Sunday, November 30, 2008

Just a link

Because who really has time for anything else?

Happy Hour Sue is launching the first annual Husbands' Christmas Challenge.

Now get busy!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


DS2 is spending the night at a friend's. We went to a great playground with them today and then when it was time to leave, he left with them and we haven't seen him since. The friend's mom and dad just came by to pick up PJ's and a toothbrush.

DS1 is supposed to be making sure he knows the answers for his Miwok project that he might have to do a presentation on this week. The instructions say the presentations are this week and then says the due date is the 8th. So I told him he need to have the answers and we'll fix up the presentation board later.

DD is swimming around on the floor while DH clears the table. She was exhausted by the time we left the park today and fell asleep in the car and slept for about 1 1/2 hours out in the garage when we got home.

And it's 7:17 and I'm about ready for bed.

And in my book.... The story of a couple of the secondary characters has been pushing itself into my head, so I am writing their chapters to be interspersed with the main characters I already have. So... either I make the secondary story very secondary, or I pull it out again and make a sequel, or I leave it all in and it's not your regular one-couple romance novel.

And..... I just re-read that and am editing here to say clearly that it's not an orgy. There are two distinct, separate couples and I don't think the secondary ones need a separate book, because they're a couple of servants in the female protagonist's household and not just any servants, but the most trusted ones and they both were 'saved' by the lady of the house who tends to take in strays.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

"The End"

I wrote it. I got to a good stopping point and I stopped.

There are a couple of other scenes in my head that will be injected later.

But for now:


Happy Thanksgiving!

I made about three tons of food and that was with just making a turkey breast and not a whole turkey. There were only 4 of us eating and we now have vast quantities of leftovers.

I was just reading last night about dîners à la russe as opposed to dîners à la française in one of my research books on the Victorian Era. A la russe was where the servants brought the food to each person and held the serving dish for them, à la française was where they had everything on the table and servants who would take it all off and replace it with more food as the next "remove." A la française was more fashionable at the beginning of the nineteenth century, but à la russe overtook it by the end of the century.

Anyway, either way, they were impressing their guests with their vast quantities of the best food, but apparently when serving à la française they would have so much food and huge joints of meat and so on and would be eating leftovers for two weeks (without refrigeration. Oh the good old days!).

And no, I don't know what the French or Russians had to do with it, especially because the book also said that they adopted the à la russe service from the French...

So anyway, we only had one "remove" with only one cut of meat (and we had vegetables, which, as you know, are bad for you. Unless you boil them for three hours. At least they were in the nineteenth century...) and then dessert, but it was definitely à la française and we'll be eating leftovers for a week (with refrigeration, thankfully).

And my stuffing still isn't as good as my mom's, though it was pretty darn good. I need more of the saucy stuff, maybe.

Angry, but, well, not too angry

The kids had all the couch cushions on the floor yesterday and toward evening I discovered that a throw pillow that I made from a piece of really pretty silk (pale background with vines) has been torn all along two sides.

The pillow form is intact and I have a ton of other fabric, some of which I have looked at thinking "That would make a nice throw pillow" so I'm not extremely upset.

Oh, and the silk on the original pillow was a discarded sample piece from the fabric store where I used to work, so it's not like I paid for expensive silk which is now torn....

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The official verification thing is up!

I think I like the viking one better....

Odd quirk

Now why why why why does DS2 tell me he has already had breakfast when he hasn't? He gets angry and yells when he says he's hungry and I say to have breakfast. He just insisted that he ate breakfast before I got up this morning. I told him to have more breakfast, in that case.

Either he dreams it or else he thinks I'm going to let him have candy and crackers. It's the anger and yelling part that gets on my nerves.

But then, this is the same kid who had grilled cheese for breakfast at Denny's yesterday and would have had fries if I hadn't said no. Maybe he doesn't know there are bagels in the cupboard.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

So far so good.... 20 minutes in

My friend's kids (and friends of my kids) got here about 20 minutes ago and so far, they're building with lincoln logs in DS1's room because they don't want Godzilla (DD) to wreck the town. DS2 isn't building with them and I'm not sure why not, but he doesn't seem to upset about it yet.

Only 3 1/4 hours to go.

