Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chocolate. Tea.

So. Chocolate tea. I think the emphasis is more on the tea than the chocolate. Think hot water in which someone accidentally dropped a pinch of cocoa powder. Maybe it will taste better with time.

Or maybe it would taste a better with a cupcake.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

You Capture - Food

Upon returning from the grocery store......

And now I'm hungry. Head over to Beth's to see what everyone else has to eat!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

To Africa With Love

So, you should really go to Lovelyn's blog and read how amazing and wonderful she is. I've never met her, but I know this must be true. She is the mother of 4 beautiful girls, and she and her family are in the process of adopting two baby girls from Uganda. And in order to help defray the costs of things like adoption fees, flights and such (bringing your babies home from Africa is NOT cheap), she has designed and is selling these awesome shirts.

Even if you choose not to purchase one, go and wish her love, luck and blessings as she and her family welcome their baby girls home.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

List Time

1. When I make pizza with organic crust and soy cheese, it's not nearly as heavy or as greasy as it is with regular crust and dairy cheese.

2. When someone tells you their name is Rico, you cannot help but think "suave" in your head. And it is very, very, very hard to not laugh. And even harder to not actually say "suave" out loud. This was an experience I had this week, so I know from first-hand experience.

3. I'm slowly making a move from regular old vegetarian to a more vegan way of being. I'm finding that a lot of foods that I used to have no trouble eating are kind of, um, troubling now. Probably because I'm getting old. But I'm hoping this will help.

4. I'm also trying to significantly cut my intake of sugar and white flour. Which is, um, hard. Mostly because I really like sugar. A lot. Some days it's the only reason I don't just sit down on the floor and cry. But I'm gonna try anyway. I did buy some dark chocolate tea, and I'm hoping that will be a satisfying alternative. I haven't tried it yet, because I'm kind of afraid of it (because, let's face it, chocolate tea sounds weird), and I don't really believe that I'll drink it and think "yes, that's just what I needed and now I have no desire for a bag of M&Ms..... none at all." But, you know. I'm hoping.

5. It probably doesn't really help the whole digestive issue that I'm trying to adjust back to a school schedule and that's, like, four and a half hours earlier than my body is used to having to function.

6. This morning I ran 10 miles and I had the song Say Hey by Michael Franti and Spearhead on repeat for over half the run. (Which was a long time because I was moving slow.) Then I listened to a few other songs and put Say Hey back on repeat. It's a mover and a shaker.

7. I am totally hoping that Acupuncturist can work miracles on me tomorrow. Because I'm a mess. In all kinds of ways.

8. I finally read the book What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundel. (Because I love teen fiction.) And it was very well written and did a very good job of building up to the big reveals. Although at first I was a bit disappointed when the reveals started happening, because based on the title and the cover, I kind of thought this book would be a little smutty. And it so totally wasn't, which made it a little disappointing. But then the reveals kept on going. And then it so totally was. Smutty, that is. And I don't think the school librarian knows this, about the smut, so I'll have to let him know. (Let him know that it was so totally GOOD. Although maybe not so school appropriate.)

9. I also read Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson and I loved that, too. It wasn't smutty. But it was totally relatable (is that a word?) and readable and lovable. And fun.

10. Because we did not have school on Thursday, I got to listen to the live webcast of U2 in concert in Sheffield, England. That was pretty awesome. Actually, it was very awesome.

11. I'm pretty sure that water could make me bloated and give me gas. Everything else does. Why would water want to be left out of the fun?

12. I'm going to finish my tea and go to bed now.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

You Capture - Peace

So, let me take you on a tour of my house.......

Living Room:
There is more peace to be found at Beth's.

Day One

So, I have not stood that much, talked that much, or peed that infrequently since June.

I forget those things go with the territory.

I am tired and I can't think of anything to say because my brain stopped working somewhere around 2:30, so, um.... Just look at this instead. It's yesterday's breakfast. (Well, part of it, at least.) It's nice.

I'm going to go to sleep now.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Not Postponed. Canceled.

