Interstellar Adventures

August 31, 2007

Welcome, Sports Fans!

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Hobbies,Mom Life — by InterstellarLass @ 10:43 am

I find myself in a postion that I promised myself I would never get into. This semester, we will be suffering from OverSportitis. A long time ago I had a hard and fast rule. No child would be in more than one sport at any one time. Elle played soccer, and basketball in the off (winter) season. Zed played baseball when he was little. Then he decided on basketball. Football was a big no-no. “I will not even consider it until you are in seventh grade.”

I never stopped to think about what I would do once he got to seventh grade. Did I mention that he has started seventh grade this year? The whole ‘pick your classes for next year’ process was very confusing last year. Basketball is only a second semester sport. Tryouts aren’t even until November. So I figured he’d be put in another class for first semester. Art, drama, something. Nope. He got Athletics for the whole year. So I thought maybe he’d be put in some kind of off-season fitness thing, which would be good for him. This summer he grew a couple of inches and lost 11 pounds. Keeping him active was going to be the best thing.

So, imagine my chagrin when Nick put me on the phone with him on Monday. “Mom, I want to ask you something.” Uh. OK. “Since basketball doesn’t start until next semester and I’m already in Athletics, can I play football?” My head screamed NO! And then my heart hurt a little. And then conversations with Nick played over and over in my head. “You don’t want the boy to have regrets when he’s older. You don’t want him sitting with his friends, sharing stories, and regretting that he never tried football.” Of course I don’t want to hold him back. So I said Yes. Zed couldn’t believe it. “Really? Oh cool! My best friend J is playing and this is going to be so much fun.” The excitement in his voice still wasn’t enough to cover my fear. Because of course, in my mind, the worst is going to happen – a catastrophic injury of some kind.

So Nick took him for his physical, bought him a jock, cleats and mouthguard, and got him prepped. They started practice yesterday. But it wasn’t until I was talking with The Ex that it fully dawned on me. I’d already paid for and signed him up for basketball. So Zed will be playing basketball at the rec center, football at school, and be in the band. (Sidenote: I also checked the band schedule, and they never play at a 7th grade game.) Plus he’ll have his homework and other chores.

On top of that, Elle is playing on TWO soccer teams. She begged to play one more season with her rec team that she’s played with since Kindergarden. And she wants to play with her new club team. I had to check those rules too. Technically they’re not allowed to play on two teams, but since they’re in different divisions, they allow it. So, she’ll have two games and two practices per week.

Basketball, football, soccer, band…my head is already swimming. I’m going to have to be more faithful to my calendar book and remember to write it all down like I’m supposed to. And to stand and smile on the sidelines, cheering for every good play, wincing and enouraging at the not-so-good plays.

On top of it all, between now and October, I’m also playing dominoes, golf, softball, running, biking, and swimming (hoping a business trip gets me out of that one) for my company’s team during a Special Olympics fundraiser thingy-mabob. Sleep? What’s that?

August 27, 2007

Painters Crack

Filed under: Interstellar Casa,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 3:32 pm

Since I do not plumb, that’s what I’ll call it. Last night, while bending over to re-soak my 3/4″ nap roller brush with masonry/stucco paint, Elle informed me that I needed to ‘pull my pants up’. Thanks baby. Mommy loves it when you make her aware of just how un-hot she is.

Saturday’s total paint purchase was 7 gallons of paint: 1 gallon masonry paint in Belgian Sweet, 4 gallons Toasted Wheat, and 2 gallons Creamy White. Plus 2 gallons of celing paint, and 5 gallons of primer. This all for a living room, kitchen, hallway and to cover the Mermaid Song green in Elle’s room. If you bought stock in Kilz last week, their profits just went up.

Attired in my painting gear – hole-y, grey Old Navy lounge pants, paint-smeared red Old Navy tank top, hair pulled into pony tail, bangs held back with mini-claw clip, old tennis shoes with no socks – I painted my fireplace last night. After I had painted my ceiling. I spent most of yesterday with snow-white freckles on my face and arms. Then discovered a new use for my fireplace ledge – stairstepper! All this time and I had a great piece of gym equipment occupying my living room.

