Saturday, April 25, 2009
What I Should Be Doing:
3. Cleaning bathroom (x2)
4. Organizing guest bedroom (for guests and for packing/moving)
5. Balancing checkbook
6. Cleaning up breakfast dishes
7. Getting dressed
8. Organizing house-purchasing-related paperwork
9. Grocery shopping
What I Am Doing:
1. Reading more Pioneer Woman. For the past 2 hours.
What that Makes me WANT to be Doing:
1. Moving to the country
2. Buying Matt some Wranglers and chaps and boots
3. Having lots of babies
4. Remodeling and/or building a kickass Lodge
5. Riding horses
6. Taking pictures of Matt in his Wranglers/chaps/boots
7. Taking pictures of our kids on their horses in their Wranglers/boots
Ay yi yi...I really need to get a life.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Funny Things Kids Have Said Lately
1. I'm sitting at a table with some "friends" (my students that aren't completely obnoxious are elevated to 'friend' status). They're working on writing their first and last names. One friend, Enya*, who provides me with no shortage of entertainment, really surprised me by writing her middle name as well, with no help...and it just so happens that we share the same middle name! So we're bonding over Renee, and my friend Teagan*, a particularly smart little whippersnapper, doesn't want to be left out. "I know my middle name," he exclaims. "It's Darrell (pronounced duh-RELL)! Teagan Darrell Smith!" He looks pretty proud of himself. "Darrell, huh? I like that name, Teagan!"I tell him. "It's my daddy's name too! His name is...Daddy Darrell Smith!" I fall on the floor laughing. Teagan has a really confused look on his face. You laughin' at me? "Daddy Darrell Smith, eh Teagan? I'll be sure to address him properly next time we meet."
*names changed to protect my friends
2. Now this one may make you laugh, or it may make you feel slightly saddened. Either way, it amused me. I wish you knew my kids. They're so completely unlike you and me and all the other kids you know...and they're awesome. Anyway, this particular child is from, comparatively speaking, a fairly intact and supportive family. Definitely not as sketch as some of my other kids' home situations are. But apparently he watches too much TV or something...
I'm at the table with the kids, and we're discussing the previous day's Literacy Fair and who saw whom there. Bobby* was there and had come to visit with me, so I pointed this out. "Bobby, I saw YOU there yesterday! I gave you a popsicle!!"
He looks at me with a devilish twinkle in his eyes (and he is a CUTE, tiny little thing).
"I saw you in your room!" he informs the table.
"In my room?! No, you saw me on the field outside!" I correct him.
"No!! I saw you cause I was naked driving in my truck!"
What?? The other kids are hootin' and hollerin. "WHAT?? You were naked in your truck?" is my mature, teacherly response.
He grins, then shakes his head. "But then I put my clothes on. I not naked anymore."
He then quickly sketches a picture of me in a window (stick person inside a box) and him in a car next to the window (stick person in a blob with circle wheels).
Then he draws 2 stick people (heads, arms, legs...no facial features or hair for either person). "That's me and that's you. You're bald."
He finishes by drawing two more stick people who are clearly holding hands (their arms end, touching each other in a big blob). Again, neither person has hair. "Who's that?" I ask. "It's me and you. You look like a man. I draw you a mustache." (He does).
I could go on (not with that story, sadly, but with others) but I'll save it for another day. Must move on to Voted Upon Topic #2.
The Pioneer Woman
A 'friend'-- and this time, by 'friend' I mean someone whom I've been blogstalking for years but have never met in person (or even left a comment...eeek, bad me)-- introduced me to this one. And she warned me, too. I believe her post on the topic was something like "Do not, under any circumstances, go to this web page. Just don't!! And if you do, then by all means do NOT start reading "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels"! I am warning you!! Unless you have NO LIFE and hundreds of empty hours to fill...just don't click the link!!" So I can't say I wasn't warned, and neither can you, because I feel the same way she did. DON'T DO IT. But in case you're wondering where I am...well, you can find me here. Because I'm completely and totally in love with Ree (the Pioneer Woman herself) and her story and her life and her kids and her pictures and her STORIES and her recipes and her STORIES and her humor and her pictures and her writing and her giveaways and her STORIES. And did I mention she's a good storyteller and a fabulous writer? Well, consider yourselves warned. And yes, it was completely intentional that I didn't mention her webpage/blog until Thursday night. I didn't want to be responsible for all of yall being completely irresponsible all week long. But if you have some time on your hands this weekend (and I mean time)...maybe you might like stopping by. And starting the Black Heels saga in Chapter 1. I mean, if you want to.
