Saturday, October 30, 2010

late october treats

Pre-halloween fun at the pumpkin patch



and that princess with her monkey and mommy

and this guy

these three--arrrgh---

and this band groupie pirate at the 2nd annual bash with the band

And finally, the band--"Hold the Mustard"

and that one other band--

All in all, the party seems to have been a success--candy, pizza, soda, costumes, three or four bands and black-lights...Lots of fun, pretty much aerobic workout for me during piano man. But so much fun.

the vacation

I had a lot of time on my hands, so I made some of these:

And I spent lots of time in this:

We ate dinner here one night (that's the Satisfied Ewe Cafe)

Jack got to use this big tool and hammers and chisels:

and cut these big pieces of wood so they fit together snugly

I was ready to come home...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

because we all love to talk about calculus

I was going to post about how my left wrist has been killing me lately and I think it's something to do with calculus.

But then I remembered that today marks 33 years since Jack and I made it official. I was five. He was older. or maybe we were both older. I can't remember, it's been 33 years.

Right now though, we are officially on vacation. In a complete switch of roles, we are staying in a hotel and Jack will be attending a class for a couple of days while I wander around town and see the sights. True, I usually attend classes in places like Orlando or San Diego or D.C. or New York and Jack has an unlimited number of sights to see. But the class Jack enrolled in is located in a bit less 'bigtownish' place. It's a timberframe construction class and in theory, after he finishes the class, we should be able to raise a barn or a cabin on our property. Well, as soon as we have the money scraped together and a building permit and all of that. The class is at Snow College. And I have the option of seeing the sights of Ephraim and Manti or just kicking back at the hotel. I brought some stuff to occupy my time but when we stopped in Nephi for gas, we picked up a copy of the local mug shot magazine--seriously, all of the mug shots for the five or six nearby counties for the past week--who can think about calculus when you have pages and pages of pictures of people who've just been arrested to gawk at? If that isn't small town, I don't know what is.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

in case you're wondering

I was right. I had a virus. While I'm not completely healed, today was much better than the previous three days.

Yes, I still have calculus. I dragged myself to class last night. Waited in the hallway with the other kids for the teacher to arrive. Was utterly surprised to hear them all talking about the quiz the teacher had announced a week ago. What? Quiz? Seriously? Tonight? You guys quit messing with me. I'm sick and old and this is not a thing to joke about. Wait. You are serious? Really, he said we were having a quiz? Crap. Or something like that. I am totally dead. I must have been so stunned by my unacceptably low quiz/test scores last week that I was checked out mentally when he was discussing his plan to give a quiz last night.

I've been in college for a long time now and I've been vaguely aware of some rule about how if the teacher doesn't show up after a certain number of minutes, class is canceled. That seems so bizarre to me but the other kids in every class seem to have it figured out.

I kept checking with the other kids last night--how many more minutes? Now? Can we leave now? Really, it's only been one minute since the last time I asked? Now? Are we there yet?

When we had but two minutes to go, I offered to take the class to dinner if everybody would just leave then, but you know how there's always one smartypants kid who doesn't want to leave because he's studied soooo hard (that's said in an extremely whiny voice)? And then the teacher showed up.

First thing he said was, "Did I say we were having a quiz tonight?" And whinykid said, "Yes" and most of the class echoed him and I said that I did not remember him saying that but apparently everybody else remembered. And he said (and this is why I adore this teacher in an appropriate student-teacher kind of way) "Let's wait until next week on that quiz."

And then we did calculus problems for the rest of the time. And guess what?

Wait for it.

I am every bit as good at calculus as any other kid in the class. Finally. I just had to study every waking minute. Which is what makes me the true smartypants in the class. Well that and most of my teachers are around my age and give me bonus points for trying so hard even with all of the rest of the insanity in my corner of the world. See, I was the only one who had finished the homework and practice test so I knew the questions I still had and for the first time in calculus class the world was right. I took back my rightful place as teacher's pet.

