Not bad

Last night, I re-acquainted myself with our gym. It had been… just over a year since I’d last been, which meant the last time I had been, our closest Snap was different than it is now. This one had totally different machines – I mean, a completely different brand. It had me all confused, as if going to the gym to use the weight machines isn’t awkward enough.

But, you see, I had this revelation a few weeks back that if I wanted my arms to not be flabby, I might actually have to do something with them beyond the daily typing and carrying of purse. (Sadly, those activities are not known to tone and sculpt muscles.) Since the semester is finally winding down, and I will only have one class this summer (only, ha!), I think I might have time now to work out again. is a big help, as he is willing to go with me.

Surprisingly, I was not all that sore this morning. I tried to take it easy on the weights, since I was so out of practice and I didn’t want to be in pain later. I think I may have overtaxed my elbows, but that’s not hard, and nothing that an ice pack can’t fix.

I’ve wrapped up research on my bilingualism paper, which means I need to organize my notes into an outline, and then I can write it up. It’s only 3-4 pages, so most of the research I did will go unused. I mean, 3-4 pages is enough to introduce the subject, say two things about it, and wrap it all up. While I may not be able to wrap my head around the theoretical, philosophical aspects of language (language is symbolism, metacognition, etc), I do now understand the issues surrounding my topic, bilingualism in the deaf community. Granted, I had a decent understanding of this before due to my job, but now I know a lot more.

Also for school, I have one more strategy to find and write up (24 are done), and my lesson plans for my ELL class are drafted but I feel they are lacking. My classmates think I have done too much, however, so I’m leaving them alone for the moment. I have no more reading left, which seems strange. The lesson plans for my literacy class were turned in on Tuesday.

For those of you keeping track, there are already 16 books on my list of 2010 Books Read (see Facebook Visual Bookshelf for the complete list).

There are a bazillion things I’d rather do, but a large portion of the weekend should be spent doing homework. I want to be done (with the semester) – finishing up now will help with that whole “just a weekend between semesters” thing that is killing me. It’s particularly rough to transition from semester to semester like that, since at the end of the semester I want nothing more to do with school, textbooks, classes, goals, assignments, etc., yet the beginning of the semester is full of those things (and staying on top of the homework through proper planning and follow-through is crucial).

That’s life though, right?

At the very least, this weekend includes a trip to Sam’s Club, cheesy tuna helper, a massage, a lawn seminar at Bachman’s, a hair appointment, and going out to dinner. And that only gets us through Saturday. 🙂

Appreciative of Verbage

Today, between answering phone calls and providing technical support, I’m sitting in my cube reading my 1300 page book on Access 2007. Thrilling, I know. (It is a bit exciting that I am already on page 453, but deceiving since I’m not really reading most of the book, but rather skimming.)

I was reading one of the tips, and it said (I’m paraphrasing), “one way to do this would be to…” followed by the steps a novice-intermediate user would take to solve the problem (which would be a chunk of the intended audience of this book). Then the author says, “This would be an inelegant way to do this” (emphasis mine). Well, how lovely. I was not called inefficient or stupid or redundant or any number of other words that could be used to describe the first solution. I’m simply… inelegant. I can totally handle that.

Moving on…

I have not done any homework since Wednesday night, and am having a hard time keeping track of the days of the week right now. For most of yesterday, I was convinced it was Saturday, because I didn’t have the feeling of homework hanging over my head that is usually present on Sundays (since I have class Monday and Tuesday nights). This week, I only work Monday through Wednesday. I don’t have class Monday or Tuesday night, but tonight I am going over to ‘s right after work. Wednesday I leave work an hour early to start volunteering with the Homework Hub. Thursday and Friday I’ll be at home – Thursday someone is coming over to give us a quote on new gutters, and Friday I will be priming the bedroom. Saturday my crew is coming over to paint, and I’m pretty sure that by Sunday I will have no clue which way is up.

All that said, I’m not actually complaining. I’ve been sleeping well, have had the chance to clean and organize and watch TV and do other things normally considered luxurious. (Yes, cleaning and organizing are luxuries sometimes.) I am feeling very relaxed, and that’s nice. Everyone needs Spring Break once in a while.