Well, we can cross those two topics off the List of Things to Blog About. Now I must dash off to Dave Ramsey's Town Hall for Hope meeting. I'm all about some hope, and I've forgiven Dave Ramsey, so we're good to go.
Who the heck in San Antonio is obsessed with me?
I mean, seriously. Via the magic that is Google Analytics (swear I'll blog more on that one later, Katy and Mollyanne), I can see that yesterday I had thirty-four distinct visitors from San Antonio. And they spent some time here, too. Funny story: I don't know anyone in San Antonio. Much less 34 people. And while I blogstalk with the best of them, it's hard to imagine that 34 people from SA just happened to fall on my blog yesterday-- via DIRECT ENTRY, which means they typed my blog address directly into their browser, or they have my page bookmarked.
Factoid: My insurance company/bank is located in San Antonio.
Anyone else getting creeped out? Now, I can also see that my site has been discovered twice (once a few weeks ago, once 2 days ago) by people googling "USAA" (that bank). I googled it myself to see how exactly my site showed up there. It's on like, page 9 of results or something. You'd have to be a pretty hardcore stalker to find me that way. And then share my blog with all your friends?? I dunno...maybe it's a far stretch, but seriously. I'm just trying to make sense of the numbers here.
Anyone from San Antone (love the city, by the way) want to fess up by leaving a comment? Any of my other friends have any other theories they can offer?
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Miscellaneous thought: For the past few years I've had this belief that faxes were pretty much a thing of the past...I mean, who ever really uses one or NEEDS one? Apparently I was out of the loop...the fax industry must be fueled by the real estate industry, because MAN we have to fax a lot of things!! I had no idea those 'antiquated'(in my mind) machines were so useful!
So, things are looking up today. I'm feeling better. I especially love it when Matt does all the talking/emailing and then can just summarize what went on in the end. It usually doesn't happen that way because I'm such a control freak and I want to HEAR what every single person says. Also, if I tell Matt "hey, call so and so and ask this," and he does, then inevitably I think of like 4 more things I want him to say or ask and I'm trying to whisper them to him as he sits on the phone and he gets really frustrated and says "here, YOU can talk to them." So it's pretty much my own fault, but today I was busy at work til 7, so I really had no option but to let Matt handle it all...and he did a fantastic job.
Soon I am going to post pictures of some of the sweet things I've been cooking lately. And by "sweet" I just mean awesome, because they're all main/side dishes, not desserts. I take all these pictures with the intentions of posting them here, but inevitably I get distracted by things like LIFE and don't get around to it. And all I talk about is buying a house. Or Lola. Maybe I should make a list of things I've been meaning to blog about...I'm a good list-maker and list-crosser-offer.
1. Awesome food I cook
2. Pioneer Woman
3. Google Analytics
4. Funny things kids have said at school lately
That's all I can think of. Feel free to vote on which one you'd like to see me write on first. Maybe then I would actually get around to it. :) But right now I'm going to go watch last week's Amazing Race. Somehow, in the drama of being totally distressed last night, I forgot to catch up!!! Horrors!
