Saturday, July 12, 2008

5 weeks to sanity

So, now that everyone has noticed that I'm *ahem* boring as of late, please allow me to explain.

Summer is totally killing me this year. The teenagers want to go to the pool with this friend and the mall with that friend and the sleepover with another friend. They want to walk to Jamba Juice and look for a few things at Target and PLEASE buy one pair of earrings at any place besides Wal Mart and does Kohl's have a cute top because mine are really wearing out and by the way my church clothes don't fit and I have a dance practice in an town 45 minutes from where we live. And that birthday party is not to be missed and there aren't any decent presents in the birthday drawer and did you remember my gymnastics banquet and WHERE IS MY FLASHLIGHT, I'M LATE FOR CAMP.

And lest you dear reader forgot, I work full time. Or at least I try to work full time because while the teenagers are harping about all of the above stuff, the younger kids are all, I'm bored and I don't want to go to the pool again. Can't we have the TV cord back because we really won't fight anymore and why can't we turn on the air conditioner and please can we just have a water fight and will you fill up 3000 water balloons and store them in strategically placed trash cans all over the neighborhood so that no less than 23 of our closest friends can make a muddy disaster of our front yard? And did we mention that our church clothes don't fit? Neither do our shoes. And then, of course, there's the I'm bored! Come play a game with me and help up put together a 4000 piece puzzle of a polar bear in a blizzard and just one game of Monopoly, even though one of us always quits 1/3 of the way through any given board game leaving the other siblings to complain, whine and throw tantrums and don't we have a church activity today and weren't you supposed to make cookies, and did you forget to wash my swimsuit and why aren't there any clean towels and I hate peanut butter and jelly even though we're taking them to the beach. Can we go to the pool? PLEASE?

And I was supposed to bring two kids for this dentist appointment? Are you sure it wasn't just one? You can fit the one I left home in tomorrow? Great. I guess tomorrow it is. No, I did not forget that doctors appointment. I remembered it 5 minutes after it was too late to get to it, but I certainly did remember it. What is the reminder on my cell phone ringing for now?

So, because I am sleep deprived, 13 loads behind on laundry, everything at work is 3+ weeks past due and there are now 3999 white puzzle pieces spread throughout my living room. And because I have spent well over $400 on gas in the past 4 weeks and for no apparent reason, spending days canning jam was a excellent idea, I am warning you that I may not have my funny back for awhile. I can hardly string 3 words together to make a sentence, let alone a funny sentence. And trust me, I miss my funny every bit as much as I fear the green non-waterproof cast. On his right arm. Not that I'm predicting anything.

Even more, I miss the opportunity to sequester my children in the house for weeks on end because all of their friends are in school and can never socialize due to their volumes of homework. I will continue to post the boring travel logs. And, I hope that a true funny or two pan out before school starts again. But, just in case you are tired of reading about the many things I should not be doing instead of working, I just wanted to give you permission to stop reading for the next 5 weeks or so. I promise, you're really not going to miss anything.

Thank goodness summer is short for everyone else this year!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Crescent Bay Beach

As always, no camera. Someday, I will buy a small one and pictorially document every second of my life. Maybe. Then again, that sounds like a lot of work.

The kids and I, sans Rebi who is at camp, spent today on a very quiet beach in Laguna Beach. And when I say very quiet, I mean it. Even Ellie kept her mouth shut for the first hour we were there because there were no kids under 12 and no one else was talking. Other than my crazies. Have you ever felt the need to shush the children at the beach? Certainly not me. I'm the mom that tells them they can fight all they want at the beach, as long as I can't hear it over the crashing of the surf. I don't take them because I love them, I take them because I need the pounding of the waves to drown out their whining. But with the silence, I was feeling the pressure to place library rules on them.

Luckily, traffic picked up after noon and each of the kids found a friend to hang with. We were also lucky enough to have dolphins swim in and check the kids out- from a distance, but close enough to appreciate. That's the second time this summer, and compared to the "Great JellyFish Attack" of 2006, Ellie is mighty glad it's dolphins.