I have more I could tell you, but it would be better accompanied by photos, which I do not have at the moment, so I’ll just leave it at that. Back to my book!

“A” Game

I’m starting to think that “night school” professors (that is, those who teach nighttime classes, at the college or graduate level) should be more lenient. I mean, I don’t really think we should be expected to bring our A game to class. It’s Monday, and let me assure you, I’m never on my A game on Mondays. And by 6 pm tonight, after having spent most of the day staring at a database fixing queries, I certainly won’t even have my B game accessible. And it doesn’t matter what I eat for dinner or what fab music I listen to on the drive to class. The fact is, I have been at work all day and am now tired, and all I really want is a big glass of wine. It was that kind of a day today. Alas, drinking wine and then driving to class sounds like… the worst plan ever. So I’ll stick with the original, which is just to go to class and make it to 8:30. Learning something is just icing on the cake.

BTW, I had a great weekend (I even have a picture to share later), and am feeling well rested, and not really complaining. It’s just… staring at a database kind of eats away my brain, and my creativity, and perhaps my free will. We’re on hour… 6 now. I hope to be done before I leave tonight, because there’s no way I’ll remember where I’m supposed to pick up tomorrow if I don’t. And then tomorrow, I can read my Access 2007 book like I’d planned to do today.

It’s Friday afternoon

Enough said? I went to Macy’s on my lunch break and bought two shawls to try out with my LBD. Because, you know, it’s Minnesota, and it’s February, and it’s cold. Too cold for sundress sleeves, even indoors. (Well, with enough wine, I’d probably be OK, but totally not appropriate for a spousal company party. Plus, I almost never drink that much wine. Especially in public. But I digress.) One is black/grey (double sided – one is black, one is grey), and one is turquoise, a color that I have been loving lately. It makes me happy, so I thought I’d give wearing it a try.

When I got back, I decided to check my spam filter in Gmail to see if that’s where emails from my blog (“someone left a comment!”) have been going. Alas, they are not there, which means I have something set up wrong here in WordPress. However, I did find a handful of emails that shouldn’t have been in there, including my weekly stat report on this site. I usually give those a cursory look and then discard them, but this time I decided to follow the link for all the details. Oh boy, the details! I had forgotten what SiteMeter provides in terms of data. I can see when you were here, where you live (well, where your internet host is), how many pages you viewed, what you clicked on, and for some of you, I know exactly who those stats belong to (like bethel.edu and Holland, MI). It was quite a bit of fun. Of course, had just left a comment this morning, and my Michigan relatives had said hello earlier this week, so no surprises (all those “Minneapolis, MN” and “Saint Paul, MN” ones were no help). Fun nonetheless.

Looking at my stats also reminded me that there are many ways to get more visitors to one’s blog, at least several of which I do. (Man, that was an awkward sentence!) The biggest one (according to the stats on how many visits were referrals of this nature) is commenting on other people’s blogs, and occasionally by getting yourself on someone else’s blogroll (or whatever the kids are calling them these days). Submitting recipes to Tastespotting has given me minimal traffic, and I get a bit from Flickr too. I’m pretty sure Twitter is a great tool, though most of the people I follow on Twitter are already in my RSS reader. Just some random thoughts for you.

The I realized that my disclaimer was woefully out of date, so I kind of rewrote it. Boring, I know. Maybe someone could re-write my “about me” section, because I am terrible at those.

When I get home I’ll get myself all gussied up, which includes wearing completely inappropriate shoes with my cute dress. It’s either black too-casual flats, sandals, or brown dress shoes (of which I actually have 3 pair). The dress is black. Bummer. Conveniently, I am the only one who will care. Or, at least, that’s what I’ll tell myself. What this means, of course, is that tonight is a homework-free night! It does not mean that I’ll be getting to bed early, but I do get to sleep in on Saturday. Sleeping in on Saturdays is what’s keeping me going this semester.

And, in case you wanted to know, I’m still allergic to alpaca. And wool. I keep trying to not be, but my skin didn’t get the memo. It’s a darn cute scarf, too! Boo.

More super-dosing of Vitamin C….

