Thursday, January 31, 2008

ya know...

When we got Internet at home, I thought I'd blog more. I've thought of things to write about, but I can't ever get online. Miss Kat is constantly online! She IM's her friends. And emails her friends--all the time!

And if she's not on the computer, Kev is! He's reading my blog and critizing my spelling. Whatever.

But, I have to fight for this computer...and I lose.

I promise to do better. I promise to fight dirty and blog more.

I promise!

eye dr's and contacts

I've been to the eye dr. every Saturday for the past three Saturdays. Not for me, but for the kids. I took Kat first, she was due for a checkup. And,she needed new glasses. So...we got new lens, and since she can go out for sports, we decided to get contacts...but, the contacts couldn't be in for over a week, so we sat up an appointment for the 26th of Jan. At the same time, I set up an appointment for Andy the 19th since he needed his eyes checked too.

At Andy's appointment, we discovered that he hadn't been taking care of his contacts correctly...and had scratched his corneas. No infection or permanent damage, but the Dr. wanted him to go with out glasses for 8 weeks. Great. Since Andy didn't have any glasses anymore, I had to buy him glasses.

So, I've paid for two eye exams, a pair of glasses for Andy, new lens, and contacts for Kat. And, to make it all better...I really need to go myself!

Kat's contacts came in. She learned how to put them in and take them out and...well, it isn't going so well.

As you all know, Miss Kat has a short temper. Miniscule temper is probably more accurate, as that child has a short fuse and she gets frustrated and gives up way too easily.

Every morning has been a struggle for her to get those &*(&^%* things in her eyes.
In fact, she went in her glasses twice this week, simply because she gave up and couldn't get them in without me. My job is to hold the mirror.

This morning, I got her up early just so she could get her contacts in before Kev and I left for work. With 5 minutes left and after several minutes of watching her repeatedly try and pout when she didn't succeed and get angry, and stomp her feet, and whine that she couldn't do it, and...well, you get the picture. I put the contacts in her eyes for her. I put them in for her because, dang it, I paid for the dang things, and she's going to wear them! So, I did the work for her. (only after Kev tried to put them in her eyes...but he said her eyes were too little.)

Me installing the contacts is not a permanent solution, because I will not be doing this every day. She's got to learn and I'm going to make her learn. I learned. Her dad learned. Her brother learned. Her best friend learned. So, she can learn.

Besides, I've spent a fortune on the her eyes and I'm not going to follow her around for the rest of her life putting in her contacts. Tonight, Kev helped her remove them. I didn't watch. But, she did it herself. That's progress...right?

So, do I exist???
LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.">How many have your name?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

cough cough hack hack

I'm typing this blog from the comfort of my couch in my living room, at home today.

I'm feeling puny today. I'm trying to cough one of my lungs to be more specific. And, I'm so stinkin' tired from not sleeping well last night and my throat hurts from the coughing and I can barely make a sound. (Much to the delight of my family.)

My son was the generous soul who gave me this horrific cold. Isn't he a wonderful boy? Yeah, I already told him "thanks."

But, wait, I know you are wondering just how I'm typing this entry from was also the day we got Internet hooked up at home. For the first time ever, I'm online at home. What a concept. I had bribed...I mean promised the kids that I'd get us Internet when we moved. I promised we'd get a much needed new computer and Internet service. I came through on that promise this past week and it was hooked up today.

Miss Kat is st stinkin' excited that I wasn't sure she'd get herself off to school this morning. She'll be online as soon as she hits the door after school today. My hope and prayer is that she'll leave me alone to enjoy my much needed and wanted nap.

Kev's bringing home a humidifier to help me get back on my feet...and maybe he's bringing it home in self-defense...he's tired of getting shocked every single time he walks across the floor. I know I'm tired of it myself.

I don't like being sick. I hate missing a day of work. But, I do like having Internet service at home. Maybe I'll blog more. Maybe I'll have interesting things to blog about. Maybe I can remember more things to blog that will embarrass my kids. Heck, maybe I'll let the family read my blog for a change...

I'd write more profound items right now, but instead, I think I'll log off and hit the bed and take that nap.

Friday, January 18, 2008


I like email. I really do. I use it quite frequently to email friends and family, co-workers, etc. I answer many reference questions via email. I even use it for business--like emailing companies who's services I use or want to use. I'd rather email them than go the the phone hassle, press 1 for blah and 2 for blah blah and 3 for blah blah blah and 4 if you want me to start over.

But this week, I think I'll just give up with trying to email businesses.

