Saturday, September 29, 2007

Next Time, I'll Probably Get Arrested

I would absolutely love to report that I didn't just almost have a psychotic break of some sort at the Grocery Store but unfortunately, I cannot.

Honestly, I guess it was time for a complete meltdown --I've been on this awfully even keel for months now. But it still surprised me because I had a migraine and I had taken my Imitrex which normally mellows me out to the point of coma.

I was on my way home from Jane's soccer game. (See the cute Janie. Enjoy it. Because, for most of the time, she looked like THIS. Oh, look, she's crying AND pouting. I think it's amazing that she can multi-task that way.)

So, I was on my way home from her game and I needed to go to the grocery store because Monday is my housekeeper's daughter's 14th birthday and that meant we all had an excuse to eat horrible store-bought cake with that unbelievably awful and addictive frosting, right? But unfortunately, I hadn't eaten so maybe that was a contributing factor. At any rate, I pulled up behind some dear sweet old thing in a red SUV --does anyone actually drive CARS in our neighborhood? --and I was waiting patiently behind her because she was waiting for someone to pull out of a handicapped space.

"It's okay," I think, "because the spot NEXT to the handicapped space is opening up and I'll just pull in there. Look how my patience is being rewarded. See, it's a good world."

Then a blue minivan pulls around both of us and snipes that parking space.

"That's okay. That's okay. Some people were clearly raised by wolves, right? I am fine because I am adjusting my Karma so completely by waiting for this poor old woman to get her parking space, which she will pull into about the time Ana graduates from high school, I guess. Nothing can ruffle me and look, my reward, the space next to the handicapped space on the OTHER side, is opening up. Dude, is it amazing how things like this happen and the Universe sends us messages about how if we are patient and play the game nicely, we are rewarded? What a good world this is. And you know, that woman in the mini van? May she find that nothing she wants to buy is on sale.

No, no, no. I am not going to lower myself to wish ill on that parking place slut thief. Because I know how Karma works and that will come right back to bite me. Okay, is this woman ever going to pull into her parking place. I mean, ever while I'm living?"

The red SUV finally gets its parking spot(kiss kiss to you, nice old woman. No, really.) and just as I am about to zoom into my just reward, this sneaky Volvo cuts me off and steals my parking space.

I saw red. Seriously, I felt something snap somewhere behind my eyes.

Honestly, I haven't been that mad since 1998 when I was extremely post-partum-ish and Sydney dug up my newly potted plants.

All the unfairness of the entire world--having to spend time cajoling Jane into playing soccer after she begged us to pay three million dollars to let her play, my migraines, and the senseless war, and the cancer that is killing my friends and the on-going endless recovery from my foot surgery, the stress my husband is under from work and the fact that I had argued with Ana that morning about keeping the wrapper of a book we no longer even own--all of that came crashing down and settled in a red haze on the silver Volvo that stole my parking spot.

I rolled down my window, and I laid on the horn! By God, I would give her a piece of my mind. "Did you not see me waiting for that space?" I said, with such rage in my voice that she said, "Um, I guess I could back out."

I was filled with incoherent and apparently MUTE rage because I drove and parked in an aisle and hobbled into the store, my heart racing and my mind filled with INCREDIBLY cutting things I could have said to that woman. I shopped WITH A VENGEANCE.

And almost everything I bought was on sale.

Still, you know, it's a bit unsettling to be that angry. I was seriously thinking that I could have done that woman HARM.

For stealing my parking place.

I think we have to move.

I did finish my socks, though, finally. The first picture is taken up against my stocked-but-seeing-very-little-action wine fridge. Total in the wine fund: $99



And then my husband took these pictures. I got all weak-kneed when he suggested he also photograph the sock from the side so people could see the heel.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Greatest Clip Ever

A friend sent me a note that this video has been removed from YouTube. Maybe because six million of us decided to spontaneously post it on our blogs. Maybe it's because they're being sued. Who knows. I hope it still works but if not, at least we all had a little giggle while it was there.

Quite seriously, this could be the greatest thing I've ever seen. I don't even know who this woman is, but I love her.

