Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Cayla's birthday

Well, it was a mixed bag. We didn't have any presents for her in the morning. I was too tired to make breakfast, so she ate at school. I worked a few hours and picked her up after school. We went to the bookstore at the mall, stopped at Sun Market and Deli for a soda and chips and then headed off to the Callender Heritage Library, where Curtis Michalek was promoting his book, Aluris: The Book of Annua. We got there after he did a reading, but he had books to sell. So we bought one and he autographed it to Cayla.

We went home. I was planning to cook hamburgers, but we were expecting a UPS delivery and it hadn't come yet, so Kent wanted me to check it online. I checked, but there was no update. Then I heard something outside. Yep, a UPS truck. But he wasn't coming to our house - he was trying to figure out where he was. The truck was down the street, then it passed our place and turned around at the convenience store. He parked it in the neighbor's driveway as I was walking through the yard to try to flag him down. I walked up and told him where we were and he brought the truck around.

He brought the boxes up to the front door and I brought them in. It's our new Dell computer. I signed up with Frontier for a package that for $79.99 per month includes our phone service, some premium services like caller ID and call waiting, unlimited long distance, high-speed Internet and a new Dell computer. It's not the top-of-the-line, but it serves our purposes. I had to pay shipping and handling, and I upgraded the RAM from 256Mb to 512 Mb. The graphics card should be able to handle playing the Sims2, according to the information on their Web site. I haven't tried installing it yet.

Anyway, we ate egg salad sandwiches with eggs I had already boiled, and the girls and I went to church. Cayla had Activity Days and Amanda had Young Women. Cayla's class worked on decorating glass ornaments with paint on the inside.

Afterwards, we went to Mom's and helped her with a computer issue and a lost item. I took the girls to Culver's for shakes and we headed home. I'm watching the final episode of the miniseries "The Lost Room."

Calmness ...

(This was posted on a forum I frequent)


I am passing this on to you because it definitely worked for me and we could all use a little more calmness in our lives. By following the simple advice I heard on the Dr. Phil show, I have finally found inner peace. Dr. Phil proclaimed, "The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you've started and never finished". So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of grey goose, a bottle of Kahlua, a package of Oreos, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos and a box of chocolates. You have no idea how freaking good I feel. Please pass this on to those you feel might be in need of inner peace.

(Disclaimer: I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I do not drink alcohol or smoke tobacco, which is one of the teachings in my church. However, I do find this pretty freaking funny.)

11 years ago today ...

I was in labor with my second child. She was born at 9:15 p.m. - a healthy 9 lb 7 oz girl. The first few minutes were a little worrisome - she was born with the cord around her neck. But there was nothing wrong with her.

Her name is Cayla, and she's wonderful. Happy birthday Cayla!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Proud parent moments

Fair Oaks students participate in Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl.
The Fair Oaks fifth and sixth grade Talented and Gifted (TAG) students participated in the 2006 Iowa Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl on Nov. 8. Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl is a timed academic competition in which the students answer 100 questions on a variety of subjects including vocabulary, spelling, history, geography, current events, amth and the sciences. The 21 sisth-graders scored 1,223 points, which gave them eighth place among the 80 teams who participated from across the state. The 14 fifth-graders earned first place among fifth grade teams nad 12th place overall with a score of 1,201. The received a team trophy and were awarded a certificate and blue ribbon at a meeting of the school board.

Cayla was the clicker during the competition and her team was No. 1 fifth-grade team in the state.

The teams will compete in the National Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl which will be held in May. They receive a CD and send their results into the organization.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

What do we have to be thankful for? *Grumble*

It's been an interesting month so far. I wrecked the Escort and it's looking like we're going to be lucky to get a couple hundred dollars for it, if anything. That's the "loss of use" amount offered by the other insurance company. They are claiming I'm 50 percent responsible for the accident when I was driving on a street with no stop sign for me, but their (15-year-old) driver had a stop sign. The amount for the car will probably go to the finance company. So, we won't be able to replace the car. Kent's car is still out of commission.

Kent's still recovering from knee replacement surgery and has to go to physical therapy three times a week. I'm driving my niece's '92 Pontiac Grand Prix, which is a total gas hog. It's solidly built, though, which is better if we are in an accident.

I signed up for NaNoWriMo but haven't written anything. The end of the month is coming up awfully fast.

The Lifestyle editor at work has been out sick for basically the whole month so far. We're not sure when she's coming back, but it's not before Wednesday. I didn't have to work on the Senior Tab, which I should be thankful for. I thought I was going to, but they had someone else (who had never done it before) do it. *shrug*

I took Amanda out of school to homeschool her but can't get her to do anything. *rolls eyes* I'm going to have to crack down, but I really don't know what I'm doing.

We've basically pawned everything we can, except the TV. I wanted to get my laptop out, but couldn't afford it. I had promised Cayla to get her Nintendo DS out, but couldn't do that either. So I spent $5 on a flying monkey. You can fling it across the room and it makes a howling noise. Cayla loves it. Kent hates it.

Yeah, it's nice to be able to get this out of my system.

Friday, November 3, 2006

Playing catch-up

Here's a review of my week so far:

Saturday: I wrecked my car. Donna had to drive me home. I was on my way to work when the accident happened, and although I didn't think I was injured, I was a complete wreck mentally.