Score. Too bad so sad whinyvoice kid. But I'll still share cookies from Subway with you when I bring some to share with the class in a few weeks. See that--cookies from Subway--that is the secret to appropriate fellow classmate adoration between the other kids and me the crazy older woman. Cookies with huge doses of self-deprecation. While I'm swallowing down my A.

Monday, October 25, 2010

and then i'm going to calculus

Over 24 years ago, I was pregnant with the drummer. Pregnancy was not easy. Probably isn't easy for most, but I spent most of the first four months either puking or recovering from puking. Then I got really big and surgically delivered a baby and spent six months recovering. Or at least that's the way Jack would describe it.

Okay. Wait. That sounds like I was miserable. Okay. I was. But I was also, always, very excited to welcome a new baby into my arms and I was more than willing to go through the pregnancy to get the baby. Especially the part when I felt life, evening the kicking. Relished it all. Seriously. I loved pregnancy and motherhood.

But there was this one time, a few days in the spring of 1986, when I knew I was pregnant because I'd been barfing out my guts for days, and this time, I wasn't so sure I could love pregnancy. I was sicker than I'd been with my other pregnancies--barfing, yes, but this time, I was achy all over. I could hardly drag myself out of bed or off the couch or away from the toilet, but I remember especially, how difficult it was to drive my two older kids to their preschool classes. I remember thinking that I didn't know how I was going to do this, this mothering thing, while I was feeling so, so bad. I didn't remember it being so hard, but, I reasoned, I hadn't had a four-year-old or a two-year-old to care for and drive to and from preschool three days a week. I even considered quitting preschool.

But then, miraculously, on day four of this misery, I felt better. My aches stopped. I was back to just the usual pregnancy-induced vomiting. And I remember very clearly driving to preschool to pick up the kids and realizing--WAIT--THAT WASN'T PREGNANCY, THAT WAS THE FLU." Aaaahh...pregnancy with the flu! No wonder I felt so sick. What a relief.

And right now, I'm getting ready to go to calculus class. And I'm telling myself that the achy feeling I've had for three days now, that isn't calculus, it's the flu. Or some other viral thing that will miraculously go away by tomorrow. And I will feel better even with calculus for another six weeks.

I have yet to determine the payoff for suffering through this thing they call calculus. I suppose it could be worse--what if I was trying to do calculus while pregnant in 1986 with no calculator! Oh yes, that would be worse. Definitely worse. But I'd be getting a baby.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

walk when you're one, talk when you're two

Finally, I've figured out why this semester is kicking my trash so hard.

I am trying to learn two new foreign languages--calculus and labor economics.

Doh! I'm fifty years beyond the prime age to be learning new languages.

Friday, October 22, 2010

random plan for today

In the ongoing battle to overcome, I offer the following:

1. Spent several hours over several of the last few days at various doctor's offices and hospital rooms with dad and mom and mom's bloody nose. Blood thinners. Can't stop the bleeding and yet can't live without them.

2. Worked from home this morning and totally played the liver biopsy card on four separate occasions when I simply couldn't deal with these lawyers for another moment today. To be honest, is it really playing the liver biopsy card if you really can't deal with anything else but that for that period of time? I think not.

3. Made serious attempts to document the beautiful:

This view out the window of our office from my treadmill:

The dahlias that Jr has begged me to plant for years and years that I finally planted this year--thank you dear Jr:

4. After much rearranging, have, captured, I think, the chaos that feels so comfortable to me:

or, if that shot is too much chaos for your belly, how about little pieces of chaos, bit by bit:

or there is the diningroom--who would have thought I could find these colors--

and remember this yard sail find:

that is now this delight:

And finally, an update on the Gus loves the kitties and they love him project, aka, the big lie.

Adorable as he is, I don't think I will ever again let myself be tricked by cuteness when it comes to animal shelter pets. But he is cute, right?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

another new plan

Anxiety--just you look out because I have a new plan, a list if you will, of how I will conquer, overcome, live with, ignore--wait, no, maybe work around you? Whatever. And I mean that you primal fight or flight emotion.

This is the plan:

1. Treadmill, you are my new friend.
2. Shopping. It's true, it does make me feel better. Forces improved feelings.
3. Endure the intensity of massive unending freeway construction in order to spend time with three of the girlies.

