Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Damn, this is one strong beast that I struggle with. I forget how strong it is, and how quickly I go down.

The Power of Mama Love

So, at 2:00 Kira calls the house...I was on the tail end of a nap and just caught that there was something going on on the answering machine. Went downstairs and she had left a message. In a small, small voice she said that her tummy didn't feel good.

Dilemma: it's Wednesday, X's day for kids. He lives oh, 10-15 minutes away. School gets out at 2:45. Doubtful that he would be interested in driving in to pick her up just to get her out 20 minutes early. Also, what would he do with her then? If he took her back to his house, he would be late picking Mark up. So that meant he would pretty much be sitting there in the car with her.

OR, I could go pick her up (I'm 2 miles away). She could stay with me until school got out, lie down, maybe feel a little better. X could pick her up after he picks up Mark. 45 minutes is a very long time when you're little and your tummy hurts and you don't have a mommy or daddy with you.

I had called X (spoke to D) to see if the school (aka Kira) had called him, and nope. She only called me.

I called the school and talked to Kira. Still small little voice, but not as small as the answering-machine voice. Still, she doesn't call home sick unless she really feels sick, so I decided to err on the side of caution. I went to get her.

X called before I left and I told him what was going on. He had called the school just at the end of my conversation with Kira, and was told I was coming to get her. And yes, he would have told her to stick it out.

After I signed her out at 2:10, we're walking her out to the car, and she says in a MUCH stronger voice, "My tummy feels a lot better. Still a little bit hurts, but I think I could make it."

Took her *back* into the office and asked if I could un-release her. They said sure and praised Kira for being a tough girl.

Me, I think mama love made her feel better. mk

side note: now have Huey Lewis "The Power of Love" in my head. Rock the mullet!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

File Under: the girl is going to give me a heart attack

So Kira had a friend over today, and the two of them bundled up in their snow gear and headed outside. I hear laughing and happy shrieking, and all is right with the world. With a smile, I walk over to the window to see what is causing such an explosion of glee.

Right in time to watch my daughter jump off the top of the monkey bars.

There is approximately three inches of snow to break her fall. Maybe.

She and her friend were having the grandest time with this one. Over and over and over. I'm not sure they were really aware that for all intents and purposes, they were jumping onto frozen-solid ground. I still don't know whose idea this was. I watched for quite a while with the phone in my hand, ready for 911.

Didn't phase 'em a bit. Not one iota.

I need to go check for gray hairs. mk

Friday, January 25, 2008

I Know That Sound

That clanking sound and the subsequent running of fluid is the delivery of my own personal supply of expendable liquid gold.

Ya-freakin-hoo, another oil delivery! Now we get to see if keeping my house at 62 degrees and just wearing a lot of sweaters is going to pay off. It better, 'cause I'm getting a little frustrated with by always-slightly-purple fingers. mk

Update: Well, since my last delivery (on Christmas Eve, Merry Christmas!), I have used 106 gallons of oil. My bill is 344.50 (336.02 if I pay within the next two weeks).

I actually have used less oil between 12/24 and 1/25 than I used between 11/23 and 12/24. (106 vs. 114.7)

So, purple fingers are worth it, I guess.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Always Wanted To Be In A Band

Thanks to Karmyn for the idea!

1 - Find a Name of band from

2 - The Album Name is the last 4 words of the last quotation from

3 - Cover Art for Album is the 3rd picture from

4 - Use Whatever program to put it all together. (I used Picture It! Express...hey, it's what I've got)

Here's my finished album cover:

More Aimless Chatter

So, yesterday turned out to be pretty good, considering my overall lack of motivation. I got the haircut, and LOVE IT. Yay! Plus, the stylist gives, no contest, the best shampoo I have ever gotten. Extended scalp massages....mmmmmm. Plus, the salon had a new "SpaCapsule" and were giving free 5-minute trials, so while I was waiting for my cut I had a nice little massage, which was awesome. I think I need one of those for my house. :D

I ended up staying in town between the haircut and the movie, and visited with my parents. It's been awhile since I've had an extended visit with them, it was nice. Plus, they fed me dinner.

