Saturday, January 23, 2010

Over 2000 e-mails.

I'm embarrassed to admit it. Folks, my e-mail in box has been rather clogged.

I kept ignoring it.

I hoped that it would go away.

It didn't.

Tonight I sat for an hour purging over 2000 e-mails from my box. They date back to June 2009. All those e-mails? Unread. Before you wonder, I do read my e-mail. So, what comprised the over 2000?
1. My Points e-mails. This evening, I went into my My Points account and asked for no e-mails. The points that I will earn now will be strictly from purchases. I just don't have time to file through it anymore.
2. Our library. They can't send one notification to let you know that either something is due or a requested item is ready for pick-up. They send one e-mail for every. single. item. Geeze Louise library people.
3. Forwarded jokes. More jokes than I can tell you. I love to laugh like the rest of them, but unfortunately, I just can't get to all of them.

It feels good, though. I do have some still in my box. I had to stop. The ones left are just from this week.

I just had to tell you of my accomplishment. Before you ask, no-- I won't let it get like that again.

Smiles in my day:
- K-'s school raised over $1000.00 through their Hats for Haiti fundraiser. Today was a "spirit day" which is otherwise known as uniform-free. For $1.00 (or more) the children could wear a hat to school.
- I picked Hubs' birthday gift up today. Whew.
- I found Converse tennis shoes for my niece and nephew for 75% off today at Target. They were both in major need of new tennis shoes. My brother was thrilled.
- The house cleaning is done for the week.
- We had a great dinner of roasted red pepper alfredo, salad and bread. Yum.
- Mike was able to come over, install a new virus protection and I can go back online again!
- Speaking of Mike, he loved the dinner that I sent him the other day. I really need to do that more often.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Edited to add:

Aren't you proud? :) And no, I still don't know how to successfully do a screen shot.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Rambling about a variety of things.

I have a splitting headache. I have a list that I wanted to share.

1. John Edwards. Dude, I voted for you. Seriously, you cheated on your wife while out on a presidential campaign and fathered a child with a lover that you only now, 22 months after birth, claim she is yours. Uh, I support your wife wholeheartedly in her leaving you. God bless Elizabeth. As far as you are concerned, I can't even think of anything nice to say.
2. I thought Wii systems were widely available. I was wrong. I went hunting for one today and after the second store saying, "Sorry, we don't have them." I figured that I would go online. None at Target. None at Walmart. I found one at Best Buy a half hour away. So, I went ahead and bought it online, needing to pick it up tomorrow. Hubs' birthday is on Monday and I started sweating the unavailability there for a minute.
3. PMS this month has been beastly. I'm sorry to complain about something you don't care to know about but I seriously have to say that the stabbing pains, fuzzy headedness, cramps, splitting headache and lack of energy can't go away soon enough. Normally, I buck it up but this month is the beastly once a year run. I've been miserable.
4. K-'s 6 year visit went well. She's in the 75th/80th percentile for height and weight, so the doctor says that she is pleased that K- is proportionately sized. The kid is healthy and carried on great conversation with Dr. P-. We love her.
5. Mrs. H-, K-'s teacher, admitted to me that she completely forgot to send homework home on Tuesday and had I not sent a note on Wednesday asking, "No homework? Just checking." She said she probably would have forgotten it for the balance of the week. It was a shifted week this week and last, having the kids off 4 days over the weekend. K- somehow ended up not getting her homework yesterday (someone probably picked it up out of the cubbie), so she handed it off to me personally. We love Mrs. H-!
6. Our internet is going to be updated this weekend. Our houses are so close that the neighbor has us hooked up to his internet with a wireless router. He works for the phone company, gets a great deal on internet and tells us that there is no reason for us to pay when he can give it to us free. (How wonderful! See, living on a postage stamp has its advantages!) So, he'll be in and out Friday evening and through Saturday. Our virus protection officially expires tomorrow, so I'll be out until Mike gets that current with what he has. (He's adding us to his virus protection, too!) Don't worry, we help him out on things, too!
7. The conversation I had with my brother about the request for a "twea*ker bag" was hilarious. He whispered into the phone, "You don't, um, carry that stuff, . . . do you?" "NO!" "You don't have bags, . . . do you?" "Ladies handbags, yes. Not twea*ker bags!" "I didn't think so. Why the heck would he come in and ask you for something like that?" "Uh, I don't know!"
8. Apparently my brother has weened himself off his bipolar drugs and seems to be functioning so much better. I think that pulling himself out of drugs, away from a poor living environment, having a better relationship with his kids AND visitation, getting out of the hood and eating healthier things has done well for him. Praise to GOD!
9. After walking K- to school this morning (I felt like complete hormonal crap, it was about 22 F and friggin' cold), I got some laundry going, laid on the couch and watched Lethal Weapon. Hubs had comp time, so he went in late and saw me sacked out on the couch. He teased me later and told me that he KNEW that I ate bon-bons on my day off and now I've just proved that to him. (He knows that I was feeling like dirt. He truly was just teasing.)
10. I got the seeds packaged up and sent off to Rachael. We'll be gardening by internet and we're excited to get rolling. Her growing season is much longer than mine, so seeds will be hitting the dirt for her in about a month and a half or so. So jealous!

