Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A few things to update on. I caved to the sophmore slump and did not finish my nano novel this year. After ditching my first 15,000 words and starting over I did come up with 15,000 words that I really liked.

My mood picked up after a short cry in the shower. I thought about why I was really feeling bad. It did not take me long to admit that I felt I had handled a situation in which Drama Queen ended up in jail badly. After thinking it over I do feel I made the second best choice and would do it differently if I had a chance, but the the results have been over all positive. She has been really trying to quit drinking, even attending those dreaded (by her) meetings. The bad side is she absolutely refuses to live here near her family. It is amazing how much better it felt to admit to myself that I made a mistake, but had learned a lesson about myself and my family.

That fall to do list is not going to get done. A few closets have been cleaned out as have my kitchen cabinets. I have hung the curtains in my bedroom. The material for the living room curtains has been bought. I could not find any I liked for the price I was willing to pay, but I am going to try and replicate a set of the more expensive ones. To Dh and the kids relief I did buy some of those temporary shades, the paper ones to replace the blankets. My brother in law called me the day I put them up and asked If I had to take down my other curtains because the we were getting cold. Smartass.

I have been following the group of people who pledged to buy nothing new for a whole year. While I know I could never do anything so drastic, I do like the thought behind it. Some days I feel we are being over run by junk we buy. I do compost and recycle and try building most of my outdoor projects with materials on hand, but still I buy way too much. As far as the five kids are concerned I will still support capitalism on a grand scale this year. Over the years I have made a list of things I will not buy, mostly for economic reasons though. Remote control vehicles never last long enough to justify the amount of money I spend on them. Any toys requiring batteries that aren't rechargable. I just never keep that many batteries in the house so they don't get used for their intented purposes for long. Then I find them a year later broke with that white gunk spreading out of the battery case.
For the adults this year I am going to try to make most of the gifts. I had no idea what to do for Dh until I walked into his office at work and noticed the trash bags he had taped over one of his windows to block the sun. Last night the kids and I made him some curtains out of left over material I had. They are nothing grand, but quite a bit better than a trash bag.

Santa days

Every year our school has what we call Santa day. On the last day of school before Christmas break they dismiss at 12:30. If not the whole town then damn near the whole town meets in the gym. We have drawings for free turkeys, hay scrambles, the band plays Christmas songs, and yes Santa shows up. The School takes donations to give all of the senior citizens silver dollars and all of the students a gift. It also a good time for organizations or people raising money to have a raffle. Lee and I decided to raffle off two afgans for his trip. Santa day was last Friday. On Wednesday I bought some yarn. I had one afgan done, but not two. The first one was a Queen size, but I was only going to make the second one a throw. I worked Thursday, and as I was locking up Jason called me and told me he had volunteered me to make cookies for his class party the next day. That was also the night of the christmas program. Lane and Princess were elfs.
Around midnight I sat down to crochet. At five-thirty I was too tired to continue. I had little over a half done and had watched over five hours of BBC. I crawled to bed and slept until the alarm woke me at seven. Amazingly I felt refreshed, and like Madonna, had a newly acquired English accent. By ten thirty that morning I was finished. My long night paid off. Lee earned over two hundred dollars for his trip. As a bonus he had talked to several people who offered to pay him for odd jobs. One of the older ladies in town told him that if he was a bit short when the time drew near to come talk to her. His morale was way up. I was proud of him because that whole day was way out of his comfort zone, both of ours really.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Picture!

Yeah! I finally tried to post a picture. This is Huggy Bear and she is very cuddly. Her mom sent her dressed in the cute pink, the too large black accessories I added. Her yard never seems to look more like a construction site than a yard either. Like most sisters we are so different yet so much alike.

I feel like I need to watch a Riding in Cars With Boys again. Who knows why one movie will affect one person dramatically and not another. Two of my friends have watched it and their thoughts were "meh, it was okay." My brother really liked it, brought it to me and I cried all the way through it. Not just tearing up, actual crying. It got so bad my brother apologized for bringing it. I want to watch it again and I hope it still works it's magic.
Like everybody my life has rough patches and I am one of those stoic people who may feel bad when alone, but laugh my way through it in company. Twice though in the last week I have felt myself on the verge of tears in very public places. Lately I have become one large exposed nerve.
Large because I have quit walking my three miles a night and have put on almost twenty pounds since September. That could partly explain my lack of composure too. It is easy to handle almost anything if you know you are going to have some time in the moonlight to think it over. Instead I may have to settle for a good cry.
I had sat down here today and planned to tell the story about why Drama Queen is back in Wichita and why Princess and Curly Top are with me. Every time I try to write it though it comes out as a bunch of melodramatic blah blah blah. So let's just say she is battling her demons and I am trying to help, while constantly feeling guilty because she got more than her fair share of demons while I escaped with so few. It is hard watching someone you love struggle. The hardest part is not knowing how much to help or how much space to give.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I'm heading to Wichita to drop the Drama Queen off. There is a story behind this trip, but I don't have time to tell it now. Miss Universe is going with me so we are taking Huggy Bear and Curly Top. This should be a fun day. I am thankful for Sirius radio, because the radio stations in this area are sub par.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thanksgiving is over and Christmas begins. We put our tree up on Friday, but still have not added any decorations to it other than white lights and an angel for the top. Curly top, who is living with her mom and grandma, told them that today that she wanted to come over to my house because it is Christmas here but not at there house yet. (They haven't put up a tree)

Being an opinionated person it is odd when I realize there are some things I haven't made up my mind about yet. I was walking home from work a little after five yesterday afternoon. Looking up I saw a beautiful silver half-moon in the middle of the sky. The sun was a bright orange disk four fingers above the western horizon. Together with the bare trees against the blue sky they made a breath taking picture. I was crunching leaves under my feet as I walked and thought "I love the earth." my mind made an unexpected turn and thought "I wonder if animals ever stop and think that or if that is what sets humans apart? Do fleas ever stop and think I love this dog?" At this point I was reminded of a cartoon I loved as a child. There was a flea holding a sign that said 'the end of the dog is coming' I thought, "how odd it would be to live on a world that really does have an ending point like a dog." Sunday school lessons ran through my head."Oh crap." I thought "I am supposed to believe the world is ending."I know as a christian I should believe the world as we know will end someday. Although the Bible does not say the world will be destroyed it mentions a second heaven coming down to a second earth. So even Bible literalists should not expect the world to be completely destroyed. What do I think though? I do not know. I love Anne Lamott's book Travelling Mercies; Some thoughts of Faith. At one point in it she is sitting by a man on a plane who is reading a book from the Left Behind series. He asks if she is a believer and she answers something to the effect that she is not that type of a christian. I don't know that I buy the whole armageddon theory. My thoughts about God always center on love and acceptance. Who could respect a god who would torture good people for eternity simply because they do not believe in him? My mind is still in a muddle about it. Maybe I don't have to decide, it won't really affect the outcome now will it?

Fundraisers and stay-at-home mothers.

Where to start...

If I didn't have so many thoughts about myself to post I would a do a what I'm thankful for post. I am reserving the right to do one in the future. I just sent in my Lee's application for a Lead America conference. If everything goes right I am committing to come up with $5,254 to send him to study abroad in Europe for two weeks. That is very scary, especially since he was pre-accepted and sent an invitation.
I made a decision years ago to be a stay-at-home mom. Like most women I knew that this would have it's benefits and it's drawbacks. The major benefits have been that I was able to enjoy watching my children grow everyday. I breastfed without the hassle of a pump. I was one of the few parents in the nearly empty row of seats when the school had an award program in the middle of the day. Not once have I regretted the decision. Even now if I could do it over I would not change that. (There are plenty of things I would change though-that crazy perm in '93 for one)
Today though I am facing one of the drawbacks. Opportunities cost money. Financially things would have been less tight with another full time income. Over the years I have had several part time jobs. For seven years I ran an in home daycare. Now that is a job with a major burn out factor. I do work part time now and am very lucky to be able to commit most of my income to this project. While thinking about this problem tonight I have admitted to myself one thing that I would not have been brave enough to admit three years ago.
I have tried to never critcize a mother for making a different decision than I have. All families are the different, as are all people. I donated free childcare to two of my sisters so they could go to school and become working mothers. They made the right decisions for themselves and their families. I respect that. Even with this respect for working mothers it has only been in the last few years that I have broached the subject that I did not make my decision only because it was what I thought was best for my kids but also because of my inability to be a working mother.
On some dirty diaper changing afternoons I daydreamed about being at the office ready to pick my boys up. They would run out to meet me full of smiles. Making it look easy, I would balance everything beautifully. My pump would be in the car full of healthy breastmilk. Supper would be in the crockpot. Of course I could do it. I just chose not to.
It takes a special kind of person to balance a full time job and children. I know now that I am not one of those special people. I have had two different opportunities to play at working full time lately. Those two times have taught me that I do not have the energy to handle both a career and my family. Either my children or my job would have suffered, maybe both. That is humbling to think about.
Back to Lee's trip. The two of us are brainstorming about ways to raise part of the money. Any creative ideas?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Life is hectic

Between Sunday and Thursday of last week I drove 1,005 miles. Never have I been one of those people who loves to drive, not even as a teenager. The pasenger seat is just fine for me. Driving that many miles you would have thought I went somewhere grand. No, everday I was never more than 240 miles away from home. I just made a trip everyday to a different spot in Kansas. On Saturday we went to Woodward, OK. To visit dh's family for the holiday. Thankfully I did not have to drive.
My nano novel is way behind, I have almost resigned to not finishing this year. A small part of me is holding out hope, but that part of me is crazy. I am at 14,368 words and have nine days to get to 50,00. My house is also trashed and needs to be cleaned by Thansgiving. I am going to keep going on it to see how far I get, but I don't think it is going to happen this year.
This year I decided I would not run the Skating Rink. That is one decision I have not been regretting. Every Friday night I smile knowing I don't have to make chili and go supervise a mob of children. One high school boy made me feel good yesterday though. I was talking to a friend who teaches at the high school during her free period and did not make my escape before the next class arrived. He walked in and said he was upset with me. Of course I inquired about why. It was because I had quit and now the current manager was not near as good as I was. Ahhh. Not working though, I love having me weekends back.
I entertained myself with a dilema all week only to find out there was no dilema. A job for city clerk opened up in town. I applied because this was a part time job with insurance, which neither of my current jobs have. The only drawback is that I really like the job I would have to quit to make this one work. I have some issues with my boss, but they aren't that big of a deal. Also the room for advancement is greater at the job I would have to quit. I applied then found out they had changed the job description and now it was less hours and no benifits. I was happy they did not choose me because I would have felt bad telling them thanks, but no thanks.

