Thursday, March 31, 2011

Since I gave you the horf-dorfs ...

Here it is cold and rainy and blergggghhh (that's a fancy technical weather term, don't try and understand) but spring is trying!  Really!
Cherry trees on my walk into my office.  
A little robin who is all like, "I migrated for this?  WTF?"
Speaking of birdies, my fat jar was full of leftover fat in the fridge, so I made suet the other day since the weather was turning cold and I'm trying to make my backyard the most bangin'est  birdy hangout around.  
Start with melting leftover fat in a saucepan until it liquefies completely.  
 Stir in natural peanut butter, cornmeal, rolled oats, leftover nuts if you have them (but they are so daggone expensive, who can afford this?), dried fruit, and cheap birdseed.  I bought some birdseed at Acme that the birds completely shunned, but they have wolfed it down if I include it in suet.  Mix thoroughly, then cool and package.
Yes, in these - leftover berry containers
Just line them with plastic wrap or wax paper (so the suet doesn't leak out of the holes in the bottom) fill them with suet,
wrap the plastic wrap over the suet, and snap the container shut.  I usually stick mine in the freezer until I'm ready to use them.  This container makes them the perfect size and shape for any standard suet cage.
Remember my post about my backyard flooding issue and the rain gardens?  While trying to find out more about local native plants, I stumbled across a state-sponsored website with a "Backyard Wildlife Habitat" program.  They have a checklist of requirements for your backyard (native plants, no fertilizer or pesticide, rain barrel, compost bin, etc.) all of which we meet, except that they ask that you have a rain garden to manage runoff from your yard.  Yes!!  They will even send someone out from the Cooperative Extension to survey your backyard and discuss plantings with you.  The Mister is already bemoaning the fate of this individual, who I may very well talk into a coma :-)

Stupid Mars.

Yes, I KNOW it was in retrograde, no mistaking that fact yesterday.  Yesterday was a day of a whole bunch of little things going wrong, things you feel bad complaining about when there are worse things in the world, like earthquakes and hunger and Snooki.  But equally frustrating, nonetheless
First my bitchy aunt who swings by once a month made an appearance.  Then we were out of soy milk for my coffee, so I had to have cows milk which tastes awful to me.  Every single outfit I put on either looked like I was a broken-down hooker or like I had rolled in the donation bin at Salvation Army and come out with anything that stuck to me on. (no offense to Salvation Army)  I got to work and realized something that I was supposed to arrange last week had totally slipped my mind, and straightaway got railed at by my boss.  My boss is Chinese - he is a very nice man, but hygiene is not high on his list of priorities.  He routinely comes out of his office (which smells so bad I avoid going in there at all costs) with food in his mouth and talks to me, which is one of my pet peeves.  I am working with one of his grad students to plan an event we are holding in a few days, and yesterday we made a sight visit to meet with the conference staff.  "We can go in my car"  he said.
Oh please no.  No, no, no.
It looked innocent enough from the outside - your standard minivan.  Then the door slid open ... wood.  Why was there random pieces of wood in his car?  And then ... stains.  Stains everywhere.  Food everywhere.  I fought down a gag and mentally reminded myself I made it through 13 hours of labor, I can make it through a 10 minute car ride.  I got in while trying desperately to avoid touching any surfaces, pulled my coat around me and perched gingerly on the edge of the seat.  Goddess help me, I refused to put on a seat belt to avoid yet another filth-covered surface.  
Then I spotted it.  I pulled out my phone and texted my friend, who knows about Dirty Boss:
"In ***'s car and there's a FUCKING DIRTY BRA ON THE FLOOR!!!"

She, being a compassionate individual, texted back that I made her day, then reminded me that it was conceivable that him and his equally dirty wife had knocked boots in this very car.  Gag.
Somehow I made it through the meeting and the car ride back, and the minute I got out of the car decided that us being broke notwithstanding, I was treating myself to an overpriced Cosi salad.  As I reminded the Mister when I called him to relay my ordeal, I may have just contracted meningitis and this may very well be my last meal.
Of course I ran into two faculty on my way back into the building who absolutely had to stop me and talk (hello douchenozzles - I am lowly staff and I do have a limited lunch break) then finally, FINALLY made it back to my desk.  
Pandora Adele station on ... fancy crusty bread .... water bottle full ... and my salad.  My beautiful, yummy salad - wait.  What the hell?!?!!
They forgot my dressing.
I'm stopping for wine on the way home.

