Saturday, March 31, 2007

After a long week of chores and not-wanting to do them, and procrastination, is there anything sweeter than giving in to the desire to bring home a big bucket of chicken and eat damn near the whole thing? Too much that should be done. Not nearly enough motivation to do it. Story of our times.

Has this really changed all that much since our grandparents’ day? Doubtful. Chores are one of the inevitable events of our lives along with death and taxes. One would think that the available resources to cope with this had come around in order to compensate. Not so. We’re stuck with the same challenges, and the techonology that was supposed to come up to help us deal with it has only moved the time crunch around.

The doctor says that no it’s not just in my head, but that the female shit that’s been keeping me all hormonal and weepy and non-cycling doesn’t sound that serious. He’s jumpstarting my hormones again. Of course, NOW the damn medical professionals have decided to listen to me about this. We compromised. Since there are no complications at this time, we’re just going to do the course of provera and leave it at that.

I REALLY hate my feminity at times. The rest of the time? Love it.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Fun in the tub, also known as the Wet Toddler Contest.
When you are a passenger in the car there are so many things that never catch your eye otherwise. Occassionally this is in the category of "strange, but wierd". One day we were driving past the goat dairy and I happened to look over. There was a huge pile of what looked like shit. Or some other organic shit-colored substance. This was not a small pile. Nothing delicate about it. Nothing discreet. Just a large pile of the stuff smack dab in the middle of the pen.

Still, I reminded myself, this was a dairy. A goat dairy, which implies goats in large numbers and by extension the inevitable product of all goats.

The part that really caught me though, was that every goat in the herd was gathered around it with heads up and tails perked. Attention riveted to the pile. Were they waiting for some sort of sign? Was a diety manifesting from the pile? Had they suddenly realized why indoor plumbing was such a hot commodity amongst their two-legged keepers? I was waiting for the Second Coming to announce itself right there in a goat pen.

Then we drove past it. My mind still boggled at the sight of all those goats with full attention at the pile. Out of sight, out of mind.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Traffic court went well, despite the angry face Tiff gave the judge when we took our places before the bench. She glared at him over the top of her hash brown patty as though she was ready to fight anyone who dared take it away from her.

All in all, the entire thing went better than I had any right to expect. I now am the proud owner of 4 points on my base driving record. In real terms this doesn't mean much. It's not reported back to the state, it has no impact on my insurance rates, and only if I rack up 12 points within 12 months do any penalties accrue. Basically it's a slap on the wrist and an instruction to watch the happy feet.

Does anyone know if it's bad to mix yeast with the salt and sugar and flour as a bread-mix? I want to make a few baggies of premeasured bread stuff to store in the fridge so that my baking days will go more smoothly. I have to admit that I haven't baked any bread since moving in. Bad Mommy. Bad, Bad, Mommy for neglecting her family and buying bread from the store. (I am writing this sarcastically, so don't flame me for being too self-righteous here) Also bad mommy for trying to eliminate a nap today until the toddler is actually ready to lay down and sleep without the fussing and whining. My excuse is that I want to try moving it back and maybe cutting it out altogether until we reach the happy place of sleeping through the night. That will be a happy, happy day around here. I'll dance around in my underwear, that's how happy I'll be.

Monday, March 26, 2007

It’s hard to comprehend the logic that makes me apologize for buying a pair of shoes. While I felt bad about those, I didn’t think about returning them as much as I thought I should return the shirt that leaped into my shopping cart on the way to the checkout. When I told this to the Boy, he started laughing. Then he instituted a new rule: every time I feel guilty about buying something for myself, I have to buy him a beer.

So I’m not returning it. And tomorrow? I am *so* buying that length of fabric that I was thinking about buying for myself last night. Or… I’ll just go ahead and finally place that Big Order at Keepsake Quilting.

Tonight we all traipsed out to the Superior Dairy Company, which has got to be one of the coolest places that I’ve found since moving here. It looks like a big old-fashioned soda parlor from the street, all big windows and bright white walls. When we were handed our ice cream I was bouncing the Toddler on my lap. The first thing she did was to reach out both chubby hands and grab at the whipped cream on top. It wouldn’t come up in her hands so well, and neither would the ice cream underneath. This was problematic, but then she figured out how to get mommy to feed her spoon after spoon of runny, sweet, high-calorie goodness.

Thank goodness for wet wipes. And for beautiful early summer-like days when we can go out and do this. It’s a wonderful time.

