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BecksBlog
Friday, December 1, 2006
Crash! Free Firewood! Yours for the Hauling...
Now Playing: (Dont Fear) The Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult
Topic: Rambling on

I was at work this morning struggling to make it to the halfway point in the day so I could go home sick & I got a text message from miss 16 who was home from school with the diareah & vomiting I was struggling against while at work. The text said 'yeah, I just almost died' I was a little disturbed but knowing her proclivity for theatrics I just texted back 'what are you talking about?'

This first picture shows the tree that sheared itself off in the high winds we had in VA today, my house is on a hill with a row of obnoxiously large pine trees behind it, the trees have worried me ever since we moved in (I've been afraid of tall trees falling on me since I was a very small child, my mother attributes this to a very large tree which was struck by lightning behind our house when I was about 2 & 1/2, she says it shook the house & I do remember her leaving me alone in the kitchen while she went out to look at it in the rain- not my earliest memory but a close runner up) & I still hope to have all these large pines taken out eventually due to the hill & the wind coming in from the west, the tree broke at a spit about 10 feet off the ground & fell down the hill. Miss 16 said it shook the house & scared her half to death! I'm not surprised, I always miss this stuff but in a way I'm just as glad that I did, we had a tree fall down at the trailer similar to this (though it was the whole top of the tree) & I was at work for that too, it narrowly missed hitting my trailer & my neighbor's trailer, it fell in such a way that it just hit the ground behind the backs of our trailers if you can imagine! That was actually scarier, this one, due to the hill & the fact that the wind nearly always comes from the west was no question going to fall downhill & away from the house (I have been telling myself this about all the trees behind the house since we moved in back in May of 2005)

You can see from this picture of where the shear occoured though, & in the above picture, how it is more than half the thickness of the tree & in the lower picture that the wood is gray not yellow at the break so I think that part of the tree was dead or dying before it fell. the red glow is the setting sun hitting the branches, (ok, maybe it's a tree spirit?) Directly below it is the break. Anyone nearby who want's some good pine wood can have it for the hauling, we don't have a woodstove or fireplace & I've been warned by a couple of people that the chimneys in the house would have to be completley redone before I could have one. (that would also require removing the beesnests from the inner chimney & the squirell nests from the basement one- neither thing is high on my to do list)

  Mr 7 had a blast climbing on the top part of the tree among the branches (I remember I loved doing that on the couple of occasions when my Father couldn't find enough downed trees in our woods to cut up & would have to actually fell a tree for our firewood) 7 & miss 10 went back out after I came in & played together on the tree for almost an hour - until it was too dark to see & I had to call them in. The vomiting has slowed & with liberal aplications of immodium our Christmas shopping expedition will not be rescheduled, especially since I already had to reshcedule it once due to silliness & madness at work causing me to have to work 8 hours of overtime before sunday (of course, by getting sick I screwed that up!) I couldn't keep down the immodium this morning or I probably could have made it the whole day. I would prefer to go alone & get everyone's shopping taken care of but I can't very well do so, I don't like to leave the kids home on days when I'm home & they're home, instead I intend to go shopping on Tuesday or Wednesday, my days off, while they're at school, finish it all & lock up the shed until a few days before the 'big event'. Tommorow I can at least take care of the kids choosing what they want to give to each other & to me & I may pick up a few small items here & there which I can hide under coats until 16 takes the younger ones to the car & I check out alone. (One definite benefit to going alone on a weekday, the stores are much less crowded) I am not looking forward to the shopping, it's not hard for miss 16, she's an artist so paint, canvasses etc are easy, clothes are always appreciated though I don't always get what she likes exactly. mr 7 is easy too, the hardest thing about shopping for him is how much I can spend, if it's Batman, Spiderman, Imaginext or Magnetix he's all set. Miss 10 however, is at that age where she's too young for makeup, too old for Barbies & Babies, Clothes she gets from family & friends with kids older than her & so I only buy her a few special pieces (& some jeans, it seems there's never enough jeans) I also don't really like to get the kids clothes for Christmas (except 16 because she actually likes them!) it just doesn't seem right.

  Going to bed early tonight to rest up for tommorow's shopping barrage, I'm also supposed to do the hair of one of 16's friends who has to be in a wedding tommorow morning. That should be interesting.


Posted by Becky at 6:38 PM EST
Updated: Friday, December 1, 2006 6:44 PM EST
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Christmas Survey
Topic: Stuff & Nonsense
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?  Both! Egg Nog says Christmas to me though, where Hot Chocolate is all winter long.


2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?   He fills the Stockings only, gifts beneath the tree are from friends & family.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?  Colored lights, Grew up with white & it is boring.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?   Yes!

5. When do you put your decorations up?   The Weekend after Christmas.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?  Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Brown sugar.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: Christmas morning with my whole family together between the stockings & the tree we'd have breakfast with homemade eggnog & fresh bread or coffee cake & all spend time together & talk. (Last year Christmas eve I was awake half the night remembering all kinds of Christmas memories, I've never had that happen before, just been flooded with rememberances of things past)

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?   I was about 8 & I read everything, voraciously, my Grandmother who lived with us brought home Womans Day & Family Circle magazines all the time & one of them had a story about a boy finding out about Santa & I caught on at that point.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?   My kids do.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?  Lots of old novelty ornaments, (hallmark type & handmade- my mother gives one each year to remind me & others of my brother & father both dead for 15+ years- last year's was a chewbacca action figure because my brother collected star wars stuff) glass balls, new & antique (which I try to collect) strings of popcorn & cranberries, strips of tinsel not the garland kind.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?   Working at a job where I can get fired for over 7 absences in a year I dread snow like the plauge. I like to see it falling in the few weeks before Christmas I admit, it really puts the Christmas season in place for me. After Christmas though, YUCK!

12. Can you ice skate?  Yep.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?  Probably the year my ex & I got together & he gave me an emerald ring- it didn't fit quite right but I wore it with my finger turning purple all through the holiday weekend until he could get it sized.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?   Being with my Kids & family.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?   Croquemboushe.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?  Just being together.

17. What tops your tree?  A star with white lights in it. (I know, I said I like color, but the star just needs to be white.)

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?   Giving.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?   Snow at Christmas by Greg Lake (of Emerson, Lake & Palmer) you know, the one that goes: 'they said there'd be snow at Christmas, they said there'd be peace on earth' ?  (as for real, traditional Christmas songs it would be Angels we Have Heard on High)

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or yummy? Yummy but only once or twice a year. not a huge peppermint fan.

21. Favorite Christmas Movies? National Lampoons Christmas, Reckless (Not Exactly a Christmas movie but it deals with it!) Merry Christmas Charlie Brown, Scrooged.

Posted by Becky at 5:08 PM EST
Yes, Annother Meme
Topic: Stuff & Nonsense

Stole this one from Jody!

&, fair warning, there's more to come!

1. How tall are you barefoot?   5'4"

2. Have you ever smoked heroin?   nope, there were times in my life where I'd probably have done so if anyone offered me some

3. Do you own a gun?   No

5. Do you get nervous before "meeting the parents"?   I'm nervous just meeting any people

6. What do you think of hot dogs?   Gross

7. What's your favorite Christmas song?   Snow at Christmas by Greg Lake (I think)

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Water & then sugar free Sobe Energy drink.

9. Can you do push ups?   Lol, yeah right

10. Is your bathroom clean?   Annother yeah, right

11. What's your favorite piece of jewelry?   I don't wear Jewlery much, probably the bracelet of antique dimes from my father's family

12. Do you like painkillers?   Like asprin? sure. harder stuff, not much anymore.

13. What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex?     I have none, I'm anti flirting & am pretty much out of the loop nowadays.

14. Do you own a knife?     An athame (which was my deceased brother in law's) & cooking knives.

15. Do you have A.D.D?     Not by how they describe it on tv commercials, but I think I might have as a kid.

16. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment?
1. Why did I eat that for dinner?

