April's Life Adventures
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The ever Sultry man in my life has chosen to go by the name of Sultry Husband within the walls of my blog. Occasionally he will post his thoughts and experiences here as well. A writer by trade as well as passion, he keeps our home a happy and inviting place.
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Thursday, July 28, 2005Breaking News
My husband once read a book called "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus". It proved a very interesting read, but in the end, we decided that although we are quite different at times and have different ideas, we can agree upon a course of action and act upon it. We may not agree on what that course of action should be, but eventually, one of us decides to travel to the other "planet".
The entire prologue to this blog is for one little purpose. To point out why my husband and I did not agree completely upon something. You see, I am pregnant! That blessed event that means that a new baby is coming to our family... oh we are both very excited and look forward to this March with great anticipation, but we have one teentsy little point of disagreement. When to tell the world.
From the second that I find out that I am pregnant, I am ready to shout it from the rooftops and declair that there is a reason behind my madness. My husband feels that I should wait at least until our first doctor's appointment, which is still three weeks away, before even telling our parents. I would go crazy by then! I must declair that there is something different about myself! There is a reason why I can never seem to sleep enough! There is an explination for why I keep crying at stupid things! I am Pregnant!
Today my husband decided that he wanted to travel to venus... we told our families today... and what is funny, is that each family member thought it strange that I would tell about my pregnancy when it is still so new... sure im only 6 weeks along... but im not just crazy, im PREGNANT! My husband may have been right to think we should wait a while to tell the world, but I think I realized it 8 phone calls too late.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005Quilting
I always associated a sewing machine with older women. I thought that the only people who took the time to make something were those who had been doing it for years and didn't have anything better to do. I asked for a sewing machine for my birthday because I needed to be able to fix the clothes we had. Then, one day I was asked to bring my sewing machine to a church humanitarian social. There I learned that it is actually fun to sew things! Especially when you know that you are doing a service to someone else who really needs it.
We started with dolls and T-shirts, and this past month we moved on to quilts. I was asked if I could take home the squares to a quilt top and sew it together. I was so scared! The ladies gave me detailed instructions on how to complete the project, and I found myself actually enjoying the process!
I have now made a quilt for both of my girls, and I am working on one for my Husband's birthday. I am having a really good time with a new pastime that I never would have considered when I was younger. Perhaps getting a little older myself has made me realize that those "older women" who sew... they are not so different from myself, and I have a lot of wasted time to catch up on!
Wednesday, July 20, 2005Triumph
A few days ago we got a very nasty call from our credit card company. They claimed that we still owed them over one hundered dollars. This was news to me, seeing as I paid off the card in April, but they decided that we didn't pay it off after all.
My husband and I were discussing how we thought that it wasn't fair that we would have to pay these people more money, when we had specifically called to ask for the payoff amount before we sent the check. Since then, no statements have come, no phone calls saying "hey you still owe us money"... nothing. What could possibly stop them from just inventing some random charges to boost up everyones bill to owe a hundered dollars? That would line their pockets nicely.
I called that big bad ugly company today. I told them that it wasn't fair that we were penalized with all these charges for buying nothing and paying off the card. They said that my check had arrived to them a few days late... so they added a finance charge... Not fair! Then the charges kept compounding over the past four months because we didn't pay off that first one. So, I finally told them that I wouldn't pay the full amount, but that I would pay the first supposed late charge. To my astonishment, they accepted my terms! The credit card company did what I wanted them to! I won! Me, the little guy, I told them it wasn't fair, and they listened! Sometimes good things can come to those who complain!
Monday, July 18, 2005Invitations
There is something intriguing about an invitation. Whether it is to a party or a community function, you know that someone out there is thinking about you. Perhaps you are too busy to attend whatever function is going on, but at least you were invited.
This week I have received three invitations. Two different Pampered Chef parties, and one that wants to sell me scrap book materials. Perhaps I would want to go to one of these, but do I really need to attend two parties for the same purpose? I can't really justify spending money on culinary items right now anyway, but I find myself desiring to attend just because I was invited.
Funny things invitations, they remind you that someone actually cares who you are and what is going on in your life. At least, that is what I used to think. Now I am leaning more towards the idea that they just want my money.
