...sugar and spice and everything nice...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

As if...

As if I werent already bemoaning my struggles with depression, my husband, in his attempt to cheer me up, has been coming up with some real doozies in regards to the shape of my body these days. As most of you know I am pregnant (about 19-20 weeks now) and no longer myself. Everything is growing, not just my belly, and as much as he tries to tell me how great I look, he occasionally slips up with a major faux pas. (Really, I wasnt much insulted by these, but did find it quite funny that these were the words he chose to use in each situation.)

The other day as I was completing the laundry my daughter got ahold of a pair of my underwear and she proceded to carry it around the house for some reason only kids understand. Granted, Ive had to buy some bigger sizes lately because my old undies cut into my belly these days, and instead of just getting some that fit, I bought a size bigger to grow into them. Well Nate walks into the bedroom and then calls out down the hallway, "THERE'S A BIG PAIR OF UNDERWEAR ON THE FLOOR IN HERE!" "What?" I said, knowing full well what he said but giving him a little room to correct the error. Nope, without a clue he calls out again, louder, "THERE'S A BIG PAIR OF UNDERWEAR ON THE FLOOR IN HERE!" "Did you just say 'BIG?'" I asked, giving him a second chance to correct the blunder. Finally it clicked. "Oh, I didnt mean big like 'BIG', I..." too late buddy, you made your bed now lie in it. "It's a big pair, huh?" I asked, just to egg him on. It was a fun moment that made us both laugh off and on the rest of the day. That is, until he made his next blunder.

Anyone who lives in the south during the summer knows that it is almost impossible to do anything outside without getting a mosquito bite. A few years back they had me scared to death to leave the house with the all of the West Nile drama. Thankfully I have successfully lived thru at least 50 mosquito bites since then and never contracted the virus (however still praying for that covering of protection Lord :o) so my fears have somewhat diminished. Anyway, just yesterday I had to go out and water my flowers that were withering away due to the stifling heat we've had lately, and I felt like that guy in the old "Deep Woods OFF" commercial who willingly allowed hundreds of mosquitos to land on one arm to prove how ineffective the other brand was in comparison to OFF. Mosquitos were just following me around the yard like I was a living carcass. At one point I had a mosquito on my hand, one on my leg, and three on the other leg! When I finally got back inside I was so itchy I couldnt help but talk about it. That's when my husband unloaded this whopper: "Well, they just love white, squishy flesh" and even made the sign for "squishy" with his hand to emphasize just how squishy they like it. "White, squishy flesh? That's what they like?" I was astonished he'd slipped up again so quickly! This time he was quick to catch his blunder and we both started laughing. "Boy, you're on a roll, sweetheart."

Im curious to see what he comes up with next.

Friday, July 22, 2005


I think Im depressed. I dont like even talking about it because, really, what do I have to complain about. My life is very good..I have a great husband, great family, and all my other needs in life are met beyond my expectations. But I am in a funk that I cant seem to get out of and I guess I think it might do me some good to talk about it.

Part of it stems from the fact that I have melded my life with my daughter's, something I know is a danger and dont want to do, but have somehow managed to accomplish. Every day seems to blend into the next and I am in a perpetual state of toddlerhood. I have left nothing for me, and part of the problem is that I dont know what I want to do outside of this. I feel like I am constantly searching for that thing that will be mine--my special activity or love that will be fulfilling to me, but I really dont know what it is.

Part of it is also my personality. I have always been, on the personality charts, a melancholy. Sanguines and Cholerics make no sense to me, no, I would rather spend my time contemplating the meaning of life and my inability to live up to it. Indecisive to the point of not accomplishing anything is more my style, because if I accomplish it I should have done it differently, better, less expensively, or not at all. Not usually satisfied with most of what happens in my mind and in my life, I am constantly mulling over how things might have gone differently "if only."

