Saturday, January 31, 2009

since I CAN

this was Maxwell's room (note super cool Little Prince Quilt wallhanging, made by my mother). This room is now pink and belongs to Freyja. Behind the green door (brought to us by the old owner, and I was pregnant when I moved in and too lazy to repaint, so I added some ill conceived pears and leave- What was I thinking? ) is a cute little bathroom tucked in under the eaves, the other door goes into my room. Lovely arrangement, huh? Yikes!

once I buy a new memory card I can post some new ones with all the little changes that have been going on recently.
I promise to bore you to death.

the digital camera


we may have gotten the camera, and the computer to work together at the same time, so I can show off some of my projects (these have been languishing in the camera for THREE YEARS!) the top is the bed half of my bedroom, which is a giant 400sf space, but not very usable, due to the slanted ceilings) it is dark, due to my husband's light & sleeping issues. The red was an experiment that will go soon, I think.

the second photo, is a buffet, that I tiled, and considering I have no tiling experience AT ALL, I think it came out pretty well. The tiles are from a fancy tile shop's free box, and some that Mark & I bought in Mexico.

the next photo is my space aged "pocket stove". It is lovely, but wearing out.

the last two (why are there two?) are of my clay puppet heads, (they go with a very long story that involves a poodle from another planet, and Charles Mingus) that I made about 15 years ago, and never sewed onto the bodies. Typical Heidi. I am strictly an idea person.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Mazatlan here we come

We haven't made firm plans, but we ARE going this year- right honey?

We know it isn't Ixtapa,

it is old fashioned and slow and full of old people, and we freaking LOVE it there.

We always stay here

the picture of the beach?

EXACTLY like it looks,

My husband nearly fainted our first trip.

You arrive at a very hot, funky, teeny airport, drive in a very, stinky, funky bus for 20 minutes, and are dropped at the gates of PARADISE.

we used to go every year for just a few days.

It was a mental health thing.

then we sort of had a second child, got super busy and forgot our mental health.

The past three,

or is it?

FOUR years,


so we are sooo going this spring, for our 11th anniversary together.

the lovely thing about it, is it is less than four hours away, cheaper than going to the Oregon Coast and staying in a comparable swanky, old school, place and eating comparable fab food!

Our favorite thing to do, is

rent a beachfront room- they all have big balconies!

sit in the evening and play SCRABBLE, read, watch the sunset, have a couple of drinks and as the sun goes down, shamble over to our favorite beachfront cafe for dinner, where they have the decency to give you a free White Russian at the end of your delightful meal. At Anthony's they will seat you next the the BEACH, bring your husband Marlin stuffed peppers, and cheerfully put up with any number of annoying special requests, and make you a green salad in place of the carbs (so I have been told, since I would never dream of being that high needs in public).

My father has offered to come and babysit for three days, so we can do this thing, and we are doing it.

Right Honey?
He LOVED it!
the class was held in a sweet little glass art studio, and he got to make some glass art, collage, that they will fire!
they did some other little crafty projects and played four square!
making him happy is one of my favorite things EVER!!

Drivng, Driving, Driving

lots of driving around today.

It is a "teacher planning day", which is a fancy way of saying one more day that school is closed.

Thank you PPS, you suck so very much & I hate you.

With the wacky snow, all the special closed days and bank holidays, there has not been a lot of school happening on a consistent basis lately.

So today, rather than have Max sitting around pestering me all day, I enrolled him in what I hope is a cool art class for the day, here.

It happens to be all the way across town, but I think it will be well worth the drive.

We also had ballet, and today Bootiful Princess was able to walk over to the teacher on her own and only had to wave at me 10 times during the class.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

hunt & gather

I like to collect.
I like stuff- old stuff.

I am tired of the term "vintage"
the whole vintage/grunge thing of the 90's spoiled the junk scene in Portland.

Man, back in the day
(insert old hippie voice), I used to go to Goodwill presort and get stuff


I mean really cool old clothes


coats and dresses, beautiful (well not beautiful as they were in the HEAP, but clothes with the potential to be beautiful, with a little TLC & SOAP.

clothes to make my mother weep.

I will pay you not to wear that (1950's wool swing coat with fox collar, for example)

Not anymore,

no sireebob.

not anymore.

You can no longer find cool cheap stuff at Goodwill, anything that looks remotely old, has the price jacked up to an absurd level.

Fortunately the pricers don't seem to be very educated on what truly has value, so occasionally something slips through.

Today, for instance there was a big, partial set of Noritake china
strewn all over the dish aisles.

I picked all the pieces I could find and put them together in a little display. I hope someone that loves vintage Noritake will find it, and not some professional "picking," for a chi chi Multnomah village antique store.

Rearranging the shelves in Goodwill is one of my favorite activities.

It is part treasure hunt, part cloak and dagger, because you never know when some employee is going to come around the corner and ask you what the hell you are doing with those plates.

I like to think of it as leaving a trail of crumbs for my fellow collectors.

Today I also gathered several pieces of vintage Pyrex fridgeware
which I know is HOT right now with all the hipster, craft bloggers I read.

