Wednesday, October 31, 2007

From dust were we wrought, to dust do we return.....

Dad got the call yesterday evening that at approx. 1:30 (give or take 10 minutes) Texas time, his brother passed away. Uncle John turned 70 this year. So he wasn't a youngish guy by any means. (He was 12 years older than Dad. Their sister, who was the middle child, with Dad being the youngest, passed away before DD was born.) Dad's SIL, my Aunt Norma Sue, is very obviously and understandably taking it hard. Dad is not going to try to make it down for the funeral, though he feels like he should, he also knows that with burying my uncle on Friday, he'd barely have time to make it down there, and the one plane ticket it looked like he'd be able to get was $1500.

My middle sis talked to Dad last night and said Dad started crying while talking to her, and commented that he was just sitting there in the dark (at his place) "thinking". *sigh*

I know I've said before that I look forward to my dad retiring and getting out of state. Now for a whole new reason.... Because he'll be doing things out of state that'll keep his mind & body active and hopefully won't give himself time to dwell on the things that are depressing him: my baby sis's & niece's move, his brother's death, his seperation from Mom...... Shelli and I are worried about Dad this winter. He'll be retiring at the end of Nov. and he doesn't really have anything planned to keep himself busy between Dec. 1 and the end of Feb. when he plans on flying down to visit Shelli in Tucson. I told DH last night that whatever else we do on Thanksgiving and Christmas, I want my dad to be included. Last year the FIL commented that he wanted to have Thanksgiving at his place this year, but along with the fact that the hubby cannot stand to be in the same room as the SIL & her attitude, we may need to rethink that and have Thanksgiving here at our house this year again. Which would be fine by me, and this'll be the first time in several years (basically since DD was 2) that we HAVEN'T had Thanksgiving here, if the FIL hosts it this time. And for christmas, typically we've started the morning here at our house before going to my parent's for an hour or two, then on to the inlaws for the remainder of the day. Again, we're going to need to figure out how to include Dad, because I really don't want him being alone, and Mom & Shelli have both said they won't be coming back for Christmas this year due to ticket costs & work. That's fine. Last year we thought Dad would be living in the states by this time, too. But, since he's not...... Well, Shelli and I just don't want him being alone during these family-focused times.

My sister commented on how she feels kinda sad that she doesn't feel MORE sad over our Uncle's death. I'm not terribly suprised based on how little the 3 of us knew him. We didn't grow up close to any of our extended family. Even when my grandparents died, I cried because my parents cried. Then again, for me part of it comes in that I know that these folks who were in the winter of their lives, in pain, facing death, have now moved on to a different adventure. If one believes in heaven & hell, then in the case of my dad's parents & bro & sis, I'm fairly sure they're all in heaven and what is to mourn??? Mom's family, I don't know where they stood spiritually or religiously, so that question of heaven or hell is a little more unanswerable. Personally, heaven or hell doesn't even answer it for me. I'm more inclined to believe in reincarnation after a period spent reflecting on the choices made in the life just left behind. I think whether it's heaven or hell depends on how one views the choices they made. If they made a good life, good decisions, and tried to be more of a help in this life, then their after-life experiences probably resemble more heaven in that they're happy & content with their past life. If they made poor choices, caused deliberate pain through their decisions & actions, I'm guessing there's a lot of crying & gnashing of teeth because they finally realize the agony they've caused others. THAT would be hell, to me! And, when all is said and done, I think these people will choose another incarnation on this world, hopefully trying to improve on their experiences from one life to another and wherever they're resting is just that, a RESTING PLACE. Not a place where they'll be permanently. So I don't find TOO much sadness in their passing.

What sadness I DO find in the passing of a person (or a pet, because I still cry over the loss of my Honey-cat and feel sad that I wasn't nicer to Baby -another cat, and miss my dog's Charlie & Sebastian) is because I miss them. I miss the interactions. I miss knowing that I'll never get to see their smiling faces again, or feel their support and wisdom in my life. But again, with the knowledge that I didn't know my uncle very well comes the realization that I wasn't close enough to him to miss him like this. And therefore I don't feel sadder at his passing. Not sad enough to cry for that loss in my life. If I cry it will be because of the pain I know my dad is going through. Perhaps what sadness I feel is partly due to the wish that I HAD known my uncle (and his sister, my Aunt Lynn, for that matter) better. Again, I think it comes down not to sadness over their deaths, but sadness that I didn't know them better in life.

It's interesting the contemplations that death prompts.

Have a Blessed Day!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

No news is good news, right????

Well, that's about all we've got on my uncle is the assumption that no news is good news. My dad last talked to his older nephew on Thursday and it sounded like things had taken a slight turn for the better for my uncle. Evidently the strokes hit the part of his brain that control his breathing, so he was completely unable to breath on his own, but his medical wishes were to not receive life-support. So the quandry was to keep him on the ventilator and prolong his life, or take him off and see him die quickly of suffication. (Well, honestly, it could be death by starvation, which would take a lot longer and be probably considerably more dreadful.) Evidently, they went ahead & unhooked the ventilator only to discover that there was some breathing ability and his brain's activity had resumed enough to promote SOME breathing capabilities, so they hooked him back up to the ventilator, at least for the time being. That's all the more my dad's passed on to me, and seemingly all the more he's learned from my cousin (who, according to my dad, is rather hit-or-miss about the information he passes on).


I haven't been online as much lately. I just really don't feel like being on very much right now. Not that I'm taking a hiatus (obviously) but I've been more inclined to curl up with a book or a crochet project lately, than to jump on the computer in my spare moments. I'm missing y'all, but I feel like right now maybe it's my mind & body saying that I'm spending too much time on here and I need to even it out with some off-line activities. So if you don't see me around & commenting on your blogs every day, it's not because I'm peeved with anybody. I'm just active around the house here (and, of course, with work & my friday volunteering).


Here are the couple of recipes I promised last time around, and one I didn't promise but I think will be well appreciated anyway. *grin*

Creamy White Chili (at Taste of Home recipe)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1-1/2 tsp garlic powder (I used 4 good sized cloves of garlic, crushed into the pot.)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 (15-1/2 oz) cans great northern beans, rinsed & drained
1 (14-1/2 oz) can chicken broth
2 (4 oz) cans chopped green chilies
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream (lite may be used)
1/2 c whipping cream (evap. skim milk may be substituted)

In a large saucepan, saute chicken, onion, and garlic in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add beans, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and cream. Serve immediately. Yield: 7 servings.

Chicken Club Ring (derived from a Pampered Chef recipe)

3 to 4 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
4 slices bacon, crisped & crumbled
1 cup mayonaisse
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp finely minced onion (I usually use minced, dried onion.)
2 Tbsp parsley
1 c shredded cheese (a blend of cheddar, mozzarella and swiss is best, but use whatever you've got on hand)
2 rolls of refridgerator crescent rolls

Mix all ingredients except crescent rolls. Situate a round pizza tin or baking stone on a pedestal of some sort (to ease turning it) and cover with foil (leave foil ends loose so they may be folded up later, if needed). (I usually use my pizza tin & a oatmeal cannister as a pedestal.) Arrange crescent triangles with short ends overlapping around the edge of the pizza pan, and long tips dangling off the side. You only want about 1 inch of each crescent-dough-piece on the pan at the outter edge. Spoon about 2 Tbsp of chicken mixture onto each section of crescent and roll the long tips up over filling & tuck under the inside of the ring. Pull foil up around the outter edges to protect outter edges from cooking too quickly and place in 350 deg. F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through. Foil may be unfolded & tucked under pan for the last few minutes to allow outter edges of the chicken ring to brown slightly. Allow to cool a couple of minutes before serving.

These are actually better the next day, after the flavors have had a chance to blend. I always like the left-overs better than I do fresh out of the oven.

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake

For crust:
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter (REAL butter, none of the fake stuff!)
1 box yellow cake mix
1 eggs

For filling:
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter (again, use the real stuff!)
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
2 eggs
1/2 tsp almond or vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar

Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Lightly grease a 9x13x2" baking pan. Melt butter. Empty cake mix into bowl. Stir melted butter and egg into the cake mix. Press mixture into pan. In a large bowl, mix softened cream cheese & other stick of butter (also soft). Then blend in eggs, extract, and finally the powdered sugar. Spread over top of crust in the same pan. Bake at 350 for 35 to 50 minutes or until golden brown on top. (The baking time is rather dependent on the humidity and such. I've had it actually take anywhere from 35 minutes to an hour. Sorry I cannot be more specific than this.) Allow cake to cool. Dust top with onfectioners sugar. (Cake should be still gooey on top when removed from the oven, do not overbake! This requires keeping a close eye on it after about the first 30 minutes in the oven.)

This is also very yummy using a spice cake mix for the crust and adding a 15 oz can of pumpkin and an extra egg to the filling mixture. You could, of course, also add some pumpkin pie spice. If you use pumpkin, though, be sure and leave out the almond extract!

Paula Deen also has a lot of variations she recommends (the pumpkin variation being the only other one I've tried).

Pinapple Gooey: 20 oz can of drained crushed pineapple and extra egg to the filling.

Lemon Gooey: lemon cake mix. 1/4 c lemon juice & zest of 2 lemons to the filling.

Carrot Cake Gooey: spice cake mix. 1 c chopped nuts and 1-1/2 c finely grated carrots to the filling.

Peanut butter Gooey: chocolate cake mix. 1 cup creamy peanut butter and extra egg to filling. Sprinkle top of batter with 1 cup chopped peanuts if desired.

Chocolate Chip Gooey: yellow or chocolate cake mix. Sprinkle 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup chopped nuts on top of filling.

Banana Gooey: yellow cake mix. Add 2 mashed ripe bananas & 1 extra egg to filling.

Nutty Gooey: yellow cake mix. 1 cup chopped nuts to crust before pressing into pan. Filling as normal.

Chippy Gooey: 1 c chocolate chips, peanut butter chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, toffee bits or what-have-you to filling.

There you are. Some yummy recipes to enjoy.