Also, this has been one of the hardest years my husband and I have ever faced. Not because of anything going on wrong between us, but because of outside influences. As of December I will have been pregnant for over a year, counting the baby we miscarried. Not only has this made me uncomfortable, hormonal and all the other delightful things pregnancy does to a woman, but it just feels neverending. Having a miscarriage was very difficult, although I praise God that things went as well as the possibly could in such a crazy situation. But it was emotionally draining and definitely a rough experience. On the other side of the spectrum it has also been the most musically frustrating year for my husband.

November of 2003 he began producing tracks for an album that was due to be turned in the following June (04). Producing all of the music, recording his partner and guest mc's, doing the post-recording mix and finishing touches, collaborating on the artwork, spending countless days and nights with little or no sleep to meet the June deadline, he poured his heart and soul into what many consider Mars ILL's best work to date. Then just two weeks before the October 2004 release date, after hundreds of fliers, ads, and promotional pieces had gone out, EMI delays the release due to a sample clearance problem. As you can imagine the burden fell primarily on Nate because he is the producer, although Mars ILL together shares full responsibility for what was on the record. After spending over 4 months working thru legal red tape and clearing the questionable sample the album was slated for Feb 05, but was again pushed back due to lawyers inability to agree on certain issues. So July 19 2005 (yes just this past Tuesday) was the new, "official release of the long awaited Mars ILL album." But once again two weeks before the release, with yet again tons of ads and promotional pieces out, including the albums themselves, EMI drops the bomb and delays the album indefinitely. With no new reasons, no new discoveries, just a sudden attack of cold feet they pull the rug out from under us. And I think what bothers me the most about the whole thing is that to EMI, a huge umbrella organization with hundreds of labels and thousands of artists, it's just a delayed album. But to us, and especially to Nate and Greg, this is their heart and soul, you know? This is hours of work, days and nights of creating a small masterpiece that maybe only a few will enjoy, but that doesnt matter, because it is their creation. The first delay was heartwrenching, agonizing, and unbearable. The second was just plain frustrating. But this one, to me it's like how dare you. It's like that feeling of "enough already." Like the line in Shawshank Redemption that I love, "Get busy living or get busy dying." There's no reason it should have come to this at such late notice again, and to me it's just like, "ugh" in the stomach.

Dont get me wrong, there are so many blessings in all of this too. Things are looking really good with the new baby, due in December, and that is wonderful. And Mars ILL has many more albums to come, many more years of making music, and lots of things coming up in the next few months even. The one thing that sustains me thru this low time is that God has not disappeared on me, he is still right here, gettting us thru it all. Even though I feel defeated and down, God has not changed. He still hears my prayers, He still walks beside me, He still remains faithful to meet my needs and love me in spite of it. And He still brings me joy and reminds me that all of this is so unimportant in the grand scheme of things. His will is still being accomplished in my life, in this baby's life, in Nate's life, and in the minstry of Mars ILL. It's a long hike up the side of this mountain, but Im glad Im not walking it alone.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Yesterday we dedicated the entire day to "dejunkifying" our house, and let me tell you it felt GOOD! About a week ago we started talking about how we were feeling so overrun with....junk. So we set Wednesday as "d-day" and stuck to it, much to my surprise!

"Dejunkifying" entailed not only cleaning, but getting rid of mounds of things we had stored up in closets, under beds, corners of the laundry room, and anywhere else you pack away those meaningless items that you hold onto for some reason or another. Nate started in the bathrooms with his Restore-4 cleaner, and he got down to business getting all the dirt and, well, junk off the floors, tubs, and sinks. It looks amazing! I was thoroughly impressed with his hard work and dedication. I, of course, wasnt able to help out with that part of the process because of my pregnancy (rats :) After that we tore everything out of the linen closet and had a huge pile of sheets, blankets, and random towels all over the hall floor. Our daughter had a blast jumping thru the pile and rolling around on it. We, on the other hand, got to the bottom of the closet and found two bins full of ridiculous things we had been saving. Old VCR's, kites all a mess, useless candles and vases that come a dime a dozen. We started making "thrift store" and "trash" piles and the junk kept coming.

