Being the obsessive tidier I have become, I had to unpack all 4 suitcases before I could eat my lunch/dinner. (We stopped for Chinese take out just before we got home at 3p). Then I had to find homes for the boys new toys. NOw DH is watching football, the boys are playing & I am going to go read
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Being the obsessive tidier I have become, I had to unpack all 4 suitcases before I could eat my lunch/dinner. (We stopped for Chinese take out just before we got home at 3p). Then I had to find homes for the boys new toys. NOw DH is watching football, the boys are playing & I am going to go read
Thursday, December 28, 2006
My favorite tip is "BE AWARE OF WHAT YOU ARE EATING". Pay attention while you eat. Don't mindlessly scarf down rum balls or those little appetizer quiches. Pick it up, look at it, and chew thoughtfully while noticing how it tastes. This means you can't really eat while carrying on a conversation, unless the conversation is about the food. Eating mindlessly while talking at gathering is the source of endless amounts of calories. It also slows down your eating and you will eat less because you give your body time to become satisfied.
Another one is "IF IT IS NOT WONDERFUL - DON'T EAT IT". Even if it was made by your sweet grandmother, even if you just paid a lot of money for it. If you don't think 'wow! I really like this' after the first couple of bites, don't finish it. You may have to eat a bit for politeness' sake (if your grandmother is involved) but you are not obligated to finish it. I hearby give you permission not to clean your plate if you don't love the food. :)
Eat "SMALLER PORTION SIZES" assuming you have control over your portions. Take half the amount you think you will eat. If you want more you can go get more after you are done with what you have
The last is "DON'T CLEAN YOUR PLATE", especially if you have no control over the portion size. Eat half, give it a few minutes to settle and ask yourself if your really want/need more. Then eat half the remaining portion & repeat.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Just as an aside, within 2 hours DS1 was happily playing with DS2's Cars vehicles and DS2 was busy playing with the hot rod. Ds1 did take the hot rod to bed with him though.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
I'm so bad at descriptives... The first thing that comes to mind was a sunset I saw a couple weeks ago. We were in the car driving to or from someplace & it had been storming all day. Not just a gray sky, but a black sky all afternoon long. It had stopped raining & was starting to clear off, off in the west. The sun was setting & was this deep, rich, glowing orange color and it sort of faded into the dark grey and the black. Plus the mountains were there. So there was this dark but glowing band of orange both top & bottom and this richer red orange glowing band across the middle. Beautiful!
I was added to the rolls at BlogHer.com today! I've been lurking off of blogs there for months & finally joined last night. If you are a female blogger you should check them out. They have some great blogs there. I went on a blog jumping frenzy last night and added about 40+ blogs to my Bloglines account. About half were food & the other half parenting. Then I switched my food blogfood blog over to the new blogger templates & fiddled around with it. Feeling successful with that I switched my old random thoughts blog over & found a 3 column template to try out with it and it worked on the 1st try! That almost makes me confident enough to switch this one over. But I am still reluctant.
I spent a few hours browsing a craft/flea market type thing today & now havea bunch of ideas for calendar templates...for 2008, but that's fine. It gives me 10 months to make them. I have a slew of outlook sticky notes with ideas on them. I need to get some word art together for 1hourscrap. I have some ideas about that too. we went to B&N as well & I bought some books. The great thing about being on vacation is I can read for extended periods. At least I could. my brother & his family arrive tonight so I suppose my reading time (and computer time) will be cut down soon.
I'm getting back in the groove online. I've gotten caught up at DSP. I'm not really in a position to do any scrapping here but I should be able to get back to the challenges once we get home. I've missed scrapping regularly & it will be good to get back into it. I had to get the reading jones out of my system & that has pretty much been accomplished I think. It looks like Carrie (woogiebop) is taking over DigiScrapDiva and some of the folks from Scrapmommies will be helping her run the site, so I am looking forward to the challenges and energy they are sure to bring there.
Monday, December 25, 2006
The fact that I am a pagan is the big one. My religion is growing but is not at all mainstream. Many people still have a great deal of misconceptions about it, so I don't always mention it. My MOPS group is of course, Christian based, Baptist in fact, though they are very good about making everyone feel welcome even if you are Catholic or (as they think of me) you don't attend church. I've never stood up and told them I was a witch. I don't know all of them well. Some people I think would have no problem. I know one woman's husband is a Wiccan. But there are people in the group that are already offended by Santa & jack o lanterns being on decorations. I can only imagine their reaction to an initiated witch in their midst, so I tend to keep quiet to avoid conflict. There are not many pagan digi scrappers either, though I do know several.
Among the wider pagan world, the fact that I am so 'mainstream' sets me apart. I hang out with the Christian moms, I digi scrap. I am not a radical lesbian vegan liberal who chains herself to trees on the weekends while wearing all black and a hal a dozen giant pentacles. :) Of course among my RL coven I am considered quite normal - but then we are a coven of 40ish, mostly ex-military, rural, conservative, almost Republican witches. If we were Christians we'd fit right in with our Baptist neighbors. :)
Saturday, December 23, 2006
DH was able to leave work early Thurs so we left home at 4:30pm. 40 minutes later we were stuck in rush hour traffic. It took us about a hour to go 10 miles. It took us almost 3 hours to travel 100 miles. So we did not get as far as we had hoped that night. We'd hoped to get south of Columbia, SC so we would miss their morning rush hour, but we ended up stopping just north of it at 11:30pm. We'd travelled 350 miles in 7 hours. The boys were asleep in the back seat, woke up briefly to be moved to the room and then dropped back off. I didn't sleep much. I can't take the Lunesta if I can't get 7-8 hours & at best I would maybe get 6.5. I think I slept from about 3am to 6:30am. We were in WaffleHouse by 7:15 and on the road at 8am. we encountered no traffic. The traffic 45 miles from home would be the only standing still traffic we would encounter. However there were A LOT of cars on the road. Packs of them. And there was rain. DH drove through a patch in SC that lasted about 15 minutes & was heavy at times. I hit a long off and on spell between Jacksonville & Tampa that would come and go and be so heavy at times that I was about to pull over. We arrived at my folks place at 8:15p. Boys were in bed around 9:30 and I was stumbling to bed around 10:45 under the effects of a Lunesta. DH fell asleep about 10 minutes later.
