Friday, September 30, 2011

30 Days of Joy...............Day 15

Joys r'us!

1.  Our plum tree was laden with hundreds of plums this year. We picked as many as we could on the lower branches, but there were so many that were out of our reach, even with the help of an 8 foot ladder.

Luckily for us, a friend let us borrow a fruit picker, so today Computer Geek and I went out with the picker, the ladder and some tarps to catch the strays that fell to the ground. Soon, the plums from our tree are going to transform into something good. Something really good. I don't know what yet. Maybe some fruit leather if I can keep Weston from eating it all in one sitting again.

What will it be? Fruit leather? Plum jam? Little Jack Horner's pie?

2. Harvest time is here, and because I find freezing much easier to understand than canning, my freezer is full of plum puree, tomatoes, corn, green (and purple!) beans, salsa, carrots, bananas, soup stock and pumpkin.

Since the pumpkin is from last year's garden, I thawed one bag of it to make room for something new in the freezer. Here's what I did with that thawed pumpkin tonight:
Pumpkin almond bread. I love making food from free stuff in my yard!

3. Blog friend, Robert Brault, master behind the quote at the top of my page, has a new 2012 calendar available for purchase. If you would love to have a Robert Brault calendar of your very own, please order right here.  I am overjoyed that Robert's work is being appreciated by so many. He is a master humorist and philosopher. You can see more of his work right here. I ordered mine today.

4. Sleepovers!  Weston has a friend spending the night tonight. I love when his friends feel comfortable in our home.  His friends are funny, polite, responsible, and always hungry. I'm sure the pumpkin bread will not last long.

Sweet dreams, young men. Turn off the computer, and if you wake me up even once, you're toast. Toast with some sort of plum sauce on it.

What brought you joy today?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

30 Days of Joy...............Day 14

Miracles. Can't explain 'em. Just feel the joy and move on.

1. Weston and I made a grocery store trip today.  Ramen noodles were on sale for $2.40 a case. We love the Oriental flavor in the blue package, so we picked up a case. Before I left the store, I thought of a certain family whose children love Ramen, so I picked up a second case to take to them.

After we finished shopping, Weston and I dropped by their house to give them the Ramen. As I got the case out of the trunk, I told Weston to wait a moment. I thought that maybe the family needed some toilet paper too, so I broke open our case of 36 to give them 12 rolls. Bizarre thought, I know. Ramen and toilet paper. Would they think we were nuts?

 We knocked on their door, gave them the items, the mother thanked us, and we left. A little bit later, the mother called me on the phone. "Did I tell you I needed toilet paper?"   She hadn't. "Are you sure I never told you I needed toilet paper?"  Nope. She then told me how she had been praying for toilet paper for the last two days. She had gone shopping on Tuesday, but had failed to budget for t.p. She had no money left and knew she would be out of toilet paper by Friday. Having no other recourse, she resorted to prayer.

2. Later ...I had a meeting I had to attend tonight. I felt that I should stop by the above family's house to see if they needed a ride too. I wondered if they would think I was dumb to drop by and ask if anyone needed a lift.  Nevertheless, I pulled up in front of their house and knocked on the door.

"I just stopped by to see if you needed a ride to the meeting." The mother responded that her husband was just ready to go out the door to walk to the meeting. He would love to have a ride so he wouldn't be late.

Moral of the story: Never ignore a prompting to do something nice for someone, no matter how odd you think it is. You just might be the answer to someone's prayer.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

30 days of Joy...............Day 13

They make me upturn my face and do the dance of joy in the sun.

I had a need recently, that was going unfulfilled because of lack of needed fundage.

Friend #1 notices the need and sends out an email to a slew of other friends, asking for donations. Friends #2 and #3 stop by my house today to kidnap me and take me shopping with the collected cash. They drive me 70 miles north and for several hours help me pick out the needed item, plus some bonus items, thanks to the slew of friends who supported this little adventure.

I feel loved.

