Thursday, August 31, 2006

One week down

The first week of school is over! It was a four day week, followed by this lovely four day weekend. Nice. And I worked three days this week! Very nice! Now you might be asking, who is taking off during the first week of school? My question as well. I have never worked the first week of school before. I barely work the first month most years. But it seems an Intervention Specialist (Special Ed. more or less) teacher at Prospect had some surgery that she was unable to schedule anytime during summer, but could get in this week. Fine by me! Easy days!

Last night was the open house at Ely and I made the rounds as a parent, not an employee. I'm fairly pleased with everything I heard and I have high hopes for the year. I especially like what was said about the amount of homework that would be given, no more than an hour a night. I'm going to hold them to that! Also said that they were going to read novels as a class. Hurray! That didn't happen once last year.

As for my feline situation, Mama tried to move the family into the closet today since in a hasty outfit change this morning, I left the door open. We've pulled them out, but Mama insists that's where they live and has everybody camped out right in front of the door. I'll try again later to get her to change her mind back to the dresser. I can't get in my closet! And the little boy has is eyes open as well now. I'll take some pictures tonight for the next post. They both have this funny half staggering walk they're doing! Painfully cute!

Monday, August 28, 2006

First Day of Sixth Grade

It's our last first day at Ely! We all got up on time after a whole summer of big time sleeping in. I even made cinnamon rolls for breakfast and then remembered to take the first day of school picture. Even though they made all the obligatory "Yuck School!" noises, I know that they were both looking forward to getting back. It's going to be a big year for them.

But let's get to the important stuff. The little girl's eyes have opened! Isn't she cute!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Go Carting

After a whole summer of waiting, last night we finally made it out to Swings N Things for go-carting. And while we had a great time, I really think I need to write to SNT and give them the news. That place is stupid expensive for what you get. You can buy a pass to get to ride everything, unlimited, for $23. Now everything includes the one go-cart track, two mini golf course, the dumb bumper boats and laser tag. No batting cage tokens, arcade tokens or paintball thrown in. Now here's the problem-- For $9 extra bucks you could go to Cedar Point. Cedar Point! Is there really only $9 difference in fun between the two places? I don't think so. Where does SNT get off with such a price? Does it really cost that much to run? Okay, I'm done complaining about it.

So we went go-carting. A lot. Double cars to take the kids along and then single cars (that are much faster!) without the kids. Next year, they'll both be tall enough to have their own cars. They've got these little loser cars on the "Rookie Track" where the kids can drive in a circle. Callie's car was so bad it bounced along like a little jalopy. We played some mini golf and Ethan got two holes in one, but E won for the day. It was dark by the time we got to golf, but the course is all lit up with little lights. But in some spots though the lights were out. You couldn't see your ball for anything! Callie's had a purple ball, completely invisible! And if you hit it off the course into bushes, you had a terrible time finding it.

We stayed until it closed and then some. We picked up chocolate shakes and french fries on the way home, the perfect 11 PM snack!

Friday, August 25, 2006


So, you want to see some kittens, eh? Here they are. They will be one week old tomorrow. Mama Cat is putting on weight and looks great. All three of them seems to be having a jolly time under my dresser. When Mama is out for a bite to eat, we grab the kittens and have a cuddle.

This little one is a boy. He is extremely active, always on the move. Very handsome and doesn't mind being held.
This one is a girl. She's not as much fun to hold because she makes this little car alarm noise anytime you pick her up. This brings Mama running, cutting all the fun short.
This is good shot to show about tiny they are.

Callie and I were talking today about pudding. (Yes, I know. What a change in topic!) What do you think would happen if you made instant chocolate pudding with chocolate milk? Has anyone ever tried that? I'll hear from you, then we'll give it a try. If you don't want to jump through Blogger's hoops to become a registered user, just click anonymous. Much easier that way!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Just Another Night

Last night we had a very lovely Girl Scout meeting here. Got plenty of decisions made and ideas kicked around. Bronze Award, here we come! During the meeting the girls got busy with the chalk. As you can see, they left no stone unmarked!

