Friday, December 31, 2004

groovy girls night

I woke up this morning with a mild headache, very sore knees and a developing blister on the ball of my left foot. A had a night on the town with six girlfriends at a hip newish venue. The Red Maple is a groovin' classy tappas lounge with delicious food and drink and desserts worth every extra calorie. After 9:30 or so, it was a little too loud to converse with anyone who wasn't directly infront of or next to me, as the music began to get faster and people started to crowd the bar. So we got the party started on the dance floor. The d.j. was mixing up some Persian, Indian, hiphop blends which takes a little getting use to, but if anyone is unsure of how to move to this beat, you can take cues from the Bollywood musicals projected on the far wall of the courtyard. (Very funny to watch-people on the dance floor were also amusing) There were several moments when I thought it would be fun to draw this depiction of social ritual, perhaps I may try that sometime.

Upon discussing the previous nights hits and misses with my good friend, we wondered why is it that the less desirable guys are the ones with guts enough to "move in" on the dance floor, especially since they are certain of repeated rejection?

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Why I hate New Year's Eve

I guess it started as a teenager, my romantic notions for what New Year's Eve celebrations should be like. Perhaps I watched too many Fred and Ginger, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn and Audrey Hepburn movies during those impressionable years. I think when I was fourteen or fifteen I had my first big New Year's disappointment (staying home watching the ball drop on t.v. while everyone else in my family had parties to go to), and it hasn't really improved ever since. There is just too much pressure to "start the year off right," and for some reason I have bought into that notion that you can't be asleep when the calendar changes so I am usually sleep deprived when the year begins. I have certainly had some that were less disappointing than others, and those were the years where I had absolutely no expectations what-so-ever. So that is my New Year's resolution: no expectations for New Year's Eve. I might even be able to keep this one--usually I make the same resolution every year, and that is to floss every day.

I don't even consider Jan 1 the beginning of the year, anyway. As a student (and former student), teacher (and former wife of a teacher), and now mother of a school age child, my year has always "begun" in September, for as long as I can remember. That is how time is marked in my mind - the year is a big elipse, with September at one end.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Darn you, Blogger!

Yes, I'm still here, just hangin' in. I have written two lengthy posts since my "Blahs" and Blogger has froze up on me and lost them. So, I am just writing briefly to say that I survived my first single-mom Christmas, but just barely. It has been a hellish week, but there have been a few bright spots: spending time with family (immediate and extended), seeing some old friends from out-of-town, lots of chocolate, and fun presents to give and receive.

I think the dark clouds of holiday depression are lifting, but we still have New Year's, and that is my least favorite holiday of them all (more on that later.)

I hope all of you bloggers, and readers are enjoying your time with family and friends, time off work and are able to be quiet with the Lord now that the rush is over.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


It would have been really nice to sleep all day today. Feeling the winter blahs. I still have some preparations (shopping) to do for Christmas, and of course more baking, but not today. M was supposed to have the kiddos for a few hours--my mental health break--but he "called in sick" and so no break for this tired momma. (I wish I could call in sick.)

Yesterday I woke at 6:30 with the baby, and after she went back to sleep, I decided to shower and get going with the day. It felt really good to be able to sit and read in those early quiet hours. I almost decided to do it everyday. Almost, until this morning. The bed was so warm and fluffy, and my eyelids were like lead. So I slept until the children were begging for breakfast and the disgruntled Stuntman was wanting "Byoo jeans" which were not yet dry from washing. He sat naked on the floor for about ten minutes complaining and then dug out a pair from the hamper and after that he seemed much better. (God forbid he stay in his comfy p.j.'s an extra hour until his pants were dry--that' s what I always do.)

Generally feeling blah, sort of sad, mostly tired and somewhat overwhelmed with all the responsibility today. This is supposed to get easier, right? (Please send hugs.)

