Thursday, May 31, 2007

Like a Log!

Since summer is nearly upon us, thunderstorms will be a common occurance. Lots of booming thunder and flashes of lightning. Today was one of those storms. It rolled through around 3:45 with all the aforementioned stuff, plus high winds and golf ball size hail stones. Yep, hail. The funny thing...Bug slept through it all, even when I went in to his room to check that the rain wasn't coming in his open windows. Guess it's good to have a sound sleeper.

Here's a quick video I took from my front porch. Video

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Good, The Bad and The Profanity

Today was yet another beautiful day. It's 80° out and sunny. I took the kids on a walk over to St. Rose for another quick visit. The Daytime Circulation Supervisor (my former department) is taking a new job at another college library so they were holding a luncheon in her honor today. It was a nice little send off. I'm really going to miss dropping in and seeing her this summer.

To be completely honest, when she was first hired on as the day supervisor, most everyone, including me, was apprehensive about her. She's from Denmark originally and we honestly didn't know what to expect from her. In the years following her arrival at the library, she grew on most everyone. She was kinda like a second mom to me as I could pretty much tell her anything and she would go out of her way to help when she could. I really felt bad leaving her when I stopped working and became a Stay at Home Mom. Like any family, we had our differences and butted heads on numerous occasions. Looking, back, I'm glad we did butt heads. I also learned a few things I never would have known had I not met her. I'm not talking swear words in Danish or things like that, but the fun stuff, like the naughty little "nisse" that would bring special treats to the student assistants who worked the desk.

I know she probably won't ever read this, but I wish her lots of luck in all her future endeavors. I hope she grows on the people of Skidmore College the way she did at St. Rose.

And now on to the rant portion of this post. As I was walking home with the kids, I came upon a group of 3 teens hanging out on a street corner (right where I was crossing) and as I approach them I hear such foul language spilling from their mouth I wanted to wash their mouths out with Dawn! My question is, why were these 3 teens, who were obviously school aged, hanging out on the corner at 1 in the afternoon? Why were they not in class? I checked the school calendar on the website and they have school until June 22nd! Everyone complains how bad the schools are here in the city and it really makes you think it has something to do with the kids not being in class. When I went to school you had to be there until the end bell even if you had study hall as your last period. There was no early dismissal. The biggest peeve I have is that they were spouting off all their profanity as I'm walking past with my 2 year old! At least have the courtesy to shut up for the 30 seconds I was near. It's not that hard. I don't want to hear "mother f'n" this and "sh*t" that. And to top it all off, they were dropping the n word like it was water. I'm not a racist so please don't take what I'm about to say the wrong way. I know that if a white person dropped the n word like these kids were, somewhere in the world a black person would have their panties in a bunch. But it's fine for a black person to say it to another black person. Why? And why in public? I never want to hear those words come out of Bug's mouth like that. Yes, I've been known to drop my fair share of swear words, but I don't do it in public. Come on people. Teach your kids to have respect for others! I only hope I can teach Bug this better than those teens were taught.

Ok, I'm off my soap box now. lol

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I Swear They Must Get A Commission!

We did our grocery shopping today and, as usual, we bought a lot of stuff. While we were checking out, we had a bagger. I swear that our grocery store baggers get commission on how many of their cheap, tear the second you put more than 3 small thing in them plastic bags. The bagger we had put our gallon milk containers each in a separate bag and then grabbed our apple juice containers that come with built in handles on the top for easy carrying and tried to put them in bags, too. I stopped her and said, "you don't have to put those in bags, they already have handles." You should have seen the look on her face. She looked utterly appalled that I said anything to her about the way she was doing her job. I just smiled and considered saying something about "let's save the environment here," but I didn't. I didn't even say anything to her as I reached passed her for the 6 packs of Pepsi and the case of root beer and just put them in the cart (and without those little orange "I paid for these items" stickers on them. OH NO!!) And, to top it off, she put hot food (I was getting something from the hot buffet for Bug to have for lunch since it was getting late and he was getting hungry (and pretending to chow down on the sales flyer, which was really cute)) right on top of my ice cream! Who the hell trained her? Cold stuff goes with cold and hot with hot! Most occasions I just want to bag myself or have Darling Hubby do it, but now the store has pretty much instituted the "you will have an incompetent bagger program," so they are usually there.

