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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Holy Ween

What's it mean when the shirt I fit over my new extra 20 pounds is the same one I wore in high school?

A. I was hot and in style.
B. I am hot and in style.
C. both a and b

Ding! Ding! Ding! You get a peace sign flashed at ya!

I love Halloween! I was a bit "delayed" in my celebrating it, but I pulled through on the day of.

Check out The Baby Dhis Pumpkin. Isn't it adorable??? Who can resist that pumpkin "hair" adorned with a cute bow? If you can, then you have NO HEART and something terrible will happen to you if you don't forward this email in the next--- oh wait.

What do you get when you cross a hippie and a soldier?
A peace of... um...
Boots for ... uh...
A salute to...
A camo daisy thing...

I can't think of a punchline, but their lovechild is a preppy cheerleader.

And a cute one at that!

She's got spirit, yes, she does!

I was well prepared for this year's trick-or-treaters.
300 lollipops
50 glow bracelets
50 stickers
56 crayon sets
40 pencils
dozen other candies
dozen other toys

I have none left. We got a few kids this year...

I will say though that one of the groups was a return group. You know what I'm talking about.
"There's no way they'll remember us with all the people out here tonight."
"Yeah, I'll just pull my hood down lower on my face."

Psh. I may not remember what I ate yesterday, but I remember faces, even ones with black and red paint all over them!

I turned the lights off at 8pm, which is earlier than usual, but everything now-a-days shuts down earlier than usual. Which reminds me, off to bed I go. Nighty-night. And remember, if the porch light is off, don't ring the doorbell. We ain't got no mo' candy.

[Posted song: "Aquarius" from the musical "Hair"]
(I've had this song stuck in my head for 3 days.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How to say goodbye

How do you say goodbye to your child?

You first say "hello" and hold him in Today. And again, if you get another Today.
But if you must, say, "I will miss you terribly, but I will see you again soon."

And when you miss him much, send your mind to a happy memory together for where the mind goes, the body follows.

And when your heart aches, let someone who loves you hold you and know that they act on behalf of the one you miss.

And when the longing is too much, pray for understanding that it is only time, and not distance, that asks you to wait.

And let others mourn with you. And let others laugh with you. And let others rejoice with you.

How do you say goodbye to your child?

You say "hello" and hold them in Today. And again, if a Today comes again.

And if you must, say, "I will miss you, but I will see you again soon."

~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

Chris is missed by his parents, 5 siblings, grandparents, nieces and nephews, and friends anxious to see him again soon.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Favorite Things Party IV

(What's a Favorite Things party? See here.)

Oh- I was horrific about documenting this year's par-tay. Something about headache and pregnant and being fat and uncomfortable. (Man, oh man, this pregnancy is much more challenging than the last one!)

This year's gala was held at the home of the lovely Diane. I swear she reverse-ages! You wouldn't guess she's only a couple years shy from her big 6-0.

It was awesome seeing people who no longer live in the 'hood, where this tradition originated: Becky from Mississippi (how I miss hearing her accent... Baykee frum MEH-sehseh-pee), cryogenically-preserved Diane, of course, and Erin who's living in Mexico (or might as well be, Miss Busy-Bee-3rd-Grade-Teacher).

There were some sweet deals at the exchange, and I was so bummed when I realized I had forgotten to take photos!
I brought charcoal barbecue grills that technically fit into the $5 category. (They were originally $25 each but were being clearanced for the end of summer.) I came home with the meanest DVD movie, a beer stein filled with yummies and cocoa mix, and a pillow encased in a gorgeous pillowcase the talented Kristen "just whipped up" earlier that day. (Seriously, that girl has some mad thread skillz, as evidenced by this, this, and this.) (My feelings didn't hurt at all when she laughed as a result of me telling her it took me two weeks to make a potholder.) (They didn't hurt when she paused in her laughter to ask if I was making it a special shape and she bust a gut when I said, "yes, a square.") (Sniff.)

(Here's Christi checking out Kristen's handiwork. On the right, Carrie is walking at warp speed.)

We missed those of you who were not able to come this year, but it was also nice to be in a more intimate setting. There's talk of doing next year's Favorite Things Party in the spring, so get your thinking bonnets on!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Big Bertha and I will have to meet some other time.

I'm going to jail.

Well, not really. Yet.

I got summoned for jury duty starting the workday before our 2-week Hawaii trip. It's been 6 years since our last vacation due to buying a house, fostering children, and going through pregnancies.
Asides from my own plane ticket and luggage fees, the trip is free, so I am NOT missing this trip! I, seriously, will risk time in the clink for this. (Please, write me.)

Anyway, I call the court and am told that the case I'm sitting on "shouldn't take more than a day." They ask me for a good phone number to reach me, and I give them my cell. She asks if the other number is still good and reads it to me.

