Tuesday, May 22, 2012

School's Out for Summer!

Catchy title, huh? Kinda makes you want to sing a song. Now if only you could remember the rest of the words to that song. I'd google them but I really don't care.

Yeah, I just said that.

I'm a librarian and I'm not going to take the time to find the answer and you can't make me.

So mleh.

Speaking of librarians, this video was messaged to my from a Melodious friend. She asked when I started doing commercials. I could do this. Watch.

So this actress is probably 10 years younger and 10 or 15 a lot of pounds lighter, but still, she looks Just. Like. Me!

Anywho, that's wasn't my purpose of blogging today. This was suppose to be about school being out.

Peanut has completed the 6th grade. Her teachers even decided it would be a good idea for her to go on to 7th grade next year. Amazing. Seriously, amazing.

I remember 7th grade. I remember my mother praying a lot that year, well actually she prayed a lot for three years.  I'm pretty sure she was tempted to put arsonic in my dinner because really, who likes to be around 7th, 8th, or 9th graders? I look back at that time in my life and I shudder. Maybe we all went through that stage where our mother made us clothes that looked similar to sofa covers, black with huge pink flowers and the sailor collars. I shudder because I thought I looked so pretty. It's no wonder I didn't have many friends then. (side note: I did have some friends and I'm even still friends with people who knew me back then, they're awesome for not remembering the huge pink flowered outfit I wore like every other day) I didn't really make friends until 10th grade when I became almost normal again. Almost. I hear we all went through an awkward stage during Jr High but I don't remember anyone else being awkward. Maybe I just have selective memory.

Butter, also finished up a school year. He only went the last 9 weeks. Had I known there was a program for 3 year olds with speech delays I probably still would've been in denial and not attempted to get him in the program earlier. He's coming along. We can understand one in every thirty words now!  (maybe a hint of sarcasm) He really likes school and riding the school bus, but he's missed being able to take an afternoon nap. So I'm hoping that he'll deal with daycare knowing that he gets to take a nap all summer. Not the same, I know. I mean, if it were me I'd rather take a nap than get on a bus and go to school, but to each their own.

So we have no big plan for the summer. Peanut's going to spend some time in the beautiful side of the state with my parents and going to camp. I loved church camp growing up but you couldn't pay me to go now. I value my sleep too much. But other than that not much happening around here. Just work. And lots of heat.

And to celebrate the first night of summer vacation I think I'll go to bed early.

I'm such a grown up. Dang it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fresh Air

A breath of fresh air, a change of scenery were just what the doctor ordered. Well, perhaps the Tall Doctor didn't say those exact words to me last time I was in his office. But I'm sure they were implied. And that's exactly what I got this past weekend.

For Mother's Day we packed up the children, gassed up the car and headed east. There's just something about Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma that sooths my soul. It give me comfort and a sense of peace fills me.

(Though having some funny sounds coming from my car that stressed my husband out didn't exactly help my blood pressure.)

The weather was absolutely perfect. It was warm but there was a nice cool breeze blowing from time to time throughout the whole afternoon.  My wonderful sister-in-law prepared a delicious afternoon meal and the 6 adults gathered around a table near the pool while the 5 children found places to sit among the lounge chairs and parental laps. I had a headache for most of the day but the company couldn't have been better. The conversations, that I mostly just listened to, were lively and entertaining. I do so love Nickel's mom and brother and their spouses. The kids all get along very well though the two three year olds can push each other's buttons as three year olds are wont to do.

I don't know what it is about water but as soon as the pool is open the children have this overwhelming urge to jump in. So they did, all 5 of them took two or three dips playing until their lips turned blue and their parents made them get out. Peanut was told she could only get in if she watched Butter and she did a really good job accepting her roll without complaint. We, of course, were just a few feet away keeping our own eyes on the children as they played and when the three year olds were in the pool an adult was always poolside.

But I just relaxed. Soaked up some sun and Vitamin D. It was hard saying goodbye that evening but  Monday morning would be upon us before we knew it so we headed back west. It was a short day trip, but it was exactly what I needed to recharge my batteries.

This coming Friday is my day off since I work on Saturday. Being the our last chance before school is out next week, Nickel has taken a vacation day. It'll almost be like having a 6 hour date! I'm so excited. We'll probably do really exciting stuff like go to the bank, go out to lunch and grab some stuff from the grocery store. But there are a few other things we're considering. We might go look at some used cars, as reliable transportation is a must with all the trips we make back and forth across the state. And there's even a slight chance we might watch a movie. But if those plans fall through we might just stay home and watch a movie and take a nap. We do love our naps. Silly children, the antinaptakers, sometimes thwart our weekend naps but if they're at school, they can't stop us! Bwahahaha!

Whatever we do it'll be nice just to spend some time alone without being interrupted, without choosing a restaurant based on if they have a kids menu, and without having to stop in the middle of a conversation to explain what certain words mean. Wow, doesn't that sound nice?

So, uh...is it Friday yet?

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Time has a way of passing without one really noticing. Or we notice but still it seems to take us off guard, or at least it does me. Tonight I was having a serious conversation with Peanut that as a mother I'd hoped to never have but knew it was necessary.

