Thursday, February 24, 2011

Crazy For You

When I stare at the screen for a long time before starting a blog post, it is usually because I either have nothing to say or I have so much to say that actually putting it into words seems like the hardest thing in the world. And right now, I am in the second position - with too many thoughts going through my head and all of them making sense in their own way, but no one stepping up to organize them in some readable form. So I will try to get them all out - forgive me if it makes no sense.

I am sad today. Try as I might, I just can't muster up a happy exterior for some reason.  I am not writing this for sympathy or anything like that - just for the sheer fact that I really just want to say it out loud (relatively speaking) and get it out. I know I tend to complain a lot.  Most of the time it is just to let out the built up steam and help me to chill out a little. But in that release I try to gloss it over with humor or some sort of false cheerfulness, just to make myself feel less pathetic.

But today, I am just tired of glossing. And today I want to let it out. I debated on whether I should just put this on my other blog, the one no one reads, but it's just not as cathartic to spew your guts to no one. So, if you don't want to read about my sadness, come back later. The gloss will be back soon.

Sometimes all the little things just get me down. They overwhelm.  I stuff them down and distract myself to the point of not even paying attention to much of my life because it is just easier to be in denial than to deal with things. And I know that my life is good. I know that I am blessed beyond measure.  Let me just get that out of the way before people start wagging their fingers at me. I know that it could be much worse. Let me just have a moment to vent and purge then I will go back to counting my blessings. ok?

Sometimes I just feel sad. And really, there is no one reason for it; no one real thing that makes it particularly worse on some days and better on others. Sometimes, I am just overwhelmed and depressed. It happens. I get over it, eventually. Sometimes I need to talk about it, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I think I do but I don't want to burden anyone with my baggage so I don't. And sometimes I, and I think everyone, just needs a good cry. And no, I am not hormonal right now.

The weather today isn't helping. The gloomy, rainy skies and gray, gray, gray everywhere just drags me down. I could not live somewhere that was like this all the time. I used to love the rain.  I used to love a good storm and I used to love starry skies and breezy nights.  When we lived in Arizona, one of the things I missed the most about Texas were the rain storms. I missed hearing the rain on the roof of the Camp (my parent's camp house I mentioned last week), I missed the thunder and the lightening, the rippling of the water with each drop, I missed the drama of it all. I loved the energy and the emotion that a good rain storm would bring. I loved the smell of the air and the wet ground afterward. When we moved back to Texas, we relished all the things that made up storms and we were glad to be back among them.

But then the kids came along and somehow the wonder and the fun of a good storm was taken away from me. Now I curse the storms that come at night, threatening to wake my children from peaceful slumber. I grit my teeth and tense my shoulders when I know I have to pick up or drop off the boy from school when it is raining. I don't like the mud the dog drags into the house after a storm floods our yard. My joints ache and my head feels full when the humidity reaches a peak before a storm. And the worst, I don't like how the storms change my mood.

And so today I am overwhelmed with life and problems and all that has been heaped upon my tiny plate, and I just want to run away. I want to find that place again where I could sit and listen to a storm with delight; where I could lie on top of the car in the driveway and watch the stars, where I could dream big, romantic dreams and not have to be responsible and practical and think about people other than myself. I miss the days of being able to make a choice and it only affect me, not everyone around me too. Perhaps I am just feeling selfish, perhaps I am longing for a freedom that a responsible person with a family doesn't have the luxury to afford. Perhaps I am just looking for an escape. Perhaps, I just miss the way things used to be.

I wouldn't give up my life and my family for anything. But I do sometimes long for things to be less complicated. I long for healed relationships, I long for closure, I long for things that should have been said. I wish I knew why things happen the way they do; why people come and go, what the purpose of it all is. I wish God would grant me that wisdom so I can understand and heal. So many people, new and old, have moved in and out of my life in the past few years, and I wish I could just sit back and take it all in with the same kind of understanding that one only gains long after the time has passed. I want to know now why things are the way they are so that I can appreciate them for what they are instead of constantly questioning everything. I want to see God's beautiful and perfect plan. I want to understand.

