Sunday, October 31, 2010

Marathon Week - The Conclusion

Saturday started early with the entire house emptying out the back gate, with all three cars in three different directions in less than 5 minutes all before 8:00 in the am. It was a study in localized maneuvering.
I was taking ATL to work, Tarzan was off to a service project - cleaning a local park - that was subsequently postponed because of the previous night's rain but he didn't know that at the time, and MusicMan went to visit his sister who lives not far from us. Tarzan and I met up with them for lunch, after which we needed to return the rental car, make it back to our house so I could get my car then pick up the visual aids I needed for a lesson today at a place on the complete opposite side of town from where ATL works, fetch ATL, and food for dinner. (Do you like how Tarzan's father was here for four nights and I didn't cook for him even once?)
AND it was game day for two local schools so traffic was not our friend in any direction.
Once we got it all collected it was home to watch our own game and then to bed because today was church. We didn't have early meetings which was good because Tarzan had to drive his father to the airport sort of early - I couldn't drag my sorry self out of bed to even say good-bye. I hope he forgives me - then we picked up two sets of individuals and off to church. It was a mostly normal Sunday except for the last hour when I taught the adults about emergency preparedness and the Home Storage Center and how being prepared helps us not be afraid and thus free. It's a subject which is very important to me and I was happy to help out.
The people who usually help out with the children too young for Primary were not there and the one mother who was substituting for me also plays the piano for the singing, Tarzan had his own class to teach and I was running two steps behind.
It's a position I know well.
In the end it all worked out. I talked too much but I received a number of compliments about my clarity and passion, so I'm not going to worry about the time and take away that I did an adequate job. I got a laugh when I said I'd feel more comfortable if they'd kick their neighbor or take off their shoes once or twice since I was used to teaching children and not grown-ups.
After we returned the people we had carted to church, I developed this urge to roast vegetables for dinner, which tastes good and sounds simple but is very labor intensive. So we ate late and huddled down to avoid the three trick-or-treaters who came by.
Ours is not a popular street owing to the high volume of traffic and lack of houses. There have been years when no one has come by despite us having lights and candy aplenty.
All the planning in the world goes out the door the minute the action starts. Oy.

This is me, Happy Halloween everybody. I'm going to bed.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

USC vs Oregon

Well that was not the most fun game I have ever watched. It started out okay but ended up very much not okay.
USC: 32
Oregon: 53

This is me and that was tough.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Marathon Week - Part Two

Thursday of this week can be henceforth known as the day I bailed out of nearly everything I had to do. I went to school of course, and took ATL to work but I didn't go to the food bank and I didn't go to the evening activity, which was a group of women from church discussing alternatives to store bought cleaners and how to raise children frugally.
Instead Tarzan and I went to the grocery store.
It was a much needed break.
And we bought an awful lot of little pumpkins.
Because today was the Halloween party at church. With the holiday falling on a Sunday this year we are trying to encourage the children to get all their candy gathering in early and then keep the Sabbath day holy. It's a battle I have small doubts of winning but where there's life there's hope.
We took food - it was a potluck event also - and wore our costumes of course, though I don't know that we knew exactly what we were supposed to be. Maybe we shouldn't have planned them while directing twenty teenagers angry at their parents, the world and themselves how to behave in public. It's a thought for next year.
With the addition of the pumpkins, markers, glue, paper and tape we set up a pumpkin decorating station at the party. There was food, games, dancing, two contests and about forty kids running screaming through the building and for once I didn't have to tell them to not so it was a tad relaxing. Until they got their candy from the trunk-or-treat out in the parking lot and then the sugar set in but we were on our way out by then so again, not my worry.
It does take a lot of energy to be part of one of those things though. I always come home just wiped out.

This is me and thank goodness October comes only once a year.

Date Night at Ralph's

With our busy schedules it is increasingly difficult for us to find together time. Its a really weird sensation when you are busy fulfilling work, church and family responsibilities that are emotionally rewarding, yet at the same time feel isolated from your spouse whom you haven't spoken with in what seems forever.
Last night Jane and I decided to make time and went food shopping together before picking up ATL. It sounds funny but our visit to the grocery store felt very much like a date! We had some time to talk and took a couple turns around the rutabagas if you know what I mean. Grocery shopping has never been so relaxing.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Marathon Week - Part One