In other news, we went out to Denny's for breakfast. Well, ds1, dd and I had breakfast, DS2 had grilled cheese and fruit salad (only because i wouldn't let him have fries and goldfish as the sum total of his breakfast). Other than a ton of grease, what's the difference between grilled cheese and a bagel with cream cheese anyway? And with the fruit salad (only bananas and grapes, don't know if it was the kid special or if that's all they had this morning), his breakfast was healthier than my eggs and bacon and grits and toast.

So I need to go rescue the baby who's about ready for a nap. DH is still out at a chamber of commerce breakfast, so i can't really get her down for a nap without completely leaving the boys without supervision. Not that I'm doing much of anything anyway.

Monday, November 24, 2008

an eye rolling good time

I had to make DS1 take his eyes off the online flower fairy game long enough to tell me what he wanted on his sandwich. it was harder than I thought it would be, to be honest.

Somebody needs to 'splain this to me

So. All summer, I couldn't get the boys to go out and play in the water when it was about 100 degrees out there.

They're out there today. Yeah, it's sunny, but it's about 55 degrees, which seems a bit chilly for sprinkler-jumping.

But hey. Whatever. They'll be back in soon.

And in other news, it's supposed to rain tomorrow! Yay! We put out wildflower seed just a bit ago. I should have thought of it in October before the first rains so they would have a better chance competing against the grass that is already about 6 inches high. And the seed has been sitting around since about a year ago anyway because I never quite got around to it last year. So we might have wildflowers. Might not. I put some in the bit of woods across the street, too. SOme local realtor got some people together and planted tulips there last fall which are really pretty in the spring, but I'm a rogue and wanted some native plants, too. Crazy me.

And we might be taking care of my friend's kids because the friend and her DH have to work this week and the kids don't have school all week. They could juggle the kids for all but a few hours on Tuesday, so I offered. We'll see what happens!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

With a week left to go

62,533 words. I have about 10 ideas for scenes in my head and I need to jot them down. Though a scene I was working on didn't go as I expected, so it's going to alter some of the scenes I had in my head.

And I was writing on my laptop in the living room and had to move because the boys started crashing around. I moved to the sewing room and soon they were crashing around in there, too. SO my scene was a bit disjointed and I kept forgetting what I wanted to say.

Time for the baby to take a nap, so maybe I'll have an hour of silence. Unless she takes another micronap, because that's about all I can get out of her the last couple of days.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Falling behind overall

I set myself a new goal of 75K words for Nano or until the story is finished. I haven't been keeping up with as many words as I need to write per day to do that.

But this morning, my online nanowrimo support group had a half hour sprint and I wrote 1000+ words and i know what's going to happen next.

So I'm good.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Oh hey, I was wrong

For some reason, I thought that Chelsea Clinton had gone to the Cathedral school, with Al Gore's daughters, but she went to Sidwell Friends. I mention this because the Obamas are sending their daughters there, too. Sidwell Friends, that is, not the other.

I wonder if people are going to have a snit about DC public schools the way they did with the Clintons.


DD is exploring her voice lately and sits in the back of the car after I drop off her brothers, saying "ba-ba-ba-BA-BA-BA-MMMMMAAMAMAMAMA!!!!!!!!!!!" and causing eardrum damage to passing drivers. She also lets out these yelps and screeches of excitement when she's up to something. She was emptying the shoe closet just now, yelping away and I went to see what she was doing and she let out this cheerful "eeeeeeeee! aaaah!" when she saw me.

There's nothing so contagious as enthusiasm :)

Genealogy (as a form of procrastination)

I was checking my email and had a message through the site telling me who my g-g-grandmother's parents were. For those of you at home, that's Jennie Romer (mother of Mary Koelsch, grandmother of Grandpa Laatsch), though the last name it came up with from someone else's tree in Holland is Reimer or Riemer.

So now with ancestry hints, I've got a few generations back from Jennie Romer's mother (though ancestry seems to lose the trail of her father right away.) so back to Van Eerde, Prenger, van Polden, and Schermerts as HER grandparents, then another generation or two through the Van Eerde side. They're all from Noord-Holland.

