Friday, February 27, 2009

Clovis People Tools Found

Reading the news this morning, I came across this article. It seems some 83 ancient artifacts of the Clovis people, dating back 13,000 years, were found in a Boulder, CO, man’s yard. What struck me as interesting is the fact that the blood traces on the tools were identified as belonging to sheep, bears, horses and camels. Wait a minute – bears and sheep I can see, but horses and camels? It’s kind of hard for me to wrap my mind around. Everything I’ve ever read indicates that horses were brought to America by the Spanish, and the only sheep I knew that was native to America was the Bighorn sheep, and the sheep commonly found in America today were (again) brought by the Spanish and later European explorers. Furthermore, camels? Camels? The American Camel became extinct after the Ice Age (the above information came from this site). Stuff like this blows my mind, because it makes me wonder how exactly the land on Earth was situated when the Clovis people were alive. What was it like? How did they hunt and eat? How far did they have to go to find food? What was their family life like?

I’ve always had an interest in archaeology and anthropology. I've always been interested in how cities were built, what tools they used, how societies were constructed - the whole nine yards. I never chose either as a college major though because I figured they weren’t exactly the most in-demand career choice one could make. But, oh, finds like this make me wish I had the money to study in school more for multiple degrees so I could find out more about these people and other past civilizations! I've always said, if I had the money, I would stay in school forever and get degrees in everything. I really would. Now, anyone want to finance that dream? LOL

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Odds 'n Ends

I don't have time or brain cells to have one long, coherent, related post today, so I'm just going to toss out a bunch of bullet points at you.
  • Joel arrives tonight to spend a week helping me out with getting Dad's crap in order. I have managed to sell several items to get them out of the way so we can sell the house and land faster. Unfortunately, with the economy the way it is, I had to sell them at waaaay less than I had hoped. I've made just about enough to pay myself back for Joel's plane ticket and Dad's electric bill - both of which I paid out of my own (bare) pockets.
  • I came to the realization that the last time I had been on an actual date was back before my son was born. However, I've also come to the realization that that's okay, because I don't have time for a relationship anyway. The longer I'm single, the more I wonder if I would mind so much if I stayed that way for the rest of my life. I've got my boy, I've got my dogs and I have my adopted family and friends whom I all love. I may just be okay with that.
  • Work is going okay, I guess. The load has slowed down considerably, but we're still in business, and I still have a job, so that's better than what others are experiencing right now.
  • Despite the fact that Jamie is off his ADHD meds completely, he seems to be doing okay in school. One grade has me mad that it's so low, but the others are two A's, a B and a C. I can live with that. At least, as long as the one bad grade comes up.
  • We are in the middle of an extreme drought here in South Texas, and that has me worried. Once-thriving lawns are now dirt, ponds and creeks are going dry, and the forecast doesn't give any hope of rain for the foreseeable future.
  • Despite the fact that I want the heck out of Texas, I may be stuck here for a while longer. The economy is tanking more and more elsewhere in the country, but here in Texas the economy is actually growing (albeit slowly). Also, Jamie's orthodontist has informed me he needs braces very SOON, and he'll have to wear them for two years. Need to get them soon so that problems with his jaw can be fixed before he gets so old that things can't be reformed. If we do it now, it's a lot less expensive and a lot easier time on Jamie painwise.
  • I was determined to get rid of Buddy, Dad's little terrier. Took him back to the lady Dad got him from on Saturday, only for me and Jamie both to burst into tears and realize we made a mistake. We turned around and got him back. She's a professional dog trainer, so she gave me some training tips and advice on how to get Buddy to stop his bad behaviors. There have been some major improvements! I've been assured the biting and nipping problems will disappear with time, patience and treats.
  • I'm really behind on my school work. Here mid-term exams are just around the corner, and I couldn't begin to tell you what we've covered so far this semester. I think I'll be happy with B's this semester, and won't stress if I don't have straight-A's. If I tried for that, I think I'd wind up killing myself or having a brain implosion. Not even going to worry about it, as there are too many other things needing my worries right now. :-)

That's all I can think of right now. And now it's time for me to run home and use my lunch break to scrub down the kitchen really good. Hugs and sugars to all.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Gack! What is that SMELL?!?!?

I haven't really had the energy to do the things I need to do. The house looks like crap, the dogs are in desperate need of baths and fur trims, etc. etc. I haven't had time to devote as much time as I need to packing up Dad's house and getting it ready to sell back to the original owner. I hadn't been down there in a couple of weeks, so Jamie and I went down there today. As soon as we opened the door, we could smell it. It was disgusting, horrendous, and immediately sent us both into coughing/sneezing/itching fits. It would seem that Dad had stopped a load of laundry in the middle of the cycle, leaving the washer full of water and clothes.... sometime prior to December 26. After nearly two months of being full of water and clothes, with the lid shut.... Can we say "Mold and mildew infestation?" I finished out the load, dumped the clothes into the trash and sealed the bag, then filled up the washer with nothing but water, bleach and pine sol. The house and the washing machine smelled much better after that. But can I just say, there for a while, "EWWWWWWW!"

