Sunday, December 31, 2006

Population Explosion

Our family had a very nice time over Christmas. We took the girls for a weekend to Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark (indoor waterpark) in Dubuque, Iowa. I highly recommend this place, especially if you have kids. It's very kid-friendly. The girls also got some stocking stuffers and some money on Christmas Day, plus they got money from their grandmothers. With this windfall, both girls immediately started asking about how they could spend it. (Money just burns a hole in kids' pockets, doesn't it?) Lou spent some of hers buying "spy toys". She already had some, so I guess she's kind of collecting them. She does play with them, and she enjoys them, so it wasn't a waste of money.

Boo, however, has been begging Carl and I for a cat for almost a year, so her first question (obviously) was "Can I buy a cat?" We'd anticipated this, so we told her that, if she was willing to spend her money on the start-up supplies she could get a cat. I looked up the Humane Society website, checked out their selection of felines, then called them to ask which ones they recommended for a household with two kids and a very large dog. They recommended four, mainly because they'd been declawed. Two of the four happened to be sisters who'd spent their whole lives together, and when I went to tell this to Carl (he was out in the garage) he said, "You know, if we get two cats, they could keep each other company and be less of a nuisance than if we just get one." I thought maybe he'd been breathing in too many garage fumes, so I asked him if this is what he really wanted to do. He said "Yes" so I told him that if he wanted two cats, fine, but it would be Carl and Boo sharing the caretaking responsibilities. (Lou and I will share the dog.) Long story short, we ended up adopting the sisters, Maya and Skeeter. They're seven months old, and just about the tiniest, skinniest, furriest cats I've ever seen. Maya's a grey-brown tiger, and the leader of the pair. She's more outgoing and adventurous, and doesn't like to sit in once place very long (kind of like Boo). Skeeter is black and very laid back. She'll sit on your lap for hours if you let her. You can tell they're sisters because if one starts yowling about something, the other immediately goes to the yowler's rescue.

Moose Mutt hasn't really reacted much to the cats' presence yet. I let him in this afternoon, and he mostly hung around me while I was working in the dining room. (I finally have a real dining room after 19 1/2 years of marriage, but that's another blog.) Anyway, when I let him in Maya growled a little, but Skeeter just sat on Carl's lap, watching the dog but doing nothing. After a while the cats figured out that the dog wasn't going to charge them, and they've been within 12 inches of him (mostly from behind) checking him out. Hopefully soon I'll be able to let the dog in and not worry about whether or not he'll try to eat the kitties. I'd like them to get along since they'll be members of the family for a looooooong time.

And by the way - for Christmas Carl got me a Garmin GPS for my truck. Way cool!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Numbers Update

Five of six classes have posted grades - so far, all "A"'s. I've never had a straight "A" report card in my life (except maybe for junior high) so if Drafting comes back with an "A" this will be a first.

My weight is down to 204.4 pounds. I wanted to reach 200 by Christmas, but I don't think I'll make it. Too many goodies lying around!

See ya later!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Hope and Encouragement

There was an article on the Drudge Report today that said Canadian scientists have possibly found a cure for type 1 diabetes. You can read the article here if you'd like. Please pray that this is the miracle we've been asking for ever since May 15, 2006.

As I was reading the article, Mary (who is home sick with a cold and fever) called me into the living room to help her shut down the TV (her DVD had finished). She asked me why I was crying and I told her "Some Canadian doctors may have found a cure for type 1 diabetes." Her first question? "Does this mean there won't be any more diabetes camp?"

What a kid.

A few minutes later she came and sat on my lap, and we talked a little. I told her that I would find a camp for her to go to (that has horses) even if she was cured of diabetes. I said, "Wouldn't it be nice not to have to get shots every day? Not to have to ask if you can have a candy cane, and then check your blood sugar before you eat it? Wouldn't it be nice not to have to carry your insulin kit everywhere?" "Well, I'm kinda used to it" she replied. "But I think it would be nice for you to be cured," I said. "No more having to worry about snacks at school. No more having to test your sugars during church. No more counting carbs at every meal." Then I hugged her and said, "I love you, punkin." In reply, she burped.

