Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Taylor Swift's new album for pennies!

Well, almost pennies. To be precise, it's $3.99 for the mp3 download of the entire album. Can't beat that so I thought I'd share the info with you...
Speak Now


I just downloaded it and sampled a couple songs. Catchy.

Might be a great idea for a Christmas gift if you're not like me and tell your 13 year old the second that you download it. LOL

No No NaNo

National Novel Writers Month (aka NaNoWriMo or NaNo) starts in just 5 days -- Nov. 1. The goal of the month is to write a 50,000 word novel in the 30 of November. Tricky, but it can be done.

In fact, I did it last year and finished with just over 48 hours to spare.

To set such a lofty goal for myself and actually achieve it was one of the highlights of 2009 and I've been looking forward to this year's challenge ever since.

But, alas. Last week I made the very difficult decision to forgo (sp?) the NaNo 2010 challenge.

*deep, deep sigh*

I just think it would be too much stress. We'll be out of town the first weekend in November. Then the girls are out of school for two days, one of which is Hayley's bday. Then there is Hayley's sleep-over birthday party and a week and a half after that, driving up north to my parents' house for Thanksgiving.

I could probably juggle all that and still get a new novel written, but Scott will also be traveling off and on for work throughout the month. Last year, I depended on him greatly to help with laundry, cooking, kids, etc. and awesome and amazing was he. But if he's not around... that's just a recipe for frustration for both me and the girls.

And that's not fair to anyone.

So I gladly, but sadly, sacrifice NaNo 2010. My next novel will calmly wait, especially since it's still the size of an undeveloped pea in my head.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cash. It's weird.

A couple weeks ago, my debit card started acting weird. Even though the checking account had plenty of moola, two different stores denied my card. GRRR

I stopped by the bank to see if they could figure out the issue. My account looked just fine, so the banker decided the magnetic strip on my card was wearing out. She issued me a temporary ATM card and said my new debit card would reach me in a week or so.

Since my temporary card is an ATM only card, I've used only cash. It's been forever since I've actually used cash for groceries, Target and the like.

And I like it! I feel so much more in control of my money. Hand over the cash and the transaction is finito. No seeing it "pending" in my checking account. No worrying about if my card will be strangely denied. The process is done.

My new debit card hasn't shown up yet, but I think that even when it does, I'll continue using cash. It's so freeing! Not to mention easier for the kids to understand that when I say, "Sorry, I don't have the money for that (insert book, toy, game, nail polish)" they can visually see my cash limits.

And along that line of helping the kids understand how much I've budgeted in a certain category... I've recently started using "Spend", an iPhone app. I set up categories like groceries, entertainment, clothes, eating out and enter in the budgeted amount for the month. Every time I purchase something, I enter it into the program so I can see exactly what I have left to spend for the month in that category.

That means when the kids give me the guilt trip ("But, Mom! I really need this book! I don't have any good ones to read right now and my teacher says we need to be reading a book we haven't read before yadda yadda yadda"), I whip out my phone, open the app and say, "Look! We've got this much left in our entertainment budget and you want to go to the zoo on Saturday. What's your priority?"

Mwwwaaahahhahaa! Mommy rub her hands evilly together as she reflects the angry (but comprehending) stare of the thwarted offspring. They're learning! Mommy wins again!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm nursing hurt feelings today

I generally don't have time to let my feelings get hurt. I'm more concerned with making it through another crazy day, week, month in my very blessed life.

The past few days, though, I can't seem to shake a few recent events that made me feel insignificant.

I guess individual slights can be ignored, but when they stack up like soup cans on a grocery store end cap, they tend to grab my attention.

I'm now filled with self-doubt. Makes me wonder if... well, I won't go into detail.

I achieved two important milestones yesterday that I hoped would pull me out of the mire of possible self-pity: I finished the final chapter of the novel I'm writing (still much, much more editing to do) and I ran for 11 minutes on the treadmill at the Y. (I've been working hard on that one.)

Yet the murky depths of despair still yank at my legs.

This is when you yell, "Kick, Kate! Kick!" And I will kick hard (with my newly stronger legs-hee hee) and rescue myself from sadness.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I can't believe they're still alive!

"They" being the five goldfish Emma won at her school's Harvest Festival the other day.

Oh, excitement and pride lit that Bumble Bee's face when her ball landed in a glass bowl filled with colored water!

Naturally, Scott and I shared her joy. At least until the dude gave her five goldfish swimming in a sandwich-sized Ziploc. Joy.

At least her joy outshadowed her disappointment over the "no" she got for her immediate question "Can we go to the pet store and get a tank?"

Nope, the newest members of the D___ family could live in a glass Pyrex since their lives were most likely short. Very, very short. They are carnival fish, after all. We nixed the fish food, too, so Emma immediately came home and researched what goldfish actually eat: lettuce, peas, watermelon and the like. They seem to be liking their diet since... dot dot dot...

They're still alive!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fun Blog Hop!

