Friday, August 30, 2013

A Series of Un-Fortunate Events

 It's been awhile. Yes, a very, very long while. What have I been doing for the past two years, you ask? Raising children. That is all. What has brought me back to write here? This series of un-fortunate events. Bear with me here. This takes some background info.

 It all started last Friday. I was a little depressed. Call it hormones, life adjustments, lack of sleep or what have you, I just was not feeling 100%. I had a play date planned for the runts with some friends of ours. We met up after lunch. I hung around for a bit and chatted with my mommy friend, D. So D is preggo. After having four kids and getting them all in school, an epiphany happened and "they" decided to have a fifth. This hit a little close to home because I have always thought I wanted "just one more" but after a very harrowing and soul-searching summer, I think we are d.o.n.e. I regress...that story is for another time. Anywho, add in my SIL, who is having a complicated pregnancy and the subject naturally turned guessed it...having babies. Mixed with my already tentative emotional state this was the perfect recipe for random and unwanted eye leakage. In my unstable position I make a confession to D that I am torn and at times slightly jealous of her joyous preggo state but mostly glad I am NOT going to be raising another child as I enter "the next phase" of child-rearing. With the onset of leaky eyes, I realize maybe this is not appropriate in front of her very innocent 13 yr old daughter and I abruptly take my leave. To compound the awkward-ness I see D later and ask her about the health of her pregnancy, in the process revealing some info. she had confided to me, once again in front of Miss 13.

Fast forward a few days. Superman has been out of town. He had borrowed my cell phone and thus the charger. In the meantime, D texts me apologizing for the awkward-ness and the lack of info. in regards to the pregnancy due to young ears being present. Well aren't I the worst. friend. ever. Ok I know, I know. I can be a little dramatic.

The thing is, I didn't answer the texts because I didn't have my phone, and when I did have my phone, I was driving, distracted with other things, or it was almost dead with no way to charge it. I finally send a short text saying I did receive hers, I can't elaborate now but I will talk to her soon. Two more days pass before I can text her back my full responses. Should I have just called her? Probably. But D is always saying she's not much for talking on the phone. Am I winning the Friend of the Year Award yet? D-. This brings me to the core of my story.

 It is now Thursday. Almost a week after the freaky-emotional-preggo-convo we had at her house and later mine. After receiving no responses from D, I begin to feel crushed. I mean, I feel AWEFUL! Really sick inside. Cue drama. Have I ruined our friendship? Did I hurt her feelings? Or just really tick her off? Should I call her? Or just wait? Maybe she's busy? What if something has gone wrong? I am feeling like the most horrible, unreliable, energy sucking friend that ever walked the planet.

Amid all my angst, I need to get the peach butter processed. Side note: This is the nature of my life, as any parent can testify to. There is always about 1,001 things going on outside the body while the 10,009 things are going on inside the head.

I get all my jars filled and lids on thinking I could dry the lips better but hopefully it's good enough. The curse of the distracted. Put the jars in the pot to process, set the timer, and return 15 minutes later to find in my utter zone-out I failed to screw one lid down which has resulted in a peach-butter infused water bath. Lovely. I dig out all the jars, now somewhat sticky, and manage to salvage most of the opened one. That's alright. We'll just eat that one now. The two jars I thought were "good enough" did not seal at all. At this point I am quite frustrated in my head. Believe it or not, outwardly I was perfectly calm. Kudos to me. I don't think my little princess noticed any steam coming out of my ears.

 There I was, possibly losing a dear friend, I am down one jar of preserved peach butter (that was a lot of love and labor), and now two jars haven't sealed. I go sit on my bed thinking I will have a good cry when it dawns on me to re-process them. I open, dry, and replace the lids and turn the burner back on to bring the water back up to a boil. Why isn't this working? Why isn't my water hasn't been off that long. Turn it up higher. Play on PC while I wait.

 Sunny says "MOM. SMOKE!" in her breathless, squeaky princess voice. OK yes there is smoke...what the??? I TURNED ON THE WRONG BURNER. Now I am hearing Superman's voice in my head next to "Do I call her, do I wait?" "Don't leave stuff on the stove top". My 4-cup glass measuring bowl is there with white chocolate burning in the bottom! I grab it off and the brief thought crosses my mind that if this thing cools too fast it will explode and at that moment the mailman is honking in the driveway. I grab up the bowl with hot pad, race out onto my porch, look both ways, and set it down on the little tikes table, thinking it's 100 degrees outside, it'll hold until I get back.

