Saturday, December 30, 2006

Called off.....

Well, the Groom got cold feet, decided that baby Sis was rushing things, and that while he still loves her & wants to marry her, he's not quite ready yet. I had a feeling something like this would happen. Sis has attempted to rush several of her past boyfriends into commitments that they weren't ready to make. Her prime goal in life seems to be becoming somebody's wife. Very much a Hera archetype going on in that girl. (Read Jean Shinoda Bolen's _Goddesses in Everywoman_ for more on that. It's a great book anyway.) Well, once again she rushes things, pushing far faster than her boyfriend is ready, and he backs out.

I sincerely hope they do get marriage counseling, and start now. Maybe things will wind up with them getting married in May. Maybe not, but marriage counseling is not a bad thing. Definitely helps open the lines of communication, and brings up subjects for discussion that the soon-to-be-newlyweds might not consider on their own. Or might not, on their own, consider important enough for discussion.

Kind of ironic, as well.... A few weeks ago, when he got back from "over there", She rushed him & her daughter in for "family portraits" at the local portrait center. The last 2 times she's done this, her boyfriends cut things off with her and wound up quickly making their way out of her life. She seems intent on jinxing herself by pushing hard & fast for something He isn't ready for. (No matter who the "He" is.) Well, at the point of hearing about their "Family Portraits", I commented to DH & a couple of friends how I hope this didn't jinx their relationship, seeing as how the past 2 b-friends cut loose & ran as soon as they saw the pictures.

And I really hope my Dad & sis don't blame this on me & DH. We were all over at the house for dinner last night, and DH & I were ribbing the woulda-been Groom a bit. Not bad, certainly not as much as he's probably been getting from his military friends. Dad heard a couple of Dh's comments about the "ol' ball & chain". And my grinned whisper of "enjoy your last night as a free man". But the Groom seemed to be taking it all in stride. And, as I said, our commentary was not maliciously meant, and we aren't exactly bad examples of marriage ourself. (Mom & Dad are more likely to give somebody qualms about getting married, than DH & I are.) So, I hope Dad & baby Sis don't get peeved at DH & I. Because quite simply, if our couple of comments were enough to push the Groom over the edge to calling it off, he was awfully damn close in the first place. As Dh said, if a guy TRULY wants to marry a girl, commentary like that isn't going to stop him the day before, or the day of, the wedding. He'd be one to know. ;) And isn't that what bachelor parties seem to be all about, the Groom's married & unmarried friends trying to talk him out of it, or trying to give him one last good time before Groom becomes a married man?

Ok, so I feel a bit guilty about the comment last night, but I do know that woulda-been-Groom was feeling some serious qualms before I ever uttered that comment, if he actually called the wedding off on the day of. One or two comments is not enough to get somebody who TRULY wants to be married, to actually call things off.

Anyway..... Just had to post an update.

Have a Blessed Day!

Friday, December 29, 2006

And so two become one.....

Tomorrow is the day. The day my baby sis finally ties the knot with her fiancee. And, ironically, our Middle sis is going to be officiating. Turns out no preacher, pastor, chaplain, or reverend in town would officiate in a wedding in which the bride & groom did not go through AT LEAST 2 weeks worth of marriage counseling. Sis wants this done, NOW. So, she asked our middle sis to officiate. All it meant for middle sis was a quick trip to the courthouse to fill out the necessary paperwork, and she's legally ready to officiate at our baby sis's wedding. It's going to be in the fireplace lounge at one of the nicest hotel/restaurants in town.

Dh will be at work, but DD & I will be all dolled up for the occasion. Little Sis had a hissy when she found out her sweetie was planning on appearing in a button-down polo & jeans. She dragged his ass to Old Navy for some nicer duds. So, instead he'll be appearing sans baseball cap, in khaki's and a button down semi-dressy top. Sis has evidently gotten herself a white prom dress to wear. Hopefully the tailor was able to fix it so she's not popping out the top, as it sounds like it's either spaghetti straps or strapless. Purchased the usual 2 to 3 sizes too small, I'm sure. Niece will be part of the ceremony as well, actually receiving a ring from her new Daddy and taking part in the vows.

Finally, this day has come. I gotta say, I think I'm nearly as happy as the bride herself. For somewhat similar reasons, I believe. She can't wait to be married because she'll finally have somebody to take her away from this town that she hates so much. I can't wait till she's married because she'll finally have found somebody gullible enough to take her home with them, and get her out of my hair. ;)


Mom & Middle sis have been here in town for about a week now, and it's been kinda cool seeing them. Though Mom did kinda tick me off, the other day. (For some reason I couldn't tell ya then, Mom.)

We were over and Mom & Middle sis were commenting on how long my hair's gotten (it's at it's longest point ever), and I commented that I'm going to get it cut as soon as they leave. Not a major cut. Just a couple of inches. It's too long, right now, and it's horrible to wash & condition. And I've got all sorts of split ends. But it's healthy. Something it wasn't, last time it was this long (in HS).

So, Mom sits there and starts saying that I should get it permed, and colored with the dark auburn that I used to use. I don't know.... That just isn't me any more. I've finally come to terms with being whom I was created to be. I don't need to try to change how I look, because then I'm not me. Right now, with my natural brown, long semi-straight hair.... This is who I was born to be. My blue/gray/green eyes with glasses..... This is who I was born to be. My freckles (which I have NEVER covered up)...... This is who I was born to be. I've finally come to terms with all that. I've finally come to the realization that I don't have to be a green-eyed, curly-red-head to be pretty. Heck, I'll never be truly pretty. But..... My blue/gray/green eyes, my long, straight, brown hair and my smile..... That's when I'm pretty. When I am whom I'm supposed to be. Maybe I've never been "The Pretty One". That was my baby Sis when she was little. I'll never be "The Smart One". That is my Middle Sis. But, I'm me. I'm Kati. I'm the book worm, the crocheter, the (some-day) Librarian, the Mom to DD, the Wife to DH. I'm the one who lives in Alaska. And I'm the one who gets complimented on her smile at work, by my boss, by the patrons who walk past me. I'm the one who gets complimented for her manner with unruly children. I have long, straight, brown hair, and blue/gray (green when I'm angry) eyes. I'm finally good with that.

And it kinda pissed me off when my Mom was telling me how I should change who I am. I'm no better when I have shorter, curly, auburn hair & green (contact lens) eyes. Hair color doesn't make me nicer to the patrons at work, or handle the unruly children better, or crochet better. I want to be who I was born to be. I'm tired of covering it up with hair color that isn't mine, and eye color that isn't mine (all the time). This is me. I rather like me.

And Mom, I may not be the most exciting of your daughters. I'm not getting my Ph.D. in anything, any time soon. I'm not moving away with a husband that's taking over the family business. I'm not going surfing & scuba diving & traveling the world (or, at least the country) at the drop of a hat. I'm rather boring by your standards, by M's standards, or by K's standards. And I'm sorry you have a hard time accepting that. But I actually kinda like me. I actually kinda like that my life is steady. I do have plans for travel, and an education, but for right now..... Yes, Kati still works at the library in Fairbanks. Yes, Kati will be staying in Alaska with her husband while the rest of the family moves away. I may be boring, and predictable by some standards. But I'm me. And that's ok. I'm just sorry you can't see it. That M. can't see it, and that K. can't see it.

Maybe you are all three searching, endlessly, for something that may or may not be there. And maybe, for now, I've found it. And I realize it. At least for now, this is enough. This is all I need. A steady job that I love. A man that I love. A child that I love. A home town that is comfortable & that, despite it's faults, I love. Hobbies that I love. And, ironically, while I've found something that I love in my very own back yard, I know that when I am ready, I have chances for growth. I'm not ready yet. When I am, maybe you'll write letters about how I'm doing in college, or traveling, or snorkeling in Hawaii with you. For now "Kati is still working at the Library in Fairbanks" and "Kati will be staying in Alaska with her hubby" are good. I'll leave the searching, the constant need for something new, to the rest of you.

Have a Blessed Day!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas to ALL!!!!

Hoping that those of you who celebrate, have a FANTASTIC Christmas. Just wanna pass around these half-empty cookie tins I've got, if anybody wants a couple. Don't much want any more cookies hanging around my house, after today. *wink*

It's snowing rather heavily right now. Thick, white, wet flakes when we ususally have a dry white powder this time of year.

Church was a bit of a disappointment, yesterday. We didn't sing any of the traditional songs, like "Come all ye Faithful", "Joy to the World" and "Away in a Manger". The church choir did, but the rest of the congretation sat there & watched. Instead we sang a couple that I've only heard 1 or two other times. It felt very impersonal. The couple of songs we DID sing were posted on a screen at the front of the Auditorium, so we couldn't tell the tune to sing. I found one of them in the hymnal that nobody ever uses, underneath the chairs, so I was able to follow along by looking at the tunes in the book.

Christmas morning was pretty good, so far. I got some new tunes from the DH, and the Keira Knightly DVD, and a little hand-sized heart-box with an agate set into the top. And a pressure-cooker/canner from the inlaws. DD got that Nintendo DS & some books. And the inlaws gave her a portable DVD player. DH got that Ron White book, and an Earnhardt Jr. hat. And the inlaws got him a George Forman grill.

We'll be heading over to my 'rents in a couple of minutes for gift exchanging there. Then back to the inlaws for Christmas supper.

Hope y'all have had a Very Merry Christmas.
Have a Blessed Day!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Cookies & Excuses

Well, I have been doing some baking, some cooking, and some mixing. Here are most of the cookies of my labours. I made a double batch of cream-cheese pecan balls last night (mexican-wedding cakes, russian tea cakes, snowballs, take your pick for name). The treats pictured are peppermint patties (green), PB fudge buttons (in blue tin), and almond shortbread (octagonal tin). Would like to get a couple loaves of Cranberry bread made before THE DAY, as well.

Got all the Christmas shopping done, except for the books for DD, which I'm heading into town to pick up in just a bit. Found out that we've gotta shell out for a GC for SIL as well. She's actually living back at the inlaws again, so she'll be there for Christmas. So gotta have a gift for her.

DD's done well in hockey. She's had 4 shut-outs, now. And some of those games were close. The last game of note was 21 shots on DD, no goals. DD's team only had 6 shots on the other team's goal, and 1 of them made it into the net. So, it wound up 1 to 0, with DD's team taking the win. It was a tight game. She's got a game tonight that my Mom & middle Sis get to go see. They've been hearing me talk for months about DD's skill as a goalie, and they get to go see for themselves tonight. I think they'll be thrilled. I know DD is thrilled to get to see her Aunt Shelli & Maki (her name for my mom).


Now to the "Excuses" comments. As I said, SIL has moved back in with the inlaws. She's had serious problems in the past with a drug addiction, and it wound her up in MAJOR trouble this time. Won't go into details (shouldn't even be writing about it, as per DH's request, but I've gotta vent, so I'll leave out most of the details), just suffice it to say that she's not a nice person. Well, now she's claiming that when she had her younger son almost 3 years ago, she had "a tumor on one of her ovaries that required them to take out her ovary when the Nephew was born", and THAT is supposedly why she's become a drug-addict & bitch. And DH and FIL and MIL are believing that shit!

