Wednesday, August 31, 2011


A few weeks ago we went to the old house and pulled up some irises. Methinks it’s time to divide and replant them now.

Irises are funny things. They are a hardy rhizome, or at least I’ve always had hardy ones that seem to grow no matter what. I mean, as long as they have a little sunshine and something to sink their roots into they’ve grown for me, whether or not they were even planted in the ground or simply sitting on top of the soil. However, for best results, I have learned a few things over the years.

First is that you should divide them every few years in mid to late summer so they have time to redevelop the root system for the following year. You will know when, because undivided irises will have diminished blooms due to overcrowding. Fear not, as dividing means you’ll have plenty to give away to friends and family. Think of them like the Amish Friendship Bread of the flower world. After dividing, plant them every eighteen inches with the top of the rhizome as close to the soil line or slightly above and the roots below. Water well.

Secondly, you should trim the blades before autumn to about six inches from the top of the rhizome. Like with most bulbs and rhizomes, waiting until they have been able to absorb as much moisture and nutrients as possible before cutting them will ensure a fabulous display for next year. Irises actually have a much longer blade life than most bulbs, and tucked into and between other blooms they provide a nice foliage backdrop for annuals such as alyssum, lobelia and petunias, but also work well in a perennial garden. Think of them as fillers once the blooms have faded by simply cutting off the stem, which, in some varieties, will also stimulate reblooming.

Lastly, it is important to get rid of any rotting or diseased looking rhizomes. Typically this is caused by planting in clay or nearly impenetrable soil in which water sits on the ground for too long and causes the iris to rot. While it is possible to grow irises in clay soil, it is best if it is broken up and some form of soil amendment is added to keep it from forming a solid mass again. Old leaves, compost, even potting soil will help.

And so today after breakfast, I plan on taking those irises we gathered from the old house, which was only a small fraction as there are hundreds of them, and finding new homes for them both here in the yard and giving a few away to friends and family. I wish I would’ve taken more, but at the same time with as fast as they grow and so few places to put them here, I’ll have a replenished stock in no time.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I’m not much of a risk taker. Go ahead, ask anyone.

When given the choice between certainty and the possibility of fulfilling a dream or a passion, I will nearly always gravitate towards certainty. Why? I’ve never been one to risk falling flat on my ass if my dreams fail. Has this approach ever actually worked? Nope. So if certainty isn’t all that certain, what is the real risk of trying to attain a goal that just might make me happy in the long run?

So, I’m not saying that I’ve never taken a risk, but let’s just say my approach towards said passions is usually half-assed as well. When I lost my job because I asked if the company I worked for was being bought out by another company back in nineteen-ninety-nine, I figured what the hell, I’d try my hand at being a web designer. My naivety of the world of web designing, and the fact that I never had any formal training, and that HTML was almost completely foreign to me (though, admittedly, I do know some source codes) should have been a huge warning sign that this wasn’t going to work. Alas, I tried anyway. I failed to even get started and ended up working at The-Store-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named for the next nine years. Again, choosing certainty over self-fulfillment.

The older I get, the less tolerance I have for simply allowing myself to fall into familiar patterns. However, I must admit that having a job in this economy is worth far more to me at this moment than pursuing a dream or two. Perhaps a balance is required where I can find the time to do both. My husband asked me the other day why I never write anymore, and I had to be honest, it’s this blog. My original goal was to write every day for a year to prove to myself that I could do it first, but also to try and stimulate my creative side and work on a novel or children’s book or something, anything. However, while he believes this blog has been a hindrance to that, I’m thinking that I have been the actual roadblock. I mean, I only spend about fifteen to twenty minutes a day writing a blog entry, usually first thing in the morning while drinking my coffee, which, even after work, leaves me with plenty of time to work on other projects.

Lately I’ve been taking a hard look at how I spend my time and if it is worth it to be a mindless zombie or to force myself to work on doing something creative every day. I think that if I really wanted to, I could do this. After all, even though some of the blogs I’ve written are, well, complete crap, I still wrote them for a small amount of self-fulfillment to prove that I could make a goal and stick to it. So perhaps instead of taking a risk, or thinking that I’d be risking my job at the sake of creativity, I need to simply make the time to do something about what little sanity I have left and use some of my God-given talents before they whither away.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Quilt Block Four

Before heading over to a friend’s house to babysit while they were at a photography shoot, I managed to get in a little sewing. Of course, picking out the fabrics took more time than anything else.

