Friday, July 20, 2007

Bon Voyage!

I have to get up in 4 hours so this'll be quick. We're off to Sweden! Yay! Vacation. I'll be thinking of you all as I am hiking north of the arctic circle on Wednesday - whohooo!

Not sure if I'll be able to post from the road but if I can I will.

Ta Ta!

Green Week: Day 5

I either usually pack my lunch and bring it to work or go home for lunch - when I pack it and bring it - I use my reusable lunch sack. This has gotten me through almost 10 years of work lunches! Think of all the paper bags that would be. Wow.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Green Week: Day 4



We "freecycled" our old couch yesterday! Whohoooooo!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Guess Who's Going to Sweden??!?!?!?!?!

THAT'S RIGHT - ME!!!!!!!

My passport came today! My passport came today!!



I didn't want to write about it much because I was sure I would jinx it. I talked to the passport call center on Sunday and they were able to tell me that my passport was in "the beginning stages" of being processed (WTH?) When I called back on Tuesday morning they were able to tell me that it was in the middle of being processed (!) and that things were "looking good" for me to get it by the weekend.

Thanks to anonymous's suggestion, my MIL's suggestion and Sarah's second of said suggestion, I called my congressman. Jim Oberstar is head of the transportation committee and I am a constituent and I thought at the very least I would let them know what is going on and that people like me, are very frustrated.

The woman I spoke to yesterday was SUPER nice and understanding and helpful and told me she would call the processing center (not the call center! whooot!) and see what she could do. She also said they've had to do "a lot of these" in recent weeks.

She called me back within a 1/2 hour saying my passport was being processed and would be shipped via FedEx overnight that day! (yesterday).

This morning I sat in the porch for hours just waiting waiting waiting (okay, sometimes I was on the couch reading and/or snoozing). She mentioned it would arrive between 9 and noon. It was ten to noon and I was on the phone trying to get through to the passport call center (again)....when lo and behold the FedEx truck drove up! I was so excited I nearly tackled the poor driver. I think he's delivered a lot of these because when I said "I'm so excited to see you" he said "ah, passport?"

Within 72 hours we shall be on our way!

Green Week: Day 3


At our house we compost all of our food waste. This has saved us so much space in our garbage and it goes into making some really great gardening supplies. Currently we have to take our food waste to our "sanitary district" where they compost HUGE mounds of steaming black...well, compost...that you can purchase for a pittance. We're on a waiting list for an "Earth Machine" so we can skip hauling in buckets of food scraps and combine them with our yard waste in our own back yard.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Happy Belated 4th of July from the Triplets!

Green Week: Day 2


We recycle everything at our house - everything that we can anyway. Junk mail, cardboard, plastic milk jugs, tin cans, aluminum (which we actually take in and sell), newspapers, etc. Today was garbage & recycling pick up day (good timing!). Even Beavis has been helping out. Since he spends a lot of his summer days out doors, he uses the litter box less and we go through WAY less kitty litter. Thanks, Beavis!

Monday, July 16, 2007

AfricanKelli's Green Week




Steve bought me a new water bottle yesterday (early b-day present) as he doesn't want me drinking out of plastic so much while I'm pregnant (usually I use a Nalgene). This SIGG water bottle was so cute, I couldn't resist! And a perfect start to Kelli's "Green Week". Have any Green habits you'd like to share?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Passport: An Update

I guess I could leave this entry blank as there is no update. One week from now we *should* be just getting on a plane in Detroit for our 7 1/2 hour trip to Amsterdam. However, I am not optimistic. I talked to the passport place yesterday morning (at 6am! whohoo!) and they said that it is still being "processed" and basically they don't have any other info for me. The guy suggested that I go to Chicago (!) for an appointment at the regional passport center there - That's only a $650 plane ticket (from Duluth), prayers that planes will be on time and that there even IS an appointment available on say, Thursday, oh and the government already has my old passport & my marriage certificate so how can I even prove who I am?

Yes, I am depressed. Thoroughly.

:(

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Computer: An Update

Yesterday I drove the sick computer (steve's Dell) to Apple Valley (160 or so miles south) to have my cousin's boyfriend take a look at it and see if he could save me $300+ and fix it. We sat from about 6:15pm til it finished up at 12:45am!!! Paul tried several things initially that just didn't work due to all the viruses & spyware that had infected that machine. Ultimately he had to remove the harddrive, install it as a slave on his computer, remove all of our files to his computer, put the harddrive back into our computer and reinstall the operating system. Now it works like a charm! We *hopefully* didn't lose any files or photos and now our system is really running a lot better & faster...and the desktop is so clean! Whohooo! Paul also installed a virus program that is *top notch* and will continually run in the background as well as some adware software to catch nasty buggers before the get us to the point of no return...again.

