Thursday, April 30, 2009

And At The 11th Hour...

This morning, I went to our designated meeting facility to turn in my stuff and complete my work assignment. Forms in triplicate, do my final time sheet, turn in the computer. There was one thing I was waiting for this morning on my area, so I dilly dallied and got there at 10am.

I was sticking around, waiting to get my copy of the triplicate forms, when my supervisor’s boss answered his ringing phone.

“Yes?
Are you sure?
How many?
Seriously?”

He hangs up the phone, looks at me and asks “You want to keep working, right?” Does a bear poop in the woods? I didn’t put it that way, but my yes was rather quick and hyper. He told me don’t hold my breath, but once they got stuff ironed out, I’d get a call for the next stage of operations.

Then, another call came in. We needed to redo some canvassing. I was there, so I got sent out. When I returned, more details were available. Training starts Monday and it’s in another part of the county.

I feel like the governor’s office was calling to give a stay of execution at the 11:59pm. I was in the right place at the right time. I’m glad I had a bunch of time consuming work yesterday, otherwise I would have been done and wouldn’t have been asked.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pre Empted

Tonight's What's For Dinner Wednesday will be replaced by this special program, because I forgot to take pictures of my dinner tonight.

Last night, Ed told me a story of his youth.

Each week, he'd flip through the TV Guide to see what shows he'd get to see when he had the TV all to himself on Saturday mornings. This was in the years before TV Guide started their grid of all the major channel's programming. You had to look up the time, then see the 13-18 choices for that hour.

He would try in vain to find one particular program. Sometimes it'd be on WOR (Channel 9). Other times, WPIX (Channel 11). This particular program confused him. Why was it all over the dial, at all different times? Why couldn't he find it actually on the air?

For years, he was confused, because he never found it actually being broadcast. Tonight, we found it:


Ed informs me that this does not count, because something ELSE was on instead of "To Be Announced." He says that he pictures "To Be Announced" as a talk show, with a host behind a desk, similar to those public affairs shows that are aired on Sunday mornings.

Can anyone out there provide evidence that there's really a program "To Be Announced?"

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

And Now, The End Is Near...

For the job, anyway. The assignment I'm on ends tomorrow because we've completed the task in six weeks, instead of the twelve we were told we'd be working.

It's been interesting. In all that time, the furthest my assignment has been has been about five miles from the house. I've had the chance to see up close some things that I'd driven by many, many times and wondered how they would look up close.

I've taken lots of pictures of flowers. today, a gentleman invited me to take a look down at the lake that abutted his property. I told him that his daily vista is what my family goes camping to enjoy, yet he lives less than a mile from my home.

Some pictures from today:
The beautiful view from that man's land:

I was invited into a greenhouse, too. After four weeks of toting the camera and taking pictures of dozens of flowers, it was so very cool to get a look at these:



When I was leaving the greenhouse, this fella was curious and came over to say hello and get a scratch on the nose.


It's been a cool few weeks.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Uh Oh, We Created a Cell Phone Monster!

What do you get when you finally give a nine year old boy the cell phone you've been discussing for months?

A kid who wants to call his aunt at 11am to tell her when dinner will be ready.

A kid who already had the phone to his ear as we were walking out of scouts tonight, to tell Daddy we'll be home in about a half hour.

A kid who tells you that his first text looked like "67w 3203 r429w" because he hasn't figured out how to change the letters yet. (He was trying to text How's it going? to his best friend. Yes, they both have unlimited texting!)

A kid who was told to call you if he needed anything when you decided to run to the store. He didn't but he ran out to the car to show me his cellphone PLAYS MUSIC, Mom! (Sony put a walkman feature in his phone)

A kid who tells you he wants to find the Phineas and Ferb theme for a ringtone. Unless his Dad figures out how to record his goofy "You need to answer the phone" sound bite.

He's over the moon happy about it. So far, he's adhering to our ground rules, and it's making life easier on a couple of fronts. The best friend's family invited him to go out for dinner-one call home and he was good to go.

He wanted to play at another friends and it was getting close to dinner. He was tickled that we said he could and we'd call when he needed to come home, because pre cell phone, he would have been told he couldn't go out so close to dinner time.

So far, it looks like it was a wise decision to get one-on both sides of the phone.

How long before he calms down on wanting to call relatives at ungodly hours?


