Friday, August 28, 2009

Dino quilt

I finally got the top all pieced to my dino quilt. This was completely done off the cuff, as you can probably tell by how the blocks rotate as various angles and the blocks are not always centered. It was mostly fun to do, but I had to rip out more than a few seams when I realized that my blocks weren't going to end up anywhere near the right size (8.5" square) or even worse, anywhere near right angles.

I'm still trying to decide whether to put a border on the whole thing. So far, theoretically it is 40" x 56", so not a bad size for a kids cuddle quilt. I didn't make it with anyone specific in mind, so it will likely be a donation quilt. I hear they have more girl quilts than boy often, so when I saw the half yard of this dinosuar fabric in my stash (I have no idea where it came from), I thought AHA.
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Thursday, August 27, 2009


Our giant Jarradale pumpkin/squash vine:

This vine has been growing and growing and growing all summer. First we saw lots of flowers, but no fruits. Turns out that the first flowers are all male, so no fruit setting there. Then we saw a few fruits that start out looking like this:

All too soon, though, they all seem to end up like this:

Sometimes they would get a little bigger than this, but they all seemed to wither and die. Imagine my surprise, then, to find this growing down the slope, away from the main plant and in the shade:
This beauty is 6 inches in diameter. Yes, I measured it, so I could be sure to let D know how big it is. We don't have any idea why the others didn't develop. Was it too much sun, not enough fertilizer, wrong amount of water, too hot out. Who knows?

I would have dragged D over to marvel at the pumpkin tonight, but it was raining. Definitely over the weekend, we'll check it out. I just hope it keeps on growing properly!

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Procrastination and morning people don't mix well.

Not me.  No, no, no - I am definitely NOT a morning person.  However, the rest of my family is.  And it is causing M some problems recently.  You see, he likes to procrastinate - play on the computer after school and wait until later to do his homework.  Only, when his homework requires him to actually think (like math is now) and it is getting late, say after 8 pm, he doesn't think so clearly.  He did the first part of his math just fine, then he started getting fuzzy.

Finally I told him to go take his shower and go to bed.  He'll get up early tomorrow and do the math - and I'm sure have much less trouble with it then.  We discussed how he really needs to do his math earlier, even if he waits on the rest of the homework.  M agrees in theory - we'll see how well that holds up in practice.

We saw this same issue over the summer with his online Java class.  Only it was worse then, because the assignments were due at midnight, so he couldn't go to bed and finish up in the morning when he was thinking more clearly.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Don't bother to bring your bags

to the Dekalb Farmers Market.  I went out there yesterday and was pleased with myself for remembering to bring my own bag.  The farmers market is a relatively organic and natural and even has composting along with all sorts of recycling in their parking lot, so I figured lots of people would be bringing their own bags.

I saw the sign at the door saying, "large bags must be checked", but I assumed it meant backpacks and such - and I swear it used to say something like that.  So, I ignored it, thinking I have an empty bag.  Well, part way through my shopping an employee came up and said I had to check my bag, giving me a claim ticket.  And that I could pick it back up when I was ready to check out.  I'm not quite sure what the point of this is, since IF I was going to stash stuff in it, I could do it after I picked it back up and before I went to the checkout.  It was rather a hassle, so I won't bother to take my bags again - too much chance I'll forget to pick them back up or have to wait to check them or redeem them.  No wonder I didn't see many other people with their own bags.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fall in August?

Not that I'm complaining, but its positively odd the weather we're having.  It was only 60 degrees outside when I got up this morning, after 8 am.  So, presumably the low was even lower, perhaps even the 57 that the thermometer records as its lowest low (since I last reset it a month or two ago).  If it was 57 last night, it would match the record low for the date, set in 1930!

Mid August is much more commonly lows in the mid to upper 70s in my recollection, though the paper says that the average low is 69.  And the high today was only supposed to be 84 - I'm not sure it even hit that.  I was wearing long pants all afternoon and even in the sun, wandering through a parking lot it wasn't bad.

Tonight its supposed to get down to 62, so another very pleasant night with the windows open and the fan on.  And a cool house in the morning.  I love this weather - I hope it lasts!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Yep, A has strep.  And really, really swollen lymph nodes inside his mouth - it looks like the sides of his throat are bulging out towards his tonsils.  But, he's on antibiotics and ibuprofen (more for reducing the swelling than anything else).  After dosing him up tomorrow morning, he shouldn't be contagious anymore, so unless something changes, its off to school for him.  And he wants to go to school tomorrow as its his Challenge day.

