Thursday, March 29, 2012

braces and other rites of passage

Nope, I'm not the one wearing them. The boy got his on yesterday. Ouch. Having a child in braces can be a pain for everyone. He turned down his dad's offer of some pain reliever as they were leaving the orthodontist's office yesterday. By the time he arrived home that afternoon, he was all about getting some ibuprofen. We had chili for supper last night, so he was able to eat that along with yogurt, ice cream, applesauce and anything else he could basically swallow without chewing too much.  Poor kid. My assurance that the worst will be over in a just a few days is falling on deaf ears.  I finally had to resort to the comment that he hates: "Both of your sisters survived. You will too."

In other kid news.....looks like both girls are going to the prom with dates. Okay. Looks like prom dress shopping is in my future. Looks like I will need to channel a saint or two in order to survive that experience.

I signed off on the middle kid's course selection sheet for next year. Four AP classes! Good grief. I suggested maybe she might want to back off of one, but she was very sure that these were the classes she had to take. Well, okay. I signed, she smiled and told me it would be just fine.

The oldest kid is frantically working to finish up a batch of local scholarship applications. The essay topics are always so broad and borderline goofy, but she knocked three of them out yesterday and after edits was ready to roll.  I think she has one final letter of recommendation to pick up from a friend and she is set for that batch. The others are due later in April.

Me, what about me? news on the job front other than that I am one of three they are going to interview and I'm the only internal candidate. Not sure when my interview will be.....a little birdy told me what I do know, not the hiring manager.  Just trying to keep a more 'business' appearance and outlook in our very biz casual building. Just in case.

And that is my week in review. I finished "Child 44."  Well crafted and plotted murder mystery set in Stalin's USSR. Brutal and intense, not exactly what I typically read, but I will read the following books featuring Leo and Raisa.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

a chapter closes

My folks sold their 'first' retirement home yesterday. They had their closing, walked out with a check and will head back to Florida today.

This usually wouldn't be much of a deal for me, but my hubby helped them with the design of that house. We visited them there before we had the kids. And of course, we visited them there with first one, then two, then three kids in tow.

We met my brother and his family there for one Thanksgiving to 'surprise' my folks. We spent lots of time sitting outside on their wrap around deck looking out across the mountains.  From their kitchen windows I watched deer come down to the clearing in the early morning.

Such a neat house in such a beautiful location. The lady who bought it is over the moon with excitement and from what my mom said, made the whole process very easy on them.

So, the little house in the mountains has been handed off to someone else and a new chapter begins for my folks.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

oh happy tuesday

Three day work weeks are lovely things. I have Spring fever and the thought of being cooped up in my cubicle for the next 6 hours is a bit depressing. But, at least I have a window! I can take short breaks and looks outside and enjoy nature through that glass portal to the outdoors.

Still reading "Child 44." I didn't get as much reading done yesterday as I thought I might, as I started puttering around the house and began to clean the stuff the kids always seem to miss: baseboards and doors and other woodwork. I got a decent start on that chore, but it really needs a good half day devoted to just that and then it will gleam.

But, off to work I go! Hi-ho, hi-ho.

Monday, March 26, 2012

an at home day

Yep. Four day weekend for me!! Work gives us a paid day off for our birthday and I'm taking my holiday today. Looks like the weather will be perfect. I have already drafted my list of errands and things to do. Should be quite nice and a special treat.

I'm reading multiple books right now. First up, a novel that my folks both read and passed along to me while we were visiting them. It is called "Child 44" by Tom Robb Smith. It is a mystery set in Stalin's Russia and the protag  is a member of the secret police. I've also been reading a few short stories from Karen Chance. They were free downloads from B&N.

I'm slowly making my way through the free stuff I found online when I initially got my Nook and downloaded a baker's dozen of titles.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

not awake....cupcake coma

Boy, were they good.

I'd sort of gotten into the habit of stopping at the little cupcake shop on our town square. Every Thursday on my way home from work, I'd swing in there, grab a half dozen and come home to present them to my kids. Not the best way to keep my waistline in shape, but they are soooo good!

Of course, I gave up that behavior for Lent, with and exception for any birthdays.  I had two cupcakes yesterday! Yum.

But, now the party is most definitely over!! Back to avoiding the treats and finishing out these 40 days.

