Sunday, July 31, 2011

the terror that is unpacking

i'm not sure why unpacking is always such a chore for me.  you would think i would be so excited to move into a new place, to make it my own, that i would just yank everything out of boxes and throw it all any and everywhere.  instead, i'm ridiculously slow at it.  i think too hard about where things should go, about what the ramifications of putting baking items in that cupboard as opposed to this cupboard will be, forgetting all the time that if i don't like the first place i put it, i can move it!  this time i'm also faced with my passive-aggressive mom-ness.  i'm hating that for whatever reason, no one feels like they need to do anything unless i ask.  for some reason, the task of unpacking and making house decisions is all mine, and that feels bogus to me.  i'm not a dictator in an apron, i promise.

instead of unpacking i'm looking at boxes and making plans, and doing some knitting. there is nothing more fun that starting a new project and watching it grow.  it's especially fun to work on something that's going to be a present.  i'm not terribly superstitious (i like to think) but i do subscribe to the idea that thinking good thoughts while working on something translates into the finished project.  that's why a lot of things i was working on when my dad was going through radiation got scrapped in the end.  doing the actual knitting and embroidering while waiting for him at the clinic was good for me in that it kept my hands busy and gave me something else to fuss over, but whenever i finished something i had to get rid of it because all i could think of what them poking and prodding him, his discomfort, the nasty radiation burn across his cheek and neck.  it felt like it would be bad juju to give those items to anyone else, too, so i threw most of them away.

i've been thinking about my dad a lot lately.  the other night while unpacking i ran across a xmas gift list he'd sent me, and it reduced me to tears.  i miss those little lists, how detailed they were, how he'd tell you not just what he'd like to get, but about how much it would cost and where you could find it.  D thought that was a bit fussy, but i explained that for my pop that just made sense.  he bought the things he wanted for himself, but knew we wanted to buy him things for xmas, so he made it easy on us.  he didn't want us to feel like we had no idea what we were doing, and he was open to getting things that weren't on the list.  he also wasn't a dictator in an apron.  it's funny the things that make me think of him, the things i miss.  the sound of his boots on linoleum, the smell of his aftershave, the way he would always announce "bump!" in the car when he saw a sign warning you of the same thing.  the pain of losing him isn't as overwhelming now as it was in the beginning, but it does kind of hide out and wait for me some afternoons.  grief is a strange monster.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


after finishing the painting in the nook, i broke it in this afternoon by sewing some curtain panels for the big window in there.  overall, i like the way they turned out, but more than anything, it just felt good to turn on my ipod and sew away.  it went from being dour and rainy and cool to being ridiculously hot and humid out here in the pacific northwest, so sitting in front of an oscillating fan in the downstairs was nice.  it's the coolest spot in the house! 
here is a tiny after and before shot (because i got them backwards!).  look at what a difference a coat of paint makes!  the carpet is the same, because a) it's weird and b) i kind of like it and c) it's not really financially feasible to get rid of it or replace it at this time.  i dig that this is the original carpet as well.  says a lot about my little house! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

over and under-whelmed

the process of going through your belongings is the coolest and worst thing you can go through.  weeding out stuff you don't need to keep feels good, at the same time i've been spending a lot of time wondering why i kept any of that old junk.  i'm also traipsing down memory lane every five minutes, which makes for slow going.  i wish i could say i was less attached to "things," that i had a more buddhist relationship to physical objects, but i am most certainly not that enlightened.  holding something from a specific time in my life feels good.  notes written from friends past and present are nice to read. knowing that i was thought of, cared about, that someone put a stamp on a letter from far away, just for me, is an ego boost.  which isn't to say my self esteem is so bad i need that kind of thing (i can't quit any time i like! get off my back!), but i think more people can relate to that feeling than not.

in any case, it's too humid to paint the nook, so i'm trying to pare down the things that will eventually live in there.  it's not exciting, and when i look at all the boxes i have to go through, i want to weep (i am a packrat, although i am a packrat who is getting better).  i'm not bad enough to be a tv show yet, so let's just keep it that way, shall we? 

