Monday, April 28, 2008

Our Spring Colors

The Girl went to student council state conference and is now back again, safe and sound. She had a wonderful time. That little white sweater that we had to have lasted about 10 minutes into the dance before she got too hot and had to take it off. As for the shoes, she ended up taking a pair a mine; A nice benefit to having the same size feet right now. The shoes lasted only a little longer than the sweater before getting kicked to the side. I'm glad now we didn't go out anymore than we did to look for shoes! The purse we finally found was perfect. Now that she's home, I might take it for myself!

Spring has more than sprung around here. All the trees are in full leaf already. The baby trees are sprouting baby leaves which pleases us all to no end. A sure sign of spring is when I put my hammock up, which I did over the weekend. The Man cleaned out the gutters and The Boy had a big fire going in the fireplace. It was a very productive yard-sy weekend and probably the most we'll do outside for the rest of the season!
Spring is when our front yard is the prettiest. Here are some shots for you.
Here's the white dogwood. The rest of the year it's pretty plain, but right now it is awfully lovely. If you think my grass looks purple, it is. We actually don't have grass anymore. It's all violets. I'm not sure what our neighbors think about it, but we love how it looks this time of year. You can see it all the way down the street, the house with the purple lawn.
The Chem Lawn guy should be coming soon. Every year he looks at our lawn like it's a carpet of gold. I'm all ready for him this year...
Evil Chemical Grass Man: Good afternoon!
Me: (scowl)
Satan with Spray Gun: It looks like you've got a bit of violet problem here.
Me: I'd say that's a matter of opinion.
Earth Hating Grass Painter: How's that?
Me: I think everyone else has a grass problem.
It's not that I like weeds. Dandelions are enemy number one around here. The Man says that since I am so tyrannical on the dandelions, I've just opened the door to the violets. Maybe so, but violets are pretty!

Here's the pink dogwood. It's grown a lot since we've lived here. That "bush" in front of it used to twice as tall and was crowding it out. I have no love for that bush, which I refer to as the Pampered Weed. But our neighbors have a picture of their house when it was first built. Our house isn't there, but the Pampered Weed is. That makes The Weed over 100 years old. So I guess it can stay.

Around the Weed are tulips that planted the first fall we lived here. Last year they didn't bloom and I kept meaning to dig up the bulbs, but I didn't get to it. I guess I didn't need to anyway because this year they bloomed just fine. Some of them actually came up orange, which was new but a definite improvement over the ketchup and mustard ones.

There's also a little shrub by the front porch that turns bright, bright red right around the time the dogwoods lose their blossoms. A little better timing on everyones part would really be nice!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Girl Shopping

The Girl is going to the Student Council State Conference next week. She is leaving Thursday afternoon and will be home Saturday night. Thankfully, they have chartered a bus because the town where the conference is being held is about three hours away. I heard that in past years parents had to haul the kids all the way there and then pick them up again. Yuck!

Friday night at the conference is a fancy dinner followed by a dance. So we had to go shopping. Dress shopping. She's at this great in-between size right now: Too big for little girl clothes, too little for grown-up lady clothes. But we found a dress that was just right, a little blue sundress that is neither not too young nor too hoochy mama. But, she really didn't feel comfortable having her shoulders exposed. What she wanted was a little white, short sleeved, half sweater to wear over it.

This mythical sweater will be crazy easy to find and it will jump out at us or it will be the most impossible piece of clothing to find ever, the Grail of sweaters. This was my thought as we headed out. But the fates must have had pity on me because the first saleswoman in the first store knew exactly what we wanted and took us to the only one in her size. And it was on clearance.

"I don't like these buttons much." The Girl frowned down at the perfectly lovely buttons on the perfectly perfect sweater.

"We have lots of buttons. I'll sew new ones on that you do like!" This might have come out a bit crazed. She was now scowling at me.

"Do you think it's too baggy?" She plucked at the sides, pulling them away from her. Right now the Girl wears exclusively skin tight t-shirts. Anything with any kind of movement is deemed baggy by her.

"Nope, nope, nope. That's how it's supposed to look. It's dressy. Very pretty." I felt myself smiling like loon.

A big sigh. "You can change the buttons?"

"Oh yeah! No problem! Let's go check out now, okay?"

She agreed and the sweater looks perfect with the dress. She was right. She even thinks, as of this moment anyway, that the buttons aren't that bad after all.

