Random Crap: Bad Blogger Edition

Getting it together seems to be juuuuust beyond the tips of my fingers lately. Spinning around, I realize it’s the 9th of October already, and I’m stunned. How are the days flying by with little to no regard for everything I have to do? I’m dizzy.

The schools here are rather intrusive into family life and time, and I’m going round and round with them on what constitutes their right to my children’s time, and what I hold firmly as mine. On the east coast there is a substantive and noticeable difference in the intensity level, and I can’t help but see it with my west-coast eyes. To me it seems like a self-perpetuating cycle where people equate business and scheduling with being important and successful. I do not. Protecting my children’s right to still be children, to have unstructured play time, and time to just stare at the clouds and contemplate wherever their minds roam is a priority to me. And I’ll fight you on it. *lacing up my boxing gloves*

I’ve got a bunch of grad-school crap I’m trying to take care of too, but I’m so stressed, I’m not writing about it. Testing, program consolidation, grant writing, possible interviews in programs are consolidated, the inability to get answers yet… etc.

Jeffrey has been tapped to play the baritone tube (euphonium) for band. Much to Jeffrey’s dismay, the band director does not have the skills or music for the bagpipes, thus Bean has taken over the bagpipes as his instrument of choice. Be jealous of practice time at my house. Be very very jealous. You cannot even imagine…

The heater kicked on for the first time yesterday. That’s a full month later, at least, than it would have in Washington state- and we’re still a good ten degrees warmer than they are still.

General Conference (the grand poobah of Mormon meetings, held twice a year) was a bit rough for me this last weekend. Sometimes I wish we could abandon the rhetoric, and be a little more personal. I wish we could acknowledge that The Ideal actually constitutes less than half the members of our church, and that The Family comes in many shapes, sizes and variations. I wish we could hear more of talks like we got Sunday morning, and less of what we got Saturday afternoon. That’s all I’ll say about that.

I took the holiday yesterday and went into the District and hit up the International Spy Museum. It was totally irresponsible and I should have been studying or working, but I really didn’t care. It’s a cool museum with lots of Cold War and WWII relics and gadgets, and it’s weird to see things I remember now in a museum.

Still not sure about the haircut. It may take a while for this to feel like me.

I got suckered into watching The Walking Dead. I hate hate hate scary movies, gore, violence, and icky movies and TV- and I had purposely avoided this monstrosity of all the above. I’m forced to admit, while covering my eyes and peeking over the edge of the blanket is necessary sometimes, the story actually got to me. I just don’t watch the icky parts.

I have a new nephew, born yesterday in California. Auntie Heather is due next month, another friend had a baby on my birthday last week, and another is due in a few days. It’s baby season. Not for me! But for a lot of folks I love. So yay!

Friday Brain Dump

I’m reading Sula again. I’m spellbound, completely wrapped up in the pictures Toni Morrison paints with words, and it leaves me feeling like an inadequately juvenile and wretched writer. Like a child hammering on Motzart’s harpsichord. Like I should throw my pens in the trashcan and go cook dinner instead. Only I’d never throw my Mont Blanc away.

I made it through the first season on LOST on Hulu, but I had to make myself watch the last three episodes. No interest whatsoever in watching season 2. But I am thoroughly enjoying Mad Men. The characters are way more interesting, complex, nuanced. I’ve been told it’s a character flaw that I lost interest in LOST. Whatevs…

Bean ate a fishstick tonight. If you have an ASD kid, you know that warrants a ticker-tape parade.

The YMCA interviewed and snaped a couple pictures of me and the kids for a promo piece they are doing after reading my blog, particularly the pieces I wrote about my first visits earlier this year. They have also asked about filming a 3-5 minute promotional mini-film. Weird and surreal.

My nose and forehead is still peeling from last Saturday’s garage sale. It’s cute, too, let me tell you. Great sheets of red skin bubbling and rolling off. Lovely.

Very tentatively, it looks like potty-training armageddon might have actually worked. Abby is completely out of pull-ups during the day, and is actually noticing when she’s got to pee. It’s a miracle.

We roasted marshmallows over the gas burners tonight and had indoor s’mores. Bean ate those too- but he likes marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers, and giving the boy access to fire is a sure thing.