And Schermerts makes me think "Ich habe Schmertzkopfen" which is one of the few German phrases I have retained from my brief stint in college.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

what my blog says about my personality

Well, except for the Extraversion part - which is the whole performance and entertaining and friendly. I am so far introverted that if i only had to ever talk to friends and family, I would. Well, I have to make new friends sometimes, because every so often I pick up and leave whatever country I'm in, but otherwise, no. The rest is pretty accurate.

But maybe I come off as more E in my blog? I am much more outgoing when I don't have to meet peoples' eyes...

From Jennifer Crusie's blog, and she said hers is about 50% right.

ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Awwwww puppy! Look at this Liza Lee!

A friend here in the Sac. area is fostering a Jack Russell terrier puppy. We can't have pets (and I think they'd be pretty strict about it being a puppy and a hyper breed).

But just look at that face.....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How do they conduct these surveys?

I mean, do you call up millionaires on the phone and ask how much money they're going to give their extramarital partners this year? "Hello, Mr./Mrs. Millionaire, do you have the time to answer some questions? Is your spouse out of hearing? Good, now let's begin. On a scale of one to five..."

How very.... odd.

Cool book group last night!

We read Wake by Lisa McMann this month. I had read it last summer and loved it after it was reviewed on Smart Bitches or maybe Trashionista or maybe somewhere else. Made my mom read it, though she looked at me funny and didn't feel the same level of loooove for it. Hey, I like quirky, I like the woowoo stuff, and the boyfriend part was sweet.

It's a YA book (young adult) and is a quick, easy read. The reading level was fairly low, but the subject matter was definitely high school age (maybe junior high, but read it yourself before you hadn it to your 6th grader).

Anyway, one of our book group members was contacted on facebook by an old acquaintance from college.... Lisa McMann. So we read her book and I read it again. On second reading, I can see more of the structure, the flaws, etc, but I still loved it.

AND we met at the office of another group member so we could have Ms. McMann on speakerphone. She was very nice, talked about stuff with us like the inspiration of the book (a dream. Go figure) and a tiny bit about the next 2 books in the series, though she wouldn't answer some of our guesswork, because it has to be a surprise for the other books. And she told us a secret :)

Her next book in the series, Fade, is out in February.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I win! I win! I am the champion!

Got to 50K words just a little while ago. yeah baybeeeeee!

I'm trying to finish off the scene I'm ion the middle of, but am too distracted by the magic number.

It couldn't be a kissing scene or anything nice, it had to be a scene where they found a sick, injured boy and the doctor wants to bleed him.

Video - my friend the fridge

Note baby spreading joy and pans. [ed: No sound, so you can't hear the joy.]

Then... the fridge opens. Pure, unadulterated joy! Go! Go baby go!

Dh decides to let her hold the fridge door open for him. Thunk.

Chocolate sauce! And... stuff! Yes!

And then she swims away to prostrate herself before her idol. Well, she's trying to play with the wooden molding on the wall, but you can't really see that.


After the ice cream.

Do these jeans make my butt look big?

Under DH's desk. It';s sort of like that famous picture of JFK with John-John under his desk.

Well, it looks like your water pump, ma'am. That'll be another $500.

DD knows where the tupperware and old pans are now...

You can see two teeth!

The rain from a couple of weeks ago. Yes, raincoat and underwear, umbrella and hose.

DD looks on in awe. She really wanted to go out and play.

DS1 didn't think much of the rain.

PICTURES of Halloween costumes

Very very slow! I'm more of a verbal type...

Samurai (this year with helmet!) and Tremendous T

I didn't get a picture of the fairy princess ballerina pink diva with the costume on, but notice the sparkles!

I did the smallest one on the left that you can hardly see the face because it's in long grass. The others are from the boys.

1051 words to go

but my brain fizzled out in the middle of a scene between the hero and his mother (who i thought was going to be hung up on h's brother and bitchy, but she's actually pretty nice) so I limped to the end of it and called it done.

later today, hero is going to pay a friendly call on heroine and discover her household in turmoil. he might not make it to lunch with his mother.

and that'll likely take me way over the top :)

news at eleven.

Political baby

Th other day, she said "Obama!" Well, she said "Babababababammmmmma!"

