Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Things I forgot to mention about the weekend:

A chocolate bunny pooped in my purse. I found the evidence when I was looking for my misplaced credit/debit card.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekend Round-up

OK, so the weekend was busy but not nearly as crazy as it may have sounded it could have been.

Wednesday I went to the Trash to Treasures" sale at my Quilt Guild meeting. I sold $40 in sewing machine feet plus other trinkets and my sewing machine cabinet for $50.

Thursday we visited a family about adopting their 8yo fox terrier. Fern fell in love with the dog immediately, as I knew she would. Kevin was afraid of it, as I knew he would be, but as long as it was held and her mouth faced away from him, he would pet the dog's back. I got the impression the dog is ours if we want it, they will quit advertising it's available. Kevin has to warm up to the idea. Fern needs to show us she's responsible to have a dog and it starts with HOMEWORK!

Friday Fern and I took Kevin to Special Olympics swim team practice and went to eat chili at Hard Times Cafe.

Saturday AM took Fern to Wonka auditions and I took Kevin to Swim-n-gym. I opted not to take him to the Special Olympic swim meet because it was too much trouble to get him there and back and it was the last day for his usual Saturday program.
I picked Fern up at the auditions at 11:15 to take her to her 11:30 ice skating lesson, then went home for some quiet. I got the kitchen cleaned up a bit before I had to go back out to collect Fern at the rink, then Kevin at his thing. The plan was to drop Fern off at the Lacrosse field so she could watch her friends play, but she wanted to go home first for a quick bite and a shower. Shower? really? You're going to be in the hot sun. You're going to get sweaty anyway. Yeah, but I need to shave my legs. Sheesh. Did I forget to mention it is Boys Lacrosse?

Fern got a call-back for Wonka and AM took her daughter and Fern back after the LAX game so Kevin and I were free for a while. I went to the fabric store to buy more fabric I made Mom's quilt with. She wants to redecorate her bedroom to match the quilt and wanted the fabric for pillow shams and valences.

I got home to put the lasagna in the oven for the Basket Bingo Fund Raiser at church. I was not lucky at bingo! this time, didn't win, didn't tie. I was close a couple times, but nada.

Sunday I went to church by myself. The kids were non-responsive. My sewing machine cabinet buyer came by to pick it up in the afternoon. I offered to take Kevin to the pool with the slide, but he napped instead. And consequently, he didn't go to bed until after 2:00 last night. I took the kids out to Bob Evans for supper, just to get out of the house, but the service was painfully slow and the waitress didn't even try to make up for it. It took over 8 minutes for the check and a to-go box. I left a 10% tip. I wasn't happy.

And now the week starts all over again.


Post Script
Fern got the part of Mrs. Bucket in Wonka

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Copy Cat

I stole this from Lorraine who stole it from Sling: my customized signature at the bottom of my posts.

Get yours here.

What do you think?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What Lies Ahead

Dan is leaving tonight for a work trip. After work on Friday he'll be staying on to visit a friend and play golf. Since work is paying for the flights, he is limited to contract flights home and they are all full until Monday morning. Which means I'll be a single mom all weekend.

I don't mind being a single mom for a weekend, I just have to remember everything, all activities and be there on time.

Quilt Guild meeting where we're having a "Trash to Treasures" sale. I've actually been setting aside some items to get rid of so I want to go. I am even taking an old Bernina 1010 to sell. I'm thinking I'll ask between $200 and $300 for it, plus extra for the special presser feet. The goal is make money and get rid of clutter, not spend money and acquire more stuff. I shouldn't bring anything back, right? Right. [clears throat]

Kevin ready for the bus at 07:15, don't forget to put money in his backpack for his field trip
Me at work at 08:00
Science tutoring session for The Girl at 08:30 (transportation?)
Leave work at 16:30
Pick up Kevin from After-Care at 17:15
Visit a family about adopting their mature fox terrier at 18:30

Kevin, bus; me, work; Fern, school, etc., etc.
Get Kevin to Special Olympics swim team practice at 18:00 picking up dinner for The Boy on the way in plenty of time as to not push the 30-minute rule.
Does The Girl need to be somewhere?

