Saturday, January 30, 2010
the kids ventured out earlier in the day but the snow was too fluffy to sled. they've been in and out a few times, and are out again now, trying to sled again.
i love days like this. if push came to shove and we NEEDED to get out and about we could, but we didn't have a need and we just stayed here. the smell of bacon from breakfast turned into the smell of baking goodies and has now turned into the aroma of onions/cheese/potatoes for scalloped potatoes for dinner. looking out the windows at a white blanket of snow, the occasional bird landing on a branch and the quite crispness winter brings--it all makes me feel good.
as i mentioned above i finished my life in france. it was a great read. i am not a cook at all, not very good at it, but reading julia child's story in her words was just fascinating. she lingers over things and describes the details and aromas and what wine they had with what food. her love of cooking and the process and the research on everything she did was mesmerizing, even for a non-foodie. it makes me want to cook, to live in france and it makes me wish i knew her (she died in 2004). i think i might even put her on my list of people i'd like to be friends with, along with katherine hepburn and stephen king.
so, while i am basking in the warmth of being in the bosom of my family, realizing that in the moment i am recognizing how wonderful the moment is--the girl turns to me and says...."this is the most boring day ever."
ah---it's all a matter of perspective my love.
and dash? he disappears from time to time. he is just the right size to fit in a cat mouth, which i'm guessing is how he gets transported from place to place. today he ended up on our bed (yes, that is my new sapphire comforter) and his transporter (jasper) was laying nearby.
Friday, January 29, 2010
the weather forecast for my part of nc is calling for SNOW. not just 1-2 inches, but (depending on which news cast you watch) 3-10"! i am excited. i'm all a flutter inside. giddy like a school kid. i spent the morning running around picking up prescription refills, gassing up the car, last minute grocery shopping (not because of the snow really but because we were out of a few things). you can't get snowed in w/out some peanut butter m&ms folks.
i am anticipating being house-bound for the weekend. there will be some sledding and playing in the snow and watching movies and sleeping in and....just...being. at least i hope so.
i haven't talked much about the job front...well, the lack of a job front. each week i send out 2-3 resumes, mostly applying for jobs i know i'm qualified for, or am at least marginally qualified for, but am not really excited about. i need a job and if i get one of these jobs i'm not excited about that will be fine. however, i have about 3-4 resumes out for jobs i think i might actually like. i am really, really trying not to get my hopes up, but it's hard.
before this layoff i felt like i had marketable skills. i have a degree in journalism, a marketing minor. i've plied my skills for nearly 20 years. i think, despite my lack of punctuation here and my run on sentences, etc., that i can be a gifted writer/editor. however, i am quickly learning that those skills are not as revered as they once were. people assume anyone can write so they want you to have those skills as well as possess an in-depth knowledge of something else, like aerospace or consumer products or entertainment or health care.
whatevs--i will find something. and if not my dream job (whatever the hell that might be) then i'll do whatever i have to do.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
*we had our septic tank pumped out today. yeah. 1000 lbs of crap. omg. apparently you're supposed to do that every 3-5 years. we've lived here 7 and hadn't done it and apparently the people who lived here before hadn't either. nice. and? one of the previous owners was an idiot and planted a tree over the drainage bed. it is a large, old tree so i'm guessing it was the original owners. dumbasses. at some point we might have to take the tree out. the male members of my household were incredibly disappointed that this pumping was going on while they were not here. after all, doesn't everyone want to see inside of a septic tank? see a giant hose sucking excrement out of your yard? yeah. i had to take pictures for them.
*the girl had her 13 yr old check up today. all is well, though she is 5' not 5'2" as she'd thought. her goal is to surpass my 5'4". i think i might switch her doctor though because the doc got a bit preachy. i felt like saying, hey, you make sure she's physically healthy and her dad and i will take care of the moral issues unkay?
*the last several days have been hectic. the girl's school project parade was friday afternoon--she got an a on the pyramid float; the boy earned his green belt in karate friday night; the girl took the SAT saturday--she said the reading was easy but the math was hard. then there have been dentist/doc appointments etc.
*the girl called the boy a prick yesterday. omg! i don't even call people pricks.
*the hubs and i have started watching our west wing dvds again. i love this. i honestly do not think anyone can understand just how much we love this show. we know the dialogue, we know the details. and the fact that we both enjoy it so much makes me happy. there are some things we watch because the other wants to or we might both enjoy it but not like west wing.
