Saturday, January 31

A lovely little bear that wears boots

We used a Fandango gift card for our trip to the movies today. It was lovely, of course, to be gifted such a thing. I have to tell you though, this particular online ticket purchase is a racket. I will assume that all of the movie ticket purchasing options do the same thing, but this was annoying. A "convenience fee" of $3.70 was added to my ticket purchase. I find the convenience of that to be most irritating. It's not "convenient" to pay more money for tickets. It's a racket, as I said.
We saw the movie, Paddington. The reviews of the movie were horrible, but we don't really listen to them. Kids' movies are always a gamble when it comes to humor. This one had a couple moments here and there, but more times than not, Brian and I rolled our eyes. Sydney of course, loved it. This is totally the point, and I know this, but it's always a better time when the kid movies amuse the adults, as well. [Editor's note: My popcorn was super yummy.]
A bunch of years ago, I used to have a Paddington Bear bear. He was purchased in London, awesomely, and had the whole smash going on: red hat, blue jacket, note around his neck, boots. My gripe with the movie was that the bear didn't have the boots. They showed his little bear feet a whole bunch of times, but never had him get his little red Wellies. His little feet got super wet and super dirty, but still no boots.
I don't have that bear anymore, which is a drag. Though come to think of it, the Paddington Bear is a bear, and not a dinosaur, so Sydney would probably not love it too terribly much anyway.

Friday, January 30

It was a chocolate shake, but still yummy

Brian and I had a lovely date day today. It was rainy and gross out, but we made our way down to the ESPN Super Bowl FanFest anyway, and wandered around there a bit. We saw them filming SportsCenter, and watched the radio shows with Colin Cowherd, and Scott Van Pelt.
Since the parking lot where they built the ESPN installation was still unfinished, we ended up spending our morning hopping over puddles and avoiding the mud. Still, it was super fun, and we got to see plenty of ESPN people.
Also, they had a wicked huge merchandise shop there. We saw all kinds of awesomeness, and I found a hat that I really, really want. There were jerseys, t-shirts, hats, scarves, and all kinds of other nifty things. What I loved was that all the merchandise for both the Seahawks and patriots were exactly the same, but for the colors and logos. Designs, fabric, the whole smash, was identical, except for the teams represented. It was really pretty sweet, when you see that we're all so alike, except for the team we're rooting for.
Having said that, I really want that hat.
Also, we had a nice lunch where we sat next to each other, and really did share a milkshake.

Thursday, January 29

Perplex me, the line makes itself known

So I've discovered a thing on my face. I call it the Perplexion Line.
It's a wrinkle, and it sits right in between my eyebrows, but actually just the slightest bit closer to my right eyebrow. It's almost perfectly vertical and about a quarter of an inch long. I have decided that I quite enjoy the little guy. He makes me smile.
Because what else I've also noticed is that when I bring my eyebrows together, like when I'm PERPLEXED by my child or husband, the line becomes incredibly prominent. It's there, and there's no denying it. Like I said though, I quite like it, so won't be doing anything about it anytime soon.
Honestly, you wouldn't believe how many pictures I took of my forehead, brows and eyes, trying to capture the thing. Photography tip: The zoom of a small wrinkle, when making your eyes incredibly big on the screen, is creepy as hell to look at. I couldn't bring myself to post any of the pics, because they were just weird. The wrinkly dog is much better.

Wednesday, January 28

And then, another project was completed

I finally finished going through the iPhoto on my computer, and the grand total for open space on my hard drive is now ... dun, dun, dun, DUN ... 11.5 GB. Holy cripes, you guys, that's a whole lot of extra space being taken up by a whole lot of pictures. Obvious conclusion: I take too many pictures of stuff.
... Time to get back to my book.

Tuesday, January 27

Heart-shaped glasses look super cool

ITEM:! We have achieved sanity, and now know that it was indeed the glasses that were giving me the headaches. Apparently, I have a mild astigmatism that got mildly worse, and the new prescription accounts for that. This extra oomph on the glasses though, is what is giving me the pain in the head. By my expert analysis, and description of telling the guy that I have to concentrate to make the letters stop moving, they were able to pinpoint the issue quickly. I got another visit with the doctor, and she rewrote the prescription without the extra astigmatism issue. My glasses are gone again, and I should get them back in the next week or so.
ITEM:! I've started reading a book from my To-Be-Read List. Of all things, this should not be cause for celebration, but I feel like it is, because it's been so long since I've read anything book-ish. I've started spending Sydney's 30-minute free-reading sessions with her, and this means I actually had to dig into a book. No better reason to start a new book than to show my kid how awesome it can be to read something fun!
ITEM:! I also started my calorie counter app again. We'll see how long that lasts.

