Friday, December 16, 2005

where have all the days gone?

Yikes. Been over a month since I was last here! I can only say it's been CRAZY busy, starting the 2nd week of November and continuing on to now. It all kinda began with my friend Lavonne's wedding, with Thanksgiving Day close on its heels, and smooshed together with piano performances and recitals and shopping and losing presents (argh, more later), and reshopping and and and.... you get the picture.

Been challenging with my dear son as well. Hating to label people, I still need some way to help ME understand what is going on here. Coming to the conclusion that he may be labeled as ODD: Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

Traditional discipline does not seem to work with this child. I type this, weeping. I do not know how to raise my son. I do my best to live by and apply Biblical standards in the rearing of my children. I hold them to the two rules set up by God: Honor your parents, obey your parents. Straightforward, simple. But challenging--emotionally!--when there is little to no response when those rules are not followed and discipline ensues. I ask myself what am I doing wrong? what am I not doing? I come up empty. I persist, because I must do what I am called to do by God, to bring my children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

I grieve over this constantly. There's this whole Jeckyll-and-Hyde behaviour I see in him. I don't know what to do. I pray for God to change him. To change ME. But there's this latent scientist in me that wants to see a fixed outcome by following the procedures outlined in the Word. Hypothesis (if I follow the principles of the Word, my child will be obedient), procedure (follow the principles of the Word), record the data (my child is not obeying), interpret results (is my hypothesis therfore incorrect? Maybe I'm asking the wrong questions) =conclusion (Either God's Word does not work, which cannot be - or my hypothesis is wrong--which
is likely.)

Here's where the arminians and Calvinists chime in on the nature of sin and mankind.

On to the fluff side. Last night I was planning to go see my friend's daughter be a shepherd in a Christmas play. I missed the turn off to the subdivision where the play was being held (in someone's home) - and when I pulled into a parking lot to make a phone call to ask for further directions, I knocked one of my contact lenses out!

I was unable to find the lens in the darkness of my van (my van has no overhead lights; I took them out because of too many dead batteries caused by leaving doors open, etc) - so I made one last attempt to find the place, which I quickly abandoned, because all the headlights, taillights, and stoplights looked like so many glowing dandelions or dahlias in my fuzzy vision. I left a message explaining my predicament to my friend and carefully drove home, accompanied by the wails of my daughter, who was sorely disappointed to miss the play.

Today is the last day of school before Christmas vacation.........IF my children get to the 25% mark in LA, History and Math. S is close. D has like 3 maths left. History I'm not sure what's left. We'll see,. it's been a challenging morning.

It's COLD HERE! I'm going for a sweater.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

It's been a hard day's day

Note the time of this post: 8:06 pm PST. We just finished school for today. Actually, it's more of a "fiat" finish (you know, like "fiat money" - valuable just because the gov't says so..... so this is a "fiat" finish to school in that I have declared WE ARE DONE FOR TODAY.") In reality The Schedule dictates that there is still science and art to accomplish, BUT NOT NOW. I have had quite enough, thank YOU!

The day was rather hashed up, though. The kids had a 12:30 picture appointment, I had a 1 pm hair appointment, and I was out this AM until after 11. So school didnt really BEGIN until 11:20. And like the Energizer Bunny, it just kept going, and going, and going.....interrupted by various and sundry Important Things. (I have been reading A.A. Milne, author of Pooh, who Capitalizes Important Ideas like the above).

I dunno if it's the cache of Halloween candy david found, or what, but the kids for the last two days have been like Tiggers. Driving me BATTY!! This house isn't big enough to contain all the kinetic energy - not to mention potential energy -- contained in two primary aged kidlets.

And did you know my new haircut makes me look "old"? :p Not my age, 35, but more like 40 or so. So I have been told.

And I thought I looked perky.

Oh well, at least the grey is gone!

Now, where is that Halloween candy? I need some of that to jazz me up a notch!

I know I did other things today, but you really don't want the details of blanching and cutting corn from the cob to get it ready to freeze in packs. I will finish the task tomorrow (LORD WILLING!!)

I have also made it to the gym 3 days straight---EXCEPT for today. And tomorrows not looking too good either. But i was proud of myself last night. I made it through Delaina's Cycling class. Usually I start getting nauseated, blood pounding, lights flashing behind my eyes, about :40 into the ride. THAT DID NOT HAPPEN last night! WOOT! I was dripping quarts of sweat (excuse me, perspiration for the gentler readers), and I was physically challenged, but I never made it to that out of control level that characterized my rides back in January. February. March. etc. So either my fitness level has improved; or I didn't push myself as hard. :) I think partly the music she chose was rather in-your-face motivating, yeaaaaaaaahahahahahaaa GO GO GO. That really helps. Anyway I wanted to build on that success today, but alas, it was not to be.

Lori told me tonight (via IM) that I needed to read Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss. I have heard about this book for years but never found it (not looked really hard either!) but anyway.... I'm asking for it for Christmas. No doubt it will be a really convicting read! :)

Wow, in the time after dinner it took to finish school and me to blog, the dishwasher has stopped running. Yay!~ enough hot water to take a bath!! I am putting the spawn to bed and it's only 8:29 p.m.!! And I will eat popcorn and read a book! or maybe play Minesweeper!!

OH YEAH!!! I finally beat the game!! Twice, now.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

minesweeper woes

Argh! I can't beat this game!! I seem to get down to the last 20-30 mines and then blow myself up.

Andy says he would have given up long before now. Then again, he beats this stupid game with relative ease. "It's just deduction!" he says, helpfully.

I had left the game up the other day, and A. had the screen cleared to the last two squares, where you'd have a 50-50 chance of choosing the wrong one....... so I finished the game and chose. Wrongly.


SO I am on a quest ( and have been for the last two weeks or so) - BEAT THE GAME.

Maybe I should switch to Hearts for a while. NO. I must BEAT THIS GAME.

OK so I finished the Boston Jane series by Jennifer Holm. Overview: a girl from Philly goes to Washington territory to be the wife of a man who used to be her father's intern. She has attended finishing school. This leaves her ill-prepared for the realities of pioneer life. Because she was late in leaving Philly, her betrothed assumed she wasn't coming, and took off. So when she arrives in Shoalwater Bay (now called Willapa) - there is nobody to meet her.

It's rather amusing to see her struggle along, trying to live up to Miss Hepplewhite's standards when those standards are completely impractical for living /roughing it in the wilderness.

Still, this series misses on many counts. The native Chinook Indians are well-rounded characters - however, in contrast, Ms. Holm portrays thewhite men as flat, two-dimensional characters with the sole motive of acquiring the Chinook, Makah, etc. land, and putting the Indians together on one reservation. The only good white men are those who intermarry with the Indians, or adopt some of their culture. Sadly, there is a Catholic priest who makes the journey with Jane, with the stated goal of "converting the savages." He is portrayed as boring, witless, good enough in his own way, but like Miss Hepplewhite's guidebook for young ladies, his religion is immensely impractical in the Pacific Northwest wilderness. By the end of the first book he has made no converts. The Indians' spirit religion is shown to be superior.

Anyway, that's the jist of the first book. It's an amusing enough read; however, I came away with the impression that Ms Holm has very little use for "the white man's God."

There's also a weird subplot involving the ghost of one of Jane's traveling companions haunting her - tying into the Chinook belief that if you don't change your name following the death of a family member, you will be haunted by that person - The subplot resolved itself, somehow, but I wasn't quite sure of the mechanics behind it. At first Mary would haunt Jane with an angry expression, seaweed in hair, dripping wet and ice cold.......... but after Jane, at a point of crisis, resolves within herself that she might as well die in the Pac NW as well, it's no point to go on living in this hell.......then Mary appears to Jane as happy, bright and shining.......and never haunts Jane again. I mean, what was the point in that?! Jane had to decide life wasn't worth living for the ghost to leave her alone? I totally didn't get the reasoning there.


It's 10 am and time to start school.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

a good week

This week was a rather pleasant one, albeit hectic. Gma K was visiting us from MI, and the dear soul didn't want to add to my workload so she took us out for dinner frequently this week. She left this morning.

Today it was a blessing to make brownies and stromboli. Weird combo, but who cares.

Today we also went to the NW Captive Breeders Expo: Turtles, snakes, lizards, and other animals termed "exotic" by the powers that be. A walked out of there with two hatchling wood turtles, the final result of a trade that happened back in August. D was rather disappointed he did not get a snake; we told him there would need to be much more responsibility on his part before we'd consider it. I was noticing that the clientele of the expo was much more "mainstream" than in years previous: it used to be only freaking weirdos that came to these things. That element is still there, but there are many more average Americans attending now.

This afternoon was profitable as well; I planted some summer-flowering bulbs Audra had given me, cleaned out my planter baskets and barrels, and varnished Andy's outside office door. The kids went over to the park to play - a first, because they went together, without us along. The rules were to stay together, don't get wet, and be home in an hour.