[Editor’s note: my apologies for the poor quality of writing in this post. Let’s blame it on the head cold, shall we, and hope for better things next week.]

Say it with me now

“Cau-cus” “Caucus!”

Tonight, there are no classes at Metro. Why? Because it’s caucus time here in Minnesota. Don’t know what that means? Don’t worry – none of my classmates did either (many of whom are also future Social Studies teachers). So, as a little present to them, next week when I present on strategies to use during reading (strategies to teach your students how to use), one of our readings will be on caucuses, assuming that I can find something worth reading on them. Oh, still want the definition? It’s like a primary, but different. Go see Wikipedia for the whole schtick [link removed]. And if you’re in Minnesota, here’s where to find your local caucus [link removed].

That said, I’m not actually exercising my citizenship rights tonight. Why? Well, besides the fact that I am not really interested in politics at all, I don’t really want to claim a party affiliation. I test mostly democratic, but that doesn’t really mean anything. It all depends on the candidates themselves, and to be perfectly honest, I’d rather let other people do the whittling away of all those people who think they want to be governor. Nevertheless, I’m quite grateful for the night off from school (class, that is – lots of homework to do). Grad classes seem to be exhausting me far more than undergrad classes ever did.

But, I’m still trying to have it all. told me that when she did grad school (I was in junior high, or thereabouts), she didn’t do anything extra. No extra church activities, no reading, no sewing, nothing. Of course, she did have two kids, a husband, and a house to take care of (and 2 cats) at the time. Originally (four-ish years ago when I was seriously thinking about going back to school), I was totally on board with that. Sacrifices have to be made, for sure (and more than just that tuition check and money spent on textbooks). But now that I’m in my… 9th semester, that’s getting old. I would like to be able to do things I enjoy all the time, not just the few weeks between semesters.

To that end, this weekend I didn’t do any homework on Saturday. I don’t really remember what I did, to be honest, but it wasn’t homework. There was some cleaning. I went to JoAnn. Sunday, I attempted to get laundry done, bake, do homework, watch entertaining television, and craft, all in the same day. I was fairly successful (no crafting done, but a bit of ironing in the attempt to get my office organized enough to craft in), and probably could have gotten more done had I not spent 2 hours on the phone.

Last night when I got home from class, I made up the starter for Scali Bread [link removed]. It’s sitting on the counter at home, waiting for me to get there and turn it into bread (with the KitchenAid mixer, of course – I’m not all that interested in learning how to perfectly knead bread by hand). I’d really like to make up some lemon bars, but that might just have to wait for tomorrow night. I do have a homework schedule that I need to stay on top of.

Friday night is ‘s annual work party. I think I’ll wear the dress I just bought for s wedding. It needs a trial run, don’t you think? OK, what it really needs is some new shoes, but I don’t really have time to go shopping for those (and, unfortunately, you can’t really send anyone else out to do that task, or, at least, I can’t). and I, as the bridesmaids (bridesmatrons? what a horrible word!), were instructed to get little black dresses, knee-length (that was it for restrictions). I finally found an acceptable one Sunday at Herbergers, and it was on sale for a ridiculously cheap amount ($128 originally, marked down to $79, rang up at $24 = I paid 19% of the original cost!). I plan on taking a picture of me in it tonight to send to and (or, rather, have take a picture), and maybe I’ll get that up here too. Who knows.

For now, I need to find another project to work on, because I’ve spent most of the last two weeks here working in Access, and I’m starting to hit the proverbial wall earlier and earlier in the day. Sadly, I’m bringing home some SQL for to look at and help me fix, because I understand why it’s not working but have no idea how to fix it.

Oh, as a side note, is recovering very well from her appendectomy last weekend. The boys stayed with their grandparents for a few days, so she’s had some rest, and sounded great when I talked with her on Sunday. Just thought I should put that out there, in case I’d left it hanging.

On Not Posting

No posts today. Why? Because I was busy with another blog, one I had to create for class. And I had to make it look pretty and stuff. And I’m still figuring out the e-folio site, because though I have used a few different blogging softwares, an HTML editor or two, and a CMS, every one has to be just that wee bit different that makes you bang your head on the wall for a few minutes until you have that aha! moment.

