Saturday, August 26, 2006

When was the last time you listened to an LP? Real vinyl? I hooked up the turntable tonight to listen to some old music, my goal is to digitize some albums and transfer them to the iPod library. It wasn't really working to connect the turntable directly to the computer or even through a pre-amp. So instead of bringing the turntable to the computer, I took the computer to the stereo. Sheesh, it hasn't been used in so long it's probably in shock to have its circuits going.

I have another goal, too. Blue October, an alternative group, has a song "Hate Me," that's played on my mainstream pop station for middle-aged women. Everytime I've heard it play, it sucked my mind back to my college years, to my friends, then to Harry Chapin. I finally figured out the melody of the verses of "Hate Me" is the same as a Harry Chapin song, but I can't remember which one.

This means research. Down into the basement to find eight, yes, eight embarassing albums. I didn't think I had that many, but you know how crazy college girls can be. I may not ever figure this out, but it's fun to go back to 1980 for a while.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Forget what I said about the pants that fit and not stressing about my weight. Any day the Mendoza line looks back at you from your scale is a day to stress about your weight.

It's like when your age changes from 39 to 40. You're not really older than you were the day before, but it's that first number that looks so bad.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I finished! I had about a foot of binding left to sew down on a quilt I've had forEVER and I finally got it done last night. The quilt is an Irish Chain quilt made from blocks from an exchange online probably 8 or 10 years ago. I made two tops, one in green and one in blue. The blue one is for my son so I made the border and backing of train and truck fabric. It's machine quilted. The green one is for Fern. I'm hand quilting it and it'll be another 5 years to complete....

The blue one needs more quilting in the blank squares between the chains, but the binding is done and I can add more quilting whenever I'm moved to do so.

This is a picture I found of the blue chain in progress.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Most people who look at me think I'm slim and don't need to lose any weight. Even though I'm 5'7" and on the slender side, I still have a big butt in ratio to my waist. I'm pear-shaped, albeit a tall pear; my blouse size is two sizes smaller than my hips. There's always a huge gap at the small of my back in the waistband of my pants, sometimes more than four inches extra.

I'm not happy with my weight because I can't fit into many of the pants I own. If my weight drops just two pounds, my wardrobe shifts to a different size. Same if I gain two pounds: different size. Oh, and my legs are long, 33" inseam. So finding pants to fit well is always a challenge. Pants have been worn lower on the torso in recent fashion years too. I hate that because my belly flops over the top and is uncomfortable and looks and feels larger than it is, especially when it could be nicely contained inside a higher rise garment. So low rise pants are out.

So I stress about my weight, so I can fit into comfortable pants I already have in my closet, I don't want to be buying a larger size.

Saturday, my daughter and her friend went to the mall to find a first-day-of-school outfit. While she shopped, I went into Hechts to look around. Macy's bought Hechts so they are doing the makeover in the store, getting rid of the non Macy's brands and bringing in new ones.

Over ten years ago another area department store went out of business and Macy's took them over. All of the locations except for those in Prince George's county. They sited economic reasons, but many of us believed it was because the county is 62% black. It really ticked me off Macy's wouldn't come in and be a presence in the county. Seven-hundred-thousand residents here with money to spend. Why is that bad economics? So I've boycotted other Macy's since then.

Now Macy's is taking over a store I patronize frequently and I have a dilemma whether I should continue to shop there or not. I'm looking around on Saturday and I notice a brand of clothes I'm not familiar with, Charter Club. I continue on over to the clearance racks and I see a pair of Charter Club pants. Hmm. I try them on. A size smaller than most of the stuff that's fitting me now. And they fit great! Long enough. No gap in the waist band. They were a pair of lined dress trousers, much too fancy for my office. But they have a tag inside indicating the fit: Katherine Fit. Whoohoo! Jackpot. This pair did not have a clearance sticker on them, so I scanned the price. $90. Yikes. I went back over to the Charter Club section and found a less pricey, less fancy pair of pants, and they fit too.

I now have 4 pairs of new pants, they all fit, all long enough, and I don't have to stress about my weight for a while. Oh happy day.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Today is the first day of school here in Prince George's County, Maryland. My son's special-ed bus came right on time and he was ready for it. He's starting a new after care program for special needs teens at one of the local community centers. I hope he adjusts well. He should, he does pretty well in situations like that.

My daughter starts middle school today, bus pick-up at 8:59. She was just getting dressed when I left for work. Darn, I forgot to tell her to eat breakfast. shoot.

She's going to be very busy this fall. Saxophone lessons, Girl Scounts, play practice for Into The Woods. School runs 9:30 to 4:10 so she'll be getting home late, and I hope her honors classes don't overload her with homework. I'm just not sure when she can fit it in.

I created a blog for my dad over the weekend. I want him to post pictures. He lives a couple hours away so it's not always easy to visit and look at his work. I'm trying to convince him to blog. He's in his 70's so blogging is new technology for him to grasp. I'll post a link for it when he gets more pictures up.

Friday, August 18, 2006

It was my turn to golf last night. I got nine holes in at Glenn Dale before dark, which is a lot earlier now than it was in June. When I left the kitchen was neat, when I returned there was a peach pie on the stove. And all the evidence of preparation on the counter.

I thought I'd made progress the day before during the chicken salad creation.

Spirit Air had $16 flights on sale yesterday. I could have gotten to San Juan and back for $64 +tax (one stop in Ft. Lauderdale) departing 9/19 returning 9/24. Sure, hurricane season, but golf! whoohoo! And no dishes...

