Friday, August 15, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

Oh, for Pete's sake.....

It's once again been forever since I blogged! It seems that the more I have going on to share or muse about, the less time I have to blog about it! Life, eh?

So, here's to catching up again in bullet form:



  • Go check out this blog. She's an Austinite, and recently blogged about our (very typical) record-setting heat. Always a fun topic around here this time of year! Wendi Aarons blog

  • Congrats to Ali Edwards and her husband Chris on their baby-on-the-way! Big brother Simon will be wonderful with the baby, I am sure.


  • Band camp started up August 2nd for Eric and Alex. It's old hat for Eric, and brand new for Alex. I worked in the Med Tent that first morning, and when I got there at 10 am the band had just finished running for 10 minutes straight, and doing Pilates. All of a sudden the tent filled with staggering teenagers, some ashy white and unable to see (dizzy), others dehydrated, and one vomited. Yippee! I think it probably happens every year: the kids are warned to get outside, acclamate to the heat, drink lots of water, etc. They don't, and they pay for it. I am proud that both boys never did use the Med Tent...they both toughed it out. My only concern is how Alex is going to handle the pressures of marching season and the demands of this year's show...it's very technical, and quite hard on the brass players. Guess we'll see.

  • This past weekend was my last official time working at Archiver's. I was supposed to be done the previous week, but when I gave my notice I said that I'd 'return' to help out with the Make-and-Take weekend. It's always a busy and fun time, and they certainly appreciate extra help. It felt weird, on my last day. I brought in my camera, and was able to get photos with most of the other employees at the store. I was a good girl, too, with my last purchase with employee discount: I bought a lot of cardstock (mmm.....Bazzill.....), adhesive refills, and supplies for a Christmas gift/project. I'm considered a "casual" employee, available for employees to call if they need a shift covered, and the store manager said that any time I want to go back onto the schedule I can just give them a call. That in and of itself was a wonderful and flattering thing to hear, but what also made me feel all squishy inside was the when others heard I had given my notice, they were mad at me and didn't want me to leave! It's good to be loved.


  • Now that I have my days back (and my weekends!), I need to keep myself grateful for the time I have. My plan is to keep myself very busy, so that I do not fall into a lazy and slothful routine that would put weight back ON...I still have only lost the 45 pounds, and want to lose another 15. Perhaps when school starts I will join the greyhairs at the mall and walk. Shoot, I have the grey anyway! The plan of attack for staying busy is LISTS. Lots of To Do lists. I am drafting a list for each day of the week, starting with things I need to do daily, followed by the chores I need to do that particular day of the week. (I also have one for monthly and semi-annual, but I won't start those up yet. Daily is first.) I'm taking all of the things I need to do around the house every week and assigning each to a day...hoping to get a real schedule going, so that I can check things off as I go. Today was Day 1...I'm not far into this at all, but today was great! I feel like I was very productive, and had pretty much everything done by the time the boys were home from band at 5 and when Joe was home. I even played Becky Home-Ecky and made Toll House Cookie dough balls and Rhubarb Coffee Cake tonight! In case you are wondering, here are the sources I used for the basis of the lists, and my favorite organizing blogs and sites:

Spending time watching Olympics, especially the swimming...last night's 4 x 100 freestyle relay....HELLO! Go USA! There's more to share on the knitting front, including photos this time, but the swimming is about to come on again. I'll save that for next time.


Later, gators!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

QUACK!

It seems that summer goes more quickly every year, doesn’t it? Here it is halfway through July, and school starts August 25th for us. Wow.

This weekend for the first time in a long time I was able to enjoy a day in which I didn’t have to be anywhere all day. I was able to dictate my own time, and I loved it! Joe and Eric went to San Antonio to watch DCI (Drum Corps International) competition, while Grace, Alex and I hung out here at the house. I finished up my ‘hippie purse’ made of mitered squares of leftover sock yarn, even the straps. The design of the straps took me the longest, with much research via googling and on Ravelry. I finally decided on using 4 I-cords and braiding them together for each of the 2 straps. I also covered a piece of plastic canvas for the bottom interior to keep it stable. I am really happy with it.

We’ve come to a big decision here, too. Looking forward on the calendar, we saw that along with 2 weeks in August of Marching Band Camp for the boys from 8-5, Joe also had travel pop up this week (to Minnesota), as well as a strong possibility of all of September to various locations. (Who knows yet what could come up last minute in August!) When school starts in August, we’ll be watching to see how Alex does not only during Band Camp, but also as a freshman in high school. We wanted me to be as available as possible, especially with both boys after school every day with band, leaving Grace needing a ride home.

Because we’ve recently been quite blessed, we decided that it was best for the family that I didn’t have a work schedule to be a possible stressor added to an already packed and tenuous family schedule. Without a work schedule, I am available for the kids whether it’s during the daytime or evening, regardless of whether Joe is in town. We won’t have the added income, but we’ve run our numbers and feel quite comfortable.