I am currently limiting my dish consumption, but I will purchase if I find something truly remarkable in milkglass, Mikasa stoneware from the 70's, pieces of my Noritake collection or Fiestaware.

I did allow myself to buy a Waldorf seasonal celebrations book ($2.99) & a beautiful, large wrought iron looking doll bed, with a coverlet & pillow ($10) .

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I feel like the Wizard of Oz

When the curtain was pulled back.

My dear housemate has a big meeting out of town, and I spent the afternoon pulling things together to help him make a good impression.

Combing Goodwill for snazzy clothes, ironing, packing and giving him instructions of what to wear, when.

"Don't wear the wool, homemade socks with your suit!"

"Don't wear your giant pullover under your with your suit!"

"Don't wear the glasses that are super-glued together!"

The wool thing was a tough sell, this is a man that wears a sweater in July, and wears bulky wool socks, hand knit by his elderly mother, year round.

By the time it was time for him to leave, I think he looked pretty presentable.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesdays are tough

I take my youngest child to work with me on Tuesdays. It seems like such a nice, progressive thing to do, right?

Well, it makes me INSANE. It makes me not "act like a nice mommy", as I am instructed to act, by you know who.

So naturally, today was no different. It was hectic and stressful and I wonder why I continue on this path, this schedule?

It started with the removal of the sweater & socks.

It is January.
It is 27degrees outside.
This is an old drafty building, you must wear your sweater and socks.She then moved on to unbuttoning my dress, sticking her head under my sweater, and copping a feel of my breasts whenever she could get to them.

I get it.

Turning three and not being a baby is hard,

sharing your mom is hard.

You know what else is hard? having a broke ass unemployed angry mom.

Who will keep you in Cheerios then, huh?

Of course I didn't say all of that.

I did think it though.

I let her make her scene until she felt more secure and no longer needed to make a scene, but damn!

So when I was finally freed up to do some actual work I was all frazzled.

I hate being frazzled.

I like to be composed.
I like to be competent, reserved, and pulled together, not of the verge of tears, with my sweater bunched up to my boobs, and my dress buttoned up crooked, so I look like I have been making out behind the bleachers.

and right at the frazzledest part my husband of all people calls and has the nerve to say he loves me, and that all the stress in our lives shouldn't define us, and we are lucky to have each other.

Excuse me, can you hold please?
I say to him in my most composed voice.

That all sounds GREAT!
I totally AGREE!
I am sorry, I have some people in the office right now, can I get back to you ?

(I am surrounded by an audience, one with head lice & another person needing a document that I am clueless about, and that last one want to use my computer, please do not let head lice person sit in my fabric chair. Please. Please- is that unkind of me? )

may I call you back later?

the blog has been eating my posts

If I seem to be getting progressively dumber over time, it is a (relative) result of this blog eating about half of the posts I painstakingly write, then when I rewrite them all the clever stuff falls away and you get the more mundane version.
so it goes.

Monday, January 26, 2009

another cold day

HOLY COW! How do people do it? living in those super cold places?
This is the coldest winter I have ever experienced (or that I remember), where it is consistently COLD for DAYS and DAYS!

And the bills, geesh. How are people supposed to live, with $330 water bills, and $200 gas bills and on and on?

I am feeling better today. I wouldn't go so far as to call it good, but better than I have felt in weeks.
So despite the COLD weather I am calling this a good day.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Is a desire for validation?

Why do I read so many memiors of women my age?

Why do I have this drive to "remember" through the experiences of others?

I dunno why, but as Was not was  said so well I like it here.

I just finished Everybody into the pool, by Beth Lisick, and was well entertained- she is a little too well adjusted for me to totally love, (this is no Liar's Club), but I still enjoyed her story.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

the big event

Maxwell had a big exciting day yesterday!

His entire class met at a theatre to watch the movie of INKHEART
They read the book in class in September.

He was so excited that he insisted on arriving at the theatre at 4:00pm, even though the movie started at 4:45.

His teacher was right at the entrance greeting children, and after the purchase of an obscenely priced "kid combo", off he went into auditorium 10, alone!

F & I went home to meet Onkel and ventured off on our own adventure to a small town, to have dinner at a place Rolf finds ironic and delightful...

A Perfect way to kill some time on a Friday evening. Careening around the countryside, in pitch blackness, with a rowdy four year old in the backseat, and two people with night blindness!

Daddy picked up Max, and was washing dishes (the lunch set I left mouldering in the sink- bad mama). When I got home.


Max said that had he not read the book, the movie would have been entertaining, but since they changed sooooo much it was instead, annoying.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Running out of gas

A friend sent me a book called wife of the north. It was a lovely, unexpected gift out of the blue, and I am enjoying it a lot.
It is about a woman's move to the country, against her nature and wishes, and her life with three little children and a partner that works away from home often.

This book is so relateable, so deeply so, that I feel foolish even writing about my life, now, it is as if someone else have written it, only better, with less petty melodrama and angst.