PLEASE. First off. If she had cancer almost 3 years ago, and she lives in the same town, WHY is this the first she's ever said of it? Why is she not still being treated/monitored for it??? I'm totally disbelieving about this little story she's concocted.

Secondly, I DID have an ovary removed this summer when I went in for my Tubal Ligation, because of a cantelope sized cyst, and I've got pictures to prove it. I haven't become a total bitch, and I haven't become a drug addict. It didn't alter my personality. What makes DH, FIL & MIL believe that this story is the reason SIL is a bitch & a druggie?!?!?!?!

Thirdly, SIL has been a bitch & a druggie for a LONG TIME. At least 10 years now, though DH said she was "dabbling" before he & I ever met. Granted it's only in the last 5 or 6 years that she's gone hard-core lifestyle & in just the last 2 or 3 that she's started getting in trouble for it, but it's NOT caused by some fictional tumor on an ovary that she's now saying she had removed. Please. I'm not that stupid, and I can't believe that DH & FIL & MIL can sit there & listen to her stories & believe them, when I'm proof that ovarian cysts/tumors don't cause drug addictions & bitchiness.

Excuse me while I knock my head against the wall. I hate excuses, and I hate people who use sorry excuses for their unpardonable behavior. DH is all for welcoming SIL back into the family, now that they've "discovered the reason" for her behavior, and seems a bit hurt over my disbelief & discustedness. He says he understands why I'll never trust her again (horrid treatment of myself, my daughter, my husband, MIL & FIL, the nephews & everybody else around her; nasty rumor spreading about me), but he looks hurt that I'm not willing to welcome her back to my life with open arms, like she's my best friend or some-such. I'm not that gullible. Haven't been in a LONG time. And I'm not going to sit back & let her hurt me & my daughter again, though if DH wants to put himself in the line of fire.... FINE. He's an adult. He can take care of himself. I hope nobody minds if I quietly mutter "told ya so" under my breath when it happens again that she turns nasty & goes back to her drugs.


Anyway, wanted to post pictures of my christmas cooking. And vent. Thanks for "listening". *smile* Must be off to do some errands before I head to work.

Hope y'all had a Blessed Yule, and wishing EVERYBODY a MERRY CHRISTMAS & will see ya again next week, likely.

Have a Blessed Day!

Friday, December 15, 2006


Well, I no longer have any jeans that fit me.... That sucks, as DD's got an exhibition scrimmage-game tonight at the Ice Dog's game. And she's got 2 games tomorrow. And I've got nothing to wear. May actually wind up wearing nice slacks.

Back toward the end of Oct. I got home to find out that 1 of my two pairs of jeans had blown out in the back-side. Fortunately it happened as I was sitting down in my car, leaving work. I came home & ordered 2 more pair (same size, everything) from the company I bought the first 2 pair from. They were on backorder, but the company said that there should be a shipment in by Nov. 6. Nov. 6 comes & goes & still no word on my jeans. Nov. 18 I got a post-card in the mail saying that my jeans are still on back-order, thanks for being patient, the order will be in no later than Nov. 30. Nov. 29th, I got an email saying that my jeans had shipped that morning & that I would have them in 2 weeks. (The company said that they were shipping Priority Mail, USPS style, and therefore I should give them up to 2 weeks to get my jeans to me.) Wednesday made 2 weeks. Still no new jeans. I'm getting fairly peeved, and am feeling somewhat ambivilent about ever buying pants (or anything else) from this company (and it's a well-known company) again.

I've known my second pair of jeans was on borrowed time, as both of the origional pair were purchased at the same time. Well, wouldn't you know it, I went into town shopping this morning, wearing my favorite pair of jeans (the second of the 2 origional pair, the non-blown-out ones). At some point, I only hope it was as I sat down in my car upon leaving the mall, my pants blew out. And we're not talking a little hole. Ooooooooohhhhh No! Nope....

We're talking, from just below the top of the pockets, to mid way past my crotch. The kind of blow-out that is NOT easy to hide.

Got to Dad's with his birthday present & a couple of pieces of cake (purchased at the grocery bakery just before I left town) & promptly tied my sarong (carried along just in case of this occurance) around my waist. *shaking head* And, as I said, after coming home & checking the mail (sarong still securely tied around my waist) I have found that my new jeans STILL have not arrived.

Needless to say, I'm peeved. Very peeved. And not looking forward to wearing thin slacks to the hockey game tonight, as it's currently about -5 deg. F. Nope, not fun.

Well, I hope y'all get a welcome, sympathetic chuckle from my ordeal. Must admit I probably would if it was one of my online friends, posting about their bad luck for the edification of their readers.

I did find a couple of small stocking stuffers for DD, bought Dh's Ron White book, and got a "sleepy puppies" calendar for DD for Christmas. (She usually gets a Scooby calendar, the calendar store didn't have any Scooby this year.) Nearly went a little crazy when I noticed that my favorite candle shop is back with their "beanpod" candles. YUMMO! (As Rachael Ray would say.) I didn't, though. I behaved myself. *sigh* Oooooh, but that Angel Amareto candle made it VERY hard to be good! And the lemon citrus and vanilla-orange candles...... *wiping drool off the keyboard*

(Updated to say, went shopping at a LOCAL store after the game & got me a new pair of jeans to hold me until my other jeans get here. Hopefully they make it before Christmas.)

Have a Blessed Day!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Found a bathrobe!

Just a little (really inconsequential) update.... DH went to Old Navy today on the hunt for a bathrobe for DD & he did find one. So, that wall has been scaled, now to conquer the wall of stocking stuffers.

And in other news: Horrible daughter that I am, I forgot my dad's birthday today. I feel so crummy over forgetting. And I even have it written down on one of my calendars. *sigh* Tomorrow I'll be picking up his birthday present (went to Tay's hockey game on Wed. night instead of remembering Dad's present) and a couple of cupcakes & stopping in @ Dad's with them.

Last but not least, baby sis & fiancee have decided to have a small church ceremony on Dec. 30th and she called today to let me know and inform me that DD, DH & I ARE invited. *wink*

Ok, off to make dinner.

Hope you had a Blessed Day!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas Shopping....

I try not to go overboard when I do my shopping. I like finding one gift per family member that really fits them. I think I've found that for my mom & middle sis. I'd be sure about my baby sis if it wasn't for her history of being rather uppity. Dad has made it clear that he's trying to clear out the house, so please don't get him anything that isn't reusable or temporary, so he gets a GC (to buy with it what he wants). Sis's fiancee & daughter will also get GCs (fiancee because I don't know him well enough to know what he likes, really; niece for reasons previously mentioned).

For DH, I've got a couple of ideas (an Earnhardt Jr. hat, and either a new Jr. license-plate cover thingy, or the Ron White book _They Call Me Tater Salad_).

For DD, however, I've been hitting a wall. For her, I follow the rule of 4: Something she wants, something she needs, something to wear, and something to read.

The something she wants, this year, will be a Nintendo DS-something-or-other that DH bought for her.

The something she needs.... A good swift kick in the pants! (Ok, not really. I will probably wind up combining this with the something to wear.)

The Something to wear is HOPEFULLY going to be a bathrobe. This is that wall I've been hitting. I cannot seem to find a reasonably priced bathrobe sized for a pre-teen, that doesn't cost horrible amounts in S&H. Oh, I found one lovely ballerina length robe that was priced only 24.99, but they wanted 24.50 in S&H to Alaska. Another pretty, embroidered (with her name) bathrobe, but they wanted $60 dollars for it (only $8 S&H, however). I DID look at a couple of places here in town (big W. and s-e-a-r-s) and didn't see any pre-teen sized bathrobes. They have adult womens (ankle length). They have toddlers. Neither of which would fit my 4-1/2 foot tall daughter. *sigh* If anybody has any online stores they may know about (and I must hurry if I plan to have this for her by Christmas), LET ME KNOW!!!!!!! Please!!!!! I'm begging.

As for the "Something to read", well, that's simple as always. 10 minutes in my local Waldenbooks & I should be able to fill that category.

Oh, and stocking stuffers. Another brick wall. In our house DH & I provide the gifts under the tree & Santa provides the stocking stuffers. What to get a pre-teen for stocking stuffers, when there's really nothing she NEEDS??? She needed chap-stick (actually, Bonne Bell is what she ususally gets), got it at the grocery a couple of weeks ago (because one really doesn't want to have to wait till Christmas morning to get much needed chapstick). Thought about getting her the Kelly Pickler CD for her stocking. Guess what DH picked up yesterday as they were out christmas shopping. And it was already opened & listened to by the time I got home. A handful of crystals. There's an option. But she's got so stinking many crystals (and other rocks) floating around her room as it is..... That child BETTER study geology in college, of all the rocks she collects. Jewelry..... Yeah, like she needs any more! Can't seem to climb over these brick walls, this year.

I have yet to do any Christmas baking. Which I miss. I remember all the cookies & goodies Mom used to make: Pecan Tassies, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Sugar cookies, Spritz, magic cookie bars, fudge, to name just a few. I'm lucky if I can churn out 2 batches of cookies, at all, each year. I want to do more. Really I do. I just don't know where the time goes.

I've got a box of Christmas cards sitting here next to me, and ornaments for an ornament exchange I'm taking part in. And neither are quite ready to be sent out. And for my exchange friends in Canada & Australia, that means they won't get their cards &/or ornaments till after Christmas at this rate. *sigh*

Can I take the next 2 weeks off work & just get all this Christmas stuff out of the way. I enjoy Christmas, I really do, but why does it always seem like it's so stressful???? And for that matter, all the effort that goes into 1 day of celebration, and it's all over. *sigh* It's THIS kind of thing that makes me wish I was a SAHM again. Not because I enjoyed being a SAHM so fantasticly, but because it meant I had TIME. I love my job, but THIS is why I don't work a 40 hour week, even though I've been offered that extra work time. Even with only 30 hours of work a week, I still barely manage to get other things done.

Hope You Have a Blessed Day!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Yes Virginia, there really IS....

... A North Pole! Just had to share this cool little article on MSN about my town. Finally some GOOD news about our town!

Have a Blessed Day!

Truck Pictures

So, here are some pictures of the truck, AFTER the accident, obviously. They were actually taken by DH yesterday (Friday), the day following the accident. What I can't believe is that the passenger side air-bag is STILL inflated. Incredible. What I didn't put up here was the harder-to-see dent on the passenger side, right over the rear tire.

DH said that when he actually saw the truck yesterday, in the light of day, it really shoock him up all over again, as he didn't realize exactly HOW lucky he was to walk away from that unharmed.

Just wanted to share.

Have a Blessed Day!

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I didn't get a chance to post this, this morning. Everything here was stressed & frantic, and last thing on my mind (well, not quite) was posting our newest bit of bad news.

