Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Just Me, Myself, and I

Every morning, The Oracle is the first to rise. He has his breakfast and nudges me awake just before he gets into the shower. On a good day, I stumble out to the kitchen and prepare lunches, periodically wearing a path from the kitchen to the kids' rooms to rouse them for school and check on their progress. It's a frustrating thing to spend ten minutes in the kitchen only to find them in exactly the same position ten minutes later. Once The Oracle finishes showering, he enters the nag fest. Every morning he winds up taking a train later than the one he's supposed to catch at 7:20.

On a not-so-good day, I fall back to sleep and end up with a justifiably-snappish Oracle when he gets out of the shower, because everybody's going to be late, not just him.

I gleefully stuff the kids onto the bus at 7:45 and thank Heaven all that nonsense is over; by 1:30 I miss them and want them to come home, and I spend the next ninety minutes watch the clock and listening for the bus. I fight the temptation to sign them out early.
I'm turning into my mother. We all knew that would happen, right? Last night was just another symptom in a long string of habits I've developed. I got the notion to bake a loaf of bread. I tried it the other day and it didn't rise (The yeast might've been too old despite the expiration date) and I was annoyed about that, so I had to try again. I took it out of the oven at 1:00 this morning. The house smelled wonderful.

Anyway, my mother used to do this stuff all the time. She was a chronic insomniac; she also smoked. (And a long string of stuff leads me to believe she probably had Fibromyalgia, but that'll take too long here.) When she couldn't sleep, she'd sit at her countertop "throne" and watch a late-late-late movie. If she woke up for a cigarette, she never gave in to the temptation to have a smoke in bed and wandered out to the kitchen for her dose of nicotine. Either way, when she found herself in the kitchen, her fingers itched for something to do, and that something logically surrounded cooking. She loved to cook, and I often woke to wonderful smells in the house. Once she woke me up with a plate of warm cookies under my nose.
Her Nibs was up rather late last night. She didn't go to bed until 11:00, and she only went because I put her in her crib and shut the door. Even she knew she was pooped, I think, because she only chatted with her stuffed monkey for a minute before collapsing in exhaustion. She barely moved from where I found when I went to bed last night. She hadn't even kicked the covers off her legs. She's all peaceful and mushy-looking, and I want to hug her, but I don't want to disturb her, either.
Last week, I started taking daily morning walks with two other mommies in my neighborhood. One does most of the talking and I really don't mind since I don't know her that well. She b---hes about her husband sometimes and that makes me appreciate mine. Today, however, I'm missing my morning walk because her Nibs is still asleep. The mommies take four laps by my house, so I'm hoping she'll wake up and I can jump in for at least a partial walk. Is that selfish?
Really, mornings like this are rare. It's just me and the Knucklehead (who is very wet from rolling in God knows what - ick) and my coffee. I actually get to enjoy my coffee semi hot for once.
A friend of mine is having some tests done over the next couple weeks; please please please say a few prayers or send some good karma or positive thoughts for clean, benign results. Thank you.
I miss my friends. I haven't seen E in ages. It's been even longer since I've seen M or S, and I'm starting to feel a little stir crazy. I think this is one reason why I spend so much time on CrackBook. It gives me a sense of connection with my friends when I don't have a physical one. Still, nothing beats face-to-face conversation, and for that I'm downright starved. If it weren't for The Oracle and my morning walks with my neighbors, I'd be locked up somewhere for talking to myself too much.
I haven't had a deposition in nearly three weeks. The last deposition prior to that was in February. This ain't no way to supplement the household income. As a result, I've been looking for some third-shift work close to home. It's surprising to see how little of that there is.

Why third shift? Because I won't need baby-sitters, and if I actually DO have a deposition I can still take the work. Court reporting is where I want to be, and my family has sacrificed a lot for me to have it.

I have my eye on a prolific convenience-store chain (way to aim high!), and I'm hoping they come through. I've applied for some other stuff, too. Wish me luck.
Oooooh! Her Nibs is awake!! I love it best when my kids are fresh out of bed.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I have so much to do and so little ambition.

The houses in my neighborhood were built with two traditional areas for flower beds. One is along the side of the garage, and the other occupies a large amount of square footage in front of the house. Our property is on a hill, so there's even a stone retaining wall that wraps around the flower bed to the side of the house.

