Friday, August 29, 2008

Gourmet Meme

I found this meme on In and Out of the Garden:  A Blog. Feel free to play along.

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at linking to your results.


The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi (I’ve had something similar to this but not quite the same so I didn’t bold it.)
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (I’ve had pineapple wine from Japan.)
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper

27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float

36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly (Is this like a jell-o shot? If so this one should be bolded)
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut (I’ve had them fresh and warm from the oven so that they melt in your mouth. YUMMO!!)
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal I hate Big Macs though
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill (no thanks)
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse (no thanks)
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

I only crossed out the ones that I knew for certain what they were and knew for certain that I wouldn’t eat them. LOTS of this stuff I’ve never even heard of but I’m too lazy to Google them all.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Tornado Warning…

We’re done painting!!! I’ll be able to take pictures of all the rooms today when I go back to the house and take the tape off. I don’t care if I ever see a paintbrush again in my life. I was so frantic to get the painting done yesterday that I didn’t even stop to look outside when they issued a tornado warning on the radio. I figured that our county is so big, what are the chances the tornado was in my neighborhood. I was right.

We started moving stuff over to the house for real last night. Our current house actually looks like we’re moving now. It’s encouraging to see.

In other news…

I have something funny to relate. The Mister came home from work yesterday with a proposal. His Gunny found out that I am majoring in English yesterday. The Mister said that when he heard that, his eyes got all big and he said that I just have to come in and teach a basic grammar class to some of their Marines. Oh my gosh, lol. My first reaction was heck no! I would probably be too nervous to actually be of any good. Then, the Mister showed me a paper that one of the Marines wrote on leadership. After reading it, I told him I would think about it. The poor guy had a run on sentence that was eight typed lines long and fraught with punctuation, capitalization. and structural errors. It wouldn’t be until October at the earliest so I have time to consider. And to defend myself, my grammatical skills are a lot stronger than I demonstrate here. ;)

And in youngest child news…

She had another bad day yesterday. Two out of three days. Having your kid come home crying and hating school is so very stressful. She was assigned a punishment that the Mister said is considered hazing in the Marine Corps. So, my third grader is allowed to do this, but a Marine isn't? Makes sense to me. I never pictured myself as one of those loud, obnoxious parents, but if that's what it takes, then that's what it takes. I'm going in to her old school today and I'm going to take a copy of her records to the new school myself to see if that helps the situation any. Maybe if they have a better idea of what is going on, things will get better. I talked to her current teacher, but the chaos before class on the first day kept me from being very detailed. Something has to change and soon.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Being a Conservationist

The youngest’s second day of school was better than the first. No tears yesterday. I hope that it was just first day jitters that caused her to have a bad day because if it wasn’t, we’re in for a world of headaches this year.

I’m almost done painting. It’s taking me a little longer than I first estimated. I wanted to be completely done by Tuesday but the FROG has a little more work to be done it it. The MIster and the girls helped me paint last night which made me wish that I had had them for the entire time I was painting and not just for one room. It goes so much faster with four people than just one. I should have my "after" pictures to post tonight or tomorrow.

I finally got around to going to the utility company yesterday. (I’m sorry I didn’t make it Monday Addie!) It was such a ridiculous experience. I had to fill out an application and then they ran my credit which really bugs me because I hate having my credit ran for frivolous reasons. Then, they took me back into a room to tell me that my credit was good with them and that they didn’t need any additional deposit. And I’m thinking when she told me this, "Damn straight lady!! You're not getting another dime of my money for a deposit!" They already have $400 and I think that's way more than enough if I have good credit with them. I felt like I was applying for a home loan or something for all the trouble it was especially seeing as how I've had an account with them since Feb '07. We are now paying utilities at two houses and no, we're not made of money. Finances are going to be interesting for the next month or so. Anyone want to send me Labor Day gifts in the form of cash??? ;)

I also forwarded our mail, changed the address on some other bills, sent out a "new address" e-mail (if you didn't get one and want one, let me know.) made the oldest child a doctor's appointment, and took over another load of totes to the new house yesterday.

Furthermore, from now on, it's going to take me 1 hour and 15 minutes to pick my kids up from school. I have to leave at 2:30 to pick up the oldest child and the youngest child's bus doesn't drop her until 3:45. Over an HOUR!!! The carpool lane at the oldest child's school is ridiculously long. Getting there a half hour early doesn't even put me at the front of the line. I need to remember to bring a book from now on.

Lastly, I've been running approximately 1/4 tank of gas out of my SUV (Okay, It's technically a crossover, but we quibble.) every day since we began living in two residences. Take that and shove it up your green butts.

Oh! One last thing. I went to bed at 9:30 last night, was asleep by TEN!!, and got a full EIGHT hours sleep last night. Ahhh! I don't remember the last time I got more than 4 before last night. And 6 am is for the BIRDS!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

But, My Teacher Hates Me!!

The oldest child had a fabulous first day. She didn’t get lost and one of her friends from elementary school is in almost all of her classes including band. What more can you ask for? Picking her up from school was a bit interesting. I got there 20 minutes early and the carpool lane was up and down both sides of the road. Cars as far as you could see. We didn’t even start moving until about 3:05 and by then I was beginning to panic that I was going to miss the youngest getting off her bus. Turns out there was nothing to worry about because her bus didn’t even leave the school until 3:15 and didn’t arrive until about 3:45. So much for 3:15.

