Friday, September 30, 2011

Of Commas, Fleas and Fairs

Did you know there were grammar rule changes by Chicago Manual of Style this year? One change made? The possessive apostrophe for words ending in "S". It used to be correct to write:

Those are Jesus' sandals.

Now we are supposed to write:

Those are Jesus's sandals.

Secondly, I saw this on Facebook and conpletely agree. Another change in the works? Making the serial comma (the comma that comes before the "and" in a series of items) obsolete. This picture illustrates the need for that comma to STAY quite nicely:


There are more, but those were the ones that made me saddest.

Yeah, I'm a grammar geek.

Took Dakota to the vet yesterday. Brandy asked: Could the reddish/brown spots on Dakota's skin be blood from where she was bitten? Or like a strange bruise for the same reason?

Brandy! :::ding ding ding::: You're a winner! Yep, the vet said they were bruises from flea bites, which just break my heart. I feel like I've let her be horribly tortured over the last week while I tried to cure them naturally.

Yesterday, I bought some Capstar Tablets. Yes, they're a pesticide and I don't love feeding her what is essentially poison, but it seems as though there was no other certain and complete way to rid her of fleas. I also got Frontline for the cat. AND the vet recommended strongly that my house be cleaned top to bottom (didn't I just do this for cockroaches? I hate pests.) starting with laundering anything that can be and then mopping, scrubbing, etc. everything that can't for flea eggs.

I did all our bedding yesterday -- that took FOREVER. Today I tackle all our rugs and the cloth whoosies I put under our lamps and knick knacks. Plus I'll probably sweep, mop and dust.

It's actually really quite wonderful that we have so much hardwood -- fewer places for flea eggs to hide.

On Monday, I'm going to flea power all our carpets. It has to stay down (and rubbed in vigorously) for at least an hour, so I'll probably apply it and then leave for a bit so the dog doesn't get into it. Then I have to vacuum it back up (and they recommended I put a flea collar in my vacuum canister).

I swear, I think fleas might be worse than cockroaches.

So, those are my big plans for the weekend, especially since it looks like the Deerfield fair might be out -- the weather just keeps getting worse for the weekend. Next year? I think I'm going to try the Hopkinton State Fair.

Anything exciting in the works for you this weekend?


You Are a Straight A Student

You are highly observant and mindful. You take in a lot of information, and you're very perceptive.

You are smart, clever, and perceptive. You know how to synthesize and process information.

You have excellent people skills. You can talk to anyone.

You are high achieving without being too competitive about it. You simply like to succeed.

Yeah... pretty much right. Though I wasn't straight A's (much to my dismay) I did graduate in the top ten of my class. I liked school :-)


Thursday, September 29, 2011


I'm tired. Yesterday was crazy busy ... and then I opted to go to agility for both classes. OY. Got home at almost 9 pm -- don't think we'll be doing that again any time soon.

Then Dakota was up sick all night. About every 90 mins she needed to go out. It's not her fault, but the last time (at about 3:30 a.m.) I very nearly cried.

She's feeling better now, probably because she's empty, and is sleeping. Wish I had that option.

She's going to the vet today to have her weird spots looked at. DD is sure they're cancer and that the dog is going to die. *sigh*

On another topic, DD has another field trip today and it's also the opening day of our local fair. I've often said that God has a warped sense of humor... because despite the fact we've had weeks of the most beautiful, sunny, warm GORGEOUS weather, today it's pouring rain. POURING.

DD's field trip? They built cardboard boats in science class and today they take them out to sail them and see if they planned right and they'll float (with two passengers on board).

And, I swear there is never good weather for the fair. It rained pretty much all four days LAST year, and it looks like at least three of the four days this year are going to be wet.

So ... see? Warped sense of humor.

In any case, I'm just hoping to get through the day in one piece and not drive off the road or walk into walls because I'm asleep on my feet. I'm also thankful I'm not the one floating a cardboard boat in the rain...

Wishing you all a wonderful day.


You Are Open-hearted

You are dignified, spiritual, and wise. You are also a seeker of knowledge and often buried in books.

You are knowledgeable and well-read. If no one can teach you, you'll teach yourself.

You are open minded and a visionary. You understand the world and just may change it.

You are the master of new ideas, techniques, and ways of looking at things.

Who knew?


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

This and That

A quick post... because life is still getting away from me.

