Sunday, December 20, 2009
I'm sick. As a consequence of this fact, we've been turning off the heat at night to help alleviate the dryness/sore throat part of my sickness. This works pretty well, since everyone but the big cat tends to share a bed at night, and we stay mostly toasty. Joe turns the heat on when he gets up for work, and it's all good. However, "nice and chilly" having arrived, this is a less-perfect solution all of a sudden. Additionally, on mornings like this when I have to get up early to go to Mass, I'm out in the rest of the house before it has warmed back up. Specifically, the office/nursery/guest room is FREEZING COLD AT ALL TIMES. I climbed (stupidly enough, in socks) onto the nice smooth changing table top this morning to open the vent even further, but I think the real culprit is these stupid windows. They don't seal well, methinks.
But this is where the action is, including my sewing machine at the moment, as I was working feverishly to finish the tree skirt last night before Joe got home with the tree we had picked in the afternoon. This mad dash for project completion, however, ended with a fizzle. Turns out, the tree stand substitute (or, if you like, "plastic bucket") we had intended to use will not work after all. That was the first problem. The second problem is that, after much phoning and driving, we learned that there was not a tree stand to be had for love or money in the whole metropolitan area. [Interesting digression: Ever thought about what exactly "love or money" means? Naughty, naughty.]
So, the tree is still all wrapped in her traveling garb, standing rather awkwardly in a bucket of water in the corner of the living room. She will be unfurled later this week, once we've made our already-scheduled trip to Wilmington and have obtained a tree stand. Why, you ask, did we even get the tree without making sure we had a stand that worked? Well, I answer, that just wouldn't be like us...
Sunday, December 13, 2009
We'll see how this works out...so far, so good. The last 48 hours have not been a total loss. In fact, I learned a new introit and made two kinds of cookies. I'm on a roll. This is, of course, aided by the freak sleeping cycle of my son, which is running in 5-6hour spurts for some unknown reason. These blissful days are numbered, I know, but while he's doing whateveritis that makes him so sleepy, I'll take what I can get.
In the meantime, Advent is flying by at a breakneck pace--much faster than any year previous. This is the time that usually drags on awfully for me, but not now. Oh no. Granted, Gaudete falls (frustratingly) right in the middle of Advent, almost, since Christmas itself falls so late in the week, but having that pink candle aglow on the kitchen table is still such a great sight. We're almost there.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Joseph was on the range all week, leave between 0230 and 0330 every morning, so not much happened other than surviving here around the house. Last week we were out every night doing things that just couldn't be put off, like going to Wilmington for Five Guysl The week before that, his mom and sister were here.
Blogging simply isn't a priority now. Of course, it never really was, and the eldest readers out there can vouch for the fact that I've always been hit-or-miss, at best. Now that the little man is here, I'm probably more miss than hit. And of course stupid Facebook takes its toll...
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Second, I honest to goodness have eaten junk food for most of today's broadcast. Banana and yogurt for breakfast, good, good....then it all goes to the dogs about 1315, when I found the half box of Milk Duds. And a coke. And some sun chips. Wow. Poor Baby is probably going to have a sugar attack, too, because I don't ever go through sweet junky stuff like that. Ick. Oh well. Maybe I'm more upset over this FEX than I thought. 12 days left...stupid Braggistan. Also, I ate cereal for dinner last night, because I wanted to. But it was healthy cereal, with lots of folic acid and fiber. (I'm a big fan of fiber these days. That and apples.)
Finally, the small cat likes to blog. She sits upon my tummy, ruining my spelling and kneading away at my neck and left shoulder. Life as a kitten (okay, an almost grown up kitten) must just be the schnizzle. So cozy, so relaxed. Except for having the pee-diddlies scared out of you by things like clocks, twist ties, and the completely inanimate carpet.
Monday, October 05, 2009
Baby with her insides all out.
Friday, October 02, 2009
First, please don't be confused or feel left out if I fail to mention things about my life or schedule that you know are going on. I might have just forgotten, it might be a question of keeping myself secure by not mentioning (for example) when Mr. Bird might be away from the next. I might have just forgotten.
Also, many kudos to the famously-stuffy IOC for denying Chicago the 2016 Olympics. Hurrah! I mean, I'm sorry for the Chicagoans who have genuinely been excited by the prospect. I remember how it was the greatest thing to have the Olympics in my own back yard during 1996--good times, so many things to see! It was awesome, and I'm sorry for people between 7 and 18 who are now sad. But poo on the heads of the people that run Chicago, and go Europe for putting them back in their place. Such ego, such self-confidence and self-importance....wasted.
Epic fail. I love it.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
So, had an interesting week. Spending 48 hours in the hospital does, as the wise man once said, actually destroy an entire week. I'm starting new this morning (slowly, obviously) at exactly the point I left off last Monday. Well, maybe a little ahead. Father came over and blessed the house yesterday, so that's progress at least.
Hospital staying is not something I recommend. For one thing, at least if you're me, it exacerbates whatever might or might not have been wrong with you in the first place. I went in to see if I had the flu (I didn't), and ended up staying for two days so that they could make sure I had neither suffered a heart attack or was going to throw an embolism. All this, basically, becaus my heart rate stayed above 135bpm long enough that they were able to justify an EKG, then ultrasounds of my legs and heart, then a CT scan, then chest x-rays. And so on. And so forth.
The poor doctor (whom I liked very much, btw, and whom I will hear no ill words against despite my belief that perhaps my trama was treatment-induced) wanted very badly to know what was wrong with me. He, in fact, spent a very long hour out of his busy day talking to me/Joe about my condition, what could be wrong, why he recommended certain treatments, etc. All of the poor doctors were frustrated that nothing clear cut could be said about me. Still, they gave me a list of meds, I declined one right off the bat and went home with the rest, and agreed to get a meter to check my blood pressure and pulse twice a day--as a compromise, for my loving family was greatly afeared for me.
