Another outing on the hill
Endless parade of allergy meds
Dis mah hoomin
Please visit Lotus at Sarcastic Mom for more Weekly Winners. Thanks for stopping by!
My downfall is my diet. I can exercise, that is not a problem. Treadmills, cycles, weights, I can do them. Step aerobics not so much, but as long as it doesn’t involve fancy foot work (step up kick, step back kick, grapevine, now from the left step kick, etc) or sleeping in a tent at the end of the day, I can do the exercise portion of ‘diet & exercise’
What I can’t do is control my eating. It’s not that I indiscriminately gorge myself every time I sit down. I’m actually pretty good about portion size at meals & snacks with 95% of my food. But that remaining 5% is an issue & accounts for most of my weight gain or lack of loss.
Some people have a problem with chips or with cookies or with soda. I have a problem with a random ever changing variety of savory foods. My problem food of choice varies; I fixate on something for a bit, come to terms with it, let it go, do great for a few weeks, then fixate on a new food & repeat. I never know what is going to strike, so I can’t avoid it ahead of time. So far this year I have had issues with homemade pepperoni hoagies (jeebus the pepperoni I went through!), avocado & tofu salad (fine in small amounts but I’d eat large bowls of the stuff – daily), sausage wrapped hard boiled eggs (‘nuff said) and brie, triple cream brie for preference. I start off just wanting a little but before I know it I am making foot long pepperoni hoagies 3x a week. I came off the brie fixation in late June. I was fine for a few weeks, sticking to healthy food with Saturday ice cream. Then I came across this in Wal Mart.
Looks harmless right? Maybe even a bit bland, just artichoke & parmesan? How good could it be? Don’t let it fool you.
This is EVIL DIP!
I’ve been fighting the temptations of the evil dip since mid July. I can eat the entire container with a bag of pretzels in 2 days. It says “great heated”. For the love of all that is healthy DO NOT heat the dip! Synonyms fail me when describing the evilness of the heated version of this dip. It’s so warm & creamy & salty & tempting. Just one more bite…one more...how can it hurt…it is so good…um, where did all the dip go?
The dip is irresistible. I see it and I have to buy it. This version of it is only at Wal Mart & they love to stop carrying things I like so it is only matter of time before the dip vanishes from the shelves never to be tasted again, so I should eat as much of it as I can, while I can.
See. That’s the dip talking. It overpowers my will. Just a photo of it can compel me to dip justification.
I started going to great lengths to avoid the dip. It’s in the deli area so I just never went there unless absolutely necessary but I could hear it calling to me while I was in electronics, so I started avoiding Wal Mart altogether.
Today though, with a shopping list that was either 4 stores or one Wal Mart visit I decided to brave the siren song of the dip. I was fine until the Parmesan cheese. The dip sits next to the containers of freshly shredded parmesan cheese. I had to enter it’s nefarious sphere of influence. I saw it sitting there, all malevolent and delicious, & I quickly grabbed the cheese and went to turn away. Then my eyes inadvertently fell on the price tag
New Low Price! 2 for $7!
The dip’s reprehensible power saw an opening and dove in. I had two containers in my cart before I could blink. I did somehow find the strength to put one container back on the shelf and then I buried the other under the boys’ sweatpants and the cat food to diminish it’s power. I struggled with temptation past the pretzel & chip aisles. But the dip is insidious. “Carrots” it whispered. “Carrots are healthy. You could dip broccoli too”. “You shush” I told it. “I’m leaving you on the magazine rack at check out”. “Think of me as a sandwich spread.” it suggested delectably. “with turkey on a whole grain sandwich thin. And a side of broccoli. Imagine the vitamins! The protein! The whole grains!” “Damn you evil dip” I muttered picking up some sliced smoked turkey. “Damn you and your sharp, creamy, tastiness.”
I brought the dip home & put it in the fridge where it called to me for 3 hours until I gave in and made a sandwich. “Have two” it suggested. “Oh no you don’t” I said firmly. “Portion control. 2 tablespoons is 13 grams of fat. Half one on the sandwich and the other half for the carrots. PERIOD. And no dessert for me tonight”
I’m going to take it with me this weekend when we meet up with friends & set it out with chips. Everybody loves the evil dip, it’s just that evil. It will be gone in about 15 minutes. If I can refrain from eating it all myself before then.
