Thursday, December 22, 2011
Because I've been busy on Pinterest, damn it!
To be fair I've also been really busy on a new craft project. The idea for which I got at 3:30 yesterday morning and almost had to get out of bed then to start because I was so super excited about it. So I guess that whole sitting quietly with myself and trusting in the process actually worked?
Maybe my word for 2012 should be Believe.
Because 'No Really, Shut Up and Trust It's Gonna Work' is really not in the spirit of picking one word.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Each day that lurches forward with fatigue or snappishness or just a general sense of blah, needs to be examined for deeper problems. Was it just the late night? Or maybe only holiday stress? Is my blood sugar low? Is it PMS? Do I just need to go for a walk to clear my head? Or take a nap?
Or is it something more serious? Am I in denial about it being more serious? Am I creating something more serious by obsessing?
I have an intuitive sense that this is a resting point, a settling in. And it's my fear of the stillness that's making me a little crazy. In the past I've lamented the warm, sunny days that come with this time of year in the desert because they were in such discord with my own need to fold inward. Now I have my cold, dark days and suddenly fear I will never unfurl again.
So a nap, a cup of something hot, and sitting down with my fear instead of sparring with it.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
After stumbling across Mr. Guillebeau's A Brief Guide to World Domination a few years ago (tell me you're not surprised I was attracted to a site called "The Art of Non-Conformity"), I have flirted with the idea of legacy. Also not surprising? It's just too overwhelming for me.
I'm a scanner. I have ADD. I can rarely decide which short-term project to tackle, much less even think about a legacy. And I rarely finish the projects I do tackle. I mean really, I took a two year "break" from this very blog. My project list never gets shorter, just rearranged. And longer.
Maybe my legacy is some sort of lesson in how not to get things done.
Oh, the irony. I wrote the above last Saturday then logged on this morning to tell you all about how tired I am because I stayed up until midnight playing sudoku. And if you look here, you'll see that wasting time playing with puzzles is the very first thing I ever blogged about!
I guess that's not really irony so much as exactly-what-I-should-expect-of-myself-based-on-past-experience.
On the side of synchronicity or serendipity or I-have-the-attention-span-of-a-goldfish-oh-look-shiny, I cracked open my copy of Refuse to Choose to a random spot yesterday and started reading all about the Sybil cyclical scanners - lots of long-term interests, never finish anything, often restarting the same things. Oh, oh, that's me!
It's such a relief to be recognized.
Look, I know all the blah-de-blah-blah about being an individual and refusing to fit into neat little categories. It's charming and lovely when people surprise us with the complexity of who they are. But I suspect that's only true when just a few things don't quite fit because too much complexity can be disorienting and alienating. My experience of never fitting into any category has been less than charming and rarely lovely. It's been lonely and confusing and often soul-crushing.
That was a tangent I had not expected to take, but there it is.
So, yeah. The book did give me some ideas for how to arrange my projects and my time, and I had every intention of doing some work on that. But then, you know...sudoku. Because...
Because I'm afraid. I'm afraid none of it will work. That I'll once again get all excited only to find myself back in this same place next year, wondering if I'll ever make progress on anything. And I'm afraid it will work. That I'll have time to work on all of my projects, stop wasting time trying to figure out where I left off, only to find that I'm not any good at any of it.
Ok, it's more like fog and kitschy deer because, well, it's Portland. But you get the idea.
I had the best day.
I managed to sleep until 8:30, a good thing since I didn't go to bed until almost 1am. We went out to breakfast, and I ordered French toast made from cinnamon rolls. After that we went a few blocks to the little downtown/historical part of West Linn to watch the Christmas parade. It was the perfect small town parade - almost as many people in the parade as watching and a good 10 pieces of candy for every kid.
Then after discussing the possibility of buying a new couch tomorrow, I drove up to Portland to spend the afternoon at the Crafty Wonderland. And it was a wonderland.
Over 200 vendors selling every kind of crafty goodness and quirky, crafty Portlanders as far as the eye could see.
Speaking of seeing...I have never seen so many vintage frames! It's just too bad most of the wearers seemed to have just slapped on the first pair they found instead of waiting to find ones that actually look good on them.
Here's a quick list of the loot I got (as well as a shout-out to the vendors):
1. This crewel embroidery kit (in the green, pink, and turquoise) from Tako Fibers
2. A gorgeous chartreuse leather bracelet (for a steal!) from Sweet Rhubarb
3. An adorable onsie with an appliqued tie from Pearly Grey to give my newest nephew for Christmas
4. Happy pill magnets from Bishop Art (because I think it's obvious I need all the happy pills I can get)
I wish I had endless money to spend because so many more of the artists and crafters blew me away. Please check out the vendor list on the Crafty Wonderland site for lots of lovely shopping!
