Friday, April 15, 2016

Those aren't the lyrics?

For the past year, I've been singing, "Needle in the bread, gotta get you out of my head." I always thought it was weird that you would bake a needle into the bread but that it would make sense in relation to the song for bleeding and needing stitches and winding up dead. Eating needles would do that to you. While riding around with Sadie today, I heard her singing along with the song, and I heard her say, "Needle and the thread, gotta get you out of my head..."

Me (this is seriously the first time in 463 days of hearing this song that I've heard of these lyrics): "THOSE are the lyrics? Needle and the thread?"

Sadie (puh, parents): "What did you think they were?"

Me (uh...not that): "Needle in the bread. That's not it? Like that's why he would need stitches."

Sadie (uh...no): "Did you think it was like a needle in a haystack?"

Well, yeah. Kinda. Needles in bread sounds very painful. They are also not acceptable substitutes for jam.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Three years later, chairs

Amidst all of these home renovations, I've taken on several side projects to keep me busy. Why concentrate fully on one major project when you can have 16 side projects along the way. I've been making progress on the casserole chairs, so much so that I've finished. What started as good intentions three years ago and fell quickly into disinterest, poor planning, and forgotten territory has now come to fruition. First, a look back:
 

Angry baby jaguar damage:

Behold, the final product:
 
I will confess that that fabric is actually a curtain panel I got from the thrift store for $4. Casserole chairs don't need official upholstery fabric when sun-faded window treatments work just as well.

And you might be thinking, oh, those are so cute! I bet those took no time at all! I was fooled into thinking that, too. THREE YEARS. You know what else? I don't know how to cover chairs. Even I thought, how hard can it be? Fabric, surface, done. No. I think there was calculus involved. There is no followup to birthing classes called Furniture Restoration for Newbs. That would have been helpful. I did, however, purchase my first staple gun to complete this nonsense. I felt so grown up. Outside of the food processor and orbital sander, getting a staple gun has fulfilled so many lifelong dreams for completing projects. I've needed one for years. Years. I could have been doing so much with a staple gun. Like...these chairs. But other things as well. I can't remember what else, but they're out there.

I still have to buy wood screws and do what you professional DIYers call "securing" or "affixing" the seat to the chair because safety. Somehow in the process of living through three seasons of The Bachelor the screws have been tossed aside, without so much as a thought to their purpose in life. I don't know what I'm going to do with all this free time on my hands while waiting for paint to dry in between coats.

Monday, April 11, 2016

So the kitchen

I'm definitely glad I did not set fire to the cabinets like I had planned halfway through the bottom bank of cabinets. That would have deprived me from moving on the the upper bank of cabinets. The bottom turned out really nicely. Perhaps even better than I expected, which is quite the shock given my propensity to royally screw up anything crafty, artistic, or moderately womanly.

We ended up not painting the kitchen purple. Chris got the first swipe of purple on the walls, and it was...okay. Then he finished one wall, and I realized hated it. Physically, mentally, and emotionally hated it. It caused me great levels of panic and anxiety just thinking about living the kitchen in which Barney had been smeared all over our walls. So we switched colors and went with a serene gray, which does not cause give me an aneurysm and that's always helpful. I like non-volatile paint choices. That must be why they call them non VOC paints. I don't know though. I don't work at The Home Depot.

At one point during the painting process we had three visible colors on our dining room wall. It was a tragic rainbow of dull teal, Grimace purple, and save-the-day gray. How did we get to this point in life where we have three exposed paint colors? That's not a homeowner status to which I aspire. We also don't have baseboards while we're in the painting process. And the house is usually an unsightly chaotic jumble of papers and dishes and general whathaveyou. One day we'll get there. One day in four years from now.

