Saturday, February 27, 2010

Wonderful smells and other great things

I was walking through the house. I smelled a smell. It made me smile. It was a good smell. "It smells so great," I thought aloud to myself. "What is that really good, clean smell?" Then it dawned on me.

Fresh air.

No kidding. It has been so long since we've had fresh air in our home, that its very scent had become pleasant, yet very unfamiliar.

Y'all, it has been too cold here for too long. We've got another storm coming this next week and if the Farmer's Almanac is correct, all of March will be wintry. Argh.

So, how did the mysterious, but smile-inducing fresh air get into our way-too-sealed-up-for-winter home?

K- wanted to play outside. I had her out front sled riding on the mound that used to be the igloo. I had the house door open, but the storm door shut. The igloo had warmed enough to collapse, but had turned basically into a solid hunk of iceness. We've added probably 8" inches or better of snow on top of the ice mound, so I told her to go sled riding down it. I just wanted to watch and make sure she didn't slide somewhere she shouldn't or into something she shouldn't, like the tree that is right next to the lump o' igloo carcass.

Our sled is 10 years old. It is brittle. Everytime the poor child slid down our make-shift riding hill, another hunk snapped off. The sled is sufferin' succotash, but though I have looked for a replacement, I can't find one.

Perhaps it is because it has been so blasted snowy that everyone bought them because there is nothing else to do. Just a thought.

But, our Saturday has turned out to be fairly productive. We went to Target's Seuss Storytelling Show this morning. We listened to team members read Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish and Oh the Places You Will Go. The last lady was struggling, but reading aloud to a crowd of strangers can be a little daunting anyhow, let alone trying to bust out a Dr. Seuss at the same time.

I find Dr. Seuss and Winnie the Pooh challenging to read aloud.

Anyhow. They fixed the kids up with reusable bags of loot. They sent them out with some puzzle pages, a few sheets of Dr. Seuss stickers, a couple of pencils, a Target beach ball, a Target flashing button that will be great at Halloween, a juice box, fruity snack pack and a cup of their variety of gold chick (fish) crackers. It was really quite a nice time.

After Target, we were off to Lowe's for our Build and Grow date. Today was the day to build a "Lowebot." Y'all, it took us a half hour and though the idea of a wooden hinged car is a great idea, it wasn't translating so well into the actual building part. K- put the car together, but I told her that I would do the hinge. Yikes. Well, it functions, but it is missing a hunk of wood. The staffer on hand told me that everyone was having hinge difficulties. It was still a great time to be building with K-. It is good to work together, learn basic building skills and to follow instructions. It is a free project and very wonderful for Lowe's to provide these workshops to the children in the community.

I found K-'s Toys R Us $3.00 birthday card this week and since it was due to expire on 3/1, we trotted on up there to cash that in. (She had been asking about it.) Of course, there were many lovely things that K- wanted to get, but I only allowed her to bring $7.00 extra dollars from her bank. She is truly a saver and generally doesn't indulge. Every now and then we need to buy ourselves something, right? In the end, she bought herself a Barbie Mermaid book-- the same one that she was longing for in the Scholastic book flier this month but we didn't get since it was $5.00. It was $3.99 at TRU, but she used her certificate and still had $6.00 remaining in her pocket.

We took a walk to the craft store next door, so that we could look for some felt for a Dr. Seuss hat for K- for Monday. (Yes, I'm making one. I'll take pictures.) K- found some Play Doh tools and some St. Patrick's static clings, so I told her that she had enough to buy them. I found Easter tattoos for the egg hunts and for the Kindergarten Easter basket collection (they make Easter baskets for the kids!) Since tattoos are hard to find, I snatched them up and we happily went on our way.

We came home, had lunch, I hunted for drywall anchors and I couldn't find any. That left us with the need to visit Ace Hardware. They were having 20% off everything you can stick in a bag today, so we went and found the things I needed. The grocery is just a few doors down, so we went there, too.

