Gotta whine…

30 07 2007

Well, I am not a whiner by habit, but boy do I feel whiny today.  I guess it’s just hard for me to spend a weekend in nature, falling asleep to the music of the frogs and crickets and waking up to the twittering of the birdies, lingering over my coffee with my honey and good friends and then have to return to reality – telephones, decisions and work, work, work.  Oh, and a smart-mouthed teenager who obviously is about as happy to be back to the doldrums as I! Wouldn’t want to leave out that lovely “welcome home” bit.

I knew there would be lots of work in the packing and unpacking on the last day, but I wasn’t ready for the mess.  It rained all weekend, sporadically, so everything, and I do mean every thing was splattered with mud along the bottom 12 inches – coolers, tents, chairs, footlockers/storage bins, table legs, shade canopy, poles –every thing – and don’t forget the dog.  I don’t think I’ve ever smelled worse wet dog smell! 

It was bad enough to pack up all the damp, muddy equipment, but then I had to flat out refuse to allow the dog in the car.  Now bear with me, you animal lovers – I love the dog because of what she is to the kids and that she is a very sweet-natured creature, and I am her greatest ally in the house, to be honest, because I’m always considering her feelings more than the others do -(much to the amusement of my crew, who like to point out that I didn’t want a dog, but constantly consider her care) but in my opinion, she is a dog, not a human, and I do draw a line.  She has a very good home and is a very happy dog, who knows she is loved and gets quite a good life.  However, I was not going to smell her for what is almost a 2 hour drive, and then smell her every time I got in the car for the next week.  We also took the truck on this trip, which she could be perfectly comfortable in.  We could put her in the truck bed, close to the cab, secured with a short rope to an anchor in the floor.  She’s just tall enough to lay her chin on the side of the truck bed.  Please note that the two who were most opposed to this would not be riding in the car with the dog 🙂  Yes, I had my way, and the dog seemed to enjoy the trip, since she slept most of the way, but stood up periodically to see where we were and to sniff deeply of the air and get her ears flapping in the wind.  I am just still a bit miffed that I had to argue so adamantly about the issue when I am usually the one saying things like “let’s take her with us since we’re just running errands and she won’t ever be left in the car alone” and “she looks bored – play with her awhile or take her for a walk” and because I am always the one who makes sure she has a kong full of peanut butter to entertain herself with whenever we have to be away for a few hours, and I’m also the one who is always picking up rawhide bones and special treats from the pet store when we are out!  Grrrr.

Then there is the unpacking when you get home, when in this case, every thing must get washed.  I guess the upside is that every thing is squeaky clean for the next camping trip – but I do hope that it doesn’t rain!

We did have a wonderful trip – and even though it rained, my first-time-camper friend says she enjoyed it and will do it again!  There is just nothing like spending a little time in nature, away from all the conveniences nuisances of life.  No phones, televisions, radios, emails, answering machines, doorbells, video games….aaaaahhh.

We sat up until 3am Friday night.  Conversation was just so good and we couldn’t give it up for sleep!  We wimped out on Saturday night and went to bed at a normal hour because we were all pooped!  There’s also nothing like coffee in the woods and campfire cooking.

It is definately a smack in the face to return to civilization, though.  Urg!  It just seems like there’s always too much to do and not enough time to do it. 

Sorry – I’ve whined enough – I’m beginning to irritate myself!

Looking forward

24 07 2007

We are going camping with our bestest friends this weekend, and I can’t wait.  The “she” has never camped before, so it should be an interesting trip!  I pray that we have good weather, since that can really screw up a first-time camper’s impression of the hobby!  They visited (they live @ 3 hours away – bummer!) this past weekend and we planned what to eat at camp and split the shopping list.  It just won’t get here fast enough for me.  We could truly use an escape.  My honey’s job is about to take us both out of commission, and I am just not ready to commit to starting school, though I must.  We are trying so hard to stay positive and wait upon God and deal with honey’s job stress, but it is tougher some days than others- the days we are tired!  And I have put off planning for school and have not even organized and filed the paperwork away for last year.  I need to just pick a day and mentally prepare myself to dig in, but I don’t waaaannnnaaaa…..