I've been buying more decorations in hopes of wooing and wowing any future/potential guests who might come over. I bought a wooden rose wreath from Aldi one Saturday, and it was perhaps the most life-changing decoration I've ever purchased. I couldn't wait for the paint to dry so I could hang it on the wall. In fact, I don't think I did wait for the paint to dry. It was still soft and cold, but I didn't care. I wanted everyone to know that I am a confident, successful women with my choice of home decor. I've ordered a rug from Overstock and curtains from eBay to complete my frugal but still technically a woman decorating style. It's scraping the bottom of the barrel.

I still have cabinets to paint. I almost typed "cavinets." Have I turned into a vampire with all this decorating talk? I feel like I'm not even the same person. You'll still know it's me, right? I'm the one with all the face.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

All about the face

I really hope I'm doing things right with these cabinets. I have no idea what I'm doing. If someone wants to come inspect my work and redo it, please feel free. One side of four doors have been painted and all of the bottom frames. So...progress. Right? I don't feel like it's progress. Maybe a snail's pace progress.

We also decided on a color for the kitchen walls. It's called Heather Sachet and it's like a vintage-y purple. I personally love it. I worry though that it might be too girly. Like will people walk in and the first thing they say is, "Ohhhh...you painted...purple. Interesting." Or will it look like women who grew up and continued to live like an 8-year-old princess. This is exactly what I'm afraid of.
I mean surely I know what I don't want so I could probably avoid it, but what if I can't? What if I don't know how and suddenly I have ruffles and lace and lots of throw pillows and Chris will never go in the kitchen to make coffee because it's now "too girly?" I'm in a quandary.

I've quit dipping my hair in the primer and paint because I've completely cut it all off again. Hopefully it's well received tomorrow at work. It's an awful lot of face. Just face. All the time.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Painting schmainting

I would like to once again take this opportunity to espouse the magnificence of the orbital sander. This has revolutionized my life. I dare say it could revolutionize the world. It's on par with the year of I received the food processor it's that life changing. My casserole chairs might turn out to look almost-but-not-quite decent thanks to the trusty sander. I'm almost-but-not-quite excited to start looking for and actually applying multiple glorious coats of Oops Paint. I hope there's a semi-gloss casualty in the bin. I'm thinking I don't even care what color it is. Well, as long as it's not doodoo brown. I just put a salvaged-from-the-alley side table back out in the trash that was an unmistakable shade of doodoo brown. It could not be re-salvaged or rehabilitated to a less offensive color.

I continue to get primer in my hair despite the fact that my hair is coming nowhere close to the painting surface of the cabinets. I'm not sure how I manage it, but I do. On the plus side, it blends in with the wiry gray hair that I produce at alarming rates. I'm cutting it all off tomorrow, so no worries. No more hair in the paint. A simple bandana would have solved the problem as well, but the problem and solution are not mutually exclusive.

Conversations as of late seem to be dominated by the fact that cabinet painting has taken over my very existence. Someone at work asked if I had any plans for the long weekend, and I said that I would continue painting the umpteen million cabinets in my kitchen. Someone else remarked, "I like painting." I used to think that, too, until I lost feeling in my fingertips and my hand/arm is constantly losing sensation in the middle of the night. I think painting broad expanses of wall surface is a good idea until I roll on the first pass and think, Why me?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The sketchy chair project (an addendum to the housing project)

In the midst of all these "home renovations," I decided to go ahead and tackle some furniture restoration as well. One form of misery certainly deserves another. A good 4 years ago I purchased some bland and disgusting chairs off an online yard sale site for $4 for the pair. They were truly, truly nasty. I might have contracted a communicable disease just from removing the seat covering and padding. It also looked like a puma had used it as a scratching post given the deep wounds on the legs of both chairs.

I promptly stuck them in the attic where they sat untouched with every zero good intention of doing anything with them for two years. I drug them down two years ago and sat them in the garage for another year or so, just letting them acclimate to the garage air. I became inspired some time last year and attempted to refinish them by filling the gashes with wood filler and started the sanding process until my arm got tired and I figured I would just buy a spray paint and primer in one. Get it done, right? 