As DD & I got up this morning & were getting her ready for school, DH calls & asked if we'd heard anything about an accident on the radio (which we always listen to for the bus report & road conditions). Nope, I hadn't. Turns out that not 1/4 mile from our house, DH was passing an intersection when a 16 year old boy with a new license decided that things were clear enough to pull out -left turn- in front of DH (he claims he didn't even see Dh coming, witnesses don't see how he could have MISSED seeing DH there) on his way to school. DH said he didn't even have time to contemplate hitting his brakes (with roads as slick as they are, slamming the brakes might have done more harm than good), much less time to actually do so. DH wasn't even up to speed, either, having just pulled out of our neighbourhood. Long story short: Nobody's hurt (dh's hand is sore where we think he "punched" the sterio face-plate upon impact), both vehicals are totaled & completely undrivable; Now or ever. The cop gave the kid a citation & told him it'd be in HIS best interest to plead guilty. And told DH that there was no way this could be construed as DH's fault by any stretch of the imagination, certainly not with 2 witnesses.

The insurance company is offering us 19,500 for the truck (which was less than 2 years old). I'm not sure what that means for a down payment on a new truck, as 19,000 is what we had left to pay on the old truck. Dad is letting Dh drive his jeep (he's got a Ram pick-up, as well) until we can get a new truck purchased. Which DH & FIL will be doing (have threatened DH's life if he goes vehical shopping without FIL's assistance).

So, mixed blessings from a horrid event. The biggest shocker is that both DH & this kid walked away from the accident without injury. At all. Much less serious injury or dead. There's nothing really left of either vehical worth trying to salvage (well, the BED of our truck is still good, as were the hockey sticks stored back there).

And I guess it's a positive that we're no longer tied to that truck, which WAS a real lemon. We're going with a different brand of truck altogether on the next one we buy.

Hope y'all had a better day than we've had. For tomorrow....

Have a Blessed Day!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Empty Shelves & Fuel Tanks

There have been a handful of coincidences in the past few weeks, in my town, that have resulted in shortages that maybe would not have happened if some of those circumstances had not been present. It's given me a little jolt of what life could be like, and in some sense has been making me grateful for what I do have.

For example, the store shelves at my local grocery (and other groceries through town) have been somewhat empty. Esp. the meats department. Literal empty shelves there. Where other parts of the grocery may have skanty supplies, the meat section is more seriously depleated. Two big factors have resulted in this depletion, from what I can tell. The first is those storms that have been plaguing the lower 48 states of this country. Shipments have been delayed (a couple of weeks, in some cases, evidently) due to horrid weather. The other main factor of this depletion has been the return home of our military men & women from "over there". We had a huge brigade of some 3500 military folks "come home" to our Army base, in just the past couple of weeks. One of these is my baby sister's Fiancee. (YEAH!)

Together, these two circumstances have combined to result in a shortage of groceries. To put it in precise words, our fighting men have come home hungry for home cooked meals, to find the grocery stores already depleated due to delayed shipments. Not to say that I begrudge these military folks their home cooked meals. Not at all. But it has made for a couple of weeks in which I go to the grocery store with a supper in mind, only to find that I must change my plans.

It has reminded me, in some VERY small sense of something I read & saw in a HS school book. The picture was of a Russian woman standing in an empty grocery with only 2 or 3 cans of something on a shelf in front of her. The statement was along the lines that Russian folks do not tend to go shopping for what they want, but what they can get (and this is hopefully in the past, now). That their lives & meals & such revolve around what is available to them, not what they would like. Now, my experience is NOWHERE near as desperate, and I certainly don't want to imply that I have any real understanding of what a hardship this has been for the Russian nation, or for other countries where food supplies are EVEN more desperate. But maybe it has given me a small glimpse, of what has been in Russia, and what could be for our country at some point down the road. (Or even, what was for our country during the Great Depression or during WW2.)

The other shortage that has been occuring here in my community has been a shortage of fuel. A family member works for a local fuel company & has commented on a couple of occurances that have resulted in houses both running out of fuel & unable to get more fuel for their tanks in a very timely manner. We had an abnormally cold Nov. with very little snow to insulate our homes. (I heard a report on the radio yesterday that by this time of year we generally have well over 20 inches of snow, where we have had only 7 inches thus-far this year.) This means that our houses are burning more fuel than usual. The whole BP Alaskan Pipeline problem this fall & winter, as well as smaller pipeline malfunctions at local refineries, has resulted in a decreased supply of home heating fuel. Which has possibly meant that the fuel drivers were not able to fill the tanks with as much fuel as they usually might for automatic delivery customers (those customers who do not generally get a full tank at a time, but smaller deliveries periodically). Now that production is boosting again, however, people are still running short on fuel in their tanks (thanks to the cold) which means that while there is fuel to be delivered, the drivers are run off their feet (or their tires) trying to get to everybody before anybody truly runs out. My family member has commented about how many truck drivers have been working weeks straight, without a day off (which is allowed under their contract) to try to fill the demand. Some of my coworkers have commented about how they made a semi-emergency call for a fuel delivery only to be told that the truck drivers are SOOO backed up, it would be over a week before these coworkers could be gotten to. Scary, that, in a place where temps drop to -30 this time of year. Many people in my acquaintance have installed wood stoves in their homes, for reasons such as this. And not to imply that the fuel companies are not doing their job, but that they are swamped & unable to help matters.

We've been lucky, fuel wise. We have a 500 gal. tank on our house and have found that we can get through a whole year on 1 tankful of fuel. With added protection such as curtains or plastic-wrapped windows, reinsulating doors, and turning down the temp. before leaving for the day, we've been able to boost our efficiency even more. So running out of fuel is not a concern for us this year.

What an eye opener, these shortages have been. And interesting to contemplate that if 1 factor, in each situation, were different, the shortages may not be occuring. (Or, just possibly not at the rate they have been.) Definitely speaks to the need to plan ahead & be aware of all the possibilities that could come up in a year's time.

Anyway, must get heading to work.

Have a Blessed Day!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Daily life.....

Not a whole lot going on, right now. Just a bunch of little things that add up to one's daily life. Work every day. Spelling words at night. Hockey practices, favorite tv shows, and cold weather. Annoyances with my little Sis & niece. Annoyances with dogs, with daughter, with coworkers. Anniversary "celebrated".

The soup didn't turn out very well..... Not horrid, but it certainly didn't look like anything worth taking a picture of. After the stock was done, the meat seperated and poured back into the stock, I added things like tomatoes (a can of chopped), canned corn (didn't have any frozen), a bit of frozen green beans, chopped onion & celery, the leftover mashed potatoes & last bit of gravy, and seasonings. Like Mrs. Dash, and extra chicken buillion, and bay leaves. Then I tossed in some wild rice & some brown rice. Evidently I let it boil too long with the wild rice & brown rice in there because they kinda super-hydrated & exploded & looked rather like maggots. Eeewww! And then I poured in the extra-wide egg noodles. The first night (Saturday), the soup was ok. A little on the bland side, according to DH & DD (they each added a good strong dash of Tabasco sauce), but ok. Popped the covered vat of leftover soup out on the back step to freeze (no room in my fridge). A couple of days later when brought back inside & reheated (Tuesday night), the egg noodles started getting toooo overcooked & somewhat mushy. DD refused to eat it, and had a turkey sandwich instead. After DH & I each had a bowl-ful & agreed that it was very uninspiring, the entire vat got recovered & set back out on the back step to re-freeze. It's not getting warmer than 10 above zero, it's cold enough to keep it from going bad, out there. I should have taken a page from a friend's book & seperated the stock & meat into a couple of seperate freezable containers, so I could make a smaller batch of soup now (Saturday), and save other stock/meat for other soups later in the winter. I didn't. We usually like the soup more than we did this year. Usually I have spinach to add, and it's got more flavor. Not sure what I did wrong this time. Now I've got a huge vat of the stuff sitting out back that I REALLY don't want to eat, much less by myself. *sigh* Talk about wasteful. And I feel horrid about it. Why didn't I plan better? What was it that I didn't put in, that I usually do? Is there any way I can salvage it??? I wish I knew.

So, no photos of the non-inspiring, boring soup. Sorry. Just couldn't bring myself to take one.


DH & I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary yesterday. As DD & I were sitting in the kitchen yesterday morning, getting her breakfast & lunch eatten and made (respectively), I mentioned to her that 9 years ago DH & I got married, and she was there. She was at our wedding with us. 2 months old, in a white christening gown, held by her adoring grandma. She asked if she could share that in class yesterday. I told her, sure.... Why not?!?!

I had to chuckle at my mom, though. (Sorry Mom!) She called to wish us a happy anniversary & commented about "what if DD tells everybody that SHE was at your wedding?!?!?" I kinda had to ask, so what if she did? DH & I have now been married 9 years, which is a lot longer than a lot of people seem to make it these days. Who in her class can really criticize because we got things a little backwards (baby first, then marriage)???? What are they going to do, nine years after the fact.... String us up by our toes???? LOL Mom agreed that I had a point.

DH sent me a bouquet of 9 long-stemmed red roses at work. All the ladies loved it, and Oooooh did they smell fabulous!!!! Got them home in one piece & now I've got this huge bouquet on my kitchen table. LOL Ahhh, but they're lovely. We didn't do anything else, special, though. DH doesn't get paid till Monday, and half of my paycheck has to go to the daycare today, the other half to bills. So, no fancy dinners out for us this year. *sigh* I've been craving Escargot & Creme Brulee. Guess I'll have to hope for my birthday, instead. *wry smile*


In little more than 2 weeks, DD has managed to lose a brand new pair of gloves (lost them on the first day she wore them to school, we strongly suspect somebody saw them on the bus seat & noticed how nice & new they were, & took them), a hat, a scarf I knitted (a spare I'd made, learning to use my knifty knitter), and now her snow pants. Now, bear in mind that DH gets off work at 5 pm, picks her up from day-care, and gets home before I do, as I get off work at 6 pm. So, this morning at 8:27, she comes out from her room & asks me "Mommy, did I wear my snowpants home from school?" Dh said he didn't see them in his truck this morning, which means they didn't get left there. I, of course, would have no way of knowing if she wore them home from school. Which means she either left them at school, or at day-care. Either way, she left the house this morning wearing ripped out jeans (because she didn't want to put on non-holey slacks), with another spare hat, scarf & gloves, sans snowpants. These snow-pants are soooooo badly worn & ripped out that if somebody stole them, I'd be greatly suprised. No sign, at all, of the scarf or hat, either. We've ransacked the house, looked in the school lost & found, and asked at the daycare (they don't have a lost & found). No sign of them. I'm about ready to strangle DD. She hasn't been this absent minded with her outdoor gear since first grade, when she lost 8 pairs (yes, EIGHT) of gloves in one winter. I'm about ready to stitch her gloves the ends of the coat sleeves, and staple her hat to her head. (Literally about the gloves, joking about the hat.) I don't know how to get through her head that we cannot afford to be purshasing new outdoor gear constantly. A decent pair of gloves (more than those thin little stretchy gloves that are 2.99 a pair) costs about 20 dollars. A hat, the same. Snow-pants, if you can find them, run between 40 and 60 dollars..... The scarf may have been home-made, but that doesn't mean I've got the time to whip them out every few days, either. *sigh*

On top of that, when she loses something she doesn't look very hard for it, but instead gets into a bit of a snit & starts making comments like "well, FINE, I won't WEAR gloves then..... I'll let my fingers FREEZE!" Ye Gods!!!!!! If she wasn't the one LOSING them, she'd HAVE them to wear. I don't know HOW she honestly thought that I'd be able to materialize a new pair of snow-pants for her this morning in the 5 minutes before her bus came. That or she thought I'd run right out, start my car & take her immediately to town for a new pair in the 25 minutes before school started. *rolling eyes* Her attitude is OFF THE CHARTS when something like this goes wrong, and she doesn't seem to get that IT'S HER FAULT!!!! Instead she starts griping at DH & I like we're responsible & should be able to fix the matter. *sigh* Really, don't know if she'll survive her teen years, at this rate. I mean, she's 9, she should know better than to lose all her gear, and she shouldn't be this darn teen-angsty, yet. Oh well....