After a while A and I realized we never looked to see what time it was when we sent them out, nor did either of the kids have on a watch. We walked over to the park to retrieve them, and met them as they themselves were wandering home.

Responsibility! I like it.

I'm also reading a fair bit of books lately; mostly in the YA age group. I finally read Holes by Louis Sachar. A well-crafted book. Ties up all the loose ends neatly, and overall a very good story. I have no idea how the movie based on this book turned out, though.

I also read Rodzina by Karen Cushman of The Midwife's Apprentice fame. She lives on Vashon now! Wow, a Newbery author, practically a neighbor. Anyway....... I thought this one was pretty good. Much better than her Matilda Bone or The Ballad of Lucy Whipple. Rodzina is a girl who was sent on the orphan train from Chicago to The West to find a family. Very interesting, and it tugged my heart a bit. Ms. Cushman always does her homework; there's nearly always a long list of resources she used at the end of each of her novels.

I was very disappointed in Sharon Creech's Absolutely Normal Chaos. I loved Walk Two Moons, but ANC was just......mediocre. A girl's junior high diary ramblings. It tries to be meaningful in the story of Carl Ray, but it never really touches the emotions. It depicts the ups and downs of junior high romance in a stilted, cliche way. It tries to be funny with the creative ways that Mary Lou tries to abridge her language after she is forbidden to say "God, " "stupid," or "stuff," but ends up being borderline blasphemous with her altering her swearing to "King of Kings," "Alpha and Omega," "Deity" and the like.

Though I must admit to enjoying her substitute for "stuff": quintessence.

Anyway. I have 3 more books (I think?) to read before next library day, and they're a series all from Jennifer Holm, who won the Newbery for Our Only May Amelia (a good book, and set here in the Pac NW)- the series is about Boston Jane, who is a "mail order" bride. I will let you know how it comes out.

OK stromboli must be about ready, and Im' sure the family is rawther hungry. adieu.

And Jennifer I am fine. Thanks for calling :)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

"MOM PLease staY owT"

....this on a sticky note on the front door as I returned from a morning coffee with my friend Audra. I knock, because I don't want to ruin any nice surprise the kids have concocted for me.

D lets me in, timorously. My suspicion mounts. My ideas of kid-made surprises I might consider "nice" evaporate like so much dry ice. "Why did you want me to stay out?" I ask, thinking by now that i really don't want to know, and wondering just where in sam hill Andy is.

"Um....Sam threw Tang at my door. Don't kill us."

I know this is not the full story.

Come to find out, the kids had a Tang fight. David instigated it by dumping a glass on Sam while she was doing her math, and Sammie retaliated by throwing a glassful at D's retreating back as he slammed his door shut. D re-retaliated and doused her door accordingly.

Andy was blissfully taking a shower. The Tang fight happened in the five-minute window between Andy's stepping in and my coming home to a powder-blue sticky note. 5 minutes.

Calming breaths. Ohhhmmmmm....

SO our school (school comes in many forms, oh yesss, preciousss) consisted of murphy's oil soap, a sponge and a towel. The kids cleaned each other's doors. Then I had to shampoo the carpet (thankfully I have a Kirby with attachments).

There will no longer be any Tang in this house. (At least not for a LONG while.) So let it be written, so let it be done. <---(oblique reference to The Ten Commandments)

Monday, October 10, 2005

Shhhhhock the Monkey

Monkey Challenge Trivia Quiz
I beat the monkey by 11 points.
Famous Trivia Quiz

........which isn't a whole heck of a lot of points, when ya come to think of it. It was a challenging trivia quiz for me, incorporating everything from Cs 137 to Ringo Starr.

"it's time to play the music..."

D & S are watching a DVD of The Muppet Show right now, before I make them practice their piano. I LOVE THE MUPPET SHOW. Another guilty pleasure.

We're slowly getting back into some type of routine, but I have discovered if I am not around in the AM, things just do not get done, school- or house-wise. Surprise, surprise. So i have axed my morning workouts at Bally's for the time being, and to tell the truth, I'm a little (lot) annoyed about it. Because SOMETHING IMPORTANT always comes up in the evenings so I can't go work out then either. Ergo, I am sitting here on my widening rear end, not exercising.

I hate feeling like the whole world depends on me to get it going! I need some "me" time. But not gonna get it, not tomorrow or Weds, that's for sure. Teach all day both days - first my own, then piano. *sigh*

So i'm escaping here to my own private idaho (a nod to the B-52's), with no solutions to my dilemma and feeling a little blue about it. It's a thankless job. I want to crawl in a hole, or, better yet, take a sun-drenched vacation. I feel like I have to sit in the presence of the kids during all their waking hours or NOTHING WILL HAPPEN. Aigh. Even paid laborers get mandatory breaks.

I think I'm about to say to heck with this and go out, who cares if it's 8:17 in the evening and exercising now would keep me awake all night.

But then nobody's piano would be done. I do not sacrifice 4 hours a week cleaning Dr J's for the kids NOT to practice.

BACK TO THE RESENTMENT. Things only happen if I'm here, and frankly, I feel like being a Maizie Bird. And if you don't know who/what that is, you need to seriously brush up on your Dr Seuss.

Saturday, October 08, 2005


You Are A: Pony!

ponyWho doesn't love a pony? You are one of these miniature horses, renown for your beauty and desired by many. Full of grace, you are a beautiful and very special animal, full of strength and majesty.

You were almost a: Puppy or a Lamb
You are least like a: Groundhog or a KittenThe Cute Animals Quiz

Thursday, October 06, 2005

all quiet on the western front

We are currently having a visit from Andy's dad from NY. So today they're all at the PDZA enjoying a field trip. Me, I went shopping all by me onesies. Groceries. woo. Still, the novelty of shopping alone is wondrous. Now I am cooking dinner in advance (enchiladas) so I can take a map. My current temp is 99.4. My piano students have shared their illness with me apparently.

Yesterday I taught straight through until 8:45 p.m. Oh, yeah, there were some breaks; however, between schooling my kids (10-12:45); piano students (1-5) ; making dinner (5-6); eating (6-6:45); cleaning up (to 7"15); then running the kids through piano practicing (7:30-8:45) - I collapsed in bed at 9:20 and didn't even read before going to sleep. Unreal.

So today is my day off.

Just got a phone call from the Zoo Excursionees - they are cold and wet. It started raining while they were there. This means hot chocolate. But I don't think I have any right now.

I'd better finish the enchiladas before the hordes arrive!

Friday, September 30, 2005

Spam Spam Spam Spam

You know I really thought I was all alone in my little blog world--then Rebecca found me!--and now I check my comments AGAIN over the last couple of posts and I find that even HERE people are shilling for their little pseudo-businesses in my comments section.

Friends and relations and perfect strangers take note: you are welcome to share your opinions and agree or disagree with whatever I'm nattering about on any given day. You may even provide a link to your own blog if it is relatively PG rated and dealing with your OWN thoughts and opinions. However, DO NOT come here and shill for your personal companies.

This has been a public service announcement. Return to your lives, citizens.

Friday, September 23, 2005

September Morn

Ahhh it's getting brisk outside! It was 41 according to the Weather Channel Online this morning. Andy started a fire in the fireplace; Sammie's snugged up with him in his La-Z-Boy. Cinnamon rolls are in the oven, coffee is is good.

Recovering from our 2-week van trip from WA to CO. I got home one week ago yesterday and I am still tweaking the routine around here to incorporate school, piano practice (for three people), exercising at the gym, and home and wifely duties. Varying degrees of success in each category. The kicker is I'm still waiting for our school mat'ls to arrive: K12 lost our application and I had to redo everything the evening we returned from vacation. All the applications have now been processed and the kids are both enrolled in the Washington Virtual Academy, but the books and matls are somewhere in between VA and WA. That's a lot of ground to cover; however, I do expect the Brown Truck to appear sometime today. (Please, Lord!)

In the meantime the kids are doing school with some extra materials I have, so they're not just sitting around goofing off. (Though yesterday they were goofing off with school books in front of them. >:O )

I've been requested to come and enjoy the fire while it is still radiating a bit of heat. So off I go.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

so there.

Andy says to me this morning, "So, basically, all you do is link to other articles and add 3 lines of commentary?"

YES, that's all I do. It takes too long sometimes for me to come up with something cogent about what's happening in Life, so I just record the news of the day and move on.

So Andy, just for you: (since you alone read this)

I am starting to come out of the fog following NBT and the subsequent mandatory July 4 celebration at our home. I have been emotionally and physically exhausted. Can't even sit to read books for very long because I fall asleep. I've been dealing with keeping the kids away from a grouchy, in-pain husband so they do not awaken his wrath, while striving myself to avoid same. Take your vicodin and be nice, or go sit in a room by yourself. sheesh. eggshell walking is no fun for anyone.

I have to plant a garden. Recognizing that we will be gone the first two weeks of September, prime harvest time. However, since we are planting the garden so late, it's entirely possible that nothing will be even READY until we return from our vacation in CO. In which case we'll have about 3 weeks of harvest and then a frost.