Maybe tomorrow….

I don’t even want a do-over

Monday was just no good. To sum up, it was Monday, I had taken the previous work day off (so my inbox was full), things that were supposed to happen didn’t (to no one’s surprise), my elbow hurt, I had a headache, and I ended the day with a really crappy massage. (Seriously – bad enough that I think I have to call and complain. And I’ve never done that.)

So today was bound to be better. I had a dentist appointment at 8 am (always a lovely way to start the day). Three cavities, after a whole lot of poking at part of my gum that bleeds all the time (oh, by the way, THAT HURTS!). Thankfully, nothing is urgent, so we’re waiting until January because we’ve maxed out our flex spending for 2009.

I’m doing the PowerPoint part (as well as my own speaking part) of our presentation for class this Saturday, which means a whole lot of confusion and forcing my classmates to do their jobs. It is no fun. I’m pretty sure this is going to suck, big time. (Something that was not explained clearly, and that most people do not understand: all of the parts of the presentation are supposed to be Native-American focused or themed. All of them. Yes, that means you too, weather people. Serious boos to the professor who did not explain this, or many other aspects of class, clearly.)

I could complain more, but that wouldn’t be entertaining. (Plus, my blog is now linked on FB, along with Twitter and Flickr and my whole social networking world could collide with my real world at any point. So, let’s keep the complaining to a minimum.)

The home improvement projects from last week are almost wrapped up, and I will have pictures to share soon. The house is partially decorated for Christmas, and Christmas songs have been added to my iPhone.

We didn’t do any Black Friday shopping, though we did buy a freezer on Friday. It’s a beautiful Cadillac of a freezer, but we figure it should last forever. (If you were wondering, it’s an upright Frigidaire, with glass shelves that are fully adjustable and a drawer and lots of door space too. It’s nicer than our refrigerator, frankly.) came over on Saturday because she had some spare time and wanted to help us with any projects we had going on. C took her car over to ApplianceSmart to pick up the freezer (which fit perfectly in the back of her Subaru). The three of us managed to get the freezer into the basement and set up without any injuries. Sunday morning I filled it up and we can actually use the freezer part of our refrigerator now! (It’s ridiculously small, and awkward, and was limiting us on how many frozen pizzas we could own.)

and I got some other small projects done (or at least started), including picking out a few things to hang on the walls (though most of them are still bare) and starting to empty a closet in the family room. I did some demolition after she left – I’ll have to show pictures. (Just because my life is that exciting, I also cleaned the floor on Sunday. So glamorous.)

Tonight I’ve got tutoring at the Homework Hub. It’s also the deadline for applying to the UTP at Metro. And, today happens to be the anniversary of my moving to Minnesota. Eight years!

Sidenote: web-based calendars and email are so very handy! I was able to easily pull up the information I needed for documenting my field experience that I did in 2008, including days and specific hours, and contacts. Yay technology!

Ideas Wanted

So, um, yesterday Firefox was working fine. I swear. Today, however, I am required to sign in to every site. Even if I check the box to remember me, if I close my browser and re-open, I have to sign in again.

I’ve cleared my history (including cookies), because the Internet told me to. I disabled all of my plug-ins (yes, all of them). I upgraded to 3.5.4. Nothing has worked.

It is driving me crazy. Crazy, I tell you! (And I keep forgetting that I have this problem and continue to close my browser, even though I know just leaving it open for the rest of the day would “solve” this problem. Grr.)

Who needs Photoshop?

Playing with Picnik
Playing around with Picnik

Yeah, I should probably post something of substance, but this is all I have for you today. Some fun with photos from our trip to Chicago this weekend. Picnik is an online photo editor that’s built in to Flickr, and even for free, there are some fun/neat effects. Enjoy! (They look much better if you click on the photo above, which will take you to Flickr. From there, you can visit each of the individual photos.)

Internet things I could do without

I adore the internet. I really do. It makes much of life easier and more fun. I could wax poetically, but I won’t.

However, there are a few things that really annoy me, and since I just saw yet another one of them (and started to get a bit twitchy), I thought I’d share my short list.

