Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hello? Anybody Out There?

That was us standing in the door with our bowl of candy tonight.  We got some trick or treaters, but not as many as past years.  It was cold, in the mid-40's, and windy.  And I guess our neighborhood is getting older.  At one point this place was overrun with toddlers and school age kids.  Now we have teenagers and empty nesters.  Candy was given out by the handful because I didn't want to be stuck with it (we didn't buy chocolate this year).

Tennis went fine.  Violet said she was the worst player there, but wasn't overly down about it.  There were a couple of other new kids, but most were returning.  Two friends of hers who are in the class weren't there today.  Probably off for Halloween.  She was just as glad, not that she doesn't want to be in class with them, but because it gave her a chance to get acclimated (the girls have been taking the class since last year).  Violet is planning on going back next week.

Tomorrow is a field trip to a photographer.  There is something nearly every single day!  I'm tired.  I'd better post this and go curl up with a book.  Blogger is acting wonky and I don't want to lose this!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Ironing day was a great success.  The girls enjoyed tracing and ironing on the transfers to the pillow cases so much, they didn't get to the fuse beads.  But I promised to bring those back out at a future meeting.  Our birthday girl brought us delicious brownies!  Man, oh man, I was wishing there was a polite way to keep the leftovers!  But I sent them back with her.  My Cadettes happily did their own ironing, but the Juniors didn't want to.  I did get the youngest Junior to do a little at the end.  Their sashes look good and they were so happy to get them updated. 

I am so pleased at how well our little Girl Scout group is going this year.  The moms have been chipping in with miscellaneous supplies.  One family sent a whole stack of white card stock (they have a family printing business which uses it).  We'll turn that into Christmas and/or thank you cards soon!  There's so much, I'm thinking Valentines too.  Another family had a bunch of clay pots we can decorate.  I'm just so thrilled to have the participation!  And we're putting together a Thanksgiving box (a tradition for our service unit).  The moms are all busy splitting up the list of what to go in it.  I love it! 

Today was more stressful.  Violet and I met with her orthodontist to see what the plan would be for phase 2 of braces.  Mr. Incredible and I had talked about it a lot, and agreed that this was something we should do now while she's young and everyone else has them on too.  They are needed.  She could get by without them, but it will be much better in the long run.  There could be some serious issues as an adult if a few things are fixed.  Not immediate, but some day.  And it isn't her fault that we have a lot less income (and no dental insurance) than we did a few years ago.  Tonight it was decided we'll wait until after the first of the year to get them on, then she won't have to have them for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  They are talking probably 12 months, maybe a little longer, so if she gets them on after the New Year, she'll have them on for one holiday season, but not two.

You'd think having made a decision that has been hanging over my head for months would make me feel better, but no.  I'm still stressed.  I know it is the best, I want her to get them.  I just hate making her wear them, having to dip into savings to pay for them, and just everything!  (I know you all know what I mean).  I'm a bundle of guilt and stress and anger tonight. 

Tomorrow is Halloween.  We'll be back a little after Trick or Treating starts, Violet has her first tennis lesson.  I'm worried about how that will go too.  I hope she enjoys it.  I hope the instructors are nice.  I just hope, you know?

I would say I'm overreacting to everything, but you know, I think I am just "mom-reacting" to everything.  Well, that and I am a control freak who isn't in control of much this week! 

Where are the chocolate bars for tomorrow?  I think I need a few now!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ironing Day

Tomorrow is Ironing Day for the Juliette Group at our house.  I've invited the girls to bring their sash or vest and any badges, journeys or patches that need to go on them and we'll set up the ironing board and give it a go.  The girls were starting to get a little less interested in the badges themselves although they still love the activities.  Then I learned it was because the badges just sit there and aren't getting on their sashes/vests.  Well, then, let's iron! 

Since we'll have the iron out, I decided we needed to do some iron related crafts.  I've bought them all a plain white pillow case, and I have transfer paper and pencils.  I brought out the designs we used for Shrinky Dinks last year.  And I got a great set of fabric markers.  The idea is they will trace their design choice on the transfer paper, use the transfer pencil on the other side, iron it onto the pillow case, and finally color in the design with the markers. 

When I got this out for testing, Violet started with it, then wanted to start drawing freehand with the markers on the pillow case.  Which is fine.  But doesn't take as long (and we have a 2 hour meeting to fill) and defeats the purpose of bothering to get the transfer paper and pencils.  She's cool with it for the meeting.  I think I'll ask the girls to all try at least one transfer method - and see if they come up with the idea to just draw on their own. 