*i finished under the dome (i think i mentioned that). i think stephen king is back to his great writing again (he has lapses from time to time). i didn't love the way it ended, but i loved the book. now i am half way through my life in france, by julia child. i wanted to read it after seeing that movie julia/julie or whatever. this book is really good. her nephew (i think that's who it is) helped her write it, transcribing her letters, notes, etc. it's written in her voice. it's quite interesting and makes me wish i knew her. she was pretty cool.
Monday, January 25, 2010
l to r: i've had this cup, a plastic one from dunkin donuts, for more than 13 yrs. the logo has worn off and it is all kinds of coffee stained inside (see below). this white cup says good morning (which is an oxymoron in my book). i like this cup because it is HUGE and crisp looking and my bro/sil gave it to me this year for christmas. next up is my fornicating penguin mug my friend sweet t gave me. it's fornicating penguins! what's not to love? next is a big assed mug i got when i was in germany a couple of yrs ago--kind of commercially since it says starbucks on it, but still, i like it. the last one is an old, small, chipped cup that i don't even really drink out of. it belonged to my grandpa though and when my grandma was moving in w/ my aunt before she died it's one of the things i wanted. i also have a mug w/ my alma mater on it but it was in the dishwasher.
this is clean, i promise. i have no idea why i like this mug so much. i like the feel of it, the fact that it holds a lot of coffee. as you can tell....i like my cups big : ) mmmmmmmmhhhhhmmmmm.
your turn. show me your favorite drinking vessel. a coffee cup? glass? wine glass? beer mug? let it fly : )
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
the one friend, our host, is home on maternity leave. she had her baby the first week of december. this is the first time i've seen him. this is a different tangent altogether, but, i don't understand women who do not want visitors both in the hospital and once they've come home. is it because they're afraid people will care what THEY look like? are they so in love w/ their new-born they don't want others to see it? i just don't get it. the hubs and i were so over the moon with what WE'D done (yes, we had the audacity to think we'd created these miracles) that we wanted everyone and their brother to come to the hospital right away and pay homage to our great gifts.
the second friend got laid off when i got laid off (she was my art director) and she seems to be doing well. the third friend is one that got laid off in jan. and found a job six months later. she's also one i called my bff about a year ago and then we had a falling out, she had a baby and to be honest things have never been the same between us.
anyway, i guess i walked away feeling low because i am slowly realizing that i am not like my friends, most of them anyway, at all. i know i've said this before, but not only am i not on the same page w/ most of my friends, i don't think i'm even reading the same book. and then i started over-analyzing my friendships, like why was i friends w/ these people anyway. all of my friends at this point in life are work friends, from one job or another.
(none of this is coming out like i mean it i fear.) when we had work as our common denominator i didn't see our differences as much. granted, we have many things in common or else we'd have remained co-workers instead of friends. my friends are more social than i am. they go out on week nights, they get together to do girl things on the weekends. i am assuming they talk to each other and text each other on a regular basis. i am submerged in my own world. i have never felt comfortable going out on a weeknight--mostly because they're so busy for us. homework, karate, dinner. i am older than this particular group of friends and most of them have one child and none of their kids are in school yet. they are still social.
the childish part of me (hey, at least i recognize i'm being childish) gets jealous because more often than not when i get together w/ one or more of them there is reference to something they did together or an inside joke or conversation they've had or something they're going to do in the future. i have no right to be mad, sometimes i am invited to the gatherings they reference and sometimes not. and, i have no room, really, to get even the least bit upset because if they ask and i decline it's on me. but, another part of me feels shunned and feels like the outsider, though admittedly i know i put myself out there.
the over analyzing side of me goes back to a question i've asked over and over and over again in my life--do i really know how to be a friend? i don't think so. the hubs is my longest standing permanent relationship outside of my blood relatives and up until the last 10-13 years or so it was questionable if we'd stay together.
but then i look to my relationships w/ other friends and my feelings there are not at all the same. i feel comfortable, even if it's been weeks since we've talked. i don't feel pressured or like i'm letting someone down. when we get together i don't feel like i don't have anything to contribute to the conversation. i know they have other friends and life outside of our relationship and it doesn't bother me a bit. hmmmmm.
and i feel closer to some of my blog friends than i do to the first group of girls mentioned above. how odd is that?
and the thing is---i used to think i was missing out by not joining every one of their things, but i honestly don't think i am. it's not that i don't like them or want to be friends w/ them, it's just that we aren't reading the same book anymore. they're chatting about the book they've all just read and i'm pondering the totally different book i'm reading.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
*today i FINALLY bought a couple of bras. i got a PINK one. i feel so girly. and pink panties. oh my.