When the youngest got off of the bus and I asked her about her day, she said she had a bad day. When I asked her why, she said because she kept getting lost, lol, so I told her it would get better with time. As we were walking back to the house, two middle school aged girls were walking behind us talking about missing elementary school. One said that she hated Mrs. So and So because she was so mean. The other girl agreed with her. Turns out that Mrs. So and So is the youngest’s teacher. When I asked her if the teacher was indeed mean, the youngest was pretty adamant that she was. I just chalked it up to kids talking. When you’re nervous and having a rough day, everyone seems like they’re mean.

As the night progressed, the youngest was acting more whiny than she usually does. She actually cried because she forgot her iPod at home when we went to the new house which isn’t like her at all. The Mister and I figured that she was just overly tired not being used to getting up at 6 am. (I’m not either. I HATE 6 am. 6 am should ROT!) When we got home and we were all sitting together in the living room, the dam broke. The youngest said that she got in trouble for not paying attention in school and then she proceeded to bawl. I almost started crying myself. I felt so bad for her because she had obviously held that in all day. I don’t remember having bad first days of school the entire time I went let alone in elementary school. She cried again this morning when I got her up for school because she really didn’t want to go back. I know I’m the mom and partial to my kids but I hate Mrs. So and So too. How can you make a kid hate school on the very first day? Especially since I took the woman aside and explained the child’s issues to her and she knew she was starting at a new school. I’m crying too, lol. Not a good way to start the day.

Speaking of which…We were running late this morning because I’m dumb. We were trying to leave but Hannah wouldn’t come inside. She does that, the little bugger. And if you try and go out to get her, she runs and my yard is too big to chase a dog that doesn’t want to be caught. So, we had to leave her outside. I knew when we left that she would jump the gate but I didn’t have a choice. As it was, when we got there, the bus was already there and she barely made it. When the youngest got on the bus, the oldest and I decided to run home real fast and see if we could get Hannah to come in the house. As we pulled down our street, we saw two women holding their dogs while another manic dog was jumping all over them. Who’s dog would that have been??? MINE!!! The little shit (sorry) jumped the gate like I knew she would and was jumping all over the neighbors and their dogs. After I profusely apologized, we loaded her up in the car and rushed the oldest to school. Until we get moved, Hannah doesn’t go out in the morning unless she’s on a leash.

Now I’m off to paint some more. Fun fun. I’m going to need a vacation when all of this is done.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back to School

Today was the first day of school for my girls. Since they were both starting new schools, I had two very nervous kids on my hands this morning. Okay. I was nervous for them too, lol. I must’ve looked it because on the way out of the youngest child’s school one of the teachers stopped me and told me everything would be okay.

We have a bit of a scheduling snafu where the kids are concerned. Mornings aren’t going to be a big deal but afternoons are hairy. I have to pick the oldest child up at 3:00. The youngest child’s bus drops her off at 3:15. As long as the oldest leaves the school and is outside promptly at 3, we’ll be fine. But if she behaves like any other middle school girl, her sister is going to be stuck waiting for us at the bus stop. It won’t be a problem once they get used to the new neighborhood but until then, the youngest has no idea how to get to her house from the bus stop, lol.

So anyway, I just got home from painting at the new house. I only got the youngest’s room painted and it took me FOREVER! I had to tape the windows, doorways, and chair rail and then it was a lot of up and down off the ladder. The sad thing is that I only had to paint half the room since the bottom half is wallpaper. However, I LOVE the color. It’s such a nice, soothing pink. Very girly but then, so is she. She picked the color by herself and did a very nice job of it.

I took the dogs with me today for the first time. They seem to like the new house and yard. We had a funny while there too. They followed me upstairs to the office. When Bailey reached the top of the stairs and turned around, she saw herself in the mirrored closet doors. When she went to greet the “other” dog, she banged her head into the mirror. Hannah attempted to do the same thing but she just bumped her nose. I about died laughing.

I’m off for a shower before I have to run all over creation to pick my kids up from school.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Ten Cent Tour

Tonight is the end of a very busy weekend. I hardly remember where the time went.

Saturday, we took the first load of boxes and the paint over to the new house. I also packed and cleaned the old one some more.

Today, we took three more car loads of boxes to the new house and put primer on the two bedrooms. Check out the before pictures:


These two are the oldest child’s bedroom. The top is standing in the doorway looking in and the bottom is standing in the opposite corner looking out. This room will eventually be purple.



These two are of the youngest child’s room. Same angles as I did in the oldest child’s room. This room will eventually be a different shade of pink but the bottom will remain white. It’s wallpaper that looks like wainscoting and I really like how it looks.


Want to see the rest of the house? Sure ya do!!


This is the living room as you’re standing in the kitchen looking towards the front of the house.See the cubby above the fireplace? That’s where the TV is going to go.


The is the kitchen as you’re standing in the living room looking towards the back of the house.


