Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Yesterday I went to interview on a story that I am writing and I went into The Big City. The interview was great-- as usual I adored my subject and decided to make an adventure out of being in The City. I wish that I could just take a bus to this place which there is one available, but with so many kids, one never knows when one will get a phone call that I have to run back home because someone got hurt and I have to meet them at the hospital, which does happen a few times a year. (One kid has severe asthma and I have four boys who react to life like boys, "You can't play contact football without padding and helmets, just like you don't ride a bike without a Helmut!") Anyway, I got done with class at the college and went to the City for the interview and found a parking spot and decided afterwards to take a walk. Downtown isn't that big and when the weather is warming up like it has been, you just don't want to get back in your car!
My dream house is on the outskirts of the city or even in it-- I live in a rural area, but we came here because houses were affordable, not because I wanted to live out here. I already had three children when my husband bought our house (Oh-- I don't regret it one bit!) for me and of course it's been the best move for us, but there are these little houses in the city that I adore. One is for rent. It's actually office space. It's in an area where everything is expensive. Still, if money were no object and I could do as I wished, I would get the house above with the For Rent sign.
I went to a hotel named for a famous explorer-- I loved going there years ago. It had a great men's store called Boccaccio where I took my brother one year to buy a suit for wearing on a hockey trip-- it set me back a few hundred dollars, but he looked great, then my best friend who was petite and a fox drove him to the airport and picked him up and all his buddies thought they were dating! The had a chocolate shop called Encore! and I personally tried to keep it in business, but the owners still closed it. Encore had lattes and breves (I prefer rich breves to lattes) before coffee got big. They had rich truffles and I would buy them for my family (when i lived at home and had my parent's credit cards) and make nice dinners and surprise everyone. The stores are long gone. I don't really like them ones that are in there now. They also got rid of most of the art galleries.
I went to a sleek women's store that I've not been to in at least five years. I needed a new pair of jeans and I wanted them to fit nicely. I forgot how nice the salesclerks are-- I used to work there. I was lead around the store with the saleswoman throwing things over her arm. I felt like a hick-- I normally don't spend more than $40 on jeans and I was trying on $300 jeans. There is an amazing difference between a $40 pair of jeans and a $300 pair. I chose a $75 pair that was marked down and a new spring jacket (also marked down.) It was the most I've ever spent on a casual outfit but about the same I'd spend on a psychology session to give me confidence, and I get to wear this many more times! I got my money's worth! I felt so out of place, then I stepped out when the saleslady didn't hear me and she was talking to another associate about me, "This lady is so --grateful--! She likes everything I show her and she said that she hardly ever shops for herself-- she has nine kids!" I didn't feel so out of place-- I forgot that when I worked there, some customers liked being snippy an yes, I was grateful for her help. As I was leaving, she told me to come back for the half yearly sales and she'd help me out-- they really do mark down autumn outfits as well and since I may be graduating this December, she said I can start thinking about some nice outfits for work. I know that she gets money from my shopping, but that is a great way to keep me going back with being so nice.
I also went to a little kitchen store. What is is about mortar & pestles? I love them for being so simple and I love drawing them. I have several and am always looking for more. Here is a picture of several at one of the stores. I can't figure out how to post pictures where I want to. It looks like it's the top picture of this post.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
99.9% of the kids would have just written something and had a parent sign off. Not Peaches.
She instead had the kids ages 10 and under (six of them) sit on the floor with paper beaver teeth while she told them the story! She took pictures. Dash wanted to go outside to play, but she took them down to the river to gather branches and make a pretend beaver den. Dash claimed that he was afraid of beavers so she took some pictures of him looking scared, being chased, and pretending to sleep with beaver brothers and sisters surrounding him and looking at him!
My husband doesn't want me posting pics of the kids on the internet so I won't upload these, but what she did for her teacher in Power Point is priceless!
Saturday, March 22, 2008
I ran inside the house and shut the door and my mother asked what was wrong and I said, "There is a robin out there. He's looking at me and he knows who I am!"