I'm considering going for those reusable canvas shopping bags. It would be so much more eco-friendly, I wouldn't have a ton and a half of plastic bags floating around my house and I probably wouldn't have to worry about the bags tearing while walking to the house from the car leaving my grapefruit rolling down the driveway. Granted, I do use those plastic bags for small garbage pail liners and for emptying the kitty box and things like that so they do get reused a little, but I feel I would be doing my part to save the environment if I stopped the store from handing them out like they were water. I swear, on a $150 shopping trip (minus the things that I prevented her from bagging, I must have had at least 15-20 bags each with like 2 things in them. It says "EZ10" on the bag for a reason!

So, if you have gone the route of putting a stop to piles of plastic shopping bags leaping from behind your toilet or sneaking their way out from under the kitchen sink, let me know what you've used and your recommendations. I'll appreciate it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Assessment article

So yesterday was the assessment appeal hearing. We didn't go because it seemed like a waste of time. We won't hear anything for a while anyway.

Here is an article from today's Times Union about the whole thing. Turns out, it was worse than Scott and I thought. Our assessment went up about 75% or so...some actually went up 95%. Ninty-five percent!!! That's just utterly rediculous, if you ask me. Keep your fingers crossed that thing will go down to a reasonable amount for everyone involved.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Life is a Soap Opera

I currently live in a quiet little neighborhood in a big city and I've lived in a tiny little country (ok, hick) town and I've come to know there is drama all around.

I was talking to my new neighbor this morning as he was painting his fence and we were discussing all the crap that is going on with the whole assessment (see prior post) and we got on the topic of the lady that lives directly across the street from us. She is a nice enough lady, but apparently, she has a wicked drinking problem. From what the neighbor told me, she has been in rehab 3 times and despite that she is still on the bottle. Apparently, she hides beer throughout her home that even friends and family can't find when they attempt to clean it all out. She currently has no hot water or heat (ok, it's May and we don't need heat, but in any case, she doesn't have it) in her house and the electricity has been recently shut off. She hasn't paid taxes in 2 years on the property, either (so we are pretty sure she didn't fight the assessment issues.) At the end of last year there were several times when the cops were parked outside escorting a couple individuals from the property. I do know that there was a lot of yelling and the cops where there for a good long time. I thought it was a family member being removed, but I guess she was renting an area of her house to some lowlifes who where taking advantage of an elderly lady down the street. Now she is renting out her driveway to some motorcyclists. She has only recently gotten a job. I'm just wondering how long that will last until she gets drunk, forgets her schedule and blows off work, losing her job.

I know what you may be thinking and I already know that none of this is really any of my business but it's things like this that really make me glad that I stay in my house and keep to myself. I just feel so sorry for this woman. She has basically let herself get to this point. You have to want to make a difference in your life in order for rehab to work and obviously, she doesn't want to change her life. I know that many people see drinking as a disease, but you really do have to want to change in order for AA or rehab to do any good. People out there have tried to help her and it seems to do no good.

I guess where I'm going with this is that I just don't understand how good people can let themselves get to the point where they drink themselves into oblivion each day, they are jobless, they've already lost hot water/heat because they can't afford the oil, they've lost electricity and are in jeopardy of losing their home. I don't want to see her turned out of her home, but I would like to see her make some changes in her life for the better, but who am I to try to tell her how she needs to run her life. As the Boniva ad on the tv just said, "You only get one life." Why not make the best of it?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Gotta Love Getting Screwed

So back at the beginning of the year, we got our new tax assessment from the city. The taxable value of our home went from $72,000 to $164,000. Needless to say, Darling Hubby and I were floored by this. There is no way in hell that our house is worth that much. Even if we wanted to sell it, we haven't put that much work into it, and there is no way that we could get that for it. We are still trying to figure out how the city goes about deciding how much houses are worth. As far as we can tell they look at the sell price of houses in the neighborhood and decide to pick and arbitrary amount. Of course, the house next door sold in October of 2006 for $125,000 but the city has it on the books that it sold for $188,000. I've got documentation from the neighbor showing this error. It looks like this clerical error is what caused our tax assessment to go through the roof. At least we hope that's the reason.

