Thursday, October 26, 2006


October is a very hectic month at my household, what with work requirements, school commitments, fundraising nonsense and scouting trips; and this week has been even more stressful than normal due to the new computer system at my work and my son's sudden acquisition of surliness. Needless to say, I have not been in the best of moods as of late. However, I had a pleasant surprise when J and I came home from a PTO meeting the other night.
On our doorstep there was a small Halloween party bag with a note attached. It said
BOO to you

The air is cool, the season fall.
So, Halloween will come to all.
The spooks are after things to do.
In fact, a spook brought this to you.
BOO is a shield from witching hour,
Just hang it up and watch its power.
On your front door is where it works.
It wards off spooks and scary jerks.
The treat that came with cryptic note
Is yours to keep, enjoy them both.
The power comes when friends like you
Will copy this and make it two.
Then others here among our friends
Will give warm fuzzies that will not end.
We'll all have smiles open on our faces,
No one will know who BOOed whos places.
Just one short day to work your spell
Or big ZAP will strike your tail.
And don't forget a treat
Like something cute or something sweet.
Please join the fun, lets really hear it
And spread some BOOS and Halloween Spirit
Inside the back was some candy, some glow sticks and a piece of Halloween decorated paper with the word "BOO" printed across it. The object of the booing is to hang the boo sign on your door or window and then "boo" two more people, hopefully brightening their day. It certainly brightened hours. J and I were able to step back from our constant bickering and work on this project together. We took some kraft bags and decorated them with cut out foam stickers of cats, ghosts, bats, and pumpkins. We kept puzzling over who could possibly have "booed" us as we filled the bags with candy and some chintzy Halloween rings we had laying around the house. We made our "Boo" signs and decorated them with more of the same and then debated over who would most likely continue the booing if we left it on their doorstep. He and his dad "spy sneaked" to the two houses we chose and left them the bags to be discovered the next morning.

We needed this - something out of the ordinary, not part of our normal routine. It was easy enough to do and a fun family activity without any stress or grades or competition. Maybe you might want to give it a try too!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Little boys are made of puppy dog tails

I'm looking for some advice on how to deal with a surly 8 year old. My dear J has developed an attitude that any teenager would be envious to own. He has decided that "school is boring" and that any question you ask him will often result in an answer of "I don't care"- be it about dinner, doing homework, jumping off a building, whatever, it is all the same to him. He has also decided that he does not need to do his school work.

Our punishments so far have been ineffective in motivating him, and all that I have gained is a bedroom full of Bionicles, Legos, and Yu-Gi-Oh cards. I personally think they clash with my bedroom decor so I am begging you all to help me come up with some solutions. My close friend, a 3rd grade teacher, assures me that this is the age where they start to assert themesleves and try to be more independent, that the surliness is just one response to what they perceive as "unwanted" help from their parents, even though they do need it.

This is good to know, but that does not stop my urge (don't worry, it's just an urge, not an action) to wring his neck every time that phrase "I don't care" comes out of his mouth. What do you suggest?

Newer is better, right?!?

At my work this past week, we installed new computer systems that are supposed to "streamline processes" and prevent errors. The company thought ahead and sent out training manuals months in advance. Well, it was supposed to be months in advance, but in order to do any of the exercises, we needed the system installed on our computers; and instead of installing it on our old computers we had to have new computers sent to us, which of course, we delayed two weeks. So instead of months we had 2 1/2 weeks to train. No problem, that is plenty of time. Only, the manuals were set to version 2.2 and our computer systems had version 1.2, so none of the information meshed. We had the update shipped to us, only we weren't allowed to use it until "go live" day, which defeats the purpose doesn't it?

Go live day came and of course so did many snafus. I found that the updated training version didn't mesh either, that whenever you called for support you were told to use the "F1" help button, that the F1 help button might as well go into the trash since it just lists what is in the training manual, that if you explained to the help desk that F1 help did not help, they tell you to log your call and they research it since it is a new problem they had not faced before (this seemed to be their answer for any problem we had) or they simply did not answer the phone and didn't return messages. I am not enjoying work right now. In fact, my responses to the new system have become quite comical and often co-workers hear me laughing outloud at the absurdity of trying to use a system that is not user -friendly at all. If I can't laugh about it, I'll cry.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Today's Quote