I've decided that from now on, my baby sis & my niece will only be recieving GC's from me. I'm sick & tired of putting effort into their gifts, only to be called cheap & have the gifts thrown (almost literally this time) back in my face.

Took me a couple of days to register the actual condecension behind my sis's attitude on Thanksgiving, considering how tired I was that day.

Within 10 minutes of her coming into my house, an hour early, she was standing behind me as I was working on making TG dinner.

Sis: Kati, I brought you your bag back.

Me: *back turned* What are you talking about?

Sis: I brought you your bag back.

Me: What bag? *turning*

Sis: This bag! *holding 15$ library tote bag I got niece, along with a brand new hard-back copy of a book that reminded me -nicely- of niece, for her b-day*

Me: *still not understanding* That's not my bag, that's part of K's birthday gift.

Sis: *snidely* Well, you use this kind of bag all the time. I thought you were giving K. that book in one of YOUR bags, and that you'd want it back.

Me: *incredulous* Nooo.... That's part of K's birthday gift!

Sis: *rudely* Well, I thought you were just using one of your bags, and that you'd want it back! (At which point she turned & stuffed her stuff into it.)

So, evidently I'm now cheap & selfish because I purchased a new, canvas tote & hardback book for my niece's b-day present. It's not "Disney Princesses", so it MUST be cheap, right??? I mean, come on, just because it was a good 30 bucks out of pocket altogether..... It wasn't plastic & purchased at W-M, so it really MUST be cheap!!!! And, since I didn't purchase a (expensive as hell) paper gift tote to put it in..... Well, again.... I'm cheap, what can I say?!?! Here I thought a real canvas library tote (local library's cute snow-man logo silkscreened on the front) & hardback book (personally chosen for niece) were a GOOD gift for a 4 year old little girl. I mean, most little girls like bags to carry things in, right??? My daughter does, I do, most women/girls I know have a thing about never having enough bags/purses/totes.

Nope, evidently I'm cheap & selfish. Unfortunately I've already picked out a christmas gift for Sis that she should like. I'm not counting on it, though. If I hadn't already shown the gift to Dad, I'd be keeping that gift myself (it's more Sis's style, but not something _I'd_ turn my nose up at) & get her a GC to W-M. And that's all I'm getting niece. If they think I was being cheap at Niece's b-day, I'll give them cheap. From here on out it'll only be $15 pieces of plastic for the local junk-store. And the 8 place settings of plastic Disney Princesses table-ware as a wedding gift sounds more & more a possibility. Or, maybe I'll be generous & send Sis & her hubby a 25 dollar GC to W-M. *sigh* I'm soooooo sick & tired of her. I hope the fiancee marries her spoiled butt & hauls her to Michigan before I really burn bridges with Dad & publicly tell Sis where she can shove her holier-than-thou attitude, or offer to shove it "there" for her.

Anyway....... Can I crawl back into bed now????? The last couple of weeks have been frustrating, and exausting, and I just want a vacation. (To answer my own question: No. I can't just crawl back in bed. I've gotta be at work in an hour & a half.) Oh, and sorry I never did take pictures.

Have a Blessed Day.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Sorry to say.....

I did NOT get pictures of my Thanksgiving dinner taken. By the time it was all made & dished I was soooooooo darn tired that I totally forgot. Then afterwards, everything was in a shambles & I REALLY didn't want to take pictures of that! Heck, by the time I sat down with my plate I was so exausted that I sat there looking at it for 5 minutes before I remembered what I was supposed to do with it. *wry smile*

I was responsible (by my choice) for the majority of the dinner. This is the last year that my dad & baby sis are going to be in town (if everything goes as planned), and while I DO gripe about them both rather frequently, it does also mean the last Thanksgiving with any of my family (as Mom & middle sis are both living in different states already). So, for the past several years (I think this made year 6), we've had thanksgiving dinner at my house, so my family & the inlaws could come over. Christmas has always been spent at the inlaws, with just a short (1 to 2 hour) stop in at Dad's house. But this way DH could see his parents & I could see my family. Won't be the case next year.

So, anyway.... I was up till after 1 am Wed. night cleaning house, then was back up at 7 am yesterday morning to get the turkey in the oven in time (it was a 23 pounder, we ALWAYS do big turkeys). Dinner was set for 1 pm (didn't get finished till 1:30, though). After getting the turkey in, because it REALLY was too early to start anything else (and the Pumpkin Gooey Butter cake was already made), I sat down & watched some TV for an hour. Finished cleaning house then started on more dinner preparations. Baby Sis & niece got here at noon (on the dot!), because Mom told her that I was angry last year when she was over an hour late. (I WAS peeved, but mainly because Dad needed to get home & get some sleep before having to work. That's why we have dinner so early, in the first place. And she'd left his house -where she was living at the time- BEFORE Dad. On top of that, she wasn't answering her cell phone, so we had no idea what had happened to her.) So, this year she decided to show up VERY early & DD got to "enjoy" the company of her darling little cousin for quite a while longer than we'd thought.

Dad showed up at about 12:30 (I DID jump on the pc for about 20 minutes between 11 and noon, just to check my emails), and I was already starting to get frantic about the rate at which I was getting the side dishes ready. Now, Dad brought the Green bean casserole, so I didn't have to make that, but it also wasn't quite hot through yet, so it had to go in. The turkey came out at 12:30, went back in at about 1 as the Inlaws got here with Older Nephew (4-1/2 years) in tow.

Kids headed to DD's room to play, and Niece & Nephew (who'd never met prior to yesterday) actually got along fairly well. Niece seems to get an inordinate amount of joy out of pestering & hurting DD, though. At one point DD came out & said Niece stuck her tongue out at DD. I asked her if that in any way harmed DD or DD's property, she said no, I sent her back to play with directions NOT to be a whiny tattle-tale. DD came out later saying Niece had hit her, and baby sis decides she's going to use the same tactic (as I was in the kitchen working on dinner) and ask DD if Niece in any way hurt DD or DD's property. DD said yes, it hurt to get hit. To which Sis said "Oh, she's HALF your size, how could SHE hurt YOU?!?!" DD went back, without recourse (DH & Dad were also in the kitchen helping me, and MIL & FIL were keeping quiet unless Nephew (their responsibility) was involved. Niece got off without even a scolding for that one.

So, dinner was finally done & set out to serve @ about 1:40. All kids & women in the kitchen around our tiny, six-seat table (technically seats six, really seats 4 comfortably & six with little room to spare). Dad, FIL & DH were seated in the livingroom with TV trays. Didn't have any of the meal items ON the table, all were arrayed around the kitchen counters & on the stove-top, with rolls left in the now-off oven. Next house we buy WILL have enough room for a larger table & a side board! *wink*

So, finished dinner & stood/sat (only have 5 seats in our house, 1 computer chair that was pulled to living room, 3 couch seats, 1 rocking chair) around watching hunting shows. (Dad, FIL & DH enjoy these, and as a rule, WHO controls the remote control??? It wasn't me!) There was this show with enourmous log lodges that came on. We all (adults) sat/stood around commenting on the size & luxury of these. (Guys were Ooohing, MIL & I were commenting on how sucky it'd be to clean one of them, and Sis was bragging about how HER custom-built-house that her fiancee is going to build her -in her wildest dreams!- is going to be about "that size but not look like a log cabin!").

DD came out & said that niece was hiding in the closet (so THAT'S what that thumping sound was!) & wouldn't come out. Our closets are too tiny & have too much stuff in them for children to be playing in, so I went to the door & told Niece to come out (with hotwheels cars all over the floor, I wasn't going IN unless I had to). Saw Niece peaking out at me, so I went back to watching the log-houses show. Minutes later DD comes out again & says that Niece STILL won't come out of the closet & NOW she'd kicked DD when DD tried to pull her out. I DID go in, this time, and told DD right off that she needs to have a GROWN UP do the removing of cousins from closets, from now on. Then I found Niece almost stuffing herself under the bed in an attempt to hide. So, I told her that not only are we NOT allowed to play in the closets in our house (a second time, saying this to her) but that since she's kicked DD, she needs to either apologise or go sit on her Mama's lap. She refused, I reiterated & made her stand in front of DD (Nephew was -ironically- politely ignoring the going on's and playing with the cars). When she refused, a third time, to apologise to DD for kicking her, I picked her 30 pound self up, and took her out to sit on her mama's lap. My Sis didn't look all that pleased to be interupted from playing with her nintendo hand-held, but DID coax Niece to apologise.

The next time Niece did something (I'd sat down in the kitchen to read, by this time), I let DH take care of it. Niece is so timid around him (he's six foot tall & built like a line backer, she's esp. intimidated because she KNOWS he's not wrapped around her little finger) that his standing at the door & telling her to knock it off (while Sis pointedly avoided doing anything to chastise her own daughter) sufficed to stop Niece's actions. After which, Sis decided that she'd had enough, and started her car to leave. That was about 4 pm. YEAH!!!!!! Dad left about a half hour later. DD then called her best friend to see if she could go over & play (BF lives right around the corner, then left herself.)