Yes, we are fighting it. The whole neighborhood has put in complaints to have our houses reassessed. What we want is for someone to actually come to the house and do a proper assessment instead of just driving by or picking a number out of thin air.

So I called the Office of Assessment this morning to find out when and where the meeting is being held. It's next Tuesday and since we've submitted a complaint, we are welcome to go. Here's the deal. They are scheduled for the hearing from 9am-1pm and then again from 6pm-8pm. The whole thing is first come first served and since the city has over 31,000 parcels of land with no idea of how many parcels have complained, there is no telling how long of a wait there will be and even if you will get to say your piece. To top it off, you won't get an answer that day. The board will listen to what you have to say, look at your paper work that was submitted and set it aside to look at on a later date. Seems kinda pointless to me.

We've decided that we aren't going to go through the hassle of waiting for nothing. We submitted everything that we could to prove our case and nothing that we say out loud will show anything different. Now it's a waiting game. I just don't think we can afford to pay more into our mortgage payment to be put into escrow to cover the tax increase. I hope to hear something by July...I'm hoping that somewhere out there, someone is looking out for us in our neighborhood and that we will be reassessed at a reasonable rate.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I'm worried about my dog, Grace, this morning. She's been acting a little off since yesterday afternoon. She peed and then "peed" like 4 more times but came up empty. She ate fine yesterday and was drinking as far as I know. She was fine all night, and went to the bathroom no problem before bed. This morning she went fine and then when I fed her she didn't want to eat. She NEVER turns her nose up at food. She eats anything and everything. I've recently switched her to soft canned food as she's been loosing teeth (her teeth were bad when we got her and nothing helps). I checked the food and it's not part of the recalled food from March. Her nose is cold and wet so I don't know what's up with her.

I plan to keep an eye on her today. Maybe she's just having an off day and I'm overreacting about the peeing thing. I know the other day I kept feeling like I had to pee even when I went and I've had days where I'm not hungry. I just hope that nothing is seriously wrong. I don't think we can afford to have anymore medical bills for her. She's already cost us 3 grand with her broken leg in November.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What Makes Me Warm and Fuzzy Inside

My friend Lori tagged me with "10 things that make me feel warm and fuzzy inside." Here they are!

1. Bug's laugh.

2. A cup of hot chocolate, a warm blanket, a good book, and a comfy spot on the couch.

3. Hearing "I Love You."

4. Showing off pictures I have taken.

5. Finishing a scrapbook or sewing project.

6. A cat curled up in my lap purring.

7. Getting an unexpected (or even expected) package or card in the mail.

8. Bug curling up in my lap while we read or watch tv.

9. Watching Bug play nice and interact with baby Heather (He's going to be a good big brother someday)

10. Knowing that I have great friends all over the world who are there for me!

OK, I know most of my friends have already been tagged with this so I'm not going to tag anyone specifically. If you read this and haven't done it already, then you've been tagged... :D

Monday, May 14, 2007

Tag! I'm it!

My friend, Lauren, tagged me! Here are 7 weird things about me!

1) I'm blanket obsessed. The fleecier and fuzzier the better. I have a zillion blankets (some bought and some handmade) and I can curl up under one any day of the year. I also have to have 2 comforters on the bed.

2) I actually like doing laundry. I even enjoy hanging it up outside on the clothesline.

3) I love to write and type. I'm probably the only person in history who types complete sentences on IM and checks my spelling...

4) I occasionally like to eat liverwurst sandwiches.

5) I have a large stuffed animal collection from when I was a kid. I've weeded it down some and mostly have my special animals and my Eeyores. I love Eeyore.

6) I have more fun playing with Bug's toys than he does.

7) I love watching kids shows on tv. I used to watch Smurfs all the time until they took it off Cartoon Network. :(

Now to tag people! Here are 7 random names!

Shannon, Colleen, Julie, Jessica, Meghan, Megan, Amanda

Sunday, May 13, 2007

My Mama's Day Weekend

My Mother's day weekend was filled with lots of hard work and sprinkled with love, appreciation, and a few temper tantrums (but that's to be expected with a 2 year old.)

