Friday, July 6, 2012

The out of doors is fevering.

It was 99 F today.  It is supposed to be 101 F tomorrow.  What do you do when the environment is fevering?  I mean, how much Advil will it take?  :S

Prayers for Heather and baby, please.- The update!

Heather texted me today stating that she felt kind of funky with a sore throat and I believe a runny nose.  Later, she texted and said that she was going to the ER because her heart was racing.

To someone who suffered fetal loss as a result of preeclampsia/eclampsia, this is not something that rings well to me.

She went to some facility up north where they did blood work and an EKG.  Apparently, her EKG didn't appear right.  They have sent her off to the Cleveland Clinic (where her husband works) for a 24 hour observation period. 

She is concerned.  I've only gotten info by text, so I can only give you what I have right now.  Please pray for Heather and (as of this moment he is named) baby Gabe.  Gabe is due October 11.

The update is that after having gone to an ER, having a funky EKG, arriving at the other hospital by ambulance, having weird numbers that made them question blood clots, a scan for clots, several EKG's, a quick run to make sure that Gabe is swimming beautifully, Heather is now HOME as it was dehydration (gee, um, 99 F have anything to do with it?) and low potassium.  She left me a message and said that she needed to sleep.  So glad that it wasn't the ugly road we walked down. 

Phew.  Oh, and AMEN!  :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Watering everything, praying for storms and the laid back holiday.

I can never remember a 4th of July celebration that I absolutely cringed when I heard fireworks.  Hubs did, too.  Why?  Because we've been in a drought.  Our grass is like straw.  It was very crunchy, very dry and very flammable straw. 


The little plot o' dirt that the palace sits upon was subject to flying, flaming debris from the many neighbors nearby who spent good money to put it up in colorful smoke.  We had heard fireworks for hours during the daytime and knew that nighttime was only going to give more. 

As a result, I stood out and watered everything-- the flowers, the grass, the shed and the wooden play set.  I wasn't messing around.  I told Hubs that if I wanted to sleep, I had to do what I could to prevent fire.  (For the record, I had a coworker who decided to do the same.)

I was on the computer, Hubs was in the living room and K- in bed.  I heard a thud on the roof.  I heard another thud.  I heard Hubs get up.  We went out and watched as gloriously it started raining and hailing (no damage here, thankfully, but plenty close enough.)  It would shut down the fireworks, yes, but more importantly, we were getting rain-- rain that we so desperately needed. 

Now, I have no issue with fireworks generally.  However, when you are driving down the road and they have lit highway signs asking that you not toss lit cigarettes from your car window, you know things are dry.  Well, that and the median fire I saw about a week ago.  Oh, and the fact that mulch is very regularly spontaneously combusting, burning houses and a hotel.  Yes.  Dry.  The only other time that I recall seeing signs like that was when I was a child, maybe 12, and on our way down the Blue Ridge Parkway to Virginia Beach.  There were signs that you were NOT! to smoke at all in the park.  They were, as memory serves, very serious signs and I do believe that they carried a fine if you did choose to smoke and they caught you.

We saw no fireworks to speak of this year.  I don't think any of us feel as if we've missed out.  Instead, we hoped to and made sure that we had the boat on the water before nine.  They had heat advisories out and calling for storms later on.  I woke up at 6:50 AM, getting Hubs up at 7 to start rolling.  Hubs and K- readied the boat and I packed lunches and snacks.  We had a lovely day, with Hubs catching 12 fish (catch and release, so we put them back in their home.)  K- got a hit, but didn't get the hook set.  No problem.  She still had a nice time and even had a gentleman boat by to tell us how amazed he was with her casting skills.  He said that she's better than a lot of adults.  (Kiddo can wet a line pretty impressively.)  We started in at about 12:30 PM, when it was clear that we were sitting in the equivalent of a large metal ladle in a very large pot of hot soup.  The battery was on the edge of dying, so I did have to ask Hubs at one point whether we were moving or not.  We got home, Hubs dealt with the boat (and the 95 degree heat) and I hopped in the shower, then set off to making our meal.  I put Nathan's hot dogs in pork and beans and cooked those in the counter top convection/toaster oven (trying not to heat up the whole house), corn on the cob, pressure cooked potatoes then pan fried them, bought cheater macaroni salad and the neighbors had us come to get rigatoni, pasta salad and baked chicken.  We did not go hungry.  In fact, we saved the chicken for tonight's dinner.  (He sent so much!)  We finished with bomb pops (the red/white and blue Popsicles) for dessert.  Yum!  We watched Bill Dance bloopers and laughed and laughed.  So many of his bloopers have been real life for us, too. 

