Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And oh yeah...

Happy New Year, Everyone!

May 2009 bring you a year of good health and happiness.

And after I went and offended Jesus...

MM had a big meeting today at work. The gist of which was,
We don't want to fire you all and leave you starving and homeless, selling drugs and sex to get by, but if we have to we promise you'll be the first people we hire back. Or, at the very least, when those of us in charge are working diligently to drum up more business (or, ahem, having our wild and crazy company parties), we'll totally get all our prostitutes and cocaine from you instead of that Houston street gang that we usually score our dope and ho's from.
They may not have actually said anything about selling sex or drugs, but hey, I can read between the lines.

So after I went and offended the Catholics, some random cross bearing stranger, and probably Jesus, MM's employer delivered a thinly veiled threat. Coincidence? I think not.

We are so very screwed.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hobos for Christ and Fast Food Religion

So M2 and I are driving down the road, heading for dinner, and walking down the sidewalk are these two guys. And as we pass them, we realize one is carrying a cross. A giant, wooden cross. On his back. Like some sort of giant Jesus hobo stick. And he's just smiling and chatting away to his buddy, like he's carrying a backpack or something, no big deal, just walkin' down the road, carrying a six foot tall cross.

All I could think was, who does this? Where was he going? Did he make it at home and need to deliver it somewhere? Does he run some sort of crucifix delivery program? Door to door giant wooden cross salesman? It was an unusually warm day out, did he think he'd get some exercise, enjoy the sun, take the cross for a walk? Maybe he was starting a mobile church? He didn't seem like he was trying to accomplish anything with it, other than maybe transporting it from one area to another. He certainly didn't appear unhappy or worried, so I'm guessing he wasn't preparing for his own crucifixion.

It reminded me of a sign we saw the other day, something about a drive-through at a Catholic church. I can't remember the details, but I seem to remember it was some sort of confessional type thing. We instantly tried to create some sort of catchy signage for them:

Come try Our Lady of Perpetual Motion's
Drive-Through Confessional!
Penance and a Latte - for the Catholic on the go!

Is this particular to our part of the country, or are these things popping up everywhere now? Has anyone else seen people walking around with giant crosses? Are the boys in black pants and white shirts no longer doing their thing? Are many churches starting up their own drive-through confessionals? I am certainly not current in the latest religious fads, so maybe this is happening everywhere?

I tried to Google it, but "drive through confessions" just brought up a lot of links about people feeling guilty about their crappy fast food choices. There were also some people confessing their guilt to attempting to KILL US ALL by texting behind the wheel. As we speak, people may now be feeling forgiven for attempted vehicular manslaughter because they swung through the drive-through and confessed while waiting for a half-caf soy mocha latte. Great. Just great.

No good will come of this, my friends. No good at all.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Who, me?

Exhibit A: Daisy's brand new pink polka dot collar.

"No, I have no idea what happened to Daisy's collar. Why do you ask?"

There's a leash that met with the same demise. Puppies and's a good thing they're cute.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

What book are you?

You're The Poisonwood Bible!

by Barbara Kingsolver

Deeply rooted in a religious background, you have since become both
isolated and schizophrenic. You were naively sure that your actions would help people,
but of course they were resistant to your message and ultimately disaster ensued. Since
you can see so many sides of the same issue, you are both wise beyond your years and
tied to worthless perspectives. If you were a type of waffle, it would be

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

The funny thing is, I just finished this a few weeks ago. And I have to say, I'm a bit scared by my little quiz's findings....Schizophrenia, naively sure my actions would help people, worthless perspectives, if I were a waffle I'd be Belgian??? I think I want a do over.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Scene: 1:45 pm, we're all still in pj's, we haven't brushed teeth or showered, the house is a disaster.

Phone: Ring, ring
Me: Hello?
Voice: Hi, this is (insert random realtor) from (insert realty company). (Insert another random realtor) would like to come show your house today. They came to one of the open houses a few months ago and would like a second look. Would 2:30 or 3:00 be OK?
Me (in totally fake happy voice that I learned working for Mattel and Amex): Sure!!! Three would be PERFECT!!
Voice: Great! I'll let him know!

Panicking commences.

So as MM, BW, and I are running around like recently beheaded chickens, M2 and the girls came over. Because, oh yeah, they had called right before the realtor and were on the way to our house. I offered them an out, because I would never ask someone to help me clean my house. It was phrased something like this: "You totally don't have to stay and help clean my house, but ohmygod I need you, pleasepleaseplease stay and help me!!!!"

So with MM, BW, myself, M2 and both her girls all pitching in, our house was presentable in time for a showing. It wasn't perfect, but it was good enough. I hope. Think good thoughts for us.

Until we hear whether or not they're interested, I'll spend my time wondering if the universe was telling me I'd better get my act together and keep the house presentable (in all fairness, the ONLY time we've had people look at our house is during our scheduled open houses), or if it was reminding me that I have some pretty awesome people in my life. Probably both. But I gotta say, anyone who comes for a visit and ends up cleaning your house instead is a keeper. That and the fact that I'm a little afraid of her now because her cousin's husband has mob connections and she could totally arrange for me to sleep with the fishes. Or wear cement boots. Or get iced. Or whatever the current mob vernacular is. So, y'know, friends for life....

Passive Housing

In our quest to sell our home and figure out some sort of future in our less-than-stable economy, I've been looking into different housing scenarios. We've thought of living in an RV - the house that moves where ever the jobs are, AND answers my desire to roam. We've talked about buying a small house in the country that some friends of ours may or may not be selling - we'd end up with no mortgage and some land, but they haven't decided to sell yet. Just a technicality, really. I've also been doing some research into buying some land and building some sort of sustainable, environmentally friendly house. By research, I mean looking at different websites and thinking, Wow! Tipis!! Cool!!!!!

MM really doesn't care about living green. He wants to be comfortable and have all his toys. If he can do that in an energy efficient way, he will, but I'm going to have to be the one that seeks out the alternatives and gets everything set up. So when I told him I wanted to live in a tipi while we build a straw and mud house, his response was to roll his eyes and laugh.

Me: When we sell our house, we should buy a few acres and live in a tipi while we build a house out of mud!!!
MM: snort
Me: It will be great!!! We'll make these bricks out of mud and straw and put them together like Legos! BW and I play with Legos all the time! We could totally do it! How hard could it be??
MM: snort, eyes roll
Me: It's pretty windy here....Do you think our tipi would blow over?
MM: Umm, yeah.
Me: Promise me now you won't laugh when the tipi blows over and I'm trapped inside! Promise me you'll save me when I'm rolling around in giant circles through the fields!! PROMISE ME!!!!

I'm thinking the tipi idea isn't going to happen. Maybe a yurt?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I'd have rather gotten the coal....

New puppy=housebreaking.

We woke up early (very early) this morning to the smell of...well...they sure weren't piles of Christmas cheer. If that's what Santa left for me, I must have been a very. bad. girl.



Wishing you all a happy Christmas, a belated wonderful Solstice or Hanukkah, or early Kwanzaa or Boxing Day joy to you and yours. Whatever it is you celebrate, best wishes, everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Our newest family member....

Meet Eva and Daisy. We've had Daisy since we moved here, she was a stray we found a few days after we moved into our new house. We think she's about four years old.
Daisy is above, with her pretty pink collar. She's a great dog. We've never been able to figure out what breed(s) she is, but whatever the mix, it's pure awesomeness. No problems at all, doesn't bark obnoxiously, totally mellow, takes her meds every day without being difficult. She has some health problems - she has seizures and our vet can't figure out why. The drugs seem to fix it though, so she's OK. We love, love, love her. She's probably the best dog we've ever had.
This darling girl is Eva. She seems to be some sort of yellow lab/shepherd mix. We think she's about six or eight months old. She's nearly as big as Daisy is, and she's got big ol' feet. I imagine she's going to be a big girl when she grows into them. So far, she's sweet as can be. She's still a puppy, so we're going to have to watch what we leave sitting around. (She's already helped herself to a sock and a Webkinz, the little sneak.) Her full name is Christmas Eve, since she joined our family just today. We think she's going to be a lovely addition to our family.

Looks like we got a family Christmas gift after all.