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Eulogy for a KitchenAid Mixer

When Ed put the wrapped box under the Christmas tree that year, I honestly was stumped. The shape didn't match up with anything I thought he'd purchase. Game Teen was a baby and we'd focused our energies on his presents (like the Tickle Me Elmo that he would later tackle). Little did I know that Ed's new employer gave out a decent end of year bonus and he knew exactly what he wanted to buy with it.

Christmas Eve, they cut him out of work early and he came and picked me up from work to go grab some last minute groceries. Mema was here to celebrate Game Teen's first Christmas, so we were doing up a nice meal.

In the store, we found the coveted Hershey's Raspberry Chocolate Chips and I grabbed a half dozen, with plans to make cookies that night. Normally, this would have Ed excited (he loves cookies), but he told me that we should just relax and watch Christmas movies. Huh? I'm off at 5 pm on a holiday and you don't want me to make cookies? I think I even checked him for fever!

The next morning, I opened the box. A KitchenAid Professional Mixer was the surprise that awaited. He later explained that it was hard to resist the temptation of me making cookies, but he knew I'd be ticked that I worked a dough by hand when I could have let the machine do the work for me. I watched that thing take a half hour of mixing by hand and finish it in about two minutes.


Twelve years later:
Thousands of Cookies.
Hundreds of Cakes.
Dozens of Pizza Doughs.

The KitchenAid has died.



It's a testament to their durability that my favorite kitchen gadget has put up with the abuse I dish out in the name of feeding my family good food. Honestly, no other kitchen electric I've owned that gets this much use has lasted even five years. In fact, every heavy use electric in my kitchen comes from KitchenAid because that mixer did it all without complaint.

Thank you KitchenAid, you will be missed.



Saturday, April 25, 2009

Shhh, Don't Tell My Husband, But There's Someone New In My Life

And I've got a picture. It's not the best, but you understand this, right? You have to be sneaky and coy when you're married, but are falling for another...

To be honest, I think Ed's in love with the Keurig already. Two cups of Kona and coveting more? It's a safe bet that the mac daddy coffee machine he scoffed at back in January as a frivolous waste is rapidly taking his heart, too.

Let's see, so far we've tried:
Coffee People Donut Shop Coffee-tastes like Krispy Krack's. I want more and can't wait to try their Xtra Bold K cups that we've got.
Tully's Kona Coffee. Smooth. Definitely buying this one!
Celestial Seasoning's Mandarin Orange Spice Tea-I made Chef a cup of Iced Tea with it and he loved it.
Van Houtte's French Vanilla. Yum! (that is all...)
Gloria Jean's Hazelnut. Ed loved it and I think he's psyched that he's got a box of it that is all his (I like hazelnuts, just not in my coffee)
Green Mountain's Nantucket Blend. It was a good wake me up cup while I was at my meeting the other day.

Chef also had a decaf the other day, but I forget which brand it was.

Apparently, the sampler pack assortment must change. I've had three people tell me that they got a hot chocolate in their sampler and it was watery and nasty. We didn't get any. (and I'm curious on that brand, because I will avoid it.) Donna and I were comparing flavors and hers came with different flavors. Kim, whose blog I won it from, told me that Gloria Jean's Butter Toffee came with hers and it was incredible.

There are sampler packs to check stuff out, and I suspect that we will do that, because we're drinking more coffee. Now that we don't have to clean science experiments out of Mr. Coffee, that is!





Friday, April 24, 2009

Making a Road Map of Sorts

I got an email from Game Teen's Scoutmaster a little while ago. Our Boy Scout Council is officially giving him modifications to attain Eagle Scout.

The only thing is-they don't know much about Asperger's Syndrome and have requested a list of the Eagle required merit badges and what modifications may be needed for them to review and approve.

My project between now and Tuesday night's meeting is to go through the list of 14 of the 15 badges and determine what is realistic for him to achieve and if a change is needed, what kind of change is necessary.

*The reason for 14 is that he's already earned one of the required badges, First Aid.*

In a sense, it will be like a road map for Game Teen's journey over the next few years. Normally, these leaders have motivated boys to have their Eagle at 14 or 15 years old. Game Teen now has no age limit-as long as he wants to do it, he is allowed.

The first one looks like one requirement would be too much for him to do by himself. The request we'll put in is to see if he can have another scout prompt him from his own written notes if he gets stuck.

Somehow, I suspect when Chef crosses over next year, if that modification is approved, he'll be working on Eagle required badges early on alongside his brother. So, in a sense, it's a road map for both boys.

While I'm still torn about leaving the old group, this drives home why we made the switch. They're proactive about Game Teen's needs.

