Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Closing time......

But first off, thanks to Heb, and Em, and Bardouble, and Uncle A.... And Mom of course, for the comments over the last couple of posts. Thanks for the support, and the commiseration, and the lovely compliments.

So, right now, I'm sitting here nursing my mug o' chai, and crocheting on a new hat for DD. She misplaced her only hat yesterday morning on the bus, so she's hatless today. I figured that even if she finds that one today, I need to whip up a couple of hats to have around the house for extras. She's got a horrid tendency to misplacing things. I'm not joking when I say she'd lose her head if it wasn't screwed on as tight as it is. She's just forgetful that way.

Now, not that I'm ACTUALLY closing up shop here. Oh no!!!!! It's much too addictive for that. But, we are leaving on Thursday morning, for a few days in Anchorage. Tomorrow I'm going to be one busy bee, washing laundry & dishes and getting the house in order to leave it for a few days. The dogs are going to be cared for by our next door neighbour, J. He's said that he'll even bring Jenny over to his house for a couple of hours a day, to romp & play with his dog Misha. Misha & Jenny are only about a couple of months different in age (Misha was born in the summer, Jenny was born Oct. 31, according to the pound), so they're approx. the same size & weight & energy, though Misha's a pure-bred German Shephard and Jenny is (we think) a Samoyed/Akita mix. Puck is ok to leave loose in the house by himself (providing he's shut out of the bedrooms, and the livingroom/kitchen are picked up well), so we don't have to worry about him being too cooped up. J. also agreed to check our mail for us, so that's taken care of.

I've been printing off directions to various places to visit in Anchorage. Thus far we've got Chuck-E-Cheeses (DD is looking forward to this), the Imaginarium (hands-on-science museum), and the Diamond Mall (home of the only Arby's in Alaska, for DH; Rainbow Earth, a new-age store I want to get to; and Laura's Body & Soul, a bath & body shop that I have loved in the past). If we get over to the 5th Ave mall (where "The Body Shop" is located) that'll be extra. And I'd like to get to some bead shops down there and see what I can find for inspiration. But, Diamond, the Imaginarium and Chuck-E-Cheeses are all places that are on our MUST DO list while we're down there. J. suggested the Anchorage Zoo, of course, but it's a little cold & snowy to be doing that this time of year. Maybe next year we can get down there when it's warmer and a little later into spring or summer.

But, I just wanted to get on and tell everybody GOOD BYE!!!! I have Wed. off work to do the cleaning, we'll leave Thursday morning, and we SHOULD be back sometime on Sunday, time dependant on whether DD's team makes the championship. Then it's back to work on Monday. I'll try to post a little "I'm back" on Monday, at the very least, though details & recaps will probably have to wait till at least Tuesday.

So, If I don't get by your place tomorrow to say goodbye to all my friends, I'll say it now: See you in a week!!!!!!

Have a Blessed Week!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

A Girl...... And her dogs.

Well, I was just going to post a pic of Puck, and how absolutely pathetic he looks, hiding out in that kennel, but DD wanted a pic of her & Jenny, as well, so here ya go. Puck actually ISN'T shut in that kennel. If you look at that door, you can see it's actually standing ajar. But, that's Jenny's kennel (she sleeps in their at night & when we're gone from the house, so as to keep her from chewing things up, or climbing on the furniture). Puck is in there because Jenny has been hording a little piece of rawhide bone for a few weeks now. And though Puck doesn't want to chew on it (or, not very often anyway), he doesn't want Jenny to chew on it either. So, instead of taking it OUT of the kennel and stashing it somewhere (I eventually find it and toss it back in the kennel & shut the door tight), he's decided to get INTO the kennel with it, and guard it THAT way. He's a very sweet & gentle dog, UNLESS there's rawhide (or any other form of bone) around. Then he's very protective of the bone, and incredibly snap-ish. Which is why he doesn't get them very often. One cannot actually take it away from him, you've got to wait till he puts the piece down then gently kick it away from him, before picking it up and removing it. Otherwise you're liable to get your hand bit. So, as I said, he just doesn't get bones that often.
DD is actually dressed up to go to church with the MIL, but found out AFTER she got dressed that MIL is sick (FIL & SIL were sick all last week, and now MIL has it) and won't be going to church after all. So, she's romping around here petting Jenny & getting her clean clothes covered in white dog fur. *sigh*
Have a Blessed Day!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Just some pictures.....

Ok, the first one, yet again, wouldn't flip right-side up for me. *sigh* I just can't seem to figure that trick out, consistently. Anyway.... The first two pics are of DD's messy room (actually, this is looking pretty decent, compared to how it USUALLY looks). Mainly for Em, who was just ranting yesterday about the subjective blind-ness that his kids seem to suffer from. Em: Don't worry, my DD also suffers from this subjective blindness. Subjective deafness as well, really. But, as I said, her room is actually looking somewhat decent right now as we went through it last weekend, weeding out out-grown toys and clothes and other items that were never used or never came out of her toybox anymore.

The other pic is just a little snap-shot of the pasty I made this morning for breakfast (brunch, by the time DD & I got to eat it. In the cookbook that the recipe comes from (_Prairie Home Cooking_) this is listed as "Kringlor" or a "Danish Puff". Either way, it's yummy. It's a flour/butter/water crust. Then you bring 1 stick of butter and 1 c of water to a boil, pour in a cup of flour and whisk to blend completely (should be whisked till all lumps are gone). Cool for 5 minutes then blend in 3 eggs, one at a time, and 1/2 tsp almond extract. Smooth this topping over the crust, and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, finally topping with an almond flavored powder-sugar glaze when cooled.

It's been quite a while since I've shared pics, I figured it was time to do so.

Have a Blessed Day!

Friday, February 23, 2007

I can see clearly now......

Well, not really. My eyesight is as bad as ever. However, good news from the eye Dr today. DD has "eagle eyes" to quote the Dr. Said her left eye is 20/15, and her right eye is 20/20, that there is NO reason that she'll need glasses likely any time soon. He'd like to see her back in a year, and suggested that what HE sees of her eyes, and the way she was reading the letters on the "screen" would indicate that she gets a bit "lazy" and she tries to jump ahead when reading things, not really paying attention to what she's reading, unless somebody else forces her to slow down & pay attention. However, he did say that in a year, if the reading of letters & numbers hasn't gotten better, he'll be happy to help us hunt down a Dr. to test her for dyslexia. Really didn't seem to think that'd be a problem, though, in the long run.

Mom.... Oooh, you would have LIKED this Dr. He is a cutie!!!!! Oooh, man, JUST the kind of guy you've always commented on. Heck, even _I_ thought he was pretty hot. Glad I was able to come across sounding like a normal person, when talking to him, instead of like a complete & utter idiot. He also told DD that he may see her at the 'Nooks game tonight (she & DH are selling frizbees AND programs, actually) and that if he saw her there he'd buy a couple of frizbees from her. When I mentioned his name to DH, you should have seen the shock on HIS face!!!!

DH goes "M. M????"

Me: Yep. That's him.

DH: Really????

Me: Yes!

DH: Oh, I went to school with him!!!!! HE was the eye Dr. she saw today????

Me: YES!

Too funny.

But, in the long run. No glasses. Dr. M. said that DD may never need glasses for near-sightedness, seeing as how her eyes are starting out just a fraction over into far-sightedness. Of course, I realize that so did Shelli's eyes, and she now wears glasses. So.... Maybe, maybe not. I didn't tell DD this though. She was thrilled that she wouldn't need glasses. Oh, and DD got to have her eyes dialated. She thought it was a funky feeling, and she just HAD to try taking the sunglasses off & look toward the sun, when we left the eye clinic. *rolling eyes* Duffus!


Oh, and Mom & Shelli, something else to kinda chuckle over. (Though it sounds mean to say that I'm chuckling, but I am. Just hear me out....)

Dad had to have another blood test yesterday, when he went in for his follow-up on his more recent cholesterol check. Well, when they did the cholesterol check, it took 2 tries to get a draw on him, and it left his arm somewhat bruised. Wasn't an easy experience. (Which, knowing Dad, we all remember how adamant he's always been that needles are NOTHING to worry about, that it doesn't hurt!!!! *rolling eyes*)

So, when he went back to get the results of THAT cholesterol check yesterday, the RN who saw him decided she wanted more labs run, so she ordered another draw. Well, I guess they couldn't get a vein in EITHER of his elbows, so they had to do the draw from the back of his hand. Oooohhhhooo!!!!! He was NOT pleased about that. He was telling me this morning "Gosh, Kati, I thought they'd stuck the needle THROUGH my hand, it hurt so bad. My hand is still sore today. I can't believe how much it hurt to have them draw from the back of my hand!!!!"

THAT is why I was chuckling. He was kinda peevish with me this summer when I was whining about the pain of the IV in the back of my hand. He also got huffy when I had my tonsils out, and when DD was born, because I was cranky about the pain in the backs of my hands on both of THOSE occasions. He's never believed me about how much it HURT. And he FINALLY got to see that it DOES hurt!!!!!!! LOL Yes, I was chuckling! I still find it somewhat ironically funny.


Last but not least, I dropped "the ball" in a bad way this morning.....

