Monday, August 28, 2006

Swimming Lessons are ON

It's official, Kevin likes to swim. This was the scene last Friday at Kevin's playdate.

The scene this morning was me getting out of bed at 5:30 am to go to the YMCA to sign Kevin up for swimming lessons. I've never been to the Y so I didn't know if there'd be a horde of crazy parents camping out to register so I took what I was hoping was the middle road and I aimed to be there at the time registration started - 6:00 am. Turns out because only first-time participants have to register in-person, I was there with a group of older ladies signing up for the arthritis swimming class. And don't think I'm being facetious, that's what they all said when they got to the desk: "I'm registering for the arthritis class." And they were all dressed up with their faces made up and their hair nicely coiffed.

Now that we're in their system and they have my signed waiver, I'll be able to register online for any other classes anyone in our family wants to take. So, you can bet I won't be rolling out of the driveway at 5:50 am anymore to sign up; I'll be rolling out of bed and over to the computer still in my PJs at 5:59 am next time.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Out with the old, in with the new - unless I take them back to the store

I used to not let people see my feet. There's nothing wrong with my feet, at least nothing anybody would notice, really, I just felt vulnerable when my feet were exposed. I know, you didn't need to know about another neurosis of mine but seriously, I'm over this one. I decided to let my toes out to see the sun my junior year of college and I even painted my toenails - which led my friends to remark that my short, round appendages with red nails looked like pimento-stuffed olives. Ok, then.

I bought a pair of Teva sandals. They were cutting edge because they were one of the first models to have more than just the thin, flat, flexible sole - I think they were called some sort of "shark" something with the extra tough layer of gray material as well.

Fast-forward 13 years (holy cow, could I be that old?) to 3 weeks ago when - oh my! - the 2 pieces of sole on my left shoe separated. Granted, the velco was already wearing out and the straps had split apart long ago, but they hadn't been noticeably worn out until the left one starting flapping.

I immediately shouted for joy as I LOVE to buy shoes and this was a bonus because earlier in the week my purse started sporting holes and if there's anything that I love more than buying a new pair of shoes, it's a new purse. "Woohoo!" I said out loud.

While dreaming of the new styles by Keen and Teva that all the cool outdoorsy types are wearing this year, I wondered whether I'd really find anything this time of year in my size. Or maybe I should wait until next spring when the new styles come out and then I'd be the first one with the coolest shoes on the block.

I asked Andy if he could glue my old pair back together and after making sure I was serious, he gave it a go. My poor sandal sat in the garage with some sort of epoxy or glue on it and any number of clamps to hold the pieces together for good adhesion. (Don't ever say Andy does anything part-way.)

A couple of days later, I had my old shoes back and I continued to wear them. In the meantime, I bought a new purse so I didn't feel so bad about the shoes. Then we got a sale catalog in the mail from REI and guess what was marked down but advertised so they MUST have lots of sizes in stock? The Keen Newport H2 that I so wanted waiting under my bed every morning for me to slip on!

We went to REI last night and guess who came home with a brand spankin' new pair of Keen Newport H2s? NOT ME. Ask Andy what's wrong with his what, 5- measly years old Teva sandals and what is his answer? "Nothing, really." Yet he brought home the Keens. Unfortunately, they didn't fit me. But I did come home with a new pair of sandals that are nice enough. I think.

Here are my old ones, not looking too bad except for all of the mud right now, thanks to a highly productive day in the garden.

Here are my new ones, not looking different enough from my old ones (they didn't have the red in my size) to warrant much excitement although they do feel nicer.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


My parents lent us the DVD Firewall and we watched it tonight. I was expecting not to like it because of the crazy way computer technology is shown in films and on TV but that wasn't why I didn't like it. I had such a visceral reaction to what happened to the main character's family that I almost stopped watching the movie and then a few minutes later, I was stuck watching it with my stomach tied in serious knots because I couldn't wait for it to be over so that I could see the main character kick the crap out of the bad guy for messing with his family.

People say that when you have kids, you see the world differently. I've said that I see things differently now that I have a kid. But this was more than I ever expected - I can't describe how it felt to watch this man's kids go through that.

One of the bonus features on the disc is a dialogue between Harrison Ford (he played the main character) and the director and Harrison Ford said at one point that you have to be careful not to make the mistake of putting kids in such peril that the audience blames the good guys in the story for putting their kids in a position to have to go through that. I didn't blame the good guys, so I guess they didn't cross the line that way, but I had a hard time paying any attention to the story. All I wanted was for the movie to end. I wonder whether I would've cared if it had ended after just a half hour and not made any sense vs. having to wait 2 hours for it to just tie up nice and tidy and make sense (which is usually all I want in a movie.)

I don't mean to say it was a bad movie. It was just a bad movie for me to watch and not for the reasons I expected!