So I am a lame duck employee at Archiver’s. (Thus the title of this blog post.) I gave my notice, and am working through this week and next as scheduled (I gave notice last Monday giving 2 weeks…which is actually becoming quite atypical in the workforce nowadays, sadly). I am returning the following weekend to help with a hopefully sales-filled Make and Take weekend, and will be considered an ‘as needed’ employee; this means that part timers can call me to work for them, I can offer up dates when I am available if they need me, and whenever I am able I can be added back on as a permanent employee. There is a lot that I will miss (like the 3-% discount!), especially the amazing women that I work with, but I feel I am doing the best thing for my family right now.

So, yeah, QUACK.

Have a great week!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Yes, Virginia, there IS good stuff on YouTube....

Alex and I are watching our DVD of the Bugs Bunny and Road Runner movie. (I highly recommend it to the parents and kids who love to laugh!).

A slightly different take on the Rides of the Valkyries, by Wagner. (You know his sponsor was crazy King Ludwig, who built the stunning Newschwanstein in Bavaria, right? Yep, I was there. coolest thing evah.)





And one we can't stop laughing at: Rollercoaster Rabbit, with Roger Rabbit.

Enjoy!

They're villains, Claire.....

Oh yeah, coming September 22!



Sure, I'll be watching the Olympics. But seriously....I am looking forward to Heroes this season. I wasn't thrilled with the last season, but I think this one has real potential. Sigh, another addiction! And I'll just be getting over Hell's Kitchen (season finale tomorrow night, people!).

Crazy summer that it is, notes on the Summer of '08, thus far:

  • I miss Eric! He was gone for 2 weeks counselling at Camp Allen. Then home for 2 days, and off again for 2 weeks on a mission trip! He's completely incommunicado, too. Can't wait to have him home again! So glad I had the week with him in June, while Joe, Alex and Grace were on the mission trip. Cool thing: he was able to send text messages from camp, and one ended with "Give Mom my love".... what a great kid!

  • It seems that this summer I've been able to have a full week with just one of the kids at a time. When it was just Grace and I (Eric was on week 2 as counsellor, and Alex was a camper), we had a few days during which we didn't have obligations, so we declared them "No Pants" days! We just hung out with the dogs, cleaning, scrapbooking, etc in our Tshirts and grunders. Poor Joe when he got home: we were all giggles! Such fun.

  • Grace is at camp this week, so it's just Alex at home this week. Besides time at Archiver's, I am helping out a friend with getting their daughter to her cheer camp. Hoping for downtime with the Zandermeister! Tonight we are hanging out and watching a couple of Mystery Science Theater movies. Tomorrow night, of course, is Hell's Kitchen...he's a huge fan, too. We are bummed that the DVDs that are available and the computer game are NOT censored. Rats.

  • Bringing back a few memories from the high school years, another link to Wendi Aarons' blog. You really should read her blog on a regular basis. What a hoot! Here's the one on a week in the life, and here is the one on having a party.

  • Family health is an issue, if you are shooting up prayers, please include my extended family. Thanks.

  • Powerwashing makes a heck of a difference on our patio and driveway. Grace and Alex are both wonderful powerwashers!

  • Oh, my new photo! It seems that I have grey hair coming in, and it has decided to be curly. I've had stick-straight hair all of my life. Perms were the only way to get a curl. But my hair guy, Tim, tells me that often times grey comes in a little freaked out, and a different texture at first. It'll probably go straight again. Oh, why can't you see the grey? That's because I pay Tim a pretty pennyto keep me as very blond as possible. One can never be too blond, right Zillbutt?? So for now I am loving the natural curl.

  • And although I still have about 15 pounds more to lose, with the current loss of 45 pounds, the ensuing necessary wardrobe change (including my first 2 piece swinsuit in a scary amount of years, and a size change now at 4 down!), and the curly hair, Joe has gotten himself a new trophy wife! He says it's easier this way...he doesn't have to 'break in a new one.' I agree!

Hope for more soon....trying to enjoy life inside the revolving front door! It seems that school just let out, it's now into July, and before I know it we'll be up at the crack of dawn again for school. Life zooms on!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Right here, right now....

