Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Most Annoying Toy Ever

As any parent, babysitter, relative or person who has walked through a store with toys knows, baby and toddler toys can be very annoying.  The battery powered ones are loud and feature voices and songs that spout out annoying phrases and excerpts from classical music and nursery songs.  Some of the favorites around here are a Baby Einstein "iPod", a toy remote control that sings "I've got a remote and I'm ready to roll, making things happen 'cause I'm in control!" and a toy barn that makes animal noises and sings "Old MacDonald".  These are all pretty irritating but we are so used to them that they don't really bother us anymore.  They entertainment and distraction is worth listening to the sounds. 

Well, move over iPod, barn and remote because I went and lost my mind and bought this thing at a rummage sale last week...

It looks fun enough.  If you can't tell it is a Sesame Street themed vacuum.  Ben ran right over to it at the rummage sale and started pushing it around their driveway.  He likes to play with the Swiffer and also with our old toy vacuum from the 80's that my mom unearthed at the farm so I thought it would be a good purchase. 
This thing is really loud and gets on the nerves in no time.  It has Sesame Street voices.  First Big Bird say tells Cookie Monster or Elmo that they missed a spot then whichever character is facing forward answers and then the vacuum starts.  It is loud enough to drown out the TV and it sounds like a blender shredding ice or a food processer chopping nuts.  Oh well, it doesn't sound much more annoying than the voices of the women on the various "Real Housewives" shows that I watch and it actually sounds better than the women on "Dance Moms".  The mom at the rummage sale warned me that it was annoying.  It turns off but Ben just turns it back on. 
He also recently started trying to climb over the baby gate.   

I hope this thing can hold up to this sort of use.  It is the cheapest one you can get, after all.  Also, if he starts getting around baby gates we are in trouble. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Garden Thief

When we returned from Texas last weekend we discovered that the tomato plants at our garden had grown out of control even though we thought we were on top of it this year.  Those two monster trees on the right had tipped over and pulled their cages with them. Justin made these fences for them and they better shape up now!  I'm really glad we only planted four plants this year.  There are alot of tomatoes on them.  The one on the right is a cherry tomato plant, the two in the middle are large "beef" variety tomatoes and the one on the left is a grape tomato plant with yellow tomatoes.  

Ben has been pretty good while we work on the garden.  We usually leave him the vehicle (with AC on of course) until he gets mad and then we let him out.  Of course, he tries to run through other people's plots and all that but he rally likes to sit at the picnic tables which is really funny.  He just climbs up there and hangs out.  Here, if you can see it, he is playing with some dandelion stems.  I think he eventually ate them.  It is probably the only thing he ate that day!  His eating has been pretty nonexistent this week and we discovered that he has a front bottom tooth (the fourth) and also several molars coming in at the same time.  the canines are not popping up yet though!  Hopefully this is the cause of his...well...I can't say LOSS of appetite because he never had one to begin with...
I went to the garden to water yesterday afternoon and was really pissed off to discover that there were three onions pulled from the ground.  Someone had stolen them and broke the tops off and left them laying there.  REALLY JERKS?  Yeah, it's just some stupid undersized onions but why does someone have to do that?  And if they were going to steal anything why didn't they take some blasted zucchini instead?  At first the compassionate side of me thought, "maybe they can't afford food".  Then I realized that is crap.  Onions are not a food that you eat whole to fill yourself with sustenance.  They are an extra used for flavor (or onion rings).   If I were stealing food I would be ashamed and grab what I needed and then take off and not stand there taking care to remove the leaves from the top and neatly leave them laying there for everyone to see. 
I am still pretty offended by this, mostly because I'm worried it will keep happening and there is no way to stop it.  It's not about saving money by not buying those items in the store for us.  It is more about the time we spend taking care of it so we can enjoy what we've grown.  It never happened last year but our plot is on the edge so a person would come upon it right away and it is well weeded so it is easy to see what we have.  Possibly someone thought that "Community Gardens" meant that the community can help themselves which is wrong.  There is a large "Hunger Free" garden on the premises which is for everyone to share but that one is clearly marked with signs and fencing.  So, I hope whoever did this really enjoys those onions.  A-holes. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Inevitable Royal Baby Post

Oh yeaahhhh...I love pop culture and news and when the two things are combined it usually means I am interested in whatever is going on!  I have been really interested in when this Royal Baby will be born, even though I am not British.  I was pretty interested in the wedding back in 2011, and was wondering when they would have a baby.  Part of it, I think, has to do with how Will and Kate are close to my age and I have a baby and am in the baby/pregnancy/maternity clothes stage of life and it is fun to share it with them.  It is just like my parents who went through those years at the same time as Charles and Diana.  Ahh, Diana, she will always be a fascinating person to me and a modern royal person to look up to although, after seeing some footage of her as a young pregnant woman and mother that she had some BAD dresses.  There is a famous scene where the family is sitting on a blanket for a photo shoot in a park and...uggghhhh...

