Thursday, October 30, 2008

OK, Can I Be Done Now? Please?

I honestly don't remember the last time I was this frustrated.

I'll try to start at the beginning and type through the tears. I'm not a crier, so seriously, I have HAD IT right about now.

We are dog sitting for a friend while he and his girlfriend are out of state for a week and a half. He has two dogs, a small older dog and a large puppy (about 16 months old). The smaller one is a mini pinscher. The large one is a mutt but is brindle colored and has to be part boxer and maybe part greyhound.

In general they're great dogs, but I've had it with them today.

First of all, I'm not a believer in having animals on the furniture. This may stem from having been the owner of a 100+ lb dog, but whatever. It's one thing having a 7lb dog on your couch, but it's quite another having the 75lb dog join you, or just lounge there all day.

At any rate, Dog the Smaller found our sectional today. The sectional is where I keep my beads. He knocked over a sorted box of beads. Now, understand, in my three or so years of beading, I have never knocked over a box of beads. Dreaded it, but never done it. I shooed the dogs into the backyard and cleaned up the considerable mess. There are 12-15 compartments in a bead box, each with its own type of bead, and most of these were on the floor.

Less than an hour later, with Dog the Smaller upstairs with me, I heard another telltale crash. I jumped up, yelling, "NO YOU DIDN'T!" but of course I was too late; Dog the Larger had jumped up on the sectional and found the ONE bead box I'd left uncovered. He didn't dump it off the couch like the earlier box -- he apparently just stepped on the edge -- but most of the beads jumped up out of their compartments and into other compartments, and lots of them were scattered all over outside the box. I was furious. Again I shooed the dogs outside (this time in a much louder voice) and cleaned up the mess.

While outside, Dog the Larger managed to pull off his own collar and chew on the tags, almost chewing one completely off. Ah, puppies.

When Son the Younger, who is grounded, came home shortly after these altercations, I told him the dogs needed to be walked. He doesn't like walking the dogs, he informed me. It's the most frustrating thing he's ever done, he said. However, it's part of the job and the reason he's getting paid to watch the little darlings, so I told him it needed to be done. This didn't go over well, and we're not on the best of terms due to the grounding anyway, so there's been a lot of "not speaking to each other" going on this evening.

With all the stress, I decided the antidote would be to go out and melt some glass, enjoying my new kiln in the process. I haven't gotten a chance to try it out yet, and I'm just so excited by the fact that I don't have to traipse down to central Austin to have beads annealed anymore. So I went out to the garage, spent some time putting in the program for the annealing, and set about making some beads for a friend's mom for Christmas.

I noticed when I put the beads in the kiln that it wasn't as searingly hot as I remembered the kilns at the glass shop being, but I didn't think much of it because mine is built really differently. I just figured all the heat was centered way back in there.

Once I was done with four beads, I looked at the flashing display on my beloved new kiln: "tcr." What the heck? I pulled out my handy dandy book and looked it up. Turns out it's an error message: thermocouple reversed.

That's right: my kiln is broken.

So I put all my beads back in the fiber blanket, where they'll probably crack because they cooled down too quickly, and I came in to tell my hubby that the new, very expensive purchase is no good.

And now I have to do some work. I'd really just as soon secede from the household, and from life, for a bit, but I guess that's not an option, huh?

Mama said there'd be days like this.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Yes, I Am Completely Not Qualified for NaNoWriMo

And I will offer you proof!

This is the oldest writing sample I have. My mom left it for me in a photo book she made me a few years before she died. It's one of the very few non-photo items in the book.

At the top, in inimitable mom style, she notes the date I wrote the piece and that I was 8 years old and in third grade. Awww.

It is titled, "The Little Girl That Became a Princess"

Once upon a time a long, long time ago, there lived a girl who lived in a wood. Her mother made her do all the work of the house. Now this certain forest belonged to a great king whom the maiden had never heard of.

Now one day just as the maiden was getting water from the well, the king rode past the well and asked, "Lovely creature, what are you doing here?" and she answered, "I was born and raised here, and made to do all the dirty work of the house and I am quite used to it now." But has he had no children he said, "Come with me and be my princess. I will raise you well, and never hate you." She answered, "What will my mother do when she finds out?" He answered, "Let us flee and your mother will not be able to find us." (Her mother was a witch by trade in case you didn't know but had no way of finding anything she had lost.)

"Alright I'll go," said the maiden. "As long as I don't have to do any work." So they went off to his palace. There she grew up, married, and spent the rest of her life in that country. And from what I hear, she is ruling yet.

