so it's been forever...again

Busy as heck around here... Jaina went to spend the weekend with my folks. Met up with my dad on Thursday night and I went and got her this afternoon. It was nice having just an adults-onlly weekend!

Kevin and I went out with my college roommate, K and her husband, J. last night for J's birthday wihch is actually tomorrow (Mon). Went to a nifty little live blues supper club by the baseball stadium. The atmosphere was great and it was literally a 5 min walk from K and J's apartment. However...dinner sucked.

Let me start by saying our waitress had maybe 6 tables including ours, and the place was NOT full, even for 7pm on V-day night. And we had reservations, so no biggie. Our waitress was late, so she (apparently) got ripped by the manager so she was already in a bad mood when she got to our table. We ordered and got our 2 appetizers... a cheese platter and proscuttio wrapped asparagus - which were great. The guys got drinks, and K and I split a bottle of wine, plus we lush'es had water...yay livin' it up! :)

Dinner order - I had a tuna steak, DH had a chicken saltimboca, K had a grilled spinach/avocado salad, and J had a ribeye. Here's where it gets interesting...

-My tuna was good...came w/ roasted garlic mashed potatoes.
-Kevin's saltimboca was just that. chicken. no other side/veg/etc. just chicken. Not even sauce. AND, it had spinach in it instead of basil.
-K's salad had no dressing and the grilled shrimp was cold instead of warm.
-J's steak came out w/ no steak knife. Tell me, how can you cut a ribeye with no knife?

We didn't see our waitress after she dropped off the food. 10 minutes pass. Still no steak knife or dressing. Did she get lost? So...we flag down the HOSTESS who is at her station less than 6 feet away from our table. SHE gets us what we need! Kevin and I go to the bathroom and our waitress is coming out of the kitchen giving us the "death glare". Finally finished dinner and J ordered chocolate covered strawberries. 25-30 minutes after he orders, the strawberries finaly came out. They were good, but sheesh, almost 30 minutes to chill chocolate?

Throughout this, the ONE bus/water guy was awesome, getting us refills of drinks, etc, so was the hostess. We tipped the bus/water guy as we left.

All grumpeting aside, it was a great night. Spent with good friends, awesome conversation, and just hanging out.

been a while...

Yes I know it's been a while since I've written. I've been hellaciously busy with watching my kiddo & the other little guy I watch.

Trying to decide what I want to be when I "grow up"...like that's gonna happen - the growing up part at least! :) Got accepted to DU for grad school this fall, but tuition is upwards of $30,000! Not sure I want to go into debt for that much a year for the next 3 or so years it'll take me to get my MA. Plunking around the idea of a 2nd BA in History - that way I can teach English and/or history. Make myself more marketable to future employers when I start looking for a teaching gig in the next year or 2. Decisions decisions.

Also - been cleaning our house, getting yard work done and such. Kev's best friend is moving in w/ us b/c he's getting divorced and is hurtin broke. So we're doing some major cleaning & painting, and some minor remodeling - bathroom & building a wall for a 2nd bedroom. I love Josh like a brother and he's girly's god-father. So I'm more than happy to help him out. He'll be moving in come July, if not before then.
  • Current Mood
    awake awake

Been quite a while

I know it's been a long time since I've updated my LJ. Been busy with work - I'm doing customer service from home for Alpine Access. Been on with this client since July and am enjoying it so far. Especially since I work at night after Kevin gets home. Don't have to pay for daycare!!

I also was taking care of a (at the time) 6 week old baby girl. Her parents are both teachers so I was helping them out and getting a "baby fix" at the same time. Sadly though, after 2 weeks of watching the baby, her parents found out that their older child (2 y/o boy) has leukemia. So, I don't have the baby until April since the parents are on leave from their jobs. Not sure if I'll even get her in April since parents may want to keep both kids in the same care. I love having the baby around - she's such a mellow kiddo, but I could NOT handle 3 kids under 3 years old without being inebriated by 5pm nightly (LOL) or going absolutely nuts! :)

growing girly!

Jaina's getting so big, it's hard to think that just 9 months ago she was a 7 pound newborn! She's started standing up while holding onto the couch, chair, mom/dad, etc. And she's got the top 2 teeth in addition to the bottom 2 she's had since June.

And the part that I can't believe is that in 3 months she'll be turning 1. Wow!

I'm still a farm kid at heart. Interesting editorial from the Sunday Denver Post

Dust bowl days again
By Paul Johnson

Grand Lake

It happens in Haxtun, the Corn Crib of Colorado; on the grazing land above Kremmling; in the rocky Delta onion fields on the Western Slope.

