Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Is it just me . . .

. . . or did this nest shrink overnight?

Today we started seeing little bobbly-headed birds poking up over the edges of the nest. This concerns me. Somebody could fall and get hurt!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Baby picture of the day

Four sweet little sleepy faces:

Monday, April 28, 2008

More than birds

I went to Louisville on Friday to make a trip to my favorite yarn store. I had finished my scarf (I need to take a picture to post!) and wanted to get a new project that I can work on over our 2 upcoming trips to Alabama. I wound up getting this green merino yarn:

to make this sweater:

Had I seen only the photo on the pattern, there is no way I would have chosen it. But they had a sample made up, and I got to try it on, and it is GORGEOUS! I don't know why the model feels compelled to stand with her elbow jutting out at that odd angle. Perhaps somebody put cement in her Secret? I promise never to stand like that once my sweater is done.

Speaking of sweaters, I wish I could knit some for these little guys:

They look cold.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

All birds, all the time

"FEED me!!!" This was from yesterday:

Nap time today:

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Spring fever

Spring is in the air! The flowers are hatching:

And the birds are blooming:

Friday, April 25, 2008

Real post tomorrow

Oh, don't you hate these cheater posts? I know I do. Today has totally gotten away from me though. I spent most of it running errands in Louisville. Then a meet-and-greet for the international club. Then supper. Then watching "Princess Diaries" with Annabelle. Then running up to the shopette for milk just a few minutes ago. All that and wham! the day is over. I'll try to do right by you tomorrow.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ground breaking

Yesterday I went to the groundbreaking for the new Fort Knox High School. It's pretty exciting to think that if our evil plan to extend our stay here in Kentucky to 5 years works, both kids will get a chance to go to the new school!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

First day of summer vacation

I just turned in my last paper for this semester, and I am now officially halfway through with my degree--6 classes to go. :::tosses confetti::: I've been taking 2 classes per semester for the past 3 semesters, but next fall I'm dropping back to just one class. I figure with Fred being gone, I need to be extra careful about overextending myself.

My goals for the summer are to get a lot of freelance work done to make the money to pay the tuition for the remaining 6 classes; finally get my office finished (which includes organizing all my photos and videos); and RELAX! Today though I think I'll catch up on some of the housework that has fallen by the wayside in the past couple of weeks. :::sweeps up confetti:::

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Roll over, Beethoven

Mike's World History class is busy preparing for a special event in May. Each student has a historical figure he has been studying for most of the year, and the students are going to dress as their characters for what I can only think of as a historical petting zoo. I envision the spectators strolling about with paper cups of seed corn that they feed to the likes of Jane Austen and Benjamin Franklin. Anyway, tomorrow they have to take in pictures to prove that they have their costumes together. So, ladies and gentlemen, may I present . . . Beethoven!

Here's Beethoven doing a little composing:

And playing electric guitar:

Oh, dear, it seems that Beethoven has anger management problems:

Monday, April 21, 2008

Camera, interrupted

I started thinking how cool it would be if I could have a camera focused on the bird nest at all times, and the next thing I knew, I was at Best Buy standing in line with a wireless Internet camera in my hands. Setting it up last night though was a total pain. It involved 3 different calls to Linksys tech support, and I still wasn't done.

This morning I reevaluated whether this was really a road I wanted to go down. Mama Bird was off the nest for an awfully long time, and I kept going to the door to check and see if she had come back yet. Then I thought, yeah, I really don't need to feed this obsession.

So the camera is going back to Best Buy (but it's not because Annabelle was so bitter about my birdcam), and you will all have to make do with the occasional still shot.

Like this one! Look, it's Mama Bird:

Who, me? Obsessed?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Technical difficulties

Grrrrr . . . We have been having Internet problems for most of the past week, and it is starting to get OLD. The connection has been out for a couple of hours, so I am using Fred's Blackberry to post this. More tomorrow . . . I hope.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008

Dear National Auto Warranty Services,

You suck.

Love, Bonnie

They won't stop calling! One week after I blogged about how I called them and demanded (yet again) that they stop calling me, they called again. Yesterday the recorded message informed me that THIS WOULD BE THE LAST CALL I WOULD GET BUT MY AUTO WARRANTY WAS ABOUT TO EXPIRE AND PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T GO DRIVING AROUND WITHOUT A WARRANTY!!! Once again, I hit 1 to speak to an operator, confirmed that she was indeed with National Auto Warranty Services, and told her that this BETTER be the last call I get from them. Tonight . . . another call. Fred hung up on this one before I could verify that it was indeed the dreaded National Auto Warranty Services, but I know it was. I swear I am starting to recognize the ring.

I googled the number that called yesterday (626-259-5502) and found this, which I thought was interesting.

Oh, and here's something interesting (and kind of funny--at least to me): The other day I checked my stats and discovered that somebody had found my blog by googling "National Auto Warranty Services." You know who it was? National Auto Warranty Services! So they know I think they suck, and for some reason I find that comforting.

