Monday, April 23, 2012

New post!

There's a new post up on my new blog!
Don't forget to unsubscribe from this one, and subscribe to the new blog! Simply click on the RSS icon or sign up to receive new posts via email.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Same name, different address

Hey, I'm moving! For a variety of reasons I've decided to make the switch to wordpress! So please update your subscription or google reader, or whatever you use, because otherwise you'll miss out on some awesome posts. And maybe some not-so-awesome posts. Either way, you'll be missing out!

All the cool kids are over here!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

In the mind of a cat

The following is what Hermione thinks on a daily basis. I didn't have to interview her, I just know. It's a cat mom thing. Oh, and imagine all this in a high-pitched voice, because Hermione has a high pitched meow.

5:30 am: Guys. Guys, I'm hungry. Guys, do you hear the alarm? I'm hungry.
5:35 am: Hey. Why aren't you up yet? *licks inside Geoff's ear*
6:00 am: What's going on in the bathtub?
6:05 am: Hey. I'd like to play with that q-tip, please. Why'd you throw it away??
6:10 am: Nevermind, I found a piece of dust on the floor, I don't need your dirty q-tip.
6:15 am: I think I'll just check and see if there's a dirty q-tip I can find in the trash...
6:30 am: Oh, you're leaving? Don't mind me while I lie upside down with all 4 feet in the air.

6:30 am-about 6:30 pm consists of alternating napping and OMG SQUIRREL/BIRD/LEAF MOVING OUTSIDE!!!

6:30 pm: Garage door! Someone's home! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi!
6:35 pm: Dinner time?
This continues until...
7:05 pm: Cleaning, cleaning, BIRD!
7:30 pm: Clarabelle!! Let's play! *pounce*
Clarabelle: No.
Hermione: Yes!
Clarabelle: I said no! *hiss*
Hermione: Oh. Well, OK then. I'll pounce on you later.

The rest of the evening typically involves lying upside down, watching the birds until dark, napping on the couch, and tearing through the house. The latter usually happens when we go to bed. The last thing I hear for the night is:

10:00 pm: GUYS?? Guys where are you? I'm lost!

Then she curls up at my feet, and sleeps until the alarm goes off at 5:30, and the day starts all over again.

This post inspired by Mama's Losing It writing prompt "List 7 things your pet thought about today" and linked to Fur Baby Friday.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Big news! I'm going to be... auntie!
(What, you didn't think I was pregnant, did you??)

That's right, on or around October 17 my sister-in-law is having a baby! We don't know what yet (I have to wait 2 more months!) but I'm eagerly anticipating having a baby in the family! Even though she lives in Oregon, I think he/she will be spoiled by her Auntie Megg and Uncle Geoff!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fur Baby Friday!

When we first got Clarabelle, I quickly realized that she loves the sun.

Absolutely loves it.

Whenever the sun is out, Clarabelle is lying in it! It's too bad she lives in Seattle.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hello, my name is Meghan Oscar the Grouch

Kids don't understand the amount of time and effort parents go into to choose their name. Not that I can talk, mind, because I don't have kids yet, but I have spent plenty of time thinking about what I will name my kids. And I've named two cats, which is obviously the same thing.

Anyway, here's the thing. Growing up my last name leant itself to mockery. I won't say it here, but if you know me, you understand. Then there was my middle name. Jean. A family name that I thought was not nearly as beautiful as Elizabeth. Ah, Elizabeth. The name I coveted. The middle name my sister was given. Nothing could be more beautiful than Elizabeth, and Jean just didn't cut it.

I remember standing in the driveway of my friend's house (a friend name, ironically enough, Elizabeth), stating loudly that my name was no longer Meghan Jean, but instead I would be called Meghan Oscar the Grouch.

Apparently I had no problem with my first name.

This post inspired by the writing prompt What did you want your name to be? by Mama's Losin' it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Book Review: I am the Messenger

My sister would disagree, but I didn't love I am the Messenger nearly as much as I loved The Book Thief. This isn't saying much, because I really enjoyed I am the Messenger.
This book came after The Book Thief, and isn't nearly as long. It starts out with a bang, and keeps on moving.

It's about Ed Kennedy, a nobody. He's 19 years old and hasn't accomplished anything. That is, until the cards start showing up.
One by one, he gets all 4 aces. Each one has a clue on them, getting progressively more difficult. His job is to deliver a message. I won't tell you what the messages are, because that will ruin it, but they're all very different. At the end of the book he feels like he's actually accomplished something in his life, and he has. He's saved people, helped them, and touched many lives with his small actions.

It's an excellent book, set in 4 parts, for each suite. I liked it because it really makes you think about how your actions affect other people, and even the effect they have on you or your friends.

Have you read I am the Messenger? If you liked The Book Thief, you should read this one as well. It's vastly different, but the writing is just as compelling.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Would YOU quit your job?

The other day The Non Consumer Advocate posted asking what you would do if you won the mega million lottery. It was interesting and amusing to look at all the comments. It was also touching, because a lot of them were centered around helping people.
There was also a common theme: many people would quit their job.