  • Watching Eric kill off bad guys in Rainbow 6 (XBox game)
  • Wishing Joe, Alex and Grace a wonderful week on their mission trip to Houston (Grace's first!) .l.. which means Eric and I have the place to ourselves this week! Well, except for the 3 dogs and the hamster.)
  • Still full from lunch at Mesa Rosa after church!
  • Got 2 beds' linens washed
  • Completed the second of 2 wristwarmer/gauntlets (made to match the Logan River Wrap I finished last week...I just adapted the cable pattern and designed as I went.). Amazing deep, smoky purple yarn in a wool/silk/cashmere that I got on sale!
  • Comfy on the couch, ready to watch some Family Guy on my Ipod before I go toddle off to bed
  • Planning on going to the pool tomorrow after I get off work at 2, to start on the real tan...
  • As opposed to the streaky orange color I am right now. But I'd rather be streaky orange than pastey white!
  • Kind of excited to wear a new swimsuit this year, with 45 less pounds on me! (Still have about 15 more to go....)
  • Thinking I really do need to take photos of knitting projects to post to Ravelry
  • Have quite a nice list of 'summer projects' for myself...actually looking forward to some deep cleaning/purging/organizing!
  • Realizing that I am the only one here all summer, while everyone else comes and goes for a week or more at a time. Grace thought that an "In and Out" board on the wall would be a good idea so we'd know who was here each week...I am starting to think it's not a bad idea!
  • Going to set up time for Eric to have friend K overnight this week, so his parents will get a night at home without kids! Hoping Eric can stay at K's also, and I'll end up with a night here to myself! "Risky Business", anyone? Party at Kris' house! Bring chocolate and 'Ritas!
  • Wishing I had taken a photo of a gift I made. Alex has had the same team for Special Ed and Inclusion for all 3 years in middle school. I really wanted to thank them in a tangible way for all they have done for him, and helped him become so selfconfident and able to advocate for himself. I found a wonderful transparency/overlay at Archiver's, that had a heart design and the quote "Teachers touch the world one heart at a time". I made a scrapbook page, kind of a collage really, with some vintage looking school papers I had, a ton of embellishments, and used clear 'ghost' letters of an a and a v on it, and framed it. I wish I'd taken a photo of it before I wrapped it and had Alex drop it off! The note he wrote for them was so sweet and heartfelt. He was pretty emotional the last few days of school. He was like that leaving elementary school, too. He gets very attached to people; I think it's wonderful. Such a neat, neat kid!
  • Realizing I should get off the computer and get some sleep, if I intend to be worth anything in the morning when I work. Sigh. I don't sleep very well when Joe isn't here.
  • Saying goodnight.....

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Feeling the love, and the gratitude....

Just sitting here with Grace, watching "So You Think You Can Dance", and realizing how blessed I am. (Yeah, I wish I could still dance, or at least be as limber as I once was, but I do love to watch dancers all these years later.)

There are so many reasons I am grateful right now. Too many to list, really. There are people in my life who are blessing us in ways that are immeasurable, and certainly in ways that cannot be repaid, but will definitely be "paid forward." I have friends with whom I celebrate right now, and friends with whom I grieve right now, and I feel priveledged to be a part of both. There are many changes coming for friends...some wonderful, some -well- not so wonderful. I only hope I am able to make them feel grateful for me in their lives during the changes.

The boys are home from high school music camp, and although Alex has (a little more than) some adjusting to do, I am optomistic. We are one week away from the end of the school year...and Alex will start high school in the fall. I do think I'll be wearing my knees out in prayer over his success.

Eric's combination of academic grades, lack of absences, and phenomenal TAKS scores allow him to excempt ALL of his finals this spring.

Grace has successfully navigated the often treacherous waters of 6th grade girlhood, and maintained a strong self-image and a confidence I know I never had at that age.


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I added a badge to my sidebar, to the left. It's taken from Ravelry (thanks, Sujo!), and here's the description (I felt I deserved it!):

The “I Will Crush You With My Math Prowess” Badge - The recipient has applied the principles of higher mathematics to knitting including, but not limited to hyperbolic planes, Fibonacci sequences, Klein bottles, Moebius strips, fractals and Flying Spaghetti Monster hats.

So I'm back to watching the auditions, living a little vicariously through the dancers, in jammies and freshly cut and colored hair. (Thanks to Tim, I'll be a blond for as long as I possibly can!)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Just checking in.....

Here's an interesting blog entry. (I read a LOT of blogs about organization. Turns out it's not osmotic. Who knew?)

the Organized Mom

And a little funny I copied from a friend's blog...some are oldies, but still funny.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a CHANGE! The chicken wanted CHANGE!

JOHN MC CAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure -- right from Day One! -- that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.......

DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on 'THIS' side of the road before it goes after the problem on the 'OTHER SIDE' of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his 'CURRENT' problems before adding 'NEW' problems.

OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road...

ANDERSON COOPER - CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he's GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain. Alone. (from Kris...this still cracks me up!)

JERRY FALWELL: Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth?' That's why they call it the 'other side.' Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media white washes with seemingly harmless phrases like 'the other side. That chicken should not be crossing the road. It's as plain and as simple as that.

GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

BARBARA WALTERS: Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken2007, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check book. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken. This new platform is much more stable and will never cra...#@&&^(C% ......... reboot.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken? AL GORE: I invented the chicken!

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

DICK CHENEY: Where's my gun?

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.


Have a great rest of your week! ....and knit on!