Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I am alive and well.


I haven't gone anywhere...except in my mind. There has been a lot on my mind, none of which can safely be posted here. So while I am still checked in, I am holding my tongue. For the time being, assume my posts here will be sporadic.

Some updates:

I won NaNoWriMo again this year, and again my story by the end sucked. It started off well, but I did not put as much planning into it as I have in the past and as a result, the ending (if one can call it an ending) fizzled.

I am up to my eyeballs in Christmas cheer! I am crafty, decorating and baking. Essentially doing all the things I totally love to do.

I am overwhelmed with work (not much of an update as I am always overwhelmed with work) and I feel like I am being drawn and quartered...except with less limbs ripping off.

I am working on a story. And that alone makes me beyond happy.

In essence, my very dear friends and family, I am plucking along and I am okay with that.

In Good Cheer,


Monday, November 8, 2010

No Scurvy For Me

Cyra's job in the mornings, aside from getting dressed, is to help make the lunches. Every morning without fail, after reminding her a couple dozen times, she trots out into the kitchen and starts pulling snacks out of the pantry.

This morning while we were working, I started slicing an orange for my lunch.

Cyra: Mommy?

Me: Yes?

Cyra: When we go camping this weekend, I want to bring lemons and limes.

Me: Umm...Okay. Sure. Why?

Cyra: (with the utmost serious expression) I don't want to get scurvy.

Me: (serious nod) Makes sense. I'll add them to the camping grocery list.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

When It Isn't, It Really Is.

I have had a lot on my mind lately and for that reason I have taken a break from blogging here. No worries though, because when I have something to say I'll say it loud and clear.

Keep tuned.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

All Of A Sudden

School has started and my Summer of Bumdom has come to a sudden halt.

All of a sudden, I have to do things again…Make lunches, iron clothes, do laundry in a timely manner, make sure the children are clean, check homework, sign planners, write lesson plans…my days have gone back to unending.

All of a sudden, there aren’t enough hours in the day and every little thing seems to manifest into a much larger problem than one would image. Minor insignificant things like food consumption become monumentous*.

All of a sudden, getting out of bed and eating breakfast, once a leisurely activity involving giggles and morning tickles, has morphed into a bleary-eyed stumble down stairs and into walls kind of affair. Making lunches demands forethought and planning at an hour far too early for either. Let us not even discuss the chaos that is dinner!

All of a sudden time becomes important and I am once again telling time by PBS morning cartoons. Between the Lions becomes “Please do not take 30 minutes to eat half a cup of cereal” time. Maya & Miguel becomes “go get dressed right now or else” time. Arthur becomes “Do you have everything together cause we’ve got to go right now” time.

All of a sudden, everything is a big rush.

All of a sudden, I realize once again how precious every little moment is…reading Cyra a story at bedtime, tucking Ashleigh in after she’s already asleep because she is “too grown-up” for tucking in, playing a card game after dinner…

It is these moments, of course, that all of a sudden, I remember mean more than what they are.

*Yeah, I made up a word, but that’s okay because I have a degree.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Birthday Thoughts

I was working on a post about the Birthday Fiesta O’ Fun, but everything I wrote seemed insignificant or overly sappy, neither of which were very helpful at expressing what I was feeling.

So in a succinct explanation: Sara’s birthday is ten days away, mine eleven. This will be the first year in seven years that Sara and I will not be celebrating our birthdays together.

It feels…wrong.

I knew that Sara wouldn’t be able to come back to Florida this summer, so I knew that a BFOF was unlikely, but I didn’t really consider the consequences. And so now my birthday is nearly here and I’m just not digging it.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Forays into Sushi-ville

I'm not a big fan of trying new things. I like the tried and true. I am a creature of habit. For example, regardless of how many new flavors are offered at Mochi, I always get the same thing: Strawberry and Coconilla with coconut, strawberries and strawberry mochi - even when I taste the other flavors and like them.

So on Wednesday, I decided that since I was going to a party and didn't feel all that great I'd stop somewhere to get dinner for the girls. I didn't want fast food, nor did I want to make multiple stops and I had already promised the girls that we could go to Mochi's, I decided to try out Bento Cafe which is right next door to Mochi's - pretty convenient.

