Saturday, April 23, 2005

A Nice Spring Snow?

Last week when it was 80 degrees, I thought about putting away the winter clothes (boots, jackets, mittens, gloves, scarves, snow pants, etc.) but I played/worked outside in the sunshine instead. Well, good thing I didn't....yep, it's snowing. And the snow is sticking. I ran out and cut the beautiful daffodils so that they could live a bit longer inside. They were wilting with little pieces of ice stuck to them outside in the 34 degree weather with the snow coming down all around them. Craziness! Neighbors say, "Welcome to Michigan" when I exclaim that it's just not right to have snow on April 23. The guy at the video store said "welcome to Michigan" when I said I was renting videos because it was going to snow over the weekend. The funny thing is that EVERYBODY talks about the snow, not just me. So, it must be a *bit* unusual, right?...if everybody talks about it?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

What Does the Pope Have to Do With My Taxes?

Sometime last week I went to my appointment at H&R block to get my taxes done. M made the appointment and I went in. This was fair because he's gone to the tax guy every single year that we've been married. So this time it was my turn. When he made the appointment, M told the folks at H&R Block our situation -- moved from out of state, he was self-employed last year, my company paid the moving expenses -- so that they would know what they were getting into.

I show up at my appointed time, wait my turn, and sit down with the tax person. I started off by reiterating our situation. Just as I was saying that we moved from California in 2004, she started shaking her head. She told me that she was a newbie and not qualified to do my taxes and she was sorry. I explained that they should have known about my situation because my husband told them when he made the appointment and they should have somebody qualified to help me. She said that they couldn't do my taxes that day because the Pope had died.

Wait a minute. Rewind.... they couldn't do my taxes because the Pope died?

I calmly said, "No disrespect, but 'm not sure what the Pope's dying has to do with my taxes." She said, "his funeral was today."

Oh.... What?

She continued, "and our three tax experts took the day off to watch his funeral."

So I couldn't get my taxes done because the Pope died......

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Tick on T

Yesterday evening we were sitting in our new red adirondack chairs out by the firepit while M was putting together the airator to tow behind his lawn tractor. I had Tommy on my knee and was rubbing my hands through his hair when I saw it...a big (size of a pencil eraser) flat UGLY tick. I had never seen a tick before and never saw a picture of one, but I was pretty sure that's what it was. I gently tried to move it, but no such luck. It was attached to my little boy's head -- burrowed into his head. Gross! I was very calm and said, hmmmm -- looks like you have a friend. M was walking up and I showed him -- yep, it was a tick. M said to smear Vaseline on it so it would begin to sufficate and pull its head out. I smeared the puppy with Vaseline and watche it and didn't see anything happen. After about 10 minutes (very long minutes), M pulled it out, head and all. I guess it did pop its head out with out me seeing it. All in all, it was a painless experience. T wasn't freaked out, I stayed calm, and the tick is out.

After the boys were in bed, I did some online research and learned that the ticks that carry Lyme disease are quite small -- usually just the size of a head of a pin. I read that if it's big - like the size of a pencil eraser, chances are that it isn't carrying Lyme. Of course, there are other diseases that the little bugger could have been carrying, we'll just watch the bite area and T for symptoms. I guess that's the bummer about having the back yard butt up to the woods!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

A Night Out and a Day in The Garden

M got a babysitter for Friday night and we planned on seeing "The Aviator" at the cheap theater in town. We had seen it on the marquee earlier in the week. Wouldn't you know it, but the movie wasn't there any more! We didn't see any movies that we both wanted to see (I thought the Wedding Date sounded good, but it looks like I'll be seeing it on a business trip from the movies-on-demand in the hotel :> ) In our quest for a movie to see, we swung by the other non-mall theater in town (mall parking is a pain) and didn't see anything good their either... Remember the days when the one theater in town had one movie showing? And you checked the newspaper or called the movie theater itself to see what time that one movie was playing? Well, these days, the movie theaters have so many darn movies showing (our "small" theater has 7 theaters and the big one has about 16) that we don't really have to plan anything. We usually can just show up and a great movie will be showing within a half hour. This has only backfired on us two times and Friday night was one of them. So, what to do when you've already eaten dinner and there are no movies that you want to see?

You go shopping.

We hit a couple of furniture stores, the brand new Salvation Army store, Target, and K-Mart (we already went to Wal-Mart the day before. We were looking for a bunch of things -- patio furniture, front porch furniture, living room furniture, and a great reading chair for the bedroom. There was no particular priority except that patio furniture is kind of at the top. We have a lovely patio table and chairs, but we need more for our big deck. We'd like to be able to sit at least eight people for dinner and have extra seating to boot, not to mention the must-have chaise lounge that I require for outside reading.

We thought we found a cool reading chair for the bedroom, but it turned out to be too big. I'm actually not sure that we really have room for a reading chair in the room, but we sure want one and hopefully we'll find one that's good for reading and small enough for the room. We did find a wicker set for the front porch -- a love seat and a chair with cute blue and white cushions.

I also found some beautiful, brightly colored bowls and a pitcher at Target. Target is always a good time shopping for cute little household things. All in all it was a fun night.