30 Days of Joy...............Day 12

I'll tell you what is not joy--staying up too late finishing a lesson for class tomorrow, then checking in on Facebook to discover that an old friend of mine is friends with my cousin who I had misplaced over the years, then staying up even later looking at all of my cousin's cancer survival photos. I hadn't even known that she had cancer, so seeing photos of her minus her beautiful locks was a shock. Here's what sucked all the joy right out of my lungs at 12:45 A.M.-- I looked at a beautiful photo of her that she titled: "I needed an obituary photo in case I died."

Yeah, so I was feeling pretty lackluster and thought it was time to head to bed, but remembered that I hadn't done my joy post for the day. Since I haven't gone to bed yet, my day is not technically over, so I am taking license to still do my joy post for today. Even though it's now tomorrow.

Looking back over the events of today, once again I am reminded of how seemingly trivial life events are capable of bringing us the most joy, if we remember to look. I needed that reminder after becoming aware of my cousin's cancer scare.

Joy #1
My new teenager decided--on his own--to clean his room. He opted to make space by giving away one of his prized possessions--his aircraft carrier. The lucky recipient was his nephew, Avatar.

Joy #2
Em came over today to borrow some vinegar, and little Chunk came along for the ride. He walked over to my fridge and got out the jam and bread. Then he said, "I get the peanut butter," and opened my cupboard door and handed me the jar. I obeyed, and made a PBJ for him. When it was time for Em to leave, he blew her a kiss, indicating that he was staying with Grandma. Ah, the independence of a two-year old. He and Weston played ball.

Joy #3
When I decided that it was time for Chunk to go back to Mommy, I took him home. The trees at Em's house were exhibiting a hint of autumn so I had to grab my camera (it's obvious that it goes everywhere with me, right?) and attempt to capture the moment.

Joy #4
Boyz II Men.
No, not the singing group, although I love them, too.
I'm talking about the joy of seeing a young boy pick up an axe and chop some wood. It's that joyous moment when you realize that your son, and all his friends, have crossed the bridge from being little boys to being young men. They saw a neighbor in need, showed up at her house, and started splitting (using a manly wood-cleaving apparatus--ar,ar) and chopping the logs that were sitting in her driveway. A job that would have taken her family weeks to finish, took only two evenings with the help of these boys.

I'm going to bed now. It's 1:40 A.M. and 6:30 will come far too quickly.  

But now I'm hungry...

Monday, September 26, 2011

30 Days of Joy...............Day 11

Imagine that you're sitting in a food court, or waiting for a train, or shopping in a mall, when all of a sudden, seemingly random people break out in song and dance.  This scenario happens around the planet, bringing joy to the participants, the observers, and to people like you and I, who will watch it later on the internet. It's called a flash mob.

Today my joy was courtesy of a flash mob in Copenhagen. Share the joy to strains of Bolero!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

30 Days of Joy...............Day 10

Today's most joyous moment was when...

My son came home!

Weston left early Friday morning to go on a field trip to Little Sahara, an ATV paradise in the sand dunes of Utah. A friend of ours was going to release a weather balloon, so a crew of youth and some of their families went along to witness the event. They stayed over night, so Weston did not get back home until Saturday afternoon.

He had scarcely arrived home, dead tired and dusty, when his father asked if he wanted to head south for the weekend. Never one to turn down an adventure, Weston said yes. They went to Cedar Breaks, a national monument in southern Utah, and got home Sunday night--90 minutes ago. I just went in to tell him goodnight, but he was already zonked. 

Weston scored a new magnet for our fridge!

Last year, Weston visited Cedar Breaks with Computer Geek and me. Here are a couple of pictures from that visit.

As much as I like to make fun of Utah for being a desolate wasteland, it does have its own unique beauty that must be seen to be appreciated.

It was quiet without Weston. I think I'll keep him thirteen forever so I won't have to deal with the silence of eighteen.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

30 Days of Joy...............Day 9

Narrowing today's joy topic was tough. I tried to choose between three selections, and finally thought, Why do I have to pick only one? Is there ever too much joy?  Nay, there is not. [I reserve the right to avoid holding myself to the same standard for future posts. Knowing myself as well as I do, I know that before you know it, I will have ten, twenty, thirty ways that I experienced joy that day, and what would be joyous about that?]

