Letting go

Jan. 14th, 2014 10:10 am
aelfie: (tattoo)

So. It's January. I look around...my house is a mess (shocking I know) and I see so much....STUFF. I'm really beginning to feel the weight of stuff in my life. I'm tired of taking care of it.

But there's the sentimental attachment to stuff. It's hard to let go of that.

Then I realized I could capture the stuff with a picture. So. This morning. I decided to let go of two items that have huge sentimental value...but are in essence. Dust Collectors.

First up. This...thing.


I made this in wood shop (remember when public schools still *had* wood shop??) in (wait for it) 6th grade. I was so proud of it....and it wasn't until I saw the other side



That I noticed that this thing has been doing nothing but collecting dust in some house of mine or my mothers...for over 30 years. Yea. Time to go.

Then went this.



I took a ceramics class my Senior year of high school...this is a mask of my own face. Gwen is modeling it for me. Yea. What in the hell do I do with it? I checked the date. March 29, 1990. Right. Done nothing but collect dust for nearly 24 years.

With a sigh. Both are now gone. And it's okay.

aelfie: (harold the hoopty car)
I left home last Sunday with a fully packed van and four kids. And a dog. The dog got left with mom.

The ride to Reno was uneventful. We checked into Circus Circus with no problems. We were disappointed to find the buffet closed, so we ate at their in-house diner. The kids had hamburgers.

We got up early and started the drive to Salt Lake. I was warned by several people that there's not much to see between the two. I found them wrong. Gently rolling hills, little valleys, rivers, trains, livestock and gorgeous colors of vegetation! I was really impressed by the abrupt change in the landscape between Nevada and Utah. You knew immediately you were someplace different.

We spent two nights in Salt Lake visiting one of my friends. We went to This is the Place Heritage Park in the morning. The kids really enjoyed it. Its a living history park and the houses are either historic buildings moved to this area or are recreations. I liked how they showed both the homes of poor people and those who were better off. Ike was fascinated by the blacksmith. We also got to see the live version of "gotta piss like a horse" I've never seen that before and the kids were impressed. We spent the afternoon down in Temple Square. The history museum was interesting and the visitors center was fascinating. Then we walked around the temple. There are two sets of impressive doors that haven't been used in ages. If temple-goers want to go in, the entrance is a street away and you go underground. I shudder to think about how they would get everyone out case of fire. The other thing about the Temple that struck me is it's size. Or rather lack thereof. Now. It's tall. It's gloriously tall and impressive. However, the footprint is quite small. I think my Mom's parish church has a bigger footprint. I was expecting something like a Roman Catholic Cathedral size. It's not. I was told they spent 40 years building it. For some reason, I wasn't too impressed. They've been working on the Gaudi Cathedral for over 100 (131 so far with another estimated 13 to go (a couple of wars halted construction, go figure)). Gray decided that he was going to get sick that afternoon and spent the afternoon in my arms. Sleeping. He also decided to pop a pretty good fever that night. But he woke up the next morning bright and chipper.

We spent the 28th driving to Jackson, WY. I got to see wheat fields for the first time ever! Cool. I tried not to breathe too deeply. Pretty drive. I found a road [livejournal.com profile] allanh s husband Randy needs to drive. Not only did it have the joy of curves and ups and downs...you got to dodge livestock! It was an uneventful drive. Jackson is gorgeous! We definitely want to go back. We only spent this one night and there's so much to do! Gray decided to get really sick on this night and we were up from about 1:30-4:30 with him alternatively vomiting and extreme EBS. Poor thing. I left a huge tip for the housekeeping crew, he threw up all over the bed several times (after Ike woke us up at 6).

We got up and went to this alpine slide I read about. It was awesome!!! First time I've ever ridden a ski lift. Then we hit the road. Drove through the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. Amazing thunder storm overhead as we entered Yellowstone park, and then we crested a hill, and the storm was gone. Blue skies and warm sunshine. Had to convince the children to stick around long enough to see Old Faithful. I had to bribe them with ice cream. Wow. Just wow. Drove out of the park to our next hotel. Gray was miserable by this point and needed to go to bed. Ended up seeing a bison just wandering down the road in the opposite lane before we got out of the park. Yes! Only wildlife we saw in the park. Got to the next hotel and put everyone to bed.

On the 30th we drove to Missoula, MT. There's all these little signs on the side of the road telling you interesting things to see. I stopped at one called the "Lake that Tilted". It kinda caught my attention. Serious earthquake in 1959 literally tilted the lake and created another billion gallons of storage area. It also dumped 80 million tons of rock on the north end and drowned a campground. The mountain damage is obvious and you drive ON TOP of the fallen rock. It was kinda eerie, but also fascinating. Got to the hotel in Missoula.

