Archives for: January 2008
For everyone who likes to smell good!
A good friend is up and running with her new website! As I am privileged to be her guinea pig, I can tell you that this stuff is GREAT! Go! Check it out!
Over the last couple of weeks, the weather has been...well....interesting (if you're a polar bear.) Subzero temps and deadly windchills just really aren't my cup of tea. Last Tuesday was probably the coldest of the cold, so I tried to start the morning a little early out of consideration for the convertible, which has the crazy idea that it's a summer car or something. As school time neared, I was frantically gathering everything that we could possibly need for the day. Backpack, lunch, purse, coffee, book, permission slip, etc. We rushed out the door, hurrying for the car, making sure the door was locked.
Of course, as always seems to happen on that sort of morning, I reached the car and realized that I'd forgotten something.
Namely, my keys.
On the coldest winter morning so far.
Never have I been so glad that Lion goes to work later than I. I'm betting, though, that this isn't one I'm going to live down anytime soon.....just like hanging up the butter.
Okay...so it's not a hair picture...
...but Lion did fix the picture postin' part of this here website, so I'm going to give it a shot!
Kid got in trouble at school the other day. Not big trouble, not even really medium trouble, but trouble enough that his teacher greeted my immediately at pickup time with, "Tell your mother what you did." Not something any parent wants to hear. It seems that Kid had "raised his middle finger" to some classmates during recess. I thanked his teacher for bringing it to my attention, took Kid's hand, and began prying for details as we walked.
As the story unfolded, it became very clear that Kid had committed no crime more serious than a little "monkey see, monkey do." An entire group of boys, possibly led by N., had been joyfully flipping each other off, laughing uproariously the whole time....most of them with no idea what their wee fingers were even conveying. Poor Kid. Contrite, and in tears, and blissfully unaware of what that one little hand gesture even meant. You can't get too worked up about something like that. So, I conveyed to him that he wasn't in trouble this time, but that flying the bird wasn't nice or appropriate.
The one thing that did concern me a little was the peer-pressure aspect of the incident, so I tried to impress upon him that following blindly along wasn't always the best idea.
And then I said it.
"If N. jumped off a bridge, would you?"
I may or may not have become a little ill right on the spot there, as one of my mother's chestnuts tripped over my lips without a single thought. I always swore that when I had kids, I would NEVER say that to my offspring!
Later, I was discussing this with my co-workers, who mentioned a few favorites of their own, like, "What were you thinking?" That was always the toughest one, because sometimes, you didn't even know yourself! Unfortunately, "I don't know," has never been an acceptable answer. Neither, to the chagrin of both my co-worker and I, is, "I was just seeing how close I could get."
When I was a teenager, I worked in the hayfield for my dad over the summer. One hot summer day, we'd been putting up hay down around a small pond, and the coarse marsh hay had gotten the baler all jammed up, leaving my dad to have to spend a lengthy amount of time inside the contraption trying to pull out all the stuck hay. (Think about a really bad paper jam, then multiply that irritation by 20. Add a lot of dirt, dust, and pollen, and make the temperature upwards of 90 degrees and you have a baler jam.)
Of course, not having the baler running left us kids at loose ends, trying to find something to occupy our time. (You already know this isn't going to end well, don't you?) Logically, we decided that the most interesting thing we could do is for me to chase my brother around the finished bales......with the tractor pulling a 36 ft. dump rake. It was great fun, wheeling around the bales in hot pursuit, seeing how close I could get. Unfortunately, I turned too sharply, causing the rake to hitch a ride on the lug of my left tractor tire, until I was eye to eye with a rake where no rake should be. At that point, I pulled out a little scrap of paper from my pocket, and started searching for writing implements, because I knew I was a dead teenager. I did try to free the rake, really I did. It was too heavy to lift. I tried to drive out from under it, but the soft, marshy ground near the pond just turned into a big mudhole under my tires.
That's when the steady stream of low-level cursing from the baler on top of the hill ceased. Silence. Followed by an outburst that had me ducking to avoid the lightning bolt that was surely coming my way, because I was pretty sure that those words meant he was actually inviting the wrath of the Almighty down upon his miscreant daughter. Fortunately, we did all survive the incident, even after my answer to, "What were you thinking?" was, "I don't know...I was just seeing how close I could get."
Given Kid's parentage, I'm pretty sure there will be several occasions for me to trot out all of the things I never thought I'd say!
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Permalink 01/13/08 02:24:47 pm
Yesterday: Shoulder-length, auburn curls. Side-parted, no bangs.
Today: Chin-length pixie-cut, bangs, highlighted and lowlighted every color from platinum to brunette, with lots of strawberry blonde in the mix.
I love it!
Permalink 01/12/08 01:41:16 pm
Wish me luck, folks, I'm 15 minutes away from having a total stranger do something humongously different, and potentially suicidally foolish to the hairs of my head.
(As a side note, when I type while nervous, I add y's and e's to the ends of many of my words. It's as if being anxious makes me channel Olde English(y))
It's early evening, and the chill in the air deepens as the last light of the setting sun fades from the western sky. I've just gotten home from work, and have begun the unenviable task of removing last night's two inches of snow from the sidewalks that wreath our corner lot. Yes, we do have a snowblower, and normally Lion uses it to clean not only our walks, but those of the entire block. (He claims it is easier to just go forward than to try and turn around, but I know that really, he's got a heart the size of a Yeti's, and just loves to help people out.) However, extra projects are keeping him even busier than normal, making it likely he might not even be able to start on the walks until much later. Besides, I was short enough of sleep last night that I skipped my morning workout, so a bit of shoveling is going to do me far more good than harm.