DD has her first ever school pictures today. :-)

Used a flea comb on Dakota yesterday. Discovered they work quite well, and that she has more than one flea. I still wouldn't say it's a massive infestation, but I did find 10 or so. Still working on containing it on my own, but she's developed odd brown spots on her skin that look like either dirt or freckles (not flea dirt... that's entirely different) and I'm concerned about those, so a trip to the vet may be in order. *sigh*

The weather has been gorgeous -- no frost yet, which is odd, but I'll take it. I'm still pulling the occasional tomoato from my garden, though they tend to be split on the top (that always happens near the end of the season ... wonder why?). I still have a few green beans, too, but that's it.

Lexie is still settling. I suspect this will be a very long process. She's fine with just me and the DH, but DD stresses her a bit (DD wants to hold her and play with her and whatnot ... I pretty much let her be) and she still thinks the dog is a threat.

She does like to play with the laser light though. :-)

Otherwise it's all the same here. Busy as heck to the point I can barely breathe, but I'm managing. If only I could discover how to survive on no sleep, life would be better.

Ah well....

Have a great hump day!!


You Struggle With Impatience

You never feel like there is enough time in the day. You are overloaded and overburdened.

You tend to take on more than you can accomplish, and you drop the ball when you're not looking.

Life is short, but you're making it shorter by not giving yourself the rest you need.

If you only slowed down and took your time, you'd actually get more done.

Uh.. yeah.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Cats, Flea, and Loving School

Not that I don't enjoy having an affectionate cat for a change, but it sure makes using the computer a challenge. She loves to sit in my lap and roll all over the keyboard. *sigh*

She still loves DH the most. Cats crack me up... it's like they find the person who hates cats and they target them. The other night I was working and she was settled in my lap, but then DH got up and was in her line of sight. She immediately jumped down and ran over to rub on his legs. If anyone can win him over, I think she might be able to.

My dog has flea. Yes, you read that right... one flea. At least at a time. I search her entire body for fleas, and every time I look I find ONE. I kill it. Then several hours later, I'll look again and find ONE. No matter how hard or how long I search, I never find more than one. It's the weirdest thing. She's had two flea baths (she may not speak to me if I give her another one today) but she can't tolerate the chemical flea drops. They burn her skin.

So I'll keep searching, picking, using the flea comb and bathing her. She'll get uninfested, even if it has to be one flea at a time. I wonder if it's a zombie flea and just keeps coming back... undead...

The cat has a flea collar on... but I haven't seen any fleas on her, though she has scratched one ear enough it has a scab. No ear mites I can see either. But I wanted to take her to the vet soon anyway, just for a once over, so we'll see what they say.

The joys of pet ownership.

The weekend was pretty quiet. I'd planned a big day of housecleaning yesterday, but DH got called into work at 1 a.m. Sunday morning, got home at 9 a.m. and I made him take a nap... which turned into nearly all day. He got up around 2 p.m. poor dude. But it really limited what I could do. I did manage laundry (that's in the basement) and I swept, mopped and scrubbed toilets (the glamorous life). It's something.

The excitement never ends.

Last night DD said to me enthusiastically: "Yay! Tomorrow's Monday. I get to go to school." Then quieter, but no less joyfully: "I love school."

I wonder when that will wear off?

I tried bloghopping a bit yesterday, but Google Reader kept locking up my computer. Maybe there's a better way to keep track of blogs I follow? Anyone?

Wishing you all a wonderful week!


You Are Charming and Impassioned

You encourage others to take a leap and to take action. You know it's hard to make that first step sometimes.

You are easily distracted. You prefer to multitask, and you're always adding a new task to your list.

You have a positive attitude. You try to keep a sunny disposition, even when life is getting you down.

The potential for great leadership is there, as long as you don't abuse it. You have a lot more power over people than you might think.

About 75%...


Friday, September 23, 2011

Lexie Come Out of Her Shell

Lexie is really coming out of her shell ... I think yesterday was a turning point for her. This morning she was yowling at the basement door ('LET ME OUT!!!') and despite the fact the dog was RIGHT THERE when I opened it, she came almost all the way up. As as soon as I backed the dog up about a foot and made her sit, Lexie came out, yowling the entire time.

She's very vocal. This is actually neat, because Breeann was very vocal, too, and we're used to having conversations with our cat.

Dakota is just so good. She wanted to see the cat, but moved very slow and would follow her around about two feet back. The cat kept a very close eye, but didn't run back downstairs. I'm so thrilled.

My DH might not be, as Lexie is very much a cat. Breeann really wasn't -- she didn't get on the counters (or on the living room furniture, which is FORBIDDEN...:::dum dum dum dum:::), didn't open the cupboards, etc. Except for her attitude, she was far more doggish.

Lexie isn't. She's already getting up on the counters and the furniture. Guess we'll find out if you can train a cat.

DD had a great time on her field trip yesterday. She yammered on and on about it when I picked her up AND wants to go back sometime on our own. Here's where she went -- the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center.

