Saturday, October 31, 2009


As she was getting ready for bed last night, Violet asked me to take her temperature. Yep, 99.7, she had a fever. We did the checklist: body aches - no, headache - yes, sore throat - yes, cough - no, runny nose - yes, stomach ache - no. Everything pointed towards cold. We Tylenoled her and tucked her in.

This morning, 100.7. More Tylenol. Same run down. Same results. Really seems to point towards cold, all except that fever. The Tylenol brought the fever down. She felt good and was bouncing around. Mr. I. talked me into letting her go trick or treating at a few houses, if she promised not to breath on anyone. It was cold and windy. I froze my kickers off. (Notice how he wanted her to be able to go out, but he didn't take her? Yeah, I noticed that too.) I thought Violet hadn't been planning on trick or treating this year anyway, but she said she had wanted to go to a few houses - just not the ones with spooky decorations. I don't know how that changed in the span of her getting sick. I guess the mom is the last to know.

Got home, only went on our block, maybe 10 houses. Checked her temperature again. 101.1. I'm going to kill him.

Anyway, everything still points to cold. All except the fever. She has energy, she isn't achy, she's a little sluggish, but not like you'd expect for the flu. Sigh.

She's getting ready for bed now. Going to do more Tylenol and another good night's sleep. Tomorrow we'll see where the fever is. Then cancel the Monday afternoon Girl Scout get together with her girlfriend, Butterfly, if it is still up. Even if she feels better, but hasn't been without a fever for 24 hours, they aren't going to work in close proximity. I wouldn't want Butterfly that near Violet if Butterfly had been the one sick. I won't do it to her.

We'll start thinking about taking her in too, if it is still up. But hopefully, a good night's rest will do the trick.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Funerals and other news

We declared all of the brine shrimp dead this morning. I think they were gone as of yesterday, but we wanted to be sure. This afternoon, when the rain finally let up, we went out to the garden and a had a mass funeral. We dug a little hole and poured the entire contents of the hatchery in. It was so muddy, they kind of created a puddle. We covered them up with the mud and Violet put some dried leaves and the one still blooming dandelion on the grave. It was quite nice. Especially for a brine shrimp funeral.

Got lots and lots accomplished today. Besides reclaiming my desk from the shrimps. I cleaned out the refrigerator and pantry. I spent an hour putting away things. I swear, things get left out so often around here. I did some cleaning. I did some paper work. And I finished getting ready for the Juliette Low birthday party Violet and I are throwing next week.

Today was the last day Mr. I's company was in business. It is now officially closed. He said the mood was pretty bad there today. He was considering buying beer and taking it in, but decided against it.

This afternoon I handed over the reins in my homeschool forum, Homeschool-Talk, back to Manda the original founder. She was looking for something to do, and I've been neglecting it terribly. It was a perfect solution. She's reopened registration (I was too lazy to figure out how to stop the spammers that I had locked down the place over the summer) and is sprucing things up. Check it out.

Manda started the original site, Teach Your Children Well, which had a forum at the time. She made me an administrator there, probably because I was driving her crazy. Then when it got overrun with spam and she decided move the forums and just keep the blog and resources, she asked me to take over the forums. Now, she's back in charge and I'm no longer feeling guilty about not doing anything. I can just post and be happy. At least I think that was the history of the sites. Something like that. We've been at this for years.

Finally, I will be glad when Halloween is over. Does it feel like it has been going on for over a month now? When did Halloween become its own season?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chicago and Books

Today my parents took Violet to the American Girl Place in downtown Chicago. They took the train. Violet got 4 new doll outfits. Christmas came early. They wanted to go before weather got bad and while schools were in session. So for a Christmas trip/present, off they went. They had a great time.

While they were gone I worked. Got a lot done. Not necessarily what I planned, but all work for the place that pays me, so that's good. My next paycheck should be really nice.

Other good paycheck news, Mr. I. will be paid through December, not just November like was the original plan. He will be helping to close out everything over the next two months. The two extra paychecks are wonderful!