During our conversation we were talking about online privacy and I explained that on this blog she always has been and always will be known as Peanut. For the most part only friends and family read this blog but it is an open blog and according to my site meter people from all over the world have at least stumbled upon the blog.

Peanut later asked what exactly was a blog. She's known about mine for years but wanted to see it. So I pulled it up and showed her some of the funny things she has said over the years. Conversations that made me laugh and wanted to remember for all time. She was highly amused and impressed with herself. The pictures made her laugh and on more than one occasion she said "I was so little!".

Yes, she was. In many ways she still is but time is passing and with it each day she grows not just in stature but in maturity and wisdom. There will come a time in the next few years when her bones will set and I won't have to buy whole new wardrobes every year. Both happy and sad that day will be.

I'm glad that even though I didn't write much for a few years there I kept this blog. I had on more than one occasion thought about deleting it but always stopped myself. This way, I can keep track of time as it slips past me like a ninja. And Peanut and Butter can look at it in years to come and see what I had to say, what they had to say, and follow time's progression in our lives.

"Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past."
1936 Poem, ‘Burnt Norton’, by T S Eliot (1888 – 1965)

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


Do you ever feel like the creativity is being sucked out of you by a giant vacuum?

Last week a well of creativity sprung forth into life. I was excited. I was happy to dream big, imagine the possibilities, to try new things. I wanted to write again. I wanted to draw, take photographs, be a part of nature.  That creativity spilled over into my work. I made little signs.

And I believe that was where I went wrong.

Some places, you see, frown on creativity. And though my creativity wasn't belittled or mocked it wasn't appreciated either. I can recognize patronizing smiles from a mile away. So I stopped. I put away my creativity and the well that had so freshly sprung was once again dried up.

Now I look at this white box and I've got nothing. Nothing to say. Nothing going on worth writing about.


I'm empty. I wish I could call in sick today and just head out of town by myself for the afternoon, but that isn't a possibilty so instead I'll try to take a trip in my mind. Where do you go to get away from the pressures of life? Where do you find your creativity?

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Overwhelming Generosity

Where do blog posts come from and why do they always hit when you're in the middle of doing something else, like washing the dishes or better yet, sleeping? At 2:45 am my muse woke me up with a great blog idea and creativity held me captive until I told the story from beginning to end. But just telling the story in my mind wasn't good enough so here I am at 3:18 am penning my post

What started my muse thinking was the fact that it was getting warm in the bedroom. Being only May 6th we don't run the air conditioner 24/7 yet. When I'm sound asleep I don't really notice it being warm. But obviously, my muse did. And she remembered life without air conditioning at all.

Last summer as the temperatures started to rise we called upon a friend who for the last few years has had to charge our central air conditioning unit. Each year he would comment that he didn't know how much longer it would last and each year we survived the summer without issue. It took him about a week to come over as he had been on vacation at the time of our call, but he did come.  But the charge didn't last longer than a day. I'm not even sure it lasted a day to be honest with you. He gave us an estimate for a couple different ways of approaching the situation and told us to let him know when we decided.

I was devistated. Best case senario, we were out four or five thousand dollars.

After Butter was born we used up all our reserves and racked up new debt with me staying home with him and later only making minimum wage. We didn't have anywhere near four or five thousand dollars to spend on the air conditioner we were having trouble just making our monthly mortgage payment.

So I took really cold showers, several times a day, and tried to stay positive and open to creative ideas from God. This was no easy feat as heat makes me very cranky.

Then on Sunday afternoon CurlyHaired Princess called. She and her husband were moving to another Airforce Base and wanted to stop by for a moment. We had already said our goodbyes but I thought this was just another one. But when I answered the door there she stood with her husband and a window unit. I don't remember if I cried then or after they had gone but I do remember being overwhelmed by their generosity. Nickel installed the unit in our bedroom window and for the first night in weeks I slept soundly and comfortably. Peanut slept on our floor and Butter slept in bed with us (well, at least until he decided it was too crowded and moved to his couch in the livingroom).

My mother told me she and my dad wanted to do the same for us because she knew the one unit wouldn't be enough so off we went to buy another window unit. This picture is from that purchase. Doesn't poor Peanut look hot?! Heat makes her cranky too.  We found one a little bigger than the one CurlyHaired Princess gave us and installed it in the dining room. So for the summer we survived with two window units. They are fancy enough to come with remote controls and timers. The timers are wonderful! I could turn them off and tell them to come back on in so many hours, like maybe just an hour or so before we get home from work. Or I could time them to go off in so many hours, like the middle of the night. The kitchen didn't have any air, but to be honest, even with the central air the kitchen was always hot. And I just don't spend a lot of time in there in the summer, making meals as quick and easy as possible. The children didn't have AC in their bedrooms either, but it's not like they sleep in their rooms most of the time anyway. To this day, I often find them both asleep on the couches in the living room year round. As long as they sleep I don't care too much if it's in their beds or on the couches.

