Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I wish I could say I had a relaxing and wonderful weekend at home. I could, I suppose, but it would be a complete and total lie and then how would you all ever trust me again?

Having a sore throat from Friday night right up until Monday evening? Way to kill the weekend plans. And not sleeping because everytime you drift off your throat kind of relaxes and you feel like your choking to death on goop? Not at all relaxing. Or wonderful.

But I'm on the road to recovery...with the help of internet researched type of sore throat cure:

warm water, honey & cayenne pepper. Gargle and then gargle some more. Strangely, it didn't even taste that bad. More imporantly, it worked.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Well, thank you guys for all of the birthday wishes...really - y'all are the best.

The. best.

This morning I was busy spending gift cards (Wii Fit!) and my children's meager inheiritance (New patio umbrella! Milk! Gas!).

I thought about taking the kiddos camping this weekend but when you wait until the Friday before Memorial Day weekend to check on available campsites? You'll be camping on a dirt patch next to the dump station.

Plus I would have made a trip there this morning (to pick a site), come home, gone back this evening to set up a tent and possibly sleep there - only to come home tomorrow because of a birthday party obligation - and then back on Saturday night. And my husband? Working all day on Saturday and fishing all day on Sunday - so I would've been flying solo. Not usually a big deal but I just didn't feeeel like getting it all together. Plus all the gas.

I'd rather mulch.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thurty sevin

Okay, I've just spent part of my birthday in my office crying.

And it's not because I didn't get a Wii Fit. It was Tito, he put me over the edge.

Go here and read this. And watch the video.

You don't have to love baseball to appreciate it.

Birthday plans? Work all day, help the kids with homework, make the beds, soak my daughter's very infected toenail and massage the goo out of it, dinner (which I am totally NOT cooking) and back to work for a meeting. Jealous?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

0 - The number of hits given up by Jon Lester last night.

5.4 - The number of gallons twenty dollars will get you around here.

17 - The number of minutes left in my work day.

7 - The number of days the customer service people asked me to wait before calling the cable company AGAIN about our bill.

6 - The possible number of A's on my son's progress report.

6 - The number of A's on his progress report.

7 -Times I've asked for a DVR for my birthday.

426 - Times I've asked for a screen door in the past sixish years.

37 - Age I'll be on my birthday.

1 - Number of Days until my birthday!

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Man Meme

Okay, I saw this first at blackbird's and then over at jen's....

A poll, from Esquire magazine.

Since he just had his fortieth birthday I figured I'd give it a go.

1. Give advice that matters in one sentence. — Depends on the subject matter - ask him about pipe layout or construction? yes. Girl drama advice for my daughter when she comes home crying? A bit more wordy.

2. Tell if someone is lying. — Yes, and I'm the one usually giving people the benefit of the doubt...

3. Take a photo. — He can, but not well.

4. Score a baseball game. — Not sure...he watches enough of it so he SHOULD be able to...

5. Name a book that matters. — No.

6. Know at least one musical group as well as is possible. — Music? Not his thing.

7. Cook meat somewhere other than the grill. — Absolutely, I'm more of the griller, anyway.

8. Not monopolize the conversation. — He doesn't have a chance.

9. Write a letter. — Can he write a letter? Yes. Would he? Probably not.

10. Buy a suit. — Again, he can and would if he had to. Last suit he bought? 1996.

11. Swim three different strokes. — No, but he can swim across the lake...

12. Show respect without being a suck-up. — For sure. A suck-up is one thing my husband is not.

13. Throw a punch. — No doubt.

14. Chop down a tree. — Yes, it's part of the job description when you own 31 acres of woods in Maine and use a woodstove to heat your home. Plus it might be a part of his actual job description...

15. Calculate square footage. — Absolutely.

16. Tie a bow tie. — Not correctly.

17. Make one drink, in large batches, very well. — No, actually, he can't.

18. Speak a foreign language. — Nope.

19. Approach a woman out of his league. — Not sure when this would come in handy but he's fairly comfortable around anyone.

20. Sew a button. — I’ll ask him -He could, but he wouldn't be happy.

21. Argue with a European without getting xenophobic or insulting soccer. — Xenophobic? Probably not. Insulting soccer? Quite possibly.

