UPDATE TO Mrs. Flinger October 16, 2015
Because the Universe has a wicked sense of humor, after this delcaration, my blog threw up all over my last upgrade.
So I'm starting over using Craft. Turning 40 and kid entering Jr High next year, sometimes it's just time for a change. These archives will still exist in the way the last child goes off to college and their room is the same for 20 years, but it's just time to move forward.
Taking after her mother Sep 19, 2009
Family Expectations And The Grass That Is Truly Greener Sep 18, 2009
I grew up in a suburb of Houston in a neighborhood with sidewalks and manicured lawns. I have fond memories of children riding our hot-wheels on the sidewalk, zipping up each driveway to someone’s house we all knew. Denise, Paul, Mercy, Carol. Kids spanning from 2nd grade to 6th, all mingling in the street playing basketball, riding bikes, coloring with chalk. The caste system of maturity as the older kids teased the younger and the younger kids gathering around toys.
This is my childhood and I love the memories. I can almost smell the air of a humid Saturday morning in October when the children begin to take to the sidewalk playing, knocking on doors, asking if so-and-so can come out to play.
My husband has a different memory.
My husband grew up on acreage in a tiny town in Washington State. Where rain and mud and large trees dominate his childhood. Where boys could explore for hours in a barn, watch the horses, and roll down large hills. He smells the pine and fresh air and instantly turns 8 in his head, playing trains and bikes and GI-Joes.
Each of our experiences influence our expectations for our own family. I see my children enjoying the company of others, playing in the front yard as I make dinner, calling to me that the neighbors are out chatting. My husband sees our children roaming a field of land, running in pine cones and leaves and mud.
We’re now looking for a house. It’s become evident we have a short opportunity of time to leave our tiny condo, expand our legs, and give each child a room of their own. It is now or never, in the words of our agent, and we have to move quickly.
It is now.
But as we look, searching, for the right place to live, the home we will keep for 10-15 years, for the duration of our childrens’ schooling and thus the majority of their childhood memories, we can’t get past our own happiness as a child. Land vs. Community. A newer home vs space.
We visit homes and the children marvel at the bedrooms. “It’s PINK already!” We watch as the kids run circles in the large yard running up and down the small hill. Laughing. Rolling. Smiling. We see neighbor kids playing and our children watching, wishing they could join in.
I know the lesson here. I know the conclusion. I know we are our own family, influenced by our parents but not tied by their experiences. We are a new family, full of new needs, new expectations. But we’re not so different from the family we belonged to back in 1979, or the houses we occupied. And in the end I know it’s the family, not the house, that creates the childhood memories to hold on to.
I just hope this family gets a house with a new kitchen. And a skylight.
And maybe a bit of land with large wet evergreens, because I believe in the American Dream.
We’re dreaming big. And the kids are dreaming with us.
A New Week, A New Start Sep 14, 2009
I was recently reminded of a promise I made to myself to get in shape.
oooOOOOHhhh, sighs the Internet. THAT again.
Well, yes, that. THAT.
However, instead of making lofty goals, promises, and pubic announcements, I’m just going to share with you one or two things I’m going to try this week. Will I do this again next week? I can not say. Mainly because one of the things I’m trying to cut back on, aside from booze (god, the excess sugar!) and processed meats, I’m also giving up making promises I know I can’t keep.
So? Here are two things I’m doing this particular week.
1. Doing this DVD twice this week. It’s a ballet conditioning workout and in some ways? It is harder than The Shred. Dearlawd my abs! MY ABS.
2. Making this hearty Minestrone soup one night.
Quick Fall Minestrone
This easy soup brims with fresh vegetables; canned beans and orzo make it hearty and filling. Use a vegetable peeler to quickly remove the skin from the squash.
TOTAL TIME: 35 MINUTES
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups vegetable broth
2½ . cups (¾ .-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
2½ . cups (¾ .-inch) cubed peeled baking potato
1 cup (1-inch) cut green beans (about ¼ . pound)
½ . cup diced carrot
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ . teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ . teaspoon salt
4 cups chopped kale
½ . cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
½ . cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 2½ . minutes or until tender. Add broth and the next 7 ingredients (broth through salt); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes. Add kale, orzo, and beans; cook 5 minutes or until orzo is done and vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with cheese.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1½ . cups soup and 1 tablespoon cheese)
CALORIES 212 (21% from fat); FAT 5g (sat 1.6g, mono 1g, poly 1.2g); PROTEIN 9.6g; CARB 36g; FIBER 3.9g; CHOL 5mg; IRON 1.9mg; SODIUM 961mg; CALC 164mg
This recipe is from CookingLight
In the words of Bob, “Baby stepping toward healthy….”
