October 20, 2008
What Crazy Must Feel Like

I lost something. Something valuable, to me anyway. Something I had put away safe to be prepared for an important deadline. Y'al just know how I love being prepared! I went to The Spot to get The Thing for The Event. It wasn't there.

I was completely speechless. I called for my husband. I tried to find words. Nothing came to mind. Short abrupt sentences. "I lost The Thing. For The Event. Lost The Thing. Lost. Thing. Right there. The Spot."

I was so shocked I was past hysteria. This is probably what I'd be like if I found a dead body in my closet. It was SO shocking because I usually don't lose things, certainly not important things. Like my car keys. Or my glasses. Or my fingernail-clippers. Often in our house I know where OTHER people's lost things are. Its simply my nature to know that someone left his school-belt under the bed in the guest-room. But this was not one of those times. To make ir worse, it was beyond possible that someone else had moved The Thing from The Spot.

Trying to be supportive, my husband mentioned that he was sure The Thing would turn up eventually. Perhaps I had moved The Thing from The Spot to another spot? Shaken from staring blankly at the wall, I explained coherently (I think) that the problem wouldn't be solved by The Thing reappearing, because the absense of The Thing was not the problem. The real problem was that Lucy had gone crazy! This MUST be what it feels like. To know that you have done something significant, and yet there is NO recollection of it! Not even a blank spot of memory, just NO clue that you're crazy but you simply MUST be.

His eyes got a touch wider as he realized what I was saying. We went to The Spot and just stared at it. I went back to the kitchen and sat down. He patted my shoulder, smiling cautiously as he edged out the door to work, assuring me that of course everything would be fine. (At least being married to me is rarely boring)

And here is the moral of the story ...

October 19, 2008
The Most Romantic Thing

The most romantic thing my husband said to me this week was "What do you know about hyper-inflation?"

This morning, trying to go back to sleep, I was jerked wide-awake with THAT one. Vague images of lines for bread in some cold slavic country drifted through my mind.

He continued with a concise lecture referencing Venezula in the 1970's, and a clear summary of the counter-intuitive financial steps involved in weathering that kind of a situation.

I looked at him and blinked. Probably more than once. Finally, I found the words I was looking for: "Are we expecting this before Spring?" (I have some landscaping plans for the Spring that would be impacted).

He assured me it probably wouldn't happen, but if it were going to it might be around 2017. For reasons involing medicare, social security, national debt, and baby-boomers retiring.

Why was this romantic? Because of his reasoning. First, he knows that kind of thing fascinates me. Economics is interesting. Second, I adore the book "Worst Case Scenario". When that book came out, several people bought it for me. Hyper-inflation is definitely a worse-case-scenario type thing. Third, men in his family have a history of dieing young. He thinks about that sometimes. You know, the whole "what if I'm not here to take care of her" thing. He really puts some thought and effort into keeping me safe-n-happy now, and later.

All those things make me feel loved. And feeling loved is really romantic.

October 03, 2008
Perhaps ...

Perhaps my husband should show me how to make write posts now and have them publish later?

Vitamin-B Is Your Friend

I've noticed that I don't handle stress amazingly well if I'm low on vitamin-B. Something to do with seratonin. My body doesn't process vitamin-B particularly effectively anyway. Yes, I take a good multi-vitamin. But sometimes ...

I just get the feeling I could be doing more. A few weeks ago I noticed a sublingal-vitamin-B at the store. Hmmmm. A liquid form that absorbs under the tongue. Interesting. Maybe that would help my boby get more out of a vitamin-B supplement, if it were a liquid. So I bought some.

I tried it. I couldn't blink. I could make the crazy chattering squirrel sound while deciding which project to accomplish next, but ... WOW! I got a lot done. I called a friend. She listened soothingly, then asked exactly what I had taken. She suggested that next time I might want to try HALF a dose. My husband? He thought it was great I had accomplished VAST amounts of stuff. And then he suggested that next time I might want to take half a dose and never take it after noon, and not more than once a week or maybe once a month.

