I'm just a girl trying to find her own custom groove in this world without bending to the expectations of others.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Puzzle Patrol

I now know why I don't attempt to do jigsaw puzzles more often.

While they are therapeutic in their monotony, I hate working on a 1000-piecer only to discover one piece is missing! Worse than that fate is knowing half way through completion that there WILL be a piece missing. The one year old got a hankering for some cardboard and decided the pretty shaped piece would curb his craving. He ate it! Not actually swallowed it, but now the piece is about two times it's normal size and missing a little ear. HAHN!

Monday, November 28, 2005

When will I figure it out?

Over the long weekend, with my nose dripping and the left side of my skull threatening to crack away under the pressure of sinus congestion, I realized that I never make time to enjoy the little things in life that bring me pleasure.

Despite all my motivational reading, all my positive thoughts, there is one area of life that is always a challenge for me - finding time to enjoy everything I love.

Maybe the problem is that I love too many things. In this fast-paced, hustle bustle world, maybe a person should have only one or two small hobbies that they like to endulge in. Not eight or ten!

These are the things that I like to do for myself - aside from the standard spending time with my family and friends:
  • Reading/writing
  • Scrapbooking
  • Puzzles
  • Cross Stitching
  • Watching movies
  • Word games and brain teasers
  • Cooking/baking

Not necissarily in that order. Some days I would prefer to do one thing more than another. My problem is, that unless everything else is in order, I can't sit down and have fun with any of them. My house has to be clean, the laundry done and put away, I have to be showered and even hidden things have to be organized. This part of me drives me crazy!

Seeing that the house needs tidying everyday, a good cleaning weekly and laundry at least once a week too, it seems impossible to settle down with a good book or pick up a crossword puzzle. Add three home businesses to the mix, two teenagers and one toddler and I barely have time to accomplish all that needs to be done, let alone the things I would like to do.

Then I find myself apologizing to people for not being able to make time for them. Feelings of guilt that I'm not doing more volunteering and socializing often seep into the cracks of my crumpled world. But when I let the other things go in lieu of fun, I get frazzled and overwhelmed and even angry. It's easier to cheat myself and keep everyone else happy.

I either have to get over my obsession with organization or accept that I will not have the time to spend on the things I enjoy. Even as I type it, I know I won't follow through. The battle within will rage on with small victories occasionally and breif epiphanies centering me once again, only to start over in an annoying cyclical onslaught.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Where does snot live?

I know the medical answer is in the mucous membranes, but seriously, how much mucous can one membrane produce? At this time yesterday, I was breathing easily, unaware of the traffic jam that was about to occur in my nose. No amount of blowing will evict the stubborn snot. I HATE colds!

To make things worse, I'm having my entire family over for dinner tomorrow. If I walked into a house and saw the hostess/chef wiping her nose and sniffling with vacuum cleaner force, their food would be the last thing I'd want to ingest. Hand sanitization will be a high priority during today and tomorrow's preparations.

I love Thanksgiving and the kick-off of the holidy season. It's snowing here today and is supposed to get worse throughout the next two days. I'm happy. I'm excited about tomorrow and I'm anxious to have another glass of my Hot Spiced Wine. A friend and I endulged last night and now I have an excuse to make another batch!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Stay safe and enjoy your holiday!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Strange Brew?

Does any one remember this movie besides me? It stars Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas. I'm not so certain it would be entertaining now, but as a kid, it was hilarious. The word of choice around our house was "Hoser" for weeks after watching the movie. And thanks to HBO running their movies 12 times a week even back then, we got our fill of the Canadian, beer seeking, hosers!

My husband got his love of beer from more resourceful avenues and has continued this affection by brewing his own. He's made hundreds of gallons of beer over the last 4 years and while there have been a couple skunk batches, most of it tastes wonderfully smooth. I would compare it to the premium beers, not your Busch's and Budweiser's. More like Dos Equis and Bels Oberon. Mmmm.

The scene in our basement looks like this right now in preparation for the Holidays.

We have a double batch of Christmas 2005 beer brewing, a double batch of Wheat and one batch of Ginger Tea Beer and one Indian Spiced Tea Beer brewing. The tea beers are his own recipes and while they sound not so good, they are wonderful!