Learn to programm iApps from Stanford thanks to iTunesU. Free. Sep 13, 2009
I purchased a book about a year ago for programming iPhone Apps. That book? The spine still isn’t broken; which is a sure sign that I’m either a) complete slacker or b) too anal to break the spines on my books.
Clearly it’s not B.
I tend to learn better through interaction so when I found out I could participate in a class at STANFORD for FREE?
I felt a little giddy.
So I’ll be participating in the Stanford iTunes U iApp Building. There is a series of podcast downloads with associated PDF slides of the lectures.
I’ll be downloading these files as quickly as possible before word gets out that I can get smart FOR FREE from STANFORD.
Maybe someone was completely baked when they thought this was a great idea, because it was. It is. And it feels a touch illegal, wrong, and a little dirty. Me getting smart off Stanford’s lectures.
Raur, baby. Just… Raur. Bring on teh sexy code!
Labor Day: A working mother’s question, a plea, and a pledge Sep 08, 2009
My family did what most other Seattle families did this Labor Day: We hunkered down and went out in the rain. As Seattle dwellers, we’re accustom to venturing out in the rain in our gear and rain boots. It’s what we do.
And so we did.
Shortly after these photos were taken, Toddler Boy started puking. The fever from two days ago apparently turned in to the flu and we spent most of the night cuddling, cleaning, and holding while his body rejected the virus.
I’ve never been one of those mothers who liked to fight about what was harder: staying home or working. I’m not one of those mothers that enjoys competing at that level (a nice healthy game of scattegories, though, is fair game) so I’m not interested in saying that because I am keeping my son home from preschool/daycare today I need sympathy for me and him. And, alternatively, I’m not looking for a lecture about being a working mom.
No. What I need is a tall red beer. And ear plugs.
It’s a fine line to walk, the working mother. On the one hand, there is the guilt, the pull, the tug of the family. On the other hand, there are bills, a housing market that failed miserably, and an education your children deserve. Toss in self-fulfillment and the fact that I love my job and you have one complex equation.
Some days are obvious: Today is a work day. Tomorrow is a holiday.
But most days are gray, overcast, misty with confusion and the lack of differentiation.
Especially the days one of the kids stay home sick.
I have not found the balance between working, focusing, and caring for the demanding, ill, little person. I haven’t been successful at holding my son, rocking him to sleep without thinking of the list I need to accomplish.
I do not seperate well.
I don’t have the answer. I don’t know how to be present in the thing I’m doing. I’m always in a million places focusing on how to get those million things to completion.
Yesterday for an hour and a half I was walking with my family on a path in the rain watching the ducks and the children. I wasn’t in my computer, I wasn’t in my to do list, I wasn’t in our finances. I was walking with my family. Purely. Simply.
Maybe I’m not great at separating my rolls yet. But I know I can have them work together. At least some of the times.
Or maybe just by asking the questions I’m admitting failure.
Either way. I don’t know how you do it.
How. Do. You. Do. It?
Things that happen in thirty days Sep 04, 2009
1. The moon waxes and wanes and makes a complete circle around the earth.
2. Women bleed.
3. You can fail at the thirty day challenge.
4. And Mrs. Flinger Finally Gets Around To Her Post-BlogHer BrewHAHA post.
First, I want to say a huge, gigantic, fabulous, big, wonderful shoutout to Johnson and Johnson for their fabulous give-away. I was one of the lucky winners in the BlogHer Travel Sweepstakes. I honestly don’t know what I’d have done without them. The contacts there are so wonderfully kind and helpful and I just need to shout out to J&J with a huge big HOWDYHO! And thank you. From a most humbled me.
Instead of recapping in a play-by-play fashion, I’ve been gnawing on an overview in my head since the flight home a month ago. I’ve been sorting out the details looking for the big picture, trying not to get too bogged down in the WHO and the WHERE. I enjoyed my time with so many people, both new friends and old friends. And since most everything has already been said about the swag, parties, mommy blogging, I have no need to rehash any of it because in the end, it’s what you take out of the conference that sticks with you…
...Even thirty days later.
The Big Picture
I spent a lot of time walking around Chicago with Amanda, my friend from work. She is smart, funny, a potty mouth, and I love her for all of it. Her perspective kept me grounded, focused. She writes. We talked about writing versus blogging. We talked about the depth of relationships and “the game” of blogging. In the end I realized where my priorities were shifting and how it was effecting relationships that I cared about, my job, my home life, my children.
