Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Calming Effect

Some of you may recognize this style as Alphonse Mucha. Popular today and readily available at any mail order poster shop.
I bought the painting of the woman's profile in zodiac poster form for Wildman's daughter to which she yawned. That was expected. My daughter pleaded with her to let her have it if she didn't really want it any time soon. It is still hanging in Wildman's daughter's room.
This next painting ( was it painting or some other medium?) caught my eye since I have been thinking about grape culture and ...WINE. I don't know what it is about these that make them so calming but it is so.
I haven't done my homework to be able to give you the names of these painting. Or the time period Mucha worked. Late 1800's to early 1900's from the look of it and somewhere I have read- just forgotten.

You know the taxes I did myself ? Generally my ex does them for me on software, shows me the worksheets done both ways with me claiming one and then two of the kids. He then borrows one kid to claim, prepares the taxes and he pays me the difference of what I would get with both kids. Guess I forgot that little tidbit ( NO, REALLY I DID).
He was upset and now I am feeling like a heel. He didn't actually say anything. I just know.
He sent me an email wondering why I had changed things up and if there was something going on he didn't know about. I guess he might be thinking I was financially in trouble or there was something wrong between us, Idk.
I sent an email this morning- rather terse, I suspect. Usually I try to keep things nice but after stewing about it all night long, I made up my mind to be very honest.
I told him I had made assumptions about his better financial situation after moving in with Jenn, I had forgotten a very important fact ( him paying me the diff) and I was upset with him about the kids and didn't want to talk to him. That pretty much sums up what I said and in almost that few words.
I always worry about making people mad especially someone I still consider in my life with the kids. And this is so passive aggressive, like I usually function. Not very mature.
Oh, well. It is what it is.

Monday, February 26, 2007

A Smattering

Wildman and I hosted a wingding over the weekend for a crew made up of his former brother-in-law's cousins and their wives( one each), former brother-in-law, Wildman's first cousin and his wife, plus peripheral folks many of which reside in Arkansas. From Friday evening till Sunday Brunch, we ate, drank, sang and played guitars, and generally tried to outdo each other in one way or another. It was all good. The crew is of good stock and highly intelligent so banter was very interesting and there was never a moment we weren't laughing. I haven't had such a good weekend with true relaxation and enjoyment in a while. The last time we were all together was at this crew's deer woods cabins which lie in the heart of nowhere in Arkansas.
The music ranged from country (Johnny Paycheck, Alabama, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, June and Johhny) to bluegrass( Alison Krauss, Bill Monroe) to hard rock (AC/DC, Elvis, Boston).
The food ranged from smoked salmon with cream cheese and capers (heaven!), aged venison back strap ( brought down in Arkansas woods) and pork tenderloin, killer beans (in a good way), and various sides. Too much, too much!!!

This week has an very tiring end coming to it. On Friday night about 9:00 pm, the music boosters will be hosting a "Halo" gaming tournament and lock-in for the high school students. I will be chaperoning. Play will commence at 10 with "Guitar Hero", "Dance Dance Revolution" and other game options. Part of the lure is the $ awarded to the winner of the tournament.
This will by no means be a fun time for moi. I do not do all- nighters anymore. I snuck off at 11:00 pm Friday during the Wingding to go to bed because I couldn't hold my eyes open. Just think what's going to happen if I fall asleep with high schoolers roaming around, especially my daughter.

E went to her father's house after all this past weekend. He told her on Wednesday night when they had supper together he wanted her to come for the weekend. He said, "Jenn is fine with everything" to which I snorted inwardly. E was actually feeling good about going and as I talked with her tonight about how it really was, she still maintained it was fine. A sigh of relief but a lack of confidence that it will stay kosher for very long. How I hope I am wrong.

We had such gorgeous week of fine weather last week. It made me brighten a bit. The days are longer, the morning sky lightens about 5:50 am now and the light stays around until after 6 pm too. There is hope. Soon I can build some fires in the fire pit and sip some Crown while I view the stars. I used to have great phone conversations with a friend far into the night sitting outside in the dark while we both gazed up into the same starry sky. That is a great way to spend time. So relaxing and usually quiet. I only needed a hot tub to complete the relaxation.

Here's to your week. May you find relaxation where ever you may!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Couple Of Items

Where does your mail and to-do lists and things of that nature get dumped at your house? Mine is on my place setting on our kitchen table. I have to move it to the unused end of the table every night when we eat. I move it back thinking "yeah, gotta get to that stuff" like it will happen any sooner back on my place mat.
Located in this pile of important crap was a notice from my one and only credit card company telling me my APR was going to increase a point for no particular reason as well as some other minuscule changes that didn't really effect me greatly. I scanned it back in January when I got it, noticed I had till March's billing date to respond and laid it down, intending to call to politely decline their option at some point before then. Well, I re-read this notice this morning and found it said "notify by mail if you decide to decline" and do it by February 20th. But..but..but this February 21st!!!! CRAP! I wrote a letter this morning and promptly dropped it in the mail saying something like, "I opt out of your intentional increase and I should get to do this no matter when I send the letter since I am such a good customer". Think that'll fly?