books listened too - Kitchen Confidential, Peril at End House
movies watched - Cars, Robots, El Dorado, Knights of Fix Alot, Ice Age 2, Shrek 2
times "Are we there yet" was asked - about 4000
fast food meals eaten - blessedly, only 2 - Arby's Thurs night & Burger King for lunch on Friday. We skipped dinner Friday and just kept driving, eating the apples, bananas and pretzels I brought with us.
items left behind in our rush to leave - books for bedtime stories, razors, facial scrub
So far today the males have gone swimming, I had Quiznos, DH & DS2 took a 3 hour nap, DS1, Grandpa & I went for ice cream, remaining gifts were wrapped, a load of laundry has been washed and Grandpa went and bought a wireless internet router for his cable modem after DH & I discovered they didn't have one (and that we couldn't get online with our laptops) & told him how great the were. Now the 4 adults can use their 4 laptops to surf the web all at once from anywhere in the house. I'm wondering if my brother or his wife will be arriving with one (or 2)? Maybe I can get them all to download YIM or Hello and we can all Im one another from across the living room. :)
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukka and Blessed Yule to everyone!
Friday, December 22, 2006
Children. Seriously. I really did not like kids for most of my life. I was militantly childfree in my 20's. Didn't want them around me, certainly didn't want them in my life. I was absolutely positive children ruin your life & I was happy with my life as it was. Have children of my own? Oh hell no! But slowly, in my early 30s my opinion changed. Many things contributed to it but what stands out most was that as the last of my friends married I realized that, for me, without children there is nothing to mark the changing time, no firsts to look forward to, except divorce & death. How cheery. And while I as happy with my life, it had been going on the same way for a few years now & would likely go on the same way unchanging & that seemed a bit of an empty prospect. The kids did 'ruin' my life. That life is gone & won't be coming back and I do miss parts of it - the spare time, the spare money. And some days parenting is every bit as difficult and the kids every bit as horrible as I imagined they could be. But I love my new life and there are far more good times than bad ones.
blog prompts come from a digital scrapbook site digitalscrapbookplace.com
Monday, December 18, 2006
The booksfree.com thing is working out well for me. I've had 4 books so far and would have gotten a 5th but I stupidly forgot to remove the mailer insert when I sent book 3 back in and mailed the book to myself. So it's going out now. There is a chance bok 5 might arrive before we leave but I doubt it. That means I will probably average 5-6 books a month & I think $25 a month is a good deal for that.
Bought ink so I am finally printing out the calendar & DH can get it bound tomorrow. Also got niece2's gift, a few more Cars, the movie Ice Age 2 (as a surprise video for day 2 in the car) and one of DHs Xmas gifts. I looked at flat screen monitors & a 17" is $200 at WM. I tried to find new sippy cups for the boys & all WM had was Disney Princess ones. I'm not really sexist but I just balk at the idea of the boys carrying around glitter pink sippy cups with princesses & flowers all over them. I just can't go there. So I'll have to check out Safeway & FoodLion this week. We need a few new ones for the trip, most of ours are old & no longer screw on properly from numerous dishwasher trips..
Tonight is MOPS potluck. Tuesday is DS1's birthday party for Jesus & book exchange at school (and let me just say that the injunction against books with TV cartoon characters, Harry Potter, magical stuff or Santa really makes finding a book a challenge. Especially the no cartoon character part. I understand it. I really do. I don't want Sponge Bob in my house so I appreciate a blanket DO NOT instruction but damn that narrows things down for 3 year olds) Wednesday is DS1s Christmas caroling thing. Thursday the cats go to the kennel & I pack everything. Friday we leave. And I intend to get to the gym at least 2x if not 3 this week. Oh yeah, and a I have to wrap some gifts tonight for tomorrow. and make my pot luck item. I guess I should get off of here.
stocking - 3 Cars die cast, Backyardigans Leapster game & travel coloring book
DS2 - Take Along Roundhouse, I Spy Shapes book, Floor puzzle
stocking - 2 Cars die cast, Gordon & Percy & travel coloring book
Family - Backyardigans Memory game and Chutes & Ladders
Niece 1 - My Little Pony Memory game
Niece 2 - Pop up Elmo book
Friends older kids - I Spy books
Friends toddlers - fat plastic trucks & cars
Adults - alcohol, chocolate & tea gift bag
Mom - calendar
Dad - bookmarks
Sunday, December 17, 2006
I will also be buying ink at the wal mart. I ran out on page 11 of the 12 page calendar I am making for my mom. And I haven't printed the bookmarks for my dad or the triptick for our trip. I have to get it all printed tomorrow so DH can get it bound before we leave. I'd've had all this done by now but when I was making the bookmarks for my dad I decided since I was going to all the trouble I might as well make them for sale, so I had make a couple variations & then made templates as well & between that & putting together mom's calendar it was Friday night before I started printing. i will *not* set foot in walmart on weekends in December so it'll be tomorrow before I can finish.
The bookmarks are available at 1hourscrap.com if you still need a fast, easy and very useful gift for people.
I have no shorts that fit DS1 & we are going to FL in 5 days. DS2 needs a bathing suit. I suppose we'll have to get them down there. I cleaned the car out, vacuumed, washed the car seat covers, everything. I like to start a trip with a clean car. I'm going to have one suitcase that just has presents in it. One suitcase for our overnight stop. 2 large suitcases with our clothes, 2 laptop cases, each boy gets a small backpack, the DVD case and my pillow. Will all this fit in the back of the car & still leave room to see out the window?