****disclaimer – you don’t honestly think I am getting paid for talking about this dip do you? It’s evil dip. Evil doesn’t pay.
I have a rather large stack of books on my nightstand, the photo of which I can’t find right now and the camera battery is currently charging, so let me just say it is currently 12 books tall and doesn’t include the 3 I read over the weekend.
The book that gets the most attention though is Mayhem’s newest favorite book
He was smitten the moment he laid eyes on it. “Are you gonna make vees fings for me Mama? All of dem?” Then he went through the book and told me what he wanted made first, then second, then third, while Havoc shouted from behind me “I want the Ninja! Will you make me the ninja?” over and over.
I love the little guys in this book! they are so fun to make. Naturally I went with the Monty Python jokes first
Honey it’s a little man from the village
He’s come about the reaping!
None shall pass!
Come back you cowards! I’ll bite your kneecaps off!
How do you know she’s a witch
She looks like one!
(the last one is my design but fits with the Python theme)
I finished the ninja today, but as I mentioned, the camera battery is charging so I have no photo yet.
The boys love them. They bounce them all around fighting one another. I need to find a more secure way to attach the weapons, they are just glued on and are no match for young boys battling. Mayhem is waiting not so patiently for me to make the Trojan, the Cleric and the Amazon. All the ones with weapons naturally.
I finally opened my etsy shop - Charmed Crochet. There are only 6 items so far in it, due to the aforementioned battery issues (I think the charger power cord is shot). I’ll be adding the grim reaper and the knight to the shop as soon as I get duplicates made. Please check it out if you have a moment.
I’ve developed an odd habit lately that I find a bit disturbing.
I find myself thinking, whenever I meet a girl in Havoc’s class, “Is this my potential daughter in law?”
And I have no idea where this is coming from. What buried part of my psyche is trying to match up my first grader with a wife already? Why am I wondering this? Is it normal?
Partly I suspect it is the local culture getting to me. Around here there is a high likelihood you will marry your high school sweetheart or at the very least end up marrying someone you have known since kindergarten. So there is a decent possibility that the girl he shares reading class with or the girl in tae kwon do or the girl who joins the Star Wars battles on the playground will someday be the woman who complains to her friends about how her MIL never volunteers to babysit, oh she’s willing enough when asked but you’d think she volunteer to see her grandkids and then she lets the kids run all over the place so maybe it is for the best and is all passive aggressive saying she doesn’t have an opinion when she surely does have an opinion but expects everyone to guess it and gets all pissy whenever camping is mentioned as a family outing. She never comes camping, too ‘rough’ for her. Honestly that woman…
Or maybe we’ll get along great & be good friends because I’m not poking myself in their business. Who knows?
But lately every time I meet one of them I wonder if I am meeting my future daughter in law. Will 15 or so years from now Havoc be asking me for money so he can get a ring for this girl and I’ll be thinking “I remember meeting her when she was 6! Where has the time gone?”
Seriously. I am NOT this person. I never speculate about things like that. I did not speculate who I would marry. I did not have my wedding planned by the age of 8. Hell, I didn’t even plan the wedding I actually had, I let my mom do it.
I don’t think this about the girls in Mayhem’s class. But Mayhem doesn’t like girls right now. They are all icky – except me. Havoc doesn’t like or dislike girls, they are just there. But he tells me he expects to marry one of them someday.
Could he just please pick one now so I can stop speculating?
That does not mean I am sitting here naked from the waist down. I can find my shorts and those couple of pairs of capris I have been wearing all summer.
What I cannot find are my pants pants. The ones with the hems that reach the ground. I know I have a half a dozen pairs of jeans. I can find one. I know I have at least 4 pairs of regular pants, I can’t find any.
