Monday, January 29, 2007


It's been almost two weeks since I've posted anything. Hmmm...quickly, before Drafting II class starts, let's see if anything's been happening that's worth blogging about...

1) My Mom let me have the antique dining room set. It really looks nice in my dining room: it's a beautiful oak table - I wish you could see the grain of the wood! Maybe I should post a picture.

2) My husband is turning into a complete mushwad - he let Skeeter (the cat) sit on his lap for almost an entire meal!! He NEVER would have let our old cat (P.C.) do that. What a softie.

3) I got a card from my school over the weekend that said I'd made the Dean's List. I'm happy, but not ecstatically excited. Don't know why.

Oops! I must run to class. Have a great day, y'all!!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Looking Up

Today is going along much better than yesterday. I had the day off from school again, but the kids had to go, and since the laundry was done (except for folding) I spent my time in the basement working on my Grandma Frances' old china cabinet. I'm almost done cleaning pieces. The old finish had "sugared" and needed to be removed, so I'm taking it off using denatured alcohol. It's a sticky, messy business, but the alcohol is working better than lacquer thinner or a combination of the two, so I've been forced to conclude that the old finish was shellac and not lacquer or varnish.

This poor old cabinet has been in pieces for years. Someone (my dad, I think) took it apart years ago and started stripping it, but never quite got done. When I found it (spring of 2002) it was in a long, dusty box in my dad's barn. I took it home and now that I have a dining room in which to put it I'm trying to get it cleaned up and looking pretty again. The good news is, I still have the glass. The bad news is, the back is missing. I think it got wet and disintegrated years ago. However, Tom at the lumber yard said that the wood was oak (really old oak, probably white oak) so I should be able to buy a piece of red oak plywood and rebuild the back. I plan to stain the piece a walnut color (its original color) and with a finish that dark the pinkness of the new plywood won't be a factor.

Moose Mutt has recovered from his accidental cookie feast. I was worried, because these were chocolate chip cookies and chocolate is toxic to dogs, but the worst thing that happened is Moose Mutt's overindulgence in sweets led to some major flatulence. Carl went out last night to put the citronella "barking" collar on the dog, and said the entire shed reeked of methane gas emissions. Judah was still emitting aromas (as Dave Barry would say) this morning, but by noon he was pretty much over it.

Meanwhile, in other news, Mary came home with a "Gym Star" award for the month of January. This is a good thing, because Mary's never really had an easy time of it in gym class even though she's fairly athletic. A "Gym Star" award means you've followed the rules, helped others, encouraged others, put forth a good effort and worked hard at developing skills. I was especially happy to see the "follows rules" item. Mary sometimes tends to march to the beat of her own drummer, and while that's good in some respects, it's not good in an elementary school gym class.

And finally, I want to update my devoted readers on my weight loss progress. I gained a couple of pounds over the weekend (I usually do) thus this morning I was at 202.8 pounds. However, last Saturday I weighed in at 199.8, and with some effort I should be able to get back down there before my doctor's appointment this Friday. Maybe I shouldn't be so angry that the dog ate all those cookies after all!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Day Off Daze

1) I had to get up early today, even though none of us girls had to go to school. That made for a crappy start to the day.

2) Mary was uncooperative at breakfast and lunch, and thus got grounded from going outside and playing in the new snow that fell overnight. Needless to say she wasn't very happy with me, and let me know it in no uncertain terms.

3) I baked cookies this afternoon, then went to run errands. I gave Hannah explicit instructions to guard the cookies from Moose Mutt and the Feline Sisters, a job that was supposed to have continued after I returned and went outside to shovel off the driveway. Hannah abandoned her post, with the result that Moose Mutt ate half the batch of cookies off the kitchen table. After I cooled down a little (I was really mad) we discussed the situation. Hannah told me what she'd learned from this experience (namely, never trust Moose Mutt) but after supper Hannah had to go out in the -5 degree windchill and feed the dog as a punishment. (like he needed to be fed!)

4) I've been working all day on laundry, thus proving conclusively that there is no such thing as a day off, unless you're Ferris Bueller.

5) This entire day has reduced my brain to oatmeal mush, so I'm going to put the last load of laundry in the dryer and then go give Mary her shower. Then I'm going to bed

I'm tired.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Steaming mad

Stupid murzen-furzen-bricken-bracken Buckeyes anyway. 41 - 14? Good freakin' grief!!

Meanwhile, in Iowa City, the Hawkeyes are snickering behind their hands muttering, "We knew Troy Smith was overrated!"

Stupid fricken-fracken Buckeyes.


Monday, January 08, 2007

Monday Blatherskite

Today was the first day of spring semester. Pretty blah - I only had one class, Drafting II, and it was over by 10:00. I ran some errands, then went home and caught up on some paperwork (PTA and Community Club). After supper I went out to feed Moose Mutt, and as I walked back in the door the phone rang. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Hello?
Him: Is Nancy there, please?
Me: This is Nancy.
Him: Hi! I'm Steve with the Army Reserves. How would you like to come and work for us part time?
Me: Uh, no, I can't, I'm a student now. (thinking - I don't remember giving them an application last year when I was searching)
Him: Oh, we'll pay for your college if you...
Aha! NOW I understand!!
Me (interrupting): Do you have any idea how old I am?
Him: (sounding cautious) How old are you?
Me: 43.
Him: Oh! Just past our cut off age. (Me - thinking "Yeah, right.") So do you have any relatives who might be interested?
Me: I'm sorry, I already have a nephew in the Air Force.
Him: Thank you for your time. CLICK

I couldn't help it - as soon as I put the phone down I doubled over, laughing. Apparently, this recruiter thought I was an 18 year old college student! I guess Kirkwood just hands out lists of new students, and the recruiters start at the top of the list and call everyone, regardless. I mean, really, you'd think they'd separate us "mature" students from the kids so the recruiters don't make fools of themselves over the phone. But then again, isn't "military intellegence" an oxymoron?

