Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Here We Go Again...

I'm about to go on another obsessive-compulsive tear regarding the house. Those of you have been following my blog know all about the garden retaining wall (summer of '05), and the pavestone walkway (summer of '06). I don't believe I blogged about the garage. It's too small for a car and anything else, so we officially made it a workshop. I painted the walls (white), painted the floors (gray), purchased and assembled a large cabinet, a small cabinet, a workstation with hutch, added a small 7 cubit foot freezer and an A/C window unit.

Now I'm moving on to the living room. It's currently painted a shade of taupe with one red accent wall (the wall that houses the corner fireplace). It looks very nice in my opinion, as well as that of the two realtors we met with when we thought we might want to sell our house and buy another (I think we've gotten over that idea).

Anyway, a few weeks ago we decided to splurge on a new sofa. We found one we liked, but I knew instantly that it wouldn't go with our living room color scheme. The sofa won't arrive for a couple of weeks so I borrowed the fabric swatches from the furniture store on Saturday and went shopping. I ordered an area rug, and selected my new paint shades.

The cranberry red accent wall will be painted...a different shade of red. The taupe walls will be painted...a different shade of beige (the new beige has a slight greenish cast). I hope to start painting on Thursday. I also hope to finish painting on Thursday. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

5 Unusual Facts About Me

I've been tagged by Lala! (Click here to view her blog: Insight into Lala's World) Her meme is called "Five Weird Things About Me" but I don't know that I'm interesting enough to come up with anything truly weird. (I'm pretty "white bread", y' know?) But here we go:

1) I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. This is a problem for me because, let's face it, at my age, I'm probably more than halfway through my life expectancy. I better get a move on! Seriously, if I could have any job/career in the world right now - forget the fact that I lack the skills - I think I would like to be in construction. (This is an improvement from the days when I wanted to be an actress. I'm talking a hundred years ago.)

About the construction job. I don't necessarily want to the be the one on the roof baking in the hot sun pouring my blood, sweat and tears (wait - contruction folk don't cry, do they?) into building a beautiful home - that I can't afford - only to have some snooty rich people enjoy the fruits of my labor. But I would love to know how to do electrical wiring, plumbing, etc., buy a home, fix it up, sell it and move on to the next.

2) I'm a bit obsessive-compulsive. This is *not* an official diagnosis, mind you. But there are times when I'm working on something and I have such an overwhelming need for "closure" that I really can't focus on anything else. This is - in part - why I drive Dear Hubby nuts. He also secretly thinks it's one of my better traits. I tend to finish what I'm working on before he even has to get involved. It's disorienting to him at times. He's returned home from work on more than one occasion to find entire rooms a different color than when he left in the morning.

3) People think I'm "organized" and "efficient." Which I am. In part because of item #2 above. In part because of the ADHD (being organized is a management tool in coping with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). I know these folks mean it as a compliment, but please DON'T call me organized or efficient. I HATE it!!! Really, does anything sound more ... boring? For one day, I'd like to be the flighty, artistic type.

4) I have 3 sons. I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything by not having a daughter. I've never wished for one. To those of you that have them (hi, Mom), that's great. I think I prefer boys because I was pretty much a girly-girl growing up, so this whole 'snips and snails and puppy dog tails' was - and sometimes still is - pretty foreign to me. They're an adventure.

5) I'm borrowing this one from Lala, because it's so completely me too. (Either we're both weird, girlfriend, or it's not as odd as we thought.) If I have multiple foods on my plate, I eat them one at a time. For example, I'll eat every single pea before I take a single bite of mashed potatoes (except I won't eat the peas that have touched the mashed potatoes and vice versa). I start from least favorite, saving the best for last. I really need to switch that. I'd probably eat less and maybe lose the weight that's annoying me. And if it's a food item that's supposed to be mixed - say a vegetable medley - I'll eat all of one type of veggie before moving on to the next. I've never thought about the reason why. I just gotta be me! :-)

I'm tagging the following fellow bloggers, in case they'd like to play along:
* Jules
* Insurance Mom

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Nice Weekend...

This makes up for the crappy day I had last Tuesday. It was a nice, generally quiet weekend in our household. Friday was a blur - I can't remember a darn thing that went on.

On Saturday, Son #2 played his second baseball game of the season. His team won, primarily by walking and stealing bases. I'm told that this is pretty typically for the first season of kid-pitched ball. They're getting used to pitching, swinging at balls pitched by kids who are also new to pitching, learning to steal bases and bunt, and adjusting to a larger playing field.

Son #2 was walked to first base, managed to steal second, and then later on snuck past third and stole home. His team is 1-1 right now. They lost their first game (last Saturday) and was rained out on Tuesday night's game.

