Thursday, July 24, 2014

Time Traveler--Nice to Meet You...Your Friends Call You- WHAT?

As you may know, I had a back-to-the-earth, we-don't-need-money, 70's kind of childhood. The 70s were the best decade to have that kind of childhood, because MOTHER EARTH you guys.  That's all you need, man.
This.


I loved it at the time, but I didn't realize entirely that not everyone lived that way.  Hence, I get lots of strange looks when I talk about my experiences growing up.

Today I was recalling some of the people I met along the way.  Pretty much everyone we knew then was living "at one with nature", and I guess the first part of being at one with the universe was that you have to have a way more nature-ish name than *whatever your parents named you*.  Like, Ed.  Ed is not a nature name.  Sorry, Ed, nothing personal...

Anyhoo--I ended up meeting a LOT of people with these awesome hippie/granola names, like The Artist Formerly Known as John But Now I'm Just MORNING STAR.  Seriously, when I was 6, we lived in California, and my favorite relatives lived on a hippie commune, where I met the following people:

Ocho:  This giant black man with a 70s afro, who owned the two gorgeous palomino mares in the pasture (named Mahara and Okeemo).  I never really saw him, but I thought someone who owned and rode horses that big and that beautiful...pretty much had to be awesome.

Keeja-Ho:  A toddler who wandered around, apparently without parents, wearing nothing but a diaper, and for some reason, she also always had a quarter taped over her belly button.  Just...what?  At the time, I supposed it was to make her giant "outy" belly button somehow be less "outy", but...what shaman prescribed that, I wonder.  Maybe it was...

Rainbow:  A faceless man who I only remember because of his name.  Because, who wouldn't remember a man named Rainbow?  He was also present in the room, if memory serves, when my mom gave birth, in her bedroom at our house, to my brother.  There was a circle of chairs in the room for that event, and Rainbow and I had front-row seats.  I was 5.  (I never wanted to have kids, after that experience.  But by the time I was 26, after much reassurance by my OB/GYN that ANESTHETICS ARE GOOD, I talked myself into it, and it's been great.)

Eurydice:  A girl who was slightly older than 6-year-old me, who I idolized.  She rode horses and jumped them.  She knew how to ride in an English saddle, and had the cool English riding outfit, complete with the jaunty hard-hat thing that they used to wear before everything required helmets, because now of course nothing is safe unless you wear a helmet for the love of God what are you doing bareheaded right now??!! You should probably put on a helmet because you could fall off that office chair and get a concussion and then I'd be on the hook because I didn't warn you to wear a helmet.  I pretty much wanted to BE Eurydice, with her cool name and her English style...
The only picture I have of the commune/house.  It was my happy place in 1975. That's me at age 5ish, behind my aunt, on the horse I learned to ride on and had a bad horse wreck with.

THEN in 1977, we moved to Idaho, where the names got even more interesting.

We lived 25 miles from a really small town, and there was another hippie commune a mile or so away, where I was somehow allowed to go, by horse, by myself, at age 8, and spend as much time as I wanted.  (Because back then, we didn't have cell phones, we just turned up whenever, and it was OK).  I also met my BEST FRIEND EVER up there, who I still adore.  So I remember warmly those tepee-dwelling, schoolbus-living hippies who changed their names to:

Morning Star (and Carrie):  HE was Morning Star.  She was just...Carrie.  Apparently she didn't change her name.  Or maybe she did.  I just remember that they lived in a tepee, and he liked to garden...naked...and I remember the evenings up there, where everyone would stand in a circle holding hands around the fire at dusk, singing these songs in what I think was possibly a native American Indian language.  That acapella song still haunts me sometimes, and I wish I knew what it meant.  Or...maybe it's best if I don't.  We could have been calling on the spirit of the earth to bring us more weed or whatever for the season, and I wouldn't have known the difference.  But still.

Rock:  This was a couple.  They BOTH went by "Rock".  I grew up with their kids, and we eventually all went to the same 80s pentecostal church, after outgrowing the hippie phase, and they changed their names back to their original (unmatching) names.  But at the time, my 8-year-old self couldn't get over, "How can they BOTH be 'ROCK'?  How do I call one instead of the other?  Is your mom Mrs. Rock?"  Also, it just occurred to me (like, 35 years LATER) that their two kids were named after stones.  I won't use the real names, but basically pick two precious stone names, and you have it.  A family of rocks...cool.  I get it!