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
As you know, I read way too many blogs. What you may not know is that I also regularly comb through shopping sites. I'm always saving photos and project directions to be looked at later, and it eats up my computer memory. Plus I usually forget where I got the information so I end up not being able to link back or find important details later. Now if I were smarter, I would have thought maybe other people had the same issue and created a super cool website that would do all that stuff for us.
Well someone was smart enough to figure all that out, and now Pinterest has swept through the blogosphere and made addicts of so many of us. Yippee!
Here's a link to my Pinterest page. It's not very comprehensive. Yet. You can check back later using the link on the right.
You might also notice that I've added two options for subscribing to this blog. You can subscribe to a feed that will update you with new posts, or you can choose to have new posts sent to your email. All about the options...
Monday, December 5, 2011
I think I'll call mine George.
Do I really need to tell you that I spent the rest of the evening scolding my naughty little monkey (inside my head) and cracking myself up so much that my husband asked me what I was laughing at? I just let him think I was crazy, as usual, because even I realized that if I told him this, he would think I wiped out the wine fridge. Which is why I'm sharing it with you.
Then I remembered that my mind can also act like a monkey, a concept I was introduced to while reading this book during a writing workshop way back in my early college days. During which, I might add, I showed some promise as a writer. Explaining why I then promptly gave up writing. Turns out my monkeys would rather throw poo.
Which all leads to the obvious question - if the body can be a monkey and the mind can be a monkey, then who the frack* is in charge around here?
* Yes, I have been watching Battlestar Galactica, obsessively. Yes, I am late to the party. Yes, it still rocks.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Apparently I've gotten a bit more useful in the past year.
Of course it's only because my mom has a frozen shoulder and is in lots of pain and was therefore physically unable to do the work I was assigned to. And I'm pretty sure I wasn't her first choice for pinch hitter. But she was forced to work with what she had because there was no one else. Which kind of makes this like getting 1st place in some school contest because no one else signed up to compete.
If you think that makes this step into adulthood feel like a hollow victory... you're wrong. It still feels awesome!
Got a text from a friend yesterday morning asking if I wanted to have lunch while Cha Cha was at preschool. We met an adorable Moroccan restaurant, and OMGHAVEIMENTIONEDHOWMUCHILOVELIVINGHERE!
Holy crappola. At this rate I might start blogging about rainbows and unicorns.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
I just wanted to give you all a peek into what caught my eye this week on the Internet. Wait, wait! Don't leave yet! I promise not to share the really weird stuff...
I know everyone has probably already seen this video, but since I watched it multiple times, I decided you might like to watch it again too. (Originally found via Susannah Conway)
If you love a good makeover as much as I do, be sure to dig through all the gorgeous ones on Lindsey's blog, Better After. My favorites from this week are both dressers - a painted one with peek-a-boo wood grain and one for a comic book fiend.
Why does everyone look at me after reading this? (Originally found via Atypical Type A)
Angry Birds, irl - and if you know what those things are, you'll probably love just about everything on Geek Crafts.
This post about homemade chocolate-coconut peanut butter is a few weeks old (I'm behind in my reading. Like that's a surprise.), but I couldn't resist sharing it. I've already started having fantasies about this stuff.
I'm taking the dogs to the kennel as soon as I'm done here, and then it's a whole lotta hurry up and wait until we pack up the family to head to the airport for our red-eye flight to Texas. I hope everyone has a great holiday! Maybe if you're lucky, you'll see me back here before Christmas...
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Is 38 and raining too cold for clogs with no socks?
Will I fail to put on socks anyway?
Am I in denial?
How much snot can one human produce?
Is "busy blowing my nose" a legitimate excuse for why the floor is a few inches deep in toys?
What if the time I wasn't blowing my nose was spent coughing up loogies?
I'm actually pretty impressed that we're having "real" rain today. Before now I've laughed when anyone here said it was raining. If you can stand outside for an hour and still be barely wet, it's not rain. Today feels perfect for curling up with a good book and a hot drink. Too bad I can't lock the boys outside so I can enjoy that scene!