She's having SO much fun with school, that when I asked her if she still wanted me to pull her out for the day next Thursday to go to the Deerfield Fair, she said NO. She'd rather go over the weekend!

Gotta love it.

Me, I'm still trying to get my life into a reasonable amount of order. Maybe by the end of the school year... *sigh*.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Your Height Says You're Daring

You are a true adventurer, and you live for the thrill.

You have a lot of charisma, and you're good at convincing people to join you in your schemes.

You are open to the world, and you make connections easily. You have lots of friends.

You are likely to have many life paths to choose from. There are many possibilities open to you.

You are about as tall as the average British man.

About 50/50 ... I did convice Judy to go along with my crazy scheme about starting a reviews site ... :-)


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lexie, Geese and NaNoWriMo

Look who ventured upstairs to keep me company this morning.

She's on my lap now, and making it tough to type. The last few days she hadn't come upstairs at all, and any time I went downstairs, she'd yell at me: "MEOW! I'M LONELY!"

So last night after the dog went to bed, I dragged Lexie upstairs. She immediately ran back down, but eventually slithered up again, looked for the dog and made herself comfortable. I've tried explaining that my dog is the most harmless thing in the world, but she's not buying it yet.

Still, this morning when I opened the basement door (no, she's not allowed to roam at night -- neither was Breeann) she popped right out. Of course, the dog was up so she ran back down, but she hovered halfway down the stairs (way to tease the dog!) and waited. Once Dakota left, she came back up.

Silly girl.

And fall is definitely here. We're getting flocks of geese coming through as the venture south. I was at the library yesterday morning around 9 a.m. and there were a couple dozen on the lawn below, grazing (and finding the occasional apple -- it's an old apple orchard):

I know they're hard to see, but my camera on the phone doesn't zoom. I've cropped it here:

DD goes on her first field trip today. I admit to being a little nervous ... it's something I did hundreds of times as a kid and never thought about whether my mom worried about my safety (on the road ... not so much at the place). Still, this is good for me, too. Gotta let go of your kidlets at some point, right?

Charity Tahmaseb commented yesterday about my issues with waiting on my Samhain submission: You could, of course, take your mind off things by writing something new. I believe NaNo is coming up, no?

Yes, yes it is!! And yes, I'd love to try NaNo again. I really, really love NaNoWriMo ... I have a month to plan. Maybe I'll even (*GASP*) write an outline! I'd still love to give Geoff (from "One Love for Liv") his HEA. And it would be wildly appropriate to finish his story during NaNo, since that's when I originally wrote Liv.

I'll have to give it some serious thought. And for those of you who've read Liv: What kind of heroine do you think would be perfect for Geoff?


You Are Confident

You know what you want, and you're not quick to change your mind. You have strong opinions that are set in stone.

You love being the center of attention and having your moment. You don't shy away from the spotlight.

You are focused and committed. You never lose site of your goals.

You enjoy challenges... in fact, you seek them out. You like to put yourself to the test and see what you're made of.

About 90% right!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday Warbling

Missed yesterday. Sorry. I won't go on about craziness, just know it exists in my world.

DD is loving school. She loves everything: the kids, the teachers, the classes, lunch, having a locker .... yesterday she was SO happy (having had an especially good day) that she would NOT be quiet. She talked a mile a minute about anything that crossed her mind, and even if she had nothing to say she hummed or spouted nonsense words or just giggled maniacally. It about drove me crazy. But it's hard to get angry when someone is just so darn happy.

They're having a field trip on Thursday and she wanted me to drive (mostly so she could ride with her new best friend). It's ALL DAY and my schedule is already nuts, but I told her if they couldn't find enough people I would. Thankfully, they found enough people.

I know, I know ... I should participate, but Oy.

She's doing pretty well, grade-wise, too. All 90s except English where she first forgot to do the homework on time( so 10% off) and then did it sloppy and partly wrong. She got a 57%. AND she had to redo it correctly.

I check on her homework assignments, and I nag a bit, but she's old enough that she knows what to do and is competitive enough she won't want to fail. Hopefully.

I tried taking pix of the stairs last night, but they didn't come out. Will take more today in natural light. They look nice enough, but I just know come winter with me running up and down in my socks that I'm going to slip. And fall. I'm not the most graceful person when it comes to stairs and fall down (and up) most sets of stairs I use at least once.

I did take pictures of the magnets my mom cross-stitched and that I'll be putting up on DistinctivelyDD soon. Aren't they adorable?

I also located a crafters store where you can rent space for your stuff. It's not in a great spot and I don't know how much traffic it gets, but I'm going to look into it and see what I think.

Yanno... in my spare time.

