Sunday, November 30

Are you ready for some December?

ITEM!: I just tried to fast forward through a commercial on a show that I am watching live. This should tell you exactly how much television I actually watch live. And when I think about it, live TV in my home is limited. If it's not a movie playing as background noise, or the news, it's on the DVR. My concentration is such that I can't watch a show while my kid is awake. I'd rather take my time with watching my show than chance missing any of it with an interruption or crisis.
Anyway, out of habit, I just tried to fast-forward through a commercial on live TV because I have no patience and prefer my television at my leisure.
ITEM!: It was my suggestion to take the day and put up the outdoor lights this morning and afternoon. Right now, our house's front is fantastically awesome and bright. We've got a ton of lights, because my husband is insane for Christmas lights, so we are, I will say, incredibly festive right now.
ITEM!: I need to get to bed right now, because I need to hit the ground running tomorrow morning. I'm taking down Thanksgiving and putting up Christmas all in one day. This has never happened before. And now that I think about it a lot, I'm all kinds of shaky on my commitment here. Maybe I'll just do the Thanksgiving stuff and bring in the Christmas bins. Oh, I don't know. I'll have to see how I'm feeling tomorrow.
ITEM!: This picture actually is my front porch. There are lights not in the photo, of course. We have several strands running over the garage area, and additional icicle lights. And that's Sydney's light-up dinosaur that Mom bought her a couple years ago without my knowledge. You can't see the rest of the ground lights too well, but they're there. It's all terribly lovely out in front.

Saturday, November 29

Make it better, please, this one is awful

You all know how much I love to write letters to companies when they disappoint me, right? Pottery Barn Kids has earned my ire this week. I ordered a stocking for Cooper, and the one that arrived in my house the other day is crappy. I didn't say that specifically, but I did roll with my usual wordiness to say something similar. Here's my letter; let's see what happens.
I hate to send you an e-mail laced in disappointment, but I must.
I ordered a classic quilted stocking with monogramming for Christmas this year. I already have a number of these particular stockings for my family from years past, and needed another for our newest addition. The stocking that arrived a few days ago is decidedly of lower velvet quality and insulating thickness. I can hold the newest stocking next to one of the earlier examples, and the difference in quality is tangible, and visual. The stocking itself is poorly made and I'm embarrassed to hang it next to the others.
I understand that new product manufacturers can be a constant issue with a large company like Pottery Barn Kids. But I'm surprised at your company's lack of issue with a product of such inferior quality, especially when it is supposed to be as good as a previous product. I would think that if your intention was to have one stocking be comparable to one from years ago, you'd actually hold one next to the other and make note of differences. I would hope that these differences would have been fixed.
I always had such confidence in your products. I was always comfortable paying what I pay because I always knew that their quality was worth it. Now, I question that assumption, and am hesitant to buy anything else from your store and catalog.
Add my concerns to the pile, as I'm sure I can't be the only person that's brought this to your attention.
Have a lovely holiday season,
Kimmie G.

There's no reason to not end it with a nice sentiment.

Wednesday, November 26

Yes, that's a word-ish

I saw this on FB today: 
November. The month where people who have complained on Facebook for the past 11 months become thankful for 30 days.
This can't be any truer for so many people I know on this web site. But really, this might be the first year where only one person on my feed took the time to spell out all the things that made them grateful and thankful. Usually there are a good three people who spend the entirety of November telling everyone about the one thing per day that they feel is a #blessed thing in their life.
As for this Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for my happy, little life, and all the good stuff going on in it.
Reason why we had to go to Target at 8:35 p.m. tonight: 9V batteries for the Stop Thief controller. Come to find out that the reason the controller wasn't working was because the batteries I had put in it expired in March 2005. That means that those particular batteries traveled back and forth to Boston, Arizona, Houston and Arizona. That's weird. That's a long time to own batteries, I think. Now I've got one in the controller, and one extra in the battery box.
I'm ready for tomorrow, you guys. It's all good and thankful-ish.

