Saturday, March 31, 2007

Huh. And next week's menu.

I was looking over this last week's menu and couldn't help but notice that, um, we didn't stick to it all too well. Tuesday was due to me being in pain and not wanting to move, let alone do anything like cooking. Friday night was a last minute decision on the part of parents who rarely find themselves without their child and suddenly did. Today was an impromptu family treat since I picked up raw pizza dough at the bakery yesterday at the grocery store.

Still, all things considered, I don't think we did that bad but I'd like to do better in the future.

Next week's menu is a tad bit different. K. and I eat differently when A. is out of town.

Also, I'm overlapping tomorrow's planning because ending the week with Sunday messes with my head.

  • Sunday: lunch: sandwiches, soup, fruit
    dinner: fish (breaded cod), macaroni and cheese, broccoli, lima beans Wendy's
  • Monday: Boca chicken patties, macaroni & cheese, lima beans, salad, fruit
  • Tuesday: we're going to trying Spiced-Glazed Chicken, rice, left-over lima beans, salad Chick-Fil-A
  • Wednesday: Boca beef patties breaded cod little pizzas (homemade), salad, fruit, anything left over from previous days
  • Thursday: pasta, salad, garlic bread
  • Saturday: lunch: shepherd's pie
    dinner: I have no idea yet, and that's fine because it's bound to change as plans shape up further in the week breaded cod, salad, whatever veggies fall out of the freezer when I open the door

  • Friday, March 30, 2007

    New drinking glasses and other stuff

    I got married in February of 1992. That means I've been married just over 15 years. During that time, we've never had a matching set of drinking glasses. We've had glasses, and I suppose you could say they were a set if you consider a sampling of various novelty glasses from Burger King and other places a "set". So the last time A. was out of town, K. and I happened to be browsing through Wal-Mart while waiting for the rain to stop (we were there to fill a prescription which they ended up not being able to fill) and noticed a nice pattern that we both loved. When A. got home we drug him out to look at them and within days we had a set. Not from Wal-Mart, but from Target. The set at Target was a bit smaller; 6 large glasses and 6 small glasses. The picture is the pattern. It's from Anchor Hocking and called Starfire. So, these are my new glasses.

    Now I'm browsing for new dishes. I'd like to have my very own set of dishes before my next anniversary. The set we're currently using is the set we took from my grandparents when we got married. They were getting rid of them because they got new dishes for their 50th wedding anniversary that year. They had been using the set we are now using since before I was born. It's time they were put to rest and I had a set of dishes of my own. I'm all for family history and such, but it's just time to let these dishes go.


    We got pretty much all of the grocery shopping done today after A. got home. The only thing left on the list are personal supplies for both K. and myself. Seeing as how she's with my mother tonight, we'll go do that shopping tomorrow night or Sunday afternoon. We're hoping to make it to a few health food stores to check out the alternatives to the mainstream supplies. I believe in giving her at least a few of the options I never had, as well as letting her make informed decisions when it comes to her body.

    This leaves much of the weekend free. I may do some cleaning, or I may just relax. I haven't decided yet. The nightmares of late have me all wound up and overly tired so I may do a bit of both. It will depend greatly, however, on what A. wants to do, and what K. wants to do when she gets back from my mother's. Chances are that I won't be on line much, if at all.

    A. leaves town again Monday morning so K. and I will be alone next week. I already have the core of the menu worked up and will finish it this weekend. I'll have to finish it tomorrow and post it. Nothing too terribly creative. K. and I eat a bit differently when A. is out of town.

    I'm going to take advantage of the time A. is out of town and do a lot of cleaning. I've decided that I'm going to do a sort of modified 30-Day Organizational Challenge and not post pictures unless my target areas aren't clean by the end of the specified time frame. Seeing as how I will do anything to avoid having pictures of my home put on the internet, I should have things pretty well wrapped up by the end of the challenge.

    Also, I have decided that I need an anvil. A., however, has decided that I most certainly do not need one. I don't see any sort of a compromise in the future on this one.

