Friday, August 28, 2009

Here's What I Have to Say Today, or Feel Free to Chime in and Make This Interesting :)

  • If you've got any good jokes or one-liners searching for a place to light for a minute, slap 'em down in the comments. I'm thinking we can all use all the giggles we can get :) On a related note, the only knock-knock joke I can ever remember is the banana/banana/orange one. How about you?

  • My children requested AC/DC songs for their wakeup music this morning. Is it just me, or is there really something funny about listening to Brian Johnson shriek that early in the morning? Seriously, I laughed. Couldn't help it, it was just kind of surreal.

  • White pizza for supper tonight. Stack it up like this, and then bake until golden: pizza crust (you know I'm gonna rely on the DoughBoy for that one, but homemade would be even better), garlic powder and black pepper, ricotta cheese in a thick but not too thick to bake quickly layer (anywhere from a thin smear to a quarter or half inch), more garlic and pepper, whatever white "pizza/Italian" cheese you have on hand (mozerella, shredded parmesan, one of those four cheese mixes, etc-- but I wouldn't add swiss or limburger, if I were you, LOL), and a few pepperoni or mushrooms if you're so inclined.

  • Nice people are good.

  • Mutts, aka Heinz 57 pound puppies, are my favorite "breed" of dog. One of my children wants a golden retriever, the other one wants a collie (or a huskey or a wiener dog or anything instantly recognizable as one particular breed), and my hubby is a cat person. Wonder what we'll end up with when we do add another pet? Oh, and my children say I am not allowed to name any new pets when we do get one "because you always get to pick out names." I've learned to nod my head and silently cross my fingers at that one because I like creative, imaginative pet names that suit the particular animal. . .Mom ain't budging in her stance against "I wanna name him Max because that's the number one popular name"!

  • Read. It's good for your brain and your heart :)

  • I don't want to wear socks ever again. If we can have winter without me having to put on socks, then I'm on board. If that can't be arranged, then you'll recognize me as the woman traipsing through the snow in Croc-flops and striped fuzzy socks.

  • That's all. . . for now. . . you know I never really shut up for long! Have a Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Focus, Focus, Who's Got the Focus? or Yet Another Fairly Unoriginal Post