Monday, November 24

Games are fun, and dogs are awesome

ITEM!: I messed up and noted the wrong day on my calendar for the Thanksgiving family barbecue at Sydney's school today. I thought it was Wednesday. So, tears greeted me at the gate when I picked her up. This is my fault, certainly, but I also zipped an e-mail to the PTO newsletter asking them to include other pertinent reminders, rather than just bombarding us with an inbox full-up of requests for our time, money and bodies.
ITEM!: Mom and Clyde are here for the holiday week, and I have to say, having three dogs in the house is pretty entertaining. Cooper is beside himself with happiness in playing with Clyde, and Oliver is so relaxed because he's not being bothered by the puppy. Clyde is having fun too, I think. They're all doing so well together, and it's all one big happy family. It's super cozy with three dogs on the bed.
ITEM!: We can't find the frickin' Cootie game anywhere. We stopped at Target and Toys 'R Us, and both were lacking the game. Tomorrow, we shall venture into that ickiest of places, Wal-Mart, to check for it there. Mom and I are on a mission: We will have that game to play on Thursday.
ITEM!: And speaking of games, I do have Stop Thief, the board game. This game is one of my favorites ever, and I managed to find it in Mom's storage unit and brought it home. The controller doesn't work, though. I don't accept that. So, on to eBay I went, and I found a working controller, and I bought it, and I just checked the shipping tracker, and it's now in my mailbox. A second game to play on Thanksgiving! I can't wait to hear this game's cheesy little footsteps again.

Sunday, November 23

Peanut butter cookies are super good

Sydney and I made peanut butter cookies yesterday. And my grand plan for losing more weight and not eating as many sweets this holiday season promptly went the way of the dodo. What's fun is that this particular peanut butter cookie recipe is from the extra-curricular cooking class from fifth grade. Or was it sixth grade? Whatever. Anyway, it's from a long time ago.
The cookies, I'm happy to say, are still as delicious today as I remembered them from all those years ago. And the recipe also makes a ridiculous amount of cookie, too, so we've got more than enough to make it through the entire holiday week and weekend.
Or do we? Because I've been eating them like no one's business. Perhaps the only thing that will slow down my consumption of the cookies is that Mom made some Chex mix and brought it with her when she arrived today. But still, the cookies are super good.
Bonus: Even Sydney has decided that she likes them. (They're not as good as Grandma's sugar cookies, but that's okay, because those are for Christmas, and they should be better.) It is her declaration that we should make these cookies every year now for Thanksgiving, though. I'm on board with that, totally, because I enjoy them immensely. Sadly. At the end of the holiday weekend, I promise to divide the cookies that are left between Mom and Brian's mom and dad. I will not have any more of them in my house.

Saturday, November 22

Coolio. Getting over it

Hello. My name is Kimberly, and I'm stubborn.
Hi, Kimberly.
I'm standing here today, because I know that this is my safe place, and I have something to reveal.
We're here for you, Kimberly.
I think ... I mean, I may be ... Well. I think I may be deciding that I like Taylor Swift as a performer.
That's alright, Kimberly.
Is it? Is it alright? I mean, I have been inexplicably not a fan of hers ever since ever. But in my darkest, deepest consciousness, I've still danced to a few songs, and ... And I even know the words to a few.
Really, that's okay. There are a lot of people who like her.
And I know that, and I think that's great. That's why my not-a-fanness doesn't make any sense. I mean, I love Britney for no really good reason, so it should stand to reason that I would like Taylor Swift.
What's changed your mind?
Sure, let's add insult to injury. The Voice changed my mind. She was articulate, knowledgeable, generous, kind and motivating to the participants on the show, and I decided I liked her as a person. Also because I know she dislikes Justin Bieber.
So that's helped sway you?
Indeed! And then, the songs and previews I've heard from her new album sound fun and kicky!
Are you embarrassed by this?
I'm not embarrassed that I like her now, or that I think I may buy the album as well as some of the older songs I like. I'm more embarrassed that I haven't already liked her, and now I'm all bandwagon, or too late to the party.
Get over it.

Friday, November 21

He snores so loudly

Have I told you lately that one of my most favorite things is listening to my dog snore?
Oliver has grown into his old-man snoring, and it's fabulous. He's all settled into his sleep right now, cuddled up and stretched out, and snoring like a freight train. He's marvelous. If I thought I could record it without waking him up, I'd do it. But as we are right now, if I move, he'll wake up. And I won't allow that to happen at all. Until I have to pee. You know, priorities.
Damn. He just woke up.
And then he yawns.
And lays back down.
Time to snuggle in myself, and cuddle with my boy.

