Monday, June 30, 2008

Recent peeves

Or, why I was in a crummy mood on Friday:
  • Waking up Wednesday with a canker sore. On the side of my tongue, right where it hit a molar every third second, making it the Worst Location Ever for a canker sore.
  • Finding serious problems with two of the three bedsheet sets I got from JCPenney. As in, an 8-inch section of hem that's coming un-hemmed. So glad I didn't pay "retail" ($140) for them. I checked the third set this weekend, and aside from the corner stitching being a little rough (would not have passed muster with my Home Ec teacher!), they look okay.
  • Paying $8 for shipping on a CD order that was sent USPS First Class in a padded mailer. Max cost $3. (I thought it was coming from Canada, which would have explained part of the cost.) I prefer ordering direct from the artist, since presumably they'll keep more of the profit than if they had to split it with Amazon or something. I don't expect free shipping from individuals, but I'd like to not be robbed, either.
  • Accidentally (sort-of) placing two orders with the above-mentioned artist's store, because I never got a confirmation email for either order. And their customer service took 4 days to reply to my email (by which time order #1 had arrived).
  •'s insane password strictness. I miss the password once, and have to go through this whole rigamarole with an emailed code. And then find a new password that isn't one of the last 5 I used.
  • The installation department at Lowes, which I ranted about previously. We got a voicemail about the dishwasher being available, but nothing about scheduling the install for any of it. I put the stove guys off until Tuesday, and got the microwave/dishwasher installed on Friday. Which meant staying up until 2 am shoving everything into the bedroom, because I prefer not to look like a slob, and DH wants things to be almost bare before contractors of any kind show up. Like the kid installing the microwave really cares about dust bunnies on top of the washing machine.
  • The state Department of Revenue. Aside from printing new license plates with errors and refusing to correct it, they've started charging an additional $2.78 if you renew your license in the last two weeks of the month that it's due. No explanation why, they just put it in smallish print in the middle of some other blather. Twits.
  • Re: the error: The plates say "Show Me State" when they should say "Show-Me State." Note the hyphen. The DOR claims it's the way "we" voted in the online vote, but I think the prototype in the voting had the words vertically, so the hyphen was left out. It's gotten a lot of press, and it's probably making us residents look like a bunch of illiterate hillbillies. Apparently it's a violation of some state statute, too, but the DOR doesn't seem to care. Honestly, we didn't need new plates anyway. When I was younger (not that long ago), we went decades between license plate designs. I think this new design is either a money-maker for the state, or connected to the upcoming elections. Either way? I'm not impressed.
I think that's about it.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Last Riding Lesson (for now, anyway)

Had my last ride on Peyton tonight, and it went much better than I'd expected. I've had a truly sucky day or two, starting with the vicious canker sore on the side of my tongue on Wednesday. Today stank royally, and I was afraid that it would carry over and make for an equally rotten ride tonight. I got lucky, and it didn't happen.

Instead, I had a really good ride on my pal Peyton. He started out the night with this hilariously pokey, wandery walk. You could practically see "doo be doo be doo" in a bubble over his head as he strolled along with his hands in his pockets. (He can cross his front legs, too - did it the first night as I was checking the girth. Funny boy.) He gave up on that, and I got some good walking, really nice jogging, and not one, but two good lopes with him.

We all got to lope tonight; the other girl was riding Sunny instead of Alera, and we had the little girl with Di in our group tonight. I got a full lap and some change out of Peyton both times, and kept him from scattering out in the corners. I even got complimented on how I handle Peyton; I guess he's a bit stubborn sometimes, but I can handle stubborn. It's genetic. Now, flakey, screw-loose spookers are a whole other story. I got the lope departure down and got Peyton to just sort of step into it from a walk. It's just remembering to leg him a little when he starts to downshift that kept getting us; I didn't notice fast enough to cue him in time. Plus, when I tried to keep my heels down, my lower leg came off him and he'd slow down some. Girl #1 loped Sunny on the lunge at first, then on her own. Girl #2 got a full lap out of Di, and compliments on that; Di's a bit attitude-y (and very roly poly in the tummy), and I guess some of the college girls have a hard time with her.