There are many things in life we are not sure he'll be able to do. Thankfully, Eagle Scout has moved into the "completely possible" column. Sweet.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Update to Good, Bad, Interesting

I left you all hanging. The updates:

Good:Tomorrow is Game Teen's last day at his current school. Monday, he begins attending a self contained program that is extremely therapeutic. The intent is to provide students in the program with intensive therapy and social skills training so that they may return to a regular school. Academics will be completed via online units, which is probably better for Game Teen. He can study at his own pace.

The only bad part of it? School is from 7:30am to 1:30pm, but Game Teen has to be on the bus at 6am! I am NOT looking forward to getting up at 5:30 every morning. Hey, does USF have 7am classes?

Bad:Apparently, some of us will be reassigned to another canvassing group once we're done. It'll buy a little more time making decent money.

Interesting:
Leaving the old troop behind is bittersweet, because we like everyone involved in the organization. That said, all the leaders that came to this new troop are ones who have a really good rapport with Game Teen.

The new charter church had a "Welcome Home, Troop ****" for the boys arriving Tuesday night. Most of the faces were familiar. After pictures of the Charter Members out by that marquee, the meeting jumped right into things like voting on a slogan, voting on a senior patrol leader and voting on a slogan.

Game Teen came up with one I thought was fantastic slogan, "Blazing New Trails", which got 4 votes, but it wasn't chosen. He was rather comfortable in the new surroundings.

The best part is that before we'd even arrived on Tuesday night (or before I was apprised of the situation Monday night, even), the leaders who I'd mentioned had been so good with Game Teen were ALREADY crafting a game plan for him to attend camp this summer. At next week's meeting, we will be given a list prepared specifically for Game Teen of badges that he can do (with council approved modifications) while attending.

So interesting? Is pretty darn awesome in my book.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What's For Dinner Wednesday

Recently, we were at the Ikea in Orlando. It was close to meal time and the kids were asking to dine in the restaurant. I was game-I love the Swedish Meatballs. Ed was game for using the pizza dough we had at home. So, we skipped it.

Meanwhile, once it's in my head, eventually I'll have to make a meal. Tonight, it was time. Remind me next time I want them for dinner that it's at least an hour's prep time. This is one meal that is better suited to making on weekend's or when I'm not at work until 6pm!

Recently, I began cooking nightly for the relatives. Special delivery across the neighborhood. (and before you ask-NO, I won't do it for you, unless you want to pay personal chef rates, lol). Twenty minutes after dinner was delivered, the phone rang.

"Where are the meatballs?"
I said "I beg your pardon?"
"There aren't any meatballs in here."
I reply "They're in the gravy."
"No they're not. There's only three in there."
Funny. "Then I guess you ate them all."
"Darn. I was hoping we'd get more if I said that we didn't get any!"

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Coffee Coffee, Joy Joy!

This is what the Fed Ex boxes contained today:
video
What's cool is that I assumed the 'assortment of coffees' meant the 18 K cups that is in every Keurig coffee maker box. There was a second box, that contained:
Coffee People X Bold
Tully's Kona (which was on my list to try ASAP)
Gloria Jeans Hazelnut
Green Mountain Coffee's Nantucket Blend

It is primed and ready to go. Woohoo!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Good News, Bad News, Interesting News

Today was filled with news of all sorts, and tomorrow will have some more.

The Good:Tomorrow morning, we have yet another meeting at Game Teen's school. This time, we convene to review the results of observations and testing. Game Teen's main teacher told me Friday that "we got what Game Teen needs", which means he's been approved for the self contained setting in another school. This is good news, no it's GREAT news. He'll probably transition next Monday-but we'll know more tomorrow.

The Bad: We're doing such a good job in this phase of the Census that I'll be out of a job in a week to two weeks. Bummer.

The Interesting: Last week, at Game Teen's scout meeting, there was a strange announcement/apology issued by one of the leaders. It wasn't an apology, per se, more of a "I did this and some people were offended. I'm sorry if this upset some of you."

As Game Teen didn't attend the activity when this incident occurred, I was confused, but figured it didn't really affect us. It does. I got the rest of the story today and as a result, we will be attending the first meeting of a new troop tomorrow.

It will be strange meeting in a different place with familiar leadership and many of the same boys.




Sunday, April 19, 2009

Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday

Once again, I had several ideas for today's post, but Sunday rolled around and they are gone like the wind. One thing that has bounced around for a while, though, is favorite 'name' songs, so we'll go that route.