Sunday: Big children's program at church and I teach a children's class, so I had to be there. Donna picked us up and took us home. This was after her first night on a new shift: 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Monday: Suzanna picked me up (around 3 p.m.) and drove me to town. We stopped at the tow yard to take pictures of the car. I got my check early (instead of Thursday) so I could put insurance on Suzanna's "spare" car, a 92 Pontiac Grand Prix. The insurance company for the other driver (who caused the accident) still isn't being very helpful about my transportation needs, and I needed a car desperately. I got to work late. Oh, and Amanda was home because she was sick.

Tuesday: Kent had knee replacement surgery and had to be at the hospital at 6 a.m. I worked that evening.

Wednesday: Worked during the day. I kept Amanda at home because I needed someone to be here for a delivery around 3 p.m. We went to the library book sale and I got her and Cayla's immunization records and made them an appointment to get flu shots and up to date on their immunizations. Didn't hear from the insurance companies (mine or the other one). I made sure that I paid my insurance company that day because my insurance would have lapsed on the day of the accident at 12:01 a.m. - before the accident. If I hadn't paid, I think I would probably have gotten a ticket, and that would have been even more expensive. I also worked that evening, which is usually my night off.

Thursday: Worked my usual double shift. I usually work 10-12 hours on Thursdays. During the day, I put together the Sunday Lifestyle section, then take a meal break. Then I work on Friday's paper. I also went to Amanda's parent-teacher conference - without her, because she was at home and I didn't have time to go get her. I missed going to Cayla's conference (which are walk-in) because I had a doctor appointment. That ran late, so I rushed back to get to work. Also, the Lifestyle editor has been very ill this week and was in the hospital until yesterday. She usually has things planned that she wants to go in that section, but we had to wing it.

And today: I haven't had the time or energy (well, I guess I had the time) to straighten up and make sure that there is a clear path for Kent to navigate around with his walker. He's supposed to come home today. He just called and said he can go at 10 a.m. I'll be taking a nap after the kids leave for school - until 9:15 a.m.

I've put off getting the paperwork together to homeschool Amanda. I told the assistant principal about my plans yesterday and he said I should talk to a certain person who handles that. I plan to do that - maybe today or maybe next week. I have to work today and tomorrow. I've got my Sunday lesson to plan - and although I'm sure I've looked at it, I have no idea what it's about. My check is completely spent - mostly on making sure I can get around. I figured out it's cost me close to $300 to be able to drive, between paying Suzanna's insurance, my insurance, and filling her car with gas. It cost $30.60 to fill (at $2.11 per gallon) and it's down to half a tank already. I'll have to fill it two more times before I get paid again.

Kent's disability check should be here today. He'll have to cash it when I pick him up from the hospital. We've got a huge phone bill to pay, and the last installment on the repairs to his car. Why am I not driving his car? Because it stopped working again. I figured it would be cheaper to pay $136 insurance on a working car than to pay to get his fixed (plus $60 to get it towed into town - again).

I had signed up for National Novel Writing Month but haven't actually gotten started yet. I had two ideas: one was to write about an event happening and how it changes what's going on (something like the TV show "Three Moons over Milford") and the other to write about a family beginning in the 1880s who come to our area. I would use newspaper articles from that time to show what was going on and how that affects the family. It would be very loosely based on my ancestors. Yesterday, I told our managing editor about this and said that I didn't know what to write about that would be weird enough for the "Three Moons"-type book. Then I realized it was my life! I also came up with a concept of what event - an alien lands (which people know or suspect) but the twist is that he becomes a reporter. So, we have a UFO sighting, but nobody knows where the alien is. So ... maybe I can put together an outline or something and start writing by Monday.

So, with accident, transportation problems, Kent's surgery, Amanda's homeschooling and trying to write a book, is it any wonder that my head feels like it's going to explode?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

My poor car


Donna took us to church today. On the way home, we stopped by the tow yard to see the car. We couldn't get too close, but the car is behind the blue car. You can kind of see where the hood is pushed up and back (right side of picture).

Hopefully, we'll be able to get better pictures tomorrow. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I'm okay, mostly ... but my car isn't

I think my car is dead. I was in an accident today and it looks like it's totaled. This teenager crossed in front of me - I had the right of way - and my car hit hers. Her car is barely damaged, but mine is pretty bad.

I'm wondering how I'm getting to church tomorrow - we've got this program that the kids have been practicing for all year. I don't know how I'm getting to work this week, or taking Kent to the hospital for his knee replacement surgery on Tuesday. It's all such a pain.

So far, the physical pain hasn't been too bad, though. I started getting a headache within a few minutes, and I've had some muscle aches and pains. But so far it's not appearing serious.

In the words of Roseanne Roseannadanna, "It just goes to show you, it's always something."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I'm sensing a theme here ...

Linky (won't work for long)

There are two local news stories listed, then the station's link for people who want to look up archived news.

Headline No. 1: Des Moines Man With Alzeimer's Goes Missing
Headline No. 2: Investigators Search For Missing Grinnell College Student
Headline No. 3: Looking For Something?