Monday, March 28, 2011

And then I was forced to kill him and eat his liver, the end.

It was one of those moments you just look at someone and think, "Who ARE you?"
The Mister and I were watching TV after the kids went to bed the other night and catching up.  I was telling him about a woman in one of my online mom's groups who's husband should be shot, period.  This woman works full time and also takes care of her entire house by herself, takes care of both kids, volunteers - you name it.  Her husband works, comes home, and sits on the couch.  Every weekend (and sometimes during the week) he goes out with his drinkin' buddies and stays out late.  She says the last time she got out of the house on a weekend was her sister's birthday, which she had to ASK PERMISSION TO ATTEND,  and before she left she had to cook a full meal, feed the kids, bathe them and get them ready for bed so this dork could just look at them at some point and say, "Go to bed".
The thing that got to me most about her story was this - her mother told her "As long as he has a job and he doesn't hit you, you can't complain"
Bull.  Fucking.  Shit.
Since the Mister is the antithesis of this loser, I was expecting him  to be as horrified about this as I was.  When I had finished ranting he said, "Well, if that's what she's grown up with then she doesn't expect any different.  You forget women haven't been liberated that long."
"Ummm, women got the right to vote in the 20's, and the womens lib. movement was in the 70's.  You're saying it's acceptable that we're being treated like doormats, STILL, 30 years later?"
"I'm just saying that some women are okay with it.  It's not the norm yet."
"So it will be okay if our girls marry someone who treats them like this?"
"No, of course not.  Of course I want better for them.  Sometimes, though, it's just the way it is"
I fumed for the rest of the night.  I could not believe he wasn't as outraged as I was.  I couldn't believe the minute the doctor said "It's a girl" his outlook had not changed.  We talked about it when he called me this morning and we're still butting head over it - he says I'm taking sides in a non-existent argument, I say he is perpetuating this fuckery and he needs to change his way of thinking.  I even dragged the "S" word into it, and I stand by it.  It took one person who was NOT a slave to see slavery as an evil and wrong practice to start to change the world's thinking on it.  And I say it takes men not afraid to say that treating a woman like a second-class citizen is absolutely reprehensible.  The quote that kept floating back to me was one of my favorites, by Anais Nin:
"I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman."
I say it takes a lion of a man to love a strong woman.  Expect to see more of this on my guest post on Willow's blog tomorrow, at Confessions Of A Country Witch

Friday, March 25, 2011

F%^& Off, Frosty

Seriously, Mother Nature?  You and I have always been such friends.   I particularly enjoy your summer thunderstorms and the hush of snow falling.  But frost?  After my hyacinths have bloomed?  And what is that white stuff drifting across the forecast for Sunday?

Poor hyacinths. They no likey the frost.

In happier news, remember my little chickadee I scored at Goodwill, and the other birdies I was kicking myself for not picking up?
Ta-da! The pileated woodpecker and blue jay were there yesterday. When I got home I decided to look the company up and see what other birds they made - I want a cardinal, since they always remind me of my Grammom. I cannot find a listing for the company anywhere (it is called On Nature's Wing), but I did find a cardinal that was listed for $20! Mine were $3 a pop!! Here are close ups:

Here is my spring altar. I use my windowsill over my kitchen sink, as you can see the sun rises through it every morning. Also here are an antler that Zacky found in the woods, the photo cube of our family Mooch had to do for school that I love, some shells and rocks in a little basket, my mini African violet, my novena candle, and a beautiful amber colored wineglass I found at Salvation Army for 25 cents. In it is one of my first hyacinth blooms.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

*Drool* I want this ....