Monday, December 20, 2004

Art taxi

Last night my friend, Gordon, called with a favor to ask. He needed some help transporting some of his paintings to local radio station for an exhibit. I think I was his last hope, I know he wouldn't have called me first. Anyway, I was glad to put my minivan to good use in supporting a local starving artist, so I said "of course". While driving all over downtown Baltimore, I saw several more of the "Evacuation Route" signs. Funny, I never had noticed them before, and now I am seeing them all over. I wonder how many millions of dollars went into that campaign? To be perfectly honest, anyone who can't find their way to a main artery leading out of the city shouldn't be in the city in the first place. I am no geographical wizard, I may get lost going into the city, but I sure as hell know how to find my out!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Feeling very productive

Last night I constructed two pairs of little boy's pajamas. I used cute white knit fabric with locomotives all over them that I purchased from my favorite online fabric store. It has become sort of a tradition to give the boys pajamas (made by moi) on Christmas. This fabric has been sitting around for almost a year (maybe longer) so it is about time they get made. I am feeling warm, pleasing sensations of satisfaction-or perhaps that is the wine. I have finished most of my shopping, although I still have some things to make, and I have all the gifts I purchased wrapped already. It's been a good day. I celebrate this day with a nice bottle of Luna di Luna given to me by a friend (it comes in a fabulous blue bottle which I happen to collect, so it is a double gift) and some chicken, broccoli and pasta with a lemon-garlic-cream sauce- YUM! - cheers!

Joyella's Chocolate Walnut Tart gets rave reviews...

The pastry chef strikes again...

Today at the WOW luncheon, hosted by Helen, women oohed and ahhed over Joyella's delicious Chocolate Walnut Tart. "It's my secret weapon," she said when asked what makes this tart so special. "I think the combination of caramel, walnuts and chocolate are enough to drive anyone into oblivion. Using real vanilla beans in the caramel is the clincher."

While the cat's away...

Over at Rae's blog, some crazy stuff is going on... She has some guest bloggers while she is away, and it is like a party going on over there. Randy's bits are highly entertaining.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Please interpret:

"You are a swirly kind of person." This statement arose out of someone viewing my artwork, but I was wondering how others might interpret this statement. (I happen to think it is absolutely true, by the way, I just don't know exactly what it means.)

Oh, and I am disappointed that no one had any ideas thus far on the "Evacuation Route". That could have been a fun, creative excersize.

Christmas came a little early

While I was away last weekend, the auto fairy came and serviced my car. My little minivan got a nice long drink of fresh oil, new wiper blades, four new tires, wheel alignment, and a few other things I know not what they are. This was one of those gifts that you daren't ask for, know you need, and hope that the money will magically appear to get it all taken care of. Wow, the green machine is running smooth and much more safely now. Thanks auto fairy! I love you too.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

I am so proud

Proud of myself that is. My computer graphics teacher used to get such a kick out of me, because it didn't take much to thrill me in computer lab. I was always so pleased with myself when I learned a new skill, like cut and paste, or drag and click, I even learned how to overlap figures and do very, very basic animation. I still have the Apple IIGS floppy with my projects on it, but it is all obsolete now-not that I even have an Apple to work on. But look at me linking like it's nobody's business....
::::making a big cheesy grin of self-satisfaction::::

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Computers, love 'em or leave 'em

In middle school, I decided that computers were evil. The spawn of Satan himself.
In my seventh grade math class we had this computer unit, where we learned how to write a very, I mean very simple program. The program was supposed to give the comp instructions on how to make the screen appear in one color with our initials in block letters in another color. Mine looked like.... well, the J was right, and the R was half right, and the S was all screwed up. It was then, in my frustration that I decided that not only did I hate computers, but they hated me back.

In high school, my senior year, I decided that computers were going to be unavoidable, and so I should get more comfortable with them. So, I took a computer graphics class. This was so much better for me because it incorporated art (my strength) and I soon realized that you don't have to write programs for everything you do on a computer. Light bulb!

