Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm Just Sayin'...

There's only one thing that's always bothered me about this commercial. That should totally be a MOM sailing down the aisle, riding on her cart in blissful joyfulness. A dad? Right.

So after the gas leak/school evacuation thing at the high school on Friday, all is well and they started school today, as planned. They now think it was a prank. Like someone sprayed some mace into one of the air vents. Funny, right? Yeah.

Here's a crazy thing. The high school starts at 7:15am. The elementary school? 9:10am. For those of you who are math-challenged (like me), that's nearly a TWO HOUR difference.


I'll tell you why. I think the privately run before-school program has a deal with the school district. If both parents work, you pretty much have no choice but to pay for the before-school care if they don't start until 9:10am. So the school gets a kickback from the before-school people from all the extra kids they get by starting school so late...see how that works?

This morning, I dropped Shannon off around 7am, came home, got in the shower, made breakfast for Kylie, made her lunch, unloaded the dishwasher, got her dressed, hair and teeth brushed, got myself all ready, made sure she had her backpack and supplies...and it was 8:05am. So the next hour went like this:

"Can we go now?"

"Not yet, we still have like an hour."

Five minutes later:

"Can we go now?"

"Kylie, it's still like 55 minutes until your first bell.

Five minutes later:

"Mom! Can we go now? I want to play on the playground!"

"We'll go in a little while, why don't you ... um... feed the dogs."

Five minutes later:


Ad nausem. I managed to hold her back until 8:40am, and then we walked over to the school. Of course, we were one of the first people there. Also of course, I forgot my camera. So while all the other moms were there with their Cannon Rebels and their Nikon DWhatevers, I present my first grader on her first day...taken with my cell phone.

So let's see...Shannon gets out at 2:27pm, Kylie gets out at 3:40pm, Shannon has softball practice at 4:30pm that goes until 6:30pm.

Now I need to look for a job. Well, tomorrow I do. Today I will contemplate what sort of job will let me work from 9:30am to 2pm, but still have 40 hours a week, and full benefits. That shouldn't be too hard, right?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dear Blog

I'm so sorry. I know I've been neglecting you. But you see, there's all this stuff going on. Life stuff.

I'm bankrupting our family by buying school supplies and paying school fees. Taking the little one for reading placement testing. (She did well!)

Then Shannon had her first day of high school. Well, it was a first day for freshman only. Freshman get to have their first day by themselves, with no upper-class harassment. I think it's a good idea. The first real day of school is Monday. Well, maybe. Because while the freshman were there on Friday, this happened.

Luckily, Shannon was in a different wing from where the leak was. The school is supposed to notify parents by Sunday afternoon if school will be starting on Monday or not. If not, I think I may have to commit...something bad. At least I know for sure Kylie will be starting Monday.

Here is the obligatory first-day-of-school picture, which Shannon vehemently asked me not to post online.

I don't know why Luke is eating her foot, but she doesn't seem to mind.

In between all the school-fee paying and supply-buying and testing and registering, there were high school softball camps and tryouts. Shannon made the team. Woo! Right now she's at an overnight bonding thing with the team at Winter Park Resort Lodge, which is a ski resort when it's not summer. Why don't I get to go to places like that? With wine? Not that the high school softball team is going to be drinking wine, but a place called Winter Park Resort Lodge is just begging for cocktail hour, if you ask me.

I've also been starting to think about kind of looking for a job, sort of.

And then, there's this other thing that's been going on. They say the first step to overcoming an addiction is admitting it. Well, I'm admitting it. I have an addiction.

It's called Farmtown. I knew Facebook was going to be the downfall of civilization. My name is Shelley, and I'm a ... farmaholic?

See my farm? Isn't it pretty? Click on it for a bigger view. Right now I have peppers ready to harvest, and the pumpkins will be ready in a day or so. I have a house and a barn. And near the barn, flowers that spell out "ASU". The name of my farm is Sun Devil Farms of CO. And my avatar? Her name is Sparky. I am constantly thinking of ways that I could remodel my farm. I know this is all insane. I have a problem. Please send help.