On a side note -- going through the slush pile again at Samhain Publishing kinda sucks. The wait is 3 - 4 MONTHS... *sigh*. I'm antsy. And I can't help but think about submitting it somewhere else at the same time. I'd love for the sequel to be at the same publisher, but there's no guarantee they'll take it and if I wait to submit elsewhere, it's just going to make the time before it sees the light of day that much longer.

Decisions, decisions...


Your Next Car Should Be an Audi

You are pretty conventional when it comes down to it. You have mainstream tastes and interests.

You value quality and craftsmanship. You rather have a few nice things than many low quality possessions.

You are very focused and responsible. You take your duties seriously, no matter what they are.

You are patient and trusting. You know that the best things in life don't come overnight.

About 80% right, but I don't like Audis.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Busy Weekend and a sick day?

DD fought with a cold all weekend (it's just allergies, Mom!) and I'm waiting to see how she's feeling this morning. Typically she'll have one really bad day -- all stuffed up and feeling miserable. I'm hoping that was yesterday. I gave her night time cold meds last night at 7:30 so she could sleep (yes, she wanted to go to bed that early), heard her snuffling around 1 a.m. and gave her one more dose. Hopefully a good night's sleep helped kick the bug.

I don't want her to miss school (not to mention I have NO idea how to handle a sick day for her) but I don't want to send her sick (because THAT is why she's sick ... someone else sent their sick kidlet to school... last week she told me about the girl she was partnered with being sick and DD hoped she wouldn't catch it). Yet another thing that was easier when I was homeschooling...

Maria Zannini asked me "what about the time you used to spend teaching DD?" ... the fact is, there wasn't much. She was on a DVD curriculum where there was an actual classroom and teachers TAUGHT. She'd sit down, watch the class, do the work, etc. My job was to correct papers, make sure she stayed on schedule and answer questions or help when she was confused (much of which, except the correcting papers part, I'm still doing).

Here's the thing -- I KNOW this is a wonderful place for DD to be. She's thriving (aside from the germs!) and completely enjoying school. She's happy and challenged and I wouldn't change that. But homeschooling, as it turns out, was much easier on me. Who'da thunk it?

I spent this weekend being Suzy Homemaker. Our grocery store is selling local apples (from the farm where we would have picked anyway) for only $0.69/lb -- they're smaller ones, but otherwise perfect (and I was making sauce, so didn't care about the size). I bought about 15 - 20 of apples and spent much of Saturday cutting and coring apples. I ended up with eight quarts (seemed like an awful lot of work for only eight quarts ... but there you go) of unsweetened applesauce.

Sunday I baked bread. Lots of bread. It was a challenge since my house was opened up to air out the smell of polyurethane (from the hardwood stairs DH put in all weekend ... another story) and it was VERY cool inside. I had the oven on "warm" and used that to raise the bread, but I think it didn't raise as much as it should have as most of my loaves were a bit doughy and heavy. Will try again when I have more flour (I ran out .... went through about 20 cups) and it's warmer in the house.

DH spent the weekend tearing out the carpet from our stairs, pulling off the treads and then putting down hardwood treads. Thankfully, we have a second way upstairs (through the garage ... so while it's good we could get upstairs, it was a massive ordeal). Yesterday was spent covering them in the poly ... and we still can't use them this morning. We're supposed to wait 72 hours ... but I don't know if I can hold out that long -- never mind how confused the dog is about it all. Yesterday I had to lug two baskets of clothes from the basement where the laundry room is, out the door to the garage, hold them OVER MY HEAD to get behind the car and the truck and past the mower through the door (which barely opens wide enough because the generator and snow blower are in the way) and up those stairs to the bedrooms.

I am glad for the stairs -- our carpet was old and worn (clear through in one spot), but next time DH has to do something like that, I'm getting a motel room for a week.

It also meant that I got none of the deep-cleaning done that I'd planned for upstairs and will need to squeeze it in this week instead.

Next weekend, I'm going to try mega-cooking again to save me having to cook from scratch during the week, and see if that helps me with time.

How was your weekend?


You Are a Green Apple

You're a pretty traditional person. You believe that if something has lasted, then it's probably good.

You think that living the good life is pretty simple. If you behave responsibly and ethically, good things will come to you.

You are a loner and prefer to keep to yourself. You love solitude.

You are super productive. People are amazed by how much you are able to get done.

Um.. yeah, that's pretty much right on!


Friday, September 16, 2011

Mother Nature Flipped a Switch

It's COLD here!

Wednesday was almost uncomfortably warm and then POOF! Last night a cold front blew in and it's shivery cold. I had to close my windows last night for the first time in months.


