Saturday, December 27, 2008

This, that, and the other thing...

Not much going on, really. I did start my job with the Census Bureau, and so far it's been fun mostly, but also a little frustrating. Fun because I've met some really nice people, and driven to some cute little towns. Frustrating because I've had very little luck getting people to come in for testing. I'm thinking it's mostly because of Christmas and people trying to just concentrate on getting through that. I know hunting season played a big part in it as well. *sigh* But it still feels like I'm not doing my job as well as I could be.

One cool thing--in the last couple of weeks, I have seen THREE bald eagles in my travels! I'd never seen any in the wild before, so this was pretty awesome! Beautiful birds, I think. I've also been noticing a lot of hawks in the area, which I hadn't before.

Oh, I would like to know who exactly ordered winter for here. >:-( I am NOT impressed with all the snow we've gotten. It's freakin' cold! (Though it is very pretty if it isn't on the road...) Which reminds me--I need to do a couple (at least) "snow posts" for those who don't get to share it with me. I've been taking a bunch of pictures while out and about (tomorrow I plan to go to a park near here and try to get some good black and white ones), and also took a short video that I wanted to put up. I'm thinking that I'll have to do what Boo does and do a "photodump."

One last thing...looks like we'll be able to start moving in to the new house as of the first of the year. We'll have a week to do any painting or things like that, and then we'll start moving our stuff. The downside: so far, I have packed--1 large box of clothes, 6 boxes of videotapes, and 3 or 4 boxes of breakables. We haven't even started sorting the other stuff we have! I think this might be a good time to start panicking! Seriously, though, if anyone wants to come and help us move, I will pay you in home cooked meals. They won't be fancy, but they'll be pretty tasty, and that's all that really matters, right? :)

Okay, I think that's all for now. I will most likely download pictures to the computer later on and see about getting some good ones posted on here. Sorry this was kind of short, but I thought I ought to get at least one more on here before the end of the

Y'all take care, and I hope everyone had a good Christmas, and hope y'all have a great start to the new year!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Trick or Treat! (the costumes and decorations)

Now that we had carved and decorated our jack-o'-lanterns, it was time for us to get into costume.

My other granddaughter, Isabel, came over the day before Halloween--she was a cat this year.

Her soon-to-be stepsister, Jordan, came over as well, dressed as a unicorn.
Aren't they sweet?

Tree went as a corporate vampire this year...

Accompanied by Rachele in fairy guise.

And here's Aidan, as Darth Vader. He was heartbroken that he couldn't wear his Spiderman costume anymore (he outgrew it), but it got some use anyway--Iris was Spidergirl, but somehow we didn't manage to get pictures of her on our camera. I'll have to fix that!

Heather went as a leopard. Dave did a pretty good job on her makeup. : )

Here's Heather outside, next to our witch's table. Looks like one of the finished painted pumpkins also made it into the picture. : )

Here's me, in my "enchantress" costume. I really like that cloak! It's actually pretty warm, which means I don't need a coat--a bonus when Halloween night is kind of chilly most years.

And this is me with Heather and Aidan at Mom & Dad's place. It's tradition that every year we go to Dave's folks' so they can get pictures of our costumes. Plus we get as much candy as we want! : )

I almost forgot about my niece, Angela--she was (I think, but don't quote me) a goth angel. Very cute, I think! : )

I didn't get very many pictures of Halloween decorations, simply because there weren't many displays worthy of note. However, there was one place that really did up their yard:

There was another really cool house, with some pretty spooky lighting, and scary...not scarecrows, but I guess you'd call them dummies...they were done up in costumes (one was the guy from Scream, one was Freddy, and I don't remember the other one), but one was an actual person. Last year it was the Scream outfit that had a person inside, this year it was Freddy. Anyhow, generally all is quiet while the kids ring the doorbell and get their candy, but when they leave, the guy in costume jumps at the kids to scare them. Heather remembered the place from last year and wasn't sure she wanted to go up to the door, but it wasn't too bad. : )

This year was a nice change, weather-wise. It really isn't unusual for it to be raining, windy, or snowing on Halloween, and is almost always really cold. We have to find or make costumes that can be worn over cold-weather clothes! But it was in the low 70s early in the day, and it only dropped to the 50s that night. The kids came home with a ton of candy, and combined it with the candy they'd gotten two days before from trick or treating up at the college. I think they've all got 5 or 10 pounds each!

Okay, this has gotten quite long enough. I'll check back in in a day or two--I'll have to tell you about my new job then!

