Monday, August 29, 2005

I'm getting up now

Yep. Any minute now. I'm gonna drop this puppy on her tiny white paws, stop stuffing my mouth full of candy corn, and get up. Off this chair. Stop typing. Yessirree. I can feel the enthusiasm building. I'm gonna stand up and walk towards the first pile I see and start dismantling it. Here I go. Upsie..............................

So, maybe I'll sit here just a few more minutes while that thought gets from my brain to my butt. Or does it need to get all the way to my feet in order to get me to stand first? Maybe it's an all body sort of movement - planting my feet, swinging my arms back, pulling my shoulders foreward to maintain a balanced center, pushing up from my calves.... oh dear, this might take awhile.

In the meantime, I'll just chat with you a bit.

Rosie thinks she NEEDS to accompany any computer time I have. It's not hard to read with her draped over me, but it makes responding to anything challenging. Just a second ago William and his buddy James came through the front door and Rosie felt obligated to get up, stretch, wag her tail. She was all prepared to jump down and greet her boy, as a doggie is required to do when family members return (whether one is returning from a two day trip out of town or a two minute trip to the garbage can in the driveway and back), but the boys were chatting and completely ignored her as they walked past on their way to the bedroom where they shut the door behind them. So Rosie figured, oh well, too slow that time, and settled back on my chest, neck and head hanging over the crook of my left elbow. It makes typing feel more like weight training with those little weighted pads you velcro to your appendages.

It's hard to stop eating candy corn.

I spent most of the morning watching the news on television about Hurricane Katrina. It's compelling to watch, especially for a self proclaimed weather junkie like myself. Of course that's easy to say from my sunny little corner of the world. In real life I rather think "compelling" wouldn't be the first adjective to come to mind. "Exciting" perhaps. "Terrifying" might work nicely.

I"m getting a sugar headache. All that candy corn.

I got so much done yesterday. I had such high hopes for this afternoon. There's still afternoon left, but not much. Jeff is working this evening, so if I can get started, I don't have to stop to make a real dinner or engage in loving marital banter or anything domestic like that. If I could only START.

Maybe if I add a frappuccino - caffeine AND sugar. And music! Yes. I think I've got some sort of ethnic drumming cassette somewhere that might be energizing. Or maybe something cheerful that I know all the words to - like Once More With Feeling, the Buffy musical. Only two and a half more cleaning days until Joe and Lisa. ACK! Okay, that might have done it. I feel my feet moving.

I'm outta here.

Someone come and hide this d*mn bag of candy corn from me!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Tall kid, short cake, more smoke, less mess

It's been awhile. I've been so busy I haven't even read my mail in a few days, much less blogged. So I'm gonna write one of those update type posts that jump from subject to subject without warning. Maybe I'll put a space between the subjects to help the reader, if you ask nicely.

William had his first football game on Saturday. An almost all day event since we had to drive to Reno. After panicking the coaches by arriving an hour late with one of their key players for the jamboree last weekend (William told us the wrong time), I thought we'd make it up to them this time by being the first ones to arrive. Okay, so I had an ulterior motive. The sooner I dropped William off before the game, the more time I had to SHOP before the game started. I hit Ben Franklin and scored, finding a lot of the new Halloween fabrics I wanted, as well as a some Halloween "garland" marked down to a dollar a swag. Not sure what, if anything, I'll do with sparkly black swags, but hey, it was too weird, fun and cheap not to buy it. I'll figure out how to use it later.

The game was fun. The boys had a great time. They particularly enjoyed winning 39 to zip. I thought you'd enjoy seeing a pic of my tiny son out on the field. He's number 66.

Jeff had to miss the game because he couldn't get the time off work, but he wanted to go out to celebrate when we all got home. By then there was only our one 24-hour restaurant still open, so off we went for dessert. Usually their food and service is fine. Nothing great, and a buck or so more expensive then I'd like, but hey, if it pays to keep it open for us night owls, I'm fine with it.