Joy #1
Learning new tricks! 
A friend surprised me with about sixty ears of corn from his garden. Although I am from Iowa, there is no way I could eat that much corn before it spoiled so I blanched it preparatory to freezing it. The internet told me that if you stick the ear of corn in a bundt pan, the process of slicing the corn from the cob goes much more smoothly. How slick is that? 

Joy #2
Surprise Guests!
Weston was off on an "It's Free Day at the National Parks" adventure with BioDad, and Computer Geek was getting ready to go out of town with his son, Neo. I was facing a quiet evening at home, all alone. With sixty ears of corn. Luckily, when Neo came to pick up Computer Geek, he brought along his sweet little niece. Little Hoolie was thrilled to help me eat some corn, so we made a candlelight dinner out of it.

Joy #3
That moment when your speed of pouring the pop is exactly the same as the speed with which the bubbles dissipate, so it seems like you are endlessly pouring. 
It only lasts a few seconds, but it's mind-bending while it's happening. 
Okay, so I get amused easily.

Where did you find joy today?

Friday, September 23, 2011

30 Days of Joy...............Day 8

Today I found joy in...

Discovering that green beans come in purple!

A friend of mine dropped by tonight with surplus green/purple beans from her garden. I spent the evening snapping the ends off, blanching, and storing them in freezer bags. 

Earlier, I went into my own garden and discovered about fifteen cucumbers waiting to be picked. I spent the afternoon making dill pickles. I am becoming so domesticated that it's frightening.

I am grateful to my daughter, who teaches me housewiferly tricks like this. 
Wasn't that supposed to be my job?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

30 Days of Joy...............Day 7

The Joy du Jour is...

A birdhouse.

Half-Pint is a young girl whom I have taught for four years, now going on five.  She's a flibbertigibbet, a butterfly, a "how-do-you-solve-a problem-like-Maria" type of girl. In looks, she's a tiny blonde Laura from  the Little House on the Prairie show, hence the nickname.

When I first started teaching Half-Pint, my weaknesses as a teacher were brought to the forefront. She rarely appeared to be listening when I taught. She frequently had her hands in her desk, fiddling with something--usually paper.  At the end of the day, there were colorful pieces of hand-torn confetti littering her workspace and the floor. Give her a piece of paper and it was sure to be torn in little pieces by the end of the day. I was at a loss as to how to get her to "pay attention."

That was fourth grade. She is now entering eighth grade and thank goodness, I have learned a few things as a teacher. Most of my lessons were those taught to me by Half-Pint.

* I have learned that just because hands are in motion, that doesn't mean the child is not paying attention. I learned that when I would ask Half-Pint to repeat back to me the concept I had just taught, she could regurgitate it, almost verbatim, even though her hands were busy creating an elaborate piece of origami.

* I have learned that even though I am not one of them, some people learn better when they are in motion. Half-Pint taught me that if I want superior performance, I had better make sure she has something to create while I am teaching.

* She taught me that grades really have nothing to do with intelligence. Her report cards have never been stellar, but it's not because she's inferior. It's because she has learned at a young age, what matters to her in life. Why spend time studying for a test, while her true loves (reading and creating with paper) stand idly by? She already knows what many life coaches tell their clients--forsake what doesn't matter and do what you love to do.

* She taught me that struggling students struggle not always because they are poor students, but sometimes because we are poor teachers. Half-Pint failed spelling test after spelling test. It wasn't until she was at the board one day and spelled an extremely difficult spelling word correctly, that I finally saw the light. When I praised her for spelling that difficult word, she replied, "Oh that one was easy."   I asked, "Why was the difficult word easy for you and the shorter words were more difficult?"  Her answer stunned me.  "Because the longer word had more music in it."  She explained that when she tries to remember her spelling words, if the letters make a rhythm, the word is easier for her to remember. We all know how to spell Mississippi, right? It's the same concept--it's all about the music.

Over the years, Half-Pint has presented me with origami animals, elaborate cards held shut by intricately folded flowers, and envelopes and paper boxes crafted by her nimble fingers and filled with minute paper shapes that she painstakingly cut.

