Saturday, August 30, 2008

Another nice day

Today was the Japanese Gardens. It was my mom's birthday, we were celebrating Violet's birthday with my folks, Mr. Incredible and I are celebrating our anniversary on Tuesday, and it was the anniversary of my mom's cat moving in with her. We made a day of it.

Quick side note for those of you who didn't know me then. Three years ago on August 30th Hurricane Katrina slammed in to my mom's hometown of Ocean Springs, Mississippi and the surrounding area. We still have a lot of family there including my mom's sister (her only surviving sibling) and cousins. Violet and I were at my parent's house (here in the North in case I'm getting confusing) watching CNN and the Weather Channel all day. Watching the Gulf Coast wash away. Seeing what didn't wash away get blown away. Unable to contact any family. Wondering if any family would still be there.

Suddenly we heard a meowing from outside. They don't have a cat. We went out and there was this small, scrawny, black and white cat. She immediately went to my mom and started rubbing on her. A quick call to the vet, a trip to have her checked out, a stop for a litter box and food, and Katrina the Cat had moved in, all before dinner time. On my mom's 63rd birthday. It was nearly a week before we heard from family. Katrina sat on my mom's lap purring the whole time.

Family was fine. Everyone had extensive property damage, but no one was hurt. Katrina is now a beautiful black and white cat, healthy, happy and still sitting on my mom's lap purring. She washed in with the storm and stayed.

Okay, maybe that wasn't a quick story, but it is important to see why her anniversary date is as important to our family as any birthday.

The five of us (Mom, Dad, Violet, Mr. Incredible and I) went to the Japanese Gardens for the day. We had lunch in their restaurant and walked through the gardens. We browsed the gift shop and Violet chose a couple of Momiji dolls for her belated birthday present. Lunch was great, the restaurant was lovely and the food delicious. The gardens were beautiful. We went back to my folks house afterward and had cupcakes. We got my mom a couple of field guides and a pair of sock monkey slippers. Katrina got a new package of mousie toys. It was really a nice day.

Now we have a few days off to relax and hang out. And watch Gustav. My mom is hoping he doesn't result in another cat for her.

Friday, August 29, 2008

What a day!

It was raining when we headed out to Six Flags yesterday. Luckily it slowed to a sprinkle by the time we got there and stopped altogether by lunch. It was pretty warm and the sun was even hot in the afternoon. We had a good time. Ran into some good friends there. It was a nice size crowd. Practically no lines. Only a few rides we would have liked to have gone on weren't running. Every year there are a few not running, but you get that any day of the season.

The bad part was how high the allergen counts were. Have I mentioned that Violet has bad allergies? Especially to mold and weed, both of which were registering high yesterday. She had a scratchy throat and a headache before she even went on a single ride. She did pretty good all day, but skipped some of the wilder ones that she normally likes.

We got home, and 5 minutes later I was out the door again. We had our fancy dinner/training for Girl Scouts fall product sales. This is the training for all the fall product chairs who then go out and train the leaders (who are then supposed to train the girls, but in reality if anything they just send the order forms home with them). I'm on the product sales committee so I had been helping plan this thing and was to introduce all the incentives and review proceed procedures. It was a high energy evening and I was beat by the end of it.

Did you know if you volunteer for things beyond the troop leader level, you get lots of cool free stuff as thank yous? I had no idea. I started getting these things about a year ago and they just keep getting better! Last night I came home with 3 containers of the candy/nuts the girls will be selling (one gummi berries, one cashews, and one cranberry nut mix) plus a pewter compact mirror with the Girl Scout promise engraved on the back. I've gotten other cookies and candies, votive holders, bookmarks, travel mugs. It is awesome! I had no idea.

Today was mostly spent recovering. In the afternoon Violet had her dental checkup, no cavities! We stopped in the grocery store on the way home and stocked up for the weekend. Tomorrow we're off to the Japanese Gardens. Good thing we haven't started school yet. We're too busy.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back to school

Violet and I have set our back to school date: September 8th. We are both looking forward to it, but still not in a rush to start. She's chosen "The Tale of Despereaux" as her first literature read. I'm thinking I'll buy her a copy rather than just get it from the library. Most will be checked out.