I got a suprise phone call from my youngest sister (K.) last night. She and her hubby (B.) have both found jobs. B. was offered a mechanicing position at the Uhaul place where he went to drop off the trailer. He's already grumpy about it because it doesn't pay more than $8/hour and he's "just" a mechanic. Nevermind that he doesn't have any kind of education past HS and they asked him if he wanted a job when he walked in the door. Completely unsolicited. *shaking head* Of course, it's just not good enough for him. *rolling eyes*

K. (my sis) has just obtained a position at Macy's department store (or whatever it is) and she starts with training on Tuesday. She'll be making $8.15 starting. (This fact also makes her husband grumpy because she's a simple sales-girl and she's making more than he is, as a mechanic, which he thinks should be bringing him more money.)

They still don't have an apartment lined up. Nor a day-care for the niece (little K.). And yet, guess what?!?!? They went and got a cat yesterday! *shaking head* She's staying in a pay-by-the-week hotel and she got a cat! *sigh* I guess my other sis (Shelli) gave K. hell for getting a pet before she's even got a home, much less a home that allows pets. I didn't see the point in chewing K. out when I know it'll make NO difference what-so-ever and will only make her more obstinate.

Of course, K. doesn't want Shelli and I to tell Dad because she's afraid Dad'll chew her out. Well..... DUH! Actually, Dad probably won't chew her out because he's scared half to death that if he pisses K. off she'll never contact him again and he'll miss up on little K. (the niece) growing up altogether. *shaking head* I hope K. herself grows up!!!!! As it is, I don't know who's a the biggest child in that family: B., K. or little K. (who at least has an EXCUSE for being immature!).

And, as for the fact that they still don't know who's going to watch little K. while they're both at work starting on Tuesday..... Shelli (the middle sis) is worried that they might leave K. alone in the hotel room all day long. I would sincerely hope that K. and B. are both smarter than that, but I'm not holding out too much hope at this point.


Ya know, watching K. and B. struggle to half-assedly get a new life set up for themselves in a new place away from any friends or family, without jobs already lined up, no apartment (much less a house) or daycare waiting for them..... Reiterates in my mind the reasons WHY so many people didn't get out of New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina. Despite the fact that they had a good idea they were probably going to be hit hard (and even those without pets to worry about), where were they going to go???? With what money???? What about jobs when they got there???? And daycare for their kids???? How about an already strained housing market (whether you're buying or renting)????? At least in NO, they had jobs, they had apartments, they had their kids in schools or daycares, they had friends & family around them........ Granted K. and B. moved voluntarily and placed themselves & little K. in this position by choice, but the issues K. and B. are dealing with new are probably precisely the issues that kept many people living in a town that had the major environmental-disasterish hazard of being below sea level. It's near impossible to just pick up and go, esp. when one is barely making enough to afford the gas $$ to leave, if one can even afford the vehical itself.

In the days after Katrina my dad made some stupid comments about how it was all their own fault for staying in this poorly designed city in the first place, those who were caught in NO by Katrina. I want to point out to him now that a lot of those people were likely hoping to weather the storm without much damage so they could at least continue their lives in a place they knew well with the support systems they already had in place (meager as they might have been). I think, given the choice between the two options, I would probably have stayed as well. Kinda taking "the devil you know over the devil you don't." (To use a phrase from one of my past history teachers.)

I know saying such a thing to my dad wouldn't make any impact, though. It'd be like pointing out to the anti-abortionist the hypocrisy of their past actions as they bring their own daughter in for an abortion for relief from an unwanted pregnancy. The only answer you get from such close-minded folks is "well MY situation is different!" And that's what (or along the lines of) my Dad would say if I pointed out that K. and B. are now in the same position he was suggesting folks from NO should have placed themselves in by leaving before Katrina hit.

Anyway...... Just a little something making me kinda grumbly, is all.


I think that just about covers it for now.

Have a Blessed Day!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Prayer Request and other news

So I talked to my dad last night and right off he said that his brother is in the hospital after 2 major brain strokes one on top of the other. It doesn't sound like my Uncle John is going to live, or would probably want to after this. And, when Uncle John dies, it would NOT be suprising to see his wife, my Aunt Norma Sue follow after him pretty quickly. They're very close, even all these years later, and she's in pretty bad health herself (diabetis & complications). So, it would certainly not be suprising to see her die of a broken heart very shortly after his passing, when the time comes.

So, I guess, considering neither one of them is in good health in the first place and prayers for their return to health would be pointless..... Prayers that what comes will come quickly and without pain for both, and that they will find peace, whether seperately or together. *sigh*

I last saw Uncle John and Aunt Norma Sue about 8-1/2 years ago when Dad and DD and I flew down to Dallas where they live (they actually live in Midlothian TX, a small town just outside Dallas) to visit Dad's mom (my Mom-mom) who was living with Uncle John and Aunt Norma Sue at the time. That was the last time I saw Mom-mom alive. DD was all of a year and a half and we spent her first real easter down there. I got a pretty neat sight watching my uncle search for an easter gift for his wife. He wound up buying her a stuffed lamb. She loves lambs and he said that for EVERY occasion he'd get her a new one. Not always a stuffed lamb, but sometimes lamb figurines, or pictures, or just a card with a lamb on the front. And not only on commercially sanctioned occasions, but on their personal little anniversaries. The anniversary of their first date. The anniversary of their first kiss, their son's birthdays. Whenever he could find a reason to give her a little gift, he would. And for her part, nothing she did seemed out of the ordinary for an old fashioned housewife, but it seemed that he adored everything she did. So maybe that was what he wanted, was what she was. It seems to be a lovely marriage of two people who deeply love & care for each other. (Not to say they don't have their problems, I'm sure, but in the 3 weeks Dad and I stayed in their home, I didn't notice if they ever fought or disagreed or what-have-you.)

Anyway, prayers for my Uncle John and Aunt Norma Sue.


Also, some prayers for Dad, please. He wound up pulling or straining or whatever his Trapezius muscle on the right yesterday while at work. It's kinda funny, almost. He's been working at the post-office for 20 years now. He'll retire on the last day of November, and this close to retirement he winds up having to use some workman's comp. They've got him on light duty (he's a mechanic) for a couple of weeks. Probably pretty well till he's completely retired. I'm sure he'll be seeing his chiropractor (on the PO's dime) before long, but I also know that he's already had troubles with his shoulder and should have surgery on it. But, being as he's going through the Vet. hospital for that medical care, it's taking a long time to even get an MRI done to see what precisely is the problem.

So, prayers that this heals quickly so he can get on with the life of a soon-to-be retiree.


DD's been on the amoxycillian and her ear seems to have stopped bugging her already. Not that we're going to quit the meds before they've been used up. That's just inviting a re-infection by a stronger bug.


And last but not least: Guess who's going to be an Auntie again! *rolling eyes* Yep. That'd be me!

The SIL (the drug-addict who is alternately neglectful & abusive of the two boy's she's got currently) is pregnant again. As bad as it sounds, I'm actually praying for a miscarriage. That woman already treats her current two kids horribly (and that's not a biased mom speaking, I know I'm not a great mom myself, but my SIL makes ME look like a saint), and the world certainly doesn't need another child coming from her body. And no child deserves the neglect they will wind up getting from SIL.

She and MIL are hoping for a girl, this time. I'm praying that if SIL carries this one to term, that it's a boy as well. (And she's had 9 previous alleged pregnancies that I'm aware of, 1 of them a verifiable abortion, 1 a verifiable miscarriage, 2 live-births, this is pregnancy number 10.) I'm hoping she winds up being as prolific with boys as my family is with girls. Why, you ask???? Well, within the first couple of weeks after my younger nephew's birth, MIL and SIL were sitting there holding him & oohing & ahhing, and MIL actually said "I wish he was a girl so that I'd have a grand-daughter to spoil!"

*shaking head* DD IS the MIL's biological granddaughter! MIL seems to conveniently forget that fact quite a bit. For DD's birthday, MIL got DD a shirt. And yet she heaps hundreds of dollars of gifts upon the two nephews. Part of me kinda brushes it off to the fact that neither their mom nor their dad really bothers with the boys. But then I look at how much time the MIL spends with the boys versus DD, how she talks to the boys, how she treats the boys. It's not really about the $$ she spends on the boys versus DD, it's about the fact that she seems to regard DD as secondary now that she's got these two grandsons by her daughter. And I'm worried for DD that if SIL's newest is a girl, DD will be completely relegated to "second class" by MIL.

And for the record, this treatment of DD by MIL really pisses the FIL off and he does what he can to take an interest in DD's activities. He helps us out greatly by bringing DD to town for her hockey practices when they are schedualed for 5:30. His birthday present to her every year is paying for something for her to play hockey (this year it was the Sept/Oct. ice-time fee, last year it was new hockey pants). It irks the FIL to no end to see his oldest grandchild brushed off to one side by the MIL just because they've got two grandsons by her daughter. (Both DH and SIL are full siblings born of the same parents, DH being the older. But SIL is very obviously MIL's favorite and she plays that favorite card heavily and frequently.) But, even with the FIL showing an interest in her life & being around & helping out as he's able, DD misses the MIL's interest as well. DD keeps asking the MIL when she's going to come to one of DD's Saturday or Sunday practices and MIL always says she'll try for the next one, and yet the next practice (or game) comes and goes and MIL doesn't show. She stopped showing up to any practices or games a couple of years ago. DD wants her grandma to be proud of her, but her grandma's seemingly not interested because she's always got one or both of the nephews to take care of.

*sigh* Anyway, so if anybody wants to pray with me that this newest babe is a boy?!?!?! *wry smile* I certainly won't be asking anybody else to pray for a miscarriage for SIL, but I'll be perfectly honest that I do think that would be the best result for all. Unfortunately.

(Oh, and also for the record, SIL's newest pregnancy is NOT by the father of her two sons. This pregnancy is by her newest boyfriend, somebody she's been hemming & hawwing about breaking up with for the last few months. Now she's pregnant by him, supposedly. Could mean she's trying to hold onto a failing relationship by faking a pregnancy as we're pretty sure a few of her previous "pregnancies" have been faked. Either way, the fact that she's pregnant by this guy means their relationship probably won't last much longer as she tends to break up with the guys shortly after either the "miscarriage" or the baby is born -in the case of the younger nephew.)

