Friday, September 30, 2005

There's no TRUNK

...which is the first of MANY issues I would have with this car...

More

I've put a couple of other pieces like the one below over at the Island.

Autumn


found this today... wrote it about 5 years ago... NOT still feeling this way...

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Sunglasses in the rain

Have you ever had to put on your sunglasses when it's raining, because the sun is NOT behind the cloud that is raining on you?

The weather is intense today. Strong wind and a deep, rich blue sky. Clouds that look like someone bunched up cotton balls and dragged them across a tray of different colors of artist's chalk. Bright sunshine in spots, with no haze whatsoever. Oh, and the rain...it was a heavy rain at lunchtime, but it's just sprinkling now. Random.

For some reason, I like wearing sunglasses in the rain. I guess I like the mix, the unpredictable nature of it all.

I went out at lunchtime. There were "High Wind Warnings" but I said Eff it, and met a friend for a little while, and had a bagel. It's worth it to get away. Good for your spirits. Especially if you work with someone who doesn't understand that if one project budget runs out, you can't just bill to another project. Not that I work with anyone like that. It's nice to let the little aggravations of life go and just laugh, and have that little bit of sunshine, even if it rains the rest of the day.

I have a love/hate thing with my job. Love the pay, love the part time hours, LOVE all of the vacation time I get, and the benefits. Not so much loving the dry "paperwork" project tracking and reporting aspect that is the majority of my work. Hey, somebody's got to do it.

For "rewarding" I look to the time I spend at the NICU, helping parents scrapbook, or the projects I do on my own. Scrapbooking may look like a waste of time to some people (cough cough my Mom cough cough) but it's fun for me. Pretty paper, and stickers! It's a great stress reliever.

I feel the same way about beads. I have a bunch of beads, and people that I've promised to make necklaces for, and I don't get a great deal of time to do it, but I'm almost always happy with how my projects come out. It's very calming, to count out beads in a pattern, shift them around until it feels right, and then string them one by one.

Another reward I give myself, for surviving life as a working Mom (constantly juggling everything and being pulled in 1000 directions), is music. I couldn't live without music. Fortunately my friends and Sue keep me supplied with a steady stream of new music to listen to. (You wouldn't BELIEVE what Johnny V has lurking on his IPOD....but anyway... )

I also sing. Tonight, I start choir practice again at church, for the fall season. So, around 8:30 tonight, if you listen very hard, you just might hear me singing a Christmas song. Now, this is another thing people don't understand. Two hour rehearsals? EVERY week? Singing Latin hymns? Yeah. It works for me. Some of the music is so difficult it's impossible for me to dwell on the little collection of problems and issues running through my mind. It's great.

I have a beautiful umbrella (looks like a Monet painting) but really, I'd just rather have my sunglasses on.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Amazing Race 8

Carissa Gaghan... 9 years old, kicking ass and taking names. I love that kid! It was pretty sweet when she outran the grownups on another team, to get to the checkpoint.

If you don't usually watch this show, give it a try. It's better than most, if not ALL, "reality" tv.

letter to my neighbors

First, I'm really sorry...

Second, contrary to what you may believe, I do NOT now have a pet baby elephant.

The elephant I do not have is not suffering from extreme intestinal disorder.

I promise to keep my windows closed as much as possible.

(My son started trumpet lessons today.)

Monday, September 26, 2005

But it wouldn't win a ribbon at the fair

A wonderful woman I work with gave me a bag of apples from a tree in her yard.

Later that day, I had my new pampered chef "deep dish" pie plate on the counter. It contained a frozen piecrust(don't hate me because I'm lazy, come up with a better reason...or teach me how to make a piecrust...and make me care about making it from scratch...) and I was coring and peeling the apples.

My son wandered by. "Whatcha doing, Mom?"

I thought this was an exasperating question, naturally.

One thing I have been struggling with lately is that my children seem to ask questions without thinking things through first. Many of their questions can be answered if they just STOP and assess the information they already have, before saying "Mommmmm?"

Turns out the little guy was probably more astute than I gave him credit for. He may have noticed the absence of flour anywhere in my vicinity, and concluded that *I* didn't know what *I* was doing.

