Monday, August 23, 2010

What If; Namaste

So I think I feel less creative vibes throughout Summer as evidenced by my lack of posts.  I'm mellow.  I'm chillin'.  I'm FRAPPIN MELTING and just trying to STAY ALIVE in this HEAT and BUGGY MISERY.  Ugh!

Anyway, I move out next Wednesday.  I think about love daily.  Hourly.

As I sit in my bed typing this I am surrounded by 12 boxes of my stuff.  I don't love my stuff!  It's stuff.   Keep reading...

What if the most perfect, honorable, un-judgemental, perfect, karmic-ly even way to love someone is to let them go and let them be?

That's what I want for myself.  That's what I wish for for my loved ones.

Namaste.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Rebellion Target

Thought on the radar lately:
What would I rebel against if I weren't rebelling against marriage?

Second blip:
Why am I rebelling?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Surfing

THIS is beautiful and creative.  Love it!
Tarp Surfing

In other news I got a used training potty and baby G voluntarily hopped on it tonight before our shower and peed.  Really.  I know this can mean absolutely nothing but it was cool.  She'll wander into the bathroom with me when I use the toilet, so the concept isn't entirely foreign to her.

In other small parenting successes, at least for this weekend, I have gotten her to "brush" her teeth and stand still by using lotion as her reward.  Adorable!  We're both growing up! *pat on the back*

I'm kind of proud to say that she's precocious and will go right up and say hi to new kids that are older than her.  Some of the children at the pool looked to be 8 or 9!  Go baby G.  Stoked!  One mother said she was "brave".  She can hold her own I think in part b/c of Chalco and Japer.  She's got a very strong maternal streak we've noticed lately.

She has definitely had a growth spurt; her legs are rocketing go-go-gadget style.  The cute itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini no longer fits!

The past few months have brought closure and packing has commenced!

Even though I grew up at the beach, I never really learned how to surf.  Maybe I'll make it a vacay on the West Coast.  I like the idea of having to understand the weather and how to read the water and to be respectful of nature and other people and creatures and to.be.present.  DUDE.  ;)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Free Energy

Ok, I have been holding out on y'all.  My life is about to get so much simpler.  I.am.stoked.  I will have so much free energy to spend, after these past 53 weeks of limbo, I know I will asexually sprout a twin.  In fact, my doppelganger has already been spotted at Lake Havasu.  Sweet!  I hope she's hotter than my actual self, and with BIGGER BOOBS!

I am so thankful and have found peace and quiet.  Lately I have just been hot and tired...which is why I haven't posted.  I even returned the 6 books I wanted to read,  back to the library.  I am thankful that when I go to lift there is a slap-in-the-face of cold air conditioning that helps me move some iron!  I missed a phonecall last night at 10:16 because I was so sound asleep!

I successfully managed a potential horrible conflict at work.  This one included name calling, a Menudo Debate, and NOT involving a 3rd party.  Everyone made up and we celebrated at El Guero Canelo.  I treated the other person how I would want to be treated and humbled myself when I learned I.was.wrong.  Warm fuzzies all around.

On the topic of food however, we FINALLY got a new stove.  The old one blew it on Memorial Day weekend.  I have been thankful for the microwave and crockpot for sure!  Today I fixed a macaroni and cheese with ham and peas and tomatoes, FROM SCRATCH.  I had not been able to make a bechamel sauce on the old stove and I was surprised how amazingly simple it was.  Baby G gulped it up.  Same with my Chickpea soup last night.  I will probably post an analogy later about cooking with an old, *too hot* stove, in the dark as compared to my new stove.  The art of cooking is so.much.easier!

Lastly, the basil plant I bought at TJs is thriving in benign neglect.  I decided to try Basil Ice Cream using about 3T fresh basil instead of the mint in this recipe:
Chocolate Mint Ice Cream

Again, the photos will not do it justice but you should know that baby G wanted to scrape out the frozen bowl of the mixer and was still doing so after 10 minutes.  Badow!  This stuff is.that.good!

So, happy *official* summer to everyone!  I hope you are stoked enough to grow your own twin!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday; Thoughtful and Thankful

air conditioning
clean, crisp sheets
advil
pacifiers
learning I can microwave pasta (stove is still broken)
a day off (from the gym)
coloring with crayons; I am fond of the glitter ones
coupons
sunset
a fenced-in backyard
Burt's Bees Bugspray
the beer selection at 1702 :) and specifically Left Hand Milk Stout
laughter at lunchtime
Fathers and Father's Day
my leopard-print bikinis specifically b/c they make me happy
a full tank of gas
4 full bellies
bedtime
completing so much of my "to do" list it's RIDICULOUSLY awesome

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bedmates

Woah there gentle reader(s).  Not that kind!

I have been thinking how sweet it is that both my doggies like to chill in my room.  They are our guard dogs.

I removed my bed frame to hopefully encourage Chalco; 8yrs old, to hop on up with me but his hips are just horrible.  I remove his collar every night also to let his neck dry out and try to retard the growth of bacteria and yeast.  Chalco is my high maintenance dog.  Jasper however is always ready to fill the other 1/2 of my bed.  He is happy-go-lucky, eager to please, and somewhat spastic.  Early this morning he was perpendicular to my body.  Uncomfortable.  Right now he is parallel to me.  There is something peaceful about a sweet puppy curled up in a ball, breathing slowly, legs twitching as he runs through dreamland.  Adorable and calming. That mildly-musky, semi-dry doggie smell is comforting.

My friend KL asked if I needed an intervention.  "Dogs instead of a man?!"  She gave me the look.  Well, both can keep you warm, are comforting, are protectors, and like to snuggle and FART.  But a dog won't get offended when you tell him that his *ss is stanky...you know?!?!  Gentle reader, I hope you are at least smiling.

My boys (Chalco and Jasper) are the best.  What a privilege to live with dogs.  They remind me how sweet and simple our world can be.  

"3 close friends"

Monday, June 14, 2010

Finding Inspiration; recharge

So I have anew colleague at work which is.totally.awesome.  I have someone to talk to during the day now which may be why I have less to post and/or write about.  He landed in lab as one of my best friends transitioned out of lab and onto the job.of.her.dreams in the far hinterlands.

So I am brainstorming trying to think of something to write about.  It's not Wed so I can't just throw up a photo.  It's not Thu so I can't ramble about what I'm thankful for.  I could turn to music or the weather or the animals or my daughter or pending-ex-husband (see yesterday's post) but eh.  I could write about food or bevies or nothing at all.

But I want to write something.  I want to write about sitting outside yesterday, basking in the sun, listening to music in my rhinestoned leopard-print bikini for 6 hours.  It.was.heaven.  And then I went to dinner ALONE and sat outside and stared at the Catalinas as someone else served my dinner to me!  Yes!  I had a mommy's day off and it was about appreciating and enjoying the little things.  Like getting to turn all the AC vents onto myself rather than sacrifice airflow for the backseat :)  Like getting to CRANK up my stereo all the way and ride with the sunroof open without a care for anyone else's hearing or skin, or long-term damage to any of the above! It was about ordering lunch at Subway without a concern for what I can share easily and should I get banana peppers or not.  It was about getting to close my eyes for real.  It was about going to the bathroom and using the toilet alone.  It was about not listening for my child's voice; I think I have grown an extra brain lobe specifically for this task.  It was about allowing myself to think freely without wondering how to narrate every situation for a 21-month old to understand.  A sensory semi-deprivation.  I'll be honest, it was great!  And relaxing.  But I thought about her almost every minute and I missed her voice and smile and hugs with those skinny arms.

