Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A little bit of this and that

Today is the last day of school for the Boy. Which means that I am now the mom of a second grader and a kindergartener. Where has the time gone? The Hubby and I were talking about that this weekend. It almost seems like we blinked and it was ten years later. He was feeling like there wasn't anything accomplished, but I beg to differ. We have two fantastic kids that I wouldn't trade for the world. We both have good paying jobs with flexible bosses that pretty much will let us come and go as we please, so long as we get our work done. And have we grown? You're damn right we have! When I read things that I wrote even a year ago, it sounds like a different person. And I really like who I am now. It's taken me a long time to get to that point, but I do. Once I started pointing out things other than the fact that he'll be 30 in about a year and a half, he realized how far we've come as well. So it ended up being a really cool conversation.

This morning, The Boy asked me to go to the Public Library a lot this summer. I can't tell you what this did for the bookworm inside of me! But on the other hand, it makes me kind of sad. I remember when I was growing up in California, you almost had to make a day trip out of going to the library. It was two huge floors chocked full of books, and the children's section took up THE ENTIRE SECOND FLOOR! I remember getting butterflies every time we'd make the climb up to that floor. Would there be any new books that I haven't seen yet? Maybe there would be someone there reading for all of us! And I would spend hours upon hours just looking at the books, reading some and just glancing at the pictures in others. When my mom would finally tell me that it was time to go, I would want to take way more than my limit of books home, but would finally decide on just the right ones to bring with me.

All of this makes me sad because the library in Podunk is nothing by comparison. The entire library is maybe 1/8 the size of *my* library. The children's section is just one tiny little corner and I don't think they've updated their collection in years. Not that I really mind that last part. There was something really exciting about my kids picking out Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day for us to bring home and read. It was my favorite when I was little, and I still say I'm moving to Australia when I have a rotten day.

But where Podunk doesn't give me the knowledge experiences I want for my kids, it does give them way more than we could have ever gotten in a big city. There are a lot stronger values out here. I love that I know my kids can be found within two phone calls, should they ever take off without telling me. I also love sitting outside at night and being able to look up and see the stars. Everything dies down around 9:00 every night, so if you're sitting outside after that, it's almost like you are camping. You can hear the crickets. And when it's a clear night, you can sometimes see the Northern Lights. I never got that growing up. Plus there is a lot more history around this area than there was where I grew up. Yeah, there are the missions out in California, but there are actual battle fields not five miles away from our town. And there are huge monuments to families that were killed during the Sioux Revolt. It's fascinating, really.

So while we've spent the past few days reminiscing about the past, today I'm focusing on the future. I'm so excited to watch my kids grow into the people that they will become. I want to know what they are going to be when they grow up (The Boy says he is going to be the new host of the show Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel while The Girl says she is going to be a rockstar.). But most of all, I'm just excited for this summer. I'm glad that I get to stay home with them a couple of days a week. I get to watch The Boy play baseball and take The Girl to dance classes. And that's enough excitement for me.

Today anyway.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Summer in the (not so) city

This weekend was hot Hot HOT! It’s funny because a lot of people who don’t live north of the Iowa border don’t realize how hot it really gets up here. I remember that I was one of those people. Until I spent a summer here with my grandma and it was hotter here than it was back in Virginia! And the humidity is horrendous! Heat I can take, but humidity + heat = one very crabby Glamour Girl. On Sunday it was 103 (F), without including the humidity. And where did I spend an hour and a half of my day? Cooped up inside a school gym with no air conditioning, that’s where. It sucked. It was hot and stagnant and the damn thing went on forever. And this is only a class of 75. I can’t imagine going to a graduation like this with 300 graduates. We all would have died.

Redneck Boy’s youngest brother graduated from high school, which is why I went to the stupid commencement ceremony in the first place. This is making Redneck Boy feel very, very old. Which in turn makes me feel old too—just not as old as he is. So Brother in Law’s open house/congratulatory thingie was on Saturday. Which meant that we were up there all night on Friday night helping clean up and prepare food. Then I was up there right away Saturday morning to help with more food. Needless to say, we were all a little graduation’ed out after Sunday afternoon.

