Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Like ear crack

I am listening to my very first song on my very new iPod as I write this. I am embarrased to admit how very much this excites me. I should be playing it cool. After all, the entire rest of the world already has iPods, including pygmies living in mud huts in the dark corners of far away continents. Thank you, thank you DH for a marvelous birthday gift!
As I have both an adictive personality and an adiction to music, this new toy is like crack for my ears. I've got eclectic taste in music. Now instead of a bizarre assortment of cds scattered all over the house, and the car, and work, I can indulge my eccentricites with a single white Chicklet box.

I was somewhat afraid to install the software and hook it up, as I appear to be cursed this evening.
We're enjoying our first 88deg F day of the year. This gave me an opportunity to find out that my car's AC wasn't working. It's not working after paying to have it recharged two weeks ago. After being assured that it was holding vacuum and should logically hold coolant. Coolant which I was informed was tinted with a neon dye just in case. Neon dye that is apparent all over the charging port, which may be from leaking or may be from the recent fill. This would be the same AC system whose fan electronics were fixed two weeks prior to finding out that I was out of coolant. In short, two trips to the garage and much money later, it was still a very sweaty commute home.

On my commute home I had a disagreable experience picking up buns and milk that doesn't bear detailing, save to say I arrived home unhappy with a gallon of unintentional skim milk. Then I found what I believed was a shipping mistake in some milk storage bags I had purchased. After a cross call to customer service I checked my e-mail and found that actually they were being nice and rushing me the first of 5 boxes so that I wouldn't run out. That made me feel like an ass, but I'm an ass with milk storage bags. In case you are a breastfeeding mother, www.breastfeedingexpress.com is a lovely company from which to buy Whisper Wear breast pump accessories. I'm sorry if I was crabby with them. If you are my brother, I'm sorry if your eyes have just burned out of your head at a reference to the fact that I have boobs.

Tonight the littlest squid screamed for two hours straight. Nothing would convince her that it would be prudent to stop.
Once she was finally asleep and I was in the midst of installing the iPod software on the laptop, the laptop decided to go on strike. The screen went blank and it was off. It won't boot. It won't even think about booting. It's times like these that make me wonder how my family members who make a living with such things manage not to go after them with sledgehammers.
It's times like these that make me think Claire's got the right idea. Scream a bit, then curl up with a thumb in one's mouth and go to sleep.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Oh deer,

We have deer in our neighborhood. Our particular corner of the neighborhood is typically browsed by five doe and two buck that we've seen, subject to change what with it being spring. I saw one doe with two yearlings last week, so my count may be off.
These deer have an insatiable appetite for the blossoms of my tomato plants. Only the blossoms, and only my tomato plants. Not the neighbors'. Kind people have made all sorts of suggestions varying in the level of effort and/or disgustingness involved.
Last year, having missed out on home-grown tomatoes for two years in a row, I errected a chicken wire cage around my entire garden. This would be more impressive if I didn't mention that my garden is a 3' x 6' patch on the side of the yard. DH does not share my love of home grown tomatoes, so I only put in about six plants each year. My ghetto tomato cage worked - I got my round red orbs of goodness and the "ladies" only nibbled what grew out of the cage. However, it was a pain in the neck to weed and harvest.
This year in the interest of experimentation I am going to try the aluminum pie pan deterrant. The benefits being ease of installation and the fact that reapplication shouldn't be necessary.
The plants went in tonight, a feat with which I am pleased. Usually the first batch of tomato plants are purchased and left to sit and wilt in their plastic cartons. Gardening is not my strong suit. I like it in theory, just not in practice.

Because I was turning soil after dinner, I had to pry the crushed remains of an earthworm out of Peanut's hand after bringing her in the house. She wanted the wormie to play in the bathtub with her. Much shrieking was involved. Also, worms eat hamburgers.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

At least it wasn't a gay cowboy...

I really don't mean to be one of "those" people. You know the type - the ones that insist on sharing every precocious thing that comes out of their offspring's mouth. But honestly, there's so much little else worth mentioning going on in my life that I can't help it. (that is unless you want to be regaled with stories of the two day training course I just suffered through enjoyed, or why the poop I have to clean off the dining room carpet is not animal in origin for a change)

I awoke Monday morning to the sound of fussing, which is getting to be par for the course. Peanut is not a morning person. (which is good - we were starting to wonder if she had been switched at birth with all the early chirpiness) On this morning, however, she wasn't getting out of bed. She was sitting, square up against the wall at the head of the bed, crying. When asked what the matter was, she informed me that there was a monster in the room. The monster was sitting on the pillow at the bottom of the bed, and it was eating pudding.