I think this is enough for now, don't you?

Note to Jessie: I don't think Cailin actually swallowed any of those stick-on pretend jewels I found in or near her mouth. And I only painted one of her toenails. I frequently asked the other two if Cailin was doing anything anybody would be worried about while I painted their nails and they reassured me time and again that she was just being a baby. Nothing to worry about there.

Note 2 to Jessie: That dinner--chicken & pineapple I think you called it? So amazingly wonderfully yummy and filling and comforting and just what I needed tonight. Thank you sweet girl.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

i want that

Right now, right this very minute, I want that time of life back when I didn't have the knot in the stomach feeling. When I didn't have to tell myself to calm and soothe and breathe. When I didn't have to talk or write or think about any of that. I want that time back.

Calculus and well-paid employment are overrated.

Cluelessness. That is possibly where peace of mind is found.

Maybe if I bleached my hair blond?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

my boyfriend's back

Okay. Not my boyfriend. Not even my best friend. My longest companion. My least desirable pal.

Yeh, the big A. Or to those unfamiliar with my buddy, anxiety. None of that, 'wouldn't it just be easier to quit life' stuff, just the old familiar tensed up belly, I've got to curl up in a ball under the desk, please I'm asking nicely don't do this to me anymore feeling.

One might think that four years of therapy would have strengthened me internally, mentally, can't touch that self. But I'm not seein' that strength right now. Mostly because I can't see beyond the tops of my knees when my arms are wrapped around them.

Lest you think this is simply me whining again for sympathy, oh no, let me clear that up right now. I have good reason to be anxious. My mom is seeing cardiologic specialists and scheduling procedures involving her arteries and heart that require five hours of general anesthesia; my dad is going with us for moral support/bitching/moaning.

Work is quite simply hell. Too much to do, not enough time, more more more now now now. With people who know people who fire people for reasons I do not know or understand.

And then there's school. Seriously. How hard could two freakin' classes be? Labor econ and calculus for business. Online econ class. Really hard. But calculus? For just 70 minutes a week in class with a fellow student who sits behind me who I swear has taken this class three times because all he does is nod and loudly say, "Yes" to everything the professor says and writes at calculus teacher high speed on the white board until I think it is really a good thing that I'm so anxious because if I could straighten out even one of my arms I'd turn around and punch every Yes out of that guy's mouth. It might all happen so quick that he'd never see it coming. Turns out that my anxiety is his best friend in calculus.

And these are just little bits of the nonpersonal causes of stomach churning please stop this shaking all over feeling that I am so tired of. Yes, I did cease the antidepressants a month ago. Why? Why did I do that? Just what my doctor asked. Silly question. Because I was feeling so good. So strong. So well. So why wouldn't I think I could handle these belly knotters on my own.

I have an appointment with the doc tomorrow morning at 9:45. Cancellations are my other friend. Remember, if you really don't need to see the doc, cancel your appointment because there's a good chance me or somebody like me might just need it bad and we will think you are the best for giving up your time with the doc so somebody who really needs that time can have it. The guy in calculus will thank you because once I get this anxiety back under control, I won't even notice him and his yes mouth.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

it's more than just a good deal

Sugar and I went out yard sailing again the other day. I bought new dog beds for Jo and Gus, a huge heap of like-new clothes for the girls, a couple of cozy sweaters and a warm coat that could work for Shi or Stu. And for $1, a brand new $42 white Vera Wang shirt that I've nearly bought several times from Kohl's, once on sale for $29 and once for $19.

I also bought two framed prints that will probably end up on Shi's front room wall. Perhaps best of all were the two shiny, sparkly princess/witch/vampire costumes that I got for $1 each that saved Shi and me from attempting to sew a princess costume for Audrey for Halloween that, judging by our sewing skills, would have been finished by the time Audrey was 23.

There was also that cute caterpillar/butterfly costume for Ellie. And a wooden rocking chair and wooden rocking bench that the darlings can sit on until it's time to sit on my lap while we read my new old copy of Make Way for Ducklings.

