Ah, Crap.

I am still sick.

I don't even want to get into it.

I just wanted to provide my reason for not writing.

And we have company thirty miles away. Thirty miles close. And while it makes me sad for our company that I am pathetically entertaining them while I'm sick ("Hello. Welcome to my house of germs."), I'm somewhat enjoying the irony of living in a city that has endless sunshine over three hundred days a year and having guests for the one weekend that it rains.

Welcome to my house of germs and the valley of the sun rain.

p.s. Mel now hunts Atticus. I'm not sure yet if it is all in fun or if she is thinking he looks like a delicious snack. He's only got her beat by a measly pound, which isn't much. And she has claws. I'm monitoring the situation closely.  She also takes great delight in running around after me in the morning. I look like I am leading a parade because then the dogs come after us. When she gets close enough she attacks my ankle/leg (without claws). And she still ignores Jeremiah.


Donating Items

I felt well enough today to head out a bit with boyfriend. He had cleaned out a closet and I had cleaned some stuff out of the garage and master suite and I gathered FIVE bags full of clothes and other stuff. Mostly clothes.

When I got Mel I was reminded that the Arizona Humane Society has thrift shops. And they take donations. Of your crap. And then they sell it. And the money goes to save animals.

Here's the unpopular truth. I like animals more than I like most people. They are honest and forgiving and loyal. Mostly. And they don't tell secrets. And they don't laugh when I try on pants and they are too tight. And they help me clean up messes in the kitchen. And Jeremiah, bless him, does NOT run around in circles and jump around with his tongue hanging out when I get home.

So anywho, our donations usually go to Salvation Army. Or Goodwill. But they get so many donations. Our donations this time went to the Arizona Humane Society. When we went in, it was super busy and it was in a needy area, so I felt good about making the donations.

Plus, I found a great board game, Lush shower gel (!), and a beautiful white dish with lid for a total of $2.75.

I mention this because I was thinking of my brother who recently moved and was debating what to do with his stuff that he wouldn't be keeping. He wanted a non-denomination type of center. As an animal lover, it didn't even occur to me to think that a shelter could use my stuff, but they totally took it all. If you are looking to donate some items, you might consider your local shelter. Even if they don't take clothes, they usually are in need of office supplies, blankets, cleaning supplies, etc.

Just a thought. Not trying to be preachy. Just trying to do some good.

p.s. Aerosmith on vinyl. AND we've been cleaning. We're having company later this week, so we've been picking up around here. Maybe a video house tour? Hmm...


Weekly Update

Monday (Valentine's Day) - Valentine's party with students. They are wonderfully sneaky and excited. As I step out of the room, they tippy-toe over to my desk and deposit red, pink, and white gifts and candies. I have a very great group of kids this year.
Took Mel to vet. Everyone fawns over her. Vet asks if she is sick. Nope. Sneezing? Nope. Discharge? Nope. Trims her nails (which she tolerates). We leave.

Monday, ten minutes later - Mel starts to sneeze on the way home. With nasal discharge. I sigh, we get Chinese food, and watch Weeds.

Tuesday - Mel is full-blown sick with URI.

Wednesday - Jeremiah picks up meds for Mel. I have conferences. I am now sick.

Thursday - Twelve hour workday. Conferences until 7:15. Sicker.

Friday - Sick.

Saturday - Sick. And Jeremiah worked on the shower - yay! I watched a season and a half of The Cosby Show, which I consider to be an accomplishment.

And that's the week. Super busy. Cross your fingers that the shower is now leak-free. Because that means we can move on to the next step, which (I think?) is plumbing/installing tub!

Hope everyone else had a better week. I'm excited to have Monday off.

p.s. Mel? She's a nibbler. Love bites. I think it is funny. Jeremiah? Not so much. 


My Swagger Wagon

Maybe you've seen the commercial for the swagger wagon?

My swagger wagon is actually a wagon, not a mini van. And Jeremiah doesn't rap with me. But I haul some suh-weet stuff in my ride.

 Like when we replaced our island with a more functional one from Ikea. Popped it in the Subaru. Like that, yo.
And when I got the jacuzzi tub $700 off the original price? Threw it in the back of the Subaru before the nice man could change his mind.

I just thought I would share some Subaru love with you. Because I do. I love my car. Probably more than is normal. And this year, my car turned 15. Fifteen. Oldest car in the school parking lot. By far. Let me just quickly point out that my 15 year old car has fantastic heated seats and many other perks that some "nicer & newer" cars around don't have.

Anyone else love their car an obscene amount? Anyone get a new car? Anyone own a car that is older than mine?


Work It.