No sooner did I get off the computer earlier, than I got a call from the school. From DD's speach-therapy teacher, to be precise. Oh Crap!!!!!! I was supposed to have DD's EIP (or is it IEP?) meeting with her teacher this morning at 8:30. Guess what completely slipped my mind????? Yep. She called at about 10:30 to ask to reschedual or to do it over the phone. So, I owned up. Said I'd really overschedualed myself today, and that this happened to be the thing that got dropped from my memory. I was terribly sorry, and really hope I didn't waste too much of her time. I was prepared to come back in AFTER DD's eye appt. to meet with the teacher, but we just had a chat about it over the phone instead.

The teacher was of the opinion that DD has greatly improved, and while we didn't HAVE to test her early, to possibly test OUT of the program, Mrs. G. thought it may be an option. Was I interested. I told her that while I could see the improvement myself, I was concerned that if we tested her now, and she tested out of the program (if the child's test scores are over the "line" at all, they can no longer stay in the program, they have to be retested again later if they fall back behind) we might lose the benefits that it's given her when she starts 4th grade. Basically that she's doing well now, but EVERYBODY says how much harder 4th will be than 1st, 2nd & 3rd, and right now she's got the support of speach therapy going on, to help her through some of the rougher parts of her learning experience. If she DID test out of it, it would be that much harder to get her back into it (beaurocratically) and that if we removed that support from her now, she may not have the momentum to keep improving over 4th grade. Mrs. G. understand and agreed with the possibility of my concerns and said that in such case, she's got no problem with keeping DD in the program and testing her at the next schedualed testing time (Dec. of this coming year). So, she'll be staying in speach therapy for now.

However, one of the skills that she's been working on will no longer be a focus. It seems that one of the skills that the speach therapy teacher has been instilling in DD is the ability to read directions & pinpoint the most important details of a set of instructions/directions, and repeat them back. Critical thinking: What is most important in this set of instructions/directions. And Understanding: this is precisely what must be done. But, Mrs. G. seems to think that DD is to the point where she no longer must be made to talk through the directions, turn them around & verbalize the most valuable points of such. For the most part I agree. Then again, there are days when I wonder if she understands directions at all. ;)


After the eye appt. DD and I went to the Shopper's Forum & got me a daily planner (see above comments about dropped balls & forgotten appts) and her a root-beer float. LOL Ok, and I got 2 yummy Macadamia nut/White-choco-chip cookies, too. ;)

Then we came home, I went to pop a freezer pizza into the oven, for dinner tonight, tossed a loaf of garlic-bread in with it, and proceeded to burn the garlic-bread to a crisp. So, we're only getting pizza for dinner tonight. *sigh* I'm still hungry, and really wishing for a salad, though. *BIG sigh* Ah well.

So, WOW!!! Two posts in one day. Mom & Shelli, hope that gives you a bit of an update how things went today. Mom I know that you were esp. concerned about her eyes and the possibility of a learning disorder there. We'll keep an eye on things, but between Dr. A.'s appt last week, and the appt. with Dr. M today..... I think we'll hold off with anything more for now. Let's see how things work, with making the adjustments we know need to be made (St. John's Wort for the mood swings) and keeping an eye on her eyes. Besides, this is going to be a whole NEW crap-load of Dr's bills. *wry laugh*

Have a Blessed Day!

Just an update.....

Just to let y'all know that I'm still here.... Just busy, as usual.

The temps have dropped out again. This morning it's approximately -40 deg. F. And ice-foggy. Not terribly bad ice-fog, but it's there, and it's unpleasant, and I've gotta get gas in my car today. *pout* The temps are rising a bit during the day, as the sun rises, then falling again as the sun sets, but it's still not getting warmer than about -15 deg. F. at the warmest part of the day. *sigh* I guess it means I'll be wearing my long-johns to fill up my car.

DD has her second Dr's appointment today. This time it's an eye appt. She's never had one before, and she's nervous that she's going to get glasses. She's had some problems with reading & math, recognising her letters & numbers, and we're hoping that the problem is simply that she's a bit far-sighted and a pair of reading glasses will solve the problem. If that doesn't prove to be the issue, then we'll have to go a little further afield for an answer..... Possibly dyslexia, on a minor scale, or some-such. I don't know. But her teachers, DH & myself, and her reading tutor have all noticed that she has issues recognizing those letters & numbers. It makes it hard to read & perform basic math skills, really. So, we'll see.... Keeping our fingers crossed for as simple a fix as reading glasses. DD, of course, dreads the thought of wearing glasses. But we remind her that it would only be for reading at this point, and at least she doesn't have to wear them ALL THE TIME like I, my mom, my dad, my middle sis, my MIL & FIL, and supposedly my baby sis must. Even my SIL is supposed to wear glasses. She refuses though. DH is actually the only one who mustn't wear glasses at this point. But, seeing as he's 32 at this point, he'll need glasses in only a few more years himself. Certainly by the time DD graduates HS, DH will be getting glasses. Maybe only reading glasses at that point, but it happens to the best of us, that's for sure. So, DD's been assured that it's not only common in both families, but that it's not an absolute necessity for her at this point, at least. I mean, if I take off my glasses, the words on the computer-screen are blury, simply sitting in my computer chair. So, her eyes certainly aren't that bad, at least. She's lucky, as I got my first pair of glasses when I was only about a year older than she is now, and I've had to wear them all the time, ever since.....

Anyway, that is our plan for today.

Then DH & DD have some sort of fund-raiser to go to tonight for DD's hockey team. (I think it's selling programs at a college hockey game.) DH has just informed me I won't be going (or, at least, I won't be driving my car to it, meeting him in town after work) due to the extreme temps. Ok, can't say as I'm sorry about that. My car heats up very poorly (don't know why, it just does, we've checked everything possible to solve the problem and still can't figure it out), so I'm not terribly upset over not sitting in a cold car for two trips to town today.


Really, other than that, just been busy with work. We had a nasty-crazy day on Tuesday. Evidently between the fact that we were closed on Monday for President's Day, and that all the kids had Tuesday off school for Parent/Teacher conferences, EVERYBODY in town was in the library for books (or to return books). A friend in the children's room at 8 pm had 96 queries on her tally-keeper, for the day. (That's not JUST her, but during the course of the day, on that ONE tally counter, there are 2 at that desk. But that WAS only 8 pm, with still one hour to go before we closed.) She said that the highest she'd ever seen, on what had previously been busy days for them, was about 55 or 60 queries for the day. So, 96 queries at 8 pm, is a lot. And that was just in the children's room. That's not including the patrons at the Circulation desk, or the Reference desk. And they ALL must come through the check-out desk (which is the desk us Pages staff). And we were down by 2 pages on Monday. We only have 7 of us that usually work on Mondays (if Monday is a holiday, I work my Monday hours on Tuesday), and 2 of those people were out. And 4 of THOSE people are only part-timers. So, it started out with only KO, and DB. PW was supposed to be there at 12:15 at the same time I was, and close down with me, but she was out sick. CM was also supposed to be there, except her schedual would conflict with her hubby's schedual, and since he makes more than she does (per hour), she had to stay home with the kiddos (since they don't have a reliable baby-sitter). I got there at 12:15. Then DB got off at 2, at the same time that AH was arriving for work. So between 2 and 6, it was ONLY AH, KO, and myself. Then KO & AH got off for the night, and ME got there to help me close for the night, though normally she would have been there earlier in the day. It was frantic.

Not only did we have loads of patrons coming in, all day long, but all the media & books they were returning, as well. (And, I've gotta say this, at least it was a GOOD day, attitude wise. Even though we were run off our feet, everybody was in a fairly good mood. No real patron problems that day.) I sleeved probably 300 DVDs, during the course of the day. (We keep the DVD cases out on the shelves for perusing, but the actual disks are in number-coded sleeves behind the check-out desk, and are only placed back in the cases once the DVD has been checked out to the patron. Keeps us from losing so many to theft.) And the book-bin overflowed a couple of times. I don't think any of us got any REAL shelving done. (Though AH did do a cart of DVDs & VHS, only because we ran out of room for them on our shelves in the Circ-workroom. Even then we also re-loaded a cart with DVDs but didn't get it shelved.) By the time I got off the desk (for the last time) at 7:30, and did my pick-up (for which I picked up over 30 mags and 90+ books on the first go-round), all the shelves in the work-room had stacks of books on the floor in front of them. Books that wouldn't fit on the shelves above. And all the shelving carts were full of books that had been placed on them for shelving the next day.

Well, got in on Wed. at Noon, and I was up at the desk right off the bat (we generally only take 1 hour shifts at the check-out desks, so that no one person gets burnt out, and hopefully we also get shelving done during the day). So, I went out at my usual 2 to 3 minutes before the hour. (I try to get to my workplace at least 10 minutes early so that I can get changed out of my outdoor gear, get my lunch put in the freezer, chit-chat with my coworkers, etc, and still be a couple of minutes early to start at the desk if that's my first duty of the day.) Well, LG was at the desk, and absolutely frantic. She saw me step behind the desk, looked at the clock & saw that it was actually 3 before noon, and snapped that I was early and I shouldn't be standing there doing nothing. I replied that I KNOW I was early, I wasn't "on the clock" till noon, but I generally try to get out to the desk a couple of minutes early if possible. So as to receive any details about patrons or books that must be passed on with the "changing of the guard". She responded something about how upset our supervisor was about the number of books to be shelved that day, and that she (supervisor) would jump on anyone of us who appeared to not be working, so I mustn't stand around aimlessly. I reminded LG that I was there to take over, and a couple of minutes early no less, so I WASN'T standing around aimlessly. Or, I wouldn't be if LG got out of my way and let me do my job. That kinda shut LG up.