Monday, January 26

We like apples. We want to grow apples

Sydney and I started ... let's call it ... an extended life experiment.
We planted apple seeds in a little pot full of soil, with the intention of growing an apple tree.
Here's the plan: Once the seeds sprout and get too large for the little pot, we'll move them into a larger pot, then a larger pot. At some point, of course, the tree will have to be planted in actual ground, but until then, we intend to pamper our little tree with a whole lot of love.
As of now, the seeds are in a little pot on Sydney's bathroom window sill. It'll get sunshine all day there, as well as the humidity when she's in the bath. I'm watering it a little every day, so it knows it has a constant supply of water. We're telling it that it's an amazing little apple tree seed, and that it will be very happy with us, if it would only go ahead and sprout.
I confess to being super excited about how this will play out. I really, really, really hope that we get some leaves and a sprout in the next couple weeks. That's how long it should take, right? I don't even know. I did zero research on this project. We'll see how it goes, I guess.

These aren't working as well as I want

I waited 10 long business days until my new reading glasses arrived, and when they did, they came with a fancy new side effect: headaches. it took me a few days to make the correlation, but once I did, it made sense. I picked up my glasses on Thursday last week. That first night, I knew they didn't feel exactly right, but I convinced myself that I just needed to get used to them. Well, over the weekend, I realized that I had an awful headache at the end of each day, and that these headaches were turning me into a bad person.
Today, I chose to try my day's activities without the new glasses, and instead wore the 0.75 readers that I bought online a couple weeks ago. While there is still some pull in my left eye, the headache is not there. I wonder what would happen if I rolled with the 0.50 readers again. I'm going to order a pair off Amazon again, and see how that goes. Because in all honesty, I'd rather have some blurry stuff than have headaches and not want to read or type or anything.
I'll be taking my prescriptions to the eye doctor tomorrow to see what they can do about them. If they want to charge me to make any changes, I may have to just hang on to them until my eyes get that bad. This is super frustrating, because the glasses were okay, and I was okay with wearing them. But this experience has proved to be more irritating than I like. I want my old glasses back.

Saturday, January 24

Paleontologist = happy; parents = ugh

When our former neighbors moved out of the house next door in June last year, the mother asked if she could possibly leave her small barbecue in our backyard for a week or two until she returned to pick it up. It's still here. I don't have her phone number, but I do have her daughter's. I've texted her several times regarding the barbecue, but never heard back. It's time to get this thing out of my backyard because it's bothering me. On the next bulk pickup day, the damn thing is going to be out on my curb, and disposed.
It's hard to do something awesome for your kid, and have it kinda backfire, but have them still love it. It's contradictory, and I don't like that. Brian and I took Sydney to the "Discover the Dinosaurs" exhibit at the fairgrounds this morning, in what we thought would be a cool thing. According to the web site, tickets were $20 for adults, and $15 for kids (exhibit only). I had $60 in cash to finish up my birthday money, and I was okay with that. We arrived at the fairgrounds: $8 for parking. We arrived at the event: $20 each for Brian and I, but it was $25 for Sydney (all-inclusive, no options). And it was cash only at the ticket booth. We had to scrounge for the extra $13 to get in the place, which pissed me off, since I was feeling super ripped off. The exhibit itself was cheesy, certainly, and totally not worth the price of admission. What was worth it, of course, was how much Sydney loved it. But still, even with her proclaiming the event was "amazing," I was super annoyed with how much this had cost us. It had eight different display areas, and several opportunities to spend more money, but we kept to it, walked through it twice, hunted for bones in the dino dig, and she even got to ride a moving Tyrannosaurus Rex. For her: success and happiness. For Brian and I: would have loved to get a refund.

Friday, January 23

And then there was Friday

ITEM!: I bought some of the jelly cinnamon hearts at the store today, and they are good. This is problematic because I've already eaten way too many of them. I was "smart," and filled up the one candy jar and then tossed out what was left in the bag (like, six of them, but whatever) so I wouldn't have any extras around the house. Of course, I will probably end up buying another bag before Valentine's Day is over, and seriously should buy some for the freezer to get me through the rest of the year. But, here we go: good cinnamon candy.
ITEM!: I spent time deleting more pictures this afternoon, and managed to open up another GB worth of space. On my timeline, we're in the year 2012, and living in Houston (ugh), so there's still some time to go. But I don't think I'll have 10 GB of space when I'm done here. Maybe 8.5 or 9.
ITEM!: Also on the agenda was another wander through the Ikea catalog, and a little online research for the rest of my house's new set pieces. I'm in that mood where I just want to get new stuff, and change up the old stuff, and also unclutter everything. My household cleanse and purge continues next week.
ITEM!: Captain American: The Winter Soldier premiered on Starz earlier this evening, so I'm already watching that movie for the second time tonight. That it will be on heavy rotation over the next couple weeks makes me happy. I really enjoyed this one.

