New Jen's Horde

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


It took some searching, but we now have in our possession a copy of the original 1954 Japanese version (with English subtitles) of Gojira, better known to American fans as "Godzilla." I kept finding the 1956 copy of the movie, which had Raymond Burr added in to many scenes to Americanize the plot, but that wasn't what I was looking for. I was glad to find the first version, which is supposed to not only be a great old monster flick, but a social commentary on life in Japan after the nuclear weapons strikes of the second World War.

So, blogging will be slow today, as we are busy reading a Japanese monster movie. You can listen to Gojira's piercing shriek while you wait, if you like.



Sunday, February 26, 2006


Demon's Grave

Sage's pet mouse, Demon, passed early yesterday. Her age was unknown. She leaves behind littermates Meika and Toast, and four very sad children.

Services were held today in our backyard. In lieu of flowers, please go and hug your pets today.


Saturday, February 25, 2006

She loves it!

She actually said, "This is the best present I've ever gotten for my birthday." Can you believe it? Yay!


It's done!

I've been working almost non-stop since I posted last, but it's FINISHED! And, I've had a stern talk with it and it promises not to shrink in the washing machine if I promise to put it on delicate. Hopefully it's going to start showing me some proper respect now; although it's never been truly recalcitrant, it's certainly been a trial at times.

Here it is! Say a quick prayer that it behaves itself, and that it pleases my mother in law, I really want her to like it.
It's 5:30 in the morning, I'm going to bed.

Labels: ,


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Can't blog, knitting...

This month has flown by, and I'm only a little over halfway done with the clapotis I'm making for my mother in law's birthday. Which, as it turns out, we're celebrating this Saturday. Yikes!

half done clapotis

As you can see, I'm a bit stressed out. I can't do the Thursday 13 today, but I do promise to stop by all of my commenter's blogs after I finish this project...and feeling returns to my hands. So drop a howdy and I'll catch you later!


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sunrise, sunset...

I think in some ways you never expect your kids to grow up. Part of you can't wait for them to be adults and have families of their own, but another part of you is genuinely surprised when they start to walk, or learn to read or whatever.

So, when Anya came to me after flipping through the DVR listings and asked,
"Mom, can I watch Dirty Jobs, the episode is called 'Sexing Chicks' but I don't think it's about human females..." it was hilarious, but it was also just more proof that she's starting to pay attention with an adult eye to the things in her world. She's starting to be the kid in the background snickering at the inside jokes adults make, when the younger kids are still clueless. She's starting to ask questions, and wonder about what it means to be a woman in our world. And, again, I'm caught off guard, even though I know it's coming, and she's certainly old enough and mature enough to know these things. Where does the time go?

In case you're interested, she was right, it wasn't about human females at all, it was about the high stakes world of baby chicken genders. My kids, of course, were most entertained by the "squeezing the poop out of the of chicks to check inside the vent" method of determining if they're girls or boys. TV doesn't get much more educational than that, does it?


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Ice Dancing Ruminations

Barbara Fusar Poli, the Italian ice dancer, now claims that she wasn't angry with her partner after Sunday's spill-filled event, she was just upset.

Glad to hear it, because this sure didn't look like "upset" to me.
Fusar Poli
Nor did her storming around and ignoring her partner before their performance. If this is what she doesn't when she's upset, remind me to never tick her off...

Also, when I was a kid, I don't remember so many people switching countries to compete in the Olympics. I mean, sure, you'd get a few people defecting from the U.S.S.R. to other countries and then representing their new home. But this year's Olympic ice dancing competition was chock full of people from one country, skating for another. And I'm not the only one commenting on this. It made the whole event seem calculated and business-like, with little of the national pride and excitement I remember from years ago. But, maybe that was a cold war thing?

