Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

It’s the end of 2006, and I guess I should be doing some sort of Looking Back on 2006 entry. Here are a few highlights, in no particular order:

  • I treated myself to a laptop, which I promptly named Daisy. How did I ever manage life before Daisy?
  • I’m officially “old” – I had to start wearing bifocals.
  • Despite the fact that I’m not an animal person, and that I swore that we wouldn’t have any more pets, we’ve added several members to our family: Austin, Becky’s gerbil; George, our cocker spaniel; and lots of assorted fish.
  • PJ went on his first hunt this year, and he shot a wild boar. He’s currently away on his second hunt, this one a deer hunt in Alabama. My cousin Chey is the greatest! (Ralph, you’re pretty terrific too.)
  • Becky got involved in sports, playing on her school’s volleyball team and now on the soccer team.
  • Cari finished her first year of college, and is currently halfway through her second year. She’s become a New Yorker, and is getting very grown-up and independent. (Okay, she’s always been very independent and acted grown-up. But now it’s official.)
  • I traded in my way-cool pickup truck for a mini-van. We got off to a rough start, but even though I miss the truck, but I have learned to love the van.
  • PJ got his learner’s permit, and is now driving. I swore I would not be the one to teach my kids to drive. I guess I should know better than to swear.
  • Our Family Gathering (reunion) was this summer in North Carolina. We had so much fun, and it was great getting to see so many of my family again. We’re already starting to look forward to the next one (in 2008).
  • My cousin Charlie and his family came for a visit.
  • I also got to do some short trips. I went strawberry picking in Indiantown. I went to Coco Beach with mom for a weekend. I went to a Chris Rice concert with my sister’s family. And we also went to Orlando for a long weekend.

    It’s been a good year. And now I’m looking forward to the new year…

Saturday, December 30, 2006

He may be mad, but there's method in his madness. There nearly always is method in madness. It's what drives men mad, being methodical.

I'm totally obsessed by boxes. I want crave boxes. All I can think about is how many boxes I still need to get, how many boxes I still need to fill, how many boxes I need to carry to the new house, and how many boxes I'm going to have to upack in less than a week!

I stopped at Walmart to see if I could get some more boxes, and I nearly cried as I saw this truck loaded with cardboard for recycling getting ready to pull out. Didn't they know I needed that cardboard?!

My daughter has been absolutely wonderful in getting things packed up. She is SO much her grandmother's child! I'm fussing all the time, hyperventilating over how much stuff still needs to be packed. I make list after list, planning out carefully how I'm going to get it all done (which explains today's quote from G. K. Chesterton). Becky just packs up a box, and moves along to the next one. When I start fussing and complaining, she just hands me a box and tells me to fill it while I'm talking. When I need a break, she gets me a soda and tells me to relax for 5 minutes, and goes back to pack up "just one more box."

The things I still need to do for Wednesday, Jan. 3rd: (just 4 more days!)

  • Get more boxes (this is going to be an on-going task!)

  • Finish packing PJ's bedroom: closet, desk, computer, bookcase, knick-knacks & wall

  • Pack the kids' bathroom: linen closet, cabinet, drawers

  • Pack my bathroom: large linen closet, linen closet, both cabinets, drawers (almost done!), candles

  • Pack the girls' bedroom

  • Pack the living room / dining room : books , knick-knacks, wall, Christmas decorations

  • Pack the "attic" : closet, drawers

  • Pack my bedroom: closet, drawers, files ( almost done!), Creative Memories, computer, everything else

  • Pack the kitchen: dishes, cups, pots & pans, china cabinet, drawers, pantry

  • Arrange for the movers to come (waiting on the last quote)

  • Change the utilities to the new house (The house does exist, and we will have electric!)

  • Change of address with the post office

  • Change of address with the schools (and find out where PJ's new bus stop will be)

  • Clean the old condo, and return keys

  • Unpack everything into the new townhouse

  • Print out Becky's party "clues" and get party supplies ( her birthday party is four days after we move into the new house...)