Another shot of the kitchen as you’re standing by the back patio doors looking in.


This shot is taken as you’re standing by the cabinets looking in toward the living room. That pillow and the dishes belong to Flash, the owners’ most adorable Basset Hound. We tried to negotiate keeping him but they weren’t having it, heheh.


These pictures are of the FROG. That’s Finished Room Over Garage for those of you that don’t acronym everything to death like we’re used to doing. The top picture is standing at the top of the stairs looking in and the bottom is the opposite corner looking towards the stairs and closet. This room is going to be a deeper shade of blue. It didn’t require primer thank GOODNESS!!!


I didn’t take pictures of the bathrooms as I don’t plan on painting them.

I’m very tired. When I’m done here, I’m going to bed and it’s not even 10 yet. I tried doing some work tonight but I sent dumb e-mails twice to my supervisor and I feel really retarded so I’m giving up. Peggy, if you’re reading this, don’t worry! I’ll get the work done, heheh.

I have so much more to say but it’ll wait until tomorrow. I’m having problems forming complete sentences and then typing them correctly.

Nighty night.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Letting the Air Out

Did I mention that the Rav has a flat tire? Yep. It actually has a slow leak but we can’t afford new tires right now so the Mister is headed out to put on the spare. Gotta love Toyota. We’ve always gotten a full size spare with all of our Toyotas. Not the Scion though even though Toyota makes them.

Today, after the tire change, we’re headed out to Home Depot to buy paint. After living with our paint chips for a week, we have all decided on the colors that we’re painting the bedrooms and the FROG. Those are the only rooms I’m painting in this house. The youngest child’s room is going to be Rose Bisque. It’s a very nice, non-Pepto Bismal pink. The oldest child’s room is going to be Silverberry which is a relaxing lavender color. The master bedroom is going to be Wild Porcini which is a taupe I suppose. It matches my bedding. Lastly, the FROG is going to be either Bleached Denim, Windsor Haze, or Twilight Chimes. They’re all blue but we haven’t quite decided how dark we want to go yet. And they’re all Behr paints if you’d like to see them for yourself at Behr’s website. They have a really neat interactive website where you can preview your colors in rooms. I  hate the process of painting and I’m really not good at it, but I’m very excited to be able to have colors that I want instead of rental white.

Now, I’m off to check and see if I can find my paint brushes and rollers and things and then to Jacksonville. I wish we had a Home Depot in town instead of a Lowes.

Have a GREAT Saturday everyone.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

All’s Well…

Bad start to my day, but I ended up not having such a shabby day overall. I got SO much done today and I feel really good about it.

My laundry room has a door that leads out to the driveway. Well, we haven’t been able to use that door since March because we had so much stored in there. There was about four or five totes with Christmas stuff in it and bags of blankets that needed to be laundered. I don’t know what it is about me and laundry, heheh. Anywhooo, I got all that cleaned up and even managed to stuff a box of xmas stuff into another one so that I could free up a tote. Yay me!

We have so much junk though. I don’t think people realize how much needless crap that they accumulate until they try to pack it up and move it all. I completely stuffed a medium sized box with stuff off of my desk and I’m not even half way done. It’s really sad. A good portion of it is probably trash but I didn’t feel like sorting through all the CD-ROMs, manuals, note pads, notebooks, folders, old bills, cashed checks, etc. I just tossed it all into a box.

I also got my errands run. The Mister brought my keys home to me during his lunch. Neither one of us was willing to concede who was being the bigger asshole (sorry) but we managed to be pleasant and congenial the rest of the evening. ::snort::

The good thing about moving:  I have found a crap-ton of pens. I can never seem to find one when I need one but now I have enough to supply everyone I know, lol.

Weird thing of the day:  I called the city utility company today to see about transferring our services to the new address. One company handles electric, water, sewage, and trash. The lady told me that I would have to come into the office and fill out an application. What the heck for? I already have an account with them. Are they going to turn me down? I really hate this company btw. Aside from charging us our first born for electric, they just plain suck.

The agenda for tomorrow:  1) Finish packing our office areas. 2)Register the youngest child at her new school. 3) Pack the laundry room. 4) Find the time to squeeze in some work. 5) Go and apply, AGAIN, for utilities which I already have. 6) Call my current landlord and make sure he hasn’t forgotten that we’re moving in ten days because I haven’t heard anything from him in a month and I’m starting to get worried. And not necessarily in that order either.

The agenda for Saturday is to make another trip to Home Depot to buy primer, paint, paint supplies, and more boxes. Sunday is the day we go to sign the lease and we get the keys to the new house. Yay!

When Technology Sucks

I’ve had a sense of foreboding since 4:30 this morning. I didn’t sleep very well last night because I had nightmares. They were of the variety that left me feeling like a scared little kid when I woke up and have left me what a bad feeling. I actually got up with the Mister this morning while he was getting ready for work to tell him to be extra careful on his motorcycle today.

We found out last night that we’re going to get to take possession of the new house on Sunday rather than Monday which is a good thing. Because of this, I decided to register the youngest child at her new school today. We also have some last minute school shopping for things we forgot the first time we went out. While I was getting ready to go I got an e-mail from the Mister telling me he accidentally took both sets of Scion keys. Not that big a deal except that the Rav has a flat tire. SO, I’m basically stuck at home today. I don’t change tires. Anyway, I responded to his e-mail and now we are in the middle of an argument via e-mail. Just lovely.