EDITED TO ADD: Ya know, all day long I've had the thought running through my head "god, I sound like such a bitch, wishing a miscarriage on somebody." I kept thinking that maybe I ought to come back here and change that. And the truth is, I really don't wish anybody the emotional pain of a miscarriage. I can only imagine how much it must hurt to lose a child. I hope I never have to find that out. But, I also know that no matter how one puts it, my SIL has not made a even a slightly good mom to her boys. She spends most of her time partying and probably half of their lives she's been away or hard to find. She leaves one or the other with the inlaws every weekend so she'll only be hassled by one of them (for a while she was "living" with the inlaws and was out partying constantly while MIL took care of the boys along with working full time). *sigh* I hope I haven't hurt anybody's feelings by saying that I hope this pregnancy results in a miscarriage, but no matter which way I look at it, knowing how SIL has treated the two children she has already, and knowing her problems with drug abuse (before and after the births of both of her boys) I constantly come back to the feeling that this child would be worse off being born into this world with her for a mother.

Honestly, my SIL is one of 2 people that I personally feel should be forcibly sterilized. I am against eugenics, knowing that NOBODY is safe when one person (or organization) starts deciding who should have children and who shouldn't, who should live and who should die. But there are 2 women I know personally who've had their chance at having children and have proven to be such cruddy examples of parenthood that I really do feel like it would be in EVERYBODY'S best interest if they were rendered incapable of having anymore children. And both these women love being pregnant (their own admissions) but consequently treat their children like s**t once the child has been born. My SIL is one of these two.

I know I've got one Real Life friend who reads this and also knows the SIL, and AMBER, if you read this and it offends. I'm deeply sorry. But, having spent the last 11 years watching D. screw up her own life, and then the lives of the boys...... I can't in good conscious be thrilled about her bringing another child into this world. If the child makes it here, I'll be as loving an aunt to that babe as I have to the boys when I get to see them. But, I cannot think that it's good for the health of any child for D. to be it's mother.

As I said, I'm sorry if I have offended anybody. But I won't retract what I've said. Even though this is a diary made public, it still contains my feelings and thoughts and wanderings. And I won't censor what I've written purely to avoid hurt feelings. (Sometimes I might self-censor, if what I say incriminates anybody, but this time it doesn't and I won't apologize for saying what I truly feel.)


Anyway, that's all the news for now. A whole lotta bad news. *sigh* I'm glad I can share things like this here. The one person at work who'd listen is the one person who gets most in trouble when she's seen talking to me. I don't want to get her in trouble with the boss any more for talking to me on company time.

Ya know, ironically, I was never able to keep a journal or diary because I just couldn't find anything interesting to write about. I don't seem to have the same problem (most of the time) with blogging. *wry smile* Maybe because it's somewhat interactive and not only do my blogger friends take an interest in my life, but it's a mutual give & take and I also get to comment on your lifes & express my joy, sympathy, or condolances for y'all as needed.

Have a Blessed Day!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

In with the new, out with the old.....

And it's not even new year's yet!!! *grin* I got my new shearling slippers from Cabela's last night. I usually replace them every 2 years at christmas, this year my old pair wasn't going to make it that long. (Heck, I'd already resewed the uppers to the soles with cotton yarn scraps when the origional sewing shredded last month.) So, rather than wait, I went ahead & ordered myself a new pair. My 2 year old worn out slippers are on the right, my new ones on the left. Give me a year & a half, and my new ones will be looking pretty identical to the old. Ahhhh, love the feel of shearling on my bare feet. *grin* (Ok, Ok...... I know nobody REALLY wants to see pictures of my ratty old slippers. *wink*)


Let's see..... This week at work has been less-than-thrilling so far. My boss is making it pretty clear that she doesn't like me and my Monday night coworker has clued me in to rumors being spread about me. Basically that I'm lazy & slow and that I talk too much & read too much. It's a library for crying out loud! Ironically, the patrons get a kick out of occasionally catching us browsing a book while we're shelving. And yet, with the boss it's a strict no-no to open a book for any reason other than to inspect it, and even THAT better not take too long. (And, "too long" is entirely subjective. I've been chewed out by my boss for "reading" while I was inspecting & taping & erasing pencil-marks from books because she didn't hear the computer "ding" in several minutes. Never mind the fact that erasing marks & taping tears take a couple of minutes. Nope, evidently I'm supposed to have that computer "dinging" frequently & regularly. And yet, we are of course supposed to be thorough. Unfortunately being thorough doesn't always jive well with being fast, as some of my other coworkers have proven.)

Monday, my friend C. and I were venting to each other about a couple of patrons we'd had "trouble" with and I was actually inspecting & checking in videos as I did it, and C. was taking the time to empty the return bin, and the boss jumped in and told C. to stop helping me and get back to HER job. C. said that the only time she's EVER told to stop helping or talking is when it's me she's been helping or talking to. *shaking head* The boss has also been rather peevish on Monday nights when I have pick-up and I don't get it 100% completed.

(End of the night pick-up is supposed to entail walking the entire library once, picking up any books laying on "reshelve" carts or tables, and putting away any magazines and newspapers. Second go-round is supposed to be up and down each & every shelf, picking books off that are out of place and straightening the shelves as you go. Third go round is the same as the first, but is supposed to happen promptly at 9 pm. We have a rather large library though. When I was wearing a pedometer, I was racking up 1000 steps with the FIRST go-round. The second go-round includes doing a minimum (for me) 5000 steps. And again back to the third. Ok. I know it's hard to explain how big that is, but NOBODY in our library has been able to complete the nightly pick-up 100% each & every time. And I admit that I DO spend a good amount of the time straightening shelves. It's a library, they're SUPPOSED to be orderly! And some nights are especially messy, making it even harder to succeed in being 100% complete with it. I've even compressed my go-rounds into 2, doing the up & down the aisles bit while doing my first go-round. We're supposed to start this at 8:00 (on Monday nights, 4 pm on Sunday afternoons), and I usually start 15 to 20 minutes early, just to give myself a little extra time. And STILL my boss gets all snooty when I don't get it completed. Which is about a 50% success rate for me. C. has taken to helping me out by doing the up & down part in the fiction section while she's out shelving, which leaves me free to focus on the rest of the library without worrying about fiction. I do the same for her on my pick-up nights.)

I've also been chewed out for not getting a minimum of 3 full carts put away during an 8 hour day, and for taking longer than 45 minutes with a single cart. To give some idea why it's near impossible to put away 3 carts in an 8 hour day, here is a typical Monday schedual for me:

12:15 to 1 pm: Start. Begin by putting a cart together, forgot to put my name on it so it gets taken by one of the E's.

1:00 to 2:00: at check-out desk for minimum of 1 hour, sometimes longer (depending on when my "relief" comes and how many books & extras I have to put on the mending shelves & take to the children's room, etc).

2:00 to 2:15, take a break, get a bite to eat, use the bathroom.

2:15 to 3:00: take an already-assembled cart & go shelf for 45 minutes. If it's fiction, I can probably get it done unless they're a LOT of straightening to be done as well. If it's non-fic, I'll get 1/2 to 2/3rds of the cart completed. Get nasty glares when I come back with books still on the cart.

3:00 to 4:00: back-up for the circulation & check-out desks. This entails 1 hour spent checking in videos & cds & such, emptying the interior book-bins & organizing the contents on the correct carts for check-in, doing some book check-ins, and occasionally helping out at the check-out desk if there is a line of people waiting to check-out.

4:00 to 4:45 or even 5:00: book drop. (This time of year this also includes getting all my winter gear on before actually going outside.) There are 4 book bins outside, and 1 media (video & dvd & cd) drop. Book bins 1 and 2 are usually about 1/2 full at most. Bin 3 is 3/4 to completely full, and bin 4 is often so full that the drop-door usually won't shut completely. The media drop is typically 1/4 to 3/4 full, but often that requires a second trip outside with the second cart to unload it. IF the bins are relatively empty, it can take as little as a half-hour to do this. I don't get that lucky. I also try to avoid unconsciously shoveling books from the bin into the cart with no rhyme or reason. I spend a bit of time nicely stacking them so I can fit more into the carts to avoid a second trip out or damage to the materials. So, I spent at LEAST 45 minutes, usually a full hour, doing the book-drops when I've got the assignment.

5:00 to 6:00: lunch! I'm taking my full hour, damnit!

6:00 to 7:30: check-out desk. we also have a cart of books out here to be inspected & checked in as time allows. Between patrons we're supposed to be inspecting these books, taping minor tears, erasing small marks, and checking them in. Busy shifts mean not as many books get checked in. It also depends on whether the cart is full of jp's (juvenile picture books) or regular "mass-market" sized books. If it's jp's..... we'll, let's just say we all HATE to see a cart of jp's out there. They take so damned long and almost every single one has taping & cover-cleaning to be done on it. If it's a cart of "regulars" it can go pretty quickly if there isn't a constant stream of folks to check-out.

7:30 to 7:40: put the damaged books on the damages shelf, take any baskets back to the kid's room, use the bathroom, get a drink of water.

7:40 8:40: First Pick-up go-round combined with moving as quickly up and down each shelf while simultaneously trying to straighten as much as possible as quickly as possible.

8:40 to 8:50: back to the circulation work-room: unload cart of picked up books & put them on their proper shelves for reshelving the following day.

8:50 (if I'm lucky) to 9:whenever: second (and last, in this case) go round, picking up any more books and magazines & newspapers that patrons may have been reading before being almost physically removed from the library by the senior Librarian for the night.

Back to the work-room to unload the cart again.

9:15: off!

So, you see why I have a hard time getting more than 1 cart shelved in an 8 hour day. The boss doesn't give us much time TO shelve carts! It can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 35 minutes to simply put a cart of books in order. On 6 hour days, it's not quite so hard to get a couple of carts done, actually. I DID get 2 carts put together and put away on Tuesday, and a third cart put together just in time to get off work at 6 pm.

Anyway, so it's been a frustrating week already dealing with a boss who passive-agressively makes it known that she doesn't like me and she seems to think it was a poor decision to hire me in the first place. Oh freaking well. I'm doing my job, and I'm going to keep doing it, and being as I'm union she can't fire me unless she also fires CF, and both EC's, and KO! She'd lose half of her pages, if she did that. But I'm no slower and I don't talk any MORE than any of those 4. And I'm a damned sight more thorough than both EC's or KO! And I make a heck of a lot less mistakes on the job than CF does. (Don't get me wrong, I LIKE CF, and I like one of the EC's, and KO can be ok when she's not being a total bitch. But I'm no worse than any of them. And yet at this point I'm the one the boss seems to be focussing her dislike on.)