Here it is.  Gaggety gag gag.  I know for sure that my mother never wore a dress that bad in the early 80s.  What is worse is remembering that she was twenty one years old in this picture and wearing that monster.  Yikes.  But I forgive her.  I do believe that William and Harry turned out pretty good and I think she was responsible for it. 

Back to the present day and the newest royal baby.  Since the big news of the pregnancy was revealed I have read with interest any articles about the pregnancy, Kate's maternity fashions, and name and gender speculation.  At the end of June Kate made her last public appearance before the final weeks.  Then I started really wondering. The world was waiting as the various rumored due dates came and went.  I have a CNN app on my phone that has alerts for headlines and every one that popped up was a disappointment.  Then, when I woke up on the 22nd it was there...the princess was in labor! 

I was kind of thinking it was a girl for some reason.  Maybe it was just wishful thinking since there will be two kings before this baby rules and it would be nice to have a future queen.  However, some reporter pointed out that it will probably be sixty or seventy years before this baby takes the throne so hopefully I will even see the day! 

I coincidentally turned on the TV yesterday just as they were saying the baby boy would make his debut in minutes!  I had just put Ben in his crib for his nap so it was perfect timing.  I don't need to put a picture on here because everyone has seen it.  They looked happy and protective and Kate looked radiant.  Having given birth I knew how she was really feeling and that she was probably wearing the free mesh underwear from the hospital under that very pretty dress (it looked like a maternity dress and I want it!) but who wants to think about stuff like that?  I really wanted a better look but I could see that they just probably wanted to get it over with.  I saw a reverse shot of that scene this morning and there were actual grandstands filled to the top with reporters and cameras in front of them.  Who would want their poor little one day old baby in front of that?  Also, I know William is not a fan of the media after his mother was killed in a high speed chase with people trying to film her.  What we could see was so cute though!  When I saw his little hands poking out of the blanket I almost squealed!  I can't wait for when they release some fancy official portraits to placate everyone.

Then there is the car seat controversy.  I searched for the picture and it is all over the internet...they didn't actually strap the baby in the seat which is like child endangerment in the eyes of many.  I am not that dramatic about it but I had to wonder why they just didn't do it the right way. The talk has been all about how they are going to be normal parents and that is what all normal parents have to deal with day in and day out for years after having kids. I know nothing was going to happen as they were escorted by a huge security force but jeez...what is going on with that strap?  I guess they can do whatever they want and maybe they just wanted to make a quick exit.  The word is that they have a Britax seat...ugh and we have a frumpy old Graco!  I suddenly really want a Britax...Haha...

Royal baby car seat safety

Speaking of being normal and modern parents, the talk all over TV and online is about how they said they wanted to spend the early weeks taking care of the baby themselves and didn't want to be surrounded by an entourage of nannies and how Kate grew up with her mother around when she returned from school and everyone keeps asking "will they have a nanny?"  Jeez, of COURSE they are going to have a nanny.  And that is fine.  All normal and modern parents wish they had a nanny.  I wish Ben had one!  Having a nanny doesn't have to mean that parents never see their kids or do anything for them!  Maybe it would be nice to have a few hours a day where you could go shopping at Target (this is my life I am referring to, not the life of royalty) without a sixteen month old trying to jump out of the cart the whole time.  Having a nanny sounds normal to me and I don't know who would even speculate.  They are going to have help.  Obviously they will!  They are royalty!  I think they seem like really involved parents who will take care of this baby and whoever comes next, with or without childcare.  They have important things to do, like when Kate smashes bottles of champagne on new ships before their first voyage. 

Now all that is left is to hear the official name (or names, since there will be at least four of them!) The suspense is kind of fun even though I don't know why it has to be kept quiet...what difference does it make anyway?