So far, in the peace and tranquility of my own home, my heart and my blood pressure are very cooperative. No hypertension, no sinus tachycardia. Just me, my baby, and a nagging head cold (which two days in the hospital failed to fix, interestingly enough). Still, I have to go back today for them to test baby for stress, and I have to go back Wednesday for the new OB to have a look at me, and I go back for both every week from now until the party starts. In a way, I feel silly that I went in last week and put myself (and poor, poor Joseph!!) through all that, but oh well. I've got 7-day benchmarks, which ought to make the time go faster. That's just the best way to look at it.
Friday, September 18, 2009
I don't know. Maybe I'm still getting as much done as I used to, but he creates "stuff" that needs to be done that I'm not yet ramped up to take care of yet. For example, I know that I'm still doing laundry on a regular basis, but there's twice as many dirty clothes around all the time. I know that I get up at a decent time, but breakfast doesn't get eaten until after nine. I know that the downstairs bathroom was clean when I left here, but...
All this is, I realize, shades of things to come. Soon there will be two people on his team, and still only one of me. There will be two laundry factories, two trash machines, two time eaters. Will I get only 1/3 of everything done? Sigh. My mom's solution to this problem is to Never, Ever, Ever create messes of her own. There are no mom-produced chores to address, only those the others in the house have come up with. It's a thought, you know? Her next step in the brilliant plan was to raise us up in the fear of the Lord [and Mother], so that we more or less cared for most of our own messes ourselves. We made beds a lot of the time, we took our own dishes from the table almost without exception, we took out trash in the early thursday mornings just because running out the driveway in pajamas and bare feet was fun.
But one cannot raise up an infant in the fear of oneself. He does not change his own diaper, he does not wash his own clothes. He definitely does not do his own dishes. And my husband has already been raised up, but he only fears the Lord, and forgets about most everything else. ("What dishes? Oh, that's where I put them! I was going to put them in the sink...") I'm trying to instill a fear of something into the two cats in the meantime, since they're the only living things around that I think I might have an effect on. So far, no good. They still start crawling around on me about 0545, ready for breakfast. The little one still follows me around he house crying until I sit down, then climbs up on my stomach to take a bath. The big one still throws litter all over creation every time he uses the box.
Sigh. Time to do the chores.
Friday, September 04, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Also in nest news, though, are some good things. With the motivation of someone special coming home, as well as the helpful presence of my mother, I've been finishing all the other little projects around the house that have been wanting done since we moved in six [freaking] months ago. There are now curtains in the bedrooms, for example. I am not using my night stand to hold the silverware. Little things like that, you know. The place looks like real people might live here now, and I'm so happy. Only a week and a couple days left...
Spent yesterday morning washing all kinds of teeny tiny little clothes. Can you just imagine the convenience of being able to wash every item of clothing you owned in a single load through the washing machine?? It was amazing. His whole wardrobe cleaned in an hour and ten minutes. Unfortunately, I'm told that he'll go through the whole wardrobe at least once a week, so maybe there's not so much to be thrilled about there. Still, imagine putting everything Joseph owns into the machine at once. Ha. The dryer would have a hernia.
p.s. Posting once a week? Every two weeks? Is this is future of my literary career? I dunno...I've had company or help in the house every day for three weeks, so not a lot of time is spent communing with the virtual world. Then again, who cares? :) September is coming. I'm so happy.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Also swelling, by the way, is the number of people my very own age (or younger!!) who are having babies, going to have babies very soon, or have had a baby within the last six months. Among those I know in the college classes immediately above and below my own, I can name over a dozen mommies without even thinking--and a bunch more if I dig deep. This is cool, and wierd, and wonderful, and wierd. Joe said that he realizes a lot more just how un-normal it all is, though, from being around the other Marines. One of them told him the other day that we "were the first people he really knew personally, his own age, who were having a kid." Wow. And for us and our school perspective, we're actually "behind" the curve by about four months. How funny.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
So, this pregnant memory loss thing is really funky. I am unable, even whilst swearing upon the phone book, to remember anything about conversations I've had in the last month. I forget whether I locked the door. Two seconds ago. Spelling and typing are olympic events. However, all these great memories from the first two years of college are positively flooding my mind! It's wonderful! I mean, I remember down to colors and smells these snapshots of life when I had first met all my friends. I remember really early conversations with Joseph, I remember "first seeing him again" after those long, long, long mid-term breaks. I remember choir things, I remember the presidential election and staying up all night in the chapel to pray about it. I remember walking out toward Guardian Angel and back between Sunday choir and Mass, saying morning prayer with Joseph. I remember my first van run to town. I remember my first trip to Shoe Show with Cass and Laura, and my first trip to Winchester with them (on which we also bought shoes). All that stuff is coming back to me, at the expense of dinner, which I forgot was in the oven.
I'll take the memories. Such sweet things.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
All kinds of things, of course, and that's what renders this exercise a little silly-feeling. After all, I have a grand plan in mind, but it's hard to explain what a Montessori handbook, neuroscience study, leadership manual, and Blink have in common. The only clue to my strategy, which is now sitting in the "to read" pile in my office [the dryer] is Classical Education at Home: Strategies and Systems for Teachers Learners to Learn. Taken broadly, I'm learning how to educate, all on my own. So, that's what I'm up to these days. I had no idea.
Saturday, August 01, 2009
Due to an ongoing renovation project, a continual shifting of families from their [old] house to a [still old but nicely resurfaced] new house is taking place within my immediate neighborhood of about 60 homes. My neighbor and I are in Phase Eight homes, which means we'll be moved into resurfaced homes in October. (Phase One households were supposed to get their resurfaced homes by July 31st, though, and it didn't happen. I'm personally not holding my breath for October.)
Anyhow. For reasons which continue to cramp my drinking style (this is funny if you know me) and my fashion options (this is funnier if you've seen me in the last month), I am not excessively thrilled by the prospect of moving "sometime in October." Especially since I'll have a spouse in the field during most of the month. Moves, even moves financed, boxed, carried, and unboxed by the government, are things which one hesitates to do while nine months pregnant. I am not happy about moving in October, and I religiously waddle down to the housing office once a month to (a) let them see me waddle and, (b) find out if "sometime" has been narrowed down a bit. It never has, but I usually walk away thinking that it could be worse. I could be having twins. My housing lady is apologetic, but more or less useless. Things will not change, they will only continue to change on a weekly basis (this is funny if you know anything about the military).
