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BecksBlog
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Thirteen things about my 7 year old in honor of his birthday July 14
Topic: Thursday Thirteen

1 He's bright & cheerful nearly all the time.
2 He's goofy like only a 6-7 year old boy can be.
3 He has a strong sense of humor.
4 When he was born my ex went on for about an hour about the size of his balls (not unusual in newborn boys I understand- it was just really funny at the time)
5 He was born less than 6 hours after I started having contractions & he hurt a LOT
6 He was really impressed with the garden last year
7 He loves to watch tv but will sit & listen when I read to him
8 He's quite smart. When his sister was learning to read & he was just 3 he would be guessing at the words she had trouble with
9 He started walking at 8 months & I don't mean cruising, holding onto things, flat out walking no holding on
10 He liked more foods at 1 than he does at 6 or 7
11 He is very much the man of the house, if something needs fixing he hitches his pants up & digs right in.
12 He's almost always dirty, I recently walked him to the bathroom insisting he needed a bath or shower, he commented, 'gee mom, can't I just run my head under the sink like I usually do?' (I was wondering what that smell was)
13 He can run very fast

Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday July 12
Topic: Vacation 2006

Wednesday we went to one of my favorite places to visit in Massachusetts.  It's a country store in Mansfield Mass, I've been going there since I was about 13 or so. A friend of my Grandmother's told her about it & my Mother , Grandmother & I set off to explore it & just kept going back, they have beautiful home furnishings, little  decorations, placemats, clocks, knick knacks, kitchen wares etc. The kids love the place too, which might seem a little odd but the first time we went there it was just the 4 of us, we were on our way home to VA & I wanted to do something more, the trip had been fun but didn't feel finished, at that point, while I had enough money to go on vacation I did not have much else, we were living in our ancient trailer & had very little which was nice or fun, (this was 2002 & we have come an amazingly long way since then)  The kids got a big kick out of pretending that different rooms in the place were their houses & really enjoyed the place, this time I was able to get some stuff for my new house, mostly little things like a new sign for my kitchen & new canisters since my old canisters gaskets were wearing out!  One big draw for the kids is the player pianos....

 There are toys too, mr 7 got a pirates hook & a rubber fish which when you squeezed it the eyes bulged out with tiny fish inside. Miss 16 didn't get much here but likes to check things out & dream about her future - or something! they also all seem to enjoy the candy counter (took this picture off their website- hope it's ok to do so....) We walked around there for quite awhile. Then we hung around at my mother's house for awhile. When it was time to go out to dinner, on the way we checked out an upscale shopping area which was built where one of my first jobs was{building #19 as a casheir} We checked out Kohls which I was dissapointed in since they were way too expensive- worse yet they were acting as if the prices were actualy great! after driving around debating where to eat we had dinner out- both my mother & my grandmother prefer to go out to dinner than to worry about cooking & cleaning up afterwards! The country store & the day before in Plymouth are the only things we did with my mother, but she's low energy & we wear her out, I sometimes wonder if I should be insulted by her comment that she's happy to see us come & happier to see us go! 

We ended up going to the Ground Round I had french onion soup which I'd been craving lately. After dinner we went back to my mothers & hung out with her until bedtime. This included serious discussion of what to do about the air bed which was leaking air badly. We haven't been able to find the second {& probably the third, fourth & fifth} hole in the air mattress, which we have to locate in order to patch.So night 2 I took the fold out couch & Miss 16 got the mattress! She wasn't too happy about it. But when I made the deal we agreed that we'd swap back the next day & she was ok with that. While checking my email I found that Ann wasn't going to be available for as many days as expected -leaving us with 2 days which are unplanned. Jen though, my cousin, emailed & said she would be available so we could get together & see each others kids! {I hadn't seen her oldest since she was a couple of weeks old & have never seen her younger child!} I was really looking forward to seeing her again!

 

This is a picture of my cannisters & my pathetic (2) sign collection, in my kitchen after we got home. I still haven't done anything with the walls in this place, just don't have the money for paint or paper yet...sigh... 

 


Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Wednesday July 12
Topic: Vacation 2006


You can't really see him but Mr 6 is in the white mess at the front of the picture on the punctured air mattress {thank you Miss 10 & Company!} Miss 10 herself is on the floor between the airbed & the foldout couch & of course thats Miss 16 on the couch {she's going to be pissed about this picture!} I made my bed on the airbed after 6 found & my mother & I patched hole #1} then in the night I found myself on the floor! aparently there is at the very least a hole #2 & maybe more than that! so I went & got the cushions from the couch & attempted to sleep perched on 2 little loveseat cushions!

