Monday, November 29, 2010


It has been a busy weekend, and I did not get a chance to post a thankful list for last Thursday, which is terrible, considering it was Thanksgiving. So, here, in all its belated glory:

1. Neosporin: Last night I was helping my brother move some stuff to his car, and my Finnegan cat got out. Being a kitty of the night, he disappeared in the dark. I saw him dart across the porch. Bending over to grab him, I ran full-tilt and head-first into the gate latch. It was pretty nasty - hurt like a mother, and bled everywhere. I slowed the bleeding and iced it for an hour, then took some ibuprofen and washed the matted blood out of my hair, thinking that was fine. Today, it continued to slowly bleed, so when I went to the doc (first case of bronchitis in a long while) I asked him if I needed stitches. After exclaiming "ewww," he said nobody could stitch it as there was a chunk missing. To which I responded, "ewww." Anyway, it's sore, but I'll live. And hopefully, the Neosporin will keep it from getting infected.

2. Sleepytime tea. Makes me feel better during this occasional bouts of bronchitis.

3. My local library, and the piles of books I checked out this weekend. Happy reading time ahead.

4. A lovely Thanksgiving. It was a chaotic, crowded madhouse, but so lovely. My dad and his wife came down from Chicago, my sister, her husband, and stepson came over, as well as my mom and brother. I cooked a massive amount of food, which all turned out pretty freaking good, if I do say so myself. We spent the rest of the weekend catching up and chilling. It was a weekend of family and happy.

5. And finally and brother got a job! He is now an attorney in central Illinois. It was quick - he got the job last week and started today. We are so happy and proud, but we already miss him. So Yay! for him!

This picture was taken during the Girl's birthday in 2006. Cheerful, no?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Look What I Did!

It's Done!

1 year and 4 months after I started it, The Scarf That Swallowed My Cats is finished, and ready to wear - as modeled by my cold-fairing brother here.
It was a great way to keep my hands busy - when I remembered to pick it up. My cats love laying on it, as evidenced by the many cat hairs that bespeckle my blanket - I mean, scarf.

The holes are actually not where I dropped stitches, at least, not all of them. Most are a result of a combination of cat love, weak yarn, and my pulling too hard as I knit. Now I need to learn a different stitch, besides knit. But aren't the colors pretty?

And yes, it is mammoth, but I'm a big girl. I need a big scarf.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ditching the Bucket List

Anyone who knows me, or who has been reading this blog for any length of time knows I love a good list. I enjoy writing out each task ahead of me (because, often enough, writing it down is the only way it gets done.) I especially love ticking off each task as I finish - what a sense of accomplishment. But, conversely, anytime I have items on my list that are not crossed out - and my very large daily to-do list generally has several items incomplete - I feel a sinking sense of failure. Not the way I want to live my life.

Last night I was, yet again, trying to make my way through "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle. It has been on my to-read list for years - I'm told it will help me out along my spiritual journey, which is still very much a part of me.

I am just not getting into it.

There is a lot going on right now. I'm working on getting a new job. My sister's wedding is next week. I am waaaaay overextended, volunteer-wise. I am concerned about my own health - not because I feel particularly bad, but because I am going on 14 years with this extra weight, and it is not helping me out. Our insurance plan is changing, and not for the better. The credit card debt has grown, rather than shrunk. My house is a regular mess! And there is all the good, parenting, wifey-type stuff we all deal with. Honestly, reading a book I really don't care about is not high on my list of priorities. So, I think to myself last night, I'll go through my to-read list and get rid of all the books I think I should read, but don't really want to. That will happily clear up some time and make me a bit happier.

But what about the rest of the lists? I usually try to take 5 minutes each day to read an entry from Leo Babauta's blog, Zen Habits. I, personally, find his blog to be helpful in a calming, let it go and chill out, kind of way, (even if I find his writing personality to be kind of self-righteous. Sorry, Leo. He's probably not that way in real life. And honestly, maybe he deserves to be - he has a buttload of kids, he moved here from another country, quit smoking, started running, wrote a few books...he's accomplished quite a lot.) Anyway, one of the things they talk about at Zen Habits is cutting down the to-do list to just a few, most important tasks so it's manageable. A lot of simplicity gurus tout that, but this is the one I read. Anyway, I decided that I'm going to take that advice to heart, not only with my daily to-do lists, but with my Before I'm 40 Bucket list - that list is supposed to be all about fun, and it has become a, "oh no, I'm halfway there, and I've accomplished 3 items" stress. So here we go:

1. Travel outside the country - crossing out. I would like to travel, anywhere, but I will be just as happy traveling around the U.S. And if I get to go somewhere else...hey. It's just cake.
2. Figure out what I'm going to be when I grow up - crossing out. I'm a woman, a mom, a wife. Right now, I just need a job. I don't know, maybe I'm just not a career kind of gal. Maybe I'll write my first novel. Who knows - I don't, and I'm not going to stress about it.
3. Number 2 is related to number 7 or 8 which is "finish degree." And that just isn't going to happen. Because my kids get to go to college first. It is possible I won't ever get to go back, which doesn't mean I won't continue to learn. It will just have to be in a non-classroom environment. And I can live with that.
4. Which leads me to "learn to speak another language, fluently." I think I'll keep that one. It's something to "learn", and I've always loved languages. Quite frankly, I have a good start on Spanish - I should just keep going.
5. Reach healthy weight and stay there. I'm amending this one to, "establish regular exercize and healthy eating habits." The weight loss with follow, and I need to focus on my health, plus provide a good role model for my kids, which is why this one is, in part, staying.
6. Pay off the credit card debt and save something. This one is also staying - in fact, the healthy habits and credit card debt ones are the ones I will be working on first and foremost for the immediate future. That debt needs to go so we can send our kids to college, travel, retire someday...and let's face it. My pimpin' blue van is not going to last forever.
7. I'm getting rid of "read Brothers Karamazov." I may still read it, but it won't be soon.

The rest is traveling - and I'm condensing it. I will replace my old list with my new one, and add one more - chill out and be happy.
Are you finding your lists stress you out? Have you examined your goals recently? Maybe they need a bit of tweaking?

Monday, November 1, 2010

The big stuff.

I have a lot of rambling to do, but this post is just to catch up on some major goings on, if you will:
The horrible mom that I am, I did not even announce my sweet girl's birthday. 8 years ago last Thursday, very very excrutiatingly early in the morning, following the Angels' World Series win, My Girl Child joined our family. In a hurry. A big hurry.
We had a bbq dinner with friends that night, followed the next night by 9 squealing, giggling, pajama-clad girls. Good times.

And last night was Halloween, one of my very favorite holidays (after all the ones at which I receive presents, of course.) We trick-or-treated with great joy (and many layers - it was chilly.) And laughed at the idiotic, scantily clad, shivering teenage girls. "ooh, look how sexy I am...but brr, let me hold this jacket in such a way as to not warm myself at all, but still display my stupidly bare shoulders..." Sorry. They just looked so dumb.

My children, on the other hand, were just...bizarre.

She is obvious, he is supposed to be a NASA engineer. Apparently they run around wearing NASA visors all the time. They had an excellent time, even if everyone thought the girl was a boy and kept calling her "Buddy." I was Cyndi Lauper, but not one person guessed it. Maybe I should have been singing.