I knew that I didn't need that much at the grocery, but the first order of business was to deposit a few checks at our bank. K- had herself set on getting a lollipop. She's been practicing her 'L' sounds, so when she asked for a "lollipop" the teller understood her and got her pointed in the right direction. She was thrilled with her 'L' progress and the treat confirmed to her that she's got it!

I challenged myself at the grocery to buy just what we needed. Since we didn't need milk, I skipped a cart and went for a basket. I tell you, that is the way to go. We scooped up salad and yogurt for dinner, salad dressing, a few packs of Morningstar meatless crumbles, grapes, a bottle of 7Up, a package of lunch meat for K- this week and a few odd other things. It was a tidy sum of $26.00 and we were out the door. Aside from the 2 liter, it all fit in my chico bag. A good and bad thing, I suppose.

As we were walking through the grocery, K- found that some soda company had built a bunny out of purple and orange pop. She was loving it and talking to me about it. Apparently, she tickled one of the store associates with her excitement, so they came over and gave her a Kid Buck for the store. She skipped the toys and opted for a bottle of Gatorade. She thought it was spiffy that she could pay for it herself.

K- ran into (not literally) the sample lady. She was cooking up fish today. K- said that she wanted some, then announced that fish is her "new favorite food group." Okay then. Mentally noted to give the child more fish.

So, I had a non-sale indulgence while at the grocery. I bought myself some Laughing Cow Light Swiss Flavored Cheese. Now, it was $3.39 for the 8 wedges, but I'm pleased to say that it was as good as I hoped. I found some Kashi Roasted Garlic and Thyme crackers and I was happy to see that one little wedge covered the 8 remaining crackers nicely. See, I can still have cheese and give the cholesterol a consideration, too.

My Excedrin Migraine seems to have kicked in with the caffeine. I plan on hanging my ribbon in the studio, so I shall take advantage of the energy boost while I have it.

Smiles in my day:
- Above.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Flushing snow and a spoon under the pillow

K- is not an inside-out jammie wearing kind of girl, but she did want to flush an ice cube and to place a spoon under her pillow to help the snowstorm cancel school. I had no ice cubes, so I filled a cup with fresh snow and allowed her to dump the snow in the toilet instead.

Apparently, it worked. We have a snow day and K- has A- over as a playmate. I may get the studio pounded out today after all! Hooray! :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nice folks and explanations

After giving our house the good cleaning that it has been getting in pieces parts over the last few weeks, but not all in one day, I decided to purchase things I thought I needed to properly organize the studio. (There will be after pictures.) I knew that I had roughly 45 minutes to get the job done. Because of the time, I ran to Super Wal to grab up everything I needed.

I picked up a table for the sewing machine. I figure that I can put it on the shelf when not in use (it isn't like I'm a seamstress or anything, but I have a hand-me-down sewing machine that I would like to use a bit more often than I do.) I was able to find dowel rods and cafe hooks for organizing my ribbons. There is no way on earth that all of the ribbon that I own (thanks to a hair bow/hair bow organizer business venture that went bust) will fit up there, but along with the mounds of material that I'm soon to learn to sew with, I'd like to have the ribbons up for easy access. I found organizer boxes marked down to 3.00 from their original 9.00 each. I bought two-- one orange and one lime green. I also bought a pack of build-them-yourself organizer boxes. In a studio, you can never have too many. It was three bucks for a set of three. Why not? (They are lime green, too.) I found some little curtain rods to hang my kicky little valances up on, even though my windows still lack woodwork. (Hubs will get to it someday.) I also bought a big bookshelf. It's tall. It's also 70 pounds. So, I got it heave-hoe'd into the cart. A gentleman came up and helped me steady everything. (I told him I thought I was Wonder Woman, but I walked away wishing I hadn't lifted it.) So I cashed out, spent a whole $90.00 (I have a business account, don't worry) and trotted on to my car. Crap. How am I going to lift this thing? So, I tried flipping the cart a few different ways, then a man came running across the parking lot. "Ma'am! Hold on! I'm coming!" So sweet! He was a truck driver, giving his rig one last inspection before heading off into God-knows-what kind of weather we're going to have. He got the bookshelf lifted up and deposited into the back of my truck. Then he made sure to unload everything else. I thanked him profusely. As I was leaving, I gave him a thank you toot on the horn and a hearty wave. See, nice and helpful people are still around!