I made a big, noisy show of shooing the monster out of the room, down the stairs, and out the door. I told it not to come back. Peanut hopped happily out of bed.
I am a hero.


In a previous post I may have inadvertantly given the impression that my mother's house is not lovely. I plead a lack of time to proof read, considering that by the time I get home from work and play with the girls and get them to bed and attempt to help DH with household things (quit laughing, I said attempt) and fire up the computer and check the backlog of e-mails and decide to tap out a quick, rambling post that I figure a maximum of 10 people might ever read, my sentence building skills might be a bit lax. I could edit the post and remove the specious portion of the post, but some people might miss it. I wouldn't want anyone to get the wrong impression, so everyone listen up:
My parents' house is the very picture of loveliness and genteel, renovated charm. It exudes beauty like a jelly donut exudes jelly when you bite into it and realize, belatedly, that you're wearing a white dryclean-only shirt. Far be it from me to imply that my parents raised me in a pig sty (even though my portion of the house was frequently compared to such) or that their inability to afford a palatial estate befitting my discerning standards in some way scarred me for life.

As you were.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

My beef with a certain purveyor of beef, or how pedantic am I

Thursday I put my oldest child's health at terrible risk and took her to *gasp!* McD's. Please send me my worst mother in the world certificate by mail.
They've got one of those human habitrails in the play area. I turned her loose for about an hour, during which time I lamented not having the foresight to bring a newspaper. So I read the "Happy Meal" bag. (As an aside, when did they get rid of the nifty boxes with the arch shaped handles? I liked those better.)
The general theme seemed to be physical activity (work off that burger and fries so you can eat more burgers and fries!) and outer space. One of the facts on the bag said, "In space you can jump six times higher!"
Um, no. No you can't.
In space, you can't jump at all. Absent a surface to push off on, you would mostly flail. With something stationary to push off of, you would jump infinitely "higher", Newton's first law and all. But then, higher is sort of meaningless without a reference point.
On the moon, you would be capable of jumping about 6 times higher, since gravitation acceleration is a mere 1.6m/s^2. On the moon is not in space, and I take issue with Happy Meals spouting off incorrect "fun facts."
Also, I've really got to get a life.

Friday, May 12, 2006

There's no place like home

Our house is a very very very small house/ with two kids in the yard / life used to be not hard / now everything is silly 'cause of them....
*blargh - I really don't like that song*
When we bought our house in the fall of 2000, we always knew it wasn't a place to grow old and retire. It's what one would call a "starter" house. Don't get me wrong - I love being a homeowner. I like our quirky little house, with its multiple levels and challengingly low ceilings. I like what we've done with the place, and we've done a lot. But the more kids we aquire, and the more toys they aquire, the more it becomes evident that we will be back in the home market eventually.

I grew up in an old, bastardized (converted previously to three apparments) Victorian house. My parents have been fixing it up room by room for roughly 25 years now, and it's still a work in progress. By fixing it up, I don't mean a little paint here, a little carpeting there. I'm talking about the plaster from the walls being shoveled out the removed windows. It's been a labor of love and necessity - in the early 80's family finances made "move-in condition" unaffordable.
At any rate, I come by my love of old houses naturally, as well as a can-do attitude (possibly foolishly so) towards home improvement. I'm a sucker for transoms, gingerbread, oddly shaped rooms, high ceilings, tall windows, spacious porches, and 2+ stories. Unfortunately, such houses also come lacking closets, wiring suitable to this electronic age, sensibly located bathrooms, insulation, and dry basements.

Mr. Unreserved, on the other hand, grew up in a post-war ranch on a huge, private, treed lot. While I could have thrown an egg from our kitchen window into the neighbor's (not that I would have), DH couldn't see his neighbor's house when there were leaves on the trees. His mother's house is lovely. It is also the opposite of my mother's house. You may see where this is going.

House browsing in our household is not a smooth process.
"Look - this one has stained glass and original woodwork!"
"Yes, and it's buttass up against the house next to it. What about this one? We wouldn't have to climb up and down the stairs all the time."
"I said no ranches. I like sleeping quarters separate from living quarters. Do you like this one? It's got a fourth bedroom on the third floor..."
"No, it's too skinny. It looks cramped. This one is only 10 yrs old, low maintenance."
"And no character. It looks like a shoebox. Ooh, this one here's a diamond in the rough. Very rough. But it could be done up really cute!"
"The roof is falling in and half the windows are missing."