It was refreshing to recharge.

Speaking of, I have had a glass of red wine the past few nights.  Delicious!  Something must be up with the flora b/c my stomach has been kind of a nervous mess.  It's probably the pending changes.  Psychosomatic;  I'm digesting things.  Hmph.

Additionally, if I am recharging, from where is this energy coming?  Is the universe a closed system?  Isn't it cool to think that fat is stored energy in the form of useable carbons?  Yes, I am embracing full nerd-dom here!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Another Haiku

Since one of the haikus I posted here is getting ready to be published (awesome) I'll try another:

So glad to be done
You're going to be forty one
I'm not your mommy

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately.  A.LOT.  You know, important things like this:

Did the snake in the front yard eat the 12 baby quails I saw crossing the driveway earlier in the week?

Will Chalco's neck ever heal?

What if the speed at which we (over)eat is linked to 'our' morbid obesity?  Consider the rate of consumption, amount of processing, and rate of digestion.

What if our entire bodies are physically under-stressed but emotionally over-worked?

Can I change this?  Yes!  I need to find my lifting gloves.

I don't think we were designed for this 21st century lifestyle.  But we can adapt and compensate.

If the energy constant in the universe is a *constant*, from where was the energy borrowed for the 5 agave in the yard to bloom?

Maybe the oil spill in the Gulf?  :(

Does my water aerobics class just want me to put on a dog and pony show?

I have almost 6000 songs on my ipod!

When is it too late to grow up?  Do you miss a timetable or something?  Should you care?

What would 'we' be doing differently if we all had limitless money and time?

What would we do differently if we knew our days were numbered?

How many meals a week of beans will it take for me to live below my means?

How bad is that gonna suck?!  Or smell... :(  Ramen is cheaper!

If you have more pets than people under your roof does that make you a Redneck?

I hope I don't miss the recycling truck tomorrow morning.

I hope baby G doesn't get the virus I had earlier this week.  I thought it was (violent) food poisoning.

I'm thankful we don't get sick often.

WHEN will they be DONE with construction on Magee?

HOW much hotter will it get?  And, BRING IT ON!!!!!!!!!

If we treated Mexico and Canada like brothers (or sisters) in our big North American family, and their citizens like our nieces and nephews, how would things be different?  Seems like the US likes to play Big Brother quite often anyway...

How can someone be a gentle shepherd and a fierce warrior?

Which bikini should I wear tomorrow?  How tan will I get?

How often is miscommunication responsible for anger and pain and loss?

I need a new trick at the gym besides 2-limb planks and one-legged squat/stands.

Off to dreamland!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Real Power

Thankfully, there was no reason to have *a discrimination suit* at workplace #2.

Tomorrow I will.be.slammed at workplace #1.

There are 3 generations of us under one roof right now.  So far so good.  Granny is in town so I can return to workplace #1....or #3 depending.  Past visits have been riddled with angst and competition and disappointment, but I have a firmer grasp now on what I *think* I can control...and all I can control is my own reactions.  I think she knows this about herself too now.

This is helpful along with the realization that we are not on this Earth forever together.  We're just trying to survive and get by; spinning around each day on a tilted axis, you know?  (and the Earth too).  Still.looking.for.perspective.  And peace.  Thankfully beauty and laughter are present.

Here's a song that popped up on my itunes.  It's a sweet remake of Huey Lewis':

Power of Love 5:19   The Early November Punk Goes 80's Alternative

It's what's on my mind right now.  Can love conquer all?  What is it "all" anyway?

Quoting:

"It's strong and it's sudden and it's cruel sometimes..."

"That's the power that makes the world go 'round...."



Monday, May 24, 2010

Bones to pick

On second thought, in reference to my post here:
Judgement Whore
...maybe I need to spend more time with my friends who:
1) don't allow me to feel sorry for myself and
2) share similar opinions
3) don't judge ME!

Tonight my glass of vino is a meritage from Napa County.  Oaky.  Thick.  Mouthy.  Meaty.  Could've been my dinner.  Or my date!

Tomorrow, before my workout, I'll be investigating the potential for *a discrimination suit* at my workplace #2.  THIS will be an interesting week.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My other career; and favorite Vivaldi

Concerto In G Minor for Violin, String Orchestra and Continuo, Op. 8, No. 2, RV 315, "L'estate" (Summer): I. Allegro Non Molto
as performed by Joshua Bell, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields & John Constable Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

This song makes me wish I had studied classical ballet and pointe for much longer than I did.  I am stronger now and more disciplined but I haven't heard of a 33year old ballerina so I'll stick with aerobics.

I am constructing my playlist for next week's water aerobics class and the "theme request" for our music was "Summer".   As an FYI this weekend's themes were colors and sunshine.

This song is beautiful and I think totally captures summertime no matter where you live.  In fact all the songs on my itunes when I search "summer" seem to be less than 100bpm.  That's right, slow.

 Vivaldi's "Summer" is slow and almost methodic, like taking steps in the desert in the obliterating midday heat.  Unknown birds and insects whine of the sun's oppression.  Like a group of aproned old women rocking on a wooden porch with glasses of icy sweet tea melting in their knuckl-y hands.  Then it picks up like you're on the back of a bumble bee or dragon fly, lighter than air; gossamer wings sparkling unknown hues of the rainbow in the hot direct sunlight.  The fast breeze that comes with flight is refreshing yet hard work.

Or you're at the beach watching lazy waves roll onto the seashore as children dirty themselves up in brown sand when the wind picks up and sends hats and buckets and sandwich wrappers flying.

Or anywhere else.

Peace returns.  Dogs are panting eagerly in jackets of shaded heat.  Their paws are caked with dried mud and keeping both eyes open begs of too much work.  They nose around in dry dirt for a reprieve; muzzles chocolated when an iridescent green-throated hummingbird appears at mach speed from nowhere.  Dancing among orange-trumpeted flowers, suspended in air seemingly wingless.  Nervous.  The dogs are too hot to notice.  What could be so necessary to justify that movement?  Fluttering away with the urgency of something imminent.  The heat remains unforgiving.

Afternoon clouds roll in from behind the Catalinas.  Wind rises.  The monsoon rains tease. Grey and spitting almost-refreshment, satiny ribbons of relief hardly reach the ground.  The winds return to dance with limber swaying trees.  Lost lovers reunited only for a brief, intense, sacred moment.  Rain returns with sadness and intensity to meet the needy deadline of all things to-be-living.  Her fingertips brush with the Earth's bare back.  A job.  Her duty.  A brief commitment cashed while falling from the heavens.  Freely plummeting to her end, rain potentiates life on the ground.

The days are long.  The nights are sleepless.  Rivers form, seas swell, plants and trees and flowers bloom.  Summer begins for its end, and to begin again.




Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thisssssss was Bound to happen Ssssssometime

Let me recap the first part of my evening for you.  G and I got home and I took her by the hand to walk around the north side of the house to pick a lemon for my green bean salad. 

Walking walking walking...



OH CRAP! CRAP! CRAP! CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP!


You didn't see him lying there either did you?  

Those of you who know me might be wondering if I was really wearing my camera for the trip to the lemon tree, which would not be unusual, but no.  I scooped up G and hightailed it into the house to get my camera and (almost) retrace my steps.

