Friday, September 30, 2011

Possibly the Best Present Ever!

Today I received the news that this year Dave is giving me what is possibly the best birthday present EVER! Now usually he tries to sneak around and surprise me but this time I was in on the planning from the minute it was even a possibility. So what is so great? Airplane tickets out of here, and not just any tickets, but tickets to go hang out with some really great women!

Want a hint? I'm heading to Kenya. That's right! I'm going to get a chance to hang out with Alexandra and Naoma! WooHoo! They are beyond awesome for inviting me, and of course Dave is just the best husband for making this possible.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Can't Sit Still

Now that Alonzo is back in school I am back to trying to write everyday. Writing has long been a dream of mine. I read more than anyone I know with the possible exception of my mom, so writing seems a natural extension of that love. I haven't always loved writing. I can remember as a young child making up stories, writing them down, and being so proud. Then around junior high some teacher with an over fondness of red ink convinced me I was a terrible writer. It was only when I was teaching and took some inservices about how to teach writing, that I rediscovered that I actually LIKE writing, quite a lot as a matter of fact. Whether I am any good at it remains to be seen, but I am going to give it a try.

We have taken Dakota's old room and transformed it into an office. It has my favorite rug, a simple writing desk with no drawers for me to clutter up and a comfy, if incredibly ugly, Drexel Horrible arm chair to curl up in when I need to be someplace other than the desk. It even has bookshelves for lots of books and my leather storage ottoman containing a couple of soft blankets for when I curl up in the chair. It is a really nice place to work.

There is only one problem. Well two really, but we will deal with them one at a time. The first problem is I seem to have to suddenly developed ADHD. Is there such a thing as adult onset ADHD? I wonder because I seem categorically unable to sit and focus on one thing for more than a few minutes. I am constantly jumping up to go investigate some noise, to take care of some bit of housework, or get a snack, or get a drink, or get a sweater, or go to the toilet, short I am acting a lot my 5th grader when it is time to do homework. I didn't do this in college, or when I was teaching, so now that I have a chance to follow my dreams why am I sabotaging myself?

Is this sudden onset of inattention due to the brain-draining effects of having four children? It is a common lament among parents, especially those with more than one child, that the childrearing destroys brain cells rendering formerly well educated, erudite women capable of speaking only in Dr. Seuss rhymes and unable to remember anything of importance for more than 30 seconds.

Or am I instead suffering from the multitasking effects of the digital age? I am as guilty as anyone else of having my laptop in my lap most nights as I sit in front of the TV, half watching some show while I surf the net, answer e-mails, and checking in on Facebook. Perhaps I am merely so in the habit of doing twenty things at once, even during my leisure time, that I no longer remember how to sit and focus on one thing. Whatever the issue is I need to get over it, and quickly.

The other problem isn't really a problem, in fact I think it may eventually become part of the solution. You see I went and signed up for a online writing course. Not a college course, it's more of a workshop really - only one month long, taught by a published author, sponsored by one of the regional chapters of Romance Writers of America (RWA). The trouble is last night I received my first official writing assignment and every time I look at it I break out in a cold sweat. The feeling is strangely reminiscent of the speech class I took in college. The thought of actually letting someone else read my writing makes me want to hurl.

And yes, I totally get that I have been writing all sorts of nonsense here on Cyberbones for a number of years now and lots of people have read it. I know they have because they have commented. I even have 61 people who are fond enough of my writing to declare themselves public followers. All of that is irrelevant. I can write here because I'm not asking you tell me if my writing is any good. I'm not asking for you to grade my work, or check my grammar, even though I know at least one person who reads and occasionally comments is a copy editor. Please don't tell me if I am abusing the humble comma. No wait do tell me, I need to know. No, no I don't! Let me live in ignorance. If I ever manage to write something that I think is good enough to pursue publication then I will worry about things like punctuation. Until then I just need to find the confidence to sit down and write every day. Hopefully this class will give me push in the right direction, assuming of course that I manage to sit still long enough to get some thing written and submitted to the instructor.

