...the Wise, the Witty, and the Waste of your time...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Death - Famine - Winter - Disease - Crime

I hate winter. I know I shouldn't say it but its true, I hate it. I haven't always hated it, I remember looking forward to winter as a kid. I loved the cold, the snow, school, Thanksgiving. Funny, Christmas was never anticipated...we were too poor to celebrate Christmas so we barely acknowledged it in the first half of my life. I do remember distinctly one year when mom bought a rather festive piece of material from Joanne's Fabrics and put it on the table for Christmas, I thought our place was the fanciest in the neighborhood because of it! Dad only worked half a day and we had some sort of glazed pineapple ham dinner. That, seriously, made Christmas for me that year! It felt extravagant and wealthy!

Anyway, things have changed. I still anticipate winter all summer long but with an ever growing despondency. I think I should have been born a bear, hibernation is the only thing that really sounds sensible to me from November to April. My husband could probably argue that during those months I actually AM a bear.

So, having begun with lament, I now make a resolution that THIS winter will be different! I will be cheerful, positive, snowloving, and discover a winter sport or hobby! I shall rediscover the magical essence of a world dressed in white, breath you can see, and icecycles. *sigh* Did that sound too rehearsed and just a tiny bit forced?

I've been compiling a list for myself of some positive aspects of winter because I really can't bear the thought of barely enduring it with my sanity in shreds at my feet. I thought I'd share some with you all in case you also experience the winter blahs/blues!

I don't know who this poor kid is but I feel a strong connection between us!

  • hot drinks
  • long sleeps
  • stews and soups and enchiladas, all the hot meals you don't feel like eating in summer
  • shoes with arch support (flip flops hurt my feet)
  • sweaters
  • cozy blankets
  • books, lots of books
  • time for pulling out the hobbies
  • everything slows down
  • a time to try a new activity, Justin and i talk about taking pottery, learning to waltz, or cross country skiing...its fun to talk about!
  • Christmas
  • Thanksgiving
  • no gardening
  • thick socks
  • How clean the world looks
  • Time...more of it
And now I need help...what are some more good things? Your additions go below.

  • You don't have to shave your armpits and legs as often -Tianna Riemer (I unfortunately, need to otherwise I'd be mistaken for a Sasquatch....it gets pretty bad!)
  • I've always thought "winter beds" were so much more cozy than summer beds. The blankets are thicker and softer and it just seems way more snuggly than in the summer. Yay for winter beds!!
  • I also look forward to the candle scents that come out in winter. Cinnamon, Apple-cinnamon, Winter Spice, Pumpkin Spice, Evergreen, Cranberry... love it, love it.
  • FIRE. Its cold enough to use a fireplace.
  • It smells so much better in Starbucks because they have their nutmeg, eggnog, peppermint, etc. lattes!! (Can you tell I like winter because of the smells??)
  • Holiday movies. A Christmas Story, Holiday Inn, White Christmas, Mixed Nuts, etc. NOT Miracle on whatever street or Its a Wonderful Life. Too cheesy.
  • People actually congregate! Particularly in my area of CA, you don't have a neighborly feel most places-- too busy, too crowded. In winter, its decent enough outside that people actually go downtown and just hang out. Or maybe I just slow down enough in winter to hang out myself?? hm... Contributed by Rachel Meeker.
  • Snowboarding (not that I get to do that down here)
  • I love all the scents that come out as well, the holiday, pine, cinnamin smells are all so yummy. (I'm sensing a theme here.)
  • Pumkin pie
  • Oh oh, Scarves, I am addicted to the things and can never wait to be able to wear them. -From Jennifer...? (I just realized I don't know your last name anymore...)
  • There's nothing quite like coming in for hot chocolate and a warm blanket after an afternoon of sledding or skating or skiing.
  • I also love to be more crafty in the winter. Sewing things, crocheting scarves, baking....mmmm shortbread, hot buns with butter, pumpkin pie, turkey, cider...need i go on?
  • Plus a shopping trip to Washington can be a pretty good salve to the open wound that the frightening, bitter cold of winter can bring..... -From Christy
  • -Sledding, I know I am grown up, but since I still do not ski and never will (unless certain requirements are met), it is free fun. (sledding hurts my tailbone, i'm a sissy)
  • -Snow, I hate driving in the snow, so it means I have a good excuse to say no and stay home as much as I want. Now if it would just snow alot this winter! We have not had a good winter for 10 years.
  • -Hot tea, I love hot tea (I'm supposed to like hot tea but its not nearly as good as latte's wirh eggnog and rum...)
  • -Warm pajamas- I love snuggly pajamas and you can wear them in the summer.
  • -Family get togethers- we have lots of birthdays in the winter so we see each other alot. These are usually positive. (hmmm...I sometimes wonder what Justin and I are THINKING living so far from either family!)
  • -The trees looks so pretty and it looks like everything is so peaceful outside. -by Martha A
  • more layers of clothing to wear to hide the fact that you have not been to the gym for about a year. (sad but true, you can blame all the bulk on the sweaters!)
  • Plus, lots of time for chocolate chip poker!
  • And have husbands come home early from work because they can't work in the dark! (very true, I love this reason, Steph.)
  • Plus, lots of time for chocolate chip poker! -From Steph
  • I have started to ski the last few years and that is one bright spot in the dreary cold. -by Moriah

