Sigh. I won't miss April. The storms (rain/snow/both), the lack of sun & warmth...yep. Onto May it is.
In Progress: 17
1. Get Emergency Fund up to $1000 [Done 15 March 2011]
2. Pay off and close Chase Visa
3. Pay off and close Target Visa
4. Get Emergency Fund up to 3 months (~12,000)
5. Get a used truck
6. Put a $50 bill in the second collection basket
7. Put a $100 bill in the second collection basket
8. Donate to the Food Shelf 10 times ($25 or equivalent) (7/10)
9. Leave a 100% tip 5 times (3/5)
10. Choose 2 kids from the Jesse Tree during Christmas & get them presents
11. Give to a family in need during the holidays
12. Buy a scratch-off lottery ticket & donate 25% of the winnings to charity [Done 18 September 2010]
House Inside (6/12)
13. Hang up 5 pictures (5/5) [Done 17 November 2010]
14. Frame Tree picture [Done 9 September 2010]
15. Paint back room and closet [Done 13 October 2010]
16. Paint hall storage closet & set up shelves [Done 17 August 2010]
17. Spruce up front door area (outside: welcome mat, flower pots/ inside: bench, mirror, lamp)
18. Finish basement
19. Back door/entryway re-do
20. Repaint & redo my office
21. Hang curtains or blinds in master bedroom & the Kid’s room [Done 18 October 2010]
22. Get dining room chairs
23. Repaint Laundry Room
24. Repaint/redo master bathroom/closet [Done 5 October 2010]
House Outside (1/12)
25. Plant 5 trees in yard (4/5) [4 Blue Spruce planted 7 August 2010]
26. Put in back flower bed
27. Paint Storage Shed same color as house
28. Back entryway outside re-do (transition between steps and red rock)
29. Build garage
30. Put in front flower bed
31. Put in front tower flower bed
32. Put in side flower bed
33. Level out north side of house & put down the decorative rock
34. Get covers for grill & fireplace
35. Get rid of stumps in back yard [Done 28 August 2010]
36. Get a flag for front porch (and install said flag)
To Do/Watch/Read (1/12)
37. Watch 101 movies (30/101)
• The Social Network
38. Read 101 books (100/101)
April 2011 (8)
