Sunday, November 27, 2011

“Even nothing cannot last forever.”

What a week. Mostly good, some not so good, but overall, I'd give it a thumbs up. Turkey, short work week, and family? Kinda hard to complain too much about that.

My Thanksgiving dinner turned out phenomenally well, save the cranberry jello...don't make that ever. Ugh. But, the rest was just wonderful. My turkey smelled amazing the whole time it was cooking. It may have stayed in a smidge too long, since it just fell apart, but it was juicy and delicious. And my rolls...oh, the rolls! I found a recipe for Amish dinner rolls that called for mashed potatoes in the dough. They were the lightest, fluffiest rolls I've ever had, let alone made. Fantastic. I did get a bit sad, missing the holidays past that I'd spent with family, but since we were getting together over the weekend for some birthday celebrations, I didn't let it put a damper on the day.

Although I had to work on Friday, I still had a great weekend. After work Friday, I headed to Waupun to spend the night at my parents' with Jackson and I got to spend the day Saturday baking and crafting. I made my parents a pumpkin pie, since they didn't get one on Thanksgiving this year, and I made a 2 layer white birthday cake for Colten. Since my sister Suzie was making my mom's birthday cake for the party Sunday, my mom didn't get a cake on Saturday, so I instead dubbed the pumpkin pie I'd made the Birthday Pie. After dinner on Saturday, I couldn't find any candles in my parents' cupboards, so we improvised. We used a match as the candle, and it kind of worked. It's the thought that counts, right? Right.

I'd decided to make a lot of my Christmas gifts this year for family, and I got 1/2 way done with Lily's present on Saturday, as well. It's gonna be so cute!! I'd hoped to get more done, but I just ran out of time. On Sunday, Suzie and I spent a lot of time in the kitchen; she was getting snacks ready for the party and had to make my mom's cake, and I made 4 pizzas for lunch. Mmmm...such good food!

As I was rummaging around in one of Suzie's cupboards for a mixing bowl, I noticed that they had a dehydrator just sitting there. I asked Suzie if she or Mike ever used it and she said "maybe once or twice for jerky", but it otherwise sat unused. I told her I was in the market for one, but wanted to test one out before I splurged, so she's letting me use it for a bit to see if it's something we'd want to invest in. I already told Jackson that we're going to make some fruit leather this week, so I hope it turns out! Going to try it with some homemade applesauce I have canned, and flavor it with some of my canned grape juice. In my head, it sounds like it will work out well, so we'll see!

One of the sad parts of this weekend was that my sister Cherie and her family weren't able to make it, and it just wasn't the same. My niece Laurel is away at college, and Cherie's family drove down to Missouri to spend the holiday with her. They even brought the fixings to make a Thanksgiving meal at the hotel, and that just makes me happy. Who asks to make a turkey at a hotel kitchen? My sister does. And since most of us haven't seen Laurel since she left for college in August, we decided to do a video chat with her today before she had to go to work. My mom bawled, as she always does, which made me and Suzie cry, as well. But, it was really great to be able to talk to her and see her today. My family is just great. :)

Right now, Jackson and I are finally home and resting on the couch (and watching Mythbusters) after our long weekend. I'd hoped that we'd have gotten home sooner so we could do some more decorating, but now we have something to look forward to for Tuesday night. Monday nights, Jackson has cub scouts and that's something his dad does with him, so he stays over there every Monday. Since I have every Monday night free, I started volunteering every other Monday. This week is a volunteer week, so I won't have time to do any decorating on my own tomorrow night, either. Probably best; Jackson would be a bit upset if I'd do too much without him.

Other than that, I've had a lot on my mind this week, but that seems to be the norm lately. I've also run into some writers block, so I've been reading more to keep my mind from wandering too much. Neil Gaiman helps with that, but I've also been having some really weird dreams...and I normally have weird dreams. American Gods inspired dreams, though, are REALLY weird. I should really keep a notebook by my bed again so I can write some of my dreams down when I first wake up. Tonight, I totally will. Well, if I remember.

