Thursday, June 30, 2005
I owe you an apology. I promised I would be uploading images of our dome home plans soon and I haven't done so yet. My excuse is that I've been running like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get our house ready to sell, making arrangements for starting the new house, and taking care of Sweet Girl. Somehow scanning plans, resizing them to an acceptable image size, and uploading them to the internet hasn't been one of my first priorities. Go figure.The good news is that we got our first draft sparkly official plans from the designer today so when I do post it will be even better than the homemade ones we drew ourselves. (By ourselves, I mean my husband who actually understands this building and measuring stuff.) It might be a couple days, but I will try to have them up before the weekend is over. Really, I mean it.
If you haven't picked this up from my blog or Blond Girl's yet, Sweet Girl is being raised in the Midwest. She has the accent to match. That is not to say that we speak like Fargo up here. That movie is one of the worst things that ever happened to us northerners. Now everyone south of Kansas thinks that we all run around in those big fur caps with attached earmuffs and speak like Olie and Lena. Yeah, not so much. Anyway, to the best of my knowledge there is no consistent southern influence in Sweet Girl's life , yet somehow she seems to have a southern accent...in one word only. The girl doesn't say "bug", she says "buuuug". I thought it was just a fluke the first time I heard it, but every time after it was the same thing. buuuuug Do you remember Rudy on "The Cosby Show"? Remember her friend whom she called "Bud" even though it wasn't his name? Remember how she always pronounced it "Buuuud"? Sweet Girl says buuuug the same way. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against southern accents. I actually find accents of any kind pretty fascinating. I always have. It just amuses me that this little pasty white northern girl has a one word southern accent.On another note, while we were eating our breakfast of cheesy scrambled eggs today, she asked me, "Did you know that eggshells grow on egg trees?" I explained that I had not and that I found that very interesting. She replied, "Yup. And birds have eggs and eggs have very special honey inside them." So apparently the shells grow on trees, but the eggs themselves come from the birds. I assume the honey insided is the yolk. I love her perspective on things. When confronted with a subject with which she is not yet familiar, she simply makes up her own explanation for it. Seems logical to me. You've got to define this big old universe somehow.
Monday, June 27, 2005
Warning: The following post is a little bit gross. Not horribly so. If you work in a medical profession or have kids (especially boys), it won't phase you. (One thing I've learned from my mother friends is that with motherhood comes an immediate ability to tolerate all things gross.) It will probably only bother you if you are prone to queasiness at the slightest mention of pain. Really, it's not bad, but I thought the courteous thing to do would be to warn you. Consider yourself warned.I have been a complete clutz lately! Well, I've actually been a clutz all my life, but lately it's been worse. It's amazing I have never broken a single bone in my body or had any serious injuries of any kind. I've had a few stitches twice, but I don't count that as serious. Last weekend the Geek and I and a friend were painting the house. I was in the bedroom manning the tools, while the Geek was outside the bedroom window on a ladder painting the outer frame. I tried to move the bed (a mattress on a boxspring on the floor - no frame) out of the way so I could sit next to the window. I somehow managed to catch the corner of the boxspring with my right big toe and tore the toenail back about 3/8 inch. It didn't come off as it was still attached a little bit. I've been keeping a band-aid on it for the past week to prevent it from tearing until it grows out. This was a successful tactic until tonight.The Geek will usually set his plate down for the cats to lick after he is done eating, but I generally do not. They almost always end up gacking it up somewhere if I do. (Hang in there. This is actually related to the story.) Tonight I made an exception. I had some leftover chicken from a restaurant and the cats were all over me. They smelled that chicken and they wanted it BAD! I decided to be nice and give them a treat, so I set my plate on the kitchen floor when I was done. BIG mistake!A few minutes later, my husband called. I walked out to the kitchen while I was on the phone, not paying attention to the floor and forgetting about the plate. My right foot hit the plate on the floor and there was an immediate surge of agonizing pain. I started shouting fake expletives (words the Geek made up in high school that I've picked up over the years), while my poor Geek sat there on the phone, probably wondering what I had done this time and hoping I was ok. I looked down at my toe. The torn part of the toenail had been completely removed. How ironic is it that the part of my body that hit that plate had to be the part that would be most painful. It could have been my left foot - that wouldn't have hurt much at all - but no, it had to be the injured one. I hate irony. I really do.So now I have 3/4 of a toenail on my right big toe. It's annoying, it's ugly, it's black, blue, red and yellow, it's painful, and at the rate my toenails grow it will take about 3 months for this thing to grow out. Aaarrgghh.