Tonight we went shoe shopping. I'll make this short. We had no success. Big flop. On the way home she hits me that she thinks she need to take a bag of some type to keep all her things in during the conference.

"Do you mean a purse?" I asked finally, stopping her explanation.

"No, it doesn't exactly have to be a purse. More like a small tote."

Sure. So Sunday we are going purse shopping as well as shoe shopping part two.

She's also involved in the musical at school. They are doing "Once on this Island". I've never heard of this show, but from what I can gather from the kids it has really good music but a depressing story. Strange review, but they are enjoying it and the rehearsals are right after school so they don't get in the way with anything else.

Being a small junior high show, the kids have to provide there own costumes. More shopping, this time for peasant clothes: Muted colors with a tropical look, but not Hawaiian looking. Okay. We hit the Goodwill and after an exhaustive search we finally found a long skirt with a patched look in shades of brown and a little white peasant blouse. Perfect!

We had to find a shirt for the Boy too, who is also in the show. It went like this:

"Hey, here's a shirt. What do you think?"


"Do you want to try it on, make sure it fits?"

He holds it up to himself. "Nah. It's okay."

And that was it.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Stormy Weather

Friday night was the spring dance at school. The Girl was going, the Boy was headed out to camp with his troop. The weather looked bad, really bad. I wasn't keen on him going at all. Just before the boys headed out, the sun started to shine and the temperature rose. I took this as a good omen and they all set off.

The girlies went off to the dance a little while after that. About a half hour later, it started to rain. No, I mean RAIN, like an effing typhoon. The wind was shrieking, lightening flashed, the rain was coming down sideways for awhile! And my son is out there tent camping out at treeless, mud hole Amvets!

As much as I'm worried about him, that's has to wait because now I have to go pick up the girls from the dance. I was the pick-up person for the last dance and I played it all wrong then. Last time I got there right when the dance ended and got stuck in a snarl of traffic in a very dark parking lot. This time, I went a little earlier and got a parking space facing the door right where they were going to come out. Perfect. They would walk out, I'd give a little honk and we'd all be off.

So I'm waiting, waiting, waiting and they aren't coming out. Through the dark I spy the problem. There's this long line of cars and it looks like they are only letting the kids out of the building when their car is at the front of the line. The principal has a cell phone and is shouting into car windows getting kid's names. My plan is foiled! Now I have to get into this line and snake my way around the parking lot to the door. They've never done this before. It's not even raining anymore. What is going on?

I finally get to the door and they release the girls. And why did it go down like this? They had the kids in tornado position in the hall while they waited to get picked up. Like I said, it's not raining, not blowing, the stars are actually out. Ugh! Whatever. Better safe than sorry and all that. At least we can head out now. I hope the Boy is alright.

Back at home, I find the Boy sitting on the couch! When the storm blew up, they evacuated out of there double quick. I was SO relieved to see him! They boogied out of the there so fast they had to leave everything behind; tents, sleeping bags, everything! Fine by me, at least he was home because now it's starting to rain again. Enough! I'm going to bed!

9 AM the phone rings. It's the troop and they are headed back out. Could the Boy be there in the next couple of hours? He didn't seem to excited about going, but since all his stuff was out there, he really didn't have much of a choice. Saturday wasn't such a stellar weather day either with constant drizzle and sticking around forty degrees. They pitched all the tents under a pavilion, on top of gravel. I asked him what it was like sleeping on gravel. All I got was a grunt. He's not in the best of moods today for some reason!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The pictures, yes, I know (with updates!)

I promised pictures, so here they are. (Thanks Sandi for these great shots!)

Here's the girl getting some instructions on how to surf at Kalahari last week. She asked lots of questions and even got a demonstration.

It all paid off. She did great. The only thing she wasn't sure how to do was get off. Eventually she ended up on the side and just walked off, no wipe out.

Now the boy is getting his instructions.

He must be a good listener as well, because he also did great. His ride did end up as a wipe out, but most do. At least he didn't get hurt.

Here's the van all put back together and running fine.

For the family who came to the birthday brunch, here's the puzzle finally finished. There's a piece missing. Do any of you have any information about that maybe? This was a much more difficult puzzle then I like to do. It's one of those made up of all little pictures that form a big image.

The new baby trees are not very photogenic just yet. Actually they are almost impossible to see. But here's the maple, which looks like a stick stuck in the ground...