Finally, books. Violet and I are need of some book recommendations for our evening read alouds. We've recently finished Paddington Bear (and all the sequels), The Rats NIMH (and the two sequels) and A Cricket in Times Square (and are almost through all those sequels).

Our ideal next read aloud would be:

1. About a group of cute little animals.
2. Not scary, gross, spooky or otherwise nightmare inducing (this is required, Violet is very suggestible to bad images late at night).
3. Have a few sequels or related books by the same author (we like to really get into our characters and study them for a few months.

I'm thinking maybe The Rescuers. I know the Disney movie was rather scary (or at least it scared me as a kid) but I don't think the book was as scary. I think it is that Disney animation that does it.

Any other ideas, oh smart blogging buddies? I'd like to give Violet a few to pick from. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Brine Shrimp

On October 1st, Violet made a brine shrimp hatchery. She had quite a colony going. Problem was, we couldn't figure out how to clean it. The little guys are so small, how do you get the waste and stuff out without scooping them out too? The problem was even worse because we followed the science kit's instructions and used a 2 liter soda bottle cut in half. It isn't very big, or sturdy, or filtered, or oxygenated.

It is a miracle they've lived this long.

Most of them are now dead. There are a few swimming very weakly around. I doubt they'll last much longer.

Am I a bad mom because I am anxiously awaiting the last of them to go? They've been a pain to take care of. I really didn't think they eggs were going to hatch in the first place. I want my desk back. They've been sitting on it with a desk lamp keeping them warm for 4 weeks now. It isn't pretty.

We should have fed them to the bigger fish tank at their prime.

Violet enjoyed having them and watching them hatch and grow. But I don't think she's crushed by them dying either. I'm hoping she doesn't ask to hatch more of the eggs. Maybe if the other eggs get "misplaced" before she thinks about it.

Can I mail anyone hundreds of tiny brine shrimp eggs?

Worst part, the little buggers are too small to put on skewers and dip in cocktail sauce.

I'm a bad mom.

Tee hee.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Productive Day

Gosh, I got a lot done today. No wonder I'm tired and heading for the couch very shortly.

This morning I got Violet's sales dropped off. As I was pulling away from the fall product chair's house I remembered I didn't keep a copy of her candy and nut sales. I usually do. We always get the form back, but I always keep a copy too. Just watch, this will be the first time we won't get it back and we won't know what anyone ordered. Ha! That'd be a kicker.

I went to Target and Walgreens and managed to get us ready for Halloween. Violet stayed home with Mr. Incredible. I found candy, probably more than we need, but enough to make Mr. I. happy. He's always worried we'll run out. We never do. And if we do? So what, I say.

I also now have Violet's white cat costume ready. I couldn't find any white sweatpants, stretch pants, or white bottoms of any sort. But I did find boys white long underwear. Shirt and pants. I don't think she was 100% convinced until she tried it on and found it did look rather cat like. And several times last winter we said, "Violet doesn't have any long underwear." Usually when we were headed out on the snowshoes. Well, this year she does.

I spent the afternoon sewing white felt over the tiger ears and tail. I put a pink felt bow on the end of the tail. And pink felt in the centers of the ears. I also bought her some white knit gloves ($1.50 for a combo pack of the white and a pair of black, we'll use them). I put pink "paw pads" in the palms of the gloves. I even put a pink bow on ears. I think it looks pretty good. I'll get pictures posted.

Speaking of pictures, I didn't take any of the pumpkins and straw today. It rained all day. I didn't feel like going out in it to photograph anything. Blech.

In school today we took a slight step backwards in math. She was doing Miquon a year or so ago. We'd left off in book 5, the yellow book. She was getting bogged down with memorizing her math facts. I took a chance and moved her into Key To, measurement, decimals, fractions and lately percents. She's not all the way through any of them, in book 2 of most. I decided it was time to go back and reinforce those basic math principles. She was very receptive and actually seemed to enjoy doing addition problems today. I think we'll keep working in Miquon for a while before going back to Key To.

That's what I love about homeschooling only one. There's no competition. No saying, "You're in fifth grade, why are you doing a third grade book." The books aren't graded, but kids figure these things out. She can do what's right for her.