My running is still going well, and I am slowly decreasing the number of seconds that I walk and increasing the number of seconds that I run so that I am running about 3 times more than I walk.  WooHoo! 🙂 I do my distance runs on Saturdays, and I am determined to run 1.25 miles this weekend even after sleeping on the ground! 

Now that I think of it – the running may be why I am so reluctant to start school.  I bet that subconsciously, I fear that school will take precedence over running and that I won’t be able to prioritize my workouts in order to be ready for the 5k.  Hmmm.  Deep.  And quite possible, don’t you think?  I’ll just have to do it first thing in the mornings, that’s all.  Whenever school is in session, I never manage to be able to stick to a workout plan, because I have such a hard time putting anything before school – not that I should, philosophically – but  in terms of the clock, it wouldn’t be wrong.  One of the perks of home education is the flexibility that that it offers as far as the clock and calendar.  See how well I can convince you of that?  Now why do I have such a hard time living it?  Urg!

I did a cleaning and partial water change of the fish tank last evening, and even when it doesn’t look that dirty when I begin, I am always amazed at how beautifully clean and clear it is after I’m done.  It looks so nice.  The fish even seem to enjoy it more.  Though I don’t rearrange anything in the tank, when I’m done they swim around exploring every nook and cranny as if it is all different.  Funny.

Jarrod noticed a line down the center of Bubba’s underbelly this morning, and called me to look, because he thought something was wrong with him.  It is a very distinct line, but I hadn’t noticed it before.  It’s the same color brown that’s on his sides and back, so I know that nothing’s wrong, but it left me wondering if that may be the difference between sexes, or age.  I’ll have to check that out and see.  I have given both puffers male names, for no reason other than that the names came easy, but one of them may very well be a girl.

Before the internet problems, I had been looking at some games/memes.  Some of them are fun, and I would like to participate, but the one that I did, although fun, was too much work.  If there is a way that is easy, please let me know, because I typed in all the questions and my answers on my blog – and that was a pain, but when I read other blogs, it looks as if it is plugged in, since the headings for each question are in a different font and color than the answers and there’s usually a photo, or link ,or something.  As you know, I’m very new at this, so I have had to do a lot of research to do every little thing, other than posting, of course.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy the researching, but sometimes it yields nothing and quite a bit of time passes before I search for more info and then I forget what I learned about it last time until I read it again and then, of course, I get frustrated. 🙂

Back online (for now)

21 07 2007

I haven’t posted for a bit, because every time I sat down at the computer, the internet connection was down 😦  They are widening the road that goes by my neighborhood, and are in the stage of moving all the wiring onto shiny new poles, further from the road, of course.  I guess that’s why it has been down, but I’m not really sure – we haven’t been out of power or had cable interruptions, atleast I haven’t been aware of it – the tv isn’t on much around here until winter!  Who knows….I’m just thankful it is working at the moment.  I was actually able to check email and still had a connection when I got that finished!

I just received another 4 dozen gift of gold (fresh corn), and I’m hoping I can get it all in the freezer!  Cream corn takes up less space, and after having eaten what I made last time and being duly impressed, I’ll probably make half of it that way.  It was amazing!  Absolutely delicious, with no salt or butter – just God’s recipe – perfect!  It may be a bit of a challenge to hide some for the holidays. LOL

My dad showed up for a visit Thursday evening, and it was the most wonderful surprise 🙂  I enjoyed him soooooo much.  The kids lavished every bit of attention on him as well, and we had been so starved of good visits with him that we probably made him a bit claustrophobic!  He took me for an enjoyable ride on his new “hog”, and Kadie took much pride (and refused Papaw’s cash offering) in helping him shine up the chome!  Jarrod tried to pin me down on a date when he could go stay another week with him on the houseboat, which he did last year, but I had to just promise that he’d get one, since our calendar is nuts right now.  I love having the flexibility that home schooling offers for such things 🙂

I ran for an entire mile this morning.  It was hard, but oh, so good!  It always amazes me when I accomplish a new distance, even thought I know that that is how it works – you build on it week by week.  It’s just that each new distance is uncharted territory for me, and I just have this little fear that I won’t be able to do it.  When I complete it, I feel like I could take on the world!  I was really worried about it this week, though, because I skipped my walking on Sunday (I kept waiting for it to cool off outside, and by the time it did I was tied up and it got dark on me), and I skipped my Thursday run, because of pain in my legs.  So it made sense to me that I should not be ready for a mile.  Hmmm.  Guess not!