Nydia is incredibly talented, a link to her Etsy shop is on her blog, Bringing Up Salamanders , and today one of her bee-yo-tiful key rings is the giveaway on Confessions Of A Country Witch!
Here it is, but don't get your heart set on it because it is MINE!!!

Are you following Willow yet?  If not, get on that! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Scenes From Our Homestead

I thought I'd show you all the beginnings of spring in our neck of the woods.

These mini daffodils are unfortunately right where the new garden will go, so they will have to be moved.  Those are oriental lillies coming up behind them.
Our magnolia is getting ready to bloom!  Yeah!!

Buds are out on both hydrangeas.
New bud, old bloom.

My lamb's ears are sprouting up again.  These get huge in the summer, with purple flower spikes that the bees love.
Hyacinths are starting to bloom - these are interspersed with iris, and I can't WAIT until they bloom this year.  They are transplants from my mom's house, and it takes iris a year of being transplanted to re-bloom.

And since Colleen reminded me, my To Do list is getting two items crossed off!
This is the girls' little outdoor bench.  I sanded and stained it, then coated all the wrought iron with Rustoleum.  Ta-daa!!!
And here is my little lilac bush in its new location, where it gets much more sun.  I love lilacs ... I may get another one to put next to it (Shhh, don't tell Mister)
Everything I have read about transplanting lilacs says to never do it in the spring, wait until fall to avoid them getting dried out.  Well our yard is verrrrrry wet, so I moved it and went out a day later and it was happy as could be and covered in buds.  So there.

Speaking of my very wet yard,
This is what happens when a neighbor gets their yard professionally landscaped my jackasses who don't take into account that yards are sloped for a reason.  The landscaper built our neighbor's yard up about 3 inches above ours, so now our entire backyard floods.  (This is receded, believe it or not)  Our neighbor is very nice and had no idea this would happen, and told the Mister we are welcome to dig channels through her gardens to allow the water to drain.  We will do this - but I also have been reading up on creative ways to manage backyard flooding, and came across a site about rain gardens.  The concept is to dig basically a dry well, but leave a shallow bowl on top and plant native perennial plants around it.  So it acts as a natural holding tank for the water, and the plants break up the soil with their roots and allow the rain to be absorbed.  Isn't that awesome?!?  I've been wanting to build a pond in our backyard, but this is less maintenance and so much more practical.  We've been finding leopard frogs in our backyard for years now - now they'll have a little hangout!
And I'll leave you with this - I went for a run yesterday morning, and came back and sat on the floor to stretch.  Zac came over and sniffed me, then started whining and was practically laying on top of me and licking me.  Something about Mommy smelling sweaty did not seem right to him!  This sums up his feelings - 

Thrifting Finds & Other Junk

One of my favorite blogs in the blogosphere, Octoberfarm, features all of Jaz' amazing thrift store finds, and I thought I'd take a cue and show off a few of my most recent purchases.  All were bought at Goodwill - the Mister says I have an addiction - but I love that I can get my shopping fix for under $10.

A little mini chiminea, with it's own stand.  This was $3.  I may try to burn some incense in here with a little bit of self-starting charcoal, or just find a pretty candle for it.

Cool little candle holder, $2.

This little bird was $3, and it's tiny but beautiful.  They also had a blue jay, a pileated woodpecker, and a robin - but this one was my favorite.  I'm hoping there are some left come payday so I can go pick some more up!
Speaking of payday ... we all go through financial crunches, and due to having to have some work done on our car, paying off a loan, etc. we are without a lot of extra cash right now.  I'm taking this as an opportunity to remind myself to consume less and use more.  
I really wanted to blow out eggs and make quiche with the girls the other day, but I got home to 3 eggs and I didn't feel like going out for more, so I improvised.  

I defrosted two chicken breasts (we buy them in bulk at BJ's) and marinated them in leftover buttermilk and rosemary snipped off my hedge.
After about an hour I preheated the oven to 350, then took the chicken breasts and cut a slit in them, then stuffed them with baby spinach and mozzarella.  Then I coated them in panko bread crumbs and crushed a clove of garlic over each.

