Sur La Table


Remember when I used to post? Those were good times, weren't they?

Well, I am still in the midst of my travels. I'm cooking up some stories to share, complete with pictures.

For now, though, I have a table to share with you. For the life of me I can't find a before shot, so picture a table with this color wood:

Ooh, I just got the shivers. That's some ugly lighting. The table looked the exact same, wood-wise. Jeremiah bought it from the neighbor's yard sale for a couple bucks. I was so excited that I clapped. I clapped. I clap a lot. Because I knew that the table would start to look like this when I stained it:

That's after several coats. It started out looking really red and I was a bit nervous, but all is well.

Here's the finished product:

Not too shabby for a couple bucks and some Minwax. The dish was a buck from Salvation Army, and I love it.

What do you think? Anyone else traveling? Woodworking?


Ah, Yes. Tech Camp.

Tech Camp. Tucson, Arizona. It's held here: So nice.

Fifth trip for me.


Zin Burger, which was featured on the Food Network. I, of course, did not eat a burger. No red meat. But I had a pretty good chicken sandwich. With a sampling of zucchini fries. And a sampling of sweet potato fries (I told Jeremiah about those and I swear, I could hear him gag over the phone). And some triple truffle fries, too. I sampled, I promise. I didn't eat all those myself.

Learning about Google. It's not just a search engine, my friends. I like that my learning easily translates to a non-teaching job if I ever were a non-teaching person.

Seeing bunnies and birds. Awe, they make me happy. Hopping and flying. It's like paradise. I had to specifically ask for a room that wasn't in the "nature". Nature here is a lot of bugs and javelinas squealing in the middle of the night. The bugs freak me out. So my room isn't quite so far away this year. The scariest things I've seen this year are lizards, which aren't scary so much unless they skitter scatter across the path in front of me. And the lizards? They do push-ups. Showing off for a mate, I think. So the birds, bunnies, and lizards are enough for me.

I've had two Igloo Sues. They are a delicious beverage that is...deliciously deceptive. Allow me to share this quote from the Gilmore Girls to explain: "Honey, someday when you're a little older you will be introduced to something that is extremely seductive but fickle. A fair-weather friend who seems benign but packs a wallop like a donkey kick."

She was talking about a Long Island Iced Tea, but that would be my description of Igloo Sue. Except the kick wasn't so bad. I had a full belly both evenings and it just helped me sleep soundly. Probably didn't hurt that I nursed it and took it sloooooow.

Low lights:

I was designated driver (Not the low part, I don't mind being the designated driver, especially because when I am designated driver you get me alcohol free all the way.) and I might have scared everyone else in the huge bus-like SUV that I was driving when I cut across three lanes to make a left turn. I had been checking my mirrors and KNEW that all was clear. Plus, it was evening. So much less traffic. But still? Drunk scared? I'm guessing not fun.

I might have killed a mouse that ran across my path while I was driving the big SUV. I was getting some reassurances about wide wheel bases and fast little mice feet from the owner of the SUV and remarks coming from the backseat hinted toward the fact that the mouse was probably a parent mouse searching for food for the (now orphaned) babies. It made me sad. Poor mousie. As a friend pointed out, those mouse babes probably are eating at a mouse soup kitchen.

I wiped out in the bathroom Monday morning before leaving and sitting has become not fun. I was chasing after the dogs and the floor was wet and I did the splits in my towel. I flailed an arm and that is sore, too. Plus my left leg stretched too much and my right knee is swollen. And because there was no tub, there was nothing to stop my sliding. It's okay. You can laugh. If I saw someone doing towel splits I probably would, too. Especially since then the dogs were running around me. I think they were laughing. It was chaos.

Lastly, let me share the few pictures that I managed to snap at camp:

 Building Four, where my room was.
 My evening walk on the path.
 View from my balcony.

I know the pictures aren't spectacular, but refer back to the Igloo Sue section if you need a reminder as to why.

p.s. I got back from Tucson on Friday and two days later left for Oakland, CA. I promise to show pictures from this week-long adventure, too. Things have been hectic. In a month I'll have seen Jeremiah for a total of two and one half days. That's it.