Nevermind who's got the focus, somebody tell me how to find my own stash of it? Seems like this is a neverending topic of discussion with me lately. I'm starting to feel as if my glass melting personna has been turned upside down on her head and can't get rightside up again. . . and that whole expression reminds me of a family story about 4 or 5 year old me. It involves a very big black couch in my grandmother's living room, a very dark corner created where the couch arms were pushed up against a wall, and a tiny voice calling from her headfirst in the hole position, "Would soooooooooooomebody pleeeeeeeeeease help me?"
Hmm, I guess, in comparison, my situation today is not so dire :-)
Surely, there are bigger ideas giving pause to the world's thinkers, ya know? Like, exactly how are we going to link the washing machine and the dryer so they will each know what color sock the other one ate during the last load of laundry-- because we sure can't have them getting their act in sync and eating a pair of socks at a time, that would make things too easy. Maybe the higher powers of the world are sitting on their back deck, drinking an adult beverage (or an herbal tea, depending on which higher power), and scratching their heads while trying to figure out why they couldn't get the knack of successful dinner party seating down pat before they created a bunch of different cultures and threw them onto the earth palette like so many random splats of paint-- because we sure could've used some planning so the meat eaters wouldn't have to worry about the smoke from their fires wafting over to the vegetarians' backyards and creating an instant animosity between people who would otherwise have been quite happy to get together and play a game of croquet or Yahtzee or somesuch. Yeah, I imagine the thinkers of the world have their hands full with the big stuff.
So, that leaves me to contemplate the small stuff (aren't you a lucky reader?). The small stuff is this: I like to melt glass, but melting glass takes uninterrupted stretches of time, as well as space for glass melting stuff and space to actually store the stuff made when you were happily melting glass. I've been weaning myself off of the glass melting for months now, for a bunch of little reasons that keep adding up and tipping the scale towards the put-the-torch-away-for-now option. Slow sales of extras (and art is an "extra" when compared to food and housing and other essentials), kids out of school for the summer (and we all know about the Family Guy lip-reading episode earlier this summer), and the need to sort through almost 9 years of stuff (and happily, pack it because we are moving closer to St. Louis very soon-- as in the end of September soon, as in dangit-I-should-be-filling-boxes-right-this-minute soon) have all converged into the artistic version of a perfect storm.
And what does Ang do when faced with an artistic perfect storm? She piddles. No, I don't mean she pees on the floor. I mean she piddles around with this little craft or that little project. Instead of just blocking out two or three hours to torch (still a possibility because I haven't made it as far as the studio in my packing adventure), Ang will spend twenty minutes here, looking for a picture to inspire a sketch to inscribe on a piece of copper, then she'll spend fifteen minutes over there, wondering whether she should keep all those Thomas the Tank Engine videos even though James outgrew them years ago. She'll follow that with thirty minutes of looking for the perfect piece of junk to use for a base for a candle, forgetting which candle and why she was fixing it by the time she finds the piece of junk. Let's see, we're already up to 20 + 15 + 30 minutes that could've been 65 minutes of uninterrupted torching time now that the kids are in school again.
Why am I sitting here writing this, then? Because I'm waiting for a phone call to see if one of the kids can get in to see the doctor. Because I need to take this or that paperwork to the bank. Because I'm the Empress of Procrastination and Disorganization and would hate to spoil my reputation by actually seeming to "have it together." Because when I get up from this chair I have to go to the kitchen and decide exactly how many freaking coffee cups are needed in a household where two adults each drink one cup of coffee in the morning (plus another single cup for me in the late afternoon). Because after the coffee cup dilemma is resolved, then I'm going to have to explain to myself yet again why it's necessary to keep three dozen t-shirts that I "can't live without" when I know there are only seven days in the week.
Guess I'd better say ta-ta for now and get to filling boxes! Actually, I am very excited about the move. It's going to be great! I'm just wondering if there's a fairy godmother of moving who's going to show up and wave her wand and take care of all the details. . .

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It's Such a Pain Being a Know-It-All