The other craft I have is fuse beads.  But to make it more challenging, I found a website with a bunch of designs which are done on the fuse bead boards but don't fill the whole thing with random colors, like any preschooler might do.  The link takes you to the Halloween designs, they have a bunch more.  I printed out the Halloween and a bunch of animals for the girls to try.  They can just fill the shapes with colors, but these look like more fun.

Here's a sample of what I mean from the website.  The website has all sorts of great projects!

The girls have been invited to wear their Halloween costumes if they choose.  The sister pair have decided not to due to ironing issues, floppy sleeves and such.  Violet and I are going to wear ours (I'm going as the Swedish Chef in my chef jacket and hat, I made a little red bowtie, and I have a small rubber chicken key chain and little pot, so I can "put the chicky chicky in the pot".  You already saw Violet's costume.)  If the other girls don't wear theirs I told Violet we can change if we want.

One of the girls may bring a birthday treat.  Her mom asked if they could a few weeks ago, but didn't want to commit just in case life got out of control.  I think we all totally get that!  Smart move, I say!  I didn't mention it to the girls, and since we don't always do snacks no one will miss it if there isn't one.  And if there is...bonus!  (Their family owns an Italian restaurant, I'd be over the moon if they brought their homemade cannoli, but I'm not getting my hopes up.  If you ever visit, I'll take you to their restaurant and we'll get them.  YUM!  And I don't even like cannoli!)

Have a great week!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Is it a Girl or a Cat?

The costume is complete, didn't she do a great job?  She's Bubbles!  Complete with a tiny bell sewn on the collar.  The black sweat pants are Girl Scout, with the white felt strategically sewn over the logo.  The black shirt is from Walmart, as are the socks, ears and tail.  The shirt is decorated with felt.  The pink collar has fabric marker cupcakes on it to match the design on Bubbles' collar.  And the fish shaped tag says "Bubbles".  The paw pads are an old pair of white gloves with pink and black felt paw pads sewn on the palms.

She plans to hand out candy and not trick or treat this year.  Bubbles likes to run through the front door (or try to at least) so she'll be in her costume with her harness and leash (did I mention Violet is trying to train her to walk on a leash?)  It should be an exciting evening!

In other news, the other Janet went to a seafood place in New Orleans and uploaded it to her foursquare profile.  I wonder what she got to eat.  I would have had the gumbo.  Wonder where we will go next?  I wouldn't mind a dessert, perhaps we can go out for cheesecake.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

You've Got the Wrong Janet

From time to time someone else named Janet, different Janets, get my e-mail address confused with theirs. Maybe they write it down correctly and the other person can't read their handwriting?  Maybe they just forgot what it was?  Who knows. 

The latest is Janet P from New Orleans who last night signed up for something called Foursquare with a similar e-mail address as mine.  See, it turns out that G-mail doesn't recognize dots.  So I get her notifications.  I already have one friend.  I thought about contacting him to tell her the e-mail didn't work as she hoped, but I don't know her password and I can't post without an account.  The kicker?  Foursquare is apparently something people do with their smart phones.  I don't have a smart phone.  It is a very sore subject with me right now.  Everyone else on the planet has one and expects that I do too.  Nope.  I can't afford a new phone right now, no matter how useful it would be.  I'm stuck with my 1990's Motorola flip phone for the long haul.  Yes, this is another anger issue.

But back to the e-mail issue.

Stephanie who recently stayed at an Econolodge in California, I unsubscribed your my e-mail address from them.  If you find this, since you used the e-mail address associated with this blog, please double check it and resignup with Econolodge if you'd like.  Oh, and beware of bedbugs when you are staying in hotels.  Check those sheets very carefully.  The place may look clean, and may very well be clean, but those darned bugs may still be there.  And you won't know until you leave and start itching several days later.  And be sure wash all the clothes you took with you on the trip upon your return.  One of the little buggers may have hitched a ride home in an unworn undergarment and may attack your armpits a few weeks later.   I know this is a delicate subject, but you need to know.

I've gotten e-mails from other Janet's friends, inviting me to their kids' playdate meetups.  Sorry, you missed them Janet and her kid, but I just deleted them.  Eventually you must have corrected your friends or moved on to another playgroup who can get your e-mail address correct.  Smart move.  Those new friends are probably much nicer anyway.

There was also the Janet from England who was on some sort of search committee.  They kept sending me resumes for your review.  I ignored those at first.  Then they started to get grumpy that you weren't responding.  I replied that I wasn't you and they stopped.  Sorry I didn't respond quicker.  I thought it was spam for a long time.  Tell them to quit yelling at you, it was their mistake in the first place.  Geesh, the nerve of some people.