My mom laughed at my absurdity and I think she even told me to not be absurd, but I'd not go back outside because of that robin! A little while later I got into trouble for doing something and she sent me to my room. I was looking out the window and the robin landed on the rhododendron bush nest to my window and was looking at me again! I screamed and my mom ran in and took me out of the room, but she thought that I was just silly. Her logic that it probably wasn't THE robin didn't work on me. I knew what I knew, and that was the very same robin!
This morning I was making breakfast and my five year old wanted to give some magpies some sunflower seeds so I sent her out with a little bag of them. There was soon a flock of five or so around her and she ran in and started peering out the back door. "There is a magpie who is over there and he'd looking at me. He knows who I am!"
I said, "Yes he does! And he's probably telling all this friends about your good birdseed and how sweet you are!"
She smiled and I filled up her little bag again to go give to her new admirer!
In spite of all the years that have passed, my heart still jumps when I see robins!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
In drawing class my professor was kind to me. "Tea has just aimed for Jupiter and landed on the moon. She started out in a Mazda that ran OK and ended up in a fast 4X4 pick-up!" She joked that somewhere along the line my Mazda turned into a 4X4 pickup, capable of high speeds! I had this idea in my head to draw my church. I was working with light and I wasn't getting it so I did something that we just learned to do on Tuesday. I darkened the entire paper with my darkest grey pencil, then started lifting up color with my kneadable eraser. I didn't do as well as I'd hoped, but I did better than I did on Tuesday when I started out. I did way better than I did on Tuesday. I got up there to discuss my work and I had a lot of bad things to say-- I was eyeballing something that I should have done mathematically and you could see where my eyes don't work together because of some major mistakes, but given their consistency, they made a "style" of their own. Singers can't have wobbles in their voices, dancers can't have wobbles, but with my drawing, I can have that wobble and it's unique.
It's always a shocker to me when my work comes out looking good-- but I don't know why. I am a decent artist. I loved seeing where my classmates have come from as well. I think they are goddesses-- but what it is, we all have our own unique way of drawing. My style is intense in whatever I do-- lots of intense high lights or dark areas depending on my medium. Another "girl" in there draws in a way that I hear music looking at her pictures-- they are happy people talking, anime people with big heads and giant eyes-- she drew me today in a mini skirt and headcovering with wings and I felt like a super hero! Another girl looks African-American and she is into her culture. She draws everyone in a Kenyan-ish style and it's just cool. I look pretty Irish-Dutch, but drawn in her style, I could have sworn that I had ancestors on the forgotten continent! It looked just like me! My characters have a sparkle to them. Another lady drawn people looking somber. I love how we are all so different, yet accurate with the same material!
I need to draw myself as a final for second semester drawing. We can do it any way we want. I am thinking of drawing myself as a fairy in water color.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
My 17 yo is driving my husband's standard car very well. Bravo Peaches!
I have had a crazy day best summed up in Phil Vassar's Just Another Day in Paradise. This is one of my favorite songs EVAR. Watch it-- that's my life! LOL
I am talking about a lack of money here-- don't think I am whining. This is life with a big family and it seems that all the kids are shooting up in size! Accommodation, adaptation, and ultimately thriving is what matters to me. If I were a flower-- I hope I would be like a nasturtium! The soil doesn't need to be rich for amazing results!
We can afford nothing but variations of chili right now so it's good that we are in Lent. With my car having had issues last week, my husband's car last month needing new everything and still having bills on top of that-- we are broke. On the good side, I am really good at making chili! One of my sons has asked me if we are rich. I was baffled and he said that one of his friends said I am a very good chili maker and he has it every day for lunch and that when he zaps it, everyone comments on how good it smells! I got a note from his teacher today asking if I can do a demonstration on making chili as part of their nutrition "special." Cool! I called her and told her our circumstances and that it's a necessity. She offered to bring in the beans if I couldn't afford them. That was so nice! I have a huge crock pot to make a feast for his class. My daughters and I make huge pans of vegan cornmeal bread. I use real butter-- it's not part of the fast, but margarine makes me gag. Butter is better for you and the cows need a reason to be, right?
