Thursday, March 29, 2007

Power Outage Update

After two days of idle dawdling (HA!) I am back at school. The building's transformer is not yet repaired, so they're powering Jones Hall with a huge-o-mondo generator. This thing is half the size of a semi-trailer truck, and has a dozen or so 1-1/2" cables running from it to the building. It's a rather noisy object, but it's on the other side of the building (outside of the welding labs and the loading dock) so the sound shouldn't bother anyone. I don't know if it runs on gasoline or diesel, but whatever it is it's probably costing the college a pretty penny to run it. Even though it was nice to be home and get some chores done, it's nice to be back at school, back in the routine.

I wish I'd had that generator during the ice storm!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Power's Out - Where's The Ice?

This morning, like every school morning, I got up, got dressed for school, went downstairs to the kitchen and turned on the TV. I wanted to see the weather, but one of the first things I heard Scott (the news anchor guy) say was, "No school in Jones Hall on the Kirkwood campus today." I wasn't sure I'd heard correctly, so I got online to check and sure enough, Jones Hall is closed because of a power outage. Now, it just so happens that Jones Hall is where I have all of my classes, so I had the day off. Of course, I took advantage of the time to catch up on chores, especially laundry. It seems like whenever I have time off, I'm doing laundry. That's one downside of having a house full of females.

Anyway. So tonight I check the school's website, and Whoa! Jones Hall is closed again tomorrow, same problem. Now, let's think about this a moment. The building where students are trained in Industrial Technology (drafting, carpentry, HVAC systems, metalworking, masonry and electrical systems) is CLOSED because the power grid went crap-kablooie (or something like that). I mean, really, how embarrassing is that!! It would make sense if, say, the power went out in Cedar Hall where they have all the froo-froo classes, but nnooooooo. It had to be Jones Hall. Sheesh.

Of course, not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I will use this time to catch up on more chores. I have a list, believe me. But in all honesty I'd rather be in school. I mean, I busted my butt getting my homework done, and now I have to hold on to it for a week. I will be very careful not to misplace any of my hard work.

And speaking of hard work, Carl finally heard from the boss-person who was hiring project managers, and he didn't hire Carl. I find this horribly unfair, but I guess God has a plan for where he wants Carl, and besides wanting him sprawled out on the couch (where he is right now) God must want Carl in his engineering position.

Aha! I just got an e-mail from my CAD instructor, the wise and benevolent Tom Hyde. (I really like this guy!) Apparently, the transformer behind the women's restroom failed, and they're having trouble finding a replacement. According to Tom, they may try to bring in a generator, but he's not sure. To use his words, he's "in the dark." HA!!

So now it's wait and see time. Meanwhile, I'm trying to find the humor in the transformer going crap-kablooie behind the ladies' room, but it's not coming to me. Yet.

Any suggestions?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Farewell To The Shadow

In 2002, we bought a Shadowcruiser fifth wheel camper and a pickup truck from my parents. This past weekend, we sold the camper on eBay to a very nice fellow from What Cheer, Iowa. Yes, that really is the name of the town: What Cheer. I have no clue, so don't ask.

Anyway. He won the auction on Saturday, and came up with his boss on Sunday. His boss has a fifth wheel hitch on his pickup, but our buyer didn't, so his boss helped him out. Soon, however, our buyer will have a fifth wheel hitch because our hitch was part of the camper package, along with our old steel truck toolbox. All in all, I'd say the guy got a good deal.

And so did we. Since I'm going to be in school all summer, we weren't planning on using the camper this year, or next year (same reason). Therefore, we figured rather than have the camper sit there, sucking up space and insurance premium payments, we'd sell it. We also sold our tractor-mount roto-tiller to a guy from Muscatine. He's coming Wednesday to get it.

Really, this wasn't a tough thing to do. We'd outgrown the camper - Lou's twelve years old, and it was getting very difficult to find room for her clothes, Boo's clothes, and everything else, plus it was hard trying to move around in there. Maybe, someday, we'll get another camper, but it will be a while.

So, we bid our old Shadowcruiser a fond farewell yesterday. Along with the camper, hitch, and toolbox, our buyer also got our leftover camper chemicals, twin sheets for the small beds, a section of spare sewer hose, and a package of camper toilet paper. I mean, what was I going to do with that stuff?

Don't answer that.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Old Grey Mare Goes Chestnut

I spent yesterday in the Quad Cities with my Mom. We went shopping, and had a blast. I got some new jeans and shorts, some t-shirts, two pair of boots, and a dress. I got most of it at Farm & Fleet, a store that was 6 miles from the place where I grew up. They have a really nice clothing department, plus they sell tools, tires, small farm equipment, lawn & garden stuff, vet supplies, and so forth. I always manage to find the tall sizes of jeans I like there. When I was little, and my parents would take me there, they'd always find me in the same place if I got separated from them. They'd find me in the large animal department, staring at the saddles and other horse-related supplies. I'd just stand there, breathing in the scent of leather and dreaming about maybe someday getting a horse. I figure, if you're going to dream, you might as well dream large.

