Saturday, May 31, 2008

Time for serious cleaning

I set myself a deadline of 5 PM tomorrow night. At least the front of the house has to be clean (the bedrooms are hopeless in that time period). As a self proclaimed life long slob, wife of a slob, mother of two slobs, we have always been one big happy slob family. Until someone wants to come over.

I know for a fact that my friends love me for myself, not the neatness of my house. They know there will be piles of books, partly finished projects and laundry (clean) that didn't make it to the drawers artfully draped on all available surfaces. I've tried to justify it by saying our house is homey, but reality is, it is a mess. So I did the one thing that will motivate me to take action - I invited someone over for dinner.

The person I selected is someone who has only been to my home once. I really want to have her over and have been putting it off because she lives in an immaculate, beautifully decorated environment. I admitted my guilty secret when I realized her feelings had been hurt by the lack of invitation. So I took the plunge.

My tried and true plan for rapid cleaning is to throw everything cluttery in to boxes and shove it in a bedroom with the door closed. I will probably have to do that again, as I have serious bathroom cleaning on the agenda and my kitchen floor is clearly due for some scrub brush action. The downside to the "bedroom" cleaning method is that I tend to lose track of things like bills and insurance papers that disappear in to the void, only to reappear when they become a problem.

I am now focused on envisioning the clean and welcoming house that will open its doors to company on Sunday night. Of course I also have to get myself off the couch and make it happen. Oh, and I need to plan a menu. My husband was supposed to cook but he has band practice. Sigh... (I do that a lot)

P.S. I did get 97% of the business plan ready for my Tuesday meeting!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Moving forward

My head is spinning after talking to the CPA this morning about setting my consulting business and a separate collaboration for geriatric care management. If any of this succeeds, I'm going to be a very busy girl by this time next year! The good thing is I feel energized and like I'm moving forward. Now that I have a better understanding of all those little details like payroll, deductions, quarterlies and other esoteric IRS shit, I feel confident enough to file my paperwork and dig in.

I spent about 4 hours yesterday working on one of two business plans I need to generate, and at least have the bare bones. I'm probably weird because I love research and putting together plans like this. Of course the exciting part really comes when I find out whether the plan has any bearing on reality.

We say Indiana Jones as planned over the weekend and I loved it. Harrison Ford may be old but he's still Indie! I called my son immediately and told him to go see it because he loves a great sword fight.

My husband is thrilled to know that some of you think being in a band is cool. It is kind of fun to be a groupy too, although I draw the line at carrying gear. Here's the hunk himself showing off a new riff. No they didn't lock them up - the fence is around a back yard pool :-)

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's back to work I must go. My business plan is calling. Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The branch didn't fall on the car

As I was innocently watching Porkey's II, after finishing my beautiful spring dishcloth, I noticed the following notice posted on my daughter-in-law's Facebook, "Alex is glad the giant branch fell next to the car instead of on top of it!" The Des Moines area had high winds and hail tonight. Evidently the huge tree in the front of their rental house left a parting gift. Given that both cars sit in the driveway, that could have been ugly. I think flowers are a better sign of spring in the Midwest than tornados and thunderstorms.

It has been a very nice weekend so far and we plan to go see the new Indiana Jones movie tomorrow. That sounds like much more fun than scrubbing the soap scum off our bathroom shower. I always seem to leave those chores until the end when it comes to cleaning.

Last night I got to hear my husband play guitar with a band he joined one week ago. It was a private party and I got to meet a whole bunch of people I didn't know. Good thing I'm fine talking to anyone who happens to be in my immediate vicinity. By the time the first hour passed I knew at least a couple of names, had some great potato salad and found my way to the bar. The band sounded great but a little loud for the neighbors and the local police. Some people just don't appreciate classic rock and roll. Fortunately the sets were scheduled to end fairly early, so it wasn't a real problem.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Stay safe and relax. All those "should's" will still be there on Tuesday.

Friday, May 23, 2008

And now it is 70 degrees!

What is with this weird weather? We had rain and cold today, though thankfully after the end of Project Graduation. I spent 3 hours yesterday hanging crepe paper streamers and moving furniture. My gym decorating skills are nearly as limited as my home decorating ones! The kids didn't seem to care and were busy stuffing their faces, riding the mechanical bull, wrestling in sumo suits and a variety of other interesting activities. I left at 11:30 PM when my relief arrived and this year I didn't have to stay until the wee hours to take down all those classy decorations - Hurray.

Since I have been tagged for the meme I will do my best to comply. I had to go back to KnitTech's post to see the rules and post them here.

Tag You Are It

A) The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
B) Each player answers the questions about himself or herself.
C) At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged.
If you want to, of course, no pressure, after all, it's not like a chain letter or anything...The questions are:

1. Ten years ago I was... Still trying to learn how to run a nonprofit organization and hoping no one would notice that I was faking it. I was also dealing with cranky teenagers who couldn't drive and had to be carted everywhere. Ah memories.