That last paragraph is riddled with fragments.

I have to make a beachy wedding cake for next weekend, so I need to find some palm tree looking things, make some chocolate shells and starfish, and find some metallic blue aquarium foil to cover a cake board. This needs to be done on the weekend, because next week I start teaching again and I want to have the externals done in advance of Thursday/Friday when I start baking.

My van is filled with recyclables from NBT - so there's 2 weeks worth of stuff in there that needs to go.

Meanwhile I'm sittin in my jammies, posting for the sake of posting. Blah.

6 days until Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince comes out. So I'd better bake that cake on Thursday so I can read the book on Friday.

My predictions: (partially based on seeing the back cover of the American edition)
  1. There will be a death at Hogwarts. There's a Dark Mark in the sky above what looks like the Hogwarts grounds, and we all know that Death Eaters would shoot that into the sky whenever they killed.
  2. Ron and Hermione will come to some sort of understanding. They are not the one/s killed.
  3. Dumbledore will have to die - whether in book 6 or 7 I don't know. But he's the only one Voldemort fears, and Harry will have to come into his own by losing that protection Dumbedore gives.
  4. There will be some sort of showdown involving Harry, Voldemort, and Snape. Snape will probably save Harry's life and/or vice versa. Snape and Harry will come to a cessation of hostilities.
  5. Petunia Evans Dursley is a squib. Somehow or another she's brushed up with the wizarding world before, and not just because of her sister Lily.
  6. Long shot - Harry becomes interested in Luna. C'mon, with a surname like Lovegood? Jo is Dickensian in naming her characters.
  7. Percy Weasley is humbled and reconciled to his family.

Redneck Games - More Sports- Redneck Games are a good ol' time

Nooooooooooooooo thank you. I lived Down South for nearly 4 years. Celebrating butt crack? I don't think so. Parading and rejoicing in ignorance is not for me.

Yeah, so I'm a snob.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Yeah, but what do their yards look like? - Lawn mowers not just for chores anymore I thought this was a Worth1000 Photoshopping contest, but NOT SO!

If NASCAR is for the beer-and-chilidogs crowd, then what breed of human would watch this?

Still, it's funny enough to me that I'd probably watch it at least perhaps it's for the quirky college-educated quasi-intellectual types?

Monday, June 20, 2005

Thursday, June 09, 2005

New York Daily News - Stanley Crouch: The descent of Michael

New York Daily News - Ideas & Opinions - Stanley Crouch: The descent of Michael

All those people protesting outside the SB County Courthouse, insisting that Michael is innocent... should at least examine this article - are they basing their judgment on the facts of the case, or are they simply honoring a man's ability and talents and concluding he can do no wrong?

I'm reminded (since I just reread the book) of Book 4 in the Harry Potter series where Ludo Bagman, on trial before the Wizengamot for passing secret Ministry information to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named - essentially gets off because 1.) he's an idiot and didn't suspect his father's best friend of being a spy for Voldemort, but more importantly, 2.) because he plays on England's Quidditch team and helped them win a very important game just before the trials began.

Let's hope the jury keeps the focus on the facts, not the fans.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Mall Reflections

I was out last week. All by me onesies! Andy took the dear kids to Mt Rainier and I WENT SHOPPING with my birthday money. It was peaceful! Quiet! nobody badgering me to BUY THIS BUY THAT CAN I HAVE THIS WHY NOT?

I had the most opportunity for people watching at the mall. I went to Costco first, but those people fall into my range of normalcy, so I didn't witness anything too odd (to me) there. But the mall, however, draws people of all walks of life.

At one point I saw Lily Munster. I swear! She was in her late 50s-early 60s; about 5 feet tall, long black hair with streaks of grey; defined cheekbones and sharp jaw, and the heavy eyeliner/shadow--it made me do a (mental) doubletake.

On my way out I was reflecting on the current trend for women to wear low-rise jeans with cropped t-shirts. It doesn't seem to matter nowadays if you have a doughnut around your middle that flops over your jeans, just let it all ooze anyway and strut yourself! Be proud of Who You Are! And flaunt all your...assets! As I was pondering such things, I had to do a hard stare. Walking about 50 feet ahead of me was a well-fed woman in her early 20's who was wearing jeans and a crop top. What made this rather interesting is that the belt she used to cinch her pants to her body was a pale pink/flesh color. So from a distance, it looked like she had about 2 inches of crack showing before her jeans began. I chuckled to myself when I figured out a second later that the "crack" was, in reality, a belt loop. It was cursedly inconveniently placed though!

I briefly considered buying a "Vote For Pedro" button but decided against it. Napoleon Dynamite is a guilty pleasure. It's a stupid movie, but it makes me laugh anyway. "Tina! Come eat some HAM!" --side note, That should be the topic of another post: guilty pleasures.

My bathtub water is getting cold. The kids are supposedly staying in their rooms so perhaps I can leave my post now and relax. However, it's never a sure thing; last night Sam came in at midnight to tell me she couldn't sleep...thereby waking me out of a sound sleep. then of course they stay in bed today until 9:45 am. I must get better at getting this family UP and AT 'EM; otherwise they'd stay in bed all day. (Yes, even you, Andy.) it's difficult though, if I leave the house at 8:15 to go to the gym...
ah heck with it, I can't control everything, and I'm not responsible for everything. I do what I can, and hose the rest.


Friday, May 13, 2005

Friday, May 06, 2005

Occurrences of green

Andy's mowed the grass in the back yard. Smells great.

Jennifer and I just booked another wedding cake for June 4 (we now have two on the same day - one in the afternoon, one in the evening). The lady paid $450 cash. Woot~!

My roses just received 6 cubic feet of bark.

I should be sprucing up the house for Mother's Day as a present to myself. I'll do it after I give my family the present of a good-smelling, non-stringy-haired wife/mother. (I still haven't showered after my workout).

Things I have to do today:

  1. Spiffy up the kitchen and spackle the holes in the walls so I can paint next week
  2. Vacuum
  3. Dust
  4. iron Andy's shirts
  5. put away clean clothes
  6. Prepare a talk for tomorrow's mothers' day brunch
  7. print the bulletin and take it up to Kinko's
  8. Go help Jennifer decorate a wedding cake

What I Got Done: (this post was edited, oooh) - and just for the record I have DONE more things than I have LEFT to do.

  1. Get flowers for Mom (done)
  2. Shower (I guess that should be No. 1) (done)
  3. Make the kids practice piano (half done)
  4. Pick up (name any room here) (kitchen, dining room, both bathrooms--a good beginning)
  5. Swish and swipe bathrooms (done)
  6. Mop kitchen and bathrooms (done)
  7. make the bed (done)
  8. talk to Dawn about a June 12 recital at Sumner Presbyterian at 3 pm (left message)
  9. Print off an end-of-the-year information sheet for my piano students - (done)

Friday, April 29, 2005

a brown crayon day

I awoke this morning to the soothing sound of falling rain. I enjoy listening to it; perhaps because I grew up where rain was strictly a December-February sort of thing. Whatever the reason, it was a good morning for sitting on the couch in jammies, drinking a cup of Vanilla Coffeemate (with enough coffee in it to make it caramel colored), and reading/studying Philippians for next Weds. Bible study.

If only it lasted. For some reason I was just hazy and slightly depressed all day. Andy said it's the weather, but I've never been moody when the weather shifts before.

I attempted to get school done with the kids, but something I call "character issues" cropped up instead. Sample: "School ruins my life, it's boring, it wastes my time..." etc. (I gave up a career for *this,* I think to myself). So instead, I decided I was going to return good for evil, and help David in the cleaning of his room.

Good idea, but my good intentions quickly degenerated into a foul, fierce mood when I pulled his bed out from the wall and found an assortment of snack foods in varying stages of decay hoarded between the bed and the wall. Yogurt cups, dirty spoons, those orange-colored peanut butter crackers ground into the carpet, wrappers of packaged cookies... all intermingled with books, stuffed animals and dirty clothes.

I started flinging, arousing the indignation of my 7 year old preternaturally self-assured son: "It wasn't messy in here until YOU started working! **I** didn't make this mess, and I'm not going to clean it up!" (oh yeah, kid?) I (not-so-calmly) reassured him that just because it wasn't visible didn't mean it wasn't messy, and yes indeed he would be cleaning it up. I did grab my trusty Kirby with the hose attachments and did a good job underneath the bed and in the nooks and crannies, as well as vacumming those horrible mini blinds that must be designed to collect dust - then after that left him to it.

that didn't work. You would not believe the number of plastic dinosaurs, legos, odd shells, bones, etc. this kid has. So I went back in there, again intending to return good for evil, and we sat down to sort out all the toy bins and get things in their proper places.

By the time we finished it was going on dinner time and I was still emotionally and physically drained - even more so after tackling that room. We decided to go out to eat and do some shopping. So I grabbed a pad of paper and the closest writing utensil: a brown crayon. I thought it was very fitting. This was a brown crayon day; it only follows that I should write my shopping list in brown crayon.