Tomorrow is Homeschool Day at Six Flags and we have tickets. Mr. Incredible has the day off to go with us. They are calling for possible thunderstorms. Blech. The advertising for it this year was really bad. They didn't mail out brochures until after the deadline for early bird pricing and left less than a week to get tickets at all. But lucky for us, I'm a hyper nut job who started watching for it on their website back in May and called for tickets as soon as it was posted.

Next week Mr. Incredible is off. We are going to Madison one day. We are going to check out the zoo. I've heard it is really nice. We are also doing a bunch of repair work around the house. The window guy was here yesterday to measure the cracked windows. And Violet is getting her room snazzied up with new blinds (her current ones barely block the sun in the mornings so she has to have sheet hanging over it to keep the light out) and bookshelves. Yippee!!

Public schools started on Monday. The teachers are working without a contract. They say they won't strike this week. I'm afraid to start enjoying the kids being gone because they could be back any time. It makes me crazy. The latest offer of 5.5% raises was overwhelmingly voted down. What planet do these teachers live on? They must be so brainwashed by the union leaders.

Violet has started a new service project for Girl Scouts. She is collecting used blankets, towels and pillows for a not-for-profit organization that rescues and finds homes for retired and injured racing greyhounds. She's worked with them before and plans to do her Bronze Award with them also. I helped her with a flier and she got the approval to put it in the mailboxes for the troops in our area to see if any of them would like to help out.

We are having a nice quiet day today. No errands. No work. Just bumming around the house. This is the life.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

What my cats do all day

Here is how the 3 felines that live in the Incredible Household seem to spend their time:

60% = Sleeping

20% = Staring at the wall

8% = Playing, fighting and knocking things over

5% = Scratching the furniture and carpeting

4% = Eating

3% = Throwing up

Can anyone tell me why no one has made pet food that doesn't stain the carpeting when the pet throws it back up? Stop trying to tell me your pet food won't make my cat have hairballs. Cats puke. A lot. Sell me something I can get out of rug.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Camp Time

At long last, I am posting pictures from our second camp adventure this summer. I don't have as many pictures, I'm thinking that means we had too good of a time to stop and photograph things.

This is a good one of Violet at the pool. Their pool wasn't heated like the first camp, but was quite nice none the less.

Here we both are together. It was taken by some of friends we've met at camp. They were at both of our sessions this year, plus at camp with us last year. It is nice to know we aren't the only crazy "campies" who camp hop all summer long! (Like the goofy name tags?)

I don't have many good pictures in the cabin. Here's Violet waking up in the morning:

An absolute favorite camp activity: creek stomping! Yes, Violet is as wet as she looks. The creek water was really cold, at first she was complaining about it. Next thing I knew she was splashing and stomping and "falling" accidentally to get really wet!

And more creek stomping:

Crafts were big at this camp. Here she is the art cabin working on some wind chimes:

And sitting under a tree working on a lanyard during some downtime:

I forgot to get the camera out until we were done canoeing and she had taken the life vest off. So I made her pose quickly with the canoe:

Here's the bridge in the center of camp. It leads over the creek.

And Violet on the steps of our cabin as we were packing up to go home:

It was definitely a fun time. I didn't think she'd make it through that first night when she got herself so worked up and couldn't fall asleep. Then she did great at all the activities. I am so glad she wants me to go with again next summer, I love camp!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Still here

I haven't posted in a couple of days. I've been busy watching the Olympics and painting our extra room/homeschool room. Remember when Hissy and Missy the cats from next door stayed in there? I had moved so much stuff out before they moved in I decided it would be the perfect time to paint that room. I've been wanting to get it done for 4 years with no cooperation from the peanut gallery. I gave the peanuts an ultimatum to choose a color and promised I'd do all the work. They chose. I painted. Now the Mr. is in the process of redoing part of it that he wasn't happy with. You can guess how happy I am about that.