2. Five things on today's to do list: in no particular order
Clean the kitchen (didn't happen)
Go to the dentist (only for a cleaning)
Look at televisions cause our big screen is dying and we aren't sure it is worth fixing
Do some research on the California Community College system for a committee on higher education I'm working with
Get groceries - but I didn't because it was pouring rain when I went out to the dentist

3. Things I'd do if I were a billionaire:
Travel, travel and travel
Create a foundation
Shop. Frequently.

4. Three bad habits:
Procrastination - rarely with work projects but definately at home
Spending way to much time on the computer - ergo this posting :-)
Relaxed housekeeping - dust? what is that?

5. Five places that you have lived:
Marion, IA (where I grew up)
Waverly, IA (where I went to college)
Cedar Rapids, IA (When I finally moved 10 miles from my parents)
Tempe, AZ (land of palm trees and a city hall built like an upside down pyramid)
Lake Havasu City, AZ (where I have been planted now for many years)

My one dash to change was getting out of the Midwest!

I don't have many choices for tagging which probably means I need to expand my pool. Sorry Donna Lee I'm tagging:

RL Bar Wench

Monday, May 19, 2008

Is it Hot!

112 degrees today - that is what the paper says. 112 degrees in May - UGH. It figures.

Thursday night is Project Graduation in our community. It is a great program for keeping kids safe on grad night and I am working it - outside - in the heat. I wish I could say I didn't know better, but I do. I've done this event before, but quit, in part, because of the soul sucking heat that can occur at this time of year.

This year I am the board of this wonderful organization and heard my mouth saying, "I have some time to help" before my brain shrieked "NO". When will those two get together! It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't sweat like a pig. I once (MANY YEARS AGO) had an aerobics instructor tell me that ladies "glow". No - I sweat and it isn't pretty.

Maybe if I start hydrating now, I'll still have some fluid left in my body. I wish I could look forward to losing weight but that doesn't work either. If you've ever seen one of those dehydrated sponges that springs to 10 times its size when wet, that is what happens with dehydration. As soon as you drink water, the weight all comes back. It really sucks.

Of course there wouldn't be as much weight to worry about if I wasn't so busy "doing lunch". In an effort to maintain my business network and see more of my friends, I seem to be going out for lunch at least a couple of times a week. That would be lovely if it didn't come with food. I go with the best of intentions to have an appetizer or side salad and the next thing I know - Philly Cheese Steak. Once again brain and mouth just are not working together for my health and well being. If my increasing bulk is any indication, I must be headed for success!

Speaking of potential success, has anyone here ever run for public office? The deadline is approaching for pulling packets for school board and I am seriously considering it. My husband is less than excited. He's afraid I will get overly committed and never be home. I'd say he is wrong if there weren't precident for it. I do tend to put my whole self in to my passions.

The thing is, I think I could do some good on the school board. I've thought about running for about 10 years but either was too busy with work or had kids at home with all their activities. I don't have a particular agenda other than a belief in the importance of education, and my experience in nonprofit management would be helpful in working with the structure. I've talked with the school superintendent, who thinks I would be a great addition to the board. I have two wonderful kids who graduated from this district in large part because of the educators who helped them be successful. I think it is time to give something back.

Of course I do have to run for the office and might not get elected. I'd be ok with that too. And I probably will have to do more lunches. So what do you think?

Friday, May 16, 2008

There's no place like home

My butt is firmly nestled in it's favorite spot on the couch and my cats are purringly surrounding me. It is good to be home (except for the cat crap all over the bathroom floor and tub!) One of the cats continues to have digestive difficulties but tail checks still have not revealed the culprit. Once I got over being disgusted and cranky, life was again good.

The conference was good, and I now know everything I never wanted to know about aging services in the great State of Arizona. After about 1 1/2 days, my brain starts to go on overload but I got lots of handouts while I replenished my supply of pens and sticky notes for another year.

My daughter is feeling better though still hasn't gotten all her test results. Hopefully that hospital visit will be a one time occurence and she can put it behind her. She had to go back to work tonight so keep a good thought for her. Sitting on your couch knitting is not the same as being on your feet all night. I suspect she'll be exhausted by Sunday night.

On the up side she was able to finish the hat she's been knitting for a friend's little girl during her time off. It is cute and soft and her first real project. I'm sure there will be many more to come, especially after she goes to visit Tempe Yarn and Fiber, my new favorite yarn store. I felt comfortable the minute I walked in. The folks were friendly and helpful and didn't laugh at me while I fondled yarn. The offered me tea, pattern ideas and suggestions for stash enhancement. Living in the boonies, I don't get much chance to actually touch the many yarns out there in the real world. The internet offers many choices but just doesn't cut it when it comes to texture (and it's hard to get the fingerprints off the screen). I didn't actually buy much this time but have some ideas for the future. I will be back!

Monday, May 12, 2008

I'm a YoYo

Off I go again to Phoenix on Wednesday. I feel like a yoyo sliding back and forth on my string. If only the drive between here and there were a little more interesting! At least this time my trip is for a good reason. I'm off to a three day conference on aging so I can once again have enough CEU's to keep my social work license another two years.