The girls stuck with familiar shrimp tempura, but I was feeling adventurous and opted to try a sushi roll. After looking over the menu, and knowing that I needed to go with something "safe," I went with the Bali Hai Mango roll - tempura shrimp, cream cheese, eel, and mango. I cannot express how delightful this was!

After the chaos of Thursday, I felt the need on Friday for some good company and good food, so I met a friend and some of her family members at Bento. They had never been and when I was asked for a suggestion, I had to sheepishly admit I'd only been there once before. I once again got the Bali Hai Mango. I wanted to try something different, but as I was ordering I asked what masago was and low and behold, changed my order when I learned that it was fish eggs. I didn't think I was brave enough for that yet.

Well as of today at 1:30pm, I am brave!! I not only tried the Red Dragon with the masago, but it also had tuna (raw) and something called tabiko which I don't know what it is, but it was spicy! It was also packed with tempura shrimp, cream cheese, avocado and krab. It was quite good, though a bit too spicy for my taste and the masago I was so worried about wasn't all that bad. It was more of a texture than a taste and I didn't even blink at the tuna.

I also ordered the Bali Hai Mango for the girls to try. Both girls tried the Bali Hai, neither liked it, but only Ashleigh was brave enough to try the Red Dragon. And she willingly asked to try it. Of course, I didn't tell Ashleigh there was tuna on it, but she did know what the masago was. Cyra was not thrilled with the sushi but Ashleigh seemed open to try it again. I am hopeful that she will be willing to explore and develop her taste buds.

How does this mesh with my attempt to go vegetarian? I'm not sure. But I have cut red meat out of my diet and that's a start. And from what little knowledge I have of Japan and their diet, it is probably one of the healthiest on the planet.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Seven Hours and Four Days Later

Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with Pulmonary Embolisms (PE). Turned out that what I thought was a back ache was my lung slowly dying. Turned out that the excruciating pain I was having when breathing was my body screaming for oxygen, not walking pneumonia.

I spent a lovely week in ICU. I survived and went on a regiment of blood thinners and a diet sans most green things (although occasionally, I just cannot resist a good Caesar salad or tender asparagus). In the back of my mind, I am constantly scanning my body for any odd quirks or twinges that might signal something serious.

On Monday, after a weekend of intense deep cleaning of the house (we had a buggy issue) I woke up with a slight twinge in my back. While annoying, I attributed it to the weekend work and a possible muscle strain. I went on with my day. I brought the girls to zoo camp. I spent a quiet child-free day puttering around the house.

On Tuesday, I woke up feeling yucky. My back hurt a little more, I was still tired and groggy. And that was after I had actually gone to bed at a decent hour. I brought the girls to zoo camp and spent the day running errands. That night, still feeling gross and now mildly concerned about my back I vowed that I would get back into good habits and back into a healthier lifestyle. That night I blogged about my goals and promised myself to make changes in my life.

On Wednesday morning, around 3:30 am I woke up, still in pain and unable to get comfortable in bed. A warning sign flashed behind my eyes as I lay in the bed trying to go back to sleep. “Danger! Danger!” it flashed. You remember this kind of pain, my brain told me. I wanted to ignore my brain. I really did. But dutifully, I filed a Post-It note right in my cerebral cortex with big bold words in red: IF Deep breath=Pain THEN Go to Doctor ASAP!! Proud of my mental filing system, I got out of bed (there wasn’t anyway I was going back to sleep) and walked the dog.

After that, I felt ok. Not great, but not…panicked. Until…

My friend from work was hosting a Tastefully Simple party and as it sounded fun and as it involved food and being child-free, and as it was good company, I went. About halfway through, my early morning wake-up call caught up with me and I yawned. Big. Deep breathe in = Sharp stabbing pain.

My mind ripped through my mental Post-Its and landed on the one I wrote that morning. Refusing to panic, I acknowledged the symptoms that were so reminiscent of what I went through seven years ago. I went home. Told Scott and made arrangements to go the ER the following day.

