Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In honor of my home...

...here's to the cherry capitol of the world! (But exercise caution...too many cherries give you cherry-tummy, and that can be uncomfortable to people around you).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Keep Your Yucky Tomato-Brains

I want to be healthy, I really do, but I can't stand tomato-brains.

You know what they are, I know you do. Every time you bite into a cherry tomato and the soggy skull pops and spills the slimy, gooey brains onto your tongue. Yuck! There has got to be a better way!

So I tried the Roma tomatoes. They're too big to pop in one bite, so I sliced one up and jabbed it with a fork. The rind stuck, but not those little seeds. Those gelatinous tomato fetuses, sliding all over the place, wrapped in a red amniotic fluid. Tiny tomato babies, never to be born.

Tomatoes have got to be the world's grossest food. It's either brains or babies - how can that be healthy?? I'm not sure, but with some salt and a clothes pin I can manage to eat the oyster wannabe. Ick.

Friday, July 10, 2009

In defense of, well...me

I'm just putting it out there so you can't blame me.

A week ago this HUGE branch on the tree in front of our house cracked away from the trunk (for further details please read the "Hammock" post). The branch will eventually need to come down, but we don't have the time right now. Matt is working 70 hrs/wk and I'm not comfortable enough with the chainsaw to start whacking away at it.

In the meantime the highest portion of the branch is leaning against the wires outside (I assume they are electrical). And I do mean they are leaning. You can see the strain on the wires. I called Consumers and let them know. I called them Wednesday. They said someone would be out in 24-36 hours. The branch is still pressing on the wires.

So I just want to let you know that I did my part. If we get a storm and the branch falls and the power goes out, not my fault. If the wind blows and a live wire falls to the ground in the midst of this highly child-populated neighborhood, I'm not to blame. I did what I could.

I have to admit that I'm not a fan of the reactive attitude of people these days. Here's a chance to be proactive and prevent a mess from happening. Sigh. I guess it doesn't really matter until someone is inconvenienced or hurt. Bummer.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Yahoo! and the American Dental Association

Is it just me, or does anyone else here have to look at nasty ads for teeth whiteners on their Yahoo! email page? It's gross!!

Day after day I log into my writing account and ICK! Close-ups of people's mouths - sick.

There has got to be a better way to advertise teeth whitening systems. In the meantime, Yahoo! will hear from me. My stomach can only handle so much.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

"By Darkness Hid" by Jill Williamson

A while ago I volunteered to be an "influencer" on Jill's book "By Darkness Hid". I had forgotten about it until the book arrived in the mail. Then I dawdled because I was in a chick-lit mood and wasn't ready to jump into speculative fiction (you never know how well someone will describe their worlds, and sometimes it just gets confusing).


I loved Jill's book! Here's the blurb I've been posting around the net:

"This is a fabulous speculative fiction book. Williamson quickly pulls the reader into her world and into the lives of Achan and Vrell. Though the characters are young (teens) and the setting is unfamiliar (Er'Rets), Williamson's creativity and style so fully captivate the reader that you forget any preconceived idea's about "fantasy" or "young adult" literature. Instead, you find yourself wrapped up in the lives of Achan and Vrell, afraid for, crying with, and cheering for them along the way."

If you've ever considered picking up a spec-fic book (especially if you have a young one who likes Harry Potter) give this a whirl. Not only is it fun and compelling, but Jill weaves Christian faith into the plot (she says it shows up more in the latter books of the trilogy, but you get a glimpse of it now).

You can read more about Jill here, and you can check out her publisher, Marcher Lord Press, here.


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

I'm a sissy, I know it.

My house is constantly crawling with spiders (ick!). I'm not a fan. But this morning was really gross. This one spider was hanging out with a little sack...balled up bug? Pack of eggs?

Ick, ook, and double yuck!!

I grabbed a big paper towel and gardening gloves. Yes, I wore gardening gloves to kill a Daddy Long Legs. (gag) I'm a sissy. I'm okay with that.

