Monday, April 30, 2007

Home again

Home at last. Okay, we got "home" yesterday afternoon, sat down for an hour, then left again for a birthday dinner at the in-laws' place.

It was a long four days, but also the absolute best concert I've ever seen. I would gladly stow away on the truck and tour with this bunch. Barring that, I'd like to take over the home theater demo room at Circuit City, put the live performance on their widescreen TV, and listen to it on the mega-big sound system they have.

And now, of course, El Burrito is awake and ready for lunch. The big trip wrapup will have to wait until tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Almost there

I'm still trying to get ready for the impending road trip (just a few hours left). What fun. El Burrito skipped most of his nap at lunchtime, and is currently still awake, even though he almost fell asleep in his playpen earlier.

Anyway, the plants are watered. El Burrito's clothes are picked out. Mine aren't, not that it will take long - limited supply of things that fit right now, and all that. I'm getting info on parking, eating, and other such trivia. My mother, who's keeping El Burrito for the duration, has only called three times today with reminders of things to bring.

I need to dig up enough tape to record both Stargates, plus probably Lost tonight. And I sort of need to decide on one thing to do on our day in Nashville. There's the Parthenon replica, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and Belle Meade Plantation, which all look interesting. But, we don't have time for all three. And maybe we should just catch up on our sleep instead. :)

I won't get into the things that are bugging me right now, but not being able to find things is the big one. More on that later.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Busy busy busy

That says it all. Busy busy busy.

Our concert is this weekend, so I'll be offline for a few days. Wouldn't you know, this is the day Ebay had a discounted-fee day, and I can't take advantage of it. Instead I'm working on the lists of things that need to be packed - a list for El Burrito's stay with Grandma and Grandpa, a list of stuff we need to take (like tickets, for example), and a list of things we need to do before we leave, like feeding the fish, doing the laundry and dishes, etc. and so on and so forth. Yikes.

Then there's other things that need to be taken care of. One grandparent needs El Burrito's birthday list, and I have no clue what to put on it. He's got sufficient (understatement!!) toys and clothes, so I'm stumped. I'm inclined to ask for a rain check, so that after we move, they can buy a few things for his room if they want (curtains, whatever). There's a stack of stuff that needs to be filed. I need to order some supplies for the aquarium, like the chlorine remover that I've been meaning to order for a month now. My 8-year-old car needs to go in for it's 30,000 mile checkup.

And there's this weird guilt over the fact that El Burrito is almost a year old and hasn't been on any playdates or anything. He's never spent any time around kids his own age, just cousins that are at least 18 months older. Heck, I don't know anyone at all, much less nearby, with kids close to his age. So now I'm afraid of turning him into a social mess like I am. Plus, he'll be crawling (or walking) very very soon, which is freaking me out for a few reasons, like making the place somewhat safe for him to roam and what to do with the not-safe-for-Burrito stuff, which there is a lot of.

And those are just the things I can think of right now.

And now I need to get myself off this computer and go take care of a few things. It's Tuesday, and of course everything on TV is new tonight, so I need to scare up a blank tape. Have to tape Gilmore Girls, since my sister keeps missing it, and Deadliest Catch. Next week will be fun, what with Veronica Mars, Deadliest Catch, and the Unit all on at 8:00. We may have to resort to the midnight run of Deadliest Catch.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Laundry day

Fun with Laundry! I got a surprise when I took the first load out of the washer today. Apparently, the white towel I used to soak up the milk spill last week also had the white kleenex from the first spill stuck inside it. I had a load of dark blue, burgundy, and hunter green towels full of little bits of tissue. That was a lot of fun to deal with. The kitchen floor looked snowy until I got the broom out.

The weekend was fairly boring. We did the shopping on Saturday, which took most of the afternoon and part of the evening. We ended up spending more time at the mall than planned - DH's car was having a tire problem, so we dropped it off at Sears while we went to Target. They found a piece of metal in the tire, so that's why it was losing pressure. And now we've got that fixed before we leave on our road trip.

El Burrito pulled himself up in the playpen on Friday night, and his second tooth broke through, so he had a big weekend for his eleven-month birthday. Unfortunately, we found out the hard way that the playpen was a bit too close to the wire cart under the bar. He managed to pull a few things off the top of the cart, including a horse figurine I got last month that was laying on top of the cart until I could fix the stability problem that the figurine had. Now, it's still unstable, and has two nice black marks on the neck from a run-in with the aquarium, and some paint missing from one leg. My own fault for leaving it there, so I can only be mad at myself.

And there are about forty-eleven things that need to be done before we leave for Nashville. Bleah.

Crocheting-wise, I finished the second washcloth for my sister, whose birthday is today. I mailed her card on Saturday, and she knows the presents won't arrive this week. Pictures to come.

Friday, April 20, 2007

News flashes

News flashes, and random tidbits:

  • The Madagascar Dragon Tree is now in its nice roomy new pot, which should keep it from tipping over in every breeze. Photos to come.
  • The yellow violas are also in a nice new pot. Ditto on the photos.
  • High chair covers should always be machine-washable. Because sometimes, they just need a good long soak. We're using a hand-me-down from DH's sister, and there was some unidentified something on the back of the cover.
  • The covers for the couch cushions didn't shrink in the wash yesterday. Yay! On the other hand, I trimmed off two handfuls of straggly hem-edge thread.
Cool discovery of the month: Many years (actually, 8) ago, there was a Chinese restaurant, the Peking, in town that had the absolute best lemon chicken I'd ever tasted. (They also delivered, which was great since they were downtown where parking stinks, and I was in college and parked a good distance from my dorm room.) It was chunks of breaded deep-fried chicken, and this lemon sauce that was delicious. It must have had gelatin of some form in it, because the leftover sauce would set up nicely overnight into something close to jelly. They had other good food too, but the lemon chicken was my favorite. Unfortunately, the Peking closed about 7.5 years ago, right after DH & I started dating. And I spent the next few years trying the lemon chicken at every other Chinese restaurant we ate at, and never found anything to match it (although I found one or two that were close).

