Sunday, November 26, 2006

Two Virgins Do Wichita

On Thanksgiving, we were looking through the sale circulars for Black Friday. Lane asked why it was called that and, in explaining, I also explained how people get nutty and go to the stores at 5 a.m. Lane thought that sounded fun. Huh? But he got excited about it and his enthusiasm was contagious. I agreed that we should shop.

So, not-so-bright-and-early on Friday, Lane and I, two former Black Friday Virgins, hit Wichita. We shopped Radio Shack, Best Buy, Wal Mart, Target and Bath & Body Works. I didn't find the two main things I went for (dratted early worm shoppers!), but did find comparable items. The best parts of the day:

* Getting a 2 gb SD card for $30
* Getting $65 worth of stuff at B&BW for $23
* Getting to stop at Starbucks for a Peppermint Mocha latte
* Seeing Lane put Shopping Cart Slug in her place

See, Lane is a bit of a shopping cart Nazi. He HATES it when people leave them wherethehellever, instead of taking them to the cart return. We were just coming down the aisle at Target and spotted an empty spot near one of those little median things. A lady was trying to get her cart up onto the grassy area of this median. She gave up and left the butt of it sticking out into the parking space. She started walking away just as we go to the space. Lane jumped out of the van, YANKED the cart off the curb and very pointedly pushed it to the cart return, rattling and shaking it the whole way in an attempt to ensure that Cart Slug would see him. Not sure if she got the point, but I got a heck of a laugh out of it!

Did we have fun Black Friday shopping? Yes. Would I do it again? I'm not sure. Ask me next year.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Nice people ROCK

I seem to be having lots of encounters with "takers" lately. You know the ones. People who expect the world but give very little, if anything. It's frustrating. And it's depressing.

But then ....

I am reminded that there are truly nice people out there. Lane just finished his high school's play, "Little Shop of Horrors". Being a scrapper, I've been dying to go to rehearsals and take photos of him in his light booth. Being a high school boy, he was somewhat against that. I refrained, but it was painful. Yesterday, he came home with a CD filled with photos. Hundreds of them. Mr. B has been taking photos from rehearsals, performances and parties all along. And he burned them all to CD for each of the kids. And there were lots of kids involved. That's a lot of CDs to copy.

Lane's school also had a debate tournament last weekend. They were short of judges so Lane got on the phone and called neighbors. He was able to fill nine more sessions. Wayne S., Gene S. and Christi R. all agreed to judge.

Now, bear in mind that none of these people have a vested interested in these activities. I also judged the tournament, but my kid was involved and would get docked on his grade if he didn't get at least two judges. But these people did these deeds because they're nice. Because they give back. Because they care. Kind of restores my faith in humanity.

Nice people rock!

Saturday, November 18, 2006


I judged my first debate tournament today. I thought it might get boring, but it was actually pretty interesting. And very tiring. Imagine listening to six hours of kids debating the draft, Peace Corps, Don't Ask/Don't Tell.

I can't tell you how difficult it was for me not to:
a) Ask any questions
b) Interject any arguments of my own
c) Refrain from telling some they made a brilliant point
d) Refrain from telling others they were idiots

Those of you who know me know how difficult it was for ME to listen, for six solid hours, to other people talk and not say a word other than "Let's begin" and "Thank you. Good job everyone." In fact, you probably can't even imagine it. But I did it. Really! I did!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Ah, the sweet sound of ????

You know you're a parent and accustomed to having kids around when ...
you come home, all alone, the house is blissfully quiet. You make a fresh cup of coffee, flip the TV on for background noise and settle down at the computer to catch up on e-mails and Scrap Share. Ah, heaven. And then, twenty minutes later, you realize that you've been listening to SpongeBob SquarePants all this time. And the thing is, the kids are gone so you don't HAVE to.

Funny what one gets used to hearing, and tuning out, when one has kids.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Attitude Adjustment
(Or would that be cattitude??)

Sunny just got home from the vet. He got neutered yesterday. Surprisingly, he's still speaking to me today. I don't know that I would be that generous were the roles reversed. He came home with a list of instructions for his post-surgery care:

* Give him limited exercise
* Keep him from jumping
* Keep him from licking the site

Someone please explain to me exactly how one stops a 5 month old kitten from doing these things? Lock him up? Does he need to live in his carrier for the next week? Sheesh.

Oh, and then there's this:

"Please check his incision daily for any swelling, redness or discharge." Yeah, just the area I of a cat I want to study closely on a daily basis. Methinks the kid that works at the vet should get this job!!

Sorry, Sunny. We love ya but those nuts had to go. Forgive us.

Friday, November 03, 2006

[Brought to you by the weekly SS blog challenge.]

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The challenge:
With Halloween upon us, tell us about a time in your life when you were scared. Shaking, screeching, frozen, trembling, crying, sick-to-your-stomach, whatever scared. Maybe you were a child, maybe you were an adult, maybe it was a nightmare, maybe it was a job interview. Whatever. You've been scared before. Tell us!
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I've been scared a lot in my life. I'm actually a bit of a fraidy cat. Most people don't know that. I (think?) I hide it pretty well. When one has a family, one knows fear. Fear when the baby's fever goes up and won't come down. Fear when your husband is very late coming home and you haven't heard from him. Fear when your parents start getting older. Fear abounds when one cares about other people.

But apparently I'm a sucker for punishment. I actually seek it out. I watch scary movies. And they scare the pee out of me. I'm not one of those that watches them then forgets them. Oh, no. They stay with me. I'll find myself thinking about them in the days following. I'll find myself jumping at little things and imagining whatever evil creature was featured in the latest one lurking around corners, waiting for me. In a way, it's kind of stupid to do this to oneself. But harmless fear is great fun. You get the adrenaline rush of skydiving without the risk. The most scared I've been at a movie in recent years was probably watching The Blair Witch Project. At the drive-in. All by myself.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Feel-Good Season

I love this time of year. I love the holidays. Halloween - and if you've read my blog at ALL you already know this - is a particular favorite. Thanksgiving is loads of fun, too. I love the back-to-routine that school brings before we get sick of the routine. But the weather. Oh, the weather. Nothing feels better to me than sleeping in a cold room with open windows all snuggled down in warm covers. The brisk mornings and evenings invigorate. The warm, sunny afternoons with that underlying cool makes the senses awaken. Even the animals are friskier. We've shed the heat and oppressive humidity of summer and the freshening air is like an awakening to me.

We're experiencing gorgeous color this year. Our area of the country is not one of those that draws leaf peepers. But this year, it could. The range of colors from still-green to nearly burgundy defies description. The leaves fall from trees like vibrantly-colored rain and swirl along behind passing cars like botanical confetti. It makes one just want to stand outside, eyes closed, face to the sun and say, "Thank you, God."