After raiding my entire stash of batiks, I finally gathered enough variety to start the fourth block in The Desperate Housewife’s Quilt. It took some doing, as the type of block called for a wide variety of colors. If I really wanted to make it easier on myself I could’ve thrown in a few other prints, but I wanted to keep it fully batiks with black and white. Alas, I digressed into textured solids for this block anyway.

Once I figured out the colors, it was time to cut into the many different sized pieces required to make the block. There was no way to make this arduous task go by any faster than simply rotary cutting the pieces one at a time. I’m sure if I had a fabric cutter like an AccuQuilt Go! or something similar, it’d have taken far less time, but honestly I like the process of cutting each piece individually. There is something to be said about being slightly less than perfect.

Now, sewing the pieces together was a breeze as I chain-stitched where I could, finger pressing my seems open as I went. After it was done I still had some time to start the next block, but that was about it. Perhaps after work tonight I’ll finish block five.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Sometimes setting goals for yourself is a good thing. At other times, however, it can set you up for failure.

Unless you are a goal oriented person, setting a goal for yourself isn’t going to do much good. I mean, not all of us are wired to be the best at something or win every game or become powerful, rich or successful. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be the best person we can be. For instance, I’m not particularly brilliant in any one area but I am pretty damn good at a lot of things, and I’m okay with that. Well, not completely okay with that.

If there was a way to actually make money doing something that I love to do that would be great, but I’m a horrible business person. A fair amount of the cakes I’ve done for people I have either lost money or barely broke even because of undercharging or having to take time off work to actually have the time to make the cake. This would be considered a failure by anyone’s standards.

But even a non-goal oriented person can benefit from setting goals, they just need to take a realistic approach to it. I don’t mean setting a goal that you are going to poop that day or anything mundane like that to make yourself feel like you accomplished something during the day and give yourself a sticker on a kiddie chart, but an actual achievable goal. Although, I guarantee that if I set that poop goal, I’d be constipated. No, I mean small goals that can be done and won’t take a whole lot of time. While I know the weather is supposed to be gorgeous again today, I still plan on setting a goal of finishing one quilt block. Then, maybe, I’ll go outside and attend to the chickens and the garden and the weeds and…

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Time To...

The song Turn! Turn! Turn! by The Byrds has been running through my mind a lot lately. Perhaps my subconscious is trying to tell me something.

I’m not sure what it is about music that is so powerful, but when I am happy, sad or frustrated, music seems to help me either elevate my mood or get through the emotions in a timely manner. When I’m happy or need a pick-me-up I tend to listen to Rob Thomas or Matchbox20 or, if I’m elated and have the time, the entire collection of Matchbox20 and Rob Thomas in order. Why? I don’t know how to explain it but something about all the doom and gloom surrounding a majority of the songs makes me feel good and actually start dancing… by myself, of course. When I’m grieving over the loss of something or someone I care about, the only album I turn to is Natalie Merchant’s Tigerlily. Between the lyrics and her melodic, enchanting voice, I find a way to get through my grief by remembering the good times, bad times, loss and finally peace with what has happened. And anytime I’m frustrated or need to get out of a funk, I listen to The Mamas and The Papas.

So when Turn! Turn! Turn! starting playing in my head, a song I do not own but is perhaps on my husband’s iPod since he’s got like a million or so songs loaded up on that thing, I tried to contemplate why. I could think of two reasons; first being that our pastor read the scripture in Ecclesiastes the lyrics are based on recently, and second, the song has a lot of meaning to me right now in my life. With all of the turmoil and uprooting that has been going on lately, perhaps my subconscious is trying to tell me there is a reason for it all. Or perhaps I’m simply forcing my brain to accept what has happened and put a song to it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Role Reversal

I’ve been in a funk lately. Hopefully I’m starting to figure out why.

Since summer started it seems my husband has taken on most of the household duties. He’s a teacher, so no school means no work which (sigh) means no income. I, on the other hand, have been working full time, but don’t make anywhere near enough money to not need government assistance. I used to think it was sad when I’d hear the personnel department advise employees at Crapmart how to apply for food stamps and other welfare services, but now I know how much of a necessity those services are when working a low-wage job.

Anyway, so my homemaking blog has given way to, well, mostly rants about nothing. I haven’t been doing much in the way of laundry or cleaning or even dishes since we moved into this house, which also coincided with the beginning of summer. Same is true for yard work. Yes, we did manage to get some stuff done, but in all honesty, there just isn’t much to be inspired by, and a lack of funds defeats any creativity I’d like to put into it. Hell, I haven’t even been quilting, but I’ll blame that on the heat. I guess that means I’ll have to have a marathon quilt-block-catch-up session for The Desperate Housewife’s Quilt (! We’ll see what happens next week when school is back in session.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Being poor sucks. Being poor and responsible for pets and people sucks more.

