Thursday, August 30, 2012

The new schedule

Mr W is one week with his dad, and one week with me. He has to be dropped off around 7:20 am and school gets out at 2:25. Ack. We are still in the adjustment phase, to be sure. It's really nice to get to work around 7:40, but the last couple of days we've been flying out of the house with me saying, "C'mon, we're gonna be late!!!" Yesterday we got stopped by a train for about 5 minutes, which was enough to make him just about late, but it was OK.

It'll be fine, but I am still getting used to getting up a little earlier so I can have my coffee and goof around on the computer for a while. Tonight is the back to school night and they have a 2.5 hour program where the parent goes through each of the kid's classes in order, for 8-10 minutes. I'm looking forward to it, but it's gonna be a long day and I'll need to schedule a strategically-timed caffeine infusion for about 2 pm.

What else. Oh, this and that. I made peach jam but it's not setting up yet. I followed the directions from the pectin box and it took so much sugar I'm kind of grossed out (3.75 cups fruit and 5 cups of sugar). I've got some low sugar pectin and will use that with the rest of the peaches this weekend. I ran out of sugar, otherwise I'd have pressed on. :-)

Work is a little monotonous. I'm rounding third on a paper that I'm writing, and would really like to be back in the lab WORKING as opposed to writing, so I'm getting a bit antsy. Almost done, though, and then I can get back there.

OK, I need to get going. Hope things are good in your world. I'm doing so many social media things between this blog and the bracelet stuff that I need to set up a posting schedule. Not there yet, but soon, and then I'll be here every other day, like I would like to be.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

More flower pictures

I bought a packet of burgundy sunflower seeds and one of them, after a slow start, has grown into a behemoth of a plant. Beautiful flowers, but the thing is probably 8' x 8'. The bees love it, and the flowers are a very pleasant dark red color.

Here's a view from the side of the plant. You can see the one flower that's facing the camera in the upper right 1/4 of the picture. It has more blooms now, and seems like it might tip over, but I think it'll be OK. Maybe next year I'll stake them out so they stay a little straighter. 

If you're interested in winning the bracelet of your choice from my Etsy site, here's a link to the blog post at my other blog that has the details. You can enter up until 9 pm Mountain Time Wednesday.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Physaria Designs giveaway

I'm having a giveaway over at my other blog. Take a peek at my Etsy shop, find a bracelet you like, copy and paste its URL on the Physaria Designs Facebook page, or at the PD blog.

I'll keep it open until Wednesday at 9 pm Mtn. Time, and pick a random winner from all the entries.

Good luck!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Post vacation post - 3

I know! There's been a lot rolling around in my little head lately. I think I'll have one more after this and that'll be all the self-disclosure I'll inflict on my valued readers for a while. I've got some garden pictures that I want to share. I'm going to get one now, go off on a little tangent and circle round to my revelatory musings.

Aren't those nice? Volunteer 4 o'clocks that did some kind of genetic two-step because I had one yellow and a couple of pink ones last year. Isn't that cool? I don't know at all how the expression of the color works in this plant, but these are wonderful. I will never ever go without  4 o'clocks in the garden again. They are big, prolific flowerers and do really well in the spot I've got them in. That's a big part of gardening with perennials, isn't it? Finding the spot where they will thrive. 

I started eating the first cantaloupe from the garden and it is FAB. I thought I may have waited too long, but it's really good. I will always plant cantaloupes, too. As an aside, I'm going to buy some peaches tomorrow and make ginger peach cinnamon jam. Yum. I'll take pictures.

OK, back to the stuff the title of the post is about. So another thought that has occurred to me as a result of the vacation mind shift is that I have become kind of cynical. Protected and cynical. Not a good combo. I'll doubt that things work the way someone says they do, and have been a little pessimistic lately. I realized this actually the Sunday after vacation, when I was playing a game with the gamers group from church. There is a couple that I don't really know, but I've seen them as part of the group a few times. 

