Girls Night Photos!

Here we are "working" on the fleece blanket!
This is the one I made for the Band auction. We bought a package of fleece ties to put it together with instead of doing the usual cut and tie. I won't do that again! It made a bigger blanket, but it was a pain punching the holes. I prefer cutting the slits.

We wore the lovely Caitlin out by the time we got around to taking photos!

Darlin' Jena in the shirt I bought her. She and Kel are both wearing them in the blanket making photo. If you haven't seen the movie Napoleon Dynamite, you won't understand the shirt. They loved them. Keli wore hers to school on Wednesday and got a bunch of people she didn't know coming up to her telling her they loved her shirt. She said that was kind of weird, what with being the introvert and all... I had to get them the shirts because every time they are together for the Wednesday night girls' time, they are constantly quoting lines from the movie or talking about this scene or that one. It seemed only natural they should have a shirt from the movie when we found them at the mall last weekend.

Writing... Reading... Listening...

Had a great time writing with Marge this morning! We got a terrific corner table and only one quiet woman sat near us. We did three writings and then trip-tropped over to Borders for some shopping. Now I'm home with my pooch so he can have a couple of small feedings before I head out for a massage! Yes, I'm spoiled.

Today's topics for those of you in need of inspiration (Ken):

  1. I'm at a loss
  2. I've never told anyone this before, but ...
  3. I'm writing my first novel or comedy and it's about...

While at Borders I picked up Amy Tan's memoir, The Opposite of Fate, and Magical Thinking: True Stories, by Augusten Burroughs, which I opened in the middle and read a couple of paragraphs and immediately laughed. This, to me, is always a good sign.

Those of you who knew me last year remember the craziness I was going through when the Cities Sampler came out (local radio station that puts out a CD full of one-of-a-kind live tracks by popular artists and gives a portion of the proceeds to charity) trying to get one - they are very limited in number. I ended up with just a copy from a friend because for all my craziness I was never able to attain the real thing. Well guess what? It's that time again! I decided last year that it wasn't worth it (WAS I NUTS???? The new album has GREAT STUFF on it!!!). Don't know if I'll get one this year or not. But I'll still try. It's the thrill of the hunt in a way (NOT).


For Anne M... Mr. Gere... An Anniversary... Writing Topics?

Today's miles: 4.5
Total so far: 326.5
Still to go for goal: 173.5

Did my workout today for Anne, the latest family friend to have cancer. She has, as I remember, a daughter who is a couple of years younger than Keli? I'll have to check this with my mom. She'd know. Her husband is going through some tough times. Both of his folks are in the nursing home now because of health challenges. They've both had a lot of difficulties in the past several years with strokes and other medical problems. I'll be doing a lot of praying for Anne and for Kurt, too.

Went to see Shall We Dance tonight with my mom and Janet, our dear friend. We enjoyed it. Gotta love that Richard Gere, though, so it could have been about anything and I would have enjoyed it! The scene where he emerges in his tux, carrying the dew covered rose? *sigh* Oh yeah... He is a fine looking man who cuts one pretty picture in a tuxedo. And you boys (or anyone, really) might like watching J Lo in her tight dresses dancing the hot Latin dances. She looks good. She can move.

And tomorrow morning? I'm meeting Magical Mystery Marge for writing. We're doing it up write and meeting at Starbucks (Our Bucks? - nah, but wouldn't that be great?) and then going to Borders to buy a new celebratory book in honor of our fourth (fourth!!!) anniversary of writing together every week since taking that class together. Happy Anniversary dear writing buddy! It's been so fun getting to know you and blasting through those notebooks with you.

Speaking of writing practice, she and I have really been enjoying writing on the topics that were submitted by you when we asked for suggestions many weeks back. And we've worked through nearly all of them. I don't suppose you'd submit some more???!!

If any of you are interested, feel free to drop me an e-mail or leave a comment here! Thanks!

Question (for Hutch and everyone else who wants to play)...

I thought this was pretty humorous. Who can come up with the best line?

From If... Questoins for the Game of Life by Evelyn McFarlane and James Saywell.

If you were suddenly naked in front of everyone at work, what would you say to them?


For Al D...

Today's miles: 5.01
Total so far: 322
Still to go for goal: 178

Now I'm off to accomplish other great things (a shower being first on the agenda). Have a good afternoon...

Hump Day...

Wednesday has become girls' day around here. It has become a day when Keli and I, together with Grandma, and at least one of Kel's female cousins, gather at Grandma and Grandpa's house to do homework after school, have a little dinner together, and then work on crafts like crochet or jewelry to sell for the Relay for Life. It has become one of our favorite days of the week, too. We have lots of fun, there is a lot of giggling involved, and sometimes the snapping of photos to chronicle the occasion.

Girls' night at the 'rents...

One of these days somebody is going to get into scrapbooking so we can really do the memory keeping up right, like Michele is doing!

I've got to get on the treadmill now so I can get everything else accomplished before our afternoon girls' date. Then later tonight Kel and I will get to watch our taping of Tuesday night's must see TV! Wednesday is all mapped out! I've even got my writing topic for the coffee shop this afternoon thanks to Kim!

Music in my head: Carly Simon's sticky little ditty, You're So Vain


Question (for Hutch and everyone else who wants to play)...

If you were to select a food that best describes your character, what food would it be?

Running... Movies... Cancer...

Today's miles: 4!
Total so far: 316.99
Still to go for goal: 183.01

On the road again! Figuratively. Ran on Lurch while watching Notting Hill. An oldie but a goodie because I like Hugh Grant's same old characters.

Speaking of movies, Keli and I saw previews for a movie coming to theaters on Christmas for general release. We thought it looked great, but you never can tell from previews sometimes... The title is The Life Aquatic, With Steve Zissou and it stars Bill Murray (yes, I know, you either love him or you hate him and Keli and I have each done both in our life times). It is another of his comedies... I am definitely going to check this one out.

Another preview we saw which intrigues us (and had chick flick written all over it) was Closer, starring Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, and Clive Owen. It says it is still in production on IMDB. So I'm not sure what the release date is on it, but we did see previews the other night. I guess they are planning an early December release for that one, according to IMDB... "If you believe in love at first sight, you never stop looking." (I removed a word from that quote because I didn't like that they stuck 'women' in there like women are the only ones with the overly romantic notion of love at first sight...) I guess that is the premise of the movie.