Only last night, we didn't get good food OR good service. I ordered strawberry shortcake. It was supposed to be FRESH. The strawberries weren't fresh - they were frozen mush. The cake wasn't fresh, it was stale and/or freezer burned, couldn't tell which but does it really matter? Of course I didn't figure this out until we'd been sitting there foreeeeeevvvvvvveeeeerrrrrr. Our waiter, appeared to be the only employee in the entire building. He went to the kitchen after taking our order (after we'd sat there for 20 minutes first) and was apparently growing, harvesting, and cooking our order.

At one point a gentlemen came around and offered us coffee. I asked him to bring me decaf and he pointed out that he didn't actually work there, he was just another customer who'd gotten tired of waiting and had helped himself. Good plan, I went behind the counter and got my own decaf. Eventually everyone, about six tables, figured out that we were "on their own" and we all began to help ourselves to sodas, water, and more coffee. The waiter never noticed.

I would have felt sorry for the kid but it didn't seem to be solely a case of being "busy". It was more like a case of being busy AND completely inexperienced (that's a polite way of saying not particularly sharp, y'know) I asked him what pies they had that night and he said "Uhm, I really don't know." And then stood there, as if that answered THAT question. Now this is a restaurant that prides itself on it's pies, sorta a Marie Callender kinda place. So the correct answer should have been "We have apple, peach, pecan, banana cream, key lime, and cheesecake." Or at the very least, "I'm not sure, let me go check for you." NOT "I don't know" followed by a dumb stare as he waited for me to decide I'd rather not order pie!!! I'm kinda thinking I might mention this visit to the manager next time I see him.

Woke up this morning for the third day to the smell of smoke in the air. If it's not one thing it's another, one needs something to complain about. The high temps are gone, whew, but we now have forest fires in the nearby area, nearby geographically speaking. We're surrounded by a triangle of three large fires, each one about 100 miles in a different direction. It's hard to sleep when you smell smoke - it keeps waking me up and my maternal instinct, or maybe my personal instinct for survival, keeps wanting to figure out WHAT is on fire. The intellectual me knows the smoke is far away and the fact can be filed away as a nuisance and slight health risk. The animal me wants to grab up my family and run.

I took William and some of his buddies to the matinee today to see The Brothers Grimm. It was air conditioned and smoke free inside the theatre, which was a treat. The movie was also a treat. True to Grimm's Fairytales, the story was NOT all cleaned up for children. It was rich with both frightening and fantastical imagery. It was also amusing. I kept thinking of both Van Helsing and Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow. We all enjoyed it, so that's four thumbs up from Susanville.

After the movie (and hoo boy, it's really hard to come out of a dark theatre in the middle of a bright sunny afternoon and then DRIVE home - my old eyeballs don't adjust that fast), I got busy. I have four days until I go to Reno to pick up Joe and Lisa at the airport. Three days now, if you assume, rightly so, that I'm not gonna get much more done today. I was very pleased with my efforts this afternoon however.

It's not that I have to clean up for Joe and Lisa. Hey, they've been here, they know the score. Love me, love my mess. (Although I'd like to state, for the record, I used to be a really good housekeeper. I don't know HOW the house imploded into such chaos - I'm sure it has something to do with teenagers, exacerbated by both my mom (who moved and gifted me with a lot of goodies - welcomed, but a lot of goodies nontheless), and multiple life whammies.) I don't have to, but I want to see how much I can get done between now and then, because it gives me an artificial deadline and keeps the clean-or-scream hormones (similar to the fright-or-flight hormones, but domesticated) running high. If I'm lucky, I'll get more done in the next three days then I would in two weeks of a non-deadlined time period.

Unfortunately, I'm probably the only one who can tell how much work I accomplished today as it was all the kind of stuff that's invisible to anyone at this stage of the process. I cleaned shelves, a cabinet. and a closet. That means that there's no obvious difference to the casual passer-by. Well, that's not true, the casual observer would probably notice MORE mess, not less, because when one pulls everything out of a enclosed space, the amount of stuff expands to fill ten times the space it occupied when tucked safely out of sight. And of course not all of it goes back in, if one is lucky and/or doing a good job of things. There's the pile that goes in the garbage, the garage sale box, the stack of things to-be-put-elsewhere.... and so on and so forth.