The Need to Do SOMETHING

So, I sent this to be printed in our weekly school newsletter:

Dear [Elementary School] Community,

Every family has one person who is the "go-to" person in a crisis. This person could be counted on to mobilize the forces, break the bad news, organize the recovery and provide emotional support.

At [our school], that "person" is actually a committee of concerned individuals who want to support those families in our midst who are going through a rough time: The [Committee Name]. Last year was the first year for this committee and we helped individuals find money for surgery (we are not a financial committee and we do not make financial donations but we learned that when pressed, we can help in SOME way), organized the meal brigade, provided services which coordinated the carpooling of children from families stricken with illness and mostly, acted to inform other concerned community members of what the heck was going on.

I'm not the most organized Chair of a committee and I am notoriously awful about having meetings so this committee requires very little in the way of actual committee-esque things. What is does require is a good heart and a willingness to put your hands and brains to work on behalf of your fellow [Elementary School] family members. There will be a very brief (trust me) meeting for all interested committee members on Thursday, October 11, directly after school in the commons. I will be looking for volunteers to put together a simple procedure manual for our committee and also looking for ideas on how to improve our information pipeline.

Questions, comments, willingness to take over as Chair? Call Barb Cooper.

So, I'm telling you about this because people have been coming up to me THANKING ME for doing this. It's a bit disconcerting.

First of all, it wasn't my brain child. Someone else thought of it last year after our school went through a difficult year last year in terms of families going through crisis. At least three families that I know of have a parent facing a life-threatening illness. One of them is my friend J.B., who is battling brain cancer. He is the father of three children who attend our school, and just a really, really good guy.

Anyway, I didn't even want to Chair this committee! I mean, in MY family, the go-to person is my SISTER! But no one else wanted to Chair it either, so I kind of, well, prayed about it and came up with this certainty that Chairing it was what I was meant to do. Sometimes you just know where you're called, right?

Maybe?

The thing is...there has never been a person more unsuited to Chairing a committee than I am. I'm disorganized and I hate meetings and my version of delegation is to gather ideas and then do it myself. In this case, I actually DO know my limitations and let's face it, I am pretty darn limited in the skill set that a person needs to do this.

But see, I have this need to DO SOMETHING. It's a selfish thing, really. I don't know how to describe it. I've felt so powerless this summer, watching people I love deal with the unfairness of life. Even a half-full kinda girl like me can see that there are times when life is just inherently unfair. There is no justice to some things. I mean, if life WERE just, then Osama Bin Laden wouldn't be running about all free and without brain cancer, right?

The hardest part for me is that there is nothing I can do --NOTHING --to ease the pain of these people I care about so much. All I can do is be there. To try to be a rock for them to cry on --without giving them the burden of my own sadness and feelings of inadequacy and need to do something. Sometimes, you know, nothing is something.

But then sometimes, something is um, well, something. I think my basic philosophy is that we minister to the pain of this world one tiny action at a time. By small things. I used to want to save the world, you know, through giant sweeping actions that would change the course of life as we know it. But honestly? I think it's the tiny seeds we sow that make the biggest difference, to our own lives and to the lives of others.Because wanting to do those big things sort of smacks of wanting it to be all about ME and MY GLORY and getting the CREDIT for doing BIG THINGS. The small things we do are about the person we do them for.

At least, this is my current thinking.

So, chairing this committee is hard and will no doubt be disastrous but I have to try. Because I can't sit in my house and bake one more damned banana bread for someone in crisis. I want to get my hands dirty doing whatever they need for me to do, even if it's doing laundry or driving carpool or some other minuscule thing.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Love/Hate Thursday

We have this dog named Scout.

Do you remember the show Seinfeld? I was a very big fan. In the Seinfeld world, there was this character named Newman and every time Jerry saw him, he said, "Hellooo, Newman." Just like that. With contempt and a curling of his lip. It was great.

Um. Well, that's how we speak of Scout. "Hello, Scout." The subtext is: "You worthless waste of life itself."

Scout is a pretty, pretty dog. Look, here he is as a puppy:

Isn't he adorable? He weighed 12 pounds when my husband brought him home. Now he looks like this:

You are right, he does have a great smile. In fact, that may be the only reason we've kept him around up till now.