I know a lot of my Delicious Readers are moms, so I thought this might be a fun way to discover some new blogs that share the same interests you do--parenting, mostly! Have fun perusing and if you decide to follow, please let them know you found them through Delicious as Pie. (I've gotta increase my readership somehow, right?) :)

The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time Mom

Friday, October 15, 2010

On why I can never join a book club

I'm a big scaredy cat. Plain and simple. Even the slightest bit of suspense basically puts me over the edge. And given that I can't dominate the book club and insist on Kate-friendly books only, I must forgo book clubs altogether. *sad sigh*

Take the current book I'm reading, for example: Safe Harbor by Nicholas Sparks.

Remember the Julia Roberts movie from 1990-ish called Sleeping with the Enemy? It's the movie in book form. Seriously. It's impossible not to visualize Julia as the main character.

The book and movie both are completely predictable. At least the book is as far as I can tell. I'm 75% of the way through and I don't think I can finish it.

Evil Husband has discovered where the oft-beaten to a pulp Wife is hiding and is on his way. Said Wife, new Boyfriend and his kids go to the carnival. Soon, Boyfriend has to drive a friend to a town a couple hours away, so... he'll be gone for a while. Given that Boyfriend is an ex-CSI dude, I'm sure he'll figure out the not-so-subtle clues and rescue the girl just before Evil Husband kills her.

Completely standard, right? Not all that scary.

But I am freaking out! Seriously, friends, I am shaking right now! I don't think I can finish the book. I really don't. My heart is pounding and I've been in a weird funk all day because of this book. I couldn't sleep after reading it last night and the few chapters I read weren't even scary! Just knowing what the remaining chapters held spun me into a tizzy.

Fortunately for me, my go-to movie for relaxation -- Pride & Prejudice (the Keira Knightly version) -- already inhabited the Blu-Ray player. (I couldn't sleep a few nights ago either, but that was before I started Safe Harbor.)

Alas, I think I must sever all ties with the book. Yes, I even need to delete it from my Kindle. So if one of you Delicious Readers out there happens to read it, will you tell me if it ends happily? Predictability is one thing, but Nicholas Sparks is also known for heartbreaking endings.

Off to assuage my woosey (albeit shaken) emotional state...


The sock project is OVER!

In honor of Halloween, the cutest video ever made!

This is my Delicious Emma in October 2006 just after she turned 6. I watch this video several times every October 'cause it just makes me giggle and say, "She's soooooo cute!"

Her sweet little manners, that silky blond hair and above all, her adorable little lisp. Oh, what I wouldn't give to cuddle that itty-bitty six year old one more time!


My knitting socks

No, that's not a title typo, just a little play on words...

I'm taking a class on knitting toe-up socks. That's where you start knitting from the toe instead of the traditional way (from the top).

Apparently, I suck at knitting socks.

I had no idea it was more of an intermediate/advanced class when I signed up for it. I merely saw it in the yarn shop newsletter and thought, "Oh, what a great idea for Christmas gifts!"

Really, not so much.

It took several (ok, many) tries for me to get properly started, but I got into a groove and was doing fine. Fortunately, I went into the store last night just for a little guidance 'cause as it turns out, I missed a key piece of info in the directions:

"Use a stockinette stick on the needle two."

That means, only do the cool decoration stitches on the top of the sock and do a basic knit stitch on the bottom. Apparently, it's not so comfortable to walk on the decoration stitches.

So in I walk last night, all proud to show the instructor the two inches of sock I've spent hours creating this week. She looks at it and says, "Uh oh."

And out unraveled hours and hours of sore shoulders, deep breaths, and strained eyes.

I'm almost ready to throw in the sock (as opposed to the towel). But being that I spent an insane amount of money on the class and supplies, I can't, in good faith, give up. Not that I give up easily anyway. I hate failing.

Seriously, though. These socks should be made of spun gold for what I paid. $35 for the class. $22 for two circular needles. $16 for the yarn. See?

I should be able to pawn these things for a set of solid gold knitting needles with a matching crochet needle to rescue all my dropped stitches.


Had I realized the great extend my wallet would be stretched, I wouldn't have taken the class.

But I did and I'm not going to give up. And this time, I'm going to photograph the darned things (get it? darned? ahahahahahahahaha!) every step of the way so all my Delicious Readers can see my agony and then feel my jubilation when I finally slide them on my cold tooties.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bad Mommy! Bad!

I forgot about her science project due, of course, tomorrow. Oops.

But then again, so did she.

So guess what we did today? Aside from the five worksheets and chapter of reading she had to do...

We built a diagram of Argon--you know, the 18th element of the blah blah blah table of the blah blah blah table of elements. An oh so information paragraph graced the diagram, so I can now tell you all about the gas that is more common in our atmosphere than carbon dioxide and is related to blah blah blah blah blah...

Don't worry... I tuned myself out about that same time. Maybe even a little earlier. (heehee)

I am happy to report that I was not the only mother at Michael's buying supplies at 8:45pm. She can have the Bad Mommy trophy on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays and alternating Sundays.