The above picture shows the 30 gallons of beer (which translates to 300 - 12 oz bottles) in the "blow off" stage ~ when the yeast is eating the sugars during the carbonation phase. Everytime I walk past it, I resist the urge to yell, "IT'S ALIVE!!!" It rolls and bubbles and blurps and foams and it smells delicious. It will still be a couple weeks before it's ready to bottle even though the blow off period will probably end today and another couple weeks before it's ready to drink. Just in time for Christmas and New Year.

When we were picking up the supplies and grinding the grains for these batches, the girl that works at the store, seeing that we were using a blended yeast, asked Glenn if he had used that kind before. Not really paying attention to her, he answers, "yes." She then procedes to ask what kind of character the yeast gave him. A little dumbfounded, he replies "drunk?" I about laughed myself out of the store. The look on her face was priceless.

Beer tasting at my house, in about 5 or 6 weeks!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Computer Woes

Do you suppose there is a greater source telling me to stay off line? First the DSL line troubles and then my computer crashes...but good!

I was on the phone with a girl from India for an hour and a half trying to restore my hard drive. It didn't work and we decided that I needed to do a destructive restore. That didn't work either and at that point, we both just wanted to get off the phone. We couldn't really understand each other anyway.

So I unplugged all my connections, considered strangling myself with the power cable, then hauled the tower to Best Buy determined to get a new one. I joined the long line of weary, tower-toting, un-technological people and waited patiently for my turn, ready to show them that I indeed needed a new computer. I tried a temp hive, a restore and tried changing the data peripherals and finally, the destructive restore that resulted in the same black screen. I wasn't going to let them talk me into diagnosing the problem because I didn't have an additional 3-5 days to be without my computer. Thankfully, the geek at the counter was super friendly and I didn't have to kill him.

Apparently, I didn't need to do the destructive restore as my problem was that the video card I added was conflicting with the original monitor settings causing it to freak out and turn to a black screen. He fixed it for me and sent me on my way. Past the fiery eyed people who wouldn't be taking their towers home with them.

Now I begin the long process of reinstalling all my software and making my computer the comfortable place it was just a few days ago. It will probably be a good day before I'm all caught up. I hope to get to everyone's blogs soon to read what I missed.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Eat Mangoes Naked

"Finding pleasure everywhere and dancing with the pits!" ~ Sark

This is one of my most favorite books. It can be an annoying read, not because of the context, but because it's all written in hand with different color markers. Kind of a color explosion on each page. I don't have anything against color, mind you, I just prefer things to be neat and organized. If you can get past that issue, the book is great. I think the title says it all.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is "We can dance through our lives and still be 'responsible'". I was reminded of it the other day while getting lunch ready for me and Drew.

Always finding ways to amuse and entertain him, I exited the pantry with pizza rolls and Dr. Pepper for me and vegetable chicken and bananas for him. I started dancing around wildly with the 2 liter of Dr. Pepper whistling the William Tell overature. Drew was giggling and having a good time and I must admit, I was too.

At least until I decided to open the pop. There was no warning. None of that slow rising fizz giving a person time to twist the cap back on. As soon as I loosened the top, it shot off the bottle like a rocket erupting fizz in nothing short of Mt. St. Helen's glory. I could not locate the cap, so I carried the oozing bottle to the sink to watch the pop roll out of it. When it was all said and done, I had little more than a half bottle of Dr. Pepper left. I even had to clean pop off the pot rack hanging above.

Ah, it was a mess, but effective for one big, baby, belly laugh.

Friday, November 11, 2005

In One Week's Time

1. The television wont turn on.
2. The refrigerator stopped cooling.
3. The DSL line is hormonal.

Okay, we have another tv and it affects the teenagers more than it affects me, the refrigerator was a spare in the garage for extra pop, and I can rely on a dial up connection if I need to.

How quickly we forget that these quandaries are superficial when compared to what could be. That "new-take-on-life" feeling that occurs after a close call quickly gives way to distress with the weight of every day life. I find myself at inner civil war with the contradicting feelings of relief for near misses and stress from daily burdens.

Let me explain. Last Friday, I was defrosting my upright freezer when Emily (my 13 year old) yelled from the basement that there was something on the ceiling. I knew it would be water from the melting ice and was already planning the steps to correct the problem. I hollered to her to help me clean up the towels that I had placed around the freezer to prevent such leaks.