A has been the wellest sick kid I've had in a while.  Granted he didn't have too much fever today, just under 100 this morning, but he acted like normal - never napped or looked droopy.  I did have him read quietly some this afternoon and he got really into the book and read for about 2 hours.  I had thought he might drift off, but nope.

Lets hope that this is it for this round...


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Good News/Bad News

Bad: A said he didn't feel so great at breakfast this morning.
Good: No fever, no throwing up, so off to school he went
Bad: 102 degree fever when he got home this afternoon, so no Scouts tonight and no school tomorrow

Good: M dressed nicely to give a presentation at school today
Bad: M called me just after he got to school saying he didn't have his flash drive.  I couldn't find it here or along the street
Good: M took the initiative to call transportation and have the bus driver search the bus.
More good: I finally found the flash drive (hiding in the USB port) and took it to school
Bad: M had realized just before leaving for school that he didn't have some info on his project that he needed
Good: M talked to the teacher this morning (well before class and when he was still missing the flash drive) and she said he could do his presentation tomorrow
More good: M added (most of) the missing info and practiced his presentation some
Bad (in M's opinion): M has to dress up again tomorrow (collared shirt)

Good: I found a missing library book
Bad: it was 2 weeks overdue

Bad: the cats evidently brought a bird into the house
Good: D managed to get it safely outside where it flew off, seemingly unharmed

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Initial popcorn goal met

A started selling his Scout popcorn last Sunday and now, 1 week later, he has met his initial goal of $600.  Way to go A!  My unofficial tally is $675.  That is enough to get him:

1.  dues paid for this year
2. clock radio with iPod dock
3. pie in the face or dunking (they haven't decided which yet) a leader

Now, A says his next goal is a total of $1500, which would net him an extra $50 gift card, over and above whatever other prizes he chooses.  He is very interested in the getting the prizes, but less so in going out and selling the popcorn.  Or rather, he isn't interested in getting off the computer and heading out - once he is out there, he will stick with it and do fine for a reasonable period of time.  A says he wants me to "remind" him periodically about popcorn, so I will, but I'm not going to push.  After all, the more he sells, the more I have to help him deliver.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009


M has an assignment for Language Arts to create a (fake) Facebook/MySpace type page for one of the characters in the book he read for summer reading.  He seems to be enjoying this assignment more than a traditional type book report.  

The assignment also seems to have gotten the kids talking about Facebook pages and who is on there.  Leading, of course, to M wanting to get onto Facebook.  D and I discussed it and decided that he could make a page, with certain restrictions, namely, he had to friend us and only friend other people that he knows in real life.

M complained at first about having to friend us, but then one of his friends, J, sent D a friend request.  And I think perhaps he heard from some friends that they had their parents as friends also.

Anyway, I've set up a page now.  I don't know how much I'm going to do with it, but I guess we'll see.  I find it odd some of who it says I might want to friend - some people I know, some people I went to college with (but don't remember knowing) and some people who seem to be just random.  Including one person who sent me a friend request within 10 minutes of setting up my account.  I have NO clue who she is and I only know one person on her friend list.  Weird.

If you know me, feel free to send me a friend request.  Otherwise, for now, I'm not particularly searching out people.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Defrosting the freezer

Note to self:  do not think that just because it is only supposed to get to 85 (and only late in the afternoon) that it would be a good day to defrost the freezer.  It's NOT!  It was incredibly humid today.  I was really hot and sweaty feeling, even with my hands in the freezer this morning.  That 75-79 degrees felt like over 90.  And it was a bear to try to dry off the freezer - it kept condensing from the air.

But, now it is all nice and frost-free again.  And, even better, I don't have items dive bombing me when I try to put something else in there.  I had to throw out a single serve Indian dinner that evidently escaped the freezer 2 days ago and had sat on the floor for at least 36 hours.

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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Popcorn Sale Season starts

Cub Scout popcorn sale season has begun.  Actually A could have started selling last weekend, right after I went to the Popcorn Kernel kickoff meeting, but it didn't seem quite fair when none of the other Scouts in his pack had their materials.  But then on Tuesday I went to a leaders meeting and handed out a few packets, so at least 5 or 6 Cub Scouts had their packets and I assume all the Boy Scouts got their packets, so I figured why not.  Plus D and I both had to be at church early this morning to man our booths for the ministry fair (listing all the various opportunities to be involved at the church) - so selling popcorn would keep A busy and not bugging us.