**Alternate titles to this post might include the following**

What Goes Around, Comes Around... So I Must Have Truly Been a Pain Most of My Life
Paybacks, Ang, Paybacks
I Guess Now I Know What It Feels Like ;-)
Yes, dear interwebs friends, I am a pain-in-the-butt know-it-all. Have been, all my life, at least as far back as I can remember. If you say "T.G.I.F," then I'm just as likely to point out that it's already Saturday some places in the world as I am to say "Hooray!". Can't really help it, although I am getting better at not saying aloud every single rebuttal. I think it has something to do with the fact that my children tend to be know-it-alls themselves. If there's one thing that will drive a K.I.A. up a wall, it's another K.I.A. The only thing to do is learn to curb your own K.I.A. tendencies and hope that your newfound gowiththeflow attitude is appreciated and even mimicked.
*snicker, snicker, snort, snort* I can hear the laughs from my family and friends. Okay, everyone, I didn't say I'd perfected it, just that I'm trying!
Anyway, all this is just to point out that I realize I am one of the worst knowitall offenders on the planet, so you should take the gripeyslightlygrouchybitchymaybeevencatty paragraphs that follow with a great big grain of salt. After all, if there is one thing I do almost as well as play K.I.A., it's play the ham ;-)
Oh, and before we move on to today's real ranting, here's one more little example of why I try to not take myself so seriously:
Yep, that is a picture of corned beef hash from a can, scrambled eggs, and toast. This was my breakfast the other day. . .the same day when my mother told me on the phone that she was going to have a fried spam sandwich for lunch and I instantly thought YUCK and HOW BAD FOR YOU IS THAT and then promptly went to my kitchen after our phone call ended and cooked something that was probably even worse! See what I mean? Ya gotta not take yourself too seriously!
Okay, so now for the dadgummitthatdrivesmecrazy rant, um, observations about life. Yeah, that's it, I'll just have a list of observations and maybe that will anonymously release the pent-up aggravation that's keeping me from just lightly laughing at the ridiculousness of another K.I.A. Without further hemming and hawing and trying to not mention anyone in particular, here ya go with some observations about life:
  • As soon as you think you know the answer to a problem and act on that answer, a much more reasonable but now unavailable option will clunk you right in the forehead. From this point, you can either expend a whole lot of energy contorting everything in your world to make sure your answer was right or YOU CAN PULL UP YOUR BIG GIRL PANTIES AND SAY "I WAS WRONG. CAN YOU HELP ME FIX IT?" As I sit here trying to think of a humorous example, all I can tell you is that I'm sure this one must apply to me and all the times I've bumbled through a project of some sort instead of stopping and asking for help. As a matter of fact, as I type this, my brain is being bombarded with visions of my brother's triedtotellyou face. Heehee, thank you, Bubby, for all the times you've patiently tried to help me. Helllllllll, thank you to every single member of my family, I'm sure!
  • There are always exceptions to a rule but that does not mean you have to point them out every single time the rule is mentioned. Most people realize life is not a simple series of cut and dried decisions with only black or white options. . . most people understand there are shades of gray involved and don't need you to remind them of this. Oooooooooh, this is a tough one for me! I can't tolerate some one who can't tolerate shades of gray. Ooooooooooh, bite my K.I.A. tongue, bite my K.I.A. tongue. After all, not tolerating someone who can't tolerate someone else is doing the same as they are doing, right?
  • Here's one thing I have learned and try to remember to use to my advantage when it comes to telling my spouse something. You see, it turns out that we are each fairly stereotypically male/female in our areas of knowledge. When I want to suggest an answer to a typically "male" kind of problem, I now know to frame it as possible advice from another male, instead of musings of a woman who could care less about how an engine makes a car go. For example, the back door of my van once locked and would not open. Now, I know next to squat about vehicles, but I had the idea that something electrical was causing this problem-- probably because the problem showed up on the same day that plugging in my phone charger caused a great big spark. Um, but because I admittedly know next to nothing about cars, my husband pooh-poohed the idea. For a very long time, I waited for the accountant by day to have time to play grease monkey and fix the problem. Each time I asked about fuses/electrical stuff, he dismissed it as a possibility. Then, one day he fixed the van, and this is basically what he said (automotive terms may be wrong, remember I'm not a grease monkey), "Well, I fixed your van. Jim and I were looking at it, and we decided it must be a blown fuse." What the heck?? Didn't I suggest this very solution to him weeks ago?? So, here's the take home point-- now, when I want to suggest an answer to the K.I.A. grease monkey/accountant, I frame it like this, "You know, I'm sure Jim Bob would say blah, blah, blah."
  • If no one is going to be physically harmed by another K.I.A.'s mistaken postulations, then let it go. You have not been appointed by anyone to be the Great Deliverer of Corrections. For instance, if someone repeatedly says "physical" when they are talking about "fiscal," let it go unless by some strange chance that someone is the C.F.O. or C.E.O. of a huge corporation. And hey, if someone that far up the ladder has made it to where they are while saying "physical" instead of "fiscal," then do you really think you are going to change things by piping up with the correction? If a cop cuts across the "medium" to write you a ticket for speeding, are you going to be smart and not comment, or are you going to be a stupid K.I.A. and mention that he surprised you by whipping across the median so quickly? If it's not going to hurt someone, bite your tongue-- you don't need the extra drama or responsibility of being the corrector of all things wrong.
  • JUST SAY NO TO SNOPES, or at least keep the link to yourself. Nobody really believes those stupid email stories are real. We know they were made up-- but there might be a good lesson or tip for living ensconced in that madeup story, so chill out and let people talk about it if they want to do so.

