Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wake up call...

My little helper. She loves taking the leaves off thyme. This was the first time I let her tackle the carrots all the way from washing, peeling to chopping by herself. Didn't take pics though. Have to admit I was hovering during the chopping part.

I took the kids for a walk on Sunday while my husband stayed home and nursed a headache. He called me as I was returning from the park and told me his blood pressure was 189/112! Yikes... So I dropped the kids off at my mom's and took him to the hospital, just in case the headache was really a stroke or something. The hospital folk were more alarmed than I expected, which of course freaked me out quite a bit. When they are shuffling people with broken bits through while your husband takes up precious bed space for hours, you start to reassess priorities. We both survived and he was released 5 hours, a few major tests, a bunch of drugs and shots and a few thousand dollars later, with direct orders to go back on bp medication.

He used to take pills for his blood pressure, but weaned off through diet and exercise with his doctor's blessing. In light of recent stress and our quick fix attempts at battling stress through use of restaurants and fast food, having his blood pressure creep back up shouldn't have been a surprise to us. It is like our own personal trial of "Super-Sized Me." The ER version. Sheesh.

So off I went to the farmer's market to remedy our bad habits. When I got home, my daughter took her familiar place by my side to help in any tiny way possible. I thought, why is it that we are seduced by the idea of 'fast food' for comfort? When there is nothing more comforting than working side by side with family while the good smells of cooking embraces you.

All night long I kept smelling my hands. Even after several scrubbings they still had that onion, celery, carrot smell to them. It reminded me of my grandmother and my mother. Thousands of happy, warm meals. Just what the doctor ordered.

For my walls...

New art! To hang when, (not IF, hear that inner pessimist?), my walls are finished. Yes, they are still in flux with no bookshelf to be seen. However, we've made an exciting decision to create a poor man's type built-in unit on one wall that will take the place of multiple bookshelves around the house. So... possibly the delay will be a good thing as it gave our minds time to hatch a better plan.

Awhile back I ordered a photo, taken by a friend of ours. Here it is! How odd to take a picture of a picture. This is of a bridge that we regularly cross on our favorite hiking trail.

I love everything about this picture. The location, the wisps of fog off the water. The coloring. Sigh...

Also a few weeks back we took our little budding photographer out on a hike and set her free with a camera. She came away with some amazing pictures, so I had to order my favorite one to add to our soon to be amazing, freshly painted walls, (hear that inner optimist?).

I also love everything about this picture. The sparkles. The colors. The fact that my daughter took it. :)

I will post pictures of the finished project. It shouldn't take long. We're only a homemade wall unit, about three coats of textured paint and a couple of picture frames away from completion. :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


It only took me a month, but today I got it right!
(Pic taken of the clothes pile, not while on the child.)

I don't have a lot to add to the great depths of parental wisdom that is floating out in the blogosphere. However, I do have this...

If you have a child who is PAINFULLY perfectionistic, please, please, learn from my failures and refrain from buying your child 'days of the week' underpants. Because eventually life renders a busy parent incapable of keeping said underpants current... and eventually that perfectionist child will learn to read. This is a bad. bad. combo. Trust me.

One needs a comprehensive laundry plan to prevent underwear-derived morning angst and identity crisis. I do not have a functioning laundry gene, rendering me incapable of such sport. So I tried to remedy the situation with a 10 pack of Disney Fairies undies. It mostly works but the pesky 'days' keep showing up, always on the wrong day of course.

Today, however, it was as if 'Wednesday' jumped right into my hand, and the birds sang and all was well in the world. Oh, except the economy. And the health care system. And the gas prices. But hey! I have a seven year old that feels like she can saunter the balance beam of life on her tippy toes, and that is a start.

Who invented these things anyway, and why? Not brave enough to google the word 'underpants'. Nope, nope, nope.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Too Strange Tuesday

"It's like he's trying to speak to me, I know it!"
- Marlin, Finding Nemo

Right off I have to say that the husband and I don't live in a superstitious place. We are pretty straight forward folk. While we enjoy the element of story behind 'unexplained' happenings, we don't live in an x-file type reality. Mostly, we think all the 'odd' stuff is explainable by scientific reasons either discovered or yet to be discovered. But I do 'get' the draw to superstitious stuff, sometimes life is weird.

Random stuff around us seems connected yet insignificant. My husband and I have been splashing in the puddle of odd happenings for the past couple days. So much so it is starting to be a running joke.