Saturday brought a gorgeous sunny day and yard work. The previous owner laid down some weed protecting fabric throught the landscaping, making it impossible to plant anything (we punched holes in it to plant the bulbs when we first moved in). M and I raked and shoveled up the bark mulch to get to the weed protector and pulled it all up. I was pretty sore in my back and arms this morning, but really happy that we got it done. M also tilled the soil and we'll mix it with potting soil and mulch to make it all ready for planting after the last frost. Another fun part about working out in the garden is that I got an upclose look of the plants coming up -- looks like there are a few geraniums, some tall grasses, and a couple of plants with tiny purple flowers. Our raspberry plants are budding too. It's fun to see spring happen up close and personal :>

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Never Before Mother's Day

The boys are in the bathtub cleaning off the grime from thier afternoon playing outside. Let's see, I think that they played hide and seek, did chalk drawings on the driveway, drove their mini-ATV, played basketball with the neighbors and played Buzz Lightyear all in the span of two hours. They are balls of energy, for sure!

I, on the other hand, was also productive. I mailed our tax returns (hey, and it's only the 14th!) at the post office. Actually, we e-filed two of the tax returns and had to mail the two that we couldn't e-file. Yes, you're right, we had *four* tax returns! One federal, two state, and one city. Can you believe that we pay city income taxes? Strange to me too.

I'm having fun with this Spring thing. Since we moved in the house in the late Fall (end of October) we didn't see what spring/summer foilage is around the house. So, in addition to the daffodils and tulips that we planted, we're seeing other unknown sprouts coming up. There are two clusters of purple and green thick things that are coming up on either side of the front walk. I go out and check them out each morning to see if I can tell what they are. Since they are only about a half inch out of the ground, I can't tell a thing yet (plus I'm not familiar with these midwestern plants yet!).

I've been told by a number of people never to plant around here before Mother's Day because we often have a frost in May. That sure bummed me out...I've been drooling over garden magazines dreaming about the day when I could did in and plant my little heart out.

But,I just learned that pansies can be planted a FULL MONTH before the last frost! I'm giddy with the thought of running over to Home Depot this weekend and planting a couple of window boxes for the deck! Yahoo!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

A Great Weekend

It's late and I'm ready for bed, but I wanted to blog a bit. Here are the highlights of the weekend:
  • Beautiful weather - 60s and 70s
  • Bike ride along the river with the family (R behind M and T behind me on our bikes)
  • Geocached and found the treasure (it was R's first "first to find"
  • Sat outside on the deck and drank my Diet Coke listening to the birds sing
  • Played mini-golf with the family -- the golf place opened this weekend and lots of folks partook in the fun in the sun
  • M took Mackinaw "hunting" in the woods behind our house and both had a great time ("hunting" means that M hid five pheasant wings in the woods and then got Mackinaw to come sniff them out or "hunt them up!")
  • The boys played with the neighbors and we discovered that there are more 4 and 5 year olds than we even knew about in our neighborhood (they were all hibernating during the winter)
  • Had some friends over last night to introduce to Pegs and Jokers

That's it. I have to go out of town for two nights on business. I'll blog later....

Monday, April 04, 2005

In The 70's

For the first time in six months the thermometer has hit the seventies :>
Yes, that makes me very happy! R is off of school this week for Spring Break and it was perfect weather for the little guy. He and T ran around all outside all day, playing with the neighbor kids -- hide and seek, tag, swings, and even some chalk drawings. R was able to break out a Spiderman toy that he got for Christmas for the first time. It's an outside toy and this is the first nice day (beside snow days for him to play outside.) It's basically a Spidey glove on his hand with a cool attachment that shoots Silly String or water or little nerf arrows. He had a blast. He also had his first "owie" of the season, skinning his elbow on the cement when he fell down at some point. He told me "I didn't even cry, mom, I'm a tough guy"....does he get that from his father? Hmmmm....

Speaking of his father, M played in a poker game on Saturday night with a bunch of guys from my work. It was Texas Hold'em -- twenty bucks in and you play until you're out. They started out with 15 guys and he made it to the last table of the 5 winners. He didn't win, but he had fun.

M wanted to do something fun for R's Spring Break, so he got tickets to the local ice hockey game. The Wings are in the playoffs and we'll go to one the game on Wednesday night. M invited one of R's friends from hockey class (a friend who has parents that we got to know pretty well) and his friend and their parents will join us at the game...should be fun. T says he'll go as long as he gets to sit by me.

I just took a blogging break because T was yelling from the bathroom that he was out of toilet paper. I brought him some more and saw two suspicious looking brown stripes on the way. "T, did you wipe poop on the wall?" I asked. "Oh, yeah, sorry." T said. "T, why did you wipe poop on the way." "Oh, I forgot mom. I'm sorry." Forgot? Forgot that you can't wipe poop on the wall? What's to forget? Do I have to make a list of all the things that you cannot wipe on the wall? Even if I did make said list, I don't know if I would have had the forethought to include as one of the contriband wall-decorations. (I know, he was probably wiping and encountered more that he planned on and got a bit grossed out. Being out of TP, he thought the wall was an easy remedy for his poopy fingers.) But, geesh!