Sunday, March 29, 2009

Another ER trip

but this time for me.

I feel rather foolish about the whole thing.

I stumbled on the stairs. My left foot and leg went forward, my right leg bent at the knee underneath me and I "sat") right on top of my heal. (sat, being the euphimistic term for landing with all my weight).

I heard a horrid popping noise (and felt it) and I would say that on a scale from 1 to 10 with pain, I was at a 10. The world was going dark around me. Trent helped me get to the couch where I rested. It hurt so bad that even screaming seemed futile and a waste of energy. I even thought "Labor is nothing compared to this!"

I knew I was in shock. My face was pale and clammy. I even had Trent feel my cold sweaty face. The kids got me ice and then I think it hurt so bad that for a while I couldn't even feel it. (Yep, definately shock)

All of us were in our PJ's before getting ready for church. Trent started to help the kids get ready and I laid on the couch -- I actually made a few phone calls to see if we could just drop the kids off with friends at church since the church is on the way to the hospital. Ember was more than willing to help with the kids.

So Trent was busy with the kids and my problem now was that I had to go to the bathroom. I didn't want to bother him, so I threw a pillow on the floor and crawled to the bathroom. While crawling (with my ankle kind of dangling in the air or dragging behind) I felt and heard another popping sound -- and amazingly my pain dropped to about a 2 or 3.

I even tried to stand on it and found I could (although it was very sore, and my leg kind of shook.)

We still went to the hospital as a large amount of pain was still coming from my leg (the tibia), but the x-rays showed it was not broken.

So, I am good. I walk slow. I can assure you if you dislocate your ankle the pain is like nothing else in the world and perhaps if you try crawling to the bathroom you will be lucky enough to have it pop back in place.

So beware the stairs! I know I will (again!)

On the plus side. I still have never broken a bone! (knock on wood)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dear Oven Manufacturer,

Dear Fancy Oven Manufacturer,

I am a typical stay at home mom. I make breakfast, lunch and dinner and use the oven frequently. I have in my life probably baked over 1000 batches of cookies. I have never had a problem baking anything until I got to use your "Oven".

When I first moved into the home that has your "oven" I was quite in awe of it. I even posted its picture in a blog. (it is the first picture in the slide show). It looked big, it looked fancy, it looked like an oven. But it is not!

It is a food destroyer. Today, I attempted to make cookies again (my past bad experiences aside, I had to find someway of using the 2 bowl fulls of chocolate chips that Madelyn and Adam had poured themselves while my visiting teachers were at my house, and I knew if I just took them away they would scream and cry, so being the good mom I try to be, I threw together a quick batch of cookie dough and had the 2 of them pour in the chocolate chips -- it worked fabulously -- they were so excited to have cookies they hardly noticed that I had taken the chocolate chips from them!)

I had preheated the oven to 350, put the cookie sheets in and set the timer for 8 minutes (usually it takes 12 in any other oven, but here I thought I would set it for 8 and then check on them) About 6 1/2 minutes later, I could smell them -- which usually means they are done. I ran in, opened the oven and the back half of the top cookie sheet was burned, the front half was perfect and the bottom cookie sheet was raw.

I pulled out the top cookie sheet, threw away the burned ones, removed the 8 good ones and opened the oven again to check on the bottom sheet (mind you , the timer still has not gone off) to find all 18 on it burned.

8 good cookies -- really???? I mean what kind of oven can do that? Is this a biggest loser kind of oven that is trying to keep me from overindulging??? It was like the oven was on 450 degrees. And then I looked and it was on 450 degrees.

So that is why I am writing. Who puts the knobs for an oven 6 inches off the ground, where all the little kids can reach it???? This in and of itself is a recipe for burned or undercooked food. I don't know if Madelyn or Adam did it (although I am pretty sure it was Adam) -- but they should not be allowed to reach it! I mean who designed this oven????? I want answers. They obviously never had a focus group that included kids. They obviously never asked a mother about it and so I want compensation. I am short 26 oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Please send some to me. 8 is not enough despite the title of a television show from my youth. 8 is not enough (unless you are talking babies, but that is irrelevant to this cookie catastrophe).

And while I have taken the time to write this letter, I have a few more suggestions for your "oven".
  • Add windows
  • Put the controls up high
  • Make the controls digital
  • Have a timer
  • Have a delay start
  • Have a temperature probe that plugs in to tell me how close the chicken is to being done
  • Quiet the convection fan (it sounds like a 747 taking off)

In short, look like this.

Oh, my Katy, TX oven. I miss you. We didn't always get dinner right, but you never let me down on cookies.


Jamie Handy

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Here in Connecticut, we grow Rocks

There is a small area of our yard that is behind some rocks and I have determined to make that my little garden. The kids and I have been out there several times working on our patch of earth, let me tell you-- there are rocks everywhere. The rocks here were among my first observations when we came out here nearly a year ago househunting (you can read all about it here). But as I have been trying to prepare a measly 2 feet by 6 feet section for planting, I have easily removed 20 medium size rocks and 5 or 6 rocks I could barely roll, and left 3 rocks that were just too big to think about moving. That many rocks in such a small space it is amazing. NO WONDER ALL THE FENCES HERE ARE MADE OF ROCKS!

But I did it. And the sugar snap peas and the snow peas have been planted. And I am determined to not have them be deer food. Those deer, if they come near, just might get a rock or 2 thrown at them (and believe me I know where to find some to throw!)

I also have started a bunch of seeds in the house in egg cartons (tomatoes, basil, cilantro, and parsley). We'll see if they start to grow.

And I have high hopes to clear out a few more tons of rock and plant flowers, zuchini, pumpkin, squash, corn, etc. . .

