This started off as a semi-decent day, in spite of Daylight Savings time. I got up around 6, as did the bambino, so (bad mom that I am sometimes), I parked him in front of some Tom & Jerry as I took a shower. When I was done, my plan was to make up some sausage biscuits and have them ready in time so I could watch Meet the Press before we headed down to Inwood. Before I started the biscuits, I unloaded the dishwasher and when I was done with that, I took out the trash. Our dumpster is right by our back door, and as soon as I opened the door, I noticed that sitting on top was the stack of CDs that we keep in the pocket right underneath the CD player in our car. On top of the CDs was the face-plate to the CD player. And because SoDak has recently become a rainforest, everything was soaked. So I went running upstairs to wake up Jay, who went to check and make sure nothing else had been taken, and I called the cops. One came by about 10 minutes later, and said that most likely, it was punk high school or college kids, and ours was the 5th call he’d responded to this morning. Stupidly, we haven’t been locking our car doors–False sense of security and all, and you don’t necessarily expect that someone will trespass on your property and into a building on your property, unlocked car doors or not. Luckily, nothing had been taken, and whoever had rifled through our things was likely sending us a message. Punk asses. In a way, I’m glad that we weren’t the only ones it happened to, but at the same time, I’m almost afraid that if these kids come back and find our doors locked, they’ll smash a window or something. But hopefully it doesn’t happen again, and this will be the kick in the butt we need to get the garage door fixed.

In spite of that, we had a nice visit with Jay’s grandmother and other relatives down in Inwood. The bambino took a liking to his cousin Rachel, and his great-uncle, and in spite of only getting about a 45-minute nap, was charming and showing off a little for everyone. All in all, it was a nice day, although I’m glad to be back home.


On January 13th, we happened to swing through the grocery store to pick up a couple things. Right in front of the produce area was a guy selling subscriptions to the Argus Leader, Sioux Falls’ main paper. They had a deal on Wednesday & Sunday delivery for $10/month. I like newspapers, and I miss reading the Sunday paper. Plus, since we’re supposed to be on a budget and all, the coupons in the Sunday paper would be most helpful. So I signed up. It helped that in return for my subscription, I received $15 in Hy-Vee gift cards. The problem is that I have yet to see an Argus Leader, either on Wednesday or Sunday. I really doubt that anyone is stealing our papers…Our area of Brookings might be the northern/older/less-desirable section of town, but it’s quiet. And we’re right across the block from a church. No, I think the problem is with whoever the chuckleheaded delivery person happens to be for our neighborhood. I have called the customer service department three times now. This last time, I called just to cancel the subscription altogether, because even though they keep giving me credit for all the papers I’ve missed, it’s stupid for me to have to keep calling about it. However, the guy I talked to offered to give me another 2 weeks free if I would just give it one more chance. Supposedly he talked to his supervisor, who was supposed to contact the manager of the delivery area, but I don’t know if that happened or not. The woman with whom I spoke last week said the same thing, and it looked like nothing had been done. But, not surprisingly, I checked this morning, and I still have yet to see an Argus. I’ll give them the 2 weeks, then I will call to cancel and won’t get suckered into giving them any more chances.

Jay & I decided this afternoon to do something that will shock anyone who knows me even remotely well. We’re going to attempt a vegetable garden this summer. Yes, I know that I don’t eat vegetables, other than a select few. I know that I hate Nature and the not-so-great-Outdoors. I’m not fond of bugs, dirt, heat, or sunlight. But I’m going to try and grow food. I’m actually kind of excited about it. We went & bought seeds for tomatoes, carrots, radishes, zucchini, peppers, lettuce, cilantro, oregano, parsley, marjoram, and pumpkins. We’ll see how it all works out. I should probably get a bunch of books on gardening, seeing as I know virtually NOTHING about it! And we already figure that this first year will be more of a learning experience than anything else, so we’re not exactly having high expectations for any decent yield.

I need to budget my time on weekends when I don’t work Saturdays a lot better. I went grocery shopping yesterday, and that was pretty much it. Today, I’ve baked cookies, made breakfast, made dinner, did all the laundry, including the bambino’s bedding, remade the bambino’s bed after his sheets & blanket were clean, hand-washed I don’t know how many dishes, made homemade hot fudge sauce, popped out to the store, and at the moment, I have bread rising for the second time. I think in large part, I’ve made myself so busy in order to exhaust myself, because I haven’t gotten a decent night’s sleep since Wednesday night. But I’ve also kind of screwed myself because I won’t be getting into bed to try & fall asleep until probably 10:30, if not later. Oh well.