We are waiting news from his company. Their by far biggest client is up for renewal. They don't think they are getting the work again. This could be really bad.

Meanwhile the local teachers voted not to take the school board's "best and last offer" for a contract. Guaranteed them an average of 5.5% pay increases, health insurance and one less work day a year. The union president said they disagreed with "pretty much a lot of the contract." I'm hoping she doesn't teach English in her day job. They have submitted a counter proposal and authorized a strike. I want to throw up.

The teachers claim they could make a lot more money in nearby school districts. So what is stopping them? Oh yeah, they don't want to commute and like the convenience of working 5 minutes from home. I know people who spend $10-20 per day commuting. The train, the tolls, the gas, the parking, it adds up quickly.Factor that into your contract negotiations teachers and stick it (censored).

Meanwhile, Violet has been enjoying the week. She's been playing with Red a lot and next week is going to Tinkerbell's house one day. She's been reading a lot again, and of course watching all the Olympics she can. I finally got the camp pictures off my camera, so I'll post them soon! That will cheer me up!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I love a good quiz

This one was fun.

I am an

What Flower
Are You?

"You are a health conscious person, both your health and the health of others. You know all about the health benefits and dangers of the world around you."

Well, my Bachelor's is in Community Health Education. (I know what you are saying, "What kind of degree is that?" That's what all the people I interviewed with said as they didn't give me a job. It apparently qualifies you to work in a Hallmark store for minimum wage. I think that explains why I went back to school to become an accountant.)

The Day of the Old Lady

This is a great time to be an woman in our middle years. Yesterday (last night, early this morning, I can't keep track of neighboring time zones let alone around the globe) two amazing women came out on top.

Dara Torres won not one but two silver medals in less than an hour. She couldn't wait around for the press to finish taking her picture from the first race when she had to hurry back to the pool to swim again. She's the oldest person to ever qualify for the U.S. Olympic swim team. She's 41, and she's in control. Less than 1/100th of a second kept her first medal from being gold. She's older than the gold and bronze medal winners combined. And she was in her first Olympic competition before either of them were born. That's impressive.

Constantina Tomescu-Dita of Romania won the gold medal in the women's marathon. She's 38. The oldest woman to win the marathon.

In my mind these two women far outshine Michael Phelps who won his 8th gold medal of these Olympics. Not that he isn't great, he is. But he's a 23 year old male. He's supposed to be a great athlete. He's supposed to be a winner. When a woman reaches a certain age we're supposed to take care of everyone else, not follow our own dreams any more. That Dara and Constantina are out there chasing their dreams.

They impress me.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Olympic Thoughts

We're a week into the Olympics and we here in the Incredible family are still watching every minute of it that we possibly can. We are super fans and cheer on everyone. Here are some thoughts I've had recently.

Canoe Conspiracy?

What's up with the channels promising us coverage of the canoeing then never showing it? Is it not popular enough with the masses? At least 2 times we've turned on the Olympics when they have advertised canoeing and didn't see a single paddle. I'm a canoe loving mama and want to see my paddlers! I did catch a bit of whitewater kayak and that was awesome! I have never kayaked but want to so much! If I ever get a chance to try it I will be in that kayak so fast it will make your paddle spin!

Dara Torres

Yes, we know she is 41 years old and is much older than the other women swimmers. Get over it. She's beautiful, she's strong, she's fit, she's totally awesome. Let's leave it at that and watch her swim. And why are we making such a big deal out of her alerting the official to the fact that one of the younger swimmers was having swimsuit issues and needed a minute to get ready for the race. It wasn't just good sportsmanship, it was what we moms do. She saw someone who needed help, she helped her. I've told you all my new motto, "I'm 41 years old and I don't have to take that crap anymore." I'm guessing Dara has a similar one of her own. We women in our 40s are comfortable in our skin and don't make excuses. We are 40+ women, hear us roar! Go Dara! Win Gold tonight! (And while you are in Beijing, could you tell Boob Costas that is he really annoying all of us and to stop harping on your age! Thanks!)

Do the Horses Get Medals Too?

