Thursday, October 29, 2009

This Day Just Stinks...

And it stinks big time.

Squib and I got home from the week in Houston proper at about ten this morning to a very quiet house. He strode through the door with his usual bravado and paused in the doorway with his chest puffed out and declared "I'm here!" "Here" had at least four syllables in it. I get the biggest kick out of that. It's like he's Tarzan or something and is about five seconds away from pounding his chest and letting loose a primordial yell. All male, that one.

Just Buddy and Mimi were here. Hogging the recliners, I might add.

I am all conferenced out, sick and tired of working with the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission's database, and the spreadsheet that ate New York City (this thing is huge) has been giving me fits. Most of the week I've been in mourning for the days when I really feel like I'm doing something like pouring, mixing, weighing, distilling, titrating, etc. Number crunching IS important but I don't exactly find it satisfying. RocketDog (my laptop) has been giving himself his own things to do and really seems to think that my iTunes needs to be opened every five minutes, so he obviously has some sort of problem I have to track down.

But, so far the day had not TRULY reeked. Yet

Papa and Baba returned from Sadler Clinic and we all sat down to lunch (spaghetti with Buddy's homemade sauce and green beans--yummy). Over lunch, the real suckage began.

Both grands had been to their respective docs. Both grands have now been diagnosed with cancer. Papa has prostate cancer which has metastasized to the pelvic bone (NOT bone cancer he says despite the word "bone" that follows the word "pelvic"). Baba has breast cancer.

This sucks. No two ways about it. And, unlike most Scats, I have not inherited the ability to make jokes about it or appreciate the jokes they make about it. They're alert, articulate, agile people who could pass for mid-sixties/early seventies though they're in their early eighties and still capable of enjoying life with no hindrances. The one exception is that my grandfather is rather hard-of-hearing. Big deal.

He still does all the yard work because he likes it--DO NOT get in his way. The geophysical work he does with Dad and I is a hobby. She still runs all the errands and goes to the gym because she likes it--and don't you dare try stopping her, either. They read incessantly, teach, visit with their friends, take lots of walks, love to watch movies, and generally enjoy life. So, no, I am not ready to joke about their death (which I don't exactly see coming yet regardless of the news). It seems off-color and premature.

But listen to their grisly jokes is exactly what I had to do as they fielded the calls this afternoon. I couldn't even work because I was getting data in the wrong fields and was just generally unable to pay attention--and getting downright weepy (odd for me).

So I played with my new toy from one of my favorite places: It's a Quadrilla (you have GOT to try one of these!). Kudos to them for making an awesome, creative, wooden toy for all ages. It's for Beanstalk, but I had to "test" it :) Just to be safe. Now I "need" some of the add-on sets. And I'm using the word "need" here! Not just your average marble track-building set. It's a remarkable testament to the Quadrilla that it was sufficiently distracting on this particular day.

Squib woke from an awesome nap and we tried to play chutes and ladders, but we never landed on any ladders and kept hitting all the chutes. That sucked, too, and I lost interest almost before he did. I asked him if he wanted to try a different game and he said "I really don't think so, Mom." 'nuff said.

So here we are...being vegetables and watching Bob the Builder. We WOULD be in the kitchen eating dinner, but there's thunder outside. That's four-yr.-old logic for you. He asked if this was a hurricane because he "donna wunna tate a baff wike dat." He's referring to the well-water bucket bath I gave him before the propane stove was fixed during IKE. To be fair, I took one, too, but I agree that it belongs in the fifth circle of hell. Dang, that was cold. It's been a year and he still mentions it at least every other week. So, we're both obviously thinking happy thoughts right now.

He also wants to know if I can make the thunder go away...yeah...Mommy, goddess of thunder. Riiiight.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

The List

This idea is totally stolen from Chris at Notes from the Trenches, but I thought it was a cool idea and a very thought-provoking exercise. Forty things I'd like to accomplish before I turn forty. Two-and-a-half years is sounding like five minutes right now.

