Monday, June 29, 2009

Dumpster Day

Today was Dumpster Day, that eagerly anticipated day in summer when the county puts dumpsters up and down the streets of our neighborhood. Without regaling you with a list of junk we shoved in there, just know our house is about 20 tons lighter. I got my workout in (skipped it this morning) and got a lot of Vitamin D from the sunshine.

Last night we finally got Joseph's bed into his room and Husband dismantled Little Gary's crib. Gary inherited Joseph's toddler bed. Of course, Gary took a long, late nap while I was at a baptism last night, so by the time bedtime rolled around, not only was he not tired but he figured out very quickly that he could get up and come out of his room. Finally, tired of sitting futilely by his bed and holding his hand in an effort to get him to sleep, I brought him into my room. Husband promptly took his pillow to the couch in the living room so he could get some sleep, and I tried to keep my eyes open during a viewing of "Ice Age." It wasn't until 1 AM that Gary decided he was ready to go to bed. Of course, he woke up on the floor this morning. It takes a while to get used to a bed that doesn't have bars.

That's why I skipped my workout. Too tired. Moving like mud. No motivation.

Now we're off to listen to Sian's orchestra perform in the park. We'll have a picnic dinner and the kids can play for a couple hours in the cool of the evening.

Friday, June 26, 2009

What's For Dinner? And What Am I Listening To?

On Sunday, because of my lack of planning, I had to cobble dinner together out of whatever I could find in refrigerator and cupboard. I ended up concocting a dish of fried sausages, apples, and onions with a marsala chutney glaze, and cheesy grits -- I mean polenta -- on the side. It was a little too exotic for half the family; mostly the half that hasn't reached adulthood. Otherwise, it was a big hit.

Yesterday I bought some pizza shells from Papa Murphy's and made pizzas. I hate making the dough, so it's worth it to me to spend $2 a crust to save myself the time.

Now I have yet another meal to plan. I have quite a few cans of butter beans in the cupboard. What can I make that is delicious and filling? I am so sick of coming up with meal plans these days.

Any ideas?

In other "ME!" news, I loved listening to my music when I was a teenager. I had lots of tapes, mostly given to me by people who thought I would like something they liked, which I generally did. Somehow, I need a recommendation to buy an album -- or what are the kids calling it these days? Is it still an album or CD if you buy it on iTunes?

Then, after my mission, where I was severely restricted in what types of music I could listen to, all my tapes sat and gathered dust. I just wasn't all that interested anymore. I didn't even have the desire to turn off all the lights on a Sunday night and have a sensory deprivation moment (except for hearing, of course) with NPR's Pipe Dreams and Music From the Hearts of Space, which was a forum for playing with synthesizers, since they were so new at the time. Gosh, I'm old.

Of course, I was married pretty quickly after I got home from my mission, and then I was puking my guts out with Sian (thank goodness she turned out so well!) so sitting in the dark watching random images from my brain on the back of my eyelids was often interupted by the need to slap my hand over my mouth and run for the bathroom.

There followed a long, long hiatus on the music-listening scene, punctuated only by my love for playing the piano and my wonderful, wonderful cello. I would occasionally find something I liked and listen to it a bit, but only half-heartedly. I would barely notice when Husband stole all the best CDs and took them to work.

Now I think I'm becoming obsessed again. I have found enough new stuff that I like to listen to it over and over. I'm walking around with earphones in my ears and have to pull them out to allow the children to say something to me. There are those of you far more versed in the music scene than I am (I'm thinking of MKShelley and David S., for instance, and Allyson always has a song stuck in her head) but I'm finding some good stuff with the help of, iTunes, and, of course, friend recommendations.

As long as you're giving me dinner ideas, why not throw in some music recommendations? It doesn't matter if you don't know what I like. I only really dislike heavy metal and hard-core rap. Everything else, including opera, is fair game. C'mon. Tell me what you love.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

An Unnatural Pairing

From this...

To this!
A friend emailed this to me. I'm going to try it. A little cheese sauce and lunch is made!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dream Interpretations "R" Us

It's been a while. Mea culpa, shame on me and all that. The thing is, I often compose really great blog posts in my head while doing other things -- mostly things that require I distract myself just so I don't scream, like dishes or cleaning the toilet or pondering the state of the back yard. In my head I'm hilarious and articulate. When faced with a blank white box to fill with little black letters, not so much.

But there's nothing like getting something done like getting it done. (Yes, you can use that quote freely. You're welcome.)

I recently had lunch with a former mission companion. She and I had a great visit while munching on delicious Mimi's Cafe fare for a couple hours. I mentioned that I will go back and finish my education and she asked me what I would study. In that moment I experienced a moment of utter clarity. When I said I would study architecture, specifically so I can design houses that utilize resources within a particular environment (not that I'm an activist for green building in the sense that I HEART Al Gore, 'cause I don't, but what is wrong with using resources wisely?) the very air gelled around me and I felt that gut reaction of YES! Does that ever happen to you? I also get that feeling when I've reached a correct interpretation of my dreams. The spirit within knows.

When Husband and I had a chat about interpreting dreams last night, he had himself a good laugh about that gut reaction that I tried to describe. When he laughs I always have to laugh, of course (it's infectious), but I think he finally understood what I was trying to say. When I didn't have six kids, a husband, and a household to run, I had time to write down and ponder my dreams. I got very good at figuring out what my brain was rehashing throughout the night and learned to recognize that inner sense of...rightness...that accompanies a correct interpretation. That's why those dream dictionaries you buy at a bookstore are a load of hooey. No one else can interpret your dreams for you. It's not just the visual part of the dream that's important, it's the thought process and the feelings accompanying the visual symbols. And while the interpretation might be nothing more complicated than, "I was thinking about this movie I watched and this is how I felt about it," there's usually more going on.

Not that I am trying to get all esoteric on everyone here, but I just have one more thing to say on the subject, and then I'm done with it.

The fact that Joseph of Egypt could interpret the dreams of Pharaoh, or Daniel could interpret King Nebechadnezzar's (which is the best I can spell it without actually looking it up) dreams could only be a product of divine intervention. Why did Pharaoh and King Neb get disgusted with the interpretations offered by their advisers and soothsayers? Because they could tell, inside, that those interpretations were incorrect. They didn't get that gut feeling because the advisers didn't know all the thoughts and feelings that went along with the visuals. Only God could have known, and only through that revelation from God could Joseph and Daniel offer the correct interpretation, the one that hit Pharaoh's and King Neb's guts with a satisfying clunk.

Anyway, since I've already gone on long enough, here's a short list of recent events:

* Our big orange cat, Babe, got himself hit by a car and had all the fur ripped out of his tail. No broken bones, no internal damage, thank goodness; but his tail looks like a rat's. A rat who doesn't respect himself very much. Poor cat.

* Husband finished the entire first draft of his book, about 150,000 words! I couldn't be more proud. Now he's going back and revising, but after the first day of revising he came home absolutely disgusted. "It's like re-writing the whole thing!" he said. "The first chapters are awful! The flow is bad and I had such awkward sentence structure." Hey, I thought his first chapters were pretty good, but I did tell him as he went on that his writing was getting smoother and better. Practice makes perfect.

* Despite the inclement weather for the past month, the girls have gone to the neighborhood pool, which is outdoors, nearly every day . Sure, they come home in the stages of pre-hypothermia, but they have determined blue lips. Finally, yesterday, we had a sunny day and the pool heater was fixed. Hallelujah. The girls also came home very burnt, as they forgot to apply sunblock. Ouch. But now I can take the boys, since they won't freeze to death.