Swim lesson went very well. She even held up when she and a boy crashed into each other doing the backstroke. I was sitting near his mom and we were both holding our breath watching them about to crash. Neither reported it hurting much. Hard headed kids I guess.

The swim club is starting up a swim team in a month or so. They are moving to a new, permanent location (they've been renting pool space). Once they get there, they'll announce the non-competitive swim team. We are going to look into it. I think it would be good for Violet's confidence. And she has no interest in competing, so it might be just right. But I want to know how often the practice. I don't want to be driving to the pool 5 days a week. I'm lazy like that.

Tomorrow we have nothing planned. We might try to get into a make up swim lesson. If not, we'll just hang around at home. I like hanging around.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Weekend

Another busy weekend at the Freak Household. I worked a lot on Saturday. I feel good about the amount I got done. Plus I feel good that after I had finished one thing and sent it to my boss, I had a reply back from her (she must have been catching up) saying it was great. Positive feedback is good.

Violet has decided to be a white cat for Halloween, like Marie from The Aristocats. Ever try to find white cat ears? I bought tiger ears and white felt. I have some pink felt. We're going to try to convert them. I found a white sweatshirt for her. Tomorrow, I'm going to try another store to look for white sweatpants or leggings. Worst case, we have white tights and a pink skirt she can wear.

We bought our pumpkins today. We went to our favorite pumpkin patch (it is the most sincere). We also bought a bale of straw to keep Violet's strawberry patch warm and toasty all winter. Tonight the straw and pumpkins are on display on the front porch. Hmm, I'm betting you want me to go out tomorrow and take a picture and post it. I'll see what I can do.

I listened to a podcast on health reform this morning for work. While listening to it I tried to do a little research to figure out what we can do for health insurance come January 1st when ours ends. We won't be able to do Cobra since the company is closing and besides there were only 7 employees left. I can't qualify from my company (I've asked 2 or 3 times, they keep saying no). There is some sort of mini-Cobra program in Illinois, but from what I can tell online you have to have been dumped from your health insurance or denied coverage. We're healthy. I'll have to call the State for more information. Yay, calling the State, always a fun thing. We really need an insurance agent I guess. I'm afraid we'll have to buy privately.

So that's what gets my goat. (Well, if you've been reading here long you know A LOT of things get my poor goat.) Why are some people so violently opposed to a voluntary, government health insurance program? Because their taxes will go up? Boo hoo, your taxes will go up anyway. Because it would be serving the poor, the wretched, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free? Well, I'm not wretched or huddled yet. I'm not poor, at least not in the eyes of the other State insurance programs although I'm not quite sure how we are going to pay our bills and health insurance on my part-time salary. So it is really so offensive to these people that I have proper healthcare coverage for my family? It isn't our fault we're soon to lose ours.

And the kicker is, I'm a healthcare consultant. I need an insurance agent.

On a less stressful topic, Violet and I made potato-leek soup for dinner tonight. On our way back from the pumpkin patch we pulled in our local grocer and bought leeks and a big loaf of French bread. Dinner was delicious. Violet and I each had 2 bowls of soup. Mr. I. had 3 bowls. He likes soup.

Tomorrow I will turn in Violet's fall product sales. Thanks again to those of you who played along at home. She earned all the patches and all the incentives! She'll get $60 in vouchers for the Girl Scout store or program fees. (She'll spend much of it on cute little stuffed toys in the store.)

It is a less busy week coming up. We are looking forward to hanging out at home some days. Violet has a field trip planned with my parents on Wednesday. I'll tell you about it after they are home. I don't like advertising her whereabouts, even though my dad does hold a black belt in karate and usually has an itch to get in a fight. It will be simpler and involve less bail money if I just wait. I'm also hoping we can get another make-up swim lesson in sometime too. I'd better be careful or our light week will implode!

