Sunday, May 31, 2009


My new word since looking up sheep for this book I'm working on is wether.

None of my spellcheckers can find it.

It's a castrated male sheep (or goat, for that matter), like the steer of the ovine world. Apparently, the flavor of mutton isn't as affected by male hormones as beef is, but rams can be extra aggressive and you really don't need quite so many rams running around, fighting each other and ripping out each others' wool, as you have ewes. You pretty much have one or two prize rams and wether the other males (yes, it's a verb, too). And then you keep the rams out of the flock until it's time to breed, or you get lambs year round and don't know when your ewes are pregnant and so on.

Apparently, it can be used for an *ahem* intact ram as well, but it's generally not. It does come from the Middle English word for ram.

A bellwether, then, is the lead sheep, the one who wears a bell and who makes the most noise and/or runs the fastest if a predator approaches. You can also hear it coming and you know that if he turns right, then they all turn right. Like if Ohio votes blue then the Democrat will probably win the presidency.

A wether eye is the wary eye of the lead sheep, looking out for trouble.

See, I always figured it was bellweather and was a bell that would ring if the wind blew too hard. or something. I don't think I ever thought about it, to be honest and if I ever used it, I probably misspelled it.

In the second case, nowadays it's generally spelled weather eye and I'm not sure if that's a corruption that has become the norm or if it has always been keeping a wary eye on the weather - literally and metaphorically - and has been confused with wether eye right from the start.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

growth spurt

DS2 just came in, hungry again. It's been less than 2 hours since he had a lot of yogurt. He doesn't tend to eat very much at one sitting and tends to be the dawdler (which, admittedly, is probably better than the rest of us, who stuff the food down) and then he gets hungry sooner than anyone else. DS1 tends to have three helping when he's growing, but DS2 wants to graze all day long. I sent him in search of fruits and vegetables, hopefully ones he can prepare himself.

the infinite creativity of language

"Don't hit the fan with the spaghetti scooper."

MUCH better. i don't know about brash, but here you go.

Your results:
You are Chekov

Beverly Crusher
Deanna Troi
Mr. Scott
Geordi LaForge
Will Riker
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
Mr. Sulu
Jean-Luc Picard
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
James T. Kirk (Captain)
Brash, rash and hasty,
but everyone loves you.

Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Quiz

an hour later...

and I've written 125 words.

I also gave DD some lunch, sewed up the edge of her chair's seat cushion, spent 5 minutes searching for the right plug for the lamp in the sewing room, helped DS2 get a bowl of yogurt, gave him a cookie, cleaned up after DD's lunch and started a load of laundry.

Just 297 words to go. At this rate, that's what? 2 1/2 hours, 2 3/4 hours more?

Saturday chillaxin'

Let's see....

We managed to sleep until almost 8, then the boys came in at a bit before 8:30.

DS2 was trying to attack/wrestle DS1 over and over and even though I said that they needed to work it out or stop or DS1 needed to walk away, it took until DS1 finally clocked DS2, who promptly went berserker and I hauled him away screaming and flailing for it to end. They've been getting along well since then.

I woke DH up a bit after 10 so I could go work out. I feel refreshed.

I got back and DD wanted milkies and a nap, so I lay down with her and read a book (old Nora Roberts from a library book sale about 2 years ago that has been drifting in dust because I hadn't gotten around to it) and she went to sleep pretty quickly.

DD has had 3 dirty diapers today with nasty, runny poops. 2 days in a row. Icky and worrying, plus she screams and cries when we change her, presumably her bottom hurts or else she's tired of having her diaper changed.

We had sandwiches and some leftovers for lunch because I couldn't actually think of anything to make. I thought maybe pancakes, but DS2 has been asking for crepes lately, so I figured we could have those for dinner.

The boys are back at building their couch cushion house. I swear we have only kept the horribly decrepit love seat for the cushions. They keep helping the baby in and then she screams to get out and then she screams to get back in. Sigh.

And now.... Now, I am going to attempt to write at least 422 words, which will take me over my month's goal. If I am given a little space and quiet and my mind is functioning, I can do that much in less than half an hour. I was about to write that I could do it with one hand tied behind my back, but even though i have been typing one-handed for years due to baby feeding, I really am not very fast.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Uhh... no one actually likes to be expendable, you know

Your results:
You are An Expendable Character (Redshirt)

An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
Beverly Crusher
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
Deanna Troi
Will Riker
Mr. Sulu
Jean-Luc Picard
Geordi LaForge
James T. Kirk (Captain)
Mr. Scott
Since your accomplishments are seldom noticed,
and you are rarely thought of, you are expendable.
That doesn't mean your job isn't important but if you
were in Star Trek you would be killed off in the first
episode you appeared in.

Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Test

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

15th monthaversary (and general info type post)

How did it get to be 15 months already?

In other news: as I mentioned on facebook already, the way to get your gardening done is to let your kids watch "Holes" and point them in the right direction. They (mostly DS2, who's almost 7) dug a hole for one of our live Christmas trees. It only took five months. Oh, and I still have one in a pot that has looked worse and worse every year for the last.... 4 or 5 years.

Next is the little bed I have for vegetables, which is totally choked by stupid bermuda/buffalo/whatever grass. Maybe i can get them to dig it up and toss the grass on the compost. I'll need to dig the compost myself, I guess...

I am trying to write a scene that's been in my head for ages, but am not getting it to come out right. However, I had decided that I would get to 25K words for this month and am only 900-ish words away from that. I would also like to finish the rough rough draft of this novel in the next few days, but we'll see. Maybe before school is out for summer on the 10th. At that time, I'll dive into edits on the older novel and try to get that to flow. And then.... well, maybe some day I'll be brave enough to send off some query letters? Yikes.

Right. break's over. So's the writing, because DD is hollering for me.

PS. I forgot to say - I did a load of light-colored clothes and managed to get a brand new red bandana in it. And what got pink splotches? DS1's karate uniform, of course! Couldn't be something expendable like the old towel or the polo shirt that's missing buttons and developing holes. SIGH. I already soaked the spots with detergent and left them to soak ina bit of water overnight and used a tiny bit of bleach. They're still there. I'd go find some of the dye remover stuff, but I don't know if that would ruin the silkscreening on the back (the name of the karate school)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

another way that kids mess with your libido

I was trying to write a love scene when the baby woke up. i fed her, changed her, took care of her, got her another cracker, etc etc.

Now I am trying to write again and she has brought a stepstool all the way down the hall and is trying to bang on the keyboard with a pen.

They even interrupt imaginary nookie.


ETA: Well, I did manage to write almost 1000 words, even with help. Just getting to the really good parts, and I can't concentrate. My new workout program, when I spend about an hour of a two hour nap going to Curves, then another 15 minutes showering, is really playing havoc with my writing time.

Anyway, I have some errands to do before getting the boys, so i should go do those.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

fussy bunny

dd had a doctor's appointment today. she's healthy and strong. the nurse commented on her leg muscles when she gave the shots. ouch! she only cried for a few seconds because she falls off stuff and hurts herself much worse all the time. she even ripped the bandaids off by herself as soon as we got home.

she's really fussy and clingy right now, though. i don't know if it' malaise from the shots or what.

20 1/2 lbs, which is something like 15th %ile.
32 1/2 inches tall - 91st %ile
and i don't remember the head measurement, but it went up by a lot and is 75th %ile

she's built like her father who's 6'4" and weighs about the same as me.

everyone said she's going to be a supermodel and i said i'd rather she be a physicist or something.

oh, and everyone admired her black bic pen tattoos and scabby forehead. life is never too dull...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

just some stuff

I was just late to get DS1 from karate. We dropped him off instead of staying and chasing the baby for 45 minutes, dragging her off the mat and letting her wander up and down the sidewalk and so on.

Our landlord sent his representatives (his mom and her husband, who has aged a lot since we last saw him a few years ago) to fix the sprinkler. Dh had said it was broken, but it was just the actual pop-up sprinkler part that was broken and it just needed a new one screwed on. Last year or maybe 2 years ago, one of the pipes was cracked and it took a bunch of digging, etc.

Anyway, they were still here when I realized it was time to get DS1.

DS2 has a horrid rash on his leg and a bit on his neck. i don't know if he got into poison oak somewhere or if it's an allergy. i have a streak of raised red itchiness on my side, too, so I am inclined to think it was something in our yard. I need to find the hydrocortisone. i used to have a prescription ointment after i had a horrible allergic reaction to something one of the first springs we were here. It's surely expired by now, 5 or 6 years later.

DD is fussing. i need to drag her off and see if she needs a dry diaper and some milkies and maybe an short evening happy nap.

Friday, May 15, 2009

well, that's good.

Your result for How well do you know your Miranda rights?...

Educated Individual

I'd like to speak with my attorney, please.

If you cannot afford one, one will be provided to you.

You have a relatively firm grasp of your rights, and when to invoke them. Maybe you've taken a class, or know some people who work in law enforcement. Maybe you've been arrested more than a few times and know the system. Either way, you seem to be in a better position than the average citizen. You at least understand the importance of your constitutional rights, which is a good thing. Your attorney thanks you for it.

