Thursday, April 30, 2009

The devil is in the details

One of my first real jobs was for a mainframe computer company that designed systems for the stock market and all of the major banks. They were extremely complex computers designed to never fail.

One weekend after working crazy hours all week, I dialed in from home to perform some clean up and maintenance. I had to delete some files and was tired and accidentally typed the asterisk, which in computer language means "everything."

That was how, on a Sunday afternoon, I deleted the contents of 1200 people's email.

I called my boss in a panic and he calmly told me that it was okay, I would just have to execute the recovery programs our systems were famous for. I took a deep breath, threw on some shoes, and drove to the office.

I took the disks offline and prepared for the recovery process. I had never done it, but had taken several classes and had some notes to follow. It started out okay, but then one of the tape drives started acting up. It kept spitting out the back up tapes and would take sometimes three tries to load. Restoring the files took nearly eight hours. I kept a watch on the system and was relieved to see the data being replaced. Finally in the wee hours of the morning it was finished. I tried to start up my email and to my complete horror found that the files were empty again. I couldn't call my boss so I had no choice but to phone our company emergency systems hot line which was manned 24/7 from all corners of the earth.

A smooth Australian voice answered and we walked through what I had done.

Then he asked if I had used the "to first purge" command. This basically meant, restore the system file until just before a delete command was executed. Three little words. Kind of a big deal.

I managed to start the whole thing over and get the files back online by 10 AM on Monday. My boss didn't fire me, but actually admired that I was able to recover the system since the process was so complicated.

I drove home delirious, but sort of proud of myself.

And isn't it always like that? Just something small that changes the entire thing? Sure the devil is in the details, but still you stop and try again.

A few words, a sentence, a paragraph even, that becomes the difference between failure and success.

Booby trap

Ah the injustice of the world.

The morning I have to get up extra early to go get a mammogram, Little Dude "sleeps in" until 6:15.

I guess it will have to be enough that I got myself in bed at a decent hour, popped some herbal sleep aids my girlfriend left here a few weeks ago, and slept like a baby.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Taking a puff of parenthood

Sleep, which was once something that I never thought of, has now become a vague future goal, like returning to work in a few years or getting a Master's degree. Between Little Guy waking up at 5:30 AM and my inability to fall asleep, I am skating by on just a hair over four hours of rest today.

While I tell myself I can get away with it, I know that my brain does not function properly. I am spaced out, forgetful and slightly delayed in my reactions, kind of like I have indulged in a certain fragrant herb, but without the munchies. Not that I can remember what that felt like, at this point.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

You might be a redneck if...

One of the perks of moving 2000 miles across country is that my southern-ness, which hardly shows at all in Georgia, is decidedly exotic in Arizona. My accent is so much more noticeable here and people pick up on it pretty quickly. So I find myself slipping a few y'alls in when I probably wouldn't have back in Georgia.

It brings to mind a slew of southern jokes, one of which is that the last words spoken by a redneck are Watch this y'all!

Little Guy has started running around pulling crazy stunts and yelling "Momma watch!" to get my reaction. This includes death defying leaps from the fireplace, tossing rocks in the pool, and my new favorite, picking up the dog poop (to which he adds a little twist Momma watch! Poop!).

Not sure where he was going with this, but this afternoon he insisted on running around with this metal bowl on his head, nearly knocking himself out a few times while trying to keep it on. Momma, watch! And I just barely make it over to him before he crashes into the cupboard.

Not the smartest way to entertain yourself and it made me wonder if his southern was showing. If he starts saying y'all, we'll have to give up the mail order grits.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Love Phoenix

I hung out with a girlfriend this weekend and we managed to pack in bunch of local Phoenix stuff. We attended an art benefit at local art space MonOrchid. We ate dinner at Bario Cafe and brunched at both Chelsea's Kitchen and Coronado Cafe (where we had our first Pomosa, yum). We sipped wine at the original Postino, hands down one of my favorite wine bars anywhere. I finally made it into Frances Vintage, a great downtown boutique where I got my retail fix and picked up a cool gift for my sister in law's birthday. While there, I noticed these cute T's imprinted with the phrase "Love Phoenix or Leave Phoenix".

