Monthly Archives: December 2006

Done w/ my Auctiva/eBay listings!

It's been a while since I've sold anything on eBay. And, in spite of the fact that it's supposed to be "easy" to sell on eBay, I find it rather confusing. The more "flexible" something is, the more options it has, the more details there are to figure out. I wasted $1.75 -- not much, I know, but still frustrating -- listing five items twice on accident. I used Auctiva, which is a free service that makes listings much more attractive and professional-looking.

I'm not (really) pushing my eBay stuff.... but if anyone cares and wants to look -- even if it's just for suggestions and/or editing -- you can have at it, here .

Five Things

I got this from Erin

I’m supposed to write five things that folks are unlikely to know about me.  Given that I’ve already posted 101 things, you’d think it’d be easy to come up with five more, but, no…

1.  My favorite movies have complex plot lines, like La Femme Nikita, The Princess Bride, The Usual Suspects, the LOTR trilogy, Run Lola Run and MementoTotal Recall used to be among those, but after seeing it again recently, it doesn’t seem as complex as it did when I was 16.

2.  I was waffling between whether or not I should dye my hair, as I really don’t think it’s right that I’m graying at age 33, but I have this odd compulsion to be “real” and natural as possible (though I’m not opposed to make-up!  “Real” and natural only goes so far in my book, apparently).  A couple of months ago, though, as I was leaning over, my friend Sheila petted my hair and said, “It’s so shiny.”  That settled it.  I’ll take shiny and gray over brown and chemically treated.

3.  I was a homeowner at age 22.  (There are good reasons to marry a man who is 6.5 yrs older than oneself.)

4.  My sister and I don’t really look alike, and we are very affectionate with each other.  So, while we were working together at McDonald’s when we were both in high school, a rumor started circulating that we were gay.  Apparently, we didn’t tell enough people that we were sisters.

5.  I’ve always wanted a restored Nash Rambler.  I’m not even picky about the year, just something from the ’50s or ’60s.  I prefer the coupes, though.
   

Another reason why I’m grumpy

I am 98% certain that I have mastitis.  I had it a number of months ago, when Audrey was five weeks old, and at that time, swore that I’d rather deliver a baby again than go through the pain of that infection.  And, all four of my children have been birthed medication-free, so it’s not like childbirth was a walk in the park for me.  (Not that it is easy or simple for anyone;  I just want to clarify that I’m aware of what pain feels like, and I find the pain of birthing preferable to that of mastitis.) 

I’m quite anti-antibiotics, and I am going to get my four impacted wisdom teeth out in mid-January, and I know I’ll have to go on abx at that time, so right now I’m even LESS wanting to be on abx…  But, I have a message pending at my OB’s office right now, begging them to call in a script for me.

Grr.  Ouch.

I didn’t have any serious b’feeding complications with any of my boys.  When I went through this w/ Audrey in May of this year, the only good things that came out of it were

  1. I developed a compassionate heart for other mothers who have had this
  2. I eased up on my “there are no good reasons to quit b’feeding before 1 year” stance;  I can totally understand why a mother would want to quit rather than suffering through the toe-curling pain
  3. I learned what the “cow position” was.  (It is neither a yoga position nor anything … uh… untoward.) 

The unwilling trendsetter

For all of my kids, I wanted a name for them that was classic w/o being common.  I wanted a name that, when I called for my child on the Playland at McDonald’s, five kids weren’t going to come running.  I wanted a name that people would say, “Oh!  I haven’t heard that name in so long.  My uncle was named that!”  I wanted a name that people wouldn’t go, “Huh???” over, but was still fairly unusual.  For those reasons, I’m feeling particularly grumpy that one of my uncommon baby names has become INCREDIBLY common in recent years.

When we named our oldest son, I actually wanted his name to be Ian, or Iain (the Scottish spelling).  However, my hubby had worked with an awful character who happened to be named Ian, so that was out.  A happy compromise was Ethan, who was a biblical musician.  And, the most recent SSA stats at that time showed that Ethan was a very uncommon name — #62 for 1996.  And, there are still few kids his age, 9yo, who have his name.  But, since it has been either #5 or #6 in the rankings since 2001, there are a whole host of preschoolers who are named Ethan.  ~sigh~

Current popularity in the US, and the popularity for the year preceding their birth:

  • Ethan — #5 for boys’ names / #62 in 1996
  • Grant — #154 / #127 in 1998
  • Wesley — #187 / #171 in 2000
  • Audrey — #77 for girls’ names (born this year) 
  • (For Fiala, which is what I *wanted* to name Audrey, the SSA site gives me this:  “Fiala is not in the top 1000 names for any year of birth in the last 15 years.”  Fiala doesn’t fall into the “classic but uncommon” category — it’s just beautiful and simple, and I like that it’s a Czech name and that it means violet.)
     