Everybody felt great the next day on the 31. Joe was flying in and we had time to kill. We had breakfast and then I started to feel awful. So did Ike. I finally got us out of the room and into the car and stopped at the Carousel for Missoula. There's a dragon for the kids to ride!!! Ike was sufficiently sick, he stayed in the car to sleep. The other three rode it twice. Then we hit the road for Kalispell and Joe. The drive was nice, but I was feeling too awful to really notice anything. I got to Joe an hour late. =( But we got to the next hotel and I went to bed while Joe took care of the 3 non sick kids.

This morning we got up and moving and checked out from the hotel with like 5 minutes to spare. We stopped at a local grocery store for food for a couple of days and made it to the house we are staying at. It's gorgeous. On a lake. The kids played. And passed out.
aelfie: (Have a Nice Day)
After searching in my pen cup for something to write with I finally found a pen that was functional.

Its a lovely Cross pen.

I just noticed that it actually says something on it.

"HiFive! Goes Live!" August 1, 2000

Considering I was gone by the end of that month I am very amused.

Aggie Pride

Oct. 8th, 2008 02:08 pm
aelfie: (Default)
My only complaint about the article is that the reporter got the name wrong...needless to say I sent him an email correcting him.

Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh in the middle of another sexual harassment complaint.

 

Article Full Text Under Cut )
My other comment. When calling the University Cops on a student for breaking the security gate, the director was being a gratitious asshole. I broke one at least once a month after I joined Unitrans. Those stupid gates were/are a pain. There's a reason why they kept a stack of them on hand for quick replacement.

State of me

Apr. 5th, 2008 09:21 pm
aelfie: (Default)
I've been too busy this week to post as I would have liked...so I'm going to play catch up!

About 6 months ago, I volunteered to participate in my High School's Career Fair...although in many ways H.S. was miserable...I still credit the institution for my success.There I learned that I was smart, I was capable, and I could accomplish my dreams. They kinda failed in instilling a strong Catholic faith in me...but two out of three isn't bad.

About a month ago, I called ALA (American Library Association) in Chicago and talked to their recruitment department. I told them what I was doing and asked if they could send out...stuff. Posters, bookmarks, you know...schwag. A week before the event, I got this HUGE package stuffed with Posters, bookmarks, ballpoint pens, pencils, highlighters and brochures....good to know my dues are going towards cool stuff.

Anyway, as a fair participant, they asked us to be there at 7 AM...in Concord. Oy. So I set the alarm for 5:15 so I could shower and run out the door. I woke up at...6:06. Its a bit over an hours drive. FUCK! I was extremely glad I packed the car and my stuff the night before as I was in Joe's car at 6:10...as Joe put it, I was a red blur. As I drove, I needless to say, I relived memories of my youth...I was late for school! ARGH! I pulled in the parking lot at 7:10. Not bad.

Went inside, set up, blah, blah, blah. The Fair started at 7:30. There were a few girls milling the place and they congregated around the "cool" careers, the doctors, lawyers, event planner, etc. Traffic was slow around my table, duh. The organizers were walking around thanking everyone for coming...I got to meet the new Principal. She said not to worry, it would get busier and the girls would ask me about what I do. I told her, that its okay, I was there to plant seeds. When she asked what I meant, I said "I understand that being  Librarian is not a sexy job to a 17 year old girl. But when they get to their senior year of college and ask the universe "What am I going to do now?" some of them might think, well, library school isn't a bad idea. It sounds a lot better after adding up the costs of your student loans." She laughed and said good planning.

The event itself went really well, lots of girls and a few boys from across the street came up, took stuff, listened to my spiel, and asked questions. I pointed out to everyone that we can't graduate Librarians fast enough to replace retiring boomers and that people with hard science Bachelors degrees were in big demand, especially around here with all the bio-tech research firms. And that its also a fairly family friendly and flexible career. By the end I was handing out pens and pencils to anyone who walked by...I didn't want to take that stuff home...better off with the kids there.

After it was all over, I went and visited my Gram. We had a good conversation without kids bothering us. I crashed for a bit, and then I drove home. It was a long but good day.
aelfie: (Default)
To my Dearest Duncan!

Nine years ago, about this time, wearing these same pajamas, I sat in a hotel room with close family and friends getting my hair and makeup done. Everyone kept remarking that I was the calmest bride they'd ever seen. When someone asked why I wasn't freaking out, I responded "The only thing I care about today is that at the end of the day I'm married to the most wonderful man in the world. All the rest is just a bonus."