The other night Jeremiah and I were watching Dexter. We're sort of addicted. We just finished Season 4, and if you tell me anything about Season 5 I will stop talking to you for forever.


Anyway, this scene comes up (ignore the subtitles. unless you can read them, then good for you):

And next to me I feel Jeremiah shaking. Shaking. I look over and he manages to sputter out, "That's what it's like riding in the car with you!"

Thanks, Babe. Thanks so much.

And I will never apologize for singing in the car. Or for my love of eighties music.

p.s. I just want to clarify that I may sing in the car and wave my arms sometimes, but I never text while driving and very rarely even talk on the phone. Just some singing.


Hug My Flower With Your Eyes

Oh, Kimya Dawson. Your music is so true.

The title of the post, if you aren't aware, is from her song Tree Hugger. Love that song.

Enter the two story saguaro cactus that tipped over during a storm. And died.  You can read more about it here and how we got rid of it here and here. Seriously, it was a sad day. So we saved the arm. We put it in a pot with the three-eared bunny (another cactus that was small at that time but is now so big it needs to be moved). Now, a year and a half later, the cactus is blooming. Dead, but blooming. Boy, they sure hold water well, right?

I just thought it was a nice little bit of pretty in an otherwise stark desert landscape.

And because it is a flower. On a cactus. I found it fitting to tell you this:

And the rattlesnake said,
"I wish I had hands
so I could hug you like a man."
And then the cactus said,
"Don't you understand,
My skin is covered with sharp spikes
That'll stab you like a thousand knives.
A hug would be nice,
But hug my flower with your eyes."
 -Kimya Dawson, Tree Hugger

And because you are reading this online instead of physically being here, hugging the flower with your eyes is your only option. Hug away, friend. Hug away.

p.s. I'm actually away at tech camp in Tucson this week. It's full of campy fun. Oh, wait. No. It's fun, but not campy. More details when I get a second to breathe. And the instructor quits giving me dirty looks. Yikes.


It's Been Seven Hours and Fifteen days or, Nothing Compares 2U

Does anyone else still sing Sinead O'Connor songs?


Just me?

Huh. I can really belt it out at home.  Sinead's tape was one of my very first cassette tapes. Ever. It was Sinead and Madonna's Like a Prayer. Loved them both. I've included a much older O'Connor for you, if you'd like to listen while you read.

And actually, I was thinking that next week will be the two year anniversary of my car accident. So "it's been two years and zero days...since they tried to take my car away..."

Yeah. If you don't know me well or haven't been reading long, I've got a *slight* addiction to my car. It's a Subaru. An Outback. When I got my job here in Arizona my dad packed it full of my stuff, I added my cat to the passenger seat, and off we went. My grandma would say that we were "off like a dirty diaper." Is my grandma the only one who says that?

Anyway, I was sitting at a red light near where I work, in the left turn lane. Facing north, wanting to turn west. Got it pictured in your head? A car going east and a car going west ran THEIR red light and I think that one of them might have been turning? Who knows. Regardless, both truck and SUV went spinning around in the intersection, connected. The SUV came loose, shot out of the intersection, and came towards me head on. If you would like to visualize my expression, it was one of disbelief. Mouth open. "Why the face!" and "Why me?" kept running through my head. Then, of all the amazing things, the SUV turned at last minute and didn't hit me. They went past my passenger side and I thought I was in the clear. Just freakin' kidding. They hit the rear passenger side. Hard. And then I was sitting there in six lanes of traffic, no one stopping for the three car accident (welcome to Phoenix, people). I couldn't get out of my car until an officer stopped traffic to let me out. (Dad, this time I remembered to put it in park. You only forget to do that just the one time.)

 I called Jeremiah because I was flipping out and sad. Then I called a coworker who raced down to be with me. What a good friend. I was a shaky, crying mess. Mostly because I think that I treat others how I want to be treated and I didn't think I deserved being hit while sitting at a red light. And yes, it was a delight calling my insurance company to tell them that I was hit while at a standstill. So I was rear-ended? No. Well, how did I get hit? I must have been moving a little? No. Just so you can get in-the-moment-pissed-off with me, both drivers were uninsured and driving cars that didn't belong to them. Again, welcome to Phoenix. Luckily, the owners of the cars DID have insurance and in the end, I win. I always do.

