"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

We've moved!

For the next two years (Summer 2014-Summer 2016) I'll be blogging our family's adventures in China at www.chinesemileposts.wordpress.com

Monday, February 27, 2006

Earth, I love you, but not that much

For those of you not in Kansas (ie: all of you), you may think Kansas is a red state. And you’d be correct. But what you might not be aware of is that Lawrence is a blue city. And for those of you who didn’t pick up on the color coding of America that came with the 2000 Election, blue is liberal. So even though we left a blue (liberal) state (California) and moved to a red (conservative) state, we’re in the hot bed of liberal hippies and intellectuals.

Now that I’ve given you the setting, I’ll tell you the story. I was perusing a local website the other day, reading the blogs of other Lawrence parents when I came across something both shocking and horrifying to me. It started off simple enough. People arguing tissue vs. handkerchief. I can handle that. My daughter’s room is littered with handkerchiefs so we don’t have to bring her a tissue every two minutes all night long as she apparently chooses to pick her nose, rather than go to sleep. Then the comments on the blog move on to paper towels vs. sponges and dish towels. I was a little bit shocked here to read that someone actually knit their own dish rags and was trying to figure out how to knit a rougher material into it to make it more effective. Okay, a bit nuts, but I can admire that.

Then I come across someone who supplies a link to a website where you can get a pattern for how to make your own sanitary pads. Wow. I was floored. I can remember my mom sitting me down and having the "woman talk" with me when I was ten or so and telling me how lucky girls were today because when she was a little girl they had to safety pin cloth into their underwear and wash it out, etc. It disgusted me then just as it disgusts me now. Why would anyone chose to... to live that way. Ewww.

But it gets even worse. I know, you’re thinking how?? how could that get worse? They start talking about their favorite non disposable tampons. NON DISPOSABLE TAMPONS!!! What kind of world do we live in? Better yet, what sort of town have I moved to?
Then I start thinking, wait a minute? I was born and raised in California. The California that makes it almost impossible without drilling recycling into your soul. You practically have to pass a lie detector test stating that yes, the ozone layer is depleting, and yes, the landfills are filled, and yes, you pledge to become a tree hugging environmentalist to protect all nearly endangered species, etc. etc. before you can graduate from elementary school. You get the point. And I used to recycle, I did. What went wrong?

Utah is what went wrong. I remember showing up for my freshman year of college and being temporarily appalled/stunned because there was no where special in which to throw away a soda pop can or a newspaper or a bottle, glass or plastic. What was I to do? Obviously I got over this rather quickly... just throw it away with everything else. Who cares about landfills and the ozone?

Now I find myself in middle America where I would least expect such recycling fanatics, and yet here I am, finding myself hesitant to buy kleenex or paper towels. But of course, there is not even a second of contemplation while perusing the feminine hygiene aisle. I throw it all in the cart, sorry ozone.

And since my son has just found and is carrying around a battery (non-rechargeable) I better let it stand at that. Earth, I love you, but not that much.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Breaking Up

My husband would probably argue me on this point, but it seems like I’ve never been in a relationship with a normal break-up. Time just sort of progresses and the relationship is over without a real, to use a BYU term, DTR: Define the Relationship. It needs no definition, it no longer is.
With my husband, we were young, we dated, we broke up, we remained friends. We just didn’t hold hands any longer. And then we stopped speaking to each other, but this was way post break-up. We’d gone from friends to boyfriend/girlfriend to friends, and then just stopped speaking to each other one day... for over a year. Odd. But we were 14 and 15... that’s probably how relationships at that age should be.
Then I dated my husband again, for much longer, and we broke up, but it’s a very long story, and still, not your typical break-up. And when we dated again, we ended up married. So there are no break-ups in our future.
But while all of this was going on, I also dated a guy who, well, we just sort of liked being together. We never had to talk about the relationship and where it was going because I don’t think either of us really wanted more than we had at the time. We were at college, the semester was ending, we were both going home for the summer. Without really speaking it, we both knew that with the summer came the end of our relationship. I still remember him saying he was going to miss feeling how soft my hair was. Odd.
Then I’ve had other relationships where things just sort of ended before they ever begun. Just one of those, hey, can this friendship be taken to the next level. We’re waiting, were waiting. No.
I just sort of feel like I missed out on all the break-up drama that I read about in books. There was no yelling, no name calling, no throwing things. (Okay, well, I do like to throw things, but there were never any boys present.) There were tears of course, and friends’ shoulders to cry on. Maybe it’s my extreme avoidance of confrontation. I guess it’s probably for the best. Maybe I just don’t have the dramatic flare that good break-ups need.