Trying to *stay calm* and make this a *learning* experience, I held G in my arms, a safe distance from the Rattler, and reviewed "owie" and "snake" and "ssssssssssssssssssssssss".  I think he was as long as G is tall.  Thankfully he was just chillin'...or warming up (technically).




Then he slowly slithered away into the front yard.  G waved him "bye bye".  We opted to play indoors after dinner rather than at the sandpile tonight!



Happy Trails Mr. Rattlesnake!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Judgement Whore's New Glass

Wow.  I just read this chick's post:
Loquats and a Kid Breakfast
and someone left this chick a 4 page note scrutinizing her mothering skills:
The Blame Game

True, "it takes one to know one" and I, my friends, have been one.  A.Judgement.Whore.  I have been that ugly, insecure, angry girl who is judging EVERYONE and EVERYTHING around me,  Around you.  Probably even you!  Definitely even myself!  Please accept my apology.

I used to say it's fine to say what you think as long as you can and will say it to the person's face.  You know what, not anymore.  Who cares?!  Who or what made me worthy of judging you or anyone else or anything for that matter.  The sense of entitlement I justified being a *royal biotch* with is ovah!  I am disgusted with who I was.  Crap.  Done with that!  I'm not going to say "it" to you because there will be nothing judgmental to say.  I don't even want to think those thoughts.

I think I hated parts of myself so much (and kinda rightfully so) that when the uglinesses came to light, I was so hard on myself (because I was ashamed) I felt justified being as hard (judgmental) on others- even complete strangers!  This is truly horrible!  There are at least 2 sides to every story.  It can be more difficult to vocalize something positive rather than negative about someone but I even want to stay away from that.  I don't want to judge the situation either way.  Don't.want.to.judge!  I avoided that career, you know?!

I'd like to think of myself as becoming the kind of person, friend, and mom who can let whatever will be just be (so long as your life won't be in danger!)  Man, there's so much more energy available for simply living and loving and enjoying life!  Some things just are, and I won't understand, and I don't need to understand.  Just gotta love.

Que Sera *Syrah*  ;)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Multitaskin' Mama

Yesterday I took a nap indoors rather than sun on the roof like I usually do when baby G is sleeping. I think I 1) made a pizza and 2) boiled some eggs.  I am writing this down so that in the future when I am feeling drained, I will remember what I can do on a good day.  I also think unplugging the TV has given me a lot more free time, and mental space.
I was up before 7, as usual, fed us all breakfast, cleaned the kitchen sink (with baking soda and bleach) and then the bathroom with baby G at my side, roasted 2 chickens in my homemade 5-spice rub, marinated and roasted potatoes, tomatoes and onions in a sage rub with olive oil.  I did a load of laundry and ran the dishwasher before G's snacktime.  The soundtrack was itunes DJ from my computer.  We then played in her room.  For lunch she sampled some of the previous dishes but opted for a cheesestick and yogurt.  She colored and played with a People magazine while I cleaned up.  We played in her room some more and I read some of her fav books before her nap.  As she napped I swept and mopped the floors, folded the load of laundry, put on my bikini and went outside.  I threw the ball for the dogs, I raked the yard and picked up their poops AND put the trash IN the trashcan all while working on my suntan.  I also picked up the poops in the front yard.  {Oh yeah, AND I cleaned the pool}.  I prepped my Navy beans for dinner and got changed for my workout.  Thankfully G woke up in time for me to go to for a workout and I had her sippy of milk and change of clothes ready.  I moved some heavy weights for an hour and stretched for 15 minutes and then got her from childwatch.  We checked out the kiddy pool at the Y and then rolled home.  We will def be playing in there next Sunday.  I turned on the stove for the beans and put G on my hip in the baby wrap.  We ventured outside to throw the ball for the dogs some more and walk around.  We reviewed that cacti are "owies" and that green trees are not owies.  We listened to other dogs and birds.  We came in and read some more.   I made a lemon butter for later and pureed most of the beans into a soup for tonight.  Delicious!  For dinner I offered G a combo of all of these things and thankfully she was a bit more receptive.  I fed the dogs and loaded the dishwasher again.  I got our lunches ready for Monday while G looked at another book.  I started another load of laundry and the dishwasher and we all went to the side yard to play with bubbles and the dirtpile.  I took pictures of G playing in the dirt tonight.  We reviewed that cacti are "owies" and that green trees are not owies.  We listened to other dogs and birds.  Not kidding.  After an hour of fun we came back in for showers and teeth brushing (didn't go well tonight at all).  My restless little girl was not ready for bed until 8:30 but now she is sound asleep THANKFULLY!  We are all clean and full!  The last load of laundry is finishing.  The dishes are drying.  The doggies are asleep too.  I am going to finish this post and read some more of Anthony Bourdain's "The Nasty Bits" as I fall into a sleepy haze to the sound of his voice in my head.  Tomorrow I am going to get slammed at work so I gotta mentally prep for that too.  No vacation just yet...that will be on Wednesday thankfully!  Whew.  I can taste my hot cup of dark acidic coffee, brown sugar and whole milk already!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Life is Like a Slackline; potential ultra-over-universalizing

My friend AV posted something on her FB about "slackline" and "acroyoga".  I was mega-interested and did some googling and found this link of these guys who must be in town:
http://www.yogaslackers.com/
Since my attendance to a workshop will not be a reality I was enjoying some of the videos.  Of particular interest was the slackline work.  HOW FUN!  I want to set one up in the park here and go for it!  I got to thinking, metaphorically of course, that maybe life is like a slackline.
The beginning and ending are fixed points; two nodes.  For this metaphor, that's all you need to accept.  The middle of the line is an antinode that vibrates with a certain frequency depending on the length of the line (to keep things simple).  If you watch people walk the line, or visit harmonics and waveforms here:
a brief Physics Tutorial
you will *note* that the middle of the line is where there is the most amplitude or movement.  If I could pick a soundtrack it would be Jimmy Eat World "The Middle".  You will also *note* that b/c people have much more mass than air particles, and also because of gravity, the amplitude on the slackline is horizontal displacement.
The "yoga slackers" emphasize how it is pleasant to meditate on the slackline as they work through a series of yoga poses.  Forced meditation.  I get it.  I wish I could try it there also.  But seriously, that is what LIFE is I think!  You gotta get on and stay on and make it to the end.  You gotta problem-solve, and understand your body and your mind and your hangups and your expectations and you gotta figure it out as.you.go!  You don't have to be moving linearly to be progressing, you can take a sit and figure some things out and let the turbulence pass and ride the wave out.  I love it!
It seems also that in the middle is where things can be the toughest.  This is where you know you are out of control and the harder you try the less likely you are to stay on the line or to stay on track.  Ha!  Neat.  But it can be done with practice and determination and forgiveness and patience.  love.love.love it!  

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thankful Thursday (Friday)

...because I was too tired last night to type.  But I have been thinking of this post for a while since I have been reading Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food" and "The Botany of Desire".

Growing up, when we said the blessing at dinner, my brother would like to sing this:

"Oh the Lord is good to me and so I thank the Lord
for giving me the things I need
the sun and the rain and the appleseeds
The Lords is good to me"

We called it the Johnny Appleseed blessing.  I actually don't know where my Mom (probably) got it from or how we learned it.  Well crap, I just googled it and here it is, sure enough!

Duh!

Pollan's first chapter of "The Botany of Desire" is "Desire: Sweetness, Plant: Apple".  Yes, really for 58 pages he talks about apples.  Of pertinence to this post is that he talks about how apples were cultivated along the Ohio River in the Northeastern US by a Mr. Johnny Appleseed.  This dude sounds like quite the character and Pollan uniquely elevates him as an American Dionysus of sorts who, by planting orchards and enabling the production of hard cider, cultivated the early US settlers as well.

