Monday, July 28, 2008

bloggy giveaway freebie fun here!

It's the Big Blowout Summer Bloggy Giveaway! Hurray!

I didn't get mine posted bright and early this morning like I wanted to because I was up until 1:30 am cleaning, for heavens sake! What in the world is up with that??? When I finally tottered off to bed, the dishes were done, the clothes were washed and folded, and all the leftovers from the delicious dinner my honey made were put neatly into zip lock baggies and put into the fridge.

Plus, I scrapbooked most of the afternoon on Sunday, and in fact, I didn't put my stuff away until about 10:30 at night. Then I started cleaning. So I didn't get up when my alarm went off today.

But anyway, I've decided to give away an ever-popular gift...a gift card to Starbucks! There's a hidden bonus for me in this, because when I pick up the gift card, I get to buy a latte for me! Mmmmmmm...Starbucks is my favorite caffeine dealer, I mean retailer.

As a plus, I'll throw in four hand-crafted greeting cards made by me, design of my choice.

AND, someone doing some marketing for Cocoa Puffs sent me four coupons for a free box of the new whole-grain Cocoa Puffs, so I'll toss one of those into the prize drawing, and do three runner up drawings for a box of free cereal.

It's so simple. Leave a comment, you're entered. Fin (to quote a fellow blogger, you know who you are).

*** I tried to go back to add one more giveaway, but alas, the Mr. Linky was closed already. Click here for my other giveaway if you came here from the Bloggy Giveaway site. ***

Good luck!

To go back to the giveaway listing, click on the button:

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Saturday, July 26, 2008

can't. stop. cleaning

I think I'm possessed. Ever since everyone went to bed, I've been cleaning. I talked to Lewie tonight, and he told me to keep his name off my blog. Ha! Read it and weep, mister. Lew, Lewis, Lewie. Maybe I should bold and capitalize it: LEWIE! And I should toss Rob in there for good measure. (Hee hee. Love ya, guys.)

But maybe talking to him gave me a shot of extra energy or something. I've been vacuuming, doing dishes, cleaning the kitchen, even fumigating the burner grates with ammonia.

(Do you know about that? If you have burned on food on the burner grates or plates, put them in a garbage bag, pour in one cup of regular ammonia, and tie the bag shut. Leave it overnight. But put it in the sink or outside in case it leaks. In the morning, you can just wash them and everything will fall right off. The food, I mean. Not like the paint or anything.) There's your helpful hint from Mrs. Temporarily Clean.

I don't know what is wrong with me. I just keep zooming around the house. Maybe it's because there are no interruptions. But I have to get up at 8:00 am sharp to get ready to go get my hair cut. Dee's friend Katie is back in town, and she does the best haircuts.

But I'm never going to be up in time if I don't get to bed!

I keep thinking of all the things I could do...rearrange the entire living room and dining room, clean off every horizontal surface in the house, scrub all the rusty stains out of the tub...yukkk. This cleaning thing, it's like a bad virus, I'm telling you!

The next thing you know I'll be yelling at the kids for leaving footprints on my freshly vacuumed carpeting. Oh, help me! Except with Berber carpeting, you can't really tell. Which was the point of buying it in the first place.

Okay, I'm going to try to tear myself away from the kitchen and the vacuum and the computer and run for the bedroom like I'm running for my life. Til we meet again.

Friday, July 25, 2008

the last cleaning book I'll ever need

I've been reading this book, The House That Cleans Itself, and I swear to you that this woman is my twin in a different skin. Seriously. Everything she says, I'm putting my hand up. Yep. That's me. Yep. That too. News flash for me. NOT EVERYBODY IS EQUALLY ABLED when it comes to cleaning savvy and intuitive skills.