Earth:  I'm not sure, but I think this was a short heavyset lady named Constance who was very odd to talk to and used a lot of big hand gestures, but I may be mixing her up with...

Wind:  Not sure if this was a name, but I figured I'd throw it in here.  It was a long time ago, guys.

Fire:  My friend's parents, (I think).  Again-- BOTH were just..."Fire".  SO difficult.  They lived in a tepee, too, which means I HAVE TOTALLY SLEPT IN A TEPEE FOR REAL you guys.  Not camping out.  Living.  If you're 8, that's awesome.  I'm not sure how it translated for the grownups at the time, but I'm pretty sure the moms were not all feeling the coolness factor.  Like, "Seriously, Fire.  If you step in my cooking-fire and get into our bedroll with those dirty bare feet ONE MORE TIME I will hang you from the lodge pole and put hot rocks down your loin cloth.  Savvy?"

Red Fox:  Another big guy with an afro.  All I remember about him is that his name inspired me to ask if the name "Yellow Snow" was taken... (I was 8, so cut me a break here.  I thought it was hilarious at the time).

Laleña and Blake:  The two next-older kids that I recall living up there.  I didn't know him, but I played with Laleña a lot.  She taught me to ride horses bareback, barefoot, and with just a halter for control.  Us kids also all made *cough* brownies *cough* one time with a "special ingredient" that the grownups didn't know about and watched from behind a blanket/wall to see if they'd notice, giggling our heads off.  (HOW did we know to do that?? Wth, parents???).  I spent overnight sleepovers with her in a converted school bus, counting the stars through those weird school-bus windows, and I thought she was awesome, but I don't know where she ended up, or whether she had another name.  I also just realized that her name could mean "the firewood" in Spanish.  So there's that...

Kyrat:  The huge bay quarter horse that I used to dream of being big enough to ride.  I did get to ride him eventually, and it was one of the highlights of my pony-riding childhood.  He was so huge to me that it felt like saddling up an oil tanker.  I'M THE KING OF THE WORLD!!!  Ahmigash! Do NOT trot!!!

Magic:  Actually a guy named Jerry.  I think his last name may have been something like Majk or Magyck or something, hence..."Magic", or "Madge", as we inner-circle friends called him.  He was a carpenter who helped us build our house and then disappeared into that vague mist of unrecalled memories.

I'm sure there were others, but these are the ones I remember. They probably all went back to their real lives in the 80s, and now they're just Ed or John again.  I still remember those years fondly, but seriously...what a truly ODD decade that was.

 Not that you needed to hear any of this...but I'd love to hear about any oddball 70s names or people that you remember.












Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Look, I Wrote You a Post...With a PEN

I was totally going to start telling more Time Traveler stuff about our move from California to Idaho in 1977 with a goat in an old playpen in the back of a 1950-ish van, (yes, a goat.  In a playpen.)  That story never fails to make people go…"Wait.  What?  A goat?" because of course goats make everything more fun.  Except, like, weddings.  I've never been to a wedding that would've been improved by a goat.  Although I have been places that would have been improved by LESS GOAT, like…the back of that van, Mom.  But I digress…(I promise I will totally tell that story soon, though.  Seriously).

Moving on-

I have something even cooler right now.  

We went camping last weekend, only this time I stayed connected to my little world, instead of staging my usual self-imposed exile/mutiny from anything with batteries, at least until my phone completely gave up the ghost and refused to stayed charged.  Like, you're camping, woman.  Give up.  I stayed connected by casually holding up my phone in every square inch of airspace in the camper until OMG YOU GUYS, 2 BARS! RIGHT HERE!  Which was awesome, except that the only 4 x 6" space apparently in the whole entire campground with any cell reception was in the far corner of the back windowsill of the camper, which meant that I could get texts and emails and check my blog feed, BUT I could only answer anything by typing on my phone with it up in the windowsill, while kneeling backwards and hanging over the back of a small rocking easy chair.  But I did this, because I'm loyal like that. 