22. Give a woman an orgasm so that he doesn’t have to ask after it. — *grin*

23. Be loyal. — Yes.

24. Know his poison, without standing there, pondering like a dope. — Yes, sadly I can't say the same for myself.

25. Drive an eight penny nail into a treated two-by-four without thinking about it. — Um, yes.

26. Cast a fishing rod without shrieking or sighing or otherwise admitting defeat. — Yes, and he catches dinner almost weekly in the summer. Fresh striped bass is good for the soul.

27. Play gin with an old guy. — Okay, I'll say that his dad would be considered an old, yes.

29. Understand quantum physics well enough that he can accept that a quarter might, at some point, pass straight through the table when dropped. — No, he could care less, I'm sure.

30. Feign interest. — See #29...if someone were explaining he'd try not to be rude. If it were me talking about dinner? Different story.

31. Make a bed. — He can and does. Although, not the way I'd like it.

32. Describe a glass of wine in one sentence without using the terms nutty, fruity, oaky, finish, or kick.'d go like this: *wrinkled nose* "yuck".

33. Hit a jump shot in pool. — No, but he's better at pool than I expect him to be.

34. Dress a wound. — He handled most of the recent knee injury himself (doctor's visits, dressing changes, etc) and handled it well.

35. Jump-start a car. Change a flat tire. Change the oil. — All three, without a problem.

36. Make three different bets at a craps table. — No, he's never learned how to play.

37. Shuffle a deck of cards. — Yep.

38. Tell a joke. — He's not much of a joke teller.

39. Know when to split his cards in blackjack. — He's not here to ask so I'll go with a big maybe.

40. Speak to an eight-year-old so he will hear. — Yes, and sometimes loud enough for EVERYONE to hear.

41. Speak to a waiter so he will hear. — I'm assuming these aren't questions about his voice decibel level - but yes, he can order all by himself.

43. Install: a disposal, an electronic thermostat, or a lighting fixture without asking for help.
Of course.

44. Ask for help.– He can. But he hates to.

45. Break another man’s grip on his wrist. — I would assume so.

46. Tell a woman’s dress size. — No.

47. Recite one poem from memory. — No.

48. Remove a stain. — I don't believe he's ever tried.

49. Say no. — With ease. Unless it's my 87 year old neighbor asking....

50. Fry an egg sunny-side up. — Yep, good egg cooker.

51. Build a campfire. — In the rain, even.

52. Step into a job no one wants to do. — Yes.

53. Sometimes, kick some ass. — Not lately, but he could. And would.

54. Break up a fight. — He could and might, depending on the circumstances.

55. Point to the north at any time. — Hmmm, I'll have to ask.

56. Create a play-list in which ten seemingly random songs provide a secret message to one person. — Not in his life. He might even ask "what's a playlist?"

57. Explain what a light-year is. — Maybe a half-baked explanation...maybe.

58. Avoid boredom. — Rarely is this guy bored.

59. Write a thank-you note. — have yet to see it happen.

60. Be brand loyal to at least one product. — yes, toothpaste.

61. Cook bacon. — yes and thank god because I hate to.

62. Hold a baby. — He sure can.

63. Deliver a eulogy. — I don't think he could make it through.

64. Know that Christopher Columbus was a son of a bitch. — I'm not going out on a limb to say that he's got no idea...

65-67. Throw a baseball over-hand with some snap. Throw a football with a tight spiral. Shoot a 12-foot jump shot reliably. — yes and yes. the jump shot? not so much.

68. Find his way out of the woods if lost. — Yes.

69. Tie a knot. — I'm sure he can, but not 176 different variations...

70. Shake hands. — He does.

71. Iron a shirt. — yes, not the best job but hey - he irons.

72. Stock an emergency bag for the car. — Nope, that's my gig.

73. Caress a woman’s neck. — He can.

74. Know some birds. — There are people who don't know birds? Like Robins and Cardinals?

75. Negotiate a better price. — I'd say not really, it's something he hates doing.

Does he come off like a knuckle-dragger, with all this no reading, sports watching, fish catching, wine-hating type of stuff? Well, watch what you say...he throws a mean left hook.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Saving Money

1. Negotiate the child care price.

Okay, so Blackbird's guess of twenty dollars a day? Right on the money, so to speak. A leeeetle bit cheaper than staying at the camp and apparently, she was unsure what to ask for and is willing to accept less.

I guess it wouldn't frost my ass so much but there's some history there - between my husband and his brother, most of it not all that great - and I'm totally letting that factor into my feelings about this. Maybe that's not too smart but it certainly makes giving them even one red cent a little bit painful. On the other hand, swallowing your pride so you can afford gas or some other luxury, like food? Maybe.