Well, after my shift at the check-out desk (which was considerably less franticly paced than the previous day, but still a steady flow of people, and plenty of books to check in) was over, I was on the schedual to be back-up for the next person at the desk. That usually means that I spend 1 hour emptying the media bin, and checking in that media; helping at the check-out desk if a line of more than 3 or 4 patrons builds; and checking in what books I can, in the mean-time. On slow days, back-up is permitted to shelve (new books, or media, preferably) while keeping an eye on the check-out desk in case things speed up. As we had SOOOOO many books to shelve on Tuesday, "Super" deemed that all of us pages should focus our energies on only shelving books, and not worry about checking in (unless we were currently at the check-out, in which case we usually have a cart of books for check-in if the pace is slow out there) or emptying the media & book bins. The Circulation assistants would pick up the slack there, so that we pages could get as many books shelved as possible. That was certainly fine by me, esp. considering Super made arrangements for us to have help with the other, less essential duties.

Well, LG was rather freaked out by the number of books to be shelved and kept snapping about how NOBODY is supposed to be cheking those books in, or goofing off, if "Super" catches us, we'll get fired..... "Freak, FREAK, FREAK!" (Not that I think that LG actually shelved any books, she was out re-arranging shelves, and kept disappearing to mess with supposed other duties. LG is NOT a supervisor, or even Senior Page -that would be KO- but is a normal Circ page just like the rest of us, and per instructions SHOULD have been shelving, not focussing on her other 'less necessary' duties. But, she's got this idea that she's somehow superior to the rest of us, and because she's such a kiss-ass, the boss generally lets her get away with it.) She was so wired & freakish about the shelving issue, that the rest of us were getting antzy & rather snap-ish, just being around her.

She (LG) actually YELLED at AH, when AH saw the book-bin start to over-flow & stopped putting a cart of books together long enough to unload the book-bin. Reminded AH that if "Super" saw AH messing with the books, instead of shelving, AH was GOING to get fired, and to leave it alone as it wasn't our assigned duty for the day. (Not that AH was anywhere near tears, she was closer to finding a spare shelf & knocking LG over the head with it, instead.) LG actually had the nerve to snap at _ME_ for doing my job the way I've been instructed (by our boss!), and started telling me that oversize books were to be specially set aside for LG herself to check in (remember, we're not supposed to be checking in!) instead of placed on the table with the rest of the to-be-checked-in books. I ever-so-sweetly told her that not EVERYBODY does it HER way, and that even KO and "Boss Lady" have instructed me to do it JUST the way I was. That rather shut LG up, finally.

So, yesterday (Thursday), I went ahead & talked to MeB (the public relations person, who also happens to be a supervisor along with "Super", "Super" & MeB are senior to "Boss-Lady" who is currently on vacation) about LG's attittude the day before. We generally cannot do anything in defense of LG, because "Super" & "Boss Lady" are so blinded by LG's kiss-ass ploys to believe that their darling could be wrong, Ever. But, seeing as how "Boss Lady" isn't there, MeB became the next in line to make a complaint to (not to mention, she's just a nicer & easier-to-talk-to person all around than either Super or Boss Lady) about LG's behavior. I told MeB that LG was so worked up & frantic that she was stressing the rest of us out, that she'd snapped at me & yelled at AH, and that the way she was fretting about Super's directions to shelve instead of check-in, were coming across as a lot more stringent & threatening than Super may have actually intended them. Of COURSE I stressed to Meb that I didn't want LG to get into trouble, but that I though I needed to say something about her behavior, so she could be reminded about how strongly she comes across sometimes. I don't like making waves at work (I really don't!) but too many times LG has gone behind the backs of the rest of us, and brought MUCH pettier complaints to Super & Boss Lady, and wound up getting the rest of us chewed out. But, as I said, Boss Lady & Super are so blinded by LG's kiss-assy-ness that they won't accept anybody else's complaints about LG's pushy-ness & stressing. MeB doesn't think badly of LG, but she's also not blinded by LG's general kiss-ass nature. So, MeB was suitably concerned over hearing about LG's behavior the day before, and she said she'd talk to LG about it later. I'm guessing she'll talk to CF, EC, AH, and ME about LG, see if they noticed LG's attitude on Tuesday, as well. Knowing CF & EC (both of whom have been on the recieving end of LG's bad attitude in the past, frequently) and AH (who won't hesitate to let MeB know what LG was like on Tues.).... I'm guessing LG gets a talking to (even if it IS a nice one) by MeB, and hopefully even Super is made aware of LG's behavior on Tuesday. (Esp. considering LG's frantic reminders to the rest of us about how angry Super was about the over-flow of books, and LG's constant threats that we'd get fired if Super saw us doing anything but shelving. That doesn't make Super look good, either. And it SURE doesn't promote employee loyalty, the constant threat of being fired, even if that threat is coming second-hand.)

Oy, so that was Wednesday. I had hoped, when I went in Wed. morning, that it would be laid back & relatively stress-free, after how frantic Tuesday had been. Thanks to LG, it wasn't. Oh, it was fine once we got out into the shelves with a cart of books & away from LG's raving, but thanks to how high-strung LG was, the whole mood on Wed. was rather stress-full. Thankfully, yesterday (Thursday) was rather laid back. We were still doing a lot more shelving than anything else, but LG had finally calmed down, and Super had commented on how much better our Work-room shelves looked & that we could go back to our other duties as well, as time permitted. But, DANG am I glad to be off today. This week (even being a rather short week) was just TOO stressful.

I remember how quiet & relaxed it was out here at the NPB library, when I worked there a few years ago. My job felt almost meditative most days. And I was generally the ONLY page working (NPB is so small that it needs only 3 pages with only 10 hours each per week), so I didn't have personality conflicts with the other pages. I was often left to myself as my duties allowed, and I was able to get into such a rhythm, that I just automatically knew what would need my attention most that day, and I was able to get a LOT accomplished, without a lot of stress (most of the time). It's nice, having a rhythm. It was nice knowing that Tuesday would be the busiest, after being closed for the weekend. That I'd have a lot of checking in first thing, and would probably only get one cart of books shelved. Then Wed morning would be busy with Pre-school story time, but by noon it would slow down & I could get to shelving another cart of books. Thursdays were always rather laid back, with no programs, and I could get magazines out, new books weeded (once a month), and a couple of carts shelved in my 3 hours. Then, of course, my week was over. But I knew just how it would go the next week. There was that rhythm. Made it the PERFECT first job! And it gave me just enough hours (when I only needed a few hours a week) to come out of my shell & learn to be around people more. It gave me a chance to work on my people skills, without over-stressing me.

Probably why I do better than some of my current coworkers in my personal-relations at my current library position. LG & CF are not really people-people. A kid starts swinging on the directional gates coming & out of the library, and the kid gets yelled at by them. I can generally give them "the look" and ever-so-sweetly remind them that the gate isn't strong enough for hanging on, and please stop doing so before it breaks & they get hurt. (I've gotten compliments on my handling, actually!) And I'm able do to so without hurting the feelings of their parents. And when that pre-teen brat is shaking the tree, just to see what I'll do..... Dang, that's when I LOVE the "Stern Mom look" I've developed. (Unfortunately it doesn't work as well on DD as it does the kids at the library.) And that "Stern Mom Look" is often all I need. I'm happy to say that as much as I tend to be a hermit, I've been told by the library director how welcoming & friendly I appear when patrons come & go. I make them feel like they're welcome to be there, I'm not (normally) afraid to correct behavior when I see it (talking on cell phones IN the library!) but I'm not nasty or overly-stressed about it. And it comes across, evidently. I've gotta say, I'm proud of that.


I was "invited" to a Women's "Retreat" at Dad's church this weekend. It's supposed to start tonight. The woman from church who called was so desirous that I be there because "Kati, I think this would REALLY bless you, you'd get SOOOO much out of it." Of course, it's 20 dollars to attend (money that I'm saving for Anchorage), it'd be giving up my weekend to sit in church & listen to two out-of-towners talk about my relationship with God. And I'm just not feeling like it. Of course these ladies from church have no idea that my spiritual focus is much more on the feminine these days. I've spent 20+ of my 28 years focusing on the Christian God, to the exclusion of the divine feminine. I can't always get out of going to church with my Dad (keeps him from nagging quite so much, if I go every now & again, when I'm not at work), but I see no reason to give up my weekend to listen to two women that I don't know speak endlessly about my need for a stronger relationship with their patriarchal diety. And these events tend to be much more fundamentalist than even the pastor on a Sunday morning. Which makes it that much harder for me to stomach. Sorry, just don't see how I can worship a God that's made it clear (through such prophets as Paul, and the guys in the old testement) that women are to be subjected to men. That women aren't supposed to teach men. That wives are supposed to be subservient to their hubby's in order to be properly following God's will for our lives. Often espousing such beliefs that I was created for no other reason than to serve my husband and to be mother to his children. (Did I mention that most of the ladies at that church have no idea that I've had my tubes tied after only 1 child??? *wink*)

And, as I said, I'm not spending 20 bucks to go listen to that for both days of my weekend. I've got better things to do. And I'm really not feeling like continuing to build a relationship with an extremely patriarchal diety & abandoning my relationship-building with my Divine Mother. 20+ years focused on the Father, the Mother deserves my attention now.