Sweet Girl announced another new way of doing things today. Actually she announces several each day, but this one made me laugh out loud. "There's a new way to whistle. It goes like this." She then made a sound that was like a cross between a rooster's "cockadoodledoo", a dog's bark, and the familiar high-low-high tones of a whistle meant to get someone's attention (for lack of a better explanation). Maybe you had to be there, but it was one of the funniest sounds I've heard in a while...and not like the imitation my husband does of the "Dumb and Dumber" most annoying sound in the world, which he thinks is hilarious. Ok, it would be a little funny if we weren't in a car at the time, but I can't admit that to him or he'll never stop.
This is an example of a dome home. This one has the natural wood siding like ours will, but we won't have as high of a riser (the wood part), so there won't be as much siding.
Sunday, June 26, 2005
It's official. I despise house-painting. We have spent the past 3 months painting our house in preparation for selling it. The soggy spring weather kept us from moving along very quickly until about 2 weeks ago when it finally started to clear up. Since then we have learned far more about the outside of our house than I care to know. Every time we think we are almost done, we find that there is another spot we missed or another little nook we didn't know was there. It's getting really old. Make that gotten really old.
Nevertheless, I still prefer houses with wood siding. It's worth the effort to have a house sided in a natural material. And yes, I realize that the paint is essentially plastic, but you have to cover the wood in something. My apologies to anyone who has vinyl siding on their home. I don't mean any offense, but I can't stand the stuff. I'm one of those really annoying people who holds form over function and to me that means natural materials everywhere. I know it's completely illogical - my Geek points this out to me all the time - but I just can't stand the fact that a vinyl-sided home is essentially covered in plastic. In my mind it's like wrapping your home in saran wrap. Sure it's practical, but it's plastic for goodness sake! I just can't do it.
The Geek and I are going to use wood siding on our dome with a natural stain. Maybe a little impractical, but natural and beautiful. Of course, since the house is a dome, most of it will be covered in traditional tar shingles. Ironic isn't it. We thought about other options, but the only other option is cedar shingles. Now I like wood, but we saw a cedar shingled dome once and it looked like a giant hairy mushroom. NOT attractive at all!
So we will have a tar-shingled dome roof with a riser wall sided in natural-stained wood. Since the sided part will be minimal compared to the rest of the house, it should be less of a chore to refinish when needed. If I'm wrong then the local house painter will become one of our best friends.
I'm this way with the rest of my home too. If I had my way, there would be no plastic in the house. Everything would be made of natural materials like wood, stone, metal, paper, cloth, or pottery. The plastic cups and dishes are stored in the very top cupboard or in the very back, since I rarely ever use them.
I'm not sure why I am this way, except that I'm just a little old-fashioned and have a little bit of a nature freak in me. I'm not your typical nature freak though. When I think of a nature freak, I think of a skinny little person who spends most of her time hiking through woods studying wildlife, including bugs, and eats only fruits, vegetables, and grains. That does not describe me. I am not skinny by any means, I am addicted to cheese and ice cream, and I'm terrified of bugs. I am an at-home vegetarian, which means I don't cook meat at home and I try to eat veggie at restaurants but I'll eat chicken or turkey if there are no other acceptable options. So I guess you could say that I am a nature-loving, bug-fearing, natural-fibers-wearing, overweight, part-time vegetarian, bible-toting, Christian, crunchy granola, conservative, Republican. How many contradictory political stereotypes can you find in that sentence? Ok, so maybe I'm unique after all. But whatever the case may be, I will be avoiding painting an entire house for a very, very long time.