Two more names to add to my inspiration list. :( Learned recently of a man in the old hometown with cancer. One of the big names of the town - lots of family in the northern part of the city. So Al D. is going on the list. And learned today that I have another Breast Cancer Diva to add to the list. Anne M. goes on the list, too. So while I ran today for Kimberly again, the next run goes out for Al and after that, for Anne.

Tuesday is Chooseday...

tuesday is chooseday

either leave your answers or a link to your webpage with your responses.

    Would you rather:
  1. get a wedgie OR get a swirlie? LOL! I guess given the fact that a swirlie is applied in the manner in which it is, I'd prefer the wedgie. It isn't quite as dangerous for a woman, after all.

  2. have to kiss ryan seacrest OR simon cowell? Who the heck are they??? Even with clicking the links I don't know them. Don't watch the show. Don't want to watch the show. Don't want to know them. Don't want to kiss them.

  3. have an ingrown toenail OR a carbuncle?
  4. OMG. TJ???? That carbuncle was the nastiest thing I ever clicked on (I didn't know what it was, and after clicking on it, ain't no way I'm clicking on the ingrown toenail to see what nastiness hides behind it's image link since I have a general idea of what they are, painful or not). Please don't provide links like that again. Blah. I haven't even had my coffee yet this morning. I just wasn't prepared for that. *shudders*

  5. vote for john kerry OR george w bush? OMG. TJ???? That gwb was the scariest thing I ever clicked on. Please don't provide links like that again. Blah. I haven't even had my coffee yet this morning. I just wasn't prepared for that. *shudders*

It's coming...

Who will go see The Forgotten with me??? I'm a leetle skeered to go alone!

But I want to see it, so I might have to see it on my own. Because nobody wants to see those scary ones but me.

I had to go to Caribou tonight to get our business donation for the school band's auction coming up next week. *sigh* Oh the drudgery. That meant I had to have another of those darned Campfire Mochas (yum - can you say "s'more?"). And sit around there writing for another couple of hours in preparation for NaNoWriMo, starting soon. Came up with another idea or two. It will certainly be different walking into the month with several possibilities for my really bad novel.

I'm so excited to get going! Only days away from the start now! Who's writing? Ken, did you sign up? Bill? Mark, you should, darn it! Kathy! You too! Have you??? Kim, I know you are staying busy, but you can do it! Methinks, I know you are going for it... Mystical Marge is joining me! She even has a new laptop on order just in time for the occasion. And Jen! She's going to go for it. Robert, too! I learned today that Lisa is going to! And of course, that firey redhead (sometimes!) Angela! I'm pretty positive Trudi is participating, too... That's a great big list of blogfriends doing it this year!

Now what I want to know is, will you be blogging your NaNo? Most of you who I knew that did this last year, also blogged it. I did not. I think one of the things that kept me on task and got me through it (and finished) was having it on my ancient laptop and staying off the internet. I suspect I'll follow the same path this year. Perhaps when all is finished, I'll put it somewhere accessible. Perhaps not.


A little bit of this and a little bit of that...

  1. Finish Line rocks! I kicked Keli and Keith's butts at it on Saturday afternoon. It helps a person like a game to be the winnah!"
  2. Missed out on meeting Kathy this weekend because she was sickly. Hopefully we'll get together for burgers and poppers in the old hometown soon, though.
  3. Saw a fascinating flick on Saturday night - Mystery Science Theater's Angel's Revenge... Jiggles galore as gorgeous babes bounced around screen fighting the drug lords in a Charlie's Angels inspired moooovie from the 70's. *yawn* Definitely not one of the better MST3Ks I've seen and I'm not sure why it ended up on the DVD collection other than it having cameos of both the Skipper and Mr. Howell from collision's Island? AND Arthur Godfrey AND Jack Palance and Peter Lawford? What a blockbuster cast!!!
  4. There are five seven beautiful deer emerging from the woods across the yard from me and walking straight towards me right now. The sun is shining brightly on their happy faces. I can still see the white spots on the younger coats of two of them. I hate deer hunting season.
  5. Relay for Life 2005 has been scheduled for my home town - June 17-18. Anybody wanna come walk around with me? :)
  6. Note to Kathy: It's never too late to learn the Thriller Dance.
  7. It was wonderful to see you, Caroline of Texas! I hope we get to see each other again soon. Sorry I didn't get up there again on Friday before you left for parts south...
  8. Time to hit the running shoes before I have to pick up Kel and take her to the chiropractor. Now that competitive marching is over, it's time to get her aligned again. Poor little crooked spined girl...

And additionally...
  1. Notice I haven't asked any questions of the day in ages??? I think I should reimplement that habit.
  2. October is winding down and The Breast Cancer site has a ways to go to reach their goal of 500 free mammograms. Help them reach it by clicking on the pink ribbon every day between now and then. You might be able to click more than once a day if you are like me. I'm lucky that way. Try it out. Remember to pass the link along to your friends and family while it is still worth double!
  3. My pooch is suffering from his pancreatitus again. Poor puppy. Back to the pain killers and fasting and the pepcid.
  4. Dad had his first surgery for cataracts last week. I think he's looking forward to having the second one done so that his eyes "match up" and he can finally see correctly out of them both at the same time. Glad it went okay, Dad!



Grrrrrr. Had a long post written. Hit one wrong button and WHAM. Post gone.

More later. Have other things to do.


State Field Show Results...

We had a cold but great time at Whitewater last weekend. The kids did a fantastic job performing their show for the last time competitively and for the last time on the field!

The only other time I suppose they'll be performing it will be on a basketball court, inside, in November. Tiny little space, bumping into each other like bumper cars! But they'll do it very well, (not really bumping into each other) performing it for everyone who couldn't make it to a real performance. That will be the Indoor Marching Band Concert and Auction, a fund raiser for the band program at the school to benefit all of the bands at the school, and will include a spaghetti dinner and silent and live auctions.