On the cat and kittens front, there has been a change of plans. Last night, while everyone was here, Mama got upstairs and promptly went to one of her favorite places, behind the TV. After a short while, she ran down the stairs, grabbed a kitten and started heading out. It didn't take a genius to see that Mama had decided the living room would be a much better nest than the dank basement. We stopped her, locked her behind the door and cinder blocks and bemoaned our fate. What we were going to do? At 1 AM, I decided. Our feline family would be locked in my bedroom, instead of the basement. Dry, warm, safe, perfect. We can easily keep Marco in the dark about the whole thing and get to enjoy the kittens. Downside: Living with cat food and a litter box in my bedroom. *Sigh*

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

New Developments

I'm going to run through quick the weekend. Saturday night we were invited over to friends for a cookout which was super yummy and swimming for the kids. The weather held off and it was a relaxed and enjoyable evening.
The next morning we drove all the way down the Anderson family reunion which is in Quaker City. A bit of a haul. Tons of food and even more family. It was the most perfect day to be down there this year. Not sizzling hot or pouring rain. And take a look at the view!
But none of that is important because look what happened!

Oh yeah, it's kittens, two of them. I realize now that I haven't been keeping you all up on the developments with the cat. (If you would like a recap on how all this got started you can check back to May postings.) We've been living on the fringe of having a cat all summer. She hung around and got fed. We got to pet her and love her without dealing with litterboxes or the Marco issues. And then about a month ago it became apparent that other trouble was brewing. Our skinny little stray was putting on the weight and it wasn't fat. Come to find out from web article reading that this is a fairly common things for cats to do to people: adopt some sucker family and then get knocked up.

We couldn't find her for two days, even though Marco was trying to tell us where she was. Finally E. found her and the two kits on the steps going down to the outside entrance to the basement. Almost where we found her originally. We've unblocked the door and she's moved herself and her family into a box down the back part of the basement. The problem is still Marco. Having kittens in our disgusting basement isn't ideal to say the least, but we really have no choice. The dog is so big and clumsy, there's no way he can be around the babies and his relationship with the Mama has never been great. I keep being told how much fun kittens are, but we are going to miss all of it with them downstairs behind a door fortified with cider blocks to keep the dog out. (I'm not kidding!) And we are looking at least 5 weeks of this. Misery!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The End of the Softball Road


Never has 20 games lasted so very, very long! 9 rained out games had to be made up at the end of the season, which equals an extra month of games. Yesterday threatened to storm all day, but constant singing of "Mr. Sun" and doing rain dances backwards held off the drops. During the game, a brief shower tried to dampen spirits, but quickly gave up when it realized it was dealing with men who had had enough. They weren't about to stop playing for anything! Happily, Triangle Surveying ended their season with a win of 13 - 12 making their record... Well, let's just say they ended the season with a win. Way to go guys!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Cedar Point Day

One of the best days of the year is Cedar Point day. The annual all-day trek of the Andersons all over the best amusement park in the world. We got there at 9:30 am and left at 9:24 pm. A full day to be sure! We go for the roller coasters and rode 8 of them, some more than once. Every year we try to ride a new coaster and this year was Raptor which is a hanging coaster that has loops and twists. Very intense and cool, smooth and unpredictable. It is an incredible ride! Callie was scared to death to get on and then rode it almost the whole way with her eyes closed, but she said she'd go on again. Our favorites in the park are the Magnum, which was our first ride of the day and the Mean Streak which we rode twice.

The day was a tad bit too warm and the sun was a smidgen too bright, but we stood tough. Standing in line for the Raptor, which doesn't have shade tents or misters was the longest part of the day. I'm a little sunburned, and I'm sure it's from that particular wait. After that we took it easy on the train ride followed by the Paddleboat ride.

We have found out if you want a really good picture of E, you have to put him on a rollercoaster. Most people look insane in those pictures, hair flying, faces twisted in a scream. But E he looks great, like he is having the time of his life! We are really going to have to buy one someday!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Camping and cartoons

I see I need to do a little catch-up here and recap the weekend. Friday night, all four of us were somewhere different. Ethan was camping out at Findley with his Boy Scout troop. They fished, went boating and cooked out. I was out at Timberlane on a Leader Only overnight. We had a campfire, laid out in Green Meadows to watch the meteor shower (only two shooting stars the whole cold, wet time we were out there), giggled a lot, hiked everywhere, had a yummy brunch prepared for us and then had water aerobics. Lovely! Callie spent the night at a friend's where they did who knows what, but all her nails are polished now. And E had a late softball game in which he hit his first ever homerun! I'm so bummed that we all missed it!

