Sunday, March 30

Saturday, March 29

More Ducks!

I think I like this one so much because it's so different from the ones I make with the kids myself.

Friday, March 28


The streetsweeper was cleaning my street when I woke up this morning, and it reminded me of being a little girl. I have the clearest memories of running to the door when I was three(?) and standing behind the screen and waving. It was thrilling when they'd wave back at me. I used to get so excited on Fridays, garbage days.

One of the best things about living at home is having old memories right at hand.

In kinda freaky news, Mom had a dream yesterday that I had a baby. A baby with long dark hair, and I was taking her to work. Silly dream-me. Mom says this is the third or fourth time she's dreamt of me having babies. And then last night, I dreamt I was walking through a grocery store with a stranger and he had two babies with him and I told him I wanted one of his babies. He told me I should get a baby from his brother.

Yeah, weird. Anyway, I think Mom's got a long wait ahead of her.

Wednesday, March 26

Pizza Pizza

I'm all cranky and down on myself lately. Gah.

When we did this picture a few weeks ago, I was SO PROUD of him for not lining up the toppings in any particular way when he glued them on. It's the little things.


Tonight I have to scan more pictures (Oh, I have more, many many more), because this was the last of the second batch.

Tuesday, March 25

New House, First Day

Well, today is my first time at the new house (the house I picked up without wanting to a week ago Friday) and as usual, I'm kind of terrified.  Luckily, E is not supposed to be violent, which was a major reason I was scared of the last new place when I started working there.

I've also had some dreams this weekend about working with her, dreams where I had gotten her to start communicating and expressing herself better.  Naturally, that makes me feel pretty good about the way things will go.  I almost want to tell her dad that, to maybe make him feel as hopeful as I do right now, but I have a feeling "crazy person who thinks she's psychic will be working with your kid" won't reassure him much.  

She really is sweet.  I'm not worried about her so much as I'm worried about training under the lady I'll be training with.  She's a little scary-in-your-face.  My boss called her "kind of pushy".  Yep, that's about right.  Hopefully I can just sit back and observe today.  Cross your fingers for me.

Monday, March 24


I was just looking through my browser history, hoping to find something interesting to look at (again) to pass the time, and came across the HP website. I had looked there when I was trying to figure out why my scanner wouldn't scan, to no avail.

Turns out they don't expect that you have forgotten to check and make sure that the the cord connecting it to the computer is, well, connected.

Sunday, March 23

Good Deed

Last night was crazy.

There was this guy at the bar who was all over my brother. He was very drunk. He said, "How've you been?" six hundred and fourty-three times. He said, "Yeah, I work out every day," thirty-six times. It was awkward. Especially when his girlfriend threatened us. I am too old for this crap.

At the end of the night as we were leaving, we saw him wandering the empty parking lot with not a soul in sight. He was trying the doors on random cars. I don't know what he was hoping to accomplish, but it was not going to happen.

We herded him into the car and started driving in the direction of his town. (Yes, he lives two towns over.) In the thirty minutes it took to get there, we asked him where he lived, if we could see his driver's license, if he could tell us his address... to no avail. It was like talking to a wall. A wall that said "Yeah" occasionally.

Finally, my brother got the brilliant idea for me (I was in the backseat with the guy) to rummage around in his pocket to find his wallet. I was less than a fan of this option, but it seemed we had little choice, so I took one for the team. I asked first, of course. He looked me up and down and said, "Yeah."


So I reach in and can't feel anything wallet-y. I'm really being careful, so it was very disturbing when he moaned at me. I grabbed his cell phone and got out of there pretty quickly after that. Brother called his girlfriend (who had left him at the bar, remember?) and she gave us "directions". No actual street names were mentioned. "Turn left at the lit-up barn with all the silos." That sort of directions. We were not going to get any help from him.

When we made it there, the door was locked and he couldn't find the right key, so (once again) brother took over and tried them, one by one. Eventually he got the door open, and pushed him inside. He stood there looking at my brother as if he was going to follow us back out, so Robby locked the door and shut him in.

Then we went to Hardee's.

He's probably got quite the headache today.

