Friday, August 31, 2012

August Pointless Lists

So Skilly is on his second bird of the evening.  I thought maybe the last one was still alive and went to save it, but Skilly scratched me in the throat when I went to get him, plus the bird was either too stupid not to fly away when it had the chance or really was dead after all, so you know what?  Enjoy your bird, Skilly.  It was probably the one that pooped on my foot anyway.

Today I went back to The Big City to have breakfast with my college friend Nicole, whom I haven't seen in about 13 years.  We went to the same place I went earlier this month, when I locked my keys in the car and learned that breaking in requires basically caveman-level tools.  This time I did not lock my keys in the car, probably because I kept chanting "keys, keys, keys" as I drove around the parking lot, so subsequently breakfast cost $65 less than last time.

I had such a good time visiting with Nicole.  She's just like I remember her, and it was fun to chat and catch up.  The time went way too fast, and I was sort of thinking maybe I'd be late for work, but I made it with two minutes to spare.


Pointless list time!

Books read:
This should really say "Books I tried to read."  I started in on The Host again, just because it got hot and that book is set in the Arizona desert and I was just sort of in the mood.  Except I'm at the part right before Jamie gets hurt (spoiler alert?) and then kind of stopped.  Oops.  And that was my month.  I find that most of what I'm reading these days is in the form of newspapers or blogs.  When the girls go back to school I have high hopes of reading more frequently.

Movies watched:
[Crickets chirping] I sort of wonder why I even have this category.  Actually, though, I've promised to take Johanna to The Odd Life of Timothy Green tomorrow.  She's been wanting to see it since the previews first came out.

Canning and freezing exploits:
I'm drying Sungold tomatoes--they're the crack of the cherry tomato world--because they make wicked awesome sundried tomatoes.  Except I call them Tanning Bed Tomatoes. Still enjoyable.

I've canned peaches and peach butter and have high hopes of doing more of both.

I've frozen about a dozen chopped Walla Walla Onions (well, why not?), although I'm wondering about their authenticity because I was crying like a baby the whole time.  Um, that's not supposed to happen with sweets, is it?  I've also frozen corn kernels and green beans... oh, and green peppers too, I think.  And the last of our blackberries.

Garden update:
The zucchini and beans continue to suck.  Eric's been harvesting carrots for his lunch, and it's ever so much fun to have the girls go out there and pick a few while I'm tossing a very local salad.  The tomatoes are off the hook.  The cherry tomatoes, anyway, but the Roma and paste tomatoes are THIS CLOSE to being ready.

That will be a good day.

Things I learned:
Locking your keys in your car is bad.  Having breakfast with your friends is good.  I can see why people complain when the weather is over 100-degrees for days straight.  Killing your cat is hard.  Decluttering the kitchen is easy.  Blue moons rock.  (Except it looks red to me...)

P.S. Day three on the Vanilla Project, and the vodka is taking on a brownish tint.  Of course, there's all this vanilla paste floating around, which makes me wonder if I'm going to have to strain it or something before I can use it.  Well, we'll cross that bridge later.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Stop, collaborate and listen

I've been wanting to make homemade vanilla for a long time.  As in years.  Except I never got around to ever making any.  Well, it seemed like maybe it would be hard, plus I'm lazy.

So imagine my joy when I found this at my favorite farmers' market:

It's a vanilla making kit,  in case it
doesn't translate.

This is a lazy person's dream!  A cute bottle, directions, and vanilla beans.  Since a four ounce bottle of organic vanilla is $10, I figured paying $14 for this was reasonable.

All I needed was some cheap vodka.

Because that's what the farmer* suggested: Find the cheapest vodka ever and pour that over the beans.  I thought maybe Eric would have vodka somewhere in the house, but it turns out he does not.  He's really more of a beer snob, so I probably should have seen that coming.

Anyway, that was about six weeks ago.  Because if I can't get my act together to buy vanilla beans for eight years, why would I immediately go pick up some vodka?  You guys really need to think these things through.