The important thing is I'M happy with my efforts. When one lives in the same place for a long time, cubbyholes and closets tend to get impacted - there's that bottom or back layer of stuff that becomes invisible and even though it's organized, it's never used. It's becomes invisible wasted space. I found four separate boxes of pencils and pens. Combined, they all fit in one of the four boxes. I went through hundreds of children's markers and discovered that easily half of them were dried up and ready to be tossed. Every time a child had stopped using a folder or binder, I'd cleaned it out and stored it for the next user. Somehow I'd managed to store DOZENS of binders. I kept the best half dozen and tossed the rest in a garage sale box. I found a stack of school workbook and activity books about two feet high. We got rid of about 80% of it.

The exciting part is that when all that extra space becomes available inside the cupboards or closets, that means something that is sitting around the house without a home can now be put away, out of sight. It's a slow process because it's a lot like those plastic puzzles - the ones with the little squares that slide back and forth and if you do it correctly, you end up with a picture of a Santa or a bunny or some cartoon character. The trick is to think enough moves ahead to make sure you don't get it all done except for Santa's boot, which somehow is still stuck up in the top lefthand corner, which will mean you have to move all the pieces you thought were homefree out of the way in order to get it down to the bottom righthand corner. And like the puzzle, this sort of cleaning process requires an amazing amount of THINKING, something one doesn't need for every day tasks like dishes or vacuuming.

That's about it. I'm gonna get off the computer and see if I can manage a few more shuffles before my brain gets too tired. Or, if that's beyond my abilities, maybe I can switch gears and do something like fold a few baskets of clean clothes or wipe off a couple of counters. When I'm finally ready for the couch and the remote, I've got a reward for my hard work waiting for me. Homemade flan from our local Mexican restaurant.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Looking forward, living in the moment

It seems like a lot of my posts have to do with making peace with dichotomous needs or views. Today's "Want my cake and eat it too" is that I'm already looking forward to autumn while not being in a terrible hurry to get there.

Summer here in the mountains is incredibly short, and once it's gone it's gone for so long, so I don't want to rush it. I've been so busy this summer that I haven't had near enough time to enjoy my gardens. Most of the veggies aren't even ripe enough to pick yet. I'd like more time to lay in the hammock. I enjoy the green. I enjoy the breeze through the window screens 24 hours a day. I like knowing that if I want to go somewhere, there won't be any snowy passes or bad weather (probably, one never knows around here - once we had snow on the 4th of July!) to bar my way or make travel difficult. I like the freedom of no school schedule. No t.v. schedule. (almost everything is in rerun so I don't have to worry about missing my favorite series) No woodstove to keep stoked. As the song goes "Summertime, and the living is easy."

The flip side, and there's always a flip side, is that autumn is my bestest, favoritest, most wonderfullest time of year. I have more energy in the fall. I love the autumn leaves, the smell of drying grasses, pumpkins and squash piling up, in good garden years all the produce to freeze, can, dry or store. (and I love to rant about all the work it is to put up as much as I love actually putting it up) I love wearing socks and tie-on shoes for the first time in months. I like feeling the cold on my nose and ears while the rest of me is snug inside a jacket. I love the honking of the geese headed south. I ADORE decorating with corn stalks and indian corn wreaths, jack-o-lanterns and skeletons. The smell of woodstoves in the nighttime air. I can't think of a single thing I DON'T love about autumn.

Except for, in this neck of the woods, autumn means winter and winter is so very long in the mountains. The first part of winter is okay. The busyness of the winter holidays, the newness of the first snow. The quiet that descends when the light gives way to the lenghthening nights and one draws inward to rest, both physically and spiritually, the down time between the busy seasons of life. It's the tail end of winter that's tough, the gray, barren part that drags on here long past the time the lower elevations are welcoming daffodils and green buds on the trees.

But back to today, where it isn't winter yet, or even autumn, although autumn is starting to steal in around the edges, in the smell of the grass and the chill in the night. I'm not so much in a hurry for autumn to come as I am relieved to be past the relentless heat waves that took over most of our summer months. Summer as it's presenting itself now, without that razor sharp edge, is a pleasant place to dawdle and I am happy to live in it's butterfly and iced tea filled moments.

