more than a little change

Sudden change here folks! I decided to go ahead and move this blog to self-hosted. My new site is exactly the same to your eyes but behind the scenes it gives me many more options in the future!

The most important change is for all of you feed readers….please, pretty please, change over to the new feed…with sugar on top?

Everything that was here has been moved over, DH was awesome, he did it all in about 45 minutes and even moved all the old comments! Thank you baby!

This will be the last post here, so come on over to the new Catnip and Coffee!


I’m taking our other vehicle for it’s annual inspection this morning. (Yes, we’re just that dumb to have both vehicles requires inspections and registrations in the same month.) It’s old too, and I’m very very scared. After last week, nothing can surprise me, but I’m really hoping for no major system failures! Cross your fingers for me, k?

Updated to add: Four hours and $500 later it’s inspected. Phew. Best part – going for a walk with the boy to the closest Chinese restaurant for lunch and getting back before the thunderstorm hit. Or maybe that I didn’t have to buy another new car? Worst part – I can still smell the oily stink of the waiting room now that I’m home. I think it’s in my clothes. Blech.

uh, hi!

Hey, how ya been? I’ve been a little busy this weekend with *gasp* real life stuff! During my craziness I never got a chance to tell you Chapter 5 of ChapterBytes went up on Friday! Oops. ;) Erin met the challenge and it’s getting really juicy…

I ate a lot of ribs this weekend, what did you do?

a kindergartener

My boy officially becomes a kindergartener in a couple of hours.

I just dropped him off for his last day of preschool. I’m not really sad about it or anything like that. I just can’t believe how fast the time has gone. He’s no longer a cute squishy cuddly baby. He’s a tall knobby-kneed cuddly boy. A very energetic boy, that I have to entertain all summer long. Help me.

In the madness of this week…besides my vehicle issues, did I mention we have overnight guests tonight too? (One of my many brothers and his brood from down south.) I’ve been cleaning like a madwoman AND I had to cook yesterday for DH’s work today. It’s Hot Dog Day. Every Friday all summer one person in the office is responsible for a meal for everyone and they have a hot dog steamer – hence Hot Dog Day. It’s a little weird, I know. (I made crock-pot baked beans, remind me to give you the recipe soon!) I digress, as usual. In the insanity, I completely forgot something very important. Teacher gifts.


I got there this morning to find some of the other moms had brought them in. I knew I had to do it, I just hadn’t remembered to get it done. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to do it, I just happen to have the memory of a snail. I have adored his teachers this year and so has he. His only sadness about leaving preschool is that his very favorite teacher won’t be moving on to K with him.

Anyway, I resorted to the only thing I could think of on the drive home. Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards. It helped that it was on the way home. I’m pathetic.

So tell me, what did you give for end of year present to your kid’s teachers this year? (Or did you skip it?) Or, what would you give if you had to? And, how much did/would you spend?

And what can I do to fix my crappy memory?

the siphoning gas update

Okay, so many of you commented or otherwise questioned me on what happened next I thought it needed a quick new post!

Let me just clarify one thing. I didn’t specifically ask for them to fill up the tank as I apparently should have, however, I knew there was plenty of gas in it so I wasn’t concerned about the extra couple of gallons. Let that be a lesson to us all!

So yes, I called the salesperson this morning. I had to call anyway. The dumba$$ also forgot to give me my $100 gas card that was part of their current sales promotion. I should have made sure I had it but we wanted to get out of there so fast (we’d been there at least four hours, ugh) and I wrongly assumed it was in the packet with rest of our stuff. I probably wouldn’t have called just about the gas tank, only because the whole thing was SO ridiculous and I was SO done!

When I reached him I told him about the gas card – of course he wanted me to drive back there to get it. Only if you want me to smack you buddy. “No dude. Mail it. Today. And oh by the way….you might want to tell your service department they should leave enough gas in the car to get to the closest gas station.”

“Huh? Wha?”

Don’t huh me. “I know there was over 1/2 tank of gas when I test drove it.”

Here’s where it gets good. He actually told me it was his fault. That he wanted them to clean it up for me really good so they took out all the gas and he was supposed to put in fresh (!) and he forgot. HA HA HA!!!

