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16th May 2009

1:33pm: boo!
yes, i'm still alive. just busy and haven't even checked this site in months.
spring is here and i feel alive again.

thomas turned 5 years old a few weeks ago. he's quite independent and great. this morning in fact he got his own breakfast while we still slept. i woke up and he was rinsing out a yogurt cup and putting it in recycling! very nice.

hubby and i are purchasing a couple of kayaks next week. we've canoed for years but now are much more interested in kayaking. i can't wait for my kayak! we paddled a river last weekend and we had a great time.

my job at the newspaper and tv station is going great. i'm enjoying it and the environment there very much.

that's my life wrapped up in a few sentences. haha. take care everyone.

4th January 2009

9:30pm: You know, inspired by reveritas, I am going to re-read all my Little House books.

Although my set is so old that the pages and spines are brittle and crack when I touch them and open them. Hmm. I certainly don't want to buy new books right now. I am going to the library tomorrow. Maybe I'll check them out there... although the library is not a place I enjoy right now.

WHAT?!?!? Shocking words, I know!

But... the library was flooded in June. The entire first floor and all materials/computers/reference materials (some irreplaceable) were ruined. Luckily the childrens collection was saved only because it was on the first floor. Many of us have no idea why more materials weren't saved from the first floor. They could've done like the uiowa library in Iowa City when the waters were rising and create a bucket brigade line to move books to safe elevation. But no, it's like they just closed the doors and said "well, okay." I think I read it's the largest natural events library disaster in US history. Yay us. :P

So the library now is divided up into a few different sections in a near-empty mall in town. All the city and county offices moved to that mall also. It's more government than mall now, and there is talk to buy it and turn it into a civic/government building. So I just hate going to that library now. The only materials they have are those that were checked out by patrons at the time of the flood. I think they created a wish list on amazon.com for people to buy books to re-establish the adult collection.

Luckily there are 2 other city libaries that allow Cedar Rapids people to check out materials, but they're small town libraries. Sure they'd have the Little House books. I just miss the big library downtown.

So yes... I'm going to re-read the Little House books. I'm not going to pace myself either, which means I'll probably finish the entire series in a few days. I've loved those books since I was girl and remember many snowy days inside reading them.

1st January 2009

1:17am: A little domestic violence to ring in the new year...
I fell asleep before midnight. Hubby tried to sneak a kiss. It scared me awake, and I punched him in the cheek. Oops. Happy new year honey!

28th December 2008

9:35am: Oh Craiglist.... sometimes you are too funny.

Found in the Pet category of the Des Moines craigslist. Didn't want to link it b/c I'm sure it will be taken down soon.

looking for forever home (Norwalk)

Reply to: comm-971875191@craigslist.org [?]
Date: 2008-12-28, 8:01AM CST

Beautiful chicken skin needs forever home.
Last night I had a bucket of KFC and sadly I can no longer give the chicken skin the attention it deserves and it's too cold to walk it.

Can you love it keep it forever?
Small rehoming fee applies.

Happy New Year!

Location: Norwalk
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
PostingID: 971875191

27th December 2008

7:47am: I'm considering a complete career change. Do I really want to do IT for the rest of my life? I'm not sure. And any job change always involves a learning curve that drives me crazy. So... could this be the time to explore something else?

Some time ago I started looking into respiratory therapy and radiology programs here. But of course I was too scared to take the risk of leaving a job to pursue something like that. Well... the job is gone. Is it time to take that leap, take a risk for once?

My hubby's mom did it. She went back to school in her 40s, finished her bachelors and then went to medical school. She was in her residency when she turned 50. She's now almost 60 and working in a private practice and loves her job. She knows she'll never retire and probably die with student loans still outstanding... but she is doing what she wants to do! (A little bragging for her-she's one of just a few doctors in her state certified to do robotic surgery - she just started doing it recently. I think that's awesome.)

Respiratory therapy interests me because of a couple of reasons/experiences. Hubby's grandfather was a respiratory therapist and after he died we heard from some people whose lives he had touched in his work. And when our son was hospitalized several times with breathing problems, I remember watching and talking to the respiratory therapist who came in to work with him and try and help clear his lungs. And then my own experience about 4 years ago with pneumonia...