Saturday, July 16, 2005Literature
It never ceases to amaze me that a good book can completely suck me in. I mean, truly capture my attention to the point that all else in my life is secondary. That is, to the exception of my children.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince came out today. I ordered it on Amazon, so it was guaranteed to come today and I found myself looking out the window every ten minutes just waiting for the UPS man to show up. Alternating with looking out the window, I would go online and check the tracking status and find out where my book was.
It came! About 11:30 this morning, that blessed piece of fictionary bliss arrived at my door. Of course, my husband and I have opted to read it together, so I had to wait till 3 pm to read any of it, but it was here. I could sit it upon my shelf and gaze longingly at it's cover...
Sunday, July 10, 2005Super Hero's
I mentioned to my Husband that my girls have started pretending to be super hero's. He looked disappointed that he had missed something cute that they did, so he determined that next time, he would play it with them. Little did I know what that would entail.
For our game, I would tie a blanket around their necks and they would then run around the house pretending to fly. When my husband initiated the game this morning, he chose to be much more elaborate. He tied a blanket around his own shoulders and swore in the kids. He made them promise that they would be a nice super hero, promise to chase away bad guys, and help squirrels and other animals who are in trouble. They promptly vowed to do all that he said and they were dubbed super hero's.
For the next half hour, the three super hero's could be seen running all over the house singing an anthem that reminded me of Superman, and chasing evil stuffed animals who wanted to stomp on toes and eat all the fruit snacks. These were particularly evil creatures! At one point, they needed to "dance" away the bad guy...
Kids always seem to have more energy than parents. Long before the girls were ready to stop, my husband about collapsed from fatigue. He tried to tell them that super hero's also need to rest between savings, but they would have nothing to do with resting. My daughter kept telling him that she heard shouts for help coming from her bedroom and she couldn't possibly save them without the daddy super hero.
After a hearty promise that the game could begin again later, and allowing the crayons and stickers to come out, my husband escaped to catch his breath. Until next time super hero's!
Saturday, July 09, 2005Growing Up
We are fortunate to live near a lake which provides us with free swimming on hot summer days. One such day provided me with a chance to realize that I take the young age of my children for granted.
While walking out into the water, my young daughter complete with water wings, started to kick her legs around. I noticed that she was struggling a little, so I encouraged her to start paddling with her arms as well. Before either of us realized it, she was swimming! It may have only been a doggie paddle that was crude at best, but she was moving through the water without any help from her parents.
Since when does a child practically teach herself to swim? I immagined myeself taking her to a mommy and me class sometime, but I haven't gotten around to signing us up for one. Did I miss something? I don't think so, unless you count her early childhood that has been passing way to quickly.
Thursday, July 07, 2005Music Lessons
I teach music lessons on a regular basis. Most of my students are young and are either beginners or of the intermediate level. There isn't that much business around a small town, but I like to teach all that I can. I got a phone call this morning from a possible new student. She introduced herself as a grandma who needed a little summer help. Now tell me why adults seem so afraid to suggest that they need a little help. She sounded embarrassed that she didn't know how to play her instrument.
I find it refreshing to teach an adult now and then. They are more dedicated and they actually seem to want to learn! With kids, they are often there because a parent is pushing them into lessons. Occasionally I find a kid that is actually dedicated, but more often than not, I have to attempt to inspire them to practice. Adults are paying their own money for the experience, so I find that they are more willing to practice so they don't waste their money.
I am proud of my new student. She admitted that she needs some help, and called me to get it. I assured her that I love to teach adults, and it didn't matter to me that even though I am much younger than her, I do know what I am talking about. I can help her learn the things she wants to learn this summer, and it will be a pleasure for me to share my knowledge.
My only hope is that someday, adults will stop being so afraid to admit that they need help. I am one of the first to acknowledge that I don't know something, my husband can usually answer my question, so I am quick to ask. I remember a quote from someone famous, don't ask me who, because I DON'T REMEMBER...
When your young you think you know everything
When you are a little older,
you realize that you don't know as much as you thought you did
When you get old, you know that you really don't know much of anything.
I don't know everything, but I am willing to share what I do know with those who need it and are willing to ask. I love to teach, but first, the student must realize that they need a teacher.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005Traffic
What is it about heavy traffic that causes everyone to become berserk maniacs? It is almost as though traffic in and of itself shouldn't anger people, but it always does. It also occurred to me that one of the benefits of living in a small town is the lack of traffic. Seriously, my town has all of two traffic lights and I love it. This past 4th of July, I was invited to participate in the freedom festival in a neighboring town. It was a spectacular event, great food, great music, and even greater fireworks.