Not to make light of someone's distress over a missing family member, but honestly, you have to admit that having those three items together is a little ... odd.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

$200 million Powerball ticket won in Fort Dodge

After church today, I went over to Mom's because she wasn't feeling well enough to go. I asked her if I could do anything for her. She asked me to get her a couple of caffeine-free diet Mt. Dews. At the Kum & Go, I noticed a small piece of paper under the glass on the counter. It was printed on lottery ticket paper and said that a single $200.8 million Powerball ticket was sold at the Kum & Go at Second Avenue North and 22nd Street.


That's the first big Powerball prize in my area, and it's a big one. The information said that the lump sum would be more than $95 million. Even after taxes, that is just a ginormous amount of money.

And yet, I'm relieved that I didn't win. You see, our church doesn't accept tithing on lottery/gambling winnings. If I won a lottery prize and couldn't pay tithing, I wouldn't pass the temple recommend interview - I know one question is based on paying a full tithe. I'm glad this isn't going to be a barrier between me and the temple.

Going to the temple is worth more than $200 million to me. ;-)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Enrichment night fun and Primary dreams

Enrichment night fun
So, last night was Relief Society Enrichment Night. It was sort of a getting to know you get-together. We paired off (choose a piece of paper from a bowl, each had a letter, we paired by letters) and spent a few minutes talking to our partners. Then we introduced our partners and told about what they told us.

We did a craft of decorating small candles. My group used a piece of ribbon around the base of the candle, with a button to cover the place where the ribbon joins, and a sticker with a word like love, believe, create, pray, etc. The other group used beads to decorate their candles. I didn't get to see what they looked like.

We then got into a circle and selected 18 Cheerios each (I think there were 18 of us there). Each person made a statement about themselves. If that statement could not apply to you, you threw one Cheerio into the middle (yes, on the floor).

Some of the statements were, "I've never eaten sauerkraut," "I've eaten brain tacos," "I studied cosmetology in Italy," "I've shaken the hands of two presidents." On the second time around (after the Cheerios were gone), Gail couldn't think of anything, so she asked Donna, who was next, to say hers. Donna said she broke her arm by falling out of a tree when she was 7. That reminded Gail that when she was about 4, she and one of her sisters (Karen?) were in a tree. Her sister was prodding her with a stick, making her go out farther on the limb. The limb broke and Gail fell, but her panties got caught and she was hanging there until she was rescued. I had to raise my hand and say, "I just have to point out that I was nowhere near Donna when she fell out of the tree!" Much laughter ensued. ;-)

Primary dreams
This morning I took a nap after the girls left for school. I had a sort of disturbing dream. I teach the CTR 7-8 class - these kids come into class at ages 6 and 7 and turn 7 and 8 during the year. So, I was dreaming that I was in Primary and to get the kids to be quiet, I gave them copies of the Friend to look at. Then we went to our classroom. There was all kinds of chaos in the hallway, and there was all kinds of furniture in there that didn't belong, and an older girl (I think it was Angela) was playing a stereo very loudly. I kicked her out of the room, but the kids were all hyper and everything. Then Tad Martin from All My Children was there. Apparently one of the kids in my class was his - Thad (Tad's name in the show is Thaddeus). I didn't know whether to pronounce the Th in Thad or say it as Tad. So, someone came to pick up the boy and I wouldn't let him go without his dad's permission.

So, now I'll be going off to work. I know Amanda has Young Women's tonight, but I'm not sure if Cayla has Activity Days. She'll be going to church either way, and if she doesn't have class, we'll work on piano practice. I started teaching her last week and she picked it up pretty quickly. In just one lesson by a very unqualified teacher, she could play the right hand of a simple song all the way through, and play both hands for the first half of the song. I'm impressed. :-D

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Random acts of food disappearance

The sign on the fridge in the lunchroom at work says that food will be thrown out at
5 p.m. on Fridays. I bought a package of Hot Pockets Friday night but
changed my mind about eating them then. I left them in the freezer (at about
7:30 p.m. Friday) to eat Saturday night.

When I went down Saturday night to get them, they were gone. Apparently the
fridge had been cleaned Saturday morning and my food - which had my name on
it - was thrown out. There is another frozen food item in the fridge,

I think the sign on the fridge should be changed to say that people who
leave their food in the fridge do so at the risk of it being randomly thrown

Oh, and this is the same fridge that had a package of strawberries growing mold for a couple of weeks earlier in the year. Obviously, moldy strawberries are more valuable than frozen food.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Can't make up his mind ...

Now Kent says he's leaving for good in October after he gets his disability check. He's got knee surgery coming up on the 25th.

That was his original plan - move to Kentucky to live near his Internet friend and her family: husband and two young children. Then he decided he would go down there and come back here every month to get his checks. He also talked about moving to Florida or Oklahoma because he has Internet friends there.

But now, he says, he's going to Kentucky for good. We'll see. He'll probably change his mind six more times before the end of the month.

And now I'm thinking of what "wild and crazy" thing I can do. Not like moving to be close to Internet friends, but more like traveling or something. I don't know. I feel like the girls and I deserve an adventure. So, I'm keeping an open mind.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

and now, advertising ...

Back to Flash Fiction Friday - I clicked on Home to see what else Laurie's got going on in her life. And she has a blog entry about an author she likes. So I go check out the author's site and I'm signing up to promote an author whose book I haven't even read yet. (But I'm planning to!)