It's all just talk and "what if" right now.

26th December 2008

9:29pm: One of the nicest moments of the holiday season... just hanging out with my dog (one of them...) one morning and he lounged all over my legs while I drank coffee and read the paper.

21st December 2008

10:36pm: Good lord. Tonight's low is -18. Not windchill, air temp. This is outrageous. Glad NotOurCat is in the garage for the night. It'll be chilly out there, but he'd die outside tonight.

He may be OurCat soon though. Tonight hubby brought him into the house and was holding him and petting him and saying he wants to contact NotOurCat's owners, tell them the cat's been at our house for almost 6 months now and offer to "re-homing fee". Then we'd get his microchip registration switched to our names, get his vet records and voila - we'd have a 3rd Siamese cat.

I'm not against the idea, but it amuses me. My parents are suckers for adopting in strays. I adopted 2 rescue dogs this summer and continue work with rescue groups to get animals out of abuse and puppymill situations. And now hubby is wanting to take in a cat that isn't TECHNICALLY a stray, but his family is gone and hasn't tried to find him.

Ah well. We'll just be well-balanced in numbers - 3 people, 3 dogs, 3 cats.

20th December 2008

11:30pm: Brr. Yikes. This was part of my drive today. I drove 108 miles to a spot outside Ames and then back. Long story why... it was related to a dog rescue inspection. But I took a few pictures of my drive in the blizzard-y weather. I cannot believe I drove in this. And I didn't slide or lose traction even once the whole way. Go Prius go!

I'm definitely staying in and hiding tomorrow. Blizzard warning until 6 pm, then a deathly windchill kicks in until Monday morning. It'll be a good day to mull some cider on the stove, decorate the xmas tree, maybe wrap some presents and definitely read some more of my book.
9:10pm: Good God. Why do I live here again? Oh yeah, my Yankee husband won't move south.


19th December 2008

11:23pm: oh fuck this shit.

sorry for that. i spent 3 hours tonight shoveling the driveway and front walkway. 3 hours! a lot of that time was spent chipping my way through the 2-foot wall of snow/ice/salt/sand the city plows so politely piled up at the bottom of the driveway. and another significant amount of time was spent cutting through the drifts that formed between where the prius and the truck were parked.

i'm totally bitchy about no tires or feet going through the snow on the driveway - i can't stand compacted snow and trying to get it off the driveway and i certainly don't want it left there. so i have to shovel all snow from the lower part of the driveway first and from behind all the tires. then i'll move the car and truck back down the driveway and shovel the rest.

i was very pissy that dear hubby didn't come out to help me, but i decided to give him the benefit of the doubt that he'd do something useful while i was out there. and he did. he had a great dinner ready just as i came in - chicken cordon bleu/blue/bloo, steamed rice and broccoli. AND he had a cup of hot chocolate ready for me. so he's a keeper after all.

it's taken a few hours and some hot mulled cider...and three dogs on the bed for a while (is that an official 3 dog night?)... but my legs are finally warm again. now the pain is setting in - my ankles, my right shoulder and both wrists.

if the weather cooperates tomorrow i'll be driving 2 hours to Boone to do a home inspection for a dog rescue group. a couple wants to adopt a cocker spaniel but the rescue group requires a home inspection to make sure it's a good home/environment. i'm the closest person so i said i would do it, but i just hope the weather cooperates. we're getting another round of snow storms tomorrow into sunday with blizzard-like conditions. yippee.

scary fact: we're already past last year's snow totals by this date. winter continued to kick our asses. lots of rain in the spring. melting snow from a record snowfall winter. that led to the devastating flooding here.
okay, i should try not to think that way, but we're pretty jittery around here regarding weather now.

more good news - monday's high will be 0. i hate the midwest in the winter.
2:32pm: I have one of the cocker spaniels curled up on my feet, sleeping under the table while I work. This is a much better working environment than the cube farm.

