Saturday, December 31, 2005

Ten Things I Want in 2006 (in no particular order)

1. A finished house. Heat, floors, cabinets, lights and speakers - everything. FINISHED. (maybe some landscaping, too, but that may be pushing my luck).

2. A successful internship and a Master's degree in English teaching. I want to march in commencement for my children to see.

3. A spectacular 10th wedding anniversary. I haven't decided if this means a huge party with everyone we know or a week in Bermuda with my beloved, but it should be spectacular, whichever way it goes.

4. Time with my children. My youngest has been begging me for "Mommy-Beanie time" and it rips my heart out whenever she asks. My oldest is growing up faster than I imagined she could and I fear we're already growing apart. I want to take them bowling, I want to cook with them (I have dreams of compiling special cookbooks with them), I want to sing in the car with them.

5. Time with the people I love. WeedWoman closed on her new house in East Nowhere on Thursday and, though I'm SO happy for her (and more than a little jealous), I know it means we'll see even less of each other than we do now. I've not seen Kizz in too long ("hello, Amtrak?"). The Lovely Ladies of Landscaping have been sorely lacking in my life. I miss my mom.

6. I want to read. EVERYTHING. I'm going to kind of cheat with this and buy myself some audio books to listen to on my stupid commute every day, but that's not the same as tucking into the printed page. I miss the places my mind goes when I'm lost in a good book.

7. I want to catch up on movies. There are SO many that I've been dying to see that we haven't gotten to yet - Ray, A History of Violence, Brokeback Mountain. A good movie is almost as good as a good book.

8. More EXERCISE! I'm sick of being hobbled by a bad back, and I just KNOW it's because I've let my gym-time slip. More step, more yoga, maybe even some physical therapy and weight training. I've noticed my pants getting tighter, too, and I'm not okay with that. I'm past my "mid-thirties" and I want to go back to feeling like I did in my mid-twenties.

9. A teaching job in a school that has EXACTLY the same schedule my girls do. Hell, I'm gunning for a job in the school down the street where, if I need to be at work at 7:20, I can leave at 7:15 and still have three minutes to spare!

10. A routine. Stability, predictability, order. Some external, some internal. More grounded, more secure, less anxious and eager to please others. More mindful. more generous, more thoughtful and considered. In short, I want to be a better Me.

Monday, December 26, 2005


As of 2:20 on Monday...

Sunday, December 25, 2005

I LOVE Being Married to a Techno-Geek...

....because *I* get all the cool presents for Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas

With wishes for a beautiful holiday and a healthy, prosperous and joyful 2006.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

So I Can Tell You "I Told You So"

I'm posting what may seem like a very strange entry here, but I'm doing it for a reason. A strange and neurotic reason, perhaps, but a reason nonetheless.

The last few months have been, well, let's just say they've been challenging for me. I had hoped that these last few weeks would bring an overall calming effect, but so far, no go.

I'm still unsettled; still not quite right.

I have the distinct feeling that something else is coming - and something big, at that - and I wanted to put that thought here so, when it DOES happen, I can tell you all about it and say "SEE!! I TOLD you so!!"

All I Want for Christmas... a kitchen.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

It's All Downhill From Here...

Today is the winter solstice, the spot on the calendar where the day is shortest and the night longest. Here in my little corner of the world, this means slightly less than nine hours from sunrise to sunset. From here on out, we're on a steady march toward reversing this trend, until we start going back sometime in June.

I always look forward to this day. I have an intense dislike for winter in general; though I will concede there are some really lovely bits, I'm usually hard-pressed to say anything nice about winter. Though I really wish the solstice meant that the worst of winter is behind us (HAH!), it DOES mean that we've hit the proverbial rock bottom and are on our way up towards spring.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Twin Plumbing and Heating

My husband's identical twin arrived for the holidays from Alabama this afternoon. He was here for all of about ten minutes before the two of them disappeared into the basement and started drilling.

I'm not entirely sure what, exactly, they're doing. I suspect it has something to do with either the installation of the heat (half of our house is still unheated. It's NEW ENGLAND....) or the relocation of the kitchen sink. Either way, it certainly sounds like nasty business; there's much grinding and thumping and straining drill sounds. I'm also hearing voices conversing in muffled tones beneath the floor.