Anyway. So while we were out shopping, I bought something for myself that I swore I'd never buy (and it has nothing to do with leather, so get your mind out of the gutter!) - I bought a bottle of hair coloring. Not the permanent stuff, but the kind that washes out after 6 to 12 shampoos. I've had a bunch of people tell me lately that I should color my hair, now that I've lost so much weight. My hairdresser told me, some ladies at church told me, and my Mom told me, so I went ahead and got a rinse-type dye, just to try it. I had no clue about how to use it, so my Mom helped me. Honestly, it turned out really nice. My hair is now the chestnut color that it was ten years ago, and everyone who's seen it says it makes me look younger. My Mom and my brother Keith were really impressed at how well it turned out. When I got home this afternoon, though, Carl's response was somewhat reserved. He told me he was used to me being grey, and that I was beautiful either way, so right now I'm not sure whether I'll go for permanent color or not. I'll see what kind of reaction I'll get at church tomorrow, and decide after that.

In other news, we sold some stuff on eBay: the roto-tiller attachment for my John Deere lawn & garden tractor, and our 24 foot Shadowcruiser fifth wheel camper. We really didn't need the tiller since we decided not to have a great big humongous garden, and the camper just got too crowded for the four of us. Plus, with me being in school for the next two summers, we really won't get a chance to use it, so rather than pay insurance on it and have it sit in the driveway idle, we sold it. Very soon I hope to list my old autoharp and a banjo on eBay, because I need the money to help pay for the new autoharp I ordered from Elderly Instruments. It's a nice 'harp - it has an amplifier output jack-thingy on it, plus it has the fine tuning attachment at the bottom. Very cool! I also need to put all my "fat" clothes on eBay to help pay for the stuff I bought this weekend.

We're still waiting to hear whether or not Carl got that management promotion he interviewed for a month or so ago. The guy who makes that decision has been gone alot on business trips, so it's taking forever for this guy to make a decision. The suspense is driving Carl and I crazy. Arg!!

And speaking of Arg!!, our beloved Boo-Boo got another one this week. She tripped and fell on the school playground and sprained her ankle. She's on crutches, and can't go to recess or gym for the next two weeks. Poor kid! She's an active type of kid, and having to spend all day on her butt is really annoying her. It's also annoying me, because I have to keep finding things to keep her entertained. Maybe I should take her shopping, and let her breathe in leather fumes from the saddle department at Theisen's.

It didn't do me any harm! :-P

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

It's In The Jeans, Part Two

I did something this morning that I've never been able to do in the nineteen years and ten months (minus three days) that I've been married to Carl: I fit into a pair of his jeans. While this may not sound like a big deal, it's a monumental one for me.

So, why am I wearing his jeans? Because right now I only have two pair of Misses jeans that I can wear: both are new and unfaded, and I want to work out in the garage today, so wearing nice new jeans is out of the question. (My third pair of new jeans is damaged from my fall in the parking lot, and they need patching.) The pair of jeans of Carl's that I'm wearing are worn and faded and suitable for garage-type work. I wasn't able to ask permission to borrow his pants because Carl's at work, but I don't think he'll mind.

I hope.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Spring Break!

This week I have spring break from school. Now, don't tell me I've nothing to do. (Remember the Statler Brothers song? Ya geezer.) Anyway. This week will be jam packed with work...What did you think I was going to do? Go to Cancun or something? Sheesh.

Already today I've assembled two electronic games for our PTA carnival. I had the basketball one half finished last Monday, but then I tripped over my bootlaces in the Jones Hall parking lot and tore up my right knee (last Tuesday) and I've not been able to do much since. It will take a while for my knee to heal completely, but at least I can walk without limping now.

The rest of my week will be filled with homework. I have revisions to do for Drafting, and I'll need to spend some time on campus working on Arch. CAD because only their computers have that program and the final drawings are due on the Wednesday that we get back.

I will spend some time recreating. I hope to be able to do some woodworking out in the garage, and Friday I get to go to the Quad Cities to go shopping with my Mom. My favorite jeans store is there (Farm and Fleet) and the Q-C's also have a Hobby Lobby. Plus, my brother Keith's new band is playing Friday night, and I get to go to their introductory performance. All in all, it should be a good week.

As long as I don't spend my time counting flowers on the wall...

Saturday, March 03, 2007

It's In The Jeans

Sometime during the middle of the past week, Hannah handed me a pair of her jeans and said, "These are too small for me." So I said, "Well, Saturday after your babysitting class, I'll take you shopping." I had a feeling she'd need new jeans soon. She was still wearing girls size 16 jeans, and she'd grown quite a bit since I'd last bought her any pants. I took her to Kohl's (since we were on the north side of Cedar Rapids) and I bought her five pair - Junior size 7 tall. I was shocked that she'd wear such a large size, but then I held her old jeans up to a pair of her new jeans, and the waistband on the new jeans was only slightly bigger than the old. Go figure.

I, on the other hand, am having the opposite problem: my jeans keep getting too big. It was just a couple weeks ago that I bought new Misses size 18 jeans, and already they're so baggy that I can pull them off without unbuttoning them. Therefore, today (at Theisen's) I bought myself three new pairs of jeans - size 16 tall. I was so thrilled! I was dancing around in the dressing room, and Hannah was rolling her eyes up with that "My mom is a dork!" look on her face. But I was in heaven. I haven't worn size 16 pants since before Mary was born, and that was over nine years ago. Of course, once we got back out to the truck, the first thing I did was call my Mom and tell her. And then when we got home I went upstairs and put on a pair of the new jeans and showed them to Carl. His reaction was, well, something I can't print on a family blog. I think you understand. ;-)

So I'm in a pretty happy mood right now. I don't know how long it will take me to "outgrow" these jeans, or even if I can, since my hips are stretched out from childbearing.

But I'm sure gonna try!!