Finally, what is going on with their costumes? I understand they're supposed to be free flowing, but for three nights it seemed like it was wall-to-wall tatters. Their skirts hung in shreds, superfluous bits of torn fabric clung to their arms and backs. It truly looked like many of them started out wearing pretty, if unfashionable, formal wear, but then their prom was taken over by vampires and they spent all night fighting in the streets, emerging victorious at dawn with just enough time to get to Olympic Village and skate in their rags. Well, I guess if this ice dancing thing doesn't work out, they can do zombie movies or Thriller.

It may seem like I didn't enjoy this competition, but I did. I found it entertaining and inspiring. But, for three nights my brain had to do SOMETHING while my eyes were entertained by the spectacle, and this is some of what it came up with. I'm saving that breakthrough in waste-free nuclear fission reactions for another post...


Monday, February 20, 2006

Monday Memories #2-Our Marriage of Convenience


Monday Memories: Did I ever tell you about

The year was 1992, and I was in my junior year of college. I'd been dating Davin for a little over 2 years, and we'd talked about getting married, and even planned a wedding once, but hadn't actually done it. I was 21, he was 22.

Looking back, it seems foolish not to have snapped him up and married him as soon as possible, but like everyone else in the known universe, we were both from broken homes, and we were awfully young. I think we just worried that, even though we loved each other and wanted to be together, we weren't seeing enough of the big picture to make that kind of decision without regretting it later.

Late in January, I called my dad begging for money (the WAS college, you know) and he said, after promising to send a check, "You know, Jennifer, if you and Davin would just get married, you'd get a lot more in financial aid and you wouldn't be hitting me up all the time." You have to know my dad to know that this was just something quirky he'd say, not meant to be hurtful, just sort of funny.

**At the time, I don't know if it's true now, you couldn't be considered independent of your parents for finacial aid purposes unless you'd lived on your own and made $x per year before you entered college the first time, or you were over a certain age (I think it was 25), or you were married. So, since we went straight to college from high school, we were getting financial aid based on all of our parents' household incomes, but most of them weren't really helping us out in any way, so we were really living pretty rock bottom.**

So, I was telling Davin that my dad came through with the money, oh, and by the way he thinks we should get married for the financial aid. We both had a good laugh, but then we decided to go ahead and do it.

We really did want to be together, we just didn't know how to decide if we should get married. I think, as stupid as it sounds, the financial aid argument was the last little push we needed. Like many students, we planned a March wedding to coincide with Spring Break, and next month we will be celebrating our 14th anniversary. Since the financial aid well dried up quite a few years ago, I'm thinking we're still going strong because we were actually meant to be together!

I love you, Davin! Wow, can you believe it's been 14 years...and we're still paying those damn student loans?

Links to other Monday Memories
Rowan *~* Shelli *~* Courtney *~* Kdubs *~* Norma *~* Lynda *~* Ladybug *~* Kimmy *~* Renee

(If you participate, leave your link in the comments and I'll post it below)

Click here for the Monday Memories code
Click here for Shelli's blog

Trackbacks, pings, and comment links are accepted and encouraged!


Saturday, February 18, 2006

Organ and Tissue Donation

When you get a minute this weekend, please scoot over to Rowan's blog and check out her excellent post on organ and tissue donation. And if you haven't made it known that you want to be a donor, please consider doing so.



Friday, February 17, 2006

A surreal moment at my house

Anya has an orthodontic appliance called a palate expander that we have to twist open a little every day to correct her bite. They gave us a special little tool that fits into her appliance and ratchets it open, and this morning we couldn't find it!

There's just something unsettling about having to pull all of your children from their schoolwork by yelling, "Stop what you're doing, and help me find your sister's crank!"

We can not be giving homeschoolers a good reputation.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

In tears from laughing!

I have no idea how I ended up here, but WOW! Doesn't this post make you want to go into business with this man?


The Pharmaceutical Thirteen (ie #16)

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Prescription Medications JEN is or has been on for migraines

I started thinking about this the other day when one of the moms in my group said, "Hey, Ms. Pharmaceutical! Can you look at my prescription for my migraines and tell me what you think of it?" Scary when that's one of the ways you're known in the homeschool community! ;-) I did know about her medication, as I'd been on it before, which really didn't help with my "I don't really know that much about prescription medications" argument... Hee hee!