Monday, July 22, 2013

OK/TX Trip

You are about to see what everyone always loves to see...other people's vacation photos!  I have been absent for the last week because I was with Justin in Oklahoma and Texas from Wednesday through Saturday.  I arrived in Oklahoma City around 10 p.m. on Wednesday and we drove to Dallas the next afternoon. 

We saw the memorial where the Oklahoma City bombing took place.  It is very nice, I think.  It is hard to imagine the wreckage that was there when the bombing happened in 1995. 

There is a chair for each person who died.  The glass has their name etched on it and at night I guess they light up.  That chair that looks smaller in the middle really is smaller.  The small chairs represent kids who died in the bombing.  The lawn was interesting.  It was like a golf course green as opposed to regular grass.  It was like soft carpet

We drove south to Dallas that afternoon, stopping in Norman, OK, for lunch near the University of Oklahoma campus.  Now that would be one fun place to be young and a student and of a legal drinking age.  There were so many fun places to eat and shop (and drink) in the crowded neighborhoods around the campus.  It made me feel like a student again, except thirty years old, pregnant...yeah never mind. 

We stopped at good old Frisco, that distant Dallas suburb that used to mean nothing to so many North Dakotans and now means something special after the last two years!  The nice but undersized stadium was set up for it's usual purpose of soccer and there was nothing happening there on a Thursday afternoon. 

It is more festive during that first weekend in January, that is for sure! 
On Saturday we toured the Dallas Cowboys' stadium.  I am not very educated about stadiums and I knew this was a nice one but I didn't realize how new it was and how excessive.  The tour guide said that the former stadium could fit inside this one 2.5 times of something like that.  It's huge. 

The whole endzone was advertising space owned by Ford!  You can't see it very well but there were Fords suspended on the beams on either side! 
TIMEOUT!  The royal baby's birth was just announced! It's a boy!  The news says it happened at 4.24 pm and I know England is five or six hours ahead of us so who knows when this really happened but yayyyyyy I have been waiting for this all month!  I have to finish this post so I can stare at CNN for the rest of the afternoon waiting for minute details!
So anyway, that night we went to a Texas Rangers baseball game.  If you have never been to Arlington, the suburb where these stadiums are located, you should know that these two stadiums and also a Six Flags park are all within sight of each other.  Our hotel was right across the street from the Cowboys Stadium.  There was a trolley that picks up guests at various hotels and runs a loop to these attractions.  We took it to the game and walked home because it was so chaotic and we didn't know when it would show up or if we would even fit on it. 

You can see right in the center is an advertisement for Ozarka bottled water, which is the choice brand around there.  I hate to be negative about a vacation but I was so ready to get back home so I could drink a damn glass of water cold from the tap with my own water bottle without having to pay for a bottle.  This is America and I thought water was supposed to be accessible here.  It was hot and everywhere we went they price gouged water.  It only cost $5.00 for a small bottle at the cowboys stadium and $4.50 at the baseball game!  Of course they check your bags so you can't bring your own refillable bottle and drinking fountains are a rare find.  We went to an outlet mall and no one checked my purse for smuggled water but it was not reasonable to buy there either.  I understand that everyone wants to make money but there should be a line somewhere.  Buying a necessity like water would cost more than a ticket for a average family at these places!  So I was really thirsty for most of the trip.  I'll pass, Ozarka, and spend my $5.00 on something that isn't free from a faucet. 

Check out these two foot long hot dogs at the baseball game!  We didn't have one...I chose ice cream served in a mini helmet and diet Dr. Pepper for my overpriced refreshments and Justin had a few Bud Lights for his.  Even though the water situation is annoying it is nice because Dr. Pepper and Diet Dr. Pepper is served everywhere.  Coke and Pepsi are good but Dr. Pepper is a special fountain treat!

Justin took some action shots with our zoom lens at the game.  We had pretty good seats so it was easy to get some good pictures.  We were near third base so there were several foul balls sent our direction.  None in the right spot though!
When we returned to the airport in Grand Forks Ben came running into our arms because he missed us so much.  Just kidding!  Justin's mom set him on the ground and he turned and ran right to the escalators, which he wanted to play with really bad.  When we tried to hold him he squirmed and planked and tried to get away so he could go back to the escalators.  I didn't expect much else I guess! 