My time with her was invaluable. I learned as much, or more, about blogging and my own intrinsic value simply from wandering Chicago with one of BlogLand’s most amazing, underground, bloggers.
The Love Fest
I’ve been blogging since August 2003. I’ve been in the community for a long long time. This provides time to meet, love, and admire people from WAY WAY back in, like, 2004. (!) In blog years, which are similar to dog years, that’s about twenty-five decades or roughly the time it takes to figure out what you want to do with your life.
And then you realize they are people.
And they love you back.
Jen is one such loveliness.
Schmutzie and her Palinode are long-time blog loves as well. And I simply adore them both with the flame of a thousand binary suns. As fellow web geeks, well spoken and down-right hilarious, they are a cozy hug in the middle of a conference of strangers. They are home.
Way way back in 2004, I read Busy Mom and just about died the first time she commented on my site. BUSYMOM, YO! And then she got twitter and made me laugh daily with her quick-wit hidden messages. (“Omeonsay Eedsnay Acationvay Omfray Ossbay”)
And finally, Finally, after all these years, I sat on her lap and followed her around like a pup.
It’s almost strange to me that I’ve never met Karen. Is that possible? That I’ve never actually MET her until this summer? We’ve worked together for two years now and have talked on the phone maybe a billion times but my first hug with the lovely lady that is so beautiful inside and out only happened this summer. And it was wonderful.
Megan is another phone-buddy of mine and someone I consider a “real life” friend. This is our third conference together but it feels as though she lives here in my neighborhood. Or maybe I just wish she did.
This year we had actual MEN at the conference! MEN! In a sea of women! It must’ve been heaven for them.
Or utter scary hell.
Either way, I had the opportunity to say hello to a friend. Maybe you heard of him? Chris Mann? He’s not totally hot or anything.
Theron is another boy that came to the Room 704 party. He is the president of People Pond and since we had a hard time calling him “Theron” we just referred to him as “Kent Cracker” because, comon, he’s so totally Clark Kent. Right?
A surprising, wonderful, fabulous first time love of mine is Sleepy New Mommy. I FECKING LURVE HER. Obviously.
Also, I adored meeting Megan from Megan’s Minute. She was a breath of logical fresh air and fun.
I met so many people, did not take enough pictures, fell in to a stupor of love and overwhelmed dehydration, and took terrible notes. But I remember people, the ones who were kind, who I did not see enough of, who are lovely inside and out. And I hope to see them more, both online and off.
I can’t say enough about Lotus (whom I was almost killed by a car for whilst hugging until Amanda saved me) and my fellow 704 party throwers. They are my tribe. And I would not have survived without them.
And oh, so many more people that I adore. I’m so blessed to know so many great souls. Seriously wonderful people that can cut loose, cuss, drink, laugh, share, and be a genuine person, a friend, a love.
I am blessed in multitude for what this community, this blog, has brought me.
And I would never have it without you.
All of you.
(For better recaps, see these lovely womenz that I had the joy of meeting in person and who say something nice about me. I pay them.)
Lotus’s fucking awesome hilariousness
Karen’s Canadian Recap, eh
Christine of the bean blog
PhD in parenting
The Pioneer Woman
Jodifur (who was a complete JOY to meet, a highlight for sure!)
And maybe yours, too, but I’m godawful at checking stats. GODAWFUL, I say. See also: paying bills. But that’s another story for another day.
A few projects Sep 01, 2009
I’ve been working with the Design Tramps to pump out a few projects recently. As my graphic pimps, I’m their sexy code whore. (Which, having typed that should really should get me the type of awesome, high quality traffic that is probably looking to hire a web developer who puts out. Sigh.)
A few of the most recent projects include, but are not limited to:
Huge thanks to the Design Tramps for being so fabulous to work with. I have a few more projects on my plate and more code to nom on. And I’ve never been happier.
Next up! TWO YEAR OLDS IN THE WOODS. And why I wish I still wore diapers.
Guess what I did last summer Aug 31, 2009
So look, yea, I know, it’s sort of a sickness. I’m going to need a 12 step program for NOT CHANGING MY BLOG.
But not today.
I thought I’d play with a few ideas I had and literally took 4 hours to redo the whole shibang here. I utilized a template pack from EE Templates to integrate my existing configurations and added in a dash of my own flavor. The result is a major overhaul in roughly the time it takes to watch three Northern Exposures (the theme of the font in title and nav)
You’ll also see the main part of the site is updated with a rotating “What’s coming up this week” feature.
