Thursday, August 30, 2007

This made me smile

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My sidebar

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This is my sidebar on my desktop. Why yes, that clock does say it's almost 7pm. And, why yes, it does say it's 111 degrees. And yes, I am counting down the days till October!

Slow roasted in AZ

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

One Word

I stole this from Susie at Pink Carnation in Bloom who borrowed it from Chappyswife at Journey to the Prize. Answer the questions using a one word answer.

1. Where is your mobile phone? charging

2. Relationship? Someday

3. Your hair? needs cut

4. Work? Arrgh

5. Your sister(s)? Vickie Susie Vonda (one word for each sister)

6. Your favorite thing? laptop

7. Your dream last night? freaky

8. Your favorite drink? chai

9. Your dream car? clean

10. The room you’re in? Bedroom

11. Your shoes? Barefoot

12. Your fears? rejection

13. What do you want to be in 10 years? not here.

14. Who did you hang out with this weekend? kids

15. What are you not good at? lots

16. Muffin? zucchini nut

17. Wish list item? bike

18. Where you grew up? Mayfield Hts.

19. The last thing you did? email

20. What are you wearing? Shorts

21. What are you not wearing? jewelry

22. Your pet? cats

23. Your computer? pink

24. Your life? routine

25. Your mood? good

26. Missing? family

27. What are you thinking about? procrastinating

28. Your car? dirty

29. Your kitchen? needs redecorated

30. Your summer? short

31. Your favorite color? green

32. Last time you laughed? today

33. Last time you cried? yesterday, but not for long

34. School? wanna go back

35. Love? JESUS!

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Another installment of slightly amusing kid stuff

On Sunday I caught Snugglebutt (aged 7 and a half) and removed a layer of fur from his head. The kid has some wild hair - it's not sure if it wants to be blond or brown, curly or straight. When any longer than say, 3/4 inch, it just goes every which way. So I buzzed him. I can give a fairly decent clipper cut, it comes from growing up watching my sister do hair. Plus, it's not exactly rocket science. He was less than thrilled, but I told him when he can keep his hair combed and neat, he can let it grow longer. Until then, he gets buzzed. He apparently had been thinking about that, because he mentioned it again yesterday when he came home from school. Someone on the school bus called him Baldy. (3/8ths of an inch is not bald! It's just short!!) So he said "Do you really mean it that you will let me have longer hair if I can keep it neat?" I assured him that I meant what I said. He got all excited and said "OK!! You better start feeding me lots of vitamin B then, cuz I'm growing my hair out!"

You know, if he hadn't been born at home, sometimes I would wonder if he wasn't switched at birth...

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Rachel Ray I'm not...

Before my day yesterday was ruined by the bike thief, I had a bit of a mishap in the kitchen. I cooked. Sometimes that works out really well, sometimes not so much. Yesterday was a not so much time. I've seen several recipes that call for wine to be added to sauces, so I was experimenting. Maybe I picked the wrong wine or something, but uhhh... my sauce ended up... purple. It tasted good, but it sure did look, well... icky.

What was your biggest blunder in the kitchen?

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Can't say I didn't see that coming

I mentioned that I got myself a bike for my birthday. Because I'm 40 now, a few pounds overweight, and I really do need to get off my posterior end and exercise. Not necessarily to get skinny, but to be healthy. So I decided to do something nice for me and bought a bike. A pretty blue and white one. I've had it about a month, but have only gotten to ride it twice, mainly because it's still so stinking hot here. I guess I should say I HAD it about a month. It was stolen yesterday, right from my garage. Yes, the door was open, because a certain nameless 15 year old didn't close it after she took out the trash, even after I told her "make sure you close the garage door." Of course that was met with "I know, mom" followed by the obligatory eye roll. But still, they came into my garage, which is adjacent to the living room and kitchen. And they had to have carried it out because the wheels were locked together with a very strong cable. The thing is, it's not the first time a bike has been stolen from our garage, which is why I have been trying to make sure the garage door stays closed. The big people in my house have not had good luck with bikes. Sam has actually had 2 stolen, one from the garage, and one from his job when he had a part time job at a fast food restaurant about a mile away. I didn't bother to call the police, I work for them and know what kind of attention a stolen bike gets :P Of course it technically does count as a burglary since they came into the garage, but all that changes is an officer would have to be sent out on a very low priority report call. While I'm not surprised that my bike was stolen, I am upset about it. I am so fed up with crime :P

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Birthday present

I knew they were up to something when on Sunday Sam made everybody take showers and get dressed, and then left the house as I was going to sleep. "We're just going to the mall so it will be quiet in the house for you to sleep." Yeahright. They went to the mall alright. So this is pretty much the best birthday present that I could ask for really. I've been wanting a portrait of them all together for a long time, but just haven't gotten it done.