And another interesting (and again kind of funny) thing: They are getting sued by the Missouri Attorney General. Maybe once I've finished my school projects and have some energy to direct in another direction, I'll start taking pictures of my caller ID and sending the photos to the Missouri AG.

I feel the earth move

We just had an EARTHQUAKE, people! At about 5:30 a.m., the house did some sort of wild dance, and I had no idea what was going on. Sometimes we hear the trains, but they don't shake the house. Sometimes we get a pretty good shock from a live fire exercise out on the range, but that is accompanied by a LOT of noise, and there was no noise to go along with this feeling. No, it was an earthquake--5.4 on the Richter scale, too, so while it wasn't a major catastrophe, it also wasn't one that's easily slept through.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

School's out (kind of)

I just got done with my last class of the semester. That would normally be cause for great celebration but I still have a quiz to take, a cataloging project to finish, and a paper to write about take-down notices, YouTube, and the safe-harbor provision of the DMCA (don't ask--you don't want to know). I had really hoped to have it all wrapped up by today, but that didn't happen. So now I'm going to try to knock it all out this weekend. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Navel gazing

I have added a new blog to my sidebar: Cathy Dobson's Planet Germany. While we were in Florida for spring break, I read Dobson's book of the same name, which follows her British family through a typical year of life in Germany. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and felt while I was reading it much like I did during our own final days in Germany--I loved every minute and dreaded the end. I hadn't expected, however, to gain any insight into my own psyche.

Dobson muses about raising her children in a foreign culture and how "British" or "German" each of them is. She says of her elder daughter:
I ask Erica one lunchtime whether she would like to live in England one day, especially as she is such an out-and-out Anglophile.

"Oh God, no," she says, "I don't really like it in England. I don't know how to behave over there. People expect me to know things, like how the buses work, or what to ask for in shops. But I don't because I've always lived in Germany. Living here, it's OK if I get things wrong, because I'm a foreigner anyway. Being English is only fun if you're somewhere else. Actually, I'd be happy to live anywhere . . . France, Italy, Spain. Just not somewhere where I'm supposed to fit in."
That is so totally me! The happiest times of my life have been in Hawaii and Germany, both places where I am an outright foreigner. The places where I'm SUPPOSED to fit in though, I always feel vaguely uncomfortable and like I'm doing things not quite right.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I didn't think to take any pictures, but we had an especially yummy supper Sunday night. I made the calzones that are featured in the current issue of Fine Cooking, and they turned out surprisingly well given my long history of screwing up bread products.

The dough was super easy to make. You need to really plan ahead though, as it has to chill for 8 hours and then spend another couple of hours coming back to room temperature.

The no-cook sauce came out really well also. I sauteed some chopped garlic to put in mine, as we all love garlic around here.

We used mozzarella cheese, ham, sauteed mushrooms, and sauteed onion and pepper for our fillings. This video will tell you all you need to know about assembling the calzones.

Go ahead! Try them, you will like them! I'm already planning ahead for the next round.

Monday, April 14, 2008

On my back porch

This better have a happy ending:

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spring broke

The whole time we were on our Florida trip, I hardly had time to post a photo, let alone edit one. So I've gone a little crazy pimping the pictures that I hadn't already shared. Feel free to click to enlarge.

We have scenes from the road:

A stairstep shot of Mike, Fred, and Fred's dad (note the t-shirts from the 10-miler Fred and Mike did that morning):

Jenny and Jeff goofing around:

Fred working by lantern light a la Abe Lincoln the night the power went out:

Stetson's class of 1983 at the post-party party:

And the many moods of Willis:

The middle mood seems to be the dominant personality. If you don't believe that, just watch how he treats my mother:

Sigh . . . it's time to stop playing This Time Last Week We Were ___ and start playing This Time 2 Weeks Ago We Were ___.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

He iz watching me procrastinate

My list of Stuff to Get Done:

-turn in Gold Rush after action report (due last Thursday--whoops!)
-pay the taxes on my indexing empire (due Tuesday, 4/15)
-edit my Autocat paper for my Cataloging class (due Wednesday, 4/16)
-do my Classification assignment for same Cataloging class (due Wednesday, 4/23, but wow, wouldn't it be great to have it done by Thursday, 4/17?)
-write my Issue Brief for my Information Policy class (due Thursday, 4/24, but again, I would love to turn that bad boy in by Thursday, 4/17, and be done, done, DONE with this semester!)
-get ready for school board meeting (Thursday, 4/17)
-finish up some SCC committee work (due Saturday, 4/19)
-work on indexing project that is due . . . hmmmm, when IS that thing due anyway?
-find out due date for indexing project

This doesn't include other stuff like getting kids to their various activities, cooking a semi-healthy meal once every couple of days, vacuuming up the black cat hair that is covering our living room furniture, etc., etc., etc.

