Monday, May 30, 2011

I Like a Challenge

Many readers, both long-time friends and those I've yet to meet, have marveled at my apparent ability to complete 137% of the tasks that most humans are able to accomplish in a given day.  Or month.  Perhaps year.  "How do you do it???" they ask wide-eyed and awe struck.  "How do you fix up a house and take care of four kids and have those animals and still manage to say things to us here and post ridiculous things to facebook and tweet about microwaved pepperoni?"  (True story.  Just had that conversation quite recently.  Not the marveling one.  The microwaved pepperoni one.)

Answer: I do not bathe.  I rarely even change my clothes.

For serious.

I feel compelled to share this with you so that you don't all quit your jobs and buy ridiculously cheap fixer-uppers and then move into them and start crying and then never want to speak to me again except to tell me that I am a fool and evil for tricking you into your adventure by pretending that it is all easy as pie and totally awesomely wonderful all the time.  I mean, have you read about the snakes?  The frog day spa?  The iron bacteria?  Not an all-inclusive resort, let me assure you.

Truly, in order to maintain some semblance of order and accomplishment around here, I am lucky If I am able to bathe every other day.  Usually it's every third day.  I know!  Isn't it gross that I'm telling you this?  But it must be done, and I have no pride.  Here's the thing guys: we have one bathroom.  One bathroom.  Six people.  Sure, one of those people doesn't use the toilet yet (for its intended purpose).  But she is still in there.  All. The. Time.  And either something is going on that prevents the showering (e.g. male child is pouring red food coloring on carpet.  True story.) or someone else is in there (please see above, re: human to bathroom ratio). 

If the showering (lack of) thing didn't disgust you enough, let me also say that I rarely have time to change my clothes.  I am serious.  Priorities, folks!  Reply to hilarious comment about dog feces or change into pajamas before bed?  Clearly there is only one choice here.  So I collapse into bed wearing the same clothes I've worn all day.

Now imagine, if you will, that you have arisen from your bed fully clothed, are looking for ways to save time and there is little to no hope that you will be bathing that day.  Do you a) change into another similarly ugly outfit thereby spending time you don't have whilst simultaneously creating more dirty laundry or b) just start your day as if it is but a rather lengthy extension of the previous day?  That is what I thought, my clever co-human.  That is exactly what I thought.  No new laundry for us smart folk!

Also, I have not received any professional hair or nail attention in over a year.  I eat two out of three meals with one hand and type with the other.  I currently, at this moment, have seven windows open on my computer screen.  And when I am done writing this, even though it is almost 11 p.m., I will proceed to clock in and do the work that people actually pay me to do.  At 11 p.m. on a Sunday night.  If this were in fact an all-inclusive resort, they'd (WE'D) be in huge frappin' trouble with the...FDA?  FTC?  CDC?  I'm guessing all of the above.

Seriously, y'all.  If you're interested in things like "not embarrassing your children" and "smelling good" or perhaps "getting more than five hours of sleep per night", then I hereby discourage you from undertaking an sort of adventure that smacks even remotely of ours.  Because this has been hard and crazy.

And wonderful.

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lightning Limerick

The storms were best with lightning
Until her dog thought them too frightening
He pooed out of fear
there, here, and here.
Apparently his bowels need tightening

Friday, May 27, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday: Mr. Bean is Bombastic

I had all these grand plans of writing something hilarious and useful (yes, both at the same time.  I always have been an overachiever, what can I say?) but now the sun is shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiining after two days of raaaaaaaaaaaaaaain and all I wanna do is get out there and DO something.  So, I'm doing 7 Super Quick Takes (kinda like 7 Quick takes, but super duper fast and quicky quick like) Friday and then I am blowin' this indoor popsicle stand.

Why does Blogger want me to capitalize the word "popsicle"?  Is that a brand name or something?  What do they want me to call it?  Frozen edible sweet liquid cylinders?  "Let's blow this frozen edible sweet liquid cylinder stand!"

Speaking of words being denied their wordliness by being given a red squiggly where it doesn't belong: doofuses.  Yep, there it is.  A red squiggly.  It's a word, y'all!  I looked it up and everything.  If the internet, which clearly knows all there is to know in this world, says it's a word then it's a word.  I'm using it, dang it.

Speaking of words again, do you know what's a shame?  My kids don't know what the word 'bombastic' means.  No, not the real meaning, silly.  The awesome meaning.  Clearly they have not been watching enough Mr. Bean and/or listening to lame 90's music.  Or maybe watching enough Beavis and Butthead.

