a late evening dinner with a friend who is moving away
coffee & dessert with the same friend under a full moon at the bay until 1am
a going-away party for the same friend (goodness, I'll miss her!)
a late night line-dancing party with the teens. It took me 2 full hours to get up the nerve to join them, but once I did, oh, goodness, was that ever fun!
hosting an airsoft battle with 17 teenagers decked in eye gear & camo in the farm field up the hill.
And now, I'm wondering how it came to be November 23rd. We're alone this week, and our oven is broken, so we don't have wonderful Thanksgiving plans, but it will still be a great time since mashed potatoes don't require an oven and the turkey can always be fried.
I needed a day off. I've been overwhelmed by that thing I (lovingly-ish) call my Monster Blog or sometimes just The Monster. It's a part-time job on easy days and a full-time job on some days, so although I'm grateful for it, it's not always my Favorite Thing Ever.
The Monster takes mental energy and brains of which I have not enough.
I was feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated yesterday. For me, "underappreciated" follows on the heels of "overwhelmed". Smart Tim, the hubs, caught onto that and instead of his First-Decade-of-Marriage response of ignoring her and she'll eventually quit being that way, he dipped into his Second-Decade-of-Marriage wisdom and said, "Why don't you take a day off tomorrow?"
I kissed him for that.
I woke up this morning excited about my day off. I did need to take care of one thing for The Monster, which ran into two-three-four things, but that's okay because this afternoon , while Tim took the kids out to play frisbee golf, I filled my cup up.
I sat in the sun with something to drink (a little coffee with my cream), something to crochet (a hat for our ballerina), and something to read (Leo Babauta's free ebook fittingly called Focus, which says things such as "Find Something Amazing to do everyday and then do that.")
I'm rested up and ready for another week's worth of Something Amazings until next my next day off.
We haven't come through on that yet, but we did find a spare pole in the garage. So, in a moment that usually only comes in fiction and fairytales, her grandfather, Popo, took her fishing in the Best Fishing Hole in the World - our backyard river, where we toss hook-less bread to the fish every few days, just to watch them swim.
I feel a bit terrible about this, but she easily - within a minute - caught a fish.
Popo said he never caught a fish with bread before.
Always eager for a teaching moment, I asked our little gal if she'd like to learn how to clean it and grill it, but she knows how much we'd enjoy watching it swim. Popo tossed it back. And so the fish lives on to feed or catch another day.
The internet modem was struck by lightning. So we got a new modem.
It was struck by lightning, too.
Our phone line was also damaged by who-knows-what (lightning, hmm?). The AT&T guy, who seemed to have caught our poor luck, had to make three trips out here and put in new line from our house to 2 miles away (now you know why I haven't been blogging!).
My man, and the AT&T guy, got stung by 2 angry yellow jackets who were living under the AT&T box.
We had a flat tire. But, luckily, close to home. And, luckily, we had a regular-sized spare tire handy.
A combination of Bonnie the Non-Hurricane and a tonload of dispersant sprayed in front of her, sinking the oil, got my man laid off (temporarily, please!) his oil spill job.
Our veranda "joyce" or is it "joise" or "joist" broke under the weight of storing garage things there temporarily. I was a bit afraid to ask my man just what a joyce/joise/joist is because he said, "Oh, greeeeat. The joyce just broke," in such a way that it obviously was not great, so I thought it might not be a good time to ask him to clarify.
Something about that veranda thing also seems to have broken the sensor for our outside lights and fans.
The air conditioner flooded the girls' closet.
A recently hung cabinet - loaded with sewing stuff - fell in the new studio and took down a shelving unit with it. It landed on the sewing machine on the new countertop.
And then, we had a second flat tire. Remember where the spare is? We spent an hour near midnight (after a concert) in a beach town 45 minutes from home trying to fix the new flat tire with two cans of fix-a-flat. It wasn't working. Finally a policeman, who stopped by because he thought my man was deflating someone else's tire, gave us his can of fix-a-flat and suggested we put it into the first flat tire, which was lying in the truckbed. It limped us home by 1:30am, thank God, and then to the tire store by 8am that morning.
It finally became comical and the kids and I started counting. We were up to "#10."
"Wait, maybe 12, because #11 was the tire..."
...Anyway we lost count because my man finally broke in to holler, "Would you guys stop counting!"
Giggle. Maybe it's the poison sumac rash on his arm and face that's making him so uptight.
We found a ship's rope on the rocks of Pleasure Island, right about the spot where there were Yankee and Reb skirmishes (you get the fort, we get the fort). Meanwhile, in the waters of Mobile Bay, the Union boats came in to try to capture Mobile, Alabama, led by naughty-mouthed Farragut who said, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" Sorry for saying that, but that's what he said. It's historical accurate to quote him. Besides, I sort of like that word for the times when "Curse the torpedoes" just won't do, don't you?
With such romantic and turbulent and naughty-mouthed history on and off the rocks of Pleasure Island, our ship's rope is an intriguing mystery to me. Oh, sure, it's probably from a shipful of bananas from Brazil (still intriguing!) from 1992, but maybe, what if, it's something far more interesting, like a rope from the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864. Maybe a rope thrown from the Tennessee as the Rebs hoped to escape their captured ship?
Okay, okay, when all is said and done, it's. a. rope. A rope that needs to do ropey things. So after keeping it coiled up for a few years, we finally thought of a good use for our insanely cool rope: with a really (really) big board it makes a wonderful swing.
Last week, we spent some time searching for the perfect Christmas tree at a local tree farm ....
What a tough decision! We ended up choosing a live tree, as in, one growing in a bucket instead of in the ground (aren't they both "live," though?). On December 26th, my man will plant it in the backyard alongside Christmas Tree 2008, which is currently adorned in red lights.
This year, we bought a golden cypress, somewhat like the solo tree above. Last year, we got a Caroline Sapphire, like those in the top photo. Our plan is to keep buying live Christmas trees - a different variety each time - to put in our flower garden so that when the flowers die back, at least something is still pretty. Eventually, we'll have a wee forest of Christmas trees to light up (hopefully not with red lights - that was absolutely not my decision).
The thing is, to make our plans work, I cannot forget to water the tree while it's in the house. Right. As if that's easyto remember in the busy holiday season.
Here are some photos of our ballerina as her costume was being fitted. In the Jack & the Beanstalk production, our ballerina was the front of the cow (and later, a cloud). Another gal had the (not so lovely) task of being the back of the cow.
The half-girl, half-cow
The cow (without its backside!)
Psst, go to "Our Ballerina" to see some new shots I added to that post. They're much prettier than these cow photos!
If you'd like to use any of the photos and writings on the site, I'm blushing. I'd love an email first if you don't mind: firstname.lastname@example.org. This website's content is copyright protected, but I'm not stingy, so please ask away!