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Friday, January 30, 2009

How you can tell it will be one of those days

  • It's morning.
  • Yeah that right there is a giveaway that it'll be a bad day.
  • You are cold because the one who professes to love you has stolen your covers (kicking theirs on the floor) and wont give them back
  • Your husband hides after you growl for the umpteenth time, seriously we've been together how long? What part of leave-me-alone-till-I-have-my-hot-chocolate is so hard to understand!?!
  • Your love wakes the kids up and warns the other morning person that they may not survive saying good morning to mom right now.
  • You must want to get in a fight because you bring up that Valentines day is coming up and all you want is a bouquet of flowers that have a secret message of love in the Language of flowers..which you told him in November, even book marked a web site with info for him... and he stares at you blankly and you know he's not pretending....
  • You become confused and snap that you don't care if you get hot chocolate as he pulls left into the gas station instead of turning right to the road to work.
  • You spill that cup of peace offering hot chocolate down your shirt.
  • You are screaming for the kids to run as the blinking lights of the bus illuminate the front windows.
  • You realize 4 hours after getting dressed you put your clothes on backwards

I think I'll stop there, you get the drift

edit: yeah realized after I posted this I didn't spell check it, if you read it before I spell checked to bad for you.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"scattered snow flurries"

Weatherman speak: "scattered snow flurries"
Laymen speak: Near blizzard conditions!

Maybe I'm not as objective as the next person about the least when I am the one driving in it. I've had rather scattered driving experiences. I didn't get a drivers license when most do at 16, I waited... got it about 9 years ago or so. Then during that time I had a car to drive maybe half that time, maybe closer to a third. I realized this year as I drive My Love to work at an unearthly hour, that I have almost no winter driving experience!

Mostly it's not my fault. We live in a high altitude desert so we never really had much snow to speak of, but that started changing about half way thru the winter 3 winters ago. Suddenly the snow fell and DIDN'T melt off. For the first time in recent memory there was snow on the medians for over a month! Yards where white instead of brown. The pipes froze repeatedly <_<
The towns folk were in a tizzy! All anyone could talk about was the snow and cold!
I didn't have a car that winter. That spring I learned to drive a stick and had my car YAY!
That fall it broke down, boo!

So now here we are with the weather deciding we should really match the rest of the state, really what's so special about this valley, so it is dumping storm after storm on us. We had managed to convinced ourselves, rather foolishly, that winter was over. After a snow filled December Global Weirding had brought us a January with blue skys and highs in the 60's! As we all muttered about how odd this strange warmth was, we got rather used to it.

I was having a terrible time sleeping last night. Seriously, chamomile and valerian may need some back up if this keeps up, grrr. So about 2am I was wandering around the house. It dawned on me that things felt and sounded different. So I looked out the window. The snow was just beginning to fall. It barely dusted the ground. The flakes so small I couldn't really see them falling in the darkness. I don't mind snow, but I realized this meant that My Love would have to go in to work early, as if the buttcrack of dawn wasn't early enough. So I went back to bed, I hate driving at the buttcrack of dawn.

I recall trying to drag myself from the sweet embrace of sleep, actually sleep, as My Love was getting dressed. I must have told him about the snow before I was fully coherent, because his expression of displeasure at the weather was what got me awake enough to drag out of bed. I really didn't care what I threw on and now that I'm awake and looking at it I must remember to lay out my cloths at night. Yeah...faded blue skirt, apple green shirt, crimson red sweater, black socks, white shoes... have I ever told you how I dislike mornings with an intense passion?