One of the things she describes feeling frustrated about is that her husband frequently runs the car out of gas, leaving her in the lurch with the children in a dead car.

It happens all too often around here.

My husband drives his tiny clown car to work, in a neighboring town, all week.
Then on the weekend he will drive the "family car", and come Monday morning as I am dashing around late for work, I will be damned if the car's gas light doesn't come on.

Since I work very early in the morning, and since I CANNOT BE LATE, I have to risk it and drive on to the babysitter, and to work, all the while worrying if I will run out of gas.

I am a very big worrier, and I don't really need additional real things to worry about, I have plenty of imaginary troubles, thank you.

It makes me INSANE. I hate it so much, I seethe for hours, afterward.
It is something I would never do, which I think is the primary reason for my anger.

My husband is a very sweet person. He has many great and good points. He endures all of my "quirks" with grace, if I ever need something edited, or say a snappy response to an insult- he is the man, but he is not one of those car guys, or fixers that changes your oil, air filter or even thinks to put gas in the blasted car.
Neither am I, so it is one of the weaker area's of our relationship. Along with home repairs, and lawn maintenance.


I am taking a moment out of the whirlwind, that is my Friday mornings to write, to have a little coffee and to escape the hubbub for a moment. In about 15 minutes I will walk upstairs and all hell will break lose around me, as I attempt to move three people out of this house.

Max to school (where are your shoes, coat, lunch, homework???) no mater how much I try to get these things organized and near the door, there is always some struggle.

Freyja off to a play date with a preschool friend (put on your SHOES! SHOES! where are your socks? they were just here a moment ago!)

And finally my dear housemate. On Thursday and Friday I drive him to the university where he works, and no matter how early I wake him up, he is still slipping on his socks when we are sitting in the car fuming. He is dark to my light, he is perpetual tardiness to my perpetual earliness. After 19 years you would think I would be used to it.

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday he walks my son to school. I never call to check up on them, I don't even want to know how late or how disorganized the two of them are together.
In his defense, I have not gotten any tardy slips from the office, so perhaps in my absence, they pull the resources of their considerable intelligences together and make it on time.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Getting back on the horse

I finally pulled myself together and went to the pool tonight, for the first time in months, and months. It felt good. Why did I wait so long?


Today is my housecleaning day, and I am not feeling into it.

This is my routine, which I usually start at 9:30 (it is now 11:30 and so far NO DICE)

  • move all the furniture in the livingroom and vacuum
  • vaccum the diningroom (the sunroom with a dining table and buffet in it) and the "playroom" ie the real diningroom, wood floors
  • organzie the toys
  • then move upstairs
  • vacuum the bedrooms, and put away toys
  • deal with the avalanche of books by putting them on the shelves in the "library" aka the landing at the top of the stairs, that is big enough for four bookcases and a tiny futon chair
  • pick up dirty laundry and start a load
  • clean upstairs 1/2 bath
  • move to downstairs bathroom, clean tub, sink, toilet
  • clean kitchen surfaces & fixtures
  • clean surfaces in kitchen eating room (seperate room connected to kitchen by an arch)
  • vacuum kitchen eating area, kitchen, bathroom, with hard floor tool
  • mop kitchen eating area, kitchen, bathroom, with hard floor tool
  • dry the floor with the swedish mop
I think I will cheat and just do the bathrooms and vacuum in the kitchen

the end of it

The last birthday thing has been done!
we had a birthday circle at F's preschool today- very sweet, and a little special snack, and now I am done for a YEAR.

It was so touching, all the children sitting in their tiny chairs in a circle with a circle of orange fabric in the center, the birthday child dances around the circle once for every year, and the children sing

the earth goes round the sun
the earth goes round the sun
the earth goes round the sun
and it takes one year.

to the tune of Farmer in the dell.

we brought strawberries, cookies (quinoa & coconut, for the gluten free folks sake) and some carob coated raisins.

F got to wear the special birthday crown!

It was very exciting.

She chose to tell the story about the time a bee stung her finger (because he was scared) when she was a one year old.

I love her teachers, they have both been at the school for years and it felt so lovely to see my littlest one with them.

I am really lucky to be able to provide such a beautiful experience to my children.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Barbie, I LOVE YOU!

the old gal gets such a bad rap, but anything that will keep my four year old busy for an hour gets major kudos from me.

F got a ballerina Barbie for Xmas (this is something like Barbie's sister, with a flatter chest and a pink tutu, ballet slippers, and pink glittery legs, that look like tights), which she has been sleeping with since.

Sleeping in her OWN BED, most of the night, which is a giant, big deal.

Today, UPS knocked on our door with a giant box, that contained


BARBIE clothes, shoes and other teeny, tiny brick-a-brac. Also a barbie suitcase that looks like a bedroom inside.
Mom rounded up all the Barbie loot from her playroom (my son and my nieces, are sort of over playing Barbie at this point) and Goodwill over the last year of so, cleaned it all up to perfection and now here they are!