2. Why do I have to go to work tommorow on my day off?


3. How am I going to get the Christmas shopping done with 16 hours of mandatory overtime to do in the next 2 weeks?

18. What's your normal bed time?    k I try for 11 on nights when I have to get up the next day & whenever on nights when I don't.

19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink:
1. Diet Coke
2. Sobe Energy sugar free
3. Water

20. What time did you wake up today?   1030 am

22. Current worry?  Time

23. Current hate? having to go to work tommorow & then get 2 more hours of ot before Sunday & having to do annother 8 next week.

24. Favorite place to be? Home

25. Least favorite place to be? Work

 

 27. Do you own slippers? I have some sock looking things with fake fur around the tops which could be loosely termed slippers I guess.

28. What shirt are you wearing? I'm in my new flannel nightgown

29. Do you burn or tan?    Burn & Burn & Burn (with some peeling in between.

30. Favorite color?   Teal

31. Would you be a pirate?   Sure

32. Last time you had an alcoholic drink?    Uhhh, when did Chrissie move out? September?

33. What songs do you sing in the shower?   I rarely sing in the shower.

34. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child?   I was afraid of garbage trucks.

35. What's in your pockets right now? No Pockets

36. Last thing/person that made you laugh? The kids

37. Best bed sheets you had as a child?   Snoopy

38. Worst injury you've ever had?   Probably the time my face swelled up after I dove into the rock in the river in Maine.

39. If you could cheat on your spouse and not get caught would you?
What spouse? When I had one the answer was no.

40. Are your parents still together? No

41. Who is your loudest friend?  I doun't know, Jody maybe?

42. Who is your most silent friend?   I don't know- I'm the quiet one.

43. Does someone have a crush on you? Nope

44. Do you wish on shooting stars? Yes

45. What is your favorite book?  I can't narrow it down to one, the last one I read that I LOVED was Between Georgia

46. What is your favorite candy? Skor Bar.

47. What song do/did you want played at your wedding?   We played 'Never Let you Go' by Steelheart.

48. What song do you want played at your funeral? What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

49. What were you doing 12 AM last night?   Watching the news on dvr.

50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up?   Oh Shit! How late did I sleep?

 

Post note: I had this all set to go last night & My internet connection dropped out on me- very agravating, no rain or anything obvious to cause it! I'm posting with yesterday's date since it should have been yesterday. 


Posted by Becky at 3:32 PM EST
Saturday, November 25, 2006

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving, I had a lovely post written out on Wednesday Night, complete with old photos, memories & some bitching because I'm here in VA & my family, such as they are, are mostly in MA. (This is my own fault entirely & there's only a few days of the year that I'm not happy to  be here!)  The computer crashed just as I added the last photo. I was so mad I just turned everything off & went to bed! 

I'll try again, minus the complaining, I was sick last week of course & barely came online at all, Tuesday I slept a lot & ended up taking the kids to the doctors, both girls have the cough, congestion & sore throat I have had, mr7 has a mild cough & slight runny nose so he was mostly along for the ride! I was supposed to get 2 tires replaced on my car due to some problems in the sidewalls but they were'nt on the truck so they couldn't be put on the car. This is the second time this has happened & I'm starting to think the garage doesn't want to honor the warranty on these tires (I only bought them in January, there's plenty of tread left but one has a big bulging bubble in the sidewall beneath the valve, the other problem tire has large cracks building in the sidewall.) He's not exactly being rude about it or anything but I've given him my phone # & told him to call me if the don't come in on the truck when he thinks they will to save me the trip (yes, it's only 12 miles but when I'm already going to be spending money on the tires 2 wasted trips to town are two too many) The first week- the day I took the car to him to show him the tires he said he'd have them the next day & to come around 2 because the truck would have just off lodaded them around then, I showed up the next day at 2 & he just shrugged & said they didn't come in. so we made an apointment for 10 am the following Tuesday (I'm only off Saturday, Tuesday & Wednesday & they're closed Saturday) He did call Monday & say the tires hadn't come in on that day's truck & to come at 2 Tuesday because they'd surely be on that truck but then when I showed up Tuesday, same deal, no tires. I drive a PT Cruiser (yes, I've already heard all the jokes about Fat Chicks & PT Cruisers) & the tires are incredibly, ridiculously expensive. Even a 40,000 mile tire is about $80. but they should be available - Which is why I feel like I'm being dicked around.

 The Doctors apointment was OK. We didn't actually see the doctor, only her assistant & I missed seeing the doc, she's a really cool lady. I have fluid in my lungs, this is a fact of my life, when I get a cold it goes to my lungs & I usually have to sleep sitting up for most of the winter (I Consider this year a triumph because it's the end of November & I've only been sick for a week- It's usually more like September to March that I'm sick!) The girls have the same cough etc. that I have & I was worried that there was fluid in their lungs & wanted to get something to take care of it- I don't need them to get pneumonia- if I get it it's no big deal, I'll just go on. The doctor's assitiant didn't hear fluid in the girls lungs though so that was a relief, she did suggest that I try that mucinex stuff & it has helped a bit which was nice.

  We spent Wednesday making our Thanksgiving dinner, I'm not a turkey fan but Miss 16 is & so we got the smallest turkey we could find (still over 9 lbs.) & made it with all the trimming, set the table with my mother's good china & silverware (she said, when we moved back to VA in 1997 that she had no use for it & gave it to me) & had a lovely dinner complete with a pumpkin pie made by miss 16, miss 10 was the biggest help, she stayed right with me peeling potatoes & onions, mixing the stuffing & basting the turkey, mr 7 was all about setting the table - his normal, every day chore anyway- & by 7pm Wednesday we sat down to a lovely feast. Back to work for the actual Thanksgiving holiday & then again Friday, I'm in a space right now where I'm just ok with being at work, not exactly happy but at least at peace, it all rolls off when I walk out the door at the end of the day. I hope it lasts because I can't very well quit! I always run in phases of dissatisfaction to tolerance, the computer program change in May ushered in my longest phase of dissatisfaction ever but I'm hoping that it has passed. We were having really horrible problems Friday night & the guy who sits next to me especially was really freaking out over the whole thing & I didn't really feel too bad about it at all. (a lot of that was knowing I didn't have to come back for 2 whole days!) Which brings me to today, it was annother beautiful day here sunny, warm - in the high 60's & just beautiful, I had promised we'd put up the christmas decorations one day of the weekend (& of course, we have to go grocery shopping on the other day) Miss 16 had a quince (pronounced kinsay) which is a 15th birthday party for a latina girl we know, to attend tonight so I figured it was better to just stay close to home today & do the running around tommorow. (tommorow is my birthday which is why I have it off, my first 'real' job for a company with more than 10 employees was at a place called Building19, - people from New England will know what I'm talking about- & the owner did give paid holidays, one of which was a 'floating'  day off specifically for your birthday. I know it's an unusual concept now. But at 17 when I was working there it made perfect sense & I've never lost the idea that it really sucks to work on your birthday & so I take it off if possible every year) I got a new nightgown & got myself a cheap mp3 player which I've already filled (120 songs my ass, try 60 if you're lucky!) With my favorite songs- or at least as many of them as I could fit! We'll be going out to dinner somewhere tommorow afternoon because Mom shouldn't have to cook on her birthday! Then off to do the lovely grocery shopping (because I only shop every 2 weeks it's a real chore which takes some serious time & thought to get everything we need) 

So in reading other peoples blogs I notice a lot of the usual thanksgiving stuff, what we're thankful for, family memories, far be it from me to be out of the loop, better late than never, I'm posting my old pictures anyway, here's one from the year I was 16, of my grandmother, myself & my brother in our dining room in the house I grew up in. I used to love cooking with my grandmother on the holidays, staying up until 1,2 am making pies & the stuffing so it would have time to set up before the turkey had to be stuffed  at 5 am (I wasn't present for that part I don't do 5 am unless I'm still up from the night before) you can't really see how nice the table etc, looked (the picture is taken looking away from the huge, beautiful picture window at the other end of the dining room) but it really looked lovely with all the china, crytal & silver laid out on the linnen tablecloth my grandmother would stay up ironing. 