I have potluck on Monday, DS1s Christmas pageant Wednesday, drop the cats off for boarding (an hour away) on thursday & still need to buy one of DHs presents and something for my youngest niece.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I have a favorite mug. I've had it for 8 years. Its a big wide bottomed Thermos stainless steel mug. It has a screw top, it is 20ozs (I have a matching Thermos...um, thermos, as well, so 36ozs all together). It had a one handed opener but I lost that bit a month after I bought it & found it I just stuffed a paper towel into the lid it sufficed for a car trip. (I now use Press & Seal over that when I take the mug to MOPS meetings). I lost the lid to this mug a few weeks ago. I searched the whole house for it. It was in the sink. DH said he put it in the dishwasher, but then it was just *gone*. So i had to get a new mug. My new mug arrived Tuesday. It is a Thermos E5 16oz travel mug. Nice mug. Not perfect though. It's just a tad too big to fit in the cup holder, but too small to wedge in the space between the seat & the parking brake. It also needs both hands to open the spillproof part. It is a good 'passenger' mug, but not a good 'driver' mug. I ordered it online so I had to go by description & photos. It will get used though. The fact that is truly is spillproof means I can take it to MOPS meeting & other places i go where there is little to no coffee available. But as a just to drive DS1 to school, its not so good.
It often happens that shortly after you buy a replacement for something that is lost, the thing that is lost then turns up. About an hour ago DS1 brought me his toy grill. The lid had gotten wedged shut. So I opened it. Inside the grill was the lid to my favorite mug! 30 hours after my replacement mug arrived & 2 hours after the packaging had leftover soup poured on it in the garbage can ensuring the new one cannot be returned.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
My quest for this evening is to go through my recipie cards and find the reason I bought the curry powder so I can make it for dinner tomorrow. I'm assuming it was a Rachel Ray meal, the only other cookbook I have been using in the past few months is Giada DiLorentis & curry doens't feature much in Italian food.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Crock pot chicken & stuffing
Chicken crescent pockets or calzone (leftovers)
Loaded baked potato soup & spinach salad
Rosemary & ham scones & more spinach salad
Turkey cutlets with ravioli - NEW!
Fake tandori chicken
Mini meat patties
and if one of them doesn't appeal one night I have tilapia filets in the freezer ready to marinated in lemon & garlic and the broiled.
Next time I do a 2 week menu I have to come up with side dishes that are more than 'nuke some frozen peas' at least some of the time. Most of Rachel Ray's meals include side dishes. I just never make them because...well...I don't think I will like them. But the time has come to try them. So I am suspecting lots of Rachel Ray dinners in my future.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Anyway, a quick search through the aforementioned locations failed to turn up the square baking pan. My kitchen space-wise is average, storagewise is it tiny. There are really only 5 places a baking pan could be and one of those is the dishwasher. The other 4 I have already mentioned. It wasn't in any of them. It also was not in the cupboard with the glasses or the one with cereal, soup and other frequently used dry goods, nor was it hiding under the numerous mostly empty bag of stale tortilla chips. It was not in the refridgerator with something already in it. This meant it must not be in the house, though I had no recollection of taking it anywhere. The last time I used it, I think I baked tilapa in it. Not something you normally take to a pot luck.
We gave up & DH decided to make brownies in a round cake pan rather than make really really skinny ones in the 13x9 pan. He goes to rinse out the round pan in the sink and there, under the pile or small plastic bowls that accumulates in after a day with toddlers, was the square glass 8x8 pan. He washes it out, picks up the box of brownies and reads "Do not bake in square glass 8x8 pan."
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Part of the problem is at least 3 out of the 5 nights I cook, I am basically cooking for toddlers. Turkey Tettrazini has zero toddler appeal. Tyson's breaded chicken patties have toddler appeal. DH is supposed to come home by 6:30 but something tends to happen fairly often to screw that up & I cannot put off feeding the kids beyond that. They go to bed at 8. I find it frustrating to hear at 5:30pm that he won't be home until 7pm & if I have been having a stressful day with bickering boys, the news that I will be alone with demons for dinner often means toaster waffles with peanut butter rather than braciole. Cooking for myself just isn't that much fun. Cooking for the boys can be fun, if I am in the mood for pizza or pasta, but I'd like adult food, with adult people every now and again.
So another part of my cooking resolution for 2007 is to make a new meal for dinner twice a month, every other Sunday. On alternate Sundays I will make again a recipe I have made before, like Coq au Vin. Or at least I will try. Realistically at least one Sunday a month this won't happen. Random food will be eaten. That's fine. What I need is a plan. It's ok to deviate from the plan, but you have to have the plan first.
In other news...Xmas is coming (and on a side note I often wonder if 'xmas' offends people. I seem to be the only person on the internet that uses it. i was taught in Catholic school religion class that xmas was a perfectly acceptable abbreviation, along with xtian - and this was decades before IMing became popular, but maybe times have changed.) I need to make presents for my folks. Once again I am making a calendar for my mom. I've picked out the layouts I want to use & just need to add the month names to them. I already have the calendar templates (and you can have them too, they are for sale at 1hourscrap.com). I need to make some bookmarks for Dad & am not sure where to start. I used some premade templates last year that had calendars on them. I'm not sure if he really needs the calendars. I need to pick out photos for them. One of each grandchild. I can't remember if I laminated them or not last year. All xmas present have been bought for the boys, including the last minute "Hot Rod" that DS1 asked Santa for. Fortunately he mentioned it was at Safeway which helped me figure out what he was talking about. I still need something for my 14 month old niece that is not a doll or stuffed animal, does not make unnecessary noise and is under $12. Finding something that meets all three criteria is proving impossible. I may have to surrender on some point - not the noise though. I'm pretty adamant about the no unneeded noise thing. I don't want it for my kids & I won't buy it for others' unless specifically directed to do so. I've never understood the whole singing dancing Elmo thing. I just look at it and wonder "Who would want that in their house?" Maybe if your kid specifically asked for it & really really wanted it, but just to buy it, with out being asked to,... why? But I admit I am not an Elmo fan and am thankful to the Divine that the boys have never shown any interest in it. I did buy a Wiggles Murray's Guitar last year, but only because DS1 specifically asked for it. I would never have volunteered it to him.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Do you have a favorite ornament or decoration that you display at this time of year? Tell us its story!
