4 hours early Friday 5

I’m unexpectedly home alone tonight, so I thought I’d throw some words out into the internet and see what happens. We’ve got a boatload of things planned this weekend for Jeff’s birthday, so it’s *kinda* the calm before the storm. SO…………

1) We started our vegetable minions. No, really. We’re so stoked about the garden this year that we started some of our seeds. We’ve got a little indoor growing kit, a growing light above them and a heated pad below. Oh, yeah, and we get to convince every visitor to our house that we’re not growing weed. BUT the joke will be on everyone else when we have broccoli and you don’t!

2) I can always tell when I’ve entered “running season”. Yesterday, my treadmill run left me with BLOODY TOE. For those of you who aren’t as addicted to exercise as me, this is what happens when one toenail is a bit too long and cuts his neighbor like a crackhead robber. It looks much worse than it is, and honestly-the sting the next few workouts when sweat accumulates is far worse. So between my bloody toe of doom, the change in my gait that happens when I start running, and the fact that using my foam roller results in more cuss words than normal all signal one thing: Spring is coming!

3) It’s Jeff’s birthday this weekend. He’s in full beer brewing mode-he’s even entered contests and done fairly well. So I got him a set of beer glasses to replace my sad race-stamped tumblers he’s been resigned to. We’re going to some of the local breweries on Saturday and Sunday he’ll be making his own beer. His only request of me? To sit down and finally watch the blues brothers with him. He’s constantly appalled at my lack of movie knowledge-at least his movies. Most comedies I can quote by heart, but anything not explicity funny or for children, released from 1978-1994 I just haven’t seen. Mom was primarily a single mom most of my life, and then she married my stepdad. That man, he loved him some Dances With Wolves. So I started being the sulky teenager hiding in her room listening to Nirvana instead of watching movies with the family. Damn, I sure loved Clueless though.

4) My health issues are *almost* over! The whole eye business is done (I had a bitch of a corneal ulcer) without ANY permanent damage to my vision. I’m damn lucky there. I’m a bit worried about some gynecological symptoms which just shouldn’t be happening to a person with my medical history, but we’re keeping an eye on it and I refuse to call the dr until something MAJOR happens.

5) Work is actually kind of exciting for me these days. I’ve become a bit of a subject matter expert and have a new boss. That’s taking me way out of my comfort zone, but if I can prepare myself I’m going to have a great knowledge base for this and any career that I want in the field going forward. Bonus points? I get to use totally nerdy phrases in conversation. Something about using hacker tech speak just makes me feel like I should have on lots more leather and spikes! At the least it makes me feel like resourceful cat.

resourceful cat

Happy Almost Friday!

Nobody Wants to See WHAT?

This evening, I was marinating in my bathtub. Literally. I had my wine, the water temp was kicked up to a nice simmer, and the trashy celebrity magazines were reading like candy for my brain. I read an article from Viola Davis, the star of “How to Get Away with Murder”. I generally enjoy Shonda Rimes programming-she’s the producer of Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, both of which I enjoy enough to watch without multitasking. Viola’s a pretty respected actress, and it was a major “get” for her to be associated with this show. From all accounts, she’s crushing it, though I have tried to get into the show and just couldn’t.

So what in the interview stuck out enough that I’m blogging about it? This little exchange:

Q. You’ve really committed to this role-even removing your makeup on camera. Was that tough?

A. It’s part of women that no one wants to see. It’s not pretty; it’s shocking and really personal.

Wait, what? Did she just say that nobody wants to see a woman without her makeup? Because, really? Does that strike anyone else as odd? Maybe I’m a super weird lady. But when I go to work, they’re lucky if my moisturizer has tint to it and there’s mascara on my eyes. I work out HARD over my lunch hours, and inevitably by 2:00 PM I am a hot mess. Any makeup I would have put on would have run in streams down my face on the AMT machine. And my workouts take long enough that I don’t have time to primp up and apply a “new face” before heading back to the office for 2 little hours before I head home. This probably explains my evening routine of getting home and heading directly to the bathtub-I’ve still got that workout not-so-fresh feeling, though I do make a cursory sweep with body spray, deodorant, and shower-in-a-towlette wipes.