I enjoy casually looking at what's on the market. I marvel at the asking price for some of the dumpiest houses. Sometimes I look at houses that are 3-4x what we could ever hope to afford, just to see how the other half lives. I look at some run down houses that need love and drywall mud. Then I remember climbing the extension ladder the first summer in this house, paintbrush and bucket in hand, swearing I wouldn't buy another house until I could afford to pay someone else to paint it. (I believe that was the fourth trip around the house - first we had to scrape each and every cedar shake, then prime, then paint, then 2nd coat of paint...) The problem is that to get the square footage we want, we won't be able to pay for "new neutral paint job and berber carpet!" Not to mention that the first thing I'd do in such a house is repaint and tear out the berber carpeting. (Why do people think berber is the best thing since sliced bread? It's got its place, but not where some people place it.)

I feel the way about houses the way some people do about stray animals. I want to take them all in and make them pretty again. I want to give them love, affection, and paint. It pains me to see what some people do to old houses. The homogeneity of newer suburbs bores me. For some reason, I don't like people to be able to look at the outside of my house and be able to tell the exact floorplan. We aren't planning on selling the Casa Unreserved for a long time yet, but I suppose I'd better start looking now. It's going to be a long search.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The difference a year makes

I had my car inspected this week. Apparently I was also fortunate that prior to having the car inspected that it had continued stopping when I applied the brakes. My car is now safer, and my wallet lighter. As an added bonus, the vent fan runs at all speeds now, instead of only 3 and 4.

Roughly a year ago I had my car inspected at the same place. It was a rough day. It was about 94deg outside. I called to check on the car and was told it would be ready by 5:00, so when I got home at 5:30, I had DH drop me off at the repair shop. It turns out that the car wasn't going to be ready for at least an hour. I was hungry. Really hungry. And tired. And irritated. I was just shy of 3 months pregnant, and had just reluctantly gotten out the maternity pants. Maternity pants were making me mad that day. I didn't have a cell phone on me, nor did I have a quarter for the pay phone. I was too irrational and iritable to ask to use the shop's phone to call DH to come back and pick me up. I decided to walk the 1.5 miles home rather than wait.

1.5 miles wouldn't have been a problem in and of itself, but 3/4ths of that first mile were up a very steep hill. Here in the 'burbs, the car is king, and therefore there are no sidewalks. I dodged traffic crossing state Rt.8 and started the hike, convincing myself that the low 90's weren't that hot.As I began the hike up the hill I had ample time to reflect on the first half of that day. That morning my work group had been called into an unscheduled meeting and informed that half of our jobs were being eliminated. We were called into one-on-one meetings to find out which half.

Halfway up the hill, righteous indignation was quickly wearing away into a vague feeling of foolishness that was magnified when an aquaintance pulled up behind me and, shocked to see me climbing the hill, offered me a ride. I felt simultaneously stupid and grateful.

My position was one of those eliminated, but this was a back-handed blessing. I was offered another job within the company. This meeting was the culmination of five years of watching the business struggle and wondering when the axe was going to drop. I briefly explained my situation to the friend who gave me a lift, hoping that I would look less like a loon in light of the circumstances. I'm not sure it worked.

Here it is, almost one year later. I've got a new(ish) job, a new baby, and a new brake job. I didn't bother to check when the car would be ready. I just made plans to pick it up after hours. This time DH didn't leave the parking lot until I was in the car right behind him. This year, I drove myself back up the hill.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Itsy bitsy ham muncher...

Ah, the wisdom of toddlers. If it is the nature of parents to read way too much regarding their childrens' future careers based on their activities or interests at a tender age, then I can see that Anna is a brilliant budding zoologist. We have been informed that:
Spiders eat ham.
Kangaroos like sandwiches.
Elephants are stinky.


I've finished swatching for Cromarty with Kathmandu DK. In addition to having to go down two needle sizes to get gauge, I've learned that the cables look good and I like the color. I'm not sold yet, because I'm not sure I'm going to be able to stand knitting so tightly. It's not totally easy on the hands to cram the yarn, which feels sort of "felty" in its unwashed state, onto the size 3's. Especially when crossing those cables. My biggest concern right now is the size of the washed cabled swatch, which is blocking as I type. This yarn grows tremendously. It's like the little sponge animals that come in tiny pellets and expand into 6" foam dinosaurs in water. Okay, maybe not that much, but washing this yarn makes a huge difference in size (possibly bad) and drape (stiff and fuzzy to wonderfully drapey and soft and therefore good).


I'm sure this is a common blogger problem, but I can think of all sorts of things to write about until the moment I sit down at the computer, whereupon my brain is wiped clean. Must be electromagnetic radiation. I'll have to get one of them fancy coal-fired computers...

About me

  • I'm Sarah
  • From Pittsburgh, United States
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