You're still the most wonderful man in the world. I'd marry you all over again in a heartbeat. And I love you.

My feet hurt. =)
aelfie: (MnM Ike)
So yesterday, I took him to school. I kissed him goodbye and then he caught sight of his teacher and ran over to her. I started to walk off. I hear "Miss Sue. Look!" I turn and see him grab the edges of his shorts and drops trou, he stands up quickly and continues "New Underwear!" in a very proud voice.

All we could do is burst out laughing.

I love his teacher, her response through the laughter "Those are cool underpants Ike, better keep 'em clean. Now pull up your shorts and we'll go inside"

He is such a character.
aelfie: (Tat)
So, one of my best buds from college FINALLY nailed his sweetie down for a date to get married. The wedding was on tuesday. It was held in the backyard of one of their friends. For a wedding thrown together in 2 weeks, it was very lovely. At least, what I saw of it.

Now, this couple run on their own time clock. [profile] pusifootmight be relieved that someone else we know can, in fact, be tremendously late for their own wedding. The wedding was scheduled for 2 in the afternoon. I pulled up to the house at 1:55 scared that I was late. Wrong! I beat the groom. I don't know why I was worried, these two average 2 hours late to any get together. The wedding finally started at 3:15.  That has to be a record.

Did I mention I took all three kids? By myself? No. I didn't? Oh. Well, let me tell you. Tuesday was Fucking HOT. So I was trying to entertain 3 kids, outside, in a non-kid friendly house/yard. I wasn't the only one, there were other small kids running around. Granted I had the biggest grouping, but hey, shit happens. Did I mention that the back yard was full of fruit trees? With lots of fruit on the trees? No. Oy! Ike was the oldest in the ankle-biter set, but he found a partner in crime, a 3.5 y.o. boy who attracts trouble like he does.  The owner of the house was not happy that all the kids kept pulling fruit off the trees and eating them. Or throwing them. Or just playing near them. She kept yelling at me and my kids. All afternoon. Grrr.

So we finally get to the ceremony! There was only 30 or so guests, but the preacher they hired still could not make her voice heard over 10 feet. I hate that. The bride comes out looking lovely. And my girls start to fuss. A lot. The ceremony goes on, nobody can hear a thing between the wedding whisperer and Elli crying her fool head off. Finally, the mother of the bride turns her head, and says to me "My daughter is getting married and I'd like to hear. Shut them up." If looks could of killed the MOTB would have been killed by her own daughter. Have I mentioned I love M~ dearly?  Thankfully someone bailed me out. The DJ picked up one of the crying little girls and said "Lets take them inside" A wonderful grandma lady comes up to them and asks if they wanted a snack and then gave them one. Thank goodness for the kindness of others. So I missed the wedding. Grrr. M~ said someone taped it so I could see later.

The rest of the party was just as frustrating. While dealing with Child A, Child B would get into trouble, I'd then deal with Child B while Child C got into trouble, while dealing with Child C, Child A gets into trouble. Wash, rinse, repeat for 3.5 hours. Chinese food served for the main part of the wedding feast. Kids ate a lot while I nibbled on fruit, olives, and carrot sticks. The heat and humidity was so bad that I nearly passed out a couple of times as there was also very little shade to be found. (Yes, there were a bunch of fruit trees. Did I mention that they were dwarf trees?) I think I drank about a gallon of bottled water.

They finally cut the cake at 6:45 so I was finally able to bail at 7 with three, tired, extremely filthy kids. We stopped at McD's so I could grab a bunless burger and got home at 8:30. Tired, exhausted, sore, and a bit crispy on the edges. Now were any of my kids nice and fell asleep in the car? Buwahahahahahaha. That's funny. Everyone was out by 10. Thank goodness.

Now the personally cool part. During the toasts the MOTG asked everyone to put up their hands to bless the Bride and Groom. Now, doing this normally makes me feel extremely stupid. Yea, yea, blah, blah, giving energy to people, blah, blah. It still looks and feels stupid. But being a sheep, I join in. Ike's clinging to one hand, so I put up my right hand. MOTG starts saying....whatever. The cool part was that when she started talking I felt my roots sink into the earth, that oh so funky tingle started on the back of my neck and at the top of my head, and the energy started streaming out of my hand towards S & M~. That tingle and streaming energy are sensations I feel when touching the Divine. It hasn't happened in a very long time. I've forgotten how wonderful it feels.  It lightened my mood and lifted my spirits. (At least for a little while)  And as big of a pain in the ass that wedding was, I'm extremely glad I went. My friends are happy, and I remembered something wonderful.
aelfie: (Default)
Conversation 1:

Ike: Mommy? You need to make me another baby!
Me: I need to make you another baby?
I: Yea. You need to make me another baby.
M: Okay, do you want a brother or a sister?
I: I want a sister!
M: You want another girl like Elli and Gwen?
I: NO!
M: Oh. So you want a little boy?
I: Yea, a brother.
M: Oy.

