December 3, 2004

What a slow journal week!  I guess I just didn't have much to say.  I burned out about 13-14 book and Tarot reviews and now have about 6-7 more to go.  I feel much better having made a significant dent in the pile.  I'll maybe get some done this weekend. There's not much going on (that I know of). Getting groceries tomorrow, Eric is getting more wood and we're supposed to get snowed in tomorrow night.  That gives me good writing time as long as we keep electricity.

David got an absolutely wonderful job working for Sacramento County doing data entry.  It's a temp job of only 6 months, but temp jobs with the county often lead into other jobs with the county, plus the pay is great, which lets him save up some money and possibly go into a training program or back to college when he's done.  He's definitely on the road to better times.

Valerie (Josh's wife, even though I can't seem to get them down the aisle) got a job of which *I* am jealous.  She is working full time at my very, very favorite thrift store of all time.  Josh will stay home with the kids (for now) and that seems to be working out for them.

Joe has decided to FINALLY start using his amazing talent as an artist to start doing portraits.  Here are a couple of ones he's done recently:


(L to R:  Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands, Author Stephen King
and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine from X-Men)

People who can draw totally amaze me.  When he would sit at the mall or somewhere with his sketch pad, people would gather around to watch him create.  It's just amazing.  He definitely didn't get this talent from me.  But then, all of my kids have gifts that I don't possess, which makes me admire them even more than I normally would, just by virtue of them being my kids.

Anyway, Joe is taking orders to do portraits from photographs, so if you want one for Christmas, tell your friends.  :)

I obligingly did my 7 Deadly Sins test:


You scored as Lust.















Seven deadly sins
created with

So yeah, big surprise.  I'm just surprised gluttony isn't higher up the scale.  Of course, a nice toss up between pride, gluttony and sloth isn't so bad.  In fact, with lust just slightly higher than that, it sounds like a pretty good deal.  Envy, greed and wrath don't do much for me anyway.

Talked to Nathan's teacher today and she said she didn't get a very good response from the superintendent when she asked about adding Dylan to the existing class, so I wrote a begging and pleading and weeping letter to him to maybe plead my case a little further.  I figure it couldn't hurt.  I was going to send it in on Monday with Nathan, but screw it, I faxed it to the guy today.  I'll send a hard copy follow up on Monday as well.  I have GOT to get this kid into school.  It's like an obsession now.

My gluttony is getting the better of me (6 pounds this year) and I have to get on the treadmill.  Have to have to have to. 

I was reading a really good menopause article that my friend, Kathy, sent to me.  What Kathy didn't know is that Susun Weed, who wrote the column, is one of my very favorite Witchy writers.  She's a fabulous herbalist who wrote the "Wise Woman" series.  I really want to get this menopause book that she wrote, even though I doubt seriously that I will be taking my "Crone's year off" and following my bliss for a year.  (Wouldn't THAT be lovely?)  Her site is here: and she is just a wonderful diva.  I read in an interview with her that she is a lesbian, but always said she'd marry the man who called her The Goddess.  One did and she did. 

I've admired her greatly ever since reading her books Healing Wise and Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year.  Both are just marvelous. 

I am not a very good herbalist, particularly. I grow cooking herbs (or used to and will next year.  Moving got in the way of this year's planting) and buy other herbs from the co-op in Sacramento or through mail order.  I've studied a bit about herbal healing, including Susun Weed's books, and have learned a little.  Like astrology, it's a subject about which I know a good bit and probably more than the average person, but still prefer to not store the information in my head, using references instead.  I've gotten good at that lately.  I can pretty much decide what information I am going to store away in my head and which I'm going to let pass me by.  Mind you, that only applies to new info. I can still remember my phone number when I was growing up (502-275-4004), every address I've ever had, the combination to my locker in high school and all numbers associated with my ex-husband (social security number, birthday, anniversary).  I can remember the birthday of David Utley, my first boyfriend. 

I remember "Wooly Willy" and magic slates and when pull tabs on cans of soft drinks actually left the can afterwards and looked this one on the right.  I also remember collecting about 100,000 of them, only to find that some child really wasn't going to get dialysis if I turned them in.  I remember making jello cakes where you poke holes in a cake and pour jello over the top.  I remember the first time I saw a prestige license plate.  I remember when you used to rent your phones from the phone company and that was the only way you could GET a phone.  I remember when General Hospital and One Life to Live were only on for a half hour, then later, for 45 minutes.  I remember when Diane from "Cheers" did a commercial where she told two friends and they told two friends and so on and so on...