DH and El Burrito came to spectate; DH got a few pics but was busy wrangling little Taco boy most of the time (the Burrito refused to nap today, among other issues).

And now I'm flat out tired and going to bed. It's going to be a long, long, frustrating weekend, so the story of my crappy days will have to wait. But it may be entertaining!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Riding Lesson #5

It was the hottest night of riding so far (90 predicted for the high today), but it was a good night overall.

It started out with Peyton being a silly goose and dumping his saddle and blanket on the ground while I was in the bathroom (twice, apparently). Funny boy, that one. He got to spend the night out in the pasture last night, which may have improved his mood. It definitely made his hind ankles look better. We did some warmup at a walk, then moved on to trotting. He was more willing to do a slowish trot this time, unlike the power trot on Monday. I concentrated on keeping him working in the ends of the arena - he likes to gawk out the doors when we're there - and dealt with his weird desire to drift out from the rail in a couple of areas. Had to pop him on the butt with the end of one rein now and then to reinforce things; those long split reins have multiple uses. :)

Then we got to the loping section. Sara put the other girl on a lunge line for a few minutes; she's been riding Alera (the TB, Seattle Slew granddaughter), and Sara wasn't sure how she'd do at a lope. She did pretty well, from what I saw, and the little girl (okay, 11-ish, so not little-little) rode well. Then it was my turn with Peyton, but not on the lunge. He does better on the long sides, so I'm not sure the circling would have been helpful. At any rate, our first lap at the lope had issues, because I was letting him fall apart in the corners. The second lap, I made sure to keep my inside leg on him - that kept him going forward instead of dropping to a trot, and also helped keep him out on the rail. I managed almost a full lap of the indoor at a lope!! And for at least part of it, I wasn't bouncing around too badly.

That was all the loping we did today, probably due to the heat. We did some more work with obstacle courses over poles, this time with three pole sections and some diagonal work. I need to work a little more on rating his trot; he speeds up over poles and then slows down later. He also gets pretty bouncy over the poles, which is harder to sit to.

Too bad there's only one more ride this session. I've enjoyed it more this year, I know. Possibly because I knew what to expect, possibly because I got off to a bad start with Bergen the Amazingly Tall Horse last year. Or maybe I just got some of my confidence back, Lord knows that nitwit of a bay gelding spent three years stomping on it.

More on that tomorrow. I'm ready for bed. I just hope I move around in my sleep a little tonight so I don't wake up stiff tomorrow. I guess I've been sleeping really sound (soundly?) lately, because I don't think I move around as much as usual.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Library day

Today's library stats: 44 items checked out, 8 on my wait list. 5 books returned, 7 holds picked up (3 for El Burrito), plus one CD and one book checked out.

Going back to the library today:

  • Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe - Bill Bryson: I like his writing, and this one was pretty good. I wish I could travel and meet people like that, but it doesn't seem to work. I guess I didn't get the "adventurous" gene or something. I tried to do new things in Ireland - I ordered something called "gougans" from a menu. It was chicken tenders/strips.
  • Stitch & Bitch Crochet - I may end up with a copy of this one. Her explanations are pretty clear, and thanks to a tip from this book, I can figure out the right and wrong sides of a piece (except for anything done in the round). Not a big deal with scarves, but I plan to try a sweater sometime soon.
  • Billy & Blaze - I'm going to have to buy these, if they're still in print. El Burrito may or may not like them, but I'll happily read them again. C.W. Anderson drew some nice horses.
  • Tractors
  • Serious Farm - This was a cute story, although El Burrito will probably appreciate it more in a few months.
We spent $5.50 at the book sale, mostly on books for El Burrito. Kid's got the best-stocked bookcase around, I'll wager. Three books ($2) for me, and seven for El B: 3 Mercer Mayer, 3 Muppets, 1 Pooh. Pretty good haul.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Riding Lession #4 - Lots of Trotting

No loping tonight, just lots of trotting and a bit of decent jogging. Peyton was in a bit of a mood for some reason, maybe just Monday, maybe too much partying in the pasture over the weekend. At any rate, he was a bit independent-minded tonight, so we skipped loping and did most of our work at a trot. Since he didn't want to cooperate and do his nice slow jog, and we had repeated steering problems, he got to work and do a peppy move-em-out trot for probably 45 minutes total. I'll say this, he's in decent shape. It was in the mid-80s and we were in the indoor arena, which is stuffy and warmer than the outdoor, and while he was sweating under the saddle, he didn't get as all-over sweaty as I thought he might.

