“She can only see bugs.” – My dad’s hilarious, but panic-inducing joke, while my mother searched for my gray hairs.
One-Liner Wednesdays are brought to you by LindaGHill
“She can only see bugs.” – My dad’s hilarious, but panic-inducing joke, while my mother searched for my gray hairs.
One-Liner Wednesdays are brought to you by LindaGHill
New dentist’s office sure was weird about the Halcion.
First, the dentist agreed that it’d be fine for me to have the Halcion and some shots because I do not like the laughing gas.
I know, I’m weird. I hate to be high.
I prefer pain to bein high. I also prefer pain to feelin like things are crawlin on me.
No, Halcion does not get me high.
It prolly gets you high, cause you’re not wound tighter than an eight-day clock, but Halcion for me, is like taking the ultimate edge off.
Maybe when gassed, your brain does groovy shit like shut down and go to a happy place, but mine does not. I would describe being gassed with nitrous like lucid dreaming, but in a nightmare, like “Oh my God, I cannot control my body, although I am completely aware of my surroundings.” It’s just too close to those dreams where you run in place, so you can’t escape the monster, or you’re stabbing the monster, but he just won’t die.
I called the day before my appointment, to ask about how the Halcion would be administered. “Will he call this in for me? Will it be at the office? Can you check with him and get back to me?”
She said she would.
The morning of my appointment, I called to ask how that whole Halcion discussion went down, and the lady said, “Come at five and pick up your scrip.”
“I cannot come at five. That’s why I have an appointment at six.”
“What time can you be here?”
[Lordamercy, is this actually happening to me?]
“Pick it up at six, and then we’ll just delay your appointment a bit.”
“And that will be okay?”
“Okay. Thank you.”
The Mister said he’d pick it up on the way home. I called to let them know. They thought that was a great plan.
The Mister came home, and I said stuff like, “All the dishes are done…Como needs her own box in the bathroom…these jeans can actually be pulled down over my hips if I can’t undo them myself…the girls are clean…your plate is in the fridge…there are cupcakes in the microwave…they can eat all the cupcakes they like…please be sure to talk to them about being angels tomorrow…there’s ham in the drawer if you don’t feel like cookin tomorrow…Sadie just went out…the cats have been fed early…”
We went to pick up my scrip. The prescription directions? Bring both pills to dental appointment.
wouldn’t it be nice to be sedated when one arrives to the appointment?!? and what do they mean both pills? i’m not takin two halcion! fuck all. they’re gonna drug me, gas me, drug me s’more…
I’m very sensitive to medication!
When I arrived at the office, the hygienist saw my prescription bag and said, “Mrs. Mottern, let me take that for you. For safety reasons.”
I handed the bag to her.
I sat down next to The Mister. “They’re kinda weird about Halcion here.” He nodded emphatically.
I could actual feel my fear. I was buzzin like an electric fence. I counted my breaths and tried not to contemplate how cruel it was to prescribe the sedative and then to keep me from takin it. I waited for them to call my name. Forever. I think I actually had enough time to fear each and every worst case scenario by the time she called my name.
Once I was in the chair, they took my blood pressure. It was a little high, given the fear scenario.
They talked about me like I was not there, or as though I couldn’t hear them, I could not decide.
“Does someone need to be with her the whole time?”
“Do you think she already took something?”
“What if she already took something? What is our liability?”
I rolled my eyes so hard, I saw 1973.
“Y’all are bein weird.”
Then I got an audience.
“No, I haven’t taken anything. I haven’t taken a single medication since Sunday, when I took a Zyrtec. See, I’m used to taking the pill before I come. So by the time I get here, I’m not 130 over 90 because I’m scared to death.”
“You can’t take this medication without supervision. If you’d asked for a Valium, we could have called that in, but Halcion is different.”
“Next time I will ask for Valium.”
(Either the state laws are different, or my dentist in Georgia was a criminal, heh.)
“Someone would beat you down and take this from you! Do you know what kinda drug this is?”
I made sure to tell the hygienist that I was not to be gassed, and that I was not to be given any Vicodin, or Lortab, or Hydrocodone, or any of the newest names for narcotic things that make me high, and cause me to vomit, then sleep for ten hours. I told her I didn’t want to take the other Halcion. I would not need two, and the idea of taking the second one would make me very uncomfortable, and that I just needed to take the one, and I would like to make sure the doctor would not make me take the other one.
My anxiety disorder was surely demonstrated to each member of the staff, when, as each of them made eye contact with me, I would again tell them, “I am not having gas. Just the shots. I do not want any narcotics after.” Then sometimes, I would ask them, “Did I mention I cannot tolerate Vicodin? Do you know I haven’t even taken any of the 800 IB yet? I have plenty of that. Did I tell you I do not want the gas? You’re not going to leave me alone in here, right? I’m pretty frightened.”
One lady talked to me at length about my allergies, even though I told her it was a long list…but she got my blood pressure down to normal doin that, so that was nice. I started to think there was at least one person I could relate to.
Finally, they let me take the pill. I made sure they knew I didn’t want the other pill. Like, five times.
When the Halcion started to kick in, and I began to feel it, I felt compelled to announce the whole thing again, “You know I don’t want any pain meds, right? My husband will give me whatever you tell him to, and I will throw them up and then accuse him of poisoning me, and it will be this whole banana vomit situation, because Lortab is another word for Vicodin, and he doesn’t know that, and he doesn’t even know what NSAIDS are, or what allergy meds can be given together, and it’s very important that you don’t put my husband, or me, into that situation, because throwing up is not good for blood clots. You’re not gonna gas me, right? I mean, you’re not using the sedative to get me so loopy, I’ll agree to the gas, right? No gas. Nope. Not for me. Are y’all gonna numb me up soon? I feel like I’ve been here a long time.”
“We’re waiting for your Halcion to kick in so we can give you the shots, since we know you’re nervous.”
“The Halcion has kicked in. I am not afraid of shots. Not at all.”
“Oh! Okay, we’ll get that goin.”
Good grief, they even put a local on my gums before the shots. I didn’t mind bein babied, but that wasn’t necessary. I’ve never not felt the shots, always been happy to have the shots, because shots mean NO PAIN!
During my procedure, which involved wiggling and cutting and more cutting and more wiggling, the doctor kept sayin, “You’re doin great!” “You’re a great patient!” Afterward, he said, “I don’t even think you needed the Halcion!” I rolled my eyes. I said, “That’s because I’m ON the Halcion!”
Oh for cryin out loud!
“I gotta write a thing, then I’ll lie back down.”
One-Liner Wednesdays are brought to you by LindaGHill
This last week, I’ve been entertaining my nephews. Okay, that’s not really true, because mostly, my nephews entertain my girls, and then no one fights and I win! I love my nephews. They’re probably better than your nephews.
While I type to you, I’m eatin a huge bowl of long grain and wild rice, and in just a little while, I’ll be takin a Halcion and goin to the dentist to have the now-filling-less, now-broken, already root-canaled #15 tooth surgically extracted. You are all cheering me on, despite what I said about your nephews.
I expect to be sedated and sleeping throughout the evening. I expect to be worthless and pathetic tomorrow. However, I’m hoping I will have the inspiration and the moxie to compose a sentence for One-Liner Wednesday, and perhaps even the capability to make my own pudding. I dream big, y’all!
Your job, Gentle Reader (despite what I said about your nephews, and your obvious jealousy about how I get to take a Halcion and you don’t) is to wish me well. It would not be terrible if you prayed to your god, or lit candles, or bound the dry socket deity, or sent healing vibes, or had your voodoo princess put a wicked fast healin on me. The moon already wanes in my favor.
Oooh, maybe I’ll have a cupcake before I brush…
“Mama! Look! The hot dogs are growing!”
– Sassy, age 2
One-Liner Wednesdays are brought to you by LindaGHill
I have this new theory. I ran it by the family on Friday and got a lot of feedback. I’m checkin it out publicly, so lemme know whatcha think.
Men most want to touch women when being touched is the very last thing women want.
For instance, I stand in the kitchen, absolutely furious that I have scalded my potatoes. My husband, being the loving man that he is, thinks a hug will make me feel better. Little does he know, I would rather punch him in the face than hug him. It’s not his fault the potatoes are scalded. I’m not mad at him. I am mad at me, the potatoes, the stove, the water, the pot, and the entire universe — but not him. A hug is not what I want. I want to rage and throw a ginormous fit.
Then, when I begrudgingly hug The Mister, he is offended and goes away in a huff, because he was only trying to help and I’ve rejected his help.
I make cornbread and black-eyed peas. Nothing is scalded. We eat. I feel better. My hugs become real again, because I’m no longer angry.
Women most want to talk to men when talking is the absolute last thing men want to do.
For instance, my husband comes home quiet. I assume he’s winding down. I think he’s had a hard day, and I give him space. As the night rolls on, he just isn’t talking. He’s not really with us. He’s gone someplace else. Into his nothing box, maybe. Or maybe, he needs to talk. “Is everything okay?” I ask.
Everything is not okay. I’m not stupid.
This could go on awhile, and it could make me crazy.
Now, we’ve been married a long time, so I stifle my urge to pry and freak out, and instead I ask, “Is it me?” It has never been me. If it’s not me, then I hafta just ride it out. Generally, a few days later, we have some long discussion about what he was mulling over. On his time. On his terms.
Men want to touch women when women least want to be touched and women want to talk to men when men least want to talk.
As a former teacher, I was instructed to look for certain issues. Some examples: Kids who squint, meaning they might need glasses, kids who frequently mix up letters like p and d and b and q, who might be dyslexic, and for kids who scratch their heads a lot, meaning they might have head lice.
How to look for head lice? They said small white bits in the hair, resembling tiny grains of rice.
Commercials on the television show you a special shampoo. They say you use it and it kills all the lice. Easy peasy.
If, like me, you managed to get through a hundred of those grade school examinations by nurses with chopsticks, you probably don’t have a bloody clue what to look for when it comes to head lice, or how exactly to get rid of it.
I sure didn’t.
Until the Head Lice Incident of 2010. Dun-dun-dun!
One morning, my littlest girls got up and they absolutely could not stop scratching their heads. Sassy actually said, “I think I have lice! My head is so itchy!” I said, “Lemme look.” I didn’t see anything. On and on the scratching went. I checked Moo’s head. “Is that a flea? What the fuck is that?! Omagod, Omagod, Omagod, there are bugs in my baby’s hair!”
All four of my kids got lice. Never did find out from where. Due to the amount of infestation, I was able to determine Sissy was first, then Moo, then Sassy, then Bubba. And it probably traveled head-to-head in that order, because that’s exactly how they pair up and that’s the exact order of how the affection flows between them.
I went next door to ask my neighbor if she knew anything about lice. She did. She was a nurse and an expert on lice, as it turns out.
Nothing I could ever do would be enough to thank my neighbor for her wisdom and guidance. She stood in my kitchen and told me what to do and when to do it and how to do it, and I did it.
It happened in July. In July of 2010 I had 23 different guests in my house. We had house guests and sleepovers and people shared beds. For over two weeks, people were sleepin here and there and with this person and that person, and Sissy had been here and there with her friends, how teenagers do.
I had to call halfa dozen people and tell them to check their kids’ heads.
Now, having been a teacher, watching the dual-six-figure-income parents come pick up their still nannied-for kindergartners with head lice, I did not share the belief that lice were something that belonged to the dirty and the poor. I was, at the time of the lice infestation, a total neat freak. I was, at the time of the infestation, not poor. But I can tell you, without even flinching, that if you are poor or dirty, it will take you a lot longer to get rid of lice, which is why the stigma probably exists.
The head lice take over your whole life. The nit-picking: combing and hunting, takes hours and hours. It can take hours and hours for one kid, if that kid happens to have long hair. Thicker takes longer. Curly takes longer. Blonde hair can make it harder to see the baby bugs, but dark hair makes it harder to see the teenager bugs.
There are a lot of things to look for, on the scalp and in the hair. Three different shapes, sizes and colors of bugs, hatched eggs, which are the tiny white bits, could fit through the eye of a needle, and unhatched eggs, which are black, and about the size of a flake of ground pepper. Basically, the task is to make sure the only thing on the scalp and in the hair, is hair. Every tiny flake of skin from scratching, every tiny dandruff, each grain of sand or dirt — all has to be pulled out.
The lice like the warmest part of the head, which is at the nape and around the ears. That’s where to check.
If there’s a bad infestation, a fine-tooth comb will tear out hair and reveal bugs still in it. Your kid will cry. A lot.
If it’s really, really bad, putting your hands in the hair will feel like your kid rolled around in a sandbox.
After you use the pharmacy product, or the OTC product, or some sort of oil that suffocates the living head lice, you gotta rinse all that out and comb it with a METAL nit comb.
The metal nit comb can actually do all the work, but it’s a little hellish when bugs are crawlin out of your kids’ hair, onto their faces, their necks, their ears, their clothes, your clothes, the comb, and your hands. It makes the ewwww factor a lot higher, so I recommend liquid intervention beforehand, whether you choose pesticides or oils. Regardless, you’ll need a bowl of water to trap the finds of your hunt.
I strongly recommend you have a bag with a nit comb, a fine comb, a pile of hair clips or bobby pins (for sectioning the hair), tweezers, hair scissors, good lighting, your eyeglasses and/or a magnifying glass.
If your kid is mildly infested and you hafta hunt for eggs and bugs, I wouldn’t bother with the pesticides. It really is best, no matter what, to treat everyone in the house until no one has had a single bug on their head for 21 days. “An ounce of prevention” and all that.
After comb-outs, you’ll want to wash everything that may have come into contact with the head lice. Their clothes, your clothes, the towels — all in hot water, or on high in the dryer after. If you’re me, BOTH, thanks.
You’ll wanna boil your nit comb between kids, or buy one for each kid. You will need to designate a comb or brush, and maybe hair clips for each child and yourself so you don’t cross-contaminate.
During this time, your head will itch. I mean, The Mister is bald, and his head itches when the kids have lice. EVEN WHEN HE WAS IN IRAQ. It is likely that your head itches right now.
Head lice are psychological terrorists.
