Snakes, Gardens & Swimming

Ms 20 went swimming with her Boyfriend yesterday at a friend’s house, they have this lovely creek right behind their house, after crossing a cow field.

of course they had to walk by this snake climbing out of the rock, which she tells me wasn’t so bad when they were going to the water, but was making threatening gestures when they went to leave after their swimming trip.They also saw a very large snapping turtle, but ms 20 didn’t get a picture of that, knowing her it was probably because she was running in fright.

As soon as mr 10 got home from School yesterday he was hounding me about going swimming. He offered to give me money for gas from next weeks allowance, unfortunately that doesn’t help me get to work between now & when my paycheck posts to my bank account next Thursday so I had to turn that down. Eventually he wore me down to giving him permission to go wade in the creek below our house.  Seen here in pictures from a couple of years ago. He especially wanted to go down he said because a friend at school had brought a few salamanders to school but they were scrawny looking & he wanted to get a few of our “beefier” salamanders.

He was back remarkably quickly, I was surprised & asked what was up & he explained that as he neared the creek he heard something & looked up in time to see a small brown snake about a foot long drop off of a tree branch & into the water. His interest in getting into the water waned after that somehow.

I count my blessings that it did because a year or so ago he’d very likely have gone in with his net (purchased at the dollar store, which he loves for it’s versatility in catching both bugs, butterflies & creek life) to try to capture it.

A few hours later I was watching the news & ms 20, her BF & ms 13 were watching it with me & mr 10 came in with the net full of a snake though. I started screaming & thought I was going to have a heart attack before 10 & 20’s BF started laughing their butts off. It was a set-up, mr 10 had put one of his (many, maybe too many) rubber snakes in the net & come around to try to scare me. He definitely succeeded.

Something’s wrong with my computer’s sound so we have no music. On work nights that doesn’t bother me at all as I normally listen to my mp3 player when online then because I am on at 1, 2, 3 in the morning & everyone is asleep. Today though, I hated it because I felt rather cut off from ms 13 who was the only one around much of the day mr 10 spent the day going between his bedroom, watching tv & outside running around & just getting into stuff as he normally does.

Ms 20 was at work & we had to go out & get her at 3. When she got in the car she said she was in a hurry to get home because she & the BF were expected back at the same friend as yesterday’s house to go swimming again, this caused upset in mr 10 as he was still lobbying to go swimming & I still had not dug up any spare money (hard to do when there is none) for gas.  At first ms 20 said mr 10 couldn’t go but then decided it would be good to have him along as her friend has a 3 year old & so they all have to be on guard for the 3 year old, having mr 10 along would be an extra pair of eyes on the kid (aka around here as  Satan since he clocked mr 10 in the head with a cast iron truck last winter)

Ms 13 was not invited because her grade & the 6th grade below them were invited to sing at the nearby race track, she went last year through the school, it’s part of the school’s say no to drugs campaign, no longer run by the sheriffs dept. Now the national guard is in charge of it. She had a great time last year with her friends & she gets a t-shirt, pencils & a bunch of other stuff in a gift bag at the end so she was adamant that she was going to go.

Which means I’m here at home alone. Which is rare but treasured, yes I admit at 1, 2, 3 in the morning after I get home from work I’m technically alone, but the kids are here, just sleeping. I never have the whole house to myself, of course, there’s not much to do, I’m online obviously right now & I may watch some TV & embroider, which, now that it’s warm enough to not need to keep my hands under a blanket, I’m getting back into again.

Ms 20 has 3 or 4 friends who’ve had kids this year & of course Ann’s daughter had a baby in November so I’ve been trying to think of something to make for each of them, I haven’t actually decided yet, but it may be what I did for my kids, I have these really cute patterns for bunnies with the Alphabet, for instance, this one is for M, 

I didn’t embroider the M because I used it for something else, but that’s where I got it & I did each of my kids’ first names in bunny letters so that may be the best thing to do. I have a whole book of baby name pictures but they’re all very involved & I have 2 which I still haven’t finished & it’s very late (one was for ms 13’s cousin who’s 6 months older than she is, it’s not finished yet, the other was for my Friend Jennie’s son & he was born in 1998- also not finished) I have a very bad track record as you can see so I know it’s a good idea to pick simple projects.