Now, perhaps a little history is in order. I asked my mom about this when she found it, and she laughed and said maybe she made me take out the trash that day. In truth, I was a whiny spoiled brat of a child who did nothing around the house, so I could very well have written something like this in retaliation to a simple request like being asked to take out the trash.

I was also madly in love with fairy tales of all kinds: princesses, kings, forests, all that jazz. The witch who could find things was from a Baba Yaga story in a fairy tale book.

It should be noted that nothing is misspelled in the original story, and I only fixed a couple of minor punctuation errors. Not too bad for an eight year old. I'm going to have to work a little longer to hit 50,000 words though!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Beauty is Just Outside Your Front Door

About four feet out my front door, to be exact. It took us years to find perennials to survive in that little space, but these have been great: a colorful, cheery shot of joy to start your day. They bloom all summer and well into the fall in full Texas sun.

Alas, the flowers last only a day. They are tissue paper. It's a reminder of the fragility and beauty of life, cleaning out my little flower bed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Just in Case There Was Any Doubt

Yes, I am in fact insane.

Just to prove it, I signed up for NaNoWriMo today.

Maybe you know or maybe you don't, but I've always wanted to write the Great American Novel. Now is my chance to do it, all in thirty short days. Which is about the scariest thing EVER.

I used to think I could write a book, if only I had a story. Well, I came up with a story -- a pretty good one, I think -- about five or six years ago, and it's stayed safely in my head. I've shared the idea with a couple of people, but I've never written it down. I've never seen a book (fiction or non) on the topic either, but I haven't done extensive research or anything. Maybe I'd better start.

So here's the question, dear reader: since I've been ignoring my blog so dreadfully, would you like to read my (quite possibly pathetic and/or insane) attempt at novel writing here on the blog? Odds are I won't be paying a lot of attention to the blog otherwise.

Let your vote be known!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

In Which Lisa Talks About Everything, or Nothing

I really have a whole lotta nothing going on in my life, so here is today's ramble. Thanks for joining me in my crazy little world!

I got a free sample of soapnuts in my mailbox today from the fine folks at LaundryTree. I can't wait to try them! I will of course let y'all know how that works out. I've read about them and have been anxious to try them for myself, and the LaundryTree fairies (or Lisa at LaundryTree, who I love because she has an awesome first name and loves Austin) sent them to me. Yay!

Son the Older is coming home this weekend. This also makes me happy.

Son the Younger has found his niche in school: writing for the school newspaper. He loves it, and his teacher loves him and his writing. I'm so proud. *wipes away a tear*

My online game (World of Warcraft), which I haven't mentioned in forever, had a major overhaul on Tuesday, which made the sky come crashing down. Things are sort of working again now. They made players more powerful and the environment less powerful. It's like suddenly waking up as Hera (wife of Zeus, for those unfamiliar with Greek mythology). It's been fun to run through things that have been stopping us for months. Look: shiny!

See how twitter has ruined me for blogging? I can't even do a whole post on one topic anymore! Groooooooooooooan.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

An Open Letter: The Beginning of Forgiveness

In reading Mark Batterson's Wild Goose Chase, part of one chapter talks about the power of forgiveness.

I'm not a grudge carrier normally; I've seen the damage it does. But in reading this chapter, I happened to think of someone I haven't forgiven, or haven't forgiven fully. I'd like to write him an open letter (first name only).

Dear John,

It's been years since I thought of you, or what happened. I remember meeting you. You were so far above me on the social ladder at college. I was so excited when you asked me out! Flying a kite in the park at night? How romantic!

I remember my confusion: why would we need wine coolers to fly a kite? And why would you pick a park with no streetlights at all? I had no idea where we were, but it didn't look like a friendly part of town.

Taking your obvious physical size advantage and coupling it with alcohol and the slightly scary, very dark location was not ok. Nor was what happened after that. (It's not as bad as you're probably imagining, but it was bad enough to scar me emotionally.)

For years, I fantasized about calling your sweet little wife and letting her know what kind of man she married. I knew just what kind of girl you'd pick for your wife: petite, probably blond, certainly conservative and Christian. After all, you were a good Christian boy, just as you told me.

In the last several years, I'd like to think I've grown up a little. Now I pray that you've changed, that you never behaved that way with anyone else, that this dirty little secret belongs only to the two of us.

In any case, I'm doing my best to forgive you. I hope that you're happy and healthy now, just as I am. I hope that you're actively seeking God, just as I am.

And I pray that dirty little secrets, shown in the light, lose their power.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

My little blog is one year old today, starting to toddle around the blogosphere. Watch out honey, don't hit your head on that table! You're gonna fall down!

