Thursday, September 27, 2007

Last Shot of This, I Promise....

New Home Decor..., originally uploaded by lla.

I just could not resist showing the final product...

Yes, I am so tickled by this that I already went out and got a frame for it.

Which is HUGE for me. I've got the world's most massive pile of "stuff to get a frame for someday..." For some reason, when it comes to framing stuff, I can procrastinate endlessly...

Anyhow, don't you agree that this was just what this corner of my home needed???

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Now It Can Be Shown....

The Great Reveal..., originally uploaded by lla.

love. this.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It's Like Christmas in July... Or My Birthday in September... Or Something Like That...

After 17 years of marriage, Bubba still claims that I drive him absolutely crazy.

I don't think that he means it in the romantic sense...

One of Bubba's (perhaps legitimate) grievances with me has to do with the celebrating of birthdays. Specifically, my birthday.

You see - it turns out that I am a big old birthday hypocrite.

I love to celebrate other peoples' birthdays. Particularly the "gift" part: I legitimately enjoy thinking of what that person may want/need and procuring it. I genuinely enjoy wrapping gifts. I really love the whole gift-giving ritual.

Notice that I said gift-giving not gift-receiving.

Yes - as much as I love to give birthday presents, I really hate to receive them. Or more precisely, I hate to receive them on the actual day of my birth.
I get a little cranky just thinking about it.

I hate the idea that there may be absolutely nothing that I want, or that I need, and yet just because the calendar shows a certain date, people feel obligated to go out and spend money on me.
Like I said, it's hypocritical, I know. But there it is.

So my family and I have come to an agreement: my parents give me money ("universal gift certificates!" Wheeee!), my sister ignores my birthday altogether (probably serves me right) and Bubba gives me an IOU - good for one present of my choice when and where I find it.

Some years, it literally takes me months to figure out what I want, which makes the man utterly insane. There was the year that I decided the week before Christmas that I wanted a Cuisinart Griddler*, which I then bought for myself as a birthday present (This made Bubba crazy because then he had to give me another IOU for Christmas as there was nothing that I wanted/needed for that holiday...) One year, I didn't find anything 'til the following February.

Once, I actually sat on an IOU for over 18 months.**

So this year was no different in one respect: I got an IOU, and Bubba got an ulcer. Except this year I didn't make him wait 18 months before I redeemed it. Nope - thanks to an incredibly good email coupon from Borders last week - I got this year's birthday present. And it's a doozy.

I got the complete Homicide: Life on the Street DVD set.

All seven seasons.
ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY TWO glorious episodes of absolutely amazing television writing. So much TV that they had to package it in a freakin' filing cabinet! Thirty-five discs!
Totally impractical, and yet it's making me so happy.
(Remember when I went to Baltimore, and one of the highlights of the trip was my visit to Fell's Point???)

I Miss Bayliss...

So, that's a lot of goodness right there, right?
You'd think a girl couldn't have a nicer week, right?

Wrong! It got even better!!!

I got a mystery package in the mail. Curious. I wasn't expecting anything...

Eagerly I tore into it - to find a lovely and thoughtful birthday package from Beki, of Artsy-Crafty Babe!


Inside was the most darling sunglasses case ever, made by the lovely and talented MsBeki herself; and a cross stitch kit from Subversive Cross Stitch...

Birthday Goodies

What's that? You need a closer look at the cross stitch kit?

Subversive Cross Stitch Kit

That's all you're getting right now - a picture of the packaging. I'm waiting until I am done with the actual kit before doing the "big reveal."

This shouldn't be too terribly long now - I am LOVING the cross stitching. I've not cross stitched anything since I was a little kid - probably still in single digits, agewise? I'm delighted to say that it came back quickly, and I am having an utter blast with this.

I will give you a closer look at the sunglasses case, though - because it's so amazingly cute. And it is the perfect size for my big old goofy sunglasses.

Cutest Sunglasses Case Ever...

Thank you, Beki! Thank you so very much...

Not only for the fabulousity of the gift, but for understanding how freakish I am about my birthday. I swear I wouldn't have loved this nearly so much back in July...

*That was probably two years ago, and I still love this thing. And I still use it at least 2-3 times a week....