• Working Stiff by Annelise Ryan
• Scorpia Rising by Anthony Horowitz
• Murder Among Friends by Kent Conwell
• The Mistress of Nothing by Kate Pullinger
• The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczky
• A Fatal Waltz by Tasha Alexander
• Worth Dying For by Lee Child
• Non-Fiction: A Very Modest Cottage by Tereasa Surratt
39. Go to a Cowboys-Vikings game
40. See 5 Minnesota Tourist Attractions (0/5)
41. Visit 5 art galleries in Minnesota (1/5)
42. Watch all seasons of “24” (0/8)
43. Watch all seasons of “MI-5” (0/9)
44. Complete a crossword puzzle book
45. Watch 5 documentaries (5/5) [done 10 February 2011]
46. Read 5 Non-fiction books (2/5)
47. Donate 100, 000 grains of rice on FreeRice.com (35,080/100,000)
48. Do 5 things from the “365 Things to do in the Twin Cities” (3/5)
49. Walk to work 30 times (30/30) [Done 14 March 2011]
50. Bike around the lake
56. Get eyes checked
57. Get new glasses or contacts
58. Get annual physical [Done 16 September 2010]
59. Do the 200 sit-ups challenge
60. Track my progress with Wii Fit for 28 consecutive days.
Grown-up/Family stuff (2/12)
61. Change life insurance beneficiaries
62. Write wills
63. Write living wills
64. Get family picture taken
65. Send out Christmas cards with aforementioned family picture on it
66. Host Brother/Sister Christmas party [Done 18 December 2010]
67. Have a family board/card game night 5 times (2/5)
68. Buy a new “grown-up” outfit (shirt/pants)
69. Take a family vacation
70. Make a picture family tree
71. Get first aid certified
72. Get the Kid a car safety kit for her car [Done 28 December 2010]
73. Learn the Rosary Prayers
74. Go to a Latin Mass
75. Go to daily Mass for a week
76. Donate time, talent, or treasure for the CCW Bazaar [Done 1 October 2010]
77. Read the Tao te Ching [Done 18 September 2010]
78. Get a new St Christopher Medal
79. Do the Advent readings and wreath one year [Done 7 January 2011]
80. Do the Lenten readings one year
81. Do the Rice Bowl project one year [Done 17 April 2011]
82. Light an intention candle 10 times (4/10)
83. Attend Mass in the Basilica
84. Attend 2 Lenten dinners
85. Make a cake & icing (or cupcakes) from scratch [Done 24 July 2010]
86. Try 3 new restaurants (1/3)
87. Do one week of meal planning [Done 31 December 2010]
88. Do one month of meal planning
89. Eat 1 serving of fruit a day for a week (7/7) [Done 12 July 2010]
90. Try a new recipe [Done 1 October 2010]
91. Make cookies from scratch [Done 23 September 2010]
92. Try a different flavor ice cream (no vanilla/chocolate) [Done 12 August 2010]
93. Limit Diet Coke to 2 servings per day for 1 consecutive week (0/7 days)
94. No fast food for a month
95. Try 5 different kinds of apples (5/5) [Done July 2010]
Just Because (2/6)
96. Donate hair to Locks of Love one more time
97. Take part in a pub quiz [Done 16 January 2011]
98. Complete a 500+ piece puzzle
99. Fly first class
100. Start a Tumblr [Done 8 July 2010]: http://daughteroftime.tumblr.com
101. Do a 365 day photo challenge
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Friday, April 29, 2011
Tonight's softball game was under the lights. It was rainy and cold. I probably should've just taken a picture of the storm clouds which were threatening to unleash a crap-ton of rain on us all. But I thought a picture of her would be better.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Today after work I went to watch the Kid play a double header in a town about an hour away from here. There are 4 double header games a year. 2 they go to, and 2 come to them. They rotate years as to when the team goes & when it stays.
It was a beautiful day for watching softball, with sunshine and a breeze rather than rain and cold.
As I was getting ready to leave, it dawned on me that I wouldn't be back to this field to watch her play again because next year this team comes to the Kid's high school.
For whatever reason, this made me a little sad. Mostly because all of a sudden, there seems to be a lot of "lasts" happening or coming up on the horizon that seemed so far away even just last year.
Like her being 17. Like her being a senior in high school, and starting to look at colleges. Like her getting Confirmed in a couple of weeks.
I know that just means that we've done our jobs as parents, and done it fairly well, I think.
It's just that every so often I look at her and think, "Where did the time go? Wasn't she just 5 last week?"
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I'm not sure if this plant is going to make it to Spring, when I can transplant it outside. We got it for free last summer, but haven't the slightest clue as to what it actually is. When fall hit, Steve said to bring it in for the winter, which I did. Little did we know it would become the cats' favorite thing to try and eat.
I pass it in the hall and tell it, "Hang in there, little buddy. Warmer weather will be here. Eventually."
All this is part of a project which is taking me waaaay too long to complete. At least in my own head. Apparently not Mother Nature's head, though, as She's seeing fit to send weather that can only be described as "not project compatible".
I've smoothed out the walls with joint compound, but I still need to sand them down. I also will then need to prime and re-paint the walls (hence the need for nice weather) before I can really get cracking on the project part of the project.
Have I mentioned before how I'm soooo not patient? Once or twice?
Monday, April 25, 2011
We all gave up fast food for Lent. This meant no DQ, which meant no blizzards or anything. And I spent most of Lent just waiting for Easter Monday so I could go get a blizzard.
This was the 1st time we've had fast food since the weekend before Ash Wednesday, and you know, we all said the same thing after we were done: "Eh, we weren't missing much. This just isn't as good as it used to be." Huh.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
The Kid & I spent part of the day putting one more coat of primer up in the laundry room. Normally I paint by myself, but she's wanted to help me for awhile, so today I let her. She's pretty good, and hopefully will get the feel of it with more practice. Now the laundry room is ONE color. True, that color is primer white, but I can live with it until we get going on it.