So, here goes:

I joined Hal Spacejock's Support Crew

I didn't pay anything,
I didn't sign anything,
and I didn't read the fine print.
Just like Hal!

No space pilot can exist in a vacuum (hah!), and behind every successful pilot there's a talented and dedicated support crew.

Hal Spacejock is one of the least successful space pilots in the history of the galaxy, and a worldwide support crew is needed just to get him off the ground.

Join now for free Hal Spacejock goodies!
| Join the team | - - - - - - - - - | Hal who? |

Hal Spacejock ... Après moi le wreckage

Just from the little I read on the author's site, I am thinking of the Retief books by Keith Laumer and the Phule books by Robert Asprin and Peter J. Heck (I'm currently reading "Phule Me Twice") and hoping the Hal Spacejock books are along those lines. I'm looking forward to reading the books.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Trying something new

I started a new blog for creative stuff. Yeah, I'm still planning to sign up for National Novel Writing Month despite two years of not finishing. Last year, I don't think I even got started. But, I had a lot on my plate, so to speak, since I had just started writing a series of articles at The Messenger.

This year I've got those 43 articles under my belt and in my past, so I can do some "fun" stuff for myself.

In aid of that, I am participating in Flash Fiction Friday.

My first entry. It's a bit over the 250-word limit (by about 275 words!) but, hey, it's the first time I've done this. ;-)

Sunday, August 6, 2006

This is the life

I'm sitting outside on a swinging bench with my feet on a folding chair, in the shade. My laptop has a wireless connection, and I can be outside and online at the same time.

Since the storm a few days ago, we haven't had the air conditioner in the window. I finally tried putting it back in today, but it's not working. :-( So it's actually cooler outside than inside now.

Of course, I'm on battery power, which doesn't last that long. But I'm cooler than I would be inside. Yay!

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Storm damage, part two

I suggest reading the previous post before this one. ;-)

One more photo and a few observations:
When the power is out, every sound is significant. There is no "white noise."
It really helps to have the flashlight at hand when the power goes out. It also helps to know where the matches and candle are (I did!).
Amanda tried to reassure Cayla when she was freaking out by saying that Heavenly Father protected us. Cayla and I said a prayer of thanks later (after Amanda was asleep).
The tree trimming guys and MidAmerican crews worked through the night and into the day. People from town worked all day getting trees and debris out of the way.

This shows the wind direction in a cornfield south of town.

Be careful what you wish for

Last night, as I was leaving work, I chatted with the two Messenger drivers for a couple of minutes. One of the men said he was hoping this area would get more rain.

Now, this follows a couple of weeks of really hot weather, especially the past few days, with heat indices around 100 or so. But, you should still be careful what you wish for.

We got hit. Bad. Not a tornado, but really intense winds.

We lost one tree and part of another tree.

First tree - this one won't make it. I'm guesstimating that it has a trunk diameter of about 12 inches.

The second tree should survive, but it will take some time to recover. The branch is probably 20 feet away from our home.

We heard a sudden whooshing sound and the rain hit. I went to close windows. I had been playing on Kingdom of Loathing. I went back to the computer and soon, the lights flickered and went out. I had the flashlight already. It was around 12:30 a.m.

I asked Kent to help me get the air conditioner out of the window, because the cardboard on the side was blowing away and rain was coming in. We got a garbage bag and put the air conditioner on the sofa and shut the window. It started leaking water, so Cayla got a plastic bucket to catch the water. We let it drip into the bucket, then put it in another garbage bag and took it outside.

Cayla went outside first and started freaking out, saying, "ohmigosh, ohmigosh!" (Yes, she really says that.) We didn't understand at first, because we were carrying out the A/C unit. Then we looked. She saw the first tree.

Then she went down the porch steps, nearly stepped on a bird that was probably blown out of a tree, and freaked out again. She saw the branch from the second tree.

Across the street, we could see a tree laying across the street. Within minutes, people were trying to move it. One guy got out chains and tried to pull the tree, but his pickup couldn't do it. Kent got out his spotlight and pulled the Chrysler over to shine the light on the people working on the tree. Someone from the city got equipment out to move the tree off the road.

While Kent was doing that, I took a quick shower and got dressed. I talked him into going into Fort Dodge for two things: a camera from my work and more flashlights (trip to Wal-Mart). I also got a couple of sodas at Wal-Mart, since the power was out and we didn't want to open the fridge.

So, we came home - back on Hwy. 169 since we were sure that there would be more debris going through Coalville. We put the screen back in the living room window - the A/C unit is still on the porch. It took awhile for Cayla and me to get to sleep. Finally, we slept on the sofa - me sitting upright with my right leg across the sofa and her lying down, leaning against me. I slept for about 1 1/2 hours that way, waking up twice.

I went outside around 5 a.m. because people were working across the street. It was Wright Tree Service, lopping off branches near power lines. One of the guys told me to get back in the house because "they're going to turn the power on pretty soon and you don't want to step on a live wire."

1. I'm fairly confident that the power company guys won't turn on the power with random live lines just laying around.
2. There are no power lines in the front part of the place where we live.
3. Whatever. Maybe he didn't mean to sound like he was talking down to me, but that's how it sounded.