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
I've always enjoyed cooking and been fairly good at it when I wanted to be. What I have been working on the since the boys were born was planning. Before them I would call DH at 10am and say "What do you want for dinner?" and search up recipes on the web & buy the stuff I needed on the way home from work. And if I didn't feel like cooking it was no big deal because the other person in my house was a grown adult who could find himself something to eat on his own (and was a short order cook in college). Now I have other people to feed & dinner by Tyson every night is just not my style. I end up feeling bad for eating all the processed foods. Don't get me wrong, I *like* processed foods, especially breakfast cereal, but apart from that I think it should be kept to a minimum. But lack of sleep & 2 babies pushed me into lots of boxes of meals for a couple years & I lost interest in food really. I have been slowly getting back to where I was, which makes me feel more like me again. But I have had to get a handle on planning. I make long range goals. My goal in 2004 was just to make 4 meals a week. From scratch mostly, no Hamburger Helper (HH was for the other 3 nights). I also got my recipe collection organized & went through my several dozen cookbooks and did up cards on any recipe I found interesting. For 2005 it was 5 meals a week with one new or rarely made recipe a week. Plus start keeping a log of how they turned out and changes I made. This year it was planning for 2 weeks of dinners, using the leftovers from a couple of meals creatively in other meals in the period. And baking at least a couple loaves of bread a month. My 2007 goals are to get a handle on side dishes (right now I just nuke whatever frozen veggie I have on hand or make a spinach salad. I don't like veggies but I can't let the boys know that so I need to make interesting veggie dishes to interest all of us) and to prep ahead, like when I make crock pot beef stew - prep 2 or 3 times as many veggies and freeze them so next time all I have to do is open a bag. And since my bread machine finally died on me yesterday while kneading a loaf of Pepperoni Pecarino Bread, I am going to trying making bread without it for at least 4 months. I *can* make bread without it but it is just so much easier with it - no keep tracking of how long things have been rising, punching to down, movig it around. It requires so much attention. A bread machine though - toss everything in and walk away. Leave the house! 3 hours later you have bread.
Apart from bread I don't bake. Baking requires an attention to detail I don't have. DH bakes. He has spent the past year perfecting his chocolate chip cookies. Now he is branching out into mousse! :)
Saturday, December 02, 2006
I loved to play games when I was kid. All the board games. My favorite was (nad still is) Clue. Ieven had a couple PC versions of it. As an adult, in my childfree years, I played a great deal of card games and dice games (and drinking games). I love Hearts & Spades but I always have to be reminded of the rules because I get them confused. My favorite dice game is called 10,000, which is how many points you have to get to win. We'd play it for *hours* in college & right after, drinking & talking. I have a lot of great memories of that game. Now I play bunco monthly with other moms from my MOPS group & I really enjoy it. I love Trivial Pursuit as well. I have th Star Wars version but no one will play with me because I kick their butts every time :) My favorite PC game is Civilization. I actually bought the game a week before I got my first PC. It ate up HOURS of my life & I enjoyed every minute. I haven't played it since DS1 was about 6 months old. You have to be able to devote 3-4 hours to it at least (if not an entire weekend) and I have not had that kind of time in over 3 years. They have version 4 out now. I just barely played a couple times with 3 before I had to call it quits. Maybe someday... The other game I loved was D&D. Role playing is such fun. Its something else I have not been able to do in years because it also requires too much time.
I am looking forward to the boys getting old enough to play more challenging games than Candy land. I really want to play games with them.
First I tackled the music & audiobooks. I don't know what happened when I moved stuff on the laptop from the PC but I have multiple copies of music & books all over the HD, sometimes in .wav and .mp3. The music was easy to clear up but the audiobooks required a spreadsheet to track them. I have the same book in .aau and .mp3 and .wav and on CD, or combinations of them. I have 67 audiobooks (I've had an Audible subscrition for over 3 years - 2 books a month for $20, plus stuff from the library and booksfree.com) with more to come. So I cleared them all down to just one copy in a single format. I burned the Audible books I have already listened too to DVD and a bunch of the others as well. When I was done I had cleared almost 10GB of space.
Then I went through my photos and made sure they were all on DVD and backed up on another one & then I deleted all but the last 3 months and my 'to be scrapped' folder - another couple GBs gained.
Then I tackled my digi stuff. I'm still plowing my way through that. I went through it back in April when I copied stuff to the laptop & just didn't copy a large chunk of stuff. Burned that to DVD and honestly, have never looked at it since. Most of it was freebies from my early scrapping days. So this time I went through my stuff and any folder that has not been accessed since May is automatically in the burn folder. I'm now sorting through the stuff that hasn't been accessed since June-August & deciding what to keep & what to burn. I've gotten a lot more choosy about what I buy & the freebies I download so hopefully I won't have this problem any more. Once this is done I may get ASeeDSee (or however it is spelled) and actually tag things for sorting. But I am not about to tackle it with all this crap. I think it can tag DVDs too so I can remember what is on them, on the off chance I suddenly need a star tipped paper clip in fuschia. :) I also had enough .pspimage files of layouts to fill a DVD. I'm probably going to clear another 6-8Gbs
I also need to put together the 2007 calendar for my mom's xmas present. I made a set of 8.5x11 templates & the calendar pages for 1hourscrap & had thought I was going to use it myself but after talking with my mom, she really liked the one I did last year. Last year, pressed for time I resized layouts I done through the year to 8x8 and then put the month name on the side in matching paper. She really liked that, so I am going to do it again. Now watch...I will have deleted the papers to some of the layouts I am using.
I did find time to get one layout done tis week. I applied for Sherri Tierney's CT a few weeks ago and was chosen to join it! This is my first layout with one of her products. The kit is Thinking of You and is available at One of a Kind Scrapz.