I put them all away in June, along with the long sleeved and 3/4 sleeved stuff I hadn’t packed up already. To the best of my knowledge everything went into the storage bags the summer clothes came out of & the storage bags went under the bed or up on the closet shelf.
But the pants are not there.
The shirts are, along with the”‘if I don’t like/need this enough to get it out of the storage bag over the summer I am taking it to Goodwill” clothing. But there are no pants to be found.
I looked in all the likely other places, but while likely, they were not places I actually put pants.
It isn’t quite cool enough to need to wear long pants regularly so I have some time to search the rest of the house but I want to know if I have lost enough weight to make any pants difference. I lost 6lbs this summer (and those were a hard fought 6 because I discovered EVIL DIP in late June) but honestly I have no idea what I weighed in March. I could have gained & lost those 6lbs a couple times over. I could have easily put on 12lb of evil dip this summer and despite losing 6lbs still have gained weight. I can only actually tell if I try on my pants.
If you were a pile of pants in a house with no separate storage space apart from under beds and the top shelves of closets and you were not under the bed or in the closet, where would you be?
We’re getting our satellite tv service upgraded & they need to send a tech out. The customer service rep was trying to get info to help the tech find the place. This is especially important since google maps and mapquest can’t seem to find my house but will take you a place a mile up the road via 2 dirt roads, which are unnecessary since there is a perfectly good paved road leading there (and here for that matter).
CS: what are the cross streets?
Me: ummmm…this is an 8 mile long road that changes names twice and doesn’t actually cross with any paved road while it is called by my street name. Here are some bigger roads (aka, they are trafficed enough to have yellow lines on them) that are in the vicinity. And these are the names of the roads you need to take to get here from there even though they are actually one road. Maybe you should have the tech call me, it’s different depending on whether he is coming from the north or south.
CS: what color is your house
Me: ummm..grass…as in real actual grass.. it has a brick front but the front faces the back of the property so you won’t see it from the road, all you see is a sort of grassy knoll
CS: hmm…so since you are living in an invisible house on a confusing road in the middle of nowhere are there any identifying landmarks the tech can look for?
Me: a 75 foot mini tower in the middle of the yard. He can see it coming from a mile away!
Now 50% blightier!
We’ve gone from this pole
to this mini tower
You may be wondering why we would chose to upgrade our eyesore. Well, you remember this bend from February?
And this even bendier from June?
predictably unexpectedly this happened a few weeks ago
No amount of guide wire tightening is going to fix that.
Sadly my internet signal is not a matching 50% speedier, but it has improved. WooHoo! What’s a little blight if it gets you faster load times?
Here are some photos for scale. This is my neighbor across the street (and down the hill and back up the hill on the driveway from hell) I’m standing on the road taking this.
Their house is for sale. It went on the market last week. $600,000! with 20 acres and a 4 bedroom cabin boasting INCREDIBLE MOUNTAIN VIEWS (just like that in all caps on the website). Here is an incredible mountain view photo taken from the deck of the house
The little white building is our two story barn/shed . I find it interesting there are no photos of the driveway online but they included the one with the blight. If they took about 2 steps to the left that tree would hide the tower, but you’d probably be able to see just how steep that driveway actually is.
We can go 25 feet higher before we need a permit from the county, though I’ve been informed we’re pretty much stuck at this height because of clearance needed for the power lines running perpendicular through the middle of our property.
Unless we find a way to mount it on the barn.
This handsome young man is my great grandfather William Wetzel. He was born in 1881 and died a few months before I was born in 1967. This photo was taken in approx 1902-05.
William married Anna Klotz, whose scans I have already posted, around 1905. They had four children. He was a printer by trade and operated his own shop in Elm Grove for many years and then worked for other printing firms in the area.
These are not adjectives that can be applied to my blog.
Or even to me in general.
I’m just not that sort of person. I enjoy a lively discussion with opposing opinions or a good debate on issues. I hold firm opinions on hot topics, but while they are firm I can still see the other side has good and valid points.
And right there I lose all ability to take a strong stance on anything because I get what you are saying. I don’t agree with it or I find some other aspect of it more compelling, but I do see why you think that.