I went inside anyway, since there wasn't much going on at that point.

I woke up around 6 or 7 a.m. and told Cayla to go to her own bed, and I took over the sofa. There was an occasional wisp of cool breeze coming from the window. I woke up again about 8:45 a.m. At 8:50, the power came back. Remember the tree trimming guy saying the power company was going to restore power "pretty soon"? Yeah, define "pretty soon".

Then we had to rush around to get Kent to an appointment at the pain clinic, only to find out he had the time wrong - by four hours. We came home through Coalville, and I took some pictures.

Our landlord is going to look at the trees this evening. I've already posted an offer for free firewood on our local Freecycle group. No takers yet.

I also got some naptime in when Kent went in for his appointment at the right time. All in all, it's been a very interesting day.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

My dang car

So, I went to church today. After church was over, I went out to the car to unlock it nad open the windows, so Mom could sit in it. I went back in to get the girls, and when I went back out and opened the front door, the armrest fell off.

Then the car didn't want to start. I did try moving the steering wheel back and forth , but the key just didn't want to turn forward. I finally got it to go, and took Mom and Cayla over to Mom's. I had planned to leave both girls at Mom's, have lunch and then go to work at 2 (special request by our publisher, to finish details on a project). Since the car was acting up, I left Mom and Cayla at Mom's and drove Amanda home. When we got to Coalville, the "low fuel" light went on.

So, I had lunch and called Donna's hoping someone could help me get gas money. Suzanna made the offer. Yay! I went into work - drove the Chrysler - and was there from 2 to 5:45 p.m. I went to Donna's to pick up Jessica's sleeping bag for Amanda to take to camp and the money from Suzanna. Then I went to Wal-Mart to get a few items of food and put $10 on the gift card for gas. Gassed up the car and went home.

Just a lovely day. We're thinking about junking the Escort. I'm upset that I spent $341 two weeks ago to replace the exhaust system and now this!

Friday, July 14, 2006

A reunion, an escape, a reunion and a birthday card

Kent, Amanda and Cayla came home today. Kent decided to leave last night and drove all night. They got here around 7 a.m. I stayed home a couple of hours before gong to work. Cayla was going to feed her hamster, but got distracted. Some time later, I reminded her to feed the hamster. She went in her room, and came out upset. Her hamster had escaped because when she got distracted, she forgot to put the lid back on the aquarium. So, we waited until we knew where the hamster was, and Cayla eventually caught her.

I went to work, but stopped to get our mail first. Amanda got a birthday card from Kent's dad. The only problem is that he didn't put his (new) address on the card or envelope. So, even though I was going to nag her to write a thank-you note, I don't know where to send it. We knew that they were going to move, but haven't heard from then since. Maybe I'll send a letter to the old address and hope they've got a forwarding order at the post office.

The new season of SG-1 and SG-Atlantis started tonight and I got to watch them both. I'm going to bed now. I've got an article and some other stuff to write tomorrow, plus prepare my primary lesson for Sunday.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

On the road again?

I semi-finished that project at work. There is more that can be done, but with stuff that we have on CDs, so not with big, heavy, dusty old books. I've also got lots more writing to do. If I really put my mind to it, I could probably finish my last three articles this week. Well, one has to be done by Saturday morning, but the other two could be done next week. Maybe.

And, it's Amanda's birthday. I called at 8:04 p.m. (the time she was born) and Michelle told me they were on their way home. What?!? Kent had called me at work and said they would be leaving in the morning. At least, that's what I think he said - we had a tornado siren going and I had to hang up so I could go down in the basement. We didn't have to stay long, luckily. Once during a bad storm, we were down there for about an hour. Rain was coming in through a couple of cracks in the walls/foundation and backing up in a drain, producing a horrible smell. Today wasn't so bad, except for the fact that I came to work late and finished the Lifestyle section at 6:30 p.m. - an hour and a half past deadline.

The reason I went to work late was because of a stop I made while running errands this morning. Mom wanted a ride to Gary's house to pick up a few things his brother had put aside for her. She had asked Pat for anything related to our church, and Pat is being very kind to let her have the stuff. While we were there, I happened to see some old photographs in the large trash container. Many of them are in the 100-year-old range. Pat was tossing them because the people in the photos are not identified. I rescued as many as I could. I'll probably give them to the Webster County Museum or Webster County Historical Society. There were some old school-type books, a couple of military field manuals (one was drawing), and three ledger-type books with information relating to a local Catholic church. I'm going to contact them to see if they are interested. Otherwise, the museum or historical society most likely would want them.

Anyway, while I was trying to rescue the old photos, I got all sweaty, so I took Mom to her home and went home to get cleaned up. That's why I was late to work. Oh, and another thing I was given at Gary's house: five Heinlein books, including "Tunnel in the Sky." I've been wanting to reread that one since someone on Hatrack mentioned it.

This post goes back and forth in time. I'm going to back up just a little bit farther. This morning I sent Amanda several virtual birthday cards. I know she saw one of them, but I don't know about the others. I also don't know if she liked the gift I sent along for her to open while she was gone.