Holy cow, have you guys seen this sped up version of the Mr. Bean dance?  I really do need to find a way to spend more time on YouTube.  This is comedy gold!

Okay, remember how this place was a jungle when we got here last summer and Tommy had to excavate a path using his favorite machete and a prayer?  Well the jungle is coming back, and do you know what it's made of?
Wild grape vines!  We got here too late last year, but maybe we'll actually get to try some grapes this time around.  And then maybe we can figure out how to turn them into wine.  Have you met me?  Yes, I AM that cheap!

 Speaking of stuff that grows, our neighbor....wait.  Let me back up.  We have had a huge lilac bush growing right in front of our house, but then Tommy was worried that rodents were using it to scale our house and build forts in our attic.  As it turns out, they weren't.  Even if they were, the snakes would have probably eaten them.  But anyway.  He cut that bush down real good last fall and our neighbor ran over, wailing and gnashing his teeth and cursing the day God allowed foolish city folk to ruin his floral paradise.  Because we will have to wait until next spring to have blooms again.  Which resulted in the wailing and the gnashing of MY teeth.  And so the other day, he brought these over to help us get through this painful time....

And just look at this.  We have real trees!  With a tire swing!  And sunshine!  And a boy with shorts on!
Life is good.

Click to link-up with Jen!

p.s. I've been nominated for June blog of the month at For the Love of Blogs.  You don't have to register to vote- just a little click.  If you're so inclined, here's the link :)

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

All I can give is love

I'm a mom.  I have this blog.  But I don't think I talk about my kids as much as a Mommy Blogger should. Or does.  They're here.  I'm here.  We all love each other.  The end.

But my kids are actually pretty incredible.  Individually incredible.  As a group, they just fight and leave granola wrappers all over my dang den.  But as stand alone  I just need to not mess them up.

My oldest is 10.  She's the most eldest of any eldest child you have ever met.  A neurotic list maker.  A terrible worrier.  Brilliant.  Honest.  She started reading The Boxcar Children when she was four years old.  Now she writes her own books.  Short stories.  Poems. Scripts.

I could never write fiction, what with my complete lack of imagination, but she can and she does.  Everywhere I look I find stray sheets of paper.  Stuffed under the couch.  Jammed in her closet.  On the shelf, almost hidden between the covers of two books.  Snippets of stories in process.  Characters I know she knows.  She doesn't create them.  She meets them and she and writes down what they say.

"...and maybe if she hadn't left her curtains open, she wouldn't have gone through any of that!  But I cannot tell a lie, dear reader, and though you (and, admittedly, I) might be scared out of your wits, you must read on and face your fear."


"I love sunshine, rain, and snow.  I love forces, tornadoes, heat, tsunamis, hurricanes, thunder, and lightening.  Don't get me wrong- I hate it when it hurts and kills people.  But doesn't it look beautiful sweeping across the sky?  I want to be a weather reporter.  Or an actress, but I already am.  I was in a ten-minute movie about weather."

It's a strange thing to read what your child has written in those alone moments outside when other kids are riding bikes or collecting rocks.  Underneath her everyday awkwardness, her silly jokes, her wrist full of silly bandz is a whole mysterious world.  One that I can't ever fully know.  There she is, my little girl.  But she's not so little.  And really, was she ever truly mine?

Please stay for just a little longer.  Let us get to know you more.  Show us a little of the person you're planning to be.  The woman who will change someone's, many one's, life.  Don't grow up just yet.  We've only just met.
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Watch this Video! The Race

I don't ever post more than once in a day, but I was just so moved by this I had to share. If you're seeing this in a reader or email, I'm embedding a video that you MUST watch. Less than 3 minutes.  Incredible.

p.s. If you weren't in love with Arcade Fire already, you're welcome!

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Webby Wednesday: The Rubber Stamp Shop (discount!)

 Webby Wednesday, volume4

Welcome to the fourth installment of dweej's Webby Wednesday, this time featuring the always funny, always helpful crafty queen Bernie (because Barnadette is just too long to type out every time, and I am lazy), the awesomeness behind the useful and personalizable goodies at The Rubber Stamp Shop!  It's a family owned and operated brick & mortar shop in Billings, MT that's been filling custom orders for over 50 years.  Now they have a snazzy website (of course.  Or else how could it be Webby Wednesday?) and an awesome Bernie to say "Hey, get some craftin' stuff up in here, y'all!"  Except she probably doesn't say y'all, seein' as how she's from Minnesota. 