Using lurve instead of love.

Other horrible intentional misspellings of words, like rawk.

Abbreviations for very crude sayings, like pmsl.

Woot. (The word, not the site.)

Why is it that women all across the globe feel the need to shout Squeeee! whenever they are talking about something cute. Ish.

Letters to my kid at X months old. I get it. You love your kid. You want to talk about your kid. That’s totally cool with me. But the letter thing is getting a little overdone. As a non-parent, I don’t find it interesting. I find it to be a skip-able post.

References to family members as DD, DH, DS, etc. I would much prefer My Darling Pooky-Bear. Seriously.

People writing tutorials for crafty things that have already been tutorial-ized a dozen times, just because they couldn’t find one, or thought their pictures were prettier. (I admit this one is kinda petty. Forgive me.)

Abbreviating certain words, like 4 for “for.” (That was an awkward phrase to construct.) If you’re not texting, or limited by Twitter’s 140 characters, there is no reason to being so lazy as to not type the extra two characters.

At the moment, squeeee! and lurve annoy me the most. Maybe I could write a Greasemonkey script to remove all of those words from sites I’m visiting. No, I probably couldn’t. Or, perhaps I could, but I would lose interest long before completing such a project.

Success

The last 24 hours can be summed up by one word: productive.

I had a 2:00 meeting yesterday with my soon-to-be-on-Sabbatical advisor*.  As it turns out, as part of the Social Sciences department, he is the one who can make the decision about whether or not the class I want to transfer in will count, not someone in the education program. He approved, and made note of it in several places in my file. I also learned that I can “graduate” this fall, with a second major in … either History or Social Studies. I don’t really remember. The form for this second major has been filled out and signed (and I presume will be submitted), but I’ve decided to wait to “graduate” until I’m actually done.

See the thing with that whole “graduation” thing (have you noticed the quotes?) is that it wouldn’t really mean anything, other than a slip of paper, at the moment. It would mean I have a second Bachelor’s degree, which in my current situation gets me absolutely nothing. Were I interested in giving up my current job (and the benefits that go along with it) and substitute teaching, for instance, it might be worth it. However, we have good health insurance, and it’s kinda hard to give that up, especially for something as unreliable as substitute teaching.

So when I got home from my  meeting, I quickly called up the registrar’s office at the other school to see if I actually needed to apply or if there was some secret back door for Metro students (they do, after all, share a campus, and I’ve had classes that were nearly 50/50 Metro / MCTC). The student worker I talked to was not incredibly helpful, but I got the information I needed.

I then quickly filled out the application (which is basically giving them your contact info and a list of the schools you went to – no essays, transcript requests, etc) and submitted it online. And then waited….

While I waited, I called to try to schedule an appointment with that third advisor (the post-baccalaureate one), because my first advisor (the subject one) said he might be willing to waive the requirement that I be accepted to the program and I could take an education class this semester. I left a message, and haven’t heard back yet.

At this point, it’s slightly after 4 pm. It was a very busy two hours (which included nearly an hour in transportation).

Our driveway was about a week overdue to be swept (acorn season is nearing its close, for which we are happy), so I did that.

After dinner, I went back outside and weeded. I weeded like there was no tomorrow. For the amount of time I spent, I covered a relatively small area (the front garden area by the driveway), but did a lot of work. In maybe two hours, I uncovered the actual edge/border of the garden, removed weeds, and got the grass in line. Grass is a pesky bugger. It seems to want to grow where you don’t want it (i.e. gardens) and doesn’t want to grow where you do want it (i.e. lawns). There was about a square foot at one corner of the driveway that was completely covered over with dirt and had lots of grass growing in it. That took forever to get rid of. The end result was not exactly pretty, but I wasn’t going for pretty.

To reward my hands for all their hard work (and boy, do they feel it – painful fingernails on my thumbs), I gave myself a mini manicure.

This morning, as soon as I got the email saying my application was accepted, I paid the fee, and then promptly spent almost 15 minutes trying to log in to the website. Do you know how difficult it is to come up with a 6-digit pin? Yeah. It can’t be the last six of your social, or your birthday, or start with a 0, and has to be all numbers. Only six digits. Exactly six digits. Grr.

