Monday, January 29, 2007


OK, I'm a slacker who hasn't felt like taking the time to write anything lately. :) First off, it took Jeff looking at my blog (amazing enough!) to let me know that I spelled picture wrong in the title of my last post. Sometimes my fingers move faster than my brain tells them to... :)

Now .. it seems that every time I schedule a day off to make some progress with my "to-do" list, one or both of my kids get sick. It's like they know I'm going to be off from work anyway, so I might as well have to care for them and not get anything accomplished.

Back in December, I scheduled a day off (Monday) so that I could go shopping. Conor got sick on Friday and was not better by Monday, then Allie got sick on Monday, and I got sick on that Tuesday. I ended up having to take off more than that one day! And I had to do my shopping on other days/nights because I didn't have any more time to take unless I wanted to give up my day after Christmas (I didn't).

So, now.. this month. I have accomplished quite a lot, I believe, in my goals. I finally got all the Christmas stuff taken down and out to the shed. I organized my "spare" bedroom and set up a computer in there for some misc. uses. I got a rug for my living room that makes it look so much better. So, I scheduled another day off on a Friday so that I could have a 3 day weekend and get some other things accomplished. This was for Friday, the 19th. Well, Allie got Strep. Off to the doctor...

I began writing this post in January, on the 29th... I never finished it, thus it was not published until now. Now.. I tried again. Scheduled vacation days for Friday, Feb. 2 and Monday, Feb. 5th. I'm cursed. Thursday night, I discovered our furnace was not working. I'm not sure when it went out as I have electric heaters going to try to keep the gas part of the electric bill down. The house just got colder and colder each day until on Thursday I went out to check on it (once it reached 62 degrees in the house) to find it not running.

So I called Jack (my step-dad). He asked if I saw a reset button on the furnace - I did not. Since it is a gas furnace, and he feared my blowing up the house, he and mom came over to assist me. (Oh! I should mention that Jeff is back to overnights at his work, and has been for 2 weeks, so he was not there.)

So, Jack and I read through the manual to try to figure it out, and we do get it to reset and it started up and looked like it was going to work. We got all the panels back on and I was relieved to have heat coming into the house.... they were preparing to leave when there was this horrible high pitched whine coming from the furnace and it had shut down. Dang it!

We tried resetting it again, got the same results and Jack said to call a service guy. I called him Thursday night and he said he would be out sometime before 11am on Friday.

I got the kids off to school, took Conor to the sitters, and returned home. I started to do some minor things around the house when he showed up. The motor was out on the furnace. A 2 1/2 year old furnace.... joy. So, he set about taking the motor out and installing a new one (thank goodness he has them on hand!). It took about an hour or so..

During the installation I asked him... "Hey, do you happen to work on refrigerators and garbage disposals?" He did. So... "If you have time, and don't have to rush off.. my ice maker doesn't work and neither does my garbage disposal..." So he fixed both of those, too.

As it became extremely cold over the weekend, I was glad that the furnace was working again. It made a big difference!

I watched the Super Bowl by myself on Sunday night, then I watched the show afterwards, and the news following that. I pretty much just vegged out on the couch. :) I played Candyland with Conor during the game, too. Nothing like multi-tasking!

There was an hour delay already announced for the following morning for school, but I still had the girls go to bed at their regular time figuring they needed the extra sleep. Jeff had gone to bed earlier (about half-time) since he had to go to work at 2AM.

The news had warnings about the cold on it.. frostbite warnings, all that. So I went and dug out a hat and scarf for Jeff so he could cover his face with the scarf when making the deliveries. Since he has to go in and out of a refrigerated truck, I figured he could use all the help he could get. I set my alarm so that I could get up in the morning and take the girls to school, and I went to bed.

Monday morning I got up, got ready, started my car so it would warm up, then got Conor ready. The girls were ready and we were walking out the door when Allie piped up, "Did anyone check to see if school was cancelled?"

Me: "It's not cancelled. Get your things, let's go..."