The woman, M, was so genuine, and earnest, and open. I really saw it as this kind of reverse mirror of what I am not really like at the moment, but would like to move towards. I don't need to be her, and I don't think it's my personality to be as enthusiastic as she (but it fits her really well). So I'm going to work on it (again). I see it now as sort of a pattern, and that's a good thing, because then it can be worked on. Smile, nod, breathe, chat, laugh, repeat. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Post vacation post - 2

This is another of my musings from having been on vacation recently.

I'm a pretty safe driver. I zip around town in my trusty old Honda and it gets me/us where we need to be. I try to be courteous, I let people in line when things go down to one lane, that kind of thing. I have noticed, though, that lately I'm getting more annoyed at inconsiderate driving. Nothing like road rage, and I'd never confront anyone, but my remarks inside the car are growing more frequent. It's on the level of, "What a jerk! I can't believe he cut that other person off". That kind of thing.

I am concerned about the effect this has on Mr W, where I'm seem to frequently be complaining about other people's bad driving. And it leaves me a little annoyed to, to have been annoyed, you know? It's ultimately not worth my time and energy.

So I've decided to raise my threshold. I started a couple of days ago, and it's actually pretty challenging to break this habit, so I'm working on it still. Inconsiderate drivers are the worst (don't you realize we're all trying to get somewhere?) but there's not much I can do about them. I'm not about to teach them any kind of lesson, so my best option is to LET IT GO.

Hence raising the threshold. So my goal at the moment is that things that don't impact me directly, like if someone cuts someone else off, or (this one seems to really annoy me) it's the third person in a row to run the red light and the rest of us are waiting to proceed through our green light, I'm going to try to let it go and get on with my day.

Trying to control things I don't have any control over, especially the actions of others, is not a good use of my time. Stay tuned, this one's not accomplished yet.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Post vacation post - 1

I mentioned yesterday that visiting with my wonderful family usually causes me to be introspective about my life and examining whether there are things I could change. This is going to take more than one post...

The first thing I have noticed is that I have become a unit unto myself. It used to be that it would be me and my ex at these gatherings, then my brothers and their wives (and my sister and her husband, when she was with us). And we were units, couples. While I don't feel uncomfortable being with them at all, it is clear that it's just me. It made me aware again of how there is no one to discuss options with (whether that's a good or bad thing depends on the situation, I think!) I don't know if I've lost that give and take aspect of dealing with people, it's something I'm thinking about.

It's funny, that give and take of everyday life doesn't happen with me at the moment, and being around the fam made me realize this. What happens instead is that the problem/issue rolls around in my head for a long time, while I gather data to make my decision. I really am like that, evidence-based. I of course have people I can talk to. I feel like I'm making friends at a good rate and while I do need to get out more, I feel like that's something I can control. But with decisions, it takes more time because it's just me making the call. That's not necessarily a bad thing, just different than how it used to be.

Monday, August 20, 2012

More soon

Had a great vacation with the fam. It always makes me introspective and this one was no exception. Lots of thoughts jostling around, and I intend to make some sense of them here :-)

Meantime, here's a picture of me and my little brother, taken while they were here last week. Love those guys.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Another weird dream

My family got to town yesterday - hooray!! They started at my little house for dinner and refreshments and then we drove over to the condo we rented for them and that is going to work out well, I believe. It's so new, this condo. Funny - the doors close evenly, there's texture on the walls and ceilings of the rooms, it has - get this - a DISHWASHER (whoa). Very impressive. It is configured as three small layers stacked on top of each other, so there's a den and one garage space at ground level. The kitchen/living room is the second level, and the bedrooms are on the third. You'd be pretty fit if you lived there, with all that stair climbing.

Anyway, I'm writing to share this dream I had the night before they got here. The thought had occurred to me that the last time they all came out, it was my summer of discontent, seven (!) years ago. I had just made the decision to file for divorce and my life was  totally upended. I can remember Mr W misbehaving and feeling, "I'm going to have to do this alone. I don't have any backup". Well it's all worked out, and we are doing fine. Better than fine, actually.

