Saturday, February 28, 2009

Weekend Project

We are doing a Clean Sweep on Conor's room today. And by we, I mean me. ;) It is amazing (and embarrassing) how much stuff was in his room. Conor has helped me to move it all into the living room. We did not sort, we did not neatly stack things, we simply went in his room and got an armful of stuff and took it and placed it in a pile on the living room floor. All of it. In drawers, in the closet, on the floor, on the shelves. Everything. Except for his actual clothes which I will go through after we are done with the toys.

Here is what my living room looks like right now.

Yikes! Everything except for his clothes and bed. We are just going to go through it, one piece at a time and decide "keep" or "get rid of" and will be donating the get rid of pile to someone. A local woman's shelter will probably get the majority of it. And Amvets - they happened to call yesterday and are doing a pick up in our area later this month. And possibly a couple of others.

At least 75% of this stuff will not be going back into his room.

Wish me luck. I need it, I'm running out of steam as I type this.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

More Random Rambling

Do you ever look at something and think, "I would like one of those!" Then your birthday or Christmas rolls around and someone asks you what you want and your mind just goes blank. "Uhhh, I don't know. I don't really need or want anything, so ... just pick out whatever if you want to get me something." (This is usually to my mom or my sister.)

Or you find yourself with a little extra mad money that someone gave you because you couldn't think of anything, and you spend it on your kids or on underwear or socks. Something that isn't really a treat.

I do this ALL. THE. TIME. And I can remember wanting something, and thinking "I'll tell my mom this if she asks" but I can't remember what it is!

I have, however, gotten gift cards from someone with SPECIFIC instructions to get something I REALLY want, and that I have to report to her what I bought for MYSELF. It took me about 2 months to find something that fit that bill. But I did finally get a rug for my living room that is colorful and serves a great purpose - covering up all the stains that won't come out of the carpet. Hey. I have kids you know? And a dog. Stains are just a part of my life.

Anyway... I finally remembered something that I have wanted for a while. So, since my birthday is so far away and I will forget by then... I think I'll get it for Jeff for his birthday. His is just 25 days away. I could go get it now and just hide it in the dishwasher or something. Some place he won't ever look.

Ok, Ok, I'm just KIDDING! He looks in there sometimes when the clean dishes don't get put away and that is the only place to find a spoon. Because all the other ones are dirty. Or lost somewhere. I swear, my small spoons are disappearing. I can wash them all one day, and the very next day the silverware slot for little spoons will be empty and there are only like... 3 in the sink. Where did the other 10 go that were there yesterday? *shrug*

This year is flying by - in just a few days it will be March. It seems like Christmas was just last week for Pete's sake. (Anyone know who Pete is?)

Exactly one week from today, we are going to have a visitor. A friend that Jeff and I met on... the internet. *gasp* I really don't think he's an axe murderer, otherwise I wouldn't have invited him to come visit us and meet us in person. I've talked to him for a little over 2 years on a game we all play together online. He will be getting home this Saturday - he is in the Navy and has been on a cruise ship for the last 7 months.

His deployment was originally supposed to be 6 months, but it was extended a month. I have been in contact with him via email for all of his trip, and I know how excited he is to be coming home.

I'm still not sure what we are going to do with him while he's here, other than feed him. He got food poisoning on the ship and was sick for a few days, and the food there is probably a lot like school food. Not all that appetizing. So he didn't eat well while he's been gone. So, of course I feel bad for him and want to feed him some real food. I really think that's the only reason he's coming to visit - he wants some good home cooked food. Why else would he want to come and see two old people... or wait. ONE old person (Jeff) and one not quite so old person?

I do think it will be fun to have him here for a weekend. I have a few things in mind, but we will probably just wing it. See what we feel like doing when he is here.

Yet another rambling, subject to subject post with no pictures. I don't know what is wrong with me! At least I did post a couple of pictures before doing it again.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Kids

I haven't been taking many pictures, and I need to correct that because I need to post more pictures! My posts have been long, rambling, boring posts. So, to break it up a bit, I found a couple of pictures that I don't think I have shared with you.

The first one is of Ceara and Conor. Can't tell they are related, can you? This was in the summer when they were both sporting nice tans.

And here is Allie and her best friend, Chrissy. They look like they are related too, but they are not. Allie has a knack for finding friends who look like her.

I will try to take more pictures to post!

Tequila Sunrise


This is a meme that The Daily Rant did and I figured it fit into my previous post about music, so why not do it? :) I have 400 songs on my iPod, so it will be interesting to see which ones pop up randomly. And I'm SURE that the answers will be crazy, but... that makes it fun too.