Well, and there was also a bunch of chocolate in the bag, so I'm really happy! :D And now the present that I bought myself will come in handy - a bike to exercise off all that chocolate!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Yearly inventory #2

It's that time of year again – no, it's not Christmas, it's not tax season, it's not even football season... at least not yet. No, it's that time of year when I look at my life and say “What the heck happened? Just yesterday I was 25!” But no, that was actually 15 years ago. Today, I leave my 30's behind and with mixed feelings face being 40. So that means it's time for my yearly inventory of my life, like I posted last year.

What is your favorite color? Green
What is your favorite food? A good steak if you're talking about real food, but I am a chocoholic.
What is your favorite song? At the moment probably Oh My God by Jars of Clay off of Good Monsters, and Signature of Divine by NeedToBreathe
What is your most valued possession? Aside from my Bible, my camera, and the thousands of pictures I've taken over the years, I'd say the diamond pendant that my mom gave me. That and that paddle she used to use on us on is the only thing I have from her.
What is your greatest strength? My simple faith, my compassion for others
What is your greatest weakness? Food, I have no willpower, laziness
What is your best skill? Well, I can pick up some things with my toes, but I can't juggle or anything...
What was your greatest mistake? My answer a year ago was pretty much a lifetime answer, so this question I'll answer for the past year – in the past year my biggest mistake has been feeling like I had to have a friend/coworker's significant other replace my A/C for me once she offered. I should have declined the offer, but they both seemed enthusiastic about it. It's been nothing but problems, and I'm so ticked off at myself because I didn't feel like I could just say “no thanks.” To be truthful, I thought it would be beneficial to both of us at first – a deal for me and extra money for them, which I know they need, but now that problems have come up, I'm getting the “I was trying to do you a favor” line... ok but when I've spent $5400 and it's 92 degrees in my house, and I've already spent a night in a hotel because of not having A/C, I'm having a hard time seeing the favor. Lesson definitely learned.
What is your greatest fear? Dying while my children are young and leaving them orphans. And to be honest with myself, I'm also kind of afraid of rejection. Might be the reason I haven't even attempted to date since my ex's arrest 3.5 years ago.
What is your greatest accomplishment? My kids. They are decent caring human beings. Most of the time. Brag time – recently one of our officers was killed in a car accident while off duty. The communications bureau where I work was having a bake sale to raise funds to donate to the family. I was telling the kids about it, and how we raised $4100 in the last one for the officer who was killed in the line of duty in July (it's been hard times for our dept lately :( ) 3 of my kids immediately wanted to bake things to contribute. I was content to contribute by donating money.
What is the one task you are least fond of doing? Anything which attempts to combat the law of entropy.
If your life ended today, what is the one thing everybody who knows you would say about you? I'm not really sure. I don't think it's my business to know really.
What would you want them to say? We loved her
Why wouldn't or couldn't they say what you want them to say? Not many people know me very well anymore.

Where am I? I'm a single mom in Arizona, I have a love/hate relationship with my job these days, but mostly I'm content.
How did I get here? Overcame a whole lot of crap, depended on God, and worked very hard.
What was I trying to accomplish by making that decision? Just trying to take care of my family the best I can.
What do I really want? To move forward from where I am now. There is a part of me that wants a relationship, and there is a part that absolutely does not. What I really want to is to always be content with what I have, but be willing to take the chance to make things better for those around me.
How can I get to where I want to be from here? Keep trusting God, it's the key to everything.

Things I don't like about me: I'm lazy, I hate housework, mess does not bother me, I can be pretty selfish, I am impatient, I am not outgoing and friendly enough, and I'm terrible about keeping in touch with people, and I'm not nearly as trusting as I used to be. These answers are the same as last year, I see no reason to change them. I'm also not the best at managing money.

Things I like about me: I am honest, I'm a good friend, I'm a good mom, and I love God.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

From the weird 911 call file

The other morning, a security guard at a construction site called to report that a man who seemed very drunk had arrived in a pick up truck, gotten out of his vehicle and was looking into other vehicles in the area. The security guard thought that perhaps the pick up was stolen and the guy was looking to steal another set of wheels. The operator who took that call (It was not me) ran the plate number of the pick up, and upon finding that it had not been reported stolen, put in a suspicious person in a vehicle call. The man that arrived in that pick up had wandered off before the officers got there. A few hours later, I had a call from a gentleman who wanted to report his truck stolen. I asked the usual questions - where was it stolen, how long ago, and do you have your keys? He gave me his address and then said that he wasn't sure where it was stolen, because he was pretty sure he'd been kidnapped and they took his truck and his keys. But he wasn't totally sure, so I asked him what exactly happened. He said he'd taken sleeping pills the night before to go to sleep, and when he woke up, he was in a field 5 or 6 miles from his house and he had to walk home. When he got home, he realized his truck was missing. So he wasn't sure if the kidnappers knocked him out and drove him to the field in his own truck or what. So I took the information on his truck, and told him I'd send out officers. A little while later I checked on the call. Yes, my caller was the suspicious person from the earlier call. His truck wasn't stolen, he'd driven it to this construction site and left it there with the keys in it! He had absolutely no recollection of driving anywhere. DQ sleepwalks sometimes and that can be pretty funny, but, sleep driving?! Scary!