Yadda yadda yadda, today I went into the liquor store all by myself, which was a new experience for me.  Hey, shut up, I'm not a fan of liquor stores, okay?  Plus when you don't drink, it's sort of pointless.

Turns out there are a lot of vodka options.  I could have bought vodka in a crystal skull decanter!  That was sort of temping, actually, except that A) it's not Halloween and B) it was expensive.  For a minute there I thought my cheapest option was a $20 bottle on sale, but the closer I got to the floor, the cheaper the vodka got, until finally I found a bottle for like $7.50.


It took all my wherewithal not to start blabbing on about how I needed cheap vodka to make vanilla as I was checking out, because honestly, if someone told me that, I'd be all, riiiiight.  So I just watched as the cashier put my bottle in a paper bag for my privacy.  I have a sneaking suspicion she was not very impressed with my taste in vodkas.


Making vanilla is not hard, maybe because I have actual printed directions now.  I took out the vanilla beans, I sliced them in half lengthwise and tried to scrape out the insides into the jar, which was a nightmare, really, except it smelled good so I didn't mind.  Actually I was wondering why I couldn't just slit the beans and let the vodka do its thing without me having to scrape at all, but I'm not one to deviate from a recipe on the first go-around, so I didn't put my theory to the test.

Oh, and then I added most of my bottle of vodka and sealed it up and gave it a shake and put it in my pantry, since it's dark in there, and now I just have to remember to give it a shake every day for the next four weeks, and then!  Vanilla.  Turns out it's not rocket science.

Beans plus vodka equals... something.

So the good news is that it smelled amazing right off the bat.  But I think that's just because it turns out vanilla beans smell amazing.  I licked my finger to see what vanilla beans tasted like, and they're sort of lovely.  Then I licked my finger to see what vodka tasted like, except I must not have actually licked any vodka because I just tasted finger.  I didn't care enough to try again.

Apparently as I use this, I can keep topping it off with more cheap vodka.  The farmer claimed her bottle was on its fifth year with the same beans.  Vodka must be quite the preservative.  This could potentially be the jar that never ends.

I won't lie, I'm totally thinking this would make a great gift.   All I need is for it to not suck.

*What's the percentage that the farmer lady grew her own vanilla beans in a temperate zone?

Vanilla Ice, Ice Ice Baby.  Oh, come on, you KNEW that was coming, didn't you?  Word to your mother.

Monday, August 27, 2012


I swear Skilly is mourning the loss of Madie, even though all he ever did to her was smack her around and ambush her as much as possible.  He just sort of walks around all confused, which is actually how he always walks around, fine, but he seems sad.

We're all sad.

Madie died on a Thursday, when the girls were on vacation with my parents.  We broke the news Saturday morning.  They took it pretty well.  In the hush that followed, I told them that we were going to go out for dinner that night and talk about our favorite Madie stories.

Johanna was all, I have one!  Remember when I sat in the bean bag chair and Madie swiped me and got blood?

And the rest of us were like, yeah, that sounds like our Mad Dog.

We had a lot of stories to tell.  Eric and I brought Madie home the week after we were married, so there was plenty of material:

As a kitten, Madie loved to run races with herself around the living room and into the kitchen.  Then she'd calmly walk into the living room to her imagined starting point and begin the race again.

Once a HUGE cat with a head the size of Madie's whole kitten body was at the back door, and Madie came unglued trying to protect us.  Good thing there was glass between them, because Madie had no concept of her small size.

Madie liked to cackle at the cat in the window.  Which was herself.  

She loved to cuddle.  If you were sitting down, she'd find her way onto your lap.  At night she'd sleep on my legs.  If you were laying on your stomach, she'd come sit on your behind.

Madie HATED the car.  And she hated being away from home so much that when we had her fixed, the vet decided not to keep her overnight after all.  She was a homebody.

She LOVED the dirt.  Rolling around in the rocky driveway was a big part of her day.