Trick or Treat! (the pumpkins)

So...Friday was Halloween, and
we celebrated by carving (and painting) pumpkins, and dressing up in costumes to beg for candy in the surrounding neighborhoods. : )

Here's Dave, with his favorite carving knife. Heather looks a little worried,

Here's Heather, scooping out pumpkin guts...

Deciding on how his face is going to look...

This year was the first year that Heather got to carve her pumpkin (pretty much) by herself.

And the finished jack-o'-lantern! Heather thought he needed some paint as a finishing touch.

Meanwhile, Rachele was getting her kids set to paint their pumpkins.

Iris had fun painting hers. : )

Aidan's pumpkin is full of personality! : )

And, oh, yes, we mustn't forget about the pumpkin-goop
tossing, or....

the paint smearing! Dave did the goop tossing, and Tree did the paint smearing. I think Rachele is plotting revenge at some point

For some reason, people insist on taking pictures of me, too, so here I am cleaning out my pumpkin...

Carving the pumpkin....

It looks better when it's lit up!

See, what'd I tell you? Pretty spiffy, no?

And really, I think that's enough pictures for this post. I'm going to do a separate one for the costumes and decorations.

Yes, today...sheesh...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hold the phone!

Oh, my gosh! I got the Census Bureau job after all! The good one, the one I applied for! I've got to call the lady from the regional office in Denver tomorrow to get all the details straightened out. So far, all I know is that it pays $12.50 an hour, with 58.5 cents/mile for travel. : ) I can't stop grinning!

The only downside is that I don't think I'll be able to give my boss a full two weeks' notice that I'm leaving. I have to have 40 hours of training for the new job, and I think (not sure, though) that I'm supposed to start in about a week and a half....eesh. I think my boss at Hobby Lobby is going to have kittens when I tell him I'm leaving.

But I'm still so excited! And, okay, a little scared because this is so different from anything I've ever done before. But I can do this!

I'll post again when I know more about the job. Have a good evening, everyone! : )

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A new house...

Okay, first things first, though. The Census Bureau finally contacted me last Friday, but I wasn't able to call them back until Tuesday this week. After talking with someone at the office, it turned out that I didn't get the Recruiting Assistant job I had wanted. They were willing to offer me one of several clerk positions, but I'm not going to take it. The major reason is that they are only paying clerks $8.25 an hour, which is what I'm making now, and since I've been with Hobby Lobby for a year, I'm due for a raise pretty soon. I had been hoping that I would be making more with the Census Bureau, so that I could maybe set some aside. If I was to take this job now, there wouldn't be any extra money, plus there's no guarantee that the job would last longer than a year. So come Christmas time next year, I'd be looking for another job. Thanks for all the good wishes though! : )

And now for the actual subject of this post! Yes, I'm sure you're all so excited! lol

So...our landlord told us early last week that we needed to get the house clean because he was having an appraiser come to inspect it so that he could refinance it. He said it would need to be in the next couple of weeks, which, theoretically, would give us plenty of time.

Uh-huh. Things didn't work out like that. The appraiser called on Thursday, and wanted to come check out the house on Saturday. Dave politely told him that he'd been sick, and could we please reschedule for Monday. This was no problem, and we spent the weekend cleaning furiously. It's good that the house is clean, but it just reminds me how much junk we really have.

But I digress. Our landlord (Mark) told us that he would buy a house that we could buy from him, as a contract for deed. Naturally we were very excited, since we've been talking about moving to a small town or at least to a smaller house for a while now. Mark told us about a couple of houses, and I went to look at them a couple of days ago.

The first house I don't have pictures of, but it was definitely LITTLE! lol It was built in 1930, and I think it was meant for a family of very skinny giants. Seriously! I went into the kitchen, and the cabinets were so tall that when I stood on my tiptoes and stretched my hand up, I could reach the front of the third shelf. And there were FOUR shelves! AND a smaller cabinet above that! Every cabinet in the place was the same way...and it was just very very tiny. Not quite right for us, I think.

The second house I went and looked at, I fell in love with. I took Dave with me tonight to see it, and we took pictures this time. I'll give you a bit of a walk-through, though the pics aren't that great.

This is taken from outside the front door. The first thing you walk into is a mud room, where you can leave your outdoor stuff and muddy shoes and such. Then there's the door into the main house. The lady in the doorway is the realtor, and the girl lives in the house currently.

This is a picture of one side of the mud room--there are windows like that all the way around. That's actually true of the whole house--there are windows everywhere, which makes it very light and airy.