I got home with enough time to enjoy running in and quickly using my bathroom instead of the overused facility at the Wal. I was also able to unload everything BUT the giant book case. I'll leave that for Hubs.

When K- got out of school, I sent her back in for her pencil box. (I forgot to remind her this morning.) We made plans to go to have her purchase her replacement crayons this afternoon after school. Mrs. H- was kind of wondering why I was sending her back for the pencil box and I explained what happened. She asked what child was involved and I told her. I also told her that I wasn't telling her as telling on the child, K- had made a bad choice and needed to suffer the consequences. I explained that she was using her allowance to replace the broken crayons, that I was taking her to the drug store where I was certain that the crayons weren't going to be cheap and she wasn't going to get out by buying generic crayons. I also told her how K- will now know what is a good decision from a bad one. All she could do was laugh. She did say that she would re-visit the conversation with the children on how best to treat our friends. K- also told me that if Z- asked her to break up her crayons again, she'll "snap the lid shut on my pencil box and I won't let her in." It's not that Z- broke them or will break them, but I'm glad that she knows it wasn't cool. End of story for her.

Hubs has a puppet program scheduled for tomorrow evening and it looks as if K- and I will be back-up puppeteers. He's afraid that the Armageddon snow storm that they are predicting will keep the volunteers at home, but the visitors still out. If I have to shovel my way there, I will but I may qualify as a warm body. I'm not the puppeteer, but I can fake it.

This evening is the building meeting for K-'s school. We get to see what they have an idea of what to build, then it will be open to the community to provide their input on what we believe should be considered. Politely opening a can of worms in some cases, but nice to have them involve us.

I'm hungry. I've forgotten to eat anything of substance today. I hate it when I do that. My brain is fuzzy. I think that I'll prepare dinner for K- and me early so that I can keep on with the organization before I leave for the meeting.

Smiles in my day:
- The nice guy who helped me!
- Providing Mrs. H- with what she needs as extra things and having her tell me, "What am I going to do without you next year?!" So sweet!
- Getting the studio organized so that I can create some work again!
- K- wants to build another igloo in the front yard, but the other only shrunk down to a giant lump in the yard. Basically, we have a bunny hill for the sled now!
- Clean coats, even though I have to go and turn mine the right side out now.
- Spaghetti and meatballs to warm up for dinner. Yum!

Have a great night!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

No title and no topic

Doesn't that make you want to read on?

So, the internet is still having fits. We can't seem to figure out why our signal seems to be pulsing. For now, I have a signal. We'll go with it.

I watched a chunk of a wonderful bit on Amelia Earhart the other day on PBS. I wished I was able to see the whole thing. Fascinating.

The Olympics. Need I say more?

What's with parents knowingly sending their kids to school ill? We're not talking a runny nose here. K- told me that the one girl in her class told her the other day that her mother said that, "She was entirely too ill to be at school, so just don't sit near anyone." Really? It is kindergarten and they share tables. They don't have desks. A fellow walker mom that I hook up with occasionally stopped me this morning to tell me the tale of the dry heaving child that she found outside of the school yesterday. She said that the child said that his uncle had dropped him off. I'm thinking that the uncle knew he was sick, dropped him and ran. Nice.

Remember that I'm a germaphobe.

Apolo Ohno. God bless him. Truly. What a neat guy. (Yes, the Olympics are on as I type.)

So, back to nothing. Hmmmm. We have snow. Snowflakes. The big kind that stick in the trees and make everything look pretty. Apparently, we're getting a storm on Friday.

