Tuesday, September 29

Let the Wild Rumpus Start

As a child, I was never really a big fan of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. I don't know if I was too sensitive or imaginative or what, but I found it scary. Nonetheless, the idea of creating my own "wild rumpus" sounds like fun. Especially if I'm looking for a way to celebrate my 500th blog post.

Yes, folks, it's true. This is post 500. I've finally gotten a high enough count that I would have to look up the roman numeral to cover it (in fact, I did: it's "D").

To keep my rumpusing on the wild side, I am hosting a secret giveaway! I don't actually know what I should give away, so to enter, you need to leave a comment recommending a fabulous, but, ya know, smallish, prize that you would like to win. As always, you'll get an extra entry for linking to this giveaway on your own blog (leave me a second comment if you do this, please). I will choose one winner at random from among those prizes I can accommodate. Comments will close on my blogiversary, Friday October 16th at 11:59 PM CDT, and I'll announce the winner the following week.

Good luck!

Monday, September 28

Notes from Far-Flung Corners of the World

Well, not quite. They're all from right here. But, hey, depending on where you live, Sioux Falls may well be far flung. I haven't had a "real" post for quite a while ... so instead of offering one now, here's some highlights from the past few weeks.

I'm interviewing characters for my book. I'm trying to help them ... or, maybe they're trying to help me ... find their voices. So far, I feel like I have a pretty good start on the male lead (is that what you call them in books?--I'm used to theater talk), but I have at least a dozen more interviews to finish before NaNoWriMo kicks off November 1st.

We found a great deal on a new digital camera, so we are now officially back in business, picture-wise. Unfortunately, the USB port on my computer is buried way in the back, under the desk and I am too ungainly at the moment to attempt such acrobatics. I keep forgetting to ask Adam to plug it in and I don't trust Rosi with it. You'll all have to wait a few more days (weeks? months?? I hope not!) for new pix.

Did you know you only have 88 crafting days left before Christmas? I've completed 3 gifts, started 2 more, and only have another 19 to do after that. Hmmm ... some of you may not be getting your gifts until Valentine's Day. Or maybe Easter.

Last night I got a call from Adam as he was on his way home. He asked me to listen to a noise the car was making as he turned the steering wheel. It didn't sound good, but I suggested he try to make it home (he was only about half a mile away) and we could take a look at it once he got here. Five minutes later he called back to say the car now wasn't steering at all. He called to have it towed to the garage and walked home. This morning we got the estimate for repairs. It's twice as much as we were hoping, but less than half what we were afraid it might be. Thankfully, we'll only be carless for a day or so. Adam was able to get a ride in to work this morning and he's off for the rest of the week, so, all things considered, now is as good a time as any for the car to break down.

Tomorrow my in-laws arrive. This is the first time they've been able to visit since we moved here (almost a year ago, now). We've been trying to make a list of stuff we'd like to do together, but keeping it low-key so as not to exhaust everybody and their pocketbooks. I may or may not be up for blogging while they're here, but I'll try to take some pictures of our adventures to post later.

Friday, September 25

The Last Thing

I found this on a discussion board this evening.

What was the last thing you ...

ate? Plain french bread.

said? "What?"

drank? Water.

laughed about? "And Then My Six-Year-Old Had Her Tattoo Removed..."

touched (besides the keyboard/mouse)? The french bread.

cooked? Frozen egg rolls.

bought? Yarn.

cried about? Tim Hodge's CaringBridge journal entry for yesterday.

took a picture of? A bag I crocheted.

wrote? "A bag I crocheted."

gave as a gift? A crocheted cowboy hat and cowboy booties.

broke? The seal on the bag holding the French bread loaf.

fixed? The stapler.

washed? My hands.

turned off? The light in Rosi's bedroom.

read? Tim Hodge's CaringBridge journal.

watched? National Geographic Video's collection of snake clips.

changed? My mind.

threw away? An apple core.

Wednesday, September 23


Third trimester. Check.
Feeling like a whale. Check.
Brains turned to mush. Check.
Emotions on overdrive. Check.

And for today? Nesting. Check.

Yup. As of this morning, my nesting instinct has officially arrived. I got out of bed, went into the bathroom, and decided the toilet needed to be scrubbed right away. I then started having distressingly similar thoughts about the bathtub. I managed to wait until after breakfast for that project, though.

Saturday, September 19

My Daughter Is a Communist

That's the only explanation I can think of. She just doesn't believe that anything could possibly belong to anyone to such an extent that on her whim, she shouldn't have the right to take it, play with it, or destroy it.

