Archive for the ‘Ponderings’ category

Gratitude Challenge – Day 3

November 3, 2012

Today I’m grateful for old things. Don’t look so shocked – I’m not talking about old people. Those still hold a “special” place I’m my, ummm, heart . . .? No, I’m talking about the afternoon I spent antiquing with one of my oldest of friends (because I’ve known her a long time – not because she’s old). We ooooh-ed and aaaahh-ed and laughed and talked and imagined all the crafty things we could do with old things. I fed my odd obsession with old bottles (they were on sale – how could I not??) and I embraced the upcoming holiday season with glittery fake flowers and a gold sparkly squirrel Christmas ornament for The Kid (I wisely bypassed the one that looked as if it might have been an actual living, breathing squirrel at one point in time). These are only a few of the old things for which I’m grateful.

Gratitude Challenge – Day 2

November 3, 2012

Two words – butt warmers. Heated seats. Ass toasters. Take your pick.

In the interest of full disclosure, it’s completely possible I used this one last year. It’s also possible I might feel the overwhelming desire to use it again. They’re just THAT amazing and I’m THAT thankful for them. The weather is turning cold and mornings are increasingly less than cozy. Few things help compensate for the typical morning chaos than this one, simple, first-world luxury.

Here’s wishing you all cozy, toasty derrières to accompany your extra hour of sleep this weekend!

Gratitude Challenge 2012 – Day 1

November 1, 2012

The setup — each day between today and Thanksgiving, try to “really” take stock of that for which you have great gratitude. Shout it out on Facebook and share your thanks, inspire others to be grateful, and open yourself to new gratitudes.

So I’m going to try this, but with my twist. Mostly because I like to have fun and bend the rules. And though I fully comprehend and support the sentiment of the challenge, cheesy makes me want to gag. So here goes!

Today, I’m grateful for asparagus, though not so much the after-effects of asparagus. Seriously. It catches me off-guard EVERY time. I really need to leave myself a post-it note in the bathroom. Or a reminder on my phone. Or something.

I’m also grateful for a daughter whose favorite meal of all time includes asparagus. And that one day soon, we’ll be able to harvest asparagus from our own garden, grown from seeds planted by my husband. How cool is that!?

Cool side note – Did you know that you only eat the male plants? Google it if you don’t believe me. Girl power (in the plant world)!

This Post Good Through Saturday

January 4, 2011

So WordPress has a “challenge” for 2011. Since I have so few “challenges” in my life, I thought this might be a great opportunity. They told me to post the content below*, which I was supposed to modify to fit my blog, but since I didn’t really feel like it, I welcome you to use your imagination. You should also add a laugh-track to the background. While the little guy on my shoulder tells me this is something I can and should do this year, the guy who’s supposed to be on my other shoulder is doubled over in tears of laughter on the floor. (I love the little guy on the floor!)**

Title: I’m Posting every day in 2011!

I’ve decided I want to blog more. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now.  I will be posting on this blog once a day / once a week for all of 2011.

I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similiar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.


<Your Name Here>

* Please note that this post counts as 1 and I thank WordPress for writing it for me. I expect great content to cut & paste over the course of the next 51 weeks.

** Upon preview, I see that my paste of WordPress’s content comes with a snazzy, indented box. I take full credit because it’s really cool, but let’s all just agree that I’ll probably never be able to do that on my own. Or maybe I will!  (The little guy laughing on the floor may pull a muscle if I keep this up . . .)

Too Many Moving Pieces

February 23, 2010

Things I’ve learned about moving and some enlightening observations (AKA, a glimpse into my life the last couple of weeks).

  1. Smoke alarm batteries die immediately after packing extra batteries away in storage. I robbed the alarm clock just to stop the beeping every 90 seconds, but this almost guarantees the alarm clock will now die.
  2. Kitchen light bulbs we have NEVER had to replace suddenly die under the prospect of our moving out. Out of the 5 bulbs in the kitchen, 2 have died in the last week. That’s equal to the number of bulbs we’ve replaced in the almost 8 years we’ve lived in the house.
  3. We started hearing another beep in the basement, but have no clue what was alarming. Leaving the back door open for a few minutes and chanting “not my house – not my problem” seemed to resolve the issue.
  4. The cats are freaked out and are protesting by way of hairballs in both in walkways as well as in the most unsuspecting locations. Like under the nightstand. Really?? Blech!
  5. Always be sure to leave another door to the house unlocked to avoid the need to wake the sick, sleeping 8 year old at 10pm when you somehow manage to lock yourself outside. No one knows how the door came to be locked. I suspect the cat.
  6. No matter how much stuff I can fit into a huge box, it’s no good if it can’t be lifted. For that reason, there is no such thing as too many small boxes. Buy double what you were thinking. Then come over to my house and pack some crap. I’m tired of packing.
  7. There is no appropriate size box for the LeCruset Dutch oven. It’s already far too heavy even when empty. The same is true for the food processor. And any box coming from my husband’s office.
  8. Leave out *3* bowls for use in the final days in the house. It helps reduce the fighting that results when only 2 bowls are available for breakfast.
  9. No matter how much progress we make, it always looks like “just a little bit more to pack” though the packing is never-ending. It’s like unloading clowns from a VW bug.
  10. Buying a new-construction home from a custom builder (read: not an assembly line chain builder) means many phone calls to setup services involve customer service reps questioning my ability to recall the new address. The cable company even went so far as to ask my husband if he was “sure that’s the right address?  Have you BEEN there?”