    Money... (and stuff)

    It's a very strange experience to be barely out of bed when I check the bank balance to verify a paycheck deposit, open my budget spread sheet, groggily blink at everything and realize that I've done such a good job on setting up the household finances that all I have to do is verify payments, update the balances on my spread sheets, and decide where the surplus goes. The experience becomes even more strange when I realize that the numbers are going up.

    The emergency fund is growing.

    The slush savings is growing.

    Even the ING savings is growing.

    And there's still money left over after all the regular monthly expenses for this half of the month are accounted for.

    It's just... weird... for me. I'm sure it'll normalize eventually. I guess I'm still adjusting from having the majority of A.'s paychecks sucked up by debt to having actual surplus and wiggle room in the budget each pay period. Weird as it may be, it makes me giddy to see the balances on the savings (all three accounts) rising. It means things are moving in the right direction. And I like it when things move in the right direction.


    Another short 'to do' list for today. Besides cleaning the bathroom, it's mostly laundry and finalizing the grocery shopping list. A. has my car today so I might do some cleaning around here while I wait for him to come home. He's supposed to be home "around lunch".

    K. is spending the night with my mother tonight. They have a tentative date for a drive-in and a car picnic. K. has never been to a drive-in so it's bound to be an experience for her.


    I have decided that I'll be going to the doctor some time this year (which reminds me, note to self: add HSA account to the budget book this weekend) and as such, I've also decided that until that time I'll be keeping a sort of health diary. I'm tired of every doctor I've ever seen telling me that whatever I'm complaining about (from joint pain to exhaustion to infected sinuses) is just a result of my weight when I KNOW that it's not (basically because the complaints either came before the weight or, in the case of infected sinuses, not weight related at all). So what's going in this nifty little health diary of mine are the things the next doctor needs to know about me: my daily weight, how much sleep I get and when, what I eat and when, what exercises I do and when, and how I feel in general, both emotionally and physically. Tedious? Yes. Necessary? I'm beginning to think so. I can't go for the rest of my life avoiding doctors because they piss me off by not being able to see past my weight. Yes, I know I need to lose weight, but don't blame everything that's wrong on my weight.


    Website update! I ordered the space for my website the other day and everything is transferred over and looks to be in running condition. www.consecratedheart.com I am happy.

    I think it's time for another cup of tea. I know it's time to be poking at the laundry.

    Thursday, March 29, 2007

    I am motivated.

    The last couple of days have been bad for me. I tend not to post on bad days for a lot of reasons, but mainly because I isolate myself from the world more on those days. It's a quirky little trait of mine that I've had for years and have no intention of giving up or changing.

    I still hurt this morning - though not near as badly - and there's a minor issue with my eye that isn't important but rather bothersome. Overall, I'd have to say that I'm good.

    And oddly motivated to clean. So motivated, in fact, that I'm actually considering participating in the 30 Day Organizational Challenge. The problems I see with that, however, are that I (1) hate with a passion the posting of pictures of my home (and family, especially my daughter) on the internet and (2) don't want to wait until April 3rd to start.

    Pondering over a bowl of cereal (!!! I actually ate breakfast this morning!! Gold star for me!!) solutions to both of those problems I decided that I won't wait 'that long' and if things aren't 'goal clean' come April 3rd, then I will participate in the challenge and I'll just have to take the pictures with the eyes of someone a little more security-minded than normal when behind the camera.

