Left him to work on a big paper on the Cold War he has that is now overdue and when I return he's on facebook. I get him off the computer so I can do my own work and he gravitates to his video games. If computer or video game is unavailable, then he takes naps and hangs around reading Tom Clancy novels. I want to pull out my hair, and then his hair but at this point I have to take an observational backseat (and grumble here, apparently, lol...) lest I not let him fall on his face if it is really what he needs to do to wake up.
We had to make a deal with him that we weren't going to do any more behavioral modification (i.e. punishments, rewards, hollering, guilting, etc.) as he is of age and it's his life (and it was making a very unhappy household) but it's so hard to watch him scraping along knowing he will seriously regret it later if he flubs this.
So close. Maybe so far away. Maybe snatching the golden ring. Maybe missing the last banana. Maybe a moment of relief. Maybe we just wasted money on senior pictures.
&*%#@! I hate parenting sometimes.
And I got a walkman! I'm a techie dinosaur to my kids, heck, I still have a drawer full of cassettes, so moving to an mp3 player of my own is quite the leap into the space-age by comparison, lol...gradually learning how to work the thing, amused by thinking to myself that at last I can participate in those memes where they want you to put your player on shuffle and do things with the results. We must keep our priorities straight, after all! :-D
We've also had another church join us in our building to share the space starting this past week - I went to their Bible study last week just to meet some of them and they were a hoot, looking forward to making that a regular thing, I'm always up for a good study, they're always fun and/or interesting. This weekend we're doing a St. Pat's day potluck with the two congregations so folks can get to know one another, so far so good. Our preschool is really struggling to find students (or rather, families who can afford to pay for preschool) so it's nice to have something working well.
I laughed as I watched the pickup head down the hill at high speed with its new fashion accessory, a breadbag flag jauntily vibrating in the wind as it went. :-)
The problem is, where do I find a good chair that will be ergonomic and all that jazz that is for a woman-sized torso instead of for a 6-foot man? I want arm-rests, but they are invariably too high for me because I'm just not that tall/long for instance. All the chairs I poked through at the local office supply place were either meant for men, meant for extra-large men or were super cheapo with no arm-rests. What gives? I know there's a LOT of women in front of computers out there.
Any tips, hints or womanly wisdom here? Where did you gals find your chairs? Do you like them?
My folks finally found a home to buy down in the middle of the valley near my old alma mater, Western Oregon - it was a 'college' when I was there, since then upgraded to a 'university'. There are renters in the place, though, so they have to wait until April to be able to actually get into it and have gone off in their camper to the coast in the meantime. so at least it's quiet here again. I'll drive down tomorrow afternoon and check out the town, I'm sure it's different than it was in the late 80s when I was last there, it will be interesting to see what's changed.
So. Life. Made a big pot of meaty spaghetti sauce with plenty of olives and mushrooms for dinner, topped off with whole wheat oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. We didn't mean for them to be whole wheat, that was a flour-bin mixup, but they're pretty good that way. Time to go watch another ep of 'Riders of Berk' - enjoying catching up on those. There must be hundreds of black cats named "Toothless" out there by now.
Not that it's bad, per se, it's always interesting to me and goodness knows the dribs and drabs of money are useful, we're still supporting 1 kid in college and 2 in private high schools, after all - but I think I'm in need of pushing back a bit.
Ah, the age-old balancing act of work and pleasure, it never goes away does it? Don't want to wait too long and go falling off the tightrope. How's your balancing act going? Are you keeping the Big W word balanced with sanity-protecting fun stuff?
I opened the pdf one last time to be sure all the pages were opening on the file I'd just sent out to all these people and what do I see?
Two ants carrying a banana.
They were a tiny picture, tucked right where they look like they're about to ram one of the headers with their fruity yellow burden. What the heck? Where did they come from? How in the world did I accidentally paste in two ants carrying a banana randomly marching across one of the pages?
I beat my head on my desk. My kids laughed and said to tell anyone who commented that it was an easter egg.
Sigh. *snert snert snert*. Sigh. *snert*
I'm sick too!
At least it's just my nose, sniffle honk!
My lungs are in on the fun too, hack hack!
My stomach shouldn't have signed up for this.
You want sick? I'll show you sick!
Germs? What germs?
I'm picky about the color of the box.
I could build cheap housing with my empties.
I feel like I live in a tissue box.
Cloth hankies are more my speed.
My sleeve works...
A couple fic recs: I finally had a chance to just sit and read a couple fanfics last night, a luxury I've rarely had of late. We're in a mild 'Rise of the Guardians' phase here, mixed in with the usual fandoms and ff.net has some quality reads by psychicsaphie for those so inclined. They run a touch intense, well-written and interesting. Start off with Snowbird then carry on to The Frost Spirit and the Honey Tree. If you're brave, go to the still-in-progress The King of Cold Mountain, but be warned it has a nasty foe and serious cliffies.
For my fellow Three fans, PandaInTheStars (starpanda of DbyA) has taken Jon Pertwee's love of playing vampires and crossed it over into his Doctor role - take UNIT and Three and consider how it would happen if he were still an unusual entity holing up and working for them, but for different reasons. .Blood and Tea is also at ff.net. Everyone stays in character and the action/solve-a-mystery plottiness is good fun. She's working on a sequel as well.
Do you do anything that's more interesting? I'm open to suggestions!