Today, she surprised me once again. After class, she gave me a birdhouse that she assembled and painted. After I oohed and aahed over the gift and gave her a hug, she showed me something that I had missed. Inside the house was a bedroom scene that she had created, complete with paper bed, table and mirror on the wall. To think that she spent all that time creating something beautiful for me, was a source of joy today.  She's been my teacher as much as I have been hers.

The bedroom scene. I know this is hard to see, but it was difficult to try to
stick my camera lens through the bird hole.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

30 Days of Joy...............Day 6

Today's joy is courtesy of...

The things people say.

I love it when people say things that make me laugh, or that are said in a unique way that makes me think.

* After lunch today, Weston surprised me by saying something that children rarely say:
"May I please have some broccoli?"  My gasp was audible. Nevertheless, this made his day:

It's pretty and all, but it's broccoli

* Grandson Avatar, asked his mom, my daughter Em, if he could make dinner. Em told him that he could help her make the dinner she was already making. He wasn't too happy with that, because he had his own recipe floating around in his head and wanted to use different ingredients. Undaunted by her refusal, he asked if he could take his own ingredients for a soup recipe outside and mix them in the wheelbarrow. When my daughter wisely said no, he replied, "You never let me practice my skills!"

* Tonight I was explaining to Computer Geek what an awesome deal we scored tonight at Walmart. We had a $5-off coupon for Schick Hydro razors which were normally $5.97. Then we had a $6-off coupon if we bought two packages of Schick disposable razors. Since the disposables were $1.97 each, for a total of $3.94, the deal was what is known in the coupon world as a "money-maker." In other words, they paid us $2.06 to take those razors out of the store. Added to the $.97 we had to pay for the Hydros, we made a net profit of $1.09. Computer Geek replied, "It's just like eating celery."  Never thought of it that way.

Oh the things people say now....every night and every day now....sing it with me....

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

30 Days of Joy...............Day 5

Today's joy is brought to you by...

My dinner!

I had the best dinner tonight. When I looked at my plate before I applied the fork, I thought to myself, "Oh. My. Sweet. Tasty. Goodness."  Observe, and be jealous. Be very jealous.



Monday, September 19, 2011

30 Days of Joy...............Day 4

I got my joy today from...


You knew that was coming sooner or later, right?

I was invited to a photo shoot today involving my adopted grandchildren (If you know these kids for reals, mum's the word because it's a b-day surprise for their mom.)  They were real troupers while they were being posed in a variety of shots, especially little Pixie, who even begrudged us a smile now and then.

Dash, Pinque, River, and Pixie

Nobody loves Pixie.  Whatever.

My handsome Avatar

The Chunk. I have to watch it because whenever I go to his house lately he tags along when I leave. He follows me out the door, saying to his mom, "Going Grandpa's house." (Computer Geek and I are equally "Grandpa.")  Then he walks to the car with me, assuming he's coming along. He's so cute that we never have the heart to tell him to stay home. So he came over tonight and...

...helped harvest vegetables! We finally have him trained to stop picking the green tomatoes. Now we just have to work on getting him to pick the pepper only, and not the entire plant.

When Chunk and I arrived at my house, granddaughter Hoolie was there, visiting Computer Geek. She said to me tonight, "Although Weston is ancient in years, did you know that in eight years, I am going to be sixteen?"    If my thirteen-year-old Weston is ancient in years, what does that make me? 

A mom and grandma who is filled with joy, that's what.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

30 Days of Joy...............Day 3

I experienced joy today because of:

Beach balls!

Each Sunday, I am blessed to be in the presence of some amazing children. Our Sunday school is in possession of two joy-inducing beach balls. One asks questions pertaining to that week's lesson, and the other is more of a getting-to-know-you tool. Today we used the latter.

The rules are simple. Throw the beach ball to your classmate and he or she will answer the question that falls under the right thumb as the ball is caught.  Kids and teachers alike were laughing giddily as kids answered questions such as "What was your favorite video or DVD when you were younger?" or "Describe how your mom or dad drives," or "Share your definition of 'billybubbin.'"