Yesterday Violet and I were just having one of those days. Nothing was going smoothly for either of us. It was frustration and disappointment at every turn. Nothing major, just a day full of those little annoying things that add up and start to feel like the whole world is again you.

So when I saw that they were showing equestrian on the Oxygen network, Violet and I plopped down in front of it. Violet was skeptical at first, but soon she was learning all the horses' names and following it closely. Sapphire, an American horse, is her favorite athlete in the games. It was incredibly therapeutic and pulled us out of our funk. Now we want to know, do the horses get their own medals? Or do they have to share with their riders.

Nice Kids

I have to say I've been really impressed with the American athletes I've seen interviewed so far these games. They've seemed really nice and have been good role models. There hasn't been one that I've wanted to slap upside the head and say "get over yourself" to.

The women's marathon is on, I've got to get back to my seat to follow the action!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Trying to Remain Calm

I know I came a little unglued at the end of yesterday's post. I just get so upset when people blindly follow the status quo and don't question things. In school my best friend used to tell me "Don't make a scene." She was so wrong. Make a scene. Make a BIG scene. Question authority. Don't believe anything they tell you. Find out for yourself.

To explain why I get so upset over the teachers, let me tell you what is sitting on my desk waiting to be paid later this month. My real estate tax bill for the year. The portion for the schools? $3,700. Yes, I say I have a right to have an opinion about what the teachers contracts' look like.

If the teachers get their way, the current budget cannot meet the expenses. The teachers say it can. The CPAs and financial experts on the school board say it budget will be in the red. Gee, who do I believe? The experts. Not the teachers who seem to think the world revolves around them.

The State of Illinois is a funny creature. It requires that 50% of the school expenses be paid by the tax payers and 50% by the State. The State doesn't actually pay its share. The last figures I remember hearing were that they actually paid about 25%. The budget has been in a shambles so I wouldn't be surprised if that figure has even gone down. The State then requires that the schools not operate in the red or else the state will take them over and the locals will lose control. So how do the schools do that? They up our taxes. And up them and up them.

Yesterday I was trying to calm down. Thinking I was getting overly upset about it all. Then while Violet was in class I read an article by John Taylor Gatto. If you've never read his writings you are missing out. He is incredibly outspoken against the educational system in the U.S. He likens schools to prisons. He is a genius. By the end of the article it was all I could do not to stand up and yell, "Listen up you people, the teachers don't love your children. Many of them don't even like your children. They are only in it for the money. Sure maybe at one time they cared, but now it is about money. Take off your blinders and see!"

Since I was in the library, I stayed seated and didn't stand on the table. I'm planning to go back there today and I figured that wouldn't make me very welcome again.

This morning the newspaper says that the board made the teachers another offer. It didn't give details. The board says it is a very generous offer. The teachers have given no comments to the press yet. I am trying to remain calm.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympic Fever, Nature Art, and Outrage

Trying to catch you all up on our busy lives in one quick post. We'll see how successful I am.

Violet's got Olympic Fever. She can tell you about every swim race and every swimmer. She's been following men's beach volley ball. She loves gymnastics, but what little girl doesn't. She's been staying up until the bitter end each night. And watching the "lesser" sports during the daytime. We loved skeet shooting (well, once Violet confirmed that skeets weren't cute little creatures with families) and whitewater kayaking (we cheered the paddler from Togo, the only paddler from his country, winning the first kayak medal for Togo).

We have a long way to go. Not sure if I can keep up this pace. And I've been tired of "Boob" Costas (that's Ami's joke from her blog this morning, I'm still giggling about it!) since I first read his name in the newspaper in connection with the games.

Violet is taking a Nature Art class this week. Her last Kids and College course for the summer. Two good homeschool friends are in the class with her, a brother and sister. We're going to lunch with them tomorrow before the start of class. Good thing the class is in the afternoons, we'd never make it at 9am! She's really enjoying the class, the teacher is super. She's a naturalist from the area and is well known for her park district and other classes. They go out on the college grounds to gather up leaves, sticks, mud, flowers and turn them in to really neat art pieces.