My flower beds are weed beds. When it comes to the great outdoors, I have no gardening knowledge or skill. It shows, too. My flower beds don't contain flowers. They contain weeds. Lots and lots of weeds in varying sizes, colors, and unpleasantness.

Two weeks ago, I ordered 3.5 cubic yards of mulch. I tackled the "easy" weed bed which had been professionally cleared five or six years ago and covered with weed barrier and mulch. In our typical fashion, we never bought more mulch and the weeds took hold and took over. I cleared it out, laid more barrier, and shucked several loads of mulch to the bed with the wheelbarrow.

The weed-bed by the garage all but cries out for attention. A number of years back -- prior to the professionals doing the other -- we put down a layer of weed barrier and I-can't-remember-how-many pounds of stone. It wasn't quite enough to do the job, but one thing led to another and we never looked back. The weeds -- shockingly enough -- returned.

Our grand idea is to take out the stone and use it around the air conditioner instead. It's a smaller area and can be generously covered with the stone we have, and covered deeply enough to keep the stupid weeds at bay.

So I started trying to remove the stone. What a joke. They're a bit too small to scrape out with a rake, and the rake snags on the weed barrier. We don't have a hoe. My only other tool is a shovel with a short handle. I can't dig down or the shovel snags on the weed barrier which is still in surprsingly good condition. It's years of dirt that blew into the stones that hosted all the weeds. Oh, and they grew up between where the sheets of barrier overlapped but I ran out of the spikes intended to hold it down.

Aaaaanyway, I can't stand up straight to shovel, so I have to hunch over and scrape the stones off with the shovel nearly parallell to the ground. The blade of the shovel is narrow and doesn't hold much. The work takes forever. My back and shoulders and hamstrings hurt from hunching over. Waaaah.

When I mulched the easy weed bed, I got the brilliant idea to use some of the stones to edge an area of mulch that has no wall. The problem is that the stones are full of dirt and weeds, and I don't want to go polluting my freshly-mulched bed with weeds from the garage.

I know! I'll just rinse the dirt off the stones!

Easier said than done, but through lots of trial and error and lots more water, I managed to get the worst of the garbage out of the stones. I quit for the day and go inside.

I haven't been back out to work on it since, and it's been nearly two weeks. Weeds are growing out of the rocks piled on the pathway that leads to the backyard, and water is puddling in the tarp beneath the mulch. I need to get it out of there before it starts breeding mosquitoes.

But, ugh, I have no motivation.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Happy Belated Easter!

There really isn't much to report in PB and Bacon Land. My kids were shorted a day and a half from their Easter break because the school district used too many unnecessary snow days. Normally the kids enjoy a half day Wednesday, they're off Holy Thursday and Good Friday, and then they're off Easter Monday as well.

This year, the Wednesday was a full day and school resumed Monday. Judging by the population on the school bus we missed Monday morning, a lot of parents didn't know this or a lot of kids -- not just mine -- overslept.

One notable tidbit is that I escaped the tedium of dyeing eggs this year. I mean, I like to dye eggs and so do the kids, but I hate what happens after.

You see, my kids not only must color at least six eggs each (gotta have one of every color), they stake a claim on their artistic labors. Nobody in this house eats hard-cooked eggs except me, but I am not allowed to eat their dyed eggs. If I do, they scream like I'm devouring a beloved family pet.

Last Easter, I smuggled a few of the eggs out the door to my FIL, who also likes a little egg salad once in a while, and I was given the Third Degree when the eggs' absence was discovered the next day. I had the nerve to eat one for lunch and was harrassed so badly that I let the others rot in the fridge until they were forgotten (Independence Day) and discarded them.

This year, my kids wanted to dye eggs, but guess what!!?? The Oracle had the car, and I had no dye!! (cue: evil laughter) We'll skip over the part where I probably could have adapted my paste colors for frosting to dyeing eggs, but they didn't ask, and I didn't offer.

What's even more remarkable is that nobody noticed. On Sunday night, Precious Daughter casually mentioned, "Hey, we didn't dye any eggs this year." Mighty B. didn't even flinch.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself

An old friend of mine blogged this article. I simply had to share even though I'm pretty sure that on this blog I'm "preaching to the choir."