I compulsively asked my friends to check my head. This is when my neighbor the nurse told me I had anxiety disorder. She was right. During the Head Lice Infestation of 2010, I was on the verge of collapse, wired for sound, completely edgy and unable to sleep. FOR A MONTH. I was obsessed and it was exhausting. I vacuumed the whole house daily, including the upholstery. I washed sheets and towels like you would not believe. My husband was deployed, so I was not at my best when it started, and by October, I was in the therapist’s office.
It took me about three years to stop obsessing over head lice. I am not kidding.
You can read about how lice don’t like dirty hairs or afro hairs or oily hairs, bleached or dyed hairs or hairs that smell like lavender, coconut, tea tree oil…To some extent, it’s true. They’re less likely to invade a head with a smell that repels them, but they will anyway. They like a nice clean head, the more hair the better, the thicker the better, the smoother the shaft, the easier it is to glue their eggs on. Oily-headed grungy hipster heads are not immune anymore than coarse hair or hair that doesn’t smell appealing to lice. Moo has used coconut shampoo since she got out of “No More Tears.” Sassy and Sissy use tea tree oil shampoo and conditioner for their curls and I am pretty much made of lavender.
The heat from blow dryers and hair straighteners and curling irons can weaken the glue and kill unhatched eggs or bugs caught in the heat.
Putting a silicone product in the hair, keeping the hair up in braids, buns, and ponytails, and putting in hairspray can all deter them.
None of this is a guarantee, but it’s all worth a shot.
For the Head Lice Infestation of 2010, we started with an OTC pesticide, and we used olive oil every other day for 21 days. We saturated the scalp and hair with olive oil, wrapped the hair with plastic wrap, put a shower cap on, threw a towel over their shoulders, and they had to stay like that for three hours and thirty minutes. If it was late, they had to sleep in it. Then they washed the olive oil out and shampooed. It’s good to buy some cheapy shampoo that strips hair for this, because if you have a nice healthy head of hair like a shampoo model, your hair will retain the oil much more than someone with dry, curly hair.
The oils suffocate the bugs, which breathe through holes in their backs. Water doesn’t kill them. They can hold their breath for three hours, but the oil forces them to speed their respiration. Unlike with pesticides, the head lice haven’t evolved to resist the oils.
During the 21-day period in 2010, I also washed everyfuckingthing in the house, but I’ve since read it’s really not necessary. So this time around, I washed the bedding and the snuggled stuffies. I am not obsessively vacuuming. The Mister vacuumed the upholstery the first night, and we haven’t since. I only used olive oil on Sassy, but I had to start with pesticide on Moo, because a few minutes into the olive oil, I could see that we were in too deep. If you use the pesticide and still see a lot of living bugs, you’re going to need a prescription for serious shit, or do it the old-fashioned manual labor way.
This time around, because I know I am an excellent, over-vigilant, extremely anal-retentive nit-picker, I am only doing comb-outs every other day, and olive oil every three.
I think this has happened in two summers because I don’t do their hair often in the summer. They’re allowed to roam freely, their hair swingin like ropes for lice to attach to. This stops now. When they exit this house, they will have limited rope. We will begin a comb-out ritual one night a week, which is recommended.
I recommend this site and this site for further reading. I also read a fascinating article by an MD who was an entomologist and a specialist in parasite somethin somethin, but I can’t find the link, which sucks because it helped me relax a lot…
I also recommend having short hair or perhaps only having boys who will let you shave their heads…
Anyway, I’m hoping this is helpful to parents who hafta fight this battle, and I am living proof, through this situation right now, that living with anxiety disorder can improve dramatically.
I know, I know, your head itches. I’m sorry.
At first I wasn’t busy, and then I really, really was. How busy was I? I have been drinking caffeinated soda for over a week! *gasps*
Summer vacation suddenly had too many days with alarm clocks. We kept sayin things like, “We’ll take a nap.” We didn’t. We said things like, “We’ll go to bed early.” We didn’t.
Moo brought home some head lice, which rapidly formed a metropolis on her head. Moo’s head is pretty small, and the lice were forced to expand into the suburbs of other heads in the house. Sassy’s head is much larger, and can provide two feet of curls to hide under. The Mister’s bald and still his head itched. Head lice are psychological terrorists. Does your head itch now? Olive oil days and nit comb nights will not be the highlight of Summer, but the head lice will get their own blog soon.
Adoption events are held in the morning. You’ll want to get there early.
Cletus the kitten had an upper respiratory infection, so we had to get him some antibiotics and eye drops. It’s not nice to laugh at the suffering of others, but it’s cute and mildly hysterical when tiny kittens sneeze in rapid succession. It’s less cute when you’re picking fleas off of them, so all the cats have to be treated for a few months lest we live in the house of fleas.
Sorry, I just want to make your whole body itch. Apparently.
Kittens are hard to sleep with, and as it turns out, newly-adopted Como cat might be five, but she acts like a kitten in the night. She also possesses great talent in the I-can-put-all-my-weight-into-one-paw-and-stab-your-internal-organs arena. Como sleeps in the entryway now, behind a chest of drawers, where no one will bother her with any of their adorable purring, drooling, or kneading.
My parents were in town for awhile. I finally got that walk around the property that I really wanted before we bought the house. My dad kinda knows everything, cause he’s kinda old, and old people are wise. He even knew what the weird black box in ugly laundry room was. A timer. An ancient timer.
I found out that even plant experts like my parents can’t agree on what’s a desirable plant versus an undesirable one. One of my suspected garden weeds is squash, although I didn’t plant any squash seeds. Before they arrived I had been researching “squash-type weeds” and “weeds that look like squash.” Either my tomato seeds were corrupted by squash seeds, or seeds in my compost took the opportunity to sprout. I’m glad those two plants are on the end of the bed, so they have room to sprawl. I’m also glad we love squash and I didn’t accidentally grow beets.
As I feared, I’m gonna hafta dig out all of my ornamental grasses to kill the mulberry seedlings. Bastard mulberries, Man.
Have I ever mentioned my parents wake with the rooster and sleep before nightfall? They do. Without fail. So if you want to have a lengthy visit, you’ll get up at dawn.
We had three wonderful visits, and then my parents returned to the beach. I would prefer that my mother treated our home like sleep-away camp every summer, but it’s like she has a life of her own.
I lost a filling and subsequently broke the tooth, so I had the pleasure of finally finding a new dentist. That tooth had already had a root canal, so the pain was not grueling, but the infection was wearin my whole body down, so I had to get some antibiotics. It’s day three of antibiotics and the lymph nodes behind my ears have already calmed down and my energy has returned. I like to get sick after I go and go and go. It’s my thing.
Fourth of July parades are held in the morning. If you want to see the parade, you’ve got to drag your ass out of bed and head over before they close the route. Yes, fountain Coke and a bag of pretzels are an excellent choice for breakfast while you wait. Also good? huggin your dog for warmth, cause it was cold in the shade!
We had to have broken a weather record yesterday. It was the coolest Independence Day I can remember. I never even broke a sweat.
Barbecues with your in-laws are held in the afternoon. If you show up a little late and the food isn’t even on the grill yet, it’s perfectly acceptable to stand behind your hostess’s back and eat an entire peach in five bites. It’s also good manners to join the children on the porch, where you will devour a delicious chocolate cupcake in less than a minute, because littering the patio with black cake crumbs is better than screaming, “I’M FUCKIN HUNGRY, BITCHES!”
The fireworks are at night, after the sun goes down. It’s not easy to explain the location of your little six-by-six-foot spot in all of downtown Indianapolis. Traffic is crazy. If you don’t know your way around downtown, then traffic is maddening. It’s not easy for people to find you in the dark. We would have watched the show from the roof of a building, but we couldn’t coordinate ourselves with those who offered and the hopes of finding those who were lost.
After the fireworks, we did manage to meet some friends, but there was no way we could direct the lost to join us.
And suddenly, it was midnight!
Don’t you know, The Mister and I got to bed and hadda talk?!?
He managed to get up and go to work today, but all I’ve managed to do is write this blog.
A lot of people on my Facebook complain about how they hate Facebook, but they’re still there. *shrugs*
I assume people who hate their Facebook accounts aren’t using them correctly.
A few days ago, one of my newer Facebook friends said I have great Facebook friends. I do.
I enjoy the hell outta my Facebook, and I think you can, too.
*whispers* Lemme tell ya how I do it.
1. Give yourself a few hours. Yes, devote a few hours to working on it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, y’all. The more friends you have, the longer it will take.
2. Check your Privacy Settings. If you are confused about your privacy settings, ask a geek, a nerd, or small child to do it with you.
3. Go through your feed. Any games you don’t play? Click the arrow at the upper right hand side of the box and select “Hide.” Then select, “Hide all from (that game).” It may take days or weeks to thoroughly hide all the games you don’t play.
4. Cull. When you have thousands of Facebook friends, you will miss things you wanted to see. Culling can be difficult, because sometimes, you know you’ll see someone you’ve culled, or you have friends in common with that person, which occasionally means you’re morally obligated to stay “friends.” If you really don’t feel like someone is your friend, and you are not morally obligated to friend them, then unfriend them. We’ll deal with obligation later.
5. Hide all the obligatory friends whose posts you hate. Like, if you totally never care what Bessie BadNews does, and quite frankly you couldn’t care less if Bessie BadNews finally fell into her half empty glass of tears, then hide Bessie BadNews by choosing any of her posts, clicking the arrow in the top right hand of the box, and select “Hide.” Then select, “Hide all from Bessie BadNews.” This also works for Braggadocious Brad, Coupon Cathy, Dramatic Dolly, Political Paul, and Snopesless Sal.
6. Restrict. You know how Betty is your mother’s best friend, and she sent you that beautiful Spode platter when you got married, and you don’t wish dear Betty any harm, but sometimes when you post memes with bad words in them, she gets upset, and tells your mother that she wishes you’d wash your own mouth out with soap? Restrict her.
You know how you love your cousin Scott, and the two of you have always been like two peas in a pod, but you can’t stand Scott’s wife? You can’t unfriend your cousin’s wife without having some bad blood, but you can restrict her.
There’s always that one friend who never posts anything ever, and we’re pretty sure he’s not entitled to see your posts, because it’s show and tell, and IT’S HIS TURN. Restrict him.
People who are Restricted cannot see your post unless that post is Public.
Many people from your past are just plain nosy. They want to see how your life is going and then they never speak to you again. Restrict them. Get into the habit of restricting them as soon as you friend them. Some of them have added you to see to whom you might be connected. No one can see who my Friends are, and if you ask me, that’s the best way to be.
7. Make lists. To make a list, you go to your Friends list, and hover over the box next to their picture. It reads, “Friends,” but that’s where the magic happens. You will place each friend into the appropriate list.
Let’s face it, in real life, if your Facebook friends were visiting your home, you would keep some of them on the porch. Sure, there are some you’d take to bed, or at least hug, but a lot of these people are specifically porch friends.
You can make as many lists as you want. You can call the lists whatever you like. The people on the lists will never know the names of the lists they’re on.
You’ve probably got some people who make your Facebook a better place. You love getting together with these people. They post a lot of things you like. You find you miss these people when you don’t see posts from them. These people can be placed in Facebook’s Close Friends option.
Personally, I have a baker’s dozen I trust implicitly. I tell them anything and everything and they’re always understanding and supportive. If I have a problem, I can call these people at any time, day or night. Virtually nothing offends these people, and they never make drama. I would/do invite these people into my home. I share deeply personal things with them. I can disagree with them or even argue with them, and they will still love me. They are my actual friends. “My people.” You need to know who your people are, in case you want to vent about your family, your bowel movements, your struggles with addiction, your never-ending battle with that one long red hair that grows just a little too high on your forehead to be an eyebrow…
The rest of your friends should be left as Friends.
8. Use the lists. Every time you post, the option to choose your audience is available at the bottom right hand of the post. Before you post, make sure the audience is the one you want. Custom Settings are your friend. They’ll allow you to share specific posts with specific people. Your Cat Lovers, Your Bird People, Your Blogger Friends, Your Golf Buddies, Your Antique Hunters.
If you’re posting about a free yoga class, you might want that to be Public.
If you’re posting about a yoga book you enjoyed reading, you might want all your Friends to see that.
If you’re posting about how while you did yoga, your child counted 18 stretch marks on your thigh, maybe you only disclose that to Close Friends and your mom.
If you’re posting a photo of the stretch marks, you should probably reduce that post to people you’d show your thighs to, like your Super Good Friends and your mom.
If you’re in despair posting about stretch marks while you type drunkenly into your phone from the bar of six martinis after visiting the plastic surgeon’s office, maybe you limit that to your Very Best Friends and your therapist.
Yes, this works. I promise you it works. 99% of my posts, including photos, are shown to Super Good Friends and my parents. And by parents, I mean my biological parents, because children of divorce must carefully tread through social media like they carefully tread through holidays, weddings, and funerals.
If using the audience settings did not work, all three of my parents would be angry about whether I prefer my father’s fried potatoes over my dad’s macaroni and cheese or how my mother’s always trying to make sweets into nutritious food or whatever. Don’t even get me started.
9. Recognize the audience of the posts you like and comment on.
If you, Miss Goody-Goody-I-only-post-daily-scripture-and-positive-affirmation-memes click Like on a Public meme about sucking dick, WE WILL ALL SEE THAT YOU’VE LIKED IT. The meme will appear in our feed, and it will actually read, “Miss Goody-Goody likes Dick Sucking’s photo.”
If you write a poignant comment about your abuse as a child at the hands of a drunken father on a Public article, all of your Friends will be informed that you have commented on said article, including your drunken father.
If you try to Share a photo that is not Public, you will see a caution blip about the Privacy Settings. You can still share it, but only the people on the original post can see it.
People try to do this all the time with photos. If I post a photo of my daughter, my Friends can see it. If a Friend Shares it, then only our mutual Friends can see it, meaning the Friends I’ve allowed to see it. I’ve explained this to my parents ninety-gathousand times, and I really don’t think they understand. I guess right-clicking is very hard for people over 60.
But think about that…Should you Share a photo of someone else’s child without permission? Should you?