Today we laid low.  We hung out in the house, as we were in for another heat advisory.  We cleaned, we took care of Webkinz, we did school work, we checked in on Webkinz, we played some games, fed the Webkinz, went to the library program tonight and made sure that Webkinz were okay. 

It was a very Webkinz-y kind of day.  We don't normally do that. 

We're looking for temperatures to hit 100 tomorrow.  We've got plans and we'll have good fun.  We're going to squirrel away in the air conditioning early in the day, though. 

Smiles in my day:
-  Though I was not particularly thrilled with the storyteller at the library, K- was over the moon that she was chosen to be a mama kangaroo in an Aboriginal story.  K- is very motherly, so this was right up her alley.  It was even funnier when there was a kangaroo hat, tail and a pouch with a joey for her to wear.  :)
-  No hail damage.  (Not smiles, but need for prayers on the following.)  My younger brother lost a few windows, has damage all over and the estimate on one vehicle alone is over $5600.00 in damage.  Oh, how we've been there.  I also have a friend who reports that they came home to shredded screens and vinyl siding, along with trashed gutters and a shot roof.  A lot of clean-up and many prayers that people have the insurance they need for the proper repairs.  We had over $10,000.00 in damage when we were hailed 5 years ago.  Thank goodness for insurance!
-  Air conditioning and electricity that hasn't gone out. 

Be safe, be cool, be well!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence and the writer

K-'s first big research project in her school career was to do a report on Thomas Jefferson.  She had to research Thomas Jefferson's personal life (we left out the part about infidelity), his accomplishments, where he lived and so forth.  We learned many things.  Among them, we learned that he was quite a gardener.  He was the first (in the states) to grow tomatoes.  He sent Louis and Clark out on their expedition.  He was responsible for the Louisiana Purchase.  He had a mockingbird named Dick who ate bits of food from between his lips.  He was a cave explorer.  He brought the recipe for ice cream over from Europe.  He authored the Declaration of Independence and died on July 4, 1826- the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.  A controversial gentleman, but the writer of the reason we have this day. 

We celebrate the birth of the American independence and we thank you, Thomas Jefferson!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tales from the Trenches: Teaching financial responsibility to an 8 year old.

My daughter is a spender.  She gets it from her father.  Hubs is a spender.  He has said that if he was in charge of the finances, we would not have the savings that we have.

You know, I believe him.

When cleaning K-'s room (for and with her), I found that while she had the bills in the money jar, I found change everywhere.  After we were done cleaning and all the change had been found (I think), we dumped the jar out, K- counted all of it and found that she had $30.00.   I told her that I would allow her to spend $5.00, but that we were going to go to the bank to open an account and that she would put her $25.00 in there. 

We went to the bank, she went to the counter with me and I asked her to tell the gentleman what she wanted to do.  "May I please open a bank account?"  :insert grin of bank teller:  "Of course!"  She told him about the money that she had and that $10.00 came from Grandpa when he won $20.00 on the scratch-off's.  She said that he took his $10.00 and bought more lottery tickets.  :insert laughing from the bank teller:  We talked about the ability to direct deposit her allowance into her account just like Dad gets his pay check direct deposited.  "Absolutely!  What jobs do you do?"  "Well, I do a lot of work."  :insert Mom shaking head:  "I take out the garbage!"  "You do!"  "Yup!"  "Well, that doesn't sound like fun."  "Oh, it is!  I get to take the cans to the street!"  He looked at me and laughed.  "Just wait until she sees how much fun it is to haul a city can in the snow!"  He laughed some more.  We got the account opened, her money deposited and I now have her allowance deposit scheduled for deposit each "payday."  That would be Friday.  ;)  I can cancel the deposit of the week if the jobs weren't done.  I think that after K- sees the dollars add up in her account, she'll know that working for a few bucks isn't such a bad thing.  I did tell her that no work or if we have to pester her = no pay or not as much pay.  I told her that her dad and I wouldn't get paid if our bosses had to beg us, too.