*one of the things on my to do list (which is comprised of things to do before i get a job) is to paint our bedroom. i have been contemplating some shade of brown for quite awhile. i envisioned a brown/cream/blue combo for the bedding and brown walls. i have over thought this project way, way too much. while i was out running errands (and buying bras!) today i saw brown/blue bedding in person and the shades weren't right and even though it was really really on sale i passed it up. instead i fell for this deep, almost sapphire blue bedding. two king shams, comforter and dust ruffle for $35! so i spent some of my christmas money on it and voila it is so awesome. of course i can't paint the walls the brown i was thinking of because then the room would just be all dark. i'm now thinking a gray or slate? it certainly can't stay the two-tone green it is now.
*the girl's project on egypt is done except (omg, i think when i wrote a similar note like this on fb i typed accept instead of except! shit. hotch will most likely call me out) for the minor things we have to add once we get the damn thing to school. we can't add the flags and signs because they're too tall to fit in the car. i will have pics when this bitch is dead and gone. i would so love to bitch slap her teacher for this assignment. i'm really not even sure what the girl has learned from this, other than to not wait until the last minute. her friends on fb are commenting about being half done or worse, not even starting.
*did i mention that we watched paranormal activity? i can't remember. it is a "documentary" like blair witch, although w/out the jiggling camera shots, which drove me nuts. for the longest time nothing happens and then when it does it freaked me the hell out. i wouldn't say it was a great movie, but it was worth the price of the $1 at redbox.
*i am nearly done reading stephen (i bow down to his greatness) king's under the dome. i started reading stephen king when i was in middle or high school and while i've always loved his work and the way his mind spins stories, i wax and wane on just how much i love him. in the last few years i've read the cell, very good, and started lisey's story a few times but haven't finished it--but this under the dome is magnificent. it is on par w/ the stand (my favorite of his novels). i am always impressed by how he weaves so many characters into a novel. and not just in passing but there are so many twists and plots and his character development blows me away. i love his brain.
Monday, January 18, 2010
i think it is because as babies/toddlers they are like sponges and every single thing is new and they crawl and then walk and then they're talking and feeding themselves and each month you can physically see the changes in them. then that slows down for awhile and while you might look at school pictures or other photos and see a gradual outward growth or change, most of the growing is in their minds. then they hit puberty and the physical changes come faster again.
i look at how much she's changed in just a year. there's the obvious, boobs, butt, getting taller (only 2 inches shorter than me now), starting her period, getting her first pimple. but i also see her maturing, growing, blossoming.
this girl, this baby we waited so long for, has turned into a girl who knows the words to almost every taylor swift song, makes craft projects out of duct tape or yarn or folding paper, who recently got her ears pierced and is now obsessed with sparkly, girly earrings, who's watching chick flicks constantly but still reading the mysterious benedict society series in between rereading all of the twilight books. she's had a foot in both world's for awhile--that of being a child and that of being an adult--and i see that foot in the child world disappearing more every day.
i have no doubt that there will be hard times, aren't there always with teenagers? but, i also know that she is smart and funny and wise and i am excited (and yes, a bit sad) to watch her grow up.
saturday night she had friends sleep over. we went to the movies--she and her three friends and the boy and a friend saw the chipmunk movie while the hubs and i watched it's complicated (GO SEE IT IT IS HYSTERICAL) in the next theater. we've never done this. another milestone. it was a typical sleepover, giggling girls, movie watching, snacks. at 3:30 am the girl came and woke me up because they were scared. she and the two girls who spent the night were sitting together on the couch in the den, scared. they kept hearing noises--it was the rain. i sat w/ them for awhile and then went back to bed once they calmed down. they slept, all sitting up together, on the couch all night.
sunday we had the family over for cake and ice cream. i kept looking at my baby niece and nephew and wondering how my own child had gone from that to 13 in such a short amount of time. i managed not to cry, but sometimes just thinking about it chokes me up.
what a gift it is, to have these people, to be responsible for these people for so long. to mold them, love them, hold them, comfort them. they are amazing and make me realize that if i do nothing else, ever, in my life, i have helped give the world two incredible people.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
the only real challenge w/ his project has been keeping him on task. it is nearly done. whew.