The inlaws stuck around till about 5:30 before they decided they were ready to leave. Nephew was fairly well behaved, except for the fact that he couldn't seem to calm down & he kept chasing the dogs & niece (when she was here) around the house despite repeated directions to STOP running (wouldn't normally be an issue, except for how packed our house was at the moment). Got to the point that all adults would put their feet up to stop the running, as the children tried to run past. Even your most agile 4 year old can't dodge that many adult sized legs in that small a living room. *wink* Oh, and all Nephew ate (Niece at very well, actually) was his mashed potatoes, 2 rolls, and a piece of cake. Can we say "Carb overload"?!?!?! Sis helped herself to 1/4 of the remainder of my honey for her turkey and crap-loads of ranch dressing & bacon bits for her potatoes. She loads SOOOOO much butter, ranch & bacon bits onto ANY form of potato she has that it really can't be considered potato any more. It's more like ranch & bacon thickened with potato starch. I was smart, though, and put about 1 cup of bacon bits into a small jar (only partly full) and hid the huge thing of bacon bits, so that when I DID see Sis with the jar, I could comment that this was all we had, so please go sparingly. (Ok, so I lied, but I don't belive in waltzing into somebody's house & making rude demands & using up all their supplies. As it was, she used up about 1/4 of what honey I REALLY DID have left -I use it in tea, and mixed with ACV when DD is sick or I feel I might be getting sick- then got gripey that it was partially crystalized & she had to microwave it to get it runny.)

After that.... DH & I sat around watching TV all evening. DD got to spend the night over at her BF's house (their parents hosted THEIR TG party this year, and have a huge family, have a "the more the merrier" point of view, and a LOT bigger house than we do). Finally, after watching ER with DH, we both headed to bed. I'd planned to sleep till 10, but Dad got me up at 9:15. DH was up at 4 so that he could be at the big W. in time for their 5 to 11 morning-after-TG sale. FIL had conscripted DH to pick up MIL's & DD's Christmas presents as well as a new computer (a FIRST computer) for MIL & FIL.

DH winded up at GameStop, purchasing a new (Gently used, New to DD) Nintendo DS-some-thing-or-other & 2 games as DD's primary Christmas present. Need to find a couple more things (I'm thinking a couple of books and a bathrobe) for her, and a hand-full of stocking stuffers. Dh is of the opinion that the Nintendo thing cost enough ($119, on sale, and gently used) that DD doesn't need anything more. I tend to follow the rule "Something you want (nintendo thingy), something you need (a bathrobe), something to wear (bathrobe also fits this rule), and something to read (a book or 2). That way we don't go overboard & DD doesn't get so much that she can't appreciate it. And in our house, Santa only fills the stockings. I've already got her a few of those rubber slogan bracelets (a six pack from, one from each of the 6 charity sites there). I'm thinking a cd or two (Kelly Pickler?), maybe a thing of nail polish, lip gloss..... We don't overdo Christmas here like my parents used to. (Sorry Mom!) In DH's family they only ever got 1 or two gifts each. In my family there were so many gifts (ok, so there were pkgs of socks & new PJ's, but mostly just "stuff") that we never could remember what we'd gotten. (Though, Mom & Dad only ever gave us 1 BIG gift a year.) We figure 3 or 4 for DD, and 1 or two each for DH & I (DH gets one from me & one from DD, I get one from DH & one from DD) is plenty. And DD's got her stocking that Santa fills. That's plenty. (Though, it IS always funny -when I take DD for her Santa pictures- to see "Santa" look shocked when DD asks him for small things like hotwheels cars & lip gloss. No way to explain to him in advance that in OUR house Santa only fills the stocking.)


Well, let's see...... Other than that, did you know that Harry Potter & The Order of the Pheonix will be out July 13, 2007? Yep. Here's a link: with pictures (AWESOME!), a trailer (FUN!) and lots of other info. I was hoping it'd be out at Christmas, like most of the past movies have been. What a bummer that we've got to wait till next summer to see it!!!! Here I was thinking I had something to look forward to in the upcoming month!!!! (Christmas tends to be a bit of a let-down for me. So much anticipation, ending in such an anticlimactic day.) Ahhh well..... One more reason to look forward to summer (other than the fact that winter in Alaska is freaking cold!). I guess in July, when the weather is either miserably hot or raining, I can anticipate sitting in a cool theater watching a kick-ass movie. *grin* Yep, there's something to anticipate.

Ok, sorry that I don't have any pictures of yesterday's supper to share. I've got the carcass on the stove, simmering away to make stock, so when I've got the turkey veggie soup made, I'll try to remember to take a pic of that to share here.

Have a Blessed Day!

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Wishing you all a great Thanksgiving with Friends & Family. May your turkey be moist, may your mashed potatoes be creamy, may your pies taste perfect, and may all your blessings be counted!

Pictures to come tomorrow.

Have a Blessed Day!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

More Sweet Puppy pics....

Actually took these a couple of days ago, but forgot that they were there on my digital cam. So, had to share, finally. Poor Puck will put up with wearing the rabbit ears (DD's had them since she was about 2), but only for a few minutes, and I had to coax him into letting me take a pic. Jenny hates, hates, hates these things, and it took several tries to even get a pic of her in the split second she'd leave these on, before shaking them violently off her head. *wink* Ahhh, but they're just too cute NOT to share!

Now, off to clean house. I've fortunately got Wed. & Thursday off for Thanksgiving (as well as my usual Friday & Saturday weekend), so any last minute, freakazoidal cleaning can hopefully be done on Wednesday. I've got Dad & baby sis & niece coming over, and FIL, MIL and older nephew. It'll be the first time that my niece (from MY side of the family) and my older nephew (from DH's side of the family) have ever met each other. There's only about 5 months seperating the two, Nephew being the older. It'll be interesting (to say the least) to see how they interact. MIL did say that Nephew has been asking frequently lately when he'll see DD. Turns out he misses her immensely. And at this point, he is DD's favorite cousin. He's not badly behaved with he's with MIL & FIL (though when SIL is around, he's a little terror), and he's finally old enough that he & DD have fun playing together. Fortunately SIL & younger nephew (sweet, but 2, and poorly supervised, generally) will NOT be coming over. But, still, MIL will be here which means my house (the visible to guests parts) must be spotless!!!! *wry smile*

Have a Blessed Day!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

If I could do ANYTHING????

I snagged this from Steph ( ). She asked: if money, ecology, time, and pride were no consideration, what would I do???

I would....
....have a degree in Archaeology, and be on some fascinating hunt for human herstory
....would be able to Irish Step dance a Reference Librarian (Someday!!!! This one IS achievable.)
....speak Gaelic, French and German fluently, and be able to read Egyptian hiroglyphs (sp??)
....share my home with (almost put "own") a cat
....Travel the world (Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, France, Toledo Spain, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Egypt, India, Thailand, many others, and many places here in the States.....)

I, too, feel like this is an awfully short list. Have all my dreams disappeared??? It seems that I had more, when I was in middle & high school.

I DO speak minimal German & French, but also get them frequently mixed up, which doesn't help matters.

I can't dance to save my life.

With a child & a husband and a job that I DO love, the chances of ever having that degree in Archaeology, and going on fascinating digs, is very slim.

Someday I WILL be a reference librarian, but for now that dream is put on hold while all my time is put into my job (as a library page) and my daughter's dreams (playing hockey in the Olympics).

With my husband's allergies to cats, that dream is unachievable as well.

As for the traveling, I WILL travel some day. DH keeps telling me that I will never be able to afford it. I tell him that come hell or high water, I WILL travel some day and he can darn well stop shooting that dream down!!! And first on my list IS Ireland. Has always been Ireland, and probably WILL always be Ireland.

So, if you had NOTHING holding you back, what would you do?

Have a Blessed Day!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Lazy dogs.....

Just sitting here, reading through email & browsing the web, and I turned around & see my two mutts laying there behind me, asleep. They both opened their eyes, of course, when they saw the flash, but it was still kinda funny. DH & DD have gone off to watch a hockey game & left me here, home alone, with my mutts, for a quiet night. Ahhhh bliss. Going to get off & do a bit of crocheting, pop in a movie, have a couple more hours of peace to myself.

Oh, and DD's team WON their game today. The final score was 6 to 3, one of our team-members had a hat trick (one person making 3 goals in one game) plus 1!!!!! It was awesome, and all of us proud hockey moms wound up with sore throats from yelling & hooting & screaming encouragement to our daughters. It was fun!!!! And it was a fun game, all in all. A well played game. No penalties. No crying as the kids (ours or theirs) came off ice. They were pretty evenly matched, except for this one little girl (the one with the hat trick) who's one seriously tiny power-house. I mean, the girl is 8 years old, tiny, fast, great with the puck handling. Yep, we were some pretty proud mamas. And it was rather funny, listening to them troop into the locker room, about 4 or 5 of them halp-hazardly singing "We Are The Champions", missing words & out of sync & out of tune, but funny!!!!

Anyway, just had to share a pic of the pups (and please pardon the mess, this is our computer/"storage" room, the catch-all area of our house), and post a quick note about how DD's latest game went.

Have a Blessed Day!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

It has started.....

Four months ago, yesterday, to the day, I went off my Depo Provera (birth control). And, exactly 4 months to the day, I got my first period. Wow!!!! I'd forgotten how unpleasant those can be. And it was a short (the entire thing in one day!) period, for that matter, and a mild one. Bled only the tiniest amount, had a nasty little back-ache, a bit of queasy-ness, and a LOT of pissy-ness (bone-head patrons at work didn't help that!). But, by the time I went to bed, it was over. I'm guessing I won't be quite so lucky next time. *wry smile* Whenever that next time rolls around. The Dr. told me, prior to having my surgery, that it could take about a year for my body to get back to a normal cycle. (Back??? I don't know that I EVER had a normal cycle!!!) So, for now that means carry-ing a bag-ful of supplies with me to work, every day! I do have one friend who was on the same kind of birth control (for only 6 months, at that) and took a few years to get back to a "normal" cycle, and says now she's got 2 days a month of misery, and it's over till the next month. Not an EASY cycle, but a short "normal" cycle. I think I could handle that. I hope that's the route my body decides to go. Until my cycle reaches "normal", I'll be taking herbal suppliments to encourage my body to a healthy rhythm, drinking herbal "women's health" tea (nasty flavor!). Because I really, really don't like the thought of a year-long PMS-fest. And neither does DH. When he found out that this could take a year or so, he asked FIL (mostly jokingly) if he could move back in. FIL's response was that MIL is going through menopause right now, so maybe the two of them should just take the truck & camper & not come back (mostly seriously!).

I told DH that I'll try to give him plenty of warning and will do my best to not lay into him & DD, but that it would not be a bad idea if he took that warning seriously & gave me plenty of room, help & chocolate, when the warning has been issued. *wink*

Have a Blessed Day!

Friday, November 03, 2006

So, here are some recent pictures. The first two are the lot directly across from my house. Only, really, it's only about a 3/4 lot. Used to be a little pump shack sitting on top of a little, man-made hill, smack-dab in the middle of that lot, that served the neighbourhood water supply. When the roads were re-done last summer, a new shack was built at the top of the street, this shack was abandoned, then removed, the hill demolished & now the family who owns that land has decided they're going to plop a full-sized house smack in the middle of what used to be a nicely wooded (even if it was only willows) little lot. The last of the trees in the neighbourhood. Or, the last of the "unplanned" trees, anyway. Except for our next-door neighbour, who's been in his house for over 20 years and has a couple of huge birch, a few choke-cherries, and some willow & cottonwood in the back yard, the rest of the trees throughout the neighbourhood are scrawny, transplanted little birch that just can't dig through the hard-packed ground well enough to really spread & grow. And even those birch that do produce nice canopies are short, multi-trunked things that never get any real height. Even our little gangly birch, transplanted last year, is still a scrawny little guy that doesn't look like he'll ever "flesh out". So, here I have been, watching this lot get razed, then dug out, over the last 3 days. And it pisses me off, and it makes me sad. The houses in this neighbourhood are all packed in like sardines. Our next-door-neighbour (the one who's lived there for 20+) and a neighbour across from him, have triple & quadruple sized lots, but because they bought 3 (and in J's case, 4) lots before the rest of the lots were developed. Even if my husband and I DID want to purchase another lot, adjacent to ours, there aren't any. The two neighbours directly across from me COULD have bought this spare little lot & divided it down the middle, and each had a larger lot themselves, for extra space, but they didn't.