Back to blog reality

Now that Christmas is past, and the baking that goes along with it, for many, is over now, my blog is getting more normal traffic.  Over the last month, my gluten-free sugar cookies recipe got more than 2100 hits, so that bloated my blog-traffic numbers.  It looks like things are slowing wwwaaaaayyyyy down now.

Christmas and post-Christmas chaos, etc.

I plan on doing a whole lot of not much today. We had a really good Christmas, but I am tapped out, and now that the plumber has left after replacing our kitchen faucet (whew! Still under warranty!), and I’ve played a game of Yahtzee w/ my 7yo, today I think I’ll just go work on a colossal crossword I’ve been slowly whittling away at.

Our church, for the first time ever, had a children’s drama for the Christmas Eve morning church service. One of my *favorite* young women in the world wrote it. (Her name is Cassie, and now that she’ll be 20 next month and is in her 3rd year of university, I’m trying to think of her more as an adult, but I’m having a difficult time making the transition, mentally.) About 15 kids from Superchurch (ages 6-12) had speaking parts, and another 30 joined in for the song at the end, which was choreographed by another fine young lady who was the flowergirl at my wedding 12 years ago. My two older boys, Ethan (9yo) and Grant (the aforementioned 7yo) had pretty significant speaking parts, and they both did *stellar.*  Of course, I’m aware that I’m biased, but, really, they did great.  Actually, all the kids did well.  The only people who forgot their lines were the adults!  At the end, we did a live version of Tobymac’s “This Christmas” with the regular worship team doing the music for it and singing on the “Joy to the world” and “Father of the fatherless…” parts and various kids doing the rap parts.  It was really cool. 

It was SSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much work, so many practices… plus with Martin leading the music and designing the sound… and a lot of lessons learned in process, since we haven’t staged a drama of that magnitude before… even though the whole thing was only 35 minutes long, it was just a LOT of work to get all the details worked out.  I’m glad it’s over, but I’m glad we were involved.

Tons of parents had their cameras snapping, of course.  Except for me.  I’m still kicking myself that I forgot mine.  I’m sure I can bum some off of someone(s) else, but still… no one is going to take as many pictures of my kids as I would have.

After church on Christmas Eve day, my BIL, Adam, came over with his two girls and his… “son.”  Kind of complicated, but his ex-wife had a child when she was 16, and Adam pretty much raised Chris, who is now 15.  During their marriage, she wouldn’t let Adam legally adopt Chris, so now he has no parental rights, and is at the mercy of the ex-wife for visitation time w/ him, which she keeps to nil.  Anyways, I’m always VERY happy to spend time w/ my nieces, and extra-happy that we got to spend most of the day with Chris, who is quite the nice young man. 

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So, you wanna know about sweet rice flour???

Here is a well-written, informative article I found explaining all about sweet rice flour, a.k.a. sticky rice flour and glutinous rice flour.  Included are bits about its physical properties, its history in Asian cultures, its uses in cooking (including a reference to gluten-free baking), and a recipe for sticky, fried, filled cookies called mochi.

You go, Pope Benedict!!!

Regular readers (and I do have a *few* who aren’t just here for the g.f. cookie recipe) may remember that I was a bit twerked by the multi-religious “Christmas” card we received earlier this month.  Now, I’m not Catholic, so I’m by no means super-well acquainted with Pope Benedict XVI, but the bit I have seen and heard of him, I’m really liking.  His latest gem, a caution against the secularization of Christmas, and an admonishment to Christian believers, caused my heart to rise with a hearty, “Amen, brother!”  You can read the AP story here.   

Things you learn about your parents from their Christmas cards

Well, whaddya know?  My mom & stepdad have a website.  I don’t know what’s up with the aliens on the see-saw on the homepage… but it’s a nice little site. 

Make sure you check out the Powerpoint presentation of their cabin remodel rebuild *.  Being that we’re completely in the desert here, it’s hard to believe, but that cabin site is only about 30 miles directly north of here.  Because it’s accessed by twisty, narrow, mountainous dirt roads, it’s almost a 2 hour trip, though.