Sara offered to give him an attitude adjustment if I thought he needed one, but even though he was being a bit of a pill, he wasn't so out-of-control that I felt like I needed to get off. That's a good thing, and a big one. With my last horse, DJ, I got that queasy feeling waaaay too often. Peyton was listening to me, he just wasn't obeying. Big difference from DJ, who when he got peeved would just flat-out ignore me, or sull up and refuse to move. Or pitch a fit and try to dump me.

Anyway. Lots and lots of trotting, around the ring, over poles, and weaving through cones. He got a little distracted by what was visible through the doors, and Sara told me how to get his attention again, which worked well after I figured it out. I went back to the two-hand direct reining and got most of the steering back, except for a few times at the end of the ring when he managed to bump my foot against the wall. We had a bit of a kerfluffle in the poles once. We were supposed to trot through them (4 poles) but lost our oomph halfway through and I didn't get after him in time. So we walked through, then I circled him back for another try. Try #2 was a bust, I couldn't get him to trot, so we did another bigger circle and finally got it on try #3. He also kept running out of steam during the cones, but I got better at keeping more leg on him to prevent that tonight.

My sitting trot came and went tonight; sometimes I could sit his trot well (better when he was going long and slow), sometimes I got a little off the beat or something, especially over the poles when he got bouncy. I did get better at the halt over the night, and got a nice turn on the haunches at least once, plus some good reverse work.

Only two more nights of riding. Unfortunately, I think we're out of nice temps for the summer. The prediction right now is for upper 80s on Wednesday and low 90s on Friday. Meh. I've been really lucky so far, it's been in the low 80s the past two weeks. I'm still thinking about the adult camp in July, but I really doubt that the weather will be good enough for me to deal with 2 hours of riding a night.

Riding Lession #3

Which was last Friday, but I wasn't online a lot over the weekend.

In short - more trotting, more "obstacle" courses with trotting over poles, stopping in a box, picking up a towel from one jump standard, etc. More loping - I've got the departure (launch!) down pretty well, it's just an issue of keeping it going. I asked Sara to ride him for a few minutes so I could see his lope from the ground, and it definitely isn't as fast as it feels when I'm on him. He's just a average-sized horse - 15 hands or so - with a big lope that feels bigger if you aren't used to it.

I think I'm trying to slow Payton down too much, and not keeping enough leg on him. Instead of a slower lope, he shifts down a gear and I get a fast trot. (It's probably related to me being shy/timid/introverted/not a big risk-taker.)

So, tonight, I'm going to remind myself beforehand that Payton is a nice guy who isn't going to run off with me, not that he could go anywhere in the arena anyway, and that I rode through his little spook on Friday, and that he does have brakes, unlike the flaky gelding I owned for a few years. So, when we lope, I should just remember to keep some leg on him, so he doesn't slow down, and breathe, and steer.

Hopefully, that'll do the trick. If not, there's always Wednesday.

The spook, by the way, was because Sara was dragging the poles out of the arena and dropped one on top of another one. Payton decided to be scared by the noise and did that little sideways-skittering spook that horses can do. Not a really big deal, it was easy to survive compared to Flaky Gelding's light-speed 180-degree spin with a 6-foot lateral transport.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Not much to say

Not much to say at the moment. It's a boring sort of day.

El Burrito and I have been watching the work crew outside. We can sit on the bed and watch them paving the parking lot out front. El Burrito has gotten a kick out of seeing dump trucks and Bobcats. I worked on some crocheting while he watched.