Of course there's nothing wrong with sitting in my still green garden, butterflies flitting, ice tea condensing on my glass, while browsing through the latest Halloween craft catalog. Is there?

Friday, August 19, 2005

Torn between two foci

Is foci a word? Plural of focus? Well, I'm gonna use it.

Having raised five kids, I would be a guest of the loony bin, happily sitting in a corner of the garden talking to myself, if I hadn't learned to multi-task over the years. But I think our ability to do anything well, including multi-tasking, nuturing, being insightful, and so on, can't be sustained forever. At some point you use up your resources. You might be able to refill your inner pool of energy, wisdom, what not, but you need the right conditions to do so. In most cases life doesn't willingly give us this "vacation", so we just stay at low ebb or worse, burned out.

I think I do a pretty good job of trying to keep my inner reserves well stocked. It's that or, as I mentioned, the loony bin. But my brain tends to do triage, with our without my permission, and use those recharges in the way it sees fit. I don't always get a say in things, and I've noticed the one place I have trouble is in multi-tasking. When I was young I used to be able to hold baby on one hip, phone under my chin, use my free arm to make sandwiches for lunch, let the dog back inside the screened door with my foot, and quell a spat between older siblings with nothing but a "You are in MAJOR trouble if you keep going" look in their direction. Now I'm lucky if I can walk and talk at the same time.

My point here is, my life is still chopped into different spaces. We could get really specific and break it down into all the subcategories - food, car, banking, animal care, Jeff, William, Joe, (more family right on down the line....), politics, health..... But as I previously mentioned, I'd like to hang on to the small measure of sanity I have left to work with. So let's just break it down into three larger categories - family, house, career. (Oh, gawd, now I'm seeing how each of those really aren't broken down enough to .... NO! SToP! )

Family is a given. They squeak, I run. Sometimes toward the trouble, sometimes away from it. But it's a guaranteed priority, a visceral MUST react. I don't really get to change this, nor would I want to - people come first and all that. I would like to negotiate shorter working hours when it comes to family, but that's another post for another time. Let's just say, there's "Family" and move on from there.

That leaves "House" and "Career" to discuss, and that's where I was headed with the torn between two foci title. Part of me wants to get my house and life all tidy so I can go into the studio and make a lot of mess, guilt free. (and go off and write stories too, but that's another post as well) And part of me wants to pry that annoying little "be a good housewife fairy" off my damn shoulder and bake her ass into a pie just to shut her up. But alas, that little housewife fairy is a part of me - not a good idea, psychologically speaking, to do away with an integral facet of myself, no matter how flaky and light my pie crusts might be.

On the other hand, sometimes I wish I could look the bohemian artist fairy sadly in the eye, explain that I just can't provide a good home, an enriching enough environment, for her. We might WANT to do everything, I'd tell her, but grown-ups have to make choices. I'd wave her off and tell her I'd think of her fondly. I'd say maybe, sometime, in the future... and leave the rest unsaid. I'd promise good references. Then Good Housewife Fairy could clean to her heart's delight and I could invite folks over without having to determine their degree of allergic response to dust, mold, cat dander. I could find important papers when I needed them. I could get blissfully high on the scents of bleach, floor wax, and clean laundry fresh from the clothesline without feeling guilty for wasting my life in domestic invisibility.

The trick is to BALANCE the different parts of myself. I know this. I need to sit down with the "Good Housewife Fairy" and the equally loud "Bohemian Artist Fairy" (the rest of the fairies are easier to ignore, so we won't mention them just now) and work out a deal. The problem is that they don't want to play fair, or share my time. Once I let one get hold of my life, they just charge ahead and ignore everything and everyone else. I don't really mind when they ignore my family, they're loud enough to holler if they REALLY need me. But I don't like when they're in charge of me instead of, vice versa, me calling the shots.

I'd like the pleasure of saying "Oh, will you look at that - Good Housewife Fairy, you've had all morning. Now, hand over the reins and give Bohemian Artist Fairy" a few hours before we run out of time because this evening I have to go to a football parent meeting." I'd like the pleasure of saying that without GHF (Good Housewife Fairy) flipping me off or singing "La la la- I can't HEAR you!" or simply ignoring my command altogether. If I was one of those people on The Apprentice, I'd be called before The Donald, told my delegation skills sucked, and then I'd hear those famous words "You're Fired!"

