Monday, March 28, 2011

Lord, I Was Born a Ramblin' Man...

Well, maybe not a ramblin' man.  If I was, my parents have some splainin' to do.  (Sorry -- I Love Lucy reruns yesterday.  I thought it was time my children were exposed to the classics.)

Enough with the mixed pop culture references, though.  I have been MIA from this blog.  Sometimes it feels like everything comes down on you at once.  No excuses, though.  I've missed getting on here.  But as I am now getting over a stomach bug, I feel I will need to ease back in slowly... So I'm lobbing a softball here. 

In case you were wondering (and don't pretend that you weren't), here are 10 of the places I would love, love, love to go someday.  Even when I am sick in bed, I dream of travel.  One day...

1.  Ireland.  (see picture above, sigh)  One of my college professors once asked me if I was Irish because he heard all Irish people have an innate desire to return to Ireland.  I have no idea.  I believe I've narrowed down a good percentage of my roots to somewhere in the local of the British Isles.  I suspect I'm Welsh... and therefore maybe just a bit confused or geographically challanged.

2.  Costa Rica.  I had an opportunity to go here in high school with the Environmental Club.  Yep, Environmental Club.  I was a super cool tree hugger back in the day.  I have lost a tiny bit of the activist zeal, but I figure that's because now I'm a busy super cool kid hugger now.  My own kids.  Not random kids.  Unless they hug me first.

3.  Germany.  I love all the German people I meet.  It must be a fun place, especially since they remodeled it back in the '90s.  (Haha political humor... nothing?... okay.)  Plus I'm a big fan of good beer.  I don't think I need any other reasons.

4.  Turkey.  Turkish coffee.  Haggia Sophia.  Vastly different culture. 

5.  Israel.  It's a Christian thing... 

6.  Flagstaff, Arizona. I've actually been here.  It was beautiful.  Actually, I have absolutely loved every national park I've ever been to.  Yellowstone, Black Hills, Eureka, et cetera.  Support your national parks, and get out there; they're wonderful.  Which leads me to...

7.  Camping... Anywhere...  It's not an actual place, but I like to put it down because it's actually doable in the near future.  I like to say that since I could never get anyone to go with me, I bred my own camping buddies.  They are my minions, and they have no choice.  Mwah-hahaha!  Now, I just have to wait until their old enough. 

8.  China.  They have that great wall... (hahaha... still nothing?... oh, well.)

9.  Paris.  Food, art, architecture, wine.

10.  Budapest.  East meets West in a beautiful, beautiful way. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

How To Be Alone

Not a lot to write just now...

I'm so completely, completely busy this week trying to work extra. So I can buy a house someday.

Of course, this is very far off, and there are things we'll need sooner.

Like t-shirts for the twins.

And a wastebasket for my room.

And, man, it would be great to walk around in actual rain boots when it's raining.

And there's always bills, bills, bills.

But when I work extra, I'm thinking about the house we'll have someday. And how I'll set it up and decorate it and all of the friends the kids and I will have in it.

But I took a break to watch this video because I'm sleepy. It's about being brave and alone which struck me because God has been teaching me to be brave this week. In fact, I think he's been teaching me that lesson for a while, but He really got somewhere with me a couple days ago. I LOVE Him for that and so much more.

I'll talk more about that soon, I think.

Of course, I'm slightly sleep deprived.

So bear with me.

Or be a bear.

Maybe I should go to bed.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Night Time Haiku

loud whispers in bed
late at night I hear them both
driving me crackers

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Exquisite Moments #1

I just had to share:

This was a rainy day when they were nine months old and they had just learned how to pull themselves up.  I think it's beautiful how they're just watching the rain.  I remember it was quiet and Ivy was putting her hand on the glass where the raindrops were on the glass and Lily just stared.  Sigh and smile....

Monday, March 7, 2011

Musings Over Leftover Himalayan Karahi

I'm doing it again... not reading.  I was going great guns with my favorite by-myself past-time.  And now I'm fighting off attack of the fried brain

Here is a bit of what is doing the frying, i.e. what is on my mind today -- the bigger stuff:

Better/more convenient childcare:  Great googly moogly.  This is the complete bane of my days.  Do you know how hard it is to find good childcare as a single mom in a city where people pay over a thousand per month per kid???  Do you?  Boy, I hope not.  I don't even make a thousand per month per kid.  Thank the Lord for the child care subsidy.  However, not everyone takes the voucher, let alone while having space for three kids.  Hello, waiting list.

Where to live in six months:  Big family for a city.  Little income.  Want safe neighborhood and awesome metro access.  Pretty please?

Where to live in six years:  No kidding.  I'm a planner.  Big family moves to suburbs.  Little income.  Want safe, pretty neighborhood and awesome schools.  Pretty, pretty please???

I'm all about finding the balance, though.  So I put these on my mind, too.

Rose's mad Spanish skills:  I took four years of high school Spanish.  I actually remember a great deal. 

I have no idea what Rose is saying to me with six months of preschool Spanish, but I'm looking forward to finding out.

Plus it's funny now that she has the ability to be bossy now in both English and Spanish.

Leif's mad English skills:  He's becoming quite loquacious.  It's awesome to find out what he's actually thinking.  What Leif says often sounds like poetic genius.  He speaks in haiku.   

Okay, well not really haiku.  But he has these awesome thoughts.  Do birds eat the sun?  Poetic genius or something else.  But I prefer poetic genius. 

Lily's awesome scolding skills:  I have absolutely no idea what she's saying.  But it's hilarious.  She points at you, furrows her wee eyebrows, and gives you what for.  She uses whatever syllables come to mind. 