Tina Fey

I was washing my face the other night, getting ready for bed when I noticed my scar. I have this scar on the right, my right, side of my upper lip, about a quarter of an inch from the corner. It goes up about a quarter inch towards my eye. I hadn’t thought about this scar in years. I’ve had it since I was a baby. Just one of the scars, literally, of being the youngest child. When I was about two my older brother and sister were "chasing" me around my parents old, sharp cornered coffee table. My lip came in contact with one of the corners. It’s the only time in my life I’ve ever gotten stitches. And even though I don’t remember any of this, I’ve always hated that coffee table and cheered the day my parents finally gave it away and got a new table, an oval.
I hated the scar growing up. What girl wants a scar? Only boys think scars look cool and tough, adolescent girls just count them as one more thing to make them ugly. And anyone who knows me is probably saying, "She has a 1/4 inch scar above her lip? Never noticed." Or maybe it’s super obvious to you and your like, "Duh, how could you forget about that thing. It’s part of who she is." So when I looked in the mirror the other night, I was sort of taken aback. It had been so long since I’d thought about the scar, it was like I’d forgotten I had it. I was looking at it with all new eyes. And all of a sudden I thought, "I’m like Tina Fey." And she’s funny and beautiful, (plus, at least she used to get to sit next to Jimmy Fallon... and he’s hilarious). It was an odd epiphany, discovering something about myself that I’d forgotten, and having a completely different view in regards to it.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Seasonal Candy Favorites

I was at Walmart today and kept having to answer all of my daughters questions about "the green holiday" since she takes note of the change of decorations in stores for each holiday. Then we came across the Easter aisle and I about died... isn't Easter like two months away?? Normally, I'm annoyed (like everyone else I'm sure) when stores decorate for holidays before you've even put away your own decorations or eaten all the candy from the last holiday. But with Easter, it's a different story because with Easter comes Easter candy. And with Easter Candy, comes Cadbury Mini Eggs! No, I'm not talking about Cadbury Cream Eggs, those big chocolate eggs that are super messy and when you bite into them they leak/drip the gooey "egg" innards all over your chin. The ones with the bunny chirping on all their commercials. I'm talking about that giant M&M sized Cadbury Milk Chocolate eggs with a friendly, pastel candy coating. I was introduced to these on a college road trip to Colorado, and haven't gone an Easter candy season without buying/eating at least three or four bags (not all at once... but still sort of quickly). Plus, I love the giant, egg-shaped Peanut Butter M&Ms with speckles that come out at Easter time as well. To my dismay, Walmart did not have any Cadbury Mini Eggs. I stocked up on lots of other candy, of course, including my new favorite, the Hershey's Peanut Butter Kiss, but no Cadbury Mini Eggs. Lucky me, I was at Hobby Lobby (giant craft store for those of you not from around here who have never heard of it ... ie: me, a few months ago) and Hobby Lobby had a bag, which I immediately purchased. My daughter questioned me about it the whole way through check out. She couldn't understand why I didn't buy any of the speckled eggs at Walmart, but I was buying these now. I'll have to let her try one in the morning. She'll surely understand. Although one thing that's nice about kids is they just sort of accept what you say at face value. She knows that I think the Wiggles are creepy. That Barney is scary. And that I'm not a fan of the Bratz. She doesn't question this... at least not too much. So now, she knows that Cadbury Mini Eggs are a must have this Easter Season... and every Easter Season.

Now I want to know... do you have holiday candies that you have to have. The ones that only show up at Christmas, or Halloween or Easter. Like Peeps. Loved them as a kid... but I think that was mainly because Grandma brought them and they were covered in sugar... colored sugar. What's your holiday must have candy??