So, Steven Tyler fell off the stage in Sturgis (yes, it's okay to laugh, even though it's technically not funny), broke his shoulder, and needed twenty stitches in his head.

Why is this pertinent to me? Because Best Friend and I were supposed to be seeing Aerosmith next Friday. And now we're not. At all. Because they did not postpone the show. They canceled the tour.

Yep. Best Friend and I, we really should have seen this coming. Read on and you'll understand....

This post was originally meant for Friday, August 28, 2009. Here it is in it's entirety. Why? Because I took the time to write it. That's why....

So, tonight, Best Friend and I make our umpteenth pilgrimage to see Aerosmith. It is our thing. Almost sacred, I dare say. And while the days are long gone that we could make our way around the mid-west and see The Boys play multiple times, it is a done deal that we will at least make it to our local show. There have been many, many Aero-adventures (Because apparently, we cannot see Aerosmith without some kind of odd mishap - sometimes involving 25,000 pounds of butter. But I digress.). I will share one of the best with you now....

Best Friend and I decided it was time for us to see The Boys in Indianapolis. We had never seen them there, after all. We met up at her house in the afternoon (1ish, I believe). We made pizza and feasted. We packed water and snacks. We took to the road with waaaaaaaaay more than enough time to get to the venue with our bums in our seats well before the opening act took the stage.

And then God realized that it was us. Going to see Aerosmith. And our plans went out the window.

The first sign of trouble was the line of vehicles waiting to get off the expressway. Because this concert was being held in Indiana, the venue was in the middle of a field. The field being conveniently located in the Middle of Nowhere. And there's just the one road that lead to the Middle of Nowhere . And it took us about and hour to get on to that road.

It took us another 90 minutes to be within sight of the venue.

And then another 45 minutes to get into the parking lot. (Okay, saying parking lot is a generous overstatement. It was a big, rutted field. Indiana, remember?)

In the line to get into the parking field, we could hear the opening act playing (it being an outdoor venue and all). Car windows were open all up and down the line of cars (filled with disgruntled divers and passengers). Expletives were overheard. (Okay, so maybe we might have uttered a few ourselves.)

As soon as the car with in park, we were out and running. We did make it to our seats in time to hear the last song of the opening act. Sighs of relief were breathed.

The Boys were amazing. Which is, of course, needless to say.

Then it was time to go. And we realized that in our haste to get into the venue, we had absolutely no idea whatsoever where we had parked. It was a portent of things to come.

We found a very friendly worker who kindly and patiently helped us locate our vehicle. We got in. We started the car. We noticed that no one was moving. By now, they really should have been. It had taken us a long time to find the car. But no. No one was moving. And no one knew why.

So we sat there. And sat there. And sat there. And sat there.

After 90 minutes of sitting in cars that weren't moving, people started to get out of their cars and complain. They found out that there were, in fact, four different parking fields around the venue. And they were being emptied one at a time. Guess who would be the last to go?


Exactly two and a half hours after the show had ended, our field started to empty. All of our wonderful new friends did everything in their power to get us to the front of the line, knowing that we had the longest drive home. (We'd had a lot of time to get to know each other, after all.)

We started our three hour trip home at 1:30 in the morning. We had left home at 2:00 in the afternoon. We'd eaten nothing of substance (Wheat Thins and water don't count) since that pizza. And there is just nothing open in the middle of Indiana in the middle of the night in the middle of the week. We came across and 24 hour Steak n' Shake at about quarter to three. They serve, um, nothing for the vegetarian set. Except shakes.

The slap happiness set in about 3:30. Thank God it was Best Friend's turn driving, because I was laughing so hard I could not see through the tears.

At about 4:30 in the morning, I drove right through a red light. BECAUSE THERE WAS NO ONE TO BE SEEN FOR MILES - EXCEPT US.

We arrived at Best Friend's house at about 5:00. I was home by 5:30.

Please let tonight be much less eventful. And much shorter.

But still rockin'.