I actually really enjoy fall. The temps are pleasant, my outdoor chores are mostly done -- no more gardening at least, though there is wood to split and stack (especially since DH took down more trees out back). September and October in particular are lovely months and I think I would enjoy them more if I didn't know that winter came next.

This year, though, I'm determined to enjoy fall. Long walks with the dog without sweating up a storm! No more feeling guilty because I'm not outside weeding! I'll have my "outdoor refrigerator" again -- especially handy for making dog food and thawing turkeys.

And I'll be able to wave at my down the street neighbor again and she can see me do it, because the leaves will be down by end of October.

Still, I could really get into having three seasons (like we did in California): Spring, Summer, Winter .... lather, rinse, repeat!

In cat news, Lexie is still "basement cat". She'll come upstairs sometimes at night but she never sticks around long. I leave the door open all day long and she never peeks her head out. The slightest (and I mean slightest) noise will freak her out if she's upstairs and she flies back down to her "house".

I've also found that she's a plastic eater (cardboard, too, but that worries me less since it's pretty well digestible). I had another cat who ate plastic and it's a real pain. I can't leave the garbage down in the basement -- she chews on the bag. I have potatoes in the basement as well .... and she chews on the bag. Hopefully it's just a nervous habit and she'll out grow it, though my other cat never did.

Otherwise she's a sweet, affectionate kitty who really loves living in the mushroom patch.


You Are an Imaginative Thinker

You are a nonlinear thinker, and you're even surprised by the places your mind takes you.

You love to get lost in a story, whether it's your own or not. You love fantasy.

You are a positive and uplifting person. You inspire others to be better.

You are full of wonder and curiosity. You feel a strong connection to the world.

About 75% right ...


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Where'd All the Time Go?

So ... posting in the morning? Not going to work with DD in school I think. I get up, load the pages for LASR/WC, check the tours on Goddess Fish and it's time to wake her up. I lost ALL my time in the morning (I used to have three glorious hours).

I'll just need to get into the habit of posting in the afternoon or evening instead.

Everyone says I'll get used to the schedule, but I swear I have so little time anymore. Not only do I lose the 5 - 8 a.m. time I used to have, but when I have to run errands, I lose ALL my other time, too.

Yesterday... got up, loaded pages, checked tours, got DD ready, took her to school, went to WalMart, came home unloaded, walked the dog, started a load of laundry, put chicken on for dog food ... and it was almost time to pick her up again.

I can't run errands with her, because she's starting to get enough homework, she doesn't have time for much else in the evening (we've skipped Wednesday agility for the past three weeks).

I never thought I'd say it, but I had more time when I was homeschooling.


More, she's wanting to do all kinds of extracurricular stuff (there's a dance class, she wishes she'd done soccer now, basketball is coming, she's joined the choir. etc., etc., etc. ... ) and I have to tell her that she can't do it all, which brings on much drama and moaning.

I really think school is wonderful for her. She LOVES going, enjoys her friends, likes the teachers (Class is so fun in a classroom!) and so far really hasn't had anything bad happen. I'm pleased and happy enough to make the sacrifices we need to for her to attend. I'm sure there's a way for me to figure out the best way to do things -- it may come down to running ALL errands on Saturday (ugh).

In any case, my morning is already running but I was gently reminded that I hadn't posted yesterday, so didn't want to miss again. I started getting caught up with all my blog reading, but yesterday put me behind again, and I have stuff to do today, too, so am not going to be able to do much computer stuff today again. Oy.

Hope you're all having a great day (and I'm wishing for rain and some cooler temps for Texas).


You Are Ringo Starr

You are fun loving and carefree. No matter how much success you've had, you never take yourself too seriously.

You have a good sense of humor, and you like to goof around. You're more than willing to make fun of yourself.

You are generous and caring. You feel like you've been given a lot in your life, and you're willing to give back.

You do the right thing because it feels good. You don't need your flattery or your ego nurtured.

About 75%...


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Busy Weekend!

Missed yesterday ... sorry! The day just got away from me. I had a crazy weekend and I think I'm still recovering.

On Friday, DH is off work and decided we needed to go up to the lake. Keep in mind, we couldn't leave early (had to take DD to school) and then had to be BACK early (to pick DD up). It was the quickest day on the lake every (the lake isn't exactly nearby).

Saturday I did some running around in the morning with DD and my mom. Got home slightly after noon and spent the day cramming three days of website work into an afternoon (had to build the LASR/WC website and edit all the reviews for the next week, plus Goddess Fish stuff which is a little crazy).