Leave It

I’m starting to think that it would be a good idea for me to lay off the Sirius Music in my car, I’m way too stuck in the past now, the kids complained this weekend when we were on our way to the grocery store that they didn’t know any of the music I was listening to. Well, I did, that’s all that really matters, they did know the music when I changed to a local radio station or to the more contemporary Sirius channels, but I’m a little stuck on Classic Rewind & Hair nation.

The thing which bothers me about all these older tunes, is that they bring up thoughts of the past. I’ve worked very hard over the last 9 & 1/2 years to look forward, not back. I try not to look at the years of my marriage, partially because I did & said things I’m not proud of, partially because It’s easier to not think of the fun & pleasure of being in a couple. I am not often lonely but looking back makes me lonely, so it’s easier not to look back is all!

I also just recently finished changing out all my picture albums, I had started this project in early 2007 after my grandmother died & I somehow inherited all of her pictures & albums, I pulled most of the relevant pictures of myself & my family from her albums & incorporated them into my already large picture album collection.

I had not done a thing on this project for almost 18 months & then, just the weekend before last, on friday afternoon ms 13 asked me to give her a picture of herself for a school project, she needed one which it wouldn’t matter if it got cut or anything like that & I started looking in the box of pictures I had in chronological order that sucked me in & before I went back to work Sunday night I’d completed the last 5 books in the set & now I’m finished.

Until we finally develop the last 5 or 6 disposable cameras kicking around the house that is. Most of the pictures are pretty old in those things, when we moved to this house I went to a cell phone & have had a digital camera in my cell phones since then, so the majority of the pictures I’ve taken since 2005 (in May it will be 5 years since we moved here – I can not believe it) are on the computer in an online album.

I also won a digital picture frame at work at Christmas time & so view many of my digital pictures there too. Although it’s too bright to leave on all night so I mostly turn it on during my days off so as to enjoy it while I’m at home.  (I’ve also lost sleep watching the pictures change- I admit that was when I first got it & set it up though, I probably wouldn’t do so any longer)

The past though, is too close in those pictures, even the ones from 2 or 3 years ago make me cringe, I see how bad the roof looked before the tree fell on the house & we got it fixed courtesy of the insurance co. Or I see how awful the original paint job in the kitchen was before ms 20 & her old boyfriend painted it for me. I’m sure I’ll look at pictures I take now & shudder at poor ms 13’s curly frizzy hair or how skinny mr 10 was (he takes after his dad- I’ll be surprised if he looks like anything but a stick before he’s 20)

Another day over, 5 hours ’til my next one begins, ‘night all.

Random Thoughts Short on Substance

I found out just after midnight that not one, but two of the 22 co-workers on my “team” share my birth date of 11/26. Of course, I’m the oldest.

Tonight I got 3 text messages from friends wishing me a happy birthday & 1 wishing me a happy thanksgiving. Oddest one was from a 603 area code, it could be from either of 2 people, but since it’s apparently a new number, I’m not sure if it’s A’s or J’s!

Shopping for the kids for Christmas online is depressing. The only thing I buy that way are clothes so I’m already facing at least 2 out of 3 not terribly enthused about receiving clothes for holiday gifts in the first place. Then there’s the worry about will they like what I got for them.

Still trying to write more here, not succeeding very well at all. Thought about it last night for Thursday 13 but couldn’t quite think of 13 of anything.

I’m off tomorrow night from work. It made more sense to me to request the day after Thanksgiving off so as to have a 3 day weekend than to have the holiday off & go back to work on Friday. 11/27 is Jimi Hendrix’s birthday so it’s worth celebrating right?

Talking with the ex today after the kids spoke with him, it’s like talking to someone on the phone at work, no real personal information is exchanged: “How are you? That’s nice. Ready for the Holiday season? No me either” I can’t believe I’ve known him since I was 13, lived with him for over 9 years & was married to him for more than 8 years. Just don’t know the guy at all any more.

The one thing I regret about not being able to have today off was that it would have been fun to go to my mother in law’s. She’s a really cool lady & last year’s Thanksgiving feast at her house was great.