I loved Barbies, and Holly Hobby dolls as a child, and I spent many hours dressing them, fixing their hair, and later, writing long and elaborate stories about them, with my friend Karen (the friend I am missing right now, damn you Amtrac).
I played with them until I was close to 12 (I still have mine stashed away in the basement, and I justify not sharing them, by noting the fact that my grandmother purchased many of them at Goodwill in the 70"s and they were old then, and now they are vintage and potentially valuable)


I have done it my entire life. Sometimes it is just sitting up and talking, other times I wander around a bang into doors, furniture and once I even ran out of my apartment stark naked.


It is truly disconcerting and sometimes terrifying, to wake up and not know where you are, or to vividly hallucinate that your room is an entirely different place.

Last night was a nightful someplace in the middle between terrfying and annoying. Nothing scary, but lots of waking up and having the room look totally different than it really does.

I even turn on the light, and see the room & the furnishings look totally different, yet I am awake- sort of- and I have my eyes open.

Last night the furniture was really nice, two club chairs, and a nicer desk. the lamp was the same, and I knew I was lying in bed, looking toward the windows, but the window treatments were nicer, more like a hotel.

Three time I woke up, turned on the light and looked at that scene.
It wasn't scary, so I went back to sleep.

My husband learned early on to be wary of "getting into it" with me while I am talking in my sleep, as I like to argue, and sometimes it isn't clear that I am sleep talking (man am I ever eloquent, he tells me) until I say something totally off the wall. I also frequently, SCREAM, at top volume, which sometimes wakes me up and some times promps the weird conversations.

Anyway, I am tired as hell today, and that is basically that, I guess.

nothing newsworthy

but I promised I'd write, right?

I am feeling a little sad, actually. My oldest, childhood friend was supposed to come Tuesday evening, to spend a few days with us, and all kinds of silly things came up to get in the way, and long story short she wasn't able to come.

Not Tuesday

Not today

I was really, really looking forward to this visit. It has been a long lonely time since I have had a girlfriend to hang out with, and this friend knows me. She knows all the dirt, so it easy to let my hair down and really get the support I need.

We have a tentative plan for two weeks from now, but something tells me that it will not happen.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Alienation's for the rich...

and I'm feeling poorer everyday.

remember that old song, by they might be giants?

I am starting to feel like an old relic in a room full of whippersnappers, at work.
We are undergoing a period of growth, and I wonder if I will come out on the other side?
I am fairly single minded in my approach, to be fair.
If I can't have a full on revolution, complete with ripping the rich out of their mcmansions and forcing them to renounce their wickedness, then I will settle for providing good honest, childcare.
It really does feel that simple to me, but man, oh, man is it ever getting cloudy all around me.
WHEW! learn to keep your big mouth S*H*U*T.

I think part of my problem, is a lack of fear, around what is going on in THE ECONOMY. I have never felt part of THE ECONOMY, so it's condition, just doesn't really phase me, I guess.
All the fear mongering feels offensive and trite, and bores the shit out of me.
Naturally I have compassion for people that are hurt, or losing their jobs, 401K or their homes. I have no compassion for the idiots that lost in the stock market I will not boohoo for those that took absurd risks or purchased homes far outside their income levels. Yes, I am a hardass, and I tend to be very conservative with spending, or buying or trusting.
On the other hand, I am often scared of being too old or ugly or fat, to get a new job. That does scare me, but what to do? I like the job I have, I wish I could just do it, rather that be awash in meetings, and visioning, but I imagine that is my lack of vision talking. Right now I am sick to death of the words, community, vision, document, and planning.

This song is dedicated to all you modern day troubadours out there
And I think I know who you are

Monday, January 19, 2009

what's for dinner

Oh, the humble cabbage, how I love thee (and yes, I am aware I used that line a few days ago, what can I say? I am a one trick pony).

What says yummy dinner in winter, like sauteed cabbage and mushrooms?

I love cabbage in all forms, but I think "fried" (what my grandmother called it) is my favorite, with cole slaw a close second.

Nutty Domestic goddess

I love housework. I love things to smell of bleach, and pinesol. I love sparkling surfaces, and shiny faucets.

People always give me that look when I say it, but it is true.

I truly love doing housework.


So there is the rub.
I am rarely alone,
and when I have people teeming around me (which is how being part of a family feels sometimes), I feel tense and crazy.

When I had one child, I could deal better with all the logistical issues that surrounded say, finding enough alone time to clean the toilet.

Now if feels more than twice as hard.

And while I frequently blame my lack of sanity on having a second child, we all know about my high strung & nervous nature,

and there is also my husband to consider.

He is often milling around, like a vagrant, right at the moment I would like to vacuum. (who cares if it is 10:00pm, I saw crumbs under the sofa, I swear!)

Then there is the matter of our housemate- a messcat of elephantine proportions, if there ever was one.
Far worse than a toddler, with strewing papers around, dribbling coffee, and leaving smeary cheese coated finger prints over all the surfaces in the kitchen.

People (my mother the most vocal of all) are constantly telling me to lighten up, take it easy and lower your standards.

have you met ME?

My husband routinely tells me "it doesn't matter"

It matters to me SUCKER!

