My Mama Came to Visit, but She Didn’t Ever Leave

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So, my mom is here for the winter.

I should win an award for Best Daughter Evah!

I shouldn’t feel guilty for not being:

1. smarter

2. neater

3. more of a go getter

4. a better mom

5. a better wife

6. a better cook

7. a better housekeeper

8. a better driver

9. a better cook

10. a better person

I love my mother dearly, but we are like oil and water, like Felix and Oscar, like night and day!

She loves all things traditional.  McDonalds, spaghetti from a box, frozen pizza, Walmart, American made cars

I and the rest of my family loves, Chinese food, meatless days,  salad with free range chicken, recycling, Target and Hyundai.

For God’s sake, I keep over 1000 earthworms in the laundry room to eat all of our vegetable waste.

My mom’s idea of a veg is mashed potatoes with butter  and cream cheese EVERY NIGHT!

I think I am need to find a good therapist because the day we return to work/school is very far away!

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Karate Mom

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Last spring a local Tae Kwan Do gym came to one of the schools that I work at and for 3 days the kids jumped and kicked and punched and blocked.  An unexpected side effect of supervising (and participating) the kids for 6 classes a day was that I secretly wanted to take Tae Kwan Do also!  So, in an effort to live vicariously through my kids, I signed them up for the 8 week summer program and at the end of the 8 weeks they begged to continue and I secretly smiled to myself!

I enrolled the kids for 6 months of classes and to my delight, if you have two students enrolled then the rest of the family can attend at no extra charge!  Of course I signed James and myself up and proudly carried out sparkling white uniforms and belts to the car!

This leads us all to lesson number one!  I am the first to admit that I need to get in shape.  I need to lose 40 lbs and get my cholesterol down, but since I was able to jog 3-4 miles on the treadmill at the gym and lift pretty heavy weights, I felt like class wouldn’t be too bad .  Until, our instructor ( an Olympic silver medalist) said “okay for warm ups, I want you to do 10 push ups, 10 sit ups, 10 jumping  jacks and 10 squats…do that 10 times”.  My mind boggled, my head spun, my jaw hit the floor.  Was she aware that that was 100 push ups, 100 sit ups, 100 jumping  jacks and 100 squats?  Surely I must have heard incorrectly,  until the rest of the class got to work and were now on the floor yelling 1 ma’am, 2 ma’am, 3 ma’am and so on through the whole rotation and the THEY STARTED ALL OVER!!!!!

I don’t remember the rest of the class, just that it was a sweaty, hot and painful blur!  However, I lived, I went back and maybe I’ll one day tell the story about the jumping round kick that has given me a fairly painful limp!  I’m not giving up though….just slather on some Ben Gay and I’m going to keep on kicking and punching my way to a higher belt level!

Crunchy Granola or Just Crunchy?

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Okay okay, I know I’ve been a slacker, but seriously I’ve had a lot on my plate!  Now that summer school has ended and the regular school year has yet to start, I thought it the perfect time to once again strive for better health,  and a more efficient, less wasteful, more green household!

Now, this is an ongoing goal of mine…ever since I was nine and discovered both Little House on the Prairie and swiped my mom’s copy of Practical Homesteading, I have envisioned myself as a crunchy granola earth mama who makes her own soap, grows all of the family vegetables in her wonderfully fruitful and organic garden, while conserving water, raising chickens and baking all of the family bread in a solar oven.  That’s about where my organic daydream ends.  In reality, this is my garden:

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Not so productive is it?  Here is my soap:

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Okay fine, it ‘s not handmade, but I did have to drive all the way to the health food store to buy it.  I guess on second thought that wasn’t very environmentally friendly now was it?  Here is my organic chicken:

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Wow, I’m really off base aren’t I?  He may not be a chicken, but he is quite kind and friendly, that should count for something!

I won’t even go into the times I’ve been determined to bake my own bread only to wind up baking something more suitable for building a barn or hut in the backyard.  I probably shouldn’t mention how just this morning, I couldn’t locate a funk in my kitchen only to find on deeper inspection that I had forgotten about the sprouts I was sprouting in the cabinet.  Do you know what overcooked broccoli smells like?  Sulfurous and rotten,  well that’s what broccoli sprouts smell like after you have forgotten them for 3 or 4 days.  Mmmmmmm tasty!  I suppose I shouldn’t really discuss last night’s dinner of baked teriyaki tofu with cauliflower rice and steamed veggies.  My children ran screaming from the table and even the cat hmmmmphed at me in disgust!

Some days I think it is all for naught, but then my new issue of Mother Earth News arrives in the mail and I settle down to read it with a glass of sun tea with agave juice in my hand it all is well and good in the world again!

Apathy or Just Chaos???

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So my beady friends and anyone else who may have stumbled across my blog,

I must apologize!  I must apologize with all sincerity for the fact that I haven’t posted here in months!  Now, I know that some blogs that you read just drift away…a post here, a post there like a stream that is slowly running dry.  I know I’ve read those blogs, thinking “today there might just be an update!”   Only to be dissapointed until one day you realize that the author must have grown tired of writing and become lazy or apathetic regarding their blog.