Speaking of Friday, I will be having a shadow with me. Kim's daughter will be hanging out with me since her mom will be out skiing and dad will be working. I plan on gutting the garden window and getting some things planted. At this point, I half remember what I ordered, but I know for sure that there are peppers and tomatoes in there that definitely need a head start. A- is a bit more of an adventurous kid that needs to stick a bit more in sight. She is a quiet kind of kid that will surprise you with what she can get into. Kim's hope was that by plunking her with me, she wouldn't be watching TV all day as she would if she hung out with her grandfather. K- is excited to have a buddy to play with when she gets home.

On the list for tomorrow? Unearthing the studio. You see, we have a staff show coming up in April. One show piece is due on March 8 for mailer photos and my studio hasn't been functioning in about 3 years. For the last three years or so, it has become storage for a variety of projects that I had my hands in. Since the room is filled with glass, the door is always kept shut. Instead, I would like to double baby gate the door, so as to get some light in the hall. I could collapse one gate to get in to work. K- isn't the problem. She knows that she is not permitted in there because of all of the glass. Try to tell the cat that, though. Smudge will go in there at every opportunity. Glass and kitty tootsies don't mix. The real fix would be if I had a split door (a Dutch door, maybe?) that I could leave the top open and the bottom closed. I wonder if Hubs would be willing to rip that door in half and do a little tweaking? Hmmm. Worth the asking.

Remember Marcy on my sidebar? I talked to Maggie today and got the update. Marcy came home from the hospital on Saturday or so and ended up returning on Monday because of a fever. They have searched high and low and can't find anything. They think it may just be an after effect of the chemo. She is feeling better and beginning to get a bit feisty. The sores in her mouth are healing and she is able to eat again. Prayers are that she remains on this track and continues to recover. All of the chemo that she has had to take has thrown her into early menopause (she's in her 20's), so she is having some effects from that as well as the crappity crap from all of the chemo she received.

My friend Heather had the nasty stomach flu last week and this week she swore that she had strep. She went to the Dr. today who confirmed that all she has is a virus and not strep. She's feeling funky, but feels better that she isn't going to infect her house with strep throat.

K-'s reading has really picked up in just the last week. The teacher has been sending two books home to practice on and K- is really doing well on sounding things out. Her attempts are sometimes still a bit clunky, as she'll be sounding out the first part of the word and speaking the letters aloud to herself at the latter half of the word. She gets it, though. It is her brain processing and I can almost see the gears turning. She's really getting the hang of it and I can't believe the improvement that I've seen in just a very short time. Every night, she's been reading Bob Books to her "class." Hey, if she wants to pretend to have an invisible class to read to, whatever takes her where she needs to go. What's funny is that she shows the book to all of the kids and reprimands as she goes, too.

This week has been a quiet M- week. Oh, he's been a pistol. In fact, last week he wouldn't do his homework for his mom, so his mom sent it back to school with a note on it saying that he wouldn't do it. Good for her! He needs to suffer the consequences of his actions. He's been a pistol in class and has even landed on red, but he's not abusing K- this week. For us, that is a step up.

I've decided to throw coats in the wash this evening. I have a mid-weight LL Bean, a heavy-weight LL Bean and K- has a heavy weight LL Bean coat. One of my coats and K-'s coat can go in the dryer. They are tumbling there now. Unfortunately, the heavy-weight coat of mine can't go in because of it being Tech 2.5 (LL Bean's Gore Tex equivalent), so it takes 2 days to dry. One full day flipped inside out, then I have to flip it right side out for the remaining day. We have a small break in snowstorms and our coats were kind of filthy. Since K- only has one winter coat, I have to make certain that it is dry for tomorrow!

The news started with "February Fury Returns." That can't be good. Ah yes, we're under a winter storm watch basically through Friday night. Saturday is 5-10" or 6-12". Really? (Of course, Hubs has a huge program Saturday.) All of the snow from before melted only enough to become hunkages of ice. Folks, I'm not afraid to officially say that I'm now tired of winter. I promise not to complain incessantly about it. I live in Ohio and know that this is the way it goes.

