Eight Years of ME, Talking About Stuff

pi-be rationalAnd another blogiversary rolls around. Last year’s little black cloud has become a tsunami of Charlton Heston/Ten Commandment’s proportions that I only manage to stay ahead of on a daily basis.

Philippians 4:13, always my favorite scripture, has become a mantra of sorts.

I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

Eight years is longer than one of my career stops. Most cars/marriages/fruit cakes don’t last that long. If you’re new to this dark little asteroid, you can check out the one post that started it all, plus all seven of the previous anniversary posts – The First, Year One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, and Seven.

Many, many friends have been made along the way. Many prayers said. So much support offered. Special thanks go out to Fausta for her continued friendship, and as always to The Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia, my blog-mother. It’s all her fault.

As I adjust to this new normal, I’ll be lurking about more often. Really. I will.

Watz Up?

After suffering under a barrage of badgering, I’m back. Like I said in an earlier post, I’m busy. Or at least working hard at looking like I’m busy.

The current state of affairs at Le Praxium:
1. After a mission trip to Wyoming, the eldest has packed up and returned to fer parts North. Her second year of Grad School starts in two weeks.
2. The least’un returns to his school next weekend. There’s also a political event in his college town, so I hope to dump and run, then eat some BBQ, listen to speeches, talk to some grown-ups, and eat more BBQ.
3. For the hundredth time, we can’t put the house up for sale until it’s cleaned out. During the last month or so, there has been valiant progress, but we’re still not there yet. Remember, 20 years in one place is a long time!

During the last two months, I’ve driven to Albany, NY, when they were having their heat spell, then flew home. It was cooler in Atlanta.

Hubs and I/me and Hubs (help! Joy! Which is correct now?) attended the RedState Gathering in New Orleans. It was a great time away to rest and recharge the political batteries. And eat beignets.

The gastric unhappiness has abated somewhat, due to my general avoidance of wheat. Except when it is made into beignets. After all, exceptions can and must be made.

Politics is still politics and the country is still heading down the toilet. But more on that later.

Howz Thangs?

Well, obviously, getting back to regular daily posting may not be happening anytime soon. Maybe soonish, but not soon, like, you know, soon.

Summer is always a time of flux since the college younglings flock home with their square tonnage of laundry and demands for every dinner out and car repairs and weird hours and on and on and on. Plus they are just so BIG. They bellow across the house, they bound up and down the stairs, they slam doors, they leave lights and TVs on constantly, they leave their shoes in the middle of floor to trip over at night. The bearded one clogs the drains. The eldest leaves yarn everywhere. Ah, the children are home. I love ‘em.

It has rained so much this spring/early summer that I feel like the Little Old Woman Who Lives in a Mushroom. The humidity just sucks the air right out of you. Your hair frizzes to 1980′s proportions and you feel a (short-lived) nostalgia for stacked heels and that Peter Max dress you wore in middle school.

Marriage takes time. Parenting takes time. Work takes time. Getting to work takes TOO MUCH time. Blogging takes time. (Don’t forget I lurk about at PeachPundit, as well.) Then there’s friends and church. And lest we forget, my imposing houseguest and constant companion, the gastric unhappiness I acquired in Indianapolis, makes its own demands for togetherness.

But more about church. Since Hub’s new gig has settled into something permanent, we need to get on with the business of moving. Yes, moving. From a house we’ve lived in over 20 years. The church is an hour away, but close to the Holy Land, so the idea of moving isn’t so bad. It’s the actual execution of it that gives me the vapors.

Here’s me on any particular day where I have some available time (which is hardly ever):
1. Stand in front of closet/cabinet/garage/any area spewing forth its bounty.
2. Freak.
3. Delegate to anyone within earshot. (Hmm… I wonder if that’s why the kids have suddenly vamoosed to Grandmother’s…)
4. Stomach BFF rumbles about, resulting in more quality time inspecting the bathroom cabinet and it’s bountiful stash of who-knows-what.
5. Spin. Rinse. Repeat.