I also have put some new products up at 1hourscrap.com. A couple quick page sets & some date stamps.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
You know how I hate my sofa adn would like nothing more than to have to buy a new one? You know how I just spent nearly as much on a laptop as I would on a new sofa? You see where this is heading?
One of our cats has PEED on the sofa. And not just on a cushion than can be taken to the laundromat, but in the corner, so it is on the nailed into the frame upholstry. That can't be washed and no amount of Febreeze is going to eradicate the smell. The cat will do it again. The cats are 13 years old & have been peeing on all sorts of things since the boys were born..mostly the boys toys, but also in the bathrooms. Cats are not disposeable to me so I can't just dump them at the shelter and I can't see placing an ad that reads "wanted good home for cat that pees on everything." So I don't know what to do. Odds are they will pee on a new sofa too. If we were in a position to buy a new sofa, which we aren't because we just bought the laptop. I'mnot returning the laptop. I need it far more than I need a sofa.
So as an experiment & to buy some time, I am taking the cushion and the sofa cover to the laundromat for an industrial strength washing tomorrow. Tonight I am going to soak that corner of the sofa in Febreeze and vinegar. Tomorrow I will also go to the furniture store & price sofas. (I told brad we shouldn't have given away our old IKEA sofa last month) The cats have just become outdoor cats as opposed to the indoor/outdoor cats they were. well, they will be out when we are out. Unless they do it again & then they are out for good.
Maybe people will just have to sit on a pile of pillow until Xmas, when we will have saved enough to buy a new sofa.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
2. won the big prize at Bunco and then one the dollar game afterwards, almost $50!
3. finally made the dinner reservations for Thanksgiving
4. steam cleaned the living room carpet (would not have needed to do if I had been paying more attention to my 2 year old, he poured peanut butter all over them while I was catching up on a message board)
5. finished all my reading - all 19 Eddings books, plus 4 by Quinn Fawcett and another 4 by Robert Lee Hall. I am now ready to go back to scrapping.:)
Have we ever talked about favorite movies? Or movies that make you wish you had those two hours of your life back?
The movie I love to put on when I need to relax, the one I never get tired of watching is Clue. It has a stellar cast, a great plot and wonderful, wonderful dialogue. I can quote the whole thing from memory.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
So the point of all this reviewing is what I have been doing. I read the 4th book. It has so many characters in it and had been so long since I had read the 3rd that I was confused until about a quarter of the way into it, trying to remember just who was who. I finished the book & was very disappointed. So I decided to reread the whole series, thinking my initial confusion might have caused some of the disappointment. Read all 4 books and was seriously disappointed. Seriously. I decided to reread all his books to remind myself why I loved his books. So in the past month I have read 15 thick hardback books, am current reading number 16, with 7 more to go.
I haven't read much in the past few months, been too busy scrapping, so I am probably due for this extended reading time.
Friday, November 03, 2006
I'm assuming DS2 threw a rock at it while I was inside cleaning up his brother on the potty. But DS2 is only 2.5 years old. How hard could he have thrown that rock? he must have gotten lucky & hit it dead on. Can't imagine how else it happened. I heard some shots in the distance but a bullet would have gone through both panes of the window.
Good freaking god! When will it end?
I am a rather silly person & too much seriousness bothers me. Making a joke, especially of something you just did or said wins me over right away. I'm drawn to people who are easy going but not totally slack - people who understand that we need to be someplace at 4pm but can have fun getting there.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Dealing with Anger
Buddah said : Hatred can never cease by hatred. Hatred can only cease by love. This is an eternal love.
Angry actions tend to induce angry or defensive responses.
Anger has 3 components
- We perceive an object that we find unpleasant
- We exaggerate the perceived harm
- We develop a wish to harm
Anger leads to a harming mind which, if we want to make spiritual progress, we must abandon.
- First recognize the negative force of the anger
- Next look within to understand & eliminate the cause
Meditation can be used to generate a strong determination to abandon the mind of anger. Repeat a mantra such as "I will not give in to anger". It programs your mind to dealwith events that can trigger your anger & help develop a mind of patient acceptance. Life will always present irritations & suffering. Develop equanimity so that a calm wisdom rather than emotional extremes will inform our actions.
Make a point of apologizing when you lose your temper.
Remind yorself that it is not always your job to punish offensive behavior - karma will see to them. We can even challenge ourselves to feel compassion for those creating bad karma for themselves.
- We can reach a point where the only way to get on with our life is to forgive & offer amnesty. To harbor resentment can make our mind too small for any joy in life. In some cases forgiveness is the ultimate act of love & compassion.
- Don't force it, wait until you are ready & that can take a lot of time & work.
- It may help to remember times when we have caused harm to others, acted selfishly & required forgiveness. Or maybe we need to face up to our responsibility in the conflict
WORKING WITH OUR THOUGHTS
We need to notice our thoughts, not go for a ride with them every time. When that happens we need to stop it.
5 options for dealing with disturbing thoughts
1. Dwell on the positive - remind ourselves of the positive qualities of a person, or their acts of kindness. Practice giving people the benefit of the doubt - maybe it isn't about us & we shouldn't be so quick to take offense
2. Consider the results of our thoughts - anger does more harm to you than to the object of your anger. Everytime you respond in anger, you condition yourself to respond in anger again. Ask yourself - what kind of mother did I want to grow nto? what kind of relationship did I want with my children? Do i want to add to their suffering?
3. Distract ourselves - be mindful of when we are paying inappropriate amounts of attention to negative emotions & stop yourself. Breathe deeply to ground yourself
4. Consider the alternatives - question your thinking. Thoughts come & go & often have very little to do with what actually is. Our mind creates our reality. Its up to us to decide how important we choose to make a disturbing event.
5. Use our willpower - be firm & tell yourself "enough" or "let go". Use meditation to to generate a strong determination to abandon the mind of anger.