The weather was inauspicious to say the least- gray, muggy & threatening rain. worse yet I'd discovered the night before that mr6 had packed 1 toy & 1 book for the whole trip! when questioned as to why he did that he shrugged & said 'It's ok Mom, I'll just watch tv!' This is all well & good but its based on the assumption that everyone is as wired as we are for satellite tv & internet etc. But my Mother is not. She lives close enough to Boston & Providence RI {everythings so close to everything else up here} that she doesn't actually have to subscribe to cable or a satelite provider to get about 15 tv channels through the air & none of these have all day cartoons which is what he's accustomed to.. So Wednesday we first went to Independence mall in Kingston to pick up a few early birthday gifts to give him something to do with himself in the evenings. Everyone was very impressed with Borders books & spent part of their $50. each allotment for mementoes for the vacation
Then we had Lunch at the Lobster Hut in Plymouth where they make the best Lobster Bisque I've ever had the privilege to enjoy & the lobster rolls aren't bad either! we ate outside of course & Mr 6, hot dog in hand, was right at the edge of the railing watching the boats coming in & leaving. Miss 10 after demolishing a lobster roll joined him & we had a peaceful lunch Miss 16, my mother & I that is. My mother is a low energy person so she went back to the car & rested & we took a walk on the stone pier beside the resturant. Its probably half a mile long out into the water but we didn't make it all the way to the end because walking on the rocks with the large spaces between them was painful to my hips! these trips always point up to me just how out of shape I am! At least we arent going to water country this year! all those steps up to the waterslides are rough!
After sitting on the stone pier & discussing the probabillity of a shark showing up. (while we were doing so Miss 10 immediately moved from the edge of the pier to middle of the pier.) we walked back to the car, We also saw a school of fish swimming along the base of the pier & under the bridge - that was really cool. We went back to my mothers & at that time I acquiesced to The kids request to go to the beach. Yes it was raining,cold & gray. They wanted to go, we went.We started at the 'Dungeons' aka as Ft Revere. We walked around there for awhile & tried to get Miss 16 to tell us the ghost story about the lady in black which is about Ft Revere,but she wouldn't do it because she didn't feel like it.{typical 16} Then they went swimming in the ocean in the rain I went in to wade in my shorts & managed to get soaked any way! after an hour or so in the water we dragged the kids out of the water bodily 16 & I leaned on the lifeguard station & the kids dug in the sand. After it started to rain heavily I got them back in the car & We then drove around trying to decide where to eat 16 was feeling buffalo wings which we often get at Applebees but I insist that we try not to go anywhere that we could go in Virginia while we are up in Mass... so we went to eat at the 99 which was great as usual. At the 99 I was reminded of how when I was pregnant with each kid early in the pregnancy I'd have really strong cravings for some food- always something specific - In 16's case it was salt & vinegar potato chips & peppermint patties. In 10's it was the 99's loaded nacho appetizer platter! I dragged the ex to the 99 at least weekly to get those. Then with mr 6 it was sliced up mushrooms, onions & peppers fried up & provolone cheese melted all over it. The kids all like hearing about the past if it concerns them & much discussion ensued as to what this meant in regard to their personality
  Since the 99's kids meals come with dessert for free 16 & I made a new rule that if they get desert we get desert, so we tried mochachino cheesecake which we loved!
Back to my mother's for a long un-comfortable night because it was hot & my mother doesn't use a/c.

Posted by Becky at 2:46 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 2, 2006 9:58 PM EDT
Memes for vacation
Topic: Stuff & Nonsense
Over the past 5 days I'm doing 5 in depth questions, I got them from somebody's blog which I read quite steadily over a few months, but when my computer crashed 2 crashes ago I lost the url to the site & can't remember it for the life of me, Whoever you are, thank you for the meme, it's a challengeing one & if anyone does take it from me, please link me so I can read your responses, I split it up so I could post 1 piece a day for 5 days while I'm away on Vacation!!

2. Pretend you won the lottery. It's a huge amount, although not sickeningly huge. After you've given away your chunk to charity, paid off all your bills, set up savings/trust funds for kids and self and given money to deserving family and friends, you're left with $5 million, which you must use to build a house. Where would it be? What would it look like? Tell me how you'd furnish it and then describe your first party there.

My House would be on the site of a rental home I used to live in with my ex, The house would be behind where the rental house is situated, the original house there is old, leaky & poorly situated to take advantage of the view, behind the current house the hill the house is built on slopes down steeply & I would build into the hill, from the street the house would look like a modest 2 story log cabin house, there would be a porch/deck running the entire perimeter of the house & there would be a third level built into the ground with garage space & an efficiency apartment for guests behind the garage. the entire back of the house facing down the hill towards a stunning view of Floyd's own Buffalo Mountain, would be all huge windows. The first floor would be open concept with the living room running the entire right half of the house, there would be a large central chimney with multiple fireplaces built into it, behind the chimney adjoining the living room would be the dining area & the kitchen would be on the back right half of the house, the front right would have 2 of my kids bedrooms woth full bath. upstairs my bedroom would be the entire right side above the living room but only about half of the room would be a walled bedroom the back half, (facing down the hill) would be an open room with all my books, a hammock, papasan chair & other comfy places to sit & read. The floor would not come all the way to the glass wall, this area would overlook the living room & dining room & have a spiral staircase down to the living/dining room area.
at the front of the upstairs would be the master bath & a second bathroom for my oldest & her room would take up the left part of the upstairs with a similar open area to see the view & see what is going on in the rest of the house. We'd have a pool, jacuzzi etc, below the house & off to the right would be a horse area with a big barn & above the barn more efficiency apartments for friends to come & stay & for the person I'd hire to keep the horses for me. The furnishings would be comfortable & fairly casual. though I would want a large dining room set, lots of space for lots of guests. The entertainment center would be state of the art & have speakers in every room & a full setup so that what is on the main tv in the main room is available (also with option for independent viewing of other things) in every room in the house.
The whole house would have passive solar, sustainable water, generators etc. I'd build in a lot of extras for self sufficiency in a bad weather, end of the world sort of situation. I'd want to heat with pellet stoves or some other recyclable option for the heating source (the rental house there had a wood stove & it was there I learned that heating with wood is a LOT of work!)I think I'm spending a lot more than 5 million here!
I don't think I'd have a single party at my house, I'd rather have all my friends & family come & visit seperately so I could really see them individualy & get to show them all the really wonderful things around my area.

Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 3, 2006 11:34 PM EDT
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
In Depth Memes,
Topic: Stuff & Nonsense
Over the next 5 days I'm going to do 5 in depth questions, I got them from somebody's blog which I read quite steadily over a few months, but when my computer crashed 2 crashes ago I lost the url to the site & can't remember it for the life of me, Whoever you are, thank you for the meme, it's a challengeing one & if anyone does take it from me, please link me so I can read your responses, I split it up so I could post 1 piece a day for 5 days while I'm away on Vacation!! 1. Pretend you're stranded on a desert island. You already have shelter, water, batteries, an abundant food supply that doesn't revolve around coconuts and even a cabana boy/girl to minister to your, erm, needs. However, you need some intellectual entertainment. Give me your top five desert island: books, movies, albums (NOT compilations of your own making) and tell why these make the cut. Books: 1. The Outlander series, because I've only read them once & I belive you've got to read a book at least 2 times before you truly know it, 2. Complete Works of Shakespeare I truly intend to read it again someday! 3. The Clan of the Cavebear series, I've read all but the last book but it's been so long since I read the first that I'd have to re-read them all to truly 'get' the most recent book in the series. 4. Linda Goodmans Star Signs, There's enough in there to keep me pondering for 20 years! 5. The Complete works of Judith Merkle Riley, just plain my favorite author. writes about the 14 & 1500's & has a great flavoring of the occult, humor & just general bawdyness which I love. (yes, I cheated by giving series of books & complete works, but I'm a reader, if it was only 5 actual books I'd be very unpleasant after about 10 days.) Movies 1.The Lord of the Rings Trillogy. Well, of course. 2.At Close Range. My all time favorite movie, Christopher Walken is a god! 3.Dogma. A hilarious look at the whole religion thing. 4.Gone With the Wind. Learned to love it at my Grandmother's knee. .Braveheart. "Freedom!!" Albums 1.Tori Amos, Little Earthquakes. I could listen to the cd that introduced me to Tori forever!(but wait, what about Alanis Morisette's Jagged little pill?) 2.Audioslave, Out of Exile. not a song I skip on this one, (or on Godsmack's The other side, maybe that one would be better!) 3.Smashing Pumpkins, Rotten Apples/Greatest Hits. Annother one where there's not a song I skip. (But I'd have a lot of trouble leaving my Soundgarden's A sides behind...) 4.Greatful Dead, American Beauty. An all time classic. (But then, so's the Beatles Yellow Submarine or Seargent Peppers!- is the Dead really more important to me than the Beatles?) 5.Guns & Roses, Use your Illusion 2. Many great songs, (no, maybe it should be Rush's greatest hits, or Alice in Chains'5 cd's/albums is just too few!-just give me my computer hard drive, with all my music on it & no one will get hurt!)

Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 23, 2006 2:36 PM EDT
Monday, July 10, 2006
Day 1 of Vacation, Not even on Vacation & Already Something to Write About!
Mood:  d'oh
Now Playing: Photograph by Nickelback
Topic: Vacation 2006

Ok, so on Monday the 10th I was ready to go on vacation, the car was packed, the house was (relatively) clean we were all set.

 But I had to do 1 more day of work, I had every intention of pulling a full day of work, I'm not good at this, especially since we started the new computer system, I hate it, it makes me look stupid because it takes so long to load everything that they think I don't know what I'm doing. I have to apologize constantly because I'm sitting there looking at a hourglass & wondering if the computer is going to actualy do what I want it to! On top of that just lately customers have been really HORRIBLE. Very impatient, hateful & actually mean to me, personally. (This is unusual, I've talked to plenty of angry customers over the 5 years I've worked there & most have made it a point to say to me that they're not mad at me, just the company I work for. I admit, over the years I've rolled my eyes when they said that, taking it to be a rather trite aphorism- I've now seen enough of the people who are stupid, rude or miserable enough to take their anger out on the person on the other end of the phone {me} in Juvenile, unpleasant ways that I'll take the other kind any day.) I'm not the only one experiencing this, in discussing it with my co-workers we're in agreement that in the last 3-6 months 3 out of 5 customers we talk to have an attitude from the moment you answer the phone. I've left before due to really bad calls where people we're name calling etc. I get upset & too stressed to deal effectively with what I have to deal with in the course of a day & have to leave, but I was determined that because this was my last day before vacation that I was going to be as nice as possible & let everything just 'roll off me like water off a ducks ass' a saying I was taught on my first solo day on the phone & have tried to keep in mind for the whole time I have worked there.

The day was fairly uneventful for the first half of the day, at lunch though I called home & found miss 16 in tears, there was a mess in the living room & dining room & no one felt they should have to help her clean it up. The kids just were'nt listening to her at all. So I spent 1/2 my lunch trying to calm her down, get them all to pick up their messes & keep people from punching each other (not easy over the phone) I seriously considered asking to go home then because I couldn't stand the idea that everyone was fighting & I was pretty angry that the little ones were'nt listening to her since she's my babysitter. I threatened through miss 16 that if the house wasn't clean when I got home we I'd cancel the vacation & we'd all stay home & I'd run the house like a boot camp.  About an hour & a half back from lunch I had to go to the bathroom so after finishing my call I logged out & went there, walking to the bathroom I remembered that I'd had a funny feeling in my dress, it's one with a light chiffon like layer over a tighter black under dress, & the under piece had felt funny before lunch but I was so concerned with the kids on the phone that I never thought to check it while in the bathroom earlier. as soon as I walked in the bathroom I turned around to check the back of the dress in the mirror & nearly fell on the floor. the black under dress had split its back seam from about 2 inches above the hem up to my waist! I had bought this dress at tax time in 2004 & had not been able to wear it untill just recently as the not eating sugar has resulted in some weight loss which was fairly effortless (except for the effort expended in not eating sugar- no mean feat - I'm addicted) Aparently though, I did not lose ENOUGH weight to make this dress work for me!

 I nearly died of embarrassment, Mind you I felt the underpiece shifting in an odd way BEFORE lunch & then promptly forgot about it during lunch while I was pacing around the breakroom yelling at kids on the phone, eating & going back from the breakroom to my desk to read untill my lunch was over! I slunk back to my desk & got the button down shirt I keep in the desk drawer for when the A/C is cranked too high & tied it around my waist. then I went to find my boss. when I (finnaly) found him he insisted on telling me about how we were going to be moving desks & that I needed to take my stuff home & bring it back when I get back from vacation & he'll save me a good desk. By this point we'd walked back to his desk & so I told him, he put his head down on the desk laughing & then said 'you know, when I agreed to a supervisory position no one ever told me that I'd have to deal with things like this! So what do you need to do? Go home?'  I said, 'well I could wear this shirt around my waist all day but...' he jumped right in with 'uh, I think I'd be too uncomfortable for that' I agreed & left quickly. ( there's no question of changing & coming back to work, it was nearly 6 pm & I drive nearly 30 miles each way!