I'll let you know if anything other than rocks grow.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Quick Recap

I really want to sit down and compose beautiful Blog posts -- but my life has been crazy, fun, busy, fun and crazy. So here is the quick recap --

My whole family came here for their spring break. Granny, Grandpa, Tyler, Carrie, Shad, Amy, Hailey, Zach, Chloe, Amber, Dan and Megan. It was a full house. We had so much fun.

The week before was spent cooking and freezing (pizza, cinnamon rolls, breakfast casseroles), grocery shopping, making beds, washing sheets and towels.

Then everyone got here. They arrived on Saturday late --

Sunday we all went to church together and then took family pictures at Waveny Park and had a wonderful Mexican food feast!

Monday -- The house was quiet again as all the visitors drove to upstate New York to see Palmyra and Niagara Falls. My sweet family stayed here and did fun things like go to school (since it is not spring break here in CT).

Tuesday -- Still quiet -- the kids went to school -- the family still gone

Wednesday -- quiet until dinnertime when everyone got back -- and we all had dinner

Thursday -- kind of quiet -- my kids were at school and I kept the little babies (Adam, Chloe, and Megan) while everyone else headed to NYC for the day. Madelyn got to go with them. They did the staten island ferry, ground zero, museum of natural history, trinity church, times square, st. patrick's cathedral, lots of walking and it was cold and rainy.

Friday -- semi-quiet -- All the boys (Grandpa, Tyler, Dan, Shad) and Carrie and Mom went into the city again -- the boys did the Met and central park and stuff and the girls shopped. Meanwhile Amy, Amber and I had all the kids (I even let the girls skip school). It snowed in the morning (but thankfully did not stick). By 2:00 it was 40 degrees and Amber and I took all the kids (except Megan and Chloe) to the Stamford Museum and Nature Center. It was empty (apparently 40 degrees is not warm enough for very many people). The kids had a blast and played on the playground and then we walked and saw all the animals at Hecksher Farm. The kids all ran ahead to see the llama, alpaca, and a big hairy cow with horns. Suddenly the kids were running and screaming and the big cow with the horns had gotten out of the pen and was chasing them-- a little too much excitement! Thankfully it was a girl cow, not a boy and therefore not very agressive, but it really startled those kids to see a cow with horns suddenly right next to them.

Saturday -- We all (EVERYONE) went to the city. We headed to Trent's offices to get some awesome views of the city. We ate lunch and then all went to see Shrek on Broadway -- and IT WAS AWESOME. It was so entertaining and so fun and great. I loved it better than the movie (and I loved the movie).

Sunday -- We went to church and after the first hour everyone headed back to the airport. But have no fear -- we were not lonely -- one of my aunt's and her daughter and daughter's boyfriend called and were in town so they met us at church and came home to spend the afternoon with us. (oh and also Carrie is still here waiting for her next job assignment)

Monday -- Just my family and my sister Carrie -- and 28 loads of laundry.

Tuesday -- Since Carrie was still here I planned the whole day -- speech, visiting teaching, activity days, and the Young Women's Career Fair. I totally planned on her watching the kids -- and then she got word that she could start her job tomorrow so I got to do all those activities with all the kids in tow (thankfully my friend Ember watched them during the career fair)

And so that explains why for 2 1/2 weeks I have not posted anything. Crazy, busy, FUN!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Two things that annoyed me

First, don't we all know the post office saying . . . "Nor rain, nor snow, nor sleet . . ." the whole idea is that the mail always comes. Except yesterday. It didn't come. Yes we did get 12 inches of snow . . . blah blah, but I thought "nor rain, nor snow, nor sleet . . . " I think what they should actually use as their mantra should be "If only a little rain, or a little snow, or a little sleet then we will deliver for you."

Second, We moved in JULY, 2008. We canceled our electric provider for the Texas house in JULY, 2008. I recieved my final bill in the mail dated Jan 28, 2009. I cannot understand why the 6 month delay. On the bill it clearly states that the final amount owed would be automatically debited on Feb 18 and that I should not pay from the invoice. On Feb 28, we got a letter from a collection agency. I checked and the amount had not been debited -- so I called them and explained the problem and was told that their systems were updating and I would need to call back. I was transferred to a superviser who stated their systems were updating and would have to call back (thanks for the added help there superviser!)

So I called back today, explained the problem and was told their systems were updating and I would have to call back in an hour or two. This time I was a little testy . . . I said, "Am I the most unlucky person to call only at the times when your system is updating?" She apologized and said she would transfer me to some one else. 10 minutes later their customer relations office for business accounts picks up as soon as he hears that I am a residential customer he explains that I have been transferred to the wrong place and so he places me on hold and transfers me back. 10 minutes later I am talking to a customer service rep again . . . this time I ask her if her system is currently updating. She says, "No". I ask if their systems have been updating recently. She says, "NO!" I then explain the situation and she helps me get it all worked out. But now, I am MAD -- is that what they do when they find themselves with a situation that they just don't want to deal with. They tell you their system is not available and then transfer you to Timbuktu. Or when they know that a customer is a little frustrated. I can't believe how lazy and unwilling some people are to do their job -- and in this economy.

Trent turned 35!

Trent had a great 35th birthday. He got to wake up early and go to work. (My kids really think that things like school and work ought to be suspended on birthdays!). His co-workers provided some great humor by copying some of Dwight and Jim's birthday celebration ideas from the office.

When he got home he got to blow out the candles with the kids!

Julianne had made him a nice card.

And Catherine had made him a birthday necklace. I love it. Don't you love how she added inspirational thought on it?

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