Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Metamorphosis

I am a work in progress. I am fully aware that everyone who's currently living and breathing is also such.

BUT.

They are not me. We all have different challenges. I've written before of my housecleaning woes. I've lamented and whined and moaned about how I didn't know how to keep a clean house. I've berated and loathed myself for the lack of skills in this arena.

AND.

I am transforming. I'm growing and changing in this capacity. And suddenly, I'm finding that I WANT to do housework. I like it. I derive a great deal of satisfaction from doing laundry. I love to have a sink free of dirty dishes. I knew I loved that all along, but I didn't know how to keep it that way. Now, I'm learning how. I'm doing well.

SO.

I'm teaching my children.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Five

1- We tore out many things in our backyard last weekend with my dad's Bobcat. We shoveled thousands of pounds of dirt. (my dad has a Dump-trailer and it was so full of dirt that it was too heavy to dump. He's never had that happen before and he once had 12,000 lbs {or was it 10,000?} of concrete in it and it still dumped. My dad guessed that it weighed about 15,000 lbs and we had to shovel it all somewhere else! Go US!) Now, today and tomorrow we get to put in a lovely new fence! And the sweetest part of this deal? We are splitting the cost of the fence with our next-door neighbor so it's turning out quite cheap! YAY!!!!

2- Had a lovely visit with my pal, Maria, yesterday. She was in town. Then in a few minutes we're off to play with her and her kids some more! I love my Maria.

3- Got some new makeup the other day. So silly how a simple little thing can be so fun and make you feel snazzy. I love snazzy.

4- I had a dream the other morning (in the wee hours) and I had to call 911 in the dream. Dustin woke me up because I was saying my phone number out loud as I told it to the 911 operator in the dream. I love the weirdness of dreams and the subconscious mind!

5- Free lunch just for saying no? What a good deal!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Screaming

Sometimes you have so much to say that you can't say anything at all. "Create New Post" stares at you with one big rectangular eye. It screams at you, "FILL ME! MOLD MY WHITE BLANKNESS INTO SOMETHING GREAT!" and you scream back mentally, "I WANT TO, BUT MY EYES ARE BUGGING OUT OF MY HEAD BECAUSE OF YOUR BLANK-RECTANGLE-EYE SCREAMING TO BE FILLED!!!"

And then your shoulders and the new calluses coming on your hands, and your lower back and most of the rest of your body scream at you, "YOU SPENT MOST OF THE DAY SHOVELING SEVERAL THOUSAND POUNDS OF DIRT!!! WHY DON'T YOU GO TO BED!!!!"

And then you stop screaming and you say in reply, "What a good idea." and, "Goodnight."

And your body smiles, every inch.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Manic Monday: Pop

I have to admit, I was drawing a blank on the word Pop for Manic Monday. I thought about describing the pop of roots breaking as you yank out big junglish bushes and weeds with a Bobcat, which is what we did this weekend in our yard, but that didn't appeal to me. I thought about writing how I've sat at this computer for so long that my head might just pop but I didn't want to reveal what a lazy-bone I've been today. (actually, my morning was very busy, but this afternoon has been time-wastey) So, I went to my trusty Google search and entered "pop". I just love the internet. I find such interesting things to waste my time! And they remind me of things...

When I was in college, I had the coolest roommate on the freakin' planet. Her name is Britta and she's still the coolest. (and she's comin' into her power right now, so WATCH OUT world!!!) Back in our roommate days, Britta's little brother flew out from Pennsylvania to visit her for two-ish weeks and I got to know him in that annoying little brother way. He loved to tease and bother me with little things. Things like singing "That Thing You Do" completely off key and the wrong tune to boot. (love ya, Jazzy!) He also liked to make fun of me when I'd say, "Hey, do you want to watch a show?" Does that sound weird to anyone? No, right? Well, he seemed to think that "show" was the wrong word. He informed me each and every time I said it that it was called a MOVIE. Whatever, Jazz.

He couldn't leave it with the annoying song or the show/movie battle, he also had to inform me all the time that it was a SODA and not a POP. It's futile to argue with Jazz. I'm pretty sure he never even heard me when I tried. But, I got to the point where I'd just ignore him when he'd start. Except that freakin' song. I still hear it all wrong every time I think of that song. Silly boy.

