Dog? Cat? Roomba? Gnomes? Or Ghost?
Christmas! Country! Crafts! Crazy? Yes.
Now that I have moved to the South Southtowns of Western New York I’m trying to embrace a bit more of the suburban life that is the buffer between our wooded countryside home and the city. This should be an easy task since my brother and his family live there. Along with my dearest childhood friend and her family, one of my best friends from college and her family AND another best friend from Buffalo who is living now in the burbs with her family. FRIENDS AND FAMILY EVERYWHERE!
But these friends and family tend to be crazy busy. Enter sad music.
I found the event Christmas in the Country advertised and thought, hmmmm, this might be a fun girly event to attend? Tis at the fairgrounds and has lots of crafty ideas which I know everyone is into…the event runs for four days, why not? I posted the link on Facebook and tagged each of the above mentioned peeps in the stauts so they would see it and waited. One of my friends wrote back and said it sounded like fun but this weekend wasn’t good for her. No one else responded…but then out of nowhere my step-sister appeared in the comments!
“What about your little sister?”
Hmmm. What about my little sister? SHE CRAFTS?
Enter my step-sister-in-law “She joins me on the craft circuit!”
A few private messages later and I have plans to attend Christmas in the Country with my sisters I never see, ever! And I invited my mom along too.
The show is the “Best Christmas Craft Show In the Nation!” or so they claim. I wonder why they don’t say they are #2 like every other Buffalo claim to fame. Anyhow…we headed out to the fairgrounds to attend for the opening day at 10am. Thursday mind you. Thursday morning. A cold, wet Thursday morning….and there was a line out the door waiting for tickets. A bit surprising, eh?
Once inside I quickly realized this was not going to be my kind of crafty fair. As HWMMS says it’s beach glass glued to stuff. Allentown Art Festival sprawled out over several event buildings on the fairgrounds. Ugh. I’m not even really a fan of the Allentown Art Festival anymore now that there are so many other local art events I can attend. I suppose my tastes are more along the lines of eclectic instead of angels and ribbons and painted glass ornaments. But we were there together and that was all that mattered!
I noticed a few things while walking around…the place was overrun by seniors and strollers and not necessarily in that order or not necessarily mutually exclusive. There were lots of seniors in motorized scooters too! A group of women in line at the snack bar around 10:30 am bought glasses of, not coffee like I was going to get, but wine…at 10:30am. And in addition to all the seniors and wee babes…there were a surprising amount of middle aged folk as well. Which sort of surprised me since it was THURSDAY MORNING. But hey, I’m not working either right?
The event was far too busy for my liking. I was so surprised at the amount of people! As I mentioned not a lot of the crafty arts things were really my style nor did I get a lot of ideas for my own stuff someday.
One thing that shocked me was the severe shortage of penguins on the premises. Seriously, I think I counted maybe 10 sightings TOTAL over the entire event! Penguins I always believed were quite the popular choice but no, not at this event. Which was good for my pocketbook in the end but made me sad anyhow.
If you like crafty things made out of watercolors and flowers with ribbons…this event is for you. If you can afford a $640 glass sculpture, this event is for you. (My sister guessed $100 for the price…we almost fell over when we saw how much it really was!) If you like wood sticks with painted Santa Claus Heads from JoAnn Fabrics that you can paint yourself but never do…this event is for you.
Otherwise, eh…check out one of the smaller local artists ones coming up instead, they are everywhere. And God help you if you choose to attend this event on the weekend. If it was that busy on Thursday morning and early afternoon I can’t even imagine being able to get through the event center and seeing any crafts along the way on the weekend!
Why why why do I care about numbers when it comes to social media? I try to get out of this habit. I try again and again. I don’t even professionally work with social media anymore. I deleted DELETED my Linkedin account, my Instagram account, my Klout account and my Foursquare account. I even deleted (ok, is is on pause and hidden not completely deleted yet…) my All Things Jennifer blog page Facebook account!
I had on my list of 40 things to do before turning 40 several social media goals that involved numbers. Get above 1000 followers on Pinterest etc…etc…etc…I decided that I didn’t want to follow that list a few months after I created it. I don’t really care if I get to a certain restaurant or not by the time of my birthday. Or to the art gallery we haven’t visited yet…I know I will in good time. No rush. But why did I even feel compelled to have these number goals set on my list? A question I ponder.