Foundation piecing is pretty cool. It helps to focus my mind, to clear my brain, to create a lot of tiny little pinpricks over my fingers where the needle nicks it. But... it makes me feel so good to be able to create a neat little pieced block, with lots of little triangles, and the finished product looks a lot harder than it was to create.

Now. If only laundry and dishes were this much fun.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

It seems the pain of the temperate climate has caught up with me once again. This would be the horrid pain that specialists have told me is all in my head, cause I'm an addict, I'm not to be trusted, and of course I've got to be making the whole thing up because there doesn't seem to be an explanation for why the whole of my body aches so badly it's hard to move.

Tonight for example, let's throw this out there so that internet strangers can all make fun of my delusions. Tonight I didn't get up and swap seats with the Boy when I picked him up from work. I couldn't let him drive home because I was not sure that if I got up I could fold myself back into the car. We get home, I manage the initial bedtime routine. I end up with a mega dose of motrin and damn near pass out after taking a Very Hot shower. Heat sometimes helps. Then I sat down to watch CSI with my husband; only made it part of the way into the episode before I fell asleep on him.

It's 10 at night, I can't sleep anymore because the initial exhaustion has worn off and I'm still in agony. I don't want to lay in bed tossing and whimpering. So what am I doing? Housework, in small enough movements and motions that I look like some sort of fricking robot with a rusty gear. But hey, at least I may go to sleep tonight with a clean kitchen. Less work to look at tomorrow, when I'm probably going to wake up with the same problem again.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

money, money, money. It makes the world go round. It buys shoes. It fills my spam folder with hundreds and thousands of offers- get rich now, make thousands every day, increase your attractiveness to the opposite sex. Personally, I think I'm attractive enough to the opposite sex. At least I'm not getting any complaints.

How tempting is it to fall into the money trap these days. Instant credit is out there, personal bankruptcies are multiplying at every new pay period. All those check and cash advance stores at the local minimall. It's hard to keep up. It's also very tempting. Instant gratification. A concept that comes easy to my generation. I know people whose parents never taught them the hard and fast way of living solely within their means. Those people are skating disaster. Even me, I fell into the trap when I got out on my own. Easier to order out than to live on ramen and spam at home. Easier to go to the movies to escape poverty than to sit around thinking up cheap ways to entertain myself. And now I'm a housewife without any sort of big paycheck. What can I do to feel productive? How do I make myself feel that I'm contributing in a meaningful way when this society seems only to value our productivity as it relates to the bottom line of the tax return?

So I'm doing the melaleuca, and that has a small return in hard cash every month. It would be more if I could enroll more people (hint, hint) and those people in turn could help enhance their bottom line. Trading stores, that's all it is. Get your household supplies and such through them instead of target or walmart- it's cheaper, works better, and is not chock full of poisons for my family and myself. I also run ads on my blog, and Adbrite actually does pay me every month unlike the Adsense program which drops a large random portion of it's participants without a viable system or actual proof of misdoing. And then there's the online craft store, Etsy. That is a help too; it's led me to several small commissions.

In the end it all comes back to money. I want money to make our lives easier. I want to be able to have everything I've ever dreamed of, I want to be a two income family on one paycheck. That's not an easy goal. I'll settle for living a decent lifestyle on the one income; it means I can enjoy my daughter while she's young and still thinks I'm all-powerful. It means that I can enjoy a life that a lot of other mothers would love to have. I'm not coming down on working moms by saying this because I truly believe that we're all working moms. If I had a wonderful career I wouldn't hesitate to put the Toddler into a good daycare program and go back to work tomorrow. But this is what my husband and I wanted for me to do, this is what we're happy doing, and more power to us for making it work. In the end all anyone can do is to find something that works for them and go with it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

mommy guilt. Always the mommy guilt. I should do more, I should have the immaculate house and scrubbed, happy child. I should have freshly baked cookies on a plate with a doily every afternoon. I should have my hair perfectly coifed... What a load of baloney.

Am I being brainwashed by the image of a perfect world or what? I focus on the short list every day; the stuff that must get done. When I sit down in the morning to make the list, I put the top priorities, the nice things, the chores that I've got to work into the day. This way I stand a chance of getting my butt off the couch and getting something accomplished. This is a good thing. This keeps me from blog-whining about how my house is a mess, my life is a bigger mess, wah wah me.

