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Magic of Isis

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Hello? [Dec. 21st, 2011|10:52 am]
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[Current Mood |cheerfulcheerful]

If anyone cares, I'm back...sort of. I've been popping on to LJ every now and then to see how you all are doing, but I haven't really felt compelled to post anything. I still love Harry Potter, but I feel completely disassociated with fandom, and am not really interested in fanfic anymore. I can't really explain why. But I do want to continue to check in with you all because I've found that even though my interests have moved on, I still really care about you guys and what you're up to. I can't guarantee that I will post anything of interest to you, however, and will take no offense whatsoever if you want to remove me from your flist. If you only friended me for fanfic, there will be no more.

So let's see. Since I last posted, I've managed to avoid getting a full time job by completing a number of projects in my house, including gutting my kitchen to the studs and redesigning it, performing many volunteer hours at my kids' schools, helping my elderly mother and schlepping my kids to all of their activities.

My cancer still seems to be gone, and my health is generally good, although I have lately been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I am refusing to accept this as a permanent condition, however, and am in the process of trying to lose 50 lbs before my 50th birthday which I'm hoping will reverse it. I have about 40 more to go. So it kinda sucks to have 12 dozen cookies in my house (most of which will go to my extended family members) and not be able to eat them!

I LOVE the ages that my kids are right now. My daughter is a senior this year and she's making the most of her high school experience. She's taking some interesting classes which have her doing things like dressing up as Charles Dickens to be a commentator on the mock trial of Robespierre and writing her own Canterbury Tale (Chaucer fanfic ftw!). She's narrowed her college choices down to three, but she hasn't actually applied to the third one so it might be two. Neither of them are close by, which makes me sort of sad. But she's totally ready for college.

My son is 14. I mean, he's the stereotypical 14 year old boy. All sentences are monosyllables, except for the occasional sarcastic snippet that is so funny it makes you bust your gut laughing. I spend a lot of time driving him around to his various activities, and he entertains me regularly.

My sister used to tell me that your kids need you more when they're teenagers than when they are babies. I totally believe this. One reason I love not working is that I really feel that I'm "raising" them by being available to them immediately when something comes up, as opposed to having them try to remember to bring stuff up with me when I get home from work. I know I find out more about what's going on in their lives than Hubby does (a point which makes him soft of sad).

So, yeah, this stay-at-home mom thing is really working for me right now. Except for the lack of money part, which is not working for me so well.

As far as the holidays go, I think all of my non-food shopping is done. I have two gifts to finish making, so that's on the docket for today. I'm feeling surprisingly organized this year.

Happy holidays to you all!
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A Rough Week [Mar. 20th, 2011|08:45 pm]
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[Current Mood |melancholymelancholy]

Don't you hate it when people don't post for weeks and weeks and then they do and it's a real downer? Sorry. Can't be helped.

This past week a classmate of my 13 year old son committed suicide. Details are unclear because rumors are running rampant, and we don't really know anyone close to the family to ask, but from what we understand, it was a gunshot and there may have been bipolar disorder involved. My son wasn't close friends with him, but they were in several classes together, including the college-level math class they both had at the University. My son has been pretty shaken up by the whole thing. By all outward signs the boy was fairly normal - friends to sit with at lunch, played baseball and football, and very bright. He certainly didn't show any outward signs of being suicidal. My son wanted to go to the funeral, so we did. Nearly all the kids on the boy's last baseball team showed up wearing their red jerseys. The parents looked as anguished as you'd expect them to be. It was one of the saddest events I've ever attended.

The situation has made me very melancholy, and I've spent quite a bit of time this week thinking about mortality, and my priorities and my beautiful children.

How similarly devastating it must be for all of those people in Japan who lost loved ones and all their possessions too. When they woke up that morning, life seemed normal. And then it wasn't.

Hug your loved ones whenever you can. Be kind to one another. Savor each day as if it was your last.
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First post of the year? [Feb. 19th, 2011|05:47 pm]
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[Current Mood |busybusy]

Okay, how much do I suck at posting on LJ? Just looked and saw my last entry was December 31st.

Anyhow, this will be short because I've managed to get carpal tunnel in BOTH wrists. This is mostly not from computing, but rather from painting, upholstering, using power tools (and non-power tools, I suppose), sewing and moving heavy furniture. I go in for wrist splints on Monday. Would really like to avoid surgery. It is most unfortunate because the chair in my living room is only half reupholstered. :(

Maybe the pain is worth it, though. We now have new carpet in the living room/dining room, as well as new paint and curtains. I also replaced the baseboards with white painted ones and we put trim around the wide doorway that separates the two rooms. We also had the formerly white-turned-gray carpet on the stairs and upstairs hallway replaced. We still need to hang pictures and stuff and acquire a couple pieces of furniture (and finish reupholstering the chair, of course), and then we can call it done for another decade. :D

Have done a little bit of job hunting, but there is nothing interesting out there. It would help if I knew what I wanted to do. So far, I only know what I DON'T want to do.