  • Write Christmas thank you notes (because these really have to be done SOON)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. (Mother Theresa)

This morning, I stopped at the bank on my way into work. I don't normally go through the drive-thru (the ATM is so much more convenient), but I had a question and the lobby wasn't open yet. As I pulled up to the window, the teller greeted me with a cheerful "Good morning, Sandi! How are you today?" I was thrilled to hear someone greet me so happily. Then I realized she didn't look familiar. I hadn't handed my deposit to her yet, so she didn't get my name from that. She must know me. So why didn't I know her. I searched her face, hoping for some clue. Nope. No idea at all. I (discretely) checked her nametag, and that didn't offer any help. I couldn't remember ever meeting Sandra M. before. I was so puzzled, I almost forgot to ask my question.

As we talked, it suddenly dawned on me. She hadn't greeted me with "Hi, Sandi!" She actually had said, "Hi! I'm Sandi."

Oh well, so I'm not as well known as I initially thought. It was still a happy way to start the day!

The things I still need to do for Wednesday, Jan. 3rd:
  • Get more boxes (this is going to be an on-going task!)
  • Finish packing PJ's bedroom: closet, desk, computer, bookcase, knick-knacks & wall
  • Pack the kids' bathroom: linen closet, cabinet, drawers
  • Pack my bathroom: large linen closet, linen closet, both cabinets, drawers (almost done!), candles
  • Pack the girls' bedroom (Becky is almost finished doing this -- she's my favorite child!)
  • Pack the living room / dining room : books (Becky is half-way done with this -- gotta love her!), knick-knacks, wall, Christmas decorations (Becky did this for me!)
  • Pack the "attic" : closet, drawers
  • Pack my bedroom: closet, drawers, files, Creative Memories, computer, everything else
  • Pack the kitchen: dishes, cups, pots & pans, china cabinet, drawers, pantry
  • Arrange for the movers to come (waiting on the last quote)
  • Change the utilities to the new house (need to double-check address. The one the landlord put on the lease apparently does not exist!!!)
  • Change of address with the post office (see note from above)
  • Change of address with the schools (and find out where PJ's new bus stop will be)
  • Clean the old condo, and return keys
  • Unpack everything into the new townhouse
  • Print out Becky's party "clues" and get party supplies (her birthday party is four days after we move into the new house...)
  • Write Christmas thank you notes (because these really have to be done SOON)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I'm moving, but don't worry! [Someone once] told me we're all on the same planet, so I'll be okay! (Ikkaku, Hosaka, and Kawabata)

It's one week until we officially move, and I'm starting to get panicky. What was I thinking? The amount of packing alone is worth staying right where I'm at until I'm old and incapable and someone else has to worry about finding enough boxes to put everything into.

The things I still need to do for Wednesday, Jan. 3rd:
  • Get more boxes (I have a feeling this is going to be an on-going task!)
  • Finish packing PJ's bedroom (it took me almost two hours to pack just his closet)
  • Pack the kids' bathroom
  • Pack my bathroom
  • Pack the girls' bedroom (Becky is doing this -- she's my favorite child!)
  • Pack the living room / dining room
  • Pack the "attic" closet
  • Pack my bedroom (okay, I'm starting to hyperventilate now)
  • Pack the kitchen
  • Arrange for the movers to come
  • Change the utilities to the new house (I forgot this one!)
  • Change of address with the post office
  • Change of address with the schools (and find out where PJ's new bus stop will be)
  • Clean the old condo, and return keys
  • Unpack everything into the new townhouse
  • Print out Becky's party "clues" and get party supplies (her birthday party is four days after we move into the new house...)
  • Write Christmas thank you notes (because these really have to be done SOON)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Like a dog, he hunts in dreams. (Alfred Tennyson)

PJ is on his way to Tennessee with Cheyenne. They're going to be spending a couple of days working on Chey's property, then it's on to Alabama for PJ's first experience deer hunting. We spent Christmas outfitting PJ for the trip -- camo bib, coat, boots, gloves, and hat; two pairs of thermal underwear; and several pairs of wool ("gotta be real wool!") socks. It's almost as if we were expecting it to be cold in Alabama. Of course, PJ is for all intents and purposes a Florida boy, so anything less than 60 is cold!

By the way, I have the best cousin in the world! I am so thrilled that Cheyenne is doing this for PJ.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

It's been a beautiful Christmas. We slept in late, and took our time opening gifts. Even though there weren't a lot of surprises under the tree, the children were really excited about their gifts.