Bite my tongue, bite my tongue, bite my tongue. I am still sitting here shaking my head over the fact that the person who has irritated me always has to be right, no matter how trivial the information in question. . . I want to just let it slide right on by me, because it really is something trivial, because I'm not around this person enough for it to be worth my time (or theirs) to hash this out, because it's petty of me to care one way or the other. Smack my fingers, bite my tongue, don't let me write Would you please stop feeling the need to contradict almost everything I say to you, because let's face it, sometimes YOU ARE WRONG. Oops. Sorry, the know it all thing is really, really, really hard to change in my personality.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Son, You Got a Panty on Your Head

Who dresses you? Don't you think that's a little excessive for the Carolina league?
Gooooooooooood Mooooooooooornin', Interwebs!
I triple dog dare you to speak in your favorite movie terms. . . It can be pretty darn fun. You might want to see if you can't update yourself a bit, though, instead of being stuck in my twenties and thirties. Aaah, who couldn't learn how to handle all sorts of situations by watching Bull Durham?
  • "...and candlesticks always make a good wedding present."
  • "I'm just happy to be here, and I hope I can help the club."
  • "The rose goes in the front, big guy."

Who hasn't cried, listening to Louis Armstrong's voice serenely belting out "What a Wonderful World" while a montage of scenes of young men arriving in Vietnam flows across the bleary screen?

Who hasn't just about peed their pants while watching Nicholas Cage's bumbling robbery of a pack of diapers from the convenience store? Son, you got a panty (say that with a long "a" sound, paaaaaaaanty) on your head.

Oh, and the heroines to be admired. Angela Bassett and I probably share only our first names, but every time I watched her I could feel her confidence pumping mine up just a bit. Geena Davis in The Long Kiss Goodnight might not have done her best acting, but her character was surely the epitomy of kickbuttwomanhood. Susan Sarandon, well, what's not to say? Talk about a strong minded, smart woman. You know what I realized as I stacked these videos in a box and vaguely remembered scenes and lines? I always wanted to be those girls. . . just never worked out. The year I wanted to be as tough and cool as Kelly McGillis was the same year I got a short haircut and looked like Tom Cruise. Yep, instead of a kickbutt heroine, I think I must resemble a frazzled Ralphie's mom. . . you don't remember her, do you? Nah, that's what I thought. Took me a minute to recall her, too. It's okay. I've always been pretty nondescript, always more likely to be mistaken for Ferris Bueller's sister than for Patrick Swayze's dance partner. I'll tell you one thing about not being the gorgeous heroine, though . . . there will come a day (hmm, probably in your forties) when you will be quite happy with the woman you've become, no matter which movie character her facade resembles.

So, relax, let's have some fun out here. This game's fun, okay? Fun, goddammit. And don't hold the ball so hard. It's an egg, got it? Hold it like an egg.

Monday, August 24, 2009

All I Can Say...

All I can say is that has got to be one heckuva big flower when they find it!

Sorry about the grainy zoomed up pics-- the bee balloons didn't make it out as far as the regular shapes, and I missed any really good chances to get closer. These two are billed as "twin" balloons, one with red antenna and one with blue. At the Balloon Glow Saturday night, they were gently swaying in the light breeze and looked like they were leaning toward each other in a giant hug.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hot Air on a Cool Morning-- Balloon Fest 2009

This is not an unusual site for mid-August in this neck of the woods because Centralia's Balloon Fest is in its 20th year of bringing hot air action to the area. During Balloon Fest weekend, it isn't unusual for me to the north and see a multitude of hot air balloons slowly floating closer and closer to Irvington.

As soon as I see balloons coming our way, I rush James and Kate out of bed and into the van so we can join the mostly safe and slightly crazy chase to get to the balloons. All the country roads around here are laid out in a grid, and you can usually see for miles in any direction. . . perfect for balloon crews staying close to their pilot, as well as for the rest of us who love to watch it all up close. Balloon pilots and crews are always so generous with their waves from the air, and they are always patient and happy to share the excitement with onlookers.

Isn't this pretty cool? It's what I saw to the northwest of our house this morning right before I ran back inside happily shouting, "James! Kate! The balloons are coming our way!"

The boy shields his "still morning dizzy eyes" from the bright sunlight and spots balloons floating across the soybean fields. His favorite balloon is almost always the Pepsi balloon. He especially likes the one shaped like a Pepsi can. It wasn't here this year, but Pepsi did send a regular shaped balloon with the trademark blue, red, and white Pepsi-Cola on it.