Thursday, January 22

Still not that much space

I've been having issues with my computer lately. Storage issues, to be more specific. I've been getting all these nifty alert windows that tell me that I'm running out of space. In fact, I couldn't even download the new Taylor Swift CD onto the computer because there wasn't enough room for it. In checking the computer information, I've discovered that it's barely clinging to life. My 120 GB drive is struggling. I need more space.
Brian and I did some research and discovered that I can replace my drive with a solid-state drive, wherein there will be plenty of space, and no chance of a crash. This is the best and only upgrade I can do to my computer at this point, since I'm not interested in a new machine just yet. I stopped at an Apple shop today to pick the guy's brain, and was assured that what we had seen was possible, and that it's certainly financially feasible.
But as I thought about my storage information, I started considering ... again ... what was taking up all the "other" space on my computer. The only really huge amount of space I could figure would belong to the pictures. My iPhoto file, probably, is huge. I don't know how to check it individually, so I thought to conduct an experiment.
I take a whole lot of pictures. Like, a whole, whole lot. So to go through the images I have on my computer and clean out the blurries, duplicates, uglies, and unknowns would be a huge task. I've never filtered through them, ever. But I spent a couple hours doing just that today, and from the pictures taken between May 2006 through September 2010, I deleted about 1,000 images, probably more. At that point, I checked my storage, and lo and behold, I had 5.85 GB of empty space on my computer. I figure, by the time I catch up to the present, I'll have 10 GBs at the minimum, available on the computer. This is amazing, obviously, but I think I still may go ahead with the solid-state upgrade.

Wednesday, January 21

Love them, love them hard

I have a love/hate relationship with cinnamon candies. I love them. Honestly, I do.
But for some candies, they do not love me. Those delicious cinnamon bears? If I eat more than two or three, I get a headache. The gummy cinnamon bears? The last bag of them I bought was too cinnamon-y, if you can believe it. The little hard cinnamon hearts for Valentine's Day? They are the best ever, but they are missing.
Granted, I've only been to the one store to find them, but Target is not usually a place where you don't find the candy that you're looking for. I've cruised through the holiday candy aisle a few times over the last couple weeks, and have come home empty handed. The grocery store is on my list for tomorrow, and atop the grocery list is ... well, milk. And bread. And breakfast foods. But also on that list are cinnamon candy hearts.
And I mean the smaller, hard cinnamon hearts, not the chewy ones that are on the candy aisle in Target, that may just end up getting bought anyway, because I have a sickness, and it can only be cured with cinnamon candies.

Tuesday, January 20

45 life lessons from an old lady (not me)

I rarely read the forwards that I get in my e-mail. They are usually not half as funny to me as they were to the person who forwarded them, so I typically don't spend my time on them. Inexplicably, I did click on one sent to me by Mom's friend, Carolyn, today, and it included this little gem (edited, of course, for punctuation and to make my eyes not hurt):

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, from Cleveland, Ohio:
"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:
1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short, enjoy it.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the future.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don't worry, God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words, "In five years, will this matter?"
27. Always choose life. [Kimmie's note: Or choose CHOICE.]
28. Forgive.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative of dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Of course, a couple of these don't apply to me, but for the most part, it's a pretty solid list. I'll take it.