Something so simple. We all need a few more beach balls in our lives.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

30 Days of Joy...............Day 2

Joy is seeing our granddaughter play with the same toy that I played with forty years ago. 
It's still around and it's still amusing.

And Happy Birthday M Joy C!

Friday, September 16, 2011

30 Days of Joy...............Day 1

Do you have a friend who exudes joy?   I do.

This mom of three makes joy a part of her daily life. Her small children consider themselves blessed to have her as a mom, because she turns even the smallest of events into a joyous occasion.

Recently, she decided to challenge herself further after reading this article. She decided to be more fully conscious of negativity in her life and replace it with joy. For 100 days, she will try to see the positive in any negative experience, with the hope that by the end of the 100 days, joy will be a habit in her family.  With her encouragement, I read the article myself and decided that for the next 30 days, I would seek out the joy in my life too.

Every day, for the next thirty days, I will post a picture of something that brought me joy that day.

Today, that thing was apples. I am fortunate to have an apple tree in my back yard. Earlier this week some grandkids came over to help pick the ripening fruit. Today, Computer Geek and I peeled and cored them, and I later turned them into two pans of delicious apple crisp. One pan, I took over to daughter Em's house. The other will keep us in dessert for the next few days.

It was a cool, rainy, day today. The weather, combined with the smell of warm apples and cinnamon, signaled the beginning of fall joy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Coupon Success and a Coupon Failure

[Okay, this is how OCD I am:  Everywhere on the internet, an "oopsie" is branded as a "fail." A guy dumps a bucket of paint on his head, and it's labeled "Redecorating Fail."  A husband gives his overweight wife a bathroom scale for her birthday and it's labeled, "Romance Fail." So, I titled this post, "A Coupon Success and a Coupon Fail," and I couldn't stop my hands from adding u-r-e to the end of the word. Major self-control fail.]

Last week I scored some freebies at Walmart. Rayovac graciously sent me  two more $1-off coupons for their product. You know what this means, right? Free batteries! Walmart has Rayovac AAA and AA 4-packs for $.97, so with the dollar-off coupon, the batteries are F*R*E*E. Seriously, does anyone like paying for batteries? A necessary evil.

[ If you want to be an "I got my batteries for free" success, check out Rayovac's facebook page.  Mandated government disclaimer--Rayovac has no idea that I recommended that people check out their facebook page. Therefore I was not given any compensation for saying that. But I can still say it if I want because I think it's pretty special that manufacturers give you coupons.]

Not only did I score some free batteries, I also walked away with two bottles of free lemonade and two bottles of free orange juice.  Simply Orange had $1-off coupons online for their orange juice and their lemonade. Since you can print two of each, I ended up with four free bottles because Walmart had them for $1 each.

Coupon Success!

Now I must sadly relate my couponing fail-ure.  Coke had online coupons for $1-off any two 20 oz. Coke products. I had two coupons so I grabbed a total of four bottles of 20 oz. Sprite, which meant that each bottle was 50 cents off, right? I think I was so hyped by the above free items, that I was blinded by coupon frenzy. I failed to notice that the 20 oz. Sprites were $1.48 each. With the coupon, each bottle became $.98. STUPID! Did you know you can buy a 2 liter bottle for $.98? Grrr...I was so mad at myself when I realized what I had done. I could have had four 2 liter bottles for the same price as my four 20 oz. bottles. 

Learn from Mama Randi. Just because it's a coupon doesn't guarantee that it's a good deal. And I knew that too. Double grrr...

Disclaimer because the government thinks nobody says anything complimentary unless they get paid: Rayovac, Simply Orange, and Coke did not give me any money for mentioning them on my awesome blog. They did give me some coupons, like they will do for anyone with internet access and a printer, but the government knows that coupons are just paper because they are not backed by anything.)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9-11 Thoughts

Do you remember what you were doing on 9-11?

Like you, I’ve been asked that question countless times since that fateful day.   

