Sunday Afternoon Contentments

I had a lousy day yesterday, filled with temper tantrums and howling and pouting. All on my part, that is, not the kids. I think three weeks of travel and visiting family and having no time for myself finally got to me, and like an over-tired tot, I finally had a melt-down.

But that was yesterday, and this is today. It’s Sunday, the Hubster has headed out with the girls, and I have the house to myself. It’s my first time alone, truly alone, in over three weeks. Let’s think about what’s got me feeling all warm and fuzzy today.

Early morning writing – I’ve been busting ass on a story the last two weeks, churning out 1-2K words at a sitting. This morning, I finally wrote the last words and finished the tale. It’s a good story, a funny story, and a good feeling to be done. Now I can get on with that horror story I need to finish by next Saturday.

Squirrel baffles and bird feeders – we finally got a squirrel baffle while my parents were here (they came to visit for two weeks, showed up right as we pulled into our driveway after getting back from Chicago!). This was a necessity, because one of the local squirrels, whom I have dubbed Lardo the Big-Butted Squirrel, has been wiping out the bird feeder every time we fill it. Since I also noticed a couple of humming birds buzzing around the rosemary bush in our backyard, I bought a humming bird feeder too. Since setting up these items in our backyard, we’ve seen gold finches, purple finches, cardinals, and what may be a Smith’s Longspur, although this isn’t the right range for it, so I’m probably wrong. We’ve also seen both a male and female ruby-throated humming bird. The girls get very excited seeing these birds, and I have a feeling we may end up buying a bird watching book before too long.

Spiders, cicadas and other creepy crawlies – yes, I am all about the Nature thing today! Earlier this week, while I was weeding the backyard, the girls found 16 cicada skins, plus bits of broken butterfly wings. I’ve saved them all, in hopes of photographing them, and maybe preserving them somehow. As for the spider, we’ve got a gorgeous yellow and black one that’s woven a giant web along our covered porch. We call her Shelob, and everyday I go out to see what she’s caught in her web. Again, the girls are fascinated (though Pixie is a bit creeped out by the sheer size of Shelob). The more interested the girls get in nature, the happier I am.

Shelob, with dinner

Tomatoes from my garden – I haven’t got a lot of tomatoes growing, but I do have a few. Today, I made a sandwich with sliced tomato from my garden. It was GOOD.

Homemade bread – let’s hear it for bread machines!! I’ve got a loaf of honey mustard wheat bread going in the machine downstairs right this minute. It’s going to be good!

Home made soup – also cooking downstairs, in the crockpot. It’s vegetable, with a few things thrown in from the garden. I love it.

Irish Breakfast tea – my mom picked me up a cannister in Busch Gardens, of all places, in the Irish section of the park. I can’t recall the brand, but it’s very good, and has been the kick in the pants I’ve needed the last few days or so.

Knitting – Mich got me started on knitting, saying that if I could teach Princess, she might learn to concentrate better at school. Princess has done some knitting, and enjoys it, but I’ve since become addicted. How addicted, you ask? On Thursday evening, I started work on a pair of wrist warmers for myself. By Saturday evening they were done. Damn that was fast! What can I make next?

My fancy new wrist warmers!

Tamarind soda – I don’t know where Hubster got it from, but it’s “Hecho en Mexico!” so you know it’s good.

Books – thanks to my mom, I am stocked up on books for the next couple of months. I’ve got “Age of Wonder,” a look at the time of scientific discovery and exploration prior to the Industrial Revolution. I’ve also got “Of Bees and Mist” and a few other choice goodies. The girls got a number of non-fiction books, including some of the Eye Witness books, which I love. We have plenty to read this fall.

E-books – to add to my joy, Barnes and Noble is selling e-books at prices competitive to, and their e-books don’t require you to buy a proprietary device! I have a netbook. I love my netbook. I can type on it, blog with it, write with it, handle e-mail with it, surf the net with it, and now I can read the latest best sellers with it at a price I can afford ( is also a good place to buy e-books, if you’re interested). Between Barnes and Noble and my mom, I’ve done more reading in the past month than I’ve done all year! WIN!!

Egyptology – Princess was fascinated with the Egyptian mummies we saw at the Field Museum in Chicago, so we bought her an excavation kit in the museum’s gift shop. She started work on it last Monday, and have so far gotten a small plastic sarcophagus, various trinkets, and a Bast figurine. Some of the books my mom bought for her included an Eye Witness book of Egypt, and Princess spent an entire afternoon sitting with her grandfather, listening to him tell stories of when he lived in Egypt as a boy. We’ve also been recording shows about Egypt on the Discovery Channel, which Princess watched with rapt attention. And now I discover that one of our local museums will be hosting a traveling exhibit on Egyptian mummies and other treasures later this fall. I cannot tell you how happy I am to see my girl take such an interest in something like this, something that has nothing to do with Hannah Montana, makeup, Disney Princess, or other contemporary girl things that drive me nuts.

The archaeologist hard at work with her loyal assistant.

Naps – I’ve had a long couple of weeks, and a few times, I’ve just had to lay down and doze. I love that pleasant, sleepy feeling I get when I pull my favorite afghan over me in the middle of the day and drift off. In fact, I think I ought to take a nap right now…

About Cynical Woman

Cartoonist, Artist, Geek, Evil Crafter, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Writer. Also, a zombie. I haven't slept in I don't know how long.
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  1. We went through the Egypt phase in this house too. It was wonderful while it lasted. Such enthusiasm for adventure and discovery, and not tied to anything at school so they could set their own pace and absorb the parts that interested them without having to report back to anyone. Learning for the sheer joy of it! I wonder if Egypt has replaced horses for girls, because my niece did it too. (and now you know I'm thinking of a YA series)

  2. I don't know if Egypt has replaced horses or not. I was a little older when I did my horses phase. I think maybe later this year, once we've finished off other books we're reading, I'll be ready to introduce the girls to Walter Farley and the Black Stallion. That will be wonderful too, I think.

    As for the learning for the sheer joy of learning, yes, that's the best thing in the world right now!

  3. I loved learning about ancient Egypt (still do, and try to catch the stuff when it's on the History Channel) The wrist warmers look lovely! I can't wait to see a matching scarf!

    Spiders on the other hand…have to take a deep breath and remember that it's just a picture. I don't think it's so bad to be a phobia, but I definitely have a healthy respect for them (as in, I don't want them near me!). Feel free to NOT introduce me to Shelob ^_~

  4. Mich,

    Don't worry about Shelob. Just stay away from the back of our porch. She's right there next to the grill!

    I'm glad you like the wrist warmers. I really enjoyed making those. Now I need to get another project started. I'll probably go back to the washcloth/doll baby blanket I promised Pixie. She's run off with the one wash cloth I made, but its only big enough for her Barbies.

    As for the Egypt stuff, the Chrysler Museum is hosting a traveling exhibit on mummies and tombs this fall. When we go, I'll be sure to let you know, in case you'd care to join us 😉

    Good thing Egyptians didn't have a spider god, huh?

  5. Excellent wrist warmers!

  6. Yvonne,

    Thank you! I was very pleased with how they turned out. I'm working on a sort of baby blanket now for Pixie, putting together panels knitted from dish cloth patterns. Then I'll have to see what I want to do next. I'm thinking a scarf, or maybe it's time to consider doing a sweater. Oooooh, sweater…

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