I was really annoyed about all this, until I read the article that I linked to above.  If you didn't read it, and I don't blame you, I often don't follow links in blogs I read, you might want to.  It is amusing.  After reading Sarah's trials with the wrong Sarah's e-mails, I've decided to look at this as an interesting sociological experiment.  I almost can't wait to see what shows up next. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

We're really not slovenly

Looking back at my posts, it sounds like we live in some sort of slovenly suburban hovel.  Mice in the walls.  Bedbugs.  It really isn't as bad as it sounds.  Of course, we are also overrun by box elder bugs.  Did I mention that Bubbles likes to eat them?  Pops them like candy.  But no, the house is fairly clean (I've never claimed to be a superior housekeeper).  There are no dirty dishes piled up in the kitchen (well just a couple, from earlier today), no spoiled food in the refrigerator, no mold, no garbage piled up.  Just bugs and mice.  Sigh.

Today we went to the fitness center where Violet is signed up to take tennis lessons starting next week.  We'd never been there and wanted to see where we were going before class started.  They couldn't have been nicer.  They gave her a non-member card that she could just get swiped each time she goes, showed us where the tennis courts are and the lounge.  Offered us a full tour, but we passed for now.  We aren't going to join.  But gosh, it was tempting.  They have a pool, a spa, tennis, weights and exercise equipment.  And get this...a Subway!  Yes, there is a restaurant in the fitness center!  Boy, when we have money again...  I had no idea how fancy fitness centers had gotten.  It was a far cry from they YMCA I used to lifeguard at during college.  It is owned by a big hospital conglomeration.  No wonder their fees made me cringe when I looked at them.

I bet they don't have mice in the walls.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Light Week

This is such a nice, quiet week.  There's just Cadettes (the group I called "girl's club" because the mom who runs it isn't a trained GS leader, the girls aren't a troop, and I don't think many of the others are even registered, they just use the GS programming. Can you tell I don't approve?  All the more reason for me to drop off and go.  I like the other families involved, I really do.  I just have different Girl Scout beliefs than they do.), and a library program that Violet will be a volunteer at.  It must be our quietest week in months. 

At work, most of the partners and managers in my department are out of state at conferences, that I didn't have to go to!  Woo hoo!  So I do have a few more things to handle, but so far it hasn't been bad.  And when the cats are away, they aren't making up projects for the mice to do.

Speaking of mice, they are back.  We hear them in the walls at night.  Mr. Incredible thinks they are getting in through the garage.  He's set up a bunch of live traps.  Yesterday he caught 4.  He lets them go in the backyard.  I think he needs to tag them so he can see how many times he lets each one go.  Today there haven't been any in the traps.  He didn't leave the traps set while he was out at work today.  He knows Violet and I aren't very responsible for checking them and letting the mice go. 

Bubbles is well on her way to being a mouser.  She's caught 2 so far.  None recently.  She finds them in the basement and we think the mice have figured that out, hence them in the garage.  She is learning the fine art of mousing from "Uncle Alexi" and "Uncle Marbles" our other 2 cats.  By the way, Uncle Alexi isn't fond of her.  He tolerates her. But mostly he acts like a grumpy old grandfather who'd rather be left alone to snooze in his recliner.  Uncle Marbles will way his tail for her play with. 

On tap tomorrow: a trip to the library to pick up a bunch of books that came in on hold.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Feeling Better

Posting yesterday was definitely therapeutic.  And getting positive feedback from you guys, even more so!  I've been away too long.  And I think I've gotten lonely.  I have in person friends, but you know how that is, we're all too wrapped up in the comings and goings to talk.  Isn't it odd how you can feel closer to online friends than people you see in person?  You share so much more when you have time to sit and talk and think.  Online everyone can do it in their own timezone and own space.  In person, well, we never stop to do that anymore.

It is probably wrong to say, but I was so glad to hear that many others are also having their anger issues in a bunch due to the pending elections.  I saw a news story that the election is neck and neck right now.  I am scared of what would happen if my candidate doesn't win.  As I am sure many others are too, from both sides of the ballot.  Because both sides are painting such horror stories of the other.  No matter who you are in favor of, the other side makes Hades seem not so bad.  (Not posting here which side I'm on.  Those of you who've known me for years can probably guess.  I don't want it coming up in search engines and having opposing sides leaving comments.)  I know it is part of campaigning and things won't really be apocalyptic, but you know how it is.

On an even more personal note, I switched to using a hydrocortisone cream on my suspected bites and they are a lot less itchy.  I've tried a few other things which weren't successful.  It does brighten one's day not to be scratching under your armpits all day!  I say suspected because Mr. Incredible isn't as convinced as I am that they are bedbug bites.  He still has the thought that bedbugs are found in dirty, unkempt places only.  Whereas truth is, they can be anywhere.  They actually just prefer dark places.  From my research they don't care if the place is clean or dirty.