The other picture is from my first thanksgiving here in VA back in 1987 with Chrissie & her aunt Colleen, I Mentioned this in a previous post & when I was looking for the above picture came across this one too. 19 years old, nearly 20 years ago now! it doesn't seem possible. Even then I knew this was where I wanted to be, away from my family or not, it was too beautiful & the people were too nice not to be here. I belive I'm supposed to be here still, I never fit in up in Mass. I'm not into status or power, fashion or who's got the newest, best whatever & that is what I see up there for the most part (of course, there's plenty of people I know well who aren't like that at all-  but many more are) I'm too slow, too relaxed & too quiet to do well there & I accept that & it's why I'm here. (Of course, I also thought it would be a great place to raise kids & It is!) 

I'm thankful for my home, family & friends, for my job & my co-workers (VERY thankful they're having their thanksgiving potluck tommorow while I'm not there!) I'm thankful for my health & the kids' continued health & well being. Thankful that except for medicaid we're off public assistance & independent. I'm thankful that the state caught up with the ex & I get something every month for child support. (Only a little bit, but anything is better than the 4 years I went with nothing!) I'm thankful that the events in my past have helped me to grow & learn. Not become bitter & miserable like some people I could mention. 

   On to Christmas, I intend to be done with my shopping by December 13th if not before. I'll probably make it, as long as no one gets sick & needs to stay out of school, I've got it down to a science, for a couple of Tuesdays I get up when the kids leave for school, go to C'burg & do the shopping, arrive home just before the school bus, put the stuff in the shed & lock the shed up tight so the kids can't go peeking. (I did learn last year not to put shampoo or bubble bath in an unheated shed though, when they freeze & expand the bottles can break & spill all over everything!) I bought a new lock with a combination lock instead of a key this year because I found out that Miss 16 is not the only one of my kids with a knack for picking locks, (she is, however the only one old enough to realize that if you check out your Christmas presents before Christmas you don't have a lot to look forward to on Christmas!) 


Posted by Becky at 11:03 PM EST
Monday, November 20, 2006
Sick Again?
Now Playing: Walking on Broken Glass by Annie Lennox
Topic: just letting off steam

Other than the nasty cold I contracted Saturday I had a really good day, the kids & I got up late & in our every other Saturday semi-tradition made homemade pancakes. I had woken up with a little tickle in my throat & was dumping 32 ounce cups of water down my throat along with chewing up 500 mg, vitamin c tablets like they were going out of style, but my head started aching & my nose getting stuffier. On the plus side it was a beautiful day, over 65 outside & Sunny.

    Around noon Miss16 took off to walk towards a friends house & the friend headed out in the direction of our house so they met in the middle & walked back here, meanwhile Miss10, Mr7 & I went to town to get some groceries & run some other errands. We got some subs for dinner too so I wouldn't have to cook. We came home & I was feeling some pressure over the report cards the little ones had recieved on Friday, they weren't much better than the previous marking period (miss 16 carried the same, 3 a's & a b but the b was in a different class) So I was looking for things we could do which would promote learning, especially in the reading & english departments (I think I mentioned previously 10 & 7 take after their dad rather than me & are better in Math than English) & decided we would play Scrabble, Mr 7 & I were a team, Miss 10 played on her own & 16 & her friend played as a team, we had a great time, good enough that after 2 games of scrabble we decided to play rummy, which took us through the rest of the afternoon, un-fortunately I was getting sicker & sicker, my throat was closing up, I was getting more & more stuffed up, my sinuses began pounding & my cough kept getting deeper & deeper (as a daughter of 2 heavy - a pack + a day smokers- & a former weekend/party smoker, every cold I get goes right to my lungs) I consoled myself that just sitting & playing rummy was restful, after a little tv I went off to bed at about 11pm. I got up Sunday morning feeling very unlovely, I could barely whisper, an axe had taken up residence in the center of my forehead & I couldn't breathe at all Man, I have read some bloggers who described their colds in (fairly amusing) detail & I have always thought I wouldn't do that, but here I am, describing the depth of my misery just like everyone else! 

  Anyway I called work & left a message for the attendance people & my boss & went back to sleep for a few hours, after my boss had been there for an hour or so I called him back to see if I could arrange for an emergency paid day off (I have one for next Sunday in honor of my birthday & at that point was very willing to swap so as not to get in trouble etc.) He said he doubted that was going to happen & suggested I try some Zicam for my cold, he said that it helped him kick his last cold really quick. I remember that cold & I think it was the same one I have - though he got it back in early October- he was out for 2 & 1/2 days with no voice himself-  I went back to sleep for awhile longer, I can always sleep all day when I'm sick, I then sat up when Miss 10 who wasn't feeling a lot better than I (though her throat isn't so sore or her voice as hoarse- the price I pay for talking for a living) Crawled into bed with me & started talking. She's abducted my old cell phone which no longer can charge a battery, she was pretending it's on & making calls, later she found the old battery which I had swaped with the new battery in my replacement phone (same phone- same battery) to make the newer battery last longer, I swapped back to the new one about a month ago when the old one started only being able to hold a charge for about half a day. She inserted the old battery & was able to make the phone work to play ring tones & so she could take pictures, she can't download the pictures but she's happy just being able to take them. we listened to the radio & I played tetris on my phone while she took pictures of everything (60 pics in about 10 minutes!) while playing the dial on the radio I heard an ad for that same Zicam stuff my boss recommended & never being one to take a hint lightly I got dressed & made everyone else get dressed & off we went to the store, it was a lot more at my local grocery store than my boss had told me it was at wallyworld but if it really worked/s then it could be worth it, it did say on the package that it has to be taken within 48 hours of your symptoms in order to help but at 11 am sunday I was only about 26 hours into my symptoms & felt pretty good about it. Miss 10 & I both used it, Miss16 flatly refused & mr 7 has a slight runny nose but nowhere near what the rest of us do & also has no real cough to speak of so he declined. Got lots of dirty looks in the grocery store for coughing in public (I guess that was what it was for, mr7 insisting on riding on the back of the cart, making it hard for me to steer & my rasping at him to get OFF the cart may have had something to do with it) Back home I couldn't even face the computer, or read, trying to focus on anything that closely was next to impossible & intensified my headache something awful, I settled in on the couch to catch up on some movies & tv shows on my dvr & worked on the kid's Christmas gifts to their teachers & other family members this year, I'm making cloth bags for them to fill with rice & Lavendar or Mint which people can keep in the freezer or microwave them to heat them up & then use the bag on a neck, ankle, forehead or any other part of the body giving them pain, I made them for everyone about 5 years ago & they were quite well recieved. our own bag tore & spilled the rice about 6 months ago & so I figured it was time for new ones. So I'm just sitting running a needle & thread around pieces of folded cloth 3 or 4 times to make the seams sturdy, I accidentally stictched up the fill holes on 3 of the 4 bags I completed yesterday afternoon & evening through not paying attention & a little too much cold medicine. (though I'm grateful that I had some in the medicine cabinet still) 

It dawned on me at about 8:30 last night that if I didn't go to work today, Monday, it being my last scheduled day before the Thanksiving holiday that I would n't get holiday pay for Thanksgiving, (of course I still have to make it there Thursday & Friday to get that extra days pay) So I went to bed at 930 & slept as well as I could, got up at regular time & went to work this morning, I remembered after I was there that my boss is off for the rest of the week & so I had to have the person taking his place find out from human resourses how long I had to stay to be able to qualify for holiday pay, it used to be 3/4 of your shift, they've recently changed it to 1/2 so I left at 2pm today, after hearing from nearly every person I talkd to today that I sounded terrible, I did have a good day on the phone, except for too much between calls time (we're alotted 10 minutes a day, at 5 hours, halfway through I'd used about 20 minutes) On the way home I stopped to get some cold medicine & came home to 3 sick kids, Miss16 had put the dishes in to soak (I admit I had left Saturdays & she had not done Sundays so it was a lot of dishes) but not done too much else. Miss 10 was still on the couch & mr7 was full of beans as usual, he's got to be pretty sick before he actually stops running around & jumping off things etc. That's how I know to worry about him if he slows down he's REALLY sick! Considering Miss10's cough she's probably going to have to stay home tommorow too. Not good since I have to go & get tires replaced on my car, I love sitting at the auto parts store/garage with a semi hyper 10 year old! 