HOWEVER--the girl has to make a float. did you hear that? a FLOAT for social studies. they're having an african parade. they each got a country and have to do a themed float based on the country. thank god she got egypt right? cos....hello theme, pyramids, easy as pie. ha ha ha haha hahahahaha. yeah, that's what i thought too. we have a huge card board box and we figured out how to make it a float and we got all the logistics down. but for the life of us we cannot craft a four-sided cardboard pyramid bigger than 12 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches or whatever. even the hubs, who is a math wizard, cannot do it. so, we have one 3d pyramid and the larger ones are going to be one dimensional. the girl has wrapped on of the boy's wrestling dolls...i mean ACTION FIGURES...up as a mummy. she is making a sarcophagus too. oy vey i can't wait for this to be done. and seriously? i am hating the girl's teacher. w/ all the requirements this is asking A LOT of 7th graders.
i have so much else to say---pictures to upload (i've tried a couple of times this week and blogger does not like my pics apparently)---movie and literature things, oh, and i made a homemade raspberry/blueberry cobbler yesterday and it's not too bad. and....the girl....she will be THIRTEEN this sunday. i can't think about it too much. i start to cry. really.
there are other things---my dear friend sweet t, the one who just got married in november, lost her FIL and MIL this weekend. they had called hospice in for her fil and she and her hubby went down for that, but then her mil died two days later. so incredibly sad. i can't imagine losing both so close together.
i think my neighbors (the ones whose house burnt) are going to renovate their house. although is it called renovating if you're rebuilding after a fire? there seem to be signs of it based on the trucks that have been around this week.
more to come.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
i tried to embed the utube video for this but alas my skillz are lacking today.
i've been in a bit of a funk this week. i'm chalking it up to the fire across the street and the fact that things are back to "normal" now and it's not "vacation" time any longer. i think while the kids were out of school and we were celebrating the holidays i could sort of pretend i was on vacation from a job and not really unemployed. ha. welcome back to reality.
but i'm not going to keep wallowing. there's no point. i will find a job, it's just a matter of when. in the meantime i "gotta be strong, gotta be tough, gotta be wiser" because all i know "is love will save the day."
and no, not love in the sappy, general sense of the word. don't get me wrong, the hubs is my rock most of the time. i'm talking about all kinds of love, love for self, for the kids, for the hubs. all of it. i'm not sure if that's making much sense, it does in my head. it's not the oh, we're living on love and we're doing great and everything is rosy, because frankly people who say that make me want to hurl. but, the essence of love does carry me through most things.
today could have been much like yesterday, a day where i straightened up the house, looked, as always, online for jobs, farmed on stupid facebook (ok, i have penguins on my farm there now and fuck me if i don't think that's cool as shit) and waited for everyone to get home. it could have been, but, i had to run out to tarjay to pick up one of the hubs' prescriptions.
i honestly do not know how i have fallen prey to this company, but even if i'm just going in there for medicine, toilet paper and laundry detergent (and some extra powerful lotion cos dude my family is itchy and full of static and i want it to stop), like i was today, i came out pumped. maybe it's because i was primed for uplifting by the song above on my way there. maybe it's because when i went to pay for the meds she said my balance was zero because insurance covered it all. maybe it's because they put this strap thing on my bundle of cottonelle that served as a handle and i thought that was cool as shit. maybe it's because, even though they were out of the stuff to make my caramel machiatto at the tarjay starbucks, i still got a cup of coffee and it was free because my bro gave me a giftcard he didn't want. i'll let you soak that up, yeah, the coffee crave skipped him apparently cos dude doesn't do starbucks. but i benefited from it.
also, i made up a word today. slurmit. it is a slug and a hermit, which is what i've been lately. i need to make some changes. i need to start walking again and actually try out the damn wii fit again. i want me and my family to be healthy, not slugs.
oh, and to top off this day so far, i heard brown eyed girl, by van morrison, on the radio on the way home. i tried to embed that video too but couldn't find a version i liked. (partly because i found a live version and, as much as i love going to concerts, i am a weird one in that when i listen to cds/songs i don't really like the live versions). this song always reminds me of the girl--not for the content/lyrics, obviously, but because she is a beautiful brown eyed girl. both of my kids are brown eyed, which is interesting because the hubs and i are both hazel-eyed.