“I’ve never heard of that phone number in my life,” I say.
"Oh," laughs the court clerk. I give her my husband’s cell for backup.

We're about to end the call when she throws in this afterthought: "And we’ll see you this Monday at 9am."

“What? For what?” I ask.
“You have a pretrial on Monday."
"What? I never got a letter about that."
"Lemme check." She puts me on hold.

She returns to the line. "Yes, Monday at 9am."
"O…K… where at?" I confirm the address and ask if I’ll know where to go once there.
“Haven’t you been here before?" she asks.
"Haven’t you been arraigned??"
"What?? No. For what?"
"YOU HAVEN'T BEEN ARRAIGNED??" She panics. She’s checking through files explaining the arraignment's purpose. It’s Friday, and now we’re pushing on time with my pretrial being on Monday and everything.

Long story short, she thought I was the DEFENDANT.

I sigh a sigh of relief and we both laugh upon realizing the mix-up.
I ask her to please take my number and my husband's cell number (has a different meaning now that I type it) off the defendant's file, which she promptly does.

So, it looks like I won’t have to get a girlfriend in prison after all.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sometimes, I hate it when I'm right.

The last few weeks, whenever I took out or returned the garbage cans to my garage, my attention was caught by a web in the corner. I'm no arachnologist, but I know my garage, the seasons, the bugs. I saw this spiderweb, and it seemed out of place. There was a huge pile of bug carcasses under it. Unusual for my garage.

(I just know you wanted to see this. Trust me, it's for informational purposes.)

I had a theory, but when I shared it with my husband, he seemed to think I was just paranoid from hearing about neighbors' stories this summer. I kept insisting that we clean the garage out. But it didn't happen.

You already know how this story ends...

Tonight, I took a bag of garbage to the can and slammed the lid shut. My eyes went to that corner as they have been accustomed to do for the last month. Finally, proof!

That's no stock photo. That was the actual spider hanging out in my garage. I've seen black widows before, but this was the biggest one I've ever seen! I suppose the bounty that lay below her should have clued me in to her size.

Now, I don't mind killing spiders, but I can't stand the sensation of the crunching beneath my shoe. Besides, I filled my life quota of bug-killing long ago when I lived in Florida on a canal and faced off with hundreds (I wish that was an exaggeration) of humongous bugs. But a black widow...

Dave wasn't home; I would have to take care of this. Within 5 seconds, I had a dozen thoughts, including:
~ Maybe I'll be one of those people lucky enough to only have mild symptoms if bitten.
~ Should I drive myself to the hospital if I get bitten?
~ Who will take me to the hospital?
~ I'm pregnant.
~ My unborn baby would be poisoned.
~ I'm allergic to bananas. And grass. And everything.
~ A spider would kill me.

I knew the black shiny thing had to die that night since it was the only time I had seen it in all my previous inspections. I looked at the intricate web, her placement in it (dead center), and the height she was hanging at (12" off the ground). Yep. I knew what I had to do. I had to call a neighbor.

My neighbor Matt is not scared of things that bite or sting. Once, while talking with him on his driveway, a wasp flew by. He smacked it to the ground with his hand and then stomped on it. That's who I needed to come take care of this widow. I wondered if he would just swat it with his hand and stomp on it. I called his house, and he came right over with an Entertainment coupon book.

(My neighbor Matt tackling one of the two huge wasp infestations we had this summer.)

I opened the garage door, and wouldn't you know it, that spider took off to hide near an opening in the wood. The thing was incredibly fast! That was it. I was freaked out. I didn't realize how fast those things could move.

"Well, this makes it a little more complex," said Matt. I gave him my flashlight. He located her and then quickly found a hand weeding tool in my garage to keep her from hiding further behind the wood.

"Wow- she's huge." he said. He pushed her out of hiding with the hand tool then used the tool to trap her in her own web and wrapped her in it like he was making cotton candy. Crazy, gross, but brilliant. Then, he squished and scraped her body along the garage floor. (I hope you're eating while you read this.)


We looked on the opposite corner of the garage door and found a similar web and a smaller pile of carcasses. Matt poked around, apparently found something, and said, "Huh. interesting."

"What?" I asked. No response while he was squishing something. "What is it?" I asked again.

"Well, there was a red spider; I don't know what kind it is. And there WAS a black widow, but it's dead."

"That's good," I said.

"Well," he said, "I'm a little nervous about a spider that can kill a black widow."

Thanks, Matt. I'm sure that will help me sleep tonight.

Dear neighbors, clean out your garages carefully before the weather gets colder and spiders and bugs crawl deeper into your residences for warmth. The temperatures this summer have been a perfect recipe for the black widow population. If you notice any new webs and/or unusual piles of bug ruins like in the first photo, tread carefully.

