Monday, March 30, 2009

One tired swimmer (and one proud mama)

Violet had her first level 3 swim class today. In this class they swim the entire length of the pool, over and over. In level 2 they only swim about half the width of the pool. 25 yards versus about 5 yards. She did really good. She had to stop frequently, but that is to be expected. She made it each time. They are learning breast stroke, back stroke and front crawl. They also tread water, which I had already taught her and she is pretty good at. But all that swimming isn't something she's use to. She's beat tonight.

The class was her worst nightmare in one respect. She was the only girl with three boys. The horror! But she held her own quite well. A couple of the boys were pretty good. They might be moving up to level 4 soon anyway.

Mr. Incredible went with us to see where the pool is and find out the procedure, in case he ever had to fill in and take her. He was really impressed with her swimming. I don't think he was expecting the progress she has made so quickly.

You all know how sensitive Violet is, well she did awesome in class. She kept trying and she did great. I'm so happy I can't say it enough. We've gone through some terrible nightmares of classes with Violet in tears most of the time. Not a single tear has been shed through swim lessons. I am so happy to have found something for her to have such a wonderful success! She's such a good, talented, smart kid. It is so nice to see her shine where others can see it too.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Where we went today

We went to Fermilab, a physics place (okay, there's a much bigger explanation as to what it is, but I don't have much time to blog and I don't really understand it anyway, click on the link if you are curious), to watch the Wonders of Science show. It was put on by Lee Marek and Weird Science. It was quite good and we really enjoyed it.

We hadn't been for a few years, but when we went before they had a science fair going on at the same time. They didn't this year and we were a little disappointed. But we don't know how many years ago they discontinued it. I'll have to ask around.

Our winter storm did hit. We had a few inches of freezing rain last night, then 4 inches of snow this morning. But since the weather has been so warm the road cleared up quickly and we were able to go. The only problem we had was that the stop lights were all covered with snow and you couldn't see the signals. We traveled through a lot of intersections to get there. By the time we came home it was clear.

After the show we stopped at American Science and Surplus. That is the coolest store ever. If you aren't in the Chicago area, check out their website or catalog. You won't be sorry. And if you are visiting the area, consider a side trip there, especially if you are a catalog fan. Their store looks like their catalog but in 3-D.

My father-in-law bought a bunch of parts (I forgot to ask him what he got). Violet got some marbles, 2 glass fish, and some rock samples. I bought a bunch of miniature poker chips to use as bingo markers and in other games (they were clearance, I paid 32c total for 4 bags of about 40 chips each). I also bought some pinch pots for cooking in cool pretty colors. The set of 4 was $1.56. In fact, click on the link and you'll see the exact set I bought. I should have bought more. Mr. Incredible didn't buy anything. I guess he was being frugal. Or maybe he has some bigger purchase in mind. I'd better be worried.

I finished most of my work tonight. Another thing came in while we were at the science show, but she forgot to attach the attachment. Oh darn. Can't do it tonight.

This was the last day of Spring Break. Back to the books for us tomorrow.

Funny, I don't feel rested.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ice and Work

We're getting an ice storm. I'm a bit in denial. It is Spring. It can't be cold and icy. We'll have to see what it is like in the morning. We have tickets for an event. I'll tell you all about it afterward. My father-in-law is staying with us tonight to go with us. The cats are freaking out that there is another person in the house.

I have a lot of work to do this weekend. I'm being rather unsociable I'm afraid. I've been hanging out with my computer instead of our company. Violet's been entertaining him. It is the biggest work weekend of the year for our firm. There is a huge deadline on Tuesday. That's not what I'm working on though. I'm picking up all the other things that can't wait until after the deadline.

We went out for pizza this afternoon with father-in-law. We went early before the ice started. While we were gone, I got two more assignments from work, both due by Monday. I'm not sure how I'll get it all done.

But I've put in 8 hours already today and we have a guest. So I am clocking off for now and worrying about it tomorrow. It will get done. Either on time or reasonably soon afterward.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Finally I am posting some photos. I am so far behind, it is terrible. I thank you all for putting up with me and my tardiness.

First, let's go all the way back to Valentine's Day. Here is the heart shaped brownie Valentine we made for Mr. Incredible. It took two boxes of brownie mix. (Before anyone goes all high and mighty on me, Mr. Incredible swears he prefers brownie mix brownies over homemade.)