He's mostly Border Collie but I like to tell people that we got the worst half of that. We didn't get the smart half. We got the OCD half. The dog is crazy about the tennis ball. There is NOTHING he likes better than the tennis ball--not eating, not sleeping, not being petted --nothing. I am forever stepping on tennis balls that he has managed to sneak into the house in hopes that someone, somewhere might forget about the "no fetch inside the house" rule and throw a ball for him. (Listen, I know you are thinking I'm too harsh, but A) Scout presents me with plenty of work just due to his nervous bladder and B) you haven't walked around my house with a bottle of Softscrub and a cloth trying to take disgusting marks off of the walls where some saliva soaked tennis ball has rebounded.

At any rate, we put up with him because he's, well, ours and all. And he makes us laugh. And because it's not like my floors were that clean to start with. But our neighbors on the left side of us are petrified of him because he's such a manic barker. Little do they know that if they raised a hand to him, he'd lie down and pee all over himself. OR, if they threw a tennis ball for him, he'd follow them home --I haven't lost hope. Anyway, I digress.

So, get THIS: yesterday I got a call from a neighbor (my husband's best friend) who is a police officer. He's just the greatest guy and his position on the police force puts him in the know of all the things that are going down around the city. So he calls and he says, "I don't know if you were wondering about all the police activity in the neighborhood but..."

I felt pretty stupid because I hadn't noticed anything. I felt more stupid when he told me that the police had sent ten units out to our neighborhood. TEN. Turned out that some guy had been shoplifting at the mall --which is a few miles from us and ran for it when the police showed up. So he made it into our neighborhood and ran down the long creek bed that goes behind our house. The police arrested him and took him off to the pokey. Our friend said that it was kind of a miracle that the guy hadn't cut through to this other street by us because if he had, he would have gotten clean away.

I laughed and said, "Well, the only thing I heard was Scout barking in the back and I thought maybe he was barking at the afternoon deer passing by."

A little while later, my friend called back. He was laughing. He said, "I was just talking to the arresting officer and judging by the streets and all, the criminal ran toward your house but then changed direction and ran the other way. I said to him, 'Wow, it's a good thing he didn't cut across that street because he'd have been home free.' The arresting officer said to me, 'Well, I think he thought about it but there was this dog going absolutely CRAZY out there and apparently, it changed the guy's mind.' So, Barb, I'm calling to tell you that Scout gets half-credit for the arrest."

I'm so proud.



Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I Got Yo Character Flaws, Sister.

So, MadMad, from the comments, (whose blog is hilarious) asked me yesterday --after my whole bagel debacle --why I couldn't just go BUY some bagels. Well, she said it more politely but that was the gist.

And I started thinking about it and came face to face with a big ole Character Flaw. Another one.

You guys know me. I'm not really the kind of personality that screams Confidence In All Things. (Like yesterday, I took one of my books to Ana's teacher. "I brought you a copy of my book, " I said. "Don't feel you have to read it or anything.") I think I might have started out as a confident soul --just given the way my little Jane is wired and the fact that she's so much like me in so many ways. But somewhere along the way, I sort of lost that. Granted, I had an odd childhood and a very different sort of mother than Jane has but I definitely became more tentative about things as I grew older.

Except in one thing: it never occurs to me that I can't do something.

No. Seriously.

I've had this trait my whole life.

It's stood me in good stead sometimes. I self-published my book, The Mermaid's Purse because it didn't occur to me that I really shouldn't do that. I started laying tile because I just couldn't believe that someone making $6 an hour could do something I couldn't (ah yes, but that person could probably do it without a nervous breakdown) and now I own my own wet saw. I didn't know anything about the music business and I managed a musician for a time. I started knitting socks just out of the blue and now I'm totally addicted to them. (Oddly enough, my confidence doesn't translate to sweaters. I am really afraid to try to knit a sweater.) I decided to try my hand at painting a Thomas the Tank Engine on Ana's wall when she was four, even though I had no artistic training, nor, um, ability. Now I am working on a painting of my girls. Here's its latest incarnation, which I am only posting because I do not accept that it totally stinks.



NOTE: It's NOT finished yet. I can make it better. I know I can. No, really, I've already set to work making Jane's head less flat and making Ana look less like Michael Jackson. Really.

See?