Went to Happy Teriyaki for dinner where we ordered the usual: chicken and beef teriyaki for the kids; yakisoba for Andy. I ordered a bento box that had a little bit of everything tasty in it. By this time Andy and I were laughing at stupid things, so some mood relief was in sight. David bent over to look at the koi in the indoor pond and one of the big fish fluked him, soaking his face. I thought he'd actually dunked his face in the pond!

Since KMart is right next door to the teriyaki place, we went marauding over there. Taking inspiration from my friend Amy, and to prevent any more towel thefts at my house, I let Sammie and David pick out their own color towels for their exclusive use. But they had to pick the Martha Stewart ones, which were on sale. Egads, before I made that stipulation, David had chosen a dull army green towel, and Sammie had chosen flower-child pink. Can you see those side by side on the towel rack!? ugh. But MS didn't have those particular shades. David settled on a sage green; Sammie sighed and chose a plum-colored towel instead.

We finished the night with banana splits. So what was a brown crayon day turned into a rather nice wisteria evening.

Gas Relief

"You're getting FREE Gas for 1 YEAR!"

is what some spammer tells me.

........nooooo thanks! Don't think my family would put up with that.

My charming daughter! (Who borrowed my digital camera for some fun.) Posted by Hello

Friday, April 22, 2005

Chili Woman On Ice - April 22, 2005

Chili Woman On Ice - April 22, 2005


I wonder if she took the finger from a cadaver somewhere? Not that cadavers are easily come by, but there are ways...
Woman in Wendy's Finger Case Arrested

Monday, April 18, 2005

"Bye!" - one small word, One Big Step

I have had Ashley as a piano student for going on two years. She has never spoken to me. She is a "selective mute," which, in my researchings on the Web, basically means "painfully shy."

Lately I've noticed a lot more non-verbal physical responses out of her: grins, eye-rolling when I say something deliberately stupid (yes, DELIBERATELY, don't be talking smack about me now) - which I've taken as encouraging signs that she's more comfortable w/me. Today was a typical lesson day - I've gotten good at simplifying questions so there's only a "yes" or "no" or a "choose one" - type.....but on the way out the door, as I said, "see ya later!" Ashley responded with a quick, quiet, "bye!" as she ran out the door.

That is the first voluntary word she has ever said to me. Just had to share it here- a momentous day, when someone bids me farewell.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Chili Finger Chick Won't Sue Wendy's

Heck, I've followed this story this far, I might as well keep blogging it when it comes up. - News - Woman Who Claims She Found Finger In Chili Won't Sue Wendy's

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Update on Chili Fingers

Yum, yum! Apparently the self-styled victim is lawsuit-happy. But the question remains... who's missing digit IS that?!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

It's about time

The alarm goes off at 7:30 this morning. Andy and I lay in bed, struggling toward consciousness. Newsbytes wash over me, some settling into my ears and making it to my brain, but mostly just spinning away again into oblivion. One bit that settled in was "KOMO news time, 8:46." I open my eyes wide. So does Andy.


Hustle, bustle, in and out of shower, kids up, dressed, uncombed, unfed but clean - and off to church. Andy and kids were on time; I was 5 min late to Sunday school. Not bad.

Right after SS I meet the kids coming out of their class. David is flushed and hot. I make arrangements for someone to play the final hymn I was scheduled to play, and bundle him back home again to an afternoon of Pirates of the Carribbean while bundled in a blanket.

I baked a ham that's been in the freezer for over 2 years. Not too bad. Then Andy settled in for his long afternoon nap and I betook myself to the office computer to work on arranging a song for choir using some music software that is marginally useful and slightly quicker than hand-coding it. (One of these days I will have Finale). Making great time! I finished, finally, and looked at my Hello Kitty watch that Dad gave me for Christmas. 4:40. Choir begins in 55 min; great! I get up from the chair, enter the house and....Andy is fully dressed, briefcase in hand.
DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME **AND** I didn't reset any clocks this morning!!!!

So it's actually 5:40; my choir is waiting for me to arrive - it was a short practice to begin with, and my tardiness made it virtually pointless. I'm more than a little miffed I spent the entire afternoon working on music that we could only practice for 15 min.

Everyone enjoyed a laugh at my expense: not once, but twice in the same day. I'm so glad I could humor them.

And yes my watch, car, and home clocks all bear the correct time now.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

I quit.

And this time I'm packing up the pencil sharpener.

I'm mean, I don't like my kids and never have, and I torture them.

This is what I have been told by a 7 year old.


Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Emperor's New Robes

Go, Ann, Go.
Welcome to

I don't have anything original to say today. I'm just blogging what others are saying (so much better than I).

The Wrong Trousers, Gromit!

Very cool story. Makes me wonder what could be done in cases where people are supposedly in a vegetative state/unable to respond "normally."

Guardian Unlimited | Life | Meet the mind readers

Monday, March 28, 2005

Just another manic Monday

It was a dark and stormy day. It was a bright and sunshiny day. It was a dark and stormy day. You get the picture.

Puddles abound, so kids stayed in today. While I was out they tried the combo of doing school while watching King Kong. Didn't work.

Piano lesson at Dr. J's - did well.

Library time - great.

Time to leave for karate - kids: "oh where is my (fill in the blank) ??!" Husband: "GET MOVING AND GET IN THE CAR!"

finally gave up on the karate idea. One couldn't find the uniform, the other couldn't find their kicks....I'll have to take them Tuesday AND Wednesday now. Joy.

I destressed by going to Delaina's cycling class. Met a soldier who's visiting from AZ, taking classes at Ft. Lewis. He's been in since Gulf I, retiring next year at 20. He "rode" next to me - very motivating, because he was pushing himself harder and faster than any other person in there except another man named Mike, who is like some Greek god or something. Teacher's pet, anyway. Me, I did my best and as usual found myself dizzy and nauseated about :40 into the ride, so had to quit pushing so hard so I wouldn't lose my cheese sandwich and utterly humiliate myself. Still, I'm doing pretty well compared to my humble beginnings. Motivating music this time: The soundtrack from the Trinity/Neo scene in The Matrix where they go into the Matrix to rescue Morpheus ("Guns. Lots of guns.") and proceed to waste the virtual building. Another motivating song played has the line "it's getting harder and harder to breathe" (yes, by that point it was).

I cooked a meal tonight rather than letting my kitchen slave Crock Pot do it for me and we had peachy chicken, steamed rice and asparagus with ham (since I didn't have any bacon). Leftovers for another day, yay!

Now it's almost 10 pm and I am procrastinating on this Philippians thing. Lori has given me her study notes; I have my own, now I need to synthesize the two and get it TOGETHER.

But since I haven't had the chance to change/shower from my workout I need to do that next. MORE PROCRASTINATION, augh!> so, first I will BEGIN the Philippians notes THEN I will bathe. OK ANDY!>?

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Lost the posting fever

So here it is, gotta add some originality and/or content to this teensy corner of webdom.

In my ponderings about whether one "thinks" or "lives".....i've come to the conclusion that I've been so busy just getting through Life that Deep Thoughts must be done on the fly.....ergo, they are not deep. So, indeed, Thinking and living are mutually exclusive - for me, anyway.

Here are my shallow thoughts then: Exercise music~! Since going to Bally's on a regular basis, I have rediscovered that music is extremely motivating as I exercise. The instructor of the cycling class I attend likes to use "real" music, not the canned cardio stuff put out by some exercising company. So as I'm pumping, Bono is howling and I'm like .....yeaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh................ U2 makes me feel like I need to hurry up and get where I'm going, just for the joy of it, all wistful and poignant and serious - The Edge playing that piano motif that carries the entire song New Year's Day.....and right-left-right-left I'm pushing faster through the pain and fatigue, giving more than I thought I could.
Other noteworthy songs: "Mama Told Me Not To Come" by Three Dog Night- very ironic as my cycle is at its highest resistance and I'm dripping sweat and mentally singing along; "American Pie" (what does that song mean anyway?); and of course, Mambo No. 5 by the one-hit wonder Lou Bega. There's more, but it's all I can come up with on such a short notice.

My son just came in and breathed chocolate bunny breath on me. Yum! I dont' know why I bothered to make dinner tonight for the kids - they lived on candy today! :( tomorrow back to good food.

Friday night I actually got a babysitter so Andy and I could go out for dinner at Harbor Lights. Got there early enough to see the sun set (though it was overcast mostly). Afterwards we drove through the Proctor district of Tacoma and went The Store Formerly Known As QueenAnne Thriftway. Now it's called Metropolitan Market. That's more in keeping with the exorbitant prices in there. There ain't no thrift about that joint! We got a couple things for our friend in Iraq, since they used to shop there on occasion, and there's great quality there. Get what you pay for sort of thing. Then we went to Borders where I read most of Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson (didn't like it at all. Supposedly about "normal" kids who all seem to be foul-mouthed, poor, and rude) and skimmed The Princess Present by Meg Cabot (by now a stale series; this episode is a retelling of The Gift of the Magi). Went home and discovered that my two kids and the babysitter polished off an entire pizza.