My neighbor, on the other hand, is no tame woman. She's a steely-eyed sailor-swearing she-man. (Whom I like, kinda, in a keep-your-distance kind of way.) As I relayed the scuttlebut from most recent waddle, she became steelier eyed. She glinted. She tossed her mane and dragged a hoof across the linoleum menacingly.
"You know," she said, "I'm going to have to get myself down there and talk to those people. I mean, if I have to get in her boss's face and get serious with him, well then I'll do that, too, but she has got to understand. Being told we're moving 'sometime' in October just does not work! I mean, I have a child! I am NOT about to ask him to be moving the week of Halloween! No, I am not. No, there are things that have to be done that week, things that I re-fuse to have screwed up by their stupid moving schedule!"
Location, location, location.
Monday, July 27, 2009
'It is not the best nest,' said Mrs. Bird from inside the house."
Alas, my precious castle of a house is, likewise, not the best nest. However, quoting one of my favorite books should not mislead you into thinking that Joseph and I disagree about our nest. It's just that he's outside it and I'm inside it, so my view is just a tad darker about just how bad the nest now appears to be.
The a/c is off again. After a long day of the temperature slowly climbing inside, with the unit going at a steady pace, there were already a number of reasons to feel less that genteel about our environmental control systems. However, a concurrent problem pushed me over the edge--so far over the edge that I broke my cardinal rule and called the 24-hour maintenance number. In my downstairs hallway, the little tiny puddle of unexplained water on the carpet was slowly growing. Not only that, but he was reproducing.
With a saucer-sized wet spot at the kitchen doorway and about $2.50 worth of silver-dollar-sized wet spots in attendance, I called The Man. The Man was concerned, and asked me a list of "is ..... leaking?" All my answers were nos, so he said, "Well, if you've got it coming up through the carpet, whatever damage that'll be done is done. We'll be there first thing in the morning." Wonderful. Not my house, I only rent, so it doesn't hurt me at all.
Still, with my totally awesome family in residence, the mystery was just too good to pass up. What on God's green earth could possibly be producing water from beneath my house? Brother suggests we look at the outside closet/utility space that houses the downstairs water heater and all the ductwork for the a/c (the physical unit is upstairs). Voila. Merrily trickling down the ductwork is a steady stream of supposed condensation, which has pooled about an inch deep upon the concrete foundation of my house.
This is now a bigger problem than we thought--the electric boxes for the house are in that closet, the grounding wires run amok within as well, and the framing of the house is steel. They're going to have to shut the power off at the road to clean all that up. ("Well, cow poopy," I say to my father, oh the phone, as I survey the closet.) To confirm my opinion, we notice that water is actually seeping to the outside of the house along the edge of the foundation, as well. How nice.
Now we're really intrigued, so I send my brother upstairs with the phone in hand. He inspects the unit's actual location (along with, vicariously, my father) and calls down: "Yeah, there's water here in the floor, too." Wonderful. So dad sends us looking all over for the drain line, hither and thither, because we want to find out if it is clogged. We look, and nothing is to be found. However, in the meantime, I had the good sense to really think about the layout of my house, and did determine that the water we were seeing come through the carpet had made at least the 3-foot journey from that closet floor, underneath the corner of the kitchen linoleum, to the visible location under the carpet.
How far has it gone along the other three compass points, I wonder? That's what got me up at 0430 this morning. The refrigerator, downstairs bathroom, pantry, and washing machine are all within reach. I feel like a geologist. Whence cometh the magma? When will the volcano explode?
But back to the drain line. We couldn't find anything that looked point-blank like a drain line. I reminded dad that this was not a traditional a/c unit, and he said, "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmm...........ugh. Yeah. It's that energy efficient thing, isn't it?"
Yes, it is.
My a/c unit is 10-15 years old, and was one of the original "green" large appliances. Rather than using a fan unit and a big compressor outside the home, my unit pumps ground-cooled water from below the house, runs air across the ground-cooled water (supplemented by a little compressor supplying freon-cooled air), and feeds it into the house. It uses less energy, less fuel, less freon, and works like an absolute dream in temperate climates. Unfortunately, this is not a temperate climate. The best the unit can do with the ground-cooled water is 10-15 degrees cooler than the outside temperature. Not only that, but it tends to break down fairly often because of its highly organic nature--fewer moving parts, but more parts that can get dirty, clogged, or otherwise become nonfunctional. Not only that, but the entire unit is twined up inside the house, instead of having an outside unit that can easily be accessed and serviced (oh, yeah, and when it leaks it does so outside).
Not only that, but when you have water leaking, it doesn't have to be a drain line. There are two major supply lines of plain old honest groundwater that run up through the center of my house--my father has realized that we might be dealing with a bigger demon than we thought.
Unfortunately, it's still four and a half hours until The Man comes to look at everything, so you'll have to stay tuned for what happens next. We turned the unit off at 2030 last night, both to stop further water accumulation (we hope--do the supply lines run all the time?) and because it had ceased cooling sometime late the night before. It's now pretty miserable in here, and I feel so bad for my family having to deal with all this. Thankfully, they can use the fans I have. I can't run a fan in my bedroom, unless I want to have my pregnancy equivalent of an athsma attack. So, it's hot, nasty, mytersious, and five o'clock in the morning.
Sigh. I love my nest.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Not that I haven't been to or spent time in "The North" before, but a solid week's time to live among "Them" was a little different than my previous forays into the region. For one thing, I was the only person in the house who was born south of the Mason-Dixon line. Well, except for Uncle Luis who was born in Cuba, and my littlest brother-in-law who was born in Japan. Close enough, though. Jerseyans in large groups of fellow Jerseyans are not the same as those encountered singly while in the company of fellow Southerners. No, they are a breed unto themselves. For one thing, some of them really do believe that little baby chickens stay cute and yellow. How funny.