Madie never met a sunny window she didn't like.  If the sun was shining through the window, that is where she would take her nap.

She was also a big fan of quilts.  If there was a quilt out, that's where you'd find her.  If the sun was shining on the quilt, bonus points were given.

And boxes.  Madie moved four times with us, and her favorite part was the boxes.

She was so super smart.

When Eric was working on our first house--a manufactured home--and getting up at the crack of dawn, Madie would decide that I'd slept in long enough.  She'd stand on my back and swipe my ears until I got up, and then she would march to her cat dish like, breakfast.  Excellent.

Once during that time, she tried to hop up on the table to get at my cereal bowl.  I blocked her and she fell off the table in a heap... and then got up and started halfheartedly swiping at a spot on the floor, as if to say, ah, yes, this is exactly what I was trying to do.

She had one bath in her entire life, and she was so traumatized we never attempted it again.

She used to sleep under the covers with me, her head on my pillow, her paws around my neck.

She shed like the dickens.

About four years ago we went on vacation... and she never showed up at the house the entire time my in-laws were supposed to be taking care of her.  We figured that she was gone.  Abby was all ready to make a memorial in the tomato bushes, since that's where Madie liked to hang out in our garden, when suddenly she just walks into the house like nothing had even happened.

Soft cat food at dinnertime was the best part of her day.

When she got older, she got crankier.  When we brought Skilly home, Eric was sure that would kill her, but she just disdainfully continued living.  We thought that maybe she would get used to having him around... but she never did.

We probably let her go on too long in too much pain--I think the last couple of years at least she's just hurt, and the way she was drinking water, I'm also pretty sure she was diabetic.  I'm sorry about that, Madison.  It was just that it was hard to let you go.  You are an awesome cat, and we love you so much.  We hope you're up there chasing birdies and taking lots of naps in the sun.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Let's build some happy little trees

A conversation I just had with my daughter:

Me: Oh, good, you're out of the shower.  Did you wash your feet?
Johanna: [sheepishly] With soap?

Ah, there are many things I think I do not have to say to that child, but it turns out I totally do.

Another thing I should have mentioned?  That we do not smear pitch all over the shower in an attempt to clean ourselves.  I had a good ol' time this evening trying to scrape pitch off of every single centimeter of tub surface.  Not as much fun as you'd think it would be.

On the upside, when she was out playing amongst the oak trees, the house was pretty quiet.

Today I sold three of my Pampered Chef stoneware pieces* to a lady who was excited to get them.  Sort of.  Not excited enough to pay my $20 asking price, anyway.  I got a grand total of $15 for stoneware worth at least a hundred bucks, but you know what?  It's not worth anything when it's piled up in Eric's brew room, so when I was rebuffed, I thought, really, why not?  Because, let's be honest, I'd have given that stuff away for free.  This advertising in the paper is sort of a new adventure.  People advertise some pretty crazy junk.  I figure I may as well, too.

Ironically, I was trying to sell my Stoneware Fluted Pan, as PC refers to the humble bundt.  That's what I advertised in the paper.  Oh, and then!  Eric, the poop head, calls me with this stupid disguised voice and is all, do you still have your bundt pan?  And I was all, yes I do!  And he was all, $10 is too much. And I was all, well, it sells for over $30 and I didn't use this very often, and then he started laughing, and I would have kicked his shin had he not been ten miles away.


The minimization project continues.  It's very soothing, getting rid of clutter.  I've just got the top of the refrigerator, the spice cupboard, and two cabinets to go and the whole kitchen will be done.  That will be a good day.

P.S. I'm pretty sure I saw a poisonous spider in Eric's brew room (that I didn't kill because, obviously, poison!) and I just know that it's living in my bags of discarded kitchen gadgets.  (Still want to go through them for Tim, Mother?)

*Pie plate, mini round baker, muffin pan, just in case you care.

P.P.S. Johanna just said Skilly is offended by my awesomeness.  Well, okay then.