Kevin to Swim-n-gym at 10:00 or to the Special Olympics swim meet at 09:15, which one? It's the last day of the Swim-n-gym session for the spring, but he should attend the meet so he can go to the state games in June.
Fern's ice skating lesson?
Auditions for Willy Wonka at 10:00 if Fern wants to
Fern's ice skating team practice at 12:00
Call-backs for Wonka 15:00 to 17:00
When is the swim meet over?
Can I possibly get to the ceramics studio somewhere between 12:00 and 16:30 and put a handle on my mug before it get too dry?
Basket Bingo Fund Raiser at church at 17:00, Fern to help work and I've volunteered to bring 24 cans of cold coke and a baked lasagna. When am I going to buy coke and bake?

Day of rest
Get myself and kids to 09:30 church
Think of some activity for the kids so they don't play on the computers all day
Is homework done?
Don't forget to feed the kids.
Is the toilet still leaking? Try to get to Home Depot before they close to buy a kit

See Thursday and Friday

Friday, April 17, 2009

I just turned my back for a second...

I've wanted to post this picture for a while. Kevin brought me my phone one day to show me the letters he had photographed. I didn't even know he had it. He figured out how to turn on the phone, open the camera, and press the shutter button. Several times.

Kevin started forming an attachment to my iPhone and I was afraid I'd never be able to use it again. He decided it belonged in his hands or in the charger, and he would get upset if I tried to make a call with it.

Dan and I ended up buying him his own "iPhone," an 8gb iTouch, (much to the chagrin of Fern, of course) so I could have my phone back. I loaded it up with a bunch of free apps and a lot of his favorite music. He loves it and it doesn't matter it's not really a phone, even though that's what he calls it.

Oh, and he LOVES the iPhone ads on TV. He has to rewind them and watch them over and over again, they make him giggle and smile.

I just wish they made the iTouch with a camera in it, I'd love to see more of Kevin's art. Maybe if I'm brave, I'll let him use my phone again.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Vanishing Act - Parts 2 & 3

Part 2

While we were in Manhattan on Wednesday on our way from the bus stop, sans phone, to Arrojo Studios, Fern and I stop in a shop and she tries on clothes. She ended up buying this adorable high-waisted black skirt. Very hip.

At the end of day we're back in the apartment. We have a dilema. I need to be back in Washington at 11:00 on Thursday for a meeting which was already postponed twice for me, I'm so important, Dahling.... We need to watch Lost. We need to drive 4 hours. And we need to get some sleep.

The plan, albeit not a good one, becomes return to the apartment, take a nap, eat dinner, watch Lost, leave Brooklyn, drive home, sleep till 10:00, get up and go to work. Fern didn't have to do that last bit, just me.

The nap was cut short by a quick dinner delivery guy, but we were diligent about cleaning up during commercials and were ready to go.

I'm blaming this next part on the fact I didn't have an adequate copilot/navigator. Somehow, after crossing the Outer Bridge Crossing I ended up on the way to Atlantic City instead of Washington. I saw the signs for the Turnpike, I just ended up on the Parkway instead. And, I was in the express lanes so I couldn't correct my mistake quickly. It wouldn't have been a problem at all had I crossed the Goethals, but nooo.

When I got off the Parkway I pulled over to check my (mostly) trusty iPhone. I plugged in 'hotel' in the map and it came up with one less than a half mile down the street. And they had a non-smoking room available, for a whopping $68. They even had quilts on the beds. :) The alarm was set for 5:30 and we were out of there before 6.

When we got home Fern cleaned out the car and I took a shower before heading off to work. She couldn't find her new high-waisted skirt which she had been wearing the night before. I'm usually the last one out of a hotel room so I can look for hidden belongings, but not this time.

I called the hotel to no avail, they didn't see it. I think they did and liked it too much. But, that's just me.