With nine dollars left on our food stamp card, twenty in our checking account, a handful of small bills leftover from the garage sale my husband had at the old house to make enough money to go to Wenatchee, a change jar and a whole host of stuff we need to survive until next week’s payday, I don’t know how we are going to manage. My brain hurts just thinking about how to fill up the gas tank to get to work, let alone figure out how to pay for the dog food I ran out of this morning while feeding her.

While I didn’t care all too much for the movie Gone With the Wind, the line Scarlet O’Hara says, “If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again,” sometimes conjures up in my head. Of course, the term ‘Lie, Cheat, Steal or Kill’ I first heard in A Very Brady Sequel. I honestly don’t think I’ll go to that extreme, but I have to admit I am starting to understand where she was coming from.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Organizing the Garage

Since I had yesterday off work, we took advantage of it by tackling the garage situation. It barely looks like we made a dent.

Surprisingly we accomplished a lot yesterday, my husband and I. Unfortunately one would be hard-pressed to figure out exactly what we got done. That is to say, we have a lot of stuff in the garage packed away in boxes, most of which will probably not be unpacked while we are living here. However, we were able to get all of the yard tools hung from hooks on the pegboard, organize all of my husband’s geek-boy modeling stuff onto the workbench he just made using the deck boards we salvaged from the old house and leftover construction materials from various indoor and outdoor projects, and put up the closet system from the old house above the washer and dryer for more shelved storage.

I’m certain that once we get the remaining stuff organized, either onto the two large shelving units or simply restacked, it will look much better. Currently the chaos is taking away from the glory. Alas, I suppose that if we really wanted to get it all done yesterday we could have, but the heat, both from outside and radiating from the gas-heated hot water tank made for less than comfortable working conditions. Or at least that is the excuse I’m using.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Whoever says that fighting doesn’t solve anything has never had a good argument. I believe it to be a powerful communication tool.

When there is a communication breakdown, sometimes the only way to figure out what the hell is going on is a good argument. As long as the argument doesn’t turn physical, they can be quite therapeutic. Not only do we seem to let our guard down when we argue, but we tend to also be much more honest than we would otherwise.

I’ve had so many people comment on how my husband and I get along so well and ask if we ever fight and they are surprised by my answer; every single day. Why? Because I’m a horrible communicator. Okay, so maybe not every day, but quite often. We may not always see eye to eye, but at least we know each other’s positions.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Family Day

Every weekend during the summer, my aunt and uncle have people over at their house to play in the pool and eat and chat. Yesterday was the first time we were able to bring the boys.

Scheduling conflicts prevented us from going to Family day most of this summer. Either it would be canceled from a conflict on their end or we’d not be able to go because of a conflict on our end. However, yesterday we finally got to take the boys swimming. Okay, by we, I mean my husband took them swimming while I safely watched from a distance. I swear they were in that pool from the time we got there until we had to leave, save every five minutes the younger one had to pee or while they ate dinner. Either the boy absorbs water like a sponge or he was drinking the pool water.

Everybody commented on how well behaved they were. I’m not sure if they were commenting because they were surprised at such a thing as well behaved boys or the fact that this was only the second time most of them had seen the kids, the first being a very crowded baby shower. And so we would thank them and say that indeed they were acting within the realm of acceptable behavior. Only one near temper tantrum over a half-eaten donut left on a plate that the oldest wanted to eat, but after explaining that it was somebody else’s he was fine and ready for sunscreen reapplication and more swimming.

I’m so glad we got to do something fun while we had the kiddos for the brief time we did this weekend. Being poor sucks, but at least we have family to keep us entertained.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Animal Blessings

Today is our annual Blessing of the Animals at church. I’m sure it’ll be an exciting adventure as usual.

With an outdoor service on our church’s labyrinth, the sounds of barking, meows and cock-a-doodle-doos are sure to ring throughout. Actually, the Blessing of the Animals is one of my favorite services, considering how lighthearted and fun the energy all of the furry, feathered and finned friends bring. Of course, the downside is that it typically falls on a Sunday where I am an usher. So it would appear that my husband will have to handle our dog, Lucy and the boys while I am performing my ushering duties. Considering it usually takes two of us just to handle the dog, methinks today will be filled with crazy fun. On top of that, I'm also presenting an award from the church to my boss for all of his volunteer work on behalf of the homeless pets.

