Friday, May 21, 2010

Wishing It Was Wednesday

Week 20: (Notice I have counted and have myself back on schedule! Now if only the week wasn't breezing by me...)

Thankful that - I have mastered the ability to count and know what week we are on.

Thankful that - the concrete dudes must read my blog - they showed up that very afternoon after last weeks wish!

Thankful that -hosta's arrived in healthy status - even if they were late.

Wishing for...

I wish that this "not hungry" phase would last long enough to jump start some lowering scale numbers.

I wish that time in the office would pass as quickly as time off.

I wish that a certain gal pal would meet her Mr. Perfect.

I wish for nice weather for the holiday weekend (this would also enable the quicker completion of the concrete pad).

Hope your week is flying by with lots of wishes coming true!

How To Scare the Bejeabers Out of Your Child

My son and I were having one of our rambling-chatty-not-so-focused conversations early on a weekend morning. It involved a cuddly blanket. And two dogs.

One of the dogs had plopped herself right on top of the blanket. And of course, this added heat made my child decided he no longer wanted to be covered up. He was asking if she liked to be covered up and I thought her snoring was a pretty good indication of a I tucked her in tight. He commented "Now She Will Be A Butterfly."

And I saw the light bulb in his head turn on. His eyes widened.

"Mom, Did I ever tell you about how they scared me at daycare?"

I brace myself - mind fast forwarding through horror stories, possible ways my child has been damaged, and begin planning my revenge on the soul that has emotionally damaged my child in a manner that he can only bear to speak of it 4 years later.

"At nap time, I liked to have the blanket tucked real tight around me. They said I was rolled up tight like a caterpillar in a cocoon. But you know, Mom it's really a crysilis - because a cocoon is for a moth, and a crysilis is for a butterfly."

I nod.

"She told me, 'When you wake up you will be a butterfly.'

"That really bothered me because I thought about it and if I was a butterfly I wouldn't see you anymore. And maybe you wouldn't be my Mom anymore? Or I thought maybe I would see you and I'd be yelling "Mmmmmooooooooommmmmmm!!!" and you wouldn't even notice me- because I wouldn't look like your kiddo anymore. And I was scared and worried. And I tried not to fall asleep that day."

(Sigh of relief.)

See how that was SO innocent? How many cutesy things do we say to kids every day that causes them undo concern and stress? And while I'm mostly amused by his rambling - it reminds me that you just can't make too many assumptions when communicating with children.

This is the same child that was certain we would see witches in Wichita...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wishing Wednesday

Week XX? : who knows?

I wish I had mastered the skill of counting and that I could know how many weeks we've been at this.

I wish for answers to my summer school / child care / transportation to summer school / vacation schedule issues.

I wish for quickness on the parts of the concrete masters that will be building a pool pad - seriously people clock is ticking, get here soon.

I wish for the survival of my new orchid...may it be resilient and long blooming.

I wish that my glasses order would be right, fast, and that I will be properly rewarded for not shoving them up their arses the first two times they mucked up the order.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Frozen Puppy Treats

With summer coming up (if it ever stops raining)- I was very happy to find this healthy, cold treat for the Pups! This recipe is very similar to a product that I had previously purchased in the store - but at a greatly reduced cost and higher nutrition!

Honestly, I was most interested in trying this recipe out because I accidentally bought plain yogurt and it just wasn't the flavor (or flavor-less) for me! The pups were thrilled with my accident!

1 cup peanut butter (natural is good- even for dogs)
32 oz plain low fat yogurt

  • Put peanut butter in the microwave for a few seconds until it is melted. (Try 30 seconds and stir.)
  • Combine with yogurt.
  • Scoop into cupcake papers (I have small dogs so I used a silicone mini-cupcake pan for smaller serving sizes.)
  • Put into freezer. (About 4 hours.)
  • Once cups are frozen pop them out (if using silicone) and put in freezer bag for storage.
You can serve them straight out of the freezer - or let them soften at room temp for a few girls like to dig right in.

So simple and puppy approved!

Signs of Life

I may have mentioned before that I am in inpatient gardener. So imagine my frustration when over a year ago I was shopping (for plants- which in my mind is often better than clothes or shoes). Anyway, Mom found one of those generically labeled plants that had a unique shape and attractive leaves - and was the only one left. So of course, regardless of it's generic instructions for care - it was a "must have".