Christmas = Junk Food or Calling Your Friends Names on Their Birthdays

I just ran to the grocery store to buy some grazing foods for Christmas. Growing up, Christmas morning always meant bacon and cinnamon rolls, followed by junk food. Since I really never cared for cinnamon rolls, and MM and BW can live without them, we took a family vote and decided on biscuits and gravy with bacon. Totally unhealthy, I know. But somehow, it just doesn't seem like Christmas without bacon. And since we're not really 'doing' Christmas this year, I feel like I somehow need it.

Unfortunately, bacon is so not anywhere close to my goal of eating no animal products. Which, by the way, has been totally derailed by MM's company giving him not one, not two, but FOUR hams. Four. Two of which were larger than BW. I have come to the conclusion that MM's company is trying to kill us with salty, fatty animal products. Maybe it's their solution to culling their workforce? Kill employees off by undermining their goals to eat healthier? Because my willpower is nothing in the face of giant hams. Or would that be 'in the butt of giant hams'? That just sounds kind of gross....I'm not sure what part of the pig a ham is. Is there a specific part? What makes one part of the pig a pork chop, one part bacon, and one part ham? And should I really be eating it, if I can't determine where it comes from? Maybe that should be my dietary goal: don't eat it if you're not 100% sure where it came from. Since I know next to nothing about animal butchering, it would solve my avoiding most animal products, and the whole 'other natural flavors' delimna. Hmmm....


Last night was M2's 40th birthday. I celebrated it by calling her a snob. After she fed me this lovely almond lemon thing her hubby made for her birthday. I know, what's wrong with me, right?? But she totally had it coming. (Sorry, M, you know it's true.)

We have this long running, I don't know, not joke really, but conversation about how what makes us laugh is just totally different. I find silly, stupid things hilarious. She's a little more, umm, shall we say, particular. (I totally don't know whether to end that sentence with a period or a question mark. And yes, I homeschool. That's what grammar guides are for. I'm not perfect. Don't judge me.)

I love all these goofy TV shows and movies that she thinks are completely stupid. So our conversations was as follows:

M2: I saw some show you were talking about on Netflix the other day.
Me: Which one?
M2: I can't you'd recently mentioned.
Me: Was it 'How Stuff Works'?
M2: No. It wasn't anything worthwhile.

That's when I called her a snob. In my defense, I swear she wrinkled up her nose in disgust when she said my show wasn't worthwhile. Because that's what she thinks of a lot of what I watch. In her defense, my TV preferences really are the audio/visual equivalent of bacon. (Goofy TV = amusing, but has no substance, bacon = yummy, but has no nutritional value. Just in case you weren't clear on that.) She explained that what she really meant was it wasn't educational. Which I'm sure is true, it more than likely wasn't. Although I believe I am responsible for turning her on to Living With Ed. So see, not everything I watch is crap.

The whole thing just made me laugh. We are so different on so many levels. But yet, we still managed to click. Maybe because we're both transplants to this area and don't really fit in. Or because we both homeschool. Or because she has many qualities I admire, or because she's partly the 'me' I want to be when I grow up. I'm still not entirely sure what she gets out of the relationship. I'd like to think I make her smile, that I get her to be goofy with me every once in a while. Goofy is fun. You laugh a lot more when you're easily amused.

Anyway, happy birthday, M2! Thanks for being my friend.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The same old tricks

When I was young, I couldn't stand the anticipation of Christmas. I obsessed about the presents I was going to get, and ultimately could not live with the suspense. There were several years that I snuck into my mother's closet, carefully unwrapped my Christmas gifts, took a peak, and re-wrapped the gifts. (Sorry, mom.) It took me a while to figure out that Christmas morning was always a let down after that - having no surprises under the tree kind of sucked.

We told BW there would be no gifts, but, as I mentioned, we bought a few things for a surprise stocking. I found some Webkinz on sale, and bought a few books and some candy for BW to find come Christmas morning.

I had my suspicions that he'd found my stash. He kept asking what I was getting for the child we're giving our Christmas too, asking if I was going to give someone else Webkinz, asking if I was sure I wasn't getting him a little something for Christmas. He even asked what was in the bag on the top shelf of my closet.

Today, he admitted the truth. He'd known since last week. He wasn't sure it was for him, but he figured it was. We had a conversation about lying, about going through things that weren't his, about not having anything to open on Christmas day. I was more disappointed that my surprise was ruined, that I didn't get to see BW receive his unexpected gifts, than I was that he found his presents. But it's a little hard to be upset when I did basically the same thing as a child. Although it did cross my mind to torture him by buying some Muppet toys for him to open on Thursday - he's still oddly frightened of The Muppets. But that would be mean, right?

So, Christmas came early at our house this year. What can you do?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What the....

MM asked called me and asked if I'd look up someone on Facebook today. A female someone. Someone he went to high school with. I was curious why, since I've never heard him mention this person before. I asked what prompted his request, and he said he'd been dreaming about her....


Then he says that he didn't think it was a big deal, since I just looked up my ex-boyfriend. 'Eh? I had no idea what he was talking about, so he clarified it with, "You know, that guy you just found!" Oh well, yeah, of course. That helps.

Finally it dawned on me who he meant....I have been looking for a friend I'd know from 5th grade all through high school. I lost touch with her about seven years ago. I never had any luck with google, facebook, myspace, etc. It finally occurred to me to try her younger brother. I struck gold on facebook, and we chatted long enough to determine that he was who I thought he was, I gave him my info to pass along to his sister, got her email address from him, and that was the extant of our connection.

As it was happening, I told all this (in minute detail) to MM. I even reminded him who the friend was, since she was at our wedding. And from all that talking, he ends up with me connecting with an ex-boyfriend. I think the only thing he took away from the conversation that was actually factual was that I chatted with a male.

The funny thing is, we aren't jealous people. I couldn't care less who he talks to, and the same is true for him. We are secure in our relationship, we don't worry about the other one straying. All this time, he honestly thought I was chatting with an ex, and he didn't even bat an eye. Didn't even ask me about it again.

And the dreams he was, they weren't those kind of dreams.

I'm so sorry....

Why do you come here? And why do you hang around?

I read a headline today that said "The Smiths give away 1.3 millions dollars to charity" and all I could think was...really? The Smiths are still together??? AND they have that much money to donate to charity???

So yeah, turns out it was Will and Jada, not Morrissey. There are more current Smiths that my mind should jump to when I read those types of headlines. No, I am not stuck in the past. I'm not.

And I believe that the song I linked to wasn't even technically The Smiths, but something Morrissey did solo after they broke up. What can I say? Hopefully there aren't any angry Morrissey fans out there, all offended by my blogging. And being as how this is a newish blog, with not so many readers, I'm hoping I'm safe. What are the chances, right?

In other news, I got all my stuff shipped out yesterday that needed to go. I think I spent more on shipping than I did on the actual contents of the boxes. They asked if I wanted to insure for more than the $100 that comes with them automatically. Heh...sorry, most of it was homemade goodies and really great sale items. I'm not sure the contents of all the boxes combined were worth $100, let alone $100 each. But anyway, packages were shipped and should be arriving early next week at their intended destinations. Yay! Your birthday present is on its way, mom!

I did decide to do a stocking for BW this year. I had to go to Dillard's yesterday with M2 and they had Webkinz for 40% off. BW is addicted to the little suckers. BW was at his tumbling and trampoline class, so I bought a few on the sly. He has no idea he'll be getting a stocking, so he'll be pretty happy. It took every ounce of willpower I had not to just give them to him last night. I'm no good with surprises. I get so excited I want to share them immediately. I love giving gifts. It's something I need to work on, I tend to splurge a little too much with BW. Wouldn't want him to end up a spoiled brat like his mama, now would we?

