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Sunday, June 26, 2005

O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A Oklahoma, O-K!

The Crafty Conservative

I made it to Oklahoma, and once again, I am reminded of my stupidity of insisting on visiting in the summer. I haven't stopped sweating since my arrival. My sister was kind enough to chop off my hair (pics to come after my epic journey has been completed).

Frog has been busy playing in the water almost every day. Big Apple is content to coo, roll around the house, sleep, and eat. I've been trying not to get too sweaty and have been catching up on some of my favorite shows on cable.

I'm only a few days in on this trip and I'm already asking myself which is worse: spending 3 weeks alone in a city where I have no friends or spending 3 weeks with my family?

On that note, I'm about to leave Tulsa and head back to Norman where I have no computer. I won't be able to blog again unless Melessa or Tiffany take pity on me.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Few and Far Between

The Crafty Conservative

My posts, I'm afraid, are destined to be few and far between these next three weeks. I'm going to Oklahoma to stay and my mom's old house and get it ready to be sold. She has no phone service there anymore and no computer. I think I'll make it. She left the cable on for us, at least! That's better than our rabbit ears here in Lincoln. Now I can watch Dancing With the Stars without fuzz and in and out color. :)

We're leaving tomorrow morning. It should take just over 8 hours. Sugar Daddy will leave from there on Thursday to go to Massachussets for a summer camp where he teaches principles of flight to 11 yr. old geniuses. He'll be there until July 16th. He's flying back to Omaha. So, I just have to be back from Oklahoma by then. I'm going to try and get back on the 14th, though. We'll see.

I have some really big plans (sarcasm) for while I'm in Oklahoma. My mom is taking us to an ice cream social this Friday. Wow. It really shouldn't be too bad. The only roommate I've ever had will be there with her 4 kids (Lora B. now R...for those who care). We'll probably stay the whole weekend in Tulsa and then spend the rest of the time in Norman.

So, it may be a while before I post again but I should have lots to share when I get back to a computer!

Monday, June 20, 2005

The Crimson Petal and the White

The Crafty Conservative

I finished this book. It was really long and it kept my interest. I love historical fiction. It's a little more "sexy" than books I normally read although, I must admit, it didn't overpower the novel. I've read some books where they throw in outrageous sex scenes that make me cringe and ask "WHY???".

Here's what I hated about the book. THE ENDING!! It was way too abrupt. It didn't bring closure to any of the characters. I found myself hurrying up to get to the ending and was left feeling really cheated. I'm not the type of person that likes to imagine my own endings for the characters. At least not as much as I'm expected to do on my own as Faber suggests.

I'd give it 2 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Bubba's Banana Bread

The Crafty Conservative

My great-grandma passed away several years ago. Her name was Thelma Hipwell but everyone called her Bubba. She was all of 5 feet tall and probably weighed no more than 100 lbs. her whole life. But, she had spunk. Everyone that knew her loved her. She had a recipe for Banana Bread that could beat any other I've ever tried. I made a batch on Friday so I've been thinking about her a lot. I thought I would pass on the recipe. It's the only banana bread recipe I've ever seen that uses 7up. It makes it nice and airy and DELICIOUS!


Bubba's Banana Bread

4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 c. butter or shortening (butter is best)
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup 7up
2 cups bananas (3 or 4)
1/2 cup walnuts

Cream sugar, butter and eggs. Beat after each egg. Add vanilla, bananas, and sifted dry ingredients alternating with 7up. Fold in nuts. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Makes 3 loaves.

I sometimes add chocolate chips to the recipe. You can never go wrong with chocolate chips!

Friday, June 17, 2005

A Woman's Worth

The Crafty Conservative

I'm about to enter into negotiations with Sugar Daddy for an allowance. It's for our own good. I know we're now richer than we ever have been and it's all I can do not to go squander every last cent (not really, but it's a lot easier to justify spending $10 on an outfit for Big Apple than hoping for hand me downs or a Wal-mart clearance).