10. Realize that although the Privacy Settings work, there are sometimes glitches, screenshots are a thing, and people can still share your business the old-fashioned way. So if ultimately, you would just DIE if something was seen by the whole world, then it’s best you not post it.
You may remember that I fully intend to have chickens in my back yard, and how disappointed I was to find out we cannot keep goats in the city? Non? Well maybe you remember that I had two cats and a dog, and I still want a goldfish? Non? Jeez, do you even read these posts?
Well, something happened.
Thursday, I saw Indy was having this huge adoption event at the fairgrounds. The flyer indicated that more than 750 animals had been fixed and microchipped, ready for adoption. It was this incredibly noble thing that people all over the city and surrounding areas took part in. Vets and clinics and rescues and shops and regular people like us all worked together to create this event. I said we should go. (I was going to go.) I said Sadie Dog needed a kitten of her very own. (I am on my way to Crazy Cat Lady.)
The Mister made his face.
If you have a husband, you may be familiar with the face?
It’s the same kind of face he shows me when I ask him which black shirt I should wear and the same face he shows me when I tell him I’m going to repaint the bedroom.
Do you know the face?
It starts like this:
And then it turns into this:
So, I got up early, (four HOURS before noon!) and we headed off to the adoption event. Y’all, I didn’t even get coffee until we left. I was motivated. The line was down the building and around the building (they said at least 1500 people.) The last time I stood in a line like that, I got front row tickets.
Anyway, as we entered the building, lines of volunteers applauded and cheered us like we were victorious or famous. It was terrible and awkward and I blushed somethin awful.
Almost immediately, I fell in love with an older female who’d been found abandoned in an empty house, and had lived in the shelter for almost a month. She was so lovable. Just precious. My own cats are seven and eight now, and they’re far from old. I intended to really rescue a cat. Everyone wants shiny tiny new kittens, but people almost never want the older kitties.
I am a cat person. I can fall in love with a three-legged blind cat with bad breath and half an ear, I really can.
It was instinctual to announce, “THIS IS MY CAT! I’ll be taking this cat home now!” but we had to go look at all the cats, because I have children, and children must touch all the the kittens. Also, I couldn’t effectively communicate to The Mister because some journalist with a camera and a mic wanted to talk to us. More blushing, and silently pointing at husband while looking at a random spot on the floor. Husband said things.
Two hundred felines later, we stumbled upon a crate of kittens who were, without a doubt, more special than all the other kittens in the whole wide world. There was an orange one, who was a feisty talker. I could tell right away that he was mischief. I can’t get down with mischief. There was a black and white one who was a lover. I’m a sucker for the lovers. Yes, yes, teethe on my shirt, claw my hair, tuck your head under my chin. Aww. But the girls loved this kitten even more than I. And Sadie Dog would do better with a kitten. Dammit.
I asked The Mister to go check on the female up at the front. See if she was still available. When he came back, I said, “I want the black and white female and the black and white kitten. Yes, I want them both. That’s what I want.” And The Mister, who is good at pleasing me, nodded. He stayed to adopt the kitten, and I went to claim my cat.
Right now, everyone is hissing and getting acquainted. Seems to be a gender issue. Catticus hates the male kitten, although he watches him constantly. Clara seems to hate the female cat, but hangs out under the bed with her like a feline spy.
The dog. Oh the poor dog. The dog loves everyone, and she just wants the cats to love her in return.
If you’re local, the Indy Mega Adoption Event is also tomorrow, although the demand for dogs is much higher than that of cats, and therefore, the dogs are adopted speedily. Today’s adoptions were Cats 302 / Dogs 219.
That’s a lot of lives saved, and leaves a lot more room in rescues and shelters.
Spay & Neuter Your Pets.
Don’t Shop — Adopt.
“When we’re talkin about which product best stores feces in your house, there just isn’t a good option.”
I did that thing where I avoided social media for a few days. Didn’t blog for a week. Posted rarely on Twitter and Facebook. Even skipped the Instagram Photos of the Day for awhile.
I was just busy doing other things.
It certainly wasn’t because I’ve joined up with all those people who are fond of telling us to get offline and go outside.
I enjoy going outside, with purpose. I like to piddle in my garden and I like to sit on my porch. I resent the idea that people should close their laptops and wander outdoors, as though something magical is going to happen. Trust me, I go outside. Lately, outside is hot and humid. If you’re into white girl afros and sunblock, then yes, it’s magical.
At parties, I frequently tell young people to get off their phones so they can have experiences to share on social media later, but I wouldn’t suggest they abandon their phones, leave the party, and stroll around outside.
Because what we need are a bunch of people roaming around like zombies, many of whom would be lost without GPS, and sunburnt because they couldn’t find the UV index without their weather apps.
It’s a sorta odd, and extremely pedantic thing to do, using one’s social media to chide other people about social media.
I always want to yell at those people in all caps, “THANK YOU FOR USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO TELL US NOT TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA!”
Before social media, I didn’t have friends all over the globe, who could teach me things about their world. Before social media, I had no idea how many conservative friends I already had, or how badly they spelled.
Recently, a media outlet posted an article on social media, about how we should close the very accounts that allow us to read their articles. Really?
– Oh, but subscribe to their articles via email.
So email is okay?
Look, I thought I would finish this rant, but I’m not, because I’m going to Dairy Queen. Technically, Dairy Queen is outside and obviously soft serve ice cream is some kinda magical scientific foodie art. I like mine with faux fudge-flavored high fructose corn syrup — and I like Dairy Queen’s page on Facebook.
Last week, as we turned in, The Mister scolded me from under his blankets, “Ugh! You’ve turned me into a blanket person,” he said.
“It’s the quality of the linens,” I said, “Not to offend, but before me, you didn’t have delicious bed linens.”
He mumbled somethin about tee-shirt sheets from Walmart. I giggled again.
My husband can sleep through anything. He can sleep anywhere. He doesn’t need a bed, let alone a pillow or a blanket.
But even he is not immune to the luxuries of a squishy pillow, smooth sheets, a soft quilt, and a heavy duvet on a really good mattress.
Somewhere around ten years ago, we realized we could not go on sleeping in the hand-me-down mattress of lumps. About two years ago, we realized we hate springs and box springs, no matter what the mattress makers put on top of them.
– But good linens always make the difference, even on the worst old bed.
The boy one crashes. He goes to his bed, falls on his face, and sleeps. He doesn’t appear to move, has no use for pajamas, doesn’t seem to need bed linens or pillows. Just, SPLAT.
All the girls are blanket girls, like me.
“so they went years and years
like sisters blanket girls
always there through that and this”
– Tori Amos, Bells for Her
We’re fussy bitches.
Don’t bring us acrylic or polyester. No, we want cotton. In fact, our sensitive skin demands it.
Y’all can keep your 1000 thread count Egyptian cotton that we know isn’t ELS. We can tell because it’s scratchy and feels starched. Also, if those sheets were made of Egyptian ELS, they wouldn’t be scratchy, but then you would’ve paid upwards of $500 or more for a set. If you have some Egyptian cotton ELS then we’ll take those, although we’re really Supima girls at heart, preferably with a sateen weave. Do you have something more in the 400-500 thread count range of 100% Pima, perhaps? We’re okay with percale, still softer than standard Egyptian cotton, but it’s not quite as soft as a well-worn linen…So, no Pima then?
If the sheets are bad, we’ll just sleep on top of the bed, with the quilts we brought.
Oh, you don’t tote your quilts with you when you travel? I suppose you just use the hotel’s pillows, then, too?
For fourteen years, my husband envied my pillow. We finally bought new ones, and he got one just like mine. He balked at the cost of those pillows, so I didn’t have the heart to tell him there are actually better pillows, if you’re into pillows that cost more than a day’s work.
I have never lain on any bed more comfortable than my own.
Why do you think we spend so much time moaning in our bed?
I knew Drew was comin for a visit yesterday so I knew it would be a good day, but I had no idea it turn into a magical day.
We spent the day on the porch with our swate tay, catchin up. Magical.
“That squirrel is Blackbeard. He has a friend who’s got an all black face, and Moo calls him Joe.”
Yucca plants are terrible, we agree. We also agree the only way I’ll get rid of mine is one day when the men come to expand my porch, it will slowly wither away in the darkness.
Cottonwood blew by.
The weather was sublime. If you think it’s too hot when it’s 82 and breezy, just go live in Georgia for seven years, and come back. It sure worked for me.
Catching up is a constant battle for people who live far from one another, isn’t it? I mean, we call, and we text, stay connected on social media, but distance is a cold hard intrusion into many of our relationships.
So many of them were based once in location.
I used to see Drew every day at school. Every day, she would turn around and tell me her friend was going to kick my ass. One day, she turned around and asked me to go bowling. From that time on, we were pretty much a complimentary set. We spent weekends together. Church together. Vacations together. In high school, we hung with some of the same people, but also, not. When you are friends with someone who is basically the opposite of you, you’re bound to love people she can’t stand and vice versa.
She moved to Texas. She came back. She moved back to Texas. She came back again. I moved to the far north side, she moved to the far south side. We both moved back to the east side. She moved to the country. I moved to Georgia. I came back. We’ve maintained this friendship and a running dialogue for 27 years – on the phone, in closets, behind your back, in the dark of night, on teeter-totters, in cars, under the bleachers, til dawn, from dressing rooms, in letters, from cozy pub booths, at tables, in front of roaring fires, in texts, in bathrooms, but mostly, on porches.
HME and I dated guys who were friends with one another. We met because she needed a ride to a shop, and I had a car on campus. In addition to being liberals dating the Young Republicans, we shared dozens of other interests, but it was the importance of minute details that bound us. We both loved cold weather and snow. We both loved sweat pants and socks. We both read more than we slept. We were both in the teacher’s college. On and on I could go. Late night coffee was our thing. For a short spell, we were roommates after college. She married a soldier and moved to Ft. Stewart, Georgia. Seven years later, my Marine became a soldier, and I moved to Ft. Stewart, Georgia. I’m from Indiana, she’s from Illinois, and here we are — More than twenty years later, still hours between us.
Looking back on the evolution of my friends from girls to women is a pretty amazing thing. We’ve gone from “What are the vocab words?” and “I was so drunk last night,” to “We’re getting married!” “I’m pregnant!” “Oh my God, I’m buying a house!” “He never listens to me!” to “So, this reverse puberty bullshit sucks. huh?” and “What do you know about estate planning?”
Beauty Queen used to be my next door neighbor. No one has ever been happier than me, trapped in suburban hell with Beauty Queen. Can you imagine our families are from the same tiny little coal mine county in Virginia? Yes, let’s take our vacations there! and haul our pregnant bodies up and down Natural Tunnel and through brambles in cemeteries!
Since Beauty Queen was the first real adult friendship I made, it was a “mommy friendship” which I’ve found are absolutely essential to this mommy. The wisdom of other mothers is crucial. Conversations over morning coffee:
“Beauty Queen, why does it lie? Does it think I’m stupid?”
“Beauty Queen, why does it prefer the left breast? Can you tell I’m lopsided now?”
“Beauty Queen, what is this rash on its arm?”
We are walking encyclopedias of mommyhood.
At the time, our friendship entailed a lot of bartering and sharing. If you’ve never traded a waffle iron for four haircuts, then you can’t relate. If you never passed clothes back and forth between five growing girls, then I’m sorry for all the money you wasted. Oh, your husband never fetched two massive cups of the good chewing ice from the farthest gas station while you were both pregnant? Sorry.
Once we moved, within months of one another, we realized it was a golden age, and how precious that time really was.
Also, we have excellent taste, and a sense of propriety, so we’ve spent a lot of time (about fifteen years) hypocritically discussing how the rest of you don’t.
I’ve grown few friendships that last years and years, that surpass time and distance, that keep the running dialogue of life. But always, always, meeting up and catching up.
It’s been a year since I left True in Georgia, and still, running dialogue. I wonder what the next ten years will bring for us?
You never know when you meet someone, if they’ll be a constant.
>end friend montage <
In the middle of catching up, Drew left to collect Simon. I called my dad (who was HAPPY and CHEERFUL — omg magical wtfness!) and I ended up chatting to my mother about the garden.
This is when I truly realized how magical the day was.
I said to my mother, “I can’t wait til you get here, so you can tell me what all these plants are! You know waking up here every day is nothing short of a miracle. It’s so greeeeen! It’s June. I’m walkin on asphalt, and my feet are not on fire! I’m not sunburnt! I’m not sweating! There’s cool green grass, well, a lot of it’s weeds, but it’s still cool and green and soft.”
Drew returned with Simon, The Mister came home with pizzas, pizzas were eaten, stories were told, laughter was shared.
Simon and I discussed how he needs to come stay a while. He can do some big strong man things in my yard, and I will feed him the good foods like the olden days, and we will “Puter and music all day! ALL DAY!”
(Ace can come once baseball season is over, but he will do lil boy things like wear Moo out and reject my good foods and say, “An Joey! An Joey! You know what?!?”)
THE MISTER DID DISHES. — I told you, magical!
Goodbye hugs and kisses. Hope we’re all together again soon.
Then, Game of Thrones and ice cream.
As a Marine, The Mister spent a considerable amount of time on boats. I mean, ships. Because you can’t say boats to a Marine. Marines go on ships, and floats.
Early in our marriage, he discovered my belief in sea monsters. We have argued about it ever since.
My theory: We don’t even know how deep the sea is! You have no idea what’s out there! Remember what happened to Jonah?!? Leviathan?!? What about The Abyss?!? Did you not read Moby Dick? Or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? Have you even been on that ride?!?
His theory: Dolphins racing ships are a beautiful sight.
He says there are no monsters. If shown a photo of a monster, he just says logical and reasonable things like “It’s not real.”
When I was in fifth grade, I saw a giant squid at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and I have never fully recovered.
So don’t tell me there aren’t sea monsters. Scientists are like, “Oh, we thought the Coelacanths were extinct, but they’re not! Yay!”
And there are fish that walk, ON LAND, and I don’t just mean mudskippers. Some of them are scary as fuck.
You never know when you’ll be swimmin, and some living fossil will come eat your tasty modern ass.
Y’all don’t even know.
I have mentioned before, I didn’t know A THING about babies before I had mine.
