Saturday, January 31, 2015

New Phrase I Just Learned Point 1

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

I never finished college.  I was busy with Jake and though I know many, many women have children and go on to finish school or work full time or be doctors or politicians or spies, I was blindsided and by the time I recovered, he was here.  I guess I figured the people in charge would realize I had no business with a baby and would come get him and I would get on with what I was doing.  Now, nearly 2 decades later, he's still here.  But that's not my point.  My point is, I am sure had I stuck with school I would have learned...who knows what because I had no declared major.  But in that mix of classes and bright young people and wiser older folks, I am sure I would have picked up some useful items.  One of those would probably have been the phrase 'ascribe intent' and knowing that might have saved me some angst.

I have had to look it up three times already because I want to remember it, but my brain keeps helpfully thrusting the word 'accretion' out.  Accretion is the opposite of erosion.  Which is a nice word to know, but it's not mindset-changing like 'ascribe'.  It means to attribute.  The phrase means to make up and then assign, via just what your own brain is telling you, the reason someone else does something. Usually with bad intent. The person who took the last box of your favorite snack at the store only wants you to be miserable and thinks you are fat enough already.  You got left out because no one likes you.

There are 10 points in the article I read, ascribing intent is the first one.  I think I am going to spend this year (and knowing me next year, too) working through the list and trying to work on defusing my self-sabotage skills.  Not all of them hit home, but it seemed as good a place as any to start.

The things I am thankful for this week:
hot water, heating pads, refrigeration, a working heat pump, our continued good health and the fact that none of my kids have any food allergies.  We have hosted kids this week who avoid by choice or necessity, entire food groups.   I am glad to not have that concern day in and day out.
I am thankful for dogs who chase rabbits in their sleep and dogs who have OCD and simply must howl 3 times exactly.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wheeler and the Sandhill Cranes

Wednesday we headed to Decatur to return some pants behold the bounty of the sandhill cranes at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge.  We hit a couple stores and grabbed lunch via the drive-thru at Bob Gibson's in town.  That was a little weird as I ordered a gallon of tea and she thought I said a gallon of beef.  We have been grossing each other out since with 'liquid beef' references.

We had a picnic lunch out by the boardwalk trail where we could see about 100 cranes and loads of song birds hitting the feeders.

We walk at Wheeler fairly often, but have not been in the visitor center in a couple of years.  As soon as we walked in Ben said, "It smells exactly the same!"  I told him it had smelled the same since I was a little kid.

I had a great time pointing out all the diorama critters to Bird, who was in top form for the day, he is sooooo cute, I decided even his germs must have kitten faces.  He was in a cuddle mood, so yippee for me twice.  I sure don't mind a little snuggle bug now and then!

After looking at all the mounted birds, we headed out to the observation building and spent another hour or more there watching the birds and chatting.  The kids set up a card game and we enjoyed hanging out in the warm sun and the sound of the birds.

Jake has been writing a new D&D campaign

More lovely sunsets


The indoor dioramas are always fun!

Out at the Observation Building:

Alllll those dots off into the distance are cranes!

After Wheeler we headed home, Matt picked up Alex to come work on his character with Jake.
Jake has tried a couple other times to get a full campaign going and it's never worked out.  I am hoping this time will be different, he has been working so hard to get this one written up.  I suggested this time he shoots for once a month meetups.

Tomorrow we all go meet the new dog with Nia in tow.  I am dreading that, which should tell me plenty right there.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Green Mountain, AirWalk, 1st Ave Rocks

Our weekend was not as busy as planned, Friday it rained all day and we watched a couple movies and Saturday Matt and I ran errands all afternoon including test driving various used cars and one 2 year old mutt.  Didn't take any of the cars, but the dog might be a go.  Going to have an overnight soon to see how Nia likes her.  She's VERY shy-not Nia, the other dog.  She's been abused, she had puppies very young, she's had a hard life.  She's been living with a very nice older man who has done nothing but love and pet her since the first of November.  She's physically healed and is super sweet, but I am afraid Nia will beat the crap out of her!  Or, for that matter, the cats.  Ack.  Nia needs a rough and tumble dog, she loves to wrestle and jump around being terrifying.  One thing is for sure, she needs a friend, that dog is depressed.  She's SO sad, we still can't even say 'Kaiju' around her, she darts up and then lays back down and sighs.  It's breaking my heart!

Sunday we headed out for a walk around Sky Lake up on Green Mountain with Katy and her crew.  That was about 20 degrees colder than I thought it would be, hahaha!  Ran into Kelley that I graduated with, so now I have a new Facebook Friend!  I have not seen her in 23 years.  That's cray.

Chan and Chan Jr.  

How scary is that?

We had dinner at Taziki's with everyone and picked up goodies at Fresh Market!  Not a bad afternoon!

Monday, I promised Ben we'd go to AirWalk AND rock climbing.  He's missed a couple weeks and has been really bummed. I posted about going and Katy opted to drive down and go with us!  We met Melanie and her Ben there and the kids had a blast.

AirWalk has the same deal as Shakalaka-$5 per homeschooler for an hour of 'flight time' any time school is in session.
It's less than half the size of Shakalaka, but has three bonus things.  1.  A really cool touch-screen drink machine that takes debit  2. massage chairs in the observation area and 3. they don't mind the younger kids making things out of the foam blocks.