Not to say that I don't acknowledge & accept the existance of a male diety, but the Christian diety is so contratictory, that even if I WASN'T focusing on the feminine, I am not comfortable focusing on the god that the Christians believe in. The nature of Jesus Christ, whom I certainly appreciate, at the very least -even if choose not to emulate him, and of the god Yawheh, are very contradictory and at odds with each other. And really, I believe that there are probably more gods being discussed seeing as how often El is referenced. Having done some reading (both of the bible and of other texts) I really doubt that the origional old-testement writers were talking about the same "guy" when they talked about El and Yahweh. And the natures of these two "gods" are rather different as well.

Though, not having the reference materials in front of me, and not being THAT well versed, I couldn't really explain how. So don't pressure me. Suffice it to say, the last several years of serious Christian-based Study (before I faced facts that I wouldn't even qualify as "christian" any more) left me very uncomfortable with the way Christians approached God (and Jesus). And when I started discovering more about the Feminine divine, it opened my eyes to how flawed the christian view of God is and how much more there is to discover. And it's not at all "Satanic" as Christians are fond of ranting. Certainly no goddess I've discovered is any more malicious than Yahweh is recorded to have been in the old testiment. At least the Goddesses that DO have an obvious Dark side (Kali, Pele, Diana/Artemis) are wont to be open about their dark natures as their lighter natures. Goddess-worship tends to accept that there are two sides to that coin. Where as Christianity likes to look at the dark nature of God, and talk about eternal damnation if you don't do JUST as he says, but don't like to actually acknowledge that dark nature, instead talking about how God is Light, that their God can't do any wrong. (And again, more contradiction, as Satan is also refered to as the Prince of Light. Makes you wonder that Christians don't see Yahweh/Satan as often two sides of the same coin. And even if Yahweh & Satan aren't just different names for the SAME side of the coin, and El/Jesus are more names for the other side of that coin. I don't know..... So many thoughts & ideas that I toss around in my head, but have a hard time expressing them coherently.)

Suffice it to say, I'm blowing off the darn Women's Retreat tonight. I've got no interest in going. And there's a HUGE part of me that really can't wait till Dad leaves town & I can stop pretending to care about church at all. Because I really don't. At least not the fundamentalist churches. Though I am still curious, at times, about the local UU church. Seeing as my friend from the Children's Room at the library attends the UU church, I'm even more tempted to check it out. I just wish it wasn't so danged far away. It's over on the FAR side of town, almost as far from where I live as you can get, and still be in the same borough. Really wish there was a UU congregation closer to home. Oh well..... I guess I'll just keep on being Solitary then, and keep studying and learning for myself.


Anyway...... I've now written a book (Ms. Christiansen would be proud!) so I'll stop. I'd only meant this to be an update, but..... Wow. What a busy week. I guess there was really no way to talk about what a busy week it's been, work-wise, WITHOUT writing a book. LOL

I hope the rest of y'all have had a more mild week, and are looking forward to a relaxing weekend.

Have A Blessed Day!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Well & Truly....

Well, DD had her "well child" Dr's appt. on Friday, and her cholesterol check. Maybe I should call it "well adolescent" Dr's appt.??? Because Dr. A. said that DD is well & truly an young-adolescent girl. The acne, the BO, the mood-swings, and yep, even breast-buds. *sigh* Dr. A said we've got maybe 2 more years before DD starts menstruating, which will put DD at only about 4 months younger than I was when I started, IF DD starts at that age (though as active as she is, it may push her start-date a little later than that). So, that's not really young, I guess. It only seems younger because DD is in third grade, where as I was in 4th grade when I started my adolescent changes. And THAT has more to do with how our birthdays fall in the year, than anything.

And, Dr. A. suggested I check with my insurance about getting the Guardisil vaccine for DD, providing insurance will cover it. I'm all for it. I know that my paternal grandmother dealt with cervical cancer a couple of times in her life, so there's family history there. And I know that even if a person is sexually safe, HPV can still be passed through other unsanitary means (using an improperly cleaned toilet that somebody with HPV has peed on, for one). And, I feel that even if DD DOES at some point choose an unsafe sexual experience, I'd like there to be one less risk for her. I've had people tell me, in regards to the vaccine, that if she gets this vaccine then maybe she'll be more promiscuous. As far as I'm concerned, promiscuous or not, I don't want to be commiting my daughter, at 10, to a lot of suffering down the road for refusing this vaccine on the grounds of possible promiscuity as she grows older. It's not like this cures against ALL STDs, but it takes precautions against 1 of them, anyway. And one of them that isn't ALWAYS caused by promiscuity. I'm not a big believer in looking my daughter in the face in another 7 years and going "oh, you've got HPV and you're having the warts frozen off next weekend??? Well, I COULD have done something to prevent that when you were 10, but I chose not to in case you were had unprotected sex as a teenager, and now that you've done it, you can just suffer the consequences." Naw.... I think I'll hope & pray insurance covers Guardisil, and if they do, have my daughter in for the shot-series as soon as I can set up the appts. (Oh, and for the record, DH is grumpy that I'm in favor of this vaccine, considering DD is only 9-1/2 now and he doesn't want to think that it may ever be necessary for his baby girl, and why are they wanting to do it at 9, why can't they wait till the girls are 16 and actually sexually active. I just remind him that it's better to prevent than treat, and considering the trouble even young teens are getting into these days, 9 is NOT too young.)

So, along with this, I'm taking measures to get DD prepared for other aspects of adolescence. Such as bras. The Dr. did suggest to DD the other day that as she's physically active in sports, she WILL need to find a couple of sports-bras to wear when exercising, before much longer. So, at Freddy's last night, I was looking at them. DD is very adamantly opposed to them at this point, and I can't really say as I blame her. But, I reminded her that she's a lot more active than I was at her age (or, even more active than I am now), and when it becomes uncomfortable to NOT be wearing one, she needs to know that it's ok to need it.

Same goes for pads. I've started talking to her about the eventual need to start carrying a cosmetic-baggy in her back-pack containing an extra pair of panties and a couple of pads. And we'll look into some cosmetic-type products for her (de-greasers and maybe a tube of cover-up) to have along as well. I don't want her going into this "adventure" unprepared. And of course, DH is freaked by this. He keeps saying "well, Dr. A. said it'll be 2 more years before we need to think about this." I keep reminding him that she didn't say it WILL be 2 more years, but that probably WITHIN the next 2 years, DD will likely start menstruating, and we don't want to wait till AFTER she starts menstruating to do anything about it. That's a sure-fire way for a girl to wind up VERY embarassed in front of class-mates. And as much as it may frustrate DH to think that HIS little girl is becoming a young woman, and much faster than he wants to admit, it IS happening, and I know what it's like to not have a lot of correct info on how to cope, BEFORE the time is THERE.

(Sorry Mom! You were really TOO matter of fact, not really instructing me on the PROPER way to shave so I didn't cut myself, or to wash my face, or to prevent smelly-ness.)

So, I'm being proactive. I don't think that's a bad thing. At the store last night I grabbed a pretty-blue leather cosmetic-bag for DD, and DH asked what it was for. I told him that it's so she can carry a travel-size deotorant, a comb, and eventually an extra pair of panties & a couple of pads with her. He bristled when I said the last 2 items. I also reminded him that we've got a trip to Anchorage coming up, and she'll need it for her shampoo, deotorant & perfume even in a couple of weeks, and he calmed back down when I reminded him of that. I don't know what it is, but he's freaking out about this whole adolescence thing. I don't remember my dad being that upset when I hit that age. He was rather matter-of-fact about it as well, not blinking an eye when I blushingly told him what I needed him to pick up for me on his next trip to the Commisary. Maybe he freaked a little bit "off camera" but I never saw him be noticably wigged out about me becoming a "young lady". It was just part of life. And maybe it was partly because he always wanted girls, he was mentally prepared for us to reach adolescence, I don't know....

Anyway..... So, we're at "that stage" now, and no mistaking. And Dr. A. did agree that trying DD on St. John's Wort certainly couldn't hurt, in an attempt to relieve some of the worst of the mood-swings. So now we're adding that to her daily routine. And DANG, DH flipped again when he saw the price on those things, and considered that we were buying them for a daughter that he doesn't even want to admit may actually need them. At Freddy's, they were 12.99 for a bottle of 160 gel-caps. DD is supposed to take 2, twice a day. I'm thinking we'll try just 1 dose a day, instead of two. DD is technically STILL a child, and if it's looking like it isn't helping, then we can try two doses a day, for now we'll stick with one.


On somewhat a somewhat seperate subject, DD is now only 6 inches shorter than I am, and she's finally down to the 95% weight percentile. She's ALWAYS been off the charts, weight-wise. But she's finally on that 95% line. So, YEAH!!!!

And the cholesterol blood-test went fairly well, as well. We got in there & they sat DD in this curtained-in chair, with the little "arm-rest tables", well I decided to go OUTSIDE the curtain, and have my hand on her back from behind the curtain so that I couldn't see the needle. I had hoped that it would keep me from having a panic-attack. Not so. Nope. Even though I couldn't see them sticking DD, I still started going white, and getting "tunnel-vision" and ringing in the ears, and clammy, and somewhat short of breath. In fact, I was talking with the secretary, who's desk was just a few steps outside the curtained alcove, and she said that all the sudden I lost ALL color in my face and she goes "do you need to lay down???? Are you going to be ok????" I told her that No, I'll be fine, but that needles freak me out, and even the thought seemed to be doing me in. But, she insisted I take her chair & sit down there while having my hand on DD's back through a gap in the curtain.