For instance, at my baby shower, I must have received no fewer than thirty blankets. At the time, I was a bit miffed, because while I realized the baby would be born in October, I doubted she would be cold in the house all winter, to the point of needing thirty freakin blankets. I mean, come on, y’all couldn’t buy more lil pink booties?
So I washed all those blankets, and folded all those blankets, and stacked all those blankets on the changing table.
The baby came, and I was shown how to swaddle her in blankets. You wrap em up real tight, which mimics being cramped in the womb, and it comforts them. Or, if you’re me, you wrap em up so they can’t flail about, scratching their tiny baby faces and kicking the socks off their tiny pink feet. Whatever, swaddling is like a straitjacket for babies: “I love you, now be still and calm down for your own good.”
Those 30+ blankets came in handy! Every time she messed her clothes, through her assorted bodily functions, she also messed her blankets.
Eventually, my mother left, my husband went off to work, and the children off to school. I was all alone with the baby. The whole world was new again.
I realized, with such clarity, I am completely responsible for this person. Like, then, and FOREVER. It freaked me out completely. You would think I had realized this immediately, or perhaps even while I carried her, but I didn’t.
I thought I was neurotic before her, and even the first tender days, but no, my neuroses had come full circle with this sudden rush of feelings. “Oh my God, I just love her so much, and she’s so tiny, and she needs me for everything, and I cannot fuck this up.” Then it occurred to me that my own mother might have loved me this much, and felt the same way, and this must be what everyone’s always going on about all the love.
Awed by the impact of our six-pound human, I informed my baby that I would do right by her, and she could always count on me. I did not mention that I had ever been a Commitment Phobe, or that I was scared outta my wits about taking care of her, or that I knew absolutely nothin bout babies.
I finished changing her soiled breeches and clothes, gingerly pushed her tiny limbs into new, clean clothes. I carefully strapped her in her carseat to carry her upstairs and across the tile floors. I attempted to shower while watching the baby. It’s hard to wash your hair with your eyes open, but I did the best I could. When I was clean, but not dry, because who has time for that? I nudged her carseat to the edge of the bedroom carpet, picked her up and took her to our bed, only to discover that she had spit up. And all over her pretty pink blanket, too.
So I put her in the middle of the bed, walked backwards to the changing table, reached behind myself to grab a blanket from the pile…and there was no pile! I stopped staring at the baby and looked at the changing table, and there was no pile! There were no more blankets!
My first day alone with my daughter, and I had already fucked it up.
I had to haul my baby, blanket-less, in her carseat, back downstairs over many, many feet of hard floors, to do laundry. Fortunately, my mother had done a load before she left, and a pile of clean blankets rested on the dryer.
I tell expectant mothers, “You can never have too many blankets.”
They always say, “Ooohkay….”
You never know when your mother will leave, and you’ll hafta wash your own damn blankets.
There’s a man in my life who sucks at communicating. No, no, it’s not The Mister. So long as your words reach his good ear, The Mister could win an award for best straight man communication skills. He can’t text for shit, but that’s a blog of another color.
No, the man I’m referring to shall be called Captain Bert Obvious, because that’s totally not his name. I’m pretty sure Bert doesn’t read this blog, but plenty of his friends do, so Bert, if you’re readin, think of this as constructive criticism, cause it ain’t a fuckin compliment.
When I’m out, and I see Bert, he might say, “I see Sadie has a new leash,” followed by nothing else. Or he might ask, “Got a new dress, eh, Joey?” He doesn’t say anything negative or positive about things, he just points out that he notices.
What am I supposed to do with this feeble attempt at conversation?
“I see your senses are in working order, Bert.”
I just say, “Yes.” In my head, I’m all, what the fuck, bert? what the fuck?!?
To be fair, on occasion, he does take the time to share his opinions. Like when he said, “Gee, Joey, you coulda brushed your hair,” and “I like your hair like that.” Those two sentences were about ten years apart, but these rare comments gave me a deeper understanding of Bert. Bert likes my hair after I’ve spent 20 minutes blowin it out with a big round brush and a dryer, then smoothed it with jet sets and hair products out the yin-yang, and let it sit for an hour. He does not like my hair in its natural state, which is anything but smooth or straight. Got it. Thanks for sharing, Bert.
I have joked with The Mister, saying that I feel I should call Bert at every turn, “Bert, I’m about to hang a new shower curtain. I sure
don’t give a fuck if hope you like it, not that I’ll ever know, either way.”
Maybe Bert lives by “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Maybe he hates everything.
Do you know anyone like Bert? How do you handle the ambiguity?
Yesterday was an extremely pleasant day.
The weather was sublime. Cool for June, gentle rain off and on. We had the windows open. Breezes swept through the house all day. The Mister stood in front of the window saying, “It sure is nice to have the house open.”
“It sure is. I love it.”
Coffee in the quiet.
Laundry room solitude.
Watching the squirrels and Cardinal couples.
Leftover pot roast for brunch.
“I’ll make you some fresh swate tay.”
Jimmy Fallon on the DVR.
“OH MY GOD! A TINY HUMMINGBIRD!”
The four of us at home.
Laughing and smiling.
Not having any place to go.
“The kitchen has been sanitized.”
A series of fortunate events, highlighted by one moment; the moment I told myself days like this do not come along very often, and no, joey, you will not get up and go rotate the laundry. you will lie here with your head in your husband’s lap, and your cat on your shoulder and enjoy the moment.
It was delicious.
Like most wives, I annoy my husband on the regular.
Most of these things are due to differences in perception.
For instance, I think I will DIE if I don’t have a drink at all times, and he thinks I won’t. “Lemme get a to-go cup. No, I cannot make the drive from home to Starbucks without a drink! That’s like, two miles or somethin!”
He hates it when I ask the wait staff to bring to-go cups, although he might be comin around, cause he orders one from time to time.
He thought he would make fun of me with my parents, “She can’t go anywhere without a drink!”
They looked at him like there should be more to the story.
Ahahaha! Please, my parents probably own stock in Tervis, and if they don’t, they should, really.
I strongly suspect he hates how I take in animals, no matter how much he loves them. He’s always like, “We don’t need another cat,” or “We have two cats, we don’t need a dog,” or “We have two cats and a dog, we don’t need a goldfish, a pair of goats and some chickens.” I’m not sure he loves my Clara cat, because he’s always calling her an attention whore and accusing her of being jealous, but he pets her anyway. He loves Catticus kitty, and that dog he didn’t want me to rescue!? Oh yeah, he loves that dog more than he loves chocolate, and he spoils her rotten. Just rotten.
He hates how I remember every little thing, except when I remember where his shit is, how he likes to be touched, which foods and flavors he likes, how he takes his coffee, or which jeans were his favorite so we can buy another pair exactly like them, and well, just every little thing, unless it involves something he said or did that might have been a wee bit dickish.
I could go on an on, really, I’m extremely annoying, both to live with, and about making lists about how I’m extremely annoying.
But last night, I may have overdone it on annoying. Let me tell you how this went, from my perception of his perspective:
I got up at six o’clock in the morning, and took that bitch’s dog out, while she slept comfortably in the white sheets with the embroidered detail that I think are too fuckin girly.
I fed that bitch’s cats, even the white one that she loves more than me.
I made that bitch some coffee.
I drove to work, through the clusterfuck that is I-465, being cut-off by fucktards in every direction.
I put on my white shirt and my black paisley tie. Bitches love ties.
I worked hard all day, helping rich clients solve their imaginary financial problems.
‘Ooh, did my wife just post a photo of pot roast? I fuckin love pot roast. At least when I’m done here, I can go home, sit on my couch, eat pot roast and watch tv.’
I drove home to find my house was a disaster. It looked like a bomb went off. Fortunately, my wife and daughters weren’t harmed during the incident, but my house was wrecked.
Then that bitch told me she did it on purpose! Bitches be crazy.
I’ve got a couch, a loveseat and a chair, but there was only one place to sit, because the whole fuckin livin room was covered in books.
Then that bitch said somethin about bein sorry, but Sassy had broken the bookshelf, and could I please fix it? Because I have to fix fucking everything.
That bitch rearranged the living room again!
I thought I would just go hang up my tie and chillax a mo, but the bomb had impacted the hallway outside of Moo’s room, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t hafta play fuckin hopscotch to get to my bedroom.
Roast smelled fuckin good, though.
I had to eat dinner at the table, with my wife and children, without tv, because again with the book explosion.
That bitch covered my plate in gravy and didn’t even make me eat a carrot, and that’s how I know she felt really bad about what she’d done, but not bad enough, because she forgot to pour me a glass of swate tay.
I ate my dinner in silence so I could focus on making the veins in my head pop out, so as to make sure my unhappiness was felt by all who made eye contact with me.
Don’t you know that bitch wasn’t fuckin phased? She went on and on all happy and shit, talkin about what the girls did, and how much she loves her new mixer, and won’t it be nice when we can look out the windows? Fuckin cheerful bitches. Goddamn.
“We’ll just go buy another bookshelf,” she said.
After dinner, I had to balance the checkbook, because I, too, have imaginary financial problems that make me think a $35 bookshelf will ruin me.
Although my wife told me she would go buy the bookshelf, and that I could stay home in the fuckin mess she made, I told her I would go, because bookshelves are heavy. She informed me that if I didn’t go, the store would provide her with a carry-out. Since I remember that carry-out boy she fucked in 1996, I went.
When we got to the store, the item was opened and I refused to buy it, because with my luck, I’d get home and all the hardware would be missing, and my wife would say some dumb shit like, “Don’t we have cams and metal screws in the hardware drawer? Or in your man bag or somethin?” Gah, bitches.
We drove to the second store, but they didn’t have any in the right color. My wife suggested we buy two whole new bookshelves in a different color. AHA! That bitch was schemin for new furniture! Twice as much money.
We had to buy Moo some bullshit craft thing and another toy for my dog to destroy in less than an hour. What the fuck ever.
Once we got home, I carried the one remaining bookshelf to Sassy’s room, and then I had to assemble those two new bookshelves in a totally different color. My wife can’t assemble a fuckin paper plane, for Chrissake.
Oh she said she would help, then it was all, “My hands! My hands!” Her bookshelf was all wobbly and shit.
Then, while I bolted them to the wall, that bitch got all touchy-feely, talkin dirty to me like I hadn’t been up all night fixin shit she broke for no good reason whatsoever.
Eventually, at like one o’clock in the morning, that bitch got all the books back on the shelf and we sat on our furniture the way God intended.
We went to bed at two, and that bitch better never rearrange a fuckin thing. She ain’t movin those bookshelves, ain’t no way she can get those screws out with “My hands! My hands!”
And that, Ladies, is why you must always, always finish rearranging the house before your man gets home, and why you must never, ever, break anything in the process.
Today was the last day of school for our wee ones, and the panic has arisen. Summer vacation is wonderful, because no more 6am. Sadly, at whatever time they awaken, they will be together all day, every day, day after day after day.
The Mister dealt with them yesterday mornin, and he was quick to tell me they cannot sleep together anymore. They need time apart, he said. Then he added, “How shall we accomplish this over summer break?”
I lol’d and said we won’t, it will be like every other summer.
You see, I have dealt with all these same issues before, because Bubba and Sissy had exactly the same dynamics. Introverted Bubba could spend all day building impressive things, reading, or playing in his room, only ever coming out to eat or because his presence was required. Sissy, on the other hand, was never content to play alone, and needed nearly constant companionship. She was, depending on which phrase you can relate to, up my butt or on my hip all day, day in, day out. Other little girls might have preferred playing with their toys, but Sissy preferred to fold towels, cook, clean, watch cooking shows, garden, or eavesdrop. Some four-year-olds are very content to sit and have coffee with adults, even when they don’t like coffee, and our Sissy was such a child.
I should mention, our children are not permitted to claim boredom. Boredom will be fixed with chores, so our kids are never bored, except that one time a few summers ago, Sissy forgot, and said, “I’m bore– Nope, I’m fine,” but she was too late, and had to clean the tops of the bookshelves, poor thing.
Bubba and Sissy could never play games without fighting, either.
Bubba did not want to be bothered and all Sissy wanted to do was bother him. Just like Sassy and Moo now.
Me: Why did you poke your brother in the eye with your wand?
Sissy: Because I wanted to!
Bubba did not want to play kitchen, and Sissy did not want to play alone.
They fought most of the day, just like Sassy and Moo, and then they, too, wouldn’t shut up and go to sleep at night, when they suddenly remembered they loved one another.
This gets easier, once the younger, more extroverted child achieves the liberty that promotes a real social life, but until that time comes, it’s fairly exhausting for all parties.
Oh sure, I take em to the park, the zoo, the pool, the splash n’ play, the children’s museum, the library, and to play dates and sleepovers as well. We have other kids over. They go to day camps here and there, or VBS, and Bubba even went away to scout camp for a week. The Mister and I have “dates” with the children to break it up a bit. We take trips. We play games. We do arts and crafts. We have spa days. We have family come and stay for awhile. But all roads lead back to fighting. Fighting is their favorite.
We even got boxing for the Wii so they could virtually beat the crap outta one another.
The Mister loves to fight with the children, but he doesn’t do it daily, and he never screams bloody murder nor does he spout out hate speech. Do your kids “Stupid Baby!” and “Big Bully!” one another too?
The only real piece of advice I have is this: If you get mad, start blathering about how you just can’t take it anymore. Try to appear a bit more emotionally unstable than you actually are. Whisper. Grunt. Randomly yell here and there. Say things about how you love them ALL so much, you just caNNN’t stand THE way they trEAt one anoTHER. Work up a tear or two by thinking about how flat your tummy usta be, or how they ruined the interior of your car. Use your loud Italian hands to wave something nearby, but non-threatening, like a book, a phone, a remote control, a throw pillow — never a hot iron, never a paring knife, and never ever a cat. Begin mumbling incoherently, perhaps even in another language, to the ceiling, the window, or to an obscure spot on the wall. This will completely freak your children out and they will leave you alone for at least an hour. The more calm and reasonable you usually are, the more time you’ll get. Sometimes they will pair off, and sometimes they will send the youngest out to test the waters. The helpful one will come to make sure you still love her. The oldest may try to escape, in which case you can say, “Huh uh, Buddy, we’re all in this rainy day together.” Talk through your teeth if you need more time. Use the crazy only as needed, in case it gets real.