And then the next day I saw this picture. That baby's about the same size and has about the same amount of hair, too. We don't have those pants, though. Nice pants.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

An entire flipping year later

And i still don't really have control of the touch pad mouse thingy on my computer. OK, so I haven't used it all that much this year, but you'd think I'd be able to scroll at will? Nope, the mouse goes all over, the screen either doesn't scroll or I highlight everything and accidentally delete it, or it jumps all the way to the end instead of scrolling down as I read. Then there's the problem that it's overly sensitive and clicks in places and on things basically at random. if the pointer is hovering over it, it will decide to click away, even when I'm nowhere near touching the mouse thingy. There's a way to turn it off for those of us who drag our hands in front of the keyboard, but then I forget that i turned it off and can't find my pointer.

And I have a hard time holding down the shift key long enough to capitalize words.

But hey, even if if 90% of the stuff and 11 months of the year, DH uses the computer far more than I do (or the boys are playing Crazy Machines 2 on it), it's my computer. And If I would just unplug the thing from the internet, I'd get a lot more done....

I just realized

as I'm sitting here, trying to write a scene, that since I have been saving this book chapter by chapter, when the time comes to do the word count verification thing at the NaNo site, I will have to cut and paste them all into one document.

Well, it';s been a better way for me to organize it so far. Just a couple of drawbacks, the main one being that if I want to remember the vicar's name or exactly what that letter said back ages ago, I have to open file after file after file and search for what I remember of it. I started a list of character names in teh first few days, but haven't been keeping it up as i am de Mille and have a cast of thousands. how do real authors keep it straight?

And my timeline isn't bad, but I realized that I made the difference in the dead husband's and the hero's ages too big, since I mentioned that they were at school at the same time, for which the maximum difference would be about 5 or 6 years. I also realized that i have a bunch of stuff on it about Darwin, but she's also fascinated with Germ Theory, so I need to pinpoint a few things with Pasteur as well.

But all that is for the editing process! Must write. H&H are about to meet up again because he just can't stay away, even though it means going back out in society, where the rumors about him are likely to start up again.

Awwwww! Baby's first puke!

I had set DD down in the office and she swam off to see what the boys were doing. I had double-checked the floor before I came back here and saw the triominoes game out, so asked them to put it away, as they weren't playing anymore.

But I missed the leaf.

So anyway, a few minutes later, I heard the sound of baby coughing and gagging and went racing out in time to see her hurl a bunch of milk and a chunk of dried-out red leaf.

Sorry, no pictures. :P


About 2400 this morning and pulling within sight of the end. Well, nowhere near the end of my novel, but to the end of the 50K challenge itself.

My brain is fried, so I don't know if i'll be back at it today.

Can someone keep my kids from hurting each other?

Bicycle pump

We have a small hand pump (that for some reason Dh never got the piece so he could use it on his bike, so it';s been in our possession for 4 or 5 years and been used to pump up the wading pool about 5 times.). DS2 was playing with it and the end was hanging pver the edge of his chair, so DD grabbed it. So now DS2 is blowing air in her face and she doesn't quite know what to do with it.

Hours and hours of entertainment, i tell you.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I did almost 4K words. i might come back later and add 14 words so that i do make it to 4K for the day!

Sucking face

Anyone else remember On Golden Pond? When the grandson announces that he goes out and cruises chicks and sucks face? And then toward the end when Henry Fonda asks Katherine Hepburn if she wants to suck face?

DD has hit the face sucking stage. I get these lovely open mouthed kisses, which wouldn't be too bad if they weren't quite so... toothy and... slobbery. And sometimes she gets my nose.

Very sweet, though.


OK, so 5K is pretty amibitious

I looked back and realized that i have only one day so far that was over 5K and that was last Saturday when the boys were at their friends' for most of the morning and out with DH all afternoon.

I'm at 2100+ right now. Let's say 3500? That's a good, long scene more today. Then if I do that for three days, I will get to 50K on Monday. Out of 14 days so far this month (not counting today), I have 3500 or more on six of them and am at almost 3K on two more.

And if I didn't spend so much time blogging and emailing and piddling around, I'd have even more ;)

Goal for today is 5K words

Now that I'm awake with enough coffee to float the QE2, I am about to indulge in a 1/2 hour "sprint" if everyone will cooperate and let me do it....

I need to go to the store and the library today and do a few other things, but let's see how it goes for the next 1/2 hour.