A sold almost $200 of popcorn before and after church, even with 2 other Scouts also selling popcorn there this morning.  So, quite a good start.  He's even got one more person who said to talk to them next week.

Then after dinner tonight A and I went out again.  Mixed success - no one said no, but he only sold to 2 people even though we knocked on about 10 doors.  1 person asked him to come back tomorrow and 1 person was only housesitting, but the other 6 houses either weren't home or weren't answering the door (and we saw a person in at least one house and lights or TV in several others).  We won't necessarily cross those houses off the list just yet, but it was a bit discouraging.  Still - over $200 is a great start.  A's initial goal is $600, so he's a third of the way there.


Friday, August 07, 2009

Indian for dinner

I went to Trader Joe's last weekend and among other things I picked up some Indian food.  We had some of it for dinner tonight:

Punjab Choley (chickpeas in sauce) with added chunks of chicken, over rice
Vegetable Samosas
green (and yellow) beans from our garden

3 of us thought it was all quite tasty (and I'm sure you can all guess who didn't like it so much, though he only ate one bite of samosa and one chickpea).

Even better, there is one serving of the main dish left for a lunch and 3 more samosas for another night in the freezer.  Maybe we'll have the samosas when we try out on of the sauces I got.


Thursday, August 06, 2009

Another Open House

Let's see, it was the 3rd open house tonight - this time for A's gifted program.  He's happy with the classes he got: chess and an architechture/design class.  We got to visit the classrooms and meet the new teacher (he's had the other teacher before).  This program will start up next week and (as always) be the highlight of A's week.

We still have curriculum nights ahead of us.  And I'm still buying back to school supplies.  I'm sure A will come home with a list of things next week, but so far I know he needs straws and pins for the design class.  And I still have to get M some oil pastels - I'm hoping to get those with a coupon at Michael's or Hobby Lobby next week - somehow I don't think Target was going to carry them...  Maybe by then I will be done with buying school supplies... at least until next semester.


Monday, August 03, 2009

First Day of School - 2009

This is the year for both kids to be "big kid on campus", M in 8th grade and A in 5th.  It's hard to believe that next year I will have a kid in high school.  sigh.  It all happens so fast - and I'm sure it will feel even faster this year as we will be starting the application process for the magnet high school before Thanksgiving.

The morning started out well enough.  I woke up a bit early, so I could cook eggs for A - he likes them as a breakfast taco.  He got ready in good time and we headed out for the bus early.  Bus came, right about on time, all was good.  

I got home to find M already up and D finishing up fixing his lunch.  I had breakfast with M (I had a breakfast taco, and M just had scrambled eggs).  We headed out plenty early for his bus.

and this is where things started to go haywire.

First M realizes that he didn't bring anything to write with.  He wants to know if I have any pencils - no I don't carry pencils in my shorts.  I suggest that I can try to go back to the house for pencils, but no guarantee I'll be back before the bus.  Then we think we hear the bus - or maybe it could be a garbage truck.  My mom was going to call me when the bus passed her house, just in case it didn't turn down our street.  Second problem - she calls the house phone instead of the cell phone - so by the time I call her and verify that the bus has passed, it is probably well down the street.  I race back to the house, grab M some pencils and get in the car.  I pick up M and our 2 neighbors and start chasing the bus.  We've done this before and always caught it.  Today though I don't see the bus before the first big turn - hmmm, not good.  I keep going, past the spot I can usually catch it, past the furthest we've ever caught it, past the pool - still no sign of the bus.  We hit the end of the subdivision and it is obvious we're headed all the way to the school.  

We see a bus up ahead, but the kids aren't sure it is the right bus as it is stopping in places it didn't last year.  But there are about 6-8 cars between us and the bus, so they wouldn't be able to catch it anyways.  Later as it turns, we see the route number and realize that yes, it was their bus.  We follow it all the way to the school.  And then get to wait in the carpool line as the school isn't open yet.

Then its back home to put out the laundry, grab the library books and grocery list and head towards town to pick up my mom, where she's dropped her car off for service.

This afternoon A got home sooner than the bus person had told us to expect - amazing for the first day of school.  And M said that they talked to the bus driver (new person than last year) and that he dropped them off at the end of the street.  Now lets just hope that he'll pick them up at our stop tomorrow!

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