Thursday, November 20

Dear Santa, I need GOOD ideas

I feel like life is coming together now, since I spent some time composing my first of many lists this afternoon. I've got some ideas for my people, and even managed to come up with some thoughts and suggestions for myself.
My concern is my kid. She doesn't have any specific ideas on what she wants for Christmas. I mean, I've got one or two ideas for her, but nothing so far as an awesome list of anything. This leads me to something that is always nerve-wracking for me: Being creative. This wasn't always a problem. When she was little, any number of things were amazing and wonderful.
Lately though, when left to my own devices, I've been disappointing her. In a confidence-breaking twist of a situation, I had an idea for her birthday, and it left her in tears of disappointment. It seems like every time I'm on my own, she ends up irritated at me for being a poor gift-giver. It's not helpful that she feels like she has everything dinosaur that she needs, and has little to no other interests.
Well, I've put the thought in her head to start thinking about Christmas ideas, so I guess I'll have to wait and see what she writes to Santa about.

Wednesday, November 19

Burgers are a delicious food choice

I don't know how well you can see this, but it's a graphic of the most popular and loved hamburger joints, according to customers' Foursquare check-ins. The list itself is impressive including a bunch of places I've been, and a couple I've never heard of.
I've never been to: Hardee's, Krystal, White Castle, Checker's.
I've tried, but don't frequent: Whataburger, Steak 'n Shake, In-N-Out (which may or may not make me un-Californian), Five Guys, Burger King, Wendy's.
I eat at: Sonic, Dairy Queen, Carl's Jr., Jack in the Box, McDonald's.
BUT, I wouldn't say that any one of these has my most-loved hamburger. I understand that this list is comprised of fast-food burgers, and I would say that one or two of these places can make a pretty good burger, but my favorites are from Fuddruckers. Sadly, all the Fuddruckers near me have closed, so I dream about my favorite burger more than I eat it.
The Skinny Burger I had at Cheesecake a few weeks ago was pretty good, though. And there's a place around here that makes gourmet burgers, and they're yummy, too. Eating hamburgers is among my favorite of pastimes.

Tuesday, November 18

Still somewhat normal ... for me

I've been on my new hormone birth control pills for a full two weeks now, and I broached the always loaded question with Brian this morning: "Have I been okay lately? Mood swings? Weirdness?"
This was a brilliant way to open myself up to a boatload of sarcastic comments, and they did come raining down. But, having gotten all that out of his system, he finally got down to what I asked. Encouragingly, he said that I seemed to be pretty normal, and that all seems to be okay. For now.
I suppose the next two weeks will tell the tale more than this half-month check-up.

Monday, November 17

Ew! You've got COOTIES!!

You want to know something sad? In a world of super-sensitive children and super-aware schools, children are missing out on some of the random fun of being a kid.
As an example, Brian and I had to explain to our kid what a COOTIE is yesterday. She'd never heard the word before, and was pretty fascinated as to why we thought it was such a funny thing. And then, that kids used to pick on other kids -- goodnaturedly, of course -- about them having cooties, and being afraid to be touched by them. Brian and I thought it was terribly funny. We played around with the topic of cooties for the entire rest of the day and night.
But then, I had to make the clarification: "I know that we laughed about it here just now, but we don't know how upset any of the kids at school might get if you say anything to them about having cooties, so let's just make that a word for home, okay?"
Ugh. I'm bugged by having to tell her that. Some kids are way too sensitive. Honestly, are any of us really, seriously, scarred for being told that we had cooties?
And then I remembered the game, Cootie. I need to pick that little gem up at Target this weekend so we can play it next week over the holiday.

Saturday, November 15

I win at shoelaces

We all know that there are a bunch of ways to tie shoes, right? Everyone learns a different method, but the fun is that the result is always the same. Brian and I set out to teach Sydney how to tie shoes this afternoon (please do not judge me for not having taught her this already), and it was an enlightening several minutes for me, too.
Apparently, and I had no idea about this until I started my lesson, but the way I tie shoes is too complex. This was told to me by Brian, who witnessed my first lesson and told me as much before he took over the job. It should be noted that Brian also doesn't know how to tie and untie double-knots. But my shoe-tying method was opted against, and Sydney was taught Brian's "simpler" version.
I don't know how long it's been since I sat and tied and untied shoes for an afternoon.
Also, I shall forever hold it in my head that my method of tying a shoe is smarter and far superior to Brian's.