It's a moot point talking about this global warming stuff. Out on the plains, with the people who work the land, it's not a question of if, but a question of who's next. Six years of below-average precipitation, corporate farm buyouts of families, water wars between city and country folks. Do the numbers. Most of these grass-roots people have a family of four. If it's beans and hot dogs three times a week, food still adds up to $10,000 a year. Most have $100,000-a-year payments on dusty land, farm implements and clapboard houses way outside the city limits. Then there's that battered '94 pickup; a new set of tires will run $600 every year, the way gravel roads wear them down. The government poverty line is $19,500 a year for a family of four. A bushel of harvested wheat goes for $3.90; corn is $1.70 a bushel.

But the hidden costs in agriculture are seed, diesel fuel and a $140,000, four-wheel-drive tractor bought at auction for $80,000. A family down the road goes belly up; the lucky neighbor buys their John Deere tractor. The stakes to stay in farming and ranching are worse than a casino, with no guarantees of what will grow. Sometimes you win, lately you lose. The Colorado topsoil blows to Kansas thicker everyday. This is the story of the lifeblood of family farms, and how most folks bleed dry.

Wasn't always this way. In fact, a hard-working family and 14-hour days could keep you ahead two decades ago. But winter snows got scarce, spring rain sputtered. Six years ago, predictable rains stopped almost entirely. Moisture content in the soil kept dropping; winter wheat failed with short winters. Plan B for farmers was to go low till; quit plowing so deep every year, so you don't put good soil at risk to fickle winds. Better to disk the soil half the depth; keep down smothering brown dust clouds, the sign crops have vaporized once and for all.

Then, five years ago, low tillage wouldn't pay. Dry land farmers almost quit planting corn, and changed to planting wheat one year and nothing the next to build soil moisture.

You know the story; it's happening still. Rains come in scattered, dwindling bursts, mostly avoiding family farms that feed our furnace. That furnace burns bright 24/7, consuming everything produced from the plains and lush Colorado mountain valleys. Still, we flock to gleaming mega-marts and fast-food chains sprinkled like twinkling stars across this great land. We expect that corn-fed beef and fresh-baked bread no matter what.

In the meantime, bills at rural homes keep piling up like the cold, crawling dust, invoices of gloom piled against battered farmhouse doors. Seed costs go up, diesel fuel has tripled, and costs of running a tractor in the field are now $200 a day. Corn and wheat won't grow anymore, so get a third mortgage and plant sunflowers. Summer thunderstorms drop nothing, leaving another lost crop in their wake. The last chance is millet: it's bird seed, but it grows when nothing else will. Prices on millet fall again; payments on that used tractor are due. The story plays out every which way.

Family farmers are a lot like the family rancher, cutting hay for beef cattle in the mountain meadow near my house. Out of options, out of hope, they might just sell to the highest bidder. Nobody knows or cares, until the deal is done. The land is lost forever.

When the auctioneer drops the last banging gavel, there's a sickening silence in the small crowd gathered there. It's not polite to talk much at the end of an auction, not a good thing to smile when you get a steal of a deal. See, it could be you next season, selling off the land and the family, watching the hopes of three generations blow away, lost in the dust bowl burning overhead.

Paul Johnson (compasserve@comcast.net) is a consultant on organizational change and renovates old houses.

Egg donation - part 3

Well, I sent my paperwork into the Jewish Egg Donor place and they took about 3 weeks to review it.

I got an e-mail back 2 days ago that said thanks, but due to my family & personal/genetic history, I am not an "ideal candidate" for an egg donor. I am bummed b/c I wanted to be a donor. Not b/c of money, but to help out another family. I feel, too, that I was denied for another, more "higher-up" reason, that I don't know of just yet. Maybe it's something that will be happening in my life in the near future... Who knows!
  • Current Mood
    disappointed disappointed

5 years later...

Just got done watching the CBS documentary "9/11" (http://www.cbs.com/specials/911) that was filmed by 2 French brothers, the Naudet's, while they were making a documentary of a "probie" firefighter. It was the only personal account of what it was like that day, from a firefighter's point of view. All I can say is WOW, stunning and humbling. And, It made me think just how far we've come as a nation and world in the past 5 years.

I remember how stunned I was that morning. It was 7:30am, my first semester back at college and I remember hearing about the attacks while getting ready to leave. I didn't think it was possible and still drove to class w/ the raido on, talking to my mom on the cell. Both of us couldn't believe it. Everyone on campus sat around stunned, no one knew what to think, say, or do. There was the overall feeling of panic b/c campus is in the heart of downtown Denver and we've got WTC buildings, the US Mint, and other gov't buildings in the vicinity.

I remember worrying about a good friend coming back from a stint in the Navy - he was supposed to come through that day or the day before and fly from London to California through NY. We hadn't heard from him, nor could we get ahold of him. Until later that day. Finally we heard that he got home the night before.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this blog except, I think that we, as Americans, are slowly forgetting just how we felt that day. Yes, a wound heals. Yes, we will rebuild. Yes, lives were lost. Yes, it was tragic. Yes, we're overseas in Iraq...but...why are we still fighting? That's what I find hard to believe.