And we’ve already had one yard sale.

Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.

Look – A Shiny New Thingy in the Sidebar

One of the drawbacks of reduced blogging time due to gastric unhappiness (it’s a conspiracy, I tell you!) is the lack of interaction with other bloggers. Even my Twitter was broken and required too much attention to get it cranked back up.

So imagine my surprise when cruising about today, reacquainting myself with many of the friends I haven’t met yet, to see that I’d won an award. Aw shucks!

Many thanks to Zilla of the Resistance for noticing me and fighting beside me to take our country back!

Winter is coming won’t go away

Alas and alack, the gastric unhappiness that began last month (March actually) continues to slow me down. Add to that the fact that this May has started out as the coldest since my childhood, and it’s been raining for four days – you’ve got my mood.

It’s just the weather folks. Some years are colder than others. Some years are hotter than others. Some wetter. Some dryer. It’s just weather. However, for my personal amusement (I really need something to cheer me up) I’ll link to this old 1975 article from Newsweek archived by Sweetness & Light that predicted an impending Little Ice Age. The horror! We’re doomed! We’ll starve! We’ll freeze! Watch the liberal Gorite’s little heads explode!

Another factor, though not one that drags me down, is that I’ve been playing the part of Florence NightingMom. Friday NotSoWeeHighlander had his wisdom teeth removed. I wasn’t worried about the surgery, he’s a tough kid. And so far, so good. Very little swelling. Moderate, but manageable pain levels. Milk shakes and soups. Maybe I can get a grilled cheese down him later today. Since he’s recuperating, I have to stay close. We’ve been watching the first season of Game of Thrones.

Even though it seems our winter won’t go away, I’m very thankful our winter doesn’t last ten years.

Well, That Worked Out Well

The promise at the bottom. Ahem. I have a note from my mother. Or my doctor. Or Charlie. Yeah, Charlie. I’ll blame it all on Charlie.

Barring more unforeseen gastric complications, I should be at the Peach Pundit Roadshow.

On that happy bloggiversary day, I had every intent of resuming the regular venting of galatic snark. But first, I had to go to a conference for work in the frozen hinterlands to the North. Wait, the conference was in the frozen hinterlands, my work wasn’t. It’s in Atlanta. Where, at least on the day I left, it was warmer than the aforementioned frozen hinterlands. Anyway…after a rather bumpy landing, arrived at the hotel. Got checked in, registered, hit the Starbucks (thank you JW Marriott, for having a Starbucks in the upstairs lobby adjoining the hamster trail to the convention center. It keep me alive for 3 days.)

The first night was an Irish celebration, since the conference started on St. Patrick’s Day. The food was ok, mostly convention food pretending to be Irish food, but it was free and at least some of it was hot. There were Irish dancers and two stages worth of Irish music. Visited with co-workers and friends that had moved on to other colleges. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Then the fun began. Around 2:30, the vomiting started and continued until I thought the only thing left of my body was my toenails. After a few minutes of fitful sleep, I dragged myself up, attempted to shower, and walked very slowly towards the convention center, which was supposedly serving breakfast. The thought of a chafing dish convention food breakfast just made me heave. I shuffled along, and there, like the sun rising over the ridge, was my old friend Starbucks. After an iced green tea and a toasted plain english muffin, I mustered the courage to shuffle further down the hamster trail to the convention center. The rest of the day consisted of one very expensive Coke and a packaged “gluten-free” lunch that would have made my elementary lunch lady proud. I got maybe two of the noodles from the mystery pasta dish down and a couple of slivers of fruit. Saved the rock-hard sugar cookies for later. During the next break, I snagged a banana from the snack table. The rest was, shall we say, unappealing.