The funny thing is, she seems to have a pretty good grasp on certain things belonging to only her ... it's simply the idea that someone else might have that same sense of ownership that she finds baffling.

"What's mine is mine," seems to be her motto, "and what's yours is mine, too."

Perhaps she's not a communist after all, but a tiny little authoritarian dictator-in-training.

Clearly we're on the wrong train.

Friday, September 18


Things to do in the middle of the night when you want to be asleep but can't seem to manage it:
  • Catch up on your friends' latest posts
  • Clear out your e-mail spam folder
  • Create a spreadsheet for your sister
  • Listen to your husband snore
  • Mentally catalog all the Christmas crafting you've been planning
  • Plot your book for NaNoWriMo
  • Write utter nonsense on your blog in hopes of amusing your readers
Well, that's all done now.

Maybe I should try counting sheep.

Sunday, September 13

It Was a Record-Setting Game, Anyway

As you may have heard already, the Bears lost to the Packers tonight in the final seconds of the game. While I appreciate a contest that keeps your interest into the last two minutes, I must say, I like it a lot better when the team I'm rooting for actually wins.

The Bears' new QB Jay Cutler did set himself a new personal record; he threw a career-high 4 interceptions in a single game.

Whaddaya say, Jay? Maybe next week you could work on cracking one of your better records. Might I suggest most TD passes per game?

Really, how can they be expected to beat the reigning Superbowl champs when they couldn't even work up a win against their biggest rivals, who, incidentally, only won 6 games last season?

Maybe I should just give it up, become a baseball fan, and root for the Cubs instead.

Oh, wait, that wouldn't really improve my prospects, would it?

Well, here's to another season whose greatness is yet to be determined!

Saturday, September 12

Feeling Out of Touch With the Next Generation

Rosi and I were spending some of our school time practicing letters and their corresponding sounds at Starfall. One of the example words for Q is "question" and the image is of a girl standing at a crossroads surrounded by question marks.

I pointed out the punctuation and asked Rosi if she knew what it meant.

"Uh-huh," she answered, distractedly, still focused on the exercise. "It means 'help.'"

Maybe she's been spending a little too much time on the computer lately.

Friday, September 11

Psalm 23

Just about every Christian I know has paraphrased the 23rd Psalm at one time or another. The attempt to make the words of an ancient shepherd fit the life of a modern city dweller is not always easy. Recently, I felt prompted to rewrite the passage in my own words, trying to make what David said more meaningful to me in the place I am.

The Lord is my guardian,
He will provide everything I’ll ever need.
He calls me to rest and provides me with abundance,
He walks with me, satisfying my hunger and slaking my thirst,
He makes my soul new.
He leads me to make good choices in life,
Because I love Him.

Even when I pass through dark and dangerous places,
I have nothing to be afraid of,
Because You are beside me;
The power You hold in Your hands
Encourages me to be brave.

You bless me and celebrate me
Right in front of those who’d rather hurt me.
You heal my injuries and show everyone that You choose me;
I am filled with joy.

All the good things You give me will be with me
For the rest of my life,
And I will be a part of Your family

Thursday, September 10

Ten Truths

I saw this meme on Patricia Zapata's fabulous blog A Little Hut and decided to try it.
  1. I can't make Jell-o. Adam doesn't believe me, but every time I've ever tried, the stuff just won't set up for me. I am gelatin-challenged.
  2. Back before I had children, I always thought pregnancy would be weird, like having an alien growing inside me. Actually, I sort of still think that, but he's a lovable alien.
  3. Speaking of parenting, I was always planning to be called "Mama" which is what I called my mother when I was young. When Rosi was born, I just couldn't get a handle on calling myself that, however, so I stuck with "Mommy" instead. On her own, she started calling me "Mamie" and I discovered I liked it better than either of the others, so I stuck with it.
  4. I'm writing a novel. Well, I'm not actually writing it yet. I'm preparing to write a novel so I can participate in NaNoWriMo this year.
  5. Even though I'm horrible about sending thank you cards myself, I always feel a little hurt when other people don't acknowledge gifts I've given them.
  6. I've been on TV twice in my life. Once in junior high when the local news was doing a story about snow days cutting into our spring break and once recently as part of an interview about the state of midwifery in South Dakota. I didn't have a speaking part either time.
  7. When I was a child, I used to complain about my parents leaving the skin on when they made mashed potatoes. Now I do the same thing. I also thought my dad's peanut butter (all natural, no sugar added) was gross, but it's now the only kind I'll buy.
  8. My very favorite part of high school math was geometry proofs. Set me to proving the congruence of two angles and I get a little thrill inside.
  9. Although I'm a professional copy editor, I can't find typos in my own work. I know what I meant to write, but don't see what I've actually written instead.
  10. I have always wanted to take a ride in a hot air balloon. When I was a kid, we'd go watch balloons take off periodically and I always thought it would be neat to go on one. I've also always been a little afraid of the idea.
It was a challenge to come up with 10 new things about me. For those of you looking for a more complete picture of my randomness, I invite you to check out all my memes.