I baked them for around an hour.  They came out really, really good - although if you use as much garlic as I did, be warned - it was intense!
Speaking of the eggs that didn't get blown out, I did dig out previous years' eggs and put together my little wreath.
I started with a grapevine wreath I got at Goodwill for $1 a long time ago, which I had glued these little pods onto to look like flowers.  This was one of those projects that sounded good in my head, but I didn't like the way it turned out - so I had stuck it in the garage and forgot about it, until I thought of the wreath-egg project.

I used a hot glue gun to attach the eggs.  

When I attached the first few I thought, "Meh" but I love the way it turned out.  It's hanging on our front door, with our hyacinths blooming in the beds on either side.

This egg we dyed last year by laying a fern leaf on it, wrapping it in old pantyhose, and boiling it in a pot with onion skins.  I love this effect!
Be well.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ostara Blessings

This weekend flewwwww by!  Friday when I got home, it was absolutely gorgeous and sunny outside and both kiddos were napping, so I threw on some old shorts and headed outside.  Our backyard has a flooding problem, so it is still very wet and muddy, but darn if that's going to keep me inside.  I picked up all the downed limbs from the tree that hangs over our backyard and bundled them up neatly, de-pooped the yard, and attempted to turn the compost in our heap.  You may remember my little homemade bin - 

The Mister kept telling me I shouldn't keep adding to it over the winter (he who has never cracked a book about composting) - well, glad I didn't listen to him!  The first shovelful revealed beautiful, rich compost absolutely filthy with worms and other little buggies.  I was so happy!  However, turning the compost is no small feat, and I think I need one of these - 

Mooch and Butterbean joined me and we played outside, getting unbelievably filthy, until the sun went down, then decided to properly end the day we needed a fire.  The Mister was dispatched for s'more supplies, and we burnt a lot of the white pine roping we used as decorations for Yule.  It smelled amazing and when it burns it's beautiful, although Mister wasn't too happy with the amount of ash it sent up.  
Speaking of the Mister, apparently he reads my blog - because Saturday morning he woke up and announced he was going to power wash the house.  We have cream colored vinyl siding and when it's dirty it looks awful.  I rewarded him with one of his favorites, mini turkey burgers with homemade sweet potato fries.
All in all, we ate way too much and took full advantage of the spring sunshine.  My idea of a perfect weekend.

 Did you all get out to see the SuperMoon?   Butterbean and I went out before she went to bed (she's a moon baby, just like me).  She pointed up and yelled, "'Night moon!  I love you!"  
I pulled out the girls plastic Eostre eggs this weekend and we had several egg hunts around the house.  They had so much fun!  Tonight we are going to blow out eggs and experiment with dyeing them using natural dyes (beet juice, blueberry juice, onion skins, and spinach juice)  I also came across all of our dyed eggs from past years this weekend, I can never bear to throw them in the compost bin.  My brainstorm was, I want to make a wreath out of them, albeit a delicate one.   We will see how this pans out, and I promise to be a good girl (no I don't) and take picturesEvery year on the night we blow out eggs we make a big quiche with the eggs.  Here is my favorite recipe my dad handed down to me :

Crust -
1 1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c shortening (or butter)
4 Tb cold water
Preheat oven to 375.  Add the flour, salt and shortening to a food processor and pulse until combined.  Sprinkle with water and pulse until mixture thickens.  Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead, then roll out to a circle and   fit into pie pan.  Prick all over with fork and bake until brown, about 20 mins.

Custard - 
4-5 eggs
1 c milk (buttermilk is extra yummy, if you have any leftover)
2 Tb flour
salt, nutmeg, and cayenne to taste
freshly chopped chives and dill
(optional fillings - mushroom, cheese, ham, spinach, caramelized onions)
Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl, pour into baked pie crust.  Cover edges of pie crust with tin foil, then bake quiche at 400 for 1 hour, or until center is set when you nudge the pan.

