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Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Annother Crazy week,
Now Playing: Too Much Time on My Hands by Styx (exact opposite of my life)

It has been Crazy since I had time to sit down & write, I have been healing my lungs from their cough by not talking & drinking a ton of water (carrying 3 1 liter bottles to work every day all last week) It's. helping a bit, my garden is getting greener, unfortunatley that is because the weeds are encroaching! The tomatoes looked tall though, (I haven't had the time to actually go & look at them up close just out my back door's window so far) Friday I did my day at work & then took off with Chrissea on a whirlwind trip to Massachusetts & back, read about it on her blog here. Got back Sunday night barely with time to take a shower & get some sleep before back to work on Monday (called in sick Sunday from Mass) During all this my right shoulder is messed up, I slept on it wrong Thursday night, then sleeping for an hour or 2 in the car Friday night didn't help, Saturday it was stiff & sore but not too bad, then we moved Chris's stuff out of her apartment & it really took off. I couldn't move my arm above shoulder level with out serious pain. It did not get better between Sunday morning & coming home, typing at work was an ordeal & then today I had promised to take the kids swimming at a local campground which has a pool with a reasonable charge for non campers to use it. we had a great time, then went out for pizza & finaly to a drug store where I got some Icy Hot type stuff & a couple of hot compress things to try to relieve my shoulder, a co worker who used to be a cna said I may have torn my rotor cuff but the fact that it gets better with Icy hot & was also pretty loose in the pool water makes me think it's muscles not the joint.
As long as it's gone by july when we go on vacation I don't really mind, Of course the other thought, as I wince while raising my right arm to the keyboard to type I hope its not carpal tunnal syndrome! of course it's the shoulder & carpal tunnal is usualy in the hands & wrists, I had a boss once who had been a fry cook most of his life & had to retire due to this & for the last 6 months I worked with him I watched him just stand around & look at his hands & flex them as if he couldn't belive they'd betray him so. Also my jobs as a clothing inspector & now typing 40+ hours a week aren't good for that sort of thing. The Swimming went well, the kids had a blast & all jumped in the pools before I could get sunblock on them, I hauled them back out after a half an hour or so & put the sunblock on but I can see now that the damage was already done! everyone's bright red (except me- I have the sense to apply early & often!) It's not my fault no one listens to me & they end up bright red like lobsters, I've been there so many times myself. It was like a ritual to run away from my mother when it came time for the sunblock applying.

Back in the 70's we had only the one 'block out' sunblock. I actually liked the smell at least, I just didn't want to stand still that long! Now I have moles that I have to check at least every 6 months to make sure they haven't changed color or gotten larger! & my kids are just like I was, maybe a little worse? What with their fathers hyper-activity & all. They see the pool & they're off, 'what sun? we don't need sunblock, see, it's cloudy right now' (for about 3 minutes as a fluffy cloud passes over!)
All in all it has been a busy week & I'm glad I don't have to go any further than town tommorow. I just want to rest & weed the garden in preparation for the vacation coming up in July, 3 weeks from yesterday is the date we leave!

Posted by Becky at 10:03 PM EDT
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Thirteen Things about my 10 year old in honor of her birthday on June 11.
Topic: Thursday Thirteen

1 She could not sit still to be read to or even watch a tv show untill she
was about 6 or 7.
2 She does not see well due to a lazy eye & She does not like her glasses
3 When she was born The Stanley cup final playoff game was on (this was
1996 & it went into multiple sudden death overtimes) my ex watched this
while I walked around. when I said it was time to go to the hospital he
kept saying, 'ok, just wait annother minute, it's gotta end soon' finally
I said no, we have got to go NOW. she was born 10 minutes after we arrived
at the hospital & my ex saw the end of that game 5 years later on espn
4 If she could have seen better she would have beaten her brother's 8
months walking record. As it was she still walked at 10 months,
5 She is stubborn as the day is long
6 She suffers from middle child syndrome & will tell you so in so many words
7 She is going to be the one who gives me a run for the money during the
teenage years. as if she wasn't already a challenge
8 She is sweet as pie when all is going her way but don't do what she
wants or worse yet cross her & watch out!
9 She's going to be a beauty
10 She has 4 scars on her face, 2 seperate ones from the same dog (my ex
wasn't home the first time the dog knocked her down & scratched her & he
insisted the dog couldn't have done it- the next time she had to have 9
stitches in her temple & 1 in the corner of her lip. Dog did not stay
annother day in our house thank god.) she also has a lovely scar on her
lip from her sister throwing a vaseline jar at her (don't ask)
11 She always wants to be right in the middle of things, dosen't matter
what things they are, I can be online reading & she begs to sleep on the couch as if she was worried she might miss something.
12 She always want's to be helpful when I'm doing things she always comes
right over & pitches in. After a few minute if it's not her cup of tea
she'll just say flat out: I'm done with this, see ya.
13 She likes to read a lot so far.

Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 21, 2006 11:21 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 14, 2006

What Famous Leader Are You?
personality tests by similarminds.com

Posted by Becky at 4:59 PM EDT
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Home again
Now Playing: Can't find My way Home by Blind Faith
Topic: Rambling on

{{{{The Birthday girl
It's always fun to roll up on my house when the kids don't expect me home. on a normal day they have a good idea of when I'll show up & they always strive (or miss 16 & miss 10 do anyway) to make it look as if they've been cleaning up all day. But I know better & days like this when I come home sick (or like last year when they were sending us home an hour or 2 early every few days) are always amusing. They come to the door & windows & stare at me like I'm some interloper & then go running around like crazy trying to pick up everything - today they sent their brother out to the car to stall me. this didn't work because it was 4:15 pm & he was schlepping around in his sisters outgrown long sleeved shirt & a pair of pajama pants with a big hole in a very inconvenient spot! we had a 3 minute discussion about exactly why he was wearing what he was wearing (I have never known anyone with more shrugs to his name, he has a shrug for every occasion & they all say something different to me!- this one said 'It seemed like a good idea at the time' as near as I could make out)
& off to the house we went, people were running around frantically behind the door, throwing dirty laundry here there & everywhere, dishes were being rushed from the coffee table in the living room & the dining room table to the sink, alas there they still sit, once busted, 16 seems to think she's done & is absolved of all responsibillity for everything which did not get done. At dinner time miss 10 came to me to ask what was for dinner & I told her to go check with the person in charge. (I was lying down, trying to rest my voice & throat at the time- fat chance in this house!) Miss 16 was very offended at this comment, I got the standard "Mom, you're here, I'm not in charge" screech when her sister told her dinner was on her tonight. "just pretend I'm not here" I told her which she responded to by growling in that charming way 16 year olds can.
Dinner got made though, I'm bowing out of it because somehow either the juciyness in my lungs is working it's way down or I've caught some other sort of nasty bug & my stomach is terribly unsettled this evening.
There are nice things about being home though, the not working part is nice right now especially since work is an exersize in frustration (we released info on our website which is misleading & I spent the majority of the 5 & 1/2 hours I did work verbally sparring with people who think because they watch tv shows with lawyers on them that they're every bit as good as those tv lawyers) We'll see how the missing work feels when the paycheck comes in though, that's not always so great. Also it's nice to relax with the kids (not 16, she's got friends over, school ended 6/1 & she's making the most of it- 'I'll never be 16 again, you know mom!' yes, we can hope not anyway) Especially since today is the day miss 10 became miss 10 rather than miss 9. Party to follow on my next real day off- Tuesday. It's all about her today, she got to sit on the couch, pet the dog first & tell me all about the cartoons they watched this morning.
In other news we replaced 16's cell phone again, you'd think we'd learn, buy from ebay once & have a bad experience, don't do it again. But no, she was shopping & found 'the phone' (cue: choir of angels)so I put it on the beleagured credit card & 7 days later (2-3 day shipping my eye) it appeared, then the nice people on the phone from the cell phone company said that it wasn't theirs. So I had to take it to their office & they were able to activate it but now it says it's roaming every time she tries to use it to call out. very interesting, if it's not the correct companys phone that roaming thing is exactly the sort of thing the phone would do. I do not have the patientice to talk to their technical support people tonight though, after all, that's what I left work to escape, stupid people trying to troubleshoot themselves & messing things up worse than they were before they started! At least I know enough to admit that I know nothing when it comes to cell phones & leave it alone since I'm not feeling up to it right now!

Posted by Becky at 8:41 PM EDT
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Do you have to count it at all?
Now Playing: Tesla Song & Emotion