The results of their performance on Saturday... Well, they took home a first place Percussion award, a First Place Color Guard award and a Second Place AAA Marching Band Award with a score of 85.05 (losing to Whitnall with their 86.65) - a very respectable finish, which made our kids very proud! They loved bringing home those caption awards and scaring the Whitnall band when they took them! Whitnall also brought home best Musical Presentation and Best Visual Presentation.

And I have no photos to offer at this time. :) I know you're sad.


End of Unannounced Hiatus...

Hey all. I'm back. Just a quick check-in tonight before I have to go pick up Kel from play practice.

I guess you could say I've been on a self-imposed blogging hiatus. I went away for a couple of days just in prep for state, I was busily rushing around getting things ready, and then we left on the jaunt down there and when I got back, it felt kind of good having a little time away from the computer. I didn't even check e-mails for a while. Which meant there were a lot of spam to clear out.

Thanks for the e-mails checking up on me. I'm fine. Just resting. Being done with field show and all of the running that entails is a bit of a let down! And the day after returning from that, I got hit with a whalloping migraine. I think it was sinus related because we were out in a dandy wind in Whitewater for hours on Saturday. And the migraine lasted for days. I'm only just feeling healthy today. So how did I celebrate? With hours of writing at my favorite coffee shop. And a pumpkin scone. Wow! Are they delicious! Almost as good as mocha java - not quite, but almost. I'm glad I gave up my jealous and cranky ways and finally tried one.

So tomorrow I have to miss writing with Marvelous Marge... she's headed to the family cabin for the weekend and Kel has a morning dentist appointment. That was another reason I did the long writing today. And I'm really getting ready for NaNoWriMo. I'm playing around with some characters. I'm playing around with some story ideas. I'm having fun! I can't wait for the first. And Magnificent Marge says she is seriously considering joining NaNo this year, too! Which means our Friday morning sessions can be devoted to doing that! And we have our writing anniversary coming up. She and I have been meeting almost weekly for four years right after NaNo starts (on the second). We met in a writing class given by Natalie Goldberg, and we started writing together during that class. We've even become traveling companions since then, going to the Badlands together back in 2002 (and maybe again someday in the not-too-distant future!).

Okay. I have crocheting to do. It's getting cold and I'm sure people would like their scarves! I just wanted to check-in since I found the multiple e-mails asking about me. I'll post results of the state competition here tomorrow, complete with photos! I know you're all dying for some more photos! ;)


Scarf talk...

Bought me some yarn today. Dana hon, of COURSE I'll make you a scarf! And Kim? I've got you down for two! Pricing... pricing...

Okay. Well here's the thing. I was at the pharmacy the other day and I was wearing mine and Jodi (who works there) asked about it and I told her I was making them for RFL. So she says to me, she says... "I'll buy one from you right now, how much are they?"

Me: I haven't quite figured that out yet. I have $20 worth of materials in it.
J: You could easily get $30 or $35 for them.
Me: Do you really want one?
J: Definitely. You should wear it to the committee meeting, too. I bet you'll have the whole committee buying them!
Me: Okay. I'll make you one then. $35, huh?
J: Yep.

So that's how I'm leaning on this thing. If any of you feel that's too expensive, speak now before I make it for you. My e-mail is on the webpage here. Remember it's for a good cause and you're actually getting something for your donation to the American Cancer Society! If you aren't totally fond of the fruit loops color, I do have a couple other colors available and already made up. I suck at this photo thing...

1) This one is the same type of yarn as the muppety fruit loops color, but it is a purple and blue mix called bongo blue.

2) And this is a different type of yarn, just a little softer. Only one color this time, with a bit of shine. The color is ruby.

It will be a busy couple of months for the crafty ones in these houses. We may be signing on to do a table at the craft sale up at the health campus in the old hometown in early December, proceeds to the Relay for Life. Wheeeeeeeee! Between scarves, fleece blankets and glass bead bracelets, Kel, Jen, Mom and I will be working our fingers to the bone between now and then to prepare enough stuff (besides making your scarves and getting my mileage in and the usual homework for the girls, play practice, and typical daily grind). Wish us luck!

Do you suppose I'll still find time to blog?

And then there's NaNoWriMo! Awww heck. Who needs sleep?!

Relay for Life...

After three years participating in my old hometown's Relay for Life (first year we joined an existing team, second two years we formed our own for which Mom and I co-captained), I decided it was time to get more involved. So tonight I attended my first committee meeting, joining on as an official member of the big team.

is she nuts?

This year our area is going high tech and will go online for the first time thanks to a web based tool provided by the American Cancer Society. I volunteered to be the Online Fundraising Chair who works with the ACS staff person to set up and maintain the Relay website and to work with the Registration Committee on how much income has been processed.

yep, she's nuts!

Oh! And while I was at it, the Registration Committee lost one of it's people from last year, so I volunteered to help them out, too. The former chairperson of our Relay then said, "Did Keri just say she was going to help with Registration???" with a shocked look on her face.

It outta be a fun Relay! Busy as can be, but I bet I'll learn a whole lot about the process and get to know a lot of people. I think I may need to recruit an assistant to help my mom at the event, though, because from what I understand, Registration people don't see much of the Relay , which means, I won't be around to help her out at all (this makes me sad, the event itself gives me so much joy - I love walking that track and taking in the atmosphere throughout the whole thing).

(I only say this because Karen, the former chairman, said after her initial shock that she was on Registration her first year and she didn't get to see any of the Relay...)

Crocheting foo'!

I'm off to buy yarn for making some scarves! Lots-o-scarves! Want one?


For Kimberly...

Easy miles today - taken easily at an easy pace while watching must see tv leftover from last week while prepping to tape this week's episodes...

I used the treadmill at my folks' house after they left to watch my nephew play football. The cold weather is setting in!

These miles were for Kimberly...

Today's miles: 3.1
Total so far: 312.99
Still to go for goal: 187.01

And I think I'll be giving her many more miles before I've finished up the 187.01 left.

With the cold weather settling in, I'm crocheting like a maniac to get those scarves out to the people who wanted them. I'll be looking for snail mail addy's from you soon. And I'll have to post the price, too. *mumble*I hate trying to settle on that issue*mumble*. Thank goodness it's all for a great cause and not for me. I would definitely need a business manager if I was actually trying to make money for myself. Maybe I need one anyway. Kazoofus, what do you think?