Monday, July 06, 2009

My poor, poor hammock

After only one full summer of suspended slumber I am sad to announce that my hammock tree cracked. Literally. The big branch that held the ropes? Apparently the wind, rain, and gravity proved too much and that sucker cracked at the joint where it connects to the trunk!

It's sad, yes, but it's also a new burden. Upon closer inspection it looks like some of the branches are now resting on the utility lines - yikes! It should be okay for now, but we might be getting a storm this weekend. It's bad enough when the rains come in and knock out your power, but I might freak out if I lost power because there were live wires hopping around in my front yard.

So tomorrow I'm calling the electric company (I'm assuming those are their lines). I'm not sure about the gray lines, though. Anyone know who those belong to? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

It was a good hammock branch. I'll miss it. Matt's trying to find me another branch that might work. We'll have to see about that. I'm not entirely convinced just yet.

Even though this is a sad day it could have been worse - I could have lost the branch that holds up my redneck clothes line. Now that would be a truly sad day.

Friday, July 03, 2009

My Hubby, My Hero

(DISCLAIMER: This is not intended to rag on Matt's employer. We love them and all that they've provided for us. We recognize what a blessing they are - yeah, American Waste!)

Despite the craziness of the job market Matt works for a growing company. They aren't without problems, however.

Matt works for a garbage company - when it comes to paying monthly bills a lot of people are choosing to ignore the garbage bill (let's face it - the electricity is much more important than having you trash collected). Between that and the gas prices (last summer really hurt them) the company isn't making a whole lot of extra money, even though they're gaining new customers each month.

Even though things aren't going perfectly, the owners are taking care of their employees: no lay-offs. Instead they're cutting as much as they can to make it possible to keep everyone working (and paid!).

Remember when I said the company is growing? Well, it's not just growing - it's multiplying. Matt works at the recycle center (where they sort and bale recyclables to ship out to recycling companies). The building was built with the idea that they would produce "X" amount of bales to ship out each year. But with the new green movement, the fact that free recycling bins help cut garbage costs for individuals, and the company continually buying out/picking up new business each month the original estimate is kinda of low. In fact, if I heard Matt correctly, they now bale/ship FOUR TIMES the original "X" amount of bales!

What does this mean for Matt? When he started there in 2006 he worked 45-55 hour weeks during the summer (the busy season). In 2007 it was 50-60 hours. Last year he was recovering from surgery and was only allowed to work up to 50 hours, but the other guys ran a consistent 60 with a few weeks over that. And this summer? I think the last six weeks Matt has put in 70 hours per week. SEVENTY!

The hardest thing about his schedule is what it does to his social life. He has to get up at 4:15 every morning so Matt has to choose: friends or sleep. When he was fighting the cancer it was no question - sleep always won. Not so much anymore.

I know it's not easy for him. I know he's tired, which makes him crabby. And then he misses events which makes him crabbier still. It's a no-win right now. I've tried to be patient and as helpful as possible because I know this is hard for him. At least, I thought I knew how hard it was for him. I didn't really. Not until this morning.

Last night Matt wanted to sacrifice the sleep to hangout with friends and watch a baseball game (we had free tickets). No problem. We did. And then this morning I drove him to work so that I can pick him after and drive straight to my parents'. By the time we got home and got to bed it was 11:30 last night. The alarm went of at 3:50 this morning (they started work early).

Matt dressed, got some breakfast, and headed out. I struggled. My eyes burned. My lids drooped. Nothing in my brain wanted to get up. I couldn't wait to get home and crawl back into bed.

Then it hit me...Matt does this six days a week.

There are a few nights when he's lucky enough to get seven hours of sleep (eight hours every couple of weeks) but most nights he catches five to six hours. Then he works 10-12 hour days of physical, dirty labor.

I got to come back home and go to sleep...Matt never has that option. He gets up and goes to work so we can eat...so we can buy a house...so we can live debt free. Sometimes he complains about it, but not often. He just does what he has to do: he provides for our household, regardless of how much sleep he gets.

I couldn't do that. I wouldn't even want to try. This morning I got the faintest glimpse of what Matt sacrifices for us. I am in awe of him, and so proud of what he does. He's my hero.