It's monsoon season here, and so there have been some thunderstorms on and off for the past few weeks. When I lived in Ohio, the snow made people a little crazy, and here, the rain has the same affect. Monday night/Tuesday morning we had a pretty good rain. I was at work the whole time so I didn't see any of it, the only way I know it rained was because we were slammed with alarm calls (storms make burglar alarms go off) and my car was covered in dirt when I left to go home. A couple hours before it was time to go though, I took a call from a lady who was very frightened, reporting that several large wild dogs had gotten into her back yard. Our huge police department has a policy of not responding to animal calls at all unless the animal is attacking someone right now, so I referred her to animal control. She said she tried them, and the office was closed (it was a little before 6am.) She said the dogs weren't being aggressive, they were just there, and there were a lot, like more than 6 of them. She was concerned because she hadn't been able to find her cat, thinking they may have killed it. I know I wouldn't want a bunch of strange dogs in my yard, that would freak me out a little bit, so I didn't feel right telling her to keep trying animal control. Plus, she said that she had a gun and if any of them got aggressive she would shoot it. So I called the PD only number for animal control, where we can reach an animal control officer if there is a true emergency, and I explained the situation to her. At least 6 large dogs in this lady's back yard, don't know how they got in, not being aggressive, thinks they killed her cat. She said that she could send someone at 6 when the office opened. So I called the lady back to tell her that. She said "well, you know, ummm, I had my neighbor go back there with me, and... well... you know how it rained last night?" I'm thinking "what does rain have to do with a pack of dogs?" "They actually aren't dogs, they're ummm, piles of dirt and mud from the rain..." Piles of dirt. Not even one dog. We went from 6 wild dogs to mud. "I could have sworn they were moving!!" she said. I felt like an idiot calling animal control back to tell them they could disregard, that the dogs were just big piles of mud. You'd think at this point I'd learn not to believe everything I hear!

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Friday, August 10, 2007

We don't call her Drama Queen for nuthin'

Once again tonight I was thoroughly entertained by the theater program at DQ's school. I am always just so impressed with the shows these kids put on. Tonight it was Is he Dead by Mark Twain. The basic story line is this artist fellow and his girlfriend's family owe some money to a shady art dealer. In order to get the money to pay the art dealer back, the artist fakes his death, because most of the time the value of the artwork goes up significantly once the artist is dead. In order to pull off the ruse, the artist pretends to be his own twin sister. The artist was played by one of my 18 year old sons' dear friends. This boy has spent countless weekends over our house, and in fact, he was the one who babysat Sassy and Snugglebutt this past summer when my 3 older kids were out of town. This is also the kid with whom Sam and their other friend decided one thanksgiving to build a fort underground... So this is the first play I've seen him in, and wow, he was GREAT! He wore a dress though most of the play, but he was fantastic! And made such a pretty girl too, LOL! They all did a fantastic job, and DQ looked amazing, SO grown up. Their dress was a Victorian style, and the girls' hair was done up in these fancy buns. I didn't get to take many pictures, because photography during the play was not allowed, but I did take one while they were taking their bows, and then one afterward when the actors were outside mingling with people. The one during their bows is kind of blurry, but you get the idea :) My daughter is the one in the white blouse sitting on the couch. Just in case you couldn't tell.

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Life is a little crazy right now. The kids have been in school for a week, and already I'm feeling like I'm ready for school to be out. I miss my kids. I miss having some control of my life. I miss the money I had to pay for the two younger ones to take a bus from the high school to their school. I miss the time out of my life I spend in the car driving to school and waiting for the bus to get there, because working nights, there's just so few daylight hours when I'm conscious. Of course, it would be worse if they didn't take the bus, because then I'd be in the car for an extra hour or so a day. If I haven't mentioned it before, their school is 12.5 miles away. Why? Because public schools in this state mostly really aren't very good. Like, umm, 49th in the country. So my kids go to a "school of choice."