My plate is very full, and I’m trying to walk the line between tackling things one at a time, not panicking, and actually accomplishing things. It feels like as long as I don’t look down, I’ll be fine, but it’s really hard to keep my eyes trained on the horizon. Slippery. Dangerous. But at the same time, I feel like I have to look down, and maybe if I do, the ground really will be much closer than I think. I have to decide what’s more scary- knowing, or not.

Bean wants a fish. Jeffrey wants a new bird. Nevermind that we have three of them. Abby wants a lightsaber. Go figure.

My textbooks are almost all here, and I get to print my syllabus on Monday and then I can get started on my reading. No idea how this is going to effect my blogging, writing, or creativity. But for better or worse, this is the new ride. Get in, and buckle up.

Mo is moving tomorrow. Lalalalalalala…. can’t hear you.

Midnight Ramblings

I’m bored. Everyone I know is asleep. Why am I not asleep? I took a five-minute nap when I popped the kids in bed (Everyone was in bed by 7, due to fighting fouls. Hoooah!) and now I’m watching the clock round the bend towards the witching hour. Which if you have known me for long, is really 3 a.m. And hopefully that won’t be the case tonight.

I’m hungry. I totally shouldn’t be. I ate enough today- unlike some days. This not having an appetite is awesome. Is this what regular people are like? Because never in my life has my stomach turned off- as evidenced by the current rumbling. Grumble rumble gurgle mumble. Go away. I’m busy. Leave me alone. NO, you don’t need any pizza, now shut up. You want me to use the Epi-pen? Yeah, that’s what I thought. No pizza for you!

Abby’s got a croupy cough, and I just filled humidifier and popped it right outside her room. Seeing as how we hit all of 15 degrees F today, and are at, oh, a balmy 7 F as I type, I suppose our indoor air is pretty Saharan. It’s been fun playing with the static and the boys though. Zzzzap! he he he…

Why do concave mirrors and spoons turn your reflection upside down?

I had a great hair day today. I mean, awesome. It was soft, and beautiful, and the blond is really mellowing and I love it. Dry days are a curly girl’s best friend. Only I’m not embracing the curls currently. I’m loving the shampoo-ad hair. When it’s this arid, it’s easy for me to put it on big rollers and get big, glossy, bouncy, full hair. And babies, when the weather is right, I’m grabbing that brass ring. I could totally be in a hair commercial. Only they would have to graft my head on a new body. I hear they can do that in Photoshop these days. What? I saw the Dove ad.

It was so cold today I skipped going to the grocery store and ordered a $10 pizza from Pizza Hut for the kids. It came, it was HOT and I didn’t have to do anything. Probably not the best use for my Christmas money, but it sure made my evening happier.

(I am in desperate need of a Lego Star Wars Hailfire Droid thing. It looks like this:)

Lego, why do you break my heart? And you sucky people on eBay, why do you resell all the Lego you bought at Toys R Us last week when they were all on sale and I couldn’t get the ones my kids asked SANTA for because you were being a greedy HOG and taking them all and are now asking three times what you paid for them. You suck.

Anyway, if anyone can pull a hat-trick on one of these, I will gladly PayPal or mail you a check. DONE!

Since we’re wishing for rainbows and ponies, the MTT Troop Carrier has been on their list for two Christmases running. This one doesn’t even exist anymore. It’s like a leprechaun, or 401K’s with money in them- a legend only. The SUCKY people on eBay are selling them for $300. THREE HUNDRED dollars. For Danish plastic. *sigh*

Sixteen days till Christmas!


b-careflAbby keeps complaining that her arm hurts, and is insisting it is broken and I need to take her to the “hosible”. I’m watching her closely, and she did favor it the rest of the evening after the Shove the Mattress incident. She is also quite the drama queen, and heard me tell Jeffrey that he could have broken her arm with their horseplay. She glommed right onto that.  So… In the morning if she’s still gimpy I’m off to the Hosible.  Poor girl.

(Edit: It’s morning. She’s still gimpy. She’s definitely favoring it. Crap. I’ve got a call in to the doctor and am waiting for them to get her in. Crap. Crap. Crap.)


Random Crap: Travel Edition


(Still sans-usb cable, this picture is borrowed from my new friend Nan’s blog, Pots and Pins. Check her out- her recipes are fantastic, and she was a cheerleader for me as my neighbor in Houston…)

AWOL Mama logging in from my step-dad’s computer. I really need to get myself a laptop- this is such a drag!