Monday, April 20, 2009
We're trying to change lenders, now. Let me paint an analogy for you: Back in high school/college, when the Spectacular Seven (my group of friends) would get together and play games, a few of us would sometimes 'invent' new variations of the game and call it "Kinky ____" (whatever game it was, Kinky Scrabble, Kinky Trivial Pursuit, etc.) Basically, we'd just make up a new rule or disregard an old rule to suit ourselves, and if another player protested ("hey, you can't take money out of the bank whenever you want!") we'd respond with "Yes I can, we're playing kinky Monopoly." Well, I kind of feel like USAA is playing Kinky Lending with us now. "Oh, did we say you could get that loan with 5% down? My bad, we really meant 10% down, since it's in a depressed market."(side note: what isn't a depressed market right now?) "Oh, so now you won't have any money to buy floors and appliances? What kind of appliances do you mean, exactly? There's no oven? Oh, well we can't close if there isn't an oven." (Ovens are more essential than floors?) "Oh, all that paperwork you faxed us last week that explicitly states the contract expires May 25? You serious? Well, we can't so much close any earlier than May 27th. Sorry!" I'm sorry, are you kidding me? Can you SERIOUSLY blame me for "escalating" with them whenever I have to put up with this bull-freaking-crap? So yes, our realtor is now asking the seller whether we can pretty please change banks, and this time we will go with the bank that is a) in our town, with actual human beings with offices we can sit in, but b) offers higher mortgage rates and closing costs. But if they will let us do this with less drama and less down, then maybe it will be worth it. Otherwise, I'm done. I will be so happy renting for the rest of my life...if I ever start feeling unhappy, I will just look back on my trusty blog and re-live these (hopefully) few awful weeks of my life.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I'm in a surprisingly good mood considering the Sucky Days looming ahead. I am referring to my non-existent weekend. Indeed, we have "professional learning" (which you may remember from previous posts as being a professional waste of time) tomorrow afternoon until 6:15 (1.5 hrs of overtime) and SATURDAY from 8:30 A.M.!!!! until 3:30 P.M.!!!! (positive side: 7 beautiful hours of OT) So it's a sad day when you can't even look forward to Saturday because it will be more work than work usually is. Ugh. And all this PL is at my school, which is wretched, as you may recall.
Today's workout was at the Intramural fields and dogpark. We had a good time and got to talking to some people (Lola was playing with their dog). We were chatting about the origins of our respective pups (what shelters) and found out that we both got our dogs from the same Humane Society during the same month! And both Lola and their dog are the same age! So what if they were friends back in the day?? (Or cellmates, as the other people put it) I thought that was really cool.
We have a contract on the house. We have to pick a closing day still, and it has to be before May 25...so I guess we're moving right along! We also have a major itch to schedule a vacation. Life is just better when you have a vacay to look forward to. Unfortunately, all our "extra" money and then some is going towards the house...so we've no spare funds with which to plan a vacation. So we're still working on that one. I just don't think I can go all summer long without gracing a beach with my presence. It would be too depressing.
Time for a shower. Yall can think of me all weekend as you have fun and I sit in preschool-sized chairs. Ouch!
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sorry for the low quality of the photo (I don't normally make a habit of cutting off the sides of homes). At the time I took the picture, though, I had no idea if we'd actually ever bid on it...and we haven't been out since, so this is all we have!
And that's all I have to say about that. Instead, let's talk about abs, and how I'm hoping to find out if I actually have any buried beneath my fleece, 2 t-shirts, and tank top (I tend to over-layer my clothes, okay?). So I haven't actually exercised since like...'92. Or that could be a slight exaggeration, but I do think 3rd grade was a really solid year for me, physical-fitness wise. Anyway, I am probably one of the best excuse-makers you've ever met (trust me, if you never need an excuse for something, just ask me). I've been excusing myself from exercise (beyond walking Lola a few times a week) for years now. It's amazing, really. But I'm beginning to see the err in my ways, and since I'm not actually 6 months pregnant, I figure it's time to stop looking like it. (Sidenote: as soon as I find out I actually am pregnant, all bets are off. I retract all previously stated goals and ambitions) My main problem is that I don't LIKE exercising. It hurts and I don't like sweating (unless I'm laying out). I don't like panting, and I don't like messing my hair up. Or feeling in pain. I think that about sums up the things I don't like about exercising. Now, I do like some activities that are FUN but also involve exercise, like dancing and ice skating and swimming (aka laying on a float). But those things aren't readily available in my day to day life. I don't mind doing an elliptical, but I can't afford a gym membership. I HATE running, and home exercise videos bore me (except for that Richard Simmons 'Sweatin' to the Oldies' video my roomies and I used to have...whatever happened to it?)...so really, there are just no options out there for me.
But I gotta do something. So today Matt and I made a valiant attempt at exercising. I get these Prevention magazines in the mail (why? I have no idea, somehow I've gotten a subscription that I've never paid for) and they have lots of "inspirational" exercise ideas. So we did one together today, and it inspired me to bust out a few other home-exercise moves I remember from my dancing days. All in all, I broke a very minor sweat, felt lots of pain in my abs and triceps, and felt a lot less guilty when I pigged out on pizza and icecream for dinner.