What We Can Do
- Remember angry words & thoughts are bad for your karma
- Remember anger is a passing state, so don't empower it
- Be present with your anger without indulging it - be aware of its effects on your body
- Look inward for the causes of anger so you can eliminate them
- Use meditation to generate a strong determination to abandon the mind of anger
- Share some of your struggles with your children so they can learn from your mistakes
- Apologize to your children when you're in the wrong
- Inform your children when you are in a bad mood so they don't take it personally
- Consider forgiving those you are angry with if only for your own sake
- Remember the 5 options for dealign with unwholesome thoughts
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Nothing lasts. The bad mood will pass. We can weather it for now & avoid assigning it any major significance. Motherhood forces us to reflect onour lives, on what is important to us & how we want to live the rest of our lives.
Motherhood is the world's Greatest Learning Experience.
Assume an attitude of hospitality toward the emotion - Oh its you again anger. Don't avoid it & don't judge it, just attend to it without getting too involved in it. Accept the existance of the negative emotions. Stand back& watch them, how they affect us. Labeling helps...anger...anger...anger..watch it rise, have being & pass away. A negative mind state can only sabotage your efforts to improve a situation.
Confusing because it undermines our happiness but it's easy to tell ourselves that it's a worthy mindset. Treat it the same as others. Be mindful of it. Identify the beliefs making us feel the guilt, monitor how much time is spent on it & how much is helpful. Writing out your thoughts is very helpful. Meditate, creating space around your problem.
The ability to perceive all aspects of our lives with acceptance & patience rather than our usual extreme reactions. The ability to keep calm.
- freedom from extremes,
- letting go
Buddah taught that the greatest happiness comes from a peace uneffected by changing conditions. Accept what is & stop trying to control the inevitable & the impermanent
8 Worldly Conditions - gain & loss; pleasure & pain; praise & blame; fame & disrepute
Tolerance does not mean being relaxed & comfortable. It means accepting discomfort & finding ease in that accepting of discomfort. The irritations around you don't need to control you. Use them to practice patience.
Each moment is of equal importance, make it precious. Perceive it with complete acceptance, free of judgement, rating & demands.
Buddah said -
Do not pursue the past.
Do not lose yourself in the future.
The past no longer is.
The future has not come.
Looking deeply at life as it is
In the very here & now,T
he practitioner dwells
In stability and freedom.
The keys to peace & calmess are within. We all have a Buddah Nature. To find comfort we only need to turn inward
What We Can Do
- Be compassionate with yourself
- Remind yourself this emotion will pass.
- Share this knowledge with your children
- Ask yourself what you an learn from this situation
- See each new emotion as a visitor worthy of hospitality
- Watch & label your emotions
- Be aware when you find your are caught up in a negative emotion & stop & give yourself a chance to think of alternatives
- Write or meditate to help resolve your feelings
- Strive to accept imperfection & discomfort
- Choose a spacious response to petty irritations when you can
- Try to appreciate the preciousness of every moment
Friday, October 20, 2006
2. Start over with new cell phones with a different company.
3. Not lose my mind while dealing with the cell phone fiasco and 2 small boys (yeah,right)
4. Find the source of the cat pee smell in the living room (it has to be the sofa or the carpet but while the air around them smells like cat pee, neither of them actually smells like it)
5. Do the Mission Possible assignment.
Really the only thing I am looking forward to is the mission possible assignment. I'd gladly pay large sums for someone else to deal with the other 4.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Illogical and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind,
People may accuse
You of selfish motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful,
You will win some false friends
And some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank,
People may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building,
Someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness,
They may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today,
People will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have,
And it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you have anyway.
You see, in the final analysis,I
It is between you and God;
It never was between you and them anyway.
I'd love to live in Tudor times because that is my favorite time period. The age of discovery, so many new things being learned or old thing being rediscovered. New countries, new people, new foods, etc. The Reformation going on. It would be an exciting time to live. But I'd like as not get burned at the stake, or persecuted in some other way for my beleifs, which dampens my enthusiasm just a bit.
I'd also love to live in Roman times, between the rise of Ceasar and say 200ad or so. When Rome was out conquoring the world & again new things were being discovered as the world expanded. Plus there would be the chance to participate in the actual pagan rites of the mystery religions, like the Eleusinian Mysteries. I'd love to know what the true rituals were & how they vary from our own modern day practices. I'd love to experience a ritual at the temple of Vesta or Aphrodite. Just from a point of faith it would be fascinating, then add being able to see the 7 Wonders of the World, and all teh other incredible places now lost to us. I'd like to live in ancient Egypt for the same reason, and I'd love to visit the Great Library or see the pyramids actually being built.
Monday, October 16, 2006
We made pumpkin pie, from a fresh pumpkin with the help of Joy of Cooking. It's cooling now. And we have about 5 more cups of pumpkin puree to use up.
I love technology, but by and large, technology hates me.
So that trip sucked up all of Saturday. After the phone marathon we took the demons to an indoor playground & let them spend an hour climbing around a habitrail thing & then we they were tired enough we went to Olive Garden for an early dinner (good thing we were early too because about 15 minutes after we sat down every high school student going to the Homecoming Dance suddenly appeared looking for a table the wait was 90 minutes by the time we left.
Sunday we went to Applefest. We were going to meet up with various people and we'd said "we'll call you when we get there & work out wehre to meet up". There is NO cell coverage at all where Applefest is. No ATMs either & nothing takes visa. I was misinformed about the location of an ATM by the clerk at the lodege, walked a quarter mile to a store where I was told "Oh the bank took that out MONTHS ago because it was hardly used. They know that at the lodge". (further evidence of technology hating me) Fortunately she very nicely cashed a $25 check for me and the mess hall also took a check. I brought the checkbook because I wasn't sure about the ATM situation at the lodge but I knew none of the vendors took plastic. Despite all this walking we were there early enough to get on the second hayride of the day,which was only half full & the line waited about a minute. When we got back the line was huge and the tractors were full. So yeah us! The kids also got to enjoy the haybale playground largly empty, except for some other small kids. We went back later with Mel & family & it was full of 10-15 year olds who tend to knock down and bowl over the small kids in their play. But the boys had a blast both times. We also spent a lot of time by the creek with the boys tossing rocks into it, along with all the other kids there. Not sure what the attraction of tossing rocks into a creek is but it occupied a good half hour. We stayed much longer than we intended & had a great time. Depending on how the phone thing shakes out we may go again next Sunday.