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Skinny Jeans

Ahhhh....skinny jeans. Yes, the newest fashion trend. (And of course by "newest" I mean the most recently repeated. This is not the first time such a spectacle has been forced upon us.) Anyone who's anyone is now greasing up their lower half with vaseline and then forcing their body into denim pantyhoes....finishing off with a pair of skater shoes. The effect of big shoes on skinny legs is similar to that of an uncomfortable and immodest clown.

It looks goofy but predictible on the girls. Since the beginning of time, well, since the fig leaves went out anyway, we've been coming up with unlimited torture methods by which we cripple ourselves into socially accepted shapes...all in the name of fashion. Think, corsets, foot binding, starving, waxing, highheels, and underwire bras. For the record, I'm not apposed to underwire, its just that when cheap underwire cuts through cheap fabric during the receiving line at your reception....eeeeyouwwww! Small taste of hell. Its already deeply nestled in your left lung and you still have 80 guests to hug! And with the way you have to hire a "dresser" with the purchase of your dress just to sew you in on the morning of the big day...there's no way you're going to get under 12 layers discreetly to rearrange the offending lance in your heart. No, by the time you can get to it, you'll need surgery to remove it!

Now where was I? Oh yes, skinny jeans. As I said, on girls...not surprised. The kicker with skinny jeans is that
they are unisex. And let me tell you, just like tight shirts are a quick lesson in the shape of girls vs guys....tight jeans are a whole new anatomy lesson! Its strange you know, because of this lovely metro trend, there is a whole generation of really pretty guys out there. Cute hair cuts, colors, and do's- possible eyeliner, tight tailored clothes, pink....its as fascinating as it is disturbing. From the back its toss up as to which sex you're looking at anymore. But just wait until those skinny jeans turn around! Yahaeeeeugghhh....blink blink.....ew. Annnnnnd now you know. Not only can you tell you're looking at a male, you can tell you're NOT looking at a boxer wearing male. If he were a clock you could tell what time it was! I know I know, a little graphic for my Christian blog but hey, its a little graphic for my Christian eyes! By the way, none of the pictures I've put on here are as tight as some of the real life wearers I've seen on the street!

Seriously, tell me I am not the only person who sees this!? Guys often use the term "headlights" when referring to a woman baring a bit too much of her.....well of her headlights. I propose that if we have to watch where and when we shine our headlights, they ought to show us the same courtesy with their....hehe....flashlights. :) I came up with that one on my own! I probably look like the straight jacket woman on the streets with the way I walk down the sidewalks keeping my chin up and my eyes studiously at nosehair level.

Of course, between the highheels, the corset, and the chandelier earrings I pretty much AM the straightjacket woman. Turn my head too quickly or tilt my chin just a bit much and I'll literally tip over into a fashionable little pile on the crosswalk.

I saw an online article titled "Scrawn is the new Brawn." Yeah I don't think so, thanks.
When did we trade in the dream of this...

to something like this? Think he'll slay your dragons? Or maybe just paint abstract pictures of them.

Its all About the Hating

Yesterday I was driving down mainstreet on my way to work and 1 block before I got there I saw two clients on the sidewalk, also headed to the office. Being the naturally friendly and personable darling that I am, I gave them a wave and a hello, just to brighten their day with my presence! As I was looking, waving, and smiling at these two, I ignorantly went zooming across a crosswalk...with people on it!

Now I did NOT almost hit these girls but the point is, they were on the crosswalk and I was in a vehicle and it is MY responsibility to be watching and STOPPING for the peds. Even though it was not a near miss, it was a stupid mistake and a cop would have had a thing or two to say to me had there been one nearby.