[Oh, minor digression: I'm talking about the Jersey within sight of New York City and the vicinity. Like, industrial and urban Jersey. The part of the state where they only say "Jersey." In the rest of the state, especially away from the coast, there are normal people who farm real farms and use all of the hard consonants provided by the English tongue for our enjoyment. It's a pretty state, and don't think I'm lumping it all into one giant borough of the Big Apple.]
Also, no matter what you're told by the media, "They" do not drive small cars, eat organic foods, and wear hemp in order to help the environment. We in the South, my fellow Americans, are not the only ones driving trucks and killing trees en masse. On the direct and opposite contrary. The only small cars I saw on the Shore were the ones that locals drive there year-round, meaning the ones that they don't mind ruining with sea salt corrosion. Everything new and shiny weighed at least 3800lbs and got less than 30 miles to the gallon. Escalades and Pacificae were especially prevalent. Every 6th car was a sedan or compact, and that's being generous (every 4th and 5th car was from New York and was also an SUV, and every 7th car was a police cruiser running a red light).
It was fun. The guy in the Italian bakery really did talk like the guys in Italian bakeries in movies. It was awesome!!! I loved it! I giggled myself unconscious, in fact, and we left the place with more really good food than you can shake a stick at. They really do have four-lane roads from which one may not legally turn left (one must go to the right and complete what's known as a "jug handle"). They really do never use their turn signals. They really do shop at Lacoste, Crocs, Fossil, Pottery Barn, Saks, and Bloomingdale's.
I can't wait for next summer. :D
Saturday, July 18, 2009
However, she's got me thinking on this fine muggy morning about this whole "truth to children" thing, in the wide context of all the peeps I know and their varying opinions on the subject. The ready example is Santa Claus--ought we or ought not we lead children to "believe" in Santa? A very old friend staunchly insists that to do so is tantamount to mortal sin, is a grave lie, will damage forever the little child's ability to trust adults, and those who do so ought only suffer by riding the buffer of Parliamentary trains. His children have never even heard the name--Santa has about the same household standing as Eminem: should he come up in conversation via something the children hear outside the home, he is dismissed as "Oh, he is a bad person that we do not talk about." And this, I sincerely hope, is the outer limit of anti-Santa in the world. Personally, I think it's a bit much. After all, one could always thoughtfully reintroduce the history of where "Saint 'Claus" came from in the first place.
I feel a need to digress at this point, though. First of all, are there those of you in the world who really and truly believed with all their hearts, after reaching the age of reason, that Santa Claus did in fact exist and came down every chimney on Earth every Christmas Eve? Perhaps my whole take on this subject is skewed, because I was never one of those children. We had Santa, we knew he was "coming," there is amusing video evidence of my disappointment that he "had to use the front door" for a particularly large doll house one Christmas. (I was skeptical, too, because I knew how careful we were to never let any strangers have our keys.) But I was four.
I have a convenient break in my childhood memory between "before the age of reason" and "after the age of reason," as my family moved when I was six years old. Post-Move Jen did not have any idea that Santa was really really real. She never felt that all adult humanity had led her gravely astray by telling her that he existed in the first place. He has been a character of fiction for as long as I can honestly remember. We watched the old claymation movies, we sang Santa songs, when my sister was a very wee thing we did the milk and cookies thing one year--but I drank the milk and my brother ate a cookie, to help preserve the illusion. By the time she was five for six, my sister certainly knew that there was no Santa of the flesh-and-bones variety. For once thing, with a birthday falling less than 30 days from December 25th, she learned the hard way about "this is your birthday and your Christmas present." Perhaps my whole stance is based on the fact that my parents were so seamlessly able to give us both the fun of the popular icon along with the reality that he isn't real, that I'm just a little dismissive of those who have such a stinkin' hard time reconciling the two. And I'm done digressing.
The larger question of telling chilren the truth is not confined to Santa Claus, though, and I know this. Similar fictional characters, likewise, are not really the limit of the issue. The tooth fairy, Easter bunny, cupid, Father Time, and all the rest are just imagery. But do we "believe" in imagery (of the secular sort!!!)? Does Uncle Sam have to appear in the parade for July 4th to be complete? If I find out he isn't real, will all my future celebrations of our country's birthday be void and empty? This goes back to the Santa-after-sixth-birthday thing--I never really did believe he existed, at least not past the time when I also believe that the tub drain would suck me underground and Big Bird was actually a bird and not a person in a suit. If I had, my parents would have done me a disservice, and I suppose that's what is at stake. To put one's children in a position where will have such a strong belief in something that they are truly shaken to find it is not so, well, that is a crime indeed.
And I'm out of brain cells for the morning. More on this later, if I remember I was thinking about it.
p.s. For the record, there are Santa books on my shelf and they shall be read aloud with gusto every Christmas.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Since I'm pretty sure he doesn't read the blog, I feel fairly safe about putting up a photo and some goopy tributary nonsense. He's done things to me on my birthday (or whatever other day he feels like it), so this is my shot. After all, revenge is a dish best served online.
Monday, July 13, 2009
This makes my heart smile. Love is beautiful!
Incidentally, the comment has elicited the typical broad-ranging response to be expected from our nimbus of friends. However, rather a Franciscan mentality prevails, which is what brought me to my afore-mentioned state to begin with. [The previous sentence ends with a preposition.] Am I a bad person, I asked him last night, to not buy cribs and car seats at yard sales? Am I a materialistic and snobby human being to feel that certain things are best paid for at market value? That something new for your most precious possession is something worth buying? I cry, I fret, I sniffle.