I promise I won’t talk about Market anymore for a while, but I wanted to share this picture. This a shot of about one-twelfth the size of the floor at Houston market. Honestly, in three solid days I didn’t even make it down every aisle. It was insane. And the talent! Oh my goodness, the talent was just incredible.

Houston. Houston was good to me. Aside from the horrifying, ghastly weather, Houston is a nice place. But, oh, the weather is a BIG problem. The food was awesome- seriously, Houston is kind to Foodies. It is NOT kind to people with curly hair, however.

I flew into the biggest storm of the year to hit California yesterday morning. The airline was actually offering vouchers at the gate in Denver if anyone wanted to wait out the storm and catch a “less bumpy” flight. Yes, they said that over the intercom. And it was. It was whiteout most of the way- very strange sensation, being able to see nothing out your window at 38,000 feet, while you bounced and bumped along. The flight attendants didn’t even serve drinks- they had to stay buckled-up. Not a good flight if you didn’t enjoy flying. I was fine.

My kids are in great shape. Grandma and grandpa and granddad have done a great job. The kids are hanging on me more than normal, but I missed them so much I don’t mind.

I’m hitting up my favorite Indian restaurant this evening with my cousin. I just cannot get food like this in the northwest. Tomorrow I hit up LaBamba on the peninsula.  I’m also trying to hook up with my friend Rebecca and her kids, as well as my cousin Heather, whom y’all know.

I ADORE the way Texans say “thank you”- and I can see how you could pick up a Texan accent quickly and without meaning to- It’s melodic and addictive… thank yeeeww. And they said I had an accent. Yeah, suuuuuure.

My i-pod really made the airplane trip less of a drag. How cool is it to have 1000 songs at my fingertips? Thank-yeeeew, Mo!

There is much to tell, but for now, I must hold me peace. I’ll be home on Saturday.

Random Crap: Labor Day

Well hello, 2:58 a.m. How are you? We haven’t seen each other in a while, and I can’t say as I’ve missed you all that much, my lovely little witching hour. You are neither late night, nor yet early morning. You are neither. And I don’t like you very much. No, not very much at all.

School starts tomorrow!! Yay! Can you hear me hollering for joy through the computer? No? I’ll try again…

Labor Day. You know, celebrating the working person is just not the same ball of fun when you are going on 21 months of unemployment. So, um, you can have your cake and eat it too, I’m going to just hang out by myself in the corner. Don’t mind me- continue with your celebrations. Carry on…

Breaking news! I have a bona-fide wheat allergy. Meh, I’m allergic to everything else under the sun, why not throw in EVERYTHING else good in my life? Like carbs. Because the only pleasure I had left, since I can no longer afford to visit my cheese monger, is BREAD. Go ahead, life, take it all way. Fine. You’ll find me celebrating labor day in the corner with my rice crackers.

When I was a kid, my allergist said the only two animals on earth I was not allergic to were goats and pigs. Yes. Goats. And pigs. My parents got a goat. It ate my hair. I cried. Their Greek friends ate the goat. The end. (Maybe the goat was food all along and I just thought it was like my pet. Hmmm. This is groundbreaking, kind of like my grandma throwing the Monopoly games…)

I do feel better without the wheat. I’m on day 6, I think, and it’s been dreamy not barfing or having asthma attacks. Because honestly? The only thing that could possibly keep me from eating bread is the threat of my lungs clamping shut and not having an epi-pen on hand. Kinda makes the bread not look so interesting. Almost.

Speaking of, there is wheat in freaking EVERYTHING. Soy sauce. Tater tots. Nougat (Yes, nougat!). Sausages. Beer (yeah, that’s not going to a big issue) (But it does mean the Beer Cheese soup is out at The Duke of Edinburgh when I visit my parents. Oh no!) And did you know blue-veined cheese are sometimes molded with wheat mold? Egad! The abomination. What will I do??! My CHEESE, people! And on it goes.

Beanie is on his fifth primary teacher since January. I won’t even go into how much fun that is with an Asperger’s kid. I’ve just given up and take him with me for 2nd hour Sunday School. My kids love him, and we’re all happy. Sort of.

For the first time in my life, I have ten long beautiful strong natural fingernails. Well, except the middle finger on my right hand- I keep that one filed shorter. NO, not for that. For my thimble. Anyone who hand-sews, and I do, needs to have a fine English thimble. My secret? Not for the thimble, for the nails: Nailtique. Mo recommended it, and after a lifetime of thin, weak nails, I have nails of steel. And honestly, it rocks. I had no idea strong nails were so useful!