Has anyone else switched over to the new blog format? I almost did but wanted to find out what kind of results everybody else was getting.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

more randomness

The idea of a cohesive post on one subject is gone for now.

I lost a post again yesterday because of the spell check problem. I knew I shouldn't have tried again, but those little things like the missing t on thought a few posts back drive me crazy. Obviously I suck at proof reading.

Talked to my sister yesterday. I am cofident she has given up pot for the baby. She has been being so good giving up cigarettes and pop for the kid so I was shocked to hear her remark on pot. She has given that up too.

I am starting to get excited about Christmas. Some years it doesn't hit me until the twentieth of
December. Not this year. I aready have my Celtic Carols cd playing.

My nano novel is way behind. I'm at 9,768 words. To be on schedule I need to be at 15,003 by tonight. Yikes, that is 5235 words.

Is randomness a word?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Oh yes, remember to vote today!!!

20 things to get before your 40.

I just picked my jaw up off of the floor. My sister and her boyfriend believe that smoking pot while pregnant does not harm the baby and is actually good for circulation. Now I have not researched this so my uninformed opinion is WTF? Non-pregnant people smoke all of the pot you want, but when you are pregnant take a nine month break.

Shopping for curtains yesterday blew. I wanted roman shades, there were none. Much to family's distress I am waiting to buy any until I visit an urban area with more selection. I did however get a new sofa off of lay-a-way. Never in my life have I been able to buy a new sofa. So when I did finally get to go shopping for one two months ago I went a little crazy. One, a modern looking olive green sectional, was brought straight home. The more victorian cream one with a paisley pattern had to wait. These two do not match at all, but I loved the cream one and the green one was sensible. I am just hoping they learn to play nice in there together.

Msn has a list 20 things to get before your forty. What the heck, I'll be forty in a seven years, so I read it. What crap. Who put this together, high end retailers? A good cause and a mammogram were the only two I agreed with. So what would my list look like? I have not put much thought into this yet so it may get revised, but here we go.

1. Mammogram-breast cancer is not something to play around with.
2. A good cause-At least one, remember we are changing the world.
3. One good feminsist book-you don't have to agree with every word just read it.
4. A nice set of sheets-we spend more time in our beds than in clothes.
5. A sport-Physical fitness is easier to stick to if it is fun.
6. Friends-You can't have too many.
7. Some time alone-Learn to enjoy your own company.
8. Recipes-Have a couple of foolproof recipes to impress your friends.
9. A hobby-find something you love to do just for yourself.
10.A nest egg-Let's not work forever.
11.A foriegn language-Your never too old to learn
12.A sense of humor- Life is just going to get funnier, learn to laugh at it.
13.A healthier eating plan-Fiber anyone?
14.An herb garden-They can be peaceful, playful, or just functional.
15.Comfortable shoes-Don't torture your feet for fashion.
16.A reliable car-By this age we deserve it.
17.Get rid of one fear-Experience the thrill of conquering a fear.
18.A good mixed cd-To cheer you up on the harder days.
19.Better family relationships-It is time to let the past go, work things out.
20.Love-A pet, a child, a friend, a mate, yourself, a houseplant, love something unconditionally

That was harder than I expected. 21-help making lists.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Random thoughts

I haven't disappeared, not intentionally anyway. Twice I have tried to post and both times my computer froze up at the spellchecking part. I am not the best speller, but I am not risking it tonight. I think the problem has something to do with my pop up blocker. Well here are some random thoughts.
My two weeks of work turned into the rest of the month, which then turned into until the fourth. I am so glad that is over. Full time working mothers I have the utmost respect for you. Trying to get everything done was killing me.

We had a great Halloween. It is one of my favorite holidays. I am one of those people who love most holidays though so it is really hard to pick a favorite. Of course being morally against Valantines day narrows it down a bit. I made Curly Top an adorable mermaid costume. She has been saying for weeks she is going to be a mermaid when she grows up. Which is great because she has been bummed out every since one of her babysitters in Wichita told her she could not be a princess when she grew up since her mother was not a queen. I guess the old bat has never heard of Monoco. Princess wanted to be a Fairy Princess with a long dress. Here train ended up dragging three feet behind her. She loved it. I did not get to go to the spook parade, stupid job, but they had fun. Drama Queen and I dressed up as bank robbers, black clothes and stockings over our heads, and took them trick-or-treating. We had a blast.

November is Nanowrimo month. Today is the fifth day so to stay on schedule I needed to be at around 8300 words by tonight. I started the day with somewhere around 750 words. I am up to
4487 words now and calling it a night. Last year my story just rolled along. I was getting worried this year because I seemed to be fighting to pull every sentence out. Some time this afternoon the block cleared and now it is going great. My mind keeps jumping ahead to characters who will show up in later chapters.

There was a tragedy with last years story though. I knew I needed to back it up and just never got arond to buying any cd's. The computer did something goofy the other day, and to fix it Lee decided to reboot. He told me about it and I didn't think anything about it for a few days. Then suddenly it hit me, my story. The worst part is that I had not opened it at all from the end of November until the middle of September. I was afraid it would really suck and scare me off this year. Instead I found I was liking it. As soon as I was done editing it I was planning to print it off and let my kids and a couple of friends read it. Is there anyway to get it back or is it gone forever? I am kind of embarrassed to say this but I actually had to fight back tears when I realized it was gone.

My baby sister is pregnant. At first I though no way she is too young. Then I realized she was twenty-four. Six years older than I was when Lee was born.

Jason told me a few months ago that he thought he was falling in love with his girlfriend. Now when a twelve year old says this it is certain there is a lesson in his future. As a mother I was relieved that he broke up with her and did not get his heart broke yet. As a person I felt horrible for this very sweet girl he was breaking up with. She is the sweetest thing, I was falling in love with her too. As a mother I was also glad they broke up before things got outof hand. I also learned a lesson about being the mother of boys. How many wonderful girls are they going to bring home just long enough for me to love, then watch them disappear from my life?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I have to work.

My two weeks of working full time started today. Of course I was late. I forgot to take a sweater and the office was freezing, and I'm living through one of the worst haircuts I have ever got. My hair is growing out, but still looks bad. Lee is probably grumpy because I had to leave today before I could put his contacts in. He is wearing his glasses which he hates. How all of these things can add up to a great dayI don't know, but I am feeling very cheerfull.

There is a bottle of Moscato D'Asti in my fridge. It has been chilling out in there for over a month waiting for me to drink it. I have a freind on call waiting to drink it with me, but we never can coordinate our schedules. If I have time she is working or babysitting her granddaughters. If she has time I am doing goodness knows what, but it's always something.

Last night Princess kept every one up way past their bedtime. She had walked into a room where here little sister was watching a movie. It was a scary movie aimed at children. She was only in there for about five minutes. Lee was sensitive to scary movies as a child, but he would run out of a room if one was on. Princess has to be physically turned away from the television. She would not go to sleep for fear of having a bad dream. Finally whe was calmed down and we all slept and no bad dreams.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Natural building and business

You may have noticed by the amount of times I have mentioned cob that I am in love with cob building. This morning I found it thrilling to see that same love reflected back in the eyes of teenagers. The high school business teacher invited me in to help with a project on natural building. They are on the business ethics chapter and she wanted them to think about ways businesses could help the environment. We built a model size cob house together and had so much fun. Since I have only thought of cob building as it applies to housing the challenging part was trying to think of ways this could apply to business.
One point we think businesses should consider is that many consumers are looking at a companies track record before we spend our money with them. If they considered the environment before they built their buildings consumers would feel more comfortable buying from them. If by putting on a living roof, which could help filter rain water and reduce the heat put off by the building, they could give their employees a better work environment it would be a win/win situation. Natural building is also cheaper, which would help their bottom line. I am an optimist and believe we are moving forward in our treatment of the Earth. Someday we will live a better life because of it.