I’ve started blogging most of my posts on the weekends which is the only way I can manage to write, work, feed children and shower/workout/talk to my husband/have friends, etc. Which means that most Mondays, I already know what’s coming. And now? So do you. Just a little summin’ summin’ for you to look forward to. Like, WHY YOU DO NOT TAKE CHILDREN CAMPING IN THE WOODS ALONE. And WHAT MENSTRATION AND THIS PHOTO HAVE IN COMMON.
And ohmylands, the yelling. Sorry. Got a little carried away what with the excitement of a launch and all that nonsense.
So click around. Test it out. This is a “mid-point” or a “launching off of” or a “god this sucks” theme. I don’t know the future of the graphics here, but I do know things are changing again.
But aren’t they always?
I met a new man at work AKA: Affairs of the heart Aug 25, 2009
I’ve been working diligently on standardizing code, upping standards, and being “The Best I Can Be” (without joining the US Army). So today when I downloaded the new Safari 4, I literally fell head over heals right away.
Do you believe in love at first site? (Get it? SITE? ... sorry, baby got nerd.. cough) I do.
At least, I do now.
This badboy is SEXAY.
Safari and it’s on-board web console for developers is like the icing to my cake.
He’s like the Travolta of the 70’s sleeked up and made in to one badass browser singing to sweep me off my feet.
Like Kitt and Night Rider.
Like Bret and Jamaine.
He walks me through my code, showing me exactly what loads and how long it takes. He works with me to find bugs, errors, and ways to improve.
He knows how to woo me, giving me things I like. He listens to my needs and attentively displays those sites I work on the most recently.
He’s also quick. Which, I know, right? Kind of cliche, but sometimes a girl needs a fast man. Get the site up and let’s get on with our lives. Places to go, people to see, and sites to develop.
He is the fastest browser in the west beating out IE8.
But most importantly, he’s safe, secure, and protects my online information. He’s like a big, strong bear hug for my fragile ego.
And I’m leaving Firefox for him.
Sorry, Firefox. I know we have a long history together. But really, how could it last? We both knew one day we’d move on to other things. We just.. grew too much apart, you with your whoring out plugins and whatnot. You went too far too fast and now you’re slow and old. Safari? Has a list of features you can’t even touch, babe.
Feel free to call one day, FF. I hope we can still be friends. But maybe see a shrink first. I just can’t help you anymore.
We sing our own song Aug 23, 2009
The actualized self, the best version of yourself, is there urging yourself to grow. There are methods and practices, some more intuitive than others, that bring you closer to your potential. It sounds so new-agy, all sorts of “two-thousand-oh-nine” but I believe it is closer to truth than the thirty previous years of my religious experience.
I’ve been discussing. I discuss atheism with my husband, Christianity with one group of friends and eastern religion with others. I watch the intuitive nature of my children, how they are both full of love and utterly selfish, clashing in to tempers and fits. Their struggle is visible, palpable. I watch their emotions unfold outwardly. My job, according to our culture, is to teach them to suppress, handle, resolve, and come to an appropriate action. They are to work it out internally, sometimes suppressing their own desires for the sake of the other. It’s a process that takes years to figure out, nuances of society as complex as the laws of English where sometimes it’s ‘e before i’ and sometime ‘y is a vowel.’ So much of what I teach them is subjective, coming from my own 33 years of experience. Sometimes I have no reason other than “I told you so” which runs as acceptable in our culture as Mary was a Virgin at the time of Jesus’ Birth.
It doesn’t always make logical sense.
I am here at this precipice. I often come to edges as I walk along life’s path wandering through trails with people or alone. I’ve taken beaten paths with congregations of christians, trails with buddhist, large fields with atheists. I’ve walked with them asking questions, learning and wondering. The paths are symbolic but just as real as any pilgrimage. And now I am here, glancing over the edge not knowing what is below but understanding I do not want to go back to where I came from.
The mind is magnificent, forming segments for complex issues. Taking large truths and chewing them in to smaller more manageable bites. Was Jesus saying he was the son of God or that he is the son of man, a human with an amazing message, to love, to let go of the past, to make your heaven on earth? Is the war for religion necessary? Is one group going to a hell while the other rises up? Do we really not know which is which?
Or are we so used to rolling with our historic cultural preferences that we fail to seek the reason and truth behind a larger picture?
It is this place I stand with my children and my husband, watching the world and the future. I see a trail back down to one way, a softer path to another. I want to stretch each of us, to find truth and peace and harmony. To teach my children that love is innate, it is inside us, but it is bigger than us.
I do not think I need religion to do so.
So we will sing to our own tune until someone sings along with us. You’re welcome to join and harmonize. We wouldn’t turn you away.
We will sing our own song but we’re not alone. We’re joined by an inner, greater Love.