Friday, November 27, 2015

A few quick thoughts about a few happy things

So Thanksgiving happened this week.  You may have been aware of that already, but I like to put this in context.

(I had a blog ready to go that was chock-full-o-hilarity, but now it's the witching hour of the evening, and I'm no longer in that mood.  Apparently, I'm sentimental and smarmy at this time of night.  But the hilariously written post will come some time.  I'll let you decide which one it is in the future, just in case our ideas of "hilarity" don't overlap.  That's feasible.)

My children.  Bless their hearts.  I'll laugh heartily if you suggest that I surely want another baby around the house.  'Cause I don't.  My two snuggle bugs are enough for me yesterday, today and tomorrow.  And they definitely put the THANKS in my seasons.

I'm loving the way the Elder helps the Younger keep track of her score during family games.

I had to swallow the belly laughs when one of my children (identity protection) walked into the glass door of the milk case when she was in hot pursuit of some chocolate milk at the grocery store this morning.  

I watched in awe at the amount of food one child can eat: fifteen slices (give or take two) of cucumber along with a cookie for an afternoon snack (healthy balance? holiday indulgence? natural flavor combination?) a mere two hours after eating a large lunch.  She paused as she was finishing the last slice of cucumber, looked at me and said "I think I'm full." 

(Lest you mothers-o-boys think you have full authority over children who eat like ravenous beasts, this daughter of mine...she has her moments.)

I smiled to myself hearing the Younger admit that "I have sleepy eyes" after we left my grandmother's house on the way home after a day of family and food.  Sure, every kid probably says this.  But they only say it for a while.

The boy has been transferring documents and cleaning up his side of our mess of an organizational method for all things technology as we've been getting my new tech digs up and running.  (stroke of luck - frying old laptop just prior to big sales on all things technology)  There's a folder on my desktop right now that I spent about 30 minutes reveling in just this afternoon of videos that he uncovered from his side of our virtual closet.  The Elder and I cuddled our way through various dance moves, calls for "Smile!" and renditions of "Baa, baa, black sheep."  We marveled out how round and bald the Younger's face/head was.  We laughed at the little shimmies and jives.  We chuckled heartily at one particular video of happy the Younger instantly turning into irate the Younger when the boy took her from sitting to "standing," presumably to show of a newly acquired skill.  We lost about 3 months of pictures of the girls that were not backed up on the old laptop in the Great Coffee on Laptop Debacle 2015, so to have these handful of videos surface soothed this mama's heart.

And then, there was Thanksgiving Play 2015.  Our two nieces (11 and 10) are fast buddies and started something of a tradition a few years ago of sequestering themselves in the basement of my parents' home and throwing together a hodge-podge play that typically has negligible plot and copious amounts of giggling.  They obviously love doing it as we've been treated to these performances at every major holiday for a couple of years now.  And this year it expanded for the first time to include our nephew (7) and the Elder (6).  (The Younger (3) made a cameo at the beginning, but this was getting close to her normal downtime, and then she found my lap more enticing than her stage role.)  Friends, we were treated to an entire re-enactment of the story of the Pilgrims from the time they were in England to the first Thanksgiving, including some traditional pioneer garb that my mom happens to have, which functioned as Pilgrim-esque in a pinch for the oldest two.  Even better, my two peanuts were decked out in a couple of my old dresses from when I was roughly 5 and 8, which obviously suffice as appropriate garb from ye olden times.  There was laughter (lots of it), there were mock tears (pre-teens know a thing or two about histrionics), and there was that glorious first Thanksgiving feast.  Unfortunately, we were informed after the conclusion of Act XIII (the finale, of sorts) that this was in fact not a comedy but rather a drama.  There will likely be a Christmas 2015 play coming soon to a basement theater near you me when I will have another chance to practice my straight face.   

But, until that time comes, I should probably practice my exercising face or at the very minimum my I-do-have-some-will-power-over-food face. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Talking dollars, the American kind

Someday, we'll look back at this and laugh.  Someday...

