January 31, 2012


It's that time of year again. The time when I'm on the road a lot. Most of the time, I have to fly to an airport and then drive to some place God forgot. Because I'm glamorous like that. What it means, is that I am more often than not, in a rental car. And no matter how many times I do it, no matter how many different cars I get, no matter how many miles I drive, I have to return the car. Over one of these nail bars. And every single time?

I have the strongest urge to slam on the reverse and blow all 4 tires in some grand announcement of my presence. Can you just imagine it Ka-BOOOOOOM!

I don't know why I want to do this. And I've never actually done it. But someday...

January 29, 2012

So cute I could eat him up

I don't have anything to say today that anyone would want to read. (My review of A Wrinkle in Time? My thoughts on the curried cauliflower Beerman made me? The movies I've watched since we got Roku? That I forgot Harry needs a stool sample for tomorrow morning's vet appointment? Yeah, didn't think so.) But since my child is about as cute as they come, I'll give you a bit of him instead.

January 28, 2012

Home again, home again

I'm back home again. This trip was harder on me than any have been in a long time. I feel like I've been run over. At least it's the weekend. Time to be lazy.

January 27, 2012

Exploring Winchester

It was cold and rainy, but I finished my class early for the day and decided I couldn't just go sit in my hotel room. Instead, I went walking around the historic downtown of Winchester, Virginia. There is tons of old stuff from the Civil War to see, as every house or business has some plaque on it commemorating something important. The story is the town switched hands 70 times during the war, so it's got some incredibly interesting history. My mom would have been in historical hog heaven. It was a lot better than my hotel room, at least.

January 26, 2012

70 is the new 21

Today, Harry the best dog ever turns 70.

The secret to his youthful success? Regular baths in the spring.
Followed by repeated snow angels with his face.
Happy birthday, sweet friend. I get happier just looking at you. Enjoy your liver cake.

January 25, 2012

Road tripping

I'm on the proverbial road again. Virginia, this week. I was going to stop and have a chat with Obama about some of the finer points of his last night's speech, but then decided I was too busy. Maybe next time I'm in town.

January 24, 2012

Piles of laundry

A friend of mine is a fellow autoimmune problem child; a different autoimmune issue, but autoimmune, nonetheless. And she made the comment the other day that she's come to terms with having the disease, but not with the total lack kof energy that it causes.
And that hit home for me.

I have arthritis. I have days that are painful. There are things that hurt a lot to even think about doing. Waking up in the morning is tough. And lately, I've been having feet pain again, which makes even walking difficult. All that I can grasp. All that I can come to terms with.

But the inability to keep going when everyone around me seems to be able to; the total lack of ability to exert myself, that's where I just can't wrap my brain around. Each morning, before I open my eyes, I think about what my day is going to look like. I assess how many things I need to get done, how much energy each is going to take, and prioritize how many of them I can get done and in which order. Which sometimes means the laundry will sit for 3 days until I can get to it. I tend to have more energy in the morning, before it's been wasted on stupid stuff, so if I need something done, have to get it done immediately. Sometimes I get irate when my family doesn't get on my schedule. Of course, because I'm impatient, but also oftentimes, if I'm honest with myself, it's because what I really want to scream is, "I won't have the energy to keep going later, so move your asses now!"

I've always known my energy level is low, but until my friend made that comment, it hadn't occurred to me what that meant for me emotionally and mentally. It was a good aha moment, and something I need to ponder for a bit to figure out how to deal with it better than I have been.

January 23, 2012

A day off

We had the day off today. In between C-man art directoring my shots, we spent the day at a water park with some friends. Now he's off to math tutoring, and I'm off to see Being Human while working out because I'm too cheap to buy ScyFy. I can't decide if I should bathe before going to workout to get rid of this waterpark yuk or just wait it out until after. Big decisions of my day. Good stuff.

January 22, 2012

Routine Sunday

Another routine Sunday around here.The good news is Cman and I have tomorrow off to play.

And Happy 46th Anniversary to my parents.

January 21, 2012

Sirius Black and other stuff

Behold, the (hopefully) fastest pinewood derby car the North Shore has ever seen, Sirius Black. Weigh-in and inspection are at noon. The suspense is thick. After all the work that's gone into this car, I sure hope it doesn't come in last.

I made my own hand soap last night. I also made overnight crock pot oatmeal. The two aren't related in any way other than I am doing some pretty uncharacteristically domestic things lately.

I got a new pair of snow pants delivered yesterday. Holy moly, are they awesome. Why have I been dealing with the cheapo version this long? I took Harry to the dog park this morning, and was actually hot in this balmy 7 degree heatwave we're having.

I was forced to watch Yugioh this morning. Why do all the Japanese characters talk in a growly whisper?