I also got really annoyed that I was spending so much time on others (personally and business-wise) and decided that I was going to FINISH "Now and Forever" (the Kitchen Matches sequel) and get it submitted. Don't remember what set me off, but I was so mad! LOL... guess it worked. I hunkered down, finished the scene in the middle (involving Zach and wedding dresses *G*) and rewrote the ending (which was much more satisfying for me ... hopefully the publisher feels the same), then edited the synopsis, wrote up a query and blurb (since I was "fired" by Samhain for not submitting in the past two years -- means I have to go through the slush pile again -- means I have to wait 12 - 14 weeks to hear back, darn it) and sent that sucker off.

Here's the blurb (which I'm sure will change):
Zach Weathers doesn’t believe in marriage. He’s tried the whole commitment thing before and got taken for everything he had and then some for his trouble. So it’s surprising when he finds himself seriously attracted to his sister’s all-things-love and romance wedding planner.

Mena Smythwhite believes in happy-ever-afters and after spending years helping other couples get theirs, she’s on the search for one of her own. She’s not into one night stands or serial dating and is certain her Prince Charming is waiting to be found. So why is she intrigued by the one man who laughs at romance? A man who sneers at love and simply won’t do?

Sunday, we attended the local shelter's fundraiser. What a crazy time! DD sold a few things (all pet oriented -- she has some gorgeous shepherd's hook book marks with dog and cat charms and beads, some cat and dog earrings and more).

My mom had crocheted some dog sweaters (SO CUTE! They'll be going up on DistinctivelyDD soon ... which is morphing into a store for three generations: DD, me and my mom) and cross-stitched the most adorable magnets (which will also be going up on DistintivelyDD when I have time).

The most amazing thing about the day was that there weren't more kerfluffles between dogs. I saw one and there was a rescue dog wearing a muzzle who was there to be socialized, but otherwise, everyone seemed to get along famously.

I was exhausted when I got home, but still had work to do. So when Monday morning came, I did NOT want to get up. Then it was rush-rush-rush to get DD off to school, then I met my mom for some couponing and other errands, and didn't get home until after noon, leaving me little time before I had to turn around and go get the daughter.

The hours just disappeared.

Today, despite actually needing to go to the grocery store, I'm determined to stay home. We have food (though I need to make dog food...) so it can wait one day.

I'm sure there's more, but I'm out of time this morning. Gotta go wake the kidlet.

OH! One quick note, because I'm so proud: they tested the eighth grade kids to see if they should be in pre-algebra or algebra I for the year. DD made it into Algebra I! I was so proud of her (and ... I'll be honest, of me, too. It means I didn't totally screw up schooling her *G*).

Now, going to wake her up and toss her into the shower. Have a great day!


You Are Focused

You know what you want, and you know how to go after it. You feel equipped for whatever may happen.

You are good at putting things together and following directions. You stay focused.

You lay the groundwork for months or years before you act. You like to be completely and totally prepared.

You are a late bloomer, and you may be coming into your own right now. You're still figuring out who you are.

About 60%


Friday, September 09, 2011

Getting it Under Control

Life is on cruise control. I suppose that's a good thing, but it's pretty much same old, same old every day. To attempt to get myself more organized, I'm starting up FlyLady next week. I also plan on getting up fifteen minutes earlier, one week at a time until I'm up an hour earlier in the morning. THAT time I plan on using for writing.

I do well with specific lists of things to do. It keeps me focused (and I really love lining through the stuff I've done). So the night before, I'm going to write up a to-do list that includes my work, house cleaning (because, despite the jokes I hear running around the internet, that's not optional here at all) and writing. Surely I can find time for it all if I scheduled it in.

I also plan on scheduling daily walks, and some fun time at least now and then (Mom -- you listening? That's a movie or lunch *G*).

I hope it helps me feel a bit more in control of things... I don't like feeling out of control.

Sunday, DD and I (along with my mom) are going to have a table set up at a local animal shelter's fundraising event. DD will be selling her jewelry, of course, but she's also making special animal themed earrings, charm bracelets and bookmarks. My mom has been killing herself making crocheted dog sweaters and cross-stitched magnets. You'll be seeing her stuff up on DistinctivelyDD as we begin to branch out into other items (and multiple crafters ... I'm planning on getting stuff up there eventually, too... in my spare time).

Yesterday, Lexie ventured as far as the top of the basement stairs on her own. DD is frustrated and wants her to be upstairs NOW. She tried carrying her up, but Lexie just freaked out and ran back downstairs. I've tried explaining that critters do things in their own time and to be patient. Patience is not one of the things she's been blessed with...

No big plans for the weekend, other than Sunday. Anyone of you have something cool you're doing?


You Are a Detroit Pizza

You are comfortable around others. You are equally at ease with strangers and friends.