Our song for the day is a video.  Eric found this after listening to a PBS segment.  It's really too awesome not to share.  PLUS!  Who doesn't love happy little trees?

Monday, August 20, 2012

All that we've fought for

Two things:

1. I've been decluttering my kitchen.  Well, tossing the crap is more accurate.  Except a lot of it isn't crap at all, just stuff I don't use.  See, once upon a time, pre-Johanna, I sold Pampered Chef.  Oh, how I loved those kitchen gadgets!  The stoneware!  The stuff!   So I have a lot.  And it's mostly in great condition (not my saucepans because I threw caution to the wind and chucked those suckers in the dishwasher, so they're super ugly now), and I've been torn about getting rid of it.

I've been making hard decisions, is what I'm saying, and I'm also letting go of some dreams.  I am not going to make super cute mini loaves of bread to give away at Christmas, so the Mini Loaf Pan must go.  I have a muffin tin I like better, so the 12-cup Muffin Pan goes, too.  The Stoneware Fluted Pan, my navy blue Deep Dish Pie Plate, a Mini Baker, a Large Round Stone...

That sounds like a lot--and that's just the stoneware, I'm not going to list all the gadgets--but I still have plenty in my cupboards.  It's just the stuff I use now.

Well, mostly.  I cannot bring myself to get rid of my tart pan or my cheesecake pan, even though I rarely use them.  I have a couple of small oval bakers (that Pampered Chef apparently doesn't sell anymore) that are just too cute to toss.

I still have cupboards to go through, but what I have done makes me happy.  To open up a cabinet and immediately be able to find what I'm looking for?  That's gold.  To have space between the mixing bowls and bakeware?  Amazing.  To have one less crock of tools on my counter?  It makes me feel lighter.

I wish I'd have learned that lesson years ago, to not get caught up in the want.  It's embarrassing to look at everything I thought I couldn't live without, now stacked up in Eric's brew room while I try to decide what to do with it... try selling it online?  Save it for next year's church rummage sale?  Drop it off at a charity shop?   Hopefully I'll remember this dilemma the next time I find something I can't live without. Meaning: Yes I can.  Live without.  Enough is enough already.

2. So now that I've written about my growing maturity on stuff, let's talk about a shopping trip.  (Ah, the irony.)

Yesterday the girls and I went to The Big City to do some school shopping.  Johanna says that supplies are more important than clothes, and she's probably right, although 90% of her closet makes me want to cry.  We spent FIVE HOURS in the mall.  We learned that most of the stores don't open until 11 a.m. on a Sunday.  Well, whatever, we hit the food court and got an early lunch and then started crossing things off Abby's list.  She's the easy one--she knows what she wants, and she's good about trying things on and separating the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.

Johanna is harder.  She doesn't really care about clothes, so getting her to focus usually takes some work.  She found a couple of things in Abby's shops, and then we went to JCPenney because it sort of sounds like they need the business.  And also because I couldn't find any of the usual kid's clothing stores anywhere around.

Penneys came through in a big way.  She found leggings and a couple of really cute sweatshirts.  Johanna is not into long sleeves, but she did pick out a plaid green shirt "for the winter!" and some t-shirts of questionable taste.  (Angry Birds Space, anyone?)  She even tried everything on to make sure it fit.  You know what?  Easiest shopping trip I've ever had with that child.  And people!  There's a very good percentage she'll actually match this year (but just because we got some black and gray leggings, which pretty much match anything).

I tell you what, my girls are awesome.  I was thanked repeatedly all through the mall, and repeatedly on the car ride home, and repeatedly until bedtime.  I appreciate the gratitude, but I also appreciate the fact that they understand the concept of a budget, that they do not expect to be given anything, and that they're happy with what they do get.  That's the upside of lazy parenting raising your children with low expectations.  Or something.

Coldplay, Don't Panic.  Because you know what?  Malls are not my favorite place ever, but we endure because we must.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Just checking in

Wow, I've sucked at blogging this month.  The problem is the weather finally got awesome and I've been choosing to spend my time out on the deck reading rather than being inside... doing anything, really.  You should see my laundry pile.  Not pretty.