My 40 before 40 list:

1. Go on a date with a decent man.
2. Toilet train all my kids (Half way there...8/10/2010. Cha-ching! Done.0).
3. Get another dog. I believe firmly in liberating what I call "pound dogs." Got a chicken, instead. Her name is Houdini McNugget
4. Lose forty pounds for good (15 to go 8/10/2010).
5. Improve my credit score. Hmmmm....
6. Visit/tour Hoover dam with the boys.
7. Get all my teeth fixed for the LAST time. Yeah, bad teeth are in the family.
8. See all my relatives (this is a mammoth undertaking and probably overrated).
9. Hear Alex call me Momma again.
10. Find a way to keep my house clean without the gnashing of teeth.
11. Consistently grow the gardens from season to season.
12. Add herbs/spices to the gardens.
13. Write a book.
14. Ride the Roaring Tornado again.
15. Go to New Braunfels and float like a river rat for days.
16. Own a King-Sized bed and sleep diagonally.
17. Take the boys on their first camp-out (probably on our land).
18. Take the boys on their second camp-out (not on our land).
19. Simplify.
20. Expand my library. (mwahahaha)
21. Start taking pictures again.
22. Hike the Lone Star Trail (yes, all of it, and for no particular reason other than it's there).
23. Revisit Enchanted Rock.
24. Go on a cruise, OK two. One where I am a total lazy bum and another aboard one of the scientific research vessels that cater to us geek-head tourists.
25. Get out of debt. This is gonna be a miracle given the medical expenses of my kids, but a very healthy goal (and it's actually happening! Yay!).
26. Learn how to make soap (I'm leaving this one b/c it's random and weird and even I am wondering WTH I was thinking when I wrote it).
27. Integrate essential oils into my health regimen (mostly done 8/10/2010).
28. Write more consistently.
29. Love without fear. Live without fear (that's really two).
30. Have confidence in myself and my abilities.
31. Learn how to make my own candles (again with the earth momma crafty stuff that I really don't find appealing).
32. Visit Tokyo again...for about two weeks alone. Go again sometime and take my boys with me.
33. Stay in better contact with friends and acquaintances.
34. Relax and enjoy each day without care or worry for tomorrow.
35. Teach something (again).
36. Build something.
37. Review my genealogy with my grandfather so I can continue the work when he is gone.
38. Pay more attention to the world I live in and contribute (I think the clinic idea fits in here).
39. Attend my high school and college reunions (strike one and strike two for the 20 and 15 year marks due to circumstances beyond my control).
40. Ride in a hot air balloon.

Wow, that's a lot! And you?

Yet ANOTHER run in with a plant...

Ya'll may or may not know that I sing. It's something I really enjoy doing and I have been immersed in music and music performance since I can remember breathing. Sometimes, though, the love affair has it's moments.

You see, there was supposed to be a nice calm break in the set today during which I sat on a stool minding my own business and looking professional. However, once all the other musicians were seated, I was left without a chair bringing a new and embarrassing meaning to musical chairs. One singer who shall remain nameless because, well...because...began wandering around the stage trying to give me his chair (which I wasn't going to take because then I'd have ended up on the wrong side). It took about three people to put him back in his chair and I made the executive decision to slip off to the side and sit behind the piano which is usually a clear shot.


So...I turn around to do just that and stare at the narrowest opening I've ever seen.

Not only that, the opening is between a decorative railing that I know from experience to be tipsy (another story for another time) and a fake potted plant. So...

I head through the opening like I was supposed to be going there. I discovered that there was an amorphous pile of crap just on the other side and end up perched precariously on the drum platform and crouched over like I'm not there.

The allotted time passes. Slowly.

I get up to return to the stage and find that the precarious railing is oscillating. So I make yet another executive decision and grasp the railing as I pass through the narrow gap on my way to my spot. The railing becomes still and out of the corner of my eye, I see that I caught ONE leaf of the fake plant with my right foot. ONE.

The fake plant, the decorative urn that contained it (notice the past tense) and the bark chips that disguised the imaginary root wad defy gravity or any other force for that matter and launch toward the front row like an exploding football.

The urn hits the ground with a ringing thung and the shower of bark chips spatters to the ground and the "plant" was left capsized right next to me as if to say "It's all her fault!"