Take How well do you know your Miranda rights?
at HelloQuizzy

Yesterday, we went to the annual family day at the boys' former preschool. It was the 20th anniversary of the school, so they invited alumni, too. We were the only ones I came across that were alumni who didn't have a younger sibling still at the school, but it was nice to see the teachers. We got hugs - the boys weren't too sure about that because they hadn't seen these people in 2 or 3 years. It was nice and yes, I'd like to send DD there in 2 years. Well, I don't know how we'd swing that if the boys' school is still 15+ minutes in the opposite direction. I need to get her on the waiting list anyway, I think.

We went out to Red Robin afterwards (we actually left as they were about to have the rededication ceremony because the boys were done and the baby was DONE because I wouldn't let her run through the neighboring parking lot. Mean Mommy! I had a salad and then found out this morning that it's the very worst possible salad (Asian Chicken) to get when eating out. Well, it used to be, but they've taken out the rice noodles and nuts so it's only bad, not catastrophic. But it was yummy!

When we got home, DS2 announced that he felt too sick to do his homework and then really did go lie down on the couch and do nothing. A while later, I tried to get him to go to the potty and go to bed, but he said he wasn't tired and asked for dessert. I said he could do his homework, so he went to sleep instead.

In the meantime, I had been giving DD some milk at 7:30-ish and she fell asleep and that was it for the night. Well, she woke up a while later and I gave her a bit more milk and she went back to sleep. I was glad because that's an awkward time for a nap.

The only trouble with that was that she wanted to get up before 5 this morning. She flipped and flopped around on our bed and went back to sleep for a short while from about 6:30 to 7. I didn't though.

What I did do was write a couple thousand words last night and then lie in bed this morning, thinking of ways to improve on something I wrote a couple of weeks ago. I'm still not sure how to make the dramatic impact of waking the selfish older sister up to reality without the younger sister (my protag) sound whiny. though she probably should whine because she's been holding it in for 25 years. Anyway.

No more PMS. Just cramps and nausea. Much better, but at least I know it's about over for another month. :P

Thursday, May 14, 2009

71 degrees??/ awesome!

Yeah, until i realized that i was looking at the forecast for today in Oxford, not where I live. Even so, it's supposed to be in the low 80's here.

But low 90's tomorrow, then 99 on Saturday and 100 on Sunday. Cooling a little bit next week, but still upper 80's.

I really hate summer here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

that time of the month

I can be cranky and b*tchy any time of the month. And it makes me see red when people - especially men - assume that because I want what I want when I want it that it's "that time of the month." In fact, I hate that phrase. I shouldn't even type it. They generally think that it's because a woman is having her period that she's wound up.

Yes, hormones effect me. But it's PRE-menstrual syndrome for a reason, dumbhead.

Anyway, this week I got rude with the people at my credit card company, almost yelled and/or cried when I couldn't work out at Curves, and today I am gritting my teeth and trying to not yell at DH, who changed our health insurance.

Not mad that he changed it, which is actually a good thing, because nowI can go back to my doctor without paying full price for the office visit (luckily, I haven't been sick very much or I would have switched). And it's cheaper, though why it's suddenly cheaper than it was two years ago, we don't know, especially because we've added a dependent.

Individual insurance is a pain in the rear, I tell you.

I asked him a couple of days ago to find out our insurance number so I could put it on a field trip form (they're making us write it on every single time now) and this morning, I was supposed to take DD in for shots (no, I'm not arguing about this with you. Let's just say that Jim Carrey and whatsername the airhead chick from some freaking MTV game show for goshsake don't appeal to my scientific side. To any side of me, for that matter), and DH still had no idea of what our policy number was or how to contact Blue Cross to find out. So just before the appointment, I rescheduled (its own headache of me shifting the stupid cordless phone under my chin and hanging up and then the doctor's office putting me on hold and not getting back to me for five minutes so I hung up and called back). And DH finally came up with a number, though it's the same one as on our Blue Cross dental insurance, so it is possibly not the right number anyway.

Right, so I know it's not a big deal and the rescheduling was easy and I doubt they were going to make me pay for not cancelling earlier.

Which is why I am blogging instead of yelling.

And I just put an apostrophe in the wrong kind of its.

Time for babybel's happy nap. I'm going to go work out.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

grrrrr workout

The baby didn't want to take a nap today. I finally got her down at about 11:30 and immediately took off to go work out. Turns out that the place closes from noon until THREE THIRTY on Tues and Thurs. I just figured it was only closed from 2 to 3:30, like M, W, and F.