This week, I emailed a local business with a question regarding Internet service. I just had a question and I wanted some price quotes. This company is in the "Internet" business. I assumed they'd get right back to me. But, after 5 days and no reply, I called the office. The receptionist (who was human) said; "Oh, the guys never answer their email."

What??? Then why give it out? Why give it on the web page? Why print it on all of the company's literature if you will N.E.V.E.R. use it? The idiots.

This week, I emailed our Satellite TV provider. I hate their phone system. I've called it, and I HATE it. So, I thought I'd email them a complaint about how the technician hooked up our system after we moved and ask if it's something I could fix. They replied, "...yes, you can switch you TV sets, they are not a part of our system."

They didn't read my question, and I'm not an idiot, I knew I could move the TV's around. Heck, I'm the person who figures out why a signal was lost or how to find the right TV channel. I am not an idiot. So, being the understanding and patient person that I am, I fired an email right back asking; "did you even read my email. I was asking about the RECEIVER, not the TV, but the RECEIVER." Idiots. The second time, they got it right and answered my question. Why couldn't they have done it right the first time? (I helped them though, I put the word receiver in all caps every single time I used it; and I used it a lot!) Idiots.

Today, I emailed another business. They are related to health insurance and such. Once again, they didn't read my email, but just sent a form for me to fill out to get medical "reimbursement." Not at all what I asked for in my email. I fired another email back. And, no, the word "idiot" never appears in my message. But I really wanted to use it.

Don't people READ? Don't the people that businesses hire to check their email expect them to READ it and then respond, or do they just hire idiots and don't really intend for their email to be used by customers.

I don't get it. I really don't. But, now, for me, email correspondence is out and phone calls are out. It really would be inconvenient to travel to every corner of the country just to get a simple question answered, but I'm out of options. Is customer service a thing of the past? Is reading a thing of the past? Weren't we all taught communication skills in school?

Maybe it's not the businesses and the idiots...I mean staff they hire. Maybe it's me... Do I communicate well? Can you all understand what I write, or am I the idiot?

Don't answer that.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

learning about myself part 2

This must be the week for self discovery. Don't 'cha think that at 43, almost (gasp) 44, I'd have a pretty good idea of who I am?

I'm assertive.

That's what my boss called me, assertive. I guess because I've jumped in and done something, not just waited for someone to tell me what to do. But, I wouldn't call that assertive, I'd call that "seeing what needs to be done and doing it!" I asked Kev if HE thinks I'm assertive. He thought about it and said yes, that if I want something, I'm going to figure out a way to get it. Last night, Kim reinforced that. She said I always appear confident and that I'm assertive in a positive way, that I never make anyone feel like I'm pushy and I make them want to go along with what I want to do or change.

I'm creative.

My boss also told me I was creative. Simply because I'm trying to figure out ways to improve this place without spending a lot of money and I'm trying to find ways to get things that we need without spending a lot of money. I guess I look at this as being realistic. There's a need and I'm trying to figure out the best way to get it taken care of. I don't consider that creative, but I guess my boss does.

I'm friendly--friendlier than "most librarians." Whatever that means. A teacher told his class this after I gave a presentation to them. Maybe he says it about all librarians to his classes, but it was unexpected.

When I interviewed, I was asked what Kev would say were my three biggest strengths and weaknesses were.

So, after I was done, I asked him what they were.

I can't tell what he said was my biggest strength...but remember, we were together again after his two week hunting trip.

But, then he said I was mentally and emotionally strong and that I was a good, loyal friend.

I guess it's good to keep learning things about yourself. And, it feels good to actually have someone say nice things about you--to you.

So, my challenge to all of you...tell a friend or a loved one something good about them. Maybe they didn't ever think of themselves that way. And, if they did know this about themselves, then maybe they just need to hear it from someone else. Guaranteed, it will make them feel good about themselves, and we all need a little positive stroke sometimes.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

things I've recently learned about myself...

Thing #1

I never thought I was anal about anything. But about some things I am.

When I first became a professional librarian, my boss was a wonderful woman who started and built the library at Colby CC. Now, she was anal. Her husband told me their freezer was cataloged. Everything in a particular place and a they had a piece of paper taped to the lid telling exactly what was where, when it was bought and when it would expire.

Now, imagine how well organized her library was.

I inherited statistics. I kept good statistics. Here, I can't find statistics--not good, clear concise statistics. It frustrates me.

I had a policy and procedures manual. I inherited a good one and revised it a couple of years ago. No P&P manual here. It frustrates me.