Monday, October 09, 2006


It has turned cold suddenly. Fall is my favorite season. Okay, I know I say that about every season when it is here, but I mean it this time. This one is special. Really, she's not like the rest. I have heard others say fall is a melancholy season;a time to say goodbye to summer and get ready for winter. For me it is a time to pull out my comfy old sweaters;to make soups;to think about Christmas gifts. Every morning I peek out to see if this was the night all the leaves fell into my yard. This is a precursor to the mornings I will peak out and see if it is snowing. This morning is a hot oatmeal morning.
While loving the act of staying warm I try to remember this shouldn't be a luxury. Every person should be able to protect themselves against the elements. Find someone to give all of your unused coats to. We need more projects like habitat for humanity to conquer one of society's ills, homelessness.
Last Friday I took Lee back to the doctor for his hard cast. We leave a little disappointed. It seems we had drove ninety minutes to have another x-ray taken and be told to bring him back in ten more days. On Monday they called and asked if I can bring him up the next day. They take his half cast off and send him down for x-rays. The minute we see his hand we know something isn't quite right. They put him in a wrist brace and send us home. He will have surgery the next day.
During his surgery I finally started War and Peace. I am still only sixty pages into it, but am enjoying it. I have also cleaned out two closets since I made my list. Not really that much progress on the list, but it's something. Oh, I also hung the curtains in my bedroom. Yea!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Catching up

My head is full of untyped posts again. What are the chances I get them all out? First let's back up to how Lee broke his wrist. He was at football practice, I was cooking meal for the Rec. Board. The pager goes off. The ambulance is needed at the practice field. Dh is a first responder so he is scrambling to get out the door. We both look at each other and know it is Lee. Throwing myself into the pie crust I am making I try to keep the idea of head injuries off of my mind. It is not working. I call the school. Of course no one is in the office at this time. As soon as I hang up the phone it rings. It is just a broken wrist. Wrists are no big deal. I return to my crust. From the pager the story unfolds. They are taking him by ambulance to the hospital (seventeen miles). This is a quirk of small towns, any excuse to drive that thing is a good reason. We drive him in our van to Garden City for the surgery they think he will need. The doctor thinks a closed reduction will work. Of course Lee had to sit in the waiting room for an hour without any pain medication. That broke his mother's heart. I am ecstatic about them not having to cut him open, but a little surprised. The emergency room doctor at the last hospital was sure they would put a plate in.
Since then I have been told the drill they were doing, bull in a ring, is an illegal drill. I haven't really looked into it and have mixed feelings. Football is a rough sport, practices should be rough too, but he was hit from behind in this drill and hitting in the back isn't encouraged in high school football. I see it as a gray area, but if the drill is illegal the school could be sued if the wrong child is hurt.
We were supposed to go up and bring Drama Queen and all of her stuff home the next day. We weren't released in time and couldn't make it up to get her until Wednesday of the next week. All weekend I kept trying to think of a way to squeeze in the time to go get her early, but it just didn't make sense to make a trip for her and an extra one for her stuff. The phone rings at 3:45 A.M. Tuesday morning. My groping hand finds the phone after dh has already answered the other handset. Drama queen crying. She is telling him she is starving and hasn't ate in three day. I hang up, since he is handling this call. She has no car and quit working the week before, since we were already supposed to have her out of there. I know she may be exaggerating, but I don't know anyone who can not be moved by the sound of their baby sister crying. How can I get her food? I lay in bed and worry for thirty minutes before the answer hits me. How such a simple answer took so long to come to me I don't know. To feel like I'm doing something I get out of bed and get on the computer. I look up the numbers of several restaurants in her area that deliver and write down their numbers, even though I know I can't call any of them until later in the morning. I return to bed.
While I lay there my life circles around me. It seems so fake, a charade. I pretend to have control, but at any moment I'm going to drop it all. Out loud I say "I am a failure." It is one of those moments of clarity. I realize that when I do drop it and my life spins out of control my children will be the ones who are hurt. There stable childhood will evaporate in seconds. What will they think of me then? Who will save them? The sane voice keeps trying. "Look at all the people who love you." "Only because they don't really know me." I respond. I cry uncontrollably until it is almost time to get up. The alarm wakes me fifteen minutes later. My eyes are puffy all day. Fortunately every one chalked it up to my allergies. Curly Top and I do a good job of staying busy doing substantial things all morning. We turn the compost and plant garlic.
That afternoon dh calls. His truck has broke down. There is no way it will be ready to go get Drama Queen in the morning. We decide to try pulling a trailer behind our van.
This trailer hasn't been moved in a year. There is a brace missing in the front, so walking across it I can feel it is very squashy. We aren't even sure if our van can pull it fully loaded. The tags are expired. We are going to do it anyway. We check the mail, the new tags are here. One problem is solved. We don't wait until morning. Four hours later we are in Wichita. The big furniture items are loaded. It becomes very obvious we are going to have to make two trips. We drive home and unload it into a storage unit, eat, dh takes a nap, while I get everything ready to be gone another night. We drive back to Wichita. As we are packing up the last odds and ends we are all three getting a bit silly. It is three in the morning. Dh is throwing the things from the freezer into a garbage bag and comes across a bag of shrimp.
"You hadn't ate in three days and you had shrimp?" He asks her.
"I hate shrimp that is for the girls." She replies. He pulls out a package of hot dogs. "Now I would have ate those if I would have known they were in there." She says. He finishes up the freezer, checks on the pool to make sure it is still draining, moves on to the fridge. He pulls out a bottle.
"Look you have a whole bottle of ketchup."
"You expected me to drink ketchup?" she asks him
I but in with "You could have put it on a fuckin' hot dog."
It is nice to have her home safe and sound. It is really nice to be done with the moving. Although dh and I both agree that the thought of two four hour trips (one-way) is a lot worse than actually doing it.
This blog is nowhere near caught up, but I'm going to take a break for sleep.

Monday, September 25, 2006


I ignored my long list of things to accomplish today and laid in bed reading for the whole three hours Curly Top was in school. I started Bright Sword of Ireland Saturday night. This was another book I judged by the cover. The instant I picked it up I knew it would feed my craving of for Celtic legends. Finn Mac Cool by Morgan Llywelyn is one of my favorite books, so a chance to read more about mythical Ireland was the main reason I bought this one. Like most of the books I buy I found it on the bargain book table and picked it up for a couple of dollars. I then tossed it on the stack beside my bed to pick up when I was in between books.
The writing in Bright Sword of Ireland does not encourage that type of intimacy that makes you fall into a story and struggle to keep your mind on anything else during the day. I don't go rushing for it anytime I have a few spare minutes. Instead I read it in long stretches kept at a slight distance from the characters and their story. When I am reading the land and the magic draw me close. I don't want to put it down and leave the land, but when I do I am free, back in my own life, not constantly thinking about the story I need to get back to.
Since I love history I like my books full of historical details as long as they don't distract me from the story. When I'm reading and stop to think 'wow, this author has done a lot of research' I'm always a little irritated that I was yanked out of the story like that. At least once I wondered if the that was the intent. (Plains of Passage, I'm looking at you.)The glossary and pronunciation guide in the front have been very helpful. I consult it at least every other page, because who would have thought Conchobar would be pronounced Conor.
I mentioned the The Historian the other day and that was a book I had trouble putting down. For the whole three days I was reading it the book was always in the back of my mind, and close at hand so I could pick it up often. Bright Sword of Ireland is one I'll keep beside my bed for when I have long stretches of time to read. Looking over some reviews of The Historian one of the complaints people had was the pacing. My copy of Finn Mac Cool I loaned to a friend who dogeared every page, because she never could read more than one page before she got bored. I read Space by James Michener twice as a teenager and loved it, my brother who reads everything found it too boring to finish. The slow journey to the monastery in The Name of the Rose was a great start for that book. It seems that in a world moving faster every year I am still wandering slowly. I'm so glad there are still writers who write at such a pleasing place.
I have been rambling on about books and haven't mentioned Lee's broken bone. He just called though and needs me to bring him a pain pill.

Where can I read?

There is no room in my house for me. I turned off my computer thinking that I would post in the morning when I am more coherent. I sat down my cup of tea, snuck into the bedroom to grab my book without disturbing the girls, picked my tea back up and wandered around in the dark. Since Lee has to sleep with his arm elevated, (I'll explain that in the next post) I can't sit on my new couch and read. The girls are asleep in my room, which has resembled a bird's nest every since we put two extra beds in it. Jason is sleeping in Lee's room since it is vacant. Lane is in the room he normally shares with Jason. I'm not even putting the bathrooms into the equation, even though as a child I used to get up in the middle of the night and read in the bathroom regularly. While parents will condemn waking up on a school night to read, very few will complain about a child waking up with a stomach ache and spending an hour in the bathroom. That leaves the kitchen and dining room. There has been a furnishing oversight though, and neither of these two rooms has a comfy chair and a lamp. This is one of those open space homes, which I normally love, where the family room, kitchen, and dining room are all really the same space. So the overhead lighting would disturb the couch sleeper, even if I had only the comfy chair. Oh well, I could enjoy my tea while just sitting in the dark thinking. That is, I could if I would have folded the three loads of laundry I washed tonight instead of throwing them in the chair to wait for morning. I guess I should have paid attention to that warning about procrastination. Those grasshoppers and ants know more than I gave them credit for. My cup is empty, that is my signal to climb into bed. Tomorrow is a school day, that means I'll get a few hours to myself in the morning.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Wrecks, Mexican food, and music

On Saturday we invited a family over to eat supper with us. It was to windy to cook the steaks out on the grill so I stuck them in the broiler. I love my broiler and use it a lot, but damn I hate cleaning it. After we ate we were sitting around playing trivial pursuit. The phone rang, Jason wanted a ride home. Without a second thought I asked Lee if he would go get him. Right after he left dh looked out the window. "What is Lee doing, just sitting out on the road?" He explained that he can see headlights out there and they aren't moving. "I hope the cop hasn't got him pulled over."
"Sometimes the cop just parks over there." I wasn't worried. Our friend goes outside to have a look. He comes back in laughing.
"It looks like a high school kid got stuck out there." We were all thinking the same thing. 'it's not wet out.' Dh goes out to have look. He comes in looking a bit frantic. "Where is a phone? He ran straight under the neighbors dump truck."
My heart suddenly felt like a bowling ball, the weight of it made it drop to my feet. "Lee?" I asked as I jumped up. I'm sure I was completely white. In that few seconds my whole world felt like it may fall apart. It was that universal feeling any parent gets when one of there children are in danger. Luckily for me it only lasted until dh answered.
"No, some guy that lives in the trailer park." Dh said while looking puzzled. Relief swept over me. What had happened was a guy had been at the bar and had a few too many beers. When he turned onto the gravel road leading to his house he turned about forty feet to early. His little car hit the back of the truck and pushed it over three feet. The car wedged underneath it and he was trying to get it out. Once we found out no one was hurt it was okay to laugh, and we did.