Monday, July 18, 2011

home again, home again!

went to portland for a long weekend with the kids.  for a minute there, i thought about not taking them because they were making me so freaking crazy, but that felt like a dick move, even to me.  we ended up having an awesome time; we did a lot of lazing about, reading, playing video games, and eating delicious things.  then, surprise surprise, when anne and aaron brought up the idea of the kids staying a bit longer, they went for it.  so i came home alone! i thought the kids would want to come home, see their friends, all that jazz, but they really (really) like anne and aaron and the boys, and were having too much fun to leave.  D and i would use this as a little honeymoon, but we both have to work this week.  so we'll be using this week kid-free to have some date nights and (cross your fingers) get some stuff around the house done.  i picked up some awesome things from Ikea, so i want to finish painting my nook and then get my stuff settled in there. 

right now, though, i want to take a nice shower.  the weather got hot and muggy all at once, and i feel like i'm coated in a thin layer of gross. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011


i know it's not a completely original complaint, but goddamn i hate working for ten hours, dealing with people with shitty pants and weirdo tumors that i have to touch, only to come home and find that no one has done a fucking thing to clean up after themselves.  dishes all over the kitchen, empty cans of beer on the counters, books and papers all over the living room, you get the idea.  i don't know about you, but i find it just as exhausting to have to leave lists of things for the kids to do as clean it up myself. because seriously?! you can't see what needs to be put up away? you really like the shrill tone my voice takes when i'm irritated?

i hate hate hate being the nagging mom-person.  i hate that i feel like this. i hate that the house is trashed and no one gives a fuck.  i hate that i have to bug my husband to do anything, and now that we're married his favorite thing to do is point out how little i "contribute" financially, meaning, "i know you work all day but you don't make as much as i do, so maybe you can shut up about the dishes."  or maybe that's just what i think it means.  i know he works hard, and i know his schedule is weird and he comes home at odd hours of the day, but if it doesn't kill me to take twenty minutes to tidy things up, why should it kill him?

tonight i am going to hide in my room with the netflix and a cocktail, and everyone can fend for themselves.  the end. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

weird things about my family, part one million and three

did you know my husband really only eats late late late at night, and that the bulk of his diet is comprised of mayonnaise and blue cheese dressing?  i exaggerate a little, but only that: a little.  the man is never hungry until 11 at night, and often has his first meal then, followed by a "snack" at 3 a.m.  i think part of that has to do with his late night work schedule, and part of it has to do with his deep and abiding love of mayo. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

sunday morning

for some ungodly reason, i woke up at 7 this morning.  i rarely wake up that early, even when i'm supposed to be at work at 7. i've already had two cups of coffee, finished reading a book, and folded some clothes.  WTF. of course, everyone else is still asleep so i'm trying to be quiet and not wake them up.  everyone is on a night-owl schedule, since the kids don't have school and D's been working late night bar shifts.  i admit i like staying up late as well, but lately i'm stuck in a weird awake in the morning and therefore sleepy when everyone else wants to hang out mode. 

i think i'll watch some breaking bad now, fold some more clothes, and drink some more coffee.  then when everyone else wakes up, i'll go take a nap.  ha! i'm also excited about doing some more painting in the nook.  it's coming along nicely.

Saturday, July 09, 2011


behr ultra paint and primer, "moonlit pool"
my first painting project in the new house is the tiny room off the master room, known as the nook.  it's a weird little space, i think it was used mainly for storage.  it's big enough for a good sized table and bookshelf, has a great big window that gets a good amount of light, and so i snagged it for myself.  it will be my little hidey-spot, for crafty things and hanging up/enjoying the art i love that D isn't necessarily as charmed by.  the trim is going to be a bright white (the name of it is "frost," doesn't that just sound amazing?), and i'm looking forward to making my own space. 

had a nice afternoon being lazy, visiting yet another hardware store (since moving into a house of our own, we love to wander around thinking about stuff we can do!), and trying out a new chinese buffet with the boychik.  as usual the food was so-so, but i cannot and will not pass up an opportunity to smother everything with sweet and sour sauce.  it's like crack to me. 

