Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Writer's Block

A close-up of my under-desk garbage can. I think I need a new method of coping. Because that Skinny Cow there on top is probably not working, given its present company.

1.  the endless optimism of kids           2. dinner in the crockpot          3. my winter garden planted

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"Strong women do hard things"

smartmama wrote something to that effect on the postcard she sent me a few weeks ago after I had a mini-nervous breakdown about my dissertation. Here's the perfect postcard she sent:

So I have been doing some of those "hard things" the last couple of weeks during my blogging break: 

1.  I ran a half-marathon this morning. It wasn't pretty, but, as I kept telling myself as I ran uphill that last 2 miles, "I won't walk. Strong women do hard things." 

2.  I wrote 120 pages of my dissertation in one week. That's 2 of the 6 chapters. And that feat is courtesy of my mother, who answered my desperate plea to fly down and play Little People, make cookies, and paint pumpkins with my kids, plus scrub my blinds, mop my floors, make dinner, etc. etc. while I wrote for 14 hrs a day. 

My mother is actually my role model for a strong woman. No, she doesn't run marathons and no, she hasn't written a dissertation. But she does do the truly hard things in life. She doesn't yell. I have hardly any memories of her raising her voice.                                        (I left a pause there so you could recover from your disbelief before continuing to read.) She reads her scriptures every day, and (gasp!) I think she actually studies them. You know, that "feasting" thing we're always told we should do. She makes extra Thanksgiving pies to take to the elementary school teacher who, as she discovered during a parent-teacher conference, did not have time to make her own this year. These are really the hard things in life, for me, anyway. The things that require you to be strong when nobody is looking. So, thank you, Mom! For the clean house, the happy kids, the quality writing time, and the example you continue to set for me. 

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Goldilocks reversed

I came home from an early morning run this week, tired, rather than re-energized. I wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed and go back to sleep, sweat and all. I think I would have done it if it weren't for the three bears. 

1.  a week of no school (for the kids); 2.  a week of school (for me--my mom is coming!); 3. a neck-and-neck game of candyland for family game night

Monday, October 6, 2008

Striking gold.

Did I forget to mention that we struck gold? It was a few weeks ago when we went to the Southwest Musuem and we spent a good amount of time in the panning-for-gold section. Sweetie came away soaked, but it was worth it, you see, for the sheer amount of gold nuggets she and Mister collected in their little plastic baggies. "Gleamin' booty," as they called it (thanks to the oft-repeated phrase in our Pirate Pete book). 

You'd think that with all of my dissertating lately that I'd have forgotten our gold-panning episode. But that's hard to do when I'm still striking gold every. single. time. I vacuum (which, admittedly, isn't very often these days). Darn that gleamin' booty! 

1.  Mister laughing so hard he "can't tell me anything else."
2.  Fresh, clean sheets.
3.  Open windows.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I'm officially declaring it.

The National Weather Service declared the official end of the Arizona Monsoon Season on September 30. The astronomical charts declared September 22, 2008 the official first day of fall. And tonight I am declaring today, October 5, 2008, the official first day of Summer Diminished. 

Those of you not lucky enough to be residents of our fair Valley of the Sun may not know that there is, sadly, no such thing as fall/autumn in Arizona. After living here for almost 4 years now, I can finally discern differences in the other seasons, but fall? Not a chance. And yet, it's not quite as blistering hot as it once was.  It's definitely not fall, but it's also not quite the I-must-get-out-of-here-before-I-sweat-to-death summer. It's "Summer Diminished." And at 85 for our high today, I think it's time to declare it officially begun. (Although I'm afraid that this does not mean we won't return to the high 90s in a week.) This exciting day does, of course, warrant a photo or two. The first one is taken from one of the windows in my kitchen. See the diminished sun? (If not, don't worry, you just don't have the practiced eye of a deseret dweller to determine the sun's nuances.) The second one is at the very end of sunset, just to highlight the presence of clouds in our eternally blue sky. 

I'm still mourning the loss of fall, but hooray for Summer Diminished!

1.  Cooler days, bright evenings, even cooler nights   2.  General Conference!!   3. Brownies & family game night