    There's a lot more I had wanted to say this morning, but I'm still processing it all through my brain and I really need to stretch out some before getting back to work. Despite the odd motivation to clean, I'm feeling sluggish this morning, like I'm mired in thick muddy clay. Knowing that it's best not to push myself to hard on such days, my 'to do' list is simple for the day.
  • make bed
  • shower
  • get dressed (to the shoes!)
  • drink 4 bottles (0.5L each) water - drank 2
  • eat breakfast
  • wash breakfast dishes (by hand)
  • eat lunch
  • wash lunch dishes (by hand)
  • sweep (not able to do; note to self - buy new broom this weekend)
  • mop (sigh, ditto)
  • clean the litter box - technically, A. did it
  • laundry
    • fold clothes in dryer from overnight
    • dry clothes in washer from overnight
    • bleach
    • jeans
    • towels (in tub - from where K. and A. have been going to the pool every day, I assume)
    • 2 random loads (I cleaned off my dresser the other day and am in the process of rewashing my clothes before I put them away)
  • 15 minutes of clutter clearance x4* - only did 2
    • dresser
    • living room
  • 15 minute paper control on desk
  • work on emergency notebook
  • cook dinner (pasta) - technically, A. cooked
  • after dinner clean up / wash dishes (by hand)
  • A. has my car today so I'll be running no errands, and I should have no problem accomplishing most of what's on my list before K. gets home from school. Assuming, of course, that I stop typing and start moving...

    * a note about my 15 minute cleaning sprees: I adapted the Flylady's method into something more suited to me. I know my problem areas and working on one of them for x-many days (usually 5) just isn't feasible. My apartment is entirely too small (which is one of our biggest problems) and I just don't have a lot of the zone areas they work on. What I do, instead, is use the luck of the draw. I make 3-4 slips for each of my problem areas and throw them all into a zippered sandwich bag. When I'm ready to clean, I set my timer for 15 minutes, close my eyes, draw one slip out of the bag, then start my timer and work on whatever area I drew. Each 15 minute cleaning session gets its own drawing, and I no longer spend hours angsting over which area needs to have priority, running back and forth between the areas trying to accomplish something on all of them and not really accomplishing anything at all. I guess you could say that I put the matter into God's hands and He guides my hand when I blindly draw from the bag. A. thinks it's kind of silly but is, as always, willing to tolerate my madness with proof of its effectiveness.

    Monday, March 26, 2007


    Just regular old oatmeal cookies, some with raisins, some without. Normally I tweak the recipe up a bit, but I wasn't in charge of the ingredients tonight.

    The kitchen is all clean, the cookies are cooled and put away, I've nibbled on what I wanted; it's time to go to bed.

    A picture of dinner tonight! It was good, even if it did need more garlic. And maybe a bit of ginger.

    I kind of want to make cookies for dessert, but not really. Not that I don't want nibble on them, just that I don't want to have to bake cookies. Which is rare because I almost always want to bake, especially cookies.

    Saying today was a low energy day for me and that I got nothing done is a gross understatement. It was one of those when I worked for 15 minutes and rested for just as much time, if not more. Still, I managed to get my bed made; wiped down the bathroom; folded the load of towels that were in the dryer from last night; washed, dried and folded a load of K.'s clothes; washed, dried, and folded a load of K.'s sheets; spent some time cleaning off the desk; spent some time cleaning the living room; washed and dried a load of towels (haven't gotten to folding them yet); washed a load of dark clothes (bought some new house clothes this afternoon and they needed to be washed so I can wear them); cooked dinner; and did some of the dinner dishes. Not bad for a low energy day. I'm hoping tomorrow will be better, though.

    I took a break from typing to finish up the dishes and I still want those cookies. It's just after 7pm (edt) so I suppose I have time to bake the cookies, deal with the clean up, and relax before bed. I suppose the only question now is oatmeal or chocolate chip?

    Sunday, March 25, 2007

    Menu for the week

  • Monday: Easy Pork Chop Packets, rice, salad

  • Tuesday: Spiced-Glazed Chicken, rice, green beans(maybe lima beans), salad Chick-fil-A

  • Wednesday: Oriental Burgers, baked potatoes, salad

  • Thursday: pasta, garlic bread, salad

  • Friday: pot roast (with potatoes, onions, carrots), salad with K. over at Mom's for the night, A. and I decided to have Chinese take out

  • Saturday: fish (breaded cod), macaroni and cheese, broccoli, lima beans home made pizza

  • Sunday: leftovers lunch: sandwiches, soup, fruit
    dinner: fish (breaded cod), macaroni and cheese, broccoli, lima beans

  • website updates

    Despite how tired I was last night, I was still up way later than I should have been. Part of that was K. not staying in bed (I kept feeling her peering over my shoulder from a few feet behind me as I worked) and part of that was the drive to finish the what I'd started.

