2013 not in speedy photo/video format

I missed New Year’s celebrating because I had tonsillitis/laryngitis and went straight from that into the worst flu I’ve ever had, which is how I spent my birthday. The scarf swap happened as it has for the past few years. I had big drama fighting with some of Sprog’s teachers working towards graduation. Style Lush and Food Lush closed. We bought an air purifier for the bedroom, a Roomba and some bloodwork revealed that I have MTHFR and a vitamin D deficiency.

$2800 Emergency surgery for Maddie. I repurposed an ugly but sturdy piece of office furniture from Dad (not biological) and put it by the front door for boot/shoe storage and to serve as a catch all. We traveled to Austin to stay in my favorite tree house in Natalie’s backyard and spend some time with one of my fave couples. We brunched with a great group of peeps at a restaurant that was all freaked out by my ordering a Gimlet instead of a Bloody Mary or Mimosa. We traveled to Fredericksburg to attend one of the loveliest weddings I’ve ever seen for a great couple.

Froze our butts off at a car show for Sprog. Reviewed a dress for eShakti and Sprog took photos of it for me (as of a couple of days ago, it was on the front page of their site). Sinus infection (this was the 4th month in a row of doctors visits since Christmas). Photographed a wedding by myself. Did family photos for BIL and SIL. Dazed and Confused Quote Along at Alamo (dressed 70’s, of course). Celebrated Easter twice.

Bought a new car. Jury duty (was released). Canvas reunion concert at Scoot Inn in Austin. Lunch at The Pink Pig in Fredericksburg and then headed off to Kerrville. Saw the scale of Stonehenge. Hiking along the Guadalupe river. Saw my first field of bluebonnets since living in Texas for 20 years. Took Sprog’s Senior photos. Nephew’s birthday party at Old MacDonald’s Farm. Tickets to Sprog’s graduation came in.

My digital photography kids swept the photo contest at Jesse Jones Park. Another doctor visit. Sprog turned 18. We started getting the pool ready for his graduation party. Nephew birthday at a gymnastics place. We buy new furniture for the graduation party. Sprog did his legacy project that made me cry. Paw-paw diagnosed with colon cancer. Over $3000 Emergency dog surgery for Mayday Memorial Day weekend.

Sprog finishes high school. Sprog gets his cap and gown. I put together a photo retrospective of Sprog and Willy gets it set up in the iPhoto to play on the TV. Graduation. Graduation Party. Niece and nephew combo birthday. I tag along on a work trip with Willy to Chicago and visit Sara and Katie.

4th of July swimming and BBQ at our house. Flying to California to visit Miranda and her family. See the beach and Stanford. Sprog’s passport arrives. Niece birthday. Fly to London for Sprog’s graduation trip. Sightsee in London. Sprog has his first pint. Stay in swanky hotel.

Take the train to Wales. Sightsee briefly in Wales. Visit Duvain briefly in Wales. Take the ferry to Dublin. Sightsee in Dublin. Get horribly stuck in Dublin. Start 40 hour travel nightmare that leads to ferry, bus, 14 hours in two airports and eventually shelling out $3000 to get tickets home. Get upgraded to balcony suite at swanky hotel when back in London unexpectedly. Go to Wicked the musical with husband. Enroll Sprog in community college. Watch nephew win a bunch of medals in gymnastics.

Sprog starts college. Sprog’s car breaks down and costs us money and time. We have a leak in the wall behind our washing machine. I volunteer with this year’s digital photography class. Sprog’s car breaks down again and I have to drive him back and forth to class.

I can’t move my thumb and have to go to Urgent Care, they put me in a wrist brace and give me a shot in the butt. I get into a hand specialist and get diagnosed with “trigger finger” and get a steroid injection in the tendon. I finish my Raven costume and Willy and I go to TRF as Raven and Edgar Allan Poe. I also finish our Mrs Lovett and Sweeney Todd costumes for Halloween.

I head off to Austin to second shoot a wedding with Natalie. I then fly off to California to take Miranda’s family photos for Christmas. We finish the guest room for Kristie and Duvain’s visit but I am sick and never get better. By the week of Thanksgiving I am hospitalized and spend Thanksgiving day in the hospital.