BUT, anyone can learn this. This book is AWESOME. This author, Mindy Starns Clark, is so sweet. She puts in all these Most Embarrassing Messy House stories from her readers, and I've started to feel like I'm not at the bottom of the barrel as far as cleaning goes. We all have our little things, but at least I never had mushrooms growing in the corner of my bathroom, or wheat growing from the bathmat. I do have plenty of my own embarrassing messy house stories, which I haven't decided if I'm going to share or not, but I don't have ALL of these.

And she knows that looking around the house when I first walk in and seeing a huge mess is energy-sapping and depressing. Yes. She gets it. That's so me. Mindy is such a gentle soul. She totally understands, because she is one of us messies by nature. And she knows why we do it. It's not because we're lazy, or stupid, or because we LOVE our mess, we just don't know how to do it differently.

For example, how many times have you heard someone say, "If you haven't used it in a year, get rid of it." Or, "Do you really NEED that?" She thinks if it were just that easy, we would have already done it and gotten rid of the offending, cluttery, space-hogging stuff.

Instead, she lists a bunch of reasons why we keep stuff, and here I was again popping my hand up almost involuntarily, "Yes! Yes! Yes, that's me!" She gets it. And then she said something that made me stop and think: Clutterers need to face the black and white reality of the true trade-offs they are making.

Every single thing we own takes time. Time to deal with it, to move it around, to find places to stash it, to clean it, to clean around it, to think about it and what to do with it...you commit a portion of your time to every single thing you have in your house. You only get twenty-four hours in a day. How much of that do you want to donate to maintaining your barnacles?

Every paper clip, every newspaper and magazine, every piece of barnacle that collects on any horizontal surface, every *whatever it is* that you're saving because--

*you may need it someday
*it was given to you as a gift
*you inherited it
*you got a really good deal on it
*it holds the promise of fun or adventure or comfort
*you might be able to make something out of it
*your kids might want it someday
and my own reason,
*you've invested so much into it that you shouldn't get rid of it unless someone is buying it from you (boxes and boxes and BOXES of Beanie Babies. Help! Somebody give me permission to just get rid of them!)

--every single thing costs you time that you never get back.

I have to buy this book. It's on Amazon for about ten bucks. I think it's going to be the best ten bucks I've spent in a long time. Check it out from your library first and see what you think.

Can I tell you my favorite part so far? The prayer walk. She suggests doing a prayer walk through your house before you begin. Have you ever done a prayer walk? I love how she describes this.

She's comparing it to a prayer walk outside where you tend to be more discreet, and she says, "A prayer walk through your home can be quite a different experience. Because no one is looking or listening, feel free to pray out loud, pause in different places as you feel led, raise your hands, recite scripture, even burst into song or dance to the Lord. Afraid you'll feel stupid? Please don't. This is between you and God, and he treasures your transparency and willingness to come to him this way."

That made me feel so much more comfortable about the whole thing, and it made me look forward to starting the process. After all, even though I may feel inadequate, we are new creatures in Christ. He can transform us in this area as well. Are these things beneath His notice? Absolutely not. We can surrender this to Him too! Obviously, I have not been able to accomplish keeping a consistently clean house in thirty years of housekeeping on my own. I'm betting that He can do a much better job of it than I can. I'm getting excited, peoples.

Hey. The whole reason she started this book is because she wanted to write a mystery series about a clean freak, and she had to research how cleanies do what they do since she wasn't one of them herself. So I know she knows what she's talking about. She is me. Or I am she, or her, as the case may be.

It makes sense to me, and I think I can do it. Not overnight, but gradually. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

wacky web Wednesday, I mean Thursday

It's not Wednesday, I'm a day late. But I came across a link to this on extoots. It's another Finnish musical treat for you! It's almost addicting. It's a little song about a young man courting a girl, and the main theme of the song is about how much the young man likes to dance the polka.



I'll even post the lyrics in Finnish. I tried to follow along. If I don't try to sing, I can follow it, but when I try to sing along, I crack up laughing hysterically. I don't think I can make my mouth move that fast.

