Friday, September 27, 2013

Another inappropriate crying-in-the-gym moment...

Yes, I cried at the gym again yesterday.  But this was more of a...happy cry.  An inspired cry.

I went to yoga (which, like I have told you, makes me feel like a goddess.  Seriously.  It's an extremely spiritual experience), and we did a series where our teacher told a story.

She had us start with the lizard pose, which is sometimes called the Broken Warrior:
We had done lots of warm-ups before this, just so you know.  You don't want to go into this without warming up, because dang.  Even with the warm-ups, this pose is the reason my hamstrings are so sore today.  So she said something like this:  "The warrior has been in battle, and he is broken."

Then she had us leave our right forearm on the mat and reach our left arm into the sky, kind of like this:
Except that our forearm was on the mat.  And then she said, "The warrior reaches to heaven for help.  He needs help to heal."

Then we brought the arm that had been reaching up to the bottom of our backs, almost as if we were preparing for a binding pose like this:
But we still kept our right forearm on the mat. And she said, "The warrior brings the help into his core and strengthens himself."

Then she had us raise ourselves to this position:
And then she said, "Now, the warrior is a Super Warrior.  He has overcome.  He has healed.  He has become better.  He is stronger and more able to beat his foe."

To me, it was a wonderful metaphor for life.  I was especially thinking of myself and the things I've gone through in the past year with my depression.  And I was thinking of someone very close and very dear to me who has been suffering cruelly with a similar mental disorder.

For a long, long time, I felt broken.  I actually said that in my prayers to Heavenly Father.  I would kneel at the side of my bed and weep, repeating over and over, "I'm broken.  I'm broken.  I need help.  Please help me."  I was reaching up to Him to heal me.  With his guidance and inspiration, I got the help that I needed.  And I brought that help inside of me.  I don't know if I am yet to the Super Warrior pose, but I am raising myself up slowly from my forearms to my palms.  I'm getting close.  I feel better now than I have in months.  I'm less and less angry and irritated.  I'm more mellow and calm.

I feel like ME again.

Yesterday, I shared this with my dear, dear friend who has been struggling.  She also loves yoga.  And after I showed her the poses and told her the story, we both cried together.

To my dear friend:  You feel broken.  But you are getting the help you need.  It doesn't feel like you will ever, ever be Super Warrior, but because you reached out for help and are bringing that help inside of you, it will very, very slowly get better.  I love you tons and pray for you always.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Toothy Tales

Sadie lost another tooth yesterday!
My kids don't hesitate to come to me to have their teeth pulled.  My dad taught me in the fine art of tooth-pulling.  Always use a kleenex-type apparatus so you don't lose your grip on the tooth.  And twist the tooth instead of pulling it.  Bada-bing, bada boom.  I'm also the Family Get the Sliver Outer.  Micah doesn't even cry when I have to get a sliver out of his hand or foot.  I am the consummate professional.

We took Dylan in to the orthodontist last week, just for a consultation.  His teeth look like that one pool-table implement.  I remember it from a Tom and Jerry cartoon.  It looks like a bunch of crooked white teeth, attached to a pool stick (I know that's not what you call it, but I'm seriously drawing a blank here).  Tom and Jerry were up to their usual fighting shenanigans, and somehow, this thing that looks like crooked, buck white teeth attached to a pool stick got shoved into Tom's stomach, and the teeth were by his mouth.  I believe the pool stick was shoved through his stomach and to the tip of his tail.  And as he lay there in a daze on the pool table, buck-toothed pool-playing implement in his mouth, the sound effect guy goes "Duhhhhhhh."

Dylan's top four teeth look just like those Duhhhhh teeth in Tom and Jerry.  It's pretty bad.

So we took him in to see if we could get braces on just his top front four and top bottom four, and it's $2000.  Yikes.  Bikes.  So we basically said, "Okay, if by some miracle we get more money coming in each month, we'll call you!  Don't call us!  We'll call you!"  So expensive.  But so important.  I think having a crooked or buck-toothed smile can be really debilitating to a person.  So we'll try to figure something out.