On Thursday morning, I brought the girls to zoo camp and made the decision that I would wait until after I picked Cyra up to go to the ER. I was afraid of how long the testing would take and that Cyra and Ashleigh would be stranded. Obviously, I had people I could call, but I did not want anyone to panic. (I’m considerate.)

So Cyra and I headed to the ER. Scott met us there. And after seven hours of testing I left with a clean CT scan, a clean chest x-ray, a bruise from the I.V. line, and a diagnosis of “undetermined back/chest pain.” The doctor felt that it is most likely muscle strain, but that it was good that I came in because my Coumadin levels were too high. And as he said, “Pulmonary Embolisms aren’t something to play around with. And while there isn’t anything wrong with you, it is good to know that you are listening to what your body is telling you.”

Today I woke up after very few hours sleep, comforted in the knowledge that I woke up at all, pleased in my desired lifestyle changes and motivated to get started!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Back into the Routine

A couple of years ago I lost a good amount a weight. This past year, I have regained every single pound I lost. I feel disgusting and tired all the time. A recent blood test revealed a possible problem with my thyroid that I didn't have two years ago!

It is time for me to get serious again about getting healthy. So to that end, I announce publicly to the world, I will get into better shape! I have set a goal to lose 100 pounds. I realize that a goal of such caliber is daunting, but I know that it will take time. Obviously, the healthiest way to go about this is to be responsible and safe. A goal therefore of 2 pounds a week, according to research, is manageable and will be my aim. I know that at some point I will plateau as I did before. Hopefully, I will be able at that point to push through it and continue on to meet my end goal.

Dieting doesn't work for me. I've tried it. Blech! And truly, my problem is not with food (although I do overindulge in sweets about once a month). However, I will start counting calories again. And most importantly watch my portions. Counting calories and following protion guidelines worked really well last time. As before, I will not deny myself the craving, but I will make sure I take only a small portion as I have found that when I deny myself what I crave I end up binging on it later.

Also, as I did before, I will step on the scale every morning. I know that it isn't recommended, but it worked for me. It was motivational and made me confront my weight every day.

The biggest problem, though, is exercise. I don't. All of the activities I enjoy, reading, crafting, writing, involve sitting. I've never really be they outdoorsy, exercise girl. So making myself get up and get out is where the real challenge will be. It is really about motivation. I almost feel like I should make a reward chart for myself...if I do one hour of exercise, then I get...something. Not sure what, but something.

Anyway, I figure putting this out there keeps me more accountable then I was before. So on to tomorrow and a healthier life!


Monday, June 28, 2010

Penis in the Sky

I was driving to the zoo today to pick up the girls from their first day of zoo camp when I saw the most fantastic cloud formation ever: a circumcised penis. I only wish I had my camera so I could have snapped a shot and submitted it

This lofty formation made me laugh and I grabbed my cell phone wanting to call someone and tell them about it. Then suddenly, in a moment of odd, quiet reflection, as I stared at my phone, I realized that I didn’t have anyone I could call with that tidbit of hilarity.

Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of friends. Friends that would get a kick out of a cloud shaped penis, but friends who would shake their heads and roll their eyes at my immaturity.

And then I remembered a thought I had as I was driving home from dropping the kids off this morning: I don’t have anyone to go play with. A whole day sans kids and I didn’t have anyone to share it with. So I went home and did laundry and other respectable grown-up things.

Putting the two thoughts together drove me to a third and final thought: being an adult sucks which is why, I think, that I shall never act my age.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's Like Tom Petty Said

This month marks the tenth anniversary of my move to Florida.

When I first moved down here in 2000 with Ashleigh and Amanda, I told my family that it was not a permanent move. I was going to finish college and return. I didn’t want Ashleigh growing up without my family around and I certainly knew that I was not going to like living in Florida long term- I’m a small town, north-eastern girl at heart and besides, Florida is just too damn hot!

But a strange thing happened. My mom and my sister followed me down. And on the one hand it was good. It was nice to have family around when I was in a pitch. They offered a solid rock I could ground myself to in a jam. But on the other hand, I felt almost obligated to stay. They followed me down here, I thought, and that’s not nothing. So I stayed too.