My mom sent Atticus a Valentine's present. With a face like this, how could you resist?

She repurposed a boy's robe (that she found at a second-hand shop) into this coat/sweater for him.
It fits quite well and Atticus makes a top-notch model.
Isn't he a cutie?
He likesies. He seems to think that while wearing it he possesses super-camouflage powers and can sneak up on kitty.
What do you think? Cool idea to repurpose to old clothes, right?

p.s. Please ignore the fact that our sliding door is covered with dog slobber and paw prints. We like to consider it frosted. And ignore the fact that trim is not up on the wall and you can see the brown paint from the floor. Jeremiah got halfway done with the trim and I decided I wanted a tile floor. So he stopped. And then we got the roof estimate. So no tile floor. Yet.


We'd like to introduce to you...

...the newest member of our family.

 After a year, I felt I was able to get another cat. The only requirement? She could NOT look like Scout. At all. Not even a smidgen. And she doesn't.
 I'd been looking for awhile at the Arizona Humane Society's website. When I saw this cat, I wanted her.  Look at the picture above. Doesn't that look like a heart on her front shoulder blade? Love.

After work on Thursday, Jeremiah drove to my school and we went and  met kitty together. I spent time with her and with one other cat. I knew I wanted her after spending just a few minutes together.
 Doesn't she have the cutest little paws?
 She doesn't really hold still for the camera, and isn't super excited about having it shoved in her face, but she will soon get used to that.
 She is a snowshoe mix. She's got gorg. blue eyes. She's quiet and affectionate. She tolerates the dogs. Which says A LOT.
 She is currently without a name. I'm going to have to decide soon. I keep going back and forth and can't seem to find one fitting.

So our family has gotten a bit bigger. I'm very happy. I've never not had a cat before. The year since Scout died has been the only year in my entire life without one. And I missed having one around. 

p.s. Please ignore the room. It's a guest room and currently houses a bunch of random items, as well as the comforter from the master bed, which she seems to love.

Happy News

It's been a busy week. As in, work sleep. work sleep. work sleep. But we (I?) have some happiness to share. I'll be uploading pictures later today!


Same Week, Different States

So last week, while I was snapping shots like these:
(Yes, that's the gnome again. Yes, Jeremiah was okay with carting him around on our bike ride for picture taking purposes. )

Here's what my mom was snapping in Michigan:
That's my dad. Doesn't look old, does he? We've got good genes in this family. No joke.

Anyway, in case you didn't know, they had a blizzard. Look how high the snow is! I'll freely admit that I'm way jealous.

At one point my mom thought that my dad fell through the ice while he was out on the lake. Apparently, according to dad, she worried. I told him that was probably a good response. If he had actually fallen through, indifference wouldn't be a good thing.

Isn't it funny how the grass is always greener? I know that if I was in MI, I'd be loving the snow but eventually tire of it and wish for sunny days. And here, I get excited to the point of tears when it clouds up, rains, or gets foggy.

So share. Or not. Tell me what type of weather you experienced last week. Were you involved in the Blizzard of '11? Did you see sunshine all freakin' week long, like me? Something in between?

p.s. Didn't mean to insult the padre. When I say that he doesn't look old, I mean he doesn't look his age. Because he doesn't. Sorry daddy-o.



Every time I hear a stranger refer to their husband as "hubs" or "hubby" or "DH" I throw up a little in my mouth.

Just a little.

p.s. In case you are unfamiliar (like I was. I wish I retained that innocence.), DH = dear husband.

I don't think it bothers me as much when I know the HUSBAND. But I can't think of any friends that use those words anyway.

p.p.s. Jeremiah said that I probably just lost half my readers. First of all, my mom is my reader and you can't really divide her in half. Secondly, she doesn't call my dad "hubs" or "hubby" or "dh". 

But seriously - thirdly, (and most importantly & honestly) Humor and conversation can both develop from conflict. I'm sure there are things that I do that others find disturbing. And that's okay. Let's laugh about it, shall we? And you can comment and tell me why you call your husband "hubs" and why I'm a meanie for yakking about it.  I'll listen. Promise.


10 in '10, Revisited

Remember this post:

Well, I finished off the year reading well over ten books, but not hitting the lofty goal of twenty.