PS. If anyone else has a similar problem with Farmtown, please let me know. I only need two more farm neighbors before I can hire other people to plow my fields. Maybe we can go to therapy together.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Please Excuse My Swooning

Dear Loving Husband,

There's no need for you to read this post. Really, it's about nothing. Just move along, and continue with what you're doing. This is just pointless rambling. Have a great day! Love ya!

Is he gone?


I'm worried about something, and I have to share it with you all.

You see, ever since I saw the movie "Troy", I've had this huge crush on Eric Bana.

He played Hector in the movie, Prince of Troy, King Priam's oldest son. Other people have told me that Brad Pitt was in that film, but you couldn't prove it by me. No wait...Brad Pitt was the one that KILLED Hector. That bastard. I never have liked him that much.

Seriously, is he yummy, or what? I'm watching him on Craig Ferguson's show right now, and holy Australian accent people, could he be any hotter?

So here is my fear. On Friday, the movie "The Time Traveler's Wife" is opening. It's based on a best-selling novel, which I have not yet read, but I have on hold at the library. I think I'm number 183 in line. I might have to bite the financial bullet and visit Barnes and Noble.

What's going to happen soon is that women all over this country, and probably several other countries, are going to fall in love with this man because of this movie. And I LOVED HIM FIRST.

I do not even know if I'm going to be able to go see this movie. First of all, the freaking TRAILER made me cry. Secondly, I have no friends here, and heaven knows my husband would never see this type of movie. (Even though I went to see Shooter, for Pete's sake.)

Maybe it's best I see it alone. My box of tissues and me. We will see it together. It will be my reward on the first day of school, I think.

Remember, he's mine. I just didn't want you to forget.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Perhaps Some Oil Of Olay Is In Order

My life is over.

A few days ago, my mother called saying that my brother asked if we could do a three-way Skype call on Sunday at 5pm. Three way, meaning my parents, us, and my brother, his wife, and my adorable three and a half year-old niece, Makenzie. My brother lives in North Carolina, and we haven't seen Makenzie in person since she was about 9 months old. Sure, I say...sounds great.

Well, we got on the video cam. When I say we, I mean Shannon and Kylie. I wanted Makenzie to be able to see her cousins. Through the course of trying the Skype thing, we discovered that you can't do a three-way video call without some sort of third-party software. We could all hear each other, but we couldn't see video. My brother said he'd play around with it at work this week and figure something out.

Anyway, that's not the point. The point is this. My mom decided to get off the call, so we could just have Kylie and Makenzie talk to each other. Shannon sat in the chair with Kylie on her lap, and they were talking. At some point, Kylie got up and ran off, because she's kind of like a bunny on crack. Then, Shannon decided to go downstairs and get her rabbit to show Makenzie. So the camera is on an empty chair. Reluctantly, I got off the couch and plopped down in the chair. Next thing I know, Makenzie shouts, "Mimi!"

Ok, "Mimi" is my mother. That's me over there at the right. I'm no beauty queen, but I didn't think I looked 72 years old either.

After we ended the call, I went to my husband, crestfallen, and told him that Makenzie had mistaken me for my mother. Ever the loving husband, he told me that Makenzie is only 3 years old, the video quality isn't the best, it's kind of dark in this room where the computer is, and Makenzie just recently saw my mother because my parents visited NC a couple of weeks ago. My mother has short, curly dark brown and gray hair and wears glasses, and I have long, straight light brown (ok, and a LITTLE BIT of gray) hair and I don't wear glasses and of course I don't look like my 72 year old mother.


I mean, that's what he SHOULD have said. What he actually did was pull his baseball cap down over his face, shoulders shaking, and tried to make it seem like he wasn't LAUGHING HIS ASS OFF.

Then when he could talk again, he said everything above. Actually, I said it, and then he agreed with me.

I hate him. Someone shoot me.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Day In My Life, In Pictures

As I mentioned yesterday, I decided to take June Gardens of Bye Bye, Pie! up on her challenge to photograph a day in your life. Here, in pictures, is August 1st, 2009. Try not to explode from all the excitement in the following story.

