Monday, June 30, 2008

Yellowstone, Day 1

Well, we left this morning at about 1:40am, a little later than we wanted to be. We needed to get to Ron's daughters' house by 2:00am, and ended up being about 10 minutes late. The girls who came on this trip were Jak, Nikki, Lu and Violet. Kayla was off at soccer camp this week (I hate it when we have vacations scheduled, and soccer tromps over those days!).

It was a long drive there, but we got to our campsite at Norris a little before 10:00am (after a couple stops along the way to get ice and pump up the tires on the trailer).

We got camp set up, and headed out. On the way, we saw a mother elk who had just given birth to her baby. We got to see him stand up for the first time, and watched the mother clean him off. Then we continued on, and spent the rest of the day in West Yellowstone. Everyone traipsed around the touristy shops, and spent souvenir money. We treated the kids to dinner at Dairy Queen (to the tune of $53!!!!!! Talk about tourist trap pricing...) Then, we surprised them by taking them to a play at the Playmill Theatre. We saw See How They Run, and it was as hilarious as the last time I saw it. :)

Here's the girls, posing by one of the painted buffalo that are all over the town:

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Lost is Found

Our kitty came back this morning, meowing pitifully. We have some relieved girls at our house this morning!

Now it's time to pack up and leave for Yellowstone at 1:30am!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Killer Yard Sale

We just held our third yard sale this summer. It was the biggest one by far, and hopes were very high to get rid of as much stuff as humanly possible.

I sell everything for 25 cents at my yard sales (or 2 or more of some things for 25 cents). Today, this included three desks, a really nice large silk plant, tools, and everything else under the sun. (Literally-- it was around 100 degrees today!)

The sale went from 6:30am until people finally stopped coming, around 3:00pm. I made $290.

Do you know what this means?


Oh, yeah baby! It's happy dance time! Except that it hurts too much to dance right now because of the sunburn I got... :( And I look really stupid because I burned around my sunglasses, and now I have reverse-raccoon syndrome...

And in sad news, one of our kitties is missing. We posted "Lost" flyers around the neighborhood this evening. But because it was so hot today, I'm having a hard time hoping for the best. This cat doesn't have a lot in the smarts department-- it has been known to get stuck in window wells, and not know how to get out.

I'm hoping she just decided to go for a cat adventure in the fields behind our neighborhood, and will be back in a couple days. But that isn't like her-- she rarely leaves the yard (she's a scaredy cat), and prefers indoors to outdoors. I guess only time will tell. (So far, no dead cats on the roads around our neighborhood...)

Now for some sleep. I've been up since 4:30am, and am running on under 5 hours of sleep. It's time for BED! :)

Friday, June 27, 2008


We're going through the garage, trying to dejunk as much as possible. With 3 households into one, there's WAY too much stuff.

There's my stuff, Ron's stuff, and what's left of Pierre's stuff. Pierre was a total packrat, and it's taken me over 6 years to get rid of all his crap. Ron likes to collect things, so he's got a small mountain to sort through. And I have 4 girls, all whom like to acquire as many small toys and trinkets and clothesclothesclothes as possible.

Tomorrow is the Killer Yard Sale. Our whole front yard is full of stuff we've weeded out of the house and garage. I want it all GONE. I should be able to accomplish this goal pretty well, since I sell EVERYTHING for 25 cents. Doesn't matter what it is, it's all 25 cents. People like my yard sales. :)

I've already held two yard sales, trying to unload all my stuff on other people. I figure if they're willing to drive to my home, and pay me to haul my crap off, all the better! It's less stuff I have to take over to the thrift store later.

Last Saturday, we made a little over $100. That's 400 items of stuff gone, people! Wahoo!!! The week before wasn't quite as good-- only $40-ish. I am trying for $200 tomorrow. I'll tell you how it goes.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What's So Great About Being a Grown Up?

Groovy Mom posed this question on her blog. I had a few answers... traveling where I choose to go, fixing food my way, painting my house walls colors other than white, and (of course) sex.

I asked Ron what he thought was good about being an adult. He thought it was the ability to make choices for yourself.

When I was in the car the other night with Lu and Violet, I asked them what they thought would be the best parts of being an adult, and they had some interesting answers. Violet, in her 10-year-old wisdom, said "When you're an adult, you can buy anything you want! And you can eat anything you want!" Ok, honey... I'll remember that the next time I want a Really Big brownie sundae with hot fudge. :)

Lu thought for a minute, and then surprised me with her answer. She said, "I think the best part of being an adult is so you can prove to yourself that you can be independent and make it on your own. You can make your own choices for your life, and not have to depend on your parents. And just show that you CAN do it yourself."

Not bad for a 13-year-old.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What's With My Manager, Anyway?

I don't know what it is about me that my manager hates. I try really hard to stay away from him, not annoy him, and attempt to fly under the radar as much as possible. Whenever I think things are finally reaching an "ok" level between the two of us, it's time for another 'sock to the gut'.