Ok. Notebook by the bed already. Decided I'd just do it so I can't say "oh, man. Why didn't I do that???" again. Also realized that Jackson's sheets are still in the washing machine and NOT the dryer...which also means that all of our laundry from this weekend is still in a heap in the basement and is not in the washer. So, I should probably do that. I think I'm also going to write a bit tonight, too, since I feel chatty and kind of serene...maybe I can work on another short story since I've officially given up on NaNoWriMo for the 2nd year in a row. Karen Fail. Oh least I tried. And I'll try again next year, too. One of these years, it will work out, though. I know it. I'm an optimist like that.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

That's What She Said...

Life is full of...well, things. Some things are necessity and unavoidable, like bills and food and work. Some things are frivolous, like watching the latest episode of Parks and Rec or the new Harry Potter movie. And some things are just...nice to have, like good friends, a long hug, or an overactive imagination. Tonight I have the overactive imagination, and I must say, it's not super nice to have at the moment. It's 3am, and I just cannot sleep. Too many thoughts looming in my mind and I just can't seem to make peace with them. For most of them, I've found some resolve, which has quieted part of my brain for now, but I have a couple of things that I just...can't make sound.

I'm gonna try to tuck them into the back of my head for now and dust off this here blog. I briefly started a new one to post my Photo-A-Day project to, but I kind of gave up on that a couple of months ago. Not the photo a day part, mind you, but the blog part of it. But, it wasn't the same as this one. I've missed having somewhere to pour my thoughts, and I haven't found a happy medium for it since I left. I tried Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, but those are harder to just dump my mind gibs on, since there are too many "real" people connected there. Some days, it's nice to shout into the abyss of the internet and hear the silence resounding back at you. I even tried to just keep a regular journal, but I found myself self-editing even that; like, trying to protect Future Karen from reading the what's really going on in Past Karen's world. I figured if I wasn't going to keep a real journal to let out my daily thoughts or woes, I should try that blog again.

And here I am. It's been...well, about 2 years, it seems, since I last updated. Jackson just turned 9, and I'm closing in on 30...thirty. Geez, seems a bit surreal. I'm not particularly afraid of turning 30, since I've felt middle aged since I was about 20, but I am feeling some inner turmoil with it. I think it's mostly because I'm almost 30 and I still feel like I haven't accomplished all that I'd wanted to. Still single, still at the same job, still not living for me. I am getting a lot better with the last one, though. I've tried putting myself out there for people and some have worked out, and some haven't. And, with the ones that haven't, I've survived to tell the tale, so lesson learned and experience experienced. And while I'm still at the same job, I have started volunteering within the community, which has helped make me feel better about being a cubicle drone day after day; I least get to help people now on my own time, and it feels wonderful. I've also started doing some things that I've been wanting to do for years but have put off, like sewing and canning and learning photography. Also started cooking a lot and learning some science behind baking so I can start experimenting more in the kitchen. I'd also started learning about wines, so I'm feeling very pretentious at times and I kind of love it. I wish to one day be at the level of Paul Giamatti in Sideways. Man, that was a great movie. GREAT. MOVIE. I also have started writing more, but still holding myself back a lot. I keep trying to take myself too seriously, and I really do not do well with serious. I should write a children's book; I bet I'd rock a children's book. A book of haiku for kids. Actually, that sounds like a lot of fun. Adding to my bucket list for this winter.

It's also Thanksgiving this week. For the first time in years, I'm not having a get together with any family on Thanksgiving and instead Jackson and I are having a small dinner here with just the two of us. I say small, in that there will only be the two of us, but I am making enough food to feed a small army. Small again; see? Small dinner. 15 pounds of delicious turkey will be roasting away on Thursday, while I start decorating my house for the holidays. *sigh* I can't wait. I love the holidays. I love the feeling they bring. Happiness. Lots and lots of happiness. In past years, I'd get a bit sad around the holidays, being around my happy family and all of their happy families, all the while trying to adjust to being alone (pretty sure I'd vented a few times on here in the past), but I think this year I'm finally at the point where I'm happy being just me. I'd hoped to not be just me by now, but I've been single for 5 years and it doesn't seem to be changing anytime soon, so I'm just accepting it now. You hear that, Future Karen? You're accepting it. So stop whining and chin up! Life goes on, whether you're ready for it or not, so you might as well be ready for anything. That reminds me...I'm all out of duct tape.

Ok. Brief break to make a list of things I need at the store and I realized it's almost 3:30 now. My alarm is going off in 3 hours so I can pick J up before school, so I'd best be at least attempting to rest, even if sleep is out of reach.

It's nice to be back, though. Feeling better already.