Friday, February 13, 2009

Flowers for His Valentine

My boss’ college-aged daughter has been giving Jamie tennis lessons for the past couple of weeks.  She also has attention deficit issues, so she understands how to best teach Jamie and keep him engaged.  She’s very sweet and truly enjoys working with kids.  Jamie enjoys the physical activity (since he gave up soccer this season), as well as the chance to work his budding flirting skills on an “older woman.”  Today, when I go pick Jamie up from his lesson, I’ve been instructed to stop by the store first and buy her a bouquet of flowers.  “Not roses or any mushy stuff.  Just something pretty that smells good,” he said.  He wants to present these to her to say “thanks” for teaching him tennis.  Somebody’s going to be conquering hearts left and right when he gets older!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Knitting Update

I've now mastered both the knit and purl stitches. Still have not figured out how to bind off. I'm making a simple dishrag just to practice my stitches. I guess when I've made it big enough to suit me, I'll figure out how to bind off. The great thing about it is - it's a dishcloth. It doesn't matter if it's pretty or not, it will still be functional. Once I finish the dishcloth, I'll probably try my hand at a lap robe of the fuzzy brown yarn. I'll probably just make it really simple knit and purl stitches just to practice.

Jamie has put aside his knitting for a bit. He hasn't had much time to practice between catching up on missed school work, doing his eye exercises on the computer, and helping me pick up the house. Our being sick combined with general laziness and business with school work means the house is a wreck and is in desperate need of a good scrubbing. Jamie says he hopes to get back to his knitting soon. At least this time I'll be able to help him, instead of not having a clue!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Eye Candy

Jamie's BB Bill took the picture below for a photography class he's taking. There are more pics that he'll be sending me, so I'll post them, as well. Bill is a much better photog than I! Or maybe he can get Jamie to pose more willingly for him (plus, Bill lets Jamie wear his cool hats!)

Here's the same picture, except I Photoshopped it some to lighten the shadows so you could see Jamie's face a bit better. I'll post more when Bill sends them to me.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Knitting Needles and Stomach Viruses

Inspired by Tooz' craftiness when she came to visit, I went to Wally World and bought one of those "teach yourself to knit" kits that comes with two sets of knitting needles, an instruction book, and some tools for knitting that I have no clue what they're for yet. Anyhoo, I decided I wanted to learn to knit. I struggled for several days to figure out what the heck the instructions meant (those illustrations look NOTHING like what the yarn in my hands was actually doing), and finally had success! Yay! I then looked over and noticed that Jamie had calmly taken over the second set of knitting needles and taught himself how to cast on, and is in the process of teaching himself how to add rows. So we now have an activity we do together. Which is good, because for the past two days, we've been home together, hibernating and shivering our way through fevers and a stomach virus while the rest of the world is at work and/or school. We sleep for a while, get some fresh OJ and some soup, knit for a little while, go back to sleep for a while, take stomach medicine and fever reducer, then start the cycle over again with a nap. I'm happy to report that we are both now sufficiently recovered to go to work and school tomorrow. Knitting together has been nice, and (although neither of us will win any prizes for what we've started making) plan to keep at it. It's nice to look down at something and be able to say, "Hey, I made this with my very own hands!" It's also been a great confidence booster to Jamie that he was able to figure out quite easily something Mommy had to struggle with!

2/5/09 Update:

As I was leaving for work this morning, I realized I've only just begun to knit (and haven't even started doing it well yet), but I have already started falling prey to a knitting vice. I've already got the beginnings of a stash of yarn. I'm still learning to knit, have no completed projects and no way of completing anything (since I still don't know how to do anything other than a knit stitch and have yet to figure out how to bind off a row), yet I already have two partial skeins left over from Tooz's visit, two small skeins of cotton in a pretty green and white variation (got on sale for $1 each!), a full skein of a deep teal yarn made from recycled soda bottles, two skeins of a nice chunky yarn in a rich brown variegation, and Jamie insisted on his own skein of a bright bright BRIGHT red. Oh well, at least this gives me lots of options of what yarn I want to mess up by continuously knitting and frogging it!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Monday Eye Candy

Normally, I wait until Fridays to put up pictures of my boy. But seeing as how he was all dressed up over the weekend, I couldn't wait until Friday to put these up! Jamie went to see Joshua Bell's recital here with his BB Bill. He looks more like a young man than a little boy... (sigh).

First photo - smile's a little stiff. C'mon! Where's that personality?

Ah-ha! THERE it is!

GQ cover shot material.

Apparently, Mom is hilarious.

"Ugh! How can guys stand wearing these ties?"

"Okay, Mom. That's it, that's the LAST picture!"