I started this post this morning, but quit before I was finished to play tennis. After playing tennis with Drama Queen I was hungry but to lazy to cook. Normally I would just grab a bowl of oatmeal, but I wanted real food. I decided to go to the office and work instead. On my way home I met my neighbor walking to the store. She told me to go in and eat. She looked slightly embarrassed when she told me it was just beans and Chili. My brother-in-law (her son) was inside eating so I stopped and ate with him and Huggy Bear. Compared to some of the things she cooks this was a simple meal, but simple should never be confused with inadequate. This was delicious. I filled my bowl with beans then covered the beans with a spicy sauce made up of chilies, potatoes, and meat. I heated up a couple of homemade tortillas and ate until I was stuffed. I love Mexican food and her kitchen is my favorite place to eat it. I have not found a restaurant that can match her yet. People who have only ate American-Mexican food may have to adjust because there is a difference. The biggest one being the covering everything in an overpowering sauce and cheese. She does not cook like that. Every flavor comes through and melds together nicely. I wish I new what kind of wine to pair with it. That would be perfect. She calls me every once in a while and in her quick Spanish asks me if I want to eat [insert Spanish word here I usually can't understand because it is spoken too quickly for my sub par Spanish]. I always say 'Yes, I love that.' and hurry over. I have never been disappointed.

Now for a quick side note on music. I have had Your body is a Wonderland by John Mayer stuck in my head for a few days. This morning one of my other favorite songs played on the radio. It took over as the song my mind will now play over and over through the next few days. Hey Now Now by the Cloud Room is an excellent song. I can listen to it several times a day. If I lived near a decent music store I would by the CD.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Tallulah at http://waydowninmayberry.blogspot.com started me thinking about schools yesterday. I was feeling really lucky to live in a town with a great school. The class sizes are small, they encourage parent involvement, and try to help every child get the best education possible. Now I'm not naive enough to think our school is perfect, we have our drawbacks like everyone else, but I am extremely grateful for our school. Last night I went to the monthly school board meeting, so it was a good day to already have education on the brain. Some months these meetings can feel miles away from the students. When we are making decisions on which bus to buy, which bid to go with on the cement work, and how to stay within the budget, it is easy to forget why we are really there. Last night's meeting was one of my favorite ones so far. Our new school counselor came in a gave talk on last years assessment tests and what they mean in context with NCLB and meeting our ayp scores. This is her first year as our counselor and I realized last night I have fallen in love with her. I have liked her as a person and respected her as a teacher for years, but last night listening to her talk about pulling the whole staff together to examine what we have been doing right and how we can improve other areas I was totally smitten. She talked about education with such enthusiasm, her love of teaching and learning shined through. I was excited about our school and secretly wished I could play a bigger role. In fact I'm blaming her and this lingering excitement for my volunteering to help redraw the district lines.
That is going to be a pain. We have to redraw the lines so that the population of registered voters in the districts do not vary more than five percent. What was I thinking?

Then this morning I read about the kabob parties. Do we do this? I can't remember anything like this. We did go to five day kindergarten a few years ago, and I was glad my kids were passed that stage and I had only had to part with my babies for three days a week. Then I remembered the library. For the last two years the librarians have made little vehicles, one with each child's name on it. These little things traveled the path through the hallway powered by accelerated reader points. I remember finding my kids names, and being glad they weren't left behind. I remember having to fight to keep myself from pushing my kids to catch up with the few who were way ahead. I remembered the concerns that this could hurt the confidence of slower readers. I had to go to the library today because it was the first day of story hour. I was so pleased to see that this year the vehicles were trains and instead of hundreds there were just fourteen. One for each class collectively. Now they can get the encouragement and drive that competition can give without the feelings of superiority or shame that can sometimes be a by product of forced competition. Thank you parents for voicing your concerns, mistakes are usually made with good intentions.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Fall to do list

I am a list writer. To help myself get organized I have decided to post my fall list. December 21st is going to come way too quickly.

Fill my fish tank. I have a 150 gallon tank that has been sitting empty for over a year. A tank needs fish and water. When my sons oscar, Curly, died we decided to get several smaller fish. I never dreamed it would take me this long to get around to it.

Hang curtains. We moved into this house six years ago, and still no curtains in the family room. I am really pathetic. In protest my family has hung blankets to keep the sun off of the t.v.. I have had curtains for my bedroom for over a year now, but just bought rods on Saturday. No, that doesn't mean I have hung them.

Clean my closets out. I can't describe the jumbled mess they have become. While I'm at it my kitchen cabinets could use some organizing.

Read War and Peace. I bought this last year at the library book sale and still have not started it.
Make jelly. I have peaches and sand hill plums in my freezer that need to have something done with them.

Make an outdoor bathtub. I have the plans drawn out. The actual work just needs to be started. While I'm out there I need to put a roof over my oven. Check out cob hot tubs here http://beckybee.net/.

Rewrite my last year Nanowrimo novel before November. I promised a couple of friends they could read it once I had touched it up a bit.

Paint Jason and Lane's room. It really needs it, especially since Curly Top has decided to grace their walls with her art work. She must be good, her first show has ran for over six months.

I had better get busy.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Huggy Bear and I seem to be getting into a morning routine. When she hears me typing she climbs on my lap and kicks the keyboard away from my fingers a few times then turns around and cuddles up for a nap. Curly Top is home sick today. Her little tonsils are swollen and yellow, poor girl.
I have spent countless hours in the last few days going through our tub of pictures and putting some of them in frames and albums. I look at my boys and know they have grown but seeing them so little made me laugh and cry. Those little smiles missing front teeth;the chubby stages;chicken pox covered faces;first days of school;all of these days caught on film, but I worry about all that I missed. Will my memory be enough?
Our picture taking is very odd. Looking at the pictures I realized how ridiculous I am. Hundreds all taken on the same day. Sometimes only a hand has moved from one set to the next. Then I always get double prints. Lee was looking through the albums and said "All of our pictures are of the same thing."
Another thing I noticed was that pictures without people in them rarely make it into the album. Looking out over the Grand Canyon I think it would make a beautiful picture. Years later when I find that picture it gets tossed aside for yet another picture of my boys sitting on a rock.

What do people do with all of the trading size pictures of kids they went to school with? I think it would be different if we wouldn't have moved so often when I was a child. I see these pictures and remember the kids and their names, but I haven't seen them since grade school and the chances of meeting up with them again are slim. I don't have tons of memories with them either since I only knew most of them for one year. Still I can't bring myself to throw them away. These people gave them to me as gifts, I would feel terrible tossing them.

If you haven't checked out http://pbfcomics.com you really should. This guy is funny. Tunnel of Love is my favorite so far, but I haven't got through them all.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Vampire books

Yesterday turned into one of those days where either nothing was going right or every little thing was bothering me I'm still not sure which. Honestly I almost came back here with two more rants. Just an update on the one I did post. Seven hours!! Can you drop off your kid for a 'little while' and show up seven hours later, drunk? If you can I wish I had known that a few years ago, raising my children would have been much more fun. She actually didn't even show up she called and asked if I would bring Huggy Bear to her house. Argghh sisters!

Ok enough of that. I don't usually read vampire novels. I can't really think of one that I have. I started Interview With a Vampire once but only made it two chapters. Nothing against them, I just have no desire to read about vampires. For some reason though I bought The Historian the other day. At first I picked it up because of its size and because I really liked the cover. It was in the bargain book section so I got it for $4.99. It is perfect for this time of year;so easy to sink into. I'm not even worried about the whole vampire thing. It feels like reading Possession or The Name of The Rose. I have always planned to read Braum Stroker's Dracula, I've just never got around to it. I may do that this October. I read Mary Shelley's Frankenstien a couple of years ago on Halloween and liked it. Have I missed out on any really good books out there because of my indifference to vampires?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Warning: this is a rant

"Hey can I drop my kid off with you for a little while?" is a request I hear quite often, and not usually one that starts a rant, but I had plans for today. Not the kind of plans that I could say 'No, I have to do so and so.' with, but they were still plans.
I only get three mornings a week to myself, two this week because of the holiday on Monday. I only get these if my sister, Miss Universe, doesn't have to work and none of my kids are sick, or playing sick. My plans for this morning were to only get drinks for myself, entertain only myself, read, surf the internet, do anything I wanted without the sounds of cartoons invading my head.
Now most people think I am I nice person, but I will confess, I'm really a bitch. As evidence I will tell you what I was thinking this morning when Miss Universe called.
What I said. "Sure bring her over." What I was thinking. 'Watch your own damn kid.'
She told me one of her freinds had just told her sister she was going to kill herself.
'yeah right' I thought. 'It is much more likely she said that for attention.'
Since she was closer she was going to drive over and dump out the pills.
I said "Ten prosac can't kill a person can they?" I thought. 'Why cant you take Huggy Bear with you to do that?'
"No, of course not. She's such a drama queen." she said
'damn you.' I thought.
I spent the ten minutes inbetween the time we hung up and the minute she arrived trying to take the bitchy edge out of my voice. It wasn't easy with thoughts like 'I'm not the one who decided to have another kid, why am I the one who always has to change my plans?' going through my head and occasionally out of my mouth. I know I could have said no, explained why I didn't want to. This would have worked, caused some hard feelings, but worked. I couldn't do this though for two reasons. First of all family dynamics, I'm the one who gets the calls, who makes decisions, who plans the holidays. Me not saying no unless I absolutely have to is how our family works. The other reason is it is just my personality to say yes. I have trouble saying no to anyone. I have been working on that and am getting better, but I could have worse faults.
When they arrived I greeted them warmly and took H.B. in my arms. M.U. looked around and Said, "Your alone that's great!" She smiled and waved goodbye.
'Bitch' I thought. Once again I could have said something, but don't feel I should have had too. Every mother knows how priceless a few hours alone are. After long weekends where a few minutes of piece are few and far between they can be absolutely mind saving. For her to assume I didn't need these next few hours as much as she did seemed very selfish to me. I set H.B down and started making tea. A few minutes later she did that adorable thing most babies do at her age. She carried over two wooden blocks, one in each hand. She handed me one and then the other, then lifted her arms so I could pick her up. I carried her to a chair, hugged her and had a thirty second pity party. I thought selfish thoughts about how taken for granted I was, let my eyes fill with tears. Then I thought of the party Miss Universe through for me on my birthday, and all the times she has been there when I needed her. Then I set Huggy Bear in her walker. She can already walk but it is the closest thing I have to a high chair. I went in the kitchen and made some toast. Her beautiful dark eyes followed me the whole time. When I smiled at her she smiled back. I turned on some music she had toast and a cup of water. I has toast and tea. She bobbed her head to the music, I laughed. Somewhere in the middle of this rant the phone rang. I talked to a freind about the drama in one of the offices I sub in while I rocked Huggy Bear to sleep. After my pity party I am really having a lovely morning. That is why I don't say no. Things usually work out for the best anyway.