I wonder where they are right now? I called Kent's cell phone but he didn't answer, so I left a message. I bet he left it in his bag, turned off. I hope he calls to let me know their progress.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Yesterday - what a day

Yeah, I was too tired to post last night, plus too busy. I worked 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., went to lunch. Returned at 2:30, worked til 6 p.m., went to supper. Came back at 7, worked til 10:30. Went home, started a load of laundry, fed the cat, checked my e-mail in case Kent or the girls e-mailed me (no, but I had to deal with an e-mail issue from someone on a Yahoo group I moderate - the moderated member had posted the same thing four times in just a few minutes). Took a shower, had something to eat, went to bed. Somewhere in there is took out the garbage and brought in my sodas, which I forgot to do when I got home. Which meant that I had to wait til one was cold (put in freezer, luckily didn't forget to get it out.)

My muscles and joints hurt. I need to call the doctor's office about that. I also need to ask them if you can get tetanus from a cut received in a dusty storeroom while working with rusty staples. No farm animals up there, which is a classic source of tetanus. But, I'd probably better get a shot to be safe.

So, I've got to go to work this morning. I have a committee meeting at noon, and will probably work on the Sunday Lifestyle section. I've got a little finishing up to do with the books, but hopefully that won't take long (or be too messy - I've decided to wear regular work clothes, which means business attire, not jeans and T-shirt).

I just left a message for the person who is coordinating the transfer of the pages to a company that will duplicate them. I called him because I didn't remember leaving him a message last night. While I was talking, my words seemed familiar - now I think I did leave him pretty much that same message last night. Oh, well, I guess I really meant it.

Monday, July 10, 2006

What a day

What a lame post title. Whatever.

I was up at 6 a.m., at work around 7:45 a.m. Left work 4 hours later. I forgot to mention, I left the car at the mechanic's and walked from there to work, about 4 1/2 blocks. So, of course, walked back.

Went home, washed a load of laundry. Why? Because the project I'm working on requires me to be in a hot, dusty room with a bunch of dusty, falling-apart books. These books are old newspapers bound in book form. Which I'm ripping apart so we can get copies for this project.

So, I did a load of laundry, did some research for my project, e-mailed the information to my work e-mail address, got something to eat and went back to work, thinking I would be working on tomorrow's newspaper.

No. Was told I would continue working on the project. Fine, except I had asked for a fan and it wasn't there, plus I had showered and changed into the regular clothes I wear to work. When I was working on the books, I was wearing jeans and a T-shirt.

So, I went back home and changed again. Came back into town, went to the dollar store and got a couple of extension cords, some ponytail holders and a flashlight and batteries. Some of the books are behind stacks of other books and it's easier to see the dates with a flashlight.

So, I'm home now, starting a load of laundry. I've only got the one pair of jeans, and I'll need them in the morning when I go back and continue this project. Which is overdue, and I'll be miserable next week because it didn't get done on time - I've been warned.

I just wonder if it will be as bad as I feel right now - tired and in pain from all the complaining muscles (moving heavy books, etc.).

I forgot to mention: my ankles are swollen, my left knee hurts (which is especially fun while shifting gears) and I'm out of Dr Pepper.

Sunday, July 9, 2006

My family went on vacation ... without me

Kent and the girls are visiting friends of his in Kentucky. His friends drove up and took them back with them Saturday (left here around 1 p.m. Saturday and got there around 3:30 a.m. Sunday).

Comet and I don't know what to do with ourselves. She doesn't understand where everybody is. I'm staying up way too late, which is a usual behavior for me, but I think it's for a different reason this time.

But, I'll go to bed now. I've got a huge project that must be done soon.

Monday, July 3, 2006

Small-town living

We live in a small town in north-central Iowa. Although I've got a short drive to town to go to work, church and shopping, there are advantages to small-town living.

Last night we saw a deer walking across the street from us. Just casually strolling through one yard, across the street and into another yard. I often see rabbits in our yard or in others' yards.

Tomorrow there will be a Fourth of July parade - right down our street. Tomorrow night, the fireworks will be going off directly overhead. They are set off about a block away from our home. It's the most awesome show. ;-)

If we were to move into town (to save traveling time and gas), I would miss the little things like this.

In memoriam: Gary A. Trusty

Gary A. Trusty 56, of Fort Dodge, passed away on Monday, June 26, 2006.

Memorial services will be Friday, June 30, at 1 p.m. in the chapel of the Laufersweiler-Sievers Funeral Home with B. J. Thomas, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, officiating. Friends may call from 12 noon until the time of the services at the funeral home.

Survivors include his brother, Pat Trusty of Phoenix, Ariz., and a niece Emily Marie Trusty. He was preceded in death by his parents Donald and Rose Marie (Walsh) Trusty.

