Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #55

13 Irritants in Creekistan

  1. No-see-ums - those stupid little bugs that bite your ankles. Just as their name says, they are invisible.

  2. Bald-faced Hornets - not something you want to see, let alone be stung by. I got stung a year ago and I thought I was going to die.

  3. Dog Slobber

  4. Road Kill Stink Ballons - For example: a dead raccoon rotting in the son on the side of the road. Just ready to pop!

  5. Ticks - Need I say more? They are really bad this year.

  6. Drunks on 4-Wheelers - Driving on the road and littering.

  7. Pollen Clouds - trees this time of year drop so much pollen that you need a car wash every other day.

  8. Snakes - It's not the snake that you know, it's the one that you DON'T know.

  9. Sunburns - Or should I say, Farmers Tan.

  10. Humidity - Sometimes it's like trying to breathe underwater. I really think dry heat is better.

  11. People who run over turtles - poor things are just trying to cross the street.

  12. Bug Bites That Won't Stop Itching

  13. Poison Ivy/Oak/Sumac/Stinging Nettles/Brambles/Burrs - and other irritating flora.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Godzulla 2007

One lazy Saturday morning, I was wondering what to do with the kids. I was bored and wanted to figure out something to do for the day. Out here, excitement comes in ways that you wouldn't believe: large farm equipment driving by, the dog finding a dead animal and bringing it home, and our neighbor mowing with the tractor. My son loves to watch our neighbor mow with the tractor, and sometimes he gets a short ride. So when I heard the equipment drive by and my son get excited to go outside, I wasn't surprised. I told him to stay way back from the mower and do as our neighbor says.

But a couple of minutes later, he comes running into the house saying something about people setting up water for a race. Even though I wasn't properly dressed, (I had my Hustler 1970's style t-shirt, garden clogs, and a bandana to cover my messy hair) I went out to greet these strangers.

It seems that our street was part of a 125-mile bicycle race, and we lived near one of the major water/feed stops. They were setting up water and Gatorade at the top of our hill for riders of the Godzulla Cycling Challenge.

It also seemed that the people who had volunteered to man the stop hadn't showed up! So obviously I volunteered on the spot to help. My children were excited. Even the two-year-old was getting into the spirit, organizing the water bottles. My son got some sidewalk chalk and wrote things on the street.
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It was fun--many semi-pro and very serious riders came by. But the best were the people who were just having a good time and were very grateful that there was a stop at the top of a very long and steep hill. We were especially excited to see the University of Cincinnati club (pictured), since that is where Daddy graduated.

We met lots of great riders that day. I hope they continue to have the race, and I'll be there next year if they do.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #54

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13 Things I'm Looking Forward to This Summer

  1. Not having to drive to and from work - This alone should save us on gas, especially at these gas prices. Ouch!

  2. Watching my garden grow and perhaps even eating things that I have grown.

  3. Giving the kids to Grandma and spending time alone or with my husband, sans-kids.

  4. Seeing more progress done on the house - The siding might get finished and the bedroom and kitchen decks finished and screened in. Won't it be nice to eat or sleep outside without bugs?

  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix movie. Looks really good. We are all huge fans, so this should be fun!

  6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - We're going to go buy the book at a midnight book party, costumes and all!

  7. Shrek the Third - We're going to watch the first two movies before going to see the Third.

  8. Pirates of the Caribbean III - Swashbuckling fun.

  9. The Transformers movie. - Looks interesting. I was never a fan, but my son likes them.

  10. The Simpsons Movie - Eat my shorts! Bart should be out of college by now.

  11. Going to the Drive-In Theater. - An experience I haven't had since I was a kid. I can't wait to give my children the experience of something that may not be around much longer.

  12. Trying out my canoe. - It's been ages, but I used to love it. Now that someone has given me a canoe, I can take it to the lake or a nearby creek. But not our creek, it's too small.

  13. My husband's Doctoral Hooding - After a decade and a half, he's finally finished, except for his dissertation. The hope is that this fall he'll get his fancy doctoral robes. His degree is in musical composition. I'm going to make him wear the robes around the house. He really should teach with them on--Hogwarts style!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #53

13 Hobbies I'd Like to Explore

  1. Pottery - Maybe I can reenact the scene from the movie Ghost. But really, I'd love to get my hands dirty and make beautiful pottery.

  2. Knitting - Just to make nice scarves or pot holders. I don't think I'd ever be able to make something as complicated as a sweater.

  3. Painting - I would like to learn better techniques and be able to do some painting around the house--on cabinets, on the children's walls, etc. But I'm so contemporary, I wouldn't want to do pretty flowers, I'd want to do something unique.