I took a full-time, permanent job teaching 8th grade. I sunk roots into a house that I thought would be a home. I tried to be a member of a community. I became a Girl Scout leader.

But five years later, the job is still just a job. I’m certainly not passionate about it and it is not something that I see myself doing for the rest of my life. I can teach. I’ve no problem with that. But I’m apathetic about it. I’ve never really cared about it. For me, it’s a paycheck. And if it were any other job I don’t think it would matter as much. But as a teacher? I should be passionate and excited about it. That’s the kind of teacher kids need.

The house is still just a house – one that I wish I could get rid of as it is taking everything we have to keep us afloat. Caught in that stupid bubble, I now have a house worth 60K less than what we purchased it for, so there is not hope of selling it right now. Plus, it takes my entire salary to pay for it, so we have no extra money for anything. Honestly, if I hadn’t been raised with the morals I was, I would have already walked away from it.

I’ve learned, not without some help, that a home isn’t a place. You can’t put “home” on a map. The family is what makes wherever you are a home, be that a mansion, an apartment, an RV, or a cardboard box. It’s the “who” that counts, not the where or what.

I think what it comes down to really is this: A decade is a long time to be in one place. I’ve got this itchiness in my feet. This feeling that I have overstayed my welcome in Florida. What was meant to be a three or four year stint tops, has stretched into this, long inescapable road with no exits. Well, I will not be corralled into a future that isn’t where I want to be. And if I can’t find an exit, well, I guess it is time for me to forge one myself.

And so as Tom Petty sang, “Under my feet, baby, the grass is growing, yeah, its time to move on, time to get going.”

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Blogging Without a Doubt

Why I am not blogging right now?

I could blame my lack of blogging on an extreme schedule of international intrigue or volunteering for the Peace Corp, but after a good few seconds of contemplation, I realized that no one would buy those reasons, so it makes sense to stick with the truth. Except for the fact that I’m not really sure what that is.

I have been busy. That’s true enough. The end of the school year is always packed with craziness that makes it hard for me to focus on anything but the end of the year, but honestly, I didn’t really feel that this year. If anything, I moseyed through it, not even worrying about packing my room, or cleaning. I did it methodically, mechanically. It just was.

Girls Scouts has been taking a huge chunk of my time. Yeah, that’s true as well. But that isn’t something I mind carving time for. I might not “love” being so involved with the Scouts all the time, but the girls love it and therefore I love being a part of that. And if that includes worrying over troop finance and why parents aren’t paying their dues, well, it’s part and parcel.

I’ve been crafty. Hoo Boy is that true!! I was determined to finish a scrapbook about last summer and I did. Of course, I sacrificed sleep and time from other things, but it was totally worth it. I finished a HUGE project! And it turned out really nice, if I say so myself. And scrapbooking is something I really enjoy. But I’ve also been crocheting like mad and working on other minor projects. It’s in my blood, I think, the craftiness I mean. I don’t feel right in my “free” time unless I am working on something (free time here is defined by anytime I am not spending with the girls or at work).

I’ve been reading. And honestly, re-reading. As I’ve gotten older and approaching another birthday I’ve been thinking about more philosophical things…living a good life, being just…the nature of zombies…that sort of thing, so I’ve been indulging in my philosophy books. Currently on my bedside table, The Republic, Brave New World, Sophie’s World, and The Undead and Philosophy.

I want to be able to say that I have been writing, but I can’t. I mean really, I haven’t even blogged (obviously). I haven’t looked at a story since god knows when. I’ve had ideas that I’ve jotted down, snippets of a conversation that some of my characters could have, descriptions of locations and people. But I haven’t written. Not like I should. Not like I need to be doing if I am ever, EVER going to get something published. Not a paragraph…a sentence…a word. I think that upsets me the most. I have these words and don’t use them as I should.

So that brings me to why I really haven’t been blogging. While all of the above keeps me pretty busy, not a single reason given is what keeps my fingers from the keys. So what is?