You are outgoing and easy to get along with. You are very congenial.

People admire your courage and determination. You are nervy and undaunted.

You are a square peg, but you never try to fit in with all the round pegs. You're happy being square.

That's about right.


Thursday, September 08, 2011

A Quick Update

Still not used to this schedule I'm on for DD's school... it really makes me lose most of my morning, and I'm trying to get up earlier (like I used to), but I can't get to sleep at night either, so it's been tough. I miss the mornings. The quiet. The productivity.

The good news is that she really, really LOVES school. She likes the kids (mostly -- there's this one weird kid -- isn't there always?), her teachers, her classes. She still hasn't really gotten much homework (last night she had one worksheet to do for Spanish) but even so, it's been good.

It's really making life tough for me. And I know everyone says I'll get used to it, figure it out, settle in and find I have more time ... but I'm losing an hour in the morning and and hour in the afternoon for drive time to drop off / pick up and if I have ANYTHING to do errands-wise during the day, my "alone time" is pretty much non-existent. I'm not sure how that's going to change.

Still, it's been just wonderful for her, so I'll figure it out. Agility is hard for us, though, so I'm not sure if we'll be able to continue -- especially when she starts basketball in November. Breaks my heart -- we all love it (especially the dog), but gotta make priorities.

In any case, it's already time to wake up DD and I've barely been up at all. Wishing you all a good day -- still trying to catch up on blogs. At least I have my reader down below 200!

Maria Zannini, are those fires affecting you? Praying for rain in Texas big time, lady.


You Are Sweet

You're there for people even if they aren't there for you. You give without expecting anything in return.

Building real and deep relationships matters to you. You are a person of substance looking for others of substance.

You are genuinely curious about and delighted by almost everyone you meet. You are a people person.

You try to tread lightly and leave each place a little better than you found it.



Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Monday? .... uh, no... What day is it?

I swear, Monday holidays really mess with the rest of my week... I'm not going to remember what day it is until NEXT week, when things go back to normal.

DD spent her weekend agonizing over her "homework" -- she has one short paragraph to memorize in Spanish and a couple chapters of reading that she then had to summarize.

I don't know how to break it to her that it's going to get worse...

Still, she's loving school so far. She's so excited to go in the mornings that she almost can't eat. I hope that doesn't go away. I liked school (yeah, I'm a nerd, what can I say), so was hoping she would too.

Lexie is settling in well. I'd kept her in the basement for a few days because that's her "safe" house. The dog isn't allowed down there (cat litter box + cat food = dog treat heaven) so it's where she can go to get away from it all. However, it appears that she's TOO comfy there. She wants nothing to do with coming upstairs at all.

This frustrates DD who wants the cat to go up to her room and hang out with her. I told her she will eventually, but that she's just not comfortable yet -- she's had a lot of changes (she'd been dropped off at the shelter overnight ... the found her waiting outside when they opened -- she's such a love bug, she had to have belonged to someone who cared, so that breaks my heart), then being stuck in a cage for a couple months, then coming to our house -- new smells, new people, new home.

She's not a shy cat, not really, though she can be a little jumpy (who wouldn't be in her situation?), but she trusts us, comes when we call her. She'll figure it out.

For now, every day after I drop DD off at school, I'll leave the door to her room in the basement open. She can come up if she chooses. Maybe since it'll be quieter with everyone gone, she will. The dog is interested in her, but not overly so -- she stayed lying down yesterday when we brought Lexie upstairs (where she yowled for about five minutes like she was being tortured and then ran downstairs) and is remarkably mellow, just watching her.

I did some blog-hopping yesterday, but it's a struggle. Truthfully, everything I do on the computer right now is -- my wireless router died last week and I ordered a new one (which should be here soon, thankfully). In the meantime, I either have to hardwire into the modem and sit in the living room (which is VERY uncomfortable and gives me a crazy headache) or tether to my phone (which keeps my body happier but runs REALLY SLOWLY). Visiting blogs this past week has been tough and time consuming, so it hasn't gotten done much. I've kept up with most of you who are on Facebook (everything all in one place -- much easier!), but otherwise, I feel so disconnected.

I'm grateful for my phone's ability to tether, but wish it ran just a tad bit faster.

Hope all of you had a great weekend.


Feeling Inspired Makes You Sparkle

You yearn to leave your mark and make a difference. You dream big, and no one is going to get in your way.

You believe that almost anything is possible. And you consider yourself a very lucky person.

You love luxury, and even if you're a bit broke, you want things to look rich.

You want to make the world a better place. You can be quite passionate about your ideals.

Mostly right...


