Friday, August 29, 2008

noise machines

I got sidetracked again.
The point I was going to make about the sound of the rain night before last was about noise machines for sleep. I don't sleep very well - often. I'm probably being stalked by a need to entertain the terrible twos of my life: diet and exercise, but that's another tangent I'd rather not discuss right now. Especially since I have a pie in the oven.
My mom uses a nose machine....TYPO....excuse me...a NOISE machine (jeez!) to help her get to sleep. She's used one for years and even travels with it on overnights. My dad uses a noise machine too, but I will stop that discussion right there because I may spill some family secrets. Like the why of why he uses one. Anyways, my mom and my sister used to get my niece to sleep by running a window unit air conditioner on "fan" in a darkened room. Poor Baby Jordan was out like the dead! So noise and sleep aids have been one of my family values for years.
I've tried noise machines. The problem is I end up listening too hard - I begin to drift off to sleep, only to pick up on the "click" where the loop of the intended relaxing sound ends. Like the "rain" setting on a machine I had once. It was about a 5-second loop...."patter, drip, drip, patter, drip, dr-click!- patter, drip, drip..." and I would lay there and count the repeats. No dice.
The "ocean waves" setting wasn't much better. Way back when we used to saute ourselves in baby oil and lie baking on the sand (oh, my gosh. HOW DUMB WAS THAT? And me a redhead.), I'd count the waves at Sandbridge in Virginia Beach. Every seventh - or occasionally sixth - wave is bigger than the rest in the series. There is a longer pause as the water sucks back to gather for a breaker. Noise machine engineers failed to take this into account. Most machines I've heard either don't caputre the cycle or have the cycle too short - every 4th or 5th wave was the big one ("click"!). Perhaps a surfer's dream come true, but it wasn't helping me catch any zzzzzzzs. I'd just lay there feeling anxious. (In case that grammar is incorrect, I would lie there, too.)
Before I ever purchased (gasp!) a noise machine, in an attempt to make do with what I had, I frugally set the clock radio to the far right, I mean...SIDE of the dial (of course! you don't think I'd go over to the FAR LEFT, do you?!) to enjoy some cost-free "white noise." All was well and good until late one cloudy night... in that place halfway between awake and asleep I about wet the bed when I heard a heavily-accented man speaking statically in a foreign language from my bedside table. Must have been one of those Spanish language stations out of New York that we pick up when we travel late-nite. Well, adios to the clock radio idea.
So I'm back to the not sleeping. Probably for several weeks if I don't raid the melatonin or spend several hours in the National Forest. But if that's what it takes, then I'll.....
Well, alas, it is 8 minutes till midnight and I am waiting for Andy to come home from a rescue call. I am getting sleepy so I think I will close for now. Before I go...
I made the easiest and most delicious dessert for a cookout we're going to tomorrow at my pal Jessica's. After that last paragraph I took it out of the oven to cool and it smells delicious.
Want the recipe?

Easy Graham Cracker Cookies. Or pie.
2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

mix all of these together with a spatula. pour/spoon into 9x9 or 8x8 square baking dish. bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. cool. slice and enjoy.

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