Saturday, October 24, 2009

real life saturday

There are plans. And then there's the way that life actually goes sometimes. Not so much according to the plans.

So you may plan to have a relaxing Saturday with out-of-town and in-town friends. Even though the school fundraiser didn't get rained out, it's only four hours long, so you can hit that up from 9:30-1:30 and still have the rest of the (beautiful) day to enjoy.


Or you could get a text message from your husband informing you that somewhere between running the washing machine (point: husband) and people taking showers, the septic tank has started backing up INTO THE TUBS AND SHOWERS. As in, raw sewage.

Oh, the glories of real life and all that comes with it. So instead of enjoying what is left of this Saturday, we will be liberally scrubbing all bathroom surfaces with straight bleach (nothing less will do for this job, for sure!!), tracking down a septic tank cleaner dude willing to come out to your house on a Saturday, and praying that a cleaning is all that the septic tank needs and that we won't be next calling on an after-hours plumber.

Thank you for visiting the Bates B&B. We like to keep it real.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

the Thursday Three

A list of things in threes: Home and Garden Edition
Three Household Tasks I Love:

1. Yardwork. Give me a lawn to mow, a flower bed to weed, or a driveway to sweep, and I am a very happy girl. Yardwork is so tangible and the results are so immediately gratifiying...this has quickly moved to the top of my "things I love to do" list since buying our new house!

2. Swiffering the hardwood floors. Easy, painless, odorless, and immediately gratifying (you can SEE the piles of dog fur and dust...and see them go into the trash)...yes, please.

3. Vacuuming. Sadly, with almost no carpet and only a few rugs in our house, this doesn't happen nearly enough. But I still love it.

Three Household Tasks I Hate:

1. Cleaning the toilet. Ew, ick, yuck. Gross chemicals, a nasty toilet brush, and the potential to splash the whole mess up on you?? No thanks. And I don't even like thinking about wiping the underside of the lid...*vomit*

2. Scrubbing the shower/bath. It's just too much exercise in a small, slippery place. Too much reaching. Just not my thing.

3. Unloading the dishwasher. "Hate" may be too strong a word for this. It just annoys me. But then, so do dirty dishes in the unload it I must.

Three Products I Love:

1. Swiffer. See above. Before I lived somewhere with hard floors throughout the house, I thought people who raved about Swiffer were just tree-killing wimps. I was very wrong. There is absolutely no way a broom can clean wood floors (when a dog lives in your house) completely. Oh my Swiffer, how I love thee. And I totally relate to all the Swiffer commercials on TV.

2. The Shark. I believe it's a "Pet Hair" edition or something like that, but it looks like this and it works like a champ. It has multiple little attachment thingies and does a great job of sucking up all the dog hair/dust tumbleweeds that...well...tumble across the floors. I love this thing. It helps fill me fill my vacuuming quota.

3. Vinegar & Water. It's my go-to cleaning spray. I have a spray bottle mixed with equal parts white vinegar and water and it can clean EVERYTHING!! Not to mention it costs pennies and is completely non-toxic. I use it to clean the kitchen (counters, appliances, etc), bathroom (tubs, sinks), and anywhere else that needs cleaning. It's nice cause I've basically phased out all other cleaning sprays and have a much CHEAPER and less cluttered cleaning closet collection!


Now that I've got THAT out of my system (you can see the things that clutter my mind)...

I've LOVED having my piano!! Sure, it could use a tuning...but until that happens, I've still enjoyed playing and learning and practicing and...yeah. It's good. Moving it, however, was NOT. Eesh! Matt and I are apparently going to be living here forever, since we will never move the piano again.

We spent most of the time my parents were here doing (what else?) yardwork! We (by we, I mean Matt and my dad) dug a new flower bed (it's on a hill, so it's kind of a wedge shape and needed to be framed out and built up) and filled it with prettiness (or what will be pretty in the future)...and put in lots more flowers in all my other beds...and yay!! We also planted some new shrubs on one side of the house and even put in two blueberry bushes in the backyard! I LOVE MY YARD!! Now if only it had a fence...

I can't wait for weekend! Our friends the Moores are coming to pay Athens a visit and we will spend lots of time hanging out with the Gurleys and fighting over holding the baby. And I have to go to this (outdoor) event for work on Saturday morning (booo) but if it rains, it's cancelled. So between now and then, I'll be praying for rain. Feel free to join me.

And by the way...what cleaning products can't you live without?? I love recommendations!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

i love analytics: vol1

Blogging got a whole lot more fun the day (back in March) that I discovered the joys of Google Analytics. If you're unfamiliar with this program, then....Google it. :) I'm too dumb to explain it well, but suffice it to say that Analytics will take your love (or hatred) of blogging to newly expanded levels. Through Analytics, you can find out tons of interesting things about who is reading your blog, where they're from, how long they stay, and (most interestingly, usually) how they got there.