Next stop was the hall closet, where I came across my bin of books that I have collected over the years. Occasionally I dig thru the closet and switch these books out, but it had been ages. I had forgotten that my mom had sent me a box from home that contained a bunch of my favorite childhood books, and it was so nice to look thru them again! "From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler", "Stuart Little", and others were in the mix, as well as some old favorites like "Pride and Prejudice" and "Out of the Silent Planet" which I quickly snatched up and took to my room to read again soon.

Nate's closet took a good hour to dejunk because it was so out of control! But he got rid of so much stuff that I think the time spent was well worth it. We kept a bin to save some of his favorites that cant be worn anylonger, like his "No Half Steppin" starter jacket from high school, his Kangol he got in England years ago, and his PNB and Fresh Jive long sleeves that remind me of our early years. My closet is still being tackled because there just wasnt enough time to get to it.

The house looks amazing....at least to us it does! We dusted, deep cleaned (the kitchen--what can I say, Nate whipped it into shape for me) and dejunkified our hearts out, and ended up with three garbage cans full of trash, and seven big trash bags of stuff that went to the thrift store. It feels good and Im so glad we did it!

Friday, July 15, 2005

My home town

Hula Seventy's recent post about her trip to see her parents (back to a small town in Illinois) got me thinking about my hometown, Walla Walla, Washington. Numerous people have posted on her blog about the draw back to the small towns we've once lived in, the clean air, the simplicity of life, and I have to agree. Like some of the others, I couldnt wait to get as far from there as possible (I ended up in Georgia for Pete's sake) but I find myself often longing for those days again, when life was less complicated and every face seemed familiar. Half the draw is probably due to the fact that I was young and had so few responsibilities, and I associate all of that with Walla Walla. But even now when I visit there is a part of me that is rekindled, and the memories of easier, well, at least different, days come rushing back to me.

Some of my fondest memories I have realized after the fact--years later as I look back on what a great hometown I had. For instance each Spring welcomed the Walla Walla Hot Air Balloon Stampede and Balloon enthusiasts from around the nation (well, from around the Northwest at least) would come celebrate for a weekend. I think my favorite part of the weekend was the Night Glow. Just around dusk all of the hot air balloons would blow up to standing position around the huge field, and then light up like huge fire flies in the sky. Then the next morning the race would begin at the crack of dawn, and folks jump in their cars to follow the balloons thru the sky. It was so exciting to see a low flying balloon, and just follow it around hoping to see it land.

The 4th of July was also a huge event at Pioneer Park. The day started with an arts and crafts festival complete with singing and dancing from local talent, and ended with a huge fireworks display that caused a terrific traffic jam at it's conclusion each year. My favorite celebration had to be the Southeastern Washington Fair, however. Beginning the Thursday before Labor Day weekend it was the place to be and to be seen. If you entered any competition (animals, baking, etc.) and won a ribbon of any sort you were given free admission the whole weekend. Each year they would host a crash up derby, a rodeo, and some famous country singers. As a kid the carnival was the greatest thing. You could blow a month's allowance on rides, cotton candy, caramel apples and games. All the sights and smells come rushing back to me just thinking about it. Those were great times.

But I think what I miss most are the little things. The last days of summer when harvest was in full swing and the dust would blow thru the windows of the house and the harvest moon would shine so big in the sky at night. Going thru the Ice Berg drive thru to get one of the best hamburgers around, or stopping in to Abby's Pizza to stand and watch your pizza being made thru the big window out front. High school football games at Borleski stadium late in the fall, getting so cold you could barely stand to sit there, but sipping on a hot chocolate with the rest of the crowd to support our local heroes. These are the things that set my hometown apart from the rest. These are the things that make life a little simpler to me. Is my town so different than other small towns? Probably not. Can any city call a person home the way a small town can? Maybe. But Im so thankful I got to experience it, and hopefully in some way my children can too.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Thrift Stores

Thrift stores are like a land of discovery for me. As someone who loves to figure things out/solve mysteries/search for answers I find thrift stores offer me place to explore my passion. The thrill of finding an amazing bargain that no one else has yet discovered (well, except the previous owner) is so satisfying that it keeps me coming back for more.