Conversation 2:
(Note: Ike has decided to start wearing underwear again and used the bathroom successfully all day.)

Me: Ike, did you pee on the floor when you were in time out?
I: No.
M: Okay. (I turn to leave the room)
I: I peed on the wall.
I stop, look. He did indeed pee on the wall. And there's a puddle on the floor.
M: Ike did you forget you could leave your room while in time out to go potty?
I: Yea.
M: *sigh* Okay Ike. My fault. I forgot to remind you. Just remember for next time okay?
I: Okay Mommy.
aelfie: (MnM Ike)
So lately Ike has been on a Princess kick. Starting in February he started asking for Fairy Princess wings. So I went and bought them and a crown too....you can't be a Princess without that crown. He was thrilled and danced all over this house wearing them.

He then promptly demanded Princess Dancing Shoes. That took a couple of days, but I found a used pair of red, sparkly, flat shoes ala Dorothy Gale. He loved them and went tromping around the house in those shoes driving us crazy with the noise.

Then came the request for a Princess Dancing Dress. Okay, no problem! Found a suitable (i.e. cheap, washable and worth saving for younger sisters use) dress and brought it home. Off came grungy boy clothes and on went this dress. I've got pictures of him climbing around his swing set dressed in this get up.

Okay, here's the kicker. I was telling this to my girlfriend BA who lives in Maine. She thought it was hysterical and wondered aloud where she could find a Princess dress to send him. I gave her a lead and off we went.

Yesterday. I had my friend R's little boy A over for the afternoon as she just had a baby 10 days ago (Bread on the water!). When we got home from the park there was a huge box waiting. Kicked the kids outside and opened it up. BA sent Ike his birthday present. Among the presents was (get this) the Disney Princess Dress Up Trunk. *snicker*snort*

I ripped that open immediately. Ike came in to see what the noise was. "Oh Mommy! Is that for me? Oh! Look at the dresses! Princess Dresses! And jewelery! And Princess Shoes!" Etc, etc. A on the other hand was looking at Ike gushing and asked "Don't you have any King dress up clothes?" So we compromised. A got the Crown, the jewelery, and a sword. Ike got the shoes.

Here's a pic of the happy couple.





You know? I can just hear [personal profile] allanh laughing and saying something like "That's my boy!"
aelfie: (Default)
Now many people know, I drove a bus in college. Yes, I do in fact know how to drive a London Double Decker bus. We imported them along with the mechanic. Being a part of Unitrans was actually a really good thing. In retrospect, it was similar to a fraternity/sorority. We had our hazing (you had to get your license), there was a hierarchy and it was a built in social scene. Once in, you had access to neat people, cool parties, and a common goal.

I was thinking about an incident that happened 13-14 years ago, and I realized that I should write some of these down. Its worth remembering.

Now, one of the bits of extra training you could volunterily sign up for was OTC's (Out of Town Charters).  As we were the cheapest game in town, many of UCD's Greek people would charter Unitrans buses for their Formals. The basic gig was driving really drunk people from Davis to some nice location/hotel (usually somewhere in Sacramento (20-30 mins away)) drop them off, go fart around for 4-5 hours, pick up people who are even more drunk/passing out and drive their drunk asses back to Davis. And get paid for the entire evening. Other than dealing with drunk stupid people (DSP) for 1-2 hours of the evening, it was easy money (the night usually ended up with 6-8 hours on the time clock). 

That being said, for the longest time, my best friend M and I were the only women who had the balls to drive OTC's. Most didn't want to deal with DSP's (who occasionally tipped $20.00 bills to make up for extra annoying passengers), their puke (at least one person for the night, thankfully never happened to me), or other bodily fluids (a lone beer bottle filled with piss comes to mind).  Needless to say, we developed a, somewhat, exaggerated reputation. This was not something we down played. We wanted them scared of us. 

Here's the memory for tonight: One OTC called for 3 busses. M was in the lead, I was in the middle, M's boyfriend P was bringing up the rear. DSP starting filing out of the frat house to the first bus. They took a look at who was driving, turned right around, and came to my bus, the about face was repeated, and the DSP's moved onto P's bus. This amused us greatly.  P's bus filled up first, then mine, then M's. And it was an uneventful night.
aelfie: (Default)
So, by this point, with no sign of him, I've resigned myself to the fact that Harley is now roaming the cat-nip fields in the Summerlands, catching every squirrel and bird he wants. Damn.