I was looking at other peoples blogs tonight, as good a reason as any to not be folding clothes, weeding the garden or even blogging. & I noticed a few people celebrating their 100th entry or their 200th etc. for a few minutes I wondered how anal they could be, if they'd sat there & counted how many they'd done or what, then when I actually came around to put an entry on here I found the blog tool does it for you, this is my 61st entry. I think, I deal with too many numbers in a day to hold one in my head for more than a few minutes unless I'm making a special effort to hold it- yet I still remember all the phone #s I've had & most of my childhood friends phone #s from when we were kids- not since, they've all had too many different #s for me to be able to keep track {Hi Chrissie!} scary though, these numbers just pop out at random but I can't remember how many calls I took at work & if I logged them all or not (well, I do know today, because my boss wasn't there to tell me so I could check how many he said I took versus how many I logged so I could fill in the log with random calls to look like I filled it out correctly for every call I took- I took 50 calls, not good, I averaged 65 before our computer program change)I prefer not to count anything, change, how many sodas I drank today, how many times I logged out at work to go to the bathroom because of all those sodas, how many times I've seen the dog chase the cat past my desk here or how many times one child or another has run past naked...hey, how did he come thru twice from the same direction? {yo! we don't go outside naked! You're 6 years old for heavens sake! I thought you knew this...} (& I wonder where those gray hairs are coming from!- yes annother thing I'd prefer not to count)
I like to count hours I don't have to be at work, paid days off & stupid coca cola rewards points from all those soda caps I'm saving off the sodas I'm drinking! Counting the days til my vacation is getting pretty exciting since in 10 more minutes it'll be 30 days. 16 had a counter on her my space site to count down the days until her boyfriend came for a visit maybe I need one of those? Nah, the kids'll keep me posted, they're already drawing big red X's over the days as we get through each one.
I was brought up anti grading, IQ testing etc. so of course as a teenager & young adult that interested me the most- I wanted to be tested, anyalized & pigenholed to the best of anyone's abillity. Even so, I still have never taken a 'real' IQ test, just the ones online. I find it hard to associate my children's grades with how they're actually doing, the younger ones are graded with #s, 1 being poor, 4 being excellent, miss 9 is going to be going into 4th grade this next year & they switch to a,b,c etc. grades that year, for which I will be profoundly grateful, I just can't get the # system, it all seems poor to me, I don't see what the difference between a 2 & a 3 is (there's this nagging evil 'dad' at the back of my head that says if it wasn't a 4 it just wasn't good enough too which I would love to silence) the numbers are just too random for me. they all passed their grades, 9 did ok, 6 did great. 16 did pretty well, she lets personality clashes with teachers affect her grades too much(I think) You might think this is some sort of dyscalculia, but it isn't I'm not afraid of or confused by numbers, I just would prefer not to think about them in regards to 'how I'm doing' My grandmother hates numbers so much that she can't stand to look at calendars & when we lived together would tell me when she wrote something on the calendar to verbally remind her a day or two before something came up because she just wouldn't be able to look at the calendar. She prefers not to know what time it is & constantly is late sending birthday & christmas cards, the time just gets away from her, understandable pushing 90 but 10-15 years ago a little worrysome, or at least so some of my family thought, I just thought of it as one of her odd things. Now I belive she has dyscalculia but she'd laugh if I brought it up to her.
Still, it all counts, how you do in school, how you do at work, it counts for you, it counts against you. All this petty little stuff like did you say 'thank you for calling' or 'thank you for choosing' or did you write the check before or after the money posted in the checking account. (when we all know it only matters if the check arrived at the bank before or after the money posted into the checking account!) The really important stuff like how many times you hugged your kid or how many stories you read to them when they were sick instead of sticking them in front of the tv or how many shooting stars you saw while lying outside on a summer night don't count like they should.

Posted by Becky at 12:24 AM EDT
Wednesday, June 7, 2006
Days off are more work than days at work
Now Playing: Finger Eleven One Thing

Just got back from a hike in Patrick County, ( more pictures are here I managed half the hike & let 16, her Boyfriend & Chris-sea's daughter finish it. miss 9 & mr 6 & I stayed in the primitive campsites & went wading in the river & met butterflies. They were mad at first that I wouldn't let them go on ahead on the hike but we had enough fun that they got over it pretty quickly. I am still sick- stuffed up & have a sore throat but my voice is nearly back to normal which is a good thing. I had to take both last Friday & Sunday off. (I already had Saturday off) I get in the same amount of trouble for taking 2 days off in the same block of time as if I took 1 so since Saturday began a different week & I couldn't talk any better Sunday morning than I could Friday morning I decided it was better to just rest my voice.
We've been to the river to swim (I stayed out of the water, my voice got noticeably worse after the last time we swam)To dinner at Kabukis & to town with 16's boyfriend who came in from Kentucky for a week's visit, today we not only went on the hike, we drove on the Parkway & enjoyed the views & also a bunch of old car enthusiasts from North Carolina were driving all over the parkway with their beautiful old cars. Driving my PT Cruiser around these 70's, 60's & 50's beauties made me feel like an impostor- 16 accused me of being more into the cars than the views, I have, of course, seen the views a thousand times & it's not every day you see a baby blue mint condition Corvair! my only complaint is that there were not enough Mustangs for my taste. All in all though, it was a lot of fun, the kids accuse me of never wanting to do anything like just drive around on the parkway anymore. The reason I used to do that sort of thing more before was the horror of our old trailer, if it got too much to bear or too hot, smelly or upsetting to look at we'd all pile in the car & drive around. Nowadays I'd rather be at home because I like home (except that it's a mess right now- with 7 people here that's no surprise!)I'd rather be at home than almost anywhere else & especially in my garden which is in need of some serious attention, all this showing around & sight seeing has kept me from it for a week now & tommorow I have to go back to work, (for 2 whole days - oh wah!! what a big baby I am, I've worked 5 in a row between days off previously & I know how good I've got it- really I do! Of course no matter how good it is it could always be better & I've got to go mess around in the garden before we go swiming or something else.