Here's the salad I made for dinner that night:

And our heart shaped pizza Mr. Incredible and Violet made. They like black olives, I don't.

Here is Mr. Incredible's birthday cake. It is a cherry chip cake with cherry frosting. It was very cherry. See my flowers in the background? Violet got them for me on Valentine's Day.

Here's Violet dipping various things into melted chocolate for her candy making badge. She tried pretzels, dried fruit, apple slices, marshmallows, Shortbread cookies (called Trefoils by some of you Girl Scouts who get your cookies from the other baker), and potato chips.

Here is some of the finished product. The green apples were a bit tart for the chocolate. The dried fruit was really good. The potato chips were....different.

Today Violet tried her hand at cake decorating. First she baked a cake. Then frosted it. Yesterday she had made some molded chocolates and she put those on first. Then she used a pastry bag to try piping icing. It wasn't easy, but she really liked doing it.

Here's the finished product. It wasn't meant to be anything in particular. Just an experiment with a few different tips and different techniques. The colored icing is supposed to be lavender. Violet tried to make the color with food color gel, but it didn't come out quite right. Again, just an experiment anyway.

We started eating the cake. It was delicious!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

She's part fish

We got a call today from Violet's swim club, she's ready to move from level 2 to level 3. She starts the new class next week! She only had 3 lessons at level 2. I knew her swimming looked good last week, but I wasn't expecting them to move her for another week or two. This is wonderful!

We found an opening in a class taught by her same instructor, so she doesn't have to get used to/comfortable with a new teacher. I think that will help her a lot. Her new level swims the full length of the pool. I think Violet's going to be pretty tired the first few weeks of that. We still go on Monday nights, but a half an hour earlier.

I am glad she's doing so well. One, because I really wanted her swimming to improve. But also because Mr. I. was a little nervous about the cost of the lessons. They aren't cheap. But the small size classes really helps, I think. We've committed to keep going through May. We'll see how she keeps progressing and decide if she's going over the summer or not. If she likes it, I'd like to find the money to keep her in class. But I should stop getting ahead of myself and just enjoy that she's making good progress. A few more weeks and I won't worry about her swimming without me there. (But with a qualified lifeguard on duty, of course.)

I have a level 3 swimmer!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Non-Newtonian Fudge

Remember how Violet is working on her candy making badge for Girl Scouts? Well, one of the requirements is to make "at least one recipe of fudge." I've suggested she try three recipes. My reasoning is that fudge varies greatly, from no-cook varieties to the old fashion method of dropping some in cold water to see if it forms a hard or soft ball. I'd like her to see the differences and not think all fudge is the new fangled easy fudge. That, and I really like fudge.

Last week we made the fudge recipe out of the Strawberry Shortcake cookbook. It was no-cook fudge. It came out perfectly. Today we tried a recipe call, ironically enough, "Never Fail Fudge" from the Mallory website based on the books by Laurie Friedman. It failed. Big time.

It was a cook the fudge recipe, and maybe we didn't bring it to a strong enough boil, but whatever happened it didn't set. We have the oobleck of fudge. Not liquid. Not solid. But still delicious. We pulled a few pieces out and within an hour the fudge had resettled to fill in the empty spaces. Handy if you are trying to sneak a piece, but with sticky fudge all over the place you won't be able to sneak it.

Mr. Incredible suggested we transfer it to a jar and use it on hot fudge sundaes. I think he is on to something.

So while I'm not happy the fudge failed (did I mention I love fudge), I'm not unhappy either. Fudge, she is a fickle mistress. It is just a lesson one must learn early in one's cooking career. I find the lesson a complete success.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to go eat our non-Newtonian fudge with a spoon.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rest in peace

Violet's hamster, Harry, passed away earlier this evening. Harry was 3. Or just about. We're not sure of his exact birthdate. He was quite elderly.

The last couple of days Harry's age really started to show. He moved slowly. He didn't eat much. He slept a lot. He'd shake really badly when he tried to stand up. But he never seemed to be in pain, just very weak. Then all day today he didn't wake up. At one point he turned around in the nest he'd made himself of fluff. But by evening, he was gone.