Friday, November 14

But I like raw cookie dough

Okay, so I'm dancing around on Yahoo! tonight, and came across a couple disturbing articles.
First, a mom who died from eating raw cookie dough. According to the article, she contracted E.coli after a single spoonful of contaminated raw cookie dough. Her kidneys failed, and then systematically, the rest of her organs failed over the course of a couple years. The woman's son is now campaigning for better regulations. Is it totally wrong that I may have to take up signage and picket Washington, D.C. if they make it illegal to sell and eat raw cookie dough? That stuff is super good to snack on. Brian always wants to pick up one of those buckets of cookie dough at Costco because it'll be better to have a lot more for when I make cookies. I always refuse because I know that I'll be sneaking downstairs a couple times a night, every night, to take a spoonful or two for instant gratification.
Second, a woman may have contracted HIV from a manicure. Should YOU be worried? Um, I'm not. The woman, who lives in Brazil, didn't contract the disease from a typical way, so doctors were at a loss. Their investigation led back to the woman's cousin, who was a manicurist and also diagnosed with HIV. Disinfecting standards, obviously, are not universal, and they believe that the manicurist tools were infected by one or more of the woman's clients. But no, I am not worried about getting a manicure.
It seems like tonight's Yahoo! is all about trying to scare me from awesome things. I will not let the terrorists win!

Thursday, November 13

I should get better at remembering ideas

Damn. I had a topic for tonight earlier today, but now I can't remember it. I need to start having Siri remind me of the topics I think of throughout the day. Because right now, I'm at a loss.
ITEM!: Oliver had a check-up this morning, and happily, he is still in fantastic shape for a little doodle as old as he is. His cataracts are getting denser, and are impacting his vision now, though. During the day, and in the light, he probably sees well enough. But at night, or in the dark, his vision is compromised a lot, and he probably gets around more on memory than actual sight, according to the doc. (I wish he could talk to me. But anyway, looks like we're never moving!) The doctor was happy that we're giving him glucosamine every day, and that is probably why he gets around as well as he does, especially after the back tweaking a couple months ago.
It's important that the dog be okay, you know, because otherwise I'd be an inconsolable mess.
ITEM!: I cleaned out the deck box in the backyard this afternoon, tossing out all kinds of older and gross stuff. Who needs that many buckets? Honestly. I should figure out a central place to keep all my plant pots, too, as now they're separated into two different homes. Also, I have a whole passel of gardening gloves, and one single left glove, which amuses me.
ITEM!: There is a friend of mine that I follow on Instagram, and she's a natural foodie person. Everything she eats and feeds her kids is as all-natural as she can get, and she's a creative chef. I'm thinking of unfollowing her. She doesn't know it, but she's food-shaming me, and I'm getting thisclose to being totally over it. Today was a tofu stir fry with almond butter, soy, ginger sauce. Also, she made a parsley pumpkin agave vinaigrette. I'm embarrassed that I can't cook worth a damn, and she makes me feel really bad about myself. But maybe more than anything, I get mad that she's got the discretionary income to go the grocery store and buy all this batty stuff. I'm like, really? Spinach, arugula, goat cheese and red quinoa salad with grilled chicken or salmon? Who does this?!

Wednesday, November 12

Pretty, certainly, but still too soon

We bought Christmas lights today.
It was for a good reason, not entirely Christmas related, but sorta.
Last year, we put multi-colored outdoor lights around the patio cover for festiveness. The lights looked so good, and gave just the right kind and amount of light, that I decided to leave them up all year. The continue to be used every night, and all is well. But over the weekend, Brian and I inspected them closer, and discovered that the colored film on the lights had both faded and even disintegrated from the bulbs. So many of the lights were almost totally just white filament.
We decided that it would be easier to just replace all the bulbs rather than replace the entire strings. But what is even cheaper is to buy entire new strings and replace the bulbs from there, rather than buy packages of replacement bulbs. So, we went to Lowe's this afternoon and found a couple strings to work with.
But since my husband is a Christmas-obsessed infant with a job, we ended up also buying some replacement strings for the tree, and having several family "discussions" about new light ideas for the front of the house. The topic was tabled for now, but I'm quite sure it'll come up again this weekend.
I hate buying too much Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving. I'm irritated that I allowed what I did. But my backyard looks so much better right now, and we all know that I'll need the extra strings for the tree anyway.
Still, ugh.