Posted by Becky at 4:53 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 7, 2006 5:02 PM EDT
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
I'm a million different people from one day to the next...
Now Playing: Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve
Topic: Rambling on

It's not funny how conflicted I can be with just general life...
On the one hand I hate learning this new computer system at work, it's cumbersome & agravating, because we're alpha testers theres glitches, bugs & stuff you just can't do.
On the other hand I'm flattered that they think so highly of us in my group that they put us on this - after all everyone will have to use it eventually, I'm just one of about 50 that are learning it early & making suggestions to the improvement of it.
I'm conflicted over what I'm going to do on my next two days off, I need to go get flats to get my vegetable garden under way. this is also my last two days off without the kids & I'd like to enjoy the peace & quiet while I have it. I'm conflicted over that too though, I feel guilty for savoring the peace so much I do love having the kids around - it's just a different feeling around the house & I can't spend as much time here in front of the computer!
It will be nice though, to be able to pick up & go out when I want to, just get the kids in the car & go, we'll be spending a bunch of time up on the parkway, hiking & picnicing. I hope to spend a lot of time around the house, in the garden, painting the rooms, rearranging & generaly getting more settled in the house (It was a year may 26 & it STILL doesn't seem real...I have to keep reminding myself on my way home from work where I'm going)
I'm conflicted about my weight & health problems, I'm craving chocolate almost constantly & I'm not supposed to be eating sugar, I do pretty well on work days about not eating it but when I'm home I have a lot of trouble restraining myself. Add to that the fact that because of my mother's & grandmothers history of high blood pressure, heart disease etc. I shouldn't be eating salt & fat either. That leaves very little, vegetables & fruits, lean meat like chicken & fish. That's about it & all that stuff unless you're talking about canned or frozen is expensive & I can't afford to feed everyone that stuff so I don't eat, just get frozen dinners for work & cheat my way through my days off.
I'm conflicted about the kids, I want them to be free & have their own opinions & be self sufficient but I can't not yell when their independent decisions don't include cleaning their rooms or bringing dirty laundry downstairs (& then being mad at me that they don't have any clean shorts on a hot day! I'd wash them if they were down here!) or the decision to watch tv all day is made & I refuse to allow it & make them go outside. (I'm sorry but I was constantly sent outside when I was a kid & I think having the option to explore the yard & later the woods behind my house made me a better, more attuned with nature person)
I am also conflicted about the money thing, I like making decent money & I'm thrilled that I've got a house to show for it & a decent car. But I dislike the work I do, I find it harder & harder to support the company line & I hate the verbal abuse heaped upon me by customers who feel like they've been done wrong. But then I credit my job -which wouldn't pay as much as it does if it wasn't as big a pain in the butt as it is- with all my success, I would not be where I am now with what I have now if I was still working 35 hours a week at the nursing home for $5.40 an hour (I'd probably be thinner though!)

Posted by Becky at 2:42 PM EDT
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Annother day in ConsumerLand
Now Playing: Hate Me By Blue October
Topic: Rambling on

I have never been able to just get what I needed. All my life from childhood on has been a struggle, it cost for shoes, it cost for coats, my parents would worry about how clothes, shoes etc would get paid for, often my grandmother bailed them out (she's done the same for me more often than I like to think of) Or, worse, we got hand me downs from people at my parents jobs, church etc. I hated that at the time but some of my favorite clothes at 8,9,10, were hand me downs, I just had to have them long enough to feel like they were mine instead of someone else's discards.
All the time my ex & I were together there was never enough money. It was a constant battle to keep everyone fed, clothed & a roof over our heads, he didn't work a lot of the time- he'd get a job, keep it for 6-10 weeks & quit or get fired for not showing up. I didn't work a lot of that time then too... But I had little kids at home, it was cheaper for me to stay at home with them than pay a babysitter, he wouldn't watch them, if I worked the kids were babysat. That was all there was to that. the ex could not/would not watch the kids while I worked for more than 2 days in a row. I don't know why he couldn't take it but he couldn't & so we were almost never a 2 income family. This meant that we were constantly broke. It did not help matters that we brought out the worst in each other in terms of money & spending. One of us would say: 'Man, I wish we could just go out to dinner tonight' & the other would say: 'well, we do have that money for the electric bill...' & off we'd go, we supported in each other the worst, most spendthrift behavior you can imagine! In that way we're much better off seperate. He still doesn't do much better at making ends meet to this day
The best thing about my job is that it pays enough. Enough that we have what we need & a few luxuries to boot... I've had to watch what I spend though, & I do love to spend unfortunately. As I said, my Grandmother has bailed me out & helped with the extras like shoes when people outgrow them too soon & she always has helped me with school supplies each August. For the most part though I manage - I do get a little from the ex each month now that he's in the service (allegedly- still don't belive it) & that little helps, but I know better than to count on it, if & when he leaves the service I doubt I'll continue to recieve any money, he's not too good at keeping up with things like that & he's also known to resent paying it, he feels because I was at home with the kids when they were babies & under 4 while he was working. That I 'owe' him & he shouldn't have to pay support. So I know that there is likely going to be a time when that $225. doesn't come in anymore & I hope to have the money thing going even better than it is now by then. Either that or I'll have to do more overtime at work than they're already forcing on us, (up to 4 hours mandatory every week & they're so desperate that they're paying double time for overtime over the mandatory 4!- I haven't done any of that but I might this week- because of the holiday weekend we have less hours available to do the overtime on -Sunday & Monday are closed up for available hours to work- So I'll have to go in on one of my days off to make the time up & if I'm going to be there for 3 hours I might as well be there for 4! especially considering it's a 40 minute drive each way.)
The point here was that I've finaly applied for & recieved a credit card. (a real one, not the secured type for like 300 bucks.) I belive that's the difference between the poor & the not so poor, everyone nowadays lives paycheck to paycheck I belive, but credit cards just make it easier. When someone needs something you can get it. I've been in the situation where we've gone out, got groceries for 2 weeks, had a meal out, like Burger King or something & then got home & someone's broken their shoe or spilled something uncleanable on their coat. There's no extra money in the bank, just enough for gas for me to go to work & back every day for the 2 weeks until the next paycheck & to buy milk & bread. There's no help for it but for the kid to deal with it with the credit card I could go get the shoes, or worse yet, the car breaks down, in the past that's always meant tearful phone calls home & money wired to me from my mother or grandmother who can't afford it any more than I can but at least have credit cards so they can help. Now I won't have to ask them for help, I'll be able to put a repair on the credit card. I'm still mulling over the whole pay all your bills with the credit card though, the commercials make it seem so easy, pay all your bills through auto pay with the credit card & then just pay the credit card bill each month - That way you don't have to think about it. But of course there's interest, you're paying more to pay your bills because of the interest rate on the credit card (a pretty good one on this card I have to say, at least 'til the end of the year)Someone pointed out though, that if you're paying the money you'd have paid the bills with, to the credit card company then you're paying over the minimum balance & thus would not be getting too bad of an interest rate or getting too behind on your debt. Of course if you're paying over the minimum payment routinely they're likely to increase your limit too!
Then of course I hear my father's voice on credit cards, how they're a slipery slope & you'll end up in debt to your eyeballs & be unable to pay it off. I also have had friends who did get into trouble, both my closest cousin & a former friend ended up in enough trouble with credit card debt that they had to have their money doled out to them & the payments for the cards automatically taken from their paychecks. There's never a decision in adulthood that's all good.. there's always too many pros & cons to everything!