Thursday, March 20

Money Talks

The nice lady at the bank today wanted so badly to give me a written copy of my balance that I let her. A few days ago, I was sinking deeply into a dark place involving money and things that need paying (with a friend, because these things are much better with company!) and I think I managed to make myself a budget of sorts. If not a real budget, then a list of things that need to be paid for in the next two weeks and the total of those things. And then a seperate list of the money I have and the difference that lies between and the knowlege that that money is what I can spend or save (hahaha... stop, stop... you're killing me) and... wait. What?

That's a budget, you say?

Well, gee. Nobody ever tells you how much better you feel with a tentative grasp on your finances.

I've got enough money left over after the things I need this payperiod to buy a bike, so that's what I'm going to do. And maybe a basket for said bike.  And a bell.  Or a horn.  You know, whatever will make it the dorkiest/best bike in the tri-county area.

Wednesday, March 19


I had a terrible art teacher in high school.

I guess I have a looser definition of art than a lot of people, I tend to think of it only as "beautiful thing someone created". Her definition of art was a little more defined than that, and she wanted us to use specific techniques and materials and conform to her standards of what a thing "should" be or look like. I took a couple of ceramics classes too, and he was the same way. I am very... free-spirited? When it comes to the things I find attractive. And I take it hard when someone doesn't think the thing I think is attractive is attractive.

All of this is a little bit of an explanation about why I'm so nervous about using the pastels and sketchbook I bought last weekend to actually create something. I have a fear that I will be "wasting" the materials on, well, crap.

Even if it's crap, though, it's crap I created. And it might not be beautiful, but it probably won't be ugly, either. I can make pretty things.

Maybe not as amazing as the stuff the kids and I create, but pretty enough to share, maybe. That's putting the horse in front of the carrot, though. First I have to convince myself that it's not a "waste" to use my new art materials.

I have to admit, though, that part of my hesitation is simply because I am enjoying the anticipation so much. Though I was never particularly good at art, I certainly did always love pastels.

Mmm, the schmeariness of them.

Tuesday, March 18


One time a few months ago at work, I was going through the list of animals what make noises and asking, "What does a _______ say?" when I accidentally asked what an elephant says. Of course I had to follow through, although I pity the elephant that sounds like the noise I made.

When I was at their house last week, Steve asked his little boy what sound a rabbit makes. When he got a confused look on his face, Steve said, "Buck buck bock," ala the Cadbury bunny. You know, I'm easily amused sometimes.

So I need new shoes. I'm leaning towards getting Crocs again, because I know they fit and they are comfortable and I've actually worn this pair out, which says to me I like them. Plus they come in awesome fun colors.

Awesome fun colors which make most people want to gag, I think. Oh well.


You know those people who can look at your footprints and tell you that the reason why your back is about to cave in on itself from pain is because when you walk, you put too much pressure on the outside of your heel and the inside of the ball of your foot and if you only walked properly you could be a perfect specimen of human and live until a hundred and twenty?

My old crocs are so worn that I can to that analysis myself, thank you.

In summary: I need new shoes. And I'm really happy that I can wear attrociously colored shoes at my current job. Blaze orange, here I come!

Monday, March 17


I have the cutest and sweetest nephew there ever has been.

I got to wheel him around Target on Saturday and his mom didn't tell me I was doing it wrong ONCE. This is big for her.

He was SO SLEEPY. When we left them in the middle of the mall, I squatted down next to the stroller and he smiled at me and gave me several fives. Sigh.

He's six months old and currently wearing twelve-month-old clothing. I hope I hope I hope he fits an eighteen-month-old sweater when it's actually chilly outside. I hope. Children don't grow exponentially, right? He's not going to get bigger faster the bigger he gets? I need some sort of scientific equation (and, ahem, someone to explain it to me) for reassurance.

Sunday, March 16

Happy Monday!

Tomorrow is a long day.

I think I'm going to call it a night a little early.

Last night at the bar, the DJ played a song that one of the middle-aged ladies with poofy bangs and mom jeans really liked. I know because after the DJ stopped playing, she found it on the jukebox and played it seven times in a row.

What song was it? This song. I shit you not.