A year ago I would have been all over that. I was in a stifling office job, miserable, doing nothing I went to school for and hating every minute of it. Now? I love my job. Mega millions or not, I can't imagine not going into work every day and seeing those little faces smiling back at me. Sure, there are the days when I wonder what I'm doing, or wish that the kids would just stop touching me every second, but overall, I love my job.
I'd also love not to stress about how many hours I work in my part time position, and how big my paycheck would be.
Maybe things would change if I had kids, and something to occupy my time but right now? My kids are in my classroom, and I love spending time with them.

If you suddenly came into so much money you could quit your job, would you? Why, or why not?

{There's no disrespect towards anyone who would choose to quit! I'm just curious as to why.}

Friday, April 6, 2012

Fur Baby Friday...Derp style

The other day I looked over and saw this:

She's my very own derp cat!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A lesson learned

So, the other day this happened at work. That was one of our playgrounds.
The playground, which we do use, is likely gone for good. We have 1 other and a set of metal structures, and the land is owned by the school department. It's highly likely that they won't feel the need to spend the insurance money on a new playground. It's also highly likely that we'll never find out who did it.

That's not what I want to talk about, however. I want to talk about the fact that those flames went halfway up a tall evergreen tree. They were noticed at midnight by a neighbor, who assumed someone else had called the fire department.
At about 9 am the next day, 9 hours after it was noticed, and very likely at least 10 hours after it started, he came over to our building to tell us about it.
This playground is surrounded by trees, and covered with wood chips. Those trees are surrounded by houses. It was still smoking at 8 am when I noticed it and, kids in tow, thought it was someone burning leaves.
Had it not been raining so hard and so often recently, it's likely that those trees and the surrounding houses would have gone up in flames.

I'm here to make a public service announcement. Don't ever assume that someone else called the fire department, or the police. I'm not telling you to call 911 every time you see a stalled car on the side of the road, but if you notice flames, it's probably a good idea to call the fire department. The worst that can happen is they tell you they already knew about it.

Would our playground have been saved had someone called the fire department at midnight? Maybe, but probably not. If I lived behind a burning playground, however, I'm pretty sure I'd be calling the fire department.

For the record, I'm kicking myself for not investigating, or simply looking up the hill that morning when I saw the smoke. (Unlike the neighbor, who saw flames and ignored them)

Don't assume someone's already taken care of the problem. The 911 dispatcher isn't going to yell at you if you're the 5th call they've had on a fire. But someone will be grateful if you're the first.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Book review: The Book Thief

I've read The Book Thief three times now, and I think I fall in love a little more every time.

There are several interesting things about The Book Thief. The first is that it's set in Nazi Germany; in the beginning it's 1939, just before World War II starts. The second is that it's narrated by Death.

Strange fact about me. I'm highly, highly interested in books that take place during WWII. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Number the Stars. The Devil's Arithmetic. I'm immediately drawn to these books and the grotesque, can't look away story of the Holocaust, and I don't know why.

All those books have something in common that makes The Book Thief different. They're all told from the point of view of a Jew. The Book Thief is about a little German girl. A German girl sent to live with foster parents, who loses her brother on the train ride to Germany. A German girl with nightmares, a best friend who admires a black runner, and who attends Nazi Youth. A German girl who learns that there is life beyond Hitler, despite what the majority of her neighbors believe.

The book is long. It drags in the beginning (I can highly recommend listening to it, however) but amidst the dark, dark story, there is a little humor, at first. Liesel steals books and slowly learns to read in the middle of the night, when her foster father wakes her from her nightmares. She keeps to herself for the most part, but she's not timid.

It's a coming of age story about a little girl who comes of age far too quickly. When a Jewish man starts hiding in their basement, (a basement to shallow for air raid coverage), and the war starts, along with nightly air raids, Liesel is forced to grow up quickly.

It's a wonderful, sad, touching read. It's unusual, which drew me to it initially, but the writing sucked me in. It's worth reading, and it's one of my favorite books, if we're being perfectly honest.

Have you read The Book Thief? Did you enjoy it as much as I did?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April Goals

I kind of fell off the goal wagon for a month or so, but I'm back on track now! There are plenty of things I need to get done, so I'm writing them all out, to hold myself accountable.

  1. Lose 4 pounds. I'm totally on a roll with weight loss, and I want to keep it up! A pound a week seems reasonable.
  2. Go to the gym 3 times a week. Related to the weight loss goal, obviously.
  3. Get the Freecycle chairs out of the garage. I'm rehabbing them, but the problem is that my garage is cold, and that's the only place I can work on them.
  4. Buy patio furniture. I've been asking for patio furniture for a year, but it just isn't in the budget. Instead I'm saving my babysitting money, and hope to have enough by the end of the month! I have my furniture all picked out and everything!
  5. Have 8 no spend days. That's 2 days a week. It's difficult to have these days with two people spending, but if we can work together and agree on days, I know Geoff and I can do it.
Do you have goals this month? What are they?

Monday, April 2, 2012

It's the little things

The other day, inspired by Pinterest, I made this:

I was sick and tired of digging through an already too full drawer for measuring cups! Our measuring spoons (which I was going to hang too) are all on a ring, so that isn't a problem. Now our measuring cups aren't an issue either!

I simply painted a paint stick (free) with black paint I already had in the house. (I wanted red, but that wasn't readily available!) I did buy those hooks, but I have a whole lot of them left, so I'm sure I can find something to do with them.

Sometimes the small things make me so happy.

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