Archive | September, 2010

Where I Write

12 Sep

Where do you write?

Recently there was a meme or maybe just a creativity generator going around blogland entitled Where I Blog.  Women showed photos of plump chairs, the cushion well-worn into the shape of a blogger’s bottom, kitchen tables, modest desks, and if fortune abounds, an office – a bona-fide space for writing, for creativity, for moments of soul spilling.

I write in my head.

Oh sometimes, I’ll grab my laptop at the end of the day and type words, lists barely scraping the surface of my thoughts.  It’s most often all I can manage amid the rush of motherhood, of life, but the real writing goes on in my head.  Those five minutes when I’m standing under the spray of warm water, conditioner working to calm the tangles of snakes in my hair, that’s when I write.

Sometimes I write when I’m walking to the park with my kids.  My head nods in unison with the sentences tripping over each other in my mind, but the kids mistake the nods for encouragement.  They continue their endless chatter.  During the extremely rare occasion of mental activity after bedtime, I’ll write in the moments before my words meet the fictional characters of my subconscious, blending with dreams until I lose control of my story.

This writing I do never actually lives long enough to make it to paper or my keyboard.  I try, but it’s usually just words scratched between boxes of spilled cereal, fifth grade homework, and my husband’s crusade style meetings.  Those hurried words aren’t really writing.

For now, I write in my head.

What about you?

Identifying With The Poor

11 Sep

I hated typing this title, because identifying with the poor sounds so assuming, so snobby, so I’m better than you; however, I read a Facebook question that made me cringe.  I should say that I am  convinced Facebook is the place where you accumulate as many ‘Friends’ as possible and then post outlandish statements and wait for dozens of comments to flood your in-box.  Please understand, I am not bashing Facebook.  I Facebook myself.  Isn’t it interesting the word Facebook can be used as a noun or verb?  I even enjoy facebook.  At the click of your mouse, you can stay connected with everyone from your grandma to your kindergarten classmate, regardless of how loose the connection.

Here’s the status update in question.  Please note it is not verbatim, but close enough.

If you shop at thrift stores in an attempt to identify with the poor, do you think it is wrong to buy up all the name brand clothing at bargain prices, because the poor really need those bargains?


Are you seriously contemplating this question?  Your introspection may be better directed if you contemplated haughtiness.

Just my opinion.

Must we really frequent thrift stores in order to identify with the poor?  I think eating a meal of Ramen Noodles may be sufficient.  Don’t you?

Please tell me main stream American society is not so far removed from reality that we think buying a pair previously owned Gap jeans helps us identify with the poor.  This line of thinking almost makes my blood boil as much as when I heard Joe Biden talking about how he identifies so well with the working middle class.  He talked about how our kitchen tables are just the same.  Excuse me, but I’ve seen pictures of his house.  If our kitchen tables are the same, he needs to fire his decorator.

I guess I am left to contemplate what ‘poor’ means in today’s America.  The Bible tells us to be content with food and raiment, but it’s my guess a person with so little would definitely be considered poor.  Are the thousands of jobless Americans poor?  Maybe those of us who are just barely able to pay our mortgages and get dinner on the table?  Or are we poor because we can’t take a two-week vacation and buy a new car?

And just maybe we should stop worrying about identifying with the poor, whoever you think that may be, and start thinking about passing on purchasing another pair of Gap jeans and instead, putting that $50 into actually helping the poor.

Just saying.

I love you Facebook friends, even if I don’t always agree with you.

Listing Life – Is today Monday?

9 Sep

I don’t usually make lists.  Ask anyone in my household who expects a complete meal at dinner.  I always forget something.  It all started long ago when I would forget my lunch box.  If it were not for my grandfather bringing my lunch to school everyday, I would have starved to death.  Or maybe I would have just been thinner.  Hmmm…I’m getting less thankful for that lunch with each thought.

The point is (I know you are wondering if there’s a point) I’m making a list today.

1. Sometimes I wish I began my day with a two-mile run instead of a cup of coffee; however, two words come to mind – FAT CHANCE.