I think my potassium is getting low again.  I take BP meds, and my doctor did labs 4 months ago, and it was really low, and put me on potassium for 2 months.  It wasn’t until after finding that out and discovering what the symptoms were that I realized I had the symptoms – muscle fatigue!  My arms would begin to ache before I could get my hair washed, and my legs would be aching jello every time I went up stairs.  I was much relieved to be told that there was an explanation!  I didn’t complain to my doctor because I thought that maybe I was just that out of shape, or that I was getting old (heehee!).  My arms are aching now from just sitting here typing, and my legs kept me from running Thursday, so….. I asked the pharmacist about potassium supplements, but he said that since it is possible to get too much, I shouldn’t just take this into my own hands. Urg!  I like things in my own hands.

Feelin’ Good

14 07 2007

I just finished my run, and I’m so excited and proud of myself!  I ran – no walking involved here, folks – 3/4 of a mile!  Applause is ringing in my ears 🙂  I was really unsure about whether I could do it, and feared that I would end up having to walk right at the end.  Last Saturday I ran 1/2 a mile, but let me tell you that though you may not think so when you’re behind the wheel, when you are on your feet – there is a big gap between 1/2 a mile and 3/4 mile!  I’m also learning that running is just as much a mental sport as a physical one.  If you begin to lose your focus, determination or belief in yourself in your mind, or think about what you are feeling physically, you will reflect that in your effort and your results.  When I was at about a 1/4 mile into it, I was seriously losing the mental battle.  I was feeling every thump of the pavement and seriously beginning to think I wouldn’t be able to do it.  I had to talk myself up and say “Oh yes, I can – I ran 1/2 a mile last week and it really wasn’t that bad or that hard.” and that sort of thing, and before I knew it, I was at the 1/2 mile mark.  Then I just had to remind myself that I was 2/3 through it and began to listen to the birds and look at the flowers and trees.  Once I could see the end of the course, I was sure I could run that even if I had to hold my breath!  It feels good.  I am enjoying not only the physical exhilaration, but the mental battle too.  I feel stronger, more fit, and get this – younger!  OOOOOh – does that make ya wanna run?  LOL

Off to the farmer’s market for some green bean nostalgia!


12 07 2007

I am blessed to have friends who endow me with dozens of ears of corn fresh from the garden every year!  It was late when they brought the first batch, and I was all out of Ziploc bags, so I had no choice to stick it in the bottom of the fridge for a day, but its very cold in that bottom drawer, so I’m sure it’ll still be delicious in January!  I have just finished all the work of freezing it properly, and as usual, it took my mind lots of places.  My daughter cheerfully helped me shuck and string, which reminded me of my own experiences helping with corn and green beans as a child.  It also made me think of all the wonderful garden fresh food I ate growing up as a result of my mom’s diligent hard work.  We never had space on our own land for a garden, but we bartered for the use of part of an elderly neighbor’s for extra hands to weed and harvest her plot.  With four pairs of those extra hands belonging to us children, I’m now pained to know how much work that must have meant for mom. 

I remember digging potatoes with large spoons.  I thought that was how it was done until my brother laughed last year when I reminded him of it as we stood admiring his garden.  I guess we didn’t have a potato fork and mom needed for us to “help” and not trample everything?  Funny.  It’s a good memory.