I think there's something wrong with me.

Once I went on an entire odyssey to uncover the secret behind Great Harvest's Honey Whole Wheat. I baked about, oh, fifty loaves of bread, tweaking the recipe each time. I even went and bought flour that I had ground myself in the bulk department of Whole Foods. It still really irks me that I couldn't figure out that recipe.

I think maybe I have a problem accepting that I have some limitations. I think maybe that's why my failure with the Weed Eater grates on my very last nerve. It's not that I WANT to do all the Weed Eating... it's that I refuse to accept that I CAN'T DO IT.

There's this great scene in this documentary of Lance Armstrong's training for the 2001 Tour de France called the Road to Paris. I posted it to the blog --in a separate post, of course, because GOD FORBID I SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO THIS THE WAY I WANT TO --where his coach is trying to get him to stop riding up ahead because there are three meters of snow on the road. Lance looks over. "On the side?" he wants to know. The coach continues to tell him, "The guide says there is no way you can ride. No way." "Who says that?" demands Lance.

I hear ya, buddy. I hear ya.

Anyway, MadMad, I COULD go buy bagels but only after I've proven that I can MAKE them. I hope you understand.

Because, um, I think that would make you the only one who does.

Character Flaws

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Jane, Glorious Jane

(Thanks to Candy for talking me down and for being smarter than I am, not to mention Blogger. SHEESH. The next time I say I'm going to upload a video, just hit me in the head with a shovel, okay? It'd be less painful.)

Well, I lied about not uploading this video. It's too wonderful not to share.

I love that the original tongue-twister from which Jane derived this one is actually very short (taken from a Sesame Street book.) It goes like this:

Betty bought a bit of bitter butter.
It made her batter bitter.
So Betty bought a bit of better butter,
Which made Betty's bitter batter better.

You gotta love Jane's extemporaneous twisting.

Bagel Update: In a turn of events I could not have predicted, all bagels were eaten and loved, but especially by Ana, who ate fully half of them. Jane refused to try them and told me she hoped it wouldn't hurt my feelings but they were just too strange looking.

I couldn't really say much being as how I agreed and all.

Oh, and a big sigh of relief that we seem to have dodged the nit bullet, if you know what I mean. But let me just tell you, the surest way to make yourself think that you've got lice is to go trolling around for pictures of them. Immediately you begin to itch and you don't stop until you... well, never. Every time I think about it, I start to itch again.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Making Bagels

Today I made bagels.

This required me to spend $200 at the grocery store first, because I was out of yeast. So I made my trip to the grocery store and finding myself standing like a lost child in the produce department, I ordered a tall, quad latte --yes, four shots of espresso and teeny bit of room. So, naturally, when I ran into my friend Kathryn by the cucumbers, I talked non-stop for five minutes at breakneck speed. She was almost running to get away from me-- which was a smart choice since I can't run after her.

Off to a good start, eh?

Then I did my grocery shopping and when I got home, I couldn't find the yeast. Such is my abhorrence of the local grocery store that I had worked myself up into a RAGE over it, complete with looking up the telephone number so that I could make the manager drive the damn yeast to my house when, oops, I found it.

But I wore off all of my espresso. I am still so tired from the Girl Scout trip that I'm just not functioning very well. And frankly, the idea that I am tired after going CAMPING makes me want to cry. It's not like *I* was doing all of those activities--although I did walk a bit further than I have walked since January. But I slept pretty well, once I fell asleep. I'm just tired.

Because I'm old now.

And that's what happens to old people.

Anyway, the thing about these bagels is that they are sort of an authentic shortcut because they use the rapid rise yeast, shown here:

You add the yeast and a bit of sugar to some warm water, which looks like this:


Then you add the flour and it looks like this:


Then you turn it out onto a lightly floured counter and you KNEAD IT FOR TEN MINUTES.

Dudes, I had to turn the air-conditioning on. And I kept obsessively checking the time(I had pictures but they didn't turn out) until finally, FINALLY, I reached this:

And the dough looked like this:

Then I put it in an oiled bowl:

Covered it with plastic wrap:

Set the timer for 40 minutes, during which the dough was supposed to double.

