Wednesday, January 30

How refreshing...

Who knew the Rest of Us are actually the sought -afters, the truly hip ones...

Tuesday, January 22

Ever-expanding library

When I was a kid, the most exciting school days were when the Scholastic Book Order sheets (I still adore these) arrived. As soon as I got on the bus, I would pour over them, choosing many items, then going back and narrowing them down based on what money I had, and what money my mother could spare - we went halvsies a lot. Sometimes my mom would tell me Just one. It was like a death knell. I'd try to negotiate up to more (but its just one package of books, so it counts as one book!). Never worked. It's not that my mother didn't want me to have the books I craved (I'd already worked my way through the small school and town libraries), it's that we didn't have the money to spare. The books I did have, I learned to take very good care of. Some of my Junior High favorites I still keep in my "books I love" bookcase. (I'm afraid to go back and read them again, afraid of them not meeting up to the expectations of my memory.)

Now Monkee brings the book orders home - I hate that they have become so commercial, but the Dora and Princess crap is easy enough to avoid for now. I order chapter books, and classics I remember from when I worked as a children's librarian. I'll also look up a book online if I don't recognize it, before I order. Heck, they're under $5 a pop. Library fines would cost me more. And of course, I try to interest Monkee by sitting her down and looking at them together. Gotta start them young.

I'm between books right now - I had an overload from the library, and returned some I'd gotten through their hold system...but I finished "American Gods" early (LOVED it), and now I'm stuck w/no anticipated read waiting in the wings. I have to hit up my bookshelves for the "I know I'll read it someday" caste. I pulled A.S. Byatt's Babel Tower. I'm not one for romances, but her book Possession is one of my all time favorite reads. Her writing is beautimus and her characters are fully realistic - hopeful and flawed. I hope Babel is not a disappointment. Come to think of it, I'm going to order another of Neil Gaiman's books; see if he can equal "Gods." I love the library - it saves me so much money. But I wouldn't want to work there again. Ah, the libraries of mine past. A dreary tale for another night, full of *gasp* realism, dread, hope, loves, queens and tyrants. Really!

Friday, January 18

Children International - Lift One Up

I typed a HUGE post about Children International. Then, with a blink of 'Publish Post' it magically DISAPPEARED. AARRGGHHH!

Here is the short version.

We're sponsors.

You should be too. LOTS of good reasons (notice the 1 of 800 pgs).

Many great things can happen.

Just ask Curmudgeon.

Or Lina.

Thursday, January 17

Her Many Styles

Ill on a Snow Day

No one likes to read about other people being ill with a virus. It's not interesting, really, just pathetic. We all go through it, so I'll spare you the detail. Suffice it say, I spent yesterday taking care of myself, and my kid (who was much sicker than I, and much more stoic about it). Today we both feel much better, but not well enough for work or school, so it has been a day for resting, light playing and working as much as I can from home.

I considered going into work, but I'd hate to get everyone sick, plus, Monkee's school closed on account of weather. Which I just can't get over.

It rained yesterday, then sleeted, then a light snow. It was slick in spots, and there were traffic issues on the radio this morning. Many schools are closed. I just can't get used to it. Where I grew up, school was NEVER closed. Snow days were something our parents talked about and that we'd go through once during our entire grade school years. I remember my dad taking me to school in his truck on the mornings the bus couldn't make it.

Monkee's school has had several Snow Days already this year. I'd say one of them was really what I would consider a nerve-racking, scary-driving, safety-issue sort of day. And that's mainly because our city does a horrible job of taking care of its neighborhood streets (ours has not been graded/salted in the 5 years we've lived here).

I'd hate to be one of the people who have to make the Snow Day/No Snow Day decision. You know it upsets people. The parents are the ones who have to find alternate care somehow - not everyone can work from home. I'm sure most of the care providers don't get paid for those days (but WE still pay for care on those days, ironically enough).

And not even enough snow for a snowman.

Monday, January 14

Little white lies

Monkee is all about exerting her independence right now. I'm trying to patient, but she's driving me to distraction.

And now, she has officially, on purpose, lied to me. *sob*

I'm sure she's done it before, but tonight, its official. Chee had made one of her favorite dinners, bagel pizzas (no olives, she doesn't like them cooked). We were all at the table, talking about our days like usual, but instead of her usual stories and chattering, she was quiet, putting her head on her hand, while the other used her fork to draw pictures on her plate.

Me: what's wrong, sweetie?
Monkee: I don't want to eat the pizza.
Me: Why not?
Monkee: Daddy made them.
Me: Did you help Daddy make them?
Monkee: No. That's why I don't want it.

(stern look from Mommy)

Monkee: My tummy hurts, Mommy.
(She had an upset stomach this weekend (or so i thought!), so I figured she was having a relapse.)
Me: Do you want something softer, like eggs or cereal?
Monkee: (very seriously) Maybe some grapes.

*note - Grapes are this child's favorite food. I finally began to think something was up as she hopped down from the table, all happy with the idea of grapes heading her way. So, I called her over, set her in front of me and asked her to look at my eyes...

Me: (holding her in front of me) Monkee, do you really have an upset tummy? Are you telling me the truth?
Monkee: (Looks down, then nods Yes. Then looks at up at me, straight in my eyes, SO sad and nods No)
Me: (feeling distraught) Ok, Monkee. I'm glad you told me the truth. Thank you. (big hug) I'm proud of you for telling me the truth. I'd like you to do that next time, ok?
Monkee: (hugging back) Ok

I'm sure she's done it before, I'm not that naive (and I SO hope I'm wrong about that). But I am sad. I just hope that as she grows, she trusts me enough to be honest, even if she knows she won't always hear exactly what she wants to from me.

*Sniff* She's growing up.

Sunday, January 13

I'll call it a "rut"

In the last few weeks, I've spoken with several friends I haven't heard from in years. It's been wonderful and yet, what took them so long? :)

It's hard to watch dear friends move on to bigger and brighter places, while I sometimes feel like I sit. Just sit. It's hard to hear "so, you're still doing that PM thing?" and I think, wow, shit, I am. How did that happen?

I'm still here, where I landed after college. Met my amazing Chee, bought a home. Had a child. Changed jobs and changed jobs. Continued to do a lot of the same things in those jobs. It seems so obvious that a change is needed, but it looks SO hard. It exhausts me to think of taking on a new challenge right now. I love the place where I work; the people are great, the work is interesting and changing. But there is something missing...maybe its the fact that I see most of my friends closing in on their career goals, their dreams. I feel as if I have such a hazy view of what lies ahead for me, of what I crave. I'm more than mom and wife, although I adore the roles, and hope to be a mommy of two some day. But what about the best "work" for me?

I have a friend who tells me I volunteer more than anyone she knows. I feel like a do a bit, but far, far from a lot.
Quick list over the last few years. I've walked the 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk in CO (trained my ass off & screwed my knees up worse), Crewed for the 3-Day, Volunteered as the 3-Day volunteer coordinator in my city, donated lots of goods, donated blood regularly, joined a local non-profit arts organization (promotes the local visual and performing arts in my city) as a board member and became the Board Pres. Not much, really, since that was over a 6-yr span.

I need to do more, but you know, I love those parts of my life. If the 3-Day did not require the travel aspect, I'd jump at that. I've always felt I needed to do something that gives back to the community. I know a lot of people say that. And I know there is a way I can do both without sacrificing my family time or financial security - its a matter of how, and remembering that keeping up with the Joneses is not mandatory. In fact, it should be shunned. The Joneses have been known to lean bipolar and hide their manic depressive episodes as they slave over their desks every night at 8pm, instead of reading their kids bedtime stories. The same Joneses who are over-extending and have children who are left to fend for themselves, feel underappreciated and who have no idea if their parents love them, but of course, have huge playrooms full of new toys.

I plan on my kid never having a lack of mommy time. So how do I balance what I need as a woman and worker, as volunteer, as wife and mommy? It's the answer we all search for...but damn, I'm nearing my mid-thirties and not much closer to an answer than I was at 26. *sigh* Why do I feel as if I need an answer? Is it the peer pressure of seeing friends my age get PhDs, live in a foreign country, publish that long-dreamt for book?

I keep thinking that moving from here, finding a new, mountainous horizon will help me to start over, but this time with my adored family. I envision going back to school will help. A part of me hopes my company will open a Western office I can plunk down in. Maybe I need to just start over, find a non-profit job somewhere (although I fear entry-level might bore the piss out of me), try to find something to be really jazzed about. I know that feeling; I've had several jobs where that was the foundation, but they were going nowhere, so I moved on.

It's just so complicated.

Friday, January 11

I am "Twisted"

Saw this "Are You Evil?" quiz on Average Jane's blog - and had to share.

How evil are you?

So, friends, is it true? Think carefully before you answer...I know where you live.

Thursday, January 10

Blogging course

I haven't seen it yet, but you have to post it, to get it. Hmmm, chicken vs egg. So if it sucks people, don't blame me. Blame them for the rules.

Mark Joyner of Simpleology is releashing a free course on blogging.

It’s a multi-media course on blogging. For a while, they’re letting you snag it for free if you post about it on your blog.

It covers:

  • The best blogging techniques.

  • How to get traffic to your blog.

  • How to turn your blog into money.

I’ll let you know what I think once I’ve had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it’s still free.

Wednesday, January 9

Blog fodder, where are you?

Blog material is everywhere. I hear snippets all day I try to commit to memory, so why can't I think of anything interesting when I sit down to write? I'm sure part of it is the fact that it's the last thing I've been doing before lights out. The best time to write is not when you're exhausted.

One HUGE annoyance today - got a call from the collision place that is working on my car. Seems they are still missing a part. It "should" be done tomorrow. Hmmm, funny that. Last Wednesday was the original "should" date. At this point, we're paying as much out of pocket for a friggin rental as we are for our deductible.

Note - I read the most riotous blog today. Check out the queen of shake-shake.

Tuesday, January 8

Jon Stewart for President

I love Jon Stewart...and so does Chee, so it's all good. We laugh, we cry, we bond. (ha!)

He's a great ad-libber, but it's still obvious he's missing the writers. Still, if I had a choice, I'd rather watch Stewart ad-lib than sit through most of the campign speeches, and especially the commentary shows. I've been staying away from the "news" programs lately; I'm so sick of the campaign coverage and constant guesstimations of who is going to come out ahead. He is my exception. If I'm going to hear political gabble, at least entertain me. I do read about the campaign...the commentary shows just annoy me. It's like listening to football - those who can not play, talk about what they're watching, no matter how inane the subject matter. And that, dear readers, is why the "Mute" button was invented.

By the way, have you seen the vid of Hillary's "breakdown?" It was ridiculously low key - no tears, a bit of a quaver. Stewart showed it tonight, and added several political MALE power-brokers in much more obvious teary-states, as a comparison. Insane. The hoopla around her showing an ounce of vulnerability is an incredible example of making news out of nothing, which Stewart hit in his commentary and vid comparison. If it was a male candidate, this would never have been an issue. Let's hope it's over. Especially since she won NH tonight.

*sigh* - but I still love Jon Stewart.

Monday, January 7

Like the Frog says, "It's not easy being Green..."

I beg to differ...

I'm usually a mild-to-medium shade of Green, but since I saw Oprah on Friday, I've been obsessively, deep, evergreen Green. I went out and bought The Green Book AND picked up a copy for a friend of mine who I know will find it handy.

The focus of the show was on small things we can do everyday to be more environmentally friendly.
For example:
  • Bank receipts - Do you REALLY need them? I only get them when I make a deposit, to make sure everything goes through
  • Napkins - basically, use less. OR use cloth (they're prettier!)
  • Paper towels - same thing
  • Light Bulbs - when your current bulb dies, use the Compact Flourescent kind. We use them already. They really work. And last. And last.
  • Showers - there are celebrity quotes throughout the book. To save water, energy, and to feel less guilty about using more water to get clean than some people have in a day for drinking, cleaning, cooking, etc... Jennifer Aniston says she has her showers down to 3 minutes. So now I'm wondering, when does she wash her hair? I mean, the woman has a ton of it (last I saw). With my short do, it takes that long to just get soap in and out. I'm certainly not a 3-min. shower kind of girl, but i moved it from 20min to 15 this weekend. My goal is 10 minutes.
  • Insulation - fix your windows. Insulate your water heater. Block those crazy windy doors (we have 2!). See if your energy company can come out and do an energy audit. I had never even heard of such a thing!
  • Recycle - there is really no excuse. I'm lucky in that my city picks up all recycles minus the dangerous stuff, like hazardous waste and glass. Chee and I do a good job of recycling the same amount, if a bit more(!) than we throw away. I even contacted the city to make sure the recycling company we use is actually recycling (i heard nasty rumours they weren't) so I feel better know about the effort it takes, which really, isn't much at all! And best yet, by making it a family effort, I'm showing Monkee that it's the right thing to do.

Oprah also had a segment on cleaners. I've been noticing my asthma acting up when we went on our Holiday cleaning frenzy. Could be the dust, but I have a feeling it was also the cleansers we used. I picked up some "poison-free" cleansers from Seventh Generation this weekend. I'll tell you how they pan out. Shaklee, another cleaning products company from the show is also offering a discount on their starter kit this month.

Watch Friday's show. You'll feel enlightened, a bit scared, but definitely empowered!

How are you leaving the condition of your little corner of our one and only earth for the next generation? Think about it, then DO something about it.

Saturday, January 5

Blog Name

After much, much debate, brainstorming and research(!), I've decided to stick with what I know. Really, I'm "Just Fweetieb" after all.

Friday, January 4

Suggestions, galore!

I asked, and you sent...seems the "Bond" portion is a favorite. I'm leaning to a Blog identity sans the name, unfortunately. I have not looked any of these up, so for all I know,t hey may be used already. But, see list below *some left off due to identity concerns.

And NO STEALING these!! (I just know you want to!)

  • Recovering Librarian
  • The queen of draught
  • Bondage and You (sent because "it'll attract a lot of random hits")
  • Me, the kid, and the decrepid old goat I call Sweetie
  • I am not Steve McQueen
  • I am not a Hilton (topical, no?)
  • Michael: The Best Thing That Ever Happened to the Universe (from our friend of the same name)
  • The bond effect
  • Bond Ambition
  • A family bond
  • REDbond
  • Sassy and bond
  • Running with bond
  • Arts and bond
  • Bondshavemorefun
  • GentlemanPreferBonds

seeing a pattern here?

  • Off the List
  • Spread too Thin
  • Writing Myself
  • Fweetie
  • Fweetie B
  • Midwest Musings
  • Communicae
  • Iggy Thump
  • The beauty of Life and My Obsessions
  • Bean Soup
  • A Friend of Mine Told Me....
  • Life, Love and the Untold
  • Virtual Fwee
  • Jumping to Conclusions
  • etc...

I've heard there are a few more coming...I'll add as they arrive. I'll have a new name by next week. I'm so excited. Thanks to all!!

Wednesday, January 2

Help Me with a Blog name.

I need help, and I can't give you anything for it, EXCEPT the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you know you've helped someone out in their darkest hour (well, minute anyway).

I've decided in 2008 I'll be posting on a regular basis, no mean feat for me.
And in doing so, I'm looking for a new blog name. Something interesting, possible quirky. Something that most moms and women could "get." Something my friends will read and say "oh, yeah. That's her."

Previous blog names, all for this blog (I just keep changing the URL, since no one really reads it - yet!) include:
- The Orange Wall (I had just painted and this felt fun)
- Fweetieb Me (bad grammar to the extreme)
and of course
- Life as a Bond - which makes no sense unless you know me offline.

SO - suggestions? Ideas? Am I crazy to be changing again?
Help me, people!!

Tuesday, January 1

Read the books - My Daemon is...

a tiger. I friggin' love that.

I read the books last year - great fantasy, if a bit disturbing. I have not seen the movie, but am intrigued. Like the Potter's, you should read the books before seeing the movie(s). The Golden Compass is not exactly material for a young child, with many adult themes.

Cool little app for determining your daemon on the site.

Happy Day One

2008 is here. Things to look forward to:

  • I'll be married 5 yrs this year. I'm sure that will come with surprises.
  • Trip to CO in April-ish - We've been looking forward to visiting friends we haven't seen in years. It's n0t like they live across the globe...its just so tough to get away.
  • I'm planning on staying in one job this year. Read that again - ONE JOB (lord willing)
  • No new plants - I gardened the heck out of my backyard last year, with indigenous growth. I think I'll just wait this Spring out and see what comes back.
  • Purge Purge Purge - I swear, this year, we are getting rid of the 1990's computer manuals, magazines I've carefully filed away in order and never picked up again, and all that "useful" crap in the basement and attic that need a home that is NOT ours. Plus those tiny jeans I've been keeping as a momento of sizes long gone *sigh*. (But I am keeping that fuzzy zebra stripe - read: trashy- skirt I wore to the bars eons ago. That one has some serious memories and associated lessons I'll be passing on to Twinkers someday when she's 21. Or 35. Whatever.) I know you want to see it. I may just put a pix of it up, in all its unwearable splendor. Stay tuned!
  • Serious yoga/gym time - Oddly enough, I miss it. I think it's one reason I keep getting sick. My lungs are suffering (asthma) from little excess exhertion. I need to get them back into shape. I hate this coughing; it stays with me and is painful.
  • Reading more of my shelf books - these are books I've had for ev er. And for whatever reason, never read. If I hate the book, pass it on. I keep books I dislike. I think its a comfort thing.
  • Become more environmentally aware - I like to think I do ok, but I know there is more I should be doing
  • Volunteer more frequently - donate blood regularly over my lunch break, find a cause to focus on that helps my community
  • Prepare our house - I know we'll sell it someday. There are a ton of little, nagging items that need to be taken care of. I have a list. I've HAD a list. The list, poor thing, is ignored more than it deserves. So I'm going to hit it again. This year, it is all getting checked off. If I feel up to it, I may post the list. Let's compare. What are YOUR house To-do's?

I read over at Surrender, Dorothy, how she's a worrier and will be working on being less so in 2008. I have to plea the same; however, my worries center on Twinkers school/future (and don't all parents have that worry) and our planet. Not to much on my shoulders, right? I'm also in the process of mentally exhausting myself thinking of my next career - which I see being many years in the future. How can I use what I know, in the job I have now (which I'm liking tremendously), and do some global good? Or is it better to focus on my little circle of the world, help by volunteering where I can, drive a hybrid (next car) and recycle everything I can get my hands on? This will be a future post - I want to do some research and make some serious changes in my household going forward. It's the least I can do for now.

Wishing for a more Peace-filled year than last.
Happy 2008!