Harry led a good life. He was a very active hamster until his last week or so. He would go for long runs in his ball. He especially loved crashing into and chasing the cats while he was in his ball. That really freaked them out. Tee hee. He loved eating, especially sunflower seeds. He'd stuff his cheeks so full that he could hardly fit into his tubes.

Harry was also an escape artist. Three times he opened the door to his cage, snuck out, fell off the table it sat on, and landed in the garbage can. He scared the begeebees out of me the first time I went in there and found his cage door open. The I saw him. Curled up in the garbage can sleeping. First we tried safety pins to hold the door closed. That had worked when we had parakeets to keep them from escaping the bird cage. No luck, he squeezed out. We tried twist ties, he chewed through those. Finally we had to use 2 binder clips to hold the door closed. It was like he was barred in. But we couldn't risk him getting out, getting lost or hurt. What if on the fourth time he didn't land in the garbage can? That's right, all three times his journey ended with him falling in the trash can.

Violet spent most of the last 2 days in the room with his cage (we call it "Harry's room" it is our homeschool room/guest bedroom). She read and played in there. I'm sure he liked that a lot.

So goodbye Harry Hamster, you'll be missed. You were a really cool hamster.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Today I was celebrating. I am finally finished with a huge research project for work. I read through countless Federal and State regulations. Called people in Chicago, Springfield (our state capitol), D.C. and Baltimore (where Medicare is headquartered). I think at least one person in the Chicago office has a restraining order against me I called her so much. But yesterday I got the answers my boss needed from a group in Springfield. She was so happy her e-mail this morning contained 3 "Yay's" and 2 "Yippee's". I am released.

So I took my dad out for lunch. We like to go to lunch, just the two of us. One of our favorite places is a Chinese buffet. That's where I really wanted to go. My mom had this wacky idea that we needed to eat healthier food. She kept saying we should go to this soup and sandwich place. Sorry, but soup and sandwiches just doesn't cut it when you are daydreaming of crab rangoon. Since I drove, we went to the Chinese buffet. I told Dad to tell her I made him go there. I just couldn't celebrate with a turkey sandwich.

Tomorrow it is back to work for me. The nice thing is I can't work now even if I wanted to. Tonight is the one night in the month that they take the network down for upgrades, backups and other computer servicing. What wonderful timing. I'm going to go read a book. I checked out "Savannah Blues" by Mary Kay Andrews at the library yesterday and I can't wait to start it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Taking a breather

I am officially relaxing tonight. Tomorrow Violet and I are going to spend the day at my folks, so more relaxing then. Then Saturday I'll be back to work, but hopefully I'll be refreshed by then. My dad and I are going out for lunch. Violet and my mom will be ushering us out the door saying don't hurry back.

Violet finished her Food Power badge. That makes her officially ready to begin her Bronze Award. She's going to be helping a greyhound adoption agency with their big Memorial Day cleanup and memorial service. I'll post more details when we work them out. That will be after April 15th, as our contact there works as an administrative assistant to the tax department at my office. Greyhounds are her volunteer passion.

I found out today that Kids and College is offering a beginning Latin class starting next week for 4th through 6th grade homeschoolers. You'd think Violet would be breaking down the door to get in, wouldn't you? Nope. I couldn't talk her into it. Oh well. I'll spend the money I would have spent on her enrollment on Minimus Secundus. She wants to learn it on her own more before taking a class.

The weather has been beautiful. Sunny and in the 50s. I can so live with that!

I went to the Product Sales Committee meeting Tuesday night. I put in my pitch for Juliettes to continue to be treated so well after the Council merger happens. We just have to wait and see what they decide. Violet got her mini jewelry kit at the meeting. She still hasn't gotten her J-Bucks (her share of the proceeds for selling cookies, that can be used for camp, programs or in the shop). It may be up to a month before they are released.

Mr. I. is now working from home Mondays, Fridays and every other Wednesday. That has been SOOOOOO nice! It is wonderful having him here more often. Plus he is so much less tired than when he has to get up at 5 am to go to the City everyday!

The History of US shipped today. I'm supposed to get it on Monday! Yippee! Just in time for my spring break week off for planning!

Violet has made fudge and chocolate covered everything for her Sweet Shop badge. It has been delicious! Maybe not the best for my quest to lose just a couple of more pounds. But what kind of mama would I be if I didn't sample her hand made goodies?