As for tonight, I'm off to read with Violet. We are reading, "Chester Cricket's New Home" by George Selden. It is one of the sequels to "A Cricket in Times Square." We've loved them all!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fudge, Rain, and Videos

Sorry, the fudge of which I write tonight isn't gooey, yummy fudge, but the character Fudge from Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. We made it to the play today. It was freaky, we were the only homeschoolers there. Usually there are a couple of families. The ushers and theater manager kept checking on us before the show started. We had the entire back half of the theater to ourselves and got to pick our seats. The manager knows we prefer the back and not sitting right next to the stage. Guess we've made an impression on them. That or they feel bad because they never credit my account correctly for my payments, claim I'm overdue, then find that yes I did pay. Anyway, there were only 4 school groups and us in the theater. We moved to one row behind the school kids, in the center, but not with Violet directly behind the teacher.

Side note: why can't the teachers and chaperone parents SIT DOWN when they arrive? They always have to stand until the show is starting. Then they manage to sit down in front of Violet. We've traded seats or scooted to empty ones more times than I can remember. Maybe the ushers could ask the teachers to get their butts in their chosen seats so we can find a good view before the show is starting. I think it is more of the power trip thing. You know, the one authority figure over all the cookie cutter underlings. Just like in real life. Uh huh.

So back to the show. It was good. The actress who portrayed Fudge (yes, as Violet and I said walking back to the car, very Shakespearian) certainly was good at portraying an annoying 3 year old boy. Ack! Was she good. I'd wished I'd taken some Tylenol before the show. We did enjoy it. In two weeks we go back for "Click, Clack, Moo."

It has rained non-stop for two days. It was clear on Wednesday when we were at the zoo, but it had been raining Monday and Tuesday before that. Things are so floody. Next week's homeschool project should probably be building a canoe.

I just 2 put videos on order from Freshwater Fred's Lending Library. If you live in the States of Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio or Wisconsin you can check out free of charge all sorts of educational materials for 30 day periods. They have all sorts of stuff like videos, DVDs, curriculum, books, computer software. They mail you the stuff and send you a postage paid return envelope for when you are done.

Tonight I ordered 2 videos about women inventors. I think Violet may have seen them before. But oh well. I wanted them for Violet and Butterfly for their Girl Scout Journey about energy. They are supposed to meet with an engineer and ask her about her job. Well, I'm lazy. I'm not setting it up. The Girl Scout police can come and get me and take away my s'mores stick. They are going to learn about female inventors instead by watching a video or two. And I think Violet already saw them, but double oh well. The other mom doesn't care that I'm cutting some corners. The girls are learning stuff and having fun.

I'd say that should be the point.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Keeping busy

Our busy week is actually going pretty smoothly. Violet has been making it to all the stuff without getting too overwhelmed. In fact, I was even able to get her into a make up swim class tonight. Between the pool closing for a week for cleaning, labor day and our trip, we had 4 lessons to make up. One down, three to go.

Tomorrow is "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" at the local theater. I bet that schoolday performance is going to be a germ fest. Would it be wrong to have Violet wear a hazmat suit and slather her hand sanitizer afterward? I'd really, really like to avoid the flu. But after much deep contemplation, a long talk with my dental hygienist and many posts in a homeschool forum, I have decided to skip the seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccinations. Our plan? Avoid people as much as possible. Kind of the lifestyle Mr. I, Violet and I prefer anyway.

A special thanks to Rosie. The Halloween goodie bag arrived today. Online friends are the best friends! The Smarties seem to help make Violet smarter while she is doing math problems.

Work is back to being smooth. My boss is back in town. She is just the voice of reason in a chaotic department. I guess that's why she's in charge.

Our day at the zoo was really nice. We had the most perfect weather. It was sunny-ish and in the upper 60s. Today it has rained non-stop. We couldn't have picked a better day in October to go to the zoo.

Tomorrow our new dishwasher arrives between 8 am and 10 am. Mr. I. will be working from home so he can take care of it and deal with the delivery/installation guys. I'm always relieved when he can do it. I usually do Wii Fit around that time. Not happening tomorrow as the Wii is in the family room which is only separated from the kitchen by a half wall. Maybe I'll do it later in the day. Probably not. I haven't missed a day in October yet. Oh well, like the trainers say, "if you are feeling tired, it is a good idea to give your body a rest."

