The Spider Saga

So this was a post that I wrote for my very first blog, when my daughter was still a baby. It was written in February of 2005, but I really like it, and I think you will too. So, here goes:

Ewww, yuck! For those of you who don’t know me, I hate spiders, scorpions, basically any form of bugs (or arachnid) that moves. I don’t know why I have this slight terror, maybe they are just misunderstood creatures, but to me, they are creepy! Anyway, so today starts like any other morning. Jordyn wakes me up at 7:30 (I had actually been somewhat ignoring her for the last two hours in order to get some more sleep; she was dozing in and out). She plays in her room a little, for some reason she is very cheerful and active when she gets up, she doesn’t get that from me! Anyway, I can smell the stinky diaper but know that I am going to have to change her clothes too, after all, it’s the beginning of a new day. That leads me to remember that I still have to clean out her closet of all her “oh, so cute, way too tiny” clothes. So, as I am progressing through this heartbreaking task…”that was so cute”… “I think Mom gave that to me”…. “She only wore this once”… anyway, I have moved onto doing her drawer too. Not too bad, just some old onesies to put away. Okay, we’re still good here, no creepy crawly things yet…until…

I lay back and look up at the ceiling and see this little black thing near Jordyn’s light. I think to myself, it has to be a fly, please let it be a fly…then it moves a little and I realize that this is no fly. Maybe a silverfish? Oh, no. It comes fully out from under the light and I see them…all eight of those terrible legs! Now, I have to mention that I have found a HUGE spider, we’re talking a half dollar size on the front door, Jordyn’s eye height when we were walking out. This spider, is not huge. It is small. Not quite baby spider material, maybe an adolescent (who wants them around anyway 🙂 ) So, we’re talking maybe nickel size…including legs. But this spider is invading on my child’s space. Just sitting there waiting for the opportune moment to launch an offensive. Well, Jordyn was going to have to go down for her nap soon, so I knew that I had to get this trespasser out of my daughter’s ceiling. I can just imagine him crawling over to the space above her crib and then slowly lowering himself…the last thing I want to see is a creepy crawly creation on my daughter. But all is good, we have a handy dandy can of spider killer, it will be over in a moment…as long as the deceased spider doesn’t fall on me, we will be able to move on. Right?

I take Jordyn out of the room and put her in her Exersaucer (walker/bouncer type unit that has a bunch of toys attached to it…Jordyn loves it.) in the living room. Far removed from whatever fumes may ensue. I’m ready. I feel like I could use some more bouncing, spitting and butt-slapping, but I am prepared. I aim, shoot, and fire; unleashing this supposedly lethal blow to the enemy. Well, I obtained the element of surprise. Unfortuneately for me, I surprised the spider right onto the inside of the light fixture. Great…now I can’t even back up my first blow with a second blow. The spider is still alive. Dazed and confused his is, and tries to figure out how to get himself out of this ambush. He scoots to the edge of the glass where I am ready to fire another lethal blow. No luck, he sees my attack coming and ducks. Anyway, we play this cat and mouse game for awhile. I get a stool to stand on providing myself with a way to get inside the fixture, without getting too close, I spray, he curls up into a ball…getting my hopes up. Then, two seconds later, he’s back up and at ’em. By now, I assume that he’s ingested enough poison to knock him dead with just one more squirt. So, I let him think he’s got the advantage. I leave for a little bit and when I come back, Leggy there has gotten back onto my side of the glass and is toying with the thought of sliding down to the ground where he hopes freedom is waiting.

I see my chance and attack. No luck. This spider must have built up an immunity to this stuff! So, I realize that if he does decide to go to the floor I will be able to smash him. Not usually my favorite form of attack seeing as I have to get too close to the creature, but nothing else has worked. So, I see him test the waters (so to speak) by dangling a little. Feeling like all is well, he repels a little further. I am seeing my enemy’s weakness and pick up a piece of wood. (This wood had been left in Jordyn’s room by Eric because he was showing me something…I don’t know why I never removed it, but now I’m glad I didn’t). Leggy, seeing his potential escape begins to let loose and slide down even faster. But, I’m prepared. With a solid whack, I knocked him to the ground. Not knowing if he was dead or alive, I clobbered him again. This time, there was no doubt. He was curled into a nice little ball on the carpet. Victory!

Jordyn was getting cranky so I realized that I had no time for a proper burial (in the toilet) or even to play Taps. After all, he was a very worthy adversary. I leave him on the ground and get Jordyn. I feed in her preparation of her nap. Carefully I move my sleepy baby toward her crib, avoiding the fatal zone where Leggy lays. I kiss Jordyn “goodnight” and grab a tissue and dispose of this creature in the trash can.

All is well in la-la land now, Jordyn is sleeping and I keep jumping at every tickle or touch thinking that some of his friends or relatives saw my terrible behavior and are mounting an attack. Whoever said nature was a good thing?


Great Beginnings

A few days ago, I began my day by surfing the internet for several hours while my children watched mind-numbing television. Yesterday, there was no TV, but I still spent a significant portion of my morning surfing on the internet or puttering around the house. You know puttering, right? For me, it involves a round trip from my bedroom to the kitchen, whereupon I open the fridge, close the fridge, tell the kids to go play and meander back to the bedroom, climb in and pop the computer back on. Lest you begin to think that I am recommending this style of life as a “great beginning” let me reassure you. The afore-mentioned scenario is not the ideal or goal or is in any way to be emulated by anyone, ever.

I am fond of telling anyone that I am not a morning person, which is true. I frequently remind my husband that I just have trouble getting started in the morning and that I don’t really get going until the late afternoon, which is happily for me, when my husband gets home and I can therefore justify the cessation of all objectionable activities straightaway. And I wonder why the housework doesn’t get done.

Ironically, though perhaps that it a misuse of the word, I am able to function in the morning. I was in the military and they are known to say, “we get more work done before 9 am than most people do all day” and I have attended for a bunch of years, a school system which still, for reasons unbeknownst to me, prefers the morning hours as the most preferable for instruction. Yet in both instances, I was able to perform tolerably well in both these cases over a significant number of years. The fact that I don’t prefer it really ought not to make much of a big deal, but it does.

So far, I have developed two coping mechanisms. One, copious amounts of coffee, pre-programmed so all I have to do it roll out of bed and pour a cup. I’ve even considered moving the coffeemaker to my nightstand so I won’t even having the trouble of getting out of bed before consuming caffeine (yes, that was a joke…). The other, perhaps slightly more sustainable approach is to shower as soon as I wake up. Generally, I start a brewing cycle of coffee, then get in the shower, but the actual sprinkling of water upon my body in the morning seems to do the trick.

Of course, I am trying to work out more and as always, the morning hours get the best prize. My husband and I have just started a morning routine working out together which does get you up and going, but then I end up completing my day in sweaty clothes because I never showered. The idea of showering at the gym is a possibility… but have you ever been to a gym with all these women running around naked with no shame? I mean, it’s one thing to doff the towel to rub lotion on your legs at home, but at the gym??? Please, cover up already!!! [Okay, ranting aside] The possibility here is good, plus it gets me out of the house which means I can run errands in the morning on days that I need to do that….Hmm, possibilities.

The key to having a great beginning is to have a purposeful evening. Set yourself up for success and don’t stay up until 1:15am writing a blog post (oops), get to bed early. Instead of plunging into piles of clean laundry on the floor in the morning, at least remove one outfit per person to hang on a hook for the morning. The few (and I mean very few) times that I have done that, I have been amazed at how much easier it is to accomplish what I want out of the day. Usually by the time my kids get ready for bed, I am desperately ready for them to go to bed too and picking out an outfit is just not on the list. Gradually, though, I think they will get used to the idea of picking out clothes and getting dressed when you wake up….or at least that is what I am trying this week.

A List of Accomplishments

I found this list Meme on this blog which I have never read before, but this looked interesting and fun to me. I bolded the ones that I have already done and italicized the ones that are on my “goal list.” For fun, I explained (I always take advantage of a chance to use as many words as possible!) 🙂

1. Started your own blog, um, you’re reading it…
2. Slept under the stars, in a tent (but we could see the stars)
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you could afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyworld/land, I grew up in Southern California…we went regularly; I would love to go to Disneyworld though!
8. Climbed a mountain!
9. Held a praying manits
10. Sang/played a solo, It was O Holy Night for a voice class in college. I missed the high note.
11. Bungee jumped, Close enough, I did one of those large bungee attractions. It was fun.
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train, We went from Seattle to Chicago, it was a blast and we’ll do it again!!! Much better than a plane…
21. Had a pillow fight Yesterday, actually and almost everyday
22. Hitch-hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you were not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a homerun
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied, I should have this already!!!
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke, It was forced upon me…
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance, a serious gall-bladder attack, called 911 and everything!
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain, Its always raining here, we have lots of opportunities!!!
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie, I was in Rudy. I was part of the crowd cheering “Rudy, Rudy…” at the end of the movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business, several times- they have all failed
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platettes or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the changing of the guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcyle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book, that would really be a dream come true!!!
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible, how embarrassing that I can’t say yes!!!
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life I was a lifeguard…and a young boy jumped off a diving board into the deep end, came up in the “drowner’s position” before going under. I was in the water and got him out safely. I don’t think he swam again the rest of the day…
90. Sat on a jury, I have jury duty scheduled at the end of the month…
91. Met someone famous, wouldn’t know them if I saw them…
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved-one
94. Made a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Yup..that’s my life…

Another Update on Katie

My sister Katie has been dealing with a variety of health problems, all seemingly circular, one causing the other and no real original cause until a month ago when she had an exam and the doctor (finally!) noticed a tumor or fibroid growing in my sister’s uterus. She scheduled Katie for surgery and that took place yesterday.

They were able to do a laparoscopic surgery to remove this tumor/fibroid/bloody mass. It was about 3 inches long, which is about the size of a 3 month old “pre-born” baby, without the cute fingerprints and essential heartbeat, of course. No wonder Katie’s body has been acting crazy!!!
We are hoping that this will cure Katie’s constant anemia and “endometriosis” and create a new, healthy sister once again. Hooray! Sing praises to the Lord!!!

Debating Simplicity

Here I am debating simplicity again. I have so over-debated this subject that I don’t want to post this subject until I can say that I actually have a cohesive thought or revelation. It seems like my post are always on the same things…dresses, dirty house, wanna be simple but it’s too hard..blah, blah, blah.

Lately I have been wondering how simple I have to get. Is just a simple way of life, ie. less stuff, simple food, simple clothing, enough? Can I still be “simple” if I live in an apartment? Do I have to make my own soap? Can I use electricity?

I am already out of time for journalling today. It is Mom’s birthday and need to get going…

Clean House!

I was getting ready for dinner and the kids were acting crazy when my phone rang two days ago. It was a realtor who wanted to see our house (yeah!!!) but as I looked around I began to panic. My house wasn’t close to clean. She set an appointment for 10:30 in the morning, which was workable. I started cleaning immediately and stayed up until 2:00am! I got up at 7:00am and continued to clean until the appointment. My husband stayed up until 11:00pm cleaning with me and in the morning, he cleaned the outside of the house for me before going to work!!! Amazing. In the end, we did get it done, had two visits and now I feel like I am living in someone else’s house!!! It is really enjoyable knowing that I am sitting at my computer right now in the middle of the morning and I have already done the dishes, started dinner, done laundry and my house is clean!!! The kids and I are going to run around and straighten up before lunch and naps and before dinner (and probably before bed too!) in order to train them to keep up the house. I feel like I have a new lease on life!!! (Just wait till I lose the weight too!!! I’ll be unstoppable!!!)
Anyway, I have seen photo tours of home and I have always wanted to do it, but have never had my entire house cleaned at one time before. So today I went around taking pictures of all the rooms and I will post them here, for my sake as well as yours.
This is the view from the front door. I know, not much to look at :). You can see the kids’ Christmas project on the right, which is hanging at the edge of the living room. The dining room is to the left and the kitchen is off that. Down the hall, you can see my “laundry room” and straight into my bedroom. A hall in front of my door leads to the bathroom. The door next to mine is the kids’ room and the third room is next to that (behind that closet on the left). Whew! Here are the pictures!

This is the dining room, taking from the kitchen. I have two pantries, one on either side of the table. I use the glass door one for my regular food and the other closet-looking one for bulk storage and baking stuff. You can see my huge fruit bowl. Yum!
This is my kitchen from the dining room. I have beans cooking away in the crockpot for dinner tonight. I think I’ll pair them with some bacon, veggies and rice and make a thick soup/stew dish. Served with crackers and a salad, I think.
The pictures got out of order at this point, but this is a view of my living room, standing in the hallway (about where the kids’ project was hanging). My couches are ancient and so I have slipcovers for them. You can see my (purple :>) laptop on the coffee table and the little folding I pull out of the corner to make my “portable office” that I am sitting at right now. We have another computer set up off to the left, which the kids were playing on this morning. Good for parental supervision! We have removed the TV from this room and are storing it at a neighbor’s house until it sells. In place of the TV, I have used the whole in our entertainment system for storage and covered it with a curtain.
This is the second half of the kitchen. You can see I have two window right next to the sink, which is really nice. I can watch the sunset from my window every night. My fake flowers make a completely unusable space pretty. My kids LOVE the letter magnet game on the fridge! You can also see their handprint that I will be sending to a lucky grandparent for Christmas (framed!)
So that’s it…look for part two!!! The bedrooms!!!

Clean House, part 2!

I couldn’t upload more than 5 pictures in the post (I don’t know why!) so here is the second half of my house.

First, the Master bedroom. Eric is a big fan of tigers and he bought that blanket in Iraq. It has found a home on our bed while I am making a quilt for us. I will likely only make a duvet cover and buy a cheap comforter to fill it with. We have a King Sized bed so washing a bedspread is impractical at best. I have a green bed skirt, but it is in the wash today. 🙂
This is the kids’ room, which as you can probably tell by the color, it was originally just Jordyn’s room. The pictures she has on the walls were all taken by my mom. The afghan she has on her bed was also made by my mom and Jordyn has had it since she was born.
It is perhaps too much furniture to cram into one room but I have found that I really like the kids sharing a room for now. You can see Noah’s afghan on his bed, which he uses as a “blankie” and dearly loves.
This was Noah’s room, but is now the play/book/TV/storage room. I originally cleared it out to have a place to put the boxes I’d packed but it rapidly turned into a multi-purpose room, including a library. Those white shelves go across the entire length of the room and are filled with books (only the ones I want to sell, the good ones are packed already).
So there you have it. A tour of my home…my clean home! Hope you enjoyed it!!!