I have made an amazing discovery. It is a place where you can acquire wonders beyond your imagination with minimal personal sacrifice. From the moment I layed my eyes on it, it took my breath away. I was enthralled, and would forevermore be proud to be a slave to it's call. And call it does. It is calling me back and I want to go. I desperately want to go back, and I soon I will. I cannot stay away long. It's enchantment is much to captivating to resist. Before I reveal the identity of this phenomenon I must take care of some business. See, I know that when Blond Girl finds out that I have been to this place without her, my well-being could be in danger. As I searched for a way to tell her, I realized that I now have an outlet for revealing such matters while eliminating the immediate repercussions of such revelations, and possibly minimizing the ultimate consequences as well. If BG reads this when I am not nearby, she cannot pummel me for going without her. My hope is that her wrath will have subsided by the time I see her again. It may be a blog use of questionable moral character, but my personal safety is at risk here. BG and I have a saying - "You are so jealous." So Blond Girl. This is for you. You are SO jealous!!! Yesterday, I went with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to the ultimate home shopping mecca of all home shopping meccas. IKEA It is truly wondrous and you cannot possibly imagine its enormity until you have seen it for yourself. It is colossal, gargantuan, behemothic! And the treasures it holds are magnificent. I will never be the same now that I have been touched by the wonder that is IKEA. Blond Girl, if it is any comfort, you and I will go together soon. We must. I would be remiss as a friend to not introduce you, although Champs may never ever forgive me for it.
Saturday, June 25, 2005
As Blond Girl has said, her 5-year-old daughter (for whom I am providing back-up daycare this week) is quite the precocious little girl. I'm finding that kids really do say the darndest things. I'm sure those of you who have little ones hanging around your feet all day will not be as impressed with this as I am, but to me this is a novelty, so I'm sure there will be more SweetGirlisms to come.Whenever she wants to show off a new discovery, her statement goes something like this. "There's a new way to.... It goes like this." For example, "There's a new way to clean your face off. It goes like this." (She proceeds to lick her lips.) I've been hearing "There's a new way to..." several times a day. (I'm sure Blond Girl has heard it many more!) It reminds me of a newscaster announcing some new technology, except her novel ideas are refreshingly simple.At lunch she announced "I get messy sometimes." Thinking this was a lamentation, I sought to encourage her by saying, "That's ok. We all get messy sometimes." Sweet Girl's reply was, "No, I'm talking about me now!" Apparently her statement was less of a lamentation and more of a revelation. Of course, the sticky doughnut glaze coating her little hands had already given away her secret.Then, there are the wonderful stories she makes up. I think kids should write kids books instead of adults. They would be far more entertaining. Well, to me anyway. "My kids in my room broke one of my imaginary lamps. The conductor, he's a farmer who is my husband and he fixes things. But he didn't fix my lamp." Now that's the start of a great story, I tell you.We had a tea party in the afternoon with Robert the horse and Winnie the Pooh. I asked her if she wanted to say grace before the tea party. She replied in her most civilized tea party voice that yes, she would like to say grace. "Dear Jesus. We're having a tea party and we have betend (pretend) tea and betend cookies and betend sugar and betend cream and betend balloons. Amen." More of an announcement than a traditional prayer, but very cute and sweet. Isn't this how we should all talk to God? Lord, this is what I'm doing today. I'd love for you to join me.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Sweet Girl and I had a jolly good time today! We went shopping, baked cookies, she played in the pool. I am exhausted, but I expected that. Nonetheless, I am so excited about spending the next week with her! She is just the sweetest little girl, and very obedient. Of course, there is the novelty factor which will have worn off after a week with me. I'm not worried though. She may challenge her mother now and then, but from what I've seen she is a very good little girl.Today's funny 5-year-old moment: It was 95 degrees today! For those of you in the south who are thinking that 95 is nothing, this is the equivalent to us northerners of a 20 below 0 winter to you. We rarely hit 95 here - maybe once in a year, if that - but when we do, we all just melt, like that senator guy in the first X-Men movie. Yeah, we're all a bunch of puddles of hot liquid jello sort of slithering everywhere we go. (Speaking of melting, Sweet Girl