Random Saturdays – Selfies

Ah, The Selfie.  I hate pictures of myself, so I don’t take many of these.  Friends and family want to take them sometimes, so I take them.  I don’t have a selfie stick, even though my kids have had quite a few.  Ben, luckily, shares this sentiment with me.  That is probably why we’re so bad at taking selfies.  I have started trying to take selfies with my husband at certain events to try to remember that we do things together and even enjoy it from time to time.  It hasn’t been a very successful endeavor.

Here’s one that we took on vacation in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Not so bad, right?  I mean, not the best, but I’m not a professional selfie taker/teenager.  My arms are short, so I’m very limited as to what I can get in the picture, but hey, our faces are 90% in the frame and we’re almost smiling.

Here’s one from when we went to see One Republic.

Hey!  We’re both smiling!  You can’t see our faces, but you can see our teeth and some terrible bright lights in the background.  It looked much better in person and this was the best out of three pictures.  Again, my tiny t-rex arms cropped out parts of our faces, but at least we’re smiling.

We went to see Imagine Dragons and had seats by the second stage.  I wanted to get a picture of us with the band right behind us.  So, I waited and waited and waited.  Finally, the moment came!

This was the third attempt.  The first attempt was just our faces in complete dark.  How did I manage that when there was so much light around?  Talent.  So, I said, “Okay, let’s try one last time,” and Ben said, “Okay, hurry, we’re in people’s way.”  You can see how well I perform under photographic pressure.

Finally, I said, okay, let’s try a regular picture with the band up front.  Ben rolled his eyes, but humored me, while also repeating his “We’re in people’s way” line.

Nailed it!  He looks like Jesus is coming down from the heavens to bestow a crown of light upon his head as he tells me that we’re in the way.  I am clearly not listening, and we’re both distracted by something in the complete opposite direction of the iPhone.

While some people take beautiful iPhone pics like this, I will probably keep my day job so that I can afford to go to more concerts where I get in people’s ways so that I can take bad selfies.

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Random Saturdays – Is Country Music Sadder Than Rock Music?

Malcolm Gladwell did a podcast on Bobby Braddock, the man behind some of the saddest country songs of all time.  Mr. Gladwell’s interpretation of American pop/rock music charts versus country music was interesting to me.  He’s Canadian and I’m from Texas.  I’m not a fan of much newer country music.  I listened to alot of popular country music in the 90s because I was in Texas and my friends’ families all listened to it.  Before that, I had only listened to older country music from people who weren’t from the suburbs.  My favorite country songs, just like my favorite rock, jazz, pop, blues, rap, R&B, hip hop, classical, etc. have one of two things in common – they are either so sad that you want to throw your heart on the ground and hit it with a sledgehammer or they are so happy that your heart feels like it will burst with joy.

Anything in between is not good enough to be a favorite for me.

Since I listened to that podcast, I can’t quit thinking about Mr. Gladwell’s comments on “Wild Horses” by the Rolling Stones.  I like the Rolling Stones’s version and, yes, the lyrics are not quite as sad as “From Boulder to Birmingham” by Emmylou Harris, to which Mr. Gladwell compared it.  They’re both connected since Gram Parsons apparently wrote “Wild Horses” and his death inspired “From Boulder to Birmingham”.  However, part of the sadness and heartache emoted in a song is in the music itself – the melody, the specific notes, the key of the song.  While I think “From Boulder to Birmingham” is pretty heart-breaking, The Sundays‘s version of “Wild Horses” saddens a deeper part of me.  Something about the fragility in Harriet Wheeler‘s voice shatters my heart.  “From Boulder to Birmingham” is a finely-tuned piece of music, but The Sundays’s “Wild Horses” is something you sing to yourself while rocking back and forth and weeping in a corner.

While we’re on the topic of cover songs, we should talk about “Hurt“.  Nine Inch Nails put out this song while I was in one of the deepest parts of my depression and it helped me.  It made me feel a little less alone, like Trent Reznor understood what I was feeling.  If Trent Reznor could feel that way, then maybe I wasn’t quite as alone in the world as I felt.  When I first heard that Johnny Cash was doing a cover of the song, I felt the same way that Trent Reznor says he felt.  The song just didn’t seem to fit.  Johnny Cash is a country music legend, but Nine Inch Nails was filed under “Industrial Rock“.  It just seemed so weird.  Then, Johnny Cash’s version of “Hurt” was released.  If the song itself wasn’t heart-wrenching enough, then the video would certainly make up for it.  Whereas the Nine Inch Nails song moved me because of how I felt, Johnny Cash’s version moved me because of how he felt.  We all know Johnny Cash’s story.  We know his pain is real and he feels every word he sings, every chord he strums.  You can see this clearly in the faces of Johnny and June in the video.  There is no acting here, just memory.

