Friday, July 27, 2007

I scream You scream

There's a new ice cream store in our town - "Sweety's." They sell Fjord's Ice Cream-a locally made hard ice cream that's been around for at least the past 25 years. Its located in an old garage attached to a local take 'n bake pizza place. We checked it out last night. My family chose Mint Chip, Oreo Cheesecake, and Mango something or other. My mango did not taste like a mango, as I had hoped, but was still a damn good ice cream cone. The mint chip was quickly devoured, but the apparent star of the evening was the Oreo Cheesecake, which was passed back and forth from father and child until it disappeared.

Here's what I really like about this place: All ice cream is served with a cherry on top. Even if you don't like maraschino cherries, you gotta admit its a neat and old fashioned touch. All ice cream is served with optional sprinkles-at no extra charge. They've got that rainbow confetti stuff, crushed oreos, Reece's peanut butter cups, you name it. You can opt for a waffle cone-again, at no extra charge. Cones are a bit expensive at $2.50 for a single dip, but worth it for the quality of the ice cream and the atmosphere of the place.

But the most endearing part about this place is it's shoestring appearance. The sign at the entrance is small and obviously homemade. It makes no effort to hide the fact that it is an ice cream store set up in the mouth of a garage. The store front is open to the weather and cobbled together from old fence boards and rough cut wood that has been painted cheerily. It blocks the garage entrance and provides a counter for folks to order at. Inside, the garage is bare, except for a freezer, a preparation counter, and some Rubbermaid boxes to hold cones and supplies. On the concrete in front are two cheap patio sets for folks to enjoy their ice cream and some sidewalk chalk for the little people. Everything is clean and tidy, but one can't be looking at an investment of more than $500.00. It's marvelous!

I feel like I am witnessing the birth of something special-because it is beginning from such humble origins. I feel so proud of this person for not taking the easy road out and dumping loads of money into a new business just to give it a highly commercial and polished feel. I understand that temptation and pressure! Instead this place feels much more honest and real. I hope she makes it! Huzzah to the underdog!

Monday, July 23, 2007


Phobia: pho·bi·a (fō'bē-ə) n.
1. A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous.

2. A strong fear, dislike, or aversion.

I can NOT explain how incredibly facking frightening I find fish. Any fish. Leetle itsy bitsy minnows. Nasty pasty bellied catfish the size of your aunt Bertha. Bubble headed goldfish. Any fish. They all make my blood run cold. Sauntering past the aquariums in a local store, I can suddenly levitate five feet in midair at the sight of an anomaly on the carpet-sure that what I caught out of the corner of my eye was a fish that jumped from the tank and is now stuck on the rug. It's a major hassle to locate and position a store ladder near the ceiling light so that I can then climb down.

It's not the idea of being somehow eaten by them-I never really bought the whole Jaws thing. It's the concept of touching one. It's staring back into that flat dead gaze. It's watching those gills gasp for breath. Pardon me while I pull off my shoes and check for minnows. I sincerely wish that I could explain the feelings they incite for me. At first I thought, perhaps it would be the sort of feeling one might feel if they saw a chainsaw swinging towards an exposed leg- but nah-that's just pain, and infinitely more preferable. The only analogy I can make is that, the closer I get in proximity to that magnificent trout you are proudly showing off, the more it begins to resemble this fella....

Growing up in an avid fishing family with such a phobia can be quite a hardship. Fortunately, it took very little for my relatives to understand the depth of my fear and the actual cruelty of tossing a fish into the front of the boat with me. Either that, or their eardrums suffered permanent scarring from the involuntary string of filth that emanated from my mouth. However, such a close association with fishermen also afforded me a bit of an education about proper fish habitat-and in some ways, made it possible for me to swim in lakes.

My swimming was based on two practices:

1. Never go deeper than you can safely haul your booty out in 1.5 seconds if a finny creature is spotted.

2. OR Swim only in waters at least 40 feet deep, with no submerged structures (i.e. trees, cliffs, stumps.)

You see, fish, just like you and me, don't really care to be exposed and vulnerable. They stick to rock piles, or sunken trees where they can hide from predators. All of the fish in my neck of the woods tend to abide by this psychology, so in 40 foot of water, one can generally assume they will be safe from the revolting bastards. But this also means that I don't get much actual swimming done-just paranoid wading.