We were not even to the parking lot before plant envy set in. And being the super-duper Mom that she was - she offered to take one of the little branches - which was almost broken off anyway, and send it home with me.

One year later the damned single-leaf plant has been well cared for, well sunned, but not too sunned - well watered but not too watered. And for about 8 months - it's only sign of life was that it was green. It did not grow at all.

And then...right about when I was thinking "Great. I'm going to be 100 years old and someone will be cleaning out my house and they will wonder why I have kept a plant with one leaf. And hopefully they will think I've only had it for a few months." ...but as if the plant sensed the doom that was sneaking up on sprouted a ever so small - barely visible to anyone that wasn't compulsively leaf.

Flash forward another 6 months and you would see the exact same picture. That new bud - seemed frozen in time. Green, but not growing.

Mother Nature must have hit the "start" button some time in February...because that barely visible nub - has turned into THIS...

Not only has it rewarded me with super fast growing but look at those colors! (Old leaf is plain green - new leaf has with yellow and white. And I'm not sure that you can tell - but there's another leaf forming. I'm crossing my fingers that it's not going to go into hibernation before it decides to grow too.

On another gardening front...

I am also the kind of gardener that often has to learn things the hard way.

You know, they say - after blooming season is past, discard your paper white bulbs.

Well, I don't.

I keep them and let them finish out their life cycle and all the while reflect on how this is likely one of the marketing ploys of the gardening world to make us act out our compulsive "disposable" lifestyle even in the garden section. I'll let you know how it turns out...

Also, they say that Gerber Daisies are nearly impossible to grow from seed - yes, I tried it all last summer. Because I love them and I couldn't bear the thought of life without some Gerber blooms. They all failed - I even sorted through the millions of seeds to find the "fat ones" -which are said to be the fertile ones...failure was all I had to show.

Likewise, when they say that you can grow a Jade plant from a single leaf. You know I have got to give it a try. Because who doesn't love making one plant from another plant? The challenge... the skill... the frugality!

Now, I'm not proud to say that I've killed my share of Jade plants in the past. I have struggled with the delicate balance of "dry" without turning that into "totally forgetting to water for months on end followed by a wet season to make up for such errors."

I may be past that now. I've been host to a new Jade plant for almost a year now - and he is not only surviving but seems to be growing and reports to me that he is very happy. On one or two occasions he has dropped a leaf (because of my shady past with this plant - I would dare not harm it just for the sake of an experiment). I read that dropped leaves is normal and not a sign of "user error". So I rejoiced.

And planted the leaf - b/c, you know by the time I am 100 years old - that could be a whole plant. (enter mad-scientist laugh here)

And - several months later - please see the results. (Sorry it's fuzzy - too small to get a good pic with the details...)

There are about 4 leaves in here. (One is clearly dying.) The one with the largest growth has been going about 8 months. The first 3 were without any signs of roots. (Timeline not guarenteed accurate - because it is based on my brain so it was either 3 months or it FELT like 3 moths) The last additions (the other 3 leaves) have been added in the last 2 months and they are taking off fast - so maybe I've finally mastered the right amount of water. (Current system = look at plant, it appears dry, resist the urge to water. Repeat the next 8-10 times you have this thought. Then when thought occurs the 11th time - act on impulse and water - less than you think you should...almost like you are punishing the plant and denying it a full sized drink.) But two of the leaves have new leaf buds on them.

I know you probaly can't tell in the picture - but this is all taking place in a 1/2 inch painted terra cotta pot. Have you ever spotted those? Usually sold with seed packets in the $1 section...the seeds always flop out - or live and then need to be transplanted - and get damaged as you move them out and try to seperate's the equivilent of plant torture....

We had 2 plant torture pots - so in the other I experimented with some branches that dropped from my "Irish Bouquet". I got this plant at Lowes - it was with the succulents - I have searched for plant info - because the directions were very vague - I've found nothing and I've never seen another one anywhere else.

But when some leaves dropped - I thought the plant was similiar(ish) in nature to a Jade - so I popped them in dirt. And they are happily living (though not growing much) in their new location.
Coming soon...instructions for making your very own pots to start seedling in!