Phoenix is a newish city relative to it's size. It is an oasis of sorts in the desert, a bizarre vacation hot spot (literally) flanked by trendy Scottsdale where everything is new and oversized and Tempe where everything is old and undersized. Since Scottsdale is for the beautiful people and Tempe is for the smart people, Phoenix suffers a slight identity crisis.

Despite all of that I happen to love it. Sure it's horrendously hot for a few months out of the year. The sun is unrelenting and comes up at 4:30 AM by the middle of the summer. Still, it has so much to offer, great hiking, quirky culture, and it feels like a giant small town where a local with some pluck can still make a mark. The landscape is gorgeous in it's sparseness and the moon rises over the city in some of the clearest night skies I have ever seen. I have pool to dip my toes in and parks at every turn. Overall, it is a fairly relaxing place to live and the transplanted palm trees that spring up everywhere make me feel like I am on a permanent vacation.

Yesterday, we ventured over to Scottsdale to wander through the Anthropologie and check out to the new West Elm store and found out that an H & M is (finally) opening this fall. Really, once that happens, I may never leave.

Friday, April 24, 2009

This is your brain, this is your brain on children

Yes, the iconic egg frying in the pan is my brain this morning, although mine is more scrambled than fried. No matter how many books you read, no matter now many friends you ask, not even your own mother's best advice can prepare you for the scattered way your brain must function once there are tiny people in your house.

Pack half a lunch, fill another glass of orange juice, pick out school clothes, retrieve a lost toy, flush a dead fish, finish packing a lunch (still forgetting the drink), start a load of laundry, take a swig of coffee, change a diaper, let the dog out, wipe up the yogurt, take another swig of coffee, check the backpack, and on and on in the tiniest increments of time until somehow everyone is dressed and fed and ready to leave the house.

And even then it's out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Hubs is training for a triathlon and runs up a mountain near our house fairly regularly. He came in a few days ago and said "Don't freak out, but I fell." He was okay, but caught some gravel and scraped his hands up quite a bit, including the tips of his fingers. They all look pretty bad, but one in particular had the entire layer of skin, almost his entire finger print peeled off. I helped him clean up and bandaged him up while he grimaced the entire time. Poor guy.

Here is where the eye rolling part of the story begins. For the last few days, he has been pulling the injured hand card to get me to help him out. I had to scrub Little Guy up in the tub, because of his fingers. I had to take out the trash, because of his fingers. I had to put his hair gel in his hair, because of his fingers. Seriously. His hair gel.

Admittedly, his hands still look pretty gruesome. I am sure he is not bullshitting me. Still, I feel a little aggravated. He had the stomach virus a few weeks ago and the following week he left for a business trip. That brings us to this week with the running injury. As crazy as this makes me sound, it almost makes me wish I would get sick or bust my ass on a mountain, just so I could bow out of a few things.

Or maybe just take 24 hours away from home to spend the night, eat dinner out, and go to an Art Benefit with a girlfriend. Yeah, that's probably a better plan. And that is exactly what I am planning this Saturday.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009


This month we are on a roll. Destructoboy (aka Little Guy) has broken two juice glasses, one remote, a few cheapie toys, one not so cheapie DVD player, and now, a plate.

I set Little Guy up in his highchair with the beginnings of his lunch and snuck around the corner into the hall bathroom so I could (dare I say it?) poop in peace. Somehow, he stretched just far enough to get his fingers on the small plate sitting on the table and smash, it went to the floor. I hurried up and finished my business (didn't I?) and ran into the kitchen to sweep up the mess.

Afterwards I tossed him in bed for nap and pondered whether it was too early to sip a beer by the pool. Knowing that it probably was, I still have carpool, and swimming lessons, dinner to cook, writing to edit, phone calls to return, and laundry to fold, I poured myself a lemonade instead and decided to work on my to do list.