Monday, January 19

I am woman, damn it. I can build shit

When it comes to my household, I am typically the person who does all the handy work around the place, does all the random projects, and fixes what can be fixed. Accidentally locked the bathroom door from the outside? Screwdriver. Power outage? Fuse box, because I am the one who knows where it is. Light bulbs out in the chandelier over the stairs? Umbrella handle stretches and pulls the lamp over. Unlockable slider downstairs? Broom handle cut to fit and brilliantly tied to the wall.
So it came as a surprise to me today when my daughter expressed snarfs and sighs and non-encouraging statements at me as I put together the curio cabinet we bought at Ikea the other day. I dealt with repeated queries as to waiting for Brian before putting it together; condescending exclamations of how much progress I was making; wonder as to if I'd get it done that afternoon; and my personal favorite, after I dropped a piece of hardware onto a glass sheet that did not break, "You broke it? I wouldn't be surprised." I was practicing crazy patience, but that comment was my last straw.
I'm like, "Excuse me? Slow your roll, child. I am perfectly capable of performing a large number of projects, without Daddy's help, without your help, and, believe it or not, without your commentary. I don't know why you seem to think I'm unable to do these things, but you just sit back and remember who does the fixing, building and problem solving in this house before you get all like, mom can't do anything right. I don't need your comments and observations while I am building this, which, by the way, I'm doing by myself and well. So you just sit there, and if you don't have something nice to say, be quiet."
I've always prided myself on being able to problem solve my house, family, friends, and life. That she would question my ability to do that is insulting to the highest degree. I was sure to point out to her when I was done that I finished my project, and that I did it on my own, and even had to "fix" a couple things that hadn't worked out as they should have. I'm having a crisis of confidence with this -- not within myself, but for her. Why would she have so little confidence in me? F*ckin' insulting.

Sunday, January 18

I'm a princess on my birthday

I really enjoy my birthday.
I've always loved being the center of attention, and birthdays offer me a yearly appointment for that to happen, so ... all good. I'm a princess, and it's my birthday, so everyone be nice to me!
I got phone calls; a ton of texts; and so very many Facebook messages. All excellent, wonderful things to make my day a great one. Brian and Sydney had a birthday bedside mocha and a handmade birthday card with kinda poetry in it for me, respectively, which made waking up a special treat. I got to name the time and place for most everything. Sydney had a friend's birthday party to attend at lunchtime, so I had a grown-up lunch with Brian for my day. And then, my football team won.
Birthdays are wonderful things. I'm super okay with 42.
Weirdness for the day: Mom in California, and I in Arizona, both slept horribly last night. Neither one of us had much deep sleep, and suffered for it. My theory is that, for whatever reason, our subconsciouses decided to give us the sleepless night we had 42 years ago, all over again, just so we'd have something else to mark the day. Sounds good, yeah? Any other explanation is silly.

Saturday, January 17

Picture it, but also with purple hair

Just a matter of tick tocks until my birthday, friends, and I'm good with that. You know what occurred to me tonight? I always, always, always stay up until midnight the day before my birthday. I can't think of a single birthday where I haven't stayed up to meet the beginning moments of the big day. Tonight is no different, and I've only got 16 minutes to wait.
For the first day of a birthday weekend, today was a productive one. I had projects that needed to be finished, and they were. I painted the lamp base in the guest room, and stenciled a design in a matching yellow on the shade. I can't wait to see it during the daylight, because I think it'll be super awesome.
Also, we went to Ikea and picked up the wonderful, new curio cabinet for all my Disney collectibles. I haven't put it together yet, but I will in the next couple days, and I'm really excited to do so.
But tomorrow is tomorrow, when I turn the next year older, and it is ... another day.
[Editor's note: This picture is my aspiration for myself in 40 years.]

Thursday, January 15

Creativity makes the house a home

I kinda produced a check on another EXPECTATION today, and I did it all with the pieces that I had in my house. I was able to trade one floor lamp in the living room with another, and moved a table lamp from upstairs to downstairs. So, there are still two awesome light sources in my living room, both are in good working order, and both are pleasing to my eye. As a boon, this perfection didn't cost me anything. I enjoy it immensely when I can creatively solve one of my random house issues. So, I'm going to call it, sorta. 1/5 of EXPECTATION #6: CHECK.
I visited Ikea this morning, only to discover the the curio cabinet I'm getting for my birthday is super heavy. I had hoped to to pick up the cabinet this morning and have it all put together and filled up tonight, but that was not to be. I don't like admitting that I need my big, strong husband for too many things, but with the curio, I had to admit defeat. So, it becomes part of Saturday's agenda.
My day revolved around lamps and my lack of burly strength. Not bad for a Thursday, actually. Especially if it's helping with the year's EXPECTATIONs.