He assures me, he pats my had (via phone), and says that I am not a bad person. First of all, he made the excellent observation that very little of this "new" stuff is stuff I'm actually shelling out the dough for. [The previous sentence also ends with a preposition.] On the contrary, my more or less affluent extended family is shelling out their democratic cash to pay for it. Lord and Master has a point ("Let them loose, I say! Onward!"). Second of all, he made the also excellent observation that paying little for something does not mean getting a good deal. We have furniture in this house, at this very moment, that breathes a fiery example of this truism every time I walk into the living room. What we paid little for is headed out the door, in fact, as soon as I can find a way to cheaply get it movng in that direction. In might even cost us more to dispose of our "great deal" than it cost us in the first place. Alas, what looks good on first sight may hide terrible faults!
Thus assured by Joseph, I slept well last night, and was greeted today by his little Facebook gift, along with the Franciscan onslaught that ensued. Not sure about how sleeping is going to go tonight, but I'll endeavor to put them from my head all the same. After all, I have my own ways of being thrifty, of being careful, of being thoughtful with what kind of material environment my child will enjoy. For someone who has spent 4 of her last 12 months of married life alone, I'd say knowing what things are really important in life is a fairly easy knowledge base to acquire.
And I'll tell you, money is not one of those things. Neither, to be quite frank, is penny-pinching. There is nothing I have willingly parted with in this world that God has not returned to me tenfold. An investment can be made in people, whatever the "cost."
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Anyway, back in NC at long last, after enjoying a fun week with family. Unfortunately, being "home & relaxed" means I have all kinds of duties and projects staring me in the face--duties and projects that ought to have been done months ago. Spent yesterday fixing all the books upstairs, at least as far as categorization goes. The literature is easy to alphabetize and deserves more attention. The political-historical-tactical-reference books, on the other hand, are a little tougher to cubbyhole.
Sigh. And I really should unpack these last three boxes. And finish the books I'm reading. And finish all 8 sewing projects.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
So, yesterday's flight plans didn't work out too well. Arrived at the airport at 0945, 1.5 hours before my scheduled departure. Checked in, paid my pet fees, all is good. Our airplane has not arrived. Joseph observes at about 1010 "Your plane should be getting here by now." His combat hunter is finely tuned and (surprise, surprise) correct. The plane should have arrived about 1015, but failed to do so. Not only that, but the plane failed to even depart Dallas by 1010. Instead, it chose to undergo a series of heat-related maintenance delays before finally taking off from Dallas at 1120.
The security checkpoint was opened to passengers at 1200. A very tearful me and a very frightened Reeses made it through security without trouble, me ending with considerably more fur than when I started, and she with considerably less. All is well. The flight crew of our plane had totally deplaned to use the "real" bathroom--they'd been sitting on the tarmac in Dallas for quite a time--and we waited until they returned before we boarded. We boarded. I sat in the second-to-last row, aisle seat, next to a niceish gentleman who was flying to Anchorage.
It is 93 degrees and rising outside. The temperature inside the cabin remains currently classified. We wait and wait, until finally we've been given our safety features brief and all is set to go. Then, suddenly, like in a movie, the phone bell rings for the flight attendant to pick up, about the same time a person (no kidding) starts knocking on the cabin door from the outside.
[Now, I can't tell you exactly what sort of aircraft I was flying it. It's a twin engine turboprop commuter, and the cabin door is at the rear of the plane. Therefore, me in the back rows sitting on the aisle can enjoy the fulll range of emotion going on at the door.]
The door opens. The guy from the desk (he's also the guy with the chocks and the baggage train) explains the trouble to the flight attendant. He was a nice young man with a well modulated voice. She was also nice, but neither young, nor male, nor in possession of a well-modulated voice. So I hear:
"You've got to be kidding me!!"
"Well, you go tell her, I'm not gonna tell her, it wasn't my fault!"
"I can'tspspsppppspspcauseospsppss. Okay?"
Then Modulated Voice moves away from the door, back down the steps, and Flight Attendant comes over the speaker. "Miss [Passenger]?? Please raise your hand." Now, here's where we knew something was fishy--the hand goes up immediately and the chick goes ahead to start gathering her stuff before Flight Attendant gets to her. Conversation ensues, Passenger disbarks. Passenger is heard telling Flight Attendant that she had bags checked (planeside) aboard the flight. This is bad news, because it means the engines have to be compeltely throttled back so that the ground crew can open the baggage compartment, which sits just forward of the left engine.
Sooo, 20 minutes into our stay on the tarmac (temperature still rising), Passenger and bags begin their exit. Turns out, she was flying standby and shouldn't have been approved but was anyway and no one wanted to flame their own butt for the mistake so they were flaming everyone elses'. End of story: passenger and bags exit.
Now its, what, 1240 and the temperature has to be close to 100. The cabin door is shut, and the phone bell rings a couple more times. Flight Attendant explains to Silent Flight Attendant that there's a problem with the weight/cargo ratio calculations, and the Captain didn't like the numbers and was redoing the whole equation before Captain was willing to take off. This takes another 20 minutes. 1300, and Captain says in a very professionally exhausted tone, "Sorry for the delay. We have had to make adjustments for the heat. Performance on this aircraft is no longer capable of supporting the original weight we took on board. We've elected to keep all our passengers [!] and offload a portion of the cargo. It will follow us to Dallas on the next flight."
Another 20 minutes of bumping whilst cargo is offloaded. Reeses has started to show strong signs of distress. She's panting, listless, etc. I start waving the safety briefing card at her (useless) and hoping they'll come by with some water. They, do, eventually, and I get it in and get some of the water on to her face (mostly useless). I'm now bothered by the idea of arriving in Dallas with a dead cat. What a buzz kill, right? Thankfully, about the time I'm really starting to worry, they finish their calculating and get us to the end of the runway. Huzzah! So, at 1320 (one hour in the non-ventilated plane at this point) we've progessed 500 yards.
A pause. Hearts sink. After about 2 minutes of sitting, Captain says in her tired professional tone, "We're still taking off heavy, need to lose about 150 gallons of fuel. That takes 8.2 minutes and then we're outta here." She is right-- 8.2 minutes later we head down the runway. Unfortunately, 8.9 minutes from the original announcement, we stop heading anywhere in particular and instead get to feel what an aborted takeoff feels like.