Nuapurista kuulu se polokan tahti
jalakani pohjii kutkutti.
Ievan äiti se tyttöösä vahti
vaan kyllähän Ieva sen jutkutti,
sillä ei meitä silloin kiellot haittaa
kun myö tanssimme laiasta laitaan.
Salivili hipput tupput täppyt
äppyt tipput hilijalleen.

Ievan suu oli vehnäsellä
ko immeiset onnee toevotti.
Peä oli märkänä jokaisella
ja viulu se vinku ja voevotti.
Ei tätä poikoo märkyys haittaa
sillon ko laskoo laiasta laitaan.
Salivili hipput.

Ievan äiti se kammarissa
virsiä veisata huijjuutti,
kun tämä poika naapurissa
ämmän tyttöä nuijjuutti.
Eikä tätä poikoo ämmät haittaa
sillon ko laskoo laiasta laitaan.
Salivili.

Siellä oli lystiä soiton jäläkeen
sain minä kerran sytkyyttee.
Kottiin ko mäntii ni ämmä se riitelj
ja Ieva jo alako nyyhkyytteek.
Minä sanon Ievalle mitäpä se haittaa
laskemma vielähi laiasta laitaa.
Salivili.

Muorille sanon jotta tukkee suusi
en ruppee sun terveyttäs takkoomaa.
Terveenä peäset ku korjoot luusi
ja määt siitä murjuus makkoomaa.
Ei tätä poikoo hellyys haittaa
ko akkoja huhkii laiasta laitaan.
Salivili.

Sen minä sanon jotta purra pittää
ei mua niin voan nielasta.
Suat männä ite vaikka lännestä ittään
vaan minä en luovu Ievasta,
sillä ei tätä poikoo kainous haittaa
sillon ko tanssii laiasta laitaan.
Salivili.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

warning: bloggy giveaway frenzy is gearing up

Six days away! The fantastic bloggy giveaway carnival is coming up, in a mere six days! Have you seen this before? If not, you're in for a treat. If so, you know what's coming.

Here's the link to find out more about it...

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button


Everything in the blog carnival is FREE! All you do is visit the blogs listed on the Mr. Linky there, STARTING JULY 28, and add your comment at each blog where you want to try to win the free stuff. I have gotten some very cool stuff, absolutely free. Did I mention that?

Yes, I know I'm probably being obnoxious, but I'm just a little excited. It's like playing the lottery, with no aftermath. Except maybe blisters on my fingertips from typing comments.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

food update

Okay, the apple dumplings were diabolically delicious. I hate to admit that I ate THREE of them. Well, each one was only one apple slice, but it did have a croissant wrapped around it. Easy recipe...it only took me about fifteen minutes to put it together, forty minutes to bake, and ten minutes to cool. Just over an hour. Start to finish. With ice cream, it's almost sinful.

Okay, I also tried the cream corn casserole from Pioneer Woman's recipes, and that was pretty good. And then the fresh asparagus, steamed and lightly buttered? *sigh* But the dumplings won the night, hands down. I think I have pure syrup running through my veins right now. My face is buzzing.

And then, my honey made chicken on the grill, chicken that he had seasoned first with minced green onion, garlic and ginger. He gussied up his BBQ sauce recipe with some honey and more hot sauce and brushed it on at the end. The chicken was to die for. And there's enough left over so that I can take it in my lunch. Hooray!

And today was going to be unbearably busy for me--here are the things I needed to finish: checkbook balancing, meal list making, grocery shopping, clothes washing, and house cleaning. Blgghhhh! But then my honey knight in shining armor sent me off shopping with the girls to Joann etc. with the credit card, and he took the laundry to the laundromat. We'll shop later, he said. I know it. I'm spoiled.

Mmmmm. A little balancing of the scales is in order, I think.

phooey!

I really hate when I do that. I was looking through my "foodie" blogs on Bloglines to find some new recipes to try, and as is usual, I found another blog to add to my "everyday faves". But when I got sidetracked, again as usual, and decided to see what was new in my everyday faves, I accidentally cleared all the new posts. Arghhh! I hate when my haste gets in the way of my system.