Allie: "What if it is?"

Me: "Then no one would be there when I got to drop you off and it will be obvious. But you have school, they are not going to close it because it is cold."

I have Conor's coat on and I hear the TV... then... "School is closed! Yeah!"

Me: "No! You are going to school, it is NOT closed!"

Allie: (laughing at me) "You're just jealous! Call your work, maybe they are closed today, too!"

Me: "I am not jealous, I don't need to call my work because I am off today anyway. I just wanted some peace and quiet.." lol

(I still can't believe they close school for "extreme cold" - that never happened when I was in school! And ... as my boss pointed out... kids were outside playing instead of being in a warm school building learning!)

So, I take Conor to the sitter's house.. then return home and get a lot accomplished anyway, but not as much as I had hoped for. Monday night I was so worn out ... I had thought I would just take a shower at night instead of having cold wet hair in the morning.. but my tiredness wore out and I went to bed. School was already on an hour delay, again, for Tuesday.

Tuesday morning my alarm clock went off and right about that time Allie came in my room and said, "Mom, there is no water. Ceara got up to use the bathroom and there is no water. And school is closed again today."

Ugh. Groan... No... "Are you serious?" I get up to go to my bathroom to check. Absolutely nothing. Dang it! There is no crawl space under my house, there is no basement. There is a slab of concrete and our pipes are either under it, or in it. I have no clue what to do. So I call my sister. She answers the phone, half asleep.

"Hey, what are you doing?"


"Really? I thought you'd be up by now... sorry." (it's 6:30am) "Do you have water? Or is it just me?"

She wakes her husband up and asks him if they had water when he got home from work.. they did. I tell her I do not. They tell me that there is no way I have frozen pipes under my house, that it has to be in the line coming in my house, or in the lines to our subdivision... so, I call the water department, to see if anyone else has reported anything.

I get a recording, of course, and instructions to call the police department if it is outside their normal business hours. So, I call the police department. She said that the workers start work at around 7am and she would have them call me when they got in, or have them come to my house. No one else in my area had reported anything, so she was sure it was in my house.

I call my boss and get his voice mail. Then I called my co-worker to let her know what was going on. To let her know that I would work from home and maybe come in after I get it resolved. Then I wait. And think how much I take running water for granted.. lol I could not stand not being able to brush my teeth. That is the first thing I do in the mornings.

The water department guys come finally, and my pipes are frozen at the meter - in my garage "closet" with the furnace and the hot water heater. You would think that those two appliances would put off enough heat in that small space to keep them from freezing. NOT! I was thinking that I would have to call a plumber, I didn't think the water department did work on the inside of houses like that. But they got out a torch and thawed it out. They told me to let it run for about 20 - 30 minutes from multiple faucets to make sure all the ice got out of the line and to get some heat tape for the pipes in that closet. Also, to run the water at a drip at night so they didn't freeze again.

OK. They leave and I go in and turn on the water in the kitchen and the bathroom. The hot water. Yeah, I wasn't thinking. I should have just put on the cold. So.. after 20-30 min, I turn them off. Then I go to take a shower and get ready for work. No hot water. Dumb, dumb. So, I go to my computer to do some work. At least 10 interruptions by either Conor or Allie. Conor runs in and says, "Allie's being mean to me!"

Allie yells from the living room, "I am not! He keeps bothering me!"

This, or alternate versions of it continue until I feel as if I'm going insane! lol I put some clothes on, get Conor ready, and take him to the sitters. Then I return home and get some work done for a little while. I finally get to take a shower and get dressed, and I call my boss. By this time, the snow had begun to fall. Huh.. the weathermen were right about that. Just not right about the time it would come. He says because of the snow moving in that I should just stay home and work. They would be closing early anyway if it kept going.

So, I continued to work from home.... didn't pay much attention to the snow coming down until about 3PM - I looked out and noticed how much had accumulated. I went out and started my car to go to get Conor - kicking myself thinking I should have gone earlier. I called Jeff to see how he was doing and how far he was from home. He said he was about an hour away from his work but with the slow traffic, he wasn't sure what time he would get home.