Many years passed before I was able to "go online" and "surf". It even took me several weeks before I could fully comprehend the concept of e-mail. But I am learning, and now that I "blog" I am finding that I enjoy my time on this machine. I even miss it when the Verizon goes kaput or when it was broken. I have not, however become a geek (nod and wink to Jeremy R. Gilby) by any means, in fact I think I am probably the polar opposite.

A little technical experiment in linkage

Okay, so I am trying to understand the next level of blogging. Linking up to other sites. I want to mention Quotidian Light post from November 22, 2004.
You may see if you visit there that one of my other lives includes pastry chef. Yesterday while baking bread, I remembered a little comment made not too long ago regarding this very thought. "You are not a pastry chef?" Well, I guess I am an amateur pastry chef/ baker/ extrordinaire... I have my first "job" on Christmas Eve. (To be perfectly honest, it isn't my first job, it is just my first since I have considered it a real possibility. I made a wedding cake about 7 years ago, and two years ago I made a huge and delicious -if-I-may-say-so-myself- 40th year anniversary cake for my folks, and that fed at least 50 people. And there have been other treats I have concocted at the request of others too, however only one other was for pay.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Evacuation Route?

Several times each week I have to go up and down a portion on I-83 to deposit and collect my children. Upon returning (heading northbound away from the city) I always see this small white sign with a blue circle with the words "Evacuation Route" and an arrow pointing heavenward. What does this sign mean? Who is it for? Evacuate from here-to where? Are there more of these signs on other roads? Is this one of the security measures instituted post 911?

If you have any ideas, I want to hear them. Post, post, post. :)

Monday, December 13, 2004

Outside the box

I returned last night from Atlanta, nauseated, inflicted with a ferocious headache, and extreme fatigue. The good news is the baby was really good on the return flight and for that I am extremely grateful to God. I went right to bed, and slept in my own, sweet, comfy bed made up with fresh sheets. Ahhha. Woke up a new person, well almost. Collected my boys at 9a.m. and came home. They briefed me on all the fun they had, showed me all the pictures they drew (there were thousands of them), and then they went with their grandpa to get a Christmas tree. After lunch, the Artist and the Stuntman have been playing so contentedly together in their room. Perhaps they missed their toys, or they just need to unwind, I don't know. I rarely have Mondays this good, so I am not going to jinx it by asking too many questions. I just went in there to help them for a minute and saw what they were doing. They are playing with Playmobil, rubber frogs, two different parking garages (one Fisher Price, one Ikea), a work bench, an easel, and wooden trees from the Brio train set. I am not sure what they are reenacting, but they are having a blast. This is what toy companies do not account for. How children really play with their toys--they mix everything up. I love the creativity involved in genuine child's play, and I try to think through the various possibilities a toy has before purchasing it. This is my general rule: the more generic the toy, the more potential it has in play. Best bets are things like: blocks, legos and other building toys, little people, cars and trucks, dolls or action figures, toy dinosaurs and other animals, balls, string, paper, etc. There are a few toy companies that do "get it" and they are Hearth Song, Magic Cabin, and Cronstructive Playthings, and I am sure I am forgetting someone, but hence it is Christmas time and I am forgetting many things.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Georgia on my mind

I am here in Atlanta, GA, visiting my sister. It has been a short visit, but a good one. She and her family are off to church, and I am here at the house letting Prettiness catch some zzzs. The flight down was one of the worst I have been on. L cried almost constantly from the time we entered BWI until we landed in Atlanta. Not only was she completely fussy, irritable and tired, but there was a lot of turbulance toward the end of the flight, which made me queasy and we had to circle the airport for an extra 30 minutes of flight time. So, it didn't go well, but we survived. I hope for better this evening when we head back.

It was so good to see my brother, he had flown all the way from Japan for a class on contemporary worship courtesy of the Air Force. Our time of all three sibs together was very short, but fun. We were able to catch up on some stories, and share some personal stuff, and just hang out together. My brother really wants me to visit them in Japan this summer.... I would love to go, so we are beginning to consider the possibilities. I had originally thought of taking little Prettiness with me, but after this horrendous three hour flight, I don't think I want to travel half-way around the world with her. I will have to make other arrangements... but I have time to think that through. Besides, she will be nearly two then, and won't need me as much.