To sum things up, I have a butthead husband on the other end of my e-mail, the youngest child is crying because I can’t take her to see her new school, the oldest child is pouting and copping an attitude with me because I can’t go and buy her the rest of the stuff she needs for school the very second that she wants me to take her, and I’m tired beyond all belief because I got about 3 hours of restful sleep last night, or this morning depending on how you look at it.

I would go back to bed and cry myself except that I have work, cleaning, and packing to take care of today.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This, That, the Other, and a Bag of Chips

I remembered to watch the Olympics last night for all it was worth. I  had actually read about the judging controversy yesterday morning so I knew beforehand what was going to happen. I think that this story is very compelling and worthy of a “Hmmm”.

The REAL Olympic Medal Count

Packing is going along. I always say that you can’t have too many books and I totally believe this. The Mister, on the other hand, is of a different opinion. After losing track of how many boxes of books that we have already packed and seeing how many books are still on shelves, stacked on desks, and piled on the hearth, he says that we are beginning to reach, if we haven’t already, our limit of books. HEHEHEHE! I say that I have only just BEGUN my collection. Unfortunately, and in favor of the Mister’s case, I have exhausted my supply of boxes for books. I think what I’m going to have to do is move over the books shelves and unpack the boxes onto the shelves and then come back to the old house and repack the unpacked boxes. We’re spending a crap-ton of money on boxes. And no, before you ask, we can’t find free ones at the grocery stores, or from friends, etc. That’s the first thing I tried.

I finally found some time to finish reading Sense and Sensibility. I forced myself to finish this book because A) I generally finish books once I start them and B) It’s one of my challenge books. I don’t think I’m a Jane Austen fan despite wanting to be very badly. I can’t find fault with her writing, but I don’t like her characters. They’re shallow and fickle. The stories aren’t as involved as I prefer either. Sense and Sensibility was all very much back and forth. He loves girl A then he’s going to marry girl B and then he ends up with girl A. What self-respecting girl A would go back to a man after being put aside because she didn’t have enough money, or because he fancied himself more in love with someone else, or because he didn’t have enough backbone to stand up for what he really wanted? I suppose it would be a girl A who was brought up to believe that marriage is everything as it was back in Elinor and Marrianne’s day.

Despite my lukewarm feelings toward the novel, it was nice to be able to relax with a book for a few minutes (I only had three chapters left to read). That was reward enough.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday Again

I had the funniest dream that I had to pee every five minutes until I finally woke up and realized that I really had to pee, lol. That’s what I get for drinking so much water before I went to bed last night.

We got an amazing amount of packing done over the weekend. So much that we used up all the boxes and tape that we had on hand and had to go and buy more. The sad part…we’re not even  half way done. :( We start moving stuff to the new house a week from today.

When we’re not packing, we’ve been watching the Olympics. It’s been so exciting this year imo. We managed to catch all of Michael Phelps’ gold medal swimming. The youngest child has a crush on Michael and it's so funny and sweet. We've also watched most of the gymnastics. It's on so late that sometimes I forget to watch, lol. I prefer men's gymnastics over women's but love them both. The dancing and preening that the women do on the balance beam and on the floor exercises is tedious, imo. I also like watching the diving and even some of the rowing oddly enough. Oh. And I also like watching women's beach volleyball. The men's is okay but for some reason I like the women's better. From the crowds in the stands, I'm not the only one. I told the Mister that if the men were to play shirtless that more people would watch, heheh. That's about it for me though. I'm not a big fan of track and field, baseball, or basketball or any of the other events. Maybe some equestrian but I haven't seen any this year at all. The scheduling is so weird.

The rest of my day includes lunch, work, packing, dinner, and more work in that order. I'll squeeze in some Olympics tonight for the gymnastics providing that I don't forget. I'm watching the highlights now as I type this on, heheh. 

I'm off. I hope everyone has a great Monday.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Short and Sweet

Or not.

We have spent this weekend packing. It’s kinda hard to pack when you still have to live but we’ve managed to make a dent and the house is starting to look emptier. So far, we’ve packed everything that we can in the family room and kitchen. Today we are packing what we can in the living room/office and dining room. That’s after the Mister and I go to the commissary.

We told our neighbors Friday night that we are moving. It’s funny but I really dreaded having to tell them. They are pretty unhappy that we’re moving. I hope my landlord moves in decent people in this house.

That’s about it. On top of moving, I was given an extra project to work on this week so I was pretty busy. I haven’t been reading ANYthing at all if you can believe that. Not even the August book for Readers Anonymous. I’m really afraid that I might not get to that at all this month which would be a first for me. What a leader I am.

Gotta run. Have to make a grocery list and hit the road.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Random Stuff, Version A Thousand

I’m feeling a tad neglectful of my blog. I didn’t even remember that I hadn’t posted anything yesterday until about 1 am this morning. I also have been slow in responding to comments. I also have very little to say, lol. I haven’t even been checking for spelling or grammatical errors. Have I had many? No wait! Don’t tell me. I don’t wanna know.