My mother-in-law is actually the person who introduced me to my first thrift store love "Thrift Town" just outside of Cincinnati Oh. Actually I had been there several times before with my boyfriend (now husband) but he was always looking for gadgets, equipment, or furniture which made the trip mildly interesting to me, but not very satisfying. One weekend my mother-in-law came along with us, and I got to see thrift shopping from a woman's perspective. I was hooked!

It took me a while to figure out just what I wanted to find at the store. At first I would just buy anything that had a halfway decent label attached to it out of pure excitement over getting it for less than a dollar! A men's large Gap button down? Sure, I'll make it work! An Old Navy dress with flowers all over it? Who knows? It may come in handy! But over the years as I have figured out my own style I have become a better thrift store shopper. This goes for furniture too. In the beginning if I found something that looked like a possibility I would buy it. Frames, lamps, Christmas decorations, it didnt matter. But I ended up with so much, well, crap that was unusable and just junky that I became discouraged. Now I've learned to take into account the practicality of it and the usefulness of it before purchase. Ive ended up with a lot less junk and some really great finds.

My favorite things to look for nowadays are kids clothes and toys. I cannot tell you how much money I have saved by buying at the thriftstore. Big pieces are especially great bargains--Im talking sandboxes (got a ladybug box last week for $1.99) picnic tables ($7.00 for an almost new one), kitchen sets ($3.00 for a sink, phone, cupboards, and table attachment), an easel (chalkboard on one side, paper board on the other for $3.50) and tables and chairs. These are all items that would run you over $20 each at any regular store! Here are a few of my favorites:

the climbing contraption with slide behind her $7.00!

the car was $5.00 but I talked them down to $2.50 because of a busted wheel we later fixed!

the Old Navy winter coat was $2.50 and the little bike was $1.99!

These are just a few of the amazing deals I have found along the way. I could list oodles of toys (Tinkertoys, Colorforms, Barbies, block sets, cars, Potato Heads, Polly Pockets (I got a bag of 15 Polly's and their clothes for 80cents!) and oodles of baby and toddler clothes (Old Navy, Baby Gap, The Children's Place, dresses, sweaters, coats, Pumas, Nike's, New Balance dress up clothes) that I have found, not to mention clothes I have found for myself and my husband. It is really the best way I have found to fill my love of shopping, finding bargains, and having things to enjoy at a great price. For everything from furniture to baby stuff, the thriftstore is my first love.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

We now own a cadillac....

Sorry it's been a while, but fankly, Im lazy. No! We've been busy around here...for one, we got a new car. Yep, it's official. My husband few to Cleveland, purchased his "dream" car, and drove it home July 3rd. I will try to get a photo of it up for you. It is a black Deville Concours, 1998 and he loves it. Me? Im dealing with it. It actually isnt AS big as I imagined, although it barely fits under the carport. It's nice. It's Ok. What can I do? It's ours and will be for a while.

See, this is a great example of life in a marriage. Did I want the car? Did I want to own any type of big, fancy car my grandparents (God rest their souls) would love to drive? No. Am I punishing him now for making this decision that I had not control over? Although I fought it up to the point of purchase, I have to move on. No more punishing, although I have continued teasing him relentlessly, but that's what we do anyway. These are the battles you can either choose to let eat away at you for years to come, or you can say, "Hey, I hate that car out there..." and let it end there. Do I hate the guy that bought it? Of course not. So why let bickering and resentment cloud what it otherwise a happy union. I have, however, made note of the fact that he picked our house and the last two cars we purchased and I have got to have some pretty BIG "picking points" coming to me at some point. Maybe the name of our next child.....