I'm going back and reading what I've written, and I'm having this problem. You know how if you say a word over and over again, it starts to sound like maybe it's not a word? I do that with phrases. Things pop into my mind and I write them or say them out loud, but then I begin to think that they're not correct. Like "in other news" - that's a phrase people actually say, right? Because it doesn't sound right to me. So then, if it's not a phrase, do I leave it in and have people think me strange? Or do I take it out, because I'm unsure and want to appear normal? I spend a lot of time worrying about things like this. And, at 35, should I be having these types of memory problems? What will my mind be like at 45? I'm really worried about this.....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


We finally have settled on what we are going to do for Christmas this year. We've decided to buy presents for some of the children in the group foster home in our town. I wish there was a way to buy presents for all of them, but there are twenty kids there now and unfortunately I can figure a way to make that happen. They do have a lot of presents for the kids from other donations, so we are going to focus on a child who has a birthday on around Christmas, and another child that our friends are trying to adopt that spent time in the home.

We're also going to bake a ton of cookies and deliver those to both the group home and also the Ronald McDonald House in Lubbock. We were going to do gifts for the kids on the pediatric ward of a local hospital, but BW couldn't do it with us, he was too young to be on the floor. Instead, I've decided to donate all the baby things I have to them, rather than trying to sell them. I figure they will be better used, and also, since BW was a preemie and in NICU for two weeks before we could bring him home, I have a soft spot sick kids and their families.

It doesn't even look like Christmas in our home. I haven't decorated at all, and quite frankly, it's a relief. I hate decorating. I know, I know, bah humbug, right? Seriously, I have a hard enough time keeping my house clean. There's no need to add to the mess with unpacking boxes and boxes of things that suck electricity and are out for a month (OK, two months), and then having to spend the time packing it all back up again. I love the holidays, I love the lights and decorations, don't get me wrong. What I don't love is the work involved, the mess, and the higher electric bills. We have been enjoying everyone else's work, instead. I'd like to take this time to thank the (decidedly small) handful of people in our neighborhood who have bothered to put up lights this year: Thanks, neighbors! Your homes look lovely!

So this year is going to be waaaayyyyy off, holiday wise. We've never not decorated - it's strangely freeing. We've never not bought each other tons of gifts. I've still bought gifts for a few people in our lives. I have some that need to be shipped out here tomorrow and then I'll be through with that. I'm going to spend the rest of this week deciding on what kinds of cookies to make and find some easy snack type things for us to eat on Christmas day. We still have to pick our gifts for the children we're buying for, and we'll do that as a family one evening this week.

All in all, I think we're pretty satisfied with how our Christmas is going. It's too early to call it a success, but it's looking promising.

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's the best day ev-errr.....

I had the joy of watching Spongebob this morning as I got ready to go into town, and one of his little songs got stuck in my head. I was in one of those giddy happy moods, so I drove everyone crazy singing it repeatedly throughout the day. Even BW tired of it quickly.

In spite of my singing, we had a nice day out. We did the science museum and lunch, I got my van detailed to get the gross smell of cigarette smoke out of it (yes, MM is trying to kill us with second hand smoke, thank you very much), and we went to M2's oldest's high school production of A Christmas Carol. The play was really fun, BW really enjoyed it. He sat through two hours of it, which is pretty impressive. My only complaint would be the seating.

35 year old butts are not meant for wooden high school auditorium chairs. I'm sure no one over 18 can possibly sit in them without severe numbness and pain. I think those chairs are strategically designed to keep the kiddos awake during all those boring ass assemblies and hours of standardized testing.

I just re-read what I wrote. I now have this picture of a factory for assembling boring asses and then testing them (in a standardized way) running through my mind, but I'm too tired to fully pursue it. If you'll just imagine Laverne and Shirley's beer factory, minus the beer, plus assorted body parts, you can probably flesh it out on your own. (Excuse the bad pun, it's late and everything is so much funnier when I'm tired.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The good news is...

We won't be living in an RV in the Wal-Mart parking lot!

MM got word from his boss that there will be some re-structuring. Several people were told that they could go back to working on one of the oil rigs or resign. Luckily, MM was not one of them. Not that he would mind going back to a rig - he really did like it for the most part, but it was a dangerous job and the closer he gets to 40 the more ready he is to do something a little less physically demanding. In this economy, a good paying job isn't the easiest thing to find. Right now he'd probably take anything they offered, just to keep working.

But, as I said, luckily he doesn't have to go back to the rig. He was told today that he's going to be working both the area he's at now (about 100 miles from us) and our area. He'll be going back and forth between the two, and working out at the rigs helping out with safety inspections and drug testing as well. He'll also have a company truck to drive when he has to go to the other locations or out to the rigs.

This really, really makes our life a lot easier. For one, even though gas prices have eased quite a bit, he was driving over 1000 miles a week back and forth to work. That's a pretty long commute. It was getting to a point where I was going to have to become a hooker or a thief just to pay for gas. (Just trying to contribute, y'know.) The second problem is we have one vehicle that is really reliable and gets good gas mileage, a big old truck that runs well but gets awful mileage, and a motorcycle that MM only drives in warm weather, and only recreationally, at that. The truck needs to have the passenger seat belt repaired, so I can't drive that around with BW. I don't drive the motorcycle, it's not really my thing. I'm not even sure my husband would let me, since it's his baby. What this all means is that MM has been driving my vehicle each day, and BW and I have been left car less. Which has been fine, temporarily. M2 has been lending me her car or running me around when I need it, thankfully. And it's not like we had to go places often, you can usually plan around not having a car during certain hours. It was inconvenient, but not too terrible.

But with the new situation MM still has a job, he'll be home earlier a few days a week, he'll have to drive less than 10 miles round trip rather than 200 a few days a week, and he can use his motorcycle or the truck when he's here in town. My honor will be saved as I won't have to live a life of crime to pay for gas. (I can safely go back to trading sex for housework, as per our usual arrangement.) And I'll have a car to drive. With seat belts, no less!

Of course, we're pretty much waiting for the other shoe to drop. MM was lucky this time, but who knows what things will be like in a few more months. We're still going to try to sell our house and buy something cheaper, but we'll stay in our same area. Hopefully we'll be able to do that and pay off some debts in the next few months. We're grateful we are where we're at now, but we hope to be in an even better place this time next year. Hopefully without resorting to the seedy underworld of prostitution in the interim.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I'm feeling like crap today. I thought it was last night's dinner out, but instead, it's the stomach virus that's going around. It's horrid. I hate throwing up ('cause, y'know, most people enjoy it) - I'm always afraid I won't get my glasses off in time and they'll end up in the toilet along with the contents of my stomach. I'm not sure any amount of bleach could help me then. On the flip side, I am blind without glasses or contacts, so there's always the added worry of missing the toilet entirely if I take them off beforehand. You can see how this is all a bit of a problem, right? Because being sick isn't enough of a problem on its own.

There is one nice thing about being sick, though. MM rarely if ever calls in for work, so he freaks out if I'm ill. Yes, you read that right, it's a nice thing when he freaks out. Tonight, he called me and asked if I needed anything before he got home, ran to the store for me, and then popped his head in long enough to toss a box of saltines on the bed from the doorway. I use my cell phone to call the house phone for everything I need, and he spends the night on the couch so as not to catch my plague. I get the glorious king sized bed all to myself so all my stuff can be spread out around me. I don't have to fight for pillows and blankets, and I can read all night since I slept all day. It's pretty damned nice. If only there wasn't the sickness involved, it'd be like a vacation.

The fact that MM will barely enter the room and will definitely not sleep or sit near me when I'm sick has been reminding me of a book I read over the summer, The Year of Living Biblically. If you haven't read this one yet, I highly recommend it, it's hilarious. The author spends a year trying to follow the bible as literally as possible. IN NYC. Complete with stoning adulterers. There's a bit in the bible about not sitting on the same seat that a menstruating woman has sat on. His wife loves this, as you'd imagine. To show her annoyance, she sits on every possible seat in the apartment, forcing him to buy this cane/stool contraption so he won't have to stand up all the time at home. The stool also helps with the subway and other public places. It's not exactly polite to ask strangers about their cycle, and would possibly be dangerous in NYC. Not quite the same thing as avoiding germs obviously, but MM's zest in avoiding me rang a bell today.

I've been spending the down time today trying to read The Three Musketeers. I read The Count of Monte Cristo and loved it, but I'm not having the same experience with this one. I'm nearly 100 pages in, and already this little upstart has pretty much challenged every person he's encountered to a duel. People were apparently very violent in the 1800's. What's with that? I swear, the book is today's equivalent of a Rambo or Terminator movie. I wonder if mothers stopped their children from reading it back when it was first published? Did they worry the kiddies would be out there trying to duel everyone that crossed their path?