Saturday afternoon I had to run out to Findley to pick up Ethan, because we had a big night ahead of us. We were off to Blossom Music Center and the Cleveland Orchestra performing Bugs Bunny on Broadway. A first for the kids to go there and it's been a long time since E and I were at Blossom. The crowd was huge! The whole hill was filled and there was enough food there to feed a small country!

I've never sat in the pavilion before, but that's where our tickets were for the show. Not exactly sure how it happened really, but check out how close we were to the stage! I told the kids this was probably the one and only time they would ever sit inside at Blossom so enjoy it now.
They showed the Bugs Bunny cartoons up on the screens and then the orchestra played the music along with it. There were about 12 different shows including a Roadrunner and Coyote, The Rabbit of Seville and What's Opera, Doc?. It was wonderful and so much fun! I will never listen to cartoon music in the same way again!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Number Twelve

Yesterday found the Andersons taking in the sights and sounds of the beach in lovely tropical Avon Lake. While the kids splashed around, E and I took a stroll down the beach. Lying there, abandoned in the sand was Number Twelve. Number Twelve is a scuba diver with a little 12 on his chest (hence the name). I looked around for Numbers One through Eleven or even the missing companion of this fallen hero. But Number Twelve was alone and needed a new team behind him. I knew just the two. Here is his story told by his two new best friends.

E: This is the city that Number Twelve rules. Everyone loves him.

C: They rebuilt this city after the volcano destroyed the other one.

E: Here he is defeating the dinosaur dictator.
C: The dinosaur was the dictator of the sandbox. Now Number Twelve rules it!

E: Here he is sitting on his throne.

C: Number Twelve is always trying to get to deep water, but he never makes it.
E: He never makes it because he gets distracted by something else. Always.
C: He goes around in his bucket boat and finds shells and rocks.
E: Once he got stranded but he didn't know it.
C: Once when he got seasick, he ate his favorite shell.
E: The one time that he did make it to the deep water, he couldn't see anything because it was dirty.
C: He liked the slides at the playground. That's how he became the Master of Air!
E: He likes sand. That's how he became Master of Land.
C: He often loses his foot.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Caller ID

Today I want to write a tribute to the two people who don't live in my house- Larry and Ellen. Two people who couldn't be more different and who have never met and yet share one thing; all their friends think they live with us. Let me explain and it's all about phone numbers.

Larry has our exact phone number, but with a 216 area code, meaning he lives in Cleveland somewhere. This slight difference in numbers is too much for the people in Larry's life. Through the conversations I've had with these people and the sometimes very long messages they've left on my machine, I've gotten a pretty good picture in my head just what kind of guy he is.

  • He has his own place. This is a landline number, not a cell phone indicating that he is almost settled down. Also, no one ever calls here looking for "Bud" or "Mike" or "Stacy", cluing me into that he doesn't have a roommate or a live-in cutie. (But we'll get to the girls later.) Larry has money in his pocket and is living in bachelor paradise.
  • Larry has a hard time waking up to get to work on time. Occasionally, some very husky man will leave a message wondering where Larry is and why he isn't at the site. The husky man usually sounds pretty put out by Larry.
  • Larry works some kind of construction.
  • Larry has probably knows what it's like to be fired.
  • Larry has friends who like to drink and then call people. The person they like to call is Larry, but they get me instead. It is very, VERY tempting to mess around with these poor fellows when you accidentally end up talking to one, but so far I've been very good. I've even gone as far as to remind them about the area code and they are always very apologetic. One actually tried to ask me out once in gratitude. What I can gleam about Larry from these guys is that you are almost always like your friends making Larry a heavy weekend drinker as well (which might account for the problems at work). But why is Larry not drinking with them? Hmm... Maybe Larry has made new friends? Oh, the drama!
  • Larry is a ladies' man! Girls call looking for Larry as well as drunk friends and irate bosses. Their messages are short almost as if they don't know him very well. I can imagine his scribbled number (sans area code) on cocktail napkins slipped into sequined purses in smoky bars. The same girl has never call twice meaning that they are smarter then the area code puzzle or (and this one is more fun) Larry is the handsome, cool guy in the dark after a couple of Lemon Drops, but the light of day is something else entirely.