I also got to visit my adorable neice & nephews. Josh is so patient and just damn lovable - he will not squawk (too much) or fuss so the other two can be fed first. He patiently sits in his boppy and looks around. Hannah screams BLOODY MURDER if she wakes up hungry or if she spits up milk through her nose. I think that little one is going to have a temper on her. But she is cute and sleeps like a CHAMP. This morning she was laying so peacefully in her crib with her arms spread wide above her head. George is still a little peanut and a very slow eater, but he's gaining weight and hopefully will catch up to his big brother & sister very soon. He is still like holding a doll. He has the least hair and an "old man" face which I want to squish (in a good way).

All of their cheeks are really filling out and Hannah & Josh are getting more and more hair every time I see them. That was an excellent perk of taking my computer to Apple Valley. Now if only I could get my passport for our trip...which is *supposed* to be a week from tomorrow. I'm so depressed about that I can't go on....more later...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Amidst the Sorrow...

there's joy.

On Monday morning Steve & I went to our second OB appointment. After all the usual checks (peeing in a cup, blood pressure, weight, etc) we got to hear the Chick Pea's heartbeat on the doppler. At first it took her a while to find it and was making such faces of consternation while looking for it that it started to freak both Steve & I out but then she found and and it was very cool. I must admit, it's a little freaky though to think that there is a being that is growing inside of me and has it's own heartbeat!!!

Everything is on track and before you know it, Chick Pea will be here!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Iko

Our beautiful & sweet furry friend Iko passed away at 12:50am on Tuesday, July 10th. It was very very heartbreaking. Both Steve & I knew that his passing was imminent on Monday night. Iko's breathing had become labored, he was more lethargic than he had been and he just didn't look "right." We sat with him for hours in the kitchen - us on the floor, he on his little blanket which had become his "spot" as of late. We told him how sweet of a kitty he is and how much we loved him and we petted him and tried to make him comfortable when it seemed he was not.

I went to bed shortly after midnight and Steve remained in the kitchen with Iko. At 12:50 Steve yelled up to me that Iko had died. I hurried downstairs to be with them both...Iko was still moving (reflexes?) when I got there. We covered him up and after crying and hugging and talking about him for a while we made him a bed in a box and put him inside.

Yesterday we drove to Restlawn Pet Cemetary where he will be cremated. That was so hard to do. So incredibly hard to leave a much loved pet there when you know what the results will be.

Already our house seems much different. Emptier, quieter, sadder. There is a hole, a void. Even Beavis is confused - it seems as though he is constantly looking for Iko. Checking out all of Iko's "spots" in the yard, trying to figure out when his friend is going to come home. It all sucks.

It's very hard to lose a pet. Very hard. I hate it. But I am grateful for all the wonderful memories I have with him. And Steve, who's had Iko since just before he graduated from high school is very upset by this but is also grateful and will take with him many wonderful memories.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Article

There was a nice article about us today in the Duluth News Tribune.

You can check it out here.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sunday

Relatively speaking, today is going better than the past few days have gone.

We again didn't get up as early as we were going to to go for a hike, but we did go for a hike w/Steve's Mom & her SO Roger. We hiked from Beck's Road in Duluth (waaaaaaay west) to the Magney-Snively Ski Area parking lot. 4.3 miles according to the map, 4.8 according to my pedometer. It was HOT and steep but we made it. I think I lost all the water weight I could've possibly had.

It took WAY longer than anticipated, however, and I was late in picking up Miss M to go see a play this afternoon. I called her Mom from the trail (yay! when technology works!) and she agreed to bring her up to UMD for me since I was running behind. I got there AFTER the show started (timewise) but Miss M wasn't there yet to I guess that worked out okay. We hurriedly bought tickets and were ushered into the heavenly cold a/c theater.

The show was A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF FROG AND TOAD (or w/Frog & Toad...something like that). A very cute & whimsical and very well done chidren's musical. We both greatly enjoyed it.

So aside from being stressed about time and so ungodly hot & sticky, things are okay.