Don't forget to click!

As I was out clicking on the pink ribbon today, I noticed they aren't even close to halfway to their goal and we're almost at midway through the month! Get out there and click away please! Every day! And pass the word to your friends and family, too! Let's help them reach their goal of 500 mammograms and then some!

Hey, guess what???

My dad took some great pictures at Menomonie on Sunday! :) Hooray!!!

I won't bog down this page with them, but I'll put links to them all on here for those of you who might want to view them.

Ally warming up the band prior to their performance...

This one is a little blurry, but it is just such a great shot of Logan anyway that I couldn't pass it up.

Warming up...

All warmed up - time to get into starting position...

Matt, Keli and Brandt...

Ready to rock...

On the line and waiting their turn in the ripple (Keli is third from left, Kelsie - her lookalike and best friend in field show is second from right).

And finally, two shots of Keli in the horn lineup, performing their main piece during the first movement.

These were some great shots, Dad! Thanks a bunch!

Tuesday is Chooseday...

tuesday is chooseday

either leave your answers or a link to your webpage with your responses.

    Would you rather:

  1. have agoraphobia (fear of open spaces) OR claustrophobia (fear of enclosed places)?
  2. Let me fear being in a small and tight spot than the great outdoors or out among the world.

  3. find out now that you will die exactly on your 70th birthday OR never know?
  4. Surprise me.

  5. have your grandmother walk in on you trying on risque underwear OR your child?
  6. Grandma's got life experience and is no longer surprised by much, she can handle it.

  7. rid the world of cockroaches OR narcotics?
  8. I rarely see da bugs or da drugs, but da drugs have a much larger negative impact on da world, so lets get rid of dem.

Inspiration... Why I'm here

Before I take off for the night, though, I did see one of my inspirations tonight at conferences. She was there with her husband. I had heard several months ago that she was sick again because she had had a recurrence but I hadn't heard any details or how she was doing. The little I did know was that she was receiving treatments as she was back to wearing her hat full time again because all her curly new hair was gone.

Well, I asked how their daughter was doing in the course of making small talk and she said, "Not very well. I'm afraid she isn't handling things well at all. You see, I'm in the final stages. I had a recurrence and there isn't much they can do for me."

She's doing chemo, on her second type. It breaks my heart. I don't know what else to say. Put Kimberly and her two daughters and husband on your prayer lists won't you? As for me, I've got some running to do tomorrow. Err, later today.

Fire and Light...

My three loyal readers may all be getting sick of seeing photos from the field shows, but take heart, the season is over after one more competition next week. Here are the shots from Menomonie.

It was a gorgeous day and there's nothing like astroturf against those white pants and brilliant blue uniforms to make for a cheery picture. What a color explosion.

Here is a brief overhead (practically - what a great stadium!) start to finish (with a TON of parts missing) run through of the show... I didn't want to bring the site to a grinding halt for any dial-up viewers. If only I could put the music on here. *sigh* It needs to be heard to be truly appreciated.

Starting position on the field.

The percussion section (down front and center) begins a sharp and snappy riff and the band takes off, each of them with flags, performing a small routine to the rhythm of the percussion.

They end this routine in a line all along the front of the field and do a "ripple" from the center, snapping their flags down to the ground and waiting there picking up their instruments in prep for the main show.

As the band is moving into position with their instruments...

there are a few drum solos happening,

and guard stuff happening. And then all of a sudden...

there is a burst of brass and energy and music in crisp clear notes as the band and the main show takes off.

I won't continue on in this manner with every little detail. Suffice it to say, "It's awesome!" From the calm and gentle xylophone melody in the middle when the band shows a little color by saluting the judges with their capes...

to the brilliant trumpet duet near the end when things are really ramping up to a crescendo and the guard is flying the huge silks (all of the silks in the show make this such a great show for Autumn in Wisconsin and compliment the theme of Fire and Light perfectly).

Here is a closeup of the boys doing their trumpet duet. I just dig the uniforms so much. I guess white pants are about the worst you can have from a judging standpoint, however, because they show every mistake made so much easier. That just goes to show we are that much better than the other bands, eh? ;-)

And finally, you've seen this before, but it is the closing formation, so I had to include it. *sigh* You can't tell that I'm proud of them or anything, can you?

Thanks for indulging me if you followed along. My apologies to the dial-up readers cough*Hutch*cough because speaking from experience since that's what I've got, I know how long it is taking for this page to load for you.

Going to bed now. It's been a looooooooong day. I had parent teacher conferences tonight. While they went excellent as always, just standing in those long lines and having to talk with teachers takes a lot out of me. I'm beat (and I'm sure that the fact that it's 2:30 has nothing to do with it.

Sunday results...

I used wide angle for shooting at Menomonie on Sunday! And what a day they had. It was incredible. After that 90-minute rehearsal they scheduled for that morning, the kids went in there and worked on their musicality and then put their uniforms on and prepared their hearts and minds for the show. They focused all their energy on just doing their best. Then they lined up and waited.

Whitnall did a little work in the meantime, too. They focused and prepared. They dressed for their show and wandered by. One of their members looked over and said, "Have a good time taking second place again today!" or something similar. One of the kids who heard her headed quickly to the front of our lineup and let them know what was said and made his way all the way to the back of the band telling everybody.

As Keli put it, "It spread like wildfire. And it only made us more determined to do our best."

Our kids improved their score by 2.45 points (up to 84.15)... Unfortunately, Whitnall improved their score also (up to 84.6). So they still beat us, but only by .45 point! This time they went home with the Best Percussion and Best Color Guard trophies, beating us by .1 point on each of those categories!

Our kids are once again working all this week toward the goal of improving even more for Saturday when they compete Fire and Light one last time at the State Competition. The last time we had a state title was in 2000 (and won all of the caption awards with the exception of percussion, which went to Whitnall).

Thanks going out to my Gray Street buddy, my parents (as always), Keith (who made the drive down just for their performance and then scooted back home for the pooch and to get work done) and my elder bro and his family (and Erins's friend Kate), all of whom made it to Menomonie on Sunday to watch the big show and cheer them on! This was Kel's finest performance of her solo yet and I think it really helped to know she had so much moral support in the stands!