Wait, before I start...I have had this blog for almost two years now, and would you believe I just now, this morning, discovered that you can upload MORE than one picture at a time? In fact, Blogger lets you upload FIVE pictures at a time. But there's a sneaky blue link you have to click that says "add another image?". I never noticed that link before. But today, I did for some reason. I clicked it, and another "browse" box opened up. And then another, and another, and another. Wow. I'm a moron.


Every morning, Kylie comes into my bedroom to let me know she's up. Since it's summer, we've been going to bed pretty late. Therefore, she sleeps late. In this case, on this Saturday morning, late was about 9am. Good morning, Sunshine.

This is my breakfast. Yes, I'm a gourmet food snob, as you can tell. Actually, what I would have liked is a couple of eggs and a couple pieces of wheat toast. But I didn't want to cook it.

Next, I checked my email, and read a few of my favorite blogs.

I really like my new neighborhood. The people are friendly, and everything is green.

We decided last night that we were going to go to the farmer's market that is held every Saturday in the parking lot of the mall. We were also going to the thrift store to see if we could find a cheapo vacuum to keep in the basement. The bunny's hutch is in the basement, along with Shannon's bedroom, and there always seems to be a lot of hay and pine bedding on the floor down there. And I hate carrying dang vacuums up and down stairs. Plus, I don't want my good vacuum all clogged up with hay and pine bedding.

We asked Shannon last night if she wanted to go with us. She wavered, then said no. She stays up most of the night texting her friends back home, so she tends to sleep all morning. What the hey, it's summer.

While Kylie was waiting for us to get in gear, she decorated our driveway with chalk drawings.

There's my neighbor, Jenny, doing some sort of yard work. Yuck. Hi Jenny! She has two kids that Kylie plays with. Madden is four, and Mia is three. There seems to be an overabundance of small children on our street. Which is nice, because Kylie always seems to be playing at someone else's house. Yeah, I'm that mom.

This is the road that leads out of our...neighborhood, I guess you would call it. Subdivision? Valley? We live behind some hogbacks, which are hills that are smaller than foothills. Have you ever heard of hogbacks? I hadn't, until we moved here. Sometimes you see a deer or two in the grass along the side of the road. But since I actually had my camera with me deer.

Here we are at the farmer's market. I had never really been to a farmer's market before. There were all sorts of vendors set up under the tents, selling things from fresh fruits and vegetables, to pasta, honey, baskets, etc. For some reason, I thought the stuff here would be dirt cheap, like cheaper than the grocery store. I was wrong.

I really liked the look of this multi-colored pasta. Did I buy any? Nope. Not because of the price, but because no one else in my stupid, picky-as-hell family would have eaten any of it. Honestly, getting these people to try anything new is...well, it's impossible, is what it is. I couldn't even get the husband to try a sample of apple-cinnamon butter on a cracker. And damn, it was GOOD. I'm going to guess right here that there is a reason that they are all skinny, and I am not. They won't eat anything.

I sampled some of the cantaloupe. It was delicious! I should have bought some, but it's cheaper at the grocery store. Actually, I buy a lot of my fruits and vegetables at Sunflower Market, which is WAY cheaper than this was. When I go shopping this week, I'm definitely getting some cantaloupe. And I'll eat it all by myself. Because no one else likes it, of course. Dumb family.

The only thing we actually bought at the farmer's market was a snow cone for Kylie.

Although I'm glad she had the snow cone, because after sampling some salsa at another booth, I had to use said snow cone to cool off my burning mouth!

After we left the farmer's market, we went across the street to the ARC thrift store. We were here for a vacuum. We left with some clothes for Kylie, some khakis for Steve, a desk for Kylie's room, and a bowling game. Everything was 1/2 price! The desk and chair together came to $5. The one thing we did not leave with? A vacuum.