(Okay, so about that 25,000 pounds of butter? That time we sat in park on the highway for about 90 minutes because a semi had overturned, spilling, you guessed it, 25,000 pounds of butter on to the highway. And it all had to be cleaned up before traffic could begin moving again. Seriously. These are the things that happen when Best Friend and I are together and Aerosmith is involved.)


Friday, August 14, 2009

School Daze

So, I spent the day running around in circles, starting 726 different projects and finishing, um, one. That can only mean that the school year has begun.

This is such a bittersweet time of year.

I do admit that I get excited for the start of school. (Yep, big nerd. That's me.) Even as a kid, I loved getting new crayons and a new lunchbox and all of the other grand things one needs to start school. Now I get excited about putting up bulletin boards and unpacking my library. And getting new crayons.

But on the other hand, I'm sad to go back to getting up at 3:30 in the morning. While I do actually like to get up kind of early and getting the day off to a nice, relaxed start, I don't like getting up before the rooster crows to start rushing around in a most likely futile attempt to get all my morning "stuff" accomplished and still manage to get to work on time. And that's inevitably what happens. (Except the getting to work on time part. That's rare.)

Then again, I'm looking forward to wearing all of my "good" clothes again. I'm really just about done with the cotton skirts with the fold-over waist. I've been wearing them all summer, and I'm sick of them. (And while we're on it, who was it that decided that it would be a good idea to add a wide, thick band of fabric that gets all bunched up on the hip/tummy/tush area of a skirt? Who did that? It had to be a man.) I'm ready to wear my twirly skirts and pretty shirts and lovely dresses. (Pants are just a little evil. I try not to wear them unless it totally cold and I have to be outside for an extended period of time.) I already have my First Day of School Outfit picked out. (Because I am a nerd.)

But I'm going to miss taking my book to my favorite little cafe in the afternoon and drinking tea and snacking on a muffin and reading outside in the sunshine. I'll still get to read every day, but it will be in 15 minute increments under fluorescent light while trying to make sure that thirty-some other bodies are also reading. (Or at least pretending to read.)

However, I'll also get to take those thirty-some bodies on an amazing journey over the next eleven months, and introduce them to wonderful stories and ideas that they may never have heard otherwise. It will involve loads of planning and preparation. But it will be worth it. And in return they'll take me on a journey that I can't even begin to plan for because I have no idea where it will lead. But I know it will be worth it.

This is a school year that will be (okay, already is) full of changes. Some really, really good. Some simply to be dealt with as best as possible.

I am nowhere near ready for it all to begin. And I will miss summer.

But, really?

What are we waiting for?

Let's go.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

You Capture - Motion

So, motion. The world is always in motion. Change is a constant. We are moving rapidly toward a new school year. It excites me to think of the year to come. Always in motion. Always changing. I am moving into a new room at work. There has been much movement to create a calm, peaceful, inviting space for myself and those who will come through my door. This is the motion (and where things came to rest) around me this week.

To see the motion surrounding everyone else, head over to Beth's.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Power of Bobby

So, there are currently 3,315 songs on my ipod. I love to shuffle them. And I have no problem shuffling though anything that doesn't strike my fancy at that exact moment. U2's Elevation? Um... not right now. REM's Pretty Persuasion? Um.... maybe later. Coldplay's Shiver? Not so much today. The Beatle's (the deities) She Said She Said? Eh...

But there is one man who is, as far as I can tell, virtually unshuffleable.

Bobby Brown.

There is a grand total of two Bobby Brown songs housed on my ipod - Every Little Step I Take and Good Enough. And if either one of them shuffles in, I WILL LISTEN. This morning they shuffled in back to back. And I had some kind of religious experience.

Why????? Why is that????

It's not like they're the greatest songs ever written. I mean, if you actually listen to the words to Good Enough, you kind of think "Eeeewwwwww! Gross!"


What is this strange power Bobby Brown holds over me?

Is there any way to break it?

Do I even want to?

You know what....

No. I don't think I do.

Because perhaps in this crazy world, so full of uncertainty and doubt, it's good to know that every little step I take, Bobby will be there. And that if it ain't good enough, Bobby will work harder.