Why am I so pathetic at organizing the bits and pieces of myself!? I'm actually quite talented at organizing groups of people out in the real world. I'm often put in charge because people know I'm good at getting things done. I just can't quite figure out how to make that sort of process work in my own life. Sigh.

So, here it is, 7:10 pm. I've spent all day cleaning and decluttering. I should feel a sense of accomplishment. A contented sense of a job well done. That is, If it wasn't for the BAF (Bohemian Artsy Fairy) who's having a scene because she didn't get any time today. Oh, look. She's dressed all in black, her hair pulled back in a tight braid and a beret pulled down low over her eyes. She's pulled out a small microphone and stool and now she's reading really depressing, not to mention bad, poetry about how she's invisible and life is just a big ball of aluminum foil (not sure where she's going with THAT analogy) and something about wearing her wings as a yoke of burdens. She's just ruining my good mood. She's BUMMING ME OUT, MAN! And the microphone is getting feedback and .....SQUEAK!!!!...... Ouch! My ears! Only I can't put my hands over my ears to shut her out because, duh, she's not real.

I don't know what to do. I haven't even started dinner yet. And I'm not talking to my husband until he explains his stupidity (something I stumbled upon yesterday, nevermind, again, a different post) and I'm starting to think he either a) hasn't noticed that I'm not talking to him or b) prefers it this way. Which only pisses me off more, but , not gonna go there. And I'm tired. GHF worked me hard today. And I have to get ready to go out of town for a football jamboree tomorrow (oh-joy-i-am-so-excited) and there's laundry to do still to get ready for that.

If I can get William's football pants in the washing machine, maybe I'll just order pizza for the boys and drag my little winged Maya Angelou (NOT) into the studio for an hour and see if I've got any energy left over for her to use creatively. At least she'll have to give me credit for trying. At the very least I can find a scissor and snip the wire to that damn mic.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Deb's Fault

My friend Deb has a great blog (which should be on my list of links, but somehow it disappeared) and yesterday she posted this series of lists. I should be cleaning or sewing or doing something else useful, but nooooo, because of Deb, I'm going to pop open a Frappacinno, pour it over ice, sip it, and write my own series of lists. For your entertainment, or perhaps simply to help you pass a boring afternoon:

TEN Things I liked as a teenager, but don't like now:

1. high school
2. hamburgers
3. amusement parks
4. writing long self absorbed diary entries (now I like to write long self absorbed blog entries - there's a difference!)
5. hip hugger pants (although, to be honest, it's not that I don't like them, I just don't like the way they look on ME anymore)
6. make-up, bras, nylons, high heels - anything uncomfortable or binding really
7. waterskiing
8. having crushes on real people (now I stick to fantasy crushes, like Johnny Depp, or Jon Stewart, who I just realized last night is really cute as well as incredibly smart and witty)
9. milk
10. suntans

TEN Things I didn't like as a teenager, but do like now:

1. wine
2. yogurt
3. wearing black
4. computers (yes, I know, they didn't HAVE PC's when I was a teen - but if my friend Deb can include it on her list, so can I)
5. coffee
6. watermelon
7. children
8. staying home on a Friday or Saturday night
9. all things English, Irish, Celtic...
10. reading fantasy fiction

TEN Things I've never liked and probably never will:

1. stupid or bigoted people
2. cookie cutter suburban neighborhoods
3. gated communities
4. the idea of joining the military
5. shots or having blood drawn
6.tattoos (for me anyway)
7. dentists
8. sleeping with the windows closed
9. polyester clothes
10. having to stick to the rules, follow the directions, or stay with the itinerary

TEN Things I've always liked and probably always will:

1. being a nightowl
2. reading and writing
3.county fairs
4. puzzles
5. dancing
6. Halloween
7. cats
8. the sound of rain and wind outside when I'm warm and snug inside
9. traveling
10. being silly and laughing as much as I can

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A totally Wicked vacation

Sorry I've abandoned my posting for so long but I have a totally justifiable reason -I was having fun. Jeff and William and I were off on our one and only planned vacation of the year. I've been traveling a lot, but this was the only one I had set up before the summer began. Well, not true. I did plan on going to visit Joe and Lisa, so that that makes it the second planned vacation of the summer. No, wait, then there was the Ashland trip in late spring. So that makes it the THIRD planned trip.... About now are you expecting me to barge back in the door in a long red robe and shout "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!"