Story of my life.  haha

We went to Jason's Deli for lunch and then over to 1st Ave Rocks for a couple hours of climb time.

Chalk Buns!
There were some breaks for aching hands, that's hard on their little hands to hold the wall so long

Inde  I mean Stephanie enjoyed climbing with the harness, she is SUCH the imp.

Loads of fun, but they were ready to head out.

Ben went home with Katy and they stopped at her Alma Mater to walk around on campus.  Chan was ready to get home-provided we arrived there with cheesecake.

It was a lovely sunset!!

I did get cheesecake for the girl, though she went to bed without eating it.  Which makes me feel sad for the cheesecake...I should just go check and see how it's doing.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Guntersville Museum and the Week

Started watching The Bridge in the original Swedish and Danish.  SO different from the Americanized version, but check out that last name up there.  Saga Nor&#233.  I can't even begin to pronounce that!

We have had some lovely sunsets of late.  This is out my bedroom window.

We have been home for a few days.  Saturday Matt dropped a tree on his hand and though it ended up being a fairly minor injury, the initial panic left him exhausted.  It took all 4 of us to get the tree off his hand, one finger was caught fast. He was in major pain and it took a few minutes to get the tree shifted.  I have rarely been so scared, I was certain he'd crushed it to the point of amputation.  He kept screaming and screaming.  When he got free, I thought he was having seizure from the shock making him shake so hard.

After we looked at it, which took a while to work up the nerve, it looked skinned a little and that was it.  I am not saying it did not hurt, but I am pretty sure the 'worst' of the experience was being trapped and that amplified everything else that happened.  I know he had some flashbacks or some 'what if' moments that night, poor guy.  We actually hand cut more wood Sunday and burned all the debris from the area we have been cutting trees down near the barn, hauling up smaller branches to the burn pile in the yard.  That took the whole day and netted just a little wood, the bigger tree Matt dropped is still laying there...

Monday the kids and I knocked out some personal projects and house stuff.
Tuesday bright and early, the guys were here to put in the central unit.  They were done well before lunch, it's amazing how quickly and painlessly that all went.
The kids and I spent the day on the Wii!  About 2 years ago, Matt redid some wiring and blew out everything that was plugged in to that relay-TV, dvd player, Wii, the stove.  I forget what all, but Jake had unplugged the Wii from the cords and it was fine, but the cords were fried.  We finally go around to spending the $17 for new cords (I know, crazy) and set that up.  FUN!  I kicked butt bowling and amazed them all by falling off places in Mario Kart that they did not know were ledges.  I am SO very bad at racing games!

I spent 2 hours in Animal Crossing for the first time in 2 years.  That was just as pleasant as always, I love a relaxing stroll around the town!

By Wednesday we were ready for some fun time, so we headed out to Guntersville Museum to check out the shadowbox display.  I sent out a head's up and Amanda and Sunni opted to join us.

This is the view from the restroom.  I squealed when I went in, it was SO lovely and bright!

The museum is free, it's at the old armory building at 1215 Rayburn Ave
They have Guntersville history via Native American artifacts found in Marshall County and they have info about the dam and the lake as well as a display about the Wyeth family, who have roots in the town.

The temporary exhibit is shadowboxes, which is what I mostly wanted to see.

I really wanted this one!  It was $169 though.
And to be honest, his face does not line up.  That would drive me nuts.

Afterward we went to lunch and then walked on the greenway along the lake to the playground.

They leaned in to make it spin faster, but I liked the way they looked crafty...

It's supposed to say 'Project Knowledge' but Chan blocked that bit.  Still, Chan and the trees, both established in 1998!  Baby Girl will be 17 in just over 2 weeks, it just blows my mind that they are perched on the brink, I want to yank them back so badly.

In other news, Matt's buddy from work, Bill, had a major heart...thing over the weekend.  Not an attack, there's no blockage, but the muscle is very weak.  They thought pneumonia, but that has been ruled out though there is fluid in his lungs and he was on oxygen a while, but just a CPAP type thing now.  His kidneys quit working and they did dialysis Monday and then again tonight.  He's not responding much.  Matt is stressed about that just in general and then because it's so well known they are close friends, he get asked all KINDS of stuff and when he does not know, they want him to call Bill's wife.  He won't do it.  I don't blame him. Betty from accounting really has no business needing his white blood cell count.  He's getting flack for that-he's exhausted.  He came in from work all week ready to go to bed by 8. It's still iffy if he will even live and Monday, Bill was supposed to move to a new project that was going to allow Matt to be moved up with a promotion AND a raise and now that's all back burner again while Matt does both of their jobs.  I feel badly complaining when it's someone's actual life on the line, but that promotion has been dangled like a carrot for 3 years now and it was just about to happen.  Now that they have Matt doing both jobs for what he's already being paid, no one will push to change things.  I think he just got screwed over at work.  Again.

His plan for if I go in the hospital is to tell everyone I died right off the bat.  So, fair warning.

This weekend is shaping up well, next week we have several things planned-I am determined to take advantage of this warmer weather!  I know it won't last.