On September 11, 2001, I was lying in bed, trying to decide whether or not to hit the snooze button one more time. My clock alarm was set to play the local radio station when the alarm goes off, instead of an annoying buzz.  As I struggled with consciousness, I became aware of a newscaster reporting that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.

My first thought was that a small plane with maybe one or two people on board had gotten lost and had swiped a wing against the building. A phone call from daughter Em changed my mind.

“Are you watching the news? A plane just hit the World Trade Center. Go turn it on right now.”

I got out of bed, turned on the TV and was shocked to find that another plane had just hit the second building and that this was no small “oopsie” by an inexperienced pilot. I felt sick to my stomach as I watched further events take place.  The Pentagon. Pennsylvania. The towers telescoping downward.

Were we at war? Were incidents like this taking place all over the country? Unsure, I called my boss and asked him if he wanted me to open the cell phone store that day. He felt we should try to proceed as normally as possible for the sake of the customers.

 While at work, I worried about an uncle and his family who lived in New York City. An email from his sister assured me that all were safe. Yet, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the world had changed in an instant.

We had three customers that day, instead of our normal sixty to eighty. A few popped in to look at our television to see if there were any new developments. The rest of the month was just as desolate. People did not want to sign a cell phone contract if they weren’t sure we would even have a country by the following month.

I felt as shocked by this as I imagine my parents were with the death of JFK. Suddenly no one felt safe. It could happen anywhere, to anyone.

My fifteen year old daughter said to me, “No one is paying any attention to me today!” I can understand her lament. What should have been a happy birthday for her, ended up being a day of sadness and grief.  It was hard for anyone to celebrate on that day.

My first 9-11 experience happened twenty five years ago today. I labored all day and at 8:47 P.M. had a beautiful baby girl. One of the delivery nurses said, “Wow this is a big one! She’s at least eight pounds.”

I said, “So small? My first daughter was 8 pounds and fifteen ounces.”

Another said, “Maybe she’s a little bigger than that. I’m guessing at least eight and a half.”

Another said, “I’m guessing 9’2”.”  She put my daughter on the scale and said, “She’s 9’15”!”  

As baby Kay grew, she acquired some special nicknames---Tank, Conan the Destroyer, and Blitzkrieg. While her older sister, Em, was a calm, introspective, and sensitive child, Kay was energetic, extroverted, and fearless. She was always doing things to make us laugh. Well, maybe all of us except her older sister.

I snapped this photo as Kay socked Em while opening Christmas presents. See the older girl wondering what she had done to deserve that. She the younger girl gloating in triumph.

She still has a little bit of Lucille Ball in her:

Today, Kay is in Las Vegas, celebrating her twenty-fifth birthday with friends. Although this is a somber day, commemorating ten years since “that other” 9-11, I hope she is having a wonderful time with her friends. My prayer is that she knows how much her mother loves her and that she knows she has given me reason to have happiness each year on 9-11.

 Happy 25th Birthday, Baby Girl!

[Disclaimer: Not to worry--the older sister eventually learned to fight back, 
and got even by breaking her sister's finger.]

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Are You Pinterested?

Have you ever been on a remarkable website that shows a creative crocheting project that you want to try, or a decadent dessert that is calling your name, or a book that you want to read when you get time? We all have, right? The common reaction is to "bookmark" the webpage so that you can go back to it in the future.

Later, you look at your bookmarks and try to remember which of them hosted the recipe for that peanut butter chocolate chip cheeseball that you wanted to try.  If you're like me, you can't remember under which bookmark you filed it, and you say to yourself, "If only I could have posted a picture next to the bookmark, I could locate it easier."

Wish no more, homies. Pinterest has arrived.

Pinterest is an online bulletin board, onto which you "pin" pictures that you like/want to come back to/want to share with others. The user can create categories, or "boards", for easier filing. For example, I have a board called "My Favorite Color," onto which I "pin" purple items that I have seen on various websites.  The photo is automatically attached to the original website, so the creator of the piece gets full credit. I also have boards set up for other things that mean something to me: My Dream Backyard; Right Said Fred (for my favorite quotes;) Fashionista Fun, and others.