And it's nice to have something to count on.

Even if it's Bobby Brown.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Trial Mom

So, I have no children. You know that. But I do have two goddaughters, ages 6 and 3. They are awesome, amazing, brilliant, beautiful little girls. I love them to pieces. I can't imagine how much mom's love their kids if they love them more than I love those girls.

The other day they spent some time over at my house while their mom (aka Best Friend) ran some errands.

They were here less than an hour.

And they Did. Not. Stop. Not once.

They got in the door and started looking for the cat.
Then we got the cat some treats.
Then we had to see the turtle.
Then they helped me finish baking cookies.
Then we had to find the cat again.
Then we found the cat and had to pet the cat. (Goddaughter #2 calling out "HI KITTY! HI KITTY!" about an inch from the cat's ear. I don't know what made me giggle harder - the look on Cat's face or #2's little voice yelling at the cat.)
Then we had to get a drink.
Then we had to start a game of Chutes and Ladders. (but not finish).
Then we had to see the basement. (No clue why.)
Then we had to get a snack (Reese's Peanut Butter Cups for #1, Tootsie Rolls for #2).
Then we had to start watching a movie (but not finish).
Then we had to feed the turtle.
Then we had to try the cookies we baked. (Yeah, so, um, I've been accused, in the past, of feeding the children too much sugar. But that was right before bed time and this was several hours before bed time, so I figured it was okay.)
Then we had to color part of a picture (but not finish).
Then we had to see what was outside. (I prayed it wasn't a snake.)


At one point, I'm helping #2 wash her hands and I look over and #1 in on the computer. (Me: "Watcha doin' over there?" #1: "I'm typing. I just clicked on Start and found the program." Me via internal monologue: "She knows how to find programs on the computer? Holy *%@& !" Even though I had just sat at lunch and watched her reprogram her mom's cell phone.)

When Best Friend returned to collect her children, it felt like they had been at my house for a full day. Or two.

How does she do it? How do all of the mamas do it?

Because it seriously made me think that maybe me NOT being a mama is not such a bad thing. Maybe.

(But, um, I kindofsortofreally look forward to when they come back. For, you know, a short visit.)

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Sad Farewell

So, I am utterly saddened by the passing of John Hughes. I guess it didn't occur to me that he could die. I kind of thought he'd live forever.

With him passes just a bit of my youth.

He's the man who gave us Jake Ryan (which I think qualifies him for sainthood), as well as Ferris Bueller, Uncle Buck, and Ducky (to name a very few). Few can hope to accomplish as much in their lifetime.

Rest in peace, John Hughes. In your honor, I will recite Sixteen Candles verbatim as I make dinner.

The film festival starts in my living room at sundown.

When I Grow Up

So, I should be getting ready to go in to work for a bit. But, as you can tell by the fact that I'm here, I'm in no great hurry to do so.

I like my job. I do. There's a lot that's great about the work I do, the place I work, and the people I work with. However....

When I grow up (aside from being Tina Turner) I want to be the lady who bakes cookies. I don't want to be a business owner (It makes me nervous to even think about that.). I just want someone to hire me to be the lady who bakes cookies. Is that possible? Is that a real job?

Because this is what I've done this week:

This is work I love. Coming up with new recipes. Trying new things. Creating something that seems to make other people happy (I mean, honestly, no one has ever complained that I brought them cookies, and people tend to enjoy them. Some people even get excited when I show up with cookies.). This makes me happy. This I could do for the rest of my life. (Okay, so no matter what, I'll be doing this for the rest of my life, but it would be so awesome if it was my actual job.).

So, if you know anyone looking for a lady who bakes cookies, give 'em my name, okay?

In the mean time, I guess I'll go get ready to go to work.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

You Capture - You

So, I assumed that this week's You Capture challenge of "you" meant "me" since "you" are looking at this right now and it would be hard for me to come take your picture and post it in a timely manner. So I went with me. On a typical morning.