I have been having trouble thinking of fake blog names for my sisters. Today while I was still pouting I came up with them.
Huggy Bear,s mom is Miss Universe, because she really does think the universe revolves around her.
Princess and Curly Top's mom is Drama Queen. The name says it all
My youngest sister who has no children is Shrew. Of all my sisters she is the most like me, and from my post above you can see I can be a bitch.
All of these names may sound mean but they make me smile. We have good relationships and joke about our quirks all the time. None of these are names I wouldn't call them to their faces.



Curly Top would not fall asleep last night so I went in to lay with her for a few minutes. I fell asleep without brushing my teeth, washing my face,taking off my bra, or putting the clothes in the dryer. I felt pretty skanky when I woke up this morning.
One thing I did do last night was pull up my nanowrimo novel and start reading it for the first time since November 30th. It wasn't as bad as I expected it to be, still crap, but better than I remembered. If you have never heard of http://www.nanowrimo.org/ go there and read about it. I had so much fun last year I really can't wait to start again this year. I know that writing 50,000 words of crap in 30 days doesn't sound like fun, but it is. I actually read about it and kept up on some of the participants progress for a few years before I tried it. I don't recommend that approach though; jump in with both feet this year, it doesn't hurt, much.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Game night

A day of sitting around with the family playing games is great fun. Especially with my family, who all happen to be crazy. I knew that is what my mom would like for her birthday because as our children grow older and our jobs more demanding we really don't take time out to play anymore. My mom has lived alone now for a year since my sister went to college and I think she likes it for the most part, but after raising six kids an empty house must feel a little too quiet at times. Of course she has temporary custody of a cat. The woman who has no patience for animals and can't stand the thought of one in the house now has a house cat. The rules of irony state that she must now fall in love with this cat and enjoy it as company. I half expected this to happen. She doesn't seem to have read these rules and is counting off the days until my sister comes to claim it.
My kids made two cakes and both of them were eaten by 8:00 last night. The brisket was gone within minutes of setting it on the table, and the pepper poppers didn't even make it that long. We really resemble a bunch of sharks in a feeding frenzy when we all get together.

Monday, September 04, 2006

My bread sucks

We are having a birthday dinner for my mom today. I made the brisket yesterday so today all that is left is to do a bit of cleaning and make a couple of cakes. It is a good day for baking, foggy and cool. The boys cleaned their rooms yesterday though, so I now have a pile of dirty laundry clogging up the laundry room.
My attempt at sourdough was a disaster. I couldn't find my cooking spray and somewhere in the process of looking for it got distracted and didn't grease my pans at all. The bread stuck. Nobody in my family liked it and will end it's life in the compost pit. I will try again next week.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Jason's first jr. high football game was last night. They played well, and won, which was nice because bonfire followed the game. This morning he was tired and tried so hard to stay home sick. It turns out he didn't have his homework done. Kids. My nephew is home sick, well not really home, he is here. He is huggy bears brother so they are both here for the day.
I am making my first loaves of sourdough bread today. I made my starter three weeks ago and have been giving it time to develop a good flavor. I am firing up my cob oven and baking outside since it is still in the nineties here. The weather is still not being governed by the school year.
The weather may be the last thing holding out though. Try to find sandals, shorts, or swimming trunks this time of year and you may be in trouble. The aisles are filling with coats and Halloween supplies. Of course there are only 115 days until Christmas. On the first day of school I walked outside and two yellow leaves fluttered down to my feet. "Not you too." I shook my fist up at the tree. It was just messing with me though, all the rest of the leaves have stayed green and firmly in their place.
It felt so good to sleep in this morning. After dropping the kids of at school. Huggy Bear and I snuggled up in bed and slept until 10:15. I stayed up late last night talking to a friend who is separated. He just can't figure out how she just up and left him after seventeen years. He is the only one who hasn't seen how miserable she has been for the last five. Since I am friends with both of them I tried to keep the conversation focused on him and not let it go to talking about here. That was hard. After we were finished I started my bread dough, it is still not finished rising. The recipe said it would take 12 hours and it has only been eleven. I am just too used to rapid rise yeast.
When I finally did get to bed Jason and Curly Top were in my bed. Dh is off on his annual hunting/camping trip they do the first day of dove season every year. Today many innocent doves will be killed. Curly Top's turning and kicking finally drove Jason into her bed. I kept waking with a foot against my head.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

A weekend at home

It was so nice to have a weekend at home. I wish I was a better writer so I could convey the amount of craziness that takes place at our house. I'll try in a minute, but I'm not expecting the result to be outstanding. Every parent thinks their children are amazing so I'll try not to get gushy. As my children get older they are even more fun to be around. Lee and I went shopping last night and had a great time. I don't like shopping at the level most women do. Lee is the type of boy who loves shopping for himself but is ready to leave once his stuff had been found. At shoe and clothing stores I am always ready to leave before he is. That boy has a like for shoes that rivals my sister's. At the book store, he found a couple of video games and then breathed down my neck as I looked at the bargain books. We both love grocery shopping though. We laughed the whole night. The great thing is that I would have had just as much fun with any one of my boys. Here are a couple of conversations from the weekend.

Dh is at the computer playing poker. Jason is standing beside him, offering unwanted advice.
"Go away"
A few minutes later
"Get out of here!" this is shouted
"Okay I'll go, but I'm putting a curse on you." Jason utters this in a calm and serious voice. "You will lose the rest of this tournament." He walks away.
Three more hands are played. They are all lost.
"Please take the curse off me." Dh asks nicely.
From the kitchen Jason answers. "You had your chance to be nice, it's over."
Dh plays one more hand, loses.
"Please take off the curse. I'll let you stand by me."
"Anytime I want?"
"Yes, just hurry." dh pleads
"Okay" Jason agrees
"Why am I losing this hand? Didn't you take off the curse?"
"You started this hand before I removed it. You'll have to wait until the next hand to see results."
"Oh yeah, I forgot."

On Sunday I was laying in my bed reading. In walk Lee and Jason being very loud. "Please leave." I say. They get louder. "I am trying to read!" I scream. They leave. I settle back on my pillow and start to read. Not even a paragraph is finished before they return.
Jason is holding a guitar. Lee has a set of maracas. They start playing. Jason is singing. He sounds like a mixture of Jack Black and Adam Sandler. At first the song is random. Then they find a topic they can stick to. Jason is singing about his large crotch. Lee picks up the back up lines. Lane, Princess, and Curly Top come in the start jumping on the beds and dancing to the music. I am reduced to a pile of giggles on my bed. The book is discarded. They have stamina. The concert lasted a half an hour. That is a long time to sing one song on the same subject. Finally they leave and I pick Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler up and read. I love my kids.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Overbearing annoying boss

I have been working more than usual lately because my boss is sick. This is my first morning off in a week. When the alarm went off at ten till seven this morning I freaked out. I have to be to work by seven fifteen. Then it hit me like a pleasant wave. I don't have to work until afternoon today. Once I wake my kids up I can crawl back into bed for a while. I am babysitting this morning, so I can't just lay around and read like I want to. I don't mind though because at least I'm not at work. My boss is a real pain in the ass. A year and a half ago my boss moved to a new office. I was happy for her because she is a great lady and this was a promotion she deserved. I wasn't happy about her replacement. I didn't apply for her job, because I'm trying to retire without ever having had a full time job. My current boss is someone I met when I was eighteen. I have known her for years, and there is a reason I quit hanging out with her. Now she is my boss. Great.
I will describe her and everyone of you will know someone just like her. She isn't even an original pain in the ass.
She is smart, but insecure. She tries too hard to make sure everyone knows she is the smartest person in the room, which she usually isn't. If someone asks somebody else a question she jumps in with the answer, right or wrong. If something goes wrong she quickly points fingers and shifts the blame. On top of this she is a horrible gossip, even worse a two-faced gossip. When we were younger she would come over and hang out with a group of women and our babies at my house. We laughed and had fun. One day my neighbor, another one of our group, said to me. "Do you want to know what she said about you the other day." I answered "Only if you want to hear what she said about you." As I got older I realized I have some great friends, so why mess around with one who isn't that great. I put some distance between us that lasted years, until she became my boss.
Luckily we don't work together very often. I am her fill-in so I usually work alone. The other day she came in and was standing on the other side of the counter talking to me when a customer came in. I started the transaction, but hadn't got very far when she took over asking the questions. She made it clear she thought she could do a better job than I could. I bit my lips and let her go, but visualized myself jumping the counter and choking her. I am really considering changing jobs.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I guess I'm not a lesbian