I decided to try my hand at making some cream corn out of this bountiful gift of gold.  I always loved my husband’s granny’s.  I asked her how to do it, and she said “…just cut off the kernels and then just keep scrapin’ that cob and it’ll come.”  Of course, that’s not enough to go on, so with her sing-song voice playing in my head, and a smile on my face, I looked it up in the good ol’ faithful Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book to get the rest of the story.  You do have to blanche it for 4 minutes and cool it first, so I’m glad I looked it up.  I wasn’t sure how much an ear would yield, so I reserved six.  The instructions said to cut off the tops of the kernels and then scrape the cob with the back side of the knife.  It takes practice to just cut the tops.  As I finished the second ear, I looked in the bag and wondered where the “cream” was….so far it just looked like corn.  On the third ear, I saw juices settling in the bottom of the bag and felt a surge of excitement.  By the time I got to the last one, I figured out that shaving the curves off the kernels and then scraping worked best.  It looks yummy.  I’ll have a hard time convincing my crew of the importance of saving a bag for Christmas dinner.  I’ll hide one and surprise them with it:) 

Another bit of nostalgia settled upon me today – about my first fish tank.  I had a 10-gal in college that was such a joy.  My prized fish was a palm-sized Silver Dollar that I had watched grow from nickel-size.  (Deep Breath)  The tank was also inhabited by some Zebra Danios and Tiger Barbs, and a catfish that looked like a shark.  (Now I know that was too many fish for a 10-gal, but hey, in my defense, the internet wasn’t in my kitchen like it is now, and the lady at the pet store said it was fine – and I also believed her and thought it was interesting when she said fish only grow as big as the tank allows LOL)  Anyway, we went to visit our parents for the weekend and I plopped in a weekend feeder, left the light off and hit the road, as I had done several times with no problem.  There was a power outage while we were away, and evidently when power was restored, the surge fried my heater and all the fish were poached.  Tears, tears, tears, oh my gosh!  I could not bring myself to set the tank back up for a year. 

All that to say that I bought a young Silver Dollar for the tank today.  It shall be the glory of the tank when it is grown!  It’s not nickel-sized, although they did have some that small, and I asked the girl to get a small one. Urgh!  It is actually about silver dollar-size, and doing well.  I haven’t named it yet, but I also brought home another Dwarf Puffer, and quickly decided to call the little bugger Bubba. I wasn’t sure how that would go over with the resident boss, Beans, a grown Dwarf Puffer, so I pulled up a stool to watch, ready to intervene with a salvation net if necessary.  Beans waited anxiously nearby for the bag contents to be freed, and they proceeded to check one another out immediately.  Then Beans calmly swam away, confident that his status was not going to be compromised by this youngster….and Bubba followed.  I watched the most extraordinary game of follow the leader that I have ever seen for several minutes, with the younger puffer following and mimicking even the slightest fin movements of the older, while the senior seemed to eye his prodigy with what was either suspicion, annoyance, or amusement – it’s hard to tell with fish (hee-hee!).  After 2-3 long minutes, the newbie swam away to inspect his surroundings and all is well.  Hmmm. Whenever the two meet in the tank, this strange behavior repeats itself for 10-20 seconds.  Wonder if that will always be their greeting?

Wastin’ Away again in Internetville…

10 07 2007

It’s not like me at all, but I spent way too much time in front of this screen yesterday…and today LOL!  It just really irritates me when I can’t figure something out – so I really over-do it trying.  Yesterday I was trying to learn more about this whole blogging adventure, and I have so many stumbling blocks that I keep finding myself straying from my learning objective.  I’ll go on a hunt to figure out what RSS feeds are and how they work and I will see buttons or badges, links and music widgets and get totally sidetracked, then end up getting sidetracked from that also before figuring it out.  Whew!  I irritate myself by not being able to remember what I was looking for in the first place.  And then also, of course, I will occasionally get exasperated with the whole process and so I will sign out of blogville and surf the net for other things that I have meant to spend some time on – and then I’ll see something else – well, you get the idea….

I have managed to ignore my household duties and give myself a headache to boot.  Dirty house, irritated mood and a headache and oh, don’t forget the PMS….now this whole thing makes a little more sense….