Monday, January 4, 2010
the dogs started barking up a storm around 5am one morning, i barely registered it since i had to get up in an hour to start getting the kids off to school. i got up at six and saw the flashing lights as i let the dogs out in the backyard. there were several vehicles at a neighbor's house whose back yard butts up to ours a bit. got everyone off to school and the vehicles were still there. the hubs called me a few minutes after he left the house and drove by the neighbor's house--a car crashed into their house.
the car plowed through two neighbors' mailboxes and a tree and a porch column before ramming a huge hole into the third BRICK house. do you know how fast you have to be going and how hard you have to hit a brick wall to knock a hole in it? not a little hole, but a hole a person could walk through. we still don't know what was going on w/ the driver---drunk? fell asleep? brake failure? but he walked away w/ minor scratches and did more than $45k worth of damage to the house. they've just started rebuilding the front of it.
today, around 1:30 the dogs started going crazy, much like they do when a squirrel is in the back yard or someone is walking down the street. i let them out in the back yard and noticed smoke but chalked it up to someone burning leaves. the dogs came back in, i started running the sweeper and they started going crazy again. i saw more smoke and a lot of it. i opened the garage door and the neighbor's house directly across the street was engulfed in flames. there were six fire trucks on the street. my heart leapt into my throat. although we don't know our neighbors other than to wave at them, i worried that they might be inside. it didn't seem like any of the firefighters were rushing around like a life was at stake though and they seemed focused on getting the car out of the garage. the fire raged on, reminding me of how quickly our christmas tree burned in the fire pit outside a few years ago.
my next door neighbor came outside (she's one of the ones who lost a mailbox in the above story) and said she noticed small flames when she went to get her mail and ran in and called 911; when she came back outside the whole side of the house was on fire. luckily nobody was home, but it was awhile before i knew that. i was sick just thinking about it, even though we don't know them.
the husband and wife had been out, separately, and he got home before she did. although it is so lucky they weren't home (i think he's actually retired) i cannot imagine driving up and seeing my home engulfed in flames. i called the hubs, cos i'm like that. i worried that the girl would freak out when she got off the bus, she was fine. the hubs came home shortly after the girl got home and the firetrucks were still there, still hosing it down. i'm sure they've lost everything, or most everything. the school called when it was time for the boy to come home--the bus driver said she couldn't get down our road so the hubs went to pick him up.
people from the neighborhood were standing in our yard, watching the fire. the local news ran their cable across our front yard and driveway. in one of the shots where they're talking to a fireman you can see our house in the background. at one point a reporter from the local paper came up and tried to interview me. i declined. partly because i was still too stunned to even say anything and partly because it's the same little paper that has never even had the courtesy to send me a rejection letter when i've applied for jobs there.
i was not one of the neighbors who went over and talked to the couple. i felt weird. i didn't want to seem like a gawker. i didn't want the only time i've ever had a conversation w/ them other than a wave from the lawn mower or car to be on the day their house burned down. i feel like a tool for not going over there. the whole thing is so upsetting.
i already freak out unnecessarily about stuff. like if i happen to be driving down a road i know the hubs might be on during the work day and there's a wreck, i hold my breath until i see the car isn't his. or, i've been driving home before, heard sirens, seen smoke and panicked thinking it was my house and of course when i got closer to my house the fire was miles away. i know that couple is so very lucky that neither of them were hurt, but i cannot fathom the devastation. the memories gone. the shock they must be going through.
i think tomorrow i'm going to check the smoke alarm batteries and see how old the fire extinguisher in the kitchen is.
Friday, January 1, 2010
so many thoughts, things, ideas, stories have run through my brain since my last post. we really did have a great christmas. the hubs gave me a beautiful white gold infinity necklace (yes, he finally realized i don't like gold jewelry) but my fave gifts really were the vintage coloring book he found me (published the year i was born), a scrabble game exactly like my old one that the dog chewed up, the most comfy pajamas i've ever had and more. i got an awesomely big coffee cup from my bro/sil, along w/ some penguin socks. the girl got me a travel coffee mug and some yummy coffee and the boy got me a necklace that says mom. it was a good haul.
the hubs' dad sends money for christmas so we bought guitar hero and wii fit. i haven't played guitar hero yet, but have tried the wii fit. apparently i am 8 yrs older on wii fit. changes need to be made.
after the holidays we've been in a clean up/reorganizing mode. it feels good. we've put all the christmas stuff away. the garage is 99% cleaned out which means for the first time in a long time we'll be able to fit two cars in there again. both kids' rooms are cleaned, decluttered and organized. it's all been very cathartic.
i have much much more to say but just wanted to stop in so you wouldn't think i'd fallen off the face of the earth.
oh--and after about two years of waffling, the girl got her ears pierced today : ) we've gone to get them pierced several times in the last 2-3 years and she's always chickened out. i guess since she will be 13 in a few weeks she decided to bite the bullet.
i am slowly getting around to reading blogs again, and commenting and finding out what you've been up to. i've missed you all : )