Ostara blessings to all of you!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dead Man Walking

Meet the Mister.  (That's me, him, and Butterbean when she was around 6 months)

He is an amazing father - we're talking the kind of father who takes the kids out for hikes and nature walks, teaches them sports, plays Barbies, takes them to museums, zoos, you name it.  Completely devoted to his girls.  
Why toot his horn?  To remind me not to kill him.
He works a rotating shift - 1 week is 8am until 6pm, 1 week is 4pm until 2 am, and one week is 10pm until 8 am.  Which is why he is home with the girls during the day a lot more than I am.  This last week he has been on midnights.  He arranged it so he could come home at 7 am in the morning instead of 8 am to "help me out".  The first morning, I ended up being half an hour late for work.  This morning was only 15 minutes late ... good lord.  And it's the littlest thing - he is tired, and that's part of it - but he also screws up my morning rhythm of how I get the girls ready and myself ready.  I have a method - back up and let me use it!  And then, right when I need him to officially take over - he disappears.  Where fore art thou, Mister?  Taking a nice, leisurely bathroom break, then brushing his teeth.  GRRRR!!!!  You could do this AFTER you drop Mooch off at school!
What it breaks down to is, women are not good at putting themselves first.  We're conditioned early on to always put the needs of others in front of our own, which is why I almost always arrive at work without having eaten breakfast, with my toothbrush in my bag, and needing desperately to pee.  Men, on the other hand, naturally think of their own needs, then everyone else.  When the Mister and I talked about this he put it as, think of it as the oxygen mask situation on a plane.  I need to put my own on and take care of myself before I can properly take care of you.  
Cut to me foaming at the mouth while hopping up and down and shouting at him "You would be too lazy to put mine on!  YOU WOULD FORGET ABOUT ME AND BE WATCHING SPORTSCENTER!!"

He's not a bad man, he's just .... a man.  As my aunt and I have said many times "they're just wired differently". 
My Grammom had seven children.  My Pop-pop reminds me a lot of the Mister, in many different ways.  Grammom was raised in a Catholic farming family where she was taught that the needs of your husband and your children always trump your own.   She followed this creed for many years, taking on the lions share of child rearing, house cleaning, errand running, then she got smart.  She started making "honey do" lists for him, and setting them out next to his morning coffee.  He would complain that he was too tired from working as a lineman for the electric company to get the list done. 
Then she started grinding up the diet pills her doctor had prescribed for her (the infamous 'have a little extra pep, housewives!' ones) and adding them to his coffee.  That list was always done, harmony was restored - at least for then - and Grammom caught a break.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Get 'em while they're HOT!

If you don't already follow Jaz from Octoberfarm, you need to.  I always think I'm a great cook until I look through her recipes ... she brings it to a whole other level!  She has absolutely gorgeous pictures of her home, which is almost exactly what my dream home looks like except that it would be in the mid-Atlantic instead of New England.  (been there, done that)
Confessions of a Country Witch is doing a giveaway today, featuring a basket put together by Jaz that looks amazing.  Full rules are available on the post which is here 
And seriously, if you think you're in a rut in any creative area of your life, Jaz is a great source of inspiration!

Monday, March 14, 2011

I am cheap as HELL

I promised pictures of the grow lamp setup, and here they are ... though this doesn't look like a lot now, the beginnings of my fantastic vegetable garden are there!

 I have always wanted this project to be as low-impact as possible.  Oh, how I wish this grow lamp was solar-powered ... le sigh.  Anyway, my containers are, as you can see, empty paper egg cartons filled with peat moss, set in an old serving tray.  I went a little farther and used the top part of the egg carton, used cut up toilet paper and paper towel rolls, and filled those with peat moss as well.  Then I was out of all of that and still had some seeds to plant, so back to the recycling (or upcycling) bin I went, and found the single-serve yogurt cartons that I always yell at the Mister for buying.