Yesterday morning I had to take DD to the dr's office. She's wound up with an ear infection. *sigh* Oh well. We've got her on amoxycillian for 10 days. She's taking "horse-pills" that she's got to swallow. She almost decided on chewables, but then decided that she's old enough to take pills she's got to swallow. I still have to cut them into 2 smaller sections (which they're marked for), and the first pill last night was funny. It took her 2 tries per section, and by the second try the coating was getting kinda slimy & yucky tasting. This morning she swallowed the pieces down with no problems. *grin*

The good news is that she's 114 pounds and 56 inches tall. She'll be 5 feet tall before we know it. (For what it's worth, I'm 5 feet tall exactly. So before we know it, she's going to be as tall as I am.) This means that she's now on the 75th percentile for height, and she's dropped down to the 95th for weight. YEAH!!!!! These 2 aspects may FINALLY be starting to even out as she reaches puberty! (She's never been BELOW what would be the 105th percentile for weight, and she's always been right ON the 50th percentile for height.)


We're getting more snow. We got about an inch last night, and it's still coming down. I think we'll have another 2 inches before all is said & done. Makes for some yucky driving, though!


DH and I will be even busier than normal over the next couple of months. We agreed to coordinate the ham & crab sales for DD's hockey team. This is one of their bigger fundraisers (and it's how DH and I can afford to put DD in hockey). It's 10 pound boxes of king crab-legs for $112, or a 10 pound ham for $50. We have 3 segments. Our first lot of orders have to be in by Oct. 30th for a delivery date of Nov. 14th. Then we do second & third lots in Nov. for a delivery in mid Dec. and in Dec. for a delivery in mid Jan. Nobody else seems to take as full advantage of this fundraiser as we do, and CERTAINLY nobody else on our team wants to actually take responsibility for being the coordinator (collecting all the orders, compiling the $$, placing the orders with the company, picking up the loads of crab & ham and delivering them to the player's parents, who then deliver the boxes or hams to the folks who ordered from them). Oh well. We've got about 16 people for this first round that want to buy crab. And a few more who are thinking about it. And several of those first 16 will probably order a second box in Dec. or Jan. It's a great fundraiser for us!

In fact, I've really gotta end this post so I can get my 20 minutes of exercise done, and check DH's email and see if anybody has responded back to him about getting HIS test-email last night. We want to make sure we've got everybody correct so we can get ahold of them when needs be.

So, I guess that'll do it for today. I know I still need to get those recipes typed up for y'all. But not this morning.

Oh, and Barefoot Gardner, email me with your email addy so I can send you the file with my bag-pattern.

Have a Blessed Day!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Apologizing for "being good"

So, I was struck by the terrible irony Friday afternoon as I stepped into the check-out line & placed MY grocery bags on the conveyor belt & asked that the clerk use these instead of the store's plastic bags to pack my groceries in. Ok, it's all standard operating procedure, so far. Then the clerk gets a paniced look on his face, and frantically calls for "customer service to Aisle 3"!!!

And I found myself APOLOGIZING for making his work harder! *shaking head* Because HE freaked over the thought of using MY (rather hefty & generous) cotton net bags instead of the stores chintzy plastic bags. *shaking head* And it's not the first time I've found myself apologizing for the same thing. The past few weeks I've noticed that with one exception, EVERY FREAKING CLERK in that store seems to panic & radio frantically for bagging help when I step into the line, and I apologize. *shaking head* I'm APOLOGIZING for being eco-friendly & using reusable bags. How idiotic is that?!?!?! There is ONE clerk who doesn't panic, just fits my bags onto the metal bag-holders, and starts piling the goods in. I like her. The rest make me feel like a freak over something that should be much more common-place.

And even more ironic, I noticed when I went in on Friday that at each door, there was a rack of these dinky (size wise, I didn't inspect them for quality) canvas totes printed with the safeway logo that you can purchase for $.99 each. They are even LESS likely than my bags to be easily handled by the clerks. I have a hard time imagining the freaking that will go on when more people start bringing their own. At least for a while. Because these clerks (with the one exception) don't seem to be able to adjust to even a slight change in procedure.

Evidently there was only ONE bagger on duty (at 2:30 pm on a Friday), and he was out grabbing carts from the parking lot. So another clerk who was supposed to be manning her own check-out packed my groceries for me, while the clerk who was checking my items through simply piled them on the conveyor for somebody else to handle. *shaking head* Idiot. I'm glad the other clerk was willing to step up and do the job. But, I think the time has come to talk to the manager (who also happens to be the mom of one of my best friends from HS).

And, I too felt like an idiot apologizing for doing the right thing. Astonishing what a "good girl" will do to avoid glares. I just don't like being known as the bitch. On the other hand, sometimes you've gotta be a bitch to get things done. It appears that may be the case here.


In other news, I shut my pinky finger on my left hand in the trunk of my car on Friday morning. I didn't break it, thank the gods. It was only the tip. I thought I might lose the nail, and it was bleeding pretty heftily. But now it's simply a blotchy purple & hurts like the dickens. The nail bed was VERY nicely bruised. And I didn't realise until I started typing this post how much it'd hurt to use that finger for pressing computer keys. *wry smile* Oh well. It'll heal.

I spent most of the last 3 days crafting. Some sewing (though not as much as I should be) for an exchange, so I won't mention what I'm sewing. A lot of crochet, more than I should have been doing.

I've got a granny-square afghan in the works that I started last winter then temporarily abandoned. It's autumn colors: brown, gold, orange, burgundy, and ivory. I think I may add some nice deep green as well. Simply 12" plain granny squares in each color. I was hoping I could get away with just 3 squares of each of those first 5 colors, but it appears I'm going to need to add a 4th square in each color, and the green, just to get a decent enough sized afghan. 36" x 60" is just too oddly sized to be comfortable. So I'll make it 21 sqares in a 4 x 5 grid: 48" x 60". That'll be a better size. It's kinda retro, being in the autumnal colors, but they're not the pukey oranges & golds & avocado greens we remember from grandma's sofa. (Or, at least the afghan grandma made for my parent's sofa that WAS warm, but _UGLY_!)

I also decided to try making one of my grocery sacks in a lighter weight cotton thread. Not quite doily thread, but still lighter than the dishcloth cotton I've been using. I need to see if the craft store has a couple more balls of this stuff. I hope so, as I bought the thread a couple of years back.


Dad came over for dinner last night & got to have some of my clam chowder. He liked it. I burnt the bacon, though, and used TOO much chicken broth (which made for a very broth-y chowder), but flavor wise it was good. That's what I get for never measuring. *grin*

The Szechuan Noodles with Spicy Beef Sauce were ok. DH & DD really liked them, but I thought it was kinda bland. Spicy, but bland.

Here's the recipe:

Szechuan Noodles with Spicy Beef Sauce

8 oz vermicelli (cooked & drained & rinsed with hot water)
1 lb ground beef
1-1/2 cup chopped onions
2 tsp minced garlic
1-1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 to 1-1/2 tsp dry crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3/4 c beef broth
1/3 c hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 c sliced green onions

Brown ground beef in a large skillet, stirring until it crumbles; drain & keep warm. Saute onion & next 3 ingredients in hot oil until tender. Combine cornstarch & beef broth, whisking until smooth. Stir broth mixture, hoisin, soy sauce & sesame oil into onion mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Stir in ground beef. Toss with hot cooked pasta & sprinkle with sliced green onions.

As I said, it was spicy but otherwise kinda bland for me. DH & DD liked it though.

This coming week's menu looks like:

Sunday: Chicken Club Ring (a Pampered Chef recipe, I'll post later)
Monday: Brats (or, whatever DH feels like cooking as I'm on the clock till 9:15)
Tuesday: Pork tenderloin fajitas
Wednesday: Pressure cooker Corned Beef & cabbag
Thursday: Tamale Pie (chili topped with corn-bread & baked)
Friday: hamburger helper (easy, quick, DH will be doing inventory & will probably be home very late & need to eat quickly so he can get to bed)
Saturday: Creamy White Chili (YUM! This is a family favorite, and I'll definitely post the recipe for this later. It's a taste-of-home recipe, which explains why it's so good. *grin*)


So, we got steady snow-fall all day Thursday & Friday, and It appears we probably got more in that 48 hours than we got at all last winter. *wry smile* Well, we wanted it!!!! Just not quite that much that fast. LOL Friday it was snowing so heavily that I swept off the back deck, and had to turn around & do it again. I could have continued in that line all evening, but decided to call it quits & let DH take the next time. I also worked up a sweat pushing the snow off DH's carport and decided to let the hubby do mine. LOL That's hard work!!!! I knew snow is heavy, but using a push-broom to push the snow off from the INSIDE of the carports so that it falls in the "alley" between the two...... NOT easy!

We do still want more snow, just not that much more in one go! We need more, though, to keep our pipes & such from freezing up this year like they did last year.

Ok. Gonna head around & visit all my blogger-buddies that I haven't seen in a couple of days. I hope y'all are doing well.

Have a Blessed Day!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

You know you are from Fairbanks when....

you were appalled when "Alaskaland" was changed to "Pioneer Park". (I STILL refuse to call it "pioneer park!" It will always be "Alaskaland!"

you know what Polar Roller was and you went there every chance you got

the 365 mile drive to Anchorage can be a weekend trip

the recent addition of Chili's, Barnes and Noble and Old Navy was revolutionary (Very new additions, and not all of us are pleased!)

you think Alaska Airlines sucks and don't understand why there isn't another airline

you know what its like to drive down a road and see a sign that says "musher's xing" (Just up the road a couple of minutes, as a matter of fact. And a home-made sign, at that.)

Super Value was the awesomest supermarket ever and you miss the free cookies.

you think a building is poorly designed if there is a door that goes straight to the outside, NO arctic entryway. Absurd!

the Big Dipper isn't just a constellation (This is where DD practices her hockey, a good deal of the time. Also refered to as "The Dipper".)

elephant ears and turkey legs are the only true reasons you go to the fair

you remember the true Li'l Freds and miss the snack bar with Slush Puppies and pretzels. (The ORIGIONAL Fred Meyers in town, now another empty building.)