By the way, I had a great birthday.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

cupcakes and candles

I woke this morning to find two boxes of fancy cupcakes on the kitchen counter! Whoop!! Hubby stopped by our favorite little cupcakery on his way home from work last night to procure these amazing desserts. Looks like we will be eating in high style tonight as we celebrate my birthday.

I'm 47 years old today. I loved turning 40 and as I get closer to 50, I'm okay with that too.

So, happy birthday to me and big hugs and kisses to my parents. Love you both so much.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

pulling weeds

I finally got the flower beds weeded that are located on the front and side of the house. Thank goodness! I guess it rained here while we were down in sunny Florida, so pulling these quick growing plants was pretty easy.  It seems all the plants I want to live and grow and bloom survived our 'un-winter' just fine. Now, if we have an overly warm summer, some may not make it. I'm not a big one for hauling the hose around to water my plants. I prefer to let Mother Nature take care of that gardening chore for me.

The back beds are up next, and I hope to work on those Wednesday. I enjoy weeding. After a busy day at work, even though it wasn't mentally taxing, doing some simple physical labor was nice.

I was able to talk with my boss about the full time position over in the other department. He was totally supportive and said I should be a shoe-in for the job. We shall see - in about a month.  The timeline allows me to really think about how going from 24 hours a week to 37.5 will change things at home.

Chores may need to be reassigned. Expectations will have to be changed when it comes to what Mom does and what the rest of the family does to keep things moving along. Streamline. Downsize. Organize. The current mode of operation will need to be evaluated and tweaked.

Seems I need to take a good look at the 'flower beds' in the house and see what weeds need pulling.

Monday, March 19, 2012

it is the fourth quarter

Wow. The kids will start their fourth quarter today. Where did the school year go? I will celebrate my birthday on Wednesday. Again, where did the year go?  Or the last 40 plus years go? My 21st wedding anniversary is just a few weeks away. My one year anniversary at work is a month away. Geez.

We  had a great visit going down to see my folks and my brother and his clan. We enjoyed good food, good conversation, some retail therapy and some "a$$ in the sand" time. It was fun to see the 6 cousins play in the sand and surf. The boys are always thrilled to be together and the girls have fun just hanging out.

My niece's confirmation was really nice. As their bishop is extremely ill, permission was given for the parish priest to do the confirmation. That gave the event more of a 'family' vibe and it was way more relaxed than when my daughters were confirmed.

I'm expecting a very odd work week. My boss will be in town again from up north. I've thrown my hat in the ring, officially, for the full time gig in the Communications department. Soooooo, I don't know quite what to expect next, but I'm sure I will find out in short order.

Here's to Monday! Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

tell me a story

I've been doing a lot of 'research' at work. My boss and a colleague from another advocacy group decided to create a new game to use as an outreach tool. They are attending a BIG science event in DC at the end of April, so we have been working with a very firm deadline.

My task was to collect a variety of facts about a host of diseases. We have also been researching how those diseases are treated and how the drugs/therapies that treat those illnesses were developed.

Of course, me being me, after spending a good 24 hours working on this project, I'm convinced I have half of the diseases! Ha Ha.  It has been interesting work. Always a bonus when you learn neat information at your job.

The game, although designed to be a trivia game, tells a story.

Speaking of stories, I was able to purchase a .99 cent download yesterday of the very first Rachel Morgan book by Kim Harrison. I've never read the first novel in this series, because I started on book number two and never looked back. Pretty excited to grab this title at such a low price.

Low prices are not what is in store for the library as they try and bolster their ebook collection. The director forwarded an email to me from the head adult librarian. The Random House price hike has hit. Yep. The gal reported that a fiction book she wanted to add would now cost them $75 and a nonfiction title she had wanted to add was now $80.

Unreal. What does this mean for library budgets? Most budgets have already been slashed due to the economy. For a point of reference, most ebooks were costing the library $23 a title on average.

Telling stories is getting to be quite expensive!

This is my "Friday" as we leave very early tomorrow morning for points south. I'm very excited for this mini-vacation and look forward to getting away from it all for a few days.  Enjoy the rest of your week.

Mom and Dad: See you tomorrow! xoxo

Monday, March 12, 2012


Last week was just plain weird. I can't think of anything else to call it. Lots of random stuff going on at work and at home. The weather was even odd.