I debated for a rather long time about whether to include Sunday's events because they aren't so different from usual. Early morning meetings, church - those this week was the Primary Presentation, where instead of the adults speaking and singing during sacrament meeting it was the kids. This doesn't sound overly stressful but as the president of the Primary it's a lot of "ssh, keep your feet to yourself," and "Johnny, psst, Johnny, it's your turn" and worrying if the parents can see their kid around my big head and which parts can I get away with skipping because the kid didn't come - plus the usual lessons and scheduling and then after Tarzan has tithing we come home to eat dinner only to turn around and go back for a fireside, hosted by our youth but helped out by Tarzan on the piano and with refreshments and what have you.
Monday kind of gets a pass because it was a regular day, fetching ATL to and from work, school in the afternoon and errands prepping for the rest of the week. I didn't have an activity in the evening so it feels a little like I am extending the marathon metaphor for dramatic effect.
Or to increase my whining capacity.
This is not even the half of it, I kid you not.
So I include Sunday and Monday in the insanity.
Tuesday was a cub scout pack meeting but not just a pack meeting, a potluck pack meeting. So in addition to school and the usual, I had to make some macaroni and cheese. When I told Tarzan that's what I was taking he got all excited - he loves macaroni and cheese - and I discovered that for the first time EVER in my life I made just enough for one casserole. So I had to make another batch so that there would be some left for Tarzan.
Then it was off to the event which turned out rather well, in no small part I believe, to the appearance of the firemen guest speakers who also brought their engine which the boys were allowed to touch and climb on. I get stressed when things are left in my hands since I still don't always feel like a grown-up and that's what happened Tuesday night. One of the co-hosting persons fell at work and twisted something vital so she wasn't there and the other person had to leave early so I was in charge of dispersing leftovers and making sure things were clean in the kitchen.
Then today was another whirlwind, only more so. Tarzan's father, MusicMan, came to town for a clinic or convention or something and so I got to pick him up from the airport and take him to Tarzan's school where he wanted to spend the day. Then it was home to do some cleaning so he wouldn't take back to my mother-in-law what a disaster of a housekeeper I am, then back to school for sixth period then home again to gather all the things for the demonstration/open house at the food bank where I still volunteer every Thursday. Completely unnecessarily I dragged both Tarzan and MusicMan to this event. Last time we had one of these we were inundated with guests and there was not enough man power to handle them all in a pleasing manner so I took my own help this time, only to have about a quarter of the guests and no need. We went out to eat afterwards and now we are all ready to pass out from exhaustion.
I am such a good hostess.

This is me and the week's only half over. Oy.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sparing You The Image

I was just about to start a post detailing my love for the knives that Tarzan gave me for my birthday; how they were just like the ones that the chefs use on the TV shows, how the big chopping knife is fairly heavy but cuts like a dream and really can slice through a soda can and then chop a tomato right afterwards; how I was being very careful and not putting them in the dishwasher even though I hate doing dishes by hand; I was even going to post pictures of each type of knife - the steak knives look really dangerous - and reassure everyone that I was holding my knives and fingers exactly the way they do on TV and I hadn't cut myself once.
And then.
And then, and then, and then.
I was chopping green onions - some people call them scallions - to go in the Asian Chicken Pasta Salad for dinner and Tarzan walked by on his cell phone talking to my father and I thought of a question to ask and I glanced ever so briefly, minutely, not even really away from the chopping action and the lovely knife came down the front of my index finger and sliced half my nail off, below the edge of my finger of course. There was bleeding, ATL was exclaiming how gross it was, Tarzan was in the other room trying to explain to his father-in-law how I had not actually cut my finger OFF and I was searching the pile of green looking for my nail so we didn't accidentally eat it.
It's actually fine and though it will take some time for that much nail to grow back, there's no lasting damage. (I decided, since ATL was STILL exclaiming how gross it was, to not share a picture of my finger with you.
You're welcome.)
Tarzan did spend some time apologizing for getting me such sharp instruments and while reassuring him that I did indeed want to keep them, in my head I was realizing what an exact, precise cut it was and how amazing this present really is.

This is me and there's always two sides to a situation.

Friday, October 22, 2010

My Friday Night

Tarzan and I are teaching swing dancing to a bunch of teenagers who don't want to learn and only come because they've been promised food.

