Saturday, April 28, 2012

Anniversary Celebration

Today Violet and I went to our council's official Girl Scout Centennial Celebration.  It was fun.  It was crowded!  There were a lot of Cadette/Senior/Ambassadors there which was great.  Almost all the girls were in their sashes or vests (thank goodness we remembered to take Violet's!) 

That said, it wasn't quite what I expected.  It was more like a trade show for Girl Scouts.  There were a lot of vendors there.  Mostly places troops might want to go on field trips.  Some sold camping equipment.  Of course the Council's bank partner was there to showcase financial literacy.  We visited some booths.  We mostly visited Council booths: the history booth, the council shop to get our event t-shirts and patches, the product sales booth to vote for next year's cookie incentives (plus I know the council product sales staff so I had to visit for a couple of minutes). 

I'm glad we went. I don't think I'll be making it to any 200th anniversary parties for Girl Scouts.

The event was held in our (mine and Mr. I's) old home town, our college town.  We started dating in college, got married while he was still finishing his degree, stayed, I enrolled and completed grad school there, all before we (sadly) moved.  We miss it.  It is only about 40 minutes away and we don't get back "home" nearly as often as we'd like.

After we left the event, Violet and I set off to find a thrift store I've heard about.  When the lady was showing us around, she said they'd been in business 5 years!  I definitely don't get back to town often enough!  The thrift store was cool, it had a bunch of rooms filled with things, then (per the nice lady) you go past the exit sign and down into the basement where there is even more!  Glad she showed us around or we never would have gone down there.  Violet found a sweatshirt jacket and 2 bean babies (one is from the Coca-Cola international beanie collection, which we didn't even know existed, she found the crocodile.)  I found some yarn.

Then I took her to our favorite place for frozen custard, Ollie's.   When we were in college and beyond, Ollie's was in our college town, then it had a falling out with DeKalb and moved to the next town over.  It's customers went with it.  On a nice summer day, the line will twist all the way around the building.  Yes, somehow, we've neglected to bring Violet there in so long she couldn't remember it.  Today the line was only about 10 people, it was in the mid-40's with a very strong wind.  But dedicated Ollie's lovers will stand there for their custard!  I think it is the only place that Mr. I and I will stand in a line that long.  I had a s'mores sundae (I figured I had to have that after going to the Girl Scout event) and Violet had a double scoop of chocolate.  We sat in the car and ate it.  Lots of people were sitting in their cars with their treats.  That's what you do there.

I think I have Violet considering NIU for college.  Yay!  I'd love it if she went there.  It is a great school, and it is so close to home.  And it is a top notch university.  And it is just down the road with all our favorite old places.  Actually, it is always been our "Plan B".  If things don't work out, Mr. I. plan to head back there, rent another small apartment and start over.  And have lots of Ollie's.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Hidden Math Lesson

Today was our jewelry store tour.  The owner was showing us around and telling the girls about gem mining and other cool things.  He mentioned all the things you need to know in the jewelry business: geology, some other things I already forgot, and math.  He said you need math to calculate weights of gems and gold and silver, and the prices.  The prices are given in fractions, just like carats of diamonds are in fractions (18 carat gold is really 18/24ths gold, I didn't know that).  So I said that sounded like one really good use for all those fractions and decimals we have to learn.  He took my cue and ran with it.  He slowly did some examples for them, simplifying fractions to the lowest common denominator and converting it to a decimal and percentage (that 18/24th is 3/4, is .75 is 75 percent).  And using all the terminology straight from her math program.

It was a perfect example of what Violet has been doing in pre-algebra and wondering why on earth she'd have to switch from one form to another!  I could have kissed him!  But I didn't.  I'm sure a jewelry store is filled with all sorts of security which probably wouldn't approve of some weird mom kissing the jeweler with joy.  LOL

So, when any of your students ask why they need to know fractions and decimals, it is so they can trade in diamonds and gold in the future!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Weekend

We had a pretty normal weekend.  I went to work on Saturday.  Mr. Incredible and Violet went to my parents' house to help my dad with his computer and generally hang out.  Today I cleaned, set up some future Girl Scout projects and shopped at Wal-Mart.  I know, my life is so glamorous!