Posted by Becky at 9:00 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 21, 2006 11:07 PM EDT
Saturday, July 8, 2006
Three Down, 2 more to Go!
Now Playing: Hate Me by Blue October.
Topic: Rambling on
I'm referring to Days I have left to work before we leave, I'm pretty exhausted from working on a day I usually work in order to make up for missing Thursday next week as I'll already be in Mass on Thursday.
Well, I cheated really, I was supposed to work 5 10 hour days in a row & yesterday I went home sick halfway through the day, yes, I was sick, sick of the verbal abuse which is heaped upon me my people who are way too involved with their televisions! Sick of trying & trying to deal with a computer program which is cumbersome, confusing & just generally inconvenient & sick of dealing with a supervisor who doesn't really care & just wants to get out of there as much as I do! (no, really I had diarrhea, no one needs to know that I have diarrhea every day because I'm lactose intolerant & drink a slim fast type milkshake (I say type- it's from a health food store, much better than slim fast) every morning & I don't always choose to notice the diarrhea.
So I played hooky & went looking for some clothes at goodwill again, they had a bunch more than last time but none of them fit me (& there were no dresses, I prefer dresses in the summer) I went to the bookstore & overspent bigtime. It all started with being in the childrens section & seeing a display of books for travel, as in maps & word seeks & puzzles etc. so I picked up one for each of the little ones, 16 sulks if I get them something & don't bring her anything so I got her a book by her current favorite author (Scott Westerfield- I read his latest trilogy at her insistence & found it pretty entertaining-) & of course, I can't just get books for the kids, Mom needs something too! so I got a replacement for a book I've read to rags (& because it's in rags I haven't read it in probably 10 years either- so I'm looking forward to reading it again.)it is Linda Goodmans Star Signs, & a new book by Douglas Coupland who I read religiously, if he has a new book I read it, I don't always like it (I thought Generation X, his alleged masterpiece- was boring & Girlfriend in a Coma which was panned is my favorite by him- so far! Eleanor Rigby Looks pretty good!) But I always read his books.
I'm picking up interference here, people are screaming at one another that 1 is 'kicking my toes' how you kick only the toes I can't imagine, the dog is barking loudly from the front yard too... Oh my, I'm more deaf than I thought; he said she was 'taking my toast!' Life if rough when you have only a 2 slot toaster! I can already tell that there's going to be a lot of yelling in a few minutes when I announce that everyone has to sleep in their own bed tonight & that no one is sleeping on the couch. I'm a mean, mean Mom. Just because I want a nights peace to watch the news in where no one is saying 'aren't you done yet?, Can't we watch something instead of the news?'
I expect this to be the last entry before we go on Vacation. (other than the memes I've pre-posted for next week while we're away)& I hope anyone & everyone reading this has as much fun as I hope to between now & July 26th when we get home!

Posted by Becky at 10:22 PM EDT
Thursday, July 6, 2006
And a good time was had by all...
Now Playing: What I got by Sublime
Happy belated Independence Day. Hope everyone's went off as seamlessly as ours did. The kids slept later than I did & then came in my room & we talked until everyone was hungry & then made those pilsbury cinnamon rolls that come in a can with the orange flavored icing, I had bought 2 cans because everyone always fights about who gets the most & there was finaly enough for everyone. (always a nice thing when you've got more than 1 kid) I assembled my new grill, now, I knew it was a table top grill but it was really very small & I was a little worried that shish kebabs for 6 would not fit but at that point, what could I do? I'd picked the grill I'd picked & I had no other options! Then I weed whacked the yard, Chrissie had mowed it recently but the ride on mower just doesn't do much on the edges, & there are a lot of edges, around the house, around the driveway & the path & the parking spot, around all the trees & the shed. it was a hot job & after downing a quart of water in one long gulp, (miss 10 was scandalized at that, she had brought it to me & when I finished drinking the entire cup I handed it back to her & said 'would you get me another?') the weed whacking took me to the garden & I whacked all the paths to keep the weeds from encroaching on my plants,

but of course, they were already starting so then I spent annother hour or so weeding & staking my green beans & peas, I ran out of stakes & string before I finished with the tomatoes, during one of my many breaks I was talking to 16 (Who mostly sat under a tree & watched me work but did go get me things from the shed & the house when I needed them.) & I realized that the trees are close enough that I could string the hammock I've had for nearly 10 years between them so that was my next project when I'd done all I could in the hot sun of the garden. Then both girls & I skewered all the meat & veggies for the shish kabobs. It's rare that I can get them to do anything together with out 16 being deliberately mean to her sister but I guess for the holiday they were being nice, to me at least, because there's nothing I like better than when they are nice to each other. Chrissie & Kevin were scheduled to come but we weren't sure when & we were texting back & forth during this time, the night before, on my way home from work I had gone into town & gotten more meat & some other things I'd forgotten to get the last time I was at the store, including marshmallows & the store was sold out, they had the mini marshmallows like you use for hot chocolate but no big ones for toasting. Mr 6's favorite part is the marshmallows, he likes them toasted & untoasted so after having the store manager, who happened to be roaming the asiles picking up things people had left in random places & returning them to their correct places, check in the back & under all the registers for any forgotten bags of marshmallows I got mr 6 a bag of the little ones. When I told Chrissie about it she said they could pick up some regular ones on their way up & they did, along with a watermelon, more fireworks & macaroni & potato salad. I started the grill a little later than planned but Chris & Kevin were later than expected & it pretty much all worked out right, I'd just started 5 or 6 skewers on the grill when they rolled up. We played Balderdash, talked & tried our best to delay the kids with the fireworks burning, at dusk I let them light some sparklers & morning glories & Chrissie & Kevin lit a few of the fireworks Kevin had brought, as it actualy really got dark enough to start lighting stuff up a big thunderstorm rolled in, with heavy winds, lightning & thunder right over head & pouring rain. after the lightning & thunder had passed over the kids all ran around in it & got soaking wet. then about an hour later it had passed completely & it was full dark with a wet ground, we lit more fireworks, sparklers etc. much to the dog's annoyance, she didn't care for them at all & barked at them & tried to bite them constantly, actualy really funny to watch!
We didn't even come close to using them all up before people started getting overwrought & yelling & whining, by 1030 Chrissie & I had shut it down & everyone but Miss 16 & I were in bed relaxing, 16 & I watched a movie together(Terminal Velocity- If I hadn't dvr'd it for free during a hbo free preview weekend I would've been annoyed because it was not a very good movie!) & so to bed at 1 am, with 16 complaining all the way that I never do anything with her & won't I stay up a little longer, I'm afraid I couldn't do it though & anyway we'd spent the majority of the day together.
Today, for something to do, when the little ones came in my room this morning we looked at our picture album from the last vacation in Massachusetts, this reminded me that I had 5-6 disposable cameras still full of film we'd shot on various holidays & trips over the last year that I still hadn't developed & I knew both my mother & grandmother wanted pictures, I'm afraid the camera in the cell phone has pretty much taken over my life when it comes to picture taking. That's ok in a lot of ways, I love my online Photo album but my grandmother doesn't do internet or email or any of it. so I have to have hard copies & I have a printer but have been too cheap to spring for ink, also, the pictures thru a regular printer, I know, would not be that good looking. So we took a trip, not to C'burg though, I'm looking at 5 10 hour days in a row starting tommorow, before we leave on our trip & the last thing I wanted to do was go to C'burg! If I'd thought it through we should have gone to Radford because we could've stopped at my Brother-in-law's house & dropped off his son's birthday present, but I didn't think about that early enough & so, instead we drove in the opposite direction to Galax & went to walmart there & had 1 hour photos done of all 6 cameras. We picked up toothbrush travel holders & a bunch of little things like that which we'd forgotten, 16 insisted her bag she carried her school books in most of last year was inadequate to carry a couple of books, a sketch pad & other entertainments to Mass in. So we picked up a Backpack for her with the understanding that it will be her new, for school, backpack too. & miss 10 insisted her bikinis were mismatched & she can't find the top to one, the bottom to annother & the bathing suit is too old. (walmart had bathing suits on clearance for 7 bucks) & mr 6 was pleased to find his favorite Thomas book which he read to shreds a couple of years ago, on the book racks so everyone was happy even me, I got a cd which one of my original favorite bands, Def Leppard, put out which is all remakes of songs they love, I only knew 4 or 5 of the songs but at least one (the one getting airplay) is one of my all time favorite songs by the original artist so I 'had' to have it. Back home & I've been trying to get myself & the little one's clothes packed for the vacation, not an easy task since I found mr6 had not bothered to bring any of his dirty clothes out of his closet for a couple of weeks! I keept telling him to bring out his dirty clothes every time I started a wash & he'd just keep picking up whatever was on the floor & leaving the stuff in the closet alone. I didn't realize it until I went in there to get more clothes out of his drawers for the packing & his drawers were empty, funny, I had been wondering why he kept wearing the same few outfits over & over, with boys though, that sort of thing isn't unusual I'm told, they get a liking for a certain shirt or pair of pants & you have to peel it off them, they'll wear it until it falls off of them or you can smell them 15 yards away! So I got on here while the clothes were drying & now have to fold all the laundry & pack. Packing though, that's always fun, the excitement of knowing you'll be somewhere new when you wear the clothes again is such fun!


