Stream of consciousness: a list

1. It’s cold. It was so hot the last couple days and then today it’s been raining and it downright chilly. Right now I’m huddled under a blanket on the sofa, drinking coffee and eating cake. The oven is on, serving a dual purpose—to bake the granola and heat the house.

2. I’ve had so many different thoughts lately that I’ve decided to use Mavis’s method and make lists. It helps in my everyday life (so far today I’ve made lists of a) the money my friend owes me, b) a grocery list, c) questions to ask my brother about the computer, and d) things I need/want to accomplish when I sit down at the computer so I don’t just sit there stupidly and stare at the screen for excessive amounts of time), so why not on the blog? And besides, it eliminates the need for transition. I’m not good with transition.

3. My upper back is feeling much, much better, but then yesterday I got a nasty knot in my lower back, but last night Mr. Handsome massaged it good and hard and I woke up just fine this morning. I think there is still some tension there, though, and it makes me feel a little extra tired…

4. All this back pain is to be expected, I guess, seeing as I’m not getting any younger. I’m 34 today. Thanks, Mom, for birthing me, and to you and Dad for raising me! (I’m not going to give you any thanks for conceiving me ‘cause I’m assuming that wasn’t any sacrifice on your parts—Oh, goodness, I said “parts!” Can you believe it? Just shut me up already!) You did a swell job (birthing and raising me—just wanted to be clear here), if I do say so myself.

[5. About that cake that I had with my coffee? My mother made it for me.

Earlier this week (when she came to our house to watch the younger kids while Mr. Handsome and I took Yo-Yo to one of his doctor’s appointments), she entertained the four little ones (the extra child was my one-year-old niece that she was babysitting) by baking and decorating a three-layer lane cake for my birthday. (And she thinks I have a lot of energy—ha!)

We’ve been eating it all week long (there’s only a small wedge left), and it’s very good (not that I’m surprised by that, or anything).]

6. I called Mr. Handsome at work yesterday to find out if I needed to cook supper tonight. I told him that it was fine if I needed to (that might have been a little lie)—I just wanted to know. Because if he was going to do something else and I didn’t need to plan anything, then I didn’t want to waste any time planning something. He said that he would bring something home. So I’m not planning anything. Which is a nice treat.

7. Last night we all drove into town to get free (with a donation) ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery. Then we walked around Petco and looked at the ferrets and rats and guinea pigs. Then, on our way (which was the wrong way, of which I was telling Mr. Handsome in no uncertain terms) out of the parking lot, Mr. Handsome pulled into a parking space and announced he needed to read a map, and then he got out and opened the trunk and came back with my computer. “Go write,” he commanded. “The kids and I have some errands to run.” So I walked across the parking lot to Panera, laughing out loud all the way. I sensed people were looking at me, this crazy laughing lady, but I didn’t care. Mr. Handsome so rarely plans ahead and even more rarely succeeds in surprising me, that when it does actually happen that he plans a surprise (granted, he only planned it as he was cleaning up the supper dishes an hour before), I get quite a kick out of it. And then I do embarrassing things like laugh out loud for extended lengths of time.

8. I played around with Picasa for the duration of my imposed free time. I explored the “collage” feature. Here is a sample of my work:

And here is another sample:

It’s kind of addicting, this collage feature, so you probably can expect to see some more of my creations in the future.

9. I love it that my kids are now old enough to get into The Birthday Spirit. Now that I’m a grown-up (most days), I still get excited about birthdays, but I play it kind of cool, since I am a grown-up, after all. I still feel little bubbles of excitement on my birthday, but I keep them tamped down, preventing them from welling up and erupting out of me, spewing everyone with my raw, jittery, giddy emotion. Us adults are good about not exposing our vulnerabilities (and yes, excitement is a revealing emotion), but children, heaven help us, haven’t learned to regulate themselves all that well, especially not when it comes to birthdays—then it’s a free-for-all in the excitement department. My children love birthdays, any birthday. They wake up early, do lots of whispering, accidentally blurt out information and then grin hugely. They even produce presents early because they just can’t wait one more stinkin’ minute! They are my excitement personified. I love it.

10. It’s a dreary day, like I said. Do you need a laugh? Then go here. I’ve watched it twice and both times I smiled hard and then laughed out loud—I just couldn’t help myself. It makes me feel good (and it almost makes me want to have another baby). I just may have to book mark the link so I can watch it whenever I feel blue.

11. The other day we had hotdogs for supper. We had started the meal, digging into the beans and hotdogs like there was no tomorrow, when all of a sudden Mr. Handsome leaped up from the table and ran out the door. He was back inside in 20 seconds—with his blow torch (the same blow torch he used to sterilize a needle and, incidentally, traumatize our daughter). I stared at him quizzically—what now? Without saying a word, he took his hot dog bun in one hand and the torch in the other and calmly began to toast it.

But of course! He likes toasted hotdog buns and what’s the fastest way to toast a hotdog bun? With a blow torch, of course!