In spite of all this, I am remarkably calm. Though my beloved doesn't really make a habit of home improvement, he is one of the smartest and most careful people I have ever met. His twin, likewise, is considered and thorough (Husband is a mechanical engineer, his brother an aerospace engineer - yes, a rocket scientist!). I'm pretty sure that, whatever it is they're doing down there, they've measured more than twice and the end result will far exceed code.

I'm just hoping they don't kill themselves in the process.

Monday, December 19, 2005

For The Second Year in a Row... one is getting Christmas cards from me.

Last year, I managed to get all the Christmas cards signed and addressed by Thanksgiving, but because I couldn't get my family to sit in front of the tree - still, all together, and in fairly nice clothes - to take our annual holiday picture (with everyone in the same spots so people can see how the girls change), the cards never got sent. That being the case, they're still in the closet, all signed and addressed and, yes, still picture-less.

This year's not looking too good for card-sending, either. The tree got put up yesterday (and decorated, too, which is no small feat given what our lives are like right now), but in order to get the cards out before the big day, I'd have to get everyone together and in nice clothes TONIGHT, get the ONE half-way decent picture (you know, the one where no one is making goofy faces and there are no demon-eyes from the flash?) developed TONIGHT, and mail them out tomorrow.

I'm here to tell ya, that ain't happening.

For starters, I'm not even sure I know where the camera IS (though, strangely enough, I am aware of the location of the tripod. Go figure). I'm sure that, wherever the camera is, its batteries are dead; as dead as Marley. Though the general mood of the house seems to be pretty cooperative, if we don't have the equipment to take the picture, then no picture is going to be taken. Besides, I don't know if I have the fortitude to brave Wal-Mart's one hour photo (I have a history of BAD karma at the Wal-Mart photo desk).

How do you think people would take to New Year's cards, instead?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

A Late Start

We're planning to get our Christmas tree this afternoon.

Usually, we've had the tree for at least a week by now. This year, though, we've been highly distracted - both husband and I have been slightly crazed in our respective work environments, and the house is still unfinished and in a fairly intense state of disarray.

Yesterday, we went to the evil empire that is Wal-Mart and bought some plastic bins, into which we put all of the things that belong somewhere else (somewhere that is still unfinished) but that were temporarily placed where the Christmas tree traditionally goes.

Now that space is clear, and this morning I will make it clean as well. This is something that, I think, always slightly amuses Husband: I spend about a half hour with the vacuum and mop, then he tromps in with snowy, muddy boots and a sappy, shedding tree. He sets the beast up, then I go BACK in with vacuum and mop. Perhaps I ought to re-think THAT part of our pre-holiday routine, huh?

Anyway, we're finally getting ready for Christmas. I'm still not sure I FEEL like it's Christmas, though. Maybe having the tree up will help.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Mistaken Identity

I was watching the first Harry Potter movie on television last night. Well, more accurately, I was watching the END of the first Harry Potter movie. I had turned the television on to entertain me while I folded laundry, and HP was the best of the choices available to me.

Anyway, during the final banquet scene, all the Griffindors are celebrating their unexpected win of the House Cup by jumping up and down and congratulating Harry, Ron, Hermione and Neville for their last-minute, winning points. One of the students is the quiddich announcer who, in the books, is named Lee Jordan. Now, when I read the books, I got the impression that Lee was male, but I was certain that the part was cast as a female in the movie. The actor seemed female to me (think Tracey Chapman) and Lee, being a kind of androgenous name, didn't offer me any contradictory evidence.

I went to IMDB and it turns out I owe Luke Youngblood an apology.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

About All I Can Take

There is a lot of stuff happening in my life now. Some of it is good, most of it is not.

I'm really hoping that the Universe can see that there's not much more I can do and will let up on me sometime very soon.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Just Make it STOP

I am in pain.

