By the way, remember to come see our neighbors, Erwilian perform at Clam Lights tonight at 6:00pm; Gene Coulon Park.
I just spent the last hour writing about the comments from my post yesterday. I mentioned the Sears catalog and my mother commented, "That ages you." The other comment it elicited was also reminiscent of the Sears catalog.
I never thought of the Sears catalog aging me, but I guess it does, so I wrote about it. Not that my age bothers me, but it brought back even more memories: Nordy from Nordstrom, Frederick & Nelson and the Bon Marche.
But after 715 words and much Google research, I decided it should be next week's column, maybe even two columns; so you'll have to wait for all the personal memories. But I will give you the highlights of my research:
I am one of those people who hate talking on the phone; so I avoid it. It becomes problematic when I have to make a phone call. I don't mind calling a girlfriend, my mom or my husband, it's those phone calls where I have to coordinate things that I get stuck on.
So then I procrastinate. Like I've been doing for my older daughter's driver's ed class. I know I paid for a mock drivers test, but since she took driver's ed in August, they've changed their packages and everyone is vague about exactly what I paid for.
I kept putting it off and putting it off and now, three months later, two weeks after she finished her final drive, I have started to pursue the issue. I am not getting a response: I've called the owner and left a message and emailed. Still no response.
I'm sure no one is responding because no one is sure what I paid for either. I just know I paid for the premium package which I'm pretty sure included a mock drivers test.
I hate it when it takes me a couple months to finally get around to making the phone call I've been putting off and then for my agony I am rewarded with no response. I'm sure they're hoping I'll forget and go away. It certainly doesn't help my diversion to phone calling.
Appointments elicit a similar response from me; I put them off. I'm ever so grateful to the dentist office who sends me a postcard about making an appointment, but then follows up and calls me. I don't even mind going to these appointments, I just hate calling on the phone.
This is a problem I've had since childhood. I remember my mother would make me call and place orders for the Sears catalog. It was her way of teaching me how to do those kinds of tasks, which are a necessary part of adulthood. I hated it then as much as I hate it now.
I don't know what the issue is about the thought of having conversations on the phone with strangers. Maybe it's because when I talk to people in real life, it's easy to misunderstand each other, much less on the phone when I can't even see their faces; like the drivers ed people who are vague and unresponsive about what it was I paid for. If I could stand in front of them, we could come to an agreement faster.
I have taken to texting some things instead of calling. I'm trying to arrange my older daughter's job shadow (I know, I know, she should be doing it, but she's in school when the people she wants to shadow are at work, so back off!) It seems for this particular event, texting is actually more effective. I know that because the guy I'm texting told me so and he told me I should bug him; it's much easier to bug someone when you're texting them instead of calling on the phone.
As for the drivers ed place, I have a cell phone number, don't make me use it; no, really, I hate calling on the phone.
I have a cold. I am only going to say it once because I never get colds. So hear me now, nasty cold: you will not remain in this body as anything more than a fleeting menace!
You will not mess up my schedule, my Christmas or my life. I command you to leave!
Seriously, though, I never do get colds. I never get the nasty things my kids bring home. Oddly enough, I didn't get this from a kid; they are healthy as of this writing.
So who did I see who shouldn't have been out and about with a cold? Who is the culprit who harbored this bug and snuck it by me? I don't know. How did it find me? I must've been looking the other way, because I usually repel bugs.
I gotta quit picking my nose or something.
I've never raised a kid before. Needless to say all parents' first child is also their experimental child.
My oldest daughter is a senior this year and I just want to help her navigate her way out of school. In addition, I'd like to see her go to our local community college next year as a transition to a 4-year college. It's just that the reality of leaving high school hasn't sunk in with her yet, so she can't seem to whip up the enthusiasm for her future.
Don't get me wrong, she's a good student, a smart girl, and is having a good senior year. I can't really get down on her too hard. I remember my senior year of high school: I was very overwhelmed by the idea of filling out scholarship and college forms, so I never did. I graduated, my family moved from our home of the last 8 years and I worked for a year.
I moved into my own apartment for a short time, until I decided I was ready to go back to school. Then I got into a German in Austria program through the college and went to Austria after my first quarter.
I feel I did a lot of things backwards in my effort not to grow up, because on returning from Austria, I was behind on many of the things I should have completed in my freshman year.