More on the entertaining aspects of a custom build later. Right now, I have to pick out door hinges. Because these things are apparently not obvious, require much deliberation, and involve more “samples” to add to the pile, which already includes varying colors and shapes of really heavy and sharp granite, cabinet doors, wood planks (which are not cut to sample size because they were all out – instead we have varying lengths of wood flooring), and a stack of brochures, pamphlets, and swatches that could make your head spin. And I haven’t even started looking at baseboard molding options!

At this point, I would like to reiterate how grateful I am that it’s stopped snowing. I was starting to wonder if an igloo was in our future. Instead, it’s a 2+ week delay on the delivery of the house. But it will be well worth all the aggravation. If only I could get this point across to the cats, I might not have to fear putting on my shoes in the morning.

Forwarding Address Unknown

January 31, 2010

Good news – We sold the house!

Even better news – We’re buying a new house!!

Bad news – There’s just over a week between when we have to move out of our current house and when the building of our new house SHOULD be done.

This plan almost came together perfectly, but it’s OK because now we can experience what it’s like to be homeless, middle-class style. We’ll be living in an extended-stay hotel. With the cats and ferrets. And, of course, The Kid. It’ll be an adventure! Really! (I keep telling myself this with hopes that I’ll eventually believe it.)

For the time being, life feels like the calm before the storm. That time when we should be hanging the plywood over the windows, but can’t quite get the motivation to do so because the weather outside is so beautiful. So instead, my living room sits FULL of boxes – some packed, some assembled and empty, most still flat and waiting (though all are labeled and organized by size, because I’m compulsive like that).

I can’t yet bring myself to take the pictures off the walls. I know it’s one of the easiest ways for me to get the motivation and feel & see progress, but past experience tells me that when I do, the house will echo. An echoing house feels empty. It immediately stops feeling like “home” and I want to hold on to that feeling as long as possible – for me and for the family. We’ve lived here for almost 8 years and while we’ve had our share of complaints about this house, it has been OUR house all that time. I have pride in being one of the few remaining “original” owners in the cul-de-sac. We picked out the counters and the cabinets and the carpet and the appliances. I painted the rooms. Well, some of them – I just couldn’t decide on colors for all of them and for others, the furniture moving made painting seem like an impossible task not worth the effort so it still feels like an unfinished project – a work in progress. We’ll do it all again with the new house, and on a grander scale because the new builder isn’t a “Wal-Mart” style company mass-producing houses like an assembly line. It will be a welcome and refreshing change from our first attempt at buying new construction.

But still I feel connected to my house with walls. The more we pick out the bits and pieces for the new house, the more excited I become, the more I feel like the new house will eventually be what we want. It’s shaping up to be an amazing spring full of new house adventures. DH will get more acres than he’s ever owned, all screaming for partitioning, fencing, farming, and, most importantly, a tractor. We’ll move in at the perfect time for him to begin the laundry list of projects he’s been itching to try for years. While I’m incredibly excited to design my own kitchen, I think I’m most excited for him to get to try his hand at farming. Crops first, animals to come sometime thereafter. (I’ll get crap for saying it, but I’m looking forward to the crops, not the animals.) I’m hopeful that he’ll be successful enough with our staples that we won’t regret skipping the CSA this year. Though we’ll continue to support local farmers, we’ll be better able to diversify and buy only what we need to fill the gaps. To offset, I’ve evangelized the wonderful benefits of CSAs so I’m hopeful others will join in my place. (If you’ve not heard my pitch, let me know and I’ll unpack my soapbox just for you!)

The new house is currently past the framing stage, but not yet to drywall. It has plumbing, electric, and (most importantly) cable/satellite. We hope to have walls soon and have been told they should arrive before we move it. This should help The Kid better understand and accept the new house as a nice place to live. Right now, she’s not buying it. But she has started packing and organizing. Because she’s compulsive. And because she’s my daughter. And the countdown is on to the move in just a few weeks.

And in case you thought this blog was all about YOU procrastinating, I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong. This whole long post was all about me telling you what’s what in my world in an attempt to put off packing. Because I’m a master procrastinator and you are my enabling audience. Now pass me the bubble wrap! (Because I like to pop it – not because I’m going to get around to packing anything today.)