So, like I said, I used the wide angle on the video to take all of the shots, but I was still totally unable to get the whole shot in because they have such command of the entire field throughout the performance.

And Dana, I think I may have found a photo op that shows it really IS Kel performing the solo. During the homecoming game it was too dang cold and wet for them to wear their uniforms (when they had an important competition to leave for the next day), so they were allowed to wear street clothes with their show sweatshirts if they had them. As soon as I get those loaded onto the pc, I'll get that solo shot on here. I'm pretty sure that one will show it's her! ;)



Does anybody else find it completely amazing that a young single guy with very little experience with children can manage to get 126 teenagers all going in the same direction every day listening to him and wearing clothing that he tells him to wear and being completely obedient to him!

They go from this...

to this in around 20 seconds at the end of the show... When was the last time you asked two teens together do something you wanted them to do? *sigh*

And now I end this post quickly because I've started sleep writing. LOL! NaNo MUST be right around the corner! Must escape Blogger before I write something really stupid that I'll regret forever. I've done that enough recently... g'night all.


Tonight's competition...

Finally, before I go to bed tonight...

The kids did a fabulous job in Chippewa Falls today (home of Leinenkugel's Beer!) at the field show competition. They competed against their major rivals, Whitnal, who have taken the State title every year for the past four (I think that's the right number). Next weekend is state. Last year, I believe we may have been behind them by about 12 points - that's a lot. That's not even in the competition. Tonight, they beat us by one point. Our kids feel really good about it and like they're still in the game. Kel says that when they were finished and they got off the field and their director came over to them, they rushed him and lifted him onto their shoulders because they knew they had done a great job. And because they were in his hometown, performing in front of his family and friends and his old band director and knew they had made him proud. He loved it!

We lost the best percussion award by a tenth of a point. We won the best color guard award by a tenth of a point. That's how close this competition is. But we've come a long way, baby! Keep your fingers crossed for our kids! They've worked really hard! On to another 90-minute practice tomorrow morning to try and perfect some other stuff before they head to Menomonie!

And then it's only State left!

OH! Or should I say, "Doh!" You learn something new every day. We've had this digital recorder now for over a year. I think we got it right before marching season started last year. I just learned this past week that I could set it to wide mode (meaning I think I'll be able to get the entire band in the shot during their show, but since I forgot about it already before I went today, I didn't do it tonight. :-/) I now have it set up to shoot that way tomorrow, so I'll find out then. I also read again tonight about the fade-in and out so I can take a little more professional looking videos. Maybe by the time she graduates next year, I'll know how to do this!

An opening move when the whole band (except the percussion which already has its hands full) has flags...

My niece came along with us tonight. I think she is gorgeous on the inside and out! Hi Jen!


Sunshine Saturday...

The chickadees are suddenly back. Another sure sign that Autumn has moved in. Must fill the sunflower feeder and get it back out. The trees are another full shade of golden deeper this morning. If I had time, I'd post another photo of the edge of the woods closest to the house juxtaposed against the brilliant blue of the sky. It is amazing. It leaves me breathless.

Instead, I'll snap the photo as I pull out on my way to the old hometown for a cup of coffee prior to climbing behind the wheel of my folks' minivan on the way to another field show. What a perfect day for it. The bright blue and white of our kids' uniforms and green of the grassy field will be lit by the Fall sun today in ways that other schools' colors just are not. (Prejudice? Nah...) It's going to be a perfect day for competition.

UPDATE now that I'm home from the field show and doing some camera stuff so I'm ready for tomorrow's competition...

Here are the shots I took before taking off today... Number one!



Is that not the most incredibly blue sky you've ever seen?

Okay. More than enough for anyone who has dial-up... Like me, for example!


Photo tour of my day...

I had my camera with me today when I was out and about so I shot a few photos. Some are not so great, but at least they give an idea of where I go and what I see on a Friday morning. Here's my favorite coffee shop! You can kind of see why it is called Cafe' la Poste. It definitely has the look and feel of an old post office (makes sense since that was its origins).

Just up the block from the old post office is the Baptist Church. It looked so picturesque against the deep blue Autumn sky today. I obviously need some photography experience, though. I never even noticed the electrical lines in the frame of the photo until I got home and stuck the disk in the computer. :) Gotta love the orange of the sugar maple, too!

Down the country road from our house is this little old historic church. In the summer there is an ice cream social held there every year where the big hit is strawberry shortcake!

As I drove through the little valley on the way to our house today, I saw some marked changes in the colors on our hillside...

And finally, a shot taken as I go up our driveway with the sun shining fully on the hillside in all its glory.

My doll!

I asked my friend Katie, who is a crafter of dollz, to create me in that magical land, so I could keep a doll on my blog. She finished my likeness this morning and here I am!

She did an awesome job! I love it! Thanks again, Katie!

Question (for Hutch and everyone else who wants to play)...

From The Little Book of Stupid Questions

If they made an action figure of you, what gimmick would you have? (i.e., kung fu grip, removable head, pull string...)

Do you suppose this one will pull the guys in for commenting?


Radio Daze...

Heard on the VERY local radio station this evening during the broadcast of the hometown football game's halftime show...

Announcer: "And now the high school marching band is getting ready to perform on the field. Let me tell you a little bit of what is happening out there..."

"The color guard is wearing a smart ensemble made from a very shiny material..."
Okay, admittedly, I was in the computer room and the radio was on out in the living room and I didn't hear this line exactly, but he was saying something about their uniforms and it was hysterically funny because he had no idea what he was talking about - much the same way as he has no idea how to announce a football game. We were laughing our butts off as we listened to him shouting excitedly for every.single.play of the game no matter where they were on the field and what the importance of the play was. At this point, Dad turned up the volume so we could really hear what was going on, because it sounded like it was getting good. He was getting even more foolish than usual. So after this, I really did hear what he was saying. For real.

"Oh! The flags have just changed color! I don't know how they did that!" (Insert serious laughter by both Dad and I.)

"And now the percussion section is marching together in the middle of the field. There is a section of brass over on the left side of the field and another section of the band over on the righthand side. Oh this is great!"

At that point? I simply couldn't take anymore...

A day...

Well, I was going to run today. I'm even dressed for it still, under my jeans and sweater. But I got a little side-tracked.