Engine #2 overheated on throttle up, it appeared, and so Captain took us all back to the terminal and told us to get off. "This is just silly," she was thinking. She'd already done this once today. So, we all get off and relive multiple times the feeling of suddenly getting to the point where, normally, the plane would have lifted from the ground, but instead the counter-forward-motion measures had been quickly applied and we did a number of things other than lift. The first, of course, was a slowing down. The second was a rapid series of side-to-side motions which gave fright to myself, Critter, and Reeses a lot more than the unbelieveable noise that the brakes on a twin-engine turboprop commuter makes.
End of story? Joseph came back to get us, we went home, enjoyed a bonus 18 hours together, and woke up this morning to light rain and a blissful 79 degrees. Life is good.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
To celebrate the day, we decided to do as little as possible. This consisted of an extreme "relaxation" afternoon at a friend's house, enjoying french toast for lunch and watching half of the first season of "Arrested Development." (Will blog about the show some other time.) Perhaps not the most edifying way to spend an anniversatry, but it did the trick as far as chilling out went. Besides, we've been celebrating the big event for a least a month, off and on, especially a couple weeks ago when we thought that we wouldn't be together for "thuh day" itself. I think it'll do.
I get to fly back East with a cat on Saturday. The drama is worth sparing, but Reese and I will travel with many prayers and milagros about our persons, in hopes that no snitty passengers notice my dander-bearing companion and raise a stink. The Airline is on my side, but that isn't saying a whole heap of a lot. We arrive in EDT land at 9pm on Saturday, and have to hop in the car Sunday morning to return home. In the meantime, my Mr. Kitty will have been retrieved. If they don't each know what the other smells like by the beginning of the trip, they will by the end. Thank goodness poor Elizabeth will be along for the ride, for referee purposes if nothing else.
Speaking of minor land wars, another member of the Class of '08 has fallen into the military pit. Dave heads out to Navy something (OCS? Boot?) on Sunday, oily oily in the morning. This makes 5 grads out of 97, so just over 5% so far...we're also working on a couple more prospects who don't [yet] want to give up a steady diet and air conditioning in order to serve their country. Disappointingly, two non-cool (just kidding) classmates were unable to muster what it took to survive the Corps' OCS last summer/fall, or we would have been well on our way to 10% by now. Still, we're pretty sure that 5% is a fairly high number, judging from school history. Even more impressive is the whopping 2% of the class that has committed itself just to foreign languague studies with the US Navy. Now, if we can just get some more of those bums working in bars around DC to pack up their butts and get a real life...
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Fortunately, the only ones she's had a go at have either been (a) unplugged or (b) ethernet cables and therefore not carrying any voltage. She severed her second ethernet cord in a week this morning. Of course, you know, this means war.
Unlike the "real" power cords, which are in plain sight (and now unplugged for cat's safety), the internet port is way up underneath the bed, so the edible ends are out of my usual reach. This means that little Reeses can dedicate the necessary hours to chewing her way through the cable before I catch her. That is, before the internet goes off for no apparent reason. Thus I shopped today for the hottest pepper I could find. Thanks be to diversity, the Commissary was carrying habenero peppers today (at a whopping $10.00 a pound!!!). I got two of the little suckers, anda hazmat suit for Joe. He gets to cut one up and rub it on the ethernet cable when he gets home. I shall spend no more moneys on cat snacks in the form of computer cables.
Next step is to do all the regular power cords, too, but for now they just get put away whenever I'm not watching over them. Stupid cat.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
I spelled it that way on purpose. Since the first time I saw a commercial or walked by a poster, I've only been able to read the word that way. Sorry.
Still, there's a vague kind of irony in calling it "Slavation" if you spend time around people who are, indeed, slaves to the culture of going to see movies. Good movies, bad movies, fair-to-middlin' movies all get their share of eyeball time from a certain group of people, simply because they want to see it. Maybe because they've "always" gone to see movies on opening night, and they feel honor bound to continue the tradition. Maybe because "everyone else" is going. Maybe not.
How come this thing happen? How come? Why don't they only go to see movies that are good, that they've checked into beforehand, that they really feel will add something to life? I mean, I've seen my share of lemons in the last 20 years, but they've been rented or borrowed or otherwise cheaply obtained--I don't pay $20 to take myself on a date ($40 if we eat something) in order to walk out two hours later and so, "Well, that was a waste of time."
How come this happen?
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
This time, I seem to have perfected a half-asleep mode that allows me to not realize I've been laying there coughing for two hours. Usually, I get up long before then and try and find some remedy, inadequate though it might be. Now, my throat is so irritated, I don't know that anything I've got on hand is going to help. Don't have any lozenges, no Robitussin, and can't make tea without any, well, tea. Not that any of this isn't my own darn fault, but there it is. Like I said, it isn't that this occurs every night.
Sigh. I thought I was done with this. Dealt with it for almost two straight months, kicked the thing, then came back out here to Oklahoma and it starts almost all over again. The disease is missing this time, though, rather curiously--no sinus problems. Did I never really get over the cough at all? What is wrong with me? Did my doctor leave me with a bigger problem a month ago and not realize it? Will this be the story for the rest of my life?
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
However, the "staffers who gathered" are friends of mine, personal friends, and it's creepy to know the story behind what hundreds of thousands of Philadelphians will read today and simply dismiss. How many stories escape my notice every single day, yet spell disaster and harship for some other person and their family?
Saturday, May 30, 2009
This stinks. I am so incredibly, unbelieveable tired. All I want in the whole world is to sleep. I can't lay down, because I'll start coughing. Even if I don't, I'll have to get up within three minutes to use the bathroom because all this coughing makes me, well, need to go about every three minutes. I'm so tired!!!!!!!!!! This is awful. The solution, then, is to sit in front of the computer and numb my brain until the rest of me is so beyond exhausted that it goes to sleep, coughing and bathroom trips notwithstanding. Then, I carefully get in bed without waking it and hope to last at least three hours before regaining consciousness.