We got a pumpkin there & Havoc insisted it be made into pumpkin pie. From the way he was holdign it & talking to it I had thought he might not want it cut up but he was all for it being made into pie. DH found a recipie but first the pumpkin had to be baked for 90 minutes in pieces, pureed and cooled and THEN you can start the pie process. Well, it was almost 7:30p when the pumpkin was pureed. So the pie will be made today. havoc insists that he LOVES pumpkin pie. it is his favorite. He last had pumpkin pie a year ago, one my mom bought from a store. Canned pumpkin pie makes a sweeter pie than real pumpkin. Different texture too. We;ll see how it goes.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
We first learn who we are when we are children. Identity is forged by society, which labels us so-and-so's children, a boy or a girl, a reader or a jock, or shy or outgoing. This is natural, considering that characterizing others upon first meeting is an automatic process. But when we regard these initial impressions as unchangeable, we deny the fact that we are all blessed with roles that can change from one day to the next or exist simultaneously with other roles. It is possible to be both a parent and an artist and a runner and a businesswoman. If you were to choose a single role, such as artist, it would limit the paths you could take. If you were, however, to say, "I am a creative person, though that creativity is sometimes blocked," it would open new avenues of exploration because you could express your creativity in many ways.
People are so much more than what they do or what they have done and all people are potentially capable of taking on a new identity or letting go of an old one because of emotional or environmental factors. You may choose to be "a strong-willed executive" in one moment in time and "a nurturing parent" in another. Yet you remain wholly you. Though labels can be a good stepping off point, they are no substitute for understanding who we really are. If everyone was encouraged to look beyond labels, open-mindedness and tolerance would be the inevitable result.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
I allow you to be in the world without a thought or word of judgment from me about the deeds you undertake. I see no error in the things you say and do, in this place where I am. I see that there are many ways to perceive and experience the different facets of our world. I allow without reservation the choices you make in each moment.
I make no judgment of this, for if I were to deny your right to evolution, then I would deny that right to myself and all others. To those who would choose a way I cannot walk, whilst I may not choose to add my power and my energy to this way, I will never deny you the gift of love that God/dess has bestowed within me for all creation, as I love you so I shall be loved, as I sow, so I shall reap.
I allow you the universal right of free will to walk your own path, creating steps, or to sit a while if that is what is right for you. I will make no judgment of these steps, whether they are large or small, nor light or heavy or that they lead up or down, for this is just my viewpoint. I see you do nothing and judge it to be unworthy and yet it may be that you bring great healing as you stand blessed by the light of God/dess.
I cannot always see the higher picture of divine order. For it is the inalienable right of all life to choose their own evolution and with great love I acknowledge your right to determine your future.
In humility, I bow to the realization, that the way I see is best for me, does not have to mean that it is also right for you. I know that you are led as I am, following the inner excitement to know your own path.
I know that the many races, religions, customs, nationalities and beliefs within our world bring us great richness and allow us the benefit of teachings of such diverseness. I know we each learn in our own unique way in order to bring that love and wisdom back to the whole. I know that if there were only one way to do something, there would need to be only one person. I will not only love you if you behave in a way I think you should, or believe in those things I believe in, I understand you are truly my brother and sister though you may have been born in a different place and believe in another God/dess than I.
The love I feel is for all of God/ess world. I know that every living thing is part of God/dess and I feel a love deep with every person, and all trees, and flowers, every bird, river, ocean and for all the creatures in all the world.
I live my life in loving service, being the best me I can, becoming wiser in the perfection of divine truth, becoming happier in the joy of unconditional love."
-- Author Unknown
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Is it connected in some way to your life and/or perspective?
I think the show with Most Episodes Viewed would have to be Good Eats. I love that show & have watched it from it's debut on FoodTV. I love that Alton explains the reasons behind why you do the things you do when preparing food because it helps me make similar things on my own. He's convinced me to try foods I don't generally like - though he has failed with cabbage & onions. It is entertaining & I always take something away from it.
The show that has been Watched the Longest would be Dr Who. I have been watching it since I first encountered it on PBS in the late 70's but there was that 10-15 year or so hiatus between the last Doctor 7 episode and the first Doctor 9 episode. (I'm not sure how long it was because I relied on erratic PBS viewing & who knows how long after they first aired on the BBC they made it to PBS. I recall watching new to me Who in 1993 or so, but as much as I love the show I have never managed to know the actual BBC dates). I have not seen every episode, in fact I have only seen 1 episode with Doctor 2 and maybe 3 with Doctor 1, but I have seen nearly all of Doctors 3-7. Dr Who & Battlestar Galactica were my intro to the world of SciFi and started a life long love of the genre. (Star Wars was around that time but it was a one off movie in 1977 & didn't have the memory power of TV shows with endless repeats). Nowthat they are on back to back on SciFi on Friday nights I am in geek and nostalgia heaven (despite the tendancy of both to get a tad bit preachy about US policy).
Monday, October 09, 2006
Tomorrow I am going to try cooking mindfully... or as mindfully as possible with toddlers. But she said that is the important part - do what is possible, when it is possible & don't worry about how much or how little you are doing it, just take the opportunities as they come & try to be as much in the NOW as possible, being as mindful of things as you can & after awhile you will be able to summonthe relaxed calm feeling when you need it without needing the meditation. But you should still keep meditating even then. The more you do it, the more opportunities you find.
Then we headed to the hotel. Havoc loves hotels. He took more pictures of our hotel room than he did in the aquarium. :) It had an indoor pool and we took the kids down to it to swim for about an hour. Havoc swam with water wings for the first time, really swam, using his arms & legs, not just sort of kicking around on a noodle like he usually does. It was a late bedtime but the boys were asleep by 9:30 & we joined the others across the hall for Chinese food, but we all crashed by 10:30.