Fresh gas. *snort*

Let’s just see how long it takes to get the gas card in the mail.

if you thought I was crazy before…

You should have seen me around 4:30 this afternoon. I was a complete psycho negotiating with a car salesman while DH sat back and let me. Oh my.

Let’s step back a moment and start from the beginning.

Yesterday I dropped off my car at my mechanic’s for my annual inspection. I knew that one of my tie rods was loose so I expected to spend a few bucks, but I hoped nothing else major was wrong. Kinda wishful thinking really, considering I drive a 1996 Taurus with 126,000 miles on it. Apparently I sucked every ounce of life outta that car, cause the the news this morning wasn’t good. Not good at all.

The worst of it:

  • Leaking power steering fluid, causing need for a new power steering rack and both new tie rods: Fail inspection, cost $1050.00.
  • Rear brakes shot, including one of the calipers: fail inspection, cost $510.00.
  • One window won’t go down: fail inspection, cost unknown.
  • Hazard lights completely out: fail inspection, cost unknown.
  • Radiator shot, coolant leaking in the piping behind transmission. Doesn’t fail inspection but cost astronomical because transmission has to be removed to access leak, and car could implode at anytime if not fixed.
  • Other minor things, frankly too numerous to relate here. Ugh.

Holy cannoli Batman. I was looking at repair bill of about $2000.00. Frankly, the car isn’t worth anywhere near that much.

DH and I agree it’s time to bite the bullet and car shop. Crap. So I say let’s just go tonight and get it over with. DH smartly gets out of work at 1:00pm giving us almost the entire day to deal with it. I didn’t really think we needed that long. Heh. I’m an idiot.

I pretty much knew I wanted another Taurus. I just like them. I’m used to them, they’re pretty reliable, and they last for quite a few miles. We head out to a local, but large, car dealership that we’ve dealt with before, in search of a slightly used one. Saw a few, blah, blah, test drove, blah blah, got financing set, etc. Before you say “Why did you get financing at a dealership? They always screw you over!” Not if you’re armed with other bank quotes at really good rates they don’t! Been there, done that!

Anyway. We get to the final negotiations. Bad trade in offer, and hmmm, the other numbers seem a little funny. Oops, we forgot to tell you about the $399 processing fee. I grabbed my purse and stood up to leave. Dealer panics. I’m livid. DH is good cop. You know what I am – psycho crayzee cop. I’m pretty sure I stood up at one point turned toward the manager’s desk and yelled that I wanted my keys back. Oh, yes I did. Manager panics. Runs over. Fixes deal. I get what I want. DH is happy. Boy is confused (and so very tired of waiting!) We get awesome 4.59 % interest rate!

Wanna see it? Here it is, but make sure you keep reading, you don’t want to miss the best part:

So, at the very end, we’re waiting next to our poor old clunker for the salesman to pull up with our shiny new (to me) 2006 Taurus. It was taking forever. I joke to DH “What are they doing, replacing the new tires with bald ones, or siphoning all the gas?!” Ha Ha.

The mofos siphoned the gas. I’m not kidding. It was over half a tank when I test drove it. Take a guess which warning light came on as soon as we drove off the lot?

fresh byte

Guess what? ChapterBytes just keeps getting better! Did I mention Ms. Flutter has written quite a twist in chapter 4? Go see!

silly search strings

If you’re a blogger you’ve discovered that some people will find your blog using very strange search terms. I can’t help but post some of my favorites (completely unedited!) that have appeared since I started this site.

  • foods to use for a nervous stomachIf you find out, let me know, k?
  • is catnip okay for everyday use?I suppose that depends on the use! Why, what were you thinking?
  • hair growing in odd placesWhy, yes I do thanks, doesn’t everyone?
  • hens & chicks are dyingI hope you’re talking about plants, otherwise, perhaps you should call a vet instead of googleing it.
  • can you smoke catnipI guess so, but why would you want to?
  • 5 year old boy wants coffeeUm. Just say no?
  • guacamole paintEwww. I imagine it would smell pretty bad after a few days in this heat.

and my favorite:

  • weird things the brain can doNow YOU are in the right place!

ps. Chapter 4 – coming soon.

