Saturday, July 31, 2010
Lists are fun to read, easy to write, and can be about anything you choose. Favorite movies? Favorite books? Celebrities you hate? Make a list.
I hope you'll play along with me and make some of your own lists.
See you Monday.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
But today I'm feeling grumbly. So here is a short list of things pissing me off today:
*Summer. Really summer, I hate you. I don't like your sunshine and I don't like temperatures above 80 degrees. It hasn't rained here in about a month and I am miserable for it. I want my drippy, overcast weather back.
*My Children. Remember how motivated I was at the beginning of summer? I bought art supplies, had activities planned, a designated reading time, etc. Now, my main goal everyday is to not curse at them. Seriously, if I can get through the day without dropping the F bomb on my twelve year old, it's been a good day.
*Real Estate. My house still hasn't sold. It's frustrating because it's been getting a lot of action and most of the negative feedback is stuff we have no control over, like the floor plan.
*Real Estate Agents. This has got to be the most passive job in the world. They don't sell houses, they show houses and expect the house to sell itself, and we pay them thousands of dollars to do so. Listen, I don't expect my agent to talk someone into buying a house they clearly don't want, but please talk up the good and downplay the bad. It amazes us that our house still hasn't sold. We are practically giving away a huge house, in a decent neighborhood, in one of the better school districts in town.
*Smarmy blogs. This is one I've actually been keeping inside for quite sometime.(And fyi: If you're reading this or if your blog is in the sidebar, then chances are this rant isn't about you.) Generally, I don't like to complain about other people's blogs because I feel like, Hey, it's their little corner of the internet, they can do what they want and if I don't like it then I can just mosey on through. But lately, in some of the blog circles I travel in, it seems to have gotten to the point where you're excluded if you watch TV, yell at your kids, don't/didn't cloth diaper, don't eat all organic/locally grown/unprocessed foods, don't make all your/your kid's clothes, don't home school, etc....
Sigh. Here's the thing, I try to do all those perfect mom, socially responsible things. And most days I succeed, and succeed joyfully. But some days, probably more days than I'd care to admit, you'll find me wearing sweatshop jeans and screaming at my daughter to quit hugging the TV or she'll get Cheeto dust all over Alec Baldwin's beautiful face.
There are so many good blogs out there that strike a perfect balance between doing all the things I've mentioned, yet still being down to earth, accessible, and inspiring. But lately I feel like there's an attitude that certain parenting choices are the only right ones, and that's what I don't like. If you want to buy $30 crayons for your toddler, rock on. But don't make me feel shitty for buying the 49 cent Crayola ones. If you choose not to own a TV, good for you. But know that this act alone does not make you a better parent than I am. If you only ever cloth diapered, you are totally awesome. But I am not less awesome because my five year old still wears Kroger brand disposables to bed.
We all want the best for our kids. Quality food, and well made clothes and toys. No one sits around the house thinking, Boy I love all of my Made in China junk. But for most of us, there is a lot of give and take. For instance, I buy cheap diapers so that I can buy $6 organic milk. I let some things slide so that I can spend my money on other things. And frankly, I think this is most people's reality.
Like I mentioned, I've been holding this in for a while and I probably wouldn't have even brought it up but lately the smarm just seems excessive. I want you all to promise me that if I ever start sounding snooty, you'll knock me down a few pegs.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Since moving here, I've learned that Oregon takes three things pretty seriously: coffee, beer, and food. I think we're fitting in just fine.
(Next up in two weeks, The Bite of Oregon. I'm hoping to at least be able to make a small appearance there.)
Friday, July 23, 2010
One giant trash bag later, I came across a photo that reminded me of Peggy's Flashback Friday posts. So Peggy, if you don't mind, I'm totally stealing your idea today.
The offending photo (sorry it's crooked, I have zero patience when it comes to fiddling with the scanner):
Let us discuss this photo, shall we?
*In it, I'm right about the age the girl is now. I think it was taken when we briefly lived in Spokane, Washington.
*Notice the hair. See how the bangs start all the way at the back of my head. This is the beginning of my first fe-mullet. I started young and there were many more to come.
*I have no idea what that rust colored dot is to the left of my head. I'm hoping not a bullet hole or blood splatter.
*Check out that couch! Really, check it out. Are those stalks of wheat? Knowing my dad controlled most of the spending, I'm betting it came from Sears. To this day my dad makes 99.9 % of his purchases at Sears. (Does Sears still sell furniture?)
*I'm totally digging what I was wearing and if I still had those shoes in my possession, you can bet I'd cram the girl's fat feet into them.
*The clowns. I think a family friend made these and I LOVED THEM. I used to swing them around by their arms and legs or throw them around the room and say they were doing gymnastics. Clearly in this picture, the clowns and I have just been caught sharing secrets of some sort.