Which is good because, in addition to needing to REST (not that I'm bitter), it took a good bit of time to clean this off the counter:

So, after the dough had doubled, I punched it down with what feeble strength I had left and then I formed it into a brick and cut it into eight pieces.
Only I misjudged so I had to knead half of it back into a loaf and cut it into four pieces. This had a bad effect on the bagels and the ones I had to reform didn't turn out in the lovely bagel shape for which I was hoping.

Then you push a well-floured thumb through the center of each piece and make the bagel's hole. Then you do the water bath thing, where you cook the bagels in boiling water for up to two minutes per side.
Don't skimp on the time, is all I can say, because THOSE bagels (the ones I shortchanged on the bath) stuck to my baking sheet when next I baked them at 475 for ten minutes. (Before baking, I glazed them with a little egg white wash and sprinkled salt on them.) Mine were done baking in exactly ten minutes.



And guess what?

They're pretty good. They taste like plain bagels, more or less. They could use a little salt. But I'm old now and I probably should start watching my salt intake for my blood pressure anyway.

I probably shouldn't confess to you that at some point I dropped some bagel that had been in the water bath onto the floor and stepped on it. And I REALLY probably should tell you that after I took a picture of it, I forgot to wipe it up so I stepped on it AGAIN and then ended up having to clean both my shoes and also my entire kitchen floor. I think this is what they mean when they say making bagels is hard work.

Okay, I was going to post the recipe here but after eating an entire bagel (granted it was one of the under-bathed ones), I think they're pretty terrible. So, here's the link in case YOU want to try them. And if they really turn out to be terrible, feel free to write me all about it! Kidding--this chef's version look really good. It's probably just me.

Edited later in the afternoon: It may be just me but I've eaten two of them now and they are terrible. Really terrible. Don't waste your energy.

On the bright side, I just got a call from the Girl Scout Leader and one of the girls who went on our trip has head LICE.

LICE.

The wine embargo is so totally over.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

"Marry a Geek!"

We're back from camp. And grateful to be in the air-conditioning and not to have to go down the block to go to the bathroom.

But do you want to know a secret?

We had a GREAT time. Truly.

The place was beautiful --acres and acres of prime lake-front real estate. I took this picture of the sunset the first night and you can sort of see why it's such a great spot.
Here it is in the daylight. Look how peaceful.

The lake pretty much STAYED this peaceful the whole time we were there because it turns out that there were two deaths this past summer (on the lake) from a very rare form of meningitis called amoebic meningitis, which is carried by a bacteria that lives in some lake water. That was enough to scare everyone away from the lake. Even our campers weren't able to participate in the water sports, about which I had kind of mixed feelings. The chances of someone contracting that form of meningitis are very, very small --only 34 cases of the infection have been reported in Texas since 1972. But each of those cases was fatal. So, I'm not sure I was willing to take that risk, especially with kids who tend to drink a good deal of lake water in their usual swimming. Luckily, I didn't have to make that choice because the Girl Scouts made it for me.

Anyway, back to camp. We arrived and found our cabin, which looked like this:
Doesn't that look exactly like the prison cells in Cool Hand Luke? The cabins were better than they looked--they were surrounded on all sides by these screens, so it really was sort of like sleeping on a screened-in porch. And OUR cabin was up on stilts so it sort of swayed, which gave the effect of sleeping out on the screened-in porch in a hammock. It was pretty good, really. Well, it took a while for it to cool off but once it did, it actually got CHILLY at night, which was awesome because, dudes, it was so, so, so hot during the day.

The first night, we all met up at the place the camp calls The Acropolis for funny counselor antics and songs and a bonfire and then, s'mores. At one point, I had to turn to my cohort (the Girl Scout Troop Leader) and say, "Man, if we get any more excited, we'll be voted the Cabin Most Likely To Do Your Taxes."
But then the girls started getting into it

and I must say, we excelled at s'mores. I have no pictures of those because, well, I was busy trying to get in close enough to have one. No such luck. (Not that I'm still bitter or anything.)

Meanwhile, the Fair Jane was going out to dinner with her daddy.

First, I love that she got dressed up to go out to dinner with her dad. THEN, I love the hand gesture--can't you just see what she's going to look like on dates in the (please God, far, far, distant) future? My husband also took this wonderful video of her doing a tongue-twister and I would try to post it if my sanity wasn't hanging by a thread I hadn't sworn off trying to upload videos to this blog.