Then horrors of horrors, someone suggested our group go out to dinner. I had hoped to slither back to the room and pray for God to just take me home. But no…. The powers that be settled on the Weber Grill Restaurant. After a invigorating dash through around 20 degrees of wind chill, we arrived. Don’t get me wrong. Under normal circumstances, this is the type of restaurant I really dig. Leave those fruffy-indy-fusion-got-my-own-tv-show restaurants to the foodies, give me a good steakhouse and I’m a happy girl. Except for that night. Every smell tortured my stomach, just daring it to heave the day’s meager fare into my boss’ lap. I ordered grilled chicken with sauteed spinach and garlic mashed potatoes. Working with a normal appetite, my meal would have been delicious. As things stood, I muscled through and managed to eat about half the chicken, two bites of the spinach and about half the potatoes. After another invigorating walk in the frigid air (ice crystals were hitting my face!), the second night of fun began.

No projectile ejections that night, but the gas pains were unbearable. I felt like John Hurt in the cantina on the Nostromo, waiting for his little alien to explode from his gut. After another long and uncomfortable night, I soldiered up the morning and staggered to my old friend. Iced green tea and a toasted bagel this time, since some horrible, selfish and unthinking person had bought the last of the english muffins. Lunch was better, grilled chicken caesar salad and palatable cookie. Okay. Maybe I will survive this after all. More sessions, more stomach grumblings. There was a party the final night, with Indy cars and several bands. The only food I could stomach was the nachos. After about an hour, I excused myself for an early night. Then the fun began again.

Only this time, it was the other end. Dear Lord in Heaven. I really thought it was my last night on Earth.

The next day, when I checked out of the hotel and bought a package of the world’s most expensive Imodium, the desk clerk took pity on me and gave me a Gatorade. I must have looked pretty rough. Starbucks, my old friend. Iced green tea and an attempt at a breakfast sandwich. (Aside: Saw the UGA Women’s Swim & Diving Team in the lobby. Later that week, they won the NCAA Championship. Go Dawgs!) Later, at the airport, the cafe cheeseburger with sauteed green beans wasn’t bad, and seemed to settle in with little trouble. But as I waited on the plane, the old gas pains returned. No explosive excitement, thank heavens, but the pain was intense. While on the plane, when folks would look around (ick! who did it?), I would look askance at the poor fella sitting next to me. He had no idea what was going on.

Plane landed, shuttle to the park and ride, the drive home – don’t remember a bit of it. I fell into my bed, rejoicing that I had survived.

That was last Wednesday. I still don’t feel like eating. It was two days before I could face the laundry, which though rinsed out, were tightly wrapped and still in the suitcase.

And that, my friends, is the story of My Most Excellent Unadventure in Indianapolis.

Seven Year Itch

pi_dayTap, tap. Is this thing still on?

Today is this little blog’s birthday. It’s been a tad neglected of late, thanks to other gigs, general malaise and that little black cloud that follows me around every where I go. Why I’m sorry, Mr. Detective Man, to call again, but have you found our stolen truck? Are you even looking? Why thank you, Mr. Dentist Man, I’d love to … Why thank you, Mr. Plumber Man, I’d just love to … Why thank, Mr. Obama Man, go ahead and take that extra $150 out of my check. It didn’t go far enough anyway, so how can I miss even more?

Ahem. Sorry. Like I said little black cloud.

But this little blog has been the bright spot in some people’s days and I have been remiss these last few weeks in not posting my snark to the masses, mostly because things suck right now, but I think I’ve covered that already.

Seven years. Most cars/marriages/fruit cakes don’t last that long. If you’re new to this dark part of the forest, you can check out the one post that started it all, plus all six of the previous anniversary posts – The First, Year One, Two, Three, Four, Five, and Six.

Many, many things have happened this past year, most of them bad, and not all of them to me. Sometimes I wonder if this constant queasy feeling in my gut is how my parents felt during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

pie face targetThe black cloud hasn’t enveloped everything yet – I’m grateful we’re still in our home, I still have my job, my children are happily (if not frugally) ensconced in their respective schools, my husband hasn’t left me. Those are good things. As a believer, I know that God uses all things to His good. I just can’t help but ask Him, “How much deeper does this hole go?”