We had more family drama last night. It came in the form of a phone call at midnight. Nobody died, thank goodness, but I might have to avoid answering my phone for a while, heheh.

Today I’m taking the oldest child to pick up her flute for band this year. She has band preschool tomorrow sometime. I’m hoping that I can find the paper that tells the times today so that I know when to drop her off.

Oh! I totally forgot to mention that I received my literature text book in the mail on Monday. Or was it Tuesday? Anyway, it’s HUGE! IMG_0149

I put a CD next to it for perspective. Is that giganto or what? Not including the preface or index, it’s 2904 pages long. Also, this is just one of our required religion texts:


It’s almost as big as my Lit book and we have three other books and a DVD that go with this class.

And this concludes anything of interest that I might have to say. Family drama, band, and books. I could have included that I have the same roaring headache this afternoon that I went to bed with last night but it seems redundant. Maybe I should have included a warning at the beginning for those with weak hearts. This was just too exciting of a post.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Info on the New House

Img_0146 We went and toured the new house on Saturday so the kids could see it. I didn’t take any pictures because I thought it would be intrusive to take pictures of someone’s house while all their stuff is still in it to post to the Internet, lol.

It’s really nice and I'm totally excited to move now. The Mister and I had been to visit them before but I didn’t remember the layout. The living room opens up into the eat-in kitchen. It has a gas fireplace which they said that they use as a primary source of heat in the winter and it only costs $70 to fill up the tank. Nice! Above the fireplace is a nook that is wired for TV’s. Our new TV will fit into the space but we’re not sure if we’re going to put our TV in there or not. They have vaulted ceilings in the main living area (living room and kitchen) so I am NOT painting. I did that in Vermont and it's such a pain. I like their color scheme anyway. It goes with my furniture.

The kitchen is real nice. The only thing missing is a pantry but I can live without that. It has a side by side refrigerator with water filter and ice maker. The fridge actually works and keeps food fresh. The stove is one of those ceramic cook top deals. I can live with that. AND!!! It has a garbage disposal! I haven't had one of those since 2003 and holy cow! do I miss it.

It has a split floor plan where the master bedroom is on the opposite side of the house from the kids' bedrooms.

The master bedroom has a big walk-in closet and bath with his and her sinks. Lovely!

The kids' bedrooms are nice-sized with generous closets.

Overall, the new house has at least twice the closet and storage space of our current house. And it has a nice sized privacy fenced in backyard. I just hope that we can figure out a way to keep Hannah from digging. Any suggestions?

We also went over the lease while we were there. They were so funny about it. This is the first house that they've rented out so they were nervous that the lease would offend us, lol. There were a couple things that I had never heard of but that I wish I had put in the lease for our house in Vermont so I wasn't offended in the least. I actually told them that they were being too nice about it. It should be a business deal, ya know? They're having the carpets cleaned, touching up the paint on all the walls and leaving us several gallons for our own touch ups, buying us a bottle of cleaner for the stove, and having the house tented for termites before they leave. The termite thing is preventative. See? They're being way nice, not that we don't appreciate it.

They said that they hope we're still friends at the end of this, lol. Us too but I don't see us having any problems. We're good renters. The Mister and I have been renting since 1996 and we've never once been late on our rent. The one time I even requested to pay our rent late was last year when my brother-in-law was killed and we had to go to Ohio unexpectedly. I forgot my checkbook at home. My landlord said it was okay but I went to the post office and paid him with a money order on time anyway. I just can't not pay my rent on time.

Bad news. Apparently the Mister was wrong about the school districts. Neither one of the kids will be in the same school district. The oldest child can be carpooled to her original junior high which will be a pain for me but I don't want her to have to change at this age. We knew that the youngest wasn't going to be in the same school district but we're still not sure what we're going to do about her. Our friends said that the elementary school in their district has been excellent with their son who also has learning disabilities so we're thinking of going ahead and switching schools. I just don't know yet.

More bad news is that they have an HOA. She (the owner) had actually been on the board but got kicked off, lmao. I guess the HOA is filled of retired Marines and their wives who have nothing better to do than to enforce every little regulation. What's more is that they have a website where they bicker and gossip about each other on it. How high school is that?? Are all HOA's like that? They told us a story about a guy who had been in a car accident. He parked his banged up car in his driveway which leaked oil. The HOA told him he had 5 business days to move the car and clean up the mess. When he didn't, they sued him and put a lean on his house!! Holy cow! So, I already hate the HOA. This could prove to be an interesting experience. I told the Mister that this would get us ready to live in base housing again in California, lmao.

Anyway, their movers will have their stuff packed and out of the house on the 20th. Our friends are going to clean the house and then leave themselves on the 25th which is when we can take possession even though they're not making us pay rent until Sept 1. We're paid up in the current house until the 31st so I'm going to take the 25th to the 29th to paint bedrooms and move the small stuff over a little bit every day. The 30th and 31st we'll move the big stuff I couldn't get on my own with a moving truck.