We got a letter from the condo association today, with a nice special assessment. Seems the snow removal went waaayy over budget this past winter, so they're covering part of it with an assessment. And I do mean way over budget - budget was $14,000, and they went $35,xxx over that. 'Scuse me while I boggle at that. Sure, we had a snowy winter, but geez. I wonder if we pay the snow guys by the hour, because it seemed like they were here a lot, driving around in an inch of snow with the plows up instead of down. Apparently there will be a special meeting to discuss how to handle things this winter. I may go, or write a letter, since the special meeting has a strict agenda. I don't have a lot to say about the snow, but I do have some opinions about how the landscaping guys deal with "pruning" the shrubs. And yes, those quote marks are there for a reason, since I have a pretty low opinion of their "pruning" methods. Our forsythia looks like total crap, and they need to work on things like dividing the hostas & irises.

UPS delivered my new Levis today. They're supposedly the same size and similar cut (boot instead of tapered) as the pair I'm in love with, but they definitely don't fit the same. I blame the 2% spandex idea for most of the differences.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Being too cute can be a problem

We just got back from getting El Burrito's birthday pictures done at Sears. Oy. He was being extrodinarily clingy today, so it took a while to get some decent shots, and then of course comes the hard part - picking which poses to get prints of. When he finally did move off my lap (and there are at least three shots taken when he was sitting on my legs), he was just too darned cute for his own good.

Don't ask what I spent. I ended up with basically one sheet of almost every pose. And by that time, I'd hit whatever price limit they have that triggers the special deal on the CD with all the images. So I spent the extra $30 and got the CD.

And then I came home and found an old-ish email about their "super saver card" or some such name. Which includes, among other things, buy-one-get-one-free portrait sheets if you have an appointment Monday-Thursday. Needless to day, we will be getting one of those cards when I go pick up the prints. They cost $5 if you have a "smile saver" card, so it'll pay for itself pretty quick, since portrait sheets are $6.99 each.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Riding Lesson #2 - I Loped !!

Geez, I'm tired! I have to say, though, the weather so far this week has been phenomenally wonderful for riding. The highs this week have been 80 or 81, about 5 degrees lower than "normal" for June.

I rode Peyton again (he's the "spotlight" horse on the program's website), and we did really well. I'm the only person riding him this session (he doesn't like kids), so we're getting used to each other, and I can get a better jog out of him now. I also got to lope on him tonight - the first time I've ever intentionally loped on a horse where we both knew what we were doing. (I loped my first horse a few times, but bareback, and lets just say it wasn't a pretty sight, although I didn't fall off.)

I actually loped 4 or 5 times, maybe half a lap each time, both directions of the ring. Peyton's a bit left-handed, apparently, and starts off pretty fast. The lope to the right, which we did first, was decent, but not so much when we turned around. After a try or two, I got a decent walk-to-canter transition, but keeping it going was the sticky part, especially to the right. One problem is that I usually forgot to breathe, which kind of makes things hard. The first time, I did have a good hold on the saddle horn, but after that I had sort of gotten the hang of it. Sara said I did a good job with him, and it was the slowest lope he'd done for the summer riders. Gotta say, though, if that was slow, I do not want to ride his fast lope right now, because it felt pretty darn fast to me. Not quite the super-slow rocking-chair WP lope that I was expecting.

Other than that, we did some short obstacle courses - trotting (jogging) over poles, half-circles, and that sort of thing. The final course was to trot over 4 poles, curve around the ring, then trot into a pole-box, stop, and do a 360-degree turn. Peyton likes trotting over the poles more than jogging over them, so it's a fine-tuning thing to get the speed right. Last time, he threw in a bit of a really low jump over the last one.

(One of the girls in the class is riding a pretty grey mare, dappled with some flea bites, who's a granddaughter of Seattle Slew. She's only 7, so if she had any racing career it wasn't much. I'd like to find out her registered name, so I can Google her.)

Anyway, I loped!! Intentionally! And I didn't fall off, or curl up into a ball, or have a death grip on the saddle the whole time. Next time, I'll remember to breathe. And maybe then I'll be able to lope, breathe, control the speed, and steer all at the same time. Because this time, the steering was pretty much non-existent on my end. I was mostly concerned with staying on, rating his speed, and breathing - in that order, and breathing sometimes got ignored a bit.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Another trip to the library

Today's library numbers: 40 checked out, 10 on hold. Returned 11, checked out 11. Darn, no drop in the numbers.