Germs knocked me out for a couple days, bleahhhh.... but one nice part of it was as I was laying in my bed being miserable my daughter came and propped up her laptop then started a the Big Finish audio in which Six meets Evelyn for the first time and then they go on an adventure involving Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth... So I can FINALLY say I've heard a bit of the Audios, though not nearly enough for my preference as an hour later when she was no longer in the house I made the mistake of hitting the pause button for a moment...and the computer went to its login and I didn't have her password and Six and Evelyn were loooost to meeeeeee.... Hopefully I'll get to hear the rest of it later, now I want to know what happened. I do like Six when he isn't being blindingly rainbow and dogged by a whiny Peri.
Here's to another year, onward into the fray we go!
Y'know, when we got this house I was blown away at the thought of having an extra room (think about it - EXTRA room. An extra one. Like, a whole room that is extra!) It quickly became half storage, half guest room and has seen pretty constant use. Friends, travelers, relatives, strangers, all kinds of people have been in there. More than one has lived there for an extended time.
So speaking of extended times - My folks sold their house and therefore had to move into their 5th-wheel. Technically. Actually, my mom would completely lose her mind living in a tiny 5th-wheel, so they're in our 'extra' guest room. How long? Who can say? Until they find a property they like well enough to buy. And they have a weiner-dog (our cat has mixed feelings on this part). Good thing we get along pretty well. Full house!
Time to go watch a Christmas show - maybe 'Shop Around the Corner,' I love Jimmy Stewart.
Alas, Suzie-Qs and Cupcakes, we knew you well...
Well, not that well - actually we were very low on the scale for Hostess consumers, it's mostly memories of being a kid and drooling over the colorful packages in the store and wishing we could afford them that comes to mind. The grocery store clerk said people had been coming in and loading up on Hostess all morning, so I'm obviously not alone in that.
Actually, I've gotten to where I shop Etsy first anymore, I love being able to support all these nice people who make all these nice things! Like my somewhat-local Heavenly Honey Farm, - yummers... I tried their honey lip balm and honey eye cream and now find myself abandoning my former loyalty to the mass-marketed 'Burts Bees' with scarcely a backwards glance. Sorry, Burt! You've been one-upped. I went back to Heavenly today and ordered a couple of their 'pillows' of lip balms to give to our church and preschool staff for Christmas this year, yay for having that taken care of.
Now I want beeswax candles too. Haven't splurged on one of those for a long time. Hm!
One down! We just had a great weekend at a retreat center out in the country, surrounded by 270+ friendly women who didn't have a clue we were undercover retreat-lurkers. No one ever did figure it out, which I found amusing. We took notes on what worked (personalized candy bar on my bed! Casual, continental breakfast in jammies!), and thoroughly enjoyed having a relaxing time where we were free to wander in and out as we liked, as no one there had any expectations regarding us at all and they would probably never see us again anyway. And there was a heated pool and hot tub. And badminton. And late night games of Bananagrams with too much junk food on tap. I could get used to this.
Next one looks like it will be in early March, maybe, at a beach conference center. Another friendly megachurch. Niiiice.
And the ladies at my church who have heard of this mission say "Oh yes! Take notes! We really need new ideas!" Gladly shall I make this Great Sacrifice of my Time, Hanging out at Fun Places.
Thankfully they have a friend with an empty airplane hanger that they can store things in til spring, and an RV. Into the camper they go, weiner-dog, cat and all yo-ho! They'll spend the winter as rolling stones gathering no moss while they check into other people's moss growing at various towns and decide where they want to plant themselves again. I expect we'll see a fair bit of them as my house will now be the 'stability point' for Mom, Dad doesn't need one, he's happy with wheels on his feet.
The cat, Bentley, wasn't too happy with having to learn to wear a harness, but they've gotten him to where he and the dog both get harnesses put on each day ("getting the kids dressed for the morning") and he's finally ignoring it instead of spending the day trying to back out of it, heh. Adventures never cease.
Dinner in a Pumpkin
1 4-5 lb. pumpkin
1 lb. ground beef
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 c. uncooked instant rice
3 T. butter or margarine
1/2 t. salt (optional)
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. thyme
1 can diced tomatoes (undrained)
2 c. beef broth
1/2 c. grated cheddar (optional)
Wash the pumpkin and cut a nice wide lid on the top (you want to be able to scoop yummy things out later). Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits. Brush the inside of the pumpkin with the butter and sprinkle it with a little salt if you like.
In a skillet, saute the beef and onion until browned. Drain fat. Add the rice and remaining ingredients except the cheese. Put your pumpkin in a shallow dish (I use a casserole dish) and fill it with the meat mixture. Put the lid on the pumpkin and stick the whole thing in a 350 degree oven. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the pumpkin is tender. You can add more broth if needed. Take off lid and sprinkle with cheese while hot.
Serve right from the pumpkin, scooping out pulp with the beef mixture.
For lower sodium people like me, just use no-salt tomatoes and unsalted beef broth and reduce or even eliminate the table salt too. Still very tasty and homelike. This is the only time of year I buy instant rice, just for this, and sometimes use dried minced onion instead of fresh, though fresh is always better if you have one handy.
Today I bought a very pretty handmade pottery pitcher instead, with blue, green and natural toned glazing and a lovely swoop to the handle. The "nice" crystal pitcher is going to the thrift store. I feel so happy! Being on a roll, I also replaced the plastic tumblers we've had forever because we had kids and kids break things with Real Glass tumblers (in rainbow colors!) - after all, the "kids" are nearly adults now and rarely bury their drinking cups in the sandbox anymore.
Then I bought a new picture frame for a picture in my living room and tossed that horrid Oh-So-80s oak one. Ahhhh.
Someone stop me before I order all new furniture!