We are doing well on the vegan eating-- no meat for two or three weeks now and we've really not missed it. I made hummus the other night with homemade pita. I had Peaches make Indian Naan the other day and she did well but she'd never made it before. We are essentially using the same ingredients for everything but in different ways. My husband made a Thai vegetable soup over the weekend. I like how we are doing this. My 10 year old son asked if he gets to make something since it seems the thing that we are doing now-- everyone had to make something then we sit around and rave over it!
My 10 year old son shot up a full pant size over spring break. He was an average size eight two weeks ago and now he is a good fit for his size ten pants! Gosh-- he'll be taller than his 12 yo sister before the summer is up and she is already tall for her age.
We're planning the garden for this year. I can't afford a lot, but I can't afford not to! This morning my four year old put back four BIG bowls of oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar. (I eat one bowl.) These kids just eat and eat! I have them raising broccoli and Brussels Sprouts, then some lettuces and sunflowers. I want to grow some tomatoes as well-- I want to raise them to grow green tomatoes for verde salsa. We also do an assortment of local berries. I am so ready to get my hands muddy!
These are my hands making Blessed Bread for church. We call it posphora. It means offering!
Monday, March 17, 2008
I went to my transformational grammar class and I feel like I am just on the brink of understanding it. My greatest problem is that I can't focus. The only time that I can focus is then the kids are asleep and then it's still limited as they know I am up and want to sit with me. I am so afraid of failing-- I am already making a solid F, but in class today my work was pretty good and my prof saw it and asked if a light is coming on-- I told him that it's flickering on.
I have a personal essay due in advanced composition. It's supposed to be about a personal object and five pages long (double spaced.) I can do that in twenty minutes while making dinner!
The fast is going well. We have been having vegan Greek, Thai, and Mexican food. The kids love it. The difference between last time I tried to do a fast or even go vegan is that I am not focusing on what we are eating but on how it all works together. It's good and I am shocked by how much I eat, yet I am losing a couple of pounds.
Last night I did some drawings. I am getting pretty good-- it's surprising that I do some fast sketches and am getting some distinct gestures and definite characteristics that define the people I am sketching.
I like coming home after a busy school day and the kids wanting me to get my clay out so they can make me things and look at my latest drawings. They show me their work from school and it's a lot of fun. We tell each other what we've learned. . .
On Friday I looked out my bedroom window. I saw no snow! I thought, "Sandals! Tube tops! Garden center!" I yelled at #1 to get ready as I had to take her someplace. She got ready and all the kids looked at me oddly as I came out of my room. . . I was dressed for spring!
Alas, winter was not! I took this picture to send to my husband (on the phone cam) who found it amusing, an explanation for what he calls my Popsicle toes that wake him up in the middle of the night. He says they are like cold puppy noses. . .
I ran inside and found the boots more sensible!
I'm so ready for spring!
Saturday, March 15, 2008
I stopped by the Harley shop today. Right on. I want to buy my husband a Hog in ten years. He deserves it. He is putting me through college with loans and letting me do as I must. TeaCup inspected the shop and my eldest were annoyed with me. I was a fish out of water in there. I bought him a T-Shirt for now and stuck it inside his pillow case.
In ten years TeaCup will be almost 13-- old enough to be at the house while her father and I ride on his bike a few miles to a certain mountain pass and have a picnic with Waterford crystal and Royal Doulton china.
I so badly want to do things like this. When he and I were dating and my eldest daughters were with my ex, we would do stuff like this in his car. One day it will happen and we will have a blast and be among those who say that Life begins at 50! Not that it's bad now by any means-- we will just have new opportunities to do other things and for this I cannot wait. I remember thinking at anyone over 30 was old and couldn't fathom being married to someone or of being older. My husband is almost 41 and I am almost 40 and it doesn't seem old at all or even close to middle age.
