Random Notions and Stories of Teaching

August 31, 2006

Rock on

May I just take a moment to say...My mother? She's the best. We have the same sense of humor and a similar attitude - except she's a little calmer than me (ok, a lot calmer). Everytime we go out, even if it's just grocery shopping, we end up giggling throughout our trip. Today, my face hurt from smiling and laughing so much. It's been a long time since that's happened.

We went to Ohioville* today to get produce, hit the hardware store, and have lunch at Ohioville Kitchen (Amish food...HELLO!? Delish.)

I got a flat of strawberries for $5. Can anyone say strawberry jam? I can! I also got a wide mouth funnel and a jar grabber. I am a certified jam-aholic now. It's so easy!

I've been told, by mom, that I should "just say yes" to any subbing related question my father asks me. This will hopefully eliminate fights with him (loooooooong story there).

For example:

Dad: "Are you signed up to sub in District 9?"
Me: Yep.
Dad: "Are you signed up to sub in District 492?"
Me: Yep.

While I have moral and ethical issues with this tactic, I can't deny that I think it will work.

As we're driving to Ohioville today Mom asks, in the course of conversation, "Are you signed up to sub in Distrct 5?"

I didn't skip a beat. I gave her a silly grin and replied, "Yep."

She giggled all the way to Ohioville trying to figure out if I was or not.

Once again. My mom? She rocks.

That is all.

August 30, 2006

Helplessness

One of the kittens died last night. There was nothing we could do.

I tried making her mama look after her, but she wouldn't.
I tried finding her a surrogate mama, but the kitten didn't want that.
I tried wrapping her in a towel so she'd be warm, but it didn't help.
I tried feeding her warm milk with an eye dropper.

She still died.

I hate the helpless feeling - sitting on the front porch with a kitten cradled in my arms and knowing she is going to die no matter what I do for her. I would have saved her if I could. Even if she is "just a barn kitten". She's still a living thing that needs to be taken care of. Logically, I know she's better off where she is now - safe and warm, but it kills me that I couldn't help her. Her sister woke us up at 12:30 last night mewing outside the bedroom window. I hate it when they cry. I just want to save them all - but I can't.

So frustrating. So sad.

August 28, 2006

Internet origins

I love my father. Really, I do. However, there are days...

He just called to ask me a question. "Where can I find out where the internet starts?" As in, the first website ever or the "beginning" of the internet.

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...I have no idea.

He said someone at work told him that if he were to pull up his work website it would actually load a phone number and then the website will take information off your computer.

Are you confused? I'm confused.

August 27, 2006

This and That

We decided on the cheaper cd/dvd drive. I can't see paying $160 when I can get a drive that is just as good for $30. Heck, I can buy 5 drives that are just as good. Here's hoping that this decision doesn't come back to haunt me.

My cousin (A Cubed's Mom) should be home from the hospital. She had another kidney stone attack last week. Luckily, the doctor her brother had for his cancer saw her and we may have found the source of the problem. She has 3 kidneys! All of them have stones. Plus a blood infection. She was mighty sick for a while. They're going to have to do some surgery to get her bladder straightened out (apparently her plumbing needs some work ;) ). My hope is that they can now get things straightened out. How she made it to almost 32 and no one ever mentioned she has an extra kidney is beyond me. Keep her in your thoughts please.

Mom and I made my grandmother's recipe for celery relish yesterday. That's right, I canned again. I think I like canning. Too bad we can't do it in the winter when its not so hot. I'm thinking peach jam next - if we have peaches left. I also learned an easy way to peel tomatoes. It was quite fun. I need more excitement in my life.

Preseason is over. Hooray! That means I get to see my husband somewhat more. Preseason always stinks. It's soccer widow-dom at it's worst. HH has 5 games in 8 days or something like that. All I know is I'm meeting his parents at a tournament this coming weekend (Labor Day weekend) and the following weekend I'm going to see the Lucy Museum! Oh yeah, there's a tournament that weekend too, but whatever. Soccer. Lucy Museum. Who do you think it gonna win? HH understands. Fingers crossed that Twin gets the days off. I think we'd have a lot of fun together. Of course, we always do.

By the by...LOVING this song. Playing it over and over via their myspace page. Finally, a use for myspace! Considering the last cd I purchased was their new album, I may have to go out and purchase the Cars soundtrack just for this song. It's so much better than the older versions.