Well, in my little Google search I found a website called "The Pop vs. Soda Page". I found it very amusing that someone actually conducted a study and made a statistical map of who says pop and who says soda. Oh yeah, and let's not forget the south where they call all pop "Coke". I got this map from the website... check it out! And if you visit the website, you can participate in the survey! Let your Pop/Soda voice be heard!!!


My mom's from the south and tells me how they always ask, "Hay! What kainda Coke you wawnt?" and then they proceed to list the different flavors like Sprite, Root Beer, Mt. Dew, etc. It doesn't matter how many times she tells me, laugh every time. Seems so silly to me.

And in case you failed to notice, in Idaho the proper term for a carbonated drink is a "Pop", which, in case you wanted some more Clancy-Trivia, I almost never drink.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Five

It's Friday again and my head shakes in slack-jawed wonder. Are the weeks picking up speed as they pass or is it just me? I mean, really... June is halfway over, folks! And June means that the YEAR of 2009 is halfway over. Um, WHAT?! How did that happen? Regardless, there are many fabulous things happening right now.

1- My hubby took the day off of work today. I love it when that happens. He taught me a new skill...

2- We have several pieces of sandstone in our backyard and three of them were VERY thick pieces... three or four inches thick. My husband grew up quarrying sandstone with his dad and his great-uncle and step-grandpa, so he's got skills. He passed one on to his wife today. I am now the proud owner of a new skill-set: Sandstone splitting. It's so satisfying to watch a tiny crack grow bigger and bigger as you hammer it, and then CRACK! Half of it shears away and you suddenly have two lovely stones where before you only had one. Too cool, my friends. Too cool.

3- I worked mega-hard in my front flower beds on Tuesday and Wednesday and now they're so lovely and suddenly much bigger. Dustin was the man-power behind the operation. We nearly doubled the size of one bed and I bought a tiny-soon-to-be big bush along with some annuals to go in our new lovely space. It's all very charming. I must offer gratitude to my mother for instilling in me a love of creating beautiful flower beds. She's good, my mom. I grew up helping her and I like to think that some of that is bearing fruit here and now.

4-Chore charts are still going well. My kids are doing awesome and I'm so proud. They hardly even complain anymore, though I still have to remind them to get to work. I can handle that. Yipeee!!!!!!

5- I made banana bread yesterday. Y-U-M.

The end.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

You Speaka My Language?.

(I've started and erased this post about ten times now. It's not going so hot. I'll try to get through it...)

Guitars are wonderful instruments. So mobile. So versatile. So peaceful (sometimes). Especially if they're in tune. I got to mess around with a friend on the guitar recently (mostly as the singer) and it was fun... even if the guitar was out of tune. I don't know if this person or their loved ones read this blog, but if you do, know that it is no slight to the guitar player when I say that about the out-of-tuneness of said guitar. Guitars pull out of tune when you raise them a whole step. The strings don't like it. They're tighter and they want to go back to were they are comfortable, a whole step lower. Playing them outside in the cold air doesn't help keep the strings tuned up pretty either. I know that and that's ok. Are we good? Good.

(The urge to erase this post is strong right now. I'm not going to.
That might be a mistake, but I shall carry on, nonetheless.)

As I sat there jamming with the guitarist, we were both supremely frustrated. Neither of us knew the same songs as the other, save a precious few. We didn't speak the same language. He knew this and this and this song and thought surely I would too. "Nope," I'd say. "I know the tune, but not the words." Then I'd ask if he knew this or this or this song... "Nope," he'd say.

Dang it!

When I'm with my family, we all know the same songs. And if we don't, it's not too long before we learn it. We mostly like the same sort of music. It made me miss my brother, who's guitar skills and repertoire are deep. It made me miss my mother, my sisters, both my brothers, and my dad, who sing all the time and can break into harmony, complete with SATB, if we're all there. We speak the same language, you know? And there's magic in the language of a family.

Parlez vous...?

(Mediocre post, at best, but I've been thinking about this little subject for a while now and I had to get it out, if crappily. My apologies.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

From The Jar... #39

Two weeks in a row!? The Jar is happier. But I don't feel like taking the time snap a picture of his happy face.

And the Jar says...


Tell about a special date you had with a boyfriend.