So let me start by assuring you that when they say they will make any custom stamp you want they really mean ANY.  Like any.  Imagine something you don't think they would do and then look at me: THEY WILL DO IT!  Do you want a ridiculous drawing or image of some sort?  Just make sure it's in black and white and they'll do it.  Have a word that you would like to stamp on most papers that come across your desk?  They'll do that too.  Yes, whatever it is you're imagining, the answer is yes.  Yes!  Yep, that too.  Because they are fun and nice like that.  And also they like your money, even if you do have a dirty mind.  Now go wash your brain out with soap!  Geez.

Okay, I was about to move on to the excellent item that they have discounted JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE READING THIS AND TOGETHER WE ARE WINNERS but then I noticed that they have a category on their site titled "Useless Stuff".  For realz!  Look:
Hah!  Oh I do love them so.  Now, I'm not going to show you what is on the Useless Stuff screen because I want you to click in that picture and go there yourself to find out (you see how I'm sneaky like that?  Crafty, but in a totally different way.)

Sorry, I'm easily distracted (can you tell?).  Back to business.

Bernie has kindly extended a fantabulous $10 discount to anyone who would like to get started making their own custom cards or wants to give the gift of craftiness (the stampin' kind.  Not the dweej kind) to the crafty crafterson in their life.  Just click on this here photo of the world's most perfect card making kit and git yerself sum!

Now if you are very non-creative (like me) but are intrigued by the possibilities here (like me), let me just show you how these supplies could work.  Bernie herself made these two cards:

using the By the Sea borders and centers found here and the Memento Dual Tip Markers found here .

Pretty fantastic, right?

She is fantastic, you guys.  Bernie is fantastic.  She was the very first person that doesn't, or didn't at the time, actually know me to read every single word of my blog from the very first entry.  She really did!  And then she did a whole blog post about how people should read the silly things I say.  She really did!  Because she is super nice and totally supportive.

You can usually find her being awesome and saying hilarious things on her blog, which you MUST check out.  So much fun to be her webby friend, it truly is.  Her commentary is always so perfectly funny and her vintage advertisements that she posts for Wordless Wednesday are incredibly entertaining.  And seeing as it's Wednesday right now, get over there and check it out!

So remember, discount on card making set here and fantastically entertaining blog here .

Visit them both and tell her that Dweej sent you!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's a real garden, Charlie Brown!

Y'all know how it goes.  I say a lot of deep and meaningful things and then the next day I just throw some random pictures up and tell you to have a nice afternoon.  'Cause my brain gets tired, yo.  I'm not used to all know...thinking.

Welcome to the next day, folks!

backyard on day 1, July 13th 2010
backyard on day ?, April 2nd 2011
backyard on day ?, May 24th, 2011
Now I know you can't see in that garden very well at all in this photo.  See, if I was an actual photographer, I probably wouldn't try to take outdoor photos facing east first thing in the morning.  But since I'm not, I tend to do smart things like that.  But it is your luck-tastic day because I also took super interesting, not at all lame photos of the actual vegetables that I have managed to not kill yet!
red leaf lettuce
snow peaz
pole beanz
While I know you would love to see even more pictures of random plants, you'll have to be content with me just telling you that there are also tomatoez, bell pepperz, oregano, and possibly dill and jalapeno (I may have in fact already killed those, though.  Oh, and the broccoli too.  Pretty sure that's not gonna grow.  And yes, I'm super street.  Or should I say "ztreet").  But hey, it's not ALL dead, which is a vast improvement over what I had anticipated.  I mean, there aren't even any rabbits running around and chowing down on our plants!  There are actual plants for me to make rabbit comments about!  Su-weeeeeeeet.

p.s. Yes, 8 out of 10 photos taken with Jen's camera.  Ye-haw!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Peace of Christ is Real

As you probably know by now, when I'm presented with a challenging circumstance, when the road gets a little bumpy and the things aren't going the way I wish they would, I clam up.  I need time to process the valleys of life.  The peaks...well, I shout those out eagerly!  Like yesterday, for example, with my celebration of the awesomeness of total strangers.  Today, on the other hand, is different.  Today I'm ready to share something with you that was, or perhaps should have been, more difficult to celebrate.