 Race back through the house, get the package from mailman, and now its time for la-la land. My little Sunny with her sing song voice wants to know what's inside.  I completely forget about the burnt chocolate. We leisurely open our package. Time passes. Not many minutes later Sunny is on the porch saying "yuuumm" and I glance out the back door to see that my 4-cup bowl has been completely obliterated. I mean, it is completely un-recognize-able. It looks like a bomb what set inside and exploded. There is glass everywhere. Tiny shards, little chunks, round pieces, pin-sized pieces. When I go to move what's left of the base off the table it sticks. OH CRAP! It is still so hot it burns me. I have to get a spoon to dig it out of the melty marshmallow plastic.

The thing is, I am a perfectionist. This is the stuff that puts me into another universe. Not only have I lost one of my all-time favorite Pampered Chef bowls, I have marred the Tikes table. After all these kids and years it has survived marr-free, it is I who has im-perfected it. Gah! I could curse that mailman! Wait! Don't curse the mailman. Praise the mailman because that thing would have exploded in my kitchen, all over me and my daughter. Thank God for the mailman. To calm myself(surprisingly Sunny still has seen no sign of the steam) I decide to just fold laundry. Superman arrives randomly ten minutes later, in the middle of work day, on a 30 minute commute. He laughs at me in a "told-you-so" sort of way. What more could I expect? What else is there to do? As for this series of unfortunate events, a do-over would be ever so welcome. But since that is not an option, I guess I will settle for learning from my mistakes. And laughing along with Superman, if only in my head.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A So-So Book Makes a So-So Review

Saving Grace by Annie Jones

There is really one word to describe the book as a whole: underwhelming. I am still trying to figure out why this book is titled “Saving Grace” after a character with a minimal role. If I analyze it, I can see the stretch but because the author takes some time to get to the point of involving Grace and then she leaves her out of the action for much of the rest and then suddenly re-introduces her. It turns out that it was actually Grace simply being that saved a friendship. This book interested me in one way. It revolves around a friendship between four southern women. It describes their challenges with each other as friends as well as their personal struggles as women, wives, and mothers. Because I live all of these roles myself I could parallel the story to my own experiences, which was heart-warming. Perhaps if I’d read the first book involving these women I would have got more into this book however, as it was, it took me weeks to read and that screams “It was so-so”. I have to commend the author for keeping it clean and within keeping of standards of the Christian genre. There is no doubt this is a Christian book.

Disclaimer: I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Another Book Review

"The Incovenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck" by Kathleen Y'Barbo

FYI: there are spoilers but I am not recommending this read unless you really like soap opera and Christian-y (only slightly) type books.

This was my first time to read anything by Katherine Y'Barbo. At first, I enjoyed her literary style but as I read on, I began to find holes. The story about Charlotte and Alex is solid in and of itself. However, I began to feel like I was reading the script of a soap opera.

This book is classified as Christian fiction yet there was very little mention of God and faith except in the last one hundred pages. Where faith is mentioned is brief, lacking depth, and corny. I do appreciate that overall the book was morally clean and free of inappropriate language. I find it disturbing that Charlotte's faith isn't brought up until the last few chapters when she is suddenly humbled back to spirituality. I would have liked to see more of a spiritual journey happen throughout the novel rather than "conveniently" at the end to explain Charlotte's sudden change of heart towards accepting her marriage.

I was frustrated with the courtship. Why didn't Alex "court" Charlotte? What happened to bringing a lady flowers and gifts or doing and saying those small things to win her heart once he decided he wanted to stay in their marriage? He thought she was beautiful and suspected he love her so why didn't he just tell her?

The author took Charlotte's stubborn tendancies to the extreme. I was almost ready to throw in the towel and be done with this character. I thought the book could have been little shorter; Charlotte's unwillingness to even consider the marriage was too much added in with all the "incovenient meetings" of the characters to prove how right for each they were yet how far apart from excepting each other they were.

I also would have liked to see more character development of the step-mother and her side of things. Why even put her in? She was like a movie extra. The father was like one of those super power, know-it-all, all powerful, know-everyone-and-everything-can-be-everywhere-all- the-time characters that is simple not reality and just added to the soap opera feel of the book. He reminded me of Victor on The Young and the Restless...always gets his way by miraculously controlling every aspect of everyone's life, even his acquantances.

The bottom line is the story and plot were a great idea but the writing is cinematic rather than novelesk. I found it sub-par. I will not personally seek to read another one of Y'Barbo's books nor recommend this to my friends unless they are superbly bored or perhaps they happen to like this style of book. To each his own.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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