Of course, at this point, I was wishing I was NOT part of anything at all. Over half the members of the sound booth had disappeared which indicated they'd collapsed in laughter. The one that remained standing is notorious for snapping pics with his iPhone, so I'm sure this whole thing will be immortalized on YouTube. Some kind soul returned the plant to the urn and put it right next to me (gee, thanks), but gave up retrieving bark chips once they discovered it was a lost cause.

Needless to say, I spent a lot of time putting bark chips back where I found them, and I started thinking about other little mishaps that have lined the hall of funnies along the way...

Here are just a few:

1. Earlier this year, I was holding a friend's newborn before a performance and he yakked up an entire 9 oz. bottle of formula all over the front of my t-shirt. I sang in the puke and now I always have an extra t-shirt in my bag.

2. One Christmas, I was wearing a loose-fitting stretchy dress and as I exited the stage, the girl behind me stepped on the hem and the entire thing stretched clean off my body.

3. Yet another Christmas, my cousin and I were doing a ballet number while a laser show was going on (sounds cornier than it really was, though I never had the privilege of watching it). We had to stopped exactly on our mark or we'd get zapped. Said laser zapped my skirt and burnt a hole clean through it. Twice.

4. I was directing a marching band once and was standing on a large box so that I could be seen. I sort of forgot where I was and backed completely off the box and discovered exactly why your rump is padded the way it is. I had been laughed off said box many times before...and I was always glad my backside was to the stands.

5. The orchestra PIT is so named because once you are off the stage the distance to the ground is unbelievably far and I am not even going to admit how I learned that.

6. Musically speaking, I've gotten lost, forgotten words, sung the wrong words, come in early, come in late, and every permutation thereof.

7. Prior to the plant wrestling experience of this morning, the best screw-up by far was a mistaken entrance. I just got up and walked on to the stage at the WRONG TIME!!!!! The girl I was singing with followed me (I'm pretty sure she doesn't trust me any more). When I realized I was wrong, I stopped. She didn't. She crashed into me full force and we did a Three Stooges thing there for what seemed like forever before we could get turned back around and exit.

Do these things happen to other people? Yeah, they do. Probably not as often, but yeah they do. It must have to do with the cosmic plan to keep me humble, I don't know. I keep thinking it'll get better with age and confidence, but no. I remain a magnet for the weird and bizarre no matter what I am doing. Nevertheless, I have fun. So what if I am remembered as that girl who kicked the plant into the audience?

Gotta run, I'm off to another rehearsal for a Christmas program and then later tonight I shall test my memory as I sing a song I haven't actually done in about a month (totally not a good idea, but circumstance has set me up on this one). Somewhere in all this I have to get Squib ready to go see his dad and dress him up as Bob the Builder for the fall festival thing I'm singing at. Not necessarily in that order. I may be all funned out already.

Fake it til you make it,

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Exiting the Dating Scene...

With a big flop.

Or maybe a kerplunk.

A giant swan dive, perhaps. Into an olive that has had a little too much martini already.

Nevertheless, I am declaring yet another a time out. For an indefinite period of time.

I seem to ultimately attract one man. Sadly, I can count them all without completely using two hands.

First, they all claim to really know how to treat a woman. Truly I have no specific expectations in this department, but when someone feels the need to claim such a thing right off the bat, I do start to worry. "Real" dates (whatever that means)...dinner, dancing (dancing? really?). No movies cause you really can't get to know someone while sitting through a movie (I understand this, but inevitably we end up renting a movie parked on a sofa somewhere, so actually entering a theater to see one might be nice on rare occasion). Walks, etc. Flowers. I've seen the dinners, yes sort of. And once, one of them gave me flowers. My ex did give me flowers on Mothers' Day...a couple times? Two of them were good at gift-giving, though the gifts from the second one have since fallen apart. Hmmm. Clue: It really doesn't take all that much. Simple attentiveness. Being yourself. Having fun. Going places. Doing stuff. Getting a glimpse at each others' lives. Candy and flowers have their place, I suppose, but aren't really necessary. Quality time...that's priceless.