So each day, when my little one sleeps, I run around like a crazy person, cleaning all the little things that are driving me crazy, and for about 20 minutes, I have a drop of peace in my compulsive soul. I make myself a cup of cafe latte (in a giant, pristine, white Williams Sonoma cup, that I keep hidden in the back of the cupboard) and I wait for my son to come home and make footprints in the pile of the carpet.

Recently read

I am just finishing up a person of interest, by Susan Choi. It started off really Strong touching all all kinds of socially relevant matters, but still remaining a good thriller (rare), but it got a teeny bit cheesy toward the end. Still really excellent, but not perfect.

Isn't that the whole point of private school? Reflections from MLK Day

My son and his best friend are sitting at our kitchen table talking about bullies, over muffins.
My son's friend goes to a "free school", which I can't really relate to, but it works for him.
I asked him about bullies and he tells me that the school is chock full of them.



Geez mom, kids are going to break off into groups, no matter where you go. Unless it was just the two of us , in a homeschool situation. We wouldn't bully each other of course.

That is what my son tells me.

So is anyone bullying you? Because if they were, I would kick their butts!

(my comment, received by both boys with, hilarious laughter and rolling around on the floor- haw, haw I can just see Heidi fighting bullies)

(Wow, how did he get so articulate? With a mom that says WOW and threatens mean children with violence?)

she doesn't mean literally, she means she would call the principal.

yes, of course that is what I mean, fighting is never the answer

(yes! I have him fooled, now just try me bullies! Mama will knock you out.)

the problem with not knowing much

Man, am I ever annoyed. I helped my son start a blog, because the paper was literally knee deep in his room, and the damn thing was all mixed up with this blog. I swear it can only happen to me. Every time I try something like this it winds up getting screwed up. His ten year old profile gets on mine blog. WTF? I know I posted it to his blog. I know it. I was also unable to sign in this morning, and had to change my password, which is a real pain in the neck, not to mention a time waster. So now I am all cranky.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Snarling beast

Woke up at 5:30 this morning to have a bit of time to myself, before the party, and to finish up.

I also wanted to reflect on birth and parenting, but instead, I felt awash in stress and anger, and snappishness.
I felt like snarling get the hell away from me to everyone, for no good reason.

Both children got right up around 6:00am and immediately started bickering about every silly thing they could come up with.

Then the watermelon, F insisted she had to have for her party, was rotten inside!!! Into the bin it went.

I sent them off to breakfast, and I tidied up the little last moment things and now, here I am hiding in the basement, doing this, which passes for peace for me right now. I need to find some clothes, and dress, but I feel mostly like sitting here and typing more nonsense.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Crafting IQ

I got 9 out of 10 correct on this little craft quiz, from Martha">
I would have gotten them all, had I not slipped up on the definition of Papier mache, damn French!

keepin up with writing

the purpose of doing this blog, was to force me to write daily. The hard copy journal was just not cutting it anymore. So I am writing, even when I have nothing remarkable to say. I feel like it is part of a process that I need to do now. It time for me to get back to the focus that is required to maintain happiness and order in my feelings and in my life.

I am off to buy the food for F's birthday party. We have a family thing tonight at MIL's house, then a little party of her preschool friends, at 10:00am in the morning. I scheduled it early on purpose, to avoid that breakdown that both of my children seem to be prone to, in the late afternoon.

This is how she looked on her first birthday. It feels like such a long time ago. I can hardly believe so much time has passed. I wish my grandmother could be here to know Freyja, she would get a kick out of her for sure.

Our housemate and his lady friend are taking F out to buy a present (this gal is childfree and has no idea how dangerous a three year old in a toy store can be) this afternoon. That will be super exciting for F.

We can't seem to get her to believe that she is turning FOUR, not FIVE. She insists that she is FIVE. I remember my brother doing that... at the Disneyland ticket counter. He was a big kid, and my mother was taking heat for trying to get him in at the discounted rate.

I am not even thinking of cleaning, until she is in bed tonight, then I will race through the house, make it all BOOTIFUL, as promised.

Mark brought me flowers, after remembering that he had forgotten my birthday, and I have a little arrangement idea to put together with a tower of cupcakes, so I have something to look forward to. Pink frosting, naturally- I will bake the cakes tonight, but hold off until frosting until morning to avoid that crusty frosting thing that happens over time. I have some hot pink sprinkles, too so things should go well.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

my latest obsession

I may be forced to buy myself THIS

the sinking fairies are super cool too, but I want something I can wear. I have too much stuff


I love me some decorations.
cakes, flowers, knicknacks, you name it- I love it.

One of my favorite deorations to make is citrus peel streamers.
Martha Stewart featured a really beautiful diplay of citurs streamers in one of her books, but I had seen the idea years before in a Vicorian deorating magazine.

so take abunch of nice looking organges, lemons, and limes, and use a zester (use the wider tool side, that looks like a little knife) to peel in a spiral around the fruit. then twist the long strand of peel around a pencil or handle of something round.
in a few minutes you will have a long curly strip of peel.

pile all the fruit up into a pretty bowl, or on a tower of cake plates, and let the peel casacde down.
makes a lovely center piece, and much cheaper than flowers.

you can also use the peel to decorate cakes.

