Monday, August 24, 2009

Driving Test for Parents

Today I let Paige drive me around our neighborhood with her new learners permit. It is truly a test for both new driver and parent. Yes, I often hit my imaginary brake to no avail and had to hold myself back from grabbing the wheel at times. There was even a point where I considered telling her to put it in park and I'd drive home. LOL We both made it through- I only had her driving for about 15 minutes because I just want to ease her into it. She's told me that she's pretty stressed- has been dreading driving since about age 14- so I didn't want to make it torturous.
She did say that she noticed she has improved a bit from her first driving on Saturday. (Hubby took her out.) Even he said he was rather stressed out= it's not easy having your 16 year old kid at the wheel of a car-- it turns from this thing that gets you to and from places to a huge amount of weight/power/force under inexperienced drivers' hands. I guess I was lucky that I was driving trucks with wagons in fields and tractors down the street years before I was old enough to get my learners permit-- so I had a certain amount of "feel" for driving by then. Poor Paige hasn't even been driving the lawn mower-- I told hubby maybe we should allow her to do that as part of her training.
Off to cross country practice-- talking this out helped relieved some of the nerves I had from our little excursion.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I took the pooches for said walk on Friday. I felt quite energized after the walk while Jack laid in his kiddy pool for quite a while trying to cool off (I will take a photo sometime-- it's cute) and Sully drank tons of water. Both were rather worn out the rest of the day. I did get a blister on my left foot from my Fit Flop strap- I did walk over 3 miles in them and rather quickly too. I don't notice the "fit" part of them when I do daily activities but notice that I get a weird soreness right on the side of my hips where my legs tie in after something like a 3 mile walk- so maybe there is something to them giving you a workout? Mostly I just love how comfy they are, besides I get blisters in my running shoes sometimes too, so it's not that big of a deal.
I mowed the lawn so that Paul's weekend would be freed up. I bought plugs and wires for my car a few weeks ago but he hasn't installed them- so my thought was if the lawn was done he may be more inclined to get that done for me. I can do a lot of things but I don't work on the vehicles.
Friday night we had dinner and then headed downtown to see The Tyrone Dunn Experiment play outside of one of the bars. We went to meet Ed's upcoming bass teacher-- once his month is up with the current teacher- Dave is going to give Ed a try. Dave hasn't given lessons in 5 or more years, so it's rather exciting to have a kid talented enough to warrant someone like Dave coming out of "retirement." Unfortunately the gig didn't start until 9 pm but since Paul got home late and worked out, we were still 15 minutes late. We saw Ben's guitar instructor there, along with co-owner of shop (who's in the band.) During the first break, Ed met Dave who apologized for not playing so great (according to his Facebook- I guess he had a few too many drinks before the gig LOL) but we were all quite impressed. He then gave Ed his first "lesson" telling him who was the bass player (Larry Graham) on that last song "Thank for letting me be myself" by Sly and Family Stone and how Larry was the guy that invented "slap" bass that Ed wants/loves to do. We stayed for part of the second set because Ed looked pretty whipped... a week of getting up early for school wears him out and Paige seemed tired too. Ben was the only one still bright eyed and bushy tailed. He said watching a good band revs him up.
Tyrone Dunn Experiment is really quite good- the lead singer can do justice to songs like "What's going on?" by Marvin Gaye. Dave is quite a talented bass player- no matter that he had imbibed too much. I think he can teach Ed a lot. It was really quite enjoyable and I am going to keep my eye out for when they play again. I am so happy we found out about these local gigs- although next time I'll probably leave the kids at home and enjoy the night with Paul if it's one of these later shows.
Saturday I took the dogs for another walk but had to turn around early- they were already too pooped. Jack was trying to get in the shade and make his belly touch as much of the ground as possible to cool off. Sully would just stand panting and panting. It got to the point that I would have been dragging them home if I hadn't turned around. Paul installed new spark plugs and wires in my car and then everyone except Paige went bowling. The local bowling alley is having customer appreciation month so it's only $1 a game. At first I wasn't going to bowl but then Ben's arm/finger was hurting so I took his place. Even after I quit, Paul and Ed bowled another game.
Sunday, Paige, Paul and I went to the high school track to workout. I wanted to get an early start seeing that the temp was going up a degree every 10 minutes. Usually I run ten 100m while walking the curves but I actually did a couple 200m--- it's crazy how much harder they are. Paul did seven 400m and then some shorter sprints too. The temp. was 75 when we left and 84 when we got back so I am glad we didn't wait any longer. The rest of the day was just relaxing around the house. Paul had to be in Chicago by 11 am for meetings and the best flight was only going to save him an hour from driving- so he planned to get up very early and drive. At 3 am I am awakened by a beeping. Usually I sleep through most noises- and it turned out it was the stopwatch Paul uses at the track. He'd brought it inside with him yesterday and left it in our bathroom. Apparently the alarm is set for 3 am. He found the culprit and said he'd put it back in the company vehicle and then started getting ready to leave. A few minutes later I hear the beeping again- only this time it's on his dresser. I take the stopwatch to him and he "shuts it off" for me. A few minutes later- beep, beep, cursing LOL. At least it happened on a morning he had to get up early anyway and it awakened me enough that I was able to kiss him goodbye. I then couldn't get back to sleep so read some until I tired again. I was still up at the usual time-- before Ed leaves for school. Paige and Ben are pretty quiet in the mornings and are on the bus by like 6:20 am, so I usually don't awaken to see them off, but Ed clomps around- going up and down stairs to bedroom and basement frequently, so I always end up getting up before he's on the bus.
I did a post on week 2 of enormous lash results and my favorite eye shadow brushes at my hoozey vox blog Now I think I'll take Jack and Sully for a walk. Another busy week ahead-- tonight I'll probably take Paige to cross country practice. Ed has bass lesson Wed. night and Ben has guitar lesson Thurs. night. Paige wants to take learners permit test this week- probably tomorrow. I need to start on SIL window treatments- at least figuring out amount of fabric and such. Paul also suggested my canning more hot peppers so he can take some up to his dad... he feels bad for mooching them all these years. So I may be doing more of that.
I guess that's about all that is going on.