Sunday, September 6

Homemade Chicken Soup for the Sick

I have joined the ranks of the sick. Again. Ugh. I figured chicken soup would make a good lunch, but really had no desire to defrost chicken or chop vegetables all morning. They say necessity is the mother of invention. I say lazy people come up with the most efficient way to do things. Actually, that’s not even mine. I stole it from Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Sr., professional motion-study expert.

Meanwhile, here’s a good-for-you meal that’s still manageable, even when getting out of bed is a struggle. This recipe is based on what I have on hand in my kitchen. If your staples are a bit different, by all means, substitute whatever makes it easiest for you!

1 medium onion
3 garlic cloves (or 1 T minced)
2 t oil
½ lb frozen mixed veggies (about 1½ c)
½ c dry brown rice
½ t oregano
½ t sage
salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
5 c water
2 bullion cubes
1 frozen chicken breast (about ½ lb)
  1. Chop onion and mince garlic.
  2. Sauté in oil until soft (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add frozen veggies and rice. Cook until veggies have melted.
  4. Season and add water. Bring to a boil.
  5. Add bullion cubes and frozen chicken breast.
  6. Simmer for 1-1½ hours, stirring occasionally, and adding more water if necessary.
  7. Use spoon to break up chicken breast into bite-size pieces before serving.

Saturday, September 5

Hooray for Football

Football season is fast approaching. I actually looked up the schedule for preseason well in advance this year, unlike some years previous. Unfortunately, my own reminders to myself that a game would be on a particular evening didn't keep me from missing all but a single quarter of the preseason action. Even without my help, the Bears managed to pull off a 3-1 record. Not too shabby. Too bad they don't count yet.

I am excited for the opening game. For one thing, it's on national TV, which means I'll actually be able to see it! Plus, it's a Bears-Packers game. Those are always good. Even when very little happens on the field, they are still fun games to watch.

Maybe this year we can make it back to the playoffs. I'll be able to see those games. Come on Bears, keep your fans happy. Win more games! Pretty please?

Friday, September 4

Seasons Change, People Change

It happens every fall. The days grow a little shorter. The sun goes down a little sooner. I praise God that it's full dark by 8:30 PM.

Wait a second. That's never happened before!

What's going on here?

Once upon a time (uhm, pretty much my whole life until this spring), I was saddened by the definitive notice that these freewheeling summer days were at an end. Light, late into the evening meant freedom and joy and ... well, losing the light meant everybody was going back to school and it was time to get down to business again.

Living in Chicago, I discovered the year I'd moved back, means waking up to sun streaming though your windows at 5:30 AM in July. If that's not enough, it also means leaving the office at 4:30 PM in January having missed the sunset. These things were not my favorite part of the city, let me tell you.

One of my reasons for excitement when we first thought about moving here to Sioux Falls was the fact that the sun doesn't come up at 5:30 any day, all year long! Such a blessing that is when you have a little one who thinks that when it's light out, she needs to be up playing.

Which brings us nicely back to the crux of this summer's dilemma: Rosi refused to go to sleep while it was still light out. She's always been a bit of a night owl. She gets that from her mother. Her normal bedtime is 9:00 PM. Except, here on the western side of the time zone, the mid-summer sun doesn't set until about 9:15 PM. And even at that, it stays light for another 20 minutes or so.

Unfortunately, we've discovered that, in addition to being a night owl, Rosi will wake up by 8:30 AM, no matter what time she gets to sleep. In other words, this summer has been one long sleep-deprivation experiment at our house.

But it's getting to be fallish now. The sun set this evening at 7:56, and Rosi is already in bed. Ahh, the blessed sound of silence. I think I'll go read a book.

Tuesday, September 1

Answer Me This

Why can you buy an entire printer/scanner/copier, which includes two ink cartridges, for the same price as just the two ink cartridges?

Furthermore, why can you buy the stand-alone printer (with the ink) for $10 less?

Does this make sense to anybody?