Happy Summer Vacation!
When you live in Georgia, you buy kiddie pools. Sure, a few Indiana years, my kids had kiddie pools, but in Georgia, it was essential.
See, in Indiana, when it’s 90 degrees, we sit in the shade and let the kids run through the sprinkler. We eat watermelon and snow cones — all that summer stuff and whatnot — but when it gets to be 105 with 87% humidity, people here generally stay in. If you did that in Georgia, you’d miss half the year. So yeah, kiddie pools every year. We also went to the neighborhood pool, and the post pool, and the beach. I now own more beach towels than is reasonable for a Hoosier.
Since we lived at The Palace of Rules last summer, we didn’t have a kiddie pool. Moo almost died. Having lived in Georgia for as long as she can remember, Moo now believes that kiddie pools are an essential aspect of childhood, and she neeeeeds a pool pronto. She’s also pretty bummed about how the ocean is several states away, but we all have our own crosses to bear.
The last summer we were in Georgia, our pool was a hard plastic pool, but William had a big soft plastic pool, and his pool was all the rage. It was made clear to me that we neeeeed a pool like William’s.
My friend Brown Eyes LuLu sent me a link for a pool like William’s. I read the reviews this morning, and I could not get over how DUMB people are.
First of all, let’s laugh at all the people who think the pool itself is what makes the water slimy after a few days. Then let’s laugh at all the people who think halfa cuppa bleach in 300 gallons of water will poison their children. Then let’s laugh at all the people who think those floating chemical tablets are even more toxic than halfa cuppa bleach. And then let’s laugh at the fact that all these people have been in insidious slimy in-ground pools filled with chlorine or bromine, plus algae killers, and the occasional floating chemical tablet.
It’s a soft sided pool, meaning, the interior water pressure keeps the sides up. An unbelievable number of people do not understand this concept. A lot of people didn’t even attempt to put water into it, because the sides wouldn’t stay up, and a great deal more never filled it, because the sides wouldn’t stay up.
It’s not a magic pool, y’all.
Someone even complained that she had to stand there for 20 minutes waiting for the pool to fill up. This person must be young, childless royalty. I mean, just imagine 20 wasted minutes of your life, waiting for a pool to fill up! There have been times in my life I have stood there for 20 minutes waiting for a kid to pee in a cup, so I thank my lucky stars for the training and preparation I’ve been given to deal with this pool!
Then, pardon me, but if you’re using the pool as a place to grow tree frogs or baby chicks, if you’re using it as a ball pit, or to plant a vegetable garden in, you cannot rate the pool with one star, and tell us what a sucky pool it is.
And I’m sorry, but this pool was reviewed by people whose pets used it. A German Shepherd, a pair of Rottweilers, and a Coon Hound all used this pool without incident. One woman used it for an entire summer at her home daycare with eight kids, but you, the mommy of one human, have written, “hard plastic pools aren’t as easily destroyed by active children!” Your child is more destructive than other peoples’ hundred-pound dogs?!? Oh my Dog, I almost spit out my coffee.
If you have paid any attention to me since I started this blog, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that I hate to be hot, and you would be correct. Warm weather’s most redeeming quality is its production of pretty and tasty plants.
I sit on my porch, shaded from the sun. Warm breezes swirl around me. I close my eyes and listen to the wind through the trees. I open my eyes and watch the birds and squirrels frolicking, squawking, eating. My neighbor’s enormous lilac bushes and our peonies combine to permeate the air with the sticky sweet smell of Summer on its way.
Cottonwood seeds, or summer snow, falls from the sky.
The grass, the entire landscape, can only be described as verdant.
I was describing our soil to a Georgia friend the other day, since she noticed all the grass, and even better, no clay. Our soil here is Miami soil, natural loam. After years of sand and clay, it feels so good to slide a spade into that dark, rich soil. It smells fantastic. I talk to the worms, carrying them to my new divisions, “You’ll like it better over here. Plenty to do.”
I can only say how honored I am to live here.
You never know what you have until it’s gone. How lucky am I to get it back?
I’m kinda feisty lately.
My spidey-senses are keen. My bullshit threshold is low, as is my ability to give fucks. My eye rolls are exceptional.
It’s likely related to hormones, because I also think Cocoa Krispies are incredible and I think it would be fun to have a party where everyone brings mashed potatoes and a different kind of gravy…
Or maybe not a party. Maybe everyone could simply place the mash and gravy upon the porch, like an offering to the grumpy goddess, and back away slowly.
People should not arrive at my house at 9am without notice.
Have I ever mentioned how nice it is that the front of the house and the back of the house are largely soundproof from one another? True. Can’t hear the house phone or the doorbell from the bedrooms.
Sorry, not sorry.
If you can wake us up from the front of the house, you’ll prolly wake the whole neighborhood and the police, so be sure to bring LOTSA coffee, mk?
I kinda hate holidays. All you people suddenly want strawberries and tomatoes for your holiday food, when in reality, the rest of us buy them all the damn time, and we do not appreciate your holiday zeal.
Moo doesn’t want homemade chicken & noodles tonight. She made herself some ramen, and then proceeded to tell me WHY she doesn’t like homemade chicken & noodles. I’m not sure I like her anymore…
The Mister has worked a terrible shift this weekend. 0430-1730. Isn’t that rotten?!?
It’s particularly rotten when you’re a one-car family and Simon is graduating three hours away.
My hair looks good.
I think I’ll go make myself a cocktail.
I’ll take a picture for you.
Not of the hair. The cocktail.
Now and again, my friends post links to “GoFundMe” for valid reasons.
Well, that’s subjective, isn’t it? Yes, the whole concept is subjective.
How GoFundMe works: Someone needs money for something, so they set up a donation platform, and people can donate to their cause. Because you know, if they have one hundred friends who give them $5, then they have $500 for their cause. That’s groovy, except that some people will ask you to fund their whole lives, and they’ll ask you over and over and over, even posting the link in emails, on social media, and calling to ask if you saw the links, as if the rest of us don’t have things that pop up and cost us money, or like we don’t have unfulfilled desires because of money…
Well, People, We DO.
I will not mention which GoFundMe’s I have seen that strike me as uncouth, because you know, I like my friends to sit around and worry that I think their fundraising subjects are beneath me…
For instance, some of the causes sound like, “In lieu of gifts, the bride and groom request cash.” (Yes, I have seen that, embossed on 100lb paper, no less.)
Anyway, I’ll share my own, which I have only ever ranted about with my pets.
“Go Fund Me, I still have two more kids that need braces!”
“Go Fund Me, I have a hole behind my bathroom mirror!”
“Go Fund Me, I want an extension ladder! and a tree pruner! and a snow blower! and a leaf vacuum!”
“Go Fund Me, my fence is in need of repair and expansion!”
“Go Fund Me, we’d love to be a two-car family!”
“Go Fund Me, I’d like my mortgage paid off!”
“Go Fund Me, the state of Indiana said we OWE!”
“Go Fund Me, we wanna go visit HME next month!”
“Go Fund Me, vehicle registration is expensive!”
“Go Fund Me, I want prescription sunglasses!”
“Go Fund Me, the air conditioning in our van went out AGAIN!”
“Go Fund Me, I wanna buy the lot next door and build a greenhouse!”
“Go Fund Me, I’d like to go to grad school!”
“Go Fund Me, one of the diamonds in my wedding band fell out!”
“Go Fund Me, Sassy needs summer clothes AGAIN!”
“Go Fund Me, I have expensive taste in handbags!”
“Go Fund Me, I’d like to take a pastry course!”
“Go Fund Me, I want new flooring!”
“Go Fund Me, I still haven’t seen Ireland!”
“Go Fund Me, I want The Back 40 tilled!”
“Go Fund Me, my ice maker’s broken!”
“Go Fund Me, I want a deep freeze!”
“Go Fund Me, my apple trees need to be topped!”
“Go Fund Me, plumbing emergencies are outrageously expensive!”
“Go Fund Me, I love caviar!”
“Go Fund Me, I’d rather spend your money than my own!”
If y’all people wanna fund any of that, or just want to pay a fair amount for the snarky laughter I gave you, I’ll be happy to give you my Paypal, just use the Contact Me tab at the top of this blog.
Otherwise, I’ll be forced to sacrifice things and save money, like some kinda fuckin pleb.
Some of my friends are Couponing. You’ve seen the Extreme Coupon people on television, right? I’ve never watched the shows, but I’ve seen bits about it. They leave the store with carts and carts of products, and then they pay eleven cents, or sometimes, the store pays them.
Do you ever really look at what’s in the cart? Not dinner, that’s fersure. This photo is pretty good, because cheese, eggs and juice are nutritious.
My friends come home with a dozen packages of toilet paper for a dollar. Or a pile of deodorants, shave cream, and toothbrushes for less than five dollars.
I’m like, “Neat-o.”
One of my friends coupons for fun, and her hoards get donated to shelters, the elderly in the community, and local food banks.
I’m like, “Awesome!”
MIL has a friend who brings her all the buy-one-get-ones. In the garage at The Palace of Rules, you will find shelves of food, like a convenience store. Chicken broth, cream of chicken, piles of ramen, condiments, canned veggies, boxes of cake mix, cereals, cookies. You gotta check the dates, that’s all I’m sayin.
I do not have space for this.
I can get down with Couponing if you’re actually going to use the product, otherwise, unused items in your space are just clutter. Clutter you spent both time and money to accumulate, that you must clean and organize, and y’all know how I feel about Feng Shui. I do not need fifty bottles of shampoo cloggin up my chi. Toothpaste expires. A lot of stuff expires, check that shit out.
I’ll admit that since we are a predominately female household, we could likely use 300 boxes of tampons for $6, but they will not fit in the drawer of the vanity, and I am unlikely to add a tampon room.
I love when diced tomatoes are twenty cents a can — I’ll buy ten cans of them.
I buy the ten pound bags of rice.
I buy 28oz cans of veggies and fruits. They cost less than standard size, ferreal.
Sometimes the commissary holds sidewalk sales, and I will buy canned veggies in bulk, or giant bottles of honey.
We have a membership to the wholesale place, but very rarely go. Because you really need someone to take half of the five pounds of celery and whatnot…
Just the other day, the hardware store was selling 7-Up at $1.23 a bottle or $1.46 for a six-pack of bottles, and I was like, “Hmm…That’s a good deal. But do I want bottles of 7-Up? Do I?” Yeah, no, I don’t.
I love store coupons and I belong to all the “clubs.”
I use those $10 off your next purchase of $75 or more coupons that come out with your receipt.
I cut a lot more coupons when I had four kids at home, but I was never so poor that I thought sixty bottles of mustard for $8 would help me save money.
– I don’t go to Gymboree to buy clothes my child does not need because I have a coupon for 30% off, nor do I buy twenty bottles of Tums because I have a buy-one-get-one, and that’s how lines between saving money and wasting money are drawn.
People without cats, buying cat food. Bald people stockpiling conditioner. I can’t imagine.
Did you ever wonder why you went to CVS to take advantage of the sale on toothbrushes and they were all gone? Because some Extreme Couponer done bought up all 80 of em!
Ever wonder why on earth your store is out of your brand of bacon at 10am? Extreme Couponers.
No apple juice in the whole store?!?
How can there be no apple juice left?!?
I can’t get a pint of cream, because some hoarder got them free with the purchase of MY BACON? That cream will no doubt rot in her fridge before she can use it all.
So much so, stores have set more limits and are cutting back coupon offers.
I cut the occasional coupon, and I grab the ones under the display when I can. I have never even considered Extreme Couponing, because there’s a problem with coupons…
THEY ARE ALMOST NEVER FOR THINGS YOU NEED!
It’s all about processed food. Packaged, frozen, canned, cupped, boxed and bagged. Well, I don’t buy much processed food.
Why aren’t there coupons for fresh salad greens, carrots, celery, potatoes, onions, green beans, cantaloupe, grapes, apples, bananas, or cloves of garlic?
Where is my coupon for $5 off my water bill? — Or my gas bill, I’m not picky!
How about buy one brisket, get the second at half price?
Should anyone really have one hundred boxes of Kraft mac n’ cheese? Really?
Where can I get a coupon for five half gallons of organic milk?
Excuse me, but I have yet to find coupons for flour or sugar!
Are there any for half a grass-fed cow?
Hey, can I bring one kid in for shots and get the next kid’s shots for free?
How about buy fencing, get the labor for free?
No, thank you, I don’t need six bottles of nail polish for a dollar, but I could sure use six bottles of wine for that price!
It’s a bit of a trick. The coupons only save you money on things you would buy and use regardless of coupons. Buying things just because there are coupons actually wastes your money.
You have a coupon for gnocchi in a box, and the next thing you know, you suddenly think you love gnocchi in a box. But really, you don’t. No one does.
I use vinegar to clean most things.
Can I have all your vinegar coupons? You only find them around Easter, and then they’re only for the small glass bottles, but I’ll take em.
I finally gave MIL her resurrected calla lily.
You know what? She didn’t seem particularly pleased at all.
*shrugs* I dunno.
The Mister finished the semester with a 3.6 GPA. I’m so pleased for him! That’s a great accomplishment for anyone who goes to school full-time while working full-time, let alone while having a family! I think the summer sessions will be even better, because he’ll have two days without work or school, wherein last semester he only had one. He has never lacked dedication, that’s fersure!
High grade point averages are hot.
Sadie’s been spending considerable time in the back yard while I work in the garden. Saturday, she startled me by barking from the gate. And just look what she brought me.
She’s always proud to have killed a squirrel. Her humans are always conflicted.
Oh no, you caught a squirrel!
Yay you caught a squirrel!
So mostly, we just stand there, silently staring at them both. It’s her nature, of course. She takes great pride in delivering her squirrels. But, oh, we wish she didn’t. Good dog. See what I mean?
I was asked if it was Chubby, and it’s not, but it’s only a matter of time, really.
We have a veritable squirrel graveyard in The Back 40.