Some people think we are crazy ourselves for having a service dedicated to the animals in our lives. But honestly, with as much of a part of our lives our pets are, why don’t more churches do this?

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I’ve been falling behind on my batik quilt blocks. I blame the weather.

Here in the Pacific Northwest it appears summer has finally arrived. It was nice of it to show up at all, but I fear it may be too late to ripen my tomatoes. Only time will tell. I mean, after all, there still is thirty-five percent of summer remaining. I’ve been told we might actually hit our first ninety degree day today, however, our weather forecasters have been known to be wrong on occasion.

Anyway, with summer comes the fact that the quilt I’ve been working on with the help of Jane over at Want It, Need It, Quilt! ( and her Desperate Housewife’s Quilt project has come to a standstill. That and Mary over at The Tulip Patch ( keeps coming up with fantastic patterns that I can actually use to make quick weekend quilts, which makes me stare at my stash and drool over the possibilities before going outside to water the thirsty plants and chickens.

So today after work I’m going to print off the next few block patterns on the Desperate Housewife’s Quilt and try to catch up, at least by getting what I need for each block cut. I find that by doing that I can get the blocks mostly ready to go for piecing, which tends to go by rather quickly… once I get started, of course. Hot weather be damned, I’m going to quilt today.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bad Circuitry

It became obvious before we moved in that the electrical in this house is, well, crappy. However, this morning is ridiculous.

Typically when I wake up and get the animals fed and start my coffee maker, I look outside to see if the whiskey barrel pond pump is running. If it is, great. If not, that means the GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) plug in the garage needs to be reset. All the plugs in the garage, outside and the doorbell are connected, so this is usually where I start. Unfortunately that also means the refrigerator in the garage is on the same circuit, so we only keep nonperishable beverages in there, along with eggs. I press the reset button, hear the fridge turn back on, and all is well for a few days to a week until the process starts all over again.

The first few times the GFCI would trip it was annoying, but eventually it just became routine. This morning it apparently was not going to be so much. After pressing the reset button, blue lightening flashed. At first I thought it was a fluke or an ant getting zapped, so I did it again. Same thing. I unplugged the pond pump, reset it, and more blue lightening. Then I unplugged the fridge and reset it and it was fine… until I plugged it back in. If I didn’t have to work, I’d fiddle with it a little more before calling the landlord, but alas, work beckons. Something tells me either the fridge is overloading the circuitry or the GFCI outlet has been compromised, in which case it simply needs to be replaced. However, I must admit that with as often as it trips for apparently no reason, part of me simply wants to switch it out for a standard outlet.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I couldn’t tell you the last time I ate an egg. Must be why we’ve given away so many lately.

Here’s the thing, I used to eat a lot of eggs. I mean alottalottalottalottalotta eggs. And then I started working, and I ate less. And then I started working mostly mornings, and I practically stopped. I’m not sure why, but I suspect it has something to do with me not wanting to cook first thing in the morning, and the fact that I barely have time to scarf down a bowl of cereal before I have to leave for work. You can thank this blog for that, as writing seems to be the only thing that wakes my mind up for the day. Sorry coffee. You’re just there for moral support. Oh, how I love your moral support…

Anyway, eggs. Last year I think I ate eggs for breakfast or lunch at least every other day, if not every. I mean, after all, without much money and pets who lovingly give up their delicious ovas for consumption, how could I not? Now we have less money, even with food stamps and a practically fulltime job and yet I still can’t get myself to make eggs in the morning for breakfast once in a while.

Oy. Maybe it is just me still adjusting to this routine of work and kids and being so damned far away from most of my life. Or maybe I’m just lazy and don’t feel like cooking before going to work, coming home for lunch and cooking that, then coming home after work and cooking dinner. Cook, cook, cook. Or maybe, just maybe, I’m overthinking the whole situation, which, let’s face it, I do that a lot. I’m going to pour another cup of moral support now.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Grilled Veggies

Last Sunday we harvested some of our zucchini and an eggplant from our plot at the church. Last night we grilled some of it.

With most people having zucchini coming out of their ears, it is a wonder we haven’t seen an explosion of drop and dash at the doorsteps of those who don’t grow it. Honestly, our zucchini we’ve been growing at the church has been a nonstop producer for a month and a half now and, with the exception of the white powdery mildew it has formed, is showing no signs of stopping. Our eggplant, on the other hand, looks mighty healthy but only had one full-sized fruit. It did, however, have a multitude of smaller fruits that will be ready to harvest in the coming weeks, which is good because I love eggplant.