A year later we're still using the window units. Nickel just got the one in the bedroom back in the window last weekend. Bless that man!  Our electric bills last year were no different than with the central air so we've opted to use the window units for at least another year. We will eventually fix the central air and will hopefully be able to bless someone else with the window units. But until then, whenever I'm hot and turn on the AC or am cold and turn it off I will be grateful for the generosity of my friend, her husband, and my parents, who all agree I'm much easier to get along with when I'm not hot!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

(Almost) A College Graduate

I started college the fall semester of 1997. Fresh from high school I hit the ground running. My first act of business was taking a CLEP test to advance out of 10 hours of Spanish. That was fun. For three semesters I took a full load of classes and had 50 credit hours under my belt. 

Then I got bored. Truthfully, I just met Nickel and chose to spend my time with him instead of studying. So I sat out a semester (or three). I moved to the next town, got a full time job and fell madly in love. In the summer of 1999 I married that man and we moved halfway across the state. Being newlyweds I needed to work full time to help pay the bills. Peanut was born in 2000 and still I worked. But in the spring of 2001 I decided it was time to head back to school. I transferred all my credits to the local college and for three semesters I took classes that I needed, and some I didn't really need. I only took 3-6 hours each semester so that I could continue to work full time and take care of my family.  At the end of the fall semester of 2002 I lacked one Biology class to graduate. 

Five years later I finally took that class as well as a Creative Writing class.

There, I was done. All I lacked was the degree audit and the diploma. But funny thing happened. Well, not really. Maybe a better term would be a Lazy Thing happened. That semester we got pregnant with Baby Butter. By the spring I was waddling around, working part time and napping as much as possible. Then he was born and I became a creature of habit in my stay-at-home mom routine. Friends often encouraged me to just go do the final step and get my degree but that takes time. That takes gas to drive across town (this isn't a big town). And the truth of the matter is, it just wasn't that important to me. A degree, even a simple Associates Degree, didn't come into play with any job I had ever applied for. But it was always there in the back of my mind. Something left undone.

So today I dropped the kids off at school and empowered with a Carmel Machiatto I drove straight to Northern Oklahoma College, walked into the office and made my requests. After a little bit of paperwork I was sent to see my advisor. As luck would have it, he was in his office and was willing to take the time to do my Graduation Check. I only needed 64 hours to graduate and I have 79, well only 76 NOC would accept because I took a 3000 level Public Speaking course my freshman year, still I had enough hours to graduate. I just needed the right combination of hours.

My advisor jotted everything down. The only possible holdup will be the 2 hours of Physical Education. I never took bowling, square dancing or any sport. Years ago when I spoke with my advisor he said I was exempt and I of course never questioned that statement. However, I did take a 3 hour Personal Health class that he thinks should count. At first he had written down "waive" but decided to count this class instead.

I'm going to be honest, if the only thing keeping me from graduating is a 2 hour Square Dancing class I probably will not finish. I have no desire to take Square Dancing at this point in my live. I am 33 years old. I know the importance of physical activity in my life.

So now I wait. Two more people have to sign off on my degree check and once they do I will be issued a diploma. An Associates Degree in General Studies. A two-year degree that has taken me 15 years to accomplish. Better than some people I suppose. 

I'm a little nervous, but I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012


Whoa! After blogging for 7 years Blogger has decided to update things. I'm a little freaked out at the moment.

But maybe that's just the coffee talking.

Probably the coffee talking.

So I've been looking for a picture on my blog today. A few years ago when I got a new computer I transferred all my pictures to my new computer. Only, somehow I missed some. And now they are lost. Forever. One particular picture was taken sometime between 2005-2007 was of me in my office at the church I use to work at. In this picture I am drinking a cup of coffee. Well, I want that picture. Why? Just because I want it, that's why!

So I've been obsessively combing through my blog trying to find the picture. No luck. But I did find something greater. No, no pictures, but I found a piece of myself. A piece I had forgotten I even had. Seems that life has gotten in the way again and I lost track of something. Sometime valuable to me.

So here I sit, at my computer less than an hour from when I need to be at work and I haven't even showered for the day. TMI, I suppose. But I'm here at the computer typing away because I miss writing. I miss blogging. For years I used this blog to tell my stories of Peanut and Nickel and the things going on in our lives. I had crazy caption contests and posted funny pictures. I posted links to fun quizzes and random interesting facts. All pieces of me.

But then I had a baby, Baby Butter, I love him so much. And with a baby I got busy. But not really. I stayed at home with him for the first few months and then later I worked nights and weekends. I could have at any point in those days paused for 10 or 15 minutes to type out a little something. I guess what held me back was the fear of turning into a "OH MY BABY DID THIS TODAY" blog. Something I really didn't want. So instead I just didn't blog. Much. Not really, a random post here and there declaring that I would indeed get back into blogging again. But it never really stuck.

Today I read stories of the funny things Peanut said and did and I asked myself why I didn't write things like this for Butter. He's funny too. Granted, Peanut was 5 when I started this blog, so why can't I pick it back up now that Butter is almost 4? Another thing holding me back is my desire to catch up. But really lengthy blogs aren't so fun to read and really, no one cares so much. I might post some old pictures I threw up on Facebook just for grins and giggles.

So here goes, initiate blog version 9.78.