My smiles are included above. I'm going to go and enjoy This Old House.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


The last few days at work seems as though I have attracted some real winners. Maybe it is the pull of the moon. Goodness knows that it has wreaked havoc with me physically and we'll just leave it at that.

So, I have this young man (20's) come literally BOUNCING through the gallery asking me if we sell "twea*ker bags?" Y'all, I had no idea what he was asking for. I think that the look I gave him told him that. The bag he asked about? It is meant to contain your speed. (I had to ask the walking Urban Dictionary at work.) Yes, I mean as in :stuff:.

I work in a Fine American Craft Gallery. I do not work in a head shop. There is one down the street. We border a college campus, after all. Really. Just go down there. We don't sell pipes. We don't sell bags. We don't sell the stuff to put into the pipes or bags. It is a rarely asked question, but I seem to be the one who gets them. Really? I've never used in my entire life!

So, after speedy bouncer and his equally speedy mother and babysitter grandmother all left the day was done and I rolled in for today, my last day of the week.

My morning started in a way that no woman particularly cares for. Let us just say that coverage wasn't all encompassing. I woke up in time to just miss a major disaster. Still, good morning! Argh.

Today was museum day. Museum day is when everyone comes in, touches, comments, reads aloud what product says then leaves empty handed. That's okay, but it can be exhausting.

I had a young woman come to the counter to pay for her purchase. She handed me her credit card which read very large in Sharpie "ID REQUIRED." I'm good with that. I want people to ask me. She goes to hold her wallet up, which is a personal pet peeve of mine as how am I supposed to properly ID you without having to handle your wallet. I don't want to touch your wallet. So I asked her if she could remove her ID. She did and it was mangled. Her sister asked her how it was mangled. She said that she had "gone to a scary movie and had chewed on it."

Ewww. I Purelled after she left.

So, we had a woman who wanted to return something. After she was told her options, Sam told her that she could leave it at the counter and if she found something, we could do the return paperwork then. "Well, DON'T LOSE IT!" (I've never had anyone tell me that in regards to a return.) I chimed in and told her that we are pretty responsible people, but she is more than welcome to carry it around with her. Sam added that it was still her merchandise so we were fine with it. She ended up finding a suitable replacement to the gifted earrings and happily went out with a few bucks to spare.

The end of the day came and we had a dawdling customer and gentleman in tow. She told me, "Well, Ron shops so much faster than me. I just take my time." Knowing the time, my comment was, "Oh don't worry. You are good for another 10 minutes!" So, she decided to buy several pair of earrings. When it came time to pay for her purchase, she told me, "Well let me get my money OUT OF MY BRA." (I would have loved to see the look on my face.) So I took the credit card, began writing the info I needed when she said, "I'm sorry, that was probably too much information, right?" "Um, sort of, but that's okay."

After she left, I Purelled again. I had just handled boo*b money.

I had to go after work to pick K- up from Hubs' parents house. I had to do a bit of computer maintenance and install a new virus protection software. The software I was told to use (AVG) is "great and free!" It's only free if you sign up for a trial that they have, which I didn't want to do because I was certain that would tie my in-law's to some weird membership to the stamps club or a mail order movie club forever. We ended up doing the pay for option and where I wanted to pay for it (they watch K-, pick her up, provide many lovely things for her . . . ) they insisted on paying. Ugh. And I thought it was free. They were happy I did it and I was even able to show my MIL how to copy on her printer.