Unfortunately, I don't think I have the patience to get through it today, so I've been alternating between that and the latest Vince Flynn book, Extreme Measures. I just love his writing. It's entertaining and fast to read. I started it around two this afternoon, and between Musketeers, napping, showering (up to three already today) and puking my guts out, I'm over half way done. It's a good story, and these types of books really grab me. I just finished the latest Clive Cussler yesterday, and between the two of those authors, I could do nothing but read all day long. I wonder if I could find a paying job in that somewhere?

OK, sorry, I didn't mean to turn this into a book club. I guess I've been reading a lot lately. Having an excuse to take an easy today was really pretty groovy. My body needed a break, and BW especially enjoyed playing video games most of the morning. I was feeling well enough for us to do some math, science, and some of his reading, but that was about it. Though it sounds like enough when I write it down. Anyway, here's hoping this will be a quick sickness and tomorrow I'll be back to my usually routine. You know how it is - more than one day in bed for mom and the house and family seem to turn on themselves. Soon the house will be a disaster and MM and BW will be attacking each other like feral badgers. I hate it when that happens.

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's a blustery day....

I'm so excited! We're having crazy, multiple personality disorder weather today. It changes every time I look out the window. As I type this, we seem to be having some grayish dust storm type thing. We've had sunshine, clouds, hail, wind and rain - all within the last two hours. It's a stay indoors, keep your robe on, start a fire sorta day, and I'm seriously diggin' it.

The forecast says we can look forward to snow tomorrow, and BW can't wait. We get it infrequently enough here to be exciting for him. Our snow generally doesn't stick around long, which is just fine by me. I don't like the heat, but snow scares me. I'm a tropics or desert sort of girl - born in Hawaii and raised in Phoenix - so snow pretty much freaks me out. It looks nice from the inside, while sitting next to a roaring fire. It's not meant to be walked around in or driven through. I figure snow and ice is nature's way of saying, "Get the hell off the roads, you morons!!"

I do have to say this is one of the often unspoken benefits of home schooling - we rarely have to leave the house on days like these. No getting up before dark to wake up BW and get him off to school. No leaving the house in the middle of a snow storm to go pick him up. When it's a blustery day outside, we can choose to hunker down, start a fire, read books and watch Harry Potter movies all day long while drinking something hot. It's a beautiful thing.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Block Scheduling

On our trip home from AZ, MM and I talked about things we could work on to improve our marriage. One of MM's complaints was that he can't actually see what we do all day - he has this idea that I loaf around all day reading books while BW plays video games. Heh! A lot of it is rooted in the fact that he's a 'gotta see it to believe it' guy, and when he comes home to a somewhat messy house, he wonders. It also doesn't help that I'm pretty vague about the things we accomplish. I'm more of an 'oh, this and that' responder, which doesn't help the situation.

This irritates MM to no end. He wants to see things getting done He wants specifics. He's working hard all day, and it really bothers him to think we're at home sleeping late and goofing off all day long. It makes him jealous - he wants to stay home and sleep late and goof off, too, by golly. I understand where he's coming from and if our situations were reversed, I'd be unhappy. Probably more than unhappy. OK, I'll admit it, I'd be a raving maniac if I came home to a messy house and vague assurances that 'something' was done on the home schooling front.

In an effort to make MM a little more satisfied with being sole breadwinner, I wrote out a block schedule for BW and I to follow during the week. I scheduled in meal prep, home schooling, cleaning, group activity time and study time for myself once school starts again. We committed to following it for the next several weeks to see how it works out, and last week was week number one.

I am pleased to announce it worked out rather well. I have a problem with procrastinating and putting things off, and then becoming overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things that need to be accomplished. My laundry is forever piling up, clean but unfolded, on the couch. My dishes do the same (minus the clean and unfolded bit) in the kitchen sink. The clutter multiplies while I sleep, and I still haven't worked out a good system for filing my paperwork and bills. Last week, I vowed to change things.

The house was already relatively clean, and I managed to unpack and get everything put away from our trip the day after we got home. This is some sort of record for me, just so you know. I've been known to find things still packed when I pull out my suitcase for the next trip, months later. With BW's help, the kitchen was thoroughly cleaned, trash cans were emptied, bedrooms were cleaned, and toys were put away. We logged in two or three hours a day of 'school' stuff - reading, math, science, and Bravewriter activities. BW has been really into card games lately, so we borrowed a book of rules and began learning a few games. BW has even learned the rules to Gin Rummy, one of my personal favorites. I even made some phone calls and think I have pinned down what we might end up doing for Christmas (I'll post more on that when we decide for sure).

All in all, it was a successful week. I even managed to jot notes in my day planner so I can look back and see exactly what we did each day. I feel like we got a lot done, and it was done happily for the most part. There is something to being more organized, and as much as I kick and scream about doing it, I really like having a loose schedule to follow. Not that we'll follow it every day, but it gives us something to work towards. It will definitely help me keep on top of things once the semester starts again and I have all that to deal with too. Of course, I remember being all organized about this time last year, and that didn't stick, so maybe I'm being a little overly optimistic....

At any rate, here's hoping December proves to be a month filled with folded laundry, empty sinks, filed paperwork, picked up toys, and an abundance of educational joy. That will be MM's real Christmas gift! And as for me, well, there's always that island....

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I wrote this a few days ago but hadn't posted it. After watching Proposition 8 - The Musical, I thought it was a nice tie in....

My husband was recently propositioned at a New Mexico convenience store. He went in for a drink and some cigarettes and got a little more than he bargained for. Apparently, while waiting in line to pay, an older woman (think 50-ish crack whore) walked up behind him and told him she needed twenty dollars. He just kind of looked at her oddly, so she sweetens the deal by offering a menu of sexual options in exchange for said money. To which my flustered husband responds, "Um...I only have two bucks and I have to get home." He then called me and related the story, adding that he was just thankful she didn't offer to lower her price or something.

Yes, when my husband is approached by hookers, he uses his lack of cash as an excuse to decline their services. Rather than, say, "Hell no!!" or "I'm married and would never betray the love of my life!!" or something along else those lines. Of course, it's not like hookers are tripping over themselves to get to him. He's just not had enough practice, I guess. Maybe we should role play so he knows what to do in the future?

Edited to add: When MM called to tell me what happened, I was with M2 and all the kids. I was texting the story to her so the kids wouldn't hear it, and the t9 function on my cell phone could only give me 'puppy' instead of the word I was really looking for. I think that made me laugh more than anything, I kept picturing MM being offered a blow job or a puppy....

To wrap up the subject of propositions, I think a video is appropriate....

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Friday, November 28, 2008

That's what she said

M1 and I are HUGE fans of The Office. We watch the show and email each other our favorite quotes. Things like "Always go for the eyes. The eyes are like the groin of the head." And of course, Michael's always inappropriate one liner, "That's what she said." Right now, M1 and I are on this 'that's what she said' kick. Our conversations pretty much go like this:

(At the grocery store.)
"Which cranberry sauce should I buy?"
"I don't know, which kind do you like?"
"I'm not sure, but there's jellied and -"
"Hey! Look at this box of -"
"Will you shut up and look at these?!"
"That's what she said!"
(Snorting, hysterical laughter.)

And like this:
(In the Olive Garden bathroom.)
"Wow. This bathroom really stinks."
"Yeah, but it doesn't stink like poo. More like sewer or something."
"Well there is a giant hole right here...."
"That's what she said!!"
(Snorting, hysterical laughter.)

Or sometimes like this:
(Snorting, hysterical laughter.)
"Stop making me laugh!!"
"That's what she said!"
"Oh my god!!! Stop!! I can't breathe! It hurts inside"
"That's what she said!!!!!"
(More snorting, hysterical laughter.)

As you can see, we're easily amused. Most of our days together are filled with laughing so hard it's painful. For some reason, we just set each other off. I know it's not really funny out of context but man oh man do we laugh. There was an entire trip where we laughed so hard we cried because we ate something funky and had really bad gas. Instead of saying 'excuse me' and blushing a little like ladies, one of us (ok, me) just started singing 'it's too late to apologize' under our breath. Yes, I apparently have the sense of humor of an adolescent boy.