Back at camp, we ate the s'mores --well, some of us (not bitter, not me) --and then retired to our lovely chateau for the night.

And then the screaming started.

In the neighboring cabin were fifteen second and third graders and they were officially dubbed The Screamers by our group. They would NOT shut up. That's okay, because the second night, they were so tired, we heard like four screams and it was over. (After the toad chase, I mean. But I'm getting ahead of myself.)

The next day came early and after breakfast (I'm not sure what this camp knows that camps didn't know when *I* was growing up but the food was really pretty good!) the first activity was go-cart riding. My daughter Ana, 9, opted not to do it. She wanted to but couldn't get over her fear. "Who, boy," I thought to myself, "Today is going to be a debacle." So we walked to the next activity (rock climbing) together and I said things like, "I'm sorry for you, Ana. Because I am afraid your fear will keep you from doing things you want to do and that will hold you back all of your life."

She dissolved into tears under the pretext of having been bitten by a fire ant and I thought, "What the hell am I doing? She's nine. It's CAMP--hello -- which is supposed to be about having fun. Not driving a go-cart is not a character flaw."

So, I took her shoe off and I massaged the imaginary bite away and I said, "Ana, I'm sorry." I took a deep breath. "I am so sorry to make you feel bad. I spoke out of turn and I was wrong to do that. Today is all about FUN. Go-carts are just the start of a lot of fun you're going to have today and you know what? If you decide not to do any of the other activities, I'm still going to be glad we came because I get to spend time with you. I am really proud of you. Sometimes I forget to tell you."

Her face lit up. Inside, I wanted to kill myself for being such a hard-ass over things that DON'T matter. The kid is probably going to cure cancer --is it really worth it to chastise her for not driving a go-cart around a tiny track? What is WRONG WITH ME?

You know, I wrote a column about why I don't believe in spanking one time and I was talking to my mother about it and she said, "I think words can wound much more than spanking." Of course, after I got over my feeling of, "Who are you and what have you done with my mother?" I knew she was right. So, why can't I be kinder to my kids? I love them more than my own life. You'd think I could manage to let them grow up with their self esteem intact.

And then, of course, Ana rose to every other challenge of the day.

Rock climbing with the zip line:




The high ropes course:



Archery:

Arts and Crafts:


And the water slide


That night, our girls led the grace before dinner --which was this wonderful song that I now cannot get out of my head so if you read about me on the eleven o'clock news, you'll know that the song won. --


And then, after dinner, were the belles of the Girl Scout Camp Champions Luau/Carnival.


The we went back to our cabin and got ready to take our showers and The Screamers realized that some toads were attracted to the showers and the screaming reached such epic proportions that Ana couldn't even stay in the bathroom to take her shower. I, however, shared my shower with a nice toad who, honestly, was a lot less obnoxious than the screaming.

And that. Shower. Felt. So. Good.


The next day (today) was breakfast, loading up, stopping at Starbucks and coming home. Endless laundry while the pictures (228 of them!) downloaded.

And. Then.

After I had cleaned off of my memory card so that my camera would be set to go again, I discovered that I

Had.

DELETED.

THEM

ALL.

I was so distraught that Ana looked at me and said, in her Old Soul way, "But Mama, we'll always have the pictures in our memories."

I was beside myself --seriously, I was probably certifiable --and my husband, who is a computer geek by profession, and a Knight in Shining Armor the rest of the time, managed to download some free software that would allow him to recover deleted files off of a flash card. I was so grateful, I almost cried.

"Marry a geek," I told the girls. "Marry a geek."

(This blog post is brought to you by Coop.)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Off to Camp! Woohoo. No, really!

I am getting ready for my first Girl Scout camp out as an adult.

Do you want to know how I am doing that?

Well, by embracing denial and doing all other sorts of jobs that I have been neglecting.