After a simple but yummy brunch, I got mom to help me start packing. We tackled the files in my room, which have been scaring me into depression over the move. I hate to admit it, but I have four boxes that I've just been throwing papers into because I couldn't come up with a filing system I liked. (The problem is actually that I kept coming up with different, "more efficient" systems and couldn't figure out which one to actually use. So I just didn't use any system at all!) Mom set me up, and we got the first box organized. Now I just have to finish the rest of the boxes but that should be easy now that there's a system already going. I think this (a filing system in place) was my best gift of all today!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 24, 2006

There is no such thing as fun for the whole family. (Jerry Seinfeld)

Cathy and Orlando hosted our family Christmas dinner, and it was very nice. Cheyenne and Amy joined us after dinner, and we had a good time.
I came home depressed, though. Something was said that ruined the entire day for me. I shouldn't let things bother me, but I do. Knowing that they didn't mean hurt me should help, but it really only makes the situation worse.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

It is the simple things in life that make living worthwhile - sweet fundamental things such as love. (Laura Ingalls Wilder)

From the very beginning, it was a miserable day. I overslept, and was late for work. I really wanted a cappuccino, or maybe a latte, and I didn't even get a regular cup of coffee. My son missed his bus, so I had to leave work to drive him to school. I didn't have any cash with me, so of course they went to my favorite restaurant for take-out at lunch today. My list of complaints just went on and on.

But somewhere along the way, I started to smile. Before I knew it, I was actually enjoying myself. By the afternoon, I realized that it was a pretty good day after all.

And when I got home this evening, I knew it was a terrific day. After all, my daughter made me chocolate covered cherries. Yum!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

And now the sequence of events in no particular order. (Dan Rather)

The word for today is sequencing. I was working on a goal for one of our participants to put beads into sequence according to a pattern given to him.

Then I tried to put my To Do list into sequence, so that everything that I need to get done for Christmas and our move actually gets done. It occurred to me that it would be so much easier if someone would give me an idea of how to do it all...

Monday, December 18, 2006

I may be a living legend, but that sure don't help when I've got to change a flat tire. (Roy Orbison)

My van's been riding funny for about two weeks. At first PJ and I thought it was because the tire was flat. But we checked the air pressure, and it was fine. So I tried to ignore it, thinking it was just the road and my imagination.

Then today something about it made me real nervous. When I got onto the turnpike to drive down to Boca, I found myself clutching the steering wheel with white knuckles. When a big, slow-moving construction truck got in front of me, I decided to stick with it at 45 mph rather than passing so that I could go the 70 mph speed limit. When it was time to come home, I turned onto the highway instead of the interstate. When I saw a tire store along the way, I figured I might as well stop and see if there was any real reason to be worried. The guy took one look at my tire and whistled. It seems that the belt had separated, and it was a miracle that I made it there without the tire exploding. A look at the rest of my tires found that the tread was worn. They were getting ready to close, but they stayed around to change my tires for me. I left with three new tires (they didn't have the fourth, so I'll have to pick it up tomorrow).

It amazes me how much better the van is driving now. It's been pulling to the left since my last tune-up. Now it rides straight and easy.

All I can say is that somewhere, a guardian angel was watching over me.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide. (Cicero)

Between us, Becky and I made 30 dozen cookies today. (Yes, thirty dozen.)

All I can say is that I love parchment paper.

Monday, December 11, 2006

And onto you, a child is born.

My sister and I found this nativity scene inside the Town Centre Mall. It was a nice surprise, amidst the holiday decorations and abundant consumerism.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

It's never just a game when you're winning. (George Carlin)

I finally got to go to one of Becky's volleyball games. I wish I could have gone to more -- it was fun! (Even if our team did lose.)
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Feel the fear and do it anyway. (Susan Jeffers)

I was sitting in my van, waiting for Becky after school. I was early, so I had pulled out Daisy and was trying to get a little work done. In the background, I could a lot of laughing and shouting as kids made their way across the parking lot on their way home. Suddenly, I realized that somebody was screaming. Loud, agonized, screaming! I looked up, and there’s a pickup with a big trailer (for a lawn care company) stopped in the middle of the drive. A group of teenagers are standing next to it, pointing underneath and screaming. As I’m trying to figure out what’s going on, a woman walking by stops, then stoops to peer underneath the trailer. At this point I realized that the truck must have hit one of the kids. Without thinking, I grabbed my cell phone from my purse sitting next to me as I reached down and grabbed the first aid kit (for the CPR mask, just in case), from underneath the seat. Within seconds I was out the door and racing toward the truck. Just as quickly, the teens break out in wild laughter and start walking away.