It's now 10:21 and I just put Emma to bed. Poor thing worked for six hours on homework today. She's exhausted. I'm exhausted.

And I can now say with absolute certainty... I am SO not smarter than a fifth grader!

Monday, October 11, 2010

A wicked cool app for musicians

The girls' music teacher told us about the "Amazing Slow Downer". It slows down the music you're listening to (Suzuki violin book 3, in our case) so the musician-in-training can actually hear what every single note is supposed to sound like!

Wowee wow wow. (Totally rockin').

Here's the one I used... http://download.cnet.com/Amazing-Slow-Downer-for-Windows/3000-2139_4-10076514.html

Free only in trial version (natch), it's pretty pricey to meet at $49.99. But then again if it helps the girls with their music..... might be worth it.

Oh, please forgive my use of the delicious adjective "wicked" in the title of this post. I've been informed by my 10 year old that moms are not allowed to say that. (whatev)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Delicious Review: www.diamondearrings.org

A few weeks ago, I received a free set of faux diamond earrings from www.diamondearrings.org.

My Delicious Opinion? Not bad at all... They are beautiful, well made and felt so comfortable in my ears. You know how sometimes earrings can irritate or itch? And sometimes, even when they don't bother you, you can just feel them? Not so with these earrings. They're actually comfortable. (BTW, the posts are made of sterling silver.)

I wore them for one week straight, not even taking them off when I slept. Lots of people complimented the earrings and my girls begged to wear them themselves.

Now I'm not a diamond expert, so I can't claim to have examined them with a jeweler's glass. So whether you can tell the difference between these faux diamonds and the real thing, I don't know. I can't imagine anyone peering at your ears when you wear them anyway, so I think you'll be safe regardless.

They're not for sale yet... www.diamondearrings.com is still getting the word out by mailing out free sets of the earrings in exchange for an honest review. I got in the gig early enough that I didn't even have to pay shipping.(Woot! Woot!) Now you do, but it's only $3.77. Pretty nominal, huh?

So... final opinion? I like 'em!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I'm moving.

At least in my head I'm moving, if not actually physically.

I'm removing myself to Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands off the south coast of England.

How could you not want to move to a place where cows sport hippie-style headwear?

Or where wild flowers wave hello every direction you turn?

Or where a dedicated monk envisioned and created a chapel fully ensconced in mosaic tiles?

Go here http://www.visitguernsey.com/panoramas/ to see the inside of the chapel. Holy moly. I'm imagining said monk to be deaf. How else could one stand the continuous barrage of breakage?

The only downside of moving to Guernsey (and it's just a tiny downside) is that the cliffs, spectacular though they may be, do not get along well with my absolute terror of heights. I may well have to walk around with a leash and a picket.

So who's up to moving with me? We can read and write and play in the surf and run through the wildflower and eat beef. Lots and lots of beef. This is where Guernsey cows come from, after all.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Adventure in the 'hood...

Woo wooooo! Silence.

Woo wooooo! Silence.

Woo woooooo! Silence again.

Uh oh. Emergency vehicles in the neighborhood. Please, God, keep everyone safe.

Fire engines, police cars, haz mat, you name it lined the entire street just below ours.

A house lay victim to a jet fuel hose that somehow fell from an airplane entertaining the crowds at the Miramar Air Show. It's believed that it still had fuel in it, so officials took every precaution possible to keep the neighborhood safe.

The lady in the red shirt is the owner of the house that got hit.
Here she's getting sincere apologies from the Marines. (I told you everybody was there!)

Thank God, no one sustained injury. But two homes were cordoned off with police tape and one of those homes has roof damage.

The drama seems minimized as I type out the story. But trust me, it was heavy. No one in the neighborhood knew what was going on for quite a while, so anxiety ran rampant. In fact, I was in the shower when I heard just one too many fire engines go by. I quick rinsed out the conditioner and hopped out, dripping on the floor as I ran to the balcony to smell for smoke. None, thank goodness.

Even still, I ran to the girls and told them to get dressed immediately, that something was up in the neighborhood and we needed to be ready to leave if necessary. The situation did upset Emma enough that she wouldn't leave my side for the next hour.  Hayley told her to pack a bag--it would make her feel better.

Okay then......... Here's what's in a 10 yr. old's "grab and go" bag:

cell phone
house key
ear phones
empty Target gift card
a small stuffed kitty and it's teeny tiny pillow
a 6" pillar candle (no wonder the bag was so heavy!!)
sponges (seriously?)
autograph book
cheese hair band
clay whistle
hand mirror (belonged to her great grandma)
a small, squishy sumo wrestler (really????)
some jewelry
some amethyst (again, heavy)
her iPod

Did you giggle like I did?

Anyway, HazMat was still set up in front of that unfortunate house as late as 5pm.

Kudos to all the city/military/emergency officials who made sure everything was safe!

Phew. I think I need a weekend from my weekend.