Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Best Gift Ever

We broke ground for our new home on July 11, 2005. It was a day long in coming, as we had spent months talking to our builder, making plans, etc.

That particular morning, my sister-in-law (known as AP, for Aunt Patty) called as she was leaving for work. She and Ted's brother live behind us. It was around 7:05 am, and she asked if I knew that there was activity on our lot and people there. I had no idea!

I thanked her, then jumped out of bed, got dressed, grabbed my camera and headed to the lot. Our builder, Mario, was surprised to see me, and said that he had wanted to surprise me and was going to call me in a little while. I told him that I had "people" keeping an eye on things for me, hahaha.

They had to scrape the topsoil off and move it to the back of the lot before doing anything else. That's when I first realized that I was thankful that lawn mowing is NOT in my job description. The lot seemed really deep. Of course, it's not as deep as it looks, but it seemed to go waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy back.

There were different people there that day...Mario, the excavator, several of Mario's guys, and Ted stopped by for a little while too.

It was like watching a well choreographed ballet, seeing how they did all their stuff and never got in each others' way.

Soon, we had a hole dug.

That's Tim and Patty's house in the background, and that's corn growing in the field. Our new home was going to be in the middle of a corn field. 2005 was the last year for the corn. Since then alfalfa has been growing in the fields. It doesn't look like it in this picture, but the basement is pretty deep. Apparently the depth is measured by blocks, and it's at least one block deeper than normal. That wasn't my call. In fact, I had nothing to do with that decision.

The one thing that Ted was looking forward to most of all was getting a John Deere riding lawn tractor. He was so excited about that. In fact, a mere 11 days after the ground was broken, he asked me to go to the local John Deere dealership and check on the lawn tractors.

Now everything I knew, or needed to know, about riding mowers, excuse me lawn tractors, can fit in a thimble. I was pretty much at their mercy.

But off I went, and spent a good bit of time talking to a salesman. I told him we weren't in any rush, as all we had was a hole in the ground and the footer poured. He chuckled a little when I explained that my husband just felt that we absolutely HAD to get this NOW because there was always a chance that the house could be completed in the next few weeks! (Note the sarcasm.)

So after we went inside and I was sitting at his desk and he was explaining the differences in the models to me, my cell phone rang. I excused myself to see who it was. It was Ted, so I knew I had to answer it. He asked where I was and I told him.

"So you're there right now?"


"How do they look?"

"Like riding mowers."

"Cindi, they're LAWN TRACTORS, not mowers."

"Okay...what do you want me to do here?"

"Well BUY one!"

"Which one??"

"Whichever one you think is best."

At this point I'm just wondering if he has any clue that I am pretty much out of my element.

"So you want me to actually purchase this today?"

"Heck yes! Happy Birthday honey!"

That's right...I got a John Deere riding lawn tractor for my birthday. And I've yet to use it. And I plan on keeping it that way.

But as a little side note, it was delivered to Tim's, and kept in one of the sheds. He was so excited to finally have a John Deere, that he mowed Tim's grass for the rest of the summer and into the fall of 2005.

We moved into our new home in March of 2006 and the yard wasn't put in until late April, so it was late May before he finally got to use MY birthday gift on OUR yard...but that's okay. It keeps him out of trouble!

Monday, July 20, 2009

College Roommate

Several days ago in the mail, Alex received the name of his college roommate. He can be such a dillweed at times.

(Dillweed is a word we use in our family, indicating that someone isn't thinking straight, or perhaps isn't thinking the way the rest of us think they should.)

He got his name, his home address, and his college email address. I suggested he email him. His response?

"I'll wait until he gets his information and then he can contact me."

"And there's a problem with YOU contacting HIM first?"

"Well, he won't get his letter until tomorrow at least."

(The college is 50 minutes away from us, but his roommate is from Rockville, Maryland.)


"You know that's going to make you look like a stuck up brat, right?"

"No, it's not."


Of course, this didn't stop him from doing an immediate Facebook/MySpace search for the guy. He came up empty, and then a little while later, I did some checking.


It took me all of 30 seconds to get an aerial view of the guy's house (thank you google maps), then about 45 seconds to find out where he graduated from high school, another 10 seconds to see pictures from his high school graduation and prom. Within another minute or so, I knew the guy's nickname, and 10 seconds after that, found him on Facebook.

Alex was jealous that I found that all out so quickly and he had gotten nowhere, hahaha.

