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Friday, January 5, 2007
Just a quick Catch up....
Now Playing: Loser by Beck
Topic: Family Business

It's odd that the schedule change I'm currently getting used to is making me feel so odd. After all, the month of December I was out of work more than I was there due to my Grandmother's death & sick kids earlier in the month. Heck, the whole last 6 months of the year I was constantly leaving early, arriving late or not coming into work at all. Mostly due to my frustration with our new computer system & the fact that it's made an already difficult job almost unbearable. 

   We also got word yesterday that they're going to start making us be more careful about logging into the computer on time in the morning & after lunch & logging out at night. & that there's an 80% chance that we'll have to change shifts, it's supposed to be a company wide thing so everyone has to 'bid' on the shifts they'd like to have & then by seniority & performance they'll assign the shifts, one thing in my favor, though I'm only in the second tier in performance (mostly because of my attendance) I have a lot of seniority & I like the 4 days on working for 10 hours a day shifts best & the majority of people don't care for those as much so I shouldn't have too much competition to get a 4x10, if the shift I'm currently on will still be available is annother story & no one is making any promises.

   Yesterday was frustrating enough in many ways that I came home saying I was going to start looking for a new job immediatley. By the time I'd written a little & talked to a friend I was calm enough to decide that I'll wait & see if they do make a shift shuffle & if they do what shift I get. (This is always assuming nothing else happens to piss me off in the near future) 

  On the way home I had to pull over for 2 police cars & when I got to the next little town (where I had to stop to pick up milk & a few other essentials) I could see the police cars about 1/8 of a mile away at a house, there were red lights of an ambulance or fire truck but I couldn't see any flames or smell any smoke. I went in the store & went about picking up the things I needed (some I wanted- the sugar shut down isn't going too well) & noticed the women behind the counter were at the door with it open looking out on the fracas down the street too. By the time I was ready to check out they were behind the counter again & discussing what was going on. They told me that it's rarely more than 5 minutes after anything happens in their town before they know about it due to being the only store open until 11 pm. & sure enough as I was finishing writing my check for the groceries (Day before payday you know, the only money I had is the money in limbo between direct deposit & the bank) The older store clerk looked out the window & said 'here comes F- he'll know what's going on!' when he walked in they asked him point blank & he did know, aparently a young mother of a 16 month old put the child in the bath & the phone rang, she went to answer for just a second & came back & the baby was under water. The rescue squad was able to revive the child though, he said & so we were all very relieved. 

I'm having a very bad week with drama like that, Wednesday I was approaching the highway on ramp & came upon an accident which had just  occoured, a large car, like a Lincoln or one of those other really big boats old people seem to drive around here had T-Boned a work truck. It was pretty awful looking & the police weren't there yet. I went through town so as not to drive through the scene of the accident to get onto the highway & then I called 911 on my cell phone, which I've never done before, they said they were aware of it & about a minute later police & an ambulance came flying past in the other direction. 

I have mixed emotions telling the last two blurbs there, on the one hand, I think my blog is boring because it's mostly either bitching about work or talking about the kids. I realize most people aren't all that interested in this stuff, so I'm trying to broaden out a little & put other things in here. On the other hand, as I've mentioned before my ex was on the rescue squad & was not supposed to talk about what he saw or what happened to people  he had to treat to me or anyone else, of course he did tell me a lot of things, I've never repeated any of them to anyone. (though since this was in 1998 & 1999 I'm pretty sure the statute of limitations has expired or will soon)  I kind of feel like both of these things, the accident I saw the aftermath of & that little child underwater & having to be revived are similar, that it's an invasion of the peoples privacy for me to talk about them. 

  Ok, well enough of that depressing stuff. the kids are ok, no one's killed anyone else yet though the death threats to each other continue daily. Miss 16 says she's sick, she said she was sick Wednesday & wanted me to come get her, I was already nearly at work & told her if she felt really bad to have the high school office call my work & I'd come, but I really can't afford too many more absecences from work! So she stuck it out & stayed home Thursday,

  I don't think she's too sick, she put all my Christmas decorations away for me (I called just as she was starting to take down the outside lights & stopped her, I like to have them lit at night at least through epiphany or little Christmas, though I'm not Catholic I grew up in a town which was manily catholic & seem to have adopted a lot of their traditions. I was mulling this over on the ride home from work as I was noticing how few people still are turning their Christmas lights on at night & it's not even a week since New Years! 

  So when I arrived home after the stop at the nosy store I found mail waiting for me from my younger kids' school  they stuffed both notices in the same envelope & the point was that they've been out too much. Never mind that the absences are excused, 2 with a doctors note & 4 due to the funeral in December which I wasn't about to miss. My Grandmother was like a mother to me in a thousand ways & in many ways more of a mother than my mother was. She & my mother are the only people I would drive that far to pay my respects to. (though, if it was the ex I guess I'd have to take the kids) & I am not about to have the school 'for shame' me over taking my kids to a funeral. Kids need to learn about death & the earlier the better I think, because then they can incorporate it into their lives as a perfectly normal part of life instead of some alien, terrible concept as some see it.

  Ok, yeah I've had to deal with a lot of deaths & have some pretty strong ideas about it. Whew, take a breath Becky, ok, so I was more than a little annoyed with the school about it & I'm really glad I didn't see this until 9pm because if anyone had been at the school to call & bitch at I certainly would have. As it was I had the evening to de-stress & the night to sleep on it & so I called the school this morning & they told me I had to come in & sign a paper that says I understand they need to be there every day & pledge to make sure they are there every day. So I did that & came back here & have been browsing blogs & Im'ing with a friend since then! Boring huh?  

  I had more to say but I have to get ready to take the kids & go grocery shopping & on our every other week outing together. (used to be Saturday during the day, with the Friday, Saturday, Tuesday off schedule change we're going to do it Friday nights so as to have a nice, quiet relaxing day Saturday) Yeah, that'll happen.

