Thursday, June 28, 2012

A day with my girl.

Thursdays in my house is cleaning day.  The last few weeks, Thursday has been less than fun for K- and me, often ending with K- losing privileges. 

At issue, 98% of the Thursday time, was her room.  It was an absolute pig sty and needed to be stripped.  My mother-in-law took K- on a train ride the other day, and that required K- to stay a night in order to be there for on time for the train.  That gave me an opportunity.

I was a mom on a mission.

I went through and gave the room a mom cleaning, as I had to consider that K- isn't going to clean like mom at the tender age of 8 1/2.  I figured that if we gave her a base to work from (believe me, I've done this before), she is now old enough to understand and to take care of that room.  K- and I did work on the desk together, weeding through desk drawers, coloring books, miscellaneous bits and parts and actually found that she does possess a desk top.  I swore that I saw it there before!  Since I have her desk top covered with a thick clear covering, I can slip something underneath it.  I'm embarrassed to say that it still has the ABC and 123 posters under there that I put there 4 1/2 years ago.  We've decided that we're going to use the fun green, yellow and white polka dot wrapping paper.  I realize that if it becomes too distracting, I'll have to change it. 

Basically, we've made the desk something that a 3rd grader would use.  We're still finishing it, but we're close.  We're going to clear the bulletin board, in anticipation of starting the third grade in the fall.  We've got the room nearly straightened around and I would love it to remain that way.  K- has become more responsible-- willingly taking care of her chores (trash on Friday and Monday, with cans to the street on Monday, dusting the floor, picking up, clearing dishes) and I just needed to give something as a model.  The book case has been rearranged and she knows to put things back on the shelf with its book mates.  (Junie B, Magic Tree House, Big Nate, Amelia Bedelia, American Girl, Star Wars . . . )  It's when the book shuffle happens that everything falls apart. 

I got a little tangential on that.  Really, I meant to talk about our trip to the zoo.  That's where I started.  I'm tired.  Truly.

In one of K-'s birthday card, there was a check and a pair of tickets to the local zoo.  I decided that today was the day to seize the opportunity to use the tickets.  It was sunny and a heat advisory day, but I packed (a little overzealously) a lunch, drinks, ice packs and sunscreen and we were off.  We found that the advisory scared all but the diehards away, so it was nice.  Few people meant that we weren't tripping over each other.  Everyone was kind and pulling together to keep the little ones safe and happy.  We ate, we looked, we applied sunscreen, we walked, we fed critters, we drank, we reapplied sunscreen and after about 2 1/2 hours, we were done and needed to go home to relax.  We enjoyed ourselves and what was nice is that it is a small enough zoo that it could be done in the heat and Hubs and K- visited there so often over the past many years (zoo pass), she knew everything and took me around.  It was great that it wasn't children climbing over children and when we arrived home, K- took a much needed nap.  (The heat took the energy right out of her.)  We worked on her desk a bit, she went to the neighbors to enjoy a movie and deer tacos (no kidding) and I continued the desk purge in her absence.  I took K- and E- to the library summer reading program this evening and once we arrived home, I had K- work on putting things away as I watered the extremely parched gardens with the sprinkler.  We have a goal to get the bedroom complete tomorrow, her homework will get done, chores handled, then we will be off to swim for a little while.

It's nice to not be that yucky yelling mom.  I sit back and think, "Do I want her to think of me as always yelling and harping on her?"  The answer to that is no.  Sometimes I have to remember that she is just a kid.  Being an only means that sometimes, I think that I expect more of her since there isn't any other child to compare her to.  I have to remember that she is 8 1/2 and as such, she is still very much in need of mama right there to mold and shape.

Smiles in my day:
-  Our zoo trip!
-  Having K-'s room now resembling a room and nearly complete.
-  Good sleep.
-  The laundry line.  With heat like this (down to 90 F at 10:20 PM), the laundry is drying quickly! 
-  My 4 o'clocks are blooming!  They are bloomed in the AM when I go out to water.  Kind of funny!
-  Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen and NO! burns!  Hooray!
-  Though I hate to run it (I like the windows open), I'm thankful that we have a/c. 

Have a wonderful night!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

While the kitten's away, the cat will . . . clean.

My little kitten stayed overnight at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  Kitten K- will be riding the scenic train with Grandma today and since boarding was early, Grandma said that she needed her for an overnight.  That thought made a lightbulb glow-- I can finally plow through K-'s room!

(Isn't it sick how we think to spend our free time?)

K- wasn't home and Hubs had to work late.  I made a call to my favorite Chinese food joint (China food, as K- used to call it), ordered up Teriyaki Chicken with no onions thankyouverymuch and flew on past to pick it up on my way home.  Being certain to ask for my chop sticks (pork chops to K-), I split it in half (for lunch today), dug my sticks in, ate, got a can of Coke and started on my mission. 

Overall, I was pleased with how the new organization has gone with the American Girl belongings.  Girlfriend has far more shoes than probably K- and I combined (neither of us have tons.)  I tidied that up a bit, stripped and changed the bed, swept out the headboard cubby (broken crayons, tiny bits of whatnot and nothing that amounted to anything), filled it with a pillow pet, K- - The American Girl version and her Linus (the security blanket that can occasionally still come out), then onward to the biggest bone of contention- the book case.

