Friday, September 29, 2006
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
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
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!
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Here's the link: http://newsminer.com/2006/09/21/2164/ James is a good soul. He is smart, he is kind, he is funny, and when I knew him he was naive. That's a good thing. In fact, my first memory of him is at our first meeting. I had given birth to my daughter only a couple of weeks before, and DH's best buddy invited us to dinner at his mom's house. Met the family, chatted with Mom, and sat down to eat. There we are, sitting around the table, and Mom asks me how I'm feeding my daughter. I responded that I was breastfeeding her. Mom nodded her approval. As soon as James realized what we were talking about, his face went 12 shades of red in 3 seconds flat. He wasn't more than 15 years old, then. What a subject for a 15 year old boy, huh? *smile* He was a good guy. I'm sorry I didn't know sooner that he was over in Iraq. I'm sorry for his family, for Dh's best friend who is now missing, permanently, his brother. I'm sorry for a 2 year old little boy who will not know his Daddy. Except by stories people tell of his goodness.
The real irony, he is a medic. He didn't die in combat, he died of a heart attack. At 24.
Have a Blessed Day!
Sunday, September 17, 2006
There are commentaries written anonymously by 172nd soldiers stationed in Baghdad, there are commentaries written semi-anonymously by family members who've had honest conversations with our troops about what's going on "Over There". This isn't a song. This is a reality. And our men & women of the 172nd Stryker Brigade are being treated abominably by not only the Iraqi's, but by the American Goverment, and even by fellow soldiers from other brigades & units. It's rediculous, and the truth needs to be brought to light.
Needless to say, I won't respond to negative comments, because I really don't give a rat's-ass about your opinion. (Hey, it's my blog, I can say what I want.) I'm simply posting information for the enlightenment/info of those who care.
Have a Blessed Day!
Friday, September 08, 2006
More info here: http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/bannedbooksweek/bannedbooksweek.htm
Just some personal favorites that have been questioned/banned in the past (all can be found at http://www.amazon.com :
*Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
*Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
*The Handmaiden's Tale by Margaret Atwood
*Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
*The Giver by Lois Lowry
*Earth's Children series by Jean M. Auel
*A Day No Pigs would Die by Robert Newton Peck
*The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
*A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
*Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
*Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
*What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
*Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
*A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
*The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
*Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Fantasies by Nancy Friday
*Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
*Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
*How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
*The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
*The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
*The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
*In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
*The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (ok, so I didn't enjoy this one, for my own reasons, but I DID read it)
*The Witches by Roald Dahl (also didn't care for this one, but also read it)
*Lord of the Flies by William Golding (another that I've read but didn't particularly enjoy)
*How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell (just the thought of eatting worms... *gag*)
*Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (read, but found very sad)
Now, All the books (I believe) can be found on this list: http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/bannedbooksweek/bbwlinks/100mostfrequently.htm Along with MANY more. I encourage EVERYBODY to pick at least one book from the list, and get reading. I have only listed the books, above, that I have myself read, but I'm sure there are loads more fantastic books on that 100-most-frequently challenged list. I need to get ahold of the Aldous Huxley "Brave New World" and any of Toni Morrison's books, and read them. I KNOW they're fantastic, I just haven't gotten around to reading them myself.
So, that is my challenge to anybody who reads this: Do SOMETHING to promote the reading of banned books. Print out that poster & hang it in your living-room window. Read a banned book. Encourage a child you know to read a banned book. Print off a list of banned books & leave it for others to find. Spark the curiousity of somebody else, about a banned book you've read & enjoyed.
Have a Blessed Day.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Well, along with the usual dishes & laundry, making dinner and accidentally breaking the curtain rod in my kitchen window (I'll get to that), I've done quite a bit so far, in my first two days off, of this long weekend.
Yesterday I made cornbread (a piece of which is pictured above), hung my daughter's window-quilt (NO, I did not make this myself, purchased it from Neiman Marcus -I think- 5 or 6 years ago) for the winter, and varnished the hex-sign to hang on the front of my house. Dad brought me that from Lancaster Co. PA a few years back, and it's been gathering dust in my closet before now. DH always insisted he wanted to get the house repainted before I hung it. I'm sick & tired of waiting and finally figured that he was just saying that so that I didn't go and hang this up. Oh freaking well. A couple of small dribbles from the varnish, but otherwise it looks good. And all that is not even including taking Tay to hockey practice, playing with the dogs, starting a box of canned goods (and other essentials) for an emergency, washing windows, finished reading _Alas_Babylon_ (good book, btw), and getting a start on my Samhain exchange gift.
Today I put out most of my autumn decorations, with the exception of a couple that are specifically Samhain/Halloween related. In trying to drape the second of two faux autumn leaf garlands (the first was successfully pinned to my eyelet curtains in my living-room, also pcitured above) atop my kitchen window valance, the bench I was standing on slipped out from under me, dropping me on the sink (not too hard, though I did wind up with my elbow in the dishes soaking in the sink), and I instinctively grabbed for something to keep me from falling, irreperably (sp?) bending the curtian rod. I'd forgotten that DH put some of those felt pads on the bottom of the bench legs, so that it would slide in and out from the table-side more easily. I should have grabbed a couple of rubber gloves from under the sink, and set the bench on them while I climbed. I didn't think about that until AFTER the curtain rod was down. *rolling eyes* I finally just used safety pins over the rod-hooks to hold the garland (instead of simply draping it over , but now I've got to find a new rod for that valance. As it was, I decided the valance could stand a run in the washer with the rest of the laundry I was doing. *sigh* So, now DH will come back from hunting (hopefully with caribou meat for the next year) to find that not only have I gotten a lot done around the house (and still more to do), but to find that I've managed, as usual, to break something as well. *wink*
Last but not least, I had two great reports for Tay on Friday when I went to pick her up from School. Well, actually, one was from her day-care teacher. The woman said Tay is a good girl, very mature & well-spoken. Like conversing with an adult, and she's well behaved. KNOCK ME OVER WITH A FEATHER!!!!! The second was Tay's teacher saying that Tay has been paying attention in class, seems to be doing well with her class work and is understanding most of what is taught, and she's keeping up well with the rest of the class in reading. Just.... WOW!!!!!! Now don't get me wrong, I know Tay's a smart girl, I've always told her so, but she's always had such a hard time keeping up in class (gets distracted easily, for one thing), and she's very physical and frequently forgets that there are physical boundaries that must be recognised between herself and others. So, I've frequently listened to Day-care & School teachers expounding on Tay's bad behavior, but have rarely heard anything glowing about Tay, much less twice in one day. (Though my favorite compliment was last year's teacher commenting on what a born actress Tay is, that she makes a GREAT king -the play she was in- and that she's perfectly imperious!!! Also said she picked up on her lines immediately, and adlibbed quite admirably, to enhance the script.) I must say that I was proud of my little girl. She's growing up, and hopefully finally maturing to acceptable levels of behavior for her age. Not to mention keeping up with her reading!!!!! YEAH!!!!! Now, she still doesn't LOVE to read, but at least she IS reading and is doing well enough that the teacher isn't concerned yet. I'm wondering if she'll still be going to her reading tutor, or not, but we'll find out in the next couple of weeks as the semester really gets going.
Ah well, always must have a little bad with the good (the curtain rod, among all the other things I've accomplished this weekend). So.... You can see _I_ have been busy, what have YOU done this weekend? This coming week will be a short one for me, just Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, before I have Friday & Saturday off again, and then I start into my winter schedual of working Sunday through Thursday. YEAH!!!!!
Have a Blessed Day!