Then I re-discovered that I still suck at furniture restoration and abandoned The Chair Project about 1/3 of the way through the first coat of yellow spray paint. It seemed like an abysmal failure before it even started so why bother finish?

But then with the forced onset of the Great Home Debacle, I have various and sundry amounts of high-build sandable primer left over each night after priming all kitchen surfaces. The five-gallon bucket was $52, so nary a penny of that should go to waste. I thought, well, when in Rome you should definitely use leftover coating chemicals on formerly abandoned furniture projects. With the purchase of an orbital sander -- also known as The Greatest Invention Ever -- I thought I could finally succeed at something in life.

I might have been a little hasty in my achievement goals. While I have pursued my years-long desire to finish these stupid $4-for-the-pair chairs, I quickly realized that I care not how they turn out. And really, if you're filling in a former cat scratching post with loosely defined "wood filler" from a tube in an attempt to make it look better than homeless, your hopes for a quality product are quickly dashed by the reality of life. 

Ben: "What color are you going to paint them? Are you going to paint them the same as the cabinets?"

Me: "I don't know. They're really just like casserole chairs. They get whatever is left over."

My goal each night is to just use whatever primer is left until it all runs out of the tray and call it a night. Perhaps I can splurge on some fun oops paint at The Home Depot and some sale fabric at Joann's and have a Pinterest-worthy masterpiece.  Or what's the opposite of Pinterest? I need that site.
The waning evening light masks just how 
sketchy these chairs really look.
  
I've also worn the same shirt (Ben's 5th grade presidential fitness award t-shirt saved from the Goodwill donation bag) and 10-year-old painting pants for the past two evenings while finishing these chairs. I've not washed them. It's like the casserole outfit.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The most ridiculous project IN THE WORLD

When we returned back to school from Spring Break, I would inevitably get the question, "How was your Spring Break?" I took the opportunity to tell anyone who would listen, "It sucked." When they looked alarmed that I would be so candid in my response and did not wax poetic about our halcyon days of blissful nothing, I would tell them, "Our hot water heater leaked in the garage which lead to a water leak in the kitchen that ruined our laminate floors which necessitated pulling up all the flooring in the downstairs for new flooring that also ruined some of the cabinets so they're being stripped and primed and painted. Spring Break was sponsored by alcohol." 

My target audience usually just tells me, "That sucks." They also do not offer any sort of help in terms of cutting or laying flooring or stripping, sanding or priming cabinet doors. That sucks. Because you know how when you have a baby and moms or mothers-in-law come to stay with you and tell you to go sleep while they take care of everything? That should be the case for forced home renovations. Someone should come and tell me to sleep for the next four years while they finish this project o' mine. They should also make me a sandwich and leave it on my nightstand.

I am so tired. I go to bed tired and wake up tired, come home from work to change and start on cabinets and make dinner. I hope I haven't cross contaminated any food or cabinetry with food or primer. Latex based primer never hurt anyone, right? Shhh...you don't need to use your "science" or "facts" to inform me of any knowledge you might have.

I think I might have nerve damage in my hand from clenching the paint roller and screwdriver (the tool not the mixed drink). Sometimes I can't feel my fingertips. Should I be concerned? I can't be concerned now. I'm not even halfway finished.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

This one's for you, Domesticity

Me (lamenting the fact that I'm bored when there are literally thousands of things I could be doing around the house): "I think I'm ready to go back to work. I'm tired of finding things to clean."

Chris (looking around in hopes of finding things I've been "cleaning"): "When do you do that?"

Fair game. I think the real issue here is 1.) I'M TIRED OF CLEANING SO CAN EVERYONE JUST LEAVE THE HOUSE FOR 10 HOURS A DAY and 2.) I'm tired of looking for things to do to occupy my time so I don't feel so deliciously, indulgently lazy. So I made an official list of things to do today to make up for the fact that I've wasted the last 420 hours of the summer not doing a whole lot. I mean, I took Ben on three college visits. I needed recovery time.