I also removed the ugly wood wall paneling from the TV wall. It felt good to tear that stuff down. We’ll prime and paint that wall, and then apply white beadboard. The room already looks twice as big!

It’s nice to finally see some progress. Painting in the fireplace was a good decision. Nick had intially been against it, but then when he commented on how he liked a fireplace in a house on which we were doing recon, I noted it was painted. Last night, I was very pleased with the outcome, even though we still have to paint some of the grout lines. Painting concrete is a bitch! And tough on the brush. The one I’m using will have to be retired after this job.

With the long Labor Day holiday coming up, I plan to be done by next Monday. But here’s what the Behr web site says my living room will look like when I get it painted. Sadly, the lighting in my house isn’t this good, and my furniture isn’t nearly as cool. Just imagine a 12-year old couch and two recliners in place.

livingroom.jpg

August 23, 2007

Home is Where the Contractor Is

Filed under: Interstellar Casa,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 2:23 pm

I think I’m grinding my teeth more. Might explain the headaches I’ve been having. We’re so close to finishing a few projects. It’s making me itch thinking about how close we are. And I’m just wanting to throw my hands up, hoping they’ll finish themselves.

The guy who did the texturing around our new french doors is supposed to come back and fix a corner. Only he won’t call us back. I’m going to have to call our realtor and have her get on him, since she recommended him and all. And since we paid him a shitload of money.

The bathroom floors are done and they look great. I promise I’ll post pictures. One day. For real. Now we just need baseboards installed. You think it’s easy, but it’s totally not.

I took a shower in MY.OWN.SHOWER. this week for the first time since November. I.Loved.It. Heaven. Shame we’re trying to leave it now.

Kitchen countertops are ordered. And why do they have to template after they’ve already measured? And why does it take two weeks for them to come out and cut some cardboard? Especially after I have to prepay for it. Home improvement is a total racket.

We’ve figured out who the assholes at Home Depot and Lowes are. And we’ve figured out who will actually help us. Their motto should be “You Can Do It. We Can Sit Back and Laugh Our Asses Off At You and Not Give A Straight Answer to Your Questions.”

Pop’s house is supposed to close tomorrow. Nick and Pop are at the title company right now. Cross fingers, that’s done. Once our counters are installed, I’m listing our house, despite the fact that the cabinet doors won’t be changed out. I’m going to just paint them and put on some new hardware. If I can get away without changing them that’s what I’m going to do.

Now that the majority of the heavy stuff is done, it’s me and my roller brush. A six-pack of beer to anyone that comes and helps me paint a room! And I mean good beer. Not LoneStar Light.

August 18, 2007

Quotable Quotes

Filed under: Funnies,It's Me, Lass — by InterstellarLass @ 8:34 am

Nick: Seriously, the more you read, the easier it is to write.

Me: Really? Maybe that’s why I haven’t been able to write lately. I haved readed anything in a long time.

*Pause*

Me: OMG. I’m going illiterate!

August 14, 2007

Keeping them Entertained

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Married Life,Mom Life,Mr. Wonderful — by InterstellarLass @ 11:30 pm

Nick got a job working from home. It’s perfect, because the kids don’t have to go to daycamp. And once school starts (August 27th can’t come too soon), he’ll be here when they get home. Plus he’ll be around for his dad, and able to be more flexible with doctor’s appointments and such.

But until the school year starts, the kids have to entertain themselves somewhat during the day. And not all electronic entertainment. Elle has been reading the Junie B. Jones books. Zed finished Harry Potter VII last week. Today he started on Tom Sawyer. They also have ‘summer workbooks’ which I procured from Barnes & Noble. Grade-level tasks to refresh their young minds. Zed is working on reading comprehension and Elle is working on writing, math & reading. And, their time is interspersed with Game Boy, lunch, naps, walks and movies. Today was Where the Red Fern Grows. The 1974 version based on the Wilson Rawls novel. If you haven’t read this book, read it. If you haven’t seen this movie, see it. One of the great boy-dog stories of all time. I read this book in 6th grade English, and openly cried in class. It’s stuck with me ever since.