Fascinations: Bentley Mall. Enough said.

you know that Hot Licks isn't the name of a porno (good ice-cream, though rather expensive)

you know the Knotty Shop isn't a sex store (great gift shop!)

you know you're from FAI when Anchorage seems huge

You see Mike Schultz in public and think you just saw a celebrity (he's the weather guy! And he's got a really bad track record!)

you haven't gone out out of state for 10 yrs cause it costs too much (See Mom!!! I'm not the only one!)

you think that ten below just really isn't that cold at all you get the 'Miner and the first thing you check is to see if anyone you know got arrested. (*Nods*)

you tell Lower 48'ers that you live in North Pole, and they gape at you. (Also when ordering ANYTHING over the phone)

You used to think Joey The Robotic Boy and Hank Scratchum were actually in the studio with Glenner (Glenner & Jerry were THE radio act to listen to on 98.1 KISS FM when I was in HS.)

you turn 18 and still can't buy cigarettes but can finally go to the SHOWBOAT!!! (Not one I can PERSONALLY relate to, but the hubby could!)

on a friday night the only thing to do is either go to a hockey game or go to the theater (Still ARE the only things to do in town on a Friday night.)

you need a passport driving to the states

you used to go to Gold King's games just to see the fights. (And now, the Ice Dogs. The Gold Kings left town several years back.)

the teachers have to tell the kids to keep their coats on when its zero degrees out. (Seriously!)

you check the radio every morning all winter to hear what the temp is. -45 means no school! (Not "NO school" but "School optional at parental discretion", and often the daycares will be closed.)

as a kid it took you 10 minutes to get all your snow gear on for recess, 10 minutes outside, and then 10 minutes to climb our of your gear. (*Nods*)

you brag about making it down airport way without being stopped at every damn light. (Still do brag if I don't get caught by the 3 I have to pass under on my way to work.)

you're bored in the winter and decide to throw boiling water out your window for entertainment (*snort* Yep!)

you have at least 2 friends with the same shirt as you... and sometimes you wear them on the same day... by accident.

you pass Fantasy Land on the way to the Santa Clause House. (Fantasy Land IS an Adult video & "toy" store.)

you go to the (1) movie theater parking lot and spin around on the ice with your car for fun. (been there, done that, with hubby!)

Anchorage or Palmer sounds like the best vacation spot in the world after being cooped up in fairbanks the whole winter (YEP!)

you have to watch out for moose on your way to the school bus stop. (Yep!)

You don't understand why people are staring at you for wearing shorts at 60 degrees. (Actually had folks in Florida, in November tell us to put on some jackets, when we were down there as kids, as we were wearing sundresses & tanks & shorts.)

your car cost less than your snowmachine! (Not far off, either. My car cost all of $3,600, about 5 years ago.)

when people look at you funny for saying snowmachine instead of snow mobile. (I don't know what's wierd about this. I think "snowmobile" is wierd!)

when parents will trick their kids into starting the car to tell them they are growing up when really the parents are to cheap to buy an auto start. (*snort* I remember my parents pulling this one, too.... At least until I almost backed the car into the side of our church's new sanctuary.)

when one day the weather is like -40 below, then the next day its above zero. (*nods*)

You show pictures of your car to friends from the lower 48 and they think the plug-in hanging out the front means it is electric. (it's not. We've got engine warming equipment under the hood to keep the block & battery from freezing up on us. "Plug it in if it's 20 deg." is a borough catch-phrase around here.)

when formal attire consists of carharts and bunny boots. (Seriously!!! You walk into ANY NICE restaraunt around here, and you're likely to see at least one person seated wearing carhart pants with a carhart jacket hanging over the back of the chair.)

when you know that alaskaland is NOT an amusement park!! and denali park is not a short drive away (NO SH**!)

when you can sing the entire Alaska Flag Song and wonder why people from the lower 48s don't know their state flag song. (Wish I still remembered the whole thing. Not so, though I CAN hum bits & pieces.)

when taking relatives to the Santa Clause House is about as fun as going to the dentist. (Isn't THAT the truth!)

when you start the count down for Arctic Man, two days after the last one. (Again, not one _I_ can relate to, but DH does.)

when half the town is involved in the golden days parade and the other half watches. (*snort* Yep, this one too!)

when carharts seem to go perfectly with every outfit. (Sure, why not! Better than blue feet or fingers!)

when thermometers get stuck. (*nods*)

you never see your friends in the summer because they've dedicated their lives to serving tourists. (LOL Yep!)

you think fireworks only happen at 40 below in January and never on the 4th of July... (*sigh* I MISS a good -WARM- fireworks show!)

you went to the Ice Park for the twirly ice orbs (Well, the kiddo does!)

You think Chena Hot Springs as a resort destination. (About the closet you can get, around here.)

You'll always know Jay Ramras as "Jay Bird" (*grin* YEP! Some darned good chicken wings those were, too, for those who like chicken wings.)

you know what a Nanook is. (Nanook: eskimo -or inuit- word for Polar Bear. Also our local U's mascot.)

you're incredilous to discover that most people in the world suck-ass at driving in the snow. (YEP!)

you've been charged by a moose (yep!)

you know that the fair = RAIN. (Also, nodding when somebody mutters "fair weather" in August.)

a top of a random hill is the kickin' party spot. (The end of peridot, when I was in HS. Or at various spots along the dike.) (Oh, and that's another one. Around here "the dike" does NOT refer to a lesbian woman. It refers to the dike that blocks Fairbanks & North Pole from high waters on the Tanana river.)

You're scared to death of anyone touching your hair while at Chena Hot Springs in the dead -45 of winter. (a girl's long hair is capable of snapping off from being wet after a dip in the springs, then emerging into the extremely cold air, if somebody were to bend it.)

you have to plug your car in if you leave it anywhere for more than a few hours. Even so, you have to let your car warm up for about 15 minutes before you drive it. (I can't even pull my seat far enough forward to reach the pedals unless it's been warming up for 15 minutes, if it's colder than -20 deg.)

when you can tell the temperature by the stiffness of your car's extension cord. (*snort*)

when 'Breakup' is a season, not something you do with your boyfriend. (Yep!)

you know that plugging in your car is not just for remote controlled toys. (Darn straight.)

and when it hits 10+ after 40- that means shorts and shirts. (Yep!)


Lamonts? (yep! Now Gottschalks is in that building.)

rollerskating at Polar Roller? (I lived 2 blocks from here, growing up! We used to go on
Saturday mornings when it was "safe" for kids with very few of the hooligans around.)

the movie theater only had two screens and everyone stood in line outside waiting to buy tickets? (I don't recall this one, actually.)

the water level changing on the fountain downtown? (*shaking head* Actually, don't recall this either.)

when Hotlicks was more than just a stand by the side of the road? (We were actually in a commercial for Hotlicks when I was a kid after biking from our house out past Ft. Wainwright Army Post, through post, through Fairbanks, to the bottom of the U. hill, to Hotlicks for icecream one weekend.)

the Magic Carpet? (This only closed a couple of years ago. I miss it!)

when DQ blew up. (Don't recall this either. I think it happened VERY shortly after we moved up here, and I was all of 6 years old then. Evidently somebody didn't like the owner & attempted to blow him up along with the store. But it happened at like 3 AM and he wasn't in the building. He left state shortly thereafter & soon his second DQ went belly-up.)

JC Pennys as the main store to shop besides Sears and Lamonts. (Yep! In fact, JCP's only closed a couple of months after DD was born.)

(I got from a HS friend, and want to add: Do you remember when there WASN'T a Sears, and we knew that building as "The Center".)

These are kinda fun to read, even when one DOESN'T get all the bits & pieces on them. It's kinda fun to see the differences in regional references. And kinda funny to see how some aspects may cross over from one region to another. (Like, I'd bet Fairbanksans aren't the ONLY folks who wear carharts to nice resteraunts. That may be more common in some UP areas, I'd bet. Same goes for plugging in the vehicals.)

Have a Blessed Day!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Awful quiet around here lately......

The rest of the week at work went about the same as normal. Nothing worth reporting home about, really.

I got to "build" a stable this week. DD had a project due Friday for class. The object was to build a model of something mentioned in a book they're reading in class: _Riding Freedom_ by Pat Munoz Ryan. DD wanted to build a whole ranch out of toothpicks, or something. We wound up going with a 2-horse stable built out of cardboard. *grin* It was actually kinda funny as Wednesday night after work, DH was sitting at the table helping DD with her math & spelling (cerebral work) and I was on the floor drafting plans for a stable & cutting the pieces out with a razor. Just felt kinda funny to be doing the more "handy-man" type thing while the hubby (who's not really a cerebral type person at all) was doing the brain work.

Thursday DD and DH and I put the stable together & added the polishing bits (bits of straw glued to the floor in the stalls, a yarn "rope" hanging looped on the wall, a "bucket" with glued-on oats hanging on the wall, a cot with blanket for the main-character in the tack-room of the stable, some decorations outside the door). We did it so that you could look down into the stable through a lid that lifted partly up, and yet looked somewhat solid.

Dropped off the stable at school with the kiddo on Friday morning. My volunteer time was par for the course: busy as hell. DD came home Friday with news that her stable hadn't even survived the day. *grin* The teacher took a good enough look at it to start grading DD, closed the roof, and the whole thing fell apart. ROFLMBO It was only card-board & elmers glue, so I'm not suprised, but it's still kinda funny. I'm just glad the teacher did look it over before things fell apart. I'd hate for the kiddo to get a poor grade because of my shoddy workmanship. *wink*

Today, we had hockey practice in town at 11:45 to 12:45. Dad came in to watch. Which I'm very glad for because he's been acting rather distraught over my baby sister's move out of state (she left on..... Wednesday morning I think it was). He was saying that he felt about as upset as when his parents died. *rolling eyes* We invited him over for supper tonight, as I was making lasagna. It got him out of the house for a bit.

DH and DD and DD's best friend, and a new boy in the neighbourhood were all in & out & around & noisy as hell, and finally the hubby & all 3 of the kids went to tonight's Ice Dog's game. The new neighbour boy is a hoot. This kid's loud as hell (just VERY loud talking voice), but nice. His mouth moves about a mile a minute, and he seems to jump from one subject to the next with no breaths between, sometimes jumping back & forth between subjects. Makes it somewhat comical to try to follow along.

Anyway, with all the activity, we didn't sit down to eat till 6:40 (dinner was supposed to be by 6:15 to give DH & DD plenty of time to get to the game), before they all headed out. And Dad finally just headed home about 15 minutes ago now.