Ben bemoaned the fact the other day that his life was devoid of buttermilk pancakes, so I sought to rectify the situation and solidify myself as the favorite parent by making him IHOP's buttermilk pancakes today. I first noticed that we were low on maple syrup, and not wanting to spend $7 on Aldi's maple syrup when I could have purchased it at $4.99 weeks ago, I set out to make strawberry syrup with some remaining questionable strawberries. Don't worry. I used some-not-so-good and even-more-not-so-good ones to even the taste score. Half a stick of butter and 1/2 a cup of sugar and some vanilla later, all was well with the world. Oh, right. And pancakes and sausage.
This strawberry syrup is also delicious when used 
as a jam on zucchini bread. Or toast. Or a spoon.


After breakfast I cleaned the kitchen for the third time of the day, even wiping down the counters and sweeping this time. I could hardly contain myself I felt so alive. After standing in the kitchen sweating for two hours, I ran with glee into the living room to fold four loads of wrinkled laundry. I couldn't believe that this is how I get to spend summer vacation. I didn't actually unload the laundry though. I left it in the living room, hoping someone would put it away. No one did. It made it as far as the top of the stairs. It's still waiting.

I took a nap because, hey, summer vacation. When I awoke, I read chapters 7 and 8 of The Great Divorce for book study tonight. I understood the material because I actively tried to concentrate on what the sentences were trying to tell me rather than just skimming my eyes over the words and thinking about last night's episode of The Bachelorette. I find I understand things better when I pay attention. I probably could have graduated higher in my class had I figured that out in high school. Oh, life experiences. You're so tricky.

Sadie showed me the exercises they had to do in 5th grade PE for some sort of presidential fitness program. It was pretty intense. And more on the torture-y side. I used this burst of exercise to prove Chris wrong that I DO in fact do things throughout the day rather than the last 30 minutes before he gets home. I "groomed" and bathed Nickels who actually loves getting a haircut and bath. I bathed Penny who hates it with a fiery passion and keeps trying to run away and then squeals like a pig when I pull her out from under the patio chair.

Disclaimer: Penny and Nickels are our dogs.
They are not extra children in my charge that I bathe on the patio like dogs. 

After a shower of dog hair being rained down upon me, I took a shower because...ew. I lowered my standards and decided to give Kinroo Blue one more shot. Still not very good. I still drank it though. No one likes a wasteful complainer. Buck up, Rachel. I made dinner of sun dried tomato and goat cheese turkey burgers with roasted sweet potatoes while enjoying my sub par beer. I wonder if June Cleaver drank beer while she cooked dinner. Is that why the antics of The Beaver and Wally never seemed to bother her? 

I went to our women's book study tonight where I actually knew some of the answers AND I didn't even have to look up any summaries on Wikipedia to tell me what was going on in these two chapters. My paying attention method seems to have been beneficial. I love when hindsight can be used in the present rather than after the fact. That's handy. I told a story of how I'm a hypocritical lying sinner saved by the blood of Jesus. I'm sure no one was surprised by my sinful nature revelation.

We're going to play Rummikub now because no one has to go to bed for school tomorrow. I almost feel guilty for saying it, so I'll just say it quietly: Woot.
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Monday, July 6, 2015

First world problems, sure, BUT STILL VALID PROBLEMS

As I approach the final weeks of my summer vacation, I've started to panic that I will no longer get to spend countless hours a day finding things to do and bargain them away until tomorrow a la Scarlett O'Hara. Tomorrow, though, I will clean the bathroom. And cut up fruit for the freezer. And fold the laundry. And whatever else I've managed to neglect the previous four weeks.

Sadie and I started the day by going to Walmart. Did you know it's surprisingly and wonderfully empty at 9 a.m. on a Monday? I wondered if we were in fact the last inhabitants on Earth given the countless unoccupied aisles. Alas, we were not. We saw other people next to the toilet cleaner. There goes my dream of winning the Ultimate Earthling Survivor Competition.