One of our friends came over for Easter dinner and she (jokingly) said, "You shouldn't be painting today. It's Sunday AND it's Easter." I told her that if God didn't want me to be painting today, he wouldn't have given me sunshine & warm weather. He did, so I was.
I have my priorities (mostly) straight.
This is all the change (plus some dollars) that I saved in my Rice Bowl container over the Lenten season this year. All told, it's just over $30.00. I'm going to put it in the second collection which is currently being collected for Kids Against Hunger. The parish is trying to raise $10,000, and although the amount from this Rice Bowl doesn't seem like much, it will provide roughly 130 meals, which is definitely something.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
This is what remains of the cake that we bought to celebrate Amanda getting a 34 on her ACT test.
She took it for the first time last spring, just to see what it was like. She didn't study or look over anything, but still managed to get a 30. One of the ladies who works in her high school's office said that was the 3rd highest score anyone had ever gotten from that school (the 2nd was a 31, and the 1st was a 33).
So, Amanda set her sights on beating both of those.
The second time she took the test, she got a 31. The third time, a 34 (with a perfect 36 on the English part).
She says she's done taking the ACT. She did what she set out to do, and can live with this score.
I'm so proud of her. Not just for doing so well, which she did, but also because she focused on a goal and didn't give up until she'd achieved it. Incredible.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Some husbands bring home flowers. Mine, however, knows that although I think flowers are lovely, I'd much rather have something a little more practical.
When the hardware store here in town had their FINAL SALE EVERYTHING MUST GO last weekend, Steve brought me home this clamp. I was a bit perplexed as to why he'd bring me a clamp, but he said, "Well, I knew you have some projects that you want to work on this summer, and you'll probably need a clamp for some of them, so I got you this one." (All true. Also, he tends to disapprove of my, um, resourceful ways of getting things done. In this case, my normal "eh, it'll hold with rubberbands and string" method.)
He also said that he'd tried to get me a reciprocating saw, but that the friend he'd gone with had bought it before Steve had a chance to get it. Now, that, my friends, is true love...considering he adamantly refused to buy me one when we were in the old house. Something about being afraid of how many walls I'dve taken down (as many as it took to open things up a bit).
I'm really looking forward to Project Season 2011.
When/if the weather cooperates.
I am thoroughly enjoying this book right now. I don't read many classics anymore, but when I do, I find that I can read them for FUN and actually enjoy them, rather than reading them because I HAVE to, and for an English class.
I know that there are classics that I am expected to not only have read, but also to be able to speak about in a coherent manner. And I've read most of them. Begrudgingly, yes, but read them nevertheless. I can't even begin to enumerate all of the literary works that it will be way too soon if I ever have to read them again in this lifetime (Hemingway's 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' is definitely on that list), but there are others that I've given a second try, only to find that yes, I actually enjoy. There are some that I wonder if perhaps I'd have a better understanding of now, with some more life experience behind me, but that I really don't want to have to re-read in order to find out ('The Scarlet Letter' by Hawthorne and 'Walden' by Thoreau are on that list).
I do have a shelf of classics that I'm slowly working my way through. Sometimes I find the audio version to be easier, because let's face it, a good reader, preferably with a plummy British accent, can make (almost) anything palatable.
For now, though, I'm reading 'The Scarlet Pimpernel' and lamenting that we couldn't have read this in school rather than Dickens' 'A Tale of Two Cities' (also on the list with Hawthorne & Thoreau).
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
So this came in the mail today for the Kid. It's an advertisement for a photography studio that takes senior pictures. At first I was a little confused as to why this came, because she can't possibly be old enough to be a senior next year.
Nevermind that she's been telling me for a couple of months that she'll be 17 this June. Nevermind that she's been taking college classes since last August. Nevermind that in a couple of weeks she's getting Confirmed. Nevermind that various colleges/universities have been sending her "HEY! Come to [insert college/university name here]!" flyers, e-mails, and letters since last spring. Nevermind that I'm not ready for her to be a senior because that year will go so fast and then POOF. She's off to college.
That's the one thing I regret about going back to school myself when I did. I feel like I missed a whole lot of her growing up (I went back when she was in 4th grade & finished when she was in 10th). If I could hit a rewind button for any reason, this would be it.