This is the living room, which is actually a pretty good size, I think. There is a loveseat over on the left side of the picture, and over on the right is where there's a couch. I didn't manage to get it in the picture. (I said they weren't very good

This is part of the living room, also. I lovelovelove those built in shelves--I already know I'm going to fill them up with all my knicknacks! lol We're debating whether we're going to keep our table and put it here, or get a breakfast nook to put in the kitchen. I really hate to get rid of the table we have now, because it's actually big enough for everyone to sit around, but if there isn't room for it.....*sigh*

This is the bathroom--mostly the bathroom cabinets. I gotta say, it fascinates me, how much storage this house really has. Someone built cabinets and storage nooks everywhere--it's great! Anyhow, the bathtub and shower are over there on the right, and that brown cabinet is above the toilet.

This is the laundry room, which is just off the bathroom. It's not very big, but there's a dresser in the room for storage (I've no idea if that's staying, but I'll worry about that later). That door on the left goes to a storage area that connects to the kitchen, but just on the other side is an upright freezer. I figure that's where we'll put ours.

This is only one view of the kitchen, but I didn't take more than this one. I wanted to show off the window, and the green counters. Dave doesn't like them, but I kind of do. I'm thinking a bluer green might be better, though.

This is the doorway to the master bedroom. It's not huge, but I think it's big enough for us. And the best thing is that it's on the main floor, which means that Dave doesn't have to worry about going up or down stairs. This is a major bonus!

Okay, this is one of my favorite things about the house. This tiny door goes to a storage room right above the master bedroom. I'm right next to the door, and my head is brushing the ceiling. Walking through that door makes me feel like Alice in Wonderland--it's great! I don't think Matt will like having his room upstairs, though--he's over 6 feet tall, and he'll have to duck every time he walks through the hallway! lol

This is the inside of the storage room. It's been insulated, but there's no sheetrock or anything else on the ceiling. I'm thinking this would make a great craft room for me! : )

This is the front of the closet in what would probably be Heather's room. Currently there's no bar for hanging clothers, but that can be fixed easily enough. I like the idea of hanging curtains in front, instead of having doors.

This is the same room. Heather's arm is over there on the right, the rest of her is attached, don't worry--it's just not in the picture...(yes, that was silly) Anyhow, the room is smaller than the one she has now, but I think it will be okay for her.

This is the closet in the other upstairs bedroom. And Dave, of course. :) Notice the built-in storage on the other side? Very cool!

Okay, this is one of the trees on the property. It's perfect for a treehouse! We've never had a treehouse tree before! And it even has a tire swing--every kid needs a tire swing!

And this is one of the garden patches outside--this one is on the left side of the mud room. Currently it is occupied by garden gnomes, but I don't know if the will choose to move with the family that lives in the house.

Oh, and I promised Netti a picture of snow. This is the remnants of the snowfall we had last week, taken from my driveway (that's my front yard). Next time it snows, I will take better pictures, I promise!

Okay, that's all for now. Sorry this was so long. Keep your fingers crossed that everything goes well with getting this house--I'm very excited about it!

G'night everyone!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

But it isn't even Halloween....

And there is snow on the ground. And it is still snowing. AND (get this) they're saying something about the possibility of another 8 to 12 inches of this stuff! Oh, man.... :(

I'm not ready for the snow. I've resigned myself to the fact that Halloween here is almost always cold, rainy, windy, or snowy...or sometimes all of the above. But it's only the 11th of October, for heaven's sake! Much too early to have to break out the snow shovel.

There hasn't been a whole lot going on around here, which is why I haven't posted anything. I'm still waiting to hear something definite from the Census Bureau. Although someone from the Denver office called me at work yesterday, and left a message to call her back. Of course I was very excited, and called as soon as I got the message--but I didn't get the message until 2 because I was closing last night, and I guess they had already left for the day, since I got their machine every time I tried calling. Guess I'll be calling on Monday. (I hope they were calling to tell me that I got the job, and not to say, sorry, they don't need me...)

Also, today and possibly tomorrow we're going to be in a cleaning frenzy here at the house. Our landlord wants to have the house refinanced, so naturally it must be inspected inside and out. Which means it must be spotless top to bottom. The guy wanted to come today, but Dave told him that he was sick (which he is) and talked him into coming on Monday afternoon instead. I think we're going to need a miracle...

And I've been thinking lately about doing a bucket list--I saw several from you fine folks on your own blogs, and thought I might share mine. I'm pretty sure I can come up with 34 things I want to do before I die. That's for another post, though--right now, it's time to go and clean. Um, yay?