I’m on bedrest for the first week of this month as my spinal tap gave me a KILLER spinal headache that take forever to heal. I do the majority of our Christmas shopping from bed. Sprog gets a job at a hipster hot dog joint. Sprog gets his first speeding ticket. Sprog pretty much fails the entire first semester (and only at this point) of college. I go in for my follow-up halfway through the month and I am going to see a GI specialist for a colonoscopy and start having B12 injections every two weeks (I had my first Dec 30th). The digi photo kids sweep 5-6 categories for medals and take home the banner. Willy and I have officially been together 9 years now. We go to Lights in the Heights for the first year. Christmas Story quote along dressed as A Major Award.

Of course through all that I walked many miles during our morning or evening daily walks. I volunteered during/after school and on weekends for the digital photography kids. I blogged sporadically. I tweeted and instagrammed way too much. I missed people that were/are far away and I felt lonely and had my feelings hurt far too often. This year was VERY taxing, financially, physically and emotionally and I am really fucking glad it’s over. There were some high points sure but I’m really tired. So tired.

the island of houston

I was venting to Willy yesterday about feeling like I am alone over here in Houston. I have so many fantastic blogger friends that I love. I talk to you via twitter, e-mail, comment on your blogs but I can’t just call you up for girl’s night at the movies or host a blogger brunch at my house or do a little shopping or go on a yelp tour of Houston veggie recommendations.

I read about the little pockets of lucky, the ones where there seem to be quite a few fabulous bloggers located in one area that get to do these things together and man does it make me so envious. I know that there are bloggers in Houston (and yes I know that there is one of fairly decent fame) but they aren’t the ones that I have connected with (for the most part, I thought there would be one but…it didn’t really happen and another recently moved) and honestly the point is more that there are bloggers that I have already connected with, they just aren’t here.

I feel like I have a love/hate with the internet, it has brought me so many wonderful friends and yet, they are so very far from me.

take this stuff and shelve it

I might have a small addiction to Costco. Like, I treat it as if it’s a regular grocery store, small addiction. In my defense, I am raising a growing teenage boy that has shot up 6 inches over the past however long and is still growing, so food is very important in our house. We recently were gifted a chest freezer which has helped immensely in my Costco shopping excursions, it’s freaking hard to fit bulk sized freezer items into a side by side freezer space but the other problem is the pantry.

When we bought this house I sacrificed A LOT in terms of space. I had a HUGE walk in pantry in my rent house, a pantry of dreams. A pantry I could tear up about, I miss it that much. In this house, I have barely a coat closet sized pantry, it’s pathetic, it’s also not conducive to bulk shopping or frankly shopping at the Indi-pak (Indian Pakistani market where I get all my spices and such for the huge amount of Indian cooking I have started doing). So the back half of my kitchen, also known as the breakfast nook, has turned into cluttered horrible looking storage. It’s been a nightmare and it’s been driving me nutso. Having a cluttered house has a none so good effect on my person but we haven’t had the funds to get what I really want to put along the back wall for storage so it’s just been a compounding problem. Over the weekend we just decided to suck it up and buy an interim solution, a rack shelving system, it’s not pretty but at least it would be functional, or so we thought.

We bought it at Target it, with its 350 lbs of support claims and it’s black powder coated finish to mimic the cabinets that are opposite so at least it wouldn’t be as heinous. Putting it together was a disaster, none of the support cups are straight, I am pretty sure none of the poles are straight so you can imagine they wouldn’t slide together properly which meant that “gentle tapping with a mallet” didn’t get the shelves to settle, proper tapping with a mallet meant bending…so much for that 350lbs. Instead of returning the cursed thing we opted to muscle through and just deal with the bends, the chips and the craptasticness of it all so we would at least have something to get the shit up off the floor and out of our way and then when we can afford something nicer, that piece of shit is going out to the curb. We have a similar system out in the garage but it’s a proper heavy duty system from a restaurant supply and there really is no substitute.

For now, I am ignoring all the flaws, the fact that it looks very college dorm-esque and reveling in my free from clutter floors, my open traffic path, my ORGANIZATION. OH HAPPY DAY.

ah, the highs of parenthood, always so short-lived

So we got Sprog’s report card over the weekend. Can we just say, not pretty?

I don’t know how to deal with this shit y’all. I am all out of ideas. No amount of reward or punishment seems to work. Every grading period is a new battle ground and I am so fucking tired. He is a brilliant child, not in a blowing smoke, sunshine and rainbows up your ass kind of way, but truly he’s brilliant and yet, he’s the laziest-least motivated kid I have ever met in my life. He wants to go into animation, he WANTS to be an animator, work on video games, develop them and such? HE’S FAILING ANIMATION.