Second, the royal treatment (see above paragraph) lasted less than about two weeks during which time there was maybe one or two "real dates" and then we're on someone's sofa watching movies (see!!?!) that I not only didn't have any option/help to pick, but didn't want to see again and again (or, ok, ever)... I should say that "the royal treatment" is not something I really expect, but I'm a person that likes a smidgen of variety on occasion and going and doing...I DO like to watch movies. Very much. But exclusively? Especially certain movies. Um, no...

Let me make a caveat here....there is a place in this world for Ace Ventura, Hot Shots, Naked Gun, Pauly Shore movies, David Spade, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, Police Academy, Napoleon Dynamite and the like. I suppose. And I am being nice here. But, to watch these types of movies exclusively is a special kind of torture. One I have endured too long. I've lost seven YEARS worth of sci fi, mystery, and the like to fart-joke movies that, quite frankly, I seem to remember after the first time I saw them.

Now, Star Wars? I'll watch that repeatedly (some of them). Ditto for some of the Star Treks and many of other films you would think are definitely outside the chick flick arena. I'm not wishing any brand of special torture on anyone.

Third, not to put it so delicately, they seem to think that after about two dates or less I'm obligated to have sex with them. Usually after less time than that. I really don't think so and that causes a problem. So, uh, no. Enough said.

Fourth, a handful of the handful seem to have real anger issues. Which means there are occasions when I definitely don't like how they treat me and there are definitely times when I don't like how they treat others. Two have been very proud of being "assholes" (yes, they said that verbatim out loud--this is the staggering part that I REALLY don't like) and really seem to enjoy their poor treatment of certain people in their lives.

Run away, run away!!!

Fifth, they just aren't that smart. This may sound derogatory, but I really have a need to be able to have a decent discussion on occasion. Not dumb down my language. Maybe even speak on occasion. Not looking for Einstein, here. Just a person who thinks or on occasion wants to put two and two together. Coming up with four would be a bonus. (That does sound harsh, doesn't it?)

I'm not saying all men are pigs. In fact, they aren't. Just the ones I seem to run into--and to be fair I've not been hanging around in a lot of places lately where I'm likely to run into anyone even remotely interesting. I know many who seem great and they are (mostly) married. I'm sure there are some out there who are even single. Just none that I know. And...none who seem interested in an intelligent, single mom who works hard and likes to enjoy life and not spend most of it sitting on the sofa watching B movies.

Yep, I'm a bit of a geek--both scientifically and "computerifically"--I do odd things like read and write and hike in no particular direction. I have quirks of my own. I have faith and strong beliefs. I love music and dancing and really get off my rear and do both. And, apparently, those are undesirable qualities to the average mid-thirties to mid-forties male. I said average, not every.

So, I officially give up. For a time, I guess. Not forever. Ugh. I am just weary of this.

Gonna go sleep in a tree,

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Nice End to the Day

Today, oops, yesterday really turned out to be a very nice day. It was not without its humorous moments, sarcasm, and sheer bizarre qualities, but all totaled, very nice.

I was so right about Squib and his sense of timing with regard to company. He has the child's knack for turning on the cute. He did a bang-up job of being not only cute, but fun, intelligent, and down-right endearing. [Gave everyone (and I mean everyone) a kiss and a hug before bed. I almost barfed. He'd make a great politician at this point.]

Our friends arrived from Oklahoma about 4:30 and by then Squib was so jacked up he was jumping up and down and screaming "Dhey Hewe!" and charging the door. He and Buddy made it to the door before SqB remembered that he really didn't know Sharon and Robert and his shyness kicked in. It was like a dog hitting the end of his chain. He jerked up short and played shy for a while. Clung to me like a piece of lint until we got to the Mexican restaurant.

We sat around talking for a bit before we headed out to the mystery restaurant. None of us had ever been there, but it "has bench seating" so it qualified as a "westauwant."