And thank goodness I did, because I would have missed an email from my friend Michelle at Rubber Shoes in Hell, asking if she could mention me in a blog post.  I said yes, of course, as long as she made me look tall and thin, which of course I'm not.  But she's loyal like that, too, so of course she said OK. I feel taller and thinner already.

Then I realized she was tagging me in her post as an "interesting blogger" and I kind of freaked out because I'm afraid that's a bit of an exaggeration.  Oh sure, my friends find me interesting and funny, and I make myself laugh my head off, and sometimes my kids, but that's about all I expected from my blog.  So it's like I accomplished a little goal, right there...*check*

I also don't know any other bloggers personally, though I read a lot of tremendously funny and inspiring blogs that make me laugh and think and cry and then laugh some more.  I know a few who comment here, and I LOVE THEM FOR THAT, but I don't know them well enough to ask them to answer questions for me, without them being all Seriously? I already did one of these.  Or…Stef who?  Then I'd be all, "Michelle made me do it!" and I think she said it's supposed to be uncomfortable, WHICH IT TOTALLY IS, so I guess I'm doing it right.  Right?? 

The idea was to answer these four questions, then tag four other bloggers who might answer them in turn.  Michelle also mentioned that this whole thing could be a pyramid scheme, so I expect I'll be super rich at the end or something, and you can all say Yeah.  I knew her when-

So, here goes…

1)      What am I working on at the moment?  Well, right this actual moment, I'm working on this post.  Oh.  Umm, and some socks I'm knitting (because I may get old someday, and I need the practice).  And a cookbook.  And all the laundry from camping, which never really ends but just goes on and on and on and on and on, andyouwillneverbefinishedmuahahahaaaa.  I'm also studying French every day.  For HOURS every day.  Because that's what bored work-at-home housewives do, I guess.  And because we are, of course, moving to Europe with all the money I'll make from this pyramid scheme.  (<-not true)

2)      How does my work differ from others of this genre?  *muffled snort of laughter* This…genre? I didn't know I had one.  Umm, well…it's not as funny as most of the humor genre and not as inspirational as the inspirational genre, so there's that.  Too wordy?  Yeah, probably that.  Definitely that.  People with red pens have been telling me for years to EDIT. EDIT. EDIT. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT'S HOLY WOMAN, PLEASE CUT THE WORDINESS.  I can't.  I give up.  Sorry, it's not happening.  If you wanted something brief, you've already read too far.

Also…saying I even have a "genre" makes me feel like I need to "up my game", or it makes me think of convention-type people standing around with cocktails, asking each other so how's your genre doing? Are you marketing to the right audience?  Do you have a book deal yet? or about their golf games or something.  So I guess I differ in that I don't follow any genre.  

P.S. "Genre" sounds French, doesn't it…? 

Stay focused. 

3)      Why do I write what I do? 
a) To avoid laundry and dishes.  
b) Because I closed a bakery, have no car, and need a creative outlet?
c) So I'll be  discovered, they'll make my life into a Made For TV special, and I'll be RICHHHH?
d) For myself, and my kids, and their kids.  So they can read back through these posts someday and hear my actual voice on the page.  So we will have a record of some of the small everyday stories that made us laugh together.  So they can hear about my childhood, which was anything but normal but seems endlessly fascinating to them.  Some of the stories have to be written in an edited-for-all-audiences-including-the-people-involved way, which means there may be a BOATLOAD of stuff that won't be written here, but I'm not that comfortable putting everything out there for public consumption (sorry, public).  So they can read tidbits of our family's history, before the stories disappear.  If they aren't written down with each generation, they are forgotten and gone forever.  That's all, really.  If no one reads this but them, I'd be fine with that.  

*wipes a tear and clears throat*               moving on

(Also, I LOVE it if I can make people laugh, so if you have ever laughed at any of this…then you are the only other reason I write). 