I really don’t think that country music has more power to make me cry than rock music.  Although, I have been moved to tears by many songs in both genres.  For me, it’s more of the combo of lyrics, music, and personality that determine whether a song makes me cry.  I know some people who feel the same as I do.  I also know people who would agree with Malcolm Gladwell.  There are also those who have never been moved by music in that way.  I’m just sad for them because there’s a certain magic about being moved so deeply by a song that you cannot hold back your tears.  It’s cathartic and also makes you feel connected to the world around you in a very unique way.

With that, I leave you with one more beautifully sad song.  It’s from one of my favorite artists, Sara Bareilles.  She was supposed to repeat the chorus to the end of the song, but was crying so hard while recording in the studio that she could no longer sing.  If you love NYC the way I do, then you may find yourself tearing up at her broken-hearted sacrifice along with me.

Random Saturdays – Super Easy Ways to Unclog a Kitchen Sink

Here are easy ways to unclog a drain without spending hundreds of dollars on a plumber:

  1. Pour a cup of baking soda down the clogged drain. Pour a cup of vinegar down the clogged drain. Pour a giant pot of boiling water down the drain. Use a plunger on the drain and/or turn on the garbage disposal. 
  2. Pour a container or two of Green Gobbler down the clogged drain.  Wait 30 minutes. Pour a giant pot of boiling water down the drain. Use a plunger on the drain and/or turn on the garbage disposal. Repeat as needed, leaving the Green Gobbler in the drain overnight, if needed.
  3. Any of these are worth a try too.

The real difficult part of this is that your clogs or drains might not match any other clogs or drains that you see online.   I was going to type up my entire adventure in plumbing from the last 24 hours, but I’m too tired. The main thing is that letting Green Gobbler and baking soda/vinegar stand in our drains overnight got the garbage disposal clear. Pouring a boiling pot of water down the non-disposal drain cleared out the rest. I was so scared of the amount of water that I was adding to the clog that I only poured 2 cups – 1 liter of hot water down our pipes each time. Each time, it took 12 hours to drain that little bit of added water before eventually stopping, which probably meant that the water was just evaporating.  I finally watched these two videos and combined their methods. 

Oh, and before anyone asks why I didn’t get my husband to do it, 1) I’m perfectly capable of pouring powder and water down the sink and 2) he tried and nearly vomited into our clogged sinks.  So, women rock. Saving money rocks.  Being environmentally friendly rocks.  Unclogging a sink by yourself rocks.

Random Saturdays – Dream Fiction

If you read my blog last weekend, you read my new experiment.  I have crazy dreams and they are very vivid.  When I tell people about my dreams, they usually ask, “What were you drinking before you fell asleep?”  The sad part is, I really don’t drink that much.  I talk about it, but I’m always too sick or too tired to drink.  So, these dreams are literally just my brain doing its own thing without the constructs of society to hold it back.  When I have migraines, it’s even worse.  Like anyone else, I’ll have dreams related to events that day or movies that I watch.  Most of the time, though, it’s just my brain having its way with me.

I also have recurring dreams.  Some of them, I’ve had since I was a little girl.  I’ll start having them when a new chapter in my life starts.  The dream will quickly go through what happened all those years ago, and then it’ll pick up and go from there.  From what I’ve read on dreams and psychology, I don’t think that’s a very common thing.  I had a psychologist tell me once that A) having vivid memories of childhood before the age of 5, B) having recurring dreams for the duration of my life, and C) dreaming in color meant that I was very in touch with my emotions.  Duh.  Then, later, I talked to other people and they don’t seem to remember much about childhood, their dreams, etc.  That seems weird to me.  Amanda and I always tell each other about our crazy dreams, we remember so much about our early childhoods, and we dream in color.  So, I thought everyone did until I became an adult and talked to people other than Amanda.

