Monthly Archives: July 2010

More Summer School Stuff

WordPress doesn’t like me to add too many pictures in one post. I think Miss W did really well this year in summer school and the graduation ceremony seemed different, probably because the children are starting to seem more familiar to me, and I found more people to chat with, including a teacher who used to work at Dartmouth and knew Boy 2! Miss W wanted to show me her work and although she wasn’t exactly bubbling over with enthusiasm all evening long, it had been a long day and we were both tired . . . Today is the last day of the summer program, it’s just a pool party today. Then Miss W goes back to school (as a 7th grader!!!) at the end of August.

Summer School Graduation

Well, I have almost made it through this week – it has seemed to go on forever. This was my first week of working longer hours, so I’ve been at the library each day except Monday, and I’ve been using the evenings to try and finish the Christmas story I’m working on. My goal was to have it finished and subbed by the end of the week – I’m not quite there yet. I didn’t write last night because Mr W took the boys to a BBQ and I went to St Mary’s for the summer school graduation. It seemed like ages since I had made that drive and to my dismay rain just started chucking down, thankfully it didn’t last long.

The middle school area was packed with students and families and there were displays of work done in science, math and language, then everyone ate outside (barbequed chicken, baked beans, potato salad and cookies) and then back inside for all the presentations speeches etc which always takes an age because everything is repeated in Spanish. Miss W’s mentor couldn’t be there but it was sweet of Rip, her husband to turn up.

poem by Miss W

Colorado Mills

Today was so hot and oppressive, and I felt extremely tired and irritable, wanted nothing more than to stay in bed. But Boy 2 really needed new shoes and Mr W came over and a simple quest to get new shoes (found very cheap basic pair in Wal-Mart) turned into a trip to A & W for lunch (I had a chili dog) and Colorado Mills, at Boy 1’s urging. I cannot remember the last time I visited a mall, and Boy 1 was very happy to go in the Lego store again, I mostly sighed over all the purses and jewelry – but did buy 2 very nice (75% off) scarves in Claire’s (the long, floaty kind) and have a peek through Borders. The day has gone very quickly and Boy 1 is now with his father – spending the night as he has an early appointment tomorrow, Miss W has returned from school and a horse riding session, and Boy 2 is winding down for the day.

I have work tomorrow – this is my first long week of working from Tuesday – Saturday, and although shelving books (I do get to do a few other things but this is basically my job now) can be quite hard going, it is also very routine and easy and the 4 hours goes by very quickly. As the summer has – in just a few days the boys will all be back at school, and it seems as if they have been home for the last 3 years rather than 2+ months. I know that it is going to be difficult at first getting into a whole new routine – but it will be easier, and mean less driving for me.

This has been a strange and wonderful summer, really . . . Boy 1 has been through such a lot but (touch wood) seems to be emerging, my sister arrived for a visit,  the first anniversary of the end of my marriage came and went (unnoticed), I went to Iowa. Still lots of worries, but I feel so much happier than I did this time last year.

Lazy all day today

I’d like to report that I was so tired this afternoon because I stayed up half the night writing and doing laundry, but that wouldn’t be true – I left the house to get groceries and when I returned I was starving so ate cookies, then had a nice chicken/veggies combo for lunch, then more cookies I am ashamed to say. The cookies gave me a very temporary boost and then I felt absolutely shattered, so have been sitting at my desk and laying around. Boy 1 told me to nap but even though I have anti-Boy 2 locks on the doors now I just didn’t dare.

Back tracking a bit, Boy 1 was so helpful in King Soopers and I do not think I could have managed without him as it was quite a big shop – steering a cart heavy with groceries and holding Boy 2’s hand firmly at the same time is not easy. Boy 1 was darting off to grab things on the list, helping keep an eye on his brother etc. and amde everything so much easier. Mum had called this morning and is off to Scotland next week. I was lazing around (how I love Sunday mornings) reading Oryx and Crake when she called. I don’t always have an easy time with Margaret Atwood, but I love this novel. Am going to bang out 500 words of latest story and then go to bed and read tonight, I think.

One of the best parts of today has been listening to music with Boy 2.

George Harrison . . .

listening to Ray Charles
and Etta James

CAR OF THE WEEK: PPG BUS FOUND!

Hi everyone, and welcome to another thrilling installment of Car of the Week.

As some of you may now, I get a tingly feeling inside whenever Hot Wheels comes out with anything Volkswagen related(especially buses).  Well, I hit the jack pot at a local Kroger. It may not be a Drag Bus, but it’s a nice find.

shortly before i freed the beast
front
Rear view. note the license plate reads "PAINT ME" if you can't see.
Front. Probably my most epic Car of the Week photo.
the VW Deluxe in its debut color.
the same car, but on STEROIDS.

Mr. Honey Spends the Night

Boy 1 a few years ago

This morning he was on the porch, looking at me very sadly. I was in an agony of indecision – should I let him in, call animal control etc. etc. To complicate matters, I could feel myself growing really fond of him as he had a lovely face and was making this noise somewhere between a growl and a purr, every time I spoke to him. I made the decision to call Animal Control if he was still on the porch when I got home from work. He wasn’t wearing tags. The babysitter didn’t like him, because of his growly purr, and used the other door.