I found out tonight that while my new shift does give me Christmas off automatically (as I have Friday & Saturday off every week & Christmas is on a Friday this year) I am not going to be able to take Christmas Eve off. However. I do have next Sunday off, which is important to me because with the new scheduling, I would have had only Saturday off next week & then have had to work 5 days before getting my new Friday- Saturday off schedule underway.


I Wonder….

Why I have to log in to my email after ms 13 has been logged in & then I get my homepage, but when I click to go to my in box I always end up with ms 13’s inbox & have to log in a second time?

Why dogs can be just as stubborn as people.

Why music sounds so much better to me through headphones, even though I know I should take it easy on them & use the computer speakers & music player & even though it’s past 2am, everyone’s asleep & I won’t bother anyone if I do play the computer’s speakers, the same songs sound so good through my phone’s mp3 player & the headphones that I use them instead.

Just how many games of spider solitaire I can play before I get sick of it, same goes for Lifetime Network’s 3d Majongg games, I play them during the time in between calls at work late at night (we go 15-20 minutes in between calls from 1230 to 130 most nights) I can’t play at home very well because it’s supposed to be fast-paced & my internet connection is too slow.

How long it will be before the next Southern Vampires book by Charlaine Harris is released, I’ve really enjoyed this series, (I’m reading book 9 now) It’s not deep, but it’s very amusing & easy to pick up & put down (especially important as I read between calls when I’m not playing majongg.

Why when it’s summer & I should be taking the kids swimming, hanging out on the porch enjoying the breeze or a thunder & lightning show, weeding the garden, etc. I want to watch movies I haven’t seen in years & when it’s winter & the perfect time to dig out the DVDs, I’m yearning for summer & all those pursuits I wasn’t into when it was actually warm out.

How I can possibly thank 2 of my co-workers. At work we have a school supplies drive every year & I told my boss privately that I couldn’t contribute because I was struggling to get my own kids’ supply lists filled let alone contributing to anyone else’s.  He assured me it was quite alright & that was the end of it.

Thursday night, one of the two women involved asked to see my kids’ lists, we’d discussed it earlier in the week when I was making a master list, combining the two kids lists into one so I could be sure I got enough of everything so she knew I had the lists in my purse.

She wasn’t too subtle & I asked her why she’d want to see it & she just winked & said not to worry about it. All I said was please don’t embarrass me, so they didn’t give me the things they bought during our opening meeting or anything, but after work they made me come over to one of their cars & take all these bags of paper, notebooks, loose leaf paper & binders, enough to cover the whole school supplies lists for both kids!!!

As it turns out it’s really a good thing they did that, we’ve discovered we have a bees nest in the garage, the tub caulk is falling apart as I type, I’ve run out of shampoo & the new toilet seat I bought 2 weeks ago is broken already (frustrating since my last toilet seat purchase was half the price I paid for this one & the cheaper one lasted over a year- quite a feat in this house with my violent kids)

July Begins

It’s going to be a busy month, I hope to (maybe) have a little more time to visit on here. Then again, I may not. I’m still a lot more interested in sleeping & hanging out with the kids than in any computer usage at all just lately (you can ask Chrissie, who has emailed me a lot just lately, not disuaded by my lack of response- it’s not personal, I’m just not online very much these days).

After work Friday night I had to go to Walmart, which is my least favorite thing to do (but one I do more often than I’d like, due to their cheap prices) I had forgotten to even look for shish kebab skewers at either of the local grocery stores on our sojurns to them on Thursday & Friday- one each day- after picking up ms 19 from work- and before her- mr 9 & ms 13 from school at 1230 (boy, am I glad that’s over with- it was 2 weeks of summer school & it seemed more like 2 months!)

I found wooden skewers pretty quickly (I spent twice as much time looking for metal ones than it took me to find the wooden ones- they didn’t have any metal ones at all) I decided to just do the grocery shopping while I was there rather than take the kids to C’Burg on Sunday.  It was remarkably quiet, calm & relaxed, I used the calculator on my phone (we’re on a very strict budget this week, very strict) there was no yammering about ice cream, cookies or cake & no fussing about this one didn’t like this & the other one doesn’t like that.