I wish he'd been more specific...

...because apple pie without some flour mixed into the sliced apples is something like chunky apple soup in a crust (which gets soggy) -- I'm guessing cornstarch would be even more apropriate to use. Because I have no idea, really.

However, most mistakes in the kitchen can be salvaged. If you ever make this mistake, just quietly pour out the soup part...your filling won't be all thick and sugary but it serves (me/you) right.

Mr. Carly gallantly said "it's not bad....", and really, it wasn't. Especially with ice cream. LOTS of ice cream.

Note to self: read the recipe, for crying out loud!!! Or buy a Mrs. Smith's pie, because she apparently has plenty of flour in her factory.

PS: Since D got home, he has eaten (in half an hour) a brownie, some goldfish crackers, two carrots, and a glass of milk...I may need to go back to work full time when he is a teenager...

Because we've celebrated five times now

bad Mommy... forgot to post that it was my daughter's birthday on Sunday. Good thing I don't let her read my blog, huh?

I did make her favorite dinner and we DID sing... again... I also made brownies for her to bring to school.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

FFF Number 9

Visit Purgatorian to find out more about Flash Fiction Friday.



Daniel watched the tailights fading into the distance. How could they not have stopped? Didn't they see him, hear his shouting?

He took a few more steps, and then the thin coating of ice on top of the snow gave way and he crashed down in again, up to his armpits. He thrashed around until he worked his way out of the snowdrift.

The wind swirled around him, and he shivered. His cheeks were bright red.

He was hungry.

He slipped again, and his feet went out from under him. He was lying on his back, looking up at the first few stars appearing in the evening sky.

His toes were numb. There was snow down one of his boots, and now some had slipped inside his collar and was chilling his neck.

He became aware of a dim light, off to his right. He turned his face toward it.

"Daniel, what are you doing lying down in the snow? Get up and come in now, it's time for dinner, you big goof!"

Take your cat and leave my sweater

I don't ever, EVER want a pet. Just the thought of having to feed, bathe and clean up after another living thing gives me the hives. I saw several pets at the JDRF walk today (mostly big smelly dogs, and one whack woman with one of those empty harnesses that are wired stiff, you know, like an invisible dog. Okayyy...... there were no kids with her so I don't know what her deal was, exactly)

It suddenly feels very much like fall around here, and all of my sweaters are STILL upstairs in the attic. God knows where... thanks to a Certain Someone's (not me) habit of putting boxes in no particular order. Every now & then I find a box full of clothes I haven't worn in 2 years.

PS: Stop the world! I want to get off. I have 10,000 things to do in the next several hours. Desperate Housewives is going to be on, AND Gray's Anatomy, which is excellent, and I should be doing my nails, sipping wine & eating bonbons, dammit!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Things that make me laugh and cry

There are many things that make me laugh.

Like, catching my arch rival playing solitaire or googling pictures of Halle Berry at work. Those are beautiful moments because I pretend to ignore the fact that he's furiously scrolling and trying to close the window, while I remain calm and professional and talk about the actual WORK I came to discuss in the first place.

My sister makes me laugh, daily. Whether she' s eating pie at 8 am because she just got home from work, or looking at me saying "How DO you put up with these kids up your nose every second of the day", or relating the most recent tales of Birdland to me, she's a riot.

I am also very proud of her because she is a fantastic nurse. Seriously, she has gotten awards at work because of her devotion to those tiny little darlings. She is very passionate about her work and said to me yesterday "I'm so tired of NICU nurses being called bitches because we're trying to protect fragile, two pound babies" - kick ass, girl!

Today she is going to speak at a memorial service for the patients who have passed away this year and I heard her speech the other day. It's beautiful and I AM SO PROUD OF YOU, S.

I will cry.

PS: Happy Birthday to my baby! My Daniel is 8 today. Mommy loves you even though you never pick up your underwear and put those skidmarks in the hamper, and even though you wake me up at least one night a week to rebuild the perimeter of stuffed animal soldiers that guard you while you sleep, and even though you require Delilah, dammit, Delilah to be playing on the radio in your room all night to help you sleep, and this makes you an expert on hits of the 80's. Well, maybe because of those things.