My dh, Martin, designed the cabin for them, with the knowledge that they were going to use SIPs for the exterior walls & roof. 

Don’t tell ‘em, but I bought a thick, tufted wool rug for them for Christmas for their cabin, which has concrete floors with the built-in hot water tubes for radiant heating.  Can’t you imagine lazing by that fireplace, sitting on a thick, cozy rug?  I can.  Selfish gift, that.

*Joe composed the music that plays during the presentation.  For part of the Christmas concert this year, he taught his middle school band this song, and it was *great*!!  The song’s been going through my head ever since.

Laundry piles, no school, ~sigh~ selling baby clothes, and *NO* Christmas shopping

Here’s how behind I got on laundry — in spite of doing EIGHT loads on Saturday, I’m still not caught up.  I have a friend with whom I’ve fallen out of touch — she’s the one who gave me the confidence to homeschool, so I’ll forever be grateful to her.  She is a mom of five kids, and her e-mail addy was laundrypiles@blahblahblah.com.  I used to think that was a lot funnier before I started living it.

I foolishly thought I could get totally caught up on laundry and ironing on Saturday.  I feel sort of like an irresponsibe homeschooling parent, but I’ve decided that my laundry and ironing has to take precedence over school today, or it just will NOT get done.  I’m not a good multi-tasker, and there is just too much to try and do both.

And… once we start a school week “off”, it’s hard for me to get back on track, so we’ll probably take the whole week off.  “Off” is sort of a misnomer, because that implies that we just won’t do school.  In fact, we’ll do it, but it will be traded for a different week, later in the school year, that I previously designated as an “off” week.

I have also come to the sad conclusion that if I’m going to continue to buy clothes for Audrey off of eBay that I’m going to have to sell some of the stuff we’ve accumulated, but which she’s outgrown.  ~sigh~  I had thought that I would *never* sell any of it.  I have, though, been sorting through her things and deciding which I can part with.  I’m estimating that only 25% of her stuff will hit the auction block, but even then, it’s a fair amount of stuff.

 I think I’ll wait until at least January to list it, because most of it is spring/summer.

I have decided, based on what *I* have been satisfied with, upon bidding, buying and receiving packages from eBay sellers, that I will be the best seller ever.  I’m going to have low starting bids and *NOT* pad the price with astronomical shipping costs.  I’m going to be as descriptive as possible and state the combined shipping rates, too.  Then, I will ship the stuff in a Ziploc bag enclosed in a unrippable envelope.  Also, I am continuing my obsession with ironing everything — even the knit stuff.  It all just looks so much better when the item is pressed.  Even play clothes that have seen a lot of wear look lovely when touched up with an iron.

I also had a nice, long quiet time of prayer this morning, which felt *great*.  Too often, that time gets interrupted or preempted.  I’ve also sent out a few e-mails, made a few phone calls… which also feels great.  Also, we missed an occupational therapy evaluation for Grant, which did *not* feel great.  I *HATE* feeling like/being the Irresponsible Mother, not to mention we’ll have to fork over at least $50 for the missed appointment.  Argh. 

But, things have been great, other than that, and the fact that Martin and I have done *NO* Christmas shopping yet – except for our mass-produced gift purchase/preparation.  We’ve just been insanely busy with “normal” stuff, plus Ethan and Grant are in a drama at church, which will be put on on Sunday a.m., the 24th.  Martin is heading up the music for that, which is our worship team (plus the 30-ish kids involved in the drama) doing “This Christmas” by TobyMac.  Also, Martin has been working with Doug, his friend/pastor at church to produce a couple of videos, one which is completed, and one which is our massive end-of-year video which has historically been both funny, celebratory, informative and creative.  No pressure.  So, that’s been taking up most of his “spare” evenings for the last MONTH.  And when he’s gone, I can’t leave the house, either, unless I get a babysitter…  I may have to do that, though, b/c he’ll be gone Tues & Weds, we have kinship on Thursday, then practice for the kids’ drama at church on both Friday night and Saturday morning.  That leaves…. this evening and Saturday night for shopping.  Hm.  Not gonna work. 

I’d better get back to being busy.  I wasn’t stressed out until I wrote this, and now, recapping all that’s still to do… I just had better get off the computer.

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