Taking the pile of towels to the sliding door, she began shaking the ice out of them. We do not have a deck built yet, but instead, a railing nailed to the house for protection. Emily, was leaning against that railing when it gave way, causing her to fall eight feet to the ground, landing on her side, narrowly missing a riding lawn mower and a fiberglass ladder, but not escaping the nails which were protruding jaggedly through the railing that she fell with.

I heard a terrified "Mooooommm", a thundering crash, then gut-wrenching silence. It took me only seconds to get from the pantry to the slider, but in that time, tragic thoughts raced through my head and I found it hard to breath. I didn't know what I would find when I looked through the door. Seeing that she was conscious, I got ready to jump before common sense took over and I grabbed the phone and ran around to the back of the house after screaming at her not to move.

Finally, at the med center, between a lady throwing up buckets of blood and a screaming, bleeding one year old that shoved his binky into his gums, we were finally getting x-rays. Upon arrival, they were concerned that she broke her hand and her hip, but unbelievably there were no broken bones. She had some pretty big gashes so they bandaged her up, gave us an antibiotic and sent us home with Ibuprophen. I was emotionally okay by then, but when I tried to sleep that night, I kept reliving the accident in my head and imagining what might have happened. Why do we do that?

Long story short, she is okay and all of the stresses of that week faded to mere inconveniences. Now that she is seemingly better, stress and worry and frustration creep back into my thoughts. Why is it that when we know things could be so much worse, do we tend to fret the small things? Things like tv's and fridges and dsl lines that can be replaced take a higher link on our worry chain than being thankful that we aren't planning funerals or holding hospital vigils.

Maybe that's why close calls happen. To remind us that we're getting too wrapped up with inconsequential events and not giving our blessings adequate recognition.

Missing in Action

I've been MIA for the last several days compliments of a wacked DSL line. The phone company has been out to fix the exterior problems but claims there is still a problem in the house. Hmmm, might be due to the fact that the heating guy accidentally cut through the line last year when he was doing some duct work. My husband spliced it as best he could, but I'm sure the connections are not quite right and the sure cause of my stress and angst online. The service tech gave us some special connectors which "fell out of his truck" he said, so we could fix the splice the right way and until we do, my connection is very slow and I get kicked off and frustrated regularly.

This morning seems to be a little better so I'm going to try to catch up on everything I missed. I will post something of consequence at a later time.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Farmer Jed is in the Front Yard and Other Calamities

I know sibling rivalry runs in epidemic proportions in most normal families, but I didn't realize there would be such disenssion between kid and canine. Our sweet little dalmatian/black lab mix, is forever stealing the baby's toys. Most recently, Farmer Jed from "The World of Little People's Farm". Poor Jed is laying out in the sand while all we can do is watch the rain drops pelt his plastic body.

Other recent tragedies in our household ~ all three kids are teething. Who would have thought. The 17 year old is cutting his wisdom teeth; the 13 year old, some-year molars ~ I don't know which ones; and the baby, his eye teeth. A round of Ibuprophen for the house!

Equally as devastating is the state of my fingernails. I painted bright red over my nicely french manicured tips in celebration of my Halloween costume. Now, it's chipping, revealing portions of the french white underneath and looking much like a subjects hands from CSI. There is no fingernail polish remover in the house despite a trip to D&W and Walgreens yesterday!

Twice as devastating is the fact that 13-year-old Emily might have blinked during picture retakes and she'll just "DIIIIIIIE" if she has to use the first pictures in which she is still sporting her braces!

Ten times as devastating as that is the embarassment 17-year-old Steve is experiencing at having to roll change for the gas hungry Cougar. It's so unfair that I won't exchange his coins out of my own cash so he can fill up for school. He opted for the school bus instead which is a much "cooler" statement than having to explain a possible sighting of him at the gas station with nickels and dimes! ????

Wheres the bottle of Captain? Oh yeah, I finished that off Saturday night.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

TRICK and Treat

Here's my little Dalmatian boy. I went as Cruella DeVille, but the only digital pic we took didn't turn out very well and I successfully cropped myself out. :) I got plenty on my 35mm though. Never fear, I did leave myself in the next picture of a party we went to on Saturday night.

~Picture deleted~

Don't we look, ummm, naughty?

~Picture deleted~