I have friends who have Very Strong Opinions Indeed about things like abortion, health care, war, food quality, homeschooling, term limits and Wal mart (on both sides of the issues). Listening to them is sort of like listening to a revivalist preacher only they have been Saved By Organics or Wal Mart as the case may be. They are fired up with zeal for the War on Terrorism or for legalizing gay marriage. It’s deep and intense and an almost holy light glows on their faces as they expound on the rightness of their side and the misbegotten wrongness of those poor benighted unbelievers, or as I call them, those who disagree, often including…um, me.
I sort of envy them the passion they have for their beliefs and their ability to expound so confidently on those beliefs. The certainty that they are right, not just for themselves but they are right for everybody. Everybody should see it the way they do, unless they are idiots who can’t think for themselves.
I can’t manage that level of rightness. I’m sure I am right for me & mine, and I am fairly certain my belief would probably be best for everyone. But that is the best I can manage, just ‘fairly certain’. I am a realist and too cynical to have that kind of all encompassing surely of belief. Also, I believe people on the other side are every bit as intelligent & came to their conclusions after studying the issue, just like I did. But since I am usually faced with people filled with the moral certainty of their convictions, which I cannot raise, I rarely say much.
Sometimes I’d like to be more firm & authoritative, to say “No, you are WRONG! This is how it is, how it has to be! How can you even think such a misguided thing?” but I just can’t, because usually, I do see how they think such a thing.
Apparently in my life, I irritate the heck out of some people by doing that, which I suppose is provocative enough for me.
You may recall about a month ago we woke up to 3 young kittens on our porch
Sadly misfortune has visited two of them. One we know was attacked. The other we just haven’t seen for 48 hours and since Mama Tux and the remaining kitten have been on the porch for 24 of those, I fear we must assume the worst.
When there were 3 kittens I had assumed we’d be taking them to the shelter. Kittens seem to get snapped up at our shelter so I don’t feel bad doing it. I’d try to find homes but given I had no luck 6 months ago, I didn’t have much hope.
Then there were 2 kittens,nearly identical and I thought I might be able to find one person to take both. It might take me a little longer but bunco was in a couple weeks and surely 1 of 11 women would know someone who wanted kittens.
Then yesterday I realized there was just one kitten.
We currently have six felines as permanent residents here
16 year old Old Lady Cat Pandora
12 year old Nearly Old Lady Cat Nefertiti
Mama cat Tux, age unknown but turned up on our porch pregnant 2.5 years ago & remained
Her surviving kitten from that litter. 2 year old Ghost, who is convinced cameras steelz ur soulz & will run far away if you point it at him. Thank goodness for zooms
And the two kittens we kept from the litter in early spring
So what is the difference between having 6 and having 7 kittens? Let’s just name this one Ashes and move on
But DH disagrees. He feels that somewhere around 6 cats you go from being ‘people with cats’ to being ‘the crazy cat people’. I don’t disagree with him, but it’s just one kitten...and really don’t crazy cat people have like 15 or more cats?
But we still have to get Tux, Ghost, Smoke & Thor all neutered & that is a couple hundred bucks. And we're going to have to get kittie knockout drops to put in the food just to be able to catch Tux & Ghost to take them to the vet. Probably we can’t afford all that plus shots plus neutering for this one as well.
*sigh* so I suppose I need to find a home for this one soon.
Mayhem is a budding lawyer. He feels the need to argue his case all the time. Since his command of the English language is still a bit limited he falls back on repetition
“I’m not going to do it. No No No no No No. I’m not going to do it.”
“I’ll only do it if you do this. You have to do this first. I’m not going to do it if you don’t do this first.”
We are talking about things like wearing shoes in the grocery store, sitting down to dinner, picking up his toys, saying please & thank you, going to your room when a time out is called and going to bed
I have been making the mistake the past 6 months of viewing these statements as part of a dialogue. I’ll repeat the request, acknowledge his reluctance, try persuasion and worst of all, I will ask him why he doesn’t want to do the thing. This opens whole tangents of protests hitherto unimagined. These episodes almost always end in both of us shouting and him being sent to his room, while I stand over him step by NOT GOING step.