So here's what's been going on:

Eric is in full swing, painting the house.  You'd think I'd be out there with him, except.  Well, he hasn't asked, plus I think he sort of just likes having a project and being by himself and just working.  So I'm not helping for him, obviously.  He's chosen some very pretty colors (I have no vision, so the house decisions fall to Eric) and I will post pictures as soon as there's something worthwhile to post.

The girls just got back from a mini-vacation with my parents.  Swimming pools, Wildlife Safari, and Crater Lake National Park, all in 48 hours.  Not too shabby.  Everyone is thrashed, but they should be, right?  Johanna is thrilled because she got to see a cheetah.  Abby actually brought home gifts--a necklace for me and a pint glass for Eric.  My girl is a sweetie!

I've been working more hours, since it's summer and everyone is going on vacation.  I don't mind.  I rather like being at the office anyway, so going in an hour or two early isn't a big deal.  P.S. That story that I just wrote and knew I'd get in trouble for turning it in late?  The editor barely responded.  So that was educational.

It's going to be another beautiful day--it's already hot--and I have stuff and things I need to get done, so this will have to do.  Sort of boring, I know, and I'm sorry about that.  I don't call this Pointless Ramble for nothing.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Let's all live in your imaginary life

I've been up since 6 a.m. and am having a very productive morning.  I know.  Weird.  Well, it gets to the point where a girl can't help but look around and think, I guess I have to face this mess eventually, so what the heck.

Um, which explains why I'm writing instead of, say, cleaning the kitchen, right?

Yesterday I came home from work feeling like a failure.  A tired, cranky failure.  It had been such a busy day, and I had done so much, and yet, all I could think about was how I failed.

Let's see here... how to explain?

Once upon a time, like on Friday afternoon, the editor came up to my desk and was all like, there's this roof garden and I want you to call and do a story on it for the Home and Garden tab.  And by the way, I think it's due Tuesday.  I was all like, huh, okay, how hard can it be?

So I call, but the lady I'm talking to is on a cell and it's hard for me to hear.  (My mother was right--I should not have blasted New Kids on the Block on my walkman when I was in high school because it did affect my hearing.  Who'd have thought?)  Plus she's really excited about this project and wants me to see it.  The thing about writing these stories is that I'm technically a receptionist.  I can't actually leave my post to conduct interviews in rooftop gardens, no matter how cool that would be.

I go back to the editor, and explain the situation.  He's all, when do you come in on Monday?  And I'm like, 10 a.m., but I can't leave--it's a deadline day.  And he's like, well, can you meet before that?  And I'm like, um... I guess so.  And he's all, by the way, the article is due Monday.  And I'm going on vacation next week.

Well, who needs direction anyway?

So I meet at the rooftop garden at 9 a.m. Monday morning after playing phone tag all weekend, except it's the NEW building, not the old.  Of course I went to the old building because that's what came up when I Googled the thing, so I had to call to find out where the new building was, since that's where everyone was waiting for me.  This was not humiliating AT ALL.

I'd brought my jacket just in case it was chilly.  It was almost 80 degrees by nine o'clock.  I should have brought a tank top.

The garden?  Was amazing.  It's this cool system of interlocking modules.  Some are shallow for ground cover, some are deep for trees.  There are even garden plots, for crying out loud, and those tomatoes were looking pretty tasty.

So now I have all the info I need--way more than I need--but I'm totally late for work.  I breeze into the office a full 20 minutes late, and it's obvious it's been a hell of a morning and everyone is swamped.  I didn't even have my computer booted and I was on the phone helping the public.

It was one of those mornings where you're so busy there isn't even time to pee, but you really don't have time to dwell on that fact.

I took several garage sale ads, took a couple of credit card payments, started in on the sheriff's log, helped the public find tear sheets, helped the ad staff find tear sheets, ran faxes to the back, ran some copies, did a little "I don't have to pee that badly just kidding I totally do" dance.