Posted by Becky at 9:47 PM EDT
Saturday, July 1, 2006
Annother Busy Day & not a thing acomplished!
Now Playing: One Thing by Finger Eleven

I'm not going to pretend I did anything of great importance today, I would have liked to but then I'm a boring person in general & I'm boring enough to say at least I acomplished most of what I set out for myself. We went Raspberry picking, though that was Friday night really. We had Raspberries for desert last night & for breakfast this morning & now they're gone, while I know we could probably go back Tuesday or Wednesday I feel better leaving them because I know I'm not the only one who uses that berry spot. (I'm not counting the bears though)Today we all slept late & then we went to town to run errands, get the rest of the stuff we need for the 4th & after much debate ate lunch out & did not spend money on videos. When we got home we jumped right in to a project I've been gathering stuff to use for 2 years, we all made stepping stones, the cement mix turned out to be enough to make 6 instead of 4 & we actualy had 2 extra molds, either I bought 2 extras & for got I did it or when I bought 1 it had annother 2 molds stuck inside of it- that's what I think happened because I ended up with 3 circle molds. we had a lot of fun with it although both mr6 & miss16 lost interest pretty quickly in arranging broken pieces of pottery & glass in mosaic designs but Miss 10 & I stuck it out to the end & my hands are killing me from scraping the cement stuff into the molds, I broke what little fingernails I had off my right hand (& I don't really have any to spare, I'm a biter anyway & this took them down even lower!)I admit no one said I had to use my hands but it works so much better than a stick or a spoon or scoop to get the stuff out.

Then I messed around online for awhile & made dinner & went out to the garden to weed a little, I had rescued a bunch of Plants on clearance at the local garden center including some extra tomatoes & some garlic, but then It poured all day I couldn't get them planted on Wednesday after I bought them so they had to wait til today to be planted & they suffered pretty badly, I hope they're going to come back, especialy the garlic but there's no telling at this point. Stranger things have happened, I had my garden last year & never saw a potato, I didn't get in early enough to plant them & never gave it much thought, this year I had the area plowed & then tilled, (It's the same area the previous owner had a garden in some of the years they were here.)While raking up raised beds I came across potatoes sprouting on their own, out of actual potatoes, no one knows how they got there, where they were last year or why they appeared nearly in a row I had half raked 1 day & finished on annother day. but they're there, today I found one lying on the ground, little tiny potatoes below the plant no bigger than the tip of a baby's finger. With someone else's dog here things get dug up & messed with all the time so I didn't think too much of it, I just replanted the stalk & hope to see at least 2 or 3 of the potatoes beginning at the bottom of that stalk this fall! Then we had some frisbee throwing, dishes were done, cleaned up a little, both myself & the house, whole hours passed while I was in the tub reading a co-worker's borrowed book. I know I shouldn't do it but I do it all the time, if I've got time to read at home & a book interesting enough to read I find the bathroom is about the only place there's enough peace to do so!