  • The Rusty Trusty Tractor - Very cute, and I may have to get a copy for El Burrito.
  • First Crochet - This is the book with the bath mat pattern that I need to start on.
  • The Crochet Bible - Probably should check this one out again, or just buy it.
  • Boss of the Plains - The story of John Stetson's hats, for kids.
  • Harvest Year
  • The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood - Mentioned last week.
  • Style Rx - Not as helpful as I'd hoped. Most of the information was how to hide long necks or wide arms. I need to know how to buy good clothes, and why jeans insist on gaping in the back.
  • Blaze and the Grey Spotted Pony - More for me than El burrito, but I've got the urge to buy the whole set now.
  • B is for Bookworm
  • Farm Crops
  • The Kitchen Readings: untold stories of Hunter S. Thompson - Got this one because the Dirt Band was mentioned in the "Thank you" section. But not in the book, for whatever reason. Now I know a little more about the man than just recognizing his name, though.
Checked out: 1 DVD, 4 audio CDs, 1 book for El Burrito, and 5 books for me, including 2 mysteries and the One Read book for this summer.

Then we spent $5.50 at the book sale:
  • William Anderson's biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder (for the in-laws to give to the grandkids, who like the Little House books)
  • Children of the Lamp: the Akhenaten Adventure
  • A String in the Harp (Newbery Honor book)
  • A Lithgow Palooza: 101 Ways to Entertain and Inspire your Kids
And then we came home. We'd planned to eat lunch in the Garden with DH, but he's busy with some sort of program glitching issue at work. Hopefully it'll be cool the rest of the week and we can do lunch later.

Riding Lesson #1

Just a quick post about the first riding lesson. I'm tired!

I got to ride a nice liver chestnut QH gelding, 13 years old, named Payton (Mr. First Impression). Two medium socks in back, one low sock in front, a star and a straggly blaze. And puffy ankles behind because he'd been inside all day. I'm not sure when he was donated, but a Google search found a classified ad for him dated 2004.

He's got a killer Western Pleasure jog when I can get him to do it (he likes to speed up and test the limits). He likes to test his rider a bit, but that's okay. He's a nice guy, not too tall, and he seems pretty easy-going. He was listed at 16 hands, for $10,000. Apparently he's done Western & English Pleasure along with some hunter & halter, and had a ROM in hunter-under-saddle classes.

I'm not used to the WP jog; I actually worked on both my horses to get them to jog/trot at a decent pace. So I'm having to make sure I don't try to nudge him faster - with my horses, when they started trotting that slow, they were usually getting ready to shift to a walk, and usually grab for a bite of grass.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Separated at birth?

I spent part of Doctor Who this week wondering who Fenella Woolgar reminded me of. The best idea so far is that she looks a lot like Penelope Keith did (when she was younger, anyway). I think it's the nose. The best examples are of Fenella (on the left) and Penelope . As far as I know, they aren't related.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Red Power! (and sunburns)

Yesterday was a loooong day. And I've got a sunburn on the back of one arm.

Yesterday was the day my parents decided to come up for the Red Power Round Up. It's a big exhibition/display show for International Harvester tractors and related equipment - Farmall, Cub Cadet, anything made by the IH company (which is now Case IH, unless it's been re-sold again). Dad's a big IH supporter, and still uses his dad's old Farmall M from 1950.

We only got a half-hour's notice, since they called on the road to let us know when they'd be here. El Burrito was still asleep when Mom called, and still eating breakfast when Dad knocked on the door. Dad was in a bit of a hurry, so it's a good thing I'd packed the diaper bag the night before. We were out the door 15 minutes later, which is probably a record for us.

Aside from the really pathetic arrangements at the golf-cart rental, which held us up for half an hour at the gate, and did bad things to Dad's mood, things went pretty well. We ended up with a golf cart, and only paid $40 instead of $75 for it (I said the rental system was screwy, right?). I remembered the sunscreen, and we all had a good time. We did some shopping (the main building has A/C), got lunch from the FFA stand (their meat-judging team is raising money for a judging trip to Scotland), and saw loads of red tractors.