The restaurant was surprisingly good...which for this no-pizza town is amazing. SqB ordered a corn dog he never ate, belched during the blessing, but that was pretty normal. Little did I know they were also the purveyor of "Scooby Snacks" which for you deprived children is the fave of Scooby Doo. Michael saw Scooby Doo for the first time recently and by the door of the restaurant they had one of those candy machines that dispenses little handfuls of candy for a quarter. These were shaped like bones....hence, "Scooby Snacks." I thought he'd lost his mind when he started claiming that they sold them, but I should know better by now than to contradict him. Ever. So, he actually had a random quarter and made his very first purchase of anything. Scooby Snacks.

Apparently Robert had done something right during the evening because Robert got a Scooby Snack. Not me.

When we returned from the restaurant, some friends of my grandparents from out of town had stopped by and after moving in some chairs, we had quite a gathering.

Sharon brought in some cupcakes and we had a surprise, impromptu birthday party for Mom followed closely by a mind-numbing discussion of health care. Sometimes your mind is just not capable of discussing health care. Dad and I admittedly regressed into our chairs with our iPhones. He was playing Spider Solitaire and I was busy throwing my body off five-story buildings in Assassin's Creed. Seemed an appropriate commentary on health care at the time. SqB was busy with his new Black and Decker toy tool set. He took the door knob off the office door earlier today, so anything short of that must be an improvement, yes?

Health care discussion ran off the second set of guests and SqB went to bed, though not without calling me "Stupidhead" and reaping the consequences. Parenting can really reek at times. The rest of us drifted, discussed the best way to drive to Austin from here (which is probably not to drive there at all), and decided to break it up until breakfast....

...which is in another five hours. And you got it. Here I sit in the recliner.

This chair was purchased seven and a half years ago by myself and my first husband just prior to Beanstalk's birth. I was thinking of rocking babies and comfort in the last days of pregnancy and NOT that it might become my bunk when said babies took over my living quarters.

Would definitely have gone with the leather had I known that. And the massaging thingies.

But I thank God every night that the silly thing swivels or I'd have to stare at the glare from the safety light that is just sticking up in the middle of a piece of land I affectionately call the Grassy Knoll. It used to be a pond and that light had a purpose. Now? Well, let's just say I have prayed for it's demise during two hurricanes to no avail.

Such is life...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Various and Sundry

No one thing is leaping out at me today except for the singularly unique nature of my family and our current living situation.

This first segment is called "How to Build Confusing Houses."

For as long as I can remember, Papa (gpa) has been building his own houses. I'm not talking about extensive remodeling--that's child's play. I'm talking from the piers up. The last house was rather elaborate and, yes, took somewhere around eleven (so double that number) years to complete what with all the adding on.

Elaborate doesn't mean generally means as mathematically and physically difficult to construct as possible.

For example: A bridge was needed to cross a gully to the land he owned on the other side. Bridges can be rather simple, right? Right. But would a geophysicist really pick a simple design?

Not this one.

He built a suspension bridge. And for added difficulty, he built it alone. At the ripe old age of 78.

Fast forward to present day. The current design for the common areas is like a donut of sorts. A square one. The north arm of the loop is the entry-way with a desk no one uses, storage (mostly unused), and an area simply designed for the phone near as I can tell. The West arm of the loop is the living room, the South is the dining area, and the East is the kitchen.

There is NO HOLE in this donut. Instead, there is this multi-purpose structure that has two functions.'s the pantry (East), shelf (North), entertainment center (West), and china cabinet (South). is designed to keep us all chasing each other in circles around it because we can't see through it or over it. If we were the kind of people to hold still and agree on a meeting place this donut hole would be fine, but NO!!!! We're go-getters. Can't find anyone? Then you're just NOT GOING FAST ENOUGH!!!!! So far today, Buddy and Michael chased each other around in circles several times and Buddy and Papa did the same as well. It was all I could do to get Papa 0to stand still so Buddy could find him!!!!!!

And now "Little Snippets of Conversation."

Do you ever wonder what people might think if all they heard was one sentence taken out of context from your day?

Today's snippets?

"Put the knife on the table before you crawl up there!" (me to Squib)

"God, I need a screwdriver." (the tool, not the drink, though the drink might help)

"I'm gonna watch Mommy shower!" (Squib...what can I say, he's male.)