On the Friday before Mother's Day, my husband was laid off.

This is a guest post.  Click here to continue reading...

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

The World is Good. People are Awesome.

Do you believe in kindness?  Do you believe in the human race?  Do you believe in paying something forward even if it was never paid to you to begin with?

I tell ya what, Saturday was an "I BELIEVE!" kind of day at La Casa de Dweej.  And do you know know why?  If you guessed that my little camera came back to life, you're wrong.  Something much better and even more miraculous than that happened! 

As we were just about to leave our house for a very rare dinner out (that should probably count as miracle number one), I decided to scurry over to the mailbox real quick and see what bills and other junk mail were patiently awaiting us.  But it wasn't bills or other junk mail.

It was a box.

And what was inside the box was something that literally made me do this, the very second I opened it:

See, what was inside the box was this little, beautifully made card:
which said this on the inside:
And attached to that lovely card was this:
Except in addition to all of that was also this:
Because of course I couldn't take a picture of my NEW CAMERA with my NEW CAMERA!!!!

Was that loud enough for you?  Did you hear me all the way in Malaysia????

You guys, I am not even making any of this up.  This all actually happened.

Please go and visit Jen and tell her how incredible and awesome and fantastic she is.  Give her some love.  Follow her.  Tweet about this.  Tell all your friends.  Something.  Anything!  Let her know that what she did was amazing and wonderful, especially because she has never met me in her life.

It's true.

She read my blog and she sent me a $244 camera.  Are you blown away?  'Cause I am.

Please, do something unexpected and kind for someone else today.  Or tell us what someone did for you that made your day, and the world, a little brighter.  Because today was incredible.  People are awesome.  God is good.  And I am THANKFUL.

Thank you, Jen!  You made me laugh and cry at the same time.
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Saturday, May 21, 2011

New Plants I'm Trying not to Kill

Every time I sit down to start writing this, I remember something else I have to do because I have, like, humans and animals that need to eat on a daily basis and stuff.  Feed kids. Dress kids. Make coffee. Feed dogs. Find the remote.  Where the heck is the remote? Look, if you guys can't put the remote back where it belongs, then you can't watch t.v., okay?  That's just the way it goes.

Ah, finally time to sit down and...

Doh!  The chickens!  So just hold on one sec while I run out and open the coop and check on those silly birds...

Well I'm back and guess what?  They're all fine.  And the garden looks pretty stinkin' amazing too.  I'd take a picture and show you, only, you know.....I can't!
Okay, time for the real stuff.

Yesterday, I tagged along with a sweet friend to the annual plant auction at her garden club.  If you're imagining a bunch of old ladies arguing about the official latin names for certain strains of a particular variety of flower, then...hey, were you spying on us?  But see, the awesome thing about this place is that even at "formal" garden club meetings, someone may or may not have made the punch out of WINE.  At 9 a.m.  Leading me to hypothetically say "Hey, I thought the rapture was on Saturday.  How is it that I'm in heaven now??? "

My favorite part was when, halfway through the business portion of the meeting, while the president was talking, the secretary (who happens to also go to our parish.  Holy cow, she is sweet and hilarious) hollers "Hey, what's in this drink???  I'm losing interest in you people really fast!".  Have you ever heard my honkey-donkey laugh?  Well those ladies heard it yesterday, I can promise you that.

Clearly the morning alcohol was a ploy to get us all to spend more money at the auction.  Smart, funny old ladies.  I wanna be just like them when I grow up.

Back to the plants.  To beautify the huge expanse of fence along our front yard, I snagged three pots of Sweet Autumn Clematis (clematis paniculata).  Normally $20 each, I paid $7.  Not quite FREE, but close!  Please say a little prayer that they one day look like this:
In other flower news, my gardening (and everything else) friend also gifted me all of these:
which include Autumn Joy (sedum):
Evening Primrose (Oenothera lamarckiana):
 Plus, a mystery plant that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.  And someone else gave me a little bag of marigold seeds.
Can you even imagine how awesome it will be if I can manage to not-kill all of this stuff?  And hopefully by the time they bloom, I'll have a functioning camera again so you can oooooh! and aaaaaaah!  about them along with me.

Hope you guys have a fantastic weekend planned.  Think of me and my poor unsuspecting plants while you're out and about 'cause we're gonna need some Universe-ish growing mojo up in this piece!
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p.s. The winner of the Unrepeatables contest has been announced! Check it out here.

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