**In my own defense, I do see how this could potentially make him crazy. But I keep reminding him that when I take forever to decide what I want - when I finally do decide, it is something that I really, really love. See previous footnote...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Anthony Bordain Wanted Me to Write This Post, Y'all...

Actually, that's an utter and blatant lie...

Anthony Bordain doesn't know me from Adam and could not care less about what I write*.
and Sigh.

However, it seems there are some very mysterious forces at work in the universe...

Shortly after I publicly threatened to post a review of Hominy Grill, I sat down to (belatedly**) watch Monday's episode of No Reservations. In which Anthony goes not only to South Carolina, but to my new favorite restaurant.

Ah - two loves.
United together.

Now I ask you - could this be any better???

Oh wait - yeah! It could have totally been better....
*I* could have been invited to go, too!

Let me just warn you: if you're not in the mood to read a swoony, "I'm utterly in love with this place" post - then you best stop reading. Because Hominy Grill makes me all swoony. And I'm utterly in love...

First off, Hominy Grill is cute, even from the outside. It's located in an old shotgun house, dating back to the late 1800's. It's pretty easy to spot, even though it's a bit off the beaten path in the neighborhood surrounding MUSC - the shocking pink color of the building guarantees that.

Oh, and the mural of the Grits Girl, too. That's pretty hard to miss...

Grits Girl...

If she's not the most photographed mural in all the Low Country, well, then she should be.

Hominy Grill

The entry is quite inviting; the interior space simple, but lovely. Lots of light; very clean and comforting.

Even though I appreciate a nice ambiance - what it's all about for me is the food! And that's where Hominy really shines...
Let's cut to the chase, shall we?

I had the "Low Country Omelet":

LowCountry Omelet

This was an omelet stuffed with Carolina Red Rice, and topped with shrimp gravy. I originally had my eye on something else - but Bubba had already called dibs, so I went with this as my Plan B.
(I don't like to order the same thing as Bubba and Schecky when we go out. I like it best when we all get something different, and then I get to share!)

I initially picked this thinking "That's a weird combination - it's so weird that it's either going to be amazing, or it's going to be a disaster."
It was most definitely amazing. I never would have thought to put these flavors together, but having tried them now all I can wonder is "why hasn't anyone done this before???"
Served with sunflower toast and home fries - this dish made it into the "Clean Plate Club" with ease.

Bubba called dibs on what I originally had my eye on: The Big Nasty Biscuit.

Big. Nasty. Biscuit.

I mean, seriously. If something is called the "Big Nasty Biscuit" you're kind of honor-bound to try it, right?
Hmmm - you and I think very differently then.

Fortunately, Bubba and I think an awful lot alike, and he ordered this. And even more fortunately for me, Bubba's an excellent sharer.

The Big Nasty Biscuit starts off with a gorgeous, gorgeous biscuit. I would have called it a "cat head" biscuit, but the menu claims it's a "high rise" biscuit. Whatever you call it, it's an impressively good biscuit.

But the goodness doesn't stop there. Nope - it's topped with a perfectly fried chicken breast, smothered with grated cheddar cheese and then liberally doused with an amazingly tasty sausage gravy.

I am drooling a little even as I type this... For real.

I know, I know - another unorthodox-sounding combination. But you really can't knock it if you've not tried it.

So. Unbelievably. Good.

I'm telling you, I could eat six of these.
(Of course, I'm pretty sure it would kill me... this is not a dainty meal. But what a way to go...)

Schecky ordered a pretty kick-ass version of Huevos Rancheros - which he dove into before our server even had the plate fully on the table. He was ravenous - as only nine-year-old boys seem to be.

There is no kid's menu at Hominy Grill - which wasn't really an issue for us, since the Scheckster loves breakfast foods every bit as much as his momma does. His ability to put away vast amounts of eggs, etc. is truly prodigious (and a bit scary if you accidentally get between him and his plate...)
I got the feeling, though, that our server would have worked with us to come up with a "kid meal" had it been an issue. The service there was wonderful - very attentive and responsive, yet never obtrusive, nor hurried. Very much in keeping with the comfortable vibe of the place.

Oh - and I almost forgot. You can't go to a place called Hominy Grill, a place that sells t-shirts emblazoned with the words "Grits are good for you"*** without trying these:



Then came the desserts:

You've already heard me go on and on about buttermilk pie. So I won't repeat myself. But just look at how pretty:

Buttermilk Pie...