Eventually, however, I did get into the site, found the class (Native America), and registered for it. Then I hopped on the the bookstore’s website, found out which books I needed, and proceeded to save myself 53% by ordering them used from Amazon. (Bookstore’s price for 5 new books: $81.79. Bookstore’s price for 5 used books: $61.50. Amazon’s price for 5 used books: $38.71, almost half of which is shipping.)

What all this means is that Saturday morning I will not be sleeping in until my usual hour of 9 am. I might have to get up at 8, which is still a far cry from 5:30. Class starts at 10 downtown Minneapolis, and I just have to figure out the best method of transportation.

It also means that and I have spent some time today researching hard drives, because my netbook needs a serious upgrade. I was waiting until I knew I was taking classes before spending the money, and I guess we’re here now. Unfortunately, Windows 7 is still not out, so my netbook will have to go through that upgrade later (I’d love to get it all done at once, but I really need my netbook to be speedier sooner rather than later, so I’ll have to deal).

I realize the last few posts have been quite boring, and that posting has been sporadic lately. I haven’t been very inspired, hence the lack of posting. I have been busy, but I haven’t been taking pictures, and just haven’t felt the need to share. There have been quite a few out of town visitors, some work on the house, some cleaning (though not as much as necessary), and some crafting (most projects are in some part of the process not called “done,” so there’s really no point in sharing that). My blogging mojo will come back eventually, and I’d guess sooner rather than later. We all have dry spells. Thanks for hanging in there.

*To clear up the whole 3 advisors thing, which I now mostly understand, here’s the deal. I have an advisor for the program, I have an advisor for my subject area, and I have an advisor because I’m not a traditional student (i.e. I’ve already got a Bachelor’s degree, and am therefore a post-baccalaureate student). Whew! Unfortunately, my school’s website only lists that I have one advisor (the program one), and she is the one who is out until the end of September.

Isn’t it time to name a plant after me or something?

I’ll let you in on a little secret: While compared to the general public I may appear to know a lot about computer-related stuff, I really don’t. I mean, I know some stuff, and you could probably classify me as a Word “Power User,” and I can make my way around Access. But really? What appears to be computer prowess is actually… bravery and guessing. I do a lot of “what happens when I hit this button?” “What happens when I click here?” “What happens…?” You get the idea. Also, the internet is a great source of information. Did you know that? [Sidenote: there are occasions when I find myself unable to solve a problem that I have, and there is no one to turn to for help. It is at this point that I am quite frustrated with 1) all the knowledge I do have, 2) my inability to fix said problem, and 3) no one around me having any idea what I’m talking about.]

Now, lest you think I walk around telling people how awesome I am at all things computer-related, let me be clear. I frequently attempt to tell others that I know absolutely nothing about [insert problem here]. Examples: networks, Groupwise, Internet Explorer. Alas, while this usually makes someone who was seeking my help go away, it’s only temporary. It is rare that someone remembers that I said, “I have no idea; go ask —-.” They just keep asking me.

And that’s fine, really, because every once in a while I’m rewarded with someone actually remembering the thing I taught them last time (and so they’ve consequently come up with a harder problem to solve), and people are always grateful when you fix their computer problems (unless, of course, you’re actually in IT – if you’re expected to do that stuff as part of your job, people tend to get snippy).

All that to say, I generally don’t think too highly of my computer abilities. I consider myself “above average,” but “average” is not very computer literate (in the general workforce, in my experience).

So, when someone comes to me and says, “can we do this on our website?” and I tell them, “I have absolutely no idea why it works the way it does, and I’m pretty sure I can’t make it do something different,” I’m fairly confident that I’m right. If that’s confusing, let me say it another way. If you ask me to change the way a list looks on a web page, and I tell you that it’s just borrowed javascript code that I don’t understand so I probably can’t do anything for you, you’re pretty much sunk, unless you want to find someone else who can do it (good luck with that).