August 25, 2006

Meme

While I am currently overwhelmed by the whole cd/dvd burner drive issue*, I present a meme stolen from Sarah. I think I've done it before, but what the heck it sounds like fun.

Go to Google, and image search the following questions. Post the picture that comes up!

1. Your age on your next birthday


2. Your favorite color

3. The last meal you ate


4. Your bad habit

5. Your favorite fruit or vegetable (this one changes with the seasons)


6. Your favorite animal


7. The town you live in

8. Name of your pet

9. Your first name

10. Your last name


* Do I buy a $160 drive from D.ell and definitely keep my warranty in tact or do I buy the exact same drive somewhere else for $30 and potentially void my (in all likelihood) useless warranty?

August 24, 2006

Balls

As Twin would say, "balls".

My brand new (as of April) computer is broken and I did it. I was burning cds this afternoon and hadn't noticed that the cd tray had popped out. My mother came up the driveway to "visit"* and I stood to get up - knocking into the tray and severing it from the computer.

SEVERING.

I contacted Dell's tech support who promptly informed me that "accidental" breakage of the computer was not covered in my warrenty.

No shit. Just tell me how to fix it.

The fix? Purchase a whole new drive which I have to install myself.

Balls.

I'm so depressed. It literally makes me sick that I broke my computer. The computer that I LOVE.

I'm such a klutz.

* They're remodeling the bathroom and the water was shut off. Use your imagination. :o)

Drama

Last night, I was finally able to get to Hisser's kittens when she wasn't around. I quickly medicated their eyes and put them right back where I found them. They didn't like me much, but at least their eyes will start to improve now. I came back out a half hour later to make sure their mama had returned to them and found the orange and white kitten quite stuck. I got her out without too much trouble.


Then, I was enjoying the end of Project Runway when I heard a car screech to a halt out front. Since I'm thinking of charging the people that stop in front of my house to oogle the quarry, I figured it was just another quarry oogler. Then I realized the huge 4,000 watt light at the quarry wasn't shining in my window.

Oh no. Kitten.

I rushed to the front window and watched the gentleman climb out of his car. He flipped on a flashlight (he must have been a boy scout since he was so prepared) and walked up the road where he'd just driven. He reached down and I saw him pick up a light colored kitten. I, of course, FREAKED!

"HH!!!!!!!!" I yelled. "HH! I think someone just hit a kitten!"

Good old HH limped out of the computer room sore from 3 a days, put on some shoes, grabbed the huge flashlight, and took off across the lawn. He ordered me to the bedroom until he knew which kitten it was and the extent of the damage. I followed him out to the porch and waited while he talked to the man. As he walked back up the front yard, I saw he had a kitten in his arms. Fuzzy's kitten. She looks almost Siamese, but she has white paws. Soooo cute.

The kitten was perfectly fine. The man had been driving down the road and saw her sitting in the middle. Luckily, he didn't hit her, but he stopped and picked her up out of the road. Most of the people that fly down our road wouldn't have done that. I hope something good happens to that man. Good karma should be rewarded.

I put the kitten down next to her Mama and gave Ms. Fuzzy Kitty a stern talking to about motherly responsibilities. However, she was unimpressed.

A few minutes later, I could hear a kitten crying. I went out to check, of course. Fuzzy's kitten was off the porch and crying in my flower bed. So I picked her up and put her back near Fuzzy. Luckily, the nice gray cat (an excellent mama) took care of the kitten and we went to bed without further incident.

August 23, 2006

We be jammin*

Holy hell.

I made jam! Blackberry jam to be more specific.

And so far?

It seems to have turned out well! (The stuff I was scooping off the walls of the pan tasted pretty darn good. I would have cleaned the pan had it not occured to me that I was eating spoonfuls of jam - not good for me. But it tasted goooooooooooooooooooood.) Barring any last minute jam-tastrophes I will make jam again.

Woohoo!

* Other post titles I liked but ultimately didn't use:
Jam On!
Jammy Jam
In a Jam
Jam-tastic

August 22, 2006

A letter

Dear Hokie Hubby,

I know you can't read this letter right now, but I find myself thinking of things I want to tell you all day long. Of course, by the time you get home I've forgotten. When I haven't forgotten, I simply push my daily events out of my head because I can't wait another second to hear about your day.