Speaking of rest, soon it will be my turn for reading aloud with Violet, then time for a snack and a glass of red wine. Let the good times roll!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Another week another to do list

The weekend flew by. That's what happens when you work. I did get a lot accomplished and I feel better about the start of this week. Always good.

Violet and her girlfriend Butterfly worked more on the Get Moving journey for Girl Scouts today. They made their energy pledges (Violet is going to try to use fewer paper products like paper napkins, paper towels, and shhh, she's not telling the whole world this part...less toilet paper - only what is really needed. She's going to kill me one day for sharing so much of her childhood on the internet, isn't she?)

Back to business. Mine is to turn off lights in rooms when I'm not using them and to sleep my computer more. I'm bad about leaving things on because I'm likely to go back to them, eventually. Butterfly is still working on hers, but she thinks she wants to eat more locally grown foods. I told her to take her time.

The girls practiced folding furoshiki cloths. We talked about excessive packaging and about buying bigger boxes versus individual serving sizes. And they started to make coffee cup cozies (you know, like those paper sleeves Starbucks sticks on all the cups to make it easier to hold on to them) out of an old pair of jeans. They measured and cut out the cozies, then decorated them with fabric paint. Next time they'll sew on some Velcro.

This morning I had a dentist appointment, tonight is swim practice, tomorrow is Violet's orthodontist check up. You'll all be proud of me, I asked for help this morning. I asked the lady from the Girl Scout council who is often driving around our area if she'd be near my house later this week. I have a bunch of registration paper work to turn in. She said yes, she'd be happy to pick it up from me on Tuesday afternoon. Yay! One less trip to make. I think Violet and I will go to Trader Joe's after the orthodontist tomorrow instead. Closer and more fun!

Wednesday the three of us are taking the day off and going to the zoo. We all need it. We have a membership so parking and admission are free. And we're going to take sandwiches. The weather is much warmer this week, low 60s, so it will be perfect for going there.

If I don't post much for the next day or two, you'll know why. We aren't home. But at least some of it will be having fun.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wii Fit Plus

What do you know, I did get birthday presents yesterday! I'm here tonight to tell you all about them.

Mr. I. and Violet gave me Wii Fit Plus and Alton Brown's new book, Good Eats: The Early Years. I haven't had much time to peruse the new book yet, but I did get Wii Fit Plus fired up.

Many of you know I am a Wii Fit devotee. Even if my weight has gone up since I started using it a year ago, I still love it. At least it hasn't gone up much. I'd hate think what I'd weigh if I didn't exercise. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Anyway, Wii Fit Plus is an add on to the game. It pulls in all your current stats. And gives you more yoga poses and strength exercises and more advanced tracking. It counts your calories burned. And more stuff that I haven't gotten to because I've been too busy playing the new balance games. And trying to get the game back from Violet who has been playing the games whenever she can.

We both like snowball fight a lot. She's good at it. I like the new table tilt, I was a big fan of the old one. This one has a feature that "pops" your ball into the air to move it to different levels. It is hard. There's one game where you hip bump mushrooms with numbers on it to add up to a total number. That requires too much thinking. Violet really likes the parade game and juggling. I found that the cycling made me ill. I got really dizzy. I'm afraid to try the Segway.

You can also register your pets. Violet has set up Marbles, our biggest and youngest cat. He then shows up in some of the games. Pretty cool.

I also got a box in the mail yesterday from my inlaws. They always remember my birthday. I often exchange whatever I get. This year is no exception, but it isn't an issue of taste this time. They gave me a new outfit (which I desperately need now that I'm going into the office more). But unfortunately the pants are 2 sizes too small, and the sweater is a medium, and a large would definitely fit better. I guess they still remember the 21 year old girl their son/step son brought home from college. Well, she got bigger over the last 22 years. (Goodness, I've now been with Mr. I for over half my life. Yikes! When did that happen?)

Anyway, they included Kohl's gift receipts in the box, so I'll be heading there to find a new outfit that will actually fit. But it was really nice of them to remember and send something. But I don't think any amount of Wii Fit Plus will get me to cram into size 10 pants ever again.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


We think we might have seen snowflakes flying through the air this morning. I did have a dream where it snowed. I'm not ready for winter.