2. Steal your produce

Thursday, I went grocery shopping at a new "Super" version of a store I rarely visit. Well, they have these little put your card number in, grab a gizmo and scan your groceries as you put them in your cart. It tracks how much you're spending (love!) and you can remove items easily...all good.

When you check out, apparently you're supposed to have been bagging your items as you shop (who knew?). I didn't. I gave the cashier my scanner and asked how they keep track of what people are scanning vs. what people are just putting in their carts. She was sixteen, uninterested - and just shrugged. At this point I had no recollection of not scanning certain weighable items and I was a bit overwhelmed (shopping directly from recipes instead of lists does that to me plus this new gizmo...I was scatterbrained by checkout time).

She scans my gizmo, gives me a total, I write the check and start bagging my items. She checks nothing, rings nothing's all done with my scanner/gizmo. It doesn't dawn on me until I'm driving home, as I'm rehashing the wonder of the gizmo - that I hadn't bothered to scan any of the bag-and-weigh-it-yourself produce. Apples, bananas, peppers, onions, broccoli, asparagus...

There was some complicated chart and scales system but at the time I figured they'd handle that during checkout. Then when I was checking never even occurred to me.

So, free produce.

And no. I'm NOT going back.

3. Spend a beautiful Sunday working in the yard and not at any building or garden supply stores.

Wants: A screen door, a brick patio, a small wooden deck for the front entrance, a new fence for the front, handmade shutters, mulch, annuals ...

See? Saving money.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A question for y'all

Child Care.

A family member may be picking up my two kids at a local campish type place three days a week this summer (for eight weeks). It's about five miles away.

She'll be there around noon, bring them back to her house (around 12:30 by the time they get their stuff together and leave the place) and I will be there to pick them up by 1:30ish p.m. (1:15 one day and 1:45 two days).

I plan on packing their lunches to eat at her house.

So 1 - 1 1/2 hours, three days per week. Also, my kids (my daughter for sure) will be playing with her two year old and she suggested this arrangement to me with the statement that it would be good for her boy to see my kids this summer as he really loves them and it gives her a little break.

What do you think would be a fair price? I had an amount in mind and last night, when she told me what she'd like to be paid I almost keeled over.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Identity Theft was so last week.

Also so last week? My husband and girlie's weekend trip to Maine. My parents need some one to build a roof over their porch and the obvious choice? Their son-in-law. Now, my guy has just gone back to work and he's got a few side jobs plus roofing his parent's house all hanging over his big deal. But my parent's called and asked and lo, the guilt. They said they'd feed him, provide beer and he could ride up with them. None of which are required or all that big of a deal.

Unless you're my husband. Who quite honestly, will work long hard hours to get the job done and not expect a whole lot in return. Even if he is out of state for an entire weekend, postponing jobs that might actually help us pay a bill or two.

But if you promise food, beer and such. Please, for the love of god, feed the man. Three pan fried hot dogs (no buns!) and a can of beans for lunch? And three homemade tacos for dinner, in a sauce that is more sloppy joe than taco? And beer? He was hoping for a few around the fire...he got one. No fire. And breakfast on Sunday? My parents stopped at McDonalds.

Plus my able bodied stepfather stood underneath him and watched him work. And suggested things. Not good.

But...on the plus side, the obligatory trip to Maine is complete, I got to spend a whole weekend with my favorite eleven year old, Mother's Day was a non-event (bonus t.v. watching: Survivor Finale - Boo! Parvarti! - I wanted Cirie), town meeting passed and I'm still employed (budgets are tiiiiight this year), I got the summer work schedule I want and need to make working financially feasible.

Things that are so this week?

My husband's fortieth birthday. Generally, I make whatever the birthday person wants for dinner. So I asked him if he wanted a treat....I could STEAM the hotdogs. Or grill them, even.

He threw a pillow at me.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

It Takes a Thief

Dear Jackass,

I'm not sure if Radio Shack was your store of choice or maybe their store credit applications are a little lax, but congratulations on getting that little piece of plastic. The fact that it's in my husband's name...insignificant detail, right?

The fifteen hundred dollars you spent, I hope you're enjoying it. It's so much easier to spend someone else's money isn't it? I do it all the time, whenever I dream about winning the lottery. I don't have the gall to do the whole 'idenity theft' thing, I'm spineless like that.