Then we went to the pool for FOUR WHOLE HOURS. I spent more time at the pool today than I have in the last five collective years. I got to wear my old lady romper bathing suit. It was everything I wanted in a bathing suit. It's also good to have friends who are not introverts because they invite you to do things like get out of the house and talk to other people. I forget that there's an entire universe just beyond my front door. I just have to go out and aaaaahhhhhh! The sun! It's so bright! Shut the door!

We came home and I took a nap because I have older children who allow me the indulgence of sleeping because I am old and weary. Before you get all jealous, it was only 30 minutes. Then I cleaned the kitchen because I should at least do something productive with the 40 hours a day I have and I don't want Chris to come home and say, "Seriously, Rachel? You've seriously done nothing today?" I don't want to have to answer that. I mean, I know how I'd answer that. I just don't want to say it out loud. It's good to have some mystery in a marriage. Like...how I fill my summer vacation days.

I found this recipe on MSN/Popsugar for a carb free pizza crust. Now before you say, "Carb free pizza crust should have been an indication of its success rate," I love all things food. Vegetarian, brisket, hamburgers, pizza, healthy alternatives. As long as it's not packaged or made with artificial sweetener, I'm game. So this recipe piqued my interest as a healthy pizza crust option. However, I should just know not to mess with perfection. Bread, sauce, cheese. Not hard to mess up. Unless you substitute pizza crust for a crust made from cauliflower. Normally I love all vegetables and try to eat as many as I can in a sitting/day/week/lifetime. But this had to be the most time, energy, and resource consuming recipe for a grand bitter disappointment. After grating the cauliflower, cooking it, washing umpteen dishes, grating the cheese, making the sauce, baking the crust...it would have been just the same if I'd just steamed the cauliflower and poured sauce and cheese on top. So stupid. And it wasn't even good. I couldn't justify its healthy benefits. I could not overcome. I'm torn between just throwing it away and never letting anyone know of this abysmal failure or letting the family try it and ruin any chance of anyone ever wanting to eat vegetables again. Oh, Life, why do you have to be so hard?

I also discovered that there is no substitute for beer. I'm all for cutting financial corners. Non-packaged food, clothes, cars, home decor. It's all just stuff that doesn't really bother me. One area, however, I have discovered that cheap ≠ better: Beer. I bought the Kinroo Blue at Aldi thinking that it would be an acceptable substitute for Blue Moon. Spoiler alert: It's not. It tasted like drinking diluted sour swill from a college dorm party where no one could afford decent beer so they bought the knock off brand at Aldi. I could not overcome. I don't know what I'm going to do with the other five bottles. Drink them in the name of not being wasteful? Give them away in the name of charity? Pour them out and take the $6.97 loss and buy real beer? Oh, Life, why do you have to be so hard?

Maybe I just need to get over my first world problems and do something truly productive. There's always tomorrow.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Oh, hey, endless hours of the day.

The only problem with having so much time off during the summer is by the time you get used to having so much time off it's time to go back to work. I've settled in to a nice routine called What Do I Do Today With An Abundance Of Time on My Hands. I looked at the calendar today and realized that I go back to work in a few weeks and thought, Crap! I haven't done any of the things I had on my to do list!

Our days are spent languishing under the weight of spare time. Yesterday I finally drug Sadie out of her room at 12:30 to go to town with me. Not in a bad way, no. We literally went to Big Town since we still live in the middle of nowhere. I'm not bitter. We went to the library where we used up all of the City's air conditioning. I'm so hot. Like...all the time. I tried to put extra air in my pockets but it was of no use.

We played a couple of subdued rounds of Skip-Bo because we're 10 and 37 going on 55 and 82. I love card games. I really just like games that don't involve in depth strategy. Chess? No. That requires so much thinking

[On an interesting side note, during one of our college visits in June, they informed us that if you were a chess wizard, you could receive a full ride scholarship to that university. Full ride. But that sounds so boring. I can barely keep my eyes open as I type "chess scholarship" because my brain cannot process at that level.] 