In the course of writing this one blog post I have folded two loads of laundry, watched a movie (Letters to Juliet - I LOVE Chick Flicks!), answered the phone three times, made a sandwich, braided my hair, and swept the floor. I think I have a problem.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Don't Leave the Door Open!

"Were you raised in a barn?" I can remember Mom asking that whenever I would leave the door open. Ironically we did have a barn, and I spent a great deal of time out in the barn. I probably could have answered rather honestly "Yes" but it wasn't really worth pissing off my mom just for the pleasure of being a smart aleck.

Mom was worried about the flies coming inside. It took my cow wandering into the living room and leaving a cow patty on the rug before I learned to make sure the the door was securely closed. It isn't easy to get cow flop out of the rug. In fact we got rid of the carpet very soon after the cow incident, the smell lingered inspire of my best efforts to clean the mess.

When I fuss at my kids to close the door I'm not worried about flies or even passing livestock. I am more worried about malaria carrying mosquitos, deadly snakes (think mambas and cobras) , and horrifyingly large spiders. Yet in sprite of those very real threats the door is left propped wide open, more often than not, so that any passing critter can just come right in and make itself at home.

Today the dreaded home invasion finally occurred. The boys were off to school, Dave was off to work, and I thought I was alone in the house. As I walked down the hall past the bedrooms I was startled by a sudden noise and a flash of movement. After the intial moment of panic I realized that what I was seeing couldn't possibly be a mamba. I decided to investigate instead of running screaming out the door. What I found was a bird caught inside of Grayson's bedroom. The poor thing was frantically beating at the glass trying to find a way out into the garden.

At first I had no idea what was in Grayson's room.

When it stopped throwing it's self against the window I was able to tell a Heuglin's Robin had made it's way into the house and couldn't figure out how to get back out.

I was able to catch it without hurting it, although I could feel it's heart beating very very fast. The poor thing was terrified.

Once I had it out in the garden it stared at me intently as if to say, "Turn me loose already!"

When I opened my hand it flew away with even looking back. Hopefully it has learned that human houses are no place for birds.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day

We in the Cyberbones clan celebrated Labor Day by reinstating evening chores for all three cyberkids. Chores = Labor and it is Labor Day after all. I think it was a perfectly appropriate way to celebrate. The kids are less than pleased with this arrangement. Chores had slowly slipped by the wayside when we had a maid, but now that Mom is the primary maid and housekeeper again the kids are back on KP duty in the kitchen every night. They say I am mean and cruel. I think they will survive and hopefully learn a little something from it.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Oh Happy Day!

Yesterday was a great day. No, I didn't win the lottery or find a diamond in the backyard. Our second consumables shipment arrived. YAY! Pace picante, mac and cheese, shampoo, toilet paper, canned tunafish, corn chips. All the things that make life good, OK so not ALL the things, but a lot of them for sure. This is what our kitchen looked like at 2 o'clock.

A smallish mountain if boxes. I convinced Dave to take the boys and go to softball without me. By the time they retuned the boxes were gone and our formerly almost empty pantry was restocked and ready to go for the next year. It looks good.

We ordered our consumables from ELSO rather than spend our limited time in the states this summer shopping and dealing with shipping. For the most part it worked great. We didn't order many things that outdate or go stale easily, like chips or cereal. We had heard from others that they often arrived near to expiration date. I am happy to say that nothing was anywhere near to expiration date.

The only problem we had was a few things that were out of stock and so were CANCELLED from our order. Things like hairspray and children's tear free no tangle shampoo. Things that are hard/impossible to find here and if you do you will pay 10+ dollars for a itty bitty bottle. Sigh! Things that can't be shipped from Amazon because we are a pouch post and they are liquid or in the case of hairspray, flammable. HUGE SIGH! Dave is going back though his in-box to see if he missed an message asking if we wanted to make a substitution, because the first thing we heard of it was when we got an e-mail that said "Your order has been shipped here is a copy of your invoice." For the next year I will have to deal with messy hair and children crying because of "burning-eye" shampoo and tangled hair. Just dandy! At least I can drown my sorrows in bottle of picante sauce.