Friday, October 30, 2009

Ch-ch-ch changes

Since discovering the blog Under $1000 Per Month, I have been reading through it, and feeling that this could apply to me. Not everything, mainly due to the fact that I am still in a full time job, so things like making my own pasta and cheese, while tempting, are not realistic right now. However, as I believe I've mentioned before, I and my little pod family live with hubby's parents. 

We are a family of 5 with a cat, and yet, night after night, MIL is the only one cooking dinner. I have never in my life taken to cooking. It intimidates me the way crocheters are intimidated by the concept of creating with TWO sticks instead of one. I know it works, I see it work for others, heck I watched Julie and Julia with fascination.

But, me? cooking? Seriously?

Thinking about my dear MIL (really, she's an angel, I love this woman) cooking every day, even on weekends, and often cleaning up afterward with nary a complaint, I feel horribly guilty. As I should! We've added three people to her house, our mess, our clutter, our noise, and yet aside from paying our portion of the rent, I really don't feel like we carry our portion of the burden of keeping it up.

That is about to change. Since I am still scared of cooking (silly, I know, but I am), I am taking one day per week to start out. I will cook dinner start to finish, and clean up. At least in the beginning, these will often be crock pot dinners. But they will be tasty, warm, and filling.

Along the same vein, hubby and I have agreed that November 2009 will be our No Eating Out Month. We eat out, on lunch and on weekends, entirely too much. So much so, that it's starting to cause issues, and so we're going to do something about it. This means lots of planning: dinners for me to make, and lunches for both of us to ensure we're not stepping out.

Dear readers, what are your favorite frugal tips, crock pot recipes, and tips for keeping Bag Lunch Burnout at bay?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vampires, swimming, Cinderella, oh my!

Last night I had the longest, most detailed, drawn-out nightmare I've had in a long time. I really want to get this out of my system, it was so vivid and realistic that I keep flashing to it while I"m fully awake. I have had to remind myself at least 5 times so far today that -that- particular thing was in the dream, and didn't happen.

Dream starts off with my BFF Lisa and I arriving at a mutual friend's wedding. We're late, and just in time to see the bride walk down the aisle. I sit there thinking I was so thankful it wasn't Lisa's wedding (I was late to her wedding in real life, long story, but she didn't care) because it would be so embarrassing  Then, Lisa takes me to her work, which is this huge corporation, and basically gets me a job there, where all I do is shadow her all day. To get to work, however, we have to ride this huge ship to and from where ever it was we were starting from. I mean huge. So, looking over the side of the ship, I see that we're moving incredibly fast, big ship or not. To my left is a large fence/net like thing sticking out of the side of the boat, to catch fish?

There is a woman who has fallen over the side, and the people on board are literally using a crane to get her out of the roiling waters. This didn't work, and they dropped her back into the ocean! I"m watching this unfold in astonishment, as the waters end up pushing her against the fence thing, she's screaming and freaking out of course, and so they go get a rope, and literally loop it around her neck and pick her up that way. At this point, I am LOSING it, and I turned away in my dream.

To my right, on the water, is a sort of canvas sheet, attached to the boat by ropes from the four corners of the sheet. On the sheet is a large, pale man with small, fleshy horns on his head. When I look over at him, I'm instantly afraid. He turns and looks at me with super pale, creepy, blank eyes, and then turns back to his "swimming". Then he slithers off the canvas thing and swims away in the blink of an eye.

We arrive at Lisa's work, and she takes really odd precautions as we go in, walking a weaving path, avoiding doorways, etc, until we have to go in one. And there, waiting for us is the horned man. Though now, he looks more friendly, has hidden his horns somehow, and is smiling at us. Everything in my being is screaming to run, though he's given me no reason. Lisa grasps my arm tightly, and pushes past him, saying "Not now, we have to work". 

She takes me in, we sit down in a large boardroom, and I'm at the end of the table, so many people look at me. (This is something I hate in real life, but it didn't bother me too much in the dream). We did some work of sorts, then the guy appeared again. Lisa whispered to me that he's a vampire, and he's always sneaking through their halls, making people disappear, etc.

Several times I saw him lure someone over by him with simple "hey how's it going?" and an arm wrapped in a friendly fashion around the shoulders, while he directed them to a more suitable place.  I warned a little boy and his dad away, and feared repercussions later, for the rest of the dream.

