Wednesday, November 18, 2009

There Are Days...

that threaten to do me in. They coincide with the days I threaten to duct tape Organique to something indestructible.

I left the house last night for a few hours, to pick up stuff for Hubby's health and diet (oh, the diet...), and some quiet time at the library.

Of course, it wasn't quite that simple. Hubby's doc had assurred me that they were open until 5:30 now, and if I had the chance to get to town by the, I could pick up the supplements. I called at 4:50 from my van, where I was nursing Baby (in my own driveway) to find that the receptionist was just about ready to close up shop. She graciously said she'd wait until a quarter after, so I hurried to town and was only a couple minutes late, thanks to the weird gray van with B.C. plates who apparently thought the speed limit was 60 kilometers per hour. And then I couldn't find my wallet. Anywhere.

That's ok, I'd give her my CC# that I knew by heart. Oh, except they didn't take that CC. I called Hubby, who gave me the debit card # so she could charge the transaction, but I wasn't sure what I might do about the grocery shopping. No cash, no checks, no ID by which the bank might be persuaded to grant me a withdrawal. My father-in-law saved me, having not yet spent a $20 bill, though payday was long since gone. I did my shopping, saw some friends, went to the library...

Little did I know what was happening at home. *sigh* Daddy just doesn't have the same radar Mama does, apparently. The place was already a mess (and any requests for certain tasks went unheeded, in the "mama's away, time to play!" mentality that reigned), and I didn't know the opportunities for Organique to add to it were so abundant.

An older sister helped herself to my off-limits box of extra school supplies - and left it out. From this Organique emptied a box of 144 pink pencil erasers, and tossed them about the room. Also the little box of binder clips, and the 1" loose-leaf rings. Ai ai ai...

I had purchased - at long last - a bottle of organic shampoo from the Used Food Store in Town for the girls. They only ran out of shampoo a few months ago, and I figured it would be nice to wash their hair again with something. I'd given the job of putting it away to an older sister, who instead left it in an accessible place, apparently. What I thought was conditioner smeared all over the bathroom floor, cabinets, and countertops is apparently the shampoo. I found the mostly-empty bottle sticking (yes, sticking) to the carpet in the school room, about as far from the ransacked bathroom as you can get. I didn't react well to this, as the bottle was small, but spendier than most Used Food Store prices, and I was really hoping to portion it out carefully and make it last. I guess we'll go with baking soda for a while.

A neighbor gave us a box of apples last week, and, well, let's just say we're (hopefully) coming to the end of the "search and rescue" of half-eaten apple cores hidden here and there. I blame Organique for the odd occurrence of fruit flies in November.

Earlier this week she found scissors (left out by... wait for it... an older sister) and cut holes in her clothes. Oh, and there is a teddy bear in the area with 3 decidedly bald-ish spots, but since I've found no teddy-bear fur, it could've happened long ago, by anyone, really.

It's a stage. It is only a stage. I mean, she wears pajamas with holes that were cut by an older sister back when *she* was this age.

Hopefully tomorrow will be different, right? Hopefully tomorrow some progress will be made without sacrificing the ground we took (I hope) today. Maybe I won't wake up with the blue ink of my hastily-scrawled grocery list on the back of my hand transferred to my left temple... "Mama, why do you have writing, up on your face...?"

Friday, November 13, 2009


My gas budget doesn't cover two trips to the library each week, it seems. That, or I need the Camry back just for evening jaunts into town.

The library is open some night until 9:00 p.m. I've moved my typical Thursday errands to Wednesday nights. To hinder homeschool a bit less, and to do it without all four angels in tow. This Wednesday just Baby and I went, though I've taken Big Sister along (it went ok) once and also Little Artist (it went less than ok - the girl needs her bed at 8:00, and 10:30 just doesn't cut it). First we hit Costco, because they close at 8:00. Then the library, because they close at 9:00, then other stores with later or no closing times. Whew.