After we had been in Manhattan for a few hours it started to rain. The games that were supposed to be played that night were postponed until the next morning. We hung out in one of the hotel rooms drinking beer until around midnight. It was fun but we could have done that without the seven hour drive. The next morning it was still raining. The tournament was cancelled. No one I know has ever heard of a state tournament ever being cancelled before, but we were there, it happened. Mr. Ice cold Had been so excited about playing at state I was afraid he was going to cry. Several people offered him hugs. Once he had swallowed the lump in his throat and could talk again he said, "I came here to do two things play softball and see some strippers. I'll be doing one of those before I go home."
He and his wife decided drive to Wichita and stay the next night there. They had already paid for a whole weekend of babysitting, so why not. We had two of our kids with us and the other one at Grandma's for the weekend, but dh was opposed to the idea. My sister and her husband decided they were going to Wichita too. Then the couple who had rode with us decided to ride with them so they could go out also. We all went to eat at Famous Dave's BBQ before we left town. Which was amazingly good. I'm not a big BBQ fan, but this was great. Before we left dh changed his mind and we headed to Wichita. The bartender at our hotel was an great lady, she said she was 60, I would have guessed 45. She laughed and joked, we loved her. She ended up slipping us a 12 pack to take up to our room when happy hour was over.
My son picked hooters to eat supper at. I'm worried I may be over exposing him to this softball crowd. Most of them are family though, so what can you do. After we had fed the kids, and settled them in a hotel room with a movie we headed out on our search for a strip club. Some of our party were underage, but they made it in with only one minor complication. A young man with the promise of nudity soon overcame that complication.
Growing up I had many different images of what my adult life would be like. One of those images was me living with my lesbian lover in an apartment with a beautiful view over Portland. A small part of me has never let go of this fantasy. It always seemed to me that life would be much simpler without the drama men cause. Unfortunately, for that dream anyway, I have a very strong attraction to men. I-along with a large number of men-have always wondered though if a women could simply fall into a lesbian lifestyle if they tried it.
Watching the dancers instead of finding myself attracted or even curious I was more amused by the antics of the men around them. I was pleased too, because these women didn't have the perfect bodies Hollywood presents us with they, were just normal women. The men seemed perfectly happy, they were excited by these women. This gave me hope in men in general.
At one point Mr. Ice Cold bought one of the women a lap dance. This woman is a lot of fun, but not really the lap dance type. At one point the dancer lifted up the lady's shirt and fondled her breasts. She started to hyperventilate. To make it worse some of her former students were with us. She was a little freaked out, but put up with it admirably. Later he buys his wife one. Now Peggy prides herself in being cool. She put on a face that was very calm for the whole thing. Her husband went and sat in a chair right next to her. It was funny to watch. I'm just glad I didn't have to do it.
I did however, at the insistence of the first lady, have to put a dollar in my teeth for a dancer and let her rub her breasts in my face. It wasn't sweaty and unpleasant like I thought it would be. It was more like washing your face,not horrible, just something you do and can't wait for it to be over. I closed my eyes and waited for her to finish. The breasts did nothing for me sexually. I had no urge to reach up and feel them, I am officially not a lesbian. Once again I find myself waving goodbye to a dream.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Rain, rain, and more rain.

My niece huggy bear is making it very hard for me to type. I watch her a few days a week when her parents work. Right now she really needs nap and is expressing that by throwing everything she can get her little paws on. I can't be irritated though because she is the cutest thing. A very petite one year old with thick dark hair and huge green/brown eyes. Now that she has calmed down and is hugging me and falling asleep on my chest I can't imagine anything sweeter.

I spent a good part of my childhood in the northwest. The grey skies giving up nice gentle rains that I probably love now more in memory than I actually did then are exactly what I see when I look out my window today. It has been like this for the last four days and I'm loving it. My son, Jason loves this weather. He always says he likes days like this better than sunny days. He is living in the wrong spot. Here in the Midwest we never complain about rain, we just don't get enough to afford ourselves that luxury. Most days can be described as hot, dry, and windy. Our rain usually comes as explosive storms full of thunder, lightening, and tornado warnings. Usually. Last Tuesday we woke to cloud cover. Then the rain started. A nice gentle rain. Around noon I decided I had better do some grocery shopping before we starve. I dropped the kids off at my sisters. Snuck home to finish one last cup of tea and a couple of chapters in a book. When I did leave town it was really raining. I started to speed up to highway speed then remembered my back tires weren't looking so good. I slowed down a bit. Then I noticed I was slowly sliding towards the ditch. The ditch had a few feet of water already collecting in it. I turned my wheel back towards the road, no good I was hydroplaining. Right here I should have straightened my wheel back out, didn't think of that. Then my wheels caught some dry ground. I shot across the middle line. "stay in front of your rear end." I said to myself. I notice a truck coming towards me, he was still a little way off. I swerved back and forth between the lanes trying to get control. The truck was getting closer. I had slowed down quite a bit by now. I headed for the shoulder. When my tires hit the muddy ground I started sliding towards the ditch again. I turned back towards the road and stopped perpendicular with it. After catching my breath and stopping the shakes I pulled out, in low because I was stuck, and headed back home. Later that day I drove the kids around to see all of the water. There were several times when we had to turn around because the roads were under a foot of water. The canal type drainage ditch on the west side of our property was full and the water was two feet deep across most of my yard making it look like one large pond. Jason and Lane built a raft and floated their cousins across it. They were having so much fun I couldn't make them stop when I left for my school board meeting. I called twice to make sure none of them had drowned. 7.5 inches was the final count that day. There are a lot of places where that would be normal, not here. I have been listening to the some of the older people in town and none of them can remember ever getting half of our average yearly rain fall in one day before. Back in the seventies we had five inches in a day once, but we have only had paved roads since the nineties so drainage wasn't as big of a deal. With the paved roads we had a flooding problem in some parts of town. Not enough to rival the places who get real floods, but here where the land is flat knee deep water is impressive. For those of you who have never been to Southwest Kansas let me explain. If you were to come into Kansas from the east you would say to yourself 'It's not that flat. Sure there are no mountains, but there are sloping hills and trees.' Keep driving. When you get out here there are a few rises and slopes, but I can see the lights of towns seventeen miles away at night. When driving on the highway, I can clearly see if I have time to pass a couple of trucks at once. The air and ground are usually so hot and dry in the summer that a couple of hours after a really good rain you can walk out and not even get muddy. Water just seems to soak in and leave no trace. One of my high school teachers once said that she always got cranky as a child when they drove into 'colorful' Colorado and it looked just the same as it does here. You have to drive west a bit before you hit the colorful part of Colorado, and yes we get a bit of a complex some times. I love living here, but I would like a little more water. A river that had actual water in it and wasn't just a sandy river bed with Elms and Cottonwoods would be great too while I'm asking.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The return of Curly top and Princess

I knew it had been a while since I last posted, but I didn't realize it had been eleven days. Part of the confusion is that I have composed a few posts in my head, apparently they never made it here. I'm not sure how to get them all included now. Should there be several separate posts with different topics, or one long rambling post? We'll just have to see how this goes.

I'll start with the return of Curly top and Princess. We went out of town for the weekend. Dh had a state softball tournament in Manhattan, no not that Manhattan. We managed to fit the whole team and their families into four vehicles. Friday morning we loaded up and drove the seven hours. A couple, who are friends of ours, rode with us, so the time passed quickly. The satellite radio helps the ride seem quicker too. When my kids went to Az. They took the radio with them. I had forgotten how much our local radio situation sucks. Electronics have made our life much more interesting. Well, in most cases anyway. Now that cell phones are so common the need for a caravan is gone. Car trouble, just call. Lost, need directions, just call. We could coordinate to meet for lunch with just a couple of calls. They do, however, lead to some silly calls.

"Where are you"
"That spot where trees line both sides of the road."
"That helps"
"Oh, there is a marker. 230"
"I think your a few cars behind us. Tell me when you pass the feedlot sign"
random chatter for a minute.
"There it is. We passed the sign."
"Are you right behind a truck?"
"We are behind a blue pick-up that is behind a truck."
"We are two cars in front of that truck."

Do you think this is what the inventors envisioned?

When we arrived at our hotel my sister walked up to our van. "You got your wish, the girls are coming to live with you." I'm still not sure why she knew about it before me. It doesn't matter, I just wonder if other families work like that. My mom was on her way to pick them up before I was even told. I actually take it as a compliment that nobody felt a need to ask me before they made arrangements. They all knew I would be happy to have two extra kids. Even better their mom, my little sister, is going to move here. I have been trying to get her to do this for a year. My sister is a great mom, but she has chronic depression that is aggravated by substance abuse. When she lived in the same town as me I helped her with free child care, support and I could check on her and the girls regularly. I am so glad she is coming back. Not just for the above reasons, also because I miss her.

My sister and my little brother both prefer to live in cities. They say there is more to do and there are more opportunities for their children. I do partially agree with the latter. My children don't live near an ice skating rink, or have opportunities to play lacrosse or any sports other than the basic five, but those five keep us busy. Oddly though we always seem to be much busier than they do. In a small town most kids participate in everything. There is no pay to play program, no try outs, if you want to play they are happy to have you. On occasion you may even be begged to play. The only thing they do more than us is eat out. When I'm dead tired and supper needs cooked I wish we had some fast food joint down the street, but I'm glad we don't. I'm having enough trouble with my slowing metabolism.