Posted by Becky at 11:56 PM EDT
Friday, June 30, 2006
What we're doing
Now Playing: 1979 by the Smashing Pumpkins
Topic: Rambling on

Tonight we went raspberry picking, I would have liked to take a few pictures but the slope the berries are on is so steep I wouldn't chance my car keys or my camera phone near it! The kids however, well that's another story! We picked as many as we could safely reach, Mr 6 suggested we bring a rope back & lower him on it, I pointed out that if we had to drag him back the prickers on the berry vines would be a little painful to be dragged over & he concurred, he always is more agreeable if I act like I would let him carry out his ideas except for what ever I think of as a snag. Until this year I wouldn't let anyone but miss 16 go near the berry bushes, due to the steep slope & the fact that 16's friend who lives about a mile away told us a few years ago that bears had been seen there multiple times & that right in the middle of the berry bushes is a hole it's a large hole & has gotten larger in the 9 years we've been going there, a couple of times we've seen animal carcasses outside of the hole, mostly just deer & squirrel pieces but anything that's taking down deer is something I don't want to meet, due to that & the possibility of snakes we are always sure to talk very loudly while we're there. Came home & sat down & 5 hours later I'm still here (I had a whole entry all written & the computer crashed)
It could be worse, I could have to work on the 4th of July, I'm off for once, out of the 6 paid holidays I get I usually work at least 3 of them, it all depends on what day the holiday is & if your regular schedule has you off that day or not. I'm off & fully intend to have as much fun as possible with 3 kids one of whom is usually sulking about something & when she's not she's on the phone! We're going to have Shish Kebabs (recipe to follow) & Rice Pilaf for dinner on the 4th & light sparklers & morning glories & have a bonfire with all the sticks & branches which have come down over the year (last bonfire= last 4th of July)I'm seriously considering not going to the town fireworks event, every year but last year we've been in Mass for the 4th & I nearly died of embarrassment last year when miss 10 said (loudly, I might add) 'is that it? that's all we get?' last year when the fireworks display was over. Of course, in her recent memory we've been in Mass either watching the Boston Fireworks from Hull or in the city of Haverhill right near where they shoot them off. either way they're bigger & longer & she was quite disappointed, I understand why but she didn't need to be so loud about it!
In other news We're in the throes of the Vacation planning, we leave a week from Monday & we're, as always trying to plan what to do while we're there, of course there's the really important things like seeing the family & friends, but we always do things while we're there, I try not to drive the kids nuts with going from place to historical place (historical in MY life at least!) & we've got a sort of tradition of going to a museum or historical site with my mother, we've done Plimouth Plantation & the Mayflower, The Boston Childrens Museum & the Museum of Science, (my favorite as a kid & Mr 6's too, but of course he barely remembers the first 2, he was 3 & 4 those years)This year the plan is for us to go to the salem witch museum & we're Thinking about a trip to the ">Salem Witch Museum & maybe going to the White Mountains of New Hampshire ">The White Mountains of New Hampshire with ">Ann
Who I can't wait to see!
When discussing this with the kids on Wednesday during our patio lunch I heard all the favorites from other years, ">Quincy Market & Both Hampton Beach Hampton Beach NH & ">Nantasket Beach Mass. Mr 6 suggested a repeat visit to ">Edaville RR for another day out with Thomas. His sisters loudly vetoed this idea & I can't say I disagree with them, it was fun to see his excitement when he was 5. Now it seems, since he'll be 7 on the 14th that he'd be about ready to give up the Thomas thing.
(I suppose it's better than the alternate Spiderman & Batman obsession he's developing- at least less violent- but those are more understandable to me, as a generation x'er I can remember back when the only channels we had came from the antenna & those few were not always showing what we wanted to watch. A cartoon was a cartoon even if it was Spiderman & the 60's live action Batman show while campy by todays standards was actually pretty entertaining! I can totally get behind Spidey & the Caped crusader to this day!)
We'll see how the whole trip turns out, usually I waste reams of paper (recycled from work, 1 side full of work stuff) writing out itineraries for us. Then when we go other than a loose guide of where we wanted to go we don't follow it at all. This year I'm just listing places & people to visit & not really putting down when, the only guideline is my Grandmother's first & my Mother's last. in between those the whole trip is an empty page!


So here it is, the best Shish Kabob recipe in the universe, my ex used to try to improve upon it but it can't be done!
the night before you want to serve them mix:
1 & 1/2 cups of white wine,
1 & 1/2 cups of cooking oil,
4 cloves of garlic chopped, (remember the bigger the chunks the milder the flavor, also I really do use more garlic but my family likes garlic a lot)
2 teaspoons of salt
1/2 t pepper.
then add:
1 & 1/2 pounds of cube steak, or cut a good thick steak into 1 & 1/2 inch cubes.
cover & marinate until ready to assemble,
while the regular method with all the stuff you're cooking all shoved onto the skewer in alternating pieces looks really nice everything cooks better if you make meat skewers & vegetable skewers. This is just my personal opinion though.
Grille the meat with mushrooms, onion chunks, green peppers & cherry tomatoes over what ever kind of grill you have until meat is done to taste & veggies are tasty. I've always served this with rice pilaf & a salad.

Posted by Becky at 11:28 PM EDT
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Pictures Which did not Make it into the Last Post!

Posted by Becky at 1:15 AM EDT
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Too Busy for our own good.
Now Playing: Leroy & Stitch for the kids in the next room
Topic: Family Business