In the spirit of sharing EVERYTHING I'll share today's list. Fold laundry. Put away clean dishes. Vacuum. Alterations as needed to Toddler's Clothing. Clean off the table. Pick up floors in bedrooms, dust. Shower. Wash hair.

Seems simple enough, right? It is. Up until the Toddler decides she needs to be in the middle of the whole thing. That's generally when I fall apart on things. Fortunately for me she's decided to play in her room today.

Tonight's menu: brats with potatoes. I've got most of it already made, but last night we were heavy on the brats. Today I'll fry up a few more potatoes to put in it, and it'll come out just fine. Lunch is fruit and tuna salad. And somebody... meaning the Toddler... is going to be unpleasantly surprised by a nap real soon now.

Monday, March 19, 2007

There are days which pass too quickly, and days that don't seem to pass at all. Which is this going to turn out to be? I had intended to try and shorten Her Ladyship's nap today; given that she doesn't like them, it took her most of the day to take one last week, and it was just a hassle. And then she comes to me this morning saying "sleepy". Who am I to tell her that she's not sleepy?

So I tucked her up in her crib with a blankie and her stuffed animals. She's not sleeping. I hear her happy babbling. But if I try to remove her from the crib she's going to have a meltdown. I am convinced that she only does this to confuse me. Isn't that the purpose of small children? Confound and confuse their mothers. It doesn't matter when I go in there, I'll find a naked child proudly smiling over the top rail, her sheet soaked through and her diaper and wet clothing thrown over the side.

There's a reason I haven't taught her how to make knots yet... she'd use that knowledge to tie the clothes to the sheets and break out. Better save that skill for later. Say, when she's eighteen and Daddy takes the car privilege away?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

One of the things that you do not want to see first thing in the morning is a set of flashing red and blue lights in the rear view mirror. It tends to wipe the cobwebs out of your brain immediately. Heartrate jumps up, brain goes into panic mode: What did I do just now? Why wasn't I paying attention? How long have these lights been following me?

It could have been worse. Apparantly if I had been going just a bit faster I would have been "reckless" and taken to jail. (The part about how I was going no faster than everybody in the evening hours goes can be left out, as it doesn't apply). My number came up this morning, I was the "lucky" winner of being the example to all the other drivers on base. A lesson to me. I'll take the lumps, pay the fine, attend whatever disciplinary measures come my way.

But will it change my behavior in any great form? Probably not. Not in the long run, when I get tailgated by irritated people for going only five miles above the limit. When I get honked at for failing to pull off on the shoulder and make a right turn on red at every legal -and not so legal- opportunity.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

it seems that yesterday my average readership tripled. Thank you! May I also take this small opportunity to remind you to support this site? And the Goldfish Cracker Fund?
Have you ever wondered what goes through the mind of a small child? She was being put to bed last night when she looked straight up at her Daddy and interrupted his song. Of all the songs he sings to her, she chose one word out of one verse to respond to.

"Goat?" she says, hopefully. "Goat?"

Of all the things that an unsuspecting person runs across in lullaby singing, of all the objects that are bought for a sleepy child if only she doesn't cry but hushes and goes to sleep. She picks a goat. Obviously I'm instilling the farm values into her. Or she spent too much time hanging out down by the pier and listening to sailors bitch about their commands.

Either way, she's obviously inherited her parents' twisted sense of humor and fixation on the oddest possible thing in random sentences. This is the sort of behavior we've modeled for her. She may be destined to be a stand up comedian. Or a politician. Or even, in our darker thoughts, a fundamentalist.

Monday, March 12, 2007

When I don't know what to cook I like to throw stuff at the pot and see what happens. Last night I started with a pack of saffron rice, added about half a pack of cooked, crumbled bacon, and a couple pieces of swiss cheese. It was a success.

I hate having to open a partial pack of bacon and then have it sitting in the fridge for days staring at me. Accusing me of wastefulness when I just don't feel like dealing with the cooking, the draining, the pan full of hot fat that I can't reuse for anything we'll eat. My solution? A sharp scissors. Now, I realize that this doesn't sound like much of a solution yet so bear with me.