America has gone to hell in a handbasket since last year’s post. Instead of sending letters to our representatives, that aren’t read by them themselves, but by interns, if they are read at all, I’d like to suggest we all send them a little game. A little interactive game. You know, just to let them know we’re thinking of them. And since they like to play games so much, they should really enjoy this one. So would we.

What do you think?

Oh, and check back often. I plan to do better, I promise.

Birthday Bust and Weather Pr0n

Yesterday was my birthday. Pretty low key for the most part, until I got the happy voicemail that a second card of mine had been compromised.

Back track two weeks. Before GradSchoolGirl returned to school, I took a day off and we happily tripped off on what we like to call a ‘Yarn Safari.’ Our destination was Macon and Creative Yarns, one of the bestest yarn shops in GA. While we were traipsing around Bibb County, American Express called, wanting to know if I’d ordered almost $700 of cell phones from a Verizon website. I said, ‘Noooooo…..Whhhhaaaaa…..” And thus that merry adventure began and harshed my yarn buzz considerably.

Zoom back to yesterday. The call yesterday was more disturbing in that is was my debit card. While I was at work, someone was using my number to fill up their car at a truck stop in Florida. So I spent the better part of the day on the phone with the VISA people and the bank people and then a lovely visit from our local deputy so I could file a police report.

I highly suspect the source of the theft is our local fried chicken joint. That’s pretty much the only spot I’ve used both cards. I won’t stop eating there, I’ll just be paying with cash from now on.

Which brings me to today. After the pall that was cast on my meager birthday celebrations (#thanksAlotObama), today I get to be pummeled with severe weather.

013013 weather

Sheesh. I need a break already.

When Creativity Cannot Be Stopped

Cooperative Press has a book that has intrigued me for a while…

What Would Madame Defarge Knit? is a collection of patterns by independent designers inspired by classic literature. There’s even a website with extra goodies. And it’s not Austenista demureness either – Check out those “Cthulhu Waits” socks!

Unfortunately, in the current economic climate of gloom and despair, I cannot afford the book, but I can still dream can’t I?

Remember, knitting isn’t a hobby. It’s a post-apocalyptic survival skill.

Not Even a Bridesmaid

Forget the bride. I can’t even get the flower girl gig.

Yet again, I am left off this list.

Lance wasn’t on it, again, either. And he’s even written for John and wasn’t mentioned in the mea culpa PS #3.

I blame ACORN.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Coming up for air…HornGirlGradStudent’s move to NY went off without a hitch. Now she’s home again for final goodbyes and end-of-work related stuff. All I got was a lousy T-shirt.

Truly amazing things happen when you go out of town and unhook the news feed.

VP Joe Biden plays the race card. The WH is in disaster recovery mode. And his Secret Service posse seems to be really sick of him.

The Farce known as the Clayton County Sheriff campaign continues unabated. Surely a better candidate can be found in that sad little county.

The tree-huggers are unhappy. Because they are wrong. Again.

What’s up with the ASO? Were local high choruses disinvited to the annual Holiday Concert due to their lack of pigmentation? Or do you believe the PC spin from the ASO? Considering that the leadership of ASO, including that on the podium, is some of the most liberally indoctrinated in the country, I side with the schools. Diversity trumps performance excellence.

The Cheesehead Prognosticator is at it again.

Olympic Women’s Fencing. Yawn. Hey, this makes it better.

Hair on Fire, Part 42

Yeah, I know. I have neglected the blog. I’m been busy. Too busy. Very busy. Very, very busy. Very, very, VERY busy. I haven’t been this overwhelmed since I planned my wedding. In three months. Yeah, I know, I’m insane.