At Colby, I inherited a library where labeling was made to look professional, neat and tidy. I continued that trend. Here, haphazard labels, typed inconsistently over the years. It drives me nuts. I want to re do all the labels. That would be over 40,000 labels. I can't do it, to cost prohibitive. So, I'm re-doing the fiction ones only.

No one has done inventory here for years and years. No one has read shelves, or dusted, or faced shelves. I'm initiating all those things. Especially facing shelves. I can't stand shelves that are sloppy and haphazard, right Jody? Can..not..stand it. (for you non librarians, facing shelves is when you line up all the spines of books on the edge of shelves, nice, neat, perfectly lined up with the edge. Reading shelves is when you make sure every book is on the shelf in call number order.)

I learned that I'm anal. But, it this case, it's a good thing.

Some things never change...

Remember yesterday, when I closed my post, I said moving was a good thing?

I changed my mind last night.

Andy came home from practice mad.

He wouldn't talk to me.

I finally got some information--some girl said something during to school that made him mad.

I have no idea what, or who...because he's a stoic man-child who won't talk to his mother about what's bothering him.

Then Miss Kat got a phone call from her BFF Jenna in Colby who told Miss Kat that there was a Middle School dance Friday night.

Miss Kat wanted me to drive her back to Colby so she could go to this dance.

And became furious when I said no.

And said I had ruined her life by making her move and leaving her "only" friends.

And I'd probably never go to any of her track meets, because I just don't love her enough.

Kev was at an orientation meeting for work, I was home with two angry children.

I had a bowl of rocky road ice cream for supper and hid in my bedroom for a couple of hours.

Don't know about the kids, but I felt much better...

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


We've never been the kind of parents who think their little darlings need to be involved in every single activity. And, we aren't the kind of parents who put their lives (and relationship) on hold for their children. In fact, I tend to think that just because I'm a parent doesn't mean that I don't have my own activities to do and that my own activities are just as important as any my kids are involved in.

So, when our kids were little, they had 2 activities. Andy tried soccer and baseball and later basketball. That's it. In fact, all were at different times of the year, so we usually had only ONE activity at a time. And, I really don't think it "ruined" Andy at all (so many people were just flabber-gasted that we only allowed are kids to do ONE activity, after all, how could he ever become a "star" if we only did one thing!) Anyway, Andy's a well grounded individual with a pretty good head on his shoulders. He enjoys organized sports and activities, but also knows how to entertain himself and doesn't have to be on the go 24/7. (And since I'm saying good things about him, he'll probably do something really dumb and stupid.)

But he's not super competitive person either. He enjoys sports for the companionship and camaraderie and isn't driven by the need to always win or the need to be the absolute best, the superstar. In my mind, that's a good thing, because for most of society, sports involvement ends with High School. There are many many people who make sports so important that it excludes many other activities that life gives us. These people can't enjoy the simple things and they don't know what to do or how to act when their sporting life is over.

So, we believe in balance. And, that's what we've taught our children, balance.

Sports in Colby was...a very negative experience for Andy as a player and for Kev and I as parents. There, sports are only for the best. Colby must be the best. There is no room for second best and very little room for enjoyment of the activity in itself.

For example. Colby has never had a good football team. For years, they've had losing season after losing season. And, they've taken that out on the coaches. In the last 20 years, they've had 12 coaches. That's less than 2 years per coach. But, year after year, the community expects a winning team, refusing to acknowledge that it takes time and lots of nurturing to have a winning team.

Andy went out for Basketball at Colby. There were 30 or more boys out for Basketball. Three coaches, 30 boys, one gym. What it meant was several boys never got to actually practice plays or shooting. They ran stairs day after day after day. It was frustrating for Andy, who wanted to play and have fun, but he wasn't a star, so he didn't get to play or even have fun.

That has changed with a change to a new school. Bucklin has 14-16 boys out for the team. They all work and play together. They've welcomed Andy to the team. They are working with him, teaching him plays, giving him the opportunity to play and to BE a part of the team. He's attended 3 practices and has had 4 games in the 2 weeks we've been there. He's played in 3 games. Last night, he made 6 points during his game. He was so excited and thrilled to be a part of the game.

I was impressed in the game I got to watch him play in . The coach coached him. Knowing he didn't know the plays and wasn't sure where to be, the coach talked him through some plays, encouraged him, and gently corrected him. The coach did that with all the boys, teaching them, not ridiculing them when they made mistakes, which is what we've seen before.