According to our schedule, what with Monday being Memorial Day, today was the last bus stop day. I realize I never fully explained the drama of the bus stop situation, and I don’t know if I ever will, but you are so happy for us. We will enjoy those two months of not standing alongside the busy thoroughfare hoping some bus, any bus really, stops to pick up the children between between seven and eight o’clock. I have never encountered such a clusterfuck of school transportation in my life, and I am so glad it’s over! I’m sure next year will be better. If not, I will blog about it. Next year will be better, RIGHT?!?
I used the power drill to hang this shelf, all by myself.
It only took me 90 minutes. I measured about forty-five thousand times. I am so proud. It has toggle bolts and everythin! My friends were all so proud. The Mister was like, “Cool. What’s fer dinner?”
And yes, I did finally finish sanding that back hallway. I painted it a lovely shade of soft yellow, called Honey Bear. No, I haven’t painted the trim yet, because I’m suffering from there-are-six-doors-in-that-hallway procrastination!
I have an indoor life and an outdoor life. Both are full of wonder.
I wonder how wooden spoons keep things from boiling over?
Why would anyone use flat paint in a kitchen?
I wonder what’s under this tile?
Will she ever stop growing, like ever?
Why did I ever want anything but stainless steel pots and pans?
Do the noodles go directly to the inside of my thighs, or is that a coincidence?
Why isn’t everything wireless yet?
What the hell do they do in this bathroom?!?
How far back can I trim this wayward rosebush without killing it?
Where should I plant this milkweed?
Where should I plant this tulip tree?
How are these trees surviving when clearly all their limbs are in my yard?
If I take the pots out of the back yard, and no one lives there, it’s not really stealing, is it?
What should I plant on this trellis?
Most importantly, I spend a lot of time asking plants, “What the fuck are you?”
Case in point, the strange plant in my front bed. Strange Plant looked like a schefflera.
For awhile, I wondered if maybe the previous owner had just thrown her houseplant into the garden.
Then it lived through the winter?
(In Indiana, scheffleras do not live through the winter. One of the things that will freak Hoosiers out, is realizing that The Deep South has outdoor hedges made of our houseplants.)
Yesterday, as we left the house, I realized Strange Plant had blooms on it. Big, hot pink blooms.
In the shade?
Really, Strange Plant? Is that how you do?
Today, I decided to research Strange Plant.
Woody, leaflets, yes, six, waxy, yes, flowering, pink…
Just last week, I was looking at the rhododendrons on Jewels’s blog, ooh, so pretty! It left me wondering where I could put a rhododendron in my own yard.
Apparently, I can put one in the shade of the front bed.
I joined Instagram last month, (you can follow me here) so I could participate in the “Photo a Day” challenges. The version of me on Instagram is like the version of me on sports, in that I’m having a good time, but you don’t want me on your team. I enjoy the photo challenges, but I’m not a great photographer. Also, I missed a day already, which is a lot like failing to return the serve.
I have two friends (krudeforth & retamckelvey) who take stunning photos, and their Instagram accounts are worth checking out. In case you happen to find yourself in England this month, Kevin actually has an exhibition at a pub in Kingston Upon Hull.
My exhibitions, per se, are not particularly photogenic, and largely involve the running of my mouth. While looking at pictures of myself, I find I am most often talking, laughing, or eating, which does indeed tell a thousand words, or at least this many: My mouth is never shut, I love red lipstick, I am indeed an epicurean, I almost always wear white, and my face is always some shade of pink.
I like that Instagram has me BEHIND the camera.
This is a photo I took today.
It’s part of the mess of Spring. I had been describing the mess of Spring to Luanne, failing miserably by talking about the red bits and the propeller thingies that fall from the Maples. I told her I would take a photo and find the proper words for them.
The seed pod propeller thingies that come off of Maple trees are called samaras, although they are also called propellers, helicopters, and whirlygigs. The important thing about propellers is that you must get them all up off the ground, because wherever they find a place to grow, they will try to grow, and I do not want to live in a forest!
The red bits are buds that fall from our Red Maple.
Also included in this photo, at no extra charge to you, are the grass clippings and twigs that get blown onto my patio.
What can I say, my lawn debris is marvelous, and never-ending!
One of the many things I love about my house is that it’s a bungalow. Even our tiny first apartment was on the second floor.
First things first, it’s awfully nice not to tote laundry baskets up and down the stairs.
My bedroom being on the first and only floor is a great blessing. In the summer, my view is a series of hibiscus, in various shades of blooming pinks, and a bit of fence. No matter the season, from my bed, I see the tops of trees.
Sometimes the moon appears. She’s merely a white light in my sheers, but she captivates me. I know she’s inconsistent, with her comings and goings from my window frame, but still she comforts me. As I lie prone, I watch her watching over me, and I can’t help but think how kind.
This Mother’s Day is weird.
Where should I begin?
Last night, Sassy gave me a one-armed penguin made of papier-mache, a painting of an owl, and a marigold wilting in a milk carton. Life is strange like that. Very sweet, if a bit odd.
I packed a box for my mother, and waited til I baked Challah bread to slip a loaf in, but when I went to the post office on Thursday, the man told me it wouldn’t arrive til Monday. For the cost of three hardback books, he could get it there on Friday. Saturday and Sunday were not an option, so it won’t be there til Monday. Kinda sad for my mother. Really wish I’d skipped the bread and got it to her yesterday, instead.
I had a gift hand-crafted for MIL, but there were shipping issues with the materials, so that won’t be here until maybe mid-week, either.
The calla lily resurrection continues, as it unfurls and new pips pop up here and there. No blooms yet, though.
Bonus: No one to take Moo to church means I got to sleep in.
My girls woke me up this morning, to give me a food and spa menu. Moo stopped to snuggle awhile.
Upon arrival to the kitchen, I was pleased to find that Sassy has returned five million dishes from her bedroom to the sink, no one threw away the oatmeal packets, the cereal container lingered on the counter, milk spilled here and there, toaster’s left out, little chocolate syrup dribbled on the counter…
Just another day, hmm?
As soon as I strode into the living room with my coffee, the fighting began.
“Could you just not fight today? Cause that’d be super.”
Just another day, hmm?
Oh look, she’s got dishes in the living room, too…
Just another day, hmm?
The Mister works a long shift today, so there’s no way for him to stop the madness.
It’s supposed to be raining today, dammit!
I want to get out there and level the ground under my raised beds, and fill them, so I can plant my seedlings and start a new crop of seedlings. I would like to not be hot (I know there’s plenty of that comin) and I would like soft ground.
Apparently it won’t start raining until around 6 this evening. Greeeaaat.
(And that’s if the meteorologist isn’t lying, like he did Friday and Monday and Thursday.)
Sissy text me greetings, the boy one prolly isn’t even awake yet.
Anyway, this day doesn’t feeeel like Mother’s Day. It feels like just another day, but with the subtle touch of disappointment.
BUT, it’s all in how we react to a situation, so lemme tell you how today’s gonna go down: These girls are gonna clean up their messes and do some chores. That will please me. I think they’ll enjoy honoring their mother by emptying trash baskets and loading the dishwasher and sweeping the kitchen and then maybe later I’ll dabble into that spa menu.
Next year, I might should create a list of demands…
In the morning, you will lie in wait in the hallway, just like the dog. When I begin to stir, you will be ready to present me with a hot cuppa coffee. You will not watch television while I’m in the living room. You will not speak to your sister unless it’s with kindness. You will clean every mess you see. You will be as good at spotting messes as you are at spotting spiders. You will pretend to enjoy cleaning. You will be pleasant and polite all day. You will make it rain when I am ready to work in the garden. When your father gets home, you will immediately feel completely tuckered out and bid us goodnight. You will fall fast asleep before Game of Thrones actually starts, and will not get out of bed for water, for ice, for potty, for more cuddles, or for a band-aid for your boo boo that’s actually pink paint.
I didn’t plant irises.
There’s one by the door of the shed and four on the corner of it.
Sue said she loves irises, so this one is hers.
*wonders what else she will discover this year*
It was about this time last year that I wrote about how I accidentally took my dog to the porn shop at 7am. Dogs Don’t Need Porn.
Today, I took Sadie in for her annual check-up.
Since we moved to The Mister’s old neighborhood, it’s only about ten minutes from my house now. I debated which route to take, and ultimately decided to take the long way around, avoiding any potential mishaps.
Success was mine.
I arrived early enough to *achem*
enjoy chatting listen to stranger people. Said stranger people were some of those status-seeking people who go out of their way to tell you about all their dog’s achievements in this class and that, as well as how their German Shepherd came from Germany, as well as how they paid a thousand dollars for her, (they mentioned that three times) as well as how well-trained she is because of all her achievements in those classes.
I nodded along how I do, with the occasional, “Is that right?” thrown in for good measure.
She was a beautiful animal. I am sure she’s well cared for, and obviously she will breed the most beautiful puppies ever. Just because her people don’t know how to breed her or when to breed her, or how many puppies there are in a Shepherd litter does not, in any way, indicate that they are irresponsible breeders. After all, they took a card from another stranger who will provide a sire, and he knows a lot about breeding, since he had a pregnant dam with him.
The fact that German Shepherd Rescue of Indianapolis currently has nine full-blooded Shepherd pups up for adoption is completely inconsequential.
We want uneducated people breeding dogs, don’t we?
Meanwhile, I sat there with my broken mutt rescue, whose “papers” consisted of vet records, for which we paid a $20 handling fee, her head rested in my lap, with her paw on my knee, and I thought about how glad I was that Sadie didn’t know anyone found her inferior. My poor bastard dog, with her abusive background and a permanent limp. Poor thing. Good thing we spend our time loving her and not pitying her lack of breeding or her previous circumstances. I mean, just imagine how her self-esteem would suffer!
When Sadie was called back, she hopped down, and that well-trained German Shepherd popped up to check her out. Her people did not like that, but none of their commands could keep their dog from acting like a normal dog, and her male person got downright mad, with his face all red, yelling, “Back! No!” along with other German words and her name. (Didn’t they teach him not to use her name during discipline? Isn’t this in Dog Training 101?)
Meanwhile, I stood there smiling at how well my mutt socializes, and when the dogs were done, Sadie and I followed the lady back to the exam room.
Sadie LOVES to go to the vet. I suspect it has to do with her puppyhood, when the vet made her feel better.
She loves all the people, all the other dogs, and jumps right up on the scale, where I swear she smiles. Then the vet tells her how soft, how pretty, what shiny clean teeth, how fit, what fluffy ears — I am just a little bit jealous my doctor doesn’t do the same for me.
No porn shop, two shots, one blood draw, no heartworm, new tag, three months of prevention meds, and one mama, covered in nervous fur.
A multitude of blessings to count.
Much like blogging Every Damn Day December, blogging A-Z was fun, but tiring.
Also, this last week was spent being inordinately social. I love the people I’ve socialized with. As much as I wish I had several versions of myself for each of my pursuits, I am only one introvert.
While The Mister loves to entertain, I’m the one who cooks. It’s a very nice system, even if it’s one which shouldn’t be employed more than once a week.
We had a young person over on Wednesday, despite my futile attempt to convince my husband that it was not a good night for me. Said young person is a delight, and I have enjoyed her since I first met her, when at the age of five, she was tromping around the cul-de-sac, telling us that her parents didn’t love her, they only loved her baby sister, because they forced her to play outside, while her baby sister got to play inside! (Her baby sister was a baby!) She is still completely disarming.
Once dinner and dessert were done, The Mister was yawning, rubbing his eyes, leaning in to listen on with his chin on his wrist. I made several comments about needing to wash a load of jeans and how I hadn’t had a bath yet. Apparently college students do not read the subtle cues of their aging hosts. They do, however, get tired eventually, and go home.
Thursday night, we drove the children to The Palace of Rules and took a cab downtown to meet Mr. Hill. Yes, we did have a fabulous evening, thank you for asking. Yes, I did drink a lot, thank you for your support.
I wasn’t actually too drunk to keep my eyes open, but bars are dark places, and the FLASH! almost killed me.
You probably saw me trying use a straw to stab the cherry out of my cocktail at Forty-Five, and dancing in my chair at Tini. Yes, you might even have seen me in one of those hipster bars, drinking some complicated cocktail that I can only describe as Oh-fuck-I-could-drink-these-all-night.
I’m not even going to try to describe the events of the evening once we got home.
Last night, we had my in-laws to dinner. This showed more stupidity on our part, because we had labored all day.
I made tacos and three-hour enchiladas. I call them three-hour enchiladas because it feels like it takes three hours to make them. Surely it takes three hours to do all the dishes afterward…
I made 17 of them and all that’s left is a measly one and a half, so yeah, people love them, but they’re a lot of work.
I also made caramelized pears, but my caramel seized. That’s never happened to me before, although I knew it could. Bad things can happen to you, it’s true. I felt like a failure, while everyone stabbed bits of caramel with their forks, but I was actually too tired to hate myself properly.
I don’t know how to explain exactly how thrilled I am to be at home today, hair twisted and braless, with not too much to do. It feels fantastic. I’ve even had the bonus of giving allergy-ridden Moo some Benadryl, so she’s slept since lunch. Very quiet day.
Thrilled to stay home and do laundry, thanks.
Zenia is the antagonist in one of my favorite books.
Yes, I do have too many favorite books to list. But no, I don’t always remember the antagonists the way I remember Zenia.
Zenia is the perfect villainess. She’s so evil, you don’t love to hate her, you just hate her and hate her until finally she dies, so you have her cremated and buried — but then, suddenly she’s back, and you hate her even more!
Zenia is a brilliant, stunningly attractive, greedy, ruthless, soulless, black hole of a sociopath, whose deeds are so heinous, you shudder at the thought of actually running into her in your own life.
Most of us have known a form of Zenia. She is the mysterious woman who despite her clever attempts to match up, doesn’t quite fit within your circle. Something in your bones tells you she’s not okay and although you can’t quite put your finger on what it is, something about her is not quite right. You can’t trust her, even when she’s never given you a reason to doubt that you can.
Zenia’s background doesn’t add up, her truths don’t ring true, her ability to blend in while standing out is uncanny. She’s not real. She’s made of lies and pretense, an illusion designed specifically for you.