Today I went to the Big City to shop. I hate shopping. I have to be in the mood. TeaCup was being great, but I was just not up for it. I went to a bookstore and got depressed. I need to stop going to bookstores because I wind up going past the self help books and I usually see some sad looking women looking at books about how to save their marriages. I did what I like to do. I picked up Gloria Steinem's Revolution from Within. I started laughing to myself which caused a lady to look at me and make eye contact with me. I quoted something and we started talking. The other lady there got into the conversation. Yeah-- right on. I put the book down and looked at other things and they both bought copies of other kick-ass books. I don't really like Gloria-- I remember her being shrill in the 1970's. Her voice still bothers me even though she has probably honed her style. Anyway, I infused a couple of ladies with some attitude.
I just read an awesome article about Barak Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham Soetoro. I remember being a single mother quite well and my struggles-- she was going to Jakarta and globe trotting with Obama and his sister while home schooling them! What a lady! I like that she and Barack communicated with letters-- I am an avid letter writer and Barack also decorated his letters to her! I decorate letters-- some of my best inspiration comes from thinking and praying about the person I am writing to, coming up with something and doing it-- then later for a class assignment, it hits me to add something and my professor thinks I am divinely inspired. When I die, I expect that many friends will make copies of a few of my envelopes to send to my husband and children and tell them that they loved getting my letters and that my husband and kids will wrote back telling them stories of certain envelopes because I show my family my letters and they are also letter decorators. I am digressing. I now know that Barack's mom was the definition of what I consider cool-- she was into languages, she was artistic in living, and her son seems to have inherited that. It bothers me that he doesn't put his hand over his heart when he hears the National Anthem but gosh darn it, he's an artist! Artists are allowed to be that way!
My husband is playing a game with the kids. Last week he played Risk with them and my 10 year old with special needs was WINNING but lost an area to his brother so he flipped the game over. My 11 yo daughter had whined the duration of the game and my 8 &9 year old sons had actually cried when they lost territories. Before he started the game, he wrote up a promise of how to act-- no crying, whining, accusing others of cheating, etc. and outlined the consequences of it and invited them to sign it, explaining that it was voluntary but that they'd not play if they didn't. He deserves two Harleys.
I like having an hour glass figure-- while I don't dress to show it off any more because I am getting more into my beliefs, I still like to keep myself looking nice. I am happy with the results of this. It's not something that I go around telling people in real life about.
Some studies are suggesting that heart disease goes up with waist fat deposits. I found one study that was brief but amusing that suggested that women with narrow waists have higher IQ's! I don't put a lot of trust into these studies-- numbers can be manipulated by the smart men that these women marry! I also liked this study.
Many years ago women burned their bras and did away with girdles. I think that it was about having to wear them that women didn't like. If I want to go to the store in sweats, I can, but I like to dress nicely. My mom told me about the 60's when she did her housework in heels. I can't fathom it.
Friday, March 14, 2008
I went to the dentist today. Today I went in for a crowning but since I lost my crown months ago and didn't go in because I didn't have time, my teeth got too close and I needed a new one fitted. It took a lot longer but I didn't have to be drugged up. I used to love this guy because his staff didn't chatter at me. Today I wasn't doped upand what did they do? "You seem content and not needing the drugs to relax you! blah-blah-blah-yakkitty-yakkitty-yak." It's a sentence to lie in that damned chair and have these lonely people trying to be my friend. I just want to lay there and breathe. Why is that so wrong? Next time I go in I am going to wear a fake hearing aid and just say it's not working. I'm paying for the damned visit! Hmph!
My waist is down to 25" in the corset. It gets smaller each day-- but without it' it's about 30. The reduction that is happening so fast is telling me that my abdominal muscles are weak but not fat. (I say this as I have attacked a box of Girl Scout Tagalongs! Om-om-om.) I wear modest clothes-- my dresses nornally go to mid calf. My tops are a little looser. When I corset at the house I normally wear a tank top tunic over tight pants, then put my dress on. Today I noticed that I am getting small because I was wearing the pants and tunic and an over jacket. I like this and I like how fast it's happening. I am still wearing fro three hours at a time.