In any case, I went to the library Wednesday to return 2 dozen books (there were several I hadn't rounded up yet, and some I didn't want to let go. Addicted much?), and found the drive-thru bins nearly overflowing. I drove around to the front, figuring to pack them in with me and Baby, only to find the placed closed in observance of Veteran's Day! I was able to enter the foyer to return the books, but all my holds and my browsing list lingered alone.

I was so let down. I'd been all geared up to cozy into bed with Baby and a book[stack] or two, and I had to go without. And really, Veterans? Are you honored by the library closing for the day? Do you feel better appreciated when new books cannot be checked out? I'm curious about that. I don't know that it would do anything for me, personally, but...

So - LUCKILY (imagine, me saying that) I had to go to town again today to pick up my Azure stuff, so of course we went to the library (after locating 11 more things I *was* ready to return, plus one I wasn't but someone *else* had the audacity to request it). Ah, it's really enjoyable, yeah? They have a wheelchair ramp - which works for my sit-n-stand double stroller, and a good 9 books were on hold for me.

And let me just take this moment to thank God for the kind of technology that lets me browse the 'shelves' from home, put in my 'order', and have the items sitting there sporting a slip of paper with my name printed on it (ok, so it's my mother-in-law's name, but they're practically identical..), just waiting to be brought home... Thank you, God.

So, this time, there's probably less than 38, but many are big and thick and take up more space, so it only SEEMS like a lot. And I have things about Montessori-style education, and homeschooling families, and photography, and photoshop Elements 5 for Dummies (and I use version 6 or 7, so that makes it even more 'dummy,' I suppose), and dog obedience training, and kid stuff, and Ben Stein's "Expelled" DVD and...

PLUS, there is a little glassed-in room full of board books and wooden puzzles and a couple upholstered benches (I don't think I could go so far as to call them couches) where I can let Organique loose (a little bit) and nurse the baby and I only have to threaten violence sometimes when Organique opens the sliding glass door/wall and escapes into the next glass room over... But oh, it is nice.

PLUS, plus, I filled out little request forms for books like Family Feasts for $75/week, Fit & Fabulous in Fifteen Minutes/day, Fit for Real People, and Fix, Freeze, Feast, and the first 3 are already showing on my hold list as "on order." Interesting choice of titles, huh? Maybe next week I'll give them my "G" list.

And I got the apron book last week (and already made an apron from it)! Turns out, my FRIEND had it, and doesn't want me to squeal on her that her library-employed *sister* was renewing it for her.

And I suppose I won't squeal on her for that, as long as she doesn't tell her *sister* that I'm bootlegging my in-law's library card... ;)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Turkey Time

Well, I found him. He sits in a weird folder on my hard drive, and it always takes me forever to find. It's not the right size, since I re-did for 3 columns, and the background is now different too of course, but those things aside... what do you think? Appropriate for November? Too scary? He kinda looks mad...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Opinions, Anyone?

I have a dilemma. Well, several actually, but I just want to highlight one in particular here, and ask for opinions. YOURS.

What say you to 'helpful' books as gifts?

Last year we gave as Christmas gifts a handful of books that I'd read and enjoyed. The kind that make you look at things differently, do things differently, and bless your entire household. I LOVE books like that. We gave a couple copies of Nourishing Traditions, more than that of Total Money Makeover, things like that. Both of these are books I own and treasure, and I wanted to bless others the same way. One recipient of NT deals with certain health issues that are somewhat addressed in the book, and I thought they might enjoy a new perspective on nutrition, in light of that. The other NT book was for someone who just loves cookbooks and health stuff. Everyone likes money, so I figured the TMM couldn't go wrong.

Except, maybe.

Based on the response (or lack thereof) to some of these (not all), I began to wonder (paranoid, again?). Did people assume that a gift like TMM was more of a "you obviously don't know how to manage your financial matters, so here you go."? That's hardly the message I'd want to convey to someone, especially by way of a gift!!!