Today is my birthday. It has been mostly business as usual. I took yesterday off and Violet and I spent the day with my parents. Dad and I went to Wal-Mart. We always have a good time going into town together. Mom made my favorite homemade macaroni and cheese to go with lunch.

Violet baked me a cake today. Mr. Incredible is going to make my favorite dinner soon: super nachos! I'm a girl of simple tastes. My parents gave me a new cutting board for my birthday yesterday. Haven't seen a present yet today, but Mr. I and Violet did go off to his office on a secret project around lunch time. I'll keep you posted.

I'm still really enjoying the quiet at work with one boss on vacation and the other a convention. So nice. I have to write an article on HIPAA. I did my research today and took notes. I think I can turn it into an article fairly easily. But I doubt I'll do it today. It is due Monday. There's time.

I might try to get Violet into a make up swim lesson tomorrow. You have to schedule them the day of the make up. I might not. I kind of like the idea of not going anywhere tomorrow. We have 4 make ups to do. I thought Violet might be getting ready to stop lessons. She was complaining a lot before we went on Monday. But she said that she never feels like going, but once she's there she really likes it and can't wait until the next lesson. Guess she's staying in them for now. It is her only activity with any expense really. Girl Scouts is cheap, and with no troop dues, even cheaper. We have 5 theater performances to attend, but that is really more a school expense than an extracurricular. She might as well keep them up as long as she's still enjoying them.

The weekend is supposed to be warmer and sunny. That will be nice. We've been so rainy and dreary lately. Hmm, maybe I should tackle that article today and get it over with and be able to enjoy the nice weather on the weekend.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I got an award!

Thanks to Mom #1 (who really is a Number One Mom!) I am the proud recipient of the Over the Top Award:

The rules of this award are as follows:

1. Answer the questions below using only one word. (Like I ever limit myself to ONE WORD! As my good friend Mary once said, "For a quiet person, you sure got a mouth on you.")

2. Thank the blogger who gave it to you. Thanks, Mom#1

3. Pass it on to 6 of your favorite bloggers. Well, I'm really bad about this part, plus by the time I get around to these, everyone else has usually done them. If you haven't, consider yourself Over the Top and tagged.

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse (ask me if it is charged)
2. Your hair? Blah
3. Your mother? Exercising (since she started exercise class she is on top of the world!)
4. Your father? Retired (and driving #3 crazy)
5. Your favorite food? Nachos
6. Your dream last night? Gone
7. Your favorite drink? Wine (Red)
8. Your dream/goal? Cabin (I'd love to live in the middle of northwoods of Wisconsin in a little cabin, near a lake, or better yet, the upper peninsula of Michigan)
9. What room are you in? Dining
10. Your hobby? Reading
11. Your fear? Snakes (bridges, tornadoes, large groups of small children)
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Here
13. Where were you last night? Couch
14. Something you aren't? Outgoing
15. Muffins? Yes, please
16. Wish list item? Wardrobe
17. Where did you grow up? Illinois
18. Last thing you did? Shower
19. What are you wearing? Pajamas
20. Your TV? Off (for another 30 minutes or so)
21. Your pets? Snoring (yes, from across the room I can hear the cat snoring)
22. Your friends? Wonderful (especially my online ones!)
23. Your life? Double (homeschool mom, career woman)
24. Your mood? Relaxed (the bosses are both out of town today!)
25. Missing someone? Aunt
26. Vehicle? Rattling
27. Something you're not wearing? Socks
28. Your favorite store? Burt's Bees Online Store
29. Your favorite color? Yellow
30. When was the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? October 1st
32. Your best friend? Mr. I.
33. One place that I go over and over? Library
34. One person who emails me regularly? Library (to tell me my holds are in)
35. Favorite place to eat? Rosita's (a local Mexican restaurant)

See, I couldn't keep it to just one word, but at least I didn't beat any of my points to death as I am so often accused of by Mr. #32.