And I want to forget. I want to forget the bad storms and the sad times. I want to replace them with the good memories - they seem to be so much weaker than the bad ones in my head. I want to not worry about everything all the time. I want to just live my life, happy, content, and not constantly looking over my shoulder for the next thing that is going to fall in my lap. I want to just be and enjoy.

The rain has stopped. The sun is peeking out from the clouds and the birds are singing. My heart is racing and for the umpteenth time today I am experiencing a rush of adrenalin. Why? What is going on that I don't know about? What am I sensing in some subconscious form that makes my ears burn and my heart race? And why is it happening so often right now? I wonder if I am sick or if I am just connected to something beyond my own understanding.

Ok. I will put the crazy back into the box now. The men in black coats with the mind erasers will be at your door shortly. ;) But, if you have ever felt this way too, I would love for you to share that with me in the comments. While I am not looking for someone to make me feel better, it would be nice to know that someone understands and feels the same sometimes.

Until,
D :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dance In My Dreams

This week started out completely sucktastic when, after a sleepless night, the boys woke us up at 5am by kicking the wall that adjoins our rooms. I finally gave in and got up at 6 and ended staying up because they were ready for breakfast. After dropping Kiddo off at school, I took my chances and took Port to Walmart to pick up some much needed items. After spying a Cars nightlight, Port screamed all throughout the store because I refused to buy it for him. Then he screamed all the way to the grocery store because I didn't get him one of the birds that was in the parking lot!! He fussed all through the grocery store and ended peeing all over me in the checkout lane. Then he cried all the way home because he was wet.

There just isn't enough coffee and chocolate to make up for that.

Kiddo came home that afternoon complaining of a headache and he was running a fever. Other than the headache he felt fine, but I kept him home from school on Tuesday just in case. Apparently there is some weird virus going around that only gives you a headache and a fever.  Tuesday he acted fine even though his temp went up and down a couple of times. Really the only indication that something was wrong was his red face and glassy eyes when the temperature rose.

He was a bit weepy though - a little more dramatic and cuddly than usual.  But at dinner last night he kind of freaked me out when out of nowhere he started crying. I asked him what was wrong and he cried out, "What am I gonna do if you die?!?"

{commence to melting into a puddle}

It took me quite a while to get him to calm down from that one. I don't know what possessed him to think of something like that. But I have to say it left me feeling uneasy.  When I picked him up from school today he was pouty and mopey and said he missed me and that he was homesick all day.  This boy LOVES school - I don't know what the heck is going on with him right now.

And of course, Port has been really snotty the past couple of days. Last night he woke up repeatedly screaming for a tissue. Poor guy.

The weekend was fabulous - I was able to get out and plant one of my gardens. I seeded for carrots, broccoli, brussel sprouts, onions, peas, lettuce, spinach and some early cukes and zucchini.  I put some seed in a sprouter last Friday for several kinds of peppers and tomatoes, and within 4 days the tomatoes sprouted! In a few weeks I will plant the other bed with the tomatoes and peppers, green beans, dill, basil and okra. I already have garlic growing there that I planted last fall. I can't WAIT until it's ready! I would really love to try some potatoes this year, but I am afraid I am out of room. Maybe in the fall I can try for a small crop.

I am convinced that Port thinks the only reason I have the garden beds is so that he can dig for worms. The boy LOVES finding worms and holding them in his hand. He asks me repeatedly every day to go out and find worms.  It was fine when I was going out there to turn the soil in the empty beds, but now I have one planted and am about to plant the other. I don't know what he's going to do when he can't go out there and dig anymore. He's gonna be MAD. 

Anyway, today I placed an order with Gardener's Supply Company for some fertilizer and some plant supports (thanks, Mom, for the gift card!) and then I received a catalog in the mail this afternoon and already have another 10+ things I want to add to my list. *sigh* If only I had some extra cash. Ah well.