I just spent a few minutes perusing some recent Analytics data for this, my lovely little place to call home in the blogosphere. I started getting tons of crazy data once I won that giveaway on Kelly's Korner last month, and a lot of new traffic generated via her blog, but most of that has slowed down. What hasn't, however, is the strange ways people find me from Google.

Analytics will tell you exactly what search terms lead a person to click on my blog. This has the potential to be highly amusing. Let's review a few of my favorites from the past month.

Millionaire in the Making: In one month, seven people have found their way to my blog via searching for "Millionaire in the Making." I hope they found everything they needed about how to become a millionaire while they were here. Obviously I know everything about that and have tons of personal experience. :) I would have to guess that these people were sorely disappointed, and for that I would like to apologize. And since the particular post that I'd titled that was actually referring to the crafty gift I gave my sis for her birthday...well, she loved it, but I'm not a millionaire yet. YET.

Second most popular Google to find my site in the last month? By searching Comcast. HAHAHAHA. If you happen to be here looking for info about Comcast, may I suggest you find yourself a different cable provider? I certainly plan to.

Relatedly, someone came here via searching Nausea and Cable Boxes. I concur, those things are often related. I recommend turning off the TV and doing some good old-fashioned blog stalking instead.

And this months Most Amusing Search Term? Something beautiful to look at or watch before bed for good dreams. Mighty specific, isn't it? I hope that finding my blog was exactly what you needed for a night of blissful sleep, my friend.

And this wasn't from this month, but highly amusing nonetheless. On June 12, someone made their way here by searching used laminate orlando craigslist. Seriously? Used laminate? In Orlando? As an educator in the public school system, I can guarantee you that if you visit your local elementary school there will be miles of used laminate there for the taking. But they might give you a funny look when you ask.

So tell me, do you use Analytics? Do you sometimes find it way more amusing than you should? And do you too sometimes consider throwing in bizarre words and phrases here and there into your blog just to see what kind of searches it might attract? Stories are welcomed/encouraged.

Friday, October 16, 2009

the b&b gets busy...

As though weekend weren't exciting enough in itself, this weekend is going to be even MORE fabulous!!! Making their first visit to the new and improved Bates B&B (aka the Bates Motel) will be THESE lovely folks:

(my parents, aka Paul and Jacky, aka P.Diddy and Jack-Jack, aka Mom and 'Nam)

This will be their inaugural visit to our new house...they did come visit once right after we'd bought it (you may recall my mom helped do the landscaping, and by "helped", I mean did all of it while I watched and drank Powerade), but this will be their first experience seeing it with furniture, decorations, know...stuff in it. I'm so excited!! I love hosting people because I LOVE our guest room and feel it never gets used enough. Hint, hint, to all you people living in faraway lands like Charlotte and Statesboro and friggin Mexico.

But Paul and Jacks never like to come empty handed. This weekend they are bringing the mother of all housewarming gifts:

My piano!!!!!!

Okay, so that picture may be somewhat of an exaggeration. My piano may actually be more like a 30 year old plain old upright (with MIRRORS on the top part, what what!)...but it has 88 keys and will someday soon be tuned, and so basically it's the same. :) At any rate, I am SUPER excited because it's been 9 years since I moved away from home and away from ready access to a piano and I am SO excited to have it back in my very own house!! Also now the front half of our living room won't be a big empty will be FILLED and HAPPY!!!!

So between the parents, the piano, and the promise of lots of fun (and more landscaping/yardwork/flowers) and cool weather and food...I am SO happy it's weekend!! Hope you have a good one, too!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

'tis the season...

It seems sad to me that there aren't any songs commemorating the greatness of fall. At least no "real" songs. In pre-k we have lots of fake songs (and by that I mean songs that are to the tune of other songs just the words have been changed to something else) about fall and Halloween and such, but those don't count. But for the past few weeks, I've really been feeling like fall is the "most wonderful time of the year" and "the season to be jolly." Tra la la la la... I guess I normally don't care that much about fall one way or another. Usually I'm just sad that the warm weather is going away, since I don't particularly care for cold weather. But this fall I am feeling very optimistic and I'm really loving the changing season.

I think it has something to do with being in our own house. I have been full-fledged "nesting" (if you can call it that) for like two weeks. I'm suddenly obsessed with making the house look "fall-ish." I found a lot of good fall decorations at yard sales last weekend, I've bought a few more from stores, and I'm creatively re-purposing things I already own...all to make my house look "fall-ish." What has come over me?! But I love it, and I walk around all day long being happy because I have a fall wreath and some fallish decor on my mantle. And I walked around the woods in the back, picking up pinecones and transporting them to the front yard...because I think pinecones look very fallish...and we don't have trees in our front yard...and I think I might have a problem. Hm.