I don't get very far before I'm not feeling the cold anymore, and I pull my stocking hat off my head and tuck it into a pocket before I overheat. The snow that fell last night is wet and heavy, the kind of snow that sticks to everything it touches. This morning, every last tree branch was traced in fluffy, feathery white. It's perfect snow for snowballs, snow men, and snow forts. Perfect snow for just about everything...except, of course, scooping. In addition, the day was warm enough to have melted the snow just a little, and now the evening's chill is rapidly freezing everything again, making it even harder to scoop, especially where intrepid souls have trod, packing the snow solidly to the sidewalk. I know that if I leave the packed bits where they are, they'll melt partially in tomorrow's sun, and refreeze again tomorrow night, leaving the walk treacherously unsafe.
I won't lie. It's hard work. Even now, before I've even finished the front walk, my back is starting to ache. Still, it's not entirely disagreeable. The shovel makes a quiet rhythm, scoop-dump-tap, scoop-dump-tap, punctuated every now and again by the terrible sound of scraping across the sidewalk to dislodge stubborn snowpack. The snow seems to muffle noises, and as I scoop, the traffic sounds are far away. A smell of char-broiled beef gets my nose thinking cookout, but my brain reasons that it's far more likely the smell is from one of the nearby fast-food joints. Too bad those burgers don't taste as good as they smell! The children are inside, safe and warm, and the quiet gives me time to think. I think about what needs done the next day at work. I think about the mile-long mental to-do list I have for myself over the weekend, and add a couple of items. I think about politics, and the New Hampshire primaries. I think about what to make for supper, and decide to wait and see how I feel when I'm finished before I decide what to cook. I work a story idea over in my head, seeing where it goes with a little encouragement, and I'm pleased with what I find.
I've finally finished the front part of the walk, and it's time to check on the children again, so I set my shovel aside and straighten, stretching my arms up to a perfect midnight-blue sky, studded with bright stars and the barest sliver of winter moon. Orion gleams in the southern sky, the Seven Sisters twinkling by his side. The trunk and larger branches of the linden tree are still traced with snow, and they stand out in sharp contrast against the backdrop of sky.
The children are playing happily, and not even making a terrible mess of the family room, so I head out to scoop the walk that runs down the side of the property. By the time I'm halfway down, I'm sweating all the way down to my wrists, and only common sense has kept me from shucking off my coat in below freezing temps, but I've honed my technique enough to avoid having to scrape the walk again after I've already scooped it. Looking ahead, the last few yards seem to stretch for miles. Looking behind, I can see how far I've already come, and revel in the sense of accomplishment.
The icy evening is still and silent as I finish the last few feet. Then I'm done, and it's time to go inside. As I pass the corner of the fence, shovel at a jaunty angle over my shoulder, I'm tempted to cut across the lawn. Weariness, and a reluctance to track more snow on what I just scooped keep me to the walk. I need to work the kinks out of my back anyway.
I take one last look at the snow heaped to the sides of the walk as I stomp my boots clean outside the front door. "I did that," I think to myself, and a smile curves my lips as I step inside.
No, I don't mind this at all. Not one bit.
Hey. Um. Wow.
So. I haven't written since last year. Ugh. Yeah, I know, last year was only a couple of weeks ago, but that sort of procrastination is, forgive me, so last year.
So how's your 2008? Not too terribly bad here. I've got a lovely new bamboo floor in the family room, a lovely, healthy (knock on wood) family to enjoy in my family room, a not-half-bad Christmas behind me, and I've even started working out again. (I'll come back to that.)
But first, Christmas! I hope you all had an absolutely delightful Christmas. We did. We traveled too much, ate too much, talked too much, etc., which I think is just how Christmas is supposed to be. We had a great road trip with my husband's dad and grandma, and enjoyed a little redneck Christmas fun at my folks' place when we hooked sleds to the back of the four wheeler for a little fun on the frozen lake, and Lion bounced his dirt bike around through the snow-covered hills. Needless to say, we returned utterly exhausted.
Like I may have mentioned about Christmas, we ate too much, so while I'm not making a resolution about weight or fitness or anything, I did finally get my poop in a group enough to get up early and work out this week. The thing is, I haven't worked out in waaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy too long, since well before we put the new floor in the family room (I'm ashamed to admit just how long). I discovered a couple of things about that floor:
1. A bamboo floor with even a little bit of ordinary household dust on it is as slippery and glide-worthy as the finest ballroom floor. Which is a little unnerving when you're trying to keep your heart rate up without skidding into the walls or furniture.
2. A bamboo floor is far louder than carpet. I began marching along with my exercise video, only to stop and spin around in a panic, certain that jack-booted thugs were goosestepping up behind me with terrible intent. Turns out my dainty size 7's are just THAT loud on the floor. Sounded like Babar the elephant doing jumping jacks!
So I'm not resolving anything about weight, although I do have in mind a reward system for weight loss to motivate me. My main goal at this point is to keep the floor from killing me!
(Disclaimer: I love the floor. I great big pink puffy heart it. Let's get that straight! It's lovely, durable and smells amazing when you're face first on it doing yoga backbends. I just think it likes to keep me on my toes, so to speak.)
However, I am making one resolution this year. I am going to write more, and not just here. I've got writing projects I'd like to finish, and others I'd like to begin. Hopefully this is one I can keep, and y'all can benefit from it!
Happy New Year, everyone.