September is stacking up to be whopper of a busy month. If there was a job buried in there somewhere, that would be just divine. In case anyone is asking.

There is a giant moth trying to commune with Mothra and throwing itself like a sacrificial virgin at my desk lamp lightbulb. Should I turn it off and confuse it’s dogma forever?

My mom phoned from Deadwood today, where she’s touring the Black Hills and communing with Gustav Borglum. She sent Beanie his birthday present early, and now both boys have new bikes. Bean is happy happy happy.

What’s going on in your neck of the woods? Come on, divert me…

Random Crap: Summer Lull

Here it is. High summer. It’s hot round these parts, after a lot of rain last week. It was honestly almost cold one day, and I kept hearing Natalie Maines’ voice in my head chortling “…here’s your cold day, iiiiiiin Juuuuuuuuu-lyyyyyyyyy”. No more. It’s near 100 today, and the kids are just full of complaints about how hot they are.  Last night there was much sprinkler running, some tears, a popsicle or two, too late of a bedtime, and grumpy kids today. Basically a summer night.

BugleDid I mention Beanie got a BUGLE? As in, real, honest to goodness, brass-band BUGLE. Looks just exactly like this one.  A musical friend has moved on to the trumpet, and when hanging out the other day, Beanie saw his bugle, picked it up, and ripped off three notes the first try. The friend said most people can’t get it to work the first time, let alone actually play a note- so he sent Bean home with it- and we’ve been enjoying bugle music ever since. Well, most of us have been enjoying it- Jeffrey is annoyed, but everyone else thinks it’s cool. Well, maybe the neighbors don’t, but I didn’t ask them. As we were coloring on the driveway the other night at twilight, Beanie was marching up and down the court, bugling to high heavens. It was fantastic. His face just glows with happiness when he’s blowing on that horn, so it’s all good to me.

Uncle Todd was here too, yesterday. Hooray for Uncle Todd! We love him. Mo was over with her gang for the day too, and her poor baby burned the bottoms of her feet on the hot driveway/porch. Terrible feelings were had by all for a while. Then, running water in the sink helped, as did M&M’s. Poor baby. She feels better today.

Garage sales were OK this morning. I found a new birdcage for the FOUR birds we now have. Daivd and Bean are currently at the pet store getting a feed-dish to fit the new cage. It told him if he came back with another bird, I would filet and fricasee all the birdies for dinner, and he would be very, very sorry. But a bigger cage was desperately needed, and new cages are a lot of money!


I found a mid-centruy small bookshelf with sliding glass doors, and talked the lady down from $15 to $10. It’s just like this one, only it has another shelf in the middle, behind the glass doors.

It’s perfect for all the kids’ art supplies. And, it fits juuuust right in my dining room. It’s wood like this one, but I’m thinking of using my free Glidden paint that came in the mail to give it a coat of  Spicy Pear- Did anyone else get their free paint?

I also found a few small things- a recipe box with polka dots and strawberries on it (25 cents), a potholder (25 cents), a skirt for myself ($1), and a potato ricer from the 1960’s ( $1). So, not a lot, but still nice.

David and Beanie just got back. No bird. ::exhale:: I didn’t want that fight. At all.

Oh, and one final note- we’re done with diapers, as of today. It’s going to be brutal, it’s going to be rough, the floors might suffer. I will probably swear. But when one cannot get the diapers taped anymore, it is time to move on. A milestone has been reached. Or else.

Random Crap: July Edition

uncle-sam-4th-of-july-american-flag-vintage-postcardI’m not hating on July like I usually do. All my life, July has been my least favorite month, and yet this year, I’m appreciating her hot self. The year turning feels good, and even though it’s hot, she brings me my Hydrangea bushes in bloom, berry picking season, jam-making and sparklers in the backyard. I think I may be growing up.

Simple Eco Shoes sent Abby some shoes with the deal that I review them, and how they hold up. They are not paying me, and I am free to write however I honestly feel- that’s the caveat with any review I agree to. I will not be bought or sold- you get what you get when you send me something. And hey, free shoes! Look for the review next week.

Yesterday I found a tutorial on how to make neckties, and you would NOT believe how awesomely easy it is. The boys are stoked- and they both picked through my fabric piles looking for the coolest fabric. Beanies has American flags all over it, and Jeffrey’s has dragons. It’s mostly hand-sewing- and I got the link from someone (can’t remember the link- it if was you let me know?) who commented here.