I can’t say I’ll never take the kids grocery shopping again, but it was a nice change of pace, the other drawback is midnight to some ridiculously early hour is when walmart stocks the shelves so the asiles are crowded with boxes & surly unpackers who are expected to work at a pace of a box in 45 seconds, I realize by shopping at that hour I’m in their way & so I try not to go there & get in their way any more than I have to & every other Friday night would be too much in my opinion so I’m sure after vacation the kids & I will be wandering around Walmart on the Saturday after I get paid for at least the next few weeks (they’re saying we’re going to have shift changes in late August- I don’t think they’ll be mandatory & I’m also not sure whether I’ll stand pat or go back to days since summer will be over & the kids back in school)

The fourth dawned with typical noise, Ms 19’s BF starting up his loud truck to go visit a friend after taking ms 19 to work @ 5:30 am & coming back to our house to nap for a few hours, as soon as he was gone mr 9 showed up in my room to visit & we had a nice conversation, he let me nap for a few more hours a little later & then ms 13 came down to visit & woke me up again, we were all lounging around my bed when I heard what I think may be a squirrel in the ceiling so I asked mr 9 to go grab a cat outside & put it in the ceiling up in ms 13’s room.

He did so, but then came down with a cat, we asked why he had the cat & he explained that this was the other cat (they look very much alike) & that it came out of the ceiling when he put the first one in the ceiling, so apparently we weren’t hearing a squirrel or a mouse, but the cat. He sent that cat outside & sat back down on the bed, there’s a third hole in my ceiling from other cats (most notably 19’s past BF’s cat) which is right above the left side of my bed, we could hear the cat which was still up there walking around & mr 9 pointed at the hole & said in a whisper “shh- I see fur” I looked up with him & suddenly, there was the cat’s face in the hole, looking down at us, just like Jack Nicholson, in the movie of the Shining, the cat was staring down at us like: “here’s kitty” & we all screamed. Maybe you had to be there (ms 19 didn’t find this story amusing at all but her BF did).

We got up, fooled around with breakfast for me, lunch for them, mr 9 went out to pile tree branches & sticks from around the yard into the wood pile we’ve been accumulating for over 2 years, (last year no one was into burning brush on the fourth so we didn’t do it) we hung around, I read a little, ms 13 watched some tv & mr 9 joined her, then we had to go pick up ms 19, her BF didn’t have the gas to go get her himself so he rode with us since he was back from his friends house.

Cam the CookWe came back home & the kids & I set up all the shish kebab skewers with meat, veggies etc. I tried to get ms 19 to come make the rice pilaf as that’s her favorite part (& she sprung for the better, more expensive, Near East brand over the Rice a Roni brand which I’ve found is not too bad- 2 boxes even) She declined & she & the BF hung out upstairs until after the kids & I had the grill going & the rice a boiling away, mr 9 surprised me & took over the grilling, he did great, I was a little worried but he placed everything very carefully & was able to turn the skewers without burning himself he takes after his dad I guess, very talented in the grilling out department, it’s almost too bad I have such a terrible grille!Dinneronthe porch

Ms 19 & the BF set the table on the front porch & we all ate together out there, it was lovely & cool out there, the cats were a bit of a nusicannce but eventually, when the food was gone, they provided some entertainment,  we had watermelon for desert, cleaned up the dishes together & Then mr 9 & the BF got the fire going, we sat out by the fire for 3 hours or more telling ghost stories & chatting, it was great, when it got full dark we lit up the few sparklers I had been able to buy (things were a little tight entertainments-wise)Firemarshal Cam

Then we doused the remains of the fire as it started to sprinkle rain in earnest, cleaned up & settled in the house, ms 19 & the BF went off on their own & I, as promised due to the ghost stories read mr 9 & ms 13 5 or 6 short stories from a book which I loved when I was 9’s age, when I owned this cheap plup paperback it had a skull with rolling eyes on the cover & was called “tales to make your blood run cold” when ms 19 got it (about 6 years ago from scholastic books at school) it was called “Tales For the Midnight Hour” I had tried just recently to interest mr 9 in reading a few stories in it but he wasn’t buying, the stories I read last night generated some interest though & he went to bed a little early tonight to read a couple of them to himself. (Victory!)

Today was rainy all day (woe to the laundry on the line which we forgot about last night) the day was very quiet & low key, I watched a few movies with the kids, picked up ms 19 again from work & cut ms 13’s hair, she’s happy, I have my doubts about this new haircut- originally she wanted it to the bottoms of her ears & I refused, we compromised at her chin but it still looks very short to me, with the curl her hair has developed in the past few years, she looks like a 1920’s flapper with a bob & a marcel wave! I suppose if it makes her happy it’s ok though.



