Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday again

Lately, trying to update this blog (not to mention dealing with the rest of my life) feels like being part of a singularly uninspired remake of Groundhog Day. Still solo parenting (Day 19). Still trying to kick a head cold. Still trying to juggle a pile of work with an even bigger pile of bureaucracy related to cars and mortgages and bank accounts, oh my. (Obligatory Wizard of Oz reference—get it? Kansas?) And if I don’t find it entertaining, how on earth are you supposed to find it even remotely interesting?

But sometimes, for the sake of posterity (and just to prove to myself that I have not yet, in fact, gone insane), these things must be documented. And so I give you….

A Day in the Life of Roving Lemon: Kansas Edition
7:00 Leap out of bed after realizing that you have somehow managed to hit the snooze button five times. Roust Miss B out of bed; make sure both of you are dressed and ingest some cereal. Pack Miss B’s school bag and your gym bag.

8:00 Leave for preschool. Put Miss B in the car while you clean off the five inches of snow that fell yesterday. As you do so, remember that you still need to attach the newly acquired Kansas plates to the car, since the temporary tag expired yesterday.

8:15 Discover that the weeny set of screwdrivers you bought to attach the license plate isn’t going to work on the big giant license plate screws. Drive very slowly on barely plowed road to Wal-Mart, temporarily disregarding personal boycott of same because a) it’s the only place you know of around here that sells screwdrivers; and b) it’s about 500 yards from your house, thus minimizing your chances of getting pulled over with your now-expired temporary tag.

8:30 Get Miss B out of car. Go into Wal-Mart. Try to find hardware without passing the toy section (succeed). Find screwdrivers. Try to get to cash registers without passing the toy section (fail). Thank nice lady with full cart for letting you jump in front of her. Pay. Leave store, dragging Miss B away from enthralling conversation with Wal-Mart greeter lady. Put Miss B back in car. Attach Kansas plate. Breathe sigh of relief that you are legal again.

8:45 Drive very slowly to preschool on two barely plowed main roads. Drop Miss B off really late.

9:00 Arrive at gym ½ hour later than planned. Race through truncated workout and rush home just in time for….

10:00-10:30 Work teleconference (first of three scheduled for this week). "Forget" to turn on camera. Agree to provide a chunk of data today for someone else's report that is due today. Watch as work plan for the day evaporates.

10:30-11:45 Shower, chores, email, etc.

11:50 Leave for preschool pickup, detouring en route to a) drop garbage in dumpster and b) re-fax mortgage application documents that didn’t go through on the first try.

12:15-2:30 Preschool pickup; lunch; cleanup; more chores; check email.

2:30 Drive to base, only to be informed at gate that pass is no longer valid because of attaching Kansas plate. Turn around and go through again using extra-long non-pass line, much to Miss B’s chagrin.

3:00 Go to post office to pick up mail, including package containing, yes, another cookbook. (At least you can justify this one as being for a good cause.)

3:15 Go to vehicle registration office to beg for a permanent sticker for the car so as to avoid the extra-long line every time you need to check your mailbox. Nearly weep with gratitude when the registration ladies take pity on you and bend the rules and give you one (instead of insisting on DP being there), either because Miss B charms them or because they’re afraid you may actually have a breakdown right there in front of them. Go outside, attach sticker. Rejoice in the one thing you have accomplished today that will not need to be done again.

3:30 Go to the library. Return four books. Take out seven more. Plus a Blue’s Clues video.

4:30 Go home. Get Miss B and everything else out of car, then realize that you are parked right on the yellow dividing line. Decide to blame this on the snow and go inside. Take off wet boots. Put everything away. Put video on for Miss B. Get snack for Miss B and self. Send a few emails.

5:45 Make fried rice for dinner.

6:30 Eat dinner. Have dinner conversation consisting mostly of asking Miss B to eat fried rice with spoon, as opposed to fingers. Start cleaning up the kitchen while Miss B eats a cupcake for dessert (translation: claws off all the frosting and leaves the naked cake sitting on the table amidst a shower of frosting crumbs).

7:15-8:00 Bathtime/bedtime. Wash Miss B, then wash dinner dishes during tub playtime. Meanwhile, theatrical screams of disaster echo from the bathroom as the bath toys experience various gruesome adventures. Pajamas, brushing teeth and hair; read aloud a chapter of Little House in the Big Woods. Explain why we cannot jump ahead to the chapter with the picture of the kid jumping on the hornets’ nest. Say goodnight. Go back in twice after being bellowed for.

8:15 Open email to find stomach-churning “Please call me ASAP” email from mortgage guy. Call mortgage guy. Go over some numbers. Call UK bank for another tooth-grinding conversation, mostly about why they haven’t yet processed the information you sent them three weeks ago. Talk to mortgage guy again. Issue is resolved…for now. Hang up phone and reflect on how much mortgage approval process resembles a dysfunctional relationship.

8:45-11:00 Work on computer, with Olympics on in the background. Try to get email inbox under control, do some editing, make a to do list for tomorrow…oh, and update your blog.

11:00 Milk and cookies, then bedtime at a (somewhat) reasonable hour so you can get up and start over tomorrow.

Essential cookies

Adapted slightly from Ratio by Michael Ruhlman
In this fascinating book, Michael Ruhlman calls this the “Essence-of-a-Cookie” cookie, and suggests all sorts of ways you can tweak it. But I have yet to do anything other than just make this basic, delicious recipe. They are simple enough to be mixed by hand, rich, and oh, so satisfying at the end of a long, long day.

2 oz/50 g sugar, plus extra for rolling
4 oz/100 g butter, soft but not melted
pinch salt
splash of vanilla
6 oz/150g all-purpose/plain flour

Preheat oven to 350F/180C and line a baking sheet with parchment. Mix the first four ingredients until thoroughly combined and light in color. Then fold in the flour gradually and mix to form a uniform dough. Roll into 1-inch (2 cm) balls, then roll in sugar and place on baking sheet about 1 inch (2 cm) apart. Butter the bottom of a drinking glass and flatten balls to a thickness of about ¼ inch (½ cm). Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through.

Makes about 18 cookies.


Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh Lemon, hang in there! DP will be home soon(ish), and I'm impressed you're managing to get as much done as you do given all the relocation stuff! Love that you're reading Little House in the Big Woods - nevermind the hornets nest, get to the bit where Ma slaps a bear! :)

Mark Scarbrough said... Best Blogger Tips

And who in their right mind doesn't claw off the frosting and leave the bits of cupcake otherwise scattered and crumbed into nothingness?

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

Celia - thanks! Every day a little bit more gets accomplished, even if it doesn't always feel like it. And Miss B *loved* when Ma slapped the bear!

Mark - You'd fit right in at our house--Miss B might even share with you!

Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial said... Best Blogger Tips

You'll have to read Farmer Boy next - the paragraph on what Almanzo eats at the state fair is music to the ears of the food-obsessed.. :)

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

Yes, I can't wait to read Farmer Boy again--my personal favorite part is when she describes a typical Saturday of Almanzo's mother's baking. I was fascinated by the doughnuts that turned themselves!

Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial said... Best Blogger Tips

Oooh, I'd forgotten that bit. Going back to read it now, lucky I have a copy on the shelves.. :)

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