Now for my outrage. Our local teacher's union filed an intent to strike yesterday. If they don't get their way, classes might not start up on the 25th as they walk the picket line. Okay, don't get me wrong, unions have their places, this just isn't it. Unions protect workers rights. These teachers claiming that they just want what is right and fair (and claiming that 10% and up raises is it) makes me see red. The school board has offered them 4.5% raises guaranteed for the next 2 years. On top of the 100% family health insurance they get. Can I see a show of hands of who would take that deal? Wow! I can't count that high. Go ahead and put your hands back down.

Yes! Almost any reasonable person would love to have that contact. CONTRACT! No layoffs due to downsizing guaranteed. It makes me sick to my stomach to think of all the people who have been laid off or have faced severe cutbacks or who are just waiting for that axe to drop and these teachers so out of touch that they don't seem to get that we are in BAD economic times right now.

This just completely reconfirms my belief that I don't want any of these teachers having contact with Violet. They don't understand the real world at all (and yet somehow our homeschooling doesn't prepare the kids for the "real world"), they are bullies (I guess "zero tolerance" for bullying doesn't apply to teachers, again I don't want Violet in that environment) and extortionists (their contract proposals would send the school district into the red - but that's okay according to them).

What makes me even madder is that all these STUPID parents who are siding with the teachers. That's okay if we bow to their threats and give them all our money (here take my house too - you deserve it, it is for the kids) and do whatever the teachers say because they are so WONDERFUL and CARING.

My message today is for the school board to hold strong and not give in to these teachers who are in the words of Clark Griswold a bunch of "cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit"

"Hallelujah. Holy shit. Where's the Tylenol?"

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Plan for 4th Grade

I finally sat down today and got a start on what we'll be doing for 4th grade starting in a month or so. Some of the stuff is just picking up where we left off in the Spring. It isn't all done yet. I don't have the master literature list prepared yet. I don't know what we'll do for most of the science units. And other than picking some books, I'm not totally sure how we'll pull off the Native American or mythology studies.

Now keep in mind, many of these are just short units. It won't be all of these subjects every day all year long. And the ones that are year long, we're likely to stop and pick up again several times as interest peaks and wanes. Others we'll try and set aside and never pick up again. Here's what I've got.

Math: Nobel Knights of Knowledge
Miquon Yellow & Purple then Key to series

Language Arts:
Spelling: Sequential Spelling
Literature: chosen from list I'm compiling
Grammar: Editor in Chief
Writing: incorporated into all of it with weekly assignments

History: SOTW, finishing vol 3 then starting vol 4

Geography: continuing with Discovering Geography of North America with Books Kids Love

Native Americans (overlaps literature, history, science and art):
Keepers of the Earth and Keepers of the Night both by Michael J. Caduto

The Arts:
Art: Discovering Great Artists hands on art projects and additional biographies
Music, various composers, biographies and listing to CDs

D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths
D'Aulaires Book of Norse Myths
and books on Roman, Chinese and other mythology, folk tales, fairy tales, legends and more

Various units using books, kits and materials including
Spy Science and Detective Science both by Jim Weiss
Mythbusters Don't Try This at Home (unless we tell you to)
Fizz, Bubble and Flash! by Anita Brandolini

I ordered the "Keepers" books today. I still want to order the mythology books. I tried to find some good mythology lessons but came up empty handed. I thought we'd do best by buying some quality books and reading them and making up our own. Science still needs a lot of work. Back to the catalogs I go!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I'm Done

Remember those 5 presentations I had to prepare for my coworkers to give at an upcoming convention? The ones originally due in final form this Friday that my super awesome manager got extended a week? I sent off my final draft today. Yippee! I spent all day working on that thing. I'm maybe done completely. I know one has been finalized. It is really only the one from today that I worry will come back to me for more work. So tonight I celebrate!