I realize my routine is not for everyone, and that I’m a freak who puts my workouts above my daily appearance. Believe me, high school Laura is completely amazed at how she ended up as the most athletic person she knows. But the crux of the matter above is that a well known actress is stating that nobody wants to see a woman sans makeup. I have to believe that’s not true! So many women wear their makeup like war paint. It shows they mean business. It shows they mean pleasure. It shows the “best” we can be. I have seen the “celebrities without makeup” photos, and I’m amazed at them. But not because of an “oh my gosh she looks terrible” mentality. It’s because, honestly-they look like me. It proves that anyone could really look like the people we see in magazines. Essentially, “celebrities” are pre-packaged, well lit, painted up versions of ourselves. With the right tools, we all could be those people.

So, lady friends, here’s where I admit something and ask for your help. I really, really, really suck at doing makeup. Like, bad. I don’t even know what my good features are, let alone how to play them up. I’m pretty oblivious. I had a friend all lined up to do a tutorial for me, but in a later-blogworthy turn of events, it’s no longer a possibility. So, I pose a question and a request for help:

A) What makeup will my lady friends not leave home without? What piece of armor-makeup, hair, clothing, whatever-makes you feel powerful?

B) Who’s going to teach me how to do makeup? Like, really. I’ll pay you. Hopefully in baked goods and genuine appreciation, but I’ll pay you!

The Farm Kid’s Wife

Jeff and I had plans last Sunday. He’s in school, so taking a Sunday takes a monumental effort and some planning on our part. Homework has to be done in advance, and I have to pretty much take up any slack around the house so he can focus on what he needs to get done. I was willing to do so, because we were going to use our monthly theatre tickets and have lunch at our favorite place stateside; La Buvette. Adult lunchables and copious wine, people. I was so stoked! We’d planned a day between Christmas and New Years to go, but it snowed us out-both places are in Omaha, while we’re in Lincoln. I was sad, but then we had this to look forward to. So, of course, Saturday evening the snow started. And it did not let up. Yeah, our trip didn’t happen. We’ve got plans for the third time to be the charm in a few weeks. Let me tell you mother nature, don’t you try me a third time!

So what did we do with our Sunday? So glad you asked! I have been feeling epicly domesticated as of late. Making apple butter, trying new recipes and crushing it, organizing crap like nobody’s business. So I went to the kitchen, and first off I started poaching some chicken breasts for later use in Enchilauras (patent pending). Then I went to the freezer and saw that we still had a few chicken carcasses (sorry I hate that term, but there it is). So I grabbed those things, threw them in pots, filled them with water, stuffed some veggies and herbs in there and simmered that stuff for about 4 hours. That’s right, I made chicken stock. And I don’t know if it was pride in my work or if it really was that good, but the soup we made from it that night was freaking amazing. Like, I’m still eating it for lunch amazing. Jeff made chicken dumpling soup and hot damn, it was amazeballs. Our snow day turned out to be not so bad.

But then, of course, my brain started working overtime. “I like that”, I thought. “How do I do more of that?” And I pondered. What was it I found so satisfying about making things that cost $.75 to get at the store? Well, the fact that I made it, silly! A hamburger off your own grill always tastes better than running up to McDonalds for the dollar menu version. So I started thinking of other things I could make instead of buying. Yeah, there’s soaps and candles and shit on pinterest. But that wasn’t quite it. So I realized today during bath time-Laura stew always makes me meditative-that it was ultimately creating something with my hands. I like having a product at the end of the day that I can point to and say “I made that”. Whether it’s a vegetable I grew, a meal I cooked, or a coffee table I stained myself, there’s pride there.So I’m going to try to follow what interests me and see what happens. If it’s a colossal failure, fine. But maybe it will be a win. And I can’t know until I try.

Jeff’s pretty stoked on this. He’s been making his own beer for about 3 months. He’s got some plans to put a chicken coop in our backyard. Last year our garden was “OK”. This year, we’re making raised beds, rearranging where stuff goes, and generally making an epic harvest. I’m always pretty happy when I get to work in the yard. I have actually dug a bush I deemed offensive out of my retaining bed, and it was so exciting when I finally ripped it out that I held it over my head and announced to the dogs in my backyard that “I AM SPARTA!”. It’s satisfying.I’m trying to get my way of thought back to a simpler time. Read more at home, make things, do things, live with less distractions. I’m never not going to enjoy some mindless TV or messing around on the internet, but I’m trying to remember there’s always more of that. There’s not always a chance to plant, or built my own raised bed for gardening, or for reading the next book and seeing what I take from it. Maybe things were better without all these distractions we have so readily available. I want to find out.