Hubs had a volunteer meeting tonight and a half hour beforehand, the one whole cheek of his pants ripped. Thank goodness there was a KMart across the street (feeling very Rainman here), as he went and bought himself a pair of $10.00 khaki's and all was well. They laughed and called Hubs the "Incredible Hulk." :)

So, for my lovely commenters on my "what the heck do I do with my kid being picked on/beat up" I can happily report that M- did not do anything mean at all to K- on Wednesday. She said she told him good morning and "he didn't do anything mean at all today to me, Mom!" Baby steps.

On the other hand, another classmate kept saying that K- "liked D-." K- knows that we've had the girlfriend-you-are-far-too-young-for-boyfriends discussion. She said that she ignored C-. Good. Perhaps that will stop, too.

Thank you much for your kind words and honest suggestions. It means a lot that you would give me great suggestions to help my kiddo out. And for the record, what K- tells me is pretty much gospel truth. She's not an exaggerator. Never has been. So, I really did believe what she told me.

Smiles in my day:
- When 6:00 PM came.

Tuckered out. Must climb into my bed. It's calling, "It's been a long day Amy. Come on over. I'll make that day go right away. Your eyes will close before you know it and you'll be asleep lickety split."

I must go listen to my bed now. 'Night.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday: Help! My kindergartner is being beat up & picked on!

I need your help. My daughter is having an issue with one of the children in her class. About a week and a half ago, M- was "fake sneezing" on K-. She thought it was gross and talked to the teacher about having M- stop. M- was upset about K- talking to Mrs. H-, so he has continued to be mean and do mean things. He has:

1. Made ugly faces at her. I told her to ignore them.
2. She tried to show him a necklace that I made her. She was excited about it, but being a boy he was not. She said that he ended up pulling on her necklace really hard. (No, it didn't break.)
3. He has told her what a mean and bad girl she is since she snitched on him.
4. He sat on her really hard. Yes, the teacher knew and addressed it.
5. He knocked her down and though K- didn't tell on him, classmates did.

I've told her to tell him good morning, but other than that, to ignore his bad behavior. I said that if he is speaking nicely to her, go ahead and talk to him, but not to let the bad stuff get her down.

I told her not to continually tattle on him. I don't want her to be viewed as a tattle tale. I asked her when the whole thing started if she had asked M- to please not do the "fake sneezing" on her and she said that she hadn't spoken to him. I told her that if she had talked with him nicely first, it may have been all she needed to do. (To her credit, I doubt that it would have helped, but I always want her to use her kind words first.)

I talked with her about apologizing to him about not speaking with him first. Later that evening, she said that the conversation went something like, "M- I forgive you." "K-, I forgive you, too." Then, she really thought it was water under the bridge. Later that day was when he plunked down on her hard.

M- has some behavioral issues. He seems to be an ADHD case or at the very least ADD. To function as a room parent and do parties is sometimes difficult as he is demanding and can be disrespectful.

The teacher is aware of the situation between them and disciplines accordingly. I don't want to be THAT mom who continually says, "But my child isn't being treated nicely by . . . " I want to give K- good tools to use and not always come to her rescue. I want K- to be able to function on her own, though I don't want to leave her high and dry either.

Beating him up is not an option.

Speaking to him disrespectfully is not an option.

Help me. I don't know what to do. Please don't think that I'm saying that my child is perfect. If she does something wrong, she fesses up to it. If she makes a bad choice, she'll tell me/us. We talk about different/better choices that she can make in situations such as this. At this point, I'm out of suggestions. Ugh.

Smiles in my day:
- My seeds arrived! They sent me a free package of seeds. I'll be sending Rachael out her goodie pack of share seeds probably Thursday.
- We walked to school today. Well, it was a challenge since I didn't realize that it was slick. It was a very light mist on our way. I slid multiple times and K- actually fell. (She's okay. Hubs was holding her hand tight.) On the way back, the mist changed to snow and made everything even more slick. Hubs actually went down. He'll be okay, but he cranked on his wrist pretty hard. It was nice to see Mr. Jim. I'm glad that he was there, as someone blew the crosswalk on our way back. That's the third time this year.
- K- is set for swimming lessons. They changed the day though! They are on Sunday now and not Saturday. Because of the change, she'll miss the first class as we are scheduled to be out of town, but that is fine. The first time she took lessons, she missed the first class because of a chlorine burn on her legs. (Sensitive skin and she went in the hot tub with me. She ended up having to be put on antibiotics and I felt like an absolute horrible mother. She didn't even want to go in. I did. Argh. Never again.)