See, I got dressed and took along clothing for afterwards and headed to the old hometown and the folks' house. I planned to work on an old pc of theirs first. They're getting it ready to give to someone else who needs one but first they want to strip the hard drive clean of any personal information ('cuz they're smart like that!). So my dad had done some basic stuff with it and ran a reformat on it a couple of days ago, but for some reason that blew up in his face. So I was going to go see what I could do about getting that finished and then getting the original software restored.

I figured it would take me an hour or two, then I'd still have a few hours left in which I could go for a run, shower and change, grab some dinner and maybe even head off to the coffee shop for a little coffee, a scone and some more NaNo warm-up writing before having to pick up Keli from play practice at 9.

Boy was I wrong! Why is it that these things always take so much longer than you plan? I'm not complaining, though. I used to work in an I/S shop for a company in St. Paul and did a lot of trouble shooting. My first job for them was trying to break the software during the testing and QA phase and I loved it!

So this was actually a fun way to spend the afternoon. And then my phone rang. It was Kel calling from school and asking if I could run an errand for her. Since I felt guilty leaving the dog for such a long time with the tiny meals he is eating, I decided it was probably a good idea to go home and feed him and do her errand, get her some dinner while I was at it and then come back and continue on my troubleshooting with fresh eyes.

Unfortunately, after completing the reformatting, downloading a DOS boot disk and installing that, and running the Windows 98 boot disk, I don't feel any further than I was at the start of the whole day today because I still have no drivers and the cd-rom still isn't recognized, so the computer still can't see the restore disk that came with it. (I appease myself by telling myself that all my old coding and software design and project planning work was mainframe based. *sigh*)

I did have a few minutes to run to the coffee shop before I went after Kel and they did have a fresh batch of mocha java scones - mmmmmm, scones - waiting there for me (of course for me, who else???)! It was truly a highlight to a fun day. A fabulous treat to munch in my car while driving and then having a few spare minutes to write while waiting in the parking lot for Kel's practice to let out. And their coffee is the very best anywhere.

Plus, I have more to look forward to tomorrow morning when I meet Marge there for writing! But what of that PC?


I just hate it when people speak in code. I hate when I realize days or even weeks after it's begun that someone has been trying to tell me something, but they are doing such a good job of masking it in subtlety rather than just direct statement to me, that it has been flying right on over my head.

When I do finally pick up on it, I can look back and remember all of the stupid things I've said or done to them that I shouldn't have.

Why can't people just be direct and open? Is it naive of me to expect this from people? Even people I've only recently met?


Question (for Hutch and everyone else who wants to play)...

If you could have changed one thing about your parents while you were a child, what would it have been?

This is from the book If... (Questions for the Game of Life)

Attn: Female Writers...

Especially those of you who are thinking of doing NaNoWriMo in November! My friends over at EmergingWomenWriters.com are doing a Warm-Up to NaNo at their e-zine.

From their last newsletter:

Write it up!

November is National Novel Writing Month. http://www.nanowrimo.org/

To help you get prepped for novel writing in November, EWW is happy to announce that we will have an "October's Odd Numbered Days writing festival".

The project: To get each writer to write on the odd numbered days (Oct 1, 3, 5 etc). At the end of each week, send in whatever you've written to submissions@emergingwomenwriters.com and we will post it, unedited, onto the web site. By the end of the month, you will have written for 16 days. That will have you all warmed up and ready to go for Nanowrimo. Be sure to check out their site and see how you can participate! Ready? Set? WRITE!

So you've lost a couple of days already, no big deal. You've still got over three weeks to warm up for NaNo! Go for it...


Slow but sure just like the tortoise, I did the loop this evening while Kel hung out with her cousin and the two of them had dinner with the grandparents. After dinner they worked on the bracelets that Jena made to rework them with a stronger base. She's going to sell them to make her money for the Relay. They turned out very cute. Industrious girl! I love mine - goes really great with one of the rings I picked out at the fair! :) As always, many laughs were had. Some photos were taken also. When developed I'll try and get a copy for posting. Wish I'd always remember to drag my digital along. Some people are good at doing that. I'm not one of them.

Today's miles: 5.3
Total so far: 309.89
Still to go for goal: 190.11

Going to go watch our copy of last night's must see tv now. Gilmore Girls awaits.

They're back!

They're back with a vengeance...

As Roseanne Rosannadanna use to say, "It's always something! If it's not one thing, it's something else!" The tractor worked beautifully today. I tested out going backwards because dad was really curious to see if we had actually gotten it fixed since he's been able to do the backing up thing recently without any problem. So I gave it a go myself and also had no difficulty whatsoever. So instead, I got to deal with these stupid critters.

I wouldn't hate them so much if they didn't bite. They had their way with me while I was on the tractor this morning. Dogdamn things...

Cinema calls...

I have so fallen down on my movie-going task! I need to find me a new movie buddy now that Kel is entrenched in school and play and marching. There are a lot of them out there that I really want to see and am missing and I just don't enjoy going alone. I've done it, but don't like it... I want to get to

* The Forgotten
* Cellular
* Sky Captain
* Ladder 49
* Collateral
* Garden State (Thanks for the reminder, Jen)!

and most of these are ones that some of the people I typically go to movies with just wouldn't want to see. I guess going alone is the best bet. *sigh* Or wait until they are on DVD and project them. Then I can run, too.


the night i meant to go to the band parents meeting...

So every month the band parents get together for a meeting. They discuss lots of things. They have an official meeting with a presiding President. There is a secretary to take notes and to read the minutes of the previous meeting. There is a treasurer who gives a report on the state of the budget. There is a Vice President who... ummm, is there as a back up in case the President cannot fulfill their duties I suppose. And the following year that VP rolls into the slot of President. There are several committees to oversee various things.

I attended these faithfully when my daughter was a freshman. There was a big trip approaching where all of the kids were heading off to Florida to march in the Outback Bowl halftime performance and Disney World. I wanted to be informed and helpful. The trip came and I no longer worried so much about being informed. I didn't worry so much about attending the meetings. I got to one or two others.