I think maybe I'm an information junkie. Aside from my household duties, the bigger portion of my time is spent reading. And it's not usually just for enjoyment. It's usually to 'better myself' in some way (or at least try!); how to organize better, cook more efficiently, educate my children, be a better wife, have more fun with my girls, what children need for optimum nutrition, development, etc, what kind of paint is safe to use, etc etc etc. I forget that some people are not driven to (attempt to) know all there is to know about everything. :) And the last thing they want is for *me* to point that out by giving them information on whatever subject? - Ack, it hurts to even type that (not because of my sliced finger)! I really hope it doesn't feel like that to people.

Which brings me to this holiday season's moral quandry... I browse my CBD catalogs and see a lot I'd like, and a lot I *think* others would like. Some I've read, some I haven't -- take, for instance, Every Young Man's Battle... I haven't read it, but have read good things about it. Being the only "young man" in my immediate gifting circle, I always think of my nephew when I'm browsing with Christmas in mind. And then I think of how that might be taken, as though I'm suggesting he 'struggles with sexual temptation' (well, some things are universal in certain demographics, aren't they? a bundle of handwritten recipes for a new bride is usually appropriate, right?), or suggesting to his parents that they haven't done their job, or trying to be insulting, and on and on. Now, to clarify, I realize that such a book deals with a somewhat sensitive subject, and it's not like we'd hand him the book and wait for him to unwrap it before a waiting audience, you know? More likely we'd buy the 'girl version' for his sister, maybe some other relevant, edifying books for their parents, tie them up and add them to a 'family gift basket.' Which would probably put that particular basket over and beyond our entire Christmas Gift Budget, so this particular scenario isn't really on the table any more, but hopefully you get the idea.

Do we make the effort to really bless someone in a way that has lasting effect? Or do we bake a batch of cookies and call it good? Do we give the neighbor a loaf of banana bread, or attach a gospel tract too? Lately I've just been realizing how short our time really is - today will be gone in a few hours, did we build something worthwhile? Or did we just exist? This attitude spills over into everything in life, where I want everything I do to have a purpose. A good purpose. I don't just watch a movie for entertainment these days (not that that is wrong in itself!), but I'll watch one to spend some down time with my husband. I want my Christmas efforts to be similarly purposeful, but I don't want to offend (gee, that would certainly defeat "purpose!").

What do you think? Where is that line?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Well, I didn't win that food dehydrator, darnit.

And I feel entirely terrible that I haven't written much on here in some time. I have some ideas; posts about my shoes (contain your excitement, I know), hobbies (ha, ha), books I'm reading (oh, I'm loving that library card), the funny stuff (Organique [presumably] scribbling in the toilet - below the waterline - with a pencil), funny-but-also-not stuff (Baby suddenly shrieking and wailing, and my rush to examine her - finding a pokey cheat-grass seed in her cloth diaper), Hubby's new old diet, my homeschool room almost-redo, my updated wish-list, household fun (the pellet stove emitted ash one day through it's chimney pipe - which is full of more ash and needs swept [will happen tomorrow], and a day later the furnace broke), and more.

There's always a reason, you know? I'm nursing Baby and don't have 2 hands free, or I need to take a picture of [whatever] before I can post about it, I need to upload the picture of [whatever] before I can post about it, I nearly removed half the nail (and flesh to go with) from my left index finger and if I type, I'll squirt blood all over (well, not really, but almost).

BUT - at least now I've written this idea list, and can refer back to it, letting guilt hammer me into cooperation with my efforts to document this crazy life. Oh, and if you're just on the edge of your seat to hear more about any of the above sooner rather than later, feel free to guilt me into it leave a comment with your requests. :)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I'm Not Dead

...And I'll blog again shortly, I'm sure. :)

But I MIGHT just keel over if I won this. Check it out!