So, I decided to dig deep and think of the medicines I've used over time for my migraines. These are all presciption medications I've used over a period of time, or had administered to me during episodes when I've gone to the ER with my migraines. I didn't list the 6 billion ones we tried that didn't work, or anything you can buy without a prescription (ie there's a lot of interesting information now about magnesium and its relationship to migraine, so many migraineurs, myself included supplement with that.)

The Preventatives-These you take every day to prevent a migraine attack:
1. Topamax
2. Atenolol
3. Nortriptyline (and various other things related to these)

The Abortives-These are taken once an attack has started, to help it go away:
4. Zomig-tablets and nasal spray
5. Imitrex-nasal spray and injection
6. Maxalt-tablets
7. Reglan-Actually an antinauseal, but can help a lot when it all gets going
(and many of the other triptans)

Analgesics and others-Painkillers and mixtures including painkillers:
8. Midrin
9. Butalbital
10. Vicodin
11. Demerol
12. Dilaudid
13. Ultram

Migraines can be a real mess, and are far more complicated than most people know. I know I didn't understand, even though I had them, until mine became debilitating, hitting 4-6 times a week. Fortunately, my new neuro and I seem to have found a pretty good system and I don't need nearly so much stuff, and can totally avoid the heavy hitters. There are many migraineurs out there on unbelieveable amounts of medications, who get very little relief from them.

There you have it, my Pharmaceutical Thirteen!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
Tutu Bent *~* Wendy *~* Tanya *~* Better Safe Than Sorry *~* Dariana *~* Karri *~* Colleen at Loose Leaf Notes *~* Uisce *~* Trinity13 *~* Renee *~* Amy *~* Holymama *~* Kelly/Nello *~* Flattened Frog *~* Kimmy *~* Jen at Diva Las Vegas *~* Audra *~* Ardice *~* Stacey *~* The Notorious M.O.M.

Please read Shelli's special Annika 13, and see if you can help!

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Little things make me happy

Have you seen these yet? Have you tried them? If you haven't, go get some now! You'll want to have them on hand when you start your next cold.


They're like those bath fizzies, only you put them on the bottom of the shower, and while you stand in there trying to steam your lung snot away, they're adding eucalyptus, menthol and camphor to the air. It's like giving your lungs "the hot Vicks injection," oh yeah.

I don't know if any of these products, like this and Vicks, actually make a difference in how congested you are, or if they just make you feel better because you can finally smell SOMETHING and that SOMETHING smells medicinal so it feels like it's helping. Either way, we have a nasty chest cold rolling through the house, and these shower soothers are making us all feel better, and that goes a long way.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Blogger Issues

Has anyone else been having problems with Blogger for the last couple of days?

Leanne mentioned switching to Wordpress in her Thursday Thirteen, and now I'm really having to think about it, because I can't get in and out of my dashboard and comments as well as I'd like. I know they will fix it, they always do, but if Wordpress is more stable it might be worth making the jump...

Gonna cut this short, no telling how long I'll be able to get messages out!


Monday, February 13, 2006

Monday Memories: Vegetarian Vampires

Monday Memories: Did I ever tell you about the time
I lived in a co-operative, vegetarian household with six other adults and two kids?
And we were all vampires?

Yeah, this was shortly after Davin and I were married, and none of the kids were ours, although we were trying. :-)

The folks running the household needed to fill a room, and they found us listed in the directory we'd signed up to be in at a previous Rainbow Gathering, which is a story for another day. They were the first people to contact us who weren't A. writing from prison, or B. asking us to put up posters for their band, so we were actually pretty excited to meet them.

Some things about living there were really cool, like the fact that everyone cooked dinner (and did dishes) once a week. That was it! The rest of the time, it was someone else's turn, and you just showed up at the table when it was ready. To make it even better, since we only had kitchen duty once a week, it was a lot more fun to cook, and we all made exciting new dishes all the time.