I don't have any regrets; I traveled Europe, after all. But I do understand struggling with the reality of growing up. And I know from experience, she has time to come to grips with it. I'm proud of her and her accomplishments and love her the way she is.
A lot of us "grown ups" don't want to grow up either.
This morning I was reviewing my schedule and realized I need to start getting ready for Christmas. I make most of the grandparents' Christmas presents and it takes me a few weeks to pull all the pictures, writings and kids' works together.
Then I started wondering if I could just focus on one project at a time and complete it. I tend to start everything at once, let the chaos reign and jump from one project to the next until they are all finished. I even have to check everything to make sure I actually completed it before I wrap it up.
But what if I just focused on one thing and worked it all the way through to completion? It would seem less chaotic. I started to contemplate that way of being. I contemplated it all the way from the bus stop to the house, through sorting laundry and starting a load, feeding the dogs and letting them outside, making a cup of coffee and a piece of toast.
I realized projects get started simultaneously because I have other things besides projects to do. Heck, since I've been writing this I've made myself a second cup of coffee, unloaded the dishwasher, took the first load of laundry out of the washer, hung it up, put away the placemats and napkins that were drying on the line, checked for taco shells for dinner, taken a loaf of banana bread out of the freezer to thaw, placed an online order for photos and finally made my way back here to finish this blog.
In other words, I'm easily sidetracked from one project to another. My head gets so full of tasks I zone out while I'm doing one task because I'm busy thinking about another. I stood in front of my espresso machine for a full minute waiting for espresso to come out while thinking of a completely unrelated task, until I realized I hadn't turned the espresso maker on to brew.
So can I do one thing at time? I don't think so. But rest assured I will find my way back to it. At least that's how I sleep at night; although sometimes things I've forgotten come back to me in the middle of the night. I have to get up and write a big note and leave it on the table for myself to see in the morning.
When I see the note in the morning, I pick it up and put it in front of the computer, because it is the one place I know I will eventually come in for a landing.
Today is our annual gingerbread house creating day. So one of the recipes on my oldest daughter's cooking assignment is gingerbread for the houses. Usually my youngest daughter and I slave over the houses.
I used to slave over the houses when they were little, then a friend of mine suggested I buy the kits because they just want to eat them anyway. I wouldn't let them eat them when I slaved over them.
So I bought kits for a few years until my youngest became interested in baking. That was about three or four years ago. But I still wouldn't let them eat them right away; but since she helped me, I only made them wait a couple days instead of a couple weeks.
Last night, my oldest daughter made gingerbread along with her sister. They split up the job and made six batches, enough for four houses and four trains. I didn't have to do a thing!
And since last year's gingerbread house making day skewed off track (literally, one of their gingerbread trains was on top of their gingerbread house), I'm not particularly interested in participating. They have their friends, their own skewed sense of what's fun, and the sweet holiday houses have gone by the wayside.
But that's fine. I have other things I would rather be doing. The best part is, I can actually do other things; they are teenagers and perfectly capable of making frosting and constructing gingerbread houses.
It gets better all the time!
I really lucked out with Thanksgiving dinner this year. My oldest daughter has cooking class in high school and her final assignment is to cook 10 things. She chose to cook 10 of our family's holiday favorites. Many of those favorites are part of our Thanksgiving meal: yams (I made her do the really complicated one with caramelized apples), mashed potatoes, dinner rolls (from scratch), a cheese spread appetizer, and she also made a cheesecake.
The cheesecake isn't a family holiday favorite, but because they didn't go to school on Wednesday, she missed out on eating the cheesecake they made in cooking class on Monday.
So though I directed her in the kitchen, I didn't have to do the work. Although listening to her whine about minor kitchen predicaments (when you throw the apple into the hot butter, it will splatter and burn your wrist) should also give me some labor credits.
Thanksgiving day I threw the turkey in the oven and set the table. All I had to make was the Campbell's bean casserole and Pepperidge farm dressing. I mention their brand names because you know how easy those two things are to make. It was quite a relaxing day over all and I hardly felt fatigued by the end of it either.
I think I'm on to something.
Right now both my daughters are in the kitchen making gingerbread for their annual gingerbread house making tradition. My daughter chopped up leftover turkey for the traditional cranberry turkey wreath I make out of leftover turkey every year. She'll make turkey soup tomorrow with the stripped turkey carcass to feed her friends after their gingerbread houses are made.