Now I have to admit, there are times when I just click "mark all as read" because I get behind. But that's just like a quick swipe of the arm when you want to clear off the table. Yeah, right. I couldn't do it (the arm swipe, I mean) because of the aftermath. But it's still a good analogy. But I clear them on purpose. Not accidentally. Why is it so much worse when I didn't mean to do it?

On the bright side, though, I found a blog I'll be visiting again and again for recipes, The Pioneer Woman. Probably lots of you already know about it...there are 758 subscribers to her feed just through Bloglines. There's lots more to her site besides cooking. I think I could while away literally half my waking day today just reading there. Wowza.

But the recipe that I'm going to try is this one for apple dumplings. I have to try it, just for the fact that it has Mountain Dew in it. Erica just might even try some because of that.

the drawing is done

The winner of The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society is....*drumroll, please* River's Edge! I hope all of you find a copy somehow and read this little gem, though, even though you didn't all win. It's a prize in itself.

AND, don't forget there's a sequel coming out. I always loved when a book I liked had a sequel, or even better, was part of a trilogy or a series. I used to get so attached to people in books when I was little, and I hated when I would get to the end of a good story. But when I found a sequel, it was like getting to hang out with old friends when I "met" them again in the next book.

And my kids wonder why I talk to myself a lot.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

more chicks are flying the coop!

This one happened in a flash! Johnny's been making noises for six months about moving out, but he kept talking about moving into a place with Frosty and Nicole. Well, this apartment came up quickly, and when he went to talk to the guy about it, all of a sudden it was a done deal. He'll probably be out by the end of next week, moving into his own apartment. It'll be good for him to live on his own. It gives a person a whole new appreciation for things.

Then Gee is going to live in the dorm this fall, and the place is going to seem so empty. What the heck! They're disappearing in droves. This year will be a year of lots of letting go.

You know, I think I had a life before I had kids, so why does it seem like there will be nothing to do when they're gone? I know, I'll be fine. I'll probably like it when I get used to it, but right now I just want to lay on the floor, kick my heels, pitch a fit and whine for a little bit.

It reminds me of a little verse my dad used to say:

As a rule,
Man is a fool
When it's hot
He wants it cool
When it's cool
He wants it hot
Always wanting
What is not.


Yes, Pops. I hear you. And Mom, when the kids were little and you were always telling me, "These are the golden years," I thought you had just lost your mind. Now I see what you mean. The years were still difficult, but I should have taken more time to slow down and just savor the moments with the kids when they were little.

The joy is in the journey, not in the destination. I'm trying to remember that now, today, in this moment.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

my creative drive is kicking in

Yesterday I had the craziest thing happen. I was getting ready for work, and all of a sudden I had an image of a handmade card pop into my head. I could see it. And it was like I HAD to drop everything and make it, right there. I had gotten some fun new paper from Archiver's, my supplier for my paper addiction, and I kept dreaming about it.

So I made myself late to work because I couldn't stop making it. It was like The Force just took over my body; beware the creative force, I guess! It was amazingly fun, though, and I can't wait to do it again. It's pretty sad when making a greeting card becomes the highlight of your day, yes? Well, that's me. That is what my world has come to. Squeeze in a little time for crafting, and I'm happy.

I've been getting my supplies and tools organized in my bedroom closet "workshop", and maybe making all that stuff accessible is getting to me or something. My next step in getting it ready is to shred all the papers with confidential information on them that I've come across while I've been cleaning. Anything with my name and address and any kind of any account number or personal info gets shredded.

Am I the only one who is paranoid about throwing those unsolicited credit card applications in the trash? I swear they just bombard you with those things--like ten or fifteen in a week sometimes. I hate that. I finally got on the "do not send this crap to me" list, so they have died down to a bare trickle. But then they start sending them to the kids as soon as they hit seventeen years old, and it starts again. Phoo!