  4. Raising chickens - A useful hobby. I love fresh eggs and fresh chicken. But I also love the birds themselves!

  5. Beading - Making jewelery.

  6. Sewing - Get me a sewing machine and I'll start making curtains and maybe work my way up to outfits or chair covers.

  7. Cake decorating - Pretty stuff that's also good to eat!

  8. Motorcycle riding - I would like to have a motorcycle and go for joy rides.

  9. Photography - I've dabbled in the past, but I'd love to learn more about lighting and the different settings.

  10. Writing children's books - I have a few ideas I'd like to start on. Perhaps this could turn into something other then a hobby and I could make money!

  11. Robotics - Don't tell my son, but I think he'll get a Lego Mindstorms set for his birthday, and we are all looking forward to playing with it. But I'd also like to learn how to make simple robotic artwork or light systems.

  12. Filmmaking - Short films or funny documentaries. It's one of those things that I see and think "Hey, I can do that!"

  13. Podcasting - I would like to do a Thursday Thirteen podcast from Creekistan with my husband. My friends and family would love to hear us talk, and I think we can be pretty damn funny!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

About My Mom

This Mother's Day feels a little different than the previous 6 for me because for the first time, I'm officially a stay-at-home mom. That mean's that my full-time job is taking care of the rug rats and the home they seem bent on destroying. But it has also reminded me about my Mom.

Recently we all went to a Swap Meet at the local county fairgrounds. I thought it would be fun to see what people are trying to sell. It turned out to be a mult-family garage sale with lots of goats, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, some puppies, and the occasional iguana. There was a lot of old junk they were trying to get rid of. Some people had "antiques" that were interesting to look at but were not worth much. One item grabbed my attention--an old metal lunchbox. When I picked it up by the handle, I was immediatly reminded of the one my father used for several years. The handle, when you let go, made a sound I hadn't heard in years.

My mother stayed at home until I was old enough to be a latch-key kid. I remember her making my father lunch just about every day and putting it in that old metal lunchbox. She made my lunch, too, but the lunchbox would change along with my interests. (My first lunchbox was a Peanuts, my second was a Bionic Woman.) She also made my Father and I eggs and bacon, as well as coffee. Yep, I started drinking coffee at the age of 3 when my grandparents gave me coffee with lots of sugar and milk. So every morning, I'd have my coffee in a Mickey Mouse cup.

I didn't really appreciate the work that she did until recently--when I started to do the same thing. So, thanks Mom, for making my coffee in the morning. And for showing me how to be a good stay-at-home Mom--a gift that will serve me and my family well.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #52

13 Great and Not-So-Great Things about Staying at Home

Since my sudden dismissal from my employment (I'd rather not talk about it right now!), I have decided to become a Stay-At-Home-Mom. After two weeks, here are my thoughts:

  1. I still have to get up, but I don't have to shower and put on makeup. Instead, I have to get everyone else up and going.

  2. I do a lot more cooking now: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I even make a lunch for my husband to take to work.

  3. The house will get and remain cleaner now that I have the time. But because of #2 above, I have more dishes to wash--and no dishwasher.

  4. I can devote more time to the garden.

  5. The kids love that I'm home. But that also means that I have to figure out what to do with them.

  6. I thought that being home would give me more time to listen to NPR. I was wrong. My local NPR station suddenly switched to a Christian station, but until they get their programming together, they are playing CHRISTMAS MUSIC. YUCK! I can't seem to get other NPR stations either. So I'm in an information blackout.

  7. My need for high-speed internet access is painfully apparent. I can only use dial-up and that's about 28.8 or 32 bps.

  8. I don't have TV either, but that doesn't seem to be a problem, yet.

  9. My dog seems to love having us around all the time. But now he insists on going in the car to pick up my son from school.

  10. My 2-year-old can now concentrate on potty training.

  11. I know I'll miss "adult" interaction with the people I used to work with. Now I spend my day arguing with my 2-year-old or talking to the dog. The cat just ignors me.

  12. I'll also miss the unconventional work environment I was in, especially the three office dogs and three office cats. One of the last things I did at work was a disciplinary hearing with the boss and I had a cat butt in my face.

  13. Naps in the afternoon. Ahhh.

Monday, May 07, 2007

. . . Another Door Opens

"I lost my job." Such a funny phrase. Where did it go? Where was it the last time you worked? Joking aside, I was terminated from my "dream" job about a week ago. I can't say I didn't see it coming. For some reason, the boss had it in for me and was looking for any reason to fire me. And when you look for something, you usually can find it.

Now I'm the latest and greatest Stay-At-Home-Mom. Probably the most difficult job ever. But there is plenty to do in Creekistan, especially this time of year. My two-year-old loves the fact that I don't drop her off at daycare every day, and my 6-year-old loves having his mother in the afternoon after school. My husband loves the fact that I make breakfast in the morning and may even pack his lunch.

So far, so good. Any tips, suggestions for activities, and adult interaction would be greatly appreciated.

At least I can blog more.