I did manage to find a really cool free online running log, so atleast I accomplished something.  I had read that I should keep a log and so I bought a little spiral notebook, and that lasted about a week, because I don’t really know what information I should be putting in there.  Anyway, an online log is set up for you to fill in fields that are relevant, so you don’t have to wonder what that is.  After looking at half a dozen or so, I came to the conclusion that there is one that stands above the rest.  If you run (or I inspire you to start), check out 

Some much needed rain has dropped the tempurature and cooled off the asphalt, so I’m gonna hit the road before it heats up again. 


Monday Madness

10 07 2007

1. Do you do your own laundry or do you send it out?  LOL!  Do my own.

2. Do you laundry at your home or a laundromat?  At home, and still thankful after having “been there, done that” with the laudromat thing!

3. Are there certain articles of clothing that you need to have dry-cleaned on a regular basis?  My honey’s suits – and the occasional article of mine – I generally try to avoid that, and have had luck with the at-home dry cleaning systems available for your dryer 🙂

4. How often do you do laundry? Is there a certain day of the week that you consider “laundry day?”   Nah.  Just try to keep it knee-high or lower.

5. Do you iron your clothes as you pull them out of the dryer or do you wait until just before you wear the clothing to iron?  Hee hee.  Hang them straight out of the dryer so they won’t need ironing, and have been known to restart a dryer after adding a wet washcloth to steam the wrinkles out when the clothes cool before I can get to them!  Iron only when absolutely necessary.

6. Do you hang your clothes outside to dry or do you dry them in a dryer? 

7. Do you own things that need to be hand-washed or do you try to avoid buying things that you can’t wash in the washing machine? 
Bought a washer with a hand-wash cycle just for that purpose – works great!

9 07 2007

 This is a fun song.  I think we are all crazy in some way, sometimes!  Enjoy!  If you know how to put this player in the sidebar, please share – I haven’t figured it out yet!


9 07 2007

Well I have been following my training schedule very well for eight whole days now, and it feels great!  I’m very proud of myself and excited about the possibilities.  I believe I figured out why my knees and ankles were hurting so much.  They have done that before, when I wasn’t running, so when I thought about that it helped me to narrow it down.  I go barefoot all day when I’m home, and I have a concrete slab house.  Duh!  Other times that they have bothered me have been times when I am home a lot and on my feet a lot – especially in the kitchen where there’s no carpet – like around the holidays.  So I started wearing walking shoes around the house and presto chango – no achey joints. 

I also did a tiny bit of shopping over the weekend, and that was more enjoyable than it usually is for me.  I think losing 30 pounds is to credit for some of that, but I’m also not a good shopper.  I typically won’t buy something I like if I have nothing to go with it or no plan for when I would wear it.  I’m just too practical to have fun shopping – but I am learning.  Of course it is both a curse and a blessing that I simply won’t pay  a ridiculous price for something just because I like it.  And my idea of a reasonable price is much lower than others.  I still feel like Levi’s should be $20 bucks and a nice top should be no more.  Shoes are another issue for me – my husband has more shoes than I do – and I know that is not normal – I just hate to buy something without a plan for when….well, I’ve already said that!  But anyway, I tried a different approach this weekend and I bought 2 tops, with no plan, and got them really cheap.  One was $6 and change – beat that – yes, brand new – and the other, new also, was $14.99.  The best part is that when I got home, I realized that I did have bottoms to match the one I thought I didn’t have a match for – but no shoes – so that will be next 🙂

I think I can.  I think I can.  My husband, mom, sister and friends have tried for years to teach/encourage me to shop and buy, rather than shop and come home feeling like I wasted precious time!  But I may be starting to get it.  Heehee.


4 07 2007

Everyone is still asleep in this house – even the dog.  It is rare that I get silence and stillness.  It is really quite wonderful.  It comes to mind that a dear friend once said that “one hour of silence in a clean house” would be a great gift!  Well the house isn’t clean, but I don’t think I could possibly enjoy this more if it were.  I’ve got coffee, too, so the aroma, warmth and taste of that has added much to the moment.