Mostly mundane strangeness, nothing fun like awakening with winning lottery numbers, or prophesying a working plan to end global warming or anything like that. But there it is. Weirdness with no purpose. Welcome to my life :)

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Examples. I know you want examples:
• Employee jokes he wants Friday evening off because his wife will be out of town. My husband says that is when the 'big, corporate job we all hate' will call in. They called this morning and want Friday evening.

• My husband totally missed a job on his list. Yikes! A customer called a bit upset since they were over an hour 'late'. Oops. This has never happened before and I was sort of tongue tied, so I panicked and told her 'sorry, the van broke down so they were running behind'. Then I felt terrible because I lied, but I didn't know how to tactfully say 'we totally forgot you'. Before I could reach for the phone and call my husband to tell him what I said, it rang. It was the husband calling to let me know he'd be running a bit behind because... The van had just broke down. Certainly won't use THAT excuse again.

• Husband went about singing "King of Pain" all yesterday at work and all morning, he hasn't been in the car for a couple days as I have been hogging it. King of Pain greeted him when the car started. This is the most recent example as the music weirdness has been constant.

• Husband's been wondering about 'the guy who makes out with his Great Dane all day'. (Truly an interesting and slightly disturbing display, for those of you who have never witnessed such a thing.) As he hasn't seen him in a couple years and used to see him sitting on his porch all the time. The next day this chap's mother called to schedule an appointment, then later that same day Marc saw the actual guy sitting on some random porch... and yup, great dane with him...

• Yesterday every time we got change it was the same dollar and cent amounts. Like $16.16, $7.07, $10.10. Every time.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

There is more, so much more. But it is all the same rather uninteresting stuff and it is getting rather constant. You know how the odd connections that shouldn't be there are usually what clue you into the fact that you are dreaming? Which usually results in waking up? Well, that is what this feels like. Only it is happening to both of us. And uhhh... not sure exactly how to 'wake up'.

Doesn't it seem like it should mean something? Or at least be explainable? How deliciously odd.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Magic Movie Monday

Mary Poppins. She's still awesome...

Today we started a new tradition. Mondays can be trying around here. Our business phone keeps me hopping on Mondays. There are two reasons this is good. One: Busy equals money, simple as that. Two: Very busy one day, typically means slow on other days, which means lots of time for the kids, hobbies and all the good stuff.

But what to do on Mondays? Especially today, since I was finishing my last freelance project of the year. YAY! Bring on the kid movies. Oh yeah. I was shocked at how few movies my kids have seen up until now actually. TV tends to annoy me with the yammering and such, and the noise of movies last WAY too long for my ability to tolerate them. Still, as I wandered the family film aisle at the video store I was shocked that my kids made it to age 7 and 5 without seeing Mary Poppins! Wow.

So we had a double feature today. Mary Poppins, and my kids loved the movie as I still do.

Then we watched Annie...

Now, Annie, was EXACTLY as I remembered it, but also completely the opposite. I STILL have every little word, nuance, and song memorized because I basically used to breathe Annie as a child. But since I cringed at the first line, it seems I am sick of it, even 2.5 decades later. The length of that movie is proof of my mother's sainthood, as I subjected her to it daily for at least a year. My kids will be lucky to see it again.

There are definitely things I like about Annie. I just have had my lifetime allotment of her. The main thing I liked from both of these movies is how the children look and act like CHILDREN. Annie is 10 and looks like a modern day 6 year old. She's scrappy, a tom boy, full of wonder and delight. Jane and Michael are the same, sweet, wide-eyed, mischievous kids. Not made-up 'tweens, with 'bratitude', in a movie created to make children into a next ultra-high consumer market at the expense of childhood. I can't stand that stuff.

I think next Monday I will look for Pippi Longstocking. Any other suggestions?

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Wow, I have had such a headache today. The husband and I broke down and bought Extra Strength Excedrin, something we've avoided for our ten years together as we try to go the least extreme with our medical choices whenever possible. Today was the day for extreme. Heck. I would have taken a prescription strength something today, had it been available. And I chased my Exedrin with diet Pepsi, ahhhh... just like the good old days. Nothing like massive doses of chemicals to curb pain.

When the stupid things finally took hold, I dozed in our recliner shaky with relief. Bad headache. Whew...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Four, Three, Two, One...