Egg donation thoughts - part 2

I've been doing some soul searching about the whole egg donation thing...

I'm part of an online message board/community of Jewish women - all 15 or so of us are or were trying to have a baby. Some of us have had it easier while others have had a harder journey and had to go the "assisted" route with in-vitro fertilization or etc. The assisted route is hard for my friends and the subject came up of donor eggs and what we would do or not do. I have thought about this a lot so I decided, "what the hey, I'll see what it takes to be a donor." I filled out my paperwork and sent it into a clinic here in town, but haven't heard back - that was about a month and a half ago.

Well, just the other day I found another ad that a Jewish couple was looking for an egg donor. So I replied and asked for more info. Tonight I received an e-mail back from the director of the facility and she asked if I would ever consider being a gestational carrier as well as an egg donor. That I'm NOT sure about. Carrying a baby that's not mine to term. How to explain that one to the family??

However, I am really thinking that I'd like to be an egg donor, especially for a Jewish couple. My thinking is - I have the blessing of a child and I would like to help out someone who cannot. For me, it's not about the monetary compensation, it's about the good-ness I can do. Plus, someone that shares my faith. A kind of spiritual connection, a "Mitzvah" (good deed) more or less.

Hubby and I have talked about it a lot and he fully supports me in my decision. The only reason why I would NOT become a donor would be for the risks involved - but there are risks we take every day. Just driving down the highway is a risk in this day and age!
  • Current Mood
    thoughtful thoughtful

Class reunion...

I had my 10-year high school class reunion on Saturday. I graduated with a class of 35 students. Only about 15 of us showed total - so about half - which is good, I guess. Plus, there were spouses/significant others and kids, so maybe 30-ish or so. I was very happy that my friend Shane showed up. He, Erica, Daniel, and I, were the "4-amigos" in H.S. We hung out all the time.

It was kind of weird since I only really talk to 2 people that I graduated with: Erica and Daniel. However, there was none of the "clique-type" attitudes, everyone mingled, chatted, and just had fun. Like I told Daniel (since he couldn't make it and had to work), "we all grew up." There was one person I knew was not going to be there, she was killed in a car accident a few years ago. I hoped that more would have shown. I guess a bunch of people met at Cables (restaurant in town) later that evening. I wanted to go, but we had to be back to help Josh move. I just hope that in 10 more years when we have our 20th (shocking to think about) that more people will come.

I know that my hubby (and probably the rest of the significant others) felt awkward and uncomfortable. After all, you don't know these people, unless you see them regularly, so how can you fit in? I've heard a saying, "Never attend your spouse's class reunion." I can fully understand now - kinda awkward for the spouse, especially if they don't know anyone. After all for us, the only ones we see are Erica & Daniel.
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative

Ever get a song stuck in your head?

I did. Had to go find the lyrics... I remember it being on Nickelodeon and Dr. Demento

Fish Heads
by Barnes & Barnes

Fish heads, fish heads,
Roly-poly fish heads.
Fish heads, fish heads,
Eat them up, yum.

Fish heads, fish heads,
Roly-poly fish heads.
Fish heads, fish heads,
Eat them up, yum.

In the morning,
Laughing, happy fish heads.
In the evening,
Floating in the soup.

Fish heads, fish heads,
Roly-poly fish heads.
Fish heads, fish heads,
Eat them up, yum.

Ask a fish head
Anything you want to.
They won't answer.
They can't talk.

Fish heads, fish heads,
Roly-poly fish heads.
Fish heads, fish heads,
Eat them up, yum.

I took a fish head
Out to see a movie.
Didn't have to pay to
Get it in.

Fish heads, fish heads,
Roly-poly fish heads.
Fish heads, fish heads,
Eat them up, yum.

They can't play baseball,
They don't wear sweaters,
They're not good dancers,
They don't play drums.

Fish heads, fish heads,
Roly-poly fish heads.
Fish heads, fish heads,
Eat them up, yum.

Roly-poly fish heads
are never seen drinking
capuccino in Italian restaurants
with Oriental women.

Fish heads, fish heads,
Roly-poly fish heads.
Fish heads, fish heads,
Eat them up, yum.

Fish heads, fish heads,
Roly-poly fish heads.
Fish heads, fish heads,
Eat them up, yum.

Yum!

Fish heads, fish heads,
Roly-poly fish heads.
Fish heads, fish heads,
Eat them up, yum.

Fish heads, fish heads,
Roly-poly fish heads.
Fish heads, fish heads,
Eat them up, yum.
Yeah!