told me today that her imaginary daisy was "melting like a snowman" because of the heat and lack of water. I'm pretty sure she meant it was wilting. Later, she got a terribly worried look on her face and said, "Oh no! You have water dripping off your head!" I explained that it was sweat and that it's perfectly normal when the temperature is an ungodly 95 degrees. Yes, I'm gushing over the all-surpassing cuteness that is my goddaughter. You got a problem with that?)So Sweet Girl and I got in the dark colored car after it had been sitting in the store parking lot for about 45 minutes and I said, "Oh my goodness it is SO hot!" Sweet Girl, in her little elfin voice replied, "You got THAT right!" Ok, so maybe it was a "you had to be there" moment. I laughed out loud and she laughed along, even though she probably didn't know what I was laughing about.My Geek got home sometime after 2 pm. That means he worked a 30 hour workday. That's actual work hours, not just waking hours. Waking hours would be more like 34! HOLY COW! Poor guy. He's upstairs getting some much-needed, well-deserved rest right now. You know what the most amazing part is? He fixed my PC. The man worked from 8 am yesterday morning until at least 2 pm this afternoon and he managed to find the time to fix my PC. He is truly a saint. I'm reasonably sure I wouldn't have done that. I'll only admit it because he probably won't read this, but the man is so much better than me. Ok, maybe I'll tell him. I'm feeling pretty darned grateful.I'm just so glad to have him back home. It's funny how comforting it is to know he's here now. It's only been a day and a half since I saw him last. There have certainly been times in the past 12 years when I've gone longer than that without seeing him. Heck, he was gone for computer training for 19 days once. I still haven't seen him yet - he's upstairs sleeping and I wasn't home when he got here - but I am so relieved to have him here with me. I can't wait until 5:30 when I can go up and wake him. I do love that sweet Geek.
It's 6am on Thursday and my poor sweet Geek isn't home from yesterday's work yet. He had to work late last night. (How much of an understatement is that!?) A sister company is moving in to his building. Being the resident computer guy, this means he has to have all their systems up and running for them when they get in this morning. I have to wonder if they'll ever even know he pulled an all-nighter for them. I hope they're grateful. At this point he has been up for 24 hours straight. I hope he can come home soon. This means that I won't be able to post the dome plans today. I'm reasonably certain, given the day he's had, that the PC is not repaired yet. This is NOT a complaint. Just an FYI for anyone who might be looking forward to seeing them. On a happier note, I get to spend the day with Sweet Girl! Grandma Bina (her normal daycare) is out of town for a week, so I get her through next Friday. Boy are we gonna have fun! I talked with her over speaker phone last night and she's almost as excited as I am! She told me she had a long list of things to do so that she could spend the day with me. First she had to finish her dinner, then she had to take a bath, brush her teeth, change into pajamas, say goodnight to daddy, go to bed, etc. She's so dang cute I can hardly stand it. Today's going to be a good day. I just hope the Geek makes it home soon.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
I get my PC back today! Woo Hoo! It broke down last week and my favorite Geek has been working on it. He got the parts today and I'll have it back by tonight!
Now, just to clarify since this may come up in future posts, I use my eMac for the majority of computer-related activities, but my PC is my graphics machine. I know, it's a little twisted, but Photoshop is on my PC and my scanner can only plug in to my PC, so while the Mac is my favorite, the PC is essential for graphics.
You may be wondering why this is relevant to you. Good question! It is relevant because when I get my PC back, I can post an image of our floor plans! After the closing yesterday, the Geek and I went directly to the dome designers and dropped off the sparkly new dome floor plans which we had revised for this lot. See, we had drawn up some plans months ago, but the lot we were going to build on...well, that's another story for another time. I promise I will tell it another day. The dome designers will turn our plans into structurally sound floor plans which can be used in the construction of the home.
Once the Geek gets my PC plugged in and running for me, I will be able to scan the floor plans and will post them here for all to see! My Geek and I think we really came up with a nice plan this time, and I can't wait to show them off. Stay tuned!
To all the friends who might be visiting in response to the email I sent:Welcome!
I hope you enjoy the world of the Geekwif. There's not a lot about the dome home here yet, but there will be soon, so keep watching!
