Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Unflappable Ms. Clare

So that roller coaster, huh?


The Durian has some big electrical issues. Big issues mean big money, naturally. Is there anything smellier than a durian?

Ugg, oh well. Like Jason said "It is what it is, nothing we can really do about it." This is unfortunately true. So while my hearing did fuzz out for a bit when reading the total, I've decided to be...unflappable. It is what it is. Why fuss and fume over it any longer? Why let something completely out of my control ruin things? Deep breath, in and out...maybe touch or feel something near you and focus on how it feels as a distraction.


This morning was kind of crap in and of itself. Everyone around here was on edge. The kids were angry at each other, angry at their school, angry at things they couldn't control. Interestingly enough, it was more of an annoyance to me than a panic situation. I kept my calm. I was kind of...unflappable. I'm not sure why, to be perfectly honest. Could it be that I've been eating healthier? The yoga once a day? Are the stars in my house aligned in a certain peaceful manner? No idea. I do wish it would stick around, though. Let's see how long it lasts...

I have been feeling pretty great since starting this new cleanse, though. This cleanse is only three days and you can actually eat food. Let's be honest here...nobody wants to live on juice or pills and water for a week. Even I tried the infamous 48 hour Hollywood Juice Diet when I was 20. I made it to dinnertime the first day. Let's recount how that went:

Cook at work: "Girl, I got barbecue ribs in the kitchen tonight!"
Me grimmacing: "Oh so that's what smells sooo good...  Man, I'm doing the juice diet today though!"
Cook with mild disgust: "What? Juice diet? Huh...well I'm just sayin'...they're good! Hmph juice."
Me: "Yeah I'm sorry..."
*goes back to the records book, smells ribs wafting through the air, checks a few boxes*
Me: "Oh fuck it, this juice is gross anyway."
*tosses pen down on the cart, heads to the kitchen*

She was right, her ribs were awesome. Her potato salad was too. No one wants to live on juice or lemon cayenne water or whatever the hell else liquid concoction is trending. So while I haven't been eating BBQ or ribs on this cleanse, I have been eating delicious food like roasted chicken. No starvation, but real results. Tomorrow I'll weigh in and make a more official post about it. I can't help but wonder if all of this hasn't been helping my mood though. Perhaps the cleanse has been helping along this unflappableness I've felt today. *shrugs* It surely can't be hurting.

I can't say I won't give The Durian a swift kick when we finally go pick it up though. Not enough cleanse in the world for that.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Roller Coasters and Durians

Remember the movie Parenthood? Good movie. Remember the part where the little Grandma talks about the Roller Coaster and it becomes a metaphor for life? That is probably one of the most relatable movie quotes that has ever been put to celluloid. Whenever life tosses a monkey wrench our way, I think of the little Grandma and her roller coaster.

A monkey wrench came our way today. It came in the form of our Suburban. Big shock. See, ever since we bought that car three years ago, it has proven to be nothing but a big fat money pit. Not just little repairs, either! We're talking some high dollar repairs. It's a complete lemon. Actually, I don't think I'd insult lemons by comparing them to that car. How about a durian? I've heard that durians smell like rotting corpses, so that would probably be a more fair association. Anyhoo, our durian of a vehicle has been a drain since we bought it and always at the worst times. For example, my sister and brother in law came down for a wedding and we all journeyed up to the Ren Fest together for a long overdue day of ye olde fun and merriment together. Guess what died on the way there? Yup, The Durian! We never even made it. Or the time that the entire air conditioning system died right before the Houston Summer. Or the time we were simply on the road to church and the piece of crap died in the middle of the road. Or when we were on the Gulf Freeway on the way to my baby sister's wedding and it just stalled right there on the highway. Cars in general can be a financial drain, but The Durian? Ohhhh it's taken things to a whole other level. 

So today I had dropped my middle boys off at home after church and was on the way back to pick up the oldest from Youth Group. I realized that the console behind the steering wheel was pitch black. No lights, no dials working, nothing. I couldn't tell how fast I was going or how much gas I had. The car seemed to be running fine, though, so I figured I'd be as careful as possible and just get it home quickly. As an extra precaution, I decided to stop and put a little gas in it. All was well until I turned the key to leave the pump. Nada. Nothing. I tried again and only heard the radio blasting and a soft ticking sound. I started to panic a bit and then anger took over. Again?!? Why? Why AGAIN? It hasn't even been a full three months since the last time we had to have it towed because it wouldn't start in our driveway! 