Posted by Becky at 2:59 PM EST
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
And to All a good Night
Now Playing: Like a Stone by Audioslave
Topic: Family Business

Annother holiday passed without serious harm being done to anyone I know, admitedly, the new years holiday can be more dangerous than Christmas, I should know, my former marriage's anniversary is new years eve! would be 13 years this year, I'm sure if it had survived this long it would be ending by now, lucky 13 & all. Since I'm already mentioning the ex let me say he has yet to contact his kids for Christmas, no call, no email, no snail mailed card. The last email I had was dated 12/17. He hasn't written back, nor has he done anything else, now I admit, it was in response to my email letting him know that my grandmother had died & the kids would not be available to talk to him by phone or online on the 19th or 20th as was supposed to be in the planning stages when we got the call about Phil. But in my email to him about this whole thing I told him I'd be home both the 23rd & 24th & to go ahead & call anytime since I have free nights & weekends on my cell phone. (yes, I could have called him & let the kids talk to him but really, why open myself up for more grief, all it takes is the mention of 1 thing he doesn't like the sound of -  like that I had to work on Christmas day - I left work at 5 instead of 8- to set him off on a long winded, 'you don't take good enough care of the kids, you're always working & not around enough' rant & I have learned it's much easier not to open myself up to such things.

  Anyway, we had a good weekend, Saturday was spent getting groceries & making cookies. The coolest thing happened, I announced that the house had to get clean first thing in the morning, Mr 7 in particular had a very messy room which I insisted needed to be taken care of, I told him keeping his back to his sisters so he couldn't see them roll their eyes, that I'd heard at work that Santa was doing spot checks & could check in to be sure he had everything in order & that his room was clean, Mr7 went right to work & cleaned his room though he's been getting a lot more suspicious about the whole Santa thing, since he's the last I'm trying to keep it going just a little longer. I did hear a couple cracks from his room about Santa had better appreciate this....So on our way to the Pharmacy to pick up a perscription we were in traffic at our County's only stop light & who should come through in the opposite lane waving & honking his horn but Santa in full dress, (right down to shiny gold - rimmed glasses) he was driving a beat up pickup truck but what else would be better in southwest Virginia? I pointed him out to mr7 immediately & also that he was headed in our house's direction! Mr7, with his flair for the dramatic said 'Phew' wiped his brow & said 'man, am I glad I cleaned my room!' Miss 16 told me later I was cruel & heartless, I didn't bother to remind her about how the ex & I had her convinced that sprinklers in stores & homes were Santa's surveilance system.

   In spite of saying I was going to take it easy in light of the busy last couple weeks, the list of cookies I wanted to make increased to such an extent that I made more varietys than normal, we had a list which included:

Chocolate chip cookies


Coconut macaroons

Rice Krispy treats

Butter Cookies

Pepermint pinwheels

Kissable thumbprint cookies

Stained glass cookies 

The last 4 are really the same butter cookie batter but it's really versatile & can be used in all kinds of cookies, the pepermint pinwheels are a new thing, we tried them last year & miss 16 really liked them & so made them again this year, it's a recipe we saw on Good Eats "the Cookie Clause" episode & my butter cookie recipie is essentially the same as theirs except we use twice as many eggs & only use the egg yolks. Later that night after a pick up dinner, (I didn't eat a thing, too ill with all the cookie batter & crumbled pieces I'd been nibbling) we finished the wrapping of gifts, (begun the 22nd after I got off the computer, I didn't go to bed until after 2 am on Friday night & it was telling on me, by the time I insisted miss 10 & mr 7 go to bed at 1030 I was already falling asleep)

 Sunday morning we made up the bags & boxes of cookies for friends & former neighbors, took showers etc & I was just messing around online when my sister in law called me to see 'where we were' -? I was a little surprised since it was just a few minutes past 3 at that point, I usually don't show up at Aunties until about 6, the kids had made me promise to try to go closer to 4 or 5 & I was really just waiting for 330 to start our rounds of dropping off cookie boxes & then go there. since SIL seemed to think we should already be there we headed out. After 7 stops we arrived at Auntie's & the kids had a blast, there were at least a dozen kids there & they all got gifts, it was a chaos of unwrapping & people calling out names on gifts, I was on the opposite side of the room from my younger ones & while that was great for taking pictures, it means I have no idea who gave them what! We ate & Hung out with the family for quite a few hours, it was fun, brought back old memories, some good, some bad, I missed my mother in law, who had gone to NY with her boyfriend (I guess that's what you call him, I know at 38 I would prefer not to refer to any one I was romantically linked with as a 'boyfriend' & she's considerably older than I am. Maybe 'life partner'?) This will mean I'll have to try to get with her sometime soon & interact, I do like my MIL, always have, I like/d both my in-law parents, it's my ex's step parents who drove me crazy, both of them. 

  When we arrived home we cleaned up a little, (it wouldn't do to have Santa see the place like it was) everyone got to open 1 more present  ('cause I'm a pushover, I also felt a little guilty because of having to work on Christmas) Everyone was pleased at what they recieved & I didn't pull any of those power plays where I hand out gifts with new pajamas in them though miss 16, freezing on the couch requested the pajama pants her sister had picked out for her & told her about - this was one year where almost everyone knew almost everything they were getting, no one in my house can keep a secret! 

 The stockings were propped on the couch (no chimney/fireplace to speak of in my house I'm afraid) & people were sent to bed, I filled miss 10's stocking first because she's been demanding to 'help' this year, since she's such an old hand at all this, (she's known the 'truth about Santa' for 3 years now) I know it's all a ploy to see what she's getting early & so I thwarted her, she filled her brother's stocking though & that satisfied her.  

  Off to work at the usual time, work was crummy, I can't decide which I like less, the people who try to commiserate with me about working on Christmas, or the people who just ignore the whole thing, I was thinking to myself that if 1 more person called in & said to me 'why are you working on Christmas?' I was going to lose it & point out that if they were'nt calling in I wouldn't have to be there! Don't call businesses on a holiday folks! Please! We are all begging to be sent home & the less calls coming in, the more likely we are to be sent home! 

  The people who start at 9 am with us but go home at 5:30 were sent home at 4:15 & I was rather annoyed about it, it was obvious to all of us that they were going to try to hold everyone as long as possible, I knew there would be a large influx of people coming in at 5 pm & so I told my boss that if we weren't sent home at 5 I was leaving anyway, he was ok with it. & so I left at 5, we ate, did the tree & I tried to convince everyone that bed at 10 would be a good thing, no one bought it & by the time I had gotten everyone to go to bed I'd gotten absorbed in my current book (Angels & Demons by Dan Brown- the book before the DaVinci code) & didn't actually shut off the light until 1 am again! 