Well, then the first lab tech stuck DD and DD jerked at the last second, resulting in the lab tech poking all the way through the vein. DD didn't cry at all, but she did whimper just a bit. Well, that lab tech was shaken by it, so she insisted another woman take over and do the next try. Not that the first lab tech was horrid or anything, but the second lab tech started talking hockey with DD, and turns out that her bro. played for our local Junior A. team when they first came up, so she was able to chit-chat about hockey with DD right through the blood-draw, which served very well to take DD's mind off the actual sticking, and once they had the needle in, the actual draw was over within a minute. She did very good, only a whimper on the first try, and just a "dang, that stings" sort of comment the second try.

But _I_ had an audience of lab-techs keeping an eye on me. (I had the secretary in front of me, another lab tech sitting in a chair just behind me to my left, and a third that I didn't notice till DD was done, behind me to my right.) They even offered ME juice when they gave DD a juice-box. *wry laugh* I told them that I'd be fine if I sat in the waiting area & sipped my water bottle for a bit. After about 10 minutes of that (and DD was having a late snack of a apricot/macadamia-nut bar & the juice box) I was over my panic-attack & well enough to drive. And the walk out into the fresh air helped clear my head the rest of the way. LOL Of course we called DH at work on our way home from the clinic, and DD got to tell her Daddy all about me almost passing out as SHE was getting the blood test, and that she didn't cry a bit. They had a bit of a chuckle at my expense, called me a wuss, and told DD that she is definitely his girl, getting through 2 sticks with only a whimper. LOL Ah well, I'd rather her be her Daddy's girl, when it comes to blood-tests & IV's, than take after me. And try as I might to be stoic, I just can't do it. It's that whole psycological thing. Even writing about it, I've gotten shaky & a little bit antzy. That's just how I am. I can handle shots (providing I don't look while they're prepping the needle, and I don't get myself worked up before hand), but blood-tests & IVs totally flip me out. Hell, the last time I had a blood-test (one bigger than a finger-stick, which also makes me panic), was when I was in labor with DD. I know I should get my cholesterol checked, and probably even be tested for diabetis, but there's no way in hell I'll do that until they're willing to give me laughing gas for 10 minutes before the draw, and during the draw itself. That's the only way I can manage to NOT freak when they stick me.

So, that's the update, mainly for my Mom & middle Sis. But we all read each-others blogs more often than we talk on the phone. And they're both busy bees this weekend, the Sis with a Plato Seminar, and Mom with a trip to Kuai with some friends. So, here it is for their future perusal, and for anybody else who cares. LOL

Have a Blessed Day!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Just can't forget.....

Well, before I begin THIS post, want to say Thanks to Whim, Em, and Wiz, for the sympathy over the math homework, even if none of y'all are any better at math than I am. ;)

Whim has been posting about forgiving & letting go, and while my sitch is no where NEAR as major or traumatic as hers, I've just gotta post about something DH came home & asked last night...

So, we're planning this trip to Anchorage at the end of the month for DD's hockey tournament, and we've got the hotel room reserved, and DH is getting his new taneau (sp?) cover put on the truck today, so we've got somewhere to stash the gear & the luggage. And we're trying to figure out what to do about our mutts. Puck can be left outside in his kennel while we're gone, and we can ask the next-door neighbour to come over & feed him & water him & give him some attention. And Puck will be ok with that. Heck, if J. wants to take Puck for a walk, Puck even does good with that. He walks very well on a leash. He's a well mannered dog, except for chewing up things that appear to have food in them, or have had food in them recently. ;)

Jenny, on the other hand, is an inside dog. And she sleeps in a pet-carrier sort of kennel. That's her "safe spot". And we're somewhat unsure about what to do about her. I mean, she's a good dog, even if she also likes chewing on things she shouldn't. (Mom, forgot to tell you last night, Jenny most recently took one of the lower corners off my hope chest. So she no longer sleeps in our room, she's back to being confined to her kennel at night as well.) But she's hyper. Which is why my dad isn't really up to taking her for the 4 or 5 days we'll be gone. She gets along well with his dog, Shiloh, but they spend all their time together mauling each other. And Dad (and I agree) seems to think that during the hours Jenny would be out of her kennel, neither she nor Shiloh would get to eat, or relax..... And Dad has to work as well, so he wouldn't be home & awake for long stretches of time....

Well, the other option is to ask J., who's a retiree and home quite a bit. And he's got quite a way with dogs. Very good at training them, without breaking their spirit. Maybe he'd be willing to "adopt" Jenny for a few days, as well as keeping an eye on Puck for us. I don't know. We need to ask. (As a matter of fact, I should do that today.)

Well, so back to the subject of being unable to forgive & forget. My FIL suggested to DH yesterday that we seriously consider letting the SIL stay here while we're gone, and baby-sit the dogs.

Um........... Right off, I wanted to shout NO, and be done with it. No, no questions asked, no way in hell, just NO! But, I knew that wouldn't cut it for DH.

You see, his sister is a drug addict. She's clean at the moment. (And almost 2 months this time, which is not the LONGEST she's been clean, but her attitude this time seems different than the other times. Like she REALLY doesn't want a relapse this time.) She's got a crystal meth habit that's caused serious problems for her, for her boys, for her on-again-off-again relationship with the boy's Dad. And it's almost landed her @$$ in jail. Which may or may not be the best thing that could happen to her. But, for now, she's clean. And she's working 2 different jobs as a bar-tender at 2 different establishments, but doesn't drink so that she can drive herself to & from her jobs. Ok. That's great. Now let's get to why I don't want her staying in my home, esp. while I'm not here.

She's spent the last 5 years badmouthing me to the MIL and around town. Spreading rumors about me, telling everybody who knows me what an idiot I am. (Just the fact that I graduated HS and she didn't and I've had the ability to stay away from drugs, even while I've had the chances to do them, makes me shake my head ironically to this sort of gossip & slander from her.) She started verbally abusing DD as well as myself in her last couple of months of pregnancy with the older nephew. DD was 4-1/2 at the time, and after visits with the SIL would cry & ask why her Auntie D. didn't love her any more. And after the nephew was born, would cry when summarily pushed away from the baby, and yelled at for trying to give him a kiss or anything. As much as she's hated (for this reason) having younger cousins (and been adamant that she doesn't want a younger sibling, which is fine with me), she's always been very good with babies, and even her day-care providers wax poetic about how much of a help she is with the little ones. So, almost 5 years of verbal & emotional abuse from the SIL, and she's never apologized, or expressed any sorrow.

In fact, she seems to think (as does the MIL) that every time she gets clean and has a GOOD visit, we should automatically forgive & forget her bad behavior.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I want her to be locked up for the rest of her life, and the key thrown away, and DD never to see her Auntie again. But, I don't want her staying in my house. I REALLY don't want her staying in my house, with MY dogs, with MY possessions, while I'm not here.

I chose to express my reasoning for this, last night, on her short stint of being clean, thus far. I told DH that while SIL is doing good, and seems sobered up (physically, mentally & emotionally), it's certainly NOT unheard of for addicts to steal from folks who've got pawnable things, in order to get the money for another fix. I told DH that while I'd hope that SIL won't relapse, I'm not sure I'm willing to have her come in & have access to our house & our belongings, knowing what could be pawned in 5 days time, without supervision. I told him that if she'd been clean for a year, and her attitude were still as sober as it is now, I may have a different reaction. But right now, I'm not comfortable giving her un-impeded access to my home & my belongings.

But, try as I might to explain it to him, he doesn't seem to get the emotional aspect of this for me. He knows (he's heard her) about her emotional abuse of DD & I in the past. And he knows she's never apologized for it. But, like his parents, if she's behaviong well now, then we should be willing to forgive & forget her past mis-behavior & abuse, and give her the benefit of the doubt, no holds barred. That may be fine for the inlaws. If they want to handle her past abuses of them that way.... Go for it. It's their mental & emotional well-being, not mine. But, I'm not like that. And I know I could get comments from some people (including MIL) about "Jesus said, turn the other cheek".... Ya know..... I'm not Jesus. I don't profess to be Jesus. And quite honestly, I'd fight tooth & nail if somebody was trying to string me up & nail me to a tree. Turning the other cheek..... Not so much.

I won't bring up past indiscretions to SIL's face, because I know it wouldn't do any good anyway, and I don't want to hurt DH's feelings. But privately, and even to DH behind-the-scenes, I have no problem putting MY mental & emotional health before SIL's mental & emotional health. DH even gets upset when I talk about standing up to SIL for myself & DD, because he's worried about his sister's feelings getting hurt. At christmas, when I bought an extra gift for DD, in case SIL "forgot" to get her a gift again, DH yelled at me over how upset his mom & sis would be, if I pulled it out of my bag & gave it to DD in front of them. I reminded him that if they're so immature & callous to forget to get DD a gift, then they don't deserve to have their feelings protected. But that, as a child (as MY child) my first concern is Her. I'm not out to protect MIL & SIL from getting hurt. I'm not their parent. I'm DD's mom, and SHE is my first concern. And I even reminded him that DD should be HIS first concern, seeing as SHE is his daughter. That SIL is a grown up and can fend for herself. It didn't wind up being necessary, to have that extra gift for DD. MIL & SIL did "remember" to get her a gift. And that extra I bought when back into my closet for future parties or something. But the point is there, DD & her feelings are my first concern, MIL & SIL's feelings come a lot further down the list.

