Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Books to Read

I'm a reader, a fanatical over the top reader. I read on average 2 books a week, a magazine here and there, newspapers when I happen upon them etc. I love the ability to curl up on the sofa and enter another world, a world where I know people's thoughts (because they are right there on the page) Hence the longing for the afore mentioned Kindle that Santa did not deliver.

Anyhow one of my favorite books, or series of books rather is the OUTLANDER series by Diana Gabaldon. The series has been ongoing for 15 years or so, the books come out every three to four years. I discovered the series when Hubby and I first married at the libary and had the luxury or reading straight through the first 3 books one after another, after that I was reduced to the drudgery of waiting on the next book to be published. I was excited when out Christmas shopping to discover the newest book was out and snatched it up like the crazy lady buying pajamas on black Friday. Merry Christmas to me, didn't even wait on it to make it to the library, not that it ever would here in Kornfield, the only thing the library here seems to purchase is large print editions of Christian novels. Anyhow I digress, finishing the book and longing for the next one - #8 - I went on line to see when it would be published, not even an estimated date from the author's site so likely it will be years. In the meantime I thought I would start my own collection of the books. Quite frankly I rarely buy books as they are expensive and I don't re-read the things. However this is just about my favorite books, it's been 10+ years since I read the first one and quite honestly the last one had me lost a lot because I couldn't remember many of the details from the first six books. So tonight I got my happy self on E-bay and bidded on the first two books of the series, I'll likely land them for $5 each which is a pretty good score, unfortunately they are not hardcovers but I'm not really looking for collector pieces just copies of a fun set of books to read. Anyhow if you like historical romance, mixed with a tiny bit of science fiction, action and interesting charachters head down to the library and check out the first of the series - it's OUTLANDER. Make sure to start with that one or you'll be a little lost, and if you like that one there are six more books in the same vein to entertain you. For what it's worth I'm not one of the crazy fans on the numerous sites devoted to these books or else I would have known this latest book came out in September. Also found it interesting that a movie may be made from the first book, I can't imagine it as it's a regular tome, quite lengthy and full of detail, however I suppose I'd be the first one in line when it opens though I doubt I'd dress up like a charachter from the book.

The last couple of days have been rough. I've battled a rough migraine on both Monday and today. Thanks to the miracles of modern science I managed to fight my way through them without a trip to the ER, however the kids have been left somewhat to their own devices, especially today as I woke up with the monster. I think Sonny Boy would prefer I'm sick because I'm willing to let any electronic media go for hours if it keeps him entertained so he got to watch a lot of TV, play a lot of DS, play a lot of Wii today. Igor not being into any of those endevours simply just made a HUGE mess of toys and agravated his brother a lot while I lay on the couch and refereed the best I could the haze of the meds which leave me weak and sleepy. This evening I'm on better functioning plain, however the meds had me sleeping too much today and it's now midnight and I'm just starting to get a little groggy.

We are discussing driving up to WI this weekend to do a little winterizing work on the house up there. The heating bill came in today and at $175 bucks to keep it frigid but not frozen it's getting expensive so we are looking into draining the heating systems and pipes and running antifreeze through things. Not the most fun endevour, but heating a house we are not in isn't fun either. Happy new year huh?

Well I'm rambling again and I guess I should meander off to bed, the kids will be up early and I've got barn duty in the am, it's supposed to be downright cold and I'm not looking forward to corralling the kids while I work. Sonny Boy is quite the explorer and wanders all over the place when I'm not looking, makes me nervous, however he does seem to have enough sense to stay out from under horse hooves and he's met a downright nasty fellow there who is all about biting so he been taught the signs of when NOT to pet a horse. However I realized almost too late I'd never taught him about an electric fence. He didn't get zapped, but it would have happened in 5 more minutes had I not heard the fence cycling on and off.