Meanwhile, our next house project is the big one - complete remodel of the kitchen. No DIY for me on this one - most of it is heavy lifting/power tools kind of stuff, or else plumbing, which I hate. I'll be talking to a couple of contractors in the next two weeks, and we hope to get started with actual work sometime this summer.

Daughter is in Indianapolis right now competing in a Winterguard Regional Competition. You know those people who spin flags and rifles to the marching band? Well, during the winter, they compete to recorded music. Don't have a video to link to, but am hoping to have one after the weekend. We talked to her a couple of times today, and it sounds like they did well and are having fun.

Can't tell you exactly what I've been up to, but my days seem to be full and everyone gets where they need to be, has clean clothes and food on the table. Who has time to work?

I have been lurking and commenting from time to time. I haven't left you all. I'm just hiding in the corner and watching.

♥ ♥ ♥
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Happy New Year! [Dec. 31st, 2010|05:23 pm]
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[Current Mood |cheerfulcheerful]

For the first time in many, many years, we did not go to the in-laws house up north for New Years. My niece and nephew both have hockey tournaments (I mean, really?), so they couldn't make it, so the in-laws decided to head down to Mexico for the winter earlier this week. It seems very weird to have to make other plans.

As it turns out, Daughter is going to a party where semi-formal attire is encouraged. The rest of us are going to a party at a friend's house for buffet dinner, games and general chillin'. Since none of this crowd drinks, I think we'll be in pretty good shape tomorrow.

The freezing rain started at about 4 pm. Seriously, Mother Nature, what did we do to piss you off so much?

We had a lovely, low key Christmas. Didn't host any events at our house, although I did offer. I think we (by which I mean my birth family - sister and mother in particular) add so much unnecessary stress to our lives around the holidays, and I'm so glad that my sister cried "uncle" and called off some of the holiday silliness.

Next big project at home is a total revamp of the living room/dining room. I just put the Christmas stuff away today, and I'm ready to start in on it this week. I'm actually going to take "before" pictures, which I always forget to do. After that, it's the kitchen remodel. Just waiting for our refinance to go through so that we can afford it. No, I'm not doing the kitchen myself. Not even I'm that stupid.

So now I'm off to get ready for my party. Happy New Years everyone! Here's to 2011 being everyone's best year yet!
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Happy Birthday Greetings [Nov. 15th, 2010|05:15 pm]
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[Current Mood |happyhappy]

Happy birthday wishes to my darling friend shocolate! Alas, I bear no gifts, no videos of Dan saying Happy Birthday to you (although you can watch mine and pretend he's talking to you... oh wait, he is!). And I know better than to make an empty promise of fic that I will never get around to writing. But I do wish you the very happiest of birthdays and I hope that the coming year will bring nothing but fun and new adventures.

*birthday smooches*
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My latest home improvement obsession [Nov. 11th, 2010|10:39 am]
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[Current Mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

So next up on my never ending quest to redecorate my house is the formal living room which is in good condition, given that it's hardly used, but reeks of circa 1989. The first task in this project is the messiest/scariest one and that is reupholstering my sofa. No, I've never actually done this before, but I might as well learn how, right? I'm currently in the process of ripping apart the sofa while I'm waiting for the special order fabric to arrive.

Here's the current state of my living roomCollapse )

Once I get the new fabric, I will shop for new drapes and a paint color. I will also be framing out the door jamb with molding because right now it's just plaster and boring. I have borrowed my FIL's miter saw to help with that chore. Stay tuned!

Also, I just uploaded pic's from my earlier project - building a patio in front of the house.

Read more...Collapse )

I'll have pictures of my other projects later. I have to hunt down the "before" pictures from my backup drive.
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They grow up so fast... [Oct. 10th, 2010|08:44 am]
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[Current Mood |nostalgicnostalgic]

So yesterday and today were days off from school for statewide teacher's convention (which no teachers I know ever go to), so Hubby took the two days off and we did several interesting things. Today, Hubby, Daughter, Daughter's BFF and I drove about an hour south of our house to look at two colleges. One was a big hit and is still on the list of colleges she'll apply to. The other was a total bust. When we got home, Daughter actually THANKED US for taking her there today. So I think it was a worthwhile trip. The weather was gorgeous, and I had a total nostalgia rush for college life. *sigh*

Yesterday we finished up our painting-the-outside-of-the-house project (and by we, I mean Hubby's cousin who is the same guy that did our basement last winter). So the front of the house is all painted, the new patio is built, chairs and tables to go on new patio have been stained. Today we finally finished sifting and relocating the big pile of dirt which came from the yard where the new patio was laid - it has been there since mid-August. The leaves have been raked. Previously, we had painted the screen porch and stained a portion of the deck. Now we just have the usual fall maintenance of our shrubs, and we should be all ready for winter.