Tuesday, November 11

It's all one level; right?

Something else that's interesting: I'm trying a new hormone birth control pill combination.
Over the last couple years, my gynecologist has been trying to lower my estrogen levels via a shift in my birth control pill dosage. She wants to lower my levels because I'm older, and because the reduction lowers my risk of cancer. All good things, but last year, when we tried lowering my dosage by half, I went a little emotionally insane. Granted, it also was right around the time that Daisy died, and my insanity was peak anyway. But I insisted on going back to my regular pills, which I did, and all seemed to normal out for me (aside from the crippling despair of losing Daisy).
It's been a year, and the doctor had a new strategy: Instead of starting with a low dosage, and then cutting the estrogen gradually throughout the month until I reach the week of my period, as regular pills do, I have pills at a lower dose but the same level of estrogen every day all month long. Does that make sense? I feel like it might.
I'm in the first week, on day four of my mono-pills, and so far, I think I'm pretty normal. Of course, a month will tell the difference as to my mental and emotional health and well-being. So we shall call this Physically Aging Experiment: LOWER ESTROGEN EDITION. And we'll see how it goes.

Monday, November 10

Slouching is NOT cool

I'm wearing a posture brace right now. It's a figure-eight brace that goes around my shoulders and to my back. It's not particularly comfortable, but I suppose it's not supposed to be. It's not terribly uncomfortable, either, so I'm wearing it while I sit at the computer tonight. In fact, it'll become part of my nightly ritual. Truth be told, it's been sitting on the floor next to my bed for a week or so, silently judging me every time my shoulders hunch.
Why the fuss all of a sudden? I've noticed over the last several months that my posture has become less and less straight. I've never had the best posture, and I accepted that, but lately, I feel like my back is actively beginning to hunch. This bothers me, simply because I refuse to be one of those old women who is all bent over and creaky. I will not have Sydney look at me like I'm at all weakened.
So, the brace. I understand that it won't be the ultimate savior. I know I need to do more exercises for my core. I did my research and found all kinds of things to do.
Now, it's just a matter of doing them.

Sunday, November 9

Mondays are the best!

Is it wrong that sometimes the only thought that gets me through my Sundays is that I will be home alone on Monday?
I love my daughter, and she thinks that I serve no other purpose than to entertain her when she decides I should. This is irritating to the extreme, because I am not allowed to bother her with anything when she's involved in other things, but she holds no such respect for me and my activities. When she sidles up to me, all sweet and cuddly, all I can do is internally cringe and wait for it, and then it comes: "I'm bored. What should we do right now?"
I love my husband, and he likes arguing with me at Costco, making for a very quiet and avoidance-laden afternoon. I'm not sorry; we just didn't need a cookie press.
I love television, and it's even better when I get to be in charge of what I'm watching.
Tomorrow is gonna be awesome.

Saturday, November 8

I've got the right-ish stuff, baby

I don't talk about it as much, since, you know, NASA isn't launching spaceships anymore, but I still really want to go into space. However, I don't think I'm comfortable figuring out how to hitch a ride on a Russian ship about now. Too much political situation going on, and I don't have $20 million.
But I still would really like to be an astronaut. How does a 41-year-old journalism major without a job become an astronaut these days? Well, let's check out the criteria, and how I stack up.
Be a citizen of a country that is capable of sending people into space: CHECK.
Be the right age. NASA has flown astronauts from 32 to 46: CHECK.
Be the right height, between 5'2" and 6'3": CHECK.
Pass the physical with flying colors, reading glasses not allowed: damn.
Speak English: CHECK.
Learn how to swim, and swim well: kinda CHECK. I can tread the water, but the scuba certification is lacking.
Get excellent grades in high school: damn.
Be a stellar student at a good university: damn.
Complete around abouts three years of experience work: CHECK. Housewife.
Consider joining the military: Nope.
Apply for the job: Okay.
Be able to complete training: Hmmm. Realistically, probably not.
Duly noted that my CHECKs fell off quite a bit towards the middle and end of the list there. That's depressing. Still, it's a super fun fantasy and lofty goal. And if actually, seriously, given the opportunity to do it, I don't know. I think I'd totally try it. But someone else will have to do the math.