So I'm premenstrual and was trying to not cry or get really angry, so just left, forgetting that I was going to buy the soy protein meal replacement stuff (yes, I'm going to try it. Probably shouldn't because, well, then I'm not relearning how to eat properly, am I? Anyway.)

And I really don't think I'll get there before it closes this evening. Grrrr.

zombie fire ants! run for your lives!

well, actually, it's a parasite that kills their brains. Coooool.

have i ever mentioned how much i hate fire ants?

Monday, May 11, 2009


DS1's teacher had her baby early Friday morning. He was 8 lbs 7 oz - pretty hefty for a firstborn.

Congratulations to Ms. J (who doesn't read my blog, just throwing this out there) and her husband.

Need to get organized and find/make something for the baby...

1 day late. yes, please make my life difficult.

So today I had a call from the local park and rec people, saying that my credit card was denied for swim lessons. So I got out my debit card, which has a visa logo, too, and that was denied, too. So I had to go transfer some money to my debit card account from savings so I could pay for lessons.

So I called my CC company. Turns out that my available balance with the visa card I PAID OFF IN FULL a few days ago is $16. Because I was late on $300 of that and it was a "bigger payment than usual" even though I've made much larger purchases and payments on that card. They reduced my limit by 90% and won't even let me use that for another week.

So here I am without access to that visa card. I have another, so this one is going in my "last ditch emergency" pile and the amazon one is going into my wallet. I mostly use my discover card because the rewards program works for me.

Oh, and they say they called me to tell me that I was late before they sent the email notice saying that I was about to go into collections. Except they called and didn't leave a message. Because then they can say they called even if they didn't really and they get to collect extra late fees? I mean, if someone owed me money and I want to talk to them and ask for the money I would leave a message, wouldn't you? Well, not if I were running an illegal loansharking business and messages could be used against me in court. Oh wait. Ya think Target national bank is....? Nah. The emails could be used too, I guess.

I was rude to the customer service person and to her supervisor, probably. My apologies to the universe. The original customer service person was rather rude to me to start with, which is not an excuse. But dang. My kids almost didn't get to have swim lessons because they won't let me use my card, even though they had most of the money from my bank account already. Luckily, the parks and rec people were patient with me. But yowza.

self-esteem gone wild

What's with this Olivia chick? I mean the pig girl from the books and Nick Jr. Is she really so stuck on herself or is her self-esteem so bad that she has to constantly build herself up? Especially by belittling her brother?


The baby is trying to talk more. She makes sounds that echo what we've just said, but doesn't come up with them on her own, at least not so we can understand. We took a nap this morning (she didn't want to go to bed last night and then was up every 2 hours and got up at 6 instead of 7) and when we woke up I said, "That was a good nap."

So she said, "Goonah."

Oh, and she figured out how to carry the plastic footstool around and put it next to the things she wants to climb up on. And I thought climbing on chairs and the table was enough of the third dimension for me, now she can get up on just about anything.

The school year is winding down. Only a whole month left. Only 10% of the year where we have art walks and testing and such instead of instruction.

Oh, and I spent a good deal of time today seething about my credit card again. But that's a different post.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

some sort of falcon/hawk thing

liza and my mom will now roll their eyes at my l33t birding skillz.

anyway, on my way back from my workout this morning (virtuous me, working out on a saturday AND walking), i was startled by some screeching and squawking overhead and looked up to see three falcon-ish birds and a crow/raven swirling around each other and attacking (as in raven attacking falcon, falcon attacking falcon, falcon attacking raven) and generally having a crazy time. so... mating battle, if so why the raven? raven protecting its nest, if so why three falcony things?

anyway, Liza will probably get it right away.

hawkish light brown bird with wingspan, oh not more than half again as wide as the raven/crow. fan-shaped tail with about 3 sets of black and white stripes. wings lighter toward the tips, maybe an edge of black.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A bit of cringing

I was on facebook last night and my brother IMed me and we had a little chat and he said he wanted to read my book. I emailed it to him and now I am afraid that he's going to hate it. His BA is in Philosophy and English and he's done post-grad work in Philosophy and French (my brother the ABD). He was already talking about "bodice rippers" and being sneering and rude about romance novels in general.

See, he knows all about them, because he works in a bookstore. I suggested he read the Smart Bitches book (Beyond Heaving Bosoms). If he keeps it up, I will be sending him a list of the romance novels that he should be reading and none of them have vampires or Scotsmen in kilts or bodice ripping. I don't think I will convert him, but maybe if he'd stop sneering long enough, he might realize that like every single type of book out there (yes, even your LLLLLiterature), there are good ones and bad ones. But Candy and Sarah make those points so much better than I do.