I had the weirdest dream last night. I was back in college in the music building and a bunch of us were getting ready for a school prom-like dance.  Dr. Barrett and one of my high school guy friends was there helping out and a bunch of us girls were putting the finishing touches on hair and makeup.  I was trying to help out a few of my friends but then suddenly my left hand started tingling and itching. I looked down at it and little thin brown worms started coming out of my hand. They would come out really tiny, and then grow pretty big and long and I would drop them.  It didn't really bother me in the dream - I kept scratching my hand and shaking off the worms, but I couldn't help my friends like I wanted to. So we finally finished getting hair and makeup done and we jumped in a bus and headed over to the high school. When we got there, I realized I hadn't changed into my dress so I asked my high school friend to drive me back over to the college to get my dress. But the darn worms wouldn't stop coming out of my hand, so I couldn't communicate properly and he didn't understand what I needed.

For an hour after I got up this morning my left hand felt funny.

I don't know what it means, but I think I will lay off digging up worms for Port for a few days. ;-)

Until,
D :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Teach Me

Guess I'm gonna trip down memory lane a bit longer...

My thoughts have lately been, for the most part, in the past. I think what started it was that last week was the annual TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) convention weekend. I had thought that it would be neat to dig up a bunch of old TMEA pics and post them to Facebook throughout the weekend, just to have a little fun. But, like most things, I never got around to doing it (and I couldn't find a ladder...).

So the TMEA thing got me thinking about other past things and my mind has been trapped in the past for a couple of weeks now. (By the way, have you seen the exit ramp? I'd really like to get off this road now.) And tonight I am preparing dinner and it started up all over again.

I was slicing some onions, chopping up garlic and jalapenos and scoring an avocado and suddenly I was back in the early 90's. I could see myself at a kitchen counter, making guacamole for the first time.  Then it occurred to me, Dr. Wayne Barrett, my voice teacher of 6+ years, taught me how to make guacamole.

He held a voice studio get together every year (or was it every semester??I can't remember) and we would meet at his house, eat a bunch of yummy stuff and hang out; Sometimes we'd sing too.  It was always a fun event.  At one of the first gatherings I attended, Dr. Barrett asked me to make the guacamole for him.

I had never made that before. People did that???

I was a HUGE guacamole lover (still am) and I was so impressed by both his knowledge and his expertise on the recipe. He always used fresh tomatillos, which were something I had never even seen at the time, much less cooked with. 

And with this new found knowledge, I soon began making my own guac - and still prefer it to store bought and most restaurant creations. Now that I am thinking about it, it was probably one of the first things I ever learned to make from scratch - and probably the beginning of my love of cooking.

So thank you, Dr. Barrett, for opening my eyes to a world of cooking and baking and...homemade guacamole.

Until,
D :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I'm a Pepper

This is going to be an informative, hard hitting expose on something big in my life. So hold on to your britches, sit tight in your seats and keep reading. I am about to tell you...

Why I stopped (and then started again and then stopped) drinking Dr. Pepper!!!

I know, you are all shocked and on the edge of your seats. If you have known me for any length of time beginning in about 6th grade you know that for most of my life, Dr. Pepper has been my drink of choice.  If allowed, I would have indulged in them 24/7. I loved the taste, I loved the fizz, I loved the way it made me feel - which most of the time was relaxed and happy.  How could a drink hold so much power??

My love for Dr. Pepper started when I was in junior high, I believe.  My parents didn't allow me to drink any kind of soda, except on the weekends, and even then it was only one, maybe 2 a day.  When we went on vacation to their camp house, I think I was allowed one a day, no matter what day of the week it was (oh how wonderful!).  When we were at the camp though, Mom always stocked up the little ancient ice box on the porch with all kinds of fun flavored soda, including the ever elusive Nehi Peach, so I usually varied my soda consumption to accommodate the availability of those rare treats. I enjoyed a Coke every now and then, but I particularly liked grape soda and the Nehi Peach. Those were my favorites. But my beloved Dr. Pepper was never far from me, even when we were at the camp.

Some day I will have to write about the camp. What an amazing place that was.