But, it just irks me that these folks who own this property can't see how homely, how unattractive this neighbourhood is, with no attention paid to landscaping, with no attention paid to house placement. That each house literally sits feet away from it's neighbour..... Between my house & my next neighbour over (not the one with the 4 lots to his property), there are maybe 12 feet. TWELVE FEET!!!! That's 3 feet off the side of my house, and another 9 for her vehical, then her house. I hate, hate, HATE being packed in here like sardines. I WISH we could afford to purchase a new house. Not even a larger house necessarily, but one with a bigger lot. (Well, with 1170 sq ft, 1400 or 1500 sq ft would be great! And I really don't want to have to clean something much bigger than THAT. Though there was this beautiful little 1800 sq ft log cabin we looked at that had THE MOST INCREDIBLE custom wood & counters & a wood-stove with a slate surround.....)

Anyway, had to gripe a little bit, show the damage done to those trees. Mourn a little bit for their loss.

The other picture is obviously, my daughter. All dressed up as a vampire for Halloween. She did have some black lip-stick that got smudged all over her face (actually, as much as I hate to admit it, that was black lipstick left over from my "goth" days in HS). And black nail polish. That wig is hilarious (and a disaster). The hubby tried it on, but I didn't get to the camera in time to snap a pic of him. I'm trying to talk him into letting me take a pic so we can give it to his mom for her photo albums. He's not falling for that reasoning. He knows I wanna show it to my friends. He looked like he belonged in an 80's hair-band, with the wild, black & maroon hair, and his very prominant nose. It was adorable. And DD looked adorable (when she looked fresher, instead of at the end of a long night, when this pic was taken).

Ok, there ya are. Some new pics.

Have a Blessed Day!

A Question for your more experienced bloggers....

I have been looking all over on my little "dashboard" on this thing, and I can't, for the life of me, figure out how to list my favorite blogs on the right side of my screen. I see other people do it, so I know it's possible.... But HOW???? HELP!!!!! *grin*

Will get back tomorrow, hopefully, with pictures from this past week.

Have a Blessed.... Um, Night. (it's 6:33 pm already!)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

My first apron......

Well, here are some pictures of my very first apron. I was in at Ben Franklin's a couple of weeks back, thinking about what I wanted to be for halloween, and saw this fabric, and decided that a kitchen witch would be perfect. I'll add a hat from one of DD's old witch costumes, a spatula or some-such in one of the pockets, and a dish-towel tucked in the waist-band. I think it turned out pretty darn cute. And of course Jenny just had to be a part of the picture as well.

Tell you what, this apron was a PITA to make. Got my sewing machine all set up, and started to do a bit of hemming, and found out that somehow our another, my tension was all messed up. Long story short, it took me several hours of tinkering with the damn machine, putting pieces back together after they'd fallen apart, pulling things apart to peer inside, and tinkering some more before I finally got it to work. After about 3 hours of tinkering, we had to leave for one of DD's practices, which is ALL that kept me from beating the crap out of that machine with one of DD's base-ball bats. ;) By the time I got home, I was sufficiently calmed enough to try again. It was still 1 am before I finished the damn apron that night, and 2 before I made it to bed (had to have my shower, before bed). I've got plans for more aprons, but only half-aprons for now. And somethings I'm going to differently. Like, I'm not going to fold the upper part of the skirt of the apron & hem it, then gather, then sew into the waist-band. That makes too many layers of fabric for my sewing machine to get through easily. I'll just simply hem the top part of the skirt of the thing, pleat (worked easier for me than gathers did), then sew into the waist-band (pre-folded twice-fold inch-wide bias tape). And DAMN does it hurt to make pin pleats through 9 layers of fabric (3 layers by the time you've completely hemmed the thing, then pleated back on itself causes 3 layers of this). Then there were two more layers in each side of the waist band, which meant sewing through a total of 13 layers of fabric, to attatch the skirt to the waistband. So, as I said, next time I won't finish the top of the skirt of the apron so thoroughly. It just doesn't need to be done, when it's going to be encased inside the waist-band in the end, anyway.

So there ya go.... Another completed sewing project to show off. Now off to the grocery store to get a few necessities.

Have a Blessed Day!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

What have I been working on???

Well, I can finally post a picture of what I spent a lot of the last month working on. One of my online groups has had a Samhain exchange for the last 3 years in which we make (or purchase) something for our exchange partner's house, based on decorating for Samhain/Halloween. This took a couple of days to crochet (the base of the wall-hanging) then almost a month to cross-stitch (the pumpkin & bat). My first ever cross-stitched project, and I can't say as I really liked it all that much. Oh, it turned out ok (though, not quite as exact as the pattern I used), but it was a pain in the neck to actually stitch. ;) I think I'll stick to crochet!

Going to have to get a pic of my latest project up, next. It's my very first apron! Won't say anything else about it till I get a picture of it. ;)

Other than that, it's been work, work, work. I had Wed. off for Alaska Day. DH & DD were somewhat annoyed, as neither of THEM had the day off. Can't say as I minded! *wink*

DD's got her first hockey game of the season, this afternoon. She has also started practicing with an older group of girls, as well as her own team, and it's really helping her with her goalie skills, even after just 2 practices with them. These older girls are ages 12 to 14, and they are VERY nice toward DD, much more so than DD's own team of 7-10 year olds. DD got hit in the face-mask by a 50 mph hour puck, shot by the coach, at her first practice with these older girls, and they all showed a lot of concern for her. Not that she needed it. She got right back in front of the net & continued doing her thing. She saved over half the shots taken on her, and most of them were glove or blocker saves (ie: blocked them as they came UP at her, not on the ice), not stick and leg-pads. The coach said she's a heck of a lot better than even he suspected, esp. for only 9 years old (and he was her coach last year). So, we'll see how today's game goes. Hopefully she kicks butt! *bwg*

Have a Blessed Day!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Do it yourself "name generator"

So, I poached this from Nio. Thought it was kinda fun.

1. MOVIE STAR NAME: (grandfather/mother + your favorite candy): Harold Kristine Reeses

2. GAMER TAG: (favorite color + favorite animal): green dragonfly

3. SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name + birthplace): Lynn Landstuhl

4. PORN STAR NAME: (first pet + street you grew up on): Dixie Lee Vicki

5. SUPERHERO NAME: (THE, favorite color, car your dad drives): The Green Ram

6. ACTION HERO NAME: (name of character in last film you watched, last food you ate): Dylan Bratwurst

Now, I guess the gamer tag is the only one that I would actually use. The rest are far too corny. ;)

Have a Blessed Day.

Friday, October 06, 2006

I told my Dad....

Got into a bit of an argument over at my Dad's, today. Except that it wasn't an argument. Not really.

DD & I had gone over today, since Dad has tonight off as his holiday for Columbus Day. He was making chili and asked if DD & I could come over for supper, since DH was going to a hockey game with another buddy of his. I said that'd be fine. Picked DD up from school & headed right over for Dad's.

I had brought along DD's school pictures & a couple of thank-you cards for the girls (DD & niece) to send to Dad's Brother & SIL in TX in appreciation for the jerseys my Aunt & Uncle sent them for their birthdays. DD is old enough that I told her that not only did she need to sign her name to the card, but she needed to write an actual note, and we'd tuck in a school picture as well. DD took it as she usually does: she refused altogether to write anything. Dad made a comment about how if she was going to be like that, he didn't want her in his house, and went on (excessively, for an adult) about how she hurt his feelings over refusing to write a thank-you note to his brother & sister-in-law. As usual, I told DD that she was going to write a thank-you note, so knock it off and just get to it. She kept getting carried away with writing the note (which I drafted for her, so at least she could copy the correct spelling), and making her letters all wonky & spreading the words across the cover of the card. I kept reminding her to slow it down, stop being sloppy & take her time. Well, Dad got fed up with DD and told her that if she wasn't going to do it right she could just go ahead & leave his house now, and that until she decided to be a little more respectful of his bro & sis, DD was not welcome in his house.

I'm sorry.... The child HATES writing. I'm not figuring on changing her opinion about it, I'd just like to get it through her head that it IS part of life and she MUST learn to write legibly and to stop spending so much time griping about it. Dad decided that it was a personal affront against him & his brother & sister, and kicked my daughter out. I told her to get her jacket & get out to the car. I got my things together & started out to the car, rather peeved with my dad, and DD all over the place, appologizing to me for this and begging me not to ground her. My Dad said he hoped she DOES get grounded for her behavior. Then he had the gall to ask if we'd still stay for dinner.

That's when I told him. I told him that _I_ was hurt that he'd kick my daughter out of his house & be so harsh on her for hating to do something that he's always hated to do himself. He's always made it clear that he's not big on writing, and he doesn't do it unless he has to. And here was my daughter, whining about the same activity. Her whining & refusal to do it right had NOTHING to do with his brother & sister-in-law. NOTHING. It was all about how she hates to write AT ALL. I'm just trying to get her to do a decent job, and he jumps all over her, assuming that it's his brother & sister that she's rebelling against and kicks her out of the house for her supposed disrespect of my Aunt & Uncle. I told him that I'm sick & tired of seeing my niece get away with murder and coddled & cuddled for it, and yet when my daughter does the slightest thing, he jumps down her throat.

I told him that for 23 years I've watched my baby sister be given preferential treatment by him, coddled & cuddled & getting my middle sis & I into trouble and I'm sick of it. (To my sis Shelli, Yes, I actually DID reference how K. would shriek & wake him up just because she was mad at you & I for something inconsequential as choice of TV show, and we'd get in trouble & she'd get to watch her choice of shows. And that it was a normal occurance growing up, her getting us into trouble just to get her own way.)

And now he's doing the same thing with my niece & my daughter. And that hurts MY feeelings. And I'm sick of the double standard of affection in this house. He looked a bit shocked, but didn't deny any of it, admitted that he deserved it, apologized to both DD & I and asked if we'd come back in and have dinner with him still, but that he'd understand if we didn't want to. He was rather quiet the rest of the evening. (Yes, we did stay for dinner.)