T0night I traded in the BBOnline DVD for a free in-store rental. Tomorrow they will watch Far From Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog. Trying to find a movie that is suitable and palatable for both nearly-9 and just-12 year old kids is tough. Another movie that I’ll be looking for is The Journey of Natty Gann. I was 10 when this movie came out, and I loved it. And it’s loosely related to the canine theme with the wolf. And of course Old Yeller. What other framily-friendly dog-themed movies are there? I mean, besides Lassie & Benji.

Tonight at dinner, we somehow came to talk about the subject of dating. Zed is in 7th grade this year, and has had a crushes on a couple of girls over the last couple of years. Of course, these are the from-afar-she-doesn’t-know-I-exist-crushes. He typically gets very embarassed when talking about girls, but tonight he was asking questions. Like about how you actually ask a girl out and what kinds of things you say to get her phone number. GULP.

Nick, of course, being Mr. Suave (um, you have read about how he asked me out again at the end of our first date, right?) gave him a few tips. I told Zed his mom is a sucker for big, goofy, hairy guys and not to take his advice so readily. After cautionary tales of cheesy pick-up lines such as “Wow, did it hurt? When you fell from heaven?”, Zed thought up his own. On the way home he asked “What about this? ‘Call the doctor – I’ll need surgery on my eyes after being blinded by your beauty.'” Bwah ha ha. I couldn’t contain my chuckles. We advised him against obvious flattery. This is going to be fun.

What’s the best/worst pick-up line you’ve ever used/heard?

Product Development

Filed under: Funnies,Married Life,Mr. Wonderful — by InterstellarLass @ 10:09 am

Animals are attracted by scents. Different species have their smells. The male animals can smell when a female is in heat. Other males can smell the alpha male’s territory by the scent they leave behind. Family members identify each other through smell. Natural phermones and all that stuff.

While I don’t think I can ever go so far au naturale as Matthew Mcconaughey (he claims to have not worn deodorant in way too many years), I have to admit, as a woman, I kind of like it when my man smells a little sweaty. There’s a certain raw sexiness to the natural smell of a man.

Last night, laying in bed, I caught a whiff of Nick, and the phermones did their job. I’ve heard of perfumers using phermones in their scents to make them more attractive to the opposite sex. And so I joked to him that we should bottle his sexy smell. But then I decided it wouldn’t work, because part of the attraction to me is his hairy chest. Nick’s reply:

“Well, we’ll throw a couple of chest hairs in the bottle too. It’ll be like the worm at the bottom of the tequila bottle.”

I laughed my ass off. Moment gone.

August 13, 2007

Summer Decided to Show Up After All

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Interstellar Casa — by InterstellarLass @ 12:07 pm

After an extremely rainy June and a moderate July, August came around and so did summer. July’s hottest day was 96, but most days were in the 80’s. All of August has been 90’s, with yesterday rounding out at a solid, first-time-this-summer-ever 102F. Gag me. The rain slacked off, and the temperatures sky rocketed. My electric bill this month should be interesting. And I’m actually going to have to turn my spriklers on for the first time this season. I guess as summers go it’s been pretty good.

Elle and Zed spent another uneventful weekend at their dad’s. We asked Elle “What did you do?” Watched TV. “Did you go anywhere?” Not except my soccer game. Nice. Good quality family time. I barely kept the tip of my tongue I was biting it so hard. After Elle spent the month of July calling me and asking me if she could just come back home, I started asking what they do. They watch a lot of TV. Oh, and The Ex can’t afford more child support, but he just bought a new TV. Excellent. Priorities. Because now they have 3.

The kids start school in two weeks. I’m ready for them to go back. Last year they’d already started by this time, but the Texas Legislature mandated a later start because parents were complaining about starting earlier and all the long breaks schools were taking during the year. Still, Elle has an early release day at least once a month this year. I don’t understand why.