Poor kid. He was convinced that were going to put braces on that day.  And he was soooo excited about it.

Have you ever read Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls?  Probably in my top five favorite books that I've ever read.  For reals.  I've read it twice, and I NEVER do that.  Anyways, it's a memoir, and poor little Jeannette had buck teeth.  Her family was incredibly, incredibly poor, and she was tired of having buck teeth, so this girl actually got a wire hanger, cut it off, shaped it so that it would press against her teeth at night, and got some rubber bands to attach to each end.  Then she attached the rubber bands in some way to a big, soft maxi pad that fit behind her neck.  That is how she straightened her teeth.  With a hanger and a maxi pad.  She basically made her own headgear.  Crazy.  I guess sometimes desperation is the father of invention, right?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Kar vs. The Baby Blue Beast. Part 2.

Ugh.  Even looking at Ben's truck makes me so mad.

Kay.  So ever since my PTSD-inducing experience with Ben's truck back in March, I have categorically refused to drive it.  Ben did fix the brake system, which cost us hundreds of dollars.  (Which is special.)  So it's a bit safer.  But the speedometer doesn't work.

Anywho, I had book club on Saturday night and I was driving my friend, Megann there.  Ben had taken our nice, dependable Durango to go grocery shopping.  He left two hours before I was set to leave for my book club, but because he is an ent, he didn't finish in time.  After many frantic calls to him about getting his butt home and me being late for book club and resigned sighs, I decided that I had to do the unthinkable - drive that stupid truck again.

I picked up Megann, and when she saw what I was picking her up in, she laughed heartily.  When she got in, I made sure she put on her seatbelt and gave her many warnings about the adventure we were about to have.  I also warned her that we'd have this weird, peculiar old-truck smell on our clothes for a couple of hours after we got out.  My grandpa used to always have that smell.  The smell of a 1960's beat-up truck.

Our friend, Hayley's, house is a few miles out of town.  I had to make a few turns, which was scary for me, because the truck doesn't have power steering and I have weak muscles.  Once we got onto the country road and the speed limit was faster, I tried to shift into fifth gear.  It would just grind and refuse to go in, so I let it go and went 40 mph or so.  Cars were passing me.  I was telling them I was sorry.  And that 40 mph is an estimate, since the speedometer doesn't work.  I later found out that there IS no fifth gear.  Apparently I was putting it into reverse.  Yep, the reverse place is where the fifth gear place on most normal cars is.  Fun.

Megann just laughed and laughed.

So we finally got there to Hayley's, and I decided not to pull into her driveway, because it's too hard to turn.  So I pulled in front of her house.  Phew.  We made it.  I put it in neutral (it won't go into first gear), applied the emergency break, and twisted the key (which is to the LEFT of the steering wheel instead of the RIGHT) to turn it off.

The key wouldn't come out.

The truck wouldn't turn off. 

It just sat there, key in the "off" position, rumbling. 

Megann started laughing again. 

So I twisted it the other way.  It was still on.  The key still wouldn't come out.  So I twisted it halfway.  Ah-ha!  The key easily came out.

But so did the entire mechanism that the key goes into.  I was holding the entire mechanism in my hand.

I took the key out of the mechanism, and the mechanism literally fell apart in my hands.  Springs.  Little things that look like teeny bullets.  Two tubes that fit into each other with these complicated springs and bullet thingeys. 

And the car was STILL ON.

So I put the tubes back together and tried to get the mechanism back into the hole where it goes, and it wouldn't go in.

I told Megann to go ahead and go inside to Book Club.  I called Ben (who had just brought the grocery bags into our house) and asked him to come switch cars with me.  Then I proceeded to keep trying to insert this mechanism into the hole thingey.

Hayley's husband came outside to try to help.  He couldn't figure it out either, but he most helpfully said, "Aw, man, this truck is seriously so AWESOME.  Every guy should have a truck like this." 

I looked at him incredulously.  "So you're saying that, even though you can see what an obvious piece of crap this is, and you can see that I can't get the truck to TURN OFF, you still LIKE IT??"

