Things that Go BUMP in my Mind

Knitting, stitching, reading, gardening, cooking--I have no time for any of it.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Vacation? What vacation? (Day two)

Yesterday afternoon, Andy and I hopped into the Saturn to go run some errands. I turn the key. Nothing. Hmmmm, it worked this morning. Try again. Nope, still nothing. Very odd. We chalk it up to a dead battery and take the Honda. While we're out, I pick up some jumper cables.

This morning, having failed to jump start the car, we call AAA. They send a huge tow truck--the kind designed to carry the disabled car on the bed of the truck, not towed behind. The thing can't even get up our driveway, but it doesn't matter b/c the transmission is locked in park, so we can't get the car out of the garage.

An hour later, a second truck arrives and manages to get the car out of the garage and in tow. We find a puddle of battery acid on the floor of the garage. Hmmm. Off they go to the Saturn dealership. We have lunch and the kids and I take naps. Saturn calls--dead battery caused by severed battery cable. How did we sever a battery cable??? "Oh, it just happens sometimes."

Anyway, we're all fixed up now, but the day is shot. Not that we had anything major planned, but it was still kind of a bummer to be dealing with the car for most of the day.

At this point, we're pretty frustrated with Saturn. It's not that it's a bad car, we've just had a bunch of problems that aren't Saturn's fault--punctured tires, I knocked of the side mirror, stuff like that. But, there have been other problems. The service folks have a tendency to make mistakes (including one that left us--kids included--stranded on the side of the road at 10:00 pm with gasoline leaking out of the engine), and the electrical system is quite delicate (the repair to the side mirror caused a short in the system for the power locks, for example).

We got the Saturn in late 2001 because we were concerned that our 1991 Honda was on its last legs, and we wanted to be sure to have a reliable car on hand. Our plan was to keep the Honda until it died and then replace it. Altogether, the Honda has been far more reliable over the last several years than the Saturn, and if I had to make the choice today, I'd dump the Saturn and keep the Honda.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Vacation? What vacation?

My vacation didn't even officially start until 8:30 this morning, and I have already had to work. Hmph! Well, hopefully the matter is resolved and I won't hear from the office again for the rest of the week.

Unfortunately, we are otherwise off to an ignomious start. My beloved just had four fillings, so he's feeling wretched. Owen is teething, and Andy has the cold I had last week. When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. While Owen is down for his nap, Andy and I are going to run a few errands. I'm hoping he'll fall asleep in the car somewhere along the way. He needs the rest, and otherwise he won't take a nap. We'll see.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Weekly awards...

Silly Kitchen Item of the week: The "tuna press", which is a seive-like object the shape of a standard tuna can. You place the device on top of the tuna and press the liquid out. C'mon, folks, have you ever heard of the LID? It does the same job just as well and (gasp!) it comes free with the can of tuna.

Technological innovation of the week: Electronic filing and document scanning in the federal district courts. I can't tell you how cool and convenient it is to be able to access documents in the district court whenever I want them. A process that used to take days and involved several people now just takes minutes and involves just little old me. Fabulous.

Rant of the Week: Several months ago, the Archbishop of Canterbury was slobbering all over a new "translation" of the Bible in street slang. My friend Stacey expounded on it at length here (scroll down to June 24 posting). Preach it, sistah!

Website of the Week: Toys for techo-geeks. Almost makes me wish I were a nerd. Almost.

Book of the Week: "Prodigal Summer", by Barbara Kingsolver. Eloquently written and thought provoking. Everyone in my bookclub had a hard time getting through the first chapter, but stick with it.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The unbearable lightness of being done

I've just finished a project that I've been working on, nonstop, since the last week in June. And we're talking hard work--put your head down and go as hard as you can for eight hours kind of work. And now it's done, and I can literally feel the weight lift from my shoulders. It's like an endorphin rush, except I'm not all sweaty and gross from working out.


Sunday, August 22, 2004


It's 4:30 in the morning, and my children (bless their nocturnal hearts) have been up since 4:00. Owen started it. As he sometimes does, he woke up and decided that a nice cozy crib is nothing compared to a snuggle with Mommy in front of his favorite video. Andy (who fell asleep at 5:30 pm after skipping his nap) heard the commotion and got up, too. So now, I have two very wide awake boys hanging out with me, a very sleepy mom.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Weekend update...

I had Thursday and Friday off, so this is actually my third day of weekend. Whew, we've been busy. Thursday the boys and I played at home (it was pouring rain) while Chuck had some much needed free time (if you can call going to the allergist "free time"). Yesterday, we went on an easy hike on Paris Mountain. I misread the map and we ended up going a lot further than we'd planned, and of course Chuck and I had to carry the boys most of the way back, but I still maintain that it was fun.

Last night I stayed up to watch the opening ceremonies. I made it all the way through to the torch lighting, but I kind of wish I hadn't bothered--the torch lighting part wasn't all that spectacular. To my mind, nothing beats the arrow shot through the flame at the Barcelona games. I got a fair amount of stitching done, though.