Just finished reading Rough Stone Rolling, and have a tremendous intellectual crush on Richard Bushman. It’s not a light read, but it’s worth it.

Also just finished reading Mormon Enigma, and have a new, profoundly deep respect for Emma. Holy cow. The woman was made of fine, fine things. Mixed with steel.

Next up: David O. McKay’s bio. Not light reading, but it’s sitting like a brick on my nightstand waiting its turn.

The kids broke the arm off the rocker in my office. This particular rocking chair came across the plains in a Conestoga wagon on the Oregon trail, and was rocked by my husbands great great grandmother. My Mother-in-Law gave it to me a few years ago, and I’m sick that my kids managed to mangle it. It’s fixable- it broke on a joint, and I think with some TLC, glue and some new dowels it will be fine. At least I hope so…

Our air conditioning is broken. It worked fine, and then kapow, when the switch is flipped: nothing. Nada. Kaput. The house fan still works, but neither the heat nor the cool will come on. Hopefully it’s just a thermostat thing- because we can really afford a repair bill right now? Nope. We’ll just be hot. Turn on the fans and pull down the shades. Crap.

Last night for dinner I made Chicken Tika Masala. Oh, stars, it was gooooooood. If you want the recipe, it’s another one of Ree’s. Give it a shot- it’s easy and so fantastically good. The boys turned up their noses, but Abby ate a whole plate. That’s my spicy girl!

We’re not doing much for the Independence Day weekend. My whole family down in California is up at the Lake near Yosemite where we always go for vacations. They’d have so much more fun if we were there. Instead, we will be playing with Sparklers in the backyard. Ear your hear out, family! Who wants a lake at Yosemite when you can have a sparkler and a five-gallon bucket of safety water in the backyard? I mean really!

I wish I had a clothesline in the backyard.

I’m making Indian cheese today. What? Mo informs me not everyone makes cheese and the cavalier way I talk about some things is just funny.  Everyone doesn’t make cheese? She is laughing at me. I mean, I’m not stupid- I know not everyone makes cheese- but what’s the big deal? I love Indian food, and I need some cheese. What gets me, for all the fine cuisine of the Indian subcontinent, they only ever invented ONE kind of cheese. It’s called panneer. It’s awesome, and easy to make, and I cannot find it any markets around here. So I make my own. It’s not rocket science. And it’s delicious!

BIG bowl of Bing cherries sitting on my counter, just waiting for something fantastic to happen…

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Random Crap: Tuesday

The amazingness of my Nauvoo trip is lingering. I’m reading Emma’s biography, and completely submersed in the history of Missouri and Illinois. It’s not an easy read, and not for the faint-of-heart, that’s for sure, but I find the rich texture of real history to be invigorating and satisfying. I wouldn’t give the book to just anyone, but if you want some well-written and thoroughly researched history, and you’re solid in your beliefs, this is a great book.

My bruises and scrapes are healing miraculously fast, especially considering how terrible they were. Cool.

Jeffrey gave a talk in church Sunday, and for the first time, he didn’t crawl under the podium. He has always been so brave and excited to talk in the microphone until he gets up there and sees all the kids’ faces looking at him- this time, he wrote everything out himself, and he did great. Bean, on the other hand, runs up to the microphone at every opportunity and yelps random things out. He loves the sound of his own honking.

My schedule is filling up- I’ve been contacted about two (two!) paying writing gigs. How awesome is that? I’ve got some paintings that are going out in the next week or so, and a local cabinet maker called this morning to see if I could help him with a mural next month. It’s money, and I am SO grateful!

We’re having mixed success on the potty front with Abby. Potty=1, Abby=1. Odds are slowly moving in our favor. Gross-out moment of the week? She was naked post-bath and went in the boys’ room. While stepping over a pile of Lego (could it have been anywhere else?) she pooped. The boys completely flipped out, Bean was gagging, Jeffrey was wigging. David grabbed her and ran in the bathroom, and I quietly threw way a small fortune in Lego. Kids are so gross sometimes.

Our domestic bird population has remained stable for the last few weeks. Glory be.

Now I have to turn my thoughts and planning towards Houston. Holy. Cow. It’s going to be fun, and I have a lot to do, but I feel oddly confident. It’s very exciting.