Silly me. I am so behind the times.

12. Now I’m wondering if I could use that blow torch to make creme brulee…

13. I’ve now stretched the kids’ rest time an extra half hour. They are still quiet. Think I can keep going?

14. Sweetsie doesn’t let me put her hair up like I want to. She has the bestest put-up hair in the world, gently curling, wispy, and thin. Just gather it together and twist and clip, and it looks great, the loose, curling tendrils gently framing her face. So the other day I bribed her. I told her that if she let me play with her hair then I would let her scroll up and down on my blog, looking at the pictures. She agreed. I loosely pinned her hair up and then snapped a bunch of pictures.

And then, ‘cause a deal is a deal, she scrolled away to her heart’s content.

15. I haven’t been cooking much these days. Ever since our trip to New York I’ve been languishing in the culinary department. I left my kitchen, fell out of my habits, and can’t seem to climb back into them. I miss cooking, too. I’m not sure what ails me. I do know that I’m growing sick of grilled cheese and granola and applesauce.

16. We need to make more applesauce. Our 100 quarts are definitely not going to cut it. I think we’ve already gone through at least 20 quarts and it’s not even the end of September yet. But I don’t waaaant (insert whiney voice) to make more applesauce! I think I just might have to suck it up and get on with it.

17. Oh goodness. The Baby Nickel just woke up. I guess nap-time is over. And here I was going to try for a 34-item list… Maybe he’ll just curl up beside me and I can type a little longer…

18. The other night I woke from a deep sleep to hear The Baby Nickel crying and fussing. Neither Mr. Handsome or I had it in ourselves to rouse and go help him. I listened as Nickel stumbled down the hall, his cries growing more and more frantic. Then he was in the bathroom, wailing up a storm. I finally got myself up and walked into the bathroom…and right into a puddle of pee. Nickel was sitting on the toilet, fully clothed, a giant pool of urine spreading across the bathroom floor, soaking into the pile of clean clothing I had deposited in the corner before climbing into bed. Moral of the story: don’t leave clean clothes on the bathroom floor.

19. I think I need to quit now. So long!

About One Year Ago: MY birth story.


  • Cookie baker Lynn

    Happy birthday (a bit after the fact). I'm so glad your husband was able to surprise you and give you such a fun treat.

    I love your husband toasting his bun with the blow torch. Creme brulee? Yes!!

    The collages are great!

  • Jennifer Jo

    Thank you all for the birthday wishes!

    K, You make a good point. We have 2 bushels of fresh eating apples but it feels quite different from applesauce, like another food group entirely. I know that's not true, so I just may have to re-think my thoughts.

    Mavis, I was only at Panera for 45 minutes, not nearly long enough to warrant a urine flood in my bathroom!

    Kim, I'm going to start researching creme brulee recipes…

  • Kris

    Happy Birthday to you!!!

    Re: #16 — Why not buy some good fresh-eating apples instead, and save the applesauce for winter and next spring?

  • It's me ...Mavis

    I didn't know I made lists… how funny…the things you learn about yourself thru other peoples eyes 🙂

    1. Happy Birthday….

    2. A man and his blow torch is a beautiful thing…My handsome husband uses his for creme brulee and to carmelize bananas…since apparently I cannot not me trusted with things like fire and man tools…

    3. I love that your mother actually made you a real birthday cake as opposed to buying some crappy Boston Cream Pie from the bakery section that's been sitting there for a week…not that's what happened to me or anything… 🙁

    4. I LOVE the picasa thing…I wonder if I could make a calendar out of it…cool beans!

    5.I am so tired of hearing about you getting to go to Panera to eat…all I get to do is pop my head in to see if they are offering free samples….I think that #18 "pee on the clean laundry" is karma coming back to bite you in the butt for all your flaunting "Panera this…and Panara that"…

    6. Have a nice day….AT PANERA! 🙂

  • Mama Pea

    Whoops, I think I failed to wait for comment to be "visible after approveal", Mama JJ. I was so tired last night when I wrote my first comment, I couldn't even remember this morning if I actually did it or not when I didn't see it posted!

    Please feel free to delete this and one of my intended comments so I don't appear to be so much of an idiot. Thanks.

  • Mama Pea

    Very, very happy birthday wishes to you, Mama JJ. Only 34? You can't start to talk about being old yet. Heck, I'm three times your age . . . wait, maybe it's closer to four.

    May this next year bring you oodles of joy, contentment and possibly even a little more time for yourself. Glad you find time to keep blogging. You have a gift as a writer and we all benefit from it.

  • Anonymous

    Happy Birthday, Mama JJ!
    You are one of nine people whom I know well with birthdays clustered right around this day—(Sep.23-29). Hmm… could there be a Christmas tradition no one talks about?


  • Unknown

    Make that a yes on the creme brulee. That's how they do it at restaurants. They sell these wimpy little torches for the home but you've got the real deal there.

    That cake looked soooo good.


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