I hate that it had to happen that way, but I couldn't sit by and watch him jump all over my daughter for something that wasn't even an issue (heck, if it had been to call Aunt & Uncle, DD wouldn't have had a problem, but she HATES writing). Then to watch him try to sweep it all back under the carpet & tell us that he doesn't want DD in his house, but she can have dinner tonight, then she's not allowed back..... I just couldn't do it. I had to say it. And I didn't yell. I didn't. I was crying, and I was upset, but I didn't yell. I just told him that all the years of preferential treatment for my baby sis had hurt, for a long time. I'm somewhat sorry I hurt my dad, because I know it did, but I'm also glad I finally had the courage to speak up. Only by speaking up will anything change. I don't expect things to change drastically, or overnight, but even acknowledgement will help.

And Shelli, if he asks, PLEASE, PLEASE don't sweep it all under the carpet!!!!! Please, please don't pretend that you were never hurt by this. It's not going to do any of us any good. It never has, and it never will. And since I've finally come out and said what needed to be said, opened the floodgates, it needs to come out. Obviously I don't want to hurt Dad, but I can't keep pretending that I think K. is an angel, either. I can't keep pretending that she does no wrong (or little K. now, for that matter) and that it's all good. I don't hate K., either, but I'm sick & tired of hearing criticism from Dad over my faults (AND your faults) and how K. has no faults at all (or, none Dad will admit to, anyway). If he asks, please be as open as you can. It may hurt him, in the short term, but it will be better for us all in the long run.

Have a Blessed Day.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hugs, not bombs......

Wow!!!! That is what the world needs more of!!!

We had a bomb scare here in my town, yesterday, just a few blocks away from my workplace, and in a neighbourhood (1st St. through 4th St. were cordoned off for safety purposes) that DH drives through to and from work every day. A non-descript black backpack with what appeared to be a pipe-bomb inside was found in a parking garage by employees there. The local Army bomb squad was called in and they sand-bagged the backpack then detonated it, to ensure that it didn't go off unexpectedly. Nobody was hurt, and whether it was somebody's idea of a joke or not, it was a terror threat.

It doesn't make me scared, but it makes me incredibly sad that this has touched my town. That this past spring we had a dozen middle school students (from MY middle school, the one my daughter will also go to someday) suspended, and 6 arrested, in a shooting plot that was almost to "go" stage. It makes me sooooo sad. And I am sitting here crying, watching that video and wishing that instead of crazy people standing in a busy place and exploding bombs on their body, wishing there were more crazy-happy people standing in crowded places offering innocent hugs to their fellow human beings.

3 school shootings in 7 days. Innocent little Amish girls dying for one man's anger & pain. People thinking they will best get their point across through violence to another. Would that more of us have the courage to be like THIS man who was brave enough to put himself on the line & give out hugs..... To perfect strangers.

What if all we really need to do to make a difference for the better is hug. Not just your family, but your friends, but your aquaintances, but people you only see in passing, but strangers. Even if you started with family & friends. Who are your family & friends going to hug??? Their family & friends. As we start to hug more often, we grow more comfortable with hugging, and so do those around us. Give it a try. I dare you. I'm going to. I'm not only going to hug my daughter goodbye, anymore, I'm going to hug her friends. I'm going to give my friends hugs when I see them.

Maybe the loving touch, a hug, from a fellow human is the best thing we can do to help heal this world. Maybe instead of shooting glares & guns, holding hands & hugging, giving somebody a warm hand on their shoulder or arm, maybe that's the best thing we really can do for this world.

Have a Blessed Day.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Party....

Well, it's over. Thank the Gods. It went fairly well. Only about half of DD's friends showed up, but that was still 10 kids (not to mention a few younger ones that she's not really friends with, but were still on the invite list: cousin & friends of the fam.).

DH went & ordered a half-sheet cake, so we've still got roughly half a cake left. *sigh* Gotta pawn some off on the inlaws & the next-door-neighbours. ;) Tay got a few cd's, a few new toys, and money. My Aunt & Uncle in TX sent her a Dallas Stars jersey, which will ONLY be worn out to special outtings (hockey games, dinner out, but NOT to school, and always over something else so it can be taken off to keep it clean.) And her Heely's. And DAMN was she thrilled with those Heely's. She can't seem to get the hang of them, though. ;) Told her she's gotta ask a couple of her team-mates to show her how to skate on them. LOL It requires lifting the toe & gliding one foot in front of the other. She keeps trying to put her toe down & stumbles. LOL

Almost all the kids took a turn in the batting cages, some of them more than 1 turn (which was fine, DH paid 35 dollars for an hours worth for our exclusive use of the cage). Found out a couple of these kids can hit!!! Dude can they ever!!!! And a couple couldn't. Got a chuckle out of watching DH & his best buddy try. Man.... DH hit maybe 4 balls of 20. His buddy didn't hit a single ball. That was hilarious. The first round, DD hit maybe 12 of her 20, the second round she only missed 2. Her best friend, though, hit about 15 of the 20 in the only round she did. Dang!

Dd wasn't perfect, she was too busy playing air-hockey to want to stop and say goodbye & thank you to her guests as they left. It was more of a quick "thanks" tossed over her shoulder. But she wasn't greedy or ungrateful for the gifts she was given, either. She said a nice, proper thank-you to every one of her friends as she was opening her gifts.

A fairly good birthday party, in all. I did forget the paper towels, but other than that managed to remember everything else that needed to be brought: knife for cutting/serving the cake, candles, lighter, plates & forks, cups, juice, and even a trash bag (which was a good thing as they didn't have a trash bin in the room). Everything, except the remaining cake, got hauled home in the trunk of my car, with plenty of room to spare, so there wasn't nearly an overload of gifts. Thank goodness because an overload of gifts would not fit in my daughter's room. As it is she's got a bin each of Polly Pockets and Bratz dolls that she doesn't play with, and a toy-box & an hammock of stuffed animals that don't get used. But then again, once a kid gets to 9 or 10 years old, anymore, they don't want toys so much as they want things like cds, and boom-boxes and such.

Ok, gotta head to work. But just had to post (for my sister's sake) how the party went.

Have a Blessed Day!

Friday, September 29, 2006


Yep, there's that 4 letter word we all dread. ;) Well, roughly six weeks ago (mid August) when the fire-weed blossomed to the top, and started cottoning out, I told Dh, DD, and Dad we'd have snow before Sept. was over. Sure enough, today, Sept 29th, and it's snowing. Been a rainy, drizzly day all day, and now it's snowing, with snow actually sticking to roof-tops and yards, though melting on the roads as soon as it hits. I don't think this'll be a real sticking-snow, but this is it. The first snow of Winter 2006 for us. *sigh*

Tomorrow's the birthday party, and I can't WAIT till it's over. I've had several people ask me today (MIL, best friend's mom, 2 other friends) what DD wants for her birthday. I'm tempted to tell them to just give her a swift kick to the hind end. ;)

DH & FIL are heading north for moose & caribou hunting next weekend. And DH is out this evening with a good friend who's got a couple of bulls lingering in HIS neighbourhood that he wants DH to take a shot at. This friend already has his bull for the year, as well as a grizz. that charged him 2 days ago on a run South that he'd made. So, he's hoping DH will bag his limit this year. I told DH I don't care if he brings home a big-ass moose, a small-ass moose, so long as he hauls one home. LOL We certainly could do with the meat for the winter.

We decided, yesterday, to go in on a pig with our next-door neighbour. He & his wife (also DD's guardians, should anything happen to DH & I) get one every year, but always have a hell of a time trying to find somebody to split it with. As a couple of empty-nesters, they really don't need a whole pig to themselves (these are 300 lb porkers, evidently), so they go halfsies, and split the cost as well. We decided that at roughly $200 for half a pig, we'd go ahead & do it. That's approx. 2 dollars a pound. Not bad, when you consider the prices we pay at the grocery store are seldom lower than 2.50 a pound. DH & I have been talking about doing this with a cow for a couple of years now. If the moose & caribou hunting didn't go well. And probably best of all, this pig will be locally raised (just south of us in the closest farming community to my little town). And the cow, if we end up doing that as well, will likely be a Black Angus raised right here in town. We won't get the cow (actually 1/4 of a cow) till closer to Christmas, though, if we do decide to do that. But, all in all it'll be a hell of a lot cheaper than purchasing individual steaks and roasts & such from the grocery store. So, for the winter, I'll actually be eatting local!!!!! *grin*

Have a Blessed Day!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Not to say....

That my daughter is NEVER greedy. Oh, no.... She proved quite well this morning that she has a greedy streak as well.

Got home from work last night to find that she'd lost a tooth at school. Her 11th lost tooth, btw. And the first molar, at that. So, into the tooth-fairy pillow it goes (made for me, and passed on to my sisters as each of us needed it, by my Grandma S.) and under her pillow THAT pillow goes. Of course the tooth fairy made her middle of the night visit and left her usual 1 dollar bill, folded up tightly to fit the small pocket, and took the tooth with her in exchange.

So, up DD gets this morning and promptly goes for the toothpillow under her pillow. Pulls out the $1 bill and comes and says "Mama, guess what the tooth fairy left me!!!"

Me: Did she leave you one dollar, as usual???

DD: *slightly miffed* Uh huh!

Me: Ok, what's wrong with that??? Were you expecting more because it was a molar???

DD: *nods* Uh huh!!!!!

ME: Well, dang girl!!!! You've lost 11 teeth so far!!!! What makes you think this tooth was going to be any different than any of the other teeth???

DD: It's bigger!!!

(ROFLMBO!!!!!!!!! And if that were all it took for the tooth fairy to give you more cash for a tooth, I would have gotten 4 grand along with the dentist who took out my wisdom teeth!!!!! And dang could I have found a way to spend it, at 17 years old!!!!!! *wink*)

ME: Kiddo, at this rate the tooth fairy's going to go broke, just on you!!!!! What about all the other kids she's gotta supply money for. You're lucky you get a dollar. I only ever got 50 cents a tooth, when I was losing 'em.

DD: Yeah, that's what Joey's grandma said yesterday, too. *sighs*


My child be greedy?!?!?! Naw, it NEVER happens. *rolling eyes & snickering*

Of course, I do recall conversations over earlier lost teeth with teacher's at my daughter's daycare and at school. One child, just before we changed day-cares this past spring, got $100 for her first tooth. Of course after I gathered my jaw off the floor, I simply commented on how it'd be a feat just to see a 100 dollar bill in our house, much less under the pillow of a child. I mean, at 5 or 6, when most kids lose their first tooth, they still think it's better to get 4 dimes than a 1 dollar bill. What kinda moron parent goes & gives their darling Suzy $100 on her first tooth. Talk about building one's expectations to insurmountable heights. I'm guessing the parents probably aren't going to still be shelling out $100 per tooth when it's numbers, 8, 9, 10, 11, and so on. Of course, they may ruin the secret long before 9, 10, and 11 are reached, as well. I'd rather keep the secret (and the Santa secret) for a while longer, let my daughter experience the magic a while longer, and keep expectations smaller all around. Certainly doesn't hurt Mom & Dad for a kiddo to still believe in Santa when all the more Santa's ever brought was the stocking stuffers. And it doesn't hurt the pocketbook when tooth number 11 nets a child an 11th one-dollar-bill, either.