Well, almost. We have a sprinkler system in our yard (the guy we bought our house from was a sales manager for the Toro Company that makes sprinkler systems). Every year we have to hire someone to blow the excess water out of the lines so they won't freeze and break over the winter. They came out the other day to do this and we found that our system controller had been fried, probably from a power surge. So now we have to spend $200+ on this new controller so that we can winterize the thing. *is annoyed* We don't even use it that much!

Tomorrow I get to spend all day at my daughter's final marching band performance. I love their show this year - the music is from the musical Chess, and they've put a cute little story together. If anyone wants to watch it, it's here. And, no, I have no idea which spec is my daughter.

That's about all I'm up to. It's enough to keep me out of trouble.

♥ ♥ ♥
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Everything works out in the end... [Oct. 10th, 2010|08:44 am]
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[Current Mood |sicksick]

My drivers license, a $20 bill and a High School activities pass were missing since Friday night, when I took them to the high school football game. I'd searched the entire house, the car, and every pair of black pants I owned looking for the damn things. Hubby just found them a few minutes ago. In the pocket of my tan pants. *headdesk*

Outdoor house projects are nearly finished. Hubby's cousin, who did the work in our basement last winter, is coming on Wednesday to paint the upper story of the front of the house. I could do it, but I'd have to stand on a very steep roof and I'm not all that excited to do it. The lower portion of the house as well as the two garages are all done, though. It looks much nicer. I need to put another coat of stain on the deck in the back where it's worn off, but that's a very quick job. We don't have very many trees in our yard, but the maple in front still hasn't dropped many of its leaves, so I'm not going to rake yet. I am very thankful that we've been having such nice weather and I have been able to get so much done.

I have managed to stay spoiler free for DH, primarily due to being in a self-imposed news vacuum. I really hate the American political system sometimes, and this is one of those times. The ads on television are ridiculous, and it infuriates me to know that there are plenty of idiots who hear these negative ads and actually believe them. We have an interesting governors race here in Minnesota that features an extreme Conservative, an extreme Liberal, and an Independent candidate who is a former Republican who has positioned himself as a moderate. They are all running pretty close because it is nearly a perfect reflection of the diverse politics of our state. But to listen to the political ads? You'd think they all went home at night and kicked puppies or something heinous like that.

I've now had a cold for nearly three weeks. It is very irritating. No fever, no sign of sinus infection or anything, just a stupid virus.

The kids have two days off of school this week. We may end up taking Daughter to see a nearby college. She's totally not ready to start interviewing or anything, but we thought it might be good for her to stick her toe in the water, so to speak. Geez, they grow up fast!

On that note, I'm old and must go to bed now. G'night!
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Still Alive, I think [Oct. 7th, 2010|11:46 pm]
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[Current Mood |tiredtired]

Let's see - in the past week I've:

- Painted approximately half of the front side of my house. By hand, with a brush. It is not my favorite project.

- Finished sewing my daughter's Homecoming Dance dress. Her party started at 6:00pm. I was cutting out the last piece of fabric at 5:45. But nevertheless, she was only a half hour late and the dress looked great.

- Relocated about 4 cubic feet of dirt that has been sitting on my driveway since we did the patio project in August. I have about another 6 cubic feet to go.

- Managed to catch the nastiest cold I've had in a long time. At one point I had a fever of 102.6, but now it's just the unceasing drippy nose. I love Nyquil.

- Driven an average of 2 carpools per day including driving a neighbor kid to school when she overslept after her parents left for work and driving a neighbor to a substitute teaching job at a local school when her son was having car trouble.

- Washed and folded about 17 loads of laundry.

- Watched my beloved Twins lose two playoff games to the Damn Yankees.

- Ponced around on Facebook way more than I should have. Lurked on LJ, but did not comment much.

I have decided that the same OCD that had me writing some 70 fics in 2004-5 has now begun to manifest itself in household projects. Since we reconfigured our basement last winter, I've had at least one project going at all times. My current one is painting the front of the house (thankfully the other three side have steel siding), and there is some landscaping I want to finish up before winter, but then I already have my paint picked out to redecorate my living room and dining room. Personally, I think it's an avoidance technique to keep from having to look for a job, but it's so much more fun.

Anyway, I didn't want you all to think I'd disappeared for good. Just busy.
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At Least It Still Runs This Time [Aug. 31st, 2010|11:34 pm]
[Current Mood |annoyedannoyed]

My daughter has managed to sideswipe the entire side of my car again. Same side. At least this time, it was a mailbox rather than a another car. *headdesk* My guesstimate is approximately $2500, but it's hard to know for sure. She and her dad went back to the scene of the accident where they are going to assess the damage to said mailbox and try to recover the missing rear view mirror.

Of course, she'll be grounded for a good long time because she lied and said that some car hit her while she was standing in the driveway of a friend's house. We didn't buy it for a minute because it was obvious the damage was inconsistent with her concocted story. Damn it, girl, don't lie to me!

I seriously don't think I can let her use my car anymore.
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