The story is not that simple, and Pollan can draw you in for 58 pages of it, but it is amazing to think about.  I think in order to agree with the Appleseed-Dionysus comparison you would have to believe that alcohol complements civilization but not to the exclusion of alcohol complementing chaos either.  I can see that making time for drink would mean quite a few things in that agrarian culture like 1) you had time to stop working for a drink and 2) enjoy some time with other people and 3) maybe the combo of 1 + 2 would lead to discussions about politics and poetry and art and news, like it does these days.

In closing, this Friday I am thankful for numerous things again but they are simple.  Let's say 1 and 2 and 3.  Yes.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Nothing but a Memory, part 1.618

I need some inspiration and feedback y'all.  As I am poised to have to re-pack all of my shizzot from this move, and hoping not to have to rent the Uhaul with the frappin' "Granny's Attic", I am musing what to do with all of my photos from the "regret-worthy-yet-highly-educational-and-irreplaceable-life-shaping-years" circa 2002-2004.  side note: how do you live a lifetime in 2 years?

I have those years organized in lovely leather-bound albums.  Glossy 4x6s, 4 to a page in shiny clear pockets so as to remain blemish free; unlike my heart!  Ha!  Kidding!  Well, not really!  Wait.  :(  side note for another entry: is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?  - Lord Tennyson.  I remember when the Ritz Camera clerk told "Namaste Hardup" the following quote exactly as he handed him the prints from my twin, blond cousins' raucous birthday party (with the cake from the Sweet and Nasty); "Dude, I want your life".  *sigh*

And there's the print of me dancing on the real Coyote Ugly Bar in NYC, "Hogs and Heifers" where I was asked if I was "a real dancer".  *sigh* again

Oh, and there are so, so many more to relish.  Fact is, I'll keep a few around to remember I'm human and make mistakes and wait, wait, I don't need pix for that...

Some of these prints memorialize my youth.  I want to keep those.  Some of these prints give a slim dimension to lost memories and people.  Maybe I should get rid of those.  So then I was searching for what to do with all of this data; can I recycle these candids into a functional or useful or beautiful piece of art? You can't use photo paper for toilet tissue.  I am wondering.  This is perplexing.

I saw an idea for a collage.  Maybe I'll make a series of collages and give the titles of the 7 deadly sins...or the 7 almost deadly sins...what would THOSE be?  That would undeniably be more fun to create!  Are there 7 lively sins OR are they the 7 deadly sins...pontificating...hmmmmmmmmm.

How big should my collages be?  Should there be a pattern?  Shapes, sizes, colors, locations, faces...?  Well, maybe I've just decided.  I can't remember the ad but the one where when you're up close you see the individual pix and then the camera pulls away and you see a pattern.  Yes.  Yes.  This is what I'll do.

So now I need to decide what the pattern will be, a word or phrase I think since I was contemplating something profound for a tat, but that has yet to happen.  I'll pull all the pix from my albums except for the best memories I want records of, and then I'll organize the remainders into piles of colors.  Yes!  This is brilliant and taking shape nicely!!!  Thank you for all your help!  ;)

Maybe a nautilus shell that uses the "Golden Ratio".  YES!  And that will be easy to do once I decide how big my canvas (or more likely posterboard) will be!  Here's a pic of what my template will be:

Maybe a few, smallish, manageable pieces.  A trio of "Golden Ratio" Nautiluses to help remind me of the state of order that IS found in nature thanks to an "irrational mathematical constant".  THAT makes sense to me.  Irony.  Paradox.  Math.  Maybe, just maybe.  Because see, I like order.  Imposed or created  order can be safe and liberating and predictable and calming, side note for another post: OCD.  Now gentle reader you are saying, "But all her photos are already organized in albums" which is true, but I'm ready to change their order, and create disorder...but within the limits of the Fibonacci Sequence.  I ain't even Italian!

The nautilus grows its shell as the animal grows.  Hermit crabs vacate and locate new shells as they grow, so I must be a hermit crab in this analogy.  Vulnerable for a while, looking for my new home.  I'll carry my home on my back!

Safety and order with my hi-falutin' snail collages around me amidst this chaos.  What an appropriate reminder.  So maybe I'm not really changing anything.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thankful Thursday

sleep
crisp clean sheets
soap crayons !
amazing friends
sunshine
amazing doctors
a clean-ish pool
warm springtime breezes
that chocolate mint ice cream I made
a job that pays insurance
a truck that runs and looks clean-ish
the hummingbird singing while swinging on an ivy tendril
2 (seemingly) devoted doggies
a sweet Mother's Day card from my parents
antibiotics
health
the ability to wonder
the ability to realize when to shut yer trap
leftovers
enough self control to save leftovers (sometimes)
the ability to say yes, and/or no
craftiness with leftovers
dogs to clean up the leftover crafty-leftovers :)
dried shiitake mushrooms
music
bedtime
a washing machine and a dryer
a dishwasher
a broom and that  Swiffer Wet Jet
pictures and photography
this computer
sunset at the dirtpile
substitutes
Kohl's cash!  Seriously!  Why isn't this place running our government?
the absence of TV
floss
Crest whitening toothpaste in vanilla
fluoride-free training toothpaste
a self-assured toothbrusher baby G
that chocolate fudge I made
18 eggs for $1.50 seriously !

Monday, May 3, 2010

Chocolate Mint Ice Cream and other Magic Dairy Novelties

A post about food!  Can you believe it?  'Bout time, I know.  Sometimes my life IS ice cream and sunshine and flowers and puppies and babies and ...eh.

Those of you who are my fellows in cynicism will revel in this first comment.  I hate the "Bluebell Ice Cream" ads on the radio.  They have changed into a less sappy version lately, but from 2005~2008ish the radio ad was:

I remember our old country home 
Clean fresh air and the flowers growing 
In the fields, along the path, beside our swimming hole 

Momma hollering through the screen 
Would you kids like some homemade ice cream? 
That was such a simpler time and place 
Blue Bell tastes just like the good old days 



This ad makes.my.skin.crawl.  Long story short, I'm glad it is no longer aired.  HATE IT!  And yet, last night I made some d*mn homemade ice cream in the ice cream maker that was a wedding gift: and it still tasted good.  I had gone to the St. Phillips Market with friend ET and her daughter on Sunday.  Side note: doesn't it seem that farmers' markets have the highest concentration of dred-lock-sporting-white-people ANYWHERE?!  What's the deal? (say it in a Jerry Seinfeld voice!)  We got beef bones for stock (what a frappin' bargain), coffee, lavender lemonade, Emu oil stick, spinach, onions, carrots and some CHOCOLATE MINT.  Yes really.  I got it from this stand:


Sleeping Frog Farms


Side note: I am on their CSA waiting list and I will die if I don't get to enroll!  Ok, so it couldn't have been later than 10:15 and the pickin's were slim.  These guys are popular!  The dark, beautifully gathered chocolate mint twinkled at me in the low-angled sunlight.  I knew I could do something with it.  First though: ice cream!  The good kind with a lot of milk fat and sugar!  The kind baby G will love also!  Bingo.  