God is a concept, by which we measure our pain

oh, John Lennon how I love thee...

so the meeting went about as well as I expected.

I wonder if my expectations dictated the outcome.
I didn't have an open mind.
Not really. I was not surprised, in fact the group was pretty much exactly as I would have predicted. I might have envisioned the main player to be more handsome, but otherwise my mental image was pretty much straight on.

I was tired as hell, and unable to be as articulate as I would have liked to be. I hate looking stupid or feeling stupid in a group settings, so my own lack of polish was troubling.

So today I am left to meditate on whether I am limited myself, or protecting myself and whether or not I am allowing my own ego to get in the way.

talk about running of at the mouth. not in a mood for being witty, even a little.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fool Proof Vegan Cake

Heidelfinc's foolproof Vegan Cake

preheat to 350
2 cups flour (or if you are feeling healthy, sub 1/2 cup oatbran)
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sugar (or 1/2 cup sugar & 1/2 cup molasses or maple syrup)
1 teaspoon soda
1 cup of some kind of mashed up fruit (applesauce, banana, pumpkin etc.)
1 cup or more add ins like nuts, seeds, raisins, candied ginger, dried fruit, etc.

this makes a dozen cupcakes, or 1 9X9, or 1 bunt cake

bake for 1 hour

I make this cake over and over and often use it for my son's lunch. It comes out perfectly each time and keeps well. It is the result of many years of trying to make a vegan cake that didn't taste like gummy sawdust, and was not a total pain in the heiney to make. This cake has a great "crumb", and I swear no one would ever guess it was remotely healthy. It also doesn't require egg replacer, which I find annoying to mix up. If you load it up with lots of add ins, people will oooh and ahhhh. coconut looks great strewn on top for decoration.

going to the mattresses

I just can't resist a reference to The Godfather...

I need a new mattress. Our futon isn't that old, but it feels like sleeping on five miles of bad road, and the past two days, I could barely move when I woke up.
I feel like buying a really high end twin bed, to tell you the truth.
The notion of sleeping with another person just seems totally unappealing right now. The cat- maybe, but people, not so much.

I feel like sending Dr. Sears a hate letter
"YOU LIED! These children will never leave me in peace, NEVER!!"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

NEW MATH- sucks

I am reduced, to a new low.
I cannot do 4th grade Math.

, shocking and pitiful, even for me a math lowlife.

I am blaming tonight's incident on the "new math" style, in which my son's homework is designed.

Each day, a cute, vexing packet of HELL comes home, and takes me 20 minutes to figure out.

Each day, this cute packet, designed for people like me, with math anxiety, perplexes the shit out of me, and nearly reduces me to tears.
I can only imagine how it makes my son feel (psst... not empowered, I'll bet!)

I am about toorganize an angry mob, in picketing the school and demanding Singapore math, and perhaps CANING, for the idiots, that came up with these math games.

limping toward Nirvana

I am not what you would call a spiritual person.

I've tried.


Many times, over and over, and by golly, I just don't care for new age stuff, at all.
No interest, no desire.

I don't feel alone, I don't desire guidance, or love from someone above me or beyond me, I do not care what happens when I die.

Don't get me wrong, I have strong passions around social justice issues I simply do not relate them with otherworldly & spiritual values.

I am happy for folks that find happiness in it, but it isn't for me. I have very little desire to be saved, to be rescued, reformed or otherwise spiffied up.

So I am now working in a place, where spirituality plays a big role.

It sometimes feels hard to relate.
Like now.
Like tomorrow when I have to attend a meeting with a consultant that comes from a quasi spiritual/newage perspective, that sounds like complete hooey to me.
I hafta try to keep an open mind, lest this person read my aura or my tea leaves and deem me unsuitable for work.
I have this fear of my gigantic unnewageiness being sniffed out and exposed like an open sore, and looking all naked in front of everyone.
I don't want to do
standing meditation, I don't want my body or posture or frown to be judged and my worth as an employee measured by my physical fitness.
I don't want some
Nietzsche quoting, martial arts doing dude, figuring me out.
I wish to remain a mystery to myself and most other people.

If I go and sit in the corner and sulk, it will be too easy, like handing him a big gift. If I act all interested then I feel like a big liar. so there you have it, the absurdities of modern life.
Clearly my only option is to win the lottery.

Monday, January 12, 2009

getting older, not wiser

I am 41 years old today. Man, do I ever feel every one of those puppies...

nothing much to complain about, other than the fact that nervousness kept me up half the night and I broke my key off in the front door.

Had this wacky fantasty of buying myself a little gifty, but I will get a brand new lock instead- oh goody.

Our house is old as hell (not quite, but nearly 100 years old) and this lock must be nearly that old. It has been "tricky" for the past few years. Requiring lots of jiggling and jangling to make it open and lock properly.

It really was just a matter of time, I guess until it went kaput.