Tomorrow it's back to work, then I work through Wednesday. Have Thursday off for Alaska day, Friday will be my usual volunteer hours at the school, and Saturday again before my week ends.

LOL I said it was quiet, but typing it all out like this, it doesn't seem like it. I guess it has been a busy week, but it doesn't seem like it until I put it into words.


I've been sleeping better, now that I've got the ear-plugs. DH got woken at 8:06 by a phone-call this morning from a debt-consolidation place wanting to know if we needed help consolidating. He told them (and I quote) "It's 8:06 and I was asleep. You woke me up!! Don't call here again!" (He promptly hung up, didn't wait for any replies from the other person.) Just the way he said it, so deadly serious, was hilarous. Like he was darned well going to reach through the phone & throttle somebody if they call again. *grin*

Anyway, I am waking up to my alarm clock on my own, though. I'm glad for that. I was kinda worried that I would sleep right through it, as quiet as my alarm clock is. (It's a little travel-alarm clock that I've had since HS and it's got only a tiny little beep, which is usually all I need.)


Let's see, my menu for the coming week is:

Sunday: Fish & Chips (not making my own fish or chips, just using Gorton's & Safeway brand fries)
Monday: Steak & Potatoes
Tuesday: Biscuits & Gravy
Wednesday: French Dip Sandwiches
Thursday: Szechuan noodles w/ Spicy Beef Sauce (new recipe, I'll let ya know how it goes)
Friday: Spaghetti
Saturday: Clam Chowder

Oh, and here's the recipe for the meatloaf I made this past week....

Bacon & Swiss Meatloaf

1 egg
1/4 c milk (recipe calls for evap. milk, I used regular)
6 oz shredded Swiss cheese, divided
1 c crumbled cooked bacon, divided
1/2 c soft breadcrumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1-1/2 lb ground beef

In a larg bowl, combine the egg, milk, 1 c swiss cheese, 3/4 c bacon, bread crumbs, garlic powder, and onion powder. Crumble beef over mixture & mix well. Shap into a loaf in a greased 11"x7"x2" baking dish. (I used a regular ol' loaf pan.) Bake, uncovered, at 350 deg. F. for 1 hour or until meat is no longer pink & a meat thermometer reads 160 deg. F. (Drain off excess grease at this point.) Sprinkle with remaining cheese & bacon. Bake 3 to 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

I served this with a buttermilk Colcannon. (Ie: boil potatoes & cabbage together, drain & mash together, stir in butter as usual, but use buttermilk instead of the normal milk or cream.) YUM!!!!

DH loved this meatloaf. DD and I thought it was ok (though actually she didn't like the combo of swiss & bacon) but certainly not our favorite meatloaf recipe. She prefers my usual. DH said he liked not having the ketchup on top. LOL Ironically, meatloaf is the ONLY time I actually like ketchup.


Well, I think that about covers it for now.

Have a Blessed Day!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'm a number 9.

Not THAT kinda number 9. THIS kinda number 9:

You Are 9: The Peacemaker

You are emotionally stable and willing to find common ground with others.

Your friends and family often look to you to be the mediator when there is conflict.

You are easy going and accepting. You take things as they come.

Avoiding conflict at all costs, you're content when things are calm.

At Your Best: You feel connected, trusting, and fulfilled. You feel at peace with your place in the world.

At Your Worst: You compromise your values to make sure peace is maintained. You give in to bullies.

Your Fixation: Harmony

Your Primary Fear: Causing conflict

Your Primary Desire: To preserve things as they are

Other Number 9's: Marge Simpson, Ronald Reagan, Audrey Hepburn, Jerry Seinfeld, and Abraham Lincoln.

Can't say I have a problem with having something in common with Audrey Hepburn. Could be much worse people to have things in common with. (Like Dubya!)

Have a Blessed Day!

And I should care, WHY?????

To set the scene: Monday night, 10:10 pm. Our kitchen table, eating a very late dinner.

The hubby and I were talking about ages, the hubby just having learnt that his boss's wife (the couple are old friends of the FIL's) is about 15 years younger than the boss himself. The hubby then proceeds to say to me:

"Guess who turned 37 today?"

Me: "Ok. I give. Who?"

DH: "Matt Damon"

Me: "Yeah, so?"

DH: "And guess how old I heard Gwen Stefani turned last week!!!!"

Me: *sigh* "How old?"

DH: "She turned 38 already. I can't believe she's almost 40!!!!"

Me: "Ok, what's the point here???? Why should I care how old they are????"

DH: "I don't know. It's just kinda cool that they're older than we are. I thought you'd be interested."

Me: "No, quite honestly, I couldn't care less right now."

I'm sick & tired of the news being about celebrities birthdays, who's losing custody of her dogs as well as her kids, who's having twins and who's not pregnant after all. I'm sick of it being more important that some hollywood celebrity got a DUI than the state of our environment, our govermnent, our economy, or hell..... Even our own school district!!!!! And I told DH that I don't see why the news we always hear about has these stupid hollywood actors & singers involved instead of what's really important. His response?

"Well, that's all most of us care about! We don't wanna hear about how bad the economy's is. That's not interesting!"

*shaking my head* Idoicy. THAT'S what it is! Idiocy, when one is more interested in a bunch of air-brushed, lip-syncing dancing chimps than one is about the reality of life.

Well, I for one am SICK & TIRED OF IT!!!!!! It's not that I don't find it mildly interesting that Gwen Stefani is 2 years away from 40. But when I find it interesting it's not because I'm wondering how HER birthday party went. It's because it reminds me that I'm less than 2 years away from 30, and I'm wondering where the last 10 years went.

Yeah for Jennifer Lopez (I refuse to call her by the more popular nick-name) having twins. That's great, I suppose. But I'm happier for my blogger friend who just found out she's having her first, one she's been trying to get prego with, for a long time.

Britney Spears has lost custody of her kids??? Ok. Well send that CPS worker up here & have them get my SIL's boys into foster care (because even the problems with foster care, those boys would be better off than they are in my SIL's care).

The rare instance this "celebrity" news interests me, it generally ties back into something that ACTUALLY concerns me. Not because I really give a rat's butt about the celeb's life. They've got their own friends to share their concerns with. I've got my own problems to deal with that I don't need to focus on their problems instead. And even if my life is great, there are a lot bigger things to be concerned about than a certain heiress's latest antics. Like the environmental problems I mentioned earlier. Or this housing slump & how it'll affect my hubby & I in our house (hopefully it won't). Or the president's veto of the Schip Bill that'll affect both my nephews and my niece, and evidently a great number of my friend's kids as well, but it's not something the Cruises are at all going to be concerned about for their little girl, or Brad & Angelina for their 4 kids.

I just don't care.

So, don't bother leaving celebrity tid-bits on my blog, unless they're TRULY doing something great to improve lives other than their own. On the other hand.... I'm sick & tired of hearing Bono toot his own horn in regards to all the "great" stuff he does. And Angelina Jolie is starting to get on my nerves. Maybe she could start a school like Oprah did instead of adopting just one child from each country. Even Oprah, with all her good works, IS NOT A GOD! (Except in the sense that we all bear that divine spark.) I don't care to read a book titled "The Gospel of Oprah". *shaking head*

Really people, there are other, everyday people in this world making a difference: teaching, raising money, helping the poor & sick, feeding the hungry, raising awareness about the environment, volunteering in our schools to help our children read & learn math, building homes (not as grand as on a popular TV show, but sturdy & bound to be well-loved) for poor folks, teaching kids about beautiful music they can make themselves & how to paint & draw...... There are sooooo many people in this world who do good works & never expect to have their names in lights for their efforts. The most they might expect is a THANK YOU from the mom of that little girl they're tutoring, as they pass in the school hallway. And that's sufficient.

It's time to focus on what's important. Celebrity life in Hollywood just isn't important. They don't deserve this much of our energy & thought.

Oh, and for what it's worth. I'm sick & freaking tired of that stupid Nickleback song "I wanna be a rockstar". _I_ DO NOT want to be a rock-star, certainly don't want to have my drug-dealer on speed-dial, or party invites to the "fancy" clubs with a who's-who of hollywood, or wear designer duds, or have a garage with 15 cars and a rockin' "crib". I can't figure out if that song is making fun of the "rock-star" lifestyle, or promoting it. If they're promoting it, I find it VERY offensive the way they go on & on about the drug activity prevelent in that lifestyle. If they're making fun of it, it's rather odd that they seem to find that drug-use so entertaining. This is another thing that the hubby just loves (and because her daddy does, my daughter loves it as well), that I can't stand to hear on the radio.

Jeesh..... As I write this, I hear the folks on the radio saying something about "Britney Spears". MY POINT, EXACTLY!

Have a Blessed Day!

Monday, October 08, 2007

My Chili Recipe.....

As promised yesterday, here's what I did for my Chili last night for supper. Bear in mind, various components change each & every time depending on what I have on hand.

2 pounds moose burger (gifted to us by a friend who got a moose this year, this is old stuff, and twice as much meat as I'd usually use)
1 whole base-ball sized onion, chopped (probably could have used 2, but I didn't HAVE 2 onions)
6 cloves of garlic, pressed into the pan
2 cans large red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
2 cans chopped tomatoes, drained of SOME of the juice
3 small cans tomato sauce
1 (7 oz) can chopped green chilies
1 can nibblets corn
1 medium sized zucchini, chopped into pieces only slightly larger than corn kernels
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp worchestershire sauce
1/2 c minute rice (only added because there was so much liquid)
toppings (shredded cheese, sour cream)

Brown your meat & onions together, drain grease & return meat & onions to pot. Add in garlic & sautee for a few minutes longer. Add in the rest of your ingredients except the rice and simmer for 20 or so minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. Add rice & cover & simmer about 5 more minutes. Ladle into bowls & top with cheese or sour cream (or maybe other toppings that your family prefers that I'm not aware of). Serve with a yummy piece of fry-bread, or buttered saltines, or what-have-you. Enjoy!


I won't be online at all tomorrow probably. I have to get the front tires on my car changed over to my studded tires. I've got an appointment to do so at 10 am tomorrow in town right across from the courthouse (almost visible in the arctic-cam picture). That doesn't leave me any time to get on here, so I'll see you all Wednesday again at the soonest.

In the meantime.......

Have a Blessed Day!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

What a Shame!!!!