I remember when Mike Douglas had a talk show, as did Dick Cavett and Dinah Shore.  I remember when you couldn't say "damn" or "hell" or "ass" on TV.  I even remember when a married couple on a TV show couldn't sleep in the same bed.  The first couple to do so was Darrin and Samantha Stephens on "Bewitched" and for years, one of them had to have their foot on the floor at all times.  I remember when there was a piece of Crystal Wedding crystal in boxes of oatmeal.  I remember record players that let you stack massive numbers of vinyl records on the spindle, push the arm over them and have one play after another and another and another.  I remember the old hard 78's.  I remember when finding a "wheat" penny wasn't all that rare.  Oooh!  I remember when Marty Robbins, Porter Wagoner and Stan Hitchcock all had music shows!

I remember sanitary napkins that didn't stick to your panties and you had to use an awful sanitary belt that lived up your asscrack.  Now people voluntarily wear thongs.  Go figure.  I remember when you weren't suppose to use Tampax if you were a virgin.   I remember when Massengil was the only douche and it was an icky yellow and did not smell like country flowers.  I remember making huge Christmas wreaths out of "computer cards" which were rectangular cards of light cardboard with holes punched in them.  I also remember making Christmas trees out of Reader's Digests.  I remember lining up at school for TB tests and measles shots.  I remember when "Peyton Place" was the raciest thing on TV. 


Yep, can't seem to let go of any of that to clear my hard drive for more storage.  :)

Speaking of remembering things, I just remembered why I was telling you about the Susun Weed thing.  It was because she said that when you are in your premenopausal years, you should gain a pound a year and not diet during that time.  I love it.  I guess I'll have to go with exercise and just eating well.  I've tried everything but that and when I have tried that, it has only been for a few days at a time.  Still not sure what undermines me. Is it just that it's "not fun?"  Is it that it's too easy to entertain myself with food?  Is it that I hate exercise that much?  I really don't know, I just know that I need to change it.  I have all the tools.  Joe has sent me "Walk Away the Pounds," which I'm told is wonderful.  I have the exercise ball (about my 5th, thanks to Nathan).  I have a nice electric treadmill.  I have an exercise bike.  I have resistance tubes of three different strengths.  There really isn't any excuse other than "I don't want to."  I've felt "the click" about 10-15 times.  I've worked at it when I didn't feel the click.  I haven't really felt that much of a difference in terms of motivation or ultimate results.  This isn't some big proclamation or anything.  I'm just toying with the idea that I need to get around to doing this.  By Susun's standards, I've handled the next 6 years worth of weight gain.  If you go back to the time that pre-menopause tends to start around 35 or so and count forward,  I'm good to go until about 2087.  That B-12 had better hurry.  In researching, evidently, I only ordered it on Monday.  It seems like years ago.  (But the mail has not yet come today) 

Note of record:  deer do not like raw spinach evidently.  The love old soft apples and fairly gooey salad fixins, but spinach is not a hit.  Who can really blame them?  My mom and Eric are the only living beings I've met who like it.  There must be others or it wouldn't be around. 

Meh, I'm even boring myself.  Have a cool weekend.


November 30, 2004, for the meantime

Oh, that nap I was going to take after the last entry so completely manifested!  I dozed on the couch for a couple of blissful hours while Dylan played on the computer.  It was just lovely.  Naps during the midday are just the absolute best.  Too early on and they make you sleep-hung over and too late in the day and you never really totally wake up before having to go to sleep again.  Late morning is just perfect.

I was thinking, as I was drifting off this morning, about how stupid we all are as parents.  Here we go, every year like clock work, standing in line to drop our beloved children, who normally we completely watch like hawks, onto the lap of a strange man in disguise.  Usually, this would be considered fairly dumb, but in the high of Christmas, it is perfectly acceptable. We usually have no idea who or what kind of person is under that Santa beard.  It could well be (and in fact, almost likely be, since that would be an absolutely perfect cover for one) a major pedophile.  Isn't that too grim of a thought?  But really, what better way to get your ho ho jollies with the little kids than to have them sit on your lap all day long?  I mean, EW.  I'd never even much considered it until today, after years of handing my unsuspecting little darlings over to *whoever* played Santa that day.  But of course, they only hire really, really nice people to play Santa, right?  Pfft.  I read once that a very small percentage of pedophiles are ever reported or caught, so really, who knows?  The whole thing makes me kind of sick when I think about it.