Odd thing? It effects me differently each time I take it!

For example, I had some crazy stress last week. I'm an emotional eater which is why I'm the size of a cottage. I used to be the size of a barn, but I've lost a little weight. Anyway, I REALLY wanted to go off my diet and eat carbs like there was no tomorrow. I realized I hadn't had my daily vitamin, so I took some of the Liquid-B instead. Ten minutes later, I was totally calm. Not stressed, no desire to eat anything. Scary. Not the "calm" part, but scary wondering how low my seratonin had to be for the sublingal-B to bring it back to normal instead of shooting it through the roof. Interesting.

So interesting that I went and read EXACTLY what was in that vitamin. I mean, I knew it would be bunches of vitamin-B. Maybe even a few hundred times the RDA (reccommended daily allowance) which is not unusual for vitamins in supplement due to the delivery binder in the vitamin? Can you guess how much vitamin-B I took? (And this is why I never take a vitamin I could over-dose on) TWENTY THOUSAND PERCENT of the RDA. I would have just written 20,000 but I can't make that look as impressive as all-caps-letters. That is a LOT of vitamin-B!

This is probably how Pop-eye felt when he first discovered spinach!

Pre-Christmas Thoughts

I'm really looking forward to Christmas this year. FINALLY a year where we're not moving or flooded with relatives or traveling or stuff. (Thanks to my husband for making that happen. That is one amazing gift!)

A little organizing and we can ALL enjoy the holiday. Everything doesn't HAVE to be all crazy stressful! I'm a firm believer that Organizational Skills are learned. Some people learn more easily than others, but anyone can achieve organizational competence. And if WE don't teach our children, who's going to?

Cassie mentioned today that she has her Christmas-Money-Account fulled funded. Those aren't the exact words she used, but that was the meaning. We've been teaching them about savings and budgeting. Now, she told me that she's ready to go Christmas shopping!

Which leads me to helping her make her spreadsheet today or tomorrow. To keep track of who she buys what. And the shopping itself is a lesson. General ideas, leading to specific ideas, leading to comparision shopping, leading to gift wrapping, sometimes leading to mailing the day after Thanksgiving. Teaching the pit-falls of "giving what you want them to have, instead of what they want" and of "carelessly packing breakables" and "not-budgeting leads to a horrible stress-filled January".

And Christmas Cards! My kids absolutely ADORE doing Christmas cards! I might not have started the tradition if I had realized how very much they were going to love it. But there's no going back, and I've got to admit that I love it too. In spite of the fact its turned into quite a production. Each child insists on sending their own card to each person on their list. And they don't believe in sending "family" cards. For example, they each sent a card to each of the six Smiths. Thats 18 cards to one address! Of course, the cards all had to be different or the Smiths mantle would have looked ... odd. This is why I buy HUGE amounts of cards in the days after Christmas. Its a trick making sure each child selects different cards from all the other children. It involves multi-colored post-its, and numbers, and a rotating bidding system.

This year Cassie also wants to make wreaths, sequined ornaments, and a tree assembled from cupcakes! And I think we'll have time for that! When everyone else is scurrying around we'll be home decorating cupcakes with very vivid green frosting and listening to carols. I bet our tongues turn green!

I've realized that organizing gives me the same sense of control and peace that comes from studying for a really big test. A great grade on a test doesn't just happen. It takes a lot of prep-work. Study skill are essential for tests. Organizational skills are essential for a stress-free holiday. I've got them, and I'm going to use them!

(Side note: I'm often amused by people who think my husband might ever get bored with me. )

Shout Out To KoF

I thought of you last Sunday. Ok, well, a week ago Sunday. But the point being, there I was sitting in church and we were doing The Lord's Supper. And since we're Southern Baptist, that means grape-juice. It was the first time we had done it at this particular church. I was feeling a little hesitant when I took the little cup. First the cracker, then the juice. It was GREAT juice. What a relief. Sometimes people try to use the cheap juice, which is just ... wrong. If this represents Christ, then shouldn't we use good juice? But some people don't. I'm sure they're trying to be good steward and save the church some money. Still. I'm a firm supporter of buying "good" juice!