Which is probably why I found the Goth Name Generator so damn funny. Thank you Zenmomma's Garden for posting this little gem. I put in my name and came got back Transylvania Tranny. Something about my real, actual name screams eastern European transsexual. Who knew? None of the other name generators were even mildly amusing, although one of them seemed to be a creepy porn advertisement link. I clicked on it to see what my Tourette's name would be (totally unpublishable, by the way) and immediately had to avert my virgin eyes. Apparently the people in charge of advertising links equated Tourette's with naked women. I hate it when that kind of stuff happens.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


We drove to AZ yesterday. It was a long day - we had to get up early so MM could go to work for a half day, and then drive for nearly twelve hours to get where we needed to be. Twelve longgg hours. And I realized something on this trip. My husband and son are taking my joy of road tripping and strangling the ever loving crap out of it. Picture my joy lying dead on the side of the road, somewhere near Globe, like roadkill. My family has smooshed my joy.

I also realized yesterday it wasn't just my family conspiring to kill my joy. It was the whole freaking universe. While my husband and son practiced for both tandem and solo Olympic freestyle whining, we figured out there isn't a single Starbucks between El Paso and Tucson. Not. A. Single. One. Which would have been fine if we hadn't of passed up a brazillion of them in El Paso, not stopping because we were in the middle of holiday rush hour. And then, when it was my turn to choose music on my Zune, the batteries died. And the charger wouldn't work. And then my CD player quit working about 60 miles from the nearest radio signal.

How on earth did I get saddled with a husband and son who hate car trips? What is this punishment for, exactly? I've decided that my only option is to never get in the car with them again. Which means I'll be staying in AZ until I can figure out a way home. I'm not really sure what else can be done. I'll have to stay here at my mother's, which brings a whole other basket of troubles. Like the fact that she decided to make bacon this morning for breakfast. I love bacon. Looooovvve it. Unfortunately, I'm trying to go vegan for health reasons. Thanks, mom. ;O)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Giving Away Our Christmas

Last year I spent Christmas afternoon venting to my mother about what a spoiled brat my son was being that day. I have no memory of what he did to set me off, but I remember being really pissed. I also distinctly remember swearing to the heavens that next Christmas would not be the same. I wanted to start volunteering our time, talking more to BW about giving to others, about how lucky we are to be healthy and housed and fed and safe and secure. I was thinking today that I failed to do this, but then I realized I was wrong.

BW and I have talked a lot about how lucky our family is and how thankful we should be for the things we have. We volunteered our home, love, and time to take in my newborn nephew for the first seven months of his life while his mom served jail and prison rehab time, which ended in tears thanks to my crazy bitch of an ex-sister-in-law. (I'm not bitter. I'm not bitter. I'm not bitter.)

So today when my friend mentioned that another family they know was "giving away" their Christmas to a family that needed it more, I thought it sounded like a very cool idea. I wasn't sure BW would go for it, and we had already scoured the toy catalogs and talked about gifts this year. I figured he'd be really upset, and I wasn't sure I was prepared to do that to him after getting him all hyped about the holiday.

I was pleasantly surprised. We talked about how we have so much already and about how we tend to buy gifts for each other and toys year round just because. We talked about what Christmas is really supposed to be about and how there are so many others out there who are in need. And BW said he thought it was a great idea. He said it would be hard for him to not get any presents since he was already so excited about it, but he wanted to give our Christmas away, too. We decided we would all sit down as a family and decide exactly what we wanted to do, and then make sure to do it all together.

MM is on board with it so we'll be doing some thinking over t-day weekend. We're going to AZ for the holiday, so we'll have a nice, lonnnggg car ride to discuss it. But this year I'm really looking forward to Christmas. I'm excited about starting a new tradition. I'm excited to spend December thinking about others, instead of just our immediate family and friends. We've been bad about this in the past. I'm looking forward to a whole different holiday experience.

I think it'll probably be rough on BW when all his friends get gifts and he doesn't, but I think he really wants to do this and he'll get through the difficult bits. And let's face it, Christmas has become a holiday celebrating consumerism, it'll be good for us to take some time off once a year.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


So I'm totally going to steal a daughter from one of my friends. I have three possible choices in mind. Two of the girls, L and D, are under five and pretty darned feisty. I'm not sure I'm up for that. I can barely handle the child I have on some days, and stealing a second one with that kind of fire might be more than I can handle. Especially since there's the whole running from the law, obtaining new identities, and convincing my new daughter that everything is on the up and up and no, really, your parents know you're with me and are totally OK with it stuff. I'm pretty lazy and I'm guessing all that could cut into my me time. And man, would my laundry pile up while on the run. But anyway. My third option, M, is nine and a half, and my oh my, do I love her. Not to say I don't love the the other two just as much, but my oldest (heh) and I just click. She's sweet and thoughtful and easy to get along with. She's older, so she's a little less work than the younger girls. She could probably fold her own laundry....

I'm guessing not a one of the three would be easily convinced that I'm their new mommy. And probably posting all my nefarious plans on a blog isn't the best move when you're planning on stealing your friends' children. Especially since they read said blog....Hmmm....I guess I need to rethink this whole thing. But back to my wanting a daughter....Since there's only BW, and he's, well, a boy, I don't get to do girly things like dolls and dresses and makeup. I feel left out. I have always wanted a daughter...we had a name picked out and everything. Since there are no more children in our future, I've got designs on my friends' children instead. A completely rational decision, I assure you.

I'm kidding about all of this, of course. Child snatching really isn't my thing, so I've come up with an alternative solution. BW is just going to have to marry one of these three girls. Any one will do, I'll let him pick. See? I'm not a monster. The thing is, I have these horrible thoughts about BW marrying someone we don't really like. Yes, I do spend my time thinking about these sorts of thing. Which may be why I don't have the time or energy to steal children. Or fold laundry. I realize that BW is only seven, but still, it pays to be proactive. Some people may think that it's obsessive and weird, but I prefer to think of myself as a planner. Hope for the best, plan for the worst, that's my motto. That and never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line. Sorry. I just watched The Princess Bride with one of my future daughter-in-laws.

But back to the topic at hand. I think about what I would do if BW married someone we really couldn't stand. I'm lucky in that I get along pretty well with my mil. We're not super close, but there really aren't any problems so I have no experience in this area at all. What would it be like if BW married some horrible bitch? I mean, how would that work, exactly? How would my relationship with BW be? How can you have a good relationship with your child if you don't like their significant other? Is it possible? It really worries me sometimes. So in order to keep myself out of jail and to maintain a fantastic relationship with my son, I'll just pick a few girls out now. When he's seven. Nothing wrong with having an arranged marriage. I can see the value in choosing your child's spouse. It makes things easier down the road. It's not weird, it's just being prepared. Now if I can just convince everyone else of this....

Monday, November 17, 2008

My Weekend Away

I got back yesterday evening after attending a weekend Bravewriter conference in Wichita Falls, TX. Three of us went - one lady I'd never met, and M2. It was a great weekend! No kids, no stress, good coffee and good conversation, book stores and pleasant meals out, and the conference, of course. I really enjoyed the time away, and the conference was a good experience. I came away from it freshly inspired to teach BW to write not only competently, but (hopefully) painlessly.

I also learned how to say midwifery, which brought me gads of pleasure. I had always assumed it was pronounced like midwife with an 'er-y' on the end. Turns out I was wrong. It's pronounced like whiff. Go ahead, say it out loud. Midwifery. Fun, isn't it? I won't even tell you how many times I repeated it under my breath throughout the weekend, you'd probably think me crazy.

There's really not much more going on in my life right now...I've registered for school and only changed my mind on what classes to take once. Sadly, that's probably some sort of record for me. I've been known to change classes up until the first day. Of course, there's still time for that. If you haven't guessed it yet, I have a commitment problem - I still haven't figured out what I want to be when I grow up, so I tend to waffle a lot when it comes to picking classes. But as of today I am all registered, and I'm just not going to think about any of it until January, when it's time to buy my books. I'm going to spend the next two months focusing on BW, MM, the upcoming birthdays and holidays, and our tenth anniversary. That's really quite enough, thank you very much.