Your world of soccer still baffles me. As you know, I never played an organized sport. I love hearing about practices and the "girls" and Head Coach. Your retelling of Head Boy stories are enchanting, too. You're involved in this whole other world that, to you, is second nature, but is very foreign to me. I love that you enjoy (well, you seem to enjoy) sharing it with me each day. Each night, I can't wait to hear what happened.

Here are all the things I want to tell you but can't and will forget by the time you're home:

I woke up at 7:15 this morning. 7:15! Over the relaxing sounds of the new alarm clock, I heard mew....mew...MEW MEW MEW. "A kitten, oh boy! " I thought as I stumbled out of bed to the window, "maybe it's the one from last night that Molly* helped me put eye medicine on. Oh good, I can check it's eye to see if it's any better. "

I peered out the window and didn't see any kitten, but I could hear it very close by. I scurried to the bathroom and threw on some clothes. None I'd wear in public, but Lucy won't care what I wear out in the backyard. I grabbed the eye meds, some flip flops, and my jacket (it was COLD this morning). I tiptoed out the backdoor and around the West side of the house.

As soon as I spotted them, I said, "oh you have got to be effin' kidding me." I can't help it. It slipped out. I found the kitten....s. Yes, kittens. Hisser's kittens to be exact - 3 of them. And boy, is she pissed that I've found them. One is the one I caught last night and it's eyes look much better. Clear and bright. The other two need medicine put on their eyes, but Hisser is not having any of that. She growls and hisses and spits if I get anywhere near them. I'm lucky she let me take pictures. I'm hoping she will leave them tonight to eat and I can sneak over and get some eye medicine on them then. Fingers crossed.

After that excitement, I went to visit Mom. The construction guys arrived at 9 and got to work. Today Mom is making molasses cookies. Yum! Molly says we're spoiling her dad and his boss. That's Mom! She's always thinking of how to make other happy. I hope I can be like that someday. Molly also mentioned that her dad thought Mom's 7 layer salad sounded good, but if Mom makes that, Molly should test it first.

A cubed's mother is on her way to the hospital. She's having another kidney stone attack. Her friend was taking her, but her car broke down. The girl's dad is working and their grandmother is watching the girls. They had to do some calling around, but she finally found another ride. Hopefully it won't be anything to serious afterall, she's got algebra homework.

Aunt brought over Corky's old pet carrier. It's huge. I think it just may fit Socks perfectly. Molly and I are talking about having the yard sale the weekend you are at the game in Columbus. I swear another kitten won't end up in our bathroom. However, we may give kittens away as door prizes at the yard sale. Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin will be in Missouri, but Molly, Mom, and I can do it, I think. We shall see.

I went into town and got Hokie, Ollie, and Socks cat food. Ollie was looking kind of desperate. I also picked up coffee and a USA To.day to see if there was anything about the drama at Tech yesterday for you. I taped a few minutes of MSN.BC for you yesterday, btw, if you want to see what was going on. I also taped the end of Treasu.re Hunt.ers. I didn't watch it, I'm waiting for you. I stopped at the library while I was out and got a book on canning. Maybe I'll can something tomorrow. We'll see. I picked up my meds.

I just finished my birthday dinner leftovers for lunch. They were still very good. As I was washing my dishes I noticed some rustling in the azalea bushes outside the kitchen window. HH. There are three kittens sleeping in my azalea bush! Mango and the Calico Kittens. In the branches! I, of course, grabbed my camera and tiptoed out the back to try and get their picture. Mango and the Calico Kittens (we really need to give them nicknames) let me take their picture without bolting. I know, I was surprised too!

As I stepped out of the back door, this is what I saw. Hisser has moved her kittens into my blac.k eyed susa.ns! She still won't let me near them, but the kittens are having a ball playing in the plants. I snapped a few pictures and started around the house to the azalea bush. As I stepped of the back porch, TC came bounding across the lawn to help. I had to carry him with me so I didn't trip over him. He was quite helpful.


Tonight, Dad had a doctor's appointment. I rode along and had dinner with him and Mom. Then we stopped and look for curtains and towels for the new bathroom. We didn't find anything. High excitement `round here. Dinner was quite the event. Dinner at LJS always is lately though. Good gravy!