Meanwhile, Joseph sleeps the sleep of the dead. And unpregnant. And unallergic.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Sigh. One feels so grossly ill-equipped to actually discuss moral matters with the world at large. There simply is no common ground on which to stand. I cannot begin to discuss rights and justice with someone who does no believe in absolute truth. I cannot begin to discuss the integrity of marriage with someone who rejects nature. I cannot begin to discuss either with someone who, to put it simply, does not believe in God. My only weapons are against some kind of aristotelian semi-heretic. I need too many things to be similar in order to "debate" someone else. I can't make headway on the sand dunes that I'm faced with instead.
The large family my adversary was born into has provided him with an unshakeable opinion that abortion is wrong. Somehow, he and his siblings share a deep love, deeper than the love they have for their parents in some ways, that makes the idea of "not having" one of them unthinkable.
However, that's as deep as it goes. It's wrong because it's wrong, basically--I mean, which sibling would you have chosen to abort? There is no underlying belief in the sanctity of life in general, the notion that life is a gift from Almighty God not to be toyed with. There is no feeling that somehow abortion is a grave moral evil, contrary to Natural and Divine Laws. It's just wrong. Like killing a fox in England. It simply isn't done.
I know this for a fact. If you pursue abortion down the political road with my adversary, he gets peeved. He complains that you shouldn't make politics a "one issue thing." Somehow, abortion is wrong enough to object to, but not wrong enough to make you utterly and completely distrust and despise someone who thinks it is not wrong. Someone, no less, who spends their energy and their influence making sure that it is made as available as prevalent as possible. My adversary thinks such an attitude of distrust and despising is silly--think of all the other isssues there are to consider, he says. This is a silly thing to base your whole attitude on.
My adversary does not believe contraception is wrong. He has no problem with IVF, gay marriage, surrogate motherhood, artificial wombs, cloning, the creation of genetic children for gay couples, or stem cell research. I cannot in any way approach him on these subjects. What is being damaged, what is being destroyed by all these evils is a good in which he does not believe. I have no common ground with him on which to discuss the integrity and sanctity of marriage. He loves babies, but not enough to marry someone who wanted to have babies of her own. Ever.
What makes these people this way? He was raised a Catholic. He has siblings, older and younger, who are raising Catholic families. He has siblings that are altar servers, siblings who have considered the priesthood. What happened?
Monday, May 25, 2009
So, this post is funny only to people who recognize the word in the title right away. If I have to explain it, it won't be as funny when you're done.
Anyhow. Was reminded in Mass yesterday of an old friend, my very earliest days of email (when I still used my mom's account), and what happens when educated people with senses of humor say whatever comes into their head. Thus, as they say, was born Hyfrydol: The Only Cure for An Upset Cello.
It does, after all, sound like some sort of perscription stuff-for-what-ails-you, and good ol' Mark insisted on pointing it out. Which was all fine and good, until we played a fanfare prelude on the tune in band the next semester--with HYFRYDOL [for-what-ails-you] emblazoned across the top for all the world to giggle at. Not that giggling is a problem, but when you are not only the only oboe in the band but also the only oboe in the band with a significant solo, being struck by the funniness of it all is just a perscription for disaster.
Especially since Mark is never out of your field of vision, sitting like he does at the head of the clarinet section. Drat him. Giggle giggle, went the clarinet.
Monday, May 11, 2009
I decided yesterday that making the whole blog a letter to my readers would fail utterly, because the personal touch of "writing to a specific person about a specific thing" would be lost. Then, I considered just putting up my letters to individuals instead, since they've already got their fire and spirit.
Over Jungle Man's dead body.
Friday, May 08, 2009
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Can anyone tell me why there are no fingernail clippers in the house?? Someone I know can't leave home without a pair, and it looks like he left home with every single one we owned. I know for a fact there are two in his car...just in case he needs to do both hands at once.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
So, they're telling people not to fly anyplace for any reason; don't use public restrooms; if you think you're sick at all, don't go to work; stay close to home; don't eat out without great caution; wash your hands all the time; if you're considered "at risk" don't go ANYPLACE for ANY reason. Sigh. How excessively inconvenient. I had at least two trips to Oklahoma planned between now and August. I have a husband to visit! I have a long road trip to Virginia and Pennsylvania I have to take! I have public restrooms I simply must utilize on the way!
Darn the CDC. Why any group of people would want to spend all their time studying and trying to trap billions of deadly little microbial terror-mongering bacteria and viruses is beyond me. Of course, somebody has to do it and I for one am glad they're up there in their rubber suits with their microscopes, but good heavens. It's still a funny breed of fella who does it for fun.
So anyway, in the interests of the common good of all those who do not make a living in the air travel industry, they're trying to scare people into not flying, since they can't prevent us any other way. Is it for real? It is just a giant conspiracy theory? Who knows, right? And who would risk getting and dying from the Swine Flu testing the theory that it was all bunk....right? I think that's the assumption they're operating under.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Not much else going on still. I realized today that I still had not received a W2 form from my last employer (ah, what a move will do to your memory), so I had to call and try to track it down. They'll get back with me Monday. Grrr...the tax clock is ticking. I did, however, remember to pay all the bills this month. This is the first time in a while that a major life-changing event (i.e. move, vacation, Christmas) has not fallen in the middle of a billing cycle, so I feel quite accomplished in knowing that no bill collector will come a'knocking at my door.
Still not much going on since the last paragraph. I think I'm done here. More posts later on, maybe. After the cat eats something else wierd.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Okay, doggie is pictured below. And she was driving me something near to 'round the bend, in case my last post didn't convey that. Thus, my very wonderful husband, declaring that he loved me more than the dog, agreed to start looking for a new home for Bella. I wasn't up to the 24/7 training aspect, nor to the go-out-at-night-in-the-cold-and-rain-for-business aspect. Nor would I be free to travel and visit him this summer. All these things added unto one another, and lo and behold the Great Miracle happened. Joe's younger brothers find out we have a dog, find out we're looking for a new home, and go "ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ohh ohh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh !!!!! WE WANT THE DOG!!!!! PLEASE PLEASEPLEASE PLEASEPLEASE PLEASE!!!!!" So Bella left this morning, along with sisters and brothers and mothers-in-law, and headed north to PA. A happy ending for all. In fact, the brothers who did not visit have been steadily texting since Tuesday morning, wanting to know "when r u cming home???" They're very excited to have a dog. I'm very excited that now my house will not smell like a dog, that I don't have to walk her any more, and that my cat can now leave the upstairs bathroom with impugnity.