I got ready to go and told the girls to find some warm clothes because if they were good sisters they would be helping their little brother build a snowman when he got home. I left my house at 3:20ish to get Conor, went very, very slow, and got to the sitter's at 4PM to pick him up. (Normal drive time is 10 minutes) Conor was so excited to build a snowman! We got home at 4:30 and the girls were actually ready and waiting for him. I was a little shocked... but pleasantly surprised.

They went to the back yard and attempted to start a snowman, but the snow would not pack. So they were just throwing snow at one another and laughing and playing. I got in the shed to get the snow shovels out and got the sleds out for them. So they went sled riding down what little hill we have in our back yard. I took pictures and a little video of them, so if I figure out how to put a video on my site, I will put that on here.

Jeff got home around 8PM after fighting traffic. So once we were all home, everyone was relieved. The kids are off school again today, for more legitimate reasons anyway. I was the only one forced up and out of the house this morning, and everyone else stayed home, warm in bed. :) I didn't have many problems, though. And from what I can see of the roads from my lunch break, school should resume tomorrow - unless it snows more tonight!

So, that is all the excitement that has been going on lately. Hope you are all safe and warm!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

First Family Christmas Picture

OK, here it is... our first ever picture of almost all of us.. The front row, on the floor, is all of the little kids. My Grandma is sitting in the middle of the chairs with all but one of her kids sitting with her. My aunt Judy is standing. I was going to list every one's name, but that would be a lot of names.... and most of you know them anyway! :) So.. if you want to ask, then ask. But those who don't know all of us would never remember all the names anyway and probably don't want to know them all anyway! Can you find me and my bunch? Jeff and I are on the right in the back, Allie and Ceara are in the middle, and Conor is with the kids on the floor. If you still can't find us, let me know and I will give specific locations. It was a great party, the kids had fun and it is very nice having a picture of all of us. Minus (in no particular order) Emily, David, Heather, Aaron, Kim, Jim, Levi, and Katie Anne - not me.. the other Katie - my cousin. Her name is Kathleen, but we call her Katie Anne. I'm called just plain Katie, or Kate by my family.

Friday, January 12, 2007

And another conversation with Conor...

As we were driving home from the sitter's the other day, the sun was setting and the sky was full of beautiful colors and clouds. Conor looked up at them and began seeing "shapes" in the clouds and pointing them out to me.

"Look, Momma - over there is a big dinosaur."

"Oh, wow!"

"And on the other side there are mountains and a river... oh, there's a nousouras (rhinoceros)! And there is a horse!"

"Cool! What else do you see up there? I see a big elephant!"

"Oh, yeah! And there is a big, pink, flying dragon! And he's blowing fire!" (And then proceeds to blow air out of his own mouth...)

"Oh, no, is he coming to get us?"

Conor laughing (at me!) - "No, Momma, they're just clouds... we're just tendin'!" (Pretending..)


The picture below

Well, because some of the people who read my blog have never seen me and they are my on-line friends (Deb and Matt) they have always made comments about the fact that I do not have any pictures of myself on this blog. Well, I don't like pictures of myself, and I usually avoid being in pictures (if I can help it) but I did take a picture of myself - yeah.. strange - just to post here for them. I do not like this picture better than any of the other ones, but ... I hope this satisfies them! Because it is not likely that there will be any more of me on here! :P

OH, and every time I tried to add text to post with the picture, it erased the picture. So that is why there are two posts on the subject.

Self Portrait

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Pure Nerd

Well, a friend sent me this test... to determine what percentage of Nerd/Geek/Dork you are.. turns out I am a Pure Nerd... lol Here are my results:

Pure Nerd
52 % Nerd, 13% Geek, 4% Dork
For The Record: A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia. A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one. A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions. You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd. The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendencies associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful. Congratulations!
So, what are you? Take the test and find out! :)
Oh, and I want to know your results! Post them in the comments or email them to me! :)


OK, this is so off the subject of what I usually post here.. but I just read this article about Matthew Fox and found it very funny! By stating all that he did, he essentially took the wind out of the sails of any reporter that would try to do some sort of "Oh my gosh, can you believe he did this or that?" story - like we all think that celebrities are perfect people and are shocked by their actions... yeah. He readily admits that he cheat, lies, drinks, and has no problems being nude! I think that is SO funny!