Insomnia and stress headaches are once again my constant companions but I'll be better in October or November when things get back to normal. At least the fall semester doesn't start until Sept 8th. One less thing to worry about.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Don’t Be Such a Whiner

I've been reading stuff around the blogosphere recently that has caused me to pause and reflect. I interpret it as whining and since I'm a huge whiner myself, I should be considered an expert whiner spotter.

Anyway, what I've been hearing is that people don't like the word verification deal on blog comments. Again, my interpretation: they're too lazy to squint, do their damndest to make out what the jumbled letters are, and then type them into the box. Oops. You mistook the "q" for an "a" and now you have a whole new "word" to squint at again. Whine, whine. So, as an experiment, I'm disabling the word verification on comments. But just so's ya know, the first spam comment I get, I'm putting it back on.

Secondly, people have been whining about bloggers that only show the shortened version of their posts in a reader. Well, if you're gonna comment, you have to go to the blog anyway. Am I wrong? But I’m flexible so I’ll experiment with this one too and turn on the "full" option there too. Honestly, I had to check to see which one I had turned on in the first place. Makes no difference to me.

Another complaint is bloggers that don't allow anonymous comments. Who doesn't have at least one Google, WordPress, AOL, Live Journal, or TypePad account so that you can leave a comment using one of these ID's but still reads blogs regularly? I'm sorry. I won't compromise on this one. Anonymous users tend to use their anonymity to spread nastiness and I don’t like it.

Lastly, comment windows:  Pop up window or full screen? This one seems to pretty much be a toss up with everyone so I’m leaving this the same too.

Am I accommodating or what? I don’t get why people think I’m so mean, heheh.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Meme Me

Here’s another meme that I stole from Pam. I’m meme’ing because I’m pressed for time and out of things to say.

1. Do you like blue cheese? I’ve never tried it.
2. Have you ever smoked a cigarette? Nope.
3. Do you own a gun? No. I’m not against guns but I’d never have one in my house with my kids.
4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? I’ve never added flavors to my drinks at Sonic. I get either Pepsi or a Lemonberry Slushi
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Yeah. I have that white coat syndrome thing.

6. Do you like hot-dogs? Yes.
7. Favorite Christmas Song? It’d be easier to list the ones I don’t like:  Silent Night and Little Drummer Boy.
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Since I’m not a morning person, I have a soda or green tea around lunch time.
9. Can you do push-ups? Probably
10. What’s your favorite meal? I like my lasagna and chicken parm. I also like my homemade chicken and noodles.

11. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? I don’t have any. My wedding rings I guess.
12. Favorite hobby? Reading.
13. Do you work with people who idolize you? I don’t work with anybody.
14. Name a trait that you hate about yourself? I’m too much of a realist.
16. Middle name? I don’t tell people my middle name. My kids don’t even know it.
17. Name 3 thoughts at this moment: I need to take a shower. There are some books that I need to get. I don’t have enough hours left in this week.

18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday: Pound of hamburger, steaks, cookies.
19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Pepsi, green tea, water.
20. Current worry right now? I’m worried about the lack of time I have.
21. Current hate right now? I can’t think of one.
22. Favorite place to be? The beach.
23. How did you bring in New Years? Not celebrating.
24. Favorite place to go? The beach.
25. Name three people who will complete this? Nobody.
26. Whose answer do you want to read the most? Anybody.
27. What color shirt are you wearing? White t-shirt I got in Daytona
28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? I’ve never slept on satin sheets. I prefer Egyptian cotton.
29. Can you whistle? Yes
30. Favorite color(s)? Greens, blues, and browns.
31. Would you be a pirate? Nah.
32. What songs do you sing in the shower? Whatever’s in my head.
33. Favorite girl’s name? My daughters’ names.
34. Favorite boy’s name? Josh
35. What’s in your pocket right now? Lint
36. Last thing that made you laugh? Rachel Ray Show
37. Bed sheets as a child? Don’t remember.
38. Worst injury you’ve ever had? I fell up the stairs and broke my wrist.
39. Do you love where you live? No.
40. How many tv’s are in your house? Five.
41. Who is your loudest friend? In terms of decibles, Liz.
42. How many dogs do you have? Two dogs
43. Does someone have a crush on you? Not that I’m aware.
45. What is your favorite book? I don't have one favorite.
46. What is your favorite candy? Chewy Sweet Tarts
47. What is your favorite sports team? Baseball:  Padres and the Reds. College Football:  Ohio State.
48. What song do you want played at your funeral? Something loud and obnoxious like me. Funeral music is outlawed.
49. What were you doing at 12 AM last night? Watching TV trying to fall asleep. Or maybe peeing. Exedrin PM makes me pee like crazy.
50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up this morning? Geez, I’m lazy.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Thursday Meme

Our Thursday Meme brought to you courtesy of Booking Through Thursday.


Are there any particular worlds in books where you’d like to live?

Or where you certainly would NOT want to live?

What about authors? If you were a character, who would you trust to write your life?


The first one that popped into my head is the world of Eve Dallas in the In Death series. It’s only about 50 or so years into the future, but I want an auto chef, a ‘link, android-type house keepers, and to be able to vacation off world. Yup.