I await your advice. Help me please!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tales from the Trenches: Adventures in new recipes

So for the month, I've tried the pork with nutmeg, cloves, honey and elderberry jelly (subbed for cranberries.) Surprisingly, it wasn't overwhelmingly spiced, so I was happy. I was so happy that I used the frozen portion I had set aside for BBQ pork. A few weeks ago, I plunked it in a crock-pot with about 1/2 bottle of BBQ sauce, 1/2 bag of short cut carrots and let it cook until it was nice and moist. We had that for a couple of nights.

This past weekend, I decided to try my friend's chicken recipe. She places whole bone on/skin on breasts in the crock-pot, puts a can of Cream of Chicken soup on top, a cup of water, then vegetables on top of all that to cook. (I used fresh broccoli and carrots. I later put some frozen corn in.) The chicken was wonderful. Unfortunately, the dumplings I made to go with them failed. They ended up smooshy and floppy. They never firmed, but the ends were almost foamy. The aftertaste was dreadful. So, I'm going to hunt through the internet offerings to see if I can find a lovely recipe, though the "Rocking Chair Store" is a nice back seat option to have. Darn it! I want to make them myself! I've done it and they were wonderful. I need to compare my recipe (that I used before) to those on the internet to see what went wrong. All ingredients were fresh. The broth was to a rolling boil. My failure bugged me.

Onward. Rachael has a wonderful, easy dinner idea on her blog. Oh, look! I linked to it right here. Since it is just me and K- eating it, I'd probably be good to roll with 1/2 recipe. Rachael, you are rockin' that on parchment, right? It looks like a wonderful pairing to some soup.

I'd like to make this polenta recipe that was on 5 Minutes for Mom. What's funny is that I bought the sun dried tomatoes in Amish Country when I was there last, but didn't know what I would do with them. This is perfect! I may very well hold off until we go to Amish Country next month, so that I can purchase my coarse cornmeal there.

So, I'm trying. What's on the menu for the rest of the week? Well, I bought ground chicken for tacos. K- loves tacos and I would rather do a healthier version than what Taco Bell serves. So, speaking of healthier version, what do I do? Well, when I cook my chicken, I add some cooked rice and frozen corn. We use mozzarella cheese, as opposed to cheddar. (It's not that we don't have cheddar hanging out in the fridge, though. Orange cheese is K-'s favorite.) I tend to use the soft flour tortillas. K- knows that I plunk a hearty helping of refried beans down inside of the tortilla before the meat. Sometimes there is sour cream. Sometimes not. K- is quite an addict, though. Open a container of sour cream and girlfriend snarfs the whole thing.

Outside of that, dinner is kind of a toss-up this week. What's on the menu for your house? Maybe I can steal recipes! :)

Smiles in my day:
- Our little store pulled a lovely sum of cash on Saturday and boy did they unload a lot of Christmas items! Hooray!
- My lip is healing from the massive bit of chappedness it was suffering from last week. Sadly, my lip ended up getting fat and bleeding. All that because I forgot my chapstick all week long. Argh.
- K- and I are going to hoof it to school tomorrow. Hooray! My hips are excited, too! (They have been missing their workout.)
- We made it to 400 books on K-'s school log. The target book count to this point is 200, so we are way ahead of the game. Actually, we could stop at this point (we won't) and we would technically be on target for the rest of the year. And yes, that involved hours of reading today but that is okay. I should also add that it involved reading the book Stone Soup 3 different times.
- K- is doing very well with her Bob Books. She is doing a very nice job at working on sounding out words unknown to her. She doesn't get every word, but she is working on it and getting a good hunk of them. In fact, she read 8 Bob Books to me tonight as a part of her reading challenge.

My toasty bed is calling me. Have a wonderful day!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Breeding laundry baskets and other weekend tales

Now I have to remind all of you that last week was inventory. I know that I don't do physical labor that week, but boy I come out as a wet rag.

The laundry in the baskets was washed. The laundry in the baskets (yes, three) was almost all folded. I had laundry on the lines to fold, though. I had a load in the dryer that didn't quite make it to dry on the line, was half dried and needed the rest of the way in the dryer to knock out some of the wrinkles that I was afraid had become permanent.