He was gone when I came home and Miss W and Boy 1 informed me that Animal Control had come and taken him away, I did feel a pang of regret but there was nothing else for it, no way could we have afforded to keep him. Now I keep thinking about what will become of him – why did he run away? Was he just lost, or did his owner kick him? Why did he look so sad? I guess I will never know.

When I fetched my mail today I opened my bank account and my heart gave a horrible lurch, then I saw that I had sold a story – to True Story! For over $200! It’s a Halloween story. Writing a Thanksgiving story has taken me the whole of this month what with everything going on, but I finally got Turkey Confidential sent off this afternoon and am now ready to launch into writing Christmas stories – as many as I can manage before the deadline, which is at the beginning of September. It would be wonderful if I could manage 4, but although the children are returning to school, my extra work hours begin next week. If I want to use the 2 or so hours between getting home from work and the children arriving home from school to write, I am going to have to be really disciplined about not having a lazy lunch while I read, or tidying up and doing laundry etc. Then could write again in the evenings if I’m not too tired. Boy 1 is actually starting high school in a little under 2 weeks.

Strange, Sweet Dog

It felt good to get back to work today, have been quite busy with Boy 2 this week though . . . sorted out lots of clothing to donate to ARC tomorrow and also had a major deep-clean of the kitchen and pantry which is certainly not something I do very often. There was a bit of a catastrophe yesterday – at around 2, we lost Internet, phone and our TV. I called Comcast (using precious cell phone minutes) and they agreed to send a technician out today.

So dashed home from work to be available during their window. Favourite babysitter called to say she’d be late back with Boy 2, and when she did return him, she had a dog with her, straining to enter the house. I assumed it was her dog and wondered why she had let it out of the car. As I waited for the technician to arrive, Boy 1 made banana bread, thunderclouds gathered, and a strange dog trotted all around the house.

The technician arrived and told me that the construction crew who have been working near the house cut through my lines, he fixed everything very quickly. Every time we spoke, the dog trotted over. And now, hours later, he is STILL on the back porch. Have explained to him that he cannot stay, as it is one thing adopting a cat but a fairly hefty dog is something else but he just looks at us beseechingly. He is lovely really. Was panting after being barked at so fiercely by Rudy and Emily so I gave him a drink and now he is just resting on the porch. I’m sure he’ll go away at some point soon.

clothing all ready to donate tomorrow
nice doggie

My New Pedometer

. . . is a piece of junk.

I have gone through several pedometers in the past and know they are not always 100% accurate, but close enough. This new one cost $10 at Target and I have just spent several minutes setting it, measuring the distance I cover after taking 10 steps and then divinding that distance by 10 to calculate the length of a single one of my steps. But this stupid pedometer only counts about half my steps, although as it sometimes counts a few more than half, I can’t simply think ‘oh, well, I will just double whatever it says.’ What an absolutely useless waste of money, ugh.

But also went thrifting today and bought jeans for the boys, no school supplies yet as several events over the next few days around town are giving away school supplies – it is unlikely that I will get everything they need but am going to wait and see. I have already paid for Miss W’s and ordered them as she had some more specific needs, but there is a list for Boy 1, plus he needs a new back pack.

Scariest moment of the day – Boy 2 escaped the house again and I went dashing around trying to find him, in the end giving up on foot and went to get car keys. Dashed to car, all sweaty and frantic, and there he was, comfortably in the back seat, having a cool drink of water.

New Recipe a Failure

It was Southwestern chicken casserole made with chicken patties, tortilla chips, salsa and cheese and I shan’t bother making this again, it was just a soggy, tasteless mess really although everyone seemed to enjoy it. I forgot to serve it with sour cream too, so there is now a tub of sour cream in the fridge I have no idea what I will do with.

I got some good news at work yesterday – I have an extra 8 hours a week! I’d been thinking that nearer the end of the year I’d reapply for Boy 2’s disability, but now I think I will put that off. I am dreading a trip back to Social Security for one thing, and it seems that if I DO get the disability back I will always be subject to interrogations, and I’ll be worried about every penny I earn and how/whether I should report it etc. I am not ruling it out as a possibility, but in some ways life will be simpler if I can figure out a way to get along without it.

I’m finding it hard to get back to writing since I was away last weekend, but forced myself today (sigh) as the deadline for Thanksgiving stories is rapidly approaching. When I’m working Tuesday through Saturdays, I’m going to have to develop a different way of working . . . more work in the evenings, I think, with a goal of 2 stories subbed each month, and if there is extra time in the month (which there should be) I’m going to get on with my novel.

I miss Mr B.

little restaurant in Iowa

Big Toothy Grin

Oryx and Crake arrived for me today and it looks interesting, I will be ready to start reading this in a few days, now have massive pile of books at the side of my bed, and no writing again today! Boy 1 is with his father, Miss W is not speaking to me, so it was just me and Boy 2 today. He had a haircut while I was away and it looks so sweet. I love his big smile, even if his teeth are huge!  I am just plodding through the summer now, very ready for everyone to go back to school. I feel tired and a bit grumpy and I want to get back into a regular routine. It’s hard to believe that this time last week I was in Iowa . . . these pictures show the new pedestrian bridge in Iowa, I’ve forgotten the name of the river it spans. And then just before we left Des Moines I snapped a picture of the courthouse.