The movie was fun, although, naturally, it fit a formula that I have noticed with most romantic comedies these days. Girl meets boy, girl doesn't like boy at first, girl develops feelings for boy, boy does something incredibly stupid and humiliating for girl, girl hates boy, boy apologizes, girl's overwhelming feelings for boy somehow negate the amazingly awful thing he did, happily ever after, amen. But it was still fun. And of course, I had a great time with Brenda. I think I'm going to be a little bummed when she's all married and the sailing season starts...she'll be SO busy. I'll have Brenda-withdrawals.

On other fronts, I am still waiting to firmly schedule my cruise to the Bahamas. It is tentatively planned for April vacation, but if we don't hurry up and book, plane tickets will start to climb in price and it will get ridiculous. Need to remember to email Kimmie and see what's happening with that. The cruise itself is a silly little thing, the ship leaves dock around 5pm on Tuesday and returns to dock 9 or 10 Thursday morning. So it's not much, but I *will* be going out of the United States, and it's just the right size for my first adventure of that sort.

Today I have an appointment with my doctor to check my meds. The Celexa is working much better than the Prozac, not nearly as much disaster thinking, which is especially nice, but I am wondering if there is something we can do about the continuing fatigue and low energy. It might also be time to check my thyroid level. I haven't had that tested in awhile, I might need to tweak my dosage. We'll see.

OK, I think it would be a good idea for me to at least get *something* done this morning, so I'm off to piddle with laundry or something. mk

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Do Not Look To Me For Effective Time Management Tips

So, day off from kids today. I am not really motivated to do much, but it's Anti-Procrastination Day (Wednesday, every week, according to FlyLady), and I'm trying to do at least a LITTLE on my house each day this week, so decided to knock some of my to-do list off.

Loaded up van so that I could take trash to the dump as soon as kids got on the bus. Then I actually steeled myself to call for a hair appointment (last cut was in October--three months is actually good for me, I usually go much longer). I was actually able to get an appointment TODAY, at 1:00, with Allison. Val's still gone. She's supposedly "gone for good," but I still hold out hope that she'll come back. sigh.

Anyway. So, planned to go to town at 8:15 to the dump, and have a hair appointment at 1:00.

Oh yes, and am going to see 27 Dresses with Brenda today, and the best time for her to go is the 7:15 show tonight, and we'll get together at her house around 6:30.

So here's the schedule:

8:15 dump
1:00 hair
6:30 movie with Brenda

Naturally each of these involves a trip to town. Half-hour driving roundtrip. And because combining any two of these in one trip to town involves a LOT of downtime that would probably end up being spent shopping and spending money I really shouldn't spend, I'm actually just going to take each of the three trips in.

Now, whenever I have a time that I have to be somewhere, I am loathe to do much of anything that will possibly result in my being late. So, other than the trip to the dump, which didn't really require much gearing up on my part (but also could not be delayed until closer to the hair appointment, because the van was all loaded up with the trash before I made the appointment, and I didn't want to either unload OR leave the trash in the van long enough to make the entire vehicle stink so that I showed up for my hair appointment smelling like the dump), I end up doing a lot of clock-watching to make sure that I'm not going to be late. I mean, an insane amount of it. Like, right now it's 11:00 and I've been checking the clock obsessively for the last hour to make sure that time has not somehow snuck past me.

So today is going to be long periods of waste followed by times of great fun. (I'm really quite excited about both my haircut, and going to a movie with Bren...we've never been to a movie together, which is funny considering how long I've known her.)

Anyway. This is a great deal of babbling about not much, but hey, it's my blog and if it wastes four or five minutes of the next TWO HOURS before I need to be at the salon (although I'll leave at around 12 so I can do one or two other errands and thereby further justify the trip in), I'm gonna go with it. mk

Friday, January 18, 2008

C'mon, enough already

Look, I know I live in Maine. Northern state, gets cold in the winter, blah blah blah. But really, enough is enough with the snow already.