And then it was lunch.

Well, the afternoon was bound to be quieter, right?  So there'd be plenty of time to crank that article out.

After lunch, I ran back more faxes, ran more copies, took more ads even though the deadline had passed (that's always fun to explain why Mondays at noon are sacred when it's 3 p.m. and someone is pleading with you), took more credit card payments, proofed the classifieds, ran a tear sheet to the planning department, and then tried to settle down and write.

I told you I'm optimistic about all the wrong things.

So at 4:30, it's completely obvious that I have failed to meet my deadline.  I've been writing in fits and starts, and all of it pretty much sucks, although first drafts are supposed to so, you know, whatever.  The editor I'm sending this to is from a sister paper, and she's not known for her understanding nature.  I pop her out an email, and I'm trying to figure out how to describe my situation without sounding like a whining whiner who whines.  Then I email myself everything I've managed to do so far, throw my notes in my bag, and head out the door.  Ten minutes late, because the landscaper on the project called at 4:53 to go over a few things she'd thought of after the fact.

I thought maybe I'd work on it after dinner, but I was just too wiped.  I played on my poser iPad, I took a walk, I had a nice conversation with my brother Tim.  And then I went to bed.

Is it pathetic that a 40 year old woman is afraid to go into work today and check her email and see that she's in trouble?  Because I am SO in trouble.

On the bright side!  Um... it's going to be another nice day, I have cherry tomatoes and eggplant and zucchini just waiting to be simmered together, I'm going to treat myself by going to my favorite farm stand later this morning when it opens, and Johanna has discovered a 1980s Mario Bros cartoon show that is the epitome of awesome.  One of these statements is sarcastic.  Todays' game: Figure out which one.

Chevelle, I Get It.  Sarcasm is fun.  I love you, Chevelle.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I'd rather run the other way

You know what, Internet?  My brain is not functioning.  I feel all foggy.  I know what I need to do, it's just that I can't seem to get there.  When the going gets tough, I like to just stop all together.  

Forget fight or flight.  I want to take a nap.

The only problem is that sometimes you make dentist appointments and the dentist actually expects you to show up.  You need to take the keys out of the car before you lock up.  Fresh towels and underwear require planning and effort.

My mind is very cluttered lately.  You'd think knowing would be most of the battle, but it's really not.  Half the family on both my side and Eric's has health issues, the kids are home 24/7, the house will not stay clean no matter how hard I try, and everyone always seems to need something from me that I just don't want to give.

I daydream about school starting again and those four glorious hours of quiet before I have to go to work.  Of Johanna actually eating crackers over the table like I asked the first seven times.  Of tossing half our possessions and organizing the other half.  Of reading out on the deck in the full sun.  Of being able to use my poser iPad without competition.

But then I think: If I did have the peace and quiet I crave so much, if my house did stay clean, if I did have time to read all I wanted, would I be happy?  Or would I be bored?  Would I miss the chaos?

Because really, the chaos is pretty awesome.  I get a lot of hugs and kisses and dandelion bouquets because of the chaos.

And so what if the chaos is overwhelming, really?  Who needs to think anyway?

The Fray, Over My Head.  Fact: Johanna is "allergic" to this song and refuses to let me listen to it if she's around.  "Just say that we agree and then never change / soften a bit until we all just get along."

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Been locked out

Today I learned that if you lock your keys in your car while visiting the Big City, it will cost you 65 smacks to have someone break into your car for you, even though it takes less than a minute to do the deed, and even though your keys are sitting right there on the driver's seat, mocking you.

I had breakfast with my friend Suzie today.  I met her in college.  We were counselors at Junior High Camp together.  Fun fact: We did a Suzie's World skit once that brought the house down.  No one threw rocks, anyway.

Then I lost track of her.  Then I found her again before Abby was born.  Then I re-lost her after Abby was born.  And then I re-found her on Facebook a few years ago, so there you go.  Anyway, she lives in Georgia now, but has family in Oregon, so she visits periodically.