18th December 2008

12:04pm: It's hard to believe we're going to get pummeled in a few hours with ice (maybe) and snow (definitely) for the next 4 days. It's clear and sunny outside right now, there's not even a wind. It's cold, about 9 degrees, but it actually feels warm COMPARED TO the past week. 9 degrees is warm... that's just sad.

I took lunch to go pick up a few things at the grocery store and the parking lot was full.
...of old people! Gah! The only time they really drive me crazy is in grocery stores. I'm not sure what it is, but they shuffle around with wobbly carts full of toilet paper and canned peaches and look for familiar hubcaps so they can find their cars. (no joke, I heard the man in front of me in the parking lot telling his wife he thought he saw hubcaps that looked familiar)

School will most likely be canceled tomorrow. Fine with me, although work will be pissy about it. But what can I do? I have a 4 year old, it's not like I can leave him a can of Spaghettios and a can opener and hope for the best for the next 9 hours.

7th December 2008

11:35pm: Oooo. "Ice Castles" is on tv right now. It's so bad, it's good. Please, don't let this feeling end...
10:07pm: Ack. It's beginning to look a lot like LAST WINTER. GASP! SHOCK! HORROR!
Starting tomorrow, rain, then sleet, then ice, then as much as 6" of snow on top of that mess.

It's terribly cold again tonight and the sky (for now) is clear and the moon is bright. That means extra cold temps since there is no cloud cover to hold onto any heat that might be near the ground. So once again, NotOurCat is in the garage with a blanket, water and food.
We're really slipping here... I went out a few times to find him and actually thought "come home soon - I'm getting cold standing out here." WHOOOPS. I called this his home. This is not his home. It's a temporary shelter for him. Heh.

Before it was easier to just put food for him on the front step. He'd find his own place to sleep and the food was just there for him if he came around looking for food. But now my fears are realized that winter is dangerous for outside animals and he doesn't seem interested in going anywhere else.

I should try to contact his owners again and see if they'll take him home. But if he wouldn't stick around when they took him home a couple of times before, why would he stick around again. AND if they're not on the next street over, what if they take him to a different neighborhood that doesn't have soft-hearted saps like hubby and me? He'd freeze and/or starve. They were displaced by the flood so I don't know if they got their home re-habbed or if they've moved on. So many people took in pets that weren't theirs after the flood as favors to flood victims, only to find out 5 or 6 months later that the owners can't or don't want to take their pets back.

Well, this gives us some weird zen-like numbers balance. 3 dogs, 3 cats, 3 people. What a household.
12:13pm: Ugh. It's snowing hard, and I need to go back across town to pick up one of the spaniels from a grooming appointment.
...and buy the other spaniel a new kennel. He grew bigger than expected and his current kennel is too small now.

Last night the temps starting getting dangerously low - the low was 1 with double-digit wind chills. We finally caved in about 10pm and found NotOurCat outside and put him in our garage (which is heated and air-conditioned) and gave him water and food and a blanket to sleep on.

He seems quite happy with the arrangement and won't leave the garage today! I keep telling hubby to just go ahead and put a cat door on one of the garage doors.

3rd December 2008

10:21pm: More snow today. It started at the most convenient time of 7:00 am. I hurried off to work to get there before the roads got crazy with stupid drivers. Luckily it stopped about 3:00 pm and by the time I left work the roads weren't too bad. Even I, the southerner who does not drive on the WHITE STUFF, managed to get to my son's school, pick him up and get home without any problems.

Because of the 2 planets that are visible next to the moon right now, my son is fascinated with stars and planets. Everyday we drive home now he says "no more talking about , we're talking about planets now." Ha.

Tonight he was dead set on seeing a video about planets. So hubby and I searched YouTube and I finally found a cool 5-part series that originally aired on the Science channel about our solar system. It was interesting to me too, I kept going over and sitting with him to watch it. We only got to watch 3 of the 5 parts, and even though my son is now in bed I'm considering find it again and watching the rest by myself so I can hear about the rest of the planets!

Then after dinner we let him play Boom Blox on the wii while hubby and I shoveled the driveway. The snow always sucks, but the worst part is the BITTER cold that follows a snowfall. We shoveled 2 hours ago and I'm still cold. I LOATHE wearing socks in bed, but I'm considering giving in tonight because I'm just so damn cold.