This song has been in my head ALL day. Thought I would share. Geez... the ending is a bit horrible, though. Didn't remember that part. I've been video heavy lately. Mostly music in my head these days, I guess.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Riding in the car

Picking up daddy from work. The daughter tells me to play the 'coconut song', so I crank it up and we are singing. "Put the lime in the coconut and mix it all up." The car is our concert hall. You should see the looks we get when we are having a Johnny Cash sort of day.

Son: Mom, have you ever put the lime in the coconut?

Me: Why yes. Yes I have, son.

Son: What did you do with it?

Me: "Well, I drank it all up."

Son: "What did it taste like?"

Me: "Uhhh... kind of like the coconut smoothies I make sometimes."

Kids: "Blechhh!" (not lovers of the coconut, my children.)

What does that song even mean, really? I mean is it just about drinking? Sometimes I wonder how I passed the parenthood test, with all these random things I don't know. There was a test, wasn't there? Must have been multiple choice.

Oh well, whatever the meaning, I am sitting here stuck with a raging thirst for blended foo-foo drinks. Thanks, ipod. "Rum... I need rum, lad." (Muppet Treasure Island.)  There. My meager contribution to Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Thanks, Katherine for this link. Way to mix the coconut song with my muppet head nod. Perfect.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Three Surprises

One... My digital camera takes decent video clips and they are compatible with my Mac. Yay!

Two... I was starting dinner so I cranked up my music in the kitchen. The ipod just picks whatever and Gary Owen comes blasting over the speakers from some random Kindermusik cd. Out of nowhere my kids came running and put on this little Irish dancing type display. I don't have any idea where it came from, but how funny! (I made them start over so I could get the beginning of the song and it lost a bit of the crazy freedom from the initial dance, but it is still cute. At least I think so :) )

My Silly Kids Dancing from Mommylion on Vimeo.

Three... My daughter can read!
Tonight she was flipping through her chapter book waiting for me to finish making the bed cozy. I told her to start reading to me while I worked and much to my surprise, she did! Just started reading fluently as if she always could.

She's been reading for awhile, but not chapter book type reading. I didn't realize she could pick up a solid page of words, and read. Out loud and with understanding. I sort of knew it would come together like this with her. She is a PERFECTIONIST to the core. She has to polish skills  to her acceptance level, then she shares. And the day she decided she was a reader was today. I cried. Happy tears. :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Melancholy much?

Grief is like waves, no? Ebb and flow, here and gone. Sometimes your feet get knocked out from under you... and you have to start over, sopping wet, trembling and weak. Staring up at the moon and wondering what we are doing here anyway, and why it is so damn beautiful even as your heart is bleeding all over the damn place.

Wish You Were Here


Fragile  - Sting

If blood will flow when flesh and steel are one
Drying in the colour of the evening sun
Tomorrow's rain will wash the stains away
But something in our mind will always stay
Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetime's argument
That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could
For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star - like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are how fragile we are
How fragile we are how fragile we are


Don't worry. I will feel better tomorrow. Just had to get that out I guess. Oh okay, one more for the fun of being in a funk...

Where'd You Go

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Scuttling sounds in the morning.

I've been working on a freelance project. Last one of the year, woohoo! This is the one with a deadline from the seventh level of hell. This time around it is 79 articles (advertorials, with copy, photos and formatting basically) in 8 business days. And I don't get all that time for writing, they need to be sent out for proofing. Then changes. Then me with coffee on her breath 24/7 and jumpy when the phone rings. There might be people out there that think that sounds like nothing. But comes close to killing me every time. But hey! The money. The rush of it. The money... But, I digress.

Kid free hours are my best hours to crank these things out and late nights have been totally unproductive for me. I am completely incapable of resisting the call of google in the evening. So I've been waking up around 4:30 or 5 to a silent house, iced coffee and getting a lot of work done. It has been nice. However, pre-dawn is a whole different world, isn't it? The noises, smells, sounds are all different and it tends to distract me from working, (it doesn't take much). Today, I kept hearing a scuttle, crackle, shuffle sound from over by my printer. So loud that I thought it had to be a mouse. I am such a BABY when it comes to mice. I have no idea why. They are so darn cute. But put an unexpected mouse in my home and I am a mess. It is embarrassing how silly I am with this.

Alone with the morning and the mouse noises, I didn't dare gather the papers that were starting to pile on my printer. I waited hours for my husband to wake up. Then we played the 'did you hear that' game. Do you play that too? The one where you call your husband into the room because you hear a noise, smell a smell, saw a bug, but they never seem to sense what you sense. And for whatever reason assume you are hallucinating. Why is that?