    What I started yesterday wasn't much in comparison to what I normally do. Mostly the endevours included some time figuring out how to use the URL forwarding option that came with my domain name when I registered it, adding another page to my current website, and adding a mail subscription option to this journal and the recipe/cooking side of this venture.

    As far as I can tell, the URL forwarding is working. When I went to bed last night it wasn't, but this morning it's a beautiful thing. I guess it takes some time for the servers to update, and that's fine. I did a few tweaks to it this morning and will check on it later today. Once I get the forwarding all tweaked up, I'll post the domain name. For now I'll keep the site where it is with Halo and work on getting my own space later.

    The new page that I added to the site last night was the photography page. It's really nothing more than some text and the flickr badge (which is also visible at the bottom of the sidebar on this journal), but I think that works well. I'm still toying with other ideas in the back of my mind.

    I'm not sure which page I'll work on next, as I've done most of the easy pages already. Possibly the writing page, but I'm still hesitant to display samples of my writing or discuss works in progress and other ideas I have. I've had too many ideas (and even samples) blatantly stolen in the past. Every other page that needs to be done requires photos and far more coordination and planning than I can muster the time for at this point.

    After I managed to figure out the subscription thing (wasn't hard, really) I was talking to a friend via IM and wondered if I could add the same sort of subscription email feed option to my website. I did. I'm not sure I like the way the feed works with a personal website, but for now it works. I'll look into other options later, especially if it turns out that I get more than a few subscribers.

    The subscription email feed sign up box can be found to the right, near the top of the sidebar of both journals. On the website, it's at the bottom on the left. I'm using feedblitz for now, and using the free service at that. There are two reasons I opted for the free plan. Lack of funds and uncertainty. The lack of funds needs no explanation. The uncertainty, however, well, that's mostly about anyone noticing me and wanting to subscribe. I realize my journal is not the most exciting thing on the 'net, and I don't write here to be read by others as much as I write here for me.

    That's it for now. The sun is shining and this quasi-geek girl needs to be anywhere but inside her apartment.

    Saturday, March 24, 2007

    I'd like to say that I've spent this past week cleaning like mad and accomplishing all sorts of things, but alas, it's just not so. All I've really done during this past week is spend time with my family. With K. out of school and A. home, we've spent time sprawling around and wandering around, both to run errands and just to have fun. One day, A. even bathed the cats and K. and I dried them.

    A.'s travel plans for next week have changed. They've been pushed back until the 2nd of April. He has told me, however, that even though he'll be in town this coming week he'll be going into the office for at least part of the days.

    K. has all but completely recovered from being sick. She still has a few doses of antibiotics left, but I believe those end on Monday. I could be mistaken about that, though, seeing as how I'm sort of keeping my distance from her antibiotics since it's suspected that I'm allergic to them. A. has been handling nearly all the dispensing of doses lately. Since she's feeling better, K. will be going back to school on Monday.

    With A. and K. both returning to their respective places, I'm expecting that I'll be able to get myself back on schedule. Or at least an altered schedule. I am expecting A. to be getting home just about the time K. normally gets off the bus (if not before) so I think our afternoons will be a little different than usual.

    One accomplishment that I made this past week is that I finally, after seven long years, decided on a domain name for myself. I've already registered it but I'm taking my time in setting up space for it and transferring my site from where it is currently to the new space.

    I guess... I guess this past week has just been a pleasant little mini-vacation of sorts for me.

    And everyone goes back to work or school Monday.

    Sunday, March 18, 2007

    "Just living isn't enough," said the butterfly, "one must also have freedom, sunshine, and a little flower."

    - Hans Christian Anderson

    Saturday, March 17, 2007

    "It's just what moms do."

    See, this is how my schedule gets completely screwed up. K. gets sick, and I'm the one that doesn't sleep for a week.