"Oh yeah.  Totally."

Boys are so weird.  Boys and Ben's sister Jenny.  Jenny likes the truck, too.  "I just love the sound that engine makes!!"

So Ben finally pulled up, yelling out the window, "Woman, what did you do to my truck?" 

I shot him the Look of Death.  The one I used to reserve for students who told me to F Off when I taught 8th grade English.

I explained to him what happened and informed him that I was going in to my Book Club, to discuss a book that I haven't even cracked open yet. (I was wayyyy into Jane Austen's biography and couldn't put it down.  Had to finish it first.)  I asked him for the keys to the FUNCTIONING car, and then I marched indignantly, nose in the air, into Hayley's house.

Ben never got the key mechanism back into the hole.  Since it was on, he just...drove it home.  He later told me that he finally got it to turn off by inserting a SCREWDRIVER into the hole and twisting it.  I asked him if he was able to turn it on again.  Yep.  With a screwdriver.  My husband has to use a screwdriver to start and stop his stupid truck.

HATE that thing.

Here's what kills me - we've been trying to figure out how to rehab our new house and stay within budget.  Ben has been absolutely adamant that we replace the laminate floors and carpet with this bamboo flooring stuff.  I was like, "The laminate looks fine.  Let's just replace the cat pee carpet with new carpet. And then we can use what we save on the flooring elsewhere in the house to fix stuff."

But nope, that wouldn't do.  Ben hates the blond laminate floors and insists upon having this hoity-toity floor everywhere.  So picky.  So...almost snobby, right? I've told you - he is a floor snob.

And yet he has this piece of crap truck that he adores and thinks is the coolest thing ever.

I don't get it.  I just don't get it.

Friday, September 20, 2013

If you like pina colada....

...don't get troches in the pina colada flavor.

What are troches, you ask?  Oh, they're my new way of getting some testosteroney (the REAL San Francisco treat) into my body.

So here's the deal.  When you have a hormone deficiency, you can treat it in lots of different ways - you can actually rub a cream, like, on your thighs and have it absorbed that way (a cute older lady in my ward says that she rubs it on her legs, and then if she has some left over on her hands, she rubs it on her husband's arms.  "It wouldn't hurt him to have more testosterone in his life," she muttered.), I think there is a patch, you can take it in pill form, you can have these things called pellets inserted subcutaneously (this happens only once every five months), you can get shots, or you can do these lozenges called troches (pronounced TRO-keys).

I talked to my doctor last week, and she herself has to have hormone therapy.  She likes the pellets because you only go in every five months.  But most people's insurances don't cover pellets.  She said that the pills made her feel a little "fuzzy," comparable with what you feel when you take cold medicine.  I decided to give the troches a try.

Here I am, ready to take my first troche:
Try not to be jealous of how I look first thing in the morning.  Quite honestly, you're lucky I happened to be wearing a bra that early in the day.

You have to put the troche under your tongue and let it dissolve.  And oy, talk about "swallowing a bitter pill."  Or, more correctly, dissolving a bitter pill under your tongue and swallowing the bitter taste along with your spit every now and then.  *shudder*  The troche tastes like bitterness, encased in a thin flavor of pina colada.

And those things take half an hour to dissolve!  Mama mia!  So I'm gagging and lisping while the troche is dissolving and I'm trying to get the kids ready and off to school.  "Dywan, put on yo dacket.  Thadie, bluss yo teesss."

And I think my love of pina colada is forever tainted.  Will I ever be able to sip a virgin Pina Colada smoothie again without having that bitter taste come into my mouth?  Perhaps not.

So maybe I'll try the pill next time.  We'll see if I just get used to it.

And can I say a few things about that Pina Colada song?  I heard it on the radio the other day.