After processing my finds at home that afternoon, I decided to modify this recipe from Epicurious:


"Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream"


But I changed it:
2c whole milk (yeah yeah!!!)
1c whipping cream (yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwhhhhhhhhhhhhh)
chocolate mint leaves from the 5 stalks in the bunch
1/2 c egg beaters (b/c it's pasteurized)
3/4 c confectioners sugar


I put all those ingredients in the blender and tasted.  This beauty did not need any more sugar.  Did not need any vanilla extract.  Did not need the chocolate/cacao addition.  I would not adulterate it with green food coloring.  I knew if it tasted this good in the blender then it would be dynamite frozen!  


Later that night after I put baby G to sleep, I got the pre-frozen ice-cream-maker-bucket out and let the Cuisinart do its work!  25 minutes later I was enjoying a bowl-full of magic with some chocolate fudge squares I had made earlier.  And a glass of champagne :)  I'll need to post the recipe I used; shared by my mom,  b/c I call the fudge "Darker than my Soul Fudge".  It has 9oz of cocoa powder in it.  Not kidding.  Back to that in a later post.


So anyway this ice cream is amazing.  Next I will try the recipe with the basil I bought at TJs.  This may show up at wine club ladies- consider yourselves warned and wear elastic pants!  Also at TJs now is this AMAZING blue cheese hybrid.  I think it's blended with Jack and it comes in melt-able slices.  I think it's 8 slices for $3.50  I think it's called blue granite b/c that's what it looks like.  Whatev.  There's an ad on the radio for it now, which is obviously how I heard about it, and decided baby G and I needed.to.try.it!  Yesterday she had 2 slices.  I melted it onto Portabello Mushroom Raviolis for her lunch tomorrow and as a post-dinner, post-ice cream snack (thankfully we are not lactose intolerant) we shared a piece tonight.  


I think this cheese is magic.  With only one bite down the hatch, both baby G and I were dancing to the radio and laughing at ourselves.  Shakin' our hineys in the kitchen.  Clapping for each other.  Sharing hearty guffaws and belly-laughs.  She was giving me bear hugs and huge toothy grins.  I was melting.  She was melt-able.  My daughter is amazing and this cheese is amazing!  I think it might just cure what ails you!  For a moment I remembered what it felt like to be a carefree child again. 


I am not posting pix b/c my camera is on the out and out and the available lighting does not do these treats justice.  I don't think any pictures could, in fact!  How can you photograph magic?  In conclusion, for tonight, my life CAN be summarized as ice cream and a sunset and 2 puppies and one baby and *cheese* !

Friday, April 30, 2010

Nothing but a Memory

Borrowing inspiration from here:
HD's blog
I'm glad to finally know who sings this song:
The House that Built Me, Miranda Lambert

Fact of the matter is I heard it driving home with baby G asleep in the backseat about 6 weeks ago.  I sat in my car in the dark and cried.  I thought Miley Cyrus was singing it and so I couldn't find it on itunes to buy.  Turns out that was probably for the best b/c it still makes me cry and I have been enjoying NOT crying lately.

HD is getting ready to move out of her house.  Her nuclear family began and grew there.  They built it from scratch.  She brought her babies home to that house.  The way she describes it, the house and her memories there are beautiful.  This is not the case for me.  I will be relieved (yet sad) to leave my current residence.  I have told friends I am hoping for something smaller and newer.  Wherever I end up moving I will welcome the lack of memories there.  I will embrace the blank slate that is mine to decorate.  I will cherish the void of a painful history.  The beauty of sunsets will not be colored by arguments or tears.  The majesty of the moon rising will not be witnessed from a chilly sleeping bag.  There might even be a finished floor.

I'm sad and torn.  This house's owner loves his house.  It was the one thing he wanted to keep come hell or high water.  Hell and high water came at the same time.  He left.  I left.  The house stayed.  It's empty; metaphorically speaking of course.   Literally, it's full.of.sh*t.memories.sh*tty memories.stuff.  Existing in empty is less painful than trying to grow amidst anger and rejection.  We truly reap what we sow and if you plant something poisonous in toxic conditions, you cant expect a prize-winning rose to grow from that cultivar.  This is horrible.  You do not generate life.  You do not generate hope or forgiveness or pleasure or kindness or peace.  You grow apathy.  You grow disgust.  You grow contempt.  You grow but it's ugly.  Eventually nothing grows and what was there dies.  I left.  He left.  We died.

So back to the song with some out-of-order quotes.  I told HD not to worry b/c "home is where the heart is" which doesn't have to be under a particular roof.  Really.  Humans have led nomadic lifestyles in search of food and fair weather forever.  In that case, home is where the full belly was.  You can give your heart to someone, maybe they're your home.  Maybe you're theirs; I think some dude I dated for way.too.long. used that one on me once.  Lame.  But cool to think about.  Maybe so.  "Home" can also be your safety zone in a game of hide and seek or various board games, no?  If you're "homeless" you lack a home, but of what definition?  Maybe having a home=being grounded, being safe, being secure.  So, first quote:

You leave home, you move on and you do the best you can.
I got lost in this whole world and forgot who I am. 


Yep, the songwriter is probably referring to leaving the home of our parents, but there's room for interpretation of "home" to include our "safety zone".  I think there's also room for it to be an ageless reference; we can be in the middle of a mid-life-crisis and found that we have wandered away from our home.  I would argue that when you find yourself in the middle of any crisis you have moved away from your "home" and to some extent forgotten who you are.  Yep.  It doesn't take "this whole world" and it doesn't take "forgetting".  Sometimes, it.just.happens.  I'll debate the causality of the relationship later.  Maybe.  Eh.

Secondly, she sings:

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
this brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here its like I'm someone else,
I thought that maybe I could find myself
if I could just come in I swear I'll leave. 


For me, this verse doesn't translate directly.  I'm hoping to leave this place, this current physical home in order for the brokenness to start healing.  "Out here" could mean simply physically outside the house of my youth or in my case, the frappin' desert southwest.  For me, the "brokenness inside" is going to have to heal "out here" but in a new home.  Ummmmmm "out here" is my new home.  Funny thing is, I rarely took a glimpse of how lost  and broken I was.  Amazing, I know.  Denial is a strong, strong, sometimes self-preserving, emotion (and oddly contains the same letters as Denali).  More on mountain climbing later.  Maybe.

Now I realize if I were to try to return to the home of my youth, or to try and re-create it, that wouldn't be beneficial either.  That would be sad.  That's a whole other country song I'm sure.  I want a healthy release of what's been horrible as well as a release of any unhealthy expectations of what home should be like. If home is where the heart is then we each carry it with us anywhere and everywhere we go.  That is simple!  Well, Edgar Allen Poe aside...

Lastly she says:

Won't take nothing but a memory
from the house that built me. 



Which is a true statement because all the physical stuff is stuff.  She's singing that because she doesn't want to take any stuff from the house, that maybe it's not the stuff that made her who she is anyway, it's the memories.  Maybe it's healthy not to get too attached to a single place or 4 walls anyway.   While it's helpful to have a rooted identity somewhere you'd like to call home, I don't think that definition is an address exclusively.  And if you dislike the memories you have in a certain address then double bonus- you can leave them behind too.  









Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I dabbled with "Wordless Wednesdays" a few months ago.  Now I'll try Thankful Thursdays.

