Saturday, October 29, 2011

all about meeeeee

This has been an interesting weekend already and its only Saturday morning.

Ben and I nearly froze yesterday, so I finally called Mr. Woods, the guy who fixed the AC in the spring and described what's going on.  He is backed up about a week and said we needed to call someone else to come out, but stayed on the phone with me and then Matt to talk us through a few troubleshooting things.  The inside unit is blowing, but the outside unit is not coming on, so the house has been being heated via the heat strips in the attic, which over time will add up to a phenomenal bill. 

We have to check the wiring between the thermostat and the outside unit because the signal is not getting through is what it boils down to.  I was really pleased with how well I was able to plug the new bulbs into the van earlier in the week when I put on the new tail light-that's about the extent of my electrical ability.  I redid the wiring in the camper a few years ago, but it has ONE wire system that goes to 2 outlets and an overheat light bulb.  And it's all exposed.

Last night, we went into town and I dropped the kids off at Gina's and went to help Matt set up his drums.  I hung out at a BAR for the next 5 hours.  eep!  Bobby and Gina showed up around 7:30 and Mark came in around 9:30, thank goodness I was not by myself.  Richard, who has played guitar to Matt's drums for nearly as long as we have been married, is an electrician and he has no fear of wiring.  He offered to come out today and look it over.  Thinks it will be a simple fix.  That's not what my brain was saying last night when I cried off all of my mascara, but then again, my brain is well known for its sabotage skills.

At the bar, I enjoyed myself mainly by people watching as chatting consisted of snippets between songs, yelling across the table or getting right in someone's ear.  I never knew people danced like that, or that such unattractive people dressed up and went out anyway.

Also, in the bathroom hall, I was a little confused about if I was an Inboard or an Outboard.  Once, when I was 9-10, we went to a really fancy seafood place and I went to the bathroom on my own and realized when I walked in the hallway and got to the door, it was the men's room.  Then I nearly fainted from embarrassment and worried everyone would know what I had nearly done.  I turned to go into the women's bathroom door at the opposite end of the short hallway and it was a kitchen entrance.  The women's bathroom was on the whole other side of the restaurant.  I was in a hall and everyone KNEW I was in a hall and I was too young to work there, so obviously they ALL knew I was in the men's room.  I remember having to lean against the wall, I was SO horrified to go out and face the people who had probably all stopped eating so they could stare at me. 

I finally slunk to the table and did not go to the bathroom until we got home, 4 hours later.  I don't remember eating, though I don't remember a soul even glancing up either.  THIS all stemmed from when I was in 1st grade, my mother taught at a church school and my brother and I were playing chase and he ran into the boys room and called me-this was just before the school opened and the signs were not up yet.  I walked in and he said I was going to Hell for sure because I was unnatural and was in the BOYS BATHROOM which meant I was an easy girl and God hated me and would punish me.  So the whole Inboard Outboard thing seemed a bad trick, I don't like having to think about which bathroom to use, I NEED to get it right.  6 year old inner Esther can't handle much more bathroom drama.

I enjoyed myself at the bar, despite my going into it with my hair unbrushed because of heater drama and being really nervous about being around that many strangers.  I used to count cars in the parking lot and if there were more than 10, I would wait to grocery shop.  Too many people.  I have gotten over that, other than occasional relapses when I am really tired or stressed about something else, I can shop even in crowds, though I don't LIKE it.  But a bar, that's crowded and you go to see people and to been seen.  People go there to meet new people and to have fun with strangers.  As introverted as I am, I spent most of yesterday in a panic about going.  By the time the heating unit issue was revealed, I was a total mess of pathetic.  I gazed longingly at my copy of Joe Hill's book and the pile of blankets on the bed and thought I could just...stay home.  Go next time. 

But, I got up and put on my shoes and wiped the rest of the mascara off my cheeks and marveled at how light my eyes go when I have a squall.  Strangers eyes in my own head, a head I am well aware I barely have any control over.  Sometimes my brain seems to be connected to Hannibal Lecter, when he whispers things and makes people kill themselves or cry so hard they choke to death on their own tongues.  It will lash out, I imagine to amuse itself.  It's favorite trick is to run a slideshow mixed with the kids or my pets injured or worse while I am trying to talk to someone about something mundane.  I stop talking mid-sentence and have to start slamming mental cabinets and rolling down storage unit doors and slapping on padlocks.  It's totally normal to worry about harm coming to those you love.  It's not totally normal to talk about a loaf of bread and your brain pop up a field of grain, a threshing machine, a farmer in a straw hat, a child impaled on a scarecrow pole, a truck of wheat, a bakers oven, a row of fresh bread and our elderly cat's severed head. 

