Thursday, May 28, 2009

We interrupt this blog for a discourse on rain...

I think I figured out why this advent of summer is speaking to dates back about 23 years. When my folks decided to move from NC to FL, Dad came down first to start work and find a house to rent. I remember him talking about the summer schedule of the rain, how every afternoon around 3 or so, the sky would darken, dump water, and then go back to normal. Being an impressionable Yankee and a know-it-all junior in high school at the time, I was like, "yeah, right." Didn't seem possible, he must be exaggerating. Sure, Pop, we'll see...

Moving day came. Cyril and Meara flew down to Tampa (because Meara was not quite 3 and Cyril's legs were already pretty long, so Dad sympathized how they'd feel about the long drive and cooked up that deal). Mom, Dad, and I packed and drove. Unfolded ourselves from the car that afternoon at my Uncle Tom and Aunt Denyse's house, where we were staying the night before heading over to Largo to set up our new temporary digs.

We're hanging out on the back porch at one point and I hear this noise. Can't understand what it is, because it's still pretty sunny out. Dad or Tom suggests we go out front to check it out. We all go out to the driveway, look up the street and watch the rain heading our way, literally coming down the street toward us. I was dumbstruck. Up north, the rain may fall in every conceivable direction, I mean, we saw some serious storms on Above All (in Warren, CT), but it usually came from straight overhead. This was literally a wall of water heading in our direction. We watched until it hit, then hightailed it back inside, but I remember grinning at the wildness of the weather.

The lack of seasons really gets me down, but there's something about this time of year, when it's not too hot yet and everything's blooming...we may be close to summer, but for me, it's a kind of spring.

Slight emotional eating issue

So I spent last night obsessing that we'd missed my baby-making window this month, while Husby snored away on the couch, deep in a migraine, so even if I were ovulating, I'd feel bad about making him get it on...instead of making dinner, I inhaled a couple of Publix's version of those Drumstick ice cream cones...

This morning, headache waning, LH surging...I gotta get a grip.

Looking forward to weekend...missed arts market last weekend (slept til frickin' 2 p.m. that day!), so may venture out there this Saturday...gotta do some more organizing and cleaning. It's nice to finally be getting a start on it.

Coffee and sandwich made again this morning...seriously nice to be doing that too.

And yes, I know, no one can make me feel inadequate except me...actually Soulemama's about my favorite blog...I'm hooked on her small people, her crafty brain...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

First Day of Summer Yesterday!

Well, in Florida my book, that is. I mean, last week was straight rain with no respite, it seemed, but yesterday we had sun and 80s, and then around 3:30 the clouds started rolling in. I'm on the third floor of a very windowed building, so we had front row seats to the show. Delightfully black clouds :) One of my colleagues mused (nailed it, in fact) that one of the clouds was the shape of the ship in the Disney flick, Flight of the Navigator. The rains broke around 4:30, a soaking, surprisingly chilly rain. It hung around for maybe an hour, then the sun came back out, dried everything off, and went down for the night. Clockwork.

The crape myrtles are blooming white in the parking lot....I like them better than the harsh pink of the ones at the old building. The magnolias are splaying out too, almost feels like we live in the south. I contend that Florida isn't true South...people aren't quite as friendly here as they are in the Carolinas, you have to search for decent BBQ, and while the place is rampant with Christians, we don't have churches coming out of our ears. But the live oaks still drip with Spanish moss and loom across roadways like cathedral arches, and the rains hit in the afternoons to muck up our driving and hairstyles. I'll take it. I'm still an uppity Yankee at heart, but there are times when this area of the country speaks to me. Just wish I were on a farm somewhere, digging in the dirt, instead of slogging away at a computer. Baby steps.

Been buying myself some tops lately that actually fit, and the difference in my body image is interesting...still very unhappy with how badly I've let myself go, but I feel less of a need to cover my body in layers to hide it (which is a good thing, now that the weather's turning)...

Made my coffee and lunch again...this could be habit-forming!

Work was seriously frustrating yesterday, so my brain shut down when I got home ... didn't get much done. But the upshot of cleaning the closet is having to move around Goodwill bags in the bedroom, so that'll get dealt with this evening in between laundry loads. Dishes are piling again damn easy to let that go. Been reading Two Frog Home, going to look back on a couple of her posts...she's in the process of starting a fresh community blog to emphasize how you can be a homemaker who works, as opposed to a working woman who keeps a home. There's a distinct difference, and I think my sanity would improve if I could better grasp that concept. I think about things I want, like a real dining table for eating, and to make my own curtains and placemats, such simple things that really do make a difference in your living environment.