I remained mostly calm while Sadie lost the first round and demanded a rematch. She likes to react to each card as she draws it from the pile.  Sad, shocked, appalled, excited. She runs the gamut on facial expressions. I told her she would be awful at poker, but she says she likes to throw off her opponent. I wonder if she knows she's even doing it. I wasn't thwarted by her ruse. I won the second match. We had to leave after that because it was starting to get a little tense.

We gathered our books, I rechecked Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire for the second time. Surely I can finish the book in 9 total weeks, right? It's not looking promising. I keep finding other ways to waste time. Like clean out the fridge. Or recycle everything in the pantry. Or declutter the plastic container cabinet. Important things, people.

After filling our heads with luck-of-the-draw card games and our lungs with beautiful compressed refrigerated air coolant, we went to Dollar Tree because IT'S DOLLAR TREE. Sadie picked out hair ties and I made some really important purchase of which I have already forgotten what it was. Since I bring in our second income, I splurged and let Sadie pick out two detective games and two puzzles. THEN because we're living high on the hog, I also got two ice cream sandwiches. It's like all my dreams were realized right there on aisle 5 of Dollar Tree.

We came home and I took a nap because FREE TIME, people. Sadie put together the first of two puzzles in a box. Final score: Sadie: 240 pieces, Rachel: 30 minutes.

I "made" dinner but then forgot it was in the oven while putting together puzzle numero dos, so our ranch chicken became chicken jerky. It was very dry. No, like really dry. Whoops. 

I went to a book study at church were I still didn't understand what was going on in The Great Divorce despite having looked at a summary on ever-credible Wikipedia. At one point, our group leader read a passage out loud and I had quite the a-ha moment that perhaps I would understand it better if I read it out loud slowly. Better yet, I wonder if she would be opposed to having reading time. Is 37 too old for story time? Probably. I can buy alcohol though. That should count for something.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Update No. 2

There was a snack station at one of my campuses today. There was an assortment of fruits, cereal bars, bagels, and juice. You know what I ate? Powdered sugar donuts. Why, Internet? Why? After all the weeks -- nay -- months of eating healthy and trying to focus on "losing weight" (puh), do I undo it with donuts? Delicious, crumbly, powdered sugary confections of perfection? It's not even real food. Just arid highly processed starches covered in finely ground modified starches. It was so good. I only took three because I wanted to appear dainty, but I'm sure the snack hall monitor knew the score because I scampered back to my office, covered the window and decimated them. The evidence was clear as a drug bust on my desk. Powder was everywhere. And then, as if I didn't feel bad enough about myself, I convinced myself that I needed the waxy chocolate donuts as well because, hey, free donuts. I went back when the monitor had her back turned and took two chocolate donuts. I love donuts. Almost as much as I love beer. Beer and donuts. Staples of an American pantry.

I haven't washed my work clothes in weeks. Probably a couple of months. And you might be thinking, That's gross, Rachel. You should keep your disgusting habits to yourself. Never fear, naysayers. I HAVE THAT MANY CLOTHES. So so many clothes. I've gone through all the pants that I even wore several times until a noticeable spot appeared and it would be evident to all and sundry that I was indeed not doing laundry. Never give away your hand until forced to do so, right? So now I've moved on to skirts and dresses. The only down side to that is having to shave my legs every day that I expose my alabaster skin to the world. First world problems, sure. But still. It's a hassle. No one wants to mess with that nonsense on a daily basis. I think I can still go about six more weeks with all the skirts and t-shirt combos I can make. I feel like I'm living in a fairy tale.

I do have it on my to do list this summer to get some sort of a tan. Although I don't really tan so much as beige. It's a slightly less startling pallor than Sleepy Vampire or Death Came to Roost.