In fact, I can't think of a better way to kick off my night of relaxing....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Still Here

I'm still here. Haven't had time to read blogs let alone post. I run from one thing to the next all day long. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Next week is Spring Break. Violet and I are taking the week off. If we have things left from our to do list this week (and it looks like there will be) we will finish them next week. But we won't start anything new. Per Violet's request. Except more Latin. That kid is a Latin Nut! I can't believe how much she's loving it!

I'll catch you all up as soon as I can, but there's really nothing that interesting you're missing out on. Work, homeschool, Girl Scouts, chores, errands. Nothing very exciting.

Sending hugs to you all!

Monday, March 16, 2009

This and that

Another busy day today in the Freak house. Violet worked more on her two badges. She is learning about fiber in breakfast cereal and food labels. And we melted chocolate to mold in candy molds. Okay, technically it wasn't a candy mold, but the inner tray from an Avent calendar that had been filled with chocolate. It worked. The candies were delicious!

We did more Latin Minimus today. Violet is loving it. I'm already looking at Minimus Secundus. If anyone happens to be selling a copy of it, please let me know (Freakmom at gmail dot com).

If anyone has a similar resource for other languages please let me know. She loves the cartoon-y style of Latin Minimus. I think that appeals to her a lot.

She had her second swim lesson and first one at the new location. They have a nice facility there. The pool was smaller than I had expected, but the locker room is much bigger. Violet is doing really good. I could already start to see improvement! I'm so impressed.

Tomorrow I have a conference call to listen to in the afternoon (I don't have to participate, just listen and take notes) so Violet is planning what she's going to do while I'm on that. She has the Clue game out, and is planning on coloring. And probably reading. She's always reading.

She has recently discovered the Mallory books by Laurie Friedman. She's been reading them all. And today we discovered a bunch of recipes on Mallory's website. Naturally, Violet wants to cook them all.

And tomorrow night there is a product sales committee meeting. I hope to make it this time. I really want to hear the inside scoop on what is happening with product sales during the council merger. Plus they are a fun bunch to hang with!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Weekend's over?

Man that went fast, didn't it? I'm not ready for Monday. I still have last week's school list to finalize, and next week's to prepare. Good thing we really just fly by the seat of our pants and don't do a lot of planning. I'd never get done.

We had wonderful weather today and took a walk in the neighborhood. We went down to the pond where we saw lost of Canada Geese. We also saw a muskrat swimming in the pond. That was it for wildlife unless you count the human inhabitants of our subdivision.

Violet was working on her Food Power badge today. It is about nutrition. Since she likes to cook so much we are adding our own requirements where she's developing a health breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack. She did the dinner today: Grilled chicken breast, chickpea ragout and couscous. It was delicious. The chickpea ragout was from a recipe in the newspaper a few weeks ago: chickpeas and diced tomatoes were the main ingredients.

I finished the last of the work that has to be done tomorrow. And we made plans to spend next Friday at my folk's house. Seems like we were busy all day, but that's all I can remember.

Why I didn't post last night

I try to post every night. Just as I sat down last night to finally write something, Mr. I. was done tucking in Violet and it was my turn. I never got back here.

Yesterday was busy. I worked a half a day. I helped Violet get started on a badge called Sweet Shoppe, all about candy making. We read a book on the history of candy, found recipes to try, and made out the shopping list. Then I went shopping and picked up Taco Bell on the way home (our biggest weakness). Violet melted chocolate and covered stuff with it: apple slices, pretzel rods, marshmallows, Shortbread cookies, dried fruit, and potato chips. We ate too much.

I also stewed a chicken yesterday and put up the chicken meat and stock for later uses. I'm thinking chicken salad and chicken pot pie. Plus soup.

Our weather has been very nice this weekend. Today is supposed to be around 55 and sunny. I've suggested a walk to the pond a few blocks away. Sometimes it is hard to get the others on board for walks. We'll see.

Friday, March 13, 2009


I'm glad it is Friday. Not that I like Saturdays during busy season. Everyone at work is in the office on Saturday mornings. I like working alone. With no one bothering me. I should be the prep cook who chops all the veggies before anyone else shows up at the restaurant. I could do that. I hope they are all too busy tomorrow to bug me.

I realized today that when one particular person (of higher rank than me) e-mails or calls me my neck immediately begins to hurt and my blood pressure soars. Sigh.