Later today, we will go to the Festival of Trees here in Atlanta, as my three nephews will be singing in their choir there, and my big sis is the children's choir director. I have visited here several times, but have never been downtown, so I look forward to checking out the urban sights down here. More later....

Thursday, December 09, 2004

I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again

Yes, tomorrow I fly south for the winter. Well, at least for the weekend. I'm going to see my sister, and brother as he has a layover in her town before he is off to his class in Alabama. It will be a short visit. I am taking Prettiness with me, and the Stuntman and the Artist will be with their dad for three days. They are very excited about that, I just hope M gets a little taste of what life is like for me, but he probably won't, because of course he will just have the two boys.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

the stuntman and the artist

I have called my little baby girl "Prettiness" for this is what her name was before she had a proper one. Her oldest brother concocted this for her, he said, "Mommy, we could call her Prettiness and put ribbons in her hair," after we discovered we were having a girl. So it stuck, and we still do call her Prettiness from time to time. To maintain the anonymity of my children, I have come up with pseudonyms for them as well. The stuntman (D) is the four year old. The artist (K) is the five-going-on-twenty-year-old.

Today was a bit of a difficult day, the boys are getting stir-crazy, we haven't gone anywhere interesting because Prettiness has been so sick. This afternoon while I was changing her diaper, the boys came rushing in, both in tears-but not really real tears- and crying a little too loudly. (They needed some attention.) Well, it seems that the Stuntman had punched the Artist in the mouth, and the Artist was crying because this hurt his lip (small amount of blood as proof). The Stuntman was crying because, of course, he hurt his hand on the Artist's teeth! I burst out laughing when he told me this, and when I laughed about it so did he. What a faker! Anyway, he learned the important lesson that teeth hurt when you punch them.

Sigh.....Boys.....My bane and delight.

The pee-pee bandit

For the past few weeks, I have noticed, at times a small puddle on the floor next to the toilet. I had thought that perhaps the john was "sweating" and the condensation was just accumulating on the floor. Not so. The "water" had a foul stench. I confronted my two boys a few days ago, and they both said they didn't do it. Right...

Today the truth comes out. The little perp confessed to his crime, although I am not sure how to keep him from doing it anymore. He said, that the seat was down, and he didn't know it, ( I really am not sure how that makes it hit the floor --the seat deflected the flow of urine perhaps? being a girl, not experienced with the physics of this problem I can't be certain if this is a truthful statement ), and he was sorry (but he was grinning as he said this).

Hmm, well at least I know it isn't the plumbing, a cracked toilet or something else and I am very thankful for those disinfectant wipes.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Dragon Island

I have picked up reading "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" once again to the boys at their request. This is their favorite Narnian tale, and I am becoming more and more fond of it too. I had mentioned in a previous post how I feel like Eustace shedding his dragon scales. Tonight we read that chapter, and it gave me chills. I do feel like I am being peeled down to the tender skin underneath at times. I have had so many hard layers built up. You may not guess that to look at me, but it is true. I have a rebellious heart, and am confronted with it daily. The good I wish to do, I cannot, and the evil I do not wish to do, I do. I have been reflecting on Romans 7 and 8, to meditate on what it means to be free from sin, to live in the Spirit, and no longer be a slave to the law, as well as to desire obedience to God. Oh, there is so much work to be done in me. I have found comfort in the statement about Eustace after he was made back into a boy, that "...he began to be a different boy. He had relapses. There were still many days when he could be very tiresome...[but] the cure had begun."

Monday, December 06, 2004

fevers & coughs

Child #3 is now sick, and the other two are on the mend, but are still coughing. L has a fever and is like a wilted flower. She has slept most the day, and when she isn't sleeping, she just wants to to be held. I will admit, that is one part of having sick children that is kind of nice. These otherwise rambuctious, spritely children are so mellow and cuddly.