My kids clapped and danced to the wonderfully choreographed fireworks show. By the time we got to our car, it was well past their bedtime. Grumpy kids were soon to be the least of our worries. You see, the highway patrol shut down the freeway on-ramps in some areas, thinking to alleviate some of the traffic congestion of past events. The line to get out of our parking lot was not very long, everyone was attempting to be courteous, yet we sat for over 90 minutes wondering if we should just get a hotel room for the night,(the clerks at the counter informed us that we were a year too late for that reservation).
To our complete shock, the line in our parking lot began to move, inch by inch, as we made our way towards the exit. Our well meaning police officers directed us towards a detour around the freeway, seeing as they weren't allowing us to get on. We found the freeway again an hour later, after navigating many strange and unknown backroads, just hoping that the line in front of us knew where they were going because we didn't.
We were overjoyed to find a road finally that we knew. However, once again, as soon as people had a little room, they became crazy and aggressive. Throughout the night, people seemed to be getting along, taking turns, and playing follow the leader, but the second that they had a few lanes of highway available, anger seemed to boil to the otherwise serene surface.
Jockying for position on the highway, we eventually made it home around 2 am. Nevermind that my husband had to be to work at 7 the next morning, we were just happy to be home. This experience reminded me that even though we have moved away from those big cities and their traffic problems, we are not immune. Bad decisions by the police officers and other road crew people left many of us feeling like the magnificent show earlier was not worth the trouble. Will I attend next year? Probably, but I will buy a map beforehand and find my own route home.
Monday, July 04, 2005Phnarph
I have always considered myself to be a dog person. I grew up around dogs, I love dogs, and I am always amazed that they seem to want us around as well. They each have their own personalities and I find myself amused at their antics.
Phnarph,(pronounced fin-arf), is possibly one of the most unique pooches around. He is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and for those of you who do not know what that is, I will attempt to describe him. Phnarph looks like he was put together with cast off pieces of other dogs. He has the ears of a german shepherd, the body of a dachshund, legs of a chihuahua, a missing tail, and a personality that is unmatched. His body couldn't even choose one color, so he has three. Phnarph is black, white, and a nice shade of tan. His very uinque name (chosen by my husband), fits his unique personality. At first, I thought it would be funny to hear someone calling him by his strange name, but now I couldn't immagine him with a name like rover or fido. It just wouldn't fit him.
To say that Phnarph likes to play is an understatement. His love is soccer. You would think that because he is so blasted short, he wouldn't be able to play such a game. Actually, he is better at it than a larger dog would be. The ball fits perfectly below his head, so as he runs, his little tiny legs kick the ball to where he wants it to go. If the ball becomes stuck, he will put his two front feet on top of the ball, and walk with his back legs to work it out of the hole. When the ball is returned to us, he then jumps to block your next kick, and succeeds about half the time. This game, you would imagine could go on for hours. In fact, it goes as long as we are willing to let it go. I am always tired of kicking the ball before he tires of running to retrieve it.
I always claimed that I would never own a small dog. They all yip... in the middle of the night yip yip yip! The only time that Phnarph barks, is when the doorbell rings. A fact that a friend of ours enjoys exploiting by ringing the bell over and over again till we come to the door. I think he just likes to make Phnarph bark.
For Halloween, we decided to get a costume for him. Bat-Dog! The little cape and outfit were perfect. However, they sent along a set of ears that were supposed to look like a bat... Phnarph's ears were larger than the pretend ones were, and they looked oh so much cooler!
My little dog is quite the crowd pleaser, as he is friends with everyone. No one is safe from his attempt to wag his missing tail and he can bring a smile to almost anyone's face. Half the time, I think it is just because he looks so wierd. He demands attention and will go out of his way to try and get it. He isn't much of an attack dog, I am afraid that he would just wag his non exhistant tail at any intruder, but I couldn't immagine our lives without our spunky little companion. To quote a favorite movie, Ferris Buhler said, "If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up." He may have been talking about a car, but a corgi will be a friend for much longer.