I’ve horrified myself

If you’ve read much of this blog, or if you know me irl, you are well aware that cleaning is my least favorite thing to do on the planet. Seriously. When I told DH I was going to be working on the Homemaking Channel for Blog Nosh Magazine he actually laughed and said “well, maybe you’ll learn something.” Don’t condemn him, it’s no worse than I thought myself AND he helps, a lot! (As an aside – the Homemaking Channel will also be about gardening, cooking, and organization and at least I have 2 out of 3 down!)

Anyway, DH took the boy to t-ball awhile ago and I decided to stay home and try to accomplish something. Something immensely productive. I needed to clean the family room. This is the room where the boy and I spend most of our time during the day. Many of his toys and craft items are here, and my work stuff is all here. This fact will be important later – I work sitting in the middle of the couch with all my shit stuff spread out around me. (Mostly because my desk is too cluttered to actually work at. Sigh.) You might already know, but I am a freelance photo editor. That means I always have manuscripts, layouts, pens, highlighters, a water bottle, a coffee mug (well balanced of course), paper clips, date planner, etc. next to me at all times. Yeah, on the couch. It drives DH crazy because he can never come sit next to me. I digress.

I needed to clean because I have overnight company coming it was dirty. As I’m vacuuming it occurred to me that someone might need to sleep on the couch later this week, and god forbid someone might pull the cushions off of it. So I bit the bullet and decided to clean under the cushions. Oh. My. God. Needless to say I am sitting on a very clean couch as I type this.

Confession time. Here is the horror list of what I found, not including Hershey Kisses wrappers just regular trash.

  • Popsicle sticks. At least 20 of them. Now one or two and it wouldn’t haven’t even made the list. But 20?
  • Pens, highlighters, markers. A good thirty or so total. This is the part where you say, “You dumb shit, you work sitting on your couch. What did you expect?”
  • Crochet hooks. Three of them! This is why I stopped crocheting last winter, I couldn’t find any hooks.
  • A pot holder. Yeah, really, a Christmas pot holder.
  • White-Out. A whole bottle, luckily closed up tight.
  • A cordless phone. (!) Apparently the back of the couch has this really deep area that I’ve never seen before. I’ve been looking for this phone for, well, let’s just say a long time. I’m trying to charge it up now, to see if it still works.
  • Paperclips and binder clips. Too numerous to count. I was going to buy some more this weekend. Now I don’t have to!
  • Post-its. Cute little pink ones.
  • Rubber bands. The office kind and the hair kind. Those are never going in my hair again. At least I can wash the barrette, and little tiny hair clips I use when I when my hair falls in my face that I also found.
  • Legos. Legos, Legos, and more Legos. And various other toys. Like a fake cockroach. I really hope it was fake. (Kidding! We don’t have cockroaches in NH, we have ants. Lots and lots of ants.)
  • My library card. That’s a good thing, I have overdue books.

I’m pretty sure I deserve a second cup of coffee for all of that. Or a nap. Or a cleaning lady.

a little envious

Hey, if you didn’t notice already, Chapter 3 of Foodie is up at ChapterBytes! Go ahead and read it, I’ll wait here so we can have a chat when you get back.

Okay, did you like it? That chapter was written by Schumtzie, one of my favorite bloggy reads. If you’ve never read her before, I suggest you go do that now.

Next up will be the lovely Flutter. How I love Flutter’s writing. Oh, I wish I were going to BlogHer if only to meet her!

Did I mention I have BlogHer envy. No? I must have only mentioned it on twitter. Yes, my friends, I have a bad case. There are so many bloggers are talking about it right now, gearing up to go, and I am soooo jealous.

This is incredibly dorky of me, but I love conferences. I love hanging out with like minded people, making new friends, sharing a hotel room, and even *gasp* attending the sessions. Yep. Really dorky. I just missed a work related conference last month, but it was in a land far far away, you know, like Phoenix. Really far away, just like BlogHer is in San Francisco. Dude, I can’t afford to go that far from the sticks of New Hampshire! That’s one heck of an expensive plane ride!

How am I going to overcome my deadly sin? (Well, the envy at least. I have some others I still need to work on.) First, I just have to hope next year’s big BlogHer conference is on the East Coast but in the meantime I’ve signed up for the BlogHer Boston Outreach Tour! It’s a one day event on October 11…I can’t believe I have to wait that long. Now I just have to decide if I’m staying over one or two nights! So my New England bloggy friends, who’s with me?

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