Monday, December 28, 2009

It's the 9's

I'm possibly thinking years that end in 9 are not good for me. My parents separated and later divorced in 1980 - I know not a "9" year, however I know there were problems long before that and I can remember even as a young child around five years old asking if my parents would ever divorce. While the bulk of the nastiness was hidden from me the tension was still there. 1989 - well honestly I can't come up with any earth shattering things bad. I didn't get a spot on the homecoming court, I didn't make the cheer leading squad. All things heart breaking at the time but in the big scheme of things not a big deal. 1999 - This qualified as bad year, as 1998 closed we were in the middle of buying our first house, a real "fixer-upper" if there ever was one. One of the reasons we bought this particular house is that my mother was a real go getter and convinced us she would come on the weekends, a couple of hour drive, often and help us with paint projects and the like. Sounds like a good start to the new year right? New house, with potential and help from mom. Well didn't work out so wonderfully. Just as we were in the middle of stripping UGLY wallpaper from the first room my mother had an aneurysm rupture in her brain and spent Presidents day thru Memorial Day in the hospital. After that she needed re-hab and could not live alone so she lived with us while attending rehab for a few months. It was a long six months juggling house rehab, work, mother in and out of ICU, recovering from brain injury two hours away and being an only child. Through God's grace she recovered, however she has never gotten her gusto back and the personality change has been difficult for everyone to adjust to in the last decade. Needless to say she never painted the first wall in the house that she talked us into buying. 2009 - well you've been here reading the ins and outs. Loss of a job, move from a loved house and town to a non lovable house and town. I can only hope things change in 2010.

Christmas went well this year. My mother and Father-in-law came for the holiday. It was interesting functioning in such a small house with two extra adults. Not to mention my father-in-law is the most talkative person who has ever lived! Four days of his voice was about my limit, particularly in this small house where there is no where to get away from it short of going somewhere. The kids were excited with their gifts. Where we were determined to make a smaller Christmas this year the rest of the family made up for it and went on a spending spree so I don't think the kids ever noticed that the gift load from everyone else was bigger than that given by their parents. So far the kids report their favorite gifts are an electrical circuit board thing given buy their aunt, and a small stuffed Elmo that thankfully does nothing. Sonny Boy did score a DS and I like it as much as him, particularly one game that is puzzles that I purchased and did not realize it was well above a 6 year old's capabilities.

The big family gift though will come the end of January as we are meeting Hubby's family at the Wisconsin Dells for a couple of days of waterpark fun. Igor has been excited about it though he has no clue why other than he'll get to go swimming. He asks every other day or so where his swim trunks are as I guess he's concerned I'll forget to pack them. ( as crazy as I am lately that might be legitimate) Sonny Boy is counting down the days and is dismayed that mom and dad have ruled he would wear a life jacket most of the time in the park and that he is 1/2 an inch too short for the big rides, though I have a feeling they'll let him go lacking that little bit. Who knows, he might make the 1/2 inch anyway, all of his pants are now getting too short suddenly.

The weekend at the Dells coincides with talkative father-in-law's birthday so I'm planning a creation of a cake. I hope I can pull it off, we'll see as I've never attempted such an elaborate cake before. Today I made some sugar decorations for it. Just a word of warning molten sugar is VERY hot. I'm thinking I would like to learn to do all the fancy cakes. Not just the decorated variety you find at the local Wal-Mart but the really elaborate ones like on ACE OF CAKES or those shows where they compete to design and make a huge fancy cake or sugar sculpture in a 10 hour time span.

Well anyway I'm rambling and saying much of nothing. Here's hoping '10 is better than '09 and Happy New Year to you!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas

Since the chances of actually writing a decent post between now and Christmas is quickly diminishing I'm going to dash off a few lines in the next 10 min before I have to pick up the kids at school. Forgive grammatical, spelling and type-o's please.

Today was Igor's Christmas party so I'm sure he'll be wound up like a top on sugar when I get him and also his last day of preschool before the holiday. Tomorrow I will take him in the morning and he will sing in a Christmas program (Oh dear gotta charge the camcorder battery and iron the boy's good shirts!)

Tomorrow is Sonny Boy's party after the program, he gets out of school early but not terribly so.