Bucklin has an excellent team. They are winning games and boy, do they play a physical game. Much more physical than what we are used to watching. And yet, they are having fun. Everyone on the court was having fun, playing a game.

Watching made me glad we moved. Kev and I enjoyed watching the games, we connected in a way we never did in Colby. It made me happy to see my son be happy about being a part of a team and feeling like he was a part of a team. That's what he was missing before. Yep, for him, right now, it's a good change.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A new year, a new home...

The last two weeks of December flew by and left me...exhausted.

I got home fine on the 14th. It snowed all the way home, but Colby had less snow than Dodge did. I'm glad I left when I did...if I had waited another hour, I wouldn't have made it home until probably Sunday.

I spent that next week packing up the rest of the house, closing accounts, making sure the school had the necessary paperwork to forward the kid's transcripts and data to Bucklin, etc. It was a busy week. Then, Kevin and I drove back down to Dodge on the 20th to close on the new house. We brought a load with us and left it at the house, then signed our lives away, changed the electricity company's bill to us, opened a new bank account and then finally, headed back to Colby. On the way, we had a message from UHaul...our truck was in Scott City, so we took the long way home and stopped there to get the truck. Friday found us loading that 26 foot truck. Kev and Bob loaded while I finished packing up the last items. We filled the truck up Saturday and crammed stuff into the Ranger pickup and the car and the diesel. Luckily for us, my additional husband, Lynn, drove the diesel and trailer down. I drove the car, Andy drove the Ranger, and Kev drove the truck. It had snowed again, but we all made it safely to Bucklin around 8 p.m.

We unloaded the necessities, a few mattresses to sleep on and I managed to find some eggs and made us a late "supper." We all unloaded the rest of the vehicles on Sunday and then the men-folk headed back to Colby for trip number 2. Miss Kat and I stayed behind to unpack and try to get settled. We also made an appearance at the Berends family Christmas gathering. On Monday, my men returned without Lynn, but with lots more "stuff." Once they arrived, Mom, Kat and I took off for Dodge. I needed to check on my refrigerator to see what time it would be delivered; and I needed to get a few Christmas presents.

Our first stop was Sears to check on the fridge...they assured me it would be delivered later that afternoon. Second stop was the mall to do a little shopping, then Wally-world, then the grocery store, then Blockbuster. All went well, except...upon calling home, my fridge still hadn't been delivered, so at 4:30, we stopped back by Sears. The delivery guy was getting ready to load it and head out for delivery. We ran to our last stop, Blockbuster (we were without TV, and I wanted to get movies for us to watch over the next week.) While at Blockbuster, Sears called...the delivery guy...he apologized and then said that he couldn't deliver the fridge as he had a party to attend that night and wouldn't be able to get there on time IF he delivered my fridge.

I was hot. Steamed. I had checked at the store twice and had called earlier in the week, verifying it's delivery...I was not going to let this twerp off the hook. He put me on hold. So, I simply drove back to Sears, where he had to deal with me personally. I did not let the twerp off the hook, even after listening to him moan and whine about how long of a day it had been and how he had this other commitment...blah blah blah.

He didn't deliver my fridge...instead, his boss bailed him out and delivered it to us. It might have been 6 p.m. before he was finished, but hey, they had promised me, and I made them keep their promise. I didn't get nasty or abusive, but I was mad and I was firm and by golly, they came through and delivered it.

Christmas day was nice, Mom and Dad came over, the neighbors from Colby came down and we had pizza.

The day after Christmas, Kev and I ran to Dodge to get furniture for the living room and some night stands for our room and he had some orientation to do for his new job. The 27th, we spent the day unpacking and trying to find things we needed (I still can't find 2 pair of capri jeans...) The 28th, we went to Big E to get my stuff and a different bed for Andy. On Saturday, the 29th, Kev and I drove back to Colby to "finish" packing. We loaded the flat bed trailer and the pickup...and still couldn't get it all back. So we drove home that night and back to Colby for our final load on Sunday, the 30th. Five trips total. Fifteen or so tanks of gas and diesel for multiple vehicles. Uncounted smashed fingers and toes, tired muscles and hands. Moving is exhausting.

But, here it is, January 2. The house is relatively put together...(I still can't find those jeans). The kids start School in their new school tomorrow. We have TV again. I've ordered the much promised computer for the kids (Internet access will be ordered soon...) We have a mailing address finally...that's another story. I know our new phone number. I'm getting better about telling Kev how to get around in Dodge (and not assuming that he knows after one trip...) We're together. Finally, after 2 months, we are together.