And, finally, "The Spreadsheet and Play-doh Update."

After four hours, Buddy is STILL trying to fix the mangled spreadsheet from yesterday's ordeal. Yes, even with all his help, it still came out, well, inoperable.

As for the lump (about the size of a baseball) of Play-doh, well, it's still AWOL.

"And now," cried Max, "Let the wild rumpus start!!!!!!"

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Octogenarian v. OpenOffice 3.1

OK, so.....most of you know by now that I am a true computer geek. My Dad's a geek, my brother's a geek, and I'm a geek. With regard to the family corporations, Buddy (dad), Attrition (brother), and myself (Scat) are the ones that keep the technical wheels on the proverbial cart.

Enter the octogenarian genius geophysicist, Papa. I mean genius in every sense of the word. However, I am leaning more towards savant. Extremely gifted in a single area, but in all others, well, I can only scrunch my eyes shut and shake my head. I love him very much. He knows more about finding and drilling for oil than I know about everything else at all. Just DO NOT trust him with a spreadsheet. Well, any software come to think of it. Today it was a spreadsheet.

Not just any spreadsheet, either. One that has formulas and links to other pages of the spreadsheet already embedded in it so that the information that's calculated dovetails with our mapping and programming. Took Buddy God knows how long to get everything configured so that everything comes out right in the end. We're using it with one of our proprietary software programs. Which means....."cutting" is bad.

So...Buddy gives Papa the job of data entry. Without locking the editing of formulas. This is bad. Oh, and he does this right when I lay Squib down for a nap.

Squib DOES NOT nap with the door closed. He falls asleep and then I close the door. There's a procedure for EVERYTHING!!!!!!

Papa's office door is two feet from Squib's door.

Let the games begin.

Apparently, Papa begins entering data. Something becomes unclear to him and in order to preserve his data he cuts it out and pastes it elsewhere. Randomly. So, of course, all the formulas and other references get cut out and travel with the now very erroneous data which does paste just a split second before the hieroglyphics appear (if you've ever goofed up a spreadsheet you know the hiero's of which I speak--mostly ###REF and the like).

This is where a tad more explaining is due. Papa is on estrogen. It's part of his treatment for prostate cancer. I don't guess I need to explain what estrogen can do to a person. He gets hot flashes, you name it.

So, here comes an estrogen-powered octogenarian like a hot flash on wheels whose lost God knows how much data--the average survey can be upward of several hundreds of Gb--screeching forth from his office like a banshee...I don't even remember what he said. I saw the horror on Buddy's face and saw the absolute consternation on Papa's face and the yelling was loud enough to be heard clearly over my iPod which was blasting in my ears (I can better cope with the general mayhem that way).

Much discussion and explanation and demonstration was had over the "undo" feature and the "clear" v. "cut" features (It started with "they are NOT the same" and ended with a discussion of whether or not "oh that's just stupid" is a legitimate point or a pointless observation. Buddy got a new copy of the blank spreadsheet for Octo to start all over again, emphasized DATA ENTRY, and we settled down to our work. Again.

Then the screaming. Again. "Cut" v. "Clear" AGAIN. And again with the undo feature. Glad it wasn't me trying to explain it. I'd have duct-taped a certain person's screamer and made an "Undo and Clear ONLY" sign. Instead, with each error we waved him off and silenced him and Buddy carefully explained the problem.....again.

I can't believe it ever ended, but it did. After an hour, he gave up sort of. We were all exhausted. It probably sounded like a nut farm around here with all the shouts of "No cutting! No cutting!" was God's gift to me personally that Squib fell asleep and stayed that way. One basket case per day is enough.

I'm not even going to go into the missing lump of Play-doh,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Can Ya Swallow It?

Crohn's disease is a disease of the bowel. It is most often severe cramping, abdominal pain, and all sorts of other gutteral unpleasantness. That is NOT what this short little blog is about.

I have Crohn's disease. Lately, it's been acting up and I've had to increase one of my medications. Azulfidine. Doesn't sound like such a big deal. Four pills in the morning and four at night was how it started. So innocent. But have you seen these things!!!!! Recently the flare up sent me to the doc and now I have to down 16 of these suckers a day......and here they are...