So you might think that this yard sail business is all about hoarding and getting a good deal. But see, it's so much more than that. There's the part about finding everything you could ever want and more for incredibly low prices. Sometimes we see the same thing over and over and over from one stop to the next. Today it was little girl vanities and red glass stuff. Sometimes we see crap that our moms or grammas had in their kitchens or that we played with as kids. You never know what you will see at the next sale, but it's an adventure where the biggest risk is that you didn't notice the broken snap on a onesie that you paid .25 for. Oh well, you just bought a rag for a quarter.

I started writing this post yesterday, but pulled it because it wasn't turning out right. There were really only two things I wanted to say about yard sailing. First, I like to think of us a recyclers just out doing our part to clean up the world.

And second, there's the part about hanging out with Sugar. There are times when we see books or movies or music or weird stuff that makes us ask, who buys/sells this stuff? and then we laugh like crazy old women. Other times, we are touched by the stories behind the sales. But always, I am so glad she let me into her life and her Saturday mornings. Her listening and logic are lifesavers. Spending time talking and laughing together during our yard sail adventures are as freeing as the wind and spray in your face, as close to sailing, as I can imagine without fear of drowning.

Friday, October 8, 2010

those little spare tires? not such a little thing

I left my house today at 5:30 a.m. for work up north. I left up north around 2:00 this afternoon, thinking I'd finish up a work thing on my way home and be back in my house by 4:00. I pulled into my driveway at 5:24.

Somehow my plans were messed up. Might have been when I missed the exit for the work thing. Or more likely, when I finished up the work thing and got back on the freeway, on an unfamiliar entrance ramp that quickly sent me into 75-mph traffic with the option of swerving underneath that speeding semi next to me or swerving off the road to the right or running smack dab over that piece of tree trunk or dinosaur egg rock or whatever that huge hard thing was that was laying in my lane, that I chose, rightly or not, to run over.

Poor little car. Luckily, the only damage was a flat tire. Not so luckily, I attempted to remove the hubcap for 45 minutes (20 of those minutes spent bending over the tire in my skirt and tights until it occurred to me that it would be easier to change a tire if I could sit on the ground, and I remembered the piece of car carpet that covers the little spare tire compartment that I moved aside in order to get to the little spare tire and the jack and other tire-changing tools, so only 25 minutes were spent sitting on the piece of carpet instead of the dried grass and roadside debris and at least there were no syringes, a plus right?) before the kind Samaritan stopped and offered help to the crying lady with the flat tire and then, in a true show of chivalry, refused to accept anything for his heroism and even followed behind me to make sure I was okay until he waved a big wave and exited the freeway.

I promise, here and now, to never, ever again cast a sidelong glance at fellow drivers who are going too slow on the freeway because they have one of those little spare tires on their right front wheel. I will show only compassion and empathy towards them for what must have been a terrifying, frustrating ordeal.

And I will check my insurance card to make sure that from now on, I have 24-hour roadside assistance.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

i'm about to be grounded

If I don't get my calculus homework finished before Saturday morning, I don't think I can go yard sailing.

That is my parenting style--no compliance, no privileges.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

maybe this isn't such a big deal but

Did you hear me nearly cuss out loud two days ago when I realized I'd missed fall break at my school?

Yep. I was ready for fall break. I felt like I was falling behind in my classes (get it? fall break--falling behind) and I was ready for that week off that would allow me to catch up while all of my classmates were out partying off their skinny butts.

But no. Not this year. I was checking out the online school calendar for this semester (determining whether or not it was too late to drop classes and still get a full refund, if you must know--and the answer is yes, too late for a refund if I drop, so I'm digging in and getting through it to set a good example for my fellow students--yep that's me, too tight to pay tuition if I'm not getting a grade for it) and that's when I realized that fall break at my school this year was September 30 through October 3.