Not exactly making lemonade from lemons, but it will have to do for today.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Open for business

Girlie brought home her spelling test this week and I did a double take.

The thing is, for the last few weeks, I have been thinking about (and missing) my business. Owning a retail store is a lifestyle choice. It never ends, runs seven days a week, and is constantly changing, but because it is yours, it becomes so much a part of your life. It was incredibly stressful balancing all of the pieces of the puzzle, especially the finances. But I loved the creative piece and most of the time, getting my hands on the merchandise and working on the displays made up for all of the other stuff.

Right now, I would be busy working on the summer merchandising and getting ready to rearrange the store after Mother's Day. I would be planning for the trade shows, including a trip to New York in August. I might be getting ready to file the sales tax or working on payroll or paying a pile of invoices, but most of all I would be in a happy place with a store full of great products and one month of strong sales to go before the slower summer months set in.

When we first sold the store and moved, I had such mixed feelings about it. Though it was my choice, I felt sad to close the door on that part of my life. Sometimes, it felt like I was like going through a real break up. I would hear a song that reminded me of the music we played in the store and tear up, like the business was some old boyfriend. Over time, I realized that I had made the right choice and it started to get a little easier.

Eventually I started writing. Like owning my own store, it is something I have always wanted to do and I love it. So it looks like I have a new boyfriend. I think he'll commit, but we haven't made it official. I have no idea how I will actually drum up a career in writing. With my store, it started with signing a lease. Writing for a living seems a little harder to map out. Still, I hope I have opened the door.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Finish Line

For me much of motherhood has been about things unfinished.

When I had my daughter, I left my career in the lurch like some jilted lover that I had once been passionate about but suddenly broke up with in some lame way like over voice mail or via text message. So much unfinished business there. I was on the VP track, all high stress and intensity, something I cannot relate to now. Eventually I did start my own business, a thriving retail store, but sold it last year. The fact that it still exists without me feels like I left something undone, even though I know that logically it came to an end.

I never seem to finish a task around the house either. Whether it is the dishes, or filing, or a sentence, someone always interrupts me. I dread cleaning, not because I don't like doing it but because I can't seem to ever finish what I started. I'll clean a toilet, pull Little Guy off the chandelier, dust a room, make a drink for Girlie. It goes on and on like that until a half hour task takes three hours.

Here is the big one. In the last seven years I have never finished a meal without getting up around a hundred times. It makes me crazy. I usually start and finish my meals at the kitchen counter and I would probably look like a supermodel, except for all the beer and snacks after the kids are in bed.

So imagine my shock in feeling sad I am actually about to finish something. My spring writing workshop. It has been an amazing experience and one that is coming to a close in early May.

I guess in some ways it is more of a beginning than an end. I can take it again in the fall. I can start other classes. I can continue to write on my own.

Still, I can't believe it is almost finished.

Part Two: The Born Supremacy

Hubs took one look at yesterday's entry and laughed.
Then he said. So wait, does that mean I look like Matt Damon?
Nope, not seeing it.
(still a hottie though)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Born Identity

Today at library story time, a woman I have never met glanced at Little Guy and remarked that he looked just like Matt Damon.

This distressed me immensely.

Because of course, now my secret is out.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Popcorn and pimples

Hubs is out of town this week and most of next too, so it is just me and kids. Most of the time we eat dinner as a family, but when he is traveling, I often make simple kid friendly chow, like grilled cheese and soup, and eat by myself after the kids go to bed.

My favorite snack/dinner to eat by myself is popcorn. It must be popped on the stove in my Whirley Pop pan with real canola oil and then sprinkled with sea salt. It cannot be microwave popcorn. It cannot, under any circumstances, be air popped. When I am feeling a little crazy, I add a dash of melted butter. The only problem is, when I eat it buttered I swear I wake up the next morning with a pimple on my face! At thirty-six years old, the pimple-wrinkle combo is just too much.

The other night after the kids were in bed I kept thinking about making some popcorn for myself. I got busy folding laundry and checking email and put it off, all the while thinking I might have some. Eventually, it got too late and I just went to bed.