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Ben has decided that he is really interested in balls (yeah, yeah, save the jokes, I still have those childish thoughts too!)  He loves to point to a page in one of his books that has pictures of them and he says "ball" when he sees one.  We went swimming last Wednesday night and these sisters were playing with a beach ball and he wanted in.  They were, of course, oblivious and I didn't except them to share but I realized that he should have a ball of his own in addition to the baby sized ones he already has.  A few days ago Ben and I had a lovely evening trip to Walmart, if you can ever refer to a trip to Walmart as lovely, and I was looking at the clearance swimming aisle which has been banished to the back of the store in favor of back to school merchandise and he suddenly said "ball! ball!".  To my right was one of those huge cages of cheap rubber balls.  I couldn't say no to a $2.00 ball and picked a fun yellow one for him.  We could barely finish the shopping because he kept trying to climb in the back of the cart to get it. 

I let him hold it on the way home even though that probably violates some car seat rule because everything violates a car seat rule.  He was squealing and talking the whole time.  It was nighttime snack time when we got home but he would barely take a bite of yogurt because he wanted to play with that ball. 

This ball is his new beloved and I love it too.  It is entertaining, light enough to not damage anything in the house or hurt anyone and if anything happens to it we can easily get another one.  It's so cute seeing the little guy starting to take interest in certain things like cars and tractors and balls and kittens!

And also he has taken an interest in breaking into my car...

I made my first zucchini based baked good (and probably not my last based on the quantity of zucchini we have) of the season and actually of my life besides some bread I tried to make two years ago but it ended up being like a brick.  I made this cake I saw on Pinterest. 


I took a picture of my cake but food pictures never look that good.  No one needs to see a white frosted cake in a standard baking pan.  I usually am intimidated by recipes like this because it has several weird ingredients (Applesauce?  Greek yogurt?) but I was tempted by that frosting so I went for it.  It is so good and having success with this cake makes me feel like I could hold my own among the church ladies of my youth.  Actually, I think I could stand out among them!  As long as they cut the perfectly partitioned pieces of cake...I am not too good at dividing up a pan!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Who Wants Some?!

Sometimes I think I might be the only one but I really like eating zucchini or summer squash or whatever you want to call it.  I even, believe it or not, purchase it at the grocery store throughout the year.  So of course there was no question it was going in our garden.  Previously, we planted it in the shady spot in the back yard and only got a few zucchini each week for a few weeks toward the end of summer.  I knew that this was not typical based on my experience with our garden when I was a child.  Although it has been almost twenty years since my mom planted a vegetable garden I recall that they grew faster than we could pick them and some ended up being huge.  They grow to be the size of a baby if you let them and as they get bigger they get less appealing to eat.  They don't taste as good and the seeds get large.  My sister and I would sell those monsters to my grandma and her neighbor for a quarter and they humored us, the kind ladies that they are. 

Everyone knows that zucchini produce unlike most other common garden vegetables.  Or is it actually a fruit?  I think the standard is that if you can see the seeds it is a fruit (such as pumpkins, tomatoes, etc.) and if not it is a vegetable (carrots, spinach, celery, etc.)  I don't know!  If you research how to grow it every article generally says that any fool can grow it because it doesn't need anything special besides water and sun.  We planted four plants this year and several people said something along the lines of "two would have been plenty!"  After our years of growing it in the shade and forgetting the nature of this plant I realized that they are probably right. 

This is from one week of picking.  There are also two in the crisper drawer and Justin gave away two to a co-worker.  And we ate one.  Oh, and we gave one to my mom.  Holy crap.  One week.  I have found a zucchini cake recipe that I will be trying this weekend.  That big monster on the left will be the first to be shredded into the batter.  I am thinking that it would be fun to do an experiment and let one stay on the vine to see how large it will grow. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Big, Relieving News

After a few weeks of uncertainty and wondering if we would indeed find a house we made an offer on a property that was accepted last night.  It was a "for sale by owner" and the owners were willing to work with our realtor.  Justin heard about it from a classmate and it is possible that the connection gave us an edge because there had been other offers previously and another was made yesterday along with ours.  It seemed like a long shot but we just thought that if it was meant to be it would be and now it has come to pass!  The listing in the classifieds has had almost 900 views as of this morning (and yes, 100 of them are probably from me and Justin but still...) so I feel like it really is the one for us, just like our current house was meant for us too. 