I can assure you that is not the case here!  In my case it has been CHAOS that has reared its ugly head.  Let me find the definintion…here we go Dictionary.com defines chaos as:

A state of utter confusion or disorder;  a total lack of confusion or order.

Yup, that pretty much sums it up!  Since I last blogged in the fall..the following things have happened:

  • I went back to work
  • I lost my father to cancer
  • I had strep throat
  • My kids had strep throat
  • My mom came to stay with us for the winter (trust me this was enough chaos for a lifetime!)
  • My mom’s large dog came to stay with us for the winter
  • My mom went home from her 2 month visit
  • Her dog did not (the gift that keeps on giving…large clumps of fur and suspiciously greener spots in my yard!)
  • I had strep throat
  • My kids had strep throat
  • Cub Scouts
  • PTA
  • Church
  • oh my I almost forgot….my bead business and all it entails
  • and finally a little more strep throat.

So,  in all of the chaos and disorder in my house this past 6 months, my blog, despite my best efforts did not get updated.  Dear readers, I promise to do better!   I have to because gosh, I’ve had way too much funny stuff happen this year that I really must share!

Green Eyed Monster

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Susan Sheehan at Flaming Hot posed this question:

Do You Want To Be Me?  What is so cool about you people are envious?

Wow what a tough question!

I’ve been fortunate enough to have done some cool things like be in a couple of commercials in my hometown or my love of public speaking….many people are fearful of speaking in public, but I love it.  I don’t think as a beadmaker, most people would not be envious of my ability, since my work is pretty basic stuff.  Be that as it may, I do have high standards for the quality of my work and if I’m not satisfied with it, then into the flower bed it goes!  I’m pretty fortunate that I’ve been able to make beads for the past five years and stay home with my kids.  Not everyone has that opportunity and now that I’m back to work as the assistant librarian for two different elementary schools, I’m still pretty lucky because it is a job I adore (in addition to bead making of course)

It goes without saying that my dear, sweet, smart, sexy husband and my little boys are pretty awesome too!  If I weren’t me, I’d be pretty darned jealous of myself!

The Librarians Cringe

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I bet the librarians cringe when I check out books.  I have some weird tastes in reading materials.  I go in fits and spells over my subject of choice at any one time.  Once for about three months straight, all I read were books about climbing mountains, then it was heartwarming tales of dogs and after that the lives of smoke jumpers.  I’m sure that my recent checkouts have them secretly thinking, what kind of nutjob checks out  Stiff: The Curious Lives of Cadavers, by Mary Roach, and at the same time Gastronomalies:  Questionable Culinary Creations from the Golden Age of American Cookery, by James Lileks.  I have to say the stretch between dead people and casseroles from the 1950’s are not as far apart as one might think!  I just have to say read em’, read em’ both…they both made me a little sick to my stomach, but they also made me at one point or another laugh so hard I nearly peed my pants….what’s more to love in a book than that!

Hotter than Satan’s Barbeque Grill

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At least that’s how it feels here in the midwest in July!  In a vain attempt to keep cool over the weekend while we were in St. Louis, the boys, James and I as well as about 100 of our closest relatives decided to go to the waterpark.  Okay, well not quite 100, but enough that at one point everyone on the lazy river inner tube ride was related to me in some way, shape or form.

I have to admit that the waterpark is not my cup of tea.  There are way way too many kids, way way too much jiggly flesh, way way too much potential for future melanomas, but I find consolation in the fact that the waterslides are almost like a roller coaster if I squeeze my eyes tightly shut…only wetter…much wetter.  In fact, I am waiting impatiently for my youngest to be just tall enough to go on the big slides and then the whole family can partake of the stomach churning 45 second rush right before 10 gallons of water fly up your nose during the landing!  Yeehaw!!!

Now they have this whacked out surf pool wave rider thing that I just had to check out.  A good tip off might have been that there were no girls, no women whatsoever in line to ride on this stationary surfing monstrosity.  Not to be outdone by my BIL and husband, my sister in law and I hopped in line behind them and one by one as the bodies of those misfortunates ahead of us flew off of the boogie board, I realized that I just might have made a serious error in judgement.

As my turn came up I walked, to the edge of the wave pool and in an attempt to look cool, I dove right in and quite nearly missed my board entirely.  For a brief second as I hung onto the board for dear life, I thought..hmmmm this might be okay after all.  Until, I realized that I was no longer on my board, in fact I was no longer on the wave, but had been spat out the top of the surf pool like a waterlogged rat.  Now the water pressure and current is so strong that when I figured out that I was no longer boogie boarding, I also realized that I couldn’t stand up either.  So after throwing myself forward to get out of the current, in the process, spraining my big toe, I managed to stand up and turn around to face all of my onlooking family as well as about 100 other people at the snack bar, the kiddie pool and the brave souls waiting in line for their turn at the torture device.

It was then that I realized that not only was everyone I know cracking up with a slightly embarrassed look on their faces, but that I had been the victim of a wardrobe malfunction of the Janet Jackson kind!  Now I had a sprained toe and some seriously sprained pride!  I’m sure it will be one of those stories that will never die either, like the horse and the beaver or James and the nunchucks.

So, I’ll say it again, the waterpark is not my cup of tea, or coffee or boozy beverage…I think I’ll just stay in the shade and read from now on!