Have a good week!

(eta: The song is "Low" by some hip hop dude. In case you have a sluggish connection or they take down the video in the future.)

Saturday, March 15


I sent off my request to Rachel for pictures of us today with little Owen, hopefully I will have one or two to share when she gets back to me. If my brother were here, I would hit up his camera, but he is not. I am home alone.

Something has been bothering me lately. Lack of people to talk to.

Oh, good news - I think the 18 month old size (the size I'm knitting) will fit Owen really well as next fall rolls around. Unless he starts growing bigger the bigger he gets. Would that be exponentially? Unless that happens, I think we're safe. (Although I'm going to try not to wait until his birthday to finish it. I can do this before September, folks.)

That picture up there? That's the last installment of the first bunch of pictures. I've got more sitting on my desk, waiting to be photographed (or, you know, scanned... should I ever figure out how to work that blasted machine), so I'll be sharing more. Although I'm not sure anyone else finds them interesting. Do you? Find them interesting? Not that it matters much, because I'm going to keep posting them.

Somehow on Friday, I ended up scratching the corner of my mouth.  How?  I never remember the ways I get hurt.  Such a terrible memory.


Today I will be slow-cooking pork for BBQ sandwiches tonight. It was good last time, and the time before. It should be good tonight as well.

I really hope that my brother isn't planning on asking me for a ride back to Milwaukee tomorrow. That would really be awful. Mostly because I will want to say no more than anything else in the world. And am usually unable to do so. Actually, that reminds me. On Thursday night I had a dream that Robby asked me to drive him back to Milwaukee and I flipped out with all of the rage that I normally feel on the inside when he asks me to drive him home showing on the outside. I was so enraged that I'm surprised I didn't wake anyone up.

Today (while the pork is porking slow-cooking), Robby and I are driving to our sister's house so he can meet the baby. I suspect I'll mostly be playing with her boyfriend's older son, Anthony, because (somehow? In the past year?) I've gotten pretty awesome at hanging out with kids. Babies I'm still pretty unsure what to do with. I mean, beyond the first cursory, "Oooooh, look at his cutey facey-wacey! /funny face" stage. There is more to it that that, isn't there?

I have never changed a diaper.

No One...

...better ask me what this one's supposed to be.

Thursday, March 13

Tonight Tonight

Do you like my new picture? I do.

Lisa had to bail on our walk tonight, but luckily just as I was losing hope my brother showed up. We took a lovely long walk to main street and back around on Green Bay Street. I talked to him about (what else lately?) work, and shared some of my very funny stories. I'll have to share some of them here sometime soon.

I'm kind of lonely tonight.

I Only Write About Work

As usual, for the first hour or so after getting home, I can't pry the Linus off of me. He's like the Little Engine that Could of jumping into my lap. Well, sort of.

I sent some text messages from work to various people. I thought I'd share them:

"We're singing Rascal Flatts today. Therapy is fun."

"I ask: What happened to your nose? Answer: It got zits on it."

"My job sometimes feels less like a job, more like the most absurd babysitting gig ever."

Wednesday, March 12

This is the Quiet

I've finished the back of the sweater, and am on to the left front. That part should zoom by. And then it's the sleeves. And then the buttons (which I already bought and then showed to Steve one day and now cannot find for anything - argh). The buttons I'm going to use are very cute, they are wooden and have a tiny checkerboard pattern on them. Subtle and adorable.

I know that Rachel likes the color, because in one of the pictures she sent recently, Owen was wearing a shirt of that color. Phew.

On Friday I'll be working my first PNO. It's an event my company holds once a month in Appleton where the parents of kids with autism (who are in the program) come to a dinner we host. The therapists play with the kids and supervise while the parents get some time off to hang out with other people who are in the same boat. It's pretty cool, and I'm glad my schedule works out for it this month.

Oh, and after they screwed me out of 1/3 of my hours, I'd be nuts not to pick up the few I can get with fun stuff like this.

What Does a Dinosaur Say?

I have a feeling it's "Raaaarrr!"

Tuesday, March 11


I've been having a lot of it lately. There's no real reason for it, and I know that, so why does it continue? The past week-plus has been riddled with it.