The next day, as Alex was getting ready to leave for work, he came into the den and told me that the guy must have gotten his letter because he added Alex as a friend on Facebook. Of course, being the "concerned" mother I am (also known as nosy by my sons) I waited until Alex left, then thoroughly studied the roommate's pictures and profile on Facebook.

Late that night, the two of them had a short Facebook conversation. When Alex told me about it the next day, I asked what they talked about. (Don't you just love 18 year old males???)

"I don't know."

"What do you mean, you don't know? You talked, right?"

"Yeah, but only for about 5 minutes."

"Did you happen to ask him why he chose ********* for college since he lives so far away?"


"What's his major?"

"I don't know."

"Does he have any brothers or sisters?"

"I have no idea."

"What did you TALK about??"

"Just stuff."


It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. The students get to see their dorm room and meet their roommate on July 31. I don't know if the roommate will come all the way from Maryland or not, but we'll definitely be there, just to see the room and stuff. It should be interesting, to say the least.
The room is small and Alex will have to adjust to sleeping in a twin bed as opposed to the queen size bed he's used to. The closet is pretty small, and he has more clothes than the rest of the family put together. He has already accepted the fact that he will not be able to take all of his clothes with him.

Oh yeah, they're on the THIRD floor in a building with NO air conditioning and NO elevator. Better him than me.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Okay, people who really know me will absolutely NOT believe I'm saying this, but here goes...

We need a few HOT, HUMID days! The weather has been warm, at best, and I'm ready for some heat and humidity.

(Yes, it's really me talking, for real!)

Highs in the low 70s just isn't cutting it right now.

I'm just hoping that it doesn't suddenly become miserable at the end of August, just as teachers and kids are going back to school. That wouldn't be good.

Yes, it could be worse. The highs could be in the 60s or we could be having constant rain right now, so I shouldn't complain.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Fashion Statement

This morning I went to breakfast with a group of school friends. Although we are not all in the same building right now, at one time or another we all spent time at the same place. A few have retired, a few have gone to different buildings in the district, and a few have gone to another district.

We try to do this at least once a summer, and occasionally throughout the school year, although that hasn't happened too often the last few years.

Unfortunately, not everyone was able to make it today, but there ended up being six of us and it was really nice to get caught up on each other's lives.

As I was driving home, thinking about things we talked about, and basically being thankful to have friends like this, my attention was quickly diverted to something I saw on the sidewalk.

There was a male, walking in the same direction I was driving, on the same side of the street as I was. I saw his backside.

This person appeared to be an adult, or at the very least in his late teens. He had on black shorts and gray boxers.

How do I know the color of his boxers, you may be thinking?

WELL...the shorts were only pulled up to the bottom of his butt cheeks. His entire butt (thank goodness for the boxers) was hanging out over the shorts. And he didn't have a shirt on either, so there was no mistaking what I saw.

Once I pulled my jaw up from the floor of the car, I almost pressed the window down and yelled, "Pull up your pants!" but thought better of it.

What I should have done was drive around the block and take a picture of him to post here, but I didn't think of it.

Now I've seen guys walking around with the top of their boxers showing, but this was a little ridiculous. His entire rear end was hanging out!

I don't like seeing sagging shorts, or pants, for that matter. I guess I should be thankful that he had on boxers, but the whole thing is just a bit too much, in my opinion.

I'm beginning to sound like my mother, yikes!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Am I missing the big picture here?

What is so special about Twitter? I got a twitter account and the whole thing seems pretty lame to me. I'm probably going to delete it.

I don't need to know every little thing that goes on in people's lives. I don't need to share every little thing that goes on in my life.

So what am I missing here? What's the big deal about Twitter?

I've spent most of my twitter time deleting people from my list. All these "people" want to follow me and I don't know them, nor am I interested in their products, so I dump them.

If anyone has a Twitter account out there and can tell me why it would be beneficial to keep it, please do so, because I'm just not getting it.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I Need a New Phone

I need a new cell phone. Mine is two years old and it doesn't even hold a charge for more than about an hour. I don't use it very often, but I have a feeling that I'll be using it much more often this fall when Alex is away at college.

(I use the term "away" very loosely because he'll be about 50 minutes down the road.)

Lucky for him, I discovered that I can send him text messages via my Yahoo Messenger. I prefer using the keyboard with the desktop computer over my cell phone. Trying to type using only the number pads is a long, painful process on my phone.

I'm thinking of getting a Blackberry Curve. It has a full keyboard, and that's what I'll need if I have to text from my phone. Anyone have any experience with them?