* Put your iPod or mp3 player on SHUFFLE.
* For each question, press the next button to get your answer (no cheating!!).
* You must write down song/artist even if it doesn't make sense.
* Include any comments in parenthesis.
* Post the list on your blog with #25 as your blog post title.
* Tag people in other blogs. (I'm not tagging anyone, but please feel free to do your list here in comment or on your own blog. Just let me know about it so I can come read!)

1. What do your friends say about you? Higher - Creed

2. How would your coworkers describe you? Fallen - Sarah McLachlan

3. How would you describe yourself? Tuesday's Gone - Lynyrd Skynyrd

4. What do you like in a romantic partner? I Don't Have to Try - Avril Lavigne

5. How do you feel today? The Storm - Garth Brooks (I'm actually having a pretty good day so far!)

6. What is your life’s purpose? Too Far This Time - Toby Keith

7. What is your motto? Hysteria - Def Leppard

8. What do you think about the most? With Arms Wide Open - Creed

9. What are you going to do on your next vacation? Thicker Than Blood - Garth Brooks (I don't know this song...)

10. What do you think of your first love/date? Paper Bag - Ana Nalick (Over his head? Heehee)

11. What is your life story? Cowgirl's Saddle - Garth Brooks (I don't know this one either! And OK, I just listened to it for a couple of seconds and I just have to say that Garth Brooks singing parts of this in Spanish? Weird.)

12. What did you do yesterday? Let Me Be Myself - 3 Doors Down

13. What do you think of when you see the person you like/love? Black Water - The Doobie Brothers (I do love this song, but... it doesn't make me think of Jeff!)

14. What describes your wedding? (I’m not married, but I’ll do it anyway) Round & Around - Alana Davis

15. What will they play at your funeral? These Boots Were Made for Walkin' - Jessica Simpson. (Although I would like to say it was Nancy Sinatra's version, it wasn't available when I downloaded the song! And I do like this version because it has a good beat. Although, I don't like the way she sings some parts of it. I almost cheated and skipped past this song. But I couldn't do it!)

16. What is your obsession? Take the Keys to My Heart - Garth Brooks (OMG! How many times will he come up? I do love Garth, but... this isn't a fair shuffling. Humph. Also, this is another song I don't know!)

17. What is your biggest fear? Don't Stop Dancing - Creed

18. What is your biggest secret? Are You Ready - Creed (Seriously, how is this a shuffle? I have like... 20 Creed songs out of 400 and it comes up this many times in a shuffle?)

19. What is your biggest turn-on? Girl Like That - Matchbox 20 (LOL!)

20. How do you describe your friends? One Last Breath - Creed

21. What would you do with a million dollars? Something to Believe In - Poison

22. What is your opinion of sex? How You Ever Gonna Know - Garth Brooks

23. What is your biggest regret? Armageddon It - Def Leppard

24. What would you rather be doing right now? Turtle - Alana Davis

25. What will you post this list as? Tequila Sunrise - Eagles

As I did this, I didn't even read the questions... I am amazed that so many Garth Brooks and Creed songs came up though. I think the most of any one group I have on here is the Eagles. I have... 5 or 6 of their CDs on my iPod. Some of the songs I don't even know, they are just on CDs that I bought and I just added the whole CD. Some of the answers are funny, though. I was tempted to cheat, but I didn't. Just random fun stuff.

If you wanna do it, do it. I don't do tags! I don't have that many readers! And many of them don't have blogs anyway.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

This, that, and a bowl of horse shoes (WHAT?!?!)

LOL Silly title, but since I think this post will be about several different subjects, all with a point(!), I just made a random title.

I was thinking a lot about how it is that we start liking certain music and hating certain music. There are all sorts of different music tastes in this world and I don't quite know why one person loves rap music, while their next door neighbor hates it. Some people love country, some hate it. I like a large variety of music, but a lot of people don't like the stuff I listen to, either.

So, I was trying to figure out why I like what I like. I like songs where I can actually hear what the person is signing - understanding what they are saying. If it is about a topic that I don't like... well then, I don't like the song. I like certain beats, different sounds. And my mood is what determines what I listen to most of the time.

I find myself listening to classic rock music the majority of the time now. I feel like a lot of my music likes from my parents. My dad was in a band in High School and continued his music career until just a few years ago or so. His band played classic/southern rock. CCR, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers, just to name a few. I grew up going to watch his band play, or sitting in his living room during band practice. I thought then, and I still think, that he and his band were the best ever. I was always proud to go and see them and be able to say "that's my dad on the keyboard / harmonica." The drummer in his band bore a great resemblance to and shared the same first name with Alabama's lead singer - Randy Owen.