Part 3

BG&E wants to take down all our trees along our back property line that borders the state highway. They are too tall and can cause too much trouble for the power lines. They will give us $100 voucher for each tree they remove so we can have shorter trees put in. Somehow I don't think that'll be the same as the 60' shady Cypress trees they'll be replacing.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Vanishing Act

Wednesday morning Fern and I were in New York. We were staying in Brooklyn at a friend's apartment and planned to take the express bus into Manhattan. On the way to the bus I say "Phone check," and we both tap our pockets. "Got it," Fern assures me. "Got it," I reply back. "Camera check?" "No, I left it in the apartment." That's ok, I say, I've got two, three counting my phone.

I hand Fern her Metro card for the bus while waiting for the bus by a garden wall, she's sitting on the wall, I'm leaning against it. Then she can't find the card. While we're searching frantically the bus pulls up. I swipe my card and we sit in the front seat of the bus to find her card. Finally I find it in my tote bag and all is well.

The bus is a long distance coach bus, not a typical city bus so it's comfy in the front seat. We stay there. Fern and I chat about what we want to do in the morning, our hair appointments aren't until noon so we had time to kill. She wants to eat breakfast. The driver can hear us since were are so close to him. Eventually he learns our plans and suggests a stop and a route to walk which should provide ample opportunities for food on our way to our destination on SoHo.

We get off the bus downtown near the Battery and the financial district. I check our seat on the way out and grab Fern's iPod which had slipped off her lap. The bus turns the corner and vanishes.

Fern's phone isn't in her pocket.
It's not in my tote bag. Not in my purse.
I call it and we're not hearing it ring.
My heart sinks.

We found a place to eat and called AT&T to suspend service on that phone. By the end of breakfast I was feeling better and not stressed about the phone. We went on to have a good day, got our hair done, putzed around Times Square, used the restroom at Tiffany's, and got new headphones at the Apple store.

I took my "big" camera with me. I had checked the battery before we left home and it had a full charge. The first time I pull it out to take pictures, it won't, no juice. So I had to lug a big heavy useless camera with me all day. The Kodak is having issues again with acknowledging the memory card, so I'm down to my phone. Grrr.

For a small donation...
I took this of Fern and Elmo. I actually thought I took two pictures but only this one was there when I looked later. Naturally, the other picture was better.

This is the entrance to the Apple store near the southeast corner of Central Park. While Fern and I were in there, I plugged in my phone for a quick free charge.

By that time we were pretty tired and our feet hurt. The bus stop for our bus back to Brooklyn was only a few blocks away so we called it a day.

When we got off the bus near the apartment Fern scoured the area for her lost phone to no avail.

Thursday, back at home, we went to the AT&T store and got her a new phone. Same model as before, and through the magic of desperate economic times, I got that, and added unlimited texting for the whole family and got a 15% discount on my bill for only $30 out of pocket.

Post Script

Sunday night I got a call on my cell phone from a 718 number. The caller's mom found Fern's phone at the bus stop in Brooklyn.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

When Government Bakes Cookies

It's no secret I work for a US government agency. I'm not telling which one.

I found this in my "food" file, where I keep take-out menus and recipes, and thought it was time to share. It was originally in the Washington Post over 20 years ago.

A Bureaucrat's Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies

For those government employees and bureaucrats who have problems with standard recipes, here's one that should make the grade—a classic version of the chocolate chip cookies translated for easy reading.

Total Lead Time: 35 minutes.


1 cup packed brown sugar
.5 cup granulated sugar
.5 cup softened butter
.5 cup shortening (really? do people still bake with shortening?)
2 eggs
1.5 teaspoons vanilla
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
.5 teaspoon salt
12 ounce package semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

After procurement actions, decontainerize inputs. Perform measurement tasks on a case-by-case basis. In a mixing type bowl, impact heavily on brown sugar, granulated sugar, softened butter and shortening. Coordinate the interface of eggs and vanilla, avoiding an overrun scenario to the best of your skills and abilities.

At this point in time, leverage flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl and aggregate. Equalize with prior mixture and develop intense and continuous liaison among inputs until well coordinated. Associate key chocolate pieces and nuts and execute stirring operations.