Why do they have to sit in his LAP to talk to him, anyway?  All of my kids were scared to death of Santa for at least a few years, yet we have to have that holiday rite of passage of getting about as up close and personal as you can with someone without laying a big tongue kiss on them.  *shudder*  I don't want to think about what might be going on in the nether regions of that big red pair of pants.

I think if my kids visit Santa to recite their Christmas list, they can damned well stand at his side to do it.

I watched "Judging Amy" for the first time in forever tonight.  I used to adore the show, but my disdain for Amy shot up past my immense and most reverent appreciation for Maxine, who I desperately seek to emulate and even more so wish I had in my life as a mentor.

After about a year off from the show (and the episode tonight did not show Lauren, her kid, at least not that I saw, so I'm a tad curious about that), I have to admit that even though I was delighted to see Vincent back (yayyy!), I was dismayed to find that all he served to do, in this episode anyway, was to up the "pretentious fuck" level to a mind blowing point.  Between Amy, Gillian, Peter and Vincent, I was thinking that if I were Maxine, I'd just kill myself.  She is so wise and Earth Mother and direct and cool and Croney that it must kill her to see how whiney and bitchy and self-absorbed every single one of her kids grew up to be.  No wonder her sole purpose in life is now to go around saving other people's kids because god knows she can't save her own.  When she fell apart throughout the show and the collapsed at the end, I was completely not surprised.  The only thing that saves the show any more is Maxine, Bruce and Donna, who are all still absolutely delightful characters.  I'd watch it if nothing else was on, like tonight.  (I want my SCRUBS!!)  Oh yes, yes, YES!!  An episode guide reveals that I was RIGHT about thinking the guest star who played Evelyn Worth was Angie Dickinson. 

I wonder if I can sleep now.  I took two Excedrin before bed for a headache so the headache wouldn't keep me awake like it did two nights ago, but of course, now the caffeine in the Excedrin has me awake.  I was debating whether to get up or stay in bed when Joe (my son) gave me a call and I ambled on downstairs to talk to him.  Now, an hour later, I think I'm ready to see if the sleep fairies are read to bless me with some shut eye.

I feel like I'm behind on everything.  My house isn't where I want it to be (and Eric issued a mandate tonight that the kids' rooms be cleaned and kept that way).  I'm embarrassingly behind on book reviews. I haven't exercised and I really, really need to.  I still have a round of Christmas decorations to put out that are currently sitting in my living room in a green tub.  I have a small stack of pans on my stove that I keep putting off washing because I really don't want to face them.  I have laundry to do.  Dylan is behind in school work because he's being a doofus about doing it and I'm not mustering up the wherewithal to coax him into it (or bully him, depending on how far it gets).  I can't seem to put two or more soap related words into a column. Yes, I think we may ascertain that I am experiencing a fairly ineffectual period in my life.  I am very comfortable with staring into space for long periods of time.  I keep forgetting to meet Nathan's bus when he gets home, so he'll come in the door and I have to go wave to the driver to let him know I am here.  Granted, he's been about 5-10 minutes early this week, but still...

Maybe I need to go back to caffeinated Diet Coke again.  Coggie told me that this Vitamin B-12 that she's taking is like Mommy Crack and gives you lots of energy, so I did the unforgivable and ordered some to see.  Maybe it will give me enough of a boost to get me going again.  As it is, I feel as though I'm in some kind of stasis mode.  I'm sitting still and the world is going by in fast motion. 

As they say, tomorrow is another day.  Maybe I can get things going then and the energy will be more, well, energetic.  For now, maybe sleep will court me a bit if I bring it flowers.


November 30, 2004

Last day of November.  I can't believe the year is almost gone.  It's true that the older you get, the faster time flies (at least so far, that has been my experience).  It's also amazing that nearly a week has gone by since I was able to update my journal.