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
We closed on the lot. We are now officially landowners. I suppose technically we already were since we own a small home in the 'hood, but when your personal space is the size of a postage stamp it doesn't really feel like land-ownership. Add in the fact that this home was purchased with the intention of fixing it up and selling it (otherwise known as fixing it up for some stranger to live in), and...well, let's just say it feels good to own some land. This is the place where we will build the house in which we plan to grow old. I told the Geek this morning that it's like a 20 lb. weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Yup, feels good.And now for a little housekeeping. The Geek asked me this morning if I could call him "my Geek" or something like that. He feels that "the Geek" sounds like "the old guy" or "the Geezer". I can see where he gets that. Let me assure you he is nothing like that. In fact, to look at him, you wouldn't think, "yup, he's a geek." He is actually quite the cutie. Now while, "my Geek" is accurate, it doesn't always fit, so I will alternate between "the Geek" and "my Geek". In essence, when you see the word Geek capitalized, it's about him - the hubby, the hubster, DH, the cute guy - you get the picture.
Monday, June 20, 2005
It is time to introduce my leading man in the story that will be unfolding on these virtual pages. He has been called many things, but for the purposes of this blog, he will be called "the Geek". He is the guy that made me the Geekwif more than a decade ago. (He affectionately calls me his "wif", rather than wife, thus the name "Geekwif".) He is the person I can't wait to see at the end of every day, the one who makes me happy whether I want to be or not.
There are words on my refrigerator - lots of them - in the form of magnetic poetry and one of the poems there is about him. It describes very well what he is to me.
but for my man I cannot say
what mad storm would manipulate
the wind within me
Ok, it's somewhat ambiguous, but if you have any poetic imagination at all, you'll get it. So, now that you have been introduced, I will move forward with today's post.
Most of my life I have carried in my mind the illusion that I am incredibly unique and not at all like anyone else. It's ridiculous because I know this is just an illusion, and yet I persist in believing it. I realize that I am indeed unique just like anyone else. We all have different combinations of personality traits that make us each the unique person that we are, but my illusion says I'm even more unique than most.
This illusion leads to different results in different situations. Sometimes it leads to vanity which eventually comes crashing down in a heap of belated humility.
Case in point: When I was in my late teens, a friend and I were teaching ourselves songwriting skills by means of a book we had purchased together. One exercise, early in the course, required that we write a short melody using just three given notes. By the time I was done, I was convinced that I had created the most unique melody that ever had existed in the history of songwriting, using those three notes . Mine was the epitome of the three-note-melody, and I was so proud of it. (For those who are not musically or mathematically inclined, there are only so many possible combinations of three notes and when you consider the thousands upon thousands of songs that have been written in the course of history, mine was certainly not unique.)
Apparently that prideful moment impacted my friend, because recently in a casual conversation she asked if I remembered that three-note-melody I wrote so long ago and how funny it was that I thought it was so unique. This of course jogged my memory and brought on the delayed humility - delayed by 15 years in this case. Uggh.
Another common result of my illusions of uniqueness is disillusionment. The Geek and I are planning to build a home this year. We have been planning this home for over a decade and are very excited to finally see it coming to pass. We want to build in the country with plenty of space around us, yet close enough to the city so the Geek can continue at his current place of employment. The illusion of uniqueness kicked in here. Who else would want to live out in the country? Doesn't everyone else want to live in the city, right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of it all? Surely there is plenty of land out there just waiting for us to find it, sporting all the amenities we want like trees, water, and space.
Nine months after we began actively looking for a piece of land, we are finally closing on a lot tomorrow. It seems now (here's where the disillusionment kicks in) that EVERYONE wants what we want - to be away from the city but close enough to work there. The only difference is that most of the people in our situation are content to live in a development where they will still live close enough to their neighbor to carry on a conversation from the front porches and where their home is one of a million cut from the same cookie-cutter.
The final possible outcome of my illusions of uniqueness, and the most uncommon, is that I find I am actually unique. This is my favorite outcome. The Geek (who shares delusions of uniqueness with me) and I are going to be building a dome home. Yes, it's a round house. No, it's not underground. No we're not hippies...well, maybe a little.
Our fascination with domes started one summer shortly after we were married. We were at the State Fair and ran across a booth for a company who has been building dome homes for 30 years. We were both vaguely familiar with the concept since the Geek's parents had considered building a dome some years before that and when I was a teenager, I had accompanied friends when they stayed for a week with an uncle who lived in a dome. We started studying the literature they offered and attending their biannual tour of dome homes, and found that domes are incredibly efficient both in space and energy, stunningly beautiful, exceptionally strong, and best of all - intensely unique.