Wednesday, January 14

Reminder: buy dog food tomorrow

I've changed up the pooches' eating schedules, and so far, I think it's going okay. When Cooper was eating puppy food, I fed both him and Oliver in the morning and at night their respective foods: puppy and senior. Cooper is now considered an adult dog, so I've changed his food to the less fatty adult recipe. The conversion went smoothly, with minimal goopy poo and farts. Huzzah.
Then came the next stage of my plan: only feeding them a prepared meal once a day. Since Oliver takes glucosamine in the mornings, I chose to stick with feeding them breakfast. I increased the amount of food I'm feeding them in the morning (close to double), and then let them eat the dry food that is available all day whenever they're hungry.
I was having issues with which food to leave out all day. Should it be the adult or the senior? Well, the adult is a good number higher in calories than the senior, and since Oliver's weight is more of a concern than Cooper's, it'll be the senior that's out all day. Cooper is smaller, so his larger breakfast will be more of his daily intake of food. Oliver's 1/2 cup of breakfast won't fill him as much, I don't think, so the senior dry food is better to have as the supplemental food. Also, if given both foods to choose from, Cooper will pick the senior. So, decision made.
And the schedule change to only have prepared breakfast was rocky that first day, but since then, it's gone more smoothly. In fact, they aren't bothering me for dinner at all anymore.
Food exchange, and the shift into Cooper's adulthood was successful! Yay dogs!

Tuesday, January 13

Published author ... scared and insecure

Holy crap, you guys. Kindle said I would have 24 hours to wait for the book to become public, but they lied. It's up there right now. What the hell do I do with that? It's like watching your baby take their first steps, and you have to watch through binoculars, and there's nothing you can do if they fall. Yeah, that's what it is.
I fully acknowledge that this thing may just crash and burn, but wouldn't it be interesting to have some people buy and read it? Random.
So, I guess we can knock off 2015's EXPECTATION #1. The book is published (CHECK), and now we can just let the cash start rolling in, right? Actually, Kindle sent me an e-mail with tips and tricks to help market the book once it's up there, so I'm eager to put some of those things into effect. But, you may ask, what's the title?
Well, I'm not going to tell you, because I'm totally scared that you'll all think it's dumb what I've done, and that it's a waste of time. Not very self-confident, obviously, but it is, what it is. Bizarre that my safe space has suddenly become very, very public, and that it's all my own fault. And that this exposure makes me afraid.
I'm thinking, "Why would anyone possibly care? Will I make them laugh? What the hell have I done?" So, I guess we'll see, right? Wow. I need a mocha.

Monday, January 12

But I'll need new glasses to read it

Remind me to pay more attention to the girl at the eye doctor's when she says, "Do you want to send these out, or you can keep them and we'll adjust the lenses to the frames when they arrive?" I misunderstood this question, and told the girl to go ahead and send the current frames to the lab for the lenses.
This misunderstanding has become a true and real pain in my eyes, as doing so much work on the computer without any glasses today has fried my head and burned my brain. Add the time spent on the phone, and it's just a horrible blind life I've got going on right now. The only way I'm getting through this blog post is by intentionally not looking at the screen. I'm just watching my fingers as they fly across the keyboard. Only little red squiggly lines under text are enough to grab my attention to what's happening up there.
I spent a whole lot of time reformatting and fixing, and adding and cleaning up, and preparing and readying, my book today. I had hoped to get it up online tonight, but I'll be waiting until tomorrow. I've got stuff to fill out and decisions to make, and I need a clear head to do it.
The book, so you know, is a collection of blog posts from It's all about..., with some brand new and fictional stuff, as well as the inclusion of the Baby G Grows blog. Having told you that, and since now the blog is becoming a paid-for commodity, I will have to take it off the public Blogger domain. When it's private, is there a specific bookmark I send out to my regular readers? I'll find that out, of course, before I make it private. Things are happening, my friends. I'm self-publishing a book, and it'll be the first in a series.
UPDATE: Hmmmm. The private blog setting means I need to invite everyone I want to read the blog individually, and then they have to set up a Google account to log in to read it. This is problematic to me, since I don't want it to be that complex for you all to read it. I wonder if there is a way to keep the blog public but make it indistinguishable from the book. Changing my name comes to mind, but then a search of a blog post title may create the problem I'm trying to solve. Damn. Time to put my thinking cap on.

Sunday, January 11

Get away from me kid; you're bothering me

Attention! Attention!
Awards season has begun!
Tonight's Golden Globe award ceremony was lovely and fantastic. Seriously, I think Tina Fey and Amy Poehler should host every year, and Ricky Gervais should present at least three awards every year. I think that's a pretty fair compromise.
You know what's not fair? That my kid still doesn't understand that one does not disturb me when I'm watching an award show. I am into the fun, fanfare and freakishness of these shows, and I don't like my attention being dragged away from them. To have a kid who had spent the last three hours upstairs not having any interest or time for me while she was playing with a litany of things, suddenly decide halfway through the show that she must have my undivided attention was frustrating. I thought that I had taught her better than that, and frankly, I disappointed myself as a parent in that moment. Strike that, in those several, long moments, because she refused to leave me alone and let me watch the show unhindered because "I've missed seeing you for this long while." (Her memory is short and annoying here; we spent all morning at the zoo, had lunch, took down Christmas lights, and she ignored me all afternoon.)
And then, this: "So, are you going to watch this whole thing tonight?"
Child, I've been watching and obsessing over award shows since WELL before you were born. Don't think for a second that that's stopping now. I will not be distracted. I love you, but figure out your own entertainment.