I watered my flowers this evening. As I walked over to turn on the hose I noticed Hisser and the kittens were back (she had moved them this afternoon). Hisser was laying right by the outside spigot. I talked very softly and calmly to her while holding a metal pie plate in front of me. How I figured that pie plate was going to save me from a hissing, spitting cat I don't know, but it made me feel better. I watered the plants in the backyard and went to turn off the water and the kittens had disappeared. Disappeared HH! Hisser didn't leave that spot, yet the babies had vanished. We're going to have to rename Hisser, Copperfield. The only thing I can figure is that they crawled down between the flower bed and the brick in the planter. They're gone.

That's all for now, Hokie Hubby. I hope practices went well. You're in my thoughts. Your call made my evening. It's always nice to hear your voice.

I love you,
Me

P.S. Wait until you see the golf cart!

*Name changed to protect my partner in crime.

August 21, 2006

Day 1

After all the excitement at Tech today...this post seems lame, but it's what I had planned.

The bathroom remodel has begun. Thank goodness.

Before:

Day #1:
Not bad for just one guy working! Tomorrow there should be two of them. Goodbye ugly yellow wallpaper!

Eek

Thank you, everyone, for the birthday wishes!

Yesterday, while searching for the link to my old apartment complex at Tech, I stumbled across this news story. That apartment? It's right across the street from our old apartment. No more than 200 feet!

Then, this morning I get up and pull up Firefox. (Our start page is still the Virginia Tech homepage.) As the spiffy new page pulls up, I see this.

Oh.

My.

God.

August 20, 2006

Timeliness

Evidently, I am obsessed with time.

I mean, it's true that I hate being late. The thought of being late makes my blood pressure skyrocket. I want to be somewhere at least 15-30 minutes before the time I have to be there just so I can assess my surroundings and familiarize myself with any potential issues.

When I lived in Oakbridge, I could drive to campus in 5 minutes. That's with lots of traffic and hitting all the lights red. However, I would still leave at least 45 minutes (usually an hour) before my class started so I would be there in plenty of time.

I distinctly remember rushing to band practice one night during high school and being very anxious because I was "going to be late". My mother informed me that I was not going to be late, I was going to be on time.

In the words, of Bear Bryant, "If you're on time, you're late."

Luckily, I married a man just like me. He is always early too. In fact, Head Coach has ordered him to BE ON TIME at least once this season. On time...not early. HH is struggling with that one as would I.

My point?

Look, just LOOK at my birthday presents!

I got two clocks!

The first one I have been oogling for months. It displays the time on the CEILING! On the ceiling! That means I can see the time without my glasses and without getting out of bed - heck, I don't even have to move. Open my eyes, oh its 4:15. I can go back to sleep. Hooray! Furthermore, it is a sound machine. The ocean, rain, and waterfall make me have to pee. The thunderstorm one is nice and the rainforest one is weird. However, the "summer evening" setting.

Oh.

My.

God.

It sounds like "outside" here at the house! Since its summer and hot, I have fans running at night and I can't hear the summer evening sounds. Now I can! That's my favorite setting.

The second one is to replace my kitchen clock that my father broke while trying to change the batteries. It's only been 9 months. Anyway, the new kitchen clock is AWESOME for different reasons. This one has a remote transmitter that will give me the tempreture outside. How cool is that!?

August 19, 2006

To me

August 17, 2006

Giving

My birthday is Saturday and money is tight (isn't it always?).

We have a lunch excursion to my favorite restaurant planned and perhaps a movie (there are about 3 I want to see).

Otherwise, things look uneventful. I like uneventful. Honestly, I do. I did get a new memory card for my digital camera from my mom for my birthday. I wonder if I can ever take 700 pictures before I "hafta" upload them. I doubt it.

That being said...I ordered a present for HH earlier in the week. I hope it arrives tomorrow. Giving really is more fun than receiving!

We picked 5 containers of blackberries tonight. We had missed a day. Dang there were a lot. I gave them all to my cousins since they had been on vacation and hadn't had any yet. I hope their sink is big enough to hold them all for washing!

August 16, 2006

Shoes

On several occasions I have been regaled with childhood stories of my husband. Haven't we all? I know for a fact that on more occasions than I would like to admit to the poor man has been bored to tears amused by childhood stories of me. I think it's part of having in-laws.