He and his band played every year at a town festival called River Days. They were the main attraction and we always got to go with him. We got to stand on the stage with them when they were setting up - our friends were very jealous. And all of our girl friends thought my dad was hot. Or a fox as it was termed back then. I was always... ewwww. Hello? That's my dad.

I was in the car with Allie earlier this week flipping around stations and I came across a harmonica playing. My very first thought was of my dad. It was always amazing to me to listen to him play the harmonica.

I also like country music as well. That I attribute to my step-dad, Jack. He listens to country music all the time. And I grew to like it as well. He always whistles along to the music when you are riding with him. Or even when he's listening out in the garage while he does something. Jack has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. While he does have quite a reputation of being ... ummm, someone you didn't want to mess with when he was younger(story in a second), I think he out grew that. But he is certainly someone I would want on my side in a fight. Good thing he was always on my side. :) He would help someone in a heartbeat. He is a very good man, and I love him very much. I know I can always count on him if I need something.

We used to wrestle on the living room floor when I was a kid. And I mean wrestle. I was such a tom-boy when I was little. Not that I'm any different now... but anyway. That's beside the point. What was my point again? Oh... memory lane so to speak. I do have a point to this post!

Jack always had a change jar where he threw all of his pocket change when he was going to bed at night. I loved to count it for him. He would always let me keep any money that didn't equal a dollar when it was all said and done. Like... If I got $50.93? I got to keep the 93 cents. And somehow it was always close to a dollar that I got. :) NO I DID NOT CHEAT! I honestly got 90something cents extra almost every time.

OK, now for the story about Jack. My daughter, Allie, is as close to Jack as I was growing up. He is Poppy to my kids. I do believe Allie has him wrapped around her little finger. Anyway! She was out with her church talking to people and apparently she started talking to someone who was asking her about her relatives that he might know. (Small town, a lot of people know your parents or grandparents from school.) She mentioned Jack and he said, "Oh, yeah... I remember him. He wasn't really anyone you wanted to mess with when we were growing up. Him or his family." Yeah, he was a trouble maker. Big time. He has told me stories... but I won't go there today.

And the main stream pop music, of course, is what I listened to with my friends. The big haired 80s bands we used to swoon over. My best friend had a car without a stereo in it, so we used to ride around singing whatever we felt like. A lot of time it was Randy Travis - "Well, there's my easy chair, just sittin' there. I've spent a lot of time..."

I also like "Oldies" music.

But what is it about music that makes some people like some stuff, and other people not like that same stuff. I always expect people to like what I listen to, although I might not like what they listen to. Why do I hate head banging rock where the lead singer screams the lyrics? Yet obviously someone likes them or they wouldn't be played on the radio.

I find classic rock is what I prefer most now because it seems mellow to me and it sooths me. Most of it brings back memories. I can remember certain things because of music. They say smell is what triggers most memories, but for me, I think music triggers more memories.

OK, all this and I'm not really going to finish this post the way I thought I would. I have a couple of more posts that will follow this one that will tie back to this, but I don't want to bore you all at once.

What kind of music do you listen to? Does music conjure up memories for you as well? I also find that I like music that other people like. There have been songs that I don't like, then if a friend likes it, I will give it a chance and more often than not I will start to like it too. So tell me what songs are your favorites. I'll give them a listen. :)

One sided conversation

At least once a week when I pick Conor up he asks to go to my mom's house. I usually make him call and ask her. Not because I mind asking, but because if she says no then I'm not the bad guy. For some reason, if I tell the kids someone said no they think I'm the one saying no and they don't take it so well. They pout. But if it is someone else, they are fine with it. Maybe a little disappointed, but not too badly.

So, Tuesday night Conor asked to go to my moms. I handed him the phone and said, "I'll take you there, but you have to ask her if she will bring you home."

So, here was his side:

"Can I come over?

Will you pick me up? (When I heard this, I turned around and said, no, I'll take you, you need to ask if she will bring you home.)

I mean, will you bring me home if my mom drops me off?

Can we go to McDonalds?

Well, I don't like vegetable soup.

Do you have some macaroni and cheese?

Cheese pizza?

Spaghetti and Meatballs?

I can see if Grandma will make me something. (Mom lives right next door to Grandma)

Why did I just hear the door? Are you going somewhere?