I am off tomorrow. Violet and I are going to a Children's Health Fair at our local community college. We go most years. It is a great place to pick up tons of freebies that we really don't need, but you know how it is, gotta get that pencil! Violet is going to try to visit a bunch of booths on the topic of environmental health and work on her Girl Scout badge of the same name. When we're done, or too tired to go on (the place is huge) we're going to get ice cream from the vending machine in the cafeteria. That reminds me, I'd better make sure I have some singles in my wallet.

Last night I went to a product sales committee meeting at our Girl Scout council office. As always, the meetings are never dull, but this one was a bit more memorable. The Council Shop closed as we were starting, but a few minutes later the young girl who works there stuck her head in the conference room and said she wasn't leaving just yet, tornadoes were spotted between the office and her home town. She was going to wait it out before driving home. Then not long later she came back and said we were now under tornado warnings and the tornado was headed to the office. We gathered up our stuff and headed to the basement.

There we sat in the kitchen which is apparently a storm shelter, good to know. We finished our business while the power went on and off and we all took turns calling home for reports. When we got the all clear we all drove home amid quite the lightning show. I heard tonight on the Weather Channel that were were some touch downs further East. But none by the office or on our paths home.

Who says committees are dull and boring and there's no excitement in Girl Scouts anymore?

Before we took shelter I had purchased a copy of the new Girl Scout Journey for Violet's age level. It is their brand new programming they are rolling out. I looked at it a little last night and I'm thinking of holding off. I'm just not sure how to pull it off with just one girl. There's a lot of leadership and group planning stuff. I go to my training on it next week, so maybe I'll want to tackle it after that. But we've been assured that badges and other awards aren't going anywhere, so I'm leaning towards staying with tradition for now. And who knows, we may have another Juliette her age to work with in the coming year or two. More girls we know have gone Juliette, but they are all at younger levels. I do see a trend among local homeschoolers.

Enough sitting at my computer, I was here all day. Time to go sit on my butt in front of the TV instead! Ah, isn't life grand?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Alphabet about me

Mom #1 tagged me. And because I think she's the bee's knees, I'm playing along.

A. attached or single? Attached.

B. best friend? Mr. Incredible.

C. cake or pie? Cake, chocolate with vanilla frosting is my favorite. I'm not much of a pie person.

D. day of choice? Um, I don't know. They are often similar. How about vacation days?

E. essential item? my computer, Burt's Bees body products, and (gross as it is) my retainer (without it, I'd be back in braces)

F. favorite color? Yellow

G. gummy bears or worms? Neither, they are too sticky and hard to chew for me. Chocolate covered raisins or peanut butter M&Ms.

H. hometown? A very small town in Northern Illinois (population 300), not far from where I am now.

I. favorite indulgence? a nice cup of coffee and peace and quiet to read the newspaper or a book, preferably outside, in the country.

J. January or July? July, January is too cold, too snowy, and spring is too far away.

K. kids? Violet is the one and only

L. life isn't complete without? Good food and good coffee

M. marriage date? Sept. 2nd, coming up on 19 years!

N. number of brothers & sisters? none, I'm an only just like Violet

O. oranges or apples? Apples especially in apple crisp.

P. phobias? goodness, don't get me started I'm as bad as Monk: snakes, spiders with fur, big dogs, medium-sized dogs, bridges, stepping on manhole covers or sidewalk grates, escalators, some lizards, tornados, and more snakes. Most aren't paralyzing fears, I just avoid them as much as possible.

Q. quotes? how about one a co-worker/friend once said about me, "For a such a quiet person, you sure do have a mouth on you!" She said it in admiration after I had just told a fellow co-worker where to stick it.

R. reasons to smile? Mr. Incredible, Violet, the fact that so far no cats have had a hairball on the carpeting today.

S. season of choice? Fall. I love the crispness to the air, the turning leaves, the pumpkin patches and the apple orchards, the corn mazes and the bonfires.

T. tag seven peeps! I am all about free choice and free will. You can play along if you'd like or sit and watch the game until you are comfortable joining in.

U. unknown fact about me? Hmm, not sure what I haven't revealed. I used to have a brown belt in karate. I passed the CPA exam in one sitting (after studying my brains out for months). As a teenager I used to sneak to Wisconsin to drink with friends because the drinking age was lower than Illinois.

