Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A Sweet Blatherskite

When I was a kid, I used to like Necco candy wafers. I didn't get them very often, but when I did I enjoyed them. I usually got them in the small penny-size rolls at the Ben Franklin store in the Cumberland Square shopping center in Bettendorf. That was waaaaaay back when you could still buy a piece of candy for a penny. A bunch of us girls from church would go over there right before we'd leave for church camp. We'd load up on penny candy and take it to camp with us even though having food in the cabins was forbidden. I can't remember what all we'd buy, but I remember getting Now -n- Later's, Necco wafers, jaw breakers, Bit O' Honey's, and (I think) mini Tootsie rolls. (UPDATE: also Smarties!) The candy was supposed to last all week but I don't think it made it much past Tuesday. Man, those were the days. Someday I'll have to blog about going to church camp; about how fun it was and what a beautiful place it was.

Anyway. This year for Valentine's Day (at school) the girls wanted me to get candy to go along with their cards, so I bought a bunch of those boxes of Sweet Hearts candy hearts. I'd never really paid much attention to them. I hadn't eaten them in ages, probably because everyone I talked to said they were nasty tasting. But that's what the girls wanted, so I got some. After finishing their cards, we had a few boxes left over (because I can't count) and Boo opened one. I mooched a heart while she was crunching away, and immediately remembered the taste. These were Necco wafers, only thicker and heart shaped! Sure enough, I looked at the box and Necco is the company that makes them. So I opened a box of my own and started snarfing. Now I'm addicted to the stupid things, and since we're only a few days out from Valentine's, stores still have the hearts for sale, and at drastic markdowns. Needless to say I bought a bunch today while I was out running errands. I mean, they were marked down 50 percent! And they're fat free! So what if they're basically pure sugar. They're crunchy! I think that's my most favorite part about them - they're crunchy. I don't know why that appeals to me, but it does.

I'm pretty sure that Necco still makes the wafer candy. I'll have to look for it at the quaint little stores in Vinton that carry unique items. Hopefully I'll find some. I'll give the licorice ones to Carl, but you'd better believe I'll keep the chocolate ones all to myself. Those were the rare ones, and the best ones.

In the meantime, though, I think I'd better go brush my teeth.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Storm Update

Well, the "snowstorm" came and went. We had thundersnow this morning at 5:30, which woke up Boo-Boo, and she couldn't get back to sleep which made her grumpy all day. Needless to say that the girls had the day off from school. And for all that, all we got was a lousy three inches of snow. Hardly worth firing up the tractor for, but Carl did anyway. He came home at noon from work, not because of the weather, but because the main server was down and he couldn't get any engineerical-type work done.

So now it's cold and windy, and it's supposed to stay cold through the weekend. I'm not sure when it's supposed to warm back up. But it will be March in two weeks. Spring is right around the corner. Watch where you walk so you don't trip over it.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Warm Before The Storm

Step outside, and you'd think it was mid-April, not mid-February. The temperature topped out at 63 degrees (with a stiff southern breeze) and the skies were sunny. Moose Mutt and I spent 90 minutes out walking the rail trails, and after the girls got home from school I went up to the gas station and washed my SUV. Now Candy is all bright and shiny. But that won't last long.

Why, you ask? Well, within 48 hours a strong low pressure system is supposed to pass through here, leaving us with 6" to 9" of snow. The lovely southern breeze of today is filling the atmosphere with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, and the National Weather Service has put us under a Winter Storm Watch. Since I washed my truck it'll probably be closer to 9". Isn't that the way it's supposed to work? Or does that only apply to rain?

Anyway. So it's supposed to snow, and snow big, but I don't consider 6" - 9" to be "big". The 27" they got out in New York last weekend, now that's a BIG snow. Iowa hasn't had a interstate-closing, factory-stopping, close-the-schools-for-three-days snowstorm since the early 1970's and I for one am starting to get a little bored. Why don't we get blizzards here in Iowa any more?