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Cup of Chocolate Chips

I think I was like any normal kid... I loved candy. But I can remember playing at my best friend Vicki's and she always had Halloween candy still left at Christmas time and I didn't get it. But this was because her mom had it hidden and Vicki and her sister only got it when mom was dishing it out. Or so mom thought. The two girls sneaked candy, and there were empty candy wrappers hidden in their bedrooms. I always thought this was odd. I didn't eat a ton of candy, but it didn't survive until Christmas either.

I guess feeding my sweet tooth really started in high school. I would eat Skittles to help give me energy to be awake. Plus it made me a little hyper, and a little more fun than my normal, quiet self would be. Plus it made me jittery, and that meant that the then 14 year old boy I had a crush on (now my husband) would rest his hand on my knee to stop my leg from shaking, which was driving him crazy. Or maybe, he, like me, just liked the excuse to have his hand on my knee. So I ate A LOT of Skittles in high school... mostly orange. And all of this is strange now, because when I go to the store... I rarely buy Skittles.

I ate a lot of sweets in college... because I could and because it was better than the real food that I knew how to make. But it all went down hill when I studied for a semester in London. I consumed at least four (most definitely more) Cadbury chocolate bars a day... ususally the Cadbury Boost being my candy of choice. I seems like I bought another Cadbury at every Tube stop. It was great... each station had it's only little supply of Cadbury only vending machines. I spent a lot of pence that way. Luckily I was also walking all day so I didn't gain the 400 pounds that I should have.

Then I came home from London, well, back to college. I was not yet recovered from my frequent Cadbury purchases and had a new roommate who would buy a Hershey's with Almonds everytime we checked out at the grocery store. With Cadbury chocolate so fresh in my mind, I couldn't do Hershey chocolate... it tasted like wax... but I started buying candy of my own each time I checked out. This was something new to me... I rarely bought candy at the grocery store... candy was a special treat.

Fast forward a bit. I'm married. I've had my daughter and I'm pregnant with my son. Sugar is killing me. Every time I drank soda or ate anything especially sweet or sugary, it was like I could feel it moving through my veins, making me ill. But I still craved it. Turns out I was borderline gestationally diabetic. So my doctor allowed me to eat sugar, but sparingly, and I had to eat it with fiber so that my body could process it better. I ate some odd things then... trying to get my sugar fix with fiber.

So now... I eat candy like crazy. I think it's to make up for that nine months that I couldn't. The other day, we ran out of candy bars, and I found myself eating milk chocolate chips out of a tiny Dixie cup... I've turned into my dad (although he prefers Semi-sweet). Plus it seems like there are so many especially yummy candy bars out there now. At first it was Nutrageouses. Then the Fast Break Bar. Now my husband has introduced me to the Take Five. Not to mention that I can get Cadbury Dairy Milks at any grocery store. And there is a British shop in downtown Lawrence that sells Cadbury Boosts!! But my weakness right now... 100 Grands. I don't know where they were hiding my whole life. And I'm terrified that they will disappear. Until the 100 Grand the only time I ever got caramel and chocolate along together was at Christmas when we bought one of those fancy boxes of See's Candy. Or when I was brave enough at the mall to go and buy only one cup of them from the See's lady. And even if the 100 Grand isn't pure chocolate and caramel... there's some sort of rice crispy add-in, I love them. I eat like three a day and I can't stop. Not to mention that I'm terrified that they are a less popular candy bar and they will go extinct. What will I do??????

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Crap Computers

Does anyone have a computer that actually works? I mean, really works, all the time. One that you've never had to swear at, slam the keyboard, or that has never tempted you to throw it against the wall? Hopefully you didn't throw it against the wall... I wouldn't recommend that method of fixing a computer. Although none of our other methods, the more normal ones, have seemed to do much good either. So if you are missing my comments on your post, or more surprisingly, missing my posts, I apologize, but blame the crap computers (really, all our electronics are crap) and ask that you cross you fingers with me that this computer will keep on working. Otherwise, the people on the other computers at the library are going to be a bit upset everytime my kids in the double stroller run out of fruit snacks and start going nutso.
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