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Archive for September, 2007

the latest on the wasps...

September 28th, 2007 at 04:33 pm

I was looking up the difference between wasps and bees yesterday, and gave myself quite a scare when I say the picture of the honeybee. I had always pictured it fuzzier (more like a bumblebee), but it looked remarkably like the creatures we have in the walls. However, we took one to the local Cooperative Extension and they identified it as a wasp. Phew. That means there is no dripping honey in my walls to attract all kinds of rodents. They advised to plug all holes and let 'em die, or call an exterminator. I'm all for plugging the holes, if we knew exactly where they were! My dad is going to go at them again with some foam he found at the hardware yesterday. It's supposed to spread, unlike the spray, which only kills the ones it comes in contact with. I haven't been up there today, but my mom was, and she thinks the buzzing has quieted a bit.
And on the teeth front - I'm not in pain, which is good (thanks, vicadin!), but half of my mouth is numb and the other half is swollen. When I say swollen, I mean SWOLLEN. It literally looks like I have a golf ball in my cheek. I can't chew yet because it's hard to get my jaw closed enough to chew. So I've eaten soup, pudding, applesauce, and smoothies for two days. And I'm getting rather sick of it! But I'll take it over being in pain. The only worrisome part is that one of my teeth was close to a nerve. The surgeon didn't think he hit it, but the numbness from the Novacaine would have cleared up by now. So, the nerve must be causing the numbness - which could last weeks, months, or even permanently. Yikes.
DH has returned to Binghamton. Grandpa has left the hospital and returned to the nursing home - not because he is improving, but because there is nothing more they can do for him at the hospital. I hope to be able to join him later today.

Frustration with the wasps

September 27th, 2007 at 01:59 am

The update on the yellowjackets (I think that's what they are): they are still in the walls, and my father steadfastly, stubbornly refuses to let me call the exterminator because he does not think it's worth $275. Personally, I have to sleep in that room, and I would gladly pay more to have my walls stop buzzing and wasps landing on my pillow! I love my father dearly, but he is incredibly stubborn and set in his ways. He is a do-it-yourself-er, for all of his 73 years. He sprayed wasp spray into the hole and taped it over, which greatly maddened the wasps (judging by the very audible increase in buzzing) and may have killed a handful, but they are most definitely still there. I read online that spray is ineffective against a large nest (which could have several thousand wasps), as it only kills those it comes into contact with. I went been to the hardware store, who had nothing different (no dusts or poisons). When I told my father, he replied that there are more hardware stores and he will check them out tomorrow. Ugh. I have enlisted the help of my mother to try to talk him out of his stubbornness, although she just shrugged her shoulders and said "You know how he is!". I do. And he would be hurt and/or offended if I called the exterminator behind his back. Double Ugh.
Tomorrow I have my wisdom teeth out. Definitely not looking forward to that. I just had my last good solid food for a few days. I can't eat after midnight tonight, and I don't think I will be able to eat tomorrow after the surgery either. Looks like milkshakes and smoothies for a few days.
The update on DH's grandfather: he still is refusing a feeding tube, but has asked for pain medication. The doctor is giving him 5-7 days, most likely, unless something drastic changes for the better or worse. Still not able to swallow, in and out of sleep. Dh just returned after being there a few days - going back tomorrow or Friday to spend a few more days there. No word on the application yet that he submitted for the job. It's been a busy few days, and it's only going to get worse before it gets better...finance-wise, all things are in order, so at least we have no worries there.

sleepless night

September 25th, 2007 at 04:28 am

Not only do I have thoughts of DH's grandfather running through my head (see previous post), I also have buzzing...but not in my head. It's in my walls. And my bedroom. In fact, they like to land on my pillow. Our bedroom walls are infested with yellowjackets (or hornets...can't tell the little b*stards apart). I decided to leave the room tonight after I killed the 5th one, and after I could hear the buzzing in the walls which really FREAKED me out. All I can picture is that poor women down in Texas who had a major infestation of bees in her house and had to literally take chunks of the house apart to get them out (in the news a few weeks ago). Far as we can tell, they got into the walls through a hole drilled for a cable wire that we no longer use - basically a direct line from the outside in. We covered up the inside, thinking we would be all set, but they continued to go into the hole and worm their way through the walls (without our knowledge and certainly not our permission!). They then started to enter our room through a crack where the wall meets the floor (old house), which DH taped up. Then all was fine for about 2 weeks...until they started to show up in our room again. It's very hard to tell where they are coming in this time - it's taken me three days, but I think I finally know where. There used to be an electric heater on one wall that was removed. The hole is covered, but there must be a gap. I am seeing a lot of dead yellowjackets under this, so I think that must be where they are entering my room. Unfortunately, this in on a separate wall than where they were previously coming in, which means they have turned the corner and are now in two walls.
DH read up on them and they were SUPPOSED to be dormant at night, but apparently our crew does not seem to know this. Tomorrow, I call the exterminator and pray that he does not have to disassemble the house. I have no problem with stinging creatures - really - when they stay outside where the belong. When they invade my territory - specifically, my bedroom - it's war, baby. All out war.