The mind, it fucking boggles, you know? What do you do with that? What do you do with a kid who fails at the thing he WANTS TO DO? It doesn’t have any home work, so it’s ALL AT SCHOOL! He has a F in WORLD HISTORY! WORLD HISTORY! The one taught by coaches and is nothing but fucking worksheets. It’s a joke. Yet, there he goes. And yet, geometry? B! Chemistry? High C! English II? A! WHAT THE FUCK? The hard shit? Passing with no problem. The easy shit or the shit that he supposedly actually cares about? Failure of epic proportions.

Sorry for all the cussing…I just am so frustrated I could scream. You know he can’t get his learner’s permit until he passes. He has been 15 since last school year and still not a full passing report card. Can you believe it? I can’t.

I want to cry.

the weekend is over

and the weather is changing. I am so happy that we are finally getting morning and evening cooler temps; I have had enough of Houston this summer and am so tired of being cooped up all the time. Of course now we enter the fall allergy transition but whatever I have to suffer for the heat to start dissipating? I’ll do it. Of course I say that now, I’m sure I’ll be whinging later. Haha.

Anyway, I survived the weekend of people what annoy me with only minor anger…probably because I just avoided talking as much as I could and distanced myself as much as I could. *sigh*

I made awesome garam masala spiced sweet potatoes last night and mixed them with black beans and cheese for some “breakfast” tacos. Super yummy and filling. For Wills and Sprog I made eggs, herbed baby red potatoes, morningstar sausage (kid has no idea it wasn’t really meat) and cheese to go in their tortillas.

I also figured out headbands
and added 3 of them to the shop for sale (the peacock one is mine, I kinda had to keep it). I have one more headband in my mind, that I will create shortly and get added. I also need to create some more barrettes…hopefully in the next couple of days.

I was woken up again last night at 3:45 am and kept up until 7 am (when I went back to bed for a nap) but the disruption was enough to trigger a monster headache so I haven’t done much today other than the dishes and take lots of medication and coffee (medicinally of course).

weep weep wank wank

So I haven’t been around much lately, have I? I’m afraid I haven’t felt much like talking. It’s not that there is nothing to talk about, believe me, as is often the case with my life there seems to be more than enough. Husband squabbles, a kid who gets both two 100’s and two F’s on the same progress report (WTF?? no wonder you feel like you don’t get enough praise, how do I simultaneously reward and punish?) and hid it from me (HELLO, WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT THIS FOR YEARS CHILD) seemingly never ending nights of multiple sleep interruptions or no sleep at all (and it’s not like I have the endorphins of a new mom, or hell even the OMG SO CUTE to get me by, it’s my damn dogs and they have been my dogs for 10 years now, we are past the cute-people, especially at 4 am every damn day) a two day run of bad tum after eating the same two things I always get at Le Madeleine, stress over a friend’s wedding, family dramas (of course you know that’s plural) a feeling that I can’t win….

It’s getting to be too much, is what I’m saying and then on the other hand, I have made multiple sales in my Etsy shop and really need to get going on making more inventory. It’s really hard to be creative when I feel this bogged down and muddied though. Gen Gorder said, on her show the other day, “Happy people make beautiful things.” I want to make beautiful things. I want to make beautiful things that other people want to wear and that make them smile. I want to feel like I bring something to the table other than dinner.


skinny jean frustration

Yesterday, I bought two pairs of skinny jeans from Old Navy.

The Flirt (which comes in long in the store hallelujah)


The Sweetheart (which doesn’t)

I had tried both of these jeans on before but I couldn’t decide then and um, I can’t decide now. I am not sure if I have the body type for skinny jeans? Contrary to what my friend D would believe, I do have some hips on me for a skinny girl and so I feel like I am wearing tapered jeans ala 1982? It also seems to do this weird it’s not tight enough on the part of my thigh above my knee thing so it kinda looks gappy. I don’t know how to explain it. I just UGH. Wait, you can see it in that pic, see where it’s loose above her knee? It kinda feels like jodhpurs! And then AFTER I already bought them I saw that VS is now selling JEANS in their store. JEANS. SKINNY. LONG. JEANS. So I think I might go back there today and try those on and see if I am in love with those instead because shouldn’t I be in love with my jeans? I want to be in love with my jeans.

Apropos to nothing, Costco has some Levi’s bootcut jeans for $13 dollars. $13! I might have to get a pair of those too but that isn’t what I was trying to buy before SF. I had it in my head that I was going to be wearing skinny jeans and boots this weekend.

the gut strikes back

I have my good days, bad-ish days and my OMFG I WANT TO CRAWL IN A CORNER AND DIE days. I’m faithfully taking the prescribed medicine but also researching alternatives, that might help me more or at least contribute to my well being.