4)      How does my writing process work?  I keep to a strict "by the seat of your pants" method…which means, if I find myself in random awkward or funny or annoying situations that bear re-telling, I come home, sit down, blast them out off the cuff, and hit PUBLISH.  Then…I go back and spell check, gawk at my grammar, and thank goodness that my College Prep Comp teacher has probably long since died of old age and/or doesn't know how to use the internet.  I used to be a much more formal writer.  Now I write exactly like I talk, and there's just the one draft, which of course is rambly and parenthetically full of rabbit-trails and would make him probably pass right out, but it's easier for me. (Sorry, Mr. W!)  

Seriously, other than that, I do keep a running LONG list of titles or key phrases that remind me of stories I still want to tell, and sometimes if I find myself sort of composing a story in my head overnight, and that is how I decide when it's time to write something.  In between my real life and my random blabs about nothing, I try to make time to write those down and track down the family photos to go with them.   I don't actually think of myself as a "writer" other than the fact that I like to ramble and I'm a pretty fast typer (typist?), so the idea of blogging as an online journal seemed really cool.  The fact that strangers read it always seems amazing to me.

P.S.  I ALSO wanted to point out that for THIS post, just this one…I actually wrote this in a notebook while camping, WITH A PEN, which was both painful and messy.  See?
I know right? Exactly like Hemingway.


Now I'm having to reread what I scribbled at 1 a.m. and turn it into a post.  Plus, I've revised it entirely, so basically I've WRITTEN IT TWICE YOU GUYS.  You'd think I could have made it shorter, but I've given up (hence the name of this blog.)  I'm totally going back to the one-draft thing, and thank God for laptops!

Ok, Ok, OKAAAAY.  Almost done.  The other point of this was to refer you to four other bloggers who I love to read.  I didn't tell a couple of them that they will be part of this, so we'll just let it be a surprise…riiighht?

First:  My daughter.  She and I got the idea to blog "together" at first, and we started this blog:  Running With Cookies at http://www.running-with-cookies.blogspot.com/  I branched out on my own not long after, and she kept the original blog, where she writes and does FREAKING HILARIOUS DRAWINGS that make me laugh my head off.  She shares my odd sense of humor, and her artwork just absolutely brightens my day.  I am endlessly proud of her, and I love laughing with her.

Next:  Check out The Yeti's Wife at http://toolazyforyoga.blogspot.com/   I stumbled on her blog, and I love it.  She is an American living in Nepal, and her stories of life there are hilarious and insightful. 

Next:  AmberLynn at One Girl Breathing at http://onegirlbreathing.blogspot.com/  I love Amber's posts about being a runner and a mother, and she was kind enough to agree to being included here.  And I bet she's actually tall and thin.  Plus she is always encouraging in my continual battle between my carbaholic side that wants to eat baguette sandwiches smothered in salami and mayo, and my AHMIGASH INEEDTOLOSEWEIGHT side, and is kind enough to comment on my posts, even when I feel dorky about them.  Muah!

Last but not least:  Eli at It Just Gets Stranger at http://www.itjustgetsstranger.com/  Eli is amazing and hilarious, and he also has this deep wisdom and ability to write incredibly heartfelt posts that make me laugh and cry, sometimes simultaneously.  Plus, if you've never read his posts about Snuggy Texts, make a cup of coffee and go check those out--Right now.  He also doesn't know I sent you, but I'm pretty sure I can talk my way out of that.  *looks up legality of linking to blogs without permission* 

Enjoy.

 And Michelle…THANKS FOR MAKING ME LAUGH A LOT AND CRY A LITTLE, but in a good way.  I love you, sister.




Monday, July 21, 2014

Of Hot Coffee, Camp, and Navigation with Kids

So, today, I had to drive my youngest to camp at the crack of 9 o'clock, first thing this morning.  ALL THE WAY TO THE ACTUAL CAMP YOU GUYS.  Usually, we just meet at the church (10 minutes away), throw a bunch of teenagers and their gear at some grownups and a bus, and leave.  Then we come back next week and do the whole thing in reverse.  Everyone wins.

Apparently things have changed in the camp insurance world, though, due to probably the last two decades of grownups suing other grownups over every-little-ridiculous-thing, until now...no one can drive anyone anywhere ever NEVER EVER, but I didn't know this until about 12 hours ago.