Today I was presented with such an occurrence (quite everyday, really). One one of our web pages, I have a list that expands and collapses depending on where you click. I totally took some javascript from the internet and used it, and I have no idea how/why it works. It just does. I can make it do… exactly what it does. Nothing more. But someone wanted… spacing. And primary list items that were links (not expanding). And I was all, “yeah, I’ll look into that, but I don’t think I can make that happen for you.”

And then (here’s where it gets interesting, if you can call this story interesting, which you can’t; it’s just long and rambly and probably no one has made it this far), something amazing happened. I opened up my web page editing program, and I copy-pasted some stuff and moved some other stuff around and made up some CSS, and… miracle of miracles, I made it do exactly what I was requested to.

The moral of the story: click on that button and see what happens. Or just try something to see if it works. Experiment with your computer. It’s unlikely that you’ll actually break it (unless, of course, you go surfing the internet and get some viruses, in which case you’re totally on your own). You will be amazed at what you discover you can do. Really.

[My apologies for the super boring story. It really was quite exciting to add some spacing into a list. There may or may not have been a short victory dance in my cube.]

Minty

I finally remembered to bring the bag of Wintergreen Lifesavers I had bought to work, and now I’m minty fresh. Better than snacking on chocolate-caramel-peanut Turtles, right?

I worked on two of my papers this weekend and got all the research, quotes, and Works Cited parts done. Now I just have to write them. Also, since I have the wrong version of the textbook for my online class, the readings I had left for it (Chapter 16) are not in my book, and so I don’t have any reading left. Yay!

and I went shopping for a washer and dryer Friday night – I know, aren’t we exciting? We picked out a nice set (didn’t buy them, though… more on that in a bit), only to come home and find out that it was an HE (High Efficiency) washer, which means special laundry detergent. Well, I’m quite attached to my laundry detergent (All Free & Clear, recommended by my dermatologist), as it doesn’t make me itch (and we know how unhappy I am when I itch), and it was my one requirement for a washer (other than please no almond or black units). But, we looked it up, and my detergent does come in an HE variety, so we were happy with that. Now we just have to measure the spot at the new house, call an electrician to install an outlet, call a plumber to install the correct hookups, and then install the washer/dryer. Thankfully, it will totally be worth the effort when it’s done. (Who wants the washer/dryer in the kitchen? Not us. Apparently a lot of people love having the washer/dryer on the main level, but we are not those people.)

More boxes were packed and taken to storage, as well as a lot of stuff from the garage. We’re running out of things to pack that won’t disrupt our lives, which is good, because if you check the countdown timer over there –> you’ll see there are 11 days until we move. 11! It’s good that’s a small number, because we’d really like to be there now and have this all done. And then we can start mowing the lawn. Ah, the joys of home ownership (when you don’t live in a planned community or one with an association that takes care of all the exterior stuff for you).

Baby sent us a nice card this weekend announcing his birth. 🙂

Class on Wednesday night was canceled. Originally it was supposed to be a library research night, and I was going to take advantage of that and skip class (and write the paper), since I have perfect attendance otherwise. (Perfect attendance, perfect GPA… teachers love me!) The professor decided to change plans and have us come in to class and give presentations instead (there was great complaining about this, since most people have a huge fear of public speaking), on an informal basis and not for a grade, but required nonetheless. This morning he canceled class for this week, since he will be out of town attending a funeral. So… plan A (skipping class to write the paper) is back on, kind of.

I’m not going to know what to do with myself when I run out of homework. Conveniently, there will be a house with lots of work to be done and many, many, many boxes to unpack, right after classes end. Knitting (tendinitis) and embroidery (finger callouses) and sewing (back pain) can only take up so many hours of the day before my body refuses to cooperate anymore.

Lastly, I finished the log cabin quilt for the Mini Quilt in a Bag swap, getting the last of the binding taken care of last night. And, I think I’m nearing the end of the first panel of the baby blanket I started out knitting for ‘s baby (you know, the one who was born right around the time we got married). So, I’m almost 1/3 of the way done with that. Have I mentioned they just announced they’re pregnant again? Clearly I’ve got some issues with completing baby blankets (though, in my defense, I did have tendinitis issues for quite some time that prevented me from knitting, and I’ve only recently taken it back up again).