So what is one to do with eggplant and zucchini on a hot summer day? Grill them, of course! Sliced about a half inch thin and drizzled with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, they take only a few short minutes on the grill to make an excellent accompaniment to nearly any barbecued meat or seafood. Or they can be cubed as part of a kabob, if preferred, but I like the sliced versions more myself.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Tomorrow starts our church’s Vacation Bible School program. Something tells me I should prepare my segment.

Sadly, I work for two of the three days of Camp Earth Walkers, which is what we’ve been calling our Vacation Bible School program for the last few years, so my involvement is only minimal. However, I must admit that part of me is a little sad I won’t be able to be there for all three days. Then again, last year I may have over done it because by day three I was literally pulling my hair out from the stress.

This year I signed up for two segments, however, due to my work schedule changing because of a coworker’s college course she’s taking, I’m only able to do one of the two. Of course, I specifically signed up for the two that I did because they were interesting to me; planting second season seeds and salsa. Alas, I shall only be teaching the kiddos how to make salsa. Insert sad face here.

And so with a bit of time today I am going to figure out what I need to do to get this lesson ready. As usual I haven’t even started nor looked at the lesson plans because, well, that’s how I roll. Perhaps I should do so before work today so I can be prepared for Thursday. Or maybe I should just do it at work since I am only working lunch coverage today, which is by and large the slowest period at the clinic.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mystery Hole

After church yesterday, my husband and I decided to work on the front yard. We didn’t expect to find a hole the size of an adult grave.

Okay, so truth is we knew there was a hole in the front where the landlord, back when he lived in the house, wanted to put in a pond. It never happened. However, I was not expecting a perfect rectangle six feet long, three feet wide and three feet deep. That to me is not a pond, but a perfect size hole to dispose of a body. Oh, and there was a snake in there too, but not a scary kind, except, of course, I’m scared of snakes, so even the biting worms known as garter snakes as it was kept me from picking it up and moving it along.

Anyway, this got me wondering about the original plan for the pond. I mean, typically they aren’t perfect rectangles unless they are also reflecting pools, right? I don’t know. I do know, however, that now that the mystery hole has been uncovered I really want to work on it. The cost would be minimal as it was covered with the lining, over plywood of course, and we already have an extra pump from years ago that we didn’t realize we still had until we were moving. Perhaps a weekend project is close by. Or maybe we should save it and uncover it again Halloween night with a tombstone at the head.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Must Make Cake

A little piece of me dies every time I have to turn away a cake order because of a scheduling conflict. Okay, so this may be a bit of an exaggeration.

Since I have been working again, it is becoming more and more difficult to do cake orders. Working every Friday and most Saturdays doesn’t help matters, as those tend to be the most popular days people want cakes delivered. I mean, I had to take time off of work to do the last wedding cake I did, which meant that after deducting costs for supplies and the amount paid, I ended up losing money on the deal. Not so great for someone barely getting by.

I guess I need to figure out a way to tell people why my prices are the way they are. I suppose I could always ask people how much money I have to lose in order for them to feel like they’ve gotten a good deal because let’s be honest here, people who have money like nothing more than taking as much as they can from people who don’t, right? Hmm… maybe that’s too harsh. I could tell people if they can’t afford a custom cake to either learn to make it themselves or live with a mass produced, flotsam covered Crapmart cake would be a better approach? Eek! That doesn’t sound very nice either. Perhaps I could just be honest and say my prices are the way they are because they are a fair price for what I am selling.

If I am going to continue to make cakes, it has got to be profitable. Otherwise why would I bother spending my free time doing something for other people’s enjoyment when I could be quilting or writing or painting instead?

Saturday, August 13, 2011


It has been unusually quiet at the house lately. Must be the lack of children.

We haven’t heard from the boys’s mom or the boys since we left for church camp last weekend. While we were supposed to have them this week while she recovers from surgery, her sister had other plans. I’m all for them spending more time with their cousins, but we haven’t been able to contact her at all and apparently we aren’t alone if the messages on her Facebook page are any indication. I’m not at the worried stage yet, as this was a pretty extensive surgery, and we don’t have any contact with her sister or her sister’s partner, but still, one has to wonder what is going on. As a writer my brain is on overtime lately with scenarios and plots, but as a friend to her and parent to her boys, I am concerned to say the least.