Nothing's jumping out at me as super "special", but I can think of some that were really fun! The night Dustin proposed to me was special I guess, but it was mostly just fun with a splash of special at the end. It was a Monday and we had "Family Home Evening" with our Singles Ward at the funky, local roller skating rink. I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I LOVE rollerblading, and so does Dustin. We like to go FAST... I love the speed, making my hair blow, cooling me off. Anyway, we zoomed around the rink and had "dances" and played limbo on blades. (Limbo is a very interesting game on rollerblades! I think I got second or third place. Go me!) It was just fun and I remember laughing a lot. I think we went to eat afterward.

(Suddenly I'm having Deja Vu... haven't I blogged about this before? Oh well...)

Here's the splash of specialness... After we (I think!) ate, Dustin took me up on a mountainside in the bitter February wind and proposed to me. That was special, even though I didn't say yes for another 6 days. (evil girl)

Another really fun date was in high school. It was a school dance and the boy I took was not my boyfriend but it was one of the most memorable dates I've had. So, yeah, girls' choice dance. I took Cody Baily. He was darned cute, so we thought. Matching shirts and all that. For dinner, we got Chinese take-out and went to Liberty Park in Salt Lake City. This park has a pond where you can rent canoes or paddle boats. It was early enough in the year that the boat rides were only open on Saturdays and this was a Friday night, but I had an "in" with the owner. I worked for her AND she was my sister's boyfriend's (now husband) mother! So, I got us all hooked up. Josh and Sarah came and unlocked the canoes and we paddled our little way out to the little island on the lake. We spread blankets on a pavilion and ate our Chinese goodness. We all felt so clever!

Then we went to the dance for a minute, got our silly pictures taken, and went on a scare-fest. We visited every freaky place we could think of in Salt Lake. The Salt Lake City Cemetery, the lime kilns, the Hippity Hoppity Lady, and we even sneaked into our church building which was very old and scary, especially at night, in the dark. After being thouroughly freaked out, we took our dates home. I seem to recall the boys saying that was the funnest date they had ever been on. I felt the same way.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ode to Dinner

O Dinner! Why doth thou torment me so?
Thou art full of guile and unused pasta,
Mocking mine consciousness, so barren of ideas.

The loathing in mine heart knoweth no end, for thee, O Dinner.
Thy sneering countenance doth make my blood boil.
I perceive thy callous taunting,
Thy ridicule, in regard to mine own poor planning.

But I shall prevail!
Bested by thee, O Dinner?
It shall not be so!

'Tis not the chopping, the cutting,
The basting, nor the broiling that plagues the five o'clock hour...
But the PLANNING!
O, to be a planner!

I shall groweth in mine capacities.
I shall strive and stretch and amplify mine talents.
And then, O Dinner, Bane of Mine Existence,
It shall be YOU who laments!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Five

Oh man! I almost forgot to blog today and I'm going for the 5 days/week for this week! (and Friday's are the easiest day!)

A twist for today- I mentioned the crazy rain we've been having and as I was driving this morning through a DOWNPOUR, I tried to think of the good things about all this rain. So, today's fab five is dedicated to you, Rain.

1- PUDDLES!!! They are so fun to drive through at about 30 mph. I was having a grand old time driving in all the puddles this morning.

2- Green. Everything looks SO very green with all the rain. Beauty abounds.

3-Pajamas. Rainy, rainy days make pajamas feel extra comfy!

4- My lawn and garden. I don't have to water them! It's all taken care of!

5- The aquifer. After many years of drought conditions, it's nice to feel like the aquifer is getting a nice big recharge!

GO RAIN, GO!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Why Not?!

I figure, I'm on a roll this week. Why should the fact that I don't really have anything to say stop me from blogging today?! I can always ramble on. I always have thoughts.

So, summer. What's up with summer and the whole rain everyday thing? This is not normal for Idaho. It's been POURING rain! I have a cousin who lives in Texas who recommended I enjoy it while it's rainy and cool because soon it will be HOT. In fact, here's her direct quote:

"As one who has sunshine for months now...I'm ordering you to enjoy your rain! You'll be sweltering soon enough. Breathe it, frolic in it, jump and dance in it! The sun will be there to stay very soon!"

Yes. That's true. I see her point. But... I did have a rebuttal in our exchange:

"Hard to frolic and dance in rain when it's 50 degrees and raining, but I'll do my best! It was a pajama day today... except for about four hours, I was in my PJ's and reading all day."

And that brings me to my next point. Pajamas. When did they become so great!? I've never been one of those people who dreams of their pajamas. Until now. Suddenly, clothes make me crazy and I yearn for that soft cotton, those elastic waists and my loose shirts (and no bra! shhh!). I wear flip-flops all day, even when I'm in my pajamas. I don't know what's happening to me!