Fear that my words won’t be interesting. Fear that what I have to say is stupid. Fear that what I write about will apply only to me and not matter anywhere else. Fear that I won’t be witty enough. Fear that what I do say might offend someone I care about.

Fear. Old-fashioned, predictable fear. It keeps me doing what I’ve always done because I fear what might happen if I do what I really want to do. And now that I’ve owned up and admitted it loud and clear not just to myself, but to the world, I need to do something about it. So, I will remind myself of my senior quote in my yearbook:

“Why then, the world’s mine oyster, which I with sword will open.” ~ Shakespeare

Granted, today’s meaning has been perverted from the original utterance proclaimed boldly and with a good deal of menace by Pistol to Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor. Either meaning, I would think, serves me well here.

I will boldly go out and hack my way through the world, taking as needed, with steely eyes and a will forged in the bowels of a volcano OR I’ll wander out into a world that is just waiting to reveal its glorious riches to one who seeks them.

But remember, I’m non-confrontational, so if you see me coming, just step to the side a bit. If you don’t mind.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Untitled - March 22

Death is never an easy thing to deal with, but I imagine that it is easier to accept when a person has lived a full life or spent a long time fighting an illness. But the death of a young person…I can’t even imagine it. And yet today, I faced it.

One of my former students was shot in a drive-by on Saturday. Out for a drive with her sister and cousin…In the wrong place at the wrong time…

She was 16.

She was one of the truly nice students I have had the pleasure of teaching over the years. She was a sweet girl, friendly and outgoing.

To her family, my heart and thoughts go out to you.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up

I had great intentions for this weekend. Then again, don't I always have "big" intentions on the weekends? There was a birthday party. The library. Cleaning. OMG! Laundry! But between picking up whatever Cyra had last week and feeling "yicky" on top of that, I accomplished just about nothing! But that's okay, because as Zoe demonstrated when you nap, you really don't care what's going on around you.

I did manage the library yesterday, but only because our books were due and then because I was in a rush to get out and get home, I ended up grabbing books that I had already read.

The weather today certainly didn't encourage me to do anything either. I couldn't send the girls out to play and so all throughout the day I heard a chorus of "I'm bored!" and "There's nothing to do!" Ahh! Such familiar phrases and after a while when Scott got sick of me and told me to stop whining, I settled in on the couch with some crochet and Firefly. I got through six episodes (including the pilot) and I almost finished a dall scarf for Cyra's American Girl. When this one is finished, I'll work one for Ashleigh's doll.

The girls on the other hand slunk upstairs and played. Except that really, Ashleigh played on her computer and Cyra, a girl after my own heart, napped her boredom away. Exactly what one always wants to do on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
The sun finally makes its appearance at the end of the day.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up

This week has been one of the busiest so far this year. Between Girl Scouts, FCAT, cookie booths, a broken car and hours in a walk-in clinic on Saturday, I've barely had time to breathe, let alone post anything. That being said, I did manage to capture a photo that sums up the week nicely. I call it: Girl with Puke Bowl.



Sunday, March 7, 2010

First Ever Weekly Wrap-Up

I wanted to do a “photo-finish Friday” bit where I wrap up my week; but quite honestly, that is being too ambitious even for me…so instead, I’ll try a Sunday Photo Wrap-Up.


Florida panthers, catnapping in the sunshine...

...What I wanted to be doing all week--especially with the chilly temperatures!



Saturday, March 6, 2010

Open Letter to My BFFs (who like ninjas)

Dear BFFs,

How are you? I hope that everything is going well for you.

Pleasantries aside, I have a very important message and request for you.

Please reproduce. Please!

You are denying the world of your DNA. More importantly, I thought up an awesome idea for a baby gift while I was in the shower the other day. It is a brilliant idea. I could potentially make millions (well, at least hundreds). But in order for my idea to be realized, someone needs to have a baby.

It's a contest. The first BFF to reproduce gets the results of my brilliant idea. Not only will you love it, but your baby will have the coolest baby gift on the face of the planet.

Let me repeat that: THE COOLEST!!!