Anyway, about two weeks ago, the front of the business section in the local paper featured a photo of a Chinese restaurant, leading to the article inside. It's the Peking - apparently they closed for a few years, the family had some time off, and they reopened last year in the southern part of town. And the same cook is back! Woohoo! (No, it doesn't take much to make my day sometimes.) So, at some point, we need to go out to the new location and see if they still have lemon chicken on the menu.

So far, this is the second time that our favorite Chinese place has closed down, taken a few years off, and reappeared. I think there's one left that I've eaten at a lot that hasn't taken a vacation, although it won't surprise me if I drive over to Orscheln's one day and Loon Sheng is closed. They're in a bit of a strip-mall situation, and they've had at least one run-in with the city about the state of their grease trap. On the other hand, when I lived on that side of town, they were convenient, affordable, and pretty tasty. And their scores on the Health Department inspections never scare me. Unlike at least one other place in town that's permanently off our list - having the inspection scores printed in the paper has good points and bad points. We've eaten at places that later had abysmal, frightening scores from the Health Dept.

Small bits of progress

Or, why does it feel like I've accomplished not-much today? I can't say "nothing" because the dishes in the dishwasher are clean, everyone's been fed at least once, even the fish, and hey, I haven't spilled anything yet. Knock wood.

I did check one of my email accounts this morning - and deleted 1000+ spam, plus some random newsletters and such. What fun.

El Burrito and I set a record time for a Walmart trip this morning. From out the door to back in, it was approximately 35 minutes. I'm stunned. We went back this morning (which is apparently their slow time) to see if they'd restocked the bibs - they hadn't - and to pick up a couple of DVD sets that I spotted yesterday. I checked my usual online sources last night (namely, Amazon and the search engine at DVDPriceSearch), and realized that I was right when I thought the Walmart prices were dirt cheap.

While I was hunting in vain yesterday for the My Friend Flicka DVD gift set (the original movies, not the lousy remake), I spotted a rack of TV-show DVDs that were $19.99 each. And right at the top were two series that I've had on my wish list at Amazon for a long, long time: the first two seasons of Forever Knight, and the second set of The Big Valley. I'd been balking at these because of price. The Forever Knight sets are typically $45 or more, and the Big Valley set runs about $27, which wouldn't be bad if the twits at FOX hadn't decided to split the second season into two "volumes" that were each priced higher than the full set of the first season. (Seriously, what are they smoking??) So $20 for new sets is a smoking deal, and cheaper than even the used sets on Amazon and Half. I broke down and got all three. I'll keep the BV set, and if Forever Knight isn't as good as I remembered it, I can sell the sets and get somewhere close to break-even on them.

My big accomplishments from last night, by the way: refilling the hand soap dispensers, and paying some bills. I finally finished reading Dear Miss Breed, which may be considered a "Young Adult" book by the library, but was still a very interesting read. It's an account of the Japanese-American detainment/internment camps (for lack of a better word) during World War II, told mostly with excerpts from letters that some of the children wrote to Miss Breed, who'd been the childrens' librarian in their neighborhood library. After that, I finished up Changelings, by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. Now I'm waiting for the second book at the library. I love the online catalog!

Right now I'm taking advantage of naptime to dig through some old email. And I need to file some disputes online with the lovely credit reporting agencies. We got our free credit reports last month, and a few of them seem to have problems with my name. Sigh. Then El Burrito will be awake and hungry, and I need to pot the flowers I accidentally came home with yesterday, and repot the poor top-heavy tree before it tips over again.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

It takes real talent

or something like it, to start your day off the way I did. I managed to spill milk and Cheerios (but mostly milk) on the couch when I sat down. And then, while reaching for some Kleenex to soak up the milk, I spilled the rest of the milk out the other side of the bowl, and into my lap. And then, to top it all off, I actually grabbed the towel from the back of the couch, put it in the milk puddle, and finished eating the Cheerios before they went soggy.

And that, friends, is why the covers for the couch cushions are in the dryer right now, along with the pillows, and the cushion foam is sunning itself out on the deck. If I'm really lucky, the covers won't shrink too much.

Other than that, the day has been pretty boring. Took DH out for lunch. Stopped at Walmart on the way home for two, count them, 2 things. A big vinyl pocket bib for El Burrito, and the three-pack set of My Friend Flicka movies on DVD (which is the only way to get the third movie on DVD). Neither of which I found. But I did come home with a flower pot for my dragon tree, two packs of seeds (portulaca and viola), a 6-pack of yellow violas and a DVD of an old horse movie called The Winter Stallion with Daniel J. Travanti.

Which is why I should avoid Walmart, and basically any store with a "garden center," this time of year. I am limited to container gardening, and since we will be moving in the near future, I don't need to be starting seeds in the windowless window boxes and such. My houseplants were enough of a pain to move last time. Of course, starting seeds in 30 pounds worth of flower pots should be a sure-fire way to find a house, right? :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Some progress has been made today. Hooray!

  • The plants are watered (and part of them were moved outside before the HVAC visit yesterday)
  • The sad looking jade plant got repotted. It came in a 2-inch or so pot, and was sorely in need of a bigger pot.
  • I've got one of my sister's birthday gifts mostly finished.