    I started to go to bed earlier (around 10pm? 1030?) but stopped to check on her first. She was burning up. I made her get up and sort of took her temperature. I couldn't get her to be awake/coherent enough hold the thermometer properly. It still registered 101.9F. I got her up, gave her some Tylenol and made her drink some apple juice. I swear the kid was asleep before she was even back in bed.

    And then I started doing the mom thing. A.? He was already asleep. Not me, though. I've been cleaning and checking on K. every 20 - 30 minutes, both for her temperature and for adverse effects of the meds the doctor prescribed for her. The last thing I want is for her to have an allergic reaction to something in the middle of the night while we're I'm sleeping. I can't see how that would be a good thing.

    Oh. Update on her doctor appointment. I started to do it earlier but there was some maintenance going on and it ate my entry. Anyway, diagnosis: acute sinusitis. She got antibiotics and Rhino-something-or-another to squirt up her nose. She's pleased about neither of them, let me tell you.

    And no, I'm not one of those mothers that rushes their kid to the doctor with every sniffle or sneeze. I am, however, one of those mothers that knows how intensely bad an allergic reaction to a drug can be and how suddenly it can come on. I don't hover over her, but any time she takes a new drug I watch her as much as I can for the first twelve or so hours. This particular time it just happened that she took the new drugs just before she went to bed.

    Anyway, A. got up a little while ago (actually, I woke him up to take the garbage out to the dumpster; he wasn't pleased but he did it) and was all sorts of grumpy about me being up. He told me that K. was fine (duh, and not really. 102 temps are not "fine" in my book) and that kids take drugs all the time and are fine. And he's right. My only response was to shrug and tell him "Until her fever comes down enough that I don't have to worry about her bursting into flames or having to rush her to the ER, I'm cleaning and checking on her."

    He sighed at me. "Why??"

    I shrugged again with a crooked (and very exhausted) smile and said "It's just what moms do."

    Friday, March 16, 2007

    Time for my little star to start shining

    Conference night went...eh... last night. K.'s grades aren't near what they could be and that's a disappointment to both myself and her teachers. She's capable of so much more, and she's proved that time and time again. The agreement between us all seems to be that K. needs to spend some time focusing on non-fiction and learning how to process and retain it. She also needs to work on her writing.

    Now, I do have to take a moment to brag about my kid for a moment. She's ten and currently in the fifth grade. The back-story to that is due to her birth date, she should be in the fourth grade, but I started her in a private kindergarten a year earlier than the state allows kids to enter public school. When she transferred over to public school, I fought hard to keep her at her then current grade level and her test scores supported it. After much fighting, it was allowed. (I still think the principal allowed it just to be rid of me.) So, technically, she's a year ahead of most kids her age with a birth date in October. Keeping that in mind...

    They recently took a STAR Reading test and the results came back with K.'s percentile ranking at 93. Her Instructional Reading Level is 8.5. Now, what this means is that K.
    "reads at a level greater than or equal to 93% of other students nationally in the same grade. This score is above average. The PR Range indicates that, if this student had taken the STAR Reading test numerous times, most of her scores would likely have fallen between 84 and 96.

    The Instructional Reading Level (IRL) is the grade level at which K. is at least 80% proficient at recognizing words and comprehending reading material. K. achieved an IRL score of 8.5. This means that he or she is at least 80% proficient at reading eighth grade words and books."
    So, she's technically a year ahead of kids her age in school, in the fifth grade and reading well into the eighth grade levels with fairly decent comprehension. It makes a momma proud, it does. But such test scores are why her teachers and I know, without any doubts, that she can do better on her class and homework. There really is no reason for the Cs she'll be bringing home for the third nine weeks in both Writing and Social Studies, other than she simply didn't apply herself. But it's those two subjects that make us think she needs to focus on non-fiction for a while.

    Next year when she transitions into middle school, she's going to have a hard time of the work if she doesn't start focusing and applying herself. She's so very capable of the work, I just have to find a way to motivate her. And organize her. Sweet red clover everywhere, the child is disorganized. That's going to be a major goal for us this summer: getting her organized.