The latest one was an email asking me why my timepunches are messed up. Apparently, according to the email, I am the only one in the department who is having problems with their time punches (which I know is false-- one of our guys is notorious for missing at least 1-2 punches per week).

So, I pulled all my time punches for the past year. It was showing I had missed a total of 8 punches for the whole year, and 2 of those were marked as 'badge errors'. So that means I spaced off punching in or out about once every 2 months this past year.

I sent him an email asking if this was an excessive amount of punches to be missing.... and haven't heard back from him. That's not necessarily a good sign. It makes me paranoid as to what's next. He's probably monitoring me posting to my blog, or surfing the web at work, even though I'm doing it while software is loading on the PCs I'm building. I guess I'm supposed to just watch the software install hour-by-hour and twiddle my thumbs waiting.

I really need a new job, but it would be a shame to quit this one when I really like the people I work with and the flexibility of my schedule. Plus, I don't even have to do on-call anymore, and I'm not allowed any overtime. Where else can you find a computer job like this?


Here is a random post about food stuff, just because I'm hungry right now. :)

Whoever made Cholula should be praised forever. And this is coming from someone who never cared for hot sauce, ever. I love this stuff! It makes it so much easier to eat scrambled eggs (I force myself to eat 'em for the protein...)

The best gum ever is Epic's fruit gum. It's made with xylitol, which is really really really good for your teeth. Using xylitol can even reverse cavities (true story!). Here's my experience after starting to use Epic gum: I wasn't able to get back to the dentist for a little over a year. When I had my cleaning done, the hygienist was surprised I hardly had anything to scrape off my teeth. I spoke to them about the wonders of xylitol. :)

Recently, there was a dessert contest at work. I won the "People's Choice" award for my entry. I made up a recipe for the contest (hey, it worked last time I won a recipe contest at work!), and it turned out pretty darn good, if you ask me.

Suzy’s Strawberry Tiramisu

1 cup strawberry jam
6 Tbsp. orange juice concentrate
1 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
20 oz. angel food cake, cut into 3x1x¾ inch pieces
4-6 cups strawberries, cut up (sweeten lightly with sugar, if needed)

Stir the jam and 4 tablespoons of orange juice concentrate in a small bowl to blend.

Combine the cream cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons of orange juice concentrate in a large bowl to blend. Use an electric mixer to beat the cream, sugar and vanilla in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Use a large rubber spatula to stir ¼ of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture to lighten. Fold the remaining whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.

Line the bottom of a 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish (or other decorative serving dish or a springform pan) with half the angel food cake pieces. Spread half of the jam mixture over the cake. Spread half the cream cheese mixture over the jam mixture, and then cover with half the strawberries. Repeat layering with the remaining cake, jam mixture, cream cheese mixture and strawberries. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.

Drizzle with melted chocolate or chocolate syrup, if desired.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Difficult Things

I have added something else to my list of Difficult Things To Do: away beloved books to the local library.

I've hauled in a good 8 boxes of books so far, most of them hardbacks in excellent condition. I think the librarians were going into paroxysms of pure delirium because of my donation.

But it's like parting ways with old friends... giving away a piece of yourself. My entire hardback "Oz" collection.... my entire hardback sets of David Eddings books.... my entire hardback sets of Anne McCaffrey Pern books I've collected since I was about 14.... and the list goes on.

Last year, I gave over 2000 books to the kids' school library. I think we more than doubled the size of their library after that donation. I figured since I wasn't homeschooling anymore, that the brand-new library would use my amazing collection more than us. The school librarian worships the ground I walk on now. :)

I'm taking more books over to the library today. I will try not to cry!


Wow... how do you condense 2+ years into one post? Here's some of the highlights, hopefully in order!

* I ran off and eloped with Ron in April 2006. We've been married over two years now! (Yes, that was the crazy thing I did that I wouldn't tell you about...)
* Pierre committed suicide in June 2006.
* Lana has graduated from high school, is engaged to Nate, and has moved out of her mother's house.
* Through a series of events too complicated to get into here, Shandy has moved in with her aunt.
* Jak got a job working at a grocery store, and loves it. She should be getting her driver's license very soon!
* Kayla has been doing very well in soccer, and is planning on attending a high school in another county next year to play for them as their (eventual) varsity keeper.
* Nikki is a wonderful student and will be starting high school this coming year.
* Lu has been obsessed with Avatar for well over a year now. She can repeat episodes verbatim.
* Violet has started piano lessons (finally). She's progressing quite well!
*Ron transferred work sites, and it now takes him 5 minutes to get to work. Not bad!
*And I'm still at my same old job, with the same old manager who doesn't like me, doing the same old things. :)

And I have 3/4 of my garage cleaned out, as of yesterday, and plan on finishing the last 1/4 this week so we can have a killer yard sale on Friday/Saturday. And then we'll leave for Yellowstone/Grand Tetons either Sunday or Monday. Whee!

So Sue Me

I'm just as bad about writing in a blog as I am about returning emails, writing letters, and keeping a journal.


So I'll try it. Again. Let's see how far I get this time!