That's ONE DAY's dose! They're about the size of a dime (shown for size), but as thick as an M&M. Thank goodness the stuff works, I guess, but when you hear people talk about taking "horsepills," this is what they're talking about. Yowza. No friendly coating to slip down easy.

And after the first two, my throat decides "this is not right!" And I have to pause and talk it into swallowing again. Who can blame it? Good thing they seem to work, huh?

Efficiency Living When You Love Books, Work at Home, and Teach From Home

I have 12 foot ceilings...perhaps they're ten, but nevertheless, they are bare in my portion of our little dwelling. 10 foot ceilings and an irregularly seven-sided room. The seven walls are a trick, but easily adapted to. What I would NOT give, though, for the top three feet of all the wall space to be COVERED with bookshelves!!! I could easily put my things up there and then Squib wouldn't have to concern himself with what he can and cannot touch and/or play with. Instead, we use a recovered plywood bookshelf that's ugly as sin, but does the trick.

I'm really thankful for digital books, but there really is something about being buried in that paper-smell while your imagination zooms to other times, lives, realities, and wealths of information. I have pared my library down to the essentials that I MUST keep on hand because I have 12 foot ceilings...perhaps they're ten, but nevertheless, they are bare in my portion of our little dwelling. 10 foot ceilings and an irregularly seven-sided room. The seven walls are a trick, but easily adapted to. What I would NOT give, though, for the top three feet of all the wall space to be COVERED with bookshelves!!! I could easily put my things up there and then Squib wouldn't have to concern himself with what he can and cannot touch and/or play with. Instead, we use a recovered plywood bookshelf that's ugly as sin, but does the trick. Every one's library speaks for itself. I know, too, what my friends keep, and I try not to keep what they have if I can manage to turn loose of them. Pam, the librarian, is usually pretty good about keeping what I give her in circulation 'cause I tend to go non-linear when my books aren't there for the finding. I forgave her my "Genes V" text on general principle. I have managed to pare my books down to fit Michael's entire collection on the shelf and then mine are on the rest of the shelf and in key places around the room. Here's our measly shelf and the speakers for my iPhone so we have a little stereo and audiobook action going on in our little room.
Of course you see the briefcase(s) and the green chair...that's the office :) Nope, not personal office :) I have another large one, but this is where I go to not be bothered unless its' a rugrat...they have free rights to interrupt me at will. The beds are folded in like you would a bunk bed with the trundle sticking out from under the top twin at a 90 degree angle and Squib sleeps on the bottom short section and I sleep on the top full-length twin. It doesn't seem like it, but he has quite a bit of floor space to play in. All of his toys are stored on the shelf, in plastic storage boxes in our "hall closet," in his small wagon that parks under the bed or in the big wagon that lives in the hall.

Armoires are absolutely the most wonderful things if you buy the right kind...some shelves, some drawers, some hanging...aaaaahhhh I love my armoire and as a plus the only trinkets from my "big house" days are on top of the armoire where they can't be bothered by little fingers. It also gives you more covered storage for "stuff" that you need but can't seem to place.

And, yes, my piano is in the closet. Our photographs are on top and the clothes are in the side pocket areas of the closet. There was a rod that was supposed to stretch all the way across, but I vetoed that in lieu of musical pursuits. We carved a niche of a closet out of some wasted space in the hallway instead.

So here we are! Mom and kiddo living, working, learning, and having fun in a 12 x 12 space. Hard to keep everything straightened up? Absolutely! Need a shopping spree from the Container store? Yep!! Lacking in that simple, minimalist calm? Definitely! But we're happy!!! And we're close! Squib and I loooooove that. Well, ok, sometimes we don't.

We'd be right at home in New York in a tiny walk-up. Heck, if we can finish the floors in our little room here and maybe paint the walls some optimistic color, we may never leave.....OK, not really. So here I go to put up my messes from yesterday to keep this place habitable and hoping a 4yr old won't bring it all down in a single second.....riiiiiiiiight.