Bubba ordered pecan pie.

Pecan Pie

Y'all this tasted just like my mom's - which is the highest compliment that a pecan pie can get!
There was one slight difference - my mom makes her version with unbroken pecan halves, this was made with pieces. So there was a textural difference. My mom's pie looks maybe a little prettier (you've got a pretty surface of entire pecan halves, so that it's very smooth looking) but I liked the almost chunky texture of this one. Hominy Grill gets the slight edge over my mom. (Don't tell!)

Schecky had the chocolate pudding.

Chocolate Puddin'

He'd never had real, "made from scratch" chocolate pudding before. (Honestly, I'm not sure I've ever had anything but the box kind - but remember, I'm not a big chocolate girl.) He was in heaven...

Schecky's Not Sharing Any More of His Pudding!

That's Scheck sayin' "I've shared enough, the rest of this is MINE!

So - as you can tell, I loved it all.

Ate the meal, bought the t-shirt. Even bought the cookbook, too!

You can find recipes for the "High Rise" Biscuits, the ButterMilk Pie and the Chocolate Pudding at the Hominy Grill website.

Bon appetit!

*That's OK, Anthony. Really. I still love you, even though it's very difficult for me to continue to claim that you as my boyfriend, what with you ignoring me like this and all...

**Thank you, TiVo! I love my TiVo. Perhaps even more that I love Anthony. And now that I think about it... my TiVo at least loves me back....

***And yes, I bought one for Bubba. But you knew that without me even saying it, didn't you?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood....

Actually, it's the third beautiful day in a row in the neighborhood - which is even better.

That's right - the incredible heat wave has finally broken, and life is ever so much better. I turned the A/C off for the first time in forever on Sunday, and haven't had to turn it back on since. And since I had a $400 A/C bill last month, being able to turn it off is making me quite, quite happy...

Another thing that is making me happy about the cooler weather?

Starting to think about all our favorite "cool weather foods."

Applesauce; Chili; and Baking (oh my!) - pumpkin bread, cornbread, peanut butter cookies - and I know there are more that I'm just not thinking of yet....
I know that there's no reason I couldn't make these things year-round, but for some reason, they really only appear in the Fall here at the House That Crazy Built.

I thought I'd ease back into cooler-weather-cooking by making a pie.

And not just any pie. My new favorite pie, from my new favorite restaurant - the Hominy Grill.*

Over the Labor Day weekend, Bubba, Schecky and I spent the long weekend in Charleston. We were celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary. While there, we went to the Hominy Grill, and when I saw "buttermilk pie" on the menu, I knew I had to try it.

Now, I've been curious about buttermilk pie ever since Bekka of Potlikker wrote about it last year. Here's a supposed "Southern delicacy", and I'd never even heard of it???? I was intrigued.
I bookmarked Bekka's recipe - but, sadly, never did anything with it.

But back at the Hominy Grill, once I took my first bite of the stuff? I was hooked! Sweet Cracker Sandwich! Sweet Buttermilk Pie! Good, good stuff...

It's kind of hard to explain what it tastes like - it's got a custardy, slightly lemon-scented layer; topped with a more creamy layer that's somewhat akin to a cheescake flavor. It manages to be rich, and yet light, all at the same time.

I knew that I couldn't leave that taste behind - so I bought a copy of the restaurant's cookbook. (And believe me! - I'm really looking forward to exploring it in more depth in the upcoming months.)

But for now - I needed to recreate that pie!

Buttermilk Pie

I'm delighted to say that the at-home version lived up to my memories of the in-the-restaurant version. It was as every bit as good as I remembered it being, which is always gratifying.

And while I can't scan the recipe from the cookbook and post it here - as I am sure that violates all kinds of copyright laws - I've got some good news: you can read a much more eloquent description than mine, and see the recipe right here, in this nice little article written by the Brothers Lee.
Whom I also love....

Oh - and speaking of love? I found one more thing to love about this pie (As if being both delicious -AND- dead simple to make isn't enough...)

I got to use my egg separator. :)

And in doing so - I learned two very important things:
  1. Autum is absolutely right - it totally looks like he's puking. Except he drools out the egg whites, not the yolks. Really, not his best look.