Cha-Cha and I have both been struggling with our first Oregon illnesses. It feels like a sort of rite of passage. I admit I had a completely irrational hope that we would somehow be immune to Oregon germs. My denial knows no bounds.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Oy, it's depressing to read my last few posts. I did stop chewing my cuticles, and I've even been eating better (a move further prompted by the DMV lady asking me when the next baby was due because apparently the DMV isn't bad enough), but I've just found new ways to distract myself.
I've been on a sudoku bender. It's a sweet, horrible shame to be so geeky.
Cha-Cha went to his 1st day of preschool last Monday. It's actually an after-care program for a local preschool so it's all playing and crafting (no academics) but the child is just super excited to get to do anything different than hanging out at home with his momma. Which is ironic (life in general is ironic when you're a Gen-Xer) because Cha-Cha has always been a momma's boy. For the 1st two weeks of his life, he even refused to go to Monkey Man. So of course I gave him a hug and a kiss, and he went off with the teacher. And when I waved at him through the window, he waved back, but the look he gave me clearly said, "What are you still doing here?"
It was so surreal because Quake never hesitated to go with other people. He never had a shy stage, and I often worried that he'd start chatting with a stranger and be carried off. Perhaps you'd like a reminder of how well his 1st few days of preschool went...
After a few years, you start to think the kids are just messing with your head.
Anyway, Cha-Cha can't wait to go back. He spent most of the week disappointed it wasn't another school day for him (he's only going once a week). And of course Quake has started asking again to be home schooled. I'm pretty sure in his mind being "home schooled" means getting to play lots more video games.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Sorry to disagree with Barbie, but even when I thought I was bad at math (turns out that many math teachers just suck), it was still easier than saying no to a pile of sugar. Preferably one mixed with butter and baked to delicious golden-ness.
I was planning a post this morning about trying to impose a little self control by making some small changes to my diet. Like maybe cutting out all the sugar. Some of the sugar. Any of the sugar. Then I ate a handful of Indian corn and candy pumpkins for breakfast. So...that's going well.
ADD (or the more modern ADHD if you're nasty...or, you know, you're hyper) is often characterized as an 'attention' problem- it's in the name! And despite thinking the people who named it would know what they were doing, it's usually more helpful to see ADD as a failure in the brain's executive functions, things like impulse control and long term planning. Can you already see where this is going? Unless you're some freak of nature with impulsive salad eating and the ability to literally see food you eat instantly turn into fat, you're going to need these skills to make healthy changes.
It's become really popular to blame one's problems on ADD. "It's not my fault I ate all the cookies! My brain doesn't work well!" It smacks of not taking responsibility for one's actions. And wouldn't that indicate that your 'executive' functions are working really well? Badda-bing!
But there is an upside to blaming ADD for my dietary failures. Until now I've blamed my poor character and generally being a terrible excuse for a human being. It is soooooo much easier to get treatment for ADD than for being pathetic!
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Today is a new day. Obviously.
Things have been going swimmingly here in the land of the-soon-to-be-constantly-gloomy-or-so-I'm-told-anyway. Quake started at his new school and loves it. I've had the chance to hang out with old friends, which has felt like we never spent the last 8 years sharing too few phone calls. Every single box has been unpacked. Wait, let me repeat that - every single box has been unpacked! We've gotten a few new pieces of furniture that fit the space better, and we finally have everything arranged comfortably.
So of course I've got to do something to keep myself unhappy. I mean, really, what will I talk about in therapy?
Oh, it's nothing dire, just your average self-sabotaging behavior. You know - eating a pint of ice cream in one evening, nibbling my cuticles to bloody little shreds, doing absolutely nothing on my to-do list for over a week, letting the the super critical bitch voice in head take up way too much of my time. The usual.
Yesterday afternoon I slapped myself upside the head -metaphorically speaking- and cleaned the bottom floor of the house. Not just picking up all the clutter and moving it somewhere else. There were three different vacuum cleaners involved. Which totally begs the question, why do I have three different vacuum cleaners?
And that brings us to today. The boys and I all slept a bit late this morning (Monkey Man is in Finland) so it's been a bit of a madhouse, but after I drop off Quake at school I'm gonna keep the groove going. On the agenda - some exercise, more cleaning, studying for my Oregon driver's license test, and quite possibly taking a shower.
Watch out world - I'm making my comeback!
Friday, August 19, 2011
I didn't do any driving of the RV. I could make up some great reasons for that, but basically Monkey Man doesn't trust me. I'm not saying I haven't given him reason. It wouldn't usually be a big deal, but navigating a narrow strip of pavement through dozens of blind curves the first day left Monkey Man exhausted. He crawled into the upper bed with one child, the other child falling asleep in the back.