Time management hint- If you are tired of waiting on the doctor who is having a rousing conversation with another batch of patients in the next exam room, just get off the table and move toward your purse to check your cell phone for incoming calls from kids expected home from school and you can bet he'll be arriving in your exam room AT THAT VERY MINUTE YOU ARE STANDING WITH YOUR BUM UNCOVERED! It doesn't have to be your cell phone. Magazine racks, freebies from the drawers (like the doors of "Let's Make a Deal"), the intercom are just a few of the other reasons to hasten his/her arrival. And yeah, he knocks first but does he really plan on listening for that squeal "not yet!"
Hope this helps.

Can you imagine working in a place where you see kids every day that are not adequately clothed, fed or kept from harmful situations or helped in the ways I take for granted a kid should be helped? I am not assuming anything either, by the way. How a child looks, dresses, acts, says a lot of what goes on at home but there has to be some contact with the parents of said students to give a reasonable understanding of the kid's home life. We get that contact, too. And I'm not coming from a religious standpoint, either. I am talking about basic needs. Clean clothes, enough to eat (although our school provides breakfast and lunch and many get this at free or reduced prices), enough sleep, a safe place to live. I have always known there were kids like this, but I never knew I would feel education is just a small part of what they need. Or that I would feel so useless to provide hope for any of them.
Would you try to reach out to those who need the most basic needs? Could you just look the other way on those needs and just give them moral support? Make their time at school a very positive experience? There are so many of them.

Time for a cocktail. The kids have left the hovel with their dad for a meal so I am getting some "me" time. I bought some pomegranate juice and plan to mix a Pom Martini. I'll rate it in a while, k?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Wildman did well on VD. I got a big box of chocolates, a wonderfully constructed card full of pics of Wildman and me on may jaunts, a dozen very gorgeous red roses, and some unmentionables. He shows me so much love and devotion on just plain old days and certainly on commercial holidays as well. Too bad I just don't feel much in the way of recip. I dreaded the day. I feel horrible.

On an high note, reseacher have found a daily dose of Pinot Noir is right good for what ails ye, especially those looking to ward off forms of dementia. Seems the Pinot Noir has something called Resveratrol which keeps plaques from building up on the receptors in the brain.

My camera is funked up so the pics from the tea aren't coming. Big whoop.

Everybody, have a nice weekend. I'm back to my box of chocolates.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Better Days

Payday, January birthday food day, and Friday.

Heading to my parent's house with kids in tow this weekend. Hope I can get back. They are calling for snow.

My mom is hosting her Valentine's Teas. Same idea as the summer one but with more chocolate. I've made some very yummy brownie hearts. Nothing like homemade that says lovin' more!

E is going to Homecoming with Slim. J and I will attend the game and then go home and wait for her to get home. Pics of her to come.

Up early tomorrow and off by 7-ish. Pics posted when we return although the same faces.

Mom is medicating now and I can hear the ease in her voice. Don't get me wrong- she is still in control and not off in la-la land but it has made a diff.
She and my bro found out some better news concerning the land sale and subsequent living expenses when they talked with an advisor and I only mention this because it was one of the two major horrors facing the family. So because of the good news, I feel inclined to mention it.

My taxes are done and filed. Yippee for being head of the household and both kids to claim! Poor DAD.

Cheers to all.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

I sent Wildman off to Vegas without me last night. He was heading to the NADA convention to schmooze and learn a few things about motivation from people like Sugar Ray Leonard? He called while he was waiting in the taxi line at the Vegas airport. That's when I started to think how I wish I had gone. He walked into his hotel and started on the slots and won $300 with a couple of different pulls. Down to $13 before he went to bed. I promised I would go and buy our lottery tickets this morning since I was feeling a bit of the Vegas Bug.
E had some friends over last night after the ballgame and since they stayed till 12 I slept in till (gasp) 7 a.m. A while on the computer and then a while with a few screwdrivers and PBS gardening shows landed me back to the computer. I'm procrastinatin'.
I have some material I bought to make some quick clip-up curtains for my French back doors. I really need to get those hemmed and up. Probably will take me all afternoon. Sewing is not my thing, even if it is straight edges.
I stocked up on card stock for our valentine making. Our special people get the homemade ones. Lucky them.