The conspicuous consumption bug bit me again today,
We had to go to town to get miss 16's learners permit, we drove all the way there, (it's 25 miles easy, nothing's close to anything else here- I like it that way usualy) parked in a primo spot, after staring down a state trooper on his way into the parking lot too. went to get out of the car & I said to miss 16, 'where's your papers'
'what papers?' she says.
'birth certificate, something with your name & address on it that was mailed to you, the usual identification stuff?'
'you mean you don't have them?' She wails this last, the state trooper is staring now, the little ones are skipping about the parking lot.
'well, it's your permit, I thought you had everything ready to go!' I say getting defensive, I know when I went to take my learners permit test & my liscence test I was in charge of all my paperwork & everything else.
'duh mom, how would I know where to find that stuff'
I just sat there & laughed, after all, what else can you do? there was no sense in getting mad, it never even crossed my mind when we were getting ready to go to town, not even to a point where I actualy thought of her locating her birth certificate & having it ready to go, it wasn't until we actually got to the dmv that I thought of it. At first I wanted to just come back on Saturday but the dmv is only open 8-12 on Saturdays & none of us are any good at getting up early on the weekends & I'm not that into getting up & going to town as if I was going to work on a non-work day. My next days off after Saturday are the 4th of July holiday so that's out & then the next Saturday I have to work to swap with myself a day of my vacation & on the 10th we leave on vacation so if we were going to get this learners permit thing done it had to be today. So when she said 'nooo' in that whiny tone she uses so well I just said 'fine, we'll go get the damn papers & come back'. so all the way back home we drove to get the birth certificate. It turned out there is no way 16 could have had the stuff she needed because it wasn't in her baby book like it should have been, it ended up being tucked away in my file cabinet in the child support paperwork because I had to show proof of birth/parentage when I went for custody & child support. it took me nearly 1/2 an hour to find it myself & I would NOT have wanted miss 16 all up in my important paperwork. Then we had the loveley drive all the way back to the dmv we went, most of the way back in to C'burg Chrissie text messaged & said she was in C'burg & did we want to meet her for lunch. I texted back to tell her what had happened & then again when we got into town & she then said it was too close to her work time so we missed that opportunity.
16 did better than previously on the learners permit test, she did not, however, do well enough to pass. She says that a lot of her friends have done better taking the test on paper rather than on the touch screens on the computers there. We settled for a picture id (she likes it because the border at the top is purple, her favorite color, rather than blue like a liscence or learners permit)
After that everyone was VERY hungry, so we went to lunch in B'burg which is a college town nearby, at a resturant called Backstreets which has a nice patio for dining on which I love to sit on. This led to the second altercation between 16 & I because she wanted to eat inside with the air conditioner & I wanted to be outside in the sunshine, I won because the little ones voted with me! we had a lovely lunch, we were able to jolly miss 16 out of her sulk & there was nearly no fighting for once. More than I can say for the current moment in time. Backstreets is known for pizza but 16 didn't want that so we all had sandwiches, Mr 6's hamburger was nearly as big as he was, 16 had an italian sub, 10 had a turkey & cheese & had a greek calzone which was excellent.
Then my other reason to come to town kicked in, we scoured the second hand clothing shops for a few new clothes for the trip to Mass. Only mr 6 got much I'm afraid to say, I forgot to mention we ran into a friend/family member at the dmv who has a daughter a little older than miss 10 & she reminded me she has a ton of clothes for 10 so I wasn't really looking for stuff for her, she did get a skip it & a pogo stick however & 1 pair of shorts & a shrug which was just the right green for her & a really soft knit material. 16 is just too picky, we went to goodwill, TJ Maxx, Rugged wearhouse & Target looking for a bathing suit for her & none of them were good enough. she did find a couple of skirts she liked at least. I found almost nothing for myself, the goodwill in our area has only in the past year or so set up a plus size rack, before that shopping there was an exersize in frustration, I'd have to paw through all this stuff which would never fit me & it was very frustrating to see things which were beautiful prints or colors or styles which would never fit me. Now I can shop for both 16 & I on the same double rack of clothes but I only find a few things each time. I found 1 shirt I liked pretty well but it's a long sleeved shirt & I needed summer things, at $3.50 a shirt I bought it anyway, I'll need it in the fall I'm sure. but I was really hoping to find something new for work & for the vacation. Luckily Lane Bryant's clearance racks were full, out of 5 shirts I bought there only one turned out badly, it was just a little too small. It looks good on 16 though, a little too big for her but it's always nice to have a few extra things to wear!
Target was our downfall (it always is, I love their stuff, especially the housewares department) I got a grill for the 4th of July, (I have had steak in my freezer for shish kabobs since Chrissie came down in April & no grill to cook them on!)& charcoal for the grill. then I couldn't resist some pretty summer lights for the porch, on clearance sale which is always a nice thing. I love those little orange clearance tags!
Home & showered & ready for bed (at least I am, kids are still all over the place, playing with their goodwill finds (bug kits & these odd building toys with plastic bolts to hold them together) & watching tv. Time to raise the roof & send everyone to bed so I can go myself!

Posted by Becky at 9:47 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 29, 2006 12:51 AM EDT
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
What am I thinking?

I'm thinking about all the rain & the rivers, streams, creeks & brooks which are making themselves known all around the area, I'm thinking about the water I drove through on the way home last night & on the way back to work this morning & then again tonight on my way home & still trying to figure out how even though it was raining most of the day there was less water in the fields & creeks on my way home than there was when I was driving to work this morning. I'm thinking about how it's supposed to rain again tommorow (I think, still haven't watched the news) & how I get to drive around with the kids & check out how swollen the rivers are.
I'm thinking miss 16 is a weirdo because when I suggested we go to the DMV on Wednesday & try for her learners permit again her reaction was 'oh, ok, I neguess so' even though she needs to have the id for her trip to the boyfriends house in KY this August (if it happens) When I was a teenager I couldn't wait to drive, I was at the registry like, the day after I was of legal age & I was hounding my parents every time we even went near the car after that 'I'll drive, let me drive, let's go for a drive' I'd say. the last time she even touched a steering wheel it was in my last car which was an automatic & she was about 13. I can not understand not having that motivation to go, go go! as a teenager.
I'm thinking some people who are under 16 should be in bed & that the whole it's summer, no bedtime idea should be scrapped before I lose my mind. Also I think that certain people should sleep in their own beds not on the couch or with me when I'm off from work, Mommy needs her private time even if miss 10 doesn't.
I'm also thinking that mr 6 going on 7 needs a vcr of his own for his birthday because the one he's had on loan from Chrissie has started eating video tapes, he wasn't too upset about Sleeping Beauty but then it ate Thomas & the Magic Railway & I thought the tears were never going to stop, yes, I know he's almost 7. But he's a Cancer & he really cares.
I'm thinking about the upcoming vacation & how I can't wait but am also a little worried about how I'm going to get everything done before we leave, I've also got to work 5 straight days, 10 hours each day. I will be ready for a vacation when that's over (or maybe the nuthouse) I'm thinking that it's just as well that the plan for us to leave after I get out of work on the 10th from my work had to be scrapped because Chrissie will likely be at work & not able to bring the kids to meet me. I'm thinking I'll need at least a couple of hours of sleep before we embark because the whirlwind trip to Mass on father's day weekend taught me that I am not as young as I once was & that I do need sleep & to rest before driving long distances.
I'm thinking of my ex's new wife who emailed me today because she wasn't sure of the kid's birthdays & wanted to send them cards for the birthdays, I'm pleased that she cares enough to do so but I'm still stuck wondering what kind of a father doesn't at least make an effort to write down his kid's birthdays so he knows what days they're on & since he's allegedly overseas wouldn't it make sense to leave that info with his wife here in the country so she could make sure the kids got remembered?
I'm also thinking the June birthday girl had a great birthday even with out dad's help & did not go wanting at all so why not just look at a card from dad & new wife as gravy on top of the great time we had? & that the same will go for the July Birthday boy except that since we'll be in Mass for his actual birthday the presents & cake at home with the immediate family thing will be a little postponed. (I am not about to try to do that up there, we'll do it after the first paycheck in August)
I'm thinking about work & how there's even more of us on the New computer program & how everyone who's got to deal with this new program goes around with the same look of slightly nauseated disbeleif, it seems to say: "O M G do I really have to deal with this crazy stuff, as if the customers weren't enough craziness now I have to relearn everything I know about how to do my job?" I'm thinking that after 6 weeks on the new system I'd still rather be on the old one.
(3 paragraphs of anti new computer system, anti management & general paranoia about my job deleted to prevent my losing said job!)
I'm thinking that I need to cut back on the caffeine & get a little more sleep because everything is beginning to look like a conspiracy & I do have to get up at a reasonable hour tommorow & have my oil changed & a tire with a slow leak looked at & hopefuly patched. (not likely, everything on that car is over $100. no matter what it is, it's a hundred bucks!) but man we look stylin goin' down the road right?