Kate perches in the doorway of the van and searches the sky for some of her favorite multi-colored splashes of inflated silk. Must be the artist's connection that draws her and me to most of the same balloons.

It's a total eclipse of the balloon! My first thought as I focused the camera was something along the lines of "what the heeeeeeeeeeeck?" and "what did I mess up on the camera now??." Took me a second to register why one balloon was so brightly lit by the morning sun and the other was so dark.
Another brilliant splash of color lands. This is just a wonderful weekend around here, ya know?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Grilled Copper

Grilled copper bookmark.
Circa 2009.
Junk collection of A. Garren.

She's an embossed sketch inspired by a photograph of an intricate sculpture of Maya standing under the tree of life and sprouting Siddhartha from her ribs. Maybe it was the "ribs" part of the story, which I initially ignored while making the sketch, that subconsciously prompted me to bury the bright copper bookmark in the coals of the grill after I'd finished inscribing the sketch? Well, that, and the knowledge that heat applied to copper brings out some pretty colors. Unfortunately, I didn't pay attention to what kind of heat was mentioned whenever I read that blurb about heat and copper. Soooooo, being the pyromiddleagedmaniac lover of flame that I am, I got the bright idea to heat her in the charcoal.

Of course, one wild hair leads to another, and I decided that if coals were good, then some fast burning cardboard on top of the pile would be even better. Poor, poor Maya. Don't know whether it was the cardboard or the chilling splash of cold water when I finally decided I'd better put out the fire, but something charred her completely black from about shin height to the top of the tree of life branch dangling over her dainty headdress. Solid. Black. So much for bringing out pretty colors!

Now that she's had a lovely lemon juice and salt scrub, she's feeling much better. Bonus to the salt scrub is that she can actually be used as a bookmark, whereas before she would've amounted to a charcoal rubbing marking the page of your (hopefully not borrowed from the library) book.

Since today is the full day of school for the kiddos, I think this Mom needs to think about firing up the torch and melting some glass. I really enjoyed looking at that photograph, picking out the most prominent lines, and echoing those lines as I scratched this sketch onto the copper BUT. . .you know what I'm gonna say. . . in the end, nothing looks and feels as right to me as the finished product when I melt glass. Everything else manages to leave me scratching my head and wondering how in the world to make it look more polished and professional, ya know?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Meditations on Why Occasional P&Q Ranks High on MME's List

Shall I translate for you? First of all, MME is Meanest Mom Ever. I currently hold that title, although more than a few moms have laughed and welcomed me to the club when told about my title ;-) Apparently, being dubbed the MME by your children is actually a good sign, a sign that you are doing something right as you muddle through the swamp of parental decisions. If you happen to be an MDE (aka Meanest Dad Ever), then let me welcome you to the club, too, although I am inclined to think there are more MME's in the club. When the potential MDE in our house gets home from a long day of work plus commute, he is not likely to spend time uttering phrases such as "because I said so" or "get down from there before somebody gets hurt." That's just the way it is in our house. Mom is gonna tell you to quit burping in your sister's face, and Dad is likely to laugh at you because it really is kinda funny. Mom is gonna tell you it's time to calm down for the evening and quit tormenting your brother by asking him why he's sitting there watching Hannah Montana if he hates that show so much, and Dad is likely to laugh at you because it really is a good point you just made.

This whole MME versus the GD (aka Good Dad) thing used to really tick me off, especially when the kids were little and I was the one who took them to work with me at the daycare while Daddy sat in an office. . .in a cubicle. . .that I thought had to be a sanctuary of quietude. . .for the whole day long. Now, after three years of being a mostly stay at home mom ("mostly" because I started substitute teaching last spring and can't wait to do some more as soon as school starts and teachers start judiciously using some of their time off), I am finally starting to have much more understanding for the differences between moms and dads. If I were the one sitting in that cubicle, that potential sanctuary of quietude where no one interrupts you in the middle of washing your hair so they can let you know starvation is imminent if you don't help them decide what to eat within the next 30 seconds, IF I were the one sitting in that cubicle, then it would no longer be a sanctuary BECAUSE :

  • The phone would be instantly start ringing off the hook with long distance complaints that "he looked at me funny" and "she hit me on purpose," and these kinds of complaints simply get very little reaction from a Dad.
  • If the phone didn't ring, then I would sit there for precisely three minutes before I started wondering "exactly why is it so darn quiet all of a sudden," and these kinds of Mom-tuitions or Mom-dar cannot be ignored.