We decided to meet at a restaurant in the middle, so to speak, and I left my house before 8 a.m. in order to make it to our slated 9 a.m. breakfast date.  I did, too, except I really had to pee so I was a little distracted as I was getting out of my car.  The next thing I know, I'm looking at my keys through the window.

I was hoping that the restaurant would be able to help a girl out.  And they did, if you count calling a locksmith "help."  I thought maybe there would be someone on staff with carjacking abilities is all.

Suzie meets me in the lobby, and I'm all like, how are you?  Locked my keys in the car.  Gotta leave you here for a minute while I go meet the guy in the parking lot.  Nice to see you, by the way.  Your baby is adorable.

So the locksmith basically puts this plastic square between the seal on my passenger door, pumps it up, and unlocks the door with a coat hanger.  I thought the tools would be a little more high tech for $65, but whatever, I'm totally not bitter.  It was sort of alarming that he was able to break in so quickly, but he was all, I'm a professional, it's supposed to be easy, and I was all, hey, I'm sort of curious about what's in that car over there, wanna go check with me?

Just kidding.  What I actually said was, do you take Visa?

He did.

With THAT bit of business out of the way, I was able to go back into the restaurant, meet Charlie properly (he's one adorable and perfect six month old, and I'm not just saying that because he totally approved of the bracelet I was wearing), order up some blueberry pancakes and coffee, and proceed to have a generally lovely morning with my friend.

I tell you this, though: Yesterday I got shat on by a bird.  Today I locked my keys in the car.  I'm a little afraid about what tomorrow will bring.

Side note: It turns out the pancake and coffee diet is not enough to get you through an entire day.  Having a doughnut hole for a snack?  Not very wise either.  On the bright side, carbs are awesome.  On the downside, the crash is not.  On the upside, I'm being optimistic today.

Also: There might be a snake in the house.

Crowded House, Locked Out.  Sometimes it's too easy.  P.S. I was going to give up the whole "Post Theme Song" deal now that I'm 40, but it turns out that I'm not that strong.  P.P.S. Run, Neil, run!

Monday, August 6, 2012

I'm still here...

It's hard to type with cherry jam dripping off your fingers, but we endure because we must.  I'm trying to remind myself that even though I am hotter than heck because it's 9 p.m. and still 80-degrees outside,  plus the stove isn't exactly temperate, jam in August means no malls in December.  Eric has no idea what that means.  I'm going to just let him think about it for awhile.

Incidentally, I was going to do a quadruple batch, but ended up just doing a triple because apparently you need to plan ahead on your pectin purchases.  I'd already had to venture forth into the wild for sugar, and I was so pissed about my lack of planning that I bought the 25-pounder and then about got a hernia trying to pack it to the car.  THAT would have been the time to grab a couple of extra pectin boxes, but whatevs.  Ten pint jars is FINE.  Who needs 16?

Every time a lid pops, we all shout "Thank you!" because we are ever so polite.  Plus the jam appreciates the acknowledgment.

Proof that I am not just making all this up.

Also today: I got shat on by a bird.  Johanna and I were walking back to our car, and all of a sudden I was thinking, is it raining? but no, it was just poop on my foot.  On the upside, I've been able to say the word "shat" all day, which is really quite enjoyable.

P.S. Grandma keeps calling us and leaving messages, wondering how we're doing and why she never hears from us.  This is probably because she is not our Grandma.  She has the wrong number, and I feel sort of terrible that we don't have Caller ID so I can't tell her we're not her pathetic grandchildren, although I'm wondering if maybe it'd be worth the investment just to help this woman out.  But it is nice to keep hearing that she loves us so much even though we suck at returning her calls.

Go call your Grandma, all of you, right now.  I mean it.

Off to go clean my kitchen.  Eric is pitting cherries for the freezer, and he's being so diligent about it even though it's boring that I almost cannot stand the cuteness...