Getting two (count em, TWO) kids off to college at once, a thousand miles apart, is a full-time job. One is returning to Rome for his junior year and my sweet Hornist-With-No-Gig is heading to New York to start graduate school. What most folks have had six months or so to organize, we’ve managed to pull it off in about six weeks.

Yeah, my hair is on fire.

I’ve been lurking about the internetz, though, snatching time where I could. Today I saw this and couldn’t resist:

I realized, for the first time I can recall, that the President doesn’t like me, or people who share my values. Not that he has simple differences, or thinks I’m misguided. He doesn’t like me, and if you’re reading this post on Ricochet he probably doesn’t like you, either. And it isn’t mild dislike: it’s utter contempt.

When has a president — any president — so thoroughly shown that he despises at least half the population of the country? Not Bush, not Reagan, not even Clinton.

It’s not just about policy or party. It’s personal.

Last week, at a fast food chicken restaurant with family values that will remain nameless until I get around to ranting about THAT issue, I overheard a table full of seniors (65+) whispering about the current state of American affairs. One even admitted, “I voted for the moron. But not this time.”

Then yesterday, when I voted early in the Georgia Primary, I had to wait in line. Unusual, yes, but there is a rather unpopular tax transportation referendum that has increased turnout. But there’s a something in the air.

Yes, indeedy. Something’s in the air and it’s not smoke from what’s left of my hair.

Independence Day, Some Get It, Some Don’t

Have a Happy and Festive Fourth of July while you celebrate our nation’s birth.

Most of my friends and relations get it. Too bad FLOTUS doesn’t.

As for me and mine, we’re heading up to Obi’s for a day filled with food and pyrotechnic foolishness. Then off for a couple of days in Florida.

Why So Quiet?

Well, for starters, I continue to struggle with our current state of affairs. There are all sorts of sayings and platitudes that people toss my way, but nothing seems to soothe my state of mind. My prayers feel empty and weak. And with hubby literally half a world away, my mood has turned very dark the last week or so.

Everyone knows the story of the Good Samaritan. But how many can relate to the fellow in the ditch? Wounded and bleeding, left for dead by the robbers who harmed him, watching all the supposed godly folks just walking right by. As if he was a streetlamp or a discarded candy wrapper (did they have candy wrappers back then?). Imagine the inner emotional damage he suffered, while his wounds throbbed and festered and those supposed pillars of faith disdained his plight.

Well, there you go. I’m the one in the ditch.

Please continue to pray for me and my family, if you feel so inclined.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

Well, I’m back from Nashville and other parts southern. Things I learned on my latest excellent adventure:

The drive up I-24, between Chattanooga and Nashville this time of year is downright stunning.

At the Gaylord Opryland Resort, one should avoid the room service menu at all costs. The food was so bad, I’m pretty sure if my little dog was along for the trip, he wouldn’t have eaten it either.

Again, in referring to the Gaylord Opryland Resort, I an convinced the place is run by Yankees. The evidence? A good glass of sweet tea was not to be had at any price.

Lunch, or any meal really, at Ellendale’s is worth the drive, even if from Atlanta. And yes, they had marvelous, glorious sweet tea, over which we gushed and guzzled and groveled for take-out cups.

At least while I was away, I managed to miss Atlanta’s PollenApocalypse. The count was high in Nashville on Tuesday as well, but I was indoors, trapped in boring presentations in freezing conference rooms all enveloped by No-Sweet-Tea-Land (see item above).

While still in fer parts north of here, I was contacted about winning first prize for a pair of knitted socks. For those who scoff at my new obsession – well, nannynannybooboo on you. This is what I won. The grand poo-bah of needle sets.

After Nashville, came Macon. While The Hubster was rehearsing for the trip of a lifetime, I visited the best yarn shop in middle Georgia, Creative Yarns. Extra plus – I got to ogle the needles that UPS will soon deposit at my door.

Friday and Saturday brought haircuts, groceries, dogs stuff, shopping and other such mundane things, signalling that life was returning to normal. Or at least as normal as it gets around these parts.

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