Added into this mix is the remodeling project that will not end. My computer room is all ashamble right now. I’m looking forward to the end result, and had this graduation thing not gotten in our way (Not to mention that it was 800 frillion degrees outside), we would have had the room finished this weekend. I long for the days of eating at a dining room table, and having my own little haven where I can write and read and play stupid video games to my little heart’s content. But I’m NOT nagging. Because we all know that nagging never gets anyone anywhere. I’m just helping where I can and getting the hell out of the way when I can’t. And I’ve yet to walk into the plastic that is up to protect us from living in dust whilst the project is in process.

Today we decided to take a step away from it too. We did get a couple more sheets of sheetrock up this morning, but when we couldn’t see because of the sweat running down our faces, we decided it best to stop for the day and head to the lake. It isn’t a big lake (and it certainly isn’t the ocean), but it’s as close as we can get when gas is as expensive as it is. It turned out to be a beautiful day for lounging around on the beach. And I love watching my kids play in the water. I remember how much fun I used to have digging for sand crabs and making sand castles when I was little, and even though there are no sand crabs, I get quite a kick out of watching my kids with things that I used to love doing.

I am now exhausted. And sunburned. And really glad that I don’t have to go back to work until Wednesday.

Friday, May 26, 2006

I'm Here Now.

I think. I have always loved moving. I love the feeling of "newness" that comes along with starting over somewhere else. And I usually don't feel bad about leaving a piece of me behind.

But for some reason, I've been reluctant to make this final switch. Mostly because I suck at HTML. But I hope to get better as time goes on. I WANT to be better. I want to know what all the jargon means and how to make my website look all cool. I also didn't want to move because I couldn't improve on what I already had. I couldn't come up with a better pseudonym for myself other than my own name. And "Carrie's Journal" is just so. . . blah. But I think "Glamorous Redneck" really fits.

I still consider myself a SoCal girl. I was born in the San Diego area and lived there for half my life. But I've lived here in Podunk for the better part of the second half of my life. And I'm finally beginning to embrace both sides of things. While I still enjoy going to museums and the glitz and glamour of big cities, there is an appreciation growing inside of me for the things of Podunk. I like that my kids can ride their bikes around the block and I don't have to worry about them. I also like that I don't have to lock my car--or even take my keys out of the ignition--if I don't want to. And even though that appreciation for finer things doesn't weaken, the appreciation for spending a day by the side of the river with my family seems to grow every day.

So I'm embracing both sides of myself.

But I'm still not going to be driving a pickup. A girl's gotta have her standards.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