Last weekend we visited a spot on the stream that flows through our town that I refer to as "The Swimming Hole." The swimming hole is a wonderful place. It has a rope that swings out over a deep hole in the creek (which generally isn't more than 2-3 feet deep.) Just off the stump you see pictured here is a hole over 6 feet deep. The water is very clear and bone achingly cold at a 63 degrees. Twenty feet away, you find gravel banks that are just perfect for letting little people dip their toes in an inch of water. It's a major stopping point for happy tubers drifting down the creek on a summer's day. There's something for everyone here. We love it!

On this particular visit, the creek was very busy. Tubers were drifting by every 10 minutes or so, and three brave little boys were caroming through the air on the rope to splash into the "hole" or leaping off the stump, only to surface with gasps and yells in reaction to the cold water. Now, I'll have you know, when the "hole" gets active, the fish that "chill" there, move to quieter parts. The biggest fish I've ever seen in the creek came outta that freaking hole.

It was 102 F that day. My family and spent the whole day outside. We were hot, but wading through the water was incredibly refreshing. But those boys.... there was such glee in them. Such JOY. I was so envious. I loved the obvious thrill they got from the jump into the icy water.

Here's the view from the stump. Those fish are in there.... I know they are. But guess what? Those boys were absolutely justified in their glee. I shrieked like a bleach blond in a horror film when I surfaced. Damn that water is COLD! Man that felt great!

But I still can't carry a bag of fillets from the sink to the freezer.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

a simple summer lunch

Here's my answer to an outstanding summer lunch. It has everything I enjoy in a meal: it's quick, it's easy, it involves my two favorite tastes -tangy and sweet. This is so good it makes my eyes roll back in my head and leaves me licking my fingers when I'm done.

Fresh whole wheat or seven grains bread
One fresh tomato
Large crystal Celtic Sea Salt
Lemon pepper

*Slice the tomato up into 4 thick slices. Eat one of the ones from an end. Cut the other end slice in half. Slather two slices of bread with mayo. Pile your two full tomato slices on one slice of wheatey goodness. They'll only go on if you put one in the top right corner and the other in the lower left corner. Use the last two bits of tomato to fill in the exposed corners of bread. Sprinkle with salt and lemon pepper to taste. Smash the 2nd slice of bread on top.*

* * repeat until sated.

Feel free to add cucumber slices or bacon for some curl your toes summer goodness. This, dear reader, is the epitome of good summer cooking. Oh the rapture! My dad taught me to make these and as a child, we only used Grandpa and Grandma Wood's 'maters. There have never been any better. There's something about a ripe summer tomato, so fresh from the garden it's still warm from the sunshine....

Oh, and FYI all you readers from my hometown- Gages on Evan's has picked their second day of fresh sweet corn! PAR-TAY!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Bad worker = Good mother OR Good worker = Bad mother

Well, it is my third day on the job, and guess where I am?!?

Not at work.

About 10 minutes after I settled into my desk, daycare called to tell me that "Goober" had just emptied the contents of her stomach all over her shoes. So, with much embarassment and much apologizing, I picked up my stuff and exited the building. There was no warning-she hadn't been sick at all that morning-which is just as well, because I would have felt even worse calling in to say I wouldn't be there. Still, nice impression, eh?

But what's a mother to do?!? My husband is fabulous-and more than pulls his weight in the sick duty department. But over the Fourth-as I was putting in my last two days at at the old job after quitting, Goober was sick sick sick-and he elected to stay home. Between nursing her, getting sick himself and a wedding we had to attend, he ended up missing 5 freaking days of work! I couldn't very well ask that of him again.

I wish with all my heart that life was more simple and DH made more money at his job. I could really deal with being a stay-at-home mother. I hate being so conflicted between my responsibilities as a mother and my responsibilities to my employer. I'm sure we'd frequently want to murder each other by the end of the day, but I could make sure we were doing things like story time and parks and play dates to break things up. My god, I'd even cook dinner each day! The DH wouldn't know what hit him! Let's not talk about the control I would have over who my child interacted with and what she was/was NOT exposed to.

Beware having children. These are the things I never anticipated worrying about. The desire to stay home with my child was like a gigantic slap in the face. I always styled myself as a working woman.

Until those baby blues first gazed up at me.

Monday, July 16, 2007

All Work and No Play

I have officially transitioned BACK to the working world. Sigh. Its a good job-for the area. You make certain sacrifices to live in the region I do. I should be quite pleased. I could be at Wal-Mart. After my first day on the job, I find that I am not particularly pleased, however. I am working within the local university as a secretary.

