more time to do things. Maybe I need that. I waste too much time on stuff like Neopets (brutal honesty here). I'm behind transcribing my notes from my "Exploring the Visual Arts" class. I've been putting them online so I can include links that I've looked up. I don't know if this is all a waste of time or what. Anyway, I was up til about 2:30 this morning and didn't finish Monday's notes. When I came home from picking the girls up from school, I was hoping to do today's notes. Well, I don't have time. I'll have to do them tonight when I get off work. Great. Sleep - what's that?

I want to change the template of this blog, but again, no time. Later, later, later...

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

This is my first published post on Blogspot. I tried multiple times to use Blogger to ftp to my website, but it just wouldn't work. I give up. I'll adjust. Now I'll be able to have archives and not have to change each week. I started blogging when my site was on Geocities. Each week I would rename the week's blog to indicate the date, add a link to the archive page, and start a new blog page with a new graphic scheme. That part was kind of cool, choosing a theme for the week. But, the whole thing is becoming unwieldy and could be a nightmare if allowed to continue.

So, I started looking at blogging website services. Geocities doesn't allow you to ftp unless you are paying for their service. So, I moved my site to my isp. I'm paying for their service already, so why not? I've found it's easier to update now and ftp is a breeze. However, the blogging services I've looked at mostly require you to use cgi or perl (or, of course, ftp) and I don't know what permissions I have and right now, I'm not interested in finding out.

Change of subject: we've had freezing rain in our area, north-central Iowa. Schools have closed or are dismissing early. I'm driving back to town now to pick my kids up before it gets worse. Fun.