Now, I'm not sure what to say next. I suppose I could be done. That could be the end of my post, and I would be happy, but I'm not done. I have more rambling to do.

I started writing something last night. It felt good. Even though I didn't get very far, I did something.

Chore charts are going fairly well still. Go me. Go kids! We are going to go to Lagoon toward the end of the summer if they keep it up. And I think we'll urge them until then with a few camping trips in between to keep them going. I really want to go camping. I haven't done it nearly enough with my kiddos, and it's so good for them! And me.

I don't like taking showers lately. Well, no, that's not quite right... showers are lovely and warm and luxuriant. I'm not happy about having to fix my hair after I take a shower. I really miss my super short hair. *sigh*

My dryer is so awesome! I do laundry much more regularly again. It's amazing the difference that quiet dryer can make!

Ok. I think I'm rambled out.

Signing off.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

From The Jar... #38

Hi there. Remember me? I'm Clancy's little Jar she's been ignoring for the last lots of weeks. (Hey, lay off! I'm a Jar! I don't know how many weeks it's been since her last jar post! I can't do math in my brain because I don't have one.... just little slips of paper with questions on them.)

I've missed feeling useful. For these last lots of weeks, I've simply become a dust collector. (and there's a LOT of dust around Clancy's computer.) I feel so alone and neglected. She used to be excited to remove my lid and pull little questions from my innards. But now, she just pretends I'm not there while she mumbles 'seven years!!' under her breath.

Well, today, I'm taking back Wednesdays! I shouted and shouted with all my Jarness until she heard me. And then I reminded her that I'm here sitting, waiting, crying, pining away for the relationship we once had. And guess what? It worked. She pulled a question...

And the Jar says... (kinda gives new meaning to that statement, doesn't it?)


Tell about your favorite books as a child, youth or adult. Who is your favorite author?


Well, well, well... this is an interesting question for me at this time. It just so happens that one of the main reasons I fell from my lofty perch atop the blogging wagon was because of a massive series of books that I started reading a month or two ago.

As you well know, I love books. I devour books. I eat them up and lick my little fingers after I've finished reading them because they are just so darned tasty and satisfying!

My favorite books as a child had to be, GO Dog GO!, but Bears on Wheels was the first book I ever read. I don't really remember learning to read. I just remember reading that book and showing my parents and they were shocked. Maybe my memory is off, but that's how my neural filing system has it set up. Correct me if I'm wrong, Mom. (if you read this...) I also loved Danny and the Dinosaur, and that book about Harold and his purple crayon.

I remember by second or third grade I loved the chapter books. My first picks were scary books by John Bellairs, my favorite author for many of those childhood years. I also loved Nancy Drew books and anything with a mystery. I loved Where the Red Fern Grows but I think I love that even more as an adult reading it to my own children. Powerful book...

As a teenager I loved almost all of the books I was assigned to read for English classes. Rebecca was one of those, as was To Kill a Mockingbird, Dandelion Wine, The Human Comedy, and Great Expectations are among my favorites.

As an adult I read everything from every genre. I have read several fantasy series, ie., The Wheel of Time, The Sword of Truth, A Song of Ice and Fire. I've read lots of non-fiction self-helpish books. I've read Diane Mott Davidson's "culinary mysteries", Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series along with The Host. I've read a lot of Orson Scott Card... the Alvin Maker series is my favorite. Too many books to list. I read a LOT.

I have to say that my favorite book of all time is Atonement by Ian McKewan. This book holds my aspirations as a writer. To write like he does is my dream, my goal, my aim. I'm a far cry from it, but I love it. Each word is considered. It is beautiful and powerful and dives deeply into the psyches of the characters. LOVE IT!!!

Currently, the large series that has me very distracted from blogging is Outlander, by Diane Gabaldon. The first book is the best, but they are all very well written and engaging. The first book, Outlander, sucked me in emotionally in a way that I've never before encountered. It pulled everything out of me and wrung me dry! The characters were that well developed as well as the relationships. It was great. I read it twice in about a week and a half. If you decide you want to read these books, you are hereby warned: They have some steamy parts in them, so if that offends, be ready to skim them or just skip these books.

As far as my favorite author, I don't really have one. Just favorite books.