And if Amanda Soule weren't such a lovely person, I'd have to stop reading her blog for fear of feeling really inadequate. Can someone explain to me how she can wrangle 4 kids ages 7, 5, 3, and 6 months, and now a 7-week-old puppy, without flipping out and running naked down the center of town? I get that we see the good days in that blog, that she does have bad days like anyone else, but holy cow, I can't imagine throwing an animal into the mix of that many personalities clammering for attention at any given time. My head would spin off its axis and fly around the room.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

TV perspective

"This guy's so cheesy I can't watch him without crackers."
—Leilaina, Reality Bites

"When we get back to civilization, I'm joining women's lib."
—Holly, Land of the Lost

So to capitalize on the Will Ferrell movie version of Land of the Lost coming out soon, Sci Fi Channel played Land of the Lost, the series yesterday. All. Day. Yesterday. At a half hour per ep, they managed to plow through the entire collection I think, stretching it into the wee hours of the morning, which I know because I went to drift/sleep around 10:30 p.m. and found myself still flipping around at close to 1 a.m. Love when that happens. Really wish my brain had an off switch, because it seems to do that mainly on Sunday nights. Great way to start the week.

I bitch quite a bit about children's TV and I abhor the way my niece is being raised on the box. But I have to say, we've come a long way. A seriously long way. I remember Land of the Lost as being a rather vicarious thrill...the combination of adventure and fear was a guilty pleasure on Saturday mornings while my parents attempted to sleep a bit longer than Cyril and I. We'd catch all those Sid & Marty Krofft shows...I enjoyed Wonderbug, Cyril liked Dr. Shrinker, and we both laughed our way through Sigmund the Sea Monster.

So I'm watching it yesterday, in between chores and naps, and the old thrill was there...still wanted to cover my eyes whenever the Sleestaks were on the scene. But holy crap, could it get any more cheesy!?! Poorly constructed sets and models and 30-year-old blue-screen technology, on top of bad acting and choppy direction...I couldn't keep it on for too long at any one time, which at my age I suppose is a good thing. But I was struck by the difference between what I remember and what the show was. There was the occasional decent lesson, and probably it was presented basically enough for it to sink into my 5-8 year old brain. I get that they certainly weren't making that show for a 39-year old. But holy cow, it was bad. Back then, the choices were significantly limited...we had 5 channels that evolved into cable pretty fast when we lived in New Milford, but you were still only talking about what? maybe 50 channels? And certainly the only kids' fare was still PBS, with the exception being Saturday mornings.

So I rail against poor kids' programming because with so many more choices now, shouldn't there be more accountability? There certainly is now, to a point; quite a few channels have taken their cues from Sesame Street and can find really good stuff on Sprout and Noggin now. But why should it be that way for kids' shows, when we can't manage it for adults? I direct your attention to the garbage that is any reality show currently taking up space on our airwaves (I am SO tired of hearing about Jon & Kate Plus 8...I mean, seriously, who's raising those kids while the parents are off not having affairs?), as well as "game shows" like the just-in-time-for-summer Wipeout on ABC. It blows my mind, the idiocy that gets on the tube.

So the key is adults giving a crap about what their kids watch. If you're going to use the electronic babysitter, at least have the decency to keep the remote out of reach. Parental controls on TVs...that stuff bugs me too, that mindset of "here, honey, watch whatever you want because I know we've locked Cinemax..." Better yet, take 'em outside. I know I haven't got a soapbox to stand on until I'm wrangling my own small ones, but I pray that my beliefs translate into the level of parenting I imagine for my children.

Glimmers of change?

So I reorganized the closet this weekend. Restacked boxes, purses have been all over the place since we went camping. Three bags of stuff so far for Goodwill. Floor space has been restored. Feels good. Didn't get to the filing cabinet in the dining area like I wanted, but did enough where I didn't feel guilty for resting too. Taking care of me, what a concept. We won't even discuss how late I slept in on Saturday.

Made my lunch today...made it last night and set up my coffee to turn on automatically...such a simple thing, 10 minutes out of my evening made for a much more relaxed morning. I'm weaning off Starbucks lattes. About damn time.

The daystar's back out and I'm itching to walk. Did some knee bends this morning, looking forward to more leg exercises this evening. Started re-reading a health program that's available through my insurance's motivating me for some reason. Why now? Won't question...just taking things one moment at a time. If I reach to graze, ask myself if I'm actually hungry.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Sweet, delicious nice to be off work for 3 days, I'm wired...wanna stay up indefinitely...might just do that, blow one day initially, get it out of my system. Thinking of wandering the arts market tomorrow, otherwise the day's a blank canvas. I'm lucky.