Saturday, January 10

The picture is not my plant, obvs

In a distressing turn of events, the spathiphyllums in my house are not dealing well with the winter. I have two such plants, each in a different room. The one in my bedroom always did well, but has been unhappy of late, giving me all kinds of brown leaves. I had thought that maybe it was because of the cold, since it sits near the window, but even after I moved it farther into the room, it continues to sicken. It seems that every two or three days, another stalk is officially dead and should be removed.
The same goes for the spath in my office. It actually is the remnants of the large spath I had downstairs and had to transfer into a smaller pot because of the brown leaves and dying stalks. So, this particular plant has had its issues for a while. I feel bad because in Houston, this particular plant had a gorgeous spot by the window, got some nice all-day sunshine, and enjoyed the humidity. Here, not so much.
I'm quickly coming to grips with the realization that spaths maybe don't belong in the desert. I've got so many other plants that are doing very well here. It seems that this is the only type that's struggling. (From what I just read, these plants thrive in humid environments, of which Arizona is not.)
I guess I'll just toss them and pick up something else. Something that doesn't require a whole ton of sunshine, but a lot of ambient light, and likes to be near windows. I love having plants (at least two) in every room, and to say goodbye to these two will indeed be sad for me, especially since they've been with me for so long.

Friday, January 9

I am beset by random injuries

Middle finger's knuckle on left hand. I was putting the weather tarp over Brian and Sydney's bikes yesterday, where they are propped up next to the wall. I was messing around with the tarp, and went to move it around a bit better when I scraped the back of my knuckle on the wall. The injury itself is a small one. Merely a scrape the size of a pencil eraser, but it bled, of course. The scab is having a hard time developing because I wash my hands a lot, and the toweling dry keeps making it hurt again. Treatment will be Neosporin and a bandage while I'm sleeping tonight, and hopefully it'll scab up by morning.
Tip of index finger on right hand. I was putting away stuff in the garage yesterday when I broke and split the fingernail on my index finger. The nail split down the middle to the tip of my finger, and broke the cuticle. I trimmed the nail down to the quick to keep it from snagging, but the tip of my finger is super sensitive, and it hurts to do the most basic and silly things. Typing, at this very moment, is an exercise in dealing with the pain. No joke, this is bugging me so very much.
Heel of left foot. It feels like I've got a blister growing on my left heel, but there's no physical evidence of it. I put on my Toms, and the heel smarts, for no real reason at all.
Bottom lip. I've been slathering on my Burt's Bees lip balm all winter, but the dryness still has beat me. There is a very thin and irritating split in my lip that is trying its very best to open up farther. Dry lips are the devil. I fight them with every ounce of my being, but they win.
Neck crick. Well, this one just hurts because I started and worked on my new puzzle for a couple hours today, and I did it without glasses, and the back of my neck feels all old-person and stiff. I need someone to rub my shoulders. This will be a recurring injury for the next few days, so there's that.

Thursday, January 8

Cripes, I need a soufle ... STAT

It didn't seem like a bad idea when I did it this afternoon, but tonight, I'm really hating myself for cleaning out the fridge and pantry. I systematically went through both, shelf by shelf, tossing out the bad, old and gross with little to no consideration. The trash bag I took outside was heavy and full. Sadly, my tummy regarding Midnight Snack is conversely empty and light.
All the fudge is gone. All the candy is gone. There is no cookie, no yummy ice cream, no delectable cake bread. My kitchen is a very sad place indeed. I ate Honey Nut Cheerios as my afternoon snack, and that's horribly sugarless and chocolateless. I had a cup of tea for my dessert tonight.
There are strange things afoot in my kitchen and home.
I can't wait to order my own personal birthday cake that may or may not be known to the rest of the family.