Sooooooooooooooooo, let me just say that I have finally reached the point where I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would not want to trade jobs with my husband. I appreciate what he gives up so that I can be here to drop the kids off at school in the mornings, pick them up in the afternoons, make sure homework is done (correctly, and don't let me ever again catch you making up answers so you can get done faster), and you get the idea. I appreciate the sense of freedom and bravery he gives to our kids because he can ride the Superman (one of those drop straight down from 253 feet rides at Six Flags) with them without flinching, because he wrestles and plays with them without scolding that "if you keep that up, somebody's going to get hurt and then it won't be so much fun anymore," and because he lets them walk around the block by themselves in his old neighborhood without worrying excessively that the neighborhood might have changed since he was 7 or 8 years old almost four decades ago. Lesson finally sinking in-- kids can use both kinds of parents, it's just that some of us are good for one area and others are good for complementary areas.

Oops! Got carried away and almost forgot I am supposed to translate P&Q for you, too. Heehee, betcha some of you already know it stands for PEACE AND QUIET. Over the course of an entire summer vacation, it will likely by accompanied by more words, such as "just for a few minutes, please" or "shhhhhhh...enjoy it...we're being quiet" or "if I don't get some P&Q, then Daddy's gonna be paying for a nanny while Mommy is staying at the closest mental institution." Yep, P&Q is one of the things on my list of selfish desires that contribute to keeping Mom sane :)

And all of this rambling is the prelude to telling you that I think Mom-vana (that's mom-nirvana) might have been achieved yesterday evening when both of my children wanted to sit in the candlelight, listen to a cd of Native American flute music, and meditate with Mom. I don't even meditate in this way, flame meditation at the torch is my version of meditation, BUT we had some new candles, the stars were aligned just right, James chilled out after much squirming and goofing around, Kate sat cross-legged on the chair and om'ed, and for that hour or so, this Mom was graced with the most wonderful P&Q ever . . . peacefulness and quietude with two thoughtful and profoundly wise-when-they-want-to-be children. James and Kate, I hope that memory is one you'll treasure as much as your mother will.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Just Marking My Spot :-)

  • Hope all is well with each of you.
  • See why I love books with pictures of religious art?
  • The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly. -- Buddha

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Well, You Know, A Ninja's Gotta Do What a Ninja's Gotta Do :)

A ninja-girl strikes a battle pose wearing her too long at the heels pink knit pants, a knit toboggan from her brother's infancy, a snorkel mask, and a few dangly blue bracelets. You will note that the ninja-girl is equipped with bubble swords for weapons in her battle with the ninja-boy James. Unfortunately, this mom was too slow at the draw with the camera to get a picture of the ninja-boy in his stealth gear. I can assure you, though, that ninja-boy had no girly accoutrements, like dangly blue bracelets, gracing his battle gear, LOL. He was armed with the other bubble swords, though!

Ninja-girl Kate reveals her identity. She appears to be one glum warrior, but I'm pretty sure the sad face was brought on by her brother refusing to play ninja any more that day.
In fact, the ninja-boy had decided the bubble sword would be more fun to use for blowing bubbles.

Summer vacation is almost over. . . where did it go??