We decided to go to Goodwill, to look for a vacuum. Our route to Goodwill took us past Columbine high school. Did you know that Steve went to Columbine? He was in the class of 1984. They have a huge alumni group. According to him, their class purchased this stone sign. Sorry it's a little blurry; I was in a moving car. In case you can't read it, it says "Columbine High School, Home of the Rebels."

The park that Kylie and I go to a lot is called Clement Park. It's huge, and it's next to the high school on one side. There's a memorial there for the students and teacher who were killed. I'll have to take some pictures and post about that someday.

Right before we got to Goodwill, I decided that I was going to die if I didn't have a Diet Coke. I needed one, RIGHT NOW. So my wonderful husband stopped at Subway. I got my Diet Coke. Kylie had to have a sandwich. See the reflection of my gas bill on the dashboard? Guess how much my gas bill is right now? The only thing we're using gas for right now is the water heater. That particular bill is for $17.97. I'm sure it will go up in the winter. A lot.

In Colorado, there are bike riders EVERYWHERE. I mean really, everywhere. I thought the Columbine was the state flower, but now I'm pretty convinced that it's the Schwinn.

Look, there's another one. I've ridden my old, decrepit bike here. Once. The problem is, there are no flat areas. Going downhill is fun, but no exercise. Going uphill is way too hard. Going uphill at 5280 ft in elevation is something that I just can't do. Remember my post when I said that Colorado is the skinniest state, and that I'd lose weight here just by being near all the skinny people? That hasn't happened so much, just yet.

We got home at around 1:30pm. I went down to the basement, and look what I found. Still asleep. Dang teenagers.

Meanwhile, upstairs, Kylie is playing with her new $1.50 bowling game from Goodwill. After we took it out of the bag, we discovered why someone gave it to Goodwill. There is a pin missing. Which actually works out ok for me. See, I just leave the 10 pin out of the rack, because I usually miss the dang thing anything.

This is the desk we got for Kylie's room. Ok, so it's plastic and in primary colors, but for $5 for the desk and chair together, she now has a place in her room to sit and color, write, draw, etc.

I knew there would be laundry in here at some point. Ewww, that is a nasty-looking, dreary picture. My laundry room is in the basement. It's the only part of the basement that isn't finished.

Oh my, look who's awake. The laundry room is right next to Shannon's bathroom in the basement. So I'm in the laundry room, and with the washer and dryer going, she can't hear me take her picture. She can't see me from this angle either. Which is good, because I'm pretty sure she would not have approved of this picture. She's sitting on her vanity, facing the mirror, doing...something to her hair.

This is Splatter, the lop bunny who lives in the basement. The aforementioned reason for the $10 vacuum we got at Goodwill. Don't you think Rorschach would have been a good name for her?

A day would not be complete around here without time spent lying on the floor, playing with the dogs. Then complaining loudly about the dog jumping on you and trying to eat your shoe. Even though you're lying on the floor and sticking your foot in his face.

I'm sure there must be a good reason why Shannon had Luke in a headlock.

"No, Luke! Don't eat me! Help!"

"Awwww, you're a good boy, aren't you? Yes you are."

Bo is older and not quite as ready to play at a moment's notice. Which is why he makes a better pillow than Luke.

Look, somewhere between those last two pictures, Shannon decided to change out of her pajamas. It's only about 4 in the afternoon. Actually, upon closer inspection, she didn't so much change as she just put on more clothes over the clothes she was already wearing.

"Ok, old wanna go?"

Shannon gets down on the floor to get things going between the two dogs. The antagonist, if you will.

Oh's on! The WWE world

These are our next-door neighbors, Zoe and Clark. Zoe is the same age as Kylie. I was hoping maybe they'd be in the same first grade class, but since I found out there are SIX first grades at the school, the odds are probably not good. There are actually two elementary schools for this area. One is a primary school that has K-3, and the other is an intermediate school that has grades 4-6. Have I mentioned there are about a bazillion kids around here?

Kylie plays with these two about three times a day. They're nice kids. Nice family. They just moved here too, after we did actually. They're playing with some ball with a tail attached that their mom had found at a garage sale earlier in the day. You throw it, and it bounces and flies all over the place.