And even if she did apologize tomorrow for her past behavior toward DD & I, I still wouldn't be willing to allow her to stay in my home, unsupervised, for 5 days. Because whether or not she ever recognizes & apologizes for the pain she's caused DD & I, she's still a drug-addict, and she's still not been clean for very long, in the scheme of things. (And she's got to apologize to BOTH of us. Apologizing to just me, or just DD, won't cut it. She hurt both of us, she needs to apologize to both of us.)

Anyway...... SOOOOOO minor a reason to be unwilling to forgive somebody, as compared to other people's problems. And not just Whim, but my Mom, and other friends (online & offline). I feel petty, being unwilling to forgive, but on the other hand, I feel that if I forgive then I've said that it doesn't matter, what she did. That it's ok that she's done this. And it's not. It's not ok, the way she acted to DD & I. And I won't forget, and I may not ever forgive. I don't wish her harm, or act uncivil toward her. But I protect my own, both my own health, and my own daughter's health. And for that matter, the safety of my home & my pets. That comes first, for me.

Ok, ranting done. I actually feel like I've gotten it off my chest, now. Not that I don't still feel the need for DH to understand. But at least, in typing this up, in publishing this post, I will have gotten out in the open (somewhere!) my feelings toward SIL.

Have a Blessed Day!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

When It Rains, It Pours......

Just had another one of "THOSE" moments, a bit ago.... While getting DD's lunch pulled together from our "pantry" in the laundry-room, I noticed that the freezer door wasn't sealed. So, I push it shut, thinking that maybe it'd not gotten shut all the way while DH was in there this morning, getting a TV dinner out. Nope, popped right back "open". So, I opened it up and looked around, trying to surmise what may be keeping the door from sealing properly.... I don't SEE anything that looks like it's pushing against the door from the inside, but I do some re-arranging anyway. Still, no seal. So, I HOLD the door shut for a few minutes, wondering if maybe doing that will cause the seal to hold. Yeah, right. (Did I mention I'm not a morning person & I haven't had my cup of tea this morning, so my brain is still being a bit fuzzy.) Well, the freezer WAS staying sealed, as long as something was holding the door shut, so I glanced around for a somewhat tall object that has some heft to it, and grabbed the full (unopened) bottle of Hawaiian Punch left-over from the Neice's and DD's birthday parties, and propped that in front of the door long enough to go grab the phone.

Called DH, he wasn't very thrilled to hear the news, but suggested the usual Red Green trick to buy us some time. And turns out that he wasn't even INTO the freezer this morning, which means it's been open since at least last night, when I was in pawing around for something for dinner. Great!!!!! The pkgs of meat still felt frozen solid, though..... But his Pizza rolls didn't make it. ;) So, it's duct-taped and holding, for now. But...... Unless DH & FIL can find some reason that I missed that the seal isn't sealing...... We're going to have to shell out for a new freezer. And obviously, this isn't the freezer atop our fridge, this is a big, 5-1/2 foot upright freezer. This is where we've still got over 1/4 of a pig we bought this winter for meat. Were we've got our supply of remaining moose & whatever beef we have. Where DH & I keep our TV dinners for work. We've got 2 turkeys in there.... It's not a small freezer, and it won't be a small expense to replace it. And we're going to HAVE to replace it before we head to Anchorage, which means some of the money we were saving for Anchorage, won't be going with us. *sigh*

As I said, when it Rains, it Pours!


And Dh's ulcer is acting up again. As some of my friends recall, he wound up in the ER this past summer, thinking he was having a heart-attack, only to find out that he has an ucler. It was being exacerbated by the high amounts of advil he was taking for a rotten tooth (wisdom tooth that had abcessed). So, he knows he has this ulcer, and he's been staying away from the advil. But, he had a head-ache yesterday and he took some tylenol...... I'm wondering if the tylenol had something else in it to cause the ulcer to flare up again. DD had hockey practice yesterday, and while there DH's chest really started hurting again. To the point where the security guy at the rink was wanting to call for an ambulance. DH talked him out of it, saying it was JUST his ulcer, and it'd be better once he got home & got some mylanta. The security guy was glad to hear DH call back (when he got home) saying he was ok and feeling better already. I think it was a lie, as DH sat on the couch all evening, unwilling to eat anything more than ritz crackers & milk, and looking very pale & in pain. More mylanta before bed, his nexium this morning before work. And he's STILL not feeling on top of his game, he said. He slept crappy, and his stomach still doesn't feel well..... *sigh*

When it Rains, it Pours......


And, after sitting there and watching American Idol, and taking 25 minutes to brush her teeth, at 10:05 DD comes out of her bedroom (she'd been told to go get her PJ's on) and says "Oh, yeah!!!! I've got homework!!!!" So, DH takes a look at it and in his pained state can't make heads or tails out of it. One glance and I knew exactly what needed to be done, at least for the top part.... Of couse DD starts getting in a snit about how TIRED she is, and WHY do we have to do this now?!?!?! *rolling eyes* Yeah, as if she doesn't KNOW why her homework has to be done, so she can turn it in the next morning.

So, some arguing and some griping, but the top half of the page gets done, and I set to work trying to figure out how to do the bottom half of the page (same as the top half, but now not only do we have to SOLVE the equation, we have to write up our own equation that MUST be solved, with a total equaling 500). Well, I thought I knew how to do it, but here is DD griping about WHY can't she just go to bed. DH looking like he's going to fall over with the next breeze that blows through. And I'm getting fed up with both of them.

My first trial for an equation adding up to 500 doesn't quite cut it..... So I erase to try again, trying to explain to DD what I'm doing as I'm doing it, so she can learn this. DH tells me he's going to bed. Ok, Fine..... You weren't exactly helping me out anyway.

DD then had the AUDACITY to say "Well, _I'm_ tired TOO, why can't _I_ go to bed and YOU do the math problem, Mom?!?!?" *snitty tone, as she said it* WTF?!?!?!?! Who's homework is this???? And WHO waited till 10:05 to TELL us she had any????? Ok, so I erased my notations and told her to put it in her bag and take whatever grade her teacher gives her. Only, this morning I wrote on the pg that I'd like another night to solve this problem, and explain it to DD as she obviously doesn't understand the concept.

It's pre-pre-algebra. The problem looks something like this:

A: ________
B: ________

C: ________
D: ________

A__________ + B___________

C__________ + D___________

Now the totals of A+B plus C+D must add up to 500. WE must fill in the blanks. The ONLY number we're given is 500.

My first trial was to break 500 in half, so the totals of A+B and C+D would EACH be 250. Then I was going to break 250 down by dividing it into smaller dividends. So, A would be something like 5X25, and B...... And that's where I hit my brick wall.... I realized that other than 250x1, 250 didn't have any other dividends than 25 and 5. It's a derivitive of prime numbers, which means that ultimately, it's divisible only by 1 and itself. There goes that solution.

I think the answer, reverse engineered, will be more along the lines of.....

Total: 500=200+300


200= A) 140 + B) 60
300= C) 200 + D) 100

A= 70x2 B= 20x3
C= 10x20 D= 5x20

Turn it around and it'll look like:

A) 70x2
B) 20x3
C) 10x20
D) 5x20

A) 140 + B) 60 = 200
C) 200 + D) 100 =300

200+300 = 500. And there you have your answer.

Now to explain to DD (and DH, hopefully) how I got to that number, how I determined what the smaller numbers should be, and WHY it works that way. LOL This may finally explain to DH how algebra works. I hope so. I'm really actually hopeless at multiplication & division, but I did ok in Algebra. He does well with the basics of Addition & Subtraction, Multiplication & Division, but was hopeless (even worse than me, at multiplication & division) at Algebra. Maybe between the two of us we'll get DD through it. *wink* And, ironically, I've used algebra more in that problem than I think I have in the last 10 years. Since I graduated HS, really. LOL

Anybody wanna check my math?!?!?! I'll reciprocate by proof-reading an essay!!!!!! LOL (That was my tactic in school, was having a math wiz check my numbers, in exchange for proof-reading something of THEIRS. We both got better grades on papers that way, without turning in faulty work to the teacher.)


On a brighter note.... Looks like we've got another Chinook blowing through. The temp this morning was almost 20 deg. F. when I looked at the thermometer at 8 am. As the sun's coming up (rose just a couple of minutes after 8, this morning), it's getting warmer. But you can tell a breeze is blowing. It's partially cloudy (and getting clowdier as the breeze blows them in), but feels nice out there. Yep, definite Chinook! I really do think that darned "ground hog" was right this year. We were cloudy on Imbolc, which means no "shadows for the groundhog", which means a shortened winter. We may still have another good snow (esp. if those clouds are heavier than they look), or two, but the over all length will be somewhat shorter this year, I think.

That's ok.... 4 years ago, we had our last snow on May first (and it was a doozy!) but by May 18th, the temp was 85 deg. F. and INCREDIBLY sunny!

Oooooh, the sun just hit through the top of the clouds, so you can see these gray clouds across the horizon and a good distance up, and then these scanty, white clouds, back-lit by the sun, going directly over top of us...... Pretty!!!!!! Not as pretty as Mom's sunsets, but still!!!!


Ok. I think that's it for today.

Have a Blessed Day!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hopping on the band-wagon....