Did you pick up a few iPods? I wish you had gotten me a Classic because the 5th generation iPod video I bought a few years ago? Doesn't show rental movies...

How about a nice little LCD television? We bought one, back in December...paid for it ourselves and everything. Foolish of us, wasn't it?

I know the Shack is big into the remote control car/gizmo things...maybe you picked up a hundred or so of those.

So many options, the mind boggles.

Were you all cool and calm when you were filling out the application with my husband's name? Or did your hands sweat a bit as you waited for it to process? Did you look around for cameras and pull your baseball hat a little lower on your head? Or maybe you work there? And didn't have to bother trying to pull one over on the employees. The possibilities are endless.

I appreciate you're doing this, because I really don't have anything to fill my spare moments and there's nothing I love more than spending my spare time on the phone with credit card companies. Maybe you could somehow screw with our Comcast account too because as far as customer service goes? They're almost the worst (I'm looking at you, Verizon).

So, enjoy these last few days of leisure because they're going to start looking for you the minute my husband gets home and makes a few phone calls. Maybe you can listen to the police calls on your new scanner?



Monday, May 05, 2008

I'm going on record here as saying that Cablela's? Totally overrated. And totally overpriced. The tent was back-ordered online but in stock at their closest store (a short two hour drive) so we packed up the car and went, gas prices be damned.

It's one of those ginormous megastores that companies are so fond of building these days - as if a taxidermied zebra and a fish tank full of sluggish salmon has any bearing at all on my need to purchase waterproof matches and a nice cast iron dutch oven.

We did get our portable summer home tent though - and it was priced fairly reasonably. It's big, REALLY big. So big, in fact, that my husband, who okayed the purchase, is now not wanting to open the box. Maybe he think's it'll explode like those snake in can/peanut brittle jars...

The boy and I also picked up a little something for ourselves.

Slingshots. With paintball ammunition.

Which, apparently, the paintballs are okay but the slingshots? Illegal in Massachusetts. As opposed to CO2 powered air/paintball rifles and air powered BB guns - which are are perfectly fine and owned by many of the boys around here.

Sorry, scofflaw here. We're totally using them today after school. I'm planning on sneaking around to shoot at police cruisers and senior citizens. Oh wait, that's right...I'm not. We've got paper targets and tin cans, though, and eye protectors too. Because while I may be a scofflaw, I don't want to be a BLIND scofflaw.

I was totally on the fence about buying them, not because I thought they were illegal (I didn't know), but because I thought it was something my son could build himself with a strong branch and some surgical tubing. I didn't want to circumvent the DIY process, y'know, but after I put one in our cart, for myself, he totally wasn't sold on the idea. It wasn't until we were about to leave the store that he took a good long look at the package and the paintballs and decided that it was something he couldn't live without.

If you see a paint splattered squirrel run by...we might not be far behind.

Friday, May 02, 2008

We've needed a new tent for a few years now, well - since this camping trip, when I spent half the night rolling up towels to place at the bottom of all the seams as water was just, literally, running in. It sounded like it was raining pretty hard, the amount of water coming in the tent led me to believe it was raining really hard

(That's a glowstick up there, hanging from the top of the tent)

See? Doesn't it SOUND like it's raining hard?

But when I went outside the next morning? Everything was just a little wet. And underneath the picnic table and my car? Totally dry. Clearly it wasn't the monsoon I thought it was.

Last year, while in New Hampshire, it was a monsoon. A wind, rain, thunder and lightening extravaganza. That lasted about a half hour and proceeded to blow trees down all over the campground, onto trailers (a tree on our site fell - but AWAY from our tent) and to knock the electricity out to the entire side of town. It blew our tent right off it's stakes. Plus it leaked terribly.

This year, in trying to come up with something, to celebrate the end of the school year and a year of straight A's for the boy and excellent first grade grades for the girl - I was planning a little trip. Very little, like overnight.

It had to be inexpensive, though, what with the work situation. And close, what with the dog situation.

My husband is easy, he's not a fan of the city OR the beach. He'd go, but he'd rather not. Both are close by but the city? Not inexpensive. And the beach? I can't get behind the idea of staying in a hotel for a night to spend the day at the beach. Especially with someone who's ready to leave the beach ten minutes after arriving.

So last night I ended up at the Cabela's site. And I saw this:

We discussed. I'm ordering today. Our vacation home, she is portable.