Posted by Becky at 10:27 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 21, 2006 12:17 PM EST
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Friday At Last (very sad, I worked 2 days since my last day off)
Now Playing: I Am The Highway by Audioslave
Topic: just letting off steam

Feeling a little sick tonight, came home & ate stuff I should not have eaten (cream cheese Jalepeno poppers & ranch dressing I should NOT eat fried greasy stuff even as late at night as 9pm which is when I ate them)

  It was all because we had an earlier than usual lunch today because we were collecting our reward for having won the Halloween decorating contest at work. We had a theme, each desk in our 'pod' was a different horror theme (mine was The Fly) & we really got into it, fake blood & body parts for frankenstein, a smalish coffin & crosses, stakes & garlic for Dracula, a blue background & a large paper set of sharks teeth (hand cut & surprisingly effective looking) with barbie parts splayed out around it for Jaws. Our prize was pizza & then a movie on the clock, I got paid more than 10 bucks an hour to sit & watch RV- which was funnier than I expected- heard from a few people that it wasn't very good at all-, probably because the teenage girl in it sounded so much like 16 I looked around more than once thinking she was in the room with us. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed the movie & it was a nice break to be off the phones for 2 whole hours (plus the hour before for lunch) It took almost a half an hour for the managers (yes, it took 2 guys) to get the dvd playing on the theater size screen in the auditorium & so we discussed our strategy for the Christmas decorating contest & wether we are going to have a gift grab this year or not. (we are I have a beautiful leather bookmark & a knitted winter hat with cat ears (I don't wear it but my 10 year old loves it) from 2 other years when I was in groups who were friendly enough to do gift grabs) After this respite from people yelling at me about their bills or the fact that rain can impede satellite signal I was feeling really relaxed & not at all stressed about the last 4 hours of my day at work & they did pass surprisingly quickly. On the way home I was pleasurably entertained by a book on tape, the name of the book is American Gods (I don't remember the name of the author, I'm more of a story reader than an author reader, I just care about what it's about not who wrote it - except for a select few authors-) I love books on tape, I drive 40 minutes each way to work & back & though I'm a music lover & can't stand to listen to books all the time about once every 3 or 4 months or so I get a book to listen to. The last one was Endlesslove & I was surprised I liked it, I've never seen the movie though I'm of the age where when it came out I 'should' have - everyone I knew loved it- I just didn't go to the movies much back then -or now for that matter.  

Came home to the kids all snarling at each other, I'd left instructions that mr 7 & miss 10 clean up their rooms today & I'd already heard, when I called at my last break time tonight that they were'nt listening to miss 16 as she tried to enforce my request. When I arrived they were arguing about who had & hadn't done what, we had those Jalapeno poppers I'm lamenting still & I reviewed report cards, miss 16's having a banner year so far- 3 a's & a b for the 2nd marking period in a row! I'm not going to say much about the other two, there's only so much you can say when they're just not feeling it! I'm afraid they're both much more like their father than like me & would rather be out running around, riding bikes & catching frogs down by the creek than reading a book or studying, I can see though, that I'm going to have to start really cracking down on their study time.

 Tommorow will be either total chaos or quiet & relaxed, it all depends on Chrissie who asked me awhile ago to do a perm for her- I said yes & that I'd do it tommorow, but she may not have time & that's all I know so far, she never got back to me this afternoon when we were text messaging back & forth about it- I guess I'll find out tommorow what it brings.... I already know what my 'weekend will bring this week, a lot of mudane stuff- Tuesday I have to get tires replaced on my car, Wednesday I'm trying to get a plumber to come over & fix my bathtub (it drips- a lot-) So I'll be out or busy cleaning the house before the plumber comes (mostly the bathroom- I just got a new Vacum Cleaner so the rugs look pretty good- it's a new toy as far as my kids are concerned & as long as they look at it that way I'll have clean rugs! 


Posted by Becky at 12:17 AM EST
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
November Funk
Now Playing: Far Away by the Offspring
Topic: Rambling on

Here I am again, annother 'weekend' gone & not much acomplished, well, I did pay off some bills this week which is important & I know where my kid's Christmas is coming from now. (thanks to a loan which has a lower interest rate than my credit cards & the other things I'm paying off) Still, even so, I'm deep into my November funk,

"No Fruits, No Flowers, No Leaves, no birds, November" 

                                                                      -Thomas Hood.

It works for me, I used to be insulted by that saying, November being my birthday month & all, but then birthdays stopped being a great thing & began being a torturous, embarasing, never-live-up-to-my-expectations event (this was around age 11 & had, I think, more to do with hormones & my family's genetic tendencies towards depression than any real lack of good things on my birthday) My parents were poor, to a point which I could never stand to be in my life now most of my childhood & they made no bones about it & so I grew up with the thought in the back of my mind that every gift I got could mean no food next week I had a lot of guilt needless to say. Christmas, because everyone gave & got didn't feel that way but because on my birthday it was just about me I felt like it was wrong & I was not deserving of any fuss, I made my own birthday cake most years. Except for the year I turned 17, my mother made my cake because I had a charity thing to help with on the Saturday morning that we were having my party & while the cake was cooling, my mother was vacuming the house (a regular Saturday occourence- we all made plans to be elsewhere) & my Father & Brother were coming to pick me up from the charity rummage sale my brothers dog ate the cake! My mother was PISSED! it was really pretty funny in retrospect - I'm not sure she thinks so though- So I came back home & made the birthday cake myself once again. One of my best birthdays was my very first in Floyd, it was 1987 & I had just picked up & left MA with Chrissie a few weeks before, I made the dinner (I don't remember where the Turkey even came from) & a cake, for some obscure reason I bought a tub of premade- Cherry icing, ugh, not a cherry fan anymore I have to say!) I still have a butterfly pin & the earrings I was given that year! It was the year I went from 18 to 19 & I remember Chrissie saying 19 was lots better than 18. Other years, with 16's dad & my family when 16 was a little baby were bleah, just annother day with my grandmother at least being kind- some years my birthday, the 26th actually falls on Thanksgiving & those are the worst, people like to suggest putting candles in a pie (I hate pie- not the filling, just the crust) I usualy just celebrate over the weekend following the holiday.  In later years my ex did his best to give me good birthdays, the infamous first year when he took my oldest out with him & I went to take a hot bath (my favorite thing when I have free time & no kids to interrupt) & half an hour into it he came back in & was not pleased to find me in the tub, he had a bunch of our friends & his family outside, ready to come in & surprise me for my birthday! yeah, that was great! That was the year my friend J gave me a card which at the bottom she'd lovingly scrawled '16 years till you're 40' (her birthday was 6 weeks before mine & annother friend of her's had done the same to her! - just passing on that happy feeling!) well, this year I'll be 38 & so it's 2 years till I'm 40 & I don't really care, I've been so fat for so long I've felt old nearly forever! It's all in your head, that's what my 88 year old grandmother tells me, she says she feels in her head about the same as she did when she was 25 or 30 still & I can see that, it's about the same for me.                                                                                                               In recent years (you read that: since my ex left) things have been tight most years & often the only notice I took of my birthday was that when I asked my mother or grandmother for money to help with whatever the most recent emergency was it was couched in the terms: Could I have whatever you were going to send for my birthday early? & of course a cake which the kids were more interested in than I was. Last year & the year before I've been able to actually have a birthday dinner out & buy a couple of books or some clothes & this year is shaping up the same which is a plus. I think I'm going to get a scanner, I've wanted one for awhile so I can put old pictures on here but I thought they were really expensive, this past weekend we went to a big box electronics store to buy a dvd I'd wanted to see again which I couldn't rent from the local video store - they didn't have it at all (Empire Records for the record & the store did have it for a pretty low price too!) & they had a scanner for $104.99 (!) I'd probably go with the next step up since it was only about 40 bucks more & looked like a more versatile model though. That's one thing I don't like so much about being the only adult in the house- decisions like this are all mine to make & sometimes I could use a little input! Annother thing about it is I usualy just buy my own birthday presents, mostly because I want books & don't always know what books until I'm in the store looking at them. 