We just got back from camping last night ourselves, unloaded OUR stuff from the camper, threw HER stuff in the laundry and BACK into another bag and into the trunk.  Then I happened to check the email for the info on her camp, for this morning.  I stopped at the part where it said "Hi guys! We're meeting at the camp this year."

*...*  It's an hour away.

What?  Ok, it wasn't actually that big of a deal.  I'm off, I have the time.  I even have a car, which is a rental, so woo hoo, because FREE MILEAGE.  Except for that thing I hate above all else:  I had to set an actual alarm clock.  I hate mine like you can't even believe, so I made coffee for the road.  As we turned out of our road, I handed it to my daughter and said, "Here. See if this helps."  Because hello, it was 9 a.m., and I'm pretty sure no one should be driving at that hour without coffee, plus don't forget we just got back from a long hard weekend of nothing, and we were both kind of groggy.

I forgot that she is completely unlike me, in the sense that she likes her food and drinks...lukewarm, whereas I like them to be still actually sizzling on the plate.  So she takes a sip through that dangerous little siphon-top on my travel mug, and I hear:

Her:  WOMAN!!!

Me:  What?

Her:  HOT!!!!!!!!  

Me:  Oh.  Sorry.  Yeah...it's hot coffee.  You weren't supposed to guzzle it.  But...sorry.

Her:  GAHHH.  THAT'S LIKE MORDOR IN A CUP.

What was really cool was that she set my phone somehow to navigate the trip for us, with that voice that tells you when to turn, and if it hadn't been "on", I'd have taken an actual wrong turn at the last minute and probably ended up in Albuquerque.  So the navigation voice was like the coolest thing ever.  I didn't even have to look at the phone, or zoom in on a map to see where we were, or pull over and look up directions.  I feel so modern.  Then she was like, "Mom.  Seriously?  You've never used navigation?"

I haven't.  Trust me to find out how cool something is, right about the time it's almost obsolete.  Yeah...I'm crazy techie like that.  (and, yes, I know they can steer you wrong...I'm not that old).

Anyway.  I'm back.  And oh!--I have a cool post to write coming up that I was invited to do by a fellow blogger who thinks I'm way more talented than I am, but I'll let that be a surprise.  Or like a surprise that you know is coming.  Or you can just act surprised later.

So, keep an eye out for that, but first I have to sort out four days' worth of business voicemail, glance at some random bills that probably needed my attention a week ago, unpack the camper, and do  ALL THE LAUNDRY from camping, which somehow multiplies between the camper and the laundry room, until it seems like we must have had about 100 people with us, judging from the heap of bedding and shorts and beach towels.

*sigh*
You mean, we have to UNpack it, too???

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hammers At Dawn

I may or may not be writing this from a camper.  Ok, I'm in a camper.  But it's more like a small perfect house, because I don't campIf you've read any of my Time Traveler posts, you may understand why not.  No, wait.  I haven't written *that* post yet... The one where we lived in a tent for most of a year in 1977.  Five of us, with my brother in diapers.  Outside shower, outdoor kitchen, washing dishes in a pot on the ground, with goats and chickens that came in the tent.  Oh, yes.  I will write that post eventually...but-
 
Anyhoo.

So, yes.  We're in a camper on a mountain by a lake.  My oldest and my husband had to leave at 5 a.m. this morning for the one-hour commute back to civilization because WORK, so we got that kind of relaxing 5 hours of sleep you get when you are relying on the alarm to go off on a Droid with 60% battery left and no electricity, plus the requirement that "If I miss work, I will be fired.  Mom. Are you totally sure your phone won't die?"

Of course I said yes.  Because I wanted her to sleep without worrying that she may miss work, get fired, not be able to go to college, and end up living in a van down by the river.  All because her mom wanted to go camp by the beach. 

The good news is that my phone didn't die, and that horrid Droid alarm did exactly what it should do...which is: wake up everyone except herI'm kidding.  She eventually got up, after I was completely awake, and they left on time.

I snuggled down to go back to sleep because hello--NO ONE IS AWAKE THAT EARLY.   Seriously.