30th November 2008

10:48pm: Hubby & son were supposed to arrive home tonight from his week @ his mom's. But the interstate is so bad they had to pull over an hour & a half away and get a hotel room for the night. Hubby said there are dozens of cars in the ditch along the interstate.

So one more night alone. I was looking forward to seeing them again. They left last Tuesday. But at least I can go to bed now & not stay up late (for me) waiting for them & all the chaos that goes with getting home, luggage, toys, trying to get a 4 year old to go to bed in the middle of the night after a road trip...

The road outside our house looks terrible. Everything I shoveled earlier is covered again. It was only a few inches, but enough to be a pain. And enough moisture & sleet & freezing temps to make travel around here miserable.
(plus it's the 1st snow, and people need time to remember how to drive on the stuff. I don't have to worry about that. Being from the south I never learned to drive on it & still don't know how.)
10:15am: First snow. The dogs are loving it. I'm hiding inside with hot coffee and the Sunday paper.

Truman's first snow:


29th November 2008

9:47am: I have to leave the house today. What a pity. I've enjoyed my couple of days of self-imposed hermit-like existence.

It's just to run a few errands to a few stores. Make a payment*, dog food, cat food**. I hope it's not crazy out there. It seems after Thanksgiving the stores are madness and there is one busy road in particular that's a nightmare. They even put up this road sign to expect delays. And of course that's the road I need to be on today to get to a particular store.

*make a payment - I decided to try the layaway thing this year. I remember my mom doing that with big purchases when I was a kid. I'd forgotten about it until it started making the news this year after the economic hoodoo. I figured I'd be able to make sure our son has an exciting Christmas without using credit cards, without making a big purchase at one time AND (extra bonus) I don't have to hide the presents! They're at the store until I pick them up. He's getting bigger, but he's not a sneaky little shit like some kids. But it prevents any accidental discoveries.

**cat food - this is for NotOurCat, the Siamese cat who adopted us. (Real name is Ashes, but we called him NotOurCat. But lately we're calling him Ashes more and more. Uh oh - never a good sign when you acknowledge their name!) His owners lived on the street over from ours, but I don't think they're there anymore. They were staying with a friend after their house was flooded by the June flood. I'm afraid they're gone and since they couldn't find their cat (since he's at our house all the time) they left. :(
I've been feeding him and making sure the heated water bowl has water in it. He's found a basement window well to sleep in. It's right by the exhaust pipe for the heater and the dryer (for some reason they're right by the ground, coming out of the basement) so it's probably somewhat warm (or at least not freezing) in there. I'm awfully worried about him when winter really kicks in though. I'm trying to convince hubby to put a cat door in the garage door so he can get out of the freezing temps that are sure to come. The garage is heated and air conditioned, so he'd be safe but not actually in the house. We have 2 Siamese cats already that I'm pretty sure would not be welcoming of a big male Siamese. (how weird that it's a Siamese that's adopted us. It's the only kind of cat I've ever had and will ever have - just my quirk.)

I'm not sure what's up with neighbors' animals and us. The neighbor's next door have a cocker spaniel that likes to come visit us & will even sneak into the house if the door is cracked! And of course NotOurCat... we're like the wayward home for animals or something.


Our 2 hissy sisters, Ninya & Tata:

28th November 2008

12:53pm: I just saw a commercial for Pier 1 with a little VW bug ornament driving around a holiday table. I so much want a little VW bug ornament! (even better would be a VW bus!)