Yesterday was Saturday and for the life of me I can't remember what I did. Oh yea. Reworked the church bulletin format so all the pertinent information is on the front (which took me about 2 hrs), then did some quick shopping, forgetting that Sunday was a holiday! Costco was a madhouse, Top Foods wasn't much better, and the incompetence of the people at Lowe's never ceases to amaze me. The guy there, after scratching his head over what kind of lightbulb I need for my track lighting, finally told me to take it to McLendons. Yeeeep. Should've gone there in the first place, but traffic was horrible and I was trying to be efficient with my gasoline.

From there went to Jennifer's, who was hosting an open house for her new Sensaria Spa business. (oo, clicky here!) I had a facial, and my hands and feet all scrubbed and moisturized and pampered up. Very nice after the previous 2 horus out on S. Hill.

Easter breakfast and church services this morning went well. Andy left early with the kids (oo-rah!) and I showed up just in time with my potato casserole. For services this morning I sang the Mozart Alleluia as a duet, while fudging the keyboard part as I sang. The choir sang pretty well (our sound tech could balance out some louder singers by manipulating mics) and the message was good. I didn't bother cooking a lg. lunch since breakfast was huge (I've learned my lesson from previous Easters), and this afternoon I made a few fondant roses and watched Disc 2 of The Incredibles that has all the interesting (to me) "making of..." sections.

Right now I'm taking a break from our Sunday night ritual: Picnic in the living room while watching a movie. I did the picnic part, and part of the movie, but it's only interesting to 75% of the family: Walking With Prehistoric Beasts. So here I am. I'm incredibly thirsty right now; must be all that salami I ate. Think I'll get a drink and then begin my nightly "get ready for bed" ritual that usually involves a bubble bath and a book.

Monday, February 28, 2005

My Hometown *sigh*

My Way News
I keep thinking that if this had happened in 1983.....I would have skipped school to be outside the courthouse (which is about a mile from my alma mater as the crow flies).

I have to laugh at the comment about people wearing boots/western casual in Santa Maria. My experience is that few dress that way unless it's Elks Rodeo time, although it doesn't provoke comments or stares if someone does dress western regularly.

My dad knows Angel Bourbon. The other bartender at the Santa Maria Inn (who died in the late 80's I think) was named....Ira Gin. Yep. Gin and Bourbon.

As for the agriculture, the most important crop to me is the strawberries, because my childhood best friend's parents owned the Blosser Berry Stand. Every year on my birthday they would give me a flat of Chandler strawberries. Absolutely the best table strawberry ever.

They forgot to mention cabbage as one of the crops, hey mon!
And many's the time that mom brought home "road kill" broccoli for us..she followed a produce truck that lost part of its load.

OK enough randomizing for now. It must be horrible trying to drive Miller/Betteravia right now- two main roads.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

"Tradition, Discipline and Rules..."

".......must be the tools--/Without them: Disorder! Anarchy! Moral Disintegration!/In short, you have a ghastly mess!"

Tonight was the monthly group piano class for the kids. We (David, Sammie and I) worked hard together on major chords: being able to spell them, find the right keys just so many half-steps apart, and marking them on the keyboards. Sammie prepared two pieces to play, as did David. We also read about/discussed the lives of Spanish composers Albeniz, Granados, and de Falla, and I even downloaded Spanish Dance No. 2 by Granados and burned it onto a CD to take to class.

I prepared dinner on time and we ate as a family.

Comes time to leave for class:
David: "I can't find any of my shoes! And my sandals have dog poop on them!"
Sammie: "Where is my music and my notebook with my homework?"
Erin: "Where is that @#!@*#$%R! (mental cursing only) CD I burned?!"

We were 5 min late for class. Sammie couldn't play her pieces, nor turn in her homework (she was crying). David came to class with bare feet.


Oh yes, I am laughing about it now but I was doing a burn all night long. ALL THAT HARD WORK FOR WHAT?!

Geez lou EEZE.

So on the way home I made it perfectly clear: "No food, drink or tv ever again until 1) All of your shoes are in the shoe tower by the door, and 2) you have found every single music book and notebook."

It took 5 minutes. *smacking head* BUT NOOOOOO we couldn't find any of it beFORE class, oh no.


Just got off the phone with Jennifer. She's lining us up a huge wedding cake for October: square stacked cake, fondant covered, with fondant bows and pearls. Serving about 265. Woohooo! Now I'd better get busy and get those fondant bows handled. The last bow I made, flopped utterly. But I was doing it just for fun then, not profit. This cake will bring in over $750 with the extra fondant work that needs doing. The reception will be at The Vault in Tacoma, a very nice place for a wedding reception. (Please don't have the cake near the dance floor or the entrance like the one we did last summer!)

I think I've calmed down enough now to be able to speak sweetly to the children.

Actually, earlier on I apologized to them both for being such a maniac and they very sweetly hugged and kissed me and forgave me. Now I just have to forgive myself. *rolling eyes*

They should be in bed and I should be reading a book. Halfway through The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes now. I pick off a few more cases most evenings I read, but I don't read every day.

I see that I've not responded to my personal question of yesterday, as to living and thinking being mutually exclusive.

I'm still thinking about my answer. :O)

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

non raison d'etre

Life continues in its endless pattern. I know there has to be something of significance *digging deeply in the cavernous recesses of my brain* ----nope.

Took kids to piano yesterday and as soon as we got there, Sammie got sick. Took her back home straight away. David finished up his lesson and I came back for him. Sammie, oddly enough, was just fine after that. Must've been the breakfast cereal.

This morning I felt pretty good. Worked out hard in the Powerflex class (overloaded my weights and was shaking afterward), then came home and did some science with David and Sammie (study of birds), then moved on to history (the Ch'in Dynasty and the building of the Great Wall), and then read Understood Betsy with them. We didn't get to math or language but some days are like that.

This being my huge piano teaching day I am feeling rather drawn and quartered. It's so obvious when students haven't practiced! That was the case for fully half of the kids today. Ah well, yesterday was Presidents' Day, and I doubt many spent time at the keyboard. (My kids did! I'm not going to clean house every week for them to just sit on their butts and loaf!) In between lessons (this is a guilty confession here) I would occasionally run into the kitchen and eat sugar cubes. Yes, just plain sugar! How sad is that??! I didn't want an apple, an, I wanted SUGAR and was going to eat it plain.

Dinner tonight was steelhead, freshly caught on Saturday and given to us by our church friends. It's very like salmon, you know, so I just baked it in foil for about 25 min (it was a thick filet) with butter, garlic salt and pepper, topped with onion and lemon slices. Delish with bacon fried rice. Andy seemed to enjoy it, and so did the kids.

I'm still working on the B section of Chopin's Nocturne in F# major - the Doppio movimento part that I can't control when I'm playing fast. I have 1 1/2 more days to polish it up before Thursday's group class where I'll have to perform it from memory. (not a problem, already memorized).

Not much else has been going on. I suppose that's a good thing! I'm still trying to be proactive about my physical health (going on week 3) and I'm not seeing any results weight-loss-wise (hmmm, see the sugar incident above for a clue?) - BUT I feel pretty good. With occasional owies and achies! (My pecs and gluts are rather sore.)

Since I'm not in the habit of asking reflective questions (after all, nobody reads this!) - I think I will have to start being more deep and soul-baring; otherwise this blog will continue to be the standard recitation of "what I did last ___________."

So, must come up with THEME and/or TOPIC TO PONDER. If I were really observant, I'd take a thread from the occurrences of my daily grind and come up with something really of value. But I usually just react to what 's going on, not try to follow Intelligent Patterns. I am what I am. Which is why this blog is so shallow. :p

Andy would like to read this to find greater insights into my soul. Ha. Grab a ruler, dude! We're definitely in the kiddie pool here.

It's too late to think about these things. As a matter of fact, I haven't done much thinking at all lately, just living. Are these things mutually exclusive?

Oooooooo there's my Deep Question to Ponder. Success! At least for tonight anyway.

Now we will have to see how much thinking I do about the answer.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Mommy Madness

MSNBC - Mommy Madness

Finally, someone understands. It takes a mom to do it though.

Monday, February 14, 2005


Amy is being deployed. She got called up yesterday to report to Ft. Jackson on Easter Sunday to mobilize and start on the long haul to Iraq.

Does the Army care that she is holding down the fort stateside whilst Andy has just begun his term in Iraq for a year?

Will they relent and let her stay until he gets home so their 5 kids are not deprived of BOTH parents?

It is hard to accept this as decent or right.

Ironically enough, I do support our troops and I am grateful for their sacrificing their lives--whether living or dying--but this is just too much to ask of a family. Both parents deployed at the same time, with 5 little ones at home (and one not even school aged)? Come on.

I am hoping and praying that Someone Somewhere in The Army will put her on the cut list, or whatever it's called.

Knowing how sick I feel about all this....I cannot even imagine what they are feeling right now.