When we sold our last house a couple of years ago, we got our asking price within a day of it being on the market. It was a wee house of only 1300 square feet. It was a fair price. It's for sale again for $25,000 more than what we asked two years ago. You want to know my first thought? Eff that noise. That's bananapants. $25,000 more for a 1300 square foot home. I wonder how much we could get for ours now? We'd all have to live in our car, sure, but think of all the money! And Ben has his own car, so it would really be like he'd have his very own house. I really think this could work. Wait. I have all the clothes. I would probably need my own car for my clothes. And then another car for all the food. And then another car for hanging out in that's not filled with food and clothing. Suddenly this seems like I haven't really thought this home selling process all the way through. Beer and donuts should solve this conundrum.

Dogs licking my hands while I type still hasn't gotten helpful overnight.


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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Update of sorts

I've been trying to watch the movie Intolerable Cruelty for the last four days. Watching this movie has intolerable cruelty. I can't imagine on what level anyone in this movie thought, Hey, this is a good idea. I can't figure out if it's really boring or...nope that's about it. Boring. So stupid. It's finally, mercifully over. Wait...this thing got three stars? There's no hope for humanity.

I found 55 cents on my walk. Two whole quarters and a beat up nickel. I love finding quarters. I love finding $5 bills more. Why can't the street proffer larger forms of currency? I would even settle for lids to all the plastic bowls under the counter. I wonder if when the kids move out and we clean out their rooms if we'll find all the things we've been missing over the years. Cups, bowls, sleep, money, TV time, quiet, matching lids, missing socks, last pieces of cake. I have already found some questionable food dishes in Ben's room on several occasions. It's been a mystery as to what I would have served that looked like moldy vomit. I don't remember making that for dinner, but it's not to say I didn't. And we'll totally need to burn his room when he moves out.

Why do I have two furry dog shaped shadows follow me every time I go anywhere? Every time I get up to go upstairs, they launch themselves with fervor in pursuit of another location. Then they both insist on laying RIGHTNEXTOTME and lick my hands as I type. It's not exactly helpful, but I also don't understand the animal kingdom.

Ben is rounding out his junior year of high school. To me that's a little weird. Is it to you? Do you remember when I started this blog and he was a mere 9 years old? He was such a baby. You read that, Ben? A baby. So wee. I try not to think about the fact that he'll be a senior and what all that entails. It just makes me sad. But also glad that he's so awesome. Is that what parenting is? A constant grab bag of mixed emotions? This sucks. 

Sadie goes to middle school next year. She's so tiny! She's not ready! She's only 10! She asked the other day if she could buy her lunch more at school next year.  More as in more than the two times I let her this year. Why buy lunch when you can eat already purchased food from home? I don't understand kids. I do understand spending money. It's my favorite hobby. 

And reading. I love reading. In the last two weeks I think I've read about 6 books. My brain can't process words fast enough and get to the resolution quickly enough. I wanted to eat a couple of them they were so good. I need words to be edible.

I need this blog to do something more than suck.
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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Interacting in the real world and not behind a computer screen

My first day Facebook free started to be a productive one. I'm not saying FB is bad or evil or of the devil, but it is definitely implied. I also recognize my own failings in relying upon it for social interaction and passing time.

I cleaned up the kitchen and went through my recipe binder. For years and years I've been hoarding collecting recipes for a day when...I don't know. I suppose I wanted to be prepared for any situation, much like the Boy Scouts if they hosted impromptu dinner parties. I took clothes upstairs that were hanging in the laundry room for weeks. Turns out all the time I wasted on the computer was time I should have spent cleaning. Ahem.

I cleaned out a tube of lip balm that had melted in the car. Now it's good as new. I showered and shaved my legs to go to a cross country booster club meeting. Maybe they're not a booster club yet. Perhaps I'll find out at the meeting. I normally wouldn't go to anything like a booster club meeting with people I didn't know, but my lack of reliance on Facebook has forced me to seek alternatives for seeing actual, live human beings. I met one of the moms at a parent meeting the other day, and she was so lovely and I thought, hey! I'm interacting! 