One of the classics is this little ditty:

As a young child (4 years old, I believe), HH was walking down the hill from his first home to his grandparent's house right down the hill. His mom would call his grandma to tell her he was on his way then she would watch him walk over the hill, while Grandma watched him walk down. As HH is tromping through the grass he comes upon a snake*. HH freaks (as would I) and runs back up the hill to his mom.

Leaving his shoes behind.

The joke was and is that he "ran out of his shoes" to get away from a snake.

Whelp, he's done it again. The other night we were outside watering the plants. I was giving the elephant ears a good dousing because I finally have one that is at least half the size of his mom's. It must be cared for so as not to die. I'd finished watering the elephant ears and started making my way down the beds watering the other things I have planted while talking to HH.

All of a sudden something was stinging me.

"Ow......OW!" I yelled. "HH something is stinging me!"
"Erin. Run!"

We'd happened upon a nest in the landscaping tiles. I think they were sweat bees. Whatever they were my sting hurts like a mother the dickens.


I immediately dropped the hose and ran to where he was standing and started figuring out what had happened. He had gotten stung on the foot before he realized he needed to run and I had been stung right above my ankle. He told me the bees had been starting to swarm around my feet when he yelled to me to run. We went inside to nurse our collective wounds.

Leaving his shoes in the yard, right where he'd run out of them.

Again.

* It is important to note that HH hates snakes. In fact, he shudders when he sees them on tv. He doesn't go near then when we go to the zoo. He's not however so afraid of them that he freaks out at the sight of rubber snakes. He leaves that to his aunt.

August 15, 2006

New digs

In the effort to be safe rather than sorry, I will be moving my blog in the near future. This will include a complete name change and I will no longer refer to myself by my real name. Maybe I'll pick a new name to go by...like Tiffany or Tanya. I think I could pull off Tanya - basically it will be an identity crisis in my life.

Before you ask, no -my blog anonymity hasn't been threatened (to my knowledge), but I want to reconfirm my anonymous-ness.

Basically, I'm creeped out by all the shady dealings I've read lately.

I had been toying with the idea for a while, but two things happened that cemented the decision in my mind.

#1 - I came up with a perfect name for the blog. Well, perfect for me. It contains none of those trite blog titles like random or notions. Besides, it suits me to a "T".

#2 - I am eligible for some sort of Blogger Beta thing.

As of right now, it's set up, but the Beta program won't let me alter the background and graphics so everything is on hold. I like being able to change the background on my blog as my moods and the seasons change. Pay someone to design a super cool blog template like one of these, you say? Hello!? Cheap, remember?

Once that option becomes available (or I become tired of waiting) I will officially move. At that time, I'll let you know where to bing me for the new address.

Don't worry all the pointless stories and cat obsessiveness will continue.

Thank you!

August 14, 2006

Just my luck

How sweet is the guy I married?

We're out in the backyard picking blackberries and not only is he getting the ones that I would require me to balance on one foot and hope I don't fall into the bushes, but he's also picking the majority of the berries. He's hot, he's sweaty, and there are bugs. At one point when he was leaning into the berry bushes and all I can see is the back of his legs, I said to him teasingly, "sounds like you're just looking for an excuse to quit on me."

He dropped the berry he was picking into my bucket and looked at me seriously.
"Erin," he said, "in five and a half years of marriage I have never quit on you and I never will."

At which point, he returned to the job at hand. Nothing more, nothing less - just a simple statement of fact.

August 13, 2006

Wow, just wow

I just finished watching this on TNT. What a wonderful movie! If you're a teacher, you definitely should watch it. Partly because I really like Matthew Perry. But monstly because I found it incredibly inspiring. That is the kind of teacher I want to be. Someday.

I am running out to get his book from the library. Okay, okay, I reserved it online. It's Sunday night! That's like going out and getting it.

August 12, 2006

Independence

For the first time since I moved home from Virginia I feel...alone.

HH is at a class to finish up his coaching license. It was insanely cheap and he'll finally get his actual license. Woohoo!

My parents went away for the weekend (in Michigan, we think) for my Dad's birthday. I was invited, but I didn't want to go without HH; I'd miss the big lug.

My cousins (who live within shouting distance) are on vacation in Nashville. Yay for them as I don't think they've ever been on a real vacation before. I hope they're having a blast!

So it's just me, The Boys, and Lucy. Whatever will we do?

Off to be productive!

All this quality Erin time is helping to remind me of my past independence. I don't need no stinkin' man to do things for me. I am woman, hear me roar!

*meow*

August 10, 2006

On a roll

Just about everyone in BloggerLand has one of those pesky 100 Things About Me lists. I don't. Frankly, I started mine in December of 2005 and still can't think of 100 things to add to it. People, I'm just not that interesting. Most of you know this since you are here - reading my blog.

In an effort to get the dang thing done I've decided to post my 100 Things in groups of ten. Maybe they won't seem so daunting in 10 thing bunches. Ha! Plus, I can add interesting little side notes to my 100 things. Some really need clarification.

No promises to add to this daily, weekly, or monthly as I think of interesting/noteworthy things about myself I will update.

Things 1 - 10 and 11 - 20.

Things About Me
21 - 30

#21 - I love cats.
Go ahead, pretend to be shocked. I'll wait.

#22 - My mother-in-law has made me into something of a cat collector.
She brings me cat stuff whenever they come to visit. The novelty cat socks - love em. The kids at school love them, too. Now I'm switching out cat knick knacks as I have so many. My most recent addition? One of those reuseable wooden calendars complete with cats that says, "Cats are like potato chips, you can't have just one." Heh.

#23 -
I am addicted to the soundtrack from Rent.
Didn't care for the movie though. Although, I will admit it is better the second time around. Maybe I didn't care for it because I was with my in-laws and my mother-in-law thinks lesbianism is the result of cable tv (I kid you not). Can you say tension!?

#24 - Speaking of movies, I love movies.
Comedies, romantic comedies, teen movies, once in a while adventure. I've sworn off Tom Cruise though. Can't stand the man.

#25 - I have never seen a horror movie.
Never care to see one.

#26 - I do enjoy a "thriller" movie every now and again.
"I'll never tell...."

#27 - Most of my closet consists of blue clothing.
I just realized it the other day. I only have 3 articles of green clothing, even though I like green. I do have a lot of maroon/red stuff. I also just bought my first purple piece of clothing. See! I'm branching out.

#28 -I had braces in 7th and 8th grade.
And the only person to ever call me "Brace Face" was my brother. I got even 4 years later.

#29 - I play the clarinet.
I was in the top of my section in middle and high school. (How pathetic that I am still proud of that - but I am.) I don't do well sight reading, but I can usually play anything once you tell me how it should sound.

#30 - In high school, I was a member of the marching band, which competed in marching competitions.
Think Blue Coats . To this day, I enjoy watching drum and bugle corps competitions on tv. HH won't take me to any real live competitions because I'm very critical and spend the whole time telling him what everyone is doing wrong. I do like the movie Drumline though! One band, one sound. (I do believe I am geeking in public...)

Losing it

I am seriously losing whatever was left of my mind.

I cannot sleep!

Since we returned from West Virginia and even while we were there, I have not been able to get to sleep before 2 AM. Usually, I can set my body clock back to "normal" by getting up early one day. This time? Nope!

Get up at 6AM, fall asleep by 2AM.
Get up at 11AM, fall asleep by 2AM.

It makes no difference! I can be tired all day and when bedtime comes it's like someone injected caffeine directly into my veins.

It's not that I'm not tired, either. I want to fall asleep. I will myself to fall asleep and yet, here I am. I'm anxious and antsy and I can't figure out why. Now, I can't sleep and it makes me more anxious. Vicious circle, I swear. I lay down in bed and fight against popping right back out in order to do "something" I forgot or want to do.

I've tried counting sheep. They're loud and the move too fast.

I've tried counting slowly down from 100. I count way too fast.

I've tried counting down from 100 using each breath as a benchmark. I forget what number I'm on, I'm so concentrated on my breathing, and have to start again.

I've tried counting down from 100 in Spanish. Se habla espanol...malo.

I've tried coaxing Ollie onto HH's pillow so his purrs can soothe me to sleep. HH gets annoyed because then he wakes up with a hairball.

I've tried watching tv, I've tried listening to the radio, I've tried showering, I've tried not showering, I've tried reading...