I wish I lived closer so I could DO something more practical.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Amy's Blog Site: Absolutely Normal Chaos

Absolutely Normal Chaos: My Personal War - (Mom) plus (Five kids) minus (Dad in Iraq) plus (one year) = chaos -

I finally got a Google toolbar installed and disabled my stupid MSN one, so I now have a blogger link right on the bar. :O) Makes it much easier to post web sites.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Wednesday: only one day until "Saturday"

It's true: Wednesday marks the end of the busy week; Thursday is my Saturday!

Sat, Sun, Mon, Tue, and Weds are my work week; between church and cleaning and teaching piano and taking piano.......Thurs is the first day I can breathe easy.

however, in practice for tomorrow I'm still sitting here in my pajamas. I should be dressed, but...

Yesterday while teaching I heard an ungodly screaming coming from the front yard. I truly thought somebody had a bone sticking through his/her skin, it was so shrill and loud.

On further examination, it was the little kid next door. He's the same age as David, but about 1 1/2 feet shorter, and a Napoleonic complex to boot. Apparently David had sneaked up on him in the bushes and surprised him/scared him. The kid completely freaked out, started throwing punches and then just screaming until his face was purple. I went back to teaching; let Andy figure it out. The kid's mom came and collected him I guess; then life went on as before.

I'm not thrilled about D and S playing with the kid next door, but kids are sparse in this neighborhood. And the kid next door has some huge family issues that are very difficult for a 7 yo to try to sort thru emotionally. So, we do the best we can, trying to be understanding with him, but at the same time instructing D/S that they should NOT accept verbal or physical abuse from the KND; just come home (or send KND home, depending).

OK I need to break away and finish up school. Puyallup School District has 1/2 day Wednesdays, so D and S need to be done with everything so I can kick them outside. Hey, it's sunny and 32º so why not?! :)

The JAG-ged Edge

The JAG-ged Edge
A link to our friend Andy who's deployed in Iraq.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Jello legs; noodle arms

I have been a good girl this week with working out every day, even if only for 30 minutes because of the busy schedule.

Well, since Thurs. is kindof a "breather" day for lessons, regular time commitments, etc....I was able to catch a group exercise class @ Bally's called PowerFlex.

HA!!! It was a lifting/muscle building class. We used a series of free weights, hand weights, and isometric exercises that really burned. We started off with pushups (about 50) then went to bicep curls (again, about 50) then pressups with bar weights....then straight back to pushups again (oh lordy). Then we gave arms a break and did lunges and squats (with weights on our shoulders)--- we worked every major muscle group (and some minor ones too) and after 45 minutes I was shaking. I was so relieved to do crunches for the last 15 min. Even now if I raise my arms above shoulder level they feel weak and shaky. I know I will feel it tomorrow!

Tomorrow I can either do that cycling class again (which I really liked, though challenging) or wait one hour and do step aerobics, which I used to love, B.C. (Before Children).

The sun has been shining and it's been in the 50's here so the crocus are blooming and it feels springy. However, we're supposed to get some cold this weekend (the S word is in some forecasts) so it's only temporary. Still, was able to rake out some grass moss yesterday (def. not today with my arms in the shape they're in!) and pull weeds out of my front flowerbed. Kids were able to ride bikes outside, a great boon! I had to raise the seats on both kids' bikes. This will definitely be the last year on this bike for David with how tall he is.

It's my mom's birthday today and I'm wondering how to give her the gift she needs most of all: time away! With taking care of Grandma (90, opinionated and getting dementia) and dealing with Dad all the time (68 and sometimes irrationally quick-fused) I wonder she doesn't just tell both of them to go jump off a bridge. But she doesn't, is the wonder. Maybe I'll send her a gift certificate to the movies so she can go with some girlfriends. I originally thought certificates to a nice restaurant, but Andy pointed out that would be a gift for Dad, not Mom. :Op. He's probably right.

I'd better go for now and deal with the mounds of CLEAN (yes, clean!) laundry.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Pedal pusher

Wanting to keep up the meager start I'd made at taking proactive charge of my health and fitness, I set the alarm at 5:15 am so I could make it to Bally's in time for their 5:45 aerobic-type class.

However, I wasn't doing so well last night in the sleep department. Had to get up several times because I wasn't feeling well. Being delicate, just some stomach issues. So when 5:15 came, I just turned off the alarm to get a few more Zzz's before going to clean Dr J's.

Returning from Dr J's I found that the carefully-written and planned Checklist Of Things For The Family To Do While Mom Is Out-- was completely ignored. The kids were unfed, the house was unpickedup, the schoolwork was undone, and I was unhappy. I mean, not ONE thing was done on this list. Oh, well, yes I guess they managed to get themselved dressed, but that was ALL. (@(*#&(*&$@!!

So instead of rolling with it, I decided to throw a good little fit. Got the kids back over to Dr J's for their lessons (unfed) - and then back home again so I could finish pickup before my first student arrived.

It ended up being a short teaching day; One sick, one lost track of time, one on a month's sabbatical - so I taught two kids. By the time I was finished, Andy had taken the kids to karate (still unfed? I think they may have grabbed a sandwich by this time...yes, there was peanut butter on the countertop).......and I realized, HEY!! NOW I CAN GO TO BALLY'S!!

So instead of the step class that I had planned to do - I now was going to give Reactive Cycling a try.

Oh. My. Butt.

I don't think I have ever pedaled non-stop for 50 minutes until today. It was challenging, too... we added resistance at regular intervals, had to stand up and pedal....had to lean forward while standing and pedaling.... the leader would give occasional recovery breaks, but I was dripping after a bit, and I don't drip. It was challenging and a lot of fun. But I found something interesting...I couldn't stop pedaling! The muscle memory had taken over or something. It was going without my even thinking about it. Esp. when I'd taken off all the resistance.

The 2 things I found annoying about the cycling:
  1. My nether parts that were in direct contact with the cycle seat were COMPLETELY numb by the time I was through........UGH, the pins and needles! But no, i did NOT like the seat situation.
  2. The little doohickey on the pedals that you stick your shoes into so your feet don't slip....that was adjusted too tightly, and my toes fell asleep.

But all in all it was a great workout and one I want to try again (if I can find a cycle with a cushier tushie). I could tell it was good because I was lobster-faced and stringy-haired when it was all done. But there was some definite muscle failure in my quads later on...trying to sit down ended up being a "flump" down when the resistance didn't kick in.

I wonder what I'll feel like tomorrow?

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Comfortably numb

Sunday and my nose is still plugged, but not as badly. Because of my good workout yesterday, I awoke alert and refreshed, a pleasant change. Didn't even need a cuppa!

Because it's the last Sunday of the month, there's no Children's Church. However, Amy S. usually plays on the last Sunday, but she's out of town, so I had to play piano instead of sit with my kids. Jan and Leo did "grandparent duty," however, and I had brought plenty of paper and pencils for them to occupy the time.

Immediately following the morning service I had a meeting with the ladies who are interested in being on "Service Teams" (I don't think we had these when you were here) - basically they do the food and decor for any special event, as well as provide meals when there is illness, new baby, death, etc. There were about 18 people who showed up, very nice number, easy to split things up that way.

On the way home from church, Sammie told me that she and Nicholas P. were so hungry following the service that they betook themselves into the kitchen, where the two of them devoured the remainders of the Lord's Supper! I had a good laugh over that. Grape juice and crackers, mmMMmmm.

Then came The Long Afternoon of Recitals, immediately followed by choir practice. Only three people including myself were there, so we worked up a trio for 2 weeks away and called it good. Then I took D/S home. Dee B. is sick tonight so there's no kids' program--- so I decided that I might just as well take the kids and call it a day.

What exercise class to go to tomorrow?? Aqua Fitness? (boring, imho) Intro to Yoga? or Step and Sculpt? but that's a 5:45 am calss. noooo. I think an evening class may be better. There's a power yoga in the evening, as well as a reaction cycling, and something called "powerflex" but I'll have to look at Bally's web site to see what that is.

I am not making sense to myself; I pity you for reading this.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Snot, sweat, and sonatinas

On Wednesday I received a talking-to by Mimi (aka Dr J) that I am not taking enough time to take care of myself.

Last night I finally admitted to myself that she was right. Instead of being intentional about what I want to accomplish, I have been just taking life as it comes....all very well and good if you are on a 3-day weekend away somewhere, but not good for long-term living of the one life God gives us all.

So goals for today were: sleep until I woke up (yes, it's true :) this cold has sapped me), spiffy up the living room and kitchen, make the kids spiffy up their respective rooms, go to Bally's PacWest and make use of the membership I've had for the last 10 years, and run off tomorrow's WSMTA Chapter Recital programs at Kinko's.

Mission accomplished!