V. vegetable? squash. I just got brave enough to try it last year and fell in love.

W. worst habits? sighing. taking on too much at once. getting on Mr. Incredible's case (he really is a wonderful husband and father, I don't cut him much slack).

X. x-ray or ultrasound? why? What did the doctor say? What do you know that you aren't telling me. (Add paranoia to the habits answer)

Y. your favorite food? super nachos. We have it every time it is my turn to pick the special meal

Z. zodiac sign? Libra. I just want everyone to get along and to be fair.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Finding time to relax

My last post sounded pretty stressed, didn't it? I was at the time. But don't worry dear Blog Friends, I am feeling better tonight.

First off, my ace, number one, isn't she the greatest ever manager managed to beg, plead, cajole, bat her eyelashes, promise our first born and got us a week extension on the deadline. Violet and the manager's oldest daughter Sophie must report to Springfield on Monday for a life of office drudgery. We are breathing easier.

I do have the presentations in much better shape. I've submitted 2 drafts and will have one more in by tomorrow. I've got a start on another one, and the last one I'm just "fixing" for someone else. With an extra week to go, I am feeling much less urgency.

In fact, I took Friday off. I'm supposed to be taking 2 days off each week. I had so much to do that I worked Monday through Thursday. The planned day off turned out to be a good thing, because I had no internet access all Friday morning. Do you know how much you can get done when you can get on the internet? It was incredible! Incredibly scary that is. Hope that doesn't happen again. I vacuumed, mopped, cleaned, organized and even put away stuff from Violet's birthday party weeks ago. After we returned from the library I even swept the garage!

Ok, I was having a floor issue. It was so humid here and everywhere I walked stuff, icky, yucky, crummy stuff, stuck to the bottoms of my feet. It was disgusting. I cleaned the kitchen and found stuff stuck to them in the family room. I cleaned the family room and went down to the basement, more stuff stuck. I cleaned the basement and went into the garage to put stuff in recycling bin and stuff stuck to me in the garage. It was a spiral effect. And yes, I know we are pigs.

I got up and worked this morning. Made good progress. Mr. Incredible and Violet walked to the park. Tonight we decided to order pizza. Looking through the ads we found a place in another town that offered beer nuggets. Don't know what beer nuggets are? Ah, you didn't go Northern Illinois University. They are a staple of college life there, and difficult to find in the rest of the world. They are chunks of pizza dough deep fried and served with pizza sauce. So simple, yet so delicious. When they are done right. They can be disgusting. Only a few places on campus make really good ones. But like any delicacy, which places do it right are a matter personal taste.

The new pizza place said they deliver to some parts of our town, but didn't say which ones. I called and asked. He didn't know. I told him our subdivision name (our town is all subdivisions, you don't tell anyone what street you live on, but rather which subdivision you live in). He didn't know. I told him our street, he asked what other streets it was near. He put me on hold and looked it up. Yes, they'll deliver here. I placed our order. It took him 3 times to get our credit card number straight (I expect on Monday I'll be calling to cancel our credit card after Skippy does who knows what with it.) I asked him to repeat the address (which Mr. Incredible figured would get my half of the pizza spit on). He did. Repeat it that is, I'm not sure if he spit or not.

An hour passes, no sign of our pizza. Mr. Incredible goes to call when the phone rings, the driver is lost. He gives him directions (Mr. Incredible is good at that). We get our pizza and beer nuggets.

The pizza definitely tasted like it had been driving around in the car for a long time. The 2-liter of soda that came with the meal deal was warmer than the pizza (we'll drink it tomorrow after it has chilled).

But the beer nuggets were really good. Pillowly puffs of dough. Crispy on the outside. Doughy on the inside. Full of yummy goodness. All except the parts where the sauce had leaked out and got on the nuggets. Soggy nuggets are bad.

Tomorrow we're still going to see The Dark Knight. I still have rooms that could stand a few hours of internet-outage induced cleaning. But my tummy is full and my arteries are clogging and life is good.