The first shirts were done dry where I washed them then dried them and applied dye. As we started to run out, the kids were having so much fun that they wanted to get a few more things that they had that were stained. I got the tops wet and the dye wasn't as bold but it soaked more.
I made another tasty dish that is vegan-- it's a vegetable curry with potatoes. The sauce is Thai and the kids started talking about how it's nicer than going to a restaurant!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
My morning had been sh---- with going to the grocery store to shop, calling myhusband to remind him that I needed grocery money and having him telling me that he would have to transfer me money later as he was in an emergency meeting. He is in pathology so seriously, they could be on the brink of disaster and I’d have to just wait! Having worked at one of those stores before, and seeing that they weren’t busy, I took my cart to the customer service area and told them that I had to leave as it was an emergency. They thanked me for letting them know and asked if I knew when I’d come back, but I didn’t know and asked them to put it away for me—they really don’t mind as it’s their job. I got home and cleaned and hung out with the kids, then a few hours later my husband sent me a message saying he sent some money to my account. I went to the car and . . . it wouldn’t start!
I called Triple A and they sent someone to me who at this point I know very well. Six months ago it was the battery—today it was my starter! I was fuming. Of course I’d told my husband about this (as I had the battery and the water heater!) and the mailman came and I went to get it and there was a letter from a good friend! In my happy mood, I thanked God that I was in the safety of my driveway with my eldest there with the other kids and that I was not at the store laden with children and groceries with a car not starting. I decided to forgive my husband who I’d screamed at earlier for not taking the car in when I said it was getting really bad at not starting (we’ve had a lot going wrong with his car—he was hoping that my starter would last until May.) We got to the mechanic's where he greeted me and said it would be a few hours. The weather was perfect—a light dusting of snow on the ground to make it crunchy, and it was wet but not too wet, so I walked around a certain lake, maybe a mile up the bike trail to a grocery store and took a few pictures. I stopped in a little herbal store that I’d never seen before and the lady called me Magpie, which she said was my animal totem! OK! I looked at her stuff and bought some pretty rocks and massage oil. I picked up some Tiger Iron which she said was good for my anemia, but I just thought was pretty. She freaked me out and she gave me her card and said I'd be back. Then I went to the grocer and picked up two weeks worth of groceries. I’d have been in a sour mood had the letter not arrived when it did, I’d have probably sat and bitched (in a funny way that is probably annoying and I will never do it again) about my husband to everyone. And I got a terrific walk out of the deal! No kids, no dog, no one but me alone and time to just be. Do you know how rare that is? It was spring break and my deadlines aren’t as tight. I just walked and was in the moment so to speak. I had Frank Sinatra’s, The Best is Yet to Come stuck in my head.
I don’t get into that stuff about totems—but the lady shocked me. Last year I was to create a mask for my first semester of drawing. I went for a walk and couldn’t come up with anything and I was running out of time for my clay to dry and for me to paint the mask in time to dry for the due date. I had to get it started that night. I decided to close my eyes and whatever I opened them to—a tree, a rock, whatever, that I would create a mask in that image. I closed my eyes and a bird landed a few feet away from me and yelled and it was a magpie! I made a neat looking mask of magpie and drew myself quite well, sitting on a tree! Today the lady in the store told me about magpie being the messenger of creativity, adaptability and resourcefulness—among many things. I was in a Squall parka without my art supplies, I was wearing black Isotoner gloves—nothing tipped her off about me and I swear that I’d never seen her before. She told me more stuff and I left, more than just a bit spooked! Of course, I got home and looked into more birds and could have several of them be my totem, but it was still pretty cool.I got my waist down to 26" today. I am feeling fine. I am happy with how easy waist training is so far, but I am not ready to wear the corset to school. The drive would be too much and I never know how I would react to it if I just felt like removing it.
