Friday, September 25, 2009

First Day Jitters- In Grad School? Aren’t I too old for that?

I use to walk into a classroom and immediately scan the room to see if I was the fattest person in the room.  Tomorrow I start my masters in teaching program at City University.  While I will never be the smallest person in the room, after loosing over 150#, I usually am not the largest.  Now I am worried about being the oldest.  I graduated 13 years ago.  I had a great career and did a lot of helpful things with my population of chronically mentally ill adults.  I can honestly say I was a good counselor.  Most of my clients liked me (a few in an inappropriate way), and I genuinely and appropriately liked some of them.  Some I did not.  And then I was afforded the privilege of staying home with my two boys.  I had envied the mom’s who were able to stay home and I loved it, and the boys, as I had my turn as a stay at home mom.

Last year when my youngest started first grade I worked at the school.  I loved every minute of it.  One of my supervisors told me I was a “natural born teacher.”  Another told me I did my job perfectly.  However, I did not receive a renewed contract this year.  The outrage and and calls and cards from the other teacher was comforting and, after getting over that blow I got my ducks in a row and decided to go back to school.

Lately I have been questioning that decision.  I have a perfectly good education.  Is it wasteful to not use the one I already have?  Am I being greedy?  It isn’t like I jumped into this decision.  All the usual thinking, praying and planning took place.  I even ordered all my textbooks, made a really cute if not giant tote bag to carry all my stuff, and have committed every Saturday for what seems an eternity to complete this desire and goal. 

A good friend of ours and local city council woman gave Job a book the other day.  She is genuinely nice and has done right by the citizens who entrusted her with their vote.  But anyway, in the book, Job read me a quote by one of our favorite American Patriots Benjamin Franklin (and it surprisingly has not even one animal reference).  He read it to me as I was anxiously contemplating my upcoming first day of school:

“I think, moreover, that the talents for the education of youth are the gift of God; and that he [or she] on whom they are bestowed, whenever a way is opened to use them, is as strongly called as if he [or she] heard a voice from heaven…”

I feel better.  We’ll see how tomorrow goes.  Thanks Job for your support, and Benjamin for the reassurance.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

e-bay seller e_middleman SUCKS!

I got duped.  On Saturday I start my masters program at City University.  In preparation for two years of coursework, student teaching and a dissertation, I bought a new Laptop.  It is larger than our old one and I needed to get a new sleeve to keep its shiny red exterior in good condition!  I found a great deal on e-bay.  Almost too good to be true and it said “free shipping in the U.S.” on top of everything.  Even before I won the bid I had seen what I had done.  I didn’t look in all the shipping areas and while it said free at the bottom of the description when you clicked further into the site it charges $14.99.  The cover, I am guessing weighs less than 8 oz.  I knew immediately I’d been scammed.  I emailed e-middleman, who I am now guessing stole an entire box of these off the back of a truck somewhere, to clarify his “error.”  His e-mail back was rude!  He told me I got a $50 dollar item for $16 and should basically suck it up.  He  is right.  I just hate the fact that I did business with someone so unethical.  I would have rather gone to the dell site and paid $35 +s/h for the cute polka dot one than have spent one dime on any item he had to sell!  As soon as I get confirmation of shipping I am giving him bad feedback and reporting him to e-bay.  e_middleman sucks!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Prostitutes and Peach Pie

when the prostitutes stole Job’s wallet after the purchase of our house in Delaware fell through, we stayed with the Laus. Dan Lau was to be our new bishop. We had never met them before and in fact they were on vacation when they heard about our “homeless” situation.  They offered us their amazing home without ever meeting us.  One of their friends met us on their doorstep with the key.  When they came home from vacation to meet the family of four residing in their lovely abode I was so nervous.  But they put us at ease and I felt like I was part of the family.  We were there about a total of three weeks until Job could get new identification and such.  We moved into a basement apartment just a short distance from them.  We stayed in Delaware exactly one year to the day before we high tailed it home, not really giving the place a complete chance or our best effort. 

This morning I made a peach pie.  It is Bishop Laus favorite.  His daughters made him one while we were there as a surprise after work one evening.  Sue Lau had ordered peaches from a farmer up in Lancaster county.  For some reason she decided to get other peaches from someone else.  Because it would be the right thing to do she drove to the first farmer (quite some distance away) and told him she wouldn’t be buying his peaches and to not hold them aside for her.  She also helped a friend with several small little ones can salsa.  The table by the end of the day was covered with beautiful jars of salsa.  The Laus son lived down the road from them a ways.  Rob had Job help him do some remodel work in his home.  I ‘m sure he knew as students we could use the extra money and more importantly Job needed a friend.  That is what made Delaware even harder; leaving our friends and family.  At Christmas I am sure it was them that left presents on our doorstep for the twelve days  before Christmas.  Among other things, we still have the Caesar Rodney ornament.  It is cherished.