I'm out of ideas! Help!

August 09, 2006

2 Things

#1 - Blackberry picking is an aerobic workout!

Bending, stretching, balancing on one foot so you don't fall into the bushes - I'm sweating! Sweating, I tell you! It also helps increase the workout factor if you are trying to dodge three lovable kittens while you pick. One likes to pop out of the bushes and "scare" you. She used to be the skittish one, now she's a regular ham. Another likes to be held, and since he's my buddy, he gets held. The third wants to be held too, but likes to wind around your feet if you don't have free hands. I have to walk very slowly so I don't kick him in the head or step on him. He's such a love bug.

#2 - I need a bigger blackberry picking bucket.

August 08, 2006

De-lish

Blackberries...

August 07, 2006

Weighty Issues

Everyone has been sufficiently traumatized by their trip to the vet.

Lucy weighed in at 26 pounds. Not bad. She's not overweight or even heavy. I attribute some of that to the jog she went on last night while we ran along behind her in the golf cart. (The golf cart is perfect for walking the dog...she can run her little heart out and not have to wait for me to catch up. - Laziness personified.)

Oliver weighed in at 10.5 pounds. A lot of that is hair since he's waaaay overdue for a grooming appointment. He'll probably lose a pound on Thursday. He had to get pulled out of the carrier twice because the vet forgot to weigh him. He was not amused! He stuck all four feet out and blocked himself in. Finally the vet grabbed his back legs and pulled him right out. Piece of cake!



Hokie weighed in at 11.7 pounds. Again, he's not overweight, just long and lean. He was also very unhappy to have to go to the vet.




Socks, however, weighed in at 15.9 pounds. Holy moley! He's not going to like it, but there is a diet in his future. When the vet pulled him out of the carrier I swear he had shed another cat. I've never seen so much fur and I live with a Persian cat! It was unreal.

Morning

This is what I call starting the morning out right.



We're off to the vet all of us. As you can hear, they're thrilled about it. Wish us them luck!

August 05, 2006

Summer favorites





I picked blackberries for the first time today. Gilligan, Skittish, and TC helped. Actually, Gilligan sat in the golf cart with HH and purred like crazy. He loves riding in that thing.

Today's batch of berries has been washed, sweetened, and tossed in the freezer to enjoy in the months to come. With all the frozen peaches, blackberries, and applesauce we have around I am fighting tooth and nail not to go out and get a bucket of vanilla ice cream. Ice cream and peaches. Ice cream and blackberries. Mmmmm.


10 More Things

Just about everyone in BloggerLand has one of those pesky 100 Things About Me lists. I don't. Frankly, I started mine in December of 2005 and still can't think of 100 things to add to it. People, I'm just not that interesting. Most of you know this since you are here - reading my blog.

In an effort to get the dang thing done I've decided to post my 100 Things in groups of ten. Maybe they won't seem so daunting in 10 thing bunches. Ha! Plus, I can add interesting little side notes to my 100 things. Some really need clarification.

No promises to add to this daily, weekly, or monthly as I think of interesting/noteworthy things about myself I will update.

Things 1 - 10

Things About Me
11 - 20

#11 - I am addicted to anything Disney.
I love it. I know it's an evil corporation and all that, but I don't care. I also know that life doesn't have Disney happy endings. Maybe that is why I like Disney so much.

#12 - I collect Disney dvds.
I have just about all that have come out, so far (just the classics, please). I even bought Bambi, which I can't watch. My hope is that some day, my kids will be able to watch our (well, my) Disney movies and love Disney as much as I do.

#13 -My bathroom is decorated in red and black - Mickey ears.
It's my favorite room in my house. It makes me happy just walking into that room. I can't explain it. Besides, the kids that visit me LOVE it.
#14 - My favorite color is blue.
Cobalt blue. It's a very vibrant blue (if you're not familiar with it). Gorgeous. I have plans to paint my bedroom that vibrant blue color, but I may switch and paint it yellow with the cobalt accents. I haven't decided.

#15 - I've traveled to Mexico and Spain.
I loved them both, but Spain was my favorite. I went with my high school Spanish teacher (who is still my favorite teacher to this day). A good friend of mine and I decided we wanted to go to Mexico our junior year of high school. Luckily, our parents let us go. When our senior year rolled around and we found out the trip was to Spain we begged, pleaded, cajoled, and sold our souls to be able to go again. I have so many good memories from both trips that I am thrilled I conquered my fear of flying to go. Someday, I would like to return to Spain.