Gary Alan Trusty was born on May 3, 1950, in Fort Dodge. In the early 1950s, Gary was one of three children to undergo the University of Iowa Hospital’s first open heart surgeries on a child, to repair a hole in his heart. This event influenced the rest of his life, which ended with heart failure. He attended Sacred Heart School and graduated from St. Edmond High School in 1969. Following his education he enlisted in the U.S Navy in 1969, serving until his honorable discharge. Gary began a spiritual quest that he pursued all his life. His lifelong experiments in living and thinking led him to many unique adventures that had become legend amongst his many friends. Gary was an avid collector of religious art and books. He was very generous with his time and money, and was always eager to help others when called upon. He was a loyal and faithful friend who is loved and deeply missed by those whose lives he has touched.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be left to the discretion of the family.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Father's Day

The girls and I went to church. I taught the Priesthood lesson in the Old Testament primary manual because the oldest boy in my class turns 12 next month. Our bishop came in and talked about the priesthood. There were only 2 kids in the class - Cayla and the boy who will turn 12. (It would have been pointless to teach that lesson if he wasn't there, right?) ;-)

After church, we took Mom home and Cayla cleaned her kitty litter box. Well, okay, her cat's kitty litter box, if you want to get technical about it. Then I took Cayla over to Donna's to spend the night. Donna is going to take her over to Mom's later for an overnight there.

Kent had a roast cooking when Amanda and I got home. We had lunch, then I took a nap. I had a horrible headache all day, which was still there when I woke up. Kent wanted to go to Culver's for supper. We had never been before. I liked the onion rings - easier for me to eat than the rings from Sonic. And the lemon smoothie with strawberries was great.

Now I'm hungry.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Doot, doot, doot, doot-doot-doot ...

Cayla found the Mario Live video on Albino Black Sheep and shared it with Amanda and me. Before she went to the site, though, both the girls did the Mario Brothers music with their voices. It reminded me of Amanda's first movie experience - at the age of about 2 weeks, we took her to a movie - Super Mario Brothers. We figured it couldn't do too much harm if she cried during the movie, and we were right. ;-)

Actually, her first movie experience was before birth - I went to Jurassic Park with my mom.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Gotta love it

As I was walking to my car this morning to go to work, I startled a baby rabbit. I got a few pictures before it got away.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

It's been not too bad of a day, other than a headache. Amanda gave me a cute purple bear that says things when you squeeze its tummy - "Happy Mother's Day," "I love you Mom" and "Thanks for all you do Mom."
Cayla gave me a card that she made in school. It has lines cut out and cupcake papers folded three times are inserted. Each cupcake paper has something written on it - it's like coupons of things she will do for me.

Amanda didn't go to church today - she said she wasn't feeling well. I changed her password so she couldn't go on my computer. (I never mentioned, but I've got my own laptop now! and we've got a wireless network!)
Cayla had a special part in sacrament meeting today. The primary kids sang the first verse of "The Dearest Names" and "Love is Spoken Here." For "Love is Spoken Here," Cayla, Natalie D. and Tracie S. sang the second verse while the rest of the Primary kids sang the first verse. Tracie was singing in place of her daughter, Aubrie, who was home ill today. They did an awesome job.
Our Primary lesson was No. 17 - Joseph Forgives his Brothers. Cayla didn't make me proud during the lessons - she kept reacting to another student in class and making rude comments. It's definitely not the kind of behavior I want to see from her, and I could only blame it on her hyper-sensitive nature. It's something we need to work on. I actually had to take her out of the room during Singing Time because she wouldn't stop.
After church, we took Mom home. Cayla changed the kitty litter for her and I got something down off a shelf. I played some music someone purchased for me yesterday at the Winter Quarters Bookstore in Omaha. It's a CD by Cherie Call called "The Ocean in Me" that I first heard on KZION.
Cayla and I went to Wal-Mart and got some groceries. When we returned to the car, we heard the person parked behind us say, "do you need some help?" to someone parked beside us. It turned out that the people next to our car had locked their keys in their vehicle. I put away groceries while Cayla tried to help them, then knelt down so Cayla could get on my back and reach in better (the window was open a couple of inches). It took a few minutes and many tries, but she was able to do it. She used the strap of a purse I got her at the dollar store yesterday. Other coincidences: I nearly had ordered a pizza from Pizza Hut to take home but changed my mind when I called and they had a recording answer the phone, I parked farther away from the store than I like and pulled through to the second space - facing out and therefore someone could park behind me, and we came out at just the right time to hear the person parked behind me ask them if they needed help. It made my decision to go shopping on Sunday have some redeeming quality because we were able to help someone.
So, we got home and had lunch, then I took a nap. I woke up with a recurrence of my headache from earlier, but I think it's going away now. I took one Excedrin Migraine and one ibuprofen, hoping that will cover all the bases.
So, now it's after 8 p.m. and I'll probably have to wash a load of laundry so the girls will have clothes for school tomorrow. There's only a couple more weeks (well, 2 weeks, 2 days) of school left, then it's sleeping in time for me. Yay!
And, I've got one more task ahead of me. I bought a used dishwasher and I've got to rearrange stuff in the living room and dining room to bring it closer to the kitchen sink. I can hardly wait. ;-)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

We'll keep it short

I haven't blogged in a while, blah, blah, blah. I'm just doing a quick update, found out I had four links in the sidebar that went to the same 404. Oops. Got that fixed, have to message someone and go to bed. I think I have to work like 12 hours tomorrow, and I'm tired just thinking about it. So, good night.

Monday, March 20, 2006

White-hot fury

It's probably a good thing that I didn't post this on Sunday, because that title expresses how I felt.

Before I went to church, Kent said that he was nearly out of cigarettes and that he would have to start using the Commit lozenges. He said it matter-of-factly, and I believed him. I had planned to ask Mom to borrow money, but wanted to wait until the next day so she could check her account and make sure how much money she had.