Waiting

So, we put an offer in for our most favoritest house (yes, it’s a word, and it aptly describes how I feel about that house). And now… we wait. We wait until 6, when the Realtor can talk to the seller. And then we wait to find out if the other offer will back out (contingent upon selling their house, so they have 72 hours to do so, which is not probable in this market). And then we wait for the inspection, and paperwork, and blah blah blah. And, if things fall apart at any point along the way, we get to repeat for our second-choice house. Oh, and there’s just over 3 weeks until closing.

And as we wait, we play that balancing act of dreaming about the house and setting ourselves up for the “what if it doesn’t go through” scenario. It’s a hard line to walk. Last night, after thoroughly inspecting just about every aspect of the house (not the inspection, mind you, just a second showing), we sat in the dining room (of the new house) and wrote out the purchase agreement, which was wonderful to do in that space. It is so lovely, and exciting, and full of possibilities, and gorgeous. And then I get caught up in dreaming… what color should we re-paint the bedroom, what are we going to do about the lack of a closet in the bedroom, where will we put this, when can I garden, and so on. And learning all about the neighborhood via Google Maps, like where the nearest gym is, the ice cream place, churches, parks…. All the while, I’m fully aware that it’s not actually our house yet, and it’s totally possible that it will never be our house. That is a very difficult thought.

To pass the time, and keep my mind off all things house related (which is, arguably, difficult, especially when co-workers keep asking how things are going), I’m doing some really boring coding (html) at work, with small breaks for internet surfing. I need to change those breaks to “work on paper,” since it did not get written last night. I did mention the part where we were out at the new house from 7:30 pm until 10 pm, right? At least the only homework I’m behind on is that paper. I do have about a page of it written (of a 4-5 page paper), and I suspect that this will be one of my less-than-stellar papers (which, yes, will still get an A, because that’s what I do). Do you have any idea how hard it is to find quality research on Minnesota legislative history in the 1960s and 1970s without visiting the Minnesota Law Library? Quite. I thought the Minnesota Human Rights Act would be an easy topic, but… not so much.

It sounds like we’ll get a preliminary idea of what’s going on from the seller tonight after 6, while I’m in class. Lucky for me, I have email access in class, thanks to my handy netbook.

This waiting is no fun, I tell ya.

One dozen

That’s how many houses are on our list to look at tomorrow. Hopefully our Realtor will knock a few off that due to location or something, because when we looked at 7 on Tuesday night, I was beat. After a while, they all blend together. But, a house really shouldn’t be an impulse purchase, so I’ll restrain from my instinct to just vote for the first one we liked and go with that. Because, you know, that would be irresponsible or lacking in foresight or something.

Last night in class, we had a test. No big deal – my grades on the previous two are 10/10 and 9.6/10. But, I did forget to study. It was on my planner for Tuesday night, which was spent hunting, I mean shopping, and Wednesday night I didn’t get home from class until close to 10, and yesterday at work I was busy working on contracts. And then I got to class and some classmates were all, “did you study? are you prepared? did you understand the material?” and I was all, “crap, kinda forgot about that.”

No worry, as usual. I did briefly peruse the three chapters that the test was over (that I had previously read, and that had been discussed in class as well). Nothing better than the feeling of turning in a test and knowing that you aced it. OK, probably lots of things better than that feeling, but it’s up there on the list.

Today I am still working on the afore-mentioned contracts. They are coming together swimmingly, which basically means that I’m using forms and bookmarks and cross-references to make it easier to fill out, but I’ve discovered that in order to make it really sweet, I need to write some macros. Um, I used to know how to write macros in Excel, back when I was 16 (you know, back when we were running Windows 3.1). I have no access to that knowledge anymore – it’s simply gone. And have you tried searching the internet to try to learn about macros? Billions of search results that are postings from forums and are generally less than helpful. Sigh. The rest of the afternoon may be spent seeking out knowledge.

Tonight: a massage. Saturday morning: getting a second storage unit. Saturday afternoon: house-hunting. Saturday night and all of Sunday: homework or packing. I’m already tired. Maybe I’ll sleep in until noon on Sunday. Or at least 9.