So now I am waiting for the world's sweetest locksmith (he tried to talk me through taking the thing apart and bringing it in to him, to save $65) to come and extract the key and grind a new one.

so it goes, as Kurt Vonnegut said.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Acorn falls far from the tree

I am a city gal. A small city, but city never the less.

My people are farm people, ranch people, dairy people,salt of the earth, dirt digging, bootstrapping people.

I get nervous driving into suburbs and jumpy on country roads.

When I was in my early 20's I lived downtown, in the heart of the city.

It was a perfectly safe place, like even the worst parts of Portland are, but my extended family found it terrifying to visit me.
My grandfather came to my apartment twice, and each time he said

"they aint a cow for miles"

Which is a very big deal, when you are a retired dairyman, who probably has more cow friends, than human.

My grandmother was another story. She hated the farm, and packed up and moved herself and her two babies to the big city, nearly the instant my grandfather was drafted, and had set sail for the Pacific.
She sent him a letter stating her intentions to stay, imagine her saying something like this...
"Dear Chuck,
the children and I are in Portland, come here, if you want us
The city she settled in is a suburb I fled from as a teen, but for a farm gal form Weezer, Idaho I am sure it felt very cosomopolitain. Having grown up in one of the most hick places on earth, I am sure she felt good to get away.

Despite the fact that my grandparents happened to live in a affluent suburb, about 20 minutes form downtown Portland, they maintained thier country ways, which included growing much of their own food, having a donkey, chickens, geese, a pony for moi, and rabbits, hanging out their clothing to dry, recycling what would be called "gray water" today, and having a little red barn on the property.
Because my parents were teens, and because my grandparents were big hearted, they helped a lot in my upbringing. Provided childcare, and parenting and a love for homemade biscuts.

I miss my grandmother a lot, and since she is so much a part of my story, I imagine I will be writing about her often here.

Parenting cliche

I work early in the morning three day a week. Each morning I have to drag my children (and sometimes my husband) out of bed kicking and sometimes screaming.

The whole process wears me out and wrecks my morning.

I am one of those MORNING PEOPLE you hear about.

I like to get up early and hit the ground running.

I like to vacuum in the morning, I like to race up and down the stairs picking up toys. I like to drink my coffee on the go.

I like it.

I have always been this way.

I bought myself an alarm clock when I was seven, because my mother was not a morning person, and we were always late for everything.

I hate rushing.

I hate being late.

My husband is not a morning person. He is cranky and grouchy and unpleasant. He needs hours to normalize, to drink coffee, to eat, to sit alone and resent the sun rising.

My son is just like him. A snarling beast each day. My daughter is like me. She bounds out of bed and greets the day with a breath of fire.



Now that I am a parent and married to a night owl, I sometimes stay up too late. I sometimes have little people sticking their tiny feet in my face ALL NIGHT LONG, I sometimes have to get these people up to pee-pee at 4:00am, and I am now





Now, it never fails, that on Saturday, the day I could perhaps sleep until 8:00am. My Bootiful Princess, wakes me up at 5:30. I mean it is like clockwork, each weekend the same thing.

So she and I huddle in her room and play, until my cranky husband wakes up at 8:00, then I go back to bed and cat nap until 9:00.

My mother, who is not what anyone would call supportive or comapassionate, kept my daughter for four days this summer.

When they returned she said

"OH- MY- GAWD! Now I know why you are so tired! HOLY COW!"

"HA! SEE! " she usually attributes my tiredness for a general lack of character & verve.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Finc is a Finch

and it has nothing to do with me other than being a nickname. If I were rich I would have a big avairy with lots of zebra finches, and someone to clean up all the bird poo. As it is I have a little collection of glass, felt and paper birds perched in plants in my sunroom. That will have to do for now.


We have a little poodle.

He is my third poodle.

His name is Ripley Saint Jude & he is white, although these days much of his fur has worn off and his skin underneath is spotted black, like a holstein cow.
In this photo, Freya has crammed all the sofa pillows, her bottle, Onkel, and the dog into the space behind the chair.

Ripley mostly hangs out with our housemate, which is really silly, since I am the poodle person.

Rolf didn't even like dogs until he met me & Teddy my apricot poodle.

Ted Braun was my second poodle.

He was a really bad dog that liked to bite people, drink beer and bark a lot. He cost me a fortune by biting a lawyer. For years I had to register him as a "Dangerous Animal" with animal control, but I loved him dearly enough to go into credit card debt.

I got him in 1988, from one of those awful puppy mills, you read about. He was their stud.
What a rotten life he had, locked up in a cage in a dim basement. I wouldn't have taken him at all, had I not felt guilty about leaving him in such ratty conditions. His name was JJ, when I got him, but I decided to name him after my best childhood friend's dad, and add a family name. He was so traumatized, the name change didn't phase him in the least.

Teddy lived with me and my college housemate Jackie, in a really rundown railroad flat downtown. He loved to sit in the front window and bark at people. He would escape once in a while and race down Broadway Dr. headed for PSU, stopping along the way to snap at people and nip a leg when he could.