Friday, November 7

I finally claim the Keurig

In an interesting turn of events, the Keurig machine downstairs has actually started to benefit me and my hot-beverage needs. When we first plugged the machine in, it tasted strongly of plastic. We removed the filter, and, if you can believe it, the results tasted less plastic-y. But still, when I brewed my Tazo zen tea, it tasted weird. Brian said his coffee was fine, but still, my tea wasn't. I concluded that the tea was just too delicate for the machine and its residual flavor, and therein washed my hands of it. That was about 10 months ago.
Just the other day, I was thirsty for some tea, and for whatever reason, didn't want to brew a cup in the microwave with a tea bag. I decided to roll the dice and try the Keurig with my zen tea brewing cup again. Much to my happiness, the tea came out perfect! It tasted just fine, and I think I have the last 10 months of Brian using the machine to thank for it. He obviously burned the bad plasticness out of the machine, and now it's finally suited for my particular tastes.
I've now brewed four cups of tea with my Keurig, including tonight's just-finished mug, and I'm beyond pleased. I need to find some regular black tea brewing cups for my mommy when she comes to visit, and we can enjoy our tea together. Suddenly, the Keurig is super awesome. As of three days ago, I'm finally a fan.

Thursday, November 6

A pretty pic, an ugly topic

I stayed up way too late last night watching 12 Years a Slave. I had avoided that movie like the plague for its entire run in the theaters, and then on DVD, and then on the movie channels. But then last night, for whatever reason, a couple seconds intrigued me enough to watch the last 90 minutes. And let me tell you, it was as brutal and horrifying as I thought it would be, and  I definitely should not have watched it. 
Certainly, it's important to understand and know our country's history. Especially the bad stuff, so we know that we can learn and grow from the foulest aspects of human nature. And I appreciate the movie for its beauty, and bravery in the story it told.
But the brutality of the story, and the advances in movie magic, made the story just too real for me, and my heart can't take it. It was forever before I was able to go to sleep last night. And I've had visuals and thoughts about it all day today.
I'm in one of those movie loops where it's just sitting at the front of my brain, and not even Thanksgiving decorations could do anything about it. It's just a matter of time before I get caught up in something else, I suppose.
To clarify, the movie was super good, and incredibly well acted and made. But my heart just can't handle evil like that.

Wednesday, November 5

My Archer bubble has been burst

I love the television show Archer. It completes me, as a hysterically awesome comedy puzzle piece in my head would. Seasons ago, after I fell in love with the show, Brian told me that the guy who does the voice for Archer looks absolutely nothing like what I would think. He said the guy was kinda dumpy, and not that good looking.
This disturbed me on several levels. The first and foremost being, of course, that Archer himself is hot and fantastic, and his voice is a big part of that. So to have the person behind the voice being not as hot was ... deflating to my fantasy. And since I learned that, I have avoided all instances when I could possibly see what that guy looks like in real life. I have actively skipped over Archer news and interviews and articles and vignettes that might have his picture or likeness in them.
And then, Last Week Tonight and Brian plotted against me. Last night's Last Week Tonight featured a Home Depot "commercial" about how employees of the store keep couples from fighting in the store. I watched it, amused and ignorant, for a good minute. And then, Brian.
Granted, he was excited that he recognized the voice and probably said it before he really considered what he was saying. But once I heard his recollection and figured out what he was telling me, I was horrified. One of the men in the ad was the voice of Archer. And now I knew what he really looked like. And what I had hoped would make the segment bearable, my closing my eyes and covering them, only made the problem worse, as then all I could hear was Archer's voice talking about Home Depot stuff.
I had really hoped to live out my obsession with Archer without this knowledge.