I don’t know which of us was more upset, the truck driver or me. What a horrible “joke” to play. My heart is STILL racing. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thursday, November 09, 2006

When I grow up, I want to be a cow. (Rebecca)

Lately I've been thinking about cows. Or more specifically, about Becky and cows.

I'm not supposed to tell anybody, but when Becky was only about three years old she decided that she wanted to be a cow when she grew up. She was very determined about it, too. For the next several months she walked around practising her moo-ing. Anything she saw with a cow on it immediately became a "must-have" item.

She did evenually stop moo-ing and developed other interests.

About two years later, when Becky was five, we went to a school carnival. Several of the teachers were walking around dressed as clowns. Rebecca spotted one in a cow costume, complete with a big cow bell hanging around her neck, and immediately turned to me and stated: "See, girls really can grow up to be cows!"

There's a reason this story has been on my mind so much. You see, when I was a little girl I wanted to be a teacher so that I could go to school forever-and-ever. Well, I'm getting my wish. I am now officially a college student again. I've decided to get a master's degree. (And since I'm going to be doing it one class at a time, it is going to be forever-and-ever before I get it!)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Life is just a quick succession of busy nothings. (Jane Austen)

I think I've used this title quote before. If I haven't, I should have. It pretty much sums up my life. There's always so much going on, and I'm always rushing about because I have such a hectic schedule. But yet I don't have anything going on that's interesting enough to be a topic of conversation.

The lack of interesting topics, combined with a lack of time to take photos, added to a need for at least four hours of sleep a night, has kept me from posting the past few days. I managed to do four days (sort of) of NaBloPoMo. And I've written a little over 1,000 words for NaNoWriMo. So much for keeping up with my commitments. But I'm going to keep on trying. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.

(tittle quote: Miss Piggy)

Thinking back on today, it's been a really great day. We made ourselves beautiful, both outside and inside, for today and for the future.

In case you're wondering how we did that, it was fun: facials and makeovers for ourselves, and blood donations for others; portraits for the future.

(Sorry, but I'm too tired to make any more sense than that.) Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 03, 2006

You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old. (George Burns)

I've been trying to think of something truly profound to write today. After all, it's my birthday and with age comes wisdom. Right?

Oh well, I guess I'll just go have another piece of the pistachio cake that Becky baked for me. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 02, 2006

You may be 'write' and I may be crazy...

This is both NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo. The object of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is to write an entire 50,000 word novel (or actually, novella) by the end of November. NaBloPoMo is National Blog Posting Month. Rather than worry about how many words you write, the goal is to just post something every day for the entire month of November. Both challenges are on my List of Things To Do With My Life, and I can't decide which one to do.

So in my usual "Wonder Woman" way, I've decided to give both a try. (After all, it's not as if I really need to sleep...) Wish me luck, and check in regularly to see how I'm doing. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tales of a drive thru

"I'd like a large iced mocha latte, please. With sugar and whipped cream."

"Woud you like cream in that?"

"Yes. Whipped cream. And sugar."

"What about regular cream?"

"It's a latte. So yes, I need regular cream, too."

"Would you like it hot or cold?"

"Um, I wanted an iced mocha latte. Large."

"Yes, I have that. Did you want it hot or cold?"

"I think I'll go with a cold one, please." Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

I'm not sure if this fits in under her school's dress code, but I couldn't resist the orange dye!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

My son, the hero

Okay, you already know how this story ends. But I'm going to tell it anyway, because it's just too good to keep to myself.

This evening, as the kids and I were leaving the store, a woman approached me in the parking lot. She had been crying. "Can you help me, please," she asked. "I can't get into my car."

My first thought was to look around, and make sure that it wasn't some kind of a con. (Okay, I admit that I've been reading too many horror stories in the newspapers and online.) There wasn't anyone else around, so I figured we were safe. But if she was locked out of her car, there wasn't anything I could do to help her. Except maybe call a locksmith. I certainly wasn't going to break into a car.

She explained that the reason she couldn't get into her car was because she saw a big spider and she was afraid to get in. Being terrified of spiders, I totally understood her hysteria. I immediately offered my son's services. (He's used to hunting spiders, I assured her.)

PJ walked over to the car, and peered in the back window. "Wow! It is a big spider!"

I immediately backed away from the car. It was one thing for PJ to risk his life; as the mother, I feel it's important that I stay safe.