  2. He's a really crappy egg separator - he left behind most of the white on the first egg, and broke the yoke on the second egg.

So I guess I'll just have to continue loving him for his pretty face...

*I keep threatening to write a full blown post about this place, because it is my new favorite - but somehow while the desire is strong, my follow-thru is weak.

Friday, September 14, 2007

When Cookie Met Pissy... (how's that for a title?)

Today I had the privilege of meeting the legendary (infamous?) “Big Pissy” from The Southern Circle of Hell.

And it was a rocking good time…

Those of you who already read Pissy’s blog already know how fabulous she is – so cute, so put together, and above all else, so funny.
(And those of you who aren’t reading it yet, what are you waiting for? Go read! Scoot!)

So imagine my delight at getting to discover firsthand that she's exactly like that in real life.
Oh my word – we giggled and chatted up a storm.

And. we. walked.
My, my, my – how we walked. I’m not sure that we left a square inch of Decatur uncovered.
My glutes will be feeling it tomorrow.
(OK, I made that last part up. I’m not even entirely sure where my “glutes” are. Let’s just say we walked a lot and I should be feeling it somewhere tomorrow…)

Unlike my meet-ups with the other fabulous bloggers I've been privilged enough to meet – I actually remembered to bring along a camera.

Although... while I may have remembered the camera, I forgot that I am one of the most un-photogenic grrrls on the planet.
(It’s a fact, I’m just sayin’. No, seriously - I’ve had actual PROFESSIONAL photographers comment on the fact that I take some seriously funny-looking pictures. And not funny-in-a-good-way, either…)

And the picture that I shot of the two of us, from the arm-stretched-way-out position? I think it ranks right up there with the “Top 5 Worst Pictures of Me EVER.” So, I guess that’s one no one will ever get to see…

I started to just crop me out, and show you Pissy, because she was still looking cute, even though we had just come in from our marathon – but since I didn’t give her a chance at “photo approval”, it hardly seemed sporting.
(Although, I should so totally do it anyway – since she initially stood me up**!!!!)

Here’s to finding a new walking buddy – Pissy, anytime you’re in town and in the mood to traipse all over creation? Give me a call…

*You know what? I've been really, really lucky in that I've gotten to meet so many amazing women via blogging this year.
Each and every one has been a genuine joy and just delightful. If you ever get a chance to meet a fellow blogger/craftygrrrl/etc - you should leap at the chance. I highly recommend it.

**It’s true!
It all got worked out in the end.
However, Bubba’s not going to let me forget this! He’d already been teasing me about “how many of the blog ladies want to meet you. Once.”
Oh, yeah – he’s not going to let to let me forget this anytime soon….

Thursday, September 13, 2007


In which I share a Public Service Announcement.

Or should that be a "Police" Service Announcement???

I heard on the radio* this morning that The Police are adding a second tour date here in Atlanta, for November 18th. So - if you didn't get tickets to the first show (like me! Or GottaKnit!) - here's your chance.

Tickets go on sale on Saturday at TicketBastardMaster.

Dee Doo Doo Doo... Dee Dah Dah Dah....

*I also heard this joke on the radio, and it cracked me up:
I was dating this girl. She had a lazy eye.

I had to break up with her, though. Seems she was seeing someone else on the side...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Butterfly Fries...

Hmmm - I feel like there must be another name for these,
but I'll be darned if I can figure out what it would be...

Butterfly fries are when they take a potato and thinly slice it in one continuous spiral - so you get one long curly strip.
Which is then promptly fried.*

So - it's really more potato-chippy than French Fry-ish.

Thanks to the fabulous Jenny C. - now you, too, can see the glory and the splendor that is the butterfly fry!

Admit it, don't they look good????

*Don't forget that the official family motto here at the House That Crazy Built is "If It's Fried, It Must Be Tried!"

Monday, September 10, 2007

Now Before I Show You This...

...remember what I said about "one woman's tacky being another woman's treasure"?

Go easy on me...

This Yellow Daisy Festival was, for me, obviously all about "the face."*

As in - most of the stuff that I bought had a face. A face that I found so irresistible that I had to bring it home...

Like this little guy:

German "Egg Separator"

He's a "German Egg Separator."