I've got an email to think over and write and actually send to the kid's dad about the whole E/Jenn thing. That is definitely something I am procrastinatin' on. I've got my idea straight, though. It starts something like " You freaking, no that's not right. Maybe a kinder, gentler version. Sonething that won't alienate him like he has his daughter. Sound like a plan?


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Another thing. I made a homemade pizza for us today. I broke my first pizza stone but a friend at school let me have hers since she didn't use it. I was looking for a wooden paddle to slide the pizza onto the stone with but apparently no one in retail carries a stone much less a wooden paddle. Anyone got a place to look?

My recipe for the crust works really well
3-3 1/2 cups flour
1 package rapid rise yeast (although I used regular old yeast today)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup very warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
Start with 2 cups flour plus rest of dry ingredients. Stir in water and olive oil. Stir in enough flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. (4-6 minutes). Cover and let rise for 10 minutes on floured surface.
You can make them on lightly oiled pizza pans but I sprinkled cornmeal on my counter and pressed the crust to the size of my stone. I added my toppings and sauce, then scooped it up on a rimless cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal and deposited it on a cornmeal- sprinkled stone.
This crust is pretty thick but tasty. I added 2 teaspoons of a pizza spice blend I grind to the dough. also possible is grated Parmesan, whole wheat or cornmeal additions. All are pretty good.

Iamnot, I can't seem to access your blog comments. It was very squirrely today. I'm surprised the blog gods smiled on me to post these.

A Day Off and A Dollar

Just a couple of things.
My son had a melt down Sunday night at bedtime and it came to my attention he suffers not only from some major hormonal action but to a degree, some OCD tendencies. Ah-HA! Now we are getting somewhere. I knew he had some nervous habits but he revealed the need to say a word out loud or in his mind every time he takes a step and he touches his fingers to his thumb while he is talking. He has been trying to stop himself from doing this stuff or trying to keep it a secret. Hence, his major frustration since it's not within himself to stop it completely.
Also, his anger is spiking from things like hitting a player in war ball only to have the kid tell him he didn't actually get hit. He gets so mad about stuff like that, it makes him cry, which is another thing he is frustrated about. How does a mom start to handle a thing like that???
I've been reading up on OCD and recognize his symptoms as well as a few of his father's and sisters, even one I had back a few years ago. I knew his dad had a few years of horrible adolescent existence due to his OCD and highly emotional state but I really thought it was over dramatized by his mother. Guess I was wrong, maybe. So, taking all this in, I think more exercise would be helpful to disperse some of that rage (no wonder so many boys have weight sets) , some talks about what we can find out and use for help on the OCD front and just talking in general.
The good news is, he trusts me to tell me. Come to find out, many people we know exhibit OCD traits, including a teacher he highly respects. COOL, huh? We talked about it and the hormonal thing too, which makes him feel a bit more in control and better.

Out of school today for snow and frigid temps. I've got lots a little projects. It's time to move my wine to a glass carboy. Keep your fingers crossed it's a good vintage! HeHe. I opened a bottle of my blackberry I started back in February of last year. It's so-so.

Ok, more on the daughter vs. the dad's Significant Other, Jenn.
E has been going to her dad's with an open mind and good intentions lately and the way has been relatively smooth. Seems the last visit yielded a chance for E to discuss stuff with the SO's oldest son's girlfriend. She apparently talked about the fact SO doesn't really like her and things that have happened between them have been due to misunderstanding. I wonder how these things were relayed back to SO? E said she was not being hateful and didn't say anything that hadn't been documented already. I wonder if my daughter really was venting or just stating the basic truth? I don't automatically believe everything E tells me but I know her basic makeup would not allow her to do something this devious even though the end result might be to her liking ( not having to go to the house of hell). Sounds suspicious, I know. SO got her feelings hurt anyway by the translation of what E said and so now she demands Dad to investigate. She also is mad at the girlfriend for relaying said info which is hurtful. Is this not the stupidest thing you've ever heard??? It sounds like crap from high school. Girlfriend told SO, SO told Dad and now Dad has to question E. I told him last night it sounds like crap and E is never going to get a fair shake so E is probably not going to go stay anymore. He'll have to see her separate from the SO. He agreed it would be the easiest thing. Luckily, I didn't get mad and I kept my self under control. I think deep down he believes E would not do anything like this but he is such a wimp when it comes to this woman's demands it is going to cost him his daughter's respect.
I feel really inadequate right now.
Time to feed the hungry birds and then the feathered ones as well.
Maybe I should join the HNT network. I suppose that might make my visitor numbers "swell". Arg, bad pun.
I'll keep it simple and just wish everyone a happy Thursday.