MU is "versing" (as C-man would say) Providence tonight at 6 pm CST. Time to Febreeze the flag and get it up!

January 20, 2012

A moment in time

5 inches coming down and a half day of school = ice cream, of course.

January 19, 2012


I am in kind of a January slump. The kind that makes me want to crawl under a blanket and watch movies until the groundhog and I both agree that it is Spring. Alas...

January 18, 2012

It was a cold and snowy night

It's snowy, cold and wintry. Go figure, it being January and all. At least Marquette is winning and the Brewers signed Aoki, so Hart can play 1st. (Beerman and I were discussing the merits of taking umbrellas to the game like the Swallows, but then thought maybe we'd look a little crazy.) Beerman has been working hard on his C-man's pinewood derby car. (Seriously - how is a 6 year old supposed to cut, shape, sand and paint a car on his own?) The big race is Saturday night, after mass and a delicious hot dog dinner. Wow. Life sure is exciting around these parts.

January 17, 2012

A mother's love

I know a mother's love for her child is not abnormal. But the love I have for this kid, the one who gets that sly little grin just before he's going to do something like throw a snowball at his dad when he thinks he isn't looking, is so big, it doesn't feel like I can keep it inside me.

It's kindness and justice week at school in honor of MLK Jr. Day. So he decided to give up this week's allowance to a homeless shelter. That's 3 whole dollars that he's been counting on to get the next Lego set he wants so very bad. It about killed him to know he'd be a week further from getting the Burrow, but he did it because he said it was cold outside and everyone needed to be inside.

I really, really love this child.

January 16, 2012

Back at it

We got C-man through yesterday's loss (he cried throughout the 4th quarter) and are now back at our typical routine, counting down the days until pitchers and catchers report (34). At least MU beat Pitt, so not all was a loss.

Being Human starts its new season tonight. Not having cable, it's been killing me to know I won't see it. (I burned through Season 1 via Netflix) And then this weekend, while at the gym, a perfect solution to my problem arose - the gym has ScyFy. So it's a double win - I get to see Being Human, and I have a commitment to work out.

And other than that, we're just back at it. Hope your Monday is smooth.

January 14, 2012

House party

Luzern, Switzerland

C-man is still feeling iffy, Beerman is getting something ugly (probably airplane cooties), and I slept 12 hours last night and am debating going in for more drugs today. It's a regular party at the house today. I think it's going to be movies and pinewood derby car making day. (The big race is next week.)

January 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

I don't care if it's Friday the 13th. It's Friday on the first 5-day work week in quite a while. What a relief. It was a struggle for everyone to get up this morning, so I'm thinking we could all use a nice, quiet weekend. After tonight's wine club, of course. Anyhow, enjoy the weekend.

January 12, 2012

Slogging through it.

January is always such a long slog. It's the time when the weather is the news and there are no days off work. (Whatever happened to celebrating MLK Jr Day?) I've half-looked at Easter vacations, but since we need a new car and new windows for the whole house, think it might not be such a smart decision. I really need to get out and test drive some vehicles, but the thought of a car dealership turns my stomach so violently, I've been putting it off. Gas is supposed to skyrocket again this year, so a tiny car is looking more and more appealing.

But in good news, Beerman is on his way home, back from the rodeo. (Welcome home, honey. Go snow blow the driveway!) I've got an overdue lunch with an old friend. And I'm working from home today. All good things.

January 10, 2012

I'm so boring

I have so little to add these days. It's January, when not a lot happens outside of the regular routine. There isn't much to photograph. But in my cube redecoration of poster-sized photos I've taken, I did come across some fun ones I'd forgotten existed. So join me and watch the surfers for a bit...

January 9, 2012

It's Monday. Whoopee.

My back and shoulder got mysteriously better yesterday during the day. I haven't been able to move my shoulder without pain and haven't been able to sit without excruciating shooting pain since the first week in October, and suddenly yesterday, it was all better. I had troubles again while sleeping last night, and it's achy today, but is NOTHING like it's been. I thought I was going into a flare when I woke up Saturday, my hands were puffy and my joints all stiff, so went to the pool with two little boys for two hours in the afternoon. So was that it? Or was it that I started going back to my chiropractor last week? (But would that affect the shoulder improvement, too?) Or was it that the acupuncture regime changed a week and a half ago (and I actually feel something moving around while I'm there now instead of being annoyed and cold)? I'm due for my injection later this week, so that's all worn out of my body by now. Was it just a coincidence of time? Combination of it all? I don't know, but Beerman said, "Just keep doing it!" Here's hoping it isn't a fluke.
C-man starts his math tutoring tonight. (He's going because he likes math and we want to encourage it, not because he is having trouble.) Which is a good thing, because last night he was doing the math homework he got assigned while being off sick on Thursday (seriously?), and I had to look up what "mode" meant before I could check his work.
I've been reading about different bad things that we use in our everyday products. Most I knew about, but one I hadn't thought about was laundry detergent. Apparently Tide, which is what I use, is one of the worst. While it cleans delightfully, it's not really helping us health-wise. In what I realize is only a half step away from beating it against a rock in the river, I am going to attempt to make my own detergent. If this experiment fails, or is just too much work, I'll go back to conventional stuff, just something with a little less yuk in it.
I'm going to redecorate my cube today. It's kind of all I have in me right now.