So this morning, he was brought front and center to my attention. While cleaning the spare room up for my MIL's imminent arrival, I moved a pile of t-shirts off a pile of stitching charts. Whoa! Stink! Harley must of peed on them the last time he got shut in that room. Thankfully, the charts were mostly undamaged, and the shirts are washable.

As much as I grimaced from the smell, it brought a small smile to my face. He left me a last, unforgettable, present to remember him by.

I miss my stupid cat.


aelfie: (Default)
Its been a trying day.

Or at least afternoon.

I dropped Ike off at KidsPark at noon so that I could, hopefully, get the girls to take a bloody nap at the same time so that I could get some housework done. I fed the girls lunch, and let them play outside for a bit. I went back in to help Gwen get something to drink. I hear Elli start to cry, but it doesn't sound deathly, so I yelled out to her and asked if she needs some love. She comes whining into the house and she is covered in blood. Ack! I clean her up and figure out she has, yet again (!), bitten her lip badly. Although this time, she didn't bite through. Thank goodness. I didn't relish yet another trip to the ER to get someone's face stitched up.  I think she fell off the ladder to the top of the play structure. She does that, alot. After this, she's ready for a nap. I get her down and try to get Gwen to go down too.

No go. Sigh. Oh well. So I tried to entertain Gwen while trying to pick up the kitchen and the house a bit. After a bit, Elli wakes up in a good mood. (Yea!)

I loaded the girls in the van at about 3:15, I wanted to get Ike and encourage Gwen to sleep. (She has a tendency to pass out in the car). So I drove around a bit before getting the boy. Just as I'm heading to get him, my phone rings. Its KidsPark asking me to come pick Ike up because he isn't behaving. Grrr. I hate it when he gets kicked out of places. Makes me so embarrassed. Turns out he was throwing stuff and not letting them change his stupid pull up. (Long story involving Ike's house-breaking drama.)

So I pick him up, tell him I'm not happy, and take him home. Gwen, obligingly, fell asleep, and I get her successfully into bed without a bottle. (Yea!). When Ike came in he notices the brand new 1 gallon jug of bubble solution on the table that I stupidly left out. I told him to wait, and I would open it for him. I put Gwen to bed, did something else, look for the kids as its awfully quiet. Ike comes into the house. He's splattered with something from shoulders to knees. "What's that on your clothes?" "Bubbles!"

Oh no.

I go out to the patio and he has dumped the entire bottle onto the outside table (did I mention that this thing, although very battered, is almost 100 years old?), there's a lake and river of bubble solution forming on my patio and out the door. And Elli is standing in the middle of it, soaked.

I take a deep breath, turn to him and calmly say "Go to your room Ike, just go to your room." And he did. (Never let it be said that Ike's not a smart boy)

I grab Elli, strip her, leave her in a diaper, give her some graham crackers to entertain her and shut her in the living room. Go to my room and grab the dirty towel hamper.  In the middle of cleaning off the table, the phone rings and I go in to answer it.

I forgot to shut the door behind me.

I come back, and Elli is in the middle of Bubble Lake, slipping and sliding, while bawling her eyes out 'cause she just can't get her feet under her and falling down every half second. (Think small piglet in a puddle of oil.) She's almost completely covered from head to toe in bubble solution. She somehow managed to not get any on her face, but her hair is plastered to her head. I gingerly pick her up, hold her out in front of me and rush to the bathroom. She gets an impromptu shower, which she didn't like (man her hair is getting long, when wet, its between her shoulder blades), but at least she's no longer ready to be the star attraction of the local pig wrestling contest.

After awhile, I got the mess cleaned up.

Eventually, Ike was let out of his room.

Oy. What a day. Thank God for the hot tub.
aelfie: (Default)
A conversation I had a few years ago that I recently remembered and want to keep.

Phone rings at Joe's parents place. I answer.

"Dadek Residence."

"Hello, may I speak to Mrs. Dadek please?"

<pause>

"Which one? There are three."

"Uh. Mrs. Joseph Dadek"

"Well, that narrrowed it down to two. Wanna try again?"

"Uh. Mrs. Thelma Dadek."

"Ah. You want Grandma. May I ask who's calling?"

Etc, etc

It just amused the hell out of me to be in a house where I could participate in the Dr. Jones scene from The Last Crusade. "Mrs. Dadek?" Three heads turn. "Yes?"

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