See how I'm trying to contaminate you with my Spring Fever?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Evil Book Hoarders

We will ignore the fact that this story occurs on a night that I had spent way too many hours on the road to reach a meeting where I would spend way too many hours listening to things I already knew - and would be held hostage under the premise of a "typo" - and then get back into the car for way too many hours to come home almost two hours late.

We will ignore the fact that my child was anxious about my departure before he knew that my return time would be post-bedtime. And that I'm lucky enough to have him think that my presence at home is a NICE thing.

So I came home - tired and feeling robbed of moments of my life.

And nearly an hour AFTER bedtime, my son busts out of his bedroom with PANIC in his eyes. He's already in tears and I can tell this is about to be a not-so-simple problem to solve.

And this is what he says - in my words.

His teacher is on vacation - or break - or whatever it is that teachers do when they abandon their classes to the watchful eye of some half-knowing schedule-breaking substitute. In her absence the librarian has decided to practice her bullying skills on young children.

The crazed-paranoid lady has 3 weeks left of school and she's screaming-mad as if she's lost her child instead of taking part in a system that has been working perfectly fine ALL YEAR LONG! (You know - we check out books. We read them. We return them in a timely manner ---we should have a good library rating...we are very reliable.) However, for some reason, books that are not even due - are suddenly needed RIGHT NOW!

Maybe this wouldn't be such a fretful event...if it were not for the fact that we have a country report due in 1 and 1/2 weeks. Or so we thought...apparently, the librarian feels that in the absence of the regular teacher - she can threaten that the due date is really TOMORROW! ???

(I mean is this kind of transfer of power covered in the school handbook?)

Now, we've had this project for a little over a week - we generally have about 3 weeks to work on these reports. And about 2 weeks in -we start (and by we I mean I start saying "time to do it" and he starts doing it) reading about the country and getting ideas for the report and poster. And as per our normal schedule - we've been thinking about it and getting started with the process.

But he's put nothing on PAPER. And he certainly doesn't have enough knowledge about this country on his own - I dare you to list facts about landscapes, people and culture, and wildlife of Mozambique without a reference book. (And yes, I'm familiar with the Internet -but at this stage they want you to use their references so they can ensure you are getting trained on how to not plagiarize.)

So the evil book hoarder is dying to get her hands on the Mozambique reference book and telling my son he needs to complete a 3 week project in one evening. (Did I mention - she's clearly lost her mind? And her sense of limitation of power and authority?)

I'm sure there was a "correct" thing to say. Or maybe there was a "better" thing to say.

And for the record, we are a very rule-abiding family. But I could not stop the words from falling out of my went something like this..... "It's 9:30. You are going to bed. Your report will be done by the DUE DATE - you know, the one your TEACHER gave you. You are NOT taking the book back. If she asks, you will say 'I'm not done yet.' (he's gasping at the idea in fear) She can't hit you. She can't give you a bad grade. She shouldn't yell at you. You can tell her that you will do it as quickly as you can, and in the mean time if there's further concern she can call your mother or send me a bill."

Was that wrong? Or is it more wrong that she's scared my child to the point of tears?

It is becoming a common theme that so many adults lack the ability to PLAN based on a time line. It's an epidemic! Seriously people. Choose the date when you need it done. Count backwards to set goals of the steps you need to do to complete in order to meet the deadline. It's not that tricky. Or maybe it is...

I'm marking my calendar for next school year for 3 weeks before school ends. At that point I'll be sending a note to school - here's my rough draft...

"Dear Teacher (And yes, by then I will know her name)

Please excuse my son from checking out library books for the rest of the school year.

We have an extensive library at home. We visit the public library weekly. I assure you - he will continue to be a reader for the next 3 weeks of school and beyond.

But if it's all the same with you, I'd like to save your librarian the cost of anti-anxiety meds and leave the books in her care and custody. I'd like to save my child from the harassment and kidnapping accusations - because anyone who makes my child cry with panic and fear of unknown punishments is not what we would refer to as a "nurturing and enriching" and therefore, I do not find it necessary for my child to have contact with them in the midst of their end of the year outbursts.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wishing Wednesdays - 16

Wishing Wednesdays: 16

I wish I could get credit for my gardening workout on my pedometer.

I wish I could figure out how to knit in my sleep (or while exercising) so that I could make progress two places.

I wish that the animals around my house were not possessed with special needs. (more to come)

I wish I had known about the cruelty involved in the "making" of one of my fish. (Please don't support this practice.)