I was really enjoying our summertime schedule - I got home from work at 7, I'd sleep till noon, get up, spend time with the kids, make dinner, and then take a nap before I had to be at work at 11. I actually got stuff done too. Now the schedule looks something like this:
7 am - leave work
7:20 - arrive home
7:21-7:25 Make sure everybody has lunch/homework/folder/planner/backpack, and that they aren't wearing the shirt from yesterday or one green and one blue sock (although Sassy does this on purpose and you know, at this point, if she wants to wear mismatched socks, I think it's pretty evident that I am not the one who dressed her.)
7:26 - drive to DQ's school
7:35 - arrive at DQ's school
7:35 - wait in line to pull into the parking lot at DQ's school
7:38 - If I'm lucky, the kids are out of my car by 7:38
7:48 - arrive back at home
7:48-8:30 - check email, check blogs, look at news websites to see if any of my calls made the news. These days it doesn't happen much because let's face it, it's not all that unusual in this city for someone to get shot to death. It's just not news.
8:30 - try to sleep
9:00 - try to sleep
9-11 - sleep
11:00 - potty break
12:00 - need a drink of water
12:45 - ggp - AGAIN!
1:30 - look at the clock and sigh
2-2:45 - doze until the alarm goes off
2:45 - get up and try to become alert/presentable enough to be fit for stepping outside my door.
3:00 - leave to meet the bus at the high school.
3:10 - if I'm lucky, there won't be a queue of cars waiting to get into the parking lot of the school and I am able to find a parking space. I'm not usually lucky.
3:12 - if I'm lucky and I find a space, I settle in for the wait. Because see, the bus doesn't get there until at least 3:30. But that's also when the 7th and 8th grades get out of school. So there are parents all over the place trying to pick their kids up. After all, this is a school of choice, and they only provide limited transportation (and that is for quite a hefty fee.) It's really not that big of a school, there are probably only 300 kids there max and that's 7-12. But the parking lot is really really tiny.
3:38 - bus arrives at the school, but can't get through the queue.
3:45 - bus pulls up to where it will let students off
3:45 - throng of jr. high/high school students push in front of the parents waiting for their children so they can pick up their siblings.
3:53 - my kids are off the bus, 3rd to last ones.
3:54 - the traffic is almost as bad getting out as it is going in.
4:10 - arrive home, cook dinner, check planners, remind kids to change out of their uniforms, encourage the swift completion of homework, listen to excuses why they can't do their homework, how they already did their homework, or how they just didn't have any homework (riiiiiiiiight...)
5:20 - dinner's just about done, but now it's time to go get DQ from play practice/speech team/student counsel/whatever activity du jour.
5:30 - arrive back at the school. For the third time. This time, there is mercifully no queue. It's get in, get the kid, get out.
5:40 - put the finishing touches on dinner.
6:00 - dinner with the family, at least the ones who are home.
6:30 - get things ready for work - what I want to take with me to keep myself awake alert at work, my "lunch" (that I eat at 2:45 am) and anything else I need to take, like my headset, my ID badge, and my notebook that contains tons and tons of information pertinent to the job (that I never use.) Also get out uniforms for at least Snugglebutt for the next day.
6:45 - give reminders to bathe/finish homework/clean the kitchen/wash some stinkin towels for goodness sakes, and give hugs and kisses before I lay down to try to get some more sleep before work.
7:00 - pass out from sheer exhaustion.
8:45 - I swear I didn't drink all that much before laying down, why do I need to go so bad?!
9:30 - wake with a start when the alarm goes off, but remember I really don't have to be up for another 20 minutes.
9:50 - Even though I'm disoriented, I know I want to smash my alarm clock with a sledge hammer. But if I want a decent break time, a decent chair, and a place to sit with the phone on the right, I need to get up now.
10:20 - leave for work
10:57 - plug my headset in and pray I stay awake for the next 8 hours.
7am - lather, rinse, repeat.

And I'm pretty worthless on my night off, unless it's 3am. Then, I'm functional. Just, nobody else is.

Did I say I miss summer?

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Where I want to be

I've never seen anything so blue and calming as the ocean in San Diego. This is quite possibly one of my favorite places in the world.
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Saturday, August 04, 2007


From I Can Has Cheezburger?

I can relate kitty, I can relate. This has been my first whole weekend in over a month. I've worked at least 4 hours of one of my two nights off every week for the past 5 weeks. Being off for two nights has felt almost like a vacation!!


I was beginning to think he didn't even have any permanent teeth, but at 7.5, he finally lost his first tooth!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

First Day of 2nd grade

So at dinner earlier, Sam and DQ started talking about high school science classes, and DQ stated that she thought anatomy and physiology was possibly the easiest science class she's ever taken. Sam told her if she thought it was easy, she probably didn't do it right and probably didn't remember anything. Sam and I started quizzing her on bones and muscles and such. After DQ missed quite a few, Snugglebutt piped up and said "which muscle makes your arm go up?" DQ just looked at him and said she didn't know. He said "It's your triceps!" He was pretty proud of himself for stumping a 10th grader.

The real me

I don't post many pictures of myself... in fact, I avoid it at all costs. Because I really don't like to have my picture taken. I don't know why, I just don't. So, but I thought I owed it to my faithful bloggy friends to post a recent picture of me in my natural state. Yes folks, this is who I really am.

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