The beach at Carlsbad

I took some of the kids to watch the sun set tonight.  The pelicans were swooping over the waves, following the leader.  I love pelicans, don’t you?

My daughter’s molar is sitting on my desk, right next to the envelopes I meant to mail, my iPhone, a brand new book of Post-it notes and a notepad scrawled with notes that don’t matter anymore.

I should be asleep but I got distracted.   And then I thought I should write something in this neglected blog but there is so much I could say and so little I can say.  No man is an island and all that.

I took my daughter and my son’s girlfriend to the beach tonight to watch the sunset.  It was beautiful and only a little chilly.

We saw a pelican snap at an unsuspecting man’s elbow when the man invaded the pelican’s space.  A sign near the pelican said something like, “I am a wild animal.  I bite stupid people.”  That may have been the best moment of my day.

 

Short version

I have a long version of this story, but I am exhausted after working 104 hours in the past 2 weeks.  I wish I were exaggerating.  And by “work”, I only mean salaried work for my job.  That excludes all the general stuff I do to keep the household running, including cooking a homemade dinner a possible record-breaking five nights in a row and making sure everyone has clean underpants every day.  And clean bath towels.

And, by the way, did you know Christmas is coming?

The short version of the story is this:

Tonight I was cooking dinner.  Chocolate gravy and homemade biscuits and bacon.  (It’s a Texas thing.  Don’t be alarmed.  I know it’s weird.)  I’d finished the chocolate gravy and bacon and was about to dump the mixed-together biscuit dough onto the counter so I could knead it and cut out the biscuits.

And then I saw a . . . bug?  A tiny black bug on my biscuit dough.  What?  How?  Huh?

I removed the bug and peered closely at the dough–oh, look, this story is going from short to long–and there was another bug.

Then I decided my flour was contaminated with bugs, so I began to paw through the gigantic Costco-sized bag of flour I have (had!) and didn’t find any bugs, yet I knew there were bugs and my husband, who happened to stop by the kitchen, said, “Oh, I see one right there,” and then I dumped the dough into the gigantic bag of flour and took it to the trash can and threw it out.

My husband went to the grocery store and bought three cans of biscuits.  Thanks, Pillsbury.

And that is the not-short version of bugs in the biscuits.

You’re welcome.

At least I noticed the bugs today before I did any Christmas baking tomorrow.  Because–I’m not sure if you are aware of this–but Christmas is coming.  Soon, I hear.

Downhill

Finally, the first day of winter has arrived.

The high temperature in this area next week is predicted to be 66 degrees and the low is supposed to drop to 39 degrees.  So, all the folks around here–including me–will be wearing their sweaters and boots.  I draw the line at mittens and hats, though.  My daughter laughed to see a couple walking our neighborhood this morning wearing stocking hats and coats and gloves.

My daughter was wearing shorts, a t-shirt and flip-flops.

I always think of winter solstice as the beginning of the downhill slide back into summer and longer days.  We’ve trudged through shorter and shorter days, longer and longer nights and now, finally, we’ll inch down the hill.

And before I know it, I’ll be sitting under my umbrella at the beach, luxuriating in the warmth of the sun.

But first, Christmas.

And the first day of Not The End of the World.

Ooooo! Ahhhhh!

I just can’t think of anything to say.  So, here’s a photo of the fireworks we saw at Disneyland last week.

Today I cleaned my office, so I am no longer in danger of being cast on the television show, Hoarders.

I’ve been working extra hours because other people at work are on vacation.  I’m trying not to be bitter about this because I like my job and co-workers so much.  But still.

I just turned on the heat so it won’t go below 65 degrees in the house tonight.  Turning on the heat in Southern California seems like a serious infraction but my husband doesn’t want the children to have frozen toes, so fine.  The heat is on and it smells kind of burnt since it hasn’t been on in a long time.

I finished reading  This Life Is in Your Hands: One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family Undone which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Now I am unmoored, unable to decide what to read next though I am surrounded by stacks of promising books.

My husband keeps urging me to write the Christmas letter.  I told him I bought stamps which I feel is a fine and timely contribution toward the Christmas letter goal.  Baby steps.

But say, aren’t those fireworks captured by my iPhone pretty?

See?  I have nothing to say, really.

 

Let it begin with me

And today, I cleaned up the garage

When we moved into this house about a year and a half ago, I quickly unpacked and organized the house.  (If you saw my 10-year old’s room, you would never believe that sentence, but it’s true.  Even her room was organized and tidy.)

But I neglected the garage because it’s the garage.  I kind of arranged the boxes in a sort of order so I could find Christmas decorations and sand pails and I randomly put items on some shelves that some men from the church installed on one wall.  I thought that later I’d sort and arrange and maybe even alphabetize things.  You just never know.

However, as is wont to happen, the bottom layer of semi-unpacked stuff formed a solid crust and then the fluffy flakes of new snowflakes fell, covering the icy layer and then we had an avalanche.  In other words, the suitcases we’ve packed and unpacked were deposited rather haphazardly out there.  Then we added a Costco pack of a dozen rolls of paper towels and a bunch of packages of napkins and some inexplicably intact cardboard boxes, plus cans and bottles that need to be returned for their five cent deposit . . . and so on and so forth.