He knows why he has to do them. They are regular routine things that not not protested half the time or more. It always ends with him doing them but apparently Mayhem needs consistent responses for a far longer period of time than Havoc does. Havoc generally drops protest methods after 4-5 tries. He is now settled into a full on pout while doing things he doesn’t want to do, but he does them without arguing. Mayhem though is stubborn and must go on with a behavior for months until he accepts it isn’t working or I find a new method of coping.
I’m now ignoring him. I make the statement, know he hears it from his protest and then go on with my plans as if the protests and deal makings are not being whined and shouted at me. Failure to acknowledge his protests robs him of his attempt to control the situation and leaves him unable to negotiate, and about 75% of the time seems to end with his cooperation
It was bath night. Mayhem likes baths usually but sometimes must protest for forms sake or to keep in practice. So from the living room I hear “I am NOT taking a bath. NOT NOT NTO NOT. I hate baths. I am not taking one no no no no no. No baths. I won’t take a bath! I am not taking a bath in small water. ONLY baths in big water. I will only take a bath if you put big water in the tub! REALLY BIG! No small water baths! no no no!”
His voice gets closer to the bathroom as he shouts all this and by the time he gets to the end he is naked and climbing in the tub to supervise just how much water I am putting into it. It took maybe 3 minutes. Engaging him in a conversation about how he needs a bath, why he may not like a bath, what things I should do to help him adjust to the idea of a bath, etc can & has gone on for as long as 10 minutes.
Last night he didn’t want to lay down. (he’d woke up at 5 am and was exhausted) He would only lay down if I stayed in the room. The boys have been staying up late playing in their room after bedtime & we had been taking turns staying back there until they were asleep, so this was not an out of the blue request. I sat down. Mayhem rolled and kicked and sat up and played and I told him he needed to stay laying down or I am leaving. Thus began the dialogue which mostly consisted of Mayhem insisting that he could only lay still if I was laying with him, that he didn’t know how to listen, that if I laid down it would help him listen, he doesn’t KNOW HOW TO WISEN MAMA! He can’t lay down. He won’t be good if I don’t lay down with him. He won’t be good EVER because he doesn’t know how to listen.
Laying down with him was not an option because I have in the past, I know how it ends. Not with him laying down, but with him finding some other reason he can’t lay down and some other thing I need to do or that has to happen, and then another. Sooner or later a line has to be drawn. I’ve decided it is at the opening statement I make.
After a couple minutes of Mayhem carrying on I spoke and said “goodnight Mayhem. I am leaving now because you can’t lay down.” and out I went. Followed by voluble protests from Mayhem about how he WILL lay down, he WILL listen, he WILL be good if I come back, just COME BACK! But having heard this speech many many many times over the past 6 months I knew it for bullshit and went in the living room. For the next 15 minutes we were treated to a non stop tirade of threats, bribes and promises from the back bedroom. He won’t ever be good again if I don’t come back there. not ever again. he’ll just be bad forever. No no no no no not going to sleep, not ever unless I come back there. He just needs to tell me one thing, just one little thing. could I please come back so he can tell me one little thing. Just a hug! He just wants to give me a hug! (in an angry yet pathetic & obviously acting voice) Please come back. He;ll be good. he will listen. “I’ll do anyfing for you mama! Anyfing!”
By this point I had forgotten the initial source of conflict & assumed he had too and he sounded so tired. So I went back & kissed him. Bad move. He still clearly remembered his goal and here I was, so he won! It works! What do I mean I am not going to lay down with him? He can only lay down if I lay down with him. *sigh* I left again and again about 10 minutes of “Don’t weave! Don’t go! I will wisten” came from the back room before exhaustion overcame him
He goes through this phase every few months. I’m hoping that my latest method of dealing with it will help it pass quickly. It seems to be effective with the daytime stuff. Just the bedtime stuff when he is overly tired is really lasting long.
I wish I knew what was waking him up at 5am so I could make it stop. I think that would go a long way toward resolving this.