This is the second snowstorm this week. Monday was a snow day. Today there is (so far) a 2-hour delay. Which is great for Mark, 'cause he gets to sleep in and get some extra rest.

Kira, of course, is up and has had breakfast and is making herself a super-healthy snack. The girl is on a BIG health kick, which is really awesome. Right now she's wearing my apron, which comes down almost to the floor, and is making "a little fruit salad" for her snack at school. Apple, orange, banana. That and a rice cake, and "maybe something else." She questions me constantly about whether a particular food is "healthy." It's really making me think. Also, she is learning about relativity in a food's healthy qualities, and about moderation.

Speaking of moderation, I think Mother Nature could use a little with this snow. mk

Monday, January 14, 2008

Kira and the Snow

We're having, you guessed it, another snowstorm. Another day of no school (why always on Monday? I've canceled four or five therapy appointments this winter so far). Up to 15 inches of snow expected by the end of the storm tonight.

Kira is having a blast. As soon as the first flakes started coming down this morning, she was outside. We'd had some rain and warm weather the last week or so, and most of the huge snowfall we'd accumulated had gone, to her great disappointment. She was delighted to hear that we were getting more snow.

So she's been out many times already today. Not always for a long time, sometimes just for a few minutes, once without even remembering to put on her snow pants. She was just running out for a minute to put away her sled that she had left in the driveway, before it got run over or something. Naturally, once outside she got distracted and ended up playing for a while, came in soaked through and had to put on her second outfit of the day. (She's up to four now, I think. Another change of outfit was needed when she smeared candy cane on her new white top [sigh], and another outfit was just because.)

She's just so darn cheerful while she's out there. She found a jumprope and tied it to her new sled (I swear that girl has a streak of dominatrix somewhere...she just LOVES tying things up) and has been dragging it around.

I went to the sliding glass doors and was watching her just trudging around the yard, chattering away to herself in her fuschia jacket and the totally clashing white-and-red hat from her dad's house that she's been wearing, while the bright-blue sled tied with the purple jumprope skids along behind her. She's a flashy rainbow in the snowstorm, where the world is a blur behind the thick white flakes.

Kids are so great about snow. They don't care how cold it is, or if it's currently blizzarding or not. They just want to be out there, creating worlds and adventures for themselves.

So while I was watching and enjoying the snowfall and my contemplations, my gaze wandered over to the corner of the deck where I store the shovels and snow scoop. There are two full-size shovels out there, a Kira-size shovel, and the scoop.

My shovel was missing.

I opened the door an inch or two against the heavy snow swirling at me and yelled out for Kira. After a minute she popped back into view and came up on the deck. She had her hat pulled down so it almost covered her eyes, so had to do that adorable backbend-so-she-can-see-me thing. I pointed out the missing shovel. She replied that she thought she had put it back. I countered by telling her it wasn't there. She waddled over, stared for a minute, and said:


My response: "Find. It."

So she walked out to a random spot on the side yard, got down on her knees, and started tunneling like a dog.

This was not a good sign.

After a few hunts that appeared to me to be entirely haphazard, she successfully located it on the front porch and returned it to its home.

This in no way deterred her from her snow-cheer. In fact, moments later, she popped the door open long enough to yell up to her brother, who is teenage-pouting in his room:

"Mark! You can come pull me on my sled if you want! If you do, thank you!"

And off she went again, completely oblivious that her brother would not find this wonderful offer at all appealing. Gotta love it. mk

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Games and/or Quizzes

OK, here are a couple of games I've recently been introduced to. I don't do a LOT of these kind of things, but occasionally they're pretty fun, and always a good way to waste time that you really should be using to do the laundry that's piling up next to the washer, to the point where for the second week in a row, your daughter had to go to basketball practice wearing a uniform shirt that wasn't completely dry. Not that *I* know anything about that kind of sloth.

On SmartOrStoopid, only your FIRST score counts, people. I got a 23.

This one, I suck at geography and know it, but couldn't stop myself from trying anyway. Amazingly (for me), I made it to level 6 and scored 180,093 points...on my first try.