A few months ago, I wrote a little story for my T-Rex ladies that incorporated all of the in-jokes we had together.  I wrote it in text while just sitting on the couch, watching t.v.  It was just a funny little thing between friends and they loved it!  They told me that I should put it on Facebook, but I didn’t think that was a good idea.  Nobody would get our jokes.  There was some offensive stuff in there.  Meh.  Weeks later, Christina told me that she was serious when she told me that I should write more.  Meh.  “NO.  I mean it.”  She just stared at me until I changed the subject.

Still, that stuck with me.  I started thinking about my dreams and how I’d like to see movies of them so I could see how they ended instead of having to wait for my brain to work on the stories years later.  Then, I started thinking about my friends telling me to write more…

I have these never ending To Do Lists, though!  I work full-time.  There are three kids and two cats and some fish.  This house is a constant source of messiness and maintenance.  There’s cooking and cleaning.  Bills.  Books.  Email.  I spend any time when I’m not doing those things trying to sleep.  When am I going to write?

Oh.  But I have a blog.  Yeah.

I don’t write in here regularly, but if I have time to write, I might as well put some of those cool dream stories in here so that I can remember them.  Every passing day means a little more of the dream drifts away.  I have many talented friends who are writers.  Some have blogs.  Some wrote books.  Some write for online media outlets.  Some are journalists and write for the entertainment industry.  So, it’s really intimidating putting my dreams into stories and putting them online.  What else am I going to do, though?  What have I got to lose?  Like, three people read any given blog post on any given day, if that.

So, I thought I might as well give it a try.  Last week was the first one.  We’ll see how it goes.  If all else fails, I’ll just put up a buncha pics of Pad Kee because he’s the cutest friggin’ kitten ever in the world! *heart eyes*

Random Saturdays – The Fish Tank

Ben has been planning out his saltwater fish tank for four years.  When we started dating, he was looking over plans to build a fish tank stand.  He built the stand, but it was about half an inch off, so he ended up having to buy one instead.  For some reason, you can’t have a giant glass container of water sit on a crooked stand.  Whatever!  He shopped online and at a local fish stores for supplies.  To save alot of money, he also made his own saltwater, which is actually more complicated than pouring a bit of salt into the tank and stirring.  After all of that time, all of that effort, and all of that money, we finally have fish in the tank!

We have plants and snails in the refugium (where the water comes out of the tank to be cleaned out before recirculating back into the tank) and have snails in the tank itself.  We had a green hair algae problem, but our Mexican turbo snails have taken care of that.  We also have a black limpet snail.  He has cute lil antennae and a snout!  This little fella went halfway around the tank in just a few hours on his first night.  I have never heard of a snail going that quickly before.  I thought the turbo snail was fast, but this limpet dude took his snout and ran laps around the turbo snail.  There were some emerald crabs in there.  The smaller one, died. The bigger one ended up eating two of our fish and we think he killed the other crab.  We stuck him in the refugium and he ate all of the plants except the mangroves.  So, that jerk ended up going back to the store.

It’s only been during the time that I’ve been with Ben that I’ve really learned anything about fish tanks.  Until that, all of my knowledge came from biology classes about closed ecosystems and random nature shows that I watched.  Temika and I had a betta fish named Busker, once, but he died when she forgot to clean the fishbowl.  I’m learning more about fish now that we’re trying to figure out what kinds of fish to get when the tank is ready.  The kids want “Nemo” and “Dory” fish.  Minecraft really likes the dogface puffers, too.  Ben is partial to the tangs.  Apparently, you have to be careful about which tangs you put in the same tank, how much food you feed them, and how many rocks are in the tank.  Tangs are racist and can become aggressive depending on the color of other tangs in the tank, how hungry they are, and how big or small they are.  They made Disney movies about these killer racist fish!  Who knew?!

As for the fish that I want in the tank, I will need to get another job to afford them.  Everytime I see a fish that I like, it’s over $100.  Ben will say, “Oh yeah, those are hard to find, ” or, “We’ll have to see if we can find one on sale sometime,” when I show him the fish I like.  We currently have a banggai cardinal, cleaner wrasse, foxface rabbitfish, and a magnificent foxface.  The rabbit fish wants to kill the magnificent foxface, so we’re trying to find a new home for the rabbitfish.

Elska is still scared of the fish tank.  Pad Kee loves the fish tank, but doesn’t have a good ledge to watch them.  So, he mostly just follows Ben around when he’s working on the tank and ignores it otherwise.  I take care of the cats and Ben takes care of the fish.  I really got the easier and cheaper job, thank goodness!