I'm sleeping on the couch tonight, if I ever get to sleep.

sad news tonight

September 25th, 2007 at 01:42 am

DH just took off for Binghamton. His grandfather has been ill for some time. He just received a call that he is having difficulty swallowing, but has refused a feeding tube. His family has seen this coming for some time now, but it certainly doesn't make it any easier. I will probably be heading down in a day or so myself. The hardest part will be telling his grandmother (they have been married over 65 years). Unfortunately, she is showing signs of dementia and has to be reminded often where Grandpa is. I fear that my MIL will have to retell her everyday what happened to Grandpa when the inevitable comes. A small consolation, but we are glad that he is able to speak his mind still and let his wishes be known, as sad as they are. I think he is tired of fighting, tired of hurting.
A change of subject, not to be insensitive but to focus on the positive for a moment (it helps). DH just put in an application for a teacher's assistant position in our local district. I had given up hope of him getting a secure job with benefits before next fall, when they start hiring teachers again. However, if he can get this position, he will have steady, FT employment with benefits plus a foot in the door for next year.
Not much else to report - I think it might be a good night to snuggle in bed with a book and get lost for a little bit in a story. Good night to all.

When do good leftovers go bad?

September 21st, 2007 at 02:14 am

I'm not sure yet...I keep using mine up! Tonight I made chicken cacciatore (kind of) in the crock pot with frozen chicken breasts, leftover frozen tomato sauce (from meatballs at a party last month), free peppers from a relative who owns a greenhouse, and a half leftover nearly-bad-but-not-there-yet onion from the crisper drawer. It was served over leftover pasta from last nights dinner. And that's just the beginning...

because tomorrow we are having chicken chili for lunch. Here's the recipe (although I doubt it's one anyone can duplicate *exactly* at home!):
-leftover chicken cacciatore (which, mind you, was concocted of leftovers itself)
-leftover spaghetti sauce (was frozen then thawed for last nights dinner)
-celery, corn, onion
-leftover stewed tomatoes (we canned them, but didn't have enough to fill another jar)
-cumin, chili powder, garlic powder
-two cans of beans
-quarter jar of leftover salsa
-one leftover potato (kinds weird, I know, but I found the basis for this recipe online and they said to throw in one potato)
Just checked it and it smells wonderful! It will simmer in the crockpot all night and be ready for DH's lunch in the morning.
To-do list for tomorrow: new batch of granola, snacks for tomorrow's Bunco night (I think I might try tomatillo salsa since we have some in the garden), clean up a bit around the house. DH is taking the kids to his mother's house tomorrow evening, so I will be without them all night and a good chunk of Saturday. I usually look forward to this time alone, but then find myself wandering around aimlessly without the little ones underfoot Smile Nevertheless, I should be able to get some things done with weekend.

Ack! behind again

September 19th, 2007 at 01:16 am

Wow, it's been two weeks since my last post. I've gotten quite bad at this. So what's been going on?
1. Net worth passed $21k today after the stock market surge Smile
2. We have no cc debt except a small Discover balance (we use it for gas and get 5% back) and our Lowe's card at 0% for another 9 months (about $2k for bathroom remodel).
3. I have one real estate deal in the works - will net me about $900 in a month or so.
4. DH has not yet found a FT job, but has been subbing every day for the past two weeks. We haven't gotten his first paycheck yet, but will soon.
5. I'm looking into daycare two days a week for my youngest to give my mom a break and use up the money in my dependent care account (which was free to me from my employer!). I have to use $500 by the end of the year. I am taking him tomorrow to one family day care to see if we like it.
6. My older son now has two weeks of pre-school under his belt and seems to be liking it!
7. My garden sucks this year, but I was just given two boxes of tomatoes by my cousin, who runs a greenhouse. I plan to can tomatoes and salsa tomorrow, as well as make a batch of jalapeno jelly. YUM!
8. Life is good...very good Smile
(and news on the secret baby plan...our timing got all gummed up. I have to get my wisdom teeth out at the end of this month, so things *may* be pushed back a month, which stinks! We wanted to plan this baby for the end of June, when DH is done with school for the summer. Might be July now...might not be, depending on how soon I get off the meds from my surgery...Wink

Beautiful net worth

September 6th, 2007 at 01:42 am

It just passed $20k. Un-freaking-believable, considering it was negative at the beginning of this year, when DH was not working and we had just put $5k of tuition on the cc.
Our debt: app. $19k of student loans, $2k at 0% for a year from our bathroom remodel, and $100 on Discover (paid off every month).
Assets: $6k in EF, app. $33k in our IRAs, $1900 in checking/savings.
It's amazing how fast things can turn around, when they get moving finally in the right direction. I've worked my tail off this summer in real estate, and it's so nice to see the rewards.
Still no job for DH. He might get some sub work soon as the teacher he subbed for last year might have jury duty, but no long-term prospects yet. I guess we'll have to just keep hanging in here.