Today I am thankful for many many things:
Children's Tylenol Plus: allergies blow (ha! pun intended)
sunscreen
coupons
toilet paper
a full belly
a clean-ish truck
a fit body
a sound mind ;)
TWO jobs that earn me paychecks
getting to be a mom (job #3 or #1 depending)
Friends
Family
new friends
old friends
hot dark acidic coffee, brown sugar, and cream
professional guidance
peace and quiet / shalom in the home to borrow from Shmuley Boteach
a roof and more than 4 walls
love
faith
leftovers, a fridge and a freezer
a checking account in the black
hugs and kisses
a cold and fizzy Coca Cola
cooked meat
patience
Recycling
suntanning on the roof!
playing in the dirt pile together after dinner
no Rattlesnake sightings yet
elastic
a second pair of jeans (since the pockets ripped in my favorite pair)
bubbles
warm showers and good-smelling soap (lemon currently)
clothes that fit
childcare
free music
a voice
laughter
being able to hold and lift and sing and smile and explore and dance with my daughter * thank you to SL for the baby sling we haven't outgrown yet!
clean doggies
clean floors
a warm breeze coming through the back screen at every mealtime
new glitter crayons
new recipes that turn out amazingly (because there have been NONE this week)

I'll close here b/c I could keep going on!







Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Coupons Dude

Money has yet to grow on trees but can you believe it comes.in.the.mail?!?!?!  Yes.  It really does.

Holy cow.  So today I spent like $50 at Safeway.  Using the coupons that were mailed to me yesterday in addition to some manufacturer's coupons that I don't remember obtaining, I saved $12 or close to 25% of my bill!  This.is.wonderfully.absurd!

What WILL I spend my cash on?  Oh, bills, and my truck needs more brake work.  $well.

Let me also say that I found a bottle of cocoa butter lotion, thicker than but 1/2 as long as my arm, at Walgreens for $1.99 !  How can this be?  And if you read my blog, you know I am a *scent snob* and this stuff smells G-O-O-D.  It's Queen Helene- makes me feel like I should be scantily clad on a hand-carved wooden boat only as wide as my hips, being paddled by some scantily clad man-servants down some amazing river in Afrikakakaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.  And this imagination, along with an upcoming summerlong-pass to Breakers Waterpark, will be my vacations this year!

Thankfully baby G and I both ADORE the Safeway $2.99 Pepperoni Pizzas.  How CAN they be so good?!  I could eat pizza everyday...at this price I.just.might!!!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Life and a Rubik's Cube

Today at work I noticed a Rubik's Cube on a co-worker's desk.  I had to do some research: is life like a Rubik's Cube?  The iconic cube is 30 years old.  Almost as old as...alright...I'm 3 years older than the puzzle.

"You Can Do It"

At this website you learn that there are many ways to solve the puzzle; and therefore you can reason there are many ways to mess.it.up.  Same with life.  Thankfully the website gives you a failproof and color-coded solution in 6 Stages.  Hmmm.  Sure.  But maybe if the Rubik's Cube Puzzle is like life then in whose hands is your/my life?  Can I color code it?  Is the meaning of life color coded?  Could it be for easy understanding?  Please?  Apparently all the color coding and twisting is based on mathematical algorithms. Sure.  Can I undo every.wrong.turn I've made?  How do I know when I've made a wrong turn?  Is there always a solution?  How are we defining "solution"?

What's an Algorithm?

So then I got to thinking about math and fractals (because I always do, right after behavior and Maslow's hierarchy) and remembered that JW and baby G and I went to the "Hyperbolic Coral Reef" exhibit on tour in Phoenix.  It was our "Free and Classy Friday Trip" last May followed by a decadent yet classy lunch at the Culinary Institute.



Hyperbolic Space

also see:

Darwinian Evolution

AMAZINGNESS!  Algorithims again.  Check.it.out.

Then I was interested in art and fun free things to take baby G to this weekend.  I found this description in one photographer's work:


Not only does it erase the intervening hours of each day from view but the
pattern created suggests a cycle, refuting a linear perception of time.

Not that I am thinking that with my photos; I am usually trying to capture memories that I don't want to forget, and that usually later, depending on their subject matter, I DO want to forget.  Yet, this is interesting.  Some Physicists and Philosophers theorize that time is a contiuum, or a circle.

Nonlinear system

Math again.  And CHAOS THEORY!  Some quantum physics?  YES!

Then I was reading a paper for work and this word was used:


Stochastic

And then this dude came up:
Iannis Xenakis

...with some Game Theory!  I have some reading to catch up on.  

In conclusion, I argue that life is not like a Rubik's Cube because life is more of a stochiastic algorithim.  Life can be random and unpredictable and chaotic and possibly not lived or solved in a linear constraint of time or of rigid matter; exactly the opposite of solving the Rubik's Cube puzzle.  Sweet.  

Monday, April 26, 2010

Crockpot Magic

The crockpot has been my hobby lately and by lately I mean 2 Mondays and Oscar night.  One word, two syllables: su-ucks.

I consider myself adept at managing heat in the kitchen, and sharp things, along with flavor.  Alchemy and magic are my tools, if you would call them that, but everyone knows "...the extra ingredient is love"; to quote Betty Crocker.  Well, crap if I know where the love is in this crockpot cookin' baybay.  Heinous.

Two other coworkers and I are crockpot cookers (CPC)!  We are in the beginning stages of swapping recipes with the secrecy and snobbery of an elite sorority: CPC.  Getting my monogrammed picture frame now!  Apparently there is a difference between a crock pot and a slow cooker although I already forgot the difference.  My beast is a 4quart crockpot (I think).

I think what has been going wrong is, one word: cauliflower.  I have been craving it and it's boring to eat plain.  So, let me cook it at a simmer with odd ingredients for 11 hours.  Repeating: I.know.what.is.wrong.  Cauliflower.

When you walk in the door to a crockpot supper you want the heart-warming aromas to entice you into the kitchen for a bowl-full of giddyness.  I envision serving up a warm delightful bowl of nutrition for my baby girl.  A bowl-full of goodness that she'll shovel into her little mouth and fill up her cheeks with.  Little chipmunk cheeks full of tender carrots and perfect peas and magic.  I.want.magic.  Some crockpot magic.  That's ALL I want! That's what I expect!  That's NOT what I have been producing!  Instead I got stench and uniform overcooked-ness.

Now, because beans are affordable I have been adding them too.  And beer because it's been sitting in the pantry for 4 years.  I.am.not.kidding.  And a whole onion.  As I type it seems like this should be the foundation for a dynamo chili.  But no.

Through eating nasty food I am "educating my palate".  I used to say this also to justify drinking lots of decadent $40 Pinots and less-posh bottles of swirl.  Education.  Well, I have learned to resurrect a nasty brown and foul smelling dinner with either canned tomatoes or frozen corn.  Does that count?  Acidity or sweet crunchiness. Take note!  I figure it's a good challenge and I don't want to waste the food.  Even the doggies got a taste.  I blended and have frozen some of the resurrected mush for soups potentially later, or WW3.   Blecgh.

Anyway it's not the end of the world and our bellies are full of healthiness.  Thankfully healthy food doesn't have to taste this bad.  When I don't use my crockpot, my healthy food doesn't usually taste bad.  And, I still have that bottle of champagne unopened from the weekend.  ;)  Sigh.

