Monday, March 14, 2011

One of Them Thar Days…or Weekends!

It’s Monday and I’m exhausted.  This time change thing SUCKS.  Over the weekend, Penny was consumed by the events in Japan, quite possibly the first time she’s been engaged in the news.  We had to keep her busy, or she’d have spent her every waking minute in front of CNN, which is not a good or healthy thing.  So instead of sitting around, making her study for the TOEFL, which is next week and which I predict she will not do well on, we kept her pretty busy.  She did finish a research paper she had due, and we made a cake, went to Chuck E. Cheese, did yardwork, watched movies, went to lunch, and had choir practice. 

The time change has thrown all of us off.  I really am missing that hour.  This week, Mike’s carpool driver is in Florida.  His back up carpool person called last night to say her dad is in ICU and she won’t be going to work this week.  So I had to get up at 4:45 this morning to drive to the train station.  When I got back, it was time for Penny to get up, and she is LOUD in the mornings.  I didn’t get back to sleep till nearly 7:00.  I awoke from a haze at 9:30—no idea if Leah was doing anything at all this morning while I was sleeping!—and realized I was supposed to drop Leah at Wiggle Worms so I could teach my friend Sherry to do video editing on Windows Movie Maker.  I hurriedly got up and got my sunshine girl moving, then checked the caller ID.  My neighbor had called.  My heart temporarily stopped.

My neighbor, Lisa, is heavily pregnant and ready to pop.  I am her night time back up person, so that if she goes into labor overnight, she can call us and leave her older son here until her mom can get here.  So last night, I didn’t take the phone to bed with me, and of course, there was a call from her on the caller ID.

Mercifully, or so for a moment I thought, she called this morning.  And then I remembered it was because I was supposed to babysit Daniel this morning while she went to her final doctor’s appointment!

I had already told Sherry I might not be here at 10:30 on the dot like we’d planned, so I had to quickly get in touch with her and say that not only would there not be no toddlers running around, there’d be two toddlers running around.  So she and I decided to reschedule.  Lisa arrived with Daniel right on time, while I was on the phone with my dad, of course, so I got them in and got Daniel and Leah settled while Lisa took off.  My goal for the morning was to keep Leah and Daniel as physically active and busy as possible, so we went out in the backyard and played “Let’s add sticks to the stick pile!” and “Let’s kick balls into the ever moving soccer goal!” and “Let’s run up and down the driveway with the toy car!” and “Let’s run up and down the alphabet singing loudly!”  It worked.  Leah is out cold, and I suspect Daniel was going to have a nice nap, since he looked pretty out of it when his mom picked him up.

So this afternoon I need to prepare some food for my book club girls, the number of which is rapidly dwindling, and then make dinner for my family, pick up Mike, and go to my book club meeting. 

What else have we been up to?  Let’s see.  My choir is having it’s annual gala fundraiser.  We’ve all been tasked with gathering items for the silent auction.  I am not the fundraising type, and I hate asking for donations, so I decided to devise a little email that I thought I would send out to the people I know here in town.  It turns out that I know quite a lot of people who own or manage quite a few businesses in town.  So I sent out about 20 emails and I got 15 responses.  Then I started asking people about donating their hobbies, and I got several responses for that (computer repairs, metal detecting, etc).  Now I’m up to emailing random businesses with whom I have zero affiliation and asking them for donations.  It’s turned out that I’m quite good at this stuff.  I’ve gotten close to 25 donations thus far.  If you’re out there and reading this and would like to donate something to the SRCS silent auction, please leave me a comment or drop me an email and I’ll get in touch!  All donations are tax deductible!!!  And if you want to buy a ticket and come hear me sing, then please do so!  Your ticket is $85 and tax deductible except for the cost of your dinner!

This weekend I did a lot of yardwork, finishing up trimming and pruning the trees in the backyard.  They were in pretty rough shape, totally overgrown, and some seemed to be on the verge of death.  I started 2 weeks ago with hand trimmers, which did a good job, but Saturday I bought a chainsaw (which of course didn’t come with any bar and chain oil and the goons at Home Depot didn’t tell me I needed any, so I got home and immediately had to go back out to another hardware store and get the oil) and set to work.  Unfortunately, due to my injury last summer, I don’t have the arm strength I had in my left arm, so it was a bit of a challenge. 