I'll have to take some pictures, but the craft project we planned and practiced today was a pipe cleaner and bead centipede, the idea for which came from Mental.  Violet loved making these, and made herself a whole zoo of them already!  The girls will really love them.  I think we'll do it at our last meeting, May 14th.

Tomorrow is a tour of a jewelry store.  Then we're all going to lunch at our friends' restaurant.  Before heading home, Violet and I are going to open swim. 

The weather hasn't been as wonderfully lovely as it was a few weeks ago.  It was sunny today, but windy and cool.  I am really ready for Summer.

Tomorrow our copy of the 9th Sisters Grimm book is scheduled to arrive!  It was just released.  It is the last one in the series.  I don't know about Violet, but I am looking forward to it!

Have a good week!

Friday, April 20, 2012


Twice this week Violet and I took off for an adventure. On Tuesday, we went to Woodfield Mall to go to Build-a-Bear. She had 2 certificates from there, one of which was going to expire at the end of the month. She picked out a Small Fry and 2 outfits. She also had a Claire's gift card and a Bath and Body Works card, so she used both of those too. She chose A&W for our lunch. We don't have one near us, so it is fun to go there. Her other favorite restaurant in the mall is Rainforest Cafe. Since A&W costs us about a third of what Rainforest does, I didn't argue and happily had my root beer and cheeseburger. And any trip to Woodfield would not be complete without a stop at Sanrio, also known as "The Hello Kitty Store." It is all Hello Kitty, all the time! Violet got some gum there, they have really unusual flavors like cola and blueberry.

Rather than go straight home, we stopped at open swim. We have 9 punches to use on our punch pass by June 1st. I don't think we're going to make it. But we also got Violet a new swimsuit later this week that fits so much better, so she said she wants to go a lot more. We got her a Speedo. It does look really good on her. In my opinion, as a lap swimmer, you can't go wrong with a Speedo. They are well made, fit nicely, work for real swimming (not just lounging by the pool), and last a long time. It was more expensive than any previous suit she's gotten, but she's now outgrown girl's sizes. So the days of cheap Walmart suits are over. Even if we got her one there, in the Junior's section, it would be more than in the girl's section.

So that was Tuesday's adventure. Today we went to a history museum about 45 minutes away to see their vintage Girl Scout uniform display. It was a special exhibit for the anniversary. It was nice. The museum was small, but it was really clean and well kept. You know how some of those free, volunteer organization's museums are a bit run down and could use a good overhaul? This one didn't need it. Or maybe it got it when they did the Girl Scout exhibit. I think the local service unit did a lot of the display. We enjoyed it. They did a really nice job with it.

On our way home we stopped and Dunkin Donuts and got coffee (for me) and a dozen donuts (for all of us). We actually just pulled in there to call Mr. Incredible to let him know we'd gotten through the museum quicker than we thought (did I mention it was small?) and that we'd get milk on our way home so he didn't have to do it. We found ourselves in Dunkin's parking lot and decided it was fate. It was also delicious.

We pay for our adventures with our "mad money." Whenever anyone pays us cash (either reimbursement for patches or supplies we buy for Juliettes, or cookie customers) we stash the cash for future adventures. We've saved quite a bit. This was a good week to use some of it. Work was quiet and the weather was decent.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

checkerboards and disbanding

Today I taught myself how to knit in checkerboard. I think it turned out pretty good for a first try. It is about 3 inches square. I gave it to Violet for the Barbies or other dolls or stuffed animals. I'm sure one of them will have a use for it.

For my next project I'm going to make a patchwork afghan. I'm going to knit a bunch of 12" by 12" squares and stitch them together. It is another project from the Kids Knitting book.

Tomorrow is Juliettes. So today I cleaned the house and got ready for them. Every other week I clean the downstairs whether it needs it or not. Actually, as I was typing this I realized I forgot to clean the powder room. I'll have to do that when I'm done here.