I'm in Mom's car and she's driving to your house.

I'll be there soon. See you then. Bye."

I was laughing the whole time.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Associate by John Grisham

I love John Grisham. He is one of my all time favorite authors. I buy his books on the day they are released, as I believe I have said in previous posts. So, this book was no exception. I counted the days until its release. I went and got it on my lunch hour from work. I started it and I put. it. down.

Although I loathe to say anything negative about him, I had a really hard time reading this book. I actually just finished it over the weekend - unheard of for me to take so long to read a Grisham book. For me, personally, this book was a disappointment. I could see what he was trying to do, BUT. To me, he made the lead character look like an idiot.

*Spoilers!* (nothing major, just a little bit of detail)

The lead character is graduating at the top of his class from YALE LAW SCHOOL. He is the Editor of the Yale Law Journal (or whatever it's called), and is supposed to be an intelligent person. So, how in the world does someone who is that smart allow himself to be blackmailed with a video that shows two of his friends / roommates engaging in questionable activity? He is not even in the video when the questionable activity happens, but according to one of their sources is passed out in a chair during this video.

Hello? Seriously? We are supposed to believe that a relatively intelligent person would let himself be blackmailed with that? The whole premise of the blackmailer is "ruining his reputation" even if he wasn't one of the participants.

So, that just totally ruined the book for me. I can't believe in a stupid lead character. And there wasn't much of a resolution at the end, either.

Let me state again, I love Grisham. So, this book will not in any way deter me from going out on the next book release date and getting the latest book. This is really the first book of his that I didn't like, but I still read it.

Did anyone else read it? U2Bwb? What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Jeff's New Job

A lot of you already know, but for those who don't... Jeff got a new job recently, this is his second week. Back in January, he did a 2 day assignment as a contractor for a local service provider. The assignment was to go to a customer site with three other techs (in Cincinnati) and do a data transfer using some new method developed specifically for this customer. I don't know all the detail, but the data transfer went well.

Then Jeff got another offer of employment for two projects for my employer. One was Monday through Friday, 7am to 4pm and the second one was Friday night 4PM to disconnect a bunch of computers and inventory them for a move, then returning on Saturday morning to the new site at 9AM to reconnect them.

And then the other service provider called him to offer him a 2 1/2 month assignment because the initial data transfer went well, and the customer was happy with it, they wanted them to do all their sites across the US. They wanted 3 teams of people to travel to these sites, with one team lead, to do the transfers at the sites. Jeff was their #1 choice (I think out of about 20ish techs? I forget). Of the customer's, of the developer, whoever - they wanted him to be one of the team leads and travel to a bunch of places to supervise the data transfers. They would pay him an hourly rate, with a minimum of 32 hours / week, plus all expenses. Provide him with plane tickets, hotel, and rental car and give him an American Express to pay for his other expenses as well.

He struggled with the decision. First because he would have to quit the projects he was on, and he didn't really want to do that to the company I work for. And also because he is still attending courses at a local school on Monday and Wednesday evenings. The traveling would be done on Sunday, returning on Wednesday, so he would not make his classes. In addition to that, he is still taking online college courses. So, he is a very busy man at the moment. He spoke to his teacher and arranged to make up the classes on Thursdays and Fridays. And he took the job. He is still doing the Friday night / Saturday morning job for my company, though.

So, right now? He is in Florida. Enjoying 80 degree weather while staying in a very nice hotel. Last week was just Cleveland, OH, and he drove there. Next week it's Nashville, TN. He will also be going to Phoenix, AZ; and ... heck I forget all the places. I'll try to list them as he goes, though.

Meanwhile, at home... Conor misses his Dad. Every day he asks me when he will be home. I'm just not good enough. lol Well, he did spend a lot of time with Jeff over the last year while Jeff was unemployed. So I guess he's kinda used to him.

And, not being a morning person AT ALL, I'm still trying to get used to having to get Conor up and to SafeCare each morning so I can get to work. Since it is not on the way to work, it is taking me a bit longer each morning in drive time. Then pick him up after work - I don't really like him having such a long day away from home (SafeCare to school, back to SafeCare til 5:30ish). It's only temporary though.

Jeff is finally getting some experience! :) Although these jobs are temporary, we are hoping they will lead to something else. For now, though, he is very busy. Working two jobs (one with travel) AND trying to keep up with two schools as well. And homework. And working in time for his family. But it's only for a couple of months, so we can survive it! Besides, he had a year to rest up for this!

Hope all of you are happy and well!