So I'm off to research tenth anniversary gifts. I've already warned my husband that I'm expecting something good this year, and that he'd better devote some time to figuring out a decent gift for a change. A gift worthy of the ten years we've been married. My husband is of the 'wait until the last minute and then buy her a pillow at 11 pm on Mother's Day' persuasion. I'm mean seriously...a pillow? He said he couldn't think of anything else.

I personally love gift shopping. I love trying to find the right thing for someone. And I know that it's all supposed to be about making someone else happy, giving from the heart, totally selfless, blah blah blah. But I will admit there is a little part of me who feels like if I make this big effort to find a great gift, it would be really nice if the people in my life would reciprocate the effort. Doesn't have to be an expensive gift, just thoughtful. See, I'm not asking much, right? You'd think I'd asked for my own island. Which would not be a bad gift, come to think of it. Expensive, but I promise you it would be deeply appreciated...providing it's a tropical island. I don't like the cold. And it doesn't have to be big or anything. A couple of square miles is fine, really. You know, big enough for a house, a small staff, some nice beaches. A guest house or two for visitors. In case anyone's wondering.

But anyway, MM is on notice that this year it's important to me, we've discussed spending limits to keep things under control, and I've outlined my expectations to him. He has no excuses this time. I have faith he'll figure something out this year. Wish me luck.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm getting lazy

OK, I've changed the format of the 1/2 marathon, as well as the name....I'm thinking with as little walking as I'm actually doing, the 1/2 marathon is not gonna happen. Instead, I'll change it into a daily exercise log. I am still exercising...not as much as I'd like, but at least I'm doing SOMETHING..... Which is more than I was doing before.

Another thing I'm trying is texting all my meals/calorie counts to a friend who is trying to monitor those types of things for herself as well. M1 has been my best friend since 8th grade, and we've gone through a lot together - boyfriends, breakups, moves, pregnancy and child raising, and now this...eating healthy...the ultimate challenge. Heh. So far it's working well, and as M1 texted me last night, it's a good thing we have affordable texting plans. Alltel my circle unlimited texting is coming in handy right about now. I've just got to get a better phone, this T9 deal is a PITA.

I'm also going out of town this weekend. I'm pretty excited. I'm heading off to a Bravewriter conference. It's my first home schooling conference of any type, and I'm thrilled beyond belief. I wouldn't be going if not for my lovely friend M2 (I've got to think of some better nicknames for these people). She very generously offered to sponsor my trip by paying for my share of gas and the hotel room. There's no way I could have swung it otherwise, since Motorman is still driving 200 miles round trip to work each day. Though gas prices have dropped dramatically, we still don't have a lot of extra cash for things like this. She is awesome like that and at some point when our financial situation isn't so icky, I'm kidnapping her away for a weekend of childfree fun to repay her kindness.

Friday, November 7, 2008

My Big Fat Hiney

Ugh....My ass is expanding right before my eyes. Well, not exactly before my eyes, because that would be weird and physically impossible. But it is expanding. It's taking on a life of its own and I'm beginning to fear some sort of hostile takeover. A coup d'buttock, if you will.

I have been doing much better in the exercise department, but in the eating department I'm failing miserably. I'm up quite a bit from my lowest weight, and since I'm one who eats when I'm stressed, bored, or for one of many, many other reasons, it's been a big problem lately. I'm having a hard time getting on track.

I am going to try to work on adding a lot more raw foods into my diet and see if that helps. Eating raw (or mostly raw) has helped in the past. And though I can't see myself completely switching to a raw diet, more fresh veggies and fruits are always a good thing. Between that and my 1/2 marathon training, hopefully the next few months will be the beginning of some positive lifestyle changes.....

So wish me luck...and if I don't post for a while, send help - the seat of power may have changed hands....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Woo HOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!


I can't even describe how I'm feeling right now. Excited, in awe, wondrous about what changes might occur with Obama leading our nation. It's so exciting to see this happening. I have tears in my eyes.

This election has been so nasty, so filled with hate. I'm glad to see it over and done with. I hope that this really is the new beginning, the change, that everyone has been talking about.

Go Obama!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Marathon Update

I've decided to give myself a do-over. I did stay somewhat active these last few weeks, but I never did get in either of my longer walks. I know that three hours at the zoo is a lot of walking, but it's not exactly 60 minutes of continuous moving at a brisk pace. I feel like I'm cheating myself, so I'm going to start over. If anyone has been looking at the notes in the sidebar, you'll see that I've deleted my done/not done comments, and started over again as of yesterday.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Lucy, I'm ho-ome

I hate sharing a bed with my husband.

BW and I just got back last night from our trip to AZ, where I had wonderful, uninterrupted, comfortable sleep. Yet I missed sleeping in the same bed as my husband, I was lonely. I was looking forward to sleeping next to him, to being home. Now that I'm back, I realize perhaps it was just the bed I missed.

My husband is a restless sleeper. He doesn't sleep with his head in the pillow area and his feet in the feet area, oh no. He sleeps diagonally. He flips around and sleeps with his head where his feet should be, and his feet where my head should be. Or he sleeps with his head in the proper place, but in fetal position, with his knees and feet jammed up into my back. I'm constantly getting goosed by his long pointy toes. If I don't have his toes up my rear, then he's sliding his arm under my pillow. What's with that? I'm all comfortable, and suddenly there's an elbow shaped lump under my head. We have five freaking pillows on our bed, but he still has to mess with mine.

I should have known from the beginning that sharing a bed with my husband was going to be less than ideal. When we first started sleeping in the same bed, he'd roll over and hit me square in the face with his elbow. He'd lose his pillow, find mine and I'd wake up in the night with my head hitting the mattress after he yanked my pillow out from under me. I learned to sleep on my side, both hands desperately clutching my pillow. I'd wake up in the night playing tug-of-war with him, him trying to yank it away, me hanging on for dear life.

I like having him in the same room with me. I like talking as we wind down for the night. I like snuggling when it's non-combative. The problem is, the snuggling and talking and winding down parts aren't worth the poking and prodding and pillow battling I usually suffer through.

I woke up this morning and announced that I was done with the king sized bed. From here on out, I want my own space. I'm not ready for separate bedrooms, but separate beds are sounding pretty damned appealing right about now. When we're conscious, we can talk. We can even visit each others' beds for a snuggle. Then we can move to our own space, to sleep in comfort and peace. I can't see a downside, at this point. It's got to be better than constructing the pillow wall in between us every night, fighting for toe-free space in the king sized bed we have now. I'm tired. Lucy and Ricky had it right.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Walking Plan

I forgot to comment on my exercise plan....I'm not sure how I'm doing on that....I haven't stuck to the plan, but I have been active. I'm not sure how that qualifies. I'm guessing it puts me a little behind - I may not be ready for the hour of brisk walking yet - but still better off than I was to begin with.

I have been active, but I haven't actually put on my good walking shoes and timed myself. I've been eating nothing but junk. Hey, I'm on vacation, it's what I do on vacation. Eat, shop, hang out with friends, visit museums and zoos. I'm pretty boring that way. You won't find me biking down a volcano for fun. But maybe by this time next year....Haleakala, here I come!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Out of Town....

Hello, Dear Readers!

I thought I'd update my blog today, because I probably won't get a chance to next week. Tomorrow Motorman, BW and I are leaving for Albuquerque, where we will spend a delightful weekend with my mother. On Sunday, Motorman will head back to work, and BW and I will head for Phoenix with my mom. We'll be home some time the following Friday.

I'm excited because I'll get to see some friends, spend some time with my mama, and BW will get a few nights with his other grandparents as well. I'll get some short (but sweet) child-free time - as a homeschooling mom, child-free time is much appreciated. I love being with my son day in and day out, but a few brief breaks here and there are always nice. I apparently need one, because I've managed to lose my temper and yell at BW twice today, making him cry both times. Which is probably not as bad as it sounds, because he cries at least once a day, anyway. The kid gets hurt physically (falling off something, running into something, tripping, etc.) at least once a day, and gets his feelings hurt pretty easily, too. There's a lot of crying in our household. Wow. Sounds kind of depressing....He does get over it pretty quickly, so it's not all tears and wailing, I swear.