And I stayed awake to gorge myself on a novel I'd recently downloaded until long after sunset when I crawled into the back bed as well. I can't tell you what time I woke up because I never thought to look at a clock, but I can tell you it was LOUD.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
"Did you close the door?"
We'd left the windows open, but of course I'd remembered to close the door before I went to bed. Hadn't I? I was still brave in that moment. I got up and went to check. I felt my way over to the screen door, opened the slider just enough to let a finger through, and felt cold, night air suddenly filled with all my shattered illusions. Let me remind you that throughout this few moments we are still being serenaded by...
BANG BANG BANG!
I stood there, mostly because I forgot how to move, trying to decide what to do. I didn't know how the latch holding the door open worked. I would need light. I would also need to be someone else. The dogs were...what were the dogs doing? Sleeping? They were certainly silent in their kennel at my feet. If I let them out of their kennel and opened the door, would the bear be distracted enough by eating them first, that I'd have time to figure out how to close the door?
"Passing, go back to sleep." That was Monkey Man, trying desperately to talk me out of my state of frozen terror. But really, sleep? How could he even think I could go back to sleep when I'm about to sacrifice my dogs to save my children? "Passing, you need to move so I can close the door." Oh, he just wants me to move so he can sacrifice himself!
It still took me a few moments to convince my legs to work.
Monkey Man turned on a light, threw his upper body out the door, and slammed the door closed. For a few long moments the only sound was the two of us trying not to breathe. I asked Monkey Man if he'd seen it. He laughed and said he hadn't looked and then, "Maybe it was just raccoons!". Somehow we both managed to go back to sleep, our babies and our dogs all safe.
This is what we found the next morning*. What you can't see in this photo is that the trash can was dragged from across the road. Metal against asphalt...very loud.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Departure time delayed by 6 hours. Feeling nothing but relief when the door is finally closed on the house we've lived in for the last 5.5 years. Falling in love with actually being able to sleep while my honey drives. Not falling in love with wiggle jiggle of my flesh in the bouncy back of the RV. Mosquitoes at Sequoia National Monument...monumental. Also monumental...a bear. Not so monumental...I forgot to close the door to the RV before I went to bed. In awe of Mt. Shasta. Love, love, love me some WiFi access at a campground. Teaching my boys to eat wild berries near Crater Lake. My husband's terror at realizing I'm letting the boys eat wild berries. Meeting a friendly Texan who helps us navigate Crater Lake. Forgetting Mt. Shasta because Crater Lake just upped the ante on awesome. Arriving in Portland an hour before our leasing agent can meet us. Meeting 3 of our neighbors in that 1st hour (which is 3 more than I knew in the 1st 3 years I lived in our house in Tucson).
I guess I left out the parts about spoiled little boys with electronic games and gifts from friends and iPads who were bored, bored, bored. But you probably already knew that part.
And now I suppose I should fill you in on all the horrible (but horribly funny!) things that have happened since we got here, but...well...it's actually been completely lovely. It's gone so smoothly in fact that I've voiced - very quietly, just in case Fate is listening - my fear that something epic is about to befall us (apparently Fate can't read). A few friends, each of them worlds wiser than me, have told me it's just a sign that all of this is meant to be. A view that I am attempting to embrace completely.
Monday, July 18, 2011
I woke up this morning composing yet another blog post about all my anxiety and how I'm not getting anything done, with a little oh-my-gods-I-can't-believe-I'm-seriously-leaving-Tucson-in-one-week drama. But then Megan Matthieson read my mind (again) with this amazing blog post, and I felt myself letting go.
This entire move is a turn in a new direction for me, and I am terrified. As usual I seem to believe that if I can control things, I can conquer my fears. Or at least lessen their impact. But it's never worked before, and I seriously doubt it will work now. And not just because my track record of actually being in control is, well...non-existent?
I am so afraid of forgetting things, losings things. As if there were some magical way for me to avoid it. Maybe what I'm really afraid of is losing myself, the one thing I always carry with me. The irony is that once upon a time I wanted to move because I wanted desperately to forget myself. So do I get to claim progress? Because if so... Awesome!