Posted by Becky at 12:20 AM EDT
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Five Fives, for the 25th (with apologies to a few different blogs I've seen this on, some with different questions)
Topic: Stuff & Nonsense

5 Items in my fridge:
1. Ice cream I was conned into buying because it was 'buy 1 get 1 free mom, it's a good deal'
2. Enough Diet Coke to have the Nutrasweet sensitive twitching
3. Leftover Tuna which has too much paprika for anyone but miss 16
4. Vidalia Onions I bought because someone told me there was fresh french bread at home but then they ate it all before I got there!
5. Jars of Pickle juice because the kids can't stop eating pickles

5 Items in my closet:
1. My Clothes, loosely organized by shirts, dresses, skirts & season.
2. My son's clothes because it's a double closet, in his room & we share.
3. Fisher Price toys, like the castle, house, parking garage, from the 70's yes, the ones with the people kids can choke on & neither I, my brother, 2 younger cousins who inherited the toys & then gave them back or any of my 3 kids ever did choke on them.
4. A box full of Winter & Larger clothes for my son which I buy cheap at yard sales & goodwill & keep until he needs them.
5. Boots which I rarely wear.

5 Items in my car:
1. One of those flashlights you shake up which never needs batteries
2. Too many cds & tapes
3. A couple of books in case I'm bored
4. The Beaded hanger for a crystal I had hanging in my car, about a year ago the crystal broke off & I have yet to buy annother crystal or find time to bead one I already have.
5. At least 10 matchbox cars & 3 abandoned purses.

5 Items in my purse:
1. All last months bills.
2. Pictures of everybody.
3. 4 pens because there's never enough.
4. Valerian Root, St Johnswort, Multivitamins, asprin.
5. 6 different kinds of moisturizer.

5 Items in my Medicine Cabinet
1. Band-aids in a metal box
2. A Deodorant stone
3. Chemical Skin peel which turns me red & does not much else!
4. 4 kinds of toothpaste.
5. Asprin, Advil & Goodys Headache powders.

Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, June 24, 2006
CRASH!!!! bang, smash, tinkle tinkle tinkle, (computer & Internet both falling apart)
Now Playing: Roll With the Changes by REO Speedwagon.

<<<< THIS is why I'm upset
Ok, Damnit, I know when I'm not wanted.
first I come home & after a nice hour or so playing Clue with the kids (even miss 16 unbent long enough for 2 games)I went to use the computer for a little while & found that all my bookmarks & my skin on mozilla is completely gone, all of it, after an hour of going from place to place collecting urls (I need to email this list to myself) I'm finaly ready to sit down & do something other than click & Bookmark. & my internet connection goes down, yes this is being written in notebook & I am not a happy camper, I know it's probably my own damn fault, I'm the one who keeps loading songs on my hard drive. (& I can't figure out how to take them off again when one duplicates - don't know why it's doing that either!)
It's raining & it's raining hard I admit. I use satellite internet & I've never had a problem before tonight (though I've had a complaint from 16 a couple of times during heavy thunderstorms before) After all, I spend my time at work telling people to be patient, wait for the weather to pass & try their tv later (stupid people, I think while at work, don't they know there's a whole world out there besides the tv, why don't they just do something else?) yes, yes, this is karmic, I know it, Well damnit, I want my internet!!
Country living is such a lovely thing until something goes wrong, I'm really not that upset, I would have been if I hadn't just about finished putting back everything which was lost in the computer crash when the internet went out, (funny how anytime I lose stuff it's always only part of it, sometimes the screen saver & the images, sometimes just the skin, sometimes all my saved music downloaded from other places.)
AAHH, much better, after about an hour & a half of torrential downpours I have my internet back...
Busy Saturday coming up tommorow. Payday week & the cupboard is bare, so we'll be busy all day running around getting things we're out of, I'll be bitching about the cost undoubtedly & sweating how much I spend in light of the vacation we're embarking upon 2 weeks from Monday. (is it really that soon?) the kid's will (as always) be having a heavy case of the "I want's" & since one just had a birthday & annother's is on 7/14, I'll be "so Mean" & saying no all the way through every store. I can already see this will be one of those Saturdays that will make me glad to go back to work on Sunday!
I actualy am beginning to prefer the non-pay weeks which allow us to do something other than grocery shop etc. Not enough, mind you, to go do the shopping on my own on the way home from work at night, anyway, miss 16 is so much of a control freak she'd probably lose her mind if she couldn't tell me what to buy for her to snack on! Then there's the part where she seems to think I Need her guidance in the shopping, I often question her as to just how she thinks I functioned for the 30+ years before she became a teenager & 'taught me everything I know' I also ask how she thinks I managed to keep her alive all those years between birth & 12 or so. This does not do me any favors in the speaking to each other categorys but it does often, buy me a few hours peace with the littler ones! Happy Weekend!

Posted by Becky at 12:32 AM EDT

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