I am VERY visual, obviously, my brain works all the time in movie snippets and still frames.  I see photos I NEED to take, even if I can't always capture them the way I want.  I think my brain is bored with my headspace.  I read and think and do and move and take photos and plan and sleep and daydream and talk and read more and write and it's still just buzzing like an angry bee.  Not enough, not enough, not enough. Not right, not good, not enough.  Fail, fail, fail.

In other news, if the next 2 weeks go like the last 2 weeks, I will be able to announce the first 40 pounds are GONE by Jake's birthday!  I have not been giving it much attention because it's sliding off again.  40 pounds.  That's SO much weight.  I can re-apply for life insurance and get a better rate.  Insane.  LOL!  I am so pleased, but I am not done yet.  Even Evil Brain has muttered a little 'hmmm' of impressed and has kept out of it lately.  I honestly think it wants to see what it will be like with a different outlook, a different build.  It's something new.  LOL

Friday, October 28, 2011

Go Here

Go here and click around to pick months to print your own free awesome owl calendar for 2012. 

Go here and read the single most accurate description of the shitty kind of depression I have ever come across and realize when I am MIA, this is pretty well what's going on:

Go here and sign up to do NaNoWriMo during November.  And hurry cause that's happening fast.

Go here and subscribe to Songs to Wear Pants To and also check out his other channel, suturesound.  His song, Autumn is the one I sing in my head while I walk.

Go here to read about 10 real places that you could hole up in to survive the zombie apocalypse.  And their drawbacks.

Go here to see an awesome video from The Happy Scientist that mixes a scary story and some basic science for a really fun effect.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Things That Are Going On Here

Visit Radical Unschoolers Network

First of all, I joined the Radical Unschoolers Network today, which I am excited about because I hope to connect with more unschoolers, in particular with more teens.  Jake's tired of being the oldest all of the time and Chan has recently pointed out in a fit of annoyance that all the boys she currently knows are significantly younger, have mental issue or are related to her.  Sorry, Heather, I guess that means Austin has issues.  LOL!  Other than Brad, there are no more boys near her age.  She will be 14 in a few more months, I imagine she's at least thinking about her prospects.  I already have the boys marriages arranged, as soon as I can do something about Johnny Depp, that is.  Darn man, why does he have to be so charismatic?  I keep hoping he will go public with his disdain for Webkinz or Monster High dolls.

Secondly, we do not have a slot at Disneyland (sob) so we are going to (sob) forgo the visit and save the money and make do with Disney World in 2013.  It will be hard, but I think I can keep a brave face and deal with a week at DW to make up for the loss.  We would have gone anyway, I think, but the Matterhorn will be closed down the time we will be out there, so...what's the point?  That's like Mickey being MIA. 

Moving on, Nettlevan now has a new tail light cover!  Oh, she's so pretty now, I am happy-happy.  I got it from Amazon and with 2 birthdays coming up, both boys were SO excited to see a big box from their favorite place with the online wish lists come into the house.  Poor guys!  I will admit, it was a little fun in the Bad Mother kind of way to peek in and exclaim and then reveal it's a tail light cover.  hahaha!  

We have spent the last many hours relocating things from the back porch to other places.  I am crashed at the moment, nursing a headache that went from mild to horrific and is only recently fading back into manageable.  I am looking forward to getting the house back in working order, this chaos is making me twitchy.

Matt is coming home with pizza soon, I hope we don't actually injure him, we are HUNGRY.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011


 Chandler is thinking...the last time I saw this hook, it had a cricket on there!  I stuck it in the water, pulled it back, now there's a...



We had such a nice weekend!  Saturday afternoon we headed to Katy's and spent the rest of the evening hanging out there.  They had the zipline up and going, Matt and I jumped on the trampoline, we ate all kinds of new-to-us things.  My favorite was veggie dip made from cashews, it was so sweet!  The GF cake was yummy enough for seconds and the conversations ebbed and flowed, by 10 or so, several couples were in the sitting area inside the house chatting and catching up while the kids ran around outdoors or played on the computer downstairs.  It was a great, relaxing way to spend the evening.

Now the zip line goes off the top platform on the Fourt!

Adults were given the option of using a harness or not.  The kids all were harnessed, including this one.

The platform is about 30 feet up, it was quite a ride to the end!