Random Saturdays – Kitten Worries

I have plenty of Pinterest projects lined up to keep me out of trouble, but I decided to take in a near-death kitten instead.  I just love stressing myself out over an animal I barely know and spending hundreds of dollars that I can’t really afford so that I can clean up animal messes and destruction.  That’s not really how I see it, but that’s how I feel when I look at myself from the outside.

I’ve written on Facebook about how we found the perfect kitten on my in-laws’ farm.  Some jerks dropped off this wonderful cat who is too gentle and loving to be a farm cat.  Something happened to the cat the day before we got back to the farm – the ear was bloody and his tongue was poking out of his mouth, also bloody.  I stressed all weekend about this poor kitten.  We did our best to care for him and clean his wounds, but he needed a trip to the vet.  The employees at the vet’s were amazingly wonderful people who cared about little Pad Kee Meow.  I kept asking for an outright prognosis on his condition.  They would give me the diagnosis, but wouldn’t tell me the words I wanted to hear – “He should be just fine.”  So, my worrying continued late into the night.

After two days of meds, food, water, and care, I took Pad Kee back to see the vet.  The vet was amazed at the progress that Pad Kee had made and gave me a much better prognosis this time.  The lovely vet tech cleaned out Pad Kee’s ear again and gave him a dewormer, something they were afraid to do initially since he was so dehydrated and malnourished.  Lil Pad Kee continued to improve.  He ate dry food with his tiny kitten teeth and his healed mouth, which helped his rank breath improve.  His ears still had some scabs, but looked more like he may have scratched a bit too vigorously at them rather than that he must have narrowly escaped some fierce creature that mauled his ear.

The little fighter was still sweet as can be.  All he wanted was food and attention, preferably at the same time.  Taking care of him was alot of work, but it also made me think back to when I adopted Elska.  She was a skinny little rat, with a sore on her ear and fleas.  She was 99% scared and 1% loving.  If you stuck your hand out, she would pet herself on it and purr like a motorcycle.  Then, she would seemingly remember that she was nervous and jump away from your hand to run and hide under furniture.  Anyone who has been around Elska knows that she’s still very nervous and scared, but she has improved a great deal.  She’s an old lady cat now, as opposed to an old cat lady, which is what I am.  She’s about 60% scared and 40% loving.  She’s even started to be brave enough to go out into the backyard at night.  Ben doesn’t think we should let Pad Kee into the backyard because he will gladly go home with anyone that walks by, unlike Elska, who runs back into the house if she hears anyone walk by on the sidewalk at the bottom of the hill that’s beside our brick neighborhood wall. (After I typed that, I moved my leg and she jumped into the air and off the couch where she was napping.)

So, I’m pretty confident that Pad Kee will make a full recovery and be a part of our family for years to come.  I keep reminding myself to take it one day at a time, just like a recovering addict or Valerie Bertinelli.  On the plus side, I have learned quite a bit about various cat breeds and feline herpes.  I could definitely ace those two categories in a game of Jeopardy!  I also got sick a week after we got Pad Kee, which forced me to take one day at a time because I had a hard time keeping track of day and night.  Also, I wished that we hadn’t gone to streaming only because I would’ve liked to had the ability to watch some Jeopardy!

Random Saturdays – Lego’s New(ish) Desk

Ah Pinterest.  The place where dreams and imaginations run wild while my actual butt sits in a chair.  I do use Pinterest for inspiration for plenty of things that I actually do, but that hasn’t really been much in terms of home improvement projects.  I’m always sick, working, trying to sleep, or otherwise busy.  However, I am here to make an announcement.

I have completed my first furniture makeover project!

*and my mom slow claps* 

*and the crowd goes wild*

Lego had a decent desk, but it’s ugly as crud.  It’s been through some incidents including candle wax, paint or nail polish of some sort, rogue screws, and who knows what else.  I wanted to redo this desk for him for awhile and thought it would make a great birthday present.  When his birthday came around, I was tied up in the middle of nowhere, watching three other teams play football while their parents yelled things like, “Hurt ‘im good!” until it was Lego’s and Minecraft’s turns to play.  Then, Ben and I went to Lowe’s to get a few things and I saw some Oops  Paint in colors that Lego would like.  I decided that since I kinda had a window of time, I might as well redo the desk.  So, I bought the paint.  Researching the desk, I decided to use this plan on Pinterest with these points in mind.  Before starting, these are the supplies I gathered:

Piece of crappy looking laminate furniture
150 – 220 grit sandpaper that my husband had sitting in a filing cabinet
Tack Cloths
2 cans of Rust Oleum 280715 American Accents Ultra Cover 2X Spray Paint, White Primer, 12-Ounce
Paint
6 in mini roller
Paint pan thingy (I just bought a kit – easy & cheap)
Mini foam paintbrushes for tight spots (I had some already in a drawer for another craft that I never did.)
Top Coat (My husband’s had good results with Minwax in the past, so I just got that.)
Plastic tarp, plastic bags, old fabric, or cardboard to lay under your work area
Respirator or face masks (I didn’t realize that I needed these until after I did the project and my nosehairs were covered in primer.)
Screwdriver, Xacto knife, and hammer (depending on what kinds of pieces you have on the desk)

Step 1 – Tell your stepson to take everything off of his desk except for his computer if he wants a surprise from you the next time he sees you.  You may have to do this twice in order to get him to remove 75% of the stuff from his desk.
Step 2 – Remove all the crap off the desk when your stepson is gone.  Shove it all out of the way.  Shove any other furniture as far as you can get it from the ugly desk too.  Pick up all the crap on the floor around the desk and vacuum around your work area.  Remove any hardware or broken parts from the desk using a screwdriver or sledgehammer.  I ended up with lots of screws and hinges to donate to future projects, a door that will be turned into a shelf in another room, and some junk to throw in the trash.

Step 3 – Ask your husband to move the pallets he painted out of the way so you can get to the plastic sheets you use for painting.  When he doesn’t do that, tear apart some large cardboard boxes from stuff he’s ordered and place it under your work area.  This will assure that your husband finally gets your plastic wrap out for you to use.

Step 4 – Lightly sand the desk.  When you find crud on it, use your handy dandy box cutter to scrape that junk off the ugly desk.  You may discover that large chunks of fake wood are missing from the desk as well.  So, you’ll probably have to go downstairs and ask your husband where the wood filler is.  If you’re lucky, he’ll know where it is off the top of his head.  Now, you can go back upstairs and fill that fake wood with faker wood.  (Follow the directions on the bottle, more or less.)
Untitled Step 5 – Use tack cloth to wipe down the desk.  This is where you remember you were supposed to wipe down the desk with vinegar and water or something before you sanded it.  You’ll also forget that you had that wood filling stuff that needed to dry before you did anything else to the desk, but that’s okay because it’s in an inconspicuous area and will be hidden behind another piece of furniture anyway. Untitled

Step 6 – Forget what the next step is and check Pinterest.
brokepinterest

Step 7 – Now it’s time to open up some windows because you are about to prime your desk.  Read the directions on the primer and follow them carefully.  When you are done, make sure that the desk is left in a ventilated room while you go somewhere that will allow you to breathe for a few hours.  This is when your husband will ask you if you need that plastic wrap stuff again.  For the second time today, reply, “Not anymore, thank you.”  Ask him if you have primer on your nose hairs so that he can make fun of you for not using any of his respirators or face masks that you didn’t realize he had.  Wait a few hours for the primer to dry while half of your brain cells die.  Go ahead and make an appointment with the respiratory therapist while you’re at it.  You might not remember to do it later.
Untitled

Step 8 – Ready to actual do some painting?  Good.  The weather probably isn’t right for painting anymore, randomly dropping 40 degrees, but once it warms up again, you can try.  Pop open your can of paint and stir it up real good with a paint stick.  The color will be completely different from the color on the paint can and you’ll understand why this was Oops Paint.  Pour your wrong-color paint into your plastic paint thingy and get your paint roller ready for fun.  Dip the roller in the paint and then roll it over the bumpy parts of the plastic thing.  Roll paint the hell outta that desk.  You will find it interesting how some parts of the desk are immediately covered with paint and other parts are not.  Paint will get all over the cardboard on the floor, but none within the bottom 4 inches of the desk.  You will keep finding places on the desk where you have forgotten to roller paint. Step 9 – When you’ve covered the desk in paint, go back over the smaller areas/missed spots with your sponge brush.  Don’t ask me what the best method is.  I approached this like a child with fingerpaints, just mushing color anywhere that my tiny arms would reach.  You can go over paint drips if they’re still wet, but will otherwise need to wait to sand them down once they’re dry (unless you’re lazy like me.) Untitled

Step 10 – Let your paint dry.  Mine only took about an hour, but I had to log on to work, so I couldn’t put the finish on it right away.