I need to work on tweaking the settings on my new camera. That’s using the cloudy setting with flash. Apparently, SoDak really is this dark & depressing. I’m really trying not to let SAD get the better of me today, but the faster the snow falls, the faster my mood falls. 3 more inches between now & tomorrow, then semi-blizzard conditions kick in. I’ve heard from more than one person around town that this winter has been particularly harsh, and not because the snowfall’s been all that unusual or anything…There hasn’t been nearly as much of a break as far as the really frigid temps, or the frequency of snow. This winter (with the exception of a couple of freakish days in early October), the snow held off until December. But it’s basically been falling a couple inches at a time (or more, in some cases)  once or twice a week since probably December 15th. And off-hand, there was a string of maybe 3 or 4 days last month where there was sun, and things started to melt. Then the temp dropped again, and the snow started up. I keep thinking about a passage from one of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books (and I can’t remember which one exactly, but I think it’s Little Town on the Prairie), where she’s taken a teaching job somewhere outside of De Smet, and she has to live with the superintendent or some other school official. She wakes up one night to witness the man’s wife holding him at knifepoint, and she’s telling him she wants to move back East. I’m beginning to understand exactly why that woman cracked.

Although we have a self-imposed ban on any spending other than food, bills, or other necessities, we did venture out to lunch this afternoon, and we’re going out for dinner tomorrow night. We took the bambino to Nick’s again, although this time he was more interested in spinning around on the stool than he was in his cheeseburger. No matter. He’s a Brookings native, so most likely, if he ever moves away, Nick’s will be one of the places he’ll need to stop when he comes home to visit…Not unlike my need for Skyline & LaRosa’s whenever I’m in Cincinnati.

I got the grocery shopping done…I kind of figured that if I can’t spend money on things other than food or bills these days, I might as well go back to buying more expensive and organic food. I’m trying to decide if I want to make Pasta Filetto di Pomodoro (from the Rao’s cookbook), or if I want to attempt Tubetti Cacio e Uova. I did buy pancetta this morning, with the specific intent of using it for the Pasta Filetto di Pomodoro, but we’ve eaten a LOT of red meat in the past couple of days (and I know neither Jay or the bambino would find anything wrong with that), so a simple yet filling meatless dish might be nice. We’ll see though. I was thinking I need to make some Hot Fudge Brownie Pudding (which is what it’s called in my mom’s old-school Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, although in my not-as-old-school BHG cookbook, it’s called Brownie Pudding Cake, and online, it’s been given yet another new name), since I have this need to use my still-new dessert bowls and I did buy some organic vanilla ice cream as well this morning. I also need to bake bread sometime this weekend, although if that doesn’t get done before tonight’s dinner, that’s okay. Our dinner reservations aren’t until 5 tomorrow night, so I have plenty of time, even if it goes into the oven after the bambino goes to bed.

I was all excited to get “Homicide” delivered today, as well as my new bakeware. Because I wash before I use (be it new clothes, or new dishes/cookware), I did the dishes before I started on dinner (I also got some dessert bowls, as my regular cereal bowls are a bit large, and I hate using my mugs whenever we have ice cream or something else that should be served in a bowl). The kitchen sink has had a slow cloggy drain for awhile, and I’ve used 4 bottles of Draino/Liquid Plumber in it over the past month or so. I really should learn to save my receipts so I can get my money back, because none of it worked. I tried using the plunger, but that only sort of worked. Jay, gods love him, attempted to at least clean the trap, but he ended up making a mess of my kitchen and breaking a piece of the pipe. And of course, the replacement we went out & got from Lowe’s didn’t exactly fit, so now we’ve got a spare garbage can under the pipes , and we can’t use the sink until we can get a plumber out here to take a look. I called one place (because I know one of the plumbers, and because my in-laws have used them before), but some old hag told me that no one could come out until Monday, and that boy, if no one could get home before 5, well, that just wouldn’t do, my gosh, they could, y’know, be there for an awful long time. I got pissed, snapped that I’d call back & hung up the phone. Eff that. I should’ve hung up when she asked me if I’d just noticed this evening that the sink was broken. Yes, Ancient Crone. I did a load of dishes, and only then realized that my husband was attempting to unclog the drain and couldn’t get the pipes hooked back up correctly. B*tch. I think the next time I see Bill, the plumber I know from the company in question, I might mention that he lost out on some cash money because of that. I have a stinky, clogged kitchen sink, and I’d damn well better not have to wait until Monday to get it fixed. I’m going to take my chances and call the company that my boss called when his furnace died last month–They also do plumbing, so I’m REALLY hoping that if he got them out for furnace repair on a Saturday, maybe I can get a plumber out here. If not, I will be highly peeved, because I’ll be damned if I try doing dishes in the sink or bathtub this weekend! It’s just highly frustrating, because between this, my trip to the ER last month (which was the coldest night of 2010 so far, as well as the same night our furnace crapped out), the fact that Junior’s got a door that can’t be opened from the outside as well as a busted headlight, and we have a garage door that can’t be shut…I think I hate life. Guess it’s a good thing that despite the fact that I took yesterday afternoon off, I’m still going to end up with some OT. Looks like we’re gonna need it!