So I chainsaw massacre the living daylights out of the first 7 bushes, which I could reach and then Mike and I devise a plan to snake the (of course too shot) extension cord through the windows into his office so it’ll be long enough, and it’s sort of long enough, but not really, but I decided to take my chances.  So I get to one really good sized log I’m ready to take out and the saw gets halfway through it and the chain comes flying off the cutting bar.  So I go inside and ask Mike to send a message to our neighbor, Aaron, who comes over to fix the chainsaw, only he didn’t tighten it enough and I get through 2 more branches and the chain flies off again.  So I’m thinking, “@#)($*_!” and go back inside and tell Mike I’m done! 

So Mike texts Aaron again and tells him that I am in the backyard taking a break, so I leave the comfort of my sofa and head outside only to see our other neighbor, Jett, who tells me how great everything looks and he can’t believe I’ve been chainsawing the things myself!  While he and I are chatting, Aaron comes back.  Now, I immediately sense trouble.  Men + power tools + perceived “helpless female” + trees = woodchips a flying!  And sure enough, they perceive that despite the fact that I managed to mow through 8 trees without them that because the chain has now come off twice, I am clearly incapable of sawing down my own trees.  So I now point to what I want gone, and Aaron does the cutting.  I come to find out that he has been invited to a dinner party at his wife’s boss’s house, and he does not want to go.  When Jett catches wind of this, he decides that I have clearly missed branches that MUST come down on the other 8 trees, and the two of them plunge back and forth along the row of hedges cutting the heck out of my shrubs and talking like little old men about the quality of the chainsaw I bought, what’s going on with whom in the neighborhood, etc.  They swear they are coming back with a trailer to haul all the debris.  I’m hopeful!

I’ve managed to read 3 books in the past week since giving up Facebook for Lent on Wednesday, which is a true testament to what a timesuck Facebook really is.  I loved Sarah’s Key and The Hunger Games, and also read Princess Sultana’s Circle, which was merely ok.  I’m hoping that since at least half of us have now read Sarah’s Key, my Fredericksburg book club will get to meet again soon.  I find myself unexpectedly looking forward to it.  So that’s a good sign, right?

One of the other host moms has also turned me on to 2 new websites: and  Postcrossing allows you to ask for someone’s address and you send them a postcard.  Once you have sent and received a postcard, your name enters the system and you start to receive postcards as well.  I’ve sent out 7 so far, 3 of which are confirmed to have arrived.  Hopefully I’ll get one one of these days.  InterPals lets you search people’s profiles to find yourself penpals.  I used to be an avid penpal person, had dozens from all over the world (My parents probably pulled their hair out with my postage costs!).  I have thought on and off about doing it again over the years, but I didn’t really think anyone did letters any more.  So I was excited to hear about this site and signed on.  I’ve found 7 or 8 new penpals and we’ll see how it goes.  I’ve got one email pal and the rest are letter writing pals.  I searched primarily in the UK and Australia, getting one in Australia and most of the rest from England, although I’m excited to say that I’ve also gotten one from Germany, which I always had very good luck with in the past as a teenager.  My German penpals were devoted writers.  So we’ll see how that goes!

This week will be busy.  As I said, today is book club.  We’ll be at Toddlin’ Time tomorrow, and going to visit Lisa in the hospital towards the end of the week.  Sherry and I are attempting to reschedule our tutoring session.  I’ve got to get around to several places to pick up gift certificates.  God willing the weather stays nice and Leah and I can get to the park this week.  We’re getting our taxes done on Friday, and I am dropping Penny off with Melissa so she can take her to her TOEFL exam on Saturday while I am at the Fredericksburg Women’s Forum.  Then it’s on back to choir practice on Sunday and the week starts all over again. 

But first, I think a nap is in order!  Have a great week everyone!

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