Moving forward.... we went to San Francisco and saw the touring Broadway hit Wicked. For all of you who have already heard me go on and on fanatically about it, forgive me. For those who have yet to hear how you MUST go see this play, read on. I was convinced it couldn't possibly live up to my expectations. I had the soundtrack, you see, and loved it. But it did, meet my expectations that is, and more. I now have the songs stuck permanently in my head. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. At this point. If they're still there in a few weeks or months, I'll let you know if I'm still happy about it. But, I doubt it, as by then I'll be in a frenzy of anticipation for the new Firefly movie and the latest Harry Potter movie, both scheduled to come out this year.

Anyhoo, back to the vacation. It was wonderful. We all had a wonderful time. Now I have to sing a song from the play. "Wonderful!.... They call me Wonderful!.... so I am Wonderful...."

Just go see it. As you can see, it was a bit more exhausting a trip for some of us.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

try a photo

You might be asking yourself - who is this smiling child and why is he in Laume's blog?

Yes, I have many children, and it's easy to lose count of how many and who, but nope, I can't claim this cutie. His name is Alex and he is the son of our family friends Kathy and Mike. We stayed with them during our trip and since Mike is one of my personal iMac help people, I asked him if he could figure out why my blog won't let me upload photos. We tried it on his computer and it was easy - the little "add photo" icon was right there where it should be, on the upper left hand corner of the edit/create post page. I thought, duh, I just hadn't noticed it on my computer, yes?

Got back home and discovered, alas, I wasn't so absent minded after all. It was, in fact, not there. I called Mike up and he asked ""what browser are you using?" I replied "Explorer" He said "Try Safari" "Okay" I shot back, "How do I find the software for that?" "You should already have it. Check your applications."

So I did. And amazingly, there it was - a whole 'nuther browser I didn't know I had. I clicked it open, it worked, and more miraculous then that, when I navigated all the way to blogger and tried to create a post, the "add photo" icon was right there! So I used it.

That's where the good news came to a screeching halt. When I try to use upload a photo, either from my computer or from the net, it makes Safari crash and quit. ARGHHHHHHHHH!

I managed to get the latest post to include photo links by going to the library and using their computer. The problem, as you can see, is the photos don't show up, they just link and leave big gaping spots where you can imagine the photos would look nice if they were occupying those spaces. And of course I can only link to photos that are online already as I don't have any private storage on the library computer. It's all back at home, on the computer that won't let play nice with Blogger. Even if I was willing to settle for nice "frames" where my photos should be, it took me an hour to get just those two pictures to link as the library computer won't let me open more then one window at a time and it won't let me cut and paste from website to website. The whole experience made me leave the library ready to deck the first person who dared offer me a cheery hello. Not a good thing.

So, that's the scoop/update on my ongoing photo battle with blogger. Oh, I also e-mailed them, asking for help. They just automatically, and without a real person being involved, referred me to their FAQ page. Uhm, I'm not THAT lazy. I tried all the info pages first BEFORE writing to them. I wrote them back and told them I couldn't find the information I needed in their online instructions. I haven't heard back from them and don't expect I will. It's like trying to chop one's way through one of those phone message forests that big corporations set up. "To entertain yourself for hours, please select from the following menu..... to call back later, press hear annoying 80's music interspersed with commercials for our newest services, press 2...... to hear another even longer menu, press 3........ to talk to a real person, press.....HAHAHAHAHA, you can't talk to a real person!" CLICK! You need a machete and your arm gets tired swinging it, or pressing buttons, I'm sorta losing the analogy part of it here, and you give up and slam down the phone and say a lot of curse words and decide you don't need the damn heart transplant or emergency car tow after all.