The next morning I woke up with a pimple. Which can only mean one of two things:

1. There is no relationship between the buttered popcorn eating and the pimply skin.

2. If I even THINK of the buttery popcorn, my face breaks out.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Doing the math

Numbers have been swirling in my head lately.

One of my closest friends just visited. While she was here, we calculated that we have been friends for 26 years now. She met me when I was 11 years old and said that she sees little glimpses of the girl she met so many years time ago when she looks at my 7 year old daughter. Amazing.

My girlfriend was an only child too, and we decided very early in the relationship to go ahead and be sisters. She was a few years older than me, had her own horse, and taught me how to ride it. She owned the Thriller album when I wasn't allowed to because of the suggestive lyrics. She always was the older wiser one, a person I could depend on to tell the truth. She was the one I went to when I wanted to know about tampons. She was the one that explained that french kissing included tongues (my first thought, ewww). She was also the first person to see me drunk. I love catching up with her and don't get to as often as I would like to. She is probably the only person besides my husband who has truly witnessed the way I grew up from a very early age.

This year I will turn 37. It is significant in that I will have lived away from my parents longer than I lived with them. I have always kept this year in the back of my mind as some sort of milestone. Like, for better or for worse, I must accept that my life from here on out is purely about my own choices. The scales have tipped in my favor and I cannot for any reason assign blame to someone or something else or insinuate that anything I do is because of anyone but me.

I don't know if the balance will really shift and I will be able to achieve what I am looking for by the time my birthday actually rolls around, just 6 months from now. I am not sure if I will really let go of anything entirely or even if it makes sense to strive for it.

I do know that just a few days ago I hugged a special woman, my oldest friend, who has known me for two-thirds of my life. We said goodbye (for now) and she says has never seen me happier. So maybe I am on to something.

I am counting on it.

Girl time

Today I got a sitter for the Little Guy and took Girlie out for the day. We ate lunch out at the migraine inducing Rainforest Cafe and took in an amazing IMAX show in Tempe. Mechanical dancing monkeys aside, it was really fun and I had forgotten what it was like to spend time alone with her.

She was already five when Little Guy was born and I will never forget how my heart broke into a million pieces when she walked into the hospital room to visit us. Until that very moment she had always been my little sidekick, a mini me girlie-girl who tagged along with me almost everywhere. Having a new member of our family shifted that dynamic dramatically and it seems like our "girl time" has taken a backseat to family time.

While Girlie loves to go out, Little Guy is totally different. He hates to shop and usually shrieks his way through the mall. Trips out to eat are not worth the time or energy, unless I plan on eating an entire meal in five minutes without chewing or tasting it. He'll probably grow out of it at least a little, but for now we stick to ordering pizzas to eat at home and spend our free time at parks where he can scream as loud as he wants to. I love the wild and off kilter addition that Little Guy is to our family unit. Honestly, Girlie and I harbor the same control freak drama queen tendencies and we both needed to loosen up a little.

But today we were able to hang out without destructoboy and just be "the two of us" again. Two chicks, sipping our sodas, cruising the mall...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mommy's Law

We have a little thing around here that I like to call Mommy's Law. This shouldn't be confused with Murphy's Law, which states that anything that can go wrong, will. This is also true for anyone with kids, but doesn't quite take it to the next level.

Mommy's Law is my personal adage that anything that can get worse, will, and usually right after you complain about it.

Take for example my son's recent desire to wake up before or a least just immediately after dawn. The other day my husband and I were discussing it.

"Did you notice how early Little Guy woke up today?" Hubs asked.

"Unmhmmm." I replied while sipping my third cup of coffee.

"Wasn't it like six o'clock?" He continued. "What's up with that?"

"It could always be worse." I said, trying to ward of the bad mojo we were sure to experience after daring to grumble about the situation.

And sure enough, a few days later, he woke up at 5:30 AM. Suddenly, 6:00 AM was looking fabulous.

