Saturday, January 31, 2009

Four Years Ago

Doing Shelob's Lair cache.


Time to stop sitting at the computer, make a phone call, and take Giant and the three youngest for a walk.
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I ALMOST Had a Very Scary Dream

Sylvia 'I almost had a very scary dream! But I felt it come up till here... ' pointing at her stomach, 'And then I pushed it down! I could tell it was going to be Very Scary! I was going to die!'


'Later I had another scary dream and I could not push it down and I don't remember it, I just know it was very scary.'
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Safety Tip #77

Sylvia, out of the blue 'Safety Tip Number Seventy Seven.'


'Never stand on a swivel chair!'

Um... ok.
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The Joys of Owning an Old Van

We got this van when Erik was a baby, so it's not particularly new anymore, but usually it does just fine. Once in a while it does have issues though. Like last December, when I went on my Philadelphia trip, and had to get a rental. Which I got impounded (Yes, I will finish that story soon, really, I swear!)

In January, it had more problems, and I used a rental for a week. My kids spilled cereal and sprinkles in the back of the rental, which I mostly got cleaned up, but there were a few remnants still. The rental also had a dent in the passenger door, which I didn't realize till the day after I got it. The whole week, I was wondering whether it had happened in my possession, or not. Luckily, when I returned it, it turned out it was dented already when I got it. Phew.

Did I mention that the RPM meter in the rental was broken and that on cold mornings, the speedometer would refuse to go up higher than zero? Fun! Drive on highway and have no idea how fast you are going. Luckily this only happened twice.


Last week, the van was having issues again. Starting and then stalling. It would run if I kept giving it extra gas, but that is kind of annoying. The moment I let go of the gas pedal, the car stalled. Not so useful. So I called the garage and told them to get the darned van and get me a rental.

I was happy to get the exact same rental, with dent, with broken RPM meter and even with some of our own crushed cereal remnants still in the back. It was like greeting an old friend. Just to express its happiness on seeing me, the gas gauge stopped working for a bit, assuring me that I had a tank which was filled at about 167 % of the maximum capacity. Which messed up the motor temp gauge, which couldn't get higher than 'Your motor is really cold right now!'

By now, I was late for everything, and on my way to orthodontist appointment for Dawn. I was happily driving along, visualizing us getting a parking spot easily, unlike expected reality. Suddenly, I see this police car behind me, lights flashing, so I get out of the way, figuring he is on his way to Important Police Business. Till he starts pointing at me.

What???!!! I quickly go over my driving in the last few minutes. I did not speed. I did not run any red lights. I don't think he could have found out about... Never mind. I sit and wait and smile at him, pondering the line 'Wow, officer, you have such a taut body, I bet you are a leo!' but deciding not to. Yet.

He points at my inspection sticker and asks me sternly 'So, young lady. Why didn't you have your car inspected? It was due last September!' I bat my big blue eyes at him and want to reply 'I am innocent, officer, really, I didn't do it!' but instead just tell him that this is a rental and it never entered my thoughts to check the inspection sticker. He asks for the rental agreement and my drivers licence and goes off to make some phone calls in his car. I watch the time go by, and hope the orthodontist will accept our excuses of 'car broke down, the police stopped us, and the dog ate her homework.'

Anyway, he comes back, tells me he called the garage, and all is well, I can just get there to have it taken care of. I don't get a ticket, just a piece of paper telling me that I have been stopped and should be a good girl from now on. Or at least try not to get caught if I am bad.

Later that day, I stop at the garage and they inspect the rental on the spot, while Giant gets lotsa attention. I really wanted to add that to my already overfull day ^^

My van got returned during the Wednesday snow storm, they told me that it was fine, it just needed to re-learn how to idle. Thursday morning, it had forgotten how to idle again, so I returned it to the garage, telling them to teach it a bit more effectively, thankyouverymuch. Yesterday, they called to say it is fixed again, y'all send good vibes it actually IS!

The joys of car ownership! And I am not sure whether I ever want to rent a car again, it seems that they attract bad luck. Oh well, at least I have good stories!
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Friday, January 30, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


We have a roaring fire.


And blueberry scones.


I discovered that I didn't have a phone number I needed, so I hiked uphill, both ways, through a HORRIBLE snow storm, barefoot, dah dah dah, and discovered they weren't HOME! Tsk! How inconsiderate!


I had a bath, and it was Almost Uninterrupted.


Now I am ignoring life and posting pictures of 2000, in which there is No Snow! Not that I am bitter about the storm at all. No, I am not.
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Live Snow Storm Blogging


I am sure y'all jealous you aren't here.


I did get my van back though. Home delivered too! I am sure it was just taking up too much space in their parking lot, but who cares.


Giant surely does enjoy the snow.


Shoveling s*** for the win!
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Twelve to Twenty Four Frigging Inches!

The good news is that I canceled everything but one early morning's doctor appointment.


The bad news is that my van broke down yesterday. Yes, again.
The good news is that I got a phone call today that it has been fixed.


The bad news is that I refuse to go pick it up during this snow storm, so will be stuck with their rental for another day.
The good news is that I got this rental yesterday, very soon after my van broke down and I could make it to all my appointments. Even if a bit late.


The bad news is that I got stopped by the police. 'I didn't do it, officer! Really! I am innocent!'
The good news is that in this case I actually WAS innocent, and it was the RENTAL car which was way overdue for its inspection.


The bad news is that I had to take it back to the garage to get it inspected.
The good news is that it didn't take too long, and it was good socialization / waiting practice for Giant.

I will make a fire soon, and I will start scallion filled steamed buns. We already have tea eggs, yum! Life is good!
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Making donuts with many helpers.