When I pick up the kids I plan on taking the boys to Wal-Mart with me so they can pick out a Christmas present for their dad and hopefully I can get a few groceries. I'll likely need a drink when I get home.

Sunday we had a visit from G, Hubby's old boss and went out to dinner with him. It was nice to visit with someone that you don't have explain your whole background to with every story.

This morning I awoke to an opossum in my cat trap. I guess that pretty much settles that all the cats are removed from the neighborhood for a while. I didn't want to call animal control for the opossum as I figured they might forget about the trap and I could keep it if the feral cat problem returns (I'm sure it will) however while I was out releasing the opossum and working at the barn animal control came by looking for their trap and left a note on the door. So much for that theory.

One more weird thing to mention - who the heck is my reader in Sweden? Are you some of Hubby's far flung relatives or just somebody who checks in now and then?

Anyway Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Too much Christmas?

ARRRGGG! Currently Rudolph is playing on one TV and Frosty on the other because the boys can't agree on which Christmas movie to watch. Wouldn't be so bad but I can hear both of them and there really is no way to turn either down.

The Christmas shopping D-O-N-E, I will wrap tomorrow while the kids are at school. Just waiting on the big man to cram himself down the chimney - I guess he'll go into the boiler?

Things have been pretty lackluster here. The kids and I battled colds all last week, nothing serious but lots of mucous around the house for a few days. On Sunday I took Sonny Boy into the I-Max theater to see Santa vs the Snowman. I'm not sure I like the "I-Max experience" I didn't realize I would literally have to turn my head to see the entire screen and the constant stuff in my visual periphery quickly had my head spinning, I'm glad it wasn't a full length film. I wonder if the I-max thing gets better with big pictures where the photography is as much the movie as the plot? I'm thinking Dances With Wolves would be good - showing the huge expanse of open plain kind of thing.

Riding and working at the barn has taken a good chunk of time. I'm rarely out there more than a couple of hours at a time, but add the 30 minute drive and the fact I'm there about 3 days a week. I don't mind though, it's something to do and Igor has overcome his fear of cats and horses. Personally I'm living with a severely stiff body. Finding muscles that haven't been used in years, both riding and working has me a little gimpy. It's fun though, getting back into the riding and I'm starting to remember - kinda like falling off a bike! Happily it's not falling off a horse.

We've had no luck with renting the house up in WI so I guess it sits empty. Our wonderful neighbor is going to keep an eye on things and make sure the sidewalk is cleared of snow. Right now we are just letting it sit and hoping something wonderful will happen. Financially we've somehow been able to float the mortgage without dipping into savings - though no bank accounts are currently growing at all. Thankfully we had little debt and Hubby decided to refinance the cars just before he was laid off (we expected the layoff) to lower our car payments significantly, we'll be paying for them forever but at least we have decent vehicles that will hopefully make it for a while.

The kids are all doing very well. Sonny Boy's reading is getting better everyday and I think he's pretty bored with his school work as it's not challenging to him at all. Igor loves going to school and talks about his teachers and the other kids but somehow I have a feeling he doesn't speak unless spoken to when he's there. I will say his teacher is super enthusiastic and was thrilled to show me he had written "E"s the other day. She is a cute girl, hope she doesn't burn out teaching as I can imagine that has a quick burn out rate.

Well I suppose that's all there is, gotta get back to my dishes. I let them pile up and I hate it when I do that.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

...Even stoplights blink a bright red and green...

but not here in Kornfield, Il. There are no stoplights so I suppose the Christmas spirit has passed me by this year. I'm really not feeling the season and would cancel things if I could get away with it.

Not much new here. Just daily grind living. Most of the Christmas shopping is done, the house is decorated at least as much as I'm gonna do it. Mom is planning on coming up so I guess it will be a quiet Christmas.

The weather here stinks today. WINDY, the house is creaking and groaning, I hope the power lines stay up. It's cold and it's spitting snow, we missed out on the big snow that they got back in WI which bums me as I'm a lot like a kid for the really big snows though I do hate the shoveling.''

I guess that's all the news