After the game, we took a leisurely drive around town. Dear Hubby and I were checking out various neighborhoods and trying to get a feel for the real estate market. Our evening plans, dinner with another family, were canceled because the other family's son was ill.

On Sunday, Dear Hubby and I went to an Open House in our neighborhood, then to his dad's house (also in our neighborhood) for a barbecue. His sister, Son #1 and I left early because I teach Son #1's 6th grade CCD (Catechism) class on Sunday evenings and I recruited Sis-in-law #2 to assist me. It went well. Dear Hubby and my other kids met us at Church and we attended 7:30 p.m. Mass.

Not exciting, not particularly eventful, not a lot of running around, just a nice weekend.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Why is it...?

...that on Thursday evenings, I just can't get to bed early? Dear Hubby turns in around 9:00 p.m. on Thursdays because for the past several years he's been volunteering at our church's Perpetual Adoration Chapel. He has the hour from 3:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. on Fridays.

We're Catholic and the Adoration Chapel houses the exposed consecrated Communion host. Because a major tenet of the Catholic faith is the belief in the actual presence of Christ in our Communion, the exposed host is never left alone. There has to be at least one person in Its presence at all times. Dear Hubby likes his early morning hour because, as you might guess, it's very quiet and he's usually alone the whole time. He reads, prays, meditates, then comes home and exercises before starting his day.

But I digress. My point is that Dear Hubby sets the alarm for 2:21 a.m. so he can freshen up and dress before going. I know this. He's been doing this for a few years. Yet even though I know the alarm will be ringing in just over 2.5 hours, I still can't bring myself to go to bed. It's almost as if my brain is saying, 'eh, why bother?'

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I Hope It's Not Going to be One of "Those" Days...

How's this as a way to start your day? I got to sleep a bit late. I woke, had breakfast with Son#3, homeschooled him then just as I was stepping into the shower, I get a call from Son#1's school. He has an upset stomach. I talk with Son#1 and let him know if I pick him up it's because he's sick and therefore must rest in my room (no TV, video games, books...in short, no fun). He agrees, which is how I know he really is not feeling well. I finish my shower, dress for a meeting that I have this evening at church and Son#3 and I head out the door.

As I'm buckling Son#3 into his car seat (he's 4), I hear the very fast pitter patter of canine feet. As soon as I turn around, I see the neighborhood menace: a big, frisky, golden labrador retriever who just loves people. Did I mention that he also loves to swim in the ditches that run along many of the streets in our neighborhood? He's wet, he's muddy and he's very happy to see me. He tries to jump in the van, but fortunately I manage to grab his collar and yank him out before he can muck up the upholstery and I slam the sliding van door shut.

Meanwhile, he's trying to jump all over me and he's shaking the water/mud off. He manages to splatter the entire passenger side of the van from roof rack to tire well. As for me? Mud all over my clothes, my legs, in my hair, on my face and arms, on my shoes. ICK! I manage to get a peek at the tag on his collar and attempted to pay his owner a visit but no one was home. (I will be going back later.) I wipe myself off with the Clorox wipes I keep in the van for spills (oh, that's gotta be really good for my skin!) and head to the school to pick up Son#1. He's sick, but not too sick to find this terribly amusing.

I drive to the gas station nearest my home, fill up my tank, attempt to purchase a car wash only to find out after the fact that the car wash is indeed broken. Of course no one who works there can be bothered to put a sign on the gas pump. I drove a few extra miles to go to Safari carwash ($3, incl free use of the vacuum). So Steve (that's the name of our van) is all clean. I return home to have my second shower within the span of an hour.

Son#1 is feeling a bit better. Someone please tell me my day will only get better.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


It was an uneventful weekend, once we found out my father-in-law is "out of the woods" (at least for the time being). The doctor put in another stent yesterday. If this works, he won't need coronary bypass surgery. He does, however, have to return in a month to have the blockages in his legs worked on. Not sure how they treat that.

In other news, our household is mourning the passing of Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter. Son #1 especially enjoyed his TV show and specials. I suppose it's a small consolation that he died doing something he loved (although I'm not sure whether his family and friends would take comfort in that).

It's the Tuesday after Labor Day. The older two boys have been back in school for two weeks already. Things will start gearing up for us now: Cub Scouts for Son #2 (Dear Hubby is Cub Master this year). Baseball is just starting for Son #2, Boy Scouts for Son #1. The RCIA program for which I volunteer at my church begins again meeting tonight. Religion classes for Son #1 and #2 start next week. As a stay home mom, my days are pretty open - it's the evenings that keep us hopping!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A Couple of Belated Happy Birthdays, etc.