But that wasn't good enough for him. When the girls and I got home, he started complaining about not having cigarettes and stomped off toward the bedroom with the cordless phone (he was on a phone call - probably with an Internet girlfriend). I tried explaining about waiting til Monday morning, but he acted like I was stupid for even thinking that.

I exploded. I threw the computer chair on the floor, screamed obscenities at him and slammed the bathroom door. I was going to drive right back to town and ask Mom for money for his stinkin' cigarettes, but he ordered me to not drive "his" car. So, fine. It would take forever for me to walk into town and back, as if I was willing to do that.

He went around collecting pop cans and bottles and drove himself into town to redeem them and get cigarettes. He's not cleared to drive after foot surgery a few weeks ago, but that's his problem.

Oh, and get this - he wants a divorce. He claims it's because I told him to kiss my {posterior}. I also told him that our whole household revolves around him - if he wants the computer, he gets it. If he doesn't want to cook, nobody eats (slight exaggeration, but the main reason we buy and eat so much fast food). He smokes four cartons of cigarettes every 2 weeks - imagine what we could do with that money - like fix "his" car, another thing he complained about.

Apparently he's been wanting one for a long time, but he's just hanging around until he gets all his surgeries done under the insurance we have. Then he's leaving. Amanda tells me that he has a "loaded" girlfriend. Yeah, right. If there is a woman crazy enough to take him on, more power to her.

Cayla told me that he said to her that the church is brainwashing her. I wish he would not talk about the church like that. I also wish he would pay as much attention to our daughters as he does to other people's kids. He was bragging the other day that he played spades online with a couple of girls who are ages 13 and 17. They are the daughters of an online friend of his. It's so wonderful that he can take the time to be nice to a couple of strange kids, but can't be bothered to pay attention to his own.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

First project finished

and on to more ...

I'm working on purses for Amanda and Cayla. I'll post pics later of how far those are done.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Dude, where's my car?

Kent had a doctor appointment at 3 p.m. today, so I left work and drove home so he could have the car. It's now 5:22 p.m. and, guess what? He just drove up. I called the doctor's office just before 5 p.m. and they couldn't tell me if he left or now "because of the privacy laws."

So, I'm going to be later to return to work than I planned. I had to call and Barbara isn't pleased. :rolls eyes:

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Excitement and blah

Cayla and I went to "Arti-Gras" at the old Carnegie Library building Saturday afternoon. Cayla colored a mask on the back of a paper plate and got her face painted. I knitted and took pictures of Cayla. She danced with a Mardi Gras boa and balloons while a man played the keyboard.We both had a good time.

The knitting thing goes back to Friday evening. She was supposed to go on a sleepover, which was cancelled. To ease her disappointment, I suggested that she spend the evening at Grandma's, and I would get her something for knitting, since she's been wanting (desperately) to learn. We looked at a kit on clearance at Target, but decided to try Hancock Fabrics.

One of the salespeople at Hancock Fabrics helped us - a lot. She made suggestions about what size needles to get, and even showed us how to get started. I decided to get my own set of needles and yarn, and got started Saturday morning. Before I took Cayla to Arti-Gras, we went to Hobby Lobby and looked at yarns. I finally decided to get this funky yarn from Yarn Bee called Frosted Gold. It's soooo soft and silky. I decided to make a scarf for someone who has been very nice to our family.

I thought the yarn might be hard to work with, but so far it's not too bad. I'm only doing this scarf 10 stitches wide, and I'm counting after every row. The great thing is that this yarn is very forgiving and doesn't make errors very obvious. In fact, I think it hides them very well.

My computer wasn't reading the camera card, so I couldn't post the pictures when I wanted. (that's the blah)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

My crafty kid

Cayla is learning to knit, and I'm going to learn, too. I just got her a pair of needles and a skein of yarn at Hancock Fabrics, and one of the salespeople taught her to cast on and knit. Then I dropped her at Mom's while I went to work. When I picked her up 4 hours later, she had five rows done! (She did other stuff, like talk to Mom and watch TV and so on.) She's trying to knit a scarf.

I got myself needles and a skein of yarn, too, but haven't started yet. It's going to be hard to catch up with my crafty kid.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Happy birthday to meeee!

Yeah, it's my birthday. I'll get myself a present on Thursday, when I get paid. But, in the meantime, I did get a pair of shoes and a sweater from my mom and a tote bag with funky material swatches from Sandy Mickelson at work. Sandy and I share the same birthday (though not the same year).

I won't lie - I'm 45. I'm not ashamed of my age - it's part of me. The only problem is when I feel that I should have accomplished more with my life. But, I'm not dead yet - there's still time.

So, Happy birthday to me. I should probably start baking my cake now ...

Monday, January 2, 2006

Stabby message desk thingy

desk spindle
Ever have one of those moments when you can't remember the name of something, so you try to describe it? On Saturday, I let Cayla go to my sister's house, and while she was there, my niece Jessica was trying to explain desk spindle to Cayla. The only problem was that she didn't know or remember the "technical" term for it, so she tried to Google it with a description of stabby message desk thingy.

I was able to tell her the right name, mostly because it came up in a conversation at work the day before. And, I couldn't think of the right name at the time, either.