Your baby will be the envy of all other babies. The parents of those other babies will be all like, “OMG! Where did you get that? It is the coolest ever!” (Note that all those other parents are silly nitwits who insist on twirling their hair and naming their children things like Bitsy and Milford while you, my awesome BFFs, will name your kids things like Bloodaxe and Artemis.)

So, my dear BFFs, I implore you to not wait another year. I have already started making the gift. So act now! Don't wait another day! Reproduce! First baby out wins big!!


Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Sign of Spring

In my backyard — I mean on my patio — I have a small patch of dirt. Every spring Ashleigh and my mom attempt to get something to grow there. Key word here: attempt. Nothing ever grows! The soil is poor and the area is flooded almost daily with a sprinkler that has a mind of its own. So imagine my surprise, when I went out to fill the bird feeder today, at what I found:

My little bit of earth. Notice anything interesting?

A grape hyicinth. (I had to look up what it was--I didn't even know those got planted!)

Almost ready to bloom.

A new bud.

Good growing little flowers! I hope that I don't inadvertently kill you all by acknowledging your existence.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More Wonderous Discoveries

Slowly, notebook by notebook, file by file, I am re-exploring the world Sara and I created, and I have stumbled upon a vast treasure trove of notes and information I had completely forgotten. It is a bit like going to your hometown: nothing has changed, yet everything is different. Is it me? Have I changed? I’m sure I have and now my older eyes are looking upon our creation with an appraiser’s eye, questioning every letter, doodle and rushed memo.

Take a look for example at the storyboard brainstorm for one of our stories. Sara and I got distracted at one point by a side story and we pondered and discussed how to get a character out of a certain situation. Sara, from what I recall, stared at me blankly while I explained my idea, a complicated and detailed shenanigan where the princess’s bodyguard rescues her and there were horses and a carriage (it made sense back then!) …when I realized she looked confused, I took the time to sketch out what I was talking about.

Clearly, this solved everything.

Some of the notes make no sense although at the time of writing, I’m sure that they made perfect sense. When Sara and I first started this project we were single-mindedly devoted to the world, the characters and the creation. Now, time and distance has tempered my enthusiasm. No, that’s not right; I am full of enthusiasm (although I am not sure where to start). Maybe I am more realistic? More reflective?

In any case, I have a lot of material to work with and I am ready to dive in! I am ready to focus on one storyline at a time and let the other stories Sara and I brainstormed bubble in the crock pot while I work with the Quads.

And trust me, Sara and I have more than enough material to fill up a couple of shelves at Barnes and Noble and Borders!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Back to the Story

Way back in 2004, before we left Flagler, Sara and I came up with an awesome idea: a story that spanned an arc of at least five books. While I claim credit for the initial concept of a set of quadruplets (another brilliant shower idea), Sara and I were equal partners in the development of everything else. We spent a good year working solidly upon it. We made maps, religions, creatures and a royal genealogy spanning centuries. We (and by “we” I mean me) even created a song about the main character!

As time went on, we developed side stories to our main arc. We fell in love with some of the minor characters and ideas. We developed ideas for other books and story arcs. We talked, emailed and took notes but we never actually got around to writing anything solid.

We had cultures, back stories, political intrigue and wars, but no story.

Time passed. Our notes and ideas were filed away as we moved on with other projects. Four Nanos ago, I decided to try my hand at starting our story with Sara’s full support. I didn’t get very far and got frustrated that one character, the villain, began taking over the story and took me away from my main character. I put it away.

When Sara left for Japan, she gave me all of her story notes and files. I dutifully put them with mine and they have been floating around my house ever since, taking up space but not being used.

Last year when the computer incident occurred (Scott crashing my system and me not having anything backed up*) I thought I had lost everything that I wrote for the story I finally started. I was devastated. All the time spent, all those hours of typing…not just the story but all the notes that were saved on the computer – gone! I was thankful I had hard copies of some of the material, but at the time, I didn’t even look at the hard copies. Knowing I had something of the world Sara and I created was enough for right then.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about the story, the characters, and the world. I've had some more of my brilliant shower ideas: snippets of conversations, scenes and plot ideas. For the past three weeks or so, I’ve come home glanced at the files and thought to myself, “You’ve got to do something with those!” This world that we created, I thought, deserves to be more than just a bunch of notes. Sara and I invested so much into it, to have it all just sit and wait seems such a let down. Not just for me or Sara but for our characters that we poured so much of ourselves into.