A belated happy birthday to my mom (who occasionally reads my blog) and to Flip Flop Mamma (a blog buddy - see the link at bottom left). Both were born on September 1st and celebrated their birthdays this past Friday.

I've been feeling a little too scattered brained to blog lately, but I'll give it a whirl this evening. So far our Labor Day weekend has been okay. We took the boys to the Home Depot Kids' Workshop (which they hold on the first Saturday of each month). The boys built bird houses. Zack was feeling unually shy so his birdhouse ended up the best because, essentially I made it. I did coax him into hammering a couple of nails that I started in the wood, but mostly he was content to eat the popcorn and drink the juicebox that Home Depot provided.

Afterwards, we went to Belk (a department store) to see if Dear Hubby wanted to pick up another sports coat - he bought one a week ago, but as fate would have it, they've been further marked down, plus the paper had an 'extra 10% off' coupon. He didn't find anything, but I bought a pair of casual shoes for fall/winter. Aerosoles. Very comfy. I debated about them. I like 'comfortable' shoes, but I don't want 'sensible' (matronly) shoes, you know what I mean? I ended up buying them. I'll wear them with jeans and casual skirts - basically anytime that does not require dress shoes.

We ate lunch at Moe's Southwestern Grill. Decent food, but you order cafeteria style and they give the dishes goofy human names. For example, "Fat Sam" is a burrito (and a hobbit from The Lord of the Rings). There's also "Art Vandalay," a quesadilla (and George Costanza's pseudonym on 'Seinfeld'). The list goes on. Here's the problem: I can barely remember my own children's names, much less the human-sounding dish they've requested.

Since Dear Hubby was serving at Mass this evening, we all decided to attend 5:00 pm Vigil Mass. The boys and I sit in the pew while Dear Hubby sits up by the altar with the other altar servers. Still, it's sort of like attending as a family, right? Anyway, as we're pulling into the parking space at church around 4:20, Dear Hubby's sister (I'll call her Sis-in-law 2) called to let us know that my father-in-law is in the hospital, waiting to go to the cath lab for an angiogram. He apparently had some chest pain last night and arm tingling today so she brought him to the hospital around 2:00 this afternoon. He apparently has blockages in his carotid, femoral and coronary arteries. They put in three stents but they're keeping the catheter in the femoral artery because they may go back in Monday and do another angiogram and perhaps bypass surgery, if necessary. The cardiologist on call said that he likely wouldn't have survived the night had he not been admitted.
Right now, he's resting comfortably (flat on his back because of the catheter) and watching the football game on TV.

As for family history, his brothers are all deceased (most of them heart attacks, the oldest in his very early 60s). His eldest son, now 50, had double bypass about 5 years ago. His second oldest (Dear Hubby) had triple bypass 2.5 years ago at age 36. His youngest son had one stent put in at age 31. His daughter died at age 40 of complications from receiving 4 stents. Frankly, I thought all the bypass and stent stuff was inherited from my mother-in-law's side - she and her siblings have all had multiple bypasses. Father-in-law's side tended to die from their first heart attack.

Anyway, we're keeping him in our thoughts and prayers. It's been a tough year, his having lost virtually every possession and his home to Hurricane Katrina and having to start over again from scratch at age 73. (He's 74 now.)

Dear Hubby went to the hospital to hold vigil. It's what his family does and they do it well. He'll go again tomorrow. I'll probably go for a little while, but I'm not as good at the vigil thing. I remember when Dear Hubby had his surgery. It was nice to have company for a while, but as the surgery lasted several hours longer than expected, I was actually grateful when they started heading home. I can only do 'small talk' for so long. (Must come from my being raised as an only child since I was 11 or 12.)

On to other subjects. Son #1's class was asked to fill out a 'student questionnaire' so his 6th grade teacher could get to know him better. Here's some of his answers that I especially got a kick out of. He's 11, by the way.

Q. What do you like most about school? "I like recess the best at school."

Q. What do you like to do in your spare time? "I like to do a lot of different things in my spare time." (Pretty vague, right? Keep 'em guessing! He's probably splitting the atom in his room.)

Q. If you could be a famous person, who would you be? "None, I'm happy the way I am." (Elle's note: that's my boy!)

Q. What is your favorite food? "Pasta"

Q. What is your favorite place? "Virginia" (his birthplace)

Q. What is your favorite TV show? "Becker" (Oh my gosh! I've created a monster! This is what I get for letting him stay up late during the summer and watch sitcom reruns with me.)

Thought of the day: I smile because I am your friend! I laugh because there is nothing you can do about it.