Another world would be Tolkien’s Middle Earth post The Return of the King. Ya know, after all the fighting is over, lol. I would like to meet an Ent.

Lastly, I would love to live in Harry Potter's world. Who wouldn't, right?

Worlds that don't appeal to me are any that are set in the present. One that I would like to visit but not live in is 16th century England. I would like to be able to see, firsthand, what it was like but it was such a violent era that I wouldn't want to live there permanently.

As for which author I would want to write my life...I wouldn't pick anybody. My life is too boring to make a book out of it. I wouldn't want the humiliation of the story of my life to sit on book shelves gathering dust. Plus, I have too many secrets and things that I'd like to forget.

Yet Another Bookish Meme

Here's how it works:
1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline (or mark in a different color) the books you LOVE
4) Reprint this list in your blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 and force books upon them ;-)
The premise of this exercise is that the National Endowment for the Arts apparently believes that the average American has only read 6 books from the list below.

*For the record, I think this list is…incomplete. And since I’ve read more than six, does that mean I’m exceptional?? ;)

Here's my list...
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Phillip Pullman
10 Great Expectations
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller.
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare – I've read some but not the complete works.
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Travellers Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War & Peace - Leo Tolstoy – I’m in the middle of this already.
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime & Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen – I’m in the middle of this one too.
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt.
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac – I've heard this is an excellent book.
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie.
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath -I've read parts of it.
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Colour Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flauber
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
90 The Faraway Tree Collection
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Religious Odyssey

Our family is beginning what is sure to be an odyssey into the world’s religions. Not just for our class, but to further expose our children to religion. Nothing is to be left out either. We’ve already been to the library and brought home quite a stack of books. Wanna know what the titles are? Sure ya do!

  • Buddhism:  Origins, Beliefs, Practices, Holy Texts, Sacred Places by Malcolm David Eckel
  • A Century of Christian Science Healing
  • Encountering the World of Islam edited by Keith E. Swartley
  • Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought by L. Ron Hubbard
  • The Everything Jewish History and Heritage Book by Richard D. Bank and Julie Gutin
  • Essential Judaism:  A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs, and Rituals by George Robinson
  • The Book of Mormon
  • Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism by Richard L. Bushman
  • How to Practice:  The Way to a Meaningful Life by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

The following books, due to our family background, we already had on hand:

These are all published by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

  • Learn from a Great Teacher
  • What Does the Bible Really Teach?
  • My Book of Bible Stories
  • New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures

I also have my King James version of the Bible.

I’ve never delved into this subject before on my blog. Dana was looking forward to the day that I did, so here ya go! I’ll leave the comments open but I ask that any comments that are left are benign and aren’t “preachy”. Please read “My Last Post” if you are unclear as to the laws that govern my blog. Lastly, I consider this to be a drama-ridden subject so I apologize for bringing the drama.

Background info:

The Mister was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and I was raised as a Christian Baptist. By the time we had met, neither of us was practicing our respective religions much to the dismay of our parents. Speaking only for myself here, I had moved beyond religion believing in what, in my opinion, can be proven: Evolution. In the most briefest of definitions, religion to me is an explanation for the unexplainable; a comfort to people who need answers (even if they are obscure) to everything. I don’t need that. I’m content to believe that once I die, my consciousness ends too and that’s it.Guessing at what the “afterlife” is has never appealed to me. Frankly, I’m confused by people that can believe in something on faith alone. Furthermore, since I am an open-minded individual and admit that I don’t know everything, I’m not opposed to the possibility that a higher being of some sort exists.

Fast forward a few years to when the oldest child first started asking questions about God….

We briefly discussed with her how we felt about religion and then left it alone hoping that with time, we’d be able to figure out how to broach the subject in the most neutral and unbiased way possible. The Mister and I have very strong views on this subject. While I believe it is the right of parents to express their beliefs to their children, I also think that everyone has a right to choose for themselves what they think is right or wrong. We needed to find a balance between our beliefs and our disbeliefs I guess you could say.

Fast forward some more to last month..

While staying with family in Ohio, religion was formally introduced to my children unbeknownst to me and against my express and specific wishes. Having our family tell my children that their father’s job is wrong is so unbelievably wrong in itself that I could just pull my hair out. Anyway, I don’t want my children barred from religion forever, but I want to be there every step of the way so that I know what they are being taught and what they are exposed to. Have you ever read the book, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret? The main character of this book is an adolescent girl who, confused about religion and growing up in general, begins to explore this subject by attending different church services and trying to decide which is best for her. I read this book when I was 9 or 10 and it left such an impression on me that I use it even now, 20 years later, as a sort of guideline. This is how I pictured it for my children. Due to some people jumping the gun, I’m not getting exactly what I wanted but I can work with what I’ve got and we’ll go from there.

I’m actually pretty excited to get started. I find religious traditions and rituals to be a fascinating subject which is why I enrolled for the religious class this fall. We also plan on attending religious services at various churches, synagogues, etc., which makes me extremely nervous. I haven’t been to church except for weddings and funerals since I was 17. These are the sacrifices that parents make for their children.

So, there you are. The floor is open but remember to mind your manners. I’m actually curious to see who is brave enough to tackle this subject with me. That’s not a challenge, just me wondering. ;)

Where Was I?