Salary.com says that a stay at home mom should be earning (on average) $131,471 a year. They got this number by averaging the salaries of the following:
1. Day Care Center Teacher
2. Van Driver
3. Housekeeper
4. General Maintenance Worker
5. Cook
6. CEO
7. Nurse

They counted a 40 hour work week plus 80 hours of overtime. I know I'm not worth getting paid as a housekeeper, general maintenance worker, or a nurse. Sugar Daddy pretty much takes over in those cases. He's also great to take care of the kids whenever I need him to so the overtime hours could be cut in half. That still makes me worth quite a chunk of change. I know that a lot of my "salary" is used for my share of the living expenses. Let's say that taking away the overtime and the jobs I don't do, my salary would be $45K/yr. Two-thirds of that can be used as living expenses (food, shelter, basic needs). So I'm down to around $16K/yr. That's still quite a bit of an allowance.

Here's the dilemma. I'm thinking of asking for anywhere from $5-$15 a day. That would be $1825-$5475/yr. The range is because I don't know what I would be responsible for buying with my allowance. If it is just frivolous money (lunch out with my still non-existent friends, yarn, purses, Neil Diamond concerts, etc...) I would go for the lower range. But, if I'm expected to budget household items (like new furniture and outdoor toys for the kiddos) I may go for the upper range.

I haven't discussed any of this with the spouse as of yet. I'm still trying to formulate my "game plan". Any advice?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Mirror, Mirror

The Crafty Conservative

We came from a house with no mirrors. We had one in the bathroom that I had to stand on my tiptoes to see my whole face. I also had a decorative mirror in the dining room where I could see my whole face without being on my tiptoes. No full-length mirrors anywhere. I trusted Sugar Daddy to tell me if my outfit was horrendous. Or, I would go on the porch and hope the sun would cooperate and then I could see myself in the door. Pathetic, I know.

This house we're in now has better mirrors. The bathroom mirror is at the perfect height for me. I can see my whole face and then some. We also have a full-length mirror on the door to Big Apple's room (at the end of a hallway). Frog loves this mirror. Sometimes I catch him having conversations with himself. He'll say, "Hi Frog*! What's up?". Then he'll laugh hysterically and start jumping up and down like a maniac (his favorite activity). This is what I saw from him this morning...

Frog: jumping up and down, spinning in circles, then bumping his head on the mirror Ouch! Oh FREAK!
more laughing, more jumping, more spinning all the while saying oh freak oh freak oh freak.

*names have been changed (could you tell?)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Secret Crush

The Crafty Conservative

Is it wrong that I have a crush on Murray Wiggle? It must be. How could something so wrong feel so right? ha ha.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Frog Lives

The Crafty Conservative

That previous post is Frog's way of saying..."I'm feeling so well today that I thought I'd help mommy blog!".

He really is back to his normal level of crankiness and cuteness. I'm so glad. To celebrate we went to Cici's Pizza for lunch. We met dad there on his lunch hour. Frog is back to his normal eating habits as well. I was getting worried when all he would eat was a little bit of applesauce and popsicles. After that, I went to check out the zoo. It's kind of expensive for a small zoo ($6 adults/$5 kids). I wasn't willing to shell out $11 for us to check it out right before prime nap time. So, we took a $2 train ride around the zoo instead. Frog saw goats, llamas, ponies, and a peacock. He was most interested, however, in the cars and trucks driving by. I should save my $2 next time and just stroll him down a busy street (on the sidewalk, of course)! He liked going through the tunnel and when the conductor would toot the horn. Frog would say "CHOO CHOO!". I know he liked it when he was screaming bloody murder and flopping out on the floor so it was nearly impossible to remove him from the train w/ Big Apple in tow as well (asleep in her carseat). He's definitely feeling better.

5788i0000..........3..................