To wish you all a VERY HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!!! May you find somebody special to share it with, and for those of you out east & snowed in.... Enjoy the peace & quiet of this snowy V-day with somebody you love!

And to totally brag, a bit.... DH gave me the first 2 seasons of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer on DVD. It's a rather guilty pleasure..... but.... Oh, gotta brag anyway. *wink*

DD got the "over the hedge" game for her nintendo DS. She was looking forward to getting home this evening (after hockey practice) and playing it. And of course, work in some American Idol watching, too. (Another guilty pleasure, that.)

And DH got a BIG jar of maraschino cherries. *grin* Ah well, he's cheap to buy for, anyway. LOL

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Another one bites the dust.....

Just found out that a second long-time-in-Fairbanks store is going out of business. And this one is locally owned, unlike the last one. The previous "most recent" store to go out of business was Waldenbooks. The cause can be traced to a number of causes: The mall in which it was located no longer recieves as much business from more mature age groups. (Ie: most of the stores in that mall are now geared toward brain-dead teenagers who are more interested in video games & American Eagle than in expanding their mind with books.) Also, our town recently gained a brand-spanking-new Barnes & Noble bookstore. Between the loss of business from the lack of interested shoppers, in a mall geared mainly towards morons, and the loss of business because of a newer, bigger, fancier bookstore on the same side of town..... Waldenbooks (who, admittedly was NOT locally owned, but they HAD been in business here in Fairbanks for 22 years) was not able to keep up, and was one of the stores that the parent company (Borders Group) shut down for poor sales in recent times.

Now, School House Express is going under. Not sure what is behind their down-fall, but they have also been here in town for 20 years, give or take a year. I wonder if it is in part due to the fact that we've got stores like Fred Meyers (another long-time Fairbanks est., though not locally owned) & Walmart supplying the basic (and not so basic) school supply needs of this town. On the other hand, S.H.E. had a large supply of books & educational materials for the home-schooler, of the sort that ISN'T carried by Freddy's or Wm. So, maybe it's again a combination of the loss of business and owners deciding it's time to get out of the business. I mean, it's entirely possible that after 20 years, whomever owns the place decided to retire, or something. But, S.H.E. had THE BEST variety of fancy, sparkly pencils, and the sorts of things that are great for elementary-school-age stocking stuffers.

Unfortunately, I half expect to see The Toy Quest (a locally owned toy-store with high prices, but good quality toys) be the third local store to share the fate. I mean, deaths always seem to come in threes. TTQ would be a logical probability for a third long-time-Fairbanks business to bite the dust due to lack of business. Then again, Prospector or Big Rays is almost as likely to be the one to take that fateful third position, as TTQ is.

Anyway...... Another reason to hate these big box stores.... We're running out of locally owned & locally "flavored" stores around here. Just cements my decision to NOT set foot inside B&N. They've been here for about 6 months now, and I still haven't been inside. I've only been to Wm about 6 times in the 2+ years they've been in town. I need to find more excuses to get over to the far side of town & visit our locally owned used-book-store. But finding it hard, because thus far that is the ONLY reason I have to be over on that side of town. So I wind up buying my books from Amazon, instead. *sigh*

Just bummed about the new loss for our town. And dreading the next one. But, gotta get moving & get headed to work.

Have a Blessed Day.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Not really a heck of a lot going on.....

At least, not over the last couple of days.

The last few weeks, for the most part, have been rather stressful. DD seems to be approaching puberty with an intensity that'll blow a parent out of the water. We're talking screaming, crying hissy fits over the seemingly slightest of things. Last Saturday it was over getting her hockey gear on, for practice. We got to the rink, and DD decided that she didn't want ANY help, what-so-ever, in putting her gear on. On the other hand, she really wasn't able to get it on by herself. So, she resorted to yelling at DH & I because it was somehow OUR fault that she couldn't reach a strap here, or buckle a buckle there. And yet, she STILL didn't want any help. After half an hour of arguing, consoling, arguing some more, yelling, consoling..... We left. Without actually participating in practice. Sunday wasn't any better. Neither was Monday. Tuesday night, after work, we sat down & had a talk. Something about that talk seemed to finally get through DD's head. Tuesday night, Wednesday morning were fairly good, with only a slightly "snitty" moment here and there. Wednesday evening, though.... DD was peeved. She was sitting on her bed, pouting over how she didn't feel like being nice & easy to be around. It was kinda funny, really..... She was pouting because she hadn't been yelling for a couple of days. Well, reminders all around of how nice life is when we're not all yelling at each other, she got over her pouty-ness. Then we got on to spelling words, and math homework, and dinner making & eatting, and tooth brushing, and found time to play a round of Yatzee before bed. Since then.... still a "snitty moment" here and there, but otherwise fairly good behavior. Dang was she hyper yesterday, though!!!!! And she kept lapsing into "baby talk" and I had to remind her that at 9 years old, she is FAR too old to be speaking with a lisp (esp. one that isn't natural) and talking like a baby. Esp, when DH & I have NEVER spoken "baby talk" to her. Not even when she was an actual baby. (Not to say that we carried on full conversations, but we never felt the need to lisp & babble to her, like so many new parents. Or even like the MIL still insists on lisping & babbling to all 3 of her grandkids.)

I've set up a couple of appt.s for DD during the month. She'll be seeing her Ped. on the 16th for a check-up and blood-tests. We're going to have her cholesterol checked, seeing as how she's technically "overweight" and we need to keep an eye on her health. (Though, personally, she seems healthy as a horse, and this cholesterol check will probably come back as normal as the last one did, almost 5 years ago. But, just for monitoring purposes.) We're also going to have the lab check her hormone levels, and depending on what shows up, we may be taking her to a naturopathic practioner/RN for "meds" to even out hormone levels, if they're swinging horribly. We're wondering if that's possibly part of her nasty mood-swings lately..... Pubescent hormone levels so wildly out of control that they're causing these nasty mood swings.

She's also got her first eye appt. to have her vision checked. She's got problems recognizing letters & numbers properly, and we're hoping it's simply a sign that she's a bit farsighted (since she's certainly not nearsighted!). If it doesn't turn out that far-sighted-ness is the issue, we need to investigate the possibility of dyslexia or other "learning disorders". But, the first and most simple step is to have her regular vision tested. She's not thrilled about the possibility of having to wear reading glasses (if she IS far-sighted) but we reminded her that MOST of the family does (or should be) wearing glasses, that She & DH are the two odd-ones-out at this point (and even DH will probably get reading glasses in the next 10 years or so), and that at least she'd only need them for reading. She wouldn't have to wear them ALL the time, like I do. LOL


I still haven't gotten around to trying my hand at creme brulee. Considering I still have one of those "frozen" dishes of creme brulee from the grocery, I don't quite yet have the push to make my own. But, I'll get to it here before too long, don't you worry about that. ;)


I'm feeling SOOOO ready for winter to be over. I know we're on the down-slope, and we had a cloudy, overcast "GroundHog Day", so winter should end early..... Hopefully. But it snowed again last night, and the roads are slicker than snot.... And I'm just sooo ready to see green grass and flowers again.

I really want to get a couple of planters that my dad has, and get a couple of zucchini plants out front this year. DH said these black half-barrel planters are an eye-sore.... I don't see how it makes any difference as our whole front yard (and back yard, for that matter) is an eye-sore. At least the barrels will be producing something edible. And I have the urge to try strawberries this year. (Maybe hearing that California won't be producing a very good supply of them this year???) I figure that even if the half-barrels are an eye-sore, we can plant flowers around the bottom to discuise them a bit. And I really, really want to grow some veggies HERE this year, instead of only over at the inlaws. Then there is my south-side of my house, with my pea-patch and my rhubarb patch and my chive plant...... Ooooh..... *drool*

Last but not least, I really want to get the back yard fixed up. I don't know if it's even worth trying to have a lawn back there. But I want a deck off the back door, for Dh's grill. And I want a clothes line, or one of those round clothes-line "trees" (which means a small section of lawn, anyway, so the ground underneath the clothesline doesn't throw dust & dirt up on the clean clothes). And oh how I'd love to get another tree or two planted this year. Wondering whether a choke-cherry would be a hassle. First to improve the look of our front lawn (or lack of), and second to improve the view both OF the house, and FROM the house. As it is, all we've got is a stretch of half-wild lawn and a scrawny little birch tree that we transplanted from FIL's a couple of years ago. The other corner of the front lawn has a big cluster of willow that needs to be thinned (for it's own health and appearance). I'd like to have some chokecherries so I could try my hand at chokecherry jam, at some point, too.


Well, I think that's it for now..... Just been busy with the every day, goings on of life. Which means that there's REALLY not much to tell, I guess.

Have a Blessed Day!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Next up, on my list of recipes....

Well, last night I decided that the next recipe I'm going to conquer (ie: learn to cook VERY well) will be **********Drum Roll********** Creme Brulee.

I still haven't gotten to go out to a good resteraunt for creme brulee & escargot, but I DID find that Safeway carries (just started?) pre-made creme brulee in real pottery ramekins. All that must be done to prepare them is thaw, sprinkle with brown sugar (each box contains 2 ramekins & 2 pkgs of brown sugar) and pop under the broiler for 2 to 4 minutes. Must say, they didn't taste bad. The custard had an absolutely incredible flavor, but it was rather liquid. There wasn't enough brown sugar in the pkts to make a REAL crust of caramelized sugar on top, either. But, I now have 4 perfectly reusable ramekins for my experiments. (Ok, well, 3 ramekins as the 4th is still in the freezer for later enjoyment.)