Sleeping better

On Wednesday night I took Benadryl hoping to "reset" my sleep cycle. I slept a little better. Thursday night I took Benadryl again and slept terribly, even during the first four hours, when I thought I was guaranteed some good rest. I didn't take any Benadryl last night and I finally slept better. I do feel better overall but still not quite right. I'm ok with not being back to normal as long as I'm moving in the right direction.

The other night, Andy had a dream that our friend, Will, found a Chevy 2500 pickup truck with 4 doors and 4-wheel drive for sale for $6000. Andy tried to figure out how to present the idea of buying it to me and then he saw a "ULEV" sticker in the window (Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) and he thought that and the price tag might win me over, at least enough to look at it with him. Even in his sleep, he knows me well.

Last night, I had a dream that I went on a road trip with Matthew McConaughey and all sorts of weirdness ensued - not because he was weird as he has seemed in some news stories in real life, but because it was a dream and it was my dream and so my neuroses came across as they often do in my dreams. One of those weirdnesses involved him driving away from McDonalds without me because I was taking too long in the crowded and really dirty restroom but it turned out that he hadn't left me there, he was just in a navy blue pickup truck instead of the car that we'd arrived in and I couldn't find him in the parking lot. Then we were taken in by a very wealthy family for a night (I don't remember why) and Matthew wasn't as gracious of a guest as I would've preferred so I kept going behind him to fix things that he didn't leave the way he found them and writing thank you notes and signing his name on them.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Sorry, feed readers

Blogger posted the beta version of its new blogging interface/tools and I went ahead and said, "Sure, upgrade my template to your test version so that I have to re-enter all of my customizations AGAIN" and then I found myself re-entering my customizations and using their test version to easily select page elements and such. I enjoyed that so much that I kept making changes and more changes and more changes before realizing I hadn't turned off my site feed. Whoops, sorry about that.

You'll note a bit of a new look around here but nothing amazing except that you can't comment right now but I'm sure the legions of readers who leave me comments daily will understand that it's just for a short time until Blogger allows full customization of the HTML surrounding posts themselves and then, THEN you all will be able to comment on my witty and insightful drivel.

Yes, I know that's an oxymoron.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I don't feel well

For the past few days, I've realized that something is wrong. The problem with diagnosing it is that I can't say, "I have a migraine" or "I think I have a sinus infection" because I don't have a list of symptoms that I can describe. I have had a headache part of the time, but it's not the main problem. I have been sleepless, which is incredibly odd for me. Maybe one night every few months something (other than Kevin) will wake me up overnight but this has been many days in a row now. I am consistently waking up multiple times overnight either sitting up in bed or out in the hallway thinking that there is something I was supposed to do. I usually call these "stress dreams" but they're usually based on a particular stressor that I've always been able to pinpoint.

There is nothing in particular stressing me out this week. And I am not only sleepless, I feel.... icky. That doesn't clarify anything, does it? Physically, I don't feel well but, like I said, there's no list of symptoms that I can use to describe how I don't feel well. I just don't feel well, all over.

My brain doesn't feel right, either. It feels muddled and clouded yet it seems to be working just fine. I've gotten Kevin to preschool when he needs to be there, done a huge grocery shopping trip, worked at my job, prepared for tonight's small group gathering at our house, etc. I guess my brain doesn't feel well all over either.

I'm confused and frustrated that I can't figure this out. I'd like to feel better not just to feel better (this really isn't as bad as, say, being nauseous all the time) but to be better to my family and friends. I'm more impatient and short-tempered than I usually am but I can't figure out how to cut it off.

Sleep would probably help but there is no precedent in my life to know what to do to fix that.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Comparing the big guys

I uploaded the same 5 digital photos to Kodak Easy Share Gallery, Snapfish and Shutterfly and ordered prints so that I can compare apples to apples when deciding which company to order prints from in the future.

I sent photos from our trip to New Hampshire because they include a variety of different exposure/printing needs, such as a long-distance landscape shot with some items close up in the foreground, my cousin in half bright sun and half shadow, a cloud with the sun shining out from behind it, an indoor shot of 4 people with widely varying skin tones and 2 people swimming in the water.

I'll let you know my opinions of the prints when they arrive in a few days.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

We've got two more to pick very soon

Remember the accidental melon? Apparently it tasted really good. I say "tasted" and not "tastes" because it was gone less than 24 hours after I cut it open.

And to think that I almost threw it in the trash without cutting it because it smelled so bad I was certain that it was rotten.

Coming to a blog near you

At the dinner table tonight, Andy and Kevin put on their show of trying to make me laugh. This usually takes a few trial and error steps before finding something that sets me off. Elesa has never seen this before. After about 5 silly faces and 2 silly voices, Elesa said to Andy, "You know that everytime you do this, she blogs about it, right?"

Takin' out the trash

Andy: I guess I could put this bag in a trash can and take that to the road.

Dianne: Well, that's how one usually takes out the trash, no?

Andy: But I mean, this will be the only thing in the trash can.

Dianne: So just take that bag out to the road.