2. FringeKid’s stolen bike has been recovered.  My son and his friends did what the local police could not.  They found FringeKid’s discarded bike.  It had been thrown over a chain-link fence and into a ditch.  Frankly I do not expect the police to recover stolen items.  Let’s face it, they have enough to do!  A stolen bicycle is not a high priority, except to a child.  Now my children found the bike and they feel vindicated.  They recovered their personal property, and FringeKid got a new bike from the ordeal.

Case closed.

I come from a long line of fighting theft victims.  Seriously, if you are a their, beware of my family.  I had a great-aunt who mercilessly beat a thief on a city bus once.  There was no way of knowing the sweet old woman had tools in her purse.  He simply picked the wrong woman to rob.

My very old grandfather chased a thief several blocks after catching him breaking into my uncle’s van.  The scallywag dropped the goods as he was running.  My grandfather apologized for not catching him.

Don’t mess with my family!

3. I am homeschooling.  You know that already, but it’s just sinking in for me.  For the next nine years, there is no hope of me having an hour to myself.  What was I thinking?  Call me a sitter please.

4. The next time I decide it’s a good idea to have the kids make an ancient Egyptian art project, beat some sense into me.  I am a mommy, not a mummy!

5. Is there an alternative to frizzy hair?  For me, I mean.  Don’t comment on this if you happen to be a woman with sleek, straight gorgeous hair.  I don’t like you.

Strike my last sentence from the record.

It’s your hair I don’t like.

Strike two.

Ok, I’m just jealous.  I can only handle so many bad hair days in a row.

An Apple a Day

8 Sep

I’ve heard an apple a day keeps the doctor away and the teacher at bay.  Despite the overwhelming good apples can do for your health and education, they often get a bad rap.  You know, the snake in the garden and all…

For me, apples mean fall and I love them.  I can’t eat them, but I love them just the same.  I’m one of the few people on earth who are allergic to apples.  After just one bite, I want to stick my hand down my throat and scratch.  I get an intense case of mouth, throat, and ear itchiness, but if the apple is cooked, I can eat it.  Go figure.  I can only eat cooked apples.  No candy apples for me!

As soon as the morning air turns crisp and clear, I cannot resist buying or picking tons of apples.  Every time I pass my kitchen counter, I want to reach out and grab and apple.  I’d be thinner if I could eat my apples raw.  I’ll just go ahead and say it.  My allergies are making me fat!

Not really, but it sure feels good to pass the blame.

As you may know, I can’t make pies.  Although I’ve ruined many a good recipe, I keep trying.  I’ve given up on making my own crust though.  I may be able to bake a loaf of bread, but I cannot roll out a pie crust.  I’m a Pillsbury girl, and I am not ashamed to admit it.

Applaud me girls.

Saturday afternoon I decided to test the fates and try my luck at an apple pie.  It was a bold move on my part, because the pie was going with me to my neighbor’s house for a cook-out.  Thankfully I poisoned no-one.  It was the best pie I ever made.  I know that’s not saying much, but I choose to celebrate my small culinary steps.

Do any certain foods signify fall for you?

I am linking this post to the Fall Festival blog party at This Blessed Nest.  Go visit to see more things fall!

If you missed my post last week, and have an urge to see my somewhat lame fall decor, click HERE.

To see last year’s apple picking pictures, click HERE or HERE.

Have you embraced the change of season yet?  Has there even been a change of season where you live?

Baking Bread like the Amish

6 Sep

I move to a land where people ride in horse-drawn wagons and suddenly, I’m acting like Ma from Little House on The Prairie.  What’s wrong with me?

With temperatures soaring this summer, my kitchen was hotter than a toaster oven on broil, and yet I decided to bake bread.  Please refer me to the nearest psychiatrist.  I just cannot seem to get over my first love – a loaf of hard, crusty bread.  I tell myself that I am fairly open-minded; however, I am completely biased when it comes to food.  From the depths of my very being, I believe the best food on earth is in New York City and the surrounding area.  New Yorker’s know how to eat!

I still live in New York, but up here where corn stalks outnumber humans, the food is foreign.  For instance, we out for pizza for FringeMan’s birthday in July; however, we found ourselves sitting around a table and staring at a UFO (unidentified fattening object).  Although we are ‘dig in’ kind of people, we just sat and wondered.