Step 11 –  If you painted the desk correctly, then you pulled a muscle in your back or something and can only sit or lay for the rest of the next day.  Make sure that water and ibuprofen are within arm’s reach.

Step 12 – When you are able to move again, go back upstairs and open up a window.  Spray a coat of the top coat over the painted areas of the desk.  It should dry in an hour or two.  If your back spasmed while you did this, then you should just turn on the ceiling fan and leave the room.  These cheap desks aren’t meant to last a lifetime anyway.  Plus, your lack of skill and broken back will ensure that the desk has that coveted “rustic” look that so many bloggers envy.

Step 13 – At some point (48 hours to 6 weeks) the desk should dry.  Dispose of the junk you used to halfway protect the carpet and try to move the desk back into place without pulling any muscles.  Wait until the last possible minute to put anything on the desk, and then wait a day or two more, especially if the desk is for your beloved stepson.  He’ll appreciate the time it took you to get distracted with work and laundry and dinner and work and more laundry and more work.  Having no desk will make him feel like a Native American, able to live off the land armed with only centuries of ancient wisdom and an iPad.

That’s it!  You’re done!  You have successfully Pinterested an ugly fake wood desk into a rustic piece of furniture that your family will cherish for hours to come.  Give yourself a pat on the back if you still have any upper body mobility!

Random Saturdays – Propaganda & Bias

One of the phrases I loathe is, “Now more than ever”.  It applies to plenty of things, but I’m tired of hearing people use it the same way that they use, “literally”, which is to say that they misuse it.  This phrase has been used in so many discussions about biased news and propaganda, as if both of these things are brand new and started in the 2016 election.  The U.S. used propaganda in WWII to get people to sacrifice things like nylon stockings to help the war effort.  We also used it to make people paranoid that Japanese Americans were out to destroy the U.S.  Nazis used it to convince people that they were just trying to make Germany the great country that it deserved to be.  Propaganda and bias have been used in plenty of elections in America’s past, by such celebrated presidents as Roosevelt (Teddy and Franklin).  During the American Revolution, guess what the Americans and the British were doing?  They were fighting with words just as much as they were with weapons.  Propaganda and bias are just things that exist because people with opinions exist.

I wouldn’t even blame it all on social media or reality t.v.  The internet and social media give people immediate access to events across the world.  Whether it’s Arab Spring or a hilarious cat meme, it’s all there before the eyes of the world for immediate viewing and enduring saturation.  As for reality t.v., I never thought it would last.  Thank goodness I didn’t bet on that.  I just think that “Reality t.v.” is a complete misnomer.  Reality is waking up too early to go to a job that stresses you out so that you can come home and pay bills that you hate for things that you barely get to enjoy because you have to go to bed to get four hours of sleep to go back to the job that you hate.  That is reality for those of us who are lucky enough to have jobs that actually pay our bills.  Nobody wants to see that.  Reality t.v. has been around in different forms for years.  People love to watch other people.  Have you ever heard of a little musical called, “Chicago”?  It’s based on actual events that happened in Chicago that involve people being wrongly convicted or freed for crimes based on how well lawyers could sway the opinions of the press, and therefore, the public.  This was decades before Al Gore invented the internet.

None of this is to say that I think things in the world are fine as they are and nothing needs improvement.  There is so much at stake right now, in my city, state, country, and around the world.  If anyone has taken a U.S., European, or world history class, you’ll notice that the nationalistic movements growing in popularity around the world closely mirror similar movements in the past.  Those movements had some positive results, but mostly catastrophic results from which the world will never recover.  This is why it irks me when people act as if all of the divisiveness between political parties, world leaders, etc. is something new.  If anything, I’m worried because none of it is new and we have seen this before.  We fought through this before.  We survived this in the past and said that we would never allow ourselves to get to this place again because we are now enlightened.  Yet, here we are…again…

By the way, I am not citing sources of actual facts, quotes, etc. because this isn’t a political blog.  This is just my place to sort through some thoughts about things going on in my life and there aren’t enough people who read this to make it an effective platform for me to use it for anything other than rambling. So, I do not feel that I’m being hypocritical in this post by voicing my opinions while not citing facts and sources.