On Saturday I got to sleep in a bit and then went to the hardware store for paint and the grocery store. After Bug went down for a nap, I painted my dining room...I'm so happy that I finally got it done. Darling Hubby hates to paint and I do most of the work myself. I like to paint, but I usually feel the effects of climbing up and down a step stool, sitting on the floor, rolling the roller back and forth and using the paint brush along the edges. My left wrist (the one that I'd hurt in the past) was so sore I couldn't even bear weight on it. At least I got 2 coats of paint on the walls and most of the edging done last night.

This morning (Mother's Day) was my turn to get up early. I should have switched with Darling Hubby, but oh well. I tried to get Bug to wish me a Happy Mother's day as I was getting him dressed, but all he would say was "Happy Feet." Close enough I guess. When Darling Hubby got up we got showered and went down to Washington Park to the Tulip Festival. It's a major deal here in town. They even crown a Tulip Queen. There were a ton of vendors selling all kinds of things from handmade jewelry to ceramic statues to paintings and photographs to votive holders made from old tin cans (very cool by the way.)

Here are some pictures of the tulips.

While we were looking at some of the tulips, Bug wanted to look at the Moses fountain in the center of the park.

Looking at the fountain with Daddy

Peering into the water

Trying his darnedest to get into the "wawa." He thought it was a bath.

We also got to see some of Albany's finest, the Fire Department. Bug got his very own fireman's helmet and saw a fire truck upclose.

Mommy and Bug

The painting on the side of the pumper truck

We also saw Mr. Twisty the balloon man. He made Bug a green doggy...the doggy later popped after being bitten.

We were at the park a long time as it was pretty painfully slow going with the hordes of people who arrived. Bug was pretty fussy around lunch time and we were trying to get him out of there, but it took us at least 45 mins to get through the crowded with a couple quick stops to pick up a few things.

When we came home, we had lunch, put Bug down for a nap and I finished the dining room, planted some flowers out front, weeded some and ate dinner that Darling Hubby cooked for me. It's been a long day and despite the few meltdowns, I know that I was appreciated and loved. I'm glad I'm a mom!

His smiles make it all worthwhile!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Wuv Woo

Bug expressed his love verbally for the first time tonight. I was beginning to think I'd never see the day. Right after dinner Darling Hubby was getting ready to leave to go to see Spiderman 3 and Bug was giving his rounds of "bye," hugs and kisses. Daddy closed the door and as he did he said "Love you" and Bug repeated "wuv woo." Course it melted my heart! He finally said he loves us. I'm happy now. I just had to share!

Random things that annoy me

I just hate it when I wake up in the morning and my email inbox is filled to the brim with those stupid forward emails that everyone sends. You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones where you have 30 seconds to make a wish and do math in your head and scroll down incessantly before finding out how many people you have to forward it to in order for your wish to come true or God will smite you and make your sex life take a nose dive...those emails. I hate those!
I often don't mind the jokes to much if they are funny and I haven't seen them before, but come on! If you've seen the joke and mailed it out before...don't send it back to me. I'm sure I've already seen it if you have! I'm sorry, but those forwards end with me. I haven't sent a forward in several years. I hate them and assume that my friends do to...Come one people! Oh, and I hate when the email has been forwarded a zillion times and there's all the info from the prior people. If you are going to annoy me by sending it on, at least take a few seconds to clean it up a bit.
I also hate that the garbage men just randomly toss my trash cans where ever they feel like it and don't turn them upside down during a rain storm. They fill up with water and I hate that!
I hate that my fish tank filter keeps getting clogged with algae and I have to clean it ALL THE TIME! Grr!
I feel better for getting that off my chest. :D

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Yes I like asparagus!

No, don't look at me that way. I really happen to like asparagus, despite the fact that it makes me pee smell funny. Darling Hubby thinks I'm crazy, but I enjoy it. Bug didn't much care for it and Darling Hubby ate it simply because he wanted Bug to see both us eating it. Darling Hubby doesn't like squash either...Guess I'm just weird. I couldn't pass up free asparagus from the parents of the girl I sit for. They had it coming out their ears...