The only thing worse then morning...morning people. But as he got the car warmed up and the porch, stairs, and windows all cleared off I will forgive his flaws. We dragged the kids out of bed to start getting ready... That usually means I stand in the hall and say annoying things so they will respond, until I get annoyed and decide to throw water on them. This morning as I talked about inane things I had an idea.
As I talked I decided I wanted to celebrate this Friday so started talking about going to get a pu pu platter. That got me excited and I decided we will go to a restaurant and sit and eat. Heck, I'm going! The rest can come or not as they decide, but I want a pupu platter! Yeah I'm really mature in the morning.
The other morning person, Monster , bounced out of bed (risking her life with perkiness) and wanted to know what on earth was a poo poo platter, seriously. My Love realized before my befuddled brain that they had never experienced one and their only reference was from a cartoon called a Bug's Life. Thunderous One was awake by the time I explained it was a fire.
Boys like fire I guess.
I told how They bring a flaming bowl to the table and you have a grill and ribs and stake and paper wrapped chicken and shrimp... Monster offered to eat all the red meat so I wouldn't have to look at it. Thunderous really like the whole fire at your table aspect, Eldest just moaned and covered her head with a pillow (a girl after my own heart). I wandered off (probably to get water to throw) and let My Love finish the summoning of the children.

He cheated.

He said, "Anyone in the hall in 15 seconds gets some money!"
I think Monster was in the hall before he finished the sentence, Thunderous One came falling out of his room before he was past 10 (he was counting down). He had to give Eldest an extra 5 seconds. I don't know what happened but somehow she was delayed getting out her door, probably was tangled in her blankets and fell out of bed, at least that's what it sounded like from the next room.

Now that kids were up and starting to get ready we could leave with little fear that they would fall back to sleep while I was gone. Thunderous is really bad at that, then the whole morning is torture as I rush him to get to the bus.

Can you tell I'm still tried? That or I'm ADD. Maybe both.
I start out telling you about the weather and somehow ramble my way to how we woke up... Maybe I am the daughter of a Greek god :)
If you haven't read Percy Jackson and the Olympians series you will have no idea what I'm talking about :P

where was I?

OH! that's right...

I have a bottle of Ghiradelli's chocolate sauce and bribed the kids if everyone, and I mean everyone, was dressed to their shoes when I got back I would make hot chocolate with it! Haha! My Love is not the only one who can pay them to get moving!
Went to a Love and Logic class last night, that's not bribery that's real life logical payment for getting a job done.
Seriously real life lesson there, how many of us want to be paid in Ghiradelli's chocolate?

We walked out the door and somehow I was surprised! My morning befuddled brain was expecting the snow to still be just a dusting, like it had been when I looked out the window 3 hours earlier.

It was not.

Even though My Love had cleared the porch off just minuets before, the boards were once again covered in a layer of snow. I blinked in surprise at the large flakes that were hitting my face. There was a few inches piled on the rail. I turned and crunched through the snow to the van. I started to head to the drivers side out of reflex... we had a little shuffle as we tried to decide who should drive. I told My Love he got to. See I can make good decisions in the befuddling morning.

As we started off we noticed the snowplow had only been down one side of the road. We saw some tire tracks that went... well... to places cars usually don't go by choice, but no abandoned cars, so that was good.
I started to laugh. The guy on the radio was reading the weather report, the station is in the nearest baby city. He said "chance of scattered snow flurries today in your town and 20 degrees, feels like 18..." we were going 20 on a road we usually go 45. Apparently this was a scattered snow flurry. Well, that's comforting, isn't it?

I got a bit ... concerned when the one who lived in Idaho for all his teen winters did a very interesting sliding skidding turn slide turn to get on the correct road at one point. I couldn't believe how many cars were out! We never have that much traffic at the buttcrack of dawn any other day! My Love snarked that they all left early to beat the traffic in the snow, worked real well.

I gave him my tips from the day before and we stopped to get hot chocolate. Hey, I had to have it if I was going to be driving home, I'm not dependant on it or anything... I could skip it if I wanted to...

The snow had apparently fallen heavier on this side of town. I decided to take a more used street home as My Love slipped around to another street. He agreed the would be a good idea. The snow was completely untouched (which means maintenance hadn't come by to plow the parking lot yet) when we got to his school. It was rather beautiful to me. But all he could see was all the shoveling he was about to start doing. Amazing about perception isn't it?

Did i mention I dislike mornings?
Did i mention I have very little winter driving experience?
Well, now put those two together and what do you get?
Well less slipping then I feared, but about 15-20 miles and hour and a much longer return trip then usual. At one point, as I cursed the anti-lock brakes that probably saved me from sliding all the way into the intersection in front of a plow truck, I thought about moving to Phoenix.