I've made a custard pie before.... I know it's not hard. A little time consuming, uses a few more dishes than I might like to use normally, but not hard. And since I know that all it takes is brown sugar sprinkled on top, then broiled (or toasted with a blow-torch)..... It won't be a very hard dessert to make. I've got the skill, do I have the confidence. HELL YEAH!!!!! I'm sick & tired of waiting around to be treated to somebody else's Creme Brulee, only to have it fall short of my expectations. (Or, not to be able to enjoy it whenever I would like.) Quite honestly, no creme brulee has EVER tasted as good as the Creme Brulee I used to have at "Clinken Daggers", when Mom would take me out for lunch, on my birthday, as a kid. That perfectly flavored, creamy custard, topped with the crispiest, sweetest brown-sugar crust....... *moan* Dang it! *wiping drool off the keyboard*

So, I'm just going to have to make my own Creme Brulee, darn it!!!! I know I can do it. It's not that hard. And I've even got the ramekins now, so I can't even use the excuse that I don't have proper dishes to pour my Creme Brulee into.

Stay tuned for future posts about my Creme Brulee. I don't expect it'll take more than a couple of tries to perfect, and I'm sure going to have fun trying. *wink* Oh, and I DID tell DH that one of the things he can get me as a future Valentines/Anniversary/Christmas or Birthday gift is a chef-sized blow-torch. Hell, I may as well do it up right. Right?!?!?! *BWG*

Have a Blessed Day!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Job opportunities

So, this last week I had the chance to let my boss know that I'm open & amped about new opportunities at the library where I currently work, and the one here closer to home. I started out, about 4-1/2 years ago, working in the small branch library just about 3 blocks from my house, at only 10 hours a week. I LOVED that job. It's a great small-town environment, with mostly-friendly people, and in a town like this, you really get to know your neighbours, working in a library the size of that one. And it was just enough hours to get me out of the house and give DD and I a break from each other.

Well, after 2-1/2 years there, DH expressed his desire for me to have a job where I was working more hours and bringing home more pay. So, I went along with it and applied for a couple of jobs in other areas that I thougth I might enjoy. I applied at a couple of craft stores, and a book store. I really didn't want to leave my library position, but I could understand the need for increased salary and hours. Of the 3 places I applied, I wanted the book-store position the most. And that's the one I got, based on my experiences at the library. Turned out that I HATED it. We could have been selling matchbooks for all the difference it made to store management. We weren't encouraged to sell based on our love of books, but on how many items we could sell. And we were pushed (and often scolded) if we didn't manage to talk the customer into purchasing other items besides the book/s they came in for. And the harassement of customers, OMG! I hated it, as we were pretty much told to follow people around like puppy dogs, asking repeatedly if they needed help finding anything. It really sucked.

Well, gas prices started rising rapidly at about the same time that I found out one of the 2 craft stores where I'd applied was moving to NP (instead of their origional store in town). I figured that maybe I could get that job. It'd be closer to home anyway. So, after 6 months of working at the book-store, that's what I did. I was closer to home. Granted I was now without my beloved books, but I also wasn't being pushed to "make the sale, make the sale" the way I was at the bookstore. And for the most part I liked it. (I say "for the most part" because there were moments of extreme boredom at that store, and the mall it's located in doesn't have air-conditioning, and we were coming into summer at that point, so I was roasting my butt off, cooped up in this craft-store about 6 hours a day. I also had a schedual that only 1 time -in the 3 months I worked there- allowed me 2 days off in a row.) I was making considerably less, per hour, than I had been at the library, and even than I was at the book store, but I was close to home again.

Well, after only 2 months at the craft store, my boss from the library called and told me that the town library had a page position opening up @ 30 hours a week. I Jumped. I immediately applied, interviewed, and cried when I told my craft-store boss that I'd gotten the job of my dreams. She was happy for me, but sad to see me go. So, now I was up to 30 hours a week, still making considerably less than I had at my first library position, but now I have benefits and more hours, and more options than I did at that first position here in NP.

I've now been at the main library for over a year and a half, and I found out a few weeks ago that the borough finally settled on a spot to build an even bigger NP Branch library than the one we've got now. And it's about the same distance away as the first. Walking time: 15 minutes, depending on the weather. I went in and talked to my OLD boss at the library last Friday and asked her when the new building will be completed, and does she know about staffing options at this point. She said that it looks like the building will take about 6 years to complete. (*BIG GASP*) And that, for this reason, she doesn't know yet what kind of staffing they'll need. I told her that I'd like her to keep me in mind, obviously as a page, if she winds up needing anybody who can fill 30 hour (or even 40 hour) page positions out here. And I told her that if there's any possibility, I'd REALLY love a chance as a library tech. I know I'm a shoe-in as a 30 or 40 hour page out here at the new building, if (when) they need somebody to put in that many hours. I'm the only one in town who's got the experience, AND the desire to be here in NP for the work. And nobody (and I DO mean nobody) lives closer to where the building is than I do.

So, I went to my CURRENT boss this past week, and expressed the same desire to her as I've expressed to my former boss at the local library branch. I told my current boss that if there are ANY training possibilities while I'm at the current job, that will increase my odds of getting a tech position at the NEW building when it's opened, I'd love to be in on them. She understood my desire to be closer to home, if that becomes available. Agreed that there's not another person in as prime a position as I am, if a 40 hour page position opens up out here. Said she doesn't know if there are training possibilites for me to better my odds for a tech position, but at least now she knows I want it. And I REALLY want it! I've often thought that I'd love to be a reference librarian, but with DD's hockey schedual and school and MY work hours, I don't know that I've got the time or energy to go to school myself for a degree in library sciences. And I don't know if my local branch library will NEED more than 1 or 2 reference librarians (which it currently has anyway), even when the branch is in a larger building. But, I'm fairly sure that they'll need more library technicians. And I'm positive that they'll need pages with longer hours than the 10 hours a week offerend now.

I only hope that there are ways for me to better my odds of obtaining a tech position here at the local branch, if/when that option opens up. I guess, at the very least, keeping my nose clean at work (though my former boss seemed to like me better than my current boss does), showing that I'm ready, willing, and able to do whatever is needed, and to learn new skills as needed. And to keep my hopes & desires known.... For now that's all I can do.

For what it's worth, too, in 6 years, when the new building is finished (if it takes that long) DD will be just starting HS. So it may open up more time for me to pursue college courses that could better my odds, as well.

Anyway, just had to put this all out there. Just had to share my excitement and my hopes. And besides, I NEVER talk about work, it seems. I'm NOT actually a SAHM, though sometimes it would seem that way, considering I only seem to talk about DD & cooking. LOL


In other news, we woke up again this morning (I got to sleep till 10 am, WOW!) to brilliant blue skies, and 10 deg. F above 0. Lovely, lovely weather. Made breakfast (bacon & french toast) and sent DD out to play. Just.... WOW. Reminds me of the song my mom used to sing in the mornings (and always annoyed me, as I'm really not a morning person).... "Oh, what a beautiful Morning, Oh, what a beautiful day. I've got the happiest feeling, everything's going my way."

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for my middle sis. Dad called as I was making breakfast and told me that Sis had gone to run some errands, and came home to find her front door open and her lap-top & Ipod gone. The cats were fine, hiding under the bed. But that lap-top (brand new, too, as her other one died just before christmas) is her life-line for school. She's got a lot of school work on there, and her favorite game ("Civilization") was in the disk-drive when it was stolen. And, when Mom called at 1 to let me know that Sis's house had been broken into, the cops still hadn't shown up (over an hour after being called) to take her report or get prints or anything else that they're supposed to do in break-in situations. *sigh* So, Sis is very bummed, and Mom said Sis was crying (understandable). I'm sure my sis would appreciate P&PT (prayers & positive thoughts) if anybody cares to send them her way. Mom said that the one big report she had on the laptop, she'd just given a first-draft copy of, to a mentor or teacher or something. So, hopefully she'll be able to revise it from that passed-along first draft, and she won't have to start over. But still.... What a bummer of a morning.

S, I wish there was something I coud do to help!!! Just ****LOVE & HUGS**** heading your way. I hope the cops finally showed up (while I've been writing this) and got their act together. And I hope that your landlady can get a good sturdy door back on the place VERY quickly and a good dead-bolt (or two) to go with it. Glad to hear Dusty & Adele are ok, and I hope your day brightens up!!!!! Love ya!!!!!


As for everyone else....

Have a Blessed Day.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Team picture!

So, here we are.... That's DD, front & center, with all her goalie gear on. Dh is in the row of coaches, third from the left (big guy, dark hair). It's ironic that he looks about the same size as the other coach, in this pic, since that guy is actually a LOT bigger than DH, in person. But, it's a good pic. We got quite a kick out of it.

Have a Blessed Day!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Harry Potter!

Ok, JUST got the word that the last Harry Potter book will be released July 21, 2007. Amazon.com is now taking pre-orders for the book. I just pre-ordered mine for 18.89, I believe it was. If you're wanting this book as soon as it comes out, you're probably not going to find a better price. I'd say get on it, if you're as amped about it as I am!!!! Hell, even DH told me to get it ordered NOW, instead of waiting. *grin* He didn't have to say it twice. ;)

Just thought I'd give y'all the heads-up.

Have a Blessed Day!