I believe I have cut most of my ties when I deleted the accounts. I started to not check my justunfollow twitter number everyday. WHY WOULD YOU UNFOLLOW ME? WAAAAAH! Because of reactions like that. I can get crazy and seriously, why does it matter—at all?
It doesn’t. Or it shouldn’t.
The only place I have been noticing my numbers still…is over at Pinterest. Somehow Pinterest has been an explosion of following lately. Over 4,000 people?
Yes, I know I compulsively use Pinterest daily. I keep track of a ton of links of house renovations and decorating ideas and recipes and early childhood activities and well, pretty much everything. I love that darn site. One day I looked up and saw I had 3,000 people following me—mind you a few months ago I was looking for 1,000 and suddenly I was at 3,000? The explosion of following has intrigued me. And now, I notice I’m on the hunt for 5,000. Why? because it’s a nice round number. There’s of course NO REASON AT ALL to desire such a thing. And I have no control over it either…I just pin content and wait for people to follow me.
I wish I didn’t notice these things…but I do.
I’m starting to wonder about myself here…I mean it’s happened before, a few times. Sometimes I notice it and sometimes I don’t really but it’s always in the back of my mind.
I think I’m a little bit psychic sometimes.
Yesterday is the PERFECT example.
We are inches away from a closing date on our House in Ransomville…and it occurred to me that HWMMS and I never asked our realtor to look into the wooded land behind our NEW house to see who owns it and whether or not it could be parceled off for sale. We might be interested in purchasing a bit more to supplement the little under 5 acres we already own. Behind our house, I believe there are about 200 acres of wooded land that is perfect for hunting. And hey, you never know if you don’t ask right?
So I say OUT LOUD for the first time last night, “I should ask our realtor to look into that land for us to see if it could be for sale.” HWMMS agrees and then I forget about it and go to sleep. THIS AFTERNOON, HWMMS comes home from running an errand and says “Um, did you see there are for sale signs posted over on the wooded land next to our house? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Nope. Not kidding. Coincidence? Perhaps!
Another example. Yesterday, there was quite a bit of rain and wind that came down during the evening. We noticed the leak in the roof in the kitchen area was wildly dripping. I tell HWMMS that he should call our contractor in the morning to remind them that we wanted them to come back to look at the roof. They did some repairs about a month ago and came back the next week to look for the leak that was still happening but couldn’t figure out where it was. It’s been WEEKS since we’ve thought about it despite the fact it has been raining, and therefore leaking, pretty much everyday. GUESS WHO RANDOMLY STOPPED BY THE HOUSE THIS AFTERNOON TO FIX THE ROOF? Our contractors. HWMMS was asleep and I was out and about and he said they came by and found the problem and fixed it up. Did we call? No. They just showed up. Coincidence? Perhaps!
These sort of things happen more often than not. I will suddenly bring up in conversation to HWMMS someone I knew a few years ago and say “I wonder what happened to him?” and BAM the next day we will be out at an event and I will run into that exact person. A person I haven’t seen or heard from in YEARS and hasn’t been out and about. Coincidence? Perhaps?
Oh my goodness. I’m totally in love.
I was going to wait to hang things in the foyer until we paint but since painting might not happen for quite a few more months (very high ceilings must get scaffolding) I went ahead and started hanging things anyhow.
This is just the beginning. I want the entire foyer eclectically filled with art.
Henri, like his papa, is a crazy creature of habit. We tried to move the out of place green chair that has been sitting in corner of the foyer into the other room and into the *future* nursery. Of course this was the chair Henri would sit on when mama was in the dining room at the table on the computer.
Well, today we decided to move my computer desk into the dining room with a view out the window of the front porch instead of the upstairs *office* area that we’ve not remotely done anything with. In about 10 years that large office area will make a fantastic upstairs living space/playroom but for now it’s just completely unused. It was going to be our office but with HWMMS spending ALL of his time on the ground floor in the basement in his workshop with his computer and me sitting at the dining room table or sucked into the couch when I’m on the computer, it just made no sense. Now I’m trying to figure out where to place all the bookshelves. (In 10 years when that upstairs room is the playroom…the extra bedroom “nursery” downstairs will become the library/office. Long term plans are good but we live in the present right?)