Posted by Becky at 12:56 AM EDT
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Thirteen things I got done during my days off
Topic: Thursday Thirteen

1 I wrote in my blog a couple of times.
2 I did about 4 loads of laundry. (I did not, however, fold them)
3 I got 4 rows of sets & seeds planted in my garden.
4 I slept in & got some rest.
5 I changed my filter for my well water. (it really needed it)
6 I made bread, brownies & chocolate chip brownies.
7 I made a pretty good (if I do say so myself) chicken divan.
8 I got the house smelling a little better by airing it out (4 kids, multiple friends in & out, 2 adults, 1 dog, 2 cats & 1 kid is a bedwetter. you take a whiff!)
9 I cleaned the house up a little, you can't tell, see above about the way the house smells & you'll know why it looks as bad as it did when I started.
10 I built a media rack for my videos, dvds & cds.
11 I went on not 1 but 2 drives in the country just sight seeing & talking both with kids & without
12 I had a meaningful discussion with miss 16 (ok, that was Monday night, but I was through with work so it still counts.
13 I got my shower done, this thursday thirteen written & still have time tonight to watch the news & maybe even watch something else!

Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Books on Tape
Now Playing: Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve
Topic: Rambling on

Listening to a book on tape makes me a lot more thoughtful, I truly belive listening to the story rather than reading it stilmulates different sections of your brain. I don't like it BETTER than reading but I do like it a lot. I never thought I would, but a year into working where I work now, with a 50 minute drive each way I had to do something to alleviate the boredom, I don't always have a book on tape going, -only about 4-5 a year. I love music & listen to it most of the time,- just occasionaly I ge bored with music though,- just occasionaly- & books on tape are great. I'll read things on tape I'd never have read by sitting down & listening. The only Larry Mcmurtree book I've ever finished was via a book on tape. currently I'm reading Oryx & Crayke but Margaret Atwood. I'm not a huge Atwood fan, Lady Oracle & The Handmaids Tale are the only books by her I've read all the way through (I'm not one of those obsessive people who once they start a book have to finish it, when I feel like it's not working I give up) The book is a doomsday-future book Depressing but Compelling & I've taken to sitting in the car at work & at home to finish parts of the book before going into work or into the house at night. (The true sign of a good book on tape for me!) I have a love hate relationship with futuristic novels, I like/love them because I was raised with a 'day after/threads' mentality. The idea that society will collapse in my lifetime. The breakdown will not neccesarily be BECAUSE of a nuclear war, (Steven Kings Superflu scenario in the Stand or even his more recent Cell Idea are perfectly plausible to me too. Especially in light of the Bird flu possibilites currently confronting the world) I hate these books for the same reason, because I am a mother & I don't want my kids to inherit a world like the ones portrayed in these stories.
The book is all about genetic & biologic splicing, a future where they splice pigs & baboons to make artificial organs for people, it's a vision of a distant gloomy future, even the childhood memories of the main character recall a world we don't quite live in currently. Though it did give me a chill watching the news the other night where they were talking about alligators in Florida biting people (Killed 3 this last week) the chilling part for me was the mentioned the reason for the alligator activity is that the Everglades are in a drought & they're looking for water, the Everglades being in a drought was in the book though they eventually burned in the book... I'm halfway through currently & don't want it to end. I have way too many unanswered questions still & I don't think 3 cds are going to cover it!