1)  That guy is a jerk for wanting to cheat on his wife/possible live-in girlfriend.
2)  His wife/possible live-in girlfriend is a jerk for wanting to cheat on her husband/possible live-in boyfriend.
3)  Why doesn't the girl like yoga?  She's crazy.  Yoga ROCKS.
4)  Who would want to make love in a sand dune?  Sand in all the wrong places.
5)  At the end of the song, he says he never knew that his wife/live-in girlfriend likes Pina Colada, getting caught in the rain, etc.  These are important things to know about your significant other, dude.  What is your problem?  Ben knows I love anything Mango.  I know he loves anything chocolate-upon-chocolate.  I know he loves getting caught in the rain.  He knows I love getting caught in the rain.  He knows I'm very into yoga.  I know he likes the concept of yoga, but not the actual getting-dressed-and-going-to-the gym-to-do-yoga thing.  I know he has half a brain.  He knows I have half a brain. And I won't embarrass you by letting you know Ben's and my respective feelings on the subject of making love at midnight.  All I will say is that one of us is against it and one of us is for it.  And I'll leave it at that.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Keeping Mum

Last fall, my parents, husband, and I went out to New York to visit my sister.  One day, we went to Palmyra and saw the temple.  Temple grounds are always so gorgeous, and these were no exception.  I was particularly smitten with the mums:
I resolved right then and there that I was going to put some mums in my garden for this fall.
 I got two red ones, called Red Rover (such a cool name.  I wish I got to be the one who names flowers):
And I got two golden ones, called Bedazzled Something-or-other:
My peonies have died back, so I gave them a haircut, and there's a blank spot where their leaves used to spread.  So I think I'm going to get a few more mums this weekend.  They should bloom clear through the end of October, which will be nice.

Here's what else is happening in my garden.

These bluebells have bloomed all summer long.  They are huge winners, because they keep on blooming, because they spread a little bit, because they are hardy, because they are perennials, and lastly and most importantly, because they are purple.

 Ugh, I cannot keep alyssum alive to save my life:
No matter what I do, they die every time I try to grow them.  I'm done with them.  In their place, I recently planted these decorative peppers, which will stay bright and productive through the end of October as well:

 Aren't they cool?  These ones are called Jokers, like joker hats:
Ben decided to eat a few of them.  He says the joker ones are mild and sweet, like regular sweet peppers, but that the purple ones are hoooooot.

My lobelia have done great this year:
 I planted some pansies in the backyard called Matrix.  Another cool name:
Micah got some seeds for his birthday at the end of May, and I'm telling you, I am a total seed-a-holic now.  They have done so well!  And they're cheap - only $1.50 per packet.  These are Micah's Morning Glories, grown from seed:
 They grow like vines.  It's been such a kick in the pants to watch these things crawl up my porch railing.
The blooms are as thin as tissue paper, and they only last one day.  They bloom and then the bloom dies that night.  Seems like kind of a waste - all that work for a bloom that lasts one day.  But luckily, we have from 3 to 13 blooms every single day on these.

Another thing frown from seed - these nasturtiums:
 I love their water-lily-like leaves, and the blooms are so bright and beautiful.

 These ones are my favorite:

 I had a bleeding heart and a patriot hosta die this spring, so I replaced them.
 I loooove hostas:
 Petunias are my go-to annual.  They never fail to live, thrive, and please:
 Micah got these sunflower seeds from his preschool teacher:
 And he got these sunflower seeds for his birthday, as well:
I'm telling you, seeds are the way to go.  In our soon-to-be house, there is a teeny little greenhouse-like window in front of the kitchen sink.  It pops out and has the greenhouse walls and ceiling.  I'm soooo going to start seeds in there in the spring and have them all ready for planting at the end of May.

I loooove verbena.  These annuals have bloomed wonderfully all summer long:
In fact, tonight we're expecting freezing temperatures, so I'm going to have to cover these guys with a blanket.  We have the weirdest weather - from 95 degrees to 60 degrees in 24 hours.  I was kind of looking forward to cooler weather, but it's stormy, windy, and nasty today - not what I had in mind. :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Alright, let's take a look at the inside of this bad boy.

No, I didn't just kill a juvenile delinquent, and I don't wish to dissect him.