In other news. We got a lot done in school this week, and had some fun too. I ordered the History of US but it is back ordered. That's okay we have plenty to do. We first decided to go over all the pre-history pages in the Usborne Encyclopedia of World History. Then Violet decided we should pick up in that book where we left off in Story of the World. That will take us a week or two. She's so smart. That's why she's on the curriculum committee.

Speaking of committees. I went to the Girl Scout service unit meeting and it went quite well. Except that our SU manager is resigning after this year. I thought she wasn't into it this year. She didn't say why, so I really hope it is just too many other activities and nothing bad. They are a nice family.

I worry about who will take over. Depending on who it is, next year could very well be my last with them. I started having a horrible flash. What if evil ex-co-leader volunteers to do it? I'll be resigning on the spot. I'm not working with her manipulative, bullying, demeaning self again. I don't think she will. But she does like to be in charge. It could happen. Violet and I may be moving to a new service unit next year. I've come too far to go back to that again.

Anyway. I got Violet's goodies from the cookie sale. She earned a passport pouch (like a little purse), a squeeze flashlight, and a patch. She's also getting a necklace kit, but as usual, it didn't come it. Do other Girl Scouts have that problem too? She'll get it within a few weeks. But there's always a delay. We picked them up for the other homeschool Juliettes too, and dropped Cookie's off to her this morning. (Remember Violet's little playmate, Cookie? We don't see her often enough).

A few days ago a commenter named Jen asked where we got the cookie costumes. I couldn't find your blog, Jen to reply sooner. Our Council has them. We check them out like any other equipment. I think they bought them from the cookie bakers. Hope you guys have great fun with your first cookie sale!

The weather is still cool, but getting better. The pussy willow is in bloom. The daffodils are poking up. The buds on the trees are starting to form. Spring will be here soon. We made it through the winter!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


The books I bought from Wendy arrived today. (Thanks again, Wendy!) The First 1000 Words in Latin had just the effect I was hoping. Violet is now interested in Latin. She had no idea how many English words she'd recognize from Latin. We pulled out our dust-covered copy of Latin Minimus and did the first chapter together. Well, started it. We plan to redo the chapter again tomorrow or Friday to help the vocabulary sink in a bit more. Violet did 2 of the student workbook pages too. Yippee!!

We got our errands done and did some other school subjects. I still feel hopelessly behind, like I need another 4 hours a day. I'm still catching up on odds and ends from when work was so busy. And more work came in today. I need a few minutes a day just to myself. It never seems to happen.

Today was week 14 of not missing a day with Wii Fit. Tomorrow I should roll over my piggy bank time counter to 60 hours! Another yippee!! I started working out when I realized my weight had gotten over 150 pounds. Well, I'm proud to report that I've lost about 4 pounds and my weight has been consistently under 150 for 2 weeks now!! I fluctuated above it for a while, but I'm inching in on 148! My goal weight is 145, although the Wii Fit seems to think I should be at 140. We'll see.

Tomorrow night is the Girl Scout service unit meeting. I'll be picking up Violet and the other homeschool Juliette's cookie sales incentives. That will be fun. The rest of the meeting, not so much. Actually it shouldn't be a bad meeting, just another obligation.

I did tell the service unit manager that I would not be returning as Juliette Coordinator next year. She had sent an e-mail to all of us who have service unit jobs. No reply back from her. I think she's had a lot going on lately, she's been a lot more distant and less involved this year. I hope everything is okay with her family, but I worry it isn't. With all the economic problems everyone is facing, I am trying to cut everyone extra slack lately. We're all way too stressed out.

Speaking of stressed out, work was frustrating me before I quit to blog. So now it is time to pour a glass of wine (rather than whine), and relax.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dropping Temps

Yes, our spring like weather is on its way out for now. The wind has picked up and the temp's heading back below freezing. But it won't last long, a few days of ick then we'll get nice again. I hope.

Today Violet and I stayed home. I caught up with work. We did some school work. She played My Sims on the Wii. I hate it when she plays those sorts of games. She gets way too caught up in them. She gets frustrated and mad. I make her shut the game down when she can't control herself. That's why she didn't play at all on Monday. The Sims were off limits. She kept it in check today.

Tomorrow we need to go to the library to get books that have come in on hold and to the grocery store. We are almost out of milk. Violet and Mr. I. are both cereal freaks. They love the stuff. I don't want to go out, but we do need the groceries. And they aren't just going to walk here by themselves.