Also, since we were all piled up in a house made for a lot fewer people, we had to walk a fine line between being really aware of what everyone else was doing and thinking, while being able to ignore it and shake it off if you didn't absolutely need to get involved. We developed some great interpersonal skills there that I don't know would have come so easily if we were able to sequester ourselves during the first years of our marriage.

Most of the time, these small personality issues really amounted to nothing. But, occasionally there was an intersection of a strong personality clash, money issues, and too many "substances" floating around.

For instance, one roommate, E., was consistently late with his share of the rent. Plus, while he was a nice enough guy, he just really didn't fit in. He was kind of a jock, and he'd moved in to escape a bad situation, but it was obvious that he thought the rest of us were a little too freaky to take seriously (I think we all had these feelings sometimes, depending on who was Freak of the Week, as it were.)

One of the other adults, J., really had issues with E., and it just kept eating at him that E. was not paying the rent on time and wouldn't let his freak flag fly. Neither of these guys had a steady partner, so they were kind of like those adolescent gorillas you see in the nature shows, posturing aggressively, and jockeying for position within the troop. J. also drank to excess, and was a really small guy, so he tended to get himself into trouble.

Case in point, I remember the night when J. was completely plastered, and leaned forehead to forehead with me in the living room, and began telling me how he'd decided the time had come, he'd had it and he was going to kick E. out. J. obviously thought he was being sneaky about this, but was too drunk to notice that E. was in the same room, only about a yard away from this mini household summit. E. left the room while I tried to talk J. down and tell him that maybe today wasn't the best day for this, but J. was adamant. He took off to find E. and give him the boot.

I followed, because while E. had never been violent before, I didn't know how he would handle this latest vexation. I went into my room and pulled the door most of the way closed, and quickly filled Davin in on the situation. We stood, ear to the door, and listened to see if we would need to swoop in and break up a fight.

Almost immediately, the situation turned around, and I started to worry on E.'s behalf. I don't know what J. was thinking, and he didn't remember any of it the next day so I couldn't get an inside scoop, but it seems he thought up a lie, and thought it up quick...

Instead of just telling E. that he didn't like him, didn't think he fit in, and was sick of him paying the rent late, he started to tell him a long and complicated tale of how the rest of the household members were actually vampires, and that he was in danger and needed to move out NOW! When E. expressed disbelief, J. assured him that we killed people all the time, and buried them in our communal herb garden (I'm not sure how common vegetarian vampires are, but apparently corpses make great fertilizer) and that L. (one of the women) was the Queen and when she ordered us to kill him we'd have no choice but to do it. J. told him a few more gruesome tidbits, warned him again to get out, then staggered off and passed out.

You know, E. did pay his rent right away, and moved out shortly thereafter. So, really, I think more bill collectors should take this approach. Wouldn't you be more serious about paying your student loans if you thought a band of bloodsuckers would come and kill you if you didn't? Honestly, Blockbuster should get in on this action, because that "no late fee" stuff just doesn't motivate me to get my movies in on time, but a threat or two of a visit from the immortal undead would take care of that nicely.

Anyway, we also moved out not long after that, not out of a fear of vampires, but because (duh) it was getting a little too crazy around there. I don't regret living in that situation, it was great while it lasted, but I can't see doing it again any time soon.

Links to other Monday Memories
(If you participate, leave your link in the comments and I'll post it below)


Click here for the Monday Memories code
Click here for Running2Ks blog

Trackbacks, pings, and comment links are accepted and encouraged!


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Lost my Voice

If you know me in person, you know I'm a bit chatty. Which is a nice way to say I never, ever shut up. Now, I have some weird virus and seem to have lost my voice. So, I'm doing a lot more listening today than normal.

MAN, my kids talk a lot. I don't think it's because they finally have a chance at some dead air now that I'm quiet for a bit. I think I just don't normally notice because I'm right in the middle of the chaos with them.

Good grief, poor Davin! It's a good thing he has a job outside the home...