But I have had a taste of the good life. I have had a taste of teaching and research. I have been ruined for secretarial work, apparently. I have plenty of good skills in this particular career path. But I find that I have no interest in processing other people's projects. I take much more satisfaction in my OWN.

I have nothing to complain about. Most people around here will kill for a state job. The benefits are killer. I am going to have to do my best to just take satisfaction in a job well done until something better comes along.

I'm just an ungrateful, spoiled bitch who thinks she can do better!

I just need to keep thinking... at least I won't have things hurled at my feet by this boss... 8o)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Rayelle! You're a married woman!

Actually, this picture was taken the night of her Bachelorette Party. She wasn't married yet, so technically, she could hug any "Dick" or "Peter" she wanted to.

I also have a few photos of flaccid Jello Jiggler penis eaters, but they're horribly out of focus and you can hardly tell what you're looking at. Alas, I was already pretty drunk by the time those photos were snapped.

No Work and All Play

I've been busy! More stylin' sock yarn for pampered toes!

Meet (L to R): Cloud Peak, Glacier Bay, Alabaugh Canyon, Neapolitan, and Mixed Berries

I have no idea why I must name them for you-I'm not sure what that little conceit is all about. All my names are dippy, fru-fru things that anyone would come up with, but what can I say, I am driven to do it. I spend the whole time I am skeining them up into the final product brainstorming and testing out proper little titles for them. I should go with obnoxious ones like Rabbitch. I've seen things on her site called "Dead Rat." Aw, what the hell, here are the alternative names: (L to R) Blue-balled Zombie, Witches Tittie, Manslaughter, Two-Ton Tessie, and Black Eye. Vote for which set you like better!

There's more to come, but "Ouidah" (a rusty red, brown, and orange) needs some touch ups, and this (whatever it gets named) is too weird looking, and must be overdyed to something more suitable:

I think I've finally gotten down a system for wrapping so that the final product isn't a tangled mess to skein up, and the wrapping itself now only takes about 20 minutes if I work hard. YEAH! I might someday be able to bust out more that five skeins in 8 hours!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Gainful Employment

I recently quit my job, due to several inexplicable announcements my director made:

1. She doesn't "beleive in addressing problems as they start...[instead she'd] rather allow them to become large problems..." at which point she "will have one meeting to address them..." and then you are out on your arse if things don't shape up. To do otherwise is "micromanagement."

This was my first inkling that I should run like hell, as fast and as far as a I could. A few weeks later...

2. She stated that she "has a license to snap at and be mean to her employees [namely, ME] because [she] is the boss, and is under a great deal of stress."

I politely disagreed and asked if she would like my vest right then, or if she would prefer that I stay out the week. This is unfortunate, and I feel a bit disloyal to the organization and facility. This particular museum is quite a gem and has a number of important stories to tell the world, but is really hindered by it's current director and it's lack of administrative continuity. (I am told I was the 9th secretary in 3 years.-you can imagine the state of things, eh?)

Nonetheless, I was quite gratified when I came home that day to find a message on my machine inviting me to interview for a secretarial position at a local university where I moonlight as an adjunct professor. They snatched me right up, and I start on the 16th!

Here's the rub-an hour after I was offerred the job AND accepted, I ran across an opening for a museum director in the town 1/2 hour away where my husband works. It's a tiny county museum-probably not much more than a jumped up closet where people dispose of the old stuff they don't care to keep anymore. BUT, it would be much more the sort of thing I would enjoy, and because it's so small, my lack of management experience probably won't hurt me. It's a good stepping stone for other options in the future. I applied. The arrogant person inside says they'll snatch me right up as soon as they see my application. My pie in the sky dreams have me hired by Friday, and never working at the University. Am I a bad woman for applying for a job after I've already accepted another? ESPECIALLY since I can't afford to burn bridges with the University since I'd like to eventually be a full professor there?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

summer evenings

I lived in a trailer for the first 18 years of my life. Does this make me white trash? After a 10 year hiatus, I'm back in one again. I live in a trailer court. There are times I feel self conscious about this. After owning a nice home, it's disheartening to step back down into renting-especially renting a trailer.

But as far as trailer courts go, this one is decent. We aren't smashed on top of one another here, and my daughter has a fenced-in yard. The trailer isn't terribly old and it has a shaded deck. Tonight the rugrat played in the sandbox, and I rocked in the yard swing and knat. The breeze was nice, the bugs were non-existent, the neighborhood was quiet, and life... it ain't so bad.

Who needs more than this? really?


I broke down-couldn't handle it anymore. Started my own blog. Sigh. I'm such a sheep.