one of my favorite people in the whole wide world, my nephew tiernan, had a pretty serious surgery last week.  no one wants to hear about a kid getting poked and prodded and opened up like a can of sardines, and this was no exception to that rule.  the good news is that not only was the kid a rockstar about the whole thing (no complaining, no whining, no freaking out about the IVs), but he got to go home early and is now hanging out, playing his DSi, and trying not to itch his incision.  i got to talk to him this morning, and it made me feel seriously good.  he sounds just like himself, and i can't wait to see him and his brother next week and spoil them rotten with ice cream and cartoons.  i felt so anxious the day of the surgery, even though the prognosis was excellent (very few kids react badly to the surgery, most get sicker from the anesthesia), and hearing his chipper little voice today went a long way in making me feel like he's on the mend. we also had a cute conversation about how patting his chest to help with the itch is a lot like patting a scabbing tattoo when it itches.  such a sweet boy!  i'm taking at least one of the kids down there next week to hang out and watch cartoons and play scribblenauts, and maybe get some sun.  i can hardly wait!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


i don't know if it's the good weather or we're just feeling motivated, but we've gotten a lot done around the house lately.  seriously.  rooms have been adjusted, boxes unpacked, beds set up, plants planted.  i also got D's computer up and running, and have finally been able to properly pore through all 856 photos from the wedding.  yes, 856.  give or take three.  needless to say, i've spent big chunks of yesterday and today uploading and organizing and ordering photos.  to see more than you ever needed to see of me in a big white dress, go over here.  

i would also like to say our plan of winnowing down possessions and simplifying things around the house is actually going pretty well.  it's slowing down the unpacking (the same way it slowed down the packing!) but it's worth it.  it feels so good to get rid of stuff! 

Sunday, July 03, 2011

sunday night awesome

have you seen party down?  i just discovered it on netflix, and am IN LOVE.  i used to work as a caterer for my mother's small company back in college, and while our crew was a lot smaller, it does make me a little nostalgic for the old job.  oh, and it's funny as all shit.  i just got to the jennifer coolidge episodes, and the one where she is on shrooms and joking about her green merkin being too small made me full on guffaw out loud.  MERKIN.  always funny.  i also watched a patton oswalt special the other day that made me laugh so hard the kids came down to check in on me.  i think they think i'm mildly retarded. ha!

we also made ice cream yesterday with one of our THREE ice cream makers. my mom bought D one for xmas, which he has used once.  we got two for our wedding, when we had zero on our registry.  one of them makes a lot of ice cream and uses ice, the other one is an awesome cuisinart stand-alone.  normally i could give two shits about ice cream, but we bought ingredients the other day because it was hot and i thought the girlchild and her friends would dig making it.  we used pineapple, toasted coconut and mini chocolate chips.  it was epic!  so tonight we made coffee ice cream.  also amazing.  we ate it right out of the maker before freezing some for tomorrow.  i went from not really caring about ice cream, to being totally sold on making it at home and glad we have so many options for making it.  

the neighbors are all doing fireworks, so the cat is hiding out in our room under the dresser.  she doesn't seem too irritated, she keeps rolling over for belly pets and meowing for attention.  she just isn't coming out from under there any time soon.

Friday, July 01, 2011

it's a mental health friday!

i only had two patients today, and one incredible jackass for a tech, so i called out.  i know, that's terrible, isn't it? only i don't feel bad.  at all.  instead, i'm excited about having an extra day to get stuff done!  here is a list of things i hope to do this weekend:
  • unpack more boxes.  
  • specifically, make the kitchen a lot more livable.  it's the room we use the most, so it kind of needs to be organized.
  • make a bird feeder.  i saw this neat one and thought it would look cool in our yard.  my main tech and co-worker was a bird biologist before he got into MRI.  i have always loved birds, but not really known much about them.  since working with him the past few years, i've learned a lot.  he doesn't use a feeder; he prefers to sprinkle seed on the ground and watch from his deck, but i think i would also like to have a feeder.  the bird watching site linked above has a tremendous amount of information.
  • my mom bought me a beautiful red maple that i want to find a place for as well.  it's still in its pot, but it needs to find a home in our yard!
the only other things going on over here are lots of masters of horror on the netflix, some bran muffin making (i know it sounds crazy, but the bob's red mill recipe is so good! i add coconut, flax seeds and dried cranberries, and they get gobbled up.), and some comic book reading.  that's one of the awesome things about no tv, we're all reading a lot more.  the move also uncovered some calvin and hobbes books, which we are all enjoying.  now i'm going to go drink some coffee, eat a muffin, and read up on the birds in my area.  i am already loving this friday!