Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Taking my mojo outside

After the rain and high winds we had in our area over the last several days, my yard needed some attention. I'm kind of into the barely-kempt au natural look for my yard, but the amount of sticks and toys were kind of pushing it.

Last fall I wasn't able to get all the leaves cleaned up before the snow fell. This was partly due to my sciatic nerve problem flaring up (twisting and raking will do that), and party due to Deuce constantly wandering off into whatever part of the yard/neighborhood I wasn't working in.

The result of having a carpet of leaves until the ground dried out in spring is that we set ourselves back significantly in our quest to grow grass. A couple of areas where real piles had sat were totally dead. We made a lot of progress on the lawn, so this fall I'm starting early and trying to keep ahead of the work.

This year I also have the fence on my side, plus Deuce and I spent the whole summer gardening so he knows we can make a game of working outside together. The back pain - well, that's just a fact of my life until I get my bionic spine implant.

The beech tree has already lost half it's leaves, and Deuce and I managed to get all those leaves raked, plus the sticks and branches that fell from the wind. Just to put my finishing touch , I'm going to air the dog bed on the clothes line. Who needs picturesque - we're going for "lived in."

Friday, September 25, 2009

That New Stuff State of Mind

In the year that I have been out of work and home with Deuce, our fixer-upper house has gone unfixed, for the most part. With the notable exceptions of the fence and the guest room (the latter of which I did for under $50), DeuceDad and I put our home improvement plans on hold.

There are things around the house the DeuceDad and I each can't stand, but we're living with it in the name of financial responsibility. DeuceDad hates out kitchen with the fire of 1,000 suns. The carpet and wall colors in the office sap all my creative energy.

What I really can't stand isn't the lack of floor molding - it's the broken things. The fridge door doesn't stay closed. I broke the handle off my washer. One of the burners on the stove doesn't light. I was plotting a coup in which I order new appliances and deal with the payments later (somehow). But then my cell phone broke, which actually changed things for the better.

I knew I couldn't call customer service and act like a reasonable human being. DeuceDad generously offered to call AT&T and try to get a replacement - and he succeeded! No yelling required! New phone was set to arrive on Friday, and life would be restored to normal. It was almost too easy.

Wednesday was a little hectic, and when I came home to some destruction in the garage from the dog I decided I needed to tackle some of the things that had been driving me nuts.

I ordered a new knob for my washer. I rented a carpet cleaner and cleaned the filthy carpet in the family room and our dog-smelling couches. I cleaned some kind of sediment off the innards of the stove burner so the igniter works. My cell phone arrived and I synced it - although I need to reenter all my contacts (argh). In the period of a few hours I resolved a lot of things that had been bothering me without spending much money.

The temptation to get new stuff was so great - I like to have nice things as much as the next person. But a little research and elbow grease did the trick for now, and I'm really proud of what I was able to do.

I used:
Taylor Rental
Sears Parts Direct
Palm Support
Yahoo Answers
And my own two hands!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Running Vicariously

Last weekend I stood near the finish line cheering on my best friend as she crossed the finish line on her first 5K. I had the camera, and Deuce and I had maracas and we cheered our hearts out for her as she came in just under 30 minutes, her goal time.

That should have been me. I should have been out there with her, panting, sweating and victorious.

The frustrating part is that this time I actually intended to do it, and I tried until I just couldn't take the pain from the heel spur/plantar faciitis any more. I freely admit that in the past I quit. I quit exercising as soon as it got hard, or I got bored, or had something better to do, or wanted to sleep in. But this one time, when I was really committed, something took me out of the game before I was really in it.

But you know what? That wasn't me. It was her, and she worked her butt off to accomplish this. And I was so happy and proud when she crossed that finish line. I had G2 and nutrigrain bars packed, took pictures of her and her running partner, and gave her all the sweaty hugs that I know she needed after putting her all into something.

I felt so much excitement and pride at her accomplishment that I forgot all about the fact that I was on the sidelines. Her happiness adds to my life and does not diminish it.

That's the thing about having a 14-year friendship with someone - you share their joy and pain. In this case I had only the joy and none of the sore muscles, so it really worked out for everyone.

Next year, maybe next year that will be me. Until that time comes though, I will keep cheering for my friend, keep healing, keep dreaming.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

And the award for best blog title goes to...

Where Am I Going and Why Am I In This Handbasket?

A question I ask myself conservatively 58 times/day. MamaTulip is a really funny lady. I had bookmarked her, but she didn't make it into my feedreader for some reason, blah blah, check her out though, it's good stuff.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cutting up a whole chicken: file under "not worth it"

In my ongoing efforts to save money*, I bought a whole chicken to cut up at home. The intention being that I would get the chicken pieces I wanted, plus extra meat and the bones to make chicken soup with, and pay LOW LOW PRICES! I saved $0.50 per pound, which on a 7 lb chicken, added up to a $3.50 SAVINGS!

I have cut up cooked whole chickens before, so I applied the same principles. Cut through the meat to the joints, knife into the joint, crack. Remove the extremities, then separate breasts along breast bone. Okay, now imagine cutting up that lovely smelling hot roast chicken if it was ice cold and slimy. Not cool, dudes! That 7 lb bastard slid thisaway and thataway all over my counter until I had successfully butchered it, and not myself. Mission accomplished.

Over my ziplock bag of broth fixin's and bowl of parts soaking in buttermilk, I considered whether it was worth it. My verdict is no. You can't put a pricetag on having someone else pull the kidneys (testicles? spleen?) out of a raw chicken for you.

Next time at the grocery store I will gladly pay more for cut up chicken.

*by save money I mean pay less for essentials so I can still do stuff like have my cell phone and buy craft supplies.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


You can shut a toddler is his room, but you can't make him nap.

I heard footsteps upstairs a few minutes after I put Deuce down for his nap, and this is what I opened the door to.
This is no surprise. A couple of times a week, Deuce refused to nap despite all my best efforts. And I think it's okay for 2's and 3's to just rest in the afternoon for a while even if they don't sleep. But as you can see by the state of his room, no resting was going on.

I have a haircut tonight, so DeuceDad's going to have fu-un with him tonight.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


I. feel. horrible.

Next time I want to eat all my meals 'on the run' remind me that I have a weak stomach. Please.

Today I injested two cups of coffee, a bacon egg and cheese biscuit, hash brown and iced coffee from McHell, followed by a large cone of cinnamon almonds and a diet coke from a fair. To top it off? Baked chocolate chip cookies. And ate some batter.

Pass the pepto, dudes.

I can't believe Deuce is still standing. He ate almost a whole bag of cheddar goldfish, some apple juice and grapes for the whole day. I guess one day of him not getting his 5 fruits and veggies won't kill him, but I'm a goner.