Anyway, I became really hooked on Dr. Pepper back home when my mom started purchasing those little squatty, rounded bottles of it (the glass bottles were the best). At the time, we had a pool table in the living room of our house, and on Friday nights and through most of the weekends we played pool.  It was always a treat to sip on one of those bottled Dr. Peppers while shooting with my dad or various friends. I looked forward to it every week.

The obsession with Dr. Pepper grew as I went through high school, fueled by the greatness that is a Taco Bell Dr. Pepper.  I don't know what it was about Taco Bell that made them so good, but there was nothing that compared. (That is, until we discovered Sonic. Oh mercy. My Dr. Pepper obsession was brought to an all new level when paired with the exquisiteness that is Sonic ice!)

And when my friends and I started getting driver's licenses, my one-a-day-only-on-the-weekends rule was sort of out the window. Sorry, Mom. Never mind the fact that 45 or 50 cents could buy me one in the vending machines after school; that special treat boosted my energy for after-school rehearsals and practices. 

All through college I continued to drink Dr. Pepper. When I went home on the weekends I made sure to grab a 12 pack or 2 from my parents garage and put them in my car. Mom always kept me supplied. And in my adult life after college, it was my go to beverage. It's amazing that I still have kidneys...

And so I was a Dr. Pepper drinker. Forget the cola wars (Coke wins hands down anyway), I never had to make a choice. I am not even going to talk about the laughing stock that is Mr. Pibb - puh-leeze, it's not even in the same league. That stuff is nasty. Being a Dr. Pepper drinker becomes part of your identity in a weird sort of way.

Then working 2 or 3 jobs at a time hit and Starbucks came into popularity and I developed a love for coffee. With motherhood, coffee became my best friend. I still loved Dr. Pepper though, and had one every afternoon as my pick-me-up from the 3pm slump.

But in the past few years I have developed an obsession with eating healthy and removing many of the artificial ingredients and other bad foods from my diet. Never once did I consider abandoning my Dr. Pepper - someone had to keep the company in business. But then, it's funny that when you make major healthy changes in your diet, you also start to really taste things that you may not have noticed before.  I can always tell if something contains ingredients that are chemical in nature or processed.  I still loved Dr. Pepper though, and just like an addict I enjoyed the fizz, the tickle of the bubbles on my nose, the feel of it in my throat and the satisfaction I got from drinking it. But the flavor was not what it used to be.

Then, not too long ago, I was dealing with a lot of minor health issues.  Something was causing my body to be out of balance. It was reflected in my skin, my hair, my mental clarity (or in this case lack of) and I was experiencing a lot of discomfort through headaches, nausea and dizziness. After doing a lot of research I realized that I was most likely suffering from candida, and I immediately cut out all sugar and carbs from my diet. The Dr. Pepper had to go.

At first it was tough - there was about a 2 week period that I had to actually make myself busy during the slump time so I wouldn't constantly think about getting a Dr. Pepper. It probably took a month or so of not drinking it before I stopped craving it. And because I wasn't drinking any soda at all, I had to give up on the fizz and bubbles that brought me so much delight. I developed a love for unsweetened tea (when water just got too boring) and was doing fine for a while. But like most things, after about 6 months, occasionally I would really want a soda so I would allow myself one. Every time I tried to drink a Dr. Pepper it just tasted all wrong. I can totally taste the chemicals now! It's awful! I started drinking Coke instead, which surprisingly didn't have that same chemical taste.

I have tried to drink them every now and then since, and each time the flavor gets less offensive, but it is still just wrong. I think Dr. Pepper may be ruined to me forever. I tried to drink one today and couldn't finish it.

I suppose that is a good thing.  But still, it's the end of a big piece of my life. It sounds ridiculous when I put it out there like that, but it is what it is.

And now you know the rest of the story. ;)

Until,
D :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rat

I am writing this and praying that my internet connection stays on long enough for me to complete the post today. We have been dealing with internet connection issues for a couple of weeks now - trying everything we can and asking everyone we know and nothing is working. It gets better, it gets worse. Some computers will connect others won't. Some will connect some of the time and then at other times they won't even "see" the modem as an option.

*sigh*

For someone like me who spends 12+ hours a day on line, it is frustrating to say the least.