P.P.S.: Yes, I bought you a PlayStation - now stop asking me every damn day for one!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Que Sirah Syrah

As promised, a recap of my latest wine tasting class.

If you missed the others, which were in late winter, here they are:

  • First class - intro & blush wines
  • Second class - white wines
  • Ice Wine - my own remarks, not from a class
  • Three - this actually touches on the third class and then describes the fourth which was sparkling wine. The night of the third class I spazzed out and if you want a good laugh read that here. Hey, at least I can laugh about it too. This was about our family's Valentine's day cooking extravaganza.

So... last night we went back and Ted (a ringer for Bob Newhart) was still running the classes, so that was fun. Seated directly to my right was Sean Connery.



Well, he sure looked like him anyway. He was fun to chat with and seemed to know quite a bit about wine.

We were tasting Petit Sirah, Petite Sirah, Petit Syrah, Petite Syrah. Yeah, I had to read it four times too. It's all the same, no matter what the wine is called.

Here's what you need to know....

Grown mostly in California.

It was originally a french wine (the Durif grape -- Dr. Durif crossed the Syrah grape with the Peloursin. Remember that, quiz later.) His new variety didn't grow well in France but did very well in the sunnier/ less rainy California.

Cheese

The wine is very red, very strong, and you shouldn't really drink it alone. Invite friends over-- no, I mean you should have food with it. Ted always serves cheese during tastings. We had a soft cow's milk cheese called Taleggio (Italian) that I loved because the rind was salty like a Brie. It was kind of stinky, not for everyone. Vaguely reminded me of babyfeet. Hard to believe it could taste good but it did.

We also had a French sheep's milk cheese, which was named Abbaye de Beloc, and was much harder. That was a more "normal" cheese, for those of you who don't like weird smelly stuff. Remember to let your cheese come to room temperature (at least an hour) - otherwise it all tastes pretty much the same. Find a good gourmet shop near you to buy interesting cheese, really.

Bread! More bread! (Sue will get that.) Always have plenty of bread on hand. Because it's good and Mr. Atkins is dead, so it's not like he's going to walk in and scold you, right?

The next Pinot Noir?

Ted feels that just as the movie "Sideways" increased the popularity of Pinot Noir, and prices shot up, Petite Sirah will become more and more popular in the near future. (Read that "more expensive". ) The wines we tasted ranged from $11 - $20.

The wines

As you recall, Ted talks for a while, and we stare at our empty glasses. At last he walked around the room and gave us a sample of the following 3 wines:

  • Bogle 2003 - I liked it, and it was even better after it sat in the glass for 10 minutes. I believe he said this winery buys wine from other vineyards (that may have been "inferior" for their label standards but still "good" wine) and blends it.
  • Concannon 2003 - very tart, my least favorite, but "OK" after it sat
  • Rosenblum 2003 - the most expensive, and the smoothest. Hey, 15% alcohol. Woooot!Very dark and strong. Ted said a bunch of entertaining things like "this is chewy, chunky wine and you should drink it with a nice steak" and talked about earthy, stemmy, pepper flavors. (Um, it's red wine, with a lot of flavor during and after each sip. Don't forget to swirl and slurp and all that.)

All in all, fun class, not necessarily a wine I'd drink often but we did buy some wine on the way out. Next class is in two weeks.

By the way, if you buy any of these wines, be sure to throw some Crest Whitestrips in the cart or you'll look like you picked a peck of blueberries with your teeth and then didn't soak your dentures.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Instant winner


Stupidest person of the day today. *

"Challenging Rita's waves at the southernmost point in Key West, Florida."

*Maybe it's K-Fed. Hey, we can only hope.

Sudoku

There are many ways to waste time, grasshopper.

Here is a new one.

PS... I found a babysitter. I know you were all on the edge of your seats for that one. Fear not, the wine class is safely within my sights now and I shall report, perhaps tomorrow. ('Cuz I'll be tipshy and stuff tonight.)

Details

My son had to learn how to write his full address for a test in school. He's in 3rd grade now.

You know,

Daniel Lastname
123 Main Street
City, xx 00000

He had the test yesterday. I asked how he did, and he said he only spelled one thing wrong. "What, Daniel?"