In one week I canned salsa with a friend, ordered peaches from a local farmer, am in the process of retiling the basement, and like I said I have my first homemade peach pie in the oven.  I have been thinking about about the Lau family.  I can’t help but wonder if they remember us.  They made such a huge impact on our lives.  Our family is better because of them.  I miss their friendship and want to be more like the Laus.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Job’s Walk of Shame

This summer I ran out of gas.  Twice.  In the same spot.  In the same week.  The first time the boys and I walked down to the gas station, bought a small gas can, bought some gas, walked back, put it in the car, then drove back to the gas station to top off the tank.  The second time, I called Katie.  I would have called her the first time but she was in Alaska, or at the airport.  Either way she wasn’t sitting home waiting to bail me out of trouble.  She drove to my house grabbed a giant gas can with so little gas in it that I couldn’t get it tipped up at an angle that would actually pour the gas anywhere but all over my brand new Keens.  They are red and look like Mary Janes and are super cute.  Did I mention I was in a skirt? Finally I thought I had actually gotten enough gas into the tank to get me the 1/4 mile to the gas station but no.  I ran out about 20 feet away.  I did eventually get the car to the gas station and later to the mall.  Katie laughed.  Job thought about taking away my car keys but settled for mass humiliation.

This afternoon Job called me.  He said, “you can’t guess what I just did!” But I could.  I knew immediately that he had run out of gas in the mommy car.  Funny though, now he is insistent that the gas gauge is faulty.  I think the only thing faulty is our ability to stay on top of things.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mini Dreams

I don’t mean to seem ungrateful for the FREE loaner car…but does anyone want to help me convince Job that $95/day to rent a mini cooper is a good…uh…investment?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Update on Job's Chevy

A week after Job got his Chevy he drove under a chain that was partitioning off a church parking lot. He actually drove through two chains. Only one went under the car and one went over the car, until it snapped in two flinging around and hitting both doors of the car. It was like a bad version of double dutch. I gave Job such a hard time. I was merciless in the taunting and teasing and underneath it all I was a little angry. He had in fact done $3200 in damage to his brand new car!
So, here it is my turn. Granted the car is a little older and he even lets the kids and I eat in it now, but I can't help think of what a better person he is than me. After taking the car to the body shop it turns out that there are a few more dents than we first thought. The bumper was a given and the broken Chevrolet symbol and crunched hood were quite obvious. What we didn't see were the dents on not only the bumper, grill, hood, but also the roof and trunk. Turns out the deer kind of used the little Aveo more as a vault and spent less time in the air and more time springing off the car than I originally thought. And Job doesn't seem angry at all. He keeps saying he's glad I'm okay and hugs me a little tighter. Do you think that might be his way of rubbing it in? My damages were nearly $1800 more than his, and he has to drive the "mommy car" until his gets fixed! What a trooper. He says wrecked cars are better than dead camels any day. I just wish he would stop calling me "deer."

“10” for leg extension and a “2” for damage to the front end of Job’s car

Yesterday I managed to run in the morning then decided to go walk with friends after the boys were in bed, despite the fact that I thought my head would either explode from throbbing or shrink six sizes due to lack of fluids.

Anyway, on the way home in front of the house next door, I began slowing down to turn into our driveway when out of the darkness came a deer.  A big deer.  His legs easily cleared the hood of Rob’s car and when I took them out with the Chevrolet symbol on the grill he managed to do the most graceful spinning summersault over the top of the car I had ever seen.  His timing was impeccable and his movement seemed spotlighted as he turned and twisted in slow motion up into the night air. He did not however land in the predicted pike position so I suppose I should deduct points for that.

I drove the remaining 200 feet or so into my driveway, voice dialed Job in the bedroom, as I sat stunned in the newly mangled car.  He was wondering what the noise was.  Job was out in seconds and had the entire situation dealt with, the body shop and claim number ready, in less than half an hour.  I think he really wanted to watch the Jay Leno Show. i however was asleep before headlines.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Big Fat Typo

A long time ago I worked with young women at our church.  Since it was such a long time ago many of them are married and have families of their own.  Today on Facebook I noticed that one of these young women stated that her precious little one turned one year old today.  She and her family don’t live too far away and so I thought (since I have yet to meet the child) that it would be fun to invite them out to the house.  I had visions of a sweet little toddler running through the back field chasing the livestock.  In the comment section I wanted to say, “Is he walking yet? You should bring him out to chase the chickens and ducks.”  Unfortunately as most of you know the u on the keyboard is right next to the i on the keyboard so what was supposed to read “ducks” actually read something entirely different.  My friends response was polite and luckily prompt. I am sure she knew exactly what I meant.  Chickens and ducks just seem to go together.  Chickens and di#%$ just do not.  I caught her response quickly on my blackberry and when I looked at the Facebook thread I about died when I saw what I had said.  I deleted the comment as quickly as I could, mortified that for even as short a time as five minutes I had such a horrific typo on such a public forum.  I heard that Obama made a speech to school aged children where he admonishes them to be careful about the things they post on Facebook.  Maybe he should of made a speech to well meaning stay at home moms with nothing better to do than comment all over FB.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I Aint No Laura Ingalls