The best news? El Burrito seems to be back on schedule. I have no clue why we got off track for a week, but it was Not Fun at All.

On to the pictures:

The washcloth I am crocheting for my sister. She picked the yarn, and it's a nice combination, but after working with it, it makes me think of Neapolitan ice cream. :) It's crocheted in single and double crochet, a mix called a "sedge stitch" in the pattern from Lion's website. It's part of a spa set with a bath mitt and a few washcloths in different patterns. Lion used their organic cotton yarn for the set, but I can't get it around here and I thought I'd use different colors anyway.

The other color my sister liked. This one's bright and cheery, and should make a good washcloth or bath mitt.

The poor jade plant in it's old pot, which didn't drain well and was too small. It looks much happier now, but it spent too much time in low light, so it looks all straggly.

The Canadiana yarn I ordered from The purple I'm trying to match is 2nd from the left, top row. The blue on the bottom row doesn't go well with the purple, but it will be perfect for another afghan I found a pattern for, as soon as I figure out carried-color crochet. At least two of the other purples look like they will work well, so now I just need to decide on a pattern for the future afghan, and buy the rest of the yarn. What doesn't get used for an afghan won't go jobless, though. I can always make hats, scarves, and balls.

And now it's time for El Burrito's lunch.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


That's my day in one word. It's warmed up here - again - and the sneezing is back. In spite of the daily dose of generic Claritin, I've sneezed a lot today. The Kleenex inventory is being whittled down, slowly but surely.

This takes the cake, I think, for "overpriced organizing product" of the day. It's the "Pro-Con Pad" from a fairly well-known author of organizing books. I've read the book, it's pretty good. But seriously, the woman's trying to sell a 60-sheet notepad for $6.95, plus shipping. It's not that special - it's just a 6x9 notepad, divided into two columns, one for Pro, one for Con. This is what junk-mail envelopes live for, people! Give the poor envelopes a purpose, and use them for scratch paper. I, personally, love the envelopes that my library notices come in. I can put the shopping list on one side, errands on the other, and stick the coupons in the envelope itself.

The HVAC guy came today to check out the AC (which hasn't been used yet, thanks to a cold snap). Low on Freon again, which isn't a surprise since the unit is probably close to 20 years old. He recommends at least getting an estimate on a replacement. Joy. Nice guy, though.

And, at least the front room/s were clean enough not to be embarassing. Of course, I didn't manage to clean much last week, so we had to resort to the usual method. Which is "shove it in a box/tub/laundry basket and stick it in the other room." Sigh sigh. Sure, the living room is presentable, but the bedroom and the nursery-by-default are both Not for Public Viewing at all right now. It won't take long, though, before most of the stuff returns to the living room. It's stuff that needs to be dealt with, and some of it is things that can't just be shoved away and ignored. Sigh.

And while I was finishing up this morning, I found out that El Burrito is not fond of the vacuum cleaner. Which is obviously a sign that I don't vacuum enough.

I started a bit of crocheting today - a washcloth in something called sedge stitch, from a free pattern on Lion's website. They used their new Organic Cotton, but I'm using Lily's Sugar 'n' Cream yarn in Rosewood, which is a variegated rose/white/tan. It actually reminds me of Neapolitan ice cream.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Weekends and such

So, how was your weekend?

Mine was okay. Didn't seem to accomplish a lot, but we did get a bit caught up on sleep, which we needed after the Great Nap Strike last week. (Which hopefully won't carry over to this week, knock wood.)

Friday night: TV night. A Mythology of Stargate special, leading in to the half-season premieres of Stargate: SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis. Only 9 weeks of SG-1 left before it's gone. :( Lots of rain, and snow was predicted.

Saturday: No snow, thank goodness. Just gloom and rain, and in the upper 30s. We went bargain hunting. Two preschools (actually, 1 preschool, 1 playschool) were having their big rummage sales, and the Friends of the Library had their big childrens' book sale. Since both pre/play schools were on our route to the library, we stopped off.

At the first one, we found 6 books, including a Garfield in German for my favorite (and only) sister, and a puzzle. The puzzle is probably 1,000 pieces, never been opened. But, no box. So it's going to be a challenge, since we have no clue what it looks like or how large it is when finished. :) I passed up the $1 hospital-freebie diaper bag, which I considered getting just because of the freezer pack and the insulated bottle bag. Found cheap freezer packs at Walgreens anyway. $3 total. Last year we had better luck here - a few yards of polarfleece to pack some figurines in, El Burrito's first blue rubber duckie sleeper, and saucers for plant dishes, among other things, all for $1. (We were there after 11:00, when it was $1-a-bag time)

Second sale: No books, but I did find some goodies: a set of Tupperware "Zoo It Yourself" animals from my childhood for $1 (missing one tail), 4 square cookie tins for 25c each (great kitchen storage), a tote bag for 75c (to carry the tins in as I shopped), 2 picture frames with mats and glass for 75c total, and three shirts for El Burrito - one green-stripe Baby Gap onesie for 25c, a red Pooh shirt for 50c, and a striped Baby Gap shirt for 50c. Total was $4.75 there.

Of course, all that made us later than usual for the library sale. It opened at 9, we were there at 11, I think. The stock was already showing big signs of being picked over pretty well. This is one of the most popular sales, and if you want the "good stuff" you have to get there pretty darned early. The board books were almost gone, ditto for the CDs. We did manage to find a good-sized stack of books, though, and at 25c for paperbacks and board books, 50c for hardbacks, it's hard to go wrong. I even found one book for a series I'm trying to collect, so only one book left to find. I found two others in that series that may be in better shape than the ones I have, so I'll keep one copy and re-sell the other one or donate it back to the library sale. I also got some books that I plan to read once and pass on - for 25c, I can live with reading a book once and giving it to someone else (or donating it back to the library sale).