This pizza was super tasty, but it was backwards.  What in the world?  The official pizza compiling order is dough, sauce, cheese.  I always thought that was a given.  I was wrong.  I shouldn’t complain, because at least the pizza had cheese.  Tomato bread is popular around here.  Tomato bread = dough + sauce.  Odd.  Cheese is the BEST part!

So do you see my dilemma?  I want real pizza and hard crusty breads.

One morning I must have sniffed one too many coffee fumes, because I decided to start baking my own bread.  I figured if centuries of common women have successfully baked bread, surely I can do this.

First attempt = FAILED

I was crying in my coffee until I read an article that said it’s always the yeast’s fault if dough doesn’t rise.  You know how easy it is to jump on the blame bandwagon?  The yeast did it or in my case, didn’t do it.  I decided to forgo the packets and buy the jar of yeast.  I read that you must always keep yeast in the freezer, only removing it momentarily for a recipe.

I am happy to report success.  Multiple times.

Uncooked, but fully risen cinnamon/raisin bread.

Sandwich Bread

People, I am nearly Amish!  Seriously, the Amish in New York are pretty liberal.  Although they drive a horse, they eat McDonald’s, buy Velveeta Cheese, and play Monopoly.  I thought taking a walk on Boardwalk was too risque, but apparently they loosen their bonnets every once in a while.  Not that I am spying or anything!  Let’s be clear.  I have no problem with the Amish eating processed cheese.  I like a little canned spray cheese every once in a while myself.

So, you should try this whole bread making thing.  It’s empowering in a Grandma Moses sort of way.

All my bread recipes come from the King Arthur website.  The truth is Fiona does all the work for me.  I love her!

What food will you sweat to prepare?

Seriously Swirling Thoughts

5 Sep

I often find it hard to focus my thoughts on one particular thing.  If you could see inside my brain, you’d run away scared and never come back.  Sometimes I want to do the same.  Although I should be writing another marriage post (I have a deadline), I cannot seem to focus my brain on dishing out advice, words of wisdom, or encouragement.  My thoughts are caught in a swirling tornado, and I am left to wonder if I will land in Oz.

I am going to share a few of those thoughts in the same way debris is cast from a wind storm.  I apologize in advance.

* This morning a woman at the toll booth commented that today was just another day.  For some reason, it made me sad.  Our lives are filled with ordinary, but are they merely another day?  Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”  (John 10:10)  I want to live the abundant life everyday, but so often I waste away my twenty-four hours in complaint, fear, and discontent.  Why?

* Even though I clean sometimes every single day, dirt never goes away.  Cleaning is a lesson in futility.  I hope I learn my lesson soon and get a maid.

* There’s a Bible verse I am trying to find and cannot.  My brain failure is driving me batty.  It talks about not promoting yourself, but allowing God to promote you.  Do you know where I can find it?

* I wish I were organized.  Seriously.  My brain does not think in an organized manner.  There is no logic in my life.  I even have a difficult time filtering my posts into categories.  Because I am logically deficient, I decided to make Logic an official subject in our school week.  We are beginning with a series of books titled Mind Benders.  Friday morning I took out the first problem and couldn’t figure it out.

FringeKid looked at me, raised an eyebrow, and said, “Hominy, hominy, hominy…”

Thankfully my son grabbed the paper, skimmed over the question, and announced, “I’ve got it!”

Like any good liar teacher, I quickly commended FringeBoy for a job well-done and asked him to share how he solved the problem so quickly.  Next week I will look at the answers before we begin.

Those are all the thoughts I can manage to put into words tonight.  I hope you all enjoy the holiday!

What thoughts are swirling around your head?

Mystery Pictures

4 Sep

When I downloaded pictures from my camera the other day, I noticed a whole bunch of mystery images.  It seems FringeBoy got creative with my camera.  Of course he caught me at my best.

First. Thing. In. The. Morning!

(Please ignore all the junk on the counter.  We are ever so slowly renovating the bathroom and the other side of the kitchen.  I am happy to report a small new counter near the sink.)

Now for the good news.  I won a blog giveaway over at tout-est-des-roses.  I get to pick an art collage from Maple Shade Kids, so it’s actually like FringeKid won.  Here’s her pick!

Cute, huh?

I hope you all have a very HAPPY WEEKEND.

