Saturday, November 14, 2009

Moving in with Kermit

We have a swamp forming around our house. I noticed a spongy spot in the yard last week and pointed it out to DH who said "We'll keep an eye on it." NOT one of my favorite sayings but in the interest of family harmony I try to ignore it when I can. Last night the neighbors came over to show us what the small side yard between our two houses looks like and the dampness on our foundation. Today in the sunlight we see how swampy it is on the other side of the house too. Huge sigh.

A man from the water company came out, checked the meter and said "Nope, it's not here". Which I'm sure is what his job description entails but to quote my son's friend who was here all afternoon, "C'mon dude!" A little more helpful insight would have been appreciated.

This was while we were getting ready to hang Christmas lights outside since it was a warm, sunny day. DH discovers he has again misplaced a piece off the staple gun that fell off a few months ago. He found out and apparently it got lost again. So off to Ace he goes to buy a new one and I got online to check the town's website. I found a number to call for possible sewer emergencies so I call it and hear "Sheriff's Department" My tongue trips over itself as I start apologizing and tell her I had call the number listed on the website to call for sewer emergencies. She assures me it's ok and that she's working at "dispatch" and on the week-ends they get emergency town calls too. I explained I wasn't sure if we were an emergency or not and tell her what's going on. She put me on hold and then came back and said she had called someone from the sewer company to come out. Alrighty then!

A little bit later a kidlet brings me the phone outside and it's "sewer man". He said "I just got a call from the sheriff's department???" So I explained the number on the website to him too and we both agreed how strange it was. He comes by a little later and said he doesn't believe it's a backed up sewer since thankfully there's no awful smell. He said he thinks we have a leak and that all the pea gravel under our slab foundation has absorbed all the water it could so now it's spreading out. Then he says "It could be a pinpoint leak and been there since it was built." GREAAAAAAAAAAAAT! If we're lucky it's in a spot he pointed out on the side of the house. If it's under the house then I have horrifying images of jackhammers and flying concrete and linoleum through the kitchen in my head.

But how bad can it be to live in a swamp...really? Kermit did and look how well he's done for himself! I have kids, aren't they like fuzzy Muppets sometimes?! Then again, Kermit LEFT the swamp for Sesame Street.....can you tell me how to to get to Sesame Street????

Friday, November 6, 2009

Oops, two weeks?

Ok, I did pretty well there for about a week! Then the girls were in a car accident and this and that and I just didn't get around to blogging.
I'm going to skip over the car accident for now...both girls are ok but Samantha's car had over $2200 worth of damage done to it. Luckily it was someone else's fault and their insurance is paying for it!

One of the big stories of the week is the CELTIC THUNDER SHOW!!!!! Oh my gosh, it was so AWESOME! And yes I am talking as badly as, if not worse than, my 12 yo daughter! Even Mark is saying "I want to see them again!" Such a great show! And they ain't bad to look at either! LOL

We picked Katie up early at school so we could make the over 2.5 hour drive to South Bend (which is north of us which I just found funny and Katie found confusing!). Mark went in to get her and I snapped a shot as they were walking to the van. Notice the Celtic Thunder t-shirt Katie is wearing! I ordered that from their website for her birthday back in the spring. And you can see Mark lugging her very pink and very HEAVY book bag for her, such a good dad!

So we drive while listening to the three Celtic Thunder cd's on the iPod! The Morris Performing Arts Center (PAC) was basically right off the road we drove most of the way up there. We were on a divided highway and then right into the city. Easy directions, gotta love that! We got there around 4 pm. The show didn't start until 7:30 pm and they didn't allow anyone into the theater until 6:30 pm but we weren't sure about the drive, traffic, etc and I wanted to make sure I could get a picture of Katie with the marquee since cameras weren't allowed into the show. So I got THIS shot....
See tiny Katie there?
I take pictures and then we drive around to find a place to eat and park the minivan. A lot of one way streets in the area (as it seems to be in almost every downtown!) so we find ourselves coming up a side street behind the theater when I saw the Celtic Thunder semis at which point I'm excitedly telling Mark, who was NOT in the turn lane, "Turn down that way!!!!!" He managed to make the turn without angering any other drivers and we parked. The back of the Morris is up against a one way street, obviously we didn't know that or know how easily we'd be able to see the trucks AND the tour buses!

Somewhere on that bus is my future son-in-law! At least that's what Katie tells me!

We get back into the van (even though Mark tried to keep my door lock so I'd get hit by oncoming traffic! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!) and cut through the parking lot and I ran into the ticket office to ask about parking. The kind man there told me where a parking garage was and we found our way there. Right across the street from it (on the same one-way street as the back of the Morris) we saw an Irish pub called the Fiddler's Hearth. Katie was game to try it so off we went. She surprised us both and went for the Irish stew even though there was lamb in it...there was some discussion over being able to eat "tiny, cute little lamb" or not beforehand! I had a seafood stew called Molly Malone Stew and it was really good! Good food at reasonable prices and we were in the Irish atmosphere getting into "the zone"! We finished our early supper and still had over an hour until we could even get into the theater but the place was starting to fill up with others going to the concert so we gave up our table and walked down to the theater.
We walked around in the front a bit even though I wanted to go back by the buses. Katie kept worrying they'd call us stalkers if we went back there though. Mark finally said "Let's go back there and see if we see anyone." There was a group of three women back there who told us we had just missed Damian (my future SIL for those keeping track!) Then we saw Keith walk out of the building and into one of the buses, he waved but didn't come over to the portable fence thing set up. One of the guys with the tour said they normally don't come out as a group because people pay big money through the PBS stations for the meet and greets and the organization doesn't want to upset those people. He also said though "What they do on their own though is out of anyone's control." So we were just standing there chatting with him and other fans when Ryan comes walking out. We all assumed he was going straight to the bus but he looked over and said "Hey there" and started walking towards us. Ok, I'll admit it, I freaked out! Ryan is the one who plays the "bad boy" in the show but he was so friendly to everyone. All I had to give Katie to hand him for an autograph was our dinner reciept. He laughed and said "I'm signing a receipt?!" in that gorgeous Irish accent! I said "I didn't know you were going to come out here!!!" So he laughed again and then let Mark take a picture of him with me and Katie.

Katie and I were saying to each other "He touched my shoulder!" We were such girls and Mark was such a good sport about it all! We also got to see George and his wife but they didn't come over to the fence.
We finally got to our seats (I'll skip over the crowd getting into the place and at the merchandise table). We were in the balcony and we had warned Katie that it wouldn't be like watching the DVDs. She said "Mom, these are good seats, they won't look too small at all!" LOL She kept thanking us over and over throughout that night! They made the final announcements and the lights dimmed. The show opens with Heartland which has a strong drum beginning. Katie grabbed my hand and I thought she was going to break my knuckles she was squeezing so hard! Once Damian came on stage she let go of my hand, let out a sigh and was riveted to the stage! They sang for about two hours and it all went by way too fast. If you've ever enjoyed watching one of their two DVDs seeing them in person is about a million times better!
After the show we walked back behind the building on the way to the garage. We saw Keith again who this time came over to the fence but my camera was in the van since it couldn't go inside and the camera phone didn't take a good picture in the dark so we didn't get one with him. No one else came out for awhile and it was getting late and we had a long drive ahead of us so we left. I wish Katie would have gotten to see Damian up close but it didn't work out that way. She kept thanking us again and then asked "Can we do it again sometime?" They're supposed to have another U.S. tour next fall so I hope we can take her again!
But I've been typing for awhile now and I'm getting tired so there's your short update!