I know I'm not the only one who thinks this way. The noon news meteorologist on our local ABC affiliate feels the same way. When reporting on the "possible" incoming snowstorm yesterday, he said he'd love to see us get 27" of snow all at once, just so he could see what it looked like. Well, Joe, I'm with you. I want to see that, too. And I think I could dig my driveway out of that much snow with my trusty John Deere. It would take a few extra passes, but I think I could do it.

Whoa! Someone just went past our house on a motorcycle. Taking advantage of the nice weather, no doubt.

In two days he'll be out on his snowmobile. Yeehaw!

A Fuzzy Blatherskite

Yes, today is Valentine's Day. A day of warm sentiments, mushy cards, and sugar overloads. But I'm not here to talk about Valentine's Day. I'm not here to talk about the labors undertaken on behalf of my daughters and their Valentine's Day card boxes for school. No. I'm not here to talk about that.

I'm here to talk about my dog.

He was starting to get pretty jealous over the fact that Aya the cat got to be indoors all of the time and he didn't. He'd never do anything to hurt the cat (I wouldn't let him) but the faces he was making at me (ooh, poor puppy!!) were just downright heartbreaking. So I decided he needed a playmate. And not just any playmate. A playmate that he could wrestle with, a playmate he could mangle into oblivion if he wanted to. A fuzzy playmate. So I went to Goodwill and bought him an eighty-eight cent stuffed rabbit.

He was a little confused at first. He was going in and out with the rabbit, trying to decide where he wanted to play with him. Finally I just kicked him outside, and he started tearing the rabbit apart. But that didn't last long, and he decided he wanted to bring the rabbit in. So Judah took Rabbit over to his rug and proceeded to rip the stuffing out of him. Literally. Every couple of minutes I had to go over and pick up large wads of fluff and dog-drool encrusted fur so as to maintain some semblance of neatness. This wasn't easy. Judah thought I was coming after his rabbit and he'd go into Defensive Mode, which for a dog his size is rather scary. But in the end, he completely unstuffed Rabbit and was left with just the fur body; he'd ripped off the head, legs and tail, too.

All of this rather upset the girls. Boo was so concerned about Aya's welfare that she went into Kid Protective Mode:

The cat was less than thrilled. After a couple of minutes he managed to wiggle free and run, which caught Judah's attention. Judah jumped to his feet but by now the cat was already safely tucked away under the love seat in the living room so Judah turned his attention back to Rabbit. Well, what was left of Rabbit, anyway.

So now Judah's not mad at me anymore. He's had fun with his new toy, plus we took Aya back to Mom's (boy was that cat relieved) so he's King of the Castle again. Until later this spring, when we (MAYBE) get Boo the kitten she's been begging for.

Goodness knows it will be well protected.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Is It Already February?

Yeah, I guess it is. I don't know what the Groundhog predicted about the future weather, and I don't care. Today was beautiful: temperature in the lower 50's and sunny, so Judah and I went for a walk. We were gone for over an hour - out on the rail trails, then through downtown Atkins (such as it is) through the park, to the convenience store (Diet Mt. Dew) then home. I had Mannheim Steamroller Fresh Aire CD's on my mp3 player (discs 1,2,3,4,5 and 7) so it was a great walk.

The girls returned home from school shortly after I got back, and Mary's book order came in, so she and Hannah were playing with the stuff she got. At one point I heard someone say "Why are you so far away from me?" and immediately I got an earworm. Can you guess which song? Needless to say I was off to the CD cabinet, and returned to the computer with Dire Straits Brothers In Arms. I'm listening to it now. What a great CD.

But tomorrow the weather is supposed to go back to winter. Oh well. We need some snow. It's been too dry. I only hope the roads aren't bad because I have an appointment to meet with my Kirkwood guidance counselor in the morning, and I'm hoping she'll give me some advice on where to look for a job. I still don't have one, and I need one. I'm getting frustrated.

If only I could get some Money For Nothing...