You may think I am totally missing the health boat here...but I submit to you that today is a vast improvement over my normal life because I regularly eat pizza and icecream for dinner...and I never, ever exercise. So we'll see how long I can keep this up for. (I do plan to try to cut down on the pizza and ice cream, incidentally) I'm going to Netflix myself some dance workout videos and try to do a mixture of videos/Prevention mag ideas/walking (faster, with my handweights). You can all wish me luck.
All this talk about exercise is exhausting. Time to get back to my regularly scheduled sitting. In case you were wondering, I've been watching Matt out of the corner of my eye for the last 10 minutes. He's been pacing around the house with a very serious look on his face, with his hand pensively caressing his chin. I almost didn't want to know what he was thinking about, but I dared to ask.
"I'm assessing whether we'll be able to move all this stuff with one U-Haul or what. Or maybe we can just borrow my parent's blah blah blah..."
Men. One track minds. Goodnight!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Me, Mattie, and the beloved Lola. It was really hard to get her to cooperate for a pic...
That's all the pictures I have the patience to upload for now. Soon I need to do another picture post with pics I have from Matt's birthday, the house, and more! But right now, bed is looking a lot more tempting. Perhaps tomorrow.
Note of interest (to me, anyway): We weighed Lola this weekend and she weighs 52 pounds!!! Eek!! I had no idea!! What a hoss!
Monday, April 6, 2009
I feel STRESSED. I want to scream at the top of my lungs for about 5 minutes. It may or may not make me feel any better.
#1) So we won the bid on the house. Yay, right? Right, theoretically. But we have 48 hours (from 10 this morning) to turn in this big pile o' papers to the seller (HUD), all filled out, i's dotted and t's crossed. It's no big deal-- we actually filled them all out/signed them last week, before the auction was even over. The problem is this ONE stupid little prequalification form that USAA (our lender) has to fill out and fax back to us on their letterhead. We already had drama with this form last week, and the only REAL problem is that I can never TALK to anyone at USAA without waiting on hold for an hour first. It KILLS me. Just to ask a stupid 2 second question, I have to wait for between 30 min and an hour?? Tell me, who is going to be in a friendly mood after that...and I go through this EVERY DAY, because every day I (and by "I" I mean my Realtor) have SOME sort of question/clarification. So I get off work at 4:45, make the call in my car on the way home, and rarely get off hold/the phone before 6:30pm. GREAT way to start the evening. Anyway, today I was SO incredibly frustrated (more by being on hold than anything else) (oh, and cause the clock is ticking now) that I was not up to being my normally nice and easygoing self. The nice girl act wasn't getting me anywhere. So I tried a little honesty, and what do I get? Oh, I get transferred to someone's superior, who tries to "diffuse" my "escalating" temper. I'm sorry, but if you wouldn't KEEP ME ON HOLD FOR 6 HOURS A WEEK maybe my anger wouldn't be escalating.
So, we maybe have the house. If this stupid form isn't the death of us all. I will be more excited later, hopefully.
#2) Our OTHER next-door neighbors got robbed today. Yup, that's 2, count-em-up, TWO next-door-neighbors getting robbed in the past 5 days. That's all I got! Our house only has 2 sides, so that means ALL our next door neighbors have been robbed. Fabulous. This makes me feel really great about my life, my home, my stuff, and my dog's safety. A real safe haven. Now i get to look forward to driving home (on the phone, on hold) from work tomorrow ALREADY pissed off from being on hold, and I may or may not have an intact home/dog. FABULOUS.
#3) The only thing in the world that could have made my night better was watching last night's Amazing Race or last week's Office. Oh, guess what. Neither of those actually happend. LOVE YOU, NBC and CBS. Thanks for ruining my life.
and while I'm at it, let's move on to number 4, although it isn't really weighing heavy on the heart like #s 1-3...let's just toss it in there so you know why today really took the cake.
#4) While teaching this afternoon, one of my students oh-so-lovingly asks "Miss Erika...why do you have bumps on your face?" (as she uses her index finger to point to like 200 imaginary spots on her own face). WHY??? WHY DON'T YOU TELL ME, GOD? Why am I 26 and why do I have acne like a friggin middle schooler??? WHY? And thankyouverymuch little 4 year old, it's only currently THREE giant zits. Trust me, I know. I counted. And I can actually count, unlike you. So there.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
The presents are on top of the bookcase, in case you couldn't tell. It's the only place I could think of that Lola couldn't reach. She's a crafty one, that Lola!