I put the three baskets of laundry away, folded the load from the dryer, hung the load from the washer and washed two more loads of clothes. Though K- only needs three uniforms this week (MLK day Monday and Friday is street clothes), I still ironed all of her clean uniform pieces, put them all together with tights and necklaces and they are now hung and ready to be worn. I had to do it eventually.

So, while I was at putting the laundry away, I cleaned the computer desk. I freed it of the stacks of papers that I had on it and I forgot how big it is!

Okay, I have to admit something. I skipped Sunday school so that I could tidy the desk and work on laundry because I knew that my neighbor was going to be coming over to work on the computer. I didn't want him to see laundry baskets of clothes needing to be put away and my desk needing cleaned. I got everything tidied and he never showed up. That's okay. It needed done and now it is done. I shall not pig it up with paper piles again.

I've actually been on a de-piling mission this weekend. I went through somethings we had on the kitchen table. I have a homework basket for K- that was beginning to look as if it was housing back stock for a paper mill. When the year started, I had a glorious one-time-only parent idea that I would save the papers, bind them and keep them for her.

Then I realized the mass amount of paper that Kindergarten takes up.

So, I went through the basket the other day. I kept a few papers (5 or less) and projects that she had done (not them all, but some) and ditched the rest.

K- had gotten comfortable in pulling things out and depositing them on the kitchen table or in the homework basket. I cleared all the little tiny schnibby things that she had left behind and placed them in a pile on a chair. I made it her job to put everything back in it's proper creature home.

Would you know, she did. Every. last. piece.

Ah, I almost forgot. We went ice skating with friends on Friday. I'll start by saying that K- has officially retired from the sport. She has hung up her skates and has decided that roller skating is more her speed, regardless to the fact that she spent less time on her behind ice skating than she did roller skating. Oh, and with ice skating, you can wear obnoxiously thick snow pants and have your mama dork you out by making you wear a bike helmet and it's okay. With roller skating, you can't do that.

Hmmm. Another thing! So, I made creamed chicken in the crock-pot using my friend Kim's recipe. She ends up cooking the noodles in the crock-pot, but I decided to make dumplings.

The dumplings failed.

I was so sad. I've made them before with the same recipe. They were gross. I wanted to have K- deliver dinner to our nice neighbor that will be hooking me up with FREE! virus protection through his internet, he gave us the Blu-Ray player, the cable to hook it up with and dropped in last night to bring a 50 foot air hose and attachments for the air compressor that he gave to Hubs for Christmas. The least I could do was to have K- take a dinner over that didn't taste like mooshy toilet paper. I decided that noodles would have to work.

For whatever it's worth, it was good, but I'm still tasting dumplings. (If you have a good recipe, e-mail it to me. Apparently mine is having issues. They plumped, but they were spongy and never fully firmed, regardless to the rolling boil that I had the broth up to.) We bought a loaf of bakery Italian bread from the grocery when we were there, so it was mighty tasty.

I was able to take full advantage of the 75% off Target toy sales on Friday. It was right after -- hold on . . .
A side note, what on earth is Chloe Sevigny from Big L*ove wearing on the Golden Globes? (Credit to the Daily Mail and Reuters for the photo.) She's upset that the guy stepped on her dress and may have ripped it? I believe he may have done her a big favor. Wow, and not in a good way.

Okay, back to you. We went to Target right after the ice skating date where K- earned three blisters on her hard-to-fit feet (very narrow), so I promised that I would have her ride in the cart. (Insert light bulb coming on right here. No wonder why my back hurts!) At any rate, I saved so much money and I nearly got all of Christmas 2010 bought for. I have now 28 children to purchase for, so we set money aside knowing that January clearance racks are where it is at for us.

I sit writing this evening so happy that I've done much organizing this weekend. I'm blessed to have the house that we are in. My people are with me. I know that they are safe. We have running water, phones, electricity, gas for heat, food on the shelf and in the refrigerator. I can hop in the car, know that the road is clear and gas stations with fuel are plenty. The grocery is well stocked, and there is no looting. Haitians do not have such things. Utility service prior to the earthquake was spotty as it was. Now there is nothing. I pray that they have hope. I pray that the services and goods that nations are trying to get to them are able to make it through the ports and airports and into the hands of people who need it. I want people to share. I don't want people beating on each other. I want clean water to be anywhere they need it, but such a wish is not possible. Prayers are what I can offer. Prayers are what I give. They are on my mind.

Have a good day, my friends.