Please notice that my daughter is playing in the street in the brand new socks that I just bought on Friday. Not shoes, not bare feet, but socks that will never be white again. I'm just saying.

I made a quick run to the grocery store, and noticed this in my van. This can't be good. I think I'll do what I did the last time that light came on. Ignore it until it goes away. Hey, it worked last time.

This little thing was the bane of my existence yesterday evening. On Friday, we went to Taco bell and Kylie got a kids' meal with a toy. The toy was this thing where when you turn it on and shake it, it sounds like a guitar playing the first three notes of "Smoke on the Water." Dun Dun DUNNNNNNN!!! So I was sick of that after about five minutes.

Yesterday, Kylie told us that she gave that toy to Clark, the boy in the picture a little ways up. But guess what Clark gave her in return? Oh yeah, Dr. Fart. You push that little yellow button, and Dr. Fart makes lovely fart noises. There are six different fart noises. I know, because we counted them. I'm so glad it's a keychain. Because that's something you'd want to carry with you everywhere. Mysteriously, Dr. Fart is missing this morning. I didn't take it, and I don't think Steve did either. I'm suspecting Shannon hid it, but I have no proof. Yet.

Well, it's getting late. 6:28pm, according to the stove. In my continuing attempts to burn the house down, I made dinner.

I decided to make Shepherd's Pie. It's easy, quick, and some of us will actually eat it. I have to explain the stove. Several days ago, I came home from the grocery store and put some plastic bags up on the stove. As I did this, I must have accidentally hit the knob that turns on that back right burner. Because the next thing I know, there is smoke and burning plastic bag. I haven't been able to get the burned plastic off just yet.

Then, in the process of making my Shepherd's Pie, this happened. This is the only dish for which I will use instant mashed potatoes. They just seem to spread over the top better. The bag said it's better to add the boiling water to the potato flakes, instead of adding the potato flakes to the boiling water, because of overflow. I swear, I always add the flakes to boiling water, and this has NEVER happened before. Must be the altitude. Ha.

While I was busy trying to burn up my stove, the kids were out in the garage, contemplating life, with ice pops. Yes, I drive that big ugly brown van. Trust me, no one is sorrier than I am.

Please note that while I have gotten my Colorado license plate (which does look normal in real life, I just messed it up for the picture, because it seems that's what you're supposed to do), I still keep my Arizona State University decals in the window. And I will forever. Amen.

Somehow, Kylie talked Dad and Shannon into playing the bowling game with her. Well, she and Dad are playing, and Shannon is texting. But she's near them, which equates to family time. Why they are lying in the hallway at the top of the stairs playing this game, you might ask? I have no idea.

Despite my burned up stovetop, the Shepherd's Pie was really good.

The End.

Is anyone still awake? Anyone? Bueller?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

An Idea, And An Award

I've found that lately I have nothing to write about. No ideas, especially not any funny ones. Rabbit drama has been done to death, I think...even though the two large brown rabbits have been traded in (too much work, too old, didn't bond) for an 8 month old black and white lop named Splatter. She already had the name. We thought of a bunch of others (I liked Rorschach myself, but no one else got it), so she's still Splatter. She looks like a white bunny with black splattered on her.

Anyway, the point is, I have nothing to write about. So I thought I'd take an idea from June Gardens and do a "day-in-the-life" post, with pictures. June is taking on this project today, and challenged her readers to do the same. Do yourself a favor, and check out her blog tomorrow, because I'm sure her day will be much more fun than mine. Even if it isn't...her commentary will be hilarious.

I think what I'm going to discover is that my life is pretty boring. But I really have nothing else to do on a Saturday than take pictures of what we're doing. I'm sure there'll be at least one laundry picture. I'm telling you...I'm a fun magnet.

On a completely different note, Lori at The Peterson Family gave me an award, which was so sweet of her:

Thanks, Lori! Please check out her blog...she has some amazing pictures of from The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis in a recent post.

And tune in tomorrow, for a day in my life...with pictures. Woohoo.