Haven't knit in awhile...would like to make some headway on sock #2, baby blanket, Cozy wrap. Parsley's getting the droops, the others look good. Rain abating, but slowly. Deep into the Poisonwood Bible by Kingsolver. It's my favorite book, hands down. Really damn good.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hurricane season, shmurricane season...

I've decided that Floridians suffer from long-term memory loss...every year from May to September at least, we're given rain, usually like clockwork, in the afternoons. Technically the season doesn't start until May 30th. So this early burst of weather has completely baffled my colleagues...they look out the windows with a dazed expression and say in surprise, "it's still raining?" I just don't get it....I mean, if you had to pick a tropical state in the lower 48, which one comes to mind? How is it that rain is so startling in a state that's supposed to get more rain than most?

I shared the elevator this morning with an already exhausted guy who was running late because he'd left his sunroof open all night, so his car was a fishbowl when he went to go to work this morning. I told him he'd won the Darwin award for the day. Pretty sure he didn't get the joke.

My plants are surviving at least...they're close enough to the door where they're getting plenty of moisture, but aren't drowning. I'm relieved...don't care as much what happens to the wildflowers, because I have plenty of those seeds, but the herbs I'm hoping to actually use. Kicked myself the other day for using dried marjoram when the real deal's outside the door...

If this is an indication of how the season's going to shape up though, not sure I want to try tomatoes and green beans yet. It's such a tough call, because the only decent place to have them is on the porch, but they would be seriously exposed to the elements there. At least with a garden, the water always has somewhere to may seem to flood, but it eventually sinks deeper into the ground...but with containers, once you hit the top, you're drowning them. Drainage holes only go so far.

Memorial Day weekend...budgeting and cleaning are the biggies planned, I've been letting the bills get away from us again. This year's going by kind of quickly, which doesn't amuse me as I march closer to the big-4-oh. Now that we're past Husby's birthday, time to start really saving for other stuff, like car care and the latest intentions toward a move. Like real adults :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Miscellaneous rantings

What the frick is the point of complaining about the weather? No matter what state you live in, you oughta know what you've gotten yourself into, so what's the point of bitching? Granted I've been taking a fairly Zen approach to such things lately, recognizing that things like complaining don't make me feel any better and don't change anything, so thus serve no purpose, but still...

Wait, am I complaining about complaining here...? Heh heh...

Truth is, Florida folks are way soft...I remember being three kinds of uptight about the mess we'd make tracking our butts back inside from the snowstorm that hit on Nanie's funeral day last December up in CT. But the CT folks took it totally in stride, leaving more towels near the doors, hanging coats nearby...that house was packed to the rafters with people, but the snow didn't cause a ripple of concern.

That said, hurricane season evidently came 2 weeks early to our penis of a state...those storms I was scratching my head about last week, because they were hitting areas of town but not the southside, finally hit the whole city. We've been under water since Monday night and it's threatening to stay that way until well into next week. Lord knows we need it; you can see the retention ponds in our complexes crying out in thanks and the grasses breathing a sigh of relief. It's a good soaking rain for the most part, not much debris, and still people whine. Dorks.

Les had a good birthday. His family completely forgot to call, so it helped that I was able to make it nice for him. We had enough in savings and gift cards to get the PS3, and he delighted in the bowie knives I got him. I surprised him good! I made chicken ala king for dinner and it was so yummy, we barely had room to indulge the chocolate mousse I also made.

Monday, May 18, 2009


In surprisingly good spirits this morning...the work pile is significant, but I have tomorrow off to celebrate Les's birthday with him, so it's all good. I strained both knees this past weekend, walking the little runt my mom calls a dog, but I was set free yesterday afternoon to nap in my own bed for the first time in 4 days, and it recharged me significantly.

Spent Wednesday through Sunday morning with Mom, helping her when needed and providing company and occasionally a decent meal. We treated ourselves to pizza one night, I made my honey mustard chicken once. We watched TV, played Nintendo DS. We went shopping, where she treated herself and me to some new tops. She's wearing a mid-waist girdle to help her heal and remind her not to bend too deeply, so she's a bit self-conscious and wanted some blousy shirts. I got to see the staples when I redressed her incision, which was both fascinating and a little shuddery.