My next attempt will be without cauliflower and will include some chunk of low-grade beef that is meant to have the h*ll cooked out of it.  Yes.  Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday Thoughts to Tunes

It's amazing what you can do what you don't know what you can't do.  I am reveling in the fact that this past week at the Y I was lifting more than teenage boys 1/2 my age as well as a crusty Navy vet.  Yay for me!  Stoked!  All my clothes are fitting better too and my bloodwork rocked!!!  Cue: Animal by Def Leppard

I do not like dried apricots.  More specifically my GI tract does not.  I don't plan to buy them again for a year or so or more unless I am thru hiking the AT or sleeping on the roof or if I need to punish someone within 15 feet of me.  This.is.ridiculous.  Cue:  Peaches and Cream by PDiddy

Baby G is scratching her nails on her mattress right now for attention.  Must.not.cave.  How annoying.  Seriously.  I'm going to try and provide "bigger carrots" and highlight her positive behavior with rewards rather than react to her bad behaviors and punishments.  Surely this will be a challenge but I think it's best to start young.  I remember at NA we had the "chip" system in 5th grade.  Operant conditioning at it's finest.  Yay.  Cue: More Human than Human by White Zombie

I still need a miracle to happen.  And a hero.  Not the sandwich.  Cue: We Don't Need Another Hero by Tina Turner

My brother is in boot camp and said they carry M16s everywhere.  Even to church services.  I find this ironic.  Nothing is sacred....finish the quote.  Really.  See previous line.  Cue: Shape of my Heart by Sting

Baby G tried sushi (cooked California Roll) today and loved it.  What a hoot.  Cue Buffalo Stance by Nenah Cherry

Today at work I was designing primers for DNA sequencing; PCR specifically.  I found myself thinking CAT California Georgia TAG GAGA California Georgia and so on and so on.  Dying! Cue Georgia on my Mind as sung by Willie Nelson

I want a garden and a chicken coop and some hired help to take care of them for me.  LOL!  Cue Devil Went Down to Georgia by Charlie Daniels Band

At lunch, when I shared the "lien" notice from my insurance co, my friend KL asked me "WHAT do you OWN?"  Ha!  Nothing except my truck!!!  Nothing worth the amount of the lien...which...thankfully my insurance co will take care of ...they...said. Cue Truckin' by Grateful Dead

What the h*ll is up with this weather? Cue It's Raining Men by the Weather Girls

I bought a bottle of chammers for my weekend sunning adventures.  Gold bikini+golden body+sparkly bubbles=tha.good.life.baybay!  Cue Sun Is Shining by Bob Marley

Peace out and happy weekending y'all!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Manic Monday

This morning I accidentally poured Apple Juice in my coffee.  I hope tomorrow's cup is better.

I came across this link today:
http://drumhike.com/

And then did some research on this:
http://www.discoverytrail.org/

And then I got a letter in the mail about a lien from my car accident back in October.  WHAT?!  Uuugh.

My crockpot cookin' beans went ok...but I'll def. tweak the recipe next Monday.

I got a $10 credit at Kohls in the mail!  Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

No one has spoken to me in Spanish yet...so I am not.tan.enough!

I was complimented on my pedicure by another mom at childcare.

I am loving cranking my music up, with all the windows down,  after I drop off baby G at childcare.

Giving stuff away feels great!  Consigning it feels great too!!!

Baby G is loving her soap crayons.  She pooped in the tub again tonight and then fussed like the turd was going to grow legs, run her down, and hurt her!

I love sleep!

I am hoping I don't have to work more; well too much more.  I don't want a big house to clean and I don't want a lot of crap to keep track of.  I hope to stay safe and free.

My brother is apparently doing well in boot camp!  I'm sure he's sleeping better too!

I find it stunning that there is an active volcano in Iceland.  I never though ash had the potential to be so powerful.

I bought a basil plant at TJ's and have not killed it yet!

I think I'll have the dogs groomed and shaved down earlier than Memorial Day weekend this year.

The pool is still too cold for humans to enjoy.

I love going for walks with G before dinner with all of the Brittle Bush-lined streets!  Beauty!  Solitude!

I appreciate and enjoy being alone but I do not enjoy being lonely.

Vegetables and beans are wonderful!  Eating lower on the food chain is cost-effective and sustainable and happy for the waistline and bloodwork!  Amazing.

I am feeling super thankful!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weekend Thoughts; Life is like a petting zoo

So I think life may be like a petting zoo and heaven might be the Super Walmart on Tangerine.

Admission is free to the petting zoo and it's total chaos.  Thankfully baby G navigated it with finesse and kisses for all those dirty animals.  I guess now I'm hoping my metaphor doesn't translate directly but...  Like animals of the four-legged-kind we eat and we poop and we step in our poop and we get sprayed with water when we misbehave or are too aggressive with others.  We look for food and attention and love and peace all in a little hay-lined,  ramshackle corral; with a roof thankfully.  People come in to our lives for a visit and some pictures and to feed us and kiss us and then they are gone.  They point and laugh with us and watch our silly behavior and want to know more about us and get close to us and are happy, maybe we make them happy, and we're overjoyed.  But then they leave and wash their hands.

Walmart on Tangerine is a mecca of sorts in this desert. No less than 4 walls with a roof and lighting and AIR CONDITIONING with a McDonalds and nail salon and hair salon and an opthalmalogist and a garden nursery and a grocery store and BATHROOMS and things for sale!  You could be born and die; you could spend your lifetime, in a Walmart with nary a need!  There ARE doorkeepers but everyone is welcome!  The greeters ask how you are doing and they'll give you a basket for all of the stuff you want to shop for, or to load your toddler into!  They want to make your experience easier and enjoyable.  The floors are polished clean and the goods for sale are organized into neat rows with signs.  There is no trash to be seen anywhere!  People have been hired to help you find what you need.  There are express lanes with express cashiers who, again, are helpful.  All you have to do is relax and enjoy yourself!

Like the petting zoo, Walmart does house some INTERESTING "creatures". I love that almost anyone can have a chance to work at Walmart it seems, upon first glance.   But in actuality everyone is there for a reason; they have been hired to be part of a team.  Walmart, hate it or love it, is a well-oiled machine.  Their response to Hurricane Katrina outpaced the US Government's attempt.  That.is.huge.

I don't have a tidy conclusion for this post.  I wouldn't want to spend my afterlife in a metaphorical fluorescent-lit, walled-in, deep freeze, no thank you to cryogenic suspension either, but it seemed like everyone who worked there, no matter their size, age, color, or disability, had that purposeful gleam in their eye.  That "I'm part of a bigger something" smile on their face.  A peacefulness like someone was patting them on the back in approval...yes a paycheck is great incentive.  That individuals of unsound mind or otherwise-incapable body were here, gainfully employed, is testament to Walmart's managers and visionaries and all of the coworkers on their team.

In reality we humans are animals.  We can be smelly and greedy and selfish and exactly like the inhabitants of the petting zoo; which is fine and I do prefer to be outside in some shade being handfed :)  But I want to be more than part of a traveling circus.  I want to be a part of that bigger something.  I think I'd like to be part of a team.  I hope I can make things easier for others.  Guess I oughta apply at Walmart ;)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Through the eyes of a child

Let me tell you what.  Baby G and her grandparents and I went to the county fair today and it.was.awesome!  I got her a safety/leader/harness...ok..dang it...pretty much a fancy dog leash but whatev. Don't judge unless you have my girl.  She actually loves it and so.do.I.

It was an epic day.  Overcast skies, windy, crowdless.  Room to walk.  Room to roll in the grass and dance all by ourselves to some live music!  Most importantly, we got to see and play with some of the animals we have only read about thus far!  Most notable was the petting zoo.  Many people/sayings/poems/Bible verses tell us to enjoy life like a child...to think of things like a child...to try and see the world through a child's eyes.  Let me tell you what.  Here's what it looks like!
I.AM.DYING!!!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thank you; Doin' It Well !