But once I get those two bags full of stuff shredded, I can pretty much see my way right to the desk. I'll have to rethink how I'm storing my clothes. I'm not very happy with it still, so I'll work on that. I'm gonna have to put pictures in soon. I'll post a picture of my card, too, just for fun. I'd do it now, but I'm at work on my lunch hour and don't have it handy.

My new dorky motto is: Never fear...crafty time is near!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

just another random post

Oh, man, it's Tuesday already, and I have to get to go to work today. Last Friday was only a half day, and I was off yesterday. That makes this a short week, but it's also a "Monday" for me. It's always tougher to get going on a Monday.

Let's see what else is new...well, I have many blessings to count. My boys in Wyoming are still alive, for one. Lewie and Rob were on their way home from work on Sunday night. Rob was coming up to a curve and he tried slowing down but it didn't seem like the car was responding. He broke loose, slid into the ditch, and even though he tried to keep it going straight, he must have hit a hole or a rock because it turned the car sideways, folded the front driver's side tire underneath the car, and rolled upside down in the ditch. The farmer's fence was part of what stopped them. Thankfully, they were both buckled in, and neither one of them had a scratch or a bruise. Amazing. Just amazing. Thank you, God!

So momma here was doing some serious freaking out Sunday night when they called to tell me. His car is most likely totalled. He has to call the insurance company, get his money, find new transportation...well, I guess they will figure it all out. Talk about having stories to tell.

On another happy topic, it sounds like I'll get to go on a scrapbook weekend after all this summer. Oh, sweet anticipation, to have a weekend to create, and to daydream, and to just relax...I think I like thinking about it almost as much as I'm going to enjoy doing it.

And I installed Brainiversity, practiced for a couple of days, and grudgingly let my girls on there so they could do it too. I'm going to do it for a few more days and then give you my unbiased opinion on the whole thing. And give you a shot at having your own copy. Ciao for now.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

a sweet story from Sweetgum

I dare you not to fall in love with these characters in the Sweetgum Knit Lit Society. I read the first few pages, and I was drawn into the small town drama of the lives of the women in the Knit Lit Society. First of all, it is run by Eugenia, a librarian...my dream job!

When these ladies get together once a month for their Knit Lit Society meetings, they talk about a book that they have all been reading, and they share (show and tell style) what they've been knitting. And I love the information about knitting...when one of the ladies was talking about felting something she had made, I knew what she meant, because of the awesome green and purple felted purse I won from Smellyann on her blog. And yes, it's even more beautiful IRL than it is in the picture. Smellyann is such a talented knitter. (Is that what you call someone who knits? Not a knitstress? No, that's a seamstress. Hello. Well, she's one of those, too. She's multitalented.)

But back to the story, Eugenia seemed like such a stuffed shirt at first, and I got the impression that the other ladies just came to the society because she insisted and they were too polite to say no. A recipe for frustration, for sure. But the lives of the characters kept unfolding, and I kept finding out more information about how each of them was connected to the others.

It kept on getting more interesting. Even though the book deals with some difficult life situations, it did so in a way that wasn't in-my-face obnoxious, you know? I got the point without the book being so graphic that I didn't want to read it. It's very tastefully written, but still very real.

Okay, then Eugenia throws a teenager, Hannah, into the mix. Hannah is on the verge of getting into trouble, and she has a disturbing home life. Hannah messed up, and Eugenia insists that Hannah participate in the group as "payment" for her misdeed. The dynamics of the group change a little, and the truth starts spilling out in Sweetgum.

Mmmm mmm mmm. This was the point where I couldn't put it down. I had to find out why Esther was so cold, and why she had such a grudge against her sister Ruth. And I wanted to read more about Merry's 'situation' and her resentful teenage daughter. And how about that new pastor? How did he fit into the mix?

And I really can't say a whole lot more without spoiling the story, but if you like reading about literature, and knitting, and relationships...you will love this one.