Soon after, Lisa tells me, if I hadn't already noticed, that she'd completely lost her "gang" of friends. They had apparently formed a coven, and tried to get her to become a witch with them. She didn't have any desire to do so, and they quit hanging out with her altogether. Now, the vampire dude keeps hounding her, and he's charming, etc, and she's starting to like him.

Then she and I go to a pool to go swimming, and we take another odd path, as close to the wall as possible with no doors, and if vampire dude swims in (he appears out of nowhere, and moves super fast), we move to the opposite side of the pool and get out, taking our wall path to get away.

Later, I was in a huge library. I don't remember much of this except there were a ton of huge staircases of lovely wooden flooring, and I had Little M with me. Then we were in a mall, and I hear a good friend of mine behind me, and I turn around and announce "Iiiiiiit's Erin!" and Erin, grown woman that she is, is wearing a sailor style top, and circle skirt. The skirt was halfway tucked into the waistband, and she hadn't notice, so I fixed it for her.

At this point, vampire dude manages to get Little M away from me, and like in a video game, I see her "meter" go from "Human" to "Vampire" in a matter of seconds.
I'm terribly sad, but only for a minute because now I have people from Lisa's company asking me where the Cinderella room is, as they can't find it and they have a meeting rightthissecond there. I show them how to get there, all the doors have plaques on them with the various names.
I wake up just as the vampire guy has slipped his arm around me, and I had decided to stop fighting and just let him do his thing.

During the ENTIRE dream, I moved SO slowly. My legs felt like lead, my arms were shaking and I couldn't really raise them, and at any point when others were running, I could not, even if my life depended on it.

So, today I'm having some really odd dream flashes, and still have this shaky, panicky feeling that Little M's a vampire, something's happened to her, or there's a guy shadowing me.

Can anyone relate? I know at least one other person whose dreams stick with her long after waking. I would love to hear your experiences and know that I'm not alone.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mmmmmmm sushi

Today I picked Little M up from school, with the potential for a mother-daughter date to go see a movie. Matt had called me earlier to let me know that a last minute sleep-over with Little M's aunt was up for grabs, and I knew she would jump at the chance. Her aunt is pregnant, and Little M is SO excited over this baby!

So, I pick her up, and find out her friends are playing after school for a bit on the playground. When we pick up our kids from school, we are essentially a long line of cars, and the teachers make sure we're a parent (you have to open your window, etc) before the kids go with us. So, we're in this long line of cars and now there's the potential for playing. So, I slowly move down the line and present Little M with plans A and B.
Plan A:
Play at the "park" at school, and have a sleepover.
Plan B:
Have a date with Mom, and have a sleepover.

Well, common sense tells you that friends beat out Mom any day of the week. So, our date is currently in limbo, but not forgotten. We parked the car, then moseyed over to the field, where there's a lovely bench for parents to kick back and observe their kids. Soon, one had to go to the bathroom, so kiddo went in with her, and soon they come back out Armloads of fish.

Apparently the library was redecorating for this year's artwork, and these painted, Styrofoam fish were being removed. The girls chose the ones they wanted (surprisingly, Little M chose a non-eye-searing one, of blue, silver and white), and other kids flocked to come choose their own fish.

On the way home, I learned that our particular fish is a "fry", and a girl, and has been bequeathed the name Sarah.
Amazing what one finds at school.
After coming home, we met said aunt for a lovely sushi dinner. I don't have pictures, but it was NUM and I stuffed myself shamelessly. Really, Honey Lime Rolls? If you're offered them, DO IT. Crab rolls with avocado on top, drizzled with lime zest and honey. I'm completely full and my mouth is watering just writing this.
Upon coming home, there was a mad flurry of this:
I plan to have an update for the shop next week, stay tuned!!


So, due to personal life struggles, etc, I haven't sewn for a while. Recently I've caught the bug again, and have cleaned up, reorganized, and gotten back into my sewing!!
I will upload a photo tonight, but over the course of a few days, finished up 7 circle skirts for Little M. They're easy, fun, and she loves wearing them.
We always require that she wears something (shorts or pants) under them for modesty, not because they're short, but because she climbs, flips, and plays like any normal 6 year old.
This has gotten me thinking about possibly making skirts with matching bloomers or shorts for kids her age. You really can't find full circle skirts for kids bigger than toddlers, which is odd to me. Little girls ADORE them and Little M has told me many times they make her feel like a princess.
If you haven't already, please vote in the poll here, as I'd love to know what you think.
Now that the skirts are out of the way, the Meanbean Halloween Collection will be coming very shortly!! Keep your eyes peeled :)