I made a cous-cous with raisins and carrots in a curry sauce for dinner tonight. All the kids enjoyed it. I made an unsweetened pear cake for sweets after dinner and my 9 year old asked why we eat better during Lent, which made me feel quite fantastic!
Monday, March 10, 2008
I got my first custom corset today from Romantasy. I own a few that I have purchased built for anyone, but I have to say that this is truly a work of art. I ordered a utilitarian corset made with black duck one side and green denim on the other. It is stunning. I have never seen any piece of clothing that looks so perfect and feels so strong. In my more conservative dress, I am still corseting underneath. I love how they feel on me-- they support the back and are like a constant hug. These are not bad for women like they used to be in the old days and of course being married to a man of science, he worried at first with my other ones but saw how they are not meant to constrict me. My first is an underbust Bella-- the next one that I will have made next year will be an underbust Edwardian or perhaps this one.
I cannot get over how much I like wearing these. It's not sexual or a fetish-- they offer back support! And they pull in my body. I got my waist down to 27" from 30"-- I wore it around the house and went shopping, then came home. After wearing it for three hours, I can tell you that I was ready to take it off. This is how you start out, you wear it for several hours then remove it. You do it again the next day and after three days you increase it to four hours and work up. My goal is a 23" waist. It's pretty possible. When I was 25 and doing a lot of jazz dancing, I had a 22" waist. This gives me a wasp waist even though it's not officially a corset that does that.
Oh-- the picture is from Romantasy and she said I could borrow it. It's from Sharon McCoy of Altered Thyme and she made the one that I have!
Sunday, March 09, 2008
No one checks to see if you are fooling around with your spouse and your kids don't announce to the church that Mom and Dad made a lasagna with real cheese or had gyros sandwiches. It's all voluntary. We do this in observance of what Christ went through voluntarily, as well. At the end of six weeks, food that you abstained from really does taste wonderful. Romance is even better. You stop having sex but you think of other ways to show affection-- if it's too much, years ago a priest said to just not wait the entire time. When my husband and I had just converted, six weeks without was impossible. Now having been married for ten years and being busy with life-- it's less bad. We will deliberately find other ways to show affection.
I've been covering my hair for the past three weeks. I've felt called to covering my hair for years. I have pretty red hair, but I've just wanted to cover it. You don't mess with what God wants you to do. Years ago I tried and failed-- it was about me. "Look at me! I'm so modest!" I decided that if I ever did it again that it wouldn't attract a lot of attention and I'd be able to just do it. I came to Headcoverings by Devorah one day while surfing and my 12 year old loved the designs as did I and she asked me to buy one for her, which I did. Then I bought a bunch! They feel right on me, then I started reading more about why women would cover their hair. My husband doesn't care one way or the other-- he said he'll tell me if it looks wrong. I used to look like a little church mouse covering my hair! He says that now it's just different. I am staying with it. I already dress conservatively-- this was just waiting for the right time.
I used to be very rude about some of the women in church who covered their hair. Today we were comparing where we buy our head coverings. It wasn't a fellow Christian who got me to wear them-- it was Devorah. She wasn't even speaking to me directly!
School is out for the week. The roads are muddy. It will be a very long week. I did find someone nearby who owns a kiln. I have clay that is "real"-- it behaves well for a kiln. I am having the kids make some bowls and will be drying them then taking them over to the lady who has a kiln. This will be fun for them.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
I'm worn out. I am trying to wrap up everything before break. I am worn out. I'm so ready to have the break and do some fun things with the kids, do my sketch book-- I have to turn it in at the end of the semester but I've had no time to fill it-- and get a few extra hours of sleep!
I wish I could just get a good massage. Massage school will be exhausting this summer but I wonder if we get to take turns at it and I get to be a subject at some point.
I don't want to think about this summer. . .
Oh-- my husband sent me this chart. I wonder what was on his mind. . . I was ambitious, funny, optimistic and sexy ten years ago. Does he now find me a workaholic-show off-stupid-slut?