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Important Decisions in Life. . .Like Coffee vs. Incense

Having nothing better to think about this fine day (here's where you have to imagine me, trying to be calm and peaceful and accepting of the fact that I can't dictate the behavior of other people but must instead focus on my own reaction and behavior), I bring you the dilemma facing me this lovely morning. Coffee? or Incense?
Generally speaking, you'd think the easy answer would be "both." "Both" won't work in this situation, or at least not at the same time in this location. Unless the power is out for more than a few minutes, I don't light candles in any other part of the house besides the kitchen. Granted, I'm not scared of flame (remember, I melt glass with flame), but I am careful and prefer to leave lit candles out of harms way in the center of the stovetop. Now, candles aren't the same as incense, from what I can tell, but the same caution seems warranted for the incense. . .or maybe, it's just that I like routine. Whatever. That part is the safety blah-blah-blah argument.
Here's the real deal. My nose is a dud. Oh, it's a cutie in its own way, but it ain't gonna win any challenges with a bloodhound. After the first whiff or two of a new smell, my nose puts the scent on ignore. Well, okay, some smells persist, even with my lame snooter. Those smells would be my brother's socks after a day at work, my daughter's feet after she's been wearing plastic shoes, and pig poop. Anything else requires my immediate enjoyment if it is a good smell. Mmmmm, I'm thinking of garlic and pepper chicken roasting in the oven. I'm thinking of ocean or clean linen scented candles. I'm thinking of coffee perking in my Bialetti stovetop espresso pot, first thing in the morning. I'm thinking of the Sakura scent incense to go with that adorable little bunny incense holder on the petal pink saucer that my hubby brought from Japan a few weeks ago.
Ah, the coffee versus the incense at the start of the day dilemma. My coffee tastes reaaaaaaaaallllllllllllly good. . . to me. I've been told by my children that it smells like train oil. In any case, it isn't a light, retiring scent, and it sure doesn't mix with any lilting, peaceful Sakura incense. I *want* them both this morning. Unfortunately, given my lame sniffer and my addiction to sipping train oil first thing in the morning, the cute little Sakura bunny didn't stand a chance this morning.
Silly, isn't it? Oh, I agree that if that is my worst dilemma, then I am extremely lucky! I am pretty lucky, in that none of the real life or online poop bothering me is life-threatening. I have to admit, though, that I'm not as cooooooool about life's curveballs as I'd like to be. I've been working on it these last three years, though. Funny, discovering glass melting and all the places art and glass can take your mind set me on a path of growing up a little bit, too. I'm consciously trying to live and let live because I can now see that each of us has our own experiences and feelings that lead up to where we are at any one point in our lives. . .and those points are pretty darn unique, so how could I honestly judge someone else? I'm consciously trying to follow that old adage "if you can't say anything good, don't say anything at all". . . and if you remember me from my first forty years, you know that's a pretty big switch from being the girl who likes to repeat the twisted version which is "if you can't say anything good, then come sit by me and talk." I'm consciously trying to roll with the flow, not get my panties in a twist, be cool as a cucumber, and say with the calmness of a Dalai Lama "it is what it is". . . and trust me, that's a whole lot easier to write than it is to do.
Ah, but the more I write it, the more I read it, the more I repeat it to myself, the better I get at it. So, if inane little essays about coffee versus incense help, then I guess I'm doomed to write such drivel occasionally. . .aww, who am I kidding? It's more than occasional drivel, LOL. Just know that I appreciate you clicking on my drivel occasionally, and that I hope your own life sorts itself out each day so that your biggest worry is relatively small in the grand scheme of things, ya know?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Kitchen Hockey Rules!

Kitchen Hockey was the game of the night last night. James and Kate decided their empty Hubba Bubba bubblegum pack looked a lot like a hockey puck. Instead of throwing it in the trash can, they taped it shut and grabbed some orphaned mop handles for sticks. The goal was a beaten up laundry basket tipped sideways. Never let it be said that our clutterbug tendencies do not actually come in handy in this house, LOL.
At one point, the score in the hockey game was 410 to 70, in James' favor. Then, Kate figured out the rules of scoring according to James, and the score ended at a near tie-- 790 to 780, still in James' favor, but more readily perceived as a fair score. Before they went to bed last night, each of them wrote their team name and score on a poster they taped to the front of the refrigerator. Apparently, a grudge match between Alpha James and Cowboy Katie is scheduled for this morning, so I made to sure to be up and perking my coffee before the zambonie rolled through the kitchen. . .and, oh, crap, that sentence just reminded me of the time we kids played football in the basement and decided it would be smart to use Pledge on the tile floor to make it slicker for sock-footed football players. I don't remember who ended up with the knot on their head, but seems like it might have been me who crashed into the concrete wall endzone headfirst.
Well, coffee's almost gone, and I just heard one of the rough and tumble hockey playing kids mumbling in his sleep. Time to get on with the day :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dude. Poop Happens.