I think our local homeschool group is going to finally fold. It has been threatening to for several years now. We are a chapter of the state group. We have a Yahoo group. But that is it. We haven't had an activity or event in years. Most of us have older kids who have their own friends and activities. We aren't looking for playmates. We haven't advertised for new members and haven't gotten any. We moms have our own support networks. Other than being part of the state group, there isn't any point of the group. We have a call out to our members that if no one responds that they want the group to stay active within a week, we're closing the doors. I'm investigating member at large options because I want to still be a part of the state group and I suspect a few others will too. But I don't want to take on the task of saving the group. I did that once about two years ago and again about 7 years ago. I had support those times. I don't think that support is still there. I'll be sad to see it go, but I think the time has come to pull the plug.

Time to stop stalling and clean the toilet. Things just keep getting more and more glamorous, don't they?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Various updates

It has been a busy week.

  • I went to Michigan and back. The work was good. The food was good. The hotel was nice. I was exhausted when I got home.
  • The mouse count is up to 9. Most have gone out alive. A few met the mouse equivalent of St. Peter. Rest their mousie souls.
  • Easter was nice. The Easter bunny hid over 50 eggs in the house. Violet had fun finding them all.
  • Cadettes was cancelled this week. It was by unanimous vote by the three moms. We were all tired.
  • I finished my work for my big deadline today. I wasn't sure on Wednesday when I was still waiting for information from others. I wasn't happy. They ignored me. I was even unhappier. But it was done by 9 am this morning. Then I took the rest of the day off.
  • Back to work tomorrow. I have to go in to the office. Short break.
  • Violet finished grammar for the year. We have a short poetry study to do next.
  • Violet decided that a week and a half break from math is too long. It was hard for her to get back into it. She is going to work on math over the summer. That made me happy.
  • Juliettes will meet here on Monday. We're going to do crafts for a jewelry badge. I need to clean the house on Sunday. My Juliettes don't seem to care about getting badges or other insignia. They don't keep their sashes up to date. Sigh. Violet loves getting badges and patches. She's going to keep it up. It is a nice way to remember things she did. Her Cadette group like it too, so at least she has that to share with them.
  • The Cadette mom and I have made tentative plans to merge the groups if we start losing girls in either one. So far we haven't, so we're not going to mess with the dynamics. But both our daughters love it too much, we'll make sure they have a group to do stuff with. Or at the very least, each other.
  • We went to the pool today. It has been getting more crowded. We were spoiled, we used to always have the place to ourselves. And we didn't know either of the women working at the desk. We used to know everyone there. Things change.
  • I had a mini bug after I got back from the trip. It was probably something I picked up there. But I really think stress and fatigue played a bigger part in it. I think I'm back to 100% now.

There's probably more, but that's what I can remember for now. Off to bed so I can go to work tomorrow. Blech.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Week From Heck

No, I'm not opposed to saying "hell", it just hasn't been quite bad enough to call it that. At least not from my desk chair. Maybe from Mr. Incredible's.

Monday was good. The Juliette's did a great job making their Linus blankets. I was impressed that they got them done in one meeting.

Violet has had allergy problems this week. Lots of sniffling and snuffiness. But it is just allergies, like many folks are suffering from.

Tuesday I left home at 6 am. Got to the client by 8. Met some of the bigwigs. And a medium-wig I've worked with over the phone and via e-mail but never in person. I think I did a pretty good job speaking-wise. I did rush through my last section a bit too much. But gosh when 48 eyeballs are just staring at you, and you took a lunch break halfway through your spiel, it is easy to get off track.

We did get home earlier than expected. My boss opted to cut things short based on the audience. The audience agreed. Boss and I were both happy to go home early. It has been busy times lately.