I open the package, separate the slices, and cut them up into pieces. About five or six pieces per slice. Half goes into the pan to fry as is, half goes into a freezer bag. The scissors is easier than using a knife to cut the bacon cause of all the fat that makes fingers slippery. Plus if the bacon's any good it has the sort of fat that doesn't want to cut easily. I fry up the pieces, then I drain them into a colander under cold running water. The water helps the fat go down the drain, without clogging everything up all to pieces. It also rinses excess fat off the bacon. The bacon remains crisp and nicely juicy, but not swimming around with lots of extra stuff.

The Toddler remains, as always, against this whole "nap" concept. She wants me to be sure and mention that mommy is mean, making her take naps and not letting her run around naked in the dirt all day.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Today I became a great-aunt for the first time. My niece just had her baby, and I'm feeling kinda on the fence about it. I'm glad that she's okay, I'm glad that the baby is born into a family that loves him. I'm a bit sad that she didn't get to experience all of this after high school, after college, after marriage. It wasn't my decision though, so I'm going to smile and wish them sincerely well, and go on with my life.

I'm enjoying my day off. It's been a long time since last week. I didn't know how long it had been. Right now I'm struggling against taking a nap. I don't want to waste a moment of this time.

I'm being silly. And nutty. Kind of like a fluffernutter.

Friday, March 09, 2007

what happened to this week? no, really. What happened to it? My last post here was Tuesday, it's Friday now, and there's a toddler eating dirt out of the planters on the back patio. gotta run and corral her again. toodles.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A yummy meal

We had this for dinner last night and it bears repeating.

1 head of cauliflower, 2.22 at Walmart, cut into florets and boiled [bring water to a rolling boil, add florets, cook about 5 minutes]

add 2 cans of ham -I used the hormel stuff, comes in the same size can as tuna fish. So I'd say it was about a cup and a half. It was on sale for a dollar a can. Works for me.

toss with a jar of classico alfredo sauce. That's it. We had bread and butter on the side, and it was yummy, and it did not involve pasta. The whole pot cost about $6, which is a pretty good thing. It comes out to maybe 6 or 7 good sized bowls.

Saving energy, saving water, saving money. It seems that everything these days costs all three; there's no real solution that would make everybody happy. We don't live in a magical fairy world where everything comes free and easy, despite how it may appear. Flip a switch and you've got light. Turn on the tap and there's unlimited water. If the water doesn't appear, or if it's other than crystal clear, odorless, flavorless, and plentiful- call your congressman and utility company and raise holy hell that your rights as an American have been screwed.

Truth is, it's not actually a right. The utility company supplies water, for a fee, and the water comes from somewhere. It does not magically appear in the faucet. Every municipality has their own supply, the plants are all different in how the water is treated. Sometimes quality depends on quantity, sometimes on the geography of the surrounding country, and sometimes the water just plain comes from an undesirable source although it's drinkable.

Case in point. The town I grew up in, Telford, had "good" water. It came clear and tasteless. Or maybe it's just that I was raised to believe that's how water tastes. Whenever we had to go into the city, or to an area where the water came from a city source, it tasted metallic. Still drinkable, but it tasted absolutely foul. I've moved several times since then. Water tastes different no matter where you go. Now we've moved into a rural area where the water smells of sulfer. It comes out of the tap with a slight sediment- when it's hot it's all cloudy for a few minutes, then it settles and turns clear again. The sulfer smell is significant. I don't spend as long in the shower as I used to, because of this. But... it's clean. It's not going to hurt anyone, it just smells bad, tastes funky, and not even the brita filter we use can remove the taste. We've taken to flavoring big pitchers of water with lemonade mix, or some drink mix. The Boy has brought up the idea of just buying all our drinking water in big gallons. I'd rather just flavor it all.

Energy bills are going to be higher than they were. I had gotten used to living in a place where we didn't have heat or central air- because it was unnecessary except for a few days in the winter or summer. Consequently, our electric/gas bill was about 30 bucks a month. Now we're back in the temperate zone where we can expect the hundred or so we used to pay back east. Plus, we've got a house now, which will run to more; and a toddler... it all adds up.

How to economize? How to lower the bills and save water which will be in short supply every summer? I don't know. I suspect that the answers lay in my childhood, in the lessons my mother taught me that she learned from experience and from her own mother. Waste not, want not. Use it up, wear it out, or do without. Shun the disposable economy that lives on credit and sells easy living. Yes, it may be easier, but you'll feel better and appreciate it more if you work harder for it.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

I read an article yesterday about dish detergents being forced to reevaluate their formulas. It's the phosphates. Apparantly, the phosphates are getting in the water and killing stuff, or something. Which makes me reflect on yet another happy thing about melaleuca: no phosphates.