Just had to share.

Have a Blessed Day!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Discusting Displays of Excess....

What is it about birthday parties, now-a-days, that the birthday child is encouraged to be a greedy, oversensative, hyperactive, spoiled little snot???? I've been to lots of birthday parties in the last several years, and while not all of them are overdone events of excess, most are.

Take my niece's 4th birthday party yesterday (she actually turns 4 tomorrow, but tradition states that the party is generally on the saturday closest to the actual birthday). My sister paid $175 to rent a party room for 2 hours at the local glow-in-the-dark mini-golf place. If that wasn't bad enough (and it was bad, OH, was it bad for the eyes!), she decked my already-spoiled-rotten niece out in a REAL (ok, not diamonds, but still real crystals) tiara, Cinderella costume, and had my niece's nails done up fancy with butterflies and such. The party was, of course, Disney princesses, because my niece is "a princess" dontcha know?!?!? No sooner do we get there and Sis & Dad start hauling in cake, and supplies, and armloads (and I mean this literally) of birthday presents, and my daughter is hauled aside by my SISTER and reminded that as the oldest child present, she will be expected to set a good example for all the younger kids. Don't get me wrong, my daughter CAN be a brat. She was displaying her talent in that arena well this morning, but publicly she tends to be fairly well behaved. Oh, she spent some time rolling her eyes and muttering in my ear about how bored she was, and she was prefering to sit in MY lap (did I mention she's 4'6" tall and 97 lbs, to my 5'0"?) than in the chair around the table. But she wasn't screaming, crying, yelling that SHE wanted to sit next to the birthday girl (or yelling that she DIDN'T want to, for that matter), running helter-skelter around the golfing area untended (like most of the younger ones were) or generally misbehaving. Instead, she was acting like a slightly grumpy pre-adolescent at a preschooler's party. No worse. And still, my sister insists, about mid-way through the party, on berating my daughter again on her bad attitude.

Anyway, took till 1:20 (we got there at 12:45) before my sister decided that it was time to serve the cake (ALL the kids were antzy, my daughter was the only one confining that antzy-ness to rolling eyes & grumbling) instead of waiting for the last family to show up (didn't show till 2). So, eat the cake, with several of the younger whining about this, that, and the other. Juice getting knocked over because they wouldn't sit still, kids leaving the room, unattended by their parents, and my niece starting to shriek about when was she going to get to open all those presents. So, cake gets finished and presents start coming. For about the first 2, my sister insisted that my niece thank the recipients. It was such a mumbled thank-you that unless one is REALLY good at lip-reading, one would not have known that a Thank You actually issued from those lips. Of course, the bigger the present (and all but 3 of the gifts had at least 3 large items stuffed into an enourmouse gift bag), the more fuss was made over it. And NOT just by my niece. By my sister. If it was Disney Princesses, it got a LOT of Ooohing and gushing, by BOTH. If it wasn't Disney Princesses, it got a quick show-off, then stuffed back in the bag from whence it came & put off to the side. The only exception was the Dallas Stars hockey jersey sent to my niece by my Aunt & Uncle from Tx. My well-thought-out gift of hard-back copy of "Fancy Nancy" (cute book!) and a canvas bookbag from my local library (North Pole Branch Lib's logo is a snow-man, reading a book, under a candy-cane street-light with snow-flakes falling around him) got hardly a look before being stuffed in a black trash-bag for the ride home. Certainly cost more than I should have spent, for all the 5 seconds of attention it got before being discarded by my niece & sister.

Besides the fact that every other gift there was very commercial, about 5 presents in, my niece started shreaking (and I am NOT bull-shitting, or exagerating) in this high-pitched tone "I want more presents, I wanna open more presents!!! Mommy, give me more presents!!!!" To which my sister would try handing them over faster. If it took longer than 3 seconds (I counted) between discarding the previous present, and the handing over of the next, my niece would shreak. All pretense of "Thank You's" and recognition to the giver was dispensed with. At one point, my daughter got sick of my niece shreaking right in her ear, and grabbed two presents to hand to my niece. Oh no.... Another chew-out for my daughter because THOSE two presents just happened to be from my sister (Niece's Mommy) and Sis. wanted THOSE to be given last!!! Anyway, LAST six presents were actually more for my sis (bought BY my sis), than for my niece. By that I mean that MY NIECE didn't get a chance to Ooooh & gush over them herself. Instead, my Sister pulls out two boxes that contain a Disney Princesses 14" Tv and a Disney Princesses DVD player, and holds the boxes aloft, allowing ALL THE OTHER PARENTS to see how incredibly generous toward her own daughter, my sister is. From the display, I surmised that these two gifts were not bought at all with my niece's desires in mind. But with my sister's appearance in mind. Terribly narcisistic, that one. Anything that makes her look good, generous, and rich MUST be something she has to have. Last 4 gifts (which nobody ever saw in full) from my sister evidently contained crap-loads more disney princesses stuff, dolls & princess costumes among them, from what I could tell. Because it was now 2:15, my sis decided NOT to have my niece rip into those last 4 bags completely. All the remainder of the kids had lost interest in the gifts altogether, and were pushing to go play mini-golf. By the time all was said and done, the equivilent of 6 large black garbage bags (the kind lots of folks use to bag fallen leaves in) of gifts had been given.

So, explain the rules of the game to the kids, caution the parents that all children under 12 (which all of them were) must be closely parentally monitored, put on the glow-in-the-dark bracelets, and send the kids out to play. Whining & crying was heard by my niece (and several other of the little brats present, though, only a couple of huffs & sighs & rolling eyes by my daughter) when she either didn't get to beat the crap out of the ball, the person behind her (Tay) with her club, or the green, OR when she couldn't cut in front of whomever the hell was in her way at that particular moment. And, after the first attempt by my sister to calm "Her Royal Heinous!" (Yes, I purposely misspelled that, just not sure that I mis-spelled it properly.) my sister gave up and let "HRH" cut in front of whomever she so chose. Remember that we were NOT the only "party" there yesterday. There was another birthday party going on, as well as individuals & families who'd come in for their own good time. And "HRH" was allowed to cut in front of whomever she wanted. Then she threw a tantrum at the end when she did NOT get a hole-in-one and the "ultimate prize" for getting a hole-in-one on the 18th hole. *shaking head*

DD & I tried to say goodbye to "HRH", but she was so overstimulated (though, she pulls this stunt often, so it wasn't JUST overstimulation, but general poor manners as well) that she was throwing a temper tantrum every time somebody tried to tell her thanks for the invite, or wish her a happy birthday. I had to laugh when I told my sister "Thank you" for inviting us. Her return comment was "well, of course I had to invite you, you're family." My response was along the lines of "well, it never hurts to be polite and say thank you, nonetheless." She just glared at me for the (correctly) interpreted jab against her manners (and those of her daughter). Of course she couldn't say anything to my remark, because it's true. Even though HRH was a pain in the butt, and Sis is an all-grown-up version of HRH's attitude, I and my daughter can still be polite and say thank you and be gracious. And then I get to come here and bitch to the world at large. *wink*

Thankfully, within minutes after my daughter's round of golf ended, my dad was finished loading crap into the two vehicals (took 2 vehicals to get all the presents over to Sis's apartement), and we got to leave (after a quick tour through the local school-house supply store, for my daughter's edification). *rolling eyes*

Suffice it to say, as we drove home yesterday, I informed my daughter that I was proud of her general behavior (with a reminder that she REALLY IS too big to sit on my lap, anymore), that I'm proud of her for never having behaved in the manner in which my niece did. I also informed DD that she will be getting NOWHERE near as many presents, so don't count on it. It doesn't mean we love her less, only that we don't like maxing out her credit cards on crap she doesn't need. She's been told for weeks now that she's only getting 1 gift from DH & I, but that she'll like it. It's a $74 pair of Heely's (those tennis-shoes with wheels in the heel) that she's been asking for, for 2 years now. I figured that after 2 years of asking, she can have a pair, but she's getting a size larger (she wears a women's size 6, DH bought a size 7 pair of Heely's) and that's ALL she's getting for this birthday. I've also given the relatives notice to not bother to go overboard, as she's more interested in playing outside than playing with toys, anyway. I can't say what the other guests will do, but I don't have any control over them. I just hope Bratz dolls & Barbies are not gifted, because DD doesn't play with the ones she's got now. Oh, and DD's party will be at the local batting cages (2 years ago was 40$ for a room & lazer tag for a group of friends, last year was 40$ to rent a small space at a local ice-rink and ice-skating for her & friends, this year is the batting cages, all of which were at HER request), which has a room to use for free (as long as we don't mind sharing the -very large- space with other folks who show up), and we'll be shelling out the 2 dollars per child who wants a turn in the batting cages. And we bought a cake, and the necessary plates & such to use. Beyond that, we're not shelling out anything except for the 1 present. No $175 for an exclusive 2 hour rental of a room for us. We don't make that kind of money. Nor do we believe in charging that kind of money to our credit-cards.

And next year, DD can invite 2 friends to the movies, or for a sleep-over, or some-other-such big-girl activity. No more huge parties. 9 years is enough. I can't take it any more. ;)

Anyway, as I said at the beginning, I have gotten totally discusted by the displays of excess that birthday parties have become. The party child seldom appreciates it, and in many cases it seems that it is more for the benefit of the parents than for the child who is being celebrated. The parents want to show off their vast "generousity" and monetary means, regardless of what the child wants. I know that even my mom was like this. She insisted on throwing me parties (albeit at home), with nasty store-bought cake, and neighbourhood kids (or classmates) that I didn't get along with anyway. I wanted a nice dinner out, a few well-thought-out presents from family, and cheesecake for desert. No fancy parties. I hate parties. I have been threatening my DH's life, since we met, with death should he EVER have the nerve to throw me a party. And I DO mean ever! I don't want a party like that at 30, at 40, at 50, for our golden anniversary.... EVER, EVER, EVER. If he truly wants to celebrate my life, or our marriage, it'll include him & me going out to dinner (a few family members or very good friends, if it's a birthday dinner) or on vacation (Ireland for our 25th wedding anniversary, Sweety?) alone together.

Anyway.... Just had to get all that off my chest. I can't complain to my Dad as he thinks baby-Sis can do no wrong (see previous posts). My mom is too busy to listen, and I think she's quite honestly sick of listening to her oldest gripe about her youngest. My middle sis (who reads my blog anyway) is probably sick of hearing me gripe as well, but if she doesn't want to read this, she doesn't have to. My husband just nodds and doesn't say anything because he agrees with me & it's like preaching to the choir. Besides, his sister is JUST as bad as my baby-Sis, so he's kinda sick of that kind of attitude and doesn't wanna hear any more, anyway. So, you, my dear readers, get to listen to me bitch & gripe. Thanks!!!!! :-)

Have a Blessed Day!