I last updated on Wednesday of last week.  On Thursday, I started cooking in fairly early morning.  As Delena and I were grocery shopping on Wednesday night, I heard no less than three different women mention getting up at 6am to start cooking.  I don't think in 26 years of making Thanksgiving dinners I have ever gotten up at six to cook.  Mind you, I got up before six because kids were awake, not to cook.  So I started cooking around 9am, planning to eat at 2 or so.  I stopped cooking around 2:30 and we ate.  Eric had friends over that he knew from work and they brought wine and pumpkin pies.  They left around 7-8pm after we sat around the bonfire for a while.  Next morning, I had a huge sink of dishes that I couldn't bear to face after cooking so long the previous day, so Eric did half and I did half.  That night was Full Moon and a birthday celebration for two people in our coven, so I cooked again, this time green chili chicken enchiladas and potato skins.  Everyone left around 11pm and I melted into bed, so tired.  The next morning, I had a sink full of dishes that I couldn't bear to face, so Eric did half and I did half.  I'm starting to feel like I'm never going to have people to eat in my house again.  Waking up to tons of dirty dishes after cooking really sucks.  Another wonderful thought is that I just don't cook and everyone else cooks for me.  I'll gladly wash dishes for a good meal I didn't cook.  :)

On Saturday, Delena and I left out early to drive to Sacramento.  We had a good visit with Josh (who had an emergency appendectomy on Wednesday and was home on Thursday!), Valerie and the grandkids.  Aiden is getting huge.  He's 15 pounds already and only 3 months old.  The little girls were all bubbly and full of life.

After that, I drove Delena up to the theater to meet with her biological dad, who she adores.  They get to see one another in person once a year or so, but talk almost every day on AIM and are extremely close.  It was exciting for her to get to spend time with him.  We kept trying to get into see "The Incredibles" but it was consistently sold out.  Instead, we went to the mall and they did some shopping for her birthday while I got pipe tobacco for Eric.  After that (and another abortive trip across town to try and get more movie tickets), we sat at Black Angus for a while for lunch.   Then it was time for Michael to take off, so we started back up the mountain again.  When we got home, Eric was in a down mood, so we closed up shop early.  By this time, I was headlong into a terrible case of PMS, which I never, ever get.  Admittedly, I was a little resentful that since I never get particularly bitchy or symptomatic during my period, that Eric was encroaching in on my irritable time.  Still, amazingly, we were able to stay in good spirits with one another, even though we were both generally crabby.  Sunday was a quiet day, with both Eric and I staying in our own spaces, trying to stay peaceful.  I even got to sleep in until almost 10am, so I got all caught up on sleep. We spent the late afternoon and early evening putting up the Christmas tree. I have never once put up Christmas decorations before December, but Nathan is consumed with the Christmas spirit and was extremely eager, so I figured why not?  The tree we used is 23 years old.  We got it in 1981 when we came back from Guam.  We thought about harvesting a real tree from the woods up here, but Eric didn't much care one way or another and I have this issue with being a good steward of the trees that let us live up here (like not killing their babies), so we went with the artificial tree.  Plus, we don't have to deal with letting the branches settle and having needles fall on the rug and such.  We can bring in cedar swags from outside if we want to smell the trees.

It was melancholy putting up the tree, because I was missing my mom.  She was always consumed with Christmas, buying naked baby dolls all through the year to handsew dresses and give them to families who wouldn't have Christmas that year.  Two years ago, I found bubble lights at the thrift store and they were always her favorites.  Made cocoa for the kids and played Christmas music.  They seemed to have a good time.  Last night, we put up the stockings and some more of the house decorations.  The trimmings help me to get in focus with the money I need to pull in to come up with a few gifts for the kids.

Yesterday, I woke up to a world of ice.  Fortunately, there was no snow, sleet or anything going on.  The world just froze while I was sleeping.  Here's a picture to click to see what I saw when I got up yesterday and checked our weather on

Negative three!  Holy Moses!  It did get up to 22 later on in the day.  I had the wood stove blazing for the day, keeping the family room toasty.  I'd been up with a headache through the night, so I was a little tired.  I did the spoiler commentaries and posted the wonderful work other people did and sent in.  Eric got in around 8pm and we went to bed not long after. 

I feel like I'm easing into and out of the days.  Even with the bitter cold outside, the world seems very gentle and tentative. 

Maybe I'll take a nap.  :)