Then we came home, fed El Burrito his lunch, and went out to lunch ourselves. After that, we came back home and attempted to take naps. This wasn't so successful. El Burrito got a good 90 minutes, DH got about an hour, and mine? About 10 minutes. It took me a bit to get to sleep, and then, seriously, about 10 minutes into my nap, El Burrito woke up hungry. And this is why I gave up on the "nap when the baby naps" idea a long time ago. Every time I've tried it, the same thing happens. He falls asleep like and it takes me a while for the brain to shut up enough to let me sleep. And then he wakes up, usually hungry, and I'm so half-asleep groggy that I can't think.

Sunday: Not a really productive day. I went back to the library sale, which was pretty wiped out by then, and came home with $11 worth of books. I found a very neat board book there, with pull-out tabs on the pages, and realized after I got home that half the front cover was missing. :( While I was out (alone!), I stopped at Walgreens for the soda they had on sale. Which of course was sold out already. They have got to start stocking more of their sale items. I did get cheap Pringles, clearanced Easter candy (chocolate-covered marshmallow eggs, yum), and two bottles of bubbles for El Burrito (and me).

And then I came home, to find El Burrito having his first mid-day nap in a week. Hooray. We lowered the crib mattress, I watched an hour of 7th Heaven that had me frustrated with the inane writing, and revived my brain with the season finale of Dresden Files. As far as progress, we boxed up some books to put in storage. I was going to re-pot my very sad looking jade plant, but I realized that all the plant pots are in storage, so that idea got delayed.

El Burrito, by the way, seems to be teething. That's our best guess for the middle-of-the-night crying spells, anyway. We gave him a teething biscuit Saturday night, which he proceeded so chew on, lick, and generally smear everywhere. It was maple-flavored, so even after un-smearing him, he still smells a bit like syrup. :) His clothes were a mess, but the biscuit was all organic, no dyes, so I'm hopeful that there won't be any stains.

Monday: So far today, I'm ahead of schedule with the laundry. Of course, I also forgot to change the sheets before I washed the load of whites, so they'll have to wait until next week. UPS delivered the xD card from Amazon today, which was a hoot. The card is about the size of a quarter, being generous, packed in about a 4x6 inch plastic shell that requires a buzz saw to open. All of that was sent UPS in a box about 6x8x3 inches, which I thought was hilarious. The thing would have fit just fine in a First Class bubble mailer, but I guess with UPS they have tracking and insurance. And the mailman delivered a big box with El Burrito's Ebay Peek-a-blocks, and a smaller envelope with my Serenity keychains.

It's nice and sunny outside, and I've been reading Dear Miss Breed, which is very interesting. Also started Changelings over the weekend, since I finished the first Petaybee trilogy, and finished Shopaholic and Baby last week so I could get it back to the library.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Did I mention that I'm mad at the Sci Fi channel?

I'm a bit upset with Sci Fi right now. I've been slightly peeved at them for a while, since they started running the wrestling shows and other obviously non-scifi stuff (like that stupid scare-people-out-of-their-wits junk with Shannon Doherty). And their in-house movies tend to be beyond cheezy, and would be perfect subjects for Mystery Science Theatre 3000 if it was still around. But the fact that they still have the Stargates, Eureka, Doctor Who, Dresden Files, plus reruns of some older shows, has kept them in my good graces. I still don't think they're as good a channel as they used to be, back when they would air re-runs of the old classics and the short-run stuff that didn't have enough episodes to make it into syndication (Roar, anyone? Probe? Brisco County, Jr? A zillion other shows I enjoyed?)

Tonight will be a slightly sad night. (The really sad night will be about ten weeks from now, when the final episode airs.) It's the half-season premiere of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. It's the tenth season of SG-1, which makes it the longest running American sci fi show; it passed the X-Files run this season. Which is apparently why Sci Fi decided that this would be the last season. Twits. Ten more episodes of fun, and then all I'll have left is Atlantis and my DVDs. Well, and apparently two SG-1 movies that are in the works, although I don't know if they're going to be theatrical, TV-movies, or straight-to-DVD.

And I've never even been to GateCon. :(

I'll admit, SG-1 isn't the same since Richard Dean Anderson retired from appearing full-time, but it's still a good show. Better than 90% of the other junk out there, IMHO. And it's been a Friday-night routine for quite a few years now. Thanks to SciFi and USA doing a second run of everything 3 or 4 hours later, we've been able to sit down on Fridays to a good 3 or 4 hour block of fun TV most of the time - Stargate, Atlantis, Battlestar (until it moved to Sundays), Monk, Psych, and JAG (until it ended). After SG-1 ends, Friday nights won't be as fun as they were.

I just found out a third Stargate series is in the works (fourth, if you count the short-lived animated series), and one of my favorite characters is leaving Atlantis, apparently permanently. :( I try to avoid spoilers, but that one was unmissable. I may have to sulk for a while. I'm still peeved that Jacob Carter was killed off a few seasons ago, and if they knock off Bra'tac, I'll have to send grumpy letters to someone.

Friday the 13th

I'm not that superstitious, but it's been a weird day already. El Burrito is still way off the normal schedule. He flat-out refused to sleep most of yesterday. Instead of the usual 2 naps, about 2 hours each, he had one tiny 45-minute nap. And that's for the whole day - woke up at 11 a.m., finally went to sleep somewhere between midnight and 1:30 am. I'm not sure of the exact time, because we were also finishing our taxes, so I was thinking surly thoughts about whoever came up with our state tax forms and the whole use-tax idea. And whatever twit at thought it would be a good idea to not put any price information on their order confirmation email.