His popularity is increasing lately due to his role on LOST and co-starring in the movie We Are Marshall with Matthew McConaughey (whew! he is HOT!), so maybe Fox is trying to preempt any gossip columnists snagging some "shocking" story from his life. Or maybe he is just being honest (hmmm honesty from a self professed liar... ?). Either way, I find it refreshing that he is not trying to put up a front that he is some perfect person that everyone should love.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Challenge... to myself

It is not really that the new year is here that I have felt I need to change, but it is a result of the series of events of the past year. I am not really happy with my life, I feel that I spend too much of it trying to do things that should not be all that important. I want to simplify my life. There are so many things that I would like to do but I never find the energy or the time to do them. On days that I have time, I am just mentally worn out and cant seem to make myself do them. On days that I feel like doing them, I run out of time.

Organization is one of them. I spend a lot of time trying to get organized, but never really succeeding. Here are a list of things that I need to get accomplished, that are constantly on my mind bugging me:

1. Throwing out those couches of ours that have couch covers on them. I hate those couch covers. HATE I say! Who invented them?? You can't sit on a couch with a cover on it, or the cover gets messed up, needing constant attention, or just looking sloppy when no one fixes it. I don't even care if I replace them. I would rather sit on the floor than have them. It would make the living room appear bigger (it is rather big anyway, but... it will appear empty) but I am not concerned with that. I have found several couches that I would like to get, but I do not want to spend the money on them... not yet. After Jeff's time off work and his current light duty, plus Christmas... we are holding steady financially, but not back to where we were before.. so I do not feel comfortable buying a couch. I could put it on a credit card... but I am trying to pay those off!

2. Cleaning out the garage. I have so many things in my garage that I no longer need or want. I have them boxed (for the most part) and ready to take to someplace and give away. It eats at me .. knowing it is there and needs to be done. But I somehow forget to do it every Saturday morning! The place that I want to donate it to only takes donations on Wednesdays and Saturdays and since I work on Wednesdays, it has to be Saturday. The weekend comes and my mind goes blank. (The cold, wet weather we are having contributes to my blank mine, I am sure...) I also have boxes upon boxes of cleaning supplies that came for "free" (yeah, right!) with our new water "conditioning" unit. I would like to organize the supplies and put them on shelves I just bought with one of the gift certificates we received for Christmas. (The Lowes one that I requested specifically for the shelves! :) NOT the one I was given with specific instructions to spend it on myself!)

3. Doing a clean sweep of my bed room! Ever seen that show? Well, I want to remove all items from the room and go through them one by one to see what we really need and get rid of some of the things I do not want. (LOL, I'm leaving it in, but i just re-read this and noticed that I said what "we" really need and what "I" do not want... hmmmm.. ) For instance... an entertainment center. In my bedroom. Takes up too much room and is a collection magnet for anything being removed from pockets, or DVD cases, Jeff's school books and papers, Conor's toys that he brings in... ugh. I did like it when it was in my living room, but when we got the big screen TV, so we no longer needed it. Jeff wanted it in the bedroom, I did not. I didn't win that argument, obviously... The one problem with that is I have a lot of pictures on the shelves of the unit, and I really have no where else to put them... so, I would need a little corner hutch or something for the living room for the pictures. Again.. don't want to spend that money.