But Steve's Dad's GF just called and apparently Roger (his Dad) fell on the porch steps this afternoon. *sigh* Right side (again). The neighbor and Trudy (his GF) had to help him up. So far he says he's "okay" but that's what he said the last time - when he broke his hip - til the next morning. Ay yi i - Steve is considerably upset & overwhelmed as all the "projects" around that house (which has seen better days) fall to his shoulders not to mention our house. :(

And Iko is doing worse. Skinnier by the day - skin and bones really. His eyes are glassy and he breahes shallowly and fast. I think it is only a matter of time and I am already sad. Mostly for Steve who will be completely heartbroken & devastated. It is a very sucky thing to watch a much loved pet wither away.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

So far? It's a wash...

Well, my relaxing destressing get-things-done-around-the-house weekend is for shit.

Got up "early" this morning (not as early as we would've liked) as it was supposed to be HOT today (and it is). Our plan to take an "early" morning hike to get that out of the way and feel good about ourselves off the bat. Then come home - Steve would mow before the major heat hit and I would run my pukey errands.

Well, one thing led to another - inviting Steve's Mom & SO, his aunt, etc no one could decide what to do, what time, people were running errands, maybe later? which sucked up a whole bunch of time. We decided to take a bike ride in the Superior Municipal Forest (Superior, WI) instead.

On our way there we stopped by Northwest Outlet as Steve would like me to get a SIGG water bottle instead of the Nalgene that I use now - due to the chick pea. They had some but they were spendy and not cute enough (ha!). Then we started chatting with a worker there - very nice, super knowledgable about back packing, etc and ended up being there for OVER AN HOUR. By This time it is now 11:30am. So much for getting our shit done early.

I forgot to mention that Friday night we were going to have a "quick dinner out" at the Hacienda del Sol (home of THE best margaritas in town for sure)....that turned into meeting his Mom & SO and his brother and 3+ hours later (!!!!) I also didn't get anything accomplished on my "to do" list and went to bed feeling like a big loser.

0 for 2

So, we go for the bike ride which turns out to be not nearly long enough and not NEARLY shady enough (why did they make the pathway so damn wide???). I was sweating like a champ, that's for sure. We got off the trail and tried some gravel roads which stress me out because I'm not all that adept at riding on loose gravel (okay, any non-paved surface, really....) and due to the Chick Pea I'm EXTRA freaked out and nervous. it wasn't that fun. And did I mention it was very sweaty? And then the black flies decided they would like to bombard me?

Back at home I needed some time to cool off in our one air conditioned room. I tried to work on Steve's computer (which I TOTALLY F'ED UP LAST WEEK, BTW - if anyone can help me with a virus (i think) infected PC PLEASE HELP ME because I'm about ready to jump off a building) but that didn't go so great either. I decided I would just disconnect the damn thing and bring it up to the Geek Squad at Best Buy to have them fix it. I called them and discovered it would probably be about $299 to fix (WTF???) and we'd lose everything we didn't have backed up....(um, WHAT?)....so that started the tears.

Boy oh boy did it ever.

Next step - call the passport office as it's now 2 weeks til we supposedly depart for Sweden and that's when someone will actually talk to you. I jumped through numerous hoops to get to an actual live person (and many minutes later) only to have them tell me "Your call is very important to us, please stay on the line for the next customer service representative." Followed by "We cannot take your call right now, we're too busy, try again later, fuck off." If I was sobbing before, I most definitely was now - which lead me to all the reasons I hate myself and loathe my very existence and can't quite figure out why everything I do sucks and ends in disaster....

Hormones anyone? Lordy I hope so because otherwise I'm just plain INSANE.

So back upstairs to try again to work on Steve's computer and "fix" (hahahahahahaha) it and see if I can start backing things up (if it'll let me....LO AND BEHOLD when I hook it back up - the MOUSE doesn't work any more. I restart and get the same results and by this time I am such a crying, gasping for breath mess that I think I should just curl up and die. I think Steve was REALLLY beginning to wonder about me.

Finally I got my LAPTOP to hook up to the internet to try to get the passport office # (before I hopped around through the Post Office's non-human answering service debacle)....I of course can't get the ROUTER to work but after many times I get the damn thing to work by hooking it directly up to my computer.

Steve calls the passport office and THEY WERE THERE! They took my call and only after 20 minutes on hold. Apparently she was able to pull up my records immediately (I was not on their "self-check" website - whatever). And they DO have it (no shit, they cashed my check on May 21) but they haven't PROCESSED IT yet. She said they have 2 weeks and she'll have someone "work" on it and if I don't hear back by JULY 19 I SHOULD CALL THEM BACK....yes, 2 days before we're *supposed* to leave.