I have toyed with the idea of sharing random facts of the week on here, sources and all.  I might still do that.  The facts may or may not have to do with politics, but I’m not sure.  I always forget what I want to write about as soon as I sit in front of a blank page.

Random Saturdays – Winter Cleaning

Part of my workout routine has been to clean the house.  I live in a house that is way to big for me.  It’s way to big for my cat and me.  It’s even way to big for my husband, my cat, and me.  We have the kids 8 – 12 days out of the month, and that is the only time that the house seems like the right size.  When we have people over for birthday parties or holiday meals, the house feels like a good size.  Most of the time, though, it’s too big.

Most of the time, it’s just Ben and me cleaning, too.

We don’t make the cat clean because she’s spoiled.  The last time we had the kids, we made them clean upstairs (their area) on Saturday so that we could spend the rest of the weekend having fun.  We also told them that if they cleaned, we could try to go to the farm the next weekend that we had them.  So, they worked hard, we worked hard, they argued, they whined, they cried, and they finally got the upstairs clean.

Other than times like that, Ben and I don’t really spend large chunks of time cleaning because we don’t have large chunks of time to spend on cleaning.  Mostly, I keep the dishes and clothes washed, clean the kitchen counters, and try to keep things fairly organized so that anyone in the house can find anything he or she may need at any given time.  Before company comes over, we try to clean the toilets, swiffer the first floor, and clear space on the tables and counters.  Then, I greet everyone at the door with excuses and apologies for how dirty the house is.  Does this sound familiar to anyone else?

I am trying to develop healthy habits, including not being sedentary for too long.  So, I try to get up every hour or so and run in place.  Then, it occurred to me that I could also do spot cleaning in order to be active while also being productive.  The first spot cleaning is heavy duty, but spot cleaning afterwards is much easier.  As it turns out, cleaning burns alot of calories and works alot of muscles that I don’t use when I’m sitting in a chair staring at a computer screen.  Weird, huh?

I don’t think this house will ever be clean from top to bottom until the day we sell it and move.  The spot cleaning makes such a difference, at least as far as my emotional well-being.  I think it also helps my allergies.  It definitely adds to steps on my Fitbit.  I might buy some stock in Swiffer soon.  Those little cloths come in handy in so many ways.

 

Random Saturdays – Happy New Year!

Today is the first day of the Year of the Fire Rooster.  This is especially exciting to me because I am a Rooster.  Ba-kawk!  It also gives me another opportunity for a New Year’s post.  I haven’t posted anything since before Christmas because I was on vacation, and then got sick, and then became very busy trying to get back into the swing of things.

January hasn’t ended yet, and it seems like my calendar is already packed to the gills – places to go, things to do, people to see, bills to pay.  Recently, Minecraft told me about how this school year seems to be flying by faster than any other school year.  He couldn’t believe that it was already Christmas and his birthday is just around the corner now.  I told him that the first time I had that feeling was in the 4th grade.  Every year since then has seemed to go by faster than the year before.

I haven’t made any real resolutions this year because I am constantly battling with my health and constantly trying to figure out how to put more than 24 hours into the day.  I did sign up for the Run The Year 2017 challenge with Cathy.  I’m trying to be more active for the sake of my health.  I’m sick so much of the time, but I don’t want to sit around when I’m not too sick to be active.  I’m hoping that will help me feel better more often so that I can enjoy more time with friends and family.  I also learned over the holidays that I tend to be GO-GO-GO!!! one day and then need to rest the next day (or two) to recover.  If I do that, I don’t seem to get sick quite as easily.  If I’m not sick as often, then I’ll have more time to enjoy with my friends and family.  It’s the closest solution I’ve found to putting more hours into the day.

I wish that I were healthy, that I could just wake up, work out, go to work, eat healthy, take some vitamins, and call it a day.  I’m tired of beating myself up over the fact that I’m not like that, though.  I recently signed up for some newsletters and videos from Dr. Christiane Northrup where she talks about accepting your limitations and the signals your body gives you.  If your body tells you something, then you should listen.  It doesn’t mean that you’re weak or flawed, and acting on those signals will make you healthier and happier in the long run.  I felt like that was The Universe telling me that I’m getting on the right track with self-care (finally).

Since I am a Rooster, this year is supposed to be unlucky for me.  I’m just going to ignore that and try to wear red socks when I work out and red PJs when I’m recovering.  If anyone has any better ideas, please let me know, especially if they involve getting more sleep or eating more cookies.

新年快樂!