Sunday, April 30, 2006

Mr. Fashion Strikes Again

Please read “Kids are weird” posted 11/7/05 for the back story if you care to know the back story.

Okay, so six months later, Lane is still wearing nothing but khaki cargo pants. If you read the back story you’ll note that I bought him one pair of grey ones which he has since eschewed as he only likes the khaki. He has to wear them to school on occasion when the khakis are dirty and I catch him digging a pair out of the laundry hamper and make him put them back. On these days, he goes to school in a very pissy mood. Steve took him to Old Navy yesterday and got him two more pair of khaki cargoes so he’s good to go in that department.

BUT …..

Somewhere, and I don’t remember where in this clothing saga, he told me he wanted to change from briefs to boxers. He had a couple of boxers that he mostly wore for p.j.s and, being the laundress, I had noticed that he’d started wearing them as drawers. So, he wants to change to boxers because briefs bind. Allrighty, then.

Today, doing laundry, I notice NO boxers. Hmmmm. Is the darned kid not changing? Or is he going commando? Then I get to the whites and find briefs in his size. (Luckily for him, when he banned briefs, I didn’t get rid of them.) Sure enough, he’s gone back from boxers to briefs. WTF? I asked him if he didn’t like boxers any more and he said he didn’t but couldn’t really say why. *sigh*

Please, please someone out there tell me their kid is weird about clothes!! In my original post about him and his clothing, I asked ‘What next?’ Well, I guess that question is answered. I won’t even bother to ask it again as I know it will be something.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Terror before the dawn
A true story of a near near-death experience

Disclaimer: This story isn’t mine. It’s my friend Linda’s. I did not obtain Linda’s permission to place this story here but I’m afraid if I ask her, she’ll say no. So I’m going to go ahead on the premise I learned as a teenager that it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission. Of course, all names, dates and locations have been changed to protect the innocent. *wink,wink*

Linda is married but her husband is out of town. A few days ago she was blissfully slumbering away when her carbon monoxide detector (CMD) went off at 4 a.m. This, naturally, sent a bit of panic through Linda. She grabbed her cordless phone and high-tailed it outside into the fresh air. Once safe, she called 911. Unfortunately, this emergency response person (ERP) seemed to be less than highly trained. When Linda told the dispatcher her CMD was going off, the dispatcher asked Linda what she wanted her to do about it? Linda, somewhat agitated, told her she didn’t know what needed to be done. That’s why she was calling her!! After some serious thought on the part of the ERP (which I suspect may have been quite painful) she finally gave Linda the number to the local gas company.

Linda hangs up from 911 and the oh-so-helpful ERP and calls the gas company. Crap. The number the ERP gave her was a daytime number and no one would be there till 8 a.m. (Remember it was 4 a.m. when the CMD went off a few minutes ago.)

Aggravated now, as well as agitated, Linda hangs up, calls the ERP back and informs her that the number she gave her for the gas company is not manned at 4 a.m. Again, the ERP asks Linda what she wants her to do. At this point, Linda really, really wants to scream, “FREAKIN’ FIX IT!!” Maintaining her control, however, she merely tells the ERP that she needs something to be done. The ERP finally decides she can call the fire department for Linda. She also recommended Linda go in and open up all the windows to air the house out. Yes, that would be go into an apparently carbon monoxide-filled house. Brilliant.

So, Linda goes in, opens all the windows and goes back out to safety. After a few minutes, two men from the fire department arrive, fortunately WITHOUT sirens as Linda thinks her neighbors already think she’s nuts. They came in, looked around and told Linda that they couldn’t find anything. They might have been able to if she hadn’t opened all the windows. At this point, Linda is seriously ready to throttle the worthless ERP.

Linda waits until a decent hour then calls her son-in-law, Greg, who works for the gas company. Greg comes out and looks around. Linda explains that, when the CMD first went off it was flashing a code … L3 … L3 … L3. The fire fighters had re-set it, though. Greg looks around, finds no cause for alarm then asks Linda if she happened to be wearing her glasses when all this transpired. Linda informs him, “Hell no I wasn’t wearing my glasses! It was 4 a.m. and I was wakened from a sound sleep!” Greg sheepishly tells her that he only asks if she was sure it was L3 and not LB …. You know, as in LOW BATTERY????

Ummmm ……............

I am happy to report that a change of battery has cleared up Linda’s carbon monoxide problem and her detector hasn’t gone off again since.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Confessions of a Peeping Tom

I have become completely addicted to a live web cam.

It's an eagle's nest somewhere on Hornby Island, British Columbia, Canada. The eagle is sitting on two eggs that are due to hatch any day. I keep the site up all the time I'm on the computer. Of course, this has caused me to get the pee scared out of me a few times. See, I keep the sound up while I'm busy elsewhere so that I can hear if she starts rustling around so I can go peek real quick to see what's going on. Just a while ago, all was quiet and then she suddenly started calling out. I about jumped out of my skin.

She seems to be preparing her nest for her imminent arrivals. She's been fussing with her nest - rearranging stuff. She's moved several bigger sticks into a circle around her. Making a little "cage" so the babies can't get near the edge? I can't believe how addicted I've become to this site. It's running in the background every time, all the time I'm on the computer. (Which is quite often, I hesitate to admit!)

I just find this truly amazing. Around here, one occasionally sees an eagle, but to get to watch one so close-up and intimately? For starters, she and her mate are gorgeous. And she never, ever seems to sleep. Occasionally when she calls out her mate comes and changes places with her so she can go ... (hunt? pee? drink?). Probably all of the above. But she sometimes calls out for no reason that's obvious to me. After you watch a while you can tell the difference between Mom and Dad. He look fiercer. Check out the faces.