Before                                                                                                  After

Last Weekend

I never got around to putting anything down online last weekend, mostly because we were busy having fun, but also it was hot & easier to just relax in the living room where the ceiling fan works.CamSwim

Chrissie & her daughter came over after we went grocery shopping Saturday & we all hung out, there was a late evening run to the store when Chrissie realized she’d forgotten to pick up some sleep inducingasprin which she often uses, that was fun for us because just she & I went, most of the rest of the day we had mr 9, ms 12 13 (I keep forgetting she’s 13 now) & Chrissie’s daughter Sami with us.

Sunday we all slept late, ms 19 was working, luckily for me her BF took her to work so I didn’t have to get up at 530 to do so. Once we were all up & around we decided to go to the river. Our normal place to swim was taken up with a fisherman so we went to ms 19’s favorite spot which has too steep a bank for me to make it down, I hadn’t planned to swim, although I would have liked to wade. Chrissie didn’t go in the water either though, so we sat under the trees & chatted while the kids played in the water.Triumph

The current was strong but Ms 13 & Sami walked upstream & rode the current diagonally over to the other side to sit on a rock, then went back diagonally against the current downstream a little to get back to the middle, calmer water. TooCool

Sami had plans to go out Sunday evening so we packed up & got ready to leave just as Ms 19 & her BF showed up, we decided to stay a little longer since they were there especially since Sami texted the guy she was supposed to go out with & he said he wouldn’t be picking her up until later on.

After awhile we headed home, Chrissie & Sami left, the kids & I had dinner & the evening was capped off with some rummy playing because mr 9 was disappointed that we didn’t do a game night the night before with Chrissie & Sami.

Easter Eve Musings

Yesterday was crazier than normal I have to say. The walmart wander as I call it was made crazier than normal by it being the Friday before a holiday & the fact that the nearby colleges spring breaks have ended, so although it’s not Easter yet, they’re all back at school, adding to the throngs at the stores. I admit that it seemed even worse because of the contrast of 2 weeks ago when the college kids were still on break, it was so nice & quiet in the stores, you didn’t have to wait in line just to walk down a grocery asile!

We had a bunch of little errands to do too, pay on this bill, pay the phone bill, one grocery store was selling soda for a good price, but by the time we got there to get the 4- 6 pack bottles for $12. Or whatever it was, they only had 2 6 packs of diet mountain dew left, the kids bought them anyway, which wasn’t so good since the store stipulated that you had to have 4 – 6 packs to qualify for the sale price, what I get for allowing them to go in alone.

I don’t understand the allure to 12 & 9 of going into stores without me, they often fight about who’s going to run the money for my gas in, or who’s going to run in & buy a bag of carrots or a gallon of milk at the store for me. I’m often just as happy to stay in the car while they do a quick errand like those for me, but I wish they wouldn’t fight!

I’m still trying to get over the idea that it’s “Bad” to stay up late, after over 14 months on a shift that started at 8am & required me to be out of bed before 630, I have a guilt complex about staying up too late, “because I’ll be sorry later” now that I’m on a night shift, the later the better, I went to bed a little early last night, at 130, just to try to catch my self up & not stay in bed too late this morning.

It was fun though, I read, watched tv (Medium, Harper’s Ferry & The Mentalist) while I folded laundry & was still hapily able to relax & settle in to bed when I was ready, not when I felt like I needed to because it would mess up my schedule if I stayed up any longer.

I also am trying to shed the ‘in the back of my mind’ voice who keeps saying, ah you have to go to work tomorrow, there’s no time for anything else this weekend, when there is time, lots of it. I don’t have to leave here until 4pm tomorrow afternoon. We’re even going to have a nice dinner for easter, early so I can have some! Which will be nice, since the past 3 Easters I’ve been at work during the day & come home in the evening when they were already through eating.

I’ve already been warned that they’re not waiting for me to get up in the morning to hunt eggs with them, but that’s ok because they re-hide the eggs & play over & over again all day long, which is one of the reasons we hollow our eggs out rather than boiling them.