This is me and yes, masochist is my middle name.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

That's A Life Lesson Right There

I was driving ATL to work for 9am the other morning - I frequently do this, that's not the lesson - when I noticed some unusual puffs emanating from the front of my car as we stopped at a light. It wasn't cold but I thought it might be condensation evaporating. It didn't stop, so I popped the hood in the parking lot and then called Tarzan because there was some hissing coming from a plastic part I wasn't familiar with and the steam was much more evident. He said do not pass go, do not collect $200, drive straight to the mechanic and pray the car doesn't explode on the way. This sounded dire, so I quickly and carefully drove it over without any incident.
Turns out my car had busted it's thermostat so I didn't know it was overheating and during that time it cracked the hose connection to the cooling system and the radiator had to be replaced and lots of other things and they kept my car for a whole week figuring it out. But the morning I dropped it off Tarzan was already at school and couldn't come and get me so I took the bus and then walked the last two blocks home.

That'll teach me not to leave the house without a bra.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Per Usual

Why is October trying to kill me?

This is me and it might be winning this time.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ode To A Girl Who Likes Cheese

What can I say about Rocketgirl that could express the true sense of her?
She's fun, she's funny, she's smart, she's pretty, she's talented, she's a great mom, she's thoughtful, kind and genuine. (It's like I'm writing a personal ad for a Boy Scout, except for the mom part.)
Life has thrown her some wonky curves and she comes out of it on her feet and able to find the good in the experience. She has an amazing sense of what counts and what doesn't and the great ability to just move on.
In short: she's marvelous and I'm thankful to count her as my sister-in-law and friend.

This is me with a ginormous HAPPY BIRTHDAY! to her.

USC vs Cal

Those California bears...I don't usually feel bad for the other team but they ARE in our conference and since our team can't play anything post season this year we want everyone else to have good stats and of course we want the team that plays in the Rose Bowl to win. So the fact they had zero first downs made me a little sad for them.
And then the second half started and the feeling went away. What can I say, football is a fickle sport.
USC: 48
Cal: 14

This is me and it was good to win again.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Plus Four

The party began early this morning when Tarzan wished me Happy Birthday before he left for work at 6am. There have been songs and phone calls all day, including the kids on the Academic Decathlon team and an awful lot of felicitations on the Facebook. Thank you all, it's been sweet.
After the usual toiling of the day Tarzan and ATL took me out for dinner - to CPK of course - and then home for cake and presents. Presents! I received lovely cards from family and the ever faithful RHM:
A replacement drawer organizer from ATL:
Our original one was pretty thrashed. Tarzan presented me with a brand new set of kitchen knives, excellent stuff and I am so excited to chop something:
I'm ever so grateful to Rocketgirl for introducing me to this concept of recapping the year on my birthday. I really forget what's been done and in what order. There has been a lot of work done in this last year.
  • Physical, with the house purchase, the repairs and the improvements.
  • Lots of holes dug - there's a post in the works about that.
  • My suddenly being a quasi-teacher and having students and other teachers rely on me for things.
  • Emotional, with all the paperwork and worrying about technical things for BHB and ATL.
  • The motor for the gate to our back yard was stolen.
  • Had to reinstall Windows twice on this laptop and then replace the hard drive. It's holding steady now but there's still time.

There have been less heavy events as well:

  • Celebrating three years blogging
  • And nine years with Tarzan.
  • Being there when PhatFiddle and Leizel got hitched.
  • Got to catch up with some family I usually only see on Facebook.
  • Found some new friends in the blogosphere.
  • Was part of the Census.
  • Celebrated a lot of birthdays, including the birth-day of my brother's daughter. That makes four nieces and four nephews. I like to keep it balanced.
  • I'm not sure which side to put the whole raccoon escapade on but since no one got hurt I'm going to leave it here.
  • I rescued, hand-fed and still have two new kittens. (There's a whole long post I need to do about that situation as well.)
  • I held this blog's first contest and we actually had a winner and I actually sent her a prize.

Other than that it's been the usual whining and busy to my eyeballs with church and family and school and volunteering and household stuff and cats and yeah...the usual.