I'm done sitting at the computer for the night. My back is sore. Not hurt or anything, just tired of sitting with bad posture in this desk chair. Time to read a book.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mice, taxes and swim lessons

I missed blogging yesterday because I spent the time I normally spend blogging and reading blogs, doing our taxes instead. We're getting back from both Federal and State. I filed our State taxes online today. I'll mail Federal. I don't own a tax software program (I kind of feel with how simple our taxes are, all those college tax courses I took should be sufficient, and they are), so I don't have a good way to file online. I guess I could ask to do it through work. But I'd just as soon not.

Last night Mr. Incredible went to the garage to check on "his" mice. Really, this is getting ridiculous. Did I tell you that the morning after the one jumped in his sweatshirt while he was relocating 2 of them, 4 were back in the seed? Well, he went out last night to relocate them. You'll never guess what he found. Three mice in a corner of the garbage can huddled together looking scared and one dead mouse. Mr. I. says he was murdered (and partly eaten). He got the deceased body out of the bird seed (I didn't ask how, I've stopped questioning things). Then he left the other three in there. There's not really any chance anything else could have gotten in there and killed him. The lid was closed, so it would have had to be something small enough to fit through the hole they've been using or something that closed the lid behind it when it left.

What I want to know is, "what did he do to make the others kill him?" Really, I mean did he annoy them so much they killed him? Did he threaten them and it was self-defense? Did he piss them off? Was it some sort of accident (like when someone backs into your knife 40 times)?

Tonight the three survivors were still in there. Mr. I. moved them to the back yard. The saga continues.

Violet had her first swim lesson tonight. She was pretty nervous, but she did great. She kept up with the class and she said the teacher told her she was good. She's ready to go back again. I like this place because they remain at their level as long or as short as they need to. Whenever a kid is ready, they'll move them to the next level. I like that there won't be a situation where the rest of the class "passes," but you don't. They'll each move at their own pace and the class will evolve as kids quit or move on to a new level. Violet is a level 2. I read through their levels and I'd like her to get through level 3. I'll feel very confident with her swimming in most pools if she's a level 3 graduate.

Tomorrow is a stay at home day! Yippee!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Wow, the reviews from you, my loyal readers, were so overwhelmingly in favor of The History of Us that we've decided to go ahead with it next year. Violet read a chapter from one of the books and shrugged and said it was pretty interesting. Pretty high praise from a 9 year old forced to read a history book on a Saturday afternoon.

My next decision to make is what to do about Story of the World volume 4. We really aren't liking it. Do we ditch it and go ahead and start in on The History of Us when we get it? Do we stick it out and finish SOTW? Or do we pick and choose a few chapters to read in volume 4 and skip the rest?

I'm going to start looking through it when I'm done blogging and see if I can make up my mind. Opinions are always welcome.

We aren't going to order the History of Us until the end of the week, after the credit card statement has gone out. That will give us another month before the payment will be due for it. Amazon has a good price on it and with Prime shipping (free) and no sales tax, it is a good deal. I want to get the latest edition, so I was a little leery of trying to buy it used from someone.

Mr. Incredible's mice pals were back in the garbage can of seed this morning. Even his sweatshirt buddy. Well, I'm assuring him his buddy was there, it isn't like we can really tell them apart. I knew we should have marked them all from the first time we found them. Little dabs of fingernail polish on the tips of their tails. I suppose the animal rights people would have objected.

I worked much of today. I have more to do tomorrow. My paychecks should be good for awhile. Mr. I has promised to do his tax paperwork for me tomorrow so I can prepare our taxes. He does some side jobs now and then and the hardest part of preparing our taxes every year is nagging him to put his paperwork together.

Mr. I and Violet went out to lunch today at Culver's. Violet took her kid's meal tokens and turned them in for a soccer ball. Culver's is the best. They stopped and K-Mart and bought me a new toaster, and at Farm & Fleet and bought me cashews. Am I lucky or what?

Time to curl up the Story of the World (or maybe not) and a bowl of cashews! Yum!

Friday, March 6, 2009


While I was out running my errands this morning I stopped in the library to pick up a couple of books I wanted to consider for our history spine next year. One I eliminated while standing there. I brought home an American History Encyclopedia. And also the first 2 volumes of "The History of Us" by Joy Hakim. I hadn't been considering The History of Us, but there it was in the library.