I used to get nervous, but that wasn't quite the same thing. This anxiety brings with it a whole new inability to make sense when I talk. A new sense of everything I've ever said being stupid descends upon me.

Life is strange right now, because at the same time, I'm feeling more connected to everything. More interested in taking pictures and recording things than I have in a long time. I want to share. None of this has been coming across in my conversations, though. It's like the more I'm opening up, the less I'm capable of expressing what's on my mind. It's all very frustrating. I can't take me anywhere anymore. I may have been on the brink of crying tonight.

There may have been a few tears shed, actually. How embarrassing.

The walks have been going nicely. Huck is learning how to walk at my side instead of pulling at the leash, and he (shockingly) only needed two demonstrations to realize what I meant when I said, "Heel."

It's a Fish

Dad was confused by this one, so I labeled it right away for you guys.

Stinky/Alarm Clock

Stinky is so far unable to tell when two-minutes-to the alarm clock is, after Daylight Savings Time. I'm keeping track of how long it takes before he starts MEOWing to me at precisely 7:13. But! He does know how long fifteen minutes is, and will MEOW at me when fourteen minutes has passed, shorting me out of a minute of snooze.

Luckily, I've been sleeping pretty well, except for the last few days. Yesterday morning I woke up at 3:30 and had... you know those dreams you have when you're still half-awake and you know you're getting no zzz's, because in the middle of them you're angry with yourself for having stupid dreams about MySpace? But you're not awake, either? I did that for about an hour. Always a good time.

I'm pretty much able to sleep, but I had to train for it. Lots of mind-over-matter stuff with the relaxing and the not-thinking.

Sometimes I'm overwhelmed with the thinking anyway.

Monday, March 10

Home, Finally

Today was long, even though I slacked off as much as I could.

Slacking off is much different at this job. Not nearly as satisfying.

You know what's fun? Playing with tennis balls.

Sunday, March 9


The first time I went for a walk for the purposes of walking, it was to find a good spot for reading.

I walked again today, Huck is in heaven with the walking.

He likes jumping on the ice-shelves that form on the edge of the sidewalk as the snow melts. It's very endearing.

Tons of Stuff

Do you want to play the cutest little internet games you've ever seen?

Oh, go on. You know you want to.


I have to share this because, well, it's kind of amusing. Before Valentine's Day, Michelle and I and her children went to the store to shop for supplies.

On the way back to drop me off at my house, Bean asked me if I had a new house, and I said, "Yes, I live with Aunt Mary now."

Hannah took this moment to pipe up from the backseat, "You had to move because you couldn't AFFORD it anymore, right?"

Sigh. As my friend said, "Thanks for the salt, kiddo."


I am still working on the sweater for my little nephew. I'm finished with the lace panel on the front, and now I'm onto the back portion. Then it's on to the other front panel and then the sleeves. And then done! Hopefully before he grows too big for it.

Knitting is stressful.


I have some pictures of the art projects I've been doing at work with the kids I work with, and I want to share them with you, because I think they are amazing. They make me really happy.

This picture was made using the watercolor pencils I got for work. I drew the phone and colored it in, and then he used his fingers to "paint" with water.

Saturday, March 8


Sunny: are you as excited as i am about losing an hour of sleep tonight?

Lisa: ?

Sunny: what with the Spring Forward?

Lisa: i didn't know it was yet
now i am

Sunny: i'm sure you'll be reminded plenty at work

Lisa: luckily i'm off tomorrow so there's no chance of it making me show up at the wrong time

Sunny: are you kidding? I'm worried about Monday already

Lisa: lol
yeah, i think (i hope) i'll have the whole time change thing under control after a day of it
you know, asking everyone what time it REALLY is...checking all the clocks
setting 5 alarms...just in case
oh wait!
i think i'm off monday, too, so I'll have two days to prepare

Sunny: checking and rechecking your phone to make sure it says the right time

Lisa: i like to check back and forth from the phone and the computer
then call time and temp a few times

Sunny: oh, yeah, that's a good one

Lisa: tune into the news to make sure they make mention of a time change and i wasn't wrong about the date of its occurrence

Sunny: you really freaked me out by not realizing it was today
now i'm worried i've got it wrong

Lisa: no kidding
thank pete you said something

Sunny: like everyone is trying to trick me or something

Lisa: i've heard nothing about it until now
and todd didn't know either

Sunny: GAH

Lisa: now i'm scared

Sunny: your whole HOUSE wouldn't have known!!!