Friday, August 14, 2009


It's been a good week. I am going to take the pooches for a long walk... Sully is getting really chunky and exercise is about the only way to control this since there has to be food enough for Jack (Mr. Skinny.)
Last night Ben had his guitar lesson- I am still amazed at how good he has gotten. Hubby also was home for the night- he'd been in Chicago since Sunday evening. It was so nice to eat homemade spaghetti, drink a nice chianti and watch Steeler pre-season game with him at my side. If he hadn't been home-- I wouldn't have remembered the game and certainly wouldn't be drinking wine. BTW, he wondered if I was going to do more peppers-- I think he wants to be able to take a couple up to his dad when we visit- instead of always mooching his dad's hard work. So I may be doing MORE soon. Maybe half as many as this week would suffice?
Wed. night Ed had his bass lesson. This one went better than the first but I am still glad that I found him a different bass teacher. I think Aaron will soon run out of material to teach Ed. Also this shop is really strict about time limit- Aaron ran over a little and said to Ed that he gets in trouble for that. Where Ben takes his lessons, each teacher gets paid directly by the students- so they can do whatever they want. Aaron did comment on how Ed practiced EVERYTHING he was supposed to and that was "unheard of." I told Aaron that Ed practices on his own-- he wants this, it's his thing, so that's probably why he isn't like most kids. A guy about my age waiting to take his guitar lesson said "Your son amazes me on the bass." Apparently he's been listening while waiting the last 2 weeks. LOL I feel a little guilty that I will be discontinuing lessons with Aaron because he seems to be enjoying Ed but I am not going to pay some guy to just jam with Ed week after week. At Ben's lesson, I found out that the new teacher was asking Derek (who plays in Dave's one band) about Ed- whether Ed was worth it. Derek assured Dave that Ed was good and that Dave would probably enjoy teaching Ed. That makes me happy- what I've found with many teachers is that they truly enjoy sharing the love of music with students that really want it.
Hopefully Paul will be home from work at a decent hour. We are going to watch Dave play tonight so Ed can see him in action and meet him. I am rather digging the local music scene- I wouldn't have known about it if my boys weren't taking guitar lessons.
Paige said she'll be ready to take learners permit test next week- so soon I'll be having to let her drive me around. EEK!! First Paul will be handling that.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bare Escentuals Matte

Got an email from Sephora and noticed that Bare Escentuals now has a matte foundation, only at Sephora right now. Hmm, they must finally have gotten word that some ladies don't like the overly shiny look that the bismuth oxychloride gives the skin.
Also saw gel liner-- like Loreal HIP or MAC ones-- guess they are staying natural.