The force of the story seems to be altered hearing someone else tell the story, I think they affect you differently, I can say this with some authority because I have listened to books by authors I have read (Margaret Atwood, Steven King) & the books on tape/cd seem to stay with me longer. They are more likely to haunt my imagination & take me out of myself. I think though, that if I worked 15 minutes from home I would never have listened to them, it takes some distance driving to really appreciate them. Going up to Mass for vacations 2 out of 5 years I have had a book on tape to listen to. The first was one of my favorite books as a young teenager, set in the 1500s & 16 (then 12) didn't like it but miss 9 (then 5) did, we started listening to it on the way up to Mass at 11 or so at night & when I realized 16 had fallen asleep I went to turn it off & this little voice piped up from the back seat 'hey, I was listening to that!' I had to convince her that we'd listen more when her sister was awake. then 2 years ago when we went up we all listened to The Hobbit, I did'nt know it when I rented it from the library but it was not a regular reading it was acted out with different people doing different voices, that actually worked out better because they all were able to listen to it, even mr 6 who was then 4 going on 5, he was the most impressed & recently asked me what we were going to listen to on the way to Mass this summer, I don't quite know though, the things that would thrill the girls are not likely to hold mr 6's attention & vice versa, I've been thinking about trying the Lord of the Rings- we could do 1 book a year- but I'm afraid we couldn't finish it in the trip. We had to listen to the last tape of the Hobbit at home due to length. We shall see though, I still have nearly 7 weeks to decide after all!

Posted by Becky at 11:40 AM EDT
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Workin' for the Weekend (already)
Now Playing: Badlands By Bruce Springsteen

The work week is beginning tomorow/today- it's after midnight yet again, as my too optimistic boss puts it, with our schedule it's always Monday or Friday and I like that but what does it say about the job (or my attitude about it) that sometimes even 2 days in a row in that building doing what I do seems like too much. It could be worse, I could work Saturdays, every techno geek workaholic gadget junkie seems to reserve Saturdays to torment tech support people like me, they save it all up & call in Saturday morning with a list of complaints- usually on issues which are either so tiny (when I use fast forward at 60x the programing skips around & doesn't show in linear fashion x60 like it does at 15X) or which are already known issues that we'll fix with software (I don't mind telling people that, I do mind when they either start telling me how the engineers should fix it or ask to be transfered to an engineer to tell them their opinions on what would fix the problem)
I do appreciate my job, I like it a lot better now that I've been there so long that I don't have to deal with every little thing, almost completely just tech. A person I know now who used to work where I work asked me how long I'd been there & when I said nearly 5 years she asked why I wasn't a supervisor or a trainer. I missed a lot of oportunitys because of missing time due to weather & not even being elligible to apply, I've missed others because I liked the schedule I was on & getting a promotion would have meant starting out at the bottom of the pile & having to work 3-11 pm or worse yet: 5pm to 130 am. Now if they ever start a third shift there I'll be first at the door to become a supervisor - I think that would be the ideal schedule, though I'd be bummed out if I had to give up my 4-10 hour days.
Yeah, I am boring, my work diatribes are so boring it's even boring me. In other news Everyone under 18 in this house is gearing up for the end of school which will occour on the first of next month. I do not understand why they don't just end it the Friday before since they've already got that Monday off for memorial day anyway, why go to school for 2 & 1/2 more days? I don't make the rules, I know nothing about them, after all I'm just a 37 year old homeschooled nobody, far be it from me to question the reason the school wants to let them run around their tennis courts & playgrounds for an extra 2 days (they're already in play mode, the first half of this week was SOL tests in VA & since they finished those it's nothing but field days, game days & play days from now to the first of June!) I don't know why I'm complaining, after all those are 3 more days I don't have to worry about what they're eating for lunch at my house! Always a concern, I always think during the winter when I have the added expense of heat that in summer it'll be so much cheaper. Then it gets here & I realize I spend at least as much in food for the kids for summertime as I did for heat! (sometimes it seems like even more) I do like having them home though, I've always been the type of Mom who lets the kids stay home for the slightest little sniffle or cough when I'm home already, I can't miss work though, it's the type of job where if you miss more than just a few days you're in danger of losing your job! not convenient to a single mom of 3 but luckily my kids are pretty healthy.

Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Lost in the Garden
Now Playing: Champagne Supernova By Oasis
Topic: Rambling on
I am missing my camera phone SO much right now! It stopped responding when I plugged in the charger & had to be repaired, I Hate the temporary (if you can call 8-10 weeks projected a temporary thing!) replacement phone, there's no camera on it, the ring tones are atrocious & it's bigger than my phone, to add insult to injury the young punk who swaped the phones told me that he had removed my picture messaging service (why be charged when you can't use it?) & activated everything that my old phone had, on this phone. When I went to add a ring tone that I can stand to the phone I couldn't do it so I had to call their technical support (I work tech support & so I know what it's like to try to make a stubborn piece of plastic, metal & silicon chips work right with a bumbling idiot following your commands over the phone) so I am easy on tech support people, I'm also easy on anyone in a call center environment (that doesn't extend to actually listening to telemarketers- but I am polite as I tell them 'no thank you' & hang up the phone) The woman I got when I called about my phone was obviously fairly new at her job, she put me on hold about 10 times (I am not exagerating) but she got the phone working, I had to program it to accept that I had the service that allows you to get ringtones & games etc. & then, because I know how things go with this type of issue I had her check & sure enough the punk I dealt with in person did not take off my picture messaging- she removed it but did not apologize, at my work I have to apologize for the oversights of others every day!
The reason for the diatribe on the phone is that I would really like to have pictures of my progress in the garden, the guy who dug it up last Saturday came back on Thursday evening (Unexpectedly- I didn't expect him 'till this Saturday- good thing I didn't spend the money I owed him!) & finished the job of tilling it into smooth dirt. So yesterday evening we were a picture of domestic bliss, Chrissie riding the lawnmower around, me making raised beds in my garden, the kids moving logs & sticks out of Chrissies way & helping me pick rocks, sticks & weeds out of my raised beds, I'm not exactly as healthy as I should be & so I got 2 beds ready to go, probably, judging by the size of the garden, (the guy expanded it a little on 3 sides) annother 8-10 beds to rake up & clean out, I figure if I do a couple a day on my days off I should be ready to plant by the end of the month... (I would feel worse about this if it wasn't for the fact that the news said last night that we're going to be in the 30's overnight 2 or 3 more nights in the next seven days & I hate losing things to the cold, I'd rather leave it alone until it's warmer-) I looove having a vegetable garden! I can't think of anything more magical than having actual food that I grew & can just walk out my back door & go choose! Mr 6 is the most enthused about the whole thing (not too surprising, he's bottomless & especially loves tomatoes & cucumbers) but the girls have helped off & on & are expeceted to help some more this afternoon (if it ever gets warm out there- annother cool one, I understand the need for spring before summer but is it EVER going to get warm?) We'll be putting the half fence up this afternoon & I'll have to decide what I'm doing about the green bean climbing apparatus, I've heard that poles with strings stretched between them works better than just poles. That would require string, which I don't have at home & I'm broke for the moment so if I decied to do that it will have to wait until after my next payday!
I had had ideas of taking pictures of the progress of the garden & putting them on my picture site, so I'd have a record of it & could look back over time & see how much better it looks when the veggies are actually coming in...& of course I thought that might help to motivate me to weed it a little more this year, last year it was a mass of weeds & I think that's why my squashes, watermellons & pumpkins would get to be about 2 inches in circumfrence & then turn black! it was either that or the kids overzealously using the plant food on the garden I haven't figured out which it was.
Anything is better than the previous 6 years in the trailer with no space for a garden at all & I am really glad I have the option now. I hated not having one after 3 years with one in our rental places with the ex.
I set myself an hour online & the alarm I set just went off so I'm going to the garden now- gray clouds or no gray clouds. pic of the lawnmower since I have none of the garden currently!:

Posted by Becky at 12:05 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, May 20, 2006 12:32 PM EDT
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Thirteen Random Questions
Topic: Thursday Thirteen

1. If you got to pick celebrity parents to raise you, who would they be?
maybe Demi Moore & Ashton Kuscher?

2. If you never had to worry about money, how would you live your life
differently? I would not work, I'd have a governess for my kids so they'd
be around all the time so we could go out & do things anytime, We'd build
a house just the way we wanted it & have horses, We'd go on cruises & tour
the UK & Africa etc. I'd have body guards to keep my ex away.

3. Would you rather be a man or a woman if you came back? Men get all the
fame, money etc. but women get all the emotions. Probably a woman

4. If you were trapped at one age for the rest of your life, would you
rather be 15 or 75? 15, when else can you be so certain you're right even
if you're dead wrong?

5. What do you think would be the worst job for you to have? Anything in
the medical profession, I'm not very empathetic.

6. If time machines really existed, when would you want to travel to?
either the 14-1500's or the 1700's,

7. What two things would you change about your body/appearance? two? well
my weight of course, & probably get a reduction for my chest.

8. What two things would you change about your partner's body/appearance?
I have no partner.

9. What is a disgusting habit that you have? As if I'd say on here! (according to some people It's discusting that I show up 20 minutes early for any apointment I have - Anal I believe was the exact wording)

10. Do you pick your nose in the car? Never gave it much thought.

11. What is your least favorite aspect of adulthood? Having to get up & go
to work every day I'm scheduled.

12. If you were to be born into another race or culture, what would you
pick? I don't know, but I can think of a few I would not pick...lol...