El Burrito is still on his anti-nap mutiny. He's been in his crib for an hour now, and usually he'll fight it for 15 or 20 minutes, then finally fall asleep mid-cry. Not today. He was to being asleep about 30 minutes ago, but he fell asleep sitting up and bent forward at the waist. So, I had to rearrange him, which woke him up, and there went the nap.

So, again, a mostly-wasted day. I did manage to haul us out to the grocery store, mostly to get some prints done at their one-hour photo. Of course, I couldn't juggle a cart and stroller, and El Burrito hasn't ridden in the cart yet and I don't trust the straps on the carts, so I only got part of the grocery list. DH gets to stop for the rest on the way home. Yet another wasted trip, until I figure out how to work things. Gah.

The grocery store is starting to be my favorite place to get prints in person. Their machine works fine, and they offer your choice of matte or glossy, at good prices. Regular price is 22 cents, today's special was 13 cents. And, by the way, the stupid machine at Target seems to have fouled up my SmartMedia card. Lovely. Hopefully it'll work after the camera reformats it. Otherwise, I'll have trashed one of my three 128 MB cards, which are getting scarce. I've thought of selling one on Ebay, now that I've got the new camera that uses xD instead of SmartMedia. Still chewing on that one.

Speaking of which. Here's some Amazon zaniness for you: I ordered an xD card back in February. It finally shipped yesterday. The zany part is that it's been shipped by UPS, and if it hadn't been for Amazon's free shipping on $25+ orders, it would have cost me $5.50 to ship the thing. The fact that an xD card is approximately the size and weight of a $1 coin, and it's being sent UPS? Boggles my mind.

Weekend plans: 2 inches of SNOW, and the childrens' book sale at the library.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Why is it Thursday already?

Where did the week go? It's already Thursday, and I can't think of anything substantial that has been accomplished this week. It's bizarre, and frustrating.

No blog entry yesterday, I didn't get around to it. El Burrito is totally off his schedule, which makes things hairy around here. We did manage to go to the condo lunch at Olive Garden, where El Burrito looked very seriously at all the little old ladies who admired him. He got many compliments on his behavior (I hope that keeps up for the next few years!), his pretty eyes, his cute little mouth, etc, etc. Then DH came home early (unexpectedly) to work on taxes, and it ended up being an off-schedule sort of day.

Our UPS guy has been here three days this week - two deliveries for the Amazon toys, and today he dropped off the yarn I ordered. The colors look promising, so I think I may be able to cobble up some combination of colors for an afghan, with the 7 skeins of really purple yarn I bought on Ebay.

I also did a little more shopping online Tuesday. Gymboree had a sale, and they had things online that weren't in the stores. I restrained myself, and got DH's opinion on a few things, so the final order was a bodysuit and two rompers. I didn't get the cute octopus socks, or the little orange stuffed crab. (Yes, Deadliest Catch seems to have set off a crab theme around here.)

I did manage to trim the Yahoo inbox down to 13xx emails last night. Hopefully I can weed things out some more. The internet connection slows things down a bit.

And now, I'm off to change a diaper. El Burrito, who usually has a nap about this time, just woke up an hour ago. Like I said, our schedule is toast this week, and I don't know why.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Shiny clean car

My car is home again, and much cleaner than when I dropped it off. The dealer's body shop does a nice job on things, I have to say. One of the nice things about body-shop work is that they wash the car at some point. And I think I noticed a whiff of Windex when I got in this morning to drive it home.

On the other hand, the clean sparkliness does make it very easy to tell that the car's had some work done. Not that the paint doesn't match, because it does, perfectly. But, when it's clean, it's pretty obvious that 80% of the car has 8 years worth of little scuffs, scratches, and cart dings. The door and quarterpanel, on the other hand, have a just-off-the-showroom-floor finish, and well, it kind of stands out. :) Of course, given how (in)frequently I wash my poor car, most of the time the new finish will be covered in a nice layer of dust, courtesy of the lawn crew. It's the down-side to parking under a car port - my car collects the dust, but never gets a nice rain to rinse it off.

Other tidbits:

  • The Sesame Street blocks arrived yesterday, and were a steal for $6. We haven't opened the box yet, but they seem to be made of a wood with some heft to it, and they're about 1.75" square, so they're about the size of the Peek-a-blocks. Big enough not to be a hazard, small enough to be grabbable.
  • The One Skein book I've been waiting for finally made it back to the library. Unfortunately, it's about 90% knitting, so it won't be as helpful as I thought.
  • I ordered some yarn last night, from It's the Patons Canadiana yarn, which I can only find online. Which makes it hard to do any color coordination. I need something to go with 7 skeins of very purple yarn, so I ended up ordering one skein of every purple shade, plus two shades of white, some blues, and two shades of rosewood. I'll end up having some colors that don't work, which is why I wanted to see the One Skein book - it's all patterns that take one skein of yarn or less.
  • I think I'm giving up on having digital photos printed at Target. I've gone in twice now, once with a USB key, once with a SmartMedia card, and both times, neither machine would read the media. HyVee will be my next attempt. I'm trying to avoid Walmart, for various reasons, and since we still use dial-up, uploading dozens of pictures to an online site can take a while.
  • After the photo attempt at Target, El Burrito and I went up to Gymboree, where I'd heard they were having a sale. They are. 99-cent socks, although the cutest ones (red argyle, and a pair with a horse head on the top) were sold out in his size. I did get a few things, at about 75% off. We came home with 2 pair of socks (one blue, one cream with a squirrel face), a nice green plaid shirt for $4.99 (reg. $24.50), zip-up cardigan for $6.99 (reg 32.50), and two long-sleeved romper type things, $6.99 each, marked down from $28.50. Total: $30, for clothes that would have been $120 originally. Oy! Gymboree is even more of a hazard than Carters is. Their things are usually really cute, and well-made, but the regular prices are a little out of my comfort zone. 75% or 80% off is much more my taste.
  • The weather last week was colder than I realized. We set a new record low last week, after getting within a degree of a record high the week before. The magnolia at the corner of the building looks frozen, as do the forsythia along the sidewalk and the redbud south of our deck. I'm guessing the farmers market will be a little skimpy on the tree fruit this year, and the paper said that the local vineyards may be pretty bad off as well.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Running behind