I'll add other stuff as I come across it. mk

Trivia Tic-Tac-Toe (thanks, Dad)

Meyers-Briggs Personality Test (I am an ISTJ)

Treasure Box (thanks, Mindy!)

Friday, January 11, 2008

War of the Elmos

Captain Brenda gave me some Elmo slippers before Christmas (she's got a thing for Elmo, thus everyone in the world gives her Elmo everything and she just didn't need the slippers). I brought them home and in addition to Kira (of course) thinking it was super-cool, surprisingly Mark wanted to claim them for himself.

So, the other day I was cleaning up some stuff in my room (an odd enough event in itself), and decided to put the Elmo slippers in Mark's room so he could wear them at will.

That night, I went to bed and found my covers all pulled up and the Elmos peeking out at me from the pillow.

So the next day I brought them into Mark's room and balanced them on the hangers in Mark's jean closet (which is part of his bureau).

He responded by putting them in my bedroom entertainment center on top of the TV.

My reply was to poke the Elmo head of the slippers between the tab tops of the curtains which cover his bookcases.

Last night they were balanced on top of my Egyptian lady head, one of them wearing her sunglasses.

He found them in his backpack where I was almost hoping they'd make it to school.

Can't wait to see where they'll turn up next! mk

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Murphy and the Mechanic

You know how your kid can be deathly ill so you call the doctor's office, frantic, and get them to squeeze the child in for an appointment and you race over and by the time you get there the kid is fine?

Yeah, my car is like that.

I've been dealing with its temperamental crap for over a year now, and I'm really losing my patience. It's not like I can afford to buy a new car, and if I could just get this problem fixed, I'd be fine. But first I have to get it to do its thing for Mike, my mechanic.

So yesterday morning it did its "I don't want to start" thing, but changed its mind and let me drive it all around all day. And then after three hours at the school it decided it didn't want to go home, so it ended up staying for a sleepover. The last time it did this, the next morning I got a ride to the school (on the bus, no less...Mark was HORRIFIED), and it started right up. Today, no dice. (although this time I had a friend drive me instead of taking the bus)

Fortunately, I have AAA, so I called them and arranged for a tow to Mike's. Went back to the school in the van, tried the car again (nothing), waited an hour for the tow guy, tried it again (still nada), he spent forever getting it hooked up to haul backwards out of the parking spot and turned around so he could get it hooked up properly for the tow to Mike's.

And at Mike's, it started right up.

I swore. Loudly. In front of my father, who had met me there (for some dad-type reason).

Anyway, Mike's going to hook it up to his computer diagnostic machine anyway and see what comes out, and also give it a complete tune-up, which it is long overdue for. We'll see how it goes. I hope he finds something fixable. I am soooooooo sick of this. mk

p.s. On the plus side, today I loaded more memory into my computer. Now I'm going to look at putting a second hard drive in. I'll Frankenstein this baby yet.

Another day in the life...

So yesterday was busy. And, being me, I did a few stupid things that actually made it worse for myself. But hey, it's more blog fodder, right?

The scheduled activities for the day were: therapy at 9, pick Kira up from Brownies at 4:30, Mark's end-of-season basketball banquet (potluck) from 5:30-7 (which I found out about on Friday through the school's weekly newsletter), and a school volunteer meeting at 6:30 (for which I am the treasurer, and I missed the last meeting).

So, I had to make something for the potluck banquet. The boys' team was in charge of main dishes, and the girls' team did salads and desserts. So what I decided to bring was crockpot baked beans. Now, background is needed on why this was a poor decision on my part. The only other time I had made crockpot baked beans was in 2002, for the party I threw for my parents' 35th anniversary. They came out like bullets. Rock hard. People still giggle about them (by people, I mean my parents. I am less giggly about embarrassing failures.). So naturally, for the school banquet with dozens of people, *I* decide to make something which I have never successfully made! Whoo hoo! So I was in a state of anxiety all day, paranoid that they would be nasty and horrible and I would humiliate myself etc etc. Soaked them overnight the night before and then put them in first thing in the morning and obsessed about them all day. Go me!