Tomorrow, I'll squish the egg sacs I noticed after Matt left.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Place to Sit

We busted out of the classifieds search for a sofa because most of the good ones were too far to drive to just to check them out. The challenge became that we were by now adjusted to used furniture prices. We visited a few stores, and by the 3rd store, I finally gave up the mindset of finding sofas in the $10-$90 category.

I hate furniture shopping, and actually, shopping in general. I hate walking around looking at stuff I don't want in hopes of finding something I like. Give me a catalog, let me point at stuff I want, and then let the candidates magically appear all in one place so I can compare. Not an option?

Ok, here's the next best thing for me: I take a camera with me. Then, I can avoid conversations like this when reviewing possible purchases.

Wife: So which one are you leaning towards?
Husband: I don't know. How about you?
Wife: I think the one we saw in the second store with the olive green microfiber. Did you like that one?
Husband: The one with the pillows?
Wife: No, that one was sage green in the 3rd store.
Husband: No pillows?
Wife: No, it had rolled arms with traditional cherry legs.
Husband: (blank stare)
Wife: The one I like costs about $600 more.
Husband: Oh. (silence) I like the other one.
Wife: Which one?
Husband: The cheaper one.

Also, with a camera, most salespeople will leave you alone because they know you are not making a decision right then. You will go home, review photos and prices, and then decide.

We started the day gleefully.

And ended late like this.

We didn't find anything spectacular but did find a "good enough" set at an awesome price since the store was clearancing it. But... it wasn't actually a set. They only had two sofas left, in two different colors, no loveseats, and no chairs. So, we had to go home and see how two sofas would fit in our living room and find a chair elsewhere that somehow coordinated.

I hate furniture shopping. We did it again the next day.

Day 2
Thanks to carrying a camera with us, we did pretty well matching the two sofas. Look!
This was the "set."

This is the chair we found. The pillow back, the arms and the feet are reminiscent of the first set.

(There was actually a chair that matched better, but it was not comfortable.)

Not bad, huh? We were about to call it "good enough" when Baby Dhis suddenly hopped out of Daddy's arms and started running between couches.

"Hold on there!" I yelled, but she was out of reach. We sprinted after her as she weaved in and out of the labyrinth of living room sets. We lost track of her. We looked high and low and found ourselves in the Land of Leather. It was a magical place . We wondered in awe at the sights and then came up to this little mushroom.

"Dees one!" she said. And we obeyed.

Ok, actually, by this time, I had talked myself out of leather. (I really had.)

Dave sat on the couch and said "Ohhhhhh..." He was comfortable.
I looked at the pricetag, and said, "Oh." I was uncomfortable. (C'mon, I was having KSL price cravings.)

But it was comfy on the butt.

A salesman approached and asked if he could do anything for us.

"Just trying to decide," I said. He turned around and was walking away when I chuckled and joked, "Unless you can lower it 800 bucks."

He swiveled midstep and asked "Are you serious?"

He looked at an acrylic stand on the nearby coffee table and said, "I can lower it $100." He had misheard me and thought I said A hundred bucks, not EIGHT hundred. I stayed quiet. He said, "I can go... $200."

Well, hello. I realized two things just then.

First, I hadn't noticed the sale price for groupings hidden by the plant on the coffee table. I was looking at the individual prices on each piece. The grouping was for the sofa, love and chair and was $1000 less than the individual pieces bought separately. So, I kinda got my $800+ discount just then. I noticed the price did not include the ottoman. (What's up with that anyway??)

Second, it hadn't occurred to me to ask for the price to be adjusted, but clearly, it was an option. I devised a plan. Yeah, the set cost $1000 less than I originally thought, but I made up my mind to aim for another $400 discount.

Me: Can you go down $400?
Salesdude: $400? (pause) No, I can't. $200. I can do $200.
Me: Are you sure?
Sales: Yes.
Me: Darn. Ok, thanks.

Dave and I left feigning bum-ness. We went to dinner then came back. I approached the dude.

Me: Are you sure you can't go down $400?
Sales: I'd like to, but I can't. There's no room for it.
Me: Ok. We'll get them.
Sales: Alrightee. (smile)
Me: I would like to also get the ottoman.
Sales: Ok. (pleased)
Me: How much can you go down on the ottoman?
Sales: (sigh) Let me go run the numbers.

Run the numbers... whatever.

He came back.

Sales: I can lower it $50.
Me: How about $100?
Sales: No.
Me: Are you sure?
Sales: $50 is the lowest I can go on that.
Me: Ok, let's get it.

Salesdude began writing up the order.

Me: Oh, would you drop the delivery fee?
Sales: Sure, I'll do that.

SHAZAM! Another $55! I was so tickled.

Aim for $400, get $305. I was happy. Of course, we didn't leave the store without me asking "Are you sure that's the lowest you can go" at least two more times. Can't blame a girl for trying.

I'll admit the unexpected haggling at the end was the most fun I ever had furniture shopping. Hopefully, I won't be stepping into a furniture store again for a long time.