If you want this book for yourself, you just have to leave a comment on this post. I'll do a drawing in a few days. Okay, probably on Friday. But get your comment in quick before I do it!

Here are some comments from Beth Patillo, the author:

Q&A with Beth Pattillo, author of The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society

Q. What was your inspiration behind The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society?

The book was inspired by the knitting group at my church. I loved the way a group of diverse women, from their teens to retirement age, bonded over knitting and prayer. I think book clubs experience a similar phenomenon. Something about knitting or reading together really helps to create authentic community. One of the things I enjoyed most about writing this book was looking at the world from such different points of view. Each of the women in the novel is unique. And the variety of ages and life experiences kept things interesting.

Q. In the book, troubled teen Hannah Simmons has seen her share of neglect and abuse before meeting the ladies of the Knit Lit Society. Do you see many teens like Hannah in the course of your work as an ordained minister? If so, what is your philosophy in helping them find healing?

Unfortunately, I’ve met a number of teens over the years that were neglected by their parents. I’m a strong believer in youth ministry because I know it can provide guidance and care that’s often missing in a teenager’s home. In the novel, Hannah happens to be poor, but I’ve found that income level, however high or low, doesn’t always correlate to the quality of parenting. The love and attention of a youth minister and/or youth sponsor can often keep a teen from making bad choices with disastrous consequences. Teenagers need to feel competent and valued. A strong youth ministry provides an opportunity for young people to find their spiritual gifts and use them. It also makes God’s love tangible and powerful.

Q. Since not every town has a Knit Lit Society, what would your advice be to anyone who has a "Hannah" in their life or knows of a teen in a similar situation?

Most teens need someone to listen to them without judgment or agenda. Mentoring, serving as a youth sponsor, teaching Sunday school and Bible study – these are all great ways to reach out to teenagers. As a minister, in a particular situation, I have to assess whether a teenager needs the help of social services in addition to the love and care of a church family. All ministers are required by law to report suspected abuse. Neglect, though, can be a bit trickier. Ideally, a minister can reach out to the parents as well as the teen to try and help the family become more functional and caring. I always appreciated my church members letting me know if they thought a particular teenager needed help. I think it’s better to get involved and ultimately find that the situation wasn’t as serious as you thought than to ignore something until a crisis occurs.

Q. Do you knit in your spare time?

I love to knit! I’m into hand-tied yarn right now, taking eight or nine different yarns in a particular color palette and tying 2-3 yard sections end to end. The result is wonderfully shaggy scarves or shawls that have real depth of color and texture. (I was inspired by the owner of The Shaggy Sheep in my hometown of Lubbock, Texas – a terrific yarn store!) I’m afraid I have numerous unfinished projects around the house, but one day, I hope to finish them all.

Q. You spent seven years waiting to publish your first book and now The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society is your fourth book. What advice do you have for novice or aspiring writers?

Aspiring writers have to persevere. For that matter, so do published authors. The publishing industry is a rejection-based business. Work hard, acquire a thick skin, be open to good criticism, and revise, revise, revise. As writers, we take our work personally, but the publishing industry doesn’t. Rejection is a business decision, not a critique of our value as human beings!

My other piece of advice is to write every day, even if it’s only a small amount. I run an email loop called Club 100 For Writers. The challenge is to write 100 words a day for 100 days. I’ve seen this practice transform people’s lives. Instructions for joining the group are on my website, http://www.bethpattillo.com.



If you made it this far, what's a few more seconds? Take a shot, leave a comment, maybe win a book!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

a winner! and good news.

I forgot to add a deadline for my book giveaway, so I took the opportunity today to do a drawing. Daisymarie is my lucky winner. Thanks for entering, everyone.

I have good news, too! I finished the next book, and I'll post about that this weekend. It's the cutest little book. How could a book called Sweetgum Lit Knit Society be anything but cute?