I'm aiming for 50K by the end of tomorrow, 75K (maybe more) by the end of the month.

Here I go....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Metric system

The baby weighs approx 1 metric ton (1000 kg, the mass of 1 cubic meter of pure water at sea level), up from approx 3.4 kg. She excretes approx 100 liters of pee and poop a day. She eats about 1 microgram of solid food a day. She burns about 1,000,000 kiloJoules of energy per day, dragging herself around on her belly.

The rest is breast milk.

So why am I not losing weight?

I did this in metric, because it's more scientific and precise. At least that's what DH tells me, but that's because he's French and grew up with metric...

Since I opened this "compose" window

I might as well write something in it. What I was originally going to say has flown out of my mind.

So instead, how about a bit of help? I'm doing a Secret Santa on an online sewing group I'm on and want to think of a book to send. Something to lean back in a bath and read. I want to make her something as well. Dunno. A waterproof book bag? Just joking on that, though hmmm.....

Anyway, I am a bit stuck and am busy with writing and need to think about that instead. (I know! I'll finish my novel and send her that.... hahahahahahahahaha)

And I need to send this soon, because she's in the UK. (And that's not giving away all that much, because most people answered "long, hot bath with a book" on a multiple choice question (even me, though how many years has it been since I took a long, hot bath with a book?) and everyone but me lives in the UK.)'

So.... book ideas?

ETA: And I know I'm not supposed to be editing, but there was something really glaring that i had to change in what I wrote yesterday. So I am officially at -9 words for today so far. Off to get more coffee....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Just catching up on all the blogs. Margaret and Helen are making sense again today. (see link from yesterday, because I ma feeling lazy, though it would have been faster for me to just do the link rather than type all this. it's a Nano thing, I guess, using the most words to say the smallest thing)

I was listening to music on YouTube, which is actually making it hard for me to concentrate, so i stopped.

I'm also looking around on the grocery store's website, thinking about ordering our Thanksgiving dinner lock, stock, and barrel. All their dinners are for 8 to 10 people and we haven't invited anyone yet as far as I know. I would need to hire cleaners to come in and bring our kitchen and dining area up to health code, so I think it will just be us. Maybe we could go out to eat.

Just wrote a scene in which my hero gets pitied for his cold, cold heart. I think he's starting to turn around a little. Still at only about 900 words for today so far. next, the hero goes to see his old school friend and reminded that he used to live. Then the heroine's stepson runs away because she's boring and depressed. He's usually such a good boy that he's positively boring. he needs some work.

snorting, tweaking, and other sound effects

Baby's got a brand new head cold. Well, as of 2 days ago, but that sounds funky, huh? Night before last was rough and she was up every hour or two. Last night wasn't too bad. It took her a while to get to sleep, but then she slept soundly. Woke up this morning not just stuffy, but completely blocked and it took a couple of huge, nasty sneezes (for your delight at breakfast) and a couple of hours before she could nurse more than slurp-slurp-gasp-pant.

I tweaked my neck, either from sitting and typing too much, typing while lying in bed, carrying the baby around because she was cranky, or some combination of all those things. I'll see how it is tomorrow and maybe go in for an extra chiro appointment.

The boys are at a karate camp for today. I was still figuring out yesterday if I should just let them hang out again today, but then they were pushing each other off the couch and hitting each other in the face by 10 AM yesterday, so when I took DS1 to karate class, I signed them both up. They are going to be so tired this afternoon that I bet they'll be twice as cranky and crying and arguing. But anyway.

Now off to write. I feel a love triangle coming on and am all a-tingle.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yeah! I'm rocking!

I went over 30K today in NaNo!

I haven't even got everyone to the second half of the story, either. Of course, a lot of stuff is back story and i know i repeated some of it and then there are plenty of secondary plot pieces that haven't gone anywhere. And i keep forgetting the maids' names.

But yeah, I am moving!

Margaret and Helen say it all

I just found this about 10 days ago, through someone else's blog. Helen is particularly logical today.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Random quiz of the day

You Are a Chocolate Chip Muffin

You are an interesting set of contradictions.

You are innocent yet bold. Funky yet predictable.

You are a bit dramatic and showy. You love attention.

And you know how to charm people into giving you what you want.

You are very determined and ambitious... but you're also lazy.