I'm so over this car. My oldest and I realized that in the three years we've owned it, we've had to call a tow truck FIVE times now. That's just the tows, that doesn't include the countless smaller repairs also. If that isn't durian status, I don't know what is. Today was supposed to be restful. A nice laid back day... Not a day where I sit with a headache in a gas station chicken joint waiting on a tow truck wondering how much repairs will cost THIS time. 

Now I realize that there are a lot of silver linings here. It broke down at a gas station and not on the side of the road. It was only Sean and I, so we didn't have to hang out in limbo with all of the kids and find transportation for all of us. The gas station was close to home so Jason was able to just come pick us up really quickly once the tow truck had left. Roadside assistance is covered under our insurance, so we weren't out anything for the tow itself. My brain is telling me these silvery linings and I can acknowledge them but I just don't feel it. It's still discouraging. Why do the dips in the roller coaster of life just come out of nowhere and then tend to be so expensive?  But I guess that's the nature of the roller coaster; they're full of surprises, some good, some frightening. They twist and turn and go from thrilling to uncomfortable in a flash. It really is the perfect analogy for life sometimes. 

*fingers and toes crossed* that The Durian won't be too expensive to repair or won't need anything major this time. Please, roller coaster...start going up again. Pretty please...with sprinkles on top. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

She's like the Wind...

...change is, I mean. (For the purposes of this blog post and my constant appropriation of song lyrics, we're assuming that change is female here.) She comes and goes, blustering around you messing with everything before easing up. Things may settle down. You may even get lulled into a false sense of security. Then suddenly, the wind kicks back up knocking your hat off and forcing you to change all of those beautiful plans you had lined up in a neat row.

Well, change did come after that last blog post so many years ago. I started a WordPress account, transferred my blog to a domain, started programming classes, and had a ton of healthy living attempts including a successful run with a personal trainer. I was flying pretty high and then a routine trip to the doctor knocked me back down to the ground with a huge surprise. We were pregnant again.

Okay let me stop you there. Yes, we know what causes this. Yes, we have multiple televisions. Yes, we have our hands full. However as the astute mathematician\chaotician Ian Malcom said: "Life finds a way". Life found a way and gave us our first baby girl. While I wouldn't trade my Princess Peach for anything on God's green Earth, it took a huge toll on me. My hormones were jacked big time.  Anxiety took over.  The chaos of dealing with six little ones pushed me further into my shell. I stopped the programming classes, field trips, pretty much any socialization outside of family. I lost friends and didn't feel confident enough to make new ones. The winds of change were pretty cold, honestly. From the outside looking in, one may not have seen it. That's pretty typical though, isn't it? We put on the happiest face for our children and outsiders. We tend to post the happy pictures, the good times, the high points. You don't post pictures of how lonely or overwhelmed you may feel inside. You don't post status messages about your latest sob fest in the shower. You don't Insta the frightening physical problems. And me in particular? I am queen of hiding things deep down inside. I repress with a vengeance.

In all of this windy mess, I let the new blog go too. My husband would constantly encourage me to blog and write again. A few times I tried, but nothing of any substance ever really came out. So, no use paying for a domain that I never had the heart or desire to use. I lost a lot of memories and anecdotes in deleting that.

Now, my daughter is three, and I can honestly say that only in the past year have I started emerging back out of my shell and feeling remotely like myself again. This is due to a combination of seeking extra endocrine help, doing a lot of self-reflection and realizations, and forcing myself to do things that used to come so naturally to me. I'm a work in progress, but I'm getting there. One by one the blocks have been falling back into place. I'm finally ready and committed to work on me.

So once again, here I am. I will be starting a new healthy living endeavor on Monday. It's a pretty big  piece to this whole puzzle and I wondered if I still had a place where I could record my journey. I started to open a whole new blog, but then I found this. Man, if blogs could hold cobwebs, this one would be a spider's paradise! But, it feels like home. It seemed apropos to start fresh where this all began in the first place.

No need for non-alcoholic beverages to reopen the blog this time (ha. ha.) and no need for rebranding either. My cacophony is as chaotic as ever, but it's joyful and full. Winds of change may come and go, but life goes on. I'm ready. Bring it.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Brace Yourselves...Change is Coming...

Shameless appropriation of a Game of Thrones quote there. The new season has me so excited, btw! So much happens in the third book, I wonder how they'll handle it to be honest.
Anyway back to the matter at hand! I have put a temporary page on my website at last. I have a lot to learn still, but these little steps are exciting to me. Soon Clare's Chaos will be part of Big things are coming! A new website, a new venture, and hopefully, a new me!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Downton Abbey *Spoiler Alert*

DISCLAIMER: This blog post contains a huge plot spoiler regarding the series "Downton Abbey". If you haven't watched through to the end of Season Three, you may want to close this window right now. Seriously. 