27th November 2008

5:45pm: well, this has been a positively wonderful day. i woke up late. (late for me - 8:30 am) i let the dogs out. i rented a crane and bulldozer to haul in the thanksgiving day paper. ha. all those ads, you know.

i made coffee and put my french toast strata in the oven. i prepped it last night and stuck it in the fridge to soak overnight. it was okay. i've got a better baked french toast recipe i wish i'd stuck with. but it's good. i roasted some sweet potatoes for my bourbon sweet potato dish.

i've watched a few movies. i've read part of a book. i didn't get outside and do any yardwork though. it was windier than i thought it would be and i didn't feel like frustrating myself by raking leaves, just to have the wind blow them all around.

it's just been a relaxing day on the couch and in bed, with the dogs nearby.

at midnight i'll see if hubby's potential present has changed to the black friday price online. if it has, i'll order it. if it hasn't, i'll check again in the morning.

by the way... i may venture out tomorrow, but late, like afternoon hours. one of the ads today had a 20% off coupon for one item under $100 at a store where i get pet supplies. my Truman needs a bigger kennel. he's grown into a big cocker spaniel! so he needs a bigger kennel. i figure afternoon will be safe. heck, by 11:00 am is usually safe on black friday because the loonies are already in line for 5:00 am deals and will be done and back home by 10:00 am.

26th November 2008

8:19pm: God, this afternoon was the longest afternoon at work ever. All I could think about was leaving. That's usually why I take the day before holidays off, but there was no reason to do that this year. So I stuck it out all day. At least there was a minor software emergency at 4:00 that kept me occupied the last 45 minutes or so.

I spent some time looking at black friday ads and placing another Amazon order for my son's Christmas. I must stop buying for him now. It's too much now. But he's suddenly fascinated with skeletons and muscles and organs... everything on the inside of the body. Not in a gory way, just curious how everything pieces together and works together. So on Amazon I found a skeleton that can be taken apart and put back together and one of those human torso models where each organ comes out. And I found a layer book that is the human body and each page turned is a layer of the human lifted up so you can see the next layer under it... skin, veins, muscles, bones, etc...

My moter-in-law is a doctor and has some very cool books she used in med school that are pictures of muscles, circulatory system, organs, etc... of an actual human, layer by layer. It's not gory, it's very scientific and sanitized. They're going to try and show my son that book this weekend and see if he's okay with it a few pages in. If he is, then they'll show him more. I think he'll be okay with it. He's a very cool child with a good head already, so I think he'll see the scientific part of it and not be scared.

I have no plans to shop on black friday except via laptop at home, warm in jammies, not standing out in near-zero wind chills in the middle of the night. I'm done with shopping anyway other than 1 thing I hope to get for hubby. I was just looking at it a few weeks ago but didn't buy it. Now I see it's almost 1/2 off on black friday. So I'll try ordering it online (with free shipping as a bonus!). If I get it, great. If I don't, too bad and I'll pay the extra later to avoid the BF madness.

Now...aaah... enjoying a second night alone. I love my husband and son, but I am a person who needs some alone time to keep feeling sane. Tonight for dinner I had two bowls of cereal with soymilk. Yay for simple, non-cooked meals that I can only do when alone.

So the dogs and I are just hanging out, waiting for Top Chef to come on Bravo. Okay, the dogs aren't waiting for that. Just me.

Tomorrow I think I'll do some work in the yard. It's supposed to be cold, but sunny, so it should be a good day for raking leaves and hopefully getting all those dang bulbs in the ground. I don't plan on eating any sort of thanksgiving meal except my favorite sweet potato dish. It's just a mashed sweet potato casserole with pineapple, brown sugar, butter, vanilla and bourbon mixed in. Then it's topped with a pecan/brown sugar/butter crust. Sweet, but yum.

And of course some work on my classes, since that's the whole reason I stayed at home this weekend while hubby and son are gone. But I figure a little quiet yardwork time on the holiday is appropriate.

25th November 2008

9:09pm: Happy... two cute cocker spaniels are sleeping (snoring) on the couch beside me. Sorry to all other dog owners out there, but I have to tell you this with all due respect and gentleness... my dogs are the cutest in the world. Yours are okay, but they don't hold a candle to Truman, my gray and white cocker, and Kiba, my chocolate and white cocker. They (and all their long fur and mile-long ears) are splayed out on the couch.

Hubby and son left for his family's today. I'll be alone until... I'm not sure, Saturday or Sunday. Probably Sunday. I got a couple of books from the library tonight. I have A LOT of work to do for classes, but I thought maybe I'd do a little leisure reading at night in bed.