I sure hope it comes in red.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I'm Such a Mean Mother

At dinner the other night, I told Alex to put his phone away.

"But Mom, someone's sending me a text."

"That doesn't mean you need to read it right away. I don't think it's necessary to have your phone at the table."

"But Mom...."

"Put it away. NOW."

Ted interjected here. "Your mom's right. You shouldn't have your phone at the dinner table."

He barely ate anything because he wanted some private one-on-one time with his phone.


Imagine me expecting him to eat dinner with us without his phone. I'm so mean.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I'm Like the Godfather

I've practically become a recluse this summer. I go as few places as possible. When the kids were younger, I'd be on the go constantly. In fact, there was rarely a day in which we didn't go at least two places. I'm older now, and those days are far behind me.

Normally we have a family cookout on the 4th of July, but this year we didn't. Ted's brother and sister-in-law (UT and AP for short) had been planning on a mini-vacation for the weekend. Since they wouldn't be able to be here, I decided that it was a good time to break with tradition, and we didn't organize a cookout.

Then my friend Terre (a frequent commenter here), her husband, one of her daughters and this daughter's fiance' were spending the weekend in Ohio, seeing her dad and a very dear friend. They asked if they could stop for a visit on the 4th.


Then, toward the end of last week, I found out that AP and UT's plans had changed and they weren't going on their weekend get-away. Instead, they were planning a big cookout for the 4th, and we were invited. Ted told them that we had visitors coming from out of state and we wouldn't be able to make it until later on, if at all.

In the meantime, remember when we went to Sam's Club back in March and I found a patio set that I really liked? Well, it went on sale! So Friday night Ted and Joe went to go get it. It was sort of an "involved" situation, but the bottom line is that the patio set that I really wanted is now on our pack porch and I'm very pleased with it.

So Saturday afternoon, Terre and her entourage arrived. She and her husband are great people. They have so many life experiences because of his years in the military and the fact that they live fairly close to Washington, DC. She's a middle school special ed teacher too. I have so much respect for her. I don't handle the middle schoolers very well. They can drive me crazy.

Terre and Rus have four kids and we'd met two of them before. This time they brought their younger daughter Alyse, and her fiance' David. We had a very nice time talking for a few hours. It was great to see them again.

While they were here, some people from AP and UT's cookout came over to see Ted's sister and brother-in-law's new home next door to us. (Just a reminder...once Peg and Mac actually move in next door, we'll all be living together on the "compound"...UT is a Kennedy fan, and likes to refer to the area where our houses are as such.)

Our niece Kelly came over to us while we were on the back porch, with her son Michael for a few minutes, while Terre and Rus were here. We don't get to see Michael very often, so that was really nice. As people were leaving from going through the new house next door, they shouted over a little so we had a "brief" conversation.

After Terre and her family left, another group went to see the house next door, led by our other niece Holly. After they came out, Holly and her friends came over and sat with us for a while and we all talked.

The day reminded me of the movie, The Godfather, when everyone went to see Don Corleone, instead of him going to see them.

I sort of like it. Like I said, I'm becoming a recluse this summer, and it's working out for me. I'm sure it's driving others crazy, and maybe that's not so good, but for right now, I'm enjoying it.

So if you want to see me, you know where I am...and if you call and I don't answer the phone, don't be offended. Recluses sometimes don't even want to be bothered with phone calls, hahaha!

Friday, July 3, 2009

I Love Evenings Like This

Last Saturday evening we went to dinner with friends that live about 35-40 minutes away. They came here and we went to a small, local restaurant and had a wonderful meal. They have the best salad and garlic bread. I could easily fill up on just that. They also serve wonderful strawberry daiquiris. (I only have one...apparently I tend to get a little goofy when I have more than that, and we definitely don't want that to happen! At least that's what Ted says.)

After dinner we came back to our house and Joe and Alex had started a fire in our small fire pit on the patio.

It was so relaxing.

We sat there and talked for several hours.

"K" and I have been friends since she moved to our community for our 6th grade year. Her family moved to another town about 40 miles away when we were juniors in high school. We've remained friends ever since. We got married a month apart. Their wedding was smaller than ours. They basically eloped and got married on their way to the Carolinas.

We've gone through a lot together over the years, and her husband "J" is a great guy. She had to do a little training with him early on, but he adapted well, hahaha!

They had their first child about a year after they got married (they have three) and about nine months after they had their last one, we had our first, Joe.

I love evenings like this...