"My first name....Danniel"

That's my child.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Coolest Aunt Ever

My sister gave my son an early birthday present, the Robosapien and every kid should have one.

Seriously, if you know any eight year old boy and you have a wad of cash to toss their way, do it. This thing is SO much fun.

Note, she did give BOTH of my kids their presents, but my son was the one who leaped up and down and screamed hysterically.

Awards

Nominees for Stupid Person of the Day:

  • the driver of the 18-wheeler who cut across 3 lanes in front of Moi
  • the girl I drove by on the way home -- she was sitting on the front steps of her house, while 5 guys worked on the roof with big boxes of shingles, big tools, etc. -- I hope something falls on her head, because she was posed, looking cute and talking on her cellphone - idiot
  • the cashier at the place where I go to buy bagels who thinks he is hilarious telling me my plain bagel with honey walnut creamcheese and a small coke is $8.50 -- the first two times it was cute but now I'm sick of it frankly - get new material- you will never be my boytoy
  • me for forgetting I need a sitter tomorrow night - that's right - MORE WINE TASTING CLASSES!!! Wheee!

(Right now cashier is winning but if I don't find a sitter it will be me)

Sunday, September 18, 2005

It must be a guy's mentality

My son went to my brother in law's yesterday. (As a way to get him out of the girl's slumber party, Other Brother In Law took him along when he took his own son to meet the new baby)

"Did you hold the baby again, D?"

"Nah, I already held her."

She's a cupcake


My sister now has a blog.... everybody go over and visit...

Partay time

Recall, if you know, that my children's birthdays are one day apart. Another reason September makes me twitchy. Friday we switched my son's party to a bowling party instead of mini golf. So, of course it was a sunny day instead of the gobs of rain we were promised by our brilliant forecasters.

My daughter had her sleepover last night. My sister was here too (she's like paid pre-teenage girl entertainment, they all fall all over her and hang on her every word). I was kind of tired, and she had lots of energy. So she had them decorating cupcakes, with the stuff I had picked out, until they started throwing mini chocolate chips at one another. Time to move on!!


She has a paraffin "dip", you put your hands in and the stuff is melted so it coats your hands and when you peel it off your hands are very soft, and they all LOVE that.

Freaky, huh?

Things like that keep them busy for a long time.

They watched a movie and we got them all in sleeping bags about 12:15 so that was fantastic. They're all gone home already. Now I can nap!!

Friday, September 16, 2005

As if I need another

Well, I decided today I'm going to learn to knit.

I was in the dollar aisle in Target buying goodie bag treats for the kids' birthday parties tomorrow (Poly, you rock) The boy is going bowling, because it's going to rain so we can't do mini golf; a "spa" hairdo and nails sleepover for the girl, have mercy on me please dear lord)

...and I found dollar skeins of this cool fringe-y sort of yarn and I decided I want to make a scarf.

Pfft.

In a moment of insanity brought on by allconsuming love for the month that is September (back to school, back to cold weather, two kid's birthday parties, one family party for the kids, and a few major school fundraisers in my face.... ) I bought the yarn.

Thanks to google, I have pages bookmarked that show me HOW to knit. Do I have needles? Not so much.

A new hobby? yeah. I have to go frost a cake.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Oh come on, Johnny

Now really, aren't they just adorable?

I shouldn't

have to triage five homework assignments for one child, when we could be kissing brand new baby toes. It's not fair, darn it! My daughter couldn't even fit all of her stuff in her backpack that she needed.

Grrr.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I'm an Aunt

My little niece was born this evening...welcome to the world, Justine Lynnelle !!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Beware cheap hose

I bought this crappy garden hose. If you take ONE step in the wrong direction, it bends over on itself and the rushing water is reduced to a trickle, something like what happens every time I try to give blood. Dribble, dribble, drip.

It is so annoying! I'm a desperate housewife. Why can't I have a sexy gardener a few years younger than me??

I'm just trying to keep my mums alive, dammit. (It's 90 today. See my little weather girl at the right? Go, make your own. Another way to waste time. Viva la Internet!!!)

Sevens

I'm not having good luck with this today, but I will try to play nice, because I've been tagged.