Mommy's Law strikes again.

And now, my brain makes a brief return

My computer hit the skids on Friday. I picked up a trojan horse or some other dastardly virus when I was visiting Perez Hilton's gossip blog. Oh well, I probably deserved it for reading the net equivalent of the Star Magazine anyway.

I spent the afternoon investigating what was wrong, managed to find the offensive files, without the aid of my virus software thankyouverymuch, and disabled the program before it could cause serious damage to my files. After I finished, I was totally annoyed at the time I wasted, when I could have been writing or paying bills.

But then I realized...

BOOYOW! I still remember how to fix a problem on my computer. This, after almost seven years have passed since I even worked in the technology industry, and even then in a less hands on project manager role.

Thank God, my brain might still be functioning. I actually remembered something! I am sure it will be a short lived victory. Today I won't be able to remember my social security number or something equally important.

But still.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Blocks on the rocks and other drinking games

At the end of the day yesterday I was starting to unravel. Hubs has been sick all week, and while feeling slightly better, chose to work from home again, so he could nap between bouts of nausea. Whenever he was on the phone for work or answering the millions of email messages that have flooded his inbox this week, it was my job to distract and entertain Little Guy. Usually, I can get him to play on his own a little, but having Daddy around was some sort of signal for him to alternate between clinging to my legs begging to be picked up and pounding on the locked office door crying for his father. Loads of fun, really.

By 5 PM, I had dinner in the oven and Little Guy and I were hanging out in the family room stacking blocks while I was sipping a beer. I indulged in a little fantasy that I had to take a sip every time the blocks crashed, like some sort of twisted preschool drinking game. The blocks didn't even outlast my beer and eventually I caved and switched on Noggin instead.

The brief game of blocks on the rocks reminded me of a friend I had in college. He altered our Jenga game to be some sort of drinking truth or dare. You had to either answer the question on the Jenga block (most often of the personal and embarrassing variety) or take a swig or two or three (or five) as the dare. We used to play that game for hours.

Back then I didn't have to worry about getting up early to make breakfast and get little people dressed and ready for their day. I could skip my morning class, sleep til noon, and start the whole thing over that evening. I could even go to the bathroom by myself.

Ah, how times have changed.

Last night I dared to poor myself another beer. The truth was I really needed one.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Secrets revealed!

I watched Oprah the other night. For some reason, it comes on in the evening here in Arizona. I hardly ever tune in, but one of my favorite "Mommy bloggers" was going to be on and I didn't want to miss the opportunity to hear her commentary.

The topic was nothing new. The Secret Lives of Moms. As if any of the complaining we all do is a secret. Now you can blog, twitter, write a book, and even be on Oprah to expose the hidden truth about motherhood.

Basically, it sucks.

Well, not all of it, but certainly a large part. And I agree. It is really really hard. And confusing. I got a degree, blazed trails in the workplace, and at one time had my own separate identity. Now I change diapers and spend my day talking in a sing song voice usually reserved for communication with crazy people. Like the women on the show, I share the frustration of being thrust into a role that there is no way to prepare for.

But I think we all already know that. There was probably a time when women suffered silently, but it seems that time has passed. Now we all suffer out loud. And really, I am getting tired of discussing the topic as if it was some big secret just being revealed.

Don't get me wrong, it should be talked and blogged and twittered about. I mean, that is what I am doing on this blog almost every day. It's just that we need to move past the OMG stage and start working on the IYKWIM stage. It is, after all, now an acknowledged fact that modern motherhood is a mixed bag. By sticking with the comedy routine stereotypes, we risk not moving forward.

Maybe there is no real answer to be found, but some intelligent discussion about where we have landed as a post-feminist post-opt out generation seems necessary. We're not isolated in our homes like the 50's housewives, we're not burning our bras and demanding jobs like Gloria in the 70's, we're not all working full time, we're not all staying home, but we are all still living under the myth that you can somehow have it all.