To recap:
10. Marley & Me - I forget the author
9. Plum Lucky - Evanovich
8. Plum Spooky - Evanovich
7. Bright Lights, Big Ass -Lancaster

and newer reads:
6. A Sucky Book About PLC Interventions - I had to read it for work but it still totally counts. What a snooze.
5. A Sucky Book for the Suckiest Class Ever - The worst class I ever took offered me the worst book I've ever read. And I've read some sucky & difficult books (um, history of France in FRENCH? Sucky.).
4. My Fair Lazy - Lancaster - So darn funny.
3. Pretty in Plaid - Lancaster - Reflections of her road to adulthood.
2. Such a Pretty Fat - Lancaster - Hilarious. Actual lol'ing occurred.
1. Bitter is the New Black  - Lancaster - Hilarious, Disturbing, and Touching

~ Sizzling Sixteen - Evanovich - Just okay. Didn't live up to my expectations. So sad.
~ Almost French - Turnbull - Interesting, especially if you're into France & the French.
~ Hate That Cat - Creech - It's in a story-telling poem form, and it is for older kids. I loved it. Very sweet. It is a sequel to her book Love That Dog. Warning, both will make you cry. 

Yes, you may have noticed a theme. That of Lancaster. She makes me laugh. She makes me want to be a better writer. She lives in my favorite city. She's snarky and honest and I love her style. If you are offended by swearing, she's probably not for you. Just sayin'. And here's her website, if interested: http://www.jennsylvania.com/

I am attempting a similar goal for this year - 11 in '11. We'll see. And if anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate them. Please share!

p.s. Books I'm already looking at:
  • Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat
  • How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, which goes along with the incredibly moving story, In the Time of the Butterflies (Which I read and loved and had a wonderful hard-copy version, loaned out, and was promptly lost. And not returned. So sad.)
  • The Devil Wears Prada - Love the movie, want to love the book
  • The Calder Game - Which I started last year and didn't finish. 
Update, because I forgot this one:
p.p.s. I also read Flawed Dogs: The Novel: The Shocking Raid on Westminster, by Berkley Breathed. It broke my heart. I read it in a day because I kept hoping there would be something happy happening soon. I actually SOBBED. And it is a chapter book for kids. Not young kids. But still. Kids. Teens. 


    Weekend Finds

    This weekend we went out searching for wainscoting, shower strips, and something else. I forget what. I asked Jeremiah who was driving. He was, of course. So we hopped in the Ford. Do you know what fits in his Ford? Not much. We stopped first at Salvation Army, which we all know is hit-or-miss. I shop there all the freakin' time because that's what it takes to find the good stuff. Or the crappy stuff that I try to fix up to be good stuff.

    Anyway, we spotted this at the same time:

    As you can tell, it is hugely tall. It leans like a ladder against the wall, and has things to attach it to the wall so it doesn't slip. And the mirror can be tilted so you can see your whole body, which is great, because I hate getting ready for work and not knowing how things are looking below my waist. I stand on the edge of the tub to see everything. I am imagining it a dark brown to match my shelves and dresser that are already at home in the master bedroom. So I peeled the tag off (that's how you claim the heavy stuff at Sal. Army. Take the tag.) and kept looking. And by that, I mean I turned around and saw this:

    It's not actually a black chair, but a smokey dark brown. So pretty. And sturdy. And heavy (I know because I had to carry it through the store and to the car and I had to stop several times. But part of that could be because I have no arm strength. Sad but true.). Perfect for the desk. I might not even refinish it, I like it that much.

    And the next aisle:
    I found these. We've been searching for matching nightstands since we moved in together. By "we've" I mean "I've". I'm sure Jer hasn't been losing sleep over this. I like that they have drawers AND a shelf, so I can store unsightly items and keep things looking tidy. I imagine them being either white or dark brown, to match the other furnishings. I'm slightly worried about things being too matchy-matchy, so I'm leaning towards white. And new knobs because the ones on there already? No.

    I should mention that each item gets the Jeremiah stamp of approval before it goes home. He does such a nice job of checking sturdiness, craftsmanship, etc. He flips things upside down, pulls out the drawers (hahaha...that sounded dirty.) and makes sure I'm (we're) getting a good deal.

    The funny thing was that the only thing that fit in his itty-bitty car were the nightstands. That's it. And it peeved him (sorry, babe). He was NOT happy. It must be a man rule. Thou shalt have a car big enough to haul crappith.

    It made me laugh (again, sorry, babe) that it was MY car that ended up being driven back to the ghetto later that day to pick up my finds. We didn't even have to fold down the seats. Subaru Intervention (again).

    Those were the weekend bargains. No shower strip STILL. Heading into week four of "Ohmygod, there's a boy in my bathroom!".

    The price breakdown looks like this after the 55% off sale they were having:
    Mirror & Shelves - $23
    Two Nightstands - $7 a piece, for a $14 total
    Chair - $5? I'm not sure.

    What do you think? Anyone else like to bargain shop?