Sorry.  I just watched Bones while I was working out.  It puts you into that dissecting and murdering state of mind, I guess.

I'm-a show you the inside of our soon-to-be-house!  We've gone there roughly 72 billion times in the past week to get measurements, meet contractors, tell the contractors what we want to do, have contractors measure stuff, listen to Gage mess with some old 1979 air filter in the bathroom, listen to Gage open and slam shut that big outlet that you can, like, put some kind of hose on and vacuum your whole house with, etc., etc.  I know my friend Em's mom had one of those vacuum thingeys.  Where does the dust go when you use those?  Any idea?  I always knew when Em's mom was vacuuming, because it was looud.  I could hear it across the street.

Anywho, are you ready for the tour?  Here it is.  And I'll tell you what we might do with our limited budget.  We've been crunching a whole lotta numbers.  And for those of you who hate to look at houses, this post will not be your favorite.  But I have several friends who loooooove to look at houses who will enjoy this immensely.

Kay.  Here's the front of the house:
Sorry I don't have a better picture.  I originally took my camera that day because I wanted to just document the things that needed fixing.  And the lawn needs fixing.  However, we aren't sure that the kind of loan we're getting to do the rehab on the home has provisions for lawn fixing.  So, um, hopefully the lawn will come back next spring?  It's dead as a doornail.

To the right of the driveway is a little strip of garden that belongs to our property:

I can't wait to get in there and dig all that crap out and plant some bulbs or something.  Yeee!

There are some damaged pieces of wood and some peeling paint:
As you saw in the last post, Ben wanted to put a new exterior on the house.  But after a little more thought, we decided we wanted most of the budget to go to the inside of the house.  Since that's where we're stuck 8 months out of the year, basically.  So we're going to paint it a few different colors, kind of going along with the idea Ben had - lighter brown on part, a deep, dark brown on part.... he'll figure it out.  I'm sure he's already figured it out.

As you walk up to the front door, behind you, you see a breezeway that leads into the backyard.  We might need to make a little gate there or something to keep our three-year-old safely inside the back:
 Let's go in the front door.  Here is what it looks like just inside the front door:
Ben doesn't like the laminate.  He's a floor snob.  He found some really inexpensive darkly stained bamboo flooring that he wants to put in all of the main living spaces upstairs.

In front of you, you see the stairway leading downstairs:
Yep, that fixture is old, but it will have to do right now.  As will the railing.  But the carpet you see in this main walkway of the house will be replaced by the dark bamboo.  That carpet is thrashed.  There are bleach stains, tears, dark stains, threadbare will be good to have a nice hard surface for such an oft-used pathway in the house.

Look, there's a coat closet.  AN ACTUAL COAT CLOSET.  We haven't had one of those in six years:
If you bear right, you will see the linen closet and laundry closet:
It's going to be such a dream come true to have the laundry on the main floor.  So excited.  And I think that tile is going to stay.

To the right are two bedrooms.  We thought we'd put the Two Littles in these rooms.  Kid's bedroom #1 (Micah has called this one):
 Kid's bedroom #2 (this will be Gage's room):
We're carpeting these two rooms.  Ben's floor snobbishness coming into play.  The carpet he picked is really luscious and soft, though. And the Home Depot installs carpet for free!  Can I get a what-what?

Oh, and here is the kids' upstairs bathroom.  All of the bathrooms have been updated and look so cool:
 Next to the kids' room is the master bedroom.  You will die:
Ben is okay with this laminate.  It's newer and nicer.  And he (and I) like the dark wood look.  Here is our closet (two doors, one space):
 We have an en suite bathroom.  Here is our sink:
I think I might swap this mirror for the mirror that's currently in our bathroom that I love.  We'll see. Our shower:
 A separate bathtub:
 And a pooping room!!!
Now we don't have to smell each other while brushing our teeth.  So awesome.  The master bathroom goes out onto a deck.  Don't worry - there are blinds in those glass doors:
Now, if you were to go from the front door to the left, you'd see the front room.  Which I don't have a picture of, for some reason.  Duh.  It's awesome, though.  The carpet there will be replaced with that dark bamboo.