    So then, after the birthday (& I guess, Thanksgiving, which I HATE- mostly because I'm here & my whole family is in Mass- my fault though & because I hate turkey) comes the whole Christmas debacle, I used to love Christmas we had boxes & boxes of decorations which came down from the attic the weekend after Thanksgiving & which my Brother & I pored over, checking for breakage, loose or dead bulbs in the light strings etc. until the first weekend in December when we were allowed to decorate (we had control of this from the time I was 8 forward - with a little artistic direction from my grandmother who lived with us-) There were cardboard houses, metal people to walk among them with small mirrors for their ice skating rinks, fake holly & pine garlands, we had a plastic electric candle in every window with white bulbs & plastic poinsettia rings around the base & a big pine tree in the front yard was lit with colored lights, the tree inside we put up a week to 10 days before the holiday & we always had white lights on it (my mother & grandmother were purists & the most common kind of New England snob - the kind with historical ancestors- 'colored lights are garish & tacky unless you just have a few') I am nothing like them though & always felt out of place there, the more color the better, the brighter the better, that's one thing the ex & I were in total agreement on, we loved to put up christmas lights & we always had a lot, I remember the first time we ever saw those icicle lights that are everywhere now.

His aunt had them on her house & as we came down the road on christmas eve on the way to her house & we both said at the same time ' I want those next year!'           Those were lean years though, we were always so close to the bone back then, we had to have help from the Salvation Army every year, the last year I got help was 2003, I'm not to the point where I can donate & start giving back (except for change in the pot while I'm out shopping) but I don't actually need the help anymore (Knock on Wood!) I tried a Christmas Club back in 2004, it didn't help, they disbursed the money in October & 2 weeks later I had a problem with my car & had to use all the money I'd saved to fix the car. (not much, I was on the $5. a week plan so it was less than 300 bucks) Just like a raise at work, what ever they give you, your expenses expand to fill the gap so there's never any extra money!


Posted by Becky at 9:07 PM EST
Wednesday, November 8, 2006
All in my days off
Now Playing: Always by Saliva
Topic: Family Business

All in all a pretty good 2 days off, I started the day, Tuesday with a meeting with mr 7's teacher, since I vote at the elementary I thought I'd vote before the meeting so I left about 10 minutes earlier than I needed to be there ontime, well I was dead wrong, the line looped around the hallway twice! I didn't even try to get in it- I was afraid I'd be late for the teacher confrence, it's a good thing too because the gym where the voting took place is downstairs & at the back of the school, it has it's own seperate entrance & a hallway to get to the downstairs class rooms (where the 2nd grade classroom is) they had the doors locked though, so you couldn't get to the classrooms from the gym because the school was technically closed, so I had to climb the outside stairs, go in, say hello to the school secretary & then go back downstairs inside the building to get to the classroom, I was still about 3 minutes early & stood around in the hall comparing mr 7's work with his classmates while the teacher finished the confrence before mine.        The confrence went well, mr7's doing well in math & science, doing ok in reading, not reading nearly enough, it's like pulling teeth to get him to do so. He's a lefty & they're having trouble getting him to space his words, otherwise all is ok. Then on to the line to vote. I'm still blown away by that, in 2004 I literaly walked in the door, voted & walked back out, no wait, other than while the nice lady confirmed my name & address, all of 20 seconds, the other 2 machines (we are talking a very small town here folks,) were empty & the only other person voting whom I encountered was a guy about my age walking in as I was walking out! & this was a presidential election in 2004! Most of the people on the line were elders, most of them knew each other well- that is one large drawback to moving to a small town where people tend to stay instead of leave, almost everyone knows each other & as someone they don't know they ignore you for the most part. I was 40 minutes in line, a lady I used to work with when I worked at a clothing factory here came in not too far behind me & so we chatted a little but when you work with someone, even for nearly 2 years, & have barely seen each other for 8 years there's not a lot you can talk about, especially when you're talking over 4 or 5 people. When we reached the registration table the lady in front of me remarked on the amount of people there, the pollster said they'd been out straight all day & hadn't had a break. & the woman who was in front of me remarked that the turnout was ok with her 'as long as everyone is voting the right way' I stood there fuming & reminding myself that at the very least my vote would cancel hers! (she & her husband had been rather loud in their praise of Allen for the senate- I don't think anyone who reads this blog regularly will be surprised that I voted for Webb, the Democrat) It looks now like Webb has won but the votes still so close that I'm sure we won't know for sure for awhile. After pressing the screen 5 or 6 times to choose my candidates & choices on 3 questions all of which went the opposite of how I voted! (I'm a blue person living in a red state, after nearly 10 continuous years - & 2 or 3 more off & on- I should be used to it by now but I keep hoping! Especially this year!) After finishing that I picked up the kids (I prefer to take them with me to vote but I don't like them to be in the room during parent teacher confrences I think it limits what you can say so they stayed home)

We went to 16's friend's house to pick her up & take her out with us errand running. This particular friend 16 has known since she was 3 & they were in library story time together along with head start, then we moved back to Mass & they lost touch, since they've been in highschool they've renewed their friendship. The friend's mother & I spent a lot of time together back then in 1993 & 1994 but we haven't seen a lot of each

other more than maybe an hour or two visiting here & there when dropping off or picking up kids. They recently moved & so I & 10 & 7 came in to see the new place, it is perfect for them, just like how things worked out for me at my new house, S had a list of things she wanted, like a big room she could use as a studio for her art & she got exactly what she wanted, theres a garage there attatched to the house & the opposite wall from where it's attatched to the ho

use is all windows- unusual in a garage but perfect for a studio! Then off to run errands, get some groceries, meet with a loan officer, I'm trying for a home equity loan to get stairs put in the house, finish the garage for an extra room & fix some plumbing problems (among other things, like pay off some old debts) probably going to be annother week before I know for sure on that I'm keeping my fingers crossed though!

  Today, I made my awsome Beef Bourgognonne, (that's how my mother spells it on the recipie anyway) it takes a lot of prep & has to simmer at least 2 or 3 hours but it's well worth it, it was rainy but not too cold today & yesterday here, it's been at least over 50 each day but with the rain it still seems colder.  So stew was in order, before starting I went to town to run some more errands, get my soy protein shake stuff (not the best tasting thing but I'm into normal size clothes- I've had some size 24 slacks I bought for like $5 on clearance which I've never been able to fit into & they button & zip up now! I couldn't even get them up over my ass 6 months ago! I can't sit down in them yet so I can't wear them to work yet but I'm getting there! That's the important thing) & that's from just not eating (much) sugar- I still eat a snack size bag of doritos at lunch on my work days & eat what ever we're having at home on my days off. I tried to exersize when I first started trying to behave myself with the sugar thing but I got so winded so easily that I gave up pretty quickly. The rest of the day- as I said the prep on the stew took over an hour- I spent cleaning up the house & online reading other peoples blogs. When the kids got home we got videos & then I made 10 & 7 angry by insisting they clean their rooms. For 7 this is an again, from last week, for 10 this is still- she has piles of stuff all over her room, 16 helped her 6 weeks ago to clean it all up & now it's back to disorder again. 16 gets mad about it but I know when she was 10 I still had to go help her clean her room some of the time - when it got really bad at least! I can't go help 10 because of the stairs or lack of stairs really, the ladder they use is ok for little people like them but I don't trust it & would not want to chance breaking it so I stay downstairs- annother reason I really want that loan so I can put in stairs. 

  Here's the recipie for the stew I made tonight, it is really my mothers but my ex & I adapted it to our own tastes & I love it!