Monday, April 18, 2011
We have an assortment of cat toys in the house, but I think that the empty boxes from Steve's new smoker attachment for his grill combined with the palms we got for Palm Sunday are definitely becoming favorites.
(Pictured L-R: Iz, Dart, Callie, and Amanda's hand)
Today (well, yesterday by the time this gets posted) was Palm Sunday. The Lenten season is almost over. This week is Holy week, which means starting on Thursday, it'll be time for the Easter Triduum (Holy Thursday, or the Mass of the Lord's Supper; Good Friday; Easter Vigil; and ending with Easter Sunday). No, I haven't the faintest as to why it's called a "Triduum", when it's actually over 4 days. Because it is.
Palm Sunday marks the "triumphant entry into Jerusalem by Jesus." And it's also the day the Passion reading is done. And it's about 3 pages long. Each year I take something different away from it, and this year was no different.
While listening, I thought that this is Jesus' big moment. The pinnacle of what he's been working for. He's definitely heralded as the new "it-guy".
But then it all goes haywire on Him. And he knows (well, that's what we're told, anyway) that it's going to happen. Even though there're moments where He's saying, "You know, I'm not sure I'm really on board with this...but if it's what's going to happen, then let's get on with it."
At first I thought, "You know, he's at the top of his game today, but man is the rest of his week going to suck eggs."
Then I thought, "But in the end, he kind of won, considering the names of his haters aren't household names. And he had enough class not to say, 'Who's winning now, you big jerks?'"
[Yes, I'm not very pious. Yes, I about drove the priest who was teaching my RCIA class nuts. Yes, I have a different take on the whole organized religion thing. And I'm OK with that.]
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Tonight was the parish's annual Spring Fling dinner auction. It's a different theme each year, and this year was "A Roman Holiday". It was more Ancient Rome than Audrey Hepburn, but it was fun nevertheless.
We only "won" 2 of the items that we bid on in the Silent Auction, but that's OK. We got to hang out with friends and have a good time.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Tonight was for trying something new. The Kid and I made cake balls for a bake sale on Sunday. We've never attempted these before, but I'm OK with winging things (sometimes), so this was a series of "does this work?" moments.
I think that we'll probably make them again, now that we've (almost) perfected our technique. She says they're pretty good, but I'm sick of looking at/dealing with them, so I don't even want to try them.
**Cake balls are fairly easy to make. Here's how to do it in 16 easy steps:
1) Bake a cake & wait for it to cool
2) Smush cake up into crumbs
3) Mix in a tub of frosting
4) Put onto waxed paper or something like it in teaspoon sized glops
5) Put into freezer for awhile (an hour-ish)
6) Melt chocolate chips/almond bark/whatever in double boiler or microwave
7) Dip the balls into the chocolate & completely cover them
8) Swear loudly when you realize that you've just lost your spoon in the chocolate
9) Get the ball out of the chocolate and put on paper plate & add sprinkles
10) Repeat for as many cake balls as you have made for that batch
11) Run out of room on the paper plate & have to put them back on the waxed paper
12) Transfer the ones from the paper plate over to the waxed paper to keep them all together
13) Swear some more when you can't get the bottom of the cake balls loose from the paper plate, causing the balls to break
14) Decide those will be your "samples" and eat some.
15) Repeat for the other 2 cookie sheets, this time without losing a spoon or the interim step of the paper plate
16) Clean up the kitchen & call it a success
After I got home from work early this afternoon, this is where I spent the rest of my afternoon. Bundled up, under my quilt, watching nerdy history programs. It was sleeting outside, so I couldn't paint.
My friend Kim made this quilt for me for my 40th birthday. It's sooooo warm, and I love it. It's good for days like today. And, the cats like it too. Dart was under it with me, and Iz was on the floor at my feet (Kit Kat & Callie were on their own blankets).
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
This is kind of a 2-for-1 picture today.
Monday was the Kid's Softball Season 2011 Opening Day. Well, it's Opening Day for us parents too. We have to make sure that we have our chairs, blankets, and umbrellas ready to go for the school ball season.