January 8, 2012

There is no crying in baseball

It's January 8th and 40 degrees with no snow. So it must be baseball season. (I'd like to point out that we sat through 2 games last May that were 32 - 34 degrees and sleeting, so it really isn't so far off.) Actually, it's baseball camp time. And I screwed up. I signed him up for this camp that is supposed to be really spectacular. He was all excited for it. But what I thought it was (a different baseball camp than he'd been to before that came highly recommended) was not what he thought it was (the camp he'd been to last year that was sponsored by HIS Little League and knew people from his own team participated in.)

The result was that we got to the camp in a suburb north of us sponsored by a different city's Little League with a couple of hundred kids and their dads (no lie - I was the only XX in the whole gym), and there was not a soul he knew. And he started to get upset. And then he broke the cardinal rule of baseball - the tears came. And then I got annoyed, because seriously, it's baseball which he loves and has been begging to do, and he's crying?!? And then they called his group to get together, and he was fighting back the tears. And I alternated between being incredibly annoyed I'd spent all this money on something he loved and was being a jerk about it and feeling totally awful that I put him in this situation because not being with friends is about the worst thing in his 6 year old life. And then he missed a grounder and started to cry, and 2 coaches came over. Clearly, they thought he was hurt. He wasn't. (I later learned the coaches asked him if he wanted to go over by his mom, and he said he would stick it out. I'm guessing he figured that would have been way worse punishment.)

About half-way through the hour, they had to get into groups of 4, and 2 boys immediately grabbed him to be in their group. And then all was well. He fielded every ball and was talking to other kids.

So now, he happily went back at the hitting portion of the day with his brand new bat and his dad - 2 things which are infinitely better for him in these types of situations.

January 7, 2012

Ring out a hoya...

I woke up this morning to learn I'm starting an arthritic flare. Oh goody. We'll be heading to the pool for some float time, for sure. It doesn't fix it, but it always feels better while I'm in. Plus, the child loves to swim laps now, which I want to encourage. But now that we switched to the Jewish Community Center (There is a ton for C-man to do there throughout the winter), we have to follow Jewish rules, which means we have to wait until noon for it to open.

So the plan is to swim, oversee him finish the homework he missed while being sick (wh and ch words), and cheer on MU in what is probably a futile quest against Syracuse.

Enjoy your day.

Go! Marquette! Go! Go! Go! Go!

January 6, 2012

Friday wrap-up

I had this long boring post written about daily crap. And I decided that I wouldn't bore you with it, as it could be reduced to this: C-man is now on antibiotics for sinus infection and probable strep. He also got a flu shot because the pediatrician made me paranoid and can't get the nasal mist because it's live virus and I'm immunocompromised. I'm on antibiotics for sinus infection. We were both home yesterday and watched 3 movies. He has Cub Scouts tonight and can't wait. Apparently the drugs are working for him. Baseball practice starts Sunday. The end.

Enjoy your weekend!

January 5, 2012

Thursday Thirteen things I think about

  1. In movies where the non-English speaking characters are speaking to one another in their own country, but are speaking in English so we understand them for the purposes of the movie - Why do they have accents? I mean, we all know if 2 Russians are speaking together in Russia, they are speaking Russian to each other, not English. So why the pretense of all the "Vot do zou need?" nonsense?
  2. Who was the person all those years ago who said, you are hurting; I know what would make you feel better- if we stuck a gazillion needles in you and made you lie there and endure it for a while!
  3. Who was the idiot who decided skinny jeans were a good thing? Or really pointy shoes? And how long before they wise up and decide they aren't really all that great?
  4. When you get an email telling you the vial of ants you ordered for the child's Christmas gift ant farm is preparing to ship, does that mean Cletus is out in his backyard digging them up?
  5. Why is it when you say you are done volunteering for something, people don't believe you?
  6. How is it my kid has more on-hand cash than I do at any given time?
  7. Why is it every time there is something cool like a meteor shower, it is at 2 a.m. when I'd rather be sleeping? Don't these things happen at 10 p.m. when I'm more awake?
  8. How can my kid's school uniforms (which are incidentally only about 6 weeks old since the latest round of purchases to replace torn knees and chewed off sleeve ends) fit just fine on December 22nd but not January 2nd? This growth spurt thing is expensive.
  9. Why is it that when I go online to purchase new shirts and pants at a larger size, they don't have anything for winter, but it's all short-sleeved? Hey department stores, it's only the first week in January!
  10. How does the kid get so sick on the one day I have waited for to get my overdue hair cut?
  11. Why is Harry Potter the only one out of all those Hogwarts kids who wears glasses? And why can't he just do a spell to fix his sight? Heck, even muggles have Lasik, after all.
  12. When someone says, "That doesn't make a lick of sense," What exactly are they licking? And does this mean they know the answer to how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop?
  13. Why do Legos have to be so darned tiny?