So today I got a beautiful little yellow chrysanthemum for Mother's day from the little girl I babysit for. I'm going to have to plant it out in the yard so everyone can see it.

While we were reading one of Bug's favorite books at bedtime tonight, Tough Trucks, he pointed out the apple, banana, strawberry and carrot that are shown on the side of an 18 wheeler. I agreed with him about each thing and then he points to the word "way" in the text and says "w." It's so great that he's learning to recognize letters like that. Course I had to call Daddy up and show him. I guess letting him watch Sesame Street is paying off. He's also been trying to sing the ABC song. So far he only gets to "E" before trailing's a start. He's my smart little cookie.

So we are currently in the middle of our very first thunderstorm of the year. Bug is actually doing pretty well. He was a bit weirded out during our bedtime books, but I kept telling him it was just like someone outside with a flashlight and a drum and I think he bought it. He hasn't made a peep since I put him to bed. Fingers crossed he does well with storms.

Thunderstorms always make me happy. I love to watch the lightning streak across the sky. Granted, here in the city I don't see much streak lightning. I loved watching the storms roll in when I lived with my parents. I could watch the lightning streak down to the mountaintops and count the seconds between the flashes and the booms. When I was really little, I remember my parents telling me that the rain was because Grandma left a sink running in heaven and it overflowed and the thunder was God yelling at her cause he was mad. The lightning was because the water was shorting out the lights. Hey, I was like 8 and I bought it, hook, line, and sinker.

At least the temperature and humidity have dropped. I can sleep tonight!

I'm an ant rescuer!

As I sit here checking my email and perusing what other bloggers have recently posted, Bug is sitting at my feet peering under the desk. I assume that he's looking for a toy or ball that rolled under my feet and don't look down until he starts saying "bum, bum." Now, this could mean one of 3 things. One: He's found some gum (which is impossible cause I only have one package of gum in the house and it's in the kitchen...I saw it this morning). Two: He's seen a bug. Three: He's finally figured out where his tushie is. It's number 2. He's pointing under the desk continually saying "bum" until I try to see what it is that he sees. A tiny little black ant making his way humbly across my green carpet at my feet. I retrieve a magazine from the desk with the sole thought of squishing it into oblivion and yelling "ank!" (My tells me that when I was little and found an ant, I'd grab her shoe off her foot and smash the ant into the floor yelling "ank! ank!") Somehow, I found restaint and decided that squishing it in front of Bug may traumatize him for life. He is a boy, after all, and I'm sure he'll handle his fair share of bugs in a lifetime. So, instead of bashing the little ant's brains in...I used the magazine to scoop him up and Bug and I delivered him back to the great outdoors. I actually feel good about that decision. :D

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Spring is here!

Spring is finally here in NY. Yes, it's probably been here for a while, but I can now see the leaves fully formed on the trees and the grasses are starting to sprout from the seeds scattered in the bare patches in our backyard. The flowers are blooming and making things smell wonderful and the bees are out buzzin' around doin' there thing. This is a picture I took just a little while ago of one of natures best inventions. Considering they freak me out a little, I'm glad these little buggers are around.

On another note, the temperature is currently 82° and it's nearly 7pm...Today is the 9th of May. It shouldn't be this hot yet...but really, who am I to complain. I prefer warm weather to near 0° temperatures and snow and ice. Don't worry, I'm not one to get up on a soapbox and go on and on about how humans are the cause of global warming which will cause us to have another ice age...I just accept that weather is weather and I open the windows and let the breeze blow through the house.

Call me old fashioned, but I love that I can now hang laundry out on the line to dry. I love that fresh clean scent of laundry that's been dried by the sunshine and the blowing breeze. My mom used to get up early everyday and do the wash and hang it outside before the fog burned off from the mountainside. So what if the towels get a little stiff! Nature dried them. I enjoy the quiet time outside, just me, my basket of wet clothes, and my bag of clothespins. Even though we live in the city, I still love to have that little bit of country goodness that my mom instilled in me around bringing back good memories.

Yet another blog set up

So I had to see what all the fuss was about blogspot since so many people I know are a part of it. So, here I am. I've got a myspace and a livejournal, but I guess I'm a follower and not a leader and jumped on the bandwagon. We'll see how this one goes. :D