Now I'm going to get a little philosophical on you. Do you know why books can be so powerful? I just told you that Outlander tore me up emotionally... ripped me apart and then put me back together. I felt like I got hit by a train before I finished it. That is power! I thought a lot about it over the last few weeks as I've been reading and I've wondered how that can happen.

Here's another scenario. When I first read the Twilight series I was deep in the dark crevices of the January blues I've been dealing with in recent years. Those books offered me escape from those crevices. I read them quickly. (devoured. inhaled. consumed.) In less than 72 hours, I finished all three of them. They provided light in my dark place. I relished in living someone else's life for 60 hours. Then, they ended. I finished them. And, I cried. I mourned the loss of the lives I had been living in. I really and honestly felt like someone I loved had died. It was 2:00 in the afternoon when I closed Eclipse and I was depressed the rest of the day. The next morning, my depression was still there. It was then that I had a brilliant epiphany! I could just read them again, and all those characters would live once more! Over the next two weeks, I read the first book 5 times, and the other two books three times. (Breaking Dawn wasn't out yet.) Silly, you might say...pathetic is the word I used many times, but I'll tell you what.... Those books were my lifeline at the time. For whatever reason, I needed to be in those books and by reading them over and over again, I burned that need out of my system and I felt better.

So, what's my point? The point of all this to illustrate the power of a book. It's just words on a page, but why are they so powerful? In my mind, it's because those stories become a part of who we are. We subject our mind so completely to all the thoughts of the author. We experience the emotions of the characters as they go through their joys or struggles and we take them on as our own. In my own mind I lived through the struggles of the characters in Outlander, and my mind now holds the memory of all that emotion. It becomes my own experience. That is so powerful! I don't really know what to do with that, but as someone who wants to write, it seems very, very important. And I have no idea if that makes any sense whatsoever, but it's actually helped clarify my thoughts, so thanks for 'listening'.

And there you go, Jar. Now maybe you'll let me sleep peacefully at night. I'm so tired of listening to you sob through the floorboards. :-P

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Giveaway

There's about 7 giveaways at GiveAwayToday and for one entry I have to blog about it. Check it out, if you wish.

Weekend

I thought of two things that I wanted to blog about for today, but now that I'm sitting here ready to blog, I can't think of them. I used to write them down because I always had something to say and I'd forget with so many ideas rolling around in my head. I'm not sure what's happened to me. It's like they pulled the plug on my blogging brain. So, when I thought of these two things earlier, I repeated them several times to myself so I'd remember and then I forgot anyway.

One of them I actually sort of remember but it just doesn't make sense to me now. I can't remember why I thought it would be interesting to blog about it. It just seems, well, kinda dumb.

So, I'll just tell you instead about my weekend, mmmkay?

My weekend rocked. I don't remember Friday very well. Oh wait... it's coming back to me now. Dustin was in a black mood and the weather matched him perfectly. (That part of the weekend didn't rock so much.) We had a severe thunderstorm. Seriously, I heard thunder non-stop for about 15 minutes. Branches were down in the street, leaves littered the ground... craziness. That kind of weather just doesn't happen much where I live.

So, after Dustin went out and watched the lightening show, he came in and went to bed. You say.. "Big deal? So what if your husband went to bed." It was freakin' 7:30pm! My husband went to bed at 7:30 on a Friday night! Can you believe that!? I couldn't.

While he slumbered, I put the kids to bed and then read on blogs and in my book (1400+ pages!). It was a fairly weird Friday night.

BUT! Then came Saturday. We got ourselves packed and took our kids to my mom and dad's. Then we ventured up to a mountain getaway and hiked around... I did a little trail-running, which ROCKS, by the way! (no pun intended) And then we went and checked in to our little room we were staying at. It was a riverfront room of a slightly dumpy, yet still charming in a funkified sort of way, motel. Our room had no insulation and it was a far cry from a warm evening, but we cranked our little space heaters and worked the adventure factor. We walked out onto the little dock that was in front our room and watched fish roll in the river. It was very picturesque.

6:00 rolled around and we headed to the little Playhouse where a "Dinner Theater" awaited our enjoyment. It was fairly good, mass-quantity-type food, and interesting company. I learned that at a dumpy-ish motel, you should keep quiet about the amenities of your room. Our dinner companions were talking about how hard their beds were and, not wanting to be left out of the conversation, I piped up with, "OH NO! Your beds are hard? That's crummy! I didn't ever sit on our bed, but when we sat on our couch we both sunk to the middle!" I demonstrated by leaning my body at an angle, crashing into Dustin.