So now what?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Day three of Hubs being almost flat out from the bug. I want to feel bad for him, I really do. But I sort of have a 48 hour tolerance for this type of thing, which expired last night at 1:30 AM while he was asleep.

Is it weird to be jealous of someone for being sick? Yes? Would it help if I mentioned that I can't remember the last time I laid in bed sick for more than a few hours? That the last time I had the flu and a fever I STILL drove two hours to a trade show to do the spring buy for my business? That up until recently I survived for almost a year on just a few hours of sleep a night?

Don't tell him I said this, but

Please, for the love of God, get better and go back to work already.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The greener grass

My husband was home from work today, still recovering from the stomach bug. I got home from dropping Girlie at school and taking Little Guy to the park and finally sat down to nibble some toast. Little Guy came over and was sitting near me, stealing bites of my toast when he could. It was one of those rare but sweet moments when he wasn't doing anything random or gross.

Hubs looked over at us from his perch on the couch. He had progressed to the point in his illness where he was no longer moaning every time he moved, but was still laying down most of the time. He smiled and asked if that was how the two of us (me and destructoboy) were when no one was around.

Uh, no.

And then I saw it, the flicker of envy on Hubs' face. I only recognized it because I probably look the same way I am imagining his day at work - the unaccompanied trips to the bathroom, the chit chat with real adults, the lunches eaten while surfing the web. Of course, I know that it is not what his day at work is really about. One trip down the winding halls to his office and you instantly get where the term rat race was coined. Still, I know that today we both lingered on a fantasy image of what each other's day is like, and I guess I can let Hubs envy me just a little.

Yep, that's my day. Hanging out with my Little Guy. Relaxing. Eating toast.

Monday, April 6, 2009

And another one bites the dust...

Hubs woke up at 1:30 AM with the stomach bug. Poor guy.

I had only been asleep a few hours after getting in late from spending the evening with my girlfriend who is visiting and (thankfully) staying with other friends. I finally got back to sleep around 3:30, but was up again at 5:00 AM when Little Guy woke up asking for juice. He is actually feeling great today and was both hungry and thirsty before dawn. I managed to doze with him for a few minutes, but finally gave up on sleeping and made the kids an early breakfast. I think I clocked in roughly four hours of broken sleep, but it is best not to think about it.

Worst of all, I had to put Horizon Organic chocolate milk in my coffee because we are out of regular milk and half & half. Okay, maybe not worst of all, but really really really bad.

It can only go up from here, right?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Tinkerbell, butterflies, and vomit

The day got off to a crazy start. Little Guy woke with a stomach bug. At first we weren't sure if he was sick, but a projectile incident one hour before Girlie's 7th birthday party guests were supposed to arrive confirmed it.

We had already hung the butterfly decorations and put together the Tinkerbell grab bags, so we didn't cancel the party and prayed for the best. He didn't throw up again for the rest of the day but had a few toxic diapers which almost made me wish I could suit up in some sort of hazmat outfit before changing him. So far it seems like the worst of it is over.

Girlie had a great day with her friends and I still can't believe I am the mother of a 7 year old girl. She was born the year I turned 30, so now I am closing in on 40 and in complete denial!

Free advice

My message to those of you who don't have children:

Get your lazy ass to the gym. You have no excuse. Trust me, there will be a day when you are finally working on your best eagle pose in yoga class and someone will tap on the studio glass to tell you that your son has been crying for twenty minutes and could you please pack up your shit and take him away before he freaks out the other little ones happily playing in the gym childcare. You will have to leave without the breathing/cool down/relaxation portion of your class and the positive energy you may have been channeling during the workout will be snatched from your grasp as fast as you can say Momma.

Friday, April 3, 2009

How a crazy person sleeps

One of the perks of sleeping more soundly, other than not walking around with my left eye twitching constantly, is that I seem to be dreaming again. I have always been one of those people who have really vivid dreams. I can still remember a few of them from years back.