The Crafty Conservative

Monday, June 13, 2005

The Good News and the Bad News

The Crafty Conservative

The BAD news:

I can't get cable internet here without permission from the landlord to drill a big hole in the side of the house. Not happening.

The GOOD news:

I can get DSL for the same price a month with no drilling of aforementioned holes. Just waiting for spousal approval on that.

The BAD news:

Sugar Daddy is a little mad at me and I'm now forced to find some way to earn $150 in the next 2 months. I'm thinking a couple eBay auctions are in order and I'm having a garage sale at my mom's house when I'm going to visit later this month. That should cover it.

The GOOD news:

The reason I need to earn the money is because I splurged and bought NEIL DIAMOND TICKETS!!!! Can you blame me for getting the more expensive seats? We're going to be in the 14th row!!!!

The BAD news:

Frog is still sick and grumpy. He cried for almost two hours straight this morning. He kept asking for different things and then when I would get him those things he'd throw himself down on the floor and cry even harder. What's up with that?

The GOOD news:

Frog and the Big Apple are both asleep at the moment giving me some time to myself. I'm going to read and knit. I'll use my time tonight when SD gets home to actually work on cleaning the house. :)

The BAD news:

My brother-in-law is very secretive with his personal life.

The GOOD news:

My friend isn't very secretive. So, Eric...how ya been?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

"New" Car

The Crafty Conservative

We're the proud new owners of a 2002 Honda Accord LX (silver). I was starting to really feel "trapped" by not having my car during the day. The chances of me actually loading up the kids to do anything substantial is usually pretty slim, but not at least having the option was killing me. We got the car for under blue book value but they accepted our offer without any haggling so we're wondering if we could have gone lower...we'll never know. But, we got our payments where we wanted them with no money down (very important since Sugar Daddy won't get his paycheck until the end of the month).

I've been knitting a little bit on my Via Diagonale. It goes slowly and I hope it doesn't turn into another Clapotis. I still really like the yarn and the pattern is interesting enough to keep me coming back for more.

I've also been reading books like crazy. I finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (for the 3rd time...getting ready for the next installment!), The Pearl Diver (I would recommend this book; quick read, interesting), a couple of parenting books (nothing of note, just trying to get some ideas for the Frog), and I've just started The Crimson Petal and the White (I think that's what it's called; recommended by a gal at book group--given *** meaning it's kind of naughty!).

I better go. I've got a Frog wanting to crawl all over me and I'm willing to oblige since he's been pretty sick this weekend. He's a little more clingy than normal.

I get my cable internet tomorrow! Wahoo!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Neil Diamond

The Crafty Conservative

As some of you remember, I love Neil Diamond. At the end of this past school year I even took time out of class to show my 8th graders the "joy of Neil" by having them watch him sing on the Today Show. As soon as we got close enough to Omaha on our drive out here, I started hearing that he was going to be in concert on July 25th. I didn't get my hopes up too much. I've already seen him in concert (2001) and I told Sugar Daddy that it would be enough. At the time, I was telling the truth. But, now I want to go again. Sugar Daddy must want to as well because he didn't put up a fight at all when I asked him if I could get tickets. Unfortunately, there weren't any good seats left. That was the best deterrent for me. I'm not going to shell out all that dough to go to a concert and have rotten seats. I wasn't that disappointed. It is saving me a lot of logistical planning not the least of which is who can we get to watch the kids? We don't even know anyone here yet.
Someone is playing a dirty trick on me. They just added another date, July 26th. The tickets don't go on sale until Monday. I have a chance of getting good seats. I'm torn. I'll give you the update on Monday.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Laughing

The Crafty Conservative

Big Apple is laughing now. It takes quite a bit from me to get a laugh out of her. But, all Frog has to do is be in her line of sight and she will smile and crack up. She loves her brother.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Just Call Me June