Well, I am off to the couch with #7 to do some #10, then turn on #20! Have a good night!

Dishwasher recall

Fatcat was asking which models were affected in the GE dishwasher recall, so I'm posting the link: GE Dishwasher Recall.

It seems to affect quite a few, so if you have a GE dishwasher that was manufactured between September 1997 and December 2001, you might want to take a minute and see if yours is included.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Parties, sales, work, and dishwashers

We went to a party last night, just Mr. Incredible and I. Violet hung out at her friend's house for the evening. My boss had a dinner party. It is always interesting to see work people outside the confines of the office. We had a nice time, ate a lot, I drank a lot (Mr. I. was driving) - not so much as to do anything memorable, just enough to have a headache after we got home. Violet had a good time at her friend's.

Violet's candy, nut and magazine sales are going great. Thanks to all of you who let me send you e-mails. The snail mails will arrive in January. I really appreciate you helping her out like this. It is such a scam to have patches that all fit neatly together, provided you give them enough e-mail and snail mail addresses. I included my own e-mail address on the list because I was ordering all of our magazines plus some for my parents. Guess what? It wouldn't count mine towards her 12 addresses! What a crock after I paid them I don't want to know how much. So guess what I did? I sent it to my work e-mail address instead.

Got try harder than that to hold Freakmom down!

I've been trying to catch up with work. I'm not there yet. Good news, the two who give me the most work are both out of town all next week. I should make some progress. I hope. On the plus side, the hours are good. I need them to pay for those magazines! Ack!

We're pretty sure we're going to replace the flammable dishwasher. Since we've had the other problems anyway. For now we are doing dishes by hand which is getting real old, real fast. Mr. I. is going to take apart the door and try to wrap the offending wires with electrical tape to insulate them. Or something like that. I think he was actually speaking in Martian when he told me because I didn't understand most of it. For a smart person, I'm pretty dense when it comes to science. That's why he's in charge of it in our homeschool. That and science experiments usually make me swear.

While we were at the party last night we noticed that my boss has the same dishwasher as we do. Or a very similar one. I called her this afternoon to see if she'd heard about the recall, she hadn't either. So I e-mailed her the info. I wasn't surprised they had the same one, we have the same microwave too. Our houses were built about the same time and all the builders seem to use the same appliances unless you buy big upgrades.

Tomorrow Violet's friend, Butterfly, is coming over and I'm going to help them with the new Girl Scout Journey about energy. It looks like a lot of fun. Much better than last year's journey. I wouldn't touch that thing with a 10-foot s'more stick. There is swim practice in the evening (I've decided she swims so well it is silly to call them "swim lessons" she's practicing flip turns and dolphin kicks now). Tuesday we are hanging out at my parent's house for the day. And on Wednesday, I turn 43!

It will be busy week.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Taking the day off

Freakmom style that is.

I have to be on an hour and a half conference call for work this afternoon. And I have to go to the Girl Scout service unit meeting tonight. But other than that, I'm taking off.

What I am doing on my day off (that isn't really off)? I'm going to finish unpacking, and clean bathrooms, and maybe mop the floor that we keep sticking to. I'm going to spend time with Violet doing school work. And I'm going to help her with some Girl Scouty stuff.

But I think I am caught up enough not to have to work furiously all day. I'll take whatever I can get.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Maybe the leaking water will put out the fire

Have I mentioned here that our dishwasher leaks? It started over the summer. Mr. I. put a pan underneath it to catch the water and occasionally empties it.

This is actually the second problem we've had with it. The first was last winter when the drain got clogged and it wouldn't empty totally. There is nothing more fun that bailing a dishwasher after every load. Mr. I and his dad took it apart and were able to dislodge the clog. Now it drains, but leaks.

Now low and behold we learn it has been recalled. It wasn't GE that told us (but in all fairness, we probably didn't send in our warranty card so they didn't know we bought it). It was our local Fire Department. In their newsletter they reported that they recently responded to a kitchen fire that started from a recalled dishwasher. Since many, many houses were built in the same 5 year period they figured many, many of us are affected by the dishwasher recall. Smart assumption since builders do tend to put the same make and model of most appliances in every house in the subdivision unless the new homeowner wants to make an expensive upgrade, most don't.