I poked some holes in the bottom, filled them with peat moss and set those in the top of a Chinese food container.  Even the markers are popsicle sticks I've been setting aside for a while.  So my total expense for all this was the cost of a bag of peat moss, about $7.  (My dad gave me the grow lamp, but similar ones are available at Home Despot <-typo on purpose, for about $20)
And that shelf?  All ME!!  OK, sidetracking for a minute - does anyone else have a husband who takes no pride whatsoever in household projects?  In this last year I've built a compost bin, painted our living room, updated our bathroom, built these shelves plus two others, uprooted a massive butterfly bush and re-planted it, set up our rain barrel, and re-finished the kids outdoor bench.   The latch he bought to put on the porch door three years ago is STILL sitting on my work bench on the porch.  Luckily he is still cute, and takes fantastic care of these two minions ... now to just work on the get-up-and-go bit.
Hopefully these little garden fairies can work their magic

Mooch got a Venus Flytrap from my Mom & Dad - she's determined to get it to eat stinkbugs, which she hates.  The child will pick up a snake and tame it in a second, but she actually cries when she sees a stinkbug.
It was her snack day at school today, and it was the beginning of "Prince & Princess Week".  So I got a little creative with candy melts and made mini blueberry muffins with a dollop of lemon frosting on top, and a little crown

She was so excited to bring these!  Almost made up for the hour I spent piping these onto parchment paper, lol.
Have a fantastic week, and don't forget to send out extra love and healing to the people of Japan affected by the earthquake and tsunami.  The girls and I are planting a sapling this week in their honor.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

All About Moi ... thanks Colleen!

Today was supposed to be the day ... the day I FINALLY posted some pictures of my grow-lamp setup with my happy little seeds. Rushed through the morning routine this morning and actually remembered to grab both my coffee and my camera - woohooo! Alas, I got to work and not only did my coffee have grounds at the bottom of it (we use a hemp re-usable filter, and it sometimes collapses in on itself) but I also forgot my cable for the camera to download pictures. Weinerschnitzle.