7 Things I Plan To Do Before I Die:
1. Parasail on Lake George
2. learn to play piano with both hands
3. see a Broadway show and take my children up in the Statue of Liberty
4. attend a professional baseball, football, or basket ball game and sit waaaaaaay down near the field, or the court, whatever the case may be, drink beer, eat a hot dog, and cheer until I am hoarse
5. be an extra in a movie, buy a copy or two, and give one to everyone I know
6. visit all 50 states
7. sing onstage (even backup, just once, will do) at a concert

7 Things I Cannot Do:
1. Dive
2. Ski
3. do-it-yourself heart surgery (yeah, lazy me, I had someone do it for me)
4. paint a room without getting paint all over myself
5. be patient
6. always tell the truth
7. imagine life without my children

7 Things That Attract me to the opposite sex:
1. humor
2. intelligence
3. athletic ability
4. respect for me
5. hair that's a little messed up, preferably by me
6. well defined shoulders/arms that are around me often
7. (censored)

7 Things I Say Most Often:
1. My children's names
2. My name(on the phone at work)
3. I'm late
4. I forgot
5. I'm GOING TO....
6. I'm hungry
7. "Fuck"

7 Celebrity Crushes:
really, this is where I start to peter out....


7 People I Want To Do This List:
the people I would list probably have already done this. Beth, Carol??

Monday, September 12, 2005

Monday

Today I started my day with a flat tire.

#$%^&!#* !!!

but we actually recovered from that fairly quickly and it was off to work, followed by

  • long walks in the park (pffft yeah right)
  • the dentist, where Thing 2 had a panic attack over a FLOURIDE TREATMENT (gasp!)
  • the miniature golf course... down payment on a birthday party
  • my favorite place - the supermarket!
  • and then, home to Homework Wonderland
footnotes:
Can you believe a child who had to buy colored pencils AND magic markers for school came home and told me today she needs CRAYONS now too? What's next, a palette of oil paints?

Does the supermarket always marinate the fish that's about to spoil? 'Cuz I fell for that one today. We did NOT have bourbon sauce basted salmon because I know it shouldn't smell THAT fishy, dammit. Supermarkets suck.

Should homework for elementary school children require the particpation of BOTH parents? Isn't there an international treaty that bans homework on Fridays??

Survivor starts Thursday. Yay!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Remember


I'm in a "pictures without very many words" mood lately. However, if you'd like to read what I wrote about the 9/11 exhibit at the NYS museum, click
here to read it over at the Island.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Net, Goal, potato, potahhto

If you haven't noticed oneword.com/, it's fun - you'll see one word each day and you have sixty seconds to write about it.

Today's word: [net] and I wrote

In the net, get it in the net, don't kick it out of bounds again, don't go straight down the sidelines, darnit kick it in the NET - YESSSSSSS! you did it! Mom is so proud of you.

That's right sports fans, MY SON GOT A GOAL IN HIS SOCCER GAME TODAY.

Suprisingly, I was actually there to even see it. I have a tradition of missing his goals, baskets, and home runs because of the technicality of not actually being there.

(They lost the game, but so what?)

Friday, September 09, 2005

For Adele

He makes me lie down in green pastures... (Psalm 23:2)



I wish that you could share with me just a few of the secrets, you surely now possess.
7/21/02 - 9/5/05

Thursday, September 08, 2005

See Carly Go

(Today's five minute post is also "Where Did Carly Go Today?")

  • work - blechh - went to get a new ID, (cracked old one, winced for some reason when Security Guy shredded it) and noticed with dismay, the new photo isn't really any better
  • run home to change shoes(don't ask)
  • pick up the kids at school
  • go to the office of the man who will rip 6 teeth out of my babies' mouths soon and then rip all the money out of my wallet
  • go to rite aid to buy contact paper (add to the $120 total of school supplies to date)
  • go to the dollar store to try to find those stretchy book covers that the kids love, unsuccessfully of course
  • go to Burger King(for the boy)
  • go back to school - the girl forgot her go-home papers (starting already...)
  • go to the gas station ($3.39 for the cheap stuff)
  • go to Mr. Subb (for me & the girl)
  • home to change shirt (don't ask)

on my way to the NICU now... aloha...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I had to laugh

Five minute post here, as I try to ease back in to my "after school" routine with the kids:

Today, driving down a street right near my house, I saw a bunch of kids who go to the public school on the corner. They were the Goths. One guy actually had on this giant long black coat and I have to say, I had a mixture of feeling impressed and horrified all at once.