Within this time frame, take action to prepare the heating environment for throughput by manually setting the oven baking unit by hand to a temperature of 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius). Drop mixture in an ongoing fashion from a teaspoon implement onto an ungreased cookies sheet at intervals sufficient enough apart to permit total and permanent separation of throughputs to the maximum extent practicable under operating conditions.

Position cookie sheet in a bake situation and surveil for 8 to 10 minutes or until cooking action has terminated (and before burning action commences). Initiate coordination of outputs withing the cooling rack function. Containerize, wrap in red tape, and disseminate to authorized staff personnel in a timely and expeditious basis.

Six dozen official government chocolate-chip cookie units.

From the Washington Post by Susan Russ

My comments are in red.
I've never actually tried this recipe. Maybe someday when I'm not on a diet. If you try it, let me know how the "cookie units" turn out.

Monday, April 06, 2009

What I did

I told you about my dilemma with the make-up I bought. I'm pretty sure it was an honest mistake, leaving the price of one thing off the ticket so the totals were different. And the person who put the prices on the tickets was not the person who totaled them up. They worked for different companies.

I took back two of the items on Saturday, the other four things I felt good about and kept. I'll be getting back a bit into my account. One of the things I kept was an indigo mascara which looked very good on me. I wore it yesterday and by the end of the day my eyes were stinging. So, that's going back, too. Oh well.

Other weekend activities included cleaning the kitchen, and not just a cursory wipe-down of the counters. I promised Fern money if she washed the cabinet fronts for me. I still owe her for that. Bought a book of Japanese quilt block patterns at Borders along with Jennifer Chiaverini's new book The Lost Quilter and went to Ikea again to get the last set of castors I need for the new shelf in the sewing room. They are still out, but I managed to still spend money on other things.

Sunday Fern and I drove up to Newark Delaware for Fern's District ice skating championship competition at the U. of Delaware, and had lunch with my college roommate and her husband, too. I hadn't seen them in several years, we had a lot of catching up to do but not enough time. We ate at a place called Matilda's and Fern had the Roo Burger. Tasted like very lean beef. I didn't like it much. maybe it was too cold by the time I got a taste, or maybe it was too lean, but 'roo is not for me. Fat tastes good.

Here's my college roommate, looking puzzled because she didn't know I was taking her picture (sneaky iPhone camera):

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Friday, April 03, 2009

Now What?

OK, remember last week I ordered a bunch of make-up from Smashbox? It was ordered though the personal shopping department at the Annapolis Nordstroms. When I saw the total on the original order I gasped, to my self, but I was taken aback, nonetheless. It was more than I wanted to spend, but I went with the flow since I was having a good time that evening.

I waited and waited for my shipment, excitement waning each day. The box of stuff came on Wednesday, via UPS ground. When I opened it and saw the actual cash register receipt, I was beside myself. It totaled about $25 more than what I expected, which originally was a lot more than I was comfortable with anyway.

Upon inspection of the receipt and order form, I saw two items had different prices and one item listed on the original didn't have a price next to it so it wasn't included in that total. I have a call to the lady I ordered from, but haven't heard back yet.

My excitement now is totally gone and I feel like taking the whole lot back. Except I've already been using the tinted lip treatment. I'll keep that. But I have this very deflated feeling about it all now.

Now what?


Thursday, April 02, 2009


Is anyone else having trouble with blogger?

Someone told me this week they tried to use my 'Follow Me' button and it's not working.
Then I tried and could not rename any blogs on my blogroll, blogger seemed stuck.


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Still Waiting

Back on Thursday, I ordered some Smashbox goodies. The order was to be filled by the personal shopping lady at the Annapolis Norstroms. She said she'd mail out the orders on Friday and since it's a short jaunt from the big Annapple to Bowie, I thought I should get my package on Saturday, Monday at the latest, right?

Saturday wasn't to be, nor was Monday.

I still didn't get anything in the mail on Tuesday, either. I'm hoping for today. If it takes much longer, I'll never remember how Timber told me to use it all. I'm having a hard time remembering what I even ordered. I hate that.