Anyway, we packed up a backpack full of provisions and loaded Lola back up into the car (although she was practically dead from dog park-induced exhaustion). It was time for her to experience her first UGA baseball game (and our first of the season). We love going to UGA baseball games because there is a place behind the outfield where you can sit (if you bring a chair) and enjoy the game for free! So there are always lots of people with their dogs, kids, food, radios, etc. It's a good time, and totally free. Unbeknownst to us, they had changed the game time to 2 hours earlier than originally announced, so we ended up getting there in the 7th inning, but it was fine. Lola did a good job. She was nervous with so many people and noise, but she didn't whine or bark and was very friendly to all the people who wanted to play with and pet her.
Here's the view from our seats. Since we got there so late, there weren't any really good spots left, but it was okay. The people in front of us were friendly and liked Lola, which is about as much as we could ask for!We got back home, and now I'm sure Lola will sleep for at least 48 hours before waking. When she gets tired, she's done. And she's tired. And so is someone else:
(Note: We do in fact have a couch, a queen-sized bed, and a full-sized bed in our house. And an air mattress. Why he chooses to nap on the floor is beyond me.)
Better go wake him so we can go to the cookout! Enjoy the rest of your beautiful (if you live in Athens) weekend!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
It's been another long week. Matt's been sick again (a stomach thing this time) but managed to miss only 1 day of week, which is definitely a record for him. He went back today, although I'm not really sure he felt any better. At least he didn't have a fever. Poor Mattie.
We are making a bid on a house! It's a HUD-owned home, which makes the bidding process very unusual...normally we would make an offer, which the seller would either accept or make a counter offer, something like that. With this house, there is a 10-day window in which the seller accepts bids. Like an auction. Only this is a silent and blind auction. You don't know who else is bidding, how much they are bidding, or anything. When the bidding is over (Sunday, April 5th, at midnight), they will open up all the bids and award the house (or the contract, rather) to the highest bidder. Weird, huh? So we've spent some time debating and debating what to bid...today we went to our Realtor's office and did all the paperwork. All we have left to do is get a certified check for $1000 that is our "earnest money" (Wiki it if you're as confused as I am about what exactly that is) and we will have officially entered the bidding! Although we really do like the house, I'm trying not to get too worked up about it, since it seems quite likely we won't end up getting it. But if we do...then yay! And there will be plenty more details forthcoming, if we win.
Tomorrow is Friday, which is a very good thing. This week has felt forever long. Our next-door-neighbors got robbed yesterday. Matt was home (sick), so heard about it both from our landlord and from the guys whose house it was. They came by to see if he'd seen or heard anything (he hadn't). These are scary times. I've been a pretty paranoid person for quite awhile anyway, and this has done nothing to soothe my fears. Ugh. Erin, our landlord, mentioned that since we have a big dog, that's probably in our favor (as far as not being next on someone's list of Houses to Rob). My feelings on that are....well, we keep Lola in a cage when we're gone. So a caged dog is probably not that scary. Now, we could start keeping her out when we're gone (someone run a cost-benefit analysis on that one...because she most certainly would ruin some of our stuff, versus maybe getting robbed and losing some stuff), but then I read earlier this week in the paper that some folks on the other side of town got robbed, and they had a dog, and the robbers just shot the dog. Took care of that little problem. So I figure I'd rather have Lola than any of my other stuff. But anyway...this topic isn't very uplifting...but it is on my mind, so there you have it.
Unfortunately, I can't think of anything very interesting to talk about. My life hasn't been very interesting this week. On Tuesday night, after I got all freaked out reading about that insane computer worm/virus/terrorist thing that was supposed to be happening April 1st, I decided to back up some of the stuff on my computer. I'm too lazy to burn CDs though, so I just thought I'd save stuff to my flash drive that has all of like 256mb on it (it could be more, but whatever. It's small.) As I debated which things were the MOST important to save, Matt and I spent some quality time looking through the 8 years of crap I've been saving. I'm talking Instant Messenger conversations from my freshman year of college. OpenDiary entries I typed in Word and saved from high school. Matt got all caught up on my life of 8-10 years ago. It was pathetic. And hilarious. And, unfortunately for us all, did not get saved onto the flash drive...so God help us if we do get struck by the Configra (or whatever the heck it is) and we lose those priceless documents!!