But even then our holiday favorites aren't over. I can hardly wait until we make almond roca and Christmas Eve gets here.
Yesterday morning was a rather pleasant morning. After I blogged, I decided to go out and finish up my winter yard work. I had to load up the yard waste barrel with the remainder of the weeds I had pulled during my gardening frenzy a couple weeks ago. They were waiting in an old garbage can because the yard waste bin was full. I still had a few plants that had died down to cut back. I cut up the rest of the branches from my pruning project a month or so ago, I put the bistro chairs on the patio, and picked up the rest of the random debris for the winter.
I have to admit that after our mother nature freak out of the night before, I kind of felt I was messing with mother nature: here I was, working out in the yard, snubbing my nose at her. I even came in because I was finished, not because I got rained out. A half hour after I came in, the clouds opened up and the rain descended once again.
It poured all the rest of the day to remind me I can snub my nose all I want, mother nature still has the upper hand. I grilled dinner outside again last night at another attempt to gain the upper hand. She still poured rain at me.
At 5:30 this morning I was awakened by the blustery wind and driving rains. I was surprised we still had electricity, because powerful winds vs. trees around here seem to be the deciding factor for continued power; but I must hand it to our electrical workers for getting our power lines stabilized.
I heard my oldest daughter's alarm go off and I had to make a split second, executive decision: get the kids off to school or not? It's a partial day, only three of their six classes, we already had our conferences. I have to admit, I couldn't face it in the driving rain and blustery wind, so I stupidly asked my still drowsy children if there was anything pressing at school and I canceled it. At least in our family. Then I went back to bed, because although I couldn't battle mother nature, I didn't have to face her either.
I spent the next two hours trying to sleep, getting a headache and wondering if I should call the attendance office. I hate to lie, even to the attendance personnel: "We have travel plans," (which is true, my husband will travel tomorrow to get his parents for Thanksgiving), "They are both sick," (which is true, they are both sick of school). "I'm keeping them home to conduct an experiment to see how much sleep they actually need," (they've been in bed 12 1/2 hours and still counting). "I'm trying to beat mother nature at her own game... " (You already know that story).
In the end, I did nothing. I drug myself out of bed at 8:30, it was rather pleasant outside, but is now, 1 1/2 hours later, blustery and rainy once again.
Don't try to mess with mother nature.
I was out in the rain yesterday cleaning my barbeque so I could use it for dinner. Actually, I wasn't standing in the rain, I was on the patio.
It was pouring and for some reason I got such pleasure out of being out in the elements cleaning the barbeque. It made me look forward to grilling while it was raining.
I suppose some of the pleasure could come from enjoying the set up I've created with my patio and barbeque. It's nice when we achieve an environment we are capable of truly enjoying.
Maybe the other source of my pleasure was counting my blessings; I saw many reports of flooding in areas around and in Seattle. We live on a hill, so flooding has never been on our list of concerns.
When I finally got out to the patio to grill our burgers it was not raining, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the mild temperature and rain-freshened air.
Thinking the "storm" was over, I went about my evening. I folded clothes, then settled in to relax for the evening with my laptop in hand. It rained on and off as I watched the weather report (it was raining you know).
Then between 6-7pm, there was a thunder clap so loud it shook the house. It was a bit unnerving, but no big deal. About five minutes later I saw a flash of light through my closed curtain and it was escorted simultaneously by a crack of thunder so loud I could have sworn it hit the back yard. The house felt as if a truck had run into it.
It made us girls all jump up from what we were doing and run into the middle of the hallway. The terrier dog was freaking out, the cat was freaking out and our lab was... well, she was still sleeping.
My husband was sitting rather calmly in the family room and said he saw and heard it. I told him I thought it hit the backyard, so he went and peeked out the sliding glass door.
Then he told me everything looked fine, but he wasn't going to go out in the yard and find out - smart man. It was raining torrentially, then a half hour later it was over.
I have never in my life experienced lightening as close as it was last night. I can't even imagine being outside when it happened; like if someone was walking up the sidewalk to their house or standing on the patio barbequing. All the weather reports I heard did not mentioned lightening at all, so it was totally unexpected.
Mother nature was proving she could barbeque best.
Coffee with Gleigh
These are my morning musings. Have a cup of coffee with me and we'll solve the problems of the world, or at least laugh at them until they make sense!