No, we won't.

This kinda bites in the "Honey, I got in a fender bender and the other person doesn't have insurance" sort of way.

Fifteen pounds of rice and 48 hours later, the computer is D-E-A-D.  My paid-for-with-grant-money, 1 terabyte of memory, touch screen, 17-inch, 1-year old, doodled-on-with-a-marker laptop is no longer with us.  I'll let you all know about the specifics of the memorial service soon.  (Or not.)

Actually, I don't think that it would want me to attend, since I was the one who committed computeracide and all.  But don't worry.  "Dell's" mom wrote an emotional letter and tearfully read it to me in open court, forgiving me of my wrongdoings and negligence.  It chokes me up just thinking about it.

(This is taking me a long to type 'cause the boy is yapping at me about a groupon deal for a hotel and dining credits for $79/night at Niagara, Ontario.  But the dining credits are in Canadian dollas.  So we have to factor in that exchange rate.)

Well, the month that will not end continues to become uglier.  I added a couple of doctor's appointments and a swing-by trip to the mechanic for a "quick" oil change during my few unimpeded grading hours.  Which means that I plan out my grading times by the minute.  Which means that I can't afford to give up any more time.  Which means that I can't go freaking spilling my beautiful cup of my favorite coffee ON MY COMPUTER.

There's annoyances, and then there's don't-mind-me-I'm-just-going-to-go-binge-eat annoyances.  This was the latter.

And as I've been working through the YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME moments, I keep thinking off all of those real dollars (American, not Canadian ones) that I'm taking out of our real checking account that is actually dependent on those real dollars (also American, not Canadian) being there in order to be real-ly not overdrawn.

1.  I may have gotten a ticket for passing another car within 100 feet of an intersection around 9:30 on a weeknight after working all day and attending class that night because I just wanted to be home and not behind this inane driver and we were out in the middle of no-man's-Midwesternville and who knew that was a law?  I didn't.
2.  I also didn't know that I could defer that for a lesser fee.
3.  That might all have been hypothetical if you're reading this, Mom.
4.  I may have hit some black ice and driven through a fence also in the middle of no-man's-Midwesternville and "totaled" our car.
5.  I summarily drove the "totaled" car to my friend's house, stayed there for a few hours, and then drove it 2 hours home.  Insurance has a different understanding of "totaled" than I do.
6.  That wasn't hypothetical.  Mom already knows about it.
7.  And now I chucked a perfectly good computer figuratively out the window as if dollars don't matter.

Well, they do, my friends.  They do.

And they also matter when you've recently replaced a faucet (again) and a garbage disposal (again) and want to replace flooring (not again) and want to pony up for someone else to do it this time cause your marriage may need counseling if you do it on your own (again).

There's only so many dollars to throw around willy-nilly on gee-gaws.  And tomorrow or maybe the next day, I'll find a fresh pair of big-girl-pants and put 'em on.  Until then, I need to get off the boy's work computer so that he can whip out ye-olde-credit card and purchase one of them there computer thingies.  But, they're priced in American dollars.  So that's a plus.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Move over Sunday drivers; I just want soup!

I've been thinking about what to write next for a few days now.  I had this entire blog post laid out in my mind as I was grocery shopping a few days ago.  So apparently, it's come to that.

I was going to write about how I had to have been the only 30-40-something female in that entire store with no children.  I was going to write about how there were easily more men there of the same approximate age than women.  I was going to write about how the "Sunday driver" concept extends to the cereal isle.  But, good gracious, I'm not going to write about that.  Or something.

Suffice it to say that I can mentally multi-task while pondering pineapples and kiwis.  But it's not always (ever?) fabulous. 