But between work, the girls, and everything, I never picked them up…

…Until today.

Waiting for my gaming group to arrive, I took out my file folder of story notes and began to thumb through them. I couldn’t have been more surprised! Apparently, a while back, during a time I don’t remember at all, I printed out what I wrote for the Nano novel! I had tucked it away in the file and left it there, forgotten and alone!

After the gamers left, I sat at the dining room table and thumbed through all the files. What I thought I lost – the genealogies, the country backgrounds, character notes, one of us (probably Sara) had the foresight to make hard copies. While I am missing some of the original email discussion we had, I have so much material that I don’t know where to start!

So, what to do…

Well, with Sara’s blessing (which I have no doubt she’ll give) I am going to revisit our world. I am going to give voices to our heroes, to our villains and our world!

* I haven't figured out how to imbed a link to previous posts, but for the computer incident check out Silent Fury from Feb. 13, 2009 and Live and Learn from Feb. 14, 2009.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Attack of the Socks

Without a doubt, as much as I love doing laundry, I hate folding socks. I hate it so much that 90% of the time socks sit around in baskets like this:

(Yes that is an entire basket of unmatched, unfolded, unloved socks.)

Putting the size of the basket in perspective... Cyra standing by the basket looking all punky.

They lurk in the basket, multiplying, just waiting for someone to come and pull a pair out. Most of the time, they are unmatched, but who cares? I say, if they are on your feet and in shoes, it doesn’t matter whether they match or not, right? Besides, genetics being what they are, the best you can hope for is a similar color.

I’d just as soon buy more socks then spend time folding them, but there comes a time when the socks must be put back in their place. So today, my super awesome last day of freedom until spring break, I spent doing laundry and sorting socks.

All matched, folded and ready to be put away. Left to right: Mine, Cyra's, Scott's and Ashleigh's socks!

The last few unmatched socks that I wanted to keep (I know they have mates somewhere!).

What a day. What a pile of socks to get rid of!

At least Junie enjoyed the Great Sock Disposal - she'll get new sock toys!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Iditarod Dreams Dashed

Last year we went all winter without working heat. No real problem, I mean really it is Florida, and I'm from upstate New York - I know how to layer! But this year? We had it. We had it made! I got cold, I cranked the heat. Of course the warnings of my ancient heating guy went unheeded…

“This is only a temporary fix, you know,” he said his voice shaking as much as his hands were.

“Uh-huh,” I replied standing over his shoulder. “Temporary. Got it.” I’ve got a MacGyver for a AC/Heat repairman I thought to myself. MacGyver stopped a bomb with a hockey ticket, surely this man in front of me could easily get my heat operational again.

“You need a whole new system,” he said kneeing on the floor before the furnace.

“Sure. New system. How much is this going to cost?”

“I can patch it up for about four.”

“Four hundred? Ok. Not a problem.” I cheered inside knowing I was getting off cheap!

“But you really do need a new system. This one is original to the house…probably older than you.”

“Got it.”

I paid my bill, he ambled out the door and I revealed all summer in the frigid artic air blowing from my vents. Then came November…we turned the heat on a few times in the morning to take the chill out. Glorious. Luxurious.

December came and with is a cold snap that had us running the heat nearly non-stop. That eased into January. The cold snap became freeze warning after freeze warning and I took it all in stride. I had heat! No problems here!

Then, I got cocky about it.

Second week of January I was picking Cyra up from a sleep over and the topic of the cold snap came up. I bragged and crowed about my MacGyver repairman who gave me heat and how wonderful it was to just crank up the temperature.

The next morning I went to turn the heat up a bit to get the chill out of the air… there wasn’t any satisfying “click,” nor a delightful “whoosh” of warmth. There was just silence. Silence as vast and empty as I imagine Antarctica to be.

Scott and I fussed at the heater for a few minutes, we played with the fuses, we opened the door and glared at the unit...nothing seemed to work.