For those interested in actually move details -
Monkey Man is seeing a ton of properties this week, any of which I would be very happy with. If the moving company verifies today that they can take our Saturn on move day, we will be renting an RV for the trip, reinterpreting 'move' to mean 'time for a family vacation'. I am super excited about this possibility, proving once again that I have no common sense. And that I'm a complete dork.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
A little math for the day after the holiday:
If degree of denial (D) is proportional to level of freaked-out-ness (F), and D can be extrapolated from the total number of sudoku games completed (Su), then the value of F is?
DEFCON 4, baby!
On the upside, I get to claim that I got lots of things done that weren't even on my to-do list. On the downside, even I can't find a way to make sudoku relevant to our move. And of course there's the problem of not getting stuff for the actual move done. Everyone is soooo demanding!
I do keep recalculating one bit of math in my head day after day - high temperature of the day in Tucson minus the high temperature of the day in Portland? A blissful 30 degrees...
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Yes, I have named this day 1 of the move in a completely arbitrary, self-serving manner. But I figure that's true no matter what day I pick, right?
This move parallels the move my parents made in 1974, leaving behind all their family in Texas, the only life they'd ever known, to start over again in Colorado. My brother and I were a year younger than our boys are now, and we don't feel their opportunities are smaller here than they would be in another place. But I can't help but feel a certain link to my Mother's experience of daring to turn away from what is known and move forward into something so uncertain. Of course I have the Internet. Which sort of makes my comparison seem trivial at best. She might as well have moved to the moon, and I'm moving somewhere with a moon mural on the wall.
It's amazing how a little perspective can change your mood from overwhelmed and grumpy, to deeply grateful. Grateful for all the privileges and advantages of modern conveniences, and grateful for a mother who was and is so much braver and stronger than me.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Of course by the "blog" getting a "whole new look" I really just mean me getting a whole new look because I don't own enough clothes to keep me warm in Portland. I would like to write about the process of leaving Tucson and moving to Portland though. If I manage to post new content regularly, that counts as a new look, right?
In the meantime, please excuse me while I daydream about sweaters and tights and boots and hats and jackets and long pants.
*look, I know there's only 1 of you, but I like my fantasy so just let me have it
Monday, June 13, 2011
I was less delighted when a few unexpected hours in San Francisco had to be spent at Fisherman's Wharf. I LOVE the city to a completely irrational degree, but that smelly tourist trap is good for one thing only - letting all the other out-of-town visitors congregate away from the places I like to go. There was also much noise made about going to Union Square to go shopping in a long list of stores that can only be found in... pretty much every city in America. At least the noisy streets disguised the sound of my grinding teeth.
Monkey-Man was super duper impressed that I managed to not strangle anyone. And I swear I only made faces when everyone's back was turned.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
My parents came for a visit recently. It went really well. Which I'm assuming means the world actually did end on May 21st, and I am now in Hell. The demons disguised as my parents are just messing with my head.
Or... Adderall turns me into an adult?
I'm going with the Apocalypse Theory.
The temperature here certainly supports the idea that I'm in Hell. My spring fatigue seems to finally be lifting. My husband swears I have reverse SAD - instead of getting depressed when the days grow shorter, I get depressed when the heat starts. Will this be the year I finally get to test that theory by leaving the desert? A girl (at least without medication) can always dream.
I'm currently avoiding packing. The whole family is going to Phoenix tonight. The boys will be staying there with a cousin while Monkey-Man and I go to Sonoma for the weekend. My mother-in-law wanted to celebrate her birthday this year with her sons, away from home. The combination of my crappy self-esteem, Ms. Perfect, and my other sister-in-law who just bought herself a brand new body last summer, makes me so happy there will be copious amounts of alcohol involved. Haven't mixed my new and improved adult self with alcohol yet...
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
I am having a crappy day. I feel crappy and spent some time this morning trying to convince myself that a lingering cough and fatigue didn't have to translate to a bad day. I lost that argument. I'm sure you've heard all those "experts" rattle on about how working out and eating healthy gives you more energy and puts you in a better mood. Fuck them.
So today I give you a tour of the Internet via my cranky self. Because reading blogs is my favorite way to pretend I'm spending time with my Cha-Cha.
I started out reading email (as I suspect many wasted days begin). An email from Houzz led me to Nuestra Vida Dulce. And here are a list of some of the prettiest places they recommended:
- House of Turquoise - my favorite color! Wish I'd been smart enough to guess other people might like it as much as me.
- Made By Girl led me to the next pretty...
- Huset, because I super-heart Scandinavian design.
- And finally, Desert Domicile is written by someone here in Tucson. Wait, Tucson? I need cool friends in Tucson - I may have to start my stalking career...