Wednesday, January 7

It's a book about ... oh, I don't know

Every day, I get a little closer to getting my book online. Brian and I did a lot of work on the cover today, and we may have settled on a concept and look for it. (In fact, we may have come up with an idea to carry through all the books of the series.) But first things first: I've got to put this one all together and scan it into my computer, and then we can really get going on this thing.
I'm starting to get pretty excited about this whole endeavor. So, it's all moving along, and I may have this thing up and running by the end of the weekend. That's the goal I'll set myself, so I don't rush it. A rushed book won't be any good to anyone, and that's not at all what I want.
I suppose I should do a quick search through Kindle to see if anything already has my title. That would be a drag, though according to Brian, my title isn't too catchy anyway. (Punk!) What other kinds of things does one do before self-publishing their book? No idea.
Ah, I know. I need my synopsis.
What the synopsis needs to be: catchy, pithy, funny, clever, interesting, informative, smart. ALL THE THINGS I AM, of course. How the hell does one condense all that into a short and sweet description of a book? Very carefully, I figure. We'll find out tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 6

"Don't I look FABULOUS, darling..."

This is one of the best dresses ever. Worn by Loretta Young at the Oscars.
It's seriously on par with Scarlett O'Hara's Dress of Curtains, and I can only imagine that the fictional dress was the inspiration here. It's also bizarrely reminiscent to me of my own bridesmaid dress for a certain awesome wedding. You can see why I'm attracted to it. I think the hook here is the fantastic shoulder wings and the splay of pink flowers. That she has an amazing figure is evident as well, so we know that the dress does exactly what it's supposed to. Or, more specifically, what she wanted it to do.
She's awesome. Don't be surprised if this becomes my profile pic some time soon.

Monday, January 5

I'm in need of stronger glasses, damn it

ITEM!: Since I have such a busy day tomorrow, I decided that Christmas had to go today. And of course, with any bit of urgency comes my tendency towards getting distracted. So, in the same amount of time as I decorated the entire house in early December, I managed to only put away the upstairs today. I watched movies to stall. One in particular was interesting, called De-Lovely, with Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd. It's a biography (not documentary) about Cole Porter, the composer, and his life with his wife, Linda. It was good enough to capture my attention early on, and continued to keep me distracted throughout. But as I write this, most everything Christmas is put away, with the exception of the towels in the dryer. I just have to put the bins away in the garage.
ITEM!: I managed to give myself some acid reflux tonight because I ate two tamales. Such a tasty dinner, but really, my body could have been fine with one. Instead, my stomach was all, "Hey! There's still a wee bit of room in here! You should SHOVEL another tamale in here and take up all this space and then upset your stomach!" So, I did. With sour cream. Ugh.
ITEM!: Sydney and I have appointments tomorrow. Me: eye exam, after two years, which is bad. Her: dentist, after six months, which is exactly how it should be. For the first time, we'll be charged for her dental visit. Apparently, after eight years, they stop extending a professional courtesy, and now expect us to pay for her visits. No biggie, really, because so much time has gone by, but still, I'm like, "No. Continue this service for free, please."

Sunday, January 4

Oh my goodness, how we love movies

We watched The Interview today, in a move that we decided was to be our patriotic duty. The fact that watching a movie has become a sign of being a good American is kinda weird, but I'm on board. The fact that the movie was entertaining was a boon.
Truth be told, I get bugged by Seth Rogen, and I find James Franco a bit bizarre. But today, quite by accident, I was entertained by both, and enjoyed the movie almost in spite of it.
Tonight, after the kid went to bed, we watched The Equalizer, starring Denzel Washington. It had a very Man on Fire vibe to it, which is fine because that movie is awesome, but it ran a bit predictable. I had to kinda cover my eyes a couple times as well, because cripes, there was a lot of violence. The movie itself surprised me with its 2.5 hour length though, and I caught myself checking the clock several times throughout the film. But, on the whole, I give it a positive review.
And now, here we are, having watched both of today's movies on iTunes, while leaving our one Netflix movie languishing on the TV stand unwatched. I'm beginning to think that we may go all online streaming, and cancel the DVD service entirely. A waste of resources is a waste of resources, and I find that I am not tolerating those much anymore.

Saturday, January 3

Plus, she knows she's always the favorite

I enjoy how confident I am that having one child was the best decision for me. But I tire of answering a stranger's questions about it.
All this is because I went to a baby shower today, and as conversation rolls around children at these events, I had to tell several people that yes, I only have the one child, and that it's because I chose that. In truth, I don't know if, having had the past to do over, I would do anything different, because anything different would certainly impact my relationship with Sydney, for better or worse, and I like it just fine the way it is right now. She and I are best friends and partners in crime, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
And it's important that other new moms know that having one child is a wonderfully valid thing to do, and they shouldn't be pressured into having more for any reason other than that they want to.
Poor Kristen doesn't even have this baby out of the womb and there was talk of the children that would follow. I made it known that having one child was fine, too. In all things, it's important to make the decision that is best for yourself. And deciding on whether to have children, and/or how many children, is an intensely personal one. I'm intrigued by people who think that they can have an opinion that matters on someone else's choices there.
Having an only child is not a popular choice, but it's one that should be respected. I get tired of people asking me why I chose to have only one, and irritated at their presumptuousness in asking me to explain my decision. I don't ask why they chose to have three, or two, or five. It's not my business.
One child is wonderful, and no one should ever have to explain that.