Lesson learned

Last Feb. or so I got a new printer for my Mac-- a Canon Pixma MP980-- should have done a little more research--- takes obscure ink cartridge in gray-- no one sells it. If you run out of any one of the inks-- SIX of them- it will not print. What a PITA!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


So the kids are on week two of school. Paige is unable to change her schedule to get drivers education rather than this business math course. She's disappointed because the business math class is a complete joke- she'll learn more about financial stuff from listening to us talk, than in this class. My kids already have a very firm understanding that you don't buy what you can't afford. From a very young age she has been told that she can go anywhere she wants to go for college because she's paying for it. Funny to hear a 5 year old say how she'll have to get a job when she gets older so she can pay for college. She will hopefully become a governor's scholar (a friend just informed her yesterday that girls get accepted much more than boys- that he knew of girls with ACT scores of 26 getting it) which will pay for in state tuition. It may sound "mean" of parents who can afford to pay for college but my hubby paid his own way and feels like it made him appreciate his education more. She's considering pharmacy because it's something you can pretty much count on having a job and often times the schedule is quite flexible.
I had to fill out questions about my opinions on finances for this business math class. One was "Biggest financial regret?" How do you have regrets when you've paid for everything, including your home? I am sure my hubby would have regrets-- buying such a big house, but I like the house, neighborhood, etc so do I regret not having more money in the savings instead? No.

Ed had his first lesson with a new teacher last week and I could tell by his face when he came out of the room that he wasn't gelling with this guy. Ed was disappointed about how easy the lesson was and how he wasn't challenged. I was concerned that the instructor didn't say anything to me about how the lesson went- especially since it was the first lesson. So Thursday at Ben's guitar lessons I mentioned to Eric that things didn't go so well. He gave me the number to this guy Dave, with the understanding that Dave doesn't do lessons but MAY consider teaching Ed. Friday night, while we were at the concert in the park, Ed tells us how he told the guy "If you hold the strings down more you'll have less fret buzz." I was rather disturbed by this on two levels. One being that if my 11 year old knows this- the instructor should be "better than that." I know his old instructor was too good of a player to have Ed "schooling him" on technique. Second is that Ed obviously doesn't think this guy is much of a player-- so Ed will have a hard time learning much since Ed doesn't respect his abilities.
Friday I called Dave about possibly teaching Ed. I befriended him on Facebook so he could see Ed in action (videos posted there.) Yesterday Dave called to tell me he is "coming out of retirement" for Ed. Dave said that Ed's attitude (head nod) at the end of his bass solo in the latest talent show convinced him. I think that Ed will truly enjoy learning from Dave- and maybe Dave will gain something too- passing on the love of bass to another. Dave was burnt out on lessons- teacher beginners must be grueling--- I could barely take listening my own kids when they were beginning readers. Multiply that feeling and it would quickly turn one off of lessons. Dave also said he hated being "one stop" among many because kids these days are in so many activities. So most of them didn't have time to practice and weren't really wanting to learn-- it was just another activity that the parents felt they needed to do. Eric has also complained of this- he's actually told parents that they need to figure out priorities because with so many activities, guitar lessons are a waste of time. How funny that a guitar instructors are "firing" the students because parents are too clueless to just involve kids in the things the kids really want to do. I assured Dave that for Ed bass is THE thing. Ed wants this- not me. I have never had to tell him to practice and he's 100% self-motivated. My only part in it is getting him to and from the lessons.
I am rather excited to give my two weeks' notice to the instructor from last week. I had my reservations about the place to begin with. It's obvious they are out to make money- not really teach kids music- because the rules are such that they always get paid but you don't always get your lesson. If you can't make a lesson- too bad- they will not reschedule or "make up" a lesson. If the instructor doesn't show, you get a substitute... a subpar lesson that you will pay full price for. You pay for the entire month and no weeks off. And there is a two weeks' notice thing too-- heck, employment is less restrictive schedule than taking music lessons at this place. On top of that, when I inquired about lessons, I wasn't be told the truth. I specifically asked about whether this guy was capable of teaching a kid that wants to learn to play bass parts like Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers. I was assured this was THE guy for that- then in the lesson when Ed asked about RHCP the guy knew "a little." Top that with the schooling Ed gave him and it makes me wonder what I was "sold."
Ed seems to like his teachers and classes at school thus far. Mostly I think he's just happy that Romano, his best bud, is in the same class. I like Romano and his parents/upbringing. Plus they live right in the neighborhood. Ed really missed him while he was in Brazil all summer.