Two of them narrowed their eyes at me and said, incredulously, "You have a couch!??"

"Oh... well, um, yeah... we have a couch. But it's not very comfortable!!!" I was backpedaling at this point.

Then the conversation went on for a few more minutes and, for reasons I can't recall, I said something about how the fireplace in our room is built so strange.

More eyes narrow, and more incredulity ... "YOU HAVE A FIREPLACE!!!!???"

"Ummm, yep. We have a fireplace." I was feeling like our room was very luxurious indeed and backpedaling seemed futile. "Maybe I should just not say anything else about our room tonight."

One lady, who was particularly huffy about her crappy room, said in all seriousness, "Yeah, maybe you shouldn't."

Ummm..... awkward.

So, after shrugging off the awkward jacket that had wrapped our conversation, we had a lovely little dinner and then watched a very silly show entitled, "Les-s Miserables". It was gut-busting funny. I laughed my head off and enjoyed myself very much. During the intermission, the cast brought us and several other couples onto the stage because it was our anniversary. Eleven years for us. That doesn't seem like that long, but there was only one other couple, at 15 years, who had been married longer than us! I was shocked! There were about eight couples on the stage and we were married almost the longest! Several of them were older couples too! The oldest couple of all had been married one year! That was the shortest time! It was weird. Made me feel old.

So, back to our room we went. When we got there I thought I'd test the bed and see if ours was as terribly hard as the others described. I laid down and Dustin asked from the other room, "So, how is it?"

I giggled and, thinking of our irritated dinner companions, said, "It's acutally really comfy... not hard at all!" We clearly came out on top in the room competition.

Dustin proceed to build a fire in our weird fireplace. It all looks normal, but the "fire area" of the fireplace was several inches lower than the hearth, preventing the wood from getting enough oxygen, making the fire go out repeatedly. The mountain-man side of my husband was very affronted at this and so he threw all the logs we bought on the dang fire, building it higher up where the airflow was better. It worked. It was also smokey.

Here's some Clancy-Trivia for you. Clancy LOATHES smelling like smoke... abhors it!... cannot abide it!!! (unless, of course, Clancy's CAMPING where there is supposed to be smoke.) So, Clancy got a little grumpy about the smokey situation in the room. Her head ached from it and her eyes burned. She was feeling very disgruntled, indeed.

Enough third person. I was a grumpy-butt for a bit and then I decided that this was a lovely adventure and I must chill out! Literally! We opened the front door and the back window and let in a little arctic air! (Seriously by about 10pm, Dustin, after getting something out of the car, reported that the weather was trying to snow. Awesome. Snow is June is my favorite!) So, we went to bed with the window open, blowing cold, smoke-free air on my face. Not to worry though. I sleep next to a man that is a walking furnace. So I was snug and cozy and much less grumpy because the chilly air cleared my sinuses of the abhorance of smokiness.

Then, we woke in the morning to whiteness out of the window. It didn't snow a lot, but snow, it did. That cut out any plans we had of more hiking, which was fine.

We did end up with a couch and a fireplace and a comfy bed in our room, but I didn't discover what was truly negative about our room until it came time for a shower. When I went into the bathroom thinking luxuriant showery thoughts, I turned on the hot water and was surprised to discover it would only turn about a quarter of an inch. That massive quarter-inch turn brought forth a fountain of hot water! No, actually it didn't at all. In reality, the flow of hot water was a mere trickle. I busted up laughing! Dustin came in and said, "Well, I guess you're taking a tub!" I then tried the cold, which was, of course, a gush, a wellspring, a super-flow of freezingness. Perfect!!! I reduced the cold so the ratio was the right temperature for a shower and the trickle trickled slightly more so than the hot did all alone.

Hmmmm..... I wondered what the shower would be like because at that rate, the tub would take 30-45 minutes to achieve a depth tolerable for a bath. I went for it! I turned on the shower and the water was so slow in coming that I could literally see the shower head fill up with water before it finally came out of the holes. BUT, it did the job. It created a slow flow of water that, with the help of my fingers, actually could get the shampoo out of my hair. And it was warm. And I didn't have to wait for 45 minutes.

Good times... good times.

I don't think I've taken a picture on my camera since February. That's the last pics I uploaded onto my computer. Isn't that weird? I'm feast or famine in the picture department. Oh well. I did bring my camera and we even snapped a few shots. So, enjoy, because I, apparently am in famine mode and this might be all you get for a while!