She’ll try on your life, sway your judgment, and then for inexplicable reasons, without provocation, and seemingly without motive, destroy you, just because she can.
You’re nothing but a game to Zenia. She’s not remotely interested in playing well with others, or even winning. She plays to find your weakness, expose it, and watch your pain.
Everything is already hers.
You realize nothing is safe from the clutches of this woman, nothing is out of her grasp.
She wouldn’t do that, would she?
SHE SO WOULD.
Zenia is not jealous. She’s not broken. She doesn’t want what you have. She doesn’t want happiness. She only wants to watch you suffer without mercy.
Zenia still gives me goosebumps and nightmares, and I haven’t read the book since 1998.
Yellow has been my favorite color since I can recall.
As a small child, I always preferred the yellow Tupperware sippy cup, and I always asked for a yellow toothbrush.
You might also leap before you look, appear aloof, be hard to please and critical, strike with a bitter tongue, feel anxious, worry, be unable to shut down your mind, and find yourself jealous or lazy.
I tend not to have many yellow things in my home, since yellow is a very stimulating color for me, but there’s a bit here and there, because cheerful and happy. An old Pyrex lemonade pitcher, a knick-knack here, a giraffe there, a hallway painted Honey Bear.
Yellow houses sell fastest. They evoke feelings of warmth and happiness.
How does yellow make you feel?
Do you have a favorite color?
Last month, Sassy came home with a flyer about a music program. The flyer turned out to be much less informative than it should have been.
“Miss Alcott and the fifth grade will host a music program on Thursday, March 13th at 6:30pm. All fifth grade parents are invited to attend.”
“We will go,” I told Sassy. Because she’s a child, she asked me repeatedly, many days in a row, if we were still going, and each time, I said, “Yes” and “Oh my God! Yes! Will you please stop asking me?”
On the day of the program, Sassy asked who all was going to the program. I rolled my eyes and said, “We are all going.”
“Really? Who’s keeping Moo?”
“We are taking Moo. We are all going!”
“Miss Alcott says we can’t bring anyone younger than us.”
“Well, Miss Alcott has failed to mention this, so unless she contacts me or provides a certified caretaker, Miss Alcott can suck it.”
“Okay. Well can’t Moo stay home with Bubba?”
“No. Bubba is going to a movie with Papaw.”
I really could not imagine why no younger children would be allowed, or why it wasn’t mentioned, and I strongly suspected Sassy did not want to share her parents with Moo, which prompted me to add one of Beauty Queen’s best quotes, “You’re not an only child and you never have been.”
I prepared myself for an evening of music appreciation. I put on a nice sweater, dressy jeans, suede wedges, jewelry, some eye make up. I took half of an Ativan too, because I knew it would be loud and crowded and I might be forced to speak to strangers in a social setting.
Off we went.
Hardly a car in the parking lot, barely a handful of people inside.
We met in the gym, where there were perhaps a dozen chairs on either side, facing center, while xylophones and drums stood on one side of the boundary lines and a music stand faced them from the other side. (The other side had a stage, so I was immediately thrown off by who the hell set this mess up, and had they ever actually been to a performance before?)
Miss Alcott appeared, and she did not chase off the smaller children that were present, nor did she chide any parents for bringing them, Hmph!
Miss Alcott began to explain that this performance was participatory.
I shot eye daggers at Sassy.
All I could think was oh fucking swell. here i am, sedated, wearing three-inch wedges, and now i’m going to participate in rhythm, music, and dancing? you really must work on being more informative, miss alcott.
First things first, rhythm. Okay, I can rhythm. Not that I understood the directions very well, but I made do, even with my sedated motor skills. *clap, slap, snap, slap, slap, clap*
Then music. Hahaha. I’m not saying I’m the world’s worst music student, but I have failed at everything since the beloved fourth-grade recorder – piano, flute and cello – badly, and pretty much stuck to singing. The Mister? Musical ability out the ying yang.
Me, on the xylophone “A….oh AA..B….AA..oh A…B..D..AAA…” like a toddler at play.
Ugh. I’m no good at xylophoning.
“Daddy will do the music, Sass. I will do the dancing bits.”
And Daddy did do the music, which did not at all sound like a toddler playing. He could play it without the notes, just by ear. Well done, Daddy. I was not surprised.
Me, on the xylophone:
The Mister, on the xylophone:
Alright, not completely true, but close.
On to the drums.
The Mister sat down and immediately beat out “Sympathy for the Devil,” and the fifth grader beside him began to play back and forth with him. I was stupefied.
When finally given instruction on what to play, The Mister did, in fact, play the desired beat. I was amazed again. I actually had no idea that my husband was so talented, and I have known him for twenty-seven years. We should probably get him some drums.
On to dancing! Yay, I can dance! It was a bit like the Virginia Reel, though I don’t remember now what they called it. Unfortunately, the movements did not match the count very well, but Sassy and I managed to dance in time, even if I was a bit teetery-tottery, due to my medication and the wedges.
Needless to say, I would have liked to have been warned about the participatory events of the evening, what with the xylophones and all.
This is Ethel.
Friends of ours dropped her off today, because they were feeling guilty about neglecting Ethel and thought she’d be happier here with me.
I don’t know if Ethel will be happier, but I sure will.
I’m so delighted that they thought of me! What a lucky woman I am!
I had an old Sunbeam stand mixer, also given to me, but it eventually died during the holidays of 2007. While I always said I would buy a new one, and The Mister even offered to buy me one at some point, I never did get around to it. (I do that. It took me over a year to finally commit to buying a new set of knives.)
Right about now, I feel like I’m being rewarded for my purchase procrastination!
Isn’t she just magnificent?!?
Welcome, Ethel, welcome. I promise you will never want for attention in my kitchen.
Like any other place, Indiana’s accents are varied. Ideally, one adopts the accent of Iowa, which is said to be the clearest, least regional-sounding accent. Plenty of people here sound like broadcasters, and plenty of people sound like they just fell off the turnip truck. Most of us are in the middle, yakkin about with lazy tongues.
While in The Deep South, I do not sound southern to the natives. I asked a lady in the grocery about her evaporated milk preferences, and she asked me, “Sugar, where do your people hail from?”
Up North, people ask me if I’m from Kentucky. People who don’t know anything about accents have asked me if I’m from Texas or Louisiana, for cryin out loud.
I’m from Indiana. Born and raised. But my mama is a Tallahassee lassie and her daddy’s people came from Bonnie Blue, Virginia and I do think we’ve got some Melungeon in us, even if I’ve got the Dutch skin and the Italian proclivities from the other side…I’m a human mutt bitch.
Sassy recently announced to us, “They think I’m country!”
I asked, “Because of your accent?”
“Yes! They think I’m country, with my white skin, my pretty blonde hair, and my accent!”
How it came out was, “They think I’m country, with mah white skin, mah pree blonde hair and mah accent!” She opened her eyes wide and flounced her curls with disdain while she said it.
We laughed and laughed. She was so animated, so clearly offended.
Growing up, I was taught to enunciate, and rules about grammar were enforced. I do believe, and not even my mother could convince me otherwise, that this was an attempt to hide any indication of an accent, because people with northern accents think people with southern accents are dumb.
(And therein lies a lie or two, depending.)
There were two languages my mother used: The language of power, and the language of vernacular. I managed to learn which to use in specific circumstances, via my role model.
I took foreign language classes.
I took linguistics classes.
I took speech classes.
My elocution is exceptional.
When I wanna.
I used to worry about it. I used to pronounce things ever so carefully. I don’t now. I went to Georgia, and I let go. I came back from Georgia, and I don’t care anymore. It’s not baggage I want to carry.
I’m not tryin to hide anything about where I come from or who I am.
If the language I use perturbs someone, I assume they’re not the caliber of person whose opinion matters.
I reckon if people think I’m dumb because I say I reckon, or fixin to, or usta could, then they ain’t my kinda people.
(Did that hurt your ears? We’ll never be friends.)
Language is easy to me. Wherever I travel, my accent slides accordingly.
I still turn on the language of power, as when I’m calling the children’s school. I don’t be axin them thangs. In fact, I beg people not to ax anyone anything. Especially not they mothers.
I never say ax for ask. I never say they for their — but I hope you get my point.
Don’t be fooled, neither language nor its evolution are indicative of intelligence. But your assumptions about the speaker certainly indicate your levels of knowledge, intelligence, and understanding.
Why, just last night, I hadda use a smaller word so The Mister could understand me.
If, like me, you love the rain, you may also love umbrellas.
It takes a good downpour to force me to use one, though.
I’d rather walk in the rain, and splash in the puddles.
Umbrellas are whimsical.
Umbrellas are useful.
Umbrellas are magical.
Umbrellas are best when shared.
“Love is like an umbrella. It can provide protection from life’s storms, or it can poke you in the eye.”
Umbrellas are clever in photography.
Umbrellas aren’t just for humans.
Umbrellas stand out.
If, like me, have a skin tone akin to vampire, you may also enjoy umbrellas on sunny days.
Or, perhaps hats that are so large, they could also easily be used as umbrellas.
Tulips are my favorite.
White tulips above all. Tulips in every color are gorgeous, but white ones are my favorite.
I don’t know when exactly tulips became my favorite, but I had tulip bedding in 1987. The comforter subsequently became my woobie, traveling everywhere with me, to college, on road trips, even to the hospital to have my babies, and I didn’t give it up until 2008. It was threadbare, and the batting so clumped, it was no longer comfortable.
I wanted tulips at my wedding, but I married in August, so I carried sweetheart roses instead. Sweetheart roses are spectacular, but they’re not tulips.
In 2003, we bought a house with a substantial yard and many established plants. I added tulips every year.
In 2004, I might have had 100, but by 2006, I know I had over 200 tulips in my yard.
And in 2006, while Sissy, Sassy and I deadheaded the begonias and snapdragons, Moo deadheaded every single tulip in the back yard. I cried. Poor Moo, she was only trying to help.
When I lived in Georgia, it was too warm for bulbs, so the only tulips I had were cut in vases.
Ground phlox blooms in January in Georgia. Pansies are a winter flower in the south. It pained me, I swear.
I would be unhappy to live anywhere where I would need to freeze the bulbs in the house before planting them. Along with deciduous trees, my landscape must include bulbs in the spring. This year I will add hyacinth and crocuses, but the tulips were an urgent requirement.
Since we moved here in August, and I had plenty of inside work to do, the only things I planted in my new yard last fall were tulips. Just started with 56, here and there, because I wasn’t too sure what was planted where. (Good thing, too, since spring is showing me!)
I’m not sure if it was the strange, brutal winter, or my eagerness for tulips, but I did experience Spring Fever this year. My theory is that one cannot possibly enjoy the glory of spring without having suffered through a winter. It’s nature’s reward.
The tulips are all at various stages, due to their varieties and the sunlight conditions. Those that have opened already are mostly closed this morning, because it’s cold, only about 40F. I enjoy watching the tulips open and close. I admire them. I marvel at them. I downright stare at them. They are beautiful. I love tulips.
I have so many things to do in my yard.
No, really, SO MANY.
Spring has arrived, and my yard is full of so many neglected plants that need division. So many hostas, for one. Ornamental grasses, daylilies, and lily-of-the-valley, too. I also have an abundance of plants that won’t tell me their names.
“Are you bellflower? I think you might be bellflower.”
I always miss my mother, but it’d be great to have her walk around my yard with me right about now. Would it be selfish to send her a plane ticket for Mother’s Day? I know my dad will miss her, but think of all the golf he can watch! Golf is on now, right? I know if she leaves the beach too early in the season, she freezes to death, but we do have all those quilts…
I want to make a walkway. I have pavers. They’re kinda heavy (kinda miss my wheelbarrow) and they’re all over the yard, but I have them. I just need to dig and level and add sand and lay the brick and oh yeah, I need new steps…
Gotta prune the shrubs.
Still pulling out dead organic matter every time I go out.
The grass needs to be mowed.
Hey! That’s not my job! But he doesn’t need to do The Back Forty yet, just the front…
Sadly, building raised beds for my garden is also not my job, so I’ll be
nagging reminding The Mister about that.
I’m not saying I have nightmares about a ruined garden, but I have nightmares about a ruined garden. Those nightmares may or may not involve laughing squirrels, snow in July, and White Walkers.
The peonies are coming up, and I’m terrified they’ll have powdery mildew again this year.
So many things to do.
Tell me you have a lot of earth to tend, too?
Remove the membrane.
Rub the spices.
Rev up the grill.
Render with sauce.
Round up napkins.
Ravage with abandon.
I love quilts. I love strip quilts and wedding band quilts and yo-yo quilts and art quilts and crazy quilts and I have never met a quilt I didn’t like, although I tend to prefer whites and I tend to prefer squares.
I love to look at quilts, I love to make quilts, and most of all, I love to snuggle with quilts. I am a blanket girl. My girls are blanket girls.
A good quilt is soft and cold. The best quilts are the old ones, the ones that are worn-out and tattered, because they are the softest.
I have a fairly serious cotton fetish, since I have sensitive skin. I could easily be a fabric junkie.
I have learned to control myself. I struggle to control myself. I fall in love with fabric.
Papa Quilts (quilts made by my dad, embroidery by my mother):
Quilted pillows gifted to me this winter by Lady Molly Quilts:
Art quilt made also by Lady Molly Quilts:
Bubba’s baby quilt, made by Granny:
The Mister’s baby quilt:
Quilt purchased for me by my in-laws at a church auction:
Then I have quilts in various stages of work. My one and only completely finished quilt has already been gifted to HME. It was a nine-patch pattern in jewel tones, and I’m not going to search for the photo…
Sassy’s keepsake baby quilt:
I have Moo’s pieces cut and ready to sew. One child at a time, hmm?
Then there are the mass-produced quilts…Still comforting.
From Laura Ashley:
But here’s me, a few months ago, with a few squares of my favorite project:
A much beloved, much respected woman in our lives left me a ton of vintage fabric, everything from clothing scrap to calicoes. The fabric is in varied condition. Some of them are remnant pieces from her own quilts, and some are yards. In order to make the most use of all the pieces, the only way to salvage most of it — is to use a tiny pattern.