This has not been the most productive Monday. Here in the land of procrastination, Monday is Laundry day. I don't know why, it just is. (Contrary to FlyLady's idea of doing a load a day, which to me would just stretch laundry day out until it was everywhere. I prefer to do all of it in one day, so that for a brief hour or so on Monday afternoon, I can say that the laundry is really done.)

Today, though, hasn't been going as planned. Laundry day is usually 6 loads, sometimes 7, very occasionally 8. The first load usually hits the washer around 9 a.m. and I go from there. But today I'm running late. It's 3:00 pm right now, and the third load just went in. Ai ai ai. The first load started two hours late, because I didn't get the laundry sorted last night, El Burrito slept late after his hard weekend, and I can't sort the laundry without waking him up (it's a space issue).

As far as that list of things to do over the weekend, well, yeah. The list is still 90% intact. We did eat out for lunch, and had dinner with the in-laws and assorted cousins last night. We did do some shopping, including a run to the grocery store for Peeps on Sunday morning. I intended to get some Peeps at Target, but when I was there on Saturday afternoon, their Easter candy was wiped out. Beyond decimated. I would like to run by the store today and see if they finally put the Cadbury eggs and marshmallow bunnies on sale, but that depends on whether the body shop gets done with the car today. Sigh. The taxes did get worked on, and DH will be doing that more tonight. His plan is that when he comes home tonight, we're (El Burrito and I) are supposed to pretend he's not here. Other than dinner I guess, so this could be interesting. :)

But, the crib mattress isn't lowered, the porch didn't get measured, and the decluttering effort is still in that "darkest before the dawn" stage. I realize things usually look worse before they look noticably better, but for some reason we seem to get stuck in the "worse" part and never make it to the "looking better" end.

As far as the shopping?

  • I did not buy anything at Ace Hardware - the pansies they advertised weren't there, thanks to our cold weather, and I didn't buy a new pot that I need for a houseplant, because I forgot to measure the current pot. It's in dire need of a new and heavier pot; right now it's in a light plastic pot, and it's top-heavy.
  • I did not buy anything at Hobby Lobby. Not even the neat-looking new yarns they had, or the clearance yarns. I was looking for school-theme scrapbooking things for Mom, but Hobby Lobby didn't have anything.
  • I did use the special 30% off your total purchase coupon at Michael's, to get some things that Mom needs for the scrapbook she's working on (a retirement scrapbook for my Dad). Plus we bought some photo frames, $2.50 each, for pictures of El Burrito to decorate DH's cubicle.
  • After looking at prices for chocolate-covered marshmallow bunnies, it's cheaper to buy Peeps and dip them in Hershey's syrup. Probably taste just as good, too.
  • I bid on, and won, and auction on Ebay for El Burrito - it's a big lot of about 53 Peek-a-blocks and Roll-a-rounds. Including shipping, we're paying about 65 cents per block, which is a darn sight cheaper than the $1-plus that Amazon wants.
And, totally out in left field, this toy looks wrong to me. It's called the "My Little Pony So Soft Pony Walking Sweet Steps." Now, don't get me wrong, I had my share of My Little Ponies in earlier years. But a baby pony in a walker, with a rattle and a sippie cup, just seems not-right to me. Ponies walk on all four feet, not two.

Weather report: Darn cold here over the weekend. Below freezing at night, after at least one day of 80-degree weather two weeks ago. From what the newspapers have said, the tree-fruit crops locally may have been hit pretty hard, if not wiped out. Fun fun.

Friday, April 6, 2007


. . . or the lack thereof. So far, it hasn't been a really productive day. And I'm still waiting for my car to get out of the shop. Fun.

  • I did ban a spammer on one of my Yahoo groups, and put three other potential spammers on limited status.
  • I watched an episode of Riptide while I ate lunch. Yes, this is productive. I'm trying to catch up on some DVDs, mostly because I worry that one will be damaged and I won't find out until it's too late to exchange or otherwise replace it.
  • I gathered up a small stack of DVDs and a larger stack of books that can be boxed up. This is part of a larger plan. Since we're going to be moving sooner or later, anything we pack now won't have to be packed up later. It'll also make it easier for us to do some work around the place (like the annoying doors).
I did make some progress last night, while watching Deadliest Catch. I went through all the sale ads, in preparation for a shopping run tomorrow. Then I sorted some of the coupons (but I still need to weed out the expired ones), and got rid of most of a small stack of newspaper bits and pieces.

For the rest of the day: El Burrito is awake and hungry. After that, among other things, I need to do the dishes, and get some digital pictures ready to be printed. My mom wants some prints, and there are a couple of aunts who would like some as well. The new camera has the most helpful option of shooting pictures directly in 3:2 format, but the pics from the old camera have to be cropped to the right ratio. If I don't do it, the printer (Target, etc) will do it for me, and they tend to not care if they slice off a head or arm.