Finally after some serious relationship-doubting back and forth, he heard the noise. And we both got bold and started to shift stuff around, hoping to find nothing, but also knowing SOMETHING was making a scurrying mouse-like noise. Turning up nothing, over and over, the husband started to resort to the whole, 'it is nothing' mindset again, as if a group hallucination was a better explanation than an actual something making the noise. At that moment I grabbed the stack of about twenty sheets of paper from the printer. From the stack of paper in my hand came the sound! Imagine a mouse in a cardboard box or a hamster in a cage scratching at its nest, that was the noise coming from the papers in my hand. So I drop the possessed paper, of course, to which my husband responds. "Geesh, what is your problem? A mouse can't be in that stack of papers."

But seriously, people, like it is NORMAL for a stack of papers to crackle and scuttle... just because? Something was obviously causing the papers to make that noise, and we nervously watched as they continued to do so. One by one we lifted the papers until we discovered the biggest damn spider I have ever experienced in my life - and I used to live in Texas, so that is saying a lot. Big enough to sound like a mouse. Needless to say, both my husband and I screamed like horror movie victims and did that awful crawly spider dance thing. I made him get rid of it as penance. In the end I think we both would have been happier if it had been a mouse.

But wow, I am more awake right now than I have been in days, which is good. Though I am having anxiety about going near the printer, which is bad. Looming deadline thing and all. You know how they say for every mouse you see there are twenty more in your walls or something like that? What if it is the same for spiders?!!!

September 11, 2001

We had brought her home from the hospital three days earlier. I had been sleeping hard for the first time since her birth when my husband called and told me to turn on the news. I spent the day on the phone with my cousin who had a newborn too. We mostly sat in silence crying and holding our little ones, wondering what kind of world we brought them into.

Peace : Pronunciation: \ˈpēs\ Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English pees, from Anglo-French pes, pees, from Latin pac-, pax; akin to Latin pacisci to agree — more at pact, Date: 12th century
1: a state of tranquillity or quiet: as a: freedom from civil disturbance b: a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom, a breach of the peace
2: freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions
3: harmony in personal relations
4 a: a state or period of mutual concord between governments b: a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity
5—used interjectionally to ask for silence or calm or as a greeting or farewell
— at peace : in a state of concord or tranquillity

I wish for all mothers of all nations to be able to live without fear for their new ones. War does nothing to bring about peace, and expands the fear and suffering to more and more homes and families. 'Hard work' should be words used to describe efforts made to restore peace to this world. I will bow my head today and respect those that fell on 9/11. I also will honor those that have suffered since. As a nation we must move toward peace.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Paper Dolls

Beautiful paper dolls from The Toy Maker here. Lots of other stuff too. One of my family's favorite sites.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Only 23 pictures...

Out of three days and two nights vacation, I only managed to take 23 pictures. This is especially amazing since I have been known to take over a hundred just at the playground. We were on serious vacation though and completely gave into relaxing and just hanging out. It was perfect.

Of course at a Renaissance Faire the most spectacular things are the costumes people deck themselves out in. I feel weird taking pictures of strangers even if they don't mind, unless they are actually part of the show. So I can blame that on part of my picture taking slackerness. But really, I was just embracing my inner lazy self.

Our Queen. Here she is telling us how much she loves us. More than any queen or king before, and more than any to come. I believed her. I am writing her in on the ballet in November. She's witty, attractive and can handle bawdy knights with charm and a bit of viciousness. I am sure she'll rule well.

Here was our champion during the 700º joust. I don't know how the horses or knights could handle the heat. We couldn't and left the joust early. The rest of the place had a nice breeze and lots of shade. For some reason the joust was broiling.

Where we went after the joust. The Mermaid Inn Coffee Shoppe.
One view from 'our' table.
To the right of 'our' table. Just a sweet little table tucked in a little shade garden. Can't you just feel the cool breeze and hear the minstrels play?

We became regulars at this little 'ye olde coffee shoppe' place. A nice shady spot with a great view and lovely music, where we sipped our iced coffee (me) and iced chai (him). This is where we realized that there were shows going amongst the 'cast' of renaissance faire actors. We've gone to these things for years and have probably seen all the regular shows, but never realize the cast around us were all performing as well. From this spot we watched nuns recruiting wenches for the lord, barbarians carry off the may pole girls,coin dropping guy and coin finding wench, pirates plotting. All sorts of characters in this make believe world. It really soothed our voyeur-type souls.