Ben is rather quiet about school. He always has done well but he's just not that concerned with classes and school. He is taking advanced reading and math classes. He said that when he was in the advanced math class, this kid he knew was like "You're in advanced math?" Ben's like "Yeah, what you think I'm an idiot?" I think because Ben is rather quiet and doesn't flaunt his abilities he may not seem like "a smart guy." Ironically he's probably got the highest IQ out of my kids- his math scores on standardized tests especially, with so little effort. He's enjoying getting his guitar lessons and honestly I was pleased that this week he got homework to write his own solo. I really like his teacher (who is also a science teacher in another school district)-- he knows how to challenge Ben. I find that his lessons often run long because they are just jamming together.

Paige had a party Saturday to celebrate her 16th birthday. She invited some friends over to play video games and eat pizza. It was kind of funny because she had more boys than girls- (2 besides herself to 5 guys.) Invited 3 girls and 7 guys. Hubby and the boys went bowling but most of them had arrived before Paul left- so he had to embarrass Paige in front of them. As he was leaving he says "You all stay out of my liquor" as he walks out. Apparently Ed found this hilarious. Of course while kids were showing up, Paul was wondering what he could to and Ed said "You can go upstairs and make Paige uncomfortable" so when Paul made this comment, Ed's wish was fulfilled.
Paige was a little wigged out that her one friend that was bringing the video games hadn't shown up yet- "nothing to do." I mentioned how we have a pool table and maybe that would be fun until he showed. The guys were definitely into playing pool and it ended up being the main entertainment. Paige seemed a little surprised but really, what better activity than playing pool in a social setting like that? One person is taking a shot, the rest are talking and joking around-- it's perfect.
When they were eating pizza one of the guys put on a CD by a band called Switchfoot. Then asked me "Isn't this much better than the music Paige usually listens to?" I had to reply no and explain that Paige tends to listen to music we like- we are the odd parents that actually listen to harder stuff and what our kids listen to is because of OUR influence. Once Paul and the boys got home, it was funny because each one came in going "What is that playing?" with obvious distaste on their faces. One of the guys said something about Iron Maiden as Paul was going out on the deck and Paul was ready to get in a fight-- he thought the kid was mocking him or Maiden. Paige had to explain that the kid truly loves Iron Maiden and wasn't mocking anyone.
The only bad thing was that someone (or more) touched the boys' guitars and amps. Ed was downright furious. Ben was more angry that Paige wasn't paying attention to her guests and letting them touch things they shouldn't have. Ed was mad that he had to fix all his settings on the amp and stuff. I guess no one better mess with Ed's stuff!

Yesterday I pickled hot pepper I found at the farmers' market. Paul better appreciate them is all I can say! That's a lot of work.

Last night Paige and I went to cross country practice. I ran while there-- it is much harder to run at that place-- grass and unsure footing... tires me out quickly.
Today is my "day off" no real plans all day.
Tomorrow is bass lesson.
Thursday is guitar lesson.
Friday we may go see Ed's soon to be bass teacher play downtown. I am finding out that we have a rather rich music scene locally. Concert in the park every Friday night in the summer. (Actually two bands play-- one at one park 6:30-9 pm/one at another park 7:30-10pm) Also many bands play outside downtown businesses, weather permitting.
I think Paul has to return to Chicago early this weekend too... I hate when he leaves on Sunday-- I can handle workweek absence but even a few hours on the weekend is so much tougher.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Uh oh--

Saw that Twitter is down because of hackers and that Facebook may be experiencing problems too. I did notice Facebook acting strange this morning but it seems that when I have had problems with that site, it's usually Thursday- that seems to be the day when they work on my account- so I had chalked it up to that. LOL I hope it gets worked out soon because a friend's old photo of my hubby inspired me to go through my own photos. I am scanning them in as I type-- on the other computer because I can't figure out scanner for my Mac. I am truly computer inept on most things.
Wonder what all the Twitter folks are doing now that they can't "Tweet" about thought of the moment. LOL Probably similar to when the electric goes and one realizes how attached one is to a certain thing.