Any other year, this being Easter weekend, I'd be heading off to Springfield for some fun. I collect Breyers, and another collector in Springfield has been having a Breyer show for the past few years. It's always on Easter weekend, because that's when she can get the best price for the conference room. But, this year, I'm missing out on the show because we're going to Nashville in a few weeks. And, of course, the other Breyer show in the state is the weekend we're out of town. Lousy timing. Oh well, maybe next year.

On the list for the weekend:

  • Taxes (this is DH's thing; I just dig numbers out of Quicken when he needs them)
  • lowering the crib mattress, since El Burrito is sitting up on his own, and pulling up onto his knees in the crib
  • Easter dinner with the in-laws
  • possibly measuring the porch and purchasing the fake grass carpet
  • lunch "out" on Saturday
  • some shopping (possibly on my own), including a trip to Michaels and/or Hobby Lobby for some things Mom needs
  • cleaning/organizing/decluttering in general - the furnace guy is coming in a week, so the place needs to be semi-presentable. The front rooms, anyway. Sigh.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Just stuff


El Burrito with his grandma's tulips last weekend. Out of a dozen shots, there are very few where he was looking at the camera. That's unusual for him - he's a bit of a ham. His favorite aunt called from Georgia after I sent her a CD of his pictures, to ask "Does he always have that cheezy grin on his face?" Well, yeah, unless he's asleep or I manage to sneak up on him. I sneak better with the new camera, because it sounds different from the old one. He's still figuring it out. :)

If you're looking for toys, Amazon has some toys on clearance right now (if you go down the page, on the left you can sort by discount %). I spent $30 on El Burrito last night, after getting DH's opinion on a few things. He ended up with the Pet Pals Roll-a-rounds, the Learning Town Car Wash & Barn, and some wooden alphabet blocks from Sesame Street. The blocks are a gamble - they're only $6, but there' s nothing indicating the size anywhere. Not even Google could come up with any size information. I guess I'll have to wait and see. At least the blocks are shipping soon - the ship date for the Roll-a-rounds is, get this, April 16, 2007 - June 10, 2007. I'm boggled.

(I like the Roll-a-rounds and Peek-a-blocks a lot. So does El Burrito. I need to start hunting Ebay for them, as they're hard to find around here. Amazon or Fisher-Price changed their stock recently, and instead of a 6-pack of balls for $6 or $8, it's now 3 blocks for $9. I don't think so. Ditto for the alphabet Peek-a-blocks. Some merchant has them on Amazon for $52 right now. I think the set is $25 at Target, but we'll wait on those for a while longer. They're nice, but not that nice, thanks much.)

I'm also waiting for an xD card I ordered from Amazon. I ordered it on 2/23, and the "estimated ship date" is March 28, 2007 - April 11, 2007, per Amazon. The strange part is that it was in stock at Amazon a week or so ago. If I hadn't used a gift certificate for it, I would have canceled and re-ordered when they were in stock. But, luckily, I ordered another one with the camera, so I'm not in dire need of one anyway.

Now, if I can just get motivated to do some cleaning and organizing. It's already Thursday, and I have no idea where the week went. I do know we're working on our taxes Saturday, and going to the in-laws for dinner Sunday, so the weekend is already booked. We were going to replace the fake-grass "carpet" on the screened porch this weekend, but with highs predicted in the 40s (after 70s last weekend), we're postponing until warmer weather.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Nothing going on here

It's not a productive day, no matter what plans I had this morning. The cold weather arrived earlier than expected, so at 9:00 last night I was bringing the houseplants back in from the porch. It's supposed to frost every night for the rest of the week.

Nothing else to report.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

El Burrito's big night

The Young Man had a big night last night. Sometime between 10:20 and 10:45 (I know because Dresden Files was on, and yes, he keeps late hours. Hush.), he sat up by himself in his crib, with witnesses, twice!! And the second time, I got it on tape!! (Okay, not "tape" exactly, since I can't find the two blank tapes for the camcorder, but I was using the new digital camera that can take movies, so there's visual evidence.) We're pretty sure he hasn't done this before, or if he has, he hasn't stayed sitting up until we were around. Looks like his method so far is to scoot backwards on his hands and knees until his feet hit the side of the crib, then keep scooting back until he can get his feet under him. I think he was trying to do it on the bed today, but with nothing to run into, it doesn't work as well.

Of course, he followed that up about an hour later with a Poop Situation. The kind where you just stop and say "oooooh. my. gawwwwd., where do I start?" It didn't help that I was in the middle of an allergy attack, with strings of sneezes by the half-dozen. El Burrito was sitting in his basket and we were trying to catch up with the daily paper, when I noticed him poking at something on his leg. I nudged DH, who was closer to him, thinking it might be one of the annoying ants that are wandering around. DH leaned over and said something like "Uh oh." "Uh oh?" says I (original, no?). The thing on his leg was poop. Oh joy, a blowout. So DH picks him up, carefully, leaving a mess in the basket, and we head off to the bedroom to deal with the Situation. People, there was poop everywhere. It had oozed up the front of the diaper (but not the back) and out both legs. It was scattered from his knees to his armpits. There was even poop in El Burrito's belly button. (Yes, at that point, I had to laugh, in between sneezes. It was that or gag.)

Needless to say, the boy had a bath at around midnight last night. Which is why the laundry didn't get folded, the sheets didn't get fully changed, and I didn't get in bed until almost 3 freaking a.m. Yes. I'm tired. It was a Perfect Poop Storm: teething + a weekend of bottled water at Grandma's + prunes for lunch (because he doesn't eat as much when he's visiting) = Oh Boy.