Did I tell you that Violet is dressing up for Halloween as the new kitten, Bubbles?  Her costume is almost ready.  I'll post photos when it is.  In the meantime, do you want to see the new cutie in our lives?  

Little stinker, isn't she?  She's into EVERYTHING!

This was after the last Girl Scout meeting at our house.  Bubbles was exhausted! It is hard to keep 5 girls entertained for so long.

Bubbles' costume is ready to go.  Isn't she the cutest pumpkin? She looks mad here, but she seems to like wearing it.

Okay, this one takes a little more explaining.  One morning I saw a parakeet in the birdfeeder on our back deck!  A parakeet!?  That's not right!  So we got out an old birdcage and set it on the table outside, thinking maybe it would look familiar to the parakeet and he'd fly to it.  He didn't.  When it started to rain, I brought it inside.  Cue kitten to climb in and make herself at home!

I'm going to try really hard not to be a stranger.  My mental health is too important to neglect my buddies like I've been doing!

Many hugs to you all!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Remember me?

Yes, I am the AWOL Freakmom.  Many of you just got the Girl Scout e-mail for magazines.  Sorry to send those out.  And doubly sorry that I didn't get the reminder e-mail turned off.  I'm afraid you will all get another notice.  Stupid sales.  Violet has 5 years left of selling stuff (not that I'm counting) and I can't wait to not have to hawk magazines and especially cookies any more!  I swear, I'm not even going to eat another Girl Scout cookie once she's done.  Not that I have issues.  No, I'm one gigantic walking issue! 

Well, what have I been up to?  Here's some highlights (and possibly some lowlights):
  1. Traveled for work:  and went on one family trip.  There was a 24 day period overlapping August and September where I stayed in hotels 15 nights!  Sounds glamorous, doesn't it?  I got bedbug bites during Conference Number Two.  They didn't show up until Family Vacation Trip.  I couldn't figure out what all those red itchy spots were on my legs.  Mr. Incredible and Violet didn't get them.  Then I did some research and found out that the bites can take up to 14 days to show up.  That pinpointed it straight to the Conference.  Sigh.  I still have some itchy spots.  In my armpits.  Seriously.  Life is so glamorous.
  2. Drove Violet to activities: Remember when I couldn't get this girl to sign up for anything?  Boy, that has changed.  She's in 2 Juliette groups, takes art lessons, goes on field trips, starts tennis next week, and joined a volunteer group at the library.  I have decided to just drop her off and pick her up at the other Girl Scout group.  I can't stay and not get involved.  The mom running it does a nice job.  I'm not needed. I'll be at the library with my laptop during the meetings.  Violet will like that better too.
  3. Grew angrier: The election is not helping my anger issues.  It is escalating them.  I need this election to send and end soon. I keep threatening to hit people with big sticks.  Not to their faces.  But later.  Like when I was given a poor review in my annual job performance review.  I was told to manage my stress better.  You people cause all my stress!  There's a bit more to that which I can't post, which is stressful.  Stress causes anger.  Anger makes me want to hit things with a big stick. 
  4. Hung out at Abigail Adams Academy:  I've been helping out behind the scenes, mostly with registration.  I've taken over accepted moderation duties of the Yahoo Group for students.  And I've been taking the Colloquium class this year.  I do so enjoy hanging out with the ladies over there.  I actually read some Shakespeare and was able to discuss it semi-intelligently!  Go me!  
  5. Worried about finances: Review point number 3, anger issues.  Those big sticks can get expensive. 
  6. Worked:  besides the conferences, I've worked here at home too.  Trying to get to the office is so disruptive to school and family that I've missed some meeting I maybe shouldn't have.  But on their death bed, no one ever regrets not going to more meetings.  We'll have to see what the short term effects are.  Probably another bad performance review.  My life is an endless, itchy cycle.
  7. Wore my skirts: Remember the ones I made.  They worked great for the conferences!  I love them!  I do want to make a black one.  I think that would really fit in nicely.  Neither Violet or I have done any sewing, but we really haven't been home!  She has some Christmas sewing planned.
  8. Adopted a kitten:  Preki Cat, who posed so beautifully on the quilt in my last blog post, died peacefully at home shortly after that photo was taken.  Before she died we had made plans to adopt a kitten, Bubbles.  Bubbles' mom, Blanche, had been recently adopted by my in-laws.  Then they learned Blanche was expecting.  Violet got the pick of the litter.  We think she did a good job choosing.  Bubbles has been a very good addition to the family.  We miss Preki.  She was a good kitty.  
I think I'll end for now on that good note.