    And that brings us to this morning. K.'s fever is back and nearly 100F. I have an email into her teachers to set up a quick meet this afternoon after school is out to pick up make-up work for the time she missed this week, and we have an appointment at 10:20am (EDT) at the pediatrician. Four days running temps from normal with major sinus congestion to 102.5F is just too much. She's not kicking whatever it is off on her own, so it's time to see a doctor before her little brain boils. Also, she asked if I would make her an appointment. When a kid asks to go to the doctor, any mother with half a brain listens.

    This does, however, scramble much of my day. I didn't get to do grocery shopping yesterday because she was home sick, and now I can't go again today. At best I'll be able to make a quick stop somewhere while we're waiting for the inevitable prescription to be filled. Having her home will also make getting any serious catch-up cleaning done, too. If she sleeps, though, I may be able to get some filing done and work on my emergency notebook a little. Neither of those tasks is a major accomplishment, but they are necessary.

    Um. It just occurred to me that I have no idea what's for dinner tonight. I should do something about that. I also need to glance at the grocery ads that came in yesterday's mail and set up a menu for next week. I can do that while at the doctor's office, and tweak my grocery list, too. Maybe I can get A. to watch K. while I go out grocery shopping this afternoon if she's not up to tagging along by then.

    Usually I try not to post more than once a day, but there will be a post again later this afternoon. There will be a brief update on K. and then the semi-final draft of next week's menu. Final drafts are rarely achieved when it comes to menus simply because I like to maintain a little flexibility for activities and moods. I'm not sure at this moment what else will be in that post.

    Thursday, March 15, 2007

    Changes. Again.

    Weird things have been happening to me lately. Again. Maybe it's just some sort of spring fever or mid-life crisis, but I doubt it. Every now and then it's just time to... shift... change.

    A lot of the changes can be seen in my journaling, as in, lately I haven't been doing much. I've been focused on more off line based ventures. There's a lot of cleaning I need and just want to get caught up on. There are craft projects I'm aching to get back to (or begin), but deny myself that luxury until the cleaning is done. There are books that I'm itching to read, but again I deny myself until the cleaning is done. I guess you could say I've grounded myself. Minimal fun until the work is done. But beyond all those things that must be done, I've just been spending more time with my daughter.

    So what do I do when I am on line? I pick at Halo's brain, wanting something new and fresh for my web site (which she so generously gives me the space for <3<3<3) and decide that my old on line journal (I do so dislike the word 'blog') is just all wrong for the tie-in to whatever she and I come up with for the new site. How do I know this when I don't even know what we'll be coming up with? Because I just do. I know her. I know me. I know us. And for the first time in a long time, I can clearly see what my goal is.

    With both what I want and what she'll most likely give me in mind, I set up a new journal. This journal. At least, I start to.

    See, right about then is when K. gets sick with one of her out-of-nowhere fevers that runs right up to the edge of 103, but never quite crosses that line, and lasts for two or three days. They leave her exhausted, and they leave me exhausted because even though she sleeps through most of the burning, I don't. I hover over her, not sleeping and checking on her every hour or so (or every time she groans in her sleep). And they make my days ohsovery nonproductive.

    During all of this, A. is out of town on business. He's due back today. I have to pick him up from the airport this afternoon (on the other side of town) then rush to a parent-teacher conference this evening (back on this side of town) and somehow not be late because of all the rush hour traffic. It's one of the few times we're sanctioning fast food.

    Spring break is next week, and chances are that A. will be working from home during that time (ha!) so I don't foresee me accomplishing much next week. Perhaps after that, with him out of town again and her back in school, I'll be able to sit down and focus on something, anything.

    But I wonder about that with a crooked little smile, because really? Who am I kidding? I'm insanely busy even on my "laziest" or slow days. And something I've recently figured out is that I don't mind that so much. It's the life I chose, and it's the life I lead. I stay busy because I want to be busy. I just have to organize it better so that I can fit everything I want to do into the all too short days and still manage to get enough sleep at night.

    I guess little by little, this new dream will come together. It'll get done. It'll just take some time. And I'm ok with that.