The other day I woke up in the middle of a weird dream. There was a person in it, a guy, who I don't know, who followed me along a path to a cabin or some kind of little house. I ran inside the house and closed the door. It might have been creepy, but I wasn't afraid of him and in the dream I was aware that I was being dramatic by running from him. He was coming up to the door shouting something just as I woke up. I can clearly picture his face, but I have no idea who he was or what he wanted from me or why I slammed the door in his face.

Last night I dreamt about my first boss. I was trying to return some copy paper that I had stolen from the office before he realized it was gone. Someone else I used to work with, but at a different job, was helping me sneak in to the office at night and return the large load of stolen paper, some of which we hid in the ceiling tiles.

I don't expect the dreams to make sense, but sometimes I can pick up a thread of a real life awake conversation or a person I was thinking of and the dreams seem to have at least some valid relationship with my brain. Other times the dreams seem to have no connection whatsoever. And then I wonder who the dream strangers are, the ones like the cabin guy.

Are they faces from my subconscious, people I have passed on the street or seen in movies? Are they real people or completely made up? Are they people I have known in some other level of consciousness? Is there a whole other existence that I am tapping into? A past life? Or is my imagination just that powerful? Even if the strange dream people are really things or thoughts or issues, how does my brain construct a physical representation of that?

It drives me crazy because my dreams seem so close to reality, like one day I will open my front door and there will be the cabin guy and he'll be all Why did you slam the door in my face?

And I'll know exactly why.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I really don't like brown rice. I have tried really really hard to. My friends who are into such things extol the rich nutty flavor. I have prepared it several different ways, but I can't get used to the taste. I know it is healthy and so much better for me. But, yuck.

What I do love is sticky white rice. I know it is the equivalent of eating a loaf of gummy white bread, which I would never do in a million years. After switching to wheat bread years back, most white bread is just gross. But white rice, yum.

Anyway, I try to make myself feel better by buying organic white rice and slathering it with organic butter.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A little scar

I have a little scar on my left hand to remind me not to do too much. It is on my palm and you can barely see it, but if you touch it there is a tiny knot.

When I owned my business I had a wonderful person who came to watch my kids for twenty hours a week. I worked two days a week at the store, coming home around dinner time and sometimes went in on Saturday mornings. The other days, I did my office work at home working around the kids schedule. It sounds like the perfect set up, and it was in some ways, but it also felt like I was constantly working. On the one hand, having my own business brought me incredible personal satisfaction, but then again it wasn't like a job you could walk away from. I did the advertising, bookkeeping, buying, merchandising, and payroll myself, which is probably why I always made money at it, but also how I killed myself doing it.

One evening after working at the store, I rushed home to make dinner. My Little Guy was a baby then and always started crying just about thirty minutes before dinnertime. I put him in his high chair and tossed some Cheerios his way. I had two pots simmering on the stove, and one full of boiling water. Girlie was upstairs playing, and I was running in and out of the kitchen to fax an order off to a vendor. Why, at that precise moment it seemed like a good idea to change the bulb in the range hood, I will never know. Except that I always felt like I needed to squeeze in a million things at once, and I did. As I was changing the bulb, it shocked me and I jerked my hand way, slicing my palm on the metal. It bled like crazy and I almost passed out at the sight of it. My husband wasn't home yet and was stuck somewhere where he had no cell service. I had no choice but to call my sister in law who was working at my store and tell her to lock the doors and come save me before I bled to death or maybe just passed out, baby in the high chair, pots boiling, five year old upstairs doing who knows what, fax machine buzzing away...

As I told the story to my one of my friends a few days later, she said Maybe the universe is trying to tell you something. At the time I brushed it off, I was, after all, a person who could juggle a million things, and look how successful I was.

Except I wasn't. I was bleeding in my kitchen.

Now we have sold the business and things have slowed considerably. I am not working and though I whine about it quite often, I also realize that my life is so much happier on a daily basis. I have that little scar to remind me of how crazy things can get when I try to do too much, and I have realized that just because you can doesn't mean you should. I'll be working again in a few years and some days seem a little crazy regardless, but for now I am just going to relish the fact that I don't have TOO much going on.