It has taken me more than a month to get around to setting up my music playlists on my new computer. It has taken me in fact til Tuesday, (a band I have several tracks by).
I had backed up my music folder from the dying laptop when it initially began dying back in June. Then, just to be sure, I backed it up again in July when I bought my Asus. I took the time then to do a little cleaning & reorganizing of my music. There were still things in an iTunes folder and I haven’t had iTunes in 3 years. I have a Creative Zen & use their organizer which doesn’t force itself on you quite the way iTunes does. There were also some duplicate tracks for things I had ripped from CD in 2005, forgot about & re-ripped in 2008 and a myriad of unnecessary subfolders. I cleaned all that mess up, straightened out the folders and backed it all up again.
I copied it all to my new laptop and got involved in retagging my scrap supplies and downloading things to view .nef photos and other things to make my software compatible with Vista. It was not until Tuesday, faced with a low battery on my Zen and a missing power cord, that I decided to listen to music on my laptop.
I knew I would have to recreate my playlists so I started sorting music in the player software. I discovered that I had 1500 songs.
Actually I have about 1000 songs. 500 were duplicates.
Well about 350 were duplicates. Another 100 were triplicates and about 50 were quadruplicates.
Somehow a large selection of my music collection was copied into a Flogging Molly album folder. A smaller selection of that was also copied into my ‘CD music’ folder and a smaller selection of that was also also copied into the main ‘My Music’ folder.
Some interesting facts about this are that those 3 backups were done on two different EHDs. One of those EHDs was reformatted before a second copying was done on it. The original file structure, still on the old laptop, does not include folders in a Flogging Molly folder, but that laptop overheats long before I can recopy the files.
Most interesting though….
I don’t have any Flogging Molly CDs and I have never bought any of their music. Yet, I have their Float album on my hard drive.
And one of those folders has about a third of my music duplicated in it.
Not everything in the Flogging Molly folder is a duplicate. Some of it is the only copy of that music. So I can’t just delete the thing and be done with it. I have to go through it track by track & match it up to the rest of my music collection, which is a misery. And that isn’t considering the Christmas music. Do you know how many versions of Away in a Manger and the Holly & the Ivy I have? Plus there are oddities like Rock Lobster, of which I have 5 copies, only one in the Flogging Molly folder and none in the other 2 places, which means I apparently imported it on 2-3 separate occasions and bought it online at least once despite owning the CD already.
I have my audiobooks highly organized and tracked on spreadsheets. Music? Notsomuch.
I can delete the tracks relatively easily, if tediously, with my player software but it only deletes the tracks, not the folders of the albums. So I still have to go through all the folders & check if they are empty & move the ones that aren’t & delete the ones that are.
Then I can try to recreate my old playlists.
My Zen will be done charging long before I finish with this.
I bought myself 10 personal trainer sessions for my birthday. At the end of them I had lost 6lbs and an inch at my waist. I had gained inches elsewhere which are muscle. I have toned & firmed up a good deal. I plan on continuing to visit the gym 3 days a week and do the 30 Day Shred at home at least 1-2 days as well.
My big need is to lose weight and exercise is not going to do that at this point. I need to eat less. So my focus for this month is on my diet, cutting back portions and swapping fatty snacks for fruits & veggies.
So far I could be doing better. It is Wednesday & it will be my first trip to the gym this week. I had cookies for lunch yesterday and Monday’s lunch was brie with grapes.
At least there were grapes.
But I did a quick sweep of the house & am now lacking my usual stock of fatty foods minus the cookies (DH makes cookies) but I’ve already eaten the slightly burnt ones & I don’t care as much for the ‘properly’ cooked ones so I should be good on that front. I stocked up on fruits & veggies & yogurt. I’m going to make some granola bars.
My downfall is daytime snacking & a lack of lunch plan. I’m trying to get a hold on those things. Only good snacks are available. I just need to plan some decent lunches. I’m thinking soups. I’m going to make a spinach & beef one today. Hopefully it will make enough to feed me the rest of the week.
I have a goal of 15lbs more gone by mid November. It is perfectly reasonable. let’s see if I can be too.