Saturday, October 30, 2004

The Purge

Inspired by our recent visits to my mom's to help her move, Ron and I decided that we MUST get rid of some of our own stuff. This was accomplished in three ways: a garage sale, a major trip to the landfill, and a donation of items to charity. We have done these purges from time to time in the past, and once the trauma of selecting items to dispose of is over, it is so liberating. However, this is the biggest clearing away of stuff I think we've ever done.There was even stuff from the marriage before me, such as the delightful camper toilet from the attic. (I'm kind of a hotel- dwelling princess.) The garage sale was last Sunday, and even though I didn't make much money, I had a delightful assortment of characters come by.They bought some bulky items like blankets and comforters, so that was good. The landfill trip was this morning. We took the seats out of a huge van, the kind of van churches use for youth group trips. We loaded it from floor to ceiling with stuff, some which we had taken apart or broken up to make it fit. Finally, we took a lot of other stuff to a charity store.
This is always a somewhat emotional thing for me, but it was especially so this last time. The blankets and comforters were Ninja Turtle and Jurassic Park themed items that my son used when he was a little boy. We also got rid of the crib that he and two of my step-grandchildren had used, and I sold some of his old toys. There are still plenty left that I will try to sell in a spring garage sale, but I'm still having trouble dealing with the idea of selling the tin bucket full of Transformers. My son told me I could go ahead and try to sell them, although pieces might be missing from some of them. He loved those so much when he was little, though. To paraphrase Charlton Heston, someone will probably have to pry that bucket of Transformers out of my cold, dead hands.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Too tired; just writing so I don't forget my username

I am so freakin' tired. My brain needs a nap while my body does good things like go to the health club and exercise. Last Tuesday one class session ended and Thursday another one began. I spent the weekend grading papers (essays and research papers) and having a garage sale (netted $25.00...not retiring yet). I think the change in weather/seasons is exacerbating the fatigue, and it will be worse next week when Daylight Savings Time ends. I am extremely time and weather sensitive, so I picked a really good state in which to be born (Michigan). I had some fun last week, though. I wanted my son to have his picture taken for his senior yearbook at his university, so I had to drive his suit and tie down there. When my friend Donna heard I was going to Ann Arbor, she said she would enjoy coming along, which made it a lot more fun. After we dropped off the suit to my son and ran an errand at a pharmacy, we all went out to a vegetarian restaurant. After we dropped my son off, Donna dropped some homemade relish off at her friend's house, then took me on a nighttime tour of her hometown of Saline. I'm not really crazy about driving in unfamiliar places, so she drove. I was weirdly excited when we drove through Chelsea and saw the factory where they make Jiffy mixes (muffins, cakes, etc...very inexpensive). I remember now I spent one summer of my life in college living on Jiffy muffins. There's a big lit-up Jiffy box sign in the front of it. We also stopped in another small town and dropped off some clothes for her son (lots of dropping off of clothes for sons going on.). Anyway, it was a pleasant high point in a very busy week. Now, if I can arrange a nap for about 48 hours, I think I will have the energy to face another eight weeks of teaching.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Birth Week

A few years ago, birthdays between my husband and me started turning into "birth week," depending on what day of the week they fell, and instead of being king or queen for a day, we could pretty much get our way for about a week. This time, I think I got over a week, because my friend started 8 days before my birthday with a little party. It was especially nice because I was a little nervous that this was a "5" birthday. Some people in my age bracket dread birthdays ending in a "0" , but since I have been 25, my "5" birthdays have been the defining ones for me. I really enjoyed this one, though. My mother-in-law took me to lunch on Friday along with my two sisters-in-law, and my husband went too since he had a day off from work. On Saturday, which was my real birthday, we went out for breakfast. I got cards from my brother & sister-in-law, aunt and uncle, youngest stepson and his wife & kids, and my sister. My son called me, and today his card arrived, which took me by surprise, since he had called. My step-daughter-in-law and the kids stopped by and brought me a beautifully wrapped gift. The gift was great, but my favorite part of her gifts is the way she wraps them. This had beautiful hand-stamped paper, a beautiful ribbon and a beautifully tied bow, and a sunflower. Later on Saturday, we got all dressed up and went to a new restaurant in town. It is Cadillac-themed and fun in a themey way. I really want it to succeed because the owner built it in an older part of town that was kind of dilapidated before, and I really respect people who take that kind of risk, that, if it succeeds, can improve the community around it. The food was really good there, and we had a really nice time. I had duck with Chinese-style bbq sauce, sticky rice, and cucumber-daikon slaw. My husband and I shared one of the best pieces of chocolate cake I have ever had, and they didn't charge us for it. The next day, we went to breakfast again and drove up north for a color tour. We stopped for lunch at a horrible diner that didn't seem to know how to make a proper Reuben or club sandwich, which is really typical diner food. Go figure. The ride was nice, though, and we saw some really beautiful scenery around Cadillac. (the city, not the car or restaurant. I guess this was a Cadillac themed b-day.) This was also interspersed with some home maientenance projects, but even those were pleasant becuse of all the fun activities. The only weird thing is I haven't heard from my mom yet. Since I am her baby girl, maybe this "5" birthday is hard on her, or maybe she can't get through on the phone b/c I have been on the computer all the time. Or maybe she doesn't love me anymore. No, that can't be it. Who wouldn't love ME? My new plan, which I thought up last week, is to spend my 50th birthday at Oktoberfest in Munich, so I had better start planning/saving now.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Catching up

I actually wrote a lengthy blog entry a few days ago, but since I still have a telephone hook-up (yes, I am a dinosaur, but I've been assured by my spouse that we'll be getting DSL any day now) I was interrupted by a telephone call from the computer that calls substitute teachers. My stuff stayed on-screen for a while, but as I listened to the info in the call, all that I had just written disappeared. Quick replay of last week: Sunday: Helped my mom move. Was inspired to purge many of my own things collecting dust lest I face a nightmare like that in my own home. However, Mom is in new apartment. Mom seems to be happy. This is good. Monday: Went to bookstore to see Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club, Choke, Diary, Lullaby, etc. Must admit I've only seen the movie Fight Club but did read Choke & part of Lullaby. Talked to Chuck and got book signed. Was one of three oldest people there, and felt very conspicuous without tatoos, piercings, interestingly styled hair. Chuck told an interesting story called "Guts", which basically involves three apparently true and increasingly grisly um...self-satisfaction mishap stories. The way Chuck told them, they were rather strangely funny and I wonder why I found them amusing. When I repeated them to my husband, who is a Palahniuk fan, he didn't think they were funny at all. Maybe it's my delivery. And of course, if I met these people, I probably wouldn't laugh. Okay, maybe I have to know the stories. They will be in his book that is coming out in June, I think. Wednesday...had a mammogram. Also somewhat grisly and not really that funny, except during one of the "compressions" as they euphemistically call the crushing, squeezing pinch (but it only lasts for a few seconds and can save your life) I said,"F-----!" which I usually save for when I get to know people a little better and know whether or not they would be offended. I apologized to the technician who was very nice and said they were used to that kind of thing. It seems appropriate to do this kind of thing in the same week one sees Chuck Palahniuk. Friday I went to my friend's house for a "girl's night out" and she surprised me with a little early birthday party. She gave me a soapmaking book, also appropriate in the week I saw Chuck Palahniuk, and you will know what I am talking about if you saw or read Fight Club. So, that's last week,which was a little busier than most for me.