It looks like a compromise several long and rambling posts.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Goodbye chicklit.com

My oatmeal is too hot and I have burned my mouth. With that as my starting sentence I bet you can guess I have nothing interesting to say. I mentioned yesterday that my kids are gone for the week, well without them my life seems pretty boring. The man is gone tonight too, so I honestly thought I should find something exciting to do. Instead I cleaned my bathroom and watched Mean Girls. In a few minutes I'm going to a friends house to drink some wine and probably get a bit of a buzz. I hope I can think of something interesting to say to her.

I am very bummed out today because the best site is closing down. Goodbye chicklit, I'm sure I won't be the only girl out here missing you when your gone.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

On Monday night I got an unreasonable craving for chocolate chip cookies. At midnight I decided to just go ahead and make some no matter how much it overworked the a.c.. Of course I was out of brown sugar. Luckily my sister's household is run on a twenty-four hour schedule, or lack of schedule, like mine so I ran over and borrowed some. Earlier that day I had given a bottle of corn syrup to a friend so she could make some cookies. Earl is right that karma knows her stuff. Let me tell you, at one-thirty in the morning cookies hot of the pan with a cold glass of milk are near perfection.
My kids went to bed as I started mixing the ingredients, but not without giving me big hugs. The thought of cookies for breakfast had put them into a euphoric state. I am now very happy that I gave into impulse and did something that made them happy as well as satisfying myself. About two this morning they jumped into a car and headed to Tucson with my mom and sister. Four days without them stretch ahead of me and look really long from here.
While I was baking I had a few thoughts somebody may be able to answer. Why do we have to pack brown sugar? Measuring purposes I'm sure, but could we all just start measuring it loose? On the back of the cream of tartar bottle is says to use 1/8th a tsp. per egg white in meringue. It warns never to use more than that. What happens if you do? Will the world end or will it just be a bad taste? Baking at night may not be a good idea, to many questions.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I worked at the election table on Monday. I was the lady who said, 'Please state your name and address' to everybody who came in. Living in a town of around four hundred people I felt pretty silly. I must not have spoke with much authority because about one out of twenty actually did it. They all just reached down and signed the book. I didn't mind, who would want to hear 135 people I know say their names. I don't know if 135 voters is a good turn out for a primary, but it seemed like a good number. Just as we were finishing up our power went out. It was out until 6:30 the next morning.
I couldn't wait to go for a walk once it night came. With no street lights or stars, it was cloudy, the dark wrapped everything like a wool blanket. After I had been walking awhile my son called me and me to come get him and his two friends so they could walk around town too. We were probably too loud for that late at night, but it was too hot to sleep anyway. When we got home the boys slept on the porch. I thought about joining them, but I was too tired so I laid in my bed and was glad to feel the occasional breeze coming through the open windows.

Friday, July 28, 2006

bread & tea

I spent yesterday baking bread. I suddenly felt like making peach preserves, but I was out of pectin. That is the worst part about not having a grocery store in town. I knew that by the time I drove the twenty minutes there and came back home the mood would have left me. So I decided to wait until after I do my grocery shopping, which I drive forty-five miles (one-way) to do every two weeks.
The bread didn't turn out as good as usual. It tastes delicous, but the crust didn't get as brown and thick as I like. My oven (cob) has sat through a few rainstorms uncovered in the last few weeks. I think I need to do some patchwork on the doorway to stop so much heat from escaping.
Crusty or not my normal breakfast of toast with strawberry jelly tasted extra good today since it was not just a normal slice of store bought bread.
While I was making my tea today, which was Earl Grey, I remembered a scene from a few years ago. My brother was over in the evening and I offered him a cup of green tea. He hesitated and turned it down. Then he added he only liked green tea if it was made just right. I answered "Not quite boiling water, which has been filtered, and steeps for three minutes and no longer?"
"Sure I'd like some then," was his reply. What arrogance to sit in my kitchen and not have faith in me to make a decent pot of tea. I say this in fun my brother is a great guy and his arrogance is part of his charm. Well, most days anyway.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Julia Child gives me hope

For the last two days I have been reading My Life In France by Julia Child. She was in her thirties before she started to learn cooking. She was in her late thirties when she attended Cordon Bleu. I have spent the last five years trying to decide what I want to do when I grow up. While I still haven't decided, I have narrowed down the possibilities, and came up with a list of things I could not stand. No full time office jobs, I can't stand to be trapped inside every day. Nothing that will have me doing the same thing all the time. I need a field where I can always have questions to research and learn about. Flexibility is also a must, I can't stand to miss things because of work. After reading this last book I also know I could never be as involved with food as Julia.
I love to cook and try new recipes, but not at that level. The amount of time and research she put into writing her cook books was phenomenal. I will be the student, but never the teacher. I do realize how lucky I am to have the time to think this out and try different things. I have been given the choice to stay home with my kids while they are young and I never take that for granted.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I haven't abandoned this project, I've been on vacation. We picked up Princess and Curly top in Wichita and went to Kansas City. Ironically another family from our small town had planned the same vacation. Including stopping in Wichita to see his sister. They didn't pick up any extra kids thankfully, we had eight in the group all together. We met them at K.C. and went to Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun as a group. With that many kids we had no fighting and only a small amount of whining. We also took them all the The Rainforest Cafe, complete with the chocolate volcano.
One night we left all the kids at the hotel to go the casino. Lee is fourteen so he babysits if we ask nicely. Since I have given up on trying to like gambling I took a book along and got over halfway through it that night. The book was Snappers by Roddy Doyle. It was very funny and I recommend it much more than gambling.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

age of exercise

Turning thirty was never a big deal for me. On my twenty-sixth birthday I remember thinking 'I'm closer to thirty than I am to twenty.' It took me a few minutes to come to terms with that thought, but in the end I realized my life was better than it had ever been. I had been acting more like a woman in my thirties than in my twenties since I turned twenty so no big deal. I always think of the years from twenty to twenty-five as the dealing with your childhood age. When ever I talk to somebody bemoaning the mistakes their parents made I remember how old they are. If they are in their twenties I cut them some slack and listen. This behavior is perfectly normal for a person of their age. If they are older than that my eyes glaze over while I think 'get over it already'. Somebody once said, and I wish I could remember who it was and give them credit, "whether your childhood was bad or good, the best thing about it is that it's over."
Now at thirty-two I am at the exercise age. I try to walk three miles every night and have been playing with the idea of running. Last night while I was out walking I saw a friend who is a year younger than me out running. All of the people I have seen on the streets in the last few months flashed through my head. They were split into two groups. One being kids who couldn't catch a ride. The other group were people out walking, running, or biking for exercise. All of the people in that second group were thirty or over. This is the exercise age. Whichever age I'm at, I still have to say six years later my life is still better than it has ever been.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Baseball season is over. That leaves almost a month of summer vacation left to enjoy. We have not got to the lake yet this summer. Last summer we only went once. Someday we are going to get back to going a couple of times a month from May to September.

Jason won our pool when Germany took Third. I came close to picking Italy, because I sometimes choose my team on countries I would like to visit, damn those patriotic feelings that took over that day. I never did decide who I was going for in the final game I just sat and enjoyed watching both teams play. Now I can't see enough footage of that headbut. That was one hard hit.

I have been on a fantasy reading kick for the last month. I've read the second and third Pendragon books, the first in the Bartimaous trilogy, the first in His Dark Materials, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, and am now on Eragon. I may need to switch to some classics soon.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Seven Bags of trash!

Seven large trash bags, that is how much trash we hauled out of our yard and the surrounding area on Tuesday morning. Monday night we had our annual block party. Since this is such a small town an actual block party would only be about 16 people, so we block off the streets and invite everybody. It was eight hours of fireworks, food, and drinking. There was something for everybody. The next morning besides all the trash we found a twelve pack of beer, two jackets, three blankets, and a half full baby bottle. There were only a couple of tiny glitches with the party. One was the rain. It sprinkled all night, and flat out rained twice. We carried the food inside during the rainy spots, but for the most part we just stayed out and enjoyed the rain. We don't get moisture often enough in these parts to every wish it away.
The other minor glitch is my husband's jealous nature. Thirteen years ago when we first moved in together I thought it would go away when he realized I was too lazy to have an affair. Unfortunately it has gotten worse as time goes by not better. By the time it raised it's head only the die-hard partiers were left, so I wasn't as embarrassed as I could have been. Without noticing it I had sat too close to a single guy. Without giving out all of the mundane details I'll just say that a good number of the partiers decided to leave with him to a house around the corner. It was already late so as usually happens at a party when one set leaves everybody else decides they should head home to bed also. As the crowd dispersed I walked around to the other house. After grabbing a beer I called some of my friends f**ckers for ditching my party and coming over here. They knew it was all in fun, I completely understand how uncomfortable one jerk can be at a party, he really was killing all of the fun.