I'm going to go bang my head against a wall now. It sounds like more fun then continuing to think about this catch-22 mess.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Do not read this post

Yeah, right. Like anyone listens to me. See! You aren't! You're reading this post, aren't you!

Never mind my ranting, I was just trying to save you the trouble of reading something that's nothing but a big ol' fat PMS whine. I'm annoyed at everything and everyone today, including you, and if you ask me why, like, what did YOU do to deserve my wrath anyway, I won't be able to tell you. Let's just accept it's your fault. Or my hubby's fault. Or George W's fault. Or Beanie and Cecil's fault. Or WHATEVER. And then let's move on.

So, my house is still all torn apart in the big kitchen re-arrange. Hubby was finally home long enough today to notice that there was no food to eat in the house. Or rather, no food that could be simply placed in one's mouth without any preparation involved. Heaven forbid I should expect my family to use a knife or blender or frying pan or anything difficult like that.

William is going to football practice very day, which means he has no reserves left over to be pleasant. Don't ask him to do anything too strenous - like take out the compost or put his own dish in the sink. In a wierd twist involving adolescent quantum energy, he does have enough energy to COMPLAIN about being asked to take out the compost or put his own dish in the sink. In fact he can easily expend ten times the energy complaining about those tasks then it would take him to just DO them.

On a positive note, tomorrow we leave for the one and only vacation I wanted and planned to take this year. To San Francisco to see the play Wicked and to visit friends. The only thing is that it requires me spending most of the rest of the day getting ready for the trip, there are two long days of driving involved, with the one good vacation day sandwiched inbetween, and I'm worried about leaving my puppy in the care of others. So I'm not relaxed or happy or looking forward to the trip yet. (About now you're probably commenting to yourself that this paragraph isn't really "on a positive note" as I prefaced.) I'm hoping that whole "out of sight, out of mind" thing will kick in and I'll have a good time when I actually get to San Francisco.

Hey, I just noticed - it's cloudy out. With the 100 degree temps we've been dealing with all summer, THAT's something to be cheerful about!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The continuing saga of Laume Vs. Mothra

Okay, so it's just a moth infested pantry closet. But it feels as big as Mothra. The project has taken on EPIC proportions in my brain and in my life. I'm on Day Three of THE PROJECT and I'm only about halfway finished and I'm exhausted and overwhelmed. Maybe the moths carry a virus that exhausts any animal, including housewives, who try to exterminate them. Maybe they've mutated into this new species that is capable of protecting itself by making anyone who comes in contact with them think "Who cares. I'm too tired. I'll just eat out for the rest of my life."

Everything is out of the closet. Except the dirt. Nine years of spilled cereal and rice and tortilla chips and cookies and doggie treats that leaped from the shelves and then crawled under the cabinets to die. And wall art. like prehistoric cave art. Made with drips of organic wheat free soy sauce and spashes of virgin olive oil and splats of molasses. Embellished with ribbons of old lasagna and corn husks (for making tamales), and old bread bag ties and ancient raisins and chocolate chips so old they've turned gray like me. And two bags, too dusty to determine their contents, hiding in the far back corner behind the hot water heater. I've appointed Jeff to deal with those with his long stick grabber end thing.

The shelving units are on the front lawn, like a contemporary rendition of Stonehenge, both the old shelves that were in the pantry, and some new ones that my mom gave us that have been stored in the wood shed, waiting for their chance to be of service. I'm making the scrubbing of Stonehenge a father/son project.

I'm going to tackle the pantry itself which, by default, includes the hot water heater. I've actually made a start on this, between writing the second and third paragraph of this blog entry, and I'm insanely considering PAINTING the walls as well as scrubbing them. Someone, PLEASE, slap me. Or bring me blue pill. Or is it the red pill? The one that makes me stop believing in the fantasy of me as June Cleaver. Let's get REAL.

Finally, if this project ever gets that far (so far it's like Odysseus trying to get home), I'll have the pleasure of restocking it with the supplies that survived the purging, mostly wiped off cans, some freezer bags and tinfoil, jars of olive oil and vinegar. Basically nothing boxed. Boxes are THE ENEMY. If you look in the dictionary under the word "box" you'll find 1: a rigid typically rectangular receptacle often with a cover 2: a house for moths".