It was a mess. Someone gave us  table which ended up out there . . . a loveseat broke . . . the down comforter sat in a bunch on the suitcases . . . all this stuff just sat there, waiting.  Lurking.

I took some time off from work today and spent three rather dusty hours breaking down cardboard boxes, peeking into storage tubs, piling things into boxes to give away, moving things around, and wondering if the weird folding bike made in Austria that the former homeowners left is worth any money.  My feet did not appreciate the cement floor at all.  Neither did my back.

The worst part is that I’m not done.  I have four shelving units (I bought from the next-door neighbor) and I shoved things onto those shelves, thinking that later I’ll organize better.  Later needs to be sooner rather than later, though.  Otherwise, another layer will land on what’s still out there and no one wants that.

And, no, I haven’t bought a single Christmas gift yet.

Time to begin panicking.

Lagging

I keep thinking I might think of something to blog about.

I’m not sure if I’ve lost my creativity or if there really is nothing to say about my life.  Some things are off-limits, of course.  Some things are boring.  Who wants a recitation of the monotony that is a full-time job, a dog who eats inedible stuff if you aren’t careful, cooking dinner (every night!  so grueling!) and laundry?  Really, laundry is the least of it . . . I don’t mind except that I ran out of laundry detergent.

My husband has introduced me to Duck Dynasty which makes me laugh so loudly that I can’t hear what comes next.  So, there’s that, but watching television is hardly interesting to relay, right?

My house still looks like Thanksgiving with a little Halloween mixed in.  Houses on our street have Christmas lights and I see Christmas trees through their front windows but I just can’t seem to shake my grinchy lethargy.  It’s hard to feel like Christmas when it’s sunny and the flowers are still in bloom.  I’m also afraid that Lola the Dog will eat our Christmas ornaments, so we’ll have to protect the tree with a dog-fence thing we got when she was a puppy.

And the idea of decorating for Christmas makes me feel like a loser because my garage needs to be unpacked and sorted and organized and cleaned up.  I never really did get it fixed up after we moved, so there are still empty moving boxes sitting about.  The neighbor is selling me some shelving units, so I ought to get right on that.

Except, of course, for this full-time job that interferes with garage organizing.

And this weekend, a final soccer tournament for the year.  I’m not exactly sure where it is, but I’m sure it’s at least a thirty minute drive and it involves two games and an end-of-the-year pizza party between those games.  So, that will keep me busy . . . there’s also a game on Sunday.

I’m reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (for the first time ever) and then have a couple of memoirs lined up.  All I really want to do is read and eat brownies, but woman cannot live by books and brownies alone.  Alas.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Little known fact:  I played the turkey in the Thanksgiving play when I was in fourth grade.  If I can find the photo, I will scan and post it.

In the meantime, here’s an old photo of one of my kids in Thanksgiving mode:

Four years ago and not much has changed when it comes to black olives.

 

 

Here are just a few things I am thankful for:

My husband who laughs when I act out conversations I have (either real or in my imagination).
The stacks of novels waiting to be read.
My kids, especially when they’re getting along and having fun, but even when they leave the butter on the counter where the dog can eat it.
Friends I know through the computer who take the time to say, “Hey, me, too!” from time to time.
Real life friends . . . wish we all lived in the same town, though.
A house with a pantry and a perfect office space for me.
Sunshine.  On my shoulders.  Makes me happy.
Health.  The older I get, the  more lucky I feel.
Naps.
The Internet.  Seriously.
Living near the ocean.

And I’m thankful for those of you who read this blog.  If this blog were a person, it would be in fourth grade, so hopefully the best is yet to come.  Which brings me back to what I was doing in fourth grade . . . playing the turkey in the Thanksgiving play.

See how I did that?  The circle of life blog.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Note from the lady with the crazy hair


Let me illustrate with this YouTube video . . .

This morning we had to be at church thirty minutes early.  No problem, I thought.  I’ll skip walking the dog and wake up the boys at 8:30 AM.

Since I exercised unusual discipline in getting out of bed on time, I had enough time to make my bed and consider a variety of necklaces.  I tried on two different skirts. In short, I lollygagged.

I kept an eye on the time, though.  Then I checked my phone and it was 10:36 AM.

WHAT?  I realized that we weren’t supposed to leave the house at 10:45 AM, we were supposed to be at the church then.

I was dressed, my make-up was on and I was about to start taming my hair with a very hot curling iron.  Instead, I grabbed my shoes and phone and hurried downstairs . . . where I heard a shower still running.  My youngest son was still in there.

Without a moment’s pause, I decided to drive my daughter to church, then return for the boys.  (The drive is about 12 minutes if all the traffic lights cooperate.)

I rushed her to church.

Rushed home.

Picked up the boys.

Rushed back to church.

Hurried up to the balcony where our tardiness would be less obvious.

And that is why my hair looked crazy today.  Just in case you wondered.  It wasn’t a problem with gravity or anything . . . just a itty bitty problem with time.

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