El Burrito didn't nap, but he had a really good time. He wore his red overall shorts with the IH patch on the bib, of course. One older fellow asked to take his picture with a tractor like his father had owned. Later, we walked by the Visitors' Bureau table, the three ladies working at the table saw the Burrito and went "Awwwww, isn't he cute!" practically in chorus. Cracked me up.

We stayed for 8 hours, and we were both tuckered out when we got home. El Burrito came home with a new Farmall shirt and IH hat, some toy tractors, and 6 books about Tractor Mac. (It's insanely hard to find any tractor merchandise for kids that features IH or Farmall. John Deere, on the other hand, is merchandised to death.)

I'm a little sorry that we missed Joe Ertl's presentation, though. Ertl is the company that makes the little scale-model farm equipment; they've got 1/64th and 1/16th scale, and a few others. Their toys used to be high-quality stuff, all die-cast metal. These days, the prices haven't gone down, but the toys are more plastic than anything. Sadly, the "Cars" toys from the Pixar movie are higher quality than the Ertl tractors I've seen, and at half the price. My brother's 20-year-old Ertl toys are still going strong, but the new ones we bought El Burrito are so flimsy that I'm probably not going to buy any more new ones. I'll just haunt Ebay and yard sales for some oldies.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Riding lessons update

I just got an email from the woman in charge of the Summer Riding. My first-choice class (Beginning Riding) was full, so I'm in my second-choice class, Western Riding. Not a big deal, I was thinking of watching a few of the Western lessons anyway. And this is the later evening class, so a) it may be cooler and b) DH won't have to come home early.


I'm the only adult in the class. The others are a bunch of 10-or-so-year-old girls. Yeah. My out-of-shape, overweight self, and a gaggle of skinny, limber, energetic kids. I can't wait.

On the other hand, I was riding a horse longer than most of them have been alive, even if it was totally-self-taught, schlepping-around-the-field-bareback riding. I may look like crap, but at least I'm tall enough to bridle my own horse.

Class starts next Monday, and orientation is this weekend. I don't have to go, but I probably will. Need to track down both boots (one is under the bed, I know), dust off the helmet, and make sure I have fresh sunscreen. And find my squishy neckband cooling thingy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Books again

Today's library stats:

Returned 3 books (My First Tractor Board Book, Empire of Debt, and one that I forget), checked out 2 books and a DVD for me (Slings & Arrows - third time's the charm, right?) and 3 books for El Burrito. We also found out where the tractor and farm books are in the kiddie area, so we can read more of those.

Totals: 40 items out, 2 on the waitlist, since I picked up Battle for the Labyrinth and Does this Clutter Make my Butt Look Fat? today.

We spent $5.50 at the sale, mostly for El Burrito. We got Volume 1 of On My Way With Sesame Street (the alphabet), Sailing with the Wind, Number the Stars, Tamora Pierce's Street Magic, and 2 videos that my in-laws are looking for.

We also signed up for the Summer Reading Program, since they added a section for the under-3 age group. Basically, we wrote El Burrito's name on a paper moth - the theme this year is Bugs - and got a one-page calendar and some bug stickers. We put a sticker on the calendar every day that we read, and after 30 stickers, we can go back and get a free board book. It shouldn't be hard, since I've already read three books to him today. Right now he's on a Corduroy kick, so I'll have it memorized soon, along with Hippos go Berserk and The Going-to-Bed Book. It beats having the Jay Jay the Jet Plane theme stuck in my head for another week. (It's not a bad show, but after the third morning of waking up with it bouncing around my head, I was ready for something new.)

I did finish a book this afternoon, The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood by Susan Wittig Albert. It's the third book in her Beatrix Potter Cottage Tales series. I really like these, and I may put them on my Buy in Hardback shortlist. They can take the place of the Mrs. Murphy mysteries, because those are getting too short and quick-reading to justify hardback. I think one of the things I like about the Cottage Tales, and the China Bayles series by the same author, is the feeling of community (both the group of people, and the local geography) that comes across in both series.