Subaru held up like a pro. Poor thing took the brunt of the hit. Somewhere I have pictures of the SUV that hit me and they were in much worse shape. Well, duh, but I mean specifically from hitting MY car, not from the other accident.

It was over four thousand dollars damage and they still didn't total my car. Subarus hold a lot of their resale value. I'm surprised you didn't know that (name the movie). They had to replace the whole side panel and the back one, too.

 And I'm still in Subaru to this very day. Someday very soon I might need a new car. And I will probably cry, because that's what I do.  But I will remember how Subaru took care of me and it is that thought that will keep me moving on.

Anyone else have weird car attachments?

And in case you would like original Sinead, here you go:


You Don't Know What You Got Till It's Gone, or Arizona Stinks Without Air Conditioning

When I woke up Wednesday morning, it was humid. In the house.


And I was sweating. In the house. And I wasn't exercising.


Yeah, the air conditioning BROKE. In June. In PHOENIX.

I don't know the temperatures where you are at, but here? In June? An oven like quality exists.

And I made it through the day with minimal complaining. Because really, what can you do? When people speak of the day and my calm behavior they will use hushed tones usually reserved for churches and libraries. They will speak of me in awe, because I handled it like a champ. With a frappe in the right hand. Because that was my Wednesday birthday surprise.

I waited for Jeremiah to get home and call a couple different people. A former co-worker who now runs the family AC company said he could make it out on Thursday at six in the morning. All we had to do was make it through the night.

I honestly don't think I've ever been so hot in my whole life. At one point Jeremiah left to sleep downstairs. I tried to stretch out and lay flat so that the fan could hit as much of me as possible. Didn't work. I thought about getting an ice pack from the freezer, but I couldn't muster the energy. Plus Mel was sleeping on my legs. And Atticus was sleeping next to me. So I just laid there. It was well over ninety degrees in our house.

The next morning the AC guys came and...wait for it, wait for it...

Charged us $60.00 for a broken thingamawhoozit. Sixty dollars TOTAL. How's that for an early birthday present?!

Enjoy your air-conditioning splendor, everyone. Take a moment out of your day to thank your air conditioner. After all, you don't know what you got till it's gone.


Birthday Week!

Do you know what this week is?

Crap. I already gave it away.

Yeah. It's birthday week. Birthday 29.2. I liked my twenty-ninth birthday soooo much that I am reliving it for the third time this year. 29.0, 29.1, 29.2.

So far, I have had my cell phone issue taken care of by Boyfriend (He took it to the store and brought it back all better.). I also got earplugs & a nose plug for the pool. My facial holes don't close up when I swim. I blame the sinus surgeries. And aren't you glad I added the word facial?

And then today he cleaned dog barf off the bathroom floor - Spike ate a blanket that didn't agree with him AND he brought me home sunflowers. And some chocolate. And I got the crust from his piece of pizza.

So what will the rest of the week hold? Who knows.

I've got my birthday dress hanging in the closet ready for our Friday night dinner out. I've watched a video on a new way to try curling my hair. This sounds all fancy shmancy, but really he just takes me wherever I desire. And I am not a fancy girl. It's hard to be fancy when you have Minwax bombay satin stain on your legs. So anyway, I think one year I wanted Ihop. Cheapest date EVER.

So I hope (looks like Ihop) that everyone is having a great week. If you can handle it, I've got a post dedicated to my car coming up soon. Honoring the fact that two years ago this week I was in an accident (deep breath).

What's everyone else up to?

p.s. Oh, and the final piece of furniture has been purchased for my craft room. It is a huge, comfortable chair with a huge ottoman. I got it (like new & fifty percent off) at Salvation Army. They sanitize the furniture.  And it's name brand. AND it is the happiest chair (It is a fun, not stuffy, plaid. Pink & green, people!) I've ever seen and I've already moved into the craft room and let Boyfriend have the bedroom all to himself. The chair is THAT great. So comfy. More on the chair later. But do you know what the chair purchase signifies? I GET TO PAINT MY CRAFT ROOM!!!!

p.p.s. The chair went on top of the Subaru for the ride home. We got some rope to tie it up there. Jeremiah claims that now that we've got the rope, the car is invincible. It's got super-car powers. Look for it soon to have it's own comic book series, it's that great.