*But what I love most about this picture is what's written on the back: "Tammie and her favorite friends." Ah yes, that explains a lot.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Needing to work, she tries her hand at waitressing but is quickly demoted to kitchen duty after she spills shrimp scampi all over a customer. It's here, in the kitchen, where she discovers she's a really good baker and begins thinking about opening up her own bakery. When not working, she spends time volunteering with Big Brothers, Big Sisters and is assigned a "Little Sister" who enjoys cutting herself and starting fires. On top of all this, she's caught the eye of a local actor who can't make up his mind if he wants to be with her or not.
Okay. So it sounds totally like chick lit, I know. But it's also so much more than that. It's funny and sad at the same time. For instance, there is one part, towards the end of the book where Sophie finally decides to part with her husbands clothes that she's been carrying around in boxes for the last year. She packs them all up in his suitcases and takes them to Goodwill. When she arrives, seeing that Goodwill is closed, she leaves them behind the building.
A few hours later she receives a call from a man at a rest stop a few miles from her home. He had located her through the name in the suitcases, which had been stolen from behind the Goodwill and were now at the rest stop. When Sophie arrives, she finds her husbands suitcases had been sliced open. The would be thieves, apparently not excited by the contents, had left it all there to blow around the rest stop. I just found it heartbreaking to picture this poor woman chasing her dead husbands clothes around a seedy rest stop.
I could relate to Sophie in so many ways. There is one passage in the book that I've saved and read over and over:
"The funny thing about rock bottom is there's stuff underneath it. You think, This is it: I'm at the bottom now. It's all uphill from here! Then you discover the escalator goes down one more floor to another level of bargain-basement junk."
Um....you could say I've felt that way. Recently.
After I read this book, I looked up some reviews on Goodreads to see what other people had to say about it. A lot of people liked it but thought that the ending was too neat and tidy and happily-ever-after. While I'll agree that all the loose ends were tied up a bit too nicely for my liking, I don't necessarily feel the ending was fairy tale. I don't want to give it all away, but I will say that by the end of the book Sophie still isn't completely sure of her relationship with sexy actor man, and her relationship with her mother in law changes in a way that could hardly be considered ideal. So, yes, she's in a happier place a mere year after her husbands death, but she had to work to get to that happy place. Which was what I loved so much about her. I hate it when characters just sit back and repeatedly let bad things happen to them.As I mentioned before, this book was recommended to me by a reader (thanks so much Shannon!) and I'm so thankful it was because I probably wouldn't have picked it up on my own. I'm certain I would have looked at the cover and misjudged it as just chick lit, which is generally a category of books I can't quite get into. And I would have been missing out because this is probably one of my Top Ten favorite books of all time.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I really like it because I think it's an example of one of the many changes my family has gotten used to since moving here (plus, I think my daughter looks really cute in the Fairy accessories my mom sent her.) My kids (and my pets) were used to having a big, fenced in backyard they could run around in anytime, night or day. But they've all adapted. Change is scary, but it can also be so very, very good.
(Edited to add: My photo made it on habit today. Yay!)
Sunday, July 18, 2010
One who loves animals and adoringly cares for his stupid little chihuahua even though she doesn't deserve it and repays him by loving everyone else in the family more.
Friday, July 16, 2010
I kept my eye on the woman who married us. She knew the routine. She had done this dozens of times before. I remember thinking I bet she is certain this will never last. Actually, for various reasons, I felt like a lot of people thought that about us.
Well here we are, thirteen years later. We've both grown up and grown together. When I look back on the most recent years, things have been.......tough. But without Jay by my side, none of it would have been worth it. He's been my motivation and my inspiration for a better life.
Happy Anniversary, Jay. Here's to proving everyone wrong!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I'm thrilled and beyond honored that one of my pictures has been chosen. I'm also quite humbled because there is always so much amazing talent over there. I've been clicking over to habit since the beginning. The combination of photos and a few honest, emotional words, is truly a thing of real beauty.
To see my photo, along with the others chosen for July 13, click here.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
It's hard for me to say whether I liked this book or not. It kept my interest and was an easy read, but I can't really say I enjoyed it. When Daphne was here, we had a brief discussion about Chuck Palahniuk and came to the quick conclusion that his books are "man books." (In fact, I really only even read this book because Jay liked it and had been after me to read it for about two years now.)
For instance, Victor almost always refers to his penis as his "dog." Ugh. And he says this often, at least once ever ten pages, if not more. Now every time I need to say the word "dog", you know, like in reference to an actual dog, I want to throw up. I've been having to use words like "pooch" and "pup." Plus, there is a lot of gross, dirty sex on the floors of public restrooms or in janitors closets.