Sunday, we knocked off the fascia boards and burned them!  I am THRILLED.  I hated those things, they were so riddled with carpenter bee tunnels that they were rotting off the house in places and it was bringing me down to even look outside and see them.  Now we can put up nice fresh ones and it will look 100% better!  

In other news toward getting things taken care of, I FINALLY ordered the new tail light cover for the van, it should be in by Friday.  I only have 2 more things in my 'sooner' list and 5 in the 'later' category.  Yay!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


We've had a pretty good weekend so far!  Friday night, we went to see To Kill a Mockingbird, Keilee played Scout. 

Saturday, we got up early and went to Green Mountain and hiked on a new trail that appears to go all the way to the river.

Ben wanted to climb up to see what was on the other side.  I can't begin to convey how steep that trail was.

We turned around after a little over 3 miles because we wanted to go to the 4 showing of Captain America, so we did 6.5 mile total!  Go us!

We went to get pizza!  And went to the park by Publix where they have the exercise stuff that we love to play on.  Ben and Chan worked off their pizza as they ate it.  hahaha!

By the time we finished playing, it was already after 4.  So much for that plan!  So we went to Hobby Lobby and got yarn for Chan, then drove to Madison where the theater is.

We went to the Halloween Store and marveled at the high-priced plastic crap.  $70 for a cheap costume that LOOKS fake.  Eep!  But...they did have Carnivale masks for under $10 each that were pretty awesome.  So we all got matching ones.  : ) 

After we got out, we had about an hour before the 7 pm movie started.  So we went to Earth Fare and browsed around a while and picked up a few things, mostly herbs by the ounce.  We spent $7.  hahaha! 

It was finally time to hit the theater and we got there a little early, which was good because it was packed!  The movie was great, much better than I had imagined it would have been and the ending was better than I had hoped.  So, yay!

Today, Matt has band practice, so it feels like a regular day to me.  I am not thrilled with weekend practices, though I know he can get so much more done at those instead of working all day and trying to squeeze in a few hours before everyone has to go home and get to bed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Acorn Squash

 There are several things you can do with cool-weather squashes, like this yummy Acorn Squash!  We bought several types lately, I will try to remember to take pictures of what we do with them!

There are stickers on the store-bought squash that say you can poke holes in them and microwave for 10 minutes.  That's fine if you don't want the seeds.  I would rather bake mine.

I cut them in half-no small feat as the skin is THICK, and Ben scooped out the guts to dry. I just put them in foil and lay them on the porch for a week or so to dry out.

 Lay them open-side down on a pan and add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, add more while they cook.  I put these in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes.  Check for doneness with a fork.  I cooked butternut squash at the same time to make the next night.

Ben says acorn squash look like a bunch of cucumbers got together and made a pumpkin. 

I filled the seed-space with a mix of stuffing that I had in a box in the pantry, some wild rice, cranberries and pecans. 

We ate them with cranberry sauce, sliced apples and pears.


First, a few shots from last skate day:

Then, dinner Friday night, which was Garbanzo Bean Day.
(Though it was REALLY National Pierogi Day, which we will celebrate a week late this year)

I at least had garbanzo, so we celebrated.  And...I brought my food in here and took a picture at my desk instead of taking the camera into the kitchen.  See the 1970 wall heater? 

We had hummus and falafel, both made with...Garbanzo!  The green stuff is couscous-I only had enough to make 2 servings, so we split it 5 ways-and the thing next to my cucumber tomato salad bowl is quinoa.  That's flatbread on top of my laptop.  Talk about REALLY bad staging-you can even see my shadow!  I blame severe hunger.  I had a protein drink at home before we left, planning to eat in town and I never did.  So it was 12 hours later when I got to sit down and eat FOOD for the first time all day.
The skating rink and Sonic just don't have what I would consider worthwhile exchange.  My money for their processed white flour and sugar?...nah.  The kids decided it was a great trade and had watermelon slushies with lemons.  haha!

Saturday, I did pics in the pasture, which are elsewhere, but I also took some of MEEEE and Jess and stuff:

This is a picture of Zephyr!

My summer hair is thinking of going red with the changing of the leaves! 
The goldenrod is higher than my head-and this is not the only stand in the pasture, ack!
I liked the way the grain is all sideways, it looks like Jess is defying gravity!
Sweet Jess, she is back in a good deal of pain, despite the medication.  We are going to try a stronger type when this supply runs out.

After a year of no access, we...well, Matt, used the van as a bushhog and plowed a path.