The reality is that I am again a stay at home mom.  The odd thing about that statement is that I no longer have children to stay at home with.  They go off to school each day in a frenzy of what to wear, were the chickens fed, scriptures read, cereal put away, lunches packed, homework gathered and a last minute check to see if it is P.E. or library today.  Then in a matter of seconds the whirlwind passes and I am left in a very quiet house, with a to do list I don’t even want to look at let alone tackle. 

Today I was, however, forced to face the wagon of apples on the porch now, or try to figure out a way to dispose of rotting apples tomorrow.  I gathered my canning kettle and my apple master peeler and got to work.  That was 3 hours ago and I am still waiting for the water to boil after stirring a nauseating amount of apples (that cooked down to nearly nothing) for what seemed like hours.  I have to ask myself, “Is it worth it?”  It’s not like I’m Laura Ingalls (the older, married to Manly Laura, not Half Pint little Laura riding Bunny).  I have a Safeway down the road.    I have personally seen an entire section of applesauce there.  It comes in a variety of flavors even.  And despite last winter I have 4 wheel drive and the ability and money to buy groceries anytime I want. Do my kids appreciate this more?  Does this make me a better mom than the ones who buy their applesauce in little cups ready packed for lunches? I don’t think so.

I have learned a few things this morning.  I will list them for you:

  1. you can burn applesauce
  2. water takes a long time to boil
  3. peeling apples makes your hands pruney
  4. you can cut yourself with an apple master 200
  5. Laura Ingalls I aint

I think these lessons might be worth the time and effort even if the applesauce isn’t.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Still Funny a Good Year Later

We had a rainy Seattle Labor Day BBQ yesterday at our place. We did everything any other group of family and friends would do at just such an event but we of course did it in the rain. A two year old played in the pool, the go-cart flung grass and mud everywhere for hours, Job burnt hamburgers and brats, we ate watermelon, picked apples and laughed about crazy things we'd done all while the skies poured and the thunder echoed through the valley. Of course when it comes to crazy things the topic always seems fall on the time last summer where I glued my pants and underwear to my butt. So, since I could use a little laugh this morning I thought I would share the incident.
To get the full effect I have to tell you about an e-mail I got about a week before I glued my pants and underwear to my butt. It was sent to me by my friend Katie and it was hilarious. It was about a woman who tried to do an at home wax job in her nether region and the job went bad. She ended up in a panic and somehow waxed her entire crotch to the bottom of her bathtub. Her husband had luckily installed a phone in the bathroom so she was able to call a friend for help.
So, like I said, about a week later on a rare sunny day in June, I was sitting on the front porch decoupaging a little table I had found at a local antique store when I accidentally tipped over the bottle of ModPodge. Not wanting to abandon the project I kept right on working until the little table was covered and trimmed in pretty blue and white paper. But (no pun intended), when I stood up the pool of ModPodge had dried and I had unintentionally glued my pants and underwear to my Butt. It was about the size of a salad plate and when I walked it pulled and tugged at my skin. It was quite an uncomfortable predicament. So, I called the person I turn to with all my problems, Job. I have come to be quite dependent on Job. He kills spiders, fills my car with gas, changes light bulbs, lifts heavy objects but would not help me figure out how to unstick my clothes. He did tell me I had two choices, pull it off quick or maybe get in the tub and soak it off. He obviously does not understand the power of ModPodge nor had he read the e-mail from Katie.
So, my next plan of attack- call Katie! She is "krafty" and who I call screaming when I have a chicken in my kitchen and coyotes in my yard. She will help. I tell Katie what I have done and when the laughing dies down she says to maybe get it wet. I tell her that Job told me to get into the tub and there is a brief moment of silence and the laughing starts again. At that point I know we are both thinking of the poor lady who wax sealed her vagina to the bathtub and I knew if I got into the tub there would be no help from Katie.
Finally, I realized I was on my own and I did what I do in most overwhelming situations in my life- ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Unfortunately, three hours later after a large glass of water and six versions of the Indian Pee dance mostly done by small children on the front doorstep because they are afraid to use the public restroom, I was forced to deal with the situation or find out how urine and ModPodge react. The pants and underwear, in the end (HA HA) came off quickly leaving a red mark the size of a salad plate on my left butt cheek. The pants and underwear were thrown out. ModPodge does not wash out.