The pie was very good, by the way.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Fern and I made chicken salad last night while my husband went out to play golf. We had a good time cooking together. It was also a nice quiet time to tell her we're not getting another cleaning service. We've had one since before she was born.

When you get a service, your house gets cleaned on a regular basis, but there is an attitude that goes along with it that you don't have clean up after yourself, someone else will. And it's not just the kids, I've spilled something on the floor before and thought "the cleaning people are coming tomorrow, they'll mop it up."

As Fern and I are chopping up our ingredients, I explain all this. And she seems to be getting it. She made regular chicken salad with celery and I made curried with champaign grapes, apple and pecans. After we ate while we watched reruns of "Whose Line" I reminded her we had to clean up the kitchen. Before I know it, she's SWEEPING the FLOOR! I didn't say anything about the floor.

I'm trying to start maintaining the house myself by coming up with chores I can remember easily and that are not daunting. Like on payday-mondays, I'll change the sheets. Friday is trash day so Thursday night the wastepaper baskets should get emptied.

A new school year starts Monday. Fern rode the bus to orientation today. It's time for new beginnings, and I want to get control of my house.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

This is my first attempt at adding a photo to my blog. This picture of Fern and my dad was one of the first picutes I took with a digital camera. The date stamp is December 2, 2002. I'm now on my third camera (first one stolen, second died in July, a whole nother blog) and if this works, I'll be trying to do the photo thing more often.

Fern is 7 here and Dad is pre-stoke. He recovered very well, just some vision issues and hearing loss in one ear now. I should get him to blog his photos, they're great.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I hate Six Flags. It's practically in my backyard, about 20 minutes down the road, yet we hardly ever go. If you've ever been to Hershey Park, you'll never want to go back to SF. SF is to Hershey like the Motel 6 in Cancun is to Caneel Bay on Saint John. It's a different class of place.

Each of my kids spent two weeks at camp overlapping a week in the middle when my husband and I got away for a few days. We took my son to the Water Park in Chesapeake Beach and my daughter opted for an evening at SF. We tried to go last Wednesday, got there at 6:30 thinking it closed at 10. We had discount tickets, but when we got there, there was a sign saying the park was closing at 8. We decided not to spend $80 for 90 minutes of waiting in line.

The discount coupons expired on Sunday so we went after we got Kev from camp. After about an hour of rides we decided to get some dinner. I took Kev and got a cheesesteak with fries, while my husband took Fern to get Chinese. They got their food and were done quickly and headed off to Two-Face while we ate. They were next in line on the ride when we arrived (thanks to cell phones, what did we do without them?) Kev sat at some tables and I stood by the fence to the ride and waited. He and I were about 30 feet apart. He was very content just sitting there.

While I watched Fern and her dad take their seats a discussion started between two guys in the open space between me and Kev. I wasn't really paying any attention to them until punches started to fly. I'm not in harm's way, nor is Kev. But more people join in, women too, and people are getting thrown into the fence I'm standing by. Security arrives and tried to break it up but as the fight continues, it migrates over to the area where Kev is sitting who is completely oblivious to what's going on. One of the blessings (or curses) of Autism. I pull him out of there just as a young women gets decked. Kev objects to having to move, but I explain to him I wanted him away from the fight.

A few moments later Fern and my husband get off the ride and he immediately wanted to know if we're ok. He then filled me in on what happened on the ride. It seems several riders wanted off because their friends were in the fight and wanted to join in.

Did I mention I hate Six Flags?

Why? I've been asking myself. Is it a race issue? It seemed about 5% of the patrons were white, the rest were black and Hispanic. The fighters were black. I don't think race is the problem. I hated SF before I took note of the demography of the park guests and before the fight.

I think it really boils down to park cleanliness, broken rides and the $15 they charge for parking. Every coaster I went on had broken seats or seatbelts. The drop ride had just gotten stuck and they were closing it. The water flume ride didn't even have water in it and was closed. There is just a grungy feel about the place all around. Hershey Park is such a pleasant place, too bad it's 2 hours away.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I'm below the Mendoza line. In baseball it's the batting average of .200 that separates the bad from adequate players.

In my life, it's my weight, the number that separated a bad weight from an adequate one. I'm "happy" if I'm below it and very frustrated and unhappy if I'm above it. I really like it if my Mendoza line was 5 pounds less, but that's hard considering I'm closer to 50 than to 40 and I've had 2 kids. The more I want to get rid of a few pounds, the more I crave things that will add a few pounds. I walk with CG (Miss Kingsfield) almost every morning, which helps a lot. I've seen her Mendoza line go down in the last year and a half by our daily morning tour of the neighborhood; mine hasn't moved.

I got on the scale yesterday and I saw Mendoza-2 after struggling for the past several months (Mendoza +1.5). This morning the same number stared back at me again. yay! I ate OK today so hopefully I'll see that number again tomorrow. Or less.

Do you have a Mendoza line?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

OK, I did the martini quiz CG and Greeny mentioned in their blogs. It seems I"m not to drink with them. Here are my results:
You Are a Chocolate Martini

You're an elegant drunk, who only likes the best bars and the most expensive drinks.
A bit of a cheapskate, you're likely to mooch ten dollar drinks off both friends and strangers.

You should never: Drink and dash. You're gonna get caught leaving someone with the tab!

Your ideal party: A posh celebrity party you crash, with an open bar.

Your drinking soulmates: those with a Classic Martini personality

Your drinking rivals: those with a Blueberry Martini personality