"Just kill it, please. You can use my shoe, but just kill it" the woman begged. PJ glanced at her tiny sandal, and decided that he would be better off using his own size 12 sneaker. He took off his shoe, and carefully opened the car door. Gingerly he reached in, careful not to startle the spider.

Suddenly he reached out and grabbed it. Foolishly he brought it over to show me. When I finally calmed down (I really, really hate spiders -- did I mention that yet?), I realized that he was holding a plastic toy spider.

It turns out that the woman had a young son, with a wicked sense of humor. I say "had" based on the dire punishments she was promising to mete out to him as she drove off.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Staying on pins and needles...

I've become consumed with sewing the past few days. I decided I wanted a Halloween scrub to wear to work, so I bought fabric to make one this weekend. I also got Becky material and patterns to make a skirt and top. When I got home, I found the Halloween material that I had bought last year that I never got around to using. I also "found" the pile of fabric for various projects that I haven't had time to finish -- mostly scrubs, but a nice skirt and top pattern for me and a skirt that's almost finished for my oldest daughter.

Yesterday I finished the first Halloween scrub, which I wore to work right away. I'm hoping to finish another one today. Of course, if I spend all my time taking pictures of pins and thread I'm not going to get anything done!

Monday, October 23, 2006

He's bad to the bone!

Posted by Picasa
Poor George. Becky and I recently discovered the joy of dressing up the dog. She talked me into buying the t-shirt for Halloween, but I confess the bandana was my idea.

This weekend I pulled out the sewing machine, and we're learning how to make doggy shirts. So now the poor animal never going to get any peace! (I'm thinking matching Christmas outfits for the kids and the dog...)

Monday, October 16, 2006

The finished product

I promised a picture of the finished dye job, and here it is. I'm not sure where she gets her sense of style from, but Becky definitely has her own way of presenting herself. I think it's really cool. Of course, I'm not so sure how the red stripes fit in with the school dress code, but it's a little too late to have thought of that now. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Each to his/her own style

It's been a rough weekend. There's a definite pattern going on: I spend the week rushing around, trying to keep up with the two jobs, the kids, and basic sanitation around the house. Everything else is put off until the weekend. But once the weekend comes around, I finally have the time to collapse in a stressed-out heap and none of the things I've been putting off actually get done. Which means that by Sunday evening, I'm already stressing for the coming week. It's a vicious cycle.

I did accomplish a couple of things today. I planned out the meals for the coming week, and the kids and I went grocery shopping. I had also promised Becky that I would dye her hair so she's now sitting in the bathroom with a timer, waiting for her rinse-out. This time we went with a two-inch red stripe on either side of her face. I wanted to do polka dots, but Becky talked me out of that. I also buzzed PJ's hair -- heavens forbid my military-minded son lets his hair get a little long! (I keep trying to talk him into gettomg a spiked style and an earring...)

Oops! The timer just went off, so I've got to go rinse and fluff! I'll try to get the finished results posted for tomorrow. Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 13, 2006

Curlers in your hair, shame on you!


One of our instructors decided to try out the electric curlers today. I wanted to curl my hair, too, but it's too short to pin up. Drats!
 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Neglected mom, looking for sympathy

Children grow up, and they have their own lives. I know this. After all, I did it myself. I just didn't expect it to be so soon or so emphatic.

Cari's plane leaves in a couple of hours, but we'll be saying our goodbyes in a few minutes. She made arrangements to have breakfast with her boyfriend, and he's going to take her to the airport. I'm feeling very left out, and very angry (after all, I'm the one who paid for this trip home). I don't like it, but I'm really not sure how to deal with it.

Since she's been home for this visit, we've spent only about four random hours together. We were going to have Thursday evening, but she got confused about our plans (she didn't realize that I had actually made the appointment for the family portrait, followed by dinner out) and so she ended up staying out with her friends instead. Yesterday she lost track of the time and didn't come home until it was too late for us to do anything. Our original plan was for me to take her to the airport this morning, but last night she decided to go out for breakfast (without me) instead.

It's hard, but I guess I really have to just let her go. I don't want to. After all, even though she's all grown up, she is still my baby. I love her, and I miss her, and I want to keep her with me. I know she has to be free to live her own life. I just want to know that I have a place in that life. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Happy Birthday, Sis!

I can't believe that my "baby" sister is 42 years old today! Posted by Picasa