Hope y'all have a good weekend! If you get the chance, take a look at Heather's Bookanook (if you feel like it, anyhow)--also at The Crafty Dragon's Creations, I have a countdown to Christmas, just in case you weren't panicking yet about buying and/or making gifts! :) So long for now!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


So I took my test for the Census Bureau job today...I got 100%! How cool is that?! My mom was testing for the Admin Assistant job and scored a 97%. I thought that was funny, since we took the same test--the questions were just in a different order. : ) Anyhow, the ladies giving the test said that they very rarely saw scores that good, and that they would be seeing us. Sounds promising, I think! And I think that I'll be hearing from them pretty soon, because they're opening the local office around the first of October, and whoever they hire has to have 40 hours of training before they start. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Oh, and you know how kids say the funniest stuff sometimes? Here is a conversation between Dave and Heather on our way up to the mountains this past Saturday:

Heather: Oh, horses! I want the black one!

Dave: I want the green one.

H: There is no green horse, Dad. (sounding very exasperated)

D: Well, wouldn't it be cool to genetically engineer colored horses? Then you could have blue or green or whatever color you like.

H: Everyone wishes that, Dad, but it's just not possible. (sounding like she's explaining to someone much younger than her 10 years) So I'm just going to spray-paint them, and then I can have lots of colors!

D: But, you know, spray-paint isn't very good for their skin.

H: Yes, that's why I'm going to spray it from far away, so it doesn't get to their skin.

Me: giggling silently while taking notes so I can post that conversation on here...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I feel like crap...

I've developed some sort of nasty bug. I have a sore throat, a fever, and a stuffy nose. Normally I don't take cold medicine, but I have been the last two days. Turns out I've been taking double what I'm supposed to, which would explain the upset stomach it's been giving me. *sigh* On top of that, it's "that time" so of course I feel all icky from that, too.

Okay, on to better stuff. Last Saturday was my daughter Heather's birthday. I can't believe she's 10 already! Dave and I bought her a new bike, and we've had a hard time getting her off of it! : ) My mom gave her a copy of Mary Poppins, which she's watched about half a dozen times already. A lady I work with gave her a couple of porcelain dolls--Heather just loves them!

I should probably post some pics, but right now I just don't feel like it. I'll probably get to it this afternoon sometime.

Also, I'm applying for a job with the Census Bureau. The position is Recruiting Assistant, and I would be responsible for making sure that there are enough people to do the census, setting appointments, making sure there are testing facilities available, and handing out flyers at job fairs, etc. There are a couple of other things, too, but that's the bulk of it. I take the test and turn in my application on the 2nd of Sept., and after that, they'll either schedule me for an interview, or not. There's only one of those positions available, and I'm sure there will be a lot of people applying for it, so wish me luck! The nice thing about it is that it pays about $12.50 an hour, and I think I can do some of it from home!

We're getting ready to start the new school year with Heather, and we're trying to think of ways to make book reports more enjoyable for her. She's never had to do an actual report, just sheets every week asking about the characters, settings, stuff like that, which was a lead-in to book reports. She hated doing those, and I can't say that I really blamed her, because it was the same questions every week, although it involved only a little writing every day.

Anyway, the issue isn't reading--she LOVES to read! The issue is getting her to tell someone about the book. I was talking to Dave, and I thought it would be a neat idea for her to start a book review blog. She could do a little bit every day about what she's reading, or just do a review/report when she finished a book. Then, hopefully, she could get responses with constructive criticism on the report. Just an idea I had.

Okay, that's about all I've got for now. I'm going to be helping Dave with the trailer later today so he can go camping with our middle son and Heather this week. I'll be going up next Friday evening. I'll also try to get back on here later today to post some pics, and maybe write the next chapter in my story.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

R.I.P. Tim...

My brother-in-law Tim died today. He went in for gastric bypass surgery last week and there were problems following it. He had a clot get to his lungs, which gave him pneumonia. He was put in ICU so they could monitor him. The docs put in screens to block any other clots, but the screens kept failing and had to be replaced. They couldn't give Tim any blood thinners to break up the clots because it was so soon after the surgery. However, they had started him on Coumadin (a blood thinner) yesterday (enough time had passed) and it seemed to be working really well. They were going to move him out of ICU tomorrow. But something went wrong. A clot got past the screen and they think it went to his brain. They haven't done an autopsy yet, though Dave is pretty sure they will. Papa (Dave's dad) said he died almost instantly, which is good, I guess.

Tim's son Mick was there this afternoon, as was Jim, the third of Dave's siblings. Jim was actually driving back home to NC when he got the call, so he turned around and headed back to PA.

I only got to meet Tim a few times because he lived so far away, but I liked him a lot. He was a lot like Dave, which stands to reason, doesn't it? : ) He was a good man with a ready smile and a great sense of humor. And he made a killer cheesecake! He would have been 52 this Christmas Eve. He had a son named Michael (known as Mick, who has a son named Gannon), and a daughter named Ashley. Tim was the oldest of Dave's brothers, followed by John (who lives next door to us), Jim (lives in NC), Bill (lives in Sweden), and finally, Dave.

