Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Letter To Google

Dear Google,

For several months now both my husband and myself have been addicted to the Fail Blog. I subscribe to it in my Google Reader and email him the funniest Fail pictures and/or videos. Then we laugh together over them when he checks his email (which is only about once or twice a week). See, good family fun. Not to mention cheap entertainment.

But today, for the 2nd time in about a month, you banned me from my Reader with the following error message:

We're sorry...

... but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. To protect our users, we can't process your request right now.

We'll restore your access as quickly as possible, so try again soon. In the meantime, if you suspect that your computer or network has been infected, you might want to run a virus checker or spyware remover to make sure that your systems are free of viruses and other spurious software.

If you're continually receiving this error, you may be able to resolve the problem by deleting your Google cookie and revisiting Google. For browser-specific instructions, please consult your browser's online support center.

If your entire network is affected, more information is available in the Google Web Search Help Center.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope we'll see you again on Google.

Well you know what, Google, I'm sorry too. Sorry you think emailing my husband posts from my Reader is suspicious activity. Sorry you felt the need to ban me from my own account. I'm especially sorry that you've seen fit to do this several times.

I understand the need for security. I also understand your stance on spammers. But I.AM.NOT.ONE.


Sunday, May 17, 2009


MM and I own a total of four vehicles. I drive a Toyota 4Runner, MM has a Jeep Wrangler, he has an Acura Integra he uses for commuting and he owns a motorcycle. Yes, this is probably somewhat overindulgent, but the Jeep and Acura are over ten years old (ok, more like over 15) and the motorcycle is something MM bought before we were together.

The reason I bring it up is because the Acura recently started having major problems and it turns out it needs a new engine. Since MM uses it to commute (he drives 50mi one way to work) it gets a lot of miles every month. We've been debating whether or not to buy a new car (a Toyota Yaris or Prius or something) for him to use to commute, or to just put a new engine in this one. A new engine will only cost us about $2000, but the car is hardly worth that.

We have a friend looking for an engine for us, so in the meantime MM has been driving the Jeep to work. But lately the Jeep's air conditioner hasn't been working all that well. I think it's just getting old and it can't keep up with the heat (it's been 100+ almost every day). Since MM has to be in the car a lot longer than I do, I told him we should just trade cars until we figure out what we're going to do about the Acura.

My commute is only about 20 minutes, but when it's 90-100 degrees outside that can seem like an awfully long time without an air conditioner. So I told him to take the top off the Jeep (it's a hard-top). I figured it'll keep me cool on my drive and since it doesn't get as hot here as it does where MM works, I'll be fine. And I have been. The commute is easy and once I bought a good hat to protect my hair and keep the sun out of my eyes all has been well.

So now that you know more about our personal driving situations than you ever wanted, I'll get to the point of the post...

Driving the Jeep without the top has really brought me back to my teen years. I grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota (Sturgis, anyone?). Being surrounded by beautiful hills and amazing canyons was something I really took for granted until I moved to the desert. Although the desert has it's own type of beauty, it's stark. Not at all the same thing.

Lately I've really been getting homesick. Especially as the temps rise and summer starts rolling in. As a teenager I used to spend all my extra time at the lake. We had two lakes within a half-hour of my hometown. One is a small lake with a few houses scattered around it and a camping area surrounded by national forest. We used to spend days out there swimming and lazing on the beach in the sun. There's nothing so beautiful as a calm lake on a hot summer day.

The other lake is a huge one where we used to go boating/jet-skiiing. We did a lot of camping out there. There wasn't a lot of beach space, but we didn't care since we spent most of our time out on the lake in a boat, water-skiing and jet-skiing. We always went out there on the 4th of July to watch the fireworks, sometimes from the shore, sometimes from on the lake.

As you can imagine there are a shortage of lakes here in the desert. Although we have options, they're 2+ hours away. You'd think living that close to the ocean would cancel out the disappointment of not having a lake close by, but the truth is it's just too damn hard to get down there. With baseball and work and various other aspects of life always going on, it's impossible to spend a day at the beach when you're talking about 4+ hours of travel time.

When I left SD, I left without regrets. Since I've been in CA for my quality of life has become so much better. I met MM here and we're happily making our life here. But sometimes..well, sometimes I get homesick. Feeling the warm wind across my skin as I drive to work brings me back to the warm days at the lake with my friends and I miss it. I miss the smell of pine trees and the feel of cool water on my overheated body. I miss wading into the creek and the tire rope and..well, I just miss home. I don't have the desire to live there again, but I wouldn't mind spending summers there.

Isn't it funny how the smallest things can trigger the best memories sometimes?

So tell me, what are some of your favorite summertime memories?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

First, Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there. I hope you all had an amazing day.

I had a good day. I got up around 8:30 and finished reading the book I started a couple days ago. Then I relaxed on the couch for the rest of the morning. MM and the kids all got me cards. TG made me one at school, plus all three bought me one. I asked for two things for Mother's Day and got them both.

First, I asked that MM give the dogs a bath - especially Bella. I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but his dogs pee on her. I guess as males they feel the need to mark their territory. She, naturally, is the territory they feel the need to mark. Daily. So, as I'm sure you can imagine, after a week or so she really starts to smell. Horribly bad. We've been trying to correct the behavior, but since we're both gone during the day - the time she mostly gets peed on - we haven't had much success yet.

Second, I asked for a squeegee. My sister said today, "You're like the only person I know who would ask for cleaning supplies as a gift and then actually be happy to receive them." She's so right, too. I know it's not the most romantic gift in the world, but it's what I really wanted. Since we live in the middle of the desert and our backyard is dirt, our windows are always nasty. Having the squeegee will really help me keep them clean. As an added bonus, Little Man cleaned all the windows for me today. Wasn't that sweet? (We'll totally pretend like I didn't ask him and he volunteered all on his own, ok?)

We spent the afternoon at my mom's house. She put together a nice little bbq spread. MM handled the grill and we mostly just relaxed. My grandma, aunt and sister were also there. It was great spending time with them. Well, ok. If I'm being totally honest I mostly hid with my book. I couldn't help it! It was a really good book.

I'm kind of sad that the weekend is over already. We ran errands yesterday so I didn't get as much housework done as I'd have liked. We'll be busy running all week, so who knows when all of it will get done. I seem to be falling farther and farther behind! I hate that feeling.

Little Man has a baseball game tomorrow at 5:30 and MM has a softball game at 9. Unfortunately they're in two different towns, MM's about 40 minutes away. I'm kind of bummed, but I think I'm going to have to skip MM's. It's his first one, and I'd love to go watch, but we wouldn't get home until close to midnight and I just can't keep the kids out that late. Hopefully I won't have to miss the next one.

The rest of the week we'll be busy with baseball stuff and work. Sometimes I wonder how I managed to be a single working mom! I'm totally exhausted after just a couple weeks back to work, and that's with MM to help pick up the slack. I guess things will settle down more after baseball season, but in the meantime I doubt I'll be around much.

I hope all of you have a great week!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

A Note To My Husband

Dear MM:

The fact that you can say, in all seriousness, that we should go on a country-wide road trip a month after I have your "bebe" is just one of the many reasons I'm still on Birth Control. I just have two words for you:

Sixteen Stitches

Just sayin'.

Your Loving Wife,


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