Our cute little room. Apparently the other people's rooms were just one room. Lucky us, we had a separate "living room" complete with a table and chairs.


The veiw from our room... it was most tranquil.


Dust snapped a little photo of me. I think I look rather freaky-skullish, but whatev... I don't post many pics of myself on here, so I decided to go with the Skeletor look...



And a little self-timer smoochy-smoochy for the Captain's Log, Stardate 2009.06.06....

Monday, June 8, 2009

Manic Monday: Shine

Today for our Manic Monday fun we have the word shine. Shine brings to mind my high school years. A few of which I dated the lead singer/guitarist of a freakin' awesome high school band known by the name of Clouded Vision. Me and my two best pals Beth and Erin liked to say we were roadies as we'd help haul equipment, set up the drum kit, run cords, pretend to help with sound checks, etc., but in truth we were just glorified groupies. We felt hella cool, regardless of what you called us.

Stashed in some box somewhere are several mementos from those days which, to my embarrassment, I still have. A cracked drumstick that I made the drummer, Matt Orchard, sign for me. He signed it, 'Orch the Torch'. A high school newspaper with Clouded Vision on the cover. (they won the battle of the bands and THAT was a good day to be the lead singer's girlfriend!) A broken guitar pick that my boyfriend tossed aside. Not to mention a list, written in his hand, of the lineup of songs they would be playing during one of their "gigs". One of my favorites on that list was Shine by Collective Soul.

For your listening enjoyment, I was going to embed Collective Soul's music video of Shine, compliments of YouTube, but thanks to someone's "request", embedding has been disabled and I can only give you the link. If you wish to hear this song that brings back so many memories for me, you can click here. If not, that's fine. Just know this... I was once a groupie of a high school band and I loved every minute of it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Five

Is it seriously Friday already? I can't believe it!

1- Kids are out of school as of Wednesday.... and I've heard it said that, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." I can DO this summer thing! I CAN!! I CAN!!!!

No seriously, we had a rough start to our summer on Wednesday, but I held my ground and became "Drill-Sargent Mother" and I think we're going to make it! Which leads me to my number 2 fabulous thing....

2- CHORE CHARTS!!! OH, the power of a good example!! I've been studying and taking mental notes on my friends who are good moms and make their kids do chores. Oh sure, I've made my kids do them too, but I've always been very inconsistent about it, and I HATE the battle. It's always a battle and I'm a lovah, not a fightah. So, incorporating my notes and mental observations of my good-mom friends, I made a chore chart yesterday and I feel VERY good about it. The kids now know the rules. They can't do anything fun until they've done their chores. And guess what? Ella got up this morning and came upstairs totally dressed and brushing her teeth! She had made her bed and cleaned her room before she even came upstairs! Mac still gave me a little grief, but the rules are set so there's much less room for argument! I told you I think we're going to make it this summer!!!

3- So I mentioned a while ago that I needed a new dryer. Well, actually I just mentioned that my dryer has been making a "rather strange and shockingly loud noise lately" and that was clear back on January 14th. Well, that "strange and shockingly loud noise" got worse and worse. Here's an image for you... just imagine turning on your dryer and the noise being so great that you may as well have a 747 jet engine in your basement. YEAH! It was awesome! It got to the point where you couldn't carry on a conversation if the dryer was on. Seriously. That's a noisy dryer. Anyway... off and on since then I've been perusing craigslist.com to see if I could pick up a good, used dryer. After all, a dryer can easily last 20 or 30 years (as did the jet engine one... it had to be made in the seventies... avocado green... beautiful!) and if I could pick one up that was just a few years old then I could be set for a long time! So, I've checked periodically and yesterday I found two! One was $65 and the other, $100. I liked the $65 price better (obviously) but the $100 one seemed a better dryer. So, I asked the $100 guy if he might consider going down to $65 and he said, "Sure". Really? I thought. Just like that? No haggling? Wow!

So, we loaded up in Dustin's work truck and went and looked at the dryer. Beautiful, it was. Only about 7 years old, white (bye, bye avocado!!!), clean, complete with a light!, and best of all.... QUIET! $65 later, we became the proud, new-used owners of a Kenmore 70 series, large-capacity, Quiet-Pak dryer!!