And, I have time this weekend to install my Brainiversity game without the girls around to take it over, so I will post about that early next week and you'll have a chance to win one of those, too! But right now, I have to get to my weekly cleaning. My reward will be getting to play Brainiversity. Yay!

Monday, July 7, 2008

another day whips by unnoticed

I got nothing of significance accomplished, but my sister stopped to visit me today. She and her hubby have been traveling all over the place this summer, and she had lots of stories to tell about their trips. What fun!

I can, however, report slight progress on the closet. I have half a trash bag full, and I also have a cardboard tote full of stuff that can go out to the garage to be stored. Woo hoo!

However, I am still not finished. I had to do laundry, which meant going to the laundromat again, because the washing machine is making horribly painful noises when it tries to agitate or spin. *groan* We've only had that puppy about six years or so. It should last at least twice that long, don't you think? Well, it's not a Maytag, but still.

So I didn't even make dinner. I bought fried chicken. I was supposed to make pasty, and my children have let me know that they are disappointed in me because I slacked off on that. Well, maybe another day, the frazzled mother said.

I'll be lucky to get my laundry hung up on hangers before I go to bed. I don't put most of my clothes in the dryer because they keep getting shorter and wider. It gets a little breezy when that happens. Hey. Maybe hanging those up will be a good job for in the morning before I go to work. Yes?? I vote yes. And no one else will be polled. So, good night!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

quieting the clutter monster

It's so hard for me to focus on anything if my environment is chaotic. So now that the kids are mostly gone this weekend, why is it so hard for me to focus on cleaning up my messy trail from the last four weeks? As soon as I started back to work about a month ago, I quit putting things away, and they started stacking up again. It makes my brain feel like a Tilt-A-Whirl spinning out of control with no stop button in sight.

But ahh, there is some retail therapy in sight. My honey is sending me to the photo store to buy some more ink for our printer, and I'll make a couple of extra stops to pick up a couple more things for my closet.

I'm so close to having that stinkin' closet done that I can taste it. There is a small stack of boxes, trinkets, books, and miscellaneous flotsam and jetsam blocking my progress. They are the remaining "what do I do with them" things. I don't need them, but I have the stereotypical reaction to throwing them away...I might need them someday!

For heaven's sake, it took me two hours to convince myself that I could safely throw away a metal cookie tin, and that it had no potential "good" use for my scrapbooking/life art projects. FYI, if you do happen to think of a use for it, keep it to yourself at this point, because it is IN THE TRASH. It will be irretrievable after Wednesday morning. So help me hang tight!

It's like all these remaining miscellaneous things are the closet environmentalists, linking arms or box flaps, or whatever they have, to keep me from making progress. "No! Save the clutter!" Maybe the answer is to arrest them, and imprison them in a large tote that can be sorted outside by the trash can. They're holding my closet hostage and I don't like it!

And then to add insult to injury, there was a serious accident in my closet. The closet rod that I hung in one end of the closet that I was so pleased with? Yeah, well I heard this humongous wrenching sound, and the whole rod fell right onto the shoe basket below, clothes and all. The screws pulled right out of the wall! And before you ask, yes, I had them in actual wood beams. Or at least I tried to.

So now every time I look in there, I stall out. My brain goes in circles, and I don't know what to do with that. And now I'm a little afraid that the top two shelves are going to come crashing down. So I'm stuck. The hamster has fallen out of the wheel, and it is afraid to get back in.

Friday, July 4, 2008

holiday weekend happenings

Waiting three four days between blog posts is not a good thing for me. All these funny things happen, and the first thing I think is, "I gotta blog about that!" And when I sit down two days later, I can't even remember what they were. That's pathetic. I really need to start exercising my brain--you know what they say...use it or lose it. I think it must apply here, too.

Well, I know one reason why I got so sidetracked--my boys came back from Wyoming on their seven-day break and surprised me!! I was so excited to see them. The other kids knew, and they didn't say a word. They did really well, keeping that quiet. So Lewie got to go out with the other kids for his birthday on Tuesday, and I got to make chocolate cake. You know how it is, if you're a mom. You like to do certain things when your kids are home. I feel like one of those stereotypical "food is love" moms. Here! Eat! Be happy!