I haven't used the license in at least 5 years (since I last had to go out in the field during a staff shortage) but you never know when you might need it. I'm toying with the idea of doing an online MSW program out of North Dakota. If I move ahead with the idea of doing a geriatric care management practice, it probably wouldn't hurt. I just don't know if I'm up to another two years of graduate school (I finished my Master's in nonprofit management in 2004). It would really put a crimp in my knitting time. Never mind that I would have to spend 2 weeks per year in North Dakota!!!

On the plus side of traveling, I get to see my darling daughter again this week. Daughter and I are planning a side trip to Mesa to visit a LYS, supposedly the oldest one in the Valley. Maybe we'll find something fun to add to our small but growing yarn stashes. Still no news on the test results for the hospital visit last week, but she is doing better and ate real food last night.

Happy Monday to all.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Home at last

Several days later and thousands of dollars later we still don't know much more about daughter's illness than when we started. Gastritis seems to be the consensus, but the final results won't all be in until later in the week. The badger in her stomach seems to be only slightly restless and food is once again being ingested. That is a vast improvement!

On the positive side, she gets to go home tonight. We are sitting impatiently in the hospital room waiting for the night nurse we don't like to finish report so daughter can get discharged. She is excited about having a real shower and seeing her cats. The cats like me but have missed her terribly.

Thanks for the good wishes. Knowing support is winging its way to you, does make the waiting a little easier.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Keep a good thought

I'm in Phoenix tonight with my darling daughter who landed herself in the hospital. I'm sure she will blog about her experiences when she gets out, but for now she is prepping for some not fun procedures tomorrow. We hope to find out why the badger is trying to claw its way out of her stomach and be able to keep something down.

It is stressful having your child sick no matter how old they are. Keep a good thought for her. It can't hurt.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Kitchen Ceiling is Taunting Me

It just sits there, taunting me. I didn't finish the kitchen ceiling when I painted and it won't let me forget it. From my preferred seat on the couch, laptop comfortably ensconced, I can see that damn ceiling. You know how it is when the tiny details of a project are all that remains and you just don't want to do them? That is the ceiling. It is symbolic of all the other finish work I need to do that is time consuming and quite boring.

This week I'm supposed to be working on a planning session I am facilitating next week and a proposal for a job I'm pitching to a major employer in our community. Did I also mention that I'm supposed to be writing two business plans by the end of this month? I'd rather be knitting.

I allowed myself to cast on the hat I'm doing for my daughter and snuck in a couple of rows before work called to me again. Of course all three cats have decided today that they are severely neglected, desparately need to be on my lap, and that dinner time really is at 3 PM (they lie). Thanks to their assistance, my dark blue yarn has aquired a very mohair like halo!

Now that I have shared my slothful tendencies and whined every so slightly, I need to at least clear the table. That way it will look like I did something productive today!

P.S. I finished my first socklet! The color doesn't show quite right but you get the idea. My toe grafting definitely needs a lot of practice! I now must cast on the second right away. I guess that ceiling will just have to wait.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Everything I know about patience I learned knitting socks

I once again have half a socklet. I know, I had a half done last week. That was before I ripped the whole thing out and started over. Imagine my surprise when I realized that my sock didn't look like the pictures I've seen . . . because I was knitting it inside out.

I went on the internet and typed in "inside out sock knitting" and read with increasing unease the descriptions. Most said that knitting inside out was ok at least until one reached the toe. Ok, I thought, I can deal with this. I was a little concerned when several people stated that certain rows or stitches might need to be reversed. OH NO, wait a minute. That is why my heel looked so funny - that little curve was reversed so the wrong side was right side! Just that one spot.

At that point I determined that I needed to start over and knit right side out. The needles are positioned somewhat differently, so I had to get used to how they felt all over again. Other than one minor mishap when I had a brain fart and slipped back in to knitting inside out and had to frog several rows, I'm making good progress.

Learning a new skill is a lesson in humilty. I'm not sure I needed one, but no lesson in life is wasted. Helping me unravel and roll the yarn at least modeled patience for my beginning knitter daughter. She has now finished her sunglasses case and is heading in to hat territory. This is going to be a fun adventure for both of us.

And I'm still excited about knitting socks.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Baby kitty photos

Please meet baby kitty Novae, 8 weeks old. She is my daughter's roommates new addition to the family and we got to spend our visit playing with her. You forget after a while how goofy kittens are. The dryer sheet offered a lot of play value compared to the scratching pad and ball!

Novae is shown next to big Kaelas, my much loved grandcat. Kaelas loves kittens and makes sure they are washed regularly. He just plants a big paw, gets the kitten firmly in a headlock and administers a tongue bath.

After hours of bouncing around the house, flying through the air to cling to the couch like velcro, and climbing the bare walls, Novae takes a well earned nap in the middle of the artificial plant.

We had a great time and daughter treated me to a pre-Mother's day pedicure complete with little flowers and jewels on my big toes. Pretty fancy! We ate out, shopped, played games and drank sangria. Plus, daughter learned how to knit today. I took knitting needles and yarn with me and we finally found time to try them out. She completed a 4" swatch and learned all the basics. A good time was had by all.