Then the lovely Colleen at Cheap Wine And Cookies posted this getting to know you post, and I realized you could all use a little useless trivia in your day. Read on, loves ...
Minutia Meme
Did you like school as a kid?
No.  I was a very dreamy, imaginative kid, and the schools that I went to were interested in shoving information down your throat and having you regurgitate it on a test.  My sister went to a charter school that followed Montessori teaching principles, and I know for a fact I would have had a different outlook on school if I had gone there.
What was your favorite make believe game?
My cousin and I were obsessed with making up very involved, soap opera-y games, all mainly based on the Danielle Steele novels we read on the sly.  They would go on for several days during our summertime visits, complete with painstakingly described visions of what our houses looked like, who are husbands were (1,2,3, and 4th husbands, that is), and how many kids we had. 
What was your first pet?
A three legged hamster named Cutie.  Who met an unfortunate end when my then 2 year old sister tried to "hug" him.
What clique did you belong to in high school?
I wasn't really in a clique.  I was a cheerleader, but I used to wear Doc Martens with my cheering skirt.  
What was your first car?
A 1986 VW Cabriolet, white.  LOVED that car, even though I got it in 1998, so it wasn't exactly in mint condition.  The convertible roof used to leak during rainstorms, and I literally had to bail it out.  So many good memories in that little car though!
What was the theme of your Sr. Prom?
I can't remember. I went with the boy who was my first little boyfriend in kindergarten - he showed up in a powder blue tuxedo with a ruffled shirt, top hat, and cane.  We had a blast.
Did you work while you were in high school?
Yes, at the retail store my mom managed.  I've been working since I was 14.
Where did you lose your virginity?  How old were you?
I was too young, that's as much as you need to know.  While I think waiting until marriage can be detrimental, there will be MANY talks with my girls about relating to a mate on a mental, emotional, and spiritual level before you introduce sex into a relationship.
Did you go to college?  Where?
Nope.  And I'm happy I didn't - I wasn't ready, and frankly it would have been a huge waste of money.  Instead, I've taken non-credit college courses on subjects that interest me while working.  Now, I am excited to go back to school, and I know what I would like to get my degree in.  (Plant & Soil Science)  I'm hoping to pass that excitement for learning onto my girls, so far - so good.
What did you study?
Your mom.
Did you get married?
Did you marry your first love?
I was in a relationship that I thought was love, and maybe it was a form of love - but not a very healthy one.  I think marriage is always to a certain extent a of leap of faith.  I just thank the fates every day that I ended up with someone who, 10 years later, I still jump on every chance I get and has my same weird sense of humor.
Were you married when you lost your virginity?
Did you get divorced?
Think back, what were you doing:
1 minute ago?
Pausing from answering this to write a stern email to my lovely research group - who apparently have been treating themselves to lunch on the University's dollar *grrrrrr*
1 hour ago?
Answering emails.
1 week ago?
Working and stressing about our upcoming review.
1 month ago?
Trying to get our family healthy again after Butterbean was hospitalized.
1 year ago?
Working at my old soul-sucking job and hoping to move elsewhere in the University.
5 years ago?
March of 2006 ... Mooch was five months old.  I was working at a restaurant as an administrative assistant, which I was told was a 30 hour a week position, yet I ended up working at least 50.  Needless to say I hated it.  I was pumping 3x a day and was overweight because I was terrified that if I lost weight too quickly my milk would dry up.  We were living in a 100 yr old farmhouse with a mouse problem, and the balance of our marriage was shifting after the atom bomb of having a baby.
10 years ago?
March of 2001 ... The Mister and I had been together for 4 months, and had basically never spent a day apart since the day we met.  I think it was right around this time when we both knew this was for real, and forever.  We were living in Massachusetts in a teeny little studio apartment, and I was working as an esthetician.
Do you have kids? How many?
Were they planned?
Mooch, yes - we had one night that we actually said aloud, "Let's make a baby".  With Butterbean - we were planning on getting pregnant in the fall, and we had a trip planned to Myrtle Beach in late July as our last big bang before.  I found out the day before we left that I was pregnant.
Have you ever been divorced?
Repeater ...
Are you part of a blended family?
What is your daily mode of transportation?
If it's very cold/rainy, I drive.  If it's above freezing and not raining, I ride my awesome purple beach cruiser.  I have a paved bike path that starts near our house and goes right by where I work, I'm spoiled.
What is your least favorite household chore?
Cleaning up after dinner.  I love making dinner, but by the time it's done and the kids have been played out and are in bed, I'm exhausted and I just want to sit with my feet up and a glass of wine and watch the History Channel.
What is on your bedside table?
Tons of books - I actually need to organize and possibly put in a shelf.  Also some printouts of herb meanings and moon planting guidelines, and my formative stage BOS.
Do you have a TV in your bedroom?
No.  I like it being quiet and focusing on just talking to each other when we're in there.  (And other stuff ....)
What is your morning routine?
On an ideal morning : wake up and go for a run, come home and fix breakfast for all, pack up lunches, make coffee, get everyone dressed, and get out the door myself having eaten breakfast.  
On most mornings : wake up either too early or too late, curse, have to clean up last night's dishes, make breakfast for ungrateful children who then begin their morning litany (I don't like that, this is gross, can I have a cookie, I don't want to go to school today) curse again, let dog out, let dog in, realize it is child's snack day, throw some graham crackers in a bag and hope for the best, fight everyone into getting dressed, leave for work to discover I have forgotten to eat, have no coffee, and have left my wallet at home.  Curse.
What does your favorite coffee cup look like?
One The Mister got me on a weekend away, from the "Life Is Good" company.  It has a yin/yang on it with a heart in the center and says "Harmony" underneath it, and it is pink.  I love it.
What is your getting home routine?
Walk in carrying purse/lunch bag/ groceries, let dog out, greet children (children ask for a cookie), start cleaning up the house since it looks like epileptic puppies have been running rampant.
What is your bedtime routine?
Read to anklebiters, tuck them in.  Wash my face, floss and brush my teeth, occasionally remember to prep coffee maker and pack lunches for tomorrow, and read until I fall asleep.  Unless as soon as I get in bed The Mister winks at me and gets up to lock the bedroom door.
What color is your bedroom? What color would you like it to be?
It is still white - we haven't had time to paint since we moved in.  I would love it to be a deep moss green.
Do you have/want any tattoos or piercings?
I have a Chinese character on the inside of each ankle, that stand for Buddha and dharma.