So here I am typing away at the computer and Henri is pacing back and forth back and forth circle and scratching on the door and looking at me and looking at the empty corner where the chair once sat…about 10 minutes of this and I gave in.
Green out of place chair is back in the foyer. Henri is happy.
BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! Change of career! I’ve always wanted to work with kids and now here’s my chance!
Except, I quit.
Kids everywhere! Happy classrooms!
I should have known better from the start. I don’t even want to put my own children if I have them in daycare. I don’t judge those who do (at least I didn’t think I did…) but it’s not for me.
Being in the toddler room with 12 kids and two staff members and no lead teacher trying to keep diapers clean every 2 hours and making sure the kids aren’t pushing each other, tearing up books, throwing blocks, climbing up the sleeping mats, coloring on the tables and floors, hanging off the door-bar…wasn’t exactly what I envisioned for teaching and shaping the minds of our youth. I mean of course I knew this stuff was involved too. But I didn’t realize there wasn’t any time for anything else.
Because of staff ratios the misbehaving kids are the ones that get the most attention. If we were lining up to go outside, which they did every morning and every afternoon…the kid refusing to stand in line and behave ultimately got to be HELD by a teacher because we all needed to go outside. Talk about reinforcing bad behavior! When one of the kids acted out or did something wrong there were no timeouts…which meant no consequences for their actions. But the way teachers got around the no time out rule ended up being…the kids with bad behaviors had to sit next to the teachers or hold their hands. Which makes something that inherently should be a good reward…holding the teacher’s hand…into a punishment instead.
I want to study early childhood education…I just don’t think I want to apply the knowledge to anything outside of my own little world of children. Perhaps with in-home childcare someday? Corporate daycare is just not for me.
So now what do I do? Where do I go? I hate that I made a big proclamation that turned out to be…a big fat nothing in the end. The admitting defeat part is not easy, especially at the hands of a dozen toddlers.
One would think with all the time in the world you would accomplish so very many things! Think of all the books read, words written, wandering walks taken, magnificent meals that could be made…the list could go on and on.
So why is it I have the luxury to stay at home right now without a job and yet I’m finding myself doing nothing? I mean not even NaNoWriMo this weekend. I have all the time in the world and I’m wasting it away dreaming on Pinterest? On Twitter chatting with others from the seat of the gorgeous house I should be moving about in. I’m so pathetic. And I don’t understand it.
I do get out in the community quite a bit when I choose. Lots of fundraisers and events. But there have been so many more times I could have joined a group or a board or volunteer or meet up with a friend for lunch that I have chosen to…to…DO WHAT? Nothing.
These are the questions that haunt me. If I started writing a list of all the things I could do. I might never stop. Instead I muse while putting words on the screen hoping to at least catch up to the NaNoWriMo goal for one day. Sad.
I want to get healthy. I have an indoor pool and I can count the number of times I’ve been in our pool on one hand this past month. Actually on one FINGER. I own an indoor pool. I don’t work. And I haven’t been swimming? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? If anything we jump in the jacuzzi tub once or twice a week but that can hardly count as getting healthy and exercising.
I want to get healthy. I own acres of land that are wooded and filled with branches that need to be cleared. I have a creek and a pond I can walk around and enjoy the view. I have yard that needs to be tended and goldenrod weeds that surround the perimeter torn out by the roots. I have tulip and daffodil bulbs that are waiting to be planted. Raised beds waiting to be created. And what do I do? NOTHING. I took a walk down the driveway with the dog the other day to the mailbox and found myself winded upon getting back to the front door of the house. WINDED. How does that happen? How do I have a doggie that loves to walk and I never walk with him? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? It’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of outside my door and I do nothing. I even have a gorgeous new bike that HWMMS bought me for Christmas last year and where does it sit? In the garage. I haven’t been on it ONCE.