I thought a lot of time had passed when I heard another camper start up....their generator... in the absolute still quiet of the forest.  With no clock in sight, I mentally forgave them and assumed that it must be later than I thought.  "Well, yeah.  It's probably like 7.  They are probably morning people and were kind enough to wait until 7 for their coffee." I drifted back towards the sleep I still hadn't really had.

Then.

Gun shots.  Six.  I counted.  Where we are, this isn't really cause for alarm, so I tried to sleep again.

Then.

Hammering.  I kid you not.  Now that I'm awake, I'm not sure why hammering is more alarming than guns?  All my windows were open, so it sounded like someone was building something IN THE NEXT CAMP SITE.  At first I thought "Ok, sure.  They're probably just tapping the end of their picnic table together so they can have breakfast safely.  It's cool.  They'll stop soon."

Guys.  It didn't stop.  I sleep light, so this was a total deal breaker.  Bam.  BamBAM .BAM

BAMBAMBAMBAMBAM.   

BAM!!!

I shut the windows and tried to sleep anyway.  It went on.  I tried to imagine WHAT COULD YOU POSSIBLY NEED TO BUILD RIGHT NOW!!???!! 

Finally I flung the covers off and actually went outside in my jams barefoot and stood in the road looking for the source of the noise.  I couldn't see anything.  The next camp site was still quiet.  I did my best *arms flung out* gesture that universally means WTH, GUYS??? WHAT ARE YOU HAMMERING? DO YOU REALIZE THERE ARE PEOPLE SLEEPING RIGHT NOW?? Not a soul was visible.  Just the sound of hammering.  Two hammers, actually.

I gave up and went back in the camper.  Glanced at the clock.  I had to squint...the big hand is on the... 9. Little hand allllllmost on the ...6..  Wait. 

It's 5:45? 

WHAT THE EVERLIVING HECK ARE YOU WORKING ON AT 5:30 IN THE MORNINGI can't even.

It did finally stop, and I was able to sleep. I woke up at 10:45, which felt great.  Kind of like being on vacation.

Plus, I found two bars of service on the windowsill of the camper and woke up to an email from one of my favorite blogger friends, so it looks like today will be ok after all. Except I have the added joy of customers being able to reach me while I'm camping, so that's a love-hate kind of thing. Yeah.  The service is patchy at best hereSorry I missed your call while at the beach...really!

P.S.  They are still hammering...someone must be building a house, or a mountain-top monastery, or something.   Gah. 

The view from my door right now.  With less hammering.

Friday, July 11, 2014

I May Have Exaggerated A LITTLE

If you have people in your life who are known for accidentally (really?) ending up with your stuff (clothes, books, camping gear, coffee mugs, etc.) after visiting your house, you will understand this.

My oldest daughter is a huge fan of hot coffee and tea, and a huge fan of vintage stuff.  Our family lurks around antique stores a lot on our beach/camping weekends, because we're cool like that, and on one of these rambles, she found a vintage, ceramic Starbuck's coffee mug in perfect condition.  Of course she grabbed it because OH YES IT WAS THAT AWESOME.

It's like the holy grail of cups at our house.  No one touches it but her.  When I wash it, I put it caaaarefully to dry and then caaaarefully find a spot in the cabinet for it, because there is probably not another one anywhere on the planet and why is this even IN the cabinet when it should be in the antique-dishes-glass-fronted cabinet-thingee where no one can touch it?
Like...this.

Anyhoo--Recently we had company, and one of them was walking out the door to go home in the morning, and he was actually carrying her Starbuck's mug as he headed for the door, like, "Well--See ya."  I wasn't awake, because I try not to be out of bed before 9 in the summer (it's sort of a rule), but my husband is much more alert to that kind of stuff, so he stopped him and made him dump the coffee out, and Put. The. Cup. Down.

My younger daughter and I shared a laugh over it afterwards, because this kind of stuff happens a lot in our family.  But for some reason, when I explained how the conversation went, I made it sound like this:

"...So then Dad said, 'Do NOT leave here with that cup.  If you take that cup and break it, my daughter will hunt you down and kill you, and she will glue the broken pieces of that cup back together with the molecules of your soul.' "

Ahh...family.  *wipes a tear*  What good are we, if we can't embroider a story now and then?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How's That New Healthy-Food Kick Going?