Then I was asked if I would consider being Co-Vice President the next year. Which meant automatic rollover into Co-President the following year. I thought about my life as it was (which was pretty much as it is now - only it was really new to me then as Keith had only recently moved to the hotel and it was just a hotel then, not an apartment because we thought it was a much more temporary situation than it turned out to be). And I thought that Co-Vice President sounded far too complex in addition to my life as it was, never knowing when I might have to dash off and be a driver. President just sounded far too "talking in front of people and be the social organizer" for a painfully shy introvert such as myself. So I turned them down.

The meetings became less and less appealing after that.

Sitting in amongst many of the band parents this past weekend made me realize that going to the meetings wouldn't be such a bad idea in and of itself, though. I really need to be doing that once in a while. To show support and to help out where and when I can.

So I had every intention of going to the meeting tonight. I remembered that good intention when I got to the school to pick Keli up from her play practice and saw all those band parents coming out and getting into their cars.

Heh. I guess there's always next month. Too bad the marching season will be over. And we won't be in the midst of this most exciting month only a week and a half before we head out and hope to win State. Wish I could take you all with me to sit alongside me in the bleachers as the cheering section. Be there with me in spirit, okay? :)

She moves!

Did a little moving today while finishing up the watching of last week's must see tv taping and a little more of Legends of the Fall. Then I went off to the folks' while Keli was at play practice and worked with their old computer for a bit. We're trying to get it wiped clean for resale. Anyone know of a good hard drive cleaning program they can recommend for that purpose? Then it was back down to town to get Kel. I had to wait for a little while so I did some more warm up writing.

Enjoying it and looking forward to November. Suddenly writing is really fun again!

Today's miles: 3.25
Total so far: 304.59
Still to go for goal: 195.41

Going to ride the mower tomorrow. Haven't written about that for a while. It's always a good time to do a lot of thinking about writing because there is nothing else to do but sit there. Sit there and sit there. And make sure I don't get myself into any situations where I might have to back up.

It's supposed to get to 70! Woohoo! Summer makes a brief return for several days. I might not even need my long-johns in the bleachers this weekend... What a treat!

Question (for Hutch and everyone else who wants to play)...

What were your favorite toys from childhood?

Tuesday is Chooseday...

tuesday is chooseday

either leave your answers or a link to your webpage with your responses.

    Would you rather:

  1. eat a gallon of peanut butter in 30 minutes OR 100 hard-boiled eggs in 2 hours?

  2. I think these are both going to leave a person in agony, but just the thought of those eggs hurts my tummy.

  3. french kiss a walrus OR lick the slide at chuck e. cheese?

  4. Nobody says how big a lick - I'm talking miniscule here with the tongue barely leaving my mouth. I'm afraid that walrus would take my tongue off before I could even blink.

  5. teach a class of hyperactive 3-year-olds OR a class of goth-punk teens?

  6. Little children frighten me much more than teens do. Especially goth-punk teens. Personal experience has taught me that these are usually the most decent kids in the class around here.

  7. have high tea with the queen of england OR a round of golf with the president of the united states?

  8. Not a golfer (am I dad?) but even if I were, I'm afraid I couldn't spend that much time with our current pres. Got too much anger there.

Are you clicking???

I made it easy for you and stuck this tiny pink ribbon next to the date every day. Just click on it to get to The Breast Cancer site and then click on the pink button to help fund free mammograms, please! Nothing further required!

Profile photo...

I've been getting further complaints and requests to change my profile photo (hi mom!), so I thought I'd swap to this one for a little bit. It's a HUGE improvement. ;-) I put this one together for my NaNo profile, where we were allowed a 100x100 pixel photo.

It isn't winter!

It's the fourth of October. The FOURTH! If you are reading tonight - take a look over there at that current weather report... As I'm posting this, it's telling me that the temperature is 32 degrees farenheit.

That's freezing, people!


Here's Keli!

Here she is! You were right!

Calling all math geeks (and I mean that lovingly)...

I'm too far from school. Are there any math wizards around who can answer me a question? :) *batting eyelashes and looking coyly around for some help for her kid's homework at anyone who will assist with quadratic equations*

She understands how to do the work; there is just one problem that she doesn't get involving how to find width of a rectangle using the durned equation when given the perimeter and area.

Nobody's Perfect...

Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the
It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.
- Anne Lamott

Upon completing the Universe, the Great Creator pronounced it "very good."
Not "perfect."
- Sarah Ban Breathnach


Lest anyone believe my blood is thinning...

Green Bay Packers (1-3-0): 7
New York Giants (3-1-0): 14

Minnesota (2-1-0) had a bye this weekend...

Where's Keli!

What a weekend! Our kids have come such a long way!

This is heading into the grand finale' of the show when the big silks are flying and the kids are really moving and the music is really beautiful. These kids have been working so hard the past few months and it shows. I think they have a really good shot of winning state this year. They haven't met their biggest rival yet because "W" wasn't at this weekend's competitions, unfortunately. But we're all really hopeful.

In this first weekend of competition for them in Wisconsin, they brought home two first place trophies for class AAA competition, two Best Color Guard trophies, a Best Percussion trophy, and an Espris de Corp Award!

Really cool percussion section...

It was so cold on Saturday evening that when Kel played her solo, the condensation played havoc with her horn and quieted things down for her. She rocked with loudness today, though.

Kel's solo...

We saw lots of awesome shows this weekend. But everyone there had good things to say about that little town from across the state and how great they looked/sounded/moved.

a trio of horns...

Can't wait to see them again next weekend.

They were pretty excited, too. When they came into town tonight, instead of coming down the highway bypass, they drove them right down Main Street so they could scream and holler out the windows and honk the bus horns all the way through town.

Here they are (well, about half of them anyway) after their performance looking very tired and very cold... Watching the quad-A bands perform and waiting for the awards ceremony. At this point, they've basically been going since 6 am on Friday (with school and then after school stuff and then the homecoming performance followed by prep to take off for this trip across the state for an all-day competition)... It is now 9 pm on Saturday. After the ceremony (they'll finish up around 11 pm) they'll head to a school where they'll "sleep" in sleeping bags on a gymnasium floor and be awakened bright and early for brekkie and showers so they can start all over again for Sunday's competition about a forty-five minute drive north of this one.