I think it's a fair account of Larry, a good character sketch to be sure. This has been going on for a good two years, maybe longer. And just this morning at 8:20, a blurry guy called looking for Larry. There was an angry, screaming woman and a barking dog in the background, making it so noisy I had to tell him twice that he had the wrong number.

But let's talk about Ellen. I said she's the opposite of Larry and boy howdy is that true. Ellen lives here in town and has the "322" version of our number, which is an honest and simple mistake to make. The people who call looking for Ellen are not as entertaining as Larry's calls, actually it makes me a bit sad when they call. Here's what I know about her.

  • Ellen is a retired or semi-retired, but still very active. She drives and is the one in the bunch who drives her friends around. They leave messages confirming that's picking them up in the morning. Ever see a car full of little old ladies? That's probably Ellen behind the wheel.
  • Ellen has lived around here a long time. We've been getting calls for Ellen as long as we've had this number, which is 13 years. I'm betting she's had her number a lot longer.
  • Ellen has gentlemen callers. At least two different guys call Ellen and leave long, boring messages about what they are up to and wanting to catch up with her. They never call looking "Mr. Ellen". So I suspect she's a widow. One guy wanted to make plans to sit with her at the next spaghetti dinner.
  • Ellen has grandchildren. Once a little kid left an adorable message for Grandma thanking her for the new pajamas. More fuel for the widow theory.
  • Ellen can cook! Several times over the years some older woman has called RAVING about some dish Ellen brought to the meeting and begging for the recipe.
  • Ellen goes to meetings where people bring food.

Okay, my picture of Ellen is a little sketchier than Larry's, but still fairly accurate I suspect. When the frail little voices call looking for Ellen, they seem so disappointed that they get me. They apologize and then, more often than not, call right back again a few seconds later, even more confused. That's where the sad comes in.

But here's the kicker. Go ahead and make a wrong number, no crime in that. But why are these people leaving messages on our machine? Our message right now is the kids rattling off our phone number and then suggesting you leave a message for our dog Marco, who is lonely. Is this a message that either Larry or Ellen would have on their machines? I don't think so. How can their people listen to our message and think "Oh good, I got the right number!"? We could change it and say something like "This is the Anderson's and not Larry or Ellen's", but where would the fun be in that?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

A Day Outdoors

Today E. and the girl went out to Camp Timberlane for the annual Father Daughter Day. They had a really beautiful day to be out there. Clear skies and not too hot. They swan, canoed, did archery and hiked. Last year the craft was making a bat house, which was cool. This year is was a making a rattle, pop bottle tops wired to a stick. A bit of a let down. It was too warm to stand by the fire and make a s'more so they took off a little early. This was the fifth year they've gone out for this day together at camp.

The boy and I weren't about just to sit around so we headed down to Bur Oak bike trail and did the whole thing. We stopped now and then and explored the side trails. We even went wading in the river for awhile. We chased tiny fish and the boy found a cool little rock.
Another trail took us down to this really huge cottonwood tree. It's so special they've got it all caged up so it won't run away!
The best part of the day was that E. and the girl stopped at Joe Bocarrdi's, which has the yummiest pizza ever, and brought one home!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

No more complaining

I've made myself sick with complaining about the heat and I resolve to do no more of it. It does no good and I suspect it might actually make you hotter just by talking about it. Very bad news today about the neighbor's pool though. It's leaking and we have to stay out until they can fix it. The timing is rotten to say the least.

To get out of the hot today (and that's not a complaint, just stating a fact) we went to the movies and saw Monster House. It was better than I expected and had some really dark, creepy parts to it. We also had lunch at Bellachino's which has the best nachos in town. That was the project last summer the kids and I worked on, to find the best nachos. We had these cool forms we made up to rate taste, variety, and price. We hit all the restaurants, clipboard in hand. So now if we want nachos, there's no messing around, right to the top.

Hey, let me hear from you out there! I know leaving a comment looks like you have to register, but you can just click anonymous and skip all of that. I'd love to know who's still reading this beside or is it just you and me, Chip?