Pretty good.  Thanks for asking.
So...The whole eating-healthier-because-we-want-to-live thing is still going on here.  I am pretty much buying only fruits and vegetables right now, in the hope that IF YOU'RE HUNGRY ENOUGH, YOU WILL EAT THEM AND NOT CALL DOMINO'S AT 10 PM BECAUSE THERE'S NOTHING IN THE FRIDGE BUT BROCCOLI, NOT EVEN A PIECE OF CHEESE.   Right??

I also stopped drinking coffee (again) a few days ago.

Actually, I didn't.  But we appear to be out of creamer AND cream right now, and coffee for me doesn't exist without some form of cream.  Not milk, either.  That is not the same, so don't be all throwing that out there.  Plus, we're out of milk, or I'm not buying it because it's bad for Shane's cholesterol or something.

That's the best way I know how to diet.  Just quit having that stuff in the fridge, and tah-dah...you can't eat it.  Problem solved.

Today I did make coffee for him, and I stood at the fridge for quite awhile wondering what I could put in a cup for me.  Greek yogurt? Nah, too much honey.  Sour cream?  Maybe.  Bleu cheese dressing?  Come on, it's 8:30 a.m...  Then I found Redi-Whip, another thing I buy about once a decade, so I put that in it.

Don't judge.  I'm having raw cauliflower and almonds for lunch.

Yep. It's all about health around here.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Because...SUMMER (Also--my ONE CAKE for this year)

Finally!  
My one big cake adventure for the year--more on that, below...
Wait.  It is the weekend right now, isn't it?  I just realized I honestly don't actually know what day it is.  *stares into space*  Saturday? Yeah, that seems right.  
See? Why would I be inside?  (Louis and Jack in the rose garden)
Moving on--

I probably won't post as much, so I'm just checking in to say that I'm fine. (I know you were putting your entire summer on holding wondering about that, so yes...rest easy, my dears).  I don't even get online much in the summer, because I'm outside, so, for all my fellow bloggers who I love to read--I'm not ignoring you, I'm saving the reading for later.  When the sun's not out.  Which is like 80% of the year, here.

Not that I won't still pop in to rant about one thing or another.  Like right now, I am driving my second rental car this summer, and I can just FEEL a "car review" post brewing soon.  If you're a Mazda 5 lover, you may need to look away for parts of that one.

If you know me, you know I pretty much live for summer.  My year revolves like this:  Holidays, that icky cold gap between the holidays and my birthday, waiting for summer, SUMMER, summer's almost over, I wish it was still summer, almost holidays, and back to-- holidays.  


The sun finally came back out this morning, the BBQ is out, the garden is peaking with the first giant wave of my zillions of antique roses, and I've spent the last three weeks enjoying having my brother and my mom here, watching our oldest graduate, knitting hats, studying French (for hours every day, for real...like where you actually speak it), and reading Utopia in the hammock.  Not even an e-book.  A real book.  With paper pages and everything.  

Also, I made the cake (at top) for our school's graduation, which was absolutely one of my funnest cakes ever!
A little closer view of my 3-D sugar tractor and palette 
All the details were made of sugar.  The whole thing is airbrushed metallic gold, which didn't translate well in the photo.  The kids each got a specific sugar item sculpted to match their interests, so I made a tractor (with wheels that turn, y'all), a palette for the grad going to fashion school, a film reel for the film school student, the British flag for the one going abroad, and a hand-painted sugar bagpipe for the girl who was leaving for Ireland and Scotland the day after graduation.  I can't tell you how fun this one was to make, and it was a privilege to do this for my daughter and her friends.  
Also--if you are interested in history/politics/society and you haven't read Utopia, you should check it out.  I'm a history freak, especially 16th century England and France, so I'm not sure why I haven't read this yet.  It's fascinating to me that this book was written in the early 1500s, but if you don't know that, you could easily forget that it's not sometimes talking about current trends in human nature and government.  Not at all what I expected.  (Note to self--I can also see where some of those hippie communes I remember from the 70s got their ideas.  It was just a book, people.)

So.  Here's to forgetting what day it is...for at least another 60 days, then we send one to college and one back to school, and the whole thing starts over again.

*muah*