I am by no means a level headed person when first introduced to change. I twist through an uncomfortable revolution of anger, freak out, sadness, laziness, a wee bit of positive outlook, resignation, and then I start to believe that I can handle this.
I am right now in between the freak out and sadness phases. Now before you join me in my woes, please know that nothing dire is happening, just experiencing the change that comes with being a self employed contractor. Contracts are always slow at new years. Contract work is always changing, and for now the majority of our sources are changing for the worse. Which means Nicole and Casey have to change faster then they can for the benefit of our family.
It is very much like being forced to exercise, you know exercise is good for you, but you sure as hell hate it while you are sweating. Which means that I need writing therapy, so my words are coming back here to the blog.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
I am by no means a level headed person when first introduced to change. I twist through an uncomfortable revolution of anger, freak out, sadness, laziness, a wee bit of positive outlook, resignation, and then I start to believe that I can handle this.
Friday, September 02, 2011
We are two weeks into a new school year. Life has been slightly busy with new school routines, loads of homework, work ( both for me a Casey who has been local for the last 2 weeks), dogs, lack of rain and the resulting weather watching, cooking and triple checking our schedules to make sure I didn't miss anything.
But in the little moments I have been busy planning something special just for me! I can officially say that in November I will be making my first return trip to California in seven and a half years! Can you feel the excitement?! I am seriously bursting with it!
It all started with a new play list on my iPod. It was heavy with the haunting romantic duets from The Civil Wars. I jokingly quipped to Sarah that I was trying to justify a trip to Paris to see them. She replied that she could do a trip to Los Angeles, could I? And BAM there I was planning a serious trip to Cali for a concert with a friend I haven't seen in 17 years. Pretty soon we rolled a day at Disneyland into the mix and plans to be in different areas to see local friends. And it really came together when we bought plane tickets.
And that is how I will be back in California before the year end. I can barely stop myself from jumping up and down and squeeing with joy all day long!
To get a taste of what lured me out of Texas, check out this song. It is heart breaking, beautiful, and so rich with real life!
Monday, August 15, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Behold, the Goods...
- My planner, which will be retired as of tonight since my new Life Planner is on the Fedex delivery truck as we speak!
- Library Book, Godmother, cute and dark fairytale remake.
- My VB wallet, LOVE it, get asked about it at least once a week.
- Check book, which I usually leave at home, this guy got mixed in with some papers.
- Two thumb drives, it is the core of my work.
- My droid, yay smart phones.
- Mentos Gum, it sure is interesting tasting.
- Alex's leftover twizzler package from the movies a few weeks ago. I think I am going to chuck it.
- Six pens and one Pencil.
- One mini package of crayons, best dollar store find ever! It was a necessity when Alex was little, now it is just casual fun.
- BB&W antibacterial gel
- Colour Juice lip gloss.
- Sun glasses
- Name mints that Casey brought home from a business trip.
- Chapstick, can't live without it.
- Beaver Balm cuticle care, AMAZING stuff.
- Mascara, eyeliner, brush and eyeshadow set for today. I was running late and knew I would have time to apply it at the client site.
- Two hair ties
- Big ass pile of random papers.
- A book of Logic puzzles, fun to entertain myself with when Alex takes over my phone for Angry birds.
So what do you take with you everywhere?
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
This weather has shoved me hard into the "I am done with summer and the heat" camp. I am ready for Fall, for school to start, for lunches to be packed, for my Fall mantel to be setup, for Halloween to start creeping in, and for knitting to fill my hands again.
Instead, I will slog through another two and a half months of Texas summertime, which means heat and more drought. I will daydream of Fall and the coming Winter. I will tend my Companion garden ( which should go bonkers after this rain) and wait patiently for it's coming Fall harvest.
Blissed Out on rain. *happy sigh*
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
I remember most the pajama's you were wearing. They were white with primary colored airplanes and clouds on them, there was red banding at your ankles and wrists. Dark tousled hair acted as a hat for your glaring frowny face. You were not about to be mollified by our smiles and silent Hello-es! Your mom was busy loading the belt with basket items, so your normal support system and shelter was distracted, you were on your own with two people staring at you. Your hands buried themselves in your armpits, arms crossed, there was no way we were welcome.
We stood with random items in our hands. Husband and Wife, kiddo at home with a sitter or at grandma's for the night, I can't remember that detail. But we were young parents, and as is the nature of young parents we thought we could baby whisper any and all kids. But the late night and grocery store atmosphere were all ready two strikes against us. Third strike came when my man dared to say How's it going kiddo?
Snap! CRACK! You slapped one hand onto the bar the other was pointed at us with force and you hollered... HEY, BUCKO!!! Like we were in trouble for daring to talk to you, so we pulled ourselves back in from our flinches, we reined in our smiles, and threw up our hands in mock surrender. You had won.
Now ten years later, you Bucko kid are probably starting to think about girls, maybe you are gearing up for your last year of middle school. You have no idea how your two words and big attitude have affected our life. Hey, bucko! is a family term, used when someone is pulling attitude and needs to be brought back to earth and all because you were grumpy in a grocery store late at night.
We thank you, Bucko Kid.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
I was flying solo this week with Alex and each day had some event from appointments to work to tutoring.
Time for my listed catch up!
- Alex had a dentist appointment this week, NO CAVITIES! Yippy! His last 3 2nd molars are so close to coming out. they look like bottle caps sitting on his new molars on the Xray. And how cool are Xrays?!
- With the drought we are under this year all manner of critters have been coming out in search of water. I saw a BIG mouse the other night ( not a rat) so I laid glue traps all around some dog kibble and what do you know, I apparently catch a cat because one of the traps had a picture perfect paw print surrounded by fur on it. LOL, poor kitty. I caught the one thing that could HELP me get rid of the mice. Saw mice again last night, little bastards.
- Casey is home early tonight, not airport late night runs for this business trip because he is driving home from Dallas, YAY! Double YAY because he hit up the Lego store while there. We have been building a stock pile of Christmas gifts for Alex since the beginning of the year.
- Prissie the Pug has settled into a routine in the house. Only one tussle with Archie over a chewy that she demanded. She learned really quickly that fights like that land her in her crate for an hour.
- I started my garden up again last month, this time I am embarking on Sister Companion planting. Everything has sprouted, but I lost two corn stalks to either wind or a nibbly mouse. I will need to replant those so my beans have something to climb on. So excited for the late season squash, the pumpkins, the corn, and green beans. YAY!
- Alex tutoring is chugging along, I think he has a love hate relationship with the homework. It is AMAZING what he doesn't know, two weeks ago if you had asked him to identify a verb/noun/predicate/adverb he wouldn't have been able too. And this is coming from an A Language Arts student. The curriculum for this first year of private school is going to be a dozy. But we can do it together.
- Okay time to finish up some chores before an afternoon appointment and Casey's homecoming! Pictures next week!
Posted by Nicole at 12:38 PM
Monday, July 04, 2011
Sunday, July 03, 2011
2 months and 1 week since I last posted. Let's make this first post a test post... let's see if I still have words and stories and ideas to share with you.
- Alex finished 5th grade and his time in public school. We have him in tutoring for the summer to bring his knowledge up to 6th grade private school levels, so it is like school never ended for us. But it is exciting for everyone. Alex is gaining a sense of pride ( in his work and knowledge), we are gaining a sense of confidence that we can all handle the new curriculum ( Abeka, notoriously Challenging), and we have made a great friend and mentor in Alex's tutor, Mrs. Gail.
- I have been working A LOT, spending 3+ days of the week out of the house, and have wrangled through a couple 5 day weeks in the last two months. It's long and tiring, but the paychecks are satisfying.
- The house has therefore fallen into a general state of mess, not that it was perfect with me at home most of the time, but it sure wasn't mass chaos. We are working on systems, but they are slow and lazy due to summer temptations and the call of the pool most evenings.
- Dogs are fabulous. Buddy was recently groomed where we discovered that he has an allergic reaction to the chlorine in the pool. Poor dude doesn't get to swim with us, which has become a favorite treat for him and Bella.
- Steve the Hedgie has been ACTIVE, more active then I can remember him ever being. I think the heat drives him out of his house for long cool water breaks through out the day. I find him most mornings sleeping on his wheel soaking up the AC that blows right there into his cage.
- Crafting: I have been stitching a lot lately, making a large panel of little birds. Love it, it's like magic. Sarah, has feed my desire by sending me a stash of patterns that I have planned for smaller, quicker projects. Enabler! :)
- We had a string of three guests over three weeks, each coming and going independently, fabulous to see them all, but whew, it is tiring playing guest all the time.
- I have been trying to do one thing each week that I have put off for months/years. So I finally hung the mantel mirror and put on the knobs to the bathroom cabinets upstairs. Neither one was hard, but I just never "got around" to it. This week, I want to finish up the touch up paint around the fireplace.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
- Foo Fighters! We watched a bi optic about them a couple weeks ago and now I can't stop myself from singing their songs, especially All My Life. Fabulously cathartic!
- Fiction, I have pealed through four hefty books during my absence, and now have a big stack waiting in my office and more to pick up from the Library.
- Buddy's new haircut, he looks like a little lamb to me. So much that I am always picking him up for a snuggle just to feel his soft short fur on my hands. Like silk!
- The pool, we have been swimming for the last two weeks, the weather is THAT hot all ready. I don't think it has been this hot this early since we have lived here. Whew, we need rain.
- Fresca, the Peach Citrus, I feel like an old lady buying it, but I just LOVE the taste. Yummers!
- Feeling like I am back in the saddle, but not the same me, a new and improved me!
Thursday, April 14, 2011
I was six years old and in our living room was a big black garbage bag full of my birthday presents. It was ugly and beautiful at the same time because I knew that every item in it was for me, to celebrate my birth. I stretched my body out on the carpet in front of that bag, staring at the odd corners and panels of the wrapped presents as they poked at me, temptingly. My mother relented to my nonstop questions and let me open one gift. The first birthday gift I remember. It was a set of bangle bracelets and hair combs in rainbow plastic. I found one last comb in my bathroom drawer when I was moving out of my parents house. I remember none of the other tempting gifts in that bag.
I was ten, finally at a critical age that I had been looking forward too. I use to watch Shirley Temple movies as often as they came on AMC. In The Little Princess, she makes a comment about turning ten and says that she is finally in the double digits. I squirreled away that phrase for years, and right after I blew all ten candles out on my cake, I declared ( just like Shirley) I am FINALLY in the double digits! My Dad laughed and laughed, my mom sliced my cake and piled all ten candles on the side for me to lick the icing off of.
I was fourteen and having a sleepover. It was perfect in that Sweet Valley High way. My friends, fun movies, Ojai boards and ghost stories. I had only requested one thing, an ice cream cake. My mom picked it up and because she had just stocked up the freezer she placed the frozen cake in the fridge instead of making space in the freezer. When it came time to cut the cake, we took it out of the fridge, popped open the pink bakery box and a flood of melted ice cream and ruined icing flowers flowed off the counter and onto the floor. We let our dog eat up the mess. I think I still am mad about that cake.
I was sixteen, my first birthday with a boyfriend ( Casey). In between drama and math I went to his locker to retrieve a book. His locker was in the middle of the campus and my was buried by the weight lifting room, so I used his locker for all of my junior year. I opened the door with its squeaky hinge and inside was a single rose, pink and yellow, perfect. Later there was dinner in front of the fireplace with a meal he cooked himself and his sweet family trying to sneak by on the way to the garage so we could celebrate alone. I still remember the smile on my (now) brother in laws little face at the candle light and fire place.
I was twenty one and finally able to order a drink, legally. I went to an Irish pub, ordered a Black and Tan, spit it out, and promptly ordered a strawberry margarita. I still can't drink Black and Tans, even though I think I want too. It was early afternoon and the entire day was planned out as a boozey introduction to my new age. I don't remember if we drank ourselves into oblivion, but I do remember placing my perfect pink drink on an old bar coaster in an out of place bar. It was so very like me.
I was twenty three, a new mom, with 2 month old Alex by my side. I remember nothing of the day except laying in my bed with Alex in the early morning, tracing his face and thinking that I was ten years younger than my mom was when she had me. I still think of Alex's birthday as being 2 months and a smidge more before mine.
I was thirty and not quite stressing about changing the first digit of my age, but stressing a little bit. I was leaving my twenties, sad to lose that youth. But I had done SO MUCH in my twenties, had a baby, got married, moved to Texas, bought a house, started our own business, but all of a sudden I was thirty. That number stuck in my head for months and months. A label of age. All of a sudden wrinkles, weight, mom jeans, and thinking that I was old was on my mind.
Last year I was thirty three, a birthday that is non monumental, just a number, a neatly organized match set number. My day was full of work and tae kwon do for Alex, Casey was on a trip, and my day glazed by. I was at that point when my birthday seemed more like a time to set goals then to celebrate, so I made a list of 33 things to do in my 33rd birth year. I don't even think I tackled a tenth of that list. But oh what fun I had making it!
Today, I am thirty four. And I can't wait to write what the day will bring me.
Monday, April 04, 2011
There are times when I can barely contain the words and thoughts that my brain churns out. I open my mouth to breathe and I come tumbling out. Then there are times when I sit centered for days and feel not a flutter of comment or commentary. I have been in one of these tides for over a month now. A month of refocus, a time to break old habits, a time to think about my words before they leave my control.
This time has been good for me, a time that has shown me many relationships and events in my life that are tidal in their nature. Friendships, I always seem to be in flux with one or another at any given time. Whether it be purposeful distancing on my part or a retreat after a deep cut, but this time it has been neither. I have slowed down and changed. In this ebb certain friendships have stood out like gems in a tidal pool. One, that is fabulously nurturing, even at an extreme distance. Another that was lost for years, and one call made all our teenage dreams rush back. Neither one is a day to day friendship, both have days/weeks between contact, but that contact is steady and deep.
Others are on their downward slopes, not to an end, but to a low tide. Our lives are different, and difference does make a difference. Our time is weighed on scales that do not match. Maybe months or years from now, we will be in another phase, but for now I have accepted their change. I know that these ends don't have to be tragic and hurtful.
My birthday is soon, and I have been so much more aware of my age this time. Not of my aging, but of what my accomplishments are. Not of what I could have done, but of what I am going to do. The ebb and flow of me, the Nicole in my mind. I am coming into a high tide, and I am looking forward to it.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Monday, February 28, 2011
Let the world hear me now... I made Butter! And that butter will land right on my hips after it passes my lips!
To make butter:
- Add heavy whipping cream to a blender. Let it sit out to room temperature first. Now most recipes call for a pint, I just used the cup that I had leftover from a different recipe.
- Blend on the lowest/slowest setting you have. Do NOT go to a higher setting or else you will end up with whipped cream. For a while your mixture will look very much like whipped cream, but stay patient. Mine took 10 minutes start to finish. Some websites say half an hour.
- Scrap down the sides of the pitcher every once in a while. My mixture would thicken up and the blades would make a "bubble" which meant there was a thick outer layer that was not being blended. Enter spatula.
- At about 10 minutes in my mixture separated into defatted liquid (called buttermilk, not at all like commerically available buttermilk) and THE BUTTER ( which had all the fat, thank goodness!)
- Drain off the liquid and then I blended a bit more to make sure I was getting out as much liquid as possible.
- Now at this point you can drain your butter into cheese cloth, squeezing out any excess buttermilk. And then you can rinse the dense butter ball under cold water... but I didn't do either and my butter was still mighty fine butter.
- Put your new butter in a bowl/crock/container. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze till you need it.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Have you ever?
- Explained to your son that his soul is like a lit candle inside of him, and when he is crazy and wild the flame is flickering and snapping to and fro. So you teach him how to calm down and imagine his flame still and steady and lo! it shines brighter? I have.
- Loved your dog so much that the span of time he has left with you seems so short, so you hold tighter and focus on the fur that grows between his toes making his feet look like fur bell bottoms? I have.
- Cooked so many varied meals in one weekend that the leftover day further in the week is like eating from a gourmet buffet? I have.
- Dreamed of nursing a new baby, not your current baby, one who is fresh and different but so similar to your own that you wake up holding your breathe in that way that mothers have while watching their little ones at their most tender moments? I have.
- Gone out on a limb to see if new possibilities are possible and you wait and wait and the waiting is an odd type of torture because you know once the wanted response comes, everything will change? I have.
- Poked your finger into the soil and popped a seed into the pocket, watered it, and played hippie music to help your new plants grow? I have.
- Felt a step ahead, but not a full step just the space of movement where you were not where you were, but you are not where you will be? I have.
- Celebrated that it is trash day because you missed trash day last week and the can is ready to be empty? I have.
- Missed someone who is long gone, who won't respond, who is not a good balance, but you still want to reach out again anyways? I have.
- Paused and realized that those in your life at this exact moment are only there because you finally nurtured those who are good for you, and you see that each one is a love? I have.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
- It's been unTexas like cold for the past couple of weeks. We had Snow! And more hard freezes then I can remember.
- Gloves and scarves and hats have become part of our daily wear.
- Flowers have popped up in places. Casey's early Valentine Tulips make me smile in each room.
- Comfort foods like stews and potatoes and rich meats are all that we consume in this cold.
- I had a fire in the fireplace for 3 days straight, loved it!
- I picked up Alex and lifted him into the balloons and ribbons at the grocery store the other day. It was a perfect moment for Lucy in the sky with Diamonds to be playing. Our store has good music. :)
- Alex had a birthday sleepover, three boys means lots of fart jokes and burping. Good times.
- I broke my pinky toe on the birthday party night, Good Lord it hurt!
- Tried Bikram Yoga for the first time. Even with the 104+ temps, the slave drive of an instructor, and the lack of fitness on my part, it was amazing. Totally going back, would have today, but I am so sore.
- Casey is home with a string of local jobs, love it!
- Garden planning, prepping, and seed starts are in full swing!
Sunday, January 30, 2011
|Cartoons, Lego, Pj's|
|Grass is the place to play|
|Coffee, the elixer of life|
|Onion starts, ready in April|
|I spy Penny's eye|
|Dog food blissed Bells|
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
January 2011 has been a doozy for this family sickness wise. I started off the month sick and it lasted for 3 weeks. Alex started getting sick-ish this weekend, we couldn't get a Doctor's appointment till today. Turns out he has Bronchitis and will be on 4 meds for the next month and then 2 for a month after that. He has allergies and during Mountain Cedar season here in Texas it is very easy to relapse into bronchitis with allergy attacks, hence the two months of meds.
I can't wait for us to flow into a healthier season, one without major allergy attacks and colds and coughs and hopefully higher temps.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
A cold winter morning with a warm cheery friend at the Farmer's market is a great way to spend a Saturday. Kim and I were out the door with the dawn, on the grounds early to tour the stands with local roasted coffee in hand. The bell rang and the stands started selling! I brought home a RAINBOW of veg.
- Rainbow carrots
- Red, Yellow and Orange Beets
- Rainbow Swiss Chard
- Brussel Sprouts
- Red and White Spring Onions
I rounded out the bag with a fresh loaf of Ciabatta and a loaf of Cheddar Jalapeno Sourdough. Of course a sit down and chat with a chocolate croissant made the morning perfect. :) Happy meals are in the works.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Posted by Nicole at 2:53 PM
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Casey casually mentioned a couple days ago that our curtains in the bedroom could use a turn through the washing machine and then he noticed the dust on the blinds and before he could actually LOOK at more dusty places I distracted him with talk of Fried Egg Sandwiches. ( which are my new favorite obsession right now, ever since I woke up in the middle of my sickness and wanted a fried egg that was runny. I never eat runny eggs, but that egg was heaven. Bliss!)
So today while he tackled the lawn ( we seed with winter rye which means the lawn is brilliant green all winter long and needs to be mowed), I tackled the mentioned curtains and blinds. Which led to the windows, to the baseboards, to the bedding, to the mattress, to the area behind the bed, to the ceiling fan and its dirty glass globes, to the bookcase, to the dresser top, to the vanity, to my makeup brushes, and finally the carpet. Whew!
|Hey, where did the chair go?|
I found more dust then I ever imagined I would. The hordes of dust bunnies breeding behind our bed was the stuff made of nightmares. The sheet of dust that came off the top of the ceiling fan blades was shocking. Let's not even talk about the dust that was behind the books in the bookcase. So now the new air purifier is cranked, the light is twinkling through clean glass and the bed is ready to be remade.
|Mid cleaning, but most of the dust is gone at this point! Hooray!|
I took a turn through our master closet since it is on my radar for the 111 item purge and all I came up with was a pair of pants and one shirt. Casey sides is off limits, unless I can talk him into purging all the shirts he never wears and the overflowing sock bins could use some work. I think I need to get in there and really contemplate the items of clothing hanging from the bars. And of course start digging through the giant green tub hiding in the back corner... but a couple weeks ago I did purge our toiletry tower and trashed a huge bag of old cosmetics and body care items. Progress!
Monday, January 17, 2011
Finally after close to two weeks sick I am able to post an update to the 111 items in January 2011 challenge. I immediately dove into my office closet, which is probably the worst offender on my goal list. I pulled everything out and took down the folding table that was really just giving me more space to junk up. I still want to sort through this closet, but the bulk of the purge is done. Now I just need to organize and shift through the small piles for more donation items.
Estimation of items Donated : 40
Estimation of items trashed: 100
The bookcase is looking a bit better, there is actually space on it now. I removed all my yarn except for two bins of in progress projects. The more I look at my books the more I want to purge, so I know this bookcase will get another sort through in the final week!
This week I will tackle the pantry and finish up the Master Closet!