So, yes, now not only does our dishwasher leak, it may burst into flames at any moment.


Mr. I. did the research recommended by those smart firefighters (who have better things to do that put out every dishwasher in several subdivisions). Seems we can get a free repair call to fix it (but I'm guessing not the leak even though they'll be here anyway) or get a rebate of either $150 or $300 on a new GE model (depending on what model is chosen).

I don't know what we're going to do. One thing is we won't set the dishwasher to run overnight anymore.

Never a dull moment.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Yes, I'm still alive

I was just off the grid for a while.

First I spent two days in beautiful downtown Peoria, Illinois at a healthcare convention. I kid Peoria, I really like the city. It gets a bad rap in Illinois. It has to have the best traffic of any place on the planet. When I got there I couldn't find the entrance to the hotel parking garage. I was able to drive in circles through the city looking for it. Not once was a I run down by a city bus or a cab. I wasn't honked at even when I slowed way down to read street signs. There was just no traffic. Several convention attendees also commented on it.

I did a presentation at the convention. I had no information to share. My topic was picked last winter. Then the government put a hold on the changes. The hold was supposed to be lifted by now. It hasn't been. My co-speaker and I had to scramble to come up with material. (Side note, she was my third co-speaker, they kept dropping out on me - well, one quit our company to work for a client, one found out she had a conflict, and this last speaker actually agreed then found out she'd misheard the topic and really didn't want to speak on it because she knew nothing about it, but she did it with me.) But the audience didn't seem to mind, we got good feedback and had standing room only. I met a speaker who had a session at the same time, he had relevant current info, and virtually no attendees. He was a bit miffed. Tee hee.

Anyway, I had great time traveling again for work. I'm planning on putting in more speaking proposals for next year (when we'll travel to sunny Springfield, Illinois - I tell you, Northern Illinois has no respect at all for "downstate"). I'm also hoping to go to Michigan in April. Mr. Incredible was hoping I'd get sent to California next year, but I really don't think that will happen.

As soon as I got back we left for our family vacation. We went to Disney World. We have a time share there, so our room was paid for. We bought annual passes when we went last year, so our park admission was paid for. We needed to get there and back and food. We couldn't pass it up.

It was really hot, moderately busy, and a good time. I would have liked to have more downtime. I get so little relaxing in at home, I'd like to relax on vacation. Mr. I and Violet like to go, go, go. Next time we go, I'm going to ditch them and go to the pool on my own. There's a beach chair and a frilly drink with my name on it. They both like wild rides much more than I do anyway.

So we are back home. I'm almost caught up with work. I had a blow out with Girl Scouts (now isn't that a familiar story). This will be my last year volunteering. I'm going to finish up the rest of my commitments then turn in my...well, I don't have anything to turn in. I'll just quit. I've finally come to realize what so many volunteers have figured out before me, Girl Scouts is a business first and foremost and volunteers really are the least of their concerns. They don't care if they increase our burdens with no notice or change our job descriptions mid-year. It isn't about us, or about the girls. If you want the full story, let me know and I'll e-mail you. I won't bore everyone else.

Speaking of Girl Scouts, I do plan to keep my commitment to Violet who does still enjoy the program. That said, she loves selling and more importantly earning stuff. Starting Saturday is the Fall Product Sale. She'd like to earn all the patches. To do so she needs to send out 10 e-mails and 10 snail mails about magazine sales. She doesn't need to sell any. Many of you let her send you e-mails or mailings last year, if you are willing to get them again this year I'd appreciate it. The e-mails (there will be 2) come out next week and the week after), the mailing in January (you might get a second mailing, the info is unclear on that). The company doesn't keep the e-mails or addresses or sell them to any one else. If you are interested just e-mail me, I may e-mail some of you from the list last year to confirm your continued willingness. No is always an acceptable answer.

So, that's where I've been. Playing big shot in Peoria. Hobnobbing with a mouse. And causing a scene in a Girl Scout office.

Who says my life is boring!