This week will not be very normal as we head south for a little rest and relaxation. Plus, my niece is being confirmed and she asked me to be her sponsor. I was thrilled and happy to be involved in this next step for her. I bought her a lovely pair of pearl earrings to honor the occasion.

I need to send some feelers out at work after a conversation I had with my friend in the communications department. I learned Thursday that their recent publication audit revealed the need to rework the journals and newsletters our nonprofit publishes. A new position will be created. My name came up in the discussion she was having with the department head regarding possible internal candidates for the job.

Now, this would be a full time job. No more 8-2, Monday through Thursday. Am I ready for that? The money sure would be nice!

I have some things to figure out in regards to this possibility. Happy Monday and Happy Spring Break!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

more ebook news

I'm loving the quick info tidbits the library director sends to the library board! Yesterday I received another 'newsflash' email outlining how our Download and Go eLibrary will now feature over 20,000 books considered part of the public domain. Yes, these are older titles. Many of these books are classics. What a great resource to have available!

Plus, when one of these titles is downloaded, it does not count towards our two book limit.


I'm currently reading "The Hedgewitch Queen" by Lilith Saintcrow. I adore Saintcrow's books, and while this one is not urban fantasy, I'm thoroughly enjoying Vianne and her adventure. The next title will be "The Bandit King." These books were released in ebook format first, and I'm not even sure if they will ever be released in print.

It is my Friday...the week flew, Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

tough news for libraries

Now that Penguin severed their relationship with Overdrive, it seems that library patrons are beginning to get the short end of the stick when it comes to ebooks available from 'virtual' collections. Now Random House is raising their library ebook prices threefold.

I've not spent a lot of time reading articles beyond the two I've link to on this topic. But, I already know who the loser is going to be in this battle: the reader.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

library column

Now that I'm on the library board, I get regular emails from the director when she has 'news' to share. The latest update involved the resurrection of a library column in our local weekly newspaper.  Long ago, I wrote one for our daily paper; the column ran biweekly in special insert devoted to our town. After that newspaper discontinued the insert, I moved the column to the weekly local paper, and published there for a year.

Then I left the library's staff. I wrote a few more articles on behalf of the library, but eventually the Friends consumed every spare moment I had, and my writing efforts and time were devoted to their projects.

Yesterday the director send the board a note that the head adult reference librarian is going to write a column. Yippee! I was so pleased to see this concept get another chance. Our library has such wonderful programs and events for readers of all ages. It will be wonderful to have that information out in the community on a regular basis.

Monday, March 5, 2012

soccer mama problems

Tournament weekend! She had a match Friday night in the blustery, downright cold, weather....but the team walked away with a 3-0 win. I was a nervous wreck watching her play keeper. The match Saturday took us to the stadium; love watching them play on that field. The fought to a 1-1 tie. Sunday morning and the semifinals was an amazing match. Tough, tough team from Ohio. The girls battled hard, very physical and ended regulation with a 1-1 tie. Which sent it to Penalty Kicks.

As I was on pins and needles the entire previous 90 minutes, the thought of having to watch her in a PK shootout was about more than I could take.

She stopped 3 shots cold; amazing. Simply amazing. So, we advanced to the championship match for the second year in a row.

And ran into a buzz saw.  They got crushed 5-0 by a quicker, better skilled team. There is nothing quite as heart wrenching as watching your daughter in the goal get shelled as the defense can't keep up or because they make passes in front of the goal instead of clearing the ball away.

Horrible. Her older sister, the one who actually trained to be a keeper and played that position for years, was ready to go grab a uniform and take over the job to spare her younger sister the pain of that game.

All I could think of was the old Wide World of Sports line: The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

For our girls, it all happened within 5 hours on a Sunday. But, you shake it off, accept your second place medal with a smile and vow to keep working.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

no brainer

I think I might be stuffing 'take-away' bags today at work for the upcoming convention my boss will be attending. There are days, and today is shaping up to be one of them, when no brainer activities are best!

Nothing like filling 300 bags with biomedical science info to keep a girl busy!

I'm well into Anne Rice's "The Wolf Gift" now. I just adore her. Someday, maybe when I retire for good, I will read all of her books in order and witness the evolution of this amazing writer.

That, my chickens, is all I have for today........enjoy your weekend when it arrives. Mine starts at 2:00!!