When I started at the college radio station, various jocks had their carts to drop in during their shows. My idea never made it to fruition, though I did some of the editing work. I took all the songs featuring Sue, Suzie or Suzanne and was going to make a audio montage. (It'd probably be even easier to do that now, wouldn't it?)

As long as there's been recorded music, artists have written songs about women. Some of my favorites among those:

Ariel-Dean Freedman
Ariel-October Project
Kayleigh-Marillion
Veronica-Elvis Costello
Layla-Derek and the Dominoes
Take Him Back, Rachel-Basia
Wake Up, Little Susie-Everly Brothers (easily my favorite of the songs with my name)
Oh, Sherry-Journey
Rhiannon-Fleetwood Mac
Amie-Pure Prairie League
Cecelia-Simon and Garfunkel
Clair-Gilbert O'Sullivan
Roseanna-Toto
Roxanne-Police
Vincent-Don McLean
Laura-Billy Joel
Jeremy-Pearl Jam
Suite Judy Blue Eyes-Crosby, Stills and Nash
Buddy Holly-Weezer
Louie Louie-Kingsmen

How about you? What are your favorite name songs?


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Game Teen's Birthday at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Yep, I'm the mother of a teenager. It appears to have traumatized my friends more than me. I just can't believe how fast time flies.

Thanks to Disney, we celebrated Game Teen's Birthday by going to the park of his choosing yesterday:

Yes, he got a free ticket and chose dear old Mom to be the one to take him to the park for the day. We just had to show his birth certificate and we were set.

I got the usual paper one day ticket, but Game Teen got this nice momento of his birthday, along with a birthday pin:

The destination I had in mind, but Game Teen wanted to steer clear:

Meanwhile, he was all about getting a Simba Paw. They don't sell those anymore, so he now has a new favorite:

Road tripping in Dinoland. I think I need to teach the child that he can't drive while standing up!

My turn at the wheel:

On our way over to Festival of the Lion King, there was a LONG line for Lilo and Stitch. Meanwhile, Terk was off next to Pizzafari with NO ONE waiting to meet her. She gave Game Teen a couple of birthday kisses and a big hug.

The weather was perfect for our travel to the Harambe Wildlife Preserve. Heck, even the Hippos got out of the water for a change!
I was able to get someone to take a picture of the two of us before I went to meet up with the Yeti a second time.

See? We're in Asia!

On the path of the Yeti:

The day was lots of fun, with lots of walking. I think we were both happy to see this sign, for it signaled that our journey was almost over:

Once home, Game Teen chose a dinner at Applebees and a Carvel Cake.

Somehow, I netted the day down into one minute for your viewing enjoyment...
video

Friday, April 17, 2009

Where Does The Time Go?

When did this


and this



become THIS?


It was just yesterday that I was holding my 9 pound, 11 oz Sweets in my arms (too big for the newborn clothes, mind you) and I blink and he's a TEENAGER!!!!

As such, he's getting a new name here-he is now known as Game Teen.

Happy Birthday, Munchkin-you're not a little guy anymore!






Thursday, April 16, 2009

When You're Too Tired to Post, Put Up Some Pictures!

I'm wiped out today. Instead of trying to put together a coherent post, I'll just give you a sampling of 'da nay chur" that I've seen while at work this week...





Tomorrow, I'm on an adventure with my oldest...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What's For Dinner Wednesday

When I am at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, there is one meal that calls me above all others. No, I'm not talking about Dole Whips or Mickey Bars, I'm talking lunch or dinner. Believe it or not, if I have my way, it is a counter service SALAD that I crave.

Behold, the Columbia Harbor House's Galley Salad:

(Shhh, I ran out of pecans making pancakes for the kids last week-I used sunflower seeds.)

Look like something you'd enjoy? I'll have the recipe on MomDot tomorrow!



If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny

I know, it's tax day and you're in a foul mood. Writing that check sucks, doesn't it?

Come on over to New Sue Review for my interview with Lucy Adams, author of "If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny." Then, go buy yourself a copy of the book and read Lucy's blog-because the woman is FUNNY.

You'll be glad you did.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Last Call for

Would you like to win this?


Come on over to my other blog, New Sue Review for more details. You have until 7am TOMORROW to add your comment and have a chance to win! Oh, and come back after that hour to see if you won and see my interview with Lucy Adams, author of "If Mama Don't Laugh, It Ain't Funny".

Don't we all need a laugh on tax day?