Friday, January 2

Jake is the best cat ever

Sydney and I watched another one of my favorite Disney classics tonight: The Cat From Outer Space. I've always loved this movie, and it hadn't occurred to me how many times I'd seen it, or how much I had committed to memory, until I was in the midst of it and remembering every tone, phrase, movement and piece of dialog. Every second of it was like a cozy, warm blanket. Comfort watching at its finest. And, happy bonus, she actually really enjoyed the movie. It is, she tells me, one of her top four movies ever. (She can't remember the top three, but knows that this one is fourth on her list.)
But we only watched this movie because I flatly refused to watch her first choice, The Fox and the Hound. That movie is sad, and makes me cry. I didn't want to watch a crying movie, so asked her to find something else. Bambi? No. The Cat from Outer Space was her third choice.
But what's better is that I also suggested Gus, and she seemed entertained and intrigued by the idea of a donkey playing football. I think Gus will be our next new movie, and I am beyond excited to watch it with her. Nothing better than listening to her giggle at movies that have made me giggle for years and years.

Thursday, January 1

On an ice floe, holding a penguin

So, it's January. Do you feel any different?
I was reminded this morning that I'll be a year older this month. And then I wasn't even allowed to sleep in, so that's a good start. (Said with sarcasm)
And here I sit, later on the first day of the new year, watching 2 Guns, and considering my upcoming year. I have a good feeling about 2015, you guys. I have no basis for such a good feeling, but it's there. You know what I do have? Determination. I am determined to not have to deal with some things I dealt with in 2014. I am looking forward to a change in my motivations, and situations. And herein, are my EXPECTATIONs for 2015.
EXPECTATION #1: Publish The Book. I'm just about done with it, and it'll be going live in the next several days. I'm in the midst of the finalities of it, and am eager to see if there's a market for it. There, I told you. That's the big, secret project I've been working on.
EXPECTATION #2: Start on Book Two. What with the finishing of the first one, it'll be time to get started on the second one.
EXPECTATION #3: Cleanse and purge the house. I feel like this is a rehash of last year, but we've been in this house for 18 months now, so I should have a better grip on what we need and don't need. What we need, is more space. What we don't need, is stuff we don't use. Garage sale city, here I come.
EXPECTATION #4: Make Gammage my friend again. Also, take Sydney to her first stage musical. It killed me to not take her to see The Lion King last year. I hated not seeing Kinky Boots. I am done with not going to shows anymore. This needs to change.
EXPECTATION #5: Join the gym, and return to the life of a gym rat. I need indoor cardio, yoga and weight training. I'm bored with how fat and out of shape I feel. I have to lose these extra pounds; to match energy levels with my kid; and it is imperative that I fit into my jeans better.
EXPECTATION #6: I need backyard potting shelves; a living room lamp; a curio for Disney collectibles; a box spring and bed frame for Sydney's room; and a sofa. These pieces are required to finish the puzzle that is my house. Funnily, most of these items can be acquired at Ikea. Maybe one piece a month until the list is done?
EXPECTATION #7: Find Brian a better job. Find me any job. Career-wise, we've been in a relatively unhappy place for a while. Brian needs a better office to work in; I just need any office to work in. It'll be a good thing to make things better on that front.
EXPECTATION #8: Better keep up with my magazines. I've got three issues of Vanity Fair next to my bed right now, and that's a travesty. I just caught up on two months worth of InStyle. I finished three issues of Entertainment Weekly and a couple Real Simples this week. There is no reason in the world why I can't find 30 to 45 minutes a week to take care of these gems (and an hour a month for VF).
EXPECTATION #9: Do better with birthdays. I always tried to get birthday cards out to those I love, but the whole plan would die early in the year. I discovered last year that I enjoyed it when I got actual texts from my friends on my birthday, though. So, actual, personal birthday texts will be my new plan, and I will forsake the Facebook birthday wishes that for some people, just won't do.
EXPECTATION #10: Vacation. We will, as a family, go on vacation somewhere.
As I look at them, I'm actually pretty pleased with what I have planned and hoped for in the next 12 months. Those look like a nice set of EXPECTATIONs. Let's see how we do. Ready? Go!