I decided I really don't want to live in Phoenix.
Plow truck drivers are crazy.
Other truck drivers are not much more sane.

I was almost to the turn off the highway that would get me home when suddenly I spotted a wall, a big white wall that was heading right toward me! I slammed into a blizzard wall at a roaring 20 miles and hour and took my foot off the gas. I knew there was a car ahead of me and none behind, but the lights on the car in front suddenly dimmed in the incredible swirl of white! these flakes were huge! I think the flakes had been getting bigger anyway but in this wall they were biggest and holding hands!
That is when I realized my dad is as crazy as a plow driver, maybe that would be a good next career for him.
I was surprised that I made my turn with out slipping, the wall of white lifted so it was only a heavy vale. I noticed the snow plow had made it by in the other direction on the road, but the side from earlier was already looking like he hadn't been by at all. The tire track from leaving were filled in. But I had made it home! The huge swirling flakes covered me as I walked from the van to the door all of 10 feet if that far. I was shaking off my hat and cloak as I came in the door.

Except for the whole driving part of it I rather enjoyed that snow storm that was only scattered flurries. I reminded me of the snow storms from childhood. The big wet flakes! I really hope we can actually make a snowman! Usually the Snow is way to dry to make snow men with, i miss snowmen.

The kids where not only dressed to the shoes they had started thier breakfast! I made the promised hot chocolate and they packed their lunches. Even though we didn't head out till we saw the buss we were covered in snow when if finally pulled up. Flashing lights turning the snow orange. Monster thought the snow look funny, we realized why, and she ran to get her glasses LOL! The bus waited and we chatted about this interesting turn in the weather.

I just looked out the window... and excuse any typing mistakes as I am now snow blind!
There are a few large lazy flakes falling and the sky it turquoise gleaming through tears in the white clouds. The sun is shining through the breaks in the clouds.

Rather wish I had some firewood though... might be a good time to take a nap.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Help! or the Tale of Two Machines

I need help...
Can you Help?

Many of you who know me, and maybe some who have never met me in the flesh, know my love for my R2 unit. Alas, R2 passed away this last fall. I was devastated!

He was the most wonderful helper I ever had! He would whirl and whistle and beep and accomplish any task I set for him without complaint... well, till the day he died. I had been working him hard, perhaps too hard. He had finished perhaps the 2nd task I had set for him and I needed him to do one more before he rested. When I set him to go he made a few odd sounds then just sat there and looked at me. His predecessors all went in a similar fashion. R2 was my bread machine and once again I had burned out his motor. He was my 3rd in 4 years.
He was a vertical machine with a domed glass lid. *sigh* I loved that machine! I loved having fresh loaves of bread at every meal, pizza dough with little effort, rolls and buns as needed. Yeah to me a meal just isn't complete with out bread... no it's not an addiction, I can handle it!

Now this is were i need help. As you can tell I worked all my machines to death. I would use it almost daily and often twice a day. So I need a good machine, one made to actually be used! I had a sunbeam once poor thing lasted a few months before dieing a smoky death. They aren't make for daily use, only occasional use. So after looking around abit and day dreaming about homemade pizza, fresh bread, waking up to the smell of cinnamon baking... Sorry, ummm... So I Think I have it narrowed down to 2 machines. Both are rather an investment. So here they are.
Help me decide please!

Option 1

Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme Bread Machine:

This is truly the supreme bread machine! The Zojirushi offers advanced options for your bread baking. It gives you the choice of using the dough cycle by itself, then finishing in your regular oven. In addition, you can make dough for crisp pizza crust, light dinner rolls, mouth-watering cinnamon rolls, hamburger or hoagie buns, artisan breads, sourdough, gluten-free breads and cakes - the possibilities are endless. It even makes fruit jam and has the power and durability for hearty whole grain dough. Twin paddles provide superior kneading action so you get well-raised breads with great texture.

To use, simply place your unmixed ingredients in and choose your setting. The machine alerts you once your bread is ready. The control panel is set at the perfect angle for easy viewing, and the bigger-than-ever window lets you see what's happening inside. With this model, you can open the lid during operation, for adding fruits and nuts without resetting the cycle (it keeps running with the lid open). Choose from a full set of pre-programmed cycles for a variety of breads or create your own custom cycles. You can also program in your own favorite recipes for later use. Recipe & instructions booklet included.