My parking spot was about two cars lengths in front of the crosswalk so naturally, I parked. The girls crossed the street with life and limb intact and then proceeded to walk down the sidewalk I had just parked beside. And guess what, I cowered in my little car, pretending to be busily looking for something on the floor of the backseat on the passengers side so that I would have no chance to meet the eyes of my almost victims. Real mature. The whole time I was feeling sick to my stomach and quietly chanting, "please-don't-hate-me-I-didn't-mean-to-I'm-not-a-bad-person" under my breath. As they neared the car I stopped breathing and was sure I heard them say things like "...such a jerk...sucky driver...dumb blonde...hate her..." etc. Of course they passed the car without incident and of course, weren't even looking at me as I tried to blend into the blue upholstry. The 2 second incident probably didn't even register on their "very cool" highschool day but I got out of my car, went to work, and ruminated on the entire event for the rest of the evening. In fact, I'm writing this the morning after so obviously I'm STILL obsessing.

The most startling and I confess, most disgusting part of it all is that I was not NEARLY so concerned with the fact that I was being a careless driver as I was concerned about how my actions may have negatively influenced someone else's opinon of myself. Instead of chanting "I'm sorry" or better yet, lifting my cowardly head and actually saying "I'm sorry" as they passed, I just sat there convinced that they hated me and felt terrible this could be so.

Upon thinking this through, I came to a humbling realization of how much everything that I do or don't do is based on what others will think of me. I like to believe I left this childish mentality behind when I was four but I'm afraid that is not the case. It would seem I'm still pretty affected by the opinions of others. Whenever I make a mistake, turn down and invitation, say something out of line, or get too nervous to say hello...I walk away thinking, "Well, now you've done it. Good work Carolyn, now they hate you."

Ha! Writing this out actually made me laugh because of the sheer lunacy of this thinking. Yes Carolyn, everyone hates you because you didn't say hello.

It may well be time to get over this defeating, self-centered, and cowardly thought process. In some ways, its good to grow up, I think this is one of them.

Now lets see, what person or incident in my childhood can I dig up to blame for this inadequacy I find in myself...heaven forbid this should actually be MY problem. No no, I'm sure there's something...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Oh so matronly

Most people assume, upon finding out I have 10 siblings, that I must be the whole matronly package. Highly skilled in the arts of baking, cooking, cleaning, nose wiping, sewing etc. These people, all of them, are wrong. The beauty of having so many siblings is that, while there is ample opportunity to learn every one of those skills, there's also enough helpers that most of the time, you are each put to what you do best. That is why some of us knew how to cook at age 12 but I didn't learn until I was 24 and why some of us are highly skilled seamstresses and I have so far only managed the "stresses" part.

I liked to take care of the kids, clean, and do laundry. I still do. Cleaning is very high on my list of things I enjoy. I especially enjoy cleaning the bathroom sink, the shower, the kitchen aid, any metal appliances, and the kitchen counters. (note: all those things shine when cleaned...part racoon perhaps?) I have a sense of inner peace when these things are done. Who needs yoga or massage? Give me a mop bucket and some windex and my happy place COMES TO ME!!

Ahem...pardon me. I am losing the point of this post. I might be a little passionate about cleaning stuff.

So, yes, the things I didn't learn. Cooking, gardening, and sewing are 3. I've had almost 2 years of cooking now and am a work in progress.

Gardening has been given a shot with a mixture of successes and failures.

And sewing. My sister inherited the art from mom who could sew anything from a tent to jeans to a wedding dress and I....well, I inherited the old sewing machine. We are not friends.

I had a lovely relaxing, domesticated little wife of a day today. (yes i DID clean the counters!) I baked some bread, tidied, dusted, grocery shopped, picked some vegetables, mended a broken spoke on our covered wagon wheel, and sewed a new bonnet for the upcoming harvest festival... :)

....oooor something like that. Anyway the result of these accomplishments was a superficial feeling of invincibility, and in this state I happened to notice the small mending pile that has been sitting and whining at me for about 8 months. Without a second thought I dug out the buried machine and set it up. Easy enough. Then for 2 hours I fought with the beast to sew 6 simple, straight seams. Just the sight of that hungry little needle chomping its way toward my fingers makes me tense and unfortunately, my FOOT tenses which of course makes it chomp even more insanely and then my straight seam flies off its little path and offroads into my shirt. There must have been something wrong with the tension as well because my material kept gathering and following my needle. I wanted a SEAM not a RUFFLE goshdarnit!