One night Jason had fallen asleep on the couch and yet I was strangely awake. I grabbed a snack and scrolled through Amazon's instant video selection and saw Downton Abbey. I'd heard so much good about this series, so I clicked play.

And an insatiable addiction was born.

Since that time, many hours were spent in the evenings watching the trials and tribulations of the Crawley family and hanging on every elegantly pronounced word. I laughed, I cried, I felt rage. It was like the tamer British cousin of Game of Thrones for me. Jason became hooked as well and together we spent our evenings flying through all three seasons. We discussed it with my in-laws on Easter since apparently they've kept up with it but one thing struck me as odd. My mother in law kept saying how angry it made her that they were trying so hard to save Downton Abbey when financial ruin threatened the property. I inwardly wondered "Why?? Why wouldn't you want to save such a beautiful estate and such a genteel way of life?"

Then the season finale came. And Matthew Crawley, the immensely likable and totally selfless savior of the Crawley estate lay beneath his overturned car with blood running thickly through his handsome blonde hair. 

I was stunned. 

How could they do this? How could they kill off probably the most likable character in the entire series? And right after he'd finally produced a newborn heir to secure the title forever and continue the line! Then it hit me... perhaps Downton Abbey is evil...

Just look at the title screen...dark as well as light! Evil side much?

Of course! It's the house! It's the bloody house... It's alive like some Amnityville Horror of the English countryside. Until now, Lord Grantham has produced nothing except girls (therefore in sexist old England, no heirs) and it's been worried. But it can't off Lord Grantham because he genuinely loves the estate and wants to preserve it. But Sybil disses the legacy, marries an Irish Socialist, and produces another girl... and what happened to her? Yep, she's gone. Died within the walls of the home. But Matthew Crawley gets sucked in. He marries the prickly eldest daughter, falls in love with the estate, and sinks a fortune into it to save the legacy. He modernizes it to keep it afloat. He saves that estate's bloomin' arse. Then the crowning glory...he produces a male heir. The line is saved! Succession is achieved! Downton Abbey has no further need for dear Matthew. It chews him up and spits him out on the side of the road bleeding beneath his car like yesterday's rubbish. It won't off Mary Crawley though... she bleeds Downton's stubborn lifeblood like her father does and she'll need to raise the heir apparent with the same values. The house is intelligent as well as evil it would appear.

Or perhaps the writers are just cheeky bastards who like to toy with our emotions.
But I'd put my money on the house...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mommy Daydreams...

As I have stated once or twice before, I love cooking. I also love my crazy monkeys. But sometimes I still dream...

My tastes are simple. I wouldn't even have to leave the house, really. I'd just like a day where I didn't have to do anything. A day without school lessons or playing referee in the midst of testosterone fueled rage. I think I'd spend it reading, coding and watching Downton Abbey. Maybe I'd order take-out... Or take a nap! But I wouldn't cook or do laundry or clean a damn thing. There might be a long bath involved. A cold bottle of wine would be a must.

Sure I could dream of Puerto Rico and the sound of the wind in the coconut trees... But this is a more realistic fantasy for the time being. Attainability can be attractive too. ;)

Monday, March 11, 2013

...Cause Knowledge is Power!!

Sometimes I get the itch to learn something. I'll suddenly have this deep seated need to expand my horizons. I'll want knowledge just for the sake of having it. Sure, I learn a lot of things alongside my kiddos while helping them with their schoolwork, but that doesn't fill the void. I'll pick up Rosetta Stone or find a website aiming to learn a new language but inevitably it'll fall by the wayside. (One day I'll finish this though...being at least bilingual is on my bucket list and I'm not getting any younger.)

One day, I was reading the book Ghost in the Wires and the idea of all these programming languages piqued my interest. I decided to look into them. They all recommended HTML as a good one to start with. I started playing around with it one afternoon just for kicks. I was hooked. There is something so very satisfying about taking all these unintelligible lines of code and watching it turn into something almost...pretty! The counterpart to HTML, which deals with even more artistic elements, CSS is a little trickier to me. But oh the things you can do with it... My awesome husband even bought a big book to help me learn more in depth, and it's like crack. Once I start doing those lines of code, I'm loathe to put it down.  

This has me planning.

Thanks once again to my awesome DH, I am now in possession of a domain name. I will use it to practice, and eventually pimp that sucka out. I'd move my blog there... I'd open up a recipe section... There could be a health and fitness section too... I could have a corner for just about anything! This is very exciting to me.

The geekdom is growing...

As a side note, if you're interested in a modern "Catch me if you can" kind of story, I highly recommend Ghost in the Wires. It's a pretty amazing story to say the least.