I was listening to my new-to-me Ben Folds CD today when I really started to pay attention to the words that he was singing. In the song Hiroshima,* he is singing about coming out to do a concert, taking a header off the edge of the stage (later to find out it was because they didn't mark the edge of the stage with tape, so he couldn't see the stage end), bleeding on his keyboard and having a concussion. I'm amazed that anyone could turn out a good song about such an unfortunate accident. Yet another reason why I love the CD. Okay, so sometimes the guy doesn't have the most stellar language, but he is talented.

*I wasn't able to successfully watch the whole video because of the whole pulsing internet thing. If something comes up that is questionable, I'm sorry.

I must go check the coats to see if they are dry. Obviously, we'll be needing them.

Smiles in my day:
- Sprinkled here and there above.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tales from the Trenches: Kindergarten Peer Pressure

When I was driving K- home this evening, we had the following discussion:

"Mommy, Z- broke up all of her crayons today."


"Well, I don't know. She told me that I needed to break up all of my crayons or she wouldn't be my friend anymore."

"So, what'd you do?"

"I broke up all of my crayons."


"Because she said that she wouldn't be my friend if I didn't."

"K-, you knew that was a bad choice, right?"

"Yes, Mommy."

"Then why did you do something so dumb?!"

"I'm so sorry."

So I told her that because she made a bad choice, listened to a friend even though she knew what she was asked to do was wrong, she needed to do extra jobs to earn money to go out and purchase another box of crayons with her own money.

"But mommy, I can use them still."

"They are all broken up."

"I can get some crayons out of my drawer basket at home! That's a good idea!"

"K-, the broken crayons still work. Yes, there are a bunch of crayons in the basket in your desk drawer at home. That's not the point. The point is that you made a bad decision to listen to a friend even though you knew that you shouldn't."

Another part of her punishment was having to discuss her transgression with her dad. We sat her down between us, explained that she needs to make the right choice. She asked us if we forgive her. "Absolutely. K-, you have Jesus in your heart. You need to listen to what your heart tells you."

"So if my brea*sts hurt, then I know that is Jesus telling me that it is wrong!"

(Insert a smirk on both of our parts.)

"Yes baby. That'll tell you if something is right or wrong."

This evening, I was discussing the matter with my mother. She gasped when she found out that K- had broken up all of her crayons. You see, K- is not a destructive child. She's not been one to color on walls, break up toys or destroy things. When she said that she broke up her crayons, it surprised me, too. Mom told me that she didn't blame us for making the decision to have K- replace the crayons with money that she earns. She agreed that we need to make an impression on K- about peer pressure.

Do we have crayons? Yes. Do I have brand new boxes to easily replace the broken ones with? Yes. Will that teach K- a lesson? No. Crayons are only the beginning. Hopefully, crayons will be a peer pressure reminder though. I believe that they will be a forever symbol in K-'s life of remembering to lean on Christ.

Smiles in my day:
- K-'s honesty about what happened today. The child has a guilt complex a mile long. She'll tell on herself about everything.
- An internet connection that seems to be working this evening. It's in fits and starts, though.
- Reading through the Farmer's Almanac. What interesting information. I admit that I've never read through an almanac before. I'm most surprised by their claim of 80% accuracy with the weather. We keep the almanac in the drawer at work and I read the next month's weather prediction aloud. February was pretty accurate. If they are accurate about March, it is going to continue to be wintry with a few more snow storms coming our way.
- K- eating everything in her lunch, regardless of whether the children say, "Ewww!" to the contents. (Blueberries.) I had to get her past not eating things just because one of her table mates didn't like whatever the food was.

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My internet is misbehaving

It has been out this weekend. We've been busy visiting with family in from out of town, though. So, that leaves me silent here. Sorry. I'll be back up when the computer stops giving us fits. Darn those upgrades! They are supposed to make things better.

So for now, I'm scabbing some time on my MIL's computer.

I'll see you sometime this week!