January 3, 2012

I've got answers

Several have emailed me with questions, or left questions in the comments. Because I'm apparently too lazy, I'm going to answer the, all at once today.

Yes, I think I have an inner ear thing attached to whatever bug I've taken in from my six year old living petri dish. My hearing keeps fading and the dizziness is annoying.

I was diagnosed with bronchitis right before Christmas. He prescribed a z-pack I didn't fill, because he said it was viral. I just filled it yesterday. I'm going to give it everything I can just in case.

I use a neti pot daily. It helps, but obviously isn't a cure-all, since I currently can't hear out of my right ear.

Acupuncture continues to do nothing for me. I committed to 3 months of it, though, so we'll see.

We need a new car. Beerman is driving the very first new car I ever bought, a 1999 Dodge Avenger. It will take about $2000 to fix, and I'm quite sure that is about a grand more than it is worth. Plus, our minivan is 6 years old and approaching 100,000 miles. Unfortunately, it is time.

We aren't sure what we want to buy. Despite loving the BMW 3 series, I won't buy a "foreign" car. I worked too many years in the American auto industry to turn my back on it. And yes, you can give me all the gobbedly gook you want about "all cars are foreign" or "foreign cars are really domestic", but I don't want to hear it. At the end of the day, the vast majority of the profit made stays in the country of the company's headquarters. And this day in age, when middle class jobs are scarce, I will not contribute to the hollowing out of the American manufacturing industry.

I'm leaning toward a Ford Escape or Ford Flex, but the Chevy Traverse reviews have been good. I need to test drive them first before I make any solid decisions. I do know it needs to be comfortable to get in and out of, quiet, not be ridiculously priced, and get reasonable gas mileage. Something that is not all that easy to find.

I'm dreading the whole slimy experience. I've never not known what I wanted going into a dealership before and the experience has never been good. Ick.

Harry gets a bath almost every Sunday. He does not enjoy it, but like all things in his life, he tolerates it. The fact that he gets hugged and kissed the whole time and then given an inordinate amount of treats doesn't hurt either. But if he's going to get filthy like he loves, he's going to get bathed like I love.

I'm starting with the classic Catch-22 as the first of my classic reads. I've read 100 Years of Solitude, To Kill a Mockingburd, Lord of the Rings and Charlottes Web. (Incidentally, 100 Years of Solitude is a favorite.) The full list of Kansas City Library books are listed HERE.

And that concludes answer time for now.

January 2, 2012

Ending on a downer

I sort of feel like Harry looks in this shot. Well, except for the extraordinarily happy part.. It figures that on the last day of my vacation when I had real grown-up plans while C-man was back at school - to take down Christmas (except the nativities), test drive a couple of cars, clean up the house, and do the laundry - I've been so dizzy that I can't stand, and even barfed once when I tried.

The good news is it was a really spectacular winter break up until this point. It's just too bad I have to end it like this. At least we have lots of movies to watch and the Rose Bowl to cheer about. And it's only a 4-day work week. See - lots of bright spots.

January 1, 2012

I resolve

Well, after ringing in the new year with an awesome snack dinner and the Indiana Jones trilogy, it's that time again. That time to make some resolutions. So here are my 4 resolutions for 2012:
  • To read all 22 of the books in front of the Kansas City Library. (For the record, I've read 4 of them, so won't be re-reading those. Technically, that means I have 18 classics to get through.) I'd also like to actually see the front of this building. Next work trip to KC, I'll find it. That second part isn't really a resolution, but just something I want to do.
  • Call it cliche, but I need to drop 10 pounds. (Well, 20 if we're being honest, but let's not get picky.) That's not my resolution, though. My actual resolution is to keep to a twice-weekly gym visit. I'm hoping one will lead to the other, but feel the strength building one is necessary to my overall health.
  • Start to learn German. I know I won't get near to fluency in only a year of self study, but it's time to learn the language of my future homeland, after all.
  • Finish knitting the sweater I started on the trip to Japan. The pattern is translated from French, and written so poorly, I've had to undo and redo it several times. (It's not just me being stupid. The super knitter ladies at the yarn store were perplexed by it, too.) I have the extreme urge to throw it in the trash, but know I'll love it if I stick with it.