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
--Mark Twain

Friday, October 13, 2006

Little things make up the big picture

Every once and awhile you have to stop and appreciate the little things. Today I'm doing just that. I got up this morning and it is finally cool enough to wear pants, pants that did not fit when I put them away last spring that are now loose on me. I was able to try out both a pilates class and a yoga class this morning. In yoga, I was able to do - for the very first time -upside down tree ( tree plank, uprooted bush, whatever it is called - the move where your butt and legs are up over your head). I found two dollars in the wash (house rule: the one who does the laundry gets to keep the money). I'm not needed at my son's school, I have no dr.'s appointments, no one is coming to my house to fix holes in my walls or leaks in my sinks; which all means that I can finally use those gift cards that I've had since last Christmas to go out and treat myself. Today is turning out to be a great day.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

In the mind of a novice runner

Well, I've been training at 4:30am each morning. Yes, it is early, but it gets it out of the way. Plus that is when the other runners meet, and I need their support. Why? Here is the internal dialogue from my first short solo run on Sunday, the day after the training meeting/run.
I need to go run. OK, I'm putting my shoes on. Ow, it hurts to bend down. Oh no, I still have to go down the stairs. Ow, oow,ow, oow,ow,oow. OK, let me get a drink before I go. Whoops, spilled some on my shirt, oh well it will be soaked in sweat soon. OK, out the door. (outside my front door) I don't want to go running. (turn around, back inside) Honey, I need your IPOD to get me going. (get IPOD, out the door again).
Here we go, alright, tough starting. I don't remember having this much trouble getting my pace yesterday. Whoo, got to breath. What in the world does hubby have on this IPOD, this is not running music (skip song, skip song, skip song, find one I can tolerate). I can't breath, need to slow my pace. Side cramp, ow,ow,ow (run with arms up over head to get rid of side cramp, look like I am imitating a chimpanzee who is chasing you away from his banana). OK, I just passed the 2 mile mark, I can do this, I'm feeling my rhythm.
2.5mile mark - Why am I doing this? This is so dumb, running is dumb. I hate running. Why would anyone do this willingly? I have to keep running, otherwise I won't get home. There's the last curve, alright. Oh no, that wasn't the last curve, there's still more to go. It that it - yes it is! Almost done, keep moving, keep moving, there's home, done. Yay!
That wasn't so bad. I can do this.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Marathon training

I've signed up to train for a marathon, well actually a half marathon (I'm not crazy).My local YMCA had a flyer that stated if you want to train for a half marathon show up at 6:30am this past Saturday. So, I showed up along with about 15 other folks, all a little unsure of what exactly we were getting ourselves into that morning. The trainer showed up and asked us which training were we here for (marathon or half) and said we would have 14 weeks to meet this goal. What?!? She actually is going to have us compete in the Houston Marathon. Gulp, I thought we were just training. Several other folks obviously were thinking the same thing because I saw the same look of worry cross their faces as well. However, our trainer has absolute confidence in us and believes that all of will be able to complete our training and the marathon. We shall see. We have many early morning runs scheduled for the next few months, with them getting earlier and earlier as the distances get longer and longer. I've going to give it my best shot, since this is one of my "life goals" and it would be a great thing for me to be able to accomplish it. Let's just hope my bad knees and heels can hold up under the pressure.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Last Saturday was my birthday. Besides the race, I didn't really do much, which was my plan. We did end up going out to eat at a new restaurant that had been highly recommended by both a workmate of mine and by a workmate of hubby's. I've come to the conclusion that we either went on an off night or both workmate's have a liking for food that is drowned in oil.

We came home and invited our friends over to share some ice cream cake.
At this point in the night, J started to cop and attitude, not wanting to join us at the table for the cake, not wanting to sing happy birthday, etc. I was getting rather upset with him, after all, it was my birthday - the least he can do is belt out an off-key rendition of "Happy birthday" with the rest of us. I started to get an inkling of what was wrong when hubby presented me with my gift, saying it was from J and him. J piped up at that point and said that it wasn't from him, that he didn't get me a gift because " I don't have a driver's license and someone has to take me to the store". Oh...he was upset because he couldn't get me a gift that he had picked out (he had something in mind - for the last few days he had been telling me that he just needed to go to the store with his dad to get the materials so he make my gift)!

I tried to be positive for him. The gift from hubby was a portrait of the two of them, which utterly surprised me since they had done it weeks ago and J had not let slip even one word about it. I pointed out that he was in the picture, so it was from him as well. Then I reminded him that I would still like to receive the card that I knew he had picked out for me. He ran to get it, telling me to hold on, that he had to put something in it.
When I opened it, I found a surprise in it - $20! It seems that he figured since he couldn't buy me a present, that he would give me the next best thing, the money to buy it for myself!