Speaking of classes... I have a final to take tomorrow, so I'd better do one more read-through of my book and notes. Then kennel the dogs for the night and get some sleep.
I wish I didn't have to work tomorrow, but it shouldn't be too bad since a lot of people will be gone. Then I don't have to be in the office again until Monday. yay.



24th November 2008

9:12pm: For not having to cook Thanksgiving dinner this year, I just spent a hell of a lot of time cooking for someone else's Thanksgiving dinner. Hubby and son are leaving for his family's tomorrow. Their big dinner is actually on Friday - gives people a chance to do other family things and travel on Thursday if needed.

I'm staying home to study. I'll get some yard work done too - leaves are piled up along the fence and those 130-some-odd bulbs need to be planted.

But I wanted to do something nice for their dinner on Friday, so I offered to make biscuits and gravy for their breakfast that morning and my mamaw's rolls for the dinner. If I say so myself, I make really good sawmill gravy. (buffing fingers) So I made a big double batch of gravy. I made buttermilk biscuits and baking soda biscuits. I had to make two batches because there will be about 19 people at their house. Yikes. And I made one batch of mamaw's rolls - which is about two and a half dozen.

All that took me 3 hours.

My own plans for dinner on Thanksgiving involve nothing, I guess. But I did buy sweet potatoes and plan on making my favorite sweet potato dish that day. So a little yard work, playing with the dogs and taking them on some walks, a little bourbon sweet potato dish... it'll be nice to have a quiet holiday alone for once.

23rd November 2008

2:53pm: We wanted to get rid of a 32-inch Sony tv. I didn't think anyone would want to buy it, so I was going to freecycle it. But hubby suggested to go ahead and try Craigslist and if it didn't sell quickly then freecycle. So I posted it with a picture and asked $50. Then I changed my mind and put $75, since I saw some ads for other tvs asking for $100+.
We sold it in just a few hours for $75. Too crazy. I didn't think anyone would want a heavy-ass 32-inch tv still, but I guess not everyone can or wants to buy a large LCD or plasma tv these days... especially for 75 bucks. But I'm happy it's gone and we got a little bit of cash for it. (which hubby will use on his road trip this coming week to go to his family's for Thanksgiving)

Speaking of road trips... this should be the least painful road trip ever, in terms of money spent on gas. Prices are dropping, it's down to $1.50 (so I heard) along the Iowa/NE border, and our Prius obviously gets good mileage. We're averaging about 48 miles to the gallon in town, on road trips it's about 44-45 miles to the gallon.
Last weekend when I filled up the Prius, I couldn't even get $20 in the tank! And a week later I still have over 3/4 a tank left. I love that car.

This has been a fantastic weekend. I wanted a do-nothing weekend. And I was sooo happy Friday night when I looked at my smartphone and saw on the calendar "No upcoming appointments". WOO! So yesterday was cold and cloudy. We stayed inside all day, playing Boom Blox on the wii with our son. Did some cleaning around the house. And... that's about it! It felt like Sunday. So today being Sunday is like a bonus day!

...other than all the laundry. I think I've been doing laundry since Friday night. Crazy stuff. But I want to make sure all the clothes are clean for hubby to pack for himself and our son when they leave Tuesday. But last night in bed was heaven - clean sheets, clean quilt, clean PJs, clean floors, clean kitchen, even clean dogs and clean pads and blankets in the dogs' kennels!

We had family movie night last night, which is something we've started. After dinner is over and "things" are done on Saturdays, we make popcorn on the stove (real popcorn from kernels and oil and salt and butter, not microwaved) and watch a movie. This is a big deal since our son is now able to watch and understand movies that aren't always Pixar type movies.
We still try to find a balance between non-Pixar/cartoons and something that's appropriate for him and doesn't drive us (the adults) crazy. That usually means falling back on movies from our chidhoods. Ha. So we've watched a couple of Indiana Jones and E.T and some Star Wars. Holy moley - my son is an early geek. He adores Star Wars. It was sweet afer Darth Vadar died while talking to Luke - my son got all teary-eyed and said "but Luke needs his dad". Aww.
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