I also mended a pair of Justin's work pants which had split up the crotch. THOSE seams are no walk in the park, let me tell you. The first try looked like my needle was drunk and chasing my thread. I looked inside at the bottom seam and found I had a most impressive birds nest! Not what I was hoping for. After several trial and errors the thing no longer has holes but I have no false hopes of it lasting with those flimsy little seams.

The invincible feeling was shot to ribbons and now I need chocolate. Unfortunately I ate all of it yesterday when I had cramps. And I do mean ALL. I'm ashamed to say I bought it and actually HID it from Justin. I love the bridge mixture and purchased a little extra to put into Justin's lunch. Good luck. Not a single chocolate covered raisin escaped my frenzied face stuffing. I'm pretending I only bought 1/4 cup even though, oddly enough, I wasn't hungry at dinner time. Look, I had cramps ok?

I guess since the matronly shoe doesn't fit so well I'll have to find a different box to put myself into. Maybe I'll get a tattoo and buy some leather pants...

Monday, September 3, 2007

If a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words...

....Then a Thousand pictures should make up for a summer of no updates!

We went to Saskatoon and have almost no pictures of this event on our camera. This is Mr Wiebe Senior with the antique tractor he got running again. Note the smoke, it got so bad it nearly hid the tractor. Needs a little more work maybe!

Our one and only shot of us in Saskatchewan. You'll note both of us LEFT SK with new hair.

After we left SK we went to Radium and enjoyed the natural hot springs. I enjoy posting pictures of me in a swimsuit as naturally, its my best look.

My artistic shot of Justin at the hot springs. If it doesn't look artistic to you, maybe you don't have the eye for it...sorry.

We stayed in a...um...thrifty motel and had no food so we went to the "RobbingYouBlind" local grocer and bought food...but no spoons. What you see fashioned there is from a pocket knife and a gas station coffee cup.

We even had a big one for Justin's mouth and little one for mine!

Yeah, that motel room wasn't bigger than it looks...

And the next morning when we left, set for Summerland BC....THIS happened. You can see I was very sad.

"Beats me? Fuel injector? Spark plug? Carberator? Distributor Assembly? Timing Belt?" We're really not car people. We got a 70 km tow, an all afternoon fixin' (timing belt) and were back on the road by dusk...and still not home. Oh well, another motel room, another night, and no photos of that one. But finally, two days after we started out, we made it back to home sweet home!

This is what we came home to!! It was like Thanksgiving. This and dead corn, thanks a lot racoons.

Possibly an overgrown zuchinni.

Hey these could double as weights! Whoa, look at those biceps!

No worries, I have just the pan for that! I know, lets have Zuchinni for dinner!

The next week two of my sisters came to visit. Lots of fun, way too short. But aren't they cute.

And an extra one with Krystal because she's off to Nashville and who knows how often we'll have posing chances now!

...annnd then a couple shots of myself. I just feel I'm not in enough of the photos on my blog so I'm taking care of that!

Oooh...playful pose.

And pensive....or possibly stoned.

The next week was off to Montana for a wedding and some quick family time. Lucky for us we rolled in on the annual Bull Thing (thats what its really called) weekend!

How excited were we!? (Would have been a fun picture but the person sitting in front of us, we didn't know her, thought it would be funny to put her finger in front of the camera. Kinda ruined the picture but you can catch the power of our excitement anyway!)

How excited were we all! Look at this happy crew!

The fun loving family. This really captures them. Nathan is snarling, Whitney is posing, and Kaitlynn couldn't care less.

Ahhh...one of the cutest babies around. We couldn't get a good picture together because she bobs so much!

And the wedding...Justin had a reading part in it! We felt very honored to be there as it was a small intimate affair and absolutely gorgeous!! Congratulations Jason and Angelia.

We flirted while waiting for the reception to begin.

And took some photos!

Then we were scared at the reception because the only living soul we knew was the groom and he was sorta busy.

And finally, this past weekend we got to be home. We hiked up Giants Head at night and took some pictures. This WOULD have been a great one if someone hadn't blinked. But the nighttime flash is so bright!

At least my eyes are open in this one!

Had a little bit of trouble with a peeping Thelma but we dealt with her.

We harvested our potatoes and pulled a lot of weeds and now dead plants. Tried to prepare the garden a little for winter. Had some dancing lessons with the shovel. Went quite well.

And after all that, we feel like this. And we're ready to stay home for a while.

I hope you all feel a little caught up with the Wiebe junior's summer. Here's to hoping the updates will continue!
Ps, i might have figured out our computer/camera problem. I'll keep you posted.