Monday, June 9, 2008


We got a few things marked off the list recently. Makes me happy. :)

I found the missing restaurant gift card that we got at Christmas. Still in the Christmas card, and tucked into the big envelope with El Burrito's Xmas pictures. Which, obviously, I haven't looked at since then. I found it when I was looking for the big 10x13 photos we got, because I was planning to put one in a frame and hang it up. Well, we put one in the frame, but it's still not on the wall. Kind of sad that we don't have any pictures of us hanging anywhere.

And we finally managed to order a new microwave and stove, and dishwasher to boot. It only took 3 hours at Lowe's and the equivalent of our "economic stimulus" check. And we still don't have any of them. Who knew that bisque-colored appliances would have to be special-ordered (well, except for the stove) and wouldn't be in for 3 weeks? Sure, the stove's available now, but we don't need the stove now. I'm calling my brother later to see if he's still got the microwave I loaned/gave him for college. If he does, I'm borrowing it back for a month.

We spent part of yesterday at the in-laws' farm again, for yet another birthday. The family yard sale has come and gone, and once again we weren't invited to participate. I'm not sure who makes the decisions on including people; I'm betting it's that Least-favorite Sister-in-law, since the yard sale is held at her house. Not sure why she doesn't like me, but she can keep right on doing it for all I care. Twit.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sometimes it's not that easy

I was going through a stack of random papers yesterday and found some notes from back when I was pregnant. I was pretty freaked out about it (*) and at one point asked the nurse at the Ob/Gyn office for some recommendations for psychologists/psychiatrists. Never got around to calling either of them, but their names were in the notes I found.

News flash (or not): I may be - all right, probably am - slightly depressed. DH probably is as well. Not the "can't get out of bed, sleep all day, cry all the time" depressed. Just a general disinterested, blah, gloomy, inert, Eeyore-like mood. Although the crying spells have tapered off in the past year, but that may just be because I'm too tired to care.

I see ads in magazines and on TV occasionally. "If you think you suffer from depression, get help." is the basic message. Usually the "help" involves whatever new med they're pushing, but still.

It's not that easy, though. It's not like I can just dial 911, or 411, and "get help" magically. I wish I could. Instead, it's a never-ending series of decisions. How do you pick a mental health professional? Pick a random name from the the 30+ listed in the yellow pages? Psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or something else? Medication, talk, cognitive behavioral? Do I use someone approved by our medical insurance, or go the cash route so we don't get dinged for it later somehow? (And how much will this hurt my rates if I try to get my life insurance adjusted, in the unlikely event that I lose 30 pounds?)

Have I mentioned that I stink at decisions?

Then there's the whole scheduling issue. Because I doubt that most doctors (of any kind) also have on-site child care, you know? DH can't really come home and take care of him every time I need to go somewhere. And we don't have any sort of babysitting arrangement at all, other than an occasional day with the grandparents. I'm not ready to tell my in-laws that I need them to keep the boy X days a week/month because I'm mentally messed up.

And now El Burrito is awake and needing a drink of water, so any more deep thinking will have to wait. With any luck, I'll still remember what I was pondering on, next time I have the brain power to ponder some more.

* I think I was hyperventilating while reading What to Expect when You're Expecting at one point, but then that's a scare-you-to-death kind of book.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Odds and Ends

Seems like I've been too busy lately to write something coherent here. Brain-freeze, maybe.

So, what's been happening?

I sent my registration today for the summer riding program. I'd thought about taking the one-week, 2 hours of riding per night "camp" next week, but that's the week that my parents are coming to visit and we're going to the Red Power Roundup (International Harvester tractor exhibition/convention). So I'm doing the 2-week, six hours total session the week after that instead. And of course, have to miss the big end-of-session demonstration ride again, thanks to DH's family reunion the same day. The reunion is a four-hour drive, so I can't even go to the demo and then the reunion. Blah.

On the other hand, if the weather next month isn't obscenely hot and humid (hey, I can hope!), maybe I'll sign up for the second one-week camp.