My plants survived in my absence, and hanging out in Mom's clean apartment for 4 days really gave me a perspective shift. This week will be all about cleaning, one room or section at a time. Our place reeks of smoke, and I'm noticing it now, after my clean air vaca at Mom's place. Walking the dog in the mornings reminded me of how pretty and clear the air is at that hour too. I'm making plans involving exercise to heal my knees and body, and tucking into a major apartment overhaul.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Remembering, working hard...

Everything's harder when you're big. That can be truly frustrating...all I did yesterday was laundry, a little shopping, a little cooking...I was spent and in the sack by 9:30 p.m.

It's a stand-on-your-head week. That's a Dad expression...when we had something challenging to accomplish, Dad would say "well, you can stand on your head..." for however long it takes. We got it, but now that I'm writing it, it's probably one of those "had to be there" things...heh...

Mom had back surgery Monday. They implanted an electronic stimulator in her spine to manage her pain from a currently inoperable, degenerating disc. Stimulator's working great, but her post-op pain has been significant. Percocet Mommie is kind of cute, but it sucks to see her like that. Thank goodness we live so close...I had the last 2 days off, but had to get back to work today (obviously, or I wouldn't be blogging ::wry grin::). Meara heads back to Orlando tonight, so I'll sleep over at Mom's at least the next 2 nights to walk the mutt and take care of her. She's hoping to get back to work herself next week, but I wonder...

So I've been quite busy...did buy some curly parsley, marjoram, and spearmint at the herb festival on Saturday, which I got around to transplanting Monday night. Planted some wildflowers in the long box. Put everything out on the porch and leaned the broken screen door against the glass door, with space at the bottom, so that the plants are underneath it. Not much protection, but I don't have time to fashion anything else right now. I'll check them tonight; we're getting rain lately and I'm curious how wet things get...

Yesterday came and went (2 years since we lost Dad) busy with Mom, I didn't have time to grieve, which actually was a relief, since I've been anticipating this day for awhile. Realized it helps that I'm able to watch stuff like Grey's Anatomy again, because if the storyline's strong enough to make me cry, I'm allowed a purge instead of letting those feelings sit. I still look on him being gone with incredulity, and time doesn't heal a damn thing, but I'm past this landmark no worse for the wear, which is exactly what he'd want.

Today's starting out rather amazing...checked the mail on my way out this morning. The 2 shirts I ordered came in, as well as a gift card I sent for, for Husby's birthday next week. We're gathering the dough to get him a Playstation 3. Then I got to work and the other present I ordered for him had come in too - seriously fast shipping, gotta remember to send positive feedback to that company. But the best was in the parking was like a visit from Dad. Here's the backstory: when we lived in Warren, CT, Canada geese were a frequent sight, and we all loved their noise and beauty. When we went to visit Dad's grave on our last day in CT 2 years ago (when we memorialized and buried him), the cemetery had a whole flock of Canadian feathered visitors hanging out, which was seriously uplifting. Today, after almost feeling bad for not feeling worse yesterday, if you know what I mean...I pull into my work parking lot to see a gander, a mama, and 4 goslings making their way down the sidewalk. I do feel bad when I see them this late in the year, because the climate has changed enough to confuse them into being this far south in May...they should be back north enjoying a milder summer. But I smiled all the way into work, and the memory will carry me through the day.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Perspective & change

I won't expound on change's all been said before. I know what needs to be done. Always have. Only thing holding me back is myself. Blahblahblah...

Was thinking just this morning how I can't imagine being pregnant in this body, because it's already so difficult to handle...

Not pregnant. Mix of emotions.

If you're ever needing a perspective shift, hop over to Mother Rising and read her 9/11 journals. It's powerful stuff. She lived 1 block from the World Trade Center. 1 block. Lucky to be alive.

Couldn't watch Michael J. Fox's TV special all the way through last night, because the optimism was getting to me. He's the sweetest guy in the world, so I can't be pissed for feeling inferior. And I've told myself time and again how I have a legitimate medical condition, how my body and brain don't produce lithium, so I'm never going to be happy fun Melanie on my own...


So...not pregnant...finally figuring out how to get the timing right, or so I thought...not happy with your body at all...and the clock's not going any slower...

What are you going to do about it?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Is it the weekend yet?

Soooo much to do!

Been kind of grumpy and tired this week...and try not reading too much into that when you're in the middle of the 2WW...not that I'm obsessing or anything...

Cleaning, herbs, cleaning, reorganizing, cleaning, building, cleaning, shredding, cleaning...