This year, after over a decade of planning, we build our dome. The process will be chronicled here and you can join me for reports of the joys and trials of building a home whether you are interested in dome homes or in the process of building a home of any kind. Mixed in will be random thoughts and ideas, but the building project will be a major theme. Thanks for joining me in the process!
Well, it seems I've started something. My closest friend has started a blog of her own. Even though she has 2 posts to my 1 (soon to be 2 when this one posts), I still claim seniority since I was here first - even if it was only by a day. She is the one is determined to continue introducing me to expensive habits - from stamping to scrapbooking to beading and so much more - and I love her for it, even though the Geek may not. She is the one I call when I'm in a shopping emergency. (I'm horrible at shopping alone!) She is the ONLY person who can get away with telling me what looks good on me and what doesn't - and sometimes I even listen to her. She is a communicator, which means she fills in the empty spaces when I run out of words to say, and yet she is always ready to listen on the rare occasion when I feel the need to speak.So, without further ado, I want to welcome Blond Girl! My posts will be peppered with her name as well as that of her daughter, my goddaughter and favorite little girl in the world, Sweet Girl (whom she calls Tiglet). Blond Girl, I look forward to reading your blog. If it is any reflection of you (and I know it will be), it will be funny, sarcastic, sweet, occasionally sad, but mostly entertaining. Thanks for joining me here. It's gonna be a blast!
Friday, June 17, 2005
When I was a little girl, my mother bought me a diary. I remember being at the bookstore with her, scanning the books on the "big girl" shelf when I saw it. It was covered in light blue "leather" with gold lettering on the front - "My Diary". There was a gold lock with a clear plastic strap that wrapped around to ensure that no one could ever invade my precious private thoughts. Best of all, tucked safely in an envelope was a tiny gold key. It was like magic. I placed the key in the lock, turned it carefully and opened that exquisite book - that book of mystery and wonderment filled with blank pages just waiting for my thoughts to be given form.At that moment there was nothing in the world I wanted more than that diary. I meekly and apologetically begged my mother to buy it for me. I promised that I would write in it every single day without fail, and I truly believed I would. It must not have been very expensive, because she bought the diary.When we got home, I dashed to my room, grabbed a pencil, jumped on my bed, carefully removed the key from it's envelope, unlocked that extraordinary book...and sat there for an hour, realizing I had absolutely nothing worthwhile to say. I agonized, thought long and hard, but came up completely blank. I don't remember what my first entry ended up being, but it was probably something to the effect of "Mom bought me this diary today," which was a harbinger of entries to come.From that point on, if I actually remembered to write in my diary (and that was a BIG if), it was usually a brief recount of the day's activities. "Today (my posts almost always started with the word 'today') I went to Shelly's house and we played outside." "Today Mom and I went to the grocery store." "Today mom made me clean my room." When I forgot to write, I would go back for all the days I missed (each page was dated) and fill in with "Forgot to write today". That phrase filled many - ok, most - of the pages in my diary.Suffice it to say, my precious diary began to serve only as a reminder of just how boring my life was. I didn't usually feel bored - playing with Shelly, going to the store, etc. could be entertaining - except when I was writing in my diary and especially when I was reading my past diary entries. Though I would never have admitted it to my mother then, I will admit it now. That diary was not at all what I thought it would be.So here I am again, starting a sort of diary. My hope is that I have the ability to be a little more eloquent and even entertaining now then I had then. I have discovered since then that I can write about more than just the events of the day - an idea that never crossed my mind then. I am probably crazy to start this now as life is insanely busy these days. We are just about to close on a piece of land and then we'll be selling our house (which we've spent the past 7 years getting ready to sell) and building another home. On the other hand, this will be a good place to think through some of that insanity and to share the building process with friends, acquaintances, and strangers who might be interested for some reason - hopefully not creepy reasons.I may not (read probably won't) update every day, but I will try to keep this reasonably up-to-date. As the tag indicates, it will be filled with figments, wonderments, acknowledgements, deducements, arguments, maybe a little entertainment, and perhaps a few other "ments", all from the somewhat sane mind of a girl who calls herself the geekwif.