As I said before - What a kid.

In other news, so far three of my classes have posted final grades: Microcomputer Applications, Plans and Specs and Building Constructions Systems. All are "A"'s. So far, so good.

Please pass the chocolate!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Party's Over

I took my last final today, in Math. It wasn't bad - about as hard as I expected. There were a couple of problems where I didn't quite understand the English, so Barry had to interpret them for me. Once I understood what he was asking for, I was able to solve the problem. (I think.)

So after my final I took my books to the buyback counter. My expectations weren't high: anyone who's ever been to college knows you get pennies on the dollar for what you paid. But they wouldn't buy back two of my books (Math and Microcomputer Applications) because they were too old. I figured they probably wouldn't take the math book because half the class had the old version and the other half had the new version (which came in three weeks after school started). But I was a little upset that they wouldn't take the Micros book. Oh, well. And for all my trouble, I got a whopping $40 for my BCS and APS books. Yip yip yahoo.

Well, onward and upward. It's a relatively warm day (50 degrees) so I gave Moose Mutt a bath. He has to go to the vet tomorrow afternoon, so I wanted him to be as clean as possible. The front of my pants below the knees are soaked, and so are my boots. I laid out some old blankets for His Mooseness to lay on while he dries out, and of course I gave him a couple dog biscuits. Later this afternoon I hope to work up enough ambition to bake cookies. Carl's been begging me for a couple special treats that I bake only at Christmastime, and I have all the necessary ingredients, but none of the necessary determination.

I probably won't know my grades until next week, after all the finals are over. The KCC website gives you access to your report cards, and I'm eager to see if I finally managed to obtain the ever elusive 4.0. With my luck, I'll probably get a 3.997 or something. My next semester starts January 8. Hopefully between now and then I'll get at least half of my to-do list completed.

Do you think maybe I should start with the cookies?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Quick FINALS Update

Well, my oral exam in Drafting is now a memory, and fortunately it's a pleasant memory. My instructor told me that it's the best presentation he'd ever seen (I'm the only person who's ever used PowerPoint slides, apparently) and I seemed to know my stuff. But there was one hitch - as I was giving my presentation, I saw something I'd forgotten to add on one drawing. Luckily, the instructor turned his back for a moment to look for something, and I drew in the missing item really quick. Hopefully I won't lose points for that.

Well, onward to the Plans and Specs test over the Wendy's Restaurant prints we've been studying.

Two tests down, five to go!! :-P

Bus Stop Politics

I know I've already mentioned this (ad nauseum) but my girls, Lou and Boo, have medical problems. Lou has autism and Boo has diabetes. For these reasons, Lou likes to sit by the vehicle window and stare out (it's her routine, and it helps keep her calm) and Boo has to sit on the bus by Lou so that if she has a hypoglycemic episode Lou can help her.

Getting these points across to the kids' at the girls' bus stop, though, was a difficult matter. No matter how early the girls were, the other kids would try to be first on the bus ahead of them. Lately I've been driving the girls to the stop (because it's been so dang cold) and as soon as the bus shows up the kids swarm my truck, so Lou and Boo can't get out. So they're last in line, even if we were there first. Yeah, I know that sounds petty (if I can't be first I'm gonna whine!) but I hated riding the bus, so I'm trying to give my girls as much help as I can.

To that end, today I drove them to the other bus stop - the stop BEFORE the girls' usual stop. I figured that being last in line at the first stop was equivalent to being first in line at the last stop, so that's what we did. I watched the girls get on the bus and get a good seat (sitting together) therefore I have one less thing to worry about regarding them.

Overprotective? I suppose. Overbearing? Maybe. But as long as my girls are together on the bus, and Lou's routine isn't disrupted, it's worth going three extra blocks to a different bus stop.

Besides, I get to leave town five minutes earlier, and thus get to my school early. And that's good for me.

Speaking of school, I must now go to my Drafting Final. It's an oral exam, and I'm scared to death. Pray for me and wish me luck!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Educational Update

I was using last week's paper to wrap some stuff, and I came across the Benton Community Honor Roll for the first quarter. Hannah was on it! Of course I cut that section out.

I only hope I can do as well.