And that's when you may have heard me nearly cuss out loud.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

must apologize

you know how sometimes you do something and then like immediately go what, what was i thinking, why did i just do that?

okay, so like, you're going to make a right turn and somebody is waiting at the stop sign on the street you're going to turn onto and you don't signal your intentions so they have to wait until they realize you are turning and they didn't need to wait for you?

well, not that. more like i pulled into line at the costco to get gas and woman one was pumping her gas and woman two was waiting behind her and there was no one in front of them at the first pump, right? so i pulled around the two women and hopped out to begin pumping my gas and that's when i realized i had just cut in line in front of woman two. so i apologized profusely to her as woman one pulled away from the pump and she, woman two, pulled up right behind me. i'd like to apologize right now again to woman two and tell her that i have no good excuse for my brash gas line behavior unless she can let it go because i was singing mrs. robinson, accompanied by simon & garfunkle, at the top of my lungs, and completely lost my gas line manners. sorry.

or she could cut me some slack because i was at the hospital with mom early this morning (who has since been released with the promise to take it easy and hello! she waited at least two hours before driving to stan's club with dad to fill her prescriptions and eat lunch), and my dog (she of the freshly dremmeled toenails) was still large but sweetly drowsy all night, and it turns out i can understand calculus even if i can't remember to save my labor econ homework before submitting it and shutting down my compy, and most if not all of the great deal clothes i got on saturday must have been laundered in hot water (which somehow didn't ruin their brand new clothing price tags) because they should be my size but have serious button/zipper gap issues, and, oh yeah, that all over-i-think-i-have-body-cancer or massive blood clots or something deadly pain and accompanying dizziness are caused by discontinuing the meds but should gradually go away if i give it like two more weeks.

seriously. dude. cut me some slack.
i'm sorry.

Monday, October 4, 2010

this doesn't add up

What is it about math and fall anyway? See, this just doesn't add up.

+ daily ice cream cone (because ice cream fixes everything, right? except for that weight gain thing)

- stopping my daily antidepressant so I can totally feel my feelings (what is it about fall and me deciding that since I feel so good, I don't really need that stuff, right?)

- taking my dog to the vet for bloody toe nail repair (poor still drowsy girl)

+ 6:15 am call from mom who is back in the hospital (wolf call or real? who's to say?)
> I can deal with in one day (note I did not say greater than or equal to)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

by popular demand

The long-awaited Dale Earnhardt Wheaties Box Table

An update and a quiz.

1. Neither Jack nor I lost our jobs this week. None of our close coworkers were let go either. Which is all good for us, but not a bit comforting to the 426 who are now unemployed. Or the countless others we know who are looking for work.

2. Yard sailing today with Colleen and Sugar was fulfilling. Total jackpot of workwear at one stop and work/casual shirt bonus at another. Amazingly, I also found three pitchers, one picture, three rugs, one cow, one dino, two pigs, one baby with fuzzy blankie, one storybook, and six snakes. And one size four black t-shirt with a very clearly drawn Pearl drumset, which can either be saved for the drummer's first child or may be nabbed by whichever of the girlies falls madly in love with it first. Even without finding any of these desirable treats, yard sailing was emotionally fulfilling girlfriend time, which is better yet than even a drumset on a size 4 black t-shirt.

these are the newest pitchers and the newly purchased floral rug and red wicker chair

3. How can it be October 1? Here's your quiz--October? or not October?

yes, harvest time is October

yes, fading flowers are October

yes, dahlias and rose of sharon are apparently October--who knew?

of course, bulbs are October, the perfect time to plant them

usually my potted flowers are not October, but they are this year

black-eyed susans, nasturtiums, and poppies are October this year.

4. Extra-credit question--After reviewing the following photo of my eyes, insert your answers in the comments section. Okay, there is no real extra credit. Except for me. I need eyebrow opinion.

a. Which eyebrow do you prefer, left or right--plucked into a question mark eyebrow or straighter across eyebrow?
b. How long have I been wearing two completely different shapes of eyebrow? Seriously, what is that?

Friday, October 1, 2010

boy have i got a list

This is my carry-over-from-last-weekend list for this weekend. I have accomplished.

Looks like we are ready for bed and then day 2 tomorrow.

She has a touch of the "I need the special pumpkin/yogurt/hamburger/rice" diet.

Hard to tell, but he is very happy in this picture.