Here I am preparing to do my morning meditation.

Now I'm getting ready to go run (so it must have been Saturday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday).

And now I'm all ready for the day and heading out the door. (I skipped the "getting ready" part. You're welcome.)

Now head over to Beth's and see everyone else!

PS - If anyone can tell me why my computer goes into fits of insanity (like, literally 50 windows will start opening all rapid-fire) when I try to check other people's You Capture posts, usually causing me to rip the computer's plug out of the wall socket, I would really appreciate that. Because that's been happening lately. And I miss seeing everyone's pictures.

It's Wednesday And...

So, currently there are men here disemboweling the house. Two men in the basement removing the furnace and two outside removing the air conditioner. Then they'll install a new furnace and air conditioner. I'm pretty sure this will involve holes in my house, which I hope they're planning to fill. I'm also pretty sure this will involve me and touch-up paint.

(There is lots of metallic banging happening and the cat is FREAKING OUT about this. I actually feel a little bad for him. Of course, not too much, since now his litter box is upstairs and way to close to me and has already been used this morning and I had to find another room to be in, which is hard when I need the computer and all. But still, I feel a little bad for him.)

This madness is all the air-conditioner's fault. It quit working two weeks ago. We kind of saw it coming. It's been limping along for about 3 years now. It was installed about 3 years ago. Odd, huh?

But I think it's a karmic intervention. Really, I do. When the house's original air-conditioner died (Don't be sad. It was very old and died of natural causes. We have an old house. It's bound to happen.) this particular air-conditioner arrived at our house under, um, interesting circumstances, and was installed by someone who had NO IDEA what they were doing. (It's a loooooong story. That happened back when Hubby was the way he used to be. Don't get me started.) Now Hubby and I kind of believe that everything in the house that was in any way influenced by said someone (and/or said someone's spouse) will have to go before we can actually truly move forward in life. Like, there's just so much negative energy surrounding them (and apparently emanating from things they touch), it's got to be purged before true forward progress can be made. Literally everything in our home that they had a part in has broken in some way, shape, or form. Of it's own accord. Beyond repair (Except Hubby. He was repairable.). Crazy, huh? So we think it's a karmic intervention. Is there such a thing? Does that even make sense?

So, we've got two days of workers in the home (And using my bathroom. Which, of course they'd have to. But still, strangers using my bathroom.) and mess and chaos and a freaked out cat and a new payment plan (But we hadn't financed anything in awhile so it was time, right?), but.... We're actually happy about it. It feels cleansing in multiple ways.

Plus it's hot out and I want air-conditioning.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Stupid Slithering Snake

So, Hubby and I are walking out the door yesterday, and as I step on to the porch, I see a box with a long metal rod sticking out of it. Hubby stops behind me and says "Oh, yeah. I was going to tell you about that."

I instantly know that a) this is about the evil demon snake, and b) it is not good.

He continues, "The snake can't get into the house, but..."

At this point I feel the need to stop him, because this is a sentence that does not need a conjunction. It just needs some end punctuation. As in "The snake can't get into the house PERIOD." It would be even better if it was "The snake is gone and will never bother you again PERIOD."

But... He insists on the conjunction. "The snake can't get into the house, but it's crawling up UNDER THE SIDING. But just because it's cooler there. So he can cool off."

And he says this all calm. Like it's okay that our house is Satan's little air conditioner. Like it's just fine that Voldemort uses our siding for a little breather in his day.

Um. No-no. No-no. No-no. No-no.

This is not okay. This is not fine.

A stop must be put to this.

And Hubby (Who actually LIKES snakes... How is that even possible?) tells me he tried to get Kaa out. However, he failed at that time. I have charged him with the task of NOT failing at Basilisk removal, with a timeline of ASAP.

Then, as I was returning from my run this morning, I encountered Sir Hiss slithering (ICK!) across the road in front of the house.

Why did the snake cross the road?


(Oh, pleeeeease just stay gone! I know the woods across the street has GOT to be better for a snake to hang out in. Definitely better than under my siding!)