 

Beef Bourgognonne

In heavy sauce pan slowly brown 3 lbs. stewbeef or beef cubes with 3T butter,  Sprinkle 2T of flour over meat & stir well, add 1 diced onion, 6 cloves of garlic coarsely chopped, 1T chopped parsely, 1t Thyme, 2 bay leaves, 6 whole or 2T allspice, 2 cans of beef consume, 1 bottle of burgundy cooking wine, (1/2 bottle if you're using real wine, not the cooking kind) bring to a boil, add 1 bag of baby carrots, reduce heat & simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring frequently, 10 minutes before serving add small whole onions to taste (I use frozen ones & we like onions so I use a whole, 8 oz bag) & 1 can of mushrooms, drained (I use a big can or 2 small ones, but then again, we like mushrooms alot) stir in 2T brandy & a pinch of salt. 

I usually serve this with parker house rolls, you'll have to look that recipie up, but tonight no one wanted to make rolls so we ran to the store & got pillsbury crescent rolls which miss 10 & mr 7 had a lot of fun rolling up & baking for dinner- its always nice when there's something simple they can help with. 

 

 


Posted by Becky at 8:39 PM EST
Saturday, November 4, 2006
The Book Meme

I've seen parts of this on other blogs, but some questions were on one & not on others so I took all the questions I could find about books & compiled my own meme. 

1. One book you have read more than once:
 Oh Please, I've re-read so many books it's not funny, for the most part if I own it I've read it at least twice.

2. One book you would want on a desert island:
  Only One? Yeah, that'll happen. Ok: The idiots guide to Island Living There should be one if there isn't already! I'll take any good, large survivalist manual in a pinch though

3. One book that made you laugh:
  Alamo House by Sarah Bird

4. One book that made you cry:
  Beach Music by Pat Conroy     

5. One book I wish I had written:
   Well, Anything good, I'm a wannabe writer but I'm sure I won't even be able to begin trying until I'm retired    

6. One book you wish had never been written:
   I don't really belive Any book shouldn't be written, or should be banned.   

7. Total books owned, ever:
 TOO many! I probably have owned over a thousand, I currently have, not counting my childrens book collection (many of which were mine before they were theirs) about 500.

8. Last book you read:
  Just Finished Wicked: the life & times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

9. One book that you are currently reading:
   The Ghost in the Gazebo, an anthology of New England Ghost stories Edited by Edward Lodi

10. One book you mean to read but haven't yet:
  The Shelters of Stone, by Jean M Auel, I've been meaning to, really, I read all the others, but it was a long time ago & I just can't seem to get into it.
   
11. Favorite Author:
  Stephen King

12. Favorite Ongoing series:
  Harry Potter by JK Rowling

13. Favorite Defunct series:
  ? would the Lord of the Rings Qualify? is a trillogy a series?

14. Book that everyone Raved about but you couldn't get into:
   anything by Jackie Collins.

15. Book you wish you wrote:
   oh, Anything that's really well written

16. Your favorite style of book:
  Just fiction, with a fairly heavy historical bent.

17. Last Book you bought:
 In a store: Kill two Birds & get Stoned by Kinky Freidman
 by bookclub: Between Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson
18. One book that changed your life:

19. Five books that mean a lot to you:
 This is like trying to choose between my kids- just not possible-
  Survivor by Tabitha King
  Come Spring by Ben Ames Williams
  The Mommy Club by Sarah Bird
  The Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon
  A Vision of Light & all the other books by Judith Merkle Riley

20. If you wrote a book would it be porn,Twisted comedy or horror?:
   A little of each I'd have to say.


Posted by Becky at 2:40 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, November 4, 2006 3:29 PM EST
Wednesday, November 1, 2006
Halloween & a Ghost (?) story
Now Playing: Drive by Blind Melon
Topic: Family Business

Halloween is over & it's back to the grind, Last night was fun, not spectacular, I was actually rather disapointed in my company's halloween setup, there were some stand out parts, the IT department in particular stands out - the little ones actually got tentative & jumped when the scare came- something I would have doubted would happen any longer, Miss 16, when we went to get her after school yesterday, had drawn spider webs on her face & looked pretty cool, I didn't make it halfway through the evening with my earings in. (I'd borrowed a pair of 16's big hoop earrings as I was playing gypsy fortune teller) miss 10 skulked around like her big sister- true to her goth teenager costume & mr 7's face paint looked very skull like & my black cape worked very well as a reapers cloak if I do say so myself. One of my co-workers didn't recognize me as we were walking towards each other I guess because my makeup was bright, if I wear makeup at all it's usually just mascara & along with the kids I put on full face makeup & everything for the fun of it. After about an hour at my work we left & headed to our town, on the way we saw my former mother in law at a store putting gas in her car & stopped so she could see the kids in their costumes, that was nice, I seldom see her anymore, everyone's so busy all the time. We stopped at family member's houses & at a church near our old trailer where they have a 'trunk or treat' where everyone parks in one place & the kids just go from car to car to collect their treats, the kid's school had one of these also but they had it on Friday night rather than Saturday or on Halloween & I work Friday nights so we didn't get to go to that. We came home & immediately I was under pressure from miss 10 & mr 7 to call it a night & give up on the idea that more trick or treaters might come by. I'd left a big bowl of candy on the porch while we were gone & there was some gone so I know some people came by at one point or annother- I was hoping we might get a few more but we didn't, we arrived home at a little after 8 & for over a half an hour the kids kept telling me to 'pack it in' & 'give it up' that no one was coming, I thought they wanted me to come in the house & hang out with them but it turns out they were waiting for me to give up so they could divide the remainder of the candy we bought for trick or treaters between themselves! 

  Today I've been cleaning house, man does it drive me nuts when I find that people have been throwing things into the trash by bouncing what they're throwing away off the wall! I had purchased surface cleaner yesterday & used nearly half the bottle cleaning door jambs, walls & the sides of the fridge, stove & washer. not to mention the table, microwave & computer desk. (all the while worrying that the desk would fall over- it's more than a little shaky) I've done annother 3 loads of laundry over & above the 3 I did yesterday, it doesn't help that when 10 & 7 got home from school & I asked where all the towels are they went to their respective rooms & came back with about 8 towels! I could do annother load of laundry before I'm done tonight- & of course the more I wash, the longer I'll be up since I always like to have everything folded before I go back to work on Thursday morning. I got up early for me, something woke me up this morning which sounded like someone tossing a handful of pebbles against my window. No one was out there, I went out to see if the tree's branches were grown enough to hit the window, they aren't, we didn't have any tv activity yesterday though, which we usually get on holidays, the tv in my garage turns off & on by itself a lot. Over the first 3-4 months we lived here I've had the experience multiple times of seeing through the windows between the living room or dining room that the tv is on, going out to turn it off & when I'm halfway across the cement floor to where the tv is situated the tv will just turn itself off. The tv has no stuck buttons, I've tried it in 4 different outlets, with & with out surge protectors, it does not work with the dish remote so it's not like the remote is malfunctioning & I've tried other tvs out there (Chrissie's tv most recently) It doesn't matter, if it's of a mind to do so it does it, the satellite box stays on or off though, however it was left is how it is- though once we went out there & it had been moved off of the tv & set beside it on the floor- not like it fell, it's a delicate piece of electronic equipment- with a hard drive, if it had fallen it certainly would have been damaged- & no one had been home for hours- we were all out together. Last year around the middle of October it was doing it constantly & I got fed up, I got up to go to the bathroom & it was off, came back through from the bathroom & it was on. I opened the door to the garage & said 'look, just stop, you can come visit once in awhile but I can't take this all the time' I worked on Thanksgiving but miss 16 mentioned in passing that the tv was off & on all day, I was home for Christmas & it was flashing like lightning all day long- at Easter I told Chrissie about it when she got here & sure enough all night the night before Easter & off & on all day it went off & on. I have seen & heard it occasionally at night since then & Chrissie was living out in the garage all summer, she said the dog especially was very concerned with noises & things she couldn't hear or see every time she was in there with Chris. I definitley felt weird about the sounds I heard this morning, it woke me right up & I can sleep through most anything, I've been known to sleep through neighbors knocking on the door wanting to use the phone. (well maybe a little of that was not wanting to deal with the neighbor)


Posted by Becky at 6:09 PM EST
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Happy Halloween!
Now Playing: Mary Jane by Alanis Morisette
Topic: Family Business

Warning, if you're on dial up go get your costume on while  you wait for this to load- lotta pictures! 

