Friday, March 27, 2009

staging: the great deception

In an effort to drum up some interest in our house, we're staging some rooms... at least long enough to take a picture. It's very duplicitous, this staging thing. As you can see from the photos. These rooms are right next to each other. You would never know that the tastefully neutral living room would lead right into a hellish electronics dumping ground/playroom.

Incidentally, did you know there is an International Association of Home Staging Professionals? I love that it is international. Need someone to help you stage your yurt? Just contact the Ulaanbaatar chapter of the IAHSP.

Seriously, though, if you know anyone who is moving to Houston and would like to see my house, let me know! I promise the electronics will be cleaned up. Free swingset, too.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

dodged a bullet

In a truly incredible turn of events, dh got laid off yesterday from his job here in TX. On the very day he planned to give 2 weeks' notice. There will only be 2 weeks where he doesn't have a job.
Grateful doesn't even begin to describe how I feel. I had some (read: a tremendous amount of) hesitation, mainly because I do not enjoy change. I still felt "right" and peaceful about this move so I agreed to it. Everything had fallen into place with the new job and now we know why. I know we are very lucky to have a new job waiting for us. Very lucky, and blessed.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

My to-do list

I just realized that that last post was somewhat lacking in details. (I had to go back and add in where we were moving exactly, for example.) dh is moving in mid-April, and the rest of us will follow in early June.

My mind is seriously spinning as I think of all that must be done in the next 2 months. A fair amount of the items on the to-do list are physical work: paint 5 rooms, touch-up paint 3 rooms, paint 4 million baseboards and door frames, pack some items, get doctor records, invite every last person we love here for a party, etc.

Other items have to do with enduring to the end. Namely, the end of the time that I will be a single parent trying to get the house ready to sell.

There are several items that deal with my attitude about snow. It is not a positive one. I'm cold when it's 70 degrees here because the inside of the house is 65. (Stress is affecting my appetite so I'm losing weight--so much the better to fit in the dress for Linz's wedding, but not so helpful with the padding of the cold bones). So the list includes some strategies for dealing with Winter. (So formidable is Winter in my mind that it must be capitalized). I'm looking at the overstock clearance section for cold weather stuff. I have no idea what to buy. Parkas? Down jackets? "Puffy jackets"? Wool? My approach to cold weather dressing in Utah was many layers of thrift store finds. I don't think the kids will go for that.

One last item is more introspective. I am leaving my responsibilities over the Primary in our ward (that's the youth ministry in our congregation) and, of course, I have mixed feelings. There are areas I did not emphasize and I have regrets about that. I hope the children felt my love and the love of God and the presence of his Spirit. That was my goal.

I'm trying to approach as like the wise lyrics in the "One Day at a Time" exhort:

This is it. (This is it.)
This is life, the one you get so go and have a ball.
This is it. (This is it.)
Straight ahead and rest assured you can't be sure at all.

So while you're here enjoy the view.
Keep on doing what you do
So hold on tight we’ll muddle through
One day at a time, (One day at a time.)

So up on your feet. (Up on your feet)
Somewhere there's music playing.
Don't you worry none we'll just take it like it comes.
One day at a time, (One day at a time.)

I'm planning on "resting assured that you can't be sure at all" and "holding on tight and muddling through." And wearing a vest like Schneider to help me get in the right frame of mind for fixin' up.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

return to the Great White North

Well, we're moving. To a colder place, although not as cold as the ledge on that glacier.
dh got an offer at a more stable company with more responsibility and better benefits. This will be a huge change for us but I feel like it's going to be OK.

**Oops, forgot to mention that we are moving to Detroit.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

the fun cooker

I just watched this week's episode of 30 Rock. One of the storylines is, naturally, a mini-microwave naming contest . (spoiler alert) The chosen name is "The Fun Cooker," a term that just happens to capture the feeling of my afternoon. An afternoon spent at the multiplex watching "Race to Witch Mountain," starring that guy that used to be called "The Rock" and now has some boring anglo name like Kevin Smith or something. Also two scary blonde kids that are aliens who look like humans (I actually think the girl looks pretty much like an alien). Anyway. As I suffered through this totally predictable movie with the obligatory snarky and well-timed one-liners and an enormous amount of shooting and hand-to-hand combat I thought to myself, "Is this supposed to be fun? Are the kids actually having fun?" Sure, the bucket o' popcorn and something called Squeeze Pops were sending them into a gradual and prolonged carbo-shock, but sugar aside, were they having fun? I wonder about these activities we spend our leisure time on. Movies, McDonald's playland, Chuck E. Cheese's. Are they actually fun or do we feel like kids want to do these things so we plan them? After the 2.5 hours spent in the fun cooker, I'm wishing we would have stayed home and built a pillow fort or just spent time hanging out and joking around instead of cookin' up some prefab "fun."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

what the... winter again?

I know 48 degrees and rainy hardly qualifies as winter for some of you, but yesterday it was 78 degrees here and today is was 48 and that's a THIRTY degree difference overnight. My only options for dinner were something involving rice again or pumpkin waffles. Which would you choose?

I always use the Bisquick-based recipes because as much as my family loves waffles (not me so much, but my family), I refuse to whip egg whites for 5 minutes just for waffles.


2 1/3 cups Original Bisquick mix
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Powdered sugar, if desired

Combine everything with a whisk. Heat up your waffle iron. Make waffles like you always do. Why am I typing instructions? You know how to cook waffles.

If you don't happen to have pumpkin pie spice in your pantry in the middle of March, here's how to make it:

1. Measure 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon into a small bowl or cup.
2. Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger.
3. Add 1/8 teaspoon of ground allspice or ground cloves.
4. Add 1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg.
5. Stir to blend.
6. Makes 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

ok... panic!

You know the end is near now. COUPONS at restaurants?, I am shocked and dismayed by the bleak, bleak picture you paint.

I'm a 5 year old

I'm on the wrong side of 35, two kids in school, some gray hairs sprouting and yet...

*I had peppermint patties for breakfast.
*A whole big bunch of friends of ours made plans and didn't invite us and I'm a little bit hurt by that.
*I watched "Arthur" on PBS yesterday. (Arthur the animated aardvark, not Arthur the charming 1980s drunk, although those Arthur movies were a staple for our family when I was young. Also "What's Up Doc?")
*I've been eating Cinnamon Life cereal out of my hand as a snack in a probably vain attempt to fit into the dress I bought on clearance for my sister's wedding. I had to buy a size that just might be a little tight to get the color I wanted. So it's cereal, kale, and coke zero from now until May. Oh, and peppermint patties.
* My son had to remind me to "pull the plug, Mom, NOT the cord" when I was unplugging the toaster the other day.
*I'm sick of certain responsibilities and thinking of doing something drastic to my hair to show my wild rebellion.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

nyt, you kill me

So whatever happened at the crossword tournament can't possibly be as shocking as a Jonas Brothers movie falling short. (this from