I call that final photo, "Where's Keli?" in honor of the old Where's Waldo photo books. Those of you who know the kiddo (Except my folks - you guys are disqualified from playing because you know what she was wearing that night... and Keli, if you stop by you are obviously ineligible to play) and those of you who have seen enough photos of her by now to play along, go ahead and pick from the sea of yellow where Keli is! :)


Cue the Jaws music!

(Boy, for somebody who wasn't going to be posting anymore this weekend, I sure have been posting a lot.)

I've done it! Have you done it?

It's official! I've signed up!

Have you?

(Personally, I thought last year's icon kicked butt over the four that you get to choose from this year, which are a little hokey, but who am I to complain?)


It's October, so Think Pink! (and pass it on!)

Thanks to the one and only Genuine, I am reminded yet again that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As a special event for the month of October, The Breast Cancer Site is again sponsoring its "Every Click is doubled in October Pink Ribbon Challenge. They are trying to give away 500 mammograms this month. You can go click on the pink button at their site every day to help them and every time you do it this month, your click is worth twice as much as usual. And be sure to tell everybody you know to click, too!

To help you out, I'm going to move my link to a more prominent spot and make it a little bigger and bolder this month... Working on that now. So help them out, would you? Give it a click and get on over there! Think Pink!

Question (for Hutch and everyone else who wants to play)...

I'm giving you some questions - multiple - since I'll be gone and not posting over several days. And because I've been lax and missed several days recently.

You may notice if you've been reading Kira's site, that there are some repeats. That's because there were some great questions over there and it made it easy for me. So answer some of her questions here... I'm a cheater like that. :)

Parents or someday parents - if you could ensure one single personality trait in your children, what would you want it to be?

If you could have a cup of coffee with any one person in history, who would it be and why?

Name the last CD you purchased. (I'm curious and want to expand my music collection...)

Who put the bomp in the bomp-da-bomp-da-bomp? Who put the wham in the whama-lama-ding-dong?

If you could have been any sports figure from history, who would you want to have been?

If you could have been a jury member in any court case in history, which trial would you choose?

Have fun... take your time - you've got all weekend. See you Sunday night!

A few photos before I go...

In what might be my last post for a few days due to my schedule (if your lucky), I thought I'd post a couple of photos of my cutie. I was going to design my own skin using some personal shots but then decided that was far too complicated for my abilities. :) But by then had picked out some photos that I wanted to post anyway.

I took these shots of her out at the building site for our first custom built house back in 1993 or so. I know I should have the date written down or should know it by the auspiciousness of the occasion or something, but I'm unorganized like that. I just get such a kick out of the joy on her face as she tears around the yard and uses up some of the energy that gets pent up in school all day. There is so much youthful beauty there.

This one is a bit bright and blurry. Wish it was in better shape because her face is absolutely stunning.

I love the sunset here. Well, that and how cute Kel is...

How's this for happy? Again, grainy... apologies.

Finally, this is the sunset we saw again and again from that first house. It is the thing I miss most.

Food and Walking and Weekend Plans...

Wrote with Marge this morning. We were in Stillwater, Minnesota at Baker's Square for breakfast. It was a little distracting there as we sat by a loooooooong table filled with people who decided to talk about pharmeceuticals and food and politics and pharmeceuticals and aches and pains and pharmeceuticals and cars...

We met early today because Marge had some people to meet at her new house (!) at 11:30. She got herself some new furniture! So I stopped at Kohls for a quick minute, picked up a couple of necessary items (no, really!) and then headed back to town.

I stopped just briefly to see if they had any mocha java scones at Cafe' la Poste *sigh* but alas, there were none. I settled for a muffin. When I said, "Well, since you don't have any mocha java scones, I guess I'll have a cinnamuffin..." the gal at the counter replied, "You're the second person today who's said that!"

I looked at her and she repeated, "You're the second person today who's said, "Since you don't have any mocha java scones, I guess I'll have..."

I'd say that means they should keep a few more of those on hand! I decided I'd better buzz home from there since my pooch is supposed to eat frequent small meals and I'd been gone for several hours. He was happy to see me. He likes frequent small meals. He'd be happier with frequent larger meals, but frequent makes him happy.

I am so glad I took that walk last night, even if it was a short one. I am just glad to have gotten out and enjoyed the last warm night for a while. Sounds like it could be chilly for a bit. October ushered in some nasty weather. The temps have been steadily dropping and it has been raining off and on all day. It's really blech.

And it was so quiet wandering around town at 7 pm. Don't know if it was the debate that was keeping people off the streets or some homecoming event (I think the powderpuff game might have been taking place in the old hometown last night) or if Survivor had made it on. I never did hear. My folks were headed off to my nephew's football game when I rounded the corner on their block, so they weren't watching any television.

In a short time I'll be heading out to get the kiddo from school. Then she'll either be taking over the computer or actually utilizing her few minutes of free time wisely and packing for the weekend. We have a busy one ahead of us.

Tonight she'll be playing pep band and then field show at the soggy homecoming game. Tomorrow morning she has play practice and will leave from there for a field show competition on the other side of the state.

The grandparents and I will follow the band over there to sit and videotape and watch and hollar and have a grand old time in the cold (no seriously - I love this stuff!). Then we overnight it there because the next day there is another competition a couple of towns over. The kids spend it on a gymnasium floor, we at least get a hotel. :)

Construction Season is Nearly Over - Winters Coming!

Oh terrific. Welcome October - Winter weather advisory ... Must be time for the local Homecoming game! We've got temperatures dropping throughout the day and a hard freeze warning for after midnight. Welcome to Wisconsin!


Now that I've gotten things fairly put together with the new template, does anyone have any suggestions for getting the blogger navigation bar back up along the top looking nice and unobtrusive as it should? I don't know why it is all jumbled on the left instead of spread across the top... I don't have anything to do with that code. I'm going to sleep now. I'm taaaaaaaaaard.

Skinned again...

I thought since I'd finally gotten that next 100 mile duck, I deserved an appropriate skin. And, in order to help me get through the next 200 miles as quickly as possible, I forbid myself to skin it again, until I'm finished with the 1000 miles.

How's THAT for motivation?

Aww criminy. Is that really the time? And I still have bugs that need shaking! Rats...

Well, I almost made it to bed by 4:30!