I’m sure it won’t be long before the house awakens, and I’ll be glad when it does, but until then, I shall savor.

For some reason, I woke up mindful of how big my children are getting.  Thirteen and nine.  When did this happen?  Sure, I have countless memories of them at all the ages up until now, but, it doesn’t seem as if they fill up that many years.  I look at my son, my firstborn, and I see a handsome young man in front of me and have flashes of an adorable toddler when he giggles and his voice is less deep and his eyes shine.  He is so smart and sometimes so thoughtful that I fear for his future inevitable heartbreaks.  He will certainly be a good husband and father some day.  He has always had a way with little ones.  I can’t remember how many times that he has turned a child’s tears into laughter with his antics and approachable personality.  Not just little sister and cousins, either – I’m talking about strangers’ children – at parks, grocery stores – you name it.  I’ve even had mothers thank me, or him, for turning a toddler’s mood!

My daughter is just blossoming, too, into her own person.  She is much more like my husband than like me, but there are some things, too, that are all her own.  She is such an individual.  She has complete confidence in herself, and it is evident daily in her fashion sense.  Since she could dress herself she has chosen unique combinations and unconventional outfilts to adorn herself with, and I have photo evidence of artistic hairstyles she invented as she learned to fix her own hair!  She draws “fashions” all the time, has named her clothing line, and keeps all her work together in a portfolio that we made together (and had to get Mamaw to help finish because we moved beyond my sewing skills).  She is beautiful.

I think if I’m honest this whole blog thing, and many other new things I’m doing lately (the past year or so) has been to find myself again when I began realizing that even though it seemed like it would never happen when I was nursing and changing diapers, they are growing up.  They don’t need me in the same ways anymore, which actually leaves me with time on my mind (you notice I didn’t say hands – there’s plenty to do…) that I don’t know what to do with.  It’s not enough to keep the house clean, laundry and dishes done, yard neat, educate them, and all that comes with that.  There are still those times when they are doing their own thing and I am left.  Of course, like I said before, there’s plenty to do in the way of work – but I am more than that.  I just don’t know what more.  I married young and had children young, and I wouldn’t change a thing (really), but I am still young, and I wan’t to have a life left for me when they are gone.  I’ve heard about the empty nest thing – and yes, I don’t need anyone to point out that at 13 and 9 my kids are not on the verge of leaving the nest or anything near that.  But I have experienced a significant change in their mothering needs, and as it is the way God intended, I let go in areas that I should, when I should, like when you stop wiping their bottoms and washing their hair for them….the ways are just subtler as they get beyond that, and you have to pay attention and see them.  If they can do something for themselves, I believe I shouldn’t do it for them.  Now I’m not talking about getting silly – like not being courteous to one another.  We adults do things for one another all the time, but we recognize that it is out of kindness rather than necessity, and my children recognize that too, as they should, and they do those same things for me at times, as an equal in ability, out of kindness. (Like making a drink, or carrying something without being asked – simple kindnesses)

Anyway, I have been discovering again the parts of me that had to take a backseat to the mommy role when that’s the only role I had time for.  I never relinquished the wife role – I have a keeper and we have always made time for us – but that is another converstation 🙂  But you know what I mean….hobbies you set aside and such.  Like I mentioned earlier, I married young (18) and had children young (21), so there were plenty of things that I didn’t know about myself when I started focusing on my family, that I now have time to unearth.  I’ve tried so many new things over the last couple of years, and it has been fun.  I’ve also found that I can do things that as a child, I thought I couldn’t do – like draw, and run.  And it’s fun!!!!  I’ve always been a perfectionist, too, and I think that kept me from trying things, because I wouldn’t start it if I wasn’t pretty sure of success.  But I have outgrown that, and that’s fun, too.

Well, my train of thought has been interrupted by the sound of running water – so someone is up!  Enjoy the day.  I certainly will!  My honey is home today, and we have a glorious day of absolutely no concrete plans – a jewel in the calendar!