Andy took the kids to Toys R Us while I was at Bally's. D & S had each received $5 gift certificates from Sunday School (jeez, their teacher gives out incredible awards - we can never replace her now that the kids are spoiled!) - so they whiled away an hour enjoying (or enduring, in Andy's case) the toy scene while I was sweating. I learned a few valuable bits of info at Ballys - one, my premier membership includes free child care if I call at least 2 hrs before hand! How COOL IS THAT? Two, there's family swim nights MWF and all day long on Sat and Sun. Right ON! I checked out the aerobic/cardio class schedules - mostly step and yoga, with only one Pilates. hm. I could also do Salsa dancing? One kickboxing class but it's while I'm teaching. Will find one to match my schedule soon I'm sure. But Andy is supportive of my venture, and will work with me on getting me out of the house and sweating.

Bread machine is making a loaf of herb tomato bread; now I have to make the chicken noodle soup to go with it. We'll see if there is any truth in this chicken soup thing being good for colds. I am carrying a roll of toilet paper with me since it's cheaper than Kleenex (I think I'm out of Kleenex anyway).

Lori and I planned the annual Valentine's Banquet over the phone last night. Since Joe is in recruiter's school somewhere in the South right now, she's glumly the one in charge of Getting The House Ready To Sell and Preparing To Move To New York City. I invited her and the boys up next Friday night to hang out, make chocolates and test-drive some recipes. We're planning chicken cacciatore, garlic mashed potatoes, an olive-garden-style salad, bread with olive oil/balsamic vinegar for dipping, plus after-dinner chocolate mints (made by me, naturally), tiramisu, and.....something else I'm forgetting. Ah. Apple tart. Do you have any good crusty Italian loaf bread type recipes?

Today was a sonatina festival at UPS but I didn't have any students in it so I didn't go. Instead I just worked on the programs for tomorrow's recital. We're having all the boys play at 3, then the girls' recital starts at 4. The goal for this recital was to have girls play works by female composers - trying to demonstrate to the audience that it isn't ENTIRELY a man's world when it comes to composition. However, in practicality, it didn't work out that way. So I arranged the first half of the program to be all the women composers (I titled it "Part One: She's Got the Beat" - which I was proud of ! lol) - then the second half to be the male composers. All of Mimi's students save two are playing Chopin! There's one Beethoven, one Mozart, and one Copland. So for part two of the program, since I didn't think of anything as good as "she's got the beat" - I just called it "She's Classy, Romantic, and Contemporary" in honor of the three periods represented in the repertoire.

This makes for a very long Sunday afternoon for us teachers. I am annoyed with one teacher who keeps bailing on attending the recitals. Technically if you put students in a recital, you the teacher are to be there as well. She did this last recital too: "just reassure my kids and make them feel comfortable!" Well, how the heck do I know who your students are?! I plan to say something at the next chapter meeting re: attending YOUR OWN STUDENTS' recitals. But oh-so-diplomatically, of course.

AH CRAP I just remembered I'm supposed to make certificates for these kids for participating. Good thing I remembered now instead of tomorrow at 2.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

the long, dark teatime of the soul

Being surrounded for 5 days with fevers and snurgle noses has taken its toll on me and I woke this morning with the harbinger (I love saying that word) of snotdrips and fever of my own to come. Press on, press on.

Tuesday night David went to group piano lessons... basically, a crowd of 2nd-6th graders who perform some pieces for peer evaluation, then Dr J does some group theory. I left David there and ran to Fred Meyers to finish up shopping (so nice to be alone when shopping), then picked him up afterwards and went home.

Weds am at my own piano lesson with Dr. J, she informed me that David had writhed around on the floor like a snake, had karate chopped pretzel sticks into her Persian rug (after specifically being told not to; intentional disobedience) and in general displayed bad form and arrogance by stating before the group that he had played a particular piece better than another student had.

Suffice it to say that was the Beginning Of A Day of Constant Discipline. I dealt with the piano class issues as soon as I got home, but it was only the beginning. Throughout the day I dealt with rudeness, unkindness, disobedience, defiance, disrespect, and in general, it was just an "Alexander" day.

At 1:00 p.m., exhausted emotionally, mentally, & physically, I grabbed the phone book and started calling Montessori schools to send me packets of information. I know D would absolutely hate a traditional school, but the hands-on approach of Montessori may be an ideal fit.

Sam, still running a fever, stayed home from karate, but I took David out there. Sensei camethisclose to making David do pushups for talking ( I am sitting in the stands thinking GO SENSEI GO! MORE MORE MORE!) By 10 pm I lay in bed, tears streaming out the corners of my eyes into my hair. So I started to read The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes since I've never finished the entire book. I finished the first book, A Study In Scarlet. Then I slept like the dead. ha.

Today improved, but only marginally. Still dealing with the same basic issues. I finally lost it and yelled rather fiercely, and then felt much calmer. Then I had to go and apologize, because I had been very angry and frightening.

Took a nap in the afternoon. My head is feeling heavy and my eyes ache. The sad thing is, I had a cold already right after New Year's. For me to get another not even three weeks later is annoying. I mean, come on, I'm not some hypochondriacal freak job who needs to be sick all the time to get attention. (No, I get my attention in other ways :p)

It's only 9:30 so I think I'll crawl in bed with some tissues and a glass of water, and try to read another Sherlock Holmes.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Hot Fevers, Cool Jazz

Both kids were pasty-looking and feverish today, but David was definitely the more alert of the two. His fever was down to just about nil, whereas at last check 5 min ago, Sam's is 102.3.

I just gave Sammie the last dose of children's tylenol! Gotta get more tomorrow.

While I was out cleaning Dr. J's this morning, Andy gave Sam some of the walmart brand cough/cold syrup, which Sammie promptly chundered into a bowl. :D I WASN'T HERE TO CLEAN IT UP, so The Man had to do it.

I love it when I miss out on those moments!

Yep, meanwhile I was busy pretending I was Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid: "Wax on, wax off..." with Dr. J's hardwood floor in her studio. It's fun cleaning someone else's house.

And no piano lessons for them today, so an extra 1.5 hours of relaxing on Monday before my own piano studio starts up at 3 pm. I just had a DVD player put into my bedroom computer, so I got Sammie all fixed up on my bed with a blankie, glass of water, and Monsters, Inc. so she could relax while I was teaching. That worked very well; must do this again sometime. It's nice to have a quasi-tv in another room of the house.

Teaching was a so-so day. Ana is usually well-prepared, and generally has a great sense of rhythm and expression, but her lesson was pretty lopsided. She'd spent most of her time working on one piece, "All You Wanted," by Michelle Branch. Still, we worked out some bugs on one of her Burgmueller pieces and I'm realizing she needs to get either Hanon or Schmitt exercises to even out the fingers.

After Ana, Spencer came in. He could be better, if he would practice. His mom recently agonized over that to me; she's tired of fighting the battles. I told her to just get him to the piano every day; what he did while sitting there had to be HIS doing, not hers; and to let him fail, if need be. She took my advice, apparently! :) Spencer had not practiced, nor had he done his theory. I have had him for two years and he still struggles with note names on the staff. I gave him a pep talk, encouraging him to take ownership, and worked with him to show him the how the power of just 5 minutes of FOCUS on one song will get him far. (He didn't remember that I had assigned him 3 pieces; no, nor even two. And he barely practiced the one.)

Ashley was my next student; she has never spoken to me. She's a "selective mute." This forces me to be creative to find out what she's thinking, and to try to phrase questions that can be answered "yes" or "no" with a nod or a shake of the head. At present, I would like her to memorize a particular piece, but the minute the music vanishes, so does her memory of it. I have given her some suggestions on how to memorize; she has assented to me that she's done the things I've asked her to do (sing the words as she plays, sing the note names as she plays, play two measures looking at the music, then play the same two measures looking at her hands...) we will get this in time, I'm sure, but it's a learned discipline. (don't I know it. I've been poking around at memorizing Barber's Pas de Deux since August).

My teaching day finished with Stefan, older brother of Ana. He assures me he practices 150 minutes a week, but he's so hesitant at the keys, it's either bogus, or I terrify him. He also could be better. Scales are where he is weak, and he's at the point in the literature where scales, arpeggios, and chords are becoming necessary to his being able to play the repertoire. Really nice kid though, football player at the nearby junior high.

After lessons, I bundled up everyone (yes, sick kids and all) and we went to Costco and had dinner for $6.47. guhhh. Hot dog and soda for $1.50, best deal in town. Finished the Costco shopping and now am sitting down to relax. I'm trying out internet radio as I type.... - cool jazz, very nice, very relaxing for this time of night. I think I'll run a bubble bath and turn it up a bit louder!

Sunday, January 23, 2005

"You give me fever..."

Today was a typical Sunday. Alarm went off too early (just the right time, actually, but still too early for me) and Andy and I fumbled our way around getting ready for church. Went in to check on David, who mumbled and said, "I'm sick." Because he says this 4 out of every 5 Sunday mornings when it's time to get up, I didn't put much stock in it.

Sammie is the morning person in our family. She was up and ready to go before I was, only needing a brush run through her follicles.

Because David moaned and mumbled so long about having to get up, he was cold, etc., Andy and Sammie went ahead without us. David and I followed behind 10 minutes later.