And here's the oak, which looks like a stick decorated with dead leaves stuck in the ground. Everything I've read says if we get them through the first summer, then we won't have to worry about them anymore. We'll have to wait and see.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

My Magneto

You remember our flood(s) of January? We got rid of mountains of trash from that adventure, emptying our basement and filling the curbside more than once. But also in the basement there were lots of things made of metal that didn't end up on the curb. Our thought was to take all the metal scrap to recycling and get a bit of money for ourselves, instead of giving it to the scavengers of the night. It ended up being a fairly large pile. There was a candy rack, pipes, poles, a weird box that was here when we moved in, grates, odd pieces and a kitchen sink (really!). All of that got piled into the side yard where it's been sitting ever since, most of the time under a ton of ice and snow.

With the snow melted now, the metal junk pile was really starting to get to me, especially since it was sitting right outside the window where I stand to wash the dishes. I was reminded daily of its existence.

"You've got to get that stuff out of the yard. It's making me crazy." I pleaded with the Man.

"No problem. You just find out where to take it and it's gone."

Where to take it, I found out, is literally a one minute drive from our house. Honestly, I had no idea that this place was there and I drive by it all the time. Shows what a focused driver I am, I guess.

On Monday, when I came home from zombie sitting, the Man was all smiles.

"Did you see the yard?" I looked and the giant pile of junk was gone.

"Not only that, but guess how much I got for it." His smile got even bigger.

After a long description of the dropping off process, the price of aluminum, a van that he watched get crushed and in general how very cool the metal recycling place was, I found out that all our scrap was worth $63. Wow! I had only worked a half a day, so he had actually made more money than I had.

"So that's it!" The Man declared, "I'm going into the scrap metal collection business."

"You're going to be a garbage picker?"

"No! Scrap metal collection and recycling."

"Garbage picking."

"No! Metal collector. It's an important job. Those resources shouldn't end up in landfills. Now, could you find out the trash collection schedule for the whole city for me?"

Saturday, April 05, 2008

So much can happen in a week

Five days since the last post! How ever have the three of you survived without know the cliffhanger ending to my car problems...the remote problems....the tree lawn? Fear not, the answers are here!

We forced the van back to the guy who put it back together and let him get a gander of the steering problems. His evaluation? Nothing that he could have done would have caused this impossible to steer situation and we should take it to Kia and have them check it out.

"So this is just a weird coincidence?", I said looking incredulous.

"Yeah, that's what I think", said the car guy, looking confidant.

Another fight to get the van back across town to Kia. A few hours later, the news was in. Amazingly enough, it was just a weird coincidence! What happened to the steering was not caused by the accident or by the repair. How about that?

The Man, in a burst of "getting things done", transplanted not one, but two trees from the side yard to the tree lawn. One is the little oak, which had massive roots and wasn't in the mood to get moved. The other is a little maple, which was much more obliging to get new digs. Now we'll have to wait and see how they do.

We picked up a new remote as well. The buttons are laid out weird and all the weight is in the wrong end. We're not happy with it, but it works.

Yesterday, Fearless Co-leader and I took all the girls to Kalahari for a giant day of water fun. It was a day filled with chlorine, very greasy pizza, screams and laughs. We couldn't have had a better time. My hat is off to other co-leader Tami. She fought through her fears and went down water slides when she really, really didn't want to, and then she went surfing! She put us all to shame with her bravery!

Pictures of all of this coming soon!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Thirteen is our number. I don't want to sound all "23" crazy about it, but there have been several examples of 13 being an important number to us. I know that you could take any number and drive yourself batty finding examples of it in your life: Patterns emerge, coincidences occur, planets collide. Eventually you find yourself locked up mumbling that special number to yourself and eating without utensils. But I assure you, it's not that way it is for us and the number 13.

It starts with me. I was raised on 13th Street. As an homage to his sweetie in the stands, the Man wore the number 13 on his softball jersey.

And now today these two are thirteen! Wow!

And here they are when they were thirteen days old.

I know they are thirteen days old in this picture because this is the day them came home from the hospital, April 13th.

Did I mention that they were born 13 minutes apart? Hmmm....I bet if I thought about this I COULD find more 13s....

Happy Birthday to the Girl and Boy! I've loved everyday of our 13 years together!

Now, cute kittens!

(Not that I have a good twin and a bad twin! They take turns playing both roles. Okay, not really! They are actually both wonderful people. Am I'm not just saying that because I'm their mommy!)