Anyway, besides the changing weather (and accompanying bad health that seems to come with it) not much is going on. Ohh--except I did accomplish a Life Goal. Every year since we've been married I've planned and failed to do Christmas cards. I've really wanted to do those photo ones, but it always seems I wait too late to start and they take time to be printed and then you have to find all the addresses and mail them...and pay for it all...and it's just never happened. Then I planned to do it when we moved, send out "We've Moved!" cards with our new address and a pic of us and the house. Nope, didn't happen either. Well guess what I did last Saturday. I designed and ordered our cards (and matching address labels). And they're created and shipping already!! I guess if you don't wait til December, it doesn't take as long! And I've made an Excel spreadsheet of all the people we're going to send them to and I'm working on collecting all the addresses. Am I on top of it or what??! I am so excited. I can't wait to see the cards! I ordered them from some really random webpage (I just found it on Google) and it was seriously a fraction of the price of cards at several other webpages I'd either they're going to look really ghetto, or I am a bargain-hunting-genius. I'm hoping for the latter!

Today was a fabulous Saturday-- neither of us had to work or had any morning commitments...somehow this RARELY seems to happen! I made my super-fabulous sweet potato-pecan pancakes (that are basically to die for) and THEN I....wait for it....planned Thanksgiving.

Am I on the ball or what?? I appointed myself Social Director of my family and decided that someone needed to make plans and it may as well be me, so I did, and I called everyone and asked them/told them the plans, and everyone loved it!! I'm so excited! So my grandparents are going to fly in (from Texas) the Tuesday before T-day, I will go pick them up from Atlanta and bring them to our house so they can see it. Then we'll all head to Augusta on Wednesday and spend the rest of the weekend there, then reverse the whole thing on Saturday and Sunday to get them back to Texas. I am so happy that they will be able to come here and see our house. My grandparents are pretty old (mid-80s) but in pretty good health (my Nana more so than my Poppie)...but you know, it's just one of those things. I really never expected that they would get to see my house. They just don't make it East very often. But hopefully this will all work out and they will get to stay here for a night! It's good to know all my decorating will not be in vain.

Tonight we celebrated a friend's 30th birthday with a party at a local park. We ate lots of yummy food and then the boys played disc golf. The girls stayed at the pavilion and chatted. It was beautiful and cool outside and I loved getting to just hang out with my friends. Predictably, it turned into a discussion about pregnancy and childbirth and such...since at least half the girls there are pregnant (including one who just announced it tonight)! It sucks to not be in the club...but hopefully if you hang out around the club long enough, you get in. Isn't that how it works?? Haha.

Well, this has been a long and stream-of-conscious could probably use a few photos to make it more interesting, but I just haven't taken any lately. I need to take some pics of my fall decorations and all our recent progress in the flowerbeds...maybe tomorrow. For now it looks like we're watching some more football (go LSU, I guess!) and trying to forget about our own team's utter humiliation on the gridiron earlier today. Yech.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

rolling stones, or something

Isn't there some adage about a rolling stone gathering no moss?? I guess I could look it up, but I'm feeling a little too lazy. Anyway, so if a rolling stone can't gather moss, then how is it that a ceiling fan that is perpetually on can still gather dust?

This is a great mystery. I'm sure people have been pondering it through the ages.

I just turned the fans off today for the first time and noticed that they all have like an inch of dust on them. The next great mystery is how do I clean them? The one over our bed I can handle, but the one in the living room is WAY up high...even standing on the furniture would leave me like 8 feet away from it.

I've half a mind to just turn it back on and forget about it for a few more months. Everyone likes a little circulating air, right?

I'm staying home sick today. I should have yesterday, too, but I had 6 hours of "professional learning" that I couldn't miss. Does it seem like I have PL rather often? It's because I do. I work under a national literacy grant. It requires an obscene amount of PL. To put it in perspective, in the state of Georgia, teachers are required to receive 10 hours of PL per year to maintain their certification. Under my grant, all personnel (teachers, paras, and "support staff" such as myself) are required to receive TWO HUNDRED hours of PL. I think that's like a million percent markup or something (math's not really my strong suit). So YES, I sit in 200 hours of PL (meetings/lectures) EVERY YEAR. It's rough, but required, and missing any requires some pretty tough make-up work. I am not itching to do that, so I spent all day at work yesterday. But not today. :)

Today I am resting, drinking lots of cider, balancing the checkbook, and hopefully spending a little time with Mollyanne. I hope to make lots of witty comments that will send her into hysterical laughter that will send her into labor...and then she will name her son after me. I will be generous and allow her to shorten it to "Erik"...because that's just the kind of person I am.

In conclusion...any advice on cleaning that fan in the living room??