The boys and I can't wait for the babies to come. Just imagine getting to see them be fed, to grow and, eventually, leave the nest. One doesn't often get to witness life's little miracles up close and personal. This is an incredible opportunity to do so. Check it out.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Speaking of books ....

Once upon a time, Steve read that one of his favorite authors, Louis L'Amour, kept a journal of every book he read. I'm no L'Amour fan, but I found this concept intriguing and so started keeping a log myself. I only note title, author and month/year completed. I don't read especially fast, but do read daily. I keep this log in a notebook by my bed till I have a few pages, then transfer them to an Excel document. I just transferred and decided to look at the count. I was shocked to find that I have read 366 book since January, 1996. For anyone who is a fast reader (like my mom) that probably doesn't sound like many ... one about every 10 days or so. For me, it sounds like a helluva lot! Plus, it's definitely a walk down memory lane to read down the list.

Dang. You'd think after reading all those books I'd be smart by now, huh?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Just call me Mrs. Last Minute

Steve is very much a last minute kind of guy. Always has been. I suspect he always will be. I don’t know if it’s that he works best under pressure or if it’s just a lack of planning. Either way, not my problem. Or is it??

I’m a plan ahead kind of girl. I like to get things done so that I don’t have to go into panic mode right before an event. For example, when we were going to visit his family for Christmas, I had everything done ahead of time so that the day of could be devoted to those things which, by their nature, must be done somewhat last minute …. packing bags, baking, etc. So, what happens? Steve needs me to run to the town he works in (35 minutes from home) to pick up some papers, take them to a second town (50 minutes from that town) and then back home (15 minutes from the last town). SO not what I had planned to do last minute. Today was another case in point. AS he’s leaving for work, he realizes that the rain last night caused the gutters to overflow. There’s been rain in the forecast for days. Does he get out there and clean them before the rain? Nope. Guess who’s a$$ he had out on the ladder with the rains coming in this morning to clean the gutters? Well, most of them. I finished four out of five when I saw distant lighting and scooted indoors so fast I think I left skid marks.

Santa’s wife is called Mrs. Claus. The President’s wife is called Mrs. President. (Okay, okay, they call her First Lady but it’s effectively the same.) So, you can just call me Mrs. Last Minute.

Friday, April 14, 2006

I just love a new book

I love books. I love the way they look ... the way the feel ... the weight and heft of them. Of course, I love to read them as well. But I really love a brand-new book. There's something about just starting a new one. Maybe it's the anticipation of a new story. Kind of like starting out on a trip. You have all the fun of it to look forward to. Before you've begun, there's no down side. Sometimes you start reading only to find that a book is really dull. Or just plain bad. But, before you begin, each book holds the promise of excellence. Especially if it's a known and loved author. Or, better yet, a book in a favorite series by a loved author. You can be pretty well assured that you're going to love this book. And you have the whole of it before you yet. *sigh* I love that feeling. I won't talk about that sad, kind of forlorn feeling one gets when finishing one of these books. That's another post.

I have a new book sitting in front of me now .... The Journal of Professor Abraham Van Helsing. (Yes, I know that should be underlined, not italicized, but I don't have an underline option on my formatting bar!) The cover caught my eye. I wouldn't have picked it if it were shelved spine-out because it's only 1/2-inch thick. Sounds dumb, I know, but I usually won't pick skinny books. They end too fast. If they're on the self spine-out, I won't even pull them to look at them or read the synopsis. Luckily for me, this one was cover-out. The title and cover art caught my attention. I've read the Introduction and it's captured me. Will I like the rest? Will I possibly love it? Will I be very disappointed with it? No telling. For now, I love it. I guess that's the best part of a new book. Before beginning them, I love them all.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Lighting up the night ... and the day

We burned the pasture on MIL's ranch this weekend. Man, that's a helluva sight. If you've never seen it, you really should try. Especially a night burn. Those are the coolest.

We started Friday night about 6 p.m. went around the perimeter of the ranch lighting (Steve and his brother, Bryan, with my two boys driving the 4-wheelers for them).

At one point, there were lines of fire zig-zagging across the pasture. That looked very cool. It made me think of a lava field.

Not all of it burned on Friday night as there was virtually no wind to blow it onward so, yesterday, we had to burn more. It was a bit windy now, but we had a good buffer zone all along the edges of the ranch of several hundred feet. Gave us a nice safety zone. After much re-lighting, finally got about 90% of it burned which is great. To top it off in the good luck department, it rained 1.5" last night. In a few weeks, we'll have the most gorgeous green grass you've ever seen.

Now, before you get your poisoned keyboards all warmed up and ready to post a hateful comment about our irresponsibility on actually lighting fires when there have been so many devastating wildfires lately, just let me make a few points:

1) That county has had rain - and a decent amount of rain - lately.

2) Because of the recent rains (and snows) the burn ban in Kansas has been lifted.

3) The Kansas Livestock Association issued a newsletter recommending that ranchers burn their pastures after the recent moisture and burn off all that old, dried grass and brush. If they don't, and it gets dry again, the wildfires will be worse than ever this summer.

4) There was no wind when we burned. In fact, one really needs a decent 10-15 mph wind to burn really effectively but, for safety's sake, we waited until there was none this year. (That is partly why we burned at night. The wind often dies at dusk.)

5) There were 25-gallon tanks of water on each 4-wheeler and Rhonda and I were constantly patrolling in the truck with another 200-gallon tank in the back full of more water.

Burning has almost become kind of a family holiday for us. Everyone gets involved, except Hazel (MIL) who is less than thrilled with fire. The brothers burn, the sons drive, the wives supervise and keep the water handy. Everyone enjoys it. After it's all lit, we retire to the deck on the house and watch the fire work it's way over the hills. I repeat, it really is a helluva sight.