I've always had a weak lower back. I inherited arthritis from FatherDearest, and no amount of exercise or chiropractic has saved me from being periodically incapacitated by low back pain. I susupect that I sealed the deal about a dozen or so years ago when I stupidly tried to hoist a horse bucket full of pennies to the coin sorter in the bank where I worked, but I've done everything possible since then (regular chiropractic care, exercise, good posture) to try to stay healthy.

Well, I've done something to cause a flare-up. The thing is, though, that I have no idea WHAT, exactly, I did to myself this time. The last time I hurt myself this badly, I sneezed in a TGIFriday's parking lot. The time before that, I was making my bed (sheet-flipping and mattress-tucking....bad). The time before THAT, I flipped over to take a towel off my head after a shower. Stupid and inconsequential, I know, but at least I KNEW what I'd done to cause the problem. This time, though? NO idea. All I know is that I hurt, and I'm sick of it. I can't stand, I can't sit, I can't drive my standard transmission without tears coming to my eyes. I'm hobbling through my life like a ninety-nine year old, and I'm about at the end of my patience with myself.

I had x-rays at the chiro office this afternoon, and have a consult tomorrow morning at eight. Then I have an appointment with my M.D. at eleven. At this point, I don't care what either of them does to me, I just want to stop hurting.

Sunday, December 04, 2005


Something very good just happened to someone I love very much.

WeedWoman has been in the process of trying to sell her house for about a year now. She and her husband have been frantically cleaning and sprucing and remodeling with the hopes of dumping their hundred-something year old, two-family house on North Main Street in a medium-sized town in favor of buying something newer, single-family in the middle of nowhere. It finally happened yesterday.

WW called me ALL excited. I've known for quite some time that she's just about had it with the process. She's not happy in her current home, though she and her husband have done REMARKABLE work and it really is beautiful now. She's got tenents upstairs and a tiny yard on a busy street. She needs grass and trees and dirt to play in. The relief in her voice when she told me that the house had finally sold was palpable and I'm SO happy for her.

They've picked out a house that they love (in spite of the fact that it's YELLOW!). It has a huge basement, a big yard and a river nearby, so husband can go fishing!! Here's where my excitement for her is tempered, though - her prospective new home is MUCH farther away from me than her current one. I'm a little afraid that I'm going to see even less of her than I do now (and a little annoyed at myself for being selfish).

Saturday, December 03, 2005

I got the FUNNIEST catalogue in the mail today. Go here and check this company out...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

But, Officer....!!

So, I remember posting some time ago about how cruise control is the magic decoder ring for idiots. I got to see it in action today.

My drive home from work is about twenty minutes' worth of two lane highway followed by about fifteen minutes of two lane state road followed by about five minutes of surface street. I was about five or so minutes into my higway trip when a state police officer pulled on to the highway slightly in front of me. I was in the left lane, cruise control set at my typical 72ish miles an hour, which I didn't alter in the slightest with the arrival of my new road companion. The cop got onto the highway, sped up, and took up position a tiny bit faster than me, where he remained for the next ten or so minutes.

Round about ten minutes to go in the trip, some fool in a pickup truck comes FLYING up the left lane and attempts to crawl up my butt. Being the consciencious and alert driver that I am, I yielded the left lane to him (all while chuckling quietly to myself - I know more than he does at this he comes, Officer; GOOOO GIT 'EM!!!) and he, in true idiot form, blew my doors off. I'm pretty sure he was busy admiring his handiwork in the rear-view, because he didn't notice that the state cop had also pulled into the right lane until it was MUCH too late.

It's dark here at about four thirty, so I saw all this in the glow of tail lights, but I know for SURE that testosterone-laden Pickup Boy hit his brakes pretty hard, because those tail lights jumped up a bit with his shot at deceleration. Alas, it was all for naught, because even before his feeble attempt to save his own ass, the cop flipped on the pretty blue lights, pulled BACK into the left lane, and followed Pickup Boy over to the shoulder. I never broke cruise control.

Am I gloating? Maybe a little, though I know for sure that I'll never be able to escape this hellish commute without at least ONE ticket (which I promise to 'fess up to when (if?) it happens). This experience does serve to confirm that I've picked a reasonable cruise setting,though, and that there is a bit of cosmic justice on the highways.