Sunday was the Ren Fest. OMG! The traffic! I guess since it rained Saturday everyone held off going until Sunday. We left the hotel about 9:45 for a 16 mile drive. It should have taken about 20 minutes top. Ren opens at 10 and we figured we'd be there just after it opened. WRONG! The line to get to the parking lot began on I97, 5 miles from the faire site. It took us over an hour to travel those 5 miles. Our friends left the hotel about 15 minutes after we did and arrived at the faire 45 minutes later than we did. It was packed with people inside. Too crowded to really be as enjoyable as usual. When we left at 3:30 there was still a mile long line of traffic waiting to get in to the parking area! We did not do garb for only the 3rd time in 14 years (we didn't in 1992 because that was the first time & we didn't have any & we didn't in 2002 because I was 37 weeks pg & nothing fit). It had been so rainy we just didn't want to deal with mud in garb. We only took about a dozen photos which is an all time low for us & just proves it was too crowded to see anything. Havoc had his camera and took about 50 so we have lots of toddler eye view shots (people from the waist down). The boys dropped off to sleep before we even got out of the parking lot & slept about 90 minutes, waking up just as we were pulling into Pizzaria Uno's. We got home about 7pm.. I was bone weary, still am. It was a fun weekend. I'll have to put up a "Havoc's vacation" collection of his photos. He takes well composed photos, only slightly marred by the occasional finger in the shot or extreme blurriness, but about 2/3 of his photos are good ones. Pity they are almost all of people's legs. :)
Thursday, October 05, 2006
The idea is if you start deciding to do things out of compassion & kindness for others, rather than for your needs & wants; you will get into the habit of doing them for that reason & you will become a compassionate & kind person. Become the change you want to see in the world. Positive thoughts & actions make positive things happen. You get what you expect. These thoughts have been a part of my pagan life, but this idea of karma is different. Buddhism has no savior or god head so there is no one waiting to punish or reward you. Not sure how I feel about the idea of there being no Divine. Or is it that we are all part of the Divine, so the Divine is part of us & not seperate. I beleive that we are part of the Divine but I guess it is the Catholic in me that wants to think of the Divine as also a seperate entity, just as we are all seperate entities.
Monday, October 02, 2006
We all are a bit scatty sometimes, there is no need to beat yourself up about it, just be aware of it & do your best to overcome it. Be aware of the moment & respond to what it needs
Mindfulness is is an awareness of all the present moment contains: the sensations of your body, your feelings, perceptions, assumptions & tendancies. This helps you understand what is actually going on in your mental process & can help you head off the negative reactions.
Mindfulness saves energy & time. You make fewer mistakes when you pay attention to what you are doing & saying.
Meditation & mindfulness give you a mental holiday from the usual round of worries & plans. They helpyou understand that negative emotions are transient states so there is no need to get too caught up in them. We can watch them develop without identifying too closely with them.
Telling yourself what you are doing, while you are doing it,is a way to hold on to mindfulness. Avoid rating the experience. Not rating helps build feelings of acceptance instead of judgement.
Practice mindful meditation by being in the moment without the mental commentary. Be aware of just walking or washing, notice every detail of the task, pay attention to the sensations of your body, listen attentively & pause before responding, focus on your breathing
If you want to know what the future will be like, look at your life right now.
We chose our responses & our responses are far more important in the long run than the event itself.
Ask yourself - how can I best use the present moment?
Karma is not about the Universe judging you & punishing or rewarding you. It is about cause & effect. Everything you do, say, or think has an effect of some sort.
Buddah said: Wherever we go, wherever we remain, the results of our actions follow us.
He also said this about creating Karma:
The thought manifests as the word;
The word manifests as the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And habit hardens into character.
So watch the thought & its ways with care,
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all living beings.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
There is suffering
Attachment causes suffering
Suffering can end
There is a path to send suffering
As mothers we understand there is suffering in life; and we have experienced a truer love. Through loving a child we deepen our capacity to be a loving person for others as well.
Buddhism teaches compassion for all living beings & that must include ourselves - don't waste energy on feeling guilty & self-recriminations, just be aware & pay attention. Be gentle, patient & persistent with all you do.
Be self-aware, be in the now
The 8 Fold Path
1. Skillful Understanding - seeing life the way it is
2. Skillful Thought - being serious about Buddhist practice
3. Skillful Speech
4. Skillful Action
5. Skillful Livelihood
Speak & act in a way that shows compaasion & kindness to others. Path to wisdom requires living ethically
6. Skillful Effort
7. Skillful Mindfulness
8. Skillful Concentration
Thursday, September 28, 2006
This is a version of the Metta Sutta, tHe Buddah's Words on Kindness. Many people chant it or just read it aloud every day
This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in saftey,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,
May all beings be at ease!
Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
Foremost among the no longer living I would like to meet Mary, the mother of Jesus. His whole childhood, apart from that episode in the temple, is unrecorded and I am really curious about it, and about her and what it was like being the Mother of God. Were there temper tantrums when he was 3? Was he a moody adolescent? Did he do his chores willingly or did you have to nag him? How much of a scandal was there really about his birth and what exactly does the bible mean by "the brothers & sisters of Jesus"? what did she think of Mary Magdalen? I have a lot of questions for her actually.
I'd also like to meet Elizabth I and Henry VIII and get a few historical ambiguities cleared up.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
hhhmmmm... I'd love my kitchen to be remodeled but that requires major structural changes and involves an architect...
So if it was just a designer I'd like my family room redone. It's big, L shaped and white, with creamy beige carpet. It has an odd conglomeration of furniture (I've expounded on this in other posts - the sofa!)and lacks any coherent...well, any coherent anything actually. I'd like it to be warmed up with color & warm toned wood floors. I'd love furniture that at least went together if not actually matched. I'd love some built in storage and a new desk for my computer. Moving the wood stove from the far corner to the middle corner would be nice (so would a new wood stove). and something needs to be done about the former entryway area that is part of the family room as well.