After all the excitement on the third it was nice to just lay around on the fourth and watch France beat Portugal. The last two teams from our pool were Germany and Portugal, so the third place game will decide who gets the ten dollars. I was sad when England was put out. Now with these two both being out who will I root for in the final? Any reasons why I should choose either France or Italy?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

More lines

That last bad pick-up line has made me think of some of the good things men have said over the years. First off, most of them are compliments instead of pick-up lines, once you've been married fourteen years you don't get a lot of men trying to pick you up. Not openly anyway, a coworker has been trying and he thinks he is being subtle. I'm putting this one in the bad category, so kids don't try this one at home. "Don't be laughing when my phone rings, my wife thinks we are having an affair." This would not be quite so bad except that I happen to be friends with another lady in town he is using the same tactics on. /sarcasm/Wow, this guys is smooth. What is he thinking? 'This is such a good line I'll scatter it machine gun style all over town.'/sarcasm/
A few years ago at a wedding reception I got what I felt was the best compliment ever. It was late most of the people were past there alcohol limit, my husband included. I was standing around waiting for him to finish hugging people, when he introduced me to a friend of his that I had never met. We stood there talking about general things, nothing meaningful, until my d.h. wandered back ready to leave. The friend shook my d.h's hand and said, "I'm glad I finally met your wife." Then he gave me one of those looks that sends electricity through my body and finished with "She's perfect."
In print it doesn't look near as good as it does in my memory. I don't remember the man's name, or even really what he looked like, but that sentence is tattooed on my brain.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bad storms and lines

We has one hell of a storm come through here last Thursday. Straight line winds at sixty miles an hour with gusts being clocked at eighty. We were driving home from a ball game when we drove into it. There was visibility of a few feet. The rain was coming in sideways. I was really worried about making it home, and I'm not usually worried about those kinds of things.
It blew the roof off of the office where I work. We spent that evening covering everything in plastic. Luckily we got that done in time to save all of our electronics except for one calculator. We have been working out of City Hall temporarily, which has been a real bitch. After a temporary roof and a lot of clean up we are back in the office today. Well, they are, I have the day off. I still have to work at my second job for an hour or two this morning. Other than that my only plans are to play a game of cards with Lane, and take the baby swimming.

Saturday night I heard one of the oddest pick-up lines. We were at a party having a few drinks when one of the girls called a boy to see where he was. He was at the local bar, with her brother, so we decided to walk up and get him. This is a really small place so even though there were only actually about twenty-five people there it seemed really crowded. One guy came up to me, he had that really drunk look in his eyes, put his arm around my shoulders and said, "Are you an idiot, or am I the idiot?"
"It is most certainly you." I answered. That is when he put the wettest sloppiest kiss on my temple. I don't think he is ever going to have much luck with that approach.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Saturday evening we went to a b.b.q. at a friends house. We stayed up late drinking beer and laughing. My sides and jaws hurt by 2:00 a.m.. That was a sign it was time to go home. The kids of course were still up playing on the trampoline, why do they never run out of energy? Sunday morning the phone was ringing, and I had the impression it has been ringing a long time before I stumbled in to answer it. My eyes were too blurry to read the caller i.d. so I just took my chances. It was for d.h., a golfing invitation, which he accepted. I crawled into bed and slept three more hours.
When I woke up the boys and I decided to go to the movies. I saw the Lake House and really liked it. Of course I'm a Sandra Bullock fan, why she made Speed II I don't know , but I like most of her movies. We did some grocery shopping and came home to make a father's day supper. My mom and sister came by and ate with us. They had said they weren't going to eat because they had just ate at Applebees. They both ended up eating. D.h. was eating his third enchilada when he said he wasn't hungry either. He had ate lunch at a Mexican restaurant after golfing. That is the power of enchiladas even stuffed people can't resist them.
After supper the boys, my mom, sister, and I went down to the football field and played football, not the American kind. I kicked a ball and hit my mom right in the gut. It startled me for a second and I just stood there. Of course I'm not that strong of a kicker and it didn't hurt at all. Watching my mom run and play out there it made realize how bad I am at categorizing people. She is not just a grandma, she is still a very active person capable of anything. I also realized that sometimes I am too hard on her about things that happened in the past. Her and the six of us siblings came through a trying twenty years, but it is over now and we need to let it go and forgive each others part in it. I always say I have forgiven everything, and some days I have , but occasionally resentment wells up. Life is a process, and I do feel that I'm getting better. We came home and played a game of Clue. I always work hard trying to figure it out and then a ten year old wins on a lucky guess, just as I'm almost there. GRRR.

Friday, June 16, 2006


When I started watching the England/Trinidad-Tobago match yesterday I wasn't sure who I was cheering for. I can't imagine anybody not wanting to see T. & T. Go far. At first it was their story, then seeing how hard those guys were willing to work for it was enough to make me hope they would make it to the 16. We spent quite a bit of time discussing which scenario would be best for both teams to make it, and decided we wanted a tie. When England scored I realized that emotionally I couldn't not want them to win. The neighbors probably heard me jump and yell. Growing up reading so much English literature and watching a bit of BBC makes me feel a kinship with England. Also since they show a bit of English Football here I am familiar with some of the players. If The U.S. gets eliminated I'll still have a team.
You might notice I'm stubbornly not calling it soccer. My boys and I decided the other day that if my generation would switch to calling it football it would be easy for them. The older generations would resist, but gradually it would be changed. What would we call American football then? Well, the name soccer would be available.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


I was laying on the couch with my youngest son, Lane, the other day when we flipped it over to a documentary on hell. We had been watching it for a few minutes when he turned to me and said, "Do you believe in Hell? I don't."
This one sentence sent a rush of questions through my brain. When did he get old enough to think about hell, he's my baby? What is the right answer to that? What else have I been missing out on if I didn't even realize we could be having this conversation? After what was probably too long of a pause I answered him honestly. "No, I don't believe in Hell either."
I am a Christian, but the idea of Hell has always seemed out of synch with a loving God. It does seem in synch with a church bent on controlling its followers. I've quit trying to be logical about it and trying to make my beliefs meld with everything I've been taught. I believe what my senses tell me to believe. I feel more spiritual in my yard then inside of a church. I believe god is all around us, loving instead of condemning. Jesus wasn't a fire an brimstone preacher. He never pushed himself on others. He led, they followed. Maybe the fundamentalists need to reread the red parts of their bible. I think I've been preachy enough for one day, I'll step off my soap box now.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Football, driving, and cooking

I crept out to the computer quietly at nine this morning. My intent was to come straight here while everybody was asleep, I fell by the wayside when I went instead to the Fifa's World Cup sight. I didn't get to watch the match yesterday, but my kids called me and broke the bad news. Not gently either, they laughed. In our family pool I picked the U.S. on a whim. I knew it was a long shot, but Germany, Brazil, and England had already been picked so I thought what the hell. If we don't make it out of the first round I'll have to pick another team to cheer on. We can still pull it out though, let's not throw in the towel yet.
If the need to pick a new team arises I have a quite a few good choices. Germany of course, because in 2002 I developed an inexplicable crush on a few of their players. Remember the goal keeper from Turkey? He was hot. Australia looks good, and I like to root for underdogs. I might just switch to Portugal, who Lee picked. So far my team is the only one picked who lost their first game. It'll be fun watching this whole thing play out, even if we are out in the first round.

Yesterday was one of those days spent mostly sitting. I started off at seven with an hour in front of my computer at the office, then after a shower I hopped in my van. After a ninety minute drive to Garden City, three hours taking an exam, ninety minute drive home, twenty minute drive to drop Jason off at baseball practice, twenty minute drive home, straight to school board meeting, my three mile walk last night was very refreshing. My legs needed to stretch out after so many hours on my ass.

I dreamed about cooking last night. In my dream I made a cut of meat called deerhart, it wasn't really a heart, it was really more like brisket. Julia Child was showing me how to serve it. Somebody knocked on the door and she screamed at them to leave then explained to us that the meat was very tender just now but would toughen up as it sat so we were eat immediately and that we shouldn't have to listen to that damn knocking while we enjoyed our meal. I woke up with a desire to cook something. The lack of groceries in our house is going to present one problem. The other problem is lack of time, we have to be in Elkhart at 4:30 for a couple of baseball games. We will be lucky to make it home by 10:00. I may make something that can be waiting for us, or we may just pick up pizza.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Summer reading

No not the program my kids go to at the library, what I'm reading this summer. I have been trying to read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, but I just can't stick with it. I can't read something sad and dense in the summer. Maybe my reading can't be contradicted by all of the light around me. I am taking it back to the library today. I'm not checking anything new out though because Lee has assigned me some books to read. When this role reversal took place I'm not sure, but here we are. The first book from the stack was The Amulet of Samarkand. I started it on Monday night and am already halfway through it.
No matter how hard I tried I just couldn't sink my teeth into The Jungle. I was beginning to suspect I was going through some sort of reading deficiency. I'll try it again this Winter. All Winter I was struggling to get into a memoir called Extra Virgin, now that summer is here I've been breezing through it.

On a totally unrelated note, The boys and I started weight lifting two nights ago. I'm easing my way into it, to avoid soreness. I seem to be filling my time with recreational activities. I really need to get some work done.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Tomorrow is a friend from grade schools birthday. I haven't seen her in almost twenty years, yet every June seventh I think 'hey, it's Terra's birthday.' Why is this date stuck in my head when I can't remember my brother's wife or kids birthdays? I don't know for sure when my anniversary is. Sometime in February is the closest I can guess.
I remember Becca's birthday too, another friend. December 31st, she is a Capicorn. Terra is a Gemini, but I can remember not one of my three kids astroligical signs. Maybe that is because I cared more about those sort of things back then.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Pizza party

It is glorious when a party goes off really well. I built a cob oven a few years ago and have been planning to have a pizza party since before it was done. When I am waiting for everything to be ready before I do something it never gets done. That is why two years later I still had not had a pizza party. Friday I just started inviting people to come over on Sunday. My house was a total disaster, and I had no toppings. I went shopping that night. On Sunday morning we all five pitched in and cleaned until two, which is when the party started.
Whenever a party is thrown there is a chance it wont all come together. People may not show up, or they may show up and not be in a festive mood. The food may not turn out. The combined group may not find that they have enough to talk about. That is why impromptu parties are my favorite. These factors are there, so there is a party, unlike a planned party, which can seemed forced. A theme party must usually be planned though, so I planned a party. The moment I realized it was working was when I came inside carrying the fourth pizza in from the oven. I stopped and looked around and three different groups having very spirited discussions, all laughing and talking, and everybody with a slice of pizza or a breadstick in their hand. I put down the pizza that was starting to burn my hand even through the pot holder, spiked a glass of sweet tea, and sat down to enjoy one of the conversations.