And I got to see with my own eyes that they aren't starving, and that they're both still in one piece...okay, I'm just kidding. Sort of.

As for work? Work is still slow. We finished, kind of, the inventory. We had everything counted the first day pretty much, but the computer glitches took up another two and a half days. We reopened a half day late, but the store was still so slow that they let me go home early Tuesday. Yesterday was even more slow. I took half the day off to go to the doctor.

I've had this pain in my calf the last few days. It felt like a charley horse at first...like I had a muscle cramp when I was sleeping or something. But as the week went on, it kept getting worse. I couldn't even take a full stride when I walked. I'm thinking...blood clot, maybe? So I made an appointment for yesterday to make sure it wasn't.

That was the. Biggest. Waste. Of. Time. This is how it went. I'm sitting in there waiting to see this doc, who I've not seen before. This guy walks in. He looks like he's twelve. He's got spiky hair and little metal glasses. He asks me a couple of questions, squeezes each ankle lightly, and says, "Nope. I don't think so. It's probably just a sore muscle from the standing you're doing, and for some reason, it's just in one leg. Not to hurt your feelings, but it wouldn't hurt if you lost weight, either."

Well, was that supposed to be my wondrous revelation of the day? Sarcasm really wanted to spill out there..."Wow! I really had no clue...thank you so much for the epiphany!" So basically I took a half day of work off and paid $25 to hear him tell me, you're too fat, and your leg hurts because you're actually standing on it.

And I explained that I knew that a blood clot could make my leg totally swell up, but that in many cases, that doesn't occur. His answer? "Well, in the big picture, most of them do have that." Then, "Do you get any exercise?"

Okay, I'm a Mayo Clinic website junkie, because they have a ton of good information on there, and I know it's reputable. Dee clued me in to that site. I had already looked it up, and found out that a blood clot in your vein like that is called Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT. Here is what it said under symptoms: Pain in your legs; this can include pain in your ankles and feet. This pain often starts in your calf and can feel like cramping or a "charley horse."

Hello! And then it said: It's not uncommon for deep vein thrombosis to occur with no symptoms. In fact, in about half of all cases, there are no noticeable symptoms.

So put that in your little Doogie Howser hat. Jerk. I think he just saw an old fat chick and thought, "Out of shape. Suck it up." Because when I explained that I usually have a sit-down job, and I've been on my feet all day at this job, he says, "Oh, good." Excuse me?

They can look at your leg with an ultrasound and do a blood test fairly easily, which would help rule it out, too. He wasn't going there. He had his mental "hat on and one hand on the door handle" attitude. And when I tried to pursue it further with more questions, he just said that I hadn't been on any long trips lately, so it probably wasn't a clot.

I was totally unprepared for that attitude, and I don't react very quickly on the spot with situations like that. I wish I had a little of my honey's quick-flash reactions when it comes to things like that. I have this time-release kind of a response. I just don't expect people to disrespect me, so when they do, I'm blindsided. People say things, I'm dumbfounded, I stew about it, and THEN I think of all the things I could have said--a half hour later! I hate that.

Well, on the bright side, I never have to see him again. I'll add him to my list of doctors to avoid. If I wanted to be generous, I'd chalk it up to inexperience. But I don't. I'll chalk it up to callousness, and just rename him in my mind. Dr. Jerk.

And today? It's a new day. I slept in, got up and puttered around a little, got on the computer, and now I'm going to do whatever I want the rest of the day. My honey said he wanted to drive to Kansas City for some Arthur Bryant's BBQ. I think he was only half-kidding. Maybe we will--that sounds like fun. Why not be spontaneous? Life's too short.

The kids are going to see fireworks tonight, and I am NOT. Just because I don't want to. Gee told me that it was un-American not to go see fireworks. What. Ever.