To that end
-I drink a glass of Odwalla Superfood every morning
-I’ve added more fiber to my diet
-I’ve removed trigger foods as listed on the web and through my own trial and error
-I am taking a probiotic everyday
-I drink a huge amount of water every day
-I am getting some veggies in via soups or other easily digestible methods like muffins that use a puree.

I’m hoping that the meds start working very soon as I’m getting mega frustrated by the situation. I also have read about a blood test that could confirm if what I actually have is IBS. I’m not sure why the dr didn’t try that before wanting the colonoscopy (which we can’t presently afford, damn ridiculous deductibles) so I guess I will be bringing that up on my next appt.

I read about a vitamin yesterday that some people have had success with but unfortunately it has Iodine in it so I can’t take it (WHY must vitamin companies include this in their multi so often?) but will continue my research to see if I can find one that has similar components.

Oh and since I run contrary to about anything considered “norm”, healthwise, I am technically not supposed to drink alcohol with IBS but over the past weekend we went out to see my bro’s band play and I tried one drink. That went well, so I tried another…and another. My gut felt better after those drinks than I have in months. SO WEIRD.

hair today, gone tomorrow?

It’s hot here, I know I have complained about it before, but it’s oppressive, overwhelming and pervasive. The heat is all you can think about. You dread going out doors. You are envious of anyone’s pictures or status updates that are outside and the least bit pleasant. You dream of vacations. You eye your suitcases and mentally pack entire wardrobes. You DEMAND to be taken to Portland, OR for Voodoo Donuts THIS INSTANT. You begin to once again hate the full mane of hair that sits upon your head.

You start looking at this picture

possible hair?

and consider lopping it all off again. But you hesitate because last time, the tears, oh heavens, the tears.

Hair is such an issue, isn’t it?

But the heat! It’s so hot. As Yosemite Sam would say, my biscuits are burnin, fire in the hole.

tammy fae? I’m having a moment

I heard an interview with Tammy Fae Baker once where she talked about her life and how she had, once upon a time, asked God to make sure that it was never boring. She said, and she thought everyone would agree, that no matter what her life was, it was obvious to see that God had kept his end of the bargain and maybe she should’ve asked for something a little bit more specific than that.

The front of my house was swarmed by bees today. Earlier this morning as I opened my front door dressed completely inappropriately for the phone man, who was there to mark our back yard for the dog run we are trying to get put in before we leave for Colorado (HOLY HELL DO I NEED A VACATION), he pointed out some bees that were flying into a weep hole. My blasé reaction surprised him but I really didn’t process that bees were flying INTO the bricks of my house until about two clicks after I had closed my door and rushed to put on a damn bra and some people appropriate shorts.

Once I had covered myself I went back out front to watch three very industrious bees scurry in and out of the weep holes and I began to feel the panic rise in my chest. Bees build hives. Hives fill with honey and babies, right? Babies hatch into THOUSANDS OF BEES. Holy fuck. So I tried to remain calm as I went to the back yard to explain to the phone guy where exactly we were planning to dig and then rushed to the computer to Google the bee situation. Don’t do this. Seriously. Just look up bee keepers in your area and call them, get an estimate, find out about warranties and then call the next guy. Hopefully the next guy is going to be the guy that talks you down off the ledge that Google put you on what with the tearing down of walls and honey running everywhere…Google should pay for the Xanax I’m going to need now. By the time I walked back out to the porch 3 bees had become 15-20. and thankfully, that guy told me about the difference between swarming bees and bees with something to protect…I stood on my porch with 15-20 bees flying all around me and was never stung. He told me that he couldn’t really do much with brick walls because that was too major of a demolition for something he isn’t even sure is there. THANK YOU. He’s going to call back tonight to schedule something and see what he can do.

He also filled my head to the brim with all sorts of bee behavior information and what he thinks is probably lurking in our walls. JOY.

On top of this the dogs have been barking all day because of the yard marking, did you know that we had three crews here today? The only reason I did is because I see their flags. Only ONE guy knocked at the door and let me know he was here. ONE.

And finally, we are upping my hormones, of course NOW would be when I am taking them. NOW would be when I am trying to readjust my body and NOW would be when I sit at my computer screen and cry for no reason.

I think I need to buy some waterproof mascara or I might just start to resemble Ms. Tammy in more than just the never a dull moment way.