I don't have to feel bad about cleaning my kitchen or doing dishes, or anything in my house because not only are the products non toxic but they're non-toxic for the stuff around me too. And so I get to pat myself on the back and rack up those Good Mommy points that are more precious than gold.

The sucky part of today was the inability for me to rest at all. I've been awake now for a long time, and I've promised some date time to the Boy for when the Toddler falls asleep, and I'm starting to feel a drag. Of course it could also be due to the Chill Pill I had to take after her Ladyship's bathtime this evening.

O.M.G... tried a thought that had been raised by my mama group, I put her in the toddler tub inside of the big tub, on the hope that her resistance was due to feeling too overwhelmed by the big tub. Well, it didn't help. The screaming was worse. Again, with the screaming. And the clawing. And the scratching and pulling and the screaming. And did I mention the screaming?

Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow there will be less screaming. This will pass into history as just another developmental stage and that will be a better memory. And in the meantime maybe I'll just have a lot of cups of tea, and count to a hundred in my head.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

I sometimes feel all lonely and upset and depressed that I'm the only mama I know, and that I haven't made any friends here, or that I don't even know anybody except the lady at the realty who rented us this house... then I start thinking about the good stuff I've gotten done since moving here. Let's face it, I've had worse problems than not being completely unpacked and not knowing anyone.

So here's a short list of the Good Stuff:

the Boy is having a good experience in his new post. 'Nuff said.

the rent is paid, the utilities are being sorted out and on schedule to be all caught up and on a payment schedule (x, y and z on the midmonth, a, b, and c on the end of month)

I know where all the major shopping spots are that I need to know: the walmart, target, three grocery stores to suit my budgetary needs, the NEX gas -yay for gas that's nearly 20cents below the in-town average-, the Costco, the postoffice, and the bank.

We have on demand digital cable. This is a first for us, and I'm enjoying being able to get CSI fixes without having to attempt to remember that a) it's on tonight and b) find a blank tape and set the vcr, and then try to remember to watch it later. Instant gratification is not always good, but here it's crucial.

We have a washer and a dryer. In the house. Not coin operated, does not require me to leave the house lugging baby and laundry. Again, 'Nuff said.

Actually, the washer/dryer thing would be a reason to rejoice all by itself.

Tiff is sleeping through the night again. I'm sleeping better again, without the help of modern chemistry. The Boy is sleeping better, although he still has this weird idea of getting up before the rooster in order to play his games. He is also on the verge of once more getting scolded for expecting that his desires and plans for the day can overrule Tiff's plans for the day. I have to cope with it, and I'm not allowed to melt down, have a smoke break, or otherwise do other than deal with her needs and desires, so why does he get to do it? All this, and he gets to go to work during the day. Real work. Out of the house. Bah.

I still have it better than him, no matter how much I get jealous of his out-of-home experiences. We'll work it out. I'll be more understanding, he'll be more accomodating. Could be a hell of a lot worse.
Finally! My spring sale is going on over at (here) and I (finally) got the time and light to take pictures, measurements, and upload the listings. I'm hoping for a clean sweep of my shop from this, because that will give me a bigger incentive to craft for the next Big Sale. Ideally, I'd be doing a sale every three months or so.

I'm so psyched to be having a day off again. Now that we've gotten mostly unpacked and moved in, the Boy has told me that today I've got to take the time off. So here I am, sitting on the bed, with several screens open as I'm trying to surf between four sites and watch sitcoms. It really makes me feel good since we woke up this morning to find a naked unhappy child in the nursery.

It seems that some time during the night she got hot. Being the child of both her parents, she worked her way out of her nightie. Then pulled off her panties. Then she pulled off the diaper. And then, not to be confined anymore by the strictures of society, she tossed her blankets out of the crib. She also did what normal biological things do. Luckily for all of us, she decided not to smear her poop all over her body. I'm not so surprised, her daddy likes to shed his clothing at night because his body turns into a small furnace. Good for the winter when it's colder, not so good for apartment living where the washing of bedding is a problem. Yeah, we end up washing the blankets about every other week, or we should... and now that we have a washer in the house I'll likely start doing that.

Any case, go check out my sale. And then curl up with a book or hobby and enjoy the day. It's been a long, hard winter for everybody. Let's make it a bit more bearable.