This is me, 34.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's A Goober All Right

One of the things I love best about our government system is the word 'gubernatorial.' It just sounds so silly compared to 'presidential' or 'dictatorial'. And I'm hearing it a lot right now with the elections coming up next month. In The Jungle we are choosing a Governor, a State Attorney General, some council people, there are Props here and Props there, here a Prop, there a Prop, everywhere a Prop Prop. And the mud, she is a flyin'. Each of the major sides is convinced - according to the advertisements at least - that their opponent is Satan. In some cases they might be right but my question is this; what about all the other people on the ballot for Governor?
Let's hear it for the Green Party! Or the All-American party. Or anything else really. Why do we comply with this two party system? I've said it before, I can't see that there is much to applaud on either the Democrat or Republican sides right now. All the candidates say the same thing and no one actually follows through on making the changes that were promised. Or at the very least making a situation different. Is it strictly money for the campaigns that keeps someone other than red or blue from winning?
Because I am a fan of the grass roots movement. Not always what the groups stand for - I would NOT have been at Woodstock - but the way a few determined people can change an attitude or a decision. It's what all the great movies are about. One person, or a few, changing the world.
I want to change the world and I'm going to start with choosing an 'alternative' candidate for Governor this time around. And maybe for all the other slots too. Just to mix it up and see if we can't fix the unholy mess we seem to be in.

This is me and let's get us a good goober.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Weird Dream #36

I just woke up from dreaming ever possible iteration of my life.
Tarzan was a lawyer, a doctor, a teacher or sometimes nothing at all.
I was an architect, a designer, a furniture salesperson or sometimes nothing at all.
We had kids, a few, a lot or sometimes none.
We had cats, a few, a lot or sometimes none.
We had family live with us, near us, next to us, down the street, dead, we were orphans. Sometimes he stayed home with the kids we did or did not have, sometimes I did and sometimes I'm assuming we were independently wealthy because we BOTH stayed home with the kids we did or did not have.
The only two things in the dream to not change was that I was married to Tarzan in every scenario and the house we were living in which, interestingly, was not the one we are in now and was not one I have ever been in and in retrospect was likely the only one large and vacant enough to handle everything.

This is me waking from dreaming more exhausted than I have ever been in real life.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Definite First

It has been a long time since I was in high school and thus it is quite possible the method of letting a girl know you are interested in her might have changed.
Do I look like a high school girl to you?
I'm touched, really I am, but giving me The Eye while drawling "hey baby, you and me later?" Does that get results?
And to someone who could be a grandmother - the way high school is going nowadays - heaven help me I just used nowadays - it's entirely possible I could be his grandmother - is just not cool.
I'm afraid I wasn't very complementary in return. First, amazed he was talking to me, I crooked an eyebrow, glanced over my shoulder and then - it's true - I laughed. The three girls he was with - also, not cool - proceeded to mock him for getting turned down.
What am I supposed to do with that?

This is me, flattered, disgusted and amused all in one. It's a weird soup today.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ode To My First Niece

When I saw Rocketgirl's post about Sunshine's birthday party I started to hypervenilate a little bit because I thought I had missed my chance and then I started counting days, thinking I might have lost a few - it's been known to happen - and then - because it had not occurred to me before that point - I went to check the calendar and inhaled again. Today is Sunshine's birthday which means I am not late with the ode to her. She turned four (4!) this year and I haven't done an ode to her previously because, well, she was three, but since she has her own Facebook page now I can only assume she also reads her aunt's blog and she might as well read something about herself to keep interested.
Sunshine is extremely happy, bright and focused. There is no distracting of her when she has a question and no end of the brilliance that flows from her. My favorite anecdote is one where, knowing her father's propensity for allergies, asked if Daddy was allergic to penguins. When Daddy said he was not she then asked if they could have one for a pet. Awesome analytical thinking. Nobel Prize here she comes.
She's also gorgeous and fun and though this picture is mostly of me, it reflects her ability to make the most of any situation:
This is me, hoping her mother will forgive me the adopting of her nickname, wishing you a very Happy Birthday Sunshine!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

USC vs Stanford

No matter how good they play, I'm not sure how much deference I can pull out for a team that puts their own mascot through the wood chipper. On the field. During the half time show.
Another one nibbling the nails all the way to the end.
USC: 35
Stanford: 37
It's just gonna be one of those years.

This is me feeling sad for Alabama and happy for Boise State!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

What Happened Here?

Too much about the weather: perhaps.
Completely true: absolutely.
Last week; 108 degrees, blazing sun and clear skies.
This week; 58 degrees, pouring rain and dark, angry skies.

This is me and since when did The Jungle get a fall?

Monday, October 04, 2010

In Or Out

Why is unloading the dishwasher such a chore but loading it is relatively fun and I enjoy it?

This is me and that's the sort of question which occupies my mind.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

USC vs Washington

And it started so well too. One of those nail biting kind of games.
USC: 31
Washington: 32

This is me and the winning couldn't last forever.

From Whence You Cometh