Success tends to come easily for you. You often “luck out”.

It's a conspiracy!

DH took a message for me yesterday from the wife of an old teacher of mine (junior high math, if you'd believe that he was one of my favorite teachers ever) and friend of the family - they sang at my parents' wedding. I should have called back, but didn't because by the time it got quiet here, it was pretty late back in West Virginia where they live now.

Anyway, she called again and we chatted about my kids and her grand-daughter (who is 28 and pregnant and I used to babysit the girl and see how old I am?) and she said the main reason she called was because she had met someone from Hiram. I knew before she said his name who it was - another one of my favorite teachers, but history and from college, who retired to WV my sophomore or junior year.

So there you go. Bunch of my old teachers ganging up and comparing notes.

Writing not going well. DD's being demanding. DH took the boys - kicking and screaming - to see some boat downtown, so with any luck DD will sleep and it will be quiet here.

red alert red alert!

Isabelle just figured out how to sit up from lying down. Well, she did it once so who knows if she can do it again. She's still relying on flopping over to go from sitting to lying down (and from there to crawling), which is fraught with hazards and ends up with her crying half the time. She's sitting over there flapping her arms and saying "uh-yuh-yuh-yuh-yuh" as she bounces on her bottom. Funny girl.

Sunday morning

The boys spent the night at their friends' house and are hyped to the rafters. I had to go get them at about 9:30 because the friends are going to their grandfather's house for the rest of the looong weekend (they gave us Monday off as well as Tuesday for Veterans' Day). After being really loud in the car (it's a 5 minute drive, surely they can keep from shouting for 5 minutes?), they immediately got into a screaming, running argument over a plastic toy screwdriver that they haven't played with in months and months and months.

So the baby's awake now. I guess her nap was long enough; I hope so anyway. She was up multiple times during the night and keeps sneezing out fountains of snot and then screeching when I wipe her nose. Her right eye is dripping, too, and I hope she doesn't have pink eye again.

In other news, I wrote over 6000 words yesterday, including a fun, rambling letter from a secondary character to the male lead that I hope shows how he (the male lead) used to be in his younger days and the part of his personality he needs to allow back into his life. A NaNo support group I'm in had a 1/2 hour sprint this morning, and while I only did 400-ish words (not a fast typist, was struggling with the scene, and had DD nursing for 15 minutes of the time), I realized that I am only 1600 words away from 25K, which is half of Nano.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Random thought

I wonder where the Obama daughters will go to school. I remember there being a big flap in DC when the Clintons sent Chelsea to the Cathedral School (with Al Gore's daughters) instead of to the public school like Jimmy Carter had.

Where did W send his daughters? Or were they already in college? (Where one was getting arrested for trying to use a fake ID in Austin, TX. Like no one would recognize her and know she wasn't 21 yet...)

Oh, and my 6th degree thing: one of my professors in grad school in DC had a young son who went to St.... Alban's (?) school with Al Gore's son and they were friends and played together. This particular prof was verry Frrrrench and tended to wave her arms around and speak quite quickly and slip into heavily accented English in the middle of class so she could discuss the beauty of the National Cathedral and how it pertained to Proust, even when we weren't discussing anything to do with cathedrals or Proust. I have no idea of Al and Tipper's reaction.

The usual car repair SNAFU sort of thing

The starter has been acting a bit odd lately when the car is cold. I have needed to turn it three or four times before the engine catches. So I figure no big deal, I'll take the car in and have it looked at so that I can at least be sure that I can start the car in the morning.

So I drop the boys at school and drive over to the Midas where I've been taking it for a few years. So they look it over and tell me that it's the starter. And the battery connections. And the battery. And the wires. And maybe the spark plugs. Oh, and while you're here, how about tires and alignment? They're awful worn out. (And I got them at a place with a long warranty.... but the place has closed down.)

Oh, and then an hour later, after closer inspection, there's a leak in your water pump.

I'm holding off on the tires for the moment, but the rest is almost $1500.

And, oh we forgot to mention when we told you about it, but the water pump thing? That'll take 3 more hours on top of what we're already doing.

So they gave me a ride home and I called friends to get the boys from school, because unless the garage takes fewer than 3 hours, we'll be cutting it pretty fine to pick them up on time.