Not much else going on. I ought to be cleaning the house, really going at it from stem to stern, but it's raining and a little chilly, so I don't feel like moving around. Laundry and dish washing machines are operating in the other room, and that's just going to have to be sufficient domestic activity until further notice. *Yawn.* Maybe I'll nap.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
1. taking the dog out for business in the rain
2. rupturing blood vessels when the dog attemps business on the carpet
3. discovering that the entire bag of tennis balls has been liberated all over the living room (instead of the one tennis ball she was given)
4. taking the dog out for business in the rain, again
5. rupturing blood vessels when the dog climbs on the kitchen counter to watch you leave
But other than these, she's a pretty good dog. She sits, she shakes. She waits patiently while being towelled off after a rainy business run. She sleeps through the night (but has doggy dreams, if you're awake to hear it). She does not chew on clothing or furniture. She does not dig through the trash can. So far, so good.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Happy Ash Wednesday.
Monday, February 23, 2009
NEW YORK — Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, a defender of Roman Catholic orthodoxy who led an elite seminary for U.S. priests and became known for his energy, wit and warmth, was named archbishop of New York on Monday.
The Vatican said Dolan would succeed Cardinal Edward Egan, 76, who is retiring as archbishop after nearly nine years. The post is the most prominent in the American Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II called the job "archbishop of the capital of the world."
The New York archdiocese is the second-largest in the U.S., behind the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, serving 2.5 million parishioners in nearly 400 churches.
It covers a region from Manhattan to the Catskill mountains, and includes a vast network of 10 colleges and universities, hundreds of schools and social service agencies, and nine hospitals that treat about a million people annually.
Dolan's selection continues a chain of Irish-American bishops that was broken only once in the history of the archdiocese, when French-born prelate John Dubois was appointed in 1826.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Well, the newest additions of my family—by far the most interesting so far—arrived today. Fanny and Freddie are now happily installed in the better part of my kitchen, gleaming in the stovelight. Each greets me with a happy little tune when turned on, and each has a multiplicity of settings (no plush toy setting—I have not reached such a stage of housewifery as yet) to choose from. My favorite is the washer. I can put it on spin setting slow, medium, high, or NASA. The dryer came equipped with a rack that fits inside the barrel, upon which I may lay delicate items which enjoy the tanning light and gentle warmth without all that tumbling about.
I also added yet another furniture item to the household, this time what I cannot quite describe. I think it’s a dresser. With two shelves, and two drawers at the bottom where a third shelf would be, and a top as if to serve as a nightstand. It’s being used as an all-of-the-above, so my guesses cannot go wrong.
Nothing else interesting going on…this computer (poor little 4-year-old brains) has been having a series of cerebral hernias throughout the evening. I can only run one program at a time, and even that is pushing it. Snug does not like the new washer at all. It doesn’t make a consistent set of noises like a regular washer—it fills, then buzzes, then fills some more, then turns, the turns the other way. And the high speed spin must make a noise that only he can hear, because he goes bonkers on me. He got away this afternoon and I couldn’t find him anywhere. Eventually, I thought to look upstairs, and he had gotten into the attic and was sleeping at the far edge of the insulation, right above the bedroom heating register. There was some yelling and screaming and wiping off of cat with damp cloth. Grrr.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Had a nice weekend on the beach with visiting family, and then yesterday I joined the ranks of the really boring and really married and bought a washing machine and dryer. Hopefully my stories won't be as nuts at T's. But, we did go out and buy the things, for better or for worse, and they're being delivered on Thursday. This means, of course, that I must clean my kitchen before then.
Monday, February 09, 2009
Speaking of nutty (or seedy?), take a look at my friend:
He's got no fear of me whatsoever. I stand right inside the kitchen door and talk to him all day long, bang dishes, breathe threats and murder, and as long as that screen stays shut, he munches with impugnity. I realize, of course, that by putting birdseed out for him to eat, I am enabling him, but so be it. He's fun to watch...he eats the seeds in a very organized fashion, until the last few seeds are practially a single-file semicircle left on the patio. This way, I suppose, he doesn't accidentally miss one.
In other news, I have finished (for the time being) working on "my" room. The computer is set up, the printer is in place, the bookshelves are stocked, the craft boxes are in their best array...it's nice. This way, I can get stamps and scissors out all over the place without incapacitating our ability to eat at the kitchen table. (I can still hear the squirrel out there munching.) One's ability to entertain guests is severely hampered, after all, by the presence of crafting material upon the one and only table top in the house.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
When I picked the name as a blogger ID, it was actually part of an inside joke. People had a hard time figuring out who I was online (i.e. they never suspected that such brilliant discourse could come forth from such as I) and so I added to the mix by using a masculine name as my online name. Hee hee.
I've got what Big Daddy called the Big Eye - can't sleep. I know, it's almost 0700 and I probably shouldn't be sleeping anyway. But still, I'm the only one awake, there's not much to do in the house until I have someone bigger and stronger to help me, and if I wake him up too soon he'll be cranky. Must wait.
Friday, February 06, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
After that, we return to paradise (i.e. the beach) and shall live out a goodly portion of our life in one piece, in one place. Sort of. How does this all relate to blogging, you ask? I will tell you. Only 16 hours remain in my current working woman career, that's how. Once work has ended and I slide in to the oozy existence of an unemployed married person, suddely oozy things like blogs will become higher priority than making myself a lunch and getting to work on time. Oh, and I won't be spending hours and hours and hours listening to persons around me sharing opinions from their brains and stories from their life and information about their healthcare choices that I never, in a million years never, wanted to know about. I can't wait.