My child has a love for books.  That is an incredible thing that I really don't like to argue about.  Each night, I try to clear the books away from her bed before I go to bed.  Still, I miss a night or two and wake up to a loud thunk in the middle of the night.  No intruders, just K-'s books hitting the floor.  The other night, I came to check in on her and she literally was asleep inside of a Big Nate book.  Her head was between the pages and she was sleeping on the back side.  I had to pull her head out of the book.  She takes books everywhere and like Rory Gilmore, generally has a book in her bag with her.  Still, her romantic nature for all of these books had led to a book shelf that had run amok in a way that was just a crime.  I cleared the shelf for probably an hour and a half with books flying and now, dare I say it, I have some spare space for the books that I know are with her (she took 3 Big Nates to Grandma's) and the miscellaneous books that might be squirreled away in my car. 

I'm onward to the desk.  Sitting here, I can't really determine which is worse-- the book shelf or the desk.  The desk is all kinds of tiny pieces and parts of bits of things.  That one may win.  Until then, I have an hour to hang laundry and to find a kid's desk.  Wish me luck.

Have a great day!

Monday, June 25, 2012

I realized that I was going to blog about the same thing I did years ago, then I decided I would revisit anyhow.

Panhandling.  It drives me crazy.  Everyday my way to work (at least on the edge of downtown) is the predictable corners occupied by the "out of work," "need money for food," . . . signs.  I've had people come INTO work to ask for money.  At least one came with a shovel in hand (in the winter.)  I thought that was a nice touch.  We've been panhandled (probably 5 years ago) INSIDE of Lowe's in a fairly affluent area.  Hubs has been panhandled at the gas station about a mile and a half away.  I go to that gas station on a regular basis and have never had a problem. 

On Sunday, I went shopping about 30 minutes south of us while K- was at a birthday party.  I was going to enter the expressway and noticed a gas station sign that said gas for $3.29.  That's a BARGAIN!  (Sure.)  I decided to get my tank filled 1/4 to the fill line, got done with my gas station business, was going to enter my vehicle when I hear, "Ma'am?"  I realized that it was the gentleman in the next car.  Being an idiot, I thought he needed directions.  "Yes."  "Do you have a dollar to spare for some gas?"  Now, gas is $3.29/gallon.  I know darned well that dollar won't buy much gas and I know that dollar wasn't for gas.  "Nope."  I entered my car.  Was frustrated, but locked the doors.  My window was down (power) and moon roof was open.  It wasn't an easy exit and Hubs asked me if I had told the people inside.  "As a female by myself, I was just trying to get out of there."  He understood. 

Still, I ask the almighty question.  What makes people decide to ask others to finance their lives?  I made my once a year trip to the Wish Upon a Hero website to see what the internet panhandling is looking like these days.  That website seriously makes me angry.  I'm sure that there are legitimate needs on there, but today I found someone asking for new candy, someone wants their family vacation financed, a girl is asking for her medical school to be financed to the tune of $25,000. but that isn't going to cover it all, she says, pool toys and sunscreen, money to take a son out to dinner and "this place looks really nice and I think I might want to take him there," the Walmart wish lists, the guy who went on and said that it was his third request since "apparently his first two requests asked for too much money."  Someone wants to get married, made a big who-ha about how different ex's had taken all that she and the fiance had, yet had a Walmart wish list for jammies and clothes for her and a mattress for over $800. 

What makes people thinK, "You know, I think that I might leave it up to the rest of the hard working folks to finance my needs." 

Don't get me wrong, there are people with true and genuine need.  Unfortunately, they are being punished by the people who decide that they just want something without putting the work into it. 

Last summer, we got a call from the local homeless shelter.  We had volunteered there for some time and they truly have a special place in our hearts.  They phoned asking for donations.  They said that it was the first time that they ever had to do that and it was at that time that we put them permanently into our budget and have an amount automatically withdrawn every month to be certain that we don't forget.  My point to saying this is this-- we know that the homeless of the area know that this is a safe place to receive a service (chapel attendance is required), a hot meal, a clean bed and showers, clothing, shoes, opportunity for employment training and a cooling center when it is otherwise too hot.  I would rather give our monies to an organization that supports many than to someone on a street corner who is most likely working for a guy who comes along to collect the corner funds from them each day.  (Not kidding about that one, either.)  The guys on the corner?  They've all been offered several different jobs.  They've all declined.  Why should they?  Some have new cars, big TV's and whatnot.  They have things we don't, so apparently panhandling is working for them.  Rrrr.

What's your latest panhandling experience?  It seems to be getting worse by the day and is now basically an untaxed business in these parts.  Are you finding the same where you live?

Smiles in my day:
-  My people were able to take the boat AND! trailer out to a new fishing spot they found.  No more fishing at the park where the trailer was stolen off my truck.  Some rather unsavory happenings are occurring there and we don't care to be witness, particularly our daughter.  Hubs was concerned that he wouldn't be able to experience the same type of wildlife, and today he reported that there was an eagle flying around.  Those are still a rare sight around here, so we rather treasure every wild sighting we have. 
-  There are a few bears making homes in nearby counties.  Why is that a smile to me?  Bears are protected in Ohio and they can't be shot.  They are moving in from Pennsylvania (encroachment, y'all) and I hope that they find safe homes here.  I would love to think that we can all live together in harmony.
-  I don't know if Peter and Dash (the resident bunnies) put out an all call to the bunny neighborhood, but we have a few more visiting our backyard.  Dash, the baby with the dash of white on the forehead, will hang all lounged out and watch us toil in the gardens.  They all know we mean them no harm and are quite content to coexist with us. 

Have a great day!