The next corner had all the "plain white" kids who didn't match the previous set. Jeans, tshirts, etc. Vanilla, very un-goth.

Every one of those kids stood still, staring glumly ahead into space. As I pulled up at the stop sign I could sense the unanimous feeling 'oh crap, back to school' oozing from every clogged pore in the entire group.

I just couldn't help myself - it was the look on their faces. I swear to you, I burst out into full-out hysterical laughter, looking at those kids. They probably heard me, too, since my moon roof was open. I drove away hoping they weren't throwing stuff at me.

Sorry, kids!

(time's up!)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Numb3rs

It occurred to me at my son's soccer practice... (the place where my brain goes to sleep)

In my dream, the numbers three and five.... are the grades that my children are going into. (My daughter would be going into six, but she repeated first grade.)

Isn't this fascinating?? D'oh!

These dreams

Do you have any recurring dreams? I do. Last night I had the dream again. This was a new variation, though.

I've always more or less known that the dream happens when I am anxious about the future. In the past, the dream was originally set in the house where I lived as a teenager. I would suddenly realize that today was the first day of school, and it was time to go. Almost as suddenly I would begin to worry, because I didn't know what classes I had, or what to bring to school.

The bus would be outside in front of my house, sounding the horn impatiently. At this point the confusion crept in, because I normally had to walk several blocks to get to the bus stop. For some unexplainable reason, I would not go out to the bus. I'd start making my lunch, the bus horn growing ever louder. I'd be worrying that I really should be leaving, but unable to abandon the tasks that were delaying me. Next, I'd decide that I really needed a shampoo, and wash my hair in the kitchen sink, even though I could see out the window over the sink that the bus was RIGHT THERE, waiting. Why was I throwing these roadblocks in front of myself?

As I've gotten older, the dream has shifted in focus more than once. Where once I knew I was going to high school, I began to panic about college instead. Mind you, this shift happened AFTER I had finished college and settled into a comfortably boring office job, but in the dream, I was headed off to college. I didn't know what classes I was signed up for, and I was in the bookstore trying to buy books, but I didn't know what books to buy. I'd be desperately checking the tiny mailbox outside of the bookstore, for some clue as to where I was supposed to be and when, but the schedule was never there. I'd go off in search of the registrar, the one who could guide me, to no avail.

Last night I dreamed that I was in some sort of dormitory. I was an adult now, more or less. I had a tote bag and a beautiful purse, and why that's important, I don't know but I spent some time dwelling on that in my dream. I was climbing this absolutely stunning staircase of mahogany wood with intricately carved railings. I had gone down a long hallway to get to this staircase, and from the way it was constructed I thought I was going from the 3rd to the 5th floor. There was an intriguing hallway that branched off and I remember wondering where it would lead, but I could not explore that hallway now. I had to get to the 5th floor.

Only, when I got to what I thought was the 5th floor, it was actually the 6th. The room that I was seeking (which was where I was supposed to be staying with someone) - the room was impossible to find. Again, there was no one around to guide me. I went all the way down the hallway and headed downstairs again.

That's when I woke up.

Now I know, this is about anxiety, and mostly about the school year starting up again and things like that. But why can't I have FUN dreams like other (normal??) people?

Monday, September 05, 2005

I heart Yahoo

Annoying commercials aside, I like Yahoo. I have an email account there for comments from this blog.

Via a friend I just discovered Launchcast and I am working on my own radio station. (Carlyq80, but of course... Featuring: Kelly Clarkson, Diana Krall, Dave Koz, John Mayer, U2, Tim McGraw, Daniel Bedingfield, Mariah Carey, Rob Thomas, Santana, Sting, Pat Metheny, Barenaked Ladies, Matchbox Twenty, Faith Hill, Joss Stone, Joyce Cooling, Christina Aguilera, Avril, the Wallflowers, Lifehouse, Kimberly Locke and others)

The 'free' version locks up at least once a day on my pc so I'm not sure I'll spring for the $5 a month version, but it would be nice not to listen to the annoying commercials every couple of songs.