My bathroom is nearly done. The tile installers worked Saturday & Sunday and tiled the shower stall and the floor. It looks pretty fantastic in my opinion. We need our other contractor to come out and finish off the ceiling and side walls where we had to demo to put the new shower in. But other than that, we are nearly DONE with the big stuff. Next weekend the tilers will come back and lay the front bath floor. Projects are being ticked off the list. I hope to have everything done by the end of September. Counter tops are next on the list. We should have a new estimate from Lowe’s some time this week. Exciting! I’ll be glad when al the home improvement is done and we are able to list our house. I want all this over and done with. It’s very stressful, worrying and waiting and wondering. Which makes this weekend’s knitting quote of the day very appropos.

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt

August 5, 2007

Remember, Ya’ll are City Kids…Be Careful

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Family & Friends,Interstellar Travel,It's Me, Lass,Texas Life — by InterstellarLass @ 8:55 pm

I had to remind my kids of that before they disembarked from the suburban mom-mobile. We’d just made our way 10 miles down a farm road, then worked our way down a gravel road, and then down a narrow, pot-holed dirt road. Thankfully the rains had stopped recently, because the pond by the house was precariously close to the drive leading up to my cousin’s house.

Saturday we made a day-trip down to Huntsville to visit with my cousins from my dad’s side of the family. I don’t see them much, but I’d received an email from my uncle that my cousin Samuel had passed his orals and was receiving his Masters in Literature. So, I figured that was a good reason to pay a visit.

I’ve mentioned my dad’s brother John before. He’s the one with the big bushy mountain-man beard that live out in the country, and he and my cousin have houses on the same property. I affectionately refer to them as my ‘hillbilly family’. When my uncle and aunt first moved out there, they built their own house. When my cousin got married, my aunt & uncle built a new house and my cousin and his wife moved into the old one. And they got air conditioning. My aunt & uncle still don’t have air conditioning. I was glad the party was at my cousin’s house.

Elle was right at home. First thing off she noticed the tire swing. After my cousin checked it for wasps, she jumped right on. Zed found his way to the hammock, and except when my cousin showed him their rabbit hutch and a large spider web with a big hairy spider, he didn’t much move from there. There were a few other girls around Elle’s age there, and they played nicely together. Elle didn’t see much use for the stairs going down…she just jumped off the porch. It was funny to see how she fit in and played rough and tumble like my cousins and I used to do.

We had a good visit. Got caught up on family events. I was hoping to see my grandaddy, but he and my uncle weren’t able to make the trip up from Houston. My uncle says that his memory is failing significantly now. He isn’t able to tell his stories like he used to. Gets them confused and speaks of Marseilles and Maracaibo in the same tale. His physical health is supposedly holding up. He doesn’t wander at night, and my uncles took his keys away some time ago. He’s still able to get around the house and although he requires help in cooking and whatnot, as long as my Uncle Dan holds up and my grandaddy is able to get around the house, they don’t plan to change his environment.

I also got some good family history. My great-grandmother was called Nona, and she kept a scrap book. My uncle found it while cleaning my grandaddy’s house recently. Nona was originally from Alabama. She taught in Selma for some time before making her way to Texas. She was one of 9 children! One of the interesting things in her scrapbook were two letters from her grandfather to her grandmother while he was in battle in the Confederate Army, along with $1.55 in Confederate money. Also, Nona was married 3 times. Once to my great-grandaddy. He was from Tchula, Mississippi. That’s where my grandaddy was born. His dad died when my grandaddy was 2. That’s when they came to Texas. One of her brothers was working the oil fields in Midland, and she moved my grandaddy and his sister out there. Then she married a doctor from Dallas. Not much is known about him. And then to a oilman in Houston from Standard Oil. He was a real jerk supposedly and was quite a bit older than her. They weren’t married long.

My uncle is still doing more research on things in the scrap book. One thing I did learn was that my great-grandaddy was something of a poet. There were two poems in the scrap book from when he was overseas during WWI. My grandaddy also looked remarkably like his dad. I’ll look forward to my uncle doing more research and finding out more about my family history!

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