So anyway...I've updated my blog. I went ahead and updated my whole exercise schedule for the days I'm gone. I'll have to update whether or not they actually were done when I get back. I'm hoping to keep up my routine. So far, I've done pretty well. I switched around a few days and exchanged one 30 minute walk for a couple of hours of house cleaning. I figure that's a pretty fair trade.

In other news, I applied for a job. I'm not really expecting to get it, but I thought I'd go ahead and send in a resume. It's something I can do at night (now that motorman is home each night) and earn a little extra money since it looks like our house isn't going to sell any time soon. The job is as a patient registrar at a hospital about 30 miles away. It's something I'm actually qualified for, something I can do and still be home during the day with BW, and when people ask me what I do I'll get to sound like a pirate. Go ahead, say registrar out loud. Now grab an eye patch, pretend you have a peg leg, and say, "Registrar, matey!" See? I am unable to say registrar (matey) without channeling my inner Jack Sparrow. I've been going around saying it in my head for the last few days. I'm so easily amused....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Furry Happy Monsters

There is something seriously wrong with my parenting. I'm pretty inconsistent, for one thing. One day it's OK to do something, the next it's not. I waver between no pretend gun play and hey, go for it, just don't point the damn thing at me. Some video games are fine, but then I start seeing behavior I'm not so happy with and I veto all things that are in any way violent. I try to do the right thing, but sometimes I'm so unsure what the right thing is, I get stuck.

So the other day we're watching The Muppet Show (don't ya just love Netflix??), and Boy Wonder tells me he's freaked out. I ask why, and he says that a monster just swallowed a lady whole and it scared him. So I rewind to see what he's talking about, and it's a skit in which Miss Piggy gets swallowed by one of the big monsters. I found it totally hilarious, BW was upset by it...the child who is perfectly happy to play war and gun games was scared when Miss Piggy got munched. Do you see the problem here?

So we're back to more closely monitoring what BW watches and plays. He's seven, I'd like him to be free of scary things right now - guns and wars and shooting people should be scary, right? Or are those things that kids just naturally play? Cowboys and Indians? War? Cops and Robbers? (My cousin the cop just loves that one, let me tell you.) Ugh. Why can't it be all innocent and sweet now? There's plenty of time for all the ugliness in the world later. Things should be shiny and happy when they're young, right?

Funny how a R.E.M. video on VH1 got me started down this little path - revisiting parenting decisions, worrying about pretend play and video game time....Gotta love it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

All Natural Ingredients

I was cooking dinner (sloppy joes) last night and I read through the list of ingredients before I added it to the meat. I was using dry seasoning rather than the canned stuff, and the ingredients were listed as: sugar, onion, salt, cornstarch, paprika, spices (including chili pepper), red and green bell peppers, garlic, maltodextrin, modified cornstarch, citric acid, vinegar solids, cider vinegar, natural flavors. This bothers me on so many different levels I'm not sure where to start....

In my perfect world, as my perfect self, I would feed my family nothing but local and organic foods. We would own our own cows and chickens, grow much of our own foods, and have local contacts for everything else. Nothing we ate would be of questionable origin, nothing would be chemically fertilized or pumped full of antibiotics. In reality, we are so far from my little fantasy it's laughable. I do buy organically and locally when I can afford to do so, but not nearly as often as I would like.

I push the fruits and veggies on my son - he loves them and isn't a picky eater so he's easy. My husband would live off Taco Bell and Burger King if he could. I, however, go from one extreme to the next - I try to keep my diet pretty healthy, but food and I have a shaky relationship. One day I feel like we're getting along and everything is fine. The next day, I'm needy and clingy, and I can't get enough. And you know, no matter what I do, food is always standoffish and unfeeling. Food just sits there, all 'do what you want with me, take me or leave me, I don't care' and I'm not getting what I need from the relationship. I know it's not healthy, but, I'm not quite in the right place with food yet. I'm working on it.

But I digress...back to the sloppy joe packet. Reread the ingredients if you need to refresh your memory, I'll wait. ........................ Now then...I like being able to identify the ingredients of the food we eat. If (ha!), when I buy processed foods, ideally I like to buy things that have as few ingredients as possible and I want to actually know what said ingredients are. At the very least, a vague idea of what they are is fine.

For whatever reason, I didn't read the packet when I bought it. Let's start at the beginning. Sugar, onion, salt, cornstarch, paprika - all fine. No questions there, recognize all that stuff. Next, we have spices (including chili pepper). 'Eh? First off, is paprika not a spice? What about garlic? I'm not a great cook, but I always thought they were considered spices. Second...what are they leaving out? What do they not want me to know? Why can't they tell me what, besides chili pepper, they're using? Why the evasion? I'm becoming concerned by this, I find it curious, but I'm still OK at this point.

Red and green bell peppers, garlic, maltodextrin...maltodextrin is one of those ingredients I'm not totally sure about - I know it's made from corn, I think it's a starch, and it's pervasive as far as ingredients go. I see it everywhere. I think it's a preservative. I'm trying to weed out those types of things, but it's one that I'm working on. I'm uneasy with maltodextrin, but for now I live with it.

Modified cornstarch...modified how, exactly? And really, more cornstarch? The cornstarch at the beginning wasn't enough? And isn't maltodextrin a starch made from corn? Wow...there's a lot of starch in this.

Citric acid, vinegar solids, cider vinegar, natural flavors....Natural flavors. That, I don't like. Not at all. What, pray tell, are natural flavors? Why can't they be more specific? Why the intrigue? I worry because I recently found out that the "natural flavors" used to make some foods red is crushed beetle shells. Sloppy joe seasoning is reddish. Am I feeding my family bug shells? Natural flavors sort of freak me out. Dirt is natural. Bugs are natural. Guano is natural. (Don't get me started on what they use guano in.)

Why can't they just tell us what they're using? I feel like it's all some big conspiracy, like they don't trust us enough to tell us what they're using...."It's OK, little lady, don't worry your pretty little head about this! You just make your sloppy joes and let us, the more qualified people, worry about the natural flavors! After all, if you knew how to do this properly, you wouldn't be using a seasoning packet anyway, right?"

So I spent a lot of time thinking about this last night. So many of us have weight problems and health issues, and I firmly believe it is because we eat all these chemicals and processed foods. If we would just eat things in their natural forms and cook using whole ingredients, we'd all be so much better off. But instead, we're rushing around using packets of this and boxes of that, and most of us don't even know what exactly we're eating. I sure as hell don't. It's scary. Was it scary enough not to eat? Nope...still fed everyone sloppy joes for dinner. Next time, maybe, I'll make them from scratch. I'm working on it, I really am, but I'm not there yet. But knowing there's a problem is half the battle, right?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Returning to normal

In the sake of getting back into a routine, back to what passes for normal in my world, I wanted to focus my energy on Boy Wonder today. After all, I've taken the semester off school, the house is sitting patiently on the market (recrossing it's ankles every now and then, but mostly just sitting), and Bubby's gone - it's just me and Boy Wonder all day long.

So today I got up with a plan. We were going to do our copywork, work on some math, and listen to Story of the World: Ancient Times while building with legos. And for our first day back, I'm happy to report that we did ok. There was a little grumbling from both of us, but there always is after returning to routine after a break. We got the copywork and math done. Listening to Ancient Times didn't go so well, but we ended up reading a couple of books together. I can live with that. There's going to be some adjustment time for us, and as long as we're doing something productive I'm pretty happy.

My other stab at adjusting (and saving money) has been planning out dinner menus for the week. Until now, I'd never done this in real life. I keep hearing about how much it can help save money and time, but I'm more of a 'buy some staples and whatever looks good and fend for yourself for dinner' type of gal. I do cook, but not regularly. We eat a lot of pasta and rice with steamed veggies - not a lot of effort goes into my menu planning. We're really having to buckle down financially, so I thought this would help.