Do you drink?
Yes ... a day without wine is like a day without sunshine.
Do you smoke?
No.  And when people smoke around me I'm so effected by it I usually have to get away as quickly as possible.  My grandmother died from lung cancer, and she didn't smoke, but my grandfather smoked heavily in their house.  When we were cleaning their house I was shocked to see that the walls that I always thought were painted yellow were actually white, with years of nicotine built up on them.  Blech.
Do you swear?
Yup, I consider myself a black-belt.  Obviously I turn it off around the kiddos.
What do you sing in the shower?
I usually don't, but I have been singing Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" lately.  I'm obsessed.
What do you think of your job?
I like it a lot.  I love that working within a University you are exposed to so many different fields of interest, and although faculty can be a pain in the ass, I love talking to people with so much passion about what they do.
Do you ever plan on changing careers?
Yes - as soon as the girls are older I will go back to school and hope to get a degree in Plant & Soil Science.  How I will use that - I would love to be an educator, and inspire others to think more about the choices they make.
Do you have a keychain?
Yes, and I need to replace it :-(  It's a Swiss Army knife, which every mother should have, but I've used the scissors and the knife to death.
Have you ever looked up an ex online?
Who hasn't?  The last one I found had gotten hugely fat (HAHAHAHAAA!!! ahem)
What is your Zodiac Sign? Does it fit you?
I'm an Aquarius ... we're generally described as over-sensitive, intuitive, high-strung, other-wordly, and independent.  So yes.  I googled Aquarius meanings and found this ..
In general, it is not true that all people who were born in this time are evil people. In fact, those with the Sun in Aquarius are sometimes «one set against many» against great odds or against an institution; for light are at enmity with darkness in the same way that lions are at enmity with hyenas.(link)
Hmmmmm ......

Friday, March 4, 2011

Bad Blogger & My New Favorite Band

Helllooooooo!!  Guess what unusual thing happened at our house?  WE ALL FREAKING GOT SICK AGAIN!  For the love of Jehosofat! (I know I spelled that wrong, it just needed to come out)  So I promise, promise I will be posting more, and I'm determined to fill you all in on the goings-on at the Castle Argh (name courtesy of Monty Python via The Mister).  I don't want to tease you too much but it's getting so hot in there the smell of burning Playmobil plastic regularly fills our personal nostrils.

I spent last weekend hacking my lungs out, with the kids and The Mister following suit.  And The Mister is taking the fall for this one, since he was the one who got sick first and was *also* the only one who refused a flu shot.  Turd.  I ended up taking Butterbean to the doctor since she could barely sleep without hacking herself awake, and because the memories of pneumonia are still fresh in my mind.  But the doctor checked her out and said she was fine, the cough is always the last thing to go.  And her ears were clear, which I am partially crediting to this:

She takes one a day of these (we switch out her daily multivitamin with this when she gets congested)

Last night The Mister was back at work and I was home with both girls, trying to catch up on laundry/dog hair removal etc.  I've been trying to leave the TV off as much as possible, which the munchkins have been so good with.  Mooch ran down to her room and got her guitar and asked Butterbean and I to sit because she was going to put on a show for us.  "It's my new band, Mama - Western (which she pronounced 'Wes-ter-en') and the Guitars" she tuned her guitar like a pro and then said, "OK, this is my first song, called, I Look All around And See Myself"  Isn't that the BEST NAME for a song?!?!?!!  I'm not bragging yes I am, but seriously?  Musical/lyrical prodigy.  Just watch.
I tried to play along on a tambourine (I'm not so musically adept) but was told this was a "guitar song only".  Mooch was more accommodating when her sister joined in on the safety whistle/flashlight combo her daddy thought was appropriate to give to a 2 year old with limitless energy.

So, dear readers, you and only YOU can witness the first official band photos of the soon to be superband, Western and The Guitars, with additional backup by Butterbean Flutterbean.
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