“It’s my fault,” I said pitifully, my breath puffing white while my nose, toes and fingers froze.

“How is it your fault?” He asked.

“I bragged about having heat this year!”

“Well,” he said.

Without further comment, we both walked into the bedroom and began pulling on more clothes, pulling out the electric blankets mom gave us last year and shaking our head at the cruel twist of Karma. With no money to invest in a new AC/Heat system, right now, we decided to just do as we did last year...only problem last year wasn't nearly as cold!

What does no heat have to do with my dreams of my Iditarod Team?

Junie will never survive being my lead dog.

Monday, February 1, 2010

February's Plan

Four weekends + One vacation day = early spring cleaning!

My house is overflowing with too much stuff!! Now, while I am a big culprit of the stuff, it isn’t just my stuff! Ashleigh and Cyra have become “stuffers” too.

My biggest collection of stuff currently is of course my crafting stuff and books.

I have made a huge dent in the books category recently. I donated roughly 150 – 200 books to the library. Many of the books were Cyra’s and Ashleigh’s old books. Many were paperbacks that I read once and had no intention of ever revisiting. That was a good day. And I know I have plenty more to donate.

In the craft department…let’s just say that I have forbidden myself from going into a craft store for at least… a good long time at least! (Unless, of course, I hear that familiar whine, “Oh, Mom, I forgot to tell you about my project…”) I have made a concentrated effort to condense and organize my crafts. The problem is I really need a dedicated craft room. As that isn’t going to happen (since the girls keep fighting me on sharing a room again), one of the plans I am making involves requisitioning space from the attic to create a craft storage area. Now, keeping in mind that there are some things that just shouldn’t be stored in an uninsulated attic, I think that I could potentially reduce my visible craft clutter by a third.

That idea, of course, leads to a major overhaul of the attic itself. Currently, I don’t even want to talk about it! However, I know that at least half of the boxes up there were not even opened after the move, so, that means, whatever is in those boxes, I have lived without for over four years. I’m not sure I even want to open them! I think I would just rather have Salvation Army come and take them all away. That way I know I’ll never miss the stuff, because I don’t remember what stuff it was.

Now, that’s just my stuff. Scott has things in the attic that he will need to go through as well. And the same principle will apply: he has lived without it, therefore he doesn’t need it.

That just leaves the girls. Sometimes I forget how attached to my stuff I was when I was Ashleigh’s age. I know how hard it is to get rid of anything, because of all the memories attached to each item. I wish there was a way I could convince her that the stuffed animal she deems as “the most important thing ever” will, twenty years from now, not matter all that much. I wish that she could know that it isn’t the thing; it is the person who matters.

With Cyra dejunking is slightly easier. We pack up toys that I think she has outgrown and we stash them away in the attic. If after six months she hasn’t pleaded to play with them, then we donate them to the place of her choice. Last year it was her old pre-school. This year, I have a thought that it will be the same. Her memories of her pre-school are vivid, clear and all good.

The very last thing I want to accomplish in my spring cleaning is this: set up an efficient, organized home office. I have horrible organization skills. I am willing to admit that- No, it isn’t really the organization part I have issues with. I can organize. My problem is keeping everything organized. The whole saying, “a place for everything and everything in its place,” has long been my nemesis. Having an organized home office would take more than just organizing. It would take a dedicated, active effort to maintain the organization in the long term.

So, those are the plans for February. Maybe March as well. Hopefully not into April…but I wouldn’t put money on it.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

2010? WTF happened to 2009?

Seriously, the last three months have been a blinding lightening flash of activity. Between Nano, the holidays, family and work I'm not sure that I've actually had time to breath!! And now, come to find out, January is practically over.

I've made no resolutions - I never keep them anyway, but I am determined to reconnect to the blog. I have been woefully neglectful of things that I love to do, while I am bogged down in things that I have to do (you know, like work...and laundry).

I've also recently quit the internet so that should free up so much needed time.

I am fairly certain 2010 will be a year just like any other: big plans and minor accomplishments and of course the most important part: time with the girls and the family!

Cheers and Happy New Year!