I looked up a few recipes online, racked my brain for things that I do cook when I choose to do so, made a shopping list and headed off to Wal-Mart. Amazingly enough, I only spent $73! Apparently having a very specific list and sticking to it does actually save money. Who knew?? I even planned for and made a casserole for Sunday brunch - I haven't done that for ages.

The whole experience has been kind of freeing. I know it was nothing revolutionary, but it always surprises me when something so simple works out so well. I don't do well with strict routines and lists because I'm fairly lazy. I don't want to be tied down to doing something I may or may not feel like doing. I always thought planning out a menu sounded horrible - what if we didn't want what was on the plan? But it's nice to spend a little time thinking ahead - I don't have to worry about it during the week. (Wow, mom, you WERE right!) There's enough to choose from so we'll have some options. And there are always leftovers or good old pb&j if we want it.

So, yeah, I know. Hardly worth blogging about really, but that's another thing I'm going to try to do more regularly. Force myself to write, to think of something to say, to get my thoughts organized. Try to be a little more creative, a little more thoughtful. So much will probably be crap, but I feel like I need to try. Kind of hard to insist that Boy Wonder learn how to write well when I've let mine go for so long. So wish me luck....I've been floating for too long and I need something different in my life right now.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Oops, she did it again...

My lovely sil has shown her crazy once again. Her paranoia and instability is shining through, and it's as blinding as driving into the rising sun behind a bug splattered windshield.

I had great hopes for her; I thought she was getting the help she so desperately needed. Unfortunately, it appears as if she's just working the system she's in without making any real progress. She's spouting off what she thinks everyone wants to hear and switching alliances so fast I feel like I'm in some bad realty show (Survivor: Texas Prison System). And if that isn't bad enough, I just got voted off the island (cell block?).

The result of all this is that Bubby is no longer living with us. He is now in upstate New York, over 2,000 miles away. Boy Wonder and I just got back from getting him settled in with his grandfather and half-brothers - people Bubby has never met before. The whole thing was heartbreaking, but unavoidable. We knew when we took Bubby in that it was going to be temporary. I guess I just hoped it wouldn't end like this. In all likelihood, we will not see him again.

I know that we gave him a wonderful life while we had him, and I know his grandfather will take good care of him. My sil's father has assured me that he will be the first person to protect Bubby from her if (when) that becomes necessary. He has assured me that he will throw her under the bus, if (when) it comes to that. It's good to know that he will put Bubby's needs ahead of those of his own daughter, if (when) it comes to that.

On the positive side, my life just got a whole lot simpler. Taking care of a crawling infant who still doesn't always sleep through the night is (no matter how sweet and happy he is) a lot of work. The logisitics of caring for a baby and all his needs, keeping him well-fed, happy, and most parents out there know, it's pretty consuming. Packing and moving with an infant isn't easy, and I no longer have to worry about that. Dealing with my still loony sil is a thing of the past, and that's a wonderful thing. No matter how well she's doing, there's always some drama with her, and now it's no longer my problem.

On the negative side...well, he's gone. And we love him. And we miss him. The house is a little emptier. I feel like I'm forgetting to do something, like my days are too easy. My first thought the last few mornings was, "Wow, he slept through the night!!" and then I realized he wasn't there.

So it's been a rough couple of weeks, going through all this. But we'll get through it and we'll all be alright. I know we did the best we could with what (and who) we had to work with. Ultimately, I have to accept that his leaving was completely out of my hands, and just let it all go. Bubby made our lives happier while he was with us. All we can do now is hope he'll be safe and happy, and that my sil's brand of crazy is drug induced rather than genetic.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wah wah wah WAH wah wah

I talk. A lot. And I've noticed that my closest friends don't. So you don't get the wrong idea, they do talk back - our conversations aren't (completely) one sided. But my friends are generally content to let me prattle on relentlessly. They respond, they ask pointed and intelligent questions, they reign me in when needed, and they talk me down from the ledge when I'm ready to jump. But I have to say I seem to do most of the talking. Obviously there's a certain type of person that is in some way entertained by my personality, and luckily, I've found all three of them.

I was thinking about this last night after a nearly two hour phone conversation. I was exhausted, I had only slept about three hours the night before. I was all hopped up on caffeine and sugar and feeling more than a little jittery. What was meant to be a quick check in to confirm some dates with a friend turned into a marathon. And it was great. Well, it was great for me, anyway. She said she enjoyed it...I'm sure she could she not have? I would have noticed. Hmmmm.

But anyway, one of the things we discussed was how much we enjoy catching up, and how there are other people who we don't enjoy chatting with nearly as much. I had a phone conversation with someone a few months ago and I couldn't get a word in anywhere. I was bored out of my mind by what she was saying, and the little voice in my head was alternating between "When will she stop???" and "When does it get to be MY turn to talk???" and "Oh my THIS what I sound like???"

That's a big fear of mine - I know I ramble, I know I repeat myself (especially when I'm upset), but am I boring? What are people thinking when I'm talking? Are they mentally choosing what color to paint their ceiling? Composing a shopping list? Wishing I'd just shut up and go away? Or just hoping to get a chance to say something at some point?

I hope I always give people time to say what they want. I want to exchange ideas, not cram mine down someone's throat. I love hearing what other people think. I love gathering ideas and information and getting different points of view. Sharing thoughts with other people makes my day. I hope when I'm going on and on about something I'm not monopolizing the conversation. I want for people to get something out of what I'm saying, even if it's just a smile, a laugh, a little entertainment. I'm sure they're laughing with me, right?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hunkered like a meth-crazed badger

I had a disappointing Carl Hiaasen experience the other day. I saw he had a new book out called The Downhill Lie and I scooped it out without really looking at it. It's Carl Hiassen; there's never been a need to know what the book was about, the man is flippin' hilarious. As it turned out, the book was not fiction. It is not only non-fiction, but it is about golf. Now, the golf part I was expecting - the tee on the cover did give that much away. But I was expecting a wildly amusing tale taking place somewhere in Florida, loosely based on the game of golf. I was not expecting a book about returning to the game after a 30+ year hiatus.

I decided to give it a go anyway, and I was rewarded with the following quote: "Richard Nixon was hunkered like a meth-crazed badger in the White House, Hank Aaron was one dinger shy of Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, and The Who had just released Quadrophenia.” Believe you me, I will be working 'hunkered like a meth-crazed badger' into conversation as often as I can from here on out. I'm not sure about anybody else, but the visual I got from that made my whole day.

I love odd wording, surprising phrasing, funny quotes. I love reading authors that make me giggle and I want to read to be entertained. I want an engrossing story, I want to be drawn in - I want to be completely invested in the characters and what happens next. I don't want to study what I'm reading, I don't want to analyze it. I want to have a good time. I know that's shallow and very unintellectual of me, but it's probably why I also enjoy such a variety of writing. It's probably also why I can't remember the plot of a book I read last week, and why I tend to re-read the same books not realizing until half-way through that I've already read them.

But anyway, my point is this: I've been thinking about changing my major to English. I was originally going for something in the medical field and was almost done with my pre-reqs when we realized we were going to be moving. I decided it was too hard to do something like that if we were going to move around more, so I thought I'd change to something I could finish online. It also solves my homeschooling problems - it's hard to homeschool when you yourself are going to school full-time. But an English degree I could do from home on a part-time basis. And English classes have always been somewhat easy for me. I enjoy writing, I love reading. Being an English major isn't completely useless, right?

My concern is that my love of reading and writing is too superficial to handle pursuing this line of education. My friend M commented that I didn't read for academic reasons, and it gave me pause. We had been discussing this subject and I freely admit to reading like some people watch tv, but I hadn't really thought of my reading in those terms before.

So again, I'm feeling anxious and directionless. I really haven't decided what I want to be when I grow up, and at 35 I feel like I should have a better idea. I thought I had it before, but the move kind of screwed things up. I know if it were really my passion it wouldn't matter and I'd find a way to do it anyway, but I'm totally ok with a change so there you go. Guess I hadn't found my passion.

At this point, I feel like I want a degree in something, just to prove to myself I can finish it. I feel like I need to pick a major and stick to it, and pick one that moving around won't mess up. I guess for now I'll remain anxious and directionless, hunkered like a meth-crazed badger, until I figure it out. (Ha!)

If anybody has any suggestions, by all means speak up.