There is a universal truth that you can't know the good without experiencing the bad. Let me tell you how true this is! I've mentioned how you don't know how awesome closets are if you've never really lived without closets. And now I'll tell you that you don't know how WONDERFUL a quiet dryer is until you've lived for six months with a 747 in your basement. Seriously, I came down to check on the kids after Dust put them to bed and I didn't even know the dryer was on until I came close to it and heard the little ping of buttons, zippers, etc., tumbling around inside it. I could've sat down and wept right there. Blessed, peaceful, soothing, quiet, white noised dryer. Best $65 I've ever spent!

4- It's our anniversary tomorrow. Last year was ten years and we decided to do something we hadn't done before. We went out of town for the weekend. My mom and dad kept our kids. Because of that GREAT weekend last year, I think I made a decision without even realizing it. I NEED to go out of town for our anniversary... without those darling little humans I call children. Love 'em to death, and it's now a anniversary requirement to leave for at least one night, just D and I.

So, this year... the big eleven... we're going on a little jaunt to the mountains. We are staying in a "riverfront" room at a lovely place with a dinner theater thingy. I am very much looking forward to it. YEAAAH!!!!!!

5- (Dang. This is a long list. Or, long stories on each item. Are you still with me? Ok.) So, number five on my list today is my friend, Maria. Maria, over the course of the last year and a halfish, has become a sweet treasure to me. I am so grateful for the things she has taught me.

We were at the park yesterday for the last of our of Mother's Group activities (that Maria perfectly planned and excellently executed for over a year!), and another little gal, Destiny, was asking if there were any good babysitters we knew of in our neighborhood. We talked about who we knew of and then we mentioned our swap-weekends. We told how we would swap kids once a month for dates and one couple would go out Friday, and one couple would go out Saturday, each keeping the other's kids. It was a perfect arrangement. We touted the benefits and Destiny looked dubious. I realized then that it was a rare situation, indeed. All the components were a perfect fit. Maria's kids and my kids are all the same ages and play very well together. Our youngest two are best friends, and our middle two could rightly be called such as well. With endless imaginations and creativity, these children have a blast. We trust Maria and John and they trust us. We have a lot of similar ideas about child-rearing so we know our kids would be well cared for and treated fairly. It is a rare thing to find such compatibility.

And, my friend Maria and her cute little family are moving this weekend. Well, Monday, technically. It's a very bittersweet thing. She is going to law school, where I'm sure she will prevail. She's one of those people who excels. It's just what she does. So, I have no doubt that she'll conquer law school with excellence. But I will miss her so much!

And so, my number five Fabulous thing in my life this Friday is Maria. An incredible friend with a powerful mind, endless talents, a beautiful heart and a tough hide. She's taught me to stand a little stronger, worry less about the things I can't change and change the things I can, trust myself more, learn my mind and then speak it!, get off the fence, be a little more organized about things, and decide what I want, make a plan and do it. In short, she is AMAZING!!!

So, thanks, Maria! I love you and know you'll ROCK this law school thing!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Manic Monday: Spice

Manic Monday on my blog has, apparently, gone the way of all the earth. Just like everything else about my blog. Here's a brief little resurrection of my favorite meme... Manic Monday.

I went to bed at 9:30 last night. Can you say wow?

"WOW!"

I was up and showered at 7:00. I need another wow...

"WOW!"

As I was blow-drying my hair, I was thinking of when I dyed it red a while ago. Actually, that last statement is not true. Let me take you for a ride on my train of thought:

As I was thinking of what to write about the word "spice" I was thinking of my WOW-bedtime and WOW-risetime and trying to tie it into the word spice. Then I thought of me blow-drying my hair at 7:15am. It was warm, then, with the blow dryer forcing hot air through my locks and across my skin. It was warm, and I'm currently cold. Maybe I should go and use the blow-dryer on my arms right now?

Anyway, as I conjured the image of myself and my blowdryer, I also saw the image of my hair. The color of my hair right now is rather interesting. I've been spending a lot of time in the sun and so it is getting lighter... a few blond highlights. My natural color is a sort of honeyish hue. My late dye-job still has left some residual strawberry.

The point of this railway journey of thought is really nothing. There is no point. Just that my hair color is currently reminiscent of spice. A mixture of nutmeg, cinnamon and chile powder... With a hint of cream of tartar. I don't recommend making anything out of that combination of spices. It would be rather yucky, but, at present, I'm kinda diggin' my hair.