Check it out here. Or does everyone else in the world but me know this already?

Betty Keeps Me Warm

I love cinnamon. My kids love brownies. So when we noticed Betty Crocker's Warm Delights in the supermarket we all went "ooooh".

The package contains a one-time-use bowl and a packet of dry ingredients. You mix in water, microwave for a VERY short period of time, and voila! A cake, a brownie, etc. The package is complete with a pouch of icing or chocolate for you to drizzle on top.

I was rather cynical and expected them to pretty much suck, so I wouldn't buy more than two - one Cinnamon Swirl cake for me and a brownie mix for them. Imagine my surprise when they actually turned out to be pretty good. The kids fought over the last few crumbs of the brownie. None of it was as good as "from scratch" but it was respectable.

Great, now I have to avoid you in the market, Crocker. Thanks a lot. For the rest of you, as the skeleton said, "Bone Appetit". (Sorry, my 7 year old's favorite joke)

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Blue Morning

I'm in a little bit of a funk today. I guess maybe it's a combination of "holiday weekend but no big plans" and "it's the end of summer". It has not exactly been an uplifting week as far as the hurricane news, so that definitely factors in.

Went to church and Stanley noticed. "You look sad, what's the matter?" I love him. Stanley, you will recall, is the organist and choir director who has been at our church for 50 years. He's adorable.

It didn't seem the time or place to explain that I'm moping and not exactly sure why, so I mentioned that my son was going to be an altar server for the first time today. So I think he chalked it up to "sentimental Mom".

(Go ahead, make the priest jokes. But go somewhere else to do it. We like our church and our parochial school and my kids are very happy there. Do I sound defensive? Whatever. My son could't wait to serve. He was up at 6:30 this morning and got dressed before Mr and I were even out of bed.)

Perhaps part of my sulk is that my kids seem to be growing up so quickly and the first day of school is looming over me and driving that point home.

Sometimes I wonder - why are some people so content to just spend all day at home puttering around, and somehow it makes me restless and unhappy? I'm not even sure what I want to do, or where I want to go. I feel like there are so many projects I should do, but I just don't WANT to, not even the fun stuff like scrapbooking because it just seems like such a major project to pull stuff out.

How can someone I see for an hour a week notice, and yet I feel like other people closer to me don't notice? That's frustrating sometimes. Or are they sick of me being grumpy? I sure am.

Oh, bother.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

FFF # 6

Friday means a new initial sentence from JJ at Purgatorian....which means more fiction for you...


The most embarrassing thing about the situation was actually NOT the fact that I had just walked in on my teenaged son wanking.

I knew that surely it must be happening from time to time, just as surely as you know that the characters on your favorite soap operas DO have to pee now and then, even though you don't see it on your screen and would prefer not to know the specifics.

We had not discussed it. I, the Queen of Cowards, had asked his stepfather to have "the talk" with him, and I was confident that numerous discussions had taken place.

Clearly, one conversation that had taken place included the transfer of a not-so-vital piece of information - the four digit pin number that would unlock parental controls from the cable reciever in our bedroom. Yes, my "baby" was watching porn while he was taking care of business.

In his defense, I was supposed to be out all afternoon, and he was home alone. It was a long way from the tiny little apartment we'd lived in when he was first born, when I was a young single mother, thrown out of my own home by angry parents. I did what I had to do to survive back then. My husband knows all about my past, but I had hoped to wait a few more years before I discussed it with my son. Maybe thirty or fourty years.

So, was I embarrassed about the fact that his jig was up, so to speak? Or that he was actually watching boobs on the boob tube? No, the MOST embarrassing thing about this little fiasco was when I realized that *I* was in the movie he was watching, and that from my reaction, HE had realized it too.

###

Under my thumb

I do have a green thumb, I guess, but it's not the normal kind. No, not a shiny pretty kelley green thumb, it's more like a puke green... it's green, but, well...

I've mentioned the critters eating my tulips RIGHT before they bloom. It goes much deeper than that.