Ask me if I needed an egg separator, German or not.
Go ahead... ask me...

Heck to the NO! Of course I didn't need an egg separator.
I separate eggs maybe once a year, and I find that my fingers are more than suited to the task.
But what was I supposed to do - just leave him there? It was love at first sight. I realize he's kind of hideous, but what can I say? I guess that's just how I roll...

It was also love at first sight with this little lamb, as well:


He's a Christmas tree ornament. I try to find these people each year, from the Au Gres Sheep Factory, so that I may buy one of their ornaments. This is the first time I've seen one of the greyish ones, and I was/am smitten beyond words.

So, I'll have to show you another picture...

Sheep Ornament

And this has absolutely nothing to do with crafts, or even the Yellow Daisy Festival. But as long as I'm showing you faces that make me happy - here's one more that I spied that made me stupidly happy:


*Technically, it was all about cute faces and happy tummies. Because the other stuff I bought was a slew of fudge for Bubba and Schecky, and some apple cider doughnuts from Ellijay ("Apple Capital of North Georgia") for me. Oh, and the aforementioned butterfly fries.

But I can't show any pictures of any of that stuff. It's all already been 'et.


Things I Did Not Take Photos of This Weekend...

I went to the Yellow Daisy Festival over the weekend, but I didn't take a camera.
Bubba had my little camera with him in California, and I'm still not used to toting my new (big) camera around with me yet*.

However, I'm going to attempt to talk about Yellow Daisy anyway...

I went to the Yellow Daisy Festival over the weekend. It is billed as the largest craft fair in America. I'd believe it, the crowds were huge...
(I started to make a comment here about "both in number and in size." But that just seems a little mean-spirited...)

I always feel like going to YDF is my dirty little secret.
In real life I'd admit to going - if you asked me.

But only if you asked me.
I'd probably not volunteer that information to any of the hip, chic, way-cooler-than-me women that inhabit this very odd little socio-economic bubble of MidTown where I live.

Amy, of 3 To Get Ready, and I both sniggeringly refer to events like this as "crap fairs".
I mean, really - how many hand painted plaques with cutesy sayings like "When I Die, Bury Me At Wal-Mart So My Wife Will Come Visit Me" does anyone really need?

There is a whole lot of junk, a w-h-o-l-e lot, and much of it, to my eye, is tacky as all sin.

Yet, one woman's tacky is another woman's treasure - as there seems to be no end to the purchasing that goes on at this thing. This year, I noticed a really annoying trend: shoppers bringing all sorts of jerry-rigged "shopping carts" to haul home their booty.

Seriously - plastic milk cartons on little dollies, with intricate networks of bungee cords to hold down the loot. I saw more than one woman using actual luggage, the kind on wheels, to carry purchases. And don't even get me started on the number of baby strollers that didn't have a child in sight, but were burdened down with parcel after parcel.

To my way of thinking, if you have to bring luggage to carry all your stuff? You're probably buying too much...

But I digress... even though I'd say 90% of the stuff is not to my taste, I still go year after year. And I have one heck of a good time. Even the stuff that I would never want, I still appreciate. I mean, someone actually took the time to make that thing - and although the question of "why?" might linger in the back of my mind, I do admire the drive to craft that is behind it.

Also - it's a fun atmosphere, a party of sorts. 85 % of the attendees are women, and they are there to have. a. good. time. And believe me, they do.
I like the people watching, I won't lie. I'm always a little wistful at all the mother/daughter shopping tag teams that I see (even though I know that my mom and I don't have that kind of touchy feely relationship, and that a joint visit to something like this would be a recipe for disaster...)

And, as if you need any other explanation for my infatuation with this mammoth event, let me leave you with two words:

butterfly. fries.

Really, do I need to say more??? I had you at "butterfly fries", didn't I...

Let's not forget the 10% of the stuff which I think is pretty cool. I didn't need luggage, but I did buy a few things...

Hopefully I can get some pictures up soon. Bubba is back home with my little camera. Yay! And, now he can help me find the photo downloading software that has been MIA since the Great Computer Rebuild of August07...

So - stay tuned for some (hopefully) photo-y goodness soon!

*OK - you all give such good housekeeping advice, that I'm going to hit you up for more advice. Talk to me about camera-totin'...