This beach is also lucky enough to have some really cool tide pools. Starfish, crabs, mussels, hermit crabs, Anemones, and a variety of algae and other unrecognizable growths. Out of all of the tide pools we have seen these past 5 years, these ones were the best. Ons of the kids informed me that it was "too bad it's summer because this would have made a nice field trip."

I quickly replied, "I'm enjoying this field trip quite well, no matter what the season." I do believe they forgot momentarily that they get to learn year round and not just when school is in.

So Mom, get your plane ticket. Laguna Beach is begging you to come explore it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Health Benefits of Jam

After constant stirring of 14 batches of jam, I do believe I have increased the muscle mass of both arms. After standing for 9+ hours cooking jam, I can feel the stretch in my hamstrings. And, the beauty of it all is that I fell asleep easily and slept soundly.

The joints didn't flex so well this morning, and even after my double dose of steroids, I still can't move so far off of my couch, but I'm going to be eating jam for months. Nothing but jam for my 3 month of pantry items. . .

Amusingly, I slept so deeply last night, I had several vivid dreams. Most nights, I toss and turn and don't dream at all, so the sleep was nice. The dreams, not so much. I dreamed Nate broke an arm. Must be about time again, eh? He got a green cast and it wasn't waterproof and I had to hear all about it the entire summer. Nightmare!

In the second dream, I was parachuting for the first time with no help. My two buddies had jumped out before me. And the parachute was all messed up. Rather than being frightened, I had an incredible feeling of floating in mid air. Of course, one of my buddies watched me plummet past him and started yelling and I realized I was in big trouble with the parachute. Which is really typical of my life. I think I'm doing just fine until someone points out I have a problem or two. Or ten. But who's counting?

It was just before I hit the Earth with a splat that I woke up and realized I am indeed sore all over. Still, the floating in air leaves me with an amazingly peaceful feeling. Or maybe that's from 6 uninterrupted hours of sleep all at once.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Still Jammin

With the help of a friend, we've canned nearly all of the apricots and some of the plums. We have 25 bottles of jam, currently. And all of them seem to have sealed, which I don't remember from my growing up years. We did can an amazing amount of food back then though.

I find that the full-sugar jams are just too sweet for me, so I am going to do a couple of batches of apricots with the less sugar pectin. In all of the freezer jams I've done, it's never worked right. So, here's hoping! But, our test spoonfuls of the other batches of jam have all looked great.

If I can find more free or inexpensive fruit, I will try my hand at bottling whole fruit and not just jams. I'm still hesitant to bottle the tomatoes when they come in. Because we all know I would be the one to give the family a deadly dose of botulism by not processing the food properly. . .

Monday, July 7, 2008


Me, exhausted from a long week? Apparently not, as I was given an opportunity to pick fruit for free today and will now be making jam.

Has anyone ever made green plum jam? How about preserving grapefruit? I haven't googled any of this yet, as I still have to go buy canning equipment.

I never put the cart before the horse or anything. . .

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Day of Rest

Sunday is here just in time for my tired feet. Last night at the powwow was pretty cool though. Lots and lots of beads and jewelry for sale, lots of fry bread, and really interesting dancing. At one point, there was a dancer alone on the field and people began walking up to her and leaving money in front of her. It shows honor and respect. When she was done, all of the money was gathered up and distributed among the elders in the audience, no matter what ethnicity they were. They were passing the honor and respect on. And in our society where we place our elders in homes away from us as they age, it was cool to see that level of respect still.

But perhaps the best part of the evening was brought to us again by Nate, who is really good at saying what ever pops into his head. Right as we walked in, we passed someone dressed in his traditional clothing, standing fairly still, with sunglasses on. He looked a little bit like this:

Nate stopped, started at him and started laughing a little. "That's funny!" he said, pointing. And then the guy waved back. Poor Nate was mortified. He thought it was funny they had dressed up a "robot" (although I think he just meant mannequin and doesn't know the word) and put sunglasses on it.

The kids all want to go back today to see more dancing. Not me. I'm going to church and going back to bed. All of this partying has worn me out.