Saturday, February 11, 2006

This just made me happy

Hurricane Katrina Stokes Mardi Gras Satire

Armed with sharp tongues and images such as the blue tarps that still protect broken roofs across the city, the clubs that stage Mardi Gras parades are targeting Hurricane Katrina and the politicians they blame for the chaotic response to the catastrophe...

Floats and props built for the Saturday evening parade in the French Quarter included hand-pulled carts elaborately decorated with blue tarps, fake broken levees, cardboard travel trailers and effigies of Mayor Ray Nagin and Gov. Kathleen Blanco.

One display asked France to buy Louisiana back, suggesting the state might get better treatment than it has from the American government. And in place of a parade map, the Krewe du Vieux had a "projected path" adorned with a swirly hurricane symbol.
I had wondered if New Orleans would be ready for Mardi Gras, only six months after Katrina, and it looks like they're back and with their humor intact! You go, New Orleans, my hat is off!


Friday, February 10, 2006

Kids must be made of different stuff

So, as you all know, Tiernan's been out of diapers for about 2 weeks now. It's going great. Amen!

Well, he's been wearing pull-ups at night, but waking up dry about 25% of the time. Last night, we noticed he had a horrible rash from the pull-ups, I'm not sure why. Anyway, it was really bothering him, and he asked to sleep in his underwear (after three girls, it's hard not to call them "panties" but I'm trying, I'm trying).

So, when we got up this morning, I sort of expected him to be in a puddle, but he wasn't. He was dry. YAY! So I said, "Hey big guy, let's go potty!" He said he didn't need to. Not only did he not need to, but he sat down and had a cup of juice and didn't go to the bathroom for over an hour!

I don't know about you all, but there's just no way I could do that. If you woke me up because there was a fire or tornado and we all needed to evacuate immediately, I'd still need to stop and, well, evacuate. There's no sitting around, leisurely drinking juice for an hour for THIS mother of four!

But, I used to be like that. I used to be the one on road trips who would sit out potty breaks, prefering to wait in the car and get a little farther in my book and just plan on hitting the next break in 150 miles or so. I never understood why my mom marveled at this...until now.

Does this just change as you get older? Or is this because of the three pregnancies? How are you all first thing in the morning?


Thursday, February 09, 2006

This and That

According to this article Bottled Water: Nectar of the Frauds?, up to 40 percent of bottled water begins as regular tap water somewhere, sometimes with added minerals. It also goes into the enormous expenditure of fossil fuels involved in transporting the water, recycling the relatively small amount of bottles that are recycled, and of course dealing with the vast amount of waste generated. Something to think about.

Also, how messed up is this? Injured Soldier Made to Pay for Body Armor
First Lt. William "Eddie" Rebrook IV, 25, had to leave the Army with a shrapnel injury to his arm. But before he could be discharged last week, he says he had to scrounge up cash from his buddies to pay $632 for the body armor and other gear he had lost.

Rebrook, who graduated from West Point with honors, said he was billed because a supply officer failed to document that the vest was destroyed as a biohazard. He said a battalion commander refused to sign a waiver for the vest, saying Rebrook would have to supply witness statements to verify the vest was taken from him and burned.
There's a fine thank you for this man's years of service, and the physical sacrifice he's made. What were they saying about recruitment being down? I wonder why that might be?

I'm skipping the Thursday Thirteen this week, I just feel too crummy to follow up on reading and linking to everyone and since I don't like it when people do that to me I'll just wait until I feel better. Don't forget to scroll down one post to read about Thank Your Fairy Blogmother Week!


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Thank Your Fairy Blogmother Week 2006

Momma K has created a new holiday, just for Fairy Blogmothers! Here's her description of the special day:

You didn’t know that you had a Fairy Blog Mother ? Why, of course you do. You may have more than one. You may even have a male Fairy Blog Mother. Your Fairy Blog Mothers are those people who first inspired you to begin a blog of your own.
I didn't even know what blogs were when I started reading Pop Culture Junk Mail, Gael's fab blog about all the things someone my age (or at least close to my age) finds interesting in the world. I don't know how I stumbled upon her blog, but I've been reading it pretty faithfully for years now.