So in the dream, I was back in that time, and had been trying to make things work between the ex and had just realized it wasn't going to work out. Even though the events that set the divorce in motion weren't my doing, I still felt like a failure (I don't anymore :-)). But in the dream, it was that heavy feeling of dread. Then in the dream, he and I were sitting in two carts, like toy pedal cars. He went off in one direction, and I went off in another. However, I ended up going through a bunch of people who were eating at an outdoor cafe. I had to back up, go backwards (I think that is pretty darn metaphorical) to get to where I needed to go. Here's the thing, though. People were really nice about it as I backed up my goofy little pedal car. Then I woke up.

Oh, and the van is finally done. I'll at least pay for it today, I'll see if they'll put it on consignment. It will be nice to have that done.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Most of my family is coming into town this week. My brothers and my SILs, and two nieces are arriving in just a couple of days! Yip!!

I spent the weekend cleaning and PUTTING THINGS AWAY. Aside from the rugs, which were really dirty and got cleaned with a rented carpet cleaner (what a great idea), I spent a lot of time just  putting things away.

Oh, my car was a disaster, too. Significant dogginess in the back seat. A car wash in town has free vacuums, which I used for about 20 minutes. I even cleaned out my trunk, anticipating hauling fam around for their visit. It's nice to have the outside of the car clean as well.

I made two new styles, a new necklace and a new bracelet, and I really like them. The bracelet uses old buttons mixed with my clay tiles and I really like how those turned out. I'm going to redo all of my prices in my Etsy shop (i.e. lower them a bit, and have all the pieces sit somewhere on a continuum of pricing), and that will take some time, too. But it's all good. I like what I'm doing there.

Gotta start the day.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Above and beyond

I was in an unfamiliar parking lot yesterday, pulled into a parking space too far, scraped the underside of the front end of my car, and bumped the curb. No worries, it's an old car, and I wasn't concerned that there would be any damage. I went on my merry way.

Fast forward to me leaving work at the end of the day. Is that a scraping noise now, from the front of the car? Hmm. The road leading to my building has a low speed limit, so I'm listening to it as I'm driving out. Not good. I stop and look under the car (which my mechanic would be proud of - at least I checked!). Nothing. I drive on, stop again and look again because it's getting louder. Still nothing.

My mechanic has had Graycie the camper van for about a month now, waiting for a part to come in, so I can't just switch cars and deal with this later :-). I call him, and he proceeds to DROP EVERYTHING, including working on the car of a couple whose old VW rabbit is overheating and they want to go out of town.

We drive it, he hears the sound, which by now has diminished, but is still there. He takes off the front tire, causing a bunch of rusty stuff that he said wasn't a safety issue to fall out, puts the tire back on, and we drive it again. Apparently I jarred some stuff loose in the parking lot, and it got stuck in a place where it made the noise. Meanwhile, he's talking about the weight he's lost, his wonderful daughters and his recent bout of gout. Such a great talker - I admire people who can converse so comfortably (but not yak on and on).

All in all, it was about 45 minutes of his time. He didn't charge me. I need to do something. I think a batch of my homemade brownies is in order. It seems inadequate, but he wouldn't charge me.

We also discussed the possibility of them putting Graycie on consignment. We'll talk more about it when I pick her up next week, but I think that's the way to go. It's worth 5-10% or so of the asking price to do it that way, IMO.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Heaven help me...

I have started a new blog just for my crafty stuff. I'm going to drone on about my experiences as a mom, lab worker, and gardener here. Might also use it for sharing sciencey stuff.

But here's the address:

Things are good around here. I'm getting stuff out of the garden to eat, and that's been fun. Two cantaloupes are almost ready. Every day I go out and see if they will "slip" from the vine. The outsides look done, so I might have to sacrifice one and see what it's like on the inside. The only other time I had a melon go to completion, it was too ripe by the time it slipped, and it was sweet but mushy.

My banjo teacher has been working with me so I can play stuff in different keys. It feels weird and strange and is hard for me to hear it such that I can easily play the next chord of familiar (read: children's) songs. It's a process, though, and still fun.