I don't know how people with only one or two kids do it!


There is something sooooooo good about deep fried junk food!


Even if it sometimes gets a bit messy.


Donuts for the win!
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Monday, January 26, 2009

Guess Who?





The pictures were taken September 2003.
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Happy New Year!

Today is Chinese New Year. The Year of the Ox has started. We celebrated by making a gingerbread house on Friday, and smashing it today. Since that clearly is the most traditional way to celebrate Chinese new year, no?


Actually, our family tradition is to build a gingerbread house between Christmas and New Year. But somehow life happened, and I did BAKE the gingerbread house, but we never put it together. Heck, not only did I not put it together, but the cats helped by knocking it down a few times, so we had nice set of broken gingerbread house pieces. Which I ignored, just so I wouldn't feel guilty. And which I told the kids to just eat the darned pieces, since those were not going to be assembled into a house.


On Thursday I baked new house pieces, and on Friday I made royal icing, so that Dawn could put together the house. It is nice to have kids old enough to do the work while I sit on my butt and watch soap operas on television.


Today we SMASHED the house, yes, using a hammer. Pictures of that will follow once I download them from the camera. Some day. I promise!

We also had Chinese take out for dinner and I BOUGHT scallions to make scallion steamed rolls, even if I never actually made them. But the intent should count for something.


Happy New Year!
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Quote of the Day

We were in the computer room, I was trying to email all the ten teachers from the virtual learning academy who wanted to schedule a phone call. Erik was on my lap. My head was slowly exploding trying to remember who where when what.

I hear sneezing behind me, but am not really paying attention. I continue my emails.


Another sneeze, another ignore.

Suddenly a voice pops up 'Maybe you should say BLESS YOU!'
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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Today Is Tomorrow

So many times, I have told myself 'I really need to figure out a way to feed the birds so that the cats can't reach them.' So many days, I have said 'Today, I will finally get that done.', only to be hit by life and facebook. So many times I chose for the simple and optimistic solution 'I will do it tomorrow.' Repeat as needed.

Last week, Erik made this birdfeeder (with peanut butter and bird seed) at homeschool club, came home and immediately put it outside. Next morning, first thing in the morning, a chickadee was happily eating. Watch my feelings of guilt growing bigger, but somehow, I still was putting this project off till tomorrow. Every day.


Today I decided that THIS was tomorrow. Birds don't care about excuses, they just care about being fed. Cats would love to sit on the kitchen table and watch the birds visit our feeders. Oh wait, they aren't supposed to be on the table, maybe I should send them a memo about that.

I was crazy enough to start this project barefoot. I mean, getting out my boots was WAY too much work and I wasn't going to be out very long anyway. The wind chill was only 3F / -16 C, boots clearly would be overkill.

I stepped out, enjoying the feel of the cold, crisp, and icy snow under my bare feet. I looked around and found an old lawn chair, which would be perfect to help me to hang my feeder. Getting out the ladder would be even MORE work than getting out my boots. That lawn chair would do just fine. It did. Kind of. Let's just say that I sometimes possess more optimism than common sense.


I hung one bird feeder, and came back inside with a feeling of accomplishment. And freezing feet. I spent a minute defrosing my feet on the heater before I went to the basement and got fillers for the other feeder I wanted to install.

I got the filler cakes, went out again, stepped on the lawn chair (after making sure that THIS time I would not topple while I was on it) and discovered that being out of reach for the cats and being out of reach for me seem to be correlated. Who would have thought??!! Shucks. I reached more, got closer and closer, but just not close enough. Now what?

My feet were darned cold by now. I was tempted to do the rest tomorrow. But somehow I didn't think that was the right thing to do.

I took a deep breath, went inside, spent some more time on the heater and resigned myself to the fact that boots and ladder were going to be required. I hate it when I have to admit to myself that I was wrong. I should be right at all times, darn it!


Naturally, boots and ladder greatly improved my efficiency, and it didn't take long till my goal was accomplished. I am sure there is a life lesson in there somewhere if only I could find it.

The birds will be happy when they discover the feeders. The cats are happy and ready to watch the birds. Well, kinda.


And I am happy because I FINALLY did the darned birdfeeders, and the birds better appreciate them!

Buoyed by my successful endeavor, I decided to fill the dishwasher so the mixer can be used to make donuts. I think today is a donut day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Fellow Citizens

Wow. His first few words and I am included! Can you tell I am still excited about having naturalized and voted for this president? Today was a typical 'running around like crazy' day, but around 11:30am, I dropped everything and hightailed it to my friend flyingfisher to watch the inauguration on her big ass screen tv.

I had three littles with me who watched him being sworn into office, and then reverted to their clamoring 'Can we watch cartoon network now????' 'How about now?' 'Now?' We sent them upstairs where she has another tv ^^

Meanwhile, my sister was eating her bento lunch and watching.

Wow! She ROCKS!

Tonight, during dinner, Erik mentioned 'I want to be president when I grow up. This led to a discussion about who in our family could become president. I told Jane that maybe she could be the first female president. Sylvia thought for a moment, and mentioned 'Cool, then I can be the second female president!' Dawn, competitive as always nudged Sylvia 'Hey! If you grow up faster than Jane, maybe YOU can be the first female president! QUICK! Start growing up!' Sylvia replied 'I am EATING!'

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Eleven Kids

Last night, I had eleven kids sleeping over at my house.


Can get messy at times, but it is so much fun!


I love it!


They went to bed late, so they are slowly waking up now. I think I will make chocolate chip pancakes to celebrate the snow storm. Puppy class has been canceled, so I have the day off! Well, kinda. Apart from getting two kids to McDonalds early this morning. Don't worry, I didn't have breakfast there.
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