I was again crying.

Steve then suggested Dairy Queen which I agreed was a good idea (he's learning, that one....) :)

After ice cream I ran my errands. A quick stop at the craft store & groceries and then over to Best Buy to buy some updated Virus crap software - whatever it's called....Craft store was good - spent too much but what else is new, grocery store was okay - until MY SHOE BROKE. yes, unwearable, left me dragging one foot through the store. Not only humiliating but damn uncomfortable. If I hadn't already had a major breakdown today I definitely would've had one then.

So, going to Best Buy was out as I couldn't walk so I just went home....

And now I'm home, in the A/C room, typing this and getting ready (?) to go to Steve's Dad's for a bbq which I'm not all that in the mood for. God, I would love a BEER or 5 right now.

We're driving separately so I can be the rude guest and leave early. I need to vegetate and shut my brain off somehow.

So, that's where I stand so far....not so good. Something has got to change soon or I'm really going to snap. *sigh*

Friday, July 06, 2007

Ruminations on my Life

I'm sitting in the middle of a stressball. Not only am I trying to run a company (something I've never even thought of attempting before), I'm trying to get through production on a micro-budget film acting as the Produer, Editor, Cook, Extras Wrangler, and person-that-tries-to-keep-everyone-else-from-going-insane, I also am pregnant which doesn't add a whole lot of physical stress yet (although in a perfect world I would spend more time relaxing and NOT being stressed out than I currently am) (and the physical stress is to come) but emotionally it knocks me over the edge more often than I'd like to admit. So there's that. There's also the fact that I haven't had a weekend at home since......oh I don't know...May? I mean, I've been home but not really - more like running around and doing the cooking, lugging, hauling, driving, loading, unloading, grocery shopping for 50, setting up, taking down and trying to keep everyone calm stuff. So there's that. On top of that my husband is very unhappy with his current work situation and it keeps getting worse - they demand (much) more of him and yet pay him less and less. It requires use of his own car which requires use of his own gas, oil, maintenance, etc etc and the time to drive all over tarnation all the while not being compensated for it....which also sucks. (yes, he could and is trying to find another job). So there's that. There's also the fact that the garage door broke (again) during the night sometime last weekend so that when I came home at 2:30am I could not get into the garage; the lawn is like a jungle, the veggies are sadly growing because of lack of love and attention, the house projects from last winter are still barely started and no where near completed (and now! baby room! GAH) and what else? Oh our cat is dying, we're supposed to go on a TOTALLY not-in-the-budget trip to Sweden (what were we thinking?) in two weeks and I still don't have my f'ing passport and well, basically the sky feels as though it is falling.

About the film:

I am so pleased with our actors & musicians that we've been working with. Although I will probably NEVER work with this many musicians again, (okay, there are just a few people I will not work with again and never so many groups of people en masse again) I have met some incredible people and gotten to know a few that I knew before much better. I am impressed and yes, envious that they are in front of the camera and I am running around like a chicken with no head. In my heart I am not a producer. I am not a good producer, I hate confrontation, conflict, I don't like it when people are mad at me or yell at me and I am not a yeller, it's not in my nature and it leaves me sad, frustrated and upset at the end of (many) day(s). I love being creative & I love working with other creative people, but I'm just not cut out to be the "heavy" so to speak. I'm also overwhelmed with all the things that I have to do and the fact that it has been so incredibly difficult to get anyone to help us. People always say "if you need help on....whatever, let me know" and yet when we do need help they are not interested, too busy or don't return phone calls or emails. It's too much for 2 (or really 4 when you count our AD and camera operator/utility man) to do and I don't know where to turn for more support.

About the Baby:
Um, we're bringing in a human being into this world and yet feel totally incapable of such a task.....need I say more?

About finances:
Pooey. I am ready to live in a barter/trade society.

About time:
Not enough of it. Ever. (and this is pre-kid!)

About my passport:
F'ing government. I was supposed to get an email from them 7-10 days after I sent my inquiry (on June 25th) - you guessed it, I haven't heard a word.

So, I'm going to have a weekend....I am going to weed my garden, I am going to make some cards, I am going to watch a movie & a play, I am going to have a *fake* margarita and I'm going to try to destress.