Church was fine, and when I reunited with the kids following the morning service, David was flushed and snurgley-nosed. So he really wasn't kidding this morning when he said he was sick! *GUILT* I got him home and took his temp: 100.9º *sigh*

I made arrangements to leave immediately following 5:30 choir practice (I'm the director) so David wouldn't infect all the other kids at church this evening. David enjoyed a nice quiet evening watching TV and taking a long bath. I made grilled cheese sandwiches and popcorn for our new Sunday evening tradition of having a picnic on a blanket in the living room.

When Andy and Sammie got home from evening Bible study, Sammie was complaining about her neck and shoulder hurting/aching. My suspicions aroused, I grabbed the thermometer. 100.6º . Tylenol and bed for both kids. I plan to leave my bedroom door open tonight to hear any midnight cries.

Peace and quiet reigns!
Oh the joy!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

John Donne and some mundane things

This morning as I was trying to have some time uninterrupted to study my Bible, (wasn't happening) I was searching for a particular poem in my trusty old battered Norton Anthology. I couldn't find it; however, I found another goodie by John Donne that summed up the frustration I was feeling.

Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

It was a dark and rainy day. (Sounds like the beginning of one of Snoopy's books!) That didn't keep D/S from playing outside, however, and getting soaked. Earlier this morning a lady in our church called and wanted to stop by to pick up a Bible she'd ordered. She and her husband came by while I was still in my jammies. That was hugelyb embarrassing. David let them in the house before I even knew they were here, and I was "trapped" on the couch with my blanket. They stayed for 20 minutes. I was sending them telepathic vibes: "Do Not Stay When The Lady Is Indisposed" but sadly, it did not work.

I did some computer/secretary work for Andy and the church (tomorrow is the annual polity meeting) and rearranged some bookshelves.
I dusted the ceiling fan.
I planned how to do a particular wedding cake coming up in March. I have to make soft, edible pearls for the second cake and did some internet research on how best to do that.

While I was doing all these quasi-useful things, the kids watched Chicken Run and made lemonade without my knowledge or permission. Their recipe: One entire bottle RealLemon juice concentrate, 1 cup sugar. Spill sugar liberally over countertops and floor. Mix and splash lemon juice onto same countertops. Pour mixed beverage into my best stemware. Garnish with sliced apple.

I was not pleased, putting it mildly.

I'll have to see how I can waste the rest of the day. The kids want to watch The Empire Strikes Back and I've told them not a chance until their rooms are devoid of toys on the floor. Meanwhile a pork roast is perfuming the house very nicely. I'd better get back to the side dishes for now.


Friday, January 21, 2005

Prostate trouble

I forgot to say that I'm currently dealing with my insurance company, doctor's office, and LabCorp. I received a note from HealthNet that a particular charge on my account had been denied, and that I would have to pay for it. Date of service 12-16-2003.
I called the doctor's office. I was never IN on 12-16-2003.
I checked with LabCorp. The $76.25 charge is for a prostate test.

I think I'll win this one, don't you?

Last night I went out to Ross because I have ONE pair of pants and ONE pair of jeans. I bought only one pair of pants because all the others had leather and chains on them and S/M just isn't "me."

While I was there I bumped into a former student and her mother, who was my teaching colleague, dear friend, cohort in crime, and general all around favorite bit of team teaching: Anne! We talked until the store closed (I did try things on and make a purchase; see above) and then we made those indefinite, noncommital plans that we all make: "Let's get together soon and have coffee!" Whereby we absolve our consciences that we mean well and intend to get together, but we never actually have to do it. I will probably see her again in another 2 years and make the same meaningless plans.

Do I sound jaded?

See previous post for possible explanation.

Persona non grata?

I have a friend. Well, I think I have a friend. I like her, anyway.

But she doesn't return calls or emails. I would say the reply rate is perhaps 20%, being generous with the percentages. So maybe the friendship isn't entirely mutual. But I will treat her with the kindness and understanding I would like to receive myself under similar circumstances. I don't want to judge unfairly. She's very busy with a husband in Iraq and 5 school-age children with her at home, with their soccer practices, etc.

But after leaving two phone messages on two different days, and three emails over a three-week period, am I wrong in expecting just a quick reply along the lines of "can't talk much now, but will get back to you soon" ??

Which I haven't gotten. So yesterday I decided to blog her. I'm reproducing it here, because I figured, why reinvent the wheel; I might as well copy and paste rather than retype!

.........And no, she hasn't responded to my "blog." I think I need to insulate my feelings a little bit here and mentally regard her as impersonally as I do this blog.

Without further ado, my email blog to my friend.


Because I know what's going on in your life by reading your blog, and because I haven't been able to reach/talk to you about mine on the telephone, I thought I'd email-blog you.

Last Monday I woke up with a Killer Headache. But, it being Monday, I have places to go/things to do, I accordingly pulled on the old sweats and t shirt and headed over to Dr. Jacobsen's to clean her house so she will teach my kids piano. (It's a good deal.) I ran out of the house without any coffee or breakfast and was really feeling wiped by the time 11:30 am rolled around, plus the headache had not abated one whit. The kids have their lessons at 12:30 Mondays, so I had enough time to run home, shower, and eat--and take care of the finances for the week, since Andy was going to the bank and needed cash to meet at Jack in the Box for his weekly Bible study/mentoring.

The only thing I managed to grab at home was some cheese toast and a cup of cold coffee. The headache has now gone to a violent throb, but I had places to go/things to do, so I hustled the kids into the van and back over to Dr. J's, where I collapsed on her couch, holding my head while listening to David play "Rex, The Tyrannosaur" (a very loud, pounding song) and Sammie play "Choo Choo Train" -her own composition, more pounding with strident 4ths/tritones. oy. About then I got that cold feeling in my stomach, and that watering in my mouth....ooooohhh noooo. Bolting for the freshly-cleaned bathroom, I christened the toilet I had pine-solled not two hours before. My headache actually dissipated somewhat as I heaved uncontrollably. Pressure. But it came right back as soon as I was finished hurling. Fortunately it was right at the end of their hour, so I bustled the kids back into the van, mumbling I know not what form of leave-taking to Dr J, and began the drive home. Before I even got to the end of the street, I had to pull over and add some color to the asphalt as well, while listening to the kids "Hey Mommy, what are you doing....eEEEEEEEEEeeewww!!" (at which point David wants to know 'what color is it?!!")

I limped home, feebly called all my monday piano students and cancelled their lessons for that day, and crawled into bed at 2 pm, where I remained for the next 18 hours, sleeping. That was definitely an experience.

Two days ago (that would be Tuesday) I waited with some unease for a phone call from my friend Lori. Yep, got the call. Do you know that I am beginning to dislike the Army? It moves my friends away. Lori and Joe will be leaving Fort Lewis and heading to New York City, where Joe will be a recruiter. He put in for Olympia, but The Army knows best, right. I know it's a great opportunity for them, but what about poor me? (being selfish)

Yesterday I had my monthly music teacher's meeting (you may remember my feelings of inferiority in the presence of these august individuals). This year we are studying the Romantic composers, and each person gets to present the life/music of a predetermined composer. Well yesterday was my day. Chopin. I played his Nocturne in F-sharp Major (rather well), and then gave a 10-15 minute speech on his bio and his contribution to Romantic music (which I did exceedingly well). I felt pretty good about the whole thing. When I got home, I was assaulted with "what's for lunch" (macaroni and cheese) and then two of my piano students showed up for makeup lessons (I'd forgotten, BUT I carried it off so they never noticed my brain fade).

After piano I decided maybe we should do some school this week (rolling eyes). We accomplished Math, phonics/spelling and printing, then I called it good and sent the kids out to play in the 65º weather. I started making dinner at 3, since we have to leave for karate at 4:45 to get there by 5:30 (it's out in Graham) - then rush back to the church by 7 for Women of Grace (which Lori is currently teaching instead of me....looks like that will have to change once she moves to New York in April). I have no white flour in the house, so I tried to make tortillas with whole wheat flour. Word: Don't. But the chicken and refried beans and tomatoes that went into the tortillas were mighty good. So we ate dinner at 4:15, drove out to karate, drove back, went to Bible study, and were back home by 8 pm. Piano practice! I filtered both kids through their practice routines by 9, got them in bed by 9:30, then sat at the piano until 11 pm (motivated by my earlier Chopin success, I turned my attention to the Bach, Mozart and Schubert pieces I've been poking at but not doing much with). My new piano has a practice rail on it.....step on the middle pedal, and a felt piece comes down between the hammers and the strings, effectively muffling the sound so the family isn't disturbed. Much.

After practicing piano for 1.5 hours I needed some mindless internet activity, so I went to Neopets. com and discovered that my Neopian stocks in SMUG had risen to 71 neopoints a share, so I sold off 500 stocks and cleared a tidy little profit. If only it worked that way for me in real life.

Midnight I turned off the computer and went to bed.

Now it's time to do some serious laundry around here.Ciao!