So evidently some drunk morons broke into the Musee Dorsay in Paris & vandalized a famous Monet painting. Link to the article here. I got to visit Paris when I was about 17 years old, and the Musee Dorsay was my favorite of the museums we got to visit. All the paintings Monet did are beautiful, and while this isn't my favorite of his work, it's still an absolute shame that folks would do something like that. *shaking head*

Makes me wonder at the idiocy of folks who would put their fists through this: *sigh* Again, just finding it a terrible shame. I hope these idiots are caught & find it very hard to continue life in Paris after trying to ruin artwork like that.

Doin' better today.....

Thank you Em, and Robin, and Barefoot G. I picked up some silicone (moldable) earplugs at the grocery store yesterday, and slept MUCH better last night. *grin* Actually, I tossed and turned quite a bit because it's strange having something in your ears when you're not used to it, but between rolling about, I was sleeping like a rock. Maybe tonight will be better. The earplugs made DH's snoring something more of a soft shushing sound. I didn't hear the train come through at all last night. They even kept me from realizing DD left her alarm clock on yesterday, when she spent last night with her best friend, and the alarm was beeping repeatedly this morning. I woke up naturally at about 9:30, and even had enough energy to get my 20 minutes of exercising done, a load of laundry started, coffee made, rolls popped into the oven, and a second load of laundry ready to go when the first is in the drier. *grin* I feel SOOOOOOOOO much better when I sleep solidly!

Robin, I've tried the snore-eeze & DH did too, and unfortunately they didn't work for us. The reason sleeping on our sides works so well for us is that we're throat-snorers. I even had my uvula (that dangly thing in the back of one's throat) removed to try to lessen my snoring. But suffice it to say, when one is sleeping on their back (and even, for some reason, often on one's stomach) the tongue moves to the back of the throat, closing the wind-pipe & making it somewhat more difficult for that person to breath properly. Outcome: snoring. My whole family has a history of sleep-apnea, and I'm actually one of the worst. Which is WHY I had my uvula removed. I had to have a tonsilectomy at 20 due to a nasty bout with strep, which was being performed by the same dr. that took my adnoids out when I was about 8. He decided -with my go-ahead- that removing my uvula would be a good option to attempt to calm the snoring as well. It helped, after a year of healing & crappy sleep. *wry smile*

Barefoot G, Unfortunately sending DD to bed earlier really doesn't help much as I'm also a night-owl. If I try to head to bed too early, I still wind up laying there unable to sleep. Reading for a while helps, but even so I can find myself laying in bed for 2 hours, reading, before I get tired. 10:00 has always been a pretty good bed-time for DD, and as we eat supper late anyway, it means she's not going to bed right on top of supper. But I DO need to be more strict about being in bed by 10 pm (except on Monday nights, when I'm not home from work till 9:45 anyway). Now that she's able to read on her own, we have -a few times- told her to go read for a while, but that it was time to be in bed. Just need to be more consistent.


So this is what Fairbanks looks like this morning. Mind you, I don't live in Fairbanks, but this is just over the bridge & a few blocks away from where I work. In fact, my mom used to work in the same building this camera is located on. It finally started snowing on Friday night and hasn't stopped since. Here's the arctic-cam link, if anybody's interested: Anyway, thought y'all would like to see a pic of my town on a winter morning. This cam does update about every minute, so occasionally you'll see folks walking about in that parking lot. Cars pulling in or off that road. Sometimes folks'll even set up a time for family/friends out of state to look at the camera & the local person will be in the parking lot waving. *grin*


Here's my menu for the week:

Saturday: Beef Stuffed Soapaipillas (I think I've posted this recipe before.)

Sunday: Chili (quick, easy, I'll try to post my recipe for this later this week)

Monday: Chef Salads (Dh's cooking night, also hockey practice for DD, we go all out on making our own)

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Chicken (another easy one, will post later what I do)

Wednesday: Summer Sausage Ruebens (a Rachel Ray recipe)

Thursday: Bacon Swiss Meatloaf (a new recipe for us, I'll post it later & let you know how it turns out)

Friday: Hot dogs & Mac & Cheese (cheap, easy, quick, pre-made)

Saturday: Lasagna (have previously posted this recipe as well)


Edited to add: *grumble* Looks like we're going to have to shell out for a new (or, new to us) washer & drier. Our drier's been on the down-hill slide for a few weeks now. It takes 3 cycles at high heat to dry a load of clothes. Not energy efficient at all, any more. And now our washer isn't aggitating any more. Evidently the teeth that catch & turn the aggitator are worn down & are no longer catching & causing the aggitator to aggitate the clothes. So, the clothes are just kind of bounching, but not being turned & rolled & tumbled. *sigh* Yep. Time to shell out some $$ for a new set, evidently. I'd hoped we'd maybe get to spend that money on a new couch. Because our current couch is DH's grandma's old couch. She had it for about 3 years before we got it, and it's now about 7 years old & rather tattered (thanks to a couple of dogs who won't stay off it). We can't get a slip-cover for it because the two end seats are recliners and it's impossible to find slip-covers for that kind of couch. At least locally. *sigh* I guess we'll just have to deal, though. Because a washer & drier comes first. A little more necessary than a tatter-free couch. And no, I don't think we could wash our clothes & towels & such completely by hand & hang-dry. With DH & I working, and DD in school, we just don't have that kind of time, or space. *grumble*

I think that's about it for this morning.

Have a Blessed Day!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I'm so freaking tired.......

It seems as though everybody & everything is conspiring against me to get any freakin' sleep lately. The kiddo refuses to go to bed before 10, and thinks that now that she's older (*rolling eyes*) she should get to stay up till 10:30 or 11:00, or whenever she's tired. Problem is, she still believes she simply MUST be tucked into bed by me. Doesn't seem to see WHY I may want to get to bed at a reasonable time myself. I take my showers just before bed, so ideally she's in bed at 10, so I can get in & get a shower & hopefully be in bed before eleven. (My hair takes a lot of time to deal with, being nearly down to my backside.)

The night before last it was 10:25 before the kiddo went to bed, as she & her dad were going over her spelling words one last time. Then he went in & took a shower while I sat & read, waiting for the shower. I finally got my shower & crawled into bed at about 5 till midnight. Of course, the hubby was already asleep & snoring. So I nudged him and asked him to roll over, he rolled over to his stomach & resumed snoring. Try as I might, for at least the next half-hour, I couldn't get him to roll onto his side. Just as I finally succeed, and he stops snoring & I start dozing, the train came through.

We live less than a 1/4 mile from a rail-road track. Which is usually fine. We've lived here so long that we can all 3 pretty well sleep right through it. But occasionally they'll get a jerky conductor who doesn't seem to realize that it's MIDNIGHT and he'll lay on the freakin' horn as he crosses every road in town. And there are at least 3 spots where the train crosses a road. And you can lay there & count the seconds. Longest I've ever heard them blast that horn at midnight: 30 seconds. Count it out, now imagine trying to fall asleep as the conductor is blaring that thing, a 1/4 mile (un-insulated-by-trees) away from your bedroom window. Night before last, it was only 20 seconds that this guy would lay on the horn each time. He did this 3 times at the road-crossings, then another 2 as he was alerting the folks who control the gate into the refinery.

The train conductor finally quits. I start dozing again. FINALLY. And guess what...... PUCK decides he's sick of sleeping in our room but I evidently shut the door too much for him (it wasn't even resting against the door-jam), so he starts whimpering & scratching at the door to be let out. Freaking A!!!!! Do that, and I FINALLY get to sleep. It was about 1 am. My alarm clock goes off at 7:45 AM on school mornings. I got less than 7 hours of sleep when all was said & done. I work best on at least 9 hours, preferably ten.

LAST night. The kiddo, again, was arguing against going to bed. Who cares. 10:05 and she's in bed. My plan was to go get a shower. The hubby wants to watch an episode of Dead Zone. That's something that we actually do together, fine. I'll watch an episode of Dead Zone. (It's a good show, really!) Ironically, the hubby started dozing off half-way through. *rolling eyes* After the episode ended (we're currently renting the 4th season from the movie store, we've got season 5 recorded on our DVR), the hubby went to get on the computer & I went in for my shower. It was now 11 pm.

Come out of the bathroom at just before midnight & climb into bed, and GUESS WHAT!!!!! I couldn't fall asleep. I'm a night owl by nature, and though I'll be tired as hell, it often happens that my brain won't shut down. Ok, so I laid there & read for a bit. I know that laying there with my eyes closed just makes matters worse, so reading is a decent option. It was about 12:30 before I got drowsy enough to put the book down, take off my glasses, & turn out the light.

2:30 (give or take 15 minutes), I hear the TV on in the living room & I go to investigate if DH fell asleep in front of it again, and turn it off. Nope, he was awake & turned it down a bit & I went BACK to bed. At some point later he came in to bed, and promptly started snoring. I Nudged, he ignored me. This continued off & on for a while until I FINALLY got him to roll over & got to sleep for a while myself. But, it also reoccured another 2 times that I'd have to nudge him several times to get him to roll over. Of course, he gets snappy with ME because that wakes him up. *shaking head*

At 7:56 this morning (according to the coffee-pot clock) the phone rings. Of course _I_ jump out of bed (the hubby sleeps like a rock, and my side of the bed is closer to the door) and answer the damned thing. It's an automated message from Dish Network saying that if we don't pay our bill they're going to cut off our cable. IT'S PAID!!!!! WE PAID IT A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO! STOP CALLING ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course, it's an automated message, so it wouldn't do me any good to scream at the damn thing. The kiddo also got woken up, and after we'd both visited the bathroom, we crawl back into bed & attempt to get BACK to sleep.

The kiddo succeeded. I didn't. The hubby was on his back & snoring again. FREAKING A! *nudge, nudge, nudge* No response. *nudge, nudge, PUSH* He finally rolls over. For about 10 minutes. Just long enough for me to doze off. This happened several more times before he snapped at ME about how no matter what position he layed in, he was going to snore. NOT FREAKING TRUE, and I'm about to sew a damned tennis ball into the back of his boxer shorts!!!!!!