While lounging on the couch yesterday, I was very sleepy yesterday, D climbed up beside me and layed his head on my stomach. "I yike your squishy tummy, mommy," he said.
"What?" I asked, I didn't quite understand him, and was hoping he had said something nice.
"I yike your squishy tummy, mommy," he repeated.
"Oh, [blushing] thanks, I wish it wasn't so squishy, though," I said.
"Why?" he asked.
"Well, I don't think it looks very nice, it is all stretched out from having three babies in there, and I would like it to be more firm," I replied.
D thought for a second and said, "I yike it, it feels good and comfy." Right, just like a pillow. Not what I had in mind, but I have lost fifty pounds since L was born, and I think it is still coming off. I just tried on a little kilt this morning that didn't fit last month- well, I got it on, but not comfortably- and today, it fits! I suppose stress is good for something--weight loss.

Voila, c'est fini

The cheongsam top is now complete. It hangs gracefully in my closet, waiting for the right occasion to be slipped on. The only problem is, I don't think it matches anything else in my wardrobe other than jeans, with which it looks great, but I was hoping for a dressier alternative for it. So, it is back to work designing the perfect skirt to go with the top. I like this kind of problem, I am not complaining, it stretches my creative muscles, and helps to give me some artistic focus. Unfortunately this skirt ranks rather low on the "to do" list, with Christmas right around the corner, I have bunches of other projects I hope to finish in time...
...It does feel good to have at least one project done though, even if the pile of undone projects is towering over me, swaying in the wind.

Saturday, December 04, 2004


Okay, so I have noticed that other bloggers are having spam troubles, and I have so far not had such on my blog, but that is probably due to the fact that this is a little known blog. Anyhow, I have been spammed a lot via email, maybe this sounds familiar:

Dear so-in-so, I am some anonymous foreigner with some various legal injustices, blah, blah, blah... You send me money and I will double/triple/whatever... when I win my trial.... keep this confidential....etc.

Anyone else getting these? Something very fishy about it.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

A blustery day

Happy December! On this fine day, the wind is whipping up a frenzy of leaves and branches. Even schools in my county were closed an hour early today because there have been so many power outages. I just heard four very loud pops, which could mean some transformers just went down close by, or someone is illegally deer hunting in the woods.

I missed WOW for the third week in a row, and this time it is because D and K are coughing, D has a fever too, but that could be related to some vaccinations he had last week. Anyhow, we did venture out briefly to Target to get our fake Christmas tree. I am personally opposed to fake trees, I mean really what is the point? But since I am a singlemom with a very curious toddler this Christmas, I decided to go the easy route, and bought a little two-foot high prelit fiber optic tree. I must admit it is cute, and it is sort of mesmirizing watching it change colors, but I do like the natural fresh pine scent from a real tree. I also like how it makes the whole room glow at night. Oh, well, maybe next year, when I am a little more confident that L won't eat the ornaments, or take them all off the lowest branches. I will probably have to wait until the boys are much bigger and brawnier to cut down our own tree, which is my very most favorite way to go about obtaining our tannenbaum.

Getting ready for Christmas feels weird this year. Last year, two days before the Nativity, M announced to me that he no longer loved me. Kind of put a damper on the Holiday, you know. This year, as I am putting up decor, I came across the stockings I had made. I wondered what to do with the one I made for him. I like it, it looks nice, but I left it in the box. K asked me where daddy's stocking was, and I said, "Well, daddy doesn't live here," and he said, "Oh, right." And that was the end of it. I have however, been told several times by the boys that daddy wants cigars for Christmas, and various other items. It has been our little tradition that the boys give M cigars and give me chocolate for Christmas. I don't really care to keep this one. I couldn't care less if M gives me anything, but it may feel important to the kids... Maybe there are extra carcinogenic ones I could buy....Evil, I know....