Today is another busy one. We did Roper Mountain Science Center this morning (they have a working turn of the century farm that you can visit), and this afternoon Andy and I will be going to a vigil for the Dormition of the Theotokos. Archbishop Dmitri will be in attendance, so I'm a little nervous--this will be my first time to meet an Orthodox Bishop. Since we are a small parish, I will undoubtedly get to speak to him at some point.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Lesson for the day...

Repeat after me, class: Never, ever go to Mast General Store on an empty stomach.

I'm working on my final secret stitcher gift, and so I went downtown on my lunch hour to do some investigating. And of course, I wandered through MGS on my way back. And of course, I wandered through the bulk candy section. And of course, I bought a ton of stuff.

In my defense, the opinion I'm working on now is very slow going, and the candy is a good reward--finish a section, have a caramel. So long as it doesn't turn into "finish a sentence, have two caramels" I should be okay. Also, I think we're planning to head to the pool after dinner tonight, so I'll get a little fresh air & exercise then.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Weekly awards...

This is my alternative to the "Friday Five":

Spouse of the week: My beloved, who has volunteered to do the cooking on weeknights. How cool is that? And the beauty part is, the boy can cook. He made some really yummy stuffed green peppers on Tuesday. And he's all mine, girls. Eat your hearts out!

Kid of the week: David Tippin, who is home safe. Enough said.

Rant of the week: Go to and check his rants and raves section. The one about "Super Size Me" is fabulous.

Website of the Week: the aforementioned site.

That's all I've got. Have a great weekend!

Daily Health Post

Weight: 150 (yay! progress!)
Exercise: 30 minutes on the treadmill, 18 at 5.3, 12 at 5.1.
Other: Gotta love those endorphins. When I got on the treadmill, I was in a horrible mood--I had, in fact, just drafted a long, whiny post about the general suckiness of my life. Rather than publish it, I went running, and now I feel better, at least enough so that I will not bother with the whiny post, which would only have made things worse, anyway. Like I said, endorphins are good.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

A housekeeping matter...

I didn't realize it, but I have had the comments setting on my blog set so that only registered users could comment. No wonder no one was commenting! I've fixed it. Now if no one comments, I know it's just because I'm not interesting. ;-)

Bah! I goofed up the comments setting so it doesn't allow comments for this post. Hopefully this will not be a problem for other posts.

I can't possibly be that important.

Chuck and I were chatting over lunch today (well, as much as we could "chat" while chasing after Owen) about me taking off some time this month. Looking back at my leave records later, it turns out that I have taken exactly 3 days off (not counting sick days) since the beginning of the year. And, I *know* I worked some federal holidays, too. Each of my coworkers has taken at least 3 times as much time off as me.

Now, I know I'm the senior law clerk and my boss likes to have me in the office, but I can't possibly be so vital that I can't take a day off here and there, can I? When did I become such a workaholic? Gah!

Anyway, I screwed my courage to the sticking point and asked for 4 days off in addition to the week I'm already planning to take (which I didn't remind him of in my memo--no sense making him cranky). Let's hope I don't get myself fired.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Owen, Owen, Owen...

My favorite gooberhead decided that 4:30 am was a fabulous time to wake up this morning. Of course, Chuck got up with him (since he had the option of napping while the kids were at preschool), but he wasn't content to snuggle with Daddy and watch a video. I don't know all the details, but my sleep-fogged brain heard much fussing, a frustrated husband, and numerous rounds on the hardwood floors with the (very noisy) dump truck toy. How can someone so utterly adorable be so annoying?

Owen's latest thing is saying "Nummy!" whenever he eats something. It totally cracks me up. He'll take a bite, grin, and proclaim "mmmm, nummy!" Too funny.

Daily Health Post

Weight: 151. Still. Grrrr.
Exercise: 30 minutes on the treadmill (I love my treadmill!). I managed 16 minutes at 5.3 today, which is an improvement of 2 minutes over yesterday. Yay, me!
Other: I'm actually quite proud of myself for working out today. I had convinced myself that it was vitally important to go to the health food store and get some trail mix at lunchtime instead of exercising. In fact, I was only about 50 feet from my car when I said to myself, "This is stupid and a waste of money! Go work out!" Which is what I did.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Daily Health Post

Weight: 151
Exercise: Again, 30 minutes on the treadmill. My heart rate monitor isn't working today so I couldn't track my progress the way I normally do, but I felt pretty good.
Other: fast schmast--we went to TCBY last night. I was pretty good--I got a low-cal smoothie, which Owen drank half of anyway.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Daily Health Post

Weight: 151
Exercise: 30 minutes on the treadmill. I'm working on increasing my speed without blowing my max heart rate; today I did 18 minutes at 5.1 mph and 12 minutes at 5.3 mph.
Other: Do you hear that sound? That's my arteries calcifying from all the goodies I ate at the Atlanta get-together this weekend. Going to hell in a handbasket never tasted so good, I tell you. But now it's back on the straight and narrow for a while. Now through August 15 is the fast of the dormition (see the link below--I don't know how to make it pretty) , so hopefully I will manage to lay off the ice cream for the next couple of weeks.