4. A better system to deal with the mail. Every day I get so much junk mail that I can't stand it. And you can't just throw it away, right? Because I am paranoid and think if just my name is on the paper or envelope, that I HAVE to shred it. I cannot toss it into the trash. I've seen too many specials on why that is just opening yourself up for identity fraud. Now that I am writing about it, I know there are probably several people out there with my exact name and how do I know that they are shreading their mail properly so that someone does not steal our name? Hmmm? I guess you really only need to shread the items with account numbers on them. From the people who already have your information - your creditors... Those credit card "pre-approvals" that come EVERY day... they would require a SSN or something to process, so it is not like someone could just send out that application and get a card in my name, right? But I shred it all anyway... which takes time.. you have to open the envelope, get all the papers out and get any goop off of them (that sticks those fake cards to the paper and would cause my shredder to have problems) and run them through the shredder a few at a time. Yes, I have a new shredder that says it will shred up to 10 pages... but it lies. If I try to do more than 3 or 4 it jams and I have to take it apart and pick little pieces of paper out of the teeth with tweezers just to get it to work again. That really sucks. And I tend to get behind in my shredding.. not able to do it right away when I get the mail and it piles up.. then it takes even longer. Whew!

OK, now that I have fessed up to my top 4 mind eating problems... (you know how things just eat at the back of your mind to get them done...) maybe with some people to hold me accountable reading about it, I will actually do it! Once I get these things accomplished, I will let you know and add to them the other things that I want to do!

More than likely #3 will not be done anytime soon since I would need assistance to do so, and Jeffrey just started back to school and will not have the time... So. I will leave it anyway. Or check it off if I can just get that entertainment center removed.. and find homes for the rest of the things on it. :)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


To answer Barb's question.. and what I was going to put in that post, but forgot... Conor recently started calling his daddy "Jeffrey" instead of "Daddy." It is so funny to hear him say it. I asked him why (because no one really calls him Jeffrey, most people refer to him as just "Jeff") he wasn't saying Daddy, and he just said, "I don't know."

He was also calling him "Daddy-friend" there for a while, now all of a sudden it is "Jeffrey." Just a little phase he is going through, I guess. And a funny coincidence.. I read on Poop and Boogies that Max is calling his dad "Bill" sometimes, too! lol Must be a stage boys go through. Although with Conor, it is not just half of the time.. it is darn near all the time.

Monday, January 08, 2007


I picked Conor up from the sitter's today and on our way home we had the following conversation:

Conor: "Well, Momma, my coat is a little bit too big. These sides come up to my head!" (talking about the zipper part that would zip up to cover his mouth and nose on his winter coat.)

Me: "It's supposed to be that way so if it snows, you can zip it up and cover your nose and mouth to keep them warm."

"But, I like the snow, so I don't want to do that. I want it to snow."

"You do?"

"Yeah. Remember last time, the sisters were throwing snow at your car?"

"They were?!? They are gonna be in trouble!"

"I didn't do it, it was Allie, Ceara, and Jeffrey. They were throwing snow at your car. But I didn't do it!"

"OK, I'm gonna have to have a talk with them."

"But I didn't do it. It was Allie and Ceara. And Jeffrey!"


"Well, when it snows will you make me a snow man? We didn't get to make a snowman last time."

"Yes, honey I will make you a snowman."

"Can you make it really big?"

"I don't know, how big do you want it?"


"100? Feet or inches?"

"Uh.. inches."

"OK, I'll try. It depends on how much snow we get."

"Can you make me a Frosty the Snowman?"

"Oh, I don't know if I can do that, but we can try."

"Only little kids know how to make Frosty."

"Well, you should be able to make one then, you can show me how."

"No... the little kids on TV know how. I don't know how."

"Well, we will try."

After a short silence...

"Momma, I wanna have a tiger, a bear, a bird, a cat, and a wolf. But don't tell the sisters. You can tell Jeffrey, but not the sisters."

"Oh, OK... lions and tigers and bears, oh my!"

"You forgot the wolfeses!"

Laughing..."Oh, yeah... lions and tigers and bears and wolfeses, oh, my!!"

We continued along these same paths until we reached home. It was a very fun conversation and I laughed a lot.

Hope everyone is having a good New Year!