My chair is in the back of the car, my umbrella's in the closet, and the blankets are somewhere in a storage closet. So I'm good. Steve's chair finally gave out last fall, so he bought himself a new one this year. This is the Mack-Daddy of chairs, that's for sure. It has padding, a drink holder, a side flap with spots for a phone, sunglasses, and who knows what, AND a mini-cooler in the left arm. No, seriously. It's probably big enough for a couple of bottles or cans, and zips up. Amazing. Oh, and it has it's own carrying case ON WHEELS.
The 2nd part of the picture is Iz. She turned 11 months old yesterday, and is incapable of holding still for her picture to be taken. She still races around the house like her tail's on fire, because you know, what's the good of walking when she can RUN RUN RUN RUN from here to there.
Today I started working on the laundry room. Well, I primed it anyway. The laundry room has bothered me all winter long because of the two-toned walls in clashing colors (orange covered by a rich olive green). But now it's primed and ready to go when I finally decide what color it should be. And even in it's stark white primer, it looks better and brighter than it did.
There's just something about the "shoooshhh shooosshhh" sound of the brush and the similar sound of the roller that makes me happy.
Maybe it's that I appreciate being able to see the results of my handiwork almost immediately. I'm not big on waiting (I'm rather impatient). And if I end up not liking the color, well, it's just paint. I can always repaint, no big deal.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Opening Day of Softball Season 2011 was today. They won 4-3, and the Kid played well both offensively & defensively.
She plays all year 'round (has for 3 years now), but each season's Opening Day has it's own special feeling.
As for me, I was just glad it wasn't raining or snowing. I enjoy watching her play, even if I don't understand all of the subtle nuances of the game.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Sometimes I find the oddest things when I'm poking around thrift shops.
Sometimes I find things that I haven't either the faintest idea what in the world they are, or what their purpose is in life.
Sometimes I find things that not only do I know what they are, and what they're for, but that are part of my childhood memories.
This sewing basket is like one my Mom had, except hers was red instead of yellow. I hadn't thought of that sewing basket in YEARS. But there its (almost) twin was, on the shelf. I didn't buy it, because I have a sewing basket of my own that doesn't get used much.
When she was growing up, her family was not dirt-poor, but definitely had to watch their money. My Grandma sewed the family's clothes; when my Mom was old enough, she sewed her own. I, on the other hand, am seemingly incapable of operating a sewing machine.
I remembered all the cool thread colors Mom had, and the various sized needles for different things. She had a tomato pincushion dealie, but she also had a weird one that she could wear on her wrist when she sewed. There were buttons that went to who-knows-what, and random pieces of elastic, velcro, and other flotsam and jetsam in the bottom. There were 3 pairs of scissors (regular, pinking shears, and embroidery ones) and a threader dealie that helped me learn to thread a needle.
Sometimes I find more than things in thrift stores. Sometimes I find a piece of my past that I haven't thought about in years.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
It was the Opening Day for Grilling tonight. Yes, it was overcast and rain is coming. Yes, in places around the neighborhood there is still snow on the ground. Yes, the lake still isn't open (but that should change here in the next few days).
But none of that matters.
Summer starts tonight.
Friday, April 8, 2011
As I was walking out to the car this morning, I noticed these. I didn't plant them myself, but I'm thinking that they're from the hanging baskets I had in that area last summer.
I'm just looking at them as a sign that maybe, just MAYBE, spring is coming to the land of the frozen tundra.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Sometimes the best things don't come in Tiffany blue boxes.
Sometimes they come in white boxes from Cupcake.
What's inside? (the pink frosted one & the white frosted chocolate one are mine. But I'm
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
This week's Storytime letter was Pp. Of course I read 'The Princess and the Pea'...but I picked a book that was a little more multicultural than perhaps the kids were ready for. Which is good, I think.
Some of the younger kids were confused because the princesses didn't look like they normally do, which is blonde, blue-eyed, and white. One of the little guys kept asking, "Lisa, who's that?" when we'd see a picture of a princess. He wasn't buying that princesses looked like that.