Andy: But then the crows and other animals will be able to get it.

Dianne: But there's no food trash in there.

Andy: Crows be lookin', you know.

Next time, it's Andy's turn

I called the phone company today to renew our annual DSL contract at a lower price. They had no problem lowering my price, but they had a hard time letting me talk to someone who could help. I was more frustrated than I can describe. Why is it that calling the phone company is the most aggravating call I've ever made?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Confessions of a Truck Driver

My truck, God and I love it, is the first vehicle I owned. Now I also co-own a Honda Odyssey van. Neither are cars. Andy owned a car once but he has since owned pickup trucks and now the van. We like trucks and truck-like vehicles.

Our van has been in the shop for a week now. It needs a new power steering pump and pulley. It's at the dealer so I expected that they'd get the parts rather quickly but that isn't the case. They were supposed to call us when the parts came in and today is day 7 since they placed the order with no word. Perhaps they have the parts and are waiting to contact us until the van is ready to be picked up? I can hope.

In the meantime, we can't all fit in the truck so we rented a car last week - a 2005 Honda Civic. Andy and I cringed at the thought. I tried not to like it but I couldn't help myself... the tight turning radius, the peppy engine, the air conditioning... there was too much not to love!

I returned the rental car on Friday because we're fortunate to be able to borrow our friends' car while they are on vacation. It's a 1997 Honda Accord and while there is a little more leg room in the back seat, there's not as much else to love as I expected. It turns out that new vehicles just feel better than old vehicles and they really can't be compared on most levels - who knew?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Accidental Melon

People visiting our vegetable garden earlier this season were heard to remark, "Is this yellow squash over here?" and "I thought you weren't growing squash this year." We responded that we planted no squash this year and we weren't sure what that viny thing in Kevin's section of the garden was.

We decided to let it grow to see what it was as it wasn't twirling itself around any other plants and we were curious. It grew longer but still didn't interfere with the enlarging sunflowers next to it so we kept watching it. It grew lovely yellow blossoms that turned into small green, furry fruits that we didn't recognize. They remained smaller than golf balls so we thought that was the end of our experiment.

The sunflowers harbored a pesty caterpillar species that killed them so when Andy cleared most of the sunflowers out of the area, we had a better view of the mystery vine. When we returned from vacation, I found 2 softball sized, still green and still slightly furry fruits! I showed them to Andy and after a few minutes he proclaimed, "These are cantaloupes!" I wondered how he knew and then he picked up another part of the vine to reveal an almost-ripe melon that couldn't be mistaken for anything other than a cantaloupe.

I suspect that it'll be ripe in the next few days and Andy will give it a try. I hope it's not disgusting but even if it is, it's still fun to know that we inadvertently grew cantaloupes.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Kevin and I are enjoying thermostatically-controlled air conditioning right now. Andy will be highly impressed - mostly by the fact that I used a level when installing the new thermostat.

Yesterday was an interesting day

This is an email message I sent my parents last night.

So Andy called me this afternoon to say that something is wrong with
the van. It started acting up while he was in DC for a work test.
It's now at the shop with a possible busted power steering unit (no
leak, fluid is full, belt is fine). We have a rental car as the
dealer probably can't get to the van until Wednesday.

Tonight's thunderstorms gave our yard a bolt of lightning and we're
fortunate that most everything is working normally but our thermostat
is kaput. The display won't come on but the correct number of volts
are coming to the base plate. At least the air conditioning is stuck
"on" and we'll wait to decide when we're ready to turn it off some
other way before doing anything that we might not be able to reverse!

During the lightning storm, I got a migraine.

Last night we kept the air conditioning on all night and this morning we couldn't see out of any windows because they were all covered in water. We tested turning off the AC at the breaker panel and when we turned the breakers back on, both the outside and inside units came back on. So, right now they're off and I'll turn them back on when it gets a little warmer later. Either that or when I get the new thermostat installed (!), which I'm in the middle of now (but waiting for Andy's opinion on something before I finish.)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

This is what happens....

...when you forget to tell the people taking care of your garden that they may harvest anything they find of value while you're gone.

This is a cucumber the length of my forearm from fingertips to elbow that is sun-bleached white.

Trip Photos

We took over 200 photos of our week in New Hampshire. Here are a few for you to enjoy.

The Swift River runs along the Kancamagus Highway through the White Mountains National Forest. There is no bad view of the river - it is cold and clear with mountains on either side and rocks creating waterfalls.

Quite a bit of our entertainment was water play in rivers and lakes and even this municipal fountain in North Conway.

We stayed at my cousins' in-laws' summer house in Madison, NH (with my cousin, her 2 sons and her in-laws.) This is the town hall and police headquarters of Madison.

We're Home

Left Madison, NH, this morning at 10:00 am. Rolled into our driveway at 1:00 am. Time for bed.

Oh, and the grass is brown. Will need to ask the neighbor (who mowed while we were gone) about that.

Good night.