I wish I could have known Tim better. I'll miss him, though.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Home again...

I got home yesterday evening. I so wanted to stay up in the mountains! It's so peaceful up there, away from everything. I had a great relaxing nine days, but would have gladly stayed at least nine more... : )

I didn't go and do a whole lot, but I did take a lot of pictures. Somewhere between 800 and 1000, according to Dave. I promise I won't post all of them, and I won't put too many in any one post. This one has pictures of a hiking trip that Heather and I took on Thursday last week. It was just a short hike (1/2 mile or so), but there was a great little waterfall at the end of the trail.

This is Heather during the hike, about two-thirds of the way up the trail. She was pretty worn out, but decided to keep going. Good thing, too, because I wasn't going back until I found the waterfall! : )

This is one of the first glimpses of the stream that comes from the waterfall. Heather had said "For all we know, the waterfall might have dried up!" I told her that, no, if the waterfall had dried up, then the stream would have dried up, too. When we saw this stream, I said "See? That proves it's not dried up!" lol

And here's the waterfall! That's the first time I'd ever been up close to a fall. It was so beautiful! The mist from the fall felt really good after the hike. I can't describe adequately how neat I thought it was.

This is Heather pointing out the fall and saying how cool it looked. She was glad we didn't turn around and go back before we made it here. : )

And this is me. I thought Dave would like a picture of me up there, so I let Heather take a few. This was the best one, I thought.

This is a picture I took of the moss and other greenery growing on the rock wall to the left of the waterfall. If you look closely at roughly the center of the picture, you'll see what almost looks like an alien face in the stone. I thought it was really neat!

Anyhow, that's a few of my favorite pictures of that hike. There are quite a few more, but I may share them another time. I'll see what other fun things I can find for my next post. Have a good one, and I'll catch you later!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Camping, camping, camping!

So, um, as you may have guessed, I am going camping! Yay! If I could, I would live there...except that I really do enjoy having people around most of the time. Not that I go visit anyone, but I like seeing that there are people there, if you get what I mean.

Anyhow, I will be going first thing in the morning, and will return on the 27th, as late as I can possibly make it, and still have time for a shower when I get

Wanted to let y'all know I'll be thinking of ya (well, at least sometimes!), and I'll post pictures when I come back. I'm sure Dave will on his blog, as well.

Y'all take care! Try to stay out of trouble while I'm gone, huh? :)

Friday, July 11, 2008


Isn't it amazing how the people that say they love you are often the ones who hurt you the most?

My mom's birthday was last Friday, and I bought her a copy of October Sky (the novel, not the movie, about the farmer who wanted to build his own spacecraft about the time that Sputnik was going up). Her reaction then was "What in the world made you think I would like that?" She hadn't seen the movie, or any of the ads for it, but vaguely knew about it once I gave her a brief description. She said she would read it, but sounded pretty doubtful that she would enjoy it. I bought it for her because I thought she might like something a little different than what she's been reading (romance novels, because they're cheap and throwaways) and I don't know what books by her favorite authors she has or hasn't read anymore.

Apparently I screwed up, though, because a week later she still hasn't started to read the book and asked me again tonight why I thought she would like it.

So now I am sitting here, in tears, feeling like I've somehow disappointed her yet again (won't go into other stuff right now), and wondering if I'll ever be able to please the woman.

Sorry about the pity party. I'll try not to let it happen again.

Hope y'all have a better day.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

New pictures!

Okay, I have to post some pics of Keagan 2.0--he's sans oxygen cords now! Ain't he cute?
Oh, that's my youngest son Matt holding the baby--I don't have any real good pictures of him lately, so I'll have to get some.

And did I mention that we got a new camera? Better than half-price at Kmart, on clearance! (Man, I love sales!) Anyhow, we've been playing with it for the last couple of days. Got some pictures of our critters (the cat is Patches, the dog is Tex), plus some flowers that I saw while walking on Sunday. The two pictures of the rose are actually the same flower in different light.

And this is a picture of the end of a sunset. Didn't get all the awesome colors because I was out too late, but this was still pretty. I was standing on one corner and zoomed in towards the park across the street. I'm going to be trying to get some other sunsets pretty soon, plus fireworks this Friday should be cool too!

I can't wait to be able to take the camera camping! There's some really great views up there! Not to mention all the critters! :)
Anyhow, I'm off for today. Hope y'all have a good one!