#16 - Someday, I want to visit every state.
Someday. So far I've gotten the east coast pretty well covered. I haven't gone further west than Missouri. I haven't decided if I count driving through a state as "visiting" it. I've visited Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, New York, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Iowa, Maryland, Washington D.C., and Missouri. Top 10 Places in the U.S. I want to visit include: Wyoming, Disneyland, Texas, California, Massachusetts, Vermont, Chicago, New York City, Arizona, and Washington state.

#16 - In the fourth grade, I decided I wanted to be known as Eryn.
My teacher went along with it.


#17 -I talk to my pets like they are my children.
I figure this isn't such a bad thing since for the time being, they are my children. Lucy, of course, talks back to me.

#18 -When I was little, I stuck my fingers in the electric mixers beaters (while it was running).
It scared my mother to death. I don't remember it hurting, but I remember her and the woman that cleaned our house on Wednesday's being very upset about it.

#19 -I "took a nap" at the top of the steps while my mom was taking a bath when I was four.
It was all good until I actually fell asleep and rolled over and over and over. Our steps were old and incredibly steep. HH was "initiated" into the family when he slid down them a few years ago. Everyone has done it. Me? I napped on them.

#20 -I believe in karma.
I believe that karma is a boomerang. What you put out, you get back.

August 03, 2006

A Guide

For all you "city folk" out there or for those who have never experienced kitten hunting, here is my guide to hunting kittens. The more trained professionals you have when you go kitten hunting the better. HH and I usually go it alone, but a third person would make things easier.

It is important to note that since the weather is unbearably hot the kittens have decided that it is better to visit our house after dark. (Who said cats aren't smart?)

A Guide to Kitten Hunting

#1 - Tiptoe to the front door and turn on the porch light. Quickly count the kittens as they scurry into the shadows hoping you don't see them. If there are more than 2 or the orange and white kitten, who I have nicknamed Mango (thanks, Nacho), is out there - proceed.

#2 - Leave the porch light on so that kittens begin to ignore the door and resume their kitten behavior (chasing blades of grass, Mom's tail, each other, etc.).

#3 - Wait several minutes until kittens have forgotten about the light.

#4 - Slip into shoes. If you can wear flip-flops and not make noise, those are a good idea. Be sure you can run in the shoes you pick.

#5 - Silently open the back door. Tiptoe through the garage and go out the screen door. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT let the screen door slam as it closes.

#6 - Tiptoe around to the front of the house. If a car drives by and honks at you, therefore alerting the kittens to your presence, fight the urge to flip them the bird and yell profanities.

#7 - Once you are within 10 feet of the porch, form a game plan. Hunter #1 will skulk to the far side of the porch and cut off the escape around that end of the house. While you will continue to creep forward toward the kitten(s) slowly.

#8 - If the kitten(s) makes eye contact look away immediately and act nonchalant. "Oh, what a beautiful evening."

#9 - Once you are within grabbing distance, again wait for the kitten to become engrossed with other things. If the kitten knows you're there and isn't taking his/her eyes off you, formulate the grab in your mind.

#10 - Grab the kitten by the back of the neck.

If you have the siamese looking kitten - good luck. He's a buzz saw with a tail according to HH. He doesn't like you and he isn't afraid to let you know.

If you have the orange and white kitten (Mango) - hold kitten close and pet gently. He doesn't like you, but he'll put up with the petting if he has to.

#11 - Put some food out to reward any kitten you happened to catch.

#12 - Put said kitten down, watch it flee at top speed, and return to the house. Wait 30 minutes and repeat.

August 01, 2006

It's done

Even though we really don't have the money for it, I did it anyway.

Next month, HH's team is going to a tournament in New York. I will be attending another tournament the previous weekend with the in-laws in Southern Ohio and I figured, eh, I don't have to go to both.

Then I remembered that this was in New York. It's only a half hour from where the tournament is being held.

I am so going.

Hopefully, Twin will get the days off work and she can come, too. I don't want to have to go alone.

Despite the fiscal worries, I am really looking forward to the trip! California New York, here we come!