I'm so spoiled by my "shove it in my pocket and forget about it" Point-and-Shoot - and that makes the new SLR seem like a behemoth!

I'm guilty of not taking it places and using it. If the weather looks the least little bit gray, I don't want to take it out for fear it might get a raindrop, or something, on it. If I'm going to be out for a long time, I don't take it because I don't want to have to be stuck hauling it around, and I don't want to leave it in the car... You get the idea.

I've not gotten any sort of bag for it - the few that I've looked into look huge and bulky in their own right. So all you photographers out there - how to you tote that thing? Or do I just need to put on my big girl panties and deal with it**?

**A very, very popular saying to put on things at crap craft fairs...

Friday, September 07, 2007

Cool New Toy...


Beki just turned me onto this hip new toy.
Apparently, all the cool kids are using it already.

Which probably means that I've jumped on the bandwagon just in time to hear the trend pronounced dead.

Oh well...

Look how cute!
Did I already say "Squeeeee?"

"Spell with Flickr"

*GeekyMom has reminded me of just how fun it can be to take time out and squeal when something makes you happy...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

And Now For Something Completely Different...

A departure from the normal format...

Although, around here, who's to say what's "normal" anymore??? :)

Molly of MommyCoddle has a very interesting post today in which she essentially poses the question "How Do You Shop For Groceries?"
I really enjoyed it - both thinking about my own answer to that question, and going back and reading the answers from others.

But it got me thinking further: I think I've got the grocery shopping thing down. At least, I've got a system that works for me, although I suspect that it would have a more sane woman shrieking at just the thought of having to follow my involved process.
If you're at all interested in the way an undiagnosed OCD goes grocery shopping, you can read all about it in the comments section at MommyCoddle.
(And let me just say, preemptively, that all I'm saying is that this is what works for my crazy-ass self. The key is to find what works for *you*. Which will be, obviously, far less insane...)

However, you know what I don't have down? Not even the least little bit???

The. House. Cleaning. Thing.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I come from a long line of women who have always had someone "to do for them." My mother never taught me to clean, but how would she have known? Her mother never taught her, and so on.
Sadly, the mantle of privilege didn't get handed down to me. And so (alas!) I must largely do for myself.

Which is fine.

Except I suck at it.
I can "clean" a room, and 45 minutes later - it doesn't really show. I particularly struggle with dust...
Oh. My. Word. The dust in this house.

So - how do you do it? Do you set one day aside and pound it all out? Do you divvy it up, and if so how? Is Monday "laundry day", Tuesday "tidy and dust", Wednesday "vacuum and mop"? Or is it more: Monday "Living room", Tuesday "Dining Room", etc.

Before I became a "Trophy Wife", the house was a pit. Plain and simple. I wasn't here, so I didn't much care. But in the year that I've spent at home full time, I've gotten pretty good at tidying. (The never-ending-decluttering project is helping with that.) But if you look closely, the tidy surface is dusty. Or sticky. Or - bonus! - both.

I tried the big old honking Martha Stewart tome. I got it from the library and marveled for the full 28 days I was allowed to keep it at its mighty 752 pages. But it had absolutely no impact on my meager cleaning skills....
(perhaps I should have done less marveling, and more reading????)

So - genuinely interested here - how do you do it?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

An Explanation…

It’s been quiet here in CookieLand, as you may have noticed.
And I’ve been trying to figure out what’s up with that.

Below is a long, rambling and probably incoherent discourse on (maybe) the “why” of it.

I’m not so sure that you actually need to read it.
(it is long, and ramblesome)

But I think that I needed to write it…

(Although, if you are going to read it, you may want to do so now. As I am not sure how long this one will stay posted…)

At one point, when I was still in my 20’s, I briefly considered continuing pursuing my Psychology degree further, perhaps going into the realm of counseling. I (wisely, I think) decided that it wasn’t a good fit. At that time in my life, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to leave it at the end of the day - that if I had clients with real, true problems, I might be able to help them, but at a cost to myself. I was worried that I’d end up taking these problems too much to heart, taking them on myself – and while it is a very noble thing to help others, I feared that it would end up being a detriment to myself.