So there we were, and after drinking the juice, I was so relieved that I leaned over to my husband to whisper to him "I love them for buying the good jucie." He just looked me for a moment, squeezed my hand, and smiled to himself. I asked why he was smiling. I had to ask twice. He whispered "You just think different." Which made me think of King-of-Fools because several years ago he told me I was a really outside the box thinker. (My husband is still laughing over that one!) Eventually we agreed that I can be a very much an in-the-box-thinker, its just that my box is far far far away from his box!

Sunday it occurred to me that KoF and my husband probably have boxes pretty close together.

Even MORE Thanksgiving Thoughts

Today I am editing the shoppings lists further by breaking them down into "perishable" and "non-perishable". That way, I can shop a little at a time on sale without having the mind-boggleling "three full carts" trip the week of Thanksgiving. Then, next Monday after my parents go home, I'm going to set up a staging area for accumulating non-perishables. Tomorrow, I might make the list of which food goes in which pot, and onto what serving dish. And then I need to finalize the cooking schedule.

If I have time ( energy) I'd liike to fit in a list/diagram for garnishing. Photo-copies would be helpful.

And YES, Leni, you could SO come! My kitchen was actually set up so that the kitchen and the dining room are open into each other. Then we switched the dining room and the living room. The up-shot being that there's a couch and comfy-chairs practically in my kitchen! Besides, the menu allows for a high degree of flexibility with guest numbers. Which is good because ...

I've noticed several other relatives getting ... twitchy ... about us having a holiday with some of the family but not with others. Dollars to do-nuts, I'll see extra relatives that day! Interesting.

October 01, 2008
More Thanksgiving Thoughts

If you have guests that want to eat leftovers for two days, then instead of cooking lunch and dinner for 12, your're really cooking one feast for 48. Which justifies needing 28 sticks of butter!

Menu under control. Shopping lists organized by store. Recipes printed in a folder for stream-lining the cooking experience. I think of cooking for a holiday as a sport, sometimes even an olympic-like sport. Training and prep-work make all the difference between the Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat!!

I think I need a giant white-board on the wall of my home-office. Think of the command-center possibilities!

I'm still working on The Plan for Table Decorations, The Plan for Guests Wanting Breaskfast , and I desperately need ideas for a soundtrack.

I have a GREAT idea for place-card-holders! I'm going to take really cheap wooden picture frames, spray them black, use white cardstock mats with black-n-white phots taken the day before. I'll print the date on the mat and have all the other people write something nice on the mat about the person in the picture! Maybe I'll double-mat it with a narrow vivid orange border to match the table runner. This will make me happy.

OH! Did I mention that the guests insist on thinking it will be fun and helpful to assist me in cooking that day? Fun. Helpful. HAHAHAHAHHA! This leads to The Plan To Cook As Much As Possible The Day Before And Secretly In The Middle Of The Night. Hence forth known as TPTCAMAPTDBASITMOTN.

Portrait of a Young Patriot

So Lee was in his 4th grade Science class. They were observing mealworms in a jar. Apparently, the poor little worms freaked out when they were shined with a bright light and writhed around the jar!

The Question on the Lab Report Page was: Why did the worms move away from the light?

Lee's answer? It was SO Lee, in the very most charming way, and I wish you could see his emphatic handwriting : "The Worms tried to escape because they wanted to be Free!"

The teacher's note on the paper struck me as equally amusing. In her very own non-exuberant cramped style she wrote: "I don't understand. Why do you think the worms would want to be free?"

I'm perfectly sure she didn't understand. Which is sad. For her. But I live with Lee, which is happy for me. I can't help but laugh lots with a boy that assumes Freedom is so wonderful that even worms want it!