 

I'm just basically waiting around for the kids to get home from school, I have an hour left to wait & then we have to hustle the costumes on & go to my work (Why,when they're supposed to be providing a 'warm, safe place to celebrate halloween for the comunity' would they only have the place open from 4 to 6?) Miss 16 was going to opt out of this little excursion but has changed her mind essentially at the last minute, she just text messaged me from her feild trip to the exon station in town (?) to say to come get her & take her with us to my work. What does one  do on a feild trip to a gas station? Well, it's an art class, it could be anything. After the trip to my own personal house of horrors (that's work, I mean) we're going back to town for the 'trunk or treat' at a former neighbors church. 

  Yesterday we carved the pumpkins & had a great time, except miss 16, she's moping around because the boyfriend was here this weekend & her missing him is intensified by having seen him- man, I'm glad I'm not there anymore! She carved her pumpkin last, pretty much after the rest of us were through & since I was making dinner I didn't

get a picture of her pumpkin, Mr 7's pumpkin is supposed to be a grave, with the moon behind it & hands reaching up out of the grave. Miss 10's is a witch stiring up a spirit & mine is a reaper skull with flames around it, I also carved a Crypt keeper type face for my work, we have decorating competitions & pumpkin carving competitions & costume competitions,  I'm not parcticularly competitive but most of my co-workers are & since I knew I'm a good pumpkin carver volunteered to do the pumpkin especially since in the scheme of things, my desk in our 'pod' is the least decorated (we did a horror movie theme & everyone got a movie to decorate our desk as-mine was the fly- I can't afford fake drool! - Pictures to follow of the work desks, work & costumes in general) I usually dress up as a Hippie or a Heavy Metal mistress (ok, that one I haven't used in a few years) but as everyone keeps pointing out to me my costumes don't look to terribly different from my every day clothes- I'm going as a gypsy today, not, once again, that I look too different from regular clothes once again, it's the makeup & the scarf on my head & the jewlery which is supposed to make the look!


 

  


Posted by Becky at 2:55 PM EST
Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Feeling better physically today but not psychicly, yesterday was the closest I've ever come to quiting my job, call after call, I got this tone from customers & a few times in so many words customers said to me: 'You don't know what you're talking about- let me talk to someone else' I do know what I'm talking about - the problem is we have 2 new call centers which are supposed to be doing tech like we do in my call center, both of these call centers are just starting out & are still really learning the ropes of how to do the job- I've been there 5+ years, I can do the job- even the hard parts- in my sleep. But because customers are talking to people new at their job who are feeding them misinformation multiple times when they talk to me who can actually tell them what is wrong with their stuff & how to fix it they don't want to hear it 'the last person said it was this- you don't know what you're talking about' I've heard about enough of that to last me the rest of my life!  On top of that the computer program from hell was acting up, 2 minutes, just to be able to see if the person I was talking to was who's account I was looking at. & I got handed quality assessments which harped on my 'tone' saying that I lacked enthusiasam, I have a cold & a sore throat, I'm barely croaking & if I leave work much more I'm going to get written up & they want me to sound more cheerful & enthusiastic, oh & I'm supposed to apologize more- I'm sorry when someone calls me & says I just unhooked my tv, vcr, dvd & dbs box & now I don't know how to hook them back up I'm supposed to say I'm sorry?  Sure, how about 'I'm sorry you're too stupid to do that - here's how!' So I got upset & emotional after a particularly rude person asked me 3 times to transfer him to a tech & ignored me saying I was a tech & could help him with anything he needed & then hung up on me before I could prove that I could fix his problem & I signed out of my computer & went to the bathroom & had a good cry, then I went & talked to my boss when I thought I was calmed down again & he was a jerk about the whole thing, turns out he's about as unenthused with being there as I am & told me he'd given his boss his security pass as a gesture that he wanted to quit the other day! He couldn't give me details on what he wants to quit over but it seems they're putting even more load on the supervisors over us than they already have & he's against it. So I'm not the only one looking at a newspaper today checking out other jobs, hoping theres something there that could give me something like what I'm making now, after 5+ years where I work.

(I should probably mention I'm pretty sure I'm premenstrual, that's probably why I had such a hard time with work yesterday, but really, the people I talk to are getting ruder & more hateful in general, I'm sure that's got to do with the stressful atmosphere we all live in, with uncertanity & crazy stuff like North Korea & Iraq going on)

  Looking at the newspaper I purchased this morning to look for a new job (I am serious that I'm at least going to check around) got me thinking, when I worked full time before I had kids, my newspaper reading was done on the way to work (I rode the bus for the most part) & at some jobs at work before I started work. When 16 was a baby & very young & I was a stay at home (welfare- I admit) mom & I read the Boston Globe every day, when we first moved to VA I did the same thing, though the newspaper was a different entity here, much more casual & I thought, conservative, One of the things which always amused me is I'd roll my eyes at the conservative tone of the editorials & then, 2 days later someone would have a letter in the paper taking the paper to task for their liberal views! When Miss 10 was a baby I worked with the ex at a oil change shop & had time to read the paper while on the job.  But when we moved back to VA in 1997 we were way too poor to be able to get a newspaper everyday & I got out of the habit, I could afford to subscribe or to pick one up now but while I have the money I don't have the time to read it, now I read the local paper which comes out once a week, if I'm lucky to find the time!  I miss reading the paper but at the same time I'm not sure it's neccesarily a bad thing not to read the paper all the time, after all, the information is slanted which ever way the writer wants it to be slanted, not that the information on tv isn't. Look at fox news after all. But I like to at least hope I'm getting slightly more neutral news through the tv set than I would if I had time to read it all. Really though, the point here was that I miss reading a paper every day! 


Posted by Becky at 6:48 PM EDT
Saturday, October 21, 2006

Annother day ruined by cleaning! well, not ruined, but everyone's mad at me now. However the house is clean & that's the important thing, well, ok not really clean, but it's picked up & half the front yard is mowed because miss 16 could tell I was going to make her help me a lot so she volunteered to go out & take care of the front yard grass, which I appreciate since it's getting tall, both the push mower & the ride on mower aren't working & I don't have extra money for gas which I know is the problem with the push mower. so she used the weed whacker to cut part of the grass & is taking a break before going back to finish, the other thing on my agenda is to begin putting plastic on my bad windows, some windows are tight & good, some are loose & bad so I'm going to plastic them, I intended to do it last year & we found it wasn't too bad but since last year was a fairly warm winter (according to the weather men, in the course of history it was a relatively warm one anyway) I figure it would be a good idea to try the plastic this year.

   Otherwise not much going on here, I complet

ed my agenda before 1pm, which is pretty good. Now it's all relaxing & trying to decide if I want to go out or not, We're invited to an anniversary party but everyone but miss 10 is sick including me, I'm not as sick as miss 16 & mr 7 but I'm getting there, unless I drink water pretty much constantly my throat starts to feel like theres splinters in it & more so today than

previously I'm getting a really bad stuffy nose, I'm beginning to talk myself out of going especially since there's going to be at least 1 little child & I don't want to be responsible for her getting sick with this miserable beast of a cold. Yep, just talked myself out of it! Anyway, the hard drive is full of stuff I've recorded but not watched yet. Boring I know! Since my head feels like it's stuffed full of cotton I just don't have much to say.