The more I think about this, though, the more annoyed I get. Not at the recruiter - but at the college! For Pete's sake, do they have to give lists to all these people without any consideration as to whether or not that student fits the callers' parameters? And it's not just the callers, but the junk mailers, too. When Carl was getting his Masters degrees, he got stuff all the time from loan companies wanting him to consolidate his student loans into one easy payment. They even sent us letters addressed to Carl's PARENTS, for crying out loud! It was stupid! With a little data mining, the schools could have figured out that Carl and his classmates were having their tuitions paid by their companies and it wasn't necessary to give their names to the loan consolidators. Sheesh!

And while I'm blowing off steam...Ohio State is down 20 points to Florida in the BCS Championship game. Looks like the Buckeyes accidentally put the football uniforms on the band. Maybe the second half will be better..

Yeah, right.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

As Purr Your Request

In the comments, Bismuth asked for kitty pictures. This is the only one I have to post - Maya is on the upper step, and Skeeter is on the lower. Right now both of the cats are lying on my lap - this makes typing difficult, especially when Maya starts licking my earlobe. She has an ear fetish, or something.
Now that we've had the cats a week, their personalities have really come out. Skeeter, who was shy at first, has come on strong. She's still the calm one compared to Maya, but she's also the first one to go check out something new. Maya, who was the leader early, now follows Skeeter's lead.
We finally got a reaction from the dog about the cats, and it was very disappointing. My 100 pound rottweiler-mix dog is afraid of the cats! I tried to hold him by the collar while Carl brought Skeeter up to him, but he backed away and cowered when she tried to touch his nose with her paw. Skeeter is definitely not afraid of Judah unless he comes bounding around a corner and startles her. Maya is more shy of Moose Mutt, but once I get Moose and Skeeter to be friends I'm sure Maya will follow. The trick is convincing the Schnorg that the cats mean him no harm.
Otherwise, things are going pretty well. The cats adjusted nicely to having collars, and since the collars have bells on them you can hear them coming. Both cats are affectionate, which is good for the girls. We do shut the cats down in the basement at night so we can sleep, and they don't seem to mind as they have each other for company. However, in the morning they sit by the door and meow, and I can't let them up until both girls are ready for school. That's the rule, made to keep the cats from distracting the girls, especially Boo. That kid has two speeds: slow and stop. Therefore, if she wants to see her kitties before school, she has to hurry and get ready or else she's out of luck.
This afternoon I have to pack up the cats and take them to the vet for a check-up. The Humane Society requires this, and if there's some problem they didn't catch, they have some kind of insurance that will pay to fix the problem. I was really impressed by that, and also by how careful they are in the adoption process. They spayed the cats (it's Iowa law that all adopted animals be spayed or neutered) plus they made sure their shots were up to date and they implanted microchips in each one in case the kitties get out of the house and are lost. The Humane Society also provides microchips for your current pets (for a small fee, I think) and I'm considering taking Moose Mutt over there to get one, since he sometimes escapes our backyard.
That should be a fun trip!

Monday, January 01, 2007

The Dining Room Story

As mentioned in last night's blog, I finally have a dining room. By that, I mean I have an official "dining room" - i.e. a room set aside for dining, not just a room designated as a dining room on the houseplans. I've had a space called a dining room for 10 years (ever since we built this house) but it's never been officially a dining room. At first, it was storage (as we finished the house) then it was a play room for the girls, right next to the kitchen so I could keep an eye on them while I worked. The vast majority of the time, the dining room served as office space: the computer and file cabinet were in there, and almost five years ago we added a desk. The two places we lived prior to this house were too small to have a dining room, so it's nice to have the space for one.

I bet you're wondering what transpired to finally make my dining room a reality. Well, as usual, I have Carl to thank for this. He's been trying (for over a year) to get the interior of our house repainted: in September of 2005 he got our foyer done, and in the fall of 2006 he got the dining room and living room done. Then he took a couple extra days off for Christmas break (his company shuts down between Christmas and New Year's) and painted the family room. We took our pool table apart and put it in the basement, where we'll set it up once (if ever) we finish the basement, and we put our office furniture in the family room. It really looks nice, and it finally opened up the dining room for my dining room furniture. Not that I have a lot - right now I only have a hoosier cabinet and a dry sink, but I plan to add to that. Downstairs I have the pieces of my Grandma Frances' old china cabinet, and I'm going to get that refinished (I hope) soon. Plus my Mom said that (someday, no pressure, Mom) I'll eventually inherit Grandma Frances' kitchen table and chairs. With those things, plus some shelves I'm working on, I should have a very country, antique-looking dining room.

And there's a possibility of adding more antiques, too. It just so happens that our 20th anniversary falls in the week between the end of Spring semester and the start of Summer school, so Carl and I hope to go somewhere for a few days where we can relax, enjoy each other's company, and go antiquing. Right now I'm thinking maybe near Lansing, Iowa, or the Villages of Van Buren in southern Iowa. (If I have to haul furniture I don't think I want to drive any farther than that.) I'd like to find a pie safe or sideboard or something to put dishes in. I hope I'll be able to do some entertaining. I'm not much of a hostess, and I really can't cook, but if I'm going to fill my house with antique furniture and my paintings, I kinda want to show it off. I suppose I can always have someone else cook for me, like a caterer or something. Or maybe I can take cooking classes, like my sister. Or maybe I can kidnap my sister....hmmmmm.....

Just kidding, sis. ;-)