A is for Ants or, Why I Might Be Walking With A Limp...

We had a special field day for our kiddos. It was Wednesday. And there was this ant...

Bastard found me.

He bit me.

The thing is, I know INSTANTLY when I get a bite. The ant might be small but the burning and stinging is instantly intense. It stinks knowing that for the next week or so walking will be a beast. It angers me that one little ant can bring me down.

Because I swell up. And as they are usually on my leg or foot, it makes walking slightly difficult. An inquiring and caring (yet uneducated in my health issues) person asked why I didn't just take an anti-histamine. Well, holy crap. Why didn't I think of that?


Because I'm already on THREE daily.

While it might be slightly hard to see, I've included a picture showing the swelling. Those orange/red arrows show the areas effected. Picture an ankle, any ankle at all, in place of the lump that is currently visible. See the slight concave appearance near the top right arrow? That's where my skin normally is. You know, when it isn't all stretchy and swollen. I've even indicated the scene of the bite. I'm sparing you from a close-up which shows the actual pus-filled bump. You're welcome. 

That is why I've been icing and elevating. It helps. It's the ONLY thing that helps besides going to get a steroid injection in the butt. Which, a girl can only get so many of those before she starts looking...not like a girl anymore.

p.s. Today Jeremiah and I were floating in the pool when I hear a kid at the house behind us (yes, the trouble house) exclaim, "Hey! I think there's a pool back there!" Meaning, OUR house. Next thing I hear, "Oh, there's people in the pool." All disappointed. As if he were going to get in if we weren't already in it. I thought he was just peeking over the fence. Oh.No. He had climbed the tree and was sitting there staring at us. About four yards away. Talking like we weren't there. Staring. I know it's a kid, but what is wrong with these people?


Sad Teacher

 Seeing my room like this? Sadsies. But doesn't everything look nice all organized? Books grouped together? Tubs all neat? Pretty. Have I mentioned my OCD tendencies? No? Not necessary?

My tears have dried up. Yesterday was the last day of school and I was crying before I even reached my students. This has been such a great group of kids. Even Jeremiah commented that he doesn't remember me complaining about the kids once. Because I didn't. They were perfection in uniforms. They were put-them-in-your-pocket perfect.
Here's where I keep the desks.  So that they can "clean" the floor. Whatever. If the floor was truly cleaned, I wouldn't be able to look at it and say, "This is where J. barfed three years ago, this is where F. barfed earlier this year, this is where B. peed all over the floor." I fought for non-carpeted floors at a recent meeting about our upcoming remodel and they all looked at me like I was farting while picking my nose.

But back to the students. Every year we make necklaces out of yarn and paper plates. We wear them backwards and then students write compliments to each other. We then have our last class meeting and we read our favorite compliment and share one thing we've learned this year. And then I cry a little (again). Here's my plate. While I'm super flattered that someone likes my "blod" hair and I like the prediction of a good tan this summer, I welled up (surprise, surprise) at the "You're the best teacher I ever had." which came from a very reserved little guy and the "You are nice you use the microphone" from my deaf student.
It was a nice ending to a wonderful year.

On a happier note, today is the first day of summer vacation. I don't get three months like everyone thinks. I get about a month and a half (which is about seven weeks). Two of those weeks will be at conferences and much of the time will be spent on these classes I'm taking. Have I mentioned them before? Yeah...

As I was saying, first day of vacation. I got up when Jeremiah left (around six-ish?) and worked out for about an hour. People? It felt good. It was slow going for awhile due to a swollen ankle, foot, and leg, and I had to ice and elevate immediately after, but it felt GOOD. I haven't been able to exercise due to sickies and other issues for awhile so I enjoyed my time. And then I did about three hours of classwork. Jealous?

p to the s: I have a class of 28 students coming in next year. Twenty-eight.
p to the p to the s: Do you see my computers? Yeah. And then Jeremiah comes home talking about how they upgrade every other year or so and that they have ROOMS full of computers that are only two years old. And I tell him to shut up and put myself in time out.