If you go further in, you see this dining room (the dark bamboo will run through here):
 Then, if you turn right, you will enter the kitchen (my favorite part of the house):

The kitchen floor will also have that dark bamboo on it.
LOOK AT HOW BIG THIS THING IS!  It's going to be a dream to prepare meals in this space!!!
And there are these two huge pantries!!!  I've never had a pantry!  EEeeeeee!!!! 
You can tell better in this picture that there are two of them (and a cute little area for the kids to sit on stools and eat their cereal in the morning):
Unfortunately, there are fluorescent bulbs in the kitchen.  And they aren't working right now.  Ben moved one of the panels to look at them.  But we'll get some new bulbs.  Someday we can fix the lighting in there:
The living room (carpet will be replaced by that dark bamboo):
So the house kind of makes a circle, starting at the front door and circling left through front room and dining room toward the kitchen or circling right through the hall that leads to the bedrooms, through the living room, and toward the kitchen.  A person could run in a big circle in our house if a person wanted to.  I know four kids who most definitely will utilize that plan.

Let's go downstairs, shall we?

We're putting new carpet on the stairs - matching the carpet in the Two Littles' rooms:
And we'll fix this hole that got punched in the wall:
To your left you see this huge room (and Mikey and Ben and the realtor representing the house, Dave):
 The floor is cement.  A person could rollerskate down there while listening to Poison.  That's what my sister and I did when my family moved to our house when I was 8. 

The cement is painted.  I don't have anything against painted cement, as long as it has some kind of heated subflooring under it.  Where this doesn't, Ben thinks we should just carpet the whole thing.

Behind where Ben is standing in that picture is where we're going to frame in a bedroom for Dylan.  And Ben wants to put drywall over the wood paneling and paint it.

There will be a hallway running to the left of Dylan's room that will lead to the bathroom that he and Sadie will share:
A THIRD BATHROOM, you guys.  We currently have one 6 foot by 6 foot bathroom.  Can you feel the excitement that is emanating from me?  Feel it.  And again, could these bathrooms be any cooler?  There is  a bathtub there to the left.

Sadie's room is kind of on the other side of the mass of red cement.  It will also be carpeted that same color of carpet that will be throughout the house:
 This will be the perfect room for her to grow into a teenager in, because it has a MASSIVE closet.
And then she'll go to college and have a teensy-weensy little closet and be like, "Wha?"  Hahaha!

At the base of the stairs to the right is going to be my craft room.  Ben's actually drywalling and carpeting a craft room for me.  Because he's a rock star:
Here is the view from my future craft room.  Picture a wall with a door about halfway down this room.  Beyond that door will be our storage room:
Kay.  So the backyard.  You can access it from the living room or from the master bedroom.  Here is what it looks like to the left of the living room door - gate going to the front yard:
To your right - the deck that comes off the master bedroom.
Beyond that, a jacuzzi, which may or may not work:
Then you curve right.  This is the space behind the house.  The actual backyard.  It's MASSIVE.
And dead.  And there's a little boxed garden area in the corner:
I guess now I won't have an excuse as to why I don't do vegetable gardens.  In the past I've had an excuse - my entire backyard is like a shady forest and won't grow diddly squat.  Now I won't be able to say that.  Looking from the garden toward the front of the house - a gate to the left there.  The left building is the garage.  Those two windows to the right are the kids' upstairs rooms:
Oh, and here's the inside of the garage.  A two-car garage.  The luxury.
Kay, next time we go over, I'll take a picture of the front room.  Duh.  Sorry 'bout that.

We still aren't even close to closing.  The contractors have to give us their bids, and then we choose the contractors, and then we submit that paperwork, and then we can start the process of closing, which will still take 30 to 45 days.  And only after it officially closes can the contractors do their work.  For reals, yo.  So we have awhile to wait yet.

In the meantime, we'll be prepping our own house to sell.  More on that later.
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