So, we have a deck on the back of our house. It is built up to meet with our back door (obviously) and so there is about a foot (give or take) of space between the ground and the boards.  It's the perfect spot to house any number of wayward critters. I have personally seen a 4+ foot snake slither up in there.  I am certain that the dog, when let out into the yard almost every day, is not chasing phantom animals as she bolts out and immediately starts trying to cram her nose between the slats.  So, I wouldn't be surprised if we had a family of possum or raccoons living up under there. Shoot I would even expect it. We keep two big bins of pet food in Rubbermaid bins by the back door, so I know that some of the critters stop by on occasion to see if we've dropped any kibbles for their midnight snack. 

Our house is also surrounded by many, many trees.  And because of all the woodedness (my own word, I know) - we host more than our fair share of squirrels and birds.  At times it is a nuisance. And there have been several times that I have gone into the garage late at night and heard the scurry of what could only be a mouse or other rodent. Our house is old; it kind of comes with the territory.

Anyway, I am used to it and as long as I don't see anything in the house I am ok.  Well last week when we had been experiencing all those days of hard freeze, I was just waiting for something to try to come into the house. And sure enough, I was sitting here at the computer one morning and just happened to look up at the ceiling. The air vent is right above my head. And there, in the air vent, was a rodent. It was walking around on the grate, just hanging out.

Yeah, I kind of freaked out a little.

In as fast as I could type my distress to my husband, the mouse/rat was gone.  Then I got to worry all day about how exactly it got in there, and how on earth we were ever going to find the hole.  Then, I sort of forgot about it.

The next morning, I happened to look out the back door and sitting there in all his/her fuzzy cuteness, munching on a piece of dog food, was my furry friend.  I tried to get the boys to come to the door to see, but the commotion scared it over to my potted plants in the corner. It perched up on the side of a pot and finished breakfast and before I could grab the camera it was gone.

I know a lot of you reading are grossed out, but I kind of felt sorry for the little guy.  It was very cold out.

I didn't think much more of it after that. 

We were enjoying the absolutely beautiful weather today and Port was running in and out of the house. He was playing with the dog outside, chattering away to her in the only way little boys can talk to their dogs. It was pretty cute to listen to.  At one point things got quiet, and then I heard his chatter grow increasingly excited.  I was working on something with my back to the door when he ran in.

"Look, Mummai, a MOUSE!"

I turned around just in time for him to shove this in my face.

It was IN HIS HAND.

I screamed and jumped and then immediately tried to calm myself down so I didn't scare him. He is at that age where a bad reaction scares him pretty bad so I tried to make light of it. I grabbed him by the wrist and led him back out the door to make him drop it. After scrubbing hands and arms and changing his shirt, I went back out to dispose of it.  I couldn't tell how it died - there was no slobber or anything to indicate the dog did it, and it hadn't been dead for long as it was still warm.

Port was very upset that he couldn't play with the "cute little mouse".  He didn't understand that he couldn't touch him and pet him. I felt so bad!

I know it's silly for me to think that was the only one, but I have to say I do feel relieved that I know it's not camping out in my attic or air vents anymore.

Later this afternoon I returned the favor by putting a rolled up pill bug in Port's hand.  He was fascinated until it started to open up, and it scared him to the point of hysteria.

oops.

We spent some time turning over the dirt in the garden.  He loves looking for worms and holding them in his hand. But they don't wiggle too much. ;)

Until,
D :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Be My Baby

Things are busy - I am sure you understand. I hope to get back to a regular schedule starting this week. So stay tuned for more blogging!

I managed to get both of my youngin's out in the back yard yesterday and we had some fun taking pictures on the hammock. Enjoy.


I may need a wider lens to capture all that goofiness. ;)

Today, I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day. I love all the people in my life in different ways and am so appreciative of them all. Even the ones that drive me crazy. ;) Mwah! Much love, hugs, warm looks, sweet nothings, longing stares, chocolates, flowers, and whatever else makes you feel special and loved today. May you see the beauty and love that is right in front of you and embrace it today and forever.

Until,
D :)
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