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


One of the true joys of the 2WW is wondering if you're pregnant about 64,000 times a day, and spending the other 47, 623 times convincing yourself that you're that the disappointment will be "easier"...hah. What a load that is.

I'm ready for my 4-day weekend. So ready. Originally took next Monday for Mom's procedure...she's getting electrical leads implanted into her back to relieve the pain of a degenerating disc...but Meara will be home to handle most of that. And next Tuesday is Dad's 2 year. Don't know what I'm doing with myself yet that day, but it sure won't involve work. Beach maybe? Park? I've slacked on cooking and cleaning a bit, and am quite ticked at myself for doing so. I want to plant more, and maybe buy some herbs...there's an herb festival this weekend I'm thinking of attending. Work is just SO in the way right now.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Welcome to May!

Sunny, 80s, no foreseeable end in sight. Well, until the temps rise another 10. ::sigh:: We need rain.

Pondering seriously the concept of putting sunscreen on arms and face before work, buying more to replenish said areas if I go out to Lil Sis voiced her intention to lay out at the beach possibly, while Mom goes under the knife next Monday, and I almost yelled "are you nuts?! Irish skin! Melanoma! Grasp the correlation!" I feel old.

Had a funny on Saturday, was quite proud of myself for remembering to put sunscreen on arms and face before going out to Riverside Arts Market...locals who've been to this can give it a think and giggle at me, I don't mind. The entire market takes place under the Fuller Warren bridge here in Jax. No sun. Like, anywhere, unless you go really close to the water. Still, I'm learning.

2WW blows. Although, how funny is it that there's a whole website kind of dedicated to it...

Bad girl nostalgia...Starbucks had two small boxes of NO2 canisters for their whipped cream out on the counter...I went through a teeny, tiny, brain-cell-killing phase with those suckers post-college, pre-Husby. Closest I'll ever get to dropping acid was mainlining those suckers while watching MTV's Amp back in the day. Very glad to be past those phases...I don't even enjoy drinking right now (well, good thing since I'm on the 2ww, but you know what I mean...). Meara's ready to disown my Irish ass.

People against House and Cuddy hooking up are complete dorks. The writers of that show tend to put our head misanthrope in some kind of peril at the end of every season, but last night's ep really laid him open, at his most vulnerable. Excellent, excellent TV...I was in heaven.

On the other side of the coin, the idiots in charge of programming at NBC 86d Life yesterday. F*cking rat bastards. Wish it would jump ship to TNT or something, but that's such a pipe dream...for all the talk of shows jumping networks, it happens so rarely it's not worth the words here. I swear the only decent show(s) left on NBC are the L&O franchise. I also swear I'm going to do more turning off of the tube this year. I know, what a concept. We'll never be a keep-the-brain-sucking-box-in-the-closet family, but I can certainly modify my behavior to start...see how it goes...

Ok, back to work...

Monday, May 04, 2009

And the wheel turns...

Life is so much about growing...

Turned in the lease end date 8/31/10. We've been at this place for 11 years now, and it's evident. I complain about it endlessly it seems, but I'm waking up a bit more to how much things need to change in the coming months. When you have a maintenance problem, and you realize you need to do A, B, C, D, and E before even thinking about letting someone in to fix it, it's time to admit that you're a lazy slob and your apartment has issues. Yeah, I don't live alone, but still...

The 2WW has begun again. That's helped precipitate that train of's disgusting enough for us to live there, can't imagine having a small person there. But if it were to happen this time around, we'd definitely still be living there for a bit after the big day.

I'm studying some schools of thought that have me thinking about how I'll need to change my career post-small person. I'm accepting how very much I'm going to want to be at home more when that time comes. I know we don't always get what we want, but we can sure try to shape life to meet our wants and needs.

And completely off whatever subject this is, rest in peace, Jack Kemp. I had the privilege and pleasure of hearing him speak in person twice, back when I was a dyed-in-the-wool conservative. He was what my dad would call an alive speaker, someone who truly inspired with his words and presentation. He had this way of was a snowball rolling downhill until you wanted to jump to your feet and holler "yes!" My politics may have shifted plenty since then, but I'll always remember those speeches and the incredible energy I felt afterward.

Friday, May 01, 2009


Fertility festival day and I'm actually fertile...what the FRICK am I doing at work?!?!

I have a serious case of the Fridays, couldn't care less about how far behind we are, all I know is I'm in my jeans and sneakers, it's 80-blessed degrees out, and I could be home doing unmentionable stuff with Husby.....BAH!

Going more more Starbucks...Happy frickin' May Day!