Here are the pictures from the listing...I don't know how long they will stay up but they should at least be on there for a few more days at least.  I think listing on Bismanonline is free so most people just let their ads expire.  Actually, I know it is free because Justin tried to sell his 300 pound TV on there a few years ago with no success.  No one wants that crap! 


So the details are that it has three bedrooms upstairs, one downstairs, three bathrooms (eeeeeh!)  including a master bathroom (Whaaaaaat?) with double sinks (!!!!!!!!!!).  A drawback is that it is a "tuck under" style, which means that the garage is under the house so you have to walk up from the basement when you enter from the garage.  This is a common style in this city and probably many cities with hills.  Also, the backyard is pretty small because most of it is a steep hill with some terraces and retaining walls.  It is very pretty but is not an ideal kid yard.  There is a small flat area and a very nice deck though, so it is not so bad.  It is on a cul de sac so it will be safer for Ben and his future sibling to play in the driveway and front yard which isn't safe on the street we live on now.  It is only about ten blocks from where we live now which makes me happy because I like this neighborhood.  It will still be a close drive to the places Ben and I like to visit and it won't be a longer drive for Justin to get to work. 

Now I have to process all of this and come to terms with having to say goodbye to our current house and get used to the idea this new place is going to be ours!  It will be a time of mixed emotions for sure. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

"Every Heart Rings True..."

"...For the red, white and blue..."  That is from the song "You're A Grand Old Flag".  I thought it was a John Phillip Sousa march but when I looked it up I learned it is by George M. Cohan.  We sang it in choir when I was a teenager and, although it is not trendy or new, it is one catchy tune.  The sight of 4th of July flags always makes me think of it, including the little flags my mom placed in her flower pots for the weekend. 


I was so pleased with myself for finding Ben an Old Navy flag shirt, that annual tradition, at a rummage sale for fifty cents.  I should have just bought a new one since they cost $5.00 (maybe less for the small sizes) but oh well.  I don't think anyone noticed that it was from 2011! 
Ben got to watch the parade with his cousins Dylan and Blake.  Those two gathered a lot of candy.  Usually the spot that we sit is at the end of the parade but it was reversed this year for some reason.  Let me tell you, there is some good candy and other parade novelties at the beginning of the parade!  I didn't know what we were missing! 

This is the only picture I took of the actual parade.  My pregnant self can't be away from a bathroom for more than ten minutes it seems like so I had to run to a bathroom in the middle of it.  Ben loved the parade.  He just stared the whole time at the fire trucks and tractors and horses. 
That afternoon everyone else went to the demolition derby except me, since we didn't have anyone to watch Ben.  People bring kids and we always went as kids but usually kids of diaper age are kept away.  It is hot, loud and there are no good places to nap or change diapers.  That was no fun for me but we had a teenage babysitter for the street dance the night of the 3rd and on the 5th I spent the afternoon at Golden Lake (Ben free) with friends from high school (who were pregnant or had babies themselves) which was more fun for a pregnant person like myself so I can't feel too bad for myself. 
I am not a pregnancy documentarian who takes pictures weekly but I made sure to get the twenty week photo for posterity and for comparison purposes.  I will have to unearth the previous twenty week photo to see how much bigger I look.  Those are non-maternity shorts I am squeezing into there, purchased last spring after I had Ben and didn't fit into my normal ones yet.  They are getting some abuse these last few weeks because I don't want to give them up!  Stay strong, button!

We did some fireworks the night of the fourth before all the people who had to work on Friday left.  The surrounding country was like operation desert storm that night with blasts and explosions heard all around.  It was a tough night for dogs!  My sister's large and fearless dog shoved his way into the house and tried to follow her into the bathroom!  I always say that our dogs who have passed on and are buried around the farm, who all had issues with fireworks, turn over in their graves and die again of fear on the fourth. 

Ben wore his jammies for the show, complete with sandals over the feet!  Enjoy it while you can Ben!  This look will not fly as you get older!

Jakey, oblivious to the fireworks that are about to explode nearby.

Ben was able to enjoy some swimming during the rest of the weekend at the pool where I used to work!  He loved that purple ball.  He would stumble around holding it. And he would stumble around not holding it.  Actually, all he did was stumble around.  I hardly let go of  his had except to take this picture so I could catch him as soon as he submerged.  My mom's friend was their with her daughter one afternoon and bought him an orange ice cream push up (which I ate most of) and he was a sticky mess.  It was a fun time.   