Tiny Bubbles

Did I ever talk to you guys about my laundry soap? Yes? I don't remember. And (lazy again) I'm not going to check. I'm just going to pretend that I've got a whole new batch of people reading that weren't here before. Hi new people!

So anyway, last year in the early spring, I came upon a blog with a recipe for laundry soap that claimed to cost MUCH less and be extra awesome for the environment. Of course I was immediately interested and rushed out to buy the ingrediants. Here's the recipe. (Actually, now that I link to it, I'm pretty sure I talked about it last year.)

1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1 bar Fels Naptha soap, grated small
1/4 cup Oxygen Cleansing Stuff

Well, it's been almost a year now, and things are going great! I can count the times I used more than one tablespoon of detergent on my load of laundry on one hand. I've made two batches so far for myself, and that's cost me a whopping (four, two, one, carry the nine...) seven dollars. And! Most of the ingrediants haven't needed replacing yet. I'd only need to buy a couple more bars of Fels Naptha to get another year's worth of detergent, which would bring my total investment up to nine dollars. And that is ONE HECK OF A DEAL ON LAUNDRY DETERGENT. Ahem.

I've been talking with my Aunt Debbie (who has a fancy front-loader washing machine) and she says it's been leaving some residue on her laundry. I have to say this has NOT happened to me, but I have a regular old wasteful machine, so I can't say for sure if that was the cause of the residue.

I CAN say that for as long as I've been using this detergent, I've also forgone my usual fabric softener for a rinse-cycle add of 1/4 cup of vinegar. (Which, lets face it, I am Lazy and so I put it in my Downy Ball and add it in the beginning.) You can flavor the vinegar with an essential oil, but it's not... (Har har) essential. Your clothes won't smell like vinegar. I promise. Plus, you shouldn't use fabric softener.  Because it totally makes Mother Nature want to cry.

(Those pictures, by the way, are of what I gave away this year for Christmas presents to friends and family. The jars make me happy to look at. They are right purdy.)

Thursday, March 6


We are teaching the numbers from eleven to twenty at A's house. The method that seems to work best with him is a standard "show a card, ask 'What number?'" approach. Today I was on number seven of ten when instead of answering or ignoring me A said, "What number?" He has many communication issues, and uses echolalia, but... I swear, I'm not being paranoid - he said it in exactly the voice I would use if some crazy lady would not stop saying the same two words to me over and over and over and over again... this totally taunting voice... and I couldn't help laughing. He joined me, and then I couldn't stop, which adds fuel to my theory that he said it that way on purpose. I wouldn't put it past him. I mean, I doubt it, but... these kids are amazing. You just never know with them.


In other work news, today I was bouncing on a giant exercise ball and A tackled me laughing and flipped us over backwards into a bookcase. Luckily I broke our fall with my skull. Youch.


I finished that book I was listening to in the car, The Lion's Game? I think? (My lazy is showing again.) Anyway, it wasn't as bad as Along Came a Spider, during which I nearly pulled over to void my stomach at least ten times. That's the number of times the main character Alex Cross says, "Finally, something inside of me snapped!" and then gets all verbally up in somebody's face. Or punches a dude. Really, it was terrible. I was on tape eight when I realized I'd rather not have anything more to do with it, but there was only one tape remaining, so I went with it. At the end of chapter EIGHTY-SEVEN, a character said, "The end."

Then the narrator said, "Epilogue:" and I died. The end.

Good Morning!

Wednesday, March 5


Well, I drove past the aforementioned quiet hills and yet again resisted the urge to get out and roll around for a while. It's starting to seem like less of a good idea, especially after the dunk I took on Monday.