This one will be mine. This one is 100% hand-pieced and will be hand-quilted, or perhaps merely tacked — I certainly have time to decide. I assume I will finish it when I am an old woman, but I do so love to sit and stitch from time to time, so it’s a labor of love. Each square is one inch by one inch, and it takes 12 inches to make each block…
People often ask me how big it will be. REALLY BIG? I have no idea. One day, I will find myself nearing the end of the fabric pieces, and then I guess I’ll have a better idea.
About a month ago, I moved a dresser in front of the window and I quickly realized this would be a new perch for my cats.
Catticus, my boy kitty, has a real knack for making space where he wants it. We’ve never seen him in action, but we did find the broken mango bowl on the floor, and Catticus sprawled out where the intact mango bowl had once been. He looked completely innocent, but the evidence supported his belief that the mango bowl did not need sunshine and fresh air as much as he did.
(And all the pessimists rolled their eyes…)
I am NOT Little Miss Sunshine.
I’m actually deeply sensitive, empathic, and prone to melancholy. I worry and I fret and I dwell. My heart breaks and aches like everyone else’s. I get frustrated when things don’t go my way, and I get mad when people don’t understand me. I’ve suffered loss, abuse, neglect, grief, separation, chronic pain, abandonment, scary health diagnoses and treatment, and a mental breakdown. I have never had the privilege of being a Pollyanna.
But, I am here to tell you, in most “Shit Happens” situations, it is virtually impossible to stay sad, frustrated, angry, or worried if you stop to take a moment of gratitude, to focus on the positives, to delight in the way things are going. I know, it sounds hard, and it does take work at first, although after a fair amount of practice, you too can be a positive person. I’ve taught myself to look on the bright side.
Tomorrow will always be better. And you can let things get you down, because maybe you need a little comfort, or some sympathy, but all the time you spend being upset about something that’s already happened keeps you from enjoying what actually is. And sometimes, you just need to comfort yourself, because only you know what you really need.
By all means, you shouldn’t ignore your troubles. Certain things take longer than others to muddle through. But how you come out of it, and back to yourself, is completely up to you. It really is all in how you look at it.
I know it to be true, because I’ve lived it. Once you start building a negative spiral, you keep going deeper and deeper down, and yes, you will have to climb all the way back up on your own. If you haven’t scared off all your loved ones with your negativity, you may well have some people to help you along the way.
(Those people are keepers.)
It’s crucial to reduce the amount of negative people in your life. Negative people tend to deplete your happiness, and you need all the happiness you can get. Also, many of them are just waiting for something bad to happen to you, so they can feel better about their own lives.
The optimist can shrug off the negativity of others for quite a while, but it’s better to limit the time and energy spent.
It was my day to get up with the girls and drive them to school.
I woke up with a weird pain that set my anxiety off.
I had a bad hair day.
I did all the grocery shopping.
I broke a nail.
I had no nap, so I drank caffeine.
I had to take Sassy out to dress shop.
Moo needed shiny shoes.
The pain went away.
The lady at Kohl’s overcharged me by $30, and then I had to stand in a different line so a different lady could reimburse me.
My pants kept fallin dowwwn.
I came home to a soothing hot bath, put on my pink pajamas, and proceeded to prepare dinner.
Dinner was delicious. It was such a beautiful bounty, The Mister said grace. We had rib-eyes on the grill, iceberg wedges with radish and carrot, steamed broccoli, cantaloupe, and strawberries.
I am full.
I am tired.
I hafta do Sassy’s hair now.
I’ll get right on that O tomorrow, but my N today is Nuh-uh. Nope. Not gonna.
Magic, like happiness, is where you find it. This morning wasn’t my morning to get up with the girls, so I slept til 9:30. As soon as I woke, I remembered it snowed last night. I might be the only person in North America who was tickled that it snowed last night. Remember, I like to be lured into Spring.
I rushed to the window to see if it had stuck, and then I went outside to take this photo immediately.
I love being home. Before I lived in Georgia, I don’t think I ever thought so much about landscapes.
I remember asking my husband when he got there, “Are there mostly deciduous trees, or conifers?” and his replying, “What?” So clearly trees were important to me before I left. Now, for me, the glory of all four seasons, with Summer being the shortest, feels necessary. Necessary for my mental health and certainly for my skin.
I was having a lovely morning of reading when The Mister called to say he would be skipping his afternoon lecture, to mail out our taxes and to take me to lunch. We went to our favorite Mexican place, where The Mister actually drank a large beer! At lunch! This is unheard of.
We had the most cordial, and perhaps the prettiest, waiter that ever there was. As we left, I said I wish we had some cash, and The Mister agreed. (If you’ve never waited tables, you may not know, but your server’s taxes are calculated by income receipts. So when you leave a tip with your card, he hasta claim all that, but with cash, there’s not proof, so maybe the IRS just thinks he’s a crap waiter.) When I get great service, I like to leave a little on the card and more cash on the table.
Since The Mister drank his giant beer I was more than happy to drive us over to the local Mexican bakery after lunch, where I collected delicious treats for after school. It seemed our waiter had the same idea, because shortly after we arrived, he came in, too. Unfortunately, I had forgotten or never knew, the bakery does not take cards, and once again, we wished we had cash. I told the cashier we would go to the ATM and return.
As we walked back to the van, discussing the nearest ATM, our waiter hollered, “Amigo!” and The Mister turned around to find our waiter, holding our bag of goodies, telling us he paid for them.
That is so delightful! It’s been quite awhile since we’ve been the recipients of such a kindness.
Now I wish I had tipped him even more!
On the drive home, I went on and on and on, how I do, about the majesty of the scenery.
“I love this weather! It’s glorious! I‘m just so happy to be home! I just don’t think I could ever take it for granted again. I mean, even when the windchill was -40, I’d just think, well at least I’m not in fuckin Georgia anymore!”
“Right. No more fuckin Georgia.”
“Look at this! Sunny skies and snow! Snow! Green grass, blooms on the trees, tulips in the snow…”
“Rain on the scarecrow. Blood on the plow.”
I laughed my ass off, I did.
You can take the girl out of Indiana, but you can’t take Indiana out of the girl.
Magical day. *smiles*
Last summer, my mother-in-law was gifted with a calla lily. She loved it. She has respiratory issues, so not all plants, especially not most flowering plants, are good for her home.
(She has great aptitude for growing African violets, which stay green and lush all year, with or without blooms.)
She lamented to me that she had killed the lily. She asked me if I wanted to rescue it. I looked at it and I smiled, saying, “Sure, I’ll give it a whirl.”
MIL thought she killed her calla lily. Shh, she didn’t.
She’s just not familiar with the dormancy period of flowering plants, tee-hee.
The reason I’m giggling is because I took the lily home, carefully groomed it, gently pulling its dead leaves off as they withered, stuck it on the highest shelf in the bathroom, where it received constant low light over winter, and last week, I pulled it out, set it in the sun, gave it a little water, and poof! the calla lily knows it’s spring!
I fed it Monday, and am hoping by the time Mother’s Day rolls around, I will be able to re-pot it in a pretty permanent container, and give it back to her. Then I will explain the magic of dormancy.
This is a woman who tells the children that Jesus painted the pretty fall foliage, so she will no doubt love the resurrection.
In the meantime, I gave her an orchid for Christmas, and explained how easy it would be to care for, if she did x, y, and z. The orchid is still going strong, so I think that’s a good sign. I know it’s a boost for her confidence.
You see, that’s why I didn’t tell her how to do it. MIL would fuss over it and worry about it. And if it didn’t come back, she’d take it personally. They don’t always come back, but the odds are in her favor. If she wants me to keep doing it, I will, but I really think she can manage.
For me, this is one of those things I’m so eager about, I actually get giddy! The anticipation of returning the calla lily to her is intoxicating! I’m getting so excited!
Because I am a person who spends a great deal of time in the kitchen, I need things to function.
So, when the garbage disposal started making sounds like it was going to fly up through the drain and eat my face off, I started researching how to fix it. But then, it stopped making that noise. When Mr. F came by, it started doing it again. He heard it and said it needed to be adjusted. I said how sad it is that we are always having these conversations when The Mister is not home.
The Mister is virtually never home. I mean, this is sort of the crux of our marriage. I wait for that man like no other woman has ever waited for a man. You may remember how much I enjoy my solitude, so it’s not like I’m mad about it, but there are certain things I cannot do on my own.
I watched videos and read instructions on how to adjust my garbage disposal. Yes, I did push the reset button, and then I did put an allen wrench in there and wiggle it back and forth to make sure the blades were free to spin. And the garbage disposal continued growling and whirring, until eventually it only hummed. No amount of resets or allen wrenching could bring the beast back.
Within a week of the crazy metal-on-metal sound the garbage disposal made, the dishwasher stopped working. I researched that, too, but I was only able to go so far, because I couldn’t get the third trap out, thank you arthritis.
The concept that the dishwasher stopped draining because of the garbage disposal DID occur to me, and I researched that, too, but I am not comfortable with plumbing. I’m petrified of electricity, but only uncomfortable with plumbing. So I had to wait it out. Wait for The Mister to be home long enough to fiddle. He could take the pipes apart and check for a clog.
Until the sink goes wonky, too.
The bolts that hold the faucet loosened. The aerator came off the faucet. The sprayer lost power because so much water came out of the faucet.
Doing dishes became a nightmare.
And when the garbage disposal hummed, it didn’t take any of the water down. I did dishes with the water spraying crazy, getting me all wet, long enough to actually get bored, because the faucet wouldn’t stay where I put it, not allowing me to wash one thing while another rinsed, until the water got too high, so then I’d stop, let it drain, and go back for another shift.
Thursday night, my patience broke.
The water on the left no longer drained at all.
>Cue the freak out<
“I know you’re very busy, and you’re hardly ever home, and you are so tired, and so stressed out, and you really need your downtime, but I cannot live like this! This is akin to people livin through renovations, washin their dishes in the fuckin bathtub! I’m not a princess, I can scrape and wash dishes with my very own hands, but either put in a new garbage disposal, or replace the pipes so that the water drains! I will call a plumber, so help me God, I will!”
Last night, we had an early dinner and picked up a new garbage disposal on the way home. We also got a new aerator and long tool thing for bolts.
Replacing the garbage disposal was not the most fun we’ve ever had.
The instruction book said we would need one person with basic mechanical skills and one hour.
LIES. ALL LIES!
What we needed was two people, one with basic mechanical skills, one with expert mechanical skills, and three hours (4.5 if you count getting the putty from the store.)
Additionally, we needed the one person with basic mechanical skills to be as strong as the person with expert mechanical skills.
We also needed lube, a stack of books, and appropriate putty.
We used the wrong putty. In fact, it specifically warned, “Do not use on plastic,” and we did, in fact, use it on plastic. Sorta. I mean, it got on some of the plastic. Hopefully this doesn’t cause a weakness in the space-time continuum or anything…
These things can be avoided when one reads the packaging, but my husband doesn’t do that. He doesn’t read instructions, either. I’m not saying he’s overconfident to the point of arrogance, because that would be unkind. I’m also not saying that I find his arrogance attractive, until it conflicts with the following of fucking directions.
Sometimes I suggested horrible things, like using a wrench to turn the lock, stacking books under the machine to hold it, or inserting the splash guard into the drain flange. He would glare at me with his laser blue eyes, jaw locked, vein popping and I know, I just know, he hated me a little tiny bit. I do believe he hated me more when all those suggestions worked.
The kicker, I think, was when I read, “To open the knock out plug, do not use any sharp metal tools, such as a screwdriver…” and I looked over to him about to shove a fucking screwdriver in the thing.
“Jesus fuckin Christ, what did I JUST say?!?”
I handle adversity well.
Yes, I know, I’m afraid of many things, and have panic attacks when there’s no reason to, but in the event of actual adversity, I maintain my composure. I keep my ability to be reasonable and even pleasant. It’s terrible for The Mister.
(When the basement flooded in 2003, I was like, “Oh no. Well I guess we should pull out the carpet. Never liked that carpet anyway. Let’s turn on some fans.” The Mister? He was furious! He actually had the gall to ask what else could go wrong, which is very dangerous, because the universe will SHOW you what else can go wrong, which is why seconds later, mother nature created such a wind, that the basketball goal flew right into the windshield of our van. One must never ever ask what else can go wrong. Ever.)
So yeah, there was a clog in the pipes, from the broken garbage disposal, and it came out, smelling like vomit, but it didn’t make the garbage disposal work again. We ran a coat hanger through the tubing to the dishwasher, no clog there.
We replaced that garbage disposal. And the dishwasher works now, too.
Well it was just obvious, wasn’t it?
Jolene is a woman with flaming locks of auburn hair, ivory skin and emerald green eyes, and you must beg her not to take your man.
My eyes are blue. Greenish grayish blue with flecks of yellow. No one would ever compare them to emeralds. See?
I only know one woman with emerald eyes, and she’s had three husbands. Not only do I lack the powers emerald eyes possess, but to make matters worse, the universe did not endow me with enough patience to deal with men.
Conversations Between Men and Women
“I told the kids to bring you the cups they used. Didja get ‘em?”
“I dunno, Honey, which of these ten thousand cups did they use?”
“There weren’t three cups of sugar left in the jar, so I put the new bag of sugar in the jar for you.”
“How about cake? Does cake sound good?”
“What kind of what?”
“What kind of cookies do you want?”
“I don’t want any.”
“What kind of cookies do you want, so that you do not eat all of the children’s cookies?”
Seriously. Who could tolerate more than one?
So rest assured, my fondness for your man in no way implies that I am out to take him from you.
If he talks about me in his sleep, it’s only because that bastard owes me money, and you should tell him to pay me so his conscience lets up.
If you think my beauty is beyond compare, I recommend seeing an optometrist.
I do have a soft voice, not unlike summer rain, unless I’m upset — then I seem a lot like Julia Sugarbaker, only with more bitchy and less silk. And when I yell? Most unattractive woman on earth, I promise.
“Do what your mother told you to do, before she makes that noise again.”
I do have a nice enough smile, although I would not compare it the breath of spring, because I don’t think the breath of spring involves root canals…
And that’s why I’m Joey, not Jolene.
Joeys are the best.