Wednesday, Violet made her pralines for Cadettes, it was her regional food to share for the New Cuisines badge. And she got her Easter treats ready to distribute. And worked on her assignment about a Girl Scout meeting in the future. I took her to Jewelry class at 4. As I was walking out of the art studio, Mr. I. calls me. He's got a client with major issues. He needs to be there all day Thursday. I need to be at my office all day Thursday. I spend the next 2 hours on the phone. Between my mom, the Cadette Mom (who was also at the art studio - and who was hosting the Cadette meeting Thursday) and me, we come up with a solution. Mom spends the night. Meets up with Cadette mom before the meeting, who takes Violet for the afternoon. Then someone (me or Mr. I, we don't know yet at that point) will pick her up at three.

So this morning (Thursday) I get up and go to the office. Mr. I gets up and goes to the client. Grandma and Violet get up, hang around, have fun, and after lunch meet up with Cadette mom. At the office I get dragged from one meeting to another, do a training session I'm hopelessly unprepared for (luckily I know the material, I'm just not organized for it) and call Mr. I at 1:00. He's still tied up. Boss lady says no problem, take off at 2 to go get Violet. She moves my agenda items to the top of the 1:30 meeting. I do my thing. I pack up and leave at 2, by 3 I'm pulling up to the Cadette meeting just as it is wrapping up. Like clockwork. As if the whole thing was planned out from the beginning just like that.

What a nightmare. But I get home 3 hours earlier than I expected. I didn't have to miss my Classic Moms class like I thought I might. And Violet didn't have to miss her Cadette meeting which was the goal of all of us. Whew.

I wish my office weren't so far away (an hour with no traffic, rush hour count on an hour forty-five each way). That would make it easier. Or if I didn't have to work at all. That would be nice. Or if I had regular child care, which I don't because I don't need it too frequently. Thank goodness my mom could step in.

Now comes my trip out of town next week. I leave about 1:00 on Monday afternoon and don't get back until late Tuesday evening. I'm going to call my mom tomorrow and start discussing options in case Mr. I has another client emergency. Which seems to happen a lot. Not his fault. And he can't very well say, no client, I'm a brand new business and I need your work, but I'll deal with you later. But I still need to make arrangements for Violet if he can't be there. She's too young to stay that long by herself, and doesn't want to. And she can't drive yet.

So, that has been the week from heck. (I forgot to mention, I thought I had a crack in my windshield this morning. It felt like it. I was afraid to mess with it and crack the whole thing. Mr. I. took more time with it and guess what? It washed off! It was nasty sap or something. Not a crack. I love it when I am wrong for the good.) I think Violet and I are hiding out at home tomorrow (actually I'm now way behind with work I have to get some stuff done). And Mr. Incredible is hoping to work from home. I don't think any of us want to leave again soon.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I'm tired. I know that isn't news. We're all moms, we're all tired.

Last week finished up pretty quietly. Violet enjoyed Cadettes. No more mice have been sighted. We kept busy on Friday trying to get caught up. On Saturday I went to the office and my parents came and picked up Violet. She hung out with them. After work I drove over to get her. Mr. Incredible used the time to do yard work and catch up with other projects.

Today I cleaned the house and got ready for Juliettes here tomorrow. We're making Linus blankets. It is the April service unit event/service project. The Cadettes will stay afterward and finish the Couch Potato IP and work on the Media journey. I'm going to have them watch an old cartoon (Steamboat Willie) and a new one (Runaway Brain) and The Golden Eaglet (a silent movie from 1918 about Girl Scouts).

Violet and I also went out to Walgreens and put together little Easter goodies for her Cadettes. The Cadettes do that sort of thing. We found some cute plastic cups, put 2 plastic eggs filled with candies in each cup, a couple more candies in the cup, and topped it off with these cute little hopping chicks in each. The girls will love them.

Tuesday I have to leave the house at 6:00 am to go to a client all day. Mental is playing her tiny violin for me. I usually get to sleep in much later. Thursday I have to go to the office all day for training sessions (which I'm leading) and department meetings. Then next week I'm out of town for a night for a conference. It will be really busy until mid-April. I hope it will slow down after that.

Hope you all have a good week.