Tuesday, November 4

I just want a better education for my kid

As much as I love the democratic voting process, and the feeling of pride I get from taking part, this government is the most frustrating thing. I'm frustrated and irritated, and I haven't even gotten the results from the one thing I want the most: the school override initiative.
Of course, my daughter would rather all the things I care about on the ballot lose, because she enjoys having a half-day on Wednesdays, and would like for every day to be shortened. I couldn't imagine anything more disappointing than having her be overjoyed about her education being compromised because some people think that "securing our border" is more important than her livelihood. How about we have some funds go to the betterment of actual citizens of the country, instead of having them occupied with keeping other people out?
I don't care about people wanting to enter the United States. We've got plenty of room. I want a better education for the kids who are already here. Sydney has a one-track mind, and I am horrified at the thought of her telling me, "I told you so" about the school budgets.
At the end of the day, I can't imagine any of the new Republicans being too much worse than the old Republicans. I do imagine that Arizona will continue to be the butt of jokes on The Daily Show. I imagine that I will cringe and look away every time I see our new governor on TV. I imagine that I need a job so I can send my kid to private school again.

Monday, November 3

A housewifery post about being a housewife

ITEM!: You know what I enjoy? My house with no holiday decorations. It's so clean looking, and uncluttered, and ... normal. So my initial plan to put up all the Thanksgiving decorations tomorrow may well be put off until later this week. I think Thursday will be better. I've got other stuff I want to do the next couple days, and I'd rather enjoy the un-cluttery-ness of my home for a bit.
ITEM!: As if you aren't done hearing about my powder room, I'll update you. Most everything is bought and placed, and all that's left is a trip to Home Goods, where I anticipate finding a set of seashells for the windowsill, and a something something for the counter next to the tissue box. Once those things are taken care of, the powder room will finally be done, and I'll stop talking about it.
ITEM!: I'm also on the hunt for a new curio cabinet.
ITEM!: Hey. You know what I just realized? My life is kinda boring today. I need to get going on the thing I'm working on so I can have something awesome to do. Blah, blah, blah.
ITEM!: Tomorrow I need to hit the trail.

Sunday, November 2

It's just corn and sugar, people. Jeez

Sure, it's been "autumn" for a few weeks now, but today is the first day that I was able to feel it, as it is the first day since May that my air conditioner has not flipped on. There's something so pure and refreshing about having the windows open all day, and not being uncomfortable.
Sydney and I spent the morning doing exactly what you should do on a glorious fall day, we went to the zoo. The animals there were enjoying the day, as well. The Mexican wolf pack was wandering around. The javelinas were enjoying the breeze. We also saw movement from the tiger, orangutan, siamang, warthogs, goats, donkey, elephant, jaguar and tortoises.
I love wandering the zoo with my kid. She spends about as much time staring at the animals as I do, which is just enough, and she's perfectly happy having no path or agenda. Give her a bag of kettle corn, and she's a content little girl.
Which segues to my issue with the zoo. The large kettle corn bag, which is the only size a person can buy at the zoo now, is $7.99. With tax, the kettle corn costs $8.65. This is, without a doubt, a horrendous amount of money to pay for a single bag of kettle corn.
The additional problem with the cost of the kettle corn is the obvious fact that I still buy it. As does pretty much every other parent in the zoo. Almost every child is walking around with a handful of kettle corn. Have I complained to the zoo? No. What's their impetus to change the cost? They sell a BUTTLOAD of it at the price it is now. What I need is a place that makes good kettle corn, and won't charge me almost $9 for it, so it's not such a novelty at the zoo. What I need is a daughter who can get through a day at the zoo without the kettle corn.

Saturday, November 1

New England rocks this time of year

I do so enjoy the month of November. It's a hold-over from my time in Boston, of course, when November meant remarkable color in the trees, a definitive chill in the air, the pride of Plimouth, and anticipation for the winter.
In lieu of raking leaves today though, the family and I spent a portion of the afternoon in the garden, trimming back the tree and weeding the flower bed. There still is work to be done though, as some general maintenance needs to be done. My issue is cleaning up leaves and whatnot off my rocks in the backyard. My rake pushes and pulls too many rocks. Would a regular broom work better? I've got so much small yard debris, and no good way to collect it. A task that, hopefully, will be finished tomorrow afternoon. In a stark contrast to life in Boston, my yard debris is rose petals and citrus leaves, and it's all cluttering up a desert environment.