My kids finally arrived home safe and sound Friday night. They grew so much in just a month’s time. I was really glad that I didn’t give in to my shopping impulse and buy them school clothes while they were gone because stuff definitely wouldn’t have fit and I hate returning things. They also came home with about four extra bags and a box that my mom shipped from Ohio, lol. We did take them shopping for back to school stuff over the weekend though because North Carolina was having a tax free holiday. Anyway, My husband’s mother and her husband left Monday morning. We were really grateful to them for saving us a trip to Ohio.

I’ve spent the rest of this week trying to catch up on work and sleep. My house is a disaster and I’ve only packed three boxes so far. But, we have groceries in the house again which has been really nice. Eating out and eating on the fly gets old. We haven’t eaten out since Friday.

The Mister goes on leave today for the rest of the week. He has finals Thursday and Friday. Our fall semester doesn’t start until 9/8 (the Mister’s birthday, heheh) so he’ll have an entire month off of school which will be a nice break for him.

Speaking of school, I received an e-mail from my Medieval and Renaissance Literature professor on Monday. This e-mail contained a tentative syllabus and some other information about the class. He recommends that we buy our text book as soon as possible and get started with the reading as, “English has changed quite a bit over the centuries, as have conventions of literary discourse, so the reading we’ll be doing will rarely qualify as “light.”” Direct quote from the e-mail, lol. A recommendation that we start reading the material an entire month+ ahead of time worries me a bit but not overmuch. I’m only taking this and my religious studies class so I think I’ll be okay.

Speaking of religion, see my next post…if you dare.


I forgot to mention that we got a new TV the other day. Best Buy was having a doozie of a sale and we couldn’t pass it up. The Mister and I had agreed on no large purchases until we get moved (one less thing for us to pack up and ding in the moving truck) but this was too good of a deal. No more YELLOW screen. YAY!

Friday, August 01, 2008

How Would You Feel?

Although this post  is geared towards people with kids, I would totally appreciate opinions from anyone who had something to say on the subject.

How would you feel if someone took it upon themselves to teach your children values that weren’t your own? For instance, what if someone told your daughter that women should stay at home with their kids and be dutiful wives but you believe that woman can and should do whatever they want whether that’s being a stay at home mom or a career mom? Or if someone told your children that Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny aren’t real even though you want your kids to believe in them for as long as you can get away with it? What if someone told your children that it’s okay to drop out of school as long as they get their GED even though it’s your dearest wish for your children to graduate from high school with a diploma?

What if the person telling your kids these things was their aunt, uncle, or grandparent?

What if the person were just a friend?

What if you had never made your stance on these matters clear or if you had specifically said that you want your kids believing one thing or another?

Would these factors matter or would you be just as upset either way? Or not upset at all because you don’t care who teaches your kids their values as long as people aren’t telling them that it’s okay to rape or murder?

Values are learned from all different sources:  parents, family, friends, teachers, clergy, even the media. But when it comes to core values, is it alright for people other than parents to teach their own children what they want them to know and how they want them to behave? Should parents have the ultimate say?

Random Friday

That title is tongue in cheek. Every day is random day around here. Yesterday wasn’t but we all know that was a fluke. You guys know I can’t blog about just one topic.

I have a couple blog questions for everyone. First off, does anyone get popups when you visit my blog? I was recently reading a post on another blog comparing Blogger to WordPress and someone said they didn’t like Blogger because of the popups. I’ve never gotten a popup on my blog before and I just want to make sure nobody else has either.

Secondly, why can’t some people with WordPress comment on Blogger blogs and vice versa? This is something else I’ve never had a problem with. People confuse me.

Next topic…

My kids will be home TONIGHT!! I’m so excited for them to be home. It totally stresses me out when they go to Ohio. The meager benefits just don’t make having them gone worth it at all. I think the family is just going to have to come and visit us from now on when they want to see the girls. My m-i-l and her husband are bringing them. I have no idea how long they are going to be staying with us. I don’t mind visitors especially since my house is already clean, but I have to give up my bed and I truly dislike doing that. I don’t care if that makes me an ungracious host. Get a hotel room.


I got bad news in the mail yesterday. My freaking mortgage payment is going up because city taxes went up. So nice for us to pay higher city taxes in a freaking state that we hate and don’t even live in ourselves. At least we weren’t dumb and we have a fixed rate mortgage, lol. Taxes blow. And what in the heck do they do with all that tax money in bum freaked nowhere? Plant more trees? Buy more snow plows? They sure as heck don’t give enough to the schools because I had to buy pencils, crayons, erasers, etc., for my daughter’s class one year because I saw one little girl desperately chewing on the end of her pencil trying to get the eraser out because she didn’t have one and all her crayons were broken or used down to the nubs. They also didn’t have the money to bring in enough special ed teachers either. Nice. Not having enough bus drivers was an issue the entire three years we lived there too. BWAHAHAHA! A year and a half later and Vermont still gets under my craw.

Now I have to go and round up my dumb dog. Hannah is outside barking her head off at who knows what. I hate when dogs bark so I try to keep mine under wraps.