Later, we went to the store to find a treasure for K- to buy with her money.  We found that a local craft store had some Webkinz, but sadly, people had stolen the codes from many of them.  That made her mad when she realized that someone stole the codes.  She decided that she wanted to go to Toys R Us to check out their goods.  You and I both know that $5.00 hardly purchases anything in the Land o' the Giraffe, but it took K- a hard lesson to learn that.  She left teary, saying that everything was just "too spendy."  We had a discussion before we went in that she could only spend what she had and that I would not add money to hers for her to purchase something out of her price range.  She did do one bit of pleading about, "You can buy me this one and give me extra for that one."  It wasn't obnoxious and I didn't cave.  (Hubs is the caver.)  Turns out that we tried a store down the road from TRU that she was fairly determined that she didn't want to go to, but then she found them-- a stash of beautifully kept Webkinz, all codes intact AND! for $3.25 each.  She even had extra money to purchase fake hair braids stuck onto bobbie pins.  (I make them sound glamorous, don't I?)  You should have seen the look on the face of the cashier when she pulled out her change purse and it was all in change.  She would have counted it, but in the interest of NOT having the people behind us throw things at us, I counted it out for her.  You know what?  She still had change remaining.  Her frown did turn upside down and she decided that store wasn't such a bad thing at all. 

Later, I sat her down and told her that if I went into the store to buy something, only had a certain amount of cash in my hand, the store wouldn't let me get more just because I wanted it.  (We'll skip credit cards and lines of credit for now.)  I told her that sometimes you can't buy what you want because you don't have the money or it is too expensive.  I also told her that it can pay to shop around.  (The three stores we went to were on the same road and in about a 1 mile strip.)  We didn't tour the county for a deal, but we went within a reasonable distance. 

I'm trying to teach her to save and to be responsible with money.  If you have any ideas, do share!

Smiles in my day:
-  Listening to my people giggling and laughing about some misadventures that happened in their good day of fishing, despite the 92 degree heat, battery dying for the boat motor, the loss and regain of an oar, the near loss of K-'s new fishing pole, the hassock falling out of the truck and gaining speed as it rolled down the boat ramp.  It had been, er, used (lightly and not soiled), so I have to admit that I'd rather have it roll out of my truck than to tip over in it.  That part had them laughing the hardest!
-  We had a busy day and the time went by quickly. 
-  Despite the moderate drought we are suffering through, I'm keeping the plants going.  I do have a flower basket that is in the medical care unit of the backyard as the intense heat finally got to it in a big way, but everything else seems to be holding on.  I would love a break from watering.  That and the rain barrel needs a filling.  We have squash blossoms, collards growing like crazy, tomatoes happily hanging, peppers peppering, ground cherries ripening, corn moving upwards, green beans sprawling onwards and potatoes holding their own.  The butterfly bushes are blooming, despite the weather abuse that they've suffered from this year.  Eeek!

Have a great day!

We finally bought cherries.

Neither one of us could do it.  Cherries remind us too much of Aunt Donna and we've been having a bit of a rough time.  K- and I had a long talk.  We talked about how much we missed quirky Aunt Donna and now was the time for us to bite the bullet and buy cherries.

The child is in heaven.

Cherries will always be a huge reminder of Aunt Donna for both of us, be it the phone calls of readiness, or spotting K- and Aunt D as they spit cherry seeds over the 7th floor balcony of her apartment. 

The woman was an odd bird.  She made her knowledge (or perceived knowledge) of all things known and if she announced that she knew something, she was under the impression that she was THE authority.  Still, if you were sick, hurt, injured or in need in any way, Aunt Donna came to the rescue.  She was a disabled, sight impaired woman who truly lived on a fixed income, but somehow, she'd make it all work.  She would drop off bags on my doorstep of a variety of fruits and vegetables.  She'd scooter over with a freezer bag to drop off popscicles.  She managed to buy my sister two vans, since one she flipped, rolled and destroyed.  She would picnic in the party room with us and a cheap Little Caesar's pizza. 

How she delighted in spending time with our kids. 

Truly, she is very missed.  For now, though, we have cherries in the fridge.  Apparently, they are good.  (I don't like cherries.)  Aunt Donna would be proud.