My house is built on clay. Thick, hard, nasty clay. I have a little strip of garden along the front. It's a love-hate thing. Every year I whisper promises to it. "This year, I'll put up the trellis BEFORE the clematis vines wind around the nearby bush. I'll keep the trellis standing up straight this year. I'll deadhead the flowers so they bloom all summer long. I'll weed, and the thick layer of mulch will help me keep things nice. "

Uh-huh. Pity my neighbors.

Somehow every spring it gets away from me. I find myself trying to lift up the clematis vines and tie them onto the trellis, which ends up listing to one side. Around memorial day we do a marathon day where we rip out all of the weeds I've ignored and put in some flowers. It's not as though I have a PLANNED garden. We buy what looks good that day at the garden store. I do remember to water them for a couple of weeks but after that they are on their own.

No matter what, we never seem to have enough mulch. I don't understand. It's a little garden and we need about 20 bags of that crap to cover the flowerbed. Why don't I just shred money and spread that around? Quicker.

Around this time of the year, I always truck on up to the store to switch things over for the fall. Since the kids' birthdays are September 24 and 25, we tend to have at least one family party at our house in September, so I want to fake it for my family and pretend I'm a good gardener.
I usually re-weed, buy a few mums and stick them in the ground and whisper "good luck". They'll stay there until mid October and look good most of the time.

So yesterday I headed on up with the kids. We got 8 mums and had a painful math lesson ("If they're $4.99 each but 6 for $25 how much is Mommy spending? Think... think... we've got 6 so that's $25 but we have two more and they're $5 each so that's $10 added on to the $25 so that's..." (pause to let daughter speak and see that familiar glaze over her sweet little blue eyes... poor baby, it's back to school time!) ::::crickets chirp::: "Twenty five plus ten is..." After a cumulative total of about 30 seconds she whispers "$35????" and I say "YES!" with a little too much enthusiasm and she's relieved it's over. In her defense, I did something like that once and my sister started laughing and said "How do you DO that?"

I procrastinated because it was hot but then I got them in the ground. Oh, and I didn't really weed right either. I moved the weeds that were in spots where mums would go. I'll pay for that little stunt later. Actually I already am suffering: I wore socks and sneakers but somehow my feet are covered in spider bites. Damn mulch.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Writers wanted

More than one blogger that I know has sent me samples of their writing and said "I wrote this but it doesn't really fit in my blog".... because their blog is primarily humor. WhatI have read is excellent and should be shared.

So, I had this idea today that I would like to start a second blog. Hardly original, but it would be a group of writers and anything that doesn't "fit" on your blog as described above is fair game. You all can be anonymous as far as the rest of the internet is concerned(because I know you funny guys don't want to seem like little girls, your secret will be safe with me) , or you can post with your current blogger profile. It's up to you. Post only when you want to.

If you would like to join in, please let me know. (Email me, using the link under my profile photo).

This is the kind of thing that I personally would be putting into that blog:

The rose blooms in a styrofoam cup on my desk....pink, perfect. On closer examination, two of the petals in the back have been torn away. The edges are beginning to turn brown.

I push down the dread that you will slip away from me, that you have already begun to do so. The newness has worn off, the butterflies have drifted away on the last summer breeze.

I try not to think about the loneliness I used to feel, and how you made that seem like a distant memory. I wonder if it will return with a vengeance, as surely as the tide returns to the shore.

We've progressed to the point where soon someone will push, and the other will pull away.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Post lite

OK.. change of pace.

...go to oneword.com and try it. You might like it.

(Thanks, Johnny V, for pointing me to this site)

Light a candle

As each day goes by, the news gets more heartbreaking.

I was just on the phone with someone close to me, who said "I can't go there and help. I'm broke and I can't send money. I can't do anything."

Light a candle.

This Saturday night, in the evening, light a candle. If you are a person who prays, say a prayer for the people who lost their lives this week, and those who are still suffering, and those who are down there trying to help.

If you are not religious, please light a candle anyway as a quiet reminder of those who are gone, because surely they did not pass easily from this life. For all of those people who won't have a proper funeral, attended by their friends and family, and a burial that respects the simple life they lived, pause a moment.