FINE!!!!! I took my pillow & MY blanket & went to sleep on the couch. Guess what. NOT happening. As soon as I lay down, crying because I'm so freaking tired, the damned dogs across the street start barking. The woman's got 4, her hubby's got 1, her hubby's dog is the only one who doesn't bark. And because she works a night shift, she's up this time of morning unwinding from work, and doesn't mind that her dogs are outside for 20, 30 minutes at a time, barking their freaking heads off. And if they so much as see the blinds go up in a house across the street, they start back up. *shaking head*

WTF ever. So much for sleeping in till 10 am this morning. And of course, the kiddo got up at 9 and asked me to get her breakfast, and is now in on the couch watching cartoons. As far as breakfast goes, I told her that at 10 years old she can darn well fix herself something to eat. She had yogurt & a piece of fry-bread. *rolling eyes* Oh, and the hubby is in bed, on his back, SNORING! He can make his own damned coffee today.

Evidently I'm just not meant to sleep. Thing is, I'm so freaking tired that I'm sitting here crying. I'm completely useless without sleep. I'm pissy. I'm crying all day. And I know that tomorrow morning I'll have to be up at 9 am to get ready for work. (Saturdays are the ONE day I'm supposed to be able to sleep in, and yet, I NEVER GET TO!) Monday will be a day off for DD, thank the Goddess. That means I MAY get to sleep till 9, if everything else doesn't conspire against me again. Tuesday, it's back to waking up at 7:45 and more sleep deprivation. *sigh*

I'm about damned ready to rent myself a room up at Chena Hot Springs for a couple of nights. Just me! In a room. All by myself. Away from large amounts of traffic. *sigh* As if it'd do any good. I'd probably get a room next to a very vocal honey-mooning couple. *rolling eyes*

Tell you what, I'm picking up some damned ear-plugs when I go to the grocery store today.

Have a Blessed Day!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy, as usual.....

Hey Barb!!!! Glad to see ya back!!!

Anyway. Let's see..... DD had 2 nights of hockey practice this week. I had to go pick her up from last night's practice because the hubby was volunteering at the concession stand at the local U's hockey rink. It brings in money for DD's hockey fees. Unfortunately not enough parents are willing to do their time in the concession stand (most of them figure "well hey, WE can afford not to, and I don't want to sully my image by stooping to work at a concession stand", evidently), so we may lose that source of fund-raising, if more parents don't pull their heads out of their @$$es and realize that for a few of us parents, this is one of the few ways we can afford to put our daughters in hockey. We really wouldn't be able to afford hockey if not for the fund-raising.

Also found out last night that the coach for the 12-U team enjoys making trips out of state to tournaments. Unfortunately a couple of them are East Coast, and a couple of the parents with older daughters said that Last Year's visit to Connecticut cost them over 4-grand, just for that tournament & travel costs. *shaking head* There is no WAY we could scrounge up that much money, much less 3 trips a year at that cost, and not counting the numerous trips to Anchorage that the 12-U team makes. We may be pulling DD out of the IceBreaker's League next year, if this coach is still intent on our girls traveling that much. *sigh* Which is too bad because we've otherwise loved the IceBreakers.

Again with the wishing that other folks realize how financially strapped some of us are. Not all of us rake in the big $$$$.


Still volunteering at the school on Fridays. Though I missed last week because the hubby took my car in to be IM'd.

The results of that IM were fantastic. My car's IM emmissions are still so low that they are literally a fraction of the upper limit for allowable emmissions. My car could be doing 75% worse, and finally meet the limit. Of course that's not counting the engine, which seems to be close to giving out. Or the car's body, which is totaled. But for a second time, the IM guy was shocked how low my emmissions are, and commented to the hubby that even BRAND NEW, fresh off the lot cars have higher emmissions that my car does. *shaking head* Dang. Really, really wish the rest of the car was running that good.

And, for that matter, knowing that my car runs so cleanly makes me feel a bit better about the fact that I don't get even 30 miles to the gallon. I know it would still be best if I didn't have to drive so much, but every little bit, huh????


I'm rather frustrated with my hubby. Watching the news last night he was HAPPY to see that the president veto'd that children's health bill. *shaking head* Said that if families who are making $80,000 a year were going to qualify, then NOBODY should get it. WTF???? What the hell kind of sense does that make?????? Never mind that the cost of funding this wasn't going to come out of his pocket anyway (the tax on cigs was going to be raised to 1 dollar a pack, instead of the 35 cents a pack -or whatever- it is now). I told the hubby that I was disappointed that he'd rather see ALL children lose, just because a handful of parents got lucky by gaining the ability to state-provided insurance for their kids. I think he'd feel very differently if the insurance I get through my job wasn't so good. I'm glad that my one coworker got the full-time library page job at work, so she can now provide her sons with insurance and not have to rely on the president's say-so for health coverage for her sons. Unfortunately, that's just one person. A LOT more children & their families are now SOL. And that just sucks.

And the irony, of course, is that the idiot in the big chair wants 4 BILLION for his war, but won't sign off on 35 MILLION for the health of our kids. Just who the hell does he think is going to be fighting that war for him, in 5 to 10 years, if not those kids he's now denying medical benefits for?!?!?!?!

It makes me so mad I could just scream. I'm lucky, and thankful, that DD has medical. But my niece doesn't. My nephews don't. And those are just the 3 that I'm close to. *sigh*

Childish & pointless, I know, but there's a big ol' part of me that wants to get a piece of poster-board, print on it "BUSH, YOU SUCK" and leave it on my back deck, aimed at the sky, every day when I go to work. All those satelites taking pictures of all of us can see how sick & tired I am of the bull-s*** this president is pulling on our country, and in our country's name. I know it wouldn't do any good, but maybe it'd make ME feel better. I'd be screaming to the heavens. *wry grin*


Thanks for all the happy birthday wishes for DD. She got kinda embarassed when she saw "that many people are telling me happy birthday?!?!?" *wink* She says she hates it when I post pictures of her on here, but oooooh, she does like reading the responses. LOL

Well. I think that's it for today.

Have a Blessed Day!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Gods, He's a Cutie!!!!

And no..... I'm not talking about my hubby. There's a new computer guy at work. I think I heard he's an intern. Anyway, perfect blend of brains & brawn on that one. *sigh* Of course he's at least 5 years my junior, I'm sure, AND I'm married. But ooooooh, a girl can look!!!!! And Gosh Dangit!!!! I DO wish he wouldn't smile at me!!!!!!! Darn near makes my knees go weak. Of course, I can't actually let on that I've kinda got the hots for this guy, but still.......

I mentioned this to one coworker of mine that's completely trustworth in this aspect, and she just chuckled and said that she's got the semi-hots for a young patron of ours who looks a LOT like one of her favorite characters from a TV show we both love. *grin*

We may work in a library, doesn't mean we're stuffy, though. *grin* We, too, like to admire some of the guys who pass us every day. Of course, the good looking ones are few & far between, but occasionally..... There was one guy in frequently this summer who looked very much like a slightly-scruffy Clive Owen. *sigh* Man, had to keep myself from drooling on the keyboard at Check-out every time he came in.

Anyway, I just HAD to tell somebody. It's not exactly the kind of thing I'd mention to the hubby, and it's not something to talk about among "the girls" at work.

(Had to somewhat censor what I'd previously written to avoid hurting feelings.)


Let's see, I'm making split-pea soup for dinner tonight. I've been trying to make a vat of this for a few weeks now. But one thing after another has kept me from doing so. Just following the directions on the back of the bag of split-peas, so nothing really exciting to share. I AM using a hunk of salt-pork instead of pork hocks or bones. And I DID add a diced potato, a dash of red-pepper-flakes, and some thyme (fresh from a coworker's garden) to the pot. But that's all I'm doing differently. Really, you want the recipe, go grab a bag of split-peas off the shelf of your local grocery.

I'd had to chuckle, though, when I was buying the bag of peas. I usually just buy green split-peas, though my inlaws like the yellow. I was going to pick up 2 bags of each, but when I looked at the price...... *shock* Green split-peas were $1.29 a bag, yellow split peas were only $.89. *shaking head* NO difference what-so-ever, except the color, and yet green split peas cost MORE than yellow by 30 cents. Absolutely rediculous. So, I picked up 4 bags of yellow, instead. Makes no nevermind to me, what color they are, but if the yellow are cheaper, that's what I'll buy.


I've tipped a couple of real-life friends in on my blog, and they've expressed some confusion over the abreviations & initials used. I will say that I use initials frequently for my coworkers and because the initials tend to be their first & last, I won't be posting their names here to clear things up. BUT, here are some of the others I use frequently, just to clarify a bit. Of course a lot of my long-time blogger-friends KNOW who I'm talking about with these initials, but just for clarity's sake.....

DD is "Dear Daughter". Also posted her real initials below: T.N.A. Also refer to her as "the kiddo" occasionally.

DH is "Dear (or damn) Hubby", also known as "THE hubby". ("Dear" or "damn" based on whether he's currently on my nerves. FOR THE MOST PART, the "D" stands for "dear" though.)

MIL is Mother-in-Law
FIL is Father-in-Law
SIL is Sister-in-Law
BIL will be Brother-in-Law (now that I actually HAVE a brother-in-law)

My Mom & my middle sis both come here and I'll post my middle sis's name on occasion, that's Shelli. But generally try to refer to them as "Mom & middle Sis" for privacy reasons.

My baby sis & niece are refered to as just that. My baby sis and niece. The niece gets various nick-names here as I feel like. I've refered to her as "Her Royal Heinous" before, as some of you recall. Pretty much if I'm talking about my dad, I'll refer to him as simply "my dad" or "Dad".

I've also got 2 nephews. On the rare occasions I talk about them (because I don't see them a lot TO talk about) I really pretty much just refer to them as Nephew 1 (the older) and Nephew 2 (the younger). They're brothers. And as I've only got 2 nephews (by the SIL) it makes no sense to constantly clarify that.

All blogger friends of mine are usually called by some version or derivitive of their blogger-name.

Ok. I think that about covers that subject. I hope it helps.


And last but not least. I was wrong. I admit it. We have not gotten snow yet, down here in the valley. I am very suprised as I thoroughly expected to see snow a couple of weeks ago. The hubby has been very kind to NOT say "I told you so" though he could NOT restrain himself from doing a little happy-dance around the livingroom on Sunday while chanting "I was right, I was right, I was right." *wink* Ah well, I let him have what satisfaction he can in the fact that he was right this time. It doesn't happen often, so I can be a gracious "loser" on this. *BWG*

Have a Blessed Day!