So baby Girl's dual, repeated ear infections have cleared up.  Today during her follow up visit, her pediatrician told me to stay out of the sun, repeatedly.  Repeatedly, I retorted.  He said "You're to self-assured".  HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA!  But, I thanked him for his concern. :)

Saturday late night a young gentleman asked me if I was an athlete.  Our age difference is too large for him to have been hitting on me.  I told him the truth; I was a dancer and a cheerleader but not a competitive athlete.  But, I thanked him for the compliment.

I have had the privilege of making life choices based on love forever. According to Maslow's hierarchy that's a privilege.  That means at least my belly is full and I am safe.   I loved myself first and acted only for myself for way too long.   For the past 10 years I have been drowning myself trying to make the focus of my love different men; not at the same time thank you.  This is like a cyber thank you to the loved ones in my life; past and present for all of the lessons I have learned.  Now the focus of my love is my daughter.

Children are a gift that will change your life.  The pediatrician said "They'll make you more serious."   Maybe so but I already take myself way too seriously. The one lesson I have to keep re-learning, because I am stubborn, is thankfully the simplest to enjoy; I am not in control here.  This is the lesson that keeps me humble.  No need to worry or be afraid of what's happened, what is happening or what is going to happen.  Sweet!  Peace.  And to think I was wanting to be out of control anyway for the while before I got preggo.  WHAT.A.RELIEF!  This realization IS the answer to my prayers.  I hope that I'm doing whatever I'm (not) supposed to be doing well enough  ;)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

If you love something...

This saying has been on my mind lately;  If you love something then let it go.  If it was yours it will come back to you....unless you rip its wings off and break its heart.
I made up the last part.
Unless said thing is a boomerang, is it going to come back for sure?  I guess a youngin would...while they are still young and have needs to be met by only you.  Maybe not when they are teenagers and adults with money and wheels.   Actually, I hope my girl grows up and flies away, but comes back to visit and hang out, b/c I've taught her to be free and independent.  I would want her to come back on her own free will if she wanted.
What about when accidents happen? What about when loved ones go off to fight wars?  Maybe it's not about physically letting go...
Dogs will usually return to you if they are fetching a ball you are throwing.  Cats return usually when food is to be had.  Kids and men too I guess.  Men will also return for a different sort of nourishment...
Do living things only "come back" to us because we are meeting their needs?  What if someone else is meeting their needs?  What if they are meeting their own needs?  Or wants?  Or desires?  How can you purposefully let the one you love go, for the chance of someone else to love them and meet their needs, better than you can?  Should you?  Surely that's insane.  Wouldn't it be more insane not to know?
I could ramble forever on this but the real question is...is anything really ever ours to have and own?  Maybe for a moment yes.  For a lifetime?  For more than a lifetime?  Will we be reunited with them after this lifetime?  What about tortured souls that are neither here nor there?
How can we own love?  Is the only pure test to let it go?  This sounds so ridiculous.  I guess we can't own love, we can only share it.
I'm glad this is out of my hands.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Boob Sandwich

Ladies- when it's time to get your mammos, get them done.  Seriously, it is no.big.deal.  Well, sans the radiation, but it is easier than going to the dentist I think.  I had my overdue follow up today and I am all clear.  The short story (always best) is that after my ruptured ectopic in Dec 2006, I had 2 rounds of mammos, a breast ultrasound (yes really) and a NEEDLE BIOPSY.  Now, after pregnancy and breastfeeding and a pending future (hopefully) boob job *at LEAST by the age of 40*, I knew I was overdue for some imaging.  Let me tell you that the boob sandwich is not a big deal and it's super quick.  You have nothing to fear!  Get this done!  Get your moms and sisters and aunts to get this done!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Man Spanx; I just wanted to say it!

From Perez Hilton:
http://cocoperez.com/?from=PH&p=52016

HILARIOUS...but totally a good idea!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A few simple things

Snow is beauty and the closest thing to real magic there is.

I can only drive one car at a time.

I can only wear one pair of shoes, one pair of jeans and one pair of sunglasses at a time (usually).

Jewelry is another story.

All living things expire; plants, trees, animals and people.  

Time is the only non- renewable resource.  Invest it wisely.

I appreciate the value of $1 and $1000.  I’ve never had $10000.  It’s a good thing or I would have p*ssed it away too.

The more stuff I give away and sell online, the more I realize value is subjective.

I have worked alongside some of the best winemakers in the world.  I learned the most about marketing from them.

If it has a commercial, I don’t really need it.  That's right *bombshell*.

Music gives me the best high.

I am trying to be a good steward- do we really ever own anything?

Steel drums were fashioned out of spent oil drums.  I love that such beautiful sounds can come from trash.  

Pay retail only 1% of the time or less.  Almost everything goes on sale.

You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.

Stress and hate, anger and jealousy can kill you...slowly and painfully.

Forgiveness is the hardest lesson I have to learn.

Stretching is great.

Jeans always shrink.  Even the preshrunk ones.

People will try to love you the best way THEY know how.

I need to get outside more!

Life is a miracle.





Friday, January 15, 2010

When Life Hands You Lemons...




I'm ok with this saying but I am offering some better alternatives than "make lemonade".  That's right.  Deal.

So last year we seemed to have a bumper crop of our Key Limes and I salt preserved them (because I thought they were lemons) and they are still sitting happy in the back of the fridge...maybe it was 2 years ago.  They are delicious and you need only a very small amount to lend the acidity to a dish.  Anyway, desert peoples have been preserving citrus for eons.  Now, since I am one, so do I.




This year a co-worker brought in soooooooooooo many extra lemons from the lemon tree of the house she is renting.  I need to see this thing because I can only imagine it is old and huge and regal.  The lemons (aside from the root stock wild lemons) are large, firm, juicy and not too seedy.  They are the prettiest color of light yellow once you cut them open and man did I use them all up!  The picture above is the first round.  Over the course of a 3 day period, I used the above amount x6.  And other people were taking them from work also.  Like I said this tree must be huge!  I SHARED thank you!


Since I had AN.EXTRA.10LB.BAG.OF.SUGAR from my winter baking; see here:
I decided to make something sweet out of these boys.  The above pix are the steps involved in making CANDIED LEMON PEEL.


This is a pic of my 1st batch of 3 total.  You cannot imagine how amazing these things are.  AMAZING.  Like a taste of happy sunshine goodness in your mouth here in the middle of winter!  I love it!  I dare you not to smile when you are eating one.  I had enough to take to a party and share with 3 people at work.  They go well in champagne too, or dipped in chocolate (no pix of those). I'll post pix of how I'm going to use the others.  I am thinking cranberry and candied lemon peel breakfast rolls.  I also made simple syrup as a reduction of the last step  of boiling...anyone need 5 pints of essential-oil-of-lemon-simple-sugar?  I'm happy to share.  No pix of the syrup either; not too photogenic.  The syrup is also AMAZE in chammers.  So I was stoked but I didn't stop there...can you guess what I did next?  That's right baby I juiced those things and got 72 cubes of fresh lemon goodness.  They are already in a freezer bag for when I need them.  I feel like I never have "fresh lemon juice on hand" when some recipe calls for it.  DILEMMA NO MORE!!!  Oh, and the LAST thing I'll be making with them is LEMONADE.


Lastly, I have to add that all of this came about at the same time we were celebrating a friend's new job.  Here's my new favorite saying: