Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hot Guy Holding a Spider

photo credit: www.topnews.in

Hot Guy


Robert Downey Jr. is most definitely not holding this spider.  
(If he was, I would SO have gotten a picture of that!)
Nor is any other hot guy that I could find.
Maybe I need to narrow my search by adding someone's name, ie: "Robert Downey Jr. holding a spider."
Why am I looking for a picture of a hot guy holding a spider?
I'm not.
Someone was.  
Four people, actually.
Maybe it was the same person four times?

Blogger has this thing that can help you track how folks get to your site by their Google searches.
My list is fairly tame and nothing to write about.
The top entry point from a Google search is Texas Longhorn Cattle.

However, second is Hot Guy Holding a Spider.
I Googled that exact wording and was not directed to my site.
Wonder how they got here.
They didn't stay long.
Only long enough to realize that my spider photos did not have any hot guys attached.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Out of My Element

photo credit: wikipedia
Out of my element and happy for the opportunity.
Eric and I were invited to go along with a group to do some skiing in Colorado.  
I don't ski.
I have skied several times in the past and didn't find it particularly enjoyable.
I was never been able to just let my muscles relax and enjoy the ride.
At the end of the day, I would feel very much like I'd been hit by a truck. 
Still, I would not pass up an opportunity to come 'visit' winter.  

So what am I doing, if I'm not skiing.
Yesterday, I took a bath.  
A long bath.  I never take baths.
I did some shopping in town with a lovely woman in our group that is not skiing this year either.
We found a place to lunch that seemed to be filled with locals.  
Nothing like a grilled cheese sandwich piled high with tomatoes and guacamole to make you feel like you're on vacation.
I also read.
I'm reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed.  I'm reading without feeling guilty.
I'm drinking tea while I read.
I'm waiting patiently by a window for the perfect photograph of the local Magpies.
I'm spying on the neighbors (not really)---they came out of their house while I was waiting on Magpies and proceeded to climb up on their roof.  
They then snowboarded down their roof.  
Over and over again.
I get the feeling that these boys are on a semi-vacation every day of the year.
If they repeat their activity today, I'm going to ask if I can photograph them as they descend.  

Tomorrow, I will try something new.
Tomorrow, I will snowshoe for the first time.
Two miles. 
There is a reward of a gourmet lunch at the end of the trek.
There is a 40% chance of snow. I wish it were 100%.
Snowfall makes the world so quiet and serene.  Especially on vacation.

Tomorrow is my turn to make dinner.
Baked potatoes with many toppings, both traditional and out of the ordinary.
It's important to feed those who have skied all day with plenty of carbs and protein.

I'm feeling that my personal fog is lifting.
I'm feeling that I can find new things to interest me once I get home.
I'm feeling that I am more than a maid/housekeeper/chef/nurse/psychologist/taxi service.
This is an unexpected side effect of taking this trip.
Eric and I are discovering that we have things to talk about besides home, work and children.

The kids are doing just fine without us at home.
I guess that means that we've done something right all these years.
They will be okay when they all move on to their grown-up years.
I will be okay without them.

Like snowshoeing, it will be new.  It will be hard.  I will be out of my element.
I will do just fine, though.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Who Doesn't Love Edamame?

Who doesn't even know what an Edamame is?
I didn't until a few years ago. 

I always thought soybeans were for animal feed and tofu-eating, vegetarian tree-huggers.
Well, it is for animals food, but it's also a yummy veggie when eaten in it's fresh state--edamame.
I even like tofu now.  
That's okay, because I was always a tree-hugger anyway.

photo credit: http://www.dried-edamame.com

Back to my original post title--Who doesn't love edamame?
My chickens, that's who.

This morning, I took them out some leftovers from a stir fry we had earlier in the week.
Broccoli, tofu, carrots, mushrooms, edamame, zucchini, chicken and noodles. 
They ate everything, but the edamame. 
Yes, they even ate the chicken.  I know, I know--cannibalism and all that.  
Chickens don't have the same social mores' that we do.  
I digress.

The edamame just sat there, all by its lonesome.  Trapped in a bowl that even the ants couldn't get in to. 
If it were me, I'd have left the broccoli.
It isn't the first time they've shunned something I thought they'd love. 
They eat so many other green things.
Why not the soy?
Why not the green fruit loops?

I wonder if they'd eat peas?
Or green sprinkles?

Wait, they ate the broccoli and the zucchini???

Scientific Method, here I come.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Because Sometimes I'm a Twelve Year Old Boy

My last post was heavy with woe.  
I'm still feeling that way, but Warren over at My Home Among the Hills gave me a reason to giggle like a 12 year old boy this morning.  I'm not proud of it, but doggonit, this is funny.  
I have been told by those who speak English as a second language, that mastering English is quite difficult.  For every grammatical rule, there is a word or phrase that kicks that rule in the pants.  

Saturday, January 12, 2013

This and That--Debbie Downer

This is a slow time of year for blog fodder.
The time after Christmas is quiet and contemplative for me.

So, I'm just writing down some of my thoughts and happenings of the last two weeks.

As you can tell from the picture, we got rain.  Two and half inches of rain.  The first truly measurable rainfall since October.  We've gotten the odd thunderstorm that blows through and drops a quarter inch of rain since then, but I don't really consider those totals unless we get several over the course of a week or two.  I guess it adds up, but it seems to barely get the ground wet when it only rains a 1/4 inch.

In several of my earlier posts, I documented my mother-in-love's fall, broken hip, surgery and recovery.  She was finally able to go home on January 5th, after spending a week in rehab at a local nursing home.  Not her favorite week of life, I'm certain.  Goodgolly, I don't want mom or dad to ever feel like they ever have to live in a nursing home.
Nursing homes, no matter how nice the staff and clean the building, have their own challenges.  I think the biggest challenge for me was seeing folks in the late winter of their lives.  Mom had a particularly difficult woman at her table in the dining room.  A woman who had hearing loss and dementia working against her.  Obviously, the woman had nothing to call her own but a place at that table and some things in a room that she shared with another woman.  I don't know if anyone ever came to vist.  I do know that she was a "crabby old lady" (media's depiction, not mine).

What caused my mind to spin round and round regarding this was, "How will I keep from becoming a crabby old lady?  I'm already prone to seeing the negative side of things.  Will my behavior, as I age, cause folks to not want to be around me?  More to the point, how will I change a lifetime of behavior on my own part?

In the same vein, I looked at the part of life that is "helping others".
I was so very glad to be able to help mom and dad in the small ways that I could.
Their situation was never, for one minute, a burden on me.
I am so thankful they were here for me to help, instead of still in Arkansas.
Why then, if I'm so happy to give help, am I so against receiving it.
I put myself in my mom's situation (before she died) and in my mother-in-love's situation, in my head.  I now understand why my mom holed up and pushed everyone away before she died.
She didn't feel worthy of the help.  She didn't want to put anyone out.
I wouldn't either.
If I were to come down with some terminal disease or become disabled, it would kill me to have someone clean my house, make us dinner, care for my family, or worst of all--care for my physical body.
Obviously, I'm in a funk.

Can you say Mid-Life Crisis.  My job, for the last nearly 21 years, has been child care.  Quinn is 14, Jenna is 18 and headed off to college next year, Preston will soon be 21 and married this time next year.  My job is being phased out.  Naturally, I'm wondering about the next 21 years of my life and beyond.  There's nothing out there.  There's not another job that I want---heck, who would hire someone whose last job was 22 years ago?  I have, unfortunately, not done as wiser folks than me suggested over the years---to have a hobby, do things for myself, or have an interest outside raising my children.  There's honest to goodness, nothing that I'm interested in.  And so, the whole world now knows that I'm floundering around in self wonder and worry.

Chickens have begun laying again.  Having 'real' eggs again is wonderful.  Almost enough to share with my in-loves!  

Jenna and Quinn headed back to school.  Both were glad to go back.  Jenna is now counting the days until graduation.  I just filled out the forms for graduation cap and gown and ordered announcements.  Didn't I just do that for Preston??
Preston got a promotion at work.  He's a manager of some sort (they have many) at HEB.  He's the guy who makes the grocery lines run smoothly.  He's been wanting this for several months.  He thinks HEB might be a good place to land once he's finished with college.  They are a great company to work for and their headquarters are in San Antonio.  He and Katie don't want to move too far away once they're married----San Antonio would be perfect.  He hopes to end up in the business and marketing division of HEB. He's not really interested in working the retail angle of it as a career.  
Speaking of college--he's headed back on Monday.  Hard to believe his junior year is almost over!

Eric and I are going with friends to Steamboat, CO in January.  They had an opening in their condo and we decided to go along.  I'm not a skier, but Eric loves it (snowboarding, actually).  I will read, take walks, take naps, shop, hit a hot spring, and try snowshoeing.   

The weather here is confused, as is typical for the Hill Country in winter.  Foggy, rainy, cold, warm, sunny--we've got it all.