Monday, September 05, 2011

Happy Labor Day

Not much to say today... it's been largely uneventful. Lexie is still settling in to the basement, though I think we'll be letting her out (under supervision and with all the doors to the bedrooms closed) soon. Hopefully she and Dakota will get along.

She's very, VERY affectionate -- the shelter had reported that she didn't like being picked up, which is completely wrong. If you pick her up, she crawls up on your shoulder and nuzzles your face. DD is loving her to death.

Here's a picture I finally managed to take of her -- she doesn't sit still much:

Had a bad time last night missing Breeann ... she was really MY kitty and I kept thinking about the time I didn't spend with her. You know -- regrets. We always have them. The times she asked to sit on my lap and I was too busy. I wish I could have every one of them back. I really miss her. Never realized how much of a fixture she was until she wasn't around.

Give your pets, your kids, your friends a hug today. It's never a waste of time.


You Are a Crime Drama

You may seem quiet and withdrawn, but you're paying attention to every single thing around you.

You intuitively understand people. You are an amazing listener.

You are very tightly-wound. You can get completely wrapped up in your job.

You're the type of person who always finishes what you start. You like to wrap things up completely.

About 75% right...


Friday, September 02, 2011

A Day Without a Cat

All our knowledge merely helps us to die a more painful death than animals that know nothing. ~Maurice Maeterlinck

Thanks to everyone for your condolences on losing Breeann. Truly, it was time -- she was so weak, she couldn't stand, she'd been vomiting regularly since Sunday, and hadn't had any food since Sunday morning. She'd been sleeping on her bed in the basement for more than two days without coming upstairs. I'm certain that we made the right decision, but we still miss her.

Odd things about not having Breeann that I didn't think I'd miss ... but I do:

In the mornings, she always followed me into the bathroom -- no one else is up, and I can leave the door open. She'd come in, meow, rub, wander out. Just because she could.

Having her block the back door when I take the dog out. My routine was always to get up, go down to the basement and let Breeann out then take Dakota outside. She'd stand at the door for us to come back and would NOT move when Dakota wanted in. The dog wouldn't challenge her ... would just stand and wait until I poked the cat with my foot to get her to move. I'm pretty sure it was all a way for Breeann to remind the dog just who was boss.

Her talking. She was a very vocal cat and she'd just walk around the house chatting to herself.

We're looking for a new kitty at the animal shelter. Some may think it's too soon, but I learned with Bailey's passing, and the subsequent arrival of Dakota soon after, that having a new animal helps with the mourning process. It's comforting and helps to fill the void. While no other animal actually "replaces" the previous one, when you're used to having pets in your home, nothing makes you feel right again until you have one once more.

We want an older, female, declawed cat. My DH (as I mentioned yesterday) doesn't like cats, but tolerates them on my account (I've had cats since I was born). Still, I need to make sure whatever cat we get doesn't wreak havoc -- he won't tolerate one that tears up the furniture (hence getting one that is declawed), or tears around the house knocking things over (hence getting an older one). I've had bad experiences with male cats spraying even after they are fixed, so I prefer female cats. We don't want one that looks like Breeann. The two closest shelters to us have four cats that meet all the requirements but the last -- three of the four are tabbies like Breeann was, and one even has her same face (I swear, I thought I was looking at a picture of her), so that leaves us with one. She's a long-haired calico, and we'll go see if she's still available and if her temperament will work with our family dynamic.

This is her picture:

We're having Breann's ashes returned to us (the cost for this is crazy ... but I couldn't just have her tossed in the garbage bin and I didn't want to bury her out back) and will plant a memorial bush or other perennial in her honor (like we did for Bailey, who has a "Bailey's Dogwood" outside). I'd like something that has "cat" in its name, so will need to do some research. Anyone have any suggestions?

In the meantime, this weekend will consist of buying MORE things for DD for school (does it ever end?), cutting down a pile of perennials that have gone past, and working on the LASR/WC website. Unfortunately, my wireless router opted to stop working, and I needed to order a new one that won't be here until next week. So, I either have to hardwire into the modem and sit on our sofa, or tether to my phone (which is what I'm doing now). Sitting at the sofa hurts my body after a bit, and the phone runs everything slowly, but I'm managing and trying to be grateful I have that option.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.


You Are Skilled

You are balanced and competent. You value harmony.

Other people see you as outgoing, hyper, and even a bit overwhelming.

Your ideal romantic relationship is peaceful, romantic, and private.

You do best in tasks that require you to be flexible, creative, and playful.

Hmmm ... 50/50


Thursday, September 01, 2011

R.I.P. Breeann -- 1/24/94 - 9/1/11

In the words of my husband, who doesn't like cats (and therefore this is high praise indeed):

You were a good cat.