Next, in going out to the car to go to therapy, naturally my car wouldn't start. Again. I did get it going after a few minutes, so kind of put it behind me and continued on. Although it delayed me enough that I didn't get to go to the bank before therapy like I'd hoped, to pick up the copies of the checks I needed to submit for the fuel assistance application that has been delayed approval since October because of little things. Anyway, more stress for that. (Therapy went fine, glitches there.) I did get the papers submitted after therapy, though, so that part is just pending their approval, nothing I need to do.

So, got home just fine, obsessed about the beans some more. Got a call from the Brownie leader that she wouldn't be able to make the meeting that day because her daughter was sick, and would I possibly be able to go assist the new co-leader? She'd already called two other people and she didn't want to have to cancel the meeting, etc etc guilt guilt. But I declined. (Which is huge for me, people! I said no! To a direct and specific request for help!)

I had already decided that it made more sense to just stay at the school between Brownies and the basketball banquet, rather than running home and turning around and running right back (less than an hour between the two). I'd just plug the crockpot in at the school, and the kids could play basketball (which Mark was VERY excited to do).

So, brought extremely hot and HEAVY crockpot (double batch of beans) to the school, sat there in the gym for an hour, then we had the banquet, etc. Then I took my beans (WHICH, by the way, turned out GREAT...and in fact, another mom said that she'd done crockpot beans for years and had tried to make some for this and...heh heh...they turned out like bullets, so she couldn't bring anything). Went down the hall for the school volunteer meeting already in progress (and earned brownie points for doing it, because the treasurer, who was also at the banquet for her son, didn't go--she went home instead).

AFTER the meeting, which ended at car wouldn't start. A-FREAKIN-GAIN. The kids and I got a ride home with the president of the volunteer group.

But hey, the beans turned out good.

sigh. Today was worse. mk

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Snow. More Snow. Oh, and More Snow!

We have got a SHITLOAD of snow here. We had a big storm here New Year's Eve. And then, we had another one yesterday afternoon till this morning. Between the two storms, we got probably 3 feet of snow. With drifts, four or more feet easily. Fortunately, I got my driveway plowed out both times (very, very nice neighbor). So that left clearing the deck, the steps, uncovering the car, moving the car, clearing the section of driveway where the plow couldn't get (due to, you know, cars being there at the time). Oh, and a path to the pipe to the oil tank.

My assistants (Mark and Kira) have been with their father for the last several days, and so I did not have their help for these diggings. Kira is an enthusiastic shoveler, loves to feel that she's helping, and usually gets right out there before I can even gather myself to think about it. She has a lot of fun with it. Mark is far more reluctant, but when he gets to it, he's very effective. At this point, he's nearly as strong as I am, and has that youthful energy that I sorely lack.

I really, REALLY missed having their help. I've been dragging the last couple of days with a head cold, and last night I didn't get to sleep until about four-thirty or five this morning (and up again around 7:30). I did a LOT of shoveling yesterday, and a LOT of shoveling today. I am T.I.R.E.D.

On the plus side, got myself some great exercise and also lots of sunlight, which should be helpful against my Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Also, DAMN, Maine is absolutely freaking gorgeous in the winter. mk

p.s. The kids are going to LOVE the piles of snow the plow left. Much fun for them. Now if I can just keep Kira off them while she's supposed to be waiting for the bus in the mornings. And make sure I don't lose her in a drift.

update: pictures

I have Christmas lights on the can't see them from the road anymore because the snow is all piled in front of it.That blob of branches in the middle is my magnolia tree in the rock garden.
The view from my front door.

Anyway. Check out Beast Mom's huge snowfall! mk

p.s. No, our snow is not blue. And I did not put a blue filter on my camera. I have no idea. Maybe it's that all the whiteness would just blast out the camera or something. But it's white. Really. So is my house.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Awesome Trailer Quote :D

I am just loving this from the trailer to Cloverfield:

"Our options are: die here, die in the tunnels, or die in the streets."

Love. It. It's just so *optimistic*! mk