If you would like to join the ever-growing group of Pinterest aficionados, simply do the following:
1. Go to the Pinterest website.
2. Click on the button labeled "Request an Invite."
3. Wait for the Pinterest geniuses to email you instructions.

When you get an account set up, you will install a small icon on your toolbar that says, "Pin it."  This allows you to select the item you wish to save and will take you directly to the list of boards you have created. If you find someone else's "pin" fascinating, you can "re-pin" it to your own board. Some Pinterest "curators" have quite a large following.

I found a refreshment idea for Weston's birthday party on Pinterest. A rainbow fruit kebob caught my eye, and here is my version:

Give Pinterest a try, but be prepared to stay up late. It's that addicting.

Cheesy government-required disclaimer: The happy Pinterest people did not pay me to say any of these things, nor did I get any sort of t-shirts, koozie cups, or Pinterest logo'd  mousepads. Hard to believe as it is, sometimes I just express my opinion without any promise of reward. I did receive an unquantifiable bit of emotional satisfaction, the kind you get when you say to your friends, "You have got to see this cool website that I found," after which they think you are the hippest person they know.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Please Don't Be Like Me

I am a freak.

I am not content to be a freak of average proportions, no sir. I must aspire to be the Queen of Freaks, the Monarch of Madness, the Grand Poo-bah of all that is weird.  It is to your advantage to avoid using me as a role model for normalcy.

My evening started off well, but spiraled downward into an obsessive compulsive abyss. My son, Weston, turns thirteen today. I really want to say that he turns thirteen tomorrow, but since it is now 1:56 A.M. my OCD-ness requires that I say today.

Me: "Bad OCD-ness! Why don't you settle down and let me go to sleep?
OCD-ness: "Why, no! Don't you know you do your best work when you're in an OCD stupor?"
Me: " But I just wanna be normal! Waaaaah!"

I just want to go to bed at ten o'clock, like regular folks. But somewhere around 11:30, my brain magically rejuvenates, and I come up with all sorts of cool projects--projects that absolutely no how, no way, can wait until tomorrow. And why should they? If I just wait until midnight, tomorrow is today!

Which is exactly what happened tonight. I'm sitting there, like a normal mom, wrapping Weston's birthday present. Since he's turning thirteen, purchasing gifts has suddenly become more difficult. The toy stage has passed and he has entered the "everything-I-really-really-want-costs-at-least-$200" stage."  Since that is so not happening, I gave him some choices. He could either get presents only, money only, or a combination of the two--none of which would add up to $200.  He chose the combination.

I was wrapping his present, which, by the way is a really cool manly cordless drill--his first real power tool! (Men, you may grunt your approval here.) I was about to tuck some cash into the box, when the clock struck midnight and my brain said, "I'm feel like I've just had a Red Bull! Time to start a new project!" So I chose money origami.

Yes, you read correctly. I, who have never done origami in my life, started Googling "how to turn dollar bills into origami." At midnight. How hard can it be? Here a mountain fold, there a valley fold, and presto change-o, you have an elephant!

Except after 30 minutes of folding, I got to the part where it said, "Now, you can stand the elephant on the four legs."  My elephant didn't have any legs. One moment ( a very brief moment, Auntie M.) my picture looked exactly like the diagram, and the next moment the model elephant had legs! I got a little tear in my eye and had to make a decision. Do I unfold and start over? Do I just cut some legs out of another dollar bill and glue them on? Do I attempt another figure that requires less hand-eye coordination? I chose the latter.

For the next hour, I folded seven cute little money shirts. They weren't as hard as the elephant, but the downside was that I was seriously considering ironing them. Some of the bills were a little worn, which prevented the shirt from being as crisp as I would have liked. And I would just be ironing a "shirt"--nothing OCD about that, right?  Luckily, sanity prevailed.

Admit it, you want to plug in your iron, don't you?

The freakiest thing of all? When I finished, I had to go blog about it.

[I am not OCD enough to provide you with a step-by-step tutorial, much as you might want to stay up until 1:30 A.M. making your own adorable little polo shirts. I am kind enough to provide a link though!]

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