So naturally I spent some time this afternoon making my very own ceiling cat:

If you don't know who Ceiling Cat is, then you probably should go spend some time looking around here. All will be revealed.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Thought for the day: Life is not a DVR

Ever since we got the DVR, I hardly ever watch live TV. I set my favorite shows to record and then watch them when they fit best into my schedule. One of the benefits to this approach is that I hardly ever see commercials, because I just zip right past them.

I've noticed though that when I am watching something on a TV without a DVR, I sometimes itch to pause, rewind, or fast-forward. I've even had this happen on the rare occasion that I find myself watching a film in a theater. I'll have the urge to pause the film for a bathroom break or so I can go get more popcorn.

Today, however, I had similar thoughts in real life. I took Ginger for her lunch-time walk and was hoping to beat the rain. I was about 5 minutes too late for that though, so we got quite wet as we walked that last block or so. I found myself wanting to pause the rain and not wanting to like "oh wouldn't it be cool if I could do this?" but wanting to like I meant to do it. For a split second, I really thought I could just pause the rain and then fast-forward through it once we got home!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Public service announcement

We have been getting automated phone calls for several months warning us that our auto warranty is about to expire and urging us to press 1 and do something about it. We have no such warranty, so for the longest time, I just ignored the calls. Then I started pressing 1 and asking to be removed from their call list. Then I got irritated and started pressing 1 and DEMANDING to be removed from their call list. Then I got REALLY irritated when I pressed 1, demanded to be removed from their call list, and the operator HUNG UP ON ME!

So today when yet another auto warranty call came through, I got sneaky. I pressed one and feigned possible interest in purchasing a warranty. But first, I asked, could I please get the name of the company. The operator told me, and I said I had changed my mind about the warranty but would appreciate being put on their do-not-call list. Then I googled for the company's phone number and called their customer service department and very politely yet firmly requested that they never contact me again.

If you are getting bugged by National Auto Warranty Services and want to get them off your back, their phone number is 636-639-1620. Tell them Bonnie sent you! (I am blogging this mostly so that I have a record of when I made this most recent request. God help them if they call again.)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The graduate

Next October is going to be my 25-year high-school reunion. They are collecting "then" and "now" photos for the website. I never had an official senior portrait made, since I started out with the class of 1984 but went to summer school for extra credits to make an early escape. So this is the picture that started off as my junior picture but wound up as my senior picture:

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Returning to my regularly scheduled programming

Ick, I wish I were still in Florida. We've got another mess of horrible weather heading our way, and I'm just not in the mood for it. Look at what they're predicting for Monday:

My sister and I spent some time today playing This Time Last Week We Were ___. We will probably continue to play throughout the week. Ah, fun!

Monday, April 07, 2008


We're home! We rolled in a couple hours ago. I'm so glad we decided to do the drive back in 2 days instead of one. I'll be busy trying to get back into my real life tomorrow. Tonight I'm just clearing out my email and catching up on my message boards.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Next time in Kentucky

Well, our time in Florida is just about over. We had planned on driving back up in one stretch today, but the trip down was painful enough, so we decided to take an extra day and go back in 2 days by way of Fred's parents' home in Alabama. I'm going ahead and blogging now so I don't have to worry about getting online tonight. See you in Kentucky!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Run, Forrest!

More Homecoming festivities today, starting with the 5K this morning. Jenny and I went along for moral support, and I got conscripted to push the little button as runners crossed the finish line. We've been in and out all day, hopping from one activity to the next. I can't believe our time in Florida is almost over!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Coming home

The official reason for our visit to Florida kicked off today: Stetson's Homecoming. It's Fred's 25th reunion this year. Tonight we went to a seafood boil. Tomorrow it's a 5K run for some of us (not me!), the breakfast, the picnic, the Russian Studies reception, the 1980s decade party, and the block party. And then we have to go home on Sunday. Wah!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Phoning It In

We Lost Power An Hour Ago In A Rainstorm. We Feel Downright Amish. I Am Not Very Handy With My Phone.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Afternoon in Orlando

Annabelle is sleeping over with a friend tonight, but Fred, Mike, Jenny, and I headed down to Orlando for the day. We enjoyed Cuban sandwiches at the Blackbean Deli and then did drive-by tours of Rollins College and UCF. We stopped by a music store where Mike bought some new equipment and then killed some time in a bookstore. Our evening culminated in Indian food for supper. Yum! I have the feedbag strapped on in a big way this week, and it shows no sign of letting up anytime soon.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

There's a spider on your head!

Ha ha, April foolz!

Events of the day:

Prospective-student tour of Stetson for Mike. My baby? Looking at colleges? Ack! Mike was very impressed by Stetson, and even I was ready to sign up for another go 'round after the film and tour. The big drawback for him is lack of a swim team (due to the pool being 1 inch too short for regulation length).

Walmart for Mom's birthday present and the "Sweeney Todd" DVD.

Watching "Sweeney Todd." We are all Sweeney, all the time, around here.

Mom's birthday dinner at Bellini's. Yum!

Dragged Mike to a seminar at Stetson about small colleges that "change lives."

Back home for presents and cake. Yum again!