Monday, August 30, 2004

Amish cooking isn't so good

We took the children for a little getaway that I planned to Lancaster County, PA. We stayed in a "cottage" at Ridge Run Family Campground which claims to have six lakes on the premises. They are not lakes at all, they are ponds covered in scum, the "cottage" was a prefab 12x24 foot structure with kitchenette, bathroom, carpetted loft, futon, and table with four chairs. It was as pictured on the website, but the other pictures were somewhat misleading. The position of the cottage was amidst the resident RV owners, so it had a very trailer park feel to it. The playgrounds, save the one pictured online, were rundown and rusty. My husband kept asking, "Why is everyone so fat?" It was a relevant question, because I would say that of all the people we saw this weekend 5% or less were not obviously overweight.
Friday night I had to keep laughing because the food and the ambience were sub-par. I thought Amish cooking was supposed to be really wonderful, so we went to a place called The Amish Barn, (note to self: do not eat in places with "barn" in the name), for some family style cooking. YUCK! If you like overcooked cafeteria food this is the place for you, but I like my veggies fresh and crisp, my meat tender and any condiments to be recognizeable. Not knowing what shoe-fly pie was made of I asked. "It is just like pecan pie without the nuts, " the waitress announced. No nuts? What is the point? We got out of there as fast as we could, but not before shelling out 60 bucks for our lame-o meal.
Saturday was better, we visited the Indian Echo Caverns, and it was beautiful. Our tour guide was "so boring I couldn't even believe it", to quote D, but you just don't get to see three million year old rock formations like that everyday. ( K said, "He was so boring you could not eat a stick. " whatever that means) Afterward we went back to camp, had a swim, some lunch and then a nice big nap. We then visited Nissely winery for a free tour and sampling, but the wine wasn't worth buying. We cooked in and made a campfire, drank beer and chatted with the ten year old boys shining laser guns at us.
Our children had a fabulous time, and I didn't get all stressed out and tense as I sometimes do on a trip, (and I was even pmsing). M and I got along swimingly, despite his indecision to stay with me. On our way home, we stopped at Hershey's Chocolate World for the free tour, and I had planned to have lunch there, but M thought it was too crazy. We settled for some status quo pub food at the YP grill, and then headed home. Overall things went as planned, and what didn't I am the wiser for. It did dawn on me after we got back that staying in a cabin at a campground may be a good route for us in the future. It is way cheaper than a hotel, and there is a little more room, plus we can cook in and save money that way too. Maybe we will try it again in a slightly more interesting town.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

winds of change? or is that you I smell?

My life has had many tumultuous events this past year. I was hoping that things were smoothing out and beginning to settle, but now I am not so sure. As I plan to start homeschooling K, my thoughts are dominated with the uncertainty of my family structure. I decided to homeschool partly because I thought that it would provide more stability for K when my marriage may be falling apart. The main reason to educate in the home was to keep family bonds strong during these formative years, and to be involved in the learning process with my children. K is very bright and self-motivated when it comes to learning, so I don't fear it to be too difficult. Another concern I had about the public school setting (that is our only other option at this point) was that K would get lost in the crowd. He is well behaved and generally mild mannered and from my own experience as a teacher, I just don't think he'd get the attention he would need.
Now I hope that I am not so distracted with my own problems that I don't give him the attention he needs.
I thought that my husband and I were beginning a new chapter together, (key word-together), after a six month separation. He was so sincere about his renewed sense of committment and desire to be with me that I believed him and took him back. Now he is not so sure, after only, what two months? I am being forced to give him an ultimatum- either commit and stay, or leave if you can't make up your mind- with a one month deadline. This really sucks to have to be forced into the position to do this, but the alternative is unbearable, or at least, I have borne it long enough. I can't handle this transient marriage, this period of limbo. What is the point of being committed to someone if they are not committed in return?
The super weird aspect of all of this is that it is completely amicable. We are best friends, we "do the dance", as my hub says, very well ( referring to relating with each other, not sex, but that fits too). On the outside, our union looks good. We get along, have fun together and enjoy being together, but so much is going on inside of M that he is quite conflicted and I get the brunt of it.
I just want it to be one way or the other at this point. I can not make him love me or stay with me. He must choose and he must choose soon. Saga to be continued....

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

no, not the mall!

Feeling slightly ambitious today, I decided to round up the three kids and head off to the mall. I needed one small item that just can't be purchased elsewhere. Curious? It was a nursing bra-whoopie! Anyway I thought, the kids would like it and we could have lunch there, etc. I must have been high. It was all fine until I was waiting to pay at the Motherhood store. You'd think in a store named, " Motherhood" they would be sympathetic to people like me. Think again. This store is designed for women who are about to become mothers, not the "I have three children and just need a decent nursing bra sort". Child #2 in typical fashion was antsy, and thought it would be great fun to hide behind the clothes in the racks. I used to do the same thing, only problem was there was a very overloaded unstable rack that he flew past and knocked over. All this right when it was my turn to pay. There were clothes all over the floor - some falling off their hangers and then the rack-stand thing was so weighed down with all the maternity jeans on the one side it was really hard to upturn. The sales lady didn't help. She just stood behind her counter, until I had most everything put back and then said, "Don't worry about that, I'll do it." Why didn't she say that ten minutes earlier? Geez.

So we get out of there and proceed to the food court. Oh yes, I must have been high. My children range in age from 5 1/2 - 9 mos. How the hell am I going to carry food and drinks for all of us and maneouver through the crowded food court while pushing a stroller? Answer: McDonald's. They put the food in bags, not on trays. Since I didn't want to eat that crap, I just foregoed lunch and made sure the kids got fed. OOPS! I forgot to get napkins, there is baby food all over L's hands and face, ketchup on my pants and D spills his milk on his pants right before saying the classic, "I need to go peepee."

After coming home and we all took long naps, I thought I would make up for this bust of an outing by taking the kids to this new park in our area. This was a much better idea, and it helped to wear the boys out so they would sleep peacefully despite the monster nap they took.
I saw my son's G.I. doctor there. He was with his daughter, who proceeded to tell me lots of personal things while her dad read the paper on a bench. I discovered that she doesn't believe in God, because she said that Christians think Jews are bad (she is Jewish by proxy- she was "born Christian" she said, but adopted by a Jewish family). Then she asked me if I was a Christian. I said I was and she added, " Well you are nice." I told her I don't think Jews are "bad". But the conversation did go much beyond that. I wish I had known what to say. It could have been such a cool opportunity to talk to a young person about spiritual things, but the whole time I was thinking that I don't want to say something to undermine what her parents are teaching her. I still need a lot of experience in talking about my faith.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

My first

So this is my first blog, maybe I should introduce myself. I am Joyella, age 31, married mother of two sons and a daughter, and I work full time taking care of my family. This fall I begin homeschooling my oldest son in kindergarten. I have been an art teacher and custom clothier/freelance sewer for an income, and am currently looking into persuing my interests in clothing design and construction. I am a Christian and I am committed to my faith, but I am also trying to better understand the God/ Man relationship as well as develop a better "argument" for what I believe and why. This is specifically important right now because my philosopher-husband of ten years now is a sceptic- an agnostic. This was not the case when we married, but we were only just beginning our twenties, and that is such a maleable time of life. Much has changed in us, and I am left wondering: What is God trying to teach me? Where is this path I am on leading me? Who is with me?
I will use this blog as a place to explore these questions and others, and to share my joys and vent my frustrations of the journey. I am always open to hear the input of others. Until next time.