The Crafty Conservative

I am embracing my inner homemaker. I finally live in a home I feel proud of and I'm working really hard to take care of it. I'm also excited that Sugar Daddy is living up to his blog name and has joined the working force. It's odd having him gone 8-5. I've had dinner waiting for him each night that he's come home. I have put Frog on a schedule (or am still trying to...) and Big Apple is still the sweet little girl she's always been. While there are still some boxes about, I felt good enough to break out some knitting. While I should have been working on one of the many projects I have started or in my line-up, I couldn't resist the lime green pima cotton I bought for Via Diagonale. For the contrast color I have a lime green/purple/dark green/white yarn. It's going to be gorgeous. I wound the cotton into balls last night and cast on. I got through one row (192 stitches) before it was time to call it a night. Let me tell you though, there is much knitting in my future. I can't remember being this excited about a project in a long time. I'm coming out of my Clapotis calamity.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Welcome to Nebraska!

The Crafty Conservative

We had our "official" welcome to Nebraska last night. We got to try out the basement for the tornado warning. Being from Oklahoma and having gone through this many times, it was no big deal...and actually, kind of fun. It's awesome having a finished basement. Sure beats huddling down in a closet or bathtub.

I know you are all dying to know...we got rabbit ears. We get ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS, lots of religious stations, and a Spanish speaking station (with some tweaking). So, no cable for us. I think we're going to "splurge" and get Netflix again. We went to the library here and they don't have DVDs to checkout. Our library in Lafayette had all of the newest ones available. Oh well. The library here in Lincoln seems really nice, though. They have a PLETHORA of children's DVDs and multiple copies of each. They also have lots of copies of some of the best and newest books so I won't have to wait so long for holds.

Here is a pic of us with Sugar Daddy's parents. We took it while they were visiting for his graduation. Posted by Hello

Friday, June 03, 2005

Lincoln, USA

The Crafty Conservative

Well, I am finding myself in Lincoln, Nebraska for the second day in a row. I have a computer, my bed and the rest of my belongings in this strange home. I'm still not quite used to things...but, it's getting better. How's this for priorities? We've got the computer up and running but Big Apple's still without a crib. But, really, what's a few more days in a bassinet going to hurt?

Here are some things I wanted to mention before I forget:

1. They now have Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi. It's about time! I am now giving up my Diet Cherry Coke habit and switching back to my first love...Pepsi.

2. Unleaded Plus gasoline is cheaper here than regular unleaded because of the ethanol.

3. I read The Da Vinci Code while we were housesitting. Better than I had imagined.

4. I don't think that I ever mentioned that I finished reading The Nanny Diaries by someone I don't remember but narrated by Julia Roberts (okay for an audio book...glad I didn't waste actual reading time with it, though). I also read The Lonely Boy by Lois Lowry. It's typical Lois Lowry.

5. The Frog has been having a really hard time being a good boy. So much so that I broke down and bought the Nanny 911 book at Wal-Mart the other day. I haven't done much to change yet but he is getting better. I think living out of a suitcase for 2 weeks was a little too much to handle. Now that his toys are back out and he has his room, things have been going much, much better.

6. I didn't cast on for the 2nd Hogwarts sweater like planned. I read instead (see #3). I haven't even thought about knitting (big lie...I'm really wanting to make Via Diagonale from knitty but trying to forget about it as I have a ton of other things in the works. But, I have the perfect yarn for it! We'll see how long I can hold off on that one.

7. I'm getting cable internet on June 13th.

8. I'm probably not getting cable because they want to charge us $53 a month!!! What the heck? We can get regular channels plus CNN for $17 or basic cable (HGTV, Food, etc...) for $53. There is nothing in between. What a rip-off. I told Sugar Daddy that if we can get at least CBS (SURVIVOR/THE AMAZING RACE) with rabbit ears, I'll be able to deal with that but he'll have to foot the bill for Netflix.

9. I'm retired. I am no longer a school teacher and I am also done selling Pampered Chef. They both served their purpose and I am now moving on to super FULL TIME stay at home mom status.

10. We opened a new checking account today and got a free cooler. I love America. :)