I want to get healthy. I have all the time in the world to wake up and drink a hot cup of lemon water while starting the day on the porch watching the animals frolic outdoors. Our refrigerator is filled or can be filled with fresh fruits and vegetables. We can even afford organic. I could be making green smoothies everyday and drinking it along side my cup of coffee. I could be exploring all those amazing recipes I find on Pinterest and cooking healthy lunches and dinners. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? I love cooking! I have the most amazing spacious kitchen I could ever have dreamed of and yet I only cook maybe once or twice a week? We have endless room for pantry supplies….two freezers in the garage to store all the extra food I make. And yet…
I want to get healthy and the easiest thing I can think of in the world would be take supplements to ensure at least I’m doing something for my body. A prenatal vitamin, omega 3, vitamin c, probiotic and then my crazy pill. Easiest thing I can think of yet I still don’t do it everyday for some reason. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?
I want to get healthy and I have yoga DVDs that sit on the shelf completely dusty. I have all the time in the world to do stretching, take walks go up and down the stairs a few times. ANYTHING to get those 10,000 steps in and I do nothing. I have money to go to a gym if I wanted and to take classes and I could do this at anytime of the day or night. No restrictions! Heck I could get a personal trainer too and I don’t. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? There is never ever ever going to be another time in my life that I can have unlimited free time. First world problem of first world problems and yet…
I want to get healthy. I love drinking water. I have a refrigerator that has unlimited fresh water at my fingertips and yet I tend to not drink the allotted amount per day. Eight for a regular person but since I’m the size of two people I believe it is more towards sixteen glasses. Of course this means I will have to pee every hour or half hour but I have that ability! I don’t work! I can sit on the damn toilet and pee and drink water all day. And yet I don’t WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?
This rant depresses me because it only deals with one part of the things I could be doing….getting healthy. I’m not even thinking about getting healthy just for me anymore. For real…we are trying to have children. I have no choice but to get my act in gear and yet that hasn’t even lit a fire under my ass. No excuses of time or money or resources. Just no explanation.
On the creative side I could be reading. I have so many books and magazines. I should be writing…that was the point of signing up for this challenge right? And yes I know that technically this entry is not one that should count towards word total but I need to get something down somewhere to get started and nothing else was coming to my mind despite knowing I have 1,000 stories to share. I could be working on the house. Unpacking boxes organizing the office upstairs…PAINTING. Reorganizing the pantry and my closet. Hanging things on the wall. Sigh…WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? I could be crafting. I have ideas. I could be baking. I could be singing. I could be…
The list goes on and on. And yet nothing ever changes. What is wrong with me?
I have childhood memories of horror when I remember my mother asking me to “cut her hair” on the mole on her face. Cut the hair? Ew. Do it yourself right? Why on earth would you ask your teenage daughter to do such a thing? I’ve had nightmares over that strangely wirely, long freak of nature. Where did it come from? And why did it have to come out of a mole? I think the hair alone was frightening but when you read scary articles about moles that have hairs growing out of them are cancerous and your mom asks you to trim hers…the next logical conclusion is the mole is going to kill her. But for some reason I did it anyhow. More than once. And then I never thought about it again.
Until the day that I realized along with grey hairs on top of your head…aging means those wiry goat hairs on your chinny chin chin as well. Subtle at first, I would rub my hand over my chin and feel one. And pluck it. And then over the years another and another and another. Dear God where do they come from? And the one that you occasionally miss and see it is an inch long? Why? WHY DOESN’T ANYONE TELL YOU THEY ARE GOING TO GROW? I don’t know if anyone else sees them… but I do. I feel them. And if I feel one and I don’t have a pair of tweezers on me to immediately pluck it (pluck…not cut) I start to freak out. Serious anxiety. To the point where I have bought about 100 pairs of tweezers over the years and make sure I have one in the car in my purse in the drawer next to my bed…I don’t need a mirror…I just NEED TO PLUCK IMMEDIATELY.
Now here’s the sad part. Are you ready? Not unlike my mother…I have asked my Husband to pluck one of these hairs for me from time to time. I don’t have any scary ones growing from a mole…but I do get that one wee stubble that for some darn reason I cannot get for the life of me…it is then I give in to the ick factor for my own sanity. And the husband obliges. And makes fun of me telling me I’m his bearded wife. And sometimes surprises me with finding the longest hair ever somewhere on my fat neck that he shows me still stuck in the pinch of the tweezers which makes me wonder how long exactly has that one been there and how did I not see it before? At least I hope to only traumatize my Husband and never ask one of my offspring to assist in the beard grooming of old age.
For better or worse, like mother like daughter.