And there aren't any visible exhaust issues, but who knows. My SMOG test is coming up and we'll just have to see if it passes.

So once again I am asking myself: just how long do I go on fixing a ten year old car?

BUT Isabelle was really happy and calm for the whole time. We went to Target and she was enjoying herself. I fed her a bit and then let her crawl on the floor, where she managed to not pick up too much stuff to put in her mouth or crack her head on the tiles, though her sleeves and hands were filthy black from their floors. She played in the water in the sink when I went to wash her hands. It was only then that they told me three MORE hours. I would've come home about an hour sooner if I had known.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I'm at 16,000+ words in NaNo. It's going pretty quickly, obviously!

I got this from a bulletin board I'm on...

Click for larger image. Sorry, Mom, but I promise it's worth the modem time!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More random thoughts

DH has stolen my laptop again. I wrote 1478 words before that, even with all the meandering in Google and Wikipedia in the name of research. Most of it was crappy, but hey, they're words. And I keep writing these dialogs in which it's obvious (to me) who is speaking, so I stand to gain 100 or more words by going in and adding "he said" and "she said" to a bunch of scenes.

DS2 wants to start karate again, so I will take his uniform along today and see if he's serious.

DD is going up on her knees more and more.

Last night I installed child locks on the under-sink cabinets and a strap thing on the broiler drawer of the oven. I still need to move various small household appliances and some plastic bags out of other cupboards so she still has stuff to play with. Must make a note to myself to move the utensil drawer up and the dishcloth drawer down.

The boys built a wall of boxes across the opening to the sewing room this morning so "Godzilla" wouldn't wreck the town. And I regret calling her Godzilla in the first place.

Bleah, I just chewed on a strawberry leaf.

Still disappointed about certain propositions on the ballot here, but i'm very happy that Obama will be our president. OK, so he's a centrist, not a true liberal (a bunch of conservatives I know would scream at that statement) and he opposed Prop 8 (I got a robo-call yesterday after I had already voted) so we don't agree on everything, but we need a peacemaker with a head on his shoulders now, not.... the opposite.

DD is currently chewing on the metal desk leg. Teething, anyone?

Now from the Eton website

(Which, by the way, seems pretty weak on actual history except a few blurbs and some happy talk)

"No monarch other than the Founder showed more interest in the school, nor became more Etonian at heart, than George III, who spent most of his long reign (1760-1820) at Windsor. School functions were frequently enhanced by his presence and he seldom passed through Eton without stopping to talk to masters and boys, many of whom he knew by name."

Isn't that nice? Oh, wait, wasn't George III pretty much insane for most of that time? So what did they talk about? Or has G3's sanity been overly maligned?

Made myself giggle

This from the Oxford University website (I was looking up when women were admitted):

"In 1188, the historian, Gerald of Wales, gave a public reading to the assembled Oxford dons and in 1190 the arrival of Emo of Friesland, the first known overseas student, set in motion the University's tradition of international scholarly links. "

Emo wore tight black leggings, dyed his hair black, wore multiple nose rings, and he listened to moody music with loud drums and unintelligible lyrics and life was, you know, so harsh, like OMG just everything was, like, so sad.

But I really need to focus!

A few things

Just thinking this morning: Isabelle will never remember a time when a person of color had never been president of the US. The boys will only remember it vaguely. Maybe a woman next time :)

Now I have to blog this: The Guardian in the UK has held a contest for people to come up with new covers for old books. My favorite? The Iliad by Homer. I'm a sucker for Simpsons jokes, though. They came up with the idea, borrowed it to say the least, from a blog that I read, called BookNinja, which is by a Canadian guy named George. Good stuff :)

And I haven't written anything since about this time yesterday. Eep!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Oh yes!

Change can happen. Change is good. Maybe we can get some real changes in this country. Maybe we can have a president who doesn't declare his political rivals enemies of the people. Maybe there can be civilized debate again. Maybe we can stop wire taps and torture and illegal war.

Jennifer from my Folsom book group is probably dancing and will be all night. She was campaigning for Obama from very early on. You go, Jen!

Looks like the Dem in my congressional district is losing by a teeny tiny margin. My district is about 10 feet wide and 200 miles long, but there's a Prop about that on the ballot (actually the district is pretty big geographically, It goes East from here to Lake Tahoe and all up the East side of the state). Still waiting on all those California Props.