My 100 Things

1. I am obsessed with even numbers. Everything has to be even. I even planned my wedding on an even day
2. My only exception is when decorating. Then it’s OK to use groups of three, as long as they are all different sizes
3. I changed my major three times my freshman year
4. I finally quit college after Fall semester my sophomore year
5. I got a really good job that I love and have been at ever since I quit school
6. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up
7. I was born in Oceanside, CA
8. I lived in California until I was 13
9. I was pissed when my parents said we were leaving
10. I lived in Virginia for two years and I loved it
11. I almost flunked my freshman year of high school
12. This was part of the reason my parents decided to move after my freshman year
13. I’ve been in Minnesota ever since
14. My parents got divorced when I was 7
15. But my mom remarried when I was 11, and he’s been my dad ever since
16. My mom and step dad divorced this year
17. I’m still pretty upset about it
18. I almost got a divorce when I was 23
19. We worked through it and I’m glad we did
20. I lost my grandma to breast cancer when I was 21
21. I still miss her a lot
22. I lost my best friend in a car accident when we were 16
23. I still miss her a lot too
24. I still love to blow bubbles
25. I also love to color, I believe it’s therapeutic
26. I am easily distracted by all things shiny, sparkly, pink, and/or otherwise girlie.
27. I have this freakish fear that when I crack an egg open, there’s going to be a chicken on the inside. I’ve never had it happen, nor have I ever even heard of it happening, but I still hesitate every time I do it.
28. I cannot begin to tell you how bad it bothers me that some people seem to think that navy blue and black match. I cringe every time I see it and I have given my dad and brother a complex about matching because of this. I am the family fashion consultant.
29. It makes me sick to my stomach whenever someone blows their nose in public. I about drop kicked many many kids in my high school class.
30. I have been in love three times in my entire life.
31. I’m still very good friends with two of them
32. The third one is my husband
33. When I eat M & M’s, I have to line them up by color and eat them one at a time, working by column so there is always an equal amount of each color.
34. I *might* have a touch of OCD.
35. I can memorize a phone number after dialing it twice
36. I can also recite entire scenes from movies that I haven’t watched in years
37. But most days I can’t remember what I did last week.
38. I was the only one of my friends who didn’t LOVE New Kids on the Block
39. I was teased mercilessly for this
40. They don’t tease me much anymore
41. I have a pair of bowling shoes that I jacked from the bowling alley.
42. They aren’t so good for wearing to school
43. My friends and I hauled a purple vinyl couch into the Senior Hallway our senior year.
44. The principal told us it would stay, but it was gone the next morning
45. We searched the whole school and it resurfaced for a pep rally
46. I am more comfortable in front of 100 people than I am in front of 10
47. I was a princess of my town for a year
48. I still have the crown and banner
49. I also have a great memory for faces
50. It’s names that I struggle with
51. I was bucked off a horse when I was 7
52. My Aunt landed on top of me (she was only 11)
53. My Aunt and Uncle are more like a big brother and sister to me
54. My Grandpa was shot by his business partner when I was 3 (he lived)
55. I still remember sitting in the courtroom during the trial
56. I have to let the phone ring twice before I answer it
57. I also cannot let it ring more than four times when I’m calling someone
58. My kids think I’m strange
59. It’s OK, I don’t think they’re so normal either
60. I took the Toys R Us theme to heart, therefore I will never grow up
61. I still have all my Barbies and My Little Ponies from when I was little
62. And yet, I buy my daughter new ones almost every time I go to the store
63. When I was little, I used to BECOME characters from my favorite movies and/or TV shows.
64. My most common alter egos were Annie, Pippi Longstockings, and Evie from Out of This World
65. A couple of years ago, there was a Better than Ezra concert at the college I attended.
66. My brother asked me who they were because he is too young to remember the song “Good”
67. This was the first time that I actually felt “old”
68. I feel old now every time I see “The Cosby Show” or “Roseanne” on TV Land
69. I used to have panic attacks about dying
70. I don’t have them anymore
71. I am a Christian. I will not flaunt it, and I will not jam it down your throat. But if you want to know what that means, just ask me
72. I truly believe that Tommy Boy is the best movie. Ever.
73. Close seconds are Billy Madison, Anchor Man, 40 Year Old Virgin, and just about every other movie starring anyone from those four.
74. When I was born, my right foot was twisted around backwards
75. That ankle has given me problems my whole life
76. When I was six months old, my dad was doing a handstand in the house and he accidentally fell on me, breaking both of my wrists.
77. He still apologizes to this day
78. I’ve never broken a bone since
79. I like to sing at the top of my lungs when I’m in the car or shower
80. This drives most of my family insane.
81. Except for Diva, she sings along
82. My first kiss was on the playground in 7th grade with a boy I didn’t really like
83. It was disgusting and I didn’t kiss anyone for a long time after that
84. I haven’t grown an inch since I was in 6th grade
85. I used to be the tallest person I knew
86. My hubby is a foot taller than me
87. When I was in Junior High, my friends used to come to me to have me write them stories about them and the guy they liked getting married and living happily ever after.
88. They would also come to me when the boy pissed them off
89. Those stories were more fun to write
90. I also wrote an XXX story starring Barbie and Ken©.
91. My dad heard me reading it to a friend and I got in HUGE trouble.
92. But he’s still got it somewhere.
93. I have an addiction to shoes, but I will NOT spend more than $20 a pair. This allows me to buy so many more!
94. This is the first time I’ve had my natural hair color since I was 14.
95. My Aunt and I used to collect little hand soaps from Crabtree & Evelyn
96. I believe that a margarita is the most perfectly concocted drink in the world
97. I was a cheerleader for the express purpose of having front row views of the games
98. When I was 13, I was on a cheerleading squad that won first place in a California dance competition.
99. I love disco to the point of embarrassment.
100. I think that the 80’s was the greatest time to be a kid.