Muscle Spams & My Curtain

2 Sep

I have muscle spasms.

Do you ever get those?

I’ve been getting them for about five or six years and there’s no real reason why.  Sometimes they are in my face, like around my eye or in the chin area under my lip.  Sometimes they are in my stomach or legs, but most often, they are in my back.  Back muscles are large and create ginormous pain.

I usually ignore it, but this week the pain is wearing me down.  I am treating myself with the new pretzel M&M’s.  They are better than pain killers.  Much, much better!  I am extremely wimpy when it comes to medicine.  I have a collection of pain killers doctor’s have given me for these spasms and various sinus infections.  I just cannot take them.  I can’t handle a strong cup of coffee.  Do you know what happens when I take a muscle relaxer combined with a pain-killer?


Really, it’s pathetic.  I am one of the few people in this world that have handed a prescription for pain meds back to the doctor and asked for a lesser dosage.  I will only use one when I am near death and then I cut in half.

I am not near death.


Unfortunately my brain is not doing much except thinking about my back, so I have nothing to write about.  Yes, I can write 500 words about nothing.  Poor you.

Anyway, I thought I would show you the curtain I made.  A few weeks back I saw this fabric in Wal-Mart for $1.50 a yard.  I was shocked!  Something so amazing being sold so cheap?  It must be fate, destiny, or just plain good fortune.

Now not everybody loves this fabric, but I think it’s just what my room needed.  We have this odd room between the living-room and kitchen.  I call it our room of doors, because there are 6 doors in the room.  There is also one window, a woodstove, and little room for anything else.  It is the same room shown in the photograph of my kids working at the green table.

This room is dull.  The curtain fixed that problem!

Now I can’t hang a fancy curtain rod, because of the pipe running up the wall.  I don’t want to call it a poop pipe, but I fear that’s the truth.  So, I fell back on my old standby method of curtain hanging – wire and clips.  I know mom, you don’t like it.

The wonderful thing is these curtains are no-sew!  Because they were $1.50, they are 100% polyester.  Polyester burns like dried hay.  I simply lit a tea light candle and ran the unfinished edge through the open flame, being careful not to ignite the entire yard of fabric.  The flame seals the edge and it won’t fray.

Cool, huh?

It’s ok. You can hate these curtains.  You won’t be alone and I won’t be insulted.

Fall Festival…In My Living Room?

1 Sep

Every Wednesday in September This Blessed Nest is hosting a Fall Festival.  Today I decided to participate, because I love fall.  I am also linking to the 3rd. Annual Fall Nesting Party over at The Inspired Room.  Never thought I would be saying this, but I am almost looking forward to summer leaving.  Yes, me, the person who waited all year for summer is glad to see her leave.

Will I never be happy?

Summer and I are at odds since she tried to kill me this year.  Seriously, it’s been an extremely difficult year for allergies and asthma and I may just do a happy dance when everything is frozen.

Remind me I said that in January.

I still refuse to mention the four letter “S” word.  *S–W*

Ok, back to happy thoughts and all things fall.  I pulled out my fall decorations, consisting of one white pumpkin and a bunch of fake berries.

I go all out, don’t I?

Then I went to the dollar store.  I can see you’re all hanging on the edge of your seats now.  Let me explain.  I stole an idea for making glass holders from someone’s lovely blog, but I CANNOT, for the life of me, remember what blog.  That’s very bad.

If it was your blog, please speak up and I’ll be sure to include a link.  I apologize from the depths of my blackened, thieving soul.

Well, here’s what I did.  I bought 3 glass candle holders and 3 hurricane top things and hot-glued them together.  That’s it!  I plan to fill them with candy corn, candy pumpkins, and candy eyeballs.  Hopefully I can find candy eyeballs, because my fall season will not be complete without them.

Those baby pumpkins also came from the dollar store.  That’s it!  The extent of my decor consists of empty hot-glued glass and a few fake pumpkins.  I’m glad this is only the first day of September.  I still have time to redeem myself with Mums (not mothers Debra ;-) ) and a few leaves scattered around.

If you’d like to see last year’s real pumpkins and read about how I ate fall crow, click HERE.

Do you decorate for fall?

Go visit This Blessed Nest and The Inspired Room to check out all the beautiful homes!


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