I wish I could spread respect around the world like icing on a cake. (Mmmmm. Cake.)

A wish for my son....I wish that Librarians would not become posessed crazy-book-hoarders as the school year closes. (more to come)

Thanks for the week -
I am thankful (and equally haunted) by the discovery of a local bakery about 2 blocks away from me.

I am thankful for the huge hosta order on the way to my house.

I am thankful that this crazy thing called "my job" has allowed me to meet some really neat-o people...and that they are always on my "reasons to hang in there" list.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Random Crazy Dreams

Sometimes it doesn't pay to go to bed early...

1. The birds.

There was a seriously large penguin, a parrot, and some other large bird walking toward me - thier faces were filled with menacing evil. Clearly they were going to peck me to death.

2. Death by Snake Bite

I was being forced to be bitten by a poisionous snake. (Serious phobia alert!) I was trying to debate would it be better to be bitten by the scary large snake - who would likely kill me quicker or by the smaller snake - would would maybe have smaller teeth but might not kill me as quickly. I was still debating and trying to hold the small snake back - it slithered around in it's sneaky-snake way and the fangs went straight through my hand - and it was STUCK there. (My heart races as I type the words.)

3. I mapped out my entire back yard in flower beds.

Who needs grass? My hubby would be perfectly happy if he only had to mow paths in the backyard. So after a day of plant shopping and spring fever - I thought it best to dream compulsively about plant's light needs and good flower-bed mates and adult heights and fertlizer needs. It was not a plan that involved restful sleep.

4. The dream where you forget you are married.

Do you ever have this? A perfectly innocent dream about some love interest and then you REMEMBER - in your dream (because in real life I NEVER forget that I am married - not even for a second - certainly not long enough to FLIRT) that you are married and then you feel horrible in your dream for "cheating" even though you know it was a dream - one that you are still dreaming. Exhausting.

5. It's spring and I'm fearful of winter storms.

We had a long relentless winter. Has this scarred me? Maybe so. Because recently I was planning a large event and for a week had dreams that we were going to have a snowstorm that day - and that my speakers wouldn't be able to make it in...but the money wasn't refundable....and what would I do? Luckily - no snow. Not even rain.

6. The Ducks have weapons.

I'm wondering what has caused my dream-land aversion to birds. But after getting some house work done (in real life) and having the realization that we have a woodpecker living near us / visiting our house / and sometimes pecking it (in real life) I had a dream that I chased the woodpecker with a broom only to find myself surrounded by angry ducks. Each was armed with extra large bills. Is death by pecking a common fear?

7. Being lost, losing things, and wandering aimlessly.

I don't need a dream interpretation degree to deduce that this just MIGHT be related to the emotional rollercoaster of uncertainty known current as "my job".

8. Again with the birds.

I'm holding a baby bald eagle - he's wickedly pecking my hand. Why am I holding him? Don't know. Why is he relentlessly pecking me? Maybe he wants me to let go?

9. Jolly Giants

I'm going to a professional basketball game (alone)- have no clue how to get there, it involes much travel, and I'm very late starting. I get there and I have a front row seat - which interestingly is an office chair on wheels that slides wonderfully all over the court sidelines. I call my son to see who I should cheer for - but I don't even know who is playing (they are team green and team blue). I can't hear him b/c there are a flood of people coming into the arena.

The teams are warming up and one player comes over to say hi. (Of course, I don't know WHO he is - just that he's famous.) And he's a giant. Like he squats down with his knees on the floor and he's still towering over me. And I scream (b/c that is what short people do when towered over by freakishly tall men). And it makes the headlines in the paper the next day.

Maybe it's a side effect of the weather...but I'm looking forward to the return of RESTFUL sleep.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wishing Wednesdays

Week 16:

I wish I was not feeling like a science experiment gone wrong.

I am wishing to possess a fantastically large hosta that is new on the market.

I wish mulch didn't have a way of disappearing on a yearly basis.

I wish for the patience to just "ride out" the changes that are being thrown our way at work.

I wish my child was not obsessed with hydrophobia - thank you Old Yeller.

On a thankful note -

I'm thankful for allergy shots - seriously has changed my life.

I'm thankful for beautiful "open window" days and nights.

I'm thankful for well-being and for the reminder that it shouldn't be taken for granted.

What are you wishing for this week?