I try not to think that she's actually just soaked up 17 months of mommy constantly doing something similar. 

And that it probably sounds about the same.

Ivy's whistling:  My littlest precious one began whistling when she was eight months old.  I kid you not.  So if I whistle, most of the time she will, too.  It's pretty cool.

And she watches television like Mike TV from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. 

Only sometimes. 

(Insert big smile here.)

And I do love living here.  (See:  picture snapped with BlackBerry above.)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Wine Guy and The Chef Girl

This is Wine Guy and Chef Girl, also known as my brother and and my sister-in-law.

And this is an introduction to two of the most awesome people ever.

(I hope they don't mind I stole their picture.  It's a great picture.)

Wine Guy is my little brother.  He's very focused and very creative.  He'll tell you he had a rebel phase.  Well, I'm calling it the rebel phase.  

It was in the second grade.

I'm serious.  That's when he went through his devil-may-care, I'm-only-doing-what-I-want phase when he was, say, seven years old.  Then he got his act together in the third grade.  He got down to business.

Wine Guy has wanted to be two things his whole growing up life.  (Okay... maybe with the exception of saying he wanted to be a garbage man in kindergarten... but I don't think that counts.)  What he decided in the third grade, or thereabouts, was that he was going to be a doctor, a laparoscopic surgeon.  He went on to study hard, take Latin (the better to learn complicated medical terminology), and watch every cable surgery show he could find.

I know.  I was there.  I had to watch them, too.  I've seen things.  Things I never needed to see.  I've seen the insides of things I never needed to see.

Then he began working in a restaurant in high school, and they found out he was awesome.  So they trained him on everything.  That's when he decided to become a chef.

Now, this is amazing to me.  I have wanted to be about 67 things in my life.  I changed majors in colleges  about six or seven times in four or five different colleges.  I'm not kidding.

I did actually settle and graduate.  But I'm not quite as focused, you might say.

When Wine Guy decided to become a chef, he went out for the best culinary school in the U.S with ten letters of recommendation and an extremely competitive scholarship.  There he met the girl of his dreams, Chef Girl.  Two peas in a pod, you might say.

You might say a lot.  I like putting words in your mouth.

Chef Girl is one of the absolute sweetest people I have ever met.  In fact, I wondered what she saw in Wine Guy.  Because of course, Wine Guy is my little brother.  I remember him -- as amazing as he is -- as being an annoying booger growing up.  But if she thinks he's a booger now, he's her booger.  And they're perfect together.

Chef Girl also comes from a family of very interesting, fun, friendly, creative people.  I want to be them when I grow up.

Like that's ever going to happen... growing up.

She also has wonderful taste in things.  Plus she's a wonderful gift giver.  Plus she has great ideas and is fun and sporty.  I love, love, love her.  And she is the BEST chef.  I want her to be my personal chef, but I could only pay her in love and gratitude.

Apparently, you can't pay your bills with love and gratitude.  Sigh...

Together, they have an up-and-coming, successful, cool restaurant in the South.  It's one of those places where the idea seemed iffy at first -- snazzy, but iffy -- and you wonder if it's going to work.

It totally worked.  And the restaurant/bar is the hot new place to go.

Plus they teach, plus they write, plus they have wine tastings/classes, plus they got invited to audition for a cooking series, plus they travel, plus they have the fifth most adorable kid in the universe. 

Yes, the fifth. 

If you don't know who the first four are, you haven't been reading this blog.  Shame on you.  (See: Rose, Leif, Lily, and Ivy)

Plus Wine Guy has this awesome master certification in wine and spirits I can't remember the name of.  Shame on me.

Plus they always send me the most awesome bourbon for Christmas.  Cuz they know I'm a bourbon girl. 

(More about awesome bourbon later.)

Wine Guy, Chef Girl, and Little Gourmet, you are amazing.

Come make me food.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Stuff and Nonsense

I am not an especially sunny person.

At least I don't think so.  I would actually describe myself is unequivocally moody.  I tend to react dramatically to whatever influences are happening inside and outside my being, and therefore, I have great bouts of melancholy as well as cheeriness. So some days I am in the mood to really get on here and talk about darker and sadder things.

And sometimes when I get my political ire up, I want to blog about political things or human rights things (which I happen to really feel passionate about... so I still might).


I have made the final decision that as non-intellectual and un-deep (like my new word?) as it may be, Mama Poobah is going to be a lighter place.  A place to blog about things I love and happier things.

And the occasional human rights issue.

Which I also love.

On that note (the things I love note, not the human rights note)... if you are ever shopping for me, please feel free to drop by Etsy.

Really.  Go ahead right now and pick something out.  Actually, pick out two -- one for you and one for me.  Mine can be the cheaper one; I don't mind.

This store is my virtual home away from home. It's so crafty, beautiful, and eclectic.  And kitschy if that's what you like.

Ooh, here's something.  Irish-y scarf.  Because I'm, like, 1/27th Irish (give or take 1/27th).

And this is cool.  I like bees.  And they would feel at home in my downtown apartment.  Okay.  I won't get this, but it's awesome anyway.



 Okay.  So practically speaking, I would never actually get one of my girls a tutu unless I could suddenly afford ballet, but seriously... how cute is this...


Okay.  I'm done.

For now.

Plus you get to send stuff to people and impress them with where it's coming from.  I sent my sister-in-law this gorgeous scarf handmade in Turkey.  I'm pretty sure it was more fun for me to send than it was for her to receive it.  Though I've gotten something awesome from places like Boise as well.

Anyway, that's my pitch for today.

Etsy, feel free to credit my account.

I wish.