El Burrito had his 2nd birthday and his 2-year pediatrician visit just the other day. He ended up with two birthday cakes again, since we're still not in a house of our own. He got a decent but not insane number of gifts - mostly with wheels - and had a lot of fun. His ped. is complimentary about his vocabulary and intelligibility, and he's moved up to the 45th %-ile in height and weight (although my mother still twitters at me about feeding him more, in spite of the fact that the kid eats all he wants, if not what he always wants). She'd be happy with him using 50-75 words, and he's easily using twice that. He can say more, but doesn't comprehend them - he'll repeat anything you tell him too. His new nickname is Paul E Wannacracker sometimes. :)

The boy's pretty sharp. His Megabloks piano has been iffy on the battery front for a week or two now, and last night it was sputtering out after two or three notes. Whereupon he walks over to me and tells me something. I had to get him to repeat it before I caught it all - the gist of it was "piano needs batteries," I know "batteries" was in there, but the first part was a bit garbled.

He did have a good birthday, spread out over most of a week. We went to my parents' for part of Memorial weekend. El Burrito stayed with them while DH and I saw the Indiana Jones movie, and he got to go to the cemetery with them for the afternoon. (It's surrounded by family land, Mom's in charge of the Perpetual Care fund, and they take turns sitting over there for Decoration Day since lots of people come to visit the graves and make donations to the fund.) El Burrito was chatting up lots of people and putting a lot of miles on his shoes. At one point, he was walking around under the oak trees and pointing up into the branches while saying something that no one quite heard. He also got to run around, ride in the trucks, and play with Grandma.

In other news: One more fish fatality, although not Squiggy the Immortal Pleco. Still no microwave, still working on cleaning up enough to maneuver a stove through the living room. And it's starting to get hot here - highs finally hitting 90, and the ever-awful humidity. Yech. And once again, I was blatantly snubbed from the in-laws' yard sale.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Books and more books

Somehow, the library numbers didn't go down much, in spite of returning 11 books this week. Probably didn't help that we came home with 2 DVDs and 7 books (only 2 of those are mine).

Today: 37 items out, 5 on hold. Someone's been busy, because I'm up to #8 on the wait-list for Battle of the Labyrinth.

  • Tractor Day (almost caused a mutiny - El Burrito is still working on the idea of borrowed books)
  • Remember Me?, the new Sophie Kinsella novel - Pretty good, but a bit similar to her other non-Shopaholic books. Heroine has issues with old lifestyle, crisis, and finds a new better lifestyle and/or boyfriend. But, they're fun to read and not too eye-roll inducing, so it's all good.
  • Me, Myspace and I - Kind of interesting, but I'm sure by the time El Burrito is online, there'll be a new "in" thing to replace Myspace
  • Party Princess
  • Valentine Princess
  • Ancient Egyptian Cross Stitch - Beautiful stuff, but I don't have time right now.
  • More Crocheted Aran Sweaters by Jane Snedden Peever - Ditto.
  • Heartfelt Gifts to Knit & Crochet (Lion Brand & Vanna White) - Has a Log Cabin afghan that would use up a bunch of random yarn.
  • The Home Organizing Idea Book - Wasn't helpful, but if I was building a house, there are a few ideas.
  • 24-Hour Crochet
  • Hooked Scarves: 20 Easy Projects
Then we spent $7.50 at the book sale, and saw El Burrito's buddy, who had another book to give him. It was the first sale of the month, so the theme was cooking and handicrafts. We found a couple of interesting cookbooks, which I don't usually buy - I prefer to get them from the library to see if they've got anything interesting first - and El Burrito found a couple of goodies.
  • Richard Scarry's Busiest Fire Fighters Ever! (I remember these, and I love the illustrations)
  • One Year of Healthy, Hearty & Simple One-dish Meals
  • Frugal Gourmet cooks Three Ancient Cuisines: China, Greece, Rome
  • The Well-Filled Tortilla
  • The Sesame Street Story Book
  • Peekaboo Bunny: Friends in the Snow (El Burrito's gift from his buddy)
Most of the books we checked out were for El Burrito; I had two on hold waiting, but that was it. And luckily we found the Easter Beagle DVD to check out. The kid's on a big "watch Charlie Brown!" kick right now, and as hard as it is to believe, I may have gotten close to my limit for the Charlie Brown Christmas. (Frightening, because I loooooove that one. And I'd hate to burn out on it.)