Then I found Dave Barry's blog while looking for one of his columns online. He's always been a favorite of mine, I love his humor and his blog doesn't disappoint.

I don't think my blog is really like either of these, but it was these two together that caused me to get excited about the idea of blogging and start putting in time on my own. Thanks Gael and Dave, not that you know who I am! I really enjoy blogging, and I'm glad you two persevered and made your blogs so fun that I couldn't help but join in.

Also, I have to thank Sheri. I didn't start talking blog with her until my blog was almost a year old, but she helped me get over my fear of HTML, and inspired me to try different things with my template. So, while she's not technically a Fairy Blogmother, I wanted her to know that I appreciate her!

Who are your Fairy Blogmothers? Momma K's keeping a list on her site, and I'll link to you here if you let me know you're posting :-)

Renee's Fairy Godmother Story <---It's me!

Here's Trinity13's Fairy Godfather's actual blog.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

No Limit Texas Hold'em

I've signed up to play in a friendly tournament of No Limit Texas Hold'em. I do not really know how to play this game. This closest I come to actual practice is watching Celebrity Poker Showdown, which if you don't watch, you should. It's always interesting and I've nearly pee'd SEVERAL times laughing...

Anyway, back to the point, which is that I don't know how to play, really. Do any of you know how to play? Are there any websites you recommend? Books to read? A shady cousin who will teach me if I give him a little money?

I don't need to win, but if I'm going to lose I don't want to do it so badly (so well?) that I embarrass myself...


Monday, February 06, 2006

Just in case you wanted to know what sorts of things we do around here for fun.

This is the conversation held between my 10 year old daughter Anya and myself over who owns the toilet (I don't know why we were arguing about this, we have issues.)

Jen: This is my toilet.

Anya: No, it's my toilet, I'm sitting on it! (She was, but she wasn't "doing" anything.)

Jen: Ah, but I'm the one who picked the house.

Anya: I don't see your name on it...

(At this point I went and got a dry erase marker and wrote "Jen's Toilet" on the top of the tank.)

Jen: There, do you see it now?

(After recovering from her horror that I wrote on the toilet, she covers it with a box of tissues.)

Anya: No, I don't see it. And besides, you need to show me that you own the mineral rights for the land under this toilet before I'll give it to you.

I gave up and just used one of the three other toilets we have in the house. Since then, there have been two more notes added to the toilet, with different parties claiming ownership of said fixture. I'm considering creating a flag and claiming it for my own new country I'll start just for this purpose, but that would involve seceding from the U.S. and I'm not sure it's worth the work.


Saturday, February 04, 2006


Add an inbred family and a chainsaw to this news item, and I think it would make a pretty good horror film...


Friday, February 03, 2006


Migraine. I'll post for real later or tomorrow.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Thursday 13 #15

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things Jen Can't Keep From Losing.

1. Scissors
2. Lip Balms
3. Cell Phone
4. Cordless Phone
5. My Keys
6. Hair Doo-Dads
7. Remote Controls
8. Pens and Pencils
9. Anything I've written on paper
10. Library Books
11. Sleep, can't get enough
12. Crochet Hooks and Knitting Needles
13. On days like this, my sanity.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Wendy 2. Mrs. Aginoth 3. Norma 4. Shelli 5. Jade 6. Uisce 7. Jane 8. Trinity13 9. Lori 10. Renee 11. Colleen at Musings 12. Audra 13. Nancy 14. Courtney 15. Rowan 16. Karen 17. Nimiiwin 18. Carola 19. Claire 20. Keb 21. Trouble in Shangri La 22. Paddy 23.Tutu 24. Sam 25. Virenda 26. Suz 27. d. challener roe 28. Kelly 29. Better Safe Than Sorry 30. Jessica

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


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