Huck and I went for a walk tonight, just a jaunt. I'm incredibly lucky to live within two blocks of the Mountain Bay Trail, and I should totally use it more often. For one thing, it is miraculously clear of snow and slush. Unlike every other surface in Wisconsin.

Huck wore his jacket. It was... adorable. He's very happy to walk. I am, too! It's a surprise, because I haven't done any sort of exercise in months and months (Hello! I'm Lazy), but I love to walk. And it was nice to get out in the brisk (ha) refreshing (haha) air and see Huck bounding around (as much as his leash would allow - not much) and having fun on the ice. But not on the trail! The trail was iceless!

Tuesday, March 4


Self: I wonder what they're going to put in that new building?

Dad: I don't know, I haven't heard.

Self: Well... I suppose probably another check cashing place.

Dad: Probably an auto parts store.

Self: A dollar store.


Dad: This town sucks.


Whale Season: A Novel, by N.M. Keloy: Somehow, miracle of miracles, I stumbled across this book (on tape) at the library today. I have a feeling (bolstered by a review on Amazon comparing Keloy's humor to Terry Pratchett's and Christopher Moore's) I will love it.


UGH, interruption. Mom is filing my taxes (thank you, Mom) and gah, I wish I knew what I was supposed to be doing in this regard. I am single? But married? I withheld as single, because back when B was working from home as an independant whatever, we were ill-prepared when tax time came and it was terrifying, so I like to tell the government to withhold as much as they possibly can. At times, I have told them to take EXTRA money. I am scared of taxes. I repeat, UGH. I don't like not knowing what I am doing.


So I do like to be alone, but when I'm alone I end up doing strange things. Today I went to the library and checked out seven books. I will not read seven books in a month. But I can't help myself from checking them out if they look appealing. Sometimes I just like to look through them for an hour or two.

Seven books. Where do I start to read seven books?

Two of my recent borrows are books on feeding birds (makes me feel about seventy), one on yoga, one on reflexology and acupressure (cousin Michelle's speciality, my thought is there might be something useful for the kids I work with), on book on gardening (A Blessing of Toads), and two novels. Jitterbug Perfume is Tom Robbins, which should be nice. I enjoy his style. The other was one I picked up while walking the shelves, it's called All We Know of Heaven and should be interesting. Different.

Monday, March 3


S: so i was up to my shins in ice-cold slush this evening.

L: ?

S: yep, the kid who was playing in the snow in a field didn't realize he was standing on a thin layer of ice over a giant puddle, fell in, got his boots stuck, stepped out of them and left them behind in the freezing water
and then was crying hysterically and trying to fish them out with his hands
so i had to trudge through the snow to get to him and stepped too far and got in there myself.
he was worried about his boots, but i was worried he was going to freeze

L: was all well in the end?

S: yes, hes not frozen
neither am i

L: did you get the boots?

S: yes, haha

L: that would be suck
i'm sure it WAS suck for you

S: his neighbor went in her garage and found her dad's ice fishing thing - the strainer for the hole to get the slush out? and got out the boot with that
resourceful 8 year old.
yeah, the boot was the least of my worries, actually

L: wow, totally
it would have been the least of mine, as well

S: yeah
but he was worried hed get in trouble

L: did he?

S: oh, no! not at all.
he's just a worrier.

L: that's good

S: like me.

L: we know how that goes

S: so after i got out to him, he's crying and crying and he says, "I NEVER SHOULD HAVE DONE THAT!"

L: that sucks

S: i was like, "Well, what's done is done. Next time you'll know better. Don't worry about it now, we just need to get you inside and warm."
but he was still fishing around for his boot.
poor guy

L: you handled it like a pro

S: i'm cool as a cucumber, baby

L: lol

S: actually, i was flipping out
on the inside
visions of frost-bitten footsies were running through my head.

Sunday, March 2



I want to just be alone. Sometimes I think my loneliness is a mask to hide what I really want, which is to be by myself, the only person I totally understand and appreciate completely.

I want to be with myself in the quiet.

There are these beautiful rolling snow-covered hills on one of the drives I make a few times a week, where the roads are quiet. Every time I pass them I wish I could stop and roll around in them. It all looks so quiet. I want to be quiet.