At seven in the morning I am used to hearing the sounds of morning Public Broadcasting programs such as The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That or Super Why. However, it has been weeks since those shows have been on in our house. I’m also used to hearing, “Good morning, Daddy Cory!” followed closely with, “I want up,” which is the older boy’s way of saying he wants lifted up in a hug. The sounds of laughter, the cries of pain, the shouts of anger and the whispers of apologies all have been missing in our lives lately.

While I have so many questions to ask, the person who can answer them hasn’t been responding. Perhaps a little more time is required, or perhaps a little more persistence. I don’t know. I suppose a little more patience is needed on my end.

Friday, August 12, 2011


I’ve been easily distracted lately. I feel like I need someone to snap me out of it.

I’ll be honest, there is a lot going on in our lives right now. Between drama with the boys’s aunts, our old house reverting back to the bank since nobody even made a bid on the mold infested structure and the few things we had left there thrown out, along with coolant issues on one of our cars. There’s more, but these are the big ones. When life comes at me in so many directions, I tend to either shutdown or ignore the problems. I don’t know why, but it must be some self defense mechanism that triggers when the going gets tough rather than simply dealing with the problems head on.

Yesterday for example, I was blogging and started going off on a tangent for twenty minutes before I realized what time it was, and there was no way I could ever publish what I wrote so I just deleted it and abruptly ended the entry with a quick couple sentences. I’ve used writing as a distraction for much of my life, so sometimes it is a great stress reliever and other times an inducer. Worst of all is when it is both.

Alas, something has got to give. Perhaps I need to focus on getting beyond the problems at hand and stop ignoring them. Perhaps I need to figure out how to prevent getting to this position in the first place. Perhaps I just need a swift kick in the ass.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fall Quilt On the Brain

With the air getting a bit cooler in the morning I’m thinking I better get back to work on The Fall Quilt. Of course, the eighty degree afternoons and evenings when I get home from work say otherwise.

Methinks it is time to pull out the fabric and start cutting. Perhaps then I will actually begin to piece this quilt together. Or maybe I should finish the feature panels by appliquéing and embroidering them before I cut? Or what if I instead just make the blocks so they are all ready to go? Or… right, stop thinking and start quilting already, damn it!

One of my fears is that I’ve let one year go by without finishing it, that another year wouldn’t be so bad. However, I’d really like to actually have a quilt finished this year, or maybe even two by Winter. Okay, so one thing at a time. I’ve got to catch up on the Desperate Housewife’s Quilt blocks too. Hmmm… maybe that is what I need to work on to get me in the mood to continue on with The Fall Quilt? Alas, life needs to stop getting in the way of my hobbies.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Empty House

Sometimes life takes unexpected turns, some for the better and others for the worse. Honestly, I’m glad to have this part simply closed off.

My husband was planning on getting the remainder of our belongings from the old house yesterday, however they were no longer there. The locks were changed too. And here we thought when we were told we had until the eighteenth of August to get everything out that we had, well, until the eighteenth of August to get everything out. Not that we really left anything of value, but we intentionally left the curtains and rods up in the old house to help fend off looters. Needless to say, the looters turned out to be the very bank the house reverted back to.

It wasn’t a total loss, as we were still able to pull up the remaining deck boards and some irises, along with one of the rosemary’s and the little tree, even if the cleaning company took the pot I was going to transplant the tree and the old pond lining I was going to use for the rosemary. Honestly what I’m most upset about was the curtains and rod in the office because I was planning on putting them in the boys’s room, but oh well. Life goes on.

Now, when I was initially called by my husband to say that the house was cleaned out, everything was gone and the locks were changed, I was pissed. And rightfully so as we still had ten days to be out of the house. But then a sudden sense of relief came over me and it hit me; the house was no longer ours to worry about. For my husband, it took a trip to the church to walk the labyrinth and reading a quote from the lady whose memorial funds created the site on a plaque at the entrance, “Remember to forgive… forgiveness is the key.”

Life is full of ups and downs, good times and bad. Why waste your time on what you’ve lost when you can instead focus on what you still have?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sleep and Chocolate

When choosing between chocolate or being able to sleep, sometimes the decision can be difficult, especially when a delicious organic and fair trade dark chocolate presents itself. I chose chocolate and didn’t want to wake up this morning.

When I was younger I could chug a pot of coffee or eat a ton of chocolate and fall fast asleep without consequence. Now, however, it seems as though only a small amount can keep me awake anymore… except for when I want to be, of course. My relationship with caffeine has obviously changed.