So, the kids and I are out exploring the world Wednesday afternoon. We're at Carlyle Lake (the biggest man-made lake in Illinois), and we see all sorts of wildlife before we even step out of the van. I'll show you the pictures of the two fawns playing by the edge of the roadway another day, as well as the ones of the herons and gulls. Today, though, I have to show you the picture that has precipitated screaming giggle fits from the munchkins ever since the shutter clicked on it.
Dude. Poop happens. Sometimes it happens when you'd rather not think about it. I sure didn't go to the lake hoping to get a good picture of a gull emptying the hatch. The kids and I just needed to get out of the house and escape the end of summer blahs. I grabbed the camera case with that typical thought in mind-- if I don't take it, I'll probably see something that would make a terrific picture and be bummed because I don't have the camera with me. I snapped the poop picture while we were standing on top of the dam. It is one of many pictures of that same seagull (and yep, landlocked that we are, we have those things... I always thought they only lived at the ocean). Kate was sneaking a few pebbles down one of the walkway drain holes, but James was taking a brief break from trying to fill up the lake with rocks so he saw me taking the pictures. Gull swooping through the air on the lake side of the dam. Snap. Gull turning. Snap. Gull flying away, leaving a squirting trail behind him. . .Snap. Peals of belly laughs from the boy, as well as howls of "Kate! You missed it! The bird pooped while Mom was taking a picture!"
Poop is always funny to a kid. In and of itself, poop is hilarious to my kids, anyway. Before I was a parent myself, I thought the potty humor was a toddler and preschooler thing. Apparently, poop ranks right up there with farts as entertainment far into the childhood years. It doesn't have to have any connotations associated with it to make it funny, either. Poop is just funny to a kid.
I think I may not be as young at heart as I've always prided myself at being. Poop can be funny, but that's usually when it's used in the context of a joke or smart-alec remark or somesuch other expression that carries meanings with it. "Now, that sh** is funny!" "And then, the sh** hit the fan for real..." "Didja really think your sh** don't stink??" "Aw, geez, were we ever up a sh** creek without a paddle!" But kids? Kids don't need all the extras to fancy up the subject and make it laugh-worthy. Something poops, they laugh :)
I think there's a lesson in there, somewhere, at least for me. I imagine it's some sort of reminder to not expect expectations and connotations to be applied to such a simple act. Maybe it's a simple reminder to enjoy life in the moment and not worry so much about the past or the present. I'll have to think about it and get back to you on the philosophical ramifications of poop!
Here is where I thought I would segue into some sort of rambling about the things that have been bothering me these past two weeks, things that have happened both online and in the real world, but you know what? I'm going to try to take a lesson from a book I've been reading this summer, and I'm going to combine it with a few words of wisdom quietly muttered by my husband this morning when I was trying to nail down even more details of this house buying thing. One question too many for the night owl who doesn't even like to speak in the morning, let alone have to make detailed decisions, and this was the reply. In a quiet voice, not harsh or dismissive or even grouchy, he simply said (and I suck at direct quotes, so here's the gist of it) I can't really think about that at work today. . .this evening after work, or tomorrow morning, fine, but not now. He has to be in the "now" when he's at work, and though I have had a tendency to scoff at male-pattern-one-track-mindedness when it creates obstacles for me, I see it now. He's right. Just like the book I've been reading, the one espousing living in the now and not expecting other people to do what you want just because you want it and understanding we are not all always in perfect control of our reactions and behaviors and accepting life as it is instead of worrying excessively about what we cannot control, just like that book says. Life is the now. Do what you have to do now, and don't misdirect your energy into worrying about what other people think about your choices.
Clear as mud, right?
Gotta run. Munchkin #1 is up, and #2 could use a wake up call, LOL. Hope you each have a blessedly fine Friday, just right for you :)