Creepiest thing at the fair, the living statue. My husband wanted me to get my picture taken with her. No thanks. I'll be having enough nightmares about her as it is.

The falcon guy. Seriously. Some people really get into the ren fair. Dressing up. Accents, makeup, tattooing. However, this guy actually raises falcons. That is a serious commitment to the alternative universe.

The fair, hotel room, and restaurants were amazing. We found a huge bookstore and a craft store. The traveling itself was pleasant. The only rough patch was when my husband and I almost left in the middle of last night because we were missing the kids so much, but we got over it and even made plans for another trip six months from now. And did the kids miss us? Sure, but their first words when they saw us were, "Nooooo, not yet! Grandma said we could stay at the playground a little loooooonger." Grandma spoiled them properly. :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Why I love Avatar, the Last Airbender

"You must never give in to despair. Allow yourself to slip down that road and you surrender to your lowest instincts. In the darkest times, hope is something you give yourself. That is the meaning of inner strength."
- Uncle Iroh

"It is always best to believe in oneself, but a little help from others can be a great blessing"
- Uncle Iroh

"Destiny? What would a boy know of destiny? If a fish lives its whole life in this river, does he know the river's destiny? No! Only that it runs on and on out of his control! He may follow where it flows, but he cannot see the end. He cannot imagine the ocean."
- Jeung Jeung

"You think you're any different from me? Or your friends? Or this tree? If you listen hard enough you can hear every living thing breathing together, you can feel everything growing. We're all living together, even if most folks don't act like it. We all have the same roots, and we are all branches of the same tree."

I don't overly love t.v., but I am not anti-t.v. either. I see value and entertainment are possible with it. Personally though I don't tend to like the noise or distraction of television. However, Avatar is one of my exceptions. It makes me laugh, cry and fall in love with the characters. And even though some of the logic doesn't always add up, I can forgive that due to the fact that the dialogue is so well written. And the whole family loves it, from the four year old all the way to the thirty-eight year old.

I know the secret!

Remember how my husband was planning a trip to surprise me and it was driving me crazy? He told me the plan after our life got crazy last week, and we decided to go ahead and make the trip. So tomorrow we are packing up our little ones and taking them over for a stay at Grandma's house. ("Where we get to stay up as long as we want to, right?" they ask. Sorry mom!) And the husband and I are headed here...

Which is the Michigan Renaissance Festival during the Wine and Romance theme weekend, if you can't tell by the busy graphic I stole from their website. I am so excited. Back in college I used to go every summer and when my step-son was young we continued that trend. However, we haven't been in a number of years. Part of us really wants to take the kids because they would love it so much they would never want to leave. But the whole carsickness thing, and the whole taking a trip alone with my husband for the first time in ten years thing... we are going to keep this trip to ourselves. Not to mention, grandma and the kids seem excited to be rid of us for a few days :)

We are out of here at noon tomorrow for a weekend of festival fun, amazing art, and a top notch hotel room. I love that guy.

A little extra


Check out how a random somebody took the time to decorate the box on my order of supplements. They actually used colored markers to draw a cute picture and wrote "Thank you Candy" on the side of the box. How awesome is that?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Seven years ago today you were this...


Now you are this...


And it feels just that fast!

Keep being you because you are exactly right. I love you, my girl. Happy Birthday!

Monday, September 1, 2008


We celebrated my girl's seventh birthday.

Everyone was so dazzled by my handmade banner they didn't even notice the unfinished walls, trim, painting tape everywhere and cable wires strewn about the place. Well, my girl was dazzled, and that was enough :)

Bucket of 'flowers' that served as party favors for our garden theme party.

I can't believe she is SEVEN! (Or will be on the third.)

May all her wishes come true.

Later we walked our favorite trails.
I love how they hold hands spontaneously like this at times.

Beautiful day for walking.

Found a fairy apartment complex.

Me and my sad guy.

I've decided to not write the sad stuff on this blog anymore. I have a lot more left in me and I am going to open up another blog that I reserved awhile back but never posted to. That way I can keep this blog for the purpose I started, (to keep track of projects and family stuff), and go somewhere else and howl at the moon. I guess that is sort of like splitting my personality, but I am okay with that.