The population out thisaway is rather, well, white (mostly German in heritage). I still remember back when my Kid was playing t-ball (so she'dve been about 5ish), and one of the moms (actually out-loud) said, "Well, I just take my kids to the Mall of America so they can see what black people look like." I remember thinking, "Whaaaaaa?"
When I was in library school, I took a couple of children's multi-cultural literature classes. One of the things that stuck with me was when one of my classmates posted something on the class forums along the lines of "well, my patrons probably want books they can relate to (about white people), so that's what I'll give them." Our professor went off the deep end and came back with, "THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO NEED THE MULTICULTURAL LITERATURE THE MOST."
Maybe, maybe not.
As for me, though, I try and mix it up for the Storytime kids. Maybe it'll stick in their heads that not all princesses are blonde & blue-eyed, but that it's OK, because they're still princesses. Maybe I'm helping these kids look at life through a wider lens, and helping them realize that there's more out there than this small town.
Or maybe I'm just confusing them even more.
Whatever. I still liked the book.
Here's pictures of the princesses:
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Show of hands...who all had a phone like this? I know we had 2, maybe 3. One line was the house line, and the other was my Dad's Batphone (his work phone).
Today, while we were in an antiques store, the Kid saw this and said, "I've always wondered how these work."
Uh. Yeah. I'm feeling REALLY REALLY OLD NOW.
So I showed her how to dial a rotary phone.
She had her "WTF" look while she gave it a whirl (ahahaha...see what I did there? Gave it a WHIRL? Because she was DIALING it? No? Sigh.).
I told her that when I was a kid, our town was so small we didn't have to dial the prefix, just the number. "The prefix? Like the area code?" "No, like the 3-digit number that comes before the four-digit number at the end." "Oh."
Yep. Nothing like going into a store and seeing things that I REMEMBER USING marked as "antique" or "vintage". Nosir, I don't feel like technology has passed me by. AT ALL.
Now if you all will excuse me, I'm going to go yell at passing kids to GET OFF MY LAWN.
Monday, April 4, 2011
This is the solar-powered "car" that the Kid built a couple of weeks ago. FOR FUN. She wants to go into Engineering (mechanical, I think) because she wants to build things that run on renewable resources (such as solar or wind power) instead of oil.
We just figured out her school schedule for next fall. She's very excited to be taking Calculus, Physics, and Chemistry. I'm pretty sure I'd cry if I had to take all three of those together in a given term--for that matter, I'd probably cry if I had to take any TWO of those together. Ever.
Her math skillz come in handy when I'm trying to sketch out a project. All I have to do is show her what I'm thinking, and she can tell me the dimensions. Of course, sometimes I start drilling or nailing only to have her say, "WAIT! I was half an inch off!" (Like I care. It's closer than I would've gotten by my own self.)
Her father & I aren't sure where her intelligence comes from some days--don't get me wrong, we're plenty smart. But she's smarter. It's amazing to see how she figures things out.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
This was the responsorial Psalm at Mass this weekend. Well, the OTHER (Catholic*) version was, anyway. I like this version better. The phrasing is more, I don't know...more majestic somehow. More elegant. More something.
In any case, it's my favorite Psalm (this version, that is). Also probably the only one I can recognize right off.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Twins Season Opener...Day 2.
Friday was the Twins Season Opener. However, they lost (13-3) to the Blue Jays. I said it was because neither Steve nor Amanda had worn their Twins shirts.
So, today they did. Amanda wore 2 to be safe.
Well, the Twins still lost, but not by as much.
The blame was shifted to me (who couldn't care less about the Twins, but who does love these two) because I hadn't bought them NEW shirts for a NEW season.
I bought them their shirts tonight. Hopefully it'll help. Otherwise it's gonna be a looooooooooooooong season this year.
Friday, April 1, 2011
This is remarkable for 2 reasons. 1, I took this at about 6:40pm this evening on my way home from work (it was still light out!!!!). 2, this is the first day we've been able to see our entire front lawn sans snow since early November.
The birds were singing, the snow was melting, and the lake looks like it's thinking about opening up soon-ish.
Which of course means Spring will be delayed for awhile because it'll probably snow again next week.