When I decided to move in with my current housemate, in 1990, I had some concerns about the dog, but Rolf fell in love with Ted and pretty soon it was like he wasn't even my pet anymore!
When Ted died in 2001, we got Ripley from a poodle rescue. Straight away it was obvious that this dog was no Teddy.

Ripley is as timid and shy as you can imagine and he has never once even snapped at anyone, not even Freyja when she pulls his tail and carries him around.

My first poodle was Puppo a medium sized miniture poodle with gray fur. I got him from a lady that had found him at a gas station, where he had been throw out of a car. She nursed him back to health and put an ad in the paper "free to good home".

I was dealing, poorly, with the break up from my high school boyfriend, and moping around the house. I had, had to move back in with my mother, I was working for aging services checking on mentally ill people in their homes and going to college at night - things were just generally grim. My mother suggested a dog, to lift my spirits and keep me busy, so I looked in the paper and knew instantly that I had to have this particular dog, since the dog was a poodle, and the lady giving him away lived in the Trinity apartments, in NW.
I loved poodles and I loved those apartments.

Surely it was a sign from god.

So off I went in my 1977 Datsun B-210 and picked up Puppo.
He jumped up on the dash behind the backseat and away we went.
I adored that dog and took him everywhere I went, in a wicker basket/purse.
He only lived two years but he was an excellent friend.

ballet class

Today was Freyja's first ballet class. Which is a really big deal, because as a bootiful princess, you need to know how to dance. She looked super cute in her leotard and tights, but I blew it, by making her leave the big fluffy tutu at home.
You see when I was a little girl, I took ballet, from a retired Russian ballerina, that had lost one of her legs to cancer and her elderly mother.
The whole one legged thing made her really cranky, and one of the things she liked to emphasize, by banging her cane on the floor, was that decorative tutus we not allowed in class.
One was to wear the black leotard and the pink tights and shut the hell up and listen.

Maybe then someday wayyyy in the future you might get to wear a tutu for a performance.
When Max was little he also took ballet from a real hard ass, with a dresscode, so I assumed this place would be the same. Boy, was I wrong! It was like a tutu free for all in there, purple, sparkling, long, short, you name it...
Next TIME!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

So the elephant in the room, so to speak, is my weight. It, well, weighs on me. UGH. I was doing so well, really well, really. But then some time around mid November it seemed like a good idea to deviate from the PLAN. Boy was that ever not a good idea.
I just have not been able to get the mojo back since.

So I am taking it one day at a time right now, and today was not so bad.
I know that I need to get organized (imagine a really fat Travis Bickle, for a moment). I need, for instance, to take my lunch to work with me, and to have stuff on hand for those rushed moments. AND the biggest thing of all, is that I have to get back into my exercise routine.
HUGE- you simply cannot go from walking 4 miles a day to zero, without problems errupting.
I get it. Thank goodness for my support group. They are, well super supportive and awesome and it helps a lot.

another tiny snipet

Time, a moment of it.
I usually noodle around the Internet or fold laundry, but this is my new distraction.
Mark and I are in the thick of watching season four of Rescue Me
or "the fireman show", as it became known when my best friend was living with us, and it was our drug of choice.
I love this show- full of drama, and laughs and people laughing at inappropriate times.
I did that last night at a meeting. someone was informing another attendee of a suicide of a mutual friend of theirs, and I sort of giggled, nervously. I felt awful, naturally.
It wasn't my intention to giggle, it just slipped out. NOT because it was funny, but because I never know what to do at those awkward, solemn moments.
Yikes, what a doofus, for real.

that is one of my favorite bits of street slang -for real. I'm gonna slap you for real. Dang, that just sums up how I feel at times.

M is playing shoots and ladders with Miss F and Max is at karate, and the house is pretty clean, so here I am.

I started this absurd embroidery project.
I am making 6 little dream pillows, with flower fairies, for Freyja's birthday party favor (WHAT WAS I THINKING? ) MIL is helping. she is the bomb at embroidery, and has whipped out 3 to my 1.5 so far. I need to get it together.
as a back up favor, I have some pointy princess hats from Target's $ aisle- CRINGE

well, I thought I would get a lot done this morning, BUT

Not really feeling in the mood to be productive. I danced the vacuum around the livingroom, with my head full of good ideas, for writing my story. I was chatting with this woman at a party recently, who was all about telling your story.
It makes you who you are.

Geez, what if your story is really boring, or sad, and boring and pathetic.
Or worse?
Anyway I do feel like telling my story would be good, or even maybe thearaputic, but I feel so silly doing stuff like this, that it blocks my process. It feels self indulgent and selfish, which I was raised to believe are deadly sins.
but who is looking, or judging?

So I think I will use this space to ramble and tell my story and bore the shit out of any reader who may stumble along by accident.

Oh goody it's Thursday

cleaning day today. I haven't really gotten into my cleaning routine, since before Christmas, so this should be good.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

getting started

Time to join the rest of the planet and get a blog started.

I am a pretty boring person, so this should be pretty straightforward.