And if you eliminate counseling people who have “real, true problems” – well then, who is left? I remember proclaiming boldly that I would never work with “middle aged, mildly depressed women who sat across the desk from me and whined that ‘they just didn’t feel fulfilled.’” I went on to proclaim, somewhat proudly, that I’d not last long in that capacity, seeing as how I’d probably succumb to temptation and kick the “whiny bitch” out of my office with the instruction to “get off her ass and do something!” (My 20-something self was not particularly tolerant, or nurturing.)

Now, I fear, I am dangerously on the verge of becoming that very thing: a middle-aged woman with so many advantages, and privileges – who takes advantage of exactly none of them.
And then has the audacity to whine about “I’m not sure I’m happy…”

Oh. Ugh.

Let me clarify: I’m not unhappy. I’m not moping around the house like some emo tween who has just discovered listening to The Smiths. If you ran into me irl, I don’t know that I’d make a huge impression, but if I did, I don’t think it would be one of abject sadness and listlessness.

It’s more a free-floating thing.
It’s not so much a feeling of “is this all there is?” – but a feeling of “is this all I want to be?”

This past year, I’ve focused my energies on being a wife, a mother, and a friend. And after a year of this experiment, I find myself questioning if I’m “doing it right”??? Am I a good wife? Mother? Friend? Am I the person that I want to be?

I’m glad that I’m not the person that I was in my teens and 20’s anymore. As I look back, that person wasn’t particularly likable. Too opinionated, too inflexible. Too bossy, too intolerant. Just too, too, too much… I saw things in black and white; there wasn’t a lot of room for gray in that world.
But one thing I will say for LLA1.0 – she got shit done. There was a lot of setting the world on fire, etc. There was a certain degree of confidence.
I always knew that I was right.
About. Everything.
I knew what I wanted, and I did what it took to get it. End of story.

And that’s the complete opposite of how I find myself today. I tend to dwell on things, and try to see all sides of an issue. On one hand, I know this makes me more tolerant, but sometimes it just feels wishy-washy.
Instead of charging ahead like a bull in a china shop, I now weigh all my options, pondering endlessly over small variations to a plan, and as a result it seems that sometimes I accomplish very little at all.
It’s much nicer to be open to the side paths and detours that life throws our way – but is it possible that in doing so, one never reaches any sort of destination? And does there even need to be a destination? Is it enough to be all about the journey itself???

I think the problem is not that I don’t like LLA2.0 – but that I don’t know who she is. Or what she wants.
I know that I don’t want to go back to whom I was – but that doesn’t seem like enough of a plan…

So, even though I said the introspective navel gazing was going to stop – I feel like maybe these are big questions that need to be examined. I think that’s what the universe, or karma, or whatever is trying to tell me. I think that is why it’s been quiet around here lately. I’ve just not been inspired create, etc.
I’ve waited for the “knitting/crafty urge” to kick in. I’ve even tried to force it to kick back in a little, and - sweet cracker sandwich! - did that feel wrong.

So – I need to just not try to fight it, and not be afraid to examine these issues. Heck, I may even need to speak with someone on a professional level, about it. Just so I don’t get too mired down in myself.

The big thing, though, is that I’m just not going to force anything. If there’s stuff to blog about, I’ll blog. If there’s not, there’s not. I’m going to be easier on myself in some ways, harder on myself in others.
But I think figuring out who I am, what I want, and where I’m going (if that’s anywhere – maybe it is OK to just sit back an enjoy the ride) needs to be the top priority right now. The crafting/knitting/etc can wait until it wants to come back. And, I’m pretty sure that no matter what else I discover or learn, the crafty grrrl will be back. I can’t imagine life without her, even if she does seem dormant right now.

Oh – and part of the going easier on myself part includes this: I’m granting myself email amnesty. I let my inbox get so cluttered up over the summer when I was without reliable access. But I kept everything in there until I time when I could respond. But then I got more nice emails, and interesting comments – but I couldn’t respond to the newer stuff until I’d responded to the previous stuff. And then even more would come in. A vicious cycle that’s tough on an OCD-type like myself! (Don’t worry; I do acknowledge how crazy that is…)

So – amnesty! I’m going to go back through, and read everything – with no pressure of replying. (Because really, do you want a reply to a comment you left 6 weeks ago??? You’ve got your own in box clutter with which to deal!) And it all gets filed away, and then the slate is clean.

I don’t know about you, but I feel better already….