Today has been quiet, Folded a ton of clothes (first time in almost 3 weeks I'm afraid, we've been living out of the laundry baskets & just adding more as they dry) Watched Fight Club for the first time (yes, I'm a little behind in my movie viewing) it was pretty good as miss 16 had told me it was (the dvd was a gift from me to her at her request) a quick run to the store to get milk & a few other things, got 2 checks in the mail today quite unexpectedly, one was from a company I had done business with & I'd closed my account but over paid, they refunded the amount I'd overpaid & it came today, I figured it would show up eventually. The other was from one of my Grandmother's brothers, he wrote that he wanted to send the kids & I something for Christmas & that he hoped we'd be able to have a good Christmas in spite of our loss. Very nice of him I might add, Very Generous. Christmas presents just keep showing up! Earlier today I was picking up my room & located a basketball I had purchased for mr 7 & forgotten to wrap & then just a little while ago Miss 16 also reminded me I had hinted to her about an easel I got her which I also had hidden in my room & had forgotten to wrap & put under the tree! 

  Tommorow will be my last Wednesday home, I'm going to be home Friday & Saturday in tandem instead & still have Tuesdays off too, it occoured to me that this schedule is too cool & they'll probably take it away from us pretty quick, simply because it's a good one, still only in the building 2 days in a row, off on the 'fun' weekend days & still out of there at 8pm every night I do have to work.!  I'm attempting to convince myself that hating my job is no excuse not to go & am going to try for a perfect attendance year in 2007, hopefully the ex's track record will hold & he won't actually try to see the kids this year (it's been every other year for 6 years now)  When he comes to visit he always manages to time it so I have no paid days off acrued to use & so I have to call in sick. I will have 1 extra paid day off in 2007 due to us meeting a goal we had set for us early, It's supposed to be used on 2/19 but everyone in the company can't take the same day off so I'm sure I won't actually be off on that day. (I'd prefer a little earlier, around tax refund time, or a little later, when my uncle comes to visit in June or my cousin & her family come at some unplanned time this year) More than enough for tonight on here. it's late & I'm tired, now, as long as I don't pick up my book & 'promise' myself only 1 chapter.....

Posted by Becky at 12:03 AM EST
Monday, December 11, 2006
It's Always a Good News Bad News Situation!
Now Playing: Hey Man, Nice Shot, by Filter
Topic: Family Business

A Quick note on this post, it's dated the day it was written though I couldn't post it until 12/13 due to my internet being decidedly funky Monday night & that I was busy with the plumber here all day yesterday. 


Good News: The house is Decorated for Christmas,










tree & all are finished. 

Bad News: The house is a mess around the decorations.

Good News: The plumber is coming tommorow, we may have our water problems finished up by this time tommorow night.

Bad News: See above, it's 1030 at night & there's couch fluff all over my floors, the toilet bowl is brown, there's hair & other unpleasant looking things in my bathtub & the plumber is coming tommorow.

Good News: Heard from the ex this weekend & he got home safely from Iraq, he's not dead & he wants to send the kids a laptop for Christmas. (Mixed blessings here for sure).

Bad News: Heard from the ex & he's already pushing me & belittling me via email, I also called child support enforcement to check on the child support for this month & there's no check pending, my worst fears are reallized that now he's through with the whole combat thing the kids are not going to see any money to help us through our expenses. 

Good News:  I have the next 2 days off & can relax now that I'm through with everything I'm required to do for Christmas in the way of purchsing gifts.

Bad News: there's still plenty of things to do for Christmas like wrap presents, make cookies, make a nice dinner etc. etc. 

Good News: I'm pretty much over my cough & cold.

Bad News: Miss 10 is home sick with diareah & vomiting & theres a good chance I'll end up sick being home with her.







Good News: I have bought all the Christmas presents I'm going to buy this year unless family sends money for more purchases which would be from them. 

Bad News: See above where I mentioned the child support, I might not have spent so much if I'd known I'd be $200+ poorer than usual this month. (especially on what I got for myself & gave the kids to spend to get me gifts)  

 Good News: The Christmas tree is beautiful & we managed to get through the decorating with minimal yelling, bickering & fighting mr 7 only hit his sister once & miss 16 & I only argued twice when she wandered off to get online twice (anyone who reads my blog will notice that although I had 2 full days off this weekend I did not get online & blog or do anything else - except check email early saturday morning- at all this weekend- I spent it with the kids 100%.) 

Bad News: The cat likes the tree & has already broken 2 or 3 ornaments from climbing, the ornament situation is a real issue because there were already many many broken ones in the boxes due to people not putting things away correctly last year & people climbing on the boxes over the summer (People meaning mr 7 who is a climber without reason - he will make detours just to climb over furniture & jump off it). 

 Good News: I have Christmas Eve off which means we get to go to Aunties as a family & enjoy ourselves longer than if I had to work until 8pm.

Bad News: I do not have Chirstmas Day off so we either have to do the tree Christmas Eve afternoon or in the evening on Christmas after I get home from work.

Good News: I have worked more than a few Christmases (this is the 6th year with this company & I'm 3 for 3 now) & they always send you home early.

Bad News: Any time not at home is too much time not at home on a holiday. (If you care about the Holiday- I was very zen this Thanksgiving, we'd had our feast the day before & I got all the togetherness, love & sharing I needed & was ok with working all day- good thing too, because we worked all day)

Good News: got lots of pictures of the tree decorating as you can see!

Bad News: Only bad news for you if you have dial up!

Good News: Had a great time Friday Night with my co-workers at our holiday night out!

Bad News: Didn't miss at least 1 person who was supposed to come & didn't.  (well, not really bad news in my book: if you met this person you might understand) I still feel guilty though, when I can't like everyone I know wholeheartedly.

Good News: Ann Posted for the first time in months! 

Bad News: I'm wishing I either had more time to post or more of a life to post about!

Good News: I might get to take a shower instead of a bath tommorow night! (see above about the plumber)

Bad News: I wouldn't have called the plumber if had known the money was going to be so tight with out the child support! I'm also, of course, worried that it'll cost more for the plumber than I've budgeted for the plumber.

 Good News: Miss 10 is at 30 minutes keeping down toast, a new record since yesterday.

 Bad News: I have to run the Vacum around the house before I go to bed & it's nearly 11pm already! 

Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, December 5, 2006
House Rules
Now Playing: Yesterdays by Guns & Roses
Topic: Family Business

 This made me laugh & think of similar rules I've had to lay down myself.... 