Sunday, July 03, 2005Daisies and Dandelions
There is never a shortage of dandelions in my yard. Sure we spray weed killer and pull out as many as we can, but there always seems to be one more. If it isn't dandelions, its some other type of weed. I have been told that there is a way to make your yard virtually matinence free, but we are yet to find it. My daughter however, loves to pick dandelions. She finds these little yellow flowers facinating and never stops to find out why mommy and daddy will let her pick as many as she wants.
Thankfully, this year she seems to be leaving my daisies alone. Last year they were not so lucky. We tried everything to get her to leave mommies pretty flowers in the ground. Finally we made up a little saying that flowers were for smelling and not for picking. She didn't seem to understand that her mommy wanted the pretty flowers to stay where she couldn't see them all the time. The concept seemed to be beyond her grasp.
This spring when the dandelions again roared to life in our yard, she asked if she could pick some. We were more than happy to allow her to pick them to her little heart's content. The real problem however is that when she picked my daisies last year, we would put them in a vase to attempt to keep them alive... which means that I have had various vases of dandelions throughout my house. At first, I resisted her demands that we keep them alive in the house. She claimed that they were pretty and soon we gave in.
These days of summer don't provide us with as many dandelions. I must admit that I don't miss the clutter of vases and the stinky smell that they give off. What I do miss however is the huge smile on her face as she would hand me another boquet of what I can't bring myself to tell her are weeds.
Saturday, July 02, 2005Excitement of a little child
I read somewhere that children find their fathers more exciting than their mothers. They look to the Father figure to throw them in the air causing laughter and smiles. Mommy is seen as the authoritarian who is also available for comfort when sad or hurt.
While Daddy is gone during the day, I play with my kids. Sure I work on cleaning the house, washing the dishes, and providing clean laundry, but I also jump on the trampoline, play hide and seek, and build castles out of blocks.
When Daddy comes home, my kids light up. They run towards him yelling "DADDY!" which tells me that they are excited to see him and play time can begin again. I refuse to be seen only as someone who loves and cares but does not play. I am happy to jump in with Daddy and roll around on the floor surrounded by giggles. I am happy to dance and clap with them while Daddy provides the music on the Piano. I may not be able to throw them up in the air like he can, but I build better castles!
My house may not be spotless and perfectly organized, but my kids are happy and they know that their Mommy knows how to play.
Friday, July 01, 2005Mechanics and Masterminds
It is amazing to think about all of the things that I don't know. Car mechanics is one area in which I was never interested. Sure my Dad always demanded that I would check the fluids, but that is as far as I have ever wanted to go.
For the past four years we have had one car. It has been a good little car, very few breakdowns. I would remember to check the fluids often and I would get the oil changed every 3,000 miles or so. Just as we paid off the car, fate decided to throw a wrench into our plans to drive payment free.
While driving home from a family fishing trip, the car decided that it had gone far enough. Suddenly, it would go no further and we were stranded. The next day, we were informed that it was the alternator, battery, and belt. So, we had them all changed. A quick fix for a simple problem that happens to everyone.
That weekend we went to visit some family out of town. By the time we had driven the 3 hours to get there, the car decided once again that it had gone far enough. Sputtering and shuddering to a stop, we were stranded again. A different mechanic shop told us that it was the alternator. I informed him that we just had it replaced. He then told me that it must have been a bad one which "happens more often than you would think". We changed the alternator.
On our way home, the car decided that it was tired of driving, so it gave up and came to a stop. This time, we took it to a dealership to attempt to find the problem. They said it was the alternator. Sound like a theme? It was. They changed the alternator. Before I would drive my little car any further, I demanded that they test it. The mechanic said that the third new alternator was not working... it must be the computer. So we asked them to fix it. While the computer was out of the car, he decided to check the wires to see if they were in good condition and found that someone, somewhere before we bought the car had "fixed" these wires with electrical tape. Which in the four years we have had it, wore itself out. Our new best friend changed these wires and discovered that low and behold, the computer and alternator were fine. The car was fixed and we can drive it again.
What did this experience teach me? That I know nothing about cars? I already knew that. What I learned was that I don't have to feel bad that I know nothing about cars because I am in good company. Auto mechanics, those professionals who are supposed to know everything about the automobiles we drive, don't know near as much as they think they do either. I want my money back.