So far, I've done four loads of laundry, loaded the dishwasher, taken out two giant sacks of crap crap out of Ana's room and my craft room, swept the porch, written instructions for the housekeeper and left a check, and written a reminder for my husband to give Sydney her medicine on Saturday. I still haven't made the bagels but I have the recipe sitting on my counter, does that count? I went to the store yesterday and bought some bagels so Jane did finally get her bagel with peanut butter on it for breakfast but I forgot to buy yeast and I just looked at the yeast in my refrigerator and it expired on November 3, 2006. Whoopsie. I didn't throw it away though, because I figure that about the time I start hunting for a flashlight, cleaning the refrigerator is going to sound like a mighty appealing job.

It's not that I don't want to go.

It's more that I really just don't want to go.

Right now, I mean. Any other time would be grand. Of course, this is also what I thought when I first agreed to go and be the co-chaperone. We planned this way back in... I don't know, March or something and I didn't anticipate that:

A) I would still not be fully mobile.

B) I would have walking pneumonia

C) It would still be this freaking hot. (Honestly, it's like I fall for the same trick every damn year. I never think it's still going to be in the high 90's in September. It's like I have some sort of heat amnesia or something. I forget how awful it's going to be. It's like childbirth, only I have it every single year.)

D) My husband would have been out of town all week.

E) I would be on a wine embargo ($45 in the camera fund! Go, ME!)

I'll get excited about it as I go about my packing. I already dug out Ana's sleeping bag and asked a friend if I could borrow one for me. (The only other Girl Scout sleep-over thing that Ana and I have attended was when we spent the night in the Children's Museum. It was great (air-conditioned) fun right up until the moment we unrolled our sleeping bags and I discovered that the one I had borrowed from Jane was a child-sized version and came up about to my waist. And it was all there was between me and the gross Children's Museum carpet.)

Speaking of catching up on household chores(and we were, way back there a bit), I am trying to clean off my desk a but. One thing I still have sitting on my desk is THIS
from that post the other day where I gave y'all the recipe for the crock pot roast thing? Take a good look at that. I'll wait here if you want to click on it to make it bigger so you can see what it is. (Thank you to AMANDA for teaching me how to make photos open in a new window! She totally rules. I feel all techy and stuff.)

Anyway, I was printing out the recipe because I make it so often that it's a pain to have to keep trotting into the back to look at my computer to get the amounts of the ingredients and I don't want to print it out every time because of the environmental impact of printing. (Quick, hug your print cartridge a tree!) so I thought I'd print it out and put it in my recipe box. When the little screen popped up inviting me to share my opinion, it never even occurred to me that it would PRINT along with the recipe! I mean, who has a pop-up appear on a print-ready page??

So, YO Epicurious! My opinion is that you need some WAY better programmers! Thanks for letting me share!

All right, all right, I'm going to go clean out the fridge pack my stuff. The good news is that I should have lots of time to knit because it's not like I'll be going on the hikes with the girls. The only thing is that, it's hard to knit when you're sweating. Still, maybe there's a camp lodge! That's air-conditioned! And has a Starbucks!

Well, it's my blog and I can dream, can't I?

See you Sunday.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Love (My Camera) Thursday

HAPPY.

Happy, happy, happy happy, happy, happy.

Ladies and Gentleman (Hi, honey!), I present to you the first picture taken with my new, incredibly awesome, Canon Digital Rebel XTi. This one is for Lisa.


It took me a while to dial everything in. I mean, not that I have, by a long shot, learned everything I need to learn about it but to get the flash batteries charged up and the camera battery charged up and install the software and then... well, I took these pictures and it made all the wine abstinence and Starbucks withdrawal and the fact that I'm going to actually have to do some self promotion and sell some of my writing or my hair or something, all worth it.

My old friend, Sydney.


(I don't know if I ever explained that you can click on the pictures in my blog and see BIGGER pictures but you can. Only, I haven't quite figured out how to make them open in a new window so you'll have to use your back button to come back here.)

I took a bunch of other pictures, too of things like, um, children and my spouse and the cats and Scout. And other cleaning products. But I know that what YOU'RE really interested in is this:

The progress on my latest sock. (Which isn't very impressive because I wasn't kidding when I told you that I was too sick to knit.)

Have I mentioned how happy I am? And really, feeling much better. Life is good.

Love Thursday.



PS: Edited to include the link to the post that talked about the yarn. I should have known all of you knitters would want to know that!