The book's ending was odd. It all sort of ended abruptly and in a way that I wasn't expecting. Again, I can't decide how I feel about this. In a way, it's neat that it caught me off guard, but at the same time, it seemed to not fit.
I definitely don't think I'd search out anymore books by Chuck Palahniuk, but if Jay had some laying around, I might be inclined to pick one up.
Right now I'm reading Good Grief, which was recommended to me by a reader, and I'm loving it. It's sort of chick-lit without all the mushy stuff and I can relate to the main character in a lot of ways. I can't wait to review it here.
Monday, July 12, 2010
*Went to the farmers market.
We aren't normally this go-go-go, but it's been hot the past few days and no one has really felt like hanging around an apartment that has no air conditioner. I have learned that I hate summer no matter which state I'm in. I become miserable, uncomfortable, and basically just want to hibernate until fall. I may need to look into getting a summer home in Australia. Today though, I'll just focus on the fact that the high is only 70 degrees and it would appear that, for now anyway, the high nineties are over.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
What are you into right now?
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Other than changing into goofy clothes and putting my hair into really stiff braids, I don't remember much about the day of the report. I can vaguely picture the class staring at us and being less than impressed. I know, shocking. Possibly this event foreshadowed my years of crushing unpopularity.
Fast forward to yesterday when I received a box from Dawn. I ripped into it and pulled this chick out:I am very happy to give this funky gal a home. We have some shelves in our living room that are quickly filling up with toys and other fun things:
Monday, July 5, 2010
Because of this, there is virtually no photographic evidence of me past the age of about 19. Which bothers me. I mean, if I were to die tomorrow, I'd like the kids to have at least a few photos of their mom.
So, I've decided that once a month I'm going to post a photo of myself. This is a huge step for me and not really something I'm comfortable with, but I want to learn to relax when my picture is being taken. I'm tired of looking like I'm in agony.
The rules for this project are as follows:
*The picture will appear here sometime before the fifteenth of every month.
*I'm calling it Self Portrait, but in actuality I'm hoping to get Jay, the boy, or anyone else who happens to be around, to take my picture. The goal being to get comfortable with this.
*There isn't going to be a lot of set up or staging. I'm not going to spend any more time on my hair or makeup than I would on an average day. I'm not aiming for model beauty or perfection. Just me, being me, doing my me thing.
*When doing a self portrait, once I've decided when and where to do the shot, I must choose one of the first twenty shots. I'm imposing this rule so I don't end up standing in front of the mirror for twelve hours hoping the next shot will be better than the last.
*Along with the photo, I'll probably include a few notes about the day it was taken. What I'm wearing, what I was doing at the time, if I was listening to any music, etc.
So, without further ado, here's the portrait for July:Notes on this photo:
*It was taken on the fourth of July. A quiet day at home, just me and the kids. I had been cleaning the bedroom and listening to music (Kandi by One Eskimo has the power to bring me near tears lately) when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I then noticed that I grimaced at the sight of myself. This self hatred is what I'm trying to stop. It's stupid and pointless.
*I was irritable this day and I know I snapped at the kids a lot. I had hives and was super itchy and uncomfortable. I've been breaking out in hives on and off since moving to Oregon. I can't quite put my finger on what the problem is. Maybe my skin just isn't used to living without humidity.
*My pinky finger looks really long in this photo. When did I grow ET fingers? Wonderful. One more thing to be self conscious about.
*The dress I'm wearing used to be Dani's. It became mine last year and it has become my go-to warm weather dress. (I don't own a single pair of shorts anymore.) On this day, I thought it would be warm but by 2:00 it was still 65 degrees so I had to put a sweatshirt over it.
*I'm wearing my glasses. I need these mainly for reading but I get tired of putting them on and off so when I don't need them for seeing, I let them slide down my nose and then peer over the top. I'm sure this makes me look like a mean librarian spinster, but whatever.
*ET fingers and all, I'm mostly pleased with this shot. It's not great, but I feel like it looks like how I think I look.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
The fabric was bought at Goodwill and I always knew it would be made into a bag for myself, but I knew the bag would have to have a little something else, so I refrained from making it until I felt the proper inspiration.
The bird was cut from some IKEA fabric that I have and then just embroidered onto the outside of the bag before adding the lining.You'll notice he is legless. The bird and I had a discussion and together we made the executive decision to cut off his legs. They just looked too messy against the loud and busy fabric. (Although, now sometimes when I look at it, I feel like something is missing. Oh well, executive decisions can be tough.)
The bag is lined with more of the same fabric that our legless friend was cut from:
Now to tackle the list.