Some days, you just have to throw up your hands.

July 16, 2009

Yesterday was “one of those days” for me. You know the kind I’m talking about – we all have them from time to time and they can really throw you off your game. Mine began early with a set alarm that was never turned on starting my day in a late panicked rush and continued with me sending The Kid off to camp prepared for a field trip that wasn’t scheduled for another 2 days, then a smashed windshield (dump truck threw a rock), and thus the day continued on an all-too-familiar path.

I carefully considered stopping at a local coffee shop to buy a decent cup of coffee to help kick-start the day back on track. I did end up getting one, but the outcome possibilities weren’t appealing considering the already volatile morning and the prospect of introducing scalding hot liquids. At least I wasn’t wearing white.

There were no issues with the coffee (maybe that was the turning point) and, for the most part, things calmed by early afternoon. I was grateful and reminded myself of all the things that could have gone much worse. I started counting the good things that happened instead of the bad – sort of a mind over matter way of trying to turn things around. Still, it’s days like these that remind me of a time when a cascade of unfortunate events tumbled down on me at the most inconvenient of times. Not even Erma Bombeck could come up with this stuff. Real life and parenthood strike again!

Some background to start. When The Kid was fully potty trained, we had some fairly typical hiccups as she settled into the new diaper-less routine. Being as “full of personality” as she is, she also had some unique hang-ups we had to address. For example, (to put this as delicately and non-offensively as possible) it is indeed acceptable for an individual to engage in multiple “transactions” when in the restroom. Functions 1 and 2 do not need to be separate visits from each other. (How she physically managed this one is beyond me – I always thought some “transactions” were inextricably linked to others.) We also learned quickly that, as she got older, other people had more influence on her diet and she would need to take some responsibility for what she ate and the effects. Specifically, bananas. More specifically, how many bananas are acceptable for consumption in one day lest she endure the resulting effects of exceeding that limit.

We had spent a few days with The Kid being extremely and increasingly uncomfortable. Apparently, 2-3 bananas a day for several days in a row was too many and the effects were long lasting. There were countless trips to the bathroom and aside from a pained and crying toddler, there was no favorable result. I would go in with her to soothe and coach, hoping for progress. Each failed attempt was followed by something I thought might help – raisins, plums, prunes, more fluids. All to no avail.

Until that one night.

Days of waiting came to the ultimate climax as I awoke around 3am to whimpers then cries from The Kid’s bathroom. I sprang to my feet and ran to comfort her. She was right where I expected, sitting on the toddler seat atop the toilet, tears streaming down her cheeks. I sat next to her on the step-stool and attempted to comfort her through what can only be compared to child birth. (I’m trying to keep this tasteful – trust me when I say “childbirth” is an accurate representation.)

It was in the midst of this most difficult time for her that I realized my nose was bleeding. And not just a little annoyance, but a raging flood not even close to controlled using the single tissue remaining in the bathroom. Springtime can be hard on my allergies and the sudden increase in my blood pressure was probably not helpful. I quickly darted to my bathroom and grabbed a box of tissues to gain control of myself.

With that problem solved, I quickly returned to find The Kid had also finished her business and was headed back to bed. I praised her for being so brave and tucked her back in to go to sleep. I headed back to my bathroom to finish cleaning up and replace the box of tissues when I heard more crying. I darted into the hall only to find The Kid standing in her doorway. Apparently, she had stuck to her single “transaction” rule during the excitement and didn’t make it back to the bathroom when the urge hit. She had just peed on the floor in the hall.

I stripped her of the soiled clothes and took her into the bathroom to finish the “transaction” while I proceeded to clean up the hall. I heard the toilet flush followed by that telltale toddler “Uh-Oh!” which immediately translated in my mind into an overflowed toilet.

I finished cleaning her up, put her in some clean pajamas, and ushered her back to bed then headed to the basement to find the plunger. I came back upstairs to clear the toilet – something that absolutely could NOT wait until morning, lest she attempt to flush again before I got there. (I’m certainly not cleaning that out of the carpet so we’d just have to move and I hate packing.)

With the toilet fixed, I took stock of the 15 minutes worth of preceding events noting that The Kid was no longer constipated, she was in new pj’s, the hall carpet had been cleaned, the toilet was fixed, my sinus issue was resolved and maybe, just maybe, now I could go back to bed and get enough sleep to be functional at work the next day. As I turned off all the lights and walked into my bedroom, DH quickly proclaimed “WAIT! The cat threw up and I don’t know where!

I don’t recall the slew of profanities that followed, nor did I stop to investigate the cat’s contribution to the night’s fiasco. I understood his intention was to prevent me from stepping on a “land mine,” but that job would just have to wait until morning.

On those days when I’m sure things just can’t get any worse, I will always be reminded of this story. Because I know for a fact that cat vomit could be the tipping point to any series of catastrophes I may be attempting to juggle.