I've already emailed it to three other people, including my mom. Today, I saw a mom friend at the kids' school and she asked how my novel was and I offered to let her read it, too. So I am going to print out this latest version and let her mark it up before I re-read it. I need to be sure that the version I am sending out to everyone is the same one on my thumb drive and I'll go to the copy shop.

Right. Stuff to do today.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

alpacas, sheep, child abuse, and amputation in the 19th century

Research can be fun.

Alpacas are going to be impossible for a 19th century English person to get, so she's going to have to settle for the best merino sheep or maybe some cashmere goats. i still haven't decided. I am about to write a chapter about her doing research.

My first book has a hero with a prosthesis. I still need to find more about late Victorian amputations. It's not going to be pretty. I wonder how advanced they were with fancy prostheses. It was an age of innovation, so I guess if you knew the right people, you could try out some things, right?

And not so much fun for the part about child abuse. When I realized that my current heroine's paralyzing shyness came not only from introversion and sensitivity, but from a lifetime of bad treatment - neglect, verbal abuse, occasional physical abuse - by her mother, her older sister, and sometimes even her father, I realized that I was going to have to find out more about adult children of abuse. What little I've read on the Internet, I'm apparently already hitting most of the points on the checklists.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

delinquent! bad! evil!

"This is an attempt to collect a debt. Any information obtained will be used for that purpose. "

and other such dire warnings. I am pretty darn sure that I scheduled a payment on this credit card and just now got an email full of ominous messages because apparently I didn't and my payment is late by.... one day.

It would have fallen when we were out of town, so I probably looked at the statement and then didn't schedule it, meaning to do it when we got back.

I owed them just over $300. Oooooh, please come and haul me off.


And it's not even one day yet, in my time zone.

And now their site told me that it couldn't process my payment request and to try again, then when I try again, it tells me I have already scheduled a payment with the same attributes.

And they dropped my credit limit drastically. Bastards.

Which is why I shouldn't check my email right before bed, I guess.

I guess I will sort it out tomorrow. Off to bed.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Busy morning so far

The baby stayed asleep when I went to take the boys to school, so I dressed in workout clothes and went straight to Curves. They had to set me up with the Curves Smart card that records reps and effort and all that and estimates calories burned, so it took more than half an hour. But I burned 300 calories first time through.

Then I came home and fed the baby and supervised her and checked facebook and downloaded some pics from my camera that I need to sort through and post some of and printed out car insurance info for school and called health insurance underwriters (twice, because I tucked the phone under my chin and hung up) so we can get new health insurance.

And now, it's almost DD's happy nap time. She's fussy enough, let's see if she'll sleep.

And man, my typing's all over the place. My fingers are dyslexic today. I think I caught most of my errors, but yikes.

"Another storm"

Riiiiight. Yes, it has rained quite a bit - slow and steady - over the last few days.

But storm? I'm sorry, storms involve, you know, thunder and wind and stuff.

Maybe this area is so unaccustomed to having actual WEATHER that what has happened lately is "storms" but come ON. There are real storms here - not usually in May, but actual storms and this wasn't one. Someone in the weather department at the paper was being dramatic.

So another bit of rain for tonight. YAY! We managed to catch up on what we were behind for last month. No word yet on if it caught us up for all we were behind over the whole winter. The drought map is updated Thursdays.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Monkey girl

DD just had a snit fit because DH wouldn't let her play on the dinner table. Monkey girl!

When I get a chance to use my laptop and connect it to the internet, I am going to send my finished book to my mom. It's not really really racy, but still. And she doesn't usually read romance novels, so I'm sorta cringing...

And I meant to do some writing on my new book today and have a bunch of scene ideas I have been noting down, but when the baby finally fell asleep (she had a mini nap earlier and wouldn't go back to sleep), I stayed with her for a bit to be sure she was going to stay asleep.... and then took a nap, too. Maybe tomorrow I'll get something done.

Friday, May 1, 2009

sigh of relief

the NPR fund drive is over again.

Could they possibly do any news at all for that week? Like come in every 15 minutes for a minute of shilling? Instead 1 minute of news and 15 minutes of shilling?

I already donated, now let me listen to The World, all right?

physical signs of aging

Spare tire (I look 4 months pregnant or so) that just doesn't want to come off
Wrinkles - not too bad. Present but not scary.
Dry skin
Loose skin on back of hands
Gray creeping into hair. No, forget creeping, it's more like a full-on stampede.
Receding gums, literally getting long in the tooth

Yeah. Happy Birthday to me.