13. Name one event that changed your life? Probably my Ex moving out & leaving I was hurt at the time but it's been really great since I recovered from the initial shock.

Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Questions in Triplicate
Now Playing: Hand in My Pocket by Alanis Morrisette
Topic: Stuff & Nonsense

3 Names you go by:
Her/She (that's my ex- I don't feel too bad about it he refers to his
current wife to me the same way, as if he couldn't say 1's name to the

3 Screen Names you have had:

3 Things you like about yourself:
Tendency to look on the bright side in most situations

3 Things you don't like about yourself:
Too Emotional
Not as Much Patientice as I Need

3 Parts of your heritage:
More English

3 Things that scare you:
Loss/Death of My Kids
Financial Ruin

3 Of your everyday essentials:
St Johns Wort

3 Things you are wearing right now:
A smile

3 Of your favorite bands or musical artists:
Led Zeppelin

3 Of your favorite songs:
Bittersweet Symphony, The Verve
Clocks, Coldplay
Wish You Were Here, Incubus

3 Things you want to try in the next 12 months
To get healty
Painting my Dining Room
Keeping my House Clean (man, I am SO Boring!)

3 Things you want in a relationship:
For him to go to his own house every night

2 Truths and a lie:
Purple is my Very Favorite Color
I Prize my Quiet Time above all else.
My Quiet Time is not really very Quiet.

3 Things about the opposite sex that appeal to you:
The Penis has it's own appeal
The abillity to fix things (yes I know there's guys out there as clueless
as I am too)
They're much more likely to take you at face value & not look for the
hidden meanings in your bad mood

3 Things about the same sex that appeal to you:
They're neater & cleaner
More likely to be interested in reading

3 Things you just cannot do:
keep my feet warm
eat oysters
smoke cigarettes

3 Of your favorite hobbies:

3 Things you want to do really badly right now:
Have enough money
Have some heat I can just turn on instead of having to go get kerosene, bring it back, fill the heater & light the heater (I'm writing this may 17th which adds insult to injury)
make my back stop hurting

3 Careers you are considering:
The one I have now,
Becoming a supervisor at same place
Becoming a quality assurance specialist at the same place

3 Places you want to go on vacation:
Like places? or places on my vacation to mass? I'll take this as dream places:
UK/British Isles et al.

3 Kids names:
Ones I wanted to use but didn't

3 Things you want to do before you die
See the whole U.S
Build my dream house
Meet a nice guy

3 Ways you are stereotypically a boy:
Not afraid of bugs, spiders or blood
Rock & Roll baby, all the way
Not afraid to at least try to fix stuff, tune up my car & change my oil

3 Ways you are stereotypically a girl:
Afraid of Mice & Snakes
I'm more comfortable in dresses than in pants
I like to embroider & do crafts

3 Celeb crushes:
Johnny Depp
Nicholas Cage
Sam Elliot

3 People you would like to complete this quiz:

Posted by Becky at 3:02 PM EDT
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Chaos reigns, at Home & Especially at Work
Now Playing: Talking Heads Once in a Lifetime
Topic: just letting off steam

Did you ever have a dream where you can not figure out what anything is, you try to read what's in front of you, you try to click on the link but none of them go anywhere, every button you press does nothing or opens up annother bunch of possibillities that you either don't understand or are not what you need? Welcome to my LIFE! I felt pretty good after yesterday, I felt like I had the whole new computer program at work under my belt, I could schedule a tech to come out, I could set up to replace equipment. Then Monday came, I knew it would be more difficult, the sheer volume alone, people who don't do business on Sundays & people who assume we don't do business on Sundays always call on Mondays so there's Lots of calls coming in. & there's a lot more random stuff, people who are mad because the tech didn't put the cable in where they wanted or left it hanging off the gutter, people who select tech because 'I thought it would be the fastest way to get a person on the phone honey' I was woefully under prepared for what today brought & I know, from looking at my co-workers faces that they were too!

In other news miss 16 finally got a picture of her boyfriend from KY. He's cute & I belive, considering her excitement over the pictures, that he's exceeded her expectations of how he would look. So all is very calm & even a little hyper/happy on 16's front.
Miss 9 is having a lot of fun with Chrissies daughter, they're sharing a room & are deep in cahoots when they're not at each other's throats.
Mr 6 is adjusting pretty well to watching tv in my living room, he definitley enjoys having Chrissies dog here, he loves to run & the dog likes to chase him so that works out well for both of them. We had the garden plowed (the guy still has to come back & till it & break the turf up more in depth) on Saturday. & he's having a lot of fun checking out the hills & valleys of the plowed area, looking for worms & digging up tree roots (I had to cut off 5 or 6 which were 3-4 inches thick) We had a little bigger area plowed to expand the garden this year, last year I was hesitant because I thought it would be too much to take care of & it was, but I also found that stuff will grow even if you don't weed much, you just have to look harder for the stuff that grew!

Posted by Becky at 1:05 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 16, 2006 1:18 AM EDT

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