But here is something that is fabulous: that warm pan of apple crisp sitting on my stove right now.  And today will forever more be known as the-day-I-ate-too-much-warm-apple-crisp-and-then-realized-that-there's-at-least-1/3-of-the-pan-gone.  Of course that has often happened with a pan of warm brownies but never with apple crisp before.  I'd say that the Younger helped, but really, she mostly picked off the crispiness and ate a token chunk of apple here and there to satisfy my watchful eye. 

It's a task sometime to hold one's food neuroses in check when watching one's child eat.  If my daughters grow up to resemble anything close to "normal" eaters, it won't be for lack of my own nail biting and teeth grinding.

Both girls have a stuffed up nose right now, and there has been some amount of groaning about woe and the unfairness of it all.  Trying to create a bit of a teachable moment in our conversation, I replied to the Elder that "Chicken soup has been proven to be as effective for colds than actual medicine.  So it's pretty crazy that chicken soup is like medicine!"  Not to be hoodwinked, the Elder promptly replied "Yeah, that's like medicine I don't like." 

Neither of my daughters have the soup gene.  I weep salty tears for them and all that they don't understand.

And then I make soup whenever I want.  They grumble and moan even though they actually do enjoy a soup here and there.  I ignore them because SOUP IS IN MY BOWL.  They survive on crusty bread.  And then I finish their bowls.  Repeat.

I have enchiladas on the docket for tonight, but now I want soup.

Thanks, blog.

(No, enchilada soup would not fly with these two sprouts.)

I've been grading too much lately, obviously, if all I can blather on about is soup.  And olders taking up the whole dadgum aisle while moving as fast as my children do when I tell them that "Dinner's ready...we're having soup!" 

I think that the entire point of opening up a fresh post today was to tell everyone maybe someone who reads this that the Younger prays for her bellybutton EVERY NIGHT when I put her to bed.  She doesn't do this with the boy, though, because some things are better left between just the girls and God.

Me:  What do you want to pray for tonight?
Younger:  Beds.  Fans.  Windows.  Hugs and kisses.  And my bellybutton.  Dear God, thank you for beds, fans, windows, hugs and kisses, and my bellybutton.  Because I love them.  A-men."

Let's add soup to that list and AMEN, indeed.

Monday, November 2, 2015

I'll smile about that

First things first:  I am nothing short of thrilled that Halloween is over.  My favorite part was definitely right here -
...I mean, those faces.  I can't get enough of Cleopatra's toothless wonder grin, and our resident veterinarian always smiles like this when you get a camera and pose her.  Fab.

And now, the weather is all "Let's not get to hasty about winter coming."  To which, I say, alright, I'll give you one more wintery season if you let me have just these few weeks of pseudo-September weather.  But in actuality, it's too little too late.  I'm done with you winter and northern states.  D-O-N-E.  I could use my degrees here, OR I could turn barista somewhere (anywhere, please) else and call it a better day.

Plus, if I get stuck in one more snow drift at the end of my driveway/on my street/in my subdivision, I will quite literally prove that humans can likewise hibernate all winter long.

Oy vey.  I'm staring at a truly weather-perfect day outside, and I'm grumbling about winter.  (Feel free to not read this again until about April, when I may snap out of my misery.)

I've gotten off topic here a bit; I'm pretty sure that I really want to grumble grumble grumble about the curse that is DST.  Blergh.  As I typed that last sentence, I realized that well whaddya know, I'm sure that I've already growled about this before.  So I shall leave it at this:

Give me more sun in the afternoon, and my diabetic cat doesn't like the change in his feeding schedule.

And with that, I shall harrumph no more about this on here.  Instead, let's talk about an obviously related topic - beachfront bargain hunting.

It turns out that more of HGTV is infiltrating Netflix.  Ergo, it is there, and I shall watch it.  Blimey, but I could live in a condo on the beach.  Why, yes, indeedy I could. 

Sure now, just you wait until there are children living with us no mas.

Stay tuned for more news on that happening.  I'll be back to update you on this development in about 19 years.