Mr. I. and I have both been leafing through them and I think they are what we didn't know we were looking for. I like the Native American slant, the whole first volume is devoted to pre-European America. We wanted a large dose of American Indian and Women's history mixed in with our American History.

I'm still reading online reviews, and debating if we can afford it. But I don't think we have any other curriculum purchases to be made for next year. Maybe some science. Mr. I. liked it a lot. We'd supplement with outside activities and readings. I'm going to have Violet look it over and read a section from it tomorrow and get her opinion.

Do any of you have experience with it? What did you think?

In other news, Mr. Incredible had a mouse running around inside his sweatshirt earlier tonight.

And they say I'm the crazy one.

Sigh. He was trying to move his mice out of the garbage can filled with birdseed into the backyard and one jumped on him and into his sweatshirt. He couldn't get it out. Only Mr. Incredible could have that happen. I told him he'd better get that thing out before he came to bed tonight. No way was I sleeping with a mouse in the bed.

I wish I had an explanation for you. If I come up with one I'll share. For now, let's just say I'm looking a little more grounded in reality than usual tonight.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

We Gave a Pig a Pancake

Today we went to see Theatreworks USA's production, "If You Give a Pig a Pancake and other stories". It was fabulous! We really like Theatreworks USA. They do children's musical theater. If you get a chance to see one of their shows you really should go. After the show we drove a few blocks to the Nature Center. It was really warm out today, but the wind was gusting up to 35 miles an hour. Not very conducive for sitting out with your sandwich. So we ate in the car and discussed the show. Violet didn't care for their rendition of "Diary of a Worm" and neither of us thought they did the best the could with "How I Became a Pirate." But we both loved their take on "Fluffy the Classroom Guinea Pig" and "Lilly's Big Day."

We said hello to the critters in the nature center, dropped off a donation we had for them, and tried to walk around the pond. It was so muddy and windy we gave up after a few minutes and headed to our next stop: the library.

When we finally got home we mainly relaxed. We did a little reading out loud. Violet tried to play outside but it got dark on her. I started my search for a U.S. history book and a Native American history book for next year. I found a couple that might work and have them on hold at the library. If you have any recommendations I'd love to hear them. I'd like to find something along the lines of Usborne's History of the World, but just U.S. or just Native American. We'll supplement it with other books.

Tomorrow Violet doesn't have to go anywhere. I have errands to run, but Mr. I will be working from home so she can stay here. I have to go to 2 banks, the post office, Walgreens and the pet store. I'm still trying to get out of the pet store and pawn that off on Mr. I. And we'll be back to school in the afternoon. He can do it when he goes to wash my car.

I hate errands.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Much Better Day

Today was one of the best in a few weeks. My conference call went smoothly. They listened to my opinion. It didn't drone on forever. I have some work to do from it, but not an overwhelming amount.

Violet and I got our hair cut. Hers looks fabulous! Mine is okay, definitely better than it was. I'm happy with it. But, boy Violet looks great! New hair cut, new swim suit, she's ready to go for her class.

We found the place her lessons are moving to after the first week. It is close by and easy to get to. I had no idea when I signed her up. Bonus!

We got some school done today. Violet had a short temper with her work (not with me but with the facts and problems). But that is to be expected first day back after almost two weeks off. It will get better each day.

And the attorney never called me.

What a good day.

Tomorrow is busy again. We have a theater show, we're stopping in the nature center to drop off a donation, and we're going to the library. Plus hoping to do some school work. We are taking sandwiches to eat at the nature center, either outside if it is nice enough or in the car. Otherwise we'll be starving by the time we get home. We have to leave just a little too early to have lunch first. The high tomorrow is supposed to be 58, so we may get to sit out.

I am horribly behind in reading all of your blogs, but I will catch up. Hope everything has been going good for you and I really miss reading what you've been up to!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Shopping and other stuff

We were successful at the office this morning. Got the cookies delivered and the money collected. Took the paperwork in and it got picked up by the attorney's office. (Maybe I didn't tell you about that part. We had two full copy paper boxes of files to be picked up by a courier from the law firm we're working with. That whole experience with this attorney is a blog in itself, but let's leave it at, she has been difficult to deal with.) The courier from the attorney's office actually showed up at 10. I'd clearly said I wouldn't be there until 11, my manager said not to come before 11:30. Our receptionist sent him away at 10. I was glad I had given her the heads up that he was coming. I probably didn't need to, our receptionist is good. But it was the nice thing to do. He was back on the dot of 11. Luckily for him, we'd taken the pick up stuff to the office on our first trip up to the third floor.