 


Posted by Becky at 3:00 PM EDT
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Wednesday Wonderings
Now Playing: Stone in Love by Journey
Topic: Rambling on

I actually acomplished somethings during these days off! Some weeks by noon on Thursday I feel like I've done nothing but dishes & laundry that I can point to as acomplishments from my days off. This week, we got pumpkins, I have new spring bulbs to plant & I put insulation behind my bathtub to try to keep the bathroom warmer this winter (of course I haven't gone to the basement to staple more insulation up beneath the bathroom where it all fell down last winter nor have I stapled any in the garage where a couple of the walls are still bare) But I did the bathroom, I also did a ton of laundry, cooked a nice meal last night, picked up the house a couple times (it keeps getting messy - damn gremlins) listened to a dozen books read by mr 7, helped miss 10 with her homework in general & thoroghly pissed miss 16 off about ten times, just by giving my opinions on the dramas she has going on in her life- I guess I'm supposed to just listen, not express an opinion? I also wasted a lot of time playing mahjong solitaire, my new personal favorite game & definitely a time waster. But like many time wasters, video games, piano playing, embroidery & painting it puts me into a state of mind in which strange things come to me, I've been thinking about a guy I talked to at work on the phone who was from Woodstock Vermont. a place I've been multiple times, an old friend of mine had been there with annother friend of hers who was a native. the friend took me there to see the places her friend had shown her. Then I visited at least two other times on my own, once with a boyfriend & once with my grandmother. All the times I went there we stopped at  a really lovely resturant which served probably the best french onion soup I've ever had to this date. I told this guy that I'd been there & asked if the resturant was still there & he said yes, it was & that they still had great french onion soup, that was the entire exchange but it was a moment which I still remember, (it was probably about 2 years ago now) I think about all kinds of weird things while I'm playing video games or doing the other things I listed. I belive I do quite a bit of healing mentaly doing things like that, I know when I am busy or read a lot during my days off & don't get much time to just play around I usualy feel very not-ready to go back to work at the end of my time off.

Mahjong holds an odd facination for me also because when I was a kid I recieved my mother's doll house & a large box of stuff to go with it, there was furniture, miniatures & dolls in the box but also a lot of little things, dominoes, dice of all sizes & colors, game pieces of many descriptions & even little statues of some of the presidents, about 3 inches tall with their name inscribed on the base (there were about 5, Madison, Polk, JQ Adams Taft & Taylor. I still remember the names!) & about 20 or 30 mahjong tiles, I didn't know that was what they were, my mother didn't seem to either, she had many of them wrapped in paper & decorated to look like cereal boxes, books & gifts in her doll house but didn't know what the tiles were for (or at least she told me she didn't) she plays mahjong solitare too though so I guess she knows now! she grew up with 3 younger brothers though, & always said that the doll house was not just used by her - her brothers all used it too.

  Theres all kinds of stuff I'm supposed to be doing, my kids get state insurance, the state recently confirmed my ex's military status & now are pestering me to get my kids hooked up with the ex's military insurance. never mind that we've already had very bad dealings with the military insurance when he was in the navy back when we were only seperated, not actually divorced ( I went to counseling to determine if I wanted to stay married & to help me deal with him getting involved with a 19 year old girl right in our small town & moving in with her, he went awol from the navy while I was still in counseling & they ended up charging my doctor's office - where I was seeing the counselor- for visits they'd already paid for. It took me 4 years to pay that off- $20. here, $10. there. I don't want to be in that postition again & I hate to ask the doctor- same doctor for me & all 3 kids- I prefer a gp that way. To run that risk again.)



Today is a ladybug day too, This is one of those things I never saw in Massachusetts which I love about Virginia, it's 73 outside after 2 miserable, cold rainy days & ladybugs are swarming everwhere it's sunny at my house, on my porch & my back door. I took a picture but you can't really see them all hovering in the sun, Later I found they're swarming in at my back door- so here's a picture of that too. 

 I've been alternately working on a meme & looking at pictures of ghosts, I love scary stuff & there are tons of websites which have all kinds of stuff real & photo shopped available to look at, I bet they all get a ton of traffic at this time of year but I'm into that stuff all year long. I'm also looking for info on how to put some of the pictures I have on my hard drive on a disc, more at my ex's request than my own, he sent a ton of pictures to miss 10 & they're clogging up her email storage- he suggested we move them to a cd rom for storage, easy for him but I'm something of a computer novice, I know how to do what I do every day but I don't even know where to look to move them to a cd- maybe miss 16 does. Of course, I can't do anything until I actually invest in some cd roms!

  Just got my Receptor on my satellite dish for my internet changed out, this guy just showed up at my door & said he was here to replace it free of charge! Up on the roof he climbed & changed it out & climbed back down, took all of 10 minutes, I didn't even have to reboot the computer!  Maybe that will help with my intermitent signal problems, (I think it's a tree- the guy said a different tree than the one I was worried about though- annother reason to take down the pines behind my house! Now I just need a chain saw or someone motivated to do it- preferably not with cash)  He was telling me that what we're hearing at my work is correct no new installs until December- I had the option to learn to troubleshoot that too. but there was no raise involved, more work, more to remember but no financial compensation? I don't think so- anyway I'd have had to change shifts too & I LOVE my shift!!! After all, I only work 2 days in a row, it's always a Monday or a Friday for me (Credit to my boss for those immortal words!) & there's not that many 4 day a week 10 hour a day shifts available. The only valid reasons to learn to troubleshoot wild blue would have been because I wanted to go on days 9 to 530, (I don't) or because I wanted to learn about it (I do- but not enough to change shifts) 

   I'm looking forward to halloween week because I took a paid day off for the monday of that week, just for something to do! I have 3 or 4 left & while I have to save one for Christmas & I'm taking one for my birthday I didn't have any other reasons to take any, I might not even need one for Christmas, Last year we were supposed to work & were swapped off, we worked the tuesday after Christmas & had Christmas day off. I'm hoping they'll do that again, it changes every year, I've worked 2 out of 5 Christmases, I don't like to do it (I've actually changed my schedule in other years in order to have the holiday off) Lately though, we've been swapped off so we didn't have to work that day, this year though, because my group had it off last year, I think I may need that paid day off. I've started setting an alarm on my phone to make myself get off the computer before my little ones get home from school on Wednesdays so I can really concentrate on them & my song is playing on the phone so it's time to sign off- I've been rather incoherent & rambling if I do say so myself!

Posted by Becky at 2:41 PM EDT
Monday, October 16, 2006
100 things about me (The End of It!)
Topic: 100 things about me

9. Even before the internet I was a sucker for quizes, now I do at least a few every time I get online.

8. I am a music addict, I'm not too terribly picky, I like most all rock & folk, not too fond of country, rap or hip hop though
 
7. my birthday is november 26, I'm a Sagitarius but I am nothing like the descriptions of sagitariuses, they're supposed to be competitive, outgoing, loud, friendly & cheerful.

6. While I strive to be cheerful, the other descriptions are not me, I hate competitiveness & I am introverted, quiet & rather standoffish when it comes to meeting new people. I do really poorly in party & bar situations & would much rather be at home reading a book than at a party or whatever- for the most part that is, I like to go out occasionally
 
5. I come from a naturally depressive family, on my mothers side depression is a way of life, I strive not to be that way & take St. Johnswort to help prevent it, for the first 3 years after I began using the st johnswort I was truly afraid to go without it at all, nowadays, I sometimes forget to take it on my days off & I've gone a couple of weeks without it when I couldn't afford it. I can feel it's absence after a week or so though & its with relief that I buy it again & go back to 'normal'

4. I once read in a book about astrology that the 'sagitarius mother' likes her kids better once they're out of the baby stage & can interact with her, I thought that was terrible as a teenager when I read it, how could you not love a baby, I did love my kids as babies but I do find now that they're all out of the baby stage that they are a lot more fun when you can talk to them!

3. I breastfed all three of my kids, the first 2 stopped at age 2, the oldest on her own, the second because her father wanted her to (she still has issues) & the youngest stopped in his third year, when he was ready to. (dad was out of the picture by then & 900 miles away & so had nothing to say on the matter)

2. I'm a gamer from way back, I was addicted to atari 2600 games from the time I was 11 or 12, especially Megamania & Space Invaders, Tetris for about 3 years & Then it was Sonic games for the Sega my ex got me for my 25th birthday. Now I play spider solitaire, Mahjong & bejewled on the computer & my cell phone.

1. I'm out of things to say!

Posted by Becky at 8:18 PM EDT

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