Read more and Reviews here:



Cuisinart Convection Bread Maker:

Fresh bread doesn't get any fresher or easier than this! Cuisinart offers expert engineering with a bread machine that adjusts the speed and timing, circulating air while baking for breads that are bakery-style fresh. With this bread machine, you get a choice of 16 preprogrammed menu options, a choice of three crust colors and three loaf sizes. Best of all, choose from over 100 bread, dough and pizza dough, sweet cakes and jams. For those who are health conscious, the Cuisinart bread machine lets you select Low Carb and Gluten-Free with preset menu options and recipes - a Cuisinart exclusive! Another special menu option is the Artisan Dough that takes basic bread dough through several long, slow cool rises for chewier textures and rustic crusts. Other features include a convection fan that circulates air for superior crust color and texture and an audible tone that indicates when it's time to add fruit, nuts or other mix-ins. A second tone offers the option of removing the paddle before baking or removing unbaked dough to shape by hand. There's a 15-minute Pause, Bake Only option, a 12-Hour Delay Start timer and Power Failure Backup. In brushed stainless, it's one bread machine you won't mind leaving out on the counter for daily use. Recipe book included.

Read more and Revies here:

the first one I can get at Target the other I don't know...


Monday, January 5, 2009


Tonight I am getting ready for yet another IEP meeting. I have read until I can no longer comprehend the words on the page as I cram for this. We had an IEP meeting for Thunderous One before the Christmas break; he will have a load of new supports and responsibilities when school starts tomorrow.
Some times I feel like all we do are meetings. My Love commented that he feels like much of Eldest challenges are because we have spent so much time and energy on getting Thunderous one what he needs. I am very offended and defensive to that statement! I have been getting Eldest help for at least 9 years! Just in this town! When we first moved here I made calls walked all over town and researched everything, hammered on doors and insisted therapies be made available for HER.
We sought out fledgling therapies, new doctors, 'experimental' treatments. From sensory integration to social stories to therapy reading dogs to hypothereapy we have helped establish them all in this area.
We may not have led the long line of other families seeking help, but i don't think we followed very often.
i know he is only speaking out of guilt, we can help but blame ourselves some days for the challenges our kids face, but I KNOW we have done all we can every way we can for her.

i think one of the reasons I fear writing this blog is because i am afraid that people, many I know and love, will decide she is crazy.
It is agonizingly hard to watch your child deal with a mental illness, but to also never really be able to be true and open with others is even harder.
I worry that if i share the hallucinations she will be thought crazy.
I worry that i share the anxiety she will be thought silly.
i have a hard time
a very hard time
with the very real and deep stigma that mental illness has.
There is so much I want to share; so many others must be experiencing this too!
But I am having to fight the fear of judgment and reaction from those who know us.
Funny to hear from the woman who purposely wears unmatched socks just to aggravate others. :)

I had a very emotional thing happen at work a few days ago. I was just randomly chatting with a co worker as she took her break and I wiped down the tables. Somehow I mentioned Thunderous and Autism. She grabbed a book off of the new release self and asked if I had ever read it.
It was called Mother Warriors by Jenny McCarthy.

I hadn't.
I read the back, "Wow!" I said out loud, surprised, " I guess I really am a Mother Warrior!"
"I am too, how old is yours?"" a voice interrupted my thoughtful gazing at the book back. I look up and say a very tired but purposeful looking woman standing at my counter. We had a quick discussion as I made her drink about our boys. I loved that feeling of companionship we had shared so briefly.
I later sat down on a quick break when all was quite and read the first chapter... actually I think it was the forward... I couldn't make it to the end. I was crying so hard!
Where had this book been as I had fought so hard for my kids over the last 10 years!?
Where were these other mothers!?
Why if there are so many of us fighting, Why have I been so alone on my journey!?!

i really want to read this book, anything that touches me so deeply is worth it... I just have to wait a bit till I have the money.