The IT drop off and pick up went smoothly. The IT drone I'd worked with a lot lately did the upgrade. He said my internet connection and firewall wasn't the problem it was the file size of the upgrade. I'm still having him and Mr. I. hash it out next time something needs to be done.

On our way home we went to McDonald's for lunch. Then we went shopping at Walmart. We found two swimsuits for Violet. A one piece for swim lessons, and a two piece for casual swimming. With the amount of time she spends in pools in the summer, having two suits is nice. I like the two piece a lot, the top reaches down to the bottoms. She like the colors, style and fit. Both suits got the thumbs up from us both.

I did some necessity shopping: laundry powder, baggies, contact solution. Violet took some Christmas money and browsed the Littlest Pet Shop aisle. We don't get to Walmart often, living closer to K-Mart and Target. She found a few things she hadn't seen before, and made a few purchases.

We headed home and pretty much crashed the rest of the day. I did a little cleaning up. Had a phone call from the attorney that wasn't well received by me. She wasn't happy that I wasn't available at her beck and call to drop everything and do more work that she wouldn't listen to anyway. It's a long story. I called my manager and we came to a good compromise. Basically the manager doesn't care if the attorney is happy any more than I do, but our partner in charge does. Did I tell you back in early February when we were waiting to see if we'd get this huge project or not, the attorney went on vacation for a week. That delayed us getting started and now she's under the gun to finish. I'm just not feeling bad over it. I held up my end of the bargain. She's given me a plate full of poop in return.

Tomorrow I have an early morning conference call on a different subject. Then Violet and I are going out for hair cuts. Afterward we are going to scope out where her swim lessons will be starting with week two. We used to swim in the pool where they will be week one. At some point later, they will be moving again to a new permanent location. Until they get their new site built, they are renting pool space.

I know, my whole blog entry is confusing, isn't it? If you think this is bad, you should see my brain. It currently resembles a recently shaken snow globe. The confetti will be settling down soon and I'll be making more sense again. I promise.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Not what I'd planned

What I thought was going to be a half hour conference call this afternoon turned into four and half hours of work. I planned on us having school after the call. Didn't work. I planned on going to the product sales committee meeting after dinner. Had to call and cancel. The hours are good. But I can't take much more of this.

This morning I signed Violet up for swim lessons. I wanted to get her into morning classes, but that didn't work out. She's in Monday evening classes. She could have started tonight, but I asked to wait until next week (their classes are ongoing). I'm glad we didn't try to go. If it took me until almost 10:00 tonight to catch up, that would have had me up until nearly midnight!

I am excited about her classes. They limit the class size to 4 kids. Some run with fewer kids. I think that will be a good fit for her.

Tomorrow we go into my office to deliver Girl Scout cookies. And take 3 huge boxes of paperwork in from this last project. I'll be so glad to get rid of it! Plus I have to drop my work-issue lap top off for the IT department to do some upgrades while we are there. Don't know if I've told you all the tales of Mr. I. not liking this laptop (it is Windows) and not allowing it to be on our all Mac network. It is causing me great difficulties with work. Next time upgrades are needed he's going to have to talk to them directly. I refuse to stay in the middle of his stubbornness and theirs any longer. He's got to get it through his thick skull that they are requiring me to have it and use it for certain aspects in order to keep my freakin' job. I can quit my job or he can figure out a way to play nicely with them. The IT idiots aren't any better. They refuse to talk to me so I can explain what I do and how I do it. They won't answer my questions. They just shipped me the computer and said "use it". End of discussion.

Get the idea that I'm not looking forward to seeing any of the IT department tomorrow? I want nothing to do with it and I really hope I don't run into the department head while I have Violet in tow.

On the plus side, we should be finished with the icky part of the day no later than 1:00, then we are going out to lunch and swim suit shopping for Violet on our way home. I think some chocolate is going to be in order as well.

Sounds like another day with no school work being accomplished.