NaNo 10 K!

Yessssss! 10,700+

I did about 1 K this morning and then DH stole my computer (the laptop) to do a presentation at a lunch, so I uploaded all I've written to a thumb drive (Dh says it's my thumb drive, but I only vaguely remember him telling me that before and most of what was already on there was his stuff. I digress.) and waved it goodbye.

I've been doing a little sideline work. I made a time line so that I knew when everyone was born and their parents died and so on.

I looked up exactly when teh Franco-Prussian War was (1870-71) so that I wouldn't have the heroine going on her honeymoon to Paris in the middle of it. I got off track and read about the kingdom of Wurttemberg and the chateau des ducs de Wurttemberg, which is in Dh's hometown in France.

I looked up when Darwin published what.

And I went to check the mail and found this month's rent check returned to us because it didn't have a stamp.

Then I made a huge mistake and decided to take the candles out of the jack o'lanterns and found an inch of rain and various slugs, alive and floating around dead in the two i looked in. pumpkins are to proceed directly to green waste, candles still inside, when i can go out without isabelle.

Oh, and I filled out my ballot so I can zip through the real one this afternoon. I love that the people of California can vote directly on laws, but other than the big religio-political-hysterical laws, I really don't know as much as I should about the 12 propositions. Do I vote for everything that looks "green" or are the measures really as badly written and as much of a money grab as the detractors say? And why do I get the feeling that most people don't even read the election thing the state sent with the explanations and pros, cons, and rebuttals?

PSA for all three of my readers


Vote for the people and issues I want to win, of course. Yeah, I could be all gracious and tell you to just vote because democracy is alive, but, come ON! I'm only one person with one voice and one vote, so it's not like I am using undue persuasion. Ohhhh kaaaaaay, you don't have to agree on everything, just most of it.

Well, all three of my readers should be voting except maybe my mom who voted early and who often works the polls, so she has probably been there since six and will be there until they close, handing out ballots and hanging chads and so on.

ETA: I wanted to say how proud I am of my mom, whether she's working the polls this year or not. She has done it so many times that I swear the fate of Ohio rests on her shoulders. Good mom!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Whatcha gonna do with all that junk, all that junk inside your... head?

I just called the baby "Baby" and then started singing the theme song from WKRP in Cincinnati "Baby if you ever wondered/Wondered whatever became of me/I'm living on the air in Cincinnati/Cincinnati WKRP" and so on. I know all the words. The last time I thought of this song was... years ago. I grew up near Cinci (or Cinti), so maybe that's given it a bit of extra stickiness in my brain?

And at any given moment, I can't remember my children's names or birth dates.

Like my brother once said, upon seeing a report on a local news channel about some people having sing-alongs of old songs at nursing homes, because sometimes someone with Alzheimer's or other senility could sing along with "Come away with me Lucille," we're going to be in homes in 2040 or whatever with sweet young things leading us in singing "I feel stupid and contagious/ Here we are now/ Entertain us/ Hello hello hello heeeello." Maybe not, since 99.9% of us didn't understand what Kurt Cobain was on about in the first place. I guess we'll have to stick with WKRP in Cincinnati.

"I got kinda tired of packing and unpacking/ Town to town and up and down the dial/ baby you and me were never meant to be/ But baby think of me once in a while."

Or maybe the theme from Friends?

my ticker isn't showing it

But I wrote 3600+ words yesterday. I'm at 8101 :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I know he's just experimenting with language

but could DS1 just stop using "ain't" about 100 times a day???

*head desk*

twofer toofer!

I just noticed a little while ago that DD has a second tooth! It must have erupted sometime last night or today. She has certainly been a grump today, but I think that was after it had already come out. She might be coming down with a cold...

about 2700 words so far today.

Patting myself on the back

I did 4,471 words yesterday, on Day 1 of NaNoWriMo. Right now I'm drinking coffee and trying to get the NaNo web site to work so I can download a web badge that does word count, instead of just saying participant.

So, serious work going on here so far.,...

ETA: my word widget is working! we were wondering if the word widget worked. and wow!

also set all the clocks back. am now breastfeeding and typing 1 handed