He really has taken an interest in tractors and trucks and things that he can push.  He swiped this one out of my brother's room right when we arrived and played with it all weekend. 
He has also turned into an outside monster.  He has always enjoyed being outside but over the weekend he got to go out first thing in the morning and he had larger area to enjoy safely.  I am afraid I won't be able to satisfy him here anymore! 

This playhouse was a hand me down from Justin's cousin.  We have had it for awhile but decided to set it up at the farm because Justin didn't want it killing the grass. 

Having fun in his little house!  He immediately figured out how to climb the table and also into the sink.  So I guess it is more of a climbing apparatus than a place to play imaginative games.  At least for now! 

We brought his swing too, since we don't have a good tree for it and only can use it in our garage.  He and the puppy love each other!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Backyard Pool Party

As you all probably know, it was a fabulous weekend of perfect summertime weather.  We stayed around here since we are going to be gone for the 4th of July and we had some things to do to get the house ready to sell.  Justin painted the garage door and touched up some other peeling paint on the garage and we took care of our garden.  Yesterday afternoon I had the urge for some water recreation.  I have been wanting to bring Ben to the pool near our house but it costs three dollars per person if you don't have a season pass so it would have been nine dollars for us to go and I didn't want to pay unless we knew Ben would have fun for more than ten minutes.  He has been swimming but only in deeper water with someone holding him or pulling him around in a floating toy.   Instead we went to Walmart and bought a cheap inflatable pool and invited the neighbors over to enjoy the sun.  I think everyone has learned from experience that hose water is icy cold and does not heat up as fast as you want it to in these situations so Justin fed the hose through a basement window and attached it to the utility sink so we could fill the pool with warm water and use it right away. 

Of course he liked it.  He loves baths and he loves anything involving being outside so how could a bath outside be anything but great?

First he just sat in it and splashed, fascinated by the fact that he was in water outside.  Then he realized it was fun to hurdle over the side of the pool and back in again repeatedly.  Then he started finding debris from around the yard to throw in the pool (mainly landscaping rocks, his beloved!)

He had a great afternoon.  After he was bored with swimming he got to play with our other neighbor's' dogs.  Then we went out to eat and he was so exhausted that he passed out an hour before his normal bed time.  Ahhh...lovely...And I don't doubt that the public pool would be a waste of money anymore.  It has some fun water features above and beyond the old fashioned "baby pools" that we grew up with like mushrooms that shower water and geysers. Also, Wednesday nights are $1 nights so maybe that will be our new routine after the 4th. 
I have to point out that Ben does indeed have sunglasses and various hats and he will not in any situation leave them on his head.  I keep meaning to order these sunglasses that look like goggles for him.  They have a strap that looks like it would be hard to just pull off.  This situation drives me crazy because I am a sun protection fiend when it comes to my own skin and don't leave the house without sunblock on my face, hands, forearms and any exposed skin.  I have bottles of sunscreen in my car, in my purse, in my gym bag and in Ben's diaper bag and I always am wearing sunglasses even when I go outside for a quick moment.  It drives me crazy seeing him squint after throwing his glasses aside!  I know he is sensitive to it because he sneezes after walking from a building into bright sunlight like I do sometimes. 
We made an exciting discovery in the garden...zucchini forming on the vine!  This picture was taken on Saturday so I need to get there today to pick some!  In the past we have had zucchini in our shaded garden in the back yard and they never produced until August.  The sun makes a huge difference.  
There are also tomatoes and even a pepper forming that should be ready soon.  After my tomato gluttony last year I am ready to eat them again! 
I don't know if I will have a chance to be on here until after the 4th of July.  Although I am worried about missing out on any new houses that might come on the market I am excited to get out of town and do all the fun 4th of July activities that I look forward to like reuniting with old classmates and friends at the street dance and just hanging out and grilling and doing fireworks at the farm with my siblings and cousins.  It is so boring around here now that the chaos of selling the house has passed.  Even TV is horrible.  I have pretty low TV standards and can usually find some trash to entertain myself or have as background noise when Ben is sleeping and I am doing boring crap around the house but even I can't find anything to watch.  Even the news is boring.  Good think I have Pandora radio.  Get here fast 4th of July.