In other news: my car is at the body shop for the third time. At least this time it's not the bumper. Thanks to two small accidents, my 8 year old car is on its third bumper already. This time, it's a nice dent in the side, from being backed into in the library parking lot about a month ago. Too bad the woman didn't back into the other side; that's where most of the bad cart dings are, and while I'm not vain enough to get them fixed for cosmetic reasons, it would have been a nice perk if they happened to get fixed while the dent was getting repainted.

Allergy season has hit full force, starting at around 9:00 last night. I've been taking generic Claritin for about two weeks now, but things are still bad. I could always call my dermatologist and beg him to renew my Zyrtec Rx, but he never did anything when the pharmacy called him last year, and I'd bet that the worst of things will be over in a week or so (I hope), so I may as well tough it out and see how things go. But if you sneeze so much that you get a (little) nosebleed, it's bad. I don't know what it is that's blooming or pollinating or otherwise spawning, but it's making me freaking miserable and I'm ready for it to stop, thanks very much.

I can only hope it doesn't get as bad as it did two summers ago (or three, I can't remember). Even with the Claritin, my left eye would occasionally, with no warning, go "floom" and puff up until it looked like I'd walked into a door. Lovely itching until I had to take my contact lens out and walk around with one usable eye. That eye could go from normal to Eek in about ten minutes. I ended up with a prescription for something called Patanol from my optometrist. Folks, you know it's going to be bad when the doctor gives you the Rx, plus a rebate form for $25. A tiny bottle, about 1 fluid ounce, of this stuff, was something like $50. I almost fell over when I looked at the pharmacy receipt. But, at four drops a day, a bottle lasted about six weeks, and the stuff worked. I need to go see if I've got any left. I also need to find out (not by self-testing!) what would happen if I took 2 Claritin a day. If this keeps up, I'll be that desperate.

And, since it's Tuesday, El Burrito and I did go to the library and book sale. Nothing for El Burrito today, unless you count a copy of What to Expect - the toddler years, but I got a bio of Tesla and an autobiography of Madeleine L'Engle. And El Burrito got compliments on his manners from the book sale cashier. He also got a "thank you" from me, for not being that little girl pitching a screaming hissyfit at Target.

Monday, April 2, 2007

What a weekend

Would you believe, they're outside mowing the grass again? Barely a week since the last time, but we've had lots of rain and warm weather, so the grass is happy. (Which makes my dad happy - more grass means fat happy cattle, less time feeding hay, and hopefully more hay for next year.)

Proof of Missouri's weather weirdness: right now, it's about 80 degrees outside. Weather report for Thursday night? 34 degrees, and frost. Guess who'll be moving houseplants back inside Thursday?

El Burrito is asleep right now, after being awake for about 2 hours this morning. He's recovering from a hard weekend visiting his grandparents (my folks). No napping there, since there was exciting stuff going on, so he's sleeping off a killer case of grandma-itis right now. I'm dealing with laundry, including a double load for El Burrito, since we're washing his next-size-up clothes that will probably fit him now, if not in a week or so.

The weekend trip (actually, about 30 hours) was pretty nice. Except for the nasty headache I had the whole time, with no ibuprofen in sight (my purse container was empty, and acetaminophen does squat for me). And the fact that my mother's cooking is an all-or-nothing thing lately. Either a table full of food for 4 people, or leftover Little Caesar's pizza (which we had Sunday, not that great). El Burrito got to pet Grandpa's bottle calf, and one of the beagles, and sit on Grandpa's tractor with him (not running) for a picture. It's my Dad's old Farmall M, built the year Dad was born. It's a cute picture. And we took my dad out for dinner, since today's his birthday and he's impossible to buy a gift for. He said no gift, so we took him to Cracker Barrel.

DH and I made a quick trip (quicker than I'd planned!) trip to the outlet mall. El Burrito needs more sleepers in a bigger size, so we went to Carters, Baby Gap Outlet, and Childrens Place Outlet. Now, why didn't anyone tell me that those adorable sleepers that Carters makes don't come in any size bigger than 9M?? Gripes me, let me tell you. I was all set to get the boy some more cute sleepers, but no dice. Our choices were the rubber-footed sleepers that zip down the front and one leg, or the 2-piece jammies. I'm not fond of rubber stuff in the laundry, because it tends to do badly in the dryer and I get tired of picking dried rubber bits out of the lint trap. But we got a couple of each, to see which does best for us. We did find some cute ones, but it looks like my search for the 12M duckie sleeper is a lost cause. :(

El Burrito made out pretty good as far as clothes. He's got fleece zip-up jammies for next fall, $4 each at Carters, plus a couple of bodysuits, two Baby Gap rompers to use as jammies, and a lovely red corduroy shirt that I hope fits him for Christmas. It's a size 24 months, and he'll only be about 18 months in December, but for $2.79 I thought it was worth the gamble. He also got summer jammies with sharks, space ships, and a few other designs. We'll see what works, although if the shirts on the 2-piece PJs ride up, we may just let him sleep in pants and a bodysuit.

On the other hand, I didn't get to do any shopping for me at all. We left for the outlet mall at 3:30, and DH says - after we get in the car - that he'd like to be back around 6:30. It takes about 45 minutes to drive to the mall (22 miles), so that just gave us 90 minutes to shop. Part of that was spent walking around - it's a big mall, and I wanted to go to the Oneida store, but it moved recently and the mall updates their maps about every other blue moon. In the end, we just went to Carters, Gap, and Childrens Place. No book stores, no Oneida.