I went back to revisit its beginnings, and I discovered that I sailed right past the anniversary of my layoff without even noticing. That's good. I bet my former cow-orkers [sic] would be stunned to know that a year has already gone by.

Little bit of trivia, for those who don't know me in real life: I'm used to odd anniversary celebrations, since I celebrate my birthaversary every year, i.e., I was married on my birthday. We joke that that just means he can never forget, but in reality, it means that the bulk of the anniversary gifting falls on my hubby, and he often comes through in grand style. We've gone to San Francisco, New York, and Hawaii for my birthaversary. Before you tell me, I already know he's a keeper, even though he won't buy me that big ol' rock I'm always kidding him about. We agreed a long time ago we'd rather have the memories from traveling together than some hunk of carbon (my sister disagrees, or maybe she'd prefer both).

I don't have any more of a mission statement now than I did a year ago for my small corner of the blogosphere. At just under 150 posts in a year, my real goal is to write more in the coming year and not neglect my blog (and whatever readers I have) so much.

Speaking of which, I would love it if you would do me the honor of telling me you're here today. I'm aware of some of the groups who read my blog: current and former co-workers, people I play World of Warcraft with, people whose blogs I read, other Inspired Bliss writers, people who read my inane twitter ramblings (where I've been mostly absent for several days). But if you're here, I would be honored if you'd say hi and maybe even tell me how you got here. I know lurkers hate to come out of hiding, but I'll give you a virtual cookie if you do!

Hmmm, that reminds me, I haven't had breakfast. Time to root around for some non-virtual food. Thanks for dropping by, peeps!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I've Been Meme-ing to Do This

Groan. I know. Bad title! No donut!

I was tagged by the lovely and talented @journey2learn (see her blog here) to tell you fine people six things no one knows about me.

SIX? Really? Really. If no one knows them, why would I want to make them known now?

How about six things that aren't widely known? I'll go with that. It's still a challenge.

  1. I was born in Frankfurt, Germany. I used to worry that that would keep me from being President, but apparently being born on an Army base counts as U.S. soil. I don't want that job anymore, though. (My dad was drafted during the Vietnam war and sent to Germany, where he could drink plenty of fine German beer -- can you believe the luck?)
  2. I initially met my friend Matt online. The night before I met him IRL for the first time, I discovered that my dad and his dad had been best buds for years. There's a long story to tell there, but I'll save that for another post.
  3. My mother almost died of a brain aneurysm in 1991. The quick action of my stepfather (plus their being a couple of blocks from the hospital where he was chairman of the board at the time, gaining them extra-quick entry) saved her life. She was with us for another 13 years, until another aneurysm ruptured in her brain in 2004. This one was much worse and killed her. Yes, my sister and I have regular MRIs on our brains.
  4. I'm not really a girly-girl. I don't like makeup (and my hubby doesn't like it on me at all), I don't like shopping, I'm not big on fashion. I can do those things if I need to, but it's not written in my DNA like it seems to be for a lot of women. My mom was the same way, especially with shopping, but her hair and face were ALWAYS done. My sister, isn't as girly as girly gets, but she's way farther down that road than I am!
  5. My favorite ways to find God are in nature and in music. A drive with the top down in fall or spring with some great music on is fantastic for me that way.
  6. I had C-sections with both my boys. The second was planned, but the first was not. Boy was STUCK and was not coming out. Another long story involved there, but I generally don't tell it to anyone that's pregnant or might ever wish to be. The moral of my story is: Remember to pee when you're in labor. It's very important, and you may need someone to remind you. The pain all feels the same; it's all in the same area, so you won't necessarily think, "Gosh, I need to pee." You do.
OK, that was a whole lot of randomness. Here's who I'd like to tag from twitter... and if you don't have a blog, you can leave your list o'randomness in my comments. =)

(My BFF... Start up another blog, woman!)

@webchyk (Rose, my rockin' webmistress; one of the many reasons I am President of the Rose Groupies) (Her post is here.)

@PENSIVEROCKS (My Inspired Bliss editor)

@JeniDVM (One of my fellow Inspired Bliss writers)

@CandidK (Another Blissie / Bliss-tah... whatever you call us) (Karina's post is here.)

@CRREdwards (RL friend of RL friend, although I haven't met her yet) (Her post is here. And she scares me a little.)

I'll DM you all on twitter to let you know you've been suckered tagged. Then you should leave your blog link in my comments so we can all read your list! Tag 6 more people, letting them know they've been tagged. And of course, in your post, please link back to my blog. Once you've accepted the challenge and linked your entry here, I'll update your name with a link to your entry so we can all read them. Fun huh?