We ran errands and ate lunch at Sam's because I'm incredibly cheap frugal. Yes, let's go with frugal. That sounds way less stigmatizing. Chris, Sadie and I wandered the aisles of Sam's and the library and...I think we went somewhere else. I was really tired so it's all slightly fuzzy.

I took a nap because Saturday afternoons were made for napping. Then we went to visit Chris' parents for dinner and football. The whole time I was present and engaged in the moment and with the people whose company I was keeping because I knew I couldn't run home and hop on the computer to interact with online personas. I had to make the most of my time with people because, I'm telling you, THIS IS IT. This was real life.

The whole day I felt heady and so alive, practically giddy that my time felt like my own. I wondered if this is what it was like for smokers after they quit smoking and can taste real flavors again. My senses were heightened in that I was no longer in bondage to a virtual reality. I had zero desire to return to my previous state. My desire for such things had been conquered by an all-consuming Savior.

That sounds like such a dramatic thing to say, but there are only two states in life that matter: Dead and alive. And I'm not talking about whether you're alive and breathing or dead in the ground. It's whether you're dead or alive in Christ. Nothing in this world matters more than whether you are conducting yourself with the knowledge and grace of Jesus or whether you're pursuing things of this world and the flesh.

I am chief of the latter. I am ashamed to admit how much time I wasted on Facebook. Ashamed. I want to fall on my face on the floor and weep for the beautiful moments I threw in the trash because I was a slave to my own sin. I have deliberately neglected tallying the amount of time I've spent on FB because I don't know how I would live with myself knowing that number. I'm already ashamed of my gluttony, numbers add nothing but more remorse.

Today we went to church and I had to consciously think to myself, Make this time count. This is your interaction with people. THIS IS IT. I loved it. People matter. Relationships matter. Relationships on the other side of a computer screen are empty and unsatisfying. It's looking like I'm on my way to becoming a hugger.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Posty McPostykins

Me: "I think I would like another baby."

Chris: "You just told me you were too old."

Me: "That's just what I say to make myself feel better. I could do it."

Chris: "Let's just get another dog at the pound."

I do want another dog (a buddy for Penny) but I'm leaning to wanting another baby. I just need to convince Chris that at this stage in our lives (I'm 36...ugh) that starting all over is what I want. Gladly. Baaaaabyyyyyy feeeeeveeeerrrr. The kids are 16 and 9. 16 and 9. This baby fever needs to be replaced with someone more productive like shopping or movies or anything that gets my uterus' mind off of procreating.

Chris is currently helping Ben with his Algebra II homework. They were just discussing a program that Chris wrote for one of his classes on how to find a prime number. I stayed out of that conversation out of respect for math and science. I might hurt its feelings that despite being an older college student, I cannot participate in discussions such as these. I do remember the quadratic equation. Small victory.

I took Penny for a walk by myself tonight. The children didn't want to come with me. They wasted a perfectly beautiful evening staying inside. See? I need smaller children who actually want to spend time with me. We did play Scrabble Slam when I got home, so family values were restored. Ben informed me that I smelled like I went for a walk. I asked for clarification later, and he said I smelled like BO. I guess that better than saying I smelled like a dirty diaper. Small victory? Probably not.

I've given up on cooking dinner. I used to make 16 course meals that took several hours to make and were lovingly prepared with wholesome ingredients. Tonight, though, I dumped out tater tots and mini corn dogs on baking sheets and heated them up. I used the oven, so that's almost like homemade. I rounded it out with some peas and carrots.

Me: "How can I get rid of this baby fever? What can I do?"

Chris: "Look at how much it costs to buy a minivan. Look at the cost of daycare."

It would only be $5000 per school year. That sounds doable, right?

This post was pointless and I've solved none of the world's problems. I've failed humanity. Par for the course.