At the trailer we lived in ruins, the roof leaked, the floors were falling through, every drop of water which went down the kitchen or bathroom sinks flowed up the pipe into the tub & had to be bailed out of the tub & thrown down the toilet. It resulted in some odd, rather specific rules for trailer life, like that we had to be really careful about not letting food go down the kitchen drain because it would have to be cleaned out of the tub later, & that we could not leave the shower curtian in the bath tub because if nasty water from the kitchen sink got on it the shower curtain would grow moldy faster than brie cheese left on the counter in July. No one could jump on my bed if it was raining because I had usually at least 2 or 3 pots, buckets or bowls balanced precariously on the bed where the roof leaked (move the bed? there wasn't enough dry ceiling space in the room to put the bed anywhere that it wouldn't get rained on- except for the spot occupied by my dressing table which is an antique with lovely carving on it & given the choice of ruining that or sleeping with buckets I took the buckets. It's been 18+ months & I still get tense when I hear the weather man call for 3 or 4 days of rain in a row. I usually remember I don't have to worry about it anymore but sometimes I find myself during the second or third day starting to worry again!) Then there was the business of living 5 feet away from your neighbors, we had to remember to whisper if we wanted to converse in the bathroom after 10 pm because the bathroom was across from the back door which looked right out on the neighbors' bedroom window so if we talked even normally in summer with everything open they would hear us & wake up. No yelling in the house at all after 10 & no loud music or anything ever. (the first year we were there, back when the ex was still around, his best friend lived across the street & he & his girlfriend got in trouble because they watched a movie with their surround sound turned on & it bothered their neighbor next to them, we didn't hear anything right across the street though) 

We lived in a hell for 6 years & I never thought we would get out but we did. A lot of things which would have produced screams & rage here in our new home were matter of course in the trailer & things which had never been an issue were an issue now. So I had to make some new rules fast.

The first was 'we do not throw live animals at people' this was produced on the fly after miss 16 threw our cat at miss 10 (they were 15 & 8 then but you get the idea) The cat was the most displeased in this scenario because miss 10 has pretty good reflexes & ducked the flying cat & it hit the wall instead, you would think this is a once in a lifetime rule but I have had to invoke it at least once a month since then & the dog did get thrown once too!

Many of the obvious rules I have had to post in my failed signs, which I used to write up with each child's chore list written out on them, are truly scary but all had to be posted because when I would say "don't you know better than to wear shorts in December?" I would get a blank look & a shrug. Here comes a new rule! 'Wear weather appropriate clothing to school every day- if it is anything less than 70 have a sweatshirt or coat on, or in your knapsack, just in case you need it'

A lot of the rules are mostly for my son's benifit: 'if you can see dirt on your hands wash them in the sink, use soap & warm water'  'if you are sent to take a shower or bath use shampoo on your hair & soap on your body, don't just run your head under the water'. Both spawned after many discussions about what is & is not good hygene.

  I try to leave it at the simple common sense things like 'if you take it out put it back', 'if you empty it fill it up or wash it out', 'if you take your snack or lunch plate & cup out to the garage or upstairs bring it back before the mold grows across the whole plate' seems to be the one they ignore the most. But a lot of these rules assumes someone who lives here did take 'it' out or emptied that water bottle, to hear my kids tell it 'noone' used the last of the refrigerator water & put the bottle back empty (& all the way to the back, we keep 2 rotating bottles of water so one is always chilling) No one took that plate out to the garage with the nachos on it & left it to grow fur. (when did we last HAVE nachos?) 

  I can usually tell though, who did what ever it was, of course the upstairs is the girl's territory so whoever brings down what ever I'm looking for (cups & glasses are always being called to the black hole of my upstairs- it gets to the point that I'm looking at 1 cup from Applebees & a coffee mug as the only inhabitants of my cup cupboard & I start yelling. Suddenly someone brings me 42 cups stacked taller than they are, from upstairs) But of course the person bringing the cups is not the one who used them (not a single one, no mom, I always bring my cups right back down)

  The garage is mr7's domain, out of 60 hourss room I can't blame every mess in his room on him, some of it is spill over from the girls upstairs, sometimes deliberate, sometimes accidental but I'm usually sure when I find Nail polish & eyeliner on his floor at the foot of the steps that they're not his (unless it's halloween time, then all bets are off)   on the dvr out there he might let his sister have 5 & only if she's recording a tv show that he likes too. So he always gets the blame for anything wrong or left in the garage area. Since the stairs from the upstairs come down in hi

Posted by Becky at 3:15 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, December 5, 2006 3:13 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
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
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Thirteen & My Family
Now Playing: Gel by Collective Soul
Topic: Family Business

More people than not were saying yesterday that they didn't want to be at work becuase it was the thirteenth, I was amused by this & actually surprised that 1 other person said it was their lucky day, my family for the most part considers 13 their lucky number, (I actually prefer 68 for myself but as a family thing 13 ranks right up there) it all started with my mother's father, he was born June 13, he met my grandmother on July 13, they were married March 13, my Mother was born February 13 & he died on April 13, I know there are more, but those are the ones I'm able to remember off the top of my head, my 16 year old is especially into the whole 13 thing & on the door of her room in the trailer we escaped  used to live in she had 2 or 3 Mailbox- type reflective thirteens stuck up. I don't have as much interest in the thirteen thing but when everyone is making such a big deal of it I have to put my 2 cents in! Then Michele had a question about this on her blog too! All in all though, Friday the 13th was a pretty lucky day for everyone in my group at work, it was really dead & we were sitting around available most of the day- they sent the people who work 9 to 530 home at 3 & the ones who work 10 to 630 home at 4 we didn't expect to get to go home because of the 10 hour days we work cause us to be in the high - queue time (usually from 7 forward to about 11 pm) But they actually sent us home! they waited until 7 to do it but they did it, for me that was a really good thing because I was signed up for 2 hours of overtime so I didn't have to stay for that either! (my purse will be sorry in 2 weeks but last night I didn't really mind!) I was really enthused to leave because Chrissie had just text messaged me to come get some money she owed me from before. So off to Chrissies I went, stopped to get some wine coolers which was a mistake, not for the wine coolers because I don't drink much but because I stopped at a store on top of a mountain & they had 1 option for wine coolers, 3 refrigerator cases full of beer & ale but only 1 kind of wine coolers, Captian Morgans Passion fruit & Mango not too bad but they were OLD - very old, tasted stale, they'd have been better if they weren't stale. I had two, shared Chrissie's life for a few hours & got to check out her new house in depth now that she's got most of her stuff settled in- Looks great, her daughter & a friend were putting her computer together but then, when I went to call 16 & tell her I wasn't dead in the ditch somewhere (She knew I was going but I hadn't meant to stay so late) we found the phone was not working- odd since it was put in Wednesday & had been working since then. Chrissie called the phone company via her cell phone & on their suggestion I went around the outside of the house in the dark with my flashlight & located the phone box on the back of the house, when we got a screwdriver & opened it & found it full of wasps nests! after clearing them out with the screwdriver (it was 9 at night, full dark & about 31 degrees out) we found there were 6, not 1 place to plug in the phone we'd brought out to test the box & the trouble shooter on the phone decided Chrissie needed a tech to come out. Haven't heard from her today so I don't know if the tech showed up or not. I left around 11 & drove home back roads all the way, not because of the coolers, I'd brought garlic pita chips & a caffeine free diet coke & consumed both before leaving so I was plenty ok to drive. But because that's the shortest way, like Mrs Todd in Steven King's Mrs Todd's Shortcut I'm a firm believer in the idea that if I save enough miles I'll save time. I also love Floyd County's back roads & one of my favorite things- before I had to consider a second mortgage to keep the gas tank in my car full- was to drive around aimlessly, checking out where roads went & how they connected with each other- The kids miss this & ask me all the time when we can go back roading, now I have to confine it to getting from where I am to where I'm going- gas is going down though, paid under 2 bucks today for the first time in over 18 months! So I came home & worked out my bills & wrote a couple more checks for bills it turned out I could pay after all this week. & after studying the map to see where a couple of roads I noticed on the way home went to looking for shorter ways from Chrissies to my house.

The county map has a place of honor in my bedside table drawer- demoted from being pinned to my bedroom wall in the trailer & the last 2 rentals I had with my ex - he was on the rescue squad when he lived here & if he left from home to go to a call I would always locate the place he had to go to while he got dressed & ready to go - so he'd know how to get there before he left to go- there's annother in the car & I drive miss 16 nuts when we do go out because I expect her to be able to read a map! I can look & look at maps & always see new things, I noticed 2 or 3 places where there are roads which when you go past the road driving there's a sign which says the road is a dead end, but the maps show that there are cart paths/private roads which do connect with other roads, if they were not private they'd represent serious shortcuts. 16 remembers one of those all too well, the road is dirt, marked clearly as a road, not private, but so rutted & poorly maintained that it looks like a driveway, we were driving along in my old Mustang - Mr 7 was an infant & miss 10 was 3 at the time & only the passenger window of the mustang opened then (damned power windows- one or the other was always malfunctioning) so we're tooling along, me bitching about if I break something on the car dad's going to have a fit & I glance over & theres two Rotweiler dogs standing next to their front door, 16 says 'ooh look at the dogs!' Next thing we know one of them has his paws on the door & his head in the window of the car barking & growling as if we had raw steaks in our laps! 16 brought the window up as fast as she could & I floored it. The dog was of the opinion that the entire road belonged to him & followed us all the way to the end where the road ended at annother little road. Needless to say Miss 16 was not enthused the next time I suggested we take a sightseeing ride! 

  Today was the usual payday-week runaround, check the mail, pay the electric bill in person, get stamps & mail all the other bills, go grocery shopping, a lot of discussion about what everyone is going to be for Halloween & a few small purchases of accessories for the halloween costumes, (horns, tail & pitchfork for miss 10 & a scythe for mr 7- 16 has offered to go as herself {a very scary option!} & I always go as a hippie or a heavy metal rocker, both things I have the clothes for in my regular wardrobe)  No dinner out this week though, things should start getting better in the next few weeks as I'm still, even with the hour off, up by 2+ hours of overtime last week & hopefully I can do at least annother 3 or 4 hours this week. We were back home before 3pm- unusual for us but we're going to watch a scary movie on dvd (haven't decided between Sleepy Hollow & From Hell- yes, I have a Johny Depp addiction- get over it!) but that's the plan for the evening. Miss 10 was absorbed in taking pictures to email to my mother (she's a novice in email & I'm trying to teach her to attatch pictures etc. Here she is in all her glory:

Posted by Becky at 6:01 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, October 14, 2006 6:28 PM EDT
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Annother Day,
Topic: Family Business

Not much to say, took the last of the herbs out of my garden yesterday & spent a bunch of time with mr 7 while doing that, he found some interesting plants & was playing with the seed pods from them while I was bundling the sprigs of herbs together to hang up to dry & telling me a very imaginative story about the pods being planets & a big piece of quartz I found in the garden & brought back to the house being an asteroid coming to crush the planets, I thought it was very imaginative, 16 upon hearing it said it sounded suspiciously like something he watched on tv- who knows, I was entertained & that's the fun part.  Mr7 is so absorbed in tv & his own stuff, running around, building with his magnetix or his fisher price castle pieces, he rarely just sits & talks to me, even about imaginary storys & even with a lot of encouragement from me. Part of the situation is that miss 16 is often monopolizing the conversation, yesterday she was home sick though & we'd had about enough of each other by 5 pm which is when I was out pulling the herbs & getting them bundled up, the chives I cut up with scissors & froze, the others are drying on my nice hutch I put together this summer. Note the cat sleeping in the Bowl.

Today miss 10 is home sick, mostly sick of going to school I think, that & sick of seeing her older sister stay home sick, I'm of the belief that the occasional Mental Health day at home is not a bad thing in the least- I especially like that it allows me to interact with just 1 kid at a time for awhile, Miss 10 & I had a nice talk in bed this morning, (she crawled into bed with me as soon as her siblings got on the bus) She's not like her sister, she's more like her father, a fatalistic attitude & the take on life that it sucks, oh well, get over it, that's tough to take at age 10 & I try to talk to her about trying not to be so hardcore & harsh about her take on life. Yesterday we wrote an email to her dad as he had emailed her, she'd started one as a reply to his most recent previous email back in september but she wrote 1 sentence & then put it away so when she told me she had a new email from her dad I offered to type & she could just dictate it to me, which is what we did & it worked out ok, Not too sure how her dad will like that though, I'm sure he'd prefer to hear from her direct with out my intervention, I'd prefer not to intervene but she's a procrastinator so to get something out to him I felt it was better for me to help & get it done than to have her keep putting it off. She gets especially funky about the whole dad thing, 7 was a baby & 16 was a stepchild who says she hated him & was glad to see him go when he left in 2000, Miss 10 was 4 & remembers good times from back when we did all live together & She definitley loves her dad still where 7 doesn't remember him & 16 remembers him all too well, 10 idolizes him however. 

  Miss 10 & I went out today to the stores to get milk & a few other neccessities, bread, broccoli, forks from the dollar store, (when 12 forks stays 12 forks for 6 months then I will stop buying forks for 3 for a dollar) we did pretty well considering 10 is a compulsive shopper & has a really hard time not asking for everything in the store. I did get pop tarts & candy corn at her request but mostly because the kids needed something to snack on & I have these cute halloween bowls around the house & like to have something in them so we were in cahoots on getting the candy corn. 

 Back to work tommorow, a whopping 22 hours in 2 days, I'm dedicated to doing my overtime on Sunday & Fridays now so that I can be home to help with homework (the first report cards were released last week & were less than impressive!) 10 & 7 both need to buckle down if I can be here by 845 on Mondays & Thursdays then we might be able to get their grades up Miss 16 did great she got 3 as & a b, her highschool does things differently, they only take 4 classes per semester, she's got English, History, Drawing & Sculpture for her 4 classes until the end of January & so while english & history are fairly hard classes the 2 art classes seem like they'd be a walk in the park. She doesn't think so though & thinks I'm mean for saying they are easy classes. I've loved my kids from babyhood on & enjoyed every minute of it but I will be glad just the same when they're all old enough to just do their homework with out argument, help or anything from me. There are too many holes in my own - homeschooled- education for me to be much help in many circumstances.

Posted by Becky at 4:13 PM EDT
Saturday, October 7, 2006
My Dishes (& my Body) Are Finally Washed!
Now Playing: Free by Train
Topic: Family Business

The sink is finished, we got up this morning between 16 & I we got the under sink valves turned off so we could have water in the bathroom & I could wash some clothes (Always a priority) we had homemade pancakes for brunch (no one, even mr 7 was up before 10 today I'm afraid I'm raising a pack of night owls like myself) both 10 & 7 helped me make them 7 likes to flip the pancakes & 10 likes mixing them & breaking the eggs especially. Then we began making our craft project a halloween banner with pieces of that foam sheeting stuff, I'd made one out of construction paper back when 7 was a baby & I didn't have any money for floam & actually had to have an argument with the ex to get the construction paper! We cut out ghosts, harlequin masks, jackolanterns & Witches hats & decorated them with mettalic pens, glitter & more foam. eventually they'll be strung on colored pipe cleaners & hung on a wall, like this halloween one that 7 & 10 made in addition to the ones we were all making. They put theirs together for something to do while 16 & I were decorating more in depth, it gave them a feeling of getting something acomplished, they hate that I wouldn't put up the others because I want the glue to dry completley so I don't end up with parts of floam candy corns & pumpkins all over the floor under where I put the banner.

    Around 5 16's friend & her boyfriend came over, the boyfriend is the one who was going to take the last nut off my kitchen sink. He did it! it took an hour or so even for him, to loosen it up & make get the whole faucet pulled off, after that, hooking up the new faucet took less than 15 minutes for me, inexperienced novice that I am, to finish- it looks lovely, the whole arm sticks up higher than the old one, every time I go out there & see it it looks funny to me, but I'll get used to it, I'm not unhappy with the quality, compared to the 50+ year old one which was there it's shiny, feels strong (though I fully expect mr 7 to NOT sit on this one- he's been listening to his sisters & I bitch about him breaking the old one since the problem began back in June & is heartily sick of the whole thing. 

   After all that hard work we had a lovely dinner, a beef roast & potatoes, with french onion soup mix on them & some water, sealed up in foil & baked, we had fresh bread because miss 16 was bored & also because the oven on with the dryer on makes the house warmer (I'm trying to hold out until november 1 before purchasing any kerosene for the heater) the weather is supposed to co-operate next week & be over 70 all week again (YAY) & we'll be watching a scary movie on video tonight, Skeleton Key, not sure if I'll like it, I probably will, I used to love slasher type movies of the friday the 13th variety but after my brother died I lost interest (we used to watch them together) Ann told me through IM it was more the suspense type of movie though so should be good. Last night I rented Walk the Line, on the advice of a co-worker (the same one I was discussing the sink with- he & I have worked on the same teams off & on for 4 years- since he started there, about a year after me) I'm a rock & roll fan all the way, can't stand country music (though I always had some respect for Johnny Cash) & neither can W, my co-worker, but he said he started watching it to be polite to his father who wanted to see it & ended up really liking it so he recommended it to me, I liked it too-- 16 was dubious but sat down & watched it & loved it- more so than I did actually.

Back to work tommorow, with all the best intentions of making a full week, maybe even 3 or 4 hours of overtime, who am I kidding, after 1 month in which we got 1 week out of 4 without overtime we're back to overtime every week, mandatory. so 4 hours wether I like it or not, unless I leave again, I refuse to try to get 4 hours extra if I'm not even there for 40 hours, after all, If I'm missing work because I'm sick, how will it improve things if I'm there sick? No use arguing with management, they're always sure they're right.

Posted by Becky at 9:01 PM EDT
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Am I Wrong here?
Now Playing: Its All I Can Do by the Cars
Topic: Family Business

Ok, now I consider myself a fairly lenient parent, I am easygoing on room cleanliness, bedtimes & TV viewing. I do require my 16 year old's help in watching her siblings while I'm at work & on my work days I do ask her to feed them,  keep the laundry moving from laundry basket, to washer to dryer (I fold it all, always) & do the dishes on my work days also. I pay her, I don't ask her to watch her sibs for free, I don't pay her a lot but at least it's something, most people I know who are oldest siblings (myself included) did not get paid for watching their younger brothers & sisters. 

  When 16 is invited, she is allowed to go out after I get home from work on Friday nights & to stay at friends overnight on Tuesday or Friday nights, school time or summertime, either way it's ok with me, it gets her out of my hair & makes her happier at the same time. 

I  would be the first to admit I'm rather anal when it comes to my sleep, I like to get 8-9 hours a night, more if possible, I'm a night owl but I know on a work night 7 am comes pretty damn early so I shoot for a 11 pm bedtime on nights when I have to get up for work the next day. Tonight at 10 pm 16 comes to me & says a friend who just got her licence is coming to get her & they're going out driving, how long can she stay out for? I looked at the clock & said half an hour, she wasn't happy but didn't argue too much, ( I get crabby fast, you want to argue about the amount of time I say you can forget about going at all) Next thing I hear is that the driving friend is staying overnight, not a big deal, they're pretty quiet, I bitch if they're not & she's lost the privledge of having friends over for weeks & months previously because of not being quiet so she's pretty respectful about that, when the friend arrived I said, since it was quarter past 10 & I'm a little caffeineated & probably won't be able to fall asleep at 11 anyway, that she could stay out until 11 if she wanted. Well, as usual, nothings ever quite enough. 

Not 15 minutes after she's left the house, she's calling me & asking me if she can stay out until midnight. No, she can't. She then procedes to argue with me about why am I always such a bitch, never let her do what she wants, etc, etc, etc, the usual 16 year old rant, I remember it from when I was 16 myself, (& 15, 17 & 18 too) 15 minutes later (early I might add- just what I want, more of her!) she stomps in the house, tries to kill me with her eyes & marches upstairs, 2 minutes later she's back in response to my question about where's the other girl? Oh, she's still staying the night, she'll be here at midnight when her own, regular curfew at home is! 

  Oh hell no she isn't, If I don't want to stay up until midnight worrying about where she is what makes her think I want to do so for her friend? Not a big deal according to her, I don't Need to worry about C, she'll be really quiet when she gets here at midnight, she promised. Sure, & what if she doesn't actually show up at midnight, what if she's driven over a cliff? what if she doesn't make a curve, I may not be from here, but when I got here I'd only had my licence for 4 months, I got my first car here in VA. In MA, I'd only been able to borrow my Mother's & Friend's Cars, I may have learned the basics, how to shift gears, brake & accelerate in my fathers VW Rabbit, but I really got my driving skills here & if that car hadn't been a nearly dead 1978 Plymouth Arrow with a 4 cylinder engine, an automatic transmission & no power to get any speed up at all I'd probably have died the first week!  The roads are curvy, slick when wet, people take the curves on the wrong side of  the road & sometimes, on the side of the road, to the right, there's a sheer drop, 15-20 feet is a small drop around here!

There was a guy, when my ex & I lived here & were getting ready to get married in 1993, who was on his way to work in Roanoke & never arrived, he was like, 50 or so at the time & neither he or the car turned up, they just assumed that he'd just left his live in girlfriend & gone somewhere else, though he didn't take anything but his wallet & lunch for work. They found him & his car on a hillside, in 2002, he had gone off the side of the road, over the cliff & into trees & no one, looking over the side of the cliff could see the car. from where the body was they said he survived the crash but was pretty messed up, he got out of the car but was unable to get to the road & died in the woods by the car, 9 years to find him! That's what it's like here though, I think of it all the time, driving to & from work, going places with the kids- down to Roanoke on the occasional shopping trip, going to Chrissies house, there are crosses & other handmade memorials on many many curves where people have lost their lives & I seriously don't want to be making a memorial to my kid on one of them. 

Of course when you're 16, you're invincible, you don't truly belive anything bad can happen to you, I know though, that it can & often does & though I try not to restrict her too much, I know all too well & can imagine all to easily all kinds of disasterous scenarios which could occour when she's out. 

 I have no conclusions to draw, maybe I'm overprotective, maybe I'm not protective enough, you have to let them go a little, my banner on my cell phone reminds me of that every day... (or it tries to at least) it says :                     Root & Wings

Posted by Becky at 11:25 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 26, 2006 1:59 PM EDT
Tuesday, September 5, 2006
Musings on painting & early halloween thoughts
Now Playing: Road to Nowhere by Ozzy
Topic: Family Business

Relaxing days, yesterday & today, yesterday we did craft stuff, I had picked up halloween figures, houses & a crypt, at a resale shop in town back at the beginning of the summer for a dollar fifty each & have been holding on to them since then. Monday turned out rainy & miserable so the kids & I painted them, they came out pretty nice as you can sort of see from the picture

we  painted these & also some wooden things which will become a welcome sign for beside the door if I ever finish it, I've been thinking about how I wanted it to be & how to set the welcome sign  up for months, I bought the pieces months ago & had been considering ever since, they're still not done, just the base coats applied, I was going to do the whole thing but decided I was better off taking it in small steps. Especially since in annother 3 weeks I'll want to put up halloween decorations & won't want some light & fluffy pretty thing beside my door. Halloween has been one of my favorite holidays as long as I can remember, unlike Christmas, which carries so much baggage (not to mention that some of my mother's worst depressions were during that holiday- making it uncomfortable to me) It's all for fun, from the time my best childhood friend (we were friends from 3 to 14 & then her father became an at home alcoholic so she cut all her friends out of her life) & I would make these walk through haunted houses through my house, I have memories of all these decorations we made for the walls on the staircase & fortunes we put in a black plastic cauldron & had my grandmother, dressed as a witch stir & give to people, one time we had a seance in the back room of a building we had on our property, there was a round hole cut in the wall which had been for a stovepipe but there was no pipe there & some enterprising person had placed the piece of drywall back in the hole, we heard a noise back there & turned to look & suddenly this hand & arm thrust itself through the hole! It was my father who was quite a joker & prankster! We hadn't planned this but it went off wonderfuly. Once when we were younger on Halloween night, with out any warning my parents & my friends parents put us all in the car & drove us to a neighboring town to a 'haunted house' my friend's parents milkman (yes, I'm old enough to have grown up with a milk man) & his friends had set up a haunted house & were making money for some charity having people pay a dollar or something to walk through, there was a gypsy telling fortunes, pirates & assorted ghouls standing or sitting around, so still you thought they were mannequins then they'd jump at you or yell, in the basement there was a stone doorway & someone standing against the wall on the other side swinging a large broadaxe down across the doorway I was on my way in when they swung it & stopped short, I was never so scared in my life (I was 7 or 8 at the time) they had it set up very well, once you walked around upstairs you went down to the basement & through a little more & then out through their bulkhead- very convenient. I always used to love watching Roseanne because they always had great halloween shows & did similar things to what we used to do & what I had seen (you see, in Massachusetts by 1975 or so there was no trick or treating because of the razor blades in apples, angel dust in pixie sticks freak out urban legends which went around- the kids who went to public school went to a school sponsered party but most of my friends were catholic school kids & of course I was either in the school my mother sent me to back then or taught at home so no party- our parents started doing things for us so we'd have something to do for halloween & we took it over ourselves once we were old enough. ) I really love halloween still, there's been years where I took 16 trick or treating in Mass (nowadays, they do this by neighborhood rather than all over town) & then all 3 of them here trick or treating, last year & the year before I hung out at my ex's aunts house & his cousin & her daughter kindly took the little ones out with them which I really apreciated- (miss 16 is over the whole thing & stays home handing out candy - though here at the new house no one shows up to get any) I always feel like such a beggar running the kids from place to place, waiting in the car for them to run up & back down, theres too much space between houses here for walking between houses for trick or treat- unless you do it just right in the center of town. I considered briefly having a halloween party here at the house, a little house of horrors tour like J & I used to do & then a little party in the garage, just for 10 & 7's school classes, not tons of people, just give everyone in the classes a note to stop by for a scary tour etc. but when I suggested it to 16 & wanted her to ask a couple of friends to help out she was shocked & appalled. How could I think of doing something so crazy? so weird, she'd be the laughingstock of the high school! So we didn't do it, as it turned out halloween time turned out to be a pretty financialy low time of the year last year so it's just as well that we didn't plan any such thing last year. There's always this year or next though... Right?

well, probably not! it's a nice idea but it takes a lot more time & money than I have to spare- it's too bad though, it would be a lot of fun. 

In painting the buildings I ended up, as usual, all alone at the table, mr 7 went to watch tv, miss 16's boyfriend called, miss 10 was back & forth between watching tv & making something to eat, I sat quietly, painting & thinking of the Christmas village the ex & I painted which was similar to these halloween pieces, thinking of the wooden boxes I used to get from my father who talked people at the liquor store into giving him for free (they sold wine from them & were just tossing the boxes out, after he got maybe 10 of them they started selling them to people for $5. each & he wouldn't get any more because he was mad that they took advantage of his idea to re-use the boxes) I still have 4 of them, 3 painted, 1 I've never gotten to but may soon. My mother & grandmother also each have one I painted for them. 1 with scences from my childhood home & 1 with scences from Whittiers Birthplace.  There's a few other boxes which my father made which my mother still has I think. I'll have to ask I guess.  

Posted by Becky at 7:51 PM EDT
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Very Quick Update on Nothing at All
Now Playing: Something by Staind, I Just Can't think of the Name of the song!
Topic: Family Business

Yes, so I don't have a lot of time today, I should be doing a lot of things & I haven't done much of anything, mr 7 took some scissors to his head yesterday while his sister was (not) watching him & I was at work. So among other things I have to shave his head. He & his older sister also both need some more clothes to start back to school in. ( Miss 10 is more than prepared thanks to hand me downs & Goodwill!) The pictures are new, cute & take a bunch of space, well the
 one of the younger 2 is cute, miss 16 is cute but moody & has not been pleasant the last few days, mostly because of school coming up & the boyfriend thing. He's away, she's here. Work is work as always, I'm STILL having trouble getting back into the swing of things there, but at least I'm not having nightmares about the computer programs anymore (well, at least not more than once a week!) It occoured to me yesterday that the last 2 days were the first time I went to work & did my job with out really thinking on my way in there, 'damn, I have to use that stuipd computer program' I just went in, did my job & accepted that the program we use now is what I'm using to do it. I consider that a breakthrough of sorts & it helps that by the end of the year everyone in the whole call center is going to be using the computer program from hell- Comfort in the misery of others- yes, that's just Lovely!

 Something Miss 16 could totaly get into I'm sure. 

In other news everything is quiet, Chrissie's scheduled to be moving next week, I have mixed emotions about the whole back to school thing (August 17 here in SW VA - my county is always the earliest of the early!)  On the one hand I will miss the kids company, if I feel like going somewhere on my days off I have to go alone (NOT always a bad thing- my kids don't belong in antique or craft stores) or wait until they get out of school in the afternoon. Also I do enjoy getting up on my days off in the morning to quiet & wandering around doing what ever I want with out any concern for what the kids are doing or how it imacts what I want to do (ie: waiting for the computer or the tv or the BATHROOM!) & I like knowing someone else has care of them, once they get on the school bus I don't have to worry about if they're punching each other, need to go to the bathroom or need a drink of water, I get a BREAK from fulfiling all their needs, wants etc. Heck, as for the drawback, where they're not available to do stuff while they're in school that's the best reason for having Saturdays off like I do- that's what Saturdays are for!

Posted by Becky at 2:07 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Too Busy for our own good.
Now Playing: Leroy & Stitch for the kids in the next room
Topic: Family Business

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

Posted by Becky at 9:47 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 29, 2006 12:51 AM EDT
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Summing it all up
Now Playing: Gasoline by Audioslave
Topic: Family Business

All in All it could have been a lot worse, The Ex's visit went off flawlessly, we all went bowling on Tuesday & they aparently left at 3 am Wednesday morning so I got my Wednesday to myself (or to the kids & Chrissy & Samantha - we went bowling too) the downside is my vacation to Massachusetts this summer has to be moved back by 2 weeks, originally it was supposed to be June 28 to July 12, now it's going to be July 11 thru July 26, which the kids are especially upset about, but it's not anything I can change, they only let you borrow 1 paid day off & because I took one for the Ex's visit I have to earn annother day before we can leave, I've tried multiple configurations of borrowed days, swaped days etc. but this is the only one which makes sense, because I work 2 days, have a day off & then work 2 more & have 2 days off, taking 1 day off instead of 2 makes no sense because if I take 1 then I have to work 1 & have 1 or 2 off again.
Things could have been much worse, I definitley felt his attitude a bunch, he was pretty obvious that he thought my house too small & dumpy. I don't much care, I like it & that's all that matters really. I'll be surprised if he does a whole lot better that I. His last comment about the house thing was that they're going to use his vetrans benifits to buy his Mom's doublewide. No offense to my Mother in law (especially since I love her place & think the views from her place are spectacular) I'm still glad I have a house not a doublewide... Also I didn't mention it to him but I know from when I was buying my place that you have to have a down payment of 20% to purchase a manufactured home of any kind which is already in use, it's easier to get your own new one on a piece of property than to buy someone's used doublewide!

Posted by Becky at 11:22 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, April 22, 2006 3:20 PM EDT

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