So last night, after enjoying a third of a dark chocolate bar I got months ago and watching The Adventures of Merlin, I tried to sleep because I was still exhausted from the weekend at camp. Instead I slept a little and was awake for a little and that was the routine all night. Was it worth it? Yes. But we’ll see how well I fare at work today!

Monday, August 8, 2011


Oh, the joys of returning home and being able to sleep in our bed! No offense, but camp bunks are uncomfortable as all get out.

It seems that practically anywhere we go or anyplace we stay, I find it difficult to sleep. My husband is the same way. Tossing, turning, slipping and sliding are just some of the adjectives I’d use to describe our not-so-peaceful slumber this past weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I had a fantastic time at camp, but the bunks were, well, even with newer mattresses (and this word is used very lightly, mind you), just plain uncomfortable. I know this is the reason I couldn’t sleep for more than a few hours each night and also why I drank three times my normal amount of coffee in the morning.

But now we are home, and with that, able to sleep in our bed. While at camp I felt a total refreshment of my mind and soul, but sometimes it is the simple things in life, such as a good night’s sleep, that really help to refresh the body.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Camp: Part 3

"Stop and take a deep breath!"

This weekend has been far more enjoyable and relaxing than I ever thought possible. For one thing, it isn’t structured. Okay, so it is, but really just enough to focus on certain activities that someone has to be in charge of. Swimming, crafts, breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc. Actually it is a bit more structured than I realized as I look at the schedule sitting on the table next to me, but honestly it doesn’t feel like such. It has, however, gone by way too fast.

I never went to camp as a kid, nor had I really felt like I missed out on it. Of course my inability to use public restrooms except for in times of great crisis or if nobody else was going to be using them and overly self-conscious and unhealthy body image didn’t help matters either. In any matter, I had no inclination to do so and in turn didn’t have a reference of what to expect on a church retreat of the same caliber. So far, all expectations have been thrown out the window as it is nothing like I anticipated.

So even if you haven’t had the chance to simply take in what it really means to have a connection with a church family, I still invite you to take our motto for the weekend, which at random times has been shouted out or quietly spoken: Stop and take a deep breath! It’s amazing how this simple act can help you experience God in ways you may have never imagined.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Camp: Part 2

Okay, so I arrived at camp. Now what?

With all the craziness I was envisioning, I figured it would be a good idea to, well, you know, prepare myself for it. So much for that. As it turns out I didn’t need to. Since we arrived it has been fairly laid back. However, I knew that the morning crew would need a little help so I got up, showered and headed to the kitchen where, in a few minutes mind you after this little update, I’ll help gathering breakfast supplies to be laid out for people. I had to blog first. Priorities.

Anyway, so it appears my freaking out over this weekend was all for not. Hopefully the rest of the day and tomorrow is just as fun and relaxing as last night.

Friday, August 5, 2011


I never went to camp as a kid. This weekend will be my first.

I’m not exactly sure what to expect at an all church camp, but hopefully it won’t be horrifying. I mean, let’s just say that while I like the idea of camping, going with a lot of people has its drawbacks, whether it was having a flaming marshmallow fly into my eye as a kid or trying to cook meals for three adults and five kids on a camp fire while they were all gallivanting in the lake or nature or something. Okay, so perhaps I shouldn’t be talking about personal camping experiences when about to go do this on a larger scale.

Honestly, I’m looking forward to the trip. Not looking forward to working all day today and then having to drive to the rural site, but alas, it shouldn’t be too bad. On top of that, I’m also not looking forward to the fact that I may not have Wi-Fi, which means no blogging, which means my run of consecutive days blogging will only be up to today, which means only a mere five-hundred-eighty something days in a row. Oh well. However, I’ll pack the laptop just in case.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Today is my day off. Naturally I’m working.

I’m not going to complain about it, but instead of packing up the last of our stuff we want to keep from the old house and bringing it over, I’m working. A coworker had to call in due to an emergency dental surgery and being only three of us receptionist and two working at a time, I’m it. It’s no big deal, as we could definitely use the money, and I did lose a day last week to go to a family reunion, so I’ll take it. However, I would like to finally rid myself of the abscess known as the old house.

The house was auctioned last Friday, and being no bidders, went back to the bank. Well, actually the bank said that the house had sold, but the trustee company said that nobody bid on it and the bank now owns it and we have twenty days to get our stuff out. To be honest, we got most of it already, with the exception of the garage sale contents and our tables, but really, were only interested in getting the tables and a few of the gardening chemicals from the pantry. And of course the deck boards, as we’ve decided to rip up the deck and take the wood for other projects. Oh, and some irises and a rosemary or two and a little tree in the front yard we planted a few years ago.

So instead it looks like work. I’m not sure if I’ll get a lunch today or not, and by that an unpaid lunch break rather than simply work and get paid to eat, in which I’ll be able to stop by the old house to help my husband with whatever I can. Honestly, I really want it to be the last day I have to go to that house. If the bank wanted it back so bad, now it’s theirs and they can have it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Camp Crafts

I need to come up with a few camp crafts and I need to come up with them yesterday. Maybe procrastination isn’t the best strategy.

With our all church camp this weekend, and the fact that I’m already going to have to slack on some of my duties as co-director since I have to work until Friday evening, I also signed up to help with craft activities. I’ve got nothing. I mean, I have plenty of ideas swirling around my brain, but as far as actually making sure we have the supplies to create said ideas I’m at a zero. This is not at all unusual behavior for me either as I do tend to be a last minute kind of person, but it doesn’t make it any less stressful when my husband just had a garage sale and I had him sell off my huge allotment of beads and jewelry making materials and now have all these ideas on how to actually use those beads. Figures.

But the good news is that we have so much stuff at our church to make things too that I shouldn’t be at a loss when it comes to crafts. And really, let’s be honest, I only have to come up with a couple, maybe three, things to make. I’m sure I can figure that out in my sleep! Okay, so if I did, I lost it because I’ve got no memory of dreaming anything except for trying to get the theme song to ‘The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That’ out of my head. Funnily this is a recurring theme.

So it looks like either today after work and grocery shopping or more than likely tomorrow on my day off I’ll be working on finalizing my crafty plans for the weekend. Hopefully it will be fun. And if you have any ideas, please send them my way as I’ve never even been to a church camp or any camp whatsoever so really don’t know what to expect except for what I saw in the movies as a child watching ‘Earnest Goes to Camp’ and ‘The Addams Family Values’.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


It has been a month and a half since I weeded the front yard. Perhaps it is time to do it again.

After I originally weeded the front yard I knew I didn’t get everything. There were a few plants I left because they didn’t look like any weeds I’d seen before, and living in the Northwest we have a lot of weeds, so I decided to leave them for another week or so. After about a month it became apparent that these are probably known as weed trees as they are now four feet tall with woody stalks and leafy fronds. Knowing my luck they are poisonous too, which means I probably should’ve taken them out when they were little. Of course the worst thing about weeding is the ever present dandelion. No matter your toiling to rid the yard of them, the persistent little buggers are, uh, persistent.

Then there are the million and one other things I need to do this week, like plan crafts for our all church camp this weekend, a Yellowstone National Park themed anniversary cake that somehow needs to be transported by the person who ordered it without the whole thing falling apart because the cake has to be refrigerated but my typical decorations cannot be refrigerated or else they’ll melt and somehow try not to make it onto Cake Wrecks in case the whole thing does become a puddly mess, on top of all of the regular life stuff. Something tells me I should be do some weeding in my life too. I know I say this a lot, but I really need to learn to say no more often, even if it is something I want to take on.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Back Home

After a long drive it is nice to finally sleep in our own bed again. However, part of me wishes we all didn’t live so far apart.

Upon pulling into the driveway I was both relieved and sad, and both for the same reason; we were home. The drive was quiet, thanks in part to the boys sleeping for a couple hours. They seemed perfectly content entertaining themselves without the aid of portable video players and personal gaming devices, instead opting to simply look out the window and observe or color in their activity binders I made them. However, they were glad to be home, even if it meant taking a bath and going to bed.

I must admit that I too am glad to be home, but miss our Lucy and can’t wait to see her when I go into work this morning. As a dog owner, there is something inherently weird about coming home and not being greeted by her and knocking us over as we try desperately to simply walk through the doorway without toppling over or tripping as she tries to weave her way between our legs, which, as a Great Dane, seems like it should be complicated but she manages to do